Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Lebanon Says Pro-Syrians Suspected in Hariri Death (Reuters) Palestinian Boy Carrying 3 Bombs Nabbed - Efrat Weiss (Ynet News) IDF Uncovers 20-Meter-Long Arms Smuggling Tunnel at Egypt Border (Ha'aretz) Weapons Sales Worldwide Rise to Highest Level Since 2000 - Thom Shanker (New York Times)
Lebanon Says Pro-Syrians Suspected in Hariri Death (Reuters)
Palestinian Boy Carrying 3 Bombs Nabbed - Efrat Weiss (Ynet News)
IDF Uncovers 20-Meter-Long Arms Smuggling Tunnel at Egypt Border (Ha'aretz)
Weapons Sales Worldwide Rise to Highest Level Since 2000 - Thom Shanker (New York Times)
News Resources - North America and Europe:
President George W. Bush stepped up pressure on the Palestinians one day after a suicide bomb attack, urging Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday to show the courage to crack down on terrorism. Bush praised Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's for pulling Jewish settlers out of Gaza, saying this was a first step toward creating a democracy for Palestinians. "It took political courage to make that decision," Bush said during a speech in El Mirage, Arizona. "And now it's going to take political courage by the Palestinians and Prime Minister Abbas to step up, reject violence, reject terrorism and build a democracy," he added. (Reuters)
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says Israel will not keep all Jewish settlements in the West Bank in any final peace deal with the Palestinians. Mr. Sharon spoke Monday on Israeli television, one week after removing Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank enclaves. He did not provide details of future Israeli pullbacks, and he said all main West Bank settlements will remain under Israeli control. He said final Israeli plans for the West Bank will not be unveiled until the start of formal peace talks with the Palestinians. (Voice of America)
Gaza should be Hamastan. Why not? We are not corrupt. We are serving the poorer classes. We are defending our land. It should be Hamastan! Containment will not succeed with Hamas. I don't trust the term "moderate." We are already moderate. But if people believe we will be moderate in the Western style, or a pro-Israeli style—that's not moderate. That's corruption. [Would Hamas accept a two states peace plan?] Nobody on the Israeli side, from the extreme right to the extreme left, will withdraw from Jerusalem. At the same time, believe me, nobody on the Palestinian side, in the Arab and Muslim world, will accept keeping Jerusalem under occupation. [The Palestinians] lost everything [after Oslo]. We are not the PLO. We are not going to repeat a failed [process]. (Newsweek)
Washington has rescinded its demand that Israel and the U.S. jointly mark the boundaries of settlements in the West Bank, according to American and Israeli officials. Neither side reportedly has an interest in marking the boundaries: for Israel, it would be an uncomfortable concession; for the U.S., it would legitimize the existing settlements.
U.S. officials said they are now making do with warning Israel to refrain from expanding the West Bank settlements. As an effect of such warnings, they note that most construction licenses in recent years have been given within the large settlement blocs or within built-up areas. (Ha'aretz)
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has issued an order to evacuate a controversial Jewish outpost in the heart of the Old City of Hebron, long one of the Middle East's most combustible powder kegs. The outpost, which settlers call the Rinat Shalhevet neighborhood and Palestinians the Situnai Market, served as a Palestinian wholesale market until 1994 and is now home to 11 Jewish families. The move is slated to take place before December. (Jerusalem Post)
The images flashed around the world last week of Jewish families uprooted and evicted through no personal fault of their own by young male and female soldiers who shed tears along with the settlers in the sad fulfillment of their duty has cut deeply into the minds and emotions of Jews everywhere.
Prime Minister Sharon has said that until the Palestinians fulfill their defaulted steps under the road map, including dismantling the infrastructure of terror, disarming Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizballah, and other terrorist groups, and bringing criminals to justice, no one should expect Israel to renew further steps under the road map, which is based on reciprocal progress.
A major lesson of the disengagement experience is that Israel should not be asked to test its institutions and the fabric of its society by a repeat of the experience and images of tearing Jews from their homes. The Gaza disengagement teaches us that, even for those who may feel that Israel should ultimately make some adjustment in the location of Jews in Judea and Samaria, forcible eviction is unacceptable. (New York Sun)
Palestinians have the chance to improve their lives if they stop feeling sorry for themselves. Possibly 600,000 of them fled the 1947-48 war that Arab states launched against newly born Israel, and 60 years later they still consider themselves "refugees." Now the Palestinians claim they number more than 5 million - and that the world still owes them a living. Here's my advice to the Palestinians. Get your act together, work with what you have and build up global trust. Most importantly, convince the Israelis you want peace - not to destroy Israel. Until you do, you won't get anything more - and maybe you'll get even less than you already have. (New York Daily News)
While U.S. diplomats and Washington advisers continue to facilitate compromise among Iraq's disparate sectarian, ethnic, and political groups, the reality emerging outside Baghdad is directly challenging Iraq's aspirations to constitutionalism. Massoud Barzani in the Kurdish north and Moqtada al-Sadr in the Shiite south have rejected the experts' academic proposals, and have chosen instead a model perfected by Yasser Arafat, the late PLO chairman. While Clinton fêted the Palestinian leader at the White House, cajoled him with aid, and turned a blind eye toward his corruption, Arafat broke promises habitually and, until the last years of his life, without consequence. He extracted blood from the Israelis and treasure from the Americans, all the while consolidating his position. His concessions were limited to pledges whose fulfillment was never required. That conclusion is something Iraqi militia leaders have taken to heart. While diplomats and parliamentarians debate the finer points of federalism, warlords are constructing something rather different. (National Review)
A Clash of Civilizations - Amir Taheri (MSNBC/Newsweek International)
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