Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Arab Plot to Assassinate Jerusalem Mayor Foiled - Etgar Lefkovits (Jerusalem Post)
Israel Campus Beat
- November 4, 2007
Should Israel Cut Off Power to Gaza?
Widening Signs of Hamas Infighting - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Saudi Arabia Is Hub of World Terror - Nick Fielding and Sarah Baxter
A Battle Rages in London Over a Mega-Mosque Plan - Jane Perlez (New York Times)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israel is ready to put "all basic questions, all the substantive problems, all the historical questions" about Palestinian statehood on the table in a U.S.-hosted peace conference later this month in Annapolis, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday. In her second visit to Israel in three weeks, U.S. Secretary of State Rice indicated that she was pursuing less ambitious goals. Rather than a joint declaration of parameters for a final settlement, sources said the document now envisioned for the conference would declare the implementation of the multi-step "road map" first drawn up by the U.S., Europe and the UN in 2003. (Washington Post)
See also Rice: No U.S. Formula for Annapolis Declaration - Etgar Lefkovits
The U.S. will not propose its own formula for a joint Israeli-Palestinian declaration for the Annapolis conference, U.S. Secretary of State Rice and Prime Minister Olmert agreed during their meeting in Jerusalem Sunday, Israel Radio reported. (Jerusalem Post)
The World Bank, newly caught up in the Bush administration's campaign against Iran, has had to suspend $5.4 million in payments for earthquake relief, sanitation and other projects in Iran in response to new American sanctions on leading Iranian banks, World Bank officials say. The U.S. has barred dealing with four of Iran's largest banks, accusing them of involvement in terrorism, or nuclear or missile programs. The World Bank step, while small, illustrates the extraordinary reach of American sanctions, even though they were imposed unilaterally after the U.S. was stymied in its recent efforts to get the UN Security Council to approve wider penalties. (New York Times)
Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman is calling for Interpol to take action at the agency's general assembly that opens Monday in Marrakech, Morocco, to put five Iranians and one Lebanese on the agency's most-wanted list for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. (AP/International Herald Tribune)
A federal judge Friday issued a rare ruling that ordered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and more than ten other prominent current and former government officials to testify on behalf of two pro-Israel lobbyists accused of violating the 1917 Espionage Act at their upcoming criminal trial. The opinion by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria directed that subpoenas be issued to Rice, national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, former high-level Department of Defense officials Paul D. Wolfowitz and Douglas J. Feith, and Richard L. Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state.
Attorneys for Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman say Rice and the other officials could help clear their clients because they provided the former lobbyists with sensitive information similar to what they were charged for. Judge Ellis wrote that the testimony could help "exculpate the defendants by negating the criminal states of mind the government must prove.'' "For over two years, we have been explaining that our clients' conduct was lawful and completely consistent with how the U.S. government dealt with AIPAC and other foreign policy groups," lawyers Abbe D. Lowell and John Nassikas said in a joint statement. (Washington Post)
With assertions of the rights of Palestinians to reclaim land in Israel expected to arise at an planned Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, a Jewish advocacy group has scheduled a meeting in New York on Monday to call attention to people it terms "forgotten refugees." The group, Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, says more than 850,000 Jews left their homes in Arab lands after the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. The UN says that 711,000 Palestinians left Israel-controlled territory in 1948 and 1949. "We have found evidence that there was collusion among the Arab nations to persecute and exploit their Jewish populations," said Stanley A. Urman, executive director of the group. A draft law composed by the Arab League in 1947 called for measures to be taken against Jews living in Arab countries, ranging from imprisonment, confiscation of assets and forced induction into Arab armies to beatings, officially incited acts of violence and pogroms.
"This was not just a forced exodus, it was a forgotten exodus," said Irwin Cotler, a former Canadian minister of justice. He said the main goal of the campaign was to raise public awareness rather than to seek compensation. "It's not about the money, it's about the other components of redress, recognition, remembrance and acknowledgment of the wrongs committed." (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
U.S. Secretary of State Rice met Sunday in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Minister Livni, who said that negotiations with Palestinians ahead of the Annapolis meeting have stalled. "There is no tension, but there are problems," Livni said. "There are differences of opinion over the road map. We must reach a basic understanding that the creation of a Palestinian state should occur only after Israel's security is established." Israel insists that any future agreement be put into effect only after the Palestinians meet their obligations according to the road map. The Palestinians claim that 90-95% of their first phase road map obligations have already been carried out, while Israel has failed to abide by its commitments. (Ha'aretz)
See also Statements by Foreign Minister Livni and Secretary of State Rice (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Hizbullah conducted its largest military exercise ever, south of the Litani River in southern Lebanon several days ago, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Monday. The exercise was three days long and spanned thousands of fighters. Hizbullah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah was said to have commanded the drill personally. (Ynet News)
A bill approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation Sunday would allow Israel to claim compensation from the Palestinian Authority for damages caused by Kassam rockets fired at Israel. The money would be deducted from the tax payments collected by Israel on the PA's behalf. "It is inconceivable that the State of Israel should shoulder the costs of the rocket fire, which the Palestinian Authority is responsible for," the bill states. (Ynet News)
Palestinians in Gaza fired three Kassam rockets at Sderot on Sunday, Israel Radio reported. One rocket hit a house and another hit an electrical line, causing a complete blackout in the town, knocking out the siren system and emergency hotline, as well. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Iran is working to produce a 20-to-50-pound stockpile of enriched uranium that it can use to build atomic weapons within eight to ten weeks, once it decides to do so - and has consistently lied to the UN about those efforts. The IAEA and the UN Security Council have determined that Iran has lied about its nuclear activities and has therefore forfeited its right to enrichment for peaceful purposes. That Iran has gone to great, secretive lengths to create and push forward a bomb-building capability is not a Bush delusion. But neither is it fantasy to say, as do Russia and China, that the Iranians have had great difficulty in getting their system of 2,952 centrifuges at Natanz, south of Tehran, to work effectively. (Washington Post)
Those who accuse modern Jews of having excessive clout are getting it precisely backward. In the real world, Jews have too little power and influence. I am a teacher of Yiddish literature. The Yiddish language, developed by European Jews over almost a thousand years, was practically erased along with them in a mere six, 1939-45. So studying Yiddish literature, almost by definition, concentrates the mind on Jewish political disabilities.
Israel now has an army, and a formidable one at that. But the Israel Defense Forces did not change the Jews' existential condition as a minority; Israel was now a minority among the nations, contending with Arab states that sought to dominate or destroy it. The Arab war against Israel and radical Islam's war against the U.S. are in almost perfect alignment, which means that resistance to one supports resistance to the other. "We are all Jews now," former CIA director R. James Woolsey Jr. said after the September 2001 attacks. "We should all reflect upon the historic reality that when anti-Semitism raises its head, the rest of us, unless we are willing to live with a foot on our necks, will be the next targets." (Washington Post)
State Prosecution Defends Israeli Government Decision to Curb Power Supply to Gaza - Yuval Yoaz (Ha'aretz)
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