Friday, April 21, 2006

[imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1375 (15 messages)

imra Fri Apr 21 02:21:16 2006 Volume 2 : Issue 1375

In this issue of the imra daily Digest:

Excerpts: Hamas storing arms in Jordan.
Shiites under fire. 19 April 2006
PA has encouraged security officers to attack Israel
MEMRI: Reformist Columnist: "Muslims Living
Abroad Cannot... Impose Their Values"
PLC Approves Number of Legislations
Regarding Food Shortage and Support of Prisoners
Jordan statement: Hamas brought weapons into Jordan
Southern residents: Shelling worse than Qassams
- Industrialists concerned
Weekly Commentary: Security -
not settlers or settlements - is the main issue
Jewish holy site vandalized in
Israeli Arab village in Galilee
Israel adopts "speak loudly and carry small stick" policy

UK FM Straw at UK-Saudi Arabia Conference
- what Hamas "must" do
Haaretz: Sources: Electric pressured to increase
ad budget to Sharon's pal
Excerpts: Turkey Islamising foreign policy.
Jordan's Islamists seek more power. 20 April 2006
Israel adopts "speak loudly and carry small stick" policy
Russia will deliver air defense systems to Iran - top general


Subject: Excerpts: Hamas storing arms in Jordan.
Shiites under fire. 19 April 2006

Excerpts: Hamas storing arms in Jordan.Shiites under fire. 19 April 2006

+++JORDAN TIMES 19 April '06:"Jordan seizes Hamas-smuggled arms, postpones
Zahar's visit"
""seized weapons and explosivess that were smuggled by Hamas into

" 'Such practicies contradicts the nature of the Jordanian-Palestinian
ties' "
"keen to enhance ties with the new government"
AMMAN (Petra) - The government on Tuesday said it postponed a visit by
Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar after authorities recently seized
weapons and explosives that were smuggled by Hamas into Jordan.
"The government considers this as a proof that the Hamas movement was
exercising a dual approach in dealing with Jordan," Government Spokesperson
Nasser Judeh said.
. . ."Such extremely dangerous weapons included missiles, explosives and
machineguns," Judeh added.
Security services also observed at different stages activities by Hamas
elements in Jordan, including surveillance of vital targets in Amman and
other cities, he said.
"Such practices contradicts the nature of the Jordanian-Palestinian ties." .
. .
"Such actions do not serve this relation or the higher interest and the
cause of the Palestinian people. . . .Judeh said the government
congratulated Hamas for its victory in the legislative elections and was
keen to enhance ties with the new government to support the Palestinians'
rights and help them establish their independent state.

+++AL-AHRAM WEEKLY 13-18 April '06:"United we stand"
HEADING:The demonisation of Shia is on the rise, argues Abbas Kadhim*

" the Shia ' are mostly always loyal to Iran and not the countries where
they live' "

"the Shia are traitors and potential domestic enemies"

"the Shia of Iraq view the silence of Arab governments towards the
atrocious crimes of Saddam Hussein as ... consent"

. .. The most recent accusation by Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak that the
Shia "are mostly always loyal to Iran and not to the countries where they
live" were preceded by statement of King Abdullah of Jordan alleging the
rise of a "Shia Crescent" threatening the region as he perceived it. ... .
The corollary of this statement is that the Shia are traitors and potential
domestic enemies to their own countries. It is highly disturbing that the
president of a major Arab country would think in this manner about a
population that, in his words, amounts to 65 per cent in a country such as
Iraq. It is no wonder that the Shia of Iraq view the silence of Arab
governments towards the atrocious crimes of Saddam Hussein as a sign of
consent, if not encouragement. After all, for Arab governments and many in
their intellectually sequestered populations, the Shia are nothing but
"Iranian agents" who represent the worm in the otherwise very healthy Arab
. . .
There is no question that the Shia feel certain affinity to their
coreligionists in Iran. ... Our Arab brothers have done nothing to embrace
us, as they keep demanding proofs of "loyalty... . From the organised
atrocities in Iraq to the denial of our existence in Saudi Arabia and
Bahrain. This abominable hostility among the Muslim community has lasted for
centuries because no sustained effort was ever made to end it.It is worthy
... to bring together the two communities. The time is past due and the
means are available; can we please have the will?
* The writer is an Iraqi academic based in the USA.

Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA


Subject: PA has encouraged security officers to attack Israel

The Palestinian Authority has encouraged security officers to attack Israel.

GAZA CITY [MENL] -- The Palestinian Authority has encouraged security
officers to attack Israel.

Palestinian sources said Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Interior Minister
Said Siyyam have met disgruntled PA officers and urged them to join the
insurgency war against Israel. The meetings came amid threats against the PA
by police and security officers who did not receive their salaries for

"Under Hamas, the Interior Ministry has told unpaid security officers that
the more attacks against Israel, the more money they would get from Iran and
other countries," a Palestinian source said.

The PA has about 70,000 police and security troops. Hamas has also been
organizing a separate force estimated to comprise about 5,000 fighters.

NOTE: The above is not the full item.
This service contains only a small portion of the information produced daily
by Middle East Newsline. For a subscription to the full service, please
contact Middle East Newsline at: for further details.


Subject: MEMRI: Reformist Columnist: "Muslims Living
Abroad Cannot... Impose Their Values"

Special Dispatch - Reform Project
April 19, 2006
No. 1142

Reformist Columnist: "Muslims Living Abroad Cannot... Impose Their Values -
Just as We Do Not Permit Christians Living Among Us to Impose Theirs"

In his column in the UAE daily Al-Ittihad, reformist writer Yousef Ibrahim
calls upon Muslim immigrants to recognize the secularism of their non-Muslim
host countries and not to try to impose their Islamic values on the secular

The following are excerpts from his column:

"When Foreigners Come to Islamic Countries... We Insist That They Respect
Our Traditions"

"Something important happened recently in Australia that made us ask
ourselves, who are we and what is our attitude towards others?

"When foreigners come to Islamic countries to work, live, or visit, we
insist that they respect our Islamic and Arab traditions. We also expect
foreign workers in our countries to respect the customs of our religion, and
sometimes we even go overboard and demand that their wives cover their heads
with a veil, and demand that they not eat in public during the days of
Ramadan, and refrain from eating pork, drinking wine, and the like... In all
the Islamic countries, anyone accused of harming the sensibilities of the
native residents is punished, deported, or imprisoned..."

"Must the Muslim Be Entitled to Have More Than One Wife in America, Russia,
Europe, or China?"

"The Muslims have every right to impose Islamic values on their peoples and
in their lands, as long as they constitute the majority. The problem is,
what happens when the Muslims are not the majority, as in America, Europe,
Australia, and some countries in Asia[?]... Can Muslims who immigrate abroad
insist on applying the laws of Islamic shari'a to themselves and to others
even where it is clear that they are a minority? Can they challenge the
secular cultures common in the Western societies [with demands], or resist
the will of these societies to separate religion and state?...

"In a secular country, do Muslims have the right to build mosques, teach the
Koran, or support the [Islamic] religious schools? Must the Muslim be
entitled to have more than one wife in America, Russia, Europe, or China?
Can they impose Koranic punishments in these [countries]?...

"In principle, this entire matter begins and ends with our views towards
others, with the question of whether we think that others have rights or
not, and with the question of whether Islam is a religion capable of
coexisting in a secular society without being condescending towards others -
particularly with regard to the civil laws in the Western democracies."

"It is Imperative That Our Muslim Brothers Living Abroad Share the Values of
Those who Prefer Secularism"

"This brings us back to Australia. Last week, Australia's Conservative Prime
Minister John Howard summoned to his office a large group of Muslim clerics
from the Muslim community living in the continent, and presented them with
an ultimatum. He said that Australia, which is fundamentally a land of
immigrants, demands of everyone who resides in it... 'full allegiance' to
the secular Australian constitution and not to any other law common in the
countries whence the immigrants came...

"Just in case the words of the prime minister were not sufficiently clear,
Treasurer Peter Costello added that the Muslim clerics must adhere to the
secular laws, and that if they do not do so, they must leave Australia...

"The issue of 'live and let live' has turned into an existential issue [for
Muslims living in non-Muslim countries]. In accordance with the current
democratic values and with other values, the non-Muslim majority lives in
systems based on separation of religion and state... Since it is not
reasonable [to assume] that the situation will change... it is imperative
that our Muslim brothers living abroad share the values of those who prefer

"Muslims living abroad cannot assume that they can impose their values -
just as we do not permit Christians living among us to impose their values
upon us..."

(1) Al-Ittihad (UAE), April 7, 2006.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent,
non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle
East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background
information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with
proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
Search previous MEMRI publications at



SECRECY NEWS from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 47 April 18, 2006

Attorneys for two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee accused of mishandling classified information vigorously rebutted
the latest prosecution arguments against their clients in an April 6

"In the history of the Espionage Act, the government has never embarked on a
prosecution like this one -- of private citizens outside government, not
accused of espionage, for receiving and transmitting oral information in the
context of their jobs as foreign policy advocates protected by the First
Amendment," the defense argued.

The defense brief disputed the prosecution's new claim that a 1940 case
known as Gorin was a pertinent precedent to the current case. In that
earlier case, the defendant was a foreign agent who paid his sources for
access to restricted information. But unlike Gorin, the present defendants
are not accused of being foreign agents, nor of bribing or coercing the
disclosure of information.

See "Defendants' Reply to Government's Supplemental Response to Motion to
Dismiss," April 6, 2006 (1 MB PDF):

An earlier defense brief on related matters, dated March 31 and initially
filed under seal, is now available here (2.2 MB PDF):

Recent news coverage of the case includes "Leak Flap Seen Aiding Lobbyists'
Case" by Marc Perelman, Forward, April 14:

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation
of American Scientists.

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to with "subscribe" in the body of the

Secrecy News is archived at:

Steven Aftergood Project on Government Secrecy Federation of American
voice: (202) 454-4691


Subject: PLC Approves Number of Legislations
Regarding Food Shortage and Support of Prisoners

PLC Approves Number of Legislations Regarding Food Shortage and Support of

GAZA, Palestine, April 19, 2006 (IPC + WAFA) - [Official PA website]- The
Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) approved on Tuesday a number of
legislations addressing the food shortage in the Gaza Strip, in addition to
the support and solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners at Israeli jails.

Held at the PLC buildings simultaneously in Ramallah and Gaza cities,
through a videoconference link, the session also approved the extension of
the special committee investigating the assault on Jericho Prison for an
additional month, in order to give it enough time to submit its report to
the PLC.

During the session, the PLC members listened to briefings offered by both
State Minister Dr. Atef Adwan and Finance Minister Omar Abdel Razeq,
following questions made by PLC member Bassam Al Salhi.

Meanwhile, the PLC approved a number of bills that relate to the shortage of
food supplies in Gaza Strip, as well as the prisoners in Israeli jails,
including one to refuse signing any agreement or political solution without
the release of all prisoners, as well as raising their allowances and
prioritizing their families and the families of Palestinians killed during
the Intifada in jobs.

The PLC also approved the adoption of a national framework to activate the
issue of prisoners in all levels, especially in academic and educational
institutions, as well as starting an international campaign to explain the
issue of prisoners and expose their maltreatment and oppression by Israeli
occupation authorities, among other bills.

The PLC then addressed the current economic crisis, after the Finance
Minister explained that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has a debt
of almost $640 million, about $300 million more than the debt of 2004.

Minister Abdel Razeq added that the current financial crisis was caused by
the former government, which withdrew $300 million and deposited them in the
PNA treasury, in addition to an additional $100 million that were deposited
in the treasury afterwards - all as debts from the Palestinian Investment

With regards to employment, the minister said the number of allowed jobs was
exceeded by 9,000 positions during the first three months of this year,
though noting that the crisis is about to be solved soon, and refused to
give an exact date to pay the delayed March salaries until the countries
that pledged financial support fulfill their pledges.

On his part, State Minister for Refugee Affairs Adwan said that the
formation of this new ministry will aim to expand the work of the
Palestinian Authority, and even offer services to Palestinian refugees in
Diaspora, if the rules and regulations of host countries allow it, under
coordination with the Refugee Affairs Department at the Palestinian
Liberation Organization (PLO).

Adwan noted that the Ministry will mainly handle the affairs of refugee
camps in Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but affirmed that this ministry will
not replace the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has
been the major body serving the Palestinian refugees for more than 55 years.

As for the current food crisis in the Gaza Strip, the PLC asserted that the
PNA should contact all the international organizations concerned with food
security, in order to discuss the humanitarian assistance of the Palestinian

Also, the PLC called to implement rules and punishment against merchants who
do not sell food supplies according to the predetermined process, and
follow-up with the Islamic Bank on the food silos that are to be
constructed, in addition to lay down a contingency plan to determine
consumers' priorities.


Subject: Jordan statement: Hamas brought weapons into Jordan

Statement by Government Spokesman

Amman, April 18 (Petra-Jordan news agency) -- Government Spokesman stated
the following;

The Jordanian government remains determined to establish good relations with
new Palestinian government. Jordanian government declared from the beginning
of the Palestinian legislative election and the winning of Hamas with
majority of Palestinian Legislative council, is waiting for the formation of
the Palestinian government and looking into its programs. The Jordanian
government stand expresses clearly Jordan's respect to Palestinian people's

The Jordanian government congratulated Hamas for its victory in the
legislative election and sent a congratulation letter to the Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas at the time of formation of Palestinian government.

The Jordanian security apparatus observed some members from Hamas movement
sneaked contraband weapons and explosives and store them in Jordan, the
government regrets to such behavior that coincided with positive directives.

The seized contraband weapons that included rockets, explosives, and
automatic rifles, they are very dangerous.

The security apparatus also monitored the movement of Hamas members in
Jordan at different stages to reconnoiter some vital targets in Amman.

The Jordanian government sees such practices contradict the core of
Jordanian-Palestinian relations as the new Palestinian government committed
not to using Jordan for any purpose or objectives to harm its security and
not to interfering in its internal affairs.

Jordan regretted such practices and affirmed the strong relations with
Palestinian people and Authority. Jordan sees these practices neither serve
these relations nor the higher interests of the Palestinian people and their
cause. The Palestinian people see Jordan's support to their cause stemmed
from its political and historical firm.



Subject: Southern residents: Shelling worse than Qassams
- Industrialists concerned

Southern residents: Shelling worse than Qassams

Gaza vicinity communities wake up to another day of anxiety, after
Palestinians fire five Qassam rockets from northern Strip; 'we have accepted
daily barrage, but IDF's artillery fire has become a nightmare,' locals say

Shmulik Hadad YNET 20 April 2006,7340,L-3241550,00.html

A barrage of five Qassam rockets was fired Thursday morning from the
northern Gaza Strip toward Israel. One rocket fell at sea, another landed at
the hothouses area of the southern community of Nativ Haasara, and the rest
landed in the area between Kibbutz Karmiya and Kibbutz Zikim, south of

There were no reports of injuries or damage in all incidents. On Wednesday
evening, another rockets landed near a military base at the Kibbutz Nahal Oz

The blasts were well heard at the Gaza vicinity communities, and the
resident once again woke up to a morning of anxiety.

"Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to know whether the noise is an IDF
shelling, which has become a nightmare for us and is no longer helpful, or
Qassams, which we have already accepted," one of the residents told Ynet.

The residents have already despaired by the army's retaliation fire against
launching sites, and they testify that the rockets are launched quite often
during the artillery fire.

Nativ Haasara residents recently met with IDF officials in the area and
expressed their frustration over the fire, which they said paralyzes their
lives. The artillery fire has already caused cracks in some of the houses.

Residents of Nahal Oz also expressed their fury and frustration over the
situation in a meeting with the commander of the division responsible for
the shelling.

Industrialists concerned

Ashkelon Mayor Roni Mehatzri approached Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on the
matter and expressed his special concern after Qassams hit the sensitive
industrial zone recently.

The industrialists in the area plan on holding a special discussion in the
coming days with Mehatzri and senior municipality officials. Many of them
spoke about suppliers who are afraid to come to the area and of damages
caused to their businesses.

Large factories are located at Ashkelon's southern industrial zone,
including essential infrastructure plants. The defense establishment
promised to hold a separate discussion on the issue soon.

First Published: 04.20.06, 08:58
Latest Update: 04.20.06, 09:19


Subject: Weekly Commentary: Security -
not settlers or settlements - is the main issue

Weekly Commentary: Security - not settlers or settlements - is the main

Aaron Lerner Date: 20 April 2006

"In light of the fact that the evacuation of Gush Katif put Hamas in office,
increased the Qassams, and Israel is still in Gaza via cannons, and maybe
soon with tanks, I suddenly doubt if the Ehud Olmert government will be able
to evacuate 60 thousand settlers."
Leading retreat advocate Yoel Marcus - Haaretz 18 April 2006

It may very well turn out that the Palestinians will unwittingly succeed in
undermining the powerful media-political retreat alliance. But it would be
a terrible mistake for retreat opponents to rely on Palestinian stupidity.

By the same token, it would be a terrible mistake for retreat opponents to
focus efforts exclusively on improving attitudes towards settlers. That's
just not the determining issue.

Consider the attitude of the Israeli public towards withdrawing from the
Golan Heights.

The Golan residents are seen as hard working secular Israelis, identified
with mainstream political parties. The Golan itself is one of Israel's most
popular recreation areas.

Yet looking back at December 1999 through Mid January 2000, the period of
abortive efforts to cut a deal between then PM Ehud Barak and Syrian
President Assad, one finds that the plight of the Israeli residents of the
Golan wasn't even a factor considered worthy of accounting for in most of
the polls studying attitudes towards a deal that would have ostensibly
traded the Golan for a peace treaty with Syria.

And while the potential loss of the water from the Golan served as a
secondary consideration, the loss of the beautiful parks and Israel's only
ski slope was also not seen as an important consideration.

The position of the Israeli public on the Golan was not driven by either
love for the Golan or the Golan residents but instead the belief that
withdrawal from the Golan in return for a piece of paper signed by President
Assad simply did not serve Israel's security interests.

And they took this position despite the efforts of such groups as the
Council for Peace and Security (ex-brass that essentially support any
withdrawal anywhere) to convince the Israeli public that the Golan either
wasn't important or could be readily replaced with gizmos.

The West Bank, of course, is considerably more complicated than the Golan
what with a significantly sized Arab population that is anything but
complacent about the situation.

Nonetheless, the lesson of the Golan rings true: like it or not, for the
average Israeli the key consideration is the perceived security
ramifications of withdrawal. (While some members of Acting PM Olmert's
Kadima Party claim that the IDF would remain in place after the evacuation
of Jewish communities, it can be readily argued that, historically, the
permanent deployment of the army in a given area is predicated on its being
justified by a civilian presence.)

Convince the public that retreat is simply too dangerous and the poll driven
politicians in the ruling coalition will prove Marcus' prediction was right
on the money.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730


Subject: Jewish holy site vandalized in
Israeli Arab village in Galilee

Jewish holy site vandalized in Galilee
Michael Freund, THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 20, 2006

Unknown vandals desecrated the tomb of talmudic sage Rabbi Shimon ben
Gamliel, shattering iron bars at the entrance to the structure and setting
it alight.

Located in the Israeli Arab village of Kafr Kana, just west of the Golani
junction, the tomb is the final resting place of one of the most prominent
rabbis of the talmudic era. It consists of a small stone building, which
stands over an underground burial cave.

The entrance to the site and the sign hanging over it were partially
blackened by smoke as a result of the fire that was set, and mounds of
garbage were strewn nearby.

Damage was also inflicted to the interior, including to the stairwell
leading down to the subterranean room where the sage's grave is located.
Several of the stone steps were smashed, and an adjoining concrete wall was
ripped apart.

The grave itself was unharmed, but the surrounding area was despoiled.

According to an official at the Tourism Ministry, which is responsible for
maintaining the holy sites, the incident likely took place some time during
the past two weeks, in the course of the Passover holiday.

Workers will be sent to the site on Sunday to repair the damage, the
official told the Jerusalem Post, adding that the tomb has been the target
of regular attacks by local Arabs, often as frequently as twice a month.

In October 2000, the tomb was set ablaze by local Arabs, causing extensive
damage to the site.

The police said they would investigate the latest desecration.

Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel served as the Nasi, or leader, of the Jewish people
just prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. He was
murdered by the Romans, and his tomb has been a popular site for Jewish
pilgrims over the centuries.

In one of his more famous teachings, he is quoted in the Ethics of the
Fathers as saying, "all my life I have been raised among the Sages, and I
have not found anything better for a person than silence. Study is not the
primary thing, but action."


Subject: Israel adopts "speak loudly and carry small stick" policy


Subject: UK FM Straw at UK-Saudi Arabia Conference
- what Hamas "must" do


Event: UK-Saudi Arabia Conference
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Speech Date: 18/04/06
Speaker: Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

Your Royal Highnessess,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


The second challenge I want to speak about is regional security. It would be
wrong to pretend that this and the first challenge of terrorism are not
linked. Nothing can justify terrorism, our countries are agreed about that.
And the terrorists offer no solutions to any of the problems in the Middle
East. But if we can address the sources of conflict and tension in the
region we will undermine the terrorists' propaganda and rhetoric. Above all
this means finding a just settlement in which a viable Palestinian State
lives in peace with an Israel secure within its borders.

Here both Saudi Arabia and Britain can and so make a difference. We are both
pushing for peace: the Arab peace plan first proposed by his then Royal
Highness, now king Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, is a cornerstone of diplomatic
work. We are two of the largest bilateral donors to the Palestinian people.
Something we wish, as you do, continues.

About half of our aid goes to UN agencies and NGO's, the other half to the
Palestinian Authority. Our aid to non-Palestinian Authority recipients
continues without interruption. I want Britain to continue to deliver all
our aid, as does my Ministerial colleague Hilary Benn. But the British
people will need to be assured that our funding is not going to terrorists
or those who support terrorism. We fully accept the results of the
Palestinian elections; it was a free and fair democratic process in which
the Palestinian people made a clear choice. But equally, the new Cabinet of
the Palestinian Authority has a responsibility to govern in the best
interests of the Palestinian people and in accordance with the fundamental
principles of democracy. This does mean that Hamas must renounce violence,
recognise the reality of an Israeli state within secure borders, and accept
previous agreements reached by the Palestinian Authority. Only in that way
can we move forward to a just settlement which gives the Palestinians the
state they deserve, living alongside Israel in peace.

All of the demands now being placed on Hamas are ones which they could
realistically accept if they chose to do so. Above all they need to accept
that government is just different from opposition: the power obtained is
matched in greater measure by responsibility. Oppositions the world over
thrive on ambiguity. In government, however, you are on the spot: you have
to decide. An all actions and positions have consequences. So it simply will
not do for Hams to equivocate in the fall of an outrageous suicide bombing
like that on Monday in Tel Aviv. Terrorism like this is not justified. It
kills and injures innocents. It harms the cause of the Palestinians. The
Palestinian Authority knows this. They should say so.


Subject: Haaretz: Sources: Electric pressured to increase
ad budget to Sharon's pal

Sources: Electric Corp execs pressured to increase ad budget
By Sharon Kedmi, Ayala Tsoref and Guy Leshem Haaretz 20.4.06 08:21

Extreme pressure is being imposed on Israel Electric Corporation executives
to increase the utility's annual advertising budget from NIS 20 million to
NIS 30 million, company sources said.

Yet the current budget, which is managed by Adler-Homsky & Warshavsky, has
not been fully spent in recent years, according to the sources.

The office of Reuven Adler won the tender for the IEC's advertising budget
at the end of 2001, arousing sharp criticism because he was considered a
close associate of former prime minister Ariel Sharon.

Later, the IEC board's customer relations and advertising committee extended
the original three-year contract by two years without a new tender.

Adler and his partner Eyal Homsky have a lot of political ties, having run
Kadima's election campaign and Ehud Olmert's campaign for the premiership.

Other company executives claimed they could not see any pressure.

"Adler's office has been with us for years, and there is no connection
between Adler's personal ties with the prime minister or anyone else and the
fact that this is the advertising company of the IEC, not to mention the
advertising budget, whatever size it may be," an executive said.

Today the heads of Adler's office will make a presentation to the committee,
which includes IEC chair Shlomo Rothman. The company is evaluating its
advertising strategy in light of structural changes it is facing, reforms
and the opening of the electricity market to competition.

The IEC commented that it does not know of any pressure being placed on
company executives. It added that the matter would be raised for discussion
today before the utility's PR committee, and only afterward would the budget
issue be debated and brought for board approval. At this stage, the company
stressed, it is too early to determine what the company's strategy is and
whether it will enlarge its advertising budget.

In response to the extension of the Adler-Homsky & Warshavsky contract, it
commented that the contract would expire in 2007, at which point a new
tender would be issued.

Adler commented, "I don't know of any such pressures being applied to
enlarge the advertising budget. We will present the IEC with the new
advertising strategy we built, which deals with the IEC's image."

He added that as far as he knew, no decision had yet been made to enlarge
the company's advertising budget.


Subject: Excerpts: Turkey Islamising foreign policy.
Jordan's Islamists seek more power. 20 April 2006

Excerpts: Turkey Islamising foreign policy.Jordan's Islamists seek more
power. 20 April 2006

+++JORDAN TIMES 20 April '06:
"Foes accuse Turkey of Islamising foreign policy" by Gareth Jones, Reuters
"Turkey's ruling Justice and Develpoment Party (AKP) ... wants to remould
Turkey's foreign policy along more Islamist lines"
" 'I see opportunism ... rather than a clear Islamist agenda'
ANKARA - US Congressman Robert Wexler ... condemned Turkey's decision in
February to host leaders of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. . . .
Wexler's comments,...underlined the continued repercussions of a visit that
outraged Israel and the United States, dismayed the EU and many Turkish
diplomats and stirred suspicions that the AKP wants to remould Turkey's
foreign policy along more Islamist lines.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who has roots in political Islam, has
defended the decision as an attempt... to bridge the gulf between Israel and
the Palestinians ... . . ..
. Though overwhelmingly Muslim, Turkey ...has a strictly secular political
system, belongs to NATO and last year began European Union membership talks.
Ankara also has close security and trade ties with Israel, hence the shock
that greeted Turkey's invitation to an organisation which denies the Jewish
state's right to exist and which is branded as "terrorist" by Washington and
the EU. . . ..
... the Hamas trip is a clear example of how Erdogan, ...wants to boost ties
with the Islamic world even at the risk of undermining Ankara's traditional
"Foreign policy is definitely taking on a more Islamist tone under this
government," ..."Erdogan seems to be vying to become more popular than Arab
leaders in the Middle East, but this is a dangerous tactic." . . .
Erdogan still needs the EU to modernise Turkey's laws and institutions and
to keep foreign investment flowing into its booming economy, analysts say,
but his heart is no longer in it. . . .
But analysts say the AKP has probably forfeited for good the trust of the
Israelis - crucial if it is to be taken seriously as an honest broker in the
Middle East - and they say Erdogan may also be overestimating Turkey's clout
on the global stage. . . .
... Most ministers, including Erdogan, speak no foreign languages and have
a background in provincial politics.
"I see opportunism and sheer clumsiness rather than a clear Islamist
agenda," . . .

+++THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon) 20 April '06:
"Jordan's rising Islamists demand more of a say in governance" By Curtis B.
--Reprinted from Arab Reform Bulletin, Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace --

"in short order they [Islamists] won the leadership posts of almost every
[professional] association
in the kingdom"

"17 years of Islamist electoral success in Jordan have produced no chance
whatsoever to form an
IAF government"

"they bargain over the ground rules for the 2007 parliamentary elections
and the nature of the
Jordanian state itself"

Jordan's Islamic Action Front (IAF), ... party of the Muslim Brotherhood,
... is now positioning itself to demand more of a role in governance. ...
Hamas' electoral victory in Palestine has emboldened the Front to translate
its popularity into greater political clout. . . .
Islamists [in 1997-8] then shifted their efforts toward increasing their
weight in professional associations, where in short order they won the
leadership posts of almost every association in the kingdom.
The 2003 elections were the first under King Abdullah II, and marked the
return of the opposition to electoral politics. Seventeen IAF members gained
parliamentary seats ... along with five independent Islamists, in a
Parliament now expanded to 110 members.
While the IAF remained focused on its own Islamist political agenda, most
legislation continued to emerge from the government itself, ..... The IAF
had little ability to advance its broad goals of implementing Islamic law,
preventing normalization of ties with Israel, and ultimately of abrogating
the peace treaty entirely. The IAF did, however, align itself with other
conservative forces in order to block government attempts to change Jordan's
laws regarding honor crimes, specifically the lenient legal framework for
sentencing men who killed female relatives suspected of shaming the family.
In November 2005 Al-Qaeda suicide bombers struck three luxury hotels in
central Amman ... .
The government ...called for pre-emptive war on militant forms of Islamism,
which the IAF and Muslim Brotherhood feared might be used against them. In
January 2006, the government charged IAF leader Jamil Abu Bakr with "harming
the dignity of the state." ... .The charges were dropped the following
month, but the sense of harassment remained.
... the sweeping victory of Hamas in the Palestinian legislative elections
has re-invigorated Jordan's already well-organized Islamist movement. ...
While Hamas' electoral win translated immediately into a new Hamas-led
government, 17 years of Islamist electoral success in Jordan have produced
no chance whatsoever to form an IAF government. Consequently, IAF leaders
have recently become bolder in articulating their policy priorities ... .
IAF deputies have charged that in freer and fairer elections they might win
40 to 50 percent of the vote. ... linking elections to actual governance
remains a key point of struggle between the government and IAF, as they
bargain over the ground rules for the 2007 parliamentary elections and the
nature of the Jordanian state itself.
Curtis R. Ryan is associate professor of political science at Appalachian
State University in North Carolina, and is the author of "Jordan in
Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah" ... .

Su eLerner - Associate IMRA


Subject: Israel adopts "speak loudly and carry small stick" policy

Israel adopts "speak loudly and carry small stick" policy

Aaron Lerner Date: 20 April 2006

Headline on front page of today's edition of Yediot Ahronot:

"The response to the attack:

Broad military operation - no,

Information campaign - yes"

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730


Subject: Russia will deliver air defense systems to Iran - top general

Russia will deliver air defense systems to Iran - top general
19/04/2006 20:19

MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti) - The chief of the General Staff said
Wednesday that Russia would honor its commitments on supplying military
equipment to Iran.

"We discussed supplies of military equipment to Iran, including the Tor M1,
in the framework of bilateral cooperation, but it does not fall into the
category of strategic weapons," Army General Yury Baluyevsky said after
talks in Moscow with NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General James

"And I can assure you it will be delivered under the control of the relevant
organizations," he said.

At the end of 2005, Russia concluded a $700-million contract on the delivery
of 29 Tor M1 air defense systems to Iran.
The Tor-M1 is a fifth-generation integrated mobile air defense system
designed for operation at medium, low and very low altitudes against
fixed/rotary wing aircraft, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle), guided missiles
and other high-precision weapons.
Despite strong criticism from the United States, Russia has maintained that
the systems could be used only to protect Iran's air space.

Baluyevsky also said Russia's Armed Forces would not be involved in any
military conflict in Iran.

"I do not think the conflict [in Iran] will turn into a war," he said.
"Russia will not propose the use of its armed forces in a potential military
conflict on either side."

Baluyevsky said he did not discuss the Iranian nuclear program with Jones,
although the issue is "on everybody's mind."
Meanwhile, Iran's Defense Minister, Mostafa Mohammad-Najar, said Wednesday
that his country would go ahead with its non-military nuclear research
because it was a legitimate right of the Iranian people.

The Iranian official is currently on a three-day visit to the neighboring
Central Asian republic of Azerbaijan to discuss bilateral cooperation in the
defense sphere.

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will attend a summit of Economic
Cooperation Organization, a regional cooperation body, in the capital of
Azerbaijan, Baku, on May 4-5.


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End of [imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1375 (15 messages)

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