Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 11, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

Mofaz to Al-Jazeera: Israel Needs Defensible Borders - Arieh O'Sullivan (Jerusalem Post)
    Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told Al-Jazeera television on Sunday, in an interview to be broadcast Monday, that the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria would "stand the test of the final peace agreement."
    "It is clear to us that some of the settlements will be on the Israeli side [of a border]. The state needs defensible borders. Israel is small so it has to ensure that in 50 years time we will be able to defend ourselves," Mofaz said.
    Asked about the Jordan Valley, Mofaz reiterated that he believed it provided Israel with "strategic depth."
    "We will never give up on [the Jordan Valley], so we can ensure we can continue living here in all changing realities," Mofaz said.
    See also Defensible Borders for a Lasting Peace (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    See also Green Light Given for Gaza Seaport, Airport - Arieh O'Sullivan (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel has given the Palestinians approval to start building a seaport in Gaza and begin planning a new airport, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told Al-Jazeera television on Sunday.
    Mofaz also called on the Arab world to give the Palestinians economic and humanitarian aid.

Israel Campus Beat
- July 10, 2005

Point Counter-Point:
    Should Palestinian "Demography" Be the Motive for Israel's Disengagement?

G-8 Nations Promise $3 Billion in Aid to PA (Reuters/Ha'aretz)
    The world's industrialized nations backed plans on Friday to pump $3 billion into the Palestinian Authority economy over the next three years.
    International special envoy James Wolfensohn, helping to coordinate Israel's planned Gaza withdrawal, sold the plan to leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) nations meeting in Scotland.

Israel to Ask U.S. for $2.2 Billion in Pullout-Related Aid - Aluf Benn (Ha'aretz)
    Israel will ask the American government for $2.2 billion in special aid related to the disengagement plan.
    The U.S. has already assured Israel in principle that it will provide funding for the military outlays related to the disengagement plan and for developing the Negev and the Galilee, government sources in Jerusalem said Sunday.
    About a third of the money would go toward relocating Israel Defense Forces bases from Gaza, and the rest toward developing the Negev and the Galilee.

Israel Prepares to Host Major Jewish Sporting Jamboree - Ori Lewis (Reuters)
    The 17th Maccabiah Games, dubbed the "Jewish Olympics," begins on Monday as thousands of competitors from around the globe gather at Israel's National Stadium in Tel Aviv for a festive opening ceremony.
    See also 7-Time Olympic Medalist Mark Spitz Leads U.S. in "Jewish Olympics" - Kristen Stevens (Los Angeles Times); Spitz: Maccabiah Gave Me Confidence - Aaron Kaplowitz (Jerusalem Post)


