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Friday, September 30, 2005

JINSA Report #521 Meanwhile, Back in Gaza (Part II)

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September 30, 2005

JINSA Report #521

Meanwhile, Back in Gaza (Part II)

Money is a lever in international relations, but the U.S. appears
unwilling to use it to induce civilized, or at least non-destructive
behavior in the Palestinians. Because American funds are largely
directed through NGOs to specific projects intended to meet otherwise
unmet social needs, the administration won't cut the cash. But because
the U.S., Israel and various NGOs and "humanitarians" fund assistance
for the Palestinians, huge sums from the EU and money in the PA treasury
are spent on military/terrorist activities – including massive spending
on the uncontrolled multiple PA security forces, none of which appear
willing or able to maintain security in Gaza.

The U.S. has tried to fix that. In February, Secretary Rice assigned Lt.
Gen. William Ward, USA, "to provide a focal point for training,
equipping, helping the Palestinians to build their security forces and
also for monitoring, and if necessary, to help the parties on security
matters." But in a Sept. 21st appearance before a House Committee, Lt.
Gen. Ward said Abu Mazen failed to implement the requirements for
security reform, including a mandatory retirement age of 60 to reduce
the nearly 60,000 registered members of PA security agencies and
facilitate a drive to impose discipline.

The State Department had drafted a list of five priorities to help the
Palestinians ensure internal security and border stability: drafting a
formal Palestinian security doctrine to be supported by legislation; a
PA force review; disarming Palestinian terrorist groups; reducing the
security forces; and restructuring and equipping streamlined agencies.
The PA has seriously addressed none of these tasks.

Lt. Gen. Ward told Congress that the PA has failed even to fulfill the
requirements that would bring significant international financial and
material assistance to the security forces. According to news reports,
the PA refused to cooperate with Quartet efforts to determine the
legitimate PA security force requirements for weapons, communications,
vehicles and salaries. In response, donor nations have, for now,
suspended plans to ship lethal weaponry to the PA. For now, we are
properly grateful.

PA demands for other people's money and insistence that its
military/paramilitary forces be unregulated by those who would fund them
point to a larger problem.

The U.S. and others presume that the Palestinians need "help" to become
a democratic "country." It never seems to occur to them that the PA
doesn't WANT to be a democratic country, or a country at all. The PA
doesn't need "help" to "dismantle the terrorist infrastructure." It IS
the terrorist infrastructure, allied with Hamas and PIJ to maintain a
territorial platform for killing Jews and harassing Israel, knowing they
can't defeat it. Abu Mazen doesn't want to be "strengthened," Hamas
doesn't have to get rid of him because he provides a respectable "face"
to the donors. The PA takes what we offer and declines to be anything
other than what it actually is.

The U.S. government needs to rethink its paradigm for "Palestine" before
more people get killed.

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Remaining vigilant in the face of Anti-Semitism

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Synagogues everywhere are forced to take extra security precautions because they are Jewish houses of worship.

Unfortunately, across America and around the world anti-Semitism is once again on the rise. Last year alone, anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. increased by a stunning 17%.

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[S24updates] Thank you!

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Well our little weekend happened, and it was GOOD.  The weather cooperated, the speakers were inspiring and those in attendance seemed to appreciate the little pocket of free speech we managed to create on Saturday.  The DtWH team thanks each and every one of you who donated, contributed effort on the site or just sent us your good will.  We could not have done it without you.
We are starting to build the list of coverage we (and the whole weekend) received, be it MSM, blogs, TV, whatever.  It will be posted here:

Take a look at what's (not) there and send in whatever links you have.  Don't send pics, files, etc....we'll get to that next.  Just want links for now.  Please check the list first so you don't send something that's already there.  To make your message easier to spot, please use the subject line "S24 Press"


JINSA Article Digest for September, 30th

Articles added to JINSA Online from September, 23rd to September, 30th.

#519 Or Else, What?

(2005-09-23) Last week at the UN, Irans president Ahmadinejad upped the
nuclear ante. The American administration wants to have Irans nuclear program
referred to the UN Security Council; Russia, China and the EU do not. We
agree with the Russians, Chinese and Europeans. What does the administration
think Security Council would really do? Read the analysis in JINSA Report

Read more @

Egypt Assumes Responsibility for Gaza Border Security

(2005-09-28) For the first time in 30 years Egyptian soldiers will be
deployed in the Sinai desert not as the result of UN machinations or Egyptian
nationalism, but direct request by Israel. Cairos troops are expected to
guard against hostile actions by Palestinian terror groups after the Israeli
withdrawl from Gaza.

Read more @

#520 Meanwhile, Back in Gaza

(2005-09-29) The Palestinians appear to believe they are entitled to the
worlds largesse and find requests for civilized behavior to be an imposition
on their freedom of destruction. This posture has security implications for
Israel, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East. Read the analysis in JINSA
Report #520.

Read more @

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

ADL Headlines: A Weekly Update from the Anti-Defamation League

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September 29, 2005   

Headlines 9/29/05 main image     
Rosh Hashanah 5766: A Changing World, A Momentous Time
This has been a momentous year for the Jewish people, for the State of Israel and for the world, as we have continued to struggle with the great existential threats of our times - global terrorism, genocide, religious intolerance and natural disasters topping the list. In their annual Rosh Hashanah statement, Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director take stock of the year that was, and offer hopes for the year to come. More>>

Rosh Hashanah Ecards Banner    Contribute to ADL

Anti-Semitism In The Arab World
Cartoon of the Week

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  • Jews Hopeful Mission to Israel Will Bring End To Divestment
    American Jewish and mainline Protestant officials concluded an unprecedented joint mission to Israel having developed a new trust among the participants, who are now pledging to work together to seek peace between Israel and Palestinians. ADL and other participants expressed hope that the mission would lead to concrete steps by the leadership of the Protestant churches to cancel their divestment campaign against Israel. 

  • Hate Mail Directed At Yankees Shortstop ‘Reminder of Bigotry’
    The racist hate mail directed at New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and other celebrities and civic leaders in recent weeks, “is a painful reminder that hate and racism are alive, and that nobody is immune.”  

  • ADL Hosts International Conference on Cyber Hate
    American and European experts from academic, government, non-governmental organizations and law enforcement gathered to examine the issue of online hate and how to counter it from different perspectives. The fourth annual International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH) Conference convened this week at ADL’s National Headquarters in New York, following the League’s testimony at a September 8th hearing regarding online hate before the Congressional Task Force Against Anti-Semitism. ADL is the U.S. representative in INACH. 

  • House Votes for Religious Discrimination in Head Start
    Despite intensive lobbying efforts by ADL and its coalition partners in the civil rights, religious and education communities, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to permit religious-based employment discrimination in the federally funded Head Start early childhood program. Now headed to the Senate, the amendment repeals longstanding anti-discrimination provisions first signed into law in 1972. 

  • Amendment To Federal Hate Crime Bill Approved
    The U.S. House approved an amendment to add provisions of the pending federal hate crime expansion legislation to the Children’s Safety Act, a measure that expands penalties for crimes against children. ADL leads a coalition of religious, civil rights, law enforcement and education groups advocating on behalf of the legislation. 

  • Las Vegas Launches “No Place for Hate”
    Concerned that neo-Nazi hate groups are raising their profile in southern Nevada, ADL launched a community-wide campaign to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry. Local officials and agencies, including the Las Vegas police department, the school district and the regional FBI, have agreed to participate in diversity education and awareness programming. Las Vegas is one of four major cities across the country to have adopted ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program as a model for confronting bias in their communities. 

    In the News:
    Las Vegas Review-Journal
    “Las Vegas Is No Place for Hate,” (KLAS-TV, Las Vegas)

  • Security Awareness Conferences Held In Florida
    ADL convened a series of security awareness conferences for religious institutions in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties in Florida. Professional and lay representatives from more than 60 religious institutions in South Florida were trained in security awareness by law enforcement professionals and ADL experts. 

  • Media Watch:
    Letters to the Editor

    Offensive Holocaust Remark On Air America
    ADL was deeply troubled by Randi Rhodes’ recent on-air comparison between the evacuation of victims of hurricane Katrina and the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz during World War II.

    NY Times: Rothstein Off-Base on Hate Crime 09/20/05
    Edward Rothstein was off-base when he claimed that “a hate crime is prosecuted because of a forbidden belief.”.


    The Jewish New Year: Opportunities, Risks
    In an op-ed on Y-Net, the English-language site of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronoth, National Director Abraham H. Foxman offers an assessment of the remarkable changes underway in Israel as a result of the withdrawal from Gaza.

    Accepting Federal Funds Means Rejecting Discrimination
    If some members of Congress have their way, the future of the historic Head Start anti-poverty pre-school education program is at stake because some lawmakers want to legalize some forms of discrimination in hiring and firing.

    Editor's Note: Due to ADL’s observance of the Jewish holidays, the next edition of Headlines will appear on October 20, 2005.

©2005 Anti-Defamation League. All rights reserved.
The Anti-Defamation League is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Our mission is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Our ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment for all people.

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JINSA Report #520 Meanwhile, Back in Gaza

1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Suite 515
Washington, DC 20036

202-667-0601 Fax
September 29, 2005

JINSA Report #520

Meanwhile, Back in Gaza

We (mostly) resisted the temptation to dump on the Palestinians for
their depredations following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. We skipped
over the destruction of millions of dollars worth of greenhouses. We
trod lightly on the torching of empty synagogue buildings and their
transformation into museums glorifying the killing of Jews. We didn't
mention the sheer stupidity of Hamas driving an explosives truck through
a crowd of Palestinians; it exploded, killing 19 and injuring 80. We
(hardly) mentioned the failure of the Palestinian Authority (PA) or the
Egyptians to secure the Philadelphi corridor and the weapons smuggling
that followed. Palestinian behavior in these and other instances is
(mostly) self-revelatory and requires little comment from us.

But things must be said regarding the U.S. response. President Bush
denounced the burning of the once-synagogues, but frankly, empty
buildings are empty buildings – what was holy about the synagogue space
is now holy elsewhere. But the destructive, anti-Semitic behavior that
was driving the Palestinians remains and we wish Mr. Bush had saved some
indignation for that. The U.S. has two levers of influence in Gaza –
money and security cooperation by the PA with the U.S.; we will consider

At the end of July, the PA asked for an "emergency aid package" of $416
million. On September 19th, the day before a Quartet meeting on the Road
Map, the EU announced that the PA would receive $612.15 million in aid
in 2005: $342.8 million from the EU itself; the rest from individual
governments. The U.S. put in President Bush's January announcement of
$350 million, plus $200 million in a supplemental appropriation to be
given directly to Abu Mazen. (The House, however, voted 388-44 to
channel the $200 million through approved NGOs and denied the President
his usual authority to waive the restrictions. Senate action awaits.)
The $315+ million funneled through UNRWA is separate. The total amounts
to the highest per capita aid distribution in the world.

At the meeting on the 20th, the Quartet called on the Palestinians to
"dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructures." This is language
lifted directly from the Road Map signed by the Palestinians and is
truly a minimal contribution to statehood.
On the 21st, Abu Mazen dismissed the Quartet, saying, "This is an
internal affair... We know more and are more capable than others of
dealing with our brothers." A Fatah legislator condemned the Quartet
demand as a "flagrant intervention" in Palestinian affairs, adding, "The
Quartet is not authorized to make such a demand...(it should) call on
Israel to disarm armed groups that participated in the elections for the
Knesset." Hamas called it, "an attempt to drive a wedge between the
Palestinians...The Quartet should have called on the Israeli prime
minister to withdraw from all the Palestinian territories and to release
all the prisoners in Israeli jails."
The Palestinians appear to believe they are entitled to the world's
largesse and find requests for civilized behavior to be an imposition on
their freedom of destruction. This posture has security implications for
Israel, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, which will be addressed
in the next JINSA Report.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Israel Campus Beat - September 25, 2005

