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
Britain Goes on High Alert, Spurred by Hint of Attack - Don Van Natta Jr. (New York Times)
- August 4, 2005
Issue of the Week:
JCC Maccabi Games
Jordan Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot to Attack U.S. Troops - Suleiman al-Khalidi (Reuters)
Judge in '94 Buenos Aires Blast Impeached - Colin McMahon (Chicago Tribune)
Israel's New No. 2 Diplomat in Washington Begins with Post-Withdrawal Challenges - Daphna Berman (Ha'aretz)
Jewish Doctor's "Secret Links" to Arab Leaders (Al-Bawaba-Jordan)
Spray Can Prankster Tackles Israel's Security Barrier - Sam Jones (Guardian-UK)
Nepalese Disabled Dancer Gets Help from Israel - Sudeshna Sarkar (Indo-Asian News sevice)
Israeli Online Pharmacies Attracting U.S. Customers - Stephanie Horvath (Palm Beach Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
A 19-year-old AWOL Israeli soldier opened fire on a bus in the Israeli Arab town of Shfaram in northern Israel on Thursday, killing four people and wounding a dozen others in an attack that Israeli officials quickly labeled Jewish terrorism. The shooter was in turn beaten to death by an angry mob. (Los Angeles Times)
See also Sharon: "A Reprehensible Act by a Bloodthirsty Jewish Terrorist"
Prime Minister Sharon said Thursday: "This was a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist who sought to attack innocent Israeli citizens. This terrorist event was a deliberate attempt to harm the fabric of relations among all Israeli citizens....The entire State of Israel, regardless of race, religion or sex, strongly condemns this act of terrorism. The government is determined to protect the lives of Israel's citizens, from all ethnic communities and sectors." (Prime Minister's Office)
See also Jewish Terrorist Kills Four on Bus in Arab Town - Jack Khoury
The attacker, Eden Natan-Zada, 19, from Rishon Lezion, was an activist in the outlawed Kach movement and went AWOL a month ago to protest the disengagement plan. Natan-Zada's mother said Thursday that the family had begged the IDF to take his gun away. (Ha'aretz)
Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, formerly senior staff members at AIPAC, were charged in an indictment filed Thursday with illegally conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to journalists and an unnamed foreign power that government officials identified as Israel. AIPAC dismissed the two men last April. Rosen and Weissman have denied any wrongdoing. They operated in a foreign policy world in which private lobbyists, public officials, and journalists often trade delicate information about executive branch decision-making that is related to other countries. The indictment said the two had disclosed classified information about American policy in Iran, terrorism in central Asia, al-Qaeda, and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.
Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Rosen, said: "The charges in the indictment announced today are entirely unjustified. We expect that the trial will show that this prosecution represents a misguided effort to criminalize the public's right to participate in the political process." The indictment does not suggest that AIPAC, as an organization, is suspected of any wrongdoing. Patrick Dorton, a spokesman for the group, said: "AIPAC dismissed Rosen and Weissman because they engaged in conduct that was not part of their jobs, and because this conduct did not comport in any way with the standards that AIPAC expects of its employees. AIPAC could not condone or tolerate the conduct of the two employees under any circumstances. The organization does not seek, use, or request anything but legally-obtained appropriate information as part of its work." (New York Times)
See also Two Charged in Pentagon Information Leak - Mark Sherman
The government is not accusing Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin, Rosen, and Weissman of espionage, although the FBI has questioned at least one Israeli official. Israeli Embassy spokesman David Siegel said his country's diplomats have done nothing wrong. "We've seen no information to suggest anything to the contrary," Siegel said. (AP/Washington Post)
See also Text of the Indictment (pdf) (New York Times)
Israel expects at least 180,000 of the current 240,000 settlers in the West Bank will be able to stay in their homes with approval from the U.S., Dov Weisglass, senior adviser to Prime Minister Sharon, said on Thursday. "Altogether, we talk about 180,000 settlers of a total population of 240,000. So this is of course a significant step forward in this matter," Weisglass said. He said that Washington backed Israel keeping major settlement blocs as "an integral part of the State of Israel." "It means the entire area of greater Jerusalem, the city of Maale Adumim, the settlements in the Gush Etzion area, and the bloc of settlements around Ariel." (Reuters)
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, in his debut in the UN Security Council on Thursday, urged all nations "to meet their obligations to stop the flow of terrorist financing and weapons, and particularly on Iran and Syria." (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and the Jenin area in the West Bank is the first step toward Jerusalem, PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said Thursday. He said the struggle would only end once Jerusalem is in their control. "We will still celebrate once we reach our goals and establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, with the return of the refugees," he said.
