Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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Mossad: One Nuclear Bomb Won't Suffice Iran - Ilan Marciano (Ynet News)
See also Dagan: One Nuke Not Enough for Iran - Rafael D. Frankel and Oren Klass (Jerusalem Post)
Gun Battle Erupts Outside Gaza Election Office (Reuters)
See also More Armed Palestinian Protests Ahead of January Polls (VOA News)
Syria, Russia Sign $2.7B Oil Refinery Deal (AP/Los Angeles Times)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona on Tuesday, slamming into residential areas but causing no casualties. (Reuters)
Three residents were treated for shock. One of the three houses hit was severely damaged. A fourth rocket apparently landed in the western Galilee town of Shlomi. In response, early Wednesday the Israel Air Force struck a Palestinian militant training base south of Beirut operated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a Syrian-backed group that has been waging a decades-long fight against Israel. The strike was the deepest in Lebanon since June 2004.
IDF northern front commander Udi Adam said Wednesday that the army knew which Palestinian faction was behind the Katyusha attack, Israel Radio reported. "We will not allow Katyusha fire to become a routine of daily life, absolutely not," he said. The IDF said any attack on the northern border emanating from Lebanon is carried out on the initiative of Hizballah, which has sole control in southern Lebanon. (Ha'aretz)
Defending Israel, the Bush administration on Tuesday said a rocket attack in Gaza was a response to rocket attacks on Israel. The Israeli barrage hit two offices of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and a bridge the army said was used by militants to reach areas where they fire rockets.
At the State Department, spokesman Adam Ereli said Israel had responded to attacks on its own territory. "What we would like to see is effective measures against such acts so that the measures Israel is taking are not necessary," Ereli said. (AP/Washington Post)
See also Terrorists Reject Abbas's Appeal to Halt Rocket Attacks on Israel
More rockets were launched by terrorists at communities in southern Israel late Tuesday. The Israeli air force dropped leaflets into northern Gaza, warning residents to stay out of areas used by terrorists to fire rockets. "Terror organizations continue to launch projectile rockets at Israeli territory from your neighborhoods," the leaflet said. "Presence in areas used for projectile rocket launching puts your life in danger." (AP/Jerusalem Post)
The Bush administration announced new sanctions on Tuesday against state-owned Chinese companies that it accused of aiding Iran's missile and chemical programs. The sanctions, announced by the State Department, are part of a diplomatically complex effort to cut off the flow of technology into Iran that could aid its weapons programs, while pressing both China and Russia to threaten action against Tehran at the UN Security Council. Administration officials said they had no evidence that President Hu Jintao or other Chinese leaders were aware of the sales, and they said the Chinese had been sporadically helpful in cutting off shipments of crucial technologies to the Iranians. The sanctions will have little practical effect on most of the companies cited since the Chinese companies are already barred from doing business with the U.S. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel is seeking a solution that will permit residents of eastern Jerusalem to vote in the elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, but allow the government to adhere to its opposition to Hamas' participation in the ballot. Israel also wants a solution that will prevent the state from being accused of delaying the elections. In a meeting on Monday with Labor chairman Amir Peretz, Prime Minister Sharon said "an arrangement will be found."
Under an arrangement reached in the Oslo Accords, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are allowed to vote in the West Bank, or at polling stations set up at post offices in the eastern part of the capital, with the intention being to show that the ballots are being mailed to the PA. However, if Hamas participates in the elections, Israel has said it will not allow its post offices to be used. A senior political source said Tuesday that this position had not been changed. (Ha'aretz)
See also Israel Prepares for International Monitors in Palestinian Vote
The IDF, Israeli Police, and Foreign Ministry were preparing Wednesday for the arrival of international observers including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, coming to monitor the Palestinian legislative elections in January. (Jerusalem Post)
Palestinians fired on an Israeli car south of Nablus on Tuesday. A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an IDF unit that arrived on the scene. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Jordan sees both challenges and threats in post-Saddam Iraq. Iraq is increasingly being transformed into an arena of Iranian influence and power. Jordanian officials are watching with concern the Iranian double game in Iraq. It supports fundamentalist elements and armed groups in the Sunni areas with the aim of confusing and threatening the American military presence in Iraq.
As a result of a "constructive chaos" policy, Iraq has become a stronghold and a vanguard of international terrorism that spreads "destructive chaos" and seeks to export terror to neighboring countries, particularly Israel and Palestine. This is a new strategy al-Qaeda adopted shortly after the Afghanistan war. From its point of view, Jordan is an appropriate testing ground for the strategy. Since the fall of the Iraqi Baathist regime 33 months ago, tens of terrorist cells have been discovered in Jordan - more than a cell a month. The writer is director of the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies in Amman. (Daily Star-Lebanon)
The now-suspended, Arab-language, taxpayer-funded Hi International magazine and other such U.S. government efforts as Radio Sawa and Al-Hurra Television are misconceived. Like generals fighting the last war, diplomats recall the successes of Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe in providing precious information to Soviet bloc peoples and helping to bring about the demise of the Soviet Union. But Muslims generally and Islamists specifically do not lack for reliable information; much less do they (as did Soviet-bloc populations) prefer Western sources of information to their own. Even Muslims living in Western countries (including Israel) who are fluent in one or more Western languages generally get their news from Muslim sources.
Unlike the Soviet bloc, the Muslim world lacks not access to reliable information but interest in it. Rather than try to purvey information to Muslims, the U.S. should instead assert the case for liberal, secular, and humane values. More than facts, the Muslim world needs to understand the basics of what makes the West thrive - and thereby be inspired to emulate it. (Jerusalem Post)
Jerusalem's Dilemma - Editorial (Jerusalem Post)
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