Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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December 6, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

U.S.: Israeli Strike on Iranian Nuclear Facilities Won't Help - Orly Azoulay (Ynet News)
    Israel lacks the military capability to neutralize Iran's nuclear facilities, according to a report on strategies to deal with Iran's nuclear program published Monday by the U.S. army.
    The report compiled by the U.S. Military Academy said the Israel Air Force could not carry out a complicated strike deep in Iranian territory due to the distance separating the two countries, and Israel's lack of access to bases situated closer to Iran.
    "Israel can attack pinpoint targets, yet could not lead a campaign against all Iranian nuclear targets," the report concluded.

Expert: Saudis Have Radicalized 80% of U.S. Mosques - Haviv Rettig (Jerusalem Post)
    Over 80% of mosques in the U.S. "have been radicalized by Saudi money and influence," according to Yehudit Barsky, who heads the Division on Middle East and International Terrorism at the American Jewish Committee and is executive editor of Counterterrorism Watch.
    For each mosque they invested in, the Saudis sent along their own imam (teacher-cleric), meaning that "the people now in control of teaching religion [to American Muslims] are extremists."
    Discussing mainstream Muslim organizations in America, she noted that the Islamic Society of North America "supports the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi regime."
    The Islamic Circle of North America "is composed of members of Jamaat e-Islami, a Pakistani Islamic radical organization similar to the Muslim Brotherhood that helped to establish the Taliban."
    The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was "founded in the 1980s by pro-Hamas activists."
    "Some of the leaders have even condoned suicide bombings in Israel and against American armed forces."

Dutch Islamist Trial Hears of Gruesome Films - Wendel Broere (Reuters)
    A group of suspected Islamists, including the jailed killer of a Dutch filmmaker, watched films of beheadings, a court heard as they went on trial on Monday in Amsterdam for plotting attacks and belonging to a terrorist group.

