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 15, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Saddam's "Psychiatrist" at the CIA - Julian Borger (Guardian - UK)

    Dr. Jerrold Post, 68, is a former high-ranking CIA official who spent 21 years assessing the inner workings of America's enemies - a shrink among spooks.
    Post believes Saddam will never give up his chemical and biological weapons or his nuclear program, and will lash out with everything he has in his arsenal if he feels cornered, setting fire to the Iraqi oilfields - as he did in Kuwait 11 years ago - and launching toxins and germs at invading U.S.-British forces, and at Israel.
    Post has delved deeply into Saddam's background, which includes the story that Saddam's mother, Subha, both tried to commit suicide and to have an abortion but was prevented from killing herself and her unborn child by a compassionate family of Iraqi Jews.

U.S. May Use Electromagnetic Weapons Against Iraq - J. David Galland (Front Page Magazine/ Defense Watch)

    The anticipated war with Iraq may see the first widespread use of high-power directed energy or microwave weapons that produce a split-second electromagnetic spike of energy powerful enough to damage electronic components and scramble the memory of any computer system.
    Microwave weaponry, designed for use from unmanned aerial vehicles that pose no risk to a pilot, would electronically destroy key computer equipment in government buildings, military command posts, and broadcasting facilities.

Captured Arms Ship Made Three Previous Smuggling Trips - Mitchell Ginsburg (Jerusalem Report)

    Prior to its capture by the Israel Navy in May 2001, the arms-smuggling vessel Santorini made three successful trips from Lebanon to the Gaza and the Sinai coast to drop off its cargo.
    The Santorini's first voyage, directed by Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), was from Tripoli in November 2000. The arms were packed in Syria and transferred to Tripoli in a Syrian bus, according to one of the captured Lebanese crew members.
    Its second and third voyages, both in April 2001, were run by Hizballah.

U.S. Expands Cooperation with Iraqi Opposition Groups - Jonathan S. Landay ( Ridder)

    President Bush signed a classified order last month that added at least six Iraqi opposition groups to the seven already approved to receive U.S. financial aid, humanitarian assistance, and military training under the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act.
    Invasion plans being drawn up by the U.S. military call for opposition members to work closely with U.S. forces as translators, guides, and scouts. They also may guard Iraqi prisoners of war and help keep the peace between Iraq's disparate religious and ethnic groups after Saddam's ouster.

Mecca Cola Puts Fizz in Palestinian Cause (Chicago Tribune)

    A French Muslim businessman has turned cola into a product that protests U.S. foreign policy and raises money for Palestinian causes. "Be engaged! Drink Mecca Cola," reads the slogan on the bottles.
    The cola went on sale in France, Belgium, and Germany on Nov. 1, in time for Ramadan.

