Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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July 27, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

PA Glorifies Jerusalem Couple's Murderers as Martyrs - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
    While the Palestinian Authority is praised for its "fight" against terror, in Arabic the PA continues to glorify terror targeting Israelis.
    Dov Kol, 58, and Rachel Kol, 53, of Jerusalem were murdered and another five Israelis were wounded on July 23 when Palestinian terrorists opened fire on their vehicles as they were leaving Gush Katif.
    The PA's official daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (25 July 05), published a photo of the murderers in uniform and holding weapons, with the caption:
    "The executors of the attack in Gaza, the Shahids (Martyrs) Yekhya Abu Taha and Tariq Yassin."
    Under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, the PA's official daily continues to endorse the murder of Jews and grants to the murderers the elevated status of Shahid - Martyr for Allah.

Palestinian Journalists Urged to Celebrate Gaza "Retreat" - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday called on Palestinian journalists to take part in celebrations over the Israeli "retreat" from the Gaza Strip.
    "The moment of the beautiful truth for the Gaza Strip is nearing. Let the occupation leave our dear land in humiliation," said the directive.

Iran Recruiting Suicide Bombers - Roi Nahimas (Ynet News)
    Ayatollah Muhammad Yazari, a senior figure in Iran's leadership and spiritual advisor of President Ahmadinejad, has issued a call in an Iranian newspaper for the public to join the swelling ranks of Iran's homegrown suicide bombers, according to the London-based daily Asharq Al Awsat.
    "Commander Khamani has announced that registration for the suicide bomber force is open all over the country, and encourages Iranians to join in order to safeguard Islam and fight against its enemies.... Please enlist in the suicide squad," Yazari wrote.

U.S. Bans Travel in Saudi Arabia for Military Personnel (Reuters)
    "In response to continued indications of operational planning for a terrorist attack or attacks in the kingdom, U.S. military personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia have been instructed to suspend all non-duty-related leisure travel outside of their work or housing," a U.S. embassy spokesman in Riyadh said Monday.


