Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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October 23, 2006

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In-Depth Issues:

Poll: 81% of U.S. Jews Believe Arabs Want to Destroy Israel - Shmuel Rosner (Ha'aretz)
    81% of American Jews believe that the real goal of the Arabs is the destruction of Israel and not the return of occupied land, according to the annual survey of the American Jewish Committee.
    Only 38% said Israel and the Arabs could solve the conflict peacefully, while 56% said they believed the conflict could not be resolved.

Israel Campus Beat
- October 22, 2006

Point Counter-Point:
    Does Israel Need a Ceremonial President?

FBI: American Jews Outnumber Muslims by 7-1 as Hate-Crime Targets (WorldNetDaily)
    According to an FBI report on hate crimes in 2005, released last week, of the 1,314 verified offenses motivated by religious bias, 69% were anti-Jewish, while 11% were anti-Islamic.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Blames Hizballah for War (Jerusalem Post)
    In an interview on Egyptian public television on Saturday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu Gheit said that Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah had begun the summer's Lebanon war to justify Hizballah's existence, Israel Radio reported.

Jewish Diamonds Find Favor in Arab Dubai - Anjan Sundaram (Washington Post)
    The two-year-old Dubai Diamond Exchange has put the Gulf emirate squarely inside a global business dominated by Jewish traders. And that, inevitably, means trade ties with Israel, another world diamond hub.
    Israeli Diamond Exchange president Avi Paz says diamonds and hospitality flow freely between Israel and Dubai. "We came there, they came here. There is no problem at all," Paz said in Tel Aviv.
    Nearby Qatar also keeps discrete ties with Israel.

Indonesia Wants to Buy Israeli UAVs - Yossi Melman (Ha'aretz)
    Indonesia is planning to purchase Searcher Mark-II unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel, according to Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Marshal Djoko Suyanto.
    Djoko said the plan to purchase the aircraft was initiated by the TNI because its technical specifications met that of all three services.
    "Surveys were conducted by a joint team with personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, the TNI's strategic intelligence agency BAIS, and the ministry of defense," he said.

Book: Jewish Underground Used Fake British Banknotes Forged for Nazis - Murdo Macleod (Scotland on Sunday-UK)
    More than £130m worth of British banknotes forged by concentration camp inmates for the Nazis was used by the Jewish underground after the Second World War to pay for the transport of Jews to then British-occupied Palestine and to buy weapons for the embryonic Israeli armed forces.
    The revelations are contained in a new book, Krueger's Men, by former Time magazine journalist Lawrence Malkin.

