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 30, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Israel Captures Hizballah Bomb Expert in Hebron - Alex Fishman and Roni Shaked (Yediot Ahronot)

    The Israeli security services has captured a bomb expert who was sent to the territories by Hizballah to train Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in planning sophisticated attacks and preparing explosives.
    Fauzi Ayub, a Lebanese Shiite with Canadian citizenship who entered Israel on a Canadian passport, was captured three months in Hebron.
    He was recruited by Hizballah in Canada, underwent training in Lebanon, and was posted to Hizballah's European unit.
    This is just one of many recent efforts by Hizballah to operate in the territories and influence the scope and quality of attacks against Israel, in order to keep the intifada alive.

Report: Terror Group Targeted Northern Australia (The Age - Australia)

    Northern Australia has been targeted by the Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) to form part of an Asian Islamic superstate, according to a secret intelligence report.
    JI, the Indonesia-based Islamic extremist group, has been accused of perpetrating the Bali terrorist bombing. The group has established links with the al Qaeda terror group.
    According to Attorney General Daryl Williams, "We know there are people in Australia who have trained with al Qaeda. We know that people associated with JI have visited Australia."

CIA Says Saddam Safe on Home Front - Bill Gertz (Washington Times)

    Saddam Hussein's hold on power in Iraq remains strong and his military forces can defeat any internal opposition, according to a CIA analysis.
    Saddam has set up a rigid security system to protect him from internal foes. He also is said to distrust major military units, including Republican Guard divisions considered his frontline troops. His key internal security units are known as the Special Republican Guards.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Palestinian Terrorist Murders Jewish Woman, 2 Girls
    Two 14-year-old girls and a woman were murdered on Tuesday by a Palestinian terrorist who infiltrated the Jewish village of Hermesh in the northern West Bank. The Palestinian crawled under a perimeter fence and first opened fire on two girls sitting outside their house, killing both. A woman who heard the shooting shot at the terrorist with a pistol, but he got away and entered another house where he shot at a couple, killing the woman and wounding her husband. (Independent Online - South Africa/AFP)
  • Barak: Iraq Trying to Make Biological Weapons
    Saddam Hussein tried to make weapons of anthrax and other deadly toxins, but he has limited means to deliver them, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Monday. "They tried to weaponize anthrax and they tried to weaponize botulinum" - the bacterium that causes botulism, Barak said. "We know that they are working on a variety of biological agents as well as chemical (ones)." (FOX News/AP)
  • Palestinian Reformers on the Run as Arafat Rallies
    A serious in-house challenge against Arafat's autocratic ruling style fizzled in advance of Tuesday's voting on his new cabinet. American calls for Arafat's ouster helped make the reformers vulnerable to the accusation that their campaign helps the enemies of the Palestinians. Ali Jarbawi, a political scientist at Bir Zeit University, believes that Arafat has gained some time, but little else: "He has postponed the internal crisis over reform, not solved it." Arafat's new cabinet bears a close resemblance to the previous one that the reformers brought down last month. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • U.S. PR Campaign Targets Muslim World
    Lebanese-born Rawia Ismail, a vivacious young teacher in Toledo, Ohio, her head covered with an Islamic head scarf, appears in a U.S. government video with her three smiling children in her all-American kitchen, extolling American values. "I didn't see any prejudice anywhere in my neighborhood after Sept. 11," she says. Her portrayal as a woman who practices her Muslim faith in America with ease is one of the images that the Bush administration is offering to the Muslim world as an example of how America is not at war with Islam. (New York Times)
  • Southeast Asia Remains Fertile for al Qaeda
    The terrorist network that Osama bin Laden has stealthily built up in Southeast Asia over the past decade is largely intact, according to intelligence officials in several countries. It may even have become more deadly and more virulently anti-American than it was a year ago, they say. (New York Times)
  • Healing the Families of Terror Victims
