Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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June 20, 2006

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In-Depth Issues:

From Gaza, Tragedy and Propaganda - David Frum (National Post-Canada/American Enterprise Institute)
    Since 2000, hoaxing has emerged as a major tool of Palestinian propaganda.
    The U.S. website Second Draft has compiled documentary footage to reveal a startling series of faked funerals, staged gun battles, and professional weeping grandmothers.
    They dub the Palestinian propaganda complex "Pallywood," and ask hard questions about the readiness - eagerness - of much of the world media to be deceived.

Palestinian University President Opposes Boycott of Israeli Academics (AP/Ha'aretz)
    "If we are to look at Israeli society, it is within the academic community that we've had the most progressive pro-peace views and views that have come out in favor of seeing us as equals," said the Palestinian president of Al-Quds University, Sari Nusseibeh.
    "If you want to punish any sector, this is the last one to approach."
    However, Nusseibeh acknowledged that his is a minority viewpoint among his colleagues.

Palestinian Cleared of Terror Charge in U.S. (AP/Jerusalem Post)
    A federal jury in Arkansas on Monday found Palestinian-born Arwah Jaber innocent of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
    But the jury convicted Jaber of obtaining his naturalization unlawfully, making false statements on passport and immigration applications, and two counts of making false statements on credit card applications.
    Jaber came to the attention of authorities after he talked openly about joining the Islamic Jihad.

Eurocoptor Integrates Israeli Missile (Middle East Newsline)
    Eurocopter has integrated an Israeli air-to-ground missile produced by the Rafael Armament Development Authority for its Tiger helicopter.
    Industry sources said that in Spanish military trials all of the four Spike missiles struck their targets.

