Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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September 24, 2007

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In-Depth Issues:

Hizbullah Has Set Up Terror Cells to Respond to Any Attack on Iran (MEMRI)
    Arab and foreign security sources said that Hizbullah has completed the establishment of terror cells in countries bordering on Israel and Iraq, including Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE.
    The cells comprise Shi'ite supporters of Hizbullah in these countries, under the supervision of Lebanese elements that are subordinate to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and will be activated if Iran is attacked.

Israel Campus Beat
- September 23, 2007

Point Counter-Point:
    What Did Israel's Alleged Air Raid into Syria Achieve?

Pardoned Fatah Militant Detained for Planning Terror Attacks - Avi Issacharof, Yuval Azoulay and Mijal Grinberg (Ha'aretz)
    Israeli Border Police on Sunday arrested Fatah militant Fares Mansour - a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades who had been pardoned by Israel two months ago in a deal with the Palestinian Authority - on suspicion that he had resumed militant activity.
    Mansour had signed an affidavit renouncing terror acts, however he was suspected of involvement in shooting attacks on Israel Defense Forces troops.
    Explosives, a rifle and a handgun were found in his home.

Hamas Video Lauds "Chunks of Flesh of Jews" (World Net Daily)
    Hamas broadcast a music video on its Al Aqsa TV channel that showed terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens, accompanied by the lyrics, "In black bags, chunks of flesh of Jews" and "We want Sharon's head."
    See Video (MEMRI-TV)

IDF Arrests Hamas Fugitive Hiding under Pregnant Woman's Bed (Jerusalem Post)
    IDF soldiers operating in Nablus in the West Bank on Sunday arrested Hamas operative Ahmad al-Az, who attempted to escape by hiding in a weapons cache located under a pregnant woman's bed.

Israel Sends Hurricane Aid to Nicaragua (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
    Israel is sending $25,000 worth of medical supplies to Nicaragua, aid to the victims of Hurricane Felix.

Useful Reference:

Israeli Army Launches Home Front Early Warning Website (AFP)
    The Israeli army unveiled a new website on Sunday to warn Israelis of impending attacks after the "lessons learned" from the 2006 war in Lebanon.
    The site, at, will offer emergency information in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