Qurei called the Palestinians, "the children of Yasser Arafat the martyr and the children of Ahmed Yassin the martyr." "We promise you, Arafat, you will stay in our hearts. We will continue to follow your path and carry out your promise that Palestinian girls and boys will wave the Palestinian flag above the walls of Jerusalem, its mosques and churches. We will continue until victory. None of us will give up until we are on Jerusalem's soil." (Ynet News)
Vice Premier Shimon Peres told a ministerial committee Thursday an agreement with the World Bank on handing over Gush Katif greenhouses to the Palestinians may not go through because of Palestinian objections. In response, the Agriculture Ministry warned Gush Katif farmers to dismantle the greenhouses immediately and take them outside the Gaza Strip. (Ha'aretz)
Israel would permit Jordan to send a military delegation to help train Palestinian forces deployed in the West Bank, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told King Abdullah Thursday during their meeting in Jordan. "Should the Jordanians wish to offer their Bader Brigade for the purpose of training Palestinians in the West Bank, we would surely agree to it," said Mofaz. (Ynet News)
See also Anti-Terror Bureau: Don't Go to Jordan - Diana Bachur-Nir
Israel's Anti-Terror Bureau warned travelers Thursday to put travel plans to Jordan on hold. "In light of concrete information, the terror threat in Jordan has worsened in the past few days, particularly against tourist sites and Israeli targets," a bureau statement said. (Ynet News)
With a heavy heart, I embrace Prime Minister Sharon's argument that the Jewish state must not rule over Gaza's 1 million hostile Palestinian Arabs in perpetuity; that Gush Katif is no longer a military asset; and that to salvage as much of Judea, Samaria - and Jerusalem - as possible, precious communities must be uprooted. Sharon claims that once the Gaza withdrawal is behind us there will be no "gestures" and no "progress" on the road map until the terrorism infrastructure is dismantled. If he holds firm, if the U.S. pro-Israel community unites behind this stance, Israel will be diplomatically better off than it is today. Disengagement allows Israel to consolidate its defensive lines. It demonstrates understanding of international public opinion, and stabilizes the home front. (Jerusalem Post)
The Palestinians have several reasons to celebrate. The unilateral nature of Israel's withdrawal is a success for them, as this is a withdrawal for which they are required to make no payment. This is an Israeli withdrawal that comes free of charge. Moreover, the withdrawal puts Israel back on the 1967 border with no amendments or compromises. The day after the pullout, the Palestinians, or so they believe, will also gain control of the border checkpoints, which means Palestinian sovereignty and independence. This is no longer autonomy, the sort they were granted in Oslo, but sovereignty, granted without them having to make any commitments. And what brought this about? The Palestinians have only one explanation: Terror, suicide bombings, and the mortar and Kassam rockets launched at Israeli towns caused the Israeli prime minister to consider withdrawal. They will be looking for a similar process in the West Bank and Jerusalem. (New York Jewish Week)
While the disengagement plan should prove to the Palestinians and the Arab world that Israel is serious about peace and the creation of a viable Palestinian state, the withdrawal risks sending the wrong message: Palestinians may come to believe that terrorism is what forced Israel from Gaza. Like many Israelis I am fearful that rather than leading to a reduction in terrorism, the disengagement plan may be used as an excuse by the Palestinian terrorists for further violence.
This is why it is critical that the entire Palestinian leadership make it clear to their own people that Israel's leaving Gaza does not represent a victory for armed struggle. Should the majority of Palestinians see the withdrawal for what it is - a bold step towards an elusive peace - then Israel's move will reignite hope that a broader, negotiated two-state solution is possible. The writer, a member of the Labor party, is the minister of construction and housing. (Guardian-UK)
The terrorists will present the withdrawal as a victory for terror. Gaza will become an armed camp dominated in effect by Hamas, if formally by an ineffectual PLO. As a result, Israel will be exposed to a terror enclave on its border. Missiles may well hit Israeli cities, forcing it to massively retaliate against the Palestinian state in Gaza. The advantage is that this time, Israel won't be fighting to protect settlements lacking international legitimacy, but Israeli cities. Will that matter for Europe or the UN? Perhaps not. But it will matter for Washington and, in the end, that's what matters. (New York Jewish Week)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Both American and British intelligence agencies report receiving plenty of valuable information and assistance from Saudi security forces. And the Saudis themselves have reportedly killed or captured 23 of 26 of their own most-wanted al-Qaeda suspects in the past three years.
