Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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September 13, 2006

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Stand with Israel National Solidarity Rally (Conference of Presidents)
Sep. 20, 12 Noon,

Hammarskjold Plaza, 2nd Ave. at 47 St., NYC.

In-Depth Issues:

UN Report on Lebanon Urges Hizballah Disarming - Gerard Aziakou (AFP/Yahoo)
    UN chief Kofi Annan, in a report on Lebanon, underscored the need to disarm the Iranian-backed Shiite Hizballah militia.
    "No state in the region or elsewhere would tolerate the existence of armed groups which challenge the state's monopoly on the legitimate use of force throughout its territory," Annan said, referring to Hizballah.
    Annan's report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 made it clear that "all forces other than the regular Lebanese Armed Forces" must be disarmed."

Nasrallah: Prisoner Swap Only for Terrorist Samir Qantar (Reuters/Ynet News)
    Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah told Al Jazeera television Tuesday that no deal for the release of two kidnapped Israeli soldiers would be possible without the release of Samir Qantar, who was captured after a Palestinian terror attack in 1979 on northern Israel in which an Israeli policeman, another man, and his four-year-old daughter were killed.
    See also Hizballah Chief Slams Blair as Murderer (Reuters)
    Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah said British Prime Minister Tony Blair participated in the killing of Lebanese by not doing enough to stop Israel's war in Lebanon, and lashed out at the Lebanese government for welcoming him during a visit on Monday.
    "This Tony Blair is an associate in the murdering," Nasrallah told Al Jazeera television on Tuesday.

Egyptian Electricity Begins Flowing to Gaza - Wisam Afifeh (Palestine News Network)
    On Tuesday, parts of the Gaza Strip will be powered by electricity from the Egyptian town of Rafah for the first time since 1967.

A Badly Needed Bag Check - Neal Sandler (Business Week)
    An Israeli startup, TraceGuard Technologies, says it has devised technology that can detect liquid explosives in carry-on luggage at airports faster and more accurately than any alternatives, and will be installing the system at Ben-Gurion Airport.
    The initial system, called CompactSafe, is designed to detect explosive residues on and inside small electronic devices such as laptop PCs, iPods, cameras, and cellular phones.

Useful Reference:

