Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

February 4, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Arafat Told Terror Heads to Kill More Israelis - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)

    Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Friday that Arafat had instructed the heads of the terror organizations to kill more Israelis.
    Referring to a conversation between Arafat and the leaders of the terror groups in February 2001, the defense minister charged that "the Palestinian plan was to cause a few thousand Israeli deaths within a number of months, so that Israel would give in to them....It was tantamount to giving a green light to the suicide terror attacks against Israel."


Barak: Iraq War Would Last a Week (AP/Malaysia Star)

    Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak said Sunday in Florida that if the U.S. opts to disarm Iraq by force, the conflict would end quickly.
    Barak said that proof exists Iraqi president Saddam Hussein continually broke UN sanctions against manufacturing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. That proof, Barak said, would be found as soon as Hussein is removed from power.
    "American forces are so much superior to the Iraqi armed forces that such an operation, once launched, will be decided at once,'' Barak said. "It won't take months, but a week before Saddam Hussein resigns.''
    He also said he believes peace will have a greater chance in the Middle East once Hussein is removed from power.


SAS Force Spies on Iraqi Targets - Michael Smith (Telegraph-UK)

    The British SAS has mounted a six-day covert mission into western Iraq to identify key targets in the event of a war.
    The 35-man SAS force flew in by Chinook helicopter from Jordan with troops from the U.S. Delta force after U.S. intelligence reports that Scud missile launchers had been moved to the western Iraqi desert.


Useful Reference:

Palestinian Terrorism Videos
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


Key Links

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Iraqi Deception Campaign Against UN Caught on Tape
    The Bush administration is preparing to release supersensitive electronic intercepts obtained by the National Security Agency that officials say prove that Iraq has repeatedly lied to UN inspectors, plotted among themselves about how to conceal weapons material, and even appeared to boast afterward at their success in doing so. For the past two months, ever since the UN inspectors re-entered Iraq and began searching for weapons of mass destruction, the NSA has been closely monitoring the conversations of Iraqi officials. The NSA intercepts establish conclusively that the Iraqis have been "hiding stuff" from the inspectors, U.S. intelligence official said. (Newsweek)
  • U.S. Satellites "Spot Iraqis Hiding Suspected Arms"
    "The real killer stuff is going to be the satellite images indicating pretty clearly that Iraq was actively moving things around while Unmovic (UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission) was visiting different sites," one well-placed U.S. official said. "While the inspectors are getting into cars, the Iraqis are in full panic, moving boxes, crates, bulldozers, and a couple of huge vans which look like mobile labs," he said, referring to biological weapons laboratories. (London Times)
  • Iraqi Agents "Trying to Sabotage" Inspection
    20,000 Iraqi agents are working to foil the mission of UN weapons inspectors, according to a new British government report. Iraq - Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception, and Intimidation details the structure and role of organizations responsible for weapons concealment, intimidation, and security in the country. (London Times)
  • CIA, Allies Tracking Iraqi Agents
    The CIA and security services from several U.S. allies around the world are prepared to arrest Iraqi agents, their associates, and known anti-American terrorists to prevent possible attacks against U.S. citizens, embassies, or other facilities if the U.S. launches a war against Iraq, according to senior Bush administration officials. (Washington Post)
  • Saudis Wary on U.S. Use of Key Base
    "There's no agreement (on base rights) that I've been made aware of," said Gen. Dale Waters, commander of the 363rd Air Expeditionary Wing at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. Waters said that if the Saudis do not grant permission, much of his powerful armada - which includes F-16 fighter bombers, AWACS command centers, AE6-B communications jammers, and U-2 spy planes - will have to move to neighboring Qatar, where facilities are not as good. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Poll: Limits to Palestinian Endurance - Aluf Benn
    A poll released Monday by the independent Palestinian Center for Public Opinion among 1,100 West Bank residents indicated that support for the uprising against Israel is holding relatively steady at 40.6 percent, compared to 38.6 percent three months ago. However, when asked how much longer they can endure the economic hardships, only 18.4 percent of respondents said they could hold out for another four months, compared to 64.2 percent three months ago. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinian Sentenced for Links with Al Qaeda
    In the first trial of a Palestinian with alleged links to al Qaeda, Nabil Okal, a Gazan trained in Afghanistan camps run by Osama bin Laden, was convicted of participating in military training overseas and conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks, and sentenced to 27 years in prison Monday. Okal "was trained by al Qaeda and dispatched to set up sleeper cells in the territories," a senior Israeli military officer said. (Ha'aretz)
  • Pentagon Source: War Two Weeks After Haj - Barbara Ferguson
    The U.S. will go to war against Iraq two weeks after the Haj, which is scheduled to end Feb. 13, a former deputy secretary at the U.S. Defense Department said Monday. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • We Will Not Shrink from War - Secretary of State Colin Powell
    On Wednesday, we will offer a straightforward, sober, and compelling demonstration that Saddam is concealing the evidence of his weapons of mass destruction, while preserving the weapons themselves. Iraq has not complied with Resolution 1441 and has failed the resolution's two tests - to disclose and to cooperate - in a manner that constitutes a further material breach of the resolution. The U.S. seeks Iraq's peaceful disarmament. But we will not shrink from war if that is the only way to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Why We Should Go to War - Julie Burchill
    I am in favor of a smaller war against Iraq now rather than a far worse war later. The new enemies of America, and of the West in general, are the opposite of socialism even more than they are the opposite of capitalism. They are against light, love, life - and to attempt to pass them the baton of enlightenment borne by the likes of Mandela and Guevara is woefully to misunderstand the nature and desires of what is described as "Islamo-fascism." (Guardian-UK)
  • Another Look at Al Qaeda and Iraq - Jeffrey Goldberg
    American intelligence believes that al Qaeda and Saddam reached a non-aggression agreement in 1993, and that the relationship deepened in the mid-1990s when an al Qaeda operative - a native-born Iraqi who goes by the name Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi - was dispatched by bin Laden to ask the Iraqis for help in poison-gas training. Al-Iraqi's mission was successful, and an unknown number of trainers from an Iraqi secret-police organization called Unit 999 were dispatched to camps in Afghanistan to instruct al Qaeda terrorists. (New Yorker)
  • Talking Points:

    Does Israel Need a Plan? - Daniel Pipes (Commentary Magazine)

    • Every opinion poll confirms that the assault on Israel of the past 2 1/2 years has been wildly popular among Palestinians. The "street" is more aggressively anti-Zionist than the leadership, and Arafat's removal would not eliminate the ambition of destroying Israel.
    • Although a neutral term like "Arab-Israeli conflict" makes it sound as if both sides were equally to blame for this decades-long war, and must therefore be brought to compromise by splitting the differences between them, this is a deceptive label. A more accurate term is the "Arab war against Israel."
    • Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza cannot be the core of the problem. The Arab war against Israel predated Israelís taking those territories in 1967; in fact, it was underway even before Israel formally came into existence as a state.
    • Rather, the root cause of the conflict remains today what it has always been: the Arab rejection of any sovereign Jewish presence between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
    • The conflict continues into its sixth decade because Arabs expect they can defeat and then destroy the State of Israel.
    • Israel cannot end this conflict unilaterally, by actions of its own. It can only take steps that will make it more rather than less likely that the Arabs will give up on those expectations.
    • The only way to make progress in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is by inducing the Palestinians to surrender their murderous intentions vis-a-vis Israel. Not only would the rewards of such a surrender be very great but, ironically, they would be yet greater for the Palestinians than for Israel.


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