Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

June 15, 2006

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In-Depth Issues:

Militant Muslim Gang Jailed for Plot to Destroy Eiffel Tower - Charles Bremner (Times-UK)
    A Paris court sentenced 25 Muslim militants Wednesday for planning attacks against the Eiffel Tower and other targets with explosives in support of rebels fighting Russian forces in Chechnya.
    Prosecutors said the group was also planning to hit the Les Halles underground shopping center, police stations, and Israeli interests.


Hamas Aiming Rockets at Israeli Defense Minister's Home - Efrat Porsher (Maariv-Hebrew)
    A senior IDF Military Intelligence officer told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday that Hamas has targeted Defense Minister Amir Peretz's home in Sderot for rocket attacks.


U.S. Sees New Home-Grown Terror Cells - David Morgan (Reuters)
    U.S. intelligence and law enforcement authorities are discovering new home-grown cells of Islamist radicals in the U.S. that draw inspiration and moral support from al-Qaeda, Scott Redd, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said on Tuesday.
    Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) noted, "Everyone I've spoken to in the intelligence community says there are more cells now in the United States."


West Bank Men Meeting American Girls on the Internet - Ali Daraghmeh (AP/Washington Post)
    Sana Jinzawi, the mother of a West Bank man who invited 16-year-old American Katherine Lester to the Mideast to get married after meeting her on the MySpace.com website, says she is distraught that Lester has returned home.
    Jinzawi said five other Jericho residents had brought American girls to Jericho in recent years and that all the couples now live in the U.S.


Useful Reference:

U.S. State Department: Arafat Planned Attack on U.S. Diplomats (State Department)
    On 1 March 1973, eight Black September terrorists seized the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum at a diplomatic reception honoring departing U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission George Curtis Moore.
    The operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO and the head of Fatah.
    After the terrorists reportedly received orders from Fatah headquarters in Beirut, they killed Moore and U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel.
    See also Covering Up for Arafat - Uri Dan (Jerusalem Post)


