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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December 3, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Biological Terrorism: The Spores of War (Economist - UK)

    When UN weapons inspectors were thrown out of Iraq in 1998, they had already destroyed thousands of liters of anthrax and other germ agents; but a whopping 17 tons of imported medium for growing germs were still unaccounted for.
    Iraq is since thought to have developed mobile germ laboratories, with others concealed under hospitals and private homes.
    It is also known to have experimented with viruses and may have stocks of the smallpox virus.

CIA Hunts Iraq Tie to Soviet Smallpox - Judith Miller (New York Times)

    The CIA is investigating an informant's accusation that Iraq obtained a particularly virulent strain of smallpox from a Russian scientist who worked in a smallpox lab in Moscow during Soviet times, senior American officials and foreign scientists say.

How Should a Woman Homicide Bomber Dress? (Palestinian Media Watch/IMRA)

    The "Religious Law Corner" of the Hamas website contains the following Q&A:
"Must the female suicide bomber dress in accordance with Muslim religious law?"
    Answer: "Our sisters, the Jihad warriors, can deceive the Jews by wearing clothes of the type worn by the so-called religious Jewish women, which is acceptable under Muslim religious law. Onward the Shahid [Death for Allah] convoy!"

Useful Reference:

Visit Jerusalem by Internet
    See the Jerusalem Archaeological Park next to the Temple Mount - a unique visual Internet Experience offered by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
    The first 112 films in the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive are now available online. 100 films will be added annually until over 500 full films will be viewable over the Internet.

