Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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PA Glorifies Jerusalem Couple's Murderers as Martyrs - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
Palestinian Journalists Urged to Celebrate Gaza "Retreat" - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Iran Recruiting Suicide Bombers - Roi Nahimas (Ynet News)
U.S. Bans Travel in Saudi Arabia for Military Personnel (Reuters)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Investigators have identified a suspected suicide bomber in Saturday's attacks in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh as Youssef Badran, an Egyptian with radical Islamic ties, officials said Tuesday. Egypt's Health Ministry said 64 people died in the attacks. 17 were non-Egyptians, including an American, Kristina Miller, 27, of Las Vegas. (AP/Guardian-UK)
One of the suspects in last week's botched bombings in London is Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, a native of Eritrea who became a British citizen two years ago, while a second suspect, Yasin Hassan Omar, 24, from Somalia, had been collecting welfare payments of $500 a month, British officials said Tuesday.
Sarah Scott, 23, who lives near Ibrahim's parents, described how he had tried to convert her to Islam. "He told me he was going to have all these virgins when he got to heaven if he praises Allah," Scott said. (Washington Post)
Judges on Tuesday handed down a rare maximum life sentence with no possibility of parole to Mohammed Bouyeri, 27, the Dutch-born Muslim who confessed to - and expressed no regret for - shooting, stabbing, and nearly decapitating filmmaker Theo van Gogh on Nov. 2, 2004. Bouyeri has said he hoped to receive the maximum punishment, preferably death, in his quest for martyrdom. (AP/Boston Globe)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The Israel Defense Forces is planning to withdraw from the Philadelphi route along the Gaza-Egypt border in October, Defense Minister Mofaz told Channel 1 TV on Tuesday. 750 Egyptian police will be deployed on the western side of the Philadelphi route to prevent weapons from being smuggled into Palestinian territory. In a meeting Prime Minister Sharon held several days ago, Israeli officials decided that if an agreement is reached with Egypt, the IDF would withdraw from the Philadelphi route. (Ha'aretz)
Israel will not agree to hold an international summit on advancing the post-disengagement diplomatic process until after the first stage of the Roadmap, an official close to Prime Minister Sharon said on Sharon's plane en route to Paris. "There will be no international summit until after the first stage of the Roadmap is completed and no one knows when that will be - it could take 15 years," the official said. (Jerusalem Post)
The U.S. administration has refused to rescind sanctions against Israel until it takes steps to prove it has increased its monitoring of security-related exports. The U.S. wants to see Knesset legislation enacted within 18 months tightening oversight of military exports, and is demanding a memorandum of understanding be signed. The U.S. also wants a written apology from Israel and Mofaz over Israel's sale to China of replacement parts for Harpy attack drones sold to China in the mid-1990s.
After Israel raised a white flag and acquiesced to most of Washington's initial demands, the U.S. made additional, harsher demands, and was said to have shown contempt for the Israeli delegation. The American delegation is led by Lisa Bronson from the Pentagon, and the head of the State Department's Bureau for Political-Military Affairs, Rose Likins. (Ha'aretz)
Islamic Jihad terrorist Tammer Hassin Sa'id Gaer, 24, a resident of Ilar village near Tulkarm, was arrested on Monday. After the deadly terror attack in the Netanya mall this month, Gaer took shelter in the PA's Special Forces building in Tulkarm where he was under PA protection. Gaer's organization was responsible for a chain of suicide attacks, car bomb attacks, and shooting attacks in Israel and the Tulkarm area in the past six months. Gaer was caught with one of his assistants, Mohammed Fathi Mohammed Badda, a member of the Palestinian security forces. The Islamic Jihad terror infrastructure is continuing to build itself and plan future terror attacks. (Israel Defense Forces)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Shortly after the suicide attack in Netanya on July 12, Abu Mazen made a plea to Ramadan Abdallah Shallah, the general secretary of Islamic Jihad in Damascus, to deny responsibility for the attack. Later it turned out that part of the suicide operation was planned inside the police station of Tulkarm under the watchful eyes of Palestinian security officers. Just a few days before the bomb, Abu Mazen and Shallah had met over dinner twice, once at the table of President Assad and the second time in the Damascus home of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal.
Anyone who dreams that the PA will shake itself out of its lethargy when it smells the scent of disengagement is going to be sorely disappointed. Essentially, the PA will not try to smash the alternative authority that has developed alongside it - the association of terror organizations that is demanding its share of the booty and wants to operate according to its own political agenda. Abu Mazen will denounce the Jihad's terror and, at the same time, continue to sit with its leaders. He will declare the need for "one authority and one gun," while reconciling himself to the armament of the "popular army" of Hamas. (Jerusalem Report)
Consider an extraordinary report published this year by the Center for Religious Freedom, a division of Freedom House, which surveys more than 200 books and pamphlets collected at mosques and Islamic centers in U.S. cities. Most were in Arabic. All were published by the Saudi government or royal family, and all promote the extreme form of Wahhabi Islam found in Saudi Arabia. The books reflect contempt for the U.S., condemn democracy as un-Islamic, and claim that Muslims are religiously obliged to hate Christians and Jews. Most insidiously, the documents denounce moderate Muslims, especially those who advocate religious tolerance, as infidels.
To fight these ideas, friendly state visits from Laura Bush will not suffice. Neither will more Britney Spears songs for Muslim teenagers, which is what we play on U.S.-funded Farsi and Arabic radio in the Middle East. Instead, we need to monitor the intellectual and theological struggle for the soul of Islam, and we need to help the moderates win. (Washington Post)
When you read reports that the Muslim terrorists who bombed the London Underground may have gotten together for a pre-attack whitewater rafting trip in Wales, you realize that this is a revolt of the privileged, Islamic version. London bomber Shahzad Tanweer had just received a red Mercedes from his dad. Their spiritual leader is a Saudi billionaire's son who grew up with big ideas and too much money. He created a new identity for himself as a jihad leader, carrying the banner of a pristine Islam from the days of the Prophet Muhammad.
People who were students in the 1960s will remember the phenomenon: the idealistic kids from elite public and private schools who went to college, felt guilty about their comfort amid a brutal world, and joined the Progressive Labor Party to ally with oppressed Third World workers. There is a cult aspect to this jihad. The Islamic extremists are often described as "Salafists." The Arabic word salaf means "past," and the Salafists are said to be trying to recreate the pure values of the Prophet's companions. (Washington Post)
Arab states should provide Abbas with a political umbrella for insisting upon one Palestinian Authority, as they should endorse his frequent statements that suicide bombing undermines Palestinian national aspirations. It should be made clear that the Arab states do not condone the firing of mortar rockets at Israeli towns, nor will they endorse efforts by Hamas to seek de facto control in Gaza after Israel's departure. Furthermore, the Arab states should donate substantial portions of their oil revenue windfalls to their Palestinian brethren. Despite the fact that OPEC countries have netted a $58-billion windfall as part of $303 billion in revenue last year, they gave only $107 million to the Palestinians.
It is also important that Arab states provide incentives for Israel as well as Palestinians. Four Arab states - Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, and Oman - should reestablish the semi-diplomatic ties they held with Israel before 2000. (Newsday)
Israelis Know: Profiling's Key - Yishai Ha'etzni (New York Post)
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