Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 3, 2008

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In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Mother Saves Baby, Killed Seconds Later in Palestinian Terror Attack - Abe Selig, Shelly Paz, and Jenna Stark (Jerusalem Post)
    Seconds before being crushed to death by a bulldozer driven by a Palestinian, Batsheva Unterman succeeded in unbuckling her 5-month-old baby from the car-seat and passing her out through the window to safety.
    "Just as I took the baby out, he reversed on top of the car. The baby is okay, but not the mother," said Jeremy Aronson, the man who helped save the baby.

Number of Israeli Terror Victims on the Rise - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff (Ha'aretz)
    The Palestinian terrorist with a bulldozer, and his eastern Jerusalem neighbor, who murdered eight students at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva four months ago, involved one person, something for which an early warning based on intelligence is almost impossible.
    When the murderer is a lone terrorist, with no infrastructure backing him, and not having spoken about it, it is hard to stop him.
    The Arabs of eastern Jerusalem carry Israeli identity cards, move about in the capital with no restraint, speak fluent Hebrew and do not raise suspicions.
    However, about 300 residents of the eastern part of the city have been arrested during the last eight years for their role in terrorism.
    Even if most of those killed this year have been victims of an individual's attack in Jerusalem and rocket and mortar shelling from Gaza, the statistics are troubling: 26 dead in six months.
    This number of victims is four times greater than last year.

Muslim Charity Facing Ban over Gaza Aid - Richard Kerbaj (The Australian)
    Muslim Aid Australia could be deregistered as a charity after two separate investigations were launched Wednesday into its connections with a banned terrorist group and the distribution of aid in the Palestinian territories.
    The Australian Council for International Development, the charity sector's regulator, demanded access to MAA's records after the Islamic group's executive director, Iman Partoredjo, retracted an earlier admission of working with Interpal, a British-based group proscribed as a terrorist organization by the Australian and U.S. governments.

Intel Inaugurates Israeli Chip-Making Plant - Ori Lewis (Reuters)
    Intel Corp. inaugurated a new chip manufacturing plant in Israel on Tuesday.
    Intel's second facility in Kiryat Gat cost $3.5 billion, and when fully operational in September it will have a daily output of $10 million, said Maxine Fassberg, the general manager of Intel Israel.