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Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Kenya Investigation Reveals Abortive Plot to Shoot Down Plane Carrying Shimon Peres
    The missiles fired at an Israeli airliner in Mombasa last week have been linked to an attempt last year to bring down an aircraft carrying then Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres, according to an Israeli intelligence official. Israeli intelligence agents told Yediot Ahronot that the serial numbers on the discarded missile launchers were linked to two similar missile launchers found near a runway at Prague airport in November last year. Czech officials were convinced the missiles were part of an abortive plot to shoot down an El Al airliner carrying Mr. Peres. (Telegraph - UK)
  • British Government Documents Iraqi Human Rights Abuses
    The British government accused Iraq on Monday of systematic human rights abuses in a detailed government report calling Iraq "a terrifying place to live." People are in constant fear of being denounced as opponents of the regime. Arbitrary arrests and killings are commonplace. Between three and four million Iraqis, about 15% of the population, have fled. Torture is systematic; the most senior figures in the regime are personally involved. (BBC)
        See the Full British Report on Iraq.
  • Iraq's Neighbors Seem to Be Ready to Support a War
    Washington has made considerable headway in the diplomacy of lining up support for a potential military campaign to dethrone Saddam Hussein. Most of Iraq's neighbors seem prepared to support an American military campaign, but say it must be perceived as enforcing the UN demand that Iraq disarm, not as a unilateral American attempt to redraw the geopolitical map in the Middle East. (New York Times)
  • Saudi Arabia's Choice - Jim Hoagland
    Saudi Arabia's rapacious royals pay protection money to make problems disappear. Or at least travel to someone else's doorstep. Osama bin Laden is only the most horrible example of this time-honored Saudi practice going awry. Saudi courtiers are outraged, dismayed, and shocked that anyone could think that the roots of America's worst terrorist outrage lie in Saudi practices and lucre. (They do.) The Saudis became adept at keeping Palestinian gunmen, Syrian terror operatives, Iraqi hit squads, and other bad actors off their backs in an elaborate extortion racket called "Arab solidarity." They never met a problem they didn't try to buy off. To survive in the 21st century, the Saudis must actively help put the extortionists and terrorists out of business rather than fund and shield them. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Palestinian Mortars Hit Palestinian Vehicle
    Two mortar bombs fired from Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip landed in an area south of the Erez industrial zone, hitting a Palestinian transport vehicle, killing 1 Palestinian and injuring 9 others. This was one of many such incidents where Palestinian terrorist fire has endangered the lives of local residents. (IDF)
  • Extradite Terrorist Murders from Spain
    Two women whose loved ones were murdered by Palestinian terrorists on February 25, 2002, in a shooting attack south of Bethlehem have asked the High Court to request the extradition of the murderers to Israel, according to Israel Radio. The terrorists fled to Spain, a country that has an extradition agreement with Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • NASA: Israel's First Astronaut Blasts Off on January 16, 2003
    The U.S. space agency NASA has announced that Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, will be launched into space in the space shuttle “Columbia” on January 16, 2003. Ramon's space mission has been delayed for half a year. (Globes)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Tourists as Targets - Editorial
    The attacks in Mombasa mark a clear escalation in the war that Islamic extremists are waging on the West. Al Qaeda's aim is to thwart the war on terrorism by involving the Israelis, thus alienating Muslim governments from any fight joined by Ariel Sharon. Israel is likely to respond in a quieter and more deadly way than al Qaeda suspected. Governments the world over will understand that the targeting of tourists will be the ruin of their economies. (London Times)
  • "Sodom" Hussein's Iraq - Thomas L. Friedman
    The UN inspectors in Iraq have begun their investigation of various Iraqi factories and military sites. Pay no attention. They will find nothing. Saddam Hussein is an expert at hiding his war toys and, having had four years without inspections, had probably buried everything good under mosques or cemeteries. Is there an Iraqi Andrei Sakharov? Is there just one Iraqi scientist or official who wants to see the freedom of his country so badly that he is ready to cooperate with the UN by submitting to an interview and exposing the regime's hidden weapons? (New York Times)
  • Iran on the Brink of Regime Change - Jeff Jacoby
    The State Department finally came out in support of the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have been demonstrating for an end to the country's ruthless Islamic dictatorship. It has been nearly a year since Bush labeled Iran a member of the ''axis of evil,'' denouncing the ''unelected few'' - the ruling mullahs in Tehran - who ''repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.'' His words were enthusiastically welcomed inside Iran, where the regime is widely despised and America widely admired. The world's foremost sponsor of international terrorism may be on the brink of collapse. Shouldn't we be doing everything we can to push it over the edge? (Boston Globe)
  • The Palestine Islamic Jihad - Meir Litvak
    The Palestine Islamic Jihad is the most radical terrorist organization operating in the Palestinian arena. Its founders rejected the approach of the Muslim Brethren, who maintained that the Muslim world should deal with Israel only after curing its own spiritual and religious ills by returning the masses to Islam. By contrast, Islamic Jihad argues that Israel, by its very existence, was a source of moral and spiritual corruption that prevented Muslims from remedying the malaise of their society. (Moshe Dayan Center - Tel Aviv University)
  • Talking Points:

    Mega-Attack Will Change the Rules - Daniel Sobelman (Ha'aretz)

    Ephraim Halevy, chairman of the National Security Council and former Mossad chief, told the conference on national security at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center on Monday:

    • Senior Palestinian leaders who have started to condemn acts of terror against Israel are "sober people who correctly read the regional and international political map, and fear that if the Palestinians continue with terrorism there is a real danger the national Palestinian movement will be wiped out."
    • "There are sprouting signs of Palestinian recognition that the price they are paying and will pay for their crimes will be unbearable if they don't hurry to change direction."
    • The attempt to down an Israeli civilian aircraft in Kenya was "a major escalation that cannot be ignored....If a mega-terrorist incident succeeds, it will at once change a long series of rules of behavior. The essence of the threat is essentially genocide, the destruction of the state, and destruction of its foundations. Against such a threat, Israel has a broad range of capabilities....Presumably, international opinion will understand, accept, and internalize the change in the rules and the levels of action."
    • Every country will have to make its views known regarding the war against terrorism. "Those who are neutral are not neutral."

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