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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
March 1, 2011

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Gaddafi's Henchmen Hide Regime's Secrets (UPI)
    Many of Gaddafi's henchmen who helped him hold onto power for 41 years remain at his side guarding the darkest secrets of a brutal regime.
    These secrets include who was behind the bombings of a Pan Am jumbo jet Dec. 21, 1988, in which 270 people died, the almost identical bombing of a French airliner in 1989, and a 2003 plot to assassinate Crown Prince Abdallah of Saudi Arabia, who is now king.

Sheikh Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood's Ideological Guide (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Abdallah al-Qaradawi, whom many consider the supreme religious and ideological authority for the Muslim Brotherhood, has returned to Egypt.
    His popular program "Life and Islamic Law" is viewed by tens of millions of Muslims on Al-Jazeera TV.
    In 2003 Qaradawi issued a fatwa declaring that "Islam will return to Europe as a victorious conqueror after having been expelled twice. This time it will not be conquest by the sword, but by preaching and spreading [Islamic] ideology."
    "The future belongs to Islam....The spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world and includes both the East and West marks the beginning of the return of the Islamic Caliphate."
    Qaradawi enthusiastically supports Palestinian terrorism, including suicide bombing attacks targeting the civilian Israeli population, and issued fatwas calling for jihad against Israel and the Jews.
    He regards all of "Palestine" as Muslim territory, strongly opposes the existence of the State of Israel and rejects the peace treaties signed with it.

The "Israel First" Myth - James Taranto (Wall Street Journal)
    It has been the accepted view among Mideast "experts" for decades that if only Israel would recognize a Palestinian state, we would have peace in the Middle East.
    Hardly anybody is saying that now. In truth, a more democratic Arab world is a necessary precondition for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Don't Count on Democracy - Guy Bechor (Ynet News)
    There is not even one beginning of democracy in any of the "revolutions" we are seeing around us.
    In Egypt, Mubarak was forced to step down, yet the military establishment that has been ruling Egypt for dozens of years now continues to rule it - and has now taken front stage, rather than staying backstage as it did in the past.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Libya Rebels, Regime Loyalists in Standoff - Leila Fadel and Liz Sly
    Forces loyal to Moammar Gaddafi carried out airstrikes and skirmished with rebels in parts of Libya on Monday, but neither side appeared to gain ground in a seeming standoff for control of the country. Paramilitary groups allied with Gaddafi used helicopters and airplanes, demonstrating the regime's ability to fight back with lethal weaponry.
        In Misurata, 125 miles east of Tripoli, residents fired at a helicopter that was trying to destroy the antenna of the local radio station. Though Misurata was overrun by protesters last Thursday, Gaddafi loyalists are still holding out at an airbase and a barracks on the edge of the town. (Washington Post)
        See also U.S., Europe Tighten Noose around Libya's Government - Karen DeYoung and Joby Warrick
    Britain and the EU announced new sanctions against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, his family and his government on Monday, while the U.S. Treasury announced that it has frozen $30 billion worth of Libyan assets under an executive order President Obama issued Friday. (Washington Post)
        See also Erdogan: Turkey Against Imposing Sanctions on Libya (Reuters)
        See also U.S. to Position Aircraft Carrier Off Libya - Nancy A. Youssef, Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel (McClatchy)
  • Mubarak's Fall Sparks Islamists' Rise in Politics - Hamza Hendawi
    For decades under Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's Islamists of all shades were disenfranchised, thrown in jail or targeted in crackdown after crackdown. Now they are rushing to claim a spot in the country's new political landscape. From the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, to the militant groups that gunned down tourists, to the increasingly powerful, ultraconservative Salafis, the different groups are gearing up to contest legislative elections promised by the ruling military within six months. They are forming political parties, organizing supporters into committees, and looking at potential candidates. (AP-Washington Post)
  • Hamas Fights UN's "Poisonous" Holocaust Lessons in Gazan Schools - Harriet Sherwood
    The history of the Holocaust is planned to be included as part of a human rights curriculum in UN-run schools attended by more than 200,000 Palestinian children in Gaza. However, Hamas has said it will do all it can to stop the teaching of Holocaust studies. "We cannot agree to a program that is intended to poison the minds of our children," said a statement from the ministry for refugee affairs. "Holocaust studies in refugee camps is a contemptible plot and serves the Zionist entity."  (Guardian-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Bodies of Two Missing Israelis Identified after New Zealand Earthquake - Sefi Krupsky
    The bodies of two more Israelis who were killed in the New Zealand earthquake have been identified. The bodies of Gabi Ingel and Ofir Levy, both 22 from Rehovot, were found Tuesday. They were most likely walking on the street in Christchurch when a building collapsed on them, killing them both instantly. The body of Ofer Mizrahi, 23, of Kibbutz Magal, was found on Sunday. Mizrahi was at the wheel of a car with three friends when a concrete girder crushed the vehicle. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli Hikers Save British Man in Jordan - Matan Zuri
    A group of Israelis hiking in a deserted area near Petra on Thursday suddenly noticed a young man shouting for help in English from one of the hills. The man reached the Israeli hikers and explained that his friend had fallen off a high cliff and that he was unconscious and bleeding. Yair Farjoun, Hof Ashkelon Regional Council head and a decorated former IDF paratrooper who fought during the Yom Kippur War, carried a first aid kit and ran through the desert for an hour to reach the man. "He was severely injured. I was sure we were going to lose him in a few seconds. I dressed his wounds and stopped his head from bleeding, but he remained unconscious." Four hours later, Jordanian rescue forces - called by the Israeli hikers - arrived on the scene. The man was taken to the hospital where he recovered. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Can the Arab World Leave Anti-Semitism Behind? - Richard Cohen
    During World War II, the leader of the Palestinians lived in a Berlin villa, a gift from a very grateful Adolf Hitler, who clearly got his money's worth. Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, broadcast Nazi propaganda to the Middle East, recruited European Muslims for the SS, and after the war represented his people in the Arab League. The Allies originally considered him a war criminal, but to many Arabs, he was just a patriot.
        Jew-hatred remains a remarkable feature of Arab nationalism. The other day, about 1 million Egyptians in Tahrir Square heard from Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an esteemed religious leader and Muslim Brotherhood figure who said, among other things, that Hitler was sent by Allah as "divine punishment" for the Jews.
        There are nearly no Jews in Arab lands - they were kicked out after Israel was established in 1948. But nowhere in the Middle East is anti-Semitism considered aberrant or weird. Since the days of Husseini, Arab nations have shamefully been granted an exception to the standards expected of the rest of the world. (Washington Post)
        See also Assuaging Israel's Egypt Anxiety - Andre Aciman
    Mubarak stoked the vilest forms of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic propaganda. For 30 years, an entire press and entertainment machinery made sure to distort anything having to do with Jews and Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood seems committed to rescinding the 1978 peace treaty with Israel, which faces a persistent and systematic Egyptian policy that galvanized fierce nationalism, religious fervor, and virulent Israel-bashing. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Could the Next Mideast Uprising Happen in Saudi Arabia? - Rachel Bronson
    Saudi leaders have reason to believe that they won't find themselves confronting revolutionaries at their own doorstep. Saudi Arabia is different in some important ways. First, its economic situation is far better. Egypt's per capita gross domestic product is slightly more than $6,000. For Saudi Arabia, it is roughly $24,000 and climbing (up from $9,000 a little more than a decade ago). The Saudi regime has resources to spend on its people. Oil prices are high and rising. On Wednesday, the king announced massive social benefits packages totaling more than $35 billion. Clearly the king is nervous, but he has goodies to spread around.
        The country may be on a very slow path toward modernization, but it is not sliding backward like many others in the Middle East. Another difference between Saudi Arabia and its neighbors is that the opposition has been largely co-opted or destroyed. For the past 10 years, the Saudi government has systematically gone after al-Qaeda cells on its territory and has rooted out suspected supporters in the military and the national guard, especially after a series of attacks in 2003. And the Saudis have been quite clever about convincing the country's liberal elites that the regime is their best hope for a successful future. (Washington Post)
        See also Understanding Saudi Stability and Instability - Anthony H. Cordesman (Center for Strategic and International Studies)

