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 10, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Hero of September 11 Hijackers Still Poisoning Young Minds - Paul McGeough

    Five of the September 11 hijackers were recruited from the mosque of Sheik Ahmed Al Hawashi in the misty mountains of Asir, south of Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. "Sheik Al Hawashi was the evil father of the whole thing here. He was the one behind it all and he is still there - he knew five of the kids and he was praying with them," said Dr. Ali Al Mosa, a reform campaigner.
    The Saudi royal family draws its legitimacy from a power-sharing arrangement with the religious establishment under which the likes of Sheik Al Hawashi have inordinate control over education and the law. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Iraq's Bioweapons Chief Called World's Most Dangerous Woman - Helen Kennedy

    A cultured woman with a British accent and doctorate, Dr. Rihab Taha, 47, is said to be the most dangerous woman in the world. Dubbed "Dr. Germ" by the press, Saddam Hussein's biological weapons chief has made enough doses of enough lethal germs to kill every human on the planet.
    The United States sent Taha her first bugs in April 1986. Back then, secular Iraq was an ally against Iran's Islamic fundamentalists and the Reagan administration okayed the mailings of dozens of samples of anthrax, botulinum toxin, E. coli, a gangrene-causing bacteria, and West Nile virus.
    In the ensuing years, the Iraqis made thousands of gallons of toxins and admitted that during the Persian Gulf War, 166 bombs and 25 long-range missile warheads had been loaded with biological agents. ( York Daily News)

U.S. Military Buildup Well Under Way - Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

    The Marines land in Kuwait. The Air Force bombs Saddam Hussein's command posts. Covert teams slip into Iraq. Army tanks rehearse crossing the Euphrates River. Transport vessels laden with supplies steam unheralded toward the Persian Gulf. Factories churn out precision weapons at an ever-accelerating pace. The military buildup is well under way. (National Journal)

An Iraqi Man of Letters - Nicholas D. Kristof

    Iraq's best-selling novelist is also a poet. If any book critic were rash enough to pan his novels, he would have the offender's tongue cut out and his entire family beaten to death. Afterward he might write a poem extolling the massacre. That's Saddam Hussein for you. (New York Times)

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Al Qaeda is Still Active
    A U.S. Navy investigator who examined a French supertanker crippled by an explosion off the coast of Yemen on Sunday found the damage consistent with that of the USS Cole, which was attacked by suicide bombers two years ago in the port of Aden, an attack that has been blamed on al Qaeda. On Monday a U.S. Marine on a training exercise in Kuwait was killed during an attack by two gunmen whom Kuwaiti and U.S. officials have linked to al Qaeda.
        On Tuesday, the al-Jazeera network broadcast a voice recording of Ayman Zawahiri, the second-ranking al Qaeda leader, in which he threatened continued attacks on "America and its allies." The U.S. intelligence community is concerned that al Qaeda's leadership structure remains at least partially intact and is reorganized to carry out additional assaults against the United States and other Western countries. (Washington Post)
  • U.S. Indicts Head of Islamic Charity in Al Qaeda Financing
    The leader of a prominent Islamic charity was indicted on conspiracy and racketeering charges today in Chicago in what officials said was the most significant criminal case that federal officials have brought as they seek to shut down al Qaeda's terrorist money pipeline. (New York Times)
  • Party of God - Jeffrey Goldberg
    American officials consider Hizballah to be one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world, one that has killed, over the past twenty years, more than three hundred Americans. Syria's patronage explains why Hizballah was the only militia not forced to disarm when Lebanon was reunified. Hizballah also receives support, inspiration, financial aid, and weapons from Iran. (New Yorker)
  • Israel Struggles With Illegal Outposts
    The founders of the village of Ofra (pop. 2,000), about 10 miles northeast of Jerusalem, started from scratch 25 years ago, while the government looked the other way. Today, on a strategic ridge above Ofra, a group of about 90 people have staked out a new outpost named Amona. Law student Ariel Erlich, 26, lives with his wife, Ifat, and two-year-old son Dvir in a cramped but cozy, three-room trailer. Erlich hopes they will soon start building permanent homes, like the ones in Ofra below. (Newsday/AP)
        See also The Outposts' Mission (Ha'aretz)
  • Decline of Uzbeki Militants Provides Clues in Fight Against Islamists
    Three years ago, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan was Central Asia's largest militant group. With the death of its military leader, the group is now considered more a nuisance than a security threat. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Homicide Bomber Strikes Near Tel Aviv: 1 Dead, 30 Injured
    The bomber slipped while trying to get onto the bus, and the driver, thinking he was an innocent passenger, got off the bus with another passenger to help him. When the two discovered he had an explosive belt strapped to his waist, they gripped his hands to prevent him from detonating it, and shouted to the 50 passengers on the bus to flee. Once the passengers were out of range, they released the bomber's hands and ran. The bomber then blew himself up a short distance from the bus. (Ha'aretz)
  • Terrorist Shooting Victim Dies
    Oded Wolk, 51, a tour guide, who was critically injured in a shooting attack Tuesday south of Hebron, died on Wednesday. (Ha'aretz)
  • New Bulge Develops in Temple Mount Wall
    The latest swelling is a 10-meter bulge on the western side of the Temple Mount, just south of the area where Jewish worshipers visit. Meanwhile, a yearlong dispute between Israel and the Muslim religious authorities over who will fix the bulge in the southern wall has been resolved, with a decision to involve Jordanian engineers. (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. Accelerates Procuremant of Israeli UAVs
    The U.S. has accelerated its procurement of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel Military Industries (IMI). The UAVs are used to counter anti-aircraft defenses and are launched from aircraft to create false targets on enemy radar screens. The U.S. Navy launched 200 of IMI's UAVs against Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries during the 1991 Gulf War. IMI is currently completing the delivery of 200 more UAVs, worth $35 million. (Globes)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • More Equality Than in Europe - Amnon Rubinstein
    The gap between the rich and relatively advanced State of Israel and the lagging Arab world has much increased and is liable to be another obstacle in the future of relationships between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. In Israel itself, however, despite the events of the last two years, equality between Jews and Muslims has grown in many aspects.
        In rich and developed France, the infant mortality rates among Arabs there are not only much higher than in Israel, but the gap between the minority and the majority is considerably larger than in "racist Israel." Higher gaps in infant mortality rates between majorities and minorities - even when there is no national conflict between them - are evident even in the richest of countries such as Switzerland (comparing Swiss and Turks), Britain (English and Pakistanis), and the U.S. (whites and blacks). (Ha'aretz)
  • Bush Studied '67 Pre-emptive Strike - Howard Fineman
    Andy Card, the White House chief of staff, told me that last summer, on his Texas ranch, Bush read Michael B. Oren's "Six Days of War," an account of Israel's stunningly successful (at least militarily) pre-emptive attack in 1967 against neighboring Arab states that had been poised to destroy it. (Newsweek)
  • Ready for War - Richard Cohen
    Recent history tells us that when this crisis passes, the world will lose its interest and Hussein's weaponeers will return to the labs. Sooner or later, this vampire is going to rise out of his coffin. So, now - or soon - is the moment. For the sake of international law, for the sake of preventing nuclear blackmail, for the sake of ridding the world of a leader with Hitler's megalomania and the weapons to fuel it, war may be the only course. (Washington Post)
  • Talking Points:

    Captured Documents Detail Iraqi-Palestinian Cooperation - Daniel Sobelman (Ha'aretz)

    • Documents signed by Yasser Arafat show he was complicit in helping the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF), headed by its Baghdad-based founder, Mohammed Zaidan (Abu Abbas) and his local representative, Rakad Salem, secretary of the Arab Liberation Front and the Iraqi Ba'ath party in the territories.
    • Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan personally signed the checks and directed the transfer of funds to families of homicide bombers.
    • A handwritten letter signed by Ramadan says, "the intifada is a once-in-a-lifetime historic opportunity to build the Ba'ath organization and expand its organizational base" in the territories.
    • Documents list sums of money ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 given to families of "martyrs."
    • Among the documents is a letter written by Al Quds University President Prof. Sari Nusseibeh to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, asking him to support the university "by allocating some of the money you are sending to Palestine, to Al Quds University."
    • The documents show the PA was a co-funder of the PLF with Iraq. In one document, Abbas asks the PA to renew an arrangement under which the PA paid the rent for PLF offices in a number of West Bank cities. Arafat's handwritten instruction was to the "Finance Ministry - approved." In another case, Arafat personally approved payments to 50 members of the PLF.

    "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, [email protected]. �

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