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 11, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

To the American People
(Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C.)

  The people of Israel express their most heartfelt sympathy for the American people as you mark one year since the September 11th terrorist attacks.
  We support you not only in the fight against terrorism, but also in the battle for freedom and security, democracy and peace.

Palestinians Rally in Gaza for Saddam Hussein

    About 2,000 Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza on Tuesday to express support for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, as rally organizers distributed checks from him to the families of Palestinians killed in clashes with the Israeli army.
    The marchers carried pictures of Saddam and vowed to support the Iraqi leader if the United States carries out a broad military action against him.
    "We, the Palestinian people, are standing with Iraq and its people in front of the American offensive. We are one body," said Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, responsible for dozens of suicide bombing attacks in Israel. (Jerusalem Post/AP)

Islamic Fundamentalists Gaining in Kyrgyzstan - Ulugbek Babakulov

    Hizb ut-Tahrir, the banned Islamic group which advocates a global Islamic state (Caliphate), is growing in strength in southern Kyrgyzstan as a result of the increasing recruitment of women into its ranks. Women make particularly eager recruits, says Sanobar S. "They are far more religious than men."
    Interviews for this report were conducted through a screen, as the group's austere form of Islam prohibits women communicating with male strangers. (Institute for War & Peace Reporting - London)

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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • U.S. to Move Central Command HQ to Qatar
    Soon after President Bush's speech to the UN on Thursday, where he will lay out the case for ousting Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, U.S. Central Command headquarters will start moving from Tampa, Fla., to an air base in Qatar beginning Friday. The moving of the headquarters to the Persian Gulf is a very visible sign that the U.S. military is preparing for future operations against Iraq. (FOX News)
  • Military Quietly Poised for Iraq
    The Pentagon has quietly positioned its forces to be ready to move against Saddam Hussein in as little as two months. The U.S. has forces, weaponry, and supplies to equip 30,000 troops already in the region, while 150,000 or more fully equipped troops could be routed to the region well before Christmas. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Focus on Iran and Syria, Not Iraq, Senator Graham Says
    Senator Bob Graham, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, calls the Bush administration's focus on Iraq a distraction from the campaign against terrorism and lists Syria and Iran as countries that should be the first targets of any aggressive effort against state sponsors of terrorist activity. (New York Times)
  • Hamas Uses Charity as Draw, Surpasses Arafat's Group in Popularity
    As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has deepened poverty and misery in Gaza, the Islamic militant group Hamas has redoubled the work of its charitable organizations - and Islamic militant factions have won enough public support to displace Yasser Arafat's Fatah as Gaza's most popular political force. (Newsday)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Lebanon Warned Not to Divert Water from Northern Israel
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned Lebanon Tuesday not to divert water from the Hatzbani springs in the north. Director of Military Intelligence Aharon Ze'evi said that Lebanon had completed the construction of the 16-inch-diameter pipeline, but had not yet installed a generator or pump.
        Brigadier General Yossi Peled, former Head of Northern Command, told Army Radio that Israel will be obliged to act to prevent the diversion of water even if it required the use of force. "When water is being stolen, despite our attempts to reach an agreement, the state may have to use force to prevent the theft," Peled said. (Ha'aretz)
  • Peres: Israel to Withdraw Where Terror Has Stopped
    After meetings with senior Palestinians Tuesday evening in Tel Aviv, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said he told them, "In every place where you can prove that you are taking responsibility (for stopping terror attacks), we will pull out." Army Radio reported that Monday night, Sharon and Peres decided to transfer NIS 70 million of frozen tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, "with appropriate monitoring." (Ha'aretz)
  • PA Arms Shipment Seized
    Crates containing hundreds of kilograms of guns, ammunition, telescopic lenses, and night-vision equipment were found inside a container at the port of Ashdod labeled as a donation of toys sent to the Gaza Strip by an Islamic charity. (Jerusalem Post)
        The shipment also included cigarette lighters depicting Osama bin Laden alongside the World Trade Center as planes slam into the towers. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Israeli Undercover Agents Riding Foreign Flights
    Since last September 11, Israel has been routinely sending undercover agents on the aircraft of foreign airlines flying to Israel to check on their security, Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh said Tuesday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Maj. Gen. Meir Dagan to Head Mossad
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Tuesday announced the appointment of Major General (res.) Meir Dagan as head of the Mossad to replace outgoing chief Ephraim Halevy who will serve as the new national security adviser. In the early 1970s, when Sharon headed the IDF Southern Command, he assigned Dagan to lead a special anti-terrorist unit in the Gaza Strip. Dagan commanded Israeli troops in southern Lebanon and helped to establish the South Lebanese Army (SLA). (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Why Saddam Has to Go - British Prime Minister Tony Blair
    If we do not deal with the threat from this international outlaw and his barbaric regime, it may not erupt and engulf us this month or next; but it will at some point. And I do not want it on my conscience that we knew the threat, saw it coming, and did nothing. (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Netanyahu is the Victim - Jonathan Kay
    Concordia University is the center of militant Arabism in Canada. Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, a university group that organizes demonstrations, has circulated articles by Holocaust deniers alleging Israel is developing an "ethnic bomb" that will kill Arabs but not Jews. But you never see Jews or anyone else coming to block SPHR from saying its piece. It is only among the school's Arabs - many of whom are immigrants from Arab nations where free speech is non-existent and anti-Semitic filth is widespread - that it is considered acceptable to shut your opponent up by force. (National Post - Canada)
  • The Dividends of Iraqi Regime Change - Thomas D. Grant
    Ridding the world of a dangerously armed dictator is not the only rationale for regime change in Iraq. Iraq's secular nature, as compared with Arab countries rife with intolerant Islamist ideology, underscores its potential to become a functioning state in the contemporary global environment. One-half to two-thirds of Iraq's current oil production capacity is currently idle. An Iraq stable and without aggressive intent would facilitate disengagement of U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia. (National Review)
  • Talking Points:

    Building a Better World: One Path from Crisis to Opportunity - Paul Wolfowitz (U.S. Dept. of Defense)

    Remarks of the Deputy Secretary of Defense at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., September 5, 2002

    • The terrorists seek to target not just America but Muslims and Islam, by attacking the ideals of tolerance, justice, and openness that are the aspirations of millions of Muslims around the world.
    • Turkey offers an important model to the Muslim world. As Bernard Lewis has observed, Turkey's experience shows the entire Muslim world that democracy is difficult but also that it is possible.
    • In Indonesia, a country that has the largest Muslim population of any in the world, the national legislature overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to have Islamic law, or Shari'a, be recognized in that nation's national law. Islam is not the state religion, and Indonesia accords equal status to the five major religions of its people.
    • The vast majority of the world's Muslims have no use for the extreme doctrines espoused by groups such as al Qaeda and the Taliban. They abhor terrorism; they abhor terrorists who have not only hijacked airplanes, but have hijacked one of the world's great religions.
    • We must do what we can to encourage moderate Muslim voices. This is a debate about Muslim values that must take place among Muslims. But it makes a difference when we recognize and encourage those who are defending universal values.

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