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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

Friday,
August 4, 2006
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In-Depth Issues:

Hizballah Threat at U.S. Border? - Shaun Waterman (UPI)
    Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the House subcommittee on terrorism and non-proliferation, told UPI he is concerned that Hizballah might be positioning itself for an attack against the U.S.
    "We're seeing a pattern of activities on the border and elsewhere" indicating "a renewed operational focus by Hizballah on getting their people in over the border, between the ports of entry."
    Royce said there was a rise in the number of ethnic Lebanese with Brazilian nationality apprehended at the border. "We're seeing a pattern of (Hizballah) operatives" from Latin American countries "attempting to come into the United States."
    "We know that there are Hizballah people here," he said, adding that as many as 300 "individuals doing work for Hizballah" had been apprehended - arrested or convicted - "over the years."
    "The question is, could these types of cells be given the green light" to commit terrorist attacks within the U.S.?
    Federal law enforcement officials told UPI that the scenario of a "self-generated" jihadi plot undertaken without command or control from Hizballah was as worrying a scenario as an actual plot from the terror group.


Israel HighWay
- August 3, 2006

Issue of the Week:
    Tisha B'Av

Hamas: If Al-Qaeda Wants to Come to Palestine, They Are Welcome (MEMRI)
    Muhammad Nazzal, a member of the Hamas political bureau, told Al-Arabiya TV on July 28, 2006: "We support any effort against the Zionist enemy. One of the disagreements we have with several Islamic groups was that we believe that the resistance should be directed primarily against this Zionist aggression and occupation."
    "If al-Qaeda or any Palestinian, Arab, or Islamic faction wants to come to Palestine to fight the Israelis, we welcome this."


Southeast Asian Militants Sent on Anti-Israel Missions - Ahmad Pathoni (Reuters/Washington Post)
    More than 200 Islamic militants from Southeast Asia have been sent on suicide bombing missions to attack Israel's interests and countries that support the Jewish state, Suaib Didu, chairman of the Jakarta-based ASEAN Muslim Youth Movement, said on Friday.
    Didu said more than 3,000 people had signed up for the mission and that 217 people from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore had been dispatched abroad so far, many of whom were veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.
    See also Australia Investigates Reports on Radical Group's Threat (Xinhua-China)
    Australia's Human Services Minister Joe Hockey said the Australian government took "very, very seriously" reports that hundreds of Southeast Asian suicide bombers have been dispatched around the world with a mission to attack Jewish interests in countries that support Israel.


Iran Working with North Korea on Missiles (Reuters)
    North Korea has been working closely with Iran to develop its long-range ballistic missiles, according to the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), a South Korean state-run think tank.
    Christopher Hill, the top U.S. envoy to talks on the North's nuclear program, said last month one or more Iranians watched the North's recent missile launch.


Abdullah Warns of Jordanian Hizballah - Roee Nahmias (Ynet News)
    King Abdullah of Jordan said Thursday, "Even if Hizballah is destroyed, no solution will be found. After a year or two a new Hizballah will be set up in other countries, maybe in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq."
    He also said, "We reject the plans of the Israeli prime minister which aspire to take unilateral steps. We believe that the United States understands this now and the Israelis should also understand this."


Yemenite President Ali Abdallah Saleh on Al-Jazeera TV: I Hope All Countries Bordering Israel Will Join the War (MEMRI)
    Yemen President Ali Abdallah Saleh told Al-Jazeera TV on August 1, 2006:
    "I hope that all the countries bordering with Israel, not just Syria, would enter the war."
    "We will open the borders to the fighters. We will allow the transfer of money and equipment, to support the Lebanese resistance and the Palestinian resistance in Gaza."
    "This war has become a duty incumbent upon us. Every Muslim has the individual duty to fight on this front."
    "International forces must not serve as a buffer between the Israeli enemy and the resistance."


Hamas Sends Palestinian Youth to Collect Rocket Launchers; Israel Air Force Holds Fire - Amir Oren (Ha'aretz)
    IDF videos show how Hamas makes use of Gaza youth; they are sent to collect Kassam rocket launchers after they have been used, and the IDF holds back from targeting them.
    Since the raid on Kerem Shalom and the abduction of Gilad Shalit, the IDF has killed 170 militants and lost one of its own.