Key Links 
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Israel to Keep Up Lebanon Flights
    Israel will continue flights over Lebanon because of a "growing effort to pass weapons into Lebanon," Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the cabinet Sunday. "As long as these attempts continue, the legitimacy of our flights over Lebanon increases," he said. (BBC News)
        See also Israel Air Force: Halting Overflights Will Harm Intelligence - Hanan Greenberg
    A senior Israel Air Force official said Sunday that reconnaissance flights conducted by the air force south of the Litani River in Lebanon are indicating intensive rehabilitation efforts by Hizballah. "The fact that we did not fly over Lebanon in recent years...probably caused gaps in intelligence," he added. The war in Lebanon was the trigger to a renewal of the recon flights. After Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, the flights were reduced slowly until stopping almost completely. (Ynet News)
        See also France: Israeli Overflights Endanger Truce
    Israeli overflights of Lebanese air space are "extremely dangerous" because French-led UN peacekeepers on the ground could see them as hostile acts and fire in self-defense, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said Friday. (AP/Ynet News)
        See also below Observations - Israel to International Community: Focus on Lebanese UN Violations - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iran Paid Bribe to Block Soldier's Release - Israel - Irwin Arieff
    Israel accused Iran on Thursday of bribing a Hamas leader to sabotage the release of an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants near Gaza in June. Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman told the Security Council that "we heard news" that Tehran had paid $50 million to Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who lives in Damascus, "to sabotage the negotiations on the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and prevent his release." "We have every reason to believe that the Iranian regime has bribed Khaled Meshaal," he said. (Reuters)
  • Mideast Jewish Refugees Campaign for Recognition - Jonathan Saul
    World Jewish groups began a global campaign on Sunday calling for recognition of Jews from Arab countries as refugees in the Middle East conflict. "The world sees the plight of Palestinian refugees, and not withstanding their plight, there must be recognition that Jews from Arab countries are also victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict," said Stanley Urman, executive director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC). Jewish groups have estimated that since 1948 at least 900,000 Jews have been forced to leave their homes in Arab countries and at least 600,000 went to Israel. The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC) has estimated that Jews lost more than $100 billion in personal and community assets through confiscations by various Arab governments. (Reuters)
  • We Are Biased, Admit the Stars of BBC News - Simon Walters
    A leaked account of an "impartiality summit" called by BBC Chairman Michael Grade reveals that executives would let the Bible be thrown into a dustbin on a TV comedy show, but not the Koran, and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. Further, it discloses that the BBC's "diversity tsar" wants Muslim women newsreaders to be allowed to wear veils on the air. At the secret meeting in London last month, BBC executives admitted the corporation deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, and is more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians. (Mail on Sunday-UK)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Palestinians Fire 11 Rockets at Israel
    Palestinians in Gaza fired 11 Kassam rockets into Israel between Friday and Sunday morning. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Palestinian Rocket Lands Near IDF Base (Jerusalem Post)
  • Countdown for the Hamas Government - Danny Rubinstein
    The chairman of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, has already made up his mind to disperse or put an end to the Hamas government. Last week Abbas declared: "Bread is more important than democracy," a sentence quoted in all the Palestinian media. True, the Hamas government rose to power through democratic elections, but it is not able to function, it does not pay salaries, it does not provide bread, and it cannot continue to rule. Hamas Interior Minister Said Sayam says Abbas intends to depose the Hamas leaders in a way that is tantamount to an anti-democratic coup, and that they plan to fight against this.
        Abbas has invited the members of the central elections committee to meet with him and he is preparing them for the possibility that there will be elections or a referendum. In addition, he has put senior military commander Gen. Haj Ismail back on active service. Hamas, for its part, has announced the organization of a new armed operational force of the Palestinian Interior Ministry in the West Bank.
        The U.S. and many other countries, certainly Israel, are pressing Abbas to act forcefully and to crush Hamas. Even more interested in this are the Arab states. Almost all these regimes are afraid of Muslim opposition in their countries. It is clearly in their interest to bring about the failure of a Muslim-oriented government such as that of Hamas. (Ha'aretz)
  • Fatah-Hamas Clashes Continue in Gaza - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinian security forces loyal to Fatah blocked main Gaza Strip intersections on Sunday to protest the Hamas government's inability to pay their salaries. The protest erupted into an armed battle with members of Hamas' "Executive Force" overnight Saturday. Mohammed Shahadeh, a well-known Fatah activist, was fatally shot outside his home. Also Saturday, Palestinian officials in Ramallah said that PA Chairman Abbas had ordered the PA security forces to thwart Hamas' plan to deploy members of its Executive Force in the West Bank.
        Although Hamas is less popular in the West Bank than in Gaza, PA officials expressed fear that the Islamic movement was setting up a new security force in the northern West Bank. The officials were surprised when Hamas managed to bring hundreds of its gunmen to a paramilitary march in the streets of Kalkilya on Thursday when Hamas gunmen participated in the funeral of top Hamas operative Ammar Taher, who was assassinated as he walked out of a Nablus mosque. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • UNIFIL Hinders Israel's Self-Defense - Benny Avni
    When the war in Lebanon ended, pessimists said a beefed up UN force would need to maintain close ties and avoid confrontation with Shiite supporters of Hizballah if it were to succeed. Consequently, UNIFIL would hinder Israel's ability to carry out pinpoint operations across the border. Hizballah would gain an ally, while the Israeli army would face a new obstacle.
        Sure enough, top Paris officials and UNIFIL commanders said last week that UN troops have encountered no illegal weapons in the area along Israel's border. The French-led force was also unaware of any flow of illegal arms into Lebanon from across the Syrian border. (New York Sun)
  • Warmth in Moscow; Reality in Iran - Ronny Sofer
    On the surface, Russian President Putin's reception of Israeli Prime Minister Olmert this week in Moscow seemed very welcoming, but only on the surface. Russia is twenty times larger than Israel and it didn't occur to Putin to apologize for selling arms to Israel's enemies, including the Iranians and the Syrians. The Iranian nuclear project alone with its eight facilities is earning more for Russia than Israel could ever purchase from Russia in the future. The $2 billion a year business ties Israel has with Russia are negligible compared to the deals Russia has with the Arab world. Putin serves Russia's interests. Russia's path back to the golden era passes through Teheran and Damascus. (Ynet News)
  • Edward Said's Legacy - Martin Peretz
    In Wednesday's Times there was a review by Jeannette Catsoulis of two documentaries about Edward Said. Alas, it's clear that Catsoulis knows little about Said, almost nothing about his theories, and less about the conflict to which he added so much rancor and deceit. Said's life as published by himself is made up of facts, half-truths, and irrefutable but meticulously constructed lies. Said rushed into print with a memoir called Out of Place, after Justus Reid Weiner had published a painstakingly precise examination of Said's life in Commentary (September 1999). One is led to the conclusion that Said - whatever his manic genius - was a fraud. (New Republic)
        See also The False Prophet of Palestine: In the Wake of the Edward Said Revelations - Justus Reid Weiner (JCPA, 16Jan2000)
  • Observations:

    Israel to International Community: Focus on Lebanese UN Violations
    - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)

    • On Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev urged the international community to focus on the Lebanese violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 rather than pointing fingers at Israel regarding overflights.
    • Regev said that Israel, by pulling its troops out of Lebanon, fulfilled its core requirement under 1701. The same could not be said of the Lebanese.
    • "Any objective person looking at the implementation of 1701 must agree that the onus now is on the Lebanese side to fulfill its core commitments, and at the moment there are three issues that are lacking," he said.
      • First, IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are still being held captive, in direct opposition to the resolution.
      • Second, the international arms embargo on Hizballah is not fully in place, and "unfortunately there are still illicit arms transfers."
      • Third, the resolution calls for the removal of all Hizballah armed personnel south of the Litani River, something that has not yet been achieved.
    • "So instead of pointing a finger at Israel, we think the international community should be dealing with violations the Lebanese side are making," Regev said.
    • He said the Israeli overflights are "in many ways a response to the continued violation of 1701 on the Lebanese side. In the absence of an enforced arms embargo we have a need to act. In the absence of the removal of armed Hizballah personnel in the south we have a need to act, and any information we can attain on the positions of the hostages is also legitimate."

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