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April 17, 2009

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Report: Hizbullah Planned Huge Terror Attacks in Tel Aviv - Yoav Stern (Ha'aretz)
    Hizbullah operatives caught in Egypt planned to carry out massive terror attacks in Tel Aviv, the Egyptian newspaper Almasry Alyoum reported Thursday.
    Two Palestinians from Fatah told Egyptian investigators that they were trained by Hizbullah to perpetrate large-scale suicide bombings in Tel Aviv.

Egypt Now an Enemy of Iran and Hizbullah - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
    The ultimate decision about publicizing the existence of a Hizbullah cell on Egyptian soil was made by Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman after receiving the nod from President Hosni Mubarak.
    The Egyptian assessment is that Hizbullah planned at least one large-scale terrorist attack against Western targets on Egyptian soil; they suspect that the goal was to attack a ship passing through the Suez Canal.
    Members of the cell were also instructed to collect information about Israeli tourist haunts in Sinai, with a view to attacking them.
    In exposing the Hizbullah cell, Egypt wants to focus all responsibility on Iran.
    The timing here is not coincidental. Now that the U.S. is beginning to openly court Tehran, with President Obama seeing it as a potential partner in solving regional problems, the time has come to expose Iran's plotting of terrorist activities.

Abbas' Son Has Amassed a Vast Personal Fortune - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Yasser Abbas, the son of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, revealed this week in an interview with the Dubai-based economic magazine that he's a self-made millionaire who started his own business shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords.
    Abbas, 46, a Canadian national, arrived in the PA territories in 1996, made his money in construction and real estate, and has a monopoly over the marketing of U.S.-made cigarettes in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel Asks U.S. to Continue Funding Arrow Anti-Missile System - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
    Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged a visiting delegation of U.S. congressmen Thursday to help Israel secure funding for the development and production of the Arrow 3 ballistic missile defense system.
    Israel is concerned that the U.S. will cut funding for the Arrow 3.
    Israel and the U.S. have been jointly funding the Arrow, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing, since its inception in the late 1980s.

Release Imprisoned American-Iranian Journalist - Editorial (New York Times)
    There is nothing resembling justice in Iran's prosecution of Roxana Saberi, a journalist with dual American-Iranian citizenship.
    Charged last week with spying for the U.S. government, her one-day trial this week was held in secret, and state officials have not revealed any evidence against her.
    Iran's government needs to release Ms. Saberi and end this dangerous farce.
    By using Ms. Saberi and many of its own citizens as political pawns, Iran is ensuring that its shockingly poor human rights record will remain a contentious issue and make rapprochement even harder.

Israel Supreme Court President Speaks at Princeton - Samantha Henry (AP/Washington Post)
    Israeli Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said in a speech at Princeton University Thursday that the goal of the court is to respect human rights while maintaining security during "a permanent state of emergency."
    One of the main challenges the court faces is that international law has yet to fully adapt to modern terrorist threats.
    "International law has not yet developed a means to respond to the fight against these terrorist organizations," she said.

Law and Order, Palestinian-Style - Oakland Ross (Toronto Star)
    When a crime is committed by one Palestinian Arab clan against another, it is not enough for the state to intervene and deal with the case.
    There must still be an accommodation between the two extended families, carried out in accordance with tribal law, before the matter can be put aside.
    The power and influence of Palestinian clans have only increased in the years that have followed the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993.
    For 26 years before that, the West Bank and Gaza were directly governed by Israel and were subject to an Israeli-administered judicial system.
    "It had many shortcomings," says George Giacaman, director of the program on human rights and democracy at Birzeit University, "but in many ways it could enforce the law."
    The suspension of that system left the Palestinian territories without a functioning state-run judicial structure.
    Clans filled the breach, and tribal law has become the mainstay of social order in much of the West Bank and in most of Gaza.