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Prepared for the Israel on Campus Coalition and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
September 25, 2005    

Israel Launches Operation in Gaza after Barrage of Rockets on Israel by Margot Dudkevitch
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz instructed the Israel Air Force to launch an all-out continuous offensive - Operation First Rain - against Hamas and lslamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, focusing on the cells that fired nearly 40 Kassam rockets at Sderot and other Israeli communities in the western Negev over the weekend. At least five Israelis have been wounded in the barrages. On Saturday afternoon, the air force dropped flyers in Arabic to Gaza residents warning them of harsh consequences if the attacks continued. (Jerusalem Post) Read More.
Sickening Plunder of Gaza's Green Gems by Corky Siemaszko
A week after they descended like locusts on the greenhouses that Jewish settlers nurtured in Gaza, looters continue to pillage what should be a prize asset for a fledgling Palestinian state. And the Palestinian Authority appears powerless to stop them. When a correspondent visited abandoned Jewish settlements in Gaza, he found brazen vandals dismantling farms that once produced some of the world's finest tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. The now-gutted greenhouses were gifts to the Palestinian people from U.S. philanthropists, who raised $14 million to buy them from departing settlers. (New York Daily News) Read More.
U.S. Officials Brief Lawmakers on Post-Gaza Scenarios by Dan Robinson
U.S. officials have briefed members of Congress on what the Bush administration believes must happen in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, C. David Welch, said: "Although President Mahmoud Abbas (pictured) has taken some steps to assert control, overall Palestinian Authority performance to date has been far from satisfactory." "The [PA] must move quickly to establish order and to take steps to dismantle the infrastructure of terror," he said. (VOA News) Read More.
Envoy: U.S. to Back Israeli Settlements
The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Israel said in an interview that President George W. Bush will back a request by Israel to keep larger West Bank settlement areas under its control in a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, who completed his term last week, cited an April 2004 letter from Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, setting out the U.S. position on settlements. "The policy is exactly what the president said," Kurtzer said. "In the context of a final status agreement, the United States will support the retention by Israel of areas with a high concentration of Israeli population." (AP/Washington Post) Read More.
Israeli Companies Developing Solutions for Next Hurricane Disaster
The "Tnufa" (Momentum) committee, headed by Israel's Chief Scientist, Dr. Eli Opper, has approved a preliminary R&D program for the development of an innovative technology for barriers against floods like the ones that followed Hurricane Katrina in the U.S., Globes reported. The technology will make it possible to rapidly build anti-flood barriers of whatever length and height needed. The Tnufa committee also approved preliminary R&D program for developing a compact personal water purification system. (Israel21c) Read More.
Bush Praises Aid to Hurricane Victims
"American Jewish organizations have already raised over $10 million, plus the $50,000 tonight, for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. About half of the 10,000 Jewish Americans who call New Orleans home found refuge in Houston. Five major Israeli universities with study abroad programs are opening their doors to college students whose schools have been shut down by the storm." President Bush spoke at a national dinner celebrating 350 years of Jewish Life in America. (White House) Read More.

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Scapegoat to the World by Alan M. Dershowitz
By heaping disproportionate blame for the evils of the world on the Jewish state, anti-Israel zealots are providing excuses to the perpetrators of real evils. Consider, for example, a recent report by Amnesty International (AI) on violence perpetrated against Palestinian women by Palestinian men in the West Bank and Gaza. The AI report places substantial blame for "honor" killings of women on - you guessed it - Israel! According to AI, "Palestinian women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are victims of multiple violations as a result of the escalation of the conflict, Israel's policies, and a system of norms, traditions and laws which treat women as unequal members of society" - in that order. (National Post-Canada) Read More.
No Sunshine Patriots We by Leonard Fein
Plainly, the success of the project we call Israel is by no means guaranteed. There are, obviously, those who are determined to destroy it. Why care? Why be devoted? Because the Israelis, with our support, are trying to make a go of it, and because we are not summer soldiers, sunshine patriots. Because Israel has been our project, too, and one does not walk off the construction site with the job only halfway done. Because, finally, for better, for worse, in sickness, in health, as Israel goes, so go the Jewish people. (Forward) Read More.

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Israel Boycott Feud Resurfaces by Polly Curtis
The battle lines of the academic boycott of Israel are being redrawn. After the international row over the Association of University Teachers' plans to boycott two Israeli universities, which were eventually overturned after an emergency conference in May, the union was hoping the debate would disappear over the summer break. But it's a row that won't go away. (Guardian-UK) Read More.
UC Irvine: Zionists Allege Discrimination by Sona Patel
A New York-based Jewish organization has called on the U.S. Department of Education to investigate claims of anti-Semitism at UC Irvine. A civil rights complaint was filed by the Zionist Organization of America, one of the oldest and largest pro-Israel organizations in the United States. According to Susan Tuchman, director of the Center for Law and Justice for the ZOA, the complaint was filed on behalf of Jewish students at UCI who told Tuchman that they were being harassed and mistreated by the administration. (New University Paper) Read More.
Massachusetts: Student Alliance for Israel's First Meeting Successful by Alana Melanson
The University of Massachusetts Student Alliance for Israel held their first meeting of the year last week at the UMass Campus Center, attracting what its president called "the biggest turnout at a general meeting since we became an RSO." "Israel has had some bad press coverage in the local media," said Gilad Skolnick, a senior communications and history major and SAFI's vice president of communications. "I feel that this is unjustified, when no country is going to be a utopia. No country is perfect." (Daily Collegian) Read More.
Montreal: Israeli Official - Palestinian Action Key to Peace Talks by Irwin Block
Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip could rekindle the stalled peace process or lead to prolonged stalemate, a leading official in the Israeli foreign ministry said yesterday in Montreal. Above all, it will be up to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to carry out his pledge of "one law, one authority, one gun" in the area. These were the main points Daniel Taub made in a speech at the Centre d'etudes et de recherches internationale at the Universite de Montreal. (Montreal Gazette) Read More.
San Diego State: Lecture on Israel after the Disengagement by Heather Quinn
During summer, the world watched as Israel began its historic disengagement from the Gaza Strip. News media broadcast images of sobbing families leaving their homes and buildings being bulldozed to make way for Palestinian apartment buildings. For better or for worse, it was clear that the disengagement would have a drastic impact on Israeli and Middle Eastern societies. "Israel Divided: The Impact of the Gaza Disengagement on Israeli Society" symposium featured two speakers - Asher Arian, a professor of political science, and Ranan Kuperman, a lecturer in international relations, both from the University of Haifa in Northern Israel. (Daily Aztec) Read More.
Yale: Group Lays Out a 'Palestinian Vision' by Kanya Balakrishna
Pierson College hosted members of the Ru'ya Falastiniya - Palestinian Vision - a youth-directed organization with the mission of promoting leadership and communication skills in Palestinian youths in the college's first Master's Tea. Rami Naser Eddin, executive director of the program, spoke to a room full of students about the nature of their organization. During the tea, Eddin explained that he wants to promote a Palestinian state that can co-exist with Israel. The program educates youths to achieve these goals by giving them the skills necessary to become productive members and leaders in their society. (Yale Daily News) Read More.
York: Federation of Students Agenda Criticized by Anna Olejarczyk
An article highlighting anti-Semitism at York has campus Jewish groups wondering why they were not consulted by the York Federation of Students (YFS) prior to publication. "Jew Non Grata," an article written by Nikki Gershbain, talks about her experience being criticized for her anti-Zionist views despite being Jewish herself. Originally printed in Excalibur in 1992, it was reprinted in the YFS agenda book this year. Members of Hillel have raised concerns over the lack of consultation from YFS. (Excalibur) Read More.

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Cornell: Simply U.N. Acceptable by Jamie Weinstein
Nowhere has the U.N. failed more consistently than in the Middle East. Its record in that region of the world is simply abysmal. After separating Mandate Palestine, a relic of the League of Nations, into a Jewish and Arab state soon after its founding, the U.N. failed to uphold its purpose. The Arab world was uniting to destroy the nascent Jewish state immediately upon its birth, but the U.N. opted not to take sides. The very least one could have asked for were clear statements identifying who were the aggressors and which nation was aggressed upon. Not even that was forthcoming. (Cornell Sun) Read More.
Harvard: When You Play with Fire... - Editorial
Just days after delivering a vitriolic speech to the United Nations General Assembly - in which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Iran's inalienable right to enrich uranium and develop nuclear power - the hard-line president gave another highly distressing address. During a military parade, he told cheering crowds: "Those who decide to misuse our nation's honor...should know that the flames of the nation's wrath are very hot and destructive." Amidst the parade, banners proclaimed "Israel should be wiped off the map" and "We will trample America under our feet." These are not the words of the head of a nation interested in peaceful nuclear technology. (Crimson) Read More.
McGill: A Year of True National Greatness by Gil Troy
Without sugarcoating what happened in the Gaza Disengagement, without denying some of the excesses, on both sides and without ignoring the barbaric Palestinian response of torching synagogues as soon as Israel withdrew, it should be said that Israel demonstrated true national greatness this year. Next year, may we all mimic the idealism, civility, empathy, sensitivity, and true love of Am Yisrael that we saw so many of our Israeli brothers and sisters demonstrate as they turned a potential disaster into a shining moment in the history of democratic nationalism and Western civilization. (Canadian Jewish News) Read More.
NYU: Post-Withdrawal Stress by Alon Ben-Meir
The Gaza withdrawal has changed the political landscape in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The political fortunes of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the course of economic and political development in Gaza, the prospect of Hamas participation in the Palestinian elections, the outcome of those elections, and, especially, the question of the continuation of the cease-fire, all will test the will of the players involved to build on this new development. If they fail to do so, they will squander another momentous opportunity. The author is a professor of international relations at New York University (Globes) Read More.
Yeshiva/Stern: "If I Could Just Have a Minute..." by Aviva Horowitz
Yeshiva University is a secure environment with no anti-Semitism and a strong Zionist community, so how can we endeavor to tackle these issues when they don't even exist on our own campus? The Yeshiva University Public Action Committee (YUPAC), is starting on the Stern and Yeshiva campuses this semester. The club has been formed with the goal of effecting change in issues pertaining to the Jewish community at large. (Observer) Read More.
San Diego State: Gaza's Past Hinders Progress by Ari Whitten
The recent events in the Gaza Strip - unilateral Israeli withdrawal and the subsequent destruction of Israeli property and infrastructure by Arab residents - are part of a long historical track record of squandering opportunities and are a painful reminder of why many Palestinian Arabs still roam the land as refugees nearly six decades after their displacement. Unless Palestinian Arabs can learn from their mistakes and begin to focus on opportunities to improve their condition, they will continue to live in hatred and squalor without hope for better lives for their children. (Daily Aztec) Read More.

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Israeli Violinist at Home in Hip-Hop World by George Varga
Miri Ben-Ari has chutzpah to spare, as befits a classically trained violinist turned most improbable hip-hop sensation. While still in her teens, this Israeli virtuoso moved from Tel Aviv to New York in 1993 to study jazz. Today, with three jazz albums under her belt, Ben-Ari is one of the hottest buzz artists in the male-dominated world of hip-hop. "Israeli females are very independent because we go through so much (stuff) over there, and it makes you stronger," said the plucky music maverick, whose new album, "The Hip-Hop Violinist," was released last week on Universal/Motown. Click here to listen to "Sunshine to the Rain." (Sign On San Diego) Read More.
To Be Young, Gifted and ... an Israeli Star! by Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman
Israeli superstar Sarit Hadad performed recently in Philadelphia. When the opening strains from the singer's newest CD, "Chagiga" ("Celebration") finally began, the party started in earnest, and for the next 90 minutes never let up. Hadad gave an electrifying performance, backed up by six (male) instrumentalists on accordion, bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion and darbouka and the enthusiastic accompaniment of her audience, who happily sang along to virtually every lyric. Two weeks shy of her 27th birthday, Hadad is a world-renowned phenomenon. (Jewish Exponent) Read More.

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Los Angeles Chapter of Israel Cancer Research Fund Awards $220,000 in Research Grants to Israeli Scientists
The Israel Cancer Research Fund - Los Angeles Chapter (ICRF-LA) announced last week that they awarded $220,000 in 2005-2006 research grants to seven scientists who are conducting ground-breaking cancer research in Israel. ICRF-LA also awarded new research fellowships to some of Israel's most promising young cancer researchers, for whom ICRF's financial support can mean the difference between continuing their scientific careers in Israel or having to seek positions in other countries. (Genetic Engineering News) Read More.

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UConn: No. 12 Huskies and No. 8 St. John's Battle To Scoreless Tie
It was a defensive battle Friday night, as the No. 12-ranked University of Connecticut men's soccer team played to a scoreless double overtime tie with eighth-ranked St. John's in front of 5,271 raucous fans at UConn's Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. Moshe Shalchon (Rishon Lezion, Israel) managed to get a shot off in the final minute of regulation, but did not find the back of the net and the Huskies were sent into overtime for the first time in the 2005 campaign. Dori Arad (Hahotrim, Israel) put up a shot in the first overtime. (UConn Huskies) Read More.
Brandeis: Female Athletes Give New Year Some Muscle by Ariella Cohen
In previous years, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, a Brandeis University research center devoted to the study of gender, has illustrated its annual Hebrew calendar with photos of female Jewish leaders, rabbis and, most recently, scientists. This year, the center has chosen to move in a more muscular direction. The athletes' stories are often nothing short of awe inspiring. While training to be an officer in the Israeli army, January pin-up Keren Leibovich was injured and paralyzed from the waist down. She took up swimming as part of her rehabilitation regimen and has since won seven World Championship medals and seven Paralympic medals. (Forward) Read More.

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A Rare Show of Mid-East Coexistence - Beauty Contest Israeli and Palestinian hopefuls have been taking part in a beauty pageant meant to bridge the Middle East divide. It is the second year the "Miss Seamline" contest has taken place, but the first time with Palestinian contestants. All eight last year dropped out after receiving death threats from militant organizations. Palestinian Shira Marie Farah, 17 (pictured), was declared the winner following the parade of evening dresses and swimsuits. (BBC) Read More.
Stanford: A View from Abroad by Shiri Lev-Ari
Maya Arad just wanted to write an amusing comedy about the generation gap, but by accident, maybe only almost by accident, she ended up with another book in rhyme (as was her first book). Arad, a linguist by training, has lived outside Israel for 11 years, and in the past three years has lived at Stanford University in California, where she writes books in Hebrew. (Ha'aretz) Read More.
Paris Film Festival: Priorities for Israeli Cinema by Ariel Schweitzer
The Israeli cinema enabled the French audience to recognize that life in Israel is not reduced merely to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that Israeli society must contend with a long series of "universal" problems and values (migration, prostitution, poverty, gender, et al). The Israeli cinema contributed to the recognition of Israel as a pluralistic society that aspires to normalcy, and which contends with issues that are common to numerous other countries, a state that has an existence beyond security and politics. (Ha'aretz) Read More.

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Should Hamas Be Allowed to Participate in Palestinian Elections?

No - Bad Policy by Robert Satloff

  • Apparently, Abbas believes one can contest a democratic election when one party parades through the streets with AK-47s and suicide belts; apparently, he thinks Hamas is likely to give up all its weapons after it uses them to bully voters; apparently, he thinks that Hamasniks will becomes peaceniks once they receive the legitimacy of a popular mandate. Well, it's a plan - naive, perhaps; short-sighted, maybe - but it's a plan. If he wants to give it a try, it's his neck.
  • The problem is that the world wants Israel to be an accessory to this madness. Last week, Ariel Sharon told the world from the UN summit in New York that Israel would not play the stooge. Specifically, he said Israel would not remove West Bank roadblocks and provide the sort of freedom of movement through the West Bank necessary to facilitate an election if Hamas was allowed to participate.
  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Israel to help the PA hold West Bank elections, with full Hamas participation. "This is going to be a Palestinian process and I think we have to give the Palestinians some room for the evolution of their political process," she said.
  • This is bad policy. If the U.S. has an interest in developing a functioning and responsible government in Gaza, as President Bush has stated, then it should be taking opportunities to differentiate between Gaza and the West Bank, not blurring the distinction between the two. Moreover, if it wants to strengthen Abbas's hand in moving toward the disarmament of militias, it should demand full disarmament now, as a precondition for participation in any electoral process, not wait for a moment that is unlikely ever to come. And morally, to ask Israel to facilitate an electoral process that could result in the empowerment of one of its most potent and violent enemies is truly indefensible.
  • The best way to resolve this is to declare that the U.S. will not consider Palestinian elections legitimate unless the PA requires all participating parties to meet the demands that Washington had of the PLO for so many years, i.e., that it renounce terror and violence and recognize Israel's right to exist.
  • Arguing in favor of Hamas's inclusion in West Bank elections without any change in the group's behavior - or any requirement that the PA demand such a change - leaves the administration in an especially awkward position. When asked during her June 2005 visit to Cairo whether the U.S. supports the political participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - a group that professes non-violence and is not on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations - Rice deferred to local Egyptian law, which bans the organization. However, in the Palestinian case, the U.S. is siding with those who would legitimize the political ambitions of a terrorist group - recognized as such under U.S. law - against the wishes of the ally (Israel) who is responsible for security in the area. (The New Republic) Read More.
  • Yes - Hamas' Political Evolution - Editorial

  • Anyone even superficially familiar with the Palestinian terror group Hamas will understand why Israel is trying to prevent the Palestinian Authority from allowing the organization to participate in legislative elections scheduled for January. But decisions on that election - including decisions on what names and organizations will be allowed on the ballot - ought to be made by the Palestinian Authority and not by Israel or anybody else.
  • Hamas, formally named the Islamic Resistance Movement, has claimed responsibility for some of the terror bombings that have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians over the years. Its charter, adopted in August 1988, is a long, bizarre and sometimes incoherent document, heavily laden with Islamic religious oaths and incendiary language, such as: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it has obliterated others before it."
  • But it is precisely because Hamas is such a deadly organization that it should be encouraged, whenever possible, to abandon violence and seek its objectives by peaceful means, such as elections and other political activities. In fact, getting nations, organizations and individuals to do this - to solve their disputes peacefully - is the very purpose of diplomacy.
  • If Hamas should one day morph into a political organization - it already participates in local Palestinian elections - it would not be the first such transformation in history. In fact, Sharon's own Likud Party grew out of organizations that were linked to acts of terrorism before the establishment of Israel. The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, was a founding member of Fatah at a time when it was deeply involved in terrorism.
  • Sharon is obviously entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled - no outsider is entitled - to decide how the Palestinians run their elections and choose their leaders. As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice put it the other day, in suitably diplomatic lingo, "We have to give the Palestinians some room for the evolution of their political process."  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Read More.
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