Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

October 26, 2004

To contact the Presidents Conference:
info@prescon.org

In-Depth Issues:

U.S. and Israel to Expand Cooperation in Homeland Security - Sharon Behn (Washington Times)
    Sixty top Israeli security-related companies will display their latest technology for agencies responsible for patrolling U.S. borders and protecting against terrorist threats, at an extraordinary trade conference in Washington this week.
    "The Israelis excel at combining photo optics, sensing devices, cameras and also water-acoustical instruments, capable of detecting any intrusion and identifying whether it is human or animal," said Rob Hartwell of the American Business Development Group, which helped organize the Oct. 28-29 conference.
    The event will also include firms involved in satellite tracking, security systems, firearms, ammunition, maritime security, armor, and bulletproof glass.
    The U.S. and Israel already cooperate in the military arena, and several skilled Israelis have clearances to work in the U.S. military sector.


Hamas Celebrates Third Anniversary of Kassam Rocket Attacks - Gal Berger (News First Class-Hebrew)
    Hamas is today celebrating its first launching of a Kassam rocket at Sderot on Oct. 26, 2001.
    Since then, Palestinians have launched more than 450 Kassam rockets at Israeli targets.


IDF Using Killer Drones in Gaza - Arieh O'Sullivan and Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel has been deploying "killer" pilotless aircraft in its battle against Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip and used one Sunday to kill two Islamic Jihad gunmen, Palestinian officials said.
    The U.S. has used the Predator drone armed with Hellfire rockets to strike at al-Qaeda targets in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.


Scores of Israeli Apartments Sold at Paris Fair - Elazar Levin (Globes)
    Contractors at an Israeli apartment fair in Paris last week report sales of scores of apartments to French Jews during the fair, and were negotiating the sale of scores more.
  Discount Mortgage Bank granted 30 loans to buyers at the fair, and expects to grant scores more.


Useful Reference:

Israel Remembers Yitzhak Rabin, 1922-1995 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
    At sundown on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 (12 Heshvan on the Jewish calendar), Israel marks the 9th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995.

Main Points of Gaza Disengagement Plan (AP/Washington Post)


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Palestinian Led Sinai Blasts, Egypt Says
    Eyad Said Salah, a Palestinian living in Sinai, organized the Oct. 7 bombings of three resort areas along the eastern Sinai coast that left 34 people dead, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said Monday. The ministry said Salah died unintentionally in the explosion at the Taba Hilton. It said two bombers remained at large, and five suspects with lesser roles were arrested. The other men were Egyptians from Bedouin tribes and all lived in Al-Arish on the northern Sinai coast. (New York Times)
  • Rice: Arafat Should Step Aside
    Foreign leaders who still talk to Arafat must pressure him to step aside, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice told an AIPAC conference Monday. Rice said if Arafat resigns, an independent prime minister can take power and restructure the Palestinian security forces. (AP/Washington Post)
  • American Forces Battle Insurgents on Syria-Iraq Border
    Syria's management of its 400-mile border with Iraq has been a major source of tension with the U.S. since the war started in March 2003. There have been recent accusations that American forces in Al Qaim took mortar fire from the Syrian side of the border, and that some men, money, and arms continue to filter across. "The whole border has become a less welcoming environment for insurgents," said a senior Western diplomat. "But the Syrians are trying to have it both ways. They are doing enough to show they have a real effort, but they don't want to be seen as having sold out." (New York Times)
        See also U.S. Airstrike in Iraq Kills Zarqawi Aide (AP/ABC News)
  • At Egyptian Mosque, People Try to Speak Out
    As the turbaned sheik finished his sermon and walked from the prayer hall, other speakers stepped in to speak. But the 1,000-year-old Al-Azhar mosque at Al-Azhar University, a revered seat of Islamic learning, is no sanctuary of free speech. Helmeted riot police ringed the mosque, while inside was the more subtle presence of plainclothes state security officers. One man spoke of Egyptians' struggle for freedom under what he called an oppressive government. Suddenly, the security agents materialized from the crowd, checking IDs and questioning the people crowded around the political speaker. (AP/Daily Times-Pakistan)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • IDF Redeploys in Southern Gaza - Margot Dudkevitch
    IDF forces left the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip Tuesday, redeploying in Palestinian areas located between the camp and IDF posts near Neve Dekelim. The redeployment allows troops to overlook areas used by Palestinians to fire mortar shells and anti-tank rockets at Gush Katif communities. Soldiers killed 20 armed Palestinians during the operation in Khan Yunis.
        Lt.-Col. Razili Dotan, deputy southern Gaza district commander, said, "The aim is to distance the mortar fire from Gush Katif and especially from Neve Dekelim. The main threats faced by security forces operating in the area are Palestinian sniper fire, bombs, and antitank rocket attacks....We shot many armed groups of terrorists spotted by troops. Some attempted to place bombs near security forces, others fired antitank rockets." "In many cases we saw armed Palestinians surrounded by children approaching troops to detonate bombs or shoot at them. Sadly, it is not the first time we witnessed the cynical use of children by terrorists. All the soldiers deployed in the area go to great lengths and sometimes personal risk to refrain from harming the children in the area," Dotan said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Jordan Resumes Mandatory Conscription - Arieh O'Sullivan
    The Jordanian government has approved the reinstatement of six-month conscription to offset unemployment and rising poverty. Jordanian sources also said the country was interested in cultivating a generation that could serve in a reserve force in case of an emergency. The Jordanian army until now has been powered mainly by Bedouin and not Palestinians, whose loyalty may be questioned. However, Palestinians will be included in the latest conscription. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Hamas Members Have Lost Right to be Humanitarians - Editorial
    If you're a terrorist who brutally murders innocents or a sympathizer who supports such crimes, to further some political cause, you can't be held any less accountable because you help people on your "good" days. But in employing members of Hamas as relief workers in the Mideast, the UN is giving these cold-blooded individuals exactly that kind of free pass. Hamas has massacred hundreds of men, women, and children and wounded thousands, many in suicide attacks. In hiring members of Hamas, the UN gives it a made-to-order cover for its bad deeds.
        It's bad enough that the UN hasn't taken a more active role in censuring Palestinian terrorism and recognizing Israel's legitimate defense needs. To harbor Hamas terrorists or their sympathizers in the name of humanitarian good is a crime in and of itself. (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Rootless, Grandiose, and Islamofascist - Steven Vincent
    The Iraqi moneychanger told me, "America cares nothing about democracy - it wants only to steal our oil and make Israel more powerful....America invaded Iraq to make Israel number one!" While I usually ignored the opinions of the Iraqi "street," this time something compelled me to respond. "America invaded Iraq to make Israel 'number one?' That's stupid! Israel already is number one. In its military and economy, Israel is the strongest country in the Middle East. And do you know why? Because it is a democracy! Once Iraq becomes a democracy, who knows? Maybe you'll be number one!" At last, I thought, a riposte to Arab conspiracy theories! (FrontPageMagazine)
  • Jordan's Peace Dividend - Orly Halpern
    Jordan is trying to transform from an agriculture-based economy to an industrialized one through 12 special qualifying industrial zones (QIZ) that allow companies to export tax-free to the U.S. provided that 35% of the product is jointly Jordanian and Israeli, and that the Israeli component constitutes at least 8%. The U.S. approved the zones in order to reward Jordan for its peace-making effort. Al-Tajamouat, the most productive QIZ, has 31 factories manufacturing garments and jewelry for customers such as Ralph Lauren, Victoria's Secret, Levis, Bill Blass, Wal-Mart, Sears, Hanes, and JC Penney.
        While 56 companies in the QIZs employ more than 32,000 workers, half are not Jordanian. Since Jordan still lacks the kind of workforce necessary for manning and supervising conveyor belts, foreign investors fly in workers from Sri Lanka, China, and Bangladesh. Jordan's leaders are scrambling to find ways to encourage their own people to take the jobs and adapt to fixed hours, short breaks, and bossy superiors who must be heeded. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Peace and Quiet and Exports - Dalia Shehori (Ha'aretz)
  • Faces of Denial - Ralph Peters
    Europeans insist that the U.S. overreacted to 9/11. What Europeans fail to grasp is that the nature of terrorism has changed. The terrorists of the past were essentially political organizations with political goals, either to gain a people's independence or to force their ideology on society. The old-school terrorists that Europe survived did not seek death, none were suicide bombers. Now we face terrorists who regard death as a promotion, who believe themselves to be instruments of their god's will. While they'd like to see certain changes here on earth - the destruction of Israel, the U.S., the West, unbelievers and heretics everywhere - their longed-for destination is paradise. (New York Post)
  • Observations:

    The Disengagement Plan - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Prime Minister's Office)

    Prime Minister Sharon addressed the Knesset on Monday prior to the vote on the disengagement plan, to be held Tuesday evening.

    • We are on the threshold of a difficult decision, the likes of which we have seldom faced.
    • This is a people who has courageously faced, and still faces the burden and terror of the ongoing war, which has continued from generation to generation; in which, as in a relay race, fathers pass the guns to their sons; in which the boundary between the frontline and the home front has long been erased.
    • I know the implications and impact of the Knesset's decision on the lives of thousands of Israelis who have lived in the Gaza Strip for many years, who were sent there on behalf of the governments of Israel, and who built homes there, planted trees and grew flowers, and who gave birth to sons and daughters who have not known any other home. I am well aware of the fact that I sent them and took part in this enterprise, and many of these people are my personal friends.
    • As much as I understand everything they are going through during these days and everything they will face as a result of the necessary decision to be made in the Knesset, I also believe in the necessity of taking the step of disengagement in these areas, with all the pain it entails, and I am determined to complete this mission.
    • I am firmly convinced and truly believe that this disengagement will strengthen Israel's hold over territory which is essential to our existence, and will be welcomed and appreciated by those near and far, reduce animosity, break through boycotts and sieges, and advance us along the path of peace with the Palestinians and our other neighbors.
    • As one who fought in all of Israel's wars, and learned from personal experience that without proper force we do not have a chance of surviving in this region - which does not show mercy towards the weak - I have also learned from experience that the sword alone cannot decide this bitter dispute in this land.
    • I have been told that the disengagement will be interpreted as a shameful withdrawal under pressure, and will increase the terror campaign, present Israel as weak, and will show our people as a nation unwilling to fight and to stand up for itself. I reject that statement outright. We have the strength to defend this country, and to strike at the enemy which seeks to destroy us.
    • The disengagement plan does not replace negotiations and is not meant to permanently freeze the situation which will be created. It is an essential and necessary step in a situation which currently does not enable genuine negotiations for peace. However, everything remains open for a future agreement, which will hopefully be achieved when this murderous terror ends, and our neighbors will realize that they cannot triumph over us in this land.


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