Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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August 13, 2004

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In-Depth Issue:

Palestinians Mislead UN on Youth's Death (Reuters)
    Israel accused the Palestinian Authority on Thursday of misleading the UN by including a youth gunned down by Palestinian militants on a list of people killed by Israeli forces.
    Hassan Jamil el-Zaneen, a teenage resident of the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, was killed by Palestinian militants on July 22 after he tried to stop them from using his family's yard to fire Kassam rockets into Israel.
    An Aug. 9 letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan from Palestinian UN observer Nasser al-Kidwa listed the boy among the Palestinian "martyrs" "killed by the Israeli occupying forces" between July 8 and Aug. 6.
    Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said in a letter to Annan that the allegation that el-Zaneen was killed by Israeli armed forces was "blatantly false."
    "The international community is very familiar with the perverse misrepresentations and outright fabrications in Palestinian statements," Gillerman's letter said.

Dahlan: PA Finances, Arms Fatah Gangs - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Former PA security minister Mohammed Dahlan on Thursday told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that at least two Fatah militias, the Jenin Martyrs Brigades and the Abu Rish Brigades, were financed and armed by the PA leadership, and that Arafat was aware of this.
    Dahlan accused veteran members of the Fatah Central Committee of stealing large sums of money: "There are people in the Fatah Central Council who are costing the Palestinians tens of thousands of dollars. Arafat knows who they are and they know themselves."

British Muslims Intercepted on Way to Join al-Sadr in Iraq - Colin Brown and Marie Woolf (Independent-UK)
    Patrick Mercer, the opposition spokesman on homeland security, said Wednesday that two British Muslim men were recently stopped by the security services from going to Iraq to join al-Sadr's Mehdi Army, and that they were terrorists and were committing treason.

Lebanon Suspends Naturalization Decree (Khaleej Times-Dubai)
    The issue of a Lebanese naturalization decree issued 10 years ago under which some 3,000 foreigners, including thousands of Palestinians, were given Lebanese citizenship, has resurfaced again.
    The government will soon issue another decree which will strip thousands of naturalized Lebanese of their citizenship.

Economy: July Demand for Information Technology Staff Up 123% over Last Year - Michal Raveh (Globes)
    The increase in demand for high-tech personnel encompassed all professions.
    The rise was most striking for network managers and support personnel - 384%, compared with July 2003.
    The second steepest rise was 345% for hardware engineers, followed by 258% for programmers, 240% for managers, and 209% for software engineers.

The Smart Money Is On Israel, Again - Harry Langman (Forward)
    Last year, total foreign investment in Israeli companies was 61% higher than in 2002 and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rose 50%.
    After four years of negative economic news, the smart money is investing in Israel.

Useful Reference:

Two Important Documentaries on Internet
    Author Phyllis Chesler has posted two documentaries by French documentarian Pierre Rehov.
    The Road to Jenin is a powerful rebuttal to claims of Israeli atrocities in Jenin. It documents the IDF's caution when dealing with Palestinian civilians.
    The Silent Exodus documents the expulsion of nearly 900,000 Jews from Arab lands after Israel's War for Independence in 1948.
    (Films Copyright Pierre Rehov Contre-Champs 2004)