    Last month the Koby Mandell Foundation brought together 15 families of terror victims for a three-day Family Healing Retreat near the Sea of Galilee in a pilot program which combines group therapy with outdoor activities. "They say you have to move on, but I also feel that you have to feel grief and give it expression, because it's there and it's not going away," says Sherri Mandell, whose 13-year-old son, Koby, was bludgeoned to death near their home in Tekoa. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Jordan Fears Iraqi Involvement in Assassination of U.S. Envoy
    Jordanian intelligence predicted months ago that Iraqi agents could target American and Israeli interests. The authorities have preventively arrested dozens of Iraqis, started to deport some, and stopped others from crossing the eastern border. (Ha'aretz)
  • Gush Katif Family Escapes Repeated Palestinian Mortar Attacks
    On Monday just before midnight, another mortar landed near the home of Eli and Denise Cohen and their 7 children in Neve Dekelim in the Gush Katif region of the Gaza district - the third in 8 months. (Maariv)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Waning of Yasser Arafat - Danny Rubinstein
    The Fatah leadership instructed all its representatives in the Palestinian legislative council to vote in favor of the new cabinet and prevent the disgrace Arafat suffered two months ago when he didn't have a majority in the PLC. The Palestinian government is a regime that has been nearly totally hollowed out. Palestinian Authority institutions in the West Bank are paralyzed, either totally or partially. But Arafat showed that his regime still exists and runs as if he is the ruler. (Ha'aretz)
  • Republic of Black Gold - Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
    Russian oil exports to the U.S. recently reached the million barrel a month mark. It was only in July that a small tanker docked at Galveston, Texas, with the first Russian petroleum to ever be sold directly to the US. Energy analyst Daniel Yergin believes Russia will become one of the top 10 U.S. oil suppliers in five years. Russia sees itself providing 10% of U.S. needs. (Hindustan Times - India)
  • States Cannot Negotiate with Suicidal Terrorists - Janet Daley
    What should the British Government do if a group of hijackers, declaring themselves eager to embrace death and martyrdom, seize a London theatre audience? There can be only one answer to people who say, "Give us what we want or we will kill anybody who is unlucky enough to fall into our hands." Terrorism must end in disaster for the perpetrators. It must not only be futile; it must be counter-productive. (Telegraph - UK)
  • Historians Criticize Islamic Dhimmitude and Pay a Price - Rod Dreher
    Jewish student leaders at Georgetown University accused the speaker - Bat Yeor, the leading historian of dhimmitude (the state of formal discrimination historically imposed on Jews and Christians living under Islamic occupation) - of not making "a clear distinction between pure, harmonious Islam, and the acts of a few who falsely claim to act in the name of Islam."
        "This is pure nonsense," Bat Yeor replies. "When one studies the Inquisition or the Crusades, one does not feel obliged to make a clear distinction between 'pure' Christianity and those historical events....This attitude imposes the worst law of dhimmitude on non-Muslims: the refusal of their evidence. The historical testimony of the millions of human victims of jihad is rejected on its face by this doctrinal attitude." (National Review)
  • Divestment Movement Undercuts Israel - Samuel G. Freedman
    The divestment effort is gaining ground, with attendees at a recent conference representing more than 70 different colleges and universities. The true goal of the divestment effort is not a two-state solution in the Middle East. A close reading of the divestment movement's own literature indicates a tolerance for terrorism and an ultimate goal of undermining Israel as a Jewish state. [The author is associate dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.] (USA Today)
  • Talking Points:

    IDF Intelligence: No Palestinian Partner - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)

    Major General Aharon Ze'evi, director of military intelligence, will present the IDF's annual intelligence assessment to the inner cabinet today. According to the assessment:

    • Israel does not have a partner for diplomatic agreements at this stage - most certainly not in Yasser Arafat. There are no signs of Arafat agreeing to step down in the coming months, nor of a potential successor.
    • There are no signs of an end to the confrontation with the Palestinians in the coming year.
    • Israel must manage the conflict in such a way as to avoid it escalating or slipping into a conflict with other Arab countries.

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