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 26, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Hizballah: The Culture of Suicide Bombings Should be Spread Worldwide (IDF)

    The official Hizballah magazine El-Intikad (November 15, 2002) quoted Hizballah leader Hassan Nassrallah as saying: "We view America as an enemy of the [Islamic] nation yet we have not engaged it directly in a military act (as of yet)."
    "The nation has resumed the use of suicide attacks, without the act of suicide the struggle is meaningless....We must act in order to spread the concept of death for the realization of Allah's way as well as the act of suicide among the [Islamic] nation in order to protect our land."
    The European Union declared the military wing of Hizballah as a "terror organization." Nasrallah, who stands at the head of both the military and political wings of the movement, is responsible for encouraging Palestinian terror against Israel as well as terror attacks against Western targets around the world.

Is Al Qaeda Recruiting in U.S. Prisons? - Laura Sullivan (Baltimore Sun)

    Federal law enforcement officials suspect that al Qaeda and other extremists have been reaching out to U.S. prisoners through reading material and personal contacts to try to form a base from which to gather information, funding, and recruits.
    At least 10 percent of prisoners, and sometimes up to 20 percent, say they are followers of Islam, according to state and federal prison statistics.

YMCA T-Shirt Includes Palestine, Not Israel - Bram Eisenthal (JTA)

    Members of the Jewish community in Canada are incensed about a T-shirt handed out at YMCAs throughout the country to mark World Peace Week, Nov. 17-23.
    The shirt lists YMCAs in countries around the world - except for Israel - while listing Palestine - a country that does not exist.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Saudis Face U.S. Demand On Terrorism - Douglas Farah
    A National Security Council task force is recommending an action plan to force Saudi Arabia to crack down on terrorist financiers within 90 days or face unilateral U.S. action to bring the suspects to justice, senior U.S. officials said Monday. U.S. intelligence agencies and financial investigators have put together a classified, working list of nine wealthy individuals believed to be the core group of financiers for al Qaeda and other radical Islamic terror groups, U.S. officials said. Seven are Saudis, one is a Pakistani merchant, and one is an Egyptian businessman. (Washington Post)
  • U.S. Forces Ordered to Destroy Supply Lines of Terror - Charles Laurence, David Wastell, and Jack Fairweather
    The Pentagon confirmed that President Bush has signed a classified executive order giving American special forces commandos unprecedented authority to launch covert operations to combat and, if necessary, destroy arms suppliers who aid terrorism and any attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction. (Sunday Telegraph - UK)
  • U.S. to Convene Meeting on Mideast Peace
    The U.S. will convene a ministerial-level meeting of the Middle East "quartet" - the U.S., Russia, UN, and EU - on December 20 in Washington to work on their emerging "roadmap" for Middle East peace. (VOA)
        See also White House Has Modest Goals for Conference
    Even while announcing the talks, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said it is impossible to make headway toward a Palestinian state amid violence and terror attacks on Israel. (ABC News/AP)
  • DeLay Leads Thousands of Jews, Christians in Pro-Israel Service
    House Majority Leader Tom DeLay led a crowd of five thousand Christians and Jews in calling for the eternal preservation of Israel at a joint religious service at a San Antonio church on Sunday. DeLay said he'll use "every tool" possible to ensure the House continues to "support Israel as a just and democratic nation" and to strengthen the alliance between the U.S. and Israel. (WTEN News - Albany/AP)
  • Israel Drafting Convention Against Suicide Attacks - Gwen Ackerman
    Israeli Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker explained, "Until now the only attention has been on Israel being accused of war crimes for fighting suicide terrorism." The Ministry is now drafting an international convention to set down some rules of warfare against suicide attackers. Possible clauses in the convention could ban financial support, such as Iraq has been providing in the West Bank and Gaza, for families of suicide bombers and outlaw incitement to carry out suicide attacks, Baker said.
        Colonel Daniel Reisner, head of the Israeli military's international law department, said there was no international legal rulebook on how to deal with suicide attackers. While "the rules of warfare differentiate between combatants and civilians...the law breaks down when civilians take up weapons," Reisner said. [Both spoke Monday at a briefing sponsored by the Institute for Contemporary Affairs of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.] (ABC News/Reuters)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • U.S. Weighs Israeli Aid Request
    On Monday Israel requested $10 billion in loans and $4 billion in special military aid from the U.S. to defray the costs of fighting terrorism and preparing for a U.S. war in Iraq. Israeli sources said President George Bush is expected to quickly approve the request with minor changes, and that the Republican congressional majority would approve the aid within 3-6 months. Sources at the prime minister's office say news of the aid will improve the country's international financial standing and substantially influence the strategic situation in the Middle East. Last week, Turkey and Jordan received generous American military aid of $2 billion to prepare for the possible war with Iraq. (Ha'aretz)
  • Last Exiled Palestinian Leaves Cyprus for Mauritania
    Abdullah Daoud, 41, the last of a dozen Palestinians exiled to Cyprus by Israel in May to end a month-long siege of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, was escorted Monday to Mauritania, the only Arabic-speaking country willing to take him in. Daoud was the Palestinian Authority's intelligence chief in Bethlehem and is accused of organizing attacks on Israelis, making explosives, smuggling weapons, and providing shelter to members of terrorist groups. (Ha'aretz/AP)
  • Palestinian Children in Jenin Joined in War
    The Hizballah weekly contains accounts of children who participated in active warfare in Jenin alongside armed terrorists. The children, who were taught from a very young age to throw stones at IDF soldiers, now throw hand grenades and explosive charges. According to the account, one group of children assisted in the manufacturing of bombs and a second group placed them strategically around the area as specified by a senior terrorist operative. A third group was instructed to set up ambushes on street corners, carrying bags filled to the brim with explosives. Witnesses said one young Palestinian aged 16 "threw at least 50 grenades towards IDF soldiers. The children were right alongside him." Hundreds of children paraded through the streets, chanting "our fight to victory or to death, for the will of Allah." (Israel Defense Forces)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Why It's Now or Never with Iraq - Fareed Zakaria
    The inspectors in Iraq will find nothing. Iraq has become increasingly expert at dispersing and hiding these facilities, which are often small enough to fit into a bathroom or a van. The administration must force a crisis. Its first opportunity will come right after Dec. 8, when it will create a series of tests designed to determine whether or not the Iraqi regime really means to cooperate fully and disarm itself. (Newsweek)
  • Eradicate, Don't Interpret, Terror - Sherri Mandell
    A suicide bomber is not an aberration, but the apotheosis of all that is authored by the Palestinian Authority. He is the hero of the Palestinian story. The U.S. talks about its road map, about the need for each of the two sides to take steps to calm the situation as if the intifada were a cycle of violence and not violence perpetuated by a Palestinian leadership inciting its population with the murderous intent to destroy Israel. What is needed is a Palestinian narrative coming from its own leadership that can encourage its people to adopt a strategy of hope and compromise. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Talking Points:

    Israeli Intelligence Opinion Now Favors Arafat's Exile - Anton La Guardia (Washington Times)

    • Israeli intelligence chiefs are studying ways of evicting Yasser Arafat from his headquarters in Ramallah without harming or killing him and sending him into exile, reversing their long-held opposition to such a move.
    • Israel's security agencies Mossad, Shin Bet, and military intelligence had long argued that Arafat would cause less trouble to Israel by being confined to the West Bank than by traveling around foreign capitals. But leading voices in the security establishment, including former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy, Sharon's national security adviser, are known to have changed their minds in recent months.
    • They now believe Arafat is so weak and isolated that sending him into exile would give pragmatists a chance to take over the Palestinian leadership. "Arafat today is not the same Arafat of last summer," one security source said. "He has lost a lot of prestige. If he goes into exile now, he will not be able to control things the way he used to. The moderates will then be able to assert themselves."
    • "Sharon has given Bush an iron-clad guarantee that no harm would come to Arafat," a senior security source said. "That is not the same as a guarantee that he will not be sent into exile."

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