Iran's Minority Politics - Philip Carl Salzman (Middle East Strategy at Harvard)
    In the case of Iran, it would be a great error to think of the population as being homogeneous, for the people of Iran are in fact quite ethnically diverse.
    The core population consists of the Persian (Farsi)-speaking city and village dwellers in central Iran who make up about half of the population.
    On the geographical peripheries of the country are a number of important populations who differ ethnically and linguistically from Persians.
    Many of these populations have ethnic compatriots across the boundaries of Iran: Arabs in Iraq and across the Gulf, Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, Azeris in Azerbaijan, Turkmen in Central Asia, and Baluchis in Pakistan.
    Note: This article contains unique maps detailing the ethnic, religious, and linguistic make-up of Iran.
    The writer is Professor of Anthropology at McGill University.

Israel Is a Child-Bearing Superpower - Ari Shavit (Ha'aretz)
    Israel is a child-bearing superpower. We Israelis have babies and cherish our children more than any other Western society.
    Europeans and Japanese, whose lives are immeasurably more comfortable, safe and pampered than ours, long ago ceased to bring children into the world.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • U.S. Pushes for UN Censure of Iran, Syria on Arms - Jay Solomon
    The Obama administration is pushing for a formal censure of Iran and Syria at the UN over an arms-smuggling case that U.S. officials see as highlighting the risks that Iranian weapons shipments pose to regional stability. The move could impede the ability of Iranian shipping firms to deliver arms to militant groups such as Hizbullah and Hamas. Washington has already placed unilateral sanctions on Tehran's largest freight shipping firm, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, for its alleged role in arms smuggling and procuring equipment for Iran's nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.
        "The fact that Iran is smuggling arms isn't new. What's new is that they got caught in the act," said a European official working on Iran. "We now have the evidence." The evidence involves an Iranian-chartered cargo ship that was detained in Cyprus after American intelligence suggested it was ferrying arms to Syria. The Cypriot-flagged ship, the Monchegorsk, left Iran in January, chartered by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines. Cypriot authorities found bullet shells, high-explosive gun charges and items related to 125-mm armor-piercing guns. The Syrian port of Latakia was to be the port of discharge. Last month, a UN committee ruled that both Iran and Syria violated a Security Council resolution that bans Tehran from both importing and exporting weapons. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Hizbullah No. 2: Same Leadership Directs Political and Military Wings - Borzou Daragahi
    On one point, the U.S. agrees with Hizbullah's No. 2 leader, Naim Qassem, and not such allies as Britain. Neither Qassem nor Washington distinguish between the Shiite militant group's political wing, which has members serving in the Lebanese Cabinet and parliament, and its military wing, preparing for the next round of battle against Israel. "Hizbullah has a single leadership," said the 57-year-old cleric in a rare interview with an American reporter recently. "All political, social and jihad work is tied to the decisions of this leadership," he said. "The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle against Israel." (Los Angeles Times)
  • Germany Expected to Boycott UN Anti-Racism Meeting
    Germany is likely to stay away from a UN meeting against racism next week in Geneva amid Western concerns that the event may take on anti-Semitic overtones, a senior official confirmed in Berlin Thursday. Guenter Nooke, the German Foreign Ministry's top human rights envoy, said in Berlin, "Germany, like several other EU nations, will very likely not be taking part in the conference."  (DPA/Earth Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Netanyahu to Mitchell: Palestinians Must Accept Jewish State - Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff
    Palestinian recognition that Israel is a Jewish state is a fundamental element for any talks between the two parties, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. envoy George Mitchell on Thursday. Sources close to Netanyahu dismissed media reports of growing tensions between Israel and the U.S. over the best path for peace with the Palestinians, describing the meeting as a very positive one. Netanyahu assured Mitchell that Israel wanted to move forward to create a sustainable peace with the Palestinians, but that this peace had to take into account Israel's vital security interests. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Netanyahu to Mitchell: We Won't Accept Another Hamastan - Roni Sofer
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell on Thursday that while Israel has no desire to rule over the Palestinians, it must maintain its security interests. "Israel must make sure that the political process does not result in the creation of a second Hamastan (in the West Bank) that would threaten Jerusalem and the coastal strip," Netanyahu said, according to a senior official in his office. (Ynet News)
        See also U.S.: No Alternative to Two-State Solution - Roni Sofer
    The message conveyed by American sources at the end of talks in Israel by President Obama's special envoy George Mitchell is clear: The U.S. demands that Israel continues the Roadmap process in accordance with the Annapolis understandings, which call for the establishment of a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the Jewish state. Mitchell made it clear that the economic issue is only part of the dialogue with the Palestinians in the West Bank and is not an alternative to the peace process. (Ynet News)
        See also Mitchell: U.S. Policy Favors a Palestinian State Alongside "the Jewish State of Israel"
    Mitchell said Thursday he had reiterated the U.S. stance: "U.S. policy favors, with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a two-state solution which would have a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel." (CNN)
  • Another Palestinian Knife Attack in West Bank - Efrat Weiss
    A terrorist infiltrated the Jewish community of Beit Hagai in South Mount Hebron early Friday and tried to attack several people with a knife. He was shot dead shortly afterwards by the settlement's emergency squad. One resident was injured. Two weeks ago, Shlomo Nativ, 13, of Beit Ayin was killed by a Palestinian terrorist who attacked residents with an axe. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Rocket Fire Continues - Anshel Pfeffer
    Palestinians in Gaza fired a Kassam rocket into Israel early Friday. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    Durban 2

  • Boycott Durban 2 Meeting - Editorial
    It's too bad the U.S. won't be able to attend next week's World Conference Against Racism in Geneva, but don't blame the Obama administration. Blame instead the organizers who have turned what should have been a worthwhile assembly to eliminate the scourge of racism into a hate fest against Israel. The U.S. walked out of a similar UN-sponsored meeting in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 because it focused on Israel and an effort to compare Zionism to racism. This one, to judge from a draft of the preliminary text, is heading in the same direction. The administration should stick with its position unless there is a wholesale change in the text and in the anti-Israel attitude that has prevailed so far. At this point, there's not much chance of that happening. (Miami Herald)
  • U.S. Will Do the Right Thing by Shunning Hateful UN Conference - Editorial
    The UN's World Conference against Racism, known as Durban 2, opens on Monday. And it appears that the U.S. will not participate. Good. Good. Good. Obama administration diplos made a go of removing the most anti-American, anti-Israel planks from the agenda, only to come up short. That is one reason the State Department has signaled, without stating explicitly, that the U.S. is staying home. We'll stay away from the likes of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who plans to attend, while upholding American values. (New York Daily News)
  • West Fears Muslim Countries Will Hijack UN Geneva Racism Conference - Simon Tisdall
    Intensive diplomatic efforts are under way to salvage a UN conference on combating racism amid Western fears that Muslim countries may use it to attack Israel, restrict freedom of expression, and promote Islamist views on religion and sexual orientation. (Guardian-UK)
  • Durban 2 Chaired by Rights Abusers - Tovah Lazaroff
    Opponents of the UN's Durban 2 anti-racism conference say it was tainted and could not be rescued because of the heavy involvement of human rights abusers. Libya chaired the planning committee, whose membership includes countries like Iran and Cuba. "It is a conference on human rights that is being chaired by people who abuse these rights," said Michael Schneider, secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will address the conference's opening session on Monday, which coincidentally falls on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day. Israel, along with Canada and Italy, has said it has no intention of attending the conference, and the World Jewish Congress had been urging the U.S. not to attend. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Jewish Groups Ready to Fight Durban 2 in Geneva - Abe Selig
    Jewish groups are gearing up for next week's Durban 2 anti-racism conference in Geneva and are making final preparations for massive counter-protests. "We're ready to fight the good fight," said NGO Monitor's director, Prof. Gerald Steinberg. "The image that's going to be seen is one of a very active Jewish and pro-Israel community, which wasn't seen during Durban 1. Hopefully, we'll be able to roll back the way in which human rights were used there as a weapon against Israel, much like the UN declaration of 'Zionism is Racism,' which was passed in 1975, was repealed in 1991." "Human rights should no longer be exploited as part of the war against Israel. They should be universal and based on the frameworks set up after the Holocaust," Steinberg said. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also A Theater of the Absurd - Gerald M. Steinberg (Jerusalem Post)


