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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
March 13, 2012

In-Depth Issues:

Delhi Police: Iranian Spies Behind Israeli Embassy Car Blast (Economic Times-India)
    The Delhi Police has cracked the Israeli embassy car blast case and traced the conspiracy to Iranian secret agents.
    According to sources privy to the investigation, it has now been "conclusively established" that Syed Mohammad Kazmi, the freelance journalist recently arrested in the case, was in touch with an Iranian intelligence officer and had even visited Iran as part of the conspiracy.
    Kazmi has been charged with helping the bomber conduct reconnaissance of the Israeli embassy several times and keeping tab on the movement of Israeli diplomats. He helped the terrorist who planted the magnet bomb on the diplomat's car.
    On Monday, Home Minister P. Chidambaram is said to have briefed the visiting Israeli national security adviser Yaakov Amidror on the breakthrough in the case.

Tweeted Photos from Gaza Proven to Be False (JTA)
    Two photos tweeted as being the result of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in the recent round of violence have been proven false.
    One photo, showing a dead Palestinian girl covered in blood in the arms of her father, was tweeted by Khulood Badawi, identified by Honest Reporting as the information and media coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The picture was in fact a 2006 Reuters photo of a girl who had died in an accident.
    A photo tweeted by "Gaza Youth Break Out," showing an explosion in Gaza, was identified as "Gaza Under Attack Today." In reality the photo was taken by Reuters in 2009 during Operation Cast Lead.

