Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Via Smartphone
  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
May 3, 2011

Daily Alert Needs Your Support

In-Depth Issues:

U.S. Mission Was to Kill, Not Capture, Bin Laden (Reuters)
    The U.S. special forces team that hunted down Osama bin Laden was under orders to kill him, not capture him. "This was a kill operation," a U.S. national security official said.
    See also The Secret Team that Killed Bin Laden - Marc Ambinder (National Journal)

Palestinian Met with Bin Laden about Attack in Israel - Joshua Hamerman (Jerusalem Post)
    Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, raised funds to carry out terror attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets, according to a U.S. Defense Department Guantanamo detainee report released by WikiLeaks.
    Zubaydah supplied the late al-Qaeda commander Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with several thousand dollars for an operation in the West Bank and Gaza.
    He also plotted with Ayman al-Zawahiri's former deputy, Abu Samih, to attack Israeli and Jewish targets in Morocco.
    Zubaydah raised $50,000 for an attack against the Israeli Embassy in Egypt, but gave the money to bin Laden, telling him the funding was to be used specifically for attacks on Israeli targets.

Stop Blaming Israel for Every Grievance in the Middle East - Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Independent-UK)
    As Gaddafi systematically massacres his people and the country descends into civil war, as armies slaughter civilians in Yemen and Bahrain, now Syria, I ask why good people have focused only on Palestine/Israel for more than half a century and not attended to the brutality and oppression endemic in the Islamic states.
    More Muslims are killed by their brethren in religious and power struggles than are killed by foreign powers.
    It could be that some of the relentless focus on Israel does indeed rise out of a deep stream of anti-Semitism.
    We Muslims need to accept our burdens too. While still holding Israel to account, we must stop dumping blame on it for all Middle Eastern grievances.

I Love Israel - Chas Newkey-Burden (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
    The fact that I support Israel despite not being Jewish seems to prompt a certain amount of curiosity. I love Israel.
    It might not be a common position but as far as I am concerned it should be. It is a sad indictment that a love of Israel is what confuses people when the real puzzle is surely hatred of Israel.
    I find that the best way to respond to the hostile comments left on my blog is with a little creative imagination.
    Someone once left the comment under one of my posts: "I don't like Jews. Free Palestine!" To which I replied: "I don't like Jews-free Palestine either. It's so much better with Jews there." And that was the last I heard of him.
    The writer blogs in defense of Israel at

