Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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German Intelligence: Iran Seeks Longer Range Missiles to Reach Europe (AFP/Defense News)
Israel Campus Beat
- December 18, 2005
What to do with Marwan Barghouti?
Turkey: Iran Implicated in Murder of Turkish Intellectuals (AKI-Italy)
Ahmadinejad Bans Western Music - Nasser Karimi (AP/ABC News)
Israeli Agents to Testify Against Terrorist Supporter in U.S. - Michael Higgins (Chicago Tribune)
Jordan Forces Hunt Islamic Militants (Reuters/ABC News)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Prime Minster Ariel Sharon was released from Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem on Tuesday after suffering a mild stroke Sunday night that temporarily made it difficult for him to speak but apparently caused no permanent damage, his doctors said Monday. "The problem was very small, not neurological or cognitive problems, but limited to speech. I can say confidently that the stroke will leave no damage or residual effects," said Tamir Ben-Hur, the prime minister's neurologist. (Washington Post)
The station Sowt al-Amel (Voice of Hope) was launched from London in September as an independent effort to promote freedom, human rights, and political reform in Libya. But within minutes of its first broadcast on Sept. 19, Tripoli, well prepared, jammed the signal on the Eutelsat Hotbird satellite. BBC World, Euro News, ESPN, CNN, and Channel 5 were also blown off the air. U.S. military and diplomatic traffic that used the satellite was also affected. The station then turned to an American satellite, Loral Skynet's Telstar 12, but within 45 minutes the signal was again wiped out with jamming. (Washington Times)
Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradhawi, the spiritual guide of many Islamist organizations across the world (including the Muslim Brotherhood), attended the fourth international conference of the Al-Quds Institution on Dec. 4-6 in Yemen, together with Khaled Mash'al, head of Hamas' Political Bureau, and Sheikh 'Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, an advisor to the president of Iran. At the conference, al-Qaradhawi said: "There is armed resistance and armed jihad - military jihad - and there is no choice but that this should continue. There is no choice but to continue the resistance in Palestine, in Iraq, in Lebanon, and in every country that has been conquered by foreigners."
"But there are...schemes being concocted to stop this resistance, under the name of 'the peace process.'...We must resist this." "Oh brothers, our weapons must remain in our hands. We will not lay down our weapons. We will not abandon the resistance as long as one inch of Palestine is occupied." (MEMRI)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Binyamin Netanyahu won the Likud party leadership primary Monday, winning 44% of the votes. Silvan Shalom received 33%, Moshe Feiglin 12%, and Yisrael Katz 9%. (Jerusalem Post)
When a December poll of Palestinian opinion asked: "Which Palestinian personality do you trust the most?" - 31% responded: "Don't trust anyone." Mahmoud Abbas led the list with 16%, down from 25% in May. He received 18% in the West Bank but only 11% in Gaza, where Muhammad Dahlan was more popular (14%). Second on the list was Marwan Barghouti with 8%. Dahlan came in third overall with 6% (favored by only 1% in the West Bank). Hamas leader Mahmoud Az-Zahar also received 6% overall (5% in West Bank, 8% in Gaza). (Jerusalem Media & Communication Center)
Serious concern has been expressed in Israel over the depth of U.S. involvement in everything related to negotiations with the Palestinians. American involvement today is considered an annoyance, with the U.S. interpreting the smallest details in favor of the Palestinians. The Americans are involved in all facets of the negotiations on the opening of border crossings and on Palestinian convoys between Gaza and the West Bank, down to the level of the number of guards on the buses, the nature of security checks, the elections in eastern Jerusalem, and other issues.
Sources in the IDF believe that Israel needs to return as much as possible to bilateral talks opposite the Palestinians - in order to prevent this burdensome and worrisome U.S. intervention. (Maariv-Hebrew, 16Dec05)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
On Wednesday, in a speech broadcast live on Iranian state television, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands that the Nazi destruction of European Jewry never happened. As he put it in October, Israel must be ''wiped off the map." And, vowed the president of the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism, ''a new wave in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world." Thus Ahmadinejad promises a second Holocaust even as he denies the first one. Dictators who talk about wiping nations from the face of the earth generally mean what they say. We should know by now that it isn't only Jews who are endangered by the mullahs and their threats. All of us are. And time is wasting. (Boston Globe)
Remarks by Iran's hard-line president that the Holocaust was a "myth" and Israel should be "wiped off the map" are not just wild comments by a novice leader, but part of a strategy to keep anti-Israel sentiment alive in the Middle East, analysts said Saturday. Ahmadinejad "is still living in 1979 and believes Iran represents a revolution more than just a state," said Mustafa Alani, director of security studies at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai. "He believes (verbally) attacking Israel, which was a key principle of the revolution, will serve Iranian interests in the region more than polite, rational policies." (AP/Washington Post)
See also Iranian's Oratory Reflects Devotion to '79 Revolution - Nazila Fathi and Michael Slackman (New York Times)
Syria is getting away with murder in Lebanon, and the UN Security Council is letting it happen. The resolution the Council passed last Thursday extended the UN investigation for another six months, but it failed to impose serious penalties on Syrian officials who continue to obstruct a thorough investigation. Some Council members, including the U.S., would have liked to do more to honor the urgent requests for help delivered last week by Lebanon's prime minister, Fouad Siniora, but they ran into a wall of apologetics erected mainly by Russia, China, and Algeria. This watered-down resolution will do little to convince Damascus or anyone else that the international community is capable of taking effective action against a regime that exports terrorism and tramples with impunity on a neighboring country's sovereignty.
The will to impose consequences on Syria seems to have all but evaporated and no serious consequences will result any time soon. Syria's deadly meddling in Lebanon presented an ideal opportunity for the Security Council to show it was capable of taking effective diplomatic steps to defend vulnerable member states and punish brazen international terrorism. It is too bad that Russia, China, and Algeria failed to recognize the fundamental issues at stake. (New York Times)
See also Justice for Syria - Editorial
Not only has Arab Baathist dictator Bashar Assad sought to obstruct a UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, but his agents in Lebanon are continuing to murder Syria's Lebanese critics, including Gebran Tueni, one of Lebanon's best-known journalists and politicians and a fierce critic of Syria's interference in Lebanon. There are powerful reasons to share the belief of Lebanon's elected leaders, who have no doubt that Assad is systematically murdering some of their most courageous and distinguished citizens in order to defy the international coalition that forced him to withdraw Syrian troops from Lebanon. Assad seems to be calculating that his acts of terrorism eventually will force Lebanon to accept Syrian dominion again and that the Security Council will shrink from an all-out confrontation with him. (Washington Post)
Is the UN Improving? - Richard Schifter (Jerusalem Post)
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