"Corrupt" Palestinian Leadership Slammed by Palestinian Activist - Alison Goldberg (South African Jewish Report)
    "There are no Palestinian leaders capable of conducting peace talks," says Bassam Eid, founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.
    He says the Palestinian leadership is corrupt and Palestinians are worse off under their administration after Oslo.
    Eid also castigated the Palestinian Solidarity Committees around the world for fomenting hatred between Palestinians and Jews that does not exist in Israel or in the territories.
    Eid is a former anti-Israel activist turned critic of the violation of Palestinian human rights by his own leaders.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Women, Children Found Dead in Syrian City of Homs
    Syrian activists say soldiers and pro-government militias killed dozens of men, women and children in the former rebel stronghold of Homs. Videos posted on the Internet show the mutilated corpses of at least 45 victims who were killed Sunday. The Syrian Network for Human Rights said about 30 men were tortured, shot, doused with gasoline and set on fire, and that women and children were killed separately. (VOA News)
        See also Syria: "Children Burned Alive in Front of Their Mothers" - Michael Rundle (Huffington Post)
  • Syria "Laying Landmines along Border" to Block Refugees
    Syrian troops have planted landmines along routes used by people fleeing the country's violence and trying to reach neighboring Turkey, Human Rights Watch says. Witnesses say the landmines have already caused civilian casualties. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Egypt Parliament to Consider Cutting Off U.S. Aid - Hamza Hendawi
    Egypt's parliament moved Sunday toward a vote to order an end to more than $1 billion in U.S. aid, a reflection of tensions over the case of Americans charged with illegal activity by their pro-democracy groups. The measure in the Islamist-dominated Egyptian parliament reflected anger in Cairo over charges that U.S. pressure led to interference in the judicial process. (AP-Boston Globe)
        See also Egypt's Parliament Wants Israel's Ambassador Out - Hamza Hendawi
    Egypt's parliament unanimously voted on Monday in support of expelling Israel's ambassador in Cairo and halting gas exports to the Jewish state. The vote was taken on a report that declared Egypt will "never" be a friend, partner or ally of Israel. The report described Israel as the nation's "number one enemy" and endorsed Palestinian resistance "in all its kinds and forms" against Israel's "aggressive policies."  (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Over 200 Rockets Fired at Israel Since Friday - Yoav Zitun
    Some 222 rockets were fired by Palestinians in Gaza at Israel over the last four days. Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 56 rockets. The IDF carried out 37 airstrikes against munitions warehouses and missile launch sites. 26 Palestinians were killed in the strikes - the majority of whom were terrorists, including 14 from Islamic Jihad. According to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, "22 (of the Palestinians killed) were enemy forces, but sadly four civilians who were not involved in the clashes and were nearby were killed."  (Ynet News)
        See also Gaza Rockets Reach 40 Km from Tel Aviv - Yanir Yagna, Gili Cohen and Avi Issacharoff
    Palestinians in Gaza fired 47 rockets at Israel on Monday. 11 were intercepted by Israel's missile-defense system. Two of the rockets exploded near Gedera, just 40 km. south of Tel Aviv. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Escalation of Rocket Fire from Gaza (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
  • The Most Stressful Day of My Life - Keren Dahan
    When the siren went off on Sunday afternoon, my mother, sisters and I ran to the bomb shelter. There was an explosion. But when we wanted to exit the shelter, an even louder explosion was heard. Even the window in the bomb shelter, which was sealed tight, blew open from the force of the blast.
        After we calmed down a bit, we walked out the shelter door. The sign at the entrance of our building had been blown off, the front yard was filled with shrapnel and the glass door leading to our porch was shattered. It was terrifying. The writer is an 11th grader in Beersheba. (Israel Hayom)
        See also Ashdod Resident Describes Narrow Escape from Gaza Rocket - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF: Terrorists Using Human Shields - Yoav Zitun
    "Civilians who were not taking part in hostilities have been wounded in an Air Force strike on a terrorist cell launching medium-range rockets from a populated area in northern Gaza," the IDF Spokesman's Office said. "This incident demonstrates that terrorist groups in Gaza use human shields and fire rockets from densely populated areas."  (Ynet News)
  • Islamic Jihad's Incessant Rocket Fire - Avi Issacharoff
    One reason Islamic Jihad is continuing its rocket fire on Israel is its glaring lack of success. After firing more than 200 rockets they still haven't killed any Israelis. Another reason is the fact that the current round of hostilities is very low on the general Arab agenda. In previous rounds of fighting, the Arab world immediately responded with active condemnations of Israel. This time, however, Arab public opinion is focused on Syria rather than Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Report from an "Asymmetrical" War - P. David Hornik
    The moral asymmetry between Israel and its enemies has been strikingly on display in the latest flare-up between Gaza terror groups and Israeli forces. By Monday afternoon the Israeli air force had reportedly killed 19 terrorists in pinpoint strikes on Gaza targets - mostly rocket-launching crews - and two Palestinian civilians as collateral damage. According to UN data cited by Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, the typical ratio when armies fight terror groups is three civilians killed per every terrorist killed by military forces.
        The sole factor that has protected the Gaza population from greater losses is Israel's supreme effort to restrict its strikes to military targets.
        By contrast, the over 200 rockets fired from Gaza at Israel since Friday have been aimed solely at civilian targets. Most have been lobbed at cities - Ashkelon, Ashdod, and (my own) Beersheba - in the hope of killing and maiming as many men, women, and children as possible. (American Spectator)
  • The End of the "Peace Process"? - Tal Becker
    For some time now, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have had more to do with diplomatic talking points than with genuine progress toward agreement. The talks in Jordan in January and February seem to have had more to do with each side trying to avoid blame for failure than with creating conditions for success. If it is not dead, then the "peace process" lives on largely as pseudo-diplomatic theater - a stage where the differences between the parties are acted out, not a framework for resolving them.
        There is a common and at least partly misleading conception that the contours of a deal are well known and what is lacking is the political will to sign on to it. In reality, the work that remains to translate broad notions into a blueprint for action is substantial, and ironing out the details of an agreement is not (as many assume) a mere technicality.
        In the past, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have tended toward "constructively" ambiguous formulations that spared their political patrons overly difficult or politically dangerous decisions. But this ambiguity has a destructive quality as well, in that it allows misunderstandings between the sides to be perpetuated and sows the seed for future conflict. An agreement that seeks to genuinely end the conflict needs to be clear and unambiguous. The writer, a former lead negotiator for the Israeli government, is an international associate of The Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Targeted Killings of Terror Leaders Are Moral - Donniel Hartman (Ynet News)

  • Israel assassinated Popular Resistance Committee Secretary-General Zuhir al-Qaisi, the known terrorist leader who was involved in the planning of an imminent terrorist attack from Sinai. Should we engage in pre-emptive, targeted assassinations, knowing full well the "cycle of violence" that will ensue?
  • An essential part of our national ethos is to be pro-actively engaged in shaping our future, to determine our own destiny to the best of our ability. As a citizen of Israel I embrace the need to act and to attempt to proactively give us the security that we deserve.
  • While Jewish tradition elevates the sanctity of life as one of its highest values and sees all of humanity as equal in value, it does not merely allow but obligates acts of self-defense. One cannot be committed to the sanctity of life in general without being committed to valuing the sanctity of one's own life. Self-defense is a higher moral expression than self-sacrifice. Our tradition teaches us, "When someone arises to kill you, pre-empt them, and kill them first."
  • Targeted killings of known terrorist leaders, those with blood on their hands and the self-expressed desire and capacity to spill more blood, are not morally ambiguous, but rather acts of "tikkun olam," repairing the world.
  • Evil exists, and it is our responsibility as Israelis and moral duty as Jews to see this evil, and do everything in our power to limit it and not allow its terrorist intent to rule our neighborhood.

    Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

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