Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
UN Secretary-General Condemns Suicide Bombing in Israel (United Nations)
Israel's Intelligence in Gaza Growing Weaker - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff (Ha'aretz)
Turks Arrest 47 Al-Qaeda Operatives - Sebnem Arsu (New York Times)
International Aid to Palestinians Up Since Hamas Win - Aimee Rhodes (Jerusalem Post)
Palestinian Suicide Attacks Since 2001 (AP/Washington Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
North Korea and Iran are cooperating in developing long-range missiles, the deputy director of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said Monday. Army Brig. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly said Iran is working on a space launcher that would help develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the U.S. "They are working in concert with the North Koreans," he said. "They have made a claim that they are working towards developing a space launch capability, which also would give them an ICBM capability." The Pentagon believes the Iranians "could have an ICBM capable of reaching the U.S. before 2015," according to a Missile Defense Agency briefing chart.
Gen. O'Reilly also stated that Hizbullah's short-range rockets and missiles, used in last year's fighting in Lebanon, were a threat to Israeli forces and that more than 4,500 were fired. "They had small ball bearings, about 300, in their warhead, and they were very effective at shutting down a lot of the maneuvering capability of the Israeli army and also shutting down over 70% of the commerce in northern Israel during that period of time," he said. (Washington Times)
President Bush said Monday that he doesn't intend to attack Iran but will "respond firmly" if Iranian agents inside Iraq escalate their attacks or supply materials used to attack U.S. troops or Iraqis. He also accused Iran of being part of an effort to bring down Lebanon's government as well, saying it is working with Syria and the terrorist group Hizbullah. (Washington Times)
See also Europe Resists U.S. Push to Curb Iran Ties - Steven R. Weisman
European governments are resisting Bush administration demands that they curtail support for exports to Iran and that they block transactions and freeze assets of some Iranian companies. "We are telling the Europeans that they need to go way beyond what they've done to maximize pressure on Iran," said a senior administration official. "The European response on the economic side has been pretty weak." The administration says that European governments provided $18 billion in government loan guarantees for Iran in 2005. (New York Times)
Palestinian infighting raged in the Gaza Strip Tuesday morning despite a cease-fire declaration by warring Hamas and Fatah factions aimed at ending factional clashes that have left more than 60 dead in the past two months. Gunfire and explosions were audible in downtown Gaza City as gunmen from the rival factions ignored the cease-fire. (AP/USA Today)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The Islamic Jihad suicide bomber from Gaza who killed three people on Monday entered Israel through the border with Egypt, several dozen kilometers northwest of Eilat, a senior Israel Defense Forces officer said. An Israeli civilian who unwittingly drove the bomber close to the scene of the attack suspected the man was a terrorist and called the police. Two patrol cars rushed to the scene, but the bomber carried out the attack seven minutes after the call. The Israeli fatalities from the bombing were Haim El-Maliach, 32, Michael Ben-Sa'adon, 27, and Yisrael Samolia, 25, an immigrant from Peru. (Ha'aretz)
Yossi Voltinsky, the man who drove the suicide bomber in Monday's attack in Eilat, was "99 percent sure" his passenger was a suicide bomber. He considered crashing his car or running over the man but did not "because of the 1 percent chance that maybe he was innocent, maybe a crazy, how would I be able to live with that?" Voltinsky, a lieutenant colonel in the IDF reserves, said, "As soon as I looked at him in the rearview mirror, I saw that something was wrong - he wore a windbreaker zipped to the neck, with a big backpack strapped on. He kept one hand in his pocket, his eyes darted around, he was very nervous. He acted very unnaturally. I asked him where he was headed, he didn't answer, just motioned for me to keep going. I asked, 'Where are you from?' He didn't answer. I realized at that point I was transporting a hostile person, a terrorist or a robber."
"I couldn't drive to the police station because it's inside the city, and I didn't want to go to a checkpoint because I knew that as soon as he saw soldiers, he'd blow up," Voltinsky said. He let the man out at the outskirts of the city and called the police. (Ha'aretz)
"The whole family was very happy when it heard that Muhammad is the hero who carried out the attack," said Naim Saqsaq, the brother of Muhammad Saqsaq, who carried out the suicide attack in Eilat. "We knew that he was waiting and praying for this moment. He always said, 'If only I could be a shahid (martyr), if only I could carry out an attack.' And here Allah gave him the privilege," said the brother. One of Muhammad's friends said he saw him for the last time on Thursday, and he looked different. "I am used to seeing him with a beard, but on this day he was cleanly shaven and had a short haircut." (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Much of the present critique of the Bush administration's Iraq policy focuses on the need to ratchet up U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. Diplomats, politicians, and commentators have been proposing a new policy of increasing U.S. "engagement" based on the assumption that America's chief rival in the region - Iran - can act as a force for stability. At the same time, there is growing pressure on Bush to immediately revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, despite the Hamas' control of the Palestinian Authority, with full Iranian backing.
By offering concessions like these, Western diplomats are making a colossal error that could have devastating consequences. As I explain in my new book, The Fight for Jerusalem, proposals to "engage" radical Islam and appease it with territorial concessions in Jerusalem and elsewhere will not lower the flames of militant Islamic rage, but will much more likely result in an explosion of new violence throughout the entire Middle East. Monday's suicide attack in Eilat, Israel, conducted by Islamic Jihad, which is directly controlled by Iranian intelligence, is just the latest example of Iran's plans for Israel's "security." (Human Events)
103 countries co-sponsored a UN resolution, initiated by the U.S., which "condemns without reservation any denial of the Holocaust" and urges UN member states "unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event." Unsurprisingly, Iran made a strong statement against the resolution. All of the Arab nations and most Muslim countries refused to be co-sponsors. The deafening silence of the Arab states, even though some, like Egypt and Jordan, are formally at peace with Israel, as well as the stance of nuclear-armed Pakistan, makes one wonder how deep both denial of history and hatred of the Jews go.
The implied embrace of the ideology and politics of hatred that brought about the Holocaust does not threaten Israel alone. Radical Islamism, which embraces Holocaust denial, Jew hatred and denial of Israel's right to exist, also vehemently denies Western civilization its right to exist. It is a clear and present danger to world peace. It is laudable that the Holocaust is commemorated at the UN, but to preserve peace, UN members need to do much more than adopt nonbinding resolutions. The writer is senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. (Washington Times)
The American Iraq: How the Sunni Arabs and the Palestinians Respond - Fouad Ajami (Wall Street Journal)
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