The International Context of the U.S. Veto at the UN Security Council - Interview with Dore Gold by Michael Tuchfeld (Makor Rishon-Hebrew, 25Feb11)

  • Israel needs to prepare for the possibility that the UN Security Council will be asked to decide on the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines. These preparations have to include a specific clarification on Israel's part that if the Palestinians do this in a one-sided manner, Israel will act to impose Israeli law on areas of the West Bank that are essential to it. It's necessary to say this in advance.  
  • Perhaps the world will become alarmed by the Israeli threat and pressure the Palestinian side to avoid such one-sided moves. This needs to be as clear as day. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare the ground right now in Washington, London, and other European capitals in order to clarify what are Israel's essential interests. Right now there are forces in the international community which are determined to impose a West Bank withdrawal on Israel that does not take into account its most vital security needs.  
  • Every American government, except for the Carter administration, determined that the settlements are legal but are an obstacle to peace. That is the traditional American position. There are famous American spokesmen, even the person who was number two in the U.S. State Department at the time of Lyndon Johnson, Professor Eugene Rostow, a former dean of Yale Law School, who determined that Israel has the right to build in the settlements. Though there are those who dissent from this, this view existed  as a legitimate part of the American legal tradition.
  • During the negotiations on the Oslo Accords, Arafat requested a building freeze in the settlements and Peres and Rabin absolutely refused. Arafat gave up and nevertheless instructed Abbas to sign the Oslo Accords back in 1993. This means that Israel has no legal obligation from the Oslo Accords to stop construction.
  • The traditional American position has determined that the UN is not the place to deal with sensitive political issues. The Americans employed the veto because it was in America's interest to do so. If they didn't do so, they would pave the way for further unilateral Palestinian initiatives with regard to declaring a state. If they see that the U.S. is prepared to use the veto on an issue such as the settlements, where its position is very close to that of the Palestinians, they will understand that the Americans will certainly veto any attempts to get the international community to recognize a Palestinian state in the Security Council and predetermine its borders without negotiations.

    Dr. Dore Gold, a former Israeli UN Ambassador, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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