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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January 23, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Apparatus of Lies (White House)

    In December 1998, when UN weapons inspector Dr. Richard Spertzel became exasperated by Iraqi evasions and misrepresentations, he confronted Dr. Rihab Taha, the woman the Iraqis identified as the head of their biological weapons program, and asked her directly, "You know that we know you are lying. So why do you do it?"
    She replied, "Dr. Spertzel, it's not a lie when you are ordered to lie."
    Apparatus of Lies is a U.S. government report discussing the lies that Iraq has used to promote its propaganda and disinformation.

U.S. Seeks to Secure Iraqi Oil Fields (Guardian-UK)

    The U.S. military has drawn up detailed plans to secure and protect Iraq's oilfields to prevent a repeat of 1991 when Saddam set Kuwait's wells ablaze.
    The office of Vice President Dick Cheney and some officials at the Pentagon have reportedly advocated commandeering revenues from the oilfields to pay for the daily costs of the occupation force until a democratic government can be installed.

Will Saddam's Troops Fight? - Bill Gertz (Washington Times)

    Saddam Hussein is trying to shore up the loyalty of his military forces amid signs that not all his troops will fight against a U.S.-led invasion, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday.
    A U.S. official said later that Iraq recently stepped up the "infiltration" of Iraqi military units by security organizations that check the loyalty of military forces.
    Morale among most Iraqi troops is said to be low and regular army soldiers are the most disgruntled. There have been reports that Saddam has ordered ammunition withheld from regular army units because he does not trust them.
    In the 1991 Persian Gulf war "tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers switched sides," noted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Fighting Solo if Necessary
    NATO has postponed its planning for a possible war in Iraq under pressure from Germany and France. America has sought indirect support from NATO in order to facilitate its buildup in the Persian Gulf by relieving U.S. forces of other duties. However, even if there is substantial allied resistance to an invasion of Iraq, the U.S. will be prepared to attack with a force of 150,000 by middle to late February, according to military experts and American officials. (AP/New York Times)
  • Saddam's Support Begins to Evaporate
    Opposition within Iraq to Saddam Hussein's regime has surged in the past few weeks, with anti-Saddam graffiti and literature appearing in areas supposedly under Baghdad's control, the British Foreign Office said Wednesday. Thousands of Iraqi refugees and defectors have arrived in Britain over the past months. "A lot of them are coming out and saying there is increased dissent in Iraq," said one official, who described the accounts as "consistent and credible." (London Times)
  • Australian Troops Leave for Middle East
    Australian troops will start heading to the Middle East Thursday in preparation for a possible war against Iraq. The transport carrier HMAS Kanimbla will be carrying a Sea King helicopter, an army landing craft, an army air defense detachment, and a specialist explosives ordnance disposal team. Other units to be dispatched include members of the elite SAS, a Royal Australian Air Force reconnaissance team with up to 14 F/A-18 Hornets, CH-47 troop-lift helicopters, C-130 transport aircraft, a navy clearance diver team, and a quick reaction commando unit. (AAP/The Age-Australia)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Anti-Semitism Increasing in Greece - Sharon Sadeh
    Reports by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and by Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) document a worrying increase in the number of anti-Semitic attacks and a change for the worse in Greek society's attitude toward Israel and the tiny, 5,000-strong Jewish community. (Ha'aretz)
  • PA Produce Exports Still Higher than Before the Violence - Herb Keinon
    Despite the widespread perception that the violence, roadblocks, and curfews in the West Bank and Gaza have put an end to Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, more tons of produce were sent to Israel from the West Bank and Gaza in 2002 than in 1999, the year before the violence began. According to the Agriculture Ministry, some 103,000 tons of produce passed from Palestinian Authority areas to Israel in 2002, slightly down from 105,000 tons in 2001. By contrast, 96,000 tons were transferred in 2000 and 97,000 in 1999. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Why We Know Iraq is Lying - Condoleezza Rice
    Iraq has a high-level political commitment to maintain and conceal its weapons. Iraq maintains institutions whose sole purpose is to thwart the work of the inspectors. Iraq has filed a false declaration to the UN that amounts to a 12,200-page lie. As a recent inspection at the home of an Iraqi nuclear scientist demonstrated, material and documents are still being moved around in farcical shell games. By both its actions and its inactions, Iraq is proving that it is a nation with something to hide. It should know that time is running out. (New York Times)
  • Road Map Leading Nowhere - Matthew E. Berger
    Analysts say the chances are slim that the U.S. will bring new energy to the Quartet's "road map" for progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the Israelis pick their new prime minister next week. In Washington, the road map is viewed as a nonstarter, essentially dead until other foreign policy priorities, especially U.S. military action against Iraq, are completed. Analysts believe the Bush administration is keeping talk of the road map alive largely to keep European and Arab nations on board prior to U.S. military action against Iraq. "It's perfectly clear that the majority of the Quartet is not that concerned about Israel, to put it mildly," said former U.S. ambassador to the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick. "I think they should not be permitted to take over negotiations," she added. (JTA)
        See also Israeli Defense Minister Views "Road Map" - Aluf Benn
    The Israeli security apparatus believes the draft "road map " represents American lip service, meant to placate the Europeans and the Arabs on the road to Iraq. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz thinks Israel should stick to three principles: a refusal to negotiate under fire, replacement of the Palestinian leadership, and progress dictated by actions rather than dates. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Officials: U.S., Israel Readying Call for Palestinian Statehood - Noga Tarnopolsky
    Israel and the U.S. are preparing a new joint peace initiative that would reportedly include an American-Israeli call for the establishment of a "demilitarized Palestinian state with temporary borders." While senior officials have confirmed that such plans are under discussion, several sources insisted that the plans would not be activated until after the Iraq crisis has been resolved. Nonetheless, according to Israeli sources, a team has been formed at a New York public relations agency, Howard Rubenstein & Associates, to develop scenarios for the plan's public presentation. (Forward)
  • The Makeover of Qaddafi - Scott Anderson
    33 years after Muammar el-Qaddafi came to power in Libya, he now says, ''It is no longer acceptable or reasonable to say that the Jews should be thrown into the sea. Even if you could do it, it's not acceptable. The solution is to join the two - Israelis and Palestinians - into one state, because once a state like this is established, then the interests of both sides are fulfilled. They can call it 'Israetine.'" (New York Times)
        See also Libya Must Not Chair UN Human Rights Commission - Adrian Karatnycky
    The UN itself has voiced concern over Libya's human rights practices including extra judicial and summary executions perpetrated by state agents, arbitrary arrest and long-term detention without trial, systematic use of torture and other ill-treatment or punishment, imposition of the death penalty for "political and economic offences," and numerous restrictions on freedom of expression and, in particular, the right to express opposition or criticism of the government. (Freedom House)
        See also A Joke Called the UN Human Rights Commission - Claudia Rosett (Wall Street Journal)
  • Talking Points:

