Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference: click here
Former CIA Official: "U.S. Could Wipe Out Iran Nukes in Two Days" - Yigal Grayeff (Jerusalem Post)
Global Jihad in Chechnya - Umalt Dudayev
Russia's Islamist Fears - Paul Goble (UPI)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
President Bush said Monday in Cleveland: "The threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That's a threat, a serious threat. It's a threat to world peace; it's a threat, in essence, to a strong alliance. I made it clear, I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally, Israel." (White House)
Hamas introduced a cabinet Sunday that creates a hard-line Palestinian government - lacking moderate forces and led by some of the Islamic organization's most militant actors. It's a signal, say analysts, that the Palestinian leadership appears willing to forgo much of the funding it has been receiving from Western nations. The crucial diplomatic position of foreign minister went to Mahmoud Zahar, who is adamantly opposed to any softening of Hamas' position that Israel should be destroyed.
Zahar is known for his fiery rhetoric and vocal support for the organization's use of suicide bombings. Zahar has long said that all of historical Palestine is holy to Islam and must be liberated. From Israel's point of view, Zahar as foreign minister is simply a symbol of what Israel faces with Hamas at the helm. (Christian Science Monitor)
See also Defiant Hamas Packs Cabinet with Hardliners - Stephen Farrell (Times-UK)
In the lobby of an Islamic school in Amman, a map shows a green wave washing over the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. ''The Muslims Are Coming!" declares a banner above the map. The victory of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, just across the Jordan River in the West Bank, has invigorated Jordan's steadily growing Islamist movement and reinforced its conviction that democratic elections will pave the way to an Islamic republic in Jordan. The school and the Islamic Action Front in parliament are both wings of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that has followed the same blueprint as Hamas.
Now politicians in the Islamic Action Front are boldly breaking with the gentlemen's rules of Jordanian politics, under which opposition parties never directly criticize the monarchy, nor point out government corruption, or call for major democratic reforms. In recent weeks, Islamist politicians have declared that without the monarchy's repressive control over parliamentary elections, the Muslim Brotherhood would win 40-50% of the vote. (Boston Globe)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
At least 12 Palestinians were wounded in fierce gun battles throughout the Gaza Strip on Monday between Palestinian policemen and disgruntled Fatah militiamen. Most of those wounded were policemen who tried to prevent Fatah gunmen from taking over government buildings and security installations. The attackers said they were protesting against the PA's failure to provide them with jobs and money. (Jerusalem Post)
Zakaria Zubeidi, chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin, has admitted that his organization receives direct assistance from Hizballah. In an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag on March 6, Zubeidi noted that Hizballah assists his group with funds, arms, and military training. "Without the assistance of our Hizballah brothers, we would not have been able to persist with our struggle." "We coordinate our operations with them," he added. (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The New York Sun reports on a paper, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by Stephen Walt of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, about the allegedly far-reaching influence of an "Israel lobby." White supremacist David Duke, a one-time Ku Klux Klan leader, called the paper "a great step forward." The "working paper" claims a network of journalists, think tanks, lobbyists, and largely Jewish officials have seized the foreign policy debate and manipulated America to invade Iraq. Included in this network, the authors say, are the editors of the New York Times, the scholars at the Brookings Institution, "pro-Israel" senior officials in the executive branch, and "neoconservative gentiles" including columnist George Will.
Walt and Mearsheimer's method of analysis presumes Israel's guilt. Every past or present Israeli transgression is evidence of its wickedness, whereas Arab ones, if they are acknowledged at all, are "understandable." This approach is anti-Semitic in effect if not in intent. It is telling that David Duke finds their ideas congenial. (Wall Street Journal)
See also Critics Question Harvard Paper - Meghan Clyne
Marvin Kalb, founding director of the Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, said, "It clearly does not meet the academic standards of a Kennedy School research paper....It is a rather sensational example of 'realist' journalism....Walt would be better advised to stick to scholarship and leave journalism to journalists, who generally check their 'facts' before publishing them." President Clinton's special Middle East envoy, Dennis Ross, said the authors displayed "a woeful lack of knowledge on the subject....It is masquerading as scholarship." (New York Sun)
"The content [of the paper] is not significant," said the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein. "Those seeking to damage the U.S.-Israel relationship have been saying this for a while. The fact that it carries the imprimatur of the Harvard Kennedy School is. Those that don't know better would assume it has validity, when it doesn't." (New York Sun)
Iran is expanding its alliance with its evil twin, Syria. The rising Damascus-Tehran axis means more trouble for the U.S./Israel in the Middle East, more Iranian/Syrian support for terrorism and insurgency across the region - and, worst of all, the specter of nuclear cooperation between the two. Last September, Ahmadinejad announced a willingness to share "peaceful" nuclear technology with other "Islamic" states. Damascus is the most likely recipient of Tehran's nuclear largesse. The writer is a senior fellow for national security affairs at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. (Military.com)
Armed gunmen roamed freely in UN refugee camps, stockpiling weapons, recruiting refugees, and launching cross-border attacks. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for the "separation of armed elements from refugee populations" to maintain the camps' civilian character. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 1208, criminalizing the militarization of refugee camps - in Africa in 1998, when civil wars in Rwanda, Burundi, and Liberia unleashed torrents of refugees.
Defenders of Israel question why the world body has never applied Resolution 1208 to the 27 UN refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Annan hasn't voiced similar outrage regarding Palestinian militancy in UNRWA camps. (JTA/Jewish Journal of LA)
Lobbyists' Trial Could Embarrass Top U.S. Envoy - Michael Isikoff (Newsweek)
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