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 10, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Iraq's Weapons Program (BBC)

    The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London has prepared an in-depth report on Iraq's current weapons program:

  • Iraq could probably assemble nuclear weapons within months if fissile material from foreign sources were obtained.
  • Iraq probably retained substantial growth media and biological weapons agents (perhaps thousands of liters of anthrax) from pre-1991 stocks. It is capable of resuming production on short notice (weeks) and could have produced thousands of liters of anthrax, botulinium, and other agents since 1998.
  • Iraq probably retained a few hundred tons of mustard agent and precursors for a few hundred tons of sarin/cyclosarin and perhaps similar amounts of VX from pre-1991 stocks. It is capable of resuming chemical weapons production on short notice (months) and could have produced hundreds of tons of agent (mustard and nerve agents) since 1998.
  • Iraq probably retained a small force of 650km (al-Hussein) missiles, perhaps around a dozen missiles. It is capable of manufacturing rudimentary chemical/biological weapons warheads.
  • Iraq is capable of delivering chemical/ biological weapons in various impact-fuse tactical munitions (artillery shells, rockets, aerial bombs). It is capable of delivering biological weapons with simple airborne wet spray devices; a small inventory of modern strike aircraft with 750km combat radius; some ground attack aircraft, helicopters, possible unmanned aerial vehicles based on trainer aircraft.
        See the full IISS Report.
        See also Weapons Development Called Iraq's Priority (New York Times)

    Booklet Predicting End of U.S. is PA Best-Seller

        A booklet by a Muslim preacher from Jerusalem that anticipates the destruction of the U.S. by 2004 has become a Palestinian best-seller.
        The booklet is entitled "The Koran Anticipates the Destruction of the U.S. and the Sinking of the American Army." In it, Bin Laden is compared to Moses.
        The booklet and a similar videotape have embarrassed the Palestinian Authority, which has ordered its security forces to prevent any form of celebration marking September 11. (Jerusalem Post)