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Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Global Slowdown and Palestinian Conflict Ravage Israeli Economy
    Ever since the latest intifada began two years ago, Israel's economy has gone into a serious slump. Economic output has been shrinking for two years. Unemployment now exceeds 10 percent, and inflation will reach 8 percent this year. The large high-tech industry - which accounted for an astonishing 65 percent of industrial exports in the late '90s - has fallen victim to a worldwide plunge in technology spending. Tourism revenue in 2001 declined by 42 percent compared with the year before. (Newsweek)
  • Struggle for Water in Mideast - Charles A. Radin
    ''Because the water pipe network is very old and leaks, and because of stealing water from our pipes by Palestinians, we lose about 50 percent'' of the water managed by the Palestinian Water Authority in the West Bank, says Fadel Kawash, the authority's West Bank manager. He estimates that at least 200 illegal wells have been drilled in the past two years. ''The situation in Gaza is catastrophic,'' he said. ''We are over-pumping by 80 million cubic meters a year, and seawater is pouring into the aquifer. Every year, it becomes more salty.''
        In areas of abundant water such as northern Samaria, illegal wells are damaging the flow to older, legal wells, and some, dug too near refugee camps or septic systems, are polluted, says Kenan Sewadeh, a local hydrologist. ''The Palestinian Authority is not determined to stop the illegal drilling,'' Sewadeh said, because the illegal drillers had corrupt connections with PA officials. (Boston Globe)
        See also Oasis in the Desert (Guardian - UK)
  • Syrians' Hopes for Freedom Remain Mostly Unfulfilled - Daniel J. Wakin
    Some Syrians and Westerners living in Damascus say that while outright criticism of the government is taboo, people in private groups no longer fear voicing displeasure with the system. Some suggest that President Assad backed away from political reforms after being caught by surprise by how rapidly they spread, particularly at a time when he was trying to consolidate power. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Leader of Kibbutz Metzer Massacre Arrested
    Mohammed Naifeh, one of the commanders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the Tulkarm region, regarded as responsible for plotting this week's Kibbutz Metzer attack in which a mother and her two children were murdered and an earlier terrorist attack at the village of Hermesh, gave himself up to the army yesterday north of Tulkarm. The Shin Bet already knows that Arafat handed him $20,000 earlier this year, signifying Arafat's involvement in financing terrorism. (Ha'aretz)
  • Senior Israeli, U.S. Teams Discuss Iraq in Washington - Janine Zacharia
    Officials from Israel and the U.S. met Thursday for strategic dialogue talks and in the Joint Political Military Group. Iraq planning was expected to top the agenda of both sessions. Israel was expected to ask for some combination of loan guarantees, military aid, and economic relief on top of its annual assistance package. (Jerusalem Post)
  • 5 Wounded in Gaza in PA-Hamas Clash - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Five people were wounded during a shoot-out between Hamas gunmen and PA security agents in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said Wednesday. PA security forces opened fire at a group of masked Hamas terrorists who had just fired three Kassam rockets at Jewish settlements from Beit Lahiya, north of Gaza City, Tuesday night. Three Hamas men and two policemen were wounded in the exchange of gunfire. When the policemen left their cars to chase them, the Hamas men stole the police cars and fled. Local residents at the Jabalya refugee camp also opened fire at the security officials, forcing them to flee. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Turkey Transformed - Peter Preston
    A nation of 68 million goes to the polls. Not a single MP from the previous coalition survives. The party of the departing prime minister, which received 22 percent last time round, nets 1 percent. Both the new party of government and the new opposition are new to parliament. Last summer, while the rest of Europe slept, this same nation (within a matter of weeks) abandoned the death penalty, lifted draconian curbs on its press, and reached out inclusively toward the separatist minority it had repressed for decades - the biggest victory for human rights in two decades. It is time to talk about Turkey and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Turkish Leader will Maintain Ties with Israel
    "Turkey will continue its ties with Israel on the basis of the common interests of both sides," Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the Justice and Development Party, told Maariv in remarks published Thursday. (Jerusalem Post/AP)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Galloping Anti-Semitism - Editorial
    All of Egypt, and much of the Arab world, is talking about the Egyptian satellite channel Dream TV's 41-part historical drama featuring the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the infamous anti-Semitic forgery used by czarist Russia and Nazi Germany to justify pogroms and genocide. Mubarak's poisonous tactics are causing increasing harm to American interests in the Middle East. Thanks to satellite television and the Internet, the hate speech of Egypt's writers and broadcasters - most of them government employees - is spreading around the region. A recent Gallup poll showed that most residents of the Middle East do not blame Osama bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks, and many believe Jews were responsible - another libel Mr. Mubarak's media have helped to spread. Fundamental hatred of Jews, as opposed to opposition to Israeli policies, is playing a growing role in mainstream Arab politics.
