Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with Access/Middle East
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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April 3, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

U.S. Forces Blow Up Iraqi Pipeline to Syria (Middle East Newsline)
    The Kuwaiti Al Rai Al Aam daily reported on Wednesday that U.S. forces last week sabotaged the Iraqi oil pipeline to Syria that carried more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day.
    U.S. sources said the destruction of the pipeline came amid a warning by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for a halt to Syrian military supplies to the regime of Saddam Hussein.

U.S., UK Tried to Buy Loyalty of Iraqi Tribal Shiekhs - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
    According to sources in Kuwait, agents of the American and British intelligence services went to Iraq from Jordan and Kuwait with suitcases full of dollars in an attempt to create a situation similar to that in Afghanistan, where the heads of the tribes are helping the American forces in their war against al Qaeda in exchange for cash.
    There are some 150 large tribes and another 2,000 or so small tribes or sub-tribes or large families in Iraq, with family ties in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, and Syria.

12-Year-Old Palestinian Boy's Martyrdom "Staged" (israelinsider)
    The "martyrdom" death of 12-year-old Palestinian Mohammed al-Dura at the hands of Israeli soldiers at the start of the current intifada was actually a "staged" piece of street theater, according to World Net Daily's Whistleblower magazine.
    In a just-completed investigation, French psychoanalyst and journalist Gerard Huber concludes: "Mohammed al-Dura was not killed by Israelis."
    See also Who Killed Muhammad Al-Dura? Blood Libel Model 2000 - Amnon Lord (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

How Israeli Hospitals Prepare for Chemical Attacks - Gabe Pressman (WNBC)
    Dr. Zeev Rothstein and Dr. Amitai Ziv discuss Israel's preparations for dealing with victims of chemical or terror attacks at the state-of-the-art Sheba Medical Center.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • U.S. Advance Units Close on Baghdad
    U.S. armored units advanced on Thursday to just six miles from the edge of Baghdad and were preparing to seize the city's airport, the U.S. military said. (Reuters)
        Army and Marine forces closed on Baghdad from two directions after crippling or destroying two divisions of the Republican Guard. In Iraq's second city, Basra, a tribal leader said, "The popular forces are ready to throw down the regime, but we still have [Iraqi] internal security around us." Units of the 101st Airborne Division entered the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 85 miles south of Baghdad, and were greeted by thousands of residents who cheered and gave thumbs-up signs to soldiers. (New York Times)
        See also Goal of U.S.: Avoid a Siege
    With the new American push toward Baghdad, the coalition now has the momentum. According to American military estimates, 1,000 of Iraq's 2,500 tanks have been destroyed in two weeks of war. (New York Times)
  • Quartet Envoys to Discuss Middle East Road Map
    Envoys from the Quartet, the four powers drawing up a road map to secure peace in the Middle East, will meet on Thursday in Brussels. (Reuters)
  • Iraq War Has Cost Israel Nearly $200M
    The Iraq war has cost Israel nearly $200 million so far, including production losses and security preparations, according to reports published Tuesday. These figures don't take into account the costs of vaccinating thousands of rescue and health officials against smallpox or sealing rooms in schools and other public buildings. (AP/Newsday)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • First Cracks Visible in the Republican Guard - Ze'ev Schiff
    The Iraqi command's decision to send south the two Republican Guard divisions that were in the north will enable the Americans to take over the Kirkuk oil fields much faster. While the Americans have complete air control, enabling them to "read" the regional battle picture and movements in real time, the Iraqi forces have no air cover and it is only a matter of time until the American forces lay siege to the Iraqi capital. Meanwhile, the rumors that Saddam may have been badly hurt in the early stages of the war were strengthened after he failed to appear on Tuesday, as promised, in a speech to the nation on Iraqi television. (Ha'aretz)
  • Dramatic Rise in Motivation of IDF Recruits (IDF)
    There has been a 7% rise in the motivation of new recruits to serve in combat units since 2001. At the end of 2002, 84% of new recruits requested to serve in combat units. According to Defense Minister Mofaz, "The fact that the IDF is engaged in fighting against Palestinian terror raises the motivation of the new recruits to be part of the units that are determining the outcome of the war."
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Peres: Arab World Will Welcome Saddam's Fall - Ben Russell
    Former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres told the Institute of Public Policy Research that the fall of Saddam would be welcomed across the Arab world. "I'm convinced that this is the unavoidable way to free the world from terrorism," he said. "The victory of the United States and Great Britain will help to liberate the Muslim world and liberate the Arab world and in some way it will be their victory too." "There is no greater killer in our time than Saddam Hussein," he added. "When Saddam Hussein gassed 100,000 innocent Kurds nobody demonstrated. When he attacked Iran and a million people lost their lives, nobody demonstrated. When he invaded Kuwait, nobody demonstrated." (Independent-UK)
  • Palestinians Admire Israel's Political System - James Bennet
    Since 1996, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, a Palestinian political scientist, has been polling Palestinians about what governments they admire, and every year Israel has been the top performer, at times receiving more than 80% approval. The American system has been the next best, followed by the French and then, distantly trailing, the Jordanian and Egyptian. In its early days, the Palestinian Authority held fourth place, with about 50% approval. Now, it is dead last, under 20%. (New York Times)
  • Defense of Israel is Defense of Democracy - Tom DeLay
    The defense of Israel is a cause that cries for support from freedom-loving people everywhere. All free nations must understand that Israel's fight is their fight. It is our responsibility to uphold and defend the principles of social equality in the sole democracy in the Middle East. Now, more than ever, as the United States fights for the liberation of the Iraqi people from the crushing hand of a harsh dictator, we must stand with the nations that uphold our same principles and values. (Washington Times)
  • Observations:

    Applying Lessons Learned in Israel to Iraq:

    The Best Way into Baghdad - Yagil Henkin (New York Times)

  • Last spring, after a series of Palestinian suicide bombings, the IDF entered several densely populated West Bank cities, including Nablus and Jenin, gaining control of each of them within just a week.
  • The key to the IDF success was a sort of "planned unpredictability." Instead of using conventional linear tactics - taking the outskirts of the town first, then systematically clearing every house - Israeli forces simultaneously attacked from many directions, using a technique known as swarming, in which many small units, moving in zigzag patterns, infiltrate to the middle of the city and attack from the inside out.
  • Units constantly disappeared, only to reappear in completely different places, attacking from new angles that kept the defenders disoriented and unable to dig in.
  • Israeli snipers positioned themselves in the tallest buildings and worked closely with troops at the street level to identify targets and confound their enemies' expectations.
  • As one Palestinian fighter said afterward: "The Israelis were everywhere: behind, on the sides, on the right and on the left. How can you fight that way?"
  • U.S. Takes Israeli Urban War Tips to Iraq - Steve Weizman (AP/Newsday)

  • With U.S. forces in Iraq coming up against suicide attackers and hostile forces mingling with civilians, the military has been listening closely to Israeli experts and picking up tips from years of Israeli army operations in Palestinian areas and Lebanese towns.
  • Martin Van Creveld, professor of military history and strategy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told U.S. Marine Corps officers in September that the most effective tools during battles in Jenin were Apache helicopters and giant, armored D9 bulldozers that cut wide swaths through alleys to clear the way for tanks.
  • Israeli security sources said the American military requested - and received - reports on the Israeli army's techniques in built-up Palestinian areas, including videotaped records of incursions.
  • Applying Lessons Learned in Israel to Iraq - Ferry Biedermann (Asia Times)

  • "The Americans are already doing many of the things that the whole world condemned Israel for," says Professor Gerald Steinberg from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. "They are setting up roadblocks, they stop and search civilians, they carry out so-called targeted assassination of Ba'ath party leaders, the way we do with the leaders of the Palestinian militants."

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