Tuesday, June 20, 2006

[imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1424 (12 messages)

imra Tue Jun 20 02:20:22 2006 Volume 2 : Issue 1424

In this issue of the imra daily Digest:

President Abbas Receives Temporary
International Mechanism from Ferrero-Waldner
Syrian VP Shara, Meshal- Talks and Statement
Syria criticizes ICRS for coordinating
care in Golan with Israel instead of Syria
MEMRIT: Fmr Kuwaiti Education Minister
on Arab Conspiracy Theories
NGO Analysis: CESR - Human Rights a Pretext for Political Agenda
MEMRITV: Palestinian Militants in
Gaza Talk about Being Influenced by Hizbullah
Confronting the New Nasser in Iran
Hizbullah returns to northern border
Peres: Enough with Qassam hysteria
Kiryat Shmona was shelled for years
Qassam lands in Sderot; no injuries
Tourism to Israel Up 25 Per Cent
in First Five Months of the Year
Hamas weaponry manufacturing facility
targeted [are there more?]


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: President Abbas Receives Temporary
International Mechanism from Ferrero-Waldner

President Abbas Receives Temporary International Mechanism from

RAMALLAH, June 19, 2006 (WAFA - PLO news agency)- President Mahmoud Abbas
received Monday evening the Temporary International Mechanism to facilitate
the delivery of assistance to the Palestinian people from the EU
Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

After meeting with the President in the Presidential HQ in Ramallah, Mrs.
Ferrero-Waldner told reporters the Mechanism will cover essential supplies
to the health sector and payments to health care service providers,
utilities including fuel, and basic needs allowances to meet the essential
needs of the poorest segments of the population.

For his part, the Head of the Presidency Council, Dr. Rafik al-Husseini said
President Abbas received the mechanism. "We are studying it. We will show it
to all concerned parties. We thank the Commissioner and her team for the
efforts to channel aid to the Palestinian people."

Earlier in the day, the EU Commissioner welcomed the endorsement by the
Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia) of European Union proposals for the
Temporary Mechanism.

The Commissioner has spearheaded efforts to develop the Mechanism. She said:
"The backing of the Quartet is an important step that will enable us now to
start implementing our proposals. Europeans are determined to play our part
in preventing a humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian Territories."

She added: "But there can be no business as usual with a government that has
not yet accepted the fundamental principles of peace. That is why we have
worked hard to develop a Mechanism that will meet some basic needs without
money passing through the government."

"Parts one and two of the Mechanism will be launched immediately, with the
aim of making payments to individuals by early July" she added. "The aim is
to have part three of the Mechanism functioning as soon as possible. All
three will operate with strict controls in full accountability and

Assistance will be channeled through a three-part structure: 1) The
Emergency Services Support Programme (ESSP) of the World Bank will be
expanded to cover essential supplies in the health sector and basic
allowances to those who are providing care in hospitals and clinics. While
implementation procedures are being developed, the European Commission will
co ordinate with the World Bank in providing immediately and directly
allowances to the health care sector employees form the community budget.

2) The Interim Emergency Relief Contribution (IERC) of the European
Commission will be reinforced to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential
utilities such as fuel.

3) A Needs Based Allowance Programme will be developed as quickly as
possible to create a "social safety net." A fund will be established to make
payments direct to individual bank accounts on the basis of need.

(22:10 P) (19:10 GMT)


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Syrian VP Shara, Meshal- Talks and Statement

Vice President Shara, Meshal- Talks and Statement
Monday, June 19, 2006 - 04:30 PM
DAMASCUS (SANA - Syrian news agency)-

Vice President Farouk al-Shara discussed on Monday with a Palestinian
delegation headed by Head of Hamas Politburo Khaled Meshal latest
development in the occupation Palestinian territories and the ongoing
national dialogue between Palestine factions.

Mr. Shara stressed importance of making the national dialogue a success and
reaching common grounds based on national principles that ensure the
Palestinian rights in return and the establishment of an independent state.

He also reiterated Syria's full support to offer any help that may
contribute to enhancing the Palestinian unity against existing challenges.

In this contest, both sides' points of view were identical on the
significance of rebuilding the Palestine Liberation Organization with the
participation of all political forces on the Palestinian stage and form a
national Palestine government.

Both sides also stressed importance on moving on the bilateral and Arab
levels to break the unjust siege imposed on the Palestine people.

"Talks during the meeting concentrated on consultations regarding the recent
developments on the Palestinian arena and asserted desire to work for
reaching a Palestinian accord and understanding based on national
foundations that secure restoration of all Palestinian national rights,
including the establishing of the Palestine independent state, the right to
return and the restoration of al-Quds," Mesha'l told reporters following the

He added that "talks emphasized on working to form a government of national
Palestinian unity based on coherent program and rebuilding of the
Palestinian Liberation Organization according to the mechanism approved last
year in Cairo."

He expressed hope that the national Palestinian dialogue will produce good
steps in the interest of the Palestinian issue.

Thawra -Zahra


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Syria criticizes ICRS for coordinating
care in Golan with Israel instead of Syria