Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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January 16, 2006

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In-Depth Issues:

Hamas Government Would Recruit PA Police to Fight Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told a Hamas rally in Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip that his movement would not abandon the armed struggle against Israel or negotiate with any Israeli after, when and if, it wins the elections.
    He disclosed that a Hamas-controlled cabinet would incorporate Palestinian Authority policemen into armed groups that are fighting against Israel.
    "Israel is an enemy, not a partner or a friend or a neighbor. We won't negotiate with them and this is our final position. Palestine, all of Palestine, belongs to the Muslims and the Arabs and no one has the right to give up one inch of its land."
    Fathi Hamad, a Hamas candidate from the Gaza Strip, said his movement would continue to develop its armed wing, Izzaddin al-Kassam, by recruiting more members and manufacturing more rockets and bombs.

Israel Campus Beat
- January 15, 2006

Point Counter-Point:
    Was Sharon Seeking a "Third Way" in Israeli Politics?

PA Security Forces Told to Vote Fatah - Orly Halpern (Jerusalem Post)
    PA West Bank security chief Tarek Zeid sent a letter to PA security forces two weeks ago instructing them to vote for Fatah candidates in the upcoming Palestinian elections.
    "We consider this a serious violation," said Michael Murphy, the country director of the National Democratic Institute, which in conjunction with the Carter Center is monitoring the elections.

Moslem Cleric in Britain Urged Kids to Blow Themselves Up - Gordon Mcilwraith (Daily Record-UK)
    Preacher Abu Hamza urged children to blow themselves up in suicide attacks against Israeli forces, his Old Bailey hate trial heard last week.
    On suicide attacks, Hamza said: "They cannot control the Muslim who wants to die in the cause of God. The child who stands in front of a tank with a stone, if he had a weapon or bomb, first he would go and hug the tank. He blows up with the tank. A child doesn't see in his age an expensive loss to die a martyr in the cause of God, or in the cause of the holy places for the Muslims....And he shows them that we care more about dying than about life."
    Hamza also said: "We do not want the Jews to pull away from Palestine but we want them to be buried there."

PA Duplicity: Talk Peace to Israelis and Terror to Palestinians - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
    When Palestinian Legislative Council member Qadura Faras, a prominent supporter of the "Geneva Initiative," recently addressed a Palestinian group, he praised a terrorist who murdered 10 Israelis, referred to another as a martyr, even though he had died of cancer in an Israeli prison, and pledged to continue in the path of these terrorists, according to a Jan. 5 report in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • U.S. Airstrike in Pakistan Misses Al-Qaeda Chief - Christina Lamb
    An American airstrike targeting Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda mastermind, killed 22 Pakistani villagers, according to senior Pakistani officials. On Friday, CIA-operated Predator drones circled the village of Damadola in the Bajaur area in northwest Pakistan before launching four Hellfire missiles, razing three houses to the ground. (Sunday Times-UK)
        See also Zawahiri Missed Dinner that Prompted U.S. Strike - Zeeshan Haider (Reuters)
  • Lebanon Says 13 Al-Qaeda Suspects Planned Attacks
    Lebanon charged 13 suspected al-Qaeda members on Friday with planning to launch terrorist attacks, military prosecutor Ahmed Awidat said. The charges also include possession of weapons and forging documents. Lebanese security forces had arrested the suspects - seven Syrians, three Lebanese, one Saudi, one Jordanian with Lebanese nationality, and one Palestinian - about two weeks ago. (Reuters)
  • Bolton Scores UN on Stance Toward Israel - Benny Avni
    American ambassador to the UN John Bolton wrote to Secretary-General Annan on Jan. 3, threatening to cut funding to the UN if it continues to promote anti-Israel events. Bolton's letter is a response to a Nov. 29 event celebrating an annual "International Day of Solidarity With the Palestinian People." At the event, attended by Annan and other top diplomats, a map that "erases the State of Israel" was displayed, Bolton wrote.
        "In light of prohibition under U.S. law to fund events such as this one, do you consider it appropriate for the UN to advertise and promote the event on its general Web site and other venues, which do in fact benefit from U.S. funds?" The organizer of the "solidarity" event is the Division for Palestinian Rights, which in the 2004-2005 UN budget received $5,449,600. (New York Sun)
  • Iran Notches Up Anti-Israel Campaign - Nasser Karimi
    Iran announced plans Sunday for a conference to examine evidence for the Holocaust, a new step in hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's campaign against Israel. (AP/Washington Post)
  • U.S. Faults Saudi Efforts on Terrorism - Josh Meyer
    Although Saudi Arabia has cracked down on militants within its borders, the kingdom has not met its promises to help prevent the spread of terrorism or curb the flow of money from Saudis to terrorist cells around the world, U.S. intelligence and diplomatic officials say. U.S. counter-terrorism and intelligence officials confirm an aggressive role by Saudi fighters in the insurgency in Iraq, where over the last year they reportedly accounted for more than half of all Arab militants killed.
        Millions of dollars continue to flow from wealthy Saudis through Saudi-based Islamic charitable organizations to al-Qaeda and other suspected terrorist groups abroad, aided by what U.S. officials call Riyadh's failure to set up a government commission to police such groups as promised. (Los Angeles Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Government OKs Jerusalem Vote - Ronny Sofer
    The Israeli government decided Sunday to allow eastern Jerusalem residents to take part in the upcoming Palestinian elections. Earlier, a senior diplomatic source said a mere 1,000 of some 5,000 registered voters will cast a vote at eastern Jerusalem post offices. Under pressure from Washington, the EU, the UN, and Russia, Israel agreed to allow voting in Jerusalem but retained the right to ban the participation of terror organizations, a stance backed by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (Ynet News)
  • Why Palestinians Are Voting for Hamas - David Horovitz
    People see top Fatah officials building themselves lavish homes and driving luxury cars, and they see jobs being given to relatives and friends, unfairness in the awarding of building permits, and dirty streets. One man says "even Christians are voting for Hamas. People are saying, 'Things can't be any worse.'...Why does the world insist that Mafia rule is the only leadership the Palestinians can have?"
        Um Muhamad has worked at the reception desk in the El-Bireh municipal building for the past 12 years. "This city got heaps of foreign aid; it never reached the people....Only a handful of people here benefited." And then she says: Peace with Israel is "impossible." "Our religion says the conflict will continue until the day of judgment." Ziad Dayyeh was No. 6 on the victorious Hamas list in El-Bireh. "Hamas looks at Israel as an occupying force. They must get out of Palestine," he says. "Yes, all the area occupied in 1948." No Muslim can recognize a Jewish right to sovereignty in Palestine, he says. "Islam outlaws any force occupying Islamic land." (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Anger in the West Bank Helps Hamas Win Hearts - Steven Erlanger (New York Times)
  • U.S. May Cut Aid if Hamas Joins in PA Government - Aluf Benn
    U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority would be reviewed and possibly reduced if it gave Hamas a role in government after this month's Palestinian election, U.S. diplomatic sources said on Friday. The sources warned of existing U.S. prohibitions on providing any "material support" to groups on Washington's terrorism list. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinian Rocket Fire Continues - Hanan Greenberg
    Palestinians fired a Kassam rocket from northern Gaza that landed south of Ashkelon Sunday evening. On Friday evening, four Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza toward the western Negev. (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Hamas Will Not Negotiate with Israel - Danny Rubinstein
    Prior to the parliamentary elections to be held in ten days, Hamas spokesmen continue to take a very hard line. Not only is there no willingness on their part to recognize the 1967 borders, but they explicitly state that they will not negotiate with Israel. In light of this, the argument within Israel over whether to hold talks with Hamas is totally superfluous. They have already announced that the resistance (what Israel calls terror) will continue and that they have no intentions of disarming. (Ha'aretz)
  • Iran: We Can't Rule Out the Use of Military Force - William Kristol
    An unrepentant rogue state with a history of sponsoring terrorists seeks to develop weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. tries to work with European allies to deal with the problem peacefully. Eventually the reality of the threat becomes too obvious to be ignored. The only way diplomatic, political, and economic pressure has a chance to work over the next months is if various military options are kept on the table.
        President Bush and Condoleezza Rice are now speaking with new urgency, since the Iranian government is testing us, and its nuclear program could well be getting close to the point of no return. Our adversaries cannot be allowed to believe that, because some of the intelligence on Iraq was bad, or because the insurgency in Iraq has been difficult, we will be at all intimidated from taking the necessary steps against the current regime in Tehran. (Weekly Standard)
  • The Radioactive Republic of Iran - Michael Rubin
    Between 2000 and 2005, EU trade with the Islamic Republic almost tripled. But rather than moderate, Iranian authorities used the hard currency to enhance their military and build secret nuclear facilities. While Mr. Bush and his European allies may agree to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, traditional diplomacy will not work. More diplomacy will only give the Islamic Republic time to achieve its nuclear goal. The only solutions that can rectify the problem are those that deny the Islamic Republic its nuclear arsenal or those that enable Iranians to cast aside theocracy and its aggressive ideology and instead embrace freedom. (Wall Street Journal, 13Jan06)
  • Observations:

    How Palestinians View Israel's Borders - Caroline Glick (Jerusalem Post)

    • A border can only be meaningful if the people on both sides of the divide recognize it and understand its meaning in the same way. Since the Palestinians do not recognize Israel's right to determine its borders, any border that Israel chooses will only operate in one direction. While Israel will honor Palestinian territorial integrity, the Palestinians will insist on their "right" to cross the border at will. The Palestinians have never accepted Israel's sovereignty along any borders whatsoever.
    • The contours of the Palestinian state are well known and have been known since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994. The anarchy, terror, corruption, poverty, and ideological commitment to the destruction of Israel that have been the consistent characteristics of the PA since its inception provide us with a precise description of what the realization of the vision for a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict with Israel entails.
    • Regardless of who emerges victorious in the coming PA elections, it is absolutely certain that the Palestinian leadership will be comprised of terrorists, terror sympathizers, and terrorist organizations - because these are the only people and parties who are running.
    • If Israel were to withdraw from 90% of Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians would argue that they remain under occupation. Were Israel to vacate east Jerusalem, the Palestinians would turn to the 1947 UN partition plan and claim that the Negev and the Galilee remain "occupied." That is, the Palestinians will claim to live under Israeli occupation for as long as Israel exists in any borders.
    • Since the Palestinians are not going to cure themselves of their national pathologies any time soon, Israel's national policies must be built not on the dream of a border that will never be recognized, but on the necessity of guaranteeing its security.

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