Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 12, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

Gaza Mosque Welcomes London Attacks - Roi Nahmias (Ynet News)
    In a reaction similar to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York, the blood spilt in the London terror attacks has been celebrated within the Palestinian territories.
    The Gaza based Sut Al Quds radio station broadcast a sermon on Saturday welcoming the "blessed acts" that took place recently in Iraq and Britain.
    "The sounds of happiness were heard in London," the mosque's preacher said.

Hamas: "Israel Will Eventually Disappear" - Diana Bahur-Nir and Ali Waked (Ynet News)
    Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar told the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that Hamas would "definitely not" be prepared for coexistence with Israel should the IDF retreat to its 1967 borders.
    "It can be a temporary solution, for a maximum of 5 to 10 years. But in the end Palestine must return to become Muslim, and in the long term Israel will disappear from the face of the earth," he said.

The Iraq-al-Qaeda Connection - Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn (Weekly Standard)
    We know from internal Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) documents that beginning in 1992 the former Iraqi regime regarded bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence asset.
    We know from IIS documents that the former Iraqi regime provided safe haven and financial support to an Iraqi who has admitted to mixing the chemicals for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.
    We know from IIS documents that Saddam Hussein agreed to bin Laden's request to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state-run television.
    We know from IIS documents that a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden stayed for more than two weeks at a posh Baghdad hotel as the guest of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
    We have been told by Hudayfa Azzam, the son of bin Laden's longtime mentor Abdullah Azzam, that Saddam Hussein welcomed young al-Qaeda members "with open arms" before the war, that they "entered Iraq in large numbers, setting up an organization to confront the occupation," and that the regime "strictly and directly" controlled their activities.
    We have been told by Jordan's King Abdullah that his government knew Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was in Iraq before the war and requested that the former Iraqi regime deport him.

Palestinian MP Quits Over Chaos (Gulf Daily News-Bahrain)
    Veteran Palestinian MP Marwan Kanafani, a member of the dominant Fatah movement and one-time adviser to Arafat, resigned Sunday to protest against growing insecurity and political malaise.
    "I hope this will attract the attention of the parliament, the government, and the political factions to stop the internal deterioration and maintain the security of the homeland and the citizens," Kanafani said in Gaza.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Military-Quality Explosives Suspected in London Blasts - Don Van Natta, Jr. and Elaine Sciolino
    British investigators believe the 10-pound bombs used in the coordinated terrorist attacks in London contained "military quality" high-grade explosives, British and European counterterrorism officials said Monday. (New York Times)
        See also London, Tel Aviv Blasts Connected - Roi Nahmias and Ronen Bodoni
    Israeli Mossad officials informed British security authorities that the explosive material used in the London bombings was apparently also utilized in a Tel Aviv beachfront suicide bombing in April 2003, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported Monday. The Mossad concluded that the explosive material used in the Tel Aviv attack was produced in China and later smuggled into Britain. According to the newspaper, Mossad chief Meir Dagan said the explosive in question is "much more lethal than plastic explosives and can be smuggled undetected due to its composition." The Mossad also determined the substance was produced at the Chinese ZDF arms factory, the paper reported. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Rockets Wound 7 Palestinians in Southern Gaza
    Seven Palestinians were wounded in a "work accident" Monday when militants were firing homemade rockets at Israeli settlements in the southern Gaza Strip north of the town of Khan Yunis, eyewitnesses said. Similar accidents have repeated lately in several areas of Gaza. The homemade rockets containing organic materials and chemical fertilizers are liable to exploding accidentally and pose a danger to the people in the area, especially in hot weather. In another accident, a Fatah militant died of his wounds on Monday after he tried to fire a homemade rocket at a Jewish settlement in the southern Gaza Strip. (People's Daily-China)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Bomb Injures Two IDF Soldiers in Gaza - Nir Hasson and Amos Harel
    A roadside bomb injured two IDF soldiers near Netzer Hazani in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the latest in a near-daily string of Palestinian attacks on Israelis in the area. On Monday, an Israeli civilian was wounded when Palestinians fired an anti-tank missile at a group of construction workers along the Philadelphi route on the Gaza-Egypt border. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli MD Hero on Bombed London Tube - Daniel Carrier
    Dr. Benny Meilik is an emergency surgeon and consultant at the Tel Aviv Medical Center. On the first morning of his trip to London he found himself dragging victims free from the wreckage of the Piccadilly Line eastbound train and working frantically to save their lives. As paramedics brought victims out on to the station platform, he set to work stabilizing them, sifting those who could be helped and those who were clearly beyond his expertise.
        "The injuries were severe. I must have treated around 20 people. I was just running from person to person, doing all I could. Many were not in good shape at all," Meilik said. "I have worked on many, many victims of bomb attacks, and I can say: this is as bad as any I have seen. I have a lot of experience in treating blast victims and this bomb was powerful." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Islam's Anschluss - Mark Steyn
    Despite the urge among Britain's friends across the Atlantic to present 7/7 as "London's 9/11," the label doesn't quite fit. Within 24 hours after September 11th, it was clear somewhere some sovereign state was going to get invaded. America could simply not afford not to respond. There's no sense of that in Britain.
        The jihadists understand that Europe is up for grabs in a way that America isn't. It seems likely that wily Islamic leaders in the Middle East will embrace the cause of the rights of European Muslims in the same way that they claim solidarity with the Palestinians. When France began contemplating its headscarf ban in schools, it dispatched government ministers to seek the advice of Egyptian imams, implicitly accepting the view of Islamic scholars that the Fifth Republic is now an outlying province of the dar al-Islam. As the Zionist Entity can testify, that's not a club you necessarily want to be signed up for. Few European leaders have a clue what to do about this. (New York Sun, 11Jul05)
  • "Londonistan" - Center of the Jihadist World - Rita Katz and Michael Kern
    In the past decade, al-Qaeda and its affiliated jihadist groups have created a robust infrastructure in the greater London area capable of recruiting, training, funding, and executing attacks. Al-Qaeda attacks and thwarted attempts linked to the jihadist network in Britain include the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998; the failed plot by Ahmed Rassam to bomb Los Angeles international airport; the recruitment of Zacharias Moussaoui and Richard Reid; plots to attack U.S. economic targets; the 2003 bombings in Casablanca; the 2004 bombings in Madrid; a suicide attack in Tel Aviv in April 2004; and an attack on Saudi oil refineries in May 2004.
        Al-Qaeda's roots in the UK can be traced back to 1994 when bin Laden named Arab student Khalid al-Fawwaz as director of the Advice and Reformation Committee (ARC), established purportedly as the media wing of al-Qaeda. The militant Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and its offshoot, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), have also used the UK as a base from which to coordinate attacks against American and European targets. (National Review)
  • Arab Media Reactions to the London Bombing
    Under the title "Expel Extremism Today," Al-Arabiya TV Director-General Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed wrote: "For over 10 years now, I myself and other Arab writers have warned against the dangers of the reckless handling of the extremism that is now spreading like a plague within the British community. It was never understood why British authorities gave refuge to suspicious characters previously involved in terrorist activities. Why would Britain grant asylum to Arabs who have been convicted of political crimes or religious extremism, or even sentenced to death? Not only were they admitted to this country, but they were also provided with accommodation, a monthly salary, and free legal advice for those who want to prosecute the British government."
        "Until recently, London held the delusion that extremists would not target Britain, but only use it as a base, protecting their freedom as they worked against Arab and Islamic governments. For this reason, Britain was full of convicted [extremists] known for propagating their extremist ideologies. The time has come for British authorities to deal harshly with extremism, before complete chaos is unleashed onto British society. In the past, we talked about stopping them. Now, it is time to expel." (MEMRI)
  • The BBC Discovers "Terrorism," Briefly - Tom Gross
    For a day or so after last Thursday's multiple bomb attacks in central London, the BBC, the influential leftist daily the Guardian, and even the British-based global news agency Reuters, all seemed to suddenly discover the words "terrorism" and "terrorist." BBC executives had previously insisted that for the sake of what they call "even-handedness" terrorists should not be called terrorists.
        But by Friday the BBC subtly and retroactively altered its initial texts on both its British and international websites. A BBC News webpage headlined "Bus man may have seen terrorist" was suddenly changed to "Passenger believes he saw bomber." Another BBC webpage spoke of "the worst terrorist atrocity Britain has seen," until it was changed to "the worst peacetime bomb attacks Britain has seen." BBC was also quick to highlight the views of conspiracy theorists, quoting Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani saying Israel was behind the London attacks. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Observations:

    European Misreading of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Finnish Foreign Minister Tuomioja - A Case Study - Efraim Karsh
    (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    • Next year Finland will assume the EU's rotating presidency, making Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja a player in the organization's Middle Eastern policy. Tuomioja's views are representative of a deeper undercurrent in contemporary European criticism of Israel, one that combines factual ignorance and misconceptions about the Arab-Israeli conflict with latent animosity borne out of the Continent's millenarian legacy of anti-Semitism.
    • There is no "wall" between Israel and the West Bank, but rather a security fence not dissimilar to that existing along the Finnish-Russian border. The security fence actually enhances the Roadmap's chances of success since it envisages the end of Palestinian terrorism as a prerequisite for progress toward peace.
    • The pan-Arab invasion of the newly proclaimed State of Israel in 1948 had far less to do with winning independence for the indigenous Palestinian population than with the desire of the Arab regimes for territorial aggrandizement. Transjordan's King Abdullah wanted to incorporate substantial parts of mandatory Palestine; Egypt wanted to lay its hands on southern Palestine. Neither Egypt nor Jordan allowed Palestinian self-determination in the parts of Palestine they had occupied.
    • Islamists inveigh against the Jewish State of Israel not out of concern for a Palestinian right to national self-determination but as part of a holy war to prevent the loss of a part of the "House of Islam."
    • Islam's war for world mastery is a traditional, indeed venerable, quest, and is far from over. Within this grand scheme, the struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is but a single element, and one whose supposed centrality looms far greater in Western than in Islamic eyes.
    • The analogy between Zionism and Nazism has never stood the most basic historical test. How many Germans were murdered by Jewish suicide bombers in Berlin's cafes during the 1940s? How many Palestinians were herded like cattle into trains and transported into death camps where they were systematically exterminated in gas chambers? None.

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