Hizballah's Stock Continues to Rise in Palestinian Streets - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    In Ramallah, one of the main streets has been named after the Lebanese town of Bint Jbail in honor of the Hizballah gunmen who managed to kill eight IDF soldiers last week.
    Video tapes and discs containing Hizballah literature and footage have flooded the markets of several Palestinian cities.
    A new song hailing Nasrallah as the "Hawk of Lebanon" and "Master of the Resistance" has become one of the most consumed products, in addition to Nasrallah's posters and Hizballah flags.


Statistics in the War - William M. Arkin (Washington Post)
    According to U.S. intelligence sources, Hizballah has launched more than 4,000 missiles, unguided rockets, and mortars at Israel.
    Some 2,200 rockets have been fired into Israel, according to IDF spokesmen. Most are 107 mm and 122 mm Katyusha rockets with a range of up to 12 miles.
    Long-range Syrian-made 220 mm rockets have also been used, primarily to attack Haifa and Tiberias. Long-range Iranian-made Fajr-5 rockets were used to attack Afula.
    Rocket firings are taking place at greater and greater distances from the Israeli-Lebanese border.


Hizballah's Christian "Shields" (UPI)
    Christian Solidarity International said Wednesday that Shia Muslim Hizballah is using Christian villages in Lebanon to launch missile attacks against Israel.
    A Christian from the village of Ain Ebel discovered Hizballah forces setting up a launcher to fire Katyusha rockets from the rooftop of his home. Ignoring his pleas to stop, they fired the missiles.
    He immediately gathered his family and fled. His home was destroyed 15 minutes later by an Israeli air strike.
    On July 28, Hizballah gunmen fired on Christians fleeing Rmeish with their families, wounding two, according to Christian sources in south Lebanon.
    "Contrary to Western press reports, indicating high percentages of Christian support for Hizballah, 90 percent of Christians, 80 percent of Sunni, and 40 percent of Shiites in Lebanon oppose Hizballah," says Sami El-Khoury, president of the World Maronite Union.


Bangladesh: A New Hub for Al-Qaeda? - Selig S. Harrison (Washington Post)
    A growing Islamic fundamentalist movement linked to al-Qaeda and Pakistani intelligence agencies is steadily converting the strategically located nation of Bangladesh into a new regional hub for terrorist operations that reach into India and Southeast Asia.


Useful Reference:

