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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December 10, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Arafat Advisor to Palestinians in Lebanon: You Will Return in 2007 (NewsFirstClass-Hebrew)
    Arafat advisor Hani al-Hassan, a former PA interior minister, met with the Fatah leadership in the Rashadiya refugee camp in Lebanon Sunday to ease tensions that had arisen following discussion of the Geneva Accord.
    "No official institution has approved or adopted [the Accord]....The Fatah Central Committee did not approve it and ignores it. We are committed to the right of return according to UN resolution 194," he said.
    In conclusion, he told the Palestinian refugees, "Be assured that the hills of Palestine await you. In 2007 this phase will end and you will fill up Palestine."

Palestinian Mother of Seven Smuggled Explosives Belt into Israel - Amos Harel and Arnon Regular (Ha'aretz)
    The security agencies foiled a planned suicide bombing in Rosh Ha'ayin on Monday in which a Palestinian mother of seven was involved.
    Fatah's military wing in Nablus sent Latifa Abu Dar'a, 40, of Balata, to pass through IDF roadblocks wearing an explosives belt around her waist, since IDF soldiers very rarely do body searches on women.
    She crossed into Israel near Kafr Qasem and then handed over the explosives belt to the bomber, Suliman Abu Awis, 20, also of Balata.
    Due to intelligence information, Israeli security forces arrested the bomber and, shortly thereafter, Abu Dar'a.
    The bomber's goal was a shopping center in Rosh Ha'ayin - the same mall where another Fatah bomber blew himself up in August, killing one Israeli.

Lebanon Seeks to Block Germany's Deportation of 10,000 Refugees (NewsFirstClass-Hebrew)
    Lebanon and Germany are discussing the deportation of 10,000 refugees from Germany to Lebanon, the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported Wednesday, quoting informed sources in Berlin. Germany says 50,000 Lebanese live in Germany, 10,000 illegally.
    A British diplomat recently revealed that Europe plans to deport thousands of Muslim refugees in order to break up terror cells on the continent.
    According to the EU, Europe's Muslims number 23-28 million, 40% of whom reside there illegally.
    In addition, Lebanese Hizballah conducts widespread activities on Germany soil. In Berlin alone there is a concentration of 5,000 Hizballah members.

Saudi Minister Denies Closing of Embassy Religious Cultural Centers (Saudi Press Agency-Saudi Arabia)
    Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdulaziz Bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh, replying to a question Tuesday on the Washington Post newspaper report on the kingdom's closure of religious cultural centers in its embassies, noted that this news item is incorrect, adding that the centers are working and they are part of the kingdom's message.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Suicide Bombers Strike at 2 U.S. Bases in Iraq, Wounding Dozens
    At an Army base at Tall Afar, 30 miles west of Mosul, a car exploded as it tried to drive into the compound, wounding 58 soldiers, 5 seriously. A second bomber detonated at a small base near Husseiniya just north of Baghdad. No soldiers were hurt. (New York Times)
        See also U.S. Sentry Saves Troops by Killing Suicide Bomber
    In the faint pre-dawn light, Specialist James Ross, 23, saw a car, its headlights on, accelerate towards his guard tower. The vehicle had already barrelled over a coil of barbed wire 80 yards away and was heading straight down a corridor of crash barriers. "I knew it wasn't one of our guys - it was either me or him," said Ross, who began firing his machine-gun in a last-ditch attempt to stop the car entering the compound, where 300 soldiers were just waking. Ross fired almost 100 rounds before the car came to a stop and blew up. (Telegraph-UK)
  • "Black Widow" Bombers Strike at Moscow
    Two Chechen women suicide bombers, dubbed "black widows" by the Russians, brought their terror campaign to the heart of Moscow Tuesday, killing five people only 200 yards from the walls of the Kremlin. The two had explosives strapped to their bodies and were making their way to the parliament, or Duma, when one bomb went off prematurely. The bomb was packed with nails and pieces of metal to inflict maximum casualties. About 300 Russians have been killed in terrorist attacks in the past year. (Telegraph-UK)
        See also Russia Rises as a Target of Terror (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Sharon Defiant as Criticism of Security Barrier Increases
    The government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reacted defiantly to a UN General Assembly vote Monday asking the International Court of Justice to rule on the legality of a barrier that Israel is building around the West Bank. Uzi Dayan, the head of an Israeli governmental body overseeing construction of the barrier, defended it as a "necessary project in order to give security against terror." "It isn't a wall which separates two peoples who want democracy; it's a wall which separates terrorists from the people they want to murder," he said.
        "It's a classic piece of moral relativism," said Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN who is now a senior advisor to Sharon. "What the UN did was condemn Israel without even a nod toward the need to fight the terror that has killed so many Israeli civilians." (Los Angeles Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Sharon: We Won't Wait Forever for the Palestinians - Aluf Benn
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday he is committed to the road map as the proper way to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, but he fears the Palestinian side is not interested in an agreement. The Palestinians, he believes, want to skip over the first stage of the plan, in which they are obliged to conduct reforms and fight terror, and they have no intention of breaking up the terrorist infrastructures. Therefore, he is preparing unilateral measures. "We can't wait five years until the Palestinians implement the road map - we have to set a date and not wait forever," he said. (Ha'aretz)
  • Shalom to Meet Mubarak in Geneva
    Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom will meet Wednesday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Geneva to discuss ways of reviving the road map to Middle East peace. The meeting marks the first time the Egyptian leader has met with a representative of the current Israeli government. Mubarak will be asked to return the Egyptian ambassador to Israel. Egypt withdrew its envoy at the start of the current violence. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Why's Shalom Going to Geneva? - Herb Keinon
    Why doesn't Shalom call on Mubarak in Cairo? The reason is precisely because the current government wants to break the habit of building up Egypt's stature as the regional conciliator and stabilizer without getting conciliation or stability in return. Just last month it was Egypt that led the charge against Israel's first General Assembly resolution in some 25 years, calling for the protection of Israeli children from Palestinian terrorism. From the Egyptian point of view, the role it has played in the Cairo ceasefire talks, as well as Mubarak's meeting with Shalom, can be used to find favor in Washington. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Islamic Jihad, Tanzim Attacks Focus on Civilians - Nina Gilbert
    Islamic Jihad and Tanzim are now initiating most of the suicide bombing attempts against Israeli civilians, Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kupperwasser, head of the Intelligence Corps research department, informed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday. Hamas, on the other hand, has now decided to focus on targets within Gaza and the West Bank. Twenty-five suicide bombing attempts have been made in the past few months, with all except one foiled by the security forces. Since October, 32 Israeli civilians and soldiers have been killed in attacks, according to an IDF operations official. The official said that there has recently been a slight increase in the number of attacks on soldiers, with about 10 to 14 carried out each day. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Two Hamas Terrorists Killed in "Work Accident" Near Hebron
    Two members of Hamas were killed and three other Palestinians wounded Tuesday in an explosion in a house in the village of Taqush near Hebron. Israeli military officials said none of their soldiers had been operating in the village, which residents confirmed. Local people said that the two killed had been hiding in the house. Relatives identified them as Jihad Doufeish, 24, and Hatem Al-Kawasmeh, 24, from Hebron, both members of the military wing of the Hamas, the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades. Several members of Palestinian groups have been killed in the past by premature blasts while making bombs. (Aljazeera-Qatar)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Egypt and Human Rights - Editorial
    Mubarak's government is requiring new registration of nongovernmental organizations and has pointedly not registered several on the political left. It promised to abolish the emergency security courts but dismantled only one of the three levels. It promised to set up a human rights council but has not done so. Finally, Mubarak, who is 75 and has been in power for two decades, has done nothing about promoting a modern succession. The U.S., which gives Cairo $2 billion a year, has done far too little to counter any of this. (New York Times)
  • Searching for Peace - Tony Blankley
    Every peace plan is a minor variant on the same theme. The U.S. "leans" on Israel to give up land, while Israel hopes that the Arabs living on the West Bank and Gaza will say thank you very much, we are now satisfied and will stop killing Jews. Then, with a few minor adjustments of various lines of demarcation, we will have two happy peoples living in "viable" states next to each other, and dropping in for tea on each other like good suburban neighbors. It is pitiful to see grown, well-educated, and presumably worldly experts discussing this fairy tale as if it were remotely plausible in the next several years. Genuine peace will only be possible, if at all, when the jihadist fire has been extinguished in millions of Muslim hearts. Until then, a sturdy, electronic and gun-bristling wall-fence is probably Israeli's best temporary salvation. (TownHall)
  • Royals vs. Wahhabis - Arnaud de Borchgrave
    Saudi Arabia's 25 most wanted terrorists (22 Saudis, two Moroccans, one Yemeni) whose pictures were splashed on the front pages of local papers last Sunday are still at large and apparently well protected by the al-Qaeda underground in the kingdom. In Washington, the question is frequently asked, "How long before the House of Saud falls?" And the answers vary from a few months to very few years. Yet the royal family is far more resilient than outsiders seem to believe. Wherever one goes in the kingdom, a royal prince - there are 7,000 - is in charge of key local and national nerve centers. (Washington Times)
  • Observations:

    The EU Anti-Semitism Study and Its Implications - Daniel Pipes (Jerusalem Post)

    • Focusing on a one-month sample monitoring period (May 15-June 15, 2002), the study "Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in the European Union" hammers home the key role of Muslims in forwarding anti-Semitism:
    • "From the perpetrators identified or at least identifiable with some certainty, it can be concluded that the anti-Semitic incidents in the monitoring period were all committed either by right-wing extremists or radical Islamists or young Muslims mostly of Arab descent."
    • "Physical attacks on Jews and the desecration and destruction of synagogues were acts often committed by young Muslim perpetrators."
    • "Observers point to an 'increasingly blatant anti-Semitic Arab and Muslim media' including audiotapes and sermons, in which the call is not only made to join the struggle against Israel but also against Jews across the world."
    • "A group of countries was identified with rather severe anti-Semitic incidents. Here, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK have to be mentioned. They witnessed numerous physical attacks and insults directed against Jews and vandalism of Jewish institutions (synagogues, shops, cemeteries). In these countries the violent attacks on Jews and/or synagogues were reported to be committed often by members of the Muslim-Arab minority."
    • Unless Europeans find the strength forthrightly to address this problem - and all indicators suggest that is unlikely - there is reason to expect a general Jewish exodus from Europe, perhaps along the lines of the general Jewish exodus from Muslim countries a half century ago.

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