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 12, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Terror Attacks During Ramadan (IDF Spokesperson)

    It might have been hoped that the Palestinian offensive against Israel would have been suspended for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan that began on Nov. 5, 2002.
    Yet since the beginning of Ramadan there have been 132 terror attacks, murdering 8 Israelis. There were 56 shooting attacks, 16 bombs, 18 grenades, 6 anti-tank missiles, and 36 mortars.

U.S. Forces Israel to Pay Terrorists - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz)

    Israeli officials have recently said money the government was forced to release to the Palestinians was used by the PA to pay the wages of Fatah-Tanzim men. Israel had frozen tax revenues which it owed to the PA, saying it would be used to support terror operations, but under U.S. pressure, Israel released the funds.
    Israeli officials have learned that the money was used not only to pay the salaries of public servants and various security officials, but on Arafat's orders, some of it went to pay Tanzim men. The sources label this sequence as tragically absurd - Israel being obliged to pay the wages of terrorists who attack it.

Jewish Resistance Fighters in Algeria an Example for Iraqi Dissidents - Robert Satloff (Los Angeles Times)

    In 1942, on the evening before the American-British invasion of North Africa, 377 members of the Algerian underground, more than 300 of them Jews, spread out across Algiers in one of the war's greatest exploits in sabotage.
    Armed only with knives, hunting rifles, and World War I relics, they cut phone lines, intercepted telegraph messages, and even forcibly detained senior Vichy commanders to ease the entry of Allied troops.
    In Iraq, if resistance fighters are convinced that the U.S. will fight a war to end Hussein's regime, they too might perform remarkable deeds.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Iraq Said to Try to Buy Antidote Against Nerve Gas
    Iraq has ordered a million doses of the drug atropine - used to counter the effects of nerve gas - mainly from suppliers in Turkey, which is being pressed to stop the sales. (New York Times)
  • Arafat Blocked Reform Efforts, Ex-Minister Says
    Abdel Razak Yehiyeh said that during his term as Palestinian interior minister, he was prevented from demilitarizing the police forces and overruled when he tried to remove several commanders who had participated in attacks on Israelis. He said he found the task of reforming the police impossible. "The ones I did succeed in moving are now back in their jobs." While Arafat may mouth a commitment to reform and an end to military confrontation with Israel, he often opposes it in practice. (Globe and Mail - Canada)
  • Columbia President Blasts Divestment Petition
    A petition by some Columbia and Barnard faculty members calling for a divestiture campaign against Israel has gained about 400 signatures. A counter petition launched last week by pro-Israel forces has gained more than 5,000 signatures. Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger said Thursday, "The petition alleges human rights abuses and compares Israel to South Africa at the time of apartheid, an analogy I believe is both grotesque and offensive." "As president of Columbia...I will not lend any support to this proposal." (New York Jewish Week)
  • Iran Students March to Save Teacher
    Thousands of university students and some teachers boycotted classes Monday to protest the death sentence imposed on a prominent professor convicted of insulting Islam and questioning hard-line clerics. Enraged students at Tarbiat-e-Modarres University, where Hashem Aghajari taught history, took to the streets to denounce what they described as the "medieval" verdict against their professor. On Sunday, nearly two-thirds of the reformist-dominated parliament urged the sentence be lifted. (Washington Post)
  • Al Qaeda Plot to Assassinate the Pope
    The al Qaeda terrorists who masterminded the September 11 attacks in the United States planned to assassinate the Pope during his tour of the Philippines. The attack never took place because the Pope called off the visit in 1999 due to ill-health. (London Times)
  • Blair Warns of Terror Threat, Demands Mideast Move
    Prime Minister Tony Blair raised the alarm Monday over terror attacks in Britain, saying he was bombarded almost daily with new intelligence about threats to national interests. Blair also said, "We need to understand the passion and anger the state of the Middle East peace process arouses....The answer is to move the process forward and to do it quickly....Until this happens, this issue hangs like a dark shadow over our world...providing the cover under which the fanatics build strength." (Washington Post/Reuters)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Shin Bet: Fatah Cell Responsible for Attack - Amos Harel
    Shin Bet sources say a Tanzim cell from the Tulkarm area was behind the shooting rampage at Kibbutz Metzer on Sunday night. They say Fatah's armed forces are now splinter groups operating as "local gangs" and no longer obey a central authority. On Monday, the Shin Bet had 41 separate alerts about planned terrorist operations, including three that were already "in motion." (Ha'aretz)
        See also Deadly Attack Ends Community's Illusion of Immunity
    The five deaths in Kibbutz Metzer, a collective farm of 500 residents which has a half-century-long record of cordial relations with surrounding Arab villages, jolted a nation that has become hardened to suicide bombings and armed attacks over the past two years. (Washington Post)
  • Jordan Continues Crackdown on Southern Islamists
    Jordanian security forces clashed with Muslim fundamentalists in the southern city of Maan for a second day. A senior security official said 15 Jordanians and 10 foreigners had been arrested. Another official said they were Iraqis and Egyptians. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Think Tank Sees Little Impact of Iraq War
    A U.S.-led attack against Iraq is highly likely next year, but the war will be quick and its impact on the world economy should be limited and confined mainly to changes in the price of oil, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has said. The war "should go well, and quickly, lasting no more than three months, during which the U.S. removes Mr. Hussein and replaces him." However, there is a 10% probability that a successful coup against Mr. Hussein could take place before a U.S. attack is launched. (Globe and Mail - Canada/AFP)
  • Reading the United Nations' Fine Print - Anne Bayefsky
    Before the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on Iraq, it was open to the president to argue that war with Iraq was justified by prior council resolutions. The new resolution means America is required to wait for reports of inspectors, wait until the Security Council is reconvened to consider their reports, and give the council a real opportunity to take action on those reports. (New York Sun)
  • A Road Map to Perdition? - Zalman Shoval
    The "road map" calls for words and declarations by the Palestinians and concrete deeds by Israel. Words in the Arab world are cheap, and as America's former chief peace negotiator, Dennis Ross, has reminded us, anything Israel gives up is irretrievable; anything the Palestinians concede can be reneged on the very next day. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Talking Points:

    Arafat's Fatah Continues to Murder Israelis (IDF Spokesperson)

    • The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Fatah, headed by Yasser Arafat, claimed responsibility for the grave terror attack in Kibbutz Metzer. Attempts by Fatah to shake off its terrorist image are a deception to improve its image in Western eyes.
    • Despite the meeting currently being held in Cairo between representatives of Fatah and Hamas, allegedly for the purpose of convincing Hamas to cease terror attacks inside Israel, the terror attack at Kibbutz Metzer proves that there was never any true intention to desist from acts of terror against Israelis, and that all Palestinian organizations, both religious and nationalistic, espouse the same policy.
    • This policy of accepting terror as a legitimate weapon has been espoused recently by the new Palestinian Interior Minister, Hani al-Hassan, who does not oppose attacks against Israeli settlers. Moreover, Palestinian officials have stated that the minister supports the military wing of Fatah, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which appears on European and U.S. lists of terrorist organizations.
    • During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel and the IDF have been easing restrictions on the Palestinian population to allow them to observe the monthly fast. Food and other products flow into the Palestinian areas and worshippers were given access to the mosques in Jerusalem. Yet, voices within the Hamas and other terror organizations have called for terror attacks especially during Ramadan - the month of Jihad (holy war).
    • The IDF has the moral right and the duty to protect the citizens of Israel and will exercise the right to self-defense as would any other country.

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