Syria as a Strategic Prop for Hizballah and Hamas - Reuven Erlich (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies)
    Syria, along with its ally Iran, consistently supports Hizballah and the Palestinian terrorist organizations to attain a variety of strategic goals: strengthening the radical Iranian-Syrian axis in the Middle East; weakening Israel by tearing apart its social fabric and damaging its economy; strengthening Syria's influence in Lebanon; strengthening the radical Islamic forces in the Palestinian Authority; and sabotaging agreements and arrangements in Lebanon and the PA which are incompatible with Syrian and Iranian interests.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • France, U.S. in Intensive Talks on Middle East Text - Irwin Arieff
    France and the U.S. conducted intensive negotiations on Thursday on a draft UN resolution seeking an end to the fighting between Israel and Lebanon's Hizballah, but no deal was reached. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, after more than three hours of talks with France's UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, said differences had been narrowed but "we have certainly not reached agreement."
        The U.S. and France have been working for a resolution that would call for a truce between Israel and Hizballah and propose a framework for a lasting political solution to the conflict. A second resolution would authorize an international peacekeeping force and set out terms for a permanent cease-fire and the disarmament of Hizballah. The latest draft of the initial resolution circulated to the Security Council's 15 members also proposes beefing up the UN peacekeeping mission now in southern Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, to monitor implementation of the truce until a more robust international force can be assembled. The U.S. would like an international force in southern Lebanon immediately after a truce. But France, touted as a leader for such a force, does not want its troops caught in a cross-fire between Israel and Hizballah, and wants a force sent in only after the permanent cease-fire is in place.
        Israel wants its troops to remain in the area until an international force is in place, while Lebanon is expected to object to an Israeli presence. Israel also insists on the right to take "defensive action" against Hizballah fighters and rocket crews launching attacks against troops or civilians during a truce. French officials have insisted that an end to the fighting would rule out such defensive actions. (Reuters)
        See also The Battle to Assemble International Force for Lebanon
    Multiple diplomatic, political, and logistical problems must be tackled before an international peacekeeping force can be sent to keep Israeli and Hizballah forces apart. Each has conditions for accepting a force, the U.S. reluctance to contribute troops could add a credibility problem, and just agreeing on a mandate at the UN will take time, diplomats and experts said. (AFP/Yahoo)
        See also Rice, Rumsfeld Approve Plan to Train, Outfit Lebanese Army
    The State Department said the U.S. plans to help train and equip the Lebanese army so it can take control of all of the nation's territory when warfare between Israel and Hizballah eases. The program was approved by Secretary of State Rice and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. (AP/MSNBC)
  • Iranian President: Destroy Israel
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, Iranian state-media reported. In a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia, Ahmadinejad also called for an immediate cease-fire to end the fighting between Israel and the Iranian-backed Hizballah. "Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate ceasefire must be implemented," Ahmadinejad said. (AP/CNN)
  • Hizballah Rockets Strike Israeli Hospital - Matthew Kalman
    In Nahariya, Dr. Uri Rehany picked his way through the wreckage of the Western Galilee Hospital's eye department where a Hizballah rocket had exploded last Friday, destroying the entire floor. The rocket devastated patient rooms and medical systems, including sensitive ocular ultrasound equipment worth more than $120,000. Twisted pieces of metal and smashed masonry crashed down onto the empty hospital beds. A gaping hole which was once a window shows where the missile struck, sending shrapnel and high explosives tearing through the ward.
        "They target civilians - hospitals, schools, whatever they can. We are so sorry when we hear that something happened to a civilian by mistake, but they specifically aim at civilian targets. They're not even ashamed of it," Rehany said, who also recalled that before Israel left southern Lebanon in 2000, about one-third of his patients were Lebanese. (Boston Globe)
        See also Israeli Town Under Attack - Jonathan Finer
    Just beyond Anastasia Friedman's ground-floor window, shattered two days ago, sat a half-dozen abandoned cars, their roofs caved in, their doors pierced by hundreds of small metal balls. Forty-three rockets fell on Kiryat Shmona on Thursday, including one about 30 feet from Friedman's front door. Since July 12, police say, 485 rockets fell in or around the town, more than anywhere else. (Washington Post)
        See also Stir Crazy in the Shelter - Eli Ashkenazi (Ha'aretz)
  • Jewish Charities Seek $300 Million for Israel - Alan Cooperman
