Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Woman Part of Sinai Terror Attack - Inigo Gilmore and David Harrison (London Sunday Telegraph)
Mossad Investigates al-Qaeda Links to Sinai Bombings
- Uzi Mahnaimi (Times-UK)
Anti-Zionist Arab Books Criticized at Fair - Edward Wyatt (New York Times)
Palestinian Authority Support of Hamas Suicide Terrorism
(Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Center for Special Studies)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
In the space of a few horrific minutes Thursday night at the Taba Hilton, a woman fell eight stories in a bathtub. The charred and twisted skeleton of a car flew from the front driveway into a banquet hall. Every window in the hotel blew out. Everything is black and smells of acrid, burned metal. At the front of the hotel, guest rooms had plunged into the lobby. Three receptionists died there. So did the secretary, the tourist policeman, the hotel security officer, and the rental car man. A month ago, the same hotel provided me and my family with an escape from the daily fears of living in Israel. (Washington Post)
A Bedouin tribesman has confessed to selling explosives that might have been used in three car bombings targeting Israeli tourists, Egyptian security officials said Sunday. "The explosives were sold on the assumption that they were going to the Palestinians," an official said. (AP/ABC News)
British hostage Kenneth Bigley escaped briefly from his captors in Iraq on Thursday shortly before they beheaded him, insurgent sources said Saturday. They said Bigley managed to get away for about half an hour with the help of one of his captors before he was caught. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israeli rescue workers at the site of the Taba Hilton ended their search operation Sunday. Security sources said that the bodies of all the Israelis missing since the blast had been located. Homefront Command officers say that despite early assessments, most of those killed were not Israelis but foreign tourists. 13 Israelis were among the 32 people killed last Thursday: 29 in Taba - including at least 14 Russians, 6 Egyptians, and 2 Italians, and 3 - all Israelis - in Ras al-Satan 50km away. (Ha'aretz/Jerusalem Post)
In Ramallah, many Palestinians on Saturday expressed support for the attacks in Sinai. Maha Odeh, a secretary for a local law firm, said she was "delighted" when she heard about the bombings. "I don't know any Palestinian who is sad on a day like this." Fayez Ibrahim, a student at Bir Zeit University, said, "We want to see such attacks in the heart of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv." At a Hamas rally in Nablus on Friday, hundreds of Palestinians expressed support for the bombings and called for stepping up Kassam rocket attacks on Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
"This is the most important attack we've seen - not only for Egypt but for the whole region - from the point of view of the war on terror and the stability of the region," said Diaa Rashwan, an expert on militant Islam at Egypt's Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. "Egypt is now damaged on many levels." Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco all have suffered recent devastating strikes by Islamic militants, direct challenges to governments that have forged ties with the U.S. The attacks in Egypt, the most populous Arab country, have wounded the psychological epicenter of the Arab world.
Analysts say the attacks also undermine Egyptian offers to control Palestinian militants in Gaza in the event of an Israeli withdrawal. "How can you protect the Israelis from Gaza when the Israelis were victims on Egyptian soil?" Rashwan said. "The Egyptians can't speak of any role in Gaza when they can't even protect themselves."
For many Egyptians, any government cooperation with the Jewish state is baffling and unacceptable. "Everywhere there are those pushing the government to end the peace treaty and cancel the peace," said Egyptian government spokesman Taha Abdel Aleem. (Los Angeles Times)
For the terrorists who massacred dozens of tourists and workers in the Egyptian resort of Taba, weakening a government like Mubarak's, one that maintains relations with both the U.S. and Israel, had to stand near the top of their list of objectives. Killing Israelis is not exactly an unpopular activity in today's Middle East. Stopping potential killers brings much more scorn. Yet despite the political cost, there is little doubt that the Egyptian government will work to prevent another night of devastation. The Islamist ideology that fuels today's Muslim extremism was born from Muslim intellectuals in Egypt. Their ideological offspring assassinated Mubarak's predecessor, Anwar Sadat, and have tried to kill the current president more than once. (Miami Herald)
I lived in Sinai from 1975 to 1979 as a guide in the local field school of the Society for the Protection of Nature. For me, as for many others, the peninsula, with its magical landscapes and its hospitable inhabitants, was for years a window of hope in a hostile Middle East. Sinai was a sanctuary for an entire generation - my generation. The very existence of a calm Arab space as the direct land continuation of Israel was both significant and reassuring. The association that will define Sinai for most of us in the near future was last Thursday. Cut off from magical sunrises, it is now associated to a nightmare. Even those whose resumes don't include the sunrise at Jebel Umm-Shumar or bathing in the Wishwashi cisterns lost the Sinai paradise this week. And at a time of crisis, when every minute determines life or death, the Egyptians were preoccupied with the question of sovereignty. (Ha'aretz)
See also Mourning a Paradise Lost along Sinai's Coast - Daniel Ben-Tal (Jerusalem Post)
Some Palestinian leaders are abandoning the two-state solution - Israel and Palestine, side by side - in favor of a one-state solution: a single, secular state in which Jews and Arabs would live in democratic harmony. This idea is percolating through the Western intelligentsia and even into left-wing circles in Israel. The problem is that such a state would not be Jewish. The premise of Zionism - the premise of Israel - is that Jews need and deserve their own state. Israel must remain a Jewish state, and to do that and be a democracy as well, it must always have a Jewish majority.
It took the Israelis decades to accept the idea of a Palestinian state next door. They saw it as a staging ground for conquest and elimination of the Jewish state. The "single-state" solution would achieve that same illegitimate goal by more decorous means. (Los Angeles Times)
See also An Answer to the New Anti-Zionists: The Right of the Jewish People to a Sovereign State in Their Historic Homeland - Dore Gold and Jeff Helmreich (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
On July 28, Princeton historian Bernard Lewis told the conservative Hamburg-based daily Die Welt that Europe would be Islamic by the end of this century "at the very latest." In the same interview, Lewis described the EU's break with the U.S. in terms of a "community of envy." ("Understandably, Europeans harbor some reservations about an America that has outstripped them. That's why Europeans can well understand the Muslims, who have similar feelings.") Asked whether the EU could serve as a global counterweight to the U.S., Lewis replied: "No." He saw only three countries as potential "global" players: definitely China and India, and possibly a revivified Russia. "Europe," he said, "will be part of the Arabic west, of the Maghreb."
Bassam Tibi, a Syrian immigrant who is the most prominent moderate Muslim in Germany, wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized." Tibi seemed to warn that Europe did not have the ability to reject Islam, or the opportunity to steer it. "The problem is not whether the majority of Europeans is Islamic," he added, "but rather which Islam - sharia Islam or Euro-Islam - is to dominate in Europe." (Weekly Standard)
The New Anti-Semitism - Clifford D. May (Washington Times)
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