Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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August 10, 2004

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In-Depth Issues:

Inside the Zarqawi Network - Jonathan Schanzer (Weekly Standard)
    Bush administration officials claim that Jordanian-born Abu Musab al Zarqawi is the most dangerous terrorist in Iraq today.
    A memo from Iraqi intelligence sources detailing recent interrogations of Umar Baziyani, Zarqawi's number four - who was captured by U.S. forces in late May - provides a first glimpse into the configuration of Zarqawi's Iraqi network.
    The account details the hierarchal structure of Zarqawi's group, its ties to Syria and Iran, the number of fighters it commands in Iraq, the names of the regional emirs, its media strategy, and more.
    The town of al-Qaim, near the Syrian border, is said to be a depot for weapons, cash, and fighters supplied by Zarqawi's financiers - the bulk of whom are now believed by U.S. intelligence to be operating out of Syria.

Elite Veterans Prowl Pakistan - Rowan Scarborough (Washington Times)
    The U.S., on the hunt for bin Laden, is augmenting counterterror operations in Pakistan with scores of former special-operations warriors who work for the CIA and other agencies under contract.
    The stated U.S. policy is that no American troops are inside Pakistan, but Washington is getting around the ban by signing up former Delta Force commandos, SEALs, and Green Berets and assigning them to special duties in Pakistan.
    On the ideological front, Gen. Musharraf's government has begun dismantling the network of madrassas that teach the young to hate, replacing them with public schools funded by the U.S.

Palestinians Steal Jewish History - Itamar Marcus (Palestinian Media Watch/IMRA)
    On an educational program on PA TV, two senior PA historians took authentic Jewish history, documented by thousands of years of continuous literature, crossed out the word "Jewish" and replaced it with the word "Arab."
    Thus, the Hebrews of the Bible were Arabs, the Prophets of the Bible were Muslims, biblical King Solomon was a Muslim prophet, and Solomon's Temple was not built by Israelites but by Arab Canaanites.
    In fact, no Palestinian national history exists and the term "Palestine" historically has nothing to do with Arab identity.
    Most of the population only migrated into the country in the last century in search of work opportunities brought about by the Zionist movement.

