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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September 5, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Barghouti Trial Begins

    The trial of Marwan Barghouti - head of the West Bank Fatah-Tanzim and the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist organizations - begins today.
    The charges include premeditated murder, accessory to murder, incitement to murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and participation and membership in a terrorist organization.
    Barghouti was directly involved in enlisting recruits, persuading them to take part in terrorist operations, and providing the logistics for their operations. He was also involved in their financing, arming, and training.
  See Text of Barghouti Indictment - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 (IMRA)

Turkey Stakes Claims in Post-Saddam Iraq - Mohammad Noureddine

    Turkish Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu caused much alarm in the Arab world when he characterized the Mosul and Kirkuk districts of Iraq as parts of Turkey that were forcibly taken away from it after World War I, and northern Iraq in its entirety as a "trust" under Turkey's "safekeeping."
    The former velayet of Mosul was in Ottoman hands at the end of World War I, yet the British, coveting the province's oil resources, proceeded to occupy it in 1918. Turkey refused to accept the loss of any of the territory and in 1920, the Turkish Parliament included the Mosul-Kirkuk area within the country's borders.
    During the 1990-1991 Gulf War, the late President Turgut Ozal was reported to have drawn up a map envisaging an Iraq divided into three parts - Arab, Turkmen and Kurdish - bound together as a federation.
    In recent years, a new component of Turkish policy has emerged: securing autonomy for the Turkmen minority - estimated to number between 500,000 and 1.5 million - in Kirkuk and the surrounding area, a region rich in oil. With no oil resources of its own, Turkey would not be averse to gaining some in Iraq if circumstances were to permit.
    Such a historic shift in Turkish policy would also automatically open up the hornet's nest of territorial disputes between Turkey and its other neighbors - including Syria (over Alexandretta), Armenia, and Greece. (Daily Star - Lebanon)

