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 11, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

U.S. Air Force Testing Israeli Air-to-Ground Missiles (

    The U.S. Air Force has successfully tested and is likely to procure the revolutionary air-to-ground Have Light missile developed in Israel.
    The highly accurate Have Light is an advanced precision guided system that allows aircraft to guide the direction of the missile in midcourse and destroy ground and sea targets from long range, minimizing fighter aircraft exposure.
    The missiles are marketed by a joint venture of Israel's Rafael company and U.S. aerospace manufacturer Lockheed-Martin.

Saudi Opposition Gets Radio Voice - Magdi Abdelhadi (BBC)

    A new radio station - Sawt Al-Islah (Voice of Reform), a 24-hour satellite service that can be heard in the Middle East as well as Europe, is run by a Saudi opposition group, the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia.
    The group said Saudi citizens can now for the first time criticize the Saudi regime publicly with total impunity because of modern technology.
    By using an Internet phone service - known as Paltalk - listeners can take part in the program and say what they like without risking arrest or harassment.
    The station operates out of a European country that the Saudis could not put the pressure on, said a spokesman.

U.S. to Aid Six Iraqi Opposition Groups - Eli Lake (Washington Times/UPI)

    The United States has approved military funding for six Iraqi opposition groups, including an Iran-based organization that maintains close ties to Tehran's hard-line leadership.
    The group, known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, maintains an office funded by the Iranian government and has coordinated activities with Iran's intelligence services.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • North Korean Ship Carrying Hidden Missiles Stopped in Gulf of Aden
    A North Korean cargo vessel was halted on Monday in the Gulf of Aden by two Spanish warships, and a search revealed Scud missiles hidden beneath sacks of cement, senior administration and Pentagon officials said Tuesday. American military explosives experts were summoned to identify and tally the contraband cargo and to stabilize any explosive warheads or volatile missile fuel, officials said. The ship, which a senior administration official said had been tracked by American intelligence "all the way out" from North Korea, was stopped 600 miles off the Yemeni coast. It was not known whether the ultimate destination was Yemen, where the government has already deployed Scud missiles, some other nation in the region, or a private buyer like a militant group. (New York Times)
  • Israel, Germany Defuse Dispute Over Arms
    Israeli President Moshe Katsav, ending a three-day visit to Germany, thanked the German government for its support for Israel and for its efforts to combat antisemitism and extremism. German Chancellor Schroder reiterated Germany's willingness to supply Israel with U.S.-built Patriot missiles, and said "other assistance" had also been discussed. Katsav said he still expects the Fuchs armored troop carriers requested by Israel to be delivered, and did not rule out the possibility that the vehicles would be used against "Palestinian terrorists." (Deutsche Welle)
  • Book Glorifying Homicide Bomber Stirs Protest - Joelle Diderich
    French publisher Flammarion said on Tuesday it had been deluged by protests since publishing last month a translation of Sognando Palestina ("Dream of Palestine") by 15-year-old Randa Ghazi as part of a series of books aimed at adolescents. The book was originally published in Italian in March. Ghazi, born in Italy of Egyptian parents, depicts teenagers caught up in the Palestinian uprising. One of the characters blows himself up. The Simon Wiesenthal Center and France's CRIF urged the publishers to withdraw the book. "It is beyond comprehension that a book targeting young French readers at Christmas time would have as its central character a teenager who becomes a suicide bomber," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. (Reuters)
  • Israeli Soldiers Describe Care Taken to Avoid Harming Civilians
    American-born Israel Defense Force soldier Yoni Bedine passionately argues that when he and his comrades are hunting terrorists, they try to avoid killing Palestinian civilians. "Our moral values dictate to us not to kill innocent Palestinians," Sgt. Bedine said. "We know a large part of Palestinian society suffers, and we do try to minimize their suffering while safeguarding the State of Israel." Bedine and four other young soldiers from Israel spoke to a crowd of 800 at an event sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas.
        Lt. Sivan Glazer, 21, a commander in the Israeli Navy, was promoted recently for her actions in northern Gaza, when she alerted sharpshooters to two objects in dark night waters headed for shore. That action halted a terrorist attack. Before shooting the two advancing divers, Glazer ordered her troops to make sure the area was clear of possible civilians like Palestinian fishermen. After the incident, the bodies of the two divers with machine guns and a bag containing 40 grenades washed up on shore, Glazer said. (Las Vegas Sun)