    An umbrella organization of North American Jewish charities said Wednesday it will seek to raise a minimum of $300 million in emergency humanitarian funds for Israel this year, one of the largest short-term goals in its history. Howard Rieger, president and chief executive of United Jewish Communities, formerly known as the United Jewish Appeal, said its approximately 120 board members voted unanimously to launch the Israel Emergency Campaign. Rieger called the $300 million figure "a floor, not a ceiling," and the amount raised probably "will grow beyond that." The aim is to raise the money fast, ideally within weeks, UJC officials said. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Eight Israeli Civilians Killed in Hizballah Rocket Strikes Thursday - Sharon Roffe-Ofir
    Eight Israeli civilians were killed as Hizballah fired 160 rockets at northern Israel on Thursday. The civilian casualties in Acre were Shimon Zaribi, 44, his daughter Mazal, 15, Albert Ben-Abu, 41, Arye Tamam, 51, and his brother Tiran, 39. Those from Tarshiha were Muhammad Faour, 17, Sinati Sinati, 21, and Amir Naeem, 18. (Ynet News)
        See also Father and Daughter Returned to Acre, Killed by Rockets - Hagai Einav (Ynet News)
        See also Hizballah Rockets Kill Three Israeli Muslims - Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times)
        See also Two Killed in Rocket Attack on Northern Israel Friday
    One woman was killed in a direct hit on her house in the Druze-Arab village of Maghar. Another person died after a rocket landed near his car in Kiryat Shmona. (Reuters)
  • Anti-Tank Missiles Kills Four Israeli Soldiers - Efrat Weiss
    Three IDF soldiers were killed and another was severely wounded Thursday when Hizballah terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at their Merkava tank in southwest Lebanon. Hizballah has equipped itself with missile systems which are among the most advanced in the world, including "Fagot" and "Cornet" missiles with tandem warheads that can neutralize tank shields and destroy even the IDF's advanced tanks. (Ynet News)
        A fourth soldier was killed Thursday in Lebanon by an anti-tank missile in a separate incident. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Two Soldiers Killed Friday by Anti-Tank Rocket Fired by Hizballah - Efrat Weiss (Ynet News)
  • Hizballah Not Hurrying towards Cease-Fire - Roee Nahmias
    Reports of eight deaths in northern Israel Thursday brought wide smiles to the announcers on Hizballah's al-Manar television, which aired militant TV clips and messages from viewers who called in to support continued operations against Israel. "A cease-fire is meaningless as long as our lands remain occupied - if so, naturally, we have the right, as Lebanese, to resist this occupation," explained Hizballah media chief, Hassan Rahal. In recent days, Israel has repeatedly been warned that if IDF forces dared to attack Beirut, Hizballah will attack Tel Aviv "and beyond." (Ynet News)
        See also IDF: Threat to Hit Tel Aviv Taken Seriously - Miri Chason (Ynet News)
        See also Israel Air Force Resumes Strikes Against Southern Beirut (Jerusalem Post)
  • Hizballah Has Time - Zvi Bar'el
    A cease-fire comes with attached conditions, Nasrallah's deputy, Sheikh Naim Kassem, said Thursday: stopping Israel's attacks, removing all Israeli troops from Lebanese soil, and returning the Lebanese refugees to the villages they fled from in the south of the country; in other words, restoring the pre-July 12 situation. Lebanon's conditions for a settlement, that have received international and Arab support, include the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border and the strengthening of the international force. By declaring his own separate conditions, Nasrallah is claiming a right to veto any Lebanese government decisions, and establishing himself as a central power that must be reckoned with. He is saying that any agreement with Lebanon will be invalid without his approval. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Prepares to Widen Security Strip - Moran Zelikovitch
    Defense Minister Amir Peretz instructed the IDF on Thursday to prepare for the next phase of the war in Lebanon with the objective of seizing control of the area from the international border to the Litani River in a bid to stifle Hizballah's short-range rocket capabilities. Ground Forces Commander Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz said the IDF is planning to deepen its control in southern Lebanon in order to reach rocket launch zones. Northern Home Front Command spokesman Major Zvika Golan said the IDF is planning to widen the security strip and to clear demilitarized zones 15 km into Lebanon. (Ynet News)
  • Indyk: U.S. Must Not Speak to Assad - Yitzhak Benhorin
    Martin Indyk, the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and currently head of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, piled hours of conversations with senior Syrian officials when he served as Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs under President Clinton. "I am a diplomat and a man who believes in dialogue, but at this stage I believe it is forbidden for the United States to hold direct talks with the Syrians," he said in an interview, adding that Syrians would interpret negotiations with Washington as an invitation to reenter Lebanon. Indyk says contacts with Syria can be made through the French and the UN, and Washington should make it clear that if Damascus doesn't stop its support for Hizballah, it will find itself entangled in the conflict it created. (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    Strategy

