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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

JINSA Report #553 Bad is Never Good

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February 28, 2006

JINSA Report #553

Bad is Never Good

The "Bad is Good" theory made the rounds this month. It was "good" that
Iran's president Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a hoax and announced
his intention to obliterate Israel. Similarly, it was "good" that Hamas
won the Palestinian legislative election. Both were variations on the
theme that the more extreme the bad behavior and the more overt the
threat, the less able the U.S. and others would be to pretend you can
have politics as usual with terrorist regimes.

There are two assumptions underlying the theory. First, that the
previous bad behavior by Iran or the PA wasn't bad enough or overt
enough to engender action but this behavior is really, really overtly
bad. Second, since the world is now clear about just how bad things are,
countries will actually do something about it. Both assumptions are faulty.

The problem with the first is that things were already bad enough. In
its 26 years of governing, the Islamic Republic of Iran has exported
revolution and fomented terrorism across the Middle East, Africa and
South America. It has assassinated its enemies in Europe. It has
subverted Lebanon and threatened Israel with missiles. It has
imprisoned, tortured and stoned to death its own citizens. It is corrupt
morally, politically and economically. It has used its oil money to
build long-range missiles and create the infrastructure for nuclear
weapons - and may, in fact, already have nuclear capability.

And the PA? Since 1993, the Palestinians have had a form of self-rule
that produced an impoverished, radical, angry people ready to shed blood
- Israeli, American or their own - to turn the clock back to 1947 and
undo the "mistake" of Israel's creation. They never changed the PLO
Charter that called for armed revolution to destroy Israel. Arafat and
Abbas engaged in race baiting (Abbas is a Holocaust denier from way
back), Jew-baiting and terrorism. They built an education system that
taught children to hate and kill, and a "justice system" that murdered
Palestinians in the street. They were corrupt, venal and without a
vision for their posterity other than violence. That wasn't bad enough?
They are being replaced by Hamas, which has a Charter similar to that of
the PLO, a similar reverence for violence and bloodshed and a similar
desire to destroy Israel.

The problem with the second is that international politics tend toward
"the triumph of hope over experience." Diplomats call on Iran and Hamas
to "behave" and are probably prepared to wait years for compliance.
Three years of European-led talks with Iran gave the Mullahs three more
years of nuclear progress. Secretary Rice and others insist that Hamas
recognize Israel - which it will not do - while funneling money to the
Palestinians through NGOs, allowing Hamas to use its illicit sources of
funds for terrorism and cronyism. Insisting that "pothole politics" will
make Hamas more responsive to international concerns - although it
certainly didn't moderate the Iranians – U.S. Envoy to the Quartet James
Wolfensohn has been soliciting money from the Arab countries for the PA.
Everyone is jockeying for a way to find a success, no matter how small,
that will allow them to say, "It isn't bad enough to be a crisis."

But bad is always bad; bad is never good.

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FIRE News: Washington State Rejects Political Litmus Test for Education Students

Dear Mr. Levy:

FIRE has won a crucial victory for freedom of thought and conscience at Washington State University (WSU). Until FIRE intervened, WSU’s College of Education had required students to pass unconstitutional “dispositions” evaluations that judged their commitment to vague concepts such as “diversity”—evaluations on which student Ed Swan was penalized for his conservative political and religious views. Now, after WSU’s attempted political litmus test was exposed in the national media, not only is Swan set to graduate, but WSU has completely revamped its “dispositions” forms to make them consistent with the First Amendment. FIRE will work to see the end of such vague and easily abused “dispositions” standards across the country.


FIRE’s full press release on this case appears below, but if your e-mail client does not support HTML, you can view a link-rich version at



Greg Lukianoff, Interim President
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
601 Walnut Street, Suite 510

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone: 215-717-3473; Fax: 215-717-3440



Washington State Rejects Political Litmus Test for Education Students:

Unconstitutional ‘Dispositions’ Criteria Wither Under Public Scrutiny


PULLMAN, Wash., February 28, 2006—Six months ago, Ed Swan feared that his teaching career would end before it started, merely because his ideology differed from that of his professors at Washington State University (WSU). Today, thanks to a campaign of public exposure by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), WSU has completely repealed the criteria it used to punish Swan.


“WSU has finally done the right thing and abandoned its unconstitutional and unfair ‘dispositions’ requirements,” stated FIRE Interim President Greg Lukianoff. “This is a tremendous victory not just for Ed Swan, but for the freedom of thought and conscience of every WSU education student.”


Last fall, Swan was given poor marks on “dispositions” criteria used by WSU’s College of Education for expressing, after he was asked, his conservative political and religious beliefs. (For example, Swan was penalized for admitting that he opposes gun control and does not believe that white privilege and male privilege exist.) Indeed, before FIRE took the case public, WSU had even threatened Swan with dismissal if he did not sign an unconstitutional contract obliging him to submit to even more ideological litmus tests.