  • Cohen's Cuddly Mullahs - Max Boot
    Roger Cohen of the New York Times is rapidly becoming Iran's foremost apologist in the U.S. In his latest special pleading on behalf of the theocratic dictators in Tehran, Cohen trots out the Mother of All Dumb Analogies: "Imagine if Roosevelt in 1942 had said to Stalin, sorry, Joe, we don't like your Communist ideology so we're not going to accept your help in crushing the Nazis. I know you're powerful, but we don't deal with evil." The reason that the U.S. allied with Russia in 1942 was that the two countries faced a common existential threat in Nazi Germany. As soon as that threat disappeared, the U.S. and USSR became mired in a decades-long Cold War. What common threat does Cohen imagine would bind the U.S. and Iran together? A Martian invasion?
        Cohen spins a "normalization scenario" and writes: "Any such deal...can be derailed any time by an attack from Israel, which has made clear it won't accept virtual nuclear power status for Iran." So you see the Iranians are ready to change their ways, to become a paragon of Western liberal virtue. If only the nasty Israelites would let the nice Iranians have a nuclear program, everyone could walk off into the sunset, arm in arm. It is rare to get such insights outside of official Iranian government organs. (Commentary)
  • "Smart" Sanctions Have Broader Effects on Iran's Economy - Daniel Dombey
    Inside the U.S. Treasury, an appointee of George W. Bush continues his campaign against Iran's nuclear program in the age of President Barack Obama. Stuart Levey, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, who has been singularly effective in piling financial sanctions on Iran, has retained his post in the new administration. Levey has toured the world telling America's partners that UN sanctions are reason to steer clear of all contacts with Tehran, as no outside company can ever be sure with whom inside Iran it is really doing business.
        The campaign of dissuasion has borne fruit. International banks have pulled away from Iran and so have energy groups, most notably France's Total last year. As a result, what were originally intended to be targeted or "smart" sanctions have had much broader effects on Iran's financial system and economy as a whole. Levey has also used powers to ban American nationals from doing business with groups designated under anti-terrorism and nuclear anti-proliferation rules to act against a number of Iranian banks, industrial companies and the country's shipping line. "Back in September 2006, I could count on one hand the major banks that had cut off or dramatically reduced their business with Iran," he said. "Now there are only a few that have not done so." (Financial Times-UK)
  • Hit Iran Where It Hurts - Mark Dubowitz and Joshua D. Goodman
    Despite its prominence as a major oil exporter, Iran has significant energy vulnerabilities. Due to limited refining capabilities, it depends on gasoline imports for 40% of its domestic consumption. Iran is, in fact, the second-largest importer of gasoline in the world, behind only the U.S. Iran's gasoline imports are vulnerable: Tehran relies primarily on five companies for its gasoline supplies: Vitol (Switzerland/Netherlands), Trafigura (Switzerland/Netherlands), Reliance Industries (India), Glencore (Switzerland) and Total (France). Washington and Ottawa should give these companies a choice between providing gasoline to Iran's relatively small domestic market and gaining access to North America.
        Iran's gasoline suppliers have growing business interests in the U.S. and Canada: Reliance, for instance, receives taxpayer support from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, has opened a trading desk in Houston, and is looking to acquire fuel storage facilities along the East and Gulf coasts. Total operates in 29 states in the U.S. and, with its American business interests likely in mind, decided last year that the political risks were too great to justify continued investment in - though not trade with - Iran's energy sector. Mark Dubowitz is executive director and Joshua D. Goodman is director of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (National Post-Canada )
  • Oman Seen Close to Iran, Wary of Saudi Influence
    Oman's minister of foreign affairs Youssef bin Alawi this week praised the chief of Hizbullah. "Hassan Nasrallah enjoys a high position," he said in Tehran. "Iran's and Oman's position in regards to regional and global issues coincide." Saudi Arabia fears Iran is one step away from official recognition from Washington as a regional leader, and the country that calls the shots in the Gulf. "When relations between America and Iran improve, as is expected, the Gulf countries will pay the price again," Zaher al-Mahrouqi wrote in the Omani daily al-Shabiba last week. "Iran has become stronger and is the only major player in the region."
        A Western diplomat in Muscat said Oman, with a small Shi'ite population, was more concerned about Saudi influence on society than Iran. Wahhabi followers have made inroads in Yemen and in the southern Saudi Shi'ite region of Najran. "A nuclear Iran is not desirable but they can live with it," the diplomat said. He also pointed to Iran's role in putting down a rebellion in the Dhofar region of southern Oman in the 1970s, ensuring the rule of Sultan Qaboos who remains in power to this day. (Reuters/Khaleej Times-Dubai)