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Latest News on Disengagement
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Radical Islamic Egyptian Named in Suicide Bombing - Sarah el Deeb
    Investigators have identified a suspected suicide bomber in Saturday's attacks in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh as Youssef Badran, an Egyptian with radical Islamic ties, officials said Tuesday. Egypt's Health Ministry said 64 people died in the attacks. 17 were non-Egyptians, including an American, Kristina Miller, 27, of Las Vegas. (AP/Guardian-UK)
  • Two British Bombing Suspects Came from Africa - Craig Whitlock
    One of the suspects in last week's botched bombings in London is Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, a native of Eritrea who became a British citizen two years ago, while a second suspect, Yasin Hassan Omar, 24, from Somalia, had been collecting welfare payments of $500 a month, British officials said Tuesday.
        Sarah Scott, 23, who lives near Ibrahim's parents, described how he had tried to convert her to Islam. "He told me he was going to have all these virgins when he got to heaven if he praises Allah," Scott said. (Washington Post)
  • Dutch Filmmaker's Killer Gets Life - Anthony Deutsch
    Judges on Tuesday handed down a rare maximum life sentence with no possibility of parole to Mohammed Bouyeri, 27, the Dutch-born Muslim who confessed to - and expressed no regret for - shooting, stabbing, and nearly decapitating filmmaker Theo van Gogh on Nov. 2, 2004. Bouyeri has said he hoped to receive the maximum punishment, preferably death, in his quest for martyrdom. (AP/Boston Globe)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • IDF Plans to Leave Philadelphi Route in October - Amos Harel
    The Israel Defense Forces is planning to withdraw from the Philadelphi route along the Gaza-Egypt border in October, Defense Minister Mofaz told Channel 1 TV on Tuesday. 750 Egyptian police will be deployed on the western side of the Philadelphi route to prevent weapons from being smuggled into Palestinian territory. In a meeting Prime Minister Sharon held several days ago, Israeli officials decided that if an agreement is reached with Egypt, the IDF would withdraw from the Philadelphi route. (Ha'aretz)
  • Sharon: No International Summit Until After Road Map - Gil Hoffman
    Israel will not agree to hold an international summit on advancing the post-disengagement diplomatic process until after the first stage of the Roadmap, an official close to Prime Minister Sharon said on Sharon's plane en route to Paris. "There will be no international summit until after the first stage of the Roadmap is completed and no one knows when that will be - it could take 15 years," the official said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S.-Israel Crisis Deepens Over Defense Exports - Ze'ev Schiff
    The U.S. administration has refused to rescind sanctions against Israel until it takes steps to prove it has increased its monitoring of security-related exports. The U.S. wants to see Knesset legislation enacted within 18 months tightening oversight of military exports, and is demanding a memorandum of understanding be signed. The U.S. also wants a written apology from Israel and Mofaz over Israel's sale to China of replacement parts for Harpy attack drones sold to China in the mid-1990s.
        After Israel raised a white flag and acquiesced to most of Washington's initial demands, the U.S. made additional, harsher demands, and was said to have shown contempt for the Israeli delegation. The American delegation is led by Lisa Bronson from the Pentagon, and the head of the State Department's Bureau for Political-Military Affairs, Rose Likins. (Ha'aretz)
  • Islamic Jihad Terrorist Arrested
    Islamic Jihad terrorist Tammer Hassin Sa'id Gaer, 24, a resident of Ilar village near Tulkarm, was arrested on Monday. After the deadly terror attack in the Netanya mall this month, Gaer took shelter in the PA's Special Forces building in Tulkarm where he was under PA protection. Gaer's organization was responsible for a chain of suicide attacks, car bomb attacks, and shooting attacks in Israel and the Tulkarm area in the past six months. Gaer was caught with one of his assistants, Mohammed Fathi Mohammed Badda, a member of the Palestinian security forces. The Islamic Jihad terror infrastructure is continuing to build itself and plan future terror attacks. (Israel Defense Forces)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Don't Expect PA to Fight Terror - Ehud Ya'ari
    Shortly after the suicide attack in Netanya on July 12, Abu Mazen made a plea to Ramadan Abdallah Shallah, the general secretary of Islamic Jihad in Damascus, to deny responsibility for the attack. Later it turned out that part of the suicide operation was planned inside the police station of Tulkarm under the watchful eyes of Palestinian security officers. Just a few days before the bomb, Abu Mazen and Shallah had met over dinner twice, once at the table of President Assad and the second time in the Damascus home of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal.
        Anyone who dreams that the PA will shake itself out of its lethargy when it smells the scent of disengagement is going to be sorely disappointed. Essentially, the PA will not try to smash the alternative authority that has developed alongside it - the association of terror organizations that is demanding its share of the booty and wants to operate according to its own political agenda. Abu Mazen will denounce the Jihad's terror and, at the same time, continue to sit with its leaders. He will declare the need for "one authority and one gun," while reconciling himself to the armament of the "popular army" of Hamas. (Jerusalem Report)
  • Help the Moderates Win the Struggle for the Soul of Islam - Anne Applebaum
    Consider an extraordinary report published this year by the Center for Religious Freedom, a division of Freedom House, which surveys more than 200 books and pamphlets collected at mosques and Islamic centers in U.S. cities. Most were in Arabic. All were published by the Saudi government or royal family, and all promote the extreme form of Wahhabi Islam found in Saudi Arabia. The books reflect contempt for the U.S., condemn democracy as un-Islamic, and claim that Muslims are religiously obliged to hate Christians and Jews. Most insidiously, the documents denounce moderate Muslims, especially those who advocate religious tolerance, as infidels.
        To fight these ideas, friendly state visits from Laura Bush will not suffice. Neither will more Britney Spears songs for Muslim teenagers, which is what we play on U.S.-funded Farsi and Arabic radio in the Middle East. Instead, we need to monitor the intellectual and theological struggle for the soul of Islam, and we need to help the moderates win. (Washington Post)
  • Revolt of Privilege, Muslim Style - David Ignatius
    When you read reports that the Muslim terrorists who bombed the London Underground may have gotten together for a pre-attack whitewater rafting trip in Wales, you realize that this is a revolt of the privileged, Islamic version. London bomber Shahzad Tanweer had just received a red Mercedes from his dad. Their spiritual leader is a Saudi billionaire's son who grew up with big ideas and too much money. He created a new identity for himself as a jihad leader, carrying the banner of a pristine Islam from the days of the Prophet Muhammad.
        People who were students in the 1960s will remember the phenomenon: the idealistic kids from elite public and private schools who went to college, felt guilty about their comfort amid a brutal world, and joined the Progressive Labor Party to ally with oppressed Third World workers. There is a cult aspect to this jihad. The Islamic extremists are often described as "Salafists." The Arabic word salaf means "past," and the Salafists are said to be trying to recreate the pure values of the Prophet's companions. (Washington Post)
  • Arab States Must Do More to Help Palestinians - David Makovsky
    Arab states should provide Abbas with a political umbrella for insisting upon one Palestinian Authority, as they should endorse his frequent statements that suicide bombing undermines Palestinian national aspirations. It should be made clear that the Arab states do not condone the firing of mortar rockets at Israeli towns, nor will they endorse efforts by Hamas to seek de facto control in Gaza after Israel's departure. Furthermore, the Arab states should donate substantial portions of their oil revenue windfalls to their Palestinian brethren. Despite the fact that OPEC countries have netted a $58-billion windfall as part of $303 billion in revenue last year, they gave only $107 million to the Palestinians.
        It is also important that Arab states provide incentives for Israel as well as Palestinians. Four Arab states - Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, and Oman - should reestablish the semi-diplomatic ties they held with Israel before 2000. (Newsday)
  • Observations:

    Israelis Know: Profiling's Key - Yishai Ha'etzni (New York Post)

    • Since 9/11, U.S. officials have struggled with how to protect the American public without infringing on individuals' rights and sensibilities. The touchiest issue of all is "profiling" - using various factors, including race or ethnicity, in security checks.
    • When New York announced last week that it would begin screening passengers on the city's subway, officials promised loudly and insistently that the checks would be random and racial profiling would not be used. Such a policy avoids discrimination against certain ethnic groups - in effect, inconveniencing, embarrassing, and perhaps even punishing individuals for crimes they did not commit - an important value and a worthy goal. Unfortunately, blanket avoidance of profiling undermines the entire point of checking passengers.
    • Following a spate of terrorist hijackings and other attacks on civilian aircraft and airports in the 1960s and 70s, Israel developed a security system that utilized sociological profiles of those seeking to harm Israelis. Each passenger is questioned briefly and then airport security personnel use their judgment to identify suspect would-be passengers, who are then questioned at greater length and their bags searched more thoroughly. It is far more effective than random searches, which end up being nearly cosmetic.
    • The American system's "blindness" cuts off the most important weapon in the war against terrorism: human capability, judgment, and perception.
    • Trained security personnel know who is most likely to be perpetrating an attack, as well as how to identify suspicious individuals through behavior. Ethnicity is only one factor among many used to identify potential terrorists.
    • Random searches of grandmothers and congressmen may make Americans feel virtuous, but they don't keep Americans safe.

      The writer is executive director of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

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