Palestinian Charities Actively Promote Terrorism (Israel Defense Forces)
    Video footage, photographs, and numerous documents confiscated by Israeli security forces from dozens of Palestinian charity institutes affiliated with terror organizations show active support of terrorism and advocate violence against Jews, Israel, and the U.S.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • U.S. Wary of Palestinian Unity Government Plan - Paul Richter and Ken Ellingwood
    Leaders of the radical Islamic Hamas and the rival Fatah faction announced this week that they were close to completing a deal they hoped would persuade the West to end an aid cutoff that had bankrupted the government and set off factional fighting. But U.S. officials noted Tuesday that the Palestinian proposal might not be enough to end the aid ban.
        An Israeli official said the deal seemed to be an effort to put a more presentable face on the government without making key changes or concessions, and that restoring aid would lift the pressure on Hamas just when the crunch was beginning to have an effect. "I think people in Washington are going to be pretty underwhelmed by it," said David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The Palestinians are "playing with words and trying to get the world to give them as much money as possible without being bound to anything."  (Los Angeles Times)
  • Putin Deplores Iranian Calls for Destruction of Israel
    Russia's President Vladimir Putin warned against hastily imposing sanctions on Iran, but in a rare note of criticism he has also deplored Iranian calls for the destruction of Israel, according to remarks released by the Kremlin on Tuesday. Putin said in remarks posted on the Kremlin Web site: "Neither Brazil, nor South Africa, are setting the goal to destroy another state and are writing about it in their constitutions," in an apparent reference to Iranian leaders' repeated threats to destroy Israel. "Regrettably, the Iranian leaders are talking publicly about it, and that doesn't help international security or the foreign policy of the Iranian state itself." (Pravda-Russia)
  • U.S. Lauds Syrian Forces in Embassy Attack
    U.S. officials praised Syrian security forces for thwarting Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. The Syrians killed four attackers after a car exploded near the walls of the American compound, the Syrian Information Ministry said. "I do think the Syrians reacted to the attack in a way that helped to secure our people, and we very much appreciate that," U.S. Secretary of State Rice said. (CNN)
        See also Syria Accuses U.S. of Fueling Terrorism after Embassy Attack (AFP/Yahoo)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Hamas: Unity Government Won't Mean Israel's Recognition - Khaled Abu Toameh
    A statement issued by Hamas on Tuesday stated: "The political program of the [proposed Palestinian] unity government does not contain any explicit or implicit recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity." (Jerusalem Post)
        See also A Palestinian Unity Government Will Rescue Hamas - Avi Issacharoff
    In Gaza, it turns out that there is money - but only for Hamas members. Those who receive salaries are Hamas supporters. The new poor are Fatah members. Hamas' operational force, which numbers thousands of soldiers, receives the best equipment, regular supplies of food and drink, and, according to Fatah members, a sizable monthly allowance. This fact has ignited the anger of members of the other security services who have not received wages for nearly six months.
        A senior officer in one of the security services said Hamas has appointed 11,000 civil service employees, including 67 new directors and deputy directors to the government ministries, and another 300 assistants and advisers. "They are smuggling millions via the crossings and paying their people salaries." The officer claims that a Palestinian unity government will not serve Fatah, but will rescue Hamas. "They want a unity government because for them it's the last opportunity to remain in power." (Ha'aretz)
  • Elie Wiesel Joins Call to Expel Iran from UN - Dan Bentsur
    With the opening of the UN General Assembly on September 12, 2006, Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel has joined a group of Israeli legal scholars and public personalities who are calling for the expulsion of Iran from the UN due to the statements of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and other members of the Iranian national security establishment. Eytan Bentsur, former director-general of the Foreign Ministry, said, "It is inexplicable and inexcusable that the international community is not reacting vehemently to Ahmadinejad's Nazi-style utterances." (Ynet News)
        See also Jewish Heavy-Hitters Swing at Iran - Hilary Leila Krieger (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • A Cult Network of Terror - David Ignatius
    Marc Sageman, a former CIA case officer in Pakistan who became a forensic psychiatrist, argues in his book, Understanding Terror Networks, that we are facing something closer to a cult network than an organized global adversary. Analyzing data on 400 jihadists, he found that they weren't poor, desperate sociopaths, but restless young men who found identity by joining the terrorist underground. The Sept. 11 hijackers weren't psychotic killers; none of the 19 had criminal records. In terms of their psychological profiles, says Sageman, they were as healthy as the general population.
        The implication of Sageman's analysis is that the Sunni jihadism of al-Qaeda and its spinoff groups is a generational phenomenon, a fire that will gradually burn itself out unless we keep pumping in more oxygen. Nothing in Sageman's analysis implies that America should be any less aggressive in defending itself against terrorism. But he does argue that we should choose our offensive battles wisely and avoid glamorizing the jihadist network further through our rhetoric or actions. (Washington Post)
  • One Arab's Apology - Emilio Karim Dabul
    Here it is, five years late, an apology from an Arab-American for 9/11. I was one of millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing. I did at one point write a very vitriolic essay condemning their actions, but fear of becoming another Salman Rushdie kept me from ever trying to publish it. Well, I'm sick of saying the truth only in private - that Arabs around the world, including Arab-Americans like myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable for the insane, violent actions that our extremists have perpetrated on the world at large. The men who killed 3,000 of our citizens on 9/11 in all likelihood died saying prayers to Allah, and that by itself is one of the most horrific things to me about that day. It's time for all Arab-Americans, and Arabs around the world, to protest against Islamic fascism, to raise our voices - and, where necessary, our arms - until the plague of terror has been driven from the face of the earth forever. (New York Post)
  • Hizballah as a Strategic Arm of Iran
    The Islamic regime in Iran presents a danger to Israel's existence. The regime's ideology uncompromisingly and publicly calls for Israel's destruction, fosters Palestinian terrorist organizations, and systematically strives to attain unconventional nuclear capabilities while thumbing its nose at the demands of the international community. It also clearly presents a threat to American and Western interests in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. Much of the Arab/Muslim world is also apprehensive of an Iranian threat. Israel and the entire international community must make an effort to hamper the post-war rehabilitation of Hizballah's strategic capabilities as part of a general struggle against the threat of Iran and its stronghold in Lebanon. (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies)
  • Observations:

    Ahmadinejad in New York - Editorial (New York Sun)

    • If the Holocaust-denying, nuclear bomb-building, terrorism-sponsoring president of Iran thinks he's going to flit into New York next week for the UN General Assembly and escape unchallenged, boy is he going to be in for a surprise. Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel Tuesday added his name to a small but high-powered international group of private citizens who are pushing to have Iran thrown out of the UN in response to Iran's violations of the 1948 Convention to Prevent and Punish the Crime of Genocide.
    • President Ahmadinejad will also be met with a large rally on September 20 outside the UN at noon organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, and the UJA-Federation of New York. The executive vice chairman of the Conference, Malcolm Hoenlein, said Tuesday that he's received requests from as far away as Texas, Arkansas, Ottawa, and New Hampshire to participate in the rally.
    • The legal effort in which Mr. Wiesel is involved, established at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, includes a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, Dore Gold, and a former Israeli ambassador to America, Meir Rosenne. "It is hard to believe that at a time when the president of Iran is making statements denying the Holocaust and does not hide his intention to erase Israel from the map, the enlightened world is planning to host Ahmadinejad at the opening of the General Assembly instead of evicting his country from the UN altogether," the group said in a statement.

          See also Confront Ahmadinejad - Editorial
      Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has applied for a visa to enter the U.S. and address the upcoming UN General Assembly. As human rights activist and former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler said this week, Ahmadinejad is in clear breach of the UN's post-WWII Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - international legislation designed precisely to prevent the kind of mass-murder that Iran's president so relentlessly encourages. (Jerusalem Post)

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