    Poll: Violence Hardens U.S. Jewish Attitudes toward Palestinians
    - Steven M. Cohen (Forward)

    • Fully two-thirds of respondents say Washington should allow Israel a "free hand" to take whatever actions it sees fit. Four out of five American Jews support the "elimination" of suspected Palestinian terrorists.
    • Definitive majorities want the U.S. to be highly active in efforts to formulate a peace agreement (71% to 5%), to clearly support Israel's leadership over the Palestinian leadership (61% to 8%), and not to urge Israel to exercise restraint when responding to terrorist attacks (62% versus 16%).
    • In the context of a peace agreement, a majority (53% to 14%) favors the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as endorsed by Prime Minister Sharon. At the same time, they reject the removal of "nearly all" Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza (38% opposed to 19% in favor), and oppose Palestinian control over Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem (44% opposed to 16% in favor).
    • Majorities support Sharon in believing Israel should insist on complete cessation of all violence before negotiations can begin (59% to 15%), and in refusing to deal with Arafat as a negotiating partner (56% to 12%).
    • Some 31% said they were very emotionally attached to Israel, 41% said they were somewhat attached, 20% were not very attached, and 8% were not attached, results that differed only marginally from a 1997 survey. Those under 35 were far less likely to describe themselves as "emotionally attached." However, the under-35s were twice as likely as older Jews (20% versus 10%) to say they had become "more involved" during the last two years. Similarly, younger Jews were far more likely than older Jews to say they were planning to visit Israel (18% versus 10%).
    The nationwide survey of 1,386 American Jews was conducted in November and December for the Jewish Agency's Department for Jewish-Zionist Education.

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