Key Links

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Back Issues

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • New Generation of Al-Qaeda Leaders Emerging
    Al-Qaeda's upper ranks are being filled by lower-ranking members and more recent recruits, filling the vacuum created when its leaders are killed or captured, senior intelligence officials said Monday. (New York Times)
  • France Moves Fast To Expel Muslims Preaching Hatred
    France has taken one of the hardest lines of any Western country in fighting Islamic extremism. Few other democracies, including the U.S., have been as systematic and zealous as France in attempting to stamp out Islamic militancy. Midhat Guler is one of eight Muslim men France has expelled this year on the ground that they are preachers who foment anti-Western sentiment and violence in their sermons. These imams often have little religious education but a big influence over Muslim youths, the French government says.
        "Today, one can no longer separate terrorist acts from the words that feed them," Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin recently told the French Council of the Muslim Faith, an organization created last year to represent the interests of France's Muslims. The eight preachers France has expelled this year hail from four countries: Algeria, Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt. (Wall Street Journal, 9 Aug 04)
  • Danger Paves Road to Baghdad for Jordanian Truckers
    At least 100 Jordanian truck drivers have been killed since last year while bringing cargo into Iraq. The danger has grown so great that many Jordanian drivers will no longer take cargo to Iraq, especially if it is destined for the American military. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinians Open Fire on Israeli Bus, Three Injured - Amos Harel
    Three Israelis were lightly injured Tuesday after Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a bus and on several vehicles behind it traveling on the Trans-Samaria Highway near Barkan. IDF troops at the site found four Kalashnikov magazines and the remains of several explosive devices. The IDF said the terrorists had planned to bomb the bus. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Foils Suicide Bombing - Margot Dudkevitch
    Khaled Shashtari, 21, a member of the Fatah Tanzim, confessed to investigators that he headed to the Hawara roadblock near Nablus wearing an explosives belt, but was deterred by the large presence of IDF forces in the area due to terror warnings and opted to return home. He was arrested on July 27, according to information released by the Shin Bet on Monday. Shashtari said he was recruited by his brother Ahmed Shashtari, 20, to perpetrate the attack. Ahmed was arrested on July 28 after relatives informed authorities. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinian Inquiry Blames Arafat for Anarchy - Arnon Regular
    A Palestinian Legislative Council investigation of the anarchy in the PA found that the PA's leader, Yasser Arafat, has made no clear political decision to end it. Its report also calls for an end to Kassam rocket fire into Israel and attacks inside Israel, the resignation of the Qurei government, and general elections. (Ha'aretz)
  • Reporters Warned Not to Cover PA Chaos - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Several armed Palestinian militias in Gaza on Monday threatened to attack journalists working for the two largest Arab satellite networks, Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, because of their continued focus on the power struggle in the PA. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Egypt Unlikely to Train Gazans - Herb Keinon
    Egypt has no intention at this point of sending security specialists to train Palestinian officers in Gaza, according to Western diplomatic assessments. The Egyptians are raising unrealistic conditions, asking for Israeli and Palestinian guarantees that Egyptian security forces won't end up in the line of fire, and urging the U.S. to hold an Egyptian-Israeli-PA-U.S. conference on disengagement. Israel is against such a conference, arguing that disengagement is a unilateral Israeli move that does not need any kind of international conference.
        The assessments also warn that in light of the recent warming of bilateral ties between Jerusalem and Cairo, the Egyptians will most likely take an even more stridently anti-Israel position in international bodies, as a way of "balancing" their support for Israel's disengagement plan. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Arafat Survives for Now, Amid Divided Fatah Opposition - David Makovsky
    Arafat can claim to have won the latest round in the power struggle taking place inside the West Bank and Gaza. In addition to intimidating foes and mollifying allies, Arafat has skillfully used his iconic status as a symbol of Palestinian nationalism to retain unquestioned political preeminence. Yet, the taboo of direct criticism of Arafat's control and corruption has been shattered. The more Palestinians are able to distinguish between Arafat the symbol and Arafat the leader, the harder it will be for him to divert criticism. The writer is director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Palestinians Being Used in "Europe's Hidden War Against the U.S." - Beth R. Alexander
    According to Ilka Schroeder, a former member of the European Parliament, Palestinians are being used as "cannon fodder for Europe's hidden war against the U.S." The Berlin-born Schroeder, 26, spent the major part of her five-year term in Brussels challenging the way the PA spends EU funds, some of which is used to support terrorist activities against Israel. "The Europeans supported the Palestinian Authority with the aim of becoming its main sponsor," she said, "and through this, challenge the U.S. and present themselves as the future global power. Therefore, the al-Aqsa intifada should be understood as a proxy war between Europe and the United States....You have only to see the exhibitions on Israel and Palestine in the European Parliament's foyer - where Israel is accused of sociocide and branded as an apartheid state - to know which side the EU is on."
        The EU's primary goal, Schroeder said, is the internationalization of the conflict to underscore the need for its own mediating role. The oil-dependent Europeans, with sizable Muslim minorities, want a sphere of influence in the Middle East independent of Washington. (UPI)
  • Turkey's Chill Further Isolates Israel - Henri J. Barkey
    Turkey's harsher attitude toward Israel coincides with an unprecedented anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic diatribe in the Turkish press. Conspiracy theories abound about Israel's abilities and intentions everywhere in the world. A recent column in Turkey's most pro-government paper claimed that the events in Darfur, Sudan, were the result of Israel's desire to claim the waters of the Nile. In August 1999, Israeli rescue teams were the first on the ground after a terrible earthquake in Turkey, and were credited with saving many lives. Today, those efforts have disappeared from the collective Turkish memory. The writer was on the State Department's policy planning staff (1998-2000). (Los Angeles Times)
  • Observations:

    Is the UN Biased Against Israel? - Dore Gold (Jerusalem Report, 9 Aug 04)

    • It's not only Israel. The UN doesn't deal fairly with a variety of peoples who can't muster the political clout necessary to get their case heard: Tibetan Buddhists, or Iraqi Kurds, or non-Arab Muslims in Darfur, Sudan. There are peoples whose rights have been systematically ignored and whose security has been imperiled because of the political constellation in the UN.
    • Israel is especially vulnerable because it's not a member of a regional group. If a country decides to arbitrarily attack the Netherlands, the EU will coalesce and protect the Dutch. The same thing will happen if there is an assault on Benin, a member of the Organization of African Unity. Israel is alone. Its primary alliance, with the U.S., is only relevant in the Security Council, not in the General Assembly or in the Commission for Human Rights.
    • Is there any hope for improvement? Only if there is a fundamental reform of the UN. In a domestic political system, you would have a body protecting the rights of minorities - the system would not tolerate a situation in which some had rights that were denied to others. But for years, Israel has been denied equal rights at the UN. It has been denied membership on the Security Council or on the UN's Economic and Social Council - it can't even be nominated because it's not a member of a regional group. That has been partly addressed in recent years, but the UN should have an internal mechanism that makes sure everyone gets fair treatment.

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