Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Daily Alert is sponsored by the Fairness Project
Who's Inside the Church of the Nativity?
Who's Inside the Church of the Nativity?
Daily Alert Back Issues
News Resources - USA and Europe:
The evacuation agreement to resolve the siege at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity where the IDF has trapped scores of Palestinian terrorists broke down at the last minute when Italy refused to accept the men. Two key members of the Italian ruling coalition contend that the terrorists should not be allowed to enter their country. Under the agreement, 13 wanted terrorists were to have been deported to Italy and another 26 were to be sent to the Gaza Strip. (Washington Post)
"The government of Saudi Arabia denies religious freedom and vigorously enforces its prohibition against all forms of public religious expression other than that of those who follow the government's interpretation...of Sunni Islam. Numerous Christians and Shi'a Muslims continued to be detained, imprisoned, and deported."
News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
At least 16 people were killed and 60 wounded in a suicide bombing at a Rishon Lezion pool hall late Tuesday night while Prime Minister Sharon and President Bush were meeting in Washington. Sharon cut short his visit to the U.S. and return to Israel to convene the security cabinet. (Jerusalem Post/Maariv)
Husam Kadar, a senior member of the Fatah Tanzim in the territories, said in response to the attack in Rishon Lezion: "The operation proves the nobility of the Palestinian people and its irrepressible willingness to carry out sacrifice and persist with the struggle against the occupation." (Yediot Ahronot/IMRA)
The Arab Media Summit in Dubai on April 28-29 was devoted to "Overcoming Difficulties of Conveying the Arab Point of View to the West." Foreign speakers included Washington Post's Ben Bradlee, NY Times' Tom Friedman, Arab-American activist James Zogby, Helene Cobban, and Eric Rouleau.
Bradlee told his audience of the "absence of [a Washington] Arab presence, an informed Arab presence....The Jewish lobby is extremely strong in America....The representation of the Arab world in the U.S. was not accomplishing the task."
Friedman, accused by a questioner of accepting a Saudi junket, stormed out. Later, Friedman granted an interview, headlined in the Gulf News, "Sharon is insane -- Friedman." Indeed, Friedman reiterates this charge in his Gulf News interview.
Global Commentary and Think Tank Analysis
(Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
You give a fellow the Nobel Peace Prize; award him much of the land he demands and a $90 million monthly budget; let him build an armed force on Israeli territory; and, finally (as Dennis Ross recently revealed), get both the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel to promise him all of Gaza and nearly all of the West Bank as an independent and joined Palestinian state -- and what does he do? He goes to war against you. (Washington Post)
A virulent strain of anti-Semitism has taken root in the body politic of Islam to an unprecedented degree. This tidal wave of anti-Semitism blurs any distinctions between "Zionists" and "Jews." (American Jewish Committee)
In 1979 a group of religious fanatics occupied the Grand Mosque of Mecca. Though the government killed the extremists, it then essentially adopted their ideology. Saudi Arabian society must start a tough process of social and political reform. (Washington Post)
A Second Look at the Jenin "Massacre":
A BBC documentary filmed inside Jenin's refugee camp months before the latest fighting showed bomb factories and Hamas/Al-Aqsa cooperation. "We're taken deep inside Jenin refugee camp...two Al-Aqsa fighters...have several hideouts -- sometimes in large apartment blocks like these. Families live all around them, making it harder for the Israelis to strike without inflicting other casualties." (BBC)
Isabel Burton, wife of the famous explorer and linguist Richard Burton, wrote of the Arabs: "Out of the very stones they will fabricate such a tower of falsehoods that you can only stand and gape in wonder and admiration at their fruitful invention." (National Review)
War in the future is much more likely to look like the West Bank than Afghanistan. When, like the Israelis, we are compelled to become choosers of the slain in an urban fight, how will we balance dead American soldiers against dead enemy civilians? (Washington Post)
Said the reporter: "For me it all comes down to one word, ‘occupation.’" "But madam," said the reserve unit’s medical officer, "Jenin hasn’t been occupied for nine years." (Jewish Journal of LA)
Despite flimsy evidence British papers jumped the gun to apportion blame when a West Bank refugee camp was attacked. As a result, the reputation of the press has been damaged. (Guardian-UK)
The Sharon Visit to Washington