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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • One-Ton Car Bomb Safely Neutralized
    Civilian volunteers serving with the police spotted two suspicious vehicles speeding down a dirt road leading from the West Bank into Israel at 2 a.m. Thursday. When stopped, the occupants fled and police discovered one of the biggest bombs ever found, consisting of about 1,350 pounds of explosives, plus two barrels containing fuel and metal fragments, attached to a cellular phone for detonation. The car bombing was probably planned to coincide with the Jewish New Year, which begins Friday. (MSNBC)
  • Iraq Working on Means of Firing Chemical Weapons
    The United States and Britain have charged that the Iraqi president is working to obtain chemical, biological, and possibly nuclear weapons, and has been developing a variety of delivery vehicles. Analysts agree that Iraq's expanded capabilities appear to offer new ways to terrorize civilian populations, including the cities of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. (Washington Post)
  • Lawmakers: Bush Explains Iraq Strategy
    President Bush pledged Wednesday to seek congressional approval before taking action against Saddam Hussein, while House and Senate lawmakers said the president laid out plans for a "regime change" during a meeting at the White House. (Fox News)
  • The Big Lie
    An overwhelming majority of people in the Muslim world, according to a Gallup poll, do not believe the attacks of Sept. 11 were orchestrated by Osama bin Laden, or by Arabs, or by Muslims. Many believe, instead, that the whole thing was a conspiracy orchestrated by Jews. (60 Minutes II - CBS News)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • The New Libyan Nuclear Threat: Iraqi and Saudi Involvement?
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Maariv: "Libya is working intensively to develop a nuclear bomb and it appears to be the most advanced Arab country in this area....It is clear to us that there are Iraqi experts there, but it is not evident if the Iraqis are there in order to develop an Iraqi bomb - and circumvent any monitoring - or in order to work for Libya."
        "We assume that Pakistan, which already assisted Iran in the nuclear field, is involved in the Libyan project. Regarding the funding of the project, it is possible that this entails Saudi funding, however there is not yet solid evidence in this regard." Western sources have established that Libya is involved in the Iranian Shahab missile program as well. (Maariv)
  • Saudi Arabia, Libya Sign Major Cooperation Pact
    Saudi Arabia and Libya signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement on Sept. 3rd in Jeddah to boost bilateral cooperation in the economic, trade, investment, technical, sport, scientific, and industrial fields, including oil and petrochemicals, the Saudi Press Agency reported. (Arab News - Saudi Arabia)
  • Palestinian Attacks in Gaza Continue
    Two soldiers were wounded Thursday morning, one critically, after two gunmen opened fire on troops in the northern Gaza Strip. The army reported that the shots were fired from a Palestinian school. In a second attack, near Kissufim, several Israelis were injured, some of them seriously. Two mortar shells were fired overnight at the Gush Katif settlement bloc in Gaza and a Kassam rocket was fired into the northern part of the Strip, Israel Radio reported. There were no injuries in the attacks. (Ha'aretz)
  • Terrorists' Relatives Relocated to Gaza
    On Tuesday the Israel Supreme Court agreed that two siblings who had assisted their brother - a commander of Palestinian suicide bomber cells - could be relocated from their home in Nablus to Gaza for two years, in the belief that such a move would deter other terrorists because their families would be treated similarly. Despite Palestinian declarations that the two would not be allowed into Gaza, the IDF brought them unnoticed to a vineyard at the edge of the sand dunes near Netzarim, where each was given 1,000 shekels cash. The pair spent the night at Red Cross offices in Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Road to Baghdad - Sen. John McCain
    Change must come soon to Iraq. I share the President's sense of urgency about ending the regime of an often irrational aggressor, a mass murderer who has used chemical weapons on his own soil, persists in violating the terms of the cease-fire that ended the Gulf War, and is committed to acquiring nuclear weapons. When he does acquire them, containing his aggression will be far more difficult. The President should seek congressional support soon. Public support, best measured by the extent of congressional support the President receives, is as important as the size and quality of our military force. (Time)
  • Lies Poison Mideast's Hopes - Editorial
    Newspapers in Arab nations, either controlled by governments or following their lines, publish anti-Jewish lies daily. Egyptian and Saudi newspapers published this year the loathsome falsehood that matzos eaten on holy days must include blood from a non-Jew. Rantings against Jews will not make Israel disappear, but they will continue to curdle every effort to find peace. (Los Angeles Times)
  • The War Won't End in Baghdad - Michael Ledeen
    We should be talking about using all our political, moral, and military genius to support a vast democratic revolution to liberate all the peoples of the Middle East from tyranny. We must also topple terror states in Tehran and Damascus and reform the one in Riyadh. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Troubling New Face of America - Jimmy Carter
    Belligerent and divisive voices now seem to be dominant in Washington, but they do not yet reflect final decisions of the president, Congress, or the courts. It is crucial that the historical and well-founded American commitments prevail: to peace, justice, human rights, the environment, and international cooperation. (Washington Post)
  • Refusing to Fall to Pieces - Yisrael Harel
    It is exactly two years since the terror war began - and there are definitely signs of exhaustion among the Arabs and of recovery among the Jews. (Ha'aretz)
  • Talking Points:

    Sharon Holding Secret Talks with Palestinian Leaders (Ha'aretz)

    • In pre-Jewish New Year interviews, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Israel's television news channels that he has been holding talks with Palestinians and "for the first time, there's a chance for a political breakthrough."
    • Sharon declined to reveal who he's speaking to, but he said "the Palestinians have reached the conclusion that terrorism won't get them anything." They understand, he said, "that Arafat's methods of terror and murder over the decades have not helped them."
    • On Iraq, Sharon said Israel is not involved in U.S. planning for an assault on Saddam Hussein's regime, and is not pushing the Americans to attack Iraq. But he said Israel "gives 100 percent" support to whatever the American administration decides, and that "strategic cooperation between the two countries has never been greater."
    • He said Israel is "the best prepared country in the world" for a biological or chemical attack and it would be notified "in advance" in case of an American assault.

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