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 22, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Palestinians Target Women, Seniors - Don Radlauer (Institute for Counter-Terrorism - Herzliya)

    An updated study by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya provides an in-depth look at the fatalities on both sides of the current Palestinian/Israeli conflict, with some surprising conclusions.
    Over 54 percent of the Palestinians killed were actively involved in fighting, while on the Israeli side, 80 percent of those killed have been noncombatants.
    Palestinians are directly responsible for the deaths of at least 203 of their own number - one out of every eight Palestinians killed.
    Women and girls account for almost 40 percent of the Israeli noncombatants killed by Palestinians, while Palestinian fatalities are over 95 percent male. 190 Israeli females were killed, compared to 70 Palestinian females.
    Comparing "mature" noncombatant victims, Palestinians have killed at least 148 Israelis aged 45 and over, while Israelis have killed 55 Palestinians of that age.

How Extensive is Iraqi Infiltration in the U.S.? - Michelle Malkin (Houston Chronicle)

    How many of Saddam Hussein's sleeper terrorists are waiting dormant in the U.S. to retaliate against us when the war on Iraq begins? More than 115,000 people from Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries are here illegally.
    Some 6,000 Middle Eastern men who have defied deportation orders remain on the loose. And an international crime ring, led by Iraqi native George Tajirian, may have smuggled more than 1,000 Middle Eastern aliens across the southwest frontier.

Former Iraqi Army Chief Charged Over Chemical Attacks on Kurds (Space Daily/AFP)

    Danish authorities have charged a former head of the Iraqi armed forces, Nizar al-Khazraji, with war crimes for chemical weapon attacks on Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s, police said Tuesday.
    The 64-year-old former general who headed the armed forces when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, fled to Jordan in 1995 and four years later applied for political asylum in Denmark, where he has since lived.
    Washington considers Khazraji to be a potential future Iraqi leader, in the event of Saddam being toppled from power, according to media reports.

Iraq's Kurds: Ready and Willing, But Are They Able? - Robin Wright (Los Angeles Times)

    Many of the roughly 50,000 Kurdish fighters, with another 50,000 part-time volunteers, yearn to play the same role in Iraq that the Northern Alliance played alongside U.S. troops in ending the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan.
    Yet the Kurds have limited firepower - Russian rifles and machine guns bought years ago from Iran and a few artillery pieces smuggled through Turkey.

The Aliya Brigade - Shai Lahav (Maariv)

    Immigrants who arrive in Israel after age 28 are not called up to serve in the IDF. This policy has prevented hundreds of men in their 30s and 40s from the former Soviet Union, with military experience fighting Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya, from applying their expertise in the service of their new country.
    The Aliya Brigade, first organized in February 2002 through articles in a Russian newspaper, today numbers 800 volunteers who serve in their local Civil Guard units and as weekend reinforcements guarding Jewish towns in the territories.

Useful Reference:

Plague of Homicide Blasts Kills Nearly 300 (Scotsman - UK)

    A list of the Palestinian homicide bombings that have murdered nearly 300 Israelis since September 2000.

A Guide to Bereavement, Stress, and Modern Day Terror

    An on-line book for those who have experienced the nightmare of tragedy, by Eli Birnbaum of the Jewish Agency.
    Chapters include: What to Expect After a Terrorist Attack; Trauma and Our Children; Long-Term Stress; At the Scene of an Attack; The Shiva Visit; Grieving; Signs and Symptoms of a Stress Reaction.