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  • Ahmadinejad Arrives for New York Visit - Nahal Toosi
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to speak and answer questions at a Columbia University forum Monday, followed by an address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. (AP)
        See also U.S. Says Iran Smuggling Missiles to Iraq - Sameer N. Yacoub
    The U.S. military accused Iran on Sunday of smuggling surface-to-air missiles and other advanced weapons into Iraq for use against American troops. Military spokesman Rear Adm. Mark Fox said U.S. troops were continuing to find Iranian-supplied weaponry including the Misagh 1, a portable surface-to-air missile that uses an infrared guidance system. Other advanced Iranian weaponry found in Iraq includes the RPG-29 rocket-propelled grenade, 240 mm rockets and armor-piercing roadside bombs known as explosively formed penetrators. (AP/Washington Post)
  • U.S., Europeans Planning Own Iran Sanctions - Robin Wright
    The U.S. and its European allies are preparing to impose their own broad military and economic sanctions against Iran if Russia and China balk at voting for a tough new resolution at the UN, according to U.S. and European officials. The Bush administration is pushing for punitive measures that could include sanctioning branches of Iran's military - such as parts of the Revolutionary Guards' al-Quds Force - rather than individual military leaders of those units, as in past resolutions.
        Washington is also looking to curtail Iran's ability to import military equipment, such as Russian air defense systems. It also wants to tighten the noose on banks and companies connected to the acquisition of suspicious military materiel. And it wants to strengthen the travel ban that prevents Iranian officials from traveling abroad. "We want to close all loopholes and suck the oxygen out of the room," said a U.S. official involved in the diplomacy. Washington and its allies are developing a parallel track to the UN. "We're not talking about either/or tracks. We'll continue on the UN track, but we also have the track of the U.S.-EU," a State Department official said. (Washington Post)
  • Iran Exhibits Homemade Weapons in Show of Force - Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi
    Iran showed off its armaments Saturday at annual army celebrations meant to highlight the nation's military self-sufficiency and prowess. Iranian-made Saegheh fighter jets screeched across the sky over Iranian-made armored personnel carriers and Ghadr missiles, which have a range of more than 1,000 miles. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Key Arab Nations Invited to Peace Talks - Matthew Lee
    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that key Arab nations, including Syria, would be invited to President Bush's planned Mideast peace conference this fall and expressed hope they would attend. Formal invitations haven't been issued yet but Rice said it "would be natural" for Syria, Saudi Arabia and 10 other Arab League members looking at a broad peace deal with Israel to participate. "We would hope that the invitations would include the members of the Arab follow-up committee," Rice said. Committee members include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. (AP/Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Explosives Belt for Palestinian Suicide Bombing on Yom Kippur Found in Tel Aviv - Amos Harel and Roni Singer-Heruti
    Israeli security forces foiled a Palestinian suicide attack that would have targeted a packed synagogue during the Yom Kippur holiday, confiscating an explosives belt from a South Tel Aviv apartment Saturday and arresting the head of the cell planning the attack on Friday. (Ha'aretz)
        See also "Hamas Planned Attack to Sabotage Peace Meeting" - Yaakov Katz
    Hamas is under orders to perpetrate a large terrorist attack in an Israeli city to undermine the peace meeting scheduled for November, senior defense officials said Saturday, hours after a Yom Kippur suicide attack was thwarted by an arrest and the capture of an explosives belt in Tel Aviv. Military sources said Israeli security forces prevented a major attack at the last minute, given that the explosives were already in Tel Aviv. (Jerusalem Post)
  • 500 Palestinian Policemen Deployed in Nablus - Rami Almeghari
    Starting this week, 500 Palestinian policemen will be deployed throughout the West Bank city of Nablus. According to Yediot Ahronot, the decision was finalized in a meeting between Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. (IMEMC-PA)
  • Palestinian Rocket Fire Continues
    Palestinians in Gaza fired two Kassam rockets that landed in the Israeli town of Sderot Sunday evening. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • No Place for That Photo-Op - Walter Reich
    Even though Ahmadinejad has questioned whether the Holocaust happened, has threatened to wipe out Israel and attack the U.S., provides the munitions that kill U.S. troops in Iraq, is furiously trying to build nuclear weapons and is president of a country that Washington has declared the world's chief state sponsor of terrorism, some argued that he should be allowed to visit Ground Zero and see for himself the consequences of terrorism. Why not give Iran's president a chance to be educated and transformed?
        That misguided thinking is strikingly familiar to me. In 1998, the Clinton White House and State Department invited Arafat to Washington to lay a wreath in memory of the dead at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. White House officials hoped that photos of him looking mournfully at images of dead Jews would convince living Jews that he genuinely felt their pain, truly understood their anxieties about Israel's security and could be trusted to protect the Jewish state in a final peace deal.
        When, as the museum's director, I learned of the invitation, I immediately objected to it. I said that the visit had been set up as a photo-op, and that neither the museum nor the dead should ever be used to advance political or diplomatic ends. The writer is a professor of international affairs at George Washington University and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. (Washington Post)
        See also Columbia Would Welcome Hitler, a Dean Insists
    "If Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms to speak in the United States," said John Coatsworth, dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, in an interview with Fox News. "If he were willing to engage in debate and a discussion to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him." (New York Sun)
        See also Yom Kippur at Columbia - Editorial
    Columbia, it seems, is bound and determined to honor the president of Iran and provide him with a platform to agitate against our country, and Israel, in midst of a war in which our GIs are facing Iranian-backed forces on the field of battle. (New York Sun)
  • France: "Now Not the Moment to Talk with Hamas" - Hilary Leila Krieger
    The West should not be talking to Hamas at present, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told the Jerusalem Post in Washington. In the run-up to the international meeting the U.S. is convening on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Kouchner said efforts to reconcile Hamas and Fatah would be a months-long undertaking that would set back the conference plans.
        At the Center for Strategic and International Studies Kouchner defended Israel's alleged nuclear program after a protester in the audience called for a nuclear-free Middle East and suggested that Israel's nuclear capabilities should be neutralized as a way to create stability in the region. "Israel is threatened by Ahmadinejad," Kouchner said. "There is a real danger." When a threat is made, "we have to react, we have to defend our views," he said. "We have to defend democracy." "To those who say that we should handle Iran with kid gloves, since it could destabilize the region, I say this: look at its adventurism today and imagine what it would be like if Teheran thought itself one day protected by a nuclear umbrella." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Observations:

    Statecraft: What Israel Really Gained by Bombing Syria - Dennis Ross (New Republic)

    • The Israelis aren't talking about it or acknowledging anything, but the reports that have emerged are that Israel took out a facility in northern Syria in which North Korea was helping Syria develop a nuclear capability. The absence of leaks coming out of Israel lends credence to the reports.
    • Much is being made about the silence of Arab criticism of the apparent Israeli raid and what it says about Arab attitudes toward Syria. In fact, had Israel taken credit for the raid, Arab states would have felt duty-bound to condemn it.
    • On one level the Israeli raid simply reflected an effort to blunt North Korean-Syrian nuclear development before it could allow the Syrians to develop a nuclear capability. But that is only part of the story.
    • Israeli military officials have become convinced that Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, has begun to believe that he could fight a limited war against Israel. He was impressed by what Hizbullah did in the war with Israel in the summer of 2006 and believes he, too, could win by not losing in a limited war. Israel has been looking for ways to convince Assad that he is miscalculating.
    • The raid not only blunts Syria's nuclear development but also reinforces the Israeli message of deterrence. In effect, it tells President Assad that Syria has few secrets it can keep from Israel. Beyond this, the raid sends the message that Israel can hit what it wants, when it wants, and Syria is powerless to stop it.

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    Iran's President Ahmadinejad is coming to the UN.
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    National Rally To Stop Iran Now.
    Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across from the United Nations
    Monday, September 24th
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