Kaare Kristiansen Dies, Resigned from Nobel Prize Committee after Arafat Award - Greer Fay Cashman (Jerusalem Post)
    Kaare Kristiansen, 85, who in 1994 won the hearts of Israelis when he resigned from the Nobel Committee rather than be a party to awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat, has died.
    Kristiansen explained that he in good conscience could not bestow a Nobel Prize on someone with a record of terrorism such as Arafat.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Quartet to Syria: Close Islamic Jihad Offices
    The Middle East diplomatic Quartet is calling on Syria to immediately close the offices of the Palestinian group responsible for the Israeli mall bombing. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Monday joined in calling on Damascus to prevent use of its territory by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other such groups. (UPI)
  • Islamic Jihad Leader Lives to Fight Holy War - Matthew Gutman
    Of 40 wanted Islamic Jihad militants who lived in the Tulkarem refugee camp five years ago, only three have survived. Islamic Jihad was founded in 1981 with the goal of destroying the State of Israel. The U.S. State Department considers it a terrorist group. Islamic Jihad has 100-300 fighters in the West Bank and several hundred in Gaza, says Israeli Brig.-Gen. Yair Golan. "Iran gives Islamic Jihad moral support and aid in all forms because that is the duty for people who hate America and the Jews," says Mifleh Uthman, an Islamic Jihad activist. Uthman believes there is no political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. (USA Today)
  • Russia Urges Iran to Cooperate with UN Nuclear Watchdog, Warns Against Sanctions
    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday urged Iran to cooperate with the UN's nuclear watchdog to end the crisis over its nuclear program, and warned that international sanctions wouldn't solve the standoff. Russia, a key Iranian ally, has resisted U.S. efforts to bring Tehran before the UN Security Council over its nuclear weapons program. (AP/Asharq al-Awsat-UK)
        See also Russia to Sell Surface-to-Air Missiles to Iran - Henry Meyer
    Russia has struck a deal to sell short-range, surface-to-air missiles to Iran, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Monday, confirming reports that have raised concern in the U.S. and Israel. Russian media have said Moscow agreed to sell $1 billion worth of weapons to Iran, including up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems over the next two years. (AP/Washington Post)
        See also Iran Plans to Build Two More Reactors - Karl Vick
    Iran plans to build two nuclear power plants in addition to the reactor expected to go online next year, officials and government news services said Monday. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Israel to Adopt Harsher Response to Palestinian Rocket Fire - Ze'ev Schiff
    In the wake of the suicide bombing in Netanya on Monday, and the constant barrage of Kassam rockets fired by Palestinians on communities in the south of the country, Israel has decided to adopt a harsher response to the rocket fire. Israeli artillery fire against the Kassam launchers, that had been aimed only at open areas, will now be directed also at built-up areas from where the rockets are being fired. The Israel Defense Forces will employ loudspeakers to warn Palestinian residents to clear the area ahead of such artillery fire.
        Monday's bombing marked the fourth time Islamic Jihad has carried out a terror attack inside Israel since it declared a period of "calm." Most of the recent Kassam rocket fire from Gaza is also being carried out by Islamic Jihad. Sharon aide Dov Weissglas told U.S. Secretary of State Rice that there is no justification for the PA's failure to take action against Islamic Jihad. (Ha'aretz)
  • PA Security Forces Won't Combat Militant Groups - Danny Rubinstein
    PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has little practical ability to do anything other than issue vague and ambiguous statements - like the one he issued on Monday after the terror attack in Netanya - condemning attacks on innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians. The reason: The PA security services are overrun with chaos and anarchy. The PA security services are doing no more than attempting to fight Palestinian crime gangs, operations which enjoy wide Palestinian public support, unlike those aimed at combating the militant groups. Given the current situation, no senior Palestinian official dares to mention the disarmament of the Islamic Jihad. (Ha'aretz)
  • Victims of the Netanya Bombing
    The victims of the suicide terror attack in Netanya included Alexandra Grimatzky, 65, Iliya Rosen, 38, Daniel Golani, 45, Haim Amram, 26, a security guard at the shopping center, and Kinan Tzumai, 20. 24 injured people are still hospitalized. (Ynet News)
        See also How Did Netanya Bomber Enter Israel? - Hanan Greenberg (Ynet News)
        See also Pregnant Cop Risks Everything to Chase Bomber - Erik Schechter
    First Sgt.-Maj. Shoshe Atiya, 39, had been only four meters away from an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber when he detonated the explosives he was carrying. Atiya, who is pregnant, was riding in a squad car with two other police officers when the driver of the vehicle in front of them reported a suspicious-looking man. The individual was tall, blonde, and fair-skinned. "He didn't look Middle Eastern at all," noted Atiya. Atiya pursued the young man and shouted a warning to the three security guards at the doors. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Big Black Book of Horrors - Rebecca Weisser
    A scholarly and sober 700-page volume recently published in France, Le Livre Noir de Saddam Hussein (The Black Book of Saddam Hussein), is the most comprehensive work to date on the former Iraqi president's war crimes. "The first weapon of mass destruction was Saddam Hussein," writes Bernard Kouchner, who led the first Medecins Sans Frontieres mission in Iraq in 1974. "Preserving the memory of the arbitrary arrests that Saddam's police conducted every morning, the horrible and humiliating torture, the organized rapes, the arbitrary executions, and the prisons full of innocent people is not just a duty. Without that one cannot understand either what Saddam's dictatorship was or the urgent necessity to remove him." (The Australian)
        See also Known Mass Grave Sites in Iraq
    The number of missing persons in Iraq comes to 1.3 million. Most of them will be found in mass graves: the deported men of the Barzani tribe (1983), victims of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), the victims of the "Anfal" campaign (1987-89), tens of thousands of Shias after 1991, Turkmens, Assyrian Christians, Marsh Arabs, political prisoners, and prisoners of war. (Archeologists for Human Rights)
        See also Court Told of Saddam Horrors - Michael Georgy and Luke Baker (Reuters)
  • Many Nations Use Security Barriers - Martin Sieff
    More than any other Israeli military initiative or security precaution, the security barrier broke the back of the bloody second Palestinian intifada and its suicide bomber offensive that killed close to a thousand Israeli civilians, most of them women and children. India has adopted Israel's barrier strategy with great success to cut back on Islamist guerrillas infiltrating into Kashmir and is extending the concept to guard against Islamist incursions from Bangladesh as well. Saudi Arabia is using the Israeli example as a model for its own security fence to cut down on al-Qaeda and other Islamist infiltration from Yemen. (UPI)
  • Egypt's Election Outcome May Threaten Economic Relations with Israel - Lior Greenbaum
    At the end of the third round of voting this week in the Egyptian parliamentary elections, the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to win 100 of 444 seats. The great success of the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to affect economic reform, tourism, energy, and qualifying industrial zone (QIZ) agreements between Israel and Egypt. The Islamists oppose economic agreements with Israel and demand that they be canceled. (Globes)
  • Observations:

    An Absence of Morality - Editorial (Jerusalem Post)

    • It is hard to imagine a people for whom blowing oneself up in a crowd of innocents is not considered an act of barbarism. Yet it is hard to escape the impression that the Palestinians, even today, remain such a people. How else is one to interpret the antiseptic Palestinian response to Monday's atrocity in Netanya, in which five were murdered and 55 wounded?
    • "I believe that this harms Palestinian interests and is another act to sabotage efforts to revive the peace process and to sabotage the Palestinian elections," said Saeb Erekat. But is it wrong? Is there anything morally wrong with slaughtering innocent Israelis?
    • We Israelis can hardly ignore the fact that the most popular Palestinian groups and individuals seem to be those most associated with terror against Israel.
    • The notion that Palestinians arrogate to themselves the right to impose and execute a death sentence on every Israeli man, woman, and child says to us that, in Palestinian eyes, we have no right to exist. What the president of Iran and the leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizballah say openly - that Israel should be "wiped off the map" - the terror attacks clearly attempt to put into practice.

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