Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 2, 2008

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In-Depth Issues:

The Secret American Army (Strategy Page)
    For the last five years, the U.S. has been building an informant network inside Iraq.
    This sort of thing takes time, and knowledge of how Arab culture works, and how to work it. The U.S. Army Special Forces, the CIA, reservist cops and Israel were key components.
    Israeli advice turned out to be critical. Israeli intel experts advised on how to work an Iraqi neighborhood to find people willing to talk, and how to persuade them to do it even in the face of terrorist threats.

Palestinians, Egyptian Police Clash at Rafah Border (Reuters)
    Dozens of Palestinians pelted Egyptian border police with rocks at Egypt's border with Gaza on Wednesday in an attempt to force their way into Sinai.
    Television footage showed Egyptian forces responding with water cannon and sealing the gates to the crossing point.
    See also Thousands Flock to Egypt-Gaza Border, Hoping to Leave (Maan News-PA)
    Thousands of Palestinians gathered at the Rafah border crossing on Tuesday. Egypt plans to open the crossing for three days to allow those stranded on both sides to cross.
    The vast majority of those who gathered at the border have not been granted permission from the Egyptian authorities to cross into Egypt.

New U.S. Envoy to Israel Announced - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
    U.S. Ambassador Richard Jones is to leave his post on July 11, and will be replaced by James Cunningham, a career diplomat who last served as the U.S. consul general in Hong Kong and before that as deputy U.S. ambassador to the UN.

Palestinian Academics Won't Attend Forum with Israelis - Jonny Paul (Jerusalem Post)
    A group of Palestinian academics is boycotting the International Geographers Congress in Tunisia in August because of Israeli participation, Al-Hayat in London reports.
    University of Haifa Prof. Aharon Kellerman, chair of the Israeli National Geography Committee, said, "I am a bit surprised at the reaction of the Palestinian geographers, since the International Geographical Union Congress will take place in an Arab country."
    "The IGU has always been an open scientific organization, namely open to geographers from all nations. We would be keen to cooperate with the Palestinian geographers, and specifically towards the next IGU meeting in Tel Aviv in 2010."

Iran's Foreign Ministry Blasts Jordan Support for Anti-Iran Terrorist Group (Fars-Iran)
    Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned Jordan's ambassador to Tehran over the attendance of 12 Jordanian parliamentarians at a rally in Paris on Sunday for the anti-Islamic Republic terrorist group, Mojahedin-e Khalq.
    Jordanian envoy Ahmad Jalal al-Meflah said Jordanian King Abdullah II will not recognize the group.

