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 21, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Israel Protests Anti-Semitic Egyptian TV Series - Julie Stahl

    A 30-part Egyptian television "comedy" series due to begin airing in November is based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated book about an alleged Jewish plot to take over the world.
    According to the Egyptian weekly Mussawar, the series "Fares Bila Jawad"
("Knight Without a Horse") examines Zionism and its connection to British, French, and Turkish imperialism, as well as the "centrality of Jerusalem in the eyes of the Arabs."
    Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior noted, "Unfortunately, we are not speaking about a single event but rather the tip of a huge iceberg of anti-Semitism in the [Egyptian] media....This is not the way to educate the next generation."
    An Israeli diplomat noted that the production is in contravention of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace accord, which calls on both sides to prevent incitement against each other. (

Iran Funded Argentina Bombing Through Swiss Bank - Marc Perelman

    A judge in Geneva is considering opening an investigation into the possibility that Iran held an account in a Swiss bank to finance terrorist operations around the globe during the last decade.
    The Swiss scrutiny has been prompted by disclosures made two years ago by Iranian defector Abdolghassem Mesbahi who told Argentinean investigators in a May 2000 affidavit that the Iranian government was using a Geneva bank account holding more than $200 million to finance operations.
    He said the account was used to pay $10 million to former Argentine president Carlos Menem to divert the investigation of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish communal center in Argentina (AMIA) away from Tehran, as well as many other operations. (Forward)

Report: Saddam Removing Gold, Valuables from Baghdad

    In anticipation of a United States strike against Iraq, Saddam Hussein has sent several trucks laden with gold bars and artwork from museums in Baghdad to the remote northwestern town of Abu Kamal near the Syrian border, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported.
    European diplomats in the Syrian capital confirmed "the traffic of heavy trucks between Syria and Iraq has increased sharply in the past few weeks - in both directions," the newspaper added. (Hoovers' - Financial Times)

