Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
If your email program has difficulty viewing this page, see web version:


September 20, 2002

To contact the Presidents Conference:

In-Depth Issue:

Proposed Congressional Resolution on Iraq (Washington Post)

    "The president is authorized to use all means that he determines to be appropriate, including force, in order to enforce the United Nations Security Council resolutions referenced above, defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq, and restore international peace and security in the region."

Jordan's Secret Deal on Iraq - Matthew McAllester (Newsday)

    Jordan will allow U.S. forces to operate covertly from its eastern desert to attack mobile missile batteries in western Iraq targeting Israel, according to Western diplomats and Jordanian officials.
    The U.S. will also guarantee the replacement of cheap oil supplies that Jordan now gets from Iraq, the sources said.
    Though hundreds of Iraqi agents are believed to be in Jordan, King Abdullah II has decided to work with Washington because he sees the U.S. as the eventual winner, officials said.
    For its part, "The U.S. will not make requests of Jordan that it knows Jordan [politically] cannot carry out," said a Western diplomat.

Egypt's Price for Joining the Coalition - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz)

    Egypt has conditions for its quiet integration into the American coalition. The operation against Iraq must be accompanied by a "positive" American operation in regard to the Palestinians.
    The Egyptians will insist that as soon as the war in Iraq is over, the Americans deal with the Palestinian problem - as occurred after the Gulf War.
    The fact that President Bush referred to the Palestinian question in his speech on Iraq before the UN Security Council last week shows that he is waiting for Israel on the other side of the door.

Palestinians Continue Using Children in Terror Attacks (Israel Defense Forces)

    On Tuesday, an explosive device was thrown at an IDF force in Khan Yunis by a small child, part of a group of Palestinian children who gathered to throw stones at soldiers in the area.
    According to the brigade commander, Captain S., "During the afternoon a group of some 50-80 children approached, throwing stones. I boarded an armored personnel carrier in order to send out a warning signal and make them leave the area. One of the children threw a bomb or a grenade that exploded about 50 meters from me."

