Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 13, 2004

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In-Depth Issues:

Gaza's Killing School - Emma Hurd (Sky News-UK)
    At a young people's camp in Gaza, the only lesson taught is how to kill Israelis.
    Children as young as 10, some of whom are dwarfed by their AK-47 assault rifles, are being recruited to fight for the Palestinian cause.
    They are also made to do an obstacle course, crawling under barbed wire and leaping through hoops of fire while their instructors fire live bullets overhead.

British Security Service Plants Agents to Fight Domestic Terror - Michael Evans (London Times)
    MI5, the British Security Service, will deploy agents around Britain in a radical reorganization of the intelligence service aimed at combating the threat of home-grown Islamist terrorists linked to the al-Qaeda network.
    Teams of intelligence officers, surveillance experts, analysts, and computer specialists will be permanently based in cities where it is feared that extremists are radicalizing Muslim youth.
    The move reflects fears that the main terrorist danger comes not from abroad but from within the UK.
    Hundreds of young Britons are believed to have attended Afghan training camps and the security services are keen to gather more information about their whereabouts and activities.

French Intelligence Accused Muslim Communities of Terrorist Links - Alex Duval Smith (Observer-UK)
    Last week, Le Monde leaked a French intelligence service report saying that more than 300 housing estates had become third-world ghettos in which nearly two million people lived on the fringes of Islamic extremism.
    In the Clos Saint-Lazare area, the As Salam mosque is said to be Salafist - a fundamentalist sect supported by the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia and thus a potential recruiting ground for terrorists.
    The intelligence services claim As Salam runs Saturday morning phone-ins with religious "guides" in Mecca.
    According to the report, polygamy was common, anti-Semitism was on the rise, and Europeans were moving out.

FlightGuard Anti-Missile System Passes Test - Amnon Barzilai (Ha'aretz)
    Israel's FlightGuard airborne defense system against shoulder-launched missiles aimed at civilian aircraft underwent a successful test Monday.
    The system's radar spotted the Strella SA7 missile the moment it was launched and the control system launched special infrared flares, which are invisible to the naked eye.
    The missile chased after the flares as they flew away from the plane, which continued on its flight path.

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Back Issues

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Arab Nations Want UN to Pressure Israel on Barrier
    Arab states on Monday called for an emergency session of the UN General Assembly to demand that Israel comply with a World Court ruling that its West Bank security barrier is illegal and must be dismantled. (Reuters)
  • State Dept.: Palestinian Statehood Unlikely by 2005
    State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday: "While we certainly hoped to make as much progress as possible, as quickly as possible, towards creation of the Palestinian state, the continuation of the violence, the failure of the Palestinian Authority to take up its responsibilities, and the continuing difficulties of making progress on negotiations had made it increasingly unlikely that we would be able to make the 2005 date." (State Department)
  • Remains of First 9/11 Victim ID'd
    The latest World Trade Center victim to be identified is Daniel Lewin, 31, an Israeli soldier who became a Massachusetts computer tycoon. The married father of two kids was reportedly the first 9/11 casualty. A passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 11, Lewin is believed to have been the businessman stabbed to death by terrorists. Friends believe Lewin died while fighting back against the terrorists. (New York Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • U.S. Court Orders PA, PLO to Pay for Murder of U.S. Citizen - Melissa Radler
    In a July 12 decision, District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux of Rhode Island upheld the findings of Magistrate David Martin, issued March 31, that the PA and PLO provided a safe haven and operational base for Hamas to carry out the shooting death of American citizen Yaron Ungar and his Israeli wife Efrat. The Ungars were murdered near the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh on June 9, 1996. The judge ordered the PA and the PLO to pay $116m. to the Ungar family. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Four Palestinians Killed in "Work Accident" in Gaza - Arnon Regular
    Three members of the Popular Resistance Committees, a militant extremist group, were killed Saturday when the Mercedes car in which they were traveling blew up in the Gaza Strip. A motorcyclist traveling near the vehicle was also killed. The IDF said it had nothing to do with the explosion, and that it was probably the result of a "work accident," when explosives blew up prematurely. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Looking Evil Right in the Eye - Mortimer B. Zuckerman
    News of horrific abductions and beheadings by radical Islamists fly around the globe on the Internet and satellite TV, but the perpetrators are throwbacks to the Dark Ages. These killings are a tactic in a war to claim the world for a perverted version of Islam. We are in the way as these misguided men seek to restore a new unified Muslim umma (community), ruled by a new caliphate, governed by Islamic law, and organized to wage jihad against the rest of the world. In their war against the "infidels," the terrorists kill irrespective of nationality, race, religion, or politics: many victims are from countries that played no part in the invasion of Iraq. We must win this new war, for these are the same people who want to conduct chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks against us, according to the 9/11 commission. (U.S. News)
  • Why the French Act Isn't Funny Anymore - Charles Krauthammer
    Explosive population growth in the Arab world coupled with Europe's unprecedented baby bust presages a radical change in the balance of power in the Mediterranean world. French President Chirac perhaps sees a coming Muslim future or, at least, a coming Muslim resurgence. The result is a classic policy of appeasement: stand up to the American presumption of dictating democratic futures to Afghanistan and Iraq; ingratiate yourself with the Arab world. Thus, precisely at a time when the U.S. and many Western countries are shunning Arafat for supporting terrorism and obstructing peace, Chirac sends his foreign minister to the ruins of Arafat's compound to shake Arafat's hand for world cameras. This is pure pandering but with an agenda. Chirac wants not only to make France the champion of the oppressed in general against the great American hegemon but also to make it in particular the champion of Arab aspirations against American imperialism. (TIME)