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Rebel Iraqi Cleric al-Sadr Reportedly Injured
    Radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was wounded in the U.S. bombardment of Najaf, spokesmen for al-Sadr said on Friday. (Reuters/New York Times)
        See also Iranians Caught Fighting for al-Sadr
    Security officials in Baghdad Thursday were investigating the background of 30 Iranians caught fighting for a rebel Shia cleric in Iraq, amid mounting concern over the involvement of the Tehran regime in the uprising. Two trucks laden with weapons destined for al-Sadr were stopped at the Iranian border on Wednesday. Sabbah Kaddim, a senior adviser at Iraq's ministry of the interior, said, "There has been a continuous stream of vehicles over the last few weeks trying to ferry arms across the border from Iran." (Guardian-UK)
  • White House Warns of Terror Strike
    The Bush administration believes more strongly than ever that al-Qaeda terrorists plan a massive pre-election attack in August or September, a White House official said Thursday. Administration officials said they believe at least part of the plot has been disrupted with recent arrests and computers seizures. Nevertheless, the official referred to "the pre-election plot" and said the government has intelligence in which suspected terrorists "were talking about the election." "They took an enormous boost from the outcome of the Spanish election," an official said. In Spain, the ruling party was thrown out in March after terrorist train bombings killed 191 people three days before the election. (Washington Post)
        See also In War on Terror, An Expanding Citizens' Brigade
    Off the nation's coasts, recreational boaters scan the waters for "suspicious" acts. Manhattan's doormen learn how to spot packages that may contain biological weapons. In Pennsylvania, amusement park operators train to recognize unusual phone calls or inappropriate requests for information. Call them the new "first responders" in the war on terror. Average Americans, from truck drivers to handymen, are increasingly standing sentry, swelling the ranks of a citizens' army, always poised and on guard. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • White House Urged Broader Israeli Withdrawal
    The Bush administration played a major behind-the-scenes role in pressing Israel to broaden a planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to include four Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said Thursday. That and other changes were the price Israel had to pay for securing President Bush's written endorsement of the plan in a letter he presented to Prime Minister Sharon in Washington in April, Ayalon said. "We were thinking just of Gaza. They suggested [some withdrawal] from the West Bank. I think this is a very major change....We agreed to modify our they really had their imprint," he said.
        Ayalon said intense American involvement in the peace process is not always necessary. "Nobody could have been more involved than President Clinton, and it didn't work. It's not a matter of American involvement that is a major factor in success," he said. "It's a matter of having a partner." (Washington Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinian Terrorist Murders Israeli in West Bank Shooting Attack
    A Palestinian terrorist murdered one Israeli and wounded another in a shooting attack on an Israeli vehicle near the back gate of Itamar in Samaria. The terrorist then began to make his way into the settlement but was killed by the local emergency response team. (Jerusalem Post/Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinian Sniper Wounds Soldier in Gaza - Amos Harel, Arnon Regular, and Jonathan Lis
    An IDF soldier was seriously injured by Palestinian sniper fire south of Rafah in the Gaza Strip Thursday while troops were searching for arms-smuggling tunnels. In addition, Palestinians set off a bomb near Rachel's Tomb, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
        Three of the Border Policemen who were injured in Wednesday's bombing at a checkpoint just north of Jerusalem are still in intensive care and are receiving oxygen. Nadim Herev and David Seidov, both 24, were struck in the head by shrapnel from the bomb; David Ben Lulu, 19, had to have one of his legs amputated above the knee. (Ha'aretz)
  • Olmert's Comments on Further West Bank Withdrawal Enrage Sharon - Gil Hoffman and Matthew Gutman