        Hosni Mubarak's Egypt still is receiving $2 billion annually in U.S. subsidies, more than democratic Turkey, Indonesia, and Afghanistan combined. The Bush administration is saying that the promotion of free speech, religious tolerance, and human rights will be at the center of its efforts to transform the Middle East and combat radical Islam, but has yet to reconcile its policy with its budget. Perhaps Congress can help. (Washington Post)
  • Israel in the Cross Hairs - Douglas Davis
    For many grassroots Europeans, now expecting imminent assaults on their own soil and feverishly searching for a scapegoat, fear is metastasizing into that old European hatred. Jews - Israel incarnate - are once more being lined up in the cross hairs. The recent upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents is reminiscent of a dark past. As in Weimar Germany, it is the Jews who are once again perceived as the authors of European misfortunes. (Spectator - UK)
  • Resolution 1441 - One More Humiliation - Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi
    The Arabs have become weaker than they were in 1990. We wasted a lot in the last few decades: wars that future generations (once they have learned the concept of accountability) will not forgive us for; economies that have gone from bad to worse; nonexistent public liberties; culture that has lost all creativity and leadership; and educational systems that have been churning out half-literate graduates.
        Saddam will undoubtedly accept the new UN resolution; he will open his gates to the inspectors; he will submit to the most humiliating of American conditions in the hope that Washington might allow him to remain in power. But it won�t, no matter how many concessions Saddam makes. (Beirut Daily Star)
  • The Window of Legitimacy - Charles Krauthammer
    Resolution 1441 creates a window of legitimacy for the war option. That window allows an accelerated and open buildup of American military power around Iraq. No more need to tiptoe. We can pour everything in openly, indeed ostentatiously. It is, after all, the muscle behind the United Nations. (Washington Post)
  • Al Qaeda's New Tactics - Peter L. Bergen
    Al Qaeda has relaunched itself, calling for a wider war against not only the United States but the West in general, with a wider range of targets. The front can be anywhere. (New York Times)
  • The Reform Islam Needs - James Q. Wilson
    Reconciling religion and freedom has been the most difficult political task most nations have faced. The West has mastered this problem, while several Middle Eastern nations have not. Freedom of conscience has made the difference. When the West reconciled religion and freedom, it did so by making the individual the focus of society. When Islam kept religion at the expense of freedom, it did so by making the individual subordinate to society, and the price it has paid has been autocratic governments, religious intolerance, and little personal freedom. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Osirak Option - Nicholas D. Kristof
    In June 1981 there was broad agreement among sensible people that Israel's destruction of the Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad in a pre-emptive strike was outrageous. Britain denounced it as "a grave breach of international law." A New York Times editorial began: "Israel's sneak attack on a French-built nuclear reactor near Baghdad was an act of inexcusable and short-sighted aggression." In retrospect, the condemnations were completely wrong. The lesson of Osirak is that in extreme cases it is justifiable for a country to make a pre-emptive pinpoint strike to prevent an unpredictable enemy from gaining weapons of mass destruction that would be used against it. (New York Times)
  • A Moral Justification for Going to War - Bishop Pierre W. Whalon
    The just-war theory has several requirements. First, you need a just cause in order to attack. Second, the "legitimate authority" must decide the use of force. That authority is not the U.S. government but the United Nations, as President George W. Bush acknowledged in his recent speech there. Third, you need a reasonable chance of succeeding. Fourth, you must seek to avoid killing noncombatants, which means using the right amount of force - what theorists call proportionality. (International Herald Tribune)
  • The Tomb of Samuel and the Temple Mount - Michael Freund
    Just north of Jerusalem, the Tomb of Samuel the Prophet is perhaps the only major holy site in Israel where a Jewish synagogue and Muslim mosque operate side-by-side around the clock, freely and without hindrance. No restrictions are imposed on either group's right to worship there, no division of the site is in place, nor are any policemen posted at the entrance to check which religion one professes. If it can be done at the Tomb of Samuel, there is no reason why it cannot be done elsewhere. Freedom of access for Jews to their most sacred of sites is a matter of principle whose violation should no longer be countenanced.

