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
Prime Minister Sharon Addresses AIPAC
- See below
Report: Hamas Moving Operations to West Bank Ahead of Disengagement (Jerusalem Post)
Report: A Deal to Tame Hamas? - Roi Nahmias (Ynet News)
Conspiracy Theory Keeps Polio Alive - Daniel Pipes (Jerusalem Post)
Students Target Obstacles to College Studies in Israel - Manya A. Brachear (Chicago Tribune)
Anti-Israeli and Anti-Semitic Hate Propaganda in Cartoons Published in Official PA Newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies)
Anti-British Hate Propaganda on PA-Controlled TV - See Video (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The Syrian government has halted all cooperation with the U.S. in sharing information about the war on terror, Syria's ambassador Imad Moustapha said Tuesday. (CNN)
See also U.S.-Syria Relations Deteriorate Over Iraq - Barry Schweid
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Tuesday that in the past, Syria sometimes cooperated with the U.S. on the al-Qaeda terror network and "there were a few things they did with regard to the border" with Iraq. But now, he said, Syria no longer was cooperating in practical terms. (AP/Washington Post)
The PA will have to address financial mismanagement problems if it wants to attract increased donor aid, outgoing World Bank chief James Wolfensohn said Tuesday. Wolfensohn, who starts next week as a special envoy for major powers in coordinating Israel's pullout from Gaza, said he hoped to come up with an economic and aid plan for Palestinians in a month or so. In his new role, Wolfensohn will focus on economic and social development in Palestinian territories. (Reuters)
Amnesty International reiterates its calls to Palestinian armed groups to put an immediate end to the use of children in armed activities. "Palestinian armed groups must not use children under any circumstances to carry out armed attacks or to transport weapons or other material," Amnesty International said. On 22 May 2005, a 15-year-old Palestinian child carrying explosives was arrested by the Israeli army at the Hawara military checkpoint, at the entrance to the West Bank town of Nablus.
Several Palestinian armed groups, including the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, an offshoot of the ruling Fatah party, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have used children to transport explosives and munitions, thereby endangering their lives. In some cases these groups have sent children to carry out suicide attacks. Palestinian armed groups have repeatedly shown total disregard for the most fundamental human rights, notably the right to life, by deliberately targeting Israeli civilians and by using Palestinian children in armed attacks. (Amnesty International)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
A 15-year-old Palestinian was arrested at the Hawara checkpoint outside Nablus on Tuesday after he was discovered carrying two pipe bombs inside a black bag. Security officials said they believed the boy had been asked to smuggle the bombs to someone on the Israeli side. Security officials noted that since the beginning of the year, 52 Palestinian minors were caught wearing explosive belts or attempting to smuggle weapons through checkpoints in the West Bank. (Jerusalem Post)
Israel Radio on Wednesday quoted the London-based Al Quds al-Arabi newspaper as saying that Abbas has won agreement from Hamas leaders for a postponement of the PA legislative council elections, originally scheduled for mid-July. (Ha'aretz)
Lt.-Col. (res.) Moshe Marzouk, formerly head of the Lebanon desk in army intelligence, said Tuesday that there had been reliable reports from Lebanon that Syria's security and intelligence apparatus was still very much in place and that Syrian intelligence agents had simply rented places in other parts of Lebanon. Syrian "influence will not change even after the [Lebanese] parliamentary elections, especially in light of the inability of the opposition parties to forge a united list," said Marzouk.
Damascus viewed the insurgency in Iraq as being in its interest and that of its ally, Iran. The Syrian regime also believed that as long as the U.S. was bogged down there it would not take any overtly aggressive action against Syria. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Unfortunately, at this point, Abbas has been able to deliver little of what was expected. While he has made some moves against corruption - treading carefully, given the opposition of the old guard of Fatah - he has not been able to produce much on employment or freedom of movement. Palestinians still give him the benefit of the doubt, but they are increasingly dissatisfied with the absence of real change. One sign of this is the increasing appeal of Hamas - perceived as clean and capable of delivering services.
The international community acts as if a business-as-usual approach will suffice in providing the assistance that has been pledged. That could mean that by the time the money begins to appear, it will be Hamas, not the PA, making the calls on how it is spent. While the administration's assistance request has almost worked its way through Congress, there is little prospect that money from the U.S. will flow to labor-intensive projects before the elections.
The Bush administration needs to call publicly, not privately, for the creation of a Gulf Cooperation Council fund of $1 billion for Palestinian development, to be available immediately to finance housing projects that are labor-intensive and for which there are existing Palestinian blueprints and contractors; provide the $240 million the PA would like to spend on social programs to compete with Hamas; and underwrite the cost of the pensions Abbas needs to pay to those he has retired from the security organizations. Oil revenue for the Persian Gulf oil states has increased by $58 billion in the past year. These countries should be more than capable of providing $1 billion for the Palestinians. (Washington Post)
The Iraqis have made tremendous progress toward democracy, first by holding fair and contested elections, then by freely negotiating a series of compromise agreements to form a coalition government comprising diverse and even previously conflicting elements. In a country where freedom and compromise were equally unfamiliar, these are giant steps forward. But an important step still remains. The underlying assumption of the Iraqi parties seems to be that to be part of the political process one must somehow be part of the government. Failing that, one has no role in the political process, and one's only options are submission or resistance.
This is a dangerous fallacy. There is another essential component of any democratic system, and that is an opposition. The task of a democratic opposition is to oppose the government, to strive to oust and replace it at the next election, and meanwhile to subject its policies to rigorous but fair scrutiny. The opposition must be real and free, with a genuine, equal chance of winning. Otherwise the democratic process is about as meaningful as a football match with only one team. The writer is emeritus professor at Princeton. (Wall Street Journal, 24May05)
Americans don't strongly support Israel because of some super-powerful Jewish lobby or a devious press corps. It stems from atrocities committed by the Nazis and many others in past world history. Today, that same vitriolic hate and proclivity for violence is espoused by many Muslims. That is especially distasteful to Americans, when it is shouted with venomous emotion by Muslim religious leaders. And again, even more so when it seems to be emotionally embraced by "ordinary people" on the streets of the Middle East. Yes, there are grievances on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, but terrorism by car bombers, suicide bombers, and other murderers continue to make matters much worse.
With each act of terrorism, the resolve of Americans to support Israel is dramatically strengthened. If Muslims want to be respected in America, they must speak up for what, in the eyes of most civilized people, makes sense: individual freedoms, respect for individuals and tolerance of varying opinions, disdain for terrorism - especially, those who involve themselves or support it in the name of Islam. - Name withheld by request (Letter to the Editor, Khaleej Times-Dubai)
Appeasing the Terrorists Will Only Strengthen Them - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Prime Minister's Office)
Prime Minister Sharon told the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington on Tuesday:
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