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  • Author: Zvi Mazel
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: There has been a significant presence of the Muslim Brothers (also known as the Muslim Brotherhood) in Qatar since the second half of the twentieth century. The first wave came from Egypt in 1954 after Nasser had smashed their organization. The next wave came from Syria in 1982 after Hafez el-Assad bombed their stronghold in Hama. The last group arrived after September 11, 2001 - from Saudi Arabia. In 1995, the present Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, deposed his father in a bloodless palace coup. One of his first steps was to establish the Al Jazeera satellite channel in 1996, which is the most viewed station in the Arab world with an estimated audience of some 60 million. There was never any doubt about the network's political orientation. Al Jazeera immediately launched scathing attacks on Israel during the Second Intifada and went on to incendiary broadcasts against the United States at the time of the Afghanistan conflict and over Iraq. It was later revealed to be in contact with bin Laden, and was the medium of choice for the video and audio cassettes of bin Laden and his men. During the U.S. war in Iraq, the Americans accused the station of being pro-Saddam, and after the war, of presenting the terrorist groups active in the country in a positive light. One of its reporters stationed in Baghdad always seemed to arrive suspiciously quickly, with his camera, at the site of terror attacks. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Al Jazeera behaved as a Hizbullah spokesman. During the Gaza war, a senior Al Jazeera reporter stationed himself at Shifa Hospital, from where he broadcast a stream of carefully selected horror pictures. The Egyptian Maamun Fendi wrote in Asharq Alawsat that some 50 percent of the network's personnel belong to the Muslim Brothers. He believes that Qatar, by embracing the Brothers while hosting American bases, has found the perfect formula against retaliation by Arab leaders and attacks by Islamic extremists. Al Jazeera has become a weapon in the hands of an ambitious emir who may be driven by the Muslim Brothers and who is threatening the stability of the Middle East. With the Muslim Brothers increasingly aligned in recent years with Iran, by repeatedly attacking the Sunni Arab regimes and inciting against them, Al Jazeera is serving as an important instrument for Tehran and its effort to undermine their internal stability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mordechai Kedar
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Many in the Arab world felt deep humiliation due to George W. Bush. The Islamic view is that Islam came to the world to replace Judaism and Christianity, and all of the sudden comes a religious Christian president and occupies Iraq, the capital of the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate and the beating heart of Arab history. So when Bush left office, this was viewed as a victory for Allah over the modern Crusaders. The core question is to whom does this country belong? According to the Arab narrative, this has been an Arab Islamic state since the days of Omar, the caliph who conquered the country in the seventh century. According to Islamic tradition, he declared that the country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is waqf land, meaning it belongs forever to Muslims all over the world, and no one else could ever have it According to Islam, land can only go one way, to become Islamic, and it can never go the other way, just like Spain, Sicily, and parts of the Balkans, which at different stages of history were lands of Islam. This is why Hamas and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood cannot even begin to consider recognizing the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state on the land of Palestine. At the same time, Jews feel that this country belongs to them. From the Jewish perspective, this country was populated by Jews and two Jewish kingdoms were here until 1900 years ago. We Jews were expelled with no justification and we came back to our country. This is what gives justification to the Jews having our state here and not in Uganda, Argentina or Birobijan. It even appears in the Koran that this country had been given to the Jews. In 2006 a document approved by the Committee of Arab Local Authorities in Israel - entitled: "The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel and their Relations with the State" - opened with the statement: "Israel is the outcome of a colonialist action which was initiated by the Jewish-Zionist elites in Europe and in the West." To call Israel a colonialist state means a total denial of Jewish history, and echoes the Islamic approach to Jewish history. According to this approach, since Islam came to the world in the year 622 CE with the hijra of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina, all of history before that time lost any meaning or significance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Tamas Berzi
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Many countries such as Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic showed understanding for Israel and described Israel's actions as self-defense. These countries generally used strong language against Hamas and demanded that it stop the rocket attacks unconditionally. At the time of the start of the Israeli airstrikes, the European presidency was held by France. On December 27, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union condemned both the Israeli air raids and the Palestinian rocket strikes on Israel from Gaza and called for an immediate end to these activities. The statement also condemned the disproportionate use of force. As of January 1, 2009, the Czech Republic took over the role of the Presidency of the European Union. On January 3, the presidency described the Israeli ground operations as an act of self-defense. This drew heavy criticism from many European countries, and the Czechs apologized for the "misunderstanding" and issued a new statement, but one that did not call for an "immediate" ceasefire. In diplomatic language there is a significant difference between "as soon as possible" and "immediate." France has been traditionally the main driving force behind European foreign policy. The separate Sarkozy visit to Israel and his humanitarian ceasefire proposal showed that France was not ready to relinquish its positions to the Czech Republic. The Czech positions during Israel's Gaza operation indicate that the current presidency will work toward a more favorable international environment for Israel. However, Israel should try to make the most of it, since the upcoming Swedish presidency, which starts on July 1, 2009, will most likely be a more difficult time for Israel.
  • Topic: War, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Gaza, Germany, Italy
  • Author: Lenny Ben-David
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The appointment of former Senator George J. Mitchell as Middle East envoy was warmly received in Washington, Jerusalem, and Ramallah. Yet, the Middle East that Mitchell will confront today is much changed from the one he wrestled with eight years ago as chairman of the 2001 Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, which was created to investigate the outbreak of the Second Intifada. The 2001 Mitchell Report was seen as an "even-handed" document, reflecting President Clinton's directive to "strive to steer clear of...finger-pointing. As a result, the committee attempted - even at the risk of straining credibility - to split the blame for the crisis. The Mitchell Committee could not ignore Palestinian terrorism and the Palestinian use of civilians as human shields. Israel's transgression - and there had to be one to balance Palestinian sins - was its settlement activity. The committee recommended a "freeze [of] all settlement activity, including the 'natural growth' of existing settlements." Israelis objected that the freeze - never mandated in the interim stages of the Oslo Accords - would serve to reward the Palestinians' terrorism. The committee was appointed before the 9/11 al-Qaeda attack. Its report came prior to the capture of two weapons-laden ships bound for Gaza - the Santorini in May 2001 and the Karine A in January 2002 - and prior to President Bush's 2004 recognition of "new realities on the ground [in the territories], including already existing major Israeli populations centers." Bush continued: "[I]t is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949." The 2001 Mitchell Report was issued years before Hamas' coup in Gaza. Hamas remains dedicated to Israel's destruction. Its alliance with Iran and its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood mark Hamas as an enemy of moderate Arab regimes. Hamas may yet prove to be a fatal flaw to Mitchell's axiom that "there is no such thing as a conflict that can't be ended."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • 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
  • Author: Robert O. Freedman
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its main successor state, Russia, emerged in a greatly weakened geopolitical position. Complicating Russia's problems was a politically weak and often physically sick President Boris Yeltsin. Concerned about its "soft underbelly" in Transcaucasia and Central Asia, regions that were threatened by radical Islam, Moscow focused its Middle East efforts on Turkey and Iran, both of which had a considerable amount of influence in the two regions. Moscow sold nuclear reactors and sophisticated military equipment to Iran, as the two countries developed a tactical alliance. Russia had a more mixed relationship with Turkey, alternating between confrontation and cooperation. Russia also sought to get the sanctions lifted against Iraq, a development that would strengthen the greatly troubled Russian economy as well as help Russia politically. In the case of Israel, Moscow developed very close cultural, economic, and military ties, although there were a number of ups and downs in diplomatic relations. Under Putin, there was a more centralized control over Russian foreign policy as the new Russian leader sought to have a more assertive foreign policy for his country, and became much more active than Yeltsin had been in promoting Russian interests in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jeff Helmreich
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: On May 15, 2001, the Associated Press circulated an article covering Arafat's Al-Naqba speech, marking the day Palestinians recall the "catastrophe" of the creation of the State of Israel. The article boasted direct quotations of the Palestinian leader's statements. They had been spoken in Cairo, broadcast on Palestinian radio stations, and blared out from loudspeakers into the streets of Nablus and Ramallah and all across Gaza. But something happened to the speech on the way to AP's wire report. By the time it reached the newspapers, entire sentences and clauses had been excluded; moderating words had been added; fiery attacks — like a slur about the United States — had been cleaned out; statements had been condensed, enhanced, or otherwise altered. In short, AP's purported "excerpts" of Arafat's remarks were at best edited, at worst fabricated. Moreover, they served to distort (and significantly soften) the message that passed through Arafat's lips.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Saul Singer
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In the midst of an already crumbling cease-fire, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dropped what to Israeli ears was a bombshell. Standing next to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat after their June 2001 meeting in Ramallah, Powell said, "I think as we get into the confidence-building phase there will be a need for monitors and observers to...make an independent observation of what has happened." Within hours, Powell punctured his own trial balloon by ruling out any mechanism opposed by Israel. Less than one month later, the observer issue was once again thrust to the fore when the G-8 foreign ministers unanimously called for dispatching "third-party monitors" to the region, as long as they were acceptable to both sides. Why should the seemingly innocuous matter of observers top the Palestinian agenda and be such an anathema to Israel?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The wave of Palestinian violence and terrorism that began at the end of September 2000 led to a widespread tendency to focus exclusively on Israeli-Palestinian political and security relationships. This narrow concentration of attention is potentially misleading and obscures the fundamental security threats that Israel is facing at the beginning of the twenty-first century. These threats come primarily from the wider Middle Eastern environment, extending from Libya and Egypt (and to a lesser degree, North Africa) to Iraq and Iran. Indeed, the Palestinian strategy is based, to a large degree, on widening the circle of conflict through escalation and regionalizing the confrontation. As a result, the importance of strategic deterrence, in response to revived coalitions and new military capabilities that threaten Israeli security, should be a basic factor in Israeli planning.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Libya, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Raphael Israeli
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the Al-Aqsa Intifada erupted in the Middle East in late September 2000, an almost simultaneous wave of violent anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment has accompanied it in the Western democracies, initiated and executed mainly by locally nationalized Arab or Muslim immigrants, long established or recent arrivals, legal or illegal. Due to the ubiquity in space, synchronicity in time, and similarity in style and content of these events, one wonders whether they were all triggered and managed centrally, or spread by emulation from one part of the globe to another.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Israel has been increasingly facing new diplomatic initiatives that, in effect, call for a freeze in Israeli settlement activity in exchange for a cessation of the eight-month-old, low-scale warfare on the part of the PLO, which the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Intifada. This new linkage has arisen in two distinct forms. First, according to early versions of the Egyptian-Jordanian Initiative of April 2001, the Palestinians are called upon to end incitement to violence and guarantee security cooperation, but Israel is expected, inter alia, to freeze new settlement activity.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Steven M. Cohen, Arnold M. Eisen
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Molly is a physician in her forties who lives in suburban Boston: thoughtful, soft-spoken, and extremely articulate—reason enough to take careful note of what she has to say about the formative experiences which led to her current commitments as a Jew. There is another reason as well: because the key words in this passage from our conversation, "I remember," are repeated no less than three times. What Molly and the other Jews we interviewed remember of their Jewish journeys, and—more importantly— how they remember it, provide the clues to a new sort of Jewish self emerging in the United States in recent decades.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Betsy Gidwitz
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Ukraine is a country in transition between a Soviet past and an uncertain future. Since declaring independence in 1991 at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has provided cause for both hope and despair. On the positive side, it has disarmed its nuclear capacity and is ethnically stable. Its large minority Russian population, 23 percent of Ukraine's total of 49.5 million inhabitants and concentrated in the eastern part of the country adjacent to a long border with Russia, remains calm. Although both Ukrainian and Russian extremists express various grievances, and other ethnic groups, most notably Jews, encounter episodic bigotry that is ignored by the state, the Ukrainian government itself has refrained from inciting ethnic chauvinism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Joel S. Fishman
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: An examination of the historical record reveals many examples of failures of perception, and of leaders and governments refusing to integrate compelling information of existential importance. Taking account of new information and responding to changing circumstances is vital to man's relationship with his environment. When a dysfunction in the process of absorbing important new knowledge and correcting mistakes occurs, the faculty of rational judgment may be fatefully impaired. While, collectively, the attitude of a society is the sum of those of individuals, occasionally, the perception of a single individual in an influential position may be sufficient to determine a government's policy.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: After seven years of the peace process, catastrophic remarks about the end of the State of Israel are much more frequent than they were before the Oslo agreements. Judaism has a long tradition of religious apocalyptic thought; in the secular end-of-days fantasies of the last few months, however, no salvation is offered the community.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Saul Singer
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Ask Israelis or Arabs to characterize the U.S.-Israel relationship and most, particularly on the Arab side, will argue that the picture is one of unwavering support for the Jewish state. Indeed, the outgoing Clinton administration has been widely perceived and labeled as the closest to Israel in the history of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Though the ties between the U.S. and Israel are indeed close, deep, and institutionalized, a closer examination reveals a constant tension between support for Israel and "evenhandedness" between Israel and the Arab world.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Eliezer Schweid
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: With the completion of the process of secularization within the Jewish people, it is now clear that secularism is no substitute for religion. Despite the influence of materialism and the unprecedented control of man over nature and over himself, the need for religion has intensified due to continuing moral, social, and spiritual-existential problems and the profound human need for a connection with the sources, and for continuity and permanence. The time has come for the representatives of religious and secularist movements to begin a substantive dialogue that will enable creative life together.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During the past twenty years, beginning with the Israeli-Egyptian disengagement talks following the 1973 war, the tension between secular and religious perspectives on the Middle East peace process and the "land for peace" formula has grown steadily.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Richard Butler
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Ten years ago the UN Security Council imposed upon Iraq some very specific requirements for disarmament. After Iraq had been expelled from Kuwait, the Council decided unanimously that Iraq may not have nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons; or missiles which could fly beyond 150 km. The Security Council's decisions were taken with the full authority of international law.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia
  • Author: Colin Rubenstein
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The political influence of Islam is increasing in South East Asia. While the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc have contributed to the decline of communism as a revolutionary political force in the region, religious and ethnic issues are now assuming renewed and increasing significance. Religious divisions based on Islam have exacerbated ethnic differences, and some religiously-oriented groups are engaging in violent and extreme acts that pose a potentially serious long-term threat to stability in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Soviet Union, Arabia, Southeast Asia