Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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January 23, 2007

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In-Depth Issues:

Iraqi Insurgents Plotted U.S. Attack - Pierre Thomas (ABC News)
    Iraqi insurgents reportedly tied to al-Qaeda in Iraq considered using student visas to slip 10-20 terrorists into the U.S. to orchestrate a new attack on American soil.
    Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, recently testified that documents captured by coalition forces during a raid on a safe house believed to house Iraqi members of al-Qaeda six months ago "revealed [AQI] was planning terrorist operations in the U.S."
    Sources say the suspects involved in the effort to launch the U.S. attack were closely associated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and the plan came only months after Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's No. 2, had requested that Zarqawi attempt an attack inside the U.S.
    The plan was uncovered in its early stages, and sources say there is no indication that the suspects made it into the U.S.

Russia Fulfills Iran Missile Deal (AP/Los Angeles Times)
    Russia has fulfilled a contract to sell air defense missiles to Iran and "completed in full the delivery of Tor M-1 missiles," ITAR-Tass quoted Rosoboronexport chief Sergei Chemezov as saying Tuesday.
    Russian Defense Ministry officials have previously said Moscow would supply 29 sophisticated missile systems to Iran under a $700 million contract signed in December 2005.
    See also Arming Tehran - Editorial (Chicago Tribune)
    Last week, Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov confirmed that Moscow had sold air defense missiles to Iran.
    Iran poses a grave nuclear threat. Russia seems intent on giving it cover.

Palestinians Claiming to be Al-Qaeda Blow Up Gaza Resort - Nidal al-Mughrabi (Reuters)
    Masked Palestinian gunmen, claiming they belonged to al-Qaeda, blew up the vacant al-Waha resort in Gaza on Tuesday.
    The manager of the complex, Bashir Thari, said about 40 masked and heavily armed gunmen took part in the attack.
    The gunmen told the guards: "Al-Qaeda has arrived in Gaza and we will destroy every place owned by [Fatah leader Mohammed] Dahlan and bomb him, too."
    "The guards said 'no, al-Waha belongs to a Palestinian businessman, not to Dahlan,'" Thari said.
    In addition, an explosion ripped through the office of Al Arabiya television in Gaza City on Monday.

Norway: Israeli Imports Up After Socialist Boycott (Norway Post)
    One year after the Socialist Left Party (SV) launched its boycott of goods from Israel, the import of Israeli goods has increased by 15%, the strongest increase in many years, Statistics Norway reports.

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Smokescreen: Hizbullah Inside America (YouTube/FOX News)
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Iran Bars UN Inspectors; Cleric Criticizes Ahmadinejad - Nazila Fathi
    Iran has barred 38 nuclear agency inspectors from entering the country in retaliation for a UN resolution aiming to curb Iran's nuclear program, Alaedin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament's committee for foreign policy and national security, said Monday. On Friday, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Iran's most senior dissident cleric, criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's defiant stance against the West on the nuclear issue. Montazeri said, "We should not provoke the enemy, otherwise the country will be faced with problems....We should get our right in a way that it does not create problems or excuses for others." (New York Times)
        See also EU Sets Tough Line on Iran UN Sanctions - Mark John
    EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to apply UN sanctions on Iran "in full and without delay" and if necessary go further than a UN list in targeting those linked to Tehran's nuclear work. They say Iran will face harsher sanctions if it ignores a resolution passed on December 23 that gave Iran 60 days to suspend nuclear fuel-enrichment activity. European diplomats say the U.S. is thinking about further steps, one of which may be an oil embargo against Iran. (Reuters)
  • Pro-Hizbullah Protesters Bid to Topple Lebanese Government - Nadim Ladki
    Thousands of Lebanese protesters blocked main roads in Beirut and around the country with rubble and burning tires on Tuesday at the start of a general strike called by the opposition, which includes Hizbullah, to try to topple the government. (Reuters)
  • U.S. Drafts UN Resolution Condemning Holocaust Denial - Justin Bergman
    The U.S. has drafted a UN resolution urging states to "reject any denial of the Holocaust," saying that "ignoring the historical fact of these terrible events increases the risk they will be repeated." Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. mission to the UN, said the draft resolution was being circulated in the General Assembly ahead of the UN's International Day of Commemoration in memory of victims of the Holocaust on Jan. 27. He said its purpose was to "make perfectly clear that denying or minimizing the importance of the Holocaust is unacceptable to the UN membership." (AP/Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Analyst: Arabs Want to Talk with Israel - Yaakov Lappin
    Israel is in "an enviable position" due to the unprecedented number of Arab states and organizations who wish to speak with it, Dr. Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Herzliya Conference on Monday. "For the first time in which I can recall, all Arabs want to talk to you. Arabs who like you, and those who don't like you, want talk to you," he said. Satloff also said he has surveyed Arab opinion from North Africa to the Persian Gulf, and found that "they are begging us [the U.S.] to stop Iran. To prevent an Iranian nuclear acquisition, and stemming Iranian influence. We remain the most powerful player in region." (Ynet News)
  • Militant's Supporters Threaten Yemeni Jews
    A group of 45 Yemeni Jews have left their homes in Al Haid for a hotel in Sadaa City after receiving warnings to leave Yemen from supporters of a militant in the northern province of Sadaa. Four masked people came to Dawoud Yousuf Mousa and threatened to slaughter him and the other Jews if they do not leave by January 19. (Gulf News-UAE)
  • Palestinian Rocket Fire Continues - Mijal Grinberg and Gideon Alon
    Palestinians in Gaza fired three Kassam rockets at Israel on Monday. One rocket was fired at strategic facilities located in the southern city of Ashkelon, while two additional rockets were fired at the town of Sderot. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Jimmy Carter's Jewish Problem - Deborah Lipstadt
    Jimmy Carter's book, while exceptionally sensitive to Palestinian suffering, ignores a legacy of mistreatment, expulsion and murder committed against Jews. It trivializes the murder of Israelis. Now, facing a storm of criticism, he has relied on anti-Semitic stereotypes in defense. Carter has repeatedly fallen back - possibly unconsciously - on traditional anti-Semitic canards. In the Los Angeles Times he declared it "politically suicide" for a politician to advocate a "balanced position" on the crisis. On Al-Jazeera TV, he dismissed the critique of his book by declaring that "most of the condemnations of my book came from Jewish-American organizations." Does that invalidate their criticism - and mine?
         Perhaps unused to being criticized, Carter reflexively fell back on this kind of innuendo about Jewish control of the media and government. When David Duke spouts such stereotyping, I yawn. When Jimmy Carter does, I shudder. A man who has done much good and who wants to bring peace has not only failed to move the process forward but has given refuge to scoundrels. The writer teaches at Emory University. (Washington Post)
        See also Who Gave Us Islamist Iran? Jimmy Carter - Barry Rubin
    Who gave us Islamist Iran, inasmuch as any foreign factor could have done so? Jimmy Carter, through his incompetence at dealing with the Iranian revolution and its aftermath, plus his weakness in managing the state-sanctioned kidnapping of several dozen American diplomats. Carter helped produce the monstrosity in Teheran, the world's only openly genocidal state. (Jerusalem Post)
  • On the Holocaust Conference Sponsored by the Government of Iran - Gholam Reza Afkhami and over one hundred others
    We the undersigned Iranians, considering that the Nazis' coldly planned "Final Solution" and their ensuing campaign of genocide against Jews and other minorities during World War II constitute undeniable historical facts, deplore that the denial of these unspeakable crimes has become a propaganda tool that the Islamic Republic of Iran is using to further its own agendas. Noting that the new brand of anti-Semitism prevalent in the Middle East today has no precedent in Iran's history, we strongly condemn the Holocaust Conference sponsored by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran on December 1112, 2006, and its attempt to falsify history. (New York Review of Books)
  • The Root Cause of Terrorism - Joseph Farah
    Lately, we've heard the root cause of terrorism is alienation, poverty, or the West's support for Israel. What do I think is the root cause of terrorism? It works. Those using terrorism do it because it achieves their objectives.
      The more Israel has acceded to the demands of terrorists, the more terrorism has increased. The more Israel has unilaterally retreated from lands won in hard-fought combat, the more emboldened its attackers have become. The more accommodating Israel is with the terrorists, the higher become the demands on the Jewish state by international busybodies who blame their own problems with terrorists on Israel.
        There are only two ways to stop the terrorism: Surrender and live under the domination of Islam, or soundly defeat the Islamic jihad. You can't talk to it. You can't buy it off. You can't understand it. You can't win it over with compassion. You can't reason with it. You can't negotiate with it. You can't bargain with it. You can't appease it away. You can't wish it away. (WorldNetDaily)
  • Observations:

    Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas and the Global Jihad: A New Conflict Paradigm for the West - Dore Gold (Ynet News)

    • With the establishment of a Shiite regime in Iraq for the first time, Iran's Islamic republic sensed a historic opportunity to emerge as the Middle East's top superpower, spread its influence to neighboring Shiite communities, and reach Sunni Arabs as well, above the heads of current governments.
    • The Sunni-Shiite rivalry will emerge in the coming years as the central axis of the Middle Eastern conflict. In light of the threat faced by Arab Sunni countries, their dependence on the U.S. and its Western allies will grow. The West, for its part, does not have to pay for this cooperation with concessions at Israel's expense.
    • The time has come to reshape Western policy based on new principles that will reflect the changing regional reality:
      1. The main threat to Sunni Arab states currently comes from Iran, and therefore, the Arab-Israeli conflict is no longer at the top of the Sunni agenda. In fact, Israel and Sunni Arabs currently share many threat perceptions.
      2. Today no diplomatic option exists for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as long as the current wave of Islamic radicalism continues. On the other hand, we can assume that unilateral Israeli withdrawals, without a Palestinian side that can engage in negotiations, will only serve to boost the success of radical Islam in the region, as happened in wake of the disengagement from Gaza.
      3. Stabilizing the Middle East requires the neutralization of all of the current radical Islamic wave's components. In this regard, the defeat of any such radical organization, be it Sunni or Shiite, is extremely important, as each such failure will weaken the other components as well.
      4. Israel needs defensible borders. We can assume that withdrawing from the Jordan Rift Valley, for example, would lead to wide-scale infiltration of terrorists into the West Bank, including the smuggling of weapons and even global jihad volunteers. Hence, Israel will find itself coping with a difficult reality, as is the case on the Philadelphi Route in the wake of the Gaza withdrawal. At the same time, the vacuum to be left behind by every Israeli withdrawal will draw more and more global jihad organizations to Jordan itself and undermine the Hashemite Kingdom's stability, and ultimately, the entire region.

      Read Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas and the Global Jihad: A New Conflict Paradigm for the West (85pp. - 2M pdf file) (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
      Map: The Global Reach of Iranian-Sponsored Terrorism
      Map: Iranian Political-Military Involvement Across the Middle East
      Map: Shiite Populations in the Middle East
      Map: Iran's Growing Missile Capabilities
      Map: International Terrorist Attacks by Al-Qaeda

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