Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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November 3, 2004

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In-Depth Issue:

Gore Jewish Voters Choose Bush - Janine Zacharia (Jerusalem Post)
    "From our exit sampling, very strong support for Kerry. But strikingly, a fairly significant number of Jews switching from Gore in 2000 to Bush, somewhere in the order of 12-13%," said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, after examining a tiny sampling of 200 Jewish voters in five battleground states.
    Bush won 19% and Gore 80% of the Jewish vote in 2000, according to exit polling.
    Harris said that nearly all voters who switched from Gore to Bush "identified either Israel or terrorism (and) 9/11 as the first reason for their decision."
    AJC also separately polled 370 Russian Jews in New York and Philadelphia, where at least 75% said they were voting for Bush, citing his Israel stance and his strong leadership in the war on terrorism.

    See also 40,000 U.S. Citizens in Israel Took Part in Elections - Eliel Shahar (Maariv International)
    Some 40,000 U.S. citizens living in Israel have exercised their voting right during the past month, U.S. embassy officials have estimated.
    One official said about 150,000 U.S. citizens live in Israel, but not all of them are eligible to vote.

Egypt Rejects Charges IAEA Chief Helping It with Secret Nuclear Program (AFP/Yahoo)
    Egypt's ambassador to the UN atomic agency, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, blasted as "totally baseless" a French newspaper report that the Egyptian head of the agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, was helping Cairo hide a secret nuclear program.
    The French newspaper Liberation, citing unnamed Western diplomats, reported that the now dismantled Libyan nuclear program "had Egyptian links."
    Libya had in its nuclear program "worked not only for itself but also, secretly, for the Egyptians," Liberation said.

