Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Israel to Respond to U.S. "Benchmarks" Document Before PM Goes to U.S. - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
CAIR Membership Falls 90% Since 9/11 - Audrey Hudson (Washington Times)
Palestinians Shot by Their Own Side, Healed by Israel - Charles Levinson (Sunday Telegraph-UK)
Controversial Professor Denied Tenure at DePaul - Ron Grossman (Chicago Tribune)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The UN Security Council backed the Lebanese government on Monday in its battle against Palestinian militants. The council also expressed "deep concern at mounting information by Israel and other states of illegal movements of arms in Lebanon, and in particular across the Lebanese-Syrian border," said a statement read by Belgium's UN ambassador Johan Verbeke, this month's council president.
The council issued the statement after hearing from UN Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, who later told reporters he drew an "alarming and deeply disturbing picture" of "a steady flow of weapons and armed elements across the border from Syria." In its statement, the council regretted that "the disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia" had not been carried out, an obvious reference to Hizbullah. (Reuters)
See also Olmert Will Urge Bush to Prevent Smuggling of Weapons to Hizbullah - Ronny Sofer
Israel is expected to raise the issue of the rearming of Hizbullah and the incessant smuggling of weapons into Lebanon during Prime Minister Olmert's meeting in Washington with President Bush next Tuesday. The UN peace-keeping forces mandate in Lebanon is set to be renewed in two months' time, and Israel is looking to take advantage of the opportunity to change the situation on the ground, as Hizbullah has improved its capabilities. Intelligence officials said that Israel's main concern was over Hizbullah possessing a long-range missile called the Fatah-110, which could reach Tel Aviv.
A senior diplomatic official said that the embargo is not being enforced due to the phrasing of a clause in the UN mandate that states that the Lebanese prime minister can ask for international forces to deploy along the border with Syria. However, Lebanon's prime minister is in no hurry to do so. Israel will ask the U.S. to use its influence on Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora to have him deploy peace-keeping forces along the border as one of the conditions of renewing the UNIFIL forces mandate in August. (Ynet News)
Few could have predicted the scale of the backlash to the University and College Union's resolution to boycott Israel. Tony Blair phoned the Israeli prime minister to reassure him that the motion did not reflect wider public opinion. In Israel, MPs began drafting a bill to label British imports - allowing consumers to stage their own counter boycott. In the U.S., 2,000 American scholars - including at least nine Nobel laureates - have vowed to stay away from any event from which Israelis are excluded.
Prominent lawyer and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says he has mustered a team of 100 high-profile lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic to "devastate and bankrupt" anyone acting against Israeli universities. Prominent UK lawyer Anthony Julius said Israel was being treated in a way reminiscent of the anti-Semitism of the medieval Christian church. "I sometimes think that Jews born in the 1940s and 1950s have been living through a golden period, but that the closed season on Jews has now come to an end." (Guardian-UK)
See also University of Miami President Donna Shalala Supports Israeli Academics (Miami Herald)
See also Petition of Solidarity with Israeli Academics (Scholars for Peace in the Middle East)
The New York State Pension Fund should divest itself from companies that do business in Iran, state Sen. Craig Johnson said Sunday as he announced the introduction of a bill that allows the state comptroller to pull the investments. A similar bill regarding investments in Sudan has passed the Senate and is pending in the Assembly. (Newsday)
See also NY Pension Fund Targets Sudan - Jessica M. Pasko
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Monday proposed using New York's state pension fund to increase pressure on the Sudanese government to end the bloodshed in Darfur. At least eight states, including California, have already begun selling off Sudan-related investments. (AP/Houston Chronicle)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Rival Palestinian gunmen exchanged fire at two Gaza hospitals, and Cabinet ministers fled their weekly meeting after the government headquarters was hit in a crossfire Monday, in the latest round in an increasingly brutal power struggle between Hamas and Fatah. In all, 17 Palestinians were killed Monday and early Tuesday, including three shot dead in Beit Hanoun Hospital in northern Gaza. At Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, combatants fired mortars, grenades and assault rifles.
Gunmen from Hamas killed Jamal Abu al-Jediyan, Secretary General of the Fatah movement in northern Gaza and a co-founder of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. Palestinian sources said al-Jediyan, a close associate of Mohammed Dahlan, had been executed outside his home. Fatah spokesman Maher Mikdad pledged revenge, and in a message, Fatah called on its members to target all Hamas political and military leaders. (Ha'aretz)
See also Gunmen Fire RPG at Hamas Prime Minister's House - Ali Waked
Gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the home of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday, damaging the building but causing no casualties. (Ynet News)
An Israeli was hurt by shrapnel on Tuesday when a rocket fired by Palestinians in Gaza hit the Sha'ar Hanegev industrial zone. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Holocaust denial is gaining currency among millions of people who are either ignorant of history or are being misled by their media, their governments or their own religious authorities. By lying about the events of the past, the deniers are paving the way toward the crimes of the future. The real purpose of Holocaust denial is to degrade and dehumanize the Jewish people. By denying or trivializing the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis and their allies, the deniers are seeking to advance their notion that the victims of the 20th century's greatest crime are, in fact, that century's greatest victimizers. Holocaust denial is the most visible symptom of an underlying disease - the inability (or unwillingness) to recognize the humanity of others.
Wahid is the former president of Indonesia. Lau, a survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is the former Chief Rabbi of Israel. A conference of religious leaders opened on June 12 in Bali, Indonesia, on "Tolerance Between Religions: A Blessing for All Creation," cosponsored by LibForAll Foundation, the Wahid Institute, and the Museum of Tolerance. (Wall Street Journal, 12Jun07)
We were in a small house in Zarqa, Jordan, trying to interview two heavily bearded Islamic militants about their distribution of recruitment videos when one of us asked one too many questions. "He's American?" one of the militants growled. "Let's kidnap and kill him." But before anyone could act on this impulse, the rules of jihadi etiquette kicked in. You can't just slaughter a visitor. You need permission from whoever arranges the meeting. And in this case, the arranger who helped us to meet this pair declined to sign off. "He's my guest," Marwan Shehadeh, a Jordanian researcher, told the bearded men.
The rules of jihad etiquette have some general themes. Suicide bombers have long been called martyrs, a locution that avoids the Koran's ban on killing oneself in favor of the honor it accords death in battle against infidels. Here are five of the more striking jihadi tenets, as militant Islamists describe them:
Rule No. 1: You can kill bystanders without feeling a lot of guilt.
Rule No. 2: You can kill children, too, without needing to feel distress.
Rule No. 3: Sometimes, you can single out civilians for killing; bankers are an example.
Rule No. 4: You cannot kill in the country where you reside unless you were born there.
Rule No. 5: You can lie or hide your religion if you do this for jihad. (New York Times)
A Culture of Violence Rules the Palestinian Territories - Kamal Gabriel
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