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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November 25, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Palestinians Testing 17KM-Range Rockets (IMRA)
    Israel Television Channel 2 reported Monday that the Palestinians are testing a new generation of Qassam rockets with a range of 17 kilometers.
    The previous generation of Qassam rockets reached the Ashkelon industrial area.
    If the Palestinians develop a 17-km rocket and manufacture it also in the West Bank, the rocket will be able to reach a substantial proportion of Israel's urban population.

Ford Foundation Cuts Aid to Palestinian Group - Jim Remsen (Philadelphia Inquirer)
    The Ford Foundation has announced that it would cut off grant money to the Palestinian Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, known as LAW.
    Ford cited the group's conduct at the 2001 UN conference on racism in Durban and an audit finding it had misused funds.
    Ford also will make groups sign a pledge "against all forms of bigotry and against calls for the destruction of any state."

Surge in German Attacks on Jews - Justin Sparks (London Sunday Times)
    Last month the German secret service uncovered an alleged neo-Nazi plot to assassinate Jews at a ceremony in Munich to mark the completion of a cultural center.
    A week earlier, three neo-Nazis were convicted of torturing and killing a 16-year-old because he "looked like a Jew."

Tourism to Israel on the Rise (AP/USA Today)
    20% more tourists visited Israel during the first 10 months of this year than in the same period last year, signifying a turnaround for the sector, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Tourism Ministry said Sunday.
    A total of 852,400 tourists visited Israel from January to October, and the ministry forecasts that one million tourists will visit by the end of the year.

Useful Reference:

Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive (Hebrew University)

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • U.S. Presses Israel to Stop Work on New Settlements and Barrier
    The Bush administration has sent new signals to Prime Minister Sharon demanding that his government stop its expansion of settlements and the construction of a barrier in the West Bank, administration officials said Monday. The administration's concern was conveyed last week in a meeting in Rome between Sharon and the White House's top Middle East adviser, Elliott Abrams. Dov Weisglass, Sharon's chief of staff, is to meet Tuesday with senior American officials at the White House to discuss the administration's plan to reduce the amount of loan guarantees to Israel. The administration favors cutting loan guarantees for Israel by about $250 million of $9 billion over three years, invoking a requirement enacted by Congress that such aid be reduced by what Israel spends on certain activities in the West Bank. (New York Times)
  • Insurgents Shifting Attacks to Iraqis
    Iraqi insurgents have shifted from attacking U.S. and other coalition forces to attacks on Iraqis who are working with the U.S.-led occupation, chief administrator L. Paul Bremer said Tuesday. "In the past attacks against the coalition were predominant. Now terrorist attacks against Iraqis are regular," he said. (AP/Washington Post)
        See also U.S. Forces in Iraq Have Detained 307 Foreigners
    Coalition forces in Iraq have at least 307 suspected foreign fighters in detention, mainly Syrians and Iranians, a U.S. military official said on Saturday. "Two days ago the number was 307," the official said, listing 140 Syrians, 70 Iranians, and small numbers from Yemen, Chad, Saudi Arabia, and the West Bank. (Reuters)
        See also Iraqi Security Forces Torn Between Loyalties (Washington Post)
  • Prospect of Middle East Truce Stirs Few Hopes
    Palestinian factions meet in Cairo early next month to discuss a ceasefire. An activist close to Hamas said the targeting by the Israelis of its leaders had forced it underground. It had also been hurt by the freezing of assets in Europe and the U.S. and by pressure from Washington on Arab states to force it to close its offices. "Hamas leaders felt the knife on their neck when Israel began targeting them, so they want a fighter's rest in order to reorganize, recruit, and survive," the activist said. (Reuters)
  • U.S. Seeks Advice from Israel on Iraq
    Facing a bloody insurgency by guerrillas who label it an "occupier," the U.S. military has quietly turned to an ally experienced with occupation and uprisings: Israel. In the last six months, U.S. Army commanders, Pentagon officials, and military trainers have sought advice from Israeli intelligence and security officials on everything from how to set up roadblocks to the best way to bomb suspected guerrilla hide-outs in an urban area. (Los Angeles Times)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Israel to Free Ten Jordanian Prisoners - Diana Bahor-Nir and Hanan Greenberg
    On Tuesday Israel will free ten Jordanians held in Israeli jails as a gesture to the Jordanian government for the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr. The move was approved unanimously by the Israeli cabinet on Sunday. (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew)
  • Israeli Exports to EU to Indicate City of Origin - Ora Coren
    The labels of Israeli goods exported to Europe will now indicate the city where they were produced, so that Europeans can determine whether they were made in the territories, Industry Minister Ehud Olmert promised EU officials during a visit to Brussels Monday. The EU has been demanding that goods made in the territories not be labeled "made in Israel." Israel argues that since the EU recognized the Paris Agreement, which created a customs union between Israel and the PA, there are no grounds for treating products made in the territories differently from products made in Israel. Following Olmert's announcement, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy promised that agreements on Israeli-Jordanian and Israeli-East European joint ventures would be concluded soon. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Acts of Hatred - The Ominous New Wave of Anti-Semitism - Yitzhak Santis
    In Europe and the Muslim world, anti-Semitism has undergone a startling revival. Historian David Goldhagen speaks of anti-Semitism as an "evolving" phenomenon having gone through two major eras. The first was the Christian, where Jews were accused of being "Christ-killers" and ritual murderers. The second phase was the Nazis' secularized, racial anti-Semitism that defined Jews as engaged in an "international conspiracy" working against all humanity. Goldhagen believes we are now witnessing a third phase. "Globalized anti-Semitism is a new constellation of features grafted onto old ones," writes Goldhagen. Replacing the weak but shifty Shylock is "Rambo Jew," who now haunts the "anti-Semitic imagination." As such, anti-Jewish hatred has focused on Israeli and American Jews "as the alleged central moral and material culprits of the international arena." (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Where is the Middle East's Sakharov? - Asla Aydintasbas
    Historian Bernard Lewis explains the great paradox of the modern Middle East: the so-called moderate regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt have populations irate with anti-American and anti-Western sentiments, while among the people in rogue regimes like Iran, Iraq, and Syria, there is sympathy for the West and support for the new American mantra for regime change. What cannot be ignored by anyone is the quiet beginnings of an uprising against autocratic, repressive, and corrupt governments in the various corners of the Middle East and the Muslim world. The fact that practically all Muslim nations - with the exception of Turkey and perhaps Bangladesh - are run by regimes that are characterized as anti-democratic is an abomination first and foremost to Muslims. And we know it. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Mubarak Has Waited Too Long to Name a Successor - Editorial
    The illness that forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to interrupt a key speech to Parliament on Wednesday should also compel him to reconsider his refusal to name a successor. The evident angst resulting from what seems to have been nothing more than a severe case of the flu was but a hint of the panic that might ensue when Mubarak eventually dies or becomes incapacitated. Even - and perhaps especially - if his choice as successor is to be his son Gamal, Mubarak needs to leave no room for doubt about who will follow him when the moment arrives. (Beirut Daily Star)
        See also Egypt's Great Survivor - Khaled Dawoud (BBC)
  • Observations:

    How to Salvage the Road Map - Zalman Shoval (Jerusalem Post)

    • Both the U.S. and Israel have, for now, no interest in declaring the road map dead, even though the Bush administration is probably focused more on "conflict management" than on "conflict resolution."
    • The vision of President Bush's speech of June 2002 was transformed, in conjunction with the Quartet, into a version of the road map built upon a basic asymmetry, with Israel agreeing to eventual Palestinian statehood without the Palestinians being required to do away with the so-called right of return - which means abolishing Israel as a Jewish state.
    • Even the underlying vision of a "democratic, viable" Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel inevitably raises a question, since there is no other Arab state in the region to which these characteristics apply. What guarantee is there that the projected Palestinian state would be different?
    • If the major flaws in the road map were corrected, our sights set a bit lower, and the difficult first stages overcome, the road map could still function as a means of forging a long-term Israeli-Palestinian modus vivendi. Though falling short of solving all the outstanding issues, it would nevertheless give the two peoples a protracted period of calm and prosperity.
    • If this, too, should prove unattainable, one should not be surprised if there will be a growing sentiment among Israelis for unilateral separation of one sort or another.
    • As long as the Oslo-bred illusion of having a real peace partner on the Palestinian side persisted, support for unilateral separation was weak. The Geneva accord and similar initiatives now try to rekindle that illusion, but most Israelis have learned from experience and probably will not be fooled again.

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