Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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Iranians Had Key Role in Hizballah Drone Launch - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz)
Arafat's Millions Could Slip Away (AP/ABC News)
BBC Criticized for "I Cried for Arafat" Report - Tom Leonard (Telegraph-UK)
Poll: French See Arafat as Hero (JTA/Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
French officials, themselves impatient with the mystery surrounding the condition of Arafat, urged Palestinian leaders to come to try to break Mrs. Arafat's hold. Under French law, Mrs. Arafat has the right to control information about her husband and decisions about his treatment. (New York Times)
See also Suha Triggers Power Struggle - Amir Taheri
Suha Arafat's choice is Farouk Kaddoumi, a veteran of the PLO. Kaddoumi is also backed by Nasser Al-Kidwah, Arafat's cousin and PLO representative to the UN, and several of Arafat's brothers and cousins who wish to keep the leadership and its resources in the family. Kaddoumi was in Paris earlier this week reportedly to see the will that Arafat is supposed to have signed giving Suha full authority over the family's fortune. Prime Minister Qurei, however, has denied that there is a will. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
See also Choosing a Portentous Time to Die
There is a growing sense in the territories, affirmed by senior Palestinian figures, that Arafat suffered brain death late last week, and is being kept clinically alive until a leadership transition is sorted out. Tuesday night is Lailat al-Qadr, the Night of Power, the night on which Muslims believe God delivered the Koran to the Prophet Mohammed. It is the holiest night of Ramadan, a portentous time for the Palestinian leader to die. (Toronto Globe and Mail)
The Bush administration is reaching out to European allies for a possible new push for peace in the Middle East if Arafat is replaced by more moderate leaders, U.S. and diplomatic sources said Monday. A senior administration official said U.S., French, German, British, and other EU officials met on Friday at the White House to discuss efforts to revive the "road map" peace plan and how the death of Arafat would change "the realities in the region." Diplomatic sources said the meeting was a sign of growing trans-Atlantic coordination, which has been marred in the past by differences over whether to negotiate with Arafat. "If Arafat dies, there will be new realities in the Middle East and it is incumbent on the U.S. to recognize and be prepared to respond to those new realities," a senior administration official said. (Reuters)
Thousands of American marines and soldiers advanced across the deadly streets and twisting alleyways of rebel-held Falluja in Iraq on Monday. The move is expected to be the most significant battle since the fall of Baghdad 19 months ago. The number of insurgents in the city is estimated at 3,000. About 2,000 members of Iraqi security forces are fighting with the Americans. Amid the roar of battle, loudspeakers at mosques throughout the city were blaring, "Prepare for jihad!" and "God is great!" (New York Times)
See also Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi Gives Go-Ahead for Falluja Offensive (Reuters/Yahoo)
See also Awaiting Martyrdom in Falluja
A dozen fighters sat on the floor in a safe house in Falluja wearing sneakers, tracksuits and beards, preaching jihad and the virtues of martyrdom: five Saudis, three Tunisians, a Yemeni, and only three Iraqis. All were volunteers in the army of Monotheism and Jihad, the organization headed by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They talked of death not fearfully but in happy anticipation while waiting for the onslaught of American armor. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The vast majority of Palestinians never related to Suha as the first lady of Palestine. Most of Arafat's associates have despised her from the first moment she arrived to work as his "economic advisor" in Tunis. By accusing Qurei and Abbas of seeking to bury her husband while he's alive, Suha in fact fired the first shot in the battle for succession.
Suha's remarks are seen as an appeal to the Palestinians to revolt against the interim leadership and corrupt officials. She is supported by the PLO's hard-line foreign minister Farouk Kaddoumi, who sees himself as the natural successor to Arafat, and many disgruntled Fatah activists and gunmen in the West Bank and Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Suha's Outburst Infuriates Palestinians - Matthew Gutman
Suha Arafat's public refusal Monday to permit PA leaders Qurei and Abbas to visit her dying husband catapulted her to the level of national pariah. Dislike of Suha Arafat, said human rights activist Bassem Eid, "is something that most people can agree upon....For us she has become a neighborhood bully." "After four years of calling from Paris, she begins to tell us who our legitimate leaders are," said commentator Muhammad Yaghi. An editor at a Palestinian daily described one of his favorite "Suha moments": Gazans had just completed a food drive for Iraqi children apparently going hungry because of sanctions. Suha had every outgoing box stamped with "a gift from the first lady of Palestine."
Suha met her future husband, 34 years her senior, in the offices of former French president Francoise Mitterand. They married in 1991 when she was 28 and he was 62. In 1999 she almost ruined Hillary Clinton's New York Senate run by stating at a joint conference with the former first lady that Israel uses poison gas to disperse demonstrations. (Jerusalem Post)
On Tuesday Palestinians fired a Kassam rocket into an open area in the western Negev Desert. Palestinians fired two mortar shells into a Jewish town in the southern Gaza Strip. One landed next to a school and the second scored a direct hit on a home, causing extensive damage. Two more mortar shells were fired at a town in the northern Gaza Strip. Four people were treated for shock when one shell landed near a house and a second near a kindergarten. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
There is, in the world of diplomacy, only one type of leader with whom one must never negotiate under any circumstance - the leader who is a liar. It isn't a question of moral principle. It's a purely pragmatic question of utility. A terrorist who can be trusted to keep his word is a man you can do business with. It is impossible, though, to do business with a liar. There is no point in making agreements with someone who does not believe in the importance of keeping them.
This is a truth so simple and so obvious that it seems all but impossible to understand now how it could have eluded those who welcomed the disaster of Oslo with open arms 11 years ago. They thought that lying, like terrorism, was something that, if done up to a point for a purpose, could be after that point given up. They didn't realize that a man who has lied all his life will go on lying right up to his death. (New York Sun, 9 Nov 04)
Arafat was the second Palestinian leader in a row to betray his people's hopes; the first was his distant relative, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, who dominated Palestinian politics from the 1920s until the 1950s. Terror was the mufti's weapon. He turned away from reason and compromise, rejected the inescapable logic of partition, struck down his moderate rivals, and made his way to Berlin during the Second World War and bet on the Axis powers as redeemers of his people.
The world indulged Arafat, showered him with aid and money, and graciously offered him a place of prominence in the great diplomatic game. He could forever hoodwink the Europeans, who were all too willing to believe the legend of his moderation. It is idle to lament the historic opportunities wasted by this man. The fault lies not in a leader whose weaknesses were known the world over but in the illusions and the hopes invested in him by outsiders willing to be deluded. (U.S. News)
The Israeli security barrier is a historically valid, palpably necessary, provably effective, and comparatively tame self-defense measure. The Israeli barrier, while both reactive and anticipatory, is also passive and non-lethal. It thus fits very comfortably within the ambit of legitimate self-defense under international law as either designed or practiced. For a judicial tribunal to have censured it bespeaks a profound corruption of its mission, and one with seismic implications for the future of international law. (Commentary)
Will a Gaza "Hamas-stan" Become a Future Al-Qaeda Sanctuary?
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