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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November 1, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Canadian Intelligence: Hizballah Uses Canada as Base - Stewart Bell (National Post - Canada)

    The terrorist group Hizballah has been using Canada as an offshore base for raising money and purchasing supplies needed to carry out and videotape attacks against Israel for more than a decade.
    Canadian Security Intelligence Service documents detail how Hizballah has laundered tens of thousands of dollars through Canadian banks while drawing on the accounts to shop for military equipment.
    Hizballah agents shopped for blasting devices, night-vision goggles, powerful computers, and camera equipment used to record attacks against Israeli forces, according to dozens of CSIS wiretaps
    Even as they lived in Canada with their families as immigrants, the Hizballah operatives apparently remained disdainful of their new surroundings, denouncing "the Canadians and the Zionists" in a wiretapped conversation.
    Canadian police and intelligence reports show the group has been using Canada in recent years to buy materiel, forge travel documents, raise money, and steal luxury vehicles.

Finland Bars Gas Detectors for Israel (Helsingin Sanomat - Finland)

    The Israel Defense Forces wished to acquire two Chempro 100 chemical warfare agent alarm units which can detect harmful gases in the air, but the Finnish government has denied an export license.
    According to an Israeli source, Israel feels the decision is incomprehensible, as gas detectors are meant for defense, and weapons exports to Israel have not been banned by the EU. The source explained that the acquisitions would have been made to prepare for gas being used against Israel in the event of a U.S. attack on Iraq.

Al Qaeda's Disinformation War - Eli J. Lake (New Republic)

    One of the major problems confronting U.S. intelligence is that it has too much information - and most of it bad. Many in the U.S. intelligence community believe this is no accident. "Do the terrorists use disinformation? Absolutely," Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Porter Goss said at last week's joint intelligence hearings about September 11, 2001.
    Evidence has mounted that al Qaeda has a keen understanding of the U.S. intelligence-collection system. Among the numerous written materials confiscated from al Qaeda lairs in Afghanistan are handbooks on how to evade and deceive U.S. signal-interception systems, including detailed instructions on when various kinds of satellites orbit over specific land areas.

Is a Woman Driving a Motorbike Un-Islamic? - Ali Akbar Dareini (Boston Globe/AP)

    About 25,000 Iranian women have registered since last week for free motorbike driving lessons. Iran's biggest motorbike-maker, the Bana Industrial Group, is hoping to cultivate a market of more than 36 million women.
    But the move has already sparked controversy in a country where women must cover themselves head-to-toe.
    ''Islam's Prophet Mohammad has encouraged all Muslims to learn how to ride a horse. A horse in our modern day is a motorbike, a car, and a plane. Driving a motorbike is in full conformity with Islam,'' cleric Ahmad Hosseini said.
    But Najibeh Abazarpour won't allow her daughter to drive a motorbike. ''It's simply not Islamic for women to drive motorbikes. This will push our innocent girls toward corruption,'' she said.

Useful Reference:

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    The first 112 films in the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive are now available online. 100 films will be added annually until over 500 full films will be viewable over the Internet.

