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 8, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Saddam's Inner Circle Heading for Cover - Anton La Guardia

    Members of Saddam Hussein's inner circle are defecting to the opposition or making discreet offers of peace in the hope of being spared retribution if the Baghdad dictator is toppled, according to Iraqi exiles.
    Ayad al-Awi, head of the opposition Iraqi National Accord, said his group recently received senior defectors from the Iraqi security services, which form the regime's nerve center.
    At the same time, Kurdish groups said they had received secret approaches from military commanders offering to turn their weapons on Saddam when the war begins. (Washington Times)

Saddam Gets His Weapons Easily - Marie Colvin

    Saddam Hussein is contemptuously flouting UN sanctions on a huge scale.
    A Middle Eastern businessman, one of a network of middlemen supplying the Baghdad dictator with anything he needs, has revealed how military equipment and items for the weapons of mass destruction program are shipped into Iraq with impunity.
    The Iraqi dictator has since 1992 imported virtually any prohibited item and, through a clever fraud, obtained oil revenue supposedly blocked for use only in the UN oil-for-food program.
    The businessman said one of Baghdad's most recent requests was for 160 tons of three chemicals that are used as a propellant for missiles. (Times - UK)

Saddam Gets Air Defense Advice from Yugoslavs - Stephen Grey and Tom Walker

    Radar and weapons systems experts from the Yugoslav army are helping Saddam Hussein to organize his air defenses against British and American jets ahead of the anticipated allied bombing campaign on Iraq.
    The highly skilled Yugoslav officers performed impressively during the 1999 Kosovo war, when their adroit use of supposedly outdated technology helped much of the army's hardware to escape destruction by American airstrikes. (Times - UK)

