Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Iran Guards Predict Israel Demise (BBC News)
Palestinians Call on Muslims to "Slaughter" Danes (Jerusalem Post)
Gazans Feeling Recoil of Attacks on Israel - Ellen Knickmeyer (Washington Post)
Israel's Tennis Player Peer Makes History in Gulf - Richard Eaton (AFP/Yahoo)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Mahmoud Abbas has not agreed to postpone talks on the future of Jerusalem, senior Abbas advisor Nimer Hammad said Monday. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Abbas had consented to hold off discussing Jerusalem until the end of the negotiating process. "The issue of Jerusalem is a fundamental issue and cannot be postponed," Hammad said. Abbas "did not agree to postpone it." (Reuters)
Hamas screened purported confessions on Saturday that it said proved Fatah rivals had plotted to kill Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. "I was told that if I blew myself up against...Haniyeh, they would take care of my family," said Ahmed al-Dbaki in a film clip shown at a televised Hamas news conference in Gaza. Among nine others whose edited video statements were screened, Hassan al-Zant, described as a senior Fatah security officer, said, "I was ordered to form an armed cell to strike the Hamas movement....I was instructed to find a martyr to carry out the task." (Reuters)
See also Hamas Accuses Arab Intelligence of Selling Hamas Leaders' Info to Israel, U.S.
Ahmed Yousef, an adviser for Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, accused Arab intelligence services of delivering information about Hamas leaders exiled in Syria to Israel and the U.S., the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat reported Sunday. He said the leaked information includes "the movement, the places of residence, and the sorts of cars used by Damascus-based Hamas leaders." As a result, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal has recently been targeted by "several assassination attempts," Yousef said. (Xinhua-China)
President Nicolas Sarkozy dropped an intellectual bombshell with his revision of the school curriculum: beginning next fall, he said, every fifth grader will have to learn the life story of one of the 11,000 French children killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. "Nothing is more moving, for a child, than the story of a child his own age, who has the same games, the same joys and the same hopes as he, but who, in the dawn of the 1940s, had the bad fortune to be defined as a Jew," Sarkozy said on Wednesday. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has reemployed thirty to forty people at Orient House in eastern Jerusalem, Hatim Abdul-Qadir, a Fatah leader and presidential aide for Jerusalem affairs, said Monday. He said that he and other Palestinian officials have been holding meetings with foreign dignitaries at the building, which used to be a central Palestinian institution in Jerusalem before being closed by Israeli authorities. Palestinian security and intelligence officers are also using Orient House, he said. (Maan News-PA)
A high-ranking Israeli defense official said Monday the outcome of next month's Spanish national elections could determine whether that country continues to participate in UNIFIL. Six Spanish peacekeepers were killed in an attack in southern Lebanon in July. The official said that if war broke out with Hizbullah, UNIFIL would be expected to immediately withdraw its forces from southern Lebanon. While Israel does not count on UNIFIL to prevent Hizbullah attacks, the force has succeeded in preventing Hizbullah from reestablishing its positions along the border and in southern Lebanon generally; Hizbullah has moved most of its positions north of the Litani River, to an area beyond the mandate of the UN force.
On Monday, the IDF deployed a Patriot Missile battery on the outskirts of Haifa as part of precautions against a possible attack by Hizbullah. (Jerusalem Post)
Palestinians in Gaza on Monday fired nine Kassam rockets at Israel. Two of the rockets struck near an infirmary in a kibbutz, causing some damage. Another struck the yard of a house in Sderot. (Ha'aretz)
Some 1,000 African refugees have infiltrated Israel over the past two weeks through the Egyptian border, official sources said Monday. Officially, the infiltrators should be deported by security forces back to Egypt, but in practice this is impossible as they will return through the breached border. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The absurdly politicized finding of the National Intelligence Estimate - to the effect that Iran has actually halted rather than merely paused its weapons-acquisition program - has put the U.S. in a position where it is difficult even to continue pressing for sanctions, let alone to consider disabling the centrifuge and heavy-water sites at Natanz, Arak and elsewhere.
Iran is running on two timetables. The first one is the gradual but definite emergence of a democratization trend among the young and the middle class. The second one - the process by which a messianic regime lays hold of the means to manufacture apocalyptic weaponry - could move rather faster, and is partly designed in any case to insulate the mullahs from regime change. Can the U.S. regain the initiative that has been lost to it by the actions of its own intelligence bureaucracy?
Consider our advantages. To begin with, all visitors to Tehran report an extraordinary level of sympathy with the U.S. among the general population. Our ability to demolish the Taliban and the Saddam Hussein tyrannies, Iran's two most hated enemies, has greatly impressed many Iranians. Iran may be floating on a lake of oil, but still conducts much the same backward, rug-and-pistachio economy that it was operating when the mullahs seized power almost 30 years ago. (Wall Street Journal)
Historical experience suggests the elimination of one man, no matter how important, is not enough to inflict a mortal blow on the organization to which he belongs. However, the bloody record of Imad Mughniyeh, who continued to have a central and active role in command of Hizbullah's operational echelon, turned him into a ticking bomb that had to be neutralized. His liquidation after such a lengthy pursuit clearly signals to other wanted figures the determination of states involved in the war on terror to hunt them down, no matter how long it takes. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
On Sunday, Human Rights Watch issued a 131-page report condemning Israel's use of cluster munitions in response to Hizbullah attacks during the 2006 war. HRW claims that "Israel violated international humanitarian law in its indiscriminate and disproportionate cluster munition attacks on Lebanon." The term "indiscriminate" is clearly misleading - these and other weapons used by Israel were designed to end or degrade Hizbullah's ability to launch missile barrages. And the term "disproportionate" is subjective.
HRW also distorts and misquotes the Winograd Commission's section on the use of cluster bombs by asserting that this "mirrored many of Human Rights Watch's findings." While recommending re-examination of the guidelines for use of cluster munitions, this Israeli commission also explicitly rejected claims that the use of these weapons in response to Hizbullah's aggression violated international law. (NGO Monitor)
Rocketing Toward War - Richard Cohen (Washington Post)
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