Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Israel Freezes Plan to Cut Gaza Power - Dan Izenberg and Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)
Jordanian Islamists Urge Scrapping of Peace Pact with Israel (DPA/Earthtimes)
PA TV Sings to Israel's Destruction - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
Mining for Trouble in Lebanon - Lenny Ben-David (Jerusalem Post)
Iranians Study Nuclear Physics in Britain
- Jack Grimston (Sunday Times)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced Monday that his nation, which lacks the oil reserves of some of its Middle East neighbors, would build several nuclear power plants to meet rising energy demands. He said the program would seek the backing and help of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency and countries such as the U.S., which gives Cairo nearly $2 billion annually in military and economic aid. In Washington, U.S. officials said they had no objection to the Egyptian plans, provided Cairo followed the rules of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and procedures of the IAEA. (Los Angeles Times)
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is in China to press for tougher action against Iran's nuclear program. China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has opposed calls for tougher sanctions on Iran. "The world cannot afford a nuclear Iran," Livni said. (VOA News)
An impending drop in revenues means PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's government could face shortfalls of $90 million a month starting in January, Western officials said. Officials said the cash crunch will begin within two months when Israel finishes handing over tax revenues totaling $224 million that it had withheld for 17 months while Hamas controlled the PA. While the U.S. asked Congress last week to approve $350 million in aid, including $150 million in direct support, none of the money can go to salaries.
Donors say they are reluctant to give money before Fayyad takes steps to rein in spending by cutting the PA payroll. The PA's wage bill averaged about $110 million per month as of June, exceeding total revenues. That compares to a wage bill of less than $80 million a month in 2005, according to IMF estimates. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
In recent months, the IDF has been conducting operations in Gaza up to three kilometers inside the border fence - an area the army calls the "security zone." There are regular clashes with forward units of Hamas, which set up ambushes when IDF troops enter and leave Gaza. The IDF is seeking to prevent the militants from crossing into Israel, digging tunnels, abducting soldiers, firing mortars and laying roadside bombs. The efforts by Iran and Hizbullah to improve Hamas' military capabilities are beginning to be felt, and not only in better weaponry. Dozens of militants trained in Iran and Lebanon have reentered Gaza to create a system of control and coordination. There is a chain of command for every area, which operates a coordinated network of observation posts, infantry and antitank forces. (Ha'aretz)
See also Hamas Building Bunkers Near Gaza Border - Yaakov Katz
Hamas is trying to establish a bunker system as well as fortified rocket-launching and surveillance positions along the Gaza security fence, Brig.-Gen. Moshe (Chico) Tamir, head of the Gaza Division, said Monday. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Hamas: We'll Soon Take Control of West Bank - Ali Waked (Ynet News)
Head of the Shin Bet security service Yuval Diskin said Monday that Israel need not expect a wave of terror if the upcoming peace summit in the U.S. is deemed a failure. Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Diskin said that "the high expectations and possible failure of the summit could definitely spark high motivation for terror attacks, but not with the intensity of the terror wave of October 2000." He added that he believes that the Palestinian public is exhausted and lacks leadership. Diskin expressed his objection to handing responsibility for security in the West Bank over to Palestinian security forces, saying the Palestinians are aware of their inability to maintain security. (Ha'aretz)
See also Shin Bet: Terror Groups Planning to Kidnap Israelis from Sinai to Gaza - Amnon Meranda (Ynet News)
Palestinians in Gaza fired two Kassam rockets at Israel early Tuesday morning, causing damage to a residential home. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The pre-1967 borders, which are actually the 1949 armistice lines, were nine miles wide at their narrowest point, lacking the strategic depth to enable Israel to defend itself. With what confidence can the Israelis contemplate that such a retreat will not be met with a barrage of missiles onto the coastal plain, where Israel's population is most densely located? Particularly in light of how Hamas has used its beachhead in Gaza to fire missiles into the neighboring Israeli town of Sderot.
Hopefully, there will be a time when future Palestinian leaders will be preparing their people for a durable peace, one that will last for generations, but at this point we have no firm evidence to believe that is the case. The Palestinians have been using every means of communication available to teach their children hatred of Israel. The litmus test of when the Palestinians will be actually ready to sit down and negotiate a lasting peace is when they will stop training their children to play war games and become suicide bombers for the sake of a fully "liberated" Palestine. The writer is the founder and president of EMET, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a Washington-based think-tank. (New Republic)
The trial of four key figures with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development ended last week with a hung jury. Yet the defendants remain in legal jeopardy, with a new trial almost assured - and the prosecution has, at a minimum, closed a lucrative funding channel for the Palestinian terror group Hamas. The trial record conclusively demonstrated that Holy Land and several of its unindicted co-conspirators - including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - grew out of Hamas.
The evidence clearly linked Holy Land and CAIR to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the hard-line Egyptian Islamist umbrella group and godfather of every Sunni terrorist group from Hamas to al-Qaeda. The full transcript of a secret 1993 meeting in Philadelphia of "The Palestine Committee" - a group of Hamas members and supporters - revealed that Holy Land was an active player in a larger Muslim Brotherhood network aimed at organizing support in America for Hamas. The writer is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. (New York Post)
Last weekend, Old South Church hosted a conference sponsored by North American Friends of Sabeel entitled "The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel" and headlined by Episcopal Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Two days of nonstop bashing of Israel, portrayed as a colonialist oppressor. Palestinian national aspirations were celebrated; Jewish national aspirations were ignored, if not denigrated. The endless wars waged by Arabs seeking to wipe out the Jewish state were characterized as aggressive wars provoked by Israel. There was no mention of suicide bombings, except possibly to justify them as understandable expressions of rage. What distresses me is the acquiescence of church leaders in this simplistic script. Even though liberal church leaders ordinarily bend over backward not to offend groups within the community, it is somehow acceptable to offend Jews.
Sabeel, which styles itself as an ecumenical liberation theology movement, promotes a retrograde anti-Jewish theology of supersession that has long since been repudiated by mainstream Christian denominations. After centuries of anti-Semitism, much of it spawned by church leaders, modern-day Christians have a particular obligation to help make the world a safer place for Jews. It is arrogant and condescending for American Christians to become partisans in this geopolitical struggle without at least acknowledging its complexities. More inflammatory rhetoric is the last thing we need. (Boston Herald)
Egyptian-Born Journalist: "Arabs Don't Need Land, They Need Tolerance" - Lela Gilbert (Jerusalem Post)
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