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 19, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Lebanon Blames Palestinians for 3 U.S. Franchise Bombings (Reuters)

    Lebanese security agencies believe a group of five Palestinian militants is behind a string of bomb blasts that ripped through three U.S.-linked fast food restaurants in a Beirut suburb and northern Lebanon last week.
    The militants are also suspected of carrying out earlier attacks on U.S. franchises.

Palestinians Developing Long-Range Artillery - Eli Bohadna and Itai Asher (Maariv)

    The Palestinians have manufactured a number of large artillery pieces in Gaza, although they are not yet ready for use.
    Two weeks ago the Palestinians fired one of the cannon at Kfar Darom, but the shell traveled only 300 meters and struck Palestinian buildings.
    Security sources say the Palestinians are working intensively to acquire new weapons and in time will succeed in improving the range and utility of the cannon. However, the cannon are so large that they are difficult to move and thus easier for the IDF to locate and destroy.

Agencies Monitor Iraqis in the U.S. for Terror Threat - David Johnston and Don Van Natta, Jr. (New York Times)

    Iraqis in the U.S. are being monitored by the Bush administration in an effort to identify potential domestic terrorist threats posed by sympathizers of the Baghdad regime, senior government officials said.
    The previously undisclosed intelligence program involves tracking thousands of Iraqi citizens and Iraqi-Americans with dual citizenship who are attending American universities or working at private corporations.

Useful Reference:

Weapons Captured at Palestinian Preventative Security Headquarters in Gaza (Israel Defense Forces)

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Hijacker Sought to Crash Plane into Tel Aviv Building
    The Arab Israeli man charged with trying to hijack an Israeli airliner on Sunday told Turkish police he had been inspired by the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. and intended to crash the plane into tall buildings in Tel Aviv. (New York Times)
  • Israeli Embassy Bomb Plot Thwarted in Australia
    An Australian man has been arrested for an alleged plot to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Canberra and the Israeli consulate in Sydney, police said Tuesday. The English-born man who had converted to Islam 10 years ago is a follower of a militant Islamic leader in Indonesia. Currently two Australians suspected of being al Qaeda members are being held at a U.S. prison at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. (MSNBC)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Jewish Mother of 7 Murdered While Driving Home
    Galia Esther, a 49-year-old mother of seven from Kochav Hashahar, was murdered Monday in a shooting attack near Rimonim, northeast of Jerusalem, as she was driving home. (Ha'aretz)
  • U.S. Demands Closure of Islamic Jihad Offices in Damascus
    U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer told Prime Minister Sharon and Foreign Minister Netanyahu that the U.S. had sent a strongly-worded message to Syria following Friday's ambush in Hebron in which 12 IDF soldiers were killed, demanding that Syria close the offices of Islamic Jihad in Damascus. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Syria: Attacks on Israel Not Planned in Damascus (UPI)
  • Israeli Arabs Call to Replace Extremist Knesset Members
    Rifat Assadi, a folklore poet from the Galilee village of Deir al-Assad, told a rally of young academics Monday that some of Israel's current Arab MKs were destroying the Arab minority's relations with the Jewish state through incitement and identification with Syria, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Osama bin Laden, and Hizballah. Many Arabs are now blaming their representatives in the Knesset for increased tension with the state and for alienating their Jewish neighbors. They believe the actions and statements of the Arab MKs over the past few years have seriously hampered Arab endeavors to achieve full equality with Jews. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Lebanon Urged to Deploy Army in South
    The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) has issued a report recommending that the UN reduce UNIFIL's troop numbers in southern Lebanon to a level that will "induce" the Lebanese government to dispatch the army to the southern border district. The report also calls challenges to the UN-delineated Blue Line border "unacceptable," and urges Hizballah to respect the Blue Line and declare its opposition to attacks against civilians. (Beirut Daily Star)
        Read the report: Old Games, New Rules: Conflict on the Israel-Lebanon Border (International Crisis Group)
  • Magen David Adom to Cooperate with American Red Cross
    Magen David Adom has signed an agreement with the American Red Cross for mutual cooperation in the event of a major disaster or an attack on civilians with weapons of mass destruction. The agreement also includes the exchange of information and joint training programs. The agreement is seen as particularly significant in view of the cool relations between Magen David Adom and the International Committee of the Red Cross. (Jerusalem Post/Maariv)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Learning to Live with Israel - Barbara Amiel
    Without genuine Arab acceptance of a Jewish state, the only "withdrawals" that can possibly cure the tensions between Arab and Jew is the total withdrawal of Israel from the Middle East. Holding negotiations now is like working out a marriage contract for a bride who isn't interested in going to the altar. The details are fine but meaningless so long as there is no one to negotiate them with. (This is London - Evening Standard - UK)
  • An Attack on Saddam Won't Send Oil Sky-High - Gary S. Becker
    With a quick and decisive defeat of Saddam, the price of crude oil is likely to fall sharply. Today, oil accounts for only 3.5% of U.S. GDP thanks to more efficient cars, houses, and equipment, and a shift of production in the American economy toward less energy-intensive methods. The drop in the importance of oil to Europe and Japan has been sharper still. Moreover, much of America's oil imports come from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, Norway, Britain, Russia, and a growing share from African producers. While prices more than doubled after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, they fell sharply shortly after Desert Storm began in January 1991. (Business Week)
  • Saddam Can be Beaten in Four Days - Ralph Peters
    The U.S. war to oust Saddam Hussein began last week with a series of newspaper reports outlining our military strategy. The Department of Defense wanted summaries of its war plan published as the beginning of a psychological operation to convince the Iraqis that we're serious, we're coming, and we mean to win. Leaking parts of the plan was intended, above all, to reach Hussein's military commanders, to convince them not to give orders to employ weapons of mass destruction, to suggest they jump sides at the earliest opportunity, and to persuade them to fear us more than they fear Hussein. (Washington Post)
  • Talking Points:

    U.S. Mosques Under Extremist Wahhabi Influence - Stephen Schwartz (National Review)

    • Wahhabism is an extremist, puritanical, and violent movement that emerged in the 18th century with the pretension of "reforming" Islam.
    • Wahhabism and neo-Wahhabism (the latter being the doctrines of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistani Islamists) are the main source of Islamic extremist violence in the world today. Hamas in Israel represents pure Wahhabism.
    • Wahhabism has always viewed Shia Muslims genocidally, as non-Muslims worthy of annihilation. Wahhabism has always attacked the traditional, spiritual Islam or Sufism that dominates Islam in the Balkans, Turkey, Central Asia, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
    • Wahhabism is official in Saudi Arabia and is completely subsidized by the Saudi regime, using oil income.
    • The U.S. is the only country outside Saudi Arabia where the Islamic establishment is under Wahhabi control. Eighty percent of American mosques are Wahhabi-influenced. The entire gamut of "official" Islamic organizations in the U.S., particularly the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) are Wahhabi fronts. Wahhabis (CAIR, etc.) are granted status by U.S. media as the main Islamic spokespeople.
    • Most immigrant Muslims in the U.S. sought to get away from extremism and are horrified to see that their faith is in extremist hands. Their children are often indoctrinated and radicalized by Muslim schools, Islamic Sunday schools, and radical campus groups.
    • Saudi support for Wahhabi extremist activity, including mosques and schools, in the U.S., must end. Wahhabi hatemongering institutions like the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America (IIASA), in Fairfax, Va. and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in Alexandria, Va., as well as the U.S. office of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), should be shut down completely.

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