Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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April 28, 2006

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In-Depth Issues:

"Judgment Day": Iran's Secret Plan If Attacked by U.S. - Ali Nouri Zadeh (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
    Eight fundamentalist Islamist organizations have received large sums of money in the last month from the Iranian intelligence services as part of a project to strike Israel, the U.S., and Europe if Iran is attacked, a senior source in the Iranian armed forces revealed.
    As soon as Iranian nuclear installations are hit, Hizballah is to launch hundreds of rockets against military and economic targets in Israel.
    According to the source, if the U.S. military attacks continue, more than 50 Shihab-3 missiles will be targeted against Israel, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' al-Quds Brigades will give the go-ahead for more than 50 terrorist cells in Canada, the U.S., and Europe to attack civil and industrial targets in these countries.
    Extremists will seek to maximize civilian casualties by exploding germ and chemical bombs as well as dirty nuclear bombs in Western and Arab cities.
    The al-Quds Brigades, under Brig.-Gen. Qassim Suleimani, is responsible for coordinating and providing logistical support for the groups taking part in the plan, codenamed al-Qiyamah (Judgment Day).
    The source said, "Most of Iran's visitors in the last four months, including the leaders of revolutionary groups in Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon, as well as the heads of Hizballah cells in the Persian Gulf, Europe, and North America, were asked, when they met with Iranian intelligence minister Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei and his aides: 'Are you ready to defend the Islamic revolution? If you agree to take part in the great jihad, what would you need to be ready for the great fight?'"
    The source also said that the military training camps of the Guards were opened to train fighters of the Mehdi army. Iran had increased its financial assistance to Moqtada al-Sadr to more than $20 million.
    Islamic Jihad in Palestine has also received large sums of money, large quantities of arms, and military training for its cadres in Isfahan.
    An estimated 80 members of Lebanese Hizballah underwent training last year on how to carry out suicide operations from the air (through the use of kite planes) and undersea operations.

Israel HighWay
- April 27, 2006

Issue of the Week:
    The Making of an Israeli Soldier

Israeli Military Intelligence: Syria Set to Spend Oil Money on Weapons - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    Syria is poised to begin talks on major arms purchases in light of expectations of increased revenue due to rising oil prices, IDF Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin hinted.
    Some of the Syrian arms purchases are expected to go toward refitting its air force, which stopped buying new planes in the 1980s.
    Yadlin said Syrian production of 200-300 millimeter rockets with a range of dozens of kilometers was continuing, with some of these weapons being transferred to Hizballah and deployed along the border between Lebanon and Israel.

Five Relatives of Terror Suspect Arrested in California and Utah - Paul Foy (AP/Forbes)
    Five relatives of suspected senior al-Qaeda operative Shawqi Omar, a U.S. citizen from Jordan, were arrested in California and Utah on charges of defrauding banks of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    The FBI said it was investigating whether any of the money was used to finance Middle East terrorism.
    The FBI said Omar's relatives netted $327,000 from fraudulent bank loans and bad mortgages in Utah.
    Omar, arrested in Baghdad in 2004, has been indicted in Jordan with Iraq insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an aborted chemical attack on the Jordanian intelligence agency.

Palestinian Terrorists Based in Bethlehem Hospital (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
    On Monday, a border police force in Bethlehem identified a vehicle carrying three wanted Palestinians. When the three saw the force, they turned around and began speeding away while exchanging fire with the soldiers.
    The vehicle then veered off the road, collided with a wall, and burst into flames.
    Two of the wanted Palestinians, Daniel Abu Hamama and Ahmed Mahmad Ali Motzlah, were killed. The third, Arafat Abu Shaira, was lightly wounded.
    Abu Shaira is a member of the Palestinian security apparatus and a senior Tanzim terrorist in Bethlehem, responsible for the planning and execution of numerous shooting and terror attacks against Israelis in the Bethlehem area and at the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Gilo and Har Homa.
    Israel had asked the PA to arrest Abu Shaira, but no action was taken.
    In the past few weeks he had been hiding in the Bethlehem hospital, together with Tanzim terrorist Daniel Abu Hammama, exploiting the hospital for terror activities.

Chinese-Saudi Cooperation: Oil and Missiles - Simon Henderson (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
   On the military front, Saudi Arabia bought now-obsolete ballistic missiles with a 1,500-mile range from China in the 1980s; the Saudis are reportedly interested in replacing them with more modern Chinese-designed missiles, perhaps with Pakistani nuclear warheads, to create a deterrent against Iran.
    In energy, Saudi Arabia currently supplies China with about 450,000 barrels per day.
    In 2004, China overtook Japan as the world's second largest consumer of oil after the U.S.
    Chinese companies have also acquired oil concessions in Canada, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Sudan, Indonesia, Iraq, and Iran.
    Despite irritating Saudi support for China's Muslim minority, Beijing and Riyadh seem determined to develop a close political relationship.