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Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Human Rights Watch: Suicide Bombings are War Crimes
    Those who plan and carry out suicide bombings that deliberately target civilians are guilty of crimes against humanity and must be brought to justice, according to a 170-page report released Friday by Human Rights Watch, a leading New York-based humanitarian watchdog group. "The scale and systematic nature of these attacks sets them apart from other abuses committed in times of conflict. They clearly fall under the category of crimes against humanity," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
        The report says the leaders of such groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) should face criminal investigation. The Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat have failed to do all they can to stop suicide attacks or bring the perpetrators to justice, thus contributing to "an atmosphere of impunity" for such crimes. "The prohibition against targeting civilians doesn't depend on the behavior of one's adversary," Roth said. "Palestinian armed groups must refrain from deliberate attacks against civilians." (CNN)
        See Human Rights Watch Press Release / Full Report
  • U.S. Justice Department Warns of Extremist Threats to U.S.
    Responding to a question by the Senate Intelligence Committee about the involvement of Hizballah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups in the U.S., the Justice Department said in a document released Thursday that FBI investigations "indicate the continued presence of suspected extremists of various groups who could be called upon to attack in the United States." It said Hizballah, in particular, has the ability to strike in the U.S. Hizballah members are used mostly to raise money for the group's overseas operations, the report said. "To date, it is believed that this extensive fund-raising activity itself acts as a disincentive for operational terrorist activity in the United States." (FOX News)
  • U.S. Joins Jewish Groups Against Arab TV Series
    The United States has told Egypt that its state-run television stations should not broadcast a series alleged to give credence to the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion. "We don't think government TV stations should be broadcasting programs that we consider racist and untrue," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on Thursday. U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler on Thursday circulated a letter to other members of Congress proposing to cut off all U.S. military aid to Egypt, worth about $900 million a year, until the Egyptian authorities "have begun the road to peace with, and understanding of, other nations, cultures and religions." (Reuters)
  • Israel's Proposed New Defense Minister
    Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, whose four years as Israeli army chief of staff ended in July, has been tapped by Sharon to replace Benjamin Ben-Eliezer as defense minister. Born in Iran, Mofaz immigrated to Israel at age 9. After high school, he volunteered for the paratroopers and served during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, before he began climbing through a series of command positions. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • U.S. Envoy Arrives for Consultations Ahead of Iraq War
    Admiral James Metzger, assistant to Gen. Richard Meyers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the U.S. armed services, and one of two officers responsible for coordinating with the IDF in case of an American war on Iraq, met with outgoing Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. A senior Israeli defense source said yesterday that the American assault is inevitable. "They are very determined," he said, adding a colorful metaphor: "The herd of elephants has started running."
        A senior defense source said that "in this coming round, unlike 1991, the U.S. regards Israel as a main arena, and not a 'side show.' They understand that harm to Israel could complicate their efforts, so they want to tighten the coordination with us." (Ha'aretz)
  • Hamas "Work Accident" Kills 3 Palestinians
    Three Palestinians affiliated with Hamas were killed and six wounded Thursday in the Gaza Strip after a bomb exploded prematurely in what appears to have been a work accident, destroying a two-story home. (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. Jerusalem Consul Out; Aaron Miller Leaving State - Janine Zacharia
    The Bush administration is transferring its consul-general in Jerusalem, Ronald Schlicher, to serve as ambassador to Tunisia. Well-placed sources said the administration's decision came after a round of tough consultations between Schlicher and senior officials in Washington over U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.
        Aaron Miller, a veteran State Department adviser on the Arab-Israeli peace process, is leaving to become the president of Seeds of Peace. Both Miller and Schlicher had for a long time been proponents of continuing dialogue with Arafat. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • End Media Bias Against Israel - Irwin Block
    Pervasive and sustained anti-Israeli bias in the media is a cancer destroying much of the media's credibility and eroding support for the Jewish state, says Israel Asper, CanWest Global founder. "Much of the world media have abandoned the fundamental precepts of honest reporting." "The so-called Al Aqsa uprising or intifada" is really "the current version of the Arab war of extermination of Israel and the Jewish people." [CanWest Global owns the National Post and 13 other daily newspapers.] (National Post - Canada)
  • Divestment Equals Anti-Semitism - Abraham H. Foxman
    What started as a whisper on campus has turned into a full-fledged assault on the Jewish state. It is a new movement that is sweeping many campuses across the country. While the movement has largely failed to gain any momentum on campus, concerns about the wider issues raised by divestment campaigns are strongly felt in the Jewish community. Not surprisingly, this assault against Israel has turned nasty. The singling-out of Israel goes beyond criticism of Israeli government policies to hateful comparisons of a kind appropriately described this fall by Harvard University President Lawrence Summers as being "anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent." (New York Jewish Week)
  • Restraint in Face of Iraq Attack is in Israel's Interest - Scott Lasensky
    As momentum builds in Washington for a seemingly inevitable military attack on Iraq, Israel and its supporters are debating how to respond to an expected Iraqi strike against the Jewish state. Restraint still makes a lot of sense. Barring catastrophic damage or a substantial loss of life, Israel should again remain on the sidelines while the full fury of the American military is unleashed against Saddam Hussein and his regime. (Forward)
  • Israel's Unity Will Not Crumble - Gerald Steinberg
    In spite of dozens of terrorist bombings, the Israeli response can only be described as measured, unity has been maintained, and it is Mr. Arafat who has become isolated in the world. If the Palestinians expect the break-up this week of Israel's coalition government and the increased influence of Israel's fringe rightwing parties to "unleash the real Sharon" and reverse this outcome, they will be disappointed: Mr. Sharon, like many Israelis, understands the Palestinian strategy and he is not about to fall into the trap now. With or without Labor, the most likely direction is continuity in implementing effective responses to terror attacks, while carefully avoiding policies that would lead to discord and isolation. (Financial Times - UK)
  • Arafat's Legacy: A Case Study in Terror Funding - Rachel Ehrenfeld
    By incorporating religion into its political rhetoric and adding jihad to its agenda, like al Qaeda, the PA has gained even more support, both financially and politically, from the Arab/Muslim world. In the first year of the current intifada, the amount of money officially donated to the PA jumped by 80 percent, from $555 million to $1,002 billion. (National Review)
  • Saddam's Shop of Horrors - Jeff Jacoby
    Saddam has successfully resisted every form of outside pressure short of war. Neither sanctions nor inspections nor missile strikes have subdued his aggressiveness. His regime is profoundly dangerous and will grow even more so if it is not destroyed. All true. But let us not forget something equally true: Saddam has been an unspeakable evil for the people of Iraq. In crushing him and his dictatorship, we will be liberating the most cruelly enslaved nation on earth and performing an act of nearly incalculable mercy. (Boston Globe)
  • Can This Marriage Be Saved? - Nicholas D. Kristof
    The current fad of demonizing Saudi Arabia is vastly overdrawn. The kingdom is not an enemy and is not a terrorist state. But as the Saudi Internet shows, we and Saudi Arabia have few values in common. So after 60 years of common-law marriage, it's time to arrange a separation. We'll both be better off if we pull U.S. troops out of the kingdom. (New York Times)