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Israeli Troops Enter Bethlehem
    Israeli forces entered Bethlehem just south of Jerusalem early Friday, arresting 12 Palestinians including 3 potential homicide bombers, and imposing a curfew in retaliation against the West Bank home town of a Palestinian suicide bomber who blew up a bus in Jerusalem, killing 11 and wounding dozens. Israeli military spokesman Doron Spielman said the goal of the mission was "to change the reality in Bethlehem." He said since the August pullout by Israeli forces, Palestinians have set up a "terror infrastructure" and prepared suicide bomb attacks. Israeli forces now control all Palestinian cities on the West Bank except Jericho. (MSNBC/Yediot Ahronot)
  • Children Killed in Israel Homicide Bombing
    Bus number 20 calls at four schools on its route. This was the bus you would target if you wanted to kill children. There were children's voices coming from the wreckage of the bus Thursday. And there were children among the dead. An eight-year-old boy, Ilan Friedman, was on the bus with his grandmother, 67. Both were killed. Two children aged 13 died. So did Michael Sharansky, 16, and his mother. Half of the 49 people wounded were younger than 18, hospital officials said. (Independent - UK)
  • U.S. Captures Senior Al Qaeda Leader
    A senior leader of Al Qaeda, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, its chief of operations in the Persian Gulf, has been captured, American officials said Thursday. A pivotal planner of the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa and the October 2000 attack on the American destroyer Cole, Nashiri was captured earlier this month at an airport in a foreign country, and had been in the process of planning several terrorist attacks when caught. (New York Times)
  • American Missionary Worker Gunned Down in Lebanon
    A suspected Islamist gunman shot dead Bonnie Witherall, 31, a nurse assistant at a charity clinic in Sidon, Lebanon on Thursday. Aid workers said the clinic, which serves Lebanese and Palestinian women from the nearby Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, had received warnings from anti-U.S. Lebanese Muslim radical groups demanding it close down. (Reuters)   See also (New York Times)
  • Standoff In Nablus - Matt Rees
    Colonel Noam Tibon's Nahal Brigade has the toughest assignment in the West Bank, patrolling the streets of Nablus where 80% of the Palestinian suicide bombings have been planned. Tibon must track Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank without starving or killing innocents or getting his own men killed, and fight terror without fomenting it. (Time)
  • Lessons from Iran on Facing Chemical War - Scott Peterson
    Officials in Iran estimate that during the eight-year war with Iraq, 100,000 people were exposed to nerve agents like Sarin and Soman, and blistering agents like mustard gas - the largest group of chemical-weapons victims in the world. 10,000 Iranians died almost immediately. Scientists and doctors have visited Iran to study the effects of these weapons on the survivors and learn better ways to treat victims. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • As Conflict Rises, So Do Gifts to Israel
    Donations to projects and causes in Israel have routinely topped half a billion dollars a year, philanthropic leaders say, and events in Israel have galvanized many American Jews to increase their levels of giving.
        The United Jewish Communities, a leading American philanthropic group, has reversed a longstanding policy to support only projects within Israel's internationally recognized boundaries, and announced that it would finance some services for Jews living in the settlements. Officials at UJC defended the adoption of broader financing guidelines as a humanitarian gesture in a difficult time. "In response to the emergency, we are going to provide humanitarian assistance for Jews wherever they live and are in trouble, with no geographical distinction," said Stephen Hoffman, president and chief executive of the organization. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • The Victims of Thursday's Homicide Bombing in Jerusalem
    Photos and stories of the 11 victims - 8 were women and girls, 2 were boys. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Girls' School Relives Bombing Nightmare (Ha'aretz)
  • Bethlehem Withdrawal Agreement "Null and Void" - Herb Keinon
    August's "Bethlehem First" understanding is now "null and void," a senior Defense Ministry official said Thursday. The Jerusalem bomber came from the Bethlehem area. Bethlehem will be treated no differently from other West Bank cities that have turned into hotbeds of terrorism and the army's efforts there will not be limited in time or scope. "Ever since we left Bethlehem, the city has turned into a refuge for terrorists," the official said. "Three days ago we stopped a suicide bomber coming from Bethlehem. Yesterday, we stopped another one; today we didn't have the same success."
        A senior official in the Prime Minister's Office said the current wave of terrorism is part of an attempt by Iran, Syria, and Hizballah to escalate the situation within the territories to disrupt the U.S.'s campaign against Iraq.
        Referring to reports that the U.S. has put together a new, tougher draft of its road map to a diplomatic solution, the official said, "This thrusts home the fact that we can't have a timetable for a Palestinian state [which the road map calls for], as long as it is a terrorist entity." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Requests $8-10 Billion Aid and Guarantees from U.S. - Zeev Klein
    Israel has submitted an official request for $8-10 billion in economic aid from the U.S. in the form of a special grant and U.S. guarantees for Israel government loans on overseas markets. Ministry of Finance Director General Ohad Marani, who is currently in the U.S., told IDF Radio, "The U.S. administration is willing in principle help Israel economically. We are considering several possibilities." (Globes)
  • White House Favors Continued Military Aid for Israel - Janine Zacharia
