Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
If your email program has difficulty viewing this page, see web version.


February 16, 2004

To contact the Presidents Conference:
[email protected]

Latest News on Israel's Security Fence: Upcoming Hearings at the International Court of Justice
  (Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations)

In-Depth Issue:

Prominent British Jews Targeted by Muslims and Far Right - Rajeev Syal (Telegraph-UK)
    Prominent Jews in Britain are being targeted in a wave of anti-Semitic harassment by far-Right and Islamic fundamentalist organizations.
    The home of Lord Triesman, the former general secretary of the Labour party, has been attacked by Combat 18, the neo-Nazi group.
    Uri Geller, the Israeli television personality, and Barbara Roche, the former Labour minister, have been the victims of graffiti and hate mail.
    According to police figures, Britain saw a significant rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2003.

Fields of Jihad - Brian Bennett and Vivienne Walt (TIME)
    In mid-January, the Kurds nabbed Hassan Ghul, a key al-Qaeda operative, near Kalar on Iraq's border with Iran.
    He carried two CDs and a computer flash disc the size of a cigarette lighter.
    On one of Ghul's discs was a 17-page progress report and future plan of action in Iraq written by Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, believed to be al-Qaeda's top operative in Iraq, suggesting a long-term strategy to turn Iraq into the front line of the global jihad.
    See also Text of Zarqawi's Report (National Review)

    See also A Terrorist Survival Kit - Anwar Iqbal (UPI)
    A terrorist survival kit reveals how the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and their sympathizers are preparing to survive the U.S.-led war against terrorism.
    The kit, printed in Arabic, Dari, Pashto and Urdu, has been distributed secretly among the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    The instructions detail how to communicate with the central leadership without exposing them.
    The kit emphasizes the need to "merge with the masses" and thus "become indistinguishable" from the rest of the people.
    "If you live in an area where people wear Western dress, you also dress like them...if the majority in that area has a secular mindset, do not express your religious sentiments."

Canadian Government Funding NGO's Anti-Israel Propaganda - David Mader (NGO Monitor)
    The focus of the Montreal-based organization Alternatives, partially funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, reveals an extreme approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    Its domestic advocacy is unceasingly critical of Israel even as it downplays Palestinian human rights abuses and ignores Palestinian terrorism.

