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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June 11, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Saddam's Syrian Smuggling Route
    Saddam Hussein is using a railway network linked to Syria for a smuggling operation that is supplying Baghdad with a vast range of military equipment and parts for weapons of mass destruction, intelligence sources say.
    Syria has become the main channel for smuggling equipment and arms to Iraq through the port of Tartus, from where they are transported along the Aleppo-to-Mosul railway line.
    Iraq is using the link to import a range of weaponry, including tanks sold by Bulgaria to Syria some years ago and allegedly diverted by Damascus to Baghdad, and air-defense equipment, Scud missile-guidance systems and surface-to-air missiles, originally bought by Syria from the Czech Republic.
    Baghdad may also be receiving components for its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs via the Syrian smuggling route. (London Times)

Scenes from Operation Defensive Shield:

  • An IDF soldier in Jenin told of the 6-year-old suicide bomber who was sent toward him weeping. The soldier helped the child unfasten the bomb.
  • In Nablus, when Palestinian mothers heard Israeli doctors were in town, they brought their children to an impromptu IDF pediatric clinic for checkups.
    (Barbara Sofer - Jerusalem Post)

    Request for Photos

    The Conference of Presidents is seeking interesting, high-quality photos of the April 15th Israel Solidarity Rally in Washington for a forthcoming book.
        Please submit images and contact information by June 14 to [email protected].

    Key Links

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    Back Issues

  • News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Bush, Sharon Meet in Washington
    Sharon: "In order to achieve peace you have to have a full cessation of terror activity and incitement, and we must have a partner for negotiations; at the present time, we don't see a partner."
    Bush: Conditions are not yet ripe for a ministerial Middle East summit "because nobody has confidence in the emerging Palestinian government." (Washington Post/AP)
  • Rumsfeld: Iraq Has Chemical Weapons Ready
    U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said during a visit to U.S. soldiers in Bahrain that Iraq had already prepared chemical weapons for attack and was developing nuclear and biological arms. (New York Times)
  • Fencing Off Terrorists
    The government plans to build a fence along that part of the Green Line where most of the deadly suicide bombers have crossed into Israel, at a cost of $1.6 million for each mile of 75 miles of fencing. The entire barrier network -- which includes a ditch, several roadways, concertina wire and surveillance cameras, as well as a 10-ft.-tall electric fence -- will be 130 ft. wide. (Time)
  • Arafat Tightens Grip on Power
    Arafat is strong enough that he is unlikely to be replaced by new leadership even if Israel banished him, says a senior Israeli security official. "Even if he's in exile, his influence from there would be strong enough to prevent any grass from growing up," the official said, describing other potential leaders as "scared to death" of standing up to Arafat. (New York Times)
  • Turn Swords Into Ballots
    Most Palestinians are fed up with Yasser Arafat, and have been clamoring for democracy for years. But Israelís invasion stunned them into seeing just how weak, ineffective, and fragile their government is. The Palestinian Authority, with its competing militias, corrupt bosses, and nonexistent services, was tested in crisis--and it crashed. (Newsweek)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • Ramallah Sweep Yields Suicide Bombers
    The latest IDF sweep of Ramallah has yielded two would-be Palestinian suicide bombers, the head of Islamic Jihad in Ramallah, and 30 Palestinians affiliated with Hamas, Tanzim, and Islamic Jihad, plus two cars rigged with tens of kilograms of explosives ready to be used in a terrorist attack against Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Terrorist Bomb Wounds Three Teenagers
    Three high school students were seriously wounded by a terrorist bomb on Tuesday morning as they returned to their bus after harvesting crops south of Hebron. (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Wanted Terrorist Caught in Palestinian Ambulance
    On Monday the IDF arrested a wanted terrorist pretending to be a patient in a Palestinian ambulance at the Gush Katif junction. Soldiers at the checkpoint became suspicious when they didn't see any medical personnel in the vehicle. (Israel Radio)
  • Iran Increases Funding for Suicide Bombings
    Iran has decided to increase its financial aid to organizations that oppose peace efforts in the Middle East. Iran has allocated a special budget for the support of some Palestinian groups who lost their sources of funding when the Soviet Union and the communist bloc collapsed, and when Libya stopped providing material support to the Palestinian organizations. (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London)/MEMRI)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Krauthammer: Israel Has Abandoned Oslo Messianism
    Speaking at Bar-Ilan University, Pulitzer Prize-winning American columnist Charles Krauthammer called the 1993 Oslo Accords "the most catastrophic and self-inflicted wound by any state in modern history," which was based on "an extreme expression of post-Zionistic messianism." "September 11 taught us that there are ideological enemies who care nothing about economics and will use all military means to attain their goals." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Why the Palestinians Don't Want Separation - Danny Rubinstein
    Separation has led to a situation in which one can hear on Gaza and West Bank street corners many who say that it's impossible to go on this way and that it would be better to go back to the days of the occupation. Currently, a West Bank laborer's wages are $5-6 (NIS 25-30) a day, while women working in sewing shops or agriculture earn $3-4 (NIS 15-20) a day. (Ha'aretz)
  • Arafatís Big Bluff - Oren Shachor
    The demand to democratize the Palestinian Authority amuses Yasser Arafat. The Western world wants a different, smaller, and democratic government? No problem, one press conference will solve the problem. As long as Arafat remains the chairman of the PA, there is no chance of a substantial change. (The author, a former IDF major-general, was involved in numerous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.) (Jerusalem Post)
  • What Can't Europe Understand? - Howard Greyber
    Is it not crystal clear to Europe (that has poured over $1.5 billion into Yasser Arafat's coffers over the last 15 years) that his merciless Palestine Liberation Army Arab tyranny is using its money to make war on little democratic Israel? (Washington Times)
  • Saudi TV: Torture and Destroy All the Jews
    In a sermon from the holy mosque in Medina, broadcast live on Saudi government television, Imam Abd-al-Bari al-Thubayti concluded: "O God, the Jews have transgressed all limits in their tyranny. O God, shake the ground under their feet, pour torture on them, and destroy all of them." (IMRA)
  • No Peace; Only Truce - David Ignatius
    Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah supposedly issued the fatwa, or religious ruling, that encouraged Shiite terrorists to detonate truck bombs outside the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in 1983 -- killing hundreds of Americans. Would he advise his followers to stop the killing if Israel agreed, say, to the Saudi peace proposal and recognized a Palestinian state? The answer: no peace; only truce. (Washington Post)
  • Talking Points:

    What Should Israel be Telling the Media? - Bret Stephens (Jerusalem Post)

    • The territories are not "occupied" but disputed, and the presence of Israelis on them does not violate international law or the Geneva Convention.
    • The conflict is not a battle between Jews and Arabs, but between democrats and dictators. Arafat, far from being the champion of his "people," is just another garden-variety Arab despot foisted on a nation that deserves better.
    • The argument against terrorism must be placed in the context of an argument for the legitimacy of the State of Israel. That legitimacy is very much in doubt among too large a percentage of the Palestinian population, and the dispute over the territories is merely a proxy argument over this larger question.

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