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Bush Asks Congress for Authority to Disarm Iraq
    President Bush asked Congress Thursday for sweeping authority to use "all means he determines to be appropriate, including force" to disarm Iraq and dislodge Saddam Hussein, and warned: "If the United Nations Security Council won't deal with the problem, the United States and some of our friends will." He cited Congress's own 1998 declaration that American policy should be to remove the Iraqi leadership and promote democracy in its place.
        Testifying before Congress, Secretary of State Powell said Iraq was already in "material breach" of a long string of UN resolutions, while Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said the current inspection system has fewer teeth than the one in place immediately after the Gulf War.
        Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Iraqi commanders who used chemical or biological weapons would be hunted down and tried by war crimes tribunals. (New York Times)
        See also President Bush's The National Security Strategy of the United States (New York Times)
  • Rumsfeld: Paths to Iraqi Regime Change
    Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told Jim Lehrer of PBS: "Saddam Hussein and his family [could] decide that the game was up and go live in some foreign country...recognizing that...they'd run their term. It's entirely possible that the people in that country...could decide that it was time, the time was up, and change the regime from inside. It's a very repressive regime....Clearly, the overwhelming majority of people, even in the army, don't want Saddam Hussein there." (Department of Defense/PBS)
  • U.S. Plans the "De-Nazification" of Iraq
    The Bush administration is drawing up plans for the "de-Nazification" of Iraq after the defeat of Saddam as a way of ensuring that there is a new democratic regime in the heart of the Middle East. America wanted Iraqis "to participate in their own liberation" and a new government in Baghdad would be made up of a coalition of indigenous and exiled opposition figures representing the different ethnic and religious elements in the country. (Telegraph - UK)
  • Israel Ads Air Despite CNN Snub
    CNN's refusal to run two pro-Israel ads has Jewish officials steaming. "It's outrageous," said Ken Bandler, a spokesman for the American Jewish Committee, whose 30-second spot, part of a $500,000 advertising campaign, emphasizes Israel’s shared democratic values with the U.S. CNN originally said it was turning down the ads because they might endanger their correspondents around the world. It later issued a statement saying the network "is not airing advocacy advertising regarding international issues from regions in conflict." (New York Jewish Week)
  • Canada Court Recognizes Jewish Charities in Territories - Arthur Drache
    The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has said it is contrary to Canadian public policy to carry on charitable activities over the Green Line, thus prohibiting the use of Canadian charitable funds to support Jewish schools and synagogues in the territories. Yet the policy did not apply to non-Jewish organizations that supported Christian and Muslim schools, churches, and mosques in the same areas. The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has now ruled that there was no reason why charitable work could not be carried out both in Israel and beyond the 1967 border. The case in question involved Canadian Magen David Adom, which purchased ambulances that also answer emergency calls over the Green Line. (National Post - Canada)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Eyewitness Accounts of the Tel Aviv Bus Bombing
    (Jerusalem Post); (Ha'aretz)
        The victims: Yaffa Shem-Tov Hanoun, 49, from Tel Aviv; Ofer Zinger, 29, from Paza'el in the Jordan Valley; Yossi Mamistbolov, 40, from Or Yehuda, the bus driver; Solomon Honig, 79, from Tel Aviv; Rosanna Siso, 63, from Gan Yavne.
        Jonathan (Yoni) Jesner, 19, from Glasgow, Scotland, was the sixth casualty who died this morning. A former head of the religious Zionist youth movement Bnei Akiva in Scotland, Jesner planned to attend medical school in London after finishing his second year at Yeshivat Har Etzion, a hesder yeshiva in Gush Etzion, near Jerusalem.
  • Israel Blockades Arafat's Headquarters in Wake of Bus Bombing
    In the wake of the latest bus bombing in Tel Aviv, the Israeli cabinet unanimously decided to reinstate a blockade of Arafat's headquarters, and demanded the immediate handing over of wanted Palestinians hiding in his Ramallah compound. Israeli tanks entered the city block-sized compound, which contains about 300 people, and IDF forces destroyed virtually all of the buildings except for Arafat's main office. Twenty Palestinians, including some wanted by Israel, surrendered to IDF troops on Friday, but another 20 wanted men are still in the compound. According to Palestinian sources, the U.S. is urging Arafat to hand-over the wanted men.
        The cabinet declared Arafat personally responsible for the attack, but Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon told the cabinet expelling Arafat would have harmful effects and would resuscitate him politically. (Ha'aretz/Jerusalem Post/CNN)
  • Palestinians Plot to Poison Hospital Water Supply
    The Shin Bet security service recently foiled a plan by Gazan Islamic Jihad activists to poison the drinking water at one of Jerusalem's hospitals, according to a charge sheet filed at the Erez Junction military court. The plan called for Iyad Salame, 18, from Bureij in Gaza, to go to Jerusalem for treatment at the hospital's ophthalmology department. He was then to drop the poison, made from a combination of baking powder and an unnamed liquid poison, into the hospital's drinking water reservoirs. Arab MK Issam Makhoul helped Salame get the pass for his medical treatment, but the army says Makhoul acted out of humanitarian motives, having no idea of the poisoning plot.
        Last week, Ha'aretz reported that a Hamas cell from Jenin planned a homicide bombing at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Naming the War: Two Years of Violence (Jerusalem Post)
    Naming the war the "Al-Aqsa Intifada" has proved a Palestinian stroke of genius, with its adoption by much of the Western press helping to cast the conflict internationally in Arafat's terms. Here are some views of what to name the current conflict:
    • The Idealists' War - Richard Perle
      The idealists were those who were convinced, in the absence of convincing evidence, the Palestinian Authority as it is now led was prepared to reach a compromise with Israel that would guarantee the permanence of the Jewish state on territory to which the Palestinians had long laid claim. The issue was never acceptance of the 1967 borders.
    • The War of the Occupation - Naomi Chazan
      For the Palestinians, this is a war of national liberation against Israeli occupation.
    • Operation Justice Recovered - Dore Gold
      Arafat miscalculated, believing that Israel¹s unilateral retreat from Lebanon could be replicated in the West Bank and Gaza, without binding him to renounce further Palestinian claims inside of Israel proper. His error was the same as other authoritarian leaders who see democratic debate as weakness and who fail to understand that democratic societies, energized with a strong inner-conviction in the justice of their cause, cannot be broken.
    • The Camp David War - Michael Oren
      The Palestinians initiated the fighting after the Camp David summit meeting, during which they demanded the return of all refugees to Israel and Israel refused to commit demographic suicide.
    • The War Against Peace - Natan Sharansky
      Dictators, by their nature, need an external enemy to justify their hold on power and the oppression of their own people. This war was a dictator's war against his people. I don't believe any people naturally hates another; the Palestinian Authority has spent a decade educating their people to hate.
    • The War of the Borders - A.B. Yehoshua
      There are two parallel wars, one over the location of the border and the other over the very existence of a border.
    • The Sixth War - Ehud Ya'ari
      Hizballah calls the current war "The Sixth Arab-Israeli War," and I concur.
    • The War Oslo Wrought - Norman Podhoretz
      Some of us predicted when the Oslo accords were signed that they would lead not to peace but to war. The terrorism materialized in a form more diabolically evil than we had been capable of imagining.