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Iran Announces Plans To Sell Nuclear Fuel
    Iran said Sunday that it plans to sell nuclear reactor fuel internationally, establishing the Islamic republic as a country with the technology required to enrich uranium. (AP/Washington Post)
  • Libyan Arms Designs Traced Back to China
    The nuclear weapons designs obtained by Libya through a Pakistani smuggling network originated in China, according to government officials and arms experts. The bomb designs and other papers turned over by Libya have yielded dramatic evidence of China's long-suspected role in transferring nuclear know-how to Pakistan in the early 1980s. The documents, some of which included text in Chinese, contained detailed, step-by-step instructions for assembling an implosion-type nuclear bomb that could fit atop a large ballistic missile. They also included technical instructions for manufacturing components for the device. "It tells you what torque to use on the bolts and what glue to use on the parts," one weapons expert who had reviewed the blueprints said. (Washington Post)
  • Assault on Iraqi Police Station Kills 23, Frees Prisoners
    Fighters with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, and mortars stormed a police station Saturday in the Iraqi town of Fallujah, freeing dozens of prisoners in a battle that killed 23 people. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • U.S. Sets Limits on Disengagement Plan: No Annexation, No Eastern Fence - Aluf Benn
    Senior U.S. officials have made it clear in recent conversations with Israeli officials that the U.S. opposes the annexation of West Bank territory and the construction of an eastern fence between West Bank Palestinian cities and the Jordan Valley. It also opposes moving settlers from Gaza to the West Bank. U.S. officials Steve Hadley, Elliott Abrams, and William Burns are due in Israel on Wednesday to meet Sharon to discuss the disengagement plan and prepare for his coming visit to Washington. (Ha'aretz)
  • Missing IDF Soldiers from Lebanon War to be Declared "Fallen" - Yossi Melman
    The IDF has decided to declare three MIAs from the 1982 Sultan Yaqub battle - Zecharia Baumel, Yehuda Katz, and Zvi Feldman - as fallen soldiers whose burial places are unknown. A few weeks ago, a special POW and MIA committee from the IDF's Military Intelligence branch concluded that, based on both new information and existing materials, the three men should be regarded as soldiers who were killed in the line of duty. (Ha'aretz)
  • Hizballah Arsenal Explodes in Lebanon
    A series of explosions Sunday destroyed a two-story ammunition dump in south Lebanon that belonged to Hizballah, containing mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades. Officials said the explosions were set off by lightning during a storm. (AP/Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF to Collect Gas Masks from Public
    The IDF will collect gas masks from the public, who has had them for more than a decade as protection against chemical and biological attacks, Channel Two TV news reported Sunday. (AP/Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Hawks of Different Feathers - Shlomo Avineri
    There are two kinds of hawks in Israel: ideological and strategic. The ideological hawks view the territories as an integral part of the historical Land of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. For them these are part of the Jewish patrimony, referring to the West Bank by its Hebrew historical appellation - Judea and Samaria. For the strategic hawks, given Israel's narrow and vulnerable shape and continuing Arab enmity, controlling the West Bank and Gaza is not an ideological imperative, but one driven by security considerations. For them, Jewish settlements in the territories are security outposts, aimed at preventing or repelling an attack on the Israeli heartland.
        Ariel Sharon, coming from a military background - and growing up in a social milieu much nearer to Labor than to Jabotinsky's ideas - is a strategic hawk. Absent a Palestinian partner, and amid continuing Palestinian terrorism, Sharon appears to be following his strategic-oriented thinking: Set up an effective barrier, move some isolated and strategically untenable settlements - and wait for another day. The writer, a professor of political science at Hebrew University, was director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry. (Jerusalem Post)
  • A New Realism on Gaza - Editorial
    Until recently, Washington had been reluctant to support any unilateral moves by Israel, fearing that any such actions would undermine the principle of bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. But it has become increasingly clear that, given the political paralysis that has enveloped the Palestinian side, no real progress is possible at the negotiating table at the present time. Therefore, the Bush administration has become increasingly open to the principle that unilateral steps in the right direction by Israel are preferable to continued stagnation. While the Sharon plan may spell the end for some isolated, vulnerable settlements that the prime minister considers a strategic liability, even after all Gaza settlements are gone, Israel will likely remain in an existential conflict with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the other terrorist groups that currently use Gaza to stage attacks against the Jewish state. Israel will continue to deserve American support as it defends itself against the terrorist menace in its own backyard. (Washington Times)
  • Sharon's Potential Opening - Aaron David Miller
    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's bold and dramatic initiative to withdraw Israeli settlements from Gaza turns on its head nearly 30 years of Arab-Israeli negotiations based on reciprocity and serious give-and-take. Yet in the rough-and-tumble Arab-Israeli conflict, giving without getting would only encourage Israel's enemies to ask for more and in the process erode Israeli deterrence. The reaction of Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Brigades to Sharon's current proposal - "we're winning" - should by itself give pause. In addition, no unilateral solution can resolve Israel's proximity problem with the Palestinians. Only a carefully crafted, negotiated solution, one that addresses security, water, labor flows, and access to markets, can do that. (Washington Post)
  • Dirty Little Secrets - Salim Mansur
    The dirty secret is how Muslims have suffered as a result of Islamism, have been driven from their homes, tortured, and killed across the Arab-Muslim world. The numbers run into millions. The other dirty secret is the continuing victimization of Palestinians by many of their fellow Arabs, and of their being used as pawns in the war of Islamists against Jews and Israel. Moreover, many Muslims, in supporting Palestinian rights without repudiating the rabid anti-Semitism of the Islamists, have contributed to the undermining of Islam as a religion of peace and coexistence, and sabotaged their moral authority to speak of justice in Palestine, or elsewhere. Ironically, or by providential design, the future of Islam and of Muslims, if they are to be free of the fanaticism of the Islamists, is bound to America's success in this war on terrorism. The writer is a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario. (Toronto Sun)
  • Observations:

    Sharon's Logic on a Gaza Pullout - Gerald M. Steinberg (Beirut Daily Star)

    • Until there is a credible Palestinian leadership to disarm the various factions and implement a lasting accord based on the two-state model, negotiations are not going to end the conflict, and may add to the violence.
    • The evolution of a pragmatic Palestinian leadership anchored in basic societal changes will take many years or decades. Until then, the Geneva Initiative and other paper concepts discussed under Arafat's watchful eye simply lack credibility, and public relations campaigns supported by the EU will not change this situation.
    • Under these conditions, unilateral disengagement has become the least bad option. In the absence of what academics and policymakers refer to as "ripeness" - in terms of broad societal readiness to make realistic compromises - Israel needs to define pragmatic de facto borders. This is not a peace plan, and political and diplomatic issues related to the 1949 cease-fire line - the "green line" - are irrelevant.
    • Israel's unilateral withdrawal will give the Palestinians far less than would have resulted from an agreement with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak four years ago.
    • For Israel's Arab citizens, separation means an end to the unfettered access to the West Bank that they have enjoyed since 1967.

      The writer is director of the program on conflict management and negotiation at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

    To subscribe to the Daily Alert, send a blank email message here.
    To unsubscribe, send a blank email message here.