    Prime Minister Sharon reacted with fury on Thursday at Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Ehud Olmert's statements about Israel withdrawing from more than the four West Bank settlements in Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan. "Where did he get this nonsense?" Sharon said. "There is no plan other than the disengagement plan. What Olmert said is against my position and we have no intention of getting into such ideas."
        Olmert reportedly said, "The four settlements the government intends to evacuate in northern Samaria within the framework of the disengagement plan will not be the only ones....If we find ourselves in a long-standing process, we will evacuate many settlements." (Jerusalem Post)
        See also PM Said Angry over Olmert's Remarks on Evacuation - Aluf Benn, Nadav Shragai, and Gideon Alon
    The comments provoked great interest, as last year Olmert mentioned a unilateral pullback before Sharon adopted the idea publicly. (Ha'aretz)
        See also How a Zionist Hawk Grew His New Dovish Feathers - Joseph Berger (New York Times)
  • IDF General: Israel Could Return Golan to Syria One Day
    Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, the army's chief of staff, suggested Israel could turn over the Golan via a peace agreement with Syria without undue security risk. "If you ask me, theoretically, if it is possible to reach an agreement with Syria in which there is balance, then I can answer that when considering military requirements it is possible to reach an agreement by giving up the Golan Heights," he was quoted by the daily Yediot Ahronot. (Reuters/Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Numbers Game - Amos Harel
    Since the beginning of the year, 71 Israelis have been killed in terrorist attacks. Last year in the same period, 121 Israelis were killed. This is happening precisely at a time when Hamas wants to avenge the assassinations of its leaders, when the Palestinian organizations are competing over which of them will expel Israel from the Gaza Strip, and when the Lebanon-based Hizballah is putting heavy pressure on terror activists in the territories to kill more Jews.
        The proportion of those killed in the West Bank fell from 29% to 13%, while the proportion of those killed in the Gaza Strip increased from 11% to 38%. The Shin Bet is now in control on the ground to a degree that compares favorably even with the period of direct Israeli occupation of the West Bank, prior to the Oslo Accords. Accurate information exists about the overwhelming majority of terrorist cells, enabling the IDF to arrest wanted individuals night after night. (Ha'aretz)
  • Battered by Israeli Attacks, Hamas Focuses on Survival - Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
    The Islamic militant group Hamas these days is but a shadow on Palestinian streets it once ruled with Kalashnikovs and the Koran. Its key leaders are dead, slain in Israeli missile strikes. Its fighters are on the run. But Hamas is likely to regenerate. In summer camps across the Gaza Strip, children wear T-shirts glorifying the death last spring of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin. Behind the scenes, Hamas gunmen still have enough money to pay $7 a bullet to arms merchants. Yet Hamas ''isn't what it used to be,'' said Israeli military spokesman Capt. Jacob Dalal. "In the past, they could spend 24 hours a day coordinating their cells; now they are spending 23 hours a day figuring out how to hide.'' (Knight Ridder/Miami Herald)
  • The Thin Green Line - George Neumayr
    The UN and EU are threatening to sanction Israel for constructing a security fence even as the Palestinians engage in terrorist acts that necessitate it. The UN regards the Israeli security fence as an affront to humanitarianism. But given the proximity of the West Bank to Israel, the fence is just basic common sense. Israelis living next to Palestinian militants without a fence would be like Americans letting al-Qaeda set up shop in Newark. (American Spectator)
  • Al-Qaeda's U.S. Network - Arnaud de Borchgrave
    Check the stats. Islamist extremists in the world as estimated by moderate Muslim leaders: about 12 million. Fundamentalist sympathizers: 120 million. Those numbers represent 1% and 10% of the world's Muslim population of 1.2 billion. The CIA puts the extremists much higher - 40 million. Germany has 8,000 mosques, according to German intelligence officials, to minister to a Turkish minority of 2.4 million and some 500,000 North African Muslims. France has some 10,000 mosques for 6 million North Africans; the U.S. about 2,000. Beyond normal Friday prayers in Western mosques, there is a common anti-American political message, virulent in Europe, more subtle and discreet in the U.S. (Washington Times)

