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 24, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

America's Technological Trump Cards - Michael Evans (London Times)
    Twelve years ago, it was the F117 Stealth fighter and Tomahawk cruise missile which dominated the battlefield.
    This time it will be the satellite-linked Joint Direct Attack Munition (Jdam). Jdam links a "dumb" bomb to a Global Positioning System (GPS) network, guaranteeing greater accuracy than ever before.
    In addition, the Joint Standoff Weapon (Jsow) is a missile fired from an aircraft at a range of about 40 miles and at high altitude that receives in-flight target updates.
    Other new weapons systems include the B2 Stealth bomber, the Predator unmanned spy drone armed with Hellfire missiles, and thermobaric bombs, used for the first time against cave hideouts in Afghanistan, which would be particularly effective at incinerating chemical and biological agents.

    See also The Joint American-Israeli Combat Laser - Hil Anderson (UPI)
    Zeus, the Mobil Tactical High-Energy Laser (MTHEL), is a joint American-Israeli weapon designed to zap unexploded mines and bombs, and even swat down short-range rockets and artillery shells in mid-air.
    MTHEL is able to identify a threatening device hurtling through the sky within milliseconds and has proven to be incredibly accurate, with a 99-percent success rate in detonating more than 800 pieces of test ordnance.
    But it is not quite to the point where it is mobile enough to be packed up and sent to Israel.

Saudi Textbooks Call Jews and Christians "Apes and Pigs" - David Twersky (New York Sun)
    An 8th grade Saudi textbook emphasizes that "Jews and Christians were cursed by Allah and turned into apes and pigs," and that "The hour [the Day of Judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them."
    Education in Saudi Arabia, published by the Saudi Cultural Mission, explains that Saudi education policy is based on the uncompromising and anti-modern fundamentalist teachings of the 18th century Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab.
    The Saudi royal family claims to have financed more than 1,500 mosques, 202 colleges, and almost 2,000 schools for educating Muslim children in non-Islamic countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia.