Washington State’s then-current “dispositions” criteria, similar to those used at colleges of education nationwide, required students to have a commitment to vague ideological concepts such as “appreciat[ing] and valu[ing] human diversity,” sensitivity to “community and cultural norms,” and respecting “others’ varied talents and perspectives.” WSU made no effort to ensure that these broad requirements were not used to discriminate against students with political perspectives that might conflict with those of their professors. Other education programs require students to have a commitment to “social justice,” another oft-politicized concept.


“Most everyone professes to believe in ‘diversity’ and ‘social justice.’ But the problem is that no two people define the terms the same way,” said Lukianoff. “The danger of ‘dispositions’ is that they mandate subjective and politicized evaluations of students and therefore often result in the enforcement of official viewpoints. It is not an educator’s job to police students’ beliefs.”


After FIRE intervened last fall, exposing WSU to widespread condemnation, the university pledged not to use “dispositions” criteria in an unconstitutional manner. Swan’s path to graduation appeared clear, but no systematic changes were immediately made. The National Association of Scholars also wrote to the U.S. Department of Education about the problem. Then, last week, WSU finally fulfilled its commitment by revamping the dispositions evaluation forms that contained the unconstitutional requirements. The new forms are devoid of language likely to be abused for purposes of ideological discrimination.


“While this new ‘dispositions’ scheme is a true and fundamental improvement over the old one, WSU must be careful not to allow its faculty members to continue to engage in political discrimination in other ways,” noted Lukianoff. “Having the ‘right’ politics must never be a qualification for getting a teaching degree at WSU.”


FIRE has also intervened in a conflict over “dispositions” criteria at Brooklyn College and expects to see more such cases in the future because of the widespread adoption of this evaluation rubric. “Until the abuse of ‘dispositions’ ends, FIRE will be extremely vigilant at America’s schools of education,” Lukianoff concluded.


FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty at Washington State University can be viewed at



Greg Lukianoff, Interim President, FIRE: 215-717-3473;

V. Lane Rawlins, President, Washington State University: 509-335-6666;




FIRE's work is made possible by the generosity of our individual supporters. Please click here to make your tax-deductible contribution.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

AJC Mideast Briefing


More than Meets the Eye: A Broad Range of Decisions

    Crowds the Israeli Defense Establishment’s Agenda

A Weekly Briefing on Israeli and Middle Eastern Affairs
February 27, 2006

Dr. Eran Lerman
Director Israel/Middle East Office

As the country cruises toward a crucial vote on March 28—with the polls so far indicating a clear win for Kadima, the new party founded by Ariel Sharon and now led by Ehud Olmert—there is a daunting list of decisions to be made in the broad field of Israeli national security. Driven by new threats, old constraints, and emerging opportunities, some of the issues are urgent enough to require immediate action. Others would be better left to the discretion of the newly elected cabinet and some likely new decision-making mechanisms, which are bound to put together (through the messy political process of coalition-building) within weeks of the elections. The professional level, in any case, is already weighing the options it will soon be asked to present; and loud rumblings of internal disagreements, indicating the intensity of what is at stake, can be heard, not only by the discerning ear, as some major disputes seep out into the public domain.

Obviously, the most immediate challenge is what to do about the Palestinian Authority, now that Hamas seems set to dominate it. The attempts by the public faces of Hamas, such as Prime Minister-designate Isma'il Haniya, to present a "pragmatic" prospect to the worried Western (and Israeli) donor community amount, at best, to an offer of a prolonged ceasefire—conditional upon the "restitution of Palestinian rights," i.e., not only a withdrawal to the 1967 lines, but a recognition of the so-called "right of return." Even this subtle design for the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state is too much for other voices in Hamas councils, who adhere to the line suggested by their ally in Tehran and reject any possibility of negotiations with the "Zionist entity." Practically no one in a position of responsibility in Israel sees any prospect of finding common ground with these positions; the debate revolves around the best way to contain and ultimately defeat the Hamas challenge. At this stage, it is a battle about funds and aid — although, if the Qassam "drizzle" from Gaza begins to take a toll in lives, military measures may also come into play.

From outside the government, the Labor Party leader, Amir Peretz, has called for aid to be channeled to President Mahmoud Abbas (largely in line with the European position), so as to empower him in his constitutional dispute with the Hamas-dominated legislature. Israel's present government, however—namely, Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni—is wary of falling into the trap of allowing Abbas to serve as the smiling countenance of a terrorist-dominated government. There are signs of tensions with the U.S. State Department over this issue (while other voices in Washington seem to support a hard line). At the same time, Olmert and Livni are also keen to maintain, as an important political asset, the sense of coherent international solidarity with Israel, which was one of the major gains secured by the Disengagement.

The government is therefore willing to contemplate a measured, incremental approach, with special attention given to the need to avoid a humanitarian crisis on the Palestinian side, which will soon face a financial crisis (and has already defaulted on payments for oil and gas). Within the IDF, on the other hand, the main concern is that under the luring calm of a prolonged ceasefire, Hamas, in power, would forge a firm alliance with Iran, Hizballah, and Syria, reviving old fears about Israel's eastern front; hence the need, as the IDF and the intelligence community see it, to push as fast and as effectively as possible to bring down the Hamas government and to demonstrate to the Palestinian people the folly of their choice. So far, Olmert has chosen a carefully calibrated middle ground, despite open criticism from both left and right; but the internal differences—at times, differences of nuance; at times, disagreement on the level of first principles—are bound to persist.

Such differences should be viewed against the background of a much larger set of issues and the growing concern, within the IDF and the defense establishment, that a shrinking allocation of resources is beginning to take its toll on fighting capabilities while the threats are accumulating rather than diminishing. Despite the ongoing conflict with Palestinian terror groups and the danger of a crisis in the north that could erupt on short notice, the Defense budget has been cut since 2002 from $8.2 billion (in current dollars) to nearly $7 billion; and despite promises by Sharon that the line would be held at this level, there is a growing concern that pressures for social reform—fighting the scourge of poverty, which has come into political focus in recent years—would continue to take their toll.

This budgetary pressure has enhanced the need to review several fundamental and doctrinal aspects of the Israeli defense "creed." Studies and debates were generated simultaneously by the IDF itself, under the watchful eye of Lt.-General Dan Halutz, who in long years of service in the Air Force acquired highly penetrating and self-critical managerial habits; by a specially appointed blue-ribbon committee, chaired by former Minister Dan Meridor, which may soon submit its (secret) recommendations; and by think tanks, scholars and op-ed writers in the major papers. As a result, a number of "sacred cows" may come under the knife; and a broad range of issues can be expected to be reconsidered in terms that may be unfamiliar, or even acceptable, to an older generation of Israelis:

  1. Who will serve, and for how long? The powerful and formative egalitarian role of military service in Israeli society—a democratic and creative Athens, but with a Spartan ethos—has been cast into doubt for some time already; not only because of the widening loopholes, allowing ultra-Orthodox young men not to serve, but also because the new modalities of warfare mean that only 20 percent or so of all men, and a much smaller proportion of women, now serve in fighting units (and remain attached to them later in life as reservists). The other 80 percent are largely in supportive roles—and so the IDF hardly ever calls them for reserve service. Thus, the core group of combat soldiers carries a disproportionate share of the burden. Still, for economic reasons, a decision has now been taken by the government to shorten the service of all noncombatant men by eight months (to 28 months); combat soldiers—and sailors—would serve 32 months, the last four of them with full pay, instead of the few hundred shekels they now get. The more dramatic option—shifting the entire IDF to a voluntary, fully paid force, as is done in the U.S. and much of the West—has been given currency in some academic studies and was weighed by the IDF, but rejected for broad moral, ideological, social, and even economic reasons: The ability to recruit the brightest young minds for computer and intelligence work proved in recent years to be crucial, not only for the IDF, but for the future of Israeli industry, as it produces the "social capital" for the operational kernels of tomorrow's high-tech start-ups. Even so, the changing nature of the military burden is bound to have an impact on Israeli society, to an extent that at this stage is still hard to predict.

  2. What is the true threat of reference? This question, which has a bearing not only on force structures and doctrines, but also on which might be the necessary lines of defense to the east, and the defensive posture toward Egypt, has been in dispute over the years (Israel and the U.S. disagree, for example, on the inclusion of Egypt in the "qualitative edge" equations); but given the recent degree of de-stabilization in the region, the IDF is now concerned that even Israel's peace partners may become risks, or worse. Two of our two-star generals, in quick succession, have managed to anger the neighbors by speaking to nonmilitary audiences about their worries: First, the GOC Central Command, Major General Yair Naveh, offered his opinion (with journalists present!) that King Abdullah II may be the last Hashemite on the throne, as most of his subjects are Palestinians (and Olmert was obliged to inform the King that this was by no means the official position of Israel.) Then Deputy Chief of Staff Moshe Kaplinsky hinted at a meeting with a business group that there are early signs of instability in Egypt. Both have been reprimanded, but the fears they expressed are not theirs alone.

  3. A closely related issue is whether the American "project" in the region is an asset or a liability: The hopes generated in 2003 have long ago faded, and the recent Hamas "fiasco" has broken the dams of reticence and elicited angry criticism of American policy from the very heart of the Israeli defense establishment (including a recorded comment by the head of the Security Service, Yuval Diskin, that we may yet "miss Saddam"). The feeling is that, while the drive for democratization is well-meant, elections have been pushed forward far too early, and failures of competence as well as of strategy are now bringing turmoil to our doorstep—increasing, rather than diminishing, the threats we face.

  4. Should we abandon nuclear ambiguity? Given these dramatic changes, combined with the prospect of international failure to contain the Iranian nuclear effort, some (mostly still outside government circles) are raising the question of Israel's nuclear posture and suggesting that the policy of ambiguity, endorsed for strategic and diplomatic reasons since the 1960s, may soon cease to be relevant. The fear of igniting a regional arms race will be rendered meaningless once Iran has the bomb, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia follow suit; and the lessons of the Indian shift to an overt capability are interesting. The traditional and powerful counterarguments are still in force, however—the best of them being that a successful policy that helped keep us safe for years should better be left alone; and a real debate will await the outcome of the Iranian crisis (which no one expects to be resolved through the good offices of the Russian initiative).

  5. Finally, and in conjunction with the latter, there is the question of closer Israeli association with NATO, which has been stirred up recently at both ends-with the former prime minister of Spain, José Maria Aznar, and the present defense minister of Italy, as well as the Israeli ambassador to NATO and the EU, Oded Eran, suggesting the prospect of full membership. Surely, if the flags of former Soviet republics (or rather, captive nations)—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—now flutter in the Brussels wind, why not ours, when we have so much more to offer? The answer on the NATO end—that the Palestinian conflict must be solved first-now looks weaker than ever. (Is it our fault that the Palestinians elected murderers?) Nevertheless, there are strong Israeli reasons, at this stage, to aim somewhat lower, where our decision-making process will remain free of the burdens of Brussels bureaucrats. Given the scope for bilateral dialogue now offered by NATO's Istanbul Cooperative Initiative of June 2004 (which includes cooperation on such practical matters as counterterrorist efforts, border security, and disaster preparedness) and Israeli maritime participation in "Operation Active Endeavor" to fight terrorism in the Mediterranean, further steps toward a "Partnership for Peace" model, or even a Swedish-like semi-association, are now in sight—with all that this change will entail in terms of a new sense of interaction with a once-hostile world taking hold at the very core of Israel's strategic community.


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Sunday, February 26, 2006

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Israel Campus Beat - February 26, 2006

Dateline: February 26, 2006Subscribe | My Subscription | Search | Archives | About ICB | Contact Us
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Fourteen Suicide Bombers Nabbed in Three Weeks
by Margot Dudkevitch

In the past three weeks, fourteen potential suicide bombers have been arrested by the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in the West Bank, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky said last week. Shin Bet sources were quick to stress that the capture of the suicide bombers did not necessarily mean the bombings had been thwarted. "Only after the bomb to be used in the attack has been found and all those involved in planning the attack have been caught can we say an attack was actually thwarted," sources said. (Jerusalem Post)

Additional Headlines

Survey: Israel a Top-5 Loved Nation by U.S. Citizens

Hamas Helping Militant Groups Carry Out Qassam Attacks

Hamas Won't Talk With Israel
by Arnon Regular

The head of Hamas' political bureau, Khaled Mashaal, on Thursday told the A-Shams radio station based in Nazareth, "We are coming into power with an open mind, and are ready to talk to anyone in the world, including the United States. Only with Israel we won't talk." (Ha'aretz)

What Russia and France Don't Understand About Hamas
by the Editors

At the very moment that the Israelis have achieved a new consensus about withdrawing from territories and abandoning settlements and establishing borders and acquiescing in the creation of Palestine, the Palestinians have achieved a new consensus of the antithetical sort and have elected, by a significant majority, a movement that stands brazenly for theocracy and terrorism and the destruction of Israel. (The New Republic)

Case Western: Caravan for Democracy Prompts Discussion about Middle East
by Benjamin Golub

On Feb. 16, Case and Hillel hosted Yechiel Leiter, Chief of Finance to former Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.  The former Chief of Finance discussed the economic issues Israel faces.  Democratic beliefs, elections, and the spread of democracy were also discussed. "Democracies do not go to war with democracies," said Leiter. (The Observer)

Cornell: Marcus Highlights Palestinian Media
by Christie DiNapoli

"[Martyrdom] is a good thing. We don't want this world, we want the Afterlife. We benefit not from this life but from the Afterlife."  This is the opinion of 11-year-old Yussra, presented in an interview on Palestinian television. According to Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, the Palestinian Authority teaches its people, and especially its children, to desire "shahada" - death for Allah. Marcus spoke about current Palestinian propaganda targeted against Israel and Jews. (Sun)

Brandeis: BIPAC Petition Decries a Nuclear Iran
by Sheila Kelly

A petition calling on national leaders to "act appropriately and swiftly" to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons will be presented to the student body for a vote early next month following a campaign by the Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee. If the petition passes the March 1 vote, BIPAC will present the resolution at the annual policy conference in Washington of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the influential lobby with which BIPAC is affiliated. (The Justice)

UCLA: Former Israeli Ambassador Sees Few Ways Forward
by Kevin Matthews

Tel Aviv University President Itamar Rabinovich, a former ambassador to Washington and chief Israeli negotiator with Syria, explained to a UCLA audience Feb. 16 that prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement were "not very auspicious" in the wake of the war in Iraq, Hamas's victory in Palestinian elections, and uncertainties in Israeli politics. (UCLA International Institute)

Point-Counterpoint - Is Hamas a Partner to the Peace Process or a Strategic Threat to Israel?

Hamas Is in for the Long Run
by Barry Rubin

  • A key aspect of Hamas's strategy is ensuring that the educational system raises a generation that will reject any peace or compromise with Israel, extol terrorism and vote Hamas.
  • The priority will be on the anti-Israel struggle, virtually outlawing moderation and enthroning the Hamas perspective of a long-term, life-or-death struggle in which no real compromise is possible.
  • Hamas will try to create an illusion of moderation among foreigners. Its current "moderate" plan states that if Israel concedes everything Hamas will not attack Israel until it decides to do so, but it reserves the right to commit genocide against Israel.
  • And even this offer does not mean Hamas would make any effort to stop others - Fatah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas people - from staging terror attacks during this time.
  • Or, in Zahar's words: "Anyone who thinks the [period of] calm means giving in, is mistaken. The calm is in preparation for a new round of resistance and victory." (Jerusalem Post)

The Security Implications of a Hamas-Led Palestinian Authority
by Moshe Ya'alon

  •  Al-Qaeda elements, which Hamas will permit to operate as proxies, will increasingly penetrate the PA. Currently, al-Qaeda elements are exploiting an unstable situation by recruiting frustrated Fatah activists and former Hamas terrorists opposing the tahdiya (period of calm).
  • Recent meetings between Mishal and Ahmadinejad in Damascus should be viewed as early warnings of this dangerous alliance, which will grow with or without Western financial backing of the Hamas-led government.
  • Hamas will pursue - by production or imports - longer-range, more lethal, and more accurate rockets, capable of hitting Ashkelon and more northern coastal cities.
  • Hamas will further attempt to import handheld air defense (AD) missiles and antitank missiles. These more effective 'low profile' weapons systems will create a serious military challenge for Israel if Hamas remains in power
  • Hamas's victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections will likely spawn a counter 'earthquake' to the U.S.-led push for democratization, which will not be confined to the Palestinian internal arena or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Making the Best of Hamas' Victory
by Robert Malley

  • If dealt with wisely, the Islamists' victory could present an opportunity for the United States to promote its core interests without betraying its core principles.
  • Most of all, they must prove their way works; they cannot do that if conflict escalates. Renewed attacks against Israelis would lead to a swift and far-reaching response and ravage whatever hope the Islamists have for their turn at the helm.
  • Even on the diplomatic front, Hamas' victory is not necessarily a fatal setback. The Islamists' approach is more in tune with current Israeli thinking than the PA's loftier goal of a negotiated permanent peace ever was.

  • In its penchant for unilateralism and partiality toward a long-term interim deal, Israel may have found its match in Hamas' reluctance to talk to the enemy, opposition at this stage to a permanent agreement and preference for an extended truce.

  • Hamas, which benefited mightily from this deep-seated aspiration for dignity, is not about to betray it, and the Palestinian people, which put Hamas in power, are not about to blame the Islamists if they fail because of international hostility. (Baltimore Sun)

Don't Rush to Judge with Hamas in Power
by Shlomo Gazit

  • It is not too early to state that until the picture becomes clearer, it would be better for Israel, the United States, and the international community if politicians refrain from offering reflexive, obstructive pronouncements.
  • The Hamas victory, which calls for the establishment of a Hamas government, presents three challenges to the movement's leaders, and a fundamental question is whether they see the same things from their government seats that they saw from the opposition.
  • Many in the Hamas movement seem to be signaling that they understand the need to alter course.
  • Until we know where the new Hamas government is heading, we must withhold judgments and simplistic declarations. (Boston Globe)

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Friday, February 24, 2006

JINSA Report #552 These are the People who Want Nuclear Weapons

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

202-667-0601 Fax

February 24, 2006

JINSA Report #552

These are the People who Want Nuclear Weapons

Thank you to the invaluable MEMRI for permission to lighten, or darken,
your Friday afternoon with the following: TO VIEW, VISIT:

On February 19, Iran's Channel 4 covered a film seminar that included a
lecture by Professor Hasan Bolkhari. In addition to being a member of
the Film Council of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB),
Bolkhari is a cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry, and
active on behalf of interfaith issues. The following are excerpts from
Bokhari's lecture:

"There is a cartoon that children like. They like it very much, and so
do adults - Tom and Jerry. Some say that this creation by Walt Disney
[sic] will be remembered forever. The Jewish Walt Disney Company gained
international fame with this cartoon. It is still shown throughout the
world. This cartoon maintains its status because of the cute antics of
the cat and mouse - especially the mouse.

"Some say that the main reason for making this very appealing cartoon
was to erase a certain derogatory term that was prevalent in Europe.

"If you study European history, you will see who was the main power in
hoarding money and wealth, in the 19th century. In most cases, it is the
Jews. Perhaps that was one of the reasons that caused Hitler to begin
the anti-Semitic trend, and then the extensive propaganda about the
crematoria began... Some of this is true. We do not deny all of it.

"Watch Schindler's List. Every Jew was forced to wear yellow star on his
clothing. The Jews were degraded and termed 'dirty mice.' Tom and Jerry
was made in order to change the Europeans' perception of mice. One of
terms used was 'dirty mice.'

"I'd like to tell you that... It should be noted that mice are very
cunning... and dirty.

"No ethnic group or people operates in such a clandestine manner as the

"Read the history of the Jews in Europe. This ultimately led to Hitler's
hatred and resentment. As it turns out, Hitler had behind-the-scenes
connections with the Protocols [of the Elders of Zion].

"Tom and Jerry was made in order to display the exact opposite image. If
you happen to watch this cartoon tomorrow, bear in mind the points I
have just raised, and watch it from this perspective. The mouse is very
clever and smart. Everything he does is so cute. He kicks the poor cat's
ass. Yet this cruelty does not make you despise the mouse. He looks so
nice, and he is so clever... This is exactly why some say it was meant
to erase this image of mice from the minds of European children, and to
show that the mouse is not dirty and has these traits. Unfortunately, we
have many such cases in Hollywood shows."

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JINSA Article Digest for February, 24th

Articles added to JINSA Online from February, 17th to February, 24th.

2005 Jackson Award: Remarks delivered by Mrs. Birgit Smith on the Grateful
Nation Award, Nov. 12, 2005

(2006-02-21) I want to thank the Jewish Institute for National Security
Affairs for allowing my request to share a few words with you tonight. I
wanted to do it because I felt it was important for you to hear first-hand
from an Army wife, and widow, about how thankful I am for our men and women
in uniform.

Read more @

2005 Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award/Grateful Nation Award Photo

(2006-02-22) A photo album of captioned images from the Washington, D.C.
event honoring Gen. Peter Pace, USMC, with JINSAs Henry M. Jackson
Distinguished Service Award and the presentation of the 2005 Grateful Nation
Award recipients, November 12, 2005.

Read more @

2005 Jackson Award Keynote by Gen. Peter Pace, USMC

(2006-02-22) Remarks upon receipt of JINSAs Henry M. Scoop Jackson
Distinguished Service Award by General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, December 12, 2005.

Read more @

2005 Jackson Award for Distinguished Service Presented to Gen. Peter Pace,
USMC, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, December 12, 2005

(2006-02-22) JINSAs 23rd annual Henry M. Scoop Jackson Distinguished Service
Award was conferred upon General Peter Pace, USMC, Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, on December 12, 2005. Dr. Stephen Bryen, President of
Finmeccanica Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based aerospace firm and the evenings
major corporate sponsor, presented the award.

Read more @

#551 Port Insecurity

(2006-02-22) There is more than a little anti-Arab sentiment in the uproar
over a Dubai firm purchasing the British operating company running terminals
at six major American seaports. Otherwise, how do you explain the lack of
concern over Chinese companies running terminals at two major West Coast
ports and New Orleans, the locus of much of our energy imports? Its time to
have a real policy to protect the management of our ports from all foreign
ownership. Read the analysis in JINSA Report #551.

Read more @

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

AJC News Update

American Jewish Committee Weekly News Update

Update 197  |  February 22, 2006

Click to Register Online

ACCESS Mission to New Orleans

Wearing body suits and masks, dozens of young Jewish leaders from across the country gutted three houses in New Orleans' hurricane-ravaged Ninth Ward. The work included tearing down walls and throwing out debris. As part of ACCESS: AJC's New Generation Program, they also cleaned and painted the gym of Torah Academy, a Jewish day school, and restocked and reorganized the library at Gates of Prayer Synagogue. At Xavier University, a black, Catholic college, the group presented a donation of $100,000 from AJC's Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Participants also met with officials from FEMA, as well as professors from local universities and journalists. "The group was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster, but came away deeply moved and committed to continuing AJC's advocacy and humanitarian mission," said Rebecca Neuwirth, AJC's director of special projects.

Cartoon Controversy: Danish Ambassador Visits AJC

Ambassador Torben Getterman, Denmark's Consul General in New York, briefed dozens of AJC leaders in an off-the-record conversation about the cartoon controversy, the mood in Denmark and the ongoing challenges that tiny nation, with a population of 5 million, faces in dealing with boycotts of Danish products and violence against Danish embassies and consulates. David Harris, who is visiting Copenhagen with an AJC leadership delegation this week, observed that while it is "painful to see the level of hatred directed at Denmark, this situation also shows that Europe cannot avoid being pulled into the incendiary politics of the Mideast."

AJC Radio Message: We Are All Danes

AJC continues to express solidarity with Denmark and outrage over the reaction, often violent, across the Muslim world to the publication of controversial cartoons in a Danish newspaper. "We are all Danes," declared David Harris in his national radio message on the CBS radio network. "Danes are targeted. Danish goods are boycotted. Danish embassies are attacked. The goal is to bring Denmark to its knees." Click to listen. Also, read Harris's op-ed on the cartoon controversy, published in the Sun Sentinel .

Ballot Box Alone Cannot Change Hamas

"Today is a sad day for all who have been striving tirelessly for Arab-Israeli peace," said AJC immediately after the new Palestinian Parliament was sworn in. Click for AJC statement. AJC has launched an international advocacy effort to encourage governments to remain firm in not dealing with Hamas. AJC sent letters to the ambassadors of the 25 nations that are members of the European Union. We are deeply concerned that the international community's commitment to shun the terrorist organization already has begun to unravel. AJC criticized Turkey for hosting a Hamas delegation, and cautioned that Russia's upcoming welcoming of Hamas to Moscow will only further confer legitimacy on an organization that still is on the EU and U.S. lists of terror organizations. The international community must remain united in not dealing with Hamas unless and until it changes its policy, in word and deed, regarding Israel. Hamas must fulfill the basic requirements of the Quartet, to end violence, recognize Israel, and accept previous Palestinian agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap. AJC also praised the firm stance of the United States regarding the composition of the new Palestinian legislature.

New AJC Publication on Hamas

"Neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice us," says a top Hamas leader newly elected to the Palestinian Parliament. AJC has collected quotes from Hamas leaders who, in their own words, demonstrate clearly the Hamas commitment to destroying Israel, as well as targeting Westerners. Hatred Unmasked, Hamas Speaks is a must read for all concerned about Israel's security and Middle East peace. (Currently, it is available only on our web site). More.

AJC Leaders Attend CRIF Dinner

An AJC senior leadership delegation traveled to Paris to meet with French officials, including Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Iran, Hamas and the brutal murder of a young French Jew were discussed extensively. For the sixth consecutive year AJC attended the annual dinner of the CRIF, the umbrella body for French Jewry. The French Prime Minister, eighteen members of the French Cabinet, and other dignitaries were among the more than 800 people in attendance. AJC participates each year in an expression of solidarity with the French Jewish community.

French Jew Brutally Murdered

AJC was shocked by the horrific murder of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old French Jew who was kidnapped and tortured before being killed in Paris. "Together with our French Jewish friends, we share the shock at this horrific crime. Our deepest sympathies are with the Halimi family and the entire French Jewish community," said David Harris, who was in Paris with an AJC delegation to attend the annual dinner of the CRIF, the umbrella organization for French Jewish organizations. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy reiterated to the AJC group his government's commitment to ensuring the security of the Jewish community. Click for news release.

AJC Leaders Visit Berlin

A senior leadership delegation traveled to Berlin, after attending the CRIF dinner in Paris, to meet with senior officials in the Chancellor's office and at the Foreign Ministry to discuss Iran, Hamas and transatlantic relations. The group also met with the Israeli and American ambassadors. AJC has been involved with the Federal Republic of Germany on many levels for well over 50 years and established an office in Berlin in 1998. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be a keynote speaker at the AJC Annual Dinner on May 4.

Poland Rejects Iranian Holocaust Denial Campaign

AJC commended Polish Foreign Minister Stefan Meller for sharply refusing Iran's request to send a "research" team to Poland to investigate basic, historical facts relating to the Holocaust. In his letter David Harris wrote: "Your unequivocal and immediate condemnation helps ensure that the community of democratic nations stands firmly united against Tehran's increasing hostility." Read letter.

AJC Advocacy Tool on UN

Dozens of Missions to the UN have received copies of AJC's new report, A Diminished World Body: An Overview of the UN and Israel. The report provides details of the discrimination against Israel that permeates the UN, and offers a strategy for ending this outrageous singling out of the Jewish state. It is the latest initiative in AJC's campaign of advocacy and diplomacy for changing the unfair treatment of Israel, which violates the UN Charter. Copies also were personally delivered to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and are currently being distributed to all members of Congress. Click to view the publication. Order copies from Also view AJC's TV ad on the UN and Israel.

Austrian Court Jails Holocaust Denier

AJC applauded an Austrian court for sentencing David Irving to prison for violating Austrian laws prohibiting Holocaust denial. "At a time when Holocaust denial is increasingly in vogue as Iran ratchets up its own efforts to question the Nazi extermination of six million Jews, an Austrian court has made a great contribution in countering this hate by punishing David Irving, one of the world's leading Holocaust deniers," said AJC. Click for news release.

AJC Pilots Program at Princeton University

The AJC Princeton Society, a new initiative for select students at Princeton University, hosted Michael Blumenthal, former Secretary of the Treasury, who currently serves as chairman of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and AJC's Eugene DuBow, founding director of our Berlin Office. Following the event, which was open to the larger Princeton community, Blumenthal and DuBow continued the conversation with Princeton Society members over dinner. The AJC Princeton Society will be hosting Danish Ambassador Torben Getterman for its next event in March. A similar project on the Cornell University campus will be launched next week with David Harris as the first speaker.

Encouraging UN Peacekeeping Missions

AJC's Africa Institute and Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights jointly hosted a panel discussion on lessons learned from the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Sierra Leone. Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago, who recently completed his term in charge of UN peacekeeping forces in Sierra Leone, and Ambassador Donald Steinberg, vice president of Multilateral Affairs at the International Crisis Group, addressed diplomatic representatives and leaders of non-governmental organizations. The discussion at AJC addressed the challenges of peacekeeping, focusing on the important steps that must accompany a peacekeeping mission in the areas of security, political and economic development, and rebuilding the rule of law and civil society. Stan Bergman, Chairman of the Africa Institute, and Robert Rifkind, Chair of JBI, introduced and moderated the discussion.

Darfur Advocacy Day

Dozens of Jewish and interfaith activists from across the country gathered for the American Jewish Committee's Darfur Advocacy Day to press the U.S. government to take greater action in trying to stop the genocide raging through the war-torn region of Sudan. "The goal of the day was to energize activists to return to their home communities, empowered with greater knowledge, and to encourage them to be more public about the worsening situation in Darfur," said David Bernstein, AJC's associate director of community services and coordinator of Darfur Advocacy Day.

Supreme Court Supports Constitutionality of RFRA

AJC applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision recognizing that a small church's religious utilization of hoasca, a controlled substance, as a sacrament in its communion service, is permitted despite federal laws generally prohibiting its use. In Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal (UDV), et al., "The Supreme Court upheld the statutory scheme enacted by Congress in passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act," said Jeffrey Sinensky, AJC's general counsel. "The Court's decision clarifies the obligation of the federal government to avoid substantially burdening the free exercise of religious practices." AJC had filed an amicus brief in the case, advocating the constitutionality of RFRA.

David Harris Book in Russian

I Am My Brother's Keeper is a newly published collection of David Harris's writings translated into Russian. This is the second in a series of Russian-language books by Harris. They are popular in the large community of Jews from the former Soviet Union. The book was published in Kiev, Ukraine. Copies can be ordered from Sam Kliger at

AJC Meets Dalai Lama in Jerusalem

Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs, met privately with the Dalai Lama in Jerusalem. Rabbi Rosen also participated in a meeting between the Chief Rabbis of Israel and the Dalai Lama, held at the office of the Chief Rabbis.

Chapter Diplomatic Activity

The Chicago Chapter hosted a two-part seminar for the Foreign Consular Corps on the ethnic and religious groups that live in Chicago. Consular representatives from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Holland, Israel, Mexico, the Philippines, Romania, Serbia-Montenegro, South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey attended the program. In a separate meeting, officials from the Chinese Consulate met for the first time with Chicago Chapter leadership, and discussed ideas for joint programs.

In the Media

The Sun Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale) published an op-ed article by David Harris on the cartoon controversy. Click to read op-ed.

Kenneth Bandler, AJC's director of communications, was interviewed about Hamas and the new Palestinian Parliament, on several national radio networks, including FOX, CNN and Metronetworks, as well as on WBZ, the CBS affiliate in Boston.

The New York Jewish Week quoted Richard Foltin, AJC's legislative director, in an article about new U.S. Air Force guidelines on religious activity.

The Forward quoted Richard Foltin in an article about the Set America Free energy independence coalition, which AJC recently joined.

The Associated Press quoted Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international interreligious affairs director, in a story about the World Council of Churches conference and discussion of divestment. The Forward quoted Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of interreligious affairs, and UN Watch Director Hillel Neuer, in an article about Anglican Church and divestment.

Agence France Presse quoted Kenneth Bandler, AJC's director of communications, in a story about "Paradise Now" the film about suicide bombers nominated for an Oscar

The New Orleans Times-Picayune quoted Brian Siegal in a story about AJC's weekend relief mission to the city and gift of $100,000 to Xavier University. The newspaper also ran a feature on a synagogue and neighboring Catholic church that have been rebuilding with the assistance of donations from AJC's Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

Deidre Berger, director of AJC's Berlin Office, was quoted in a Knight Ridder story about the trials of Holocaust deniers Ernst Zuendel, who is in court in Germany, and David Irving, sentenced to prison in Austria. Berger said it is important not to underestimate the seriousness of the cases. ''They're dangerous men," she said. The story appeared in the Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Times, among others.

The Detroit Jewish News quoted AJC Chapter Director Sharona Shapiro in an article about U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority after the Hamas electoral victory.

The New York Jewish Week quoted Shula Bahat, AJC's associate executive director, in an article about Peretz Goldmacher, a former refusennik and leader of the Russian Jewish community in New York, who was honored at a party held at AJC.

Rabbi Rosen was interviewed by ABC Australia about the Museum of Tolerance currently under construction in Jerusalem, and ramifications resulting from the Muslim burial site uncovered during construction

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, AJC's Geneva affiliate, was quoted in The Washington Times, United Press International and Cybercast News Service, concerning the latest talks to establish a UN human rights council to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Several Turkish newspapers, including Milliyet and Yeni Safak reported on the AJC statement criticizing Turkey for welcoming Hamas leaders to Ankara.

Polskie Radio reported on the recent meeting of Polish President Lech Kaczynski with AJC leaders in Washington.

Please contact Kenneth Bandler, AJC's Director of Communications,
at with any questions or comments.

© 2006 American Jewish Committee

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