    Weekend Features:

  • 36 Israeli Athletes Go to Olympics
    Arik Ze'evi, a three-time European Judoka champion, will march at the head of an Israeli delegation at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens on Friday. Since it first competed at the Games in Helsinki in 1952, Israel has won a total of four medals. (Ha'aretz)
        See also The Elusive Gold - Frankie Sachs (Jerusalem Post)
  • 230 North American Jews Move to Israel
    Some 230 North American Jews immigrated to Israel on Wednesday in one of three planeloads of North American immigrants to arrive over the last few weeks sponsored by the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B'Nefesh. More than 1,500 North American Jewish immigrants are scheduled to arrive this summer. (AP/Ha'aretz)
        See also Fifteen North American Doctors Move to Israel - Melissa Radler
    15 doctors are moving to Israel this summer in memory of a slain American-Israeli colleague, Dr. David Applebaum. Applebaum, the late director of emergency services at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Hospital and a U.S. immigrant who had devoted his life to helping others, was killed last September, along with his daughter Nava, in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also U.S. Doctor Recalled as Mensch, ER Revolutionary - Sam Ser (Jerusalem Post)
  • Park Plan a Small Gain for Arab-Israeli Relations - Ken Ellingwood
    Since the 1980s, Israeli officials have wanted to develop a national park around Nahal Tsalmon in rural Galilee, but were unable to do so because Arab families live inside the proposed boundaries. With the help of U.S.-trained mediators, the sides reached an unusual agreement last month that should allow the 900-acre park to be built and the half-dozen homes to remain inside. Perhaps for the first time, a public dispute over land in Israel has been solved through mediation. (Boston Globe)
  • Emotional Wounds That Never Heal - Nathan Durst
    The German compensation laws (Wiedergutmachung) were discriminatory in nature. This was partly based on the lack of knowledge of the long-term after-effects of specific trauma, but even more so because of the unwillingness of German physicians to understand and accept the harm the Holocaust inflicted upon the survivors. The implementation of the measures taken could have been done much more effectively and less harmfully, more humanely and with more respect toward the Holocaust survivors. (Jewish Political Studies Review)
  • Observations:

    Terror's Financiers: Get Serious About the Saudi Connection - Neal M. Sher (Jerusalem Post)

    • Saudi Arabia has for years been engaged in a criminal conspiracy to give aid, comfort, and material support to mass murderers. Last week Attorney General Ashcroft announced that a Dallas-based "charity" - the Holy Land Foundation - and seven of its officials had been indicted for supporting Hamas. The Saudi government, our supposed ally, has in reality been the Holy Land Foundation's partner in crime.
    • Ashcroft warned that the Holy Land Foundation prosecution makes clear that "[t]here is no distinction between those who carry out terrorist attacks and those who knowingly finance terrorist attacks...the United States will ensure that both terrorists and their financiers meet the same, certain justice."
    • A key element to the indictment is the charge of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to finance the outlawed Hamas by providing funds earmarked for the families of suicide murderers. Through such support, the indictment reads, the defendants "effectively rewarded past and encouraged future suicide bombings and terrorist activities."
    • Before its demise, Saddam's Iraq proudly gave $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers. His partner in what the U.S. government considers to be a serious crime was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Not some rogue Saudis, not a fringe element. No, the Saudi government itself.
    • There is iron-clad, irrefutable evidence in the form of documentation captured in 2002 from Palestinian Authority offices by Israel that leaves no doubt that under the auspices and control of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, large sums of money were directed through Hamas to support families of terrorists known to have carried out suicide bombings. Indeed, the documents actually provide the names of those involved. Among the beneficiaries of Saudi largesse was at least one family of a terrorist who murdered an American.
    • So under the very standards established by our government, the Saudi regime has gotten away with supporting and facilitating mass murder.

      The writer is a former executive director of AIPAC and former director of the Office of Special Investigations in the U.S. Justice Department.

        See also Dollars for Terror - Rachel Ehrenfeld
    According to Palestinian documents seized by the IDF, the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Intifada al-Quds, run by Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abd al-Aziz, "reported the transfer of $55.7 million mostly to the families of suicide bombers and to the families of imprisoned or injured Palestinian militants." The Saudis transferred some of these funds in riyals to the Arab Bank's branch on Madison Avenue in New York, which in turn "laundered the money" and forwarded the sum in dollars to the Arab Bank branch in Ramallah.
        The Arab Bank, the biggest bank in Jordan, was identified by Spanish authorities as having transferred money from the al-Qaeda cell in Spain to members involved in the September 11 attacks, of having wired money to al-Qaeda members in Yemen and Pakistan, and has since been conducting its Palestinian terror financing in public - Hamas openly solicits donations, posting account numbers in the Arab Bank on its Internet site. The writer is director of the American Center for Democracy. (FrontPageMagazine)

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