    Other Issues

  • Is "Two-State" the Best Solution? - Uri Dromi
    The idea of two states was first proposed by the British, who had ruled Palestine since 1918. They created the Peel Commission of Inquiry, which, in 1937, recommended that the country be partitioned. If the Arabs were smart, they would have accepted, because today they would not only have Gaza and the West Bank, but good parts of present-day Israel as well. However, while the Jews reluctantly agreed, the Arabs rejected the Partition Plan, and the rest is history.
        When Israel, under Ariel Sharon, dropped the concept of reciprocity and pulled out of Gaza unilaterally, the expectations were that in Gaza, the Palestinians would establish a mini-state, which would receive generous amounts of aid from the well-wishing world community and eventually take the process peacefully into the West Bank as well. Instead, there emerged an entity inspired by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah and Iran, ruled by Hamas, which swears to destroy Israel. No wonder the Israelis don't want this to spill over to the West Bank.
        With all due respect to the commitment of President Obama to the two-state solution, this seems like an uphill battle. While I still think it's the best possible solution, every day it becomes more difficult to realize. Some solution will eventually emerge. I believe that Jordan will take responsibility for the West Bank and Egypt for Gaza. Why? Because of their fear that Hamas, the true force in these areas, will undermine their own regimes. Is this the ideal solution? Definitely not, because it leaves the Palestinian national aspirations unfulfilled. But we don't live in an ideal world. Col. (res.) Uri Dromi was the chief education officer of the Israeli Air Force, director of the Israel Government Press Office during the Rabin and Peres governments (1992-96), and former director of International Outreach at the Israel Democracy Institute. (Miami Herald)
  • Tensions in Saudi Shi'ite Town over Secession Call - Souhail Karam
    The street graffiti is so brazenly political in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province that it hardly seems like Saudi Arabia at all. Hundreds of Shi'ites have staged protests in recent weeks as police searched in vain for firebrand preacher Nimr al-Nimr, who breached a taboo to suggest in a sermon that Shi'ites could one day seek their own separate state. The threat, which diplomats say is unprecedented since the 1979 Iranian revolution provoked anti-Saudi protests, followed clashes between the Sunni religious police and Shi'ite pilgrims near the tomb of Prophet Mohammad in the city of Medina, in the western region of Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials say Shi'ites make up less than 10% of the population, although diplomats believe the figure is closer to 15%. The rising influence of Shi'ite Iran, after the 2003 Iraq invasion empowered Iraq's Shi'ite majority, has revived official fears that Shi'ites could become a fifth column against the Saudi state. (Reuters)
  • The Irish Times: Leading Public Opinion Against Israel - Ricki Hollander
    The Irish Times has apparently chosen to champion the Palestinian cause and to promote that side's narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict. On its editorial and opinion pages, columns condemning Israel outnumber supportive columns by a ratio of 3:1, while its news pages serve as a platform for unchallenged, anti-Israel allegations. These conclusions are based on a 6-week CAMERA investigation of all articles published between Dec. 19, 2008, and Jan. 30, 2009.
        The primary focus of the coverage was on accusations of Israeli wrongdoing, human interest stories about Palestinian casualties, condemnations of Israel's military campaign in Gaza, and the effect of the campaign on Arab society. Missing from the coverage was Hamas' anti-Israel and anti-Jewish agenda, the context of Israel's complete withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, and Hamas' decision to use the territory as a launching pad to attack Israeli civilians. (CAMERA)

    Weekend Features

  • A Loud and Promised Land - David Brooks
    Israel is a country held together by argument. The politicians go at each other with a fury we can't even fathom in the U.S. At news conferences, Israeli journalists ridicule and abuse their national leaders. Subordinates in companies feel free to correct their superiors. This is a tough, scrappy country, perpetually fighting for survival. The most emotionally intense experiences are national ones. Moreover, the status system doesn't really revolve around money. It consists of trying to prove you are savvier than everybody else.
        This culture of disputatiousness does yield some essential fruits. First, it gives the country a special vividness. Second, it explains the genuine national unity. Israel is the most diverse small country imaginable. Nonetheless, its people share an intense sense of national mission. Most important, this argumentative culture nurtures a sense of responsibility. Israelis blame themselves for everything and work hard to get the most out of each person. (New York Times)
  • Holy Land Hikes Reveal Israel's Beauty - Joseph Krauss
    The trail up Mount Tabor climbs through a pine forest carpeted with wildflowers, the call to prayer from an Arab village below mingling with the echoes of church bells from a monastery at the summit. To hike through the Holy Land is to wander a landscape of astonishing natural beauty. From the 1,311 foot summit, the rolling green hills and farmsteads of northern Israel stretch off toward the grey mountains of Syria and Lebanon, a landscape steeped in history. It was here that the Jewish prophetess Deborah inspired the defeat of a Canaanite army in the Book of Judges. "It's amazing to be hiking out here and someone takes out a Bible and says 'This happened right here'," said Warren Zauer, who moved to Israel from Australia.
        "For a lot of Israelis hiking around the country is a mitzvah, it's like an obligation," said Jerry Unterman, an American-born Jewish Studies professor. "It goes all the way back to Abraham. God told Abraham: 'Walk the land.'" The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel has clearly marked thousands of miles of trails and produced accurate maps. The Israel Trail, completed in 1995, runs nearly the entire length of the country north to south - 580 miles, 933 km. - takes around six weeks to complete, and draws thousands of walkers each year. (AFP)
  • Observations:

    Real Two-State Problem Is the Hamas-Fatah Feud - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)

    • The Palestinians already have two separate political entities or mini-states - one in the West Bank and the other in Gaza. These rival entities, controlled by Fatah and Hamas respectively, are acting and dealing with each other like two different countries. Repeated attempts by Egypt and Saudi Arabia to persuade the two parties to form a Palestinian unity government have failed, prompting Cairo and Riyadh to come up with the idea of establishing a confederation between the two "mini-states," an idea both Hamas and Fatah have categorically rejected. For now, it appears that the Palestinians (and the rest of the world) will have to live with the fact that the split between the West Bank and Gaza is not a temporary or passing phenomenon.
    • If the Obama administration is serious about promoting the two-state solution, it must focus its efforts first on helping the Palestinians solve the dispute between Fatah and Hamas. The divisions among the Palestinians, as well as failure to establish proper and credible institutions, are the main obstacle to the realization of the two-state solution.
    • Less than half of the West Bank is controlled by the corruption-riddled Fatah faction, which seems to have lost much of its credibility among the Palestinians, largely because of its failure to reform itself in the aftermath of its defeat to Hamas in the January 2006 parliamentary election. Gaza, on the other hand, is entirely controlled by the radical Islamic movement that has wreaked havoc on the majority of the Palestinians living there.
    • The Obama administration is mistaken if it thinks the power struggle between these two groups is a fight between good guys and bad guys. This is a confrontation between bad guys and bad guys, since they are not fighting over promoting democracy or boosting the economy, but over money and power.

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