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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October 2, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Baghdad's Nuclear Breakthrough - Kenneth R. Timmerman (Insight)

    Information from recent defectors and other sources working with the broad-based Iraqi National Congress (INC) indicates that Baghdad has made "a recent breakthrough" in production of the fissile material needed to produce the bomb.
    The Iraqi regime is turning increasingly to South Africa to procure nuclear materials and forbidden equipment needed for its weapons programs.
    Adnan Saeed al-Haideri, an Iraqi specialist who visited scores of clandestine weapons sites before defecting in November 2001, identified for the CIA some 300 separate clandestine sites used by Iraq to hide biological and chemical weapons and nuclear materials.

What Israel Learned from Blair's Report - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz)

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair's report on Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction contains some substantial new information that surprised Israel.
    While Israel had shared the assessments by Western intelligence agencies that Iraq would obtain nuclear weapons within 5-7 years, Blair's report says the Iraqis will succeed in 2-3 years.
    Israel was already aware that agents of both Iraq and Iran have been independently combing African states looking to buy uranium.
    British intelligence believes Saddam has only 20 long-range ground-to-ground missiles, but Israel has long believed he has 50 to 70 such missiles.

More from the Arafat Papers - Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes - CBS)

    According to documents captured by Israel in March at Arafat's compound in Ramallah, Iraq has infiltrated teams of operatives and weapons into Israel for what Israeli intelligence considers megaterrorism.
    Major General Benny Gantz, head of Israel's Northern Command, reports that Iranian supervisors or experts have been patrolling the Lebanese border with Israel, together with Hizballah.
    Israeli intelligence officials have also shared evidence with the U.S. about contacts between al Qaeda and senior members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Powell: Not So Fast on Inspections
    Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday that weapons inspectors should not be allowed to return to Iraq without a tough, new UN resolution. Sending inspectors back to Iraq now after a lapse of nearly four years would risk further deception by Saddam Hussein. Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix reached agreement with Iraq earlier Tuesday in Vienna to resume the inspections, but Powell said, "Our position is that he [Dr. Blix] should get new instructions in the form of a resolution." (FOX News)
        See also U.S. Draft UN Resolution on Iraq (Reuters)
  • Britain to Push for "Final" Middle East Talks This Year
    Speaking at the Labour party conference in Blackpool, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, "By this year's end, we must have revived final status negotiations and they must have explicitly as their aims an Israeli state free from terror, recognized by the Arab world, and a viable Palestinian state based on the boundaries of 1967."
        Blair also said, "I agree UN resolutions should apply here [to Israel] as much as to Iraq. But they don't just apply to Israel. They apply to all parties." The prime minister's statement indicates that Britain believes that the U.S., whose support is crucial before any talks can start, is prepared to adopt a tougher approach towards Israel. (Guardian - UK)
        See also Blair's Iraq-Israel Parallel on UN Worries Israeli Cabinet (Ha'aretz); Baseless Comparisons: UN Security Council Resolutions on Iraq and Israel (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Compensation for Jewish Refugees from Arab World
    Justice for Jews From Arab Countries was launched Monday to publicize the "historical truth" of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, said former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke. Roughly 865,000 Jews were forced to flee Arab and Muslim lands because of hostility surrounding the formation of the State of Israel - more than the estimated number of Palestinian refugees (750,000) who fled from Israel during the 1948 War of Independence.
        The new group was created by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Sephardi Federation, and the World Jewish Congress. (JTA)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • The Death of Ari Weiss
    An investigation into Monday's events found that Staff Sergeant Ari Weiss, 21, was killed and another soldier seriously wounded while they were guarding an office building the IDF had seized the day before. The building had formerly housed Hamas offices and soldiers found a considerable amount of valuable intelligence information.
