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 10, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

U.S. Special Forces Hunt Taliban in Afghanistan - Rowan Scarborough (Washington Times)

    According to intelligence collected by U.S. Special Forces, there are likely only 50 to 100 devoted Taliban leaders left in Afghanistan. Some are trying to form new guerrilla groups by merging with Pakistani and Arab militants.
    Special Forces soldiers on the ground say that if the U.S. misses its chance now to kill or capture them, the hard-core Taliban leaders may be successful in reorganizing their units and destabilizing the regime of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
    Soldiers point to an operational slowdown after an incident last June against Taliban targets when a U.S. plane supporting ground forces fired into a village, killing 34 civilians.

Saddam's Doctor Supports His Downfall - Shyam Bhatia (London Times)

    Once a prominent Baghdad doctor, Tahsin Mualla treated Saddam Hussein more than 40 years ago after he was wounded during an attempted coup d'etat. Dr Mualla, 73, now living outside of London, would enthusiastically support American military action to remove Saddam, and believes millions of ordinary Iraqis would as well.
    "If today the Iraqis are sure that the Americans are coming, there will be an uprising. But they want to be sure the Americans are coming and then they will get rid of the Tikritis (Saddam's kith and kin) in two weeks."

Israel Posters Vandalized at Harvard - Lauren A.E. Schuker (Harvard Crimson)

    Four posters in a display by Harvard Students for Israel at the Science Center were vandalized by unknown offenders over the weekend. Anti-Israel slogans were scrawled across the posters in thick blue marker with misspelled words.
    Students said the misspellings suggested to them that the vandals were not fellow students. “Most Harvard kids know how to spell Palestine,” said one student.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Did Weapons Inspectors Come Close to Saddam?
    Weapons inspectors in Baghdad visiting the al-Sajoud palace last Tuesday were surprised to be greeted within 10 minutes of their arrival by Saddam's personal secretary, Abed Hamid Mohmood, who, according to Iraqi officials, sticks close to his boss. These officials say that only Saddam could have granted the order to open up al-Sajoud. (Time)
  • German Neo-Nazis in Anti-Israel March
    About 100 supporters of the far-right German neo-Nazi NPD party marched through Berlin on Monday in protest at the visit of Israel's president. About 400 counter demonstrators gathered to show support for Israel. (CNN/Reuters)
  • Students Clash with Guards at Tehran University
    Hundreds of Iranian student activists forced their way past the gates of Tehran University, defying attempts by authorities to limit access to a pro-reform rally. About 1,500 students gathered in a university lecture hall, but the atmosphere was tense due to the presence of about 150 members of the hardline Islamist Basij militia, who have attacked pro-reform student gatherings in the past several weeks. (
        See also Ground Shifting Under Mullahs - Ian Urbina
    The struggle for reform in Iran is increasingly a fight between fathers and sons. Roughly a majority of Iran's 65 million people is under the age of 30. Ayatollah Khomeini's grandson joined the student protesters on the streets. But if a second Iranian revolution is brewing, it has a way to go before boiling over. (Los Angeles Times)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Israel Arrests Sniper Who Killed Baby Shalhevet Pass in Hebron
    The Shin Bet Security service has arrested Mohammed Amaro , a member of the Fatah-linked Tanzim in Hebron, who has confessed that he was the sniper who shot baby Shalhevet Pass in Hebron in March 2001, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's office Monday. Amaro said he took a rifle and took up a position in the Abu Sneineh neighborhood of Hebron that overlooks the Jewish quarter. He spotted Pass's father walking in the Jewish Quarter and opened fire, killing the little girl and wounding her father. Amaro had been apprehended by the Palestinian Authority for a number of hours after the shooting, but was then released. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Civil War between Fatah and Hamas Possible - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Hasan al Kashef, director-general of the Palestinian Ministry of Information, condemned the use of firearms in recent street clashes in Gaza City. "The use of firearms in personal disputes and factional clashes has become widespread and can no longer be ignored," said Kashef. "How many times do we have to warn against the danger of firing the first shot and the killing of the first Palestinian in the civil war," Kashef added. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Jordan Hangs Palestinian for Assassinating Diplomat
    On Jan. 29, 1994, Naeb Imran Maaytah, first secretary at the Jordanian Embassy in Lebanon, was shot dead while sitting in his car in front of the embassy in Beirut. At the time of the assassination, Jordanian and Israeli officials were negotiating the agreement that became the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty of October 1994. A Palestinian, Yasser Mohammed Abu Shinar, 37, connected with the Abu Nidal group, who was arrested in Jordan in March 2000, was hanged for the crime on Wednesday at Swaqa Penitentiary, Jordanian security officials said Thursday. (Ha'aretz/AP)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    The Trouble with Amnesty - Editorial
    The British government has released a detailed dossier showing the horrors Saddam Hussein has inflicted on Iraqis, but Amnesty International is now fretting about a war that would end these abuses. Amnesty has raised a fuss about al Qaeda and Taliban operatives being held in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It has also practically put the entire blame for the Middle Eastern conflict on the Israelis, absolving the Palestinians of almost all responsibility. This is human rights work? (Wall Street Journal)
  • Two Saudi Voices - Editorial
    Even as the urbane Saudi spin doctor, Adel al-Jubeir, was broadcasting his "we are in this together" message to every American microphone and camera he could find, his government's interior minister was arguing that U.S. media are controlled by "Zionists" and that Israel, not Osama bin Laden, was behind the 9/11 attacks. "It's impossible" that al Qaeda carried out the assault on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, or that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, said Prince Nayef. (Washington Post)
        See also Sultan of Spin - David Tell
    Saudi Adel al-Jubeir is actually a lying sonofabitch. He was asked about a series of kidnappings in which little boys and girls, U.S. nationals abducted from their American mothers by abusive Saudi fathers, have been spirited across the globe and held captive for years - in unspeakable conditions (beatings, rapes, forced conversions to Islam, arranged marriages for 12-year-old girls) and all under color of Saudi law. He said there were only 4 international child custody disputes involving the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Yet State Department case files name at least 92 U.S. citizens apparently being held against their will. (Weekly Standard)
        See also The Saudi Spin Doctor - Tony Karon (Time)
  • Saddam's Steady March to the Bomb - Ze'ev Schiff
    American researchers and experts in nuclear affairs who have been monitoring Iraq's nuclear efforts have concluded that 15 companies from various countries, including Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S., were involved in the transfer of know-how and equipment to Baghdad's nuclear program before the Persian Gulf War.
        The UN's previous team of inspectors, UNSCOM, came across a number of classified documents attesting to Baghdad's nuclear program. Among the papers found was a sketch drawn by the Iraqis which pictures the structure of a nuclear bomb which they aspired to build. The drawing illustrates locations and amounts of enriched uranium, lead, and other materials, and also sketches detonators and an electrical system. (Ha'aretz)
  • Talking Points:

    Bush and Sharon Reeducate the World - Saul Singer (National Review)

    • Many Israelis, not to mention the rest of the world, had been convinced the Palestinians wanted peace, so the objective was to pry the requisite land out of Israel for peace to break out. Now the scales have begun to tip toward the view that it is the Palestinian leadership that would rather kill and be killed than accept the state that was being handed to them on a platter.
    • The State Department's "road map" demonstrates how it is possible to stall in the middle of a paradigm shift. On the one hand it pays lip service to stopping terror and to democratization; on the other it recycles the sludge pile of failed Mideast peace plans named after largely forgotten diplomats. The reason all these plans failed was that they assumed the conflict was over borders and therefore solvable through negotiation and compromise. It is not.
    • Peace does not depend on what Israel has to offer, since Israel cannot offer to dismantle itself. But once peace does not depend on Israeli offers, then all "road maps" are rendered useless.
    • The Bush sequence of end terrorism and replace the Palestinian leadership, then negotiate, is basically correct. Add deadlines to it and you have another failed attempt to impose peace on "both sides." The Bush-Sharon plan, as opposed to the "road map," says to the Palestinians: "You want a state? Earn it."

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