Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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September 3, 2004

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In-Depth Issue:

Wahhabi Follower Behind Russian Hostage Crisis - Simon Saradzhyan and Simon Ostrovsky (Moscow Times)
    The attackers who took more than 300 people hostage at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, in Russia have demanded the withdrawal of federal troops from Chechnya and the release of insurgents jailed after bloody raids in Ingushetia in June.
    The group is probably being led by Magomed Yevloyev, an ethnic Ingush and follower of the radical Islam Wahhabi movement, RIA-Novosti reported, citing law enforcement officials.

Palestinian Prisoners End Hunger Strike - Steven Erlanger (New York Times)
    After 18 days, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails called off their hunger strike on Thursday, and while Palestinian officials tried to put on a brave face, there was little doubt that they had suffered a significant defeat.
    Yaakov Ganot, head of the Prisons Service, said the strike was set to fail since the various Palestinian terrorist factions could not succeed in uniting. "Hamas and Islamic Jihad barely succeeded in getting the Fatah to join the strike," he said. (Jerusalem Post)

Iraq's UK Envoy: Growing Support for Ties with Israel - Sharon Sadeh (Ha'aretz)
    Dr. Salah al-Shaikhly, the new Iraqi ambassador to Great Britain, said Thursday that a powerful lobby is developing in Baghdad to promote the idea of diplomatic relations with Israel.
    He said the issue will be raised after the general elections, and "now is not the right time."

Iraqi "Sleeper" Spy Arrested in U.S. - Natasha Korecki (Chicago Sun-Times)
    Sami Khoshaba Latchin, 57, of Des Plaines, Illinois, an alleged Iraqi "sleeper" who was planted in the U.S. by Saddam Hussein's spy service, was arrested Monday and charged with making false statements to U.S. immigration officials when applying for citizenship in 1998.
    U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said Latchin traveled overseas to meet with the Mukhabbarat, the intelligence arm of the former Iraqi government, in 1994, 1996, and 1999.
    Assistant U.S. Attorney James Conway said Latchin was a "spy" and a "sleeper" who "Iraqi intelligence assigned to assimilate himself into our culture and become a U.S. citizen."

Five Acquitted in '94 Bombing of Argentina Jewish Center - Larry Rohter (New York Times)
    The trial of four Argentine police officers and a car thief, accused of providing the vehicle used in a deadly terrorist bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, ended Thursday in the acquittal of all the defendants.
    The attack on the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association on July 18, 1994, killed 85 people and wounded more than 300.

UN Seeks Tighter Sanctions as Qaeda Skirts Money Controls - Warren Hoge (New York Times)
    Al-Qaeda no longer needs large sums of money to mount terror attacks and is consequently able to finance its actions in less detectable ways, said Ambassador Heraldo Munoz of Chile, the chairman of a UN panel examining the effectiveness of arms and travel embargoes against people and organizations tied to the terror group, on Monday.
    The committee's report said that al-Qaeda had spent less than $50,000 on each of its attacks since 9/11, and no longer had to pay $10-20 million a year to its Taliban hosts in Afghanistan.
    The report said the attacks in March on commuter trains in Madrid cost only $10,000, while suicide truck bombings in Istanbul in November cost less than $40,000.
    According to the 9/11 commission, the Sept. 11 plot cost $400,000 to $500,000.

Palestinian Suicide Bomber Dies in Gaza (AFP)
    A would-be Palestinian suicide bomber was killed by his own explosives after he was shot by Israeli soldiers near the Gaza Strip's Karni crossing, sources on both sides said.
    "Soldiers fired at two suspects who penetrated a forbidden zone and were approaching the fence" surrounding the Gaza Strip, an Israeli military spokesman said.
    Palestinian witnesses confirmed the explosion took place after the man was shot.

PA Announces Local Elections (AP/Jerusalem Post)
    The PA Thursday announced that local elections will be held December 9 in 36 municipalities.
    Municipal elections were last held in the West Bank in 1976.

