Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with Access/Middle East
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
If your email program has difficulty viewing this page, see web version.


April 22, 2003

To contact the Presidents Conference:
[email protected]

In-Depth Issue:

Report: Biological Warheads Found in Baghdad (Israel Radio - Hebrew)
    On Tuesday, al-Arabia television in Dubai broadcast pictures of what it said were biological warheads found in a Baghdad building. A pilotless plane was also found nearby.
    Neighbors reported that Iraqi army engineers brought these into the building just before the start of the war.

Abu Mazen: "In Oslo We Received Land and Didn't Give Anything in Return" (Tzamtzam News - Hebrew)
    Abu Mazen discussed the Oslo agreements at a conference of Fatah activists in mid-2002:
    "Israel did not fulfill Oslo and won't do so because it made the greatest mistake of its life when it signed the Oslo agreement."
    "There is another thing that we did in Oslo. We took the land without giving anything in return, and the final status issues [borders, refugees, settlements, Jerusalem] remained as they were."

Uday Hussein's Diaries - Daniel McGrory (London Times)
    The secrets of Saddam Hussein's overseas business networks have been uncovered in the records of his eldest son, Uday, whose diary also reveals that he spied on his father.
    According to British intelligence, the diaries show how he played off political rivals against each other, plotted against military commanders, and used torture and murder to scare his own family, as well as close aides.

Secret Graves of Iraqi Political Prisoners Discovered (BBC)
    Hundreds of political opponents of Saddam Hussein are buried in "secret" graves at a cemetery on the western outskirts of Baghdad, reports say.
    The al-Qarah cemetery, about 30 km (18 miles) from central Baghdad, contains about 1,000 unnamed graves holding political prisoners, according to the graveyard's manager.
    The gravedigger said there were another five cemeteries in Baghdad with secret gravesites containing political opponents of the toppled Iraqi regime.
    "The dead were all youths" ranging in age from 15 to 30, a gravedigger said.

A Prosaic Description of Unspeakable Torture - Peter Baker (Washington Post)
    Ali belonged to Saddam's Fedayeen, a security force led by Hussein's elder son, Uday. For the better part of a decade, he recalled, he assassinated opposition figures.

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

Daily Alert will not appear on Wednesday, April 23.
We wish our readers a Happy Passover holiday.

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Report: Saddam "Alive and in Iraq"
    Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi told BBC Radio that his intelligence suggested Saddam Hussein was still in Iraq, and was on the move. "We are aware of his movements between 12 and 24 hours after he has been there," and "We received intelligence about his son Qusay," Chalabi said. (BBC)
        INC spokesman Zab Sethna said the hunt for Saddam was focused in an area of northeastern Iraq between Baghdad and the Iranian border where there is no U.S. troop presence. (Washington Times)
  • Germans Probe Saudi for Links to Terrorists
    German prosecutors are investigating possible links between convicted and suspected terrorists and a Saudi diplomat recalled from Berlin last month. The investigators became interested in Mohammad J. Fakihi, director of the Islamic affairs department of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Berlin, after his business card was found in possession of a Hamburg student, Mounir el Motassadeq, convicted of supporting the September 2001 attacks on the U.S.
        Investigators are also examining the funding connections of Berlin's al-Nur mosque, frequented by el Motassadeq and other Islamic radicals, to the al-Haramain Foundation in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. A senior German intelligence official said that Fakihi, the Saudi diplomat, met regularly with known Islamic extremists. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Syria Adapts to a New Power Next Door - Neil MacFarquhar
    Nothing is more sensitive than the question of Alawite dominance in Syria. Syria's 17 million people are believed to be about 75% Sunni Muslim, 13% Alawite, and 10% Christian. (New York Times)
  • Israeli Diamond Sales Affected by SARS
    Israeli sales of polished diamonds to Asia could fall by up to 20% due to a halt in sales to Hong Kong caused by the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), Israeli diamond dealers said on Monday. Diamonds are one of Israel's main foreign currency earners, with worldwide sales of $5.3 billion last year. (Reuters/Forbes)
        See also SARS Lkely to Disrupt Israel-Hong Kong Trade (Globes)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Security Forces on High Alert for Last Day of Passover - Roni Singer and Amos Harel
    Hundreds of police officers and volunteers have been on security duty in crowded public areas since the start of the holiday. Security has also been beefed up at shopping malls, parks, and various festivals taking place throughout the country. Police will remain on high alert for the last day of the week-long Passover holiday on Wednesday. Security sources said Monday they had received 53 warnings of planned terror attacks by all the Palestinian terror organizations, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Five planned suicide bombings have been thwarted since the beginning of Passover. (Ha'aretz)
  • Arafat Refuses to Disband Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades - Arnon Regular
    Most reports have focused on Abu Mazen's plan to make Muhammad Dahlan head of the PA's security services. However, Palestinian sources said the dispute between Arafat and Abu Mazen actually revolves around the premier-designate's plans for establishing a new PA security policy, and whether he must win Arafat's approval for every decision he makes. Abu Mazen insists that he be granted sole authority over the disarming of armed factions including Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. A majority of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) has consolidated around Arafat, and it is doubtful that Abu Mazen can win the council's confidence unless he reaches a deal with Arafat. (Ha'aretz)
  • The Duel Over Dahlan - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Muhammad Dahlan, 42, served as commander of the Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip from 1995 to 2002. During that time Dahlan detained hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists, but his security apparatus also earned a record for human rights abuses and corruption. Dahlan himself is said to have made a fortune since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Dahlan is one of the very few officials who expressed their readiness to crack down on Hamas and unruly, armed elements of Fatah, especially in the Gaza Strip. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinian Leadership Crisis - Danny Rubinstein
    For the past 30 years, Arafat has been the one-man ruler of the Palestinian leadership and nobody dared challenge that authority. The current struggle says more about how much Arafat has been weakened than it does about the adoption of democratic principles in Palestinian politics. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Arafat Should Get Out of the Way - Editorial
    By withholding his approval from the government proposed by the new Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Arafat is holding shut the doors to any chance of reviving the search for peace in order to cling to what is left of his power. The greatest service Mr. Arafat could render his people, and his legacy, is to get out of the way. (New York Times)
  • What the Kurds Want - Barham Salih
    The new Iraqi state should have clearly limited powers. Those who want a strong executive presidency show no understanding of either Iraq or the Middle East. Justice demands that we reverse ethnic cleansing. The Arabization of Iraqi Kurdistan, the settlement program that few have ever heard of, began 40 years ago, before the long tyranny of the Baath party. Over 600,000 persons in Iraqi Kurdistan, mostly Kurds, but also Turkomens and Assyrian Christians, are internally displaced. All reversals of ethnic cleansing must be conducted lawfully: Iraqis have had enough violence and summary justice. The Arab settlers who were used to colonize Khanaqin, Sinjar, and Kirkuk must be treated fairly. Barham Salih is prime minister of the Kurdistan regional government of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. (Wall Street Journal)
  • New Critique of State Dept on Road Map and Syria - Glenn Kessler
    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a member of a Pentagon advisory committee who is close to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, will offer a wide-ranging critique of State Department policy in a speech Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute. Gingrich said he plans to fault the State Department for advocating a "road map" for peace in the Middle East crafted with the EU, Russia, and the UN. Working with those entities, he said, is "intellectually a formula for denial of anything we've learned over the past six months." Gingrich said the "final straw" that caused him to speak out was Powell's announcement that he planned to visit Syria. "Powell allowed himself to be convinced to go to Damascus" by the department's Near East Bureau, which Gingrich said "appeases dictators and tries to be nice to corrupt regimes." (Washington Post)
  • Observations:

    Bashing Bashar: A Plan of Action - Marc Ginsberg (Weekly Standard)

    With regard to Syria, the U.S. administration seeks:

    • An immediate end to support for jihadists and Hizballah members entering Iraq from Syria
    • A full accounting and repatriation of senior Iraqi Baath party officials and members of Saddam's entourage who have been provided sanctuary in Syria
    • Cessation of Syrian support for Hizballah and expulsion of terrorists from Syrian soil
    • An agreement to end its weapons of mass destruction programs and accede to international nonproliferation accords
    There are several steps the administration should take to "shape the diplomatic battlefield" for Secretary of State Powell's forthcoming mission to Damascus:
    • The Bush administration should reverse itself and support passage of the Syria Accountability Act which would impose economic sanctions on Syria for its continued support of terror and occupation of Lebanon.
    • The Kirkuk pipeline, through which Syria illegally received over 200,000 barrels of Iraqi oil per day at half the world price, should be kept closed until Syria has complied with Washington's demands.
    • The U.S. should end its silence about Syria's nearly 30-year control of Lebanon. Nothing would embarrass Damascus more than a U.S.-sponsored resolution before the UN General Assembly calling for the cessation of Syria's colonial rule.
    • Finally, it is time to sanitize the Bekaa Valley, which has become a refuge for every major terrorist organization not headquartered in Damascus.

    Marc Ginsberg is a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco and chair of the Alliance for American Leadership, a Democratic foreign policy organization.

    To subscribe to the Daily Alert, click here to send a blank email message.
    To unsubscribe, click here to send a blank email message.