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Hamas Denounces Killing of Bin Laden - Ned Parker
    Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, on Monday denounced the U.S. killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. "We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior," he said. (Los Angeles Times)
        See also Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Condemns Bin Laden's "Assassination" (AP)
        See also Jerusalem Arabs Honor Bin Laden - Yair Altman
    Dozens of Arab residents held a rally in support of assassinated al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in east Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood Monday. (Ynet News)
        See also The Mourners of Bin Laden - Jackson Diehl
    It's worth taking note of those who are loudly condemning the U.S. raid that eliminated bin Laden. The predictable reactions by known terrorist organizations ought to be deeply troubling for a host of Western diplomats who lately have been promoting the idea that Hamas is a suitable partner for peace negotiations. Moreover, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is agreeing to form a joint Palestinian government with a man who has just condemned the U.S. killing of "Arab holy warrior" bin Laden. Should the mourner of bin Laden be recognized as a worthy partner for peace with Israel, or a potential leader of a new Arab state? (Washington Post)
  • Syrian Forces Told to Use "Any Means Necessary" to Crush Rebellion in Deraa - Borzou Daragahi
    Syrian security forces besieging the city of Deraa have been ordered to use "any means necessary" to crush the rebellion against the regime of President Bashar Assad, a Syrian military source said Saturday, "even if this means that the city is to be burned down."  (Los Angeles Times)
        See also Syria Arrests Hundreds, Shells Deraa into Submission - Khaled Yacoub Oweis
    Security forces arrested hundreds of pro-democracy sympathizers in cities across Syria after taking control of the city of Deraa. Security forces broke into houses Sunday in the old quarter of Deraa, which a tank-backed force led by Assad's brother Maher shelled into submission the day before. (Reuters)
  • Supreme Court to Hear U.S. Passport Dispute over Jerusalem - Mark Sherman
    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear an appeal from an American born in Jerusalem over whether he can have Israel listed as his birthplace on his passport even though U.S. policy does not recognize the city as belonging to Israel. Menachem Zivotofsky, the son of U.S.-born Jews who moved to Israel, was born in 2002, shortly after Congress directed, in a federal law, that Americans born in Jerusalem may have Israel listed as their place of birth. But the Bush and Obama administrations said Congress may not tell the president what to do regarding this aspect of foreign relations. (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu Congratulates Obama and U.S. over Termination of Bin Laden
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday: "This is an historic day for the United States of America and for all the countries engaged in the battle against terrorism. I want to congratulate President Obama and the American people. I want to congratulate America's soldiers, and its intelligence personnel for a truly outstanding achievement....This is a day of victory - a victory for justice, for freedom and for our common civilization."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • The Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation Agreement - Shlomo Brom
    The party that bore the main brunt of concession, which made the agreement possible, was Hamas: the Egyptian proposal accepted by both parties was presented in October 2010, on the basis of Abbas' ideas. At the time, Hamas rejected it out of hand; it has now changed its position, apparently because it is not at all sure that the developments in the Arab world are to its benefit. The revolution that toppled the Egyptian regime and the protests in other countries have been led by liberal secular elements that do not embrace the ideology of political Islam.
        The Hamas government in Gaza, like other authoritarian Arab regimes, rules through force. At the same time, surveys indicate a decline in support for Hamas, especially in Gaza. Hamas fears that the uprisings in the Arab world will bring about a similar uprising against it. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Hamas-Al-Qaeda Alliance - Jonathan Schanzer
    In the early and mid-1990s Hamas members received paramilitary training and attended Islamist conferences in Sudan, alongside bin Laden and his supporters. A decade later, bin Laden reportedly sent emissaries to Hamas on two separate occasions (September 2000 and January 2001). In 2002, the Washington Post quoted official U.S. government sources as confirming a loose alliance "between al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hizbullah."
        In 2003, Israel arrested three Hamas fighters returning from al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. That same year, Jordanian security officials confirmed to Time magazine that two Hamas members went on a recruiting mission in Afghanistan hoping to bring al-Qaeda fighters back to the Palestinian territories. In 2006, Syria-based Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal met in Yemen with Abd al-Majid al-Zindani, whom the U.S. Treasury officially designated as a terrorist in 2004 for his ties to al-Qaeda. Zindani openly boasted of providing funds to Hamas.
        Thus, over the course of two decades, Hamas has maintained a relationship with the al-Qaeda network. The writer, a former intelligence analyst at the U.S. Treasury, is vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Weekly Standard)
  • Targeted Killing Vindicated - Alan M. Dershowitz
    The decision to target and kill Osama bin Laden is being applauded by all decent people. Although bin Laden wore no military uniform and held no official military rank, he was an appropriate military target - the commander in chief of a terrorist army. There are those who claim that all targeted killings are immoral and illegal, characterizing such actions as "extrajudicial executions." Yet suddenly targeted killing is not only legal and moral, it is praiseworthy.
        Israel developed the concept of targeted killings and used it effectively against Hamas, which directed terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, killing and wounding more Israelis, as a percentage of its population, than the number killed by bin Laden. (Hudson Institute-New York)
  • The Death of Osama Bin Laden, and the Shape of Threats to Come - Anthony H. Cordesman
    Many extremists will still see bin Laden as having had great success simply because he could continue to challenge the U.S. for nearly ten years after 9/11. It seems all too likely that many will see his death as a form of martyrdom that is more an example to follow than a deterrent to future action. Extremists and terrorists are likely to admire the fact that Osama is reported to have died fighting.
        It is very unlikely that bin Laden's death can end or seriously undercut the broader threat from extremism and terrorism. Osama dead is certainly still far better than Osama alive, but it is only one event in a long war that will have to be fought for many more years. (Center for Strategic and International Studies)

Vindicating Israel: "Palileaks" Corroborates Israel's Narrative on Past PA Talks - Gil Hoffman (Jerusalem Post)

  • One of the arguments Abbas is making to world leaders is that he tried to reach an agreement with Netanyahu's predecessor Ehud Olmert, and he came close. Olmert has argued that he offered Abbas a sweetheart deal and the Palestinian leader never responded.
  • The 1,700 documents revealed by Al Jazeera and the Guardian in January, called "the Palestine Papers" or "Palileaks," were seen as proof that the Palestinians were willing to make unprecedented concessions in Abbas' talks with Olmert - an impression fed by documents released selectively in a way that made Abbas seem overly generous and Israel overly hard-line.
  • Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East, a U.S. liberal, non-Evangelical Christian group, had a team of researchers read through all of the 1,700 Palestine Papers. They found documents indicating that the Palestinians had decided not to issue a counter-offer to Olmert's proposal and that Abbas had been advised by his team to wait until George W. Bush was out of the White House.
  • The documents also reveal that Al Jazeera had wrongly portrayed proposed international control over the Holy Basin in Jerusalem as an official PA proposal, but in a document, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told American diplomats that he was speaking in his private capacity.
  • On the refugee issue, the organization found, "While Palestinian negotiators spoke publicly about compromise on refugees, privately they spoke of the 'right of return' as a matter of individual choice that would have to be extended to each of over seven million 'refugees.' They anticipated the potential 'return' of millions of Palestinians to the State of Israel, with Palestinians retaining the open-ended right to try to negotiate additional 'returns' beyond any number initially agreed upon in a peace treaty."

        See also The Palestinian Refugees on the Day After "Independence" - Jonathan D. Halevi (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Unsubscribe from Daily Alert