  • A Smart, Successful War - Yossi Melman
    The Israel Defense Forces could have captured most of Lebanon within a few days, as it did in 1982. But this time Israel wants to reduce its losses, and therefore the IDF is working cautiously - which is mistakenly being seen as hesitation. Based on precise intelligence, the air force struck accurately at the majority of the long-range missiles and their launchers in the first two days of the war. Hizballah headquarters, with its communications networks and control-and-command centers, were hit hard. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Analyst: Israel Moving Slowly to Save Lives - Julie Stahl
    Israel is not rushing its campaign against Hizballah in southern Lebanon because it wants to keep Israeli troop and Lebanese civilian casualties to a minimum, retired Israeli Air Force Colonel Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto said Thursday. The army is operating as "slowly, efficiently and thoroughly as possible" to save as many lives as possible, he said. The Israeli ground operation is intended to surgically clean out Hizballah positions in southern Lebanon, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. Israel wants to neutralize the terrorist infrastructure adjacent to the Israeli border, he said. (CNSNews)
  • America Needs a Decisive Hizballah Defeat - Charles Krauthammer
    Israel's war with Hizballah is a war to secure its northern border, to defeat a terrorist militia bent on Israel's destruction, and to restore Israeli deterrence in the age of the missile. . But even more is at stake. Hizballah is a wholly owned Iranian subsidiary. Its mission is to extend the Islamic Revolution's influence into Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, destabilize any Arab-Israeli peace, and advance an Islamist Shiite ascendancy, led and controlled by Iran, throughout the Levant.
        America wants, America needs, a decisive Hizballah defeat. Unlike many of the other terrorist groups in the Middle East, Hizballah is a serious enemy of the U.S. In 1983 it massacred 241 American servicemen. Except for al-Qaeda, it has killed more Americans than any other terror organization. More important, Hizballah is a wholly owned Iranian subsidiary and today the leading edge of an aggressive, nuclear-hungry Iran.
        America finds itself at war with radical Islam, a two-churched monster. With al-Qaeda in decline, Iran is on the march, intervening through proxies throughout the Arab world - Hizballah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories, Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Iraq - to subvert modernizing, Western-oriented Arab governments and bring these territories under Iranian hegemony. Its nuclear ambitions would give it an overwhelming preponderance of power over the Arabs and an absolute deterrent against serious counteractions by the U.S., Israel, or any other rival. The defeat of Hizballah would be a huge loss for Iran, both psychologically and strategically. Iran would be shown to have vastly overreached in trying to establish itself as the regional superpower. (Washington Post)
  • Give War a Chance - Michael Goodwin
    Peace is not always the best answer. Not when wrongs have to be righted. Sometimes, deadly force is the righteous option. Like a schoolyard bully who deserves a thorough butt-kicking, Hizballah needs to be taught a lesson. It can either learn to live in peace, or it can die. But it cannot win by playing the terror card and it cannot be allowed to think it's going to. The terrorists have proven they are not subject to rational approaches. They are not interested in compromise any more than a mad dog will share its bone. Hizballah and its Iranian patrons don't want to make a deal with Israel. They want to destroy Israel. And then America and Europe and Christians. Can we talk to Islamic terrorists? Is there something we can say or do that will entice them to rejoin the human race? Personally, I don't think so.
        Israel deserves our support and our gratitude. It is fighting for its own survival, and much more. It is fighting for the survival of the civilized world against the darkness. (New York Daily News)
  • Changing the Rules in the Lebanese Arena - Boaz Ganor
    Over the years, Hizballah has succeeded in creating an unprecedented situation in which it deters Israel more than Israel deters it. Hizballah also succeeded in deterring Israel from carrying out routine operations against it by creating a dangerous equivalency in which any Israeli action that harmed Lebanese civilians would be followed by a rain of Katyusha rockets on Israeli civilian sites. It is clear that Israel needed to carry out an attack that was as wide ranging as possible in order to change the rules of the flawed game being played with Hizballah.
        The government of Beirut cannot be accepted by the international community as a legitimate, sovereign government if, at the same time, it is permitted to shrug off responsibility for quasi-military actions and terror attacks launched from its territory against Israel. It would be a strategic mistake for Israel to agree to a cease-fire before destroying Hizballah's missile system or significantly reducing its capability to fire missiles, and creating credible arrangements that will guarantee that Hizballah will not be able to rehabilitate its military infrastructure.
        One positive aspect of the current exchange of fire is that damaging Hizballah's infrastructure will make it easier for Israel to cope in the future with the repercussions of a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. (Institute for Counter-Terrorism)

