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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July 23, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

A Nuclear Threat from Egypt?
- James Hackett

    Even after accepting some $50 billion in aid for not fighting Israel, the Egyptian government continues trying to acquire weapons that would be most useful against Israel.
    According to the German daily Die Welt, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak signed an agreement in Beijing in January for Chinese help to mine uranium in the Sinai Peninsula and to enrich uranium. Citing Western intelligence sources, the article suggests Egypt is laying the groundwork for a nuclear weapons capability, noting the calls of high-ranking Egyptian officers for nuclear weapons to face Israel.
    Last year, there were reports Egypt had bought 50 Nodong missiles from North Korea, which could provide the delivery capacity for such weapons of mass destruction. U.S. intelligence sources have confirmed the deal.
    If Cairo wants to continue receiving large sums in U.S. aid, it must provide full transparency about its dealings with such countries as North Korea, China, and Libya. The administration should also send the new Patriot PAC-3 missile interceptor to U.S. allies in the area as an effective defense against Scuds and Nodongs. (Washington Times)

Festive Shooting Kills Two Party Guests in Jordan

    On Saturday evening, the would-be groom, Mohammad D., grabbed his brother's M16 rifle and started firing several rounds in the air in joy, one official said. "The automatic rifle slipped from his hand and started spinning and discharging bullets automatically. Two wedding guests were killed instantly and two teenage brothers were injured," the source said.
    Public Security Department officials revealed that the Kingdom loses three to four of its citizens annually as a result of festive shootings, resulting in the injury of around 200 people. (Jordan Times)

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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Israeli Airstrike Kills Hamas Commander in Gaza
    Salah Shehada, a founder of the military wing of Hamas and one of Israel's most wanted men, was killed early Tuesday when an Israeli warplane fired a missile into his Gaza City home. At least 11 people, including several children, were reported killed in the strike.
        Israeli security officials said Shehada's influence extended into the West Bank and even abroad, and that he was responsible for masterminding hundreds of attacks in Gaza. They said he led the effort to develop new, short-range rockets. Israeli officials had repeatedly requested Shehada's arrest. (New York Times)
        Prime Minister Sharon told the Israeli Cabinet on Tuesday, "This action is one of our major successes. It is not possible to reach any compromise with terror; terror must be fought. Naturally, Israel has no interest in harming civilians and it is always regrettable if civilians are hit."(IMRA)
        See also Salah Shehada Speaks (CNN/Reuters); and Talking Points below.
  • Powell to Object to India's Purchase of Israeli Missile Defense System
    Secretary of State Colin Powell is prepared to tell the Indian government during his upcoming trip to New Delhi of his objections to India's proposed purchase of the sophisticated Arrow missile defense system from Israel. Because the Arrow program was developed in partnership with the United States, U.S. approval is required for sales to other countries. (Washington Post)
  • FBI Targets Top Islamic Jihad U.S. Fundraiser
    According to the FBI, Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian professor of computer engineering at the University of South Florida, was a major fundraiser for a terrorist group that funneled money to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, responsible for attacks in which scores of Israelis, and at least one American, have been killed or wounded. The case is one of several FBI inquiries into Muslim organizations in suburban Chicago, Dallas, and northern Virginia suspected of funneling money to terrorist groups. (New York Times)
  • U.S. Halts Overtures to Iran's Khatami
    The Bush administration has abandoned hopes it can work with President Mohammad Khatami and his reformist allies in the Iranian government and is turning its attention to appealing directly to democracy supporters among the Iranian people, administration officials said. Bush has concluded with his senior foreign policy advisers that Khatami and his supporters in the government "are too weak, ineffective, and not serious about delivering on their promises" to transform Iranian society. (Washington Post)
  • What Could be Better than Going to Paradise?
    A winsome 11-year-old Palestinian girl smiles shyly at a talk-show moderator and answers questions about her ambitions: "Martyrdom is a beautiful thing. Everyone longs for martyrdom," the girl says. "What could be better than going to paradise?" (Los Angeles Times)
  • First U.S.-to-Israel Rally
    N.J.-based Kessler Communications is organizing and promoting a 72-hour "whirlwind tour" from the U.S. to Jerusalem. Participants will rally on Aug. 13 near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and also visit victims of terrorism, console mourners, and donate blood. The project's website ( has received 3,000 inquiries from 22 countries. (O'Dwyer's PR Daily)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • U.S: New Security Measures Come Before Peace Talks
    Prime Minister Sharon's chief of staff, Dov Weissglas, and his military attache, Moshe Kaplinsky, met with Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in Washington on Monday, and received assurances that new security measures to counter terrorism must take hold before new U.S. peacemaking begins. (Ha'aretz/AP)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • When Chief of Staff Ya'alon Met Arafat - Uri Dromi
    When IDF Chief of Staff General Moshe Ya'alon was chief of military intelligence in 1996, at a time when Palestinian suicide bombers were blowing up buses in Jerusalem, then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres sent him to Gaza to demand that Arafat stop the terror. When Ya'alon asked Arafat to arrest terrorist mastermind Mohammed Def, Arafat looked around at his aides. "Mohammed who?" he asked, and the men chuckled under their moustaches. Ya'alon knew that Def had met Arafat in the very same room the previous week. So the general went back to headquarters to help prepare the army for the inevitable. (International Herald Tribune)
  • The Islamic Jihad Movement - Yehudit Barsky
    A new American Jewish Committee report examines the deadly role of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group. (American Jewish Committee)
  • Jordan Trapped between America and Iraq
    As the war-drums beat, Jordan has found itself vociferously denying claims that it is a preferred staging-post for an American strike on Iraq. Jordan still relies on Saddam Hussein for all its oil, half of which he gives Jordan free, the rest at a discount paid in vegetables and other commodities. (Economist - UK)
  • A Further Turn to the Right: Israeli Public Opinion on National Security - 2002 - Asher Arian
    According to the 2002 annual survey of the National Security and Public Opinion Project of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, support for the Oslo process dropped sharply to 35% in 2002, from 58% a year before. Only 37% of respondents thought that most Palestinians wanted peace, down from 46% in 2001, 52% in 2000, and 64% in 1999. Fifty-seven percent disagreed with the assertion that settlements are an obstacle to peace. (Jaffee Center - Tel Aviv University)
  • End U.S. Aid to Arafat - U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor
    It is time for the United States to stop funding the murderous regime of Yasser Arafat. Currently, the Palestinian Authority receives $75 million annually through the Agency for International Development, in addition to $400 million pledged by President Clinton at the Wye River conference in 1998. U.S. taxpayers also give more than $100 million annually to UNRWA. "The Peace With Security Act," H.R. 3624, has 70 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and would impose the most severe sanctions against Arafat of any legislation introduced in the House to date. (Washington Times)
  • Talking Points:

    The Israeli Army vs. Palestinian Terror Organizations on the Question of Civilian Casualties

    • When Palestinian civilians including women and children are hurt as collateral damage from Israeli strikes against terrorists, Israelis feel a sense of anguish and initiate an internal debate.
    • When Israeli civilians are killed as a result of deliberate targeting by Palestinian terrorist organizations, their leaders celebrate the success of their attacks.
    • Salah Shehada was the Commander of Izz a-Din el-Kassam, the military wing of Hamas, not only in Gaza but in Samaria as well. He was responsible for hundreds of attacks against Israeli civilians, had been No. 1 on the Israel Defense Force's wanted list for the past two years, and Israel had repeatedly requested his arrest.
    • Responsibility for the death of the civilians among whom Shehada was hiding rests with the Palestinian Authority for failing to arrest him and on Shehada, himself, for endangering his family.

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