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

  • Bush Keeps Up Pressure on Iran - Brian Knowlton
    President Bush said Wednesday that the U.S. still strongly preferred diplomacy as it confronts rising tensions and uncertainty over Iran, but that, as always, "all options are on the table." The president repeated his warning to Tehran that it would be increasingly isolated if it continued its nuclear enrichment activities. (New York Times)
  • Britain Tightens Ban on Hizbullah
    The British government has asked parliament to outlaw Hizbullah's military wing and accused the Iranian-backed Lebanese group of supporting terrorism in Iraq and the Palestinian territories, the British Home Office said in a statement on Wednesday. "This means that it will be a criminal offense to belong to, fundraise and encourage support for the military wing of the organization," the statement said. (Reuters)
        See also Hizbullah Planned Kidnap of British Workers in Iraq - Duncan Gardham (Telegraph-UK)
  • Palestinian-Israeli Peace Corridor Project May Start Next Year - Aaron Sheldrick and Taku Kato
    Japan, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed to start work on an industrial and agricultural park in the West Bank, as part of a "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity.'' A feasibility study for the park in Jericho will be finished by November, allowing for the start of construction. (Bloomberg)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Three Israeli Fatalities Named in Palestinian Terror Attack
    The fatalities in Wednesday's terror attack were all Jerusalem residents. Batsheva Unterman, 33, who worked in a kindergarten, was killed when the car she was driving was crushed by the bulldozer. Her baby daughter, Efrat, was evacuated from the car just before the vehicle was hit. Elizabeth Goren-Friedman, 54, the mother of three children, worked as a teacher in a school for the blind. Jean Raloy, 68, a father of three, was an air-conditioner technician. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinian Terrorism as a Natural Act - Bradley Burston
    On a quiet morning in Jerusalem, a man behind the wheel of a bulldozer has taken it upon himself to kill Jews. Women and children and the elderly and the infirm. What's a decent person to think when Palestinian groups fall over one another trying to claim the bulldozer attack? And when one of the groups is the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade?
        What is it that Palestinians really want? I no longer believe that it's as simple as wanting statehood. This is what I don't yet want to admit: that for all these years, what a critical mass of Palestinians want most, perhaps even more than statehood, may be nothing more than seeing Jews dead and gone. (Ha'aretz)
  • Why Were We Surprised? - Moshe Elad
    In July 1989, a member of Islamic Jihad from Gaza boarded a bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As the bus ascended the hills, the terrorist walked up to the driver and pulled the wheel to the right, sending the bus into the valley below and murdering 16 people. Wednesday's terror attack, where a terrorist driving a bulldozer plowed into pedestrians and vehicles in Jerusalem, should not have come as a surprise. It is well known that the motivation of terror groups has not declined. Col. (res.) Moshe Elad currently researches Palestinian society at the Shmuel Neeman Institute at the Technion. (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Terror's Predictable Spontaneity - Gerald M. Steinberg
    The constant pattern for over sixty years has been that whenever violent attacks against Israelis were contained on one front, another front was immediately opened, often involving a different form of violence. When the suicide bombing campaign was halted by Operation Defensive Shield and the construction of a security barrier, the rocket barrages started from Gaza. Now the shaky cease-fire in Gaza is the signal for a new and different form of violence against Israeli civilians.
        Palestinians have been raised on the armed struggle, and many are capable of acting on their own, with whatever weapons are most readily available. The steady flow of incitement in the media plays a central role in this process, including Palestinian television programming preaching the virtues of martyrdom and the glory of fighting the Zionist enemy. As a result, the isolated action may appear to be spontaneous, but the foundation and preparations are never far away. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Is There Really a Window of Opportunity for Negotiations with Syria? - Shlomo Brom
    Contacts between Israel and Syria, mediated by Turkey, regarding the renewal of negotiations toward a peace agreement have been underway for a year and a half. There are those who believe that just as Syria eventually waived its demand to recover the area of Alexandretta from Turkey, it will also eventually accept the loss of the Golan Heights, or part of it, and that it is possible to reach a peace agreement without conceding the area. I would contend, however, that after the precedents of treaties between Israel and Egypt and Jordan, the chance that even in the long term Syria will agree to peace without the return of the conquered territory is very slim.
        Although the U.S. has lifted its opposition to talks between Israel and Syria, it is not willing to participate in them. Syria's conduct in Lebanon, its non-prevention of the movement of terror activists from Syria to Iraq, its support of terror organizations, and its close ties with Iran undoubtedly interfere with any U.S. dialogue with Syria. However, it is doubtful whether Syria would be willing to start effective talks and conclude an agreement with Israel without U.S. participation. (Strategic Assessment-INSS-Tel Aviv University)
  • Al-Qaeda's Plan B - Amir Taheri
    Al-Qaeda's chief theoretician, Sheik Abu-Bakar Naji, has written a new book, Governance in the Wilderness, which analysts think may indicate a major change of strategy by the disparate groups that use al-Qaeda as a brand name. In a notable departure from past al-Qaeda strategy, Naji recommends "countless small operations" that render daily life unbearable, rather than a few spectacular attacks such as 9/11: The "infidel," leaving his home every morning, should be unsure whether he'll return in the evening.
        Naji recommends kidnappings, the holding of hostages, the use of women and children as human shields, exhibition killings to terrorize the enemy, suicide bombings and countless gestures that make normal life impossible for the "infidel" and Muslim collaborators. Naji asks jihadis to target oilfields, sea and airports, tourist facilities and especially banking and financial services. He envisages "a very long war," at the end of which the whole world is brought under the banner of Islam.
        Naji makes it clear that the U.S. is the chief, if not the exclusive, target of jihad at this time. He mentions Israel only once, as "America's little female idol." His only reference to Palestine is in a historical context. (New York Post)
  • Observations:

    Israel Won't Move Without U.S. Approval - Yossi Melman (Washington Post)

    • Recent leaks to the U.S. news media have created a wrong impression and sent a false message that an Israeli attack on Iran is imminent.
    • No decision to attack Iran has been made in Israel. Israel will decide, if at all, to disrupt Iran's nuclear program only as a last resort after international diplomacy fails. More importantly, such a decision will be taken only after serious consultation with the American administration.
    • Coordinating its actions with America is the key factor in all crucial Israeli decisions. This has been the Israeli practice since 1967. Israel launched its combat campaigns since then only after understanding that the U.S. either sanctions the military operation or has no objection to it or turn a blind eye.
    • This was the case in June 1967 (Six-Day War), in June 1982 (First Lebanon War), and in July 2006 (Second Lebanon War). In two other cases Israel didn't respond as it had wished, fearing that the U.S. would be against it. In October 1973, Israel decided against a preemptory strike against Egypt and Syria. In January 1991 Israel didn't respond to the launching of 40 Iraqi Scud missiles against its urban centers.
    • If the U.S. doesn't approve an Israeli military operation, Israel will not attack Iran. Period.
    • We are still at least one year away from an Israeli realization that it has no other option but to attack Iran's nuclear sites. And even then it would only be after consulting with the next U.S. administration.

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