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Europe Plan to Aid Palestinians Stalls Over U.S. Salary Sanctions - Steven R. Weisman
    A European proposal to provide aid for Palestinian health care has stalled because of concerns by the Bush administration that the plan may violate an American ban on paying salaries to a Hamas government. American and European officials say they strongly doubt that any aid will reach the Palestinians quickly, given the violent chaos in Palestinian areas and Hamas' declared intention to scrap a truce with Israel. "There is no humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories," a senior administration official said. "There is a political and security crisis." The best way to handle it, he said, would be for Hamas to reject violence and recognize Israel. (New York Times)
  • Hamas Minister Brings Suitcases of Cash into Gaza - Donald Macintyre
    Mahmoud Zahar, the Palestinian foreign minister, on Wednesday brought $20 million in several suitcases into Gaza through the border crossing with Egypt at Rafah. Security officials answerable to Mahmoud Abbas took control of the suitcases, but Abbas confirmed that the money would be turned over intact to the Finance Ministry, which is controlled by Hamas. (Independent-UK)
        See also Second Hamas Minister Returns to Gaza with Cash
    Hamas Information Minister Yousef Rizka returned to Gaza on Thursday with $2 million in his luggage. Security officials said he turned over the money to the PA Finance Ministry after crossing the border. (AP/Guardian-UK)
  • Living at Gaza's Edge Grows Perilous, Again - Joshua Mitnick
    Ask any kid in Sderot, near the Gaza Strip what scares them the most, and they're likely to say "Red Dawn." When these words come over Sderot's public address system, there are about 15 seconds to take cover before the rockets fired by Palestinian militants touch down. This blue-collar community of 24,000 has absorbed dozens of rocket salvos in recent days. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Olmert in France: We'll Do Our Best to Strengthen Abbas - Ronny Sofer
    Speaking before the French National Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed Wednesday to support PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and enable him to lead the PA towards adopting the principles set by the Quartet: recognizing Israel, renouncing terror, and standing by its previous agreements with Israel. Olmert stressed that in any event, "we have decided to move forward in order to bring about the result everyone wishes to see: A Palestinian state and defensible borders for Israel. We will continue in this direction, with or without negotiations." (Ynet News)
  • Three Hurt as Islamic Jihad Fires Rockets at Sderot - Avi Issacharoff, Amos Harel and Mijal Grinberg
    Islamic Jihad fired a salvo of Kassam rockets into the western Negev city of Sderot on Thursday, wounding three people. Two rockets slammed into an open area near the city, a third hit near the city's entrance, and the fourth crashed into the Sderot industrial area, damaging a factory. On Thursday, Hamas denied it instructed its operatives to stop rocket fire, adding that it fired two Kassam rockets at Israel early Wednesday. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Palestinian Rocket Lands Near Strategic Facility - Shmulik Hadad
    A Kassam rocket fired Wednesday afternoon from the northern Gaza Strip landed near a strategic site in Ashkelon's industrial zone. (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Palestinian Suicide Politics - Editorial
    On Monday, several hundred Fatah "soldiers" stormed and then set fire to the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Parliament in the West Bank city of Ramallah, reportedly in retaliation for a Hamas attack on a Fatah building in Gaza. That's only the latest in a series of clashes and assassinations that now claim more Palestinian lives than the Israeli army. For once, the term "cycle of violence" actually applies.
        Israel's full withdrawal last year from Gaza was supposed to have given the Palestinians an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to govern themselves. What it has shown so far is how little Israel's occupation had to do with the deepest sources of Palestine's grief. Until the Palestinians realize that they can't elect a terrorist group without consequence, there will never be any hope for their state, whenever its birth, whatever its borders. (Wall Street Journal, 15Jun06)
  • Investigate Palestinian Aggression - Editorial
    Palestinian aggression, in the form of unprovoked rocket attacks, is responsible for the recent events in Gaza. What is indeed "regrettable" and "deplorable" over the last few days is the lack of international will to apply international law to the Palestinians as a result of their deluge of rockets on Israeli civilians. Israel should condition its cooperation with any UN inquiry into Friday's deadly Gaza beach explosion to the UN's willingness to conduct a parallel investigation into Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Seductive Beat of the Militant Islamic Drum - H.D.S. Greenway
    Canadians have told me that their model for immigration is more of a quilt rather than a melting pot, meaning that cultural identities are recognized and honored, rather than asking everyone to assimilate. But if a patch on the Canadian quilt could possibly contemplate the kind of terrorism that has been alleged in Ontario, what to do? Or, as Mark Kelly of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. wondered, "Maybe multiculturalism is just a nice idea for people who haven't been bombed yet."
        There has arisen in recent years a phenomenon of home-grown youths in Western countries, who, susceptible to the seductive beat of the militant, Islamic drum, are finding romance and adventure in the jihadi cause. The whole jihadi culture has become fad-like, sexy, and cool, says Jessica Stern, a terrorism specialist at Harvard University. Unless these impressionable youths can be inoculated from jihadi seduction, the fire next time may come from the boys next door. (Boston Globe)
  • Observations:

    Daniel Pipes: "The Elimination of Israel Is a Consensus Goal Among 80% of Palestinians" - Ruthie Blum (Jerusalem Post)

    • In Israel last month, Middle East scholar and author Daniel Pipes gave a lecture on "The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem." Pipes produced empirical evidence to demonstrate that any and all Arab claims to "al-Quds" (Jerusalem) are, and have always been, merely utilitarian.
    • "Israel's war goals consist of winning the acceptance of its Arab enemies, in particular that of the Palestinians. Acceptance means no longer using force - or other means, for that matter - to eliminate the Jewish state. The Arab war goals, conversely, are to eliminate the Jewish state," said Pipes in an interview.
    • "The Palestinians hold the notion of occupation dear to them, to the point that no matter what Israel does - even withdraw forces completely from Gaza - they say the occupation continues. Israelis are trying to "un-occupy," in terms of currency, utilities and much else, and the Palestinians are saying, 'No, we're your unwanted stepchild, and we're yours.'"
    • The ultimate Palestinian war goal is "definitely the elimination of Israel. That is to say, there is far wider agreement on this than on the notion of a Palestinian state....The great debate among Palestinians is not over goals; the elimination of Israel is a consensus goal among 80% of the Palestinian population."
    • "The dominant Palestinian slogan last summer was, 'Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem.' There's no question that they saw the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza as a vindication of their use of force."
    • "The Arabic-speaking Muslims have had a great deal of difficulty in coping with modern life, and blame others for their problems. They're not introspective and not productive and constructive in their self-criticism." There needs to be "a sense of taking responsibility for themselves. An attempt to be introspective, to figure out what the problems are."
    • "There are positive examples. The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, has recently come out with a book titled My Vision, for instance. He's of note, because he actually achieved something. He stayed away from ideology and built an economic success story."


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