Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Special Message from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (Conference of Presidents) How NATO Special Forces Helped Bring Gaddafi to His Knees - Sean Rayment (Telegraph -- UK) Iran "Discreetly Aided Libyan Rebels" (AFP)
Special Message from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (Conference of Presidents)
How NATO Special Forces Helped Bring Gaddafi to His Knees - Sean Rayment (Telegraph -- UK)
Iran "Discreetly Aided Libyan Rebels" (AFP)
News Resources - North America and Europe:
Palestinians in Gaza have acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from Libya during its six-month civil war, enlarging but not significantly improving their arsenal, Israeli officials said on Monday. Israeli officials have detected an inflow of SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), said one official. (Reuters)
See also Egypt Seizes Arms on Libyan Border
Egyptian border guards have seized a "large quantity" of weapons at the border with Libya, state television reported on Monday. (Reuters)
Syrian security forces raided several towns and cities across Syria on Monday and killed at least six people and wounded dozens. At the same time, there were reports that dozens of soldiers, possibly encouraged by the rout in Libya of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, had deserted their positions in a village near Homs, the country’s third-largest city, and on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, to join the five-month-old popular uprising against Mr. Assad and his Baath Party. (New York Times)
A video has emerged of U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford being assaulted by a pro-regime demonstrator on the streets of Damascus last week. Ford was present at a gathering of demonstrators who support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside the Cham Palace Hotel in Damascus when one demonstrator ran up to Ford and tried to wrap him in a poster that featured Assad's face.
Ford's security intervened quickly and rushed Ford to his car. The incident was then replayed in a highly produced segment on a Syrian television station. (The Cable, Foreign Policy)
Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai warned that terrorists might take the opportunity of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, to carry out attacks on Israel. "The Defense establishment has received a warning that a terror cell in Sinai, comprised of more than 10 terrorists, is to attempt to carry out an attack," he said. "The Defense establishment is taking action to thwart this attempt." (Ynet News)
The Palestinian Authority condemned on Monday the terrorist attack that occurred near nightclub Haoman 17 in Tel Aviv early Monday morning. An official statement issued by the PA President's Office in Ramallah said, "The president condemns the attacking of civilians, including the event that took place in Tel Aviv this morning."
In the same statement the PA President's Office condemned Israel's attacks on Gaza as well as Israel security operations and arrests made in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post)
More than a week after it was taken down during a demonstration over the deaths of the Egyptian soldiers at the Israel-Egypt border, the Israeli embassy in Cairo is once again flying the Israeli flag. (Ynet News)
The Iranian regime is one of the few remaining allies of the embattled Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.
For Iran, Assad's Syria is the front line of defense against the United States and Israel. Without his guaranteed loyalty, the second line of defense -- Hizbullah and Hamas -- would crumble. According to U.S. estimates, Hizbullah receives $100 million in supplies and weaponry per year from Tehran, which is transported through Syria.
Iran has taken significant measures to keep Assad in power. According to U.S. officials, as of April Iran was providing the Syrian security services with weapons, surveillance equipment, and training. The Iranian regime has also provided Assad with technology to monitor e-mail, cell phones, and social media. Iran's monitoring technology is believed to be among the most sophisticated in the world -- second, perhaps, only to China. Iran shared its know-how with Syria this summer.
Credible reports from Syrian refugees indicate that Tehran sent its own forces to Syria to quash the protests. (Foreign Affairs)
How will Assad fall? There are two possibilities that head the list. One possibility is that the army will split, largely on sectarian lines. There have been numerous other reports about defections in the army but it is difficult to assess whether they have yet reached a significant size. If the demonstrations grow, I assume the numbers of defectors will grow as Sunni troops refuse to shoot peaceful and unarmed Sunni demonstrators.
But there is another possibility, that the Alawite “Establishment,” civilian and military, will remove Bashar from power in a kind of “palace coup.” This would only happen, I believe, if the economic and financial sanctions grow stronger and stronger and demonstrations continue.
There are other possibilities: perhaps the Sunni and Christian business community will turn against Assad if sanctions are tough enough, and will help bring him down. Perhaps over time hundreds of thousands will flee to Turkey, giving the Turks the incentive they need to bring Bashar down. (Council on Foreign Relations)
The Saudi royal family is afraid. Very, very afraid. A crisis of leadership is brewing. The king is ailing and his successor, Crown Prince Sultan, is in even worse health. Their hard-line brother, Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz, is set to take the throne.
Saudi Arabia has proclaimed a twenty-first-century equivalent of the old Soviet Brezhnev Doctrine for its own backyard. No uprising will be tolerated in a neighboring kingdom. (National Interest)
See also The Kingdom of Magical Thinking - Robin M. Mills
Widely assumed to be a fabulously wealthy welfare state, Saudi Arabia is in fact an economic basket case waiting to happen. Growing efficiency, demographics, and alternatives mean that OECD oil demand is probably in a slow, long-term decline, while non-OPEC supply is proving more robust than expected. (Foreign Policy)
The Islamist Factor in Post-Gaddafi Libya: Will Libya Become "Libyastan?" - Jacques Neria (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
See also Ex-Jihadists in the New Libya - Omar Ashour (Foreign Policy)
See also What about the Jihadists in Libya? - Mshari al-Zaydi (Asharq al-Awsat)
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