India to Tie Up with Israel, U.S. for E-Warfare Systems (Express India)
    India will be collaborating with Israel and the U.S. to develop nano-materials and hi-tech components needed for electronic warfare systems.
    "Israel is very strong in sensors and packaging. We would like to work on fiber-optic gyros and micro-electromechanical systems," the outgoing chief of India's Defense Research and Development Organization, Dr. V.K. Aatre, said Tuesday.

    See also Russian Disapproval to Cost Israel Contract with India (Sun-India)
    Israel Aircraft Industries and the Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems may lose a possible contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars with the Indian Navy for upgrading eight anti-submarine planes due to Russian refusal to participate.
    Russian participation and consent is required since it supplied the Tupolev TU-142 planes to be upgraded.

For Some French Emigrants, Israel Really Is the Promised Land - Matt Rees (TIME)
    Paul Zerah, 46, brought his wife and two youngsters to Israel from Paris two weeks ago. "I was afraid for my children there," he says.
    In July alone, 800 French Jews immigrated, and an Israeli university study recently predicted 30,000 will eventually make the switch.
    See also Fed Up in France: Are Anti-Semitic Attacks Triggering a New Exodus? - James Graff (TIME)
    Disturbed by the increasing pace of attacks against Jews and their property in France, Alain Elbeze, 52, has resolved to move with his wife and five children to Israel.
    "Look at this," he says, gesturing at the barriers erected in front of his synagogue in Paris. "I didn't have to grow up with this, and I don't want my kids to have to."
    Today many feel under siege from the country's 6 million-strong Muslim population.

Virginian Sheriff to Study Counter-Terrorism from Israelis - Surae Chinn (
    The Bedford County, Va., Sheriff is heading overseas to learn more about counter-terrorism.
    Sheriff Mike Brown and 40 other public safety and law enforcement personnel will train with the Israeli police and intelligence - plus work with their bomb squad undercover units to learn more about suicide bombers.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • White House Aware of Probe When Bush, Rice Praised AIPAC
    Over two years ago, U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley, were "apprised of the counterintelligence investigation of AIPAC" by the FBI regarding whether classified information was passed to Israel, Washington's closest ally in the Middle East, by the pro-Israel lobbying group, a senior administration official said Thursday. Since the White House National Security Council was informed of the case, Bush, Rice, and other senior administration officials have praised AIPAC. In May, Bush said AIPAC was "serving the cause of America," including its role in highlighting "the threat posed by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons." In March 2003, Rice called AIPAC "a great asset to our country."
        "Apparently nothing turned up during this rigorous two-year probe of AIPAC's activities to deter President Bush from addressing AIPAC's policy conference on May 18, 2004. Nor has information surfaced that has prevented scores of other administration and congressional leaders from speaking regularly and candidly with AIPAC officials," the group said in a statement. The group has had high-level contacts with the Bush White House, as well as previous U.S. administrations. (Reuters)
        See also AIPAC Defiant Over FBI Probe of Alleged Leak - Janine Zacharia
    "It is surely inconceivable that if any shred of evidence of disloyalty or even negligence on AIPAC's part had been discovered in the course of the type of meticulous scrutiny as described by the Washington Post, it would have not been tolerated by American law enforcement or ignored by the president, his national security adviser, and other top officials of the U.S. government," the AIPAC statement said. So far no one has been charged with any wrongdoing in the case. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Wider FBI Probe of Pentagon Leaks Includes Chalabi
    FBI counterintelligence agents are investigating whether several Pentagon officials leaked classified information to Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, according to a law enforcement official and other people familiar with the case. (Washington Post)
        See also Israel Has Long Spied on U.S., Say Officials
    Israel secretly maintains a large and active intelligence-gathering operation in the U.S. that has long attempted to recruit U.S. officials as spies and to procure classified documents, U.S. government officials said. FBI and other counterespionage agents, in turn, have covertly followed, bugged, and videotaped Israeli diplomats and intelligence officers, the officials said.
        Israel's unique status as an extremely close U.S. ally presents a dilemma for U.S. counterintelligence officials. "They probably get 98% of everything they want handed to them on a weekly basis," said a former senior U.S. intelligence officer who has worked closely with Israeli intelligence. "They're very active allies. They're treated the way the British are." Another former intelligence operative who has worked with Israeli intelligence said, "The relationship with Israeli intelligence is as intimate as it gets."
        Officials said Israel was acutely interested in U.S. policies and intelligence on the Middle East, especially toward Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. In 1997 and 1998, the FBI investigated whether Scott Ritter, then a U.S. intelligence official working with UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, was improperly delivering U.S. spy-plane film and other secret material to Israeli intelligence. Ritter was never charged in the case. (Los Angeles Times)
        See also below Commentary: The Evidence, Please - Editorial (Los Angeles Times)
  • UN Tells Syria to Quit Lebanon
    A U.S.-drafted resolution telling Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and warning against foreign interference in Beirut's presidential election squeaked through the UN Security Council Thursday. The council voted 9-0 with six abstentions - the minimum vote possible - to adopt the resolution after the U.S. and co-sponsor France agreed under pressure not to mention Syria by name, although it is the only country with foreign forces in Lebanon. Angola, Benin, Britain, Chile, Germany, Romania, and Spain joined in voting in favor of the resolution while Algeria, Brazil, China, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Russia abstained. "The Lebanese parliament and the Lebanese cabinet should express the will of the Lebanese people through a free and fair presidential electoral process. What the Lebanese people and we have witnessed over the past week in terms of Syrian actions is a crude mockery of this principle," U.S. Ambassador John Danforth told the council. (Reuters/CNN)
        See also Syria Flexes Muscle in Lebanon (Christian Science Monitor)
  • U.S.: Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself
    Asked about Syria and terrorism Thursday, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher responded: "When you have something like the bombings that occurred [Tuesday]...Israel has a right to defend itself and we don't - they don't come to us and we don't approve of Israeli military operations. So that's not a subject of discussion. But we ourselves have made clear our concerns about Syria's support for various groups." (State Department)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinian Rockets Land Near Kindergarten in Israel - Shmulik Hadad and Tova Dadon
    Palestinians fired two Kassam rockets at the Negev city of Sderot Friday. The rockets landed near the Afikim kindergarten at an hour when the children were arriving. Five people were treated for shock. (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew)
  • Steinitz: Egypt Wants to See Us Bleed - Arieh O'Sullivan
    Egypt's policy toward arming Palestinians is just like Syria's arming of Hizballah, only the Egyptians are going about it more quietly, said the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Yuval Steinitz. "It's crystal clear that Egypt supports terrorism against Israel by enabling Hamas and others to transform Sinai into their logistical rear," he said. "The real policy of Egypt is to get the Israelis and Palestinians to bleed together."
        According to data provided by Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter, in the past 18 months Egypt has allowed arms smugglers in the Sinai to bring 5,000 rifles, 330 anti-tank rocket launchers, several hundred RPG rockets, many mortars, and millions of bullets and other kinds of munitions into the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "You don't take 5,000 Kalashnikovs in a few suitcases. You take them with many, many trucks and jeeps. So it is not something that a country can ignore," Steinitz said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • High-Level Turkish Team Visits - Herb Keinon
    A delegation of top-level aides to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan left Israel Thursday after reassuring the Israeli government there is no crisis in Israeli-Turkish ties. The fact that the prime minister dispatched the team to Israel is seen in Jerusalem as an attempt by Erdogan to patch up ties after a tense few months of harsh public criticism of Israel by the Turkish prime minister. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Evidence, Please - Editorial
    It used to be that the FBI enjoyed a fearsome reputation for ferreting out traitors and spies. But in recent years, its selective persecution has exposed a bureau too often better at making headlines than convictions. It's useful to keep those travesties in mind as Washington is convulsed by reports of a new FBI spy investigation. Mid-level Pentagon official Larry Franklin is said to be under suspicion of supplying classified documents on Iran policy to AIPAC, which allegedly handed them over to Israel. As exciting as this story line may be, the evidence that has emerged in the last week also suggests a more prosaic conclusion: Franklin may be guilty mostly of carelessness. Maybe the FBI has come up with damning evidence that Franklin is something other than the bland civil servant he appears to be. But so far, the bureau's most amazing feat is to have made Franklin interesting. (Los Angeles Times)
