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  • Author: Amnon Lord
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The story of the death of the child Muhammad Al-Dura — who, according to reports from world and local media, was shot and killed by IDF soldiers at Netzarim junction — became the symbol of the intifada: the Palestinian martyr whose blood must be avenged by the Muslim and enlightened world. His death turned into a blood libel accompanying the terror and violence, and it became the altar upon which the good name of the people and the State of Israel was sacrificed during the last two years. The world was flooded with pictures of the dead child. As a result of, among other things, world incitement originating with the mantra: "Israel murders Palestinian children," the UN conference in Durban turned into a frightening anti-Semitic crusade.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Gerald B. Bubis
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The riots by Israeli Arabs in October 2000, which took place in conjunction with the outbreak of a renewed wave of Palestinian violence against Israeli Jews, resulted in the deaths of 12 Israeli Arabs (and one from the West Bank) in confrontations with the police. The widespread rioting shocked the Israeli Jewish community and the Arabs even more.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The idea of the democratic peace, although not explicitly named, was an essential element of the Oslo Accords. The term "democratic peace" is generally understood to have two components: the assertion that democracies are inherently peaceful, and that they do not, as a rule, wage war against other democracies. This ideal would have represented the most desirable type of final arrangement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it predicates an environment of shared values, of political, social, and economic stability. The issue of the democratic peace is also one of security, because the presence or absence of its main components may ultimately represent the essence of success or failure, peace or war.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Oslo
  • Author: Raphael Israeli
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: On the morning of March 21, 1983, one week before Pesach, in a high school in the town of Arrabeh in the Jenin area of the West Bank, Palestinian girls (between the ages of 15 and 17) were sitting in several classrooms when they suddenly began to faint, one after the other. They were taken to hospital and checked, but no medical reason was found for their fainting. Yet they had fainted, so a search began in order to find the reason.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The moral aspects of Western attitudes toward the Jews and the Holocaust since World War II have not yet been analyzed systematically. However, the current campaign of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people — unprecedented since the end of the war — recalls many elements of the prewar decades. Yet it is too easy to generalize and describe this as one more outburst of the ancient illness of anti-Semitism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Adelman
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Israeli decision, under intense American pressure, to cancel the sale of the Phalcon Airborne Early Warning System to China during the Camp David summit in July 2000 threatens to be a major foreign policy debacle for Israel.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion
  • Political Geography: China, America, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Eytan Bentsur
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The October 1991 Madrid Peace Conference represented a breakthrough in relations between the State of Israel and the Arab world. For the first time, Israel engaged in direct, face-to-face negotiations with all its immediate neighbors, and not just with Egypt, with whom Israel had signed a peace treaty in 1979. These talks were between the political leaders of the region, unlike the armistice discussions that Israel undertook in the late 1940s and 1950s. Madrid also launched a multilateral process that brought Israeli diplomats into contact with representatives of Arab states from North Africa and the Persian Gulf.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, North Africa, Egypt, Persia
  • Author: Haim Ramon
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Following the last prime ministerial elections held in Israel in February 2001, the Knesset voted to change the electoral system and restore the former system. Instead of separate ballots for prime minister and for political party, in the next nationwide elections, currently scheduled to take place by the fall of 2003, voters will again be given only one ballot — for political party — and the leader of the party that is able to put together a majority coalition in the Knesset will become prime minister.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • 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: 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: Saul Singer
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: At present, there are no substantive Arab-Israeli peace negotiations underway. Israel has had to contend with the ongoing armed offensive launched by the Palestinians in late September 2000 after the failure of the Camp David summit. Meanwhile, Israel and the Palestinians will only return to the negotiating table after a ceasefire, a meaningful cooling-off period, and confidence-building measures, in accordance with the Mitchell Committee Report. Syria, under Bashar Assad, has given evidence of assuming a harder line, making an early resumption of Syrian-Israeli negotiations unlikely.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria
  • 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: 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: Yakir Plessner
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Recently, Israel Television asked Shimon Peres, the architect of the Oslo process, whether he still believed in the efficacy of that process, to which he replied that the question should be put to Yasser Arafat. This answer appears to be symptomatic of a widespread refusal by Israel's political leadership to think about the current situation in a systematic, analytical fashion, giving rise to a suspicion that Israeli society, as a collective, has a basic difficulty with thinking about our relationship with the Palestinian Authority, in general, and about the recent violent confrontations with it, in particular. We appear to be bewildered by it all. The director general of the Foreign Ministry, Alon Liel, stated more than once in a recent television interview that he was baffled by Arafat's behavior, saying that Arafat appeared to have made an inexplicable U-turn. He had assumed that Arafat had resolved to make peace, and he could make no sense of Arafat's recent behavior. In addition, Shimon Peres has stated several times in recent weeks that we must make Arafat understand that his policy is detrimental to the true interests of his own people. This notion was echoed by Ha'aretz columnist Joel Marcus, quoting former Foreign Minister Abba Eban who said years ago that Arafat never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg also stated that he found it impossible to decipher Arafat's conduct.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel