Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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Israel Defense Forces Soldiers Receive Citations for Valor - Margot Dudkevitch (Jerusalem Post)
- May 10, 2005
Issue of the Week:
Remember. Don't Forget. Then Celebrate
PA Has Not Disarmed Terrorists (Jerusalem Post)
PA to Sound Siren to Protest Establishment of Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Al-Hayat Washington Bureau Chief: Some Arab Regimes Support Terrorism in Iraq to Thwart Democracy (MEMRI)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The Iranian government Tuesday confirmed that it is to resume its suspended nuclear program. A British Foreign Office spokesman said such a move would automatically halt two years of negotiations between Tehran and the European trio - Britain, France, and Germany - and see immediate referral to the UN Security Council. The U.S., in a view shared by Europe and Israel, suspects Iran is covertly trying to secure a nuclear weapon. (Guardian-UK)
Intense fighting along the Syrian border in northwestern Iraq subsided Tuesday, as U.S. forces wound down an assault on foreign insurgents. Col. Bob Chase, operations chief for the 2nd Marine Division, said, "We are getting a lot of information from the locals in the area and a very positive reception." Three Marines had been killed and fewer than 20 wounded in the campaign. (Washington Post)
See also "They Came Here to Die" - Ellen Knickmeyer
Screaming "Allahu Akbar'' to the end, the foreign fighters lay on their backs in a narrow crawl space under a house and blasted their machine guns up through the concrete floor with bullets designed to penetrate tanks. "They came here to die," Sgt. Chuck Hurley said Tuesday. "All they wanted was to take us with them.''
U.S. Marines turned up weapons cache after weapons cache: bombs made to be dropped from airplanes, a bicycle with a seat made of explosives and an antenna for remote-control triggering, a vest rigged with explosives, a car rigged with bombs, mortar tubes, rocket launchers with new backpacks full of rockets, artillery shells. The costly equipment, as well as body armor later recovered from the bodies of dead insurgents, suggested that the fighters were foreigners. (Washington Post)
"I don't think they [the PA] have the motivation or the legitimacy to move against Palestinian militants," an Israeli military official said Tuesday. He noted Israel had given the Palestinian security forces the names of militants involved in February's suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub in which five people were killed. The Palestinians arrested the men, locked them up in Tulkarm, but after several days "they had enough and got out." If the Palestinians take a terrorist who killed an Israeli and who has not renounced terror, make him a postal worker and let him keep his gun, "this is not what we call taking a person off the wanted list," the military source insisted.
He estimated a third of the 400 people on the "wanted list" are now "on hold," having received jobs with the Palestinian security forces. Another third are negotiating an arrangement. "Terror is on hold," though militants are preparing for a resumption of attacks, the military source said. According to the army, there were 80 roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank on April 1, compared with 180 in January 2004. (UPI/Washington Times)
Leaders of South America and the Arab world, two regions that have long chafed at American dominance, gathered in Brasilia on Tuesday to air their list of grievances. But the two blocs almost immediately voiced profoundly different priorities, with Arabs focusing their criticisms on Israel and the U.S. and calling for greater solidarity with the Palestinians. South American leaders, however, sought to keep the emphasis on economic issues.
Attendance fell short of Brazil's initial expectations. While the majority of South America's 12 presidents are participating, only 7 of 22 Arab nations are represented by heads of state or government. (New York Times)
See also South Americans Attack U.S. Sanctions Against Syria - Raymond Colitt
Leaders from 33 South American and Arab nations on Tuesday moved to criticize U.S. economic sanctions against Syria and question Britain's claim to the Falkland Islands. (Financial Times-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The exit of the Syrian army from Lebanon has led to a rush of arms and equipment into the country, with Iranian Revolutionary Guards filling the vacuum by channeling money, weapons, and directives to Hizballah, a senior military source said Tuesday. "The Syrians pulled out, but the Revolutionary Guard didn't. They are laying low but continuing to fund, arm, and direct Hizballah," said the senior officer, adding that Hizballah was passing some of this on to operatives in the PA areas.
With more than 13,000 Hizballah rockets aimed at Israel, the air force has no intention of halting its intelligence-gathering overflights, despite calls from the UN to do so, he said. The assessment in the IDF is that the uniformed Syrian army has physically pulled out of Lebanon and is in the midst of installing mechanisms to continue monitoring events there. (Jerusalem Post)
The ruling Fatah faction is having difficulty coming to terms with the gains made by Hamas in last week's local elections. The PA has decided to postpone the announcement of the final results pending an investigation into allegations of irregularities and fraud. This has worried Hamas leaders, who fear that Fatah will try to change the results of the elections in its favor. Political analyst Talal Okal noted that it was absurd that a ruling party should accuse the opposition of fixing the elections. (Jerusalem Post)
On the eve of Israel's 57th Independence Day, the country's population is estimated at 6.9 million residents, says the Central Bureau of Statistics. Some 5,260,000 Jews currently live in Israel, 76% of the total population, alongside 1,350,000 Arabs, who comprise 20% of the population. Since last Independence Day, 149,000 babies were born and 26,000 new immigrants arrived, including 9,500 from Russia and former Soviet states, and 4,400 from Ethiopia. 65% of Jews were born in Israel, 950,000 were born in the former Soviet Union, while 77,000 were born in North America. (Ynetnews)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
On Tuesday evening, May 10, and all day on Wednesday, May 11, the entire Jewish world should come to a standstill. In honor of Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day, every Jew should light memorial candles at home and contemplate the many lives extinguished by decades of Arab assaults against Israel. Jews throughout the world should mob our often under-attended memorial services. This year - and in all subsequent years - Jewish community calendars should frame those 24 hours in black, marking this as a time when no galas are held, no fundraising takes place, no Jewish sports teams play, and theaters go dark. It's the least we can do to honor the many Israeli sacrifices for the Jewish people.
This year, Yom Hazikaron is particularly important, because, while it is not politic to shout it out loud, Israel won this ugly war. The Palestinians miscalculated. Israelis rallied when attacked, demonstrating unexpected unity, discipline, and grit. (Canadian Jewish News)
A substantial record of statements and actions suggests that, despite their anti-Zionist swagger, Israel's most fervid enemies do perceive its political virtues. Pro-Israel expressions by Palestinians fall into two main categories: preferring to remain under Israel rule and praising Israel as better than Arab regimes. In mid-2000, when it appeared that some Arab-majority parts of Jerusalem would be transferred to PA control, Fadal Tahabub, a member of the Palestinian National Council, estimated that 70% of the 200,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem preferred to remain under Israeli sovereignty. Na'im Salama, a lawyer living in Gaza, was arrested for slander by the PA when he wrote that Palestinians should adopt Israeli standards of democracy. (Middle East Forum)
Whereabouts of Bin Laden Are Known - Interview with Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon - Amnon Dankner and Ron Leshem (Maariv-Hebrew, 11May05)
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