Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

November 24, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

IDF: More Attacks on North Coming - Hanan Greenberg (Ynet News)
    IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said Wednesday that the army is anticipating more Hizballah attacks along Israel's northern border in the near future, as intelligence reports point to attempts to kidnap soldiers.
    "Hizballah is motivated to carry on heating up the border and its activists are enjoying a Syrian push as Damascus is trying to divert attention with the Mehlis report due in December," Halutz said.


Hamas: No Plan to Renew Truce (Reuters)
    Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Wednesday that the group, which spearheaded a suicide bombing campaign against Israel over the past decade, did not plan to renew a truce at the end of the year.
    "The current conditions do not encourage the movement to pursue calm," he said.


PA Failing to Secure Former Settlements - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Amid increased reports that local families and militiamen have illegally seized many of the lands that were evacuated by Israel last August, Frieh Abu Medin, chairman of the PA's Land Authority, on Wednesday admitted that the PA has failed to take control of the former settlements in the Gaza Strip.
    According to Abu Medin, the PA has invested at least $12 million to maintain the infrastructure of the former settlements, but "the money has gone down the drain," noting that Palestinian hooligans had destroyed almost everything.
    "The security forces that were entrusted with protecting these places did not fulfill their duties."
    He also revealed that the PA's Agricultural Development Company has failed to administer the greenhouses left behind by the settlers.
    A top PA official in Ramallah said that many businessmen were reluctant to invest in the former settlements because of the ongoing state of lawlessness and anarchy.
    "They're telling us that they don't want to put their money in an area controlled by thugs and thieves," he said.
    See also The Murder of Musa Arafat and the Battle for the Spoils of Gaza - Pinhas Inbari and Dan Diker (ICA/JCPA)


Nordic Views on Islam Sour after Global Attacks - Laura Vinha (Reuters)
    The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. and the July bombings in London, as well as other action by extremist Islamists, have soured attitudes towards Islam among the predominantly Lutheran populations of Europe's north.
    In Norway, the anti-immigration Progress Party won a record 22% of parliamentary seats in a September election.
    A poll by Sweden's Integration Board in September showed that 40% did not want a mosque in their neighborhood.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • UN Blames Hizballah for Lebanese Border Fights
    The UN Security Council has expressed deep concern about hostilities along the "blue line" border between Israel and Hizballah forces in Lebanon earlier in the week. In unusual specificity Wednesday, it said the Monday clashes "were initiated by Hizballah from the Lebanese side, and which quickly spread along the entire 'blue line.'" The 15 members repeated their call on the government of Lebanon to extend its authority and to exert its monopoly over the use of force in all of its territory, in accordance with Council resolutions. (UPI)
  • French Official: "Time Running Out" for Syrian President - Michel Abu Najm
    A high-ranking French official said Wednesday that UN investigator Detlev Mehlis "might not wait until 15 December" to present his findings to the Security Council. He described the Syrian regime's behavior as "letting time pass and playing tricks" on Mehlis and "refusing to cooperate." "Syria should realize it is digging its own grave," he said. So far, Paris "had opposed regime change and advised the U.S. not to follow this route," but it "will find itself in a difficult position and will not be able to hold on to this position if Syria did not" begin to cooperate fully with the UN investigation, he warned. (Asharq Alawsat-UK)
        See also Syria Seeks to Limit UN Inquiry in Killing (Reuters/New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • UN Force Again Does Nothing - Eliel Shachar
    Israel expressed rage at the lukewarm condemnation that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan released in response to Hizballah's firing on the northern Galilee. Political sources said that UNIFIL (the UN force in Lebanon) did not stop the Hizballah attack even though it could have. "The IDF passed on to UNIFIL information about the impending attack. UNIFIL refrained from intervening. This raises the question of whether there is any justification for UNIFIL's continuing activity in southern Lebanon," said a senior diplomatic source. (Maariv-Hebrew, 23Nov05)
        See also Foreign Ministry: Time to Reassess UNIFIL's Role - Herb Keinon
    In light of UNIFIL's failure to stop Hizballah's attack in the north on Monday, it is time to reassess the organization's mandate, Foreign Ministry director-general Ron Prosor said Wednesday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Islamic Jihad Leader Nabbed in Jenin - Efrat Weiss
    IDF troops on Wednesday arrested senior Islamic Jihad leader Iad Abou al-Rob in Jenin after a 16-hour standoff. Abou al-Rob is suspected of having masterminded at least three deadly attacks against Israel, at the Hadera market in October, outside the Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv in February, and at a shopping mall in Netanya in July. (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Another Free Pass to the Palestinians - Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
    The PA has yet to comply with even one agreement they have signed since the Oslo Accord. They have violated the Oslo agreement, Oslo II, and the Roadmap. Each agreement required the PA to disarm its terrorists. From 1993 through September 2000, while the Oslo negotiations were still ongoing, Palestinians killed 256 Israeli civilians and soldiers and wounded thousands more. Since then, 1,086 more people have been killed, and nearly 6,500 were wounded in more than 26,000 Palestinian terror attacks.
        The Agreed Principles for the Rafah [Border] Crossing, signed on Nov. 15, requires that "a liaison office...will receive real-time video and data feed of the activities at Rafah." But PA Director of Borders and Crossings, Salim Abu Safiyyeh, declared on Nov. 17 "that there won't be any live video streams to the Israeli side via the surveillance cameras installed in Rafah terminal," adding, "even the joint control room will not receive these live feeds, and will be only for the presence of the third party [the EU] that will monitor the borders." If the U.S. is serious about achieving peace in Israel, it should demand that the PA comply with the Rafah agreement as well as all the other agreements it failed to keep. (FrontPageMagazine)
  • What Europe and America Should Do about Iran - Alan Isenberg
    The U.S. and Europe should work to exploit Iran's turbulent, internal dynamic through a two-track strategy: launching dialogue with Ahmadinejad's political rivals about mutually important issues and aggressively engaging with the Iranian people to promote democratic reform. It is to be expected that Ahmadinejad would seek to demolish his opposition, but he has also challenged fellow conservatives, many of whom do not subscribe to his populist style and fret about his record since taking office. For many of the regime's insiders, maintaining power and wealth in a largely hostile environment is a far greater concern than keeping the revolutionary flame alive. (Financial Times-UK)
  • Israel Emerges as the Go-To Country for Anti-Terrorism Technologies - Susan Karlin
    Israel, by necessity, has become the hotbed for counterterrorism research. Innovating well out of proportion to its size, Israel has spawned companies selling guns that shoot around corners, software that translates dog barks into English-language warnings, and lasers that can detect explosives from 100 feet away. Working their way through labs now are intelligent robotic cameras, and nanolasers and nuclear resonance imagers to detect chemical and bioweapons.
        "Much of the homeland security technology in the U.S. is 20 years old. It is unsuitable because the nature of the threat has changed," says Dan Inbar, the Israeli founder of the Homeland Security Research Corp., a Washington, D.C. consultancy. Israeli exports of homeland security equipment will hit $300 million this year, up 22% per year since 2002, estimates Inbar. The global trade in antiterror gear and consulting services is expected to grow from $46 billion to $178 billion by 2015. (The U.S. accounts for half.) (Forbes)
  • Observations:

    The U.S. and the Roadmap's Call to Dismantle the Terrorist Organizations
    - Roni Bart (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies-Tel Aviv University)

    • It is apparent that the U.S. will not insist on dismantling the terrorist organizations as a stipulation for advancing the political process. "Dismantling" refers to the Israeli demand to declare the terrorist organizations illegal, confiscate their weapons, apprehend their leaders and activists, and cut off their financial sources. However, the more that Hamas strengthens its position and political involvement, the more that American willingness to accept it as a partner in the dialogue will overcome the demand to dissolve Hamas as a terrorist organization.
    • For twenty years Hizballah has been defined as a terror organization, but the American administration said and did nothing against its participation in the Lebanese elections. Washington appears to accept with quiet blessing the integration of terror organizations into the political system, even if they have not laid down their weapons and renounced their intentions. The theory that holds sway in the U.S. is based on the very American hope that terrorists can be transformed into moderates.
    • The U.S. will not ostracize Abbas (as it did Arafat) if he fails to disarm the terror organizations. Bush's September 2001 statement that "we will not distinguish between terrorists and those who harbor them" has been valid only for al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime. Syria has been protecting terrorists who kill American soldiers in Iraq for over two years, but the administration has taken only relatively moderate countermeasures. It is highly unlikely that the U.S. will be more forceful with politically-weak Abbas when he invites Hamas to join his administration.
    • Current signals are that the administration will be satisfied if Abbas continues to mouth the right lines and make weak-to-moderate efforts at curbing terror. The determining factor in this area will be the size and frequency of attacks. Paradoxically, the more successful that Israel is in rooting out and foiling Palestinian terrorism, the less the Americans will pressure the PA to disband Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other factions.
    • This deviation from the first section in the roadmap will be perceived as necessary for the map's realization, and will be made possible by loosely interpreting the term "dismantle" to mean the cessation of activity. If terrorism escalates, the U.S will pressure the PA to rein it in, but not to completely dissolve the organizations. It is doubtful whether the administration will demand of Abbas in 2006-7 what it did not demand of Arafat in 2002-3.


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