Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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Hamas Government Would Recruit PA Police to Fight Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Israel Campus Beat
- January 15, 2006
Was Sharon Seeking a "Third Way" in Israeli Politics?
PA Security Forces Told to Vote Fatah - Orly Halpern (Jerusalem Post)
Moslem Cleric in Britain Urged Kids to Blow Themselves Up - Gordon Mcilwraith (Daily Record-UK)
PA Duplicity: Talk Peace to Israelis and Terror to Palestinians - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
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 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)
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 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)
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:
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)
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. 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)
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):
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)
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)
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)
How Palestinians View Israel's Borders - Caroline Glick (Jerusalem Post)
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