    The Bush administration has formally informed Israel it will request Congress to approve $2.16 billion in foreign military assistance for it as part of its fiscal year 2004 budget, a slight increase over the $2.1b. requested in 2003. The request follows a plan sketched out in the 1990s to boost military aid and phase out all economic assistance by 2008. In 2003, the U.S. asked Congress to approve $600 million in economic aid. The 2004 request should drop to $480m. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Watching the Student Unrest in Iran - Zvi Bar'el
    A young and embittered generation, far removed in time from the Islamic Revolution, is losing patience with Iran's pace of change. (Ha'aretz)
  • Europe Opposes Israel's Inclusion in Joint Fighter Plane Project
    European opposition is one of the obstacles to Israel's participation in the project to develop the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a future U.S. fighter plane that could also be used by NATO and Israel. Europe fears that the technological capabilities of Israeli companies are greater than those of its own. European opposition may also stem from political motives, based on attitudes toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Globes)
  • U.S. Strategy: Arms for Military Bases - Daniel J. Wakin
    As the U.S. shops for allies willing to assist in its war on terrorism, the administration is employing a time-honored strategy of using weapons sales as an inducement, analysts say. Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Saudi Arabia have all been given approval for major arms purchases. In some cases the purchase requests had been stalled for years. (Straits Times - Singapore)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The End of "Bethlehem First" - Ze'ev Schiff
    The "Bethlehem First" was initiated as a supposed incentive to the Palestinian Authority - but mostly to the local strongmen - to take over security in return for an IDF withdrawal. In Hebron, a number of areas were evacuated by the IDF, but the Palestinian Preventive Security demanded that Israel pull out from other areas as well. When the Palestinians did not get what they wanted, they absolved themselves of responsibility for security and allowed the creation of a power vacuum into which the Islamic Jihad and Hamas cells poured.
        The Jerusalem bus bombing suggests that the Cairo summit between Hamas and Fatah 10 days ago failed to achieve a temporary cease fire, as the Egyptian and European sponsors suggested, as Hamas attacks seem to intensify. Hamas and Islamic Jihad do experience some pressure by segments of the Palestinian population, however in principle it appears that the accelerating confrontation fits the basic worldview of these organizations - and also that of Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat. (Ha'aretz)
  • World War IV - R. James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA
    Tom Moore, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was a young officer at the end of World War II and participated in the interrogations of Prince Konoe and several of the Japanese leaders who were eventually hanged. The team he was with asked all of them, "Why did you attack us at Pearl Harbor?" They said, "We looked at what you were doing in the '20s and '30s. You were disarming. Your army had to drill with wooden rifles. We had no idea that this rich, spoiled country would do what you did after December 7, 1941. You stunned us."
        For much of the last quarter of the century, we have been essentially hanging a "Kick Me" sign on our back in the Middle East, giving evidence of being what bin Laden has actually called a paper tiger. In 1979, they took our hostages and we tied yellow ribbons around trees and launched an ineffective effort, crashing helicopters in the desert to rescue them. In 1983, they blew up our embassy and our marine barracks in Beirut. What did we do? We left.
        In 1991, after having encouraged the Kurds and the Shiia to rebel against Saddam, we stood back, left the bridges intact, left their units intact, let them fly helicopters around carrying troops and missiles, and we watched the Kurds and Shiia, who were winning in 15 of Iraq's 18 provinces, be massacred. (
  • Terror Against Civilians Hurts the Palestinian Cause - Rabbi Michael Lerner
    Palestinian acts of terror against Israeli civilians are immoral, outrageous, and totally destructive to the Palestinian cause. I am sick with pain, anger, rage at those Palestinians who do it and at the failure of others to stand up publicly and condemn these deeds. It is immoral to take someone else's life to achieve your political ends. Period. The mother at Kibbutz Metzar who threw her body over her two children is the martyr - not the "al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade" who are simply disgusting criminals. (Arab News - Saudi Arabia)
  • Why Aren't "Independent" Arab Media Undermining Extremism? - Jon B. Alterman
    Remember the dream of free media in the Arab world? It was supposed to break down authoritarianism, embolden people to challenge extremists, open up societies. Instead of a voice for change and political courage, the Arab TV stations and newspapers too often play to the galleries, legitimizing harebrained ideas and coarsening public debate. Free information helped undermine communism and it continually challenges the regimes in China and Iran. But rather than contribute to a public debate on the ills of the Arab world, Arab media have nurtured Arab grievances against other governments. (Wall Street Journal)
  • They're Rich, They're Spoiled, They're Supporting Terrorists - Robert Scheer
    It is wealthy Saudi businessmen, with the complicity of the Saudi government, who have financed the religious schools and mujahedeen training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan from which the latest wave of terrorism has erupted. Yes, the very same Saudi Arabia that we protected from Iraq in the Gulf War. (The Nation)
  • The Dangers of Saddam's Endgame - David Ignatius
    Saddam is finished, but the Iraqi military still needs to be convinced that the U.S. and its allies are serious - that they are coming, with weapons that are devastating beyond anything seen in the 1991 Gulf War. "They'll need to smell the exhaust of an Abrams tank before they switch sides," one analyst cautions. (International Herald Tribune)

    Weekend Features:

  • Work Here, Live There - Judy Maltz
    They usually meet twice a week: once on El Al flight 001 from Tel Aviv to New York on Sunday night, and again on the same return flight to Israel on Thursday. They are also noticeable on flights to London and Paris. Some of them have been doing this routine for 5-10 years, frequent flyers who live here and work there. They spend their weekends in Israel with their families, but they spend their mid-week working hours in another country. (Globes)
  • The Chicken Lady of Jerusalem
    Clara Hammer is a little old lady who arranges to feed 184 destitute families in Jerusalem. Her office in her tiny living/dining room consists of a small table, some cardboard boxes and envelopes, a ledger book, and a telephone. She has no computer, no stationery, no secretaries, and no e-mail, and the largest butcher bill in Jerusalem, with more than 700 people depending on her to raise money for food - demonstrating the power of what one person can do to make the world better. (Miami Jewish Star Times)
  • New York Officials on Solidarity Visit to Israel
    Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, New York City Comptroller William Thompson, Assemb. Adam Clayton Powell IV (D-Manhattan), and other city officials arrived on Sunday to express their solidarity with Israel, saying the Jewish state and the United States share the need to fight terrorism. "We have to show the terrorists peace will win over terrorism," Powell said. "Since 9/11, we also live in ever-present fear of attack, so we must show solidarity and show Israel they are not alone." (Newsday)
  • Student Follows Dream of Studying in Israel - Lisa Chinn
    Sharon Lack fell in love with Israel when a visit brought to life the Bible stories she learned as a child. Lack, 22, is attending Israel's Ben-Gurion University in the Negev this semester. She prefers to look past the violence, and focus instead on her goal of becoming a rabbi. "I have always felt really close to my [Jewish] religion and love learning about it as well as teaching it to others," she said. Lack, whose Virginia apartment was less than a mile from one of the recent sniper attacks in Virginia and Maryland, said, "I really did feel safer [in Israel] than in Fredericksburg for that period of time." (Fredricksburg [VA] Free Lance-Star)
  • Talking Points:

    Barak: We Will Never Yield to Terror - Emma Schwartz (Daily Californian - Berkeley)

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak told an interviewer at Berkeley this week:

    • We are in a war against terror and terror should not be rewarded. They should put an end to this violence as a precondition to restarting peace talks.
    • In order to have a peace you need to have a partner. You cannot do peace alone. You can impose war on the other side, but you cannot impose peace.
    • For 19 years [1948-1967], the Palestinians had 100 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of Gaza under their control, including half of Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall. They never built a Palestinian state. Instead they attacked again. Once again we survived, and we will never be apologetic about it.
    • The moment a Palestinian leadership will emerge that will be ready to live in peace, you will see immediately that the majority of the Israeli people support it, and there will be peace. The reason there is no peace now is not Israel, it is Palestinian leaders.
    • Just two years ago in Camp David we were ready to let an independent Palestinian state be established and they rejected it. So now it's a different story, it's about a Palestinian attempt to dictate to Israel (and use) suicide bombing as a legitimate diplomatic tool. We would never, ever yield to it, period.
        See also Former Israeli Prime Minister Spurs Protest at Berkeley - Michelle Locke
    About 200 people gathered at the University of California, Berkeley to protest Barak's speech Tuesday night to an audience of about 1,500. In his speech, Barak said the problem was that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat "does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state." (San Francisco Chronicle/AP)

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