Key Links

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Iraq Views a World Filled with Allies
    Iraq's leaders appear to have concluded that this time, the world is on their side and against the United States. But amid the speeches boasting Iraq's defiance, there was also a sense that Baghdad's aging leaders were busy trying to persuade themselves that they could somehow ride out the most serious threat yet to their power. (New York Times)
  • The Secret Mastermind Behind the Bali Horror
    Hambali is an Indonesian cleric believed to be al Qaeda's mastermind in a series of attacks in the region in the past two years, of which Bali was just the latest. Emboldened by the carnage on Kuta Beach, he is expected to try to strike again soon. More than 300 Indonesians were trained in al Qaeda's camps in Afghanistan. (Guardian/Observer - UK)
  • Kurds Eye Iraqi Oilfields
    The top Iraqi Kurdish military commander, Cmdr. Hamid Efendi, said Saturday that his forces would try to capture nearby oil-rich areas if the U.S. strikes at Saddam Hussein's regime. A draft constitution proposed this month envisions the oil center of Kirkuk as the future capital of a Kurdish homeland. Yet Turkey sees the oil-producing areas as a traditional ethnic Turkish zone. (AP)
        See also Iraq Seeks to "Arabize" Kurdish North
    The predominantly Kurdish city of Kirkuk is claimed by the Iraqi Kurds as their capital, but Iraq's Arab governments have long sought to force out the Kurds and "Arabize" the oil-rich area. According to official Iraqi figures, Kirkuk's Kurdish population fell from 47% to 38% during the period from 1957 to 1977. At the same time, the proportion of Arabs rose from 28% to 44%. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
  • Internal Israeli Struggle Over Outposts Continues
    Hundreds of Jewish settlers scuffled with Israeli security forces at an illegal West Bank outpost that was dismantled Sunday. Prime Minister Sharon scolded the army for sending in troops on the Jewish Sabbath. (Washington Post)
        See also Background on Outposts
    According to Peace Now, about 102 outposts have been created in the West Bank and Gaza since 1996. According to the settlers and the government, a large number of them became legal retroactively or are currently in the process of becoming legal. (Jerusalem Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Lebanon Plans Wider Water Diversion
    "The establishment of a pumping station on the Wazzani is part of a wider program for Lebanese control of the Dan springs" that feed the Sea of Galilee, said a senior Israeli military source. This assessment appeared to be confirmed by Lebanese parliamentary speaker Nabi Beri, leader of Amal, the group that initiated the diversion project, who said "The pumping from the Wazzani is just the beginning." (Maariv)
        See also Interview with Prime Minister Sharon (Point 3 in Talking Points)
  • War in Gaza Continues
    IDF troops shot dead two Palestinians early Monday as they tried to infiltrate the Gaza Strip community of Kfar Darom, Israel Radio reported. On Sunday, two anti-tank rockets were fired at a convoy on its way to Netzarim, a number of mortars hit the Gush Katif settlement bloc, and there were shootings in the Gush Katif and Rafah areas of Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF to Redeploy in Hebron
    The IDF will soon begin to redeploy in Hebron, although the army will remain in two neighborhoods - Abu Sneina and Harat a Sheikh - from which Palestinian gunmen have fired at Jewish neighborhoods in the city in the past. (Ha'aretz)
  • Mother, I Could Not Find Any Jews to Kill
    The Hamas Website recently published an interview with a Palestinian mother who sent her son to carry out a suicide attack against Israel. "Prior to the attack in which he was killed, Mahmud went on two other missions, before which I had to bid him farewell. I waited anxiously to hear of his death. The following evening Mahmud entered, and I asked him what happened. He answered: I could not find any Jews. I asked him not to be afraid [in fighting] against the Jews - that he kill [as many] as he can and leave none alive." (Israel Defense Forces)
  • North Korea Got Nuclear Know-how from Iran - Ze'ev Schiff
    Part of North Korea's efforts to produce enriched uranium, as well as tests on its long-range missile engines, are being conducted in Iran, in exchange for Pyongyang aid to Tehran in these two areas as well as the concealment of such efforts from the U.S. and North Korea's neighbors. The Iranians are getting know-how from North Korea on building centrifuges for producing enriched uranium as well as know-how on developing engines for long-range missiles. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Axis of Envy - Josef Joffe
    Pick a peace-minded demonstration in Europe these days or a publication of the extreme left or right, and you'll find anti-Israeli and anti-American resentments side by side. What explains this linkage? First, Israel and the United States are the most successful states in their respective neighborhoods: Israel in the regional arena, the United States on the global beat. They boast the most fearsome armies, they command impressive technological infrastructures, and the Israeli economy vastly outperforms those of each of its neighbors while the U.S. has the world's number one economy. Moreover, both are stable, vibrant democracies. (Foreign Policy)
  • How Saddam Manipulates the U.S. Media - Franklin Foer
    CNN, BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, and the handful of other news organizations with a permanent presence in Baghdad are all housed in the Iraqi Ministry of Information. Like their Soviet-bloc predecessors, the Iraqis have become masters of the Orwellian pantomime - the state-orchestrated anti-American rally, the state-led tours of alleged chemical weapons sites that turn out to be baby milk factories - that promotes their distorted reality. And the Iraqi regime has found an audience for these displays in an unlikely place: the U.S. media. (New Republic)
  • Talking Points:

    A Chat With Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - William Safire (New York Times)

    • Israel is not interested in being involved in a campaign against Iraq. We'll support America's decision and will show sensitivity to U.S. needs by exercising maximum restraint. At the same time, if our citizens are attacked seriously - by a weapon of mass destruction, chemical, biological, or by some mega-terror act - and suffer casualties, then Israel will respond.
    • The Syrians, together with the Iranians, are escalating tension on our northern border. Assad's son is completely under the influence of Hizballah, helping them more than his father ever thought about, integrating the terrorists into Syria's front-line forces. And the Iranians have supplied those terrorists with 9,000 to 10,000 rockets, maybe including a new one with a 200-mile range. If war comes, Syria-Iran-Hizballah may be surrogates for Saddam, opening a second front to help him.
    • The diversion of one of the sources of the Jordan River in Lebanon is a blatant violation of law that does damage to a strategic resource, and is a matter of life and death to us. We accepted the U.S. proposal to negotiate, but if the diplomatic process does not produce results, Israel will be forced to act.
    • There are those Palestinians who realize Israel won't be able to move forward until the end of the terror attacks and a different leadership emerges. We have seen positive signs that Palestinian society is moving toward reforms, especially economic reforms, though slowly; first, Arafat must remove his hands from the cash flow. The U.S. knows who are the leaders who support reform, and they should be strengthened.
    • Thank God, at this historic moment, the U.S. is leading the free world toward liberation from fear of terror.

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