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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July 8, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Iran Working to Undermine Cease-Fire - Amir Rappaport (Maariv-Hebrew)
    According to security sources, Iran stands at the head of overseas groups seeking the continuation of attacks inside Israel.
    While warnings of impending attacks have declined, security sources say "there are still a large number of warnings."
    International Islamic terror groups are reportedly very dissatisfied that the Palestinians have declared a unilateral cease-fire.
    Security sources say Iran is encouraging Tanzim groups that have not accepted the cease-fire to carry out attacks that will end the political process, and has promised them large sums of money, to be delivered via Hizballah.
    There are currently some 20 "rebel" terrorist groups operating in Samaria and in the southern Gaza Strip that do not accept the cease-fire.

Saudis Quietly Promote Strict Islam in Indonesia - Jane Perlez (New York Times)
    From the financing of educational institutions to giving money for militant Islamic groups, the influence of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi charities, has been growing steadily in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.
    Until recently, Indonesia has been famously relaxed about its religion. But slowly, Indonesians are becoming more devout and in the battle for the soul of Islam the Saudis are playing an important though stealthy role, Indonesian scholars say.
    The Saudi money has come in two forms: above-board funds for religious and educational purposes, and quietly disbursed funds for militant Islamic groups.

Al-Qaeda Recruiter at Indiana U. and Purdue? - Dan Herbeck and Lou Michel (Buffalo News)
    A traveling preacher, Juma Al-Dosari, is a suspected al-Qaeda recruiter who preached in a Lackawanna, NY, mosque and persuaded six local men to travel to Afghanistan for terrorist training.
    Federal agents in Indianapolis, Ind., are trying to find out whether Al-Dosari also engaged in recruiting efforts there, where he is believed to have had contact with young Muslims at Indiana University and Purdue University.

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Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • CIA: Saddam is Alive
    A tape recording broadcast on Friday calling for resistance to the American military occupation was probably of Saddam Hussein, the CIA said Monday, giving the strongest evidence yet that the former Iraqi leader is alive. (New York Times)
  • Jordan: Plot Foiled to Bomb Embassies, Resorts
    Jordan said on Monday it had broken a cell of Islamist militants arrested before the Iraq war who planned to bomb embassies, resorts, and U.S. targets. The suspects, including four Saudis and one Syrian, have since been charged with committing acts of terror against U.S. and Western interests, possession of explosives, and membership in an illegal underground party. In a separate development, 11 Islamists went on trial in Jordan last week for the murder of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in October 2002, but the alleged mastermind, who U.S. officials say has close links to Saudi-born fugitive Osama bin Laden, remained on the run. (Reuters)
  • Islamic Traditionalists Sweep Liberals in Kuwaiti Election
    Islamic traditionalists, both Sunni and Shiite, took more than a third of the seats in the 50-seat Kuwaiti Parliament in voting on Saturday, while the liberals were almost wiped out. Most of the rest of the seats went to groups that are supporters of the royal family. The liberals had made extending the vote to women a major rallying cry of their campaign. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Palestinian Homicide Bomber Murders Woman on Israeli Moshav - Roni Singer and Amos Harel
    Mazal Afari, 63, of Moshav Kfar Yavetz near Netanya was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber who destroyed her home Monday night. Three of her grandchildren were lightly wounded. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. (Ha'aretz)
  • PA Tells Media to Tone Down Incitement - Arnon Regular
    Palestinian Information Ministry officials met with TV and radio station owners and broadcasters to lay down new rules intended to lower the level of incitement in the media as dictated by the road map - and to make all electronic media subject to the Information Ministry. According to one broadcaster, the new guidelines call for avoiding interviews with gunmen from the armed wings of organizations, avoiding shouts of "Allah akbar" or similar cries during live broadcasts, not publishing anything without at least getting the official PA response, and "accepting the rules of the hudna" - a general recommendation to advance the principles of the Abu Mazen government. Broadcasters were also told to replace the images and sounds of the intifada, such as the praise of martyrs and the scenes of rioting, with pop music, game shows, and other light entertainment. (Ha'aretz)
  • Amb. Kurtzer: PA Must Crack Down on Militant Groups Soon - Shoshana Kordova
    The Palestinians must subordinate groups such as Hamas under a national governing body, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer said Monday, and "it has to happen in the next few months." Kurtzer repeated President Bush's assertion that the U.S. was not interested in an internal Palestinian cease-fire except as a means to dismantle terror. One of the reasons compelling Hamas to join the Palestinian cease-fire was a cut in the funding from Saudi Arabia and Europe - due to pressure from the U.S., Kurtzer said. Kurtzer also called Abu Mazen "a relatively weak man" who tended to "run away from problems rather than try to solve them." (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Iran's Millionaire Mullahs - Paul Klebnikov
    The 1979 revolution expropriated the assets of foreign investors and the nation's wealthiest families, which were then given to Islamic charitable foundations that now serve as slush funds for the mullahs and their supporters. The man most adept at manipulating this hidden power structure is Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who has more or less run the Islamic Republic for the past 24 years. The 1979 revolution transformed the Rafsanjani clan into commercial pashas. One brother headed the country's largest copper mine; another took control of the state-owned TV network; a brother-in-law became governor of Kerman province, while a cousin runs an outfit that dominates Iran's $400 million pistachio export business; a nephew and one of Rafsanjani's sons took key positions in the Ministry of Oil; another son heads the Tehran Metro construction project. Today, the family is also believed to control one of Iran's biggest oil engineering companies, a plant assembling Daewoo automobiles, and Iran's best private airline. (Forbes)
  • "A Shot at Peace" - Daniel Pipes
    In private conversations with Bush administration officials this past week, I was favorably impressed by their realism about the U.S.-sponsored "road map." The senior officials I spoke with offered impressively hard-headed analyses: On Palestinian intentions to destroy Israel, they echo Secretary of State Powell's statement that he worries about "terrorist organizations that have not given up the quest to destroy the State of Israel." On the need to enforce signed agreements, officials insist that the road-map diplomacy would screech to a halt if the Palestinians fail to keep their word. Israel would not be expected to fulfill its promises if the Palestinians betrayed theirs. As one official puts it, "We have a shot at peace." He showed a reassuring awareness that this project is chancy and that the odds of its succeeding are not that good. The goal, everyone needs firmly to keep in mind, is not the signing of more agreements, but (short-term) the ending of terrorism and (long-term) the Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state. (New York Post)
  • Disinfect the BBC Before It Poisons a New Generation - Barbara Amiel
    The BBC has been a bad joke in its news and public affairs broadcasting for several decades, with relentless anti-Israel and anti-America biases. On the same evening that a specious BBC documentary made Israel the rogue regime of the Middle East, equivalent to or worse than Saddam's Iraq, I watched another the BBC program in which the terrorist organization Hamas was depicted as a cross between the Good Samaritans and the Girl Guides. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Observations:  

    Defensible Borders for Israel - Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    • The quest for defensible borders has been an axiom of Israeli governments since 1967 on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242. Defensible borders for Israel has been a bipartisan hallmark of U.S. policy since the Reagan administration. In Rabin's last Knesset address he made clear that Israel "will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines." He insisted on a map including a united Jerusalem, the settlement blocs, and the Jordan Valley.
    • In 2003, Israeli planners will have to operate under the assumption that the dismantling of the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure will be incomplete, and should a Palestinian state nonetheless be established, its complete demilitarization will not be reliable.
    • During the Oslo years, the Palestinian leadership was in material breach of the military clauses of the Interim Agreement, seeking to import illegal weaponry like SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and manufacturing Qassam rockets.
    • Many of the same security figures who breached Oslo now serve the government of Mahmud Abbas. Moreover, fundamentalist groups like Hamas that mentioned the Islamic term hudna, for cease-fire, understood that it means a truce that is maintained until the balance of power changes. This means they will seek rearmament; Israeli military intelligence, in fact, reported in early July that Hamas had accelerated production of Qassam rockets. In their pronouncements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have even used a weaker term: ta'liq - a temporary cessation of hostilities.
    • In the wake of the decline of the threat from Iraq, Israel will require defensible borders to meet the growing lethality of the Palestinian threat, backed by the assistance of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The roadmap is silent on Israel's right to defensible borders, though it mentions the Saudi plan with its call for full withdrawal. The Bush administration should provide Israel with assurances concerning defensible borders as it seeks Israel's acquiescence to the creation of a Palestinian state.

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