Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with Access/Middle East
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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May 13, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Mofaz: Terror Attempts Increase Since Abbas Appointed - Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)
    The number of attempted terrorist attacks has risen since the appointment of PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Likud faction on Monday.
    According to the Shin Bet, there have been 50 warnings of attempted terror attacks, Mofaz said.

Rajoub Awaits Key PA Security Role - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Col. Jibril Rajoub, former commander of the PA's Preventive Security Service in the West Bank, returned to Ramallah Monday after having a non-malignant growth surgically removed in London.
    Rajoub, who was dismissed by Arafat last year, is slated to play a key role in the PA security establishment, a top PA official said.
    Rajoub continues to command the support of a large number of Fatah cadres in the West Bank, where Muhammad Dahlan of Gaza, the newly installed minister of security affairs, lacks backing

Shrine to Suicide Bombers a Model of Intolerance (London Times)
    The Balata youth club in Nablus hosts a shrine to the Palestinian suicide bombers who have wrought devastation in Israel. On entering, visitors step on an Israeli flag painted on the floor.
    Up the road in Nablus, students from the radical Islamic movement Hamas set up a large model of paradise, complete with plastic trees, a fountain and goldfish, to give people a glimpse of what Hamas says awaits those killed in the fight with Israel.

Arab Defies PA to Run in Jerusalem Election - Etgar Lefkovits (Jerusalem Post)
    Defying a Palestinian Authority order to boycott next month's Jerusalem municipal elections, an Israeli Arab entrepreneur is hoping to become the first Arab elected to the Jerusalem city council.
    Moussa Elian, 53, from the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa, who ran unsuccessfully five years ago in the last local elections, is running in the June 3 race as the head of the Independent Arab List.
    See also The Palestinian Boycott of Jerusalem's Municipal Political Process - Justus Reid Weiner (Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Saudi Suicide Blasts Kill 10 Americans, Many Others
    Suicide bombers driving cars packed with explosives killed 10 Americans and many others and wounded more than 160 on Monday in attacks on foreigners' compounds in Riyadh, diplomats in Saudi Arabia said. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the attacks bore the stamp of al Qaeda. (Reuters)
        "It seems we have lost 10 Americans killed,'' Mr. Powell said shortly after arriving at Riyadh airport. "Many other nationalities were also killed." The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh said 44 Americans had been injured. (New York Times)
  • Powell Asks Arabs to Help Rein in Palestinian Militants
    Secretary of State Colin Powell opened a drive Tuesday to line up Arab backing for a crackdown on Hamas and other militant groups by the new Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas. Powell told leaders in Egypt and Jordan that it is time for Israel and the Palestinians to take concrete steps to ease tensions between them and not get bogged down arguing over the road map. Palestinians are being called on to disarm militant groups. (New York Times)
        See also U.S. Won't Push Peace Map on Sharon
    The Bush administration said Monday that it will not insist that Israel formally accept the "road map" for peace in the Middle East. "I believe that Prime Minister Sharon has announced a variety of measures...that in effect constitute the beginning of the road map process," Mr. Powell said. (Washington Times)
  • British Lecturers Reject Call to Boycott Israel
    At its annual conference, the Association of University Teachers, Britain's largest university lecturers' union, voted Friday by a majority of about 2-1 to reject a call for an academic boycott of Israel. Simon Renton, from University College London, said a boycott would be "intolerant, arrogant, imperialist behavior" because, unlike the boycott of South Africa during the apartheid regime, it had not been asked for by campaigners within the country. (Guardian-UK)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Palestinian Mortars Injure 10 Soldiers - Amos Harel
    Ten IDF soldiers were lightly injured Tuesday by two mortars fired at a military base in Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel's Islamic Movement Transferred Millions to Hamas - Amos Harel and Yair Ettinger
    The head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, was among 15 detained by police Tuesday for funneling millions of shekels to the militant Hamas movement, "oiling the wheels of murderous terrorism," according to Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi. Hanegbi said the evidence "proves that the suspects engaged in the illegal transfer of millions of shekels from abroad, from illegal NGOs and companies, to activities of the Hamas in Judea and Samaria and also in the Gaza Strip...camouflaged in the framework of charity funds and humanitarian aid."
        More than two years ago, high-ranking Shin Bet officials expressed support for outlawing the northern branch. Over the last two years there has been a sharp rise in the number of Israeli Arabs arrested as suspects in terror activities, who in several cases were members of the Islamic Movement. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Working to Make Road Map's Implementation Possible - Shalom Yerushalmi
    Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said in a weekend interview, "We are on the way to adopting President Bush's vision and want the road map to reflect his speech [of last June]. We are not putting roadblocks in the path of the roadmap, but are reducing the gaps in order to make possible its implementation."
        Commenting on Abu Mazen's speech upon taking office, Shalom said, "he repeated the standard language on the right of return. He said the Palestinian people will not reach any agreement that includes anything less than an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, and that it will be clean of settlements. It's important to pay attention to the phrasing he used - 'clean of settlements.'" (Maariv-Hebrew)
  • Americans Start to Work Out Mechanics of Road Map - Aluf Benn
    American envoy David Satterfield began contacts Monday to set up the supervisory mechanisms for the implementation of the road map. Satterfield made clear the supervisors will be led by Americans. Satterfield criticized Israel's position, which accepts the "Bush vision" but ignores the "road map." He said the road map is the plan to implement the vision presented by Bush on June 24 and there is no contradiction between the speech and the road map. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Broaden the Road Map - Saad Eddin Ibrahim
    The doors are opening for democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, but a regional road map is needed. More is needed than a settlement of the Palestinian question. It is time for a forceful message from the U.S. to the people and rulers of the region that America will be a reliable partner in the pursuit of democracy, peace, and development. (Washington Post)
  • The Principle of No Transfer - Uzi Arad
    There is no a priori justification for the evacuation of Jewish settlements in the territories. Jewish presence could and should continue in certain areas under Israeli sovereignty and remain in place. Furthermore, the principle of not transferring populations should be equitably practiced. Assuming peaceful coexistence, Jews and Arabs should be able to live side by side, having worked out the necessary arrangements, such as a condominium system or other functional accommodations, without the need to uproot people from their homes and their patrimony. The writer, currently director of the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center's Institute of Policy and Strategy, was previously director of intelligence of the Mossad. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Observations:

