Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Poll: Israelis Oppose Jerusalem Concessions - Abe Selig (Jerusalem Post)
Report: Two Syrian Officers Executed Over Involvement in Hizbullah Commander's Assassination - Roee Nahmias (Ynet News)
Israel, U.S. Sign Nuclear Cooperation Agreement - Yossi Melman (Ha'aretz)
PA Governor of Nablus Attacked in City's Hamas Stronghold (AP/International Herald Tribune)
Three Palestinians Die in Gaza "Work Accident" Explosion (AP/Washington Post)
Hebron University Shut Down after Fatah-Hamas Clashes - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Last week's violence in Basra and Baghdad has convinced the Bush administration that actions by Iran, and not al-Qaeda, are the primary threat inside Iraq, according to senior U.S. officials. Evidence of an increase in Iranian weapons, training and direction for the Shiite militias has fixed new U.S. attention on what Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates Friday called Tehran's "malign" influence. With "al-Qaeda in retreat and disarray" in Iraq, said one official, "the Iranian-armed militias are now the biggest threat to internal order." (Washington Post)
Secretary of State Rice criticized former President Carter on Friday for his plans to meet the exiled leader of the militant Palestinian group Hamas during a visit to Syria. "I find it hard to understand what is going to be gained by having discussions with Hamas about peace when Hamas is, in fact, the impediment to peace," Rice said. "Hamas is a terrorist organization." Several Democratic members of the House including Reps. Artur Davis (Ala.), Shelley Berkley (Nev.), Adam Schiff (Cal.), and Adam Smith (Wash.) asked Carter to drop the planned meeting, saying Carter's meeting could "confer legitimacy" on a group that embraces violence. (AP)
See also Israeli President Peres Tells Carter He's Hurting Peace Process
Israeli president Shimon Peres accused former U.S. president Jimmy Carter of causing significant damage to Israel and the peace process in recent years, during a meeting between the two men Sunday in Jerusalem. Peres criticized Carter for comparing Israeli policies to apartheid in his recent book, and said it would be a mistake for Carter to meet with Khaled Meshal in Damascus, saying Meshal is responsible for Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al-Astal, said on Al-Aqsa TV on April 11, 2008: "Allah has chosen you [the Palestinians] for Himself and for His religion, so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to...military conquests of the capitals of the entire world. Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad. Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam - this capital of theirs will be an advance post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe." (MEMRI)
See also PA Representative in Lebanon: We Act According to the Phased Plan. Once We Get Jerusalem, We Will Drive Israelis Out of All of Palestine
Abbas Zaki, PA representative in Lebanon, told Lebanon's NBN TV on April 9, 2008: The PLO "has not changed its platform even one iota....When the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine." (MEMRI)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel plans to transfer fuel supplies to Gaza via the Nahal Oz depot within the "next couple of days," a government official said Saturday night. Israel dismissed as "Hamas spin" Palestinian claims that fuel was running low and that electricity supplies in Gaza would have to be cut. The IDF said 2,200,000 liters of diesel fuel and fuel oil is transferred to the Gaza power plant every week.
Col. Nir Press, head of the IDF's Coordination and Liaison Administration at the Erez crossing with Gaza, said: "In the past two weeks, we have seen Palestinian activity aimed at instigating a crisis in the fuel sector through planned strikes and protests. The closed fuel stations in Gaza and the long lines of vehicles and people waiting long hours to fill their cars are the product of Hamas activity and a planned media campaign, which comes at the expense of local residents."
"For the past two weeks, fuel on the Palestinian side of Nahal Oz could have been distributed to gas stations, but this has not happened....As of today, 188,000 liters of gasoline and over 800,000 liters of diesel fuel are sitting on the Palestinian side....Hamas is deliberately harming civilians in Gaza by refusing to allow the fuel to be distributed to gas stations for humanitarian needs." (Jerusalem Post)
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni arrived in Qatar on Sunday to attend the Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade, at which she has been invited to speak. Senior Lebanese and Iranian officials responded by canceling their participation. "The Arab states cannot continue sitting on the fence when it comes to support and backing for the peace process," Livni said Sunday. Livni wants to enlist Qatar and other Persian Gulf states at the conference in the peace process. "The greater the support from the Arab states, the easier it will be for the Palestinians to reach decisions," she said. She wishes to convey to the Arab officials she meets that "Israel is no longer the enemy," and that "a situation has been created in which the threat is posed by Iran and extremist elements such as Hamas and Hizbullah." (Ha'aretz)
Palestinians in Gaza fired two Kassam rockets that landed near the Israeli town of Sderot on Saturday. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Is there no America-hating, anti-Israel thug that Jimmy Carter wouldn't do business with? On his Mideast travels this month, Carter is planning to meet in Syria with Khaled Meshal, the exiled head henchman of Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that refuses to recognize the existence of Israel, is waging war against it, and pledges to destroy the Jewish state. Being an ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, when Carter meets with a top terrorist thug, it enhances the legitimacy and stature of that thug in the eyes of the rest of the world. It might encourage European and other nations to loosen sanctions against Hamas when the U.S. government seeks to tighten them. Carter's doing more than embarrassing his nation. He's betraying it. (Augusta [GA] Chronicle)
See also Tea with Terrorists - Editorial (New York Post)
See also Carter's Foolish Journey - Editorial (Chicago Tribune)
By directly supporting Hamas and by supporting Hamas indirectly through Syria and Hizbullah, Teheran has transformed Gaza into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iran. While Hamas may have independent interests, the fact is that any independent will Hamas may have had at one time has become entirely subservient to Teheran. This is so because Teheran has rendered itself Hamas' indispensable ally and protector. Without Iran, Hamas would have no staying power.
Led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Sunni Arab states are well aware of Iran's proxy strategy for attaining regional dominance, and they are not pleased. The partial boycott of the Arab League summit in Damascus last month was the Sunni Arab states' way of showing their displeasure with Iran's domination of Syria and Lebanon.
The only battleground where Iranian proxies are directly confronted today is in Iraq. After the 2006 Iranian proxy war against Israel, Hizbullah has been permitted to rebuild its forces and its arsenal and to reassert control over much of south Lebanon and to extend its control north of the Litani River. Rather than confront Hamas, at the U.S.'s insistence, Israel has done nothing to prevent Hamas' military buildup in Gaza or even to prevent it from continuing its rocket campaign against Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
Countering Iran - Editorial (Washington Post)
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