Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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PA Smuggles Donor Funding Abroad (Middle East Newsline)
Palestinians Caught Crossing Egypt-Israel Border (Jerusalem Post)
Syrian "Terror" Suspects Seen as "Thieves" by U.S. (Reuters)
1 in 5 Has Lost Loved One to War or Terror - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
A series of terrorist blasts have ripped through central London leaving scores of casualties. Eye-witnesses reported seeing bodies piled in the wreckage of damaged Tube trains. A double decker bus packed with people forced off the underground when the network was shut down was ripped apart by a massive blast. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said there had been at least six explosions. (Scotsman-UK)
See also Witnesses Tell of Subway Horror (CNN); London Blast: Survivors' Tales - Peter Bale (Times-UK)
See also Scotland Yard "Warned of Attacks"
British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before Thursday's explosions they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city, a senior Israeli official said. (Scotsman-UK)
Syrians are increasing assistance to foreign fighters preparing to enter Iraq and kill civilians and U.S. troops, despite months of pressure on Damascus from Washington to crack down on the jihadists. A U.S. official said recent intelligence shows that Syria is the home to Web sites that exhort militants to come to the country for preparation to fight and die in Iraq. Syrians also are providing barracks-like housing as the recruits from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco, and other Muslim countries prepare for jihad, or holy war. The fighters also receive weapons, training, and money in Syria.
U.S. officials say it is impossible for hundreds of jihadists to move in and out of Syria on a weekly basis without the government's approval. Last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, "It's up to Syria's neighbors, including Iraq, to interact with Syria in a way that helps them understand the damage they're doing to the region." (Washington Times)
The World Bank's West Bank and Gaza regional director Nigel Roberts said Tuesday that the international community would look closely at Israeli and Palestinian performance before pumping money into Gaza. "Donors in my view would be ill-advised to inject large additional sums of money today unless the policy conditions are put in place that will enable Palestinian economic recovery,'' Roberts said. "[Otherwise] it's simply a waste of money.'' (AP/Guardian)
See also Palestinians Need More Cash - Robert E. Hunter
The Palestinians need at least $5 billion as soon as possible from the U.S. and other nations, mostly for use in the Gaza territory that Israel plans to evacuate. Without such a major infusion of cash, Israel's withdrawal risks becoming yet another failed attempt at peace, or even the prelude to more violence. (International Herald Tribune)
A judicial report released Saturday alleged the Egyptian government forged turnout figures and forced state employees to fabricate results in a May referendum. The government said 54% of 32 million registered voters cast their ballots in the referendum, in which 83% of voters approved a constitutional amendment for Egypt's multiparty presidential elections. But the report said no voters came to the polling stations overseen by judicial officials and that other stations did not exceed 3%. The report said the government's claim that 90-100% of registered voters turned out in some areas was "illogical." (AP/Washington Post)
See also Egypt Puts Off Reformer's Trial - Hassan M. Fattah
An Egyptian court on Wednesday postponed the forgery trial of leading opposition figure Ayman Nour until Sept. 25, clearing the way for him to run in the presidential election in early September. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
In an interview with a local Gaza news agency, senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar threatened both open confrontation with the PA and continued attacks on Israel from Gaza after disengagement. Zahar warned: "The Palestinian Authority and Fatah need to know that what they are doing now is playing with fire. They will bear responsibility for ignoring Hamas and the [other] factions and for their insistence on managing the withdrawal alone. We will not serve as a fig leaf on this matter, nor will we allow it [the PA] to steal the achievements of the street and Hamas - the sacrifice of its [Hamas'] sons and its leadership to liberate the land of Gaza - just so that this land will be distributed to some individual or another."
Zahar hinted that Hamas would be willing to use force against the PA to prevent it from running Gaza after Israel's withdrawal: "Just as we did not accept the occupation of the land, we will not allow it to be allocated to anyone who did not play a part in liberating it," referring to the PA. "We will not give our weapons to anyone, and we will not enter the PA's jails," he added. (Ha'aretz)
One Palestinian gunman was killed and a second was wounded Wednesday after a three-man Islamic Jihad terrorist cell opened fire on soldiers in an ambush near Morag in the southern Gaza Strip. Military sources said more than 320 terror-related incidents have taken place in the Gaza Strip over the past month, including a number of shooting incidents at IDF posts on Wednesday. (Ha'aretz)
An IDF unit arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian Wednesday at a checkpoint southwest of Jenin who was smuggling two improvised explosives and a knife. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The Hasanein family business is gunrunning. M. Hasanein, 27, lives with his seven brothers and father in the Montar district, the highest location in the Gaza Strip overlooking all of Gaza City and the eastern borders with Israel. The Palestinian police cannot enter Montar, said M.: "They know their limits. We are far more armed than they ever can be." At the Hasanein family home, weapons of all kinds and types lay around the place - AK47 assault rifles from Russia and China, M16 rifles from the U.S., and Heckler submachine guns from Germany.
"With the coming of the PA, we talked to them and agreed to open a small factory to produce weapons," said J., the Hasaneins' patriarch. "We produced variations of the Uzi [Israeli submachine gun], and we repaired some AK47s that went haywire. We also produced rounds for small handguns," he said. J. explained that, after a while, some PA officials tried to muscle in on their lucrative business, but they retaliated by cutting off the supply of weapons to Palestinian security agencies.
"Israeli tanks destroyed our [weapons] factory in 2001 during a night incursion. We could do nothing to stop them, for we know they were coming for this factory," M. told us. "Since then, we preferred smuggling to manufacturing." (Scoop-New Zealand)
High fertility, despite appearances, has little to do with nationalism or ideological struggles. Only in the literary imagination of zealots do people procreate for the nation. High fertility is rather rooted in the perception of children as an economic and social asset, especially in agrarian societies. Demographic nationalism is often added later. Conversely, the two main factors leading to dramatic falls in fertility have been women's education and female employment outside the household. The high fertility of Palestinian families is more of a threat to Palestinians than to Israelis, since it contributes to large undereducated households, keeps women in conditions of virtual servitude, and contributes to poverty and ignorance. (bitterlemons.org)
Responding to Bias - Fight or Flight? - Andrea Levin (Jerusalem Post)
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