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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DAILY ALERT

August 6, 2003

To contact the Presidents Conference:
info@prescon.org

In-Depth Issue:

The Day After the Truce - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    All of the terrorist organizations have been preparing tirelessly for "the day after the truce" ever since it was declared, sources in the defense establishment said Tuesday.
    These preparations include weapons training, test firings of Qassam rockets, and bomb-making lessons.
    Since the cease-fire took effect, three Israelis and one foreign worker have been killed and 16 Israelis have been wounded in 178 attacks, including 118 shooting attacks and 10 incidents of mortar fire in Gaza.
    The Shin Bet security service foiled 36 planned attacks that it deemed major and arrested 75 suspects.
    There are currently 12 warnings pertaining to planned attacks, including five relating to suicide bombings originating in the West Bank.


Israelis Psychologically Resilient Despite Terrorism - Amanda Gardner (Health Day)
    Although Israelis are deeply affected by terrorist acts that occur in their daily life, the psychological impact "may be considered moderate."
    The relatively muted psychiatric response may be related to a "habituation" process and to the wide use of coping mechanisms, say the authors of a survey appearing in the Aug. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    Said Marc Gelkopf, co-author of the study, "We knew that people would be stressed but we did not know that people would not be sick, that 19 months of extreme stress did not bring people to the brink."
    A high proportion of respondents reported feeling optimistic about their personal future (82%) and Israel's future (66%).


Gaza Emerges as Major Food Producer (Kosher Today)
    Gaza's 10,000 Israeli residents generate $25 million of produce for export each year.
    Gush Katif's greenhouses also churn out 90% of the bug-free produce in Israel.
    The area is the largest exporter of geraniums and of organic produce.
    Some 400 Thais and about 1,500 Arabs work there.


Useful Reference:

Tisha B'av (the 9th of Av)
    Wednesday evening begins the traditional Jewish day of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
    See a 90-second movie: A Day at the Western Wall. (Aish HaTorah)
    See also The Jerusalem Archeological Park (Israel Antiquities Authority)


Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues


News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Powell: U.S. Surveys Saudi Financing of Terror
    Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday in an interview broadcast to the Arab world that while Saudi Arabia has been "especially aggressive" in responding to U.S. terrorism requests, "we still have issues with respect to financing, and how money gets to charitable organizations." (AP/Washington Post)
        See also U.S. Officials Press Saudis on Aiding Terror
    A delegation of senior U.S. counterterrorism authorities is in Saudi Arabia this week to press government officials there to do more to crack down on the financing of terrorism. Officials from the National Security Council, State Department, Treasury, and FBI are meeting with Saudi leaders to get the Saudi government to shut down businesses and charities used to funnel money to terrorist groups, including al Qaeda. (Washington Post)
  • Lawmakers Protest Threats to Cut Aid to Israel Over Security Fence
    Secretary of State Powell said in a broadcast to Arab countries, "A nation is within its rights to put up a fence if it sees the need for one." However, "In the case of the Israeli fence, we are concerned when the fence crosses over onto the land of others."
        In response, Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said, "The administration's threat to cut aid to Israel unless it stops construction of a security fence is a heavy-handed tactic....It has no place in relations between allies....The Israeli people have the right to defend themselves from terrorism, and a security fence may be necessary to achieve this." Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called the security fence "a reasonable defensive policy that respects the terms of the cease-fire currently in force and does no violence to the Palestinian people." (AP/USA Today)
        See also Rice: Security Fence Will Not Affect Loan Guarantees - Nathan Guttman and Aluf Benn
    U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told Dov Weisglass, the prime minister's bureau chief, Tuesday that deducting the cost of the separation fence from U.S. loan guarantees is not on the agenda. However, other sources in the U.S. administration reiterated Tuesday that the U.S. is indeed considering deducting the costs of the fence from the loan guarantees. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Says Al Qaeda Active in Palestinian Areas
    In a report to the UN Security Council submitted on Tuesday, Israel said al Qaeda operatives carrying foreign passports had tried several times since 2001 to enter Israel to gather intelligence and to carry out attacks, but those attempts were thwarted and border security has since been tightened. The report also accused al Qaeda of intensifying its propaganda activities in Palestinian areas. ''Examples include leaflets signed by 'the Bin Laden Brigades in Palestine,' inciting to 'jihad' against Jews and promising to continue 'in the footsteps of Osama bin Laden,''' the report said. (Reuters/MSNBC)
  • House Dems in Israel Meet Abbas, Sharon
    House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who is leading 29 House Democrats in a weeklong tour of Israel to discuss the Mideast peace process, on Tuesday accused Yasser Arafat of hampering peace efforts and told the new Palestinian prime minister he must take responsibility and strike a deal with Israel. Hoyer said few of the Israeli leaders he talked to expressed confidence that Abbas, appointed by Arafat in April under U.S. pressure, had the power to act without Arafat's approval. (AP/Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Israel to Free Over 400 Palestinian Prisoners - Arnon Regular, Amos Harel and Baruch Kra
    Israel will release 339 Palestinian prisoners from IDF prisons on Wednesday, with another 99 to be released over the coming days. The men will be videotaped as they sign a document vowing that they will not undertake illegal activities against Israel in the future. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinians Support Current Truce
    A poll conducted of 1,200 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza on July 24-26 by the Birzeit University Development Studies Program found 74% support the current truce. 61% support a renewal of the truce for another 3 months. If elections were held now, Islamic groups would get 32% of the vote, Fateh 29%, and the leftists 7%. (Birzeit University)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Saudi Reformers Under Fire from Clerics, Extremists - Faiza Saleh Ambah
    Last month, Abdul-Aziz al-Qassim, a former judge, criticized religious institutions in an interview with the al-Madina newspaper, saying extremists were misusing the writings of Abdul-Wahab to rationalize violence against non-Muslims. Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz al-Sheik, the highest religious figure in the kingdom, demanded portions be deleted. Al-Qassim refused, and the interview never appeared. Abdullah Bijad al-Otaibi, a reformed extremist, was stopped from writing for the al-Riyadh daily in June after publishing an article that accused some members of the religious establishment of spreading extremist views. The paper printed an apology to the mufti after he called to complain. Saudi newspapers are privately owned but closely monitored by the government.
        Another muzzling tactic is the two fatwas signed by extremist clergy and posted on Internet sites calling for the death of Mansour al-Nogaidan, a former imam and militant who spent two years in prison for burning a video shop. His offense was to tell an Internet magazine called al-Wasatiya that Saudi Arabia preaches an Islam of hate in its radio programs, schools, and mosques. Al-Nogaidan believes that despite a security crackdown that has netted more than 200 suspects and killed over a dozen since the May attacks, the fight against extremism is far from over. (AP/Boston Globe)
  • A Fence to Make Good Neighbors - Amitai Etzioni
    Instead of chiding Israel for building a fence between its territory and the land on which the Palestinian state is to be formed, the U.S. should welcome it. Indeed, it should offer to cover a good part of the cost to rush it along. First and foremost, it will serve as an effective barrier against terrorism. Critics say the fence does not follow the precise line of demarcation which this or that party favors as the border between Israel and Palestine. True. But it is no Great Wall of China and can be quite readily relocated or even removed when a peace treaty is forged. When all is said and done, the fence could do much to facilitate a cooling-off period for both sides. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Al Qaeda's Bloody Return - Editorial
    There is no sign that Indonesian President Megawati's government is half-hearted about defeating Jemaah Islamiyah, unlike Saudi Arabia - which protests its abhorrence of al Qaeda even as its charitable foundations finance, and its Wahhabi clerics preach, jihad against the West. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Observations:  

    The UN and the Assault on Israel's Legitimacy: Implications for the Roadmap - Anne Bayefsky (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    • The roadmap has significant roots in the UN, an organization long understood as biased against Israeli interests and Jewish well-being in general.
    • Examples include the work of the UN "Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories," established in 1968, and the UN "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," created in 1975.
    • There is a pressing need to clarify with the American administration what attributes of sovereignty will not be accorded a Palestinian state with provisional borders prior to final status negotiations.
    • Israel must reassert that its consent is necessary for any decision affecting its essential interests. An American commitment to object to any unilateral declaration of independence should be immediately forthcoming and clearly understood by the parties.
    • The UN and the EU must be kept out of any monitoring and assessment function. Recognition of a fundamental breach, and the ability to apply the necessary consequences, require that precise and public monitoring by Israel start now.


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