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    Back Issues

  • News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Arafat Speech Covers Old Ground
    In a rambling, hour-long speech Tuesday, Yasser Arafat treated restless Palestinian legislators to a familiar litany of grievances and exhortations, but failed to discuss political reforms, as many had hoped, or to make the explicit condemnation of suicide bombings that foreign leaders had sought. The statement fell well short of recent explicit demands by Mr. Arafat's interior minister, Abdel Razak Yehiyeh, that all Palestinian factions abandon suicide attacks. Many Palestinian legislators had hoped that Mr. Arafat would go much further, endorsing the appointment of an executive prime minister and giving the council a greater role. (New York Times)
        See also Arafat Fails to Call for End to Bombings (Washington Post)
  • Congress Moves to Condition U.S. Aid on a Change in Palestinian Leadership
    U.S. lawmakers are working to link any American financial support for the establishment of a Palestinian state to its commitment to peaceful coexistence with Israel, to have a constitution, and to combat terrorism. Once these conditions are met, the resolution calls for substantial economic assistance to the Palestinian state. (JTA)
  • Bush Will Call on Australian Troops
    The United States wants Australian military support if President George Bush decides to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iraq's President Saddam Hussein. (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Syria Worries U.S. Won't Stop at Iraq
    Syria is showing increasing signs of unease at Washington's plans to topple Saddam Hussein in neighboring Iraq, fearing it would be the first step in a wave of regime changes in the Middle East to suit U.S. and Israeli interests. Some analysts see continued diplomatic and political pressure on Syria backfiring by pushing Damascus closer to Baghdad. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Pro-Palestinian Mob in Montreal Blocks Netanyahu Speech
    200 pro-Palestinian demonstrators at Concordia University in Montreal forced the cancellation of a speech by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. Police beat back the protesters with pepper spray and batons, arresting five people after several windows were smashed. (CNews - Canada)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Plot to Poison Restaurant Patrons Foiled
    Israeli security officers have foiled a plot by three east Jerusalem residents to poison food and drink at the city's Cafe Rimon. Using emails and Hamas-affiliated websites, the three received orders for terror attacks, along with "recipes" for poisoning. (Ha'aretz)
  • Imprisoned PFLP Head Shubaki "Still Cooperating with Saddam" - Janine Zacharia
    Fuad Shubaki, mastermind of the Karine A weapons smuggling shipment who is being detained in a Jericho jail supervised by American and British wardens, is still "cooperating with Saddam Hussein" today, a senior Israeli official visiting Washington told the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy on Monday. "They're using jails as bases," he said. Documents seized by Israel during raids on PA offices earlier this year "show clearly the unbelievable cooperation between" Iraq and the PA, he said. He also dismissed as useless any effort to reform the PA as long as Arafat is in power. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF's Territories Coordinator in U.S.
    Major General Amos Gilad, Coordinator of IDF Activities in the Territories, is in Washington this week for meetings with U.S. officials. Gilad is expected to report that the recent period of calm is due not to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, but to steps taken by Israel. (Ha'aretz)
  • CIA to Help Train PA Security Officers
    CIA experts will arrive shortly to help train about 20 Palestinian Authority security officers at a facility in Jericho, focusing on fighting terrorism. The Palestinian officers will later train under Egyptian and Jordanian experts, with U.S. supervision. (Ha'aretz)
  • Iraq Calls for Suicide Squads to Strike American Targets
    An editorial in the Iraqi weekly Al-Iqtisadi, owned by Saddam Hussein's son Uday, called on the Arab and Muslim street to use all means "against the aggressors, including boycott, closing air and sea ports to civilian ships and airplanes that belong to the U.S. and its allies, striking their economic interests and establishments, and considering everything American as a military target, including embassies, installations, and American companies, and to create suicide/martyr squads to attack American military and naval bases inside and outside the region, and mine the waterways to prevent the movement of war ships." (MEMRI)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • "The Free World" - Also Known as "The Infidels" - Bernard Lewis
    Most Muslims, unlike most Americans, see current events in a much deeper and broader perspective than we normally do. And what they see is, for them, profoundly tragic. For many centuries Islam was the greatest civilization on Earth. Then everything changed, and Muslims, instead of invading and dominating Christendom, were invaded and dominated by Christian powers. The resulting frustration and anger finds expression in many places where Muslims and non-Muslims meet and clash - in Bosnia and Kosovo, Chechnya, Israel and Palestine, Sudan, Kashmir, and the Philippines, among others.
        Osama bin Laden and others saw it was they who, by the holy war they waged in Afghanistan, brought about the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union. In their perspective, they had dealt with one of the infidel superpowers - the more determined, the more ruthless, the more dangerous of the two. Dealing with the soft and pampered United States would, so it seemed, be a much easier task.
        The crimes of Sept. 11 were intended to be the opening salvo of a large-scale campaign to force Americans and their allies out of Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world, to overthrow the corrupt tyrants America supports, and to prepare the ground for the final world struggle. (Washington Post)
  • Israelis Adapt to Annoying Searches, Ubiquitous Guards - Mark Magnier
    Israelis are at the cutting edge of what populations must endure in the name of security. Everywhere you turn here, there are security guards. Walk across the street, enter a parking lot, drop into a grocery store, stop for lunch - with each of life's daily activities comes another search. Mental health experts say Israel's stress, its adaptations, and its mass trauma are turning it into an international laboratory. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Talking Points:

    Freedom Ultimately Prevails over Terror - Uri Dromi (Miami Herald)

    • No doubt the Palestinians made a big blunder when they believed that the good life in a developed country - or the openness of Israeli society, with its free press and vocal anti-establishment groups - would spoil the Israelis to the point that they would be unable to stand up and fight.
    • There is far greater willpower and resilience in a democracy than most people imagine.
    • It is much harder for a democracy to fight terror, because of self-imposed restraints, but eventually, it works.
    • By carrying on with their precious way of life, democracies slowly but surely are defeating their enemies.

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