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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May 29, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Saudi Student in U.S. Accused of Aiding Extremists - Paul M. Barrett (Wall Street Journal)
    In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, a Saudi graduate student in computer science at the University of Idaho, led fellow Muslims in a candlelight march remembering the dead.
    Yet federal investigators say Hussayen's public image was a cover for a secret career supporting terrorism.
    The indictment against him alleges that he raised money for the Islamic Assembly of North America, a Michigan organization the government is investigating for possibly supporting terrorists in the Middle East.
    The FBI says Hussayen has communicated often with two radical clerics known as the "awakening sheiks" because of their ideological influence on young Arabs.
    The clerics are widely recognized as intellectual godfathers of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network.
    Hussayen, the son of a senior Saudi education ministry official, grew up in a comfortable home in Riyadh. Arriving in Idaho in 1999, he soon became the leader of the university Muslim Students Association.
    The Saudi government paid Hussayen's educational expenses, plus a $2,700 monthly stipend. It is now paying his legal expenses.
    Nail al-Jubeir, spokesman for the Saudi Embassy, said his government financially supports roughly 3,500 Saudi students at U.S. universities.
    In September 2000, Hussayen registered the Internet site, an Arab-language online magazine produced by the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA).
    In June 2001, the site carried an article by a Saudi-trained Kuwaiti cleric entitled, "Provision of Suicide Operations."
    "The warrior must kill himself if he knows that this will lead to killing a great number of the enemies," wrote Sheik Hamed al-Ali.
    "This can be accomplished with the modern means of bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses."

Useful Reference:

An Activist's Guide to Arab and Muslim Campus and Community Organizations in North America - Stephen Schwartz (FrontPageMagazine)

Israel's 14 Road Map Reservations (Ha'aretz)