    Hizballah

  • Nasrallah's Dilemma - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff
    As the war progresses, the depth of Iranian involvement in Hizballah activity is increasingly being revealed. Hizballah has established a Tehran-sponsored forward outpost next door to Israel. Iranians are involved up to their necks in Hizballah activity: Their advisers participated in the firing of the missiles at Israeli ships and in the firing of Strella (SA-7) antiaircraft missiles at Israeli planes and helicopters. Sophisticated listening rooms have been discovered, via which the Iranians eavesdropped on Israeli communications and telephone networks, both civilian and military, and not limited only to the northern front.
        Nasrallah can expect quite a difficult confrontation at home after the war ends. The questions will be asked: Why was it necessary to drag a country into war for four prisoners? And to whom does Hizballah owe its national allegiance? Hizballah faces another dilemma on the question of the multinational force: Refusal means a negative image, agreement means conceding the organization's prime asset, southern Lebanon. (Ha'aretz)
  • The Seven Lost Villages - Danny Rubinstein
    Although Nasrallah's principal demands are Israeli withdrawal from the Shaba Farms and the release of Lebanese prisoners, it is clear that when circumstances allow, he will demand the return of seven Shiite Muslim villages that were part of Mandatory Palestine and that became part of Israel in 1948. The northernmost of the seven was the tiny village of Ibel al-Qamah, located about two km south of Metulla until it was destroyed in 1948. On the eve of the 1948 war, less than 2,000 people lived in Hunin, located on the spot where Moshav Margaliot stands today, on a hill west of Kiryat Shmona. Qadas stood adjacent to Nebi Yusha, today the Yesha Fortress, west of the Hula Valley. To the south stood the village of Malkiya, adjacent to the kibbutz of the same name. On the northern highway near present-day Moshav Avivim stood the village of Salha. Two villages are in the Western Galilee: Tarbikha, now the site of Moshav Shomera, and Al-Bassa, now Betzet. (Ha'aretz)
  • Hizballah's Prominence Has Many Sunnis Worried - Neil MacFarquhar
    "The educated classes think that if Hizballah controls the region, then the Sunnis will be abused," a Damascus University professor told me. Intensifying Sunni-Shiite violence in Iraq in recent years has raised sectarian awareness across the Middle East in ways not experienced since the Islamic Revolution in Shiite Iran in 1979. The fighting in Lebanon promises to further increase Sunnis' unease about Shiites challenging their dominance.
        Some of those interviewed at random along the main street in the Syrian resort town of Zabadani made their distaste for Shiites clear. "Hizballah is Iranian; everyone knows that," said a high school teacher from Saudi Arabia. Shiites make up 15 percent of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims. In Saudi Arabia, puritanical Wahhabi Muslims lace their writings with suggestions that being a Christian or a Jew is far preferable to being Shiite. (New York Times)

    International Peacekeeping Force

  • UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon? Be Careful What You Wish For - Jonathan D. Tepperman
    Since 1948, the UN has stepped into the Arab-Israeli maelstrom five times. But few of these efforts have paid off. Unless it takes a radically different shape, a new intervention could well make matters worse, not just for the parties on the ground, but for the UN itself. If it is to have any chance of disarming Hizballah, persuading Israel to withdraw, and keeping southern Lebanon quiet, a new UN mission will have to be big. This means several divisions of battle-tested troops (some experts put the number at 25,000). Realistically, only NATO soldiers would have the capacity for such a job.
        Unless those Western states now blithely calling for the UN to act are also willing to contribute troops (and so far, very few of them have), any mission is virtually doomed to fail. If recent history teaches anything, it is that half-hearted efforts - which give a false sense that something is being done but only end up costing peacekeepers' lives - can be worse than none at all. The writer is deputy managing editor of Foreign Affairs. (Wall Street Journal)