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use 
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Four Dead, 36 Injured in Jerusalem Terror Attack; Palestinian Bulldozer Driver Attacks Bus, Cars
    A Palestinian bulldozer driver went on a rampage on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem Wednesday, plowing into a string of vehicles, killing four Israelis - three women and a man - and wounding dozens of others before he was shot dead by police and a civilian. At the scene of the attack, cars were flattened and a bus was overturned. (AP/International Herald Tribune/Ynet News)
        The Arab television network Al-Jazeera said the bulldozer driver came from eastern Jerusalem and was working on a local building site. (AKI-Italy)
        See also Witness: Bulldozer Lifted Car Like a Toy (Ha'aretz)
  • Diplomats Play Down Talk of Attack on Iran - David Alexander
    U.S., Iranian and Western diplomats played down worries about an Israeli military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities on Tuesday. "The military option is the last thing that we need to do and it will not be used easily," said a Western diplomat in Tel Aviv. "I don't think there will be an attack in the next six months." The diplomat said there was no consensus in Israel in favor of an attack and the U.S. was unlikely to act because it estimated Iran's nuclear program would not reach a point of no return for about two years. (Reuters)
        See also "Israel Will Not Stand By While Iran Builds the Bomb"
    Former Israeli Air Force general Isaac Ben-Israel, now a member of the ruling Kadima party, said in an interview: "I still have not given up hope. If Russia and China endorse the sanctions, the United Nations may be able to achieve their goal. One thing is certain: Israel will not stand by idly while Iran builds a nuclear bomb. If necessary, we will use force....We could do it today. There is only one thing that keeps us from acting: The problem can still be solved another way. Only once the critical point is reached will we choose the final option." (Der Spiegel-Germany)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Arms Smuggling Continues, Despite Egyptian Pledges - Yuval Azoulay
    Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai on Tuesday said Egypt is not doing enough to halt weapons smuggling from Sinai to Gaza. According to Vilnai, the flow of weapons via the Philadelphi route is ongoing. Egypt was making more effort than it had in the past, but the effort was "not really successful." (Ha'aretz)
  • Lebanese Intimidate UN Troops - Yoav Stern and Shlomo Shamir
    Soldiers of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were forced by local Lebanese residents to delete photos of suspicious-looking underground cables, according to a report submitted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. On May 28, UNIFIL peacekeepers were photographing buried cables when they were surrounded by local residents who hurled stones at them. The incident was brought to an end only after UNIFIL agreed to delete the photos. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli Medic on Tour in Morocco Saves Life of Arab Girl - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
    Against the advice of the security guard, Israeli tour guide and medic Rachamim Amos left a bus traveling through Morocco's Sahara Desert to aid a turban-wrapped figure who emerged from the desert begging in Arabic for help. Amos, fluent in Arabic, followed the man hundreds of meters into the desert to a mangled jeep with a wounded child, her clothing soaked with blood. The Israeli medic diagnosed an open fracture at the femur complicated by a rupture of the femoral artery. He staunched the bleeding, stabilized the fracture, and advised the father how to maintain pressure on the artery for the four-hour ride to the nearest hospital.
        The next day at the hospital he was greeted by shouts: "Here is the Jewish doctor!" The tearful father hugged him and kissed him on both cheeks. The doctors confirmed that without his timely intervention, the girl would have died. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Swapping Live Terrorists for Dead Soldiers - Benny Morris
    For the first time, Israel has agreed to exchange live terrorists simply for dead men, to be brought back to Israel for mourning and burial and to bring definitive closure for the families. Among the terrorists who will be freed is one Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese gunman who participated in the murder of an Israeli family, including two toddlers, in a 1979 raid in Nahariya. Also to be released are four Hizbullah fighters held by Israel, a number of bodies of terrorists and infiltrators, as well as an as-yet-undetermined number of live Palestinian security prisoners.
        The deal will certainly motivate the fundamentalist Hamas, which is holding prisoner another Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in its Gaza fiefdom, to raise its price - about 500 "high-quality" terrorists is the figure currently mentioned. What's more, it will encourage all the region's terrorists to take Israelis hostage. The writer is the author of many books about the Israeli-Arab conflict including, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Google Earth View of Israel Highlights Palestinian "Nakba" - Stephanie Rubenstein
    On Google Earth, the message "Nakba - The Palestinian Catastrophe" appears when users scroll over the orange dots that speckle locations across the entire map of Israel. "Israel is being specifically targeted. No one else is running a campaign against a country like this," said Andre Oboler, a post-doctoral fellow at Bar-Ilan University and Legacy Heritage Fellow at the NGO Monitor watchdog group. "The core layer is what people get when they download and install Google Earth," Oboler said. "It is there by default. The problem we have here is that the core layer is being used to promote propaganda."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Google Earth: A New Platform for Anti-Israel Propaganda and Replacement Geography - Andre Oboler (ICA/JCPA)
  • Observations:

    Thinking about Preventive Military Action Against Iran - Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

    • Patrick Clawson: There is still a debate in the analytical community whether Iran wants a nuclear weapon or just a rapid breakout capability.
    • If Iran's leaders announced they were developing nuclear weapons, leaving the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and intending to test a nuclear weapon, the debate for using preventive military force would be entirely different.
    • An additional key issue is on what basis a determination is made about the status of Iran's nuclear program. The U.S. intelligence community has a decidedly mixed record on this score. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on the other hand, has done some remarkable detective work during its on-site inspections in North Korea, Iraq, and Iran. Therefore, a decision to use preventive military force based on IAEA inspections would be very different than acting on disputed intelligence.
    • A strike on an Iranian nuclear facility would have the added objective of dissuading other international actors from pursuing nuclear arms.
    • Michael Eisenstadt: Success would likely hinge on Washington's ability to craft a sustainable policy that effectively integrates military, diplomatic, and informational policy instruments to cause maximum destruction to the nuclear infrastructure, to mitigate the consequences of Iranian retaliation, and to set the conditions for successful post-strike diplomacy or military action.
    • Prevention may delay but not halt Iran's nuclear program, and may in the end be just a very costly detour on the path to deterrence.

        See also America Using Israel's Military Power to Scare Iranians, Europeans - Alex Fishman
    Israel's strategic military power is being used as a pawn by the U.S. Administration in order to bring the crisis with Iran to the edge of a flare-up - until someone blinks first. The Americans and Europeans are engaged in secret talks with Tehran parallel to the sanctions. And when the time comes to pull out the weapon of military madness, what's more convenient than Israel? For Iran, Israel is an unpredictable, insane, and irresponsible country that possesses nuclear weapons, disregards international law, and does not hesitate to attack nuclear reactors. Therefore, the Israeli Air Force has become the threat hovering above Ahmadinejad's head.
        Israel is also an excellent weapon vis-a-vis the Russians, Chinese, and others who are still hesitating on the Iranian question: The Israelis may end up bombing Iran and stirring up the entire fundamentalist world. If you don't help us solve the Iranian problem, we cannot restrain them for long. (Ynet News)

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