Some Headlines from JCPA
Anti-Israel Voices Muted In New Congress
Several leading anti-Israel voices no longer will be heard in the Capitol’s halls because a number of representatives whom Jewish activists have deemed anything from “not a friend of Israel” to “anti-Israel” are not returning to their jobs. Some lost primaries and some are aiming at higher office, but the departure of these lawmakers - together with the expected victory this fall of dozens of strong supporters of Israel - signals the advent of a particularly pro-Israel Congress for the next two years.
U.S. Rejects Comparisons between Iraq and Israel
The U.S. Thursday rejected every comparison between Iraq and Israel, in regard to weapons of mass destruction, reports Israel Radio. Senior State Department official Richard Haass, visiting in Cairo, said one cannot draw a comparison between Iraq and Israel, because Iraq has used weapons of mass destruction twice - once against Iran and once against its own people [Iraqi Kurds]. Haass said that Iraq is a violent nation that cannot be permitted to possess such weapons.
Scuffles Mar Opening of Barghouti Trial
A Tel Aviv District Court hearing about whether the State of Israel has the legal authority to put Marwan Barghouti on trial descended into an outright riot before and after the court session. With masses of foreign press on the scene, both the angry relatives of terror victims and peace activists jockeyed for media attention.
The West Bank Fatah movement's secretary general and leader of the Tanzim, Barghouti is accused of murder and attempted murder. In a new public opinion poll by east Jerusalem's Jerusalem Media Institute, only three percent of Palestinians regard Barghouti as the best possible leader. Yasser Arafat won 26.7% support, and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin of Hamas won 10.3%.
Palestinian Homicide Bombers Plotted to Strike Druze Holy Site
A Palestinian terrorist cell plotted to send homicide bombers to Nebi Shuweib, a site holy to Druze near the Kinneret, according to an indictment presented at Salam Junction Military Court.
Poll: 60% of Israelis Say They are Fighting for their Survival
Sixty percent of Israelis believe Israel is fighting for its existence in the now two-year-old Palestinian war, according to a poll conducted by Smith Research and Consulting. Only 11% of Israelis believe that the war is being fought over the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
President Bush to Push Palestinian Reforms (second part of the story)
Officials in Washington believe that the strengthening of Arafat's status as a result of the Muqata siege is a transient phenomenon. They believe the IDF withdrawal from Arafat's Ramallah compound created a "window of opportunity" for the resumption of PA reforms. The U.S. wants Egypt, Syria, and Jordan to lobby for the appointment of a Palestinian prime minister.
Iran: Shihab Missile Designed to Target Israel
Ahmed Wahid, head of Iran's missile development program, revealed Thursday in an interview with the London-based Al-Hayat that the Shihab rocket had been developed to have a range of 1,500 km. because the primary aim was to "hit Israeli targets in the event that Israel fires missiles at Iran." He also revealed that Iran intends to soon conduct an experimental launch of a satellite, using the Shihab rocket, which would be used for civilian as well as military intelligence purposes.
Hamas Trying to Set Up Bomb Labs Inside Israel
Hamas has been actively trying to set up weapons labs in Arab villages inside Israel in recent months, security sources say.
A Dangerous UN Game - Anne Bayefsky
U.S. negotiators at the UN thought that serving up Israel via Resolution 1435 would smooth the way on Iraq. A week later, they are still bargaining, while the clamoring for condemnation of Israel over non-compliance with 1435 has only just begun.
When the Iraq issue is over, stage two - the declaration of a "provisional" Palestinian state, before serious negotiations get under way between the parties - is guaranteed to follow.
The UN is not an honest broker in the Middle East, and never has been. The Arab bloc, along with Russia, France, and China, think blowing up Israelis is legitimate - according to the UN Human Rights Commission resolution of April 15.
A New Synagogue in the Old City
The Hurva synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City is the story of modern Israel in microcosm. In 1948, when Israel declared independence, the Hurva, built in 1864, was the main synagogue in the Old City. The Jordanians kicked out all the Jews and blew up the Hurva synagogue, just for the hell of it. When the Israelis recovered Jerusalem in 1967, they rebuilt a single arch in the ruins of the Hurva, intending it as a temporary memorial. Now, at last, they have plans in hand to rebuild the synagogue itself.
North Americans in the IDF
According to Jewish Agency official Akiva Werber, North Americans in the IDF are "a highly motivated group." Yehuda Weinraub of the Jewish Agency and former lieutenant colonel at the IDF Spokesman's unit, concurs: "In my personal experience with North American soldiers, they were highly motivated, many were highly educated, and many made a positive contribution."