    Sharon: No U.S. Pressure on Settlements - Herb Keinon and Amotz Asa-El (Jerusalem Post)

    • In an interview on Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, "If you ask me whether in Beit El there will not be Jews, no, Jews will live there." Asked if Jews will continue to live in Beit El and Shilo under Israeli sovereignty, he replied, "Do you see a possibility of Jews living under Arab sovereignty, I'm asking you, do you see that possibility?" The prime minister said his words about making painful concessions in an interview a month ago were misinterpreted, and that these areas are not "candidates" for withdrawal.
    • Sharon also denied coming under heavy pressure from the U.S. administration to dismantle settlements or settlement outposts. "It is not something today that anyone is dealing with," he said. "All the descriptions about the pressures - there is no pressure from anyone. It is only pressure from the Jews on themselves."
    • Sharon put the present U.S. administration's unfavorable comments about the settlements in historical perspective, saying that no U.S. administration has ever supported Jewish settlement in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, or the Golan Heights. "In my mind this is not an issue on the horizon right now."
    • Regarding his upcoming meeting with new PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, Sharon denied that this in any way constitutes negotiating under fire. "The discussion will deal in the first stage with possible arrangements on issues of security and incitement."
    • "The era of speeches, declarations, and promises has passed - they have no more weight. There were those who in their naivete thought 10 years ago that you could count on promises, but that is no longer valid, no one pays attention anymore. Now all that counts is action."

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