Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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October 21, 2004

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In-Depth Issues:

Arabs Seek to Block Flow of Russian Oil Through Eilat Pipeline - Antoine Halff (ICA/JCPA)
    Last year, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer.
    While in the 1970s, most of the Middle East's oil went westward to the U.S. and Europe, nowadays, most of the Middle East's supplies go eastward to Japan, Korea, and China.
    Russian oil is flowing in the Ashkelon-Eilat pipeline from the Mediterranean to Eilat and onward to Asia.
    Some of the Arab producers are trying to block this by preventing tankers that have called at Eilat or Ashkelon to go to an Arab port afterwards.
    While this appears to be slowing down the movement on the pipeline somewhat, ultimately there is probably not much the Arabs can do to block this flow.

Israel Warns Against Travel to Jordan (Middle East Newsline)
    Israeli intelligence officials have warned Israeli nationals against traveling to Jordan.
    The officials said the threat level in Jordan has increased over the last week to its highest point in five years. "We are talking about a threat level higher than that in the Sinai," an official said.

    See also Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty Ten Years Later (AFP-Hindustan Times-India)
    Ten years after Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, relations between the two neighbors are far from warm, with most Jordanians persisting in branding Israel "the enemy," politicians and analysts say.
    Israel's ambassador to Jordan, Yacov Hadas Handelsman, said one of the "positive" results of the peace treaty are the Qualified Industrial Zones where textile goods with a certain amount of Jordanian and Israeli content are exported duty and quota free to the U.S.
    They employ 14,000-16,000 people and generated $468.7 million in the first seven months of this year.