  • End the Occupation of Lebanon - Editorial
    Syria's despot Bashar Assad has been busy deciding who should be Lebanon's next president. Syria has ruled Lebanon as an Assad family fief for the past 28 years. Syria invaded Lebanon in 1976, claiming to be helping to end the country's then year-old civil war. With their "help," that civil war lasted another 15 years. Even after peace came in 1991, Syrian troops stayed on, in violation of Resolution 520, adopted in 1980, that called for respect for Lebanese sovereignty and the "political independence of Lebanon." The Syrians are also flouting the 1989 Taif accords that allowed a continued military presence for no more than two years to restore order in the country. Syria allows the terrorist organization Hizballah to occupy the south, which it uses as a base to attack Israel and to train and equip other terrorist groups.
        Lebanon was once a land of promise, a vibrant democratic society known as the "Paris of the Middle East." Forcing Syria out of the country and restoring its former freedom would take a quickly recovering Lebanon a step closer to realizing its full promise. It would also be a victory in the war on terror. (Wall Street Journal Europe, 2 Sep 04)
  • Making Terrorists Pay - and Pay - Vivian Bercovici
    On Feb. 25, 1996, Ira Weinstein, 53, boarded the No. 18 bus in Jerusalem. Moments later, the bus exploded. Hassan Sulameh, a Hamas commander trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, allegedly planned the attack. Tel Aviv attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner filed a civil suit against Iran for damages for pain and suffering in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 2000 on behalf of the Weinstein family, dual American and Israeli citizens.
        After the court found for the Weinsteins, Darshan-Leitner worked with legislators and the insurance industry to negotiate an amendment to the U.S. Insurance Act enabling an injured party to collect damages from a state that allegedly sponsors terrorism. Six months after the statute was amended, the State Department provided the information regarding frozen Iranian bank accounts, and the Weinsteins, incredibly, received $7 million from the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Toronto Star)
  • War Against America - Barry Rubin
    For the first time in history, states in the Middle East are conducting a systematic, covert war against the U.S. The war is being conducted in Iraq, mainly by Iran, but also by Syria. In both cases, groups are being encouraged to attack and kill Americans. If Damascus and Teheran can get away with waging a direct war against America - at a time when U.S. power and regional presence is at a peak - how much credibility and deterrence will the U.S. have against radical regimes?
        Syria is also suspected of hiding high-ranking Saddamist officials and weapons and of concealing mass-destruction materiel. Iran had suspicious ties with al-Qaeda after it was driven out of Afghanistan. At a minimum, it gave safe passage to anti-American terrorists and is probably allowing them to operate from its soil. In addition, it is busily developing nuclear weapons and will soon have them, as well as the missiles to deliver them to distant targets. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Saudis Fight Militancy with Jobs - Scott Wilson
    The government of Saudi Arabia is drawing on a multibillion-dollar oil windfall to place hundreds of thousands of young Saudis in jobs traditionally held by foreigners, betting that greater economic opportunities in the kingdom will counter the rising Islamic militancy challenging the royal family. Millions of dollars are flowing into job-training, technical schools, and cash incentives for Saudi companies to hire local citizens in a process known as "Saudization," as some of the foreigners who have long been the backbone of the kingdom's private-sector labor force are returning home. (Washington Post)
  • 9/11 Study: Saudis Long Ignored Al-Qaeda Funding - John Crewdson
    In the years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the government of Saudi Arabia "turned a blind eye to the financing of al-Qaeda by prominent religious and business leaders and organizations," according to the most comprehensive study of terrorist financing ever made public. Those conclusions, the most pointed critique from any official U.S. source of the still-hazy Saudi role in financing Islamic terrorist attacks, are contained in a new study by the staff of the independent commission that recently concluded its investigation of the circumstances surrounding Sept. 11, 2001. (Chicago Tribune)
        See also The 9/11 Commission Report - Matthew A. Levitt
    The 9/11 Commission Report's analysis identifies the enemy not as "terrorism" or "Islam" but "Islamist terrorism," a perversion of Islam, and recognizes the need not only to dismantle terror networks, but to defeat the ideology that supports them. Yet the report's recommendations regarding policy toward the Middle East are broad and undefined. The report identifies the removal of terrorist sanctuaries as a paramount tactical objective, but never prescribes a means of removing sanctuaries without empowering the very "repressive political regimes" it seeks to reform. The writer is a senior fellow in terrorism studies at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (
  • Egyptians Test Waters in Anticipation of Reform - Daniel Williams
    In Cairo, activists of all stripes - left, right, and Islamic - are testing the limits of political activity in anticipation of major reform in Egypt. Mubarak's government tolerates officially registered opposition groups, but many unofficial organizations have begun operating since a cautious liberalization of laws on association in the late 1990s. Still, fear of a crackdown is often evident when opposition groups meet. (Washington Post)
  • How Strong Is the Arab Claim to Palestine? - Lawrence Auster
    The myth hanging over all discussion of the Palestinian problem is that this land was "Arab" land taken from its native inhabitants by invading Jews. As a strictly legal matter, the Jews didn't take Palestine from the Arabs; they took it from the British, and the British don't want it back. Before that, it was a province of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years, and the Turks don't want it back. So any Arab claim to sovereignty based on inherited historical control will not stand up. Arabs are not native to Palestine but come from Arabia, the historic home of the Arabs.
        The Palestinian claim to be descended from Canaanites is an invention that came after the 1964 founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Prior to 1964 there was no "Palestinian" people and no "Palestinian" claim to Palestine; the Arab nations who sought to overrun and destroy Israel in 1948 planned to divide up the territory among themselves. (FrontPageMagazine)
  • Jihad, Apocalypse, and Anti-Semitism - An Interview with Richard Landes by Manfred Gerstenfeld
    The main goal of modern Jihadism - a cataclysmic apocalyptic movement - is Islam's dominance over the world. Jihad, the millennial war, emerges in most places where Muslim majorities share a border with another culture. It also expresses itself in demopathy, or the invocation of civil society's values to undermine the Western democratic society from within. There is a significant overlap between the religious Hamas and the "secular" PLO in their use of apocalyptic rhetoric. Its characteristics include global conspiracy theory, total war, virulent anti-Semitism, contempt for human life, and child sacrifice. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Peace and Non-Fiction - Adam Chandler
    You've probably heard that Israel - the only democracy in the Middle East - is building a fence to safeguard its citizens against suicide bombers. What you likely won't hear about is how the fence has saved scores of civilian lives from a hail of suicide attacks. You also won't hear that Israeli courts put forth a ruling to ensure that the route of the fence minimizes Palestinian hardships. And you certainly won't hear that while 75% of Palestinians live below the poverty line now, before waves of suicide bombers were sent to murder Israelis, Palestinian unemployment stood at an all-time low, its GDP stood at an all-time high, and its level of civility with Israel stood then unmatched. (George Washington University Hatchet)