Israel Ranks 3rd in Global VC Investment - Shmulik Shelah (Globes)
    Israel ranked third in the world in venture capital investment in the first quarter of 2006 with $437 million, says a joint study by Ernst & Young and VentureOne.
    43 investments amounting to $264 million were made in IT.
    "The maturity of Israel's high-tech industry positions it in third place worldwide, after the U.S. and Canada," said Ernst & Young Israel partner Yoram Tietz.

Useful Reference:

Handbook of Hamas Palestinian Legislative Council Members (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Rice: UN Must Act on Iran Nuclear Plan - Anne Gearan
    Iran seems determined to defy international demands to control its disputed nuclear program, so it is time for the UN Security Council to act, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday after meetings with NATO foreign ministers. Tehran faces a Friday deadline from the Security Council to stop enriching uranium. "It's pretty clear Iran is not going to meet those requirements," Rice said. U.S. diplomats are gauging support in Europe for a network of independent sanctions and restrictions, such as a travel ban on Iranian leaders. Many European countries have already indicated a willingness to take such measures on their own, such as asset seizures and potential export bans. (AP/Washington Post)
        See also Iran Vows to Defy UN on Nuclear Program - William J. Broad and Elaine Sciolino (New York Times)
  • U.S.: Hamas, Iran Rekindling Hatred of Jews
    Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick used a U.S. Holocaust remembrance Thursday to warn of new efforts by Iran and the militant Palestinian group Hamas to incite hatred of Jews. At a national commemoration at the U.S. Capitol, Zoellick said, "In its response to the recent terrorist Passover bombing in Israel, Hamas continued to justify terrorism and feed hatred. Instead of facing up to the challenges of creating a democratic Palestinian state, Hamas has retreated to blaming the Palestinians' problems on the Jews. Equally troubling, today the modern Jewish democracy that emerged from the Holocaust faces a new threat from an Iranian leader who denies the very existence of that Holocaust...who threatens to wipe Israel and its people off the map...and who seeks nuclear weapons....In Iran and with Hamas, we are seeing scenes from the rise of political Islam. Theirs is a violent strain of radicalism that seeks to pervert a religion into an ideology of hatred and racism." (AFP/Yahoo)
        See also Remarks of Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick (State Department)
  • New Hamas Police Force Launched over Abbas Veto - Nidal al-Mughrabi
    About 50 masked Palestinian gunmen, pledging their allegiance to the Hamas-led government, held a training exercise on Thursday as part of a new police force opposed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. "We promise to be servants of Islam and the Muslims and to give our loyalty and support to the elected legitimate government," the militants chanted in a field in Gaza City as Israeli drones flew over the area. (Reuters)
        See also Hamas, Fatah Announce New Militias in Gaza - Nidal al-Mughrabi
    Wearing military fatigues, green headbands, and clutching AK-47 assault rifles, members of Hamas' armed wing are preparing for a role in a new police force. Izz el-Din al-Kassam brigades spokesman Abu Ubaida said Interior Minister Saeed Seyam had asked his group to contribute to the new force to put down anarchy in Gaza. In addition, Fatah gunmen on Wednesday announced a plan to form their own new militia, said Abu Saqer, a spokesman of the Fatah-linked Yasser Arafat Brigades. (Reuters/Washington Post)
  • Ahmadinejad's Assertion of "Right" to Enrich Uranium, Condemnation of Israel, Popular in Arab World - Gareth Smyth
    Commentators around the Arab and Muslim worlds have noted a popular warming to Ahmadinejad's strong assertion of Iran's "right" to enrich uranium and his fierce condemnation of Israel. Under Ahmadinejad, Iran's nuclear program has become a popular mission, part of his desire to bring "justice" to earth in the name of Shia Islam.
        Ahmadinejad's order this week for sports authorities to lift the ban on women attending top football matches has brought him into conflict with fundamentalist allies. Even opposition from six ayatollahs, including some of Iran's most senior clerics, has so far failed to budge the president. (Financial Times-UK)
        See also Tehran Goes Nuclear over Women Attending Soccer Games - Gareth Smyth
    Ahmadinejad's populist move has confused both fundamentalists and reformists who had regarded him as socially conservative. (Financial Times-UK)
  • Coalition Calls for Sudan Action
    A coalition of rabbis, activists, and political leaders in New York called on the international community to help end genocide in Sudan. "The Security Council must act, either to enforce the peace or to replace the inadequate African Union mission with an international protection force," said Harold Tanner, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The Save Darfur rally in Washington will take place on Sunday, April 30. (JTA)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • U.S. Concerned over Possible Al-Qaeda-Hamas Link
    U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch expressed concern on Friday over a possible connection between al-Qaeda and Hamas, following bin Laden's call for terror attacks in response to the situation of the Palestinians. Welch told Al-Hayat newspaper that Hamas had orchestrated many terror attacks with the help of international terror organizations. Washington was engaged in efforts to stem the flow of money and weaponry to Hamas, he said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Supreme Court: No Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza - Dan Izenberg
    Israel's High Court of Justice on Thursday accepted the state's argument that there was currently no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and that the state was making maximum efforts to keep the Karni crossing open and enable cargo trucks to cross between Gaza and Israel. As a result, the petitioners, including the Gaza-based Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, took the advice of Supreme Court President Aharon Barak and withdrew their petition. The state's representative, attorney Aner Hellman, argued that the government did its best to keep Karni open, but that Palestinian terrorists targeted the facility for attacks and the Palestinian Authority did nothing to stop them. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights: Agenda and Funding
    Al-Mezan follows a radical anti-Israel agenda including promoting claims of "Israeli war crimes," inflammatory pictures, and incitement justifying terrorism. The group is funded by the Ford Foundation ($100,000), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Netherlands Representative Office, International Human Rights Funders Group/co Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and Kerkinactie/Global Ministries. (NGO Monitor)
  • IDF Hits Mobile Kassam Rocket Launcher in Gaza - Hanan Greenberg
    The Air Force fired missiles at two vehicles carrying Islamic Jihad members in the Gaza Strip Thursday. One of the vehicles had been modified by the Palestinians to be a mobile Kassam rocket launcher. The IDF has introduced growing cooperation between its artillery, naval, and air forces to quickly identify terror cells, confirm their intentions, and prepare for a strike. (Ynet News)
  • Millions of Dollars Stuck in Arab Banks
    Tens of millions of dollars in aid for the Palestinians is stuck in Arab banks that won't release it for fear of U.S. retribution, Palestinian finance minister Omar Abdel Razek of Hamas said Wednesday. "The money is available. The problem is getting it here." Hamas has raised about $70 million so far from Iran and Saudi Arabia, the finance minister said. Even if the money gets through, it won't solve long-term problems. The U.S. and EU have cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. Israel and the Western donors have said they will restore the flow of money only if Hamas renounces violence, recognizes Israel's right to exist, and accepts past peace agreements. Hamas has rejected the demands. (AP/Kuwait Times)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Former Military Chief: Palestinians Still Striving to Destroy Israel - Ori Nir
    Moshe Yaalon, the recently retired chief of staff of the Israeli military, is credited in many circles as the military leader most responsible for Israel's success in curbing Palestinian terrorism in the past few years. As chief of staff, Yaalon coined the phrase that Israel must "brand into the Palestinians' consciousness" that violence would not yield them any political gains. He argues that the Palestinian leadership, whether Hamas or Fatah, still strives to destroy Israel.
        Only when Palestinians give up the dream of reclaiming their pre-1948 communities inside Israel and recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state will peace be possible. It will take at least a generation - probably more than one - for Palestinian society to ripen for peace negotiations. Until then, Israel must show strength, fight terrorism with all its might, and not reward terrorists or expose the country's volatile eastern border to attacks by withdrawing. Yaalon believes effective Israeli rule in the West Bank is strategically necessary as long as Palestinian society is not ready to live in peace with the Jewish state.
        Yaalon, a kibbutznik from a Labor movement background, said his analysis is based on realism - not ideology - stemming from a deep sense of disillusionment with the Palestinians. When the Oslo Accord was signed in 1993, Yaalon supported the peace process. "Personally, politically, I was ready for a territorial compromise." But hopes for a viable deal with a reliable partner started fading when he became chief of Israel's military intelligence in 1995. "I looked at the Palestinian Authority under Arafat, which by then had been on the ground for a year, and asked what it has done to fight terrorism, to prepare Palestinians for peace." He discovered that Arafat was not behaving like a man of peace, but rather like a "jihadist" preparing Palestinians for war.
        After he became the commander of Israel's Central Command, responsible for the West Bank, he became so convinced of Arafat's belligerent intentions that in the summer of 1999 he wrote a memo warning that around September 2000, Arafat would launch a terrorism war against Israel. (Forward)
  • Palestinian Duplicity: The Sequel - Walter Reich
    Hamas' ideology is clear. What it considers to be occupied territory isn't just the West Bank (the Israelis have left Gaza) but all of internationally recognized Israel. Ever since it was founded in 1987, Hamas has unwaveringly articulated its goal to destroy Israel. That was also the sacred, unchangeable, and publicly stated goal of Arafat and the PLO until the late 1980s, when Western diplomats persuaded him to change his rhetoric and say the things that would make it possible for the West to accept him. Already Americans and Europeans are trying to coach Hamas' leaders, as yet untutored in the fine art of diplomatic maneuverings and lingo, to utter those magic words that will give the West the fig leaf that will allow it to ignore Hamas' end game - the destruction of Israel.
        But getting Hamas to genuinely change its goals is far less feasible. Hamas is even more dedicated to Israel's destruction than was Arafat. He had only nationalism fueling his passion, whereas Hamas has nationalism but also, at least as it hears it, the very word of God. The writer, a former director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is Yitzhak Rabin memorial professor of international affairs, ethics and human behavior at George Washington University and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. (Wall Street Journal, 28Apr06)
  • And Now for Some Facts - Benny Morris
    John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt's "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" is a travesty of the history that I have studied and written for the past two decades. They imply that down to 1948, the Zionist leadership rejected the partition of Palestine. This is simply false. After 1937, the Zionist mainstream understood that the Jewish people needed an immediate safe haven from European savagery, and that the movement would have to take what history was offering and could gain no more.
        The Palestinian story was different. The Palestinian national movement, from its inception up to 2000, rejected a two-state solution. There was no great debate. The Palestinian leadership rejected the 1937 and 1947 partition plans (and the Begin-Sadat "autonomy plan" of 1978, which would have led to a two-state solution), and insisted that the Jews had no right to even an inch of Palestine. And the Palestinian government of today, led by the popularly elected Hamas, continues to espouse this uncompromising, anti-partitionist one-state position. All of this is completely ignored in Mearsheimer and Walt's "history."
        From Mearsheimer and Walt, you would never suspect that the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948 occurred against the backdrop, and as the result, of a war that for the Jews was a matter of survival, and which those same Palestinians and their Arab brothers had launched. To omit this historical background is stark dishonesty. (New Republic)
  • What We Don't Grasp About Militant Islam - David Ignatius
    How do you resolve a confrontation with an adversary that appears unable or unwilling to negotiate a settlement? That's a common problem that runs through the West's battles with militant Islam. For a theocratic regime in Iran that claims a mandate from God, the very idea of compromise is anathema. Great issues of war and peace will be resolved by God's will, not by human negotiators. Better to lose than to bargain with the devil. Al-Qaeda also doesn't seek negotiations or a political settlement. The West has placed its hopes on the political maturation of radical Muslim groups. But so far, there is little evidence to support this hope. The Hamas government appears to have nothing it wants to negotiate with Israel. (Washington Post)
  • A Dagger to Al-Qaeda - Editorial
    The appearance of an al-Qaeda video on the Internet more often than not is a sign of good news in the war on terrorism. Tuesday's posting by Iraqi commander Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is in part a bid for advantage in factional feuding that has curtailed al-Qaeda's visibility and effectiveness. More important, the terrorist acknowledges that the agreement of Iraq's leading Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish parties on the country's first permanent postwar government last week was "a dagger in the heart." The Zarqawi movement has spent the past several years trying to ignite a sectarian war between Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites. (Washington Post)
        See also Greetings from the Butcher of Baghdad - Yassin Musharbash
    The Zarqawi video is a sensation. For the first time ever, terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shows his face on camera. He's gained weight, seems relaxed, and moves around freely. His supporters are ecstatic. A 34-minute video that an Islamic website made available for downloading Tuesday includes a 15-minute speech by Zarqawi as well as edited footage from the terrorist leader's everyday life. The film offers the first moving pictures of him, with the exception of a bloody video from 2004 in which he beheads American hostage Nicholas Berg. Zarqawi has plain international ambitions. In 2002 he even tried to organize an attack in Germany. (Der Spiegel-Germany)
  • Portrait of a Palestinian Suicide Bomber - Osama Al-Essa
    Research showed that economic hardship was not the motive behind most suicide bombers as the majority of the bombers belonged to relatively affluent families. The majority of those who carried out such attacks were pursuing higher education and came from stable families. Thus it is difficult to link poverty and suicide operations. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
        See also How the PA Makes Suicide Bombers - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
    What drives a young Palestinian to turn his body into a bomb? Children are not born hating. It is something they learn - and the Palestinian Authority has been the ideal teacher. The first step is to promote hatred by demonizing a target group, portrayed as so evil and threatening that killing its members is seen not as murder but as justified revenge and admirable self-defense. As part of the PA's incessant demonization of Jews and Israelis, PA TV has been running daily video clips with actors depicting Palestinian prisoners going through horrific torture at the hands of Israeli guards.
        But it's not enough to establish Israel as the enemy. The terrorists who kill Israelis must be seen as heroes and leaders of society. There are no greater heroes and role models in PA society than terrorists. Summer camps and sporting events are routinely named for terrorists. The PA Ministry of Culture recently produced a poetry collection named for the woman terrorist who killed 21 in a Haifa restaurant. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Indonesia's Mideast Policy - Editorial
    Without any kind of relationship with Israel, Indonesia cannot play the role of mediator in the conflict. Our position has thus been reduced to that of a cheering supporter for one of the sides in the conflict. Indonesia has already publicly endorsed the two-state solution that would recognize the legitimate existence of the states of Israel and Palestine. Indonesia will not be the first country with a predominantly Muslim population to recognize Israel. Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Morocco have already done that. A rethink of the policy is called for. We cannot have it both ways: wanting to play the role of broker but not recognizing one of the parties to the conflict. (Jakarta Post-Indonesia)
        See also Indonesia Won't Play Fed Cup Matches in Israel
    Indonesia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, refused to play a Fed Cup series in Israel in July and wants the women's tennis matches switched to a neutral country. If the request for a venue change is denied, the Indonesian team will have to forfeit. (Arizona Republic)
  • Israel and the New Accession States of the European Union - Interview with Mark Sofer
    On 1 May 2004, ten new countries were admitted into the EU, eight were Central and Eastern European. Israel's relations with almost all the Eastern European countries are influenced by a feeling of historical obligation toward Israel as a result of the Jews' fate there during the last century. All these countries want to shake off their communist past and concentrate on their democratic present, with the close relationship between the communist and Arab world an element of that past they want to throw off. Furthermore, these countries tend to have a pro-American outlook. There is also the absence of significant Muslim minorities.
        As democracy builders, these countries often feel an affinity with Israel because they recognize it as being the only democratic society in the Middle East, as opposed to the Arab countries. Public opinion polls in many of the new accession states show overwhelming support for Israel, a trend that is sadly unthinkable in the public opinion climate of Western Europe. (JCPA)

    Weekend Feature

  • When Art Not Only Imitates Life - But Saves It - Etgar Lefkovits
    Alfred Gluck, then 23, had been slated for extermination in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, but his ability to draw sketches from photographs impressed the camp commander. Gluck was saved. "By drawing I survived," Gluck, 85, recalled in an interview. He arrived in Palestine in 1946. He fought in Israel's War of Independence, after which he studied industrial design, eventually becoming the secretary of the Israel Designers Association.
        After his liberation in April 1945, Gluck began to draw in a DP camp in Bergen Belsen. A Jewish Czech officer gave him an album in which he sketched scenes from the Holocaust: the entry of the Nazis into Vienna, the death march, a self-portrait with his daily portion of food, forced labor in the coal mines, and the "selection." Six decades after he made the sketches, Gluck's album is now on display at Yad Vashem's Art Museum. A smaller selection of his sketches is also available at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Observations:

    Europe's Response to the Threat of Global Terror - Jose Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain
    (Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    • If we trace the line between the West and the rest, Israel is on the same side as Europe, the U.S., Japan, and Australia. We defend the same values against the same enemies.
    • Now it is imperative to defend our values and way of life against a new threat: Islamic extremism and terrorism. The new mission of NATO should be clear: to combat jihadism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
    • If the Allies want to prevail collectively over the gathering threats, NATO must refocus itself on fighting terror, the major threat today. Indeed, this is an existential threat, if we bear in mind what Islamic terrorism plans for outsiders - "the crusaders and infidels" - and for Zionism, as well.
    • If defending our own values against the radical Islamists is the future of NATO, we must change the way the Alliance is conceived geographically and open its doors to those nations that share our values, that defend them on the ground, and that are willing to join in the fight against jihadism. Thus, NATO should invite Japan, Australia, and Israel to become full members.
    • Treating Israel as if it were not an integral part of the Western world is a big mistake that will affect our ability to prevail in this long war against jihadism. I think it is in our mutual interests to have Israel as a formal ally. The West cannot fight this radical tide without Israel.

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