What the Saudis have refused to do, however, is completely snuff out the conditions that lead to terrorism. Members of the Saudi royal family - which consists of 7,000 princes with 22,000 wives among them - are the world's leading exporters and funders of Islamic extremism in Arab and non-Arab nations alike. Saudi royals are almost certainly behind the Koranic schools in Pakistan where the London bombers imbibed the particularly intolerant brand of Sunni Islam - Wahhabism - that is the official faith of the theocratic Saudi kingdom.
Likewise, the Saudis have funded nearly 80% of British mosques, two-thirds of those in continental Europe, and somewhere under half of those in North America - many of them radical. And they often pay for Wahhabi imams from the Arabian peninsula to emigrate to Western mosques, where they preach their anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, anti-Western theories to a generation of young Muslims. Until the king insists that his relatives stop funding hatred and teaching it in their schools, the war on terrorism will drag on. (National Post-Canada)
See also Relying on the Saudis - S. Rob Sobhani
The U.S. dependency on Saudi oil to bring stability to world oil markets requires a fresh approach to U.S.-Saudi relations. A fundamental premise of this new policy should be the repudiation by the Saudi royal family of its alliance with Wahhabi clerics. Washington should identify and work with those in the Saudi royal family who are committed to an interpretation of religious doctrine that allows for pluralism and does not encourage Wahhabi proselytizing, both within the kingdom and outside. (Washington Times)
See also Saudi Arabia's Missed Opportunity - Raja Kamal (Chicago Tribune)
We look like them, we dress like them, we speak like them, and we pray like them. We cannot identify them before they strike. They hate us because we reject their ideology. They would kill us as ''infidels." We are Muslims. So are they. But they are terrorists and we are not. As troubling as it is for Muslims to be identified as potential terrorists, the truth is that the terrorists conducting such barbaric acts in today's society are Muslims.
While the recent terror acts have been committed by Muslims, there is nothing ''Islamic" about them. They are totally antithetical to the fundamental principles of Islam and represent a heretical deviation of the religion. It is us Muslims who have the greatest vested interest in eradicating terrorism. We need to do this to salvage our religion and our self-respect. An act of terror is an act of supreme injustice. Its prevention is the moral imperative of every Muslim. The writer is former president of the Islamic Council of New England. (Boston Globe)
Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar says she has uncovered what may be the fabled palace of the biblical King David. Other scholars are skeptical that the foundation walls discovered by Mazar are David's palace. But they acknowledge that what she has uncovered is rare and important: a major public building from around the 10th century BCE, with pottery shards that date to the time of David and Solomon and a government seal of an official mentioned in the book of Jeremiah. "This is one of the first greetings we have from the Jerusalem of David and Solomon," said Gabriel Barkay, an archaeologist from Bar-Ilan University. (New York Times)
Gruesome details from coded Nazi messages that Britain intercepted beginning in 1941 could have confirmed and exposed the scope of German genocide well before 1945, when Allied troops liberated the death camps. Eavesdropping on Hell, written by Robert J. Hanyok, a historian with the National Security Agency's Center for Cryptologic History, which was quietly released last month, reports that intelligence gleaned throughout the war from German military and police communication and from foreign diplomats provided lurid, though often fragmentary and episodic, accounts of massacres, deportations, and even statistics on the killing in concentration camps. One message, declassified in 2000, was intercepted on Jan. 11, 1943. It specified the number of Jews killed under "Operation Reinhard" at four death camps - Lublin, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka - through 1942: 1,274,166. (New York Times)
Anti-Semitism is an undeniable part of the war Islamic militants are currently waging on innocents the world over. As Gabriel Schoenfeld writes in The Return of Anti-Semitism: "The United States is now locked in a conflict with adversaries for whom hatred of Jews lies at the ideological core of their beliefs." Instead of being unacceptable - as it should be - all too often anti-Semitism is tolerated by civilized people who should be repulsed and outraged by it. It doesn't help the cause of good versus evil when the prime minister of Britain speaks after the London bombing and, in listing nations that have also fallen victim to Islamic terrorism, leaves out Israel (where bus bombings have long been a reality). You don't have to be anti-Semitic to be part of the problem. (National Review)
European anti-Semitism preceded anti-Americanism by centuries, and the two did not emerge as the inseparable tandem that they have now become until the late nineteenth century. Anti-Americanism is one of the very few prejudices in contemporary Europe which correlate positively with education and social status: the higher the education the greater the prejudice. Until the mid-1960s, this was also the case with anti-Semitism in Austria and Germany. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
IDF Prepares for the Day After Withdrawal - Joshua Brilliant (UPI/Middle East Times-Cyprus)
To subscribe to the Daily Alert, send a blank email message to:
To unsubscribe, send a blank email message to: