Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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Row Over Hamas Vow to Free Jailed Terrorist - Tim Butcher (Telegraph-UK)
Al-Qaeda Eyes Options in Lebanon - Alon Ben-David (Janes Defence Weekly-UK)
19 Zarqawi Terrorist Suspects Arrested in Yemen (Yemen Observer)
Palestinian Election Results (WAFA-PA)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The U.S. and Europe won support from Russia and China Tuesday to refer Iran's nuclear activities to the UN Security Council. A statement by the top foreign officials of China, Russia, the U.S., and leading European countries also called on Iran to restore the suspension of all uranium enrichment. "This is certainly the most decisive action taken on Iran by the international community in years," a senior State Department official said. "This is a clear signal that the international community is saying, 'Enough.'" (New York Times)
The international community is willing to provide crucial aid to Palestinians if the new Hamas-led government commits to non-violence, recognizes Israel's right to exist, and accepts current Mideast peace agreements, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Monday at the end of a meeting of the Mideast Quartet. President Bush said Monday, "The Hamas Party has made it clear that they do not support the right of Israel to exist, and I have made it clear, so long as that's their policy, that we will not support a Palestinian government made up of Hamas." (CNN)
See also Putin: Hamas Must Renounce Extremism, Recognize Israel (TASS-Russia)
See also Hamas Rejects Quartet's Calls to Disarm and Recognize Israel (Ha'aretz)
Dov Zakheim, a former top official in President Bush's Pentagon, said Thursday after the Islamist terrorist Hamas movement swept Palestinian elections, "We have a situation not unlike Germany in 1932 when we had an upstart [Nazi] party ruled by thugs that preached hatred and racism, and also claimed they would clean up a corrupt Weimar Republic."
Robert Satloff, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said the Bush administration has "an almost messianic commitment to the idea of voting - that people will be transformed from what they were before into something new. But evil people take advantage of the democratic process for evil ends, which is precisely how I would describe what is happening. It's a democratic coup against the institution of peacemaking." (Newsday)
Norway's Foreign Ministry was heeding a warning Monday from Islamic groups that want all Scandinavians out of Gaza. The groups claim the Scandinavians have offended them by printing controversial caricatures of their prophet Mohammed. Armed members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade handed out pamphlets in Gaza encouraging Danes and Swedes to leave, and burned a Danish flag. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store last week urged Norway's embassies to apologize for the caricatures, but that has spurred counter-criticism that Muslim countries should respect freedom of expression. (Aftenposten-Norway)
See also Poll: Denmark Should Not Apologize for Cartoons
A majority of Danes feel their government and media should not apologize to Muslims for controversial cartoons published in the daily Jyllands-Posten last September and reprinted in a Norwegian magazine this month. In a poll for Danish Radio Saturday, 79% said Prime Minister Rasmussen should not apologize on Denmark's behalf. (AFP/Yahoo)
See also Caricature of Mohammed Leads to Boycott of Danish Goods - Hassan M. Fattah (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Yediot Ahronot newspaper reports that the Palestinian Authority's arrears to the Israel Electric Company recently reached NIS 220 million ($47 million). The company has asked the Finance Ministry to deduct the debt from tax repayments to the Palestinians. "With any other customer we would have switched off the switch," a senior Electric Company official said. (Ynet News)
The Third Way Party led by former PA Finance Minister Salam Fayyad will not join a coalition government led by Hamas, a top party official said Sunday. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
If you would have asked a random German in 1932 if he was voting for the murder of Jews, he would have said, "Nein!" What he really wanted was an end to the brawling in the streets and a big thumbs-up to traditional German culture. In due course we will be told that what Hamas has been insisting on for years - the utter destruction of Israel - is not really a serious goal, and that Hamas will be forced to moderate by the reality of governing.
The leaders of Hamas brim with the word of God and the certainty of their cause. From here on they will lie about their ultimate aim and smilingly assure us that what they have always said they no longer mean. All over the world, people will believe them and urge the U.S. and Israel to do the same. Take my word for this. Anyone can see the future. It's all in the past. (New York Daily News)
Some will interpret the Hamas victory in the benign light of the Garbage Collection Theory of History. On Sunday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told ABC: "My hope is that as a consequence of now being responsible for electricity and picking up garbage and basic services to the Palestinian people, that they recognize it's time to moderate their stance." Perhaps. But their stance - Israel must die - is, they say, the will of God, who has not authorized moderation in the name of sanitation.
Jimmy Carter suggested a way to evade the U.S. law against providing funds to terrorists: the U.S. could launder money destined for Hamas by passing it through the UN. This suggestion has a certain piquancy, coming as it does after the oil-for-food program in Iraq, which demonstrated the UN's financial aptitude. (Washington Post)
The very idea that the whole world is down on its knees, begging a Koran-centric organization whose goals are achieved by murdering Jews to recognize Israel's right to exist, is insulting. Israel was accepted as a member of the United Nations in 1949, the 51st country out of a total of 190. Israel maintains diplomatic relations with 170 of them. Israel is the only democracy in the world that has been fighting from the day it was born to safeguard its national security. It is infuriating when fanatic, backward countries declare that Israel, one of the most stable, progressive democracies in the world, has no right to exist. We will go on living and flourishing even without the recognition of Hamas. (Ha'aretz)
The Oslo accords brought a corrupt Palestinian group to power that did everything it could to get rich from the public purse. In hindsight, it was a terrible mistake to accept these people as partners in the diplomatic process and to impose them on the Palestinians. More than 80% of Palestinians believe Hamas and its terrorism forced Israel to withdraw from Gaza. What Israelis believe is "determination" is interpreted in Gaza as "weakness."
This is the time for Israel to signify, via its actions and behavior, the complete rejection of Hamas as a terrorist group and that no one will negotiate with it. The writer is former head of the IDF's research and assessment division, and former military secretary to the Minister of Defense. (Ynet News)
Watching Hamas - Ari Shavit (New Yorker)
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