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
On Islamist Websites: A Guide for Preparing Nuclear Weapons (MEMRI)
- October 11, 2005
Issue of the Week:
Hamas and the Palestinian Election - A Test for Democracy
High Alert for Yom Kippur - Efrat Weiss (Ynet News)
Britain Accuses Iran of Running Training Camps for Bombers - Kim Sengupta (Independent-UK)
Qatar Bankrolls $6 Million Stadium for Arab Israelis (Daily Star-Beirut)
On-Line Diplomacy Course Opens - Hilary Leila Krieger (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Prime Minister Sharon pledged Tuesday to continue with steps toward peace with the Palestinians, but only if they do their part first, while ruling out new initiatives. "We have nothing new to invent," he said. "We have a plan the Cabinet accepted, the road map, that can be implemented if the Palestinians do their part." Israel insists the Palestinians must dismantle violent groups before Israel takes any steps. (AP/Washington Post)
See also Sharon Calls for United Jerusalem, Developing Jordan Valley and Golan Heights - Vered Luvitch
Prime Minister Sharon began his speech Tuesday by saying that Jerusalem is Israel's eternal and undivided capital. "We will continue to...strengthen Jerusalem, the Negev and the Galilee, as well as the settlement blocs, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley," he said. (Ynet News)
"We must show no compromise in our fight against Hamas and support Abu Mazen (Abbas) without hesitation," Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told public radio on Tuesday. "This is a battle between fanatical groups of extremists and murderers, such as Hamas and al-Qaeda, and men of reason, people with whom one can talk and negotiate." "It is as much an internal battle within the whole Arab world as a conflict with Israel." (AFP/Yahoo)
President Bush held a private 30-minute meeting in the Oval Office with a group of Palestinian officials last week, officials confirmed Tuesday. The impetus for the rare session was undersecretary of state and presidential confidante Karen Hughes, who had received complaints about the administration's Palestinian policy during her recent tour of the Middle East. During Hughes's trip to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, she told reporters she was surprised Bush had not received more credit for his efforts on establishing a Palestinian state.
The flabbergasted Palestinian officials - who were in Washington preparing for the White House visit of Mahmoud Abbas on Oct. 20 and had expected to meet only with an assistant secretary of state - were told to come to the White House and meet with the president. ''I was absolutely surprised," said Diana Buttu, a legal adviser to Abbas. ''They said, 'The president wants to see you,' and I said, 'The president of what?'"
At the meeting with Bush, when the Palestinians contended that Israeli settlement expansion might make a state impossible to achieve, Buttu said Bush replied: ''Don't worry. I have some political sway with Israel and will use it if need be." Laura Bush also dropped in on the meeting. (Washington Post/Boston Globe)
On Monday, the chairman of the American Jewish Congress, Jack Rosen, appealed to Jews to help Pakistani earthquake victims. On Tuesday, Rosen received a telephone call from President Pervez Musharraf, who said that Pakistan welcomed aid from American Jewish charities and that he would be open to publicizing this help to Pakistanis, who are overwhelmingly Muslim. Rosen helped to organize a meeting between Musharraf and leaders of American Jewish organizations in New York City in September. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Speaking in Washington, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Ayalon accused Syria on Tuesday of sheltering 10 or 11 terror groups. The Israeli diplomat also urged the Palestinian Authority to adopt a comprehensive program for dismantling terror groups in areas under its control. (AP/Ha'aretz)
Israeli security forces on Tuesday arrested Ibrahim Ranimat, who has been on the wanted list for the last ten years for his involvement in a series of terrorist attacks including the Apropos cafe bombing and the 1996 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Sharon Edri. (Ynet News)
See also Shin Bet Arrests 14-Year-Old Would-Be Suicide Bomber - Amos Harel and Arnon Regular (Ha'aretz)
The international community is investing up to $750 million in the Gaza Strip in the coming months to create large numbers of jobs and jump-start an economic recovery of the area, Nigel Roberts, the World Bank's director for the West Bank and Gaza, said. "The idea is to put our efforts as quickly and visibly as possible so people get a chance to see that things are changing," he said. International Mideast envoy James Wolfensohn raised the money from donor countries for job creation and infrastructure projects in the wake of Israel's pullout from Gaza. (AFP/Daily Star-Lebanon)
In a recent Palestinian opinion poll by the Development Studies Program at Birzeit University in the West Bank, 74% said they support a truce agreement that prevents attacks against Israeli targets (83% in Gaza, 69% in West Bank). However, 60% oppose disarming the terrorist brigades (Al Aqsa, Al Qassam, etc). Asked whom they would vote for if legislative elections took place today, the results were: Fatah 46%, Hamas 23%, Undecided 24%. (DSP/Birzeit University)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Bush's Oct. 6 speech transforms the official American understanding of who the enemy is, moving it from the superficial and inadequate notion of "terrorism" to the far deeper concept of "Islamic radicalism." This change has potentially enduring importance if it convinces polite society to name the enemy. Doing so means, for example, that immigration and law enforcement authorities can take Islam into account when deciding whom to let enter the country or whom to investigate for terrorism offences. Focusing on Muslims as the exclusive source of Islamists permits them finally to do their job adequately.
Yet Bush's speech is far from perfect. While he limits the "radical Islamic empire" (or caliphate) to just the Spain-to-Indonesia region, Islamists have a global vision that requires control over non-Muslim countries too - and specifically the United States. Their universal ambitions certainly can be stopped, but first they must be understood and resisted. Americans must realize that the Islamists intend to replace the U.S. Constitution with Shari'a (Islamic law). The writer is director of the Middle East Forum. (FrontPageMagazine)
President Bush rightly insists that the U.S. cannot abandon Iraq to the insurgents - a murderous gathering of Arab Sunni supremacists, Saddam Hussein nostalgics, and Salafist terrorists. These last fanatics would become even more dangerous if invigorated by victory in Iraq. But in presenting the victory of the killers as the only alternative to a failing military occupation, Bush is entirely wrong. It is the least likely of all possible outcomes. As U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad keeps reminding us, about 80% of Iraqis are not Sunni Arabs or Baathists, let alone Salafists, out to kill as many non-Sunnis as they can.
That 80% majority consists mostly of Arab Shiites and Kurds of all creeds, who jointly dominate the ranks of the fledgling Iraqi army and police force. Because both those forces are still lacking in morale and cohesion, it may be more important and necessary in the meantime for both Kurds and Arab Shiites to have their own well-armed militias. If U.S. forces are withdrawn, the insurgents would not be left triumphantly victorious in the field. They would face much more numerous Arab Shiite and Kurdish militias, as well as the largest part of the new army and police force.
What we have now are U.S. troops interposed between the insurgents and our allies in Iraq, in effect protecting our enemies from our friends. As long as U.S. troops stand between them and the insurgents, there is no necessity, no incentive, and no opportunity for joint Kurd-Shiite action. But things are likely to change very quickly if U.S. forces disengage. The writer is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. (Los Angeles Times)
Tangible Israeli Gains Required If Palestinian State Is Established - Uzi Arad (Ynet News)
To subscribe to the Daily Alert, send a blank email message to:
To unsubscribe, send a blank email message to: