Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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April 26, 2004

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In-Depth Issue:

Kosovo Attack May Be Linked to Hamas - Danica Kirka (AP/Wichita Eagle)
    Authorities are investigating whether Jordanian UN policeman Sgt. Maj. Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim Ali, who killed three American corrections officers at a Kosovo prison on April 17, had links to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a senior NATO official said.
    Witnesses described a scene in which the officers were trapped between a locked gate and Ali's assault rifle.
    A survivor said Ali was smiling during his shooting spree.
    A senior NATO official said that besides any links with Hamas, authorities were examining a trip Ali took to Saudi Arabia only a month before he joined the mission in Kosovo.

Man Charged with Lying to FBI About Suicide Bomber (AP/Newsday)
    Mohamed Subeh, 41, of Rochester, N.Y., was charged Friday with lying to FBI agents during their investigation into a former Rochester resident connected to a terrorist organization responsible for several suicide bombings in Israel, federal officials said.
    "In fact, Subeh knew the man was going to conduct a suicide bombing operation on behalf of the terrorist organization Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades," Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr. said.

Palestinians Execute Suspected Collaborator (Jerusalem Post)
    Hassan Al-Azma, 29, was shot and killed by members of Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades near Ramallah Sunday.
    Members of the terrorist group said they interrogated Azma for several hours, after which he confessed to collaborating with the IDF.

Gunmen Break Arms of Palestinian Photojournalist - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Unidentified gunmen broke the arms of Palestinian news photographer Jamal Arouri in Ramallah on Thursday.
    Arouri, 38, who also works for the PA daily Al-Ayyam, said two masked men carrying pistols pounced on him and clubbed him as he walked out of his car in front of his house.

Useful Reference:

How Israel Remembers Its Fallen - Etgar Lefkovits (Jerusalem Post)
    Israelis marked the 20,196 servicemen and women who have fallen in defense of the state since November 1947.
    At the official state ceremony marking the start of Remembrance Day Sunday night at the Western Wall, President Moshe Katsav noted that Israel's War of Independence had not ended, even as Israel marks 56 years of independence.

Israel's Population Reaches 6.78m - Moti Bassok (Ha'aretz)
    Some 81% of Israel's population is Jewish, while 19% is Arab.
    66% of the country's Jewish citizens were born in Israel.
    21,000 immigrants came to the country in the past year, mostly from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, France, the U.S., and Argentina.

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Daily Alert will not appear on Tuesday, April 27 -
Israel Independence Day

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam
    The call to jihad is rising in the streets of Europe, and is being answered, counterterrorism officials say. Young Britons whose parents emigrated from Pakistan say they would like to see Prime Minister Tony Blair dead or deposed and an Islamic flag hanging outside No. 10 Downing Street. They swear allegiance to Osama bin Laden, call the Sept. 11 hijackers the "Magnificent 19," and regard the Madrid train bombings as a clever way to drive a wedge into Europe. (New York Times)
        See also Terror on the Dole
    "As far as I'm concerned, when they bomb London, the bigger the better," says Abdul Haq, a British Muslim social worker in Luton. "I would like to see the Mujahideen coming into London and killing thousands, whether with nuclear weapons or germ warfare. And if they need a safehouse, they can stay in mine," says Abu Yusuf, a financial adviser. (London Evening Standard)
  • How Long Will New Hamas Leader Last?
    Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, 58, gave up his medical practice a long time ago to devote himself full-time to the pursuit of death. Last week, the Shura consultative council of Hamas met in secret and appointed Zahar their third leader in less than a month. Zahar said Hamas would continue to struggle for the elimination of the State of Israel. "We are not willing to accept Israel as a legitimate state in this area. This is not our political attitude. This is a standing contradiction with Islam," he said. (Toronto Globe and Mail)
        See also Interview with Hamas Leader Khaled Meshaal
    Q: What are the conditions for a new ceasefire?
    KM: Let Israel withdraw first, and after that we will negotiate. This is our land, this is our natural right.
    Q: A withdrawal to the '67 borders?
    KM: We consider this a positive step but we have the right in all Palestine. (BBC News)
  • Beirut Terror Veteran Blamed over Basra Attacks
    A Lebanese terrorist accused of blowing up the American embassy in Beirut in the 1980s is being held responsible for the increase in suicide bomb attacks against coalition targets in southern Iraq. Western intelligence officials have uncovered evidence that the attacks are being coordinated by Imad Mugniyeh, the head of Hizballah's external security apparatus, who has been helping to train dissident Iraqi Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi army. Mugniyeh has deployed scores of Lebanese Hizballah fighters in Iraq, and set up secret training camps along the southern part of the border with Iran. "This is all part of a strategy devised by hardliners in Iran to repeat their success in Lebanon and drive coalition troops out of Iraq," said a senior intelligence official. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Saudis Helped U.S. Extensively in Iraq
    During the Iraq war, Saudi Arabia secretly helped the U.S. far more than has been acknowledged, allowing operations from at least three air bases, permitting special forces to stage attacks from Saudi soil, and providing cheap fuel, U.S. and Saudi officials say. The American air campaign against Iraq was essentially managed from inside Saudi borders, where military commanders operated an air command center and launched refueling tankers, F-16 fighter jets, and sophisticated intelligence gathering flights, according to the officials. Thousands of special forces soldiers were permitted to stage operations into Iraq from inside Saudi Arabia, once Turkey declined to allow U.S. forces to operate from its soil. (AP/Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinian Terrorists Ambush Border Police Jeep - Jonathan Lis, Roni Singer, and Amos Harel
    Three Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a border police vehicle west of Hebron Sunday, killing Corporal Yaniv Mashiah, 20, of Jaffa, and wounding three others. (Ha'aretz)
  • Two Israelis Injured in Gaza Rocket Attack
    Two Israelis were lightly injured Sunday after Palestinians fired a rocket that landed in a settlement in the Gaza Strip. Two homes sustained severe damage in the attack. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Jerusalem Terror Cell Captured - Jonathan Lis
    A Border Police undercover unit apprehended three Arabs suspected of murdering university student George Khoury in the Jerusalem neighborhood of French Hill last month and seriously wounding university student Nir Gil a week ago. The unit became suspicious of a car as it appeared to be following a man walking alone in the street. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinians Angered by UNRWA's Poster Ban in Schools - Mohammed Zaatari
    The director general of UNRWA in Lebanon, Richard Cook, angered Palestinians when he recently requested that pictures of Palestinian leaders be torn down from UNRWA schools in northern Lebanon under the pretext of implementing UN resolutions and in a bid to prevent children from getting accustomed to violence and terrorism. Cook ordered the removal of pictures of Hamas leaders Yassin and Rantissi, and children throwing stones at Israeli forces. (Beirut Daily Star)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Understanding Arab Anti-Americanism - Lee Smith
    Over the last several decades, U.S. officials have believed that both Israelis and Palestinians were equally deserving of peace, and Americans have spent a great deal of time and prestige trying to broker a fair and just agreement between the two parties. Those Americans have operated under the (correct) belief that peace is in the interests of the Palestinian people. The problem is that peace is perhaps not in the interests of the Palestinian leadership.
        The difference between Arab leadership and the Arab people is the key to understanding Arab anti-Americanism. When Arabs say that they like Americans but not American policies, they are saying they do not understand the basic principle of representative government. Anti-Americanism is how Arab leaders play the Arab people and the U.S. against each other to preserve their own hides. There is no incentive to be anything but anti-American, and it is very dangerous not to follow the pack. (Slate/MSN)
        See also U.S. Hatred Among the Arabs - Jeff Jacoby
    Arab regimes have been inciting hatred toward Americans for years, and few have done so more consistently than Mubarak's Egypt. Al-Ahram, a newspaper controlled by the Egyptian government, claimed that U.S. pilots flying over Afghanistan were dropping "genetically treated" food into areas booby-trapped with land mines, in the hope not only of making Afghans sick but of crippling or killing those who attempt to gather the food. Al-Akhbar, another regime-sponsored daily, declared: "The Statue of Liberty...must be destroyed because of the idiotic American policy that goes from disgrace to disgrace." Examples of anger engendered by the Iraq war? Hardly. Those statements were published in 2001. (Boston Globe)
  • Hamas-Israel Struggle Has Fundamentally Changed - Charles A. Radin
    Eran Lerman, a former deputy director of military intelligence, said the struggle between Hamas and Israel's forces has fundamentally changed. ''It took a long time, but now these people can't drive from one place to another" without Israeli intelligence knowing it, Lerman said. ''This requires a complex grid of human and signal intelligence, which takes time to establish, but after a while you get a grasp on what's going on. We had this. We lost it in 1993" when the Oslo peace accords were agreed to, ''and we had to get it back." (Boston Globe)
  • Their Own Enemy - Editorial
    Souad, a Palestinian who tells her story in the Sunday Telegraph, was indoctrinated at an early age that "Jews are pigs." It took her longer to learn who the real animals were: her father, who beat her every day; her brother, who set her alight when she became pregnant; her mother, who smothered several of her sisters at birth. Souad's story goes some way to explaining why many Palestinians regard everyday life so cheaply that they are prepared to blow themselves up to make a political point. Much of the world sees Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation of the West Bank as a desperate act by an oppressed people. Yet the reality is that of a people oppressed not so much by Israel as by each other. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Israel at 56 - Editorial
    Against all odds, the Jewish people has a country in its own land, after 2,000 years of exile. Israel's standard of living ranks 35th among the nations, and 19th in life expectancy (above the U.S. and UK). We have by far the largest number of hi-tech start-ups per capita in the world and have attracted venture capital at rates exceeding most European countries. Israel has, proportionately, the highest number of university graduates in the world, and the fourth largest air force, after the U.S., Russia, and China. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Observations:

    Escaping Arab Failure - Ralph Peters (New York Post)

    • Those who will not defend their own freedom do not deserve to be defended by others. Operation Iraqi Freedom has been, among other things, an attempt to give Arabs hope for a better future. The ultimate outcome won't be known for years, but we must prepare ourselves for the possibility that the Arabs are going to fail themselves again. With sufficient troops, we can force Iraq's Arabs to behave. But we can't force them to succeed.
    • The Arab Middle East has become the world's first entirely parasitical culture; all it does is imitate poorly, consume voraciously, spit hatred, export death, and create nothing. Arab civilization offers its people no promising future, only rhetoric about a past whose achievements have been as exaggerated as they were impermanent. It's a matter of culture, not race. In the free atmosphere of America, Arabs do as well as anyone else.
    • Blame is the opium of the Arabs, and the sweetest blame for their failures is that directed at the United States (and, of course, Israel). It is our power itself, not its uses, that enrages Arabs trapped in their self-made weakness.

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