Israel Votes to Save the Whales - Adrinah Greene (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel cast ballots to keep whales safe against Japanese proposals at the International Whaling Commission's annual meeting in St. Kitts and Nevis which began Friday.
    One measure, defeated 31-30, would have permitted a commercial moratorium exemption allowing countries to hunt 150 Minke and 150 Byrde whales in their own territorial waters.
    Another would have removed the prohibition on hunting dolphins and porpoises.
    Israel joined the IWC two weeks ago at the invitation of the U.S.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Palestinians Get First Payday Since March - Ibrahim Barzak
    Hundreds of Palestinian civil servants lined up at Gaza post offices Monday for $300 payouts as the Hamas-led government dipped into suitcases full of cash its officials carried into Gaza to circumvent a Western aid cutoff. (AP/Washington Post)
  • Presbyterian Compromise Appears to Please Israel Divestment Opponents - Rachel Pomerance
    Two years after it angered Jews by passing a resolution calling for divestment from Israel, the Presbyterian Church USA is trying to undo the damage at this year's General Assembly in Birmingham, Ala. (JTA)
        See also Presbyterian Church Adopts Compromise Resolution on Israel - Nathan Guttman
    The Committee on Peacemaking and International Issues of the Presbyterian Church USA has adopted a compromise resolution replacing a 2004 decision by the church to divest from companies doing business with Israel. The new resolution calls for the church to invest only in "peaceful pursuits" in Israel and Palestine, does not include the word "divestment," and ends the practice of singling out Israel. The committee also added a clause acknowledging that the previous decision "caused hurt and misunderstanding" among the Jewish community. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Syria Tightens Noose on Political Activists
    Syria has stepped up a campaign against political activists, accusing opposition figure Kamal Labwani of contacting the U.S. to incite an attack against Syria. Labwani was arrested at the beginning of the year upon his return from Washington where he had met U.S. officials and was interviewed by the U.S.-funded Arabic-language al-Hurra television. (UPI)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinians Shoot at Israeli Bus, Three Women Injured
    Three Israeli high school students were lightly wounded by shrapnel Monday after Palestinians opened fire at their armored bus near Ofra, north of Jerusalem. Two other women suffered from shock. (Ynet News)
  • Hizballah Returns to Northern Border - Hanan Greenberg
    Hizballah members are rebuilding and in some places upgrading their outposts damaged in an IDF attack three weeks ago, an army source said Tuesday. "There's no doubt that some of the funding [for the reconstruction] is coming from Iran," said the source. (Ynet News)
  • PA Plans to Weed Out "Collaborators" with Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh
    The Palestinian Legislative Council's Security Affairs Committee, headed by former Fatah minister Muhammed Dahlan - who has been repeatedly accused of collaborating with Israel and the U.S. - has decided to launch a massive crackdown on "collaborators," PA officials said Monday. The PA already has about 100 suspected "collaborators" in its prisons, including six on death row. At least seven Palestinians have been killed in the past two months in the West Bank by Fatah's Aksa Martyrs Brigades after being accused of collaboration with Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Gaza: Two Palestinians Escape Before Car Explodes
    Two Palestinians jumped out of a car in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya moments before it exploded Sunday, residents said. A bystander was slightly injured. Palestinian security officials said a bomb went off inside the car. (AP/Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Abbas' Palestinian Referendum Offers False Hope - Robin Shepherd
    Opinion formers across the Western world have fallen over themselves to embrace the recent call of Mahmoud Abbas for a referendum, widely billed as the latest great hope for re-starting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. While references to the "implicit recognition" of Israel which the so-called National Accord document supposedly carries have been practically ubiquitous, it is difficult to believe that many people making such claims have actually read the document, let alone faced up to the fact that its support by Palestinian prisoners means it is directly associated with some of the most violent and radicalized activists in the Middle East.
        The fine print includes a demand for all refugees and their descendants from the Israeli war of independence in the late 1940s to have the option of relocating to Israel proper. What is at work here is simply the same old coded message for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state that has blown all previous peace efforts out of the water.
        Nearly six decades since the Jewish leadership accepted the UN's decision to establish two states, we are still dealing with a Palestinian leadership that will not offer its people a document for popular ratification that explicitly recognizes Israel's legitimate right to exist as a Jewish state. The writer is a senior trans-Atlantic fellow of the German Marshall Fund. (Financial Times-UK)
  • The Terrorist Regime Next Door - Editorial
    Since Israel withdrew from Gaza last summer, more than 500 rockets have been fired at Israeli civilian targets from PA-controlled Gaza, hitting schools, kindergartens, farms, private homes, and factories. In Sderot, an Israel town several miles from the Gaza border, an estimated one-third of the children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the near-daily rocket barrages from Gaza, where Hamas is now in charge. Security threats emanating from Gaza have been further exacerbated by the fact that weapons smuggling from Egypt has increased dramatically following Israel's pullout last year. (Washington Times)
  • What Is It that Palestinians Really Want? - Anne Barnard
    Young soldiers in the Fatah-dominated National Security Force see Fatah as the party of the flamboyant Yasser Arafat, 1970s airplane hijackings, leather jackets, flashy cars, and the Oslo Accords. Hamas is the party of regimented clerics, 1990s suicide bombings, close-cropped beards, modest houses, and an unwavering refusal to compromise with Israel. Rival clans and armed gangs are locked in a primal battle for patronage jobs, influence, and physical control of neighborhoods. In this environment, a gunman's political affiliation tends to be based on loyalty to his militia hierarchy, not the nuances of his views on Islamism. (Boston Globe)
        See also The Gangs of Gaza - Kevin Peraino
    More than two dozen Palestinian security personnel have been killed in Fatah-Hamas violence over the past month. A Palestinian arms dealer in Ramallah says that the price of an M-16 on the black market has doubled, from $5,000 to $10,000, since Hamas took power. "Hamas is buying like crazy," the dealer says. Both sides have been beefing up their militias and making other preparations. (Newsweek)
  • Observations:

    The Global Range of Iran's Ballistic Missile Program - Uzi Rubin
    (Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    • The Iranians know they cannot win a war against the United States. Their stated policy is to deter the U.S. and its allies by threatening a war that will cause such damage at such a price that this option will become unacceptable. With this perspective, they are investing very smartly in deterrence enhancers and force multipliers instead of replacing obsolete equipment.
    • What does Iran invest in? Precision strike munitions, anti-ship missiles, nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and space capabilities. The newer Shahab 3ER missile (based on the North Korean No Dong), with a reach of 2,000 km, can threaten Ankara or Alexandria, giving Iran leverage over the entire Middle East.
    • Iran has acquired eighteen BM25 land-mobile missiles with launchers from North Korea, which can strike targets in Europe. In the past, the BM25 has been produced in two models: one with a range of 2,500 km and the second with a range of 3,500 km. (View photos of Iranian rockets)
    • Well-substantiated reports indicate that the Iranians managed to smuggle out of Ukraine several Russian Kh 55 strategic cruise missiles, probably not to be deployed but to be emulated and copied.
    • In 1998 Iran announced a space program. A space launcher that can orbit a satellite weighing 300 kg can be altered into an ICBM that could drop more than 300 kg on Washington.
    • Iran's political leadership is now aiming toward global power projection in the name of Islam, demanding recognition that Islam comprises 25 percent of humanity and should occupy its rightful place in decision-making in world affairs. Statements like this are not about self-defense.

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