        Weiss and his comrade had gone down to the ground floor to replace two other soldiers on guard duty. The four were chatting when Palestinian gunmen opened fire from the second floor of a nearby building. Weiss and the wounded soldier were both wearing bullet-proof vests but because of the angle of the shots, the bullets struck above the vests. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Soldier Killed in Nablus Laid to Rest in Ra'anana (Ha'aretz);
    Dallas Native Serving in Israeli Army Killed (Houston Chronicle/AP)
  • Israel Wants to Protect the Al Aqsa Mosque
    The Israeli Society for Non-Destructive Testing has asked its European counterpart to examine the condition of the Temple Mount. According to architect Tuvia Sagiv, the foundations of the Al Aqsa mosque are not connected to the original Al Aqsa columns in the lower levels of the plaza. "In the southern wall there is a bulging in the walls that could result in a collapse of the wall and that would drag down the mosque." The entire plaza between the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque could collapse, Sagiv warns. (Ha'aretz)
  • Fatah Backs Arafat's Decision Not to Name Prime Minister
    Yasser Arafat announced Tuesday that he would not name a prime minister to take over the daily running of the Palestinian Authority. Officials of the Fatah faction of the PLO, which traditionally backs Arafat, said they were against an immediate appointment of a prime minister because it would play into Israeli attempts to isolate and weaken Arafat. (Reuters/Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Recruitment of Children in Current Palestinian Strategy - Justus Weiner
    From the outset of the current Palestinian intifada two years ago, children and teenagers have assumed an integral role. How did the celebration of violence against Israelis become so deeply ingrained in Palestinian culture?
        Article 38 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) condemns the recruitment and involvement of children under 15-years-old in hostilities and armed conflicts. Islamic law prohibits children under 15 from participating in a jihad. But neither international law nor Islamic law has curtailed the exploitation of children in the intifada. (Jerusalem Issue Brief - Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also PA Efforts to Have Their Children Die in Confrontations (PMW/IMRA); Talking Points: The IDF Responds to Amnesty International
  • A Lonely Campaign Against Intolerance in Saudi Arabia - Marc Fisher
    Ali Al-Ahmed's Saudi Institute, a one-man operation, seeks to spread the word that Saudi Arabia is so deeply intolerant and repressive a society that, as al-Ahmed says, "America must come and force reform on us, because we are incapable of it." Al-Ahmed is a reviled figure at the Saudi Embassy. His most recent product is a research paper that details numerous incendiary statements in books and pamphlets distributed to Muslim students by two Saudi educational institutes in Northern Virginia. (Washington Post)
  • Going Home to Gaza - Matt Rees
    Tehila Cohen, 10, lost both legs when a roadside bomb blew up her school bus near the Jewish village of Kfar Darom in the Gaza district 22 months ago. Her sister Orit, 13, and brother Yisrael, 8, each lost one leg. After living near Tel Aviv for 21 months during the children's rehabilitation, the Cohen family with eight children is now back home. "If you believe this is your land, you know you belong here," says Ophir, the father. In the past two years, 242 new families have moved into the 20 Jewish villages in Gaza, adding to the 1,155 families there. Only 25 families have left. (TIME Europe)
  • Talking Points:

    Response to Amnesty International's Report on Children in the Line of Fire
    (Israel Defense Forces)

    • For the past two years, the IDF has been engaged in difficult and intensive fighting against Palestinian terrorist factions that have perpetrated over 14,500 terror attacks, claiming the lives of 624 Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.
    • All IDF operations adhere to international humanitarian law, in strict compliance with the highest moral and legal standards. In glaring contrast, Palestinian terrorist factions defy all norms, be they moral or legal, deliberately attacking civilians only because they are Israeli. Amnesty International has labeled the Palestinian suicide attacks as crimes against humanity.
    • During the fighting against Palestinian terrorist groups, in no cases are injuries to civilians intentional. Those hurt were either individuals involved in Palestinian terrorist activity, or civilians who were unintentionally hurt when they entered a live-fire zone.
    • The Palestinian terrorists are solely and unequivocally responsible for the injuries caused to Palestinian children. Palestinian terrorist factions have cynically exploited children in terrorist activity, in violation of international law.
    • The IDF is dedicated to upholding the "purity of arms" and preserving human dignity, and regrets any injuries children sustain. However, the cynical use of Palestinian children by Palestinian terrorist factions constitutes the main cause of their injuries.

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