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 24, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Israel Arrests Three Palestinians Trained in Iraq by al-Qaida

    Israeli radio stations reported Monday that Israel has arrested three Palestinians suspected of training with al-Qaida operatives in Iraq and planning terror attacks in Israel.
    The three admitted membership in the Palestinian Liberation Front, a constituent member of the PLO. They had planned a series of terrorist attacks, including an examination of the possibility of attacking airplanes at Ben-Gurion Airport.
    Israeli officials recently flew to the United States to brief the Pentagon on the arrests.
    Israeli security authorities are concerned that Iraqi agents might try to carry out attacks in the region, at the beginning of the American offensive on Iraq.
    Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Monday that Israel is willing to help the United States in any way possible in an operation against Iraq, and said such assistance could include the use of airports and sharing of intelligence information. (Associated Press/(Ha'aretz))

Wanted Terrorists Taking Haven in Arafat's Compound

    Among those hiding inside Arafat's Mukata compound in Ramallah are:

  • Tawfik Tirawe, head of the Palestinian General Intelligence in the West Bank, who has run the intelligence forces as a terrorist entity, and his right-hand man in terrorist activity - Eini Al'Halo.
  • Muhamad Damra (Abu Awad), commander of Force 17, the Presidential Security force, who leads a terrorist cell in Ramallah that has attacked Israeli vehicles, communities, and IDF positions.
  • H'aled Sha'uoish, a senior Force 17 operative who has carried out numerous terrorist shooting attacks against Israelis. (Israel Defense Forces)

    Beit Jalla Arabs Keep the Peace - Felix Frisch

        On Saturday night an armed Palestinian in Beit Jalla fired a volley of 20 bullets in the direction of the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem.
        What ended the firing was a local initiative by the town's citizens: tens of people ran toward the shooter and beat him.
        A senior security official explained that the residents of the Bethlehem area greatly fear the return of the IDF. (Yediot Ahronot)

