Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
U.S. and Israel to Expand Cooperation in Homeland Security - Sharon Behn (Washington Times)
Hamas Celebrates Third Anniversary of Kassam Rocket Attacks - Gal Berger (News First Class-Hebrew)
IDF Using Killer Drones in Gaza - Arieh O'Sullivan and Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Scores of Israeli Apartments Sold at Paris Fair - Elazar Levin (Globes)
Israel Remembers Yitzhak Rabin, 1922-1995 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Main Points of Gaza Disengagement Plan (AP/Washington Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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):
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)
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 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)
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)
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.
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