    Weekend Features:

  • Give Blood at Your Hotel - Melissa Radler
    Starting next month, visitors to Israel who wish to donate blood to terror victims and other Israelis will be able to do so from the comfort of their five-star hotel or sightseeing tour. "Sharing for Life," a joint initiative sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Red Magen David for Israel (ARMDI), and the MDA Blood Services in Israel, plans to dispatch up to 25 bloodmobiles to hotels and other sites around the country to collect blood donations from members of solidarity missions and other visitors to Israel, including students from the U.S. (Jerusalem Post)
  • United Israel Appeal Reaches Out to Christian Supporters - Haim Shapiro
    The United Israel Appeal is to extend its fundraising efforts to Christian supporters of Israel for the first time in its history. "We are reaching out our hand to communities of Christian friends of Israel and inviting them to help the Jewish people in efforts to strengthen the State of Israel," UIA director Gad Ben-Ari said on Wednesday. The effort is to be headed by Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Earning Degrees in Survival - Michael Slackman
    Iraq was once a nation that prided itself on its schools. Parents from around the Arab world, and beyond, used to send their children to study in Iraqi universities. Today, one in four children does not go to school and those who do receive less than four hours of instruction a day. The result has been generations of uneducated or under-educated children. Literacy has plummeted, especially among women, from 87% in 1985 to 45% in 1995. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Vatican: Jews Are Our Brothers - Nicole Winfield
    A top Vatican cardinal reaffirmed Monday that the Roman Catholic Church was more committed than ever to improving relations with Jews, in a speech marking the anniversary of a major Second Vatican Council document on the issue. Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican official in charge of relations with Jews, told a conference of prelates and rabbis that after 2,000 years of antagonism, Catholics and Jews may still disagree - but that they do so as brothers. (Sarasota Herald Tribune/AP)
  • Settlers Not Leaving - Timothy Appleby
    According to Geoffrey Aronson, director of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, "The settlements and their political supporters have over the past decade proved themselves to be dynamic and strong." Eve Harow, a resident of Efrat, a fast-growing Jewish town south of Jerusalem, explained: "This is not about stealing a Palestine that was once here, because the people here were nomads." "If we weren't here, it wasn't because we didn't want to be; it was because we'd been killed and ethnically cleansed. So we don't consider ourselves settlers but rather resettlers." (Globe and Mail - Canada)
  • Through Israel's Eyes, War is All about Defense - Kristina Francisco
    Sophomore David Cohen was once an Israeli soldier. He left Northwestern after freshman year to go back to Israel to serve a two-year stint in the West Bank. Cohen says: "Israel offered everything in 2000 (after Camp David II) - 100 percent of the land and said, 'Here's a state' - and they rejected it like in 1948 when the UN said, 'Here's a state.'" Cohen says he knows for a fact that Israel spends massive amounts of time making sure civilians aren't killed, unlike the tactics of Palestinian suicide bombers. (Daily Northwestern - Evanston, Illinois)
  • Talking Points:

    Chief of Staff: Palestinian Terrorism May End Israel as Jewish State - Mati Wagner (Jerusalem Post)

    IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon told an Israel Management Center conference in Tel Aviv on Wednesday:

    • Failure to achieve a decisive victory against Palestinian terrorism may put an end to Israel as a Jewish state. A decisive victory against the Palestinians that does not allow them any option besides compromise would prove the futility of terrorism as a means of obtaining political demands.
    • Many Palestinian leaders, among them sworn terrorists, have reached the conclusion that terrorism is leading nowhere, but one man hasn't gotten the message (referring to Yasser Arafat).
    • At no time since the establishment of the state has Israel been so endangered by Arab hostility.
    • A clear U.S. victory on the Iraqi front would help convince those Arab countries with an equivocal stand on Israel's right to exist to choose the road of peace.
    • Preventing potentially dangerous countries from developing nuclear capability is of cardinal importance to the future of Israel.
    • Reforms in the Palestinian Authority that are prerequisites for future stability include abandoning terrorism, changing present leadership, restructuring and unifying Palestinian security forces, establishing a legislative and executive infrastructure based on democratic models, introducing financial transparency, and educating the next generation of Palestinians toward peace.
    • Israel has taken over responsibility for searching out and eliminating terrorist cells operating within the PA, and as a result there has been a substantial reduction in the number of terrorist attacks.
    • Our soldiers and reservists have demonstrated their determination and strength in the battle against terrorism. Terrorists thought that a prosperous Western society doesn't have what it takes to fight, but we've proved them wrong.

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