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Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Hizballah Becomes Potent Anti-U.S. Force - Neil MacFarquhar
    Senior American officials have singled out Hizballah as the "A team" of terrorism, more menacing than al Qaeda. Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has suggested that Hizballah be dealt with before Baghdad because it is the most dangerous terrorist group on earth. (New York Times)
  • Report: Israel Training With Chemicals
    Israeli soldiers are training with chemical agents, learning how to detect them to warn the public in case of an attack. Israel TV reported Sunday that a group of officers, including the chief of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Yusef Mishlab, volunteered to enter a room in protective gear, and chemical agents, some of them dangerous, were sprayed into the room. All of the officers emerged unharmed. (Guardian-UK/AP)
  • Saddam's Fiercest Enemy - Al Daawa - Christopher Dickey and Colin Soloway
    In the 1980s, when Washington was Saddam's friend and "Iranian-backed Shiite radicals" were the enemy, the suicide bombings of U.S. embassies in Beirut and Kuwait and the kidnapping of Americans in Lebanon were linked to Al Daawa members. But in today's rush to be rid of Saddam, people formerly deemed terrorists could yet become this administration's freedom fighters. "The Shiites are 50 to 60 percent of the Iraqi population," explains Amatzia Baram, Israel's leading authority on Iraq, "but in Baghdad they make up 70 percent, so that the capital city is de facto a Shiite stronghold." "If you believe in a democratic Iraq, then you believe in an Iraq where the Shiites run the show," says Ambassador Peter Galbraith. (Newsweek)
  • In Iraq, Fear and Mumbling at the Top - John F. Burns
    Somebody high in the Iraqi government had dumped dinars on the market to buy tens of millions of dollars in a few hours. What need might anybody in power have for so many dollars? - if not to defect, then perhaps to send family members abroad, before American missiles or a coup in Baghdad sent the whole grim edifice of power crumbling. For a reporter who was in Baghdad exactly 12 years ago on the eve of the Gulf War, the contrasts are unavoidable, beginning with the Iraqi leader's stubborn but at least comprehensible pronouncements then, and his perplexing performances now. (New York Times)
  • Jewish Professors Keep Divestment Drive Alive - Patrick Healy
    The national movement to pressure universities to pull their investments from Israel has been battered by critics who call it anti-Semitic. But it has shown remarkable staying power in large part because of an unusual group of supporters: Jewish professors. (Boston Globe)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • IDF Withdraws in Bethlehem Ahead of Christmas - Amos Harel and Arnon Regular
    The IDF said Tuesday it had pulled back to the outskirts of Bethlehem, and that there would be no troops in the city during Christmas week as long as intelligence information did not indicate planned attacks against Israeli citizens. Israeli Arabs and West Bank Christians with security permits will be allowed into Bethlehem, as well as foreign tourists and pilgrims. Troops entered Bethlehem a month ago after a man from the area carried out a suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus that killed 11 people, weeks after troops pulled back to ease conditions in Bethlehem. (Ha'aretz)
  • Sen. Lieberman Meets Palestinians in Ramallah
    After meeting with Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo in Ramallah, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman said, "There's strong support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state. The question is whether there will be sufficient leadership here and in the world to bring this about sooner than later." In accordance with U.S. policy, the senator did not meet with Yasser Arafat. (Ha'aretz)
        Sen. Lieberman also met in Ramallah with Abu Mazen, Saeb Erekat, and Finance Minister Salaam Fayad. The senator said he told the Palestinians that the "most important thing they could do as Palestinian leaders is to separate Palestinian aspirations from terror and violence." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • United on the Risks of a War With Iraq - Paul Wolfowitz
    War is brutal, risky and unpredictable. The question is how to weigh the risks of action against the risks of inaction and to be fully aware of both. One risk that is often exaggerated is the risk of what might happen in Iraq after the removal of the Saddam Hussein regime. (Washington Post)
  • Tripping Over the Timeline - Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
    Subordinating U.S. military plans to the dictates of UN timelines carries with it one other, potentially very high cost: It jeopardizes the element of surprise that usually is crucial to success on the battlefield. Furthermore, the passage of time offers Saddam Hussein additional chances to prepare for the use of weapons of mass destruction against U.S. forces and allies overseas, and also affords him the opportunity to ready the "scorched earth" option - his reported plan to blow up Iraq's oil fields and infrastructure. The best chance we are likely to have to prevent Saddam's use of weapons of mass destruction is to act before he expects us to. (Washington Times)
  • The Quartet and the Road Map: Two Interpretations -
        The Mideast Road Map - Editorial (New York Times)
        The Quartet Roadmap: Still at Odds with Bush's June 24 Speech - David Makovsky and Robert Satloff (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Iranian Students: Leave Palestine Alone, Think About Us!
    Now that the people of Iran want to establish peaceful relations with the U.S. and believe that both the nations of Israel and Palestine have the right to exist, the Islamic Republic continues to support the mandatory observation of the Day of Ghods [an implied reference to Jerusalem]. The act of observing a day in support of violence is a lunacy that is neither advantageous to the Palestinian nation nor does it coincide with the national interests of the people of Iran. The defense of peace and calm in the Middle East is not attainable through the support for terrorists and war-mongering groups; rather, it is to be attained through the pursuit of political dialog between the two sides while simultaneously removing the roots of fundamentalism, terror, and violence. (Student Movement for Democracy in Iran)
  • Talking Points:

    Gentleman's Agreement at the UN - Anne Bayefsky (Globe and Mail - Canada)

    • This year's General Assembly, which ended on Friday, marked a new low in UN bias against Jews and the Jewish state.
    • The number of General Assembly resolutions directed at Israel this year reached 20. Human-rights situations in the rest of the world drew only six country-specific resolutions.
    • The General Assembly adopted a resolution on Palestinian children - the only children in the world subject to such concern. More than 100 Israeli children have been murdered and 900 wounded or maimed in the past two years alone. The General Assembly resolution, however, neither expressed concern nor made any mention of Israeli children.
    • For the past four years, a racism resolution has included "anti-Semitism" as a specific subject of study of the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. This year, the reference to anti-Semitism as part of the rapporteur's mandate was deleted.
    • After October's hostage-taking crisis in Moscow, the Security Council adopted a resolution condemning the terrorist attack within 24 hours. In the case of the bombing in Bali, the Security Council adopted a resolution within 48 hours. But it took the council two weeks of intensive negotiation to adopt a resolution concerning the attacks in Kenya.

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