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  • News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • U.S. Abstains in UN Vote Criticizing Israel
    The Palestinians and their Arab partners on the Security Council rejected the American draft, setting off 10 hours of negotiations as France, Britain, Norway, and Ireland worked to find a compromise. The compromise resolution approved Tuesday by 14-0 - the U.S. abstained - demands that Israel cease actions around Yasser Arafat's West Bank compound while condemning terrorist attacks. "The resolution that we've adopted this evening was flawed in our view in that it failed to explicitly condemn the terrorist groups and those who provide them with political cover, support, and safe haven in perpetuating conflict in the Middle East," Deputy U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham said. The United States had threatened to veto the resolution but ultimately abstained when some of the language it had sought - condemning terrorist attacks and bringing the perpetrators to justice - was inserted into the final text. (Associated Press)
        See also At UN, U.S. Calls for End to Siege of Arafat
    The American draft presented to the Security Council on Monday named the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas as responsible for the recent attacks in Israel. It would have required that they be treated as terrorists under a Security Council resolution passed last year to condemn the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon - the first time the U.S. had sought to equate, in the formal terms of a Security Council measure, the Palestinian suicide bombings and other attacks in Israel with the terrorism of Sept. 11, 2001. (New York Times)
  • Blair: "Saddam Must be Stopped"
    Briefing the Cabinet on the government's long-awaited dossier on Iraq Monday, Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the policy of "containing" Saddam Hussein had failed and that the Iraqi dictator had to be stopped. Blair said it was clear from intelligence reports that Saddam was continuing to build his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). (Telegraph - UK)
        See also Saddam "Has Plans to Use Chemical Weapons"
    Iraq has retained up to 20 al-Hussein missiles, with a range of 650km, capable of carrying chemical or biological warheads and has developed mobile laboratories for military use "corroborating earlier reports about the mobile production of biological warfare agents." (Guardian - UK)
        See Text of the British Government Dossier (British Government)
  • Palestinian Mob Sets Fire to Jewish Site
    Last week a Palestinian mob torched and vandalized the Jewish holy site known as Joseph's Tomb on the outskirts of Nablus. One side of the tomb had been smashed open, and there was a large crack running from the dome down one wall. (Telegraph - UK)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Terrorist Shoots Holiday Visitors in Hebron
    Shlomo Shapira, 50, of Jerusalem, was murdered and three of his children were wounded when a Palestinian gunman opened fire Monday at a crowd of Jews celebrating the festival of Sukkot in Hebron. Shuki, aged 9, was in serious condition, while Pinhas, 12, and Yehuda, 18, were lightly wounded. Thousands of pilgrims had come to Hebron in a show of support for the Jewish presence there. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Targets Gaza Terrorists, Rocket Factories
    IDF troops, under cover of tanks and helicopters, entered three separate areas of the Gaza Strip Monday night. In one incursion, in Gaza City, troops blew up the homes of two terrorists, as well as 13 metal workshops used to produce Kassam rockets. According to Israel Radio, Palestinian gunmen from Hamas and Fatah confronted the soldiers during the incursions. "During the activity, explosive devices were targeted at the soldiers. Army forces returned fire and hit a number of armed men," an IDF statement said. Palestinian officials reported nine people killed and at least 24 injured. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Baseless Comparisons: UN Security Council Resolutions on Iraq and Israel - Dore Gold
    The present effort to draw comparisons between Iraqi non-compliance with Chapter VII UN Security Council resolutions and UN Security Council resolutions on Israel under Chapter VI is baseless. This campaign may have been launched to divert attention away from other states like Syria, violating Chapter VII resolutions with respect to Iraq or with respect to the current American-led campaign against international terrorism. (Jerusalem Issue Brief - Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The End of the Pax Britannica - David Pryce-Jones
    Iraq is a country in name only, manufactured by Britain in its imperial heyday after World War I. So flimsy was the identity of Iraq that Turkey almost regained its former province of Mosul, in Iraq's north, which has a Kurdish majority. The population consisted of Sunnis, Shia, Kurds, and others who could not live together on peaceful terms. Iraq soon fell into the hands of a series of dictators ruthless enough to hold it together by force. Saddam Hussein is only the latest and most brutal. Yet another quintessential World War I British manufacture is Saudi Arabia. (City Comment - UK)
  • The Week of the Multilateralists - Philip Sherwell and Julian Coman
    By agreeing to let the inspectors back, it looked as though Saddam had pulled off a diplomatic coup. Yet Secretary of State Powell, blamed by hawks in the Bush administration for pushing the UN route, made clear that America would resist any attempt to send back inspectors under the existing memorandum that gave special treatment to presidential palaces. By now, the mood in Washington was clear: "We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary." (Telegraph - UK)
  • Waiting to Hear From Saddam Hussein - Nick J. Rahall II
    As an Arab-American member of Congress - and as someone who has traveled extensively in the region and who has questioned American policy in the Middle East under Republican and Democratic presidents - I felt that I was a credible messenger to tell Saddam Hussein: The only chance you have to avert the further devastation and suffering of your country and people is to allow unconditional and unfettered access by United Nations weapons inspectors.
        We soon learned that we would not be meeting with Mr. Hussein and that my speech before the Iraqi National Assembly had been canceled. Meeting quietly with some people in a private home, they agreed with us in their own way that Mr. Hussein must be removed. They said he did not hear their voices. After two days in Baghdad, I know the feeling. (New York Times)
  • Talking Points:

    The Rise of Anti-Semitism: Address at Morning Prayers - Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers (Harvard University)

    • Profoundly anti-Israel views are increasingly finding support in progressive intellectual communities. Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect, if not their intent.
    • Events to raise funds for organizations of questionable political provenance that in some cases were later found to support terrorism have been held by student organizations on this and other campuses.
    • Some here at Harvard and some at universities across the country have called for the university to single out Israel among all nations as the lone country where it is inappropriate for any part of the university's endowment to be invested. The university has categorically rejected this suggestion.
    • The only antidote to dangerous ideas is strong alternatives vigorously advocated. It is my greatest hope and prayer that the idea of a rise of anti-Semitism proves to be a self-denying prophecy - a prediction that carries the seeds of its own falsification. But this depends on all of us.

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