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  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The record of formal efforts to negotiate peace in protracted ethno-national conflicts (Balkans, N. Ireland, Sri Lanka, etc.) is not encouraging. Israel needs a serious insurance policy, in the form of unilateral separation, to minimize vulnerability to another and potentially more deadly terror campaign, should the "roadmap" fail. The construction of a separation barrier is supported by over 70 percent of the Israeli public, representing a broad consensus from across the political spectrum that favors a physical barrier blocking access to Israeli cities in order to prevent a resumption of the Palestinian terror campaign of the past three years. Political separation will also promote a two-state solution, allowing Israel to remain a culturally Jewish and democratic society while fostering Palestinian sovereignty. Key policy issues concern the pace of construction and the route to be taken for the remaining sections. While options range from a minimalist 300 km line to a 600 km alternative that would include most Israeli settlements, a pragmatic middle route including settlement blocs like Ariel and Gush Etzion may provide the optimum mix under present circumstances. If the Palestinian security framework proves its capabilities in preventing terror, and political negotiations on borders progress, the barrier can be relocated.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Arabia, Balkans, Ireland
  • Author: Anne Bayefsky
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The roadmap has significant roots in the UN, an organization long understood as biased against Israeli interests and Jewish well-being in general. Examples include the work of the UN "Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories," established in 1968, and the UN "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," created in 1975. There is a pressing need to clarify with the American administration what attributes of sovereignty will not be accorded a Palestinian state with provisional borders prior to final status negotiations. Israel must reassert that its consent is necessary for any decision affecting its essential interests. An American commitment to object to any unilateral declaration of independence should be immediately forthcoming and clearly understood by the parties. The UN and the European Union must be kept out of any monitoring and assessment function. Recognition of a fundamental breach, and the ability to apply the necessary consequences, require that precise and public monitoring by Israel start now.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The quest for defensible borders has been an axiom of Israeli governments since 1967 on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242. Defensible borders for Israel has been explicitly backed by Washington since the Reagan administration. In Rabin's last Knesset address he made clear that Israel "will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines." He insisted on a map including a united Jerusalem, the settlement blocs, and the Jordan Valley. In 2003, Israeli planners will have to operate under the assumption that the dismantling of the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure will be incomplete, and should a Palestinian state nonetheless be established, its complete demilitarization will not be reliable. During the Oslo years, the Palestinian leadership was in material breach of the military clauses of the Interim Agreement, seeking to import illegal weaponry like SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and manufacturing Qassam rockets. Many of the same security figures who breached Oslo now serve the government of Mahmud Abbas. Moreover, fundamentalist groups like Hamas that mentioned the Islamic term hudna, for cease-fire, understood that it means a truce that is maintained until the balance of power changes. This means they will seek rearmament; Israeli military intelligence was, in fact, reporting that Hamas had accelerated production of Qassam rockets in early July. In their pronouncements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have even used a weaker term: ta'liq - a temporary cessation of hostilities. In the wake of the decline of the threat from Iraq, Israel will require defensible borders to meet the growing lethality of the Palestinian threat, backed by the assistance of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The Bush administration should provide Israel with assurances concerning defensible borders as it seeks Israel's acquiescence to the creation of a Palestinian state.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Justus Reid Weiner
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent decades, municipalities and governments in all parts of the world have struggled with illegal building. However, compared with the incessant denunciation of rather infrequent demolitions by the Jerusalem Municipality, there has been nearly a complete lack of publicity when other governments demolish illegal structures. Those who complain that many Arabs cannot afford housing in Jerusalem ought to recognize economic reality; Jewish residents of Jerusalem who also cannot afford the high cost of housing find it necessary to move to the periphery of the city where housing is more affordable. In New York, nobody would excuse or tolerate people building illegally in Central Park, whatever their attachment to Manhattan or however large their family. Even the Palestinian Authority has demolished houses constructed illegally. Particularly refreshing was PA leader Sari Nusseibeh's statement that the "gangs that build illegally on land that does not belong to them should be thrown into jail," and that "Nobody in their right mind is in favor of illegal building."
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Jerusalem
  • Author: Dan Diker
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The impending renewal of Arab-Israeli contacts after the Aqaba summit is an appropriate occasion to reassess one of the weak points of Israel's information effort. At the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, then Deputy Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "broke the ice" with scores of Arab reporters when he provided articulate explanations of Israel's positions. Eytan Bentsur, Director General of Israel's Foreign Ministry at the time of Madrid, saw Israel's "paternalistic" approach to the Palestinians at Oslo as contributing to the ultimate collapse of the peace process. The launch of Arab satellite television in 1994 provided Israel with direct access to millions of Arab and Muslim viewers throughout the Middle East. Prime Minister Sharon's foreign media advisor, Raanan Gissin, is regularly interviewed on the leading Arab channels. Despite the high standards of news programming on Israel's new Arabic-language Middle East Satellite Channel, it is not widely viewed in the Arab world because it is recognized as an Israeli government operation. ArabYnet, an Arabic translation of the popular Ynet news website of the Israeli Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot, has become one of the most popular Arabic language websites on the Internet, with nearly a million unique monthly users. It is a commercial site that presents an Israeli point of view but with no particular political agenda.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Irwin J. Mansdorf
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since 1993, attempts have been made to portray Palestinian-Arab perpetrators of suicide bombings as desperate individuals understandably coping with a difficult situation, in effect, transforming the attackers into victims, and thus diminishing the impact of one's revulsion at such attacks. The use of the “bomber as victim” model has led others to similarly view, and incorrectly justify, the motivations behind Palestinian-Arab suicide bombers. Yet, in fact, individual psychopathology or personal feelings do not appear to play any significant role. Unlike other groups that have used suicide as a political or military tool, only in the case of Palestinian-Arab terror has there been an attempt to personalize the perpetrator as a victim of uncontrollable psychological and motivational forces that forced such extreme behavior. It is actually group dynamics that reinforces behavior within a Palestinian-Arab culture where suicide bombers are viewed as heroes whose faces are prominently displayed on public posters and where families of bombers are showered with both respect and financial reward.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Dan Diker
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: International news organizations covering the Arab-Israeli conflict frequently refer to international agreements and resolutions in ways that are prejudiced against Israel's legal rights and claims. Frequent references to Israel's legal obligation to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders are inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 242 and the Oslo Accords. Neither the Oslo Declaration of Principles of September 1993 nor the Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995 require either Palestinians or Israelis to refrain from the construction of settlements, neighborhoods, houses, roads, or any other similar building projects. References in the news media to “occupied Arab East Jerusalem” reflect an underlying assumption that eastern Jerusalem has always been an Arab city like Damascus or Baghdad, ignoring the fact that Jerusalem has had an overwhelmingly Jewish majority as far back as the mid-nineteenth century. Despite UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's announcement on 25 July 2000 that Israel had fully implemented UN Resolution 425 when it unilaterally withdrew from southern Lebanon, news organizations have continued to refer to the Shaaba Farms, located on Israel's side of the border with Lebanon, as “disputed.”
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Oslo
  • Author: Steven Windmueller
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Martin Buber wrote: "Each Jew represents the mirror image of the collective soul of the Jewish people." In recent times, we have described ourselves as a proud people, assured of our place in the modern world. But the events of September 11 left us numbed and confused as to its meaning and message. The tragic events of that day fused with the events that occurred a year earlier in Israel with the onset of the second intifada, and may have fundamentally transformed the Jewish experience in our times.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: David Raab
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Christian community in the areas administered by the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a small but symbolically important one. About 35,000 Christians live in the West Bank and 3,000 in Gaza, representing about 1.3 percent of Palestinians. In addition, 12,500 Christians reside in eastern Jerusalem. This population is rapidly dwindling, however, and not solely as a result of the difficult military and economic situation of the past two years. Rather, there are numerous indications that the Christian population is beleaguered due to its Christianity. Taken in context of the condition of Christians in other Middle Eastern countries, this picture is especially credible and troubling.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In the wake of the failed Camp David summit of July 2000 and the terrible violence that began at the end of September, there have been many efforts to halt the carnage and revive the negotiations. These efforts included summit meetings in Paris and Sharm el Sheik, the Mitchell Commission, and security plans presented by CIA director George Tenet and General Anthony Zinni. None of these had any visible impact, and the Palestinian attacks and Israeli responses have only intensified.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Paris, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Dan Diker
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Israel State Comptroller's report released on October 7, 2002, leveled unprecedented criticism on Israel's public relations efforts. The State Comptroller revealed that "since its establishment in 1948, Israel's intelligence organs have not succeeded to respond to the broad-based propaganda and incitement by the Arab world." The report also emphasized that "the lack of a central authority to direct and coordinate all government information bodies to execute a public relations policy is the main factor accounting for Israel's longstanding failures in this field."
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Lt. Col. Jonathan D.H.
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The second Camp David summit (July 2000) was the culmination of nearly ten years of political dialogue between Israel and the representatives of the Palestinian people, and of almost six years of interim agreements since the mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO. Yet Camp David II did not result in the conclusion of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement to end the protracted conflict between the Palestinian national movement and the Jewish national (Zionist) movement. The negotiations between Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat (who also heads the PLO and the Fatah movement), under the auspices of U.S. President Bill Clinton, rather highlighted the wide differences between the two sides on the fundamental issues of the conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Raphael Israeli
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the 1967 Six-Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem, new Israeli neighborhoods have grown as satellite towns all around the core of the city beyond the old demarcation line. Mount Scopus, now connected to the city by a major network of highways, has been rebuilt into a mammoth fortress-campus which accommodates Hebrew University and the Hadassah Hospital. New roads and highways crisscross the city, linking its new neighborhoods. What was once a formidable array of military positions and fortifications has turned into sprawling housing projects. Free access to the holy places of all faiths has been made available to all. New museums, shopping malls, entertainment centers, and places of worship have sprouted everywhere. Finally, the population more than doubled between 1967 and 1997 from just under 300,000 in both parts of the formerly divided city to more than 600,000 within its current unified municipal boundaries.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Jerusalem
  • Author: Anne F. Bayefsky
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Confronting bin Laden's rallying cry of "good" and "bad" terrorism lies at the heart of any battle to defeat terrorism. This now entails the courage to address directly the terrorists' and their state sponsors' rhetorical weapon of choice, the accusation of racism. In fact, their claim inverts the very heart of a civil libertarian agenda, since it is closely associated with a deep-rooted antisemitism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Durban
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: As the military and political leaders of the Roman Empire understood, in a hostile and anarchic world, in order to preserve the peace, it is often necessary to prepare for war (Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum). The promise of unacceptable consequences and retaliation following an attack may not be politically correct, but in the face of deep-seated hatred and hostility, there is often no realistic alternative. Deterrence, on its own, is not always sufficient to prevent conflict, but it is still a necessary condition for creating and maintaining stability.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey S. Helmreich
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: As the smoke clears in New York and Kabul, one blind spot still blocks the Western lens in the war against terror. There remains no official definition of "terrorism." The need for such a definition was affirmed by representatives of over 150 countries at a UN conference held in October 2001 on "What is Terrorism?" They came armed with prior resolutions that ban terrorism in any context, no matter its grievance or goal. But the delegates argued that in order to isolate and criminalize the act itself, they would need to identify it. Otherwise, future thugs who massacre innocent civilians could argue that their case is somehow different, or somehow justified by context. They could claim: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East, Arabia, Kabul
  • Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In Israel, ongoing contingency planning in the military, political, economic, and information fields is particularly essential now, especially in light of the structural global changes that may occur after the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Such evaluations are done elsewhere for other reasons, such as by stock market analysts, and for those who draw accurate operating conclusions the rewards are very significant. In politics, it is even more difficult to imagine and rank potential shifts. Those who continually train themselves intellectually, however, may do better than others, both in defining policies and in suggesting rapid reactions to the unforeseen.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Zeidan Atashi
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Israeli Druze community is the only major non-Jewish group in the state whose sons are required to serve in the IDF. Over the past 50 years the community has forged a covenant of blood with the Jewish state, suffering hundreds of casualties while loyally defending the State of Israel.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: After the September 11 terrorist assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, many American analysts have been seeking to understand the source of the intense hatred against the United States that could have motivated an act of violence on such an unprecedented scale. In that context, a new canard is beginning to run through repeated news reports and features: that somehow America's support for Israel is behind the fury of militant Islamic movements, like that of Osama bin Laden, towards the United States. Indeed, a Newsweek poll conducted on October 4-5, 2001, found that 58 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. relationship with Israel is "a big reason terrorists attacked the United States."
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Sherry Israel
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Jews in America have been known to be, in Earl Raab's felicitous phrase, "politically hyperactive." Yet today, the most fundamental indicators of Jewish support — membership, participation, and contributions — are on the wane for most of the organizations which have been in the forefront of Jewish activity in the public square in recent decades.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Arabia