Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference: click here
Academic Boycott of Israeli Universities Likely to be Overturned - Jon Boone (Financial Times-UK)
Israel Campus Beat
- May 22, 2005
What's Wrong with the British Boycott of Israeli Universities?
Hamas Protests Koran Desecration (AP/Jerusalem Post)
Palestinians Harangue Laura Bush at Muslim Shrine in Jerusalem Adam Entous (Reuters)
Bashar Assad's Uncle Plans Comeback - Roi Nahmias (Ynet News)
Israel 4th in Eurovision Song Contest - Ziv Cohen (Ynet News)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday demanded an end to recent Palestinian attacks in the Gaza Strip, saying there must be "complete quiet" for peace-making to move forward. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas "knows what he has to do," Sharon said. "There certainly has to be complete quiet. Without quiet, it will be impossible to move forward on the peace process."
Sharon arrived in New York for a three-day visit to the U.S. to bolster ties with American Jews. (AP/ABC News)
See also below Observations: Sharon's Address to American Jewish Leaders
Secretary of State Rice on Friday broadened U.S. accusations that Syria was contributing to violent insurgencies in Iraq. Rice said Syria may also be providing financial support for insurgents as well as "allowing its territory to be used to organize terrorist attacks against innocent Iraqis." Moreover, Rice said, Syria was supporting Palestinians trying to undercut cooperation with Israel on a projected withdrawal from Gaza. (AP/Miami Herald)
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) on Saturday advised Arab leaders at a World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan, to focus on injustices in their own countries. "It's a mystery to me why Arab countries can't work on their own countries before Palestine is fixed," he said. "Obviously one of the greatest commitments that we have is to the Jewish people and the State of Israel, to try and manage the difficult process of the peace there and securing that nation, and doing so in a way that, if possible, is just to the Palestinians," Smith said. (AP/ABC News)
See also U.S. Lawmakers: Israel First in Mideast Policy
Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) said at the conference that America is not a neutral player in the Middle East. "We are Israel's strong ally....It would be foolish for people to think that somehow we are neutral." (AP/Jerusalem Post)
Massachusetts Episcopal Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, a leading Christian advocate for Palestinian rights, has told the American Jewish Committee that he will oppose efforts, now sweeping through mainline Protestantism, to divest church funds from Israel. Shaw wrote, ''I do not support proposals for divestment in Israel." He said divestment is ''especially inappropriate" now, at a moment he described as a ''period of hope for peace," and he also said divestment would harm Palestinians because of the interrelationship of the Israeli and Palestinian economies. (Boston Globe)
More than 1,000 Sunni Arab clerics, political leaders, and tribal heads ended their two-year boycott of politics in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq on Saturday, uniting in a Sunni bloc that they said would help draft the country's new constitution and compete in elections. The Sunni leaders called for "liberating'' Iraq from U.S.-led forces "by all legal means.'' The statement condemned "all terrorist acts that target civilians, no matter the reason,'' but said, "resisting the occupier is a legitimate right.'' (Washington Post)
Iran's hard-line constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council, has rejected all reformists who registered to run in next month's presidential elections, approving only six out of the 1,010 hopefuls, state-run television reported Sunday. Reformers threatened to boycott the election. (AP/Washington Post)
See also Leading Reformer Banned from Poll in Iran - Gareth Smyth and Najmeh Bozorgmehr (Financial Times-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
On Saturday the Hizballah terrorist organization fired a large number of mortar shells at IDF posts in the Har Dov region on the Israeli-Lebanese border. This incident is a continuation of the provocative attacks carried out by Hizballah. Last week Hizballah fired 15 rockets and mortar shells into Israel. The Lebanese government has continuously failed to deal with the terror activities carried out within its jurisdiction and must act immediately to fulfill its obligations to stop terror. (Israel Defense Forces)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
"I think at the end of the day Iraq will succeed and stand on its own two feet and be independent and completely capable....The turning point was the elections on January 30....All the different sectors of Iraqi society are beginning to reach out to each other."
"President Bush actually triggered reform in that it became a subject for debate, which it wasn't as of two years ago. If you look at the Palestinian and Iraqi elections in January, both of which I think were largely successful, I think that set the tone. Whenever you have successful elections and signs of democracy moving in the right way in the Middle East, it creates a positive energy that makes countries move faster."
"The Amman message says the taking of lives of innocent people, hatred, anger, and suspicion against your fellow man have nothing to do with Islam. Winning the Muslim street back is not a 5-, 10-, or 15-year process. You have to reverse wrong education that has been used in the madrassas and other institutions that taught in the name of Islam you could kill your fellow man." (Washington Post)
We do not expect people to be arrested, tortured, and imprisoned for favoring global peace, interfaith dialogue, and ending religious hatred. But that is precisely what happened to me. What was my "crime"? Being a living contradiction: a Zionist and a devout Muslim living in Bangladesh, the world's second-largest Muslim country. (Jerusalem Post)
See also "Hello My Brother, I am Free!"
Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) and freelance writer Dr. Richard Benkin teamed up to win the release of pro-Israel journalist Shoaib Choudhury from a Bangladeshi prison on April 30. Choudhury spent more than 17 months in prison simply for advocating Jewish and Muslim dialogue and establishing ties between Bangladesh and Israel. (U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk)
Disengagement Will Guarantee a Jewish Majority in the State of Israel - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Prime Minister's Office)
Prime Minister Sharon addressed the American Jewish community leadership in New York on Sunday:
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