    The Security Fence Decision:

  • Two Messages from The Hague - Ze'ev Schiff
    Two substantial messages have been sent by the ruling of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The first is that Israel has no right to determine how it should defend itself against terror. The second is that Israelis are never seen as victims. To a great extent, the decision grants a kind of indirect support for the suicide bombers. There are dozens of fences in areas of conflict the world over, but only the Israeli fence, which was built as a desperate response to the terrorism of the suicide bombers, interests the ICJ. (Ha'aretz)
  • Arafat and the ICJ - Dave Bender interviews Eran Lerman
    The International Court of Justice has retroactively decided to judge the Six-Day War of 1967 as a war of aggression, and that Israel is not entitled to do anything in the territories that came under Israeli control as a result of that war. The whole thing has been about [Arafat's effort] to bring Israel as fast as possible before a coercive international mechanism, rather than compromise. Arafat is not interested in a dialogue with Israeli public opinion. All he's interested in is the imposition of his version of international legitimacy on Israel. Former Israeli Intelligence Corps analyst Eran Lerman is director of the American Jewish Committee's Middle East office. (Access-Middle East)
  • Judges' Ruling Rewrites UN Charter on Self-Defense - Leanne Piggott
    The advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice has implications far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Buried in the text of its opinion is a bombshell that radically rewrites the rules of international law governing the inherent right of states to defend themselves and their citizens. The ICJ says this right is limited to self-defense in the case of armed attack "by one state against another state," although that limitation does not appear anywhere in the text of Article 51 itself. Article 51 recognizes that states have an inherent right of self-defense "if an armed attack occurs." It does not say that the armed attack must have been carried out by, or be attributable to, another state.
        The ICJ is now saying that if terrorists based in the territory of state A attack state B without the passive or active support of state A, state B may not have the right to defend itself from future attack by striking back at the terrorist base - despite Article 51. The writer is a lecturer in Middle East politics at the University of Sydney. (The Australian)
  • The ICJ: A Court with Bark But Little Bite - Marcel Berlins
    The rejection by Israel of the International Court of Justice's opinion is not the first time the court's view will be ignored by the losing party. In 1986, the court ruled that the U.S.'s military interventions in Nicaragua were contrary to international law, a decision totally ignored by the U.S. (Guardian-UK)
  • Observations:

    Why Israel Needs a Fence - Binyamin Netanyahu (New York Times)

    • Israel is not building the fence on territory that under international law can be properly called "Palestinian land." The fence is being built in disputed territories that Israel won in a defensive war in 1967 from a Jordanian occupation that was never recognized by the international community.
    • The fence is not a permanent political border but a temporary security barrier.
    • A line that is genuinely based on security would include as many Jews as possible and as few Palestinians as possible within the fence. Israel's security fence will include about 80% of Jews and only 1% of Palestinians who live within the disputed territories.
    • The West Bank security fence has already drastically reduced the number of suicide attacks.
    • The obstacle to peace is not the fence but Palestinian leaders who have yet to abandon terrorism and the illegitimate goal of destroying Israel. Should Israel reach a compromise with a future Palestinian leadership committed to peace, there will be no reason for a fence at all.
    • The Palestinians complain that their children are late to school because of the fence. But too many of our children never get to school - they are blown to pieces by terrorists who pass into Israel where there is still no fence.
    • Because the court's decision makes a mockery of Israel's right to defend itself, the government of Israel will ignore it. Israel will never sacrifice Jewish life on the debased altar of "international justice."

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