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Britain Fears New Attack - Michael Evans
    Britain's terrorist alert has been raised to its highest-ever level because the London rush-hour bombers are alive and planning another attack. The terrorists who killed as many as 70 people were not suicide bombers. The Underground bombs exploded within seconds of one another at 8:50 am, on trains that had passed through King's Cross station. Examination of video footage from the dozens of security cameras around King's Cross is a priority for investigators. Officers think one bomber may have died at 9:47 am on the No. 30 bus at Tavistock Square. (Times-UK)
        See also Inches at a Time, Crews Search for Bodies in a London Tunnel - Craig S. Smith
    The subway tunnel between King's Cross and Russell Square is one of several "deep tubes" bored through London's bedrock more than a century ago: 70 feet down, 12 feet in diameter, the single-track tunnel's walls have just inches of clearance for trains. On Thursday, the tunnel contained and intensified the impact of a bomb containing about 10 pounds of high explosives, sending its force punching through the cars like a blast down the barrel of a shotgun. At least 21 people died on the train, which was packed with about 1,000 passengers. (New York Times)
        See also "We Were Like Sardines in There, Just Waiting to Die" - Sally Pook, Catriona Davies, and Duncan Gardham (Telegraph-UK)
        See also Al-Qaeda's British Recruits - Robert Winnett and David Leppard
    Al-Qaeda is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in Britain, leaked Whitehall documents reveal. (Sunday Times-UK); Who Planted the London Bombs? - David Leppard and Nick Fielding
    Experts believe a new generation of angry young British Muslims has spawned its own terrorists. (Sunday Times-UK); In London, Islamic Radicals Found a Haven - Steve Coll and Susan B. Glasser (Washington Post); For a Decade, London Thrived as a Busy Crossroads of Terror - Elaine Sciolino and Don Van Natta Jr. (New York Times)
  • AP Corrects: Blair Didn't Link Israel, Bombings
    In the aftermath of last week's terror attacks against London, the Associated Press issued multiple stories reporting that British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave an interview on BBC Radio in which he discussed the "very deep roots" of terrorism and linked the attacks against his country to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On Sunday the AP issued the following correction: "In a July 9 story about Prime Minister Tony Blair's comments on overcoming global terrorism, the Associated Press erroneously reported that he spoke of easing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Blair did not specifically mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his interview with the British Broadcasting Corp."  (CAMERA)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • IDF Plans Option of Reoccupying Parts of Gaza - Arieh O'Sullivan
    The IDF is continuing to plan to reoccupy swaths of the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip to ensure an attack-free evacuation. Senior officers said this scenario depended on the behavior of the Palestinians. The IDF has long planned to ensure there is no chance Palestinian terrorists could strike at Jewish settlements during the evacuation. Senior officers have said that if any deadly strikes occur during the evacuation they would not hesitate to use the army's full force to extinguish it.
        The army was also dismissive of Palestinian efforts to set up a new 5,000-man force to prevent looting of the Jewish settlements. The Palestinians were overwhelmed with 60,000 people attempting to sign up for the force.
        The initial evacuation is set to begin on August 17 with the northern Gaza Strip settlements of Nissanit, Alei Sinai, and Dugit. According to military sources, it would take another eight days to pack up the settlers' belongings and then bulldozers just three days to demolish the settlements. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Officer Discusses Disengagement with Arab Paper - Roi Nahmias
    A senior IDF officer told the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat: "The disengagement plan talks about unilateral steps that would end in 2008, resulting in a situation where the Palestinians would be responsible for managing their own affairs within the boundaries of the area we can give them, and not more than that." "I won't get into the matter of borders at this time," he said. "However, it will not be an independent state as the Palestinians expect."
        "If the withdrawal will be executed peacefully and in an orderly manner, and the PA would prove it can run a law-abiding state in the Gaza Strip...the withdrawals would be accompanied by other moves towards a peace process and international aid." However, should Palestinian armed groups not be curbed, the PA would not get a thing and Israel would only act in a unilateral manner.
        The senior officer also had harsh words about the conduct of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over his recent trip to Syria and meeting with terror leaders there. Abbas' actions indicate that the culture of terror still reigns in the PA, making peace talks at this time an unrealistic prospect, he said. The U.S. and several European governments are convinced Abbas is going in the wrong direction, he said. (Ynet News)
  • IDF to Transfer Control Over Bethlehem to PA; Shooting Attacks on the Rise - Amos Harel
    The Israel Defense Forces is expected to hand over control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority this week, military sources said Sunday.
        An unusually large number of shooting incidents occurred on Sunday in the Gaza Strip, and an increase has been evident there in recent days. Shootings are increasing in the West Bank as well, even in broad daylight. There were nine shooting attacks, mostly in the Gush Katif and Rafah areas, and two mortar shells were fired at Gush Katif. In the West Bank, two Israeli vehicles were shot at near Bitin, north of Ramallah. Shots were fired Sunday night from the West Bank town of Jenin toward Moshav Ram On, situated in Israel. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • We Are the World: Radical Islam's Imperialist Agenda - Efraim Karsh
    Last week's bombings in London had little to do with Britain's international behavior or Middle Eastern policies. Rather, the attacks had everything to do with America's position as the preeminent world power, one which blocks radical Muslim aspirations. As such, the United States and its allies - Britain chief among them - are a natural target for aggression. Bin Laden's war is not against America per se but is instead a manifestation of the radical Muslim agenda to make Islam the world's reigning religion.
        Tony Blair is unlikely to give any ground in Iraq. But he may well endeavor, as he has before, to insert himself in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This would be an assured recipe for disaster. Radical Islamists view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as simply one part of the larger holy war to establish the House of Islam. Should Blair's eagerness to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace, without insisting on the dismantling of terror networks as required by the Oslo accords and the roadmap, be seen as a response to the London bombings, it will send the wrong message: that terrorism works. (New Republic, 8Jul05)
  • Disengagement and PA Chaos - Editorial
    Israel's withdrawal from Gaza appears very likely to occur under fire. Mr. Abbas has thus far given no indication that he is prepared to do much of anything to rein in Hamas and the other rejectionist groups who operate in PA-controlled territory. Last Wednesday, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas operative in Gaza, warned that Hamas would likely continue to attack Israel after it leaves Gaza "in order to liberate the West Bank and Jerusalem." There is no question that Hamas is committed to Israel's destruction. It continues to fire rockets at Israel, and it has been using the "ceasefire" in place since February to rebuild a terror network that had been decimated by Israel's security services in recent years. An article published June 28 on the Web site of Hamas' military wing discusses the advantages of targeting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with rockets.
        In the increasingly lawless West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian gangs and militias, affiliated with Fatah, openly settle personal disputes with guns. If Mr. Abbas fails to exert some leadership, he will bring catastrophe and ruin to his people. (Washington Times)
  • Observations:

    Why Terrorism Works - Alan M. Dershowitz (FrontPageMagazine)

    • Within a day of the horrific multiple bombings in London, the G8 announced a $3B grant to the Palestinian Authority. The symbolism of this connection may be lost on some Westerners, but it clearly sent a powerful message to terrorists and potential terrorists: namely, that terrorism works.
    • There were no grants announced to the Tibetans, who have been occupied more brutally and for a longer period of time than the Palestinians. The Tibetans, however, have never resorted to terrorism.
    • The PA and its leaders are the godfathers of international terrorism. Were it not for their employment of terrorism, the Palestinian cause would today be regarded as the fifth-rate human rights issue that it rightfully is. But because the Palestinian leadership has always used terrorism (from the 1920s on) as the tactic of first resort, their cause has received worldwide recognition.
    • The primary cause of terrorism is not occupation, humiliation, or desperation. If it were, the Tibetans would be the greatest terrorists.
    • The primary cause of terrorism is that it works. Terrorism will continue as long as potential terrorists believe they will benefit from using that tactic.

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