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

Israel Commemorates Jerusalem Day
The Reunification of Israel's Capital in 1967

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Details Set for Bush Meetings in Mideast
    President Bush will hold a three-way meeting in Jordan next week with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas, the new Palestinian prime minister. Mr. Bush is to go on Tuesday to Sharm el Sheik in Egypt, where he will meet with a number of Arab leaders, including Mr. Abbas. Mr. Sharon will not be included in that meeting, an administration official said, because Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia objected. Administration officials said the original location for the three-way meeting was Sharm el Sheik, but Egypt was reluctant to host a meeting that would include Mr. Sharon. (New York Times)
  • Is Saudi Fight Against Extremism Real?
    At a mosque in Riyadh only days before the May 12 bombings, a prominent Saudi religious leader prayed for the destruction of Americans. According to a State Department cable, the government-paid cleric "asked God...for the destruction of Jews and Americans." This contradicts claims made by Prince Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, that there had been a crackdown on inflammatory anti-American rhetoric by Saudi clerics. (NBC News)
  • U.S.: Iraqi Trailers Are Mobile Germ Factories
    The Bush administration Wednesday made public its assessment of two mysterious trailers found in Iraq, calling them mobile units to produce deadly germs and the strongest evidence yet that Saddam Hussein had been hiding a program to prepare for biological warfare. The CIA, in an analysis prepared in collaboration with the Defense Intelligence Agency, posted the six-page assessment, "Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants," on its Web site. (New York Times)
        See CIA report (Central Intelligence Agency)
  • Human Rights in the Palestinian Authority - 2003
    Palestinian members of armed groups killed more than 420 Israelis, including some 180 Israeli civilians within Israel and more than 80 Israeli civilians in the territories, and injured thousands of other people. Their deliberate targeting of civilians constituted crimes against humanity. (Amnesty International)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Palestinians Rocket Sderot Four Times in Two Days - Shmulik Hadad
    Qassam rockets fired from Beit Hanoun in Gaza struck a residential area in the Israeli town of Sderot Wednesday. Mayor Eli Moyal said that security sources believe the Palestinians are trying to target Prime Minister Sharon's farm, located near Sderot. (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew)
  • Palestinians Fire Mortars, Shoot at Bus
    Several mortars were fired at the Jewish community of Neve Dekalim in the southern Gaza Strip Wednesday, with one landing near a house and causing light damage. Two Israelis were lightly injured Wednesday when Palestinians fired at a civilian bus on the Jerusalem-Hebron road. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Most Americans Not Anti-Settler, Survey Says - Melissa Radler
    Just 10% of Americans see settlements as the main obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and a majority says Jews should be permitted to continue living and building in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to a survey commissioned by the ZOA and carried out on May 21 by John McLaughlin & Associates. Some 64% oppose expelling Jews from the territories, compared to 16.5% in favor of expulsion. 31% said that Jews have the "strongest historical claim" to Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, compared to 19% who said they favor Arab claims. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Road Map Torn by Ambiguity - Max Abrahms
    There is something intellectually dishonest about a "peace process" that tacitly promises mutually exclusive demands to the Israelis and Palestinians by papering over their differences until they inevitably collide. This "creative ambiguity" formed the basis of the failed Oslo accords in the 1990s. The road-map initiative implies that a peaceful resolution is in hand - just don't ask the Israelis or Palestinians what they are agreeing upon. Creative ambiguity may give the illusion of progress, but it will only inflate expectations and lead to disappointment and more violence. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Palestinians Still Support Suicide Bombings - Yoel Esteron
    The terrible truth is that most of the Palestinians prefer to continue their national suicide as long as they manage to kill some Israelis along the way. How else are we to interpret the statistics? Sixty percent of the Palestinians support suicide bombings, according to a survey conducted last month by the Palestinian research institute, JMCC. Some may take comfort in the fact that support for these attacks is steadily declining: 74% in December 2001, 68% in June 2002. At this rate, maybe a solid majority will oppose them by 2007. (Ha'aretz)
  • Forget About Any Right of Return - Rosie DiManno
    Jewishness is the very essence of Israel, the powerful force behind historical survival, millenniums of persecution withstood, and 20th century statehood. But for all its fortitude, this self-contained Israeli biosphere is still demographically fragile, which is why a Palestinian "right of return" can never be accepted by any Israeli government. To expect otherwise, to demand it - as new Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas continues to do - is so unrealistic, so foolishly dreamy, that one must question the sincerity of those who insist upon its inclusion in any peace discussions. (Toronto Star)
  • Who Are We Trying to Scare? - Edward Luttwak
    The recent attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca have been widely interpreted as evidence that al Qaeda has overcome the loss of its bases in Afghanistan and is once again capable of attacking anywhere. Yet, it is just as likely that the attacks mean only weak fragments of al Qaeda survive. The attacks may show that al Qaeda survives, but they have also evoked much opposition because the victims were mostly Muslim. The Islamist movement in general is in decline, probably because it is now associated with defeat from Afghanistan to Palestine, or at least a persistent failure to win, as in Chechnya and Kashmir. Islam as a faith was originally validated by victory, hence the defeats of the Islamists everywhere imply that they themselves are not favored by God. (Toronto Globe & Mail)
  • Observations:  

    Core Principles for a Free Iraq - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (Wall Street Journal)

    • Because of the speed of the execution of the U.S. war plan, the Iraqi regime did not attack its neighbors with Scud missiles; the vast majority of Iraq's oil fields were not destroyed; the infrastructure of the country is largely intact; and there is no large mass of refugees.
    • if Iraq is able to move to the path of representative democracy, the impact in the region and the world could be dramatic. Iraq could conceivably become a model - proof that a moderate Muslim state can succeed in the battle against extremism taking place in the Muslim world today.
    • President Bush has outlined some broad principles that are critical if Iraq's transition from tyranny is to succeed: that Iraq be a single country, which does not support terrorists, threaten its neighbors or the world with weapons of mass destruction, or threaten its diverse population with terror and repression; that it have a government that respects and protects minorities, provides opportunities for its people through a market economy, and justice through an independent judiciary and rule of law.
    • The Coalition will work with forward-looking Iraqis to eliminate the remnants of Saddam's regime. Those who committed war crimes or crimes against humanity will be tracked down and brought to justice.

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