Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

March 11, 2003

To contact the Presidents Conference:
info@prescon.org

In-Depth Issue:

Iraq Resolution Vote Delayed (FOX News)
    The U.S. and Britain were forced to delay a Security Council vote scheduled for Tuesday on a hard deadline for Iraq when it became clear the resolution would meet with insufficient support and at least one veto.


Saddam's Soldiers Surrender (Sunday Mirror-UK)
    Terrified Iraqi soldiers crossed the Kuwait border and tried to surrender to British forces last week because they thought the war had already started.
    The motley band of a dozen troops waved the white flag as British paratroopers tested their weapons during a routine exercise.
    The stunned troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade were forced to tell the Iraqis they were not firing at them, and ordered them back to their home country, telling them it was too early to surrender.


Arab World's Hit Song Lambastes Iraq War and Israel. - Anthony Shadid (Washington Post)
    The Arab world's newest and most popular hit is "The Attack on Iraq" by Egyptian singer Shaaban Abdel-Rahim, who was catapulted to fame in 2001 with his song, "I Hate Israel."


West Point's Jewish Chaplain Ships Out - (New York Jewish Week)
    Rabbi Carlos Huerta, who since July 2000 has been the Jewish chaplain at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, left last week for the Persian Gulf along with the 101st Airborne Division.
    Rabbi Huerta, who was ordained at Yeshiva Or HaTorah in Jerusalem, came to the rabbinate after a career in the military.


Useful Reference:

The 30th Government of Israel Ministers and Senior Government Officials (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


Disputed Territories: Forgotten Facts About the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues


News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Iranians Assert Right to Nuclear Weapons
    While maintaining that their country is not developing nuclear weapons, Iranians argue strenuously and with rare unanimity that they have a right to such weapons, to balance Israel's arsenal and as a manifestation of national pride. Iran's defense of its right to obtain nuclear arms cuts across the country's deep political divide, uniting the conservative clerics and the reformers. (Washington Post)
        See also UN to Probe Iranian Nuclear Site (Financial Times-UK)
  • Allied Plan Would Encourage Iraqis Not to Fight
    American and British commanders say they are devising a strategy intended to defeat the Iraqi military without completely destroying it, and to limit damage to Iraq's infrastructure. Allied commanders are working out procedures for Iraqi units to signal their intention to stay out of the war. (New York Times)
  • Kuwait Warns Journalists on Israel
    Western journalists in Kuwait City have been warned by Kuwait's Ministry of Information against "any kind of cooperation or interaction with Israel." Between 500 and 1,500 American Jewish troops served in the 1991 Gulf War which liberated Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. (New York Sun)
  • Rep. Moran Said Jews are Pushing War
    Jewish organizations condemned Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) for suggesting that American Jews are responsible for pushing the country to war with Iraq and that Jewish leaders could prevent war if they wanted to. "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this," Moran told an antiwar forum in Reston. Moran issued an apology saying, "I made some insensitive remarks that I deeply regret. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Palestinian Ambush Kills IDF Soldier in Hebron - Amos Harel and Arnon Regular
    IDF Staff Sgt. Tomer Ron, 20, was killed and three other soldiers wounded Monday by Palestinian gunfire near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The attack took place on the road taken by worshipers from the Cave to Kiryat Arba, at almost the same spot where a military policeman and policewoman were killed by terrorists two months ago. In six attacks in the Hebron area over the past four months, 25 Israelis have been killed. (Ha'aretz)
  • U.S. Wants Palestinian PM Able to Stop Attacks on Israel
    The Palestinian parliament approved the planned appointment of Mahmoud Abbas as prime minister, but the new position was vested with only limited powers, which could indicate Yasser Arafat remained in charge. A senior U.S. official responded that the administration wanted to be sure a newly appointed Palestinian prime minister would have authority over security and peacemaking. That would involve not only sidestepping Arafat but also being able to stop attacks on Israel. (Ha'aretz)
  • Sharon Praises U.S. Determination - Diana Bahor
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon praised the determination of the American government in its war against terror. "If in the 1930s there had been a leadership so determined to fight dictatorial regimes, it is likely that we, the Jewish people, would not have had to pay such a price. During these days it is important to recognize this," Sharon told the Likud Knesset faction Monday. (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Peace Isn't Possible in Evil's Face - Elie Wiesel
    I have seen enough of the brutality, the ugliness, of war to oppose it heart and soul. Yet, I am in favor of intervention when no other option remains. Only military intervention stopped bloodshed in the Balkans and destroyed the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Had Europe's great powers intervened against Adolf Hitler's aggressive ambitions in 1938 instead of appeasing him in Munich, humanity would have been spared the unprecedented horrors of World War II. We have a moral obligation to intervene where evil is in control. Today, that place is Iraq. (Los Angeles Times)
  • When Peace is No Better than War - Richard Cohen
    Never mind a just war, what about a just peace? While war is bad, sometimes peace is no better, especially if all it does is postpone a worse war. That is what would happen if the U.S. now pulled back. Ultimately, Hussein would wait us out. He is who he is. He deserves no second chance. (Washington Post)
  • Hatreds Steeped in Blood - Nicholas D. Kristof
    The nightmare is that the Turks, Kurds, Iraqis, and Americans will all end up fighting over the oil fields of Kirkuk or Mosul. The Americans plan to get there first to seize the oil fields and avert a broader conflict. Turkey is terrified that Iraqi Kurds will emerge from a war with access to oil to finance a viable Kurdistan. Frankly, it's just as well the Turks turned us down. That vote consolidated Turkish democracy, which we need to encourage as a model for the Islamic world. And as part of the deal, we would have escorted the Turkish foxes into the Kurdish henhouse. (New York Times)
  • An Arab House, Openly Divided - Shafeeq Ghabra
    Bashar Assad urged the Arab League summit not to provide any support or facilities to the U.S. for its possible war with Iraq. Assad also indirectly targeted America's strongest supporters - Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Oman, and the UAE. Syria is also aware that the end of the Hussein regime will be the beginning of an emphasis on issues that Damascus would rather not confront: Syria's role in Lebanon, its support for Hizballah and some Palestinian organizations, and one-party rule in Syria. Furthermore Syria has been profiting from economic cooperation with Baghdad, both through trade and from fees from the pipeline that goes across Syria from Iraq. (Washington Post)
  • War on Iraq Central to War on Terror - Jack Kelly
    Hizballah in Lebanon has about 10,000 122-mm Katyusha rockets. You can't buy these in a Wal-Mart, or transport them without the assistance of a compliant government. Without state sponsors in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, al Qaeda and Hizballah would be little more dangerous than the Red Brigades were in Italy 20 years ago. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Observations:

    The Morning after Iraq - Norman Podhoretz (Jerusalem Post)

    • American support for the establishment of a Palestinian state is strictly conditional. It depends upon the replacement of the current regime by a leadership which is "not compromised by terrorism" (Bush's June 24 speech) and "abandons forever the use of terror" (February 26 speech); which is dedicated to the development of a free society (both speeches); and which genuinely wishes to live in peace with Israel (ditto).
    • The State Department's road map charts a path that twists and winds its way back to another Oslo. George Bush's road map charts a path in the opposite direction, and it is one on which Israel need not fear to embark. Israel should hold up George Bush's road map as a beacon and hold the U.S. to it.
    • I say this as one who has always believed that a Palestinian state would constitute a mortal danger to Israel, and who opposed the Oslo Accords from the start. But I have also always recognized that if the day ever came when the Arab world in general, and the Palestinians in particular, made their own inner peace with the existence of a sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East, it would at last be possible to envisage the emergence of a sovereign Palestinian state with which Israel could safely live.

    See also Beware the Day after Saddam - David M. Weinberg

    In an otherwise fragmented world there is universal consensus: after Saddam goes, a Palestinian state arrives. You would think that after taking down one terrorist state, the world would be less than eager to establish another one. There is a broad global trend to disregard the Palestinian barbarity, treachery, and malfeasance exposed over the past ten years. Despite the clear danger to Israel, much of the Western establishment is prepared to foist upon the Jewish state a solution that is both cancerous and wrong, cooked and prettified by people who do not have our best interests at heart. Beware the day after Saddam. (Jerusalem Post)


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