Muslim Faith Draws Converts from NZ Prisons - Tim Hume (Star Times-New Zealand)
    Maori prison inmates, many of them gang members, are converting to a militant, politicized brand of Islam, drawn by a fascination with al-Qaeda.
    "The ones coming in, their reasons are they admire Osama bin Laden," says Te Amorangi Izhaq Kireka-Whaanga, leader of the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Association and a staunch Maori nationalist. "They think it's all about fighting Europeans."
    Census figures show the number of Maori Muslims increased from 99 to 708 in the 10 years to 2001, but Kireka-Whaanga said numbers had shot up since September 11, as global media focused on radical Islam.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Jewish Leaders Deplore Presbyterian Meeting with Hizballah
    Jewish organizations Wednesday sharply criticized a Presbyterian Church delegation for meeting in Lebanon with leaders of the terrorist group Hizballah. The American Jewish Committee said the Presbyterians had "lent legitimacy to what American government officials call the 'A-Team' of global terrorists" and delivered "a blow to peace efforts in the region." ADL director Abraham Foxman said he found it "irresponsible" and "deeply disturbing" that Presbyterian leaders would seek to meet "members of a terrorist organization that is directly responsible for attacks against both Americans and Israelis and that has repeatedly denounced America and Israel as enemies of Islam."
        Foxman also objected that Rev. Ronald Stone was quoted on Hizballah's satellite TV network as saying "relations and conversations with Islamic leaders are a lot easier than dealings and dialogue with Jewish leaders," and that "we treasure the precious words of Hizballah and your expression of good will towards the American people."  (AP/Washington Post)
        See also Syria Praises American Presbyterian Church
    Priest Botrus Zaour, spiritual leader of the National Anglican Church in Damascus, Tuesday underlined the Arab countries' appreciation over the American Presbyterian Church's decision to boycott American establishments that deal with Israel. (SANA-Syria)
        See also Marketing Terrorism: Hizballah's Al-Manar TV Spreads Incitement and Hatred Across the Globe
    Arab and Western countries including the U.S. are allowing satellite companies and corporations under their control or influence to spread Hizballah's messages of hatred and terrorism via its Al-Manar TV channel. Broadcasts preaching terrorism and anti-American, anti-Israeli, and anti-Semitic incitement are exported from the Middle East to the U.S. and to European countries where they are spread to Arab and Muslim communities.
        Two satellite companies - Arabsat (an inter-Arab company whose major shareholder is Saudi Arabia) and GlobeCast (a subsidiary of France Telecom, France's largest communications company) - put together Arabic channel packages that include Al-Manar, which are marketed and transmitted worldwide. The U.S. State Department has listed Hizballah as an international terrorist organization since 1997. (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies)
  • Lebanese Leader Quits over Syria's Role
    Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri resigned and dismantled his government Wednesday in the wake of Syria's imposed extension of the mandate of Lebanon's President Lahoud last month. The departure of Harari, a self-made billionaire who has served as Lebanon's prime minister for ten of the past twelve years, could further isolate Lebanon and its political master, Syria. Buoyed by UN intervention, the opposition in Lebanon has grown more vocal, demanding an end to Syrian hegemony. (Times-UK)
  • Terrorists Planned Huge Blast in Madrid
    Eight suspected terrorists arrested in Spain this week were planning to bomb the national court in Madrid, police said Wednesday. The suicide attack on the building, a nerve center in the country's fight against terrorism, would have been timed to kill two senior judges and destroy archives of investigations into Islamic terrorist activity. Mohamed Achraf, an Algerian born in the United Arab Emirates, who is the alleged leader of a plot to detonate a 1,100 lb vehicle bomb outside the court, is being held in Zurich. (Telegraph-UK)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Two Terrorists Killed at Gaza Border Fence - Amir Buhbut
    IDF soldiers killed two terrorists Thursday as they attempted to infiltrate into Israel near the border fence separating the Gaza Strip and Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Lately, Palestinian terror groups have stepped up their infiltration attempts from the northern Gaza Strip into southern Israel. (Maariv International)
  • Fatah Leader: PA Forces are Private Fiefdoms - Khaled Abu Toameh
    The power struggle between rival Palestinian security services is the main reason behind the state of anarchy and lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Sakher Habash, a veteran member of the Fatah Central Committee, said Wednesday. He accused the commanders of the Palestinian security forces of running the services as if they were private fiefdoms, and said a group of thugs in the security forces was sowing corruption and destruction in the Palestinian communities.
        The Palestinian police said 735 murders took place in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2002. Musa Abdel Nabi, a senior PA police officer, said the upsurge in crime was due to the absence of the rule of law, ignorance, and the existence of ancient tribal traditions in Palestinian society. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Past Versus Future in the Middle East - Shimon Peres
    A battle between tradition and modernity is being waged in the Middle East. It is the clash between those who offer only a past and those who call upon free people to seize the future and find their own route to liberty, prosperity, and peace. Throughout the Middle East, voices calling for openness and democracy are slowly and tentatively being heard. These voices cannot but triumph. Terrorists and extremist fundamentalists have nothing to offer their people. There is no place for countries that stifle free scientific inquiry, thought, creativity, and speech.
        Israel, a country no bigger than Greater Boston, is refashioning and rebuilding itself, forging a new vision of a global metropolis exporting knowledge, science, and technology to the world. (Boston Globe)
  • Syria Unsanctioned - Barry Rubin
    Syria was an ally of the USSR throughout the Cold War, has repeatedly sponsored terrorism, subverted its neighbors, took over Lebanon - its inoffensive neighboring country (dispatching a million workers there essentially as settlers), engaged in drug smuggling and counterfeiting of foreign currencies, massacred its own citizens, repressed internal democratic dissidents, violated with impunity UN sanctions on Iraq, rejected Israel's offer of peace in exchange for all Syrian territory captured in 1967, gave safe passage to bin Ladin's men and cooperates with them in Lebanon, passed down its republican presidency like a monarchy to the dictator's unqualified son, is hosting Saddamist war criminals and perhaps even WMD material, and is sponsoring a proxy war against the U.S. in Iraq. The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center. (FrontPageMagazine)
  • Egypt is No Friend - Yosef Goell
    The 1979 treaty with Egypt was not peace but an armistice. The sad truth is that Egyptian popular hatred for Israel, popular anti-Semitism, and lately, virulent anti-Americanism are much worse today than they were 25 years ago. True, there has been no shooting war between us for 25 years, but Egypt knows how to play the game of not inviting a major war, which it truly does not want, while hurting Israel as much as possible on the international scene and making it bleed by proxy in Gaza and on its own buses and streets.
        We should take a leaf out of Egypt's game plan and drive home the truth that hostility will engender hostility, and not groveling. The best place to press would be in the U.S., by supporting Congressman Tom Lantos' bill that would slash U.S. military aid to Egypt by $500 million a year, transferring that sum to economic aid. Why, after all, do the Egyptians need that annual military infusion if not as part of their long-term military plans against Israel? (Jerusalem Post)
  • Observations:

    It is a War Crime for Terrorists to Hide Among Civilians - Alan Dershowitz (Jerusalem Post)

    • The one-state solution proposal now being made by Palestinian lawyers and some anti-Israel academics is nothing more than a ploy designed to destroy the Jewish state and to substitute another Islamic Arab state. Those who advocate the single-state solution would never do so with regard to India, the former Yugoslavia, or other previously united states which have now been divided on ethnic or religious grounds.
    • Israel should not have sent a legal team to The Hague because when it comes to Israel, that court is a sham, with a predetermined result. Israel should not legitimate such a legal travesty. Its own Supreme Court is far more capable of rendering a nuanced judgment on the complex issues growing out of the security fence.
    • The law should recognize that it is a war crime for terrorists to hide among civilians, thereby requiring democracies to choose between allowing the terrorists to continue to kill innocent civilians in a democracy or taking military action which will often result in some civilian casualties. The fault for all civilian casualties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies exclusively with the Palestinian terrorists, who deliberately create a situation in which civilians will be killed.
    • Arafat is clearly guilty of murdering American diplomats [in Sudan], and the CIA has his voice on tape ordering the murders. There is no statute of limitations for murder.
    • American foreign policy rests on favoring democracies over tyrannies and supporting our allies. Israel is also an important strategic and military ally that provides the U.S. with important intelligence information and other benefits. That is why every American president and nearly every American congressman and senator supports Israel, even when their own electoral interests do not require such support.

      The writer is Professor of Law at Harvard University.

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