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Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat
    In a televised address to the nation, President Bush stated Monday that Iraq poses a grave threat to peace, and that America is determined to lead the world in confronting that threat:
    • Survellance photos reveal that the Iraqi regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.
    • Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas.
    • Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade; al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq, including one very senior leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year.
    • Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or individual terrorists.
    • Evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program and rebuilding facilities that have been part of its nuclear program in the past.
    • If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. (White House)
        See also Support the President on Iraq - Senator Joseph Lieberman;
    Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs (CIA)
  • In the Ruins of the "Intifada"
    Two years ago, Mohammad Falah, 19, and his teenage friends would finish their Friday noontime prayers at a mosque in Ramallah, then hurry to the outskirts of the city to throw rocks at Israeli troops. Falah took three bullets in his left leg and hand; seven of his companions have died. After four surgeries and months spent in and out of hospitals, Falah admits: "We didn't achieve anything." Western and Arab nations have largely lost interest in helping Arafat's government. (Knight Ridder - Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • IDF: Most Casualties in Gaza Raid Were Armed
    Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that all but one of the 14 Palestinians killed in an assault on a Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip were armed. "I advise you to verify the details with Israel before you publicize your reaction to IDF operations," he reportedly told visiting European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. (Jerusalem Post)
        The commander of IDF forces in Gaza, Brig. Gen Israel Ziff, reported on Monday, "According to the aerial videos and reports from our observation posts, we see that the helicopter strike was directed at a group of armed men who fired and threw grenades at IDF soldiers. It is very hard for me to understand why, in the midst of a battle, the civilians left their homes to see what was going on outside. As our forces were leaving, a large number of armed men gathered and started shooting at us. We fired in response."
        "There was significant resistance - gunfire, grenades, large explosive devices, anti-aircraft and anti-tank (RPG) fire. Our forces reported at least 40 incidents where they fired on armed men. Unlike previous times, this time they put up a fight, endangering our forces. For the first time in Gaza, they were shooting from the windows of the houses. Usually they don't shoot from inside the houses in order not to draw return fire. We returned fire accurately at the source of the firing." (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Hamas-PA Clashes in Gaza
    In Gaza Monday, a group of armed Hamas men assassinated Palestinian riot police chief Colonel Rageh Abu Lehiya, whom they held responsible for the death of a Hamas demonstrator during a riot last year. In subsequent clashes between Palestinian police and Hamas activists, two men died and 15 were injured. (Ha'aretz)
  • Jordan Restricts Palestinian Travel
    Palestinian Authority officials say Jordan has instituted a total ban on the entry of West Bank and Jerusalem residents, reflecting Jordan's growing fear that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will flock to the kingdom when and if the U.S. attacks Iraq. One reason for the new regulations is connected to reports that many Palestinians are trying to travel to Iraq via Jordan to join the Iraqi army in the fight against the Americans and their allies. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Releases More Funds to PA
    Under intense American pressure, Israel has released NIS 70 million, the last payment out of NIS 200 million it agreed to hand over to the PA after Arafat installed Salam Fayad as the new Finance Minister of the Palestinian Authority. But the U.S. is now pressing Israel to release additional funds. Israel says it won't release the money unless there is a mechanism to guarantee transparency so the funds do not reach terrorist organizations. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Israeli Capital - Max M. Kampelman
    The White House's decision to ignore a Congressional provision requiring the United States to identify and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is contrary to President Bush's campaign pledge that he would "begin the process of moving the United States ambassador to the city Israel has chosen as its capital." As a former ambassador, I know it is common and appropriate for a nation to respect the decision of a sovereign government, let alone a friendly and democratic one, where it wishes to place its capital within its borders. To challenge Jerusalem as Israel's capital city is to challenge Jerusalem as a part of Israel and thus to provide encouragement to those who would not only undermine Israel's legitimacy, but also destroy it. (New York Times)
  • Action on Iraq is Inevitable - Zalmay Khalilzad
    The Saddam Hussein regime is determined to retain, expand, and again use weapons of mass destruction, not only at home, but also abroad. The administration is now determined to disarm Iraq one way or another. War is not inevitable, but action is. Our objective is to establish a broad-based representative and democratic government that will renounce terror and weapons of mass destruction, and become an example of peace and tolerance for the region as a whole. [The author is Special Assistant to the President for Near East, South West Asian, and North African Affairs.] (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Suicide Bomber's Father: Let Hamas Leaders Send Their Own Sons
    In a letter to the London Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat, the father of a young Palestinian who carried out a suicide bombing wrote: Four months ago, I lost my eldest son when his friends tempted him, praising the path of death. But the last straw was when I was informed that the friends of my eldest son were starting to wrap themselves like snakes around my other son, not yet 17, to direct him to the same path towards which they had guided his brother. Sending young people to blow themselves up in the heart of Israel deters no enemy and liberates no land. Who gave these leaders religious or any other legitimacy to tempt our children and urge them to their deaths? Why doesn't a single one of all the sheikhs who compete amongst themselves in issuing fiery religious rulings, send his son? (MEMRI)
  • Talking Points:

    Support the President on Iraq - Senator Joseph Lieberman (Wall Street Journal)

    • It is time to authorize the use of our military might to enforce UN resolutions, disarm Iraq, and eliminate the ongoing threat to our security, and the world's, posed by Saddam Hussein's rabid regime.
    • My answer to the question "Why now?" is, "Why not earlier?" In 1998, the Iraq Liberation Act declared it national policy to change the regime in Baghdad.
    • Saddam's is the only regime that combines growing stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and a record of using them with regional hegemonic ambitions and a record of supporting terrorists. Removing his influence from the Middle East will transform the politics of the region and advance the war against terrorism.
    • The best way to encourage forceful UN action is for Congress to unite now in authorizing the president to take military action, if necessary. If we are steadfast in pursuit of our principles, allies in Europe and the Middle East will be with us.

    "Buy Israel" Campaign

    The Conference of Presidents has partnered with the Israel Economic Mission in North America, the Israel Export Institute and others to launch a major promotion of Israeli goods, beginning with Fine Foods from Israel. The "Buy Israel" campaign is intended help identify products exported by Israel, increase their availability and accessibility in the American market, improve their image, and help them be more competitive.

    The immediate goal is to create a nationwide web-based consumer guide for the retail consumer. The web site will help American shoppers identify local supermarkets and grocery stores that sell Israeli foods. Tell us of stores in your area that sell Israeli foods. E-mail the name and full address of each store to Lily Zagorsky at the Israel Economic Mission,  

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