  • The Pentagon vs. the CIA on Iraq - Eli J. Lake
    The Iraq hawks running the Pentagon and staffing the office of the vice president long ago lost faith in the CIA’s analysis on Iraq. So they set up their own network for analyzing and collecting intelligence regarding Iraq and have been presenting it to the president themselves. The result is that Bush has for months been receiving two assessments of the facts on the ground - one (more cautious) from the CIA and the other (more optimistic) from the Iraq hawks.
        Paul Wolfowitz finds himself amid a loose network of neocons inside and outside government - this time including his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John R. Bolton; Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle; and Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff and national security adviser I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby - arguing for an aggressive foreign policy posture. Wolfowitz and his allies have put together a portrait of Iraq's military might and political stability that diverges dramatically from the CIA's. (New Republic)
  • Inspections With Teeth - Nicholas D. Kristof
    The only hope to avert war is inspections that are completely restructured and greatly empowered. Saddam's paramount aim is to survive, and if faced with tough "comply or die" inspections, he might choose his life over his Scuds. Corey Hinderstein and David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security suggest that Iraqi weapons scientists and their entire families be taken out of Iraq and interviewed where they would be beyond retaliation. (New York Times)
  • Inspect This
    Iraq's letter offering to readmit weapons inspectors actually says that Saddam Hussein will "allow the return" of the inspectors without conditions, not that he will allow the discharge of their mission to occur without conditions - as Security Council resolutions demand. Richard Butler, who from 1997 to 1999 headed UNSCOM, the first body empowered to conduct inspections, wrote in an Australian newspaper: "What does unconditional mean - they'll let [the inspectors'] plane land at the airport?...It's what happens after they land which counts. No guarantees there." (New Republic)
  • Brinkmanship With Baghdad - Jim Hoagland
    Getting Saddam Hussein's signature on a document that mandates "anytime, anywhere, without notice" inspections is a necessary - but not sufficient - condition for resuming and cleaning up the rigged, cat-and-mouse game that inspections have always been. The hunt for the equipment and scientists the Iraqi dictator relies on to build a covert nuclear bomb is the urgent priority of resumed inspections. There will be no hiatus in U.S. military planning and preparation. (Washington Post)
  • As War Looms, Qatar Fills a Big Need - Nicholas Blanford
    Qatar, a tiny oil- and gas-rich peninsula jutting into the Persian Gulf, is a key Arab ally for Washington in a region where anti-American sentiment has been on the rise, and old allies have balked at assisting the U.S. with its war plans. Qatar, isolated and vulnerable, has hitched its prospects to the United States with few reservations. It has placed no operational restrictions on the U.S. military, which has encouraged an expansion of Al-Udeid base in recent months and the transfer of equipment from the Prince Sultan air base south of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. (Christian Science Monitor )
  • She Has Forgotten How It Is to Live Differently
    Gili Kucik, daughter of Yossi Kucik, director-general of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's office, was 14 when she found herself face-to-face with a terrorist attack in the center of Jerusalem. Now 19, she says her life "changed direction" since that day. Treating high-school students who were victims of trauma has become a specialized category of attention in Israel. (Ha'aretz)
  • Talking Points:

    Spiking the Oil Weapon - R. James Woolsey

    • The wealth produced by oil underlies the power of the three totalitarian movements in the Middle East that have chosen to make war on us: the ruling Iraqi Baathists and Iranian mullahs, and al Qaeda, the latter spawned by Saudi money. To undercut our enemies' power, there are four strategic steps we can take starting now:
      • In order to reduce Saudi tactical leverage over us, we should add substantially to our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
      • We could help Russia substantially improve its share of the world's market. Jeffrey E. Garten of the Yale School of Management has estimated that Russia's current output could be expanded by at least 50% as a result of Western investment in the country's pipelines and ports.
      • In the six years after the 1979 oil shock, Americans improved gas mileage in new vehicles by seven miles per gallon, cut oil use by 15% and Persian Gulf imports by 87%. Our economy grew by 16%. We should be able to devise incentives such as tax credits and rebates to encourage the scrapping of older, less efficient vehicles and promote a rapid increase of those with hybrid gas-electric engines.
      • We should take advantage of the waste-to-transportation-fuel technologies now entering commercial application, that hold promise for large-volume, inexpensive production of fuels that can be used in existing vehicles.
    • If we do not act now, we will leave major levers over our fate in the hands of regimes that have attacked us or have fallen under the sway of fanatics who spread hatred of the U.S., and indeed of freedom itself. Their power derives from their oil. It is time to break their sword. (Wall Street Journal/Front Page Magazine)
        The author was Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 1993-1995.

    To subscribe to the Daily Alert, please send a blank email message to:
    To unsubscribe to the Daily Alert, please send a blank email message to: