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  • Author: Jonathan Fighel
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Mumbai attacks have been linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba and radical Islamic groups in Kashmir generally. Yet it would be a mistake to see Lashkar only as a local organization with only a local agenda. Saudi Arabia has contributed very much to what Lashkar-e-Taiba looks like, how it thinks, its motivation, ideology, and funding. Saudi Arabia presents itself as the protector and the spearhead of the defense of Muslims around the world against what they define as the Western cultural attack. The Saudis are very committed to recruiting, funding, and funneling ideology to embattled Muslim minorities, and use Muslim charities as their tool to implement this policy. The Saudi methodology is to take advantage of a humanitarian crisis to get a foot in the door. Who could be against assisting widows and orphans and setting up schools and clinics? Some of the money is indeed funneled to support terrorism - families of suicide bombers. The notion of global Islam has also penetrated to Gaza and exists under the umbrella of Hamas, which is enabling a revival of global jihadi organizations there such as Jaish al-Islam and others. This phenomenon is radicalizing the already radicalized society in Gaza. Hamas could agree to a hudna (calm) for fifty years, but there will be no recognition of Israel or a cessation of the struggle against it. If Hamas was ready to act pragmatically, it would no longer be Hamas. And then the frustrated factions within Hamas would break off and join up with the radical global jihadi organizations in Gaza.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Post Colonialism, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Gaza, Arab Countries, Mumbai
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Saudi Arabia's past involvement in international terrorism is indisputable. While the Bush administration decided to redact 28 sensitive pages of the Joint Intelligence Report of the U.S. Congress, nonetheless, Saudi involvement in terrorist financing can be documented through materials captured by Israel in Palestinian headquarters in 2002-3. In light of this evidence, Saudi denials about terrorist funding don't hold water. Israel retrieved a document of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) which detailed the allocation of $280,000 to 14 Hamas charities. IIRO and other suspected global Saudi charities are not NGOs, since their boards of directors are headed by Saudi cabinet members. Prince Salman, a full brother of King Fahd, controls IIRO distributions "with an iron hand," according to former CIA operative Robert Baer. Mahmoud Abbas, in fact, complained, in a handwritten December 2000 letter to Salman, about Saudi funding of Hamas. Defense Minister Prince Sultan has been cited as a major IIRO contributor. It was hoped, after the May 12 triple bombing attack in Riyadh, that Saudi Arabia might halt its support for terrorism. Internally, the Saudi security forces moved against al-Qaeda cells all over the kingdom. But externally, the Saudis were still engaged in terrorist financing, underwriting 60-70 percent of the Hamas budget, in violation of their "roadmap" commitments to President Bush. Additionally, the Saudis back the civilian infrastructure of Hamas with extremist textbooks glorifying jihad and martyrdom that are used by schools and Islamic societies throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Ideological infiltration of Palestinian society by the Saudis in this way is reminiscent of their involvement in the madrassa system of Pakistan during the 1980s, that gave birth to the Taliban and other pro bin-Laden groups.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Joel S. Fishman
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Israel and the PLO have been confronting each other according to completely different paradigms of conflict. Since the late 1960s, the PLO has adopted a "people's war" paradigm that continued to guide its policies even after the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords. According to the "people's war" paradigm, borrowed from Marxist-Leninist traditions in China and Vietnam, conflict is waged on both the political and military levels, but for militarily weaker guerilla groups, political conflict is more important, especially the delegitimization of an adversary and the division of his society. Prior to 1993, Israel largely responded to the PLO militarily as a terrorist threat, but not politically. After 1993, with the PLO "renouncing" terrorism, Israel embraced the PLO leadership and ignored the signs that the PLO was still engaged in political warfare against it (incitement, reluctance to alter PLO Covenant, UN votes, textbooks). Israeli governments later complained about these symptoms of political warfare, without identifying the cause. Established Israeli traditions place undue emphasis on the narrowly-framed military approach to the detriment of the political, which leaves Israel particularly vulnerable to broad-based strategic deception. Israeli policy-makers must reexamine the assumptions upon which they have based political and military policy over the last decade.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Vietnam, Arab Countries, Oslo
  • Author: Ruth Lapidoth
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Until September 2000, hopes were high that soon an agreement on the final status of the West Bank and Gaza would pave the way for peaceful coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians. These hopes have unfortunately been shattered, as Palestinians violently attacked Israelis in both the administered territories and in Israel proper, provoking violent reactions by Israel. One could wonder what purpose there is in analyzing legal issues related to a peaceful settlement when violence is the order of the day. If we nevertheless examine some of the legal issues, it is because we have not yet lost hope that sooner or later the guns will be silenced and the parties will return to the negotiating table. The underlying conflict is mainly of a political nature. However, for several reasons it should also be analyzed from a legal perspective. First, some of the questions involved are overwhelmingly of a legal nature. Second, the parties base their claims on legal arguments. And, third, if and when a compromise is reached, it will be drafted in legal terms and be included in a legal text. This is also true of the question of Palestinian refugees.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Raab
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The unity and control of Jerusalem have been among the most contentious and complex issues in Israel-Arab relations. Until recently, Israel's stance that Jerusalem would remain under its sole sovereignty as its eternal, undivided, and sole capital was not open to compromise. That position enjoyed near-unanimity among Israelis, the international Jewish community, and Congress.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Mark Ami-El
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Temple Mount in Jerusalem represents the greatest point of sanctity for the Jewish people. King Solomon established the Temple, or Beit Ha-Mikdash, on Mt. Moriah. The Temple had a section known as the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments and the Torah, was housed. While it stood, Jews were required to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year. After the First Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE by the Babylonians, Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem in 538 BCE and completed the construction of the Second Temple in 515 BCE. Even after the Temple's destruction by Roman armies in 70 CE, the site of the Temple remained the direction of Jewish prayer. The purification of the Temple in Jerusalem is the central theme in the holiday of Hanukkah. Thus, according to Jewish tradition, the sanctity of the Temple Mount area remains intact despite the Temple's destruction. Indeed, Rabbi A.I. Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the pre-state Yishuv, confirmed that the eternal sanctity of the Temple Mount continues to exist.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jerusalem, Arab Countries
  • 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: Mordechai Abir
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Persian Gulf is a region of outstanding anomalies and immense energy wealth. About two-thirds of the world's proven energy reserves are located in the Gulf States, foremost in Saudi Arabia (25 percent). As long as the rest of the world requires this energy, its dependence on this region will continue. Yet, the evolving U.S. war against terrorism, coupled with the growth of non-OPEC oil output led by the revived energy industry in Russia and other former Soviet republics, is beginning to erode the coercive power of the Gulf states.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Zeidan Atashi
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A summit of religious leaders on the Middle East was held in Alexandria, Egypt, on 20-22 January 2002. The summit was held at the initiative of Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, and more than a dozen senior Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders from the Middle East attended, among them rabbis from Israel and sheikhs from Egypt and the Palestinian Authority who had received approval from their governments.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries, Egypt, Alexandria
  • 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