Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Hamas and Iran Developing Strategic Relations - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff (Ha'aretz)
Palestinian Rocket Fire Continues - Mijal Grinberg and Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
Israelis Warned of Al-Qaeda Terror Alert in Goa, India (Ha'aretz)
Palestinian Stabs Israeli Security Guard (Ynet News)
Lebanese Government Rallies Answer Hizballah's - Anthony Shadid (Washington Post)
EU Considers Paying Palestinian Police - Wafa Amr (Reuters)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked Pope Benedict XVI during their meeting at the Vatican on Wednesday to urge Christians to protest Holocaust denials. On Tuesday, the Vatican issued a statement calling on people to remember the Nazi campaign of extermination: "The Shoah was a great tragedy before which we cannot remain indifferent.... The memory of those horrible events must remain as a warning for people's consciences." (AP/Washington Post)
A 68-page study produced by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists argues that Iranian President Ahmadinejad's declaration that "Israel should be wiped off the map" is part of a hate campaign punishable under international law. Remarks by Ahmadinejad, including one in which he reportedly questioned whether Zionists were human beings, "constitute direct and public incitement to genocide," the study alleges. "While the Hutus in Rwanda were equipped with machetes, Iran, should the international community do nothing to prevent it, will soon acquire nuclear weapons," it notes.
Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, said that while "most people think of [legal proceedings against] genocide in terms of setting up tribunals after the crime has been committed," the challenge was to stop genocide before it begins. "What specifically can be done? Let the Security Council meet and discuss the issue," he said. (Financial Times-UK)
See also Full Text: Referral of Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the Charge of Incitement to Commit Genocide (IAJLJ/JCPA)
Iranian President Ahmadinejad faces a potential setback at the hands of the nation's traditional conservatives in elections Friday for a government oversight body that will one day choose a successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Several allies of fundamentalist Ayatollah Mohammed Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, a spiritual and political adviser to Ahmadinejad, have been blocked by the country's religious establishment from running for the 86-seat Assembly of Experts.
"The old conservatives among the clerics are trying to hold onto their ability to steer the Islamic revolution, and they are not supporting Ahmadinejad's way," said A. William Samii, an Iranian political analyst with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Mehdi Khalaji, a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Ayatollah Khamenei sent a clear signal in the run-up to Friday's vote that he wanted to rein in Ahmadinejad's fundamentalist allies, who have pushed an aggressive line on Islamic practice, Israel, and confrontation with the U.S. (Washington Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
A panel of three High Court of Justice judges ruled unanimously Thursday against a petition asking it to declare that the policy of targeted killings of terrorists was illegal. The court determined that those who were on their way to commit an attack against the IDF or civilians or had planned an attack or were in between carrying out a series of attacks were fair targets.
The court cited Article 51(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions which states: "Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities." Thus, the court said, a civilian who takes direct part in hostilities does not enjoy the protections granted to a civilian and is subject to the risks of attack like those to which a combatant is subject. (Jerusalem Post)
Vice Premier Shimon Peres told British Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn on Wednesday that Israel will transfer tax revenue collected for the PA only once it is confident the money will not be used to finance terror against Israel. Peres said Hamas continues to give millions of dollars to terror organizations instead of providing food and medicine for the Palestinian people. It is now clear to the entire world that Hamas prefers terror and war to dialogue, recognition of Israel, and peace, he said. Peres said he expects Britain to act alongside the international community in a clear and resolute manner against Hamas, Hizballah, and Iran, and prevent them from establishing a fundamentalist hegemony in the region. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Ahmadinejad actually seems to believe that the volumes of documentation, testimony, and living memory of the Nazi genocide are at best exaggerated and part of a Zionist conspiracy to falsify history so as to create the case for Israel. As a former member of the Revolutionary Guards, he was indoctrinated with such thinking, a political analyst in Tehran said, and as a radical student leader, he championed such a view. Now he has a platform to promote the theories. Iran's two-day Holocaust conference this week included no attempt to come to terms with the nature of the well-documented Nazi slaughter, offering only a platform to those pursuing the fantasy that it never happened.
Some see a more ambitious agenda reflected in Ahmadinejad's high profile on the issues of Jews, the Holocaust, and Israel. "It is for public consumption in Arab countries," said Mustafa El-Labbad, editor of Sharqnameh, a magazine on Iranian affairs published in Cairo. "It is specifically directed toward deepening the gap between the people and their regimes and toward embarrassing the rulers so that the regional power vacuum, especially after Iraq, can be filled by Iran." (New York Times)
The conference for Holocaust deniers hosted by Iran's President Ahmadinejad is a transparent polemical stunt. What is important to Ahmadinejad is not any issue of historical truth, but to deny the legitimacy of Israel. His reason for presenting himself as the world's foremost denier of Israel's right to exist has less to do with the best interests of the Palestinians than with his strategy for making Iran a regional superpower. The aim is to win over Sunni Arab populations, thereby deterring Arab regimes from opposing Iran's nuclear program and resisting the spread of Iranian influence from Baghdad to Beirut. (Boston Globe)
Jimmy Carter's most recent book will not help the Palestinians. Carter perpetuates the fictions that have helped create the current state of affairs: demonization of Israel, distortion of history, and an overall sense of victimhood that puts no premium on Palestinian accountability.
Carter apparently minimizes terrorism in order to make it possible to blame Israel for malevolence. Carter would have us believe that ill will on Israel's part led it to suddenly begin building a fence in 2002 after 35 years without security barriers. But in fact it was Hamas that effectively built the barrier by inundating Israel with suicide bombings that claimed an estimated 1,000 lives between 2000 and 2004. After the barrier was built, the amount of suicide attacks dramatically decreased. The writer is a senior fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (U.S. News)
Holocaust Denial Can Be Dangerous - Editorial (Los Angeles Times)
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