    Weekend Features:

  • Bombed Israeli Bus to Come to Berkeley - Martin Snapp
    The mangled wreckage of a bus destroyed by a suicide bomber in Israel is coming to Berkeley, and local pro-Palestinian groups are crying foul. Yet Susanne DeWitt, chairwoman of Israeli Action Committee of the East Bay, explains: "This bus is about terrorism, period. People need to see what terrorism really looks like."
        The bomber attacked the bus, Jerusalem No. 19, last Jan. 29, killing 11 people and injuring 50. "We're going to park it across from Berkeley City Hall in Martin Luther King Park. A bombed-out bus has powerful meaning for those of us who lived through the civil rights movement and remember the Freedom Rider buses that were bombed by the Ku Klux Klan," said DeWitt, a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp. (Berkeley Voice)
  • Terror Victims Describe Loss of Loved Ones - Roger Amsden
    Two Israeli men who lost children when a suicide bomber blew up a bus in Haifa last year visited New Hampshire this week to tell their stories. Ron Kehrmann's 17-year-old daughter, Tal, and Yossi Zur's 16-year-old son Asaf were among 17 people killed in the March 5, 2003, explosion. People can learn more about Asaf Zur and Tal Kehrmann at the Web sites devoted to the teenagers. Asaf's is and Tal's is (Manchester [NH] Union Leader)
  • Israeli Reservists Deal with Double Lives of Being Civilians and Soldiers - Gavin Rabinowitz
    At home, Eran Kurtzer is a suburbanite with a wife, baby daughter, and small insurance agency. But for six weeks a year, Kurtzer, 33, is an army major leading a company of paratroopers on patrols through the hills of the West Bank. He and his unit are among thousands of Israeli men who once a year are torn from their everyday routine and thrust back into uniform. The disrupted lives and livelihoods that American reservists are discovering as they spend months in Iraq have been a way of life in Israel since 1948. "I'm proud to be doing this....It's a privilege, not a burden," Kurtzer said. (AP/San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Observations:

    Lessons from Negotiating with the Palestinians - Aluf Benn (Ha'aretz)

    Alan Baker, legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry since 1996, leaves this week for his new post as Israel's ambassador to Canada. He was asked about the lessons he learned from many years of negotiations with Arab states and the Palestinians:

    • "We were naive when we conducted negotiations during the period of Rabin and Peres. There was nothing in the [Oslo] interim agreement that related to what would happen if the whole business fell apart....There was nothing about the complete crumbling of the PA, or its takeover by hostile and violent elements. And we have been suffering because of this for years."
    • Baker joined the Foreign Service in 1979, and went right into the normalization talks with Egypt. "I sat with [the Egyptians] on 50 negotiating committees on every possible subject, and the economic and tourism potential has been lost. We have been without an Egyptian ambassador for four years. I'm disappointed in the Jordanians as well. They conducted very intimate negotiations over the peace treaty and the transportation agreements. They are very nice people, but the agreements include an obligation for a resident ambassador. Where is he?"
    • What about the settlements?
      "We started to negotiate with [the Palestinians] on an accompanying letter that would clarify Israel's settlement policy and its limitations. After five or six formulations, Arafat came and said he preferred there not be anything....In the [Oslo] interim agreement there's just the clause about planning and construction in the civilian appendix, that both sides can build in their territory as long as it does not cause damage."
    • Do the settlements contravene the Geneva Convention?
      "We have a dispute with the international community. We argue that the prohibition on the transfer of population to occupied territory, in Article 94 of the Geneva Convention, was formulated during World War II to prevent the massive forced transfer of population in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. We aren't doing this. The settlement policy is voluntary."
    • According to Baker, the Palestinians prefer to emphasize the settlements as the spearhead of their political struggle against Israel, because it is more convenient for them than raising demands about Jerusalem, which may anger the Christian world, or about the Palestinian refugees' right of return, which he says does not exist at all in terms of international law.
    • Baker has no doubt that the construction of the security fence is justified according to international law, which allows the occupier to construct defenses.
    • What do you think about the recommendation that Israel declare the application of the Geneva Convention in the territories?
      "Since 1967 Israel's policy has been to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention de facto. We did not agree to its de jure application because the relevant clause in the convention states that occupied territory is territory taken from a previous sovereign. Since we did not want to recognize Jordanian sovereignty in the West Bank, we did not formally apply the convention."
    • Aren't you concerned about sanctions against Israel as a result of the international court's ruling?
      "No, I don't believe that the Europeans and most countries want to take a 'violent' step against Israel."
    • Baker is trying to fight against the Palestinian effort to give international recognition to the Green Line. "The cease-fire agreements state that the line is temporary and is not to impair any political border to be determined by the two sides. Therefore, the Green Line is not considered a border, but rather in practical terms has become a separation line between sovereign Israeli territory and territory that is still in negotiation or dispute."

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