  • Turkish Leader Erdogan Meets American Jewish Leaders
    The leader of Turkey's new ruling party met with American Jewish leaders in Washington on Tuesday and expressed support for stronger ties with Israel. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the Islamist-based Justice and Development Party, said he hoped to see expanded economic relations and trade between the two countries. (JTA)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Fatah-Hamas Tensions Rise in Gaza - Lamia Lahoud
    Amid increasing tension in the Gaza Strip between Fatah and Hamas, Fatah members issued a leaflet Tuesday stating, "Hamas declared a war on the PLO and its leader Abu Amr (when Abdel Aziz Rantisi declared that Hamas has formed its own militia in Gaza)....There is no authority other than the Palestinian National Authority and no army other than the Palestinian security bodies; anyone who wants to challenge this, his end will be on our hands, never mind who he is." Many Fatah members are growing weary of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's reluctance to take measures against Hamas gunmen who openly challenge the PA. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Doctor of Laughter Livens Up Israeli Hearts - Ellis Shuman
    Patch Adams, the doctor, clown, and founder of the Gesundheit! Institute who is the real person behind the hit Robin Williams movie, arrived in Israel this week as a guest of Asaf Harofe Hospital. Adams arrived with nine other clown medics from his hospital, and passport control officials had difficulties identifying the visitors due to their clown outfits and makeup. A six-month clowning course that teaches personnel how to utilize humor in medical care, now in progress at the hospital and inspired by Adams's example, is the first of its kind in the Middle East. During his week-long visit Adams will work with participants in the hospital's course, and also visit Palestinian hospitals. (
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Iran May Present Greater Threat than Iraq - Amitai Etzioni
    There's a time bomb ticking in Lebanon, and Iran holds the fuse. Intelligence analysts fear that on cue from Tehran, Hizballah's 8,000 Katyusha rockets may be unleashed on Israel. The hope is that Israel's resulting response will strain the American alliance just as it readies to strike Iraq. Israeli intelligence presented the White House with data showing that Iran's development of weapons of mass destruction is more advanced than Iraq's. (USA Today)
  • Saudi Spin Doctors Dodge U.S. Marshals - Joel Mowbray
    Jack Deschauer (partner at Patton Boggs), Michael Petruzzello (managing partner of Qorvis Communications), and Jamie Gallagher (president of the Gallagher Group) are the Saudi spin doctors charged with convincing the American public that Saudi Arabia respects U.S. law and does everything it can to return kidnapped American children. Refusing to testify voluntarily before a congressional committee, the men were subpoenaed. But when the U.S. Marshals came knocking, they were nowhere to be found. What made these men so scared that they would disappear? (National Review)
        See also Subpoenas to Qorvis Communications, the Gallagher Group, and Patton Boggs (U.S. House or Representatives, Committee on Government Reform)
  • Save European Jewry? - Jeffry V. Mallow
    France and Denmark (and all of the other nations of Western Europe) continue to deny that their anti-Israel invective is in any way anti-Semitic, or that its tone has emboldened anti-Semites. French television always show Palestinian children killed by Israeli soldiers, but rarely if ever Jewish children killed by suicide bombers. I fear that the mission of American and Israeli Jews over the next years may be to rescue European Jewry. (Labor Zionist Alliance)
  • Talking Points:

    Israel Begins Monthly Transfer of Funds to PA - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)

    • Following drawn out negotiations and U.S. pressure, Israel transferred NIS 130 million in frozen tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority on Friday, the first of what are expected to be monthly installments.
    • Since the summer, Israel has transferred some NIS 270m. to the PA in three installments, but there was criticism that some of this money was being misused.
    • One senior Israeli diplomat said the U.S. is acting as a guarantor that the money will not go to support terrorism. The U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) will train PA financial officers and audit where the money is going.
    • The system of transfer on a monthly basis will allow Israel to stop payment if it feels the funds are being misused.
    • The U.S. wants to show that while it is not supportive of the current PA leadership, it is concerned with the plight of the Palestinian population.
    • One senior Israeli official said the timing of the payments is not unrelated to Israel's request for U.S. loan guarantees and increased financial assistance.

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