    Morality

  • Israel, Not Hizballah, Hindered by Conscience - Editorial
    Hizballah terrorists wear no uniforms. They intentionally locate their rocket launchers and heavy weaponry in densely populated areas precisely to take advantage of the reluctance of the Israeli army to shower its formidable firepower down upon places like Qana. Only the fact that Israelis have built stout underground shelters for their citizens rather than using them as human shields in front of their enemies' rockets has kept their death totals low. That is the essential difference in the "proportionality" by which so many in the West insist on judging this conflict. One side cares about the civilian death toll in this terrible Middle East conflict, and one side revels in it. (Arizona Republic)
  • The Qana Tragedy - Editorial
    If Israel doesn't attack Hizballah's human shields, the group keeps its weapons. If Israel does attack, Hizballah scores a propaganda victory. From a terrorist's point of view, it's win-win: Hizballah's leaders don't care about the lives of innocent Lebanese civilians any more than they care about the lives of Jews. According to both civilized morality and international law, it is not Israel that has the blood of innocents on its hands, but Hizballah. (National Post-Canada)
  • An Issue of Life and Death - Nahum Barnea
    Israel can live with mortal enemies for neighbors. It can live with an arsenal of rockets and missiles that can hit a large portion of the country. But it cannot live with an arsenal of rockets and missiles and commando units operated by a terrorist organization which views itself as exempt from responsibility. The issue here is life and death. The issue is the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who have been displaced from their homes and jobs, and a fanatical, dangerous enemy. (Ynet News)
  • Israel Is Being Set Up - Editorial
    Israel has tried hard to minimize civilian casualties in southern Lebanon, often placing its own troops at risk in the process. It has repeatedly telegraphed its military moves and urged Lebanese civilians to leave the battle zone. Meanwhile, Hizballah and its sponsors - Syria and Iran - continue to deliberately target Israeli civilians. (Kansas City Star)
  • Terrorists Hiding Behind Babies - Naomi Ragen
    Terrorists and their supporters have lost the right to complain about civilian casualties, since all they have is one goal: this entire war is to target civilians. Every single one of the 2,200 rockets launched into Israel is launched into populated towns filled with women and children. So don't cry to me about civilian casualties. Cry to those who store weapons in mosques, ambulances, hospitals, and private homes. Cry to those launching deadly rockets from the backyards of kindergartens and schools. Cry to the heartless men who love death, and consider themselves victorious as long as they can keep on firing rockets at our women and children. (Ha'aretz)
  • Nasrallah's Achievements - Ahmed Al-Jarallah
    So far Nasrallah's only achievements have been causing the destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure and killing of innocent Lebanese. Dictatorial decisions taken by a single man like Nasrallah, who gets instructions from foreign countries, will always lead to sorrow. Nasrallah's dictatorship will sink like those of Saddam Hussein and other regimes, which did not know their true ability. (Arab Times-Kuwait)

