Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

March 30, 2004

To contact the Presidents Conference:
info@prescon.org

In-Depth Issues:

Libya Traded Nuclear and Missile Expertise with Egypt (Middle East Newsline)
    Inspections of Libyan facilities by a British-U.S. team have uncovered evidence that Libya was both the source for and recipient of nuclear and missile technology and expertise from Egypt.
    "The evidence of Egyptian involvement in Libya's missile and nuclear weapons program is highly damaging and most of the doubts we had previously have been resolved," an official said.
    Officials said Egypt appeared to have been using Libya as a way-station for obtaining nuclear and missile technology and components from North Korea.


Saddam "to Hang" - Tom Walker (London Sunday Times)
    Saddam Hussein will hang, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's special representative to the UN in Baghdad, predicted, saying that although the death penalty was suspended during Coalition rule in Iraq, it was likely to return when power was handed back to the Iraqis in June.

    See also Saddam's Not Talking - Katherine Pfleger Shrader (AP/Washington Post)
    Diplomatic and military officials say the former Iraqi leader has provided little useful information in interrogations so far.


Egyptian Airline Banned After "Abnormal" Flight (Los Angeles Times)
    France has banned Egyptian airline Luxor Air from flying into the country after a March 21 flight from Egypt to Nantes, in western France, made a 1.2-mile deviation from its flight path as it came in for landing and flew over the city at 660 feet.


Housework Sermon Sparks Imam Boycott (BBC)
    A Muslim preacher in eastern Turkey says he is being boycotted for telling local men to help their wives with the housework, Turkish media reported.
    "Women do all the work in this village. All I said was men should at least carry the water," said Mustafa Platin.
    His angry flock, who stopped attending the mosque, have asked authorities to remove the preacher.


Useful Reference:

The State of Democracy in the Arab World (AP/San Francisco Chronicle)


Urgent Appeal
    42-year-old mother of five needs immediate lung transplant. Call 1.800.SAVE.A.LIFE or email to savemymommys life@aol.com


Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues


News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • State: Hamas a Major Obstacle to Palestinian Aspirations
    State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday: "Hamas is a Designated Terrorist Organization. There is no question that Hamas is a major obstacle to the pursuit of Middle East peace, it's a major obstacle to the achievement of the vision the president has enunciated of having two states that can live side by side, and Hamas is indeed a major obstacle to the Palestinian people in trying to achieve their aspirations."
        "Peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be achieved by dismantling and disarming the terrorist capabilities of organizations that take innocent lives in order to prevent the peace process from moving forward. We don't think that Hamas and other Palestinian groups should be permitted to undermine the aspirations of both the Palestinian and the Israeli people."  (State Department)
  • Report: Taliban Leader Omar Wounded in U.S. Bombing Raid
    Mullah Mohammad Omar, the fugitive leader of the Taliban, was wounded in a U.S. bombing raid earlier this month in the southern Afghan province of Zabul that killed four of his bodyguards, Deutsche Presse-Agentur said, citing a newspaper report in Pakistan. (Bloomberg.com)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • IDF: Hamas Seeking New Tactics - Nina Gilbert
    Hamas's main aim is to carry out "sophisticated" attacks, IDF Intelligence Research Department head Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kupperwasser told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. Kupperwasser said terrorist groups are experiencing "difficulties" in carrying out attacks, which has led them to use children as suicide bombers. Rantisi presents himself as the leader of Hamas, but does not have the same consensus support as Yassin, Kupperwasser said. He also warned of the "deep involvement" of Hizballah with terrorist groups in the West Bank. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinian Poll: Gaza Withdrawal Seen as Victory for Armed Struggle
    3/4 of Palestinians welcome Sharon's plan to evacuate Gaza and 65% believe it represents a victory for the armed struggle, according to a poll of Palestinians conducted March 14-17, 2004. 87% support attacks against Israeli soldiers, 86% support attacks against settlers, and 53% support attacks against other Israeli civilians. 67% believe that armed confrontations have helped the Palestinians achieve national rights in a way that negotiations could not. Arafat's popularity stands at 38%. (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research)
  • Did Non-Profit Groups Transfer EU Funds to Fatah and Hamas? - Meir Suissa
    The EU is investigating whether Arab non-profit organizations operating in Israel and the Palestinian territories transferred aid funds from European countries to terror organizations such as Fatah and Hamas. A team of six EU investigators who recently visited Israel suspect that more than 12 million euro was transferred to terror groups using this method. (Maariv-Hebrew)
  • Palestinians Introduce Mobile Mortar Launcher - Amir Buhbut
    Palestinian terror groups are welding mortar launchers to the back of fast pick-up trucks, enabling them to fire and then flee before IDF helicopters spot them. Since the violence began in October 2000, thousands of mortar shells have been fired at Jewish towns and IDF outposts in Gaza. (Maarivenglish.com)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Ousting Saddam Was the Only Option - George P. Shultz
    The civilized world has a common stake in defeating the terrorists. We now call this what it is: a War on Terrorism. In war, you have to act on both offense and defense. You have to hit the enemy before the enemy hits you. The diplomacy of incentives, containment, deterrence, and prevention are all made more effective by the demonstrated possibility of forceful pre-emption. Strength and diplomacy go together. They are not alternatives; they are complements. Sept. 11 forced us to comprehend the extent and danger of the challenge. We began to act before our enemy was able to extend and consolidate his network. If we put this in terms of World War II, we are now sometime around 1937. In the 1930s, the world failed to do what it needed to do to head off a world war. Appeasement never works. Today we are in action. We must not flinch. With a powerful interplay of strength and diplomacy, we can win this war. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Israel's Search for Peace - Yuval Rotem
    The legacy of our peace with Egypt teaches that when Israel is offered real peace, via negotiation and not intimidation, it reciprocates with eagerness and vigor. There is no more important message that must be declared directly to the Palestinian people: Israel has no reason or interest to fight you. There is no wish to control you, rule over you, or determine your lives. Israel wants to live with you, and not die because of you. Israelis want to share with you, and not take from you. We want to respect you as good neighbors, not fear you as dreaded enemies. Appeal to our hearts, and you will find us yearning to make a generous peace with you. The writer is consul general of Israel in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Daily News)
  • A Legacy of Pain and Poison - Fouad Ajami
    The promise of the peace of Oslo of a decade ago was that the PA would rein in the religious die-hards. This was the bargain that had plucked Arafat from exile in Tunis and bequeathed him a turf in the West Bank and Gaza. But Arafat had not come to Gaza to govern. He had uses for the foot soldiers and leaders of Hamas. They were his alibi for reforms he would never make, and an accommodation with Israel he would never pursue in good faith. In time, Arafat would match Hamas's terrorism with terrorist cells of his own. Thus the fireman turned out to be an arsonist. (U.S. News)
  • On Palestinian Intentions and Ethnic Cleansing - Benny Morris
    Whereas in the 1990s I was fairly optimistic that the Palestinians had accepted in their hearts the need for a compromise and for a two-state solution, now I'm very doubtful. I don't think the Palestinians really want to agree to a two-state solution. They want a one-state solution, which means Israel's destruction and the turning of all of Palestine into one Arab majority state.
        Ethnic cleansing is a sport long and consistently practiced by the Arabs, from Muhammad, who ethnically cleansed Arabia of its Jewish tribes back in the seventh century, down to the Arab world in the 19th and 20th centuries, which systematically cleansed their communities of Jews. Almost no Jews live in the Arab world today, and, for that matter, there are very few Christian communities in the Arab world. The Arabs between the seventh and the twentieth centuries took care to expel them, massacre them, or forcibly convert them to Islam. (Atlantic Monthly)
  • Listen to the Arab Reformers - Jackson Diehl
    A much-anticipated summit of the Arab League was abruptly put off because the kings, emirs, and presidents-for-life of the Arab Middle East were unable to agree on a common response to the Bush administration's new policy of promoting democracy in their region. The past year has seen the emergence of homegrown civic movements demanding political change, even in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Unlike their governments - and the old school of U.S. and European Arabists - they don't believe that change should be gradual, and they reject the dictators' claim that democracy would only empower Islamic extremists. (Washington Post)
  • Observations:

    Terror and Tolerance - Jean-Christophe Mounicq (Washington Times)

    • I can no longer tolerate the indifference of Muslim leaders and the majority of Muslims to the suffering of non-Muslims.
    • I can no longer tolerate the double game of Yasser Arafat, the Saudi princes, or Pakistani leaders. I can no longer tolerate watching Muslims dance with joy, in the Palestinian territories or in Paris, following attacks on the World Trade Center or an Israeli bus.
    • I can no longer tolerate Islamist lack of respect for secularism and equality, between men and women, Muslims and others. I can no longer tolerate their lack of respect for the cultures of the very countries that shelter them.
    • I can no longer tolerate concealing the massacres of Christians and Jews in Islamic countries. I can no longer tolerate Muslim ethnic cleansing in Kosovo or Palestine. I can no longer tolerate Islamist totalitarianism.
    • I can no longer tolerate taxes that the EU transforms into subsidies for the Palestinian Authority. I can no longer tolerate paying the maternity bills for women ready to sacrifice their infants as suicide bombers or for teaching children hatred on the West Bank.

      The author is a French writer specializing in economics, world politics, and the French political scene.


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