New Details about Saddam Hussein from the CIA - Peter Grier and Faye Bowers (Christian Science Monitor)
    "I want to make sure that - close the door please - the germ and chemical warheads...are available, so that in case we ordered an attack, they can do it without missing any of their targets," Saddam Hussein said.
    This recorded conversation, obtained by the CIA's Iraq Survey Group, probably took place during the second week of January 1991.
    U.S. officials say it is evidence of the keen interest Hussein took in weapons of mass destruction.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Dutch Filmmaker Murdered After Muslim Death Threats
    Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who recently released a movie criticizing the treatment of women under Islam, was slain in Amsterdam on Tuesday. A suspect with dual Dutch-Moroccan nationality is in custody. Van Gogh had received death threats after the August airing of the movie "Submission," made with Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament. (AP)
        See also Killer of Dutch Filmmaker Had Extremist Ties (Reuters)
  • Zarqawi Group in Iraq Shows Beheading of Japanese Hostage
    A group in Iraq led by al-Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi showed the beheading of Japanese hostage Shosei Koda while he was lying on top of a U.S. flag in an Internet video posted Tuesday. Japanese officials confirmed Sunday that Koda's body and severed head were found in Baghdad. Zarqawi's group gave Tokyo a 48-hour deadline last Tuesday to withdraw its forces from Iraq, a demand the Japanese government refused. (Reuters/Yahoo)
  • Netherlands Calls for Hizballah to be Placed on EU Terrorism List
    Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot called for the Lebanese Hizballah organization to be placed on the EU's list of terrorist organizations in a bid to dry up its financing from Europe. The Netherlands has drawn a distinction between Hizballah's civilian and armed wings, but Bot told parliament they were both dedicated to the same ends. The Netherlands currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU. (AFP/Yahoo)
  • United Arab Emirates Ruler Dies at 86
    Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, president of the United Arab Emirates, died Tuesday. Zayed was also ruler of Abu Dhabi, largest of the emirates. He steered his family's sheikdom to independence from the British, and engineered its consolidation into the United Arab Emirates, a union of seven city states on the Persian Gulf. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinian Terrorists Planned to Detonate Explosive-Laden Ambulance in Jerusalem - Amos Harel
    The Shin Bet security services and the IDF announced Tuesday the arrest of 16 Palestinians from Bethlehem who planned a series of large-scale terror attacks in Jerusalem that included sending two pairs of suicide bombers to the Mea She'arim neighborhood, an attack using an explosive-laden ambulance, and an attack on a bus carrying worshippers to Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem. Some of those arrested, including the would-be suicide bombers, served in the Palestinian national security services. The cells received instructions from Palestinian militant leaders in Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
  • U.S. Policy to Israel Won't Change - Nina Gilbert
    The U.S. is expected to continue its "friendly policy" toward Israel under any administration, IDF Intelligence Branch chief Maj.-Gen. Aharon (Farkash) Ze'evi told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday. If Arafat exits the scene, however, the U.S. may use the opportunity to "balance" its policy in the region, including seeking to get Israel's unilateral disengagement plan into the road map, Ze'evi said.
        Arafat, hospitalized in France, won't choose a successor or give away powers, according to the IDF's intelligence assessment. As long as Arafat can function, he will continue to make an impact and give orders. Arafat's death could lead to a shakeup of the old Tunisian leadership and give a chance to a new generation, he said. During this period, terror will continue since the groups will still have motivation and capabilities. Mahmoud Abbas, the former PA prime minister, was likely to take over the PA after Arafat. Current Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei recognizes Abbas as the more senior figure. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel to Offer $10 Million for Info on Ron Arad
    Prime Minister Sharon confirmed Sunday that the Israeli government has decided to offer a US$10 million reward for significant information on the fate of air force navigator Ron Arad, who was shot down over Lebanon 18 years ago. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Knowing How to Intervene - Aluf Benn
    Middle East diplomacy is about to change. The U.S. wants to show more involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian arena after the elections, with the friendly encouragement of the Europeans and the Arabs. Jerusalem is bracing for an intensification of activity, especially if Arafat is no longer the ruler of the PA. But the lessons of the previous decade of American mediation show that hyperactivity is not a miracle drug. (Ha'aretz)
  • Is Everything Arafat's Fault? - Amira Hass
    Blaming Arafat for "everything" is becoming part of a current fashion among Palestinians. It is convenient among the Palestinian elite and many activists to shrug off any personal and collective responsibility for what is happening. Over the years, Arafat would not have been able to display his virtuosity in creating circles of supporters and doers of his bidding in return for money and perquisites had not prominent individuals and movements, including some in the opposition, agreed to take this from him. (Ha'aretz)
  • Without Arafat, a Chance for Peace - Lalita Panicker
    He may recover and come back to Ramallah, but Arafat will never again control the destiny of the Palestinians as he has done so far. And this is cause for celebration for the Palestinians. His record after returning to the West Bank and Gaza has been disastrous. Dressed in ridiculous battle fatigues, he has demonstrated that he can only work in a combat situation. He neither wants nor can he deliver peace.
        Arafat's lasting and most pernicious legacy is that he has contributed to completely changing the Palestinian psyche. The Palestinians were once the most secular, tolerant, and educated people in the Arab world. Today, Palestinian classrooms have become the hotbeds of recruitment for jihad. As a result, an entire younger generation has grown up on a diet of hate and fanaticism. (Times of India)
  • America Should Not Placate Israel-Hating Terrorists - Cal Thomas
    In his latest video, bin Laden says that what got him thinking about striking back at the "American-Israeli alliance" on Sept. 11, 2001, was Israel's attack on terrorist sites inside Lebanon in 1982. I was in Lebanon with the Israeli Defense Forces at that time. The Israeli invasion had as its objectives to root out terrorist positions from which rockets were launched against civilians in northern Israel, and to stop a PLO reign of terror in southern Lebanon which, according to Lebanese Christians, consisted of torture, rape, extortion, and the confiscation of public buildings and private homes whose residents were either driven out or murdered. (Tallahassee Democrat)
  • Sadat's Secret Pipeline to Kissinger - Ze'ev Schiff
    In his book, Crisis: The Anatomy of Two Major Foreign Policy Crises, Henry Kissinger divulges that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made contact with the U.S. on the very first day of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 through a secret intelligence channel in a message titled, "Conditions for Stopping the War." Kissinger understood that Sadat was effectively inviting the U.S. to take control of the postwar peace process. (Ha'aretz)
  • Observations:

    Israel on a Collision Course with Europe? - Zalman Shoval (Jerusalem Post)

    • According to a "secret" report prepared by the Israel Foreign Ministry's Center for Political Research, Israel and Europe will find themselves on a collision course, causing serious economic and diplomatic damage to the Jewish state.
    • An important underlying premise of the report - that Europe may soon match or exceed the influence of the U.S. - is certainly open to question. If anything, the gap in military power, not to mention willingness to project it, has only widened over the last few years.
    • On the positive side, the bilateral relationship between Israel and most European states, including France, is far better than it appears. Economic and scientific ties in particular are rapidly expanding.
    • Israel, after all, is more "European" - culturally, economically, and democratically - than any other state in the Middle East and several of the EU's members.

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