    Weekend Features

  • A Personal Perspective on the Israel/Hizballah War - Liat Ben David
    Life in the Galilee, and generally in Israel's north, has become a long game of Russian roulette. It happened within a few minutes three weeks ago - and hasn't stopped since. Every time you want to get out of the shelter, even for a few minutes, is a gamble: will Hizballah start shelling again just as I leave the shelter to get some milk and bread for my kids, who are sitting in it with me? And if it does - where is the closest hiding place? Is the local grocery store even open? Work is a forgotten dream, and those who still have jobs are afraid of the way back and forth.
        Our kids, even those who are not in shelters, know that they must be alert, suspicious, connected to the news and to their parents. That is daily life, everywhere, for all ages. More than half of the population in the north has left their homes and gone south. (CAMERA)
  • With Our Troops in Lebanon - Aviram Zino
    The troops in this war include everyone: Young and old, regular soldiers and reservists, religious and secular, members of all ethnicities. Nobody says ''no" to Lebanon, everyone shows up - just like Shai Shalev, 33, who traveled to the world championship of poker in Las Vegas. And then the war started. "We happened to turn on the television at the hotel and suddenly saw missiles hitting Haifa," he says. "We were stunned, and within a few days returned home. At 7:20 a.m. I walked into the house, at 7:35 they informed me I need to go back up north, and there I am."
        Everyone talks about the sense of responsibility and about being the country's first line of defense. (Ynet News)
  • Kiryat Shmona's Finest Hour - Dan Izenberg
    On Thursday, there were only about 5,000 inhabitants left in Kiryat Shmona, a city of 25,000. Motti Avraham, owner of the Mor Minimarket, said, "One day two elderly men walked into my store. I could tell they were from Jerusalem by their accents. One of them asked me if I sold on credit. I said I did. Then he asked me whether some of my clients were poor. I said they were....He then began to give me NIS 300 for each of the people...and told me to deduct the money from their debt. I asked them who they were. They replied, 'What difference does that make?'" (Jerusalem Post)
  • Cyberhate, Antisemitism, and Counterlegislation - Michael Whine
    The growth of websites and chat rooms that promote racism and antisemitism enables extremists and terrorist groups to advertise their hate messages, organize their activities, and facilitate attacks against their enemies. Despite the original intentions of the Internet's designers that it be a medium free of state control and subject to no sanction, it is becoming necessary to impose legal parameters and contractual obligations to protect potential victims, whose rights are now recognized as being at least equal to free speech obligations.
        European and Commonwealth states have now criminalized incitement to hatred via the Internet, and have overcome legal barriers to prosecute and convict offenders; international organizations have issued declarations and enacted conventions that call on states to outlaw incitement online, while carefully protecting free speech rights. The writer is Government and International Affairs Director at the Community Security Trust, the defense agency of the UK Jewish community. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Observations:

    White House: Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself (White House)

    White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said Wednesday:

    • "Within the Security Council...there is agreement on all the steps that are necessary....They include making it possible for the government of Lebanon to have full sovereignty over Lebanese territory, and to be able to assert effective military control in the south; for Hizballah to cease to operate independently as a militia in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 1559; to provide support for the government of Prime Minister Siniora so that it is going to be able to fulfill its obligations. There are humanitarian steps underway, as you know - there will be reconstruction - and also to try to put together steps that are going to lay in place the foundation for security in the future that's going to prevent the kinds of mischief that we've seen on behalf of Hizballah that have gotten us to this place."
    • "We want a cease-fire that is sustainable, that is going to provide the basis for security in the long run in Lebanon....All recognize that if you declare an immediate cease-fire and you do not have the conditions for real peace, it is simply going to be a hollow declaration....We want an end to violence. We think that what has happened is a tragedy not merely for the people of Lebanon, but the people of Israel. A million Israelis right now are living in bomb shelters."
    • "Israel will have a right to defend herself....The question is, somebody fires - somebody goes across your border, kidnaps some of your citizens, kills some of them, and begins firing rockets. Do you have a right to defend yourself? By international law, you certainly do....You're putting all the focus on the Israelis rather than on the people who started this, and continue to provide the impetus for the violence, and that is Hizballah."
    • "It's hard to imagine that treating people as human shields is going to be a winner in the long run; or that the idea of placing rockets in people's homes, radar installations in civilian areas, and essentially holding civilian areas hostage to military operations is, in the long run, a winner."

          See also Rice: No Return to Status Quo Ante (State Department)


    Galilee Spirit

    The Conference of Presidents and Israel's Ministry of Tourism have partnered to launch a unique, innovative program to assist the tourism industry in Israel's northern region, which has suffered greatly as a result of the barrage of missiles fired by Hizballah terrorists. By assuring a stream of current income, hoteliers will be able to sustain their businesses, pay employees and suppliers, and be able to reopen as soon as possible.

    • Reserve and pay now for nights in eastern, central, or western Galilee hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfasts.
    • Receive a voucher that can be redeemed until June 30, 2007.
    • Vouchers are transferable to friends and family and may be used on any available non-holiday weekday.
    • Two price categories, kosher accommodations available.
    • El Al Israel Airlines in the U.S. provides a $100 discount coupon for future flights upon presentation of Galilee Spirit voucher.
    • Call toll free 1-800-738-0548 or click on:
      www.hofesh-latzafon.co.il.
    • Galilee Spirit program continues through August 31.


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