    Weekend Features:

  • The Raw Truth in the Kibbutz Slaughter - Jeff Jacoby
    The official Voice of Palestine Radio hailed the ''operation'' in Kibbutz Metzer, ''a colony north of Tulkarm'' in the West Bank. But Metzer isn't a ''colony'' or a ''settlement,'' and it isn't in the West Bank. Founded nearly 50 years ago by left-wing immigrants from Argentina, Metzer is located inside Israel proper. It is as well known for its dovish politics as for its friendly ties with neighboring Arabs, many of whom streamed into the kibbutz on Monday to offer condolences. In recent months, Metzer residents lobbied against a proposed government security fence out of concern that it would cut through olive groves owned by a nearby Arab village. (Boston Globe)
  • Reports From a Tightrope - Tracy Wilkinson
    Israeli citizen Suleiman Shafhe, 37, is a Palestinian by virtue of his ethnic and historic identity, and Arabic is his native tongue. Shafhe has one of the most difficult jobs in journalism - reporter for Israeli television in Gaza. Because he works for Israel's Channel Two and his reports are in Hebrew for an Israeli audience, many Palestinians see him as a traitor. But because he is an Arab, many Israeli viewers see him as little more than a mouthpiece for the enemy. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Israel's New Ambassador to the U.S. - Malia Rulon
    Israel's new ambassador to the United States, Danny Ayalon, met Anne, his American-born wife of nearly 23 years, in the late 1970s while she was an exchange student in Tel Aviv. They were married in 1980 in a Jewish wedding in northwest Ohio, and the two then earned master's degrees in business administration at Bowling Green State University. The Ayalons represent the fusion of Israel and the United States. (Akron Beacon Journal/AP)
  • Saudi Prince a Multibillionaire - Andrew Higgins
    Prince Alwaleed bin Talal sat on the floor of a cavernous fibreglass tent pitched in the desert north of the Saudi capital Riyadh, focused on four generator-powered, flat-panel TV sets broadcasting almost non-stop news. Prince Alwaleed, the 47-year-old chairman and sole owner of Kingdom Holdings, a Riyadh-based investment company, is the largest single foreign investor in the U.S., with assets valued at US$13 billion. (Australia Financial Review/Wall Street Journal)
  • Organization Educates University about Israel - Andrea Brunty
    With the symbol of a dove and a peace branch flying between an American flag and an Israeli flag, Alabama Friends of Israel began their existence as an organization at the University in September. With 10 to 15 active members and 75 students on their e-mail list, AFI has developed greatly in its first few months. The members range from Jewish to Southern Baptist. (University of Alabama Crimson White)
  • Our Girls in Israel - Dawn Cribbs
    Michelle and Susan Crothers of McCook have arrived safely in Israel and have settled into an apartment situated in an Ethiopian/Jewish area of Jerusalem. The mother-daughter team are working as volunteers at Joseph's Storehouse, an agency which receives and distributes international aid to those in need. (McCook [NE] Gazette)
  • Talking Points:

    Iraq May be Preparing Missile Launch - Nina Gilbert (Jerusalem Post)

    IDF Intelligence Chief Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze'evi told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday:

    • The construction of a large engine workshop that has been detected in Iraq could signal preparations for the launching of ground-to-ground missiles, but Iraqi missile capabilities are "limited."
    • An Iraqi attack on Israel via aircraft is also a limited possibility, but the Israel Air Force is well prepared to meet this threat.
    • Arafat is continuing to finance the Fatah and Tanzim groups and is trying to block any reform or cease-fire efforts. Arafat sent low-ranking PA officials to Cairo with the Hamas to discuss a cease-fire instead of a senior figure who could have reached an agreement.
    • While the U.S. is determined to impose change in Iraq, either by replacing the regime or dismantling its non-conventional weapons capabilities, Iraq is itself determined not to give up these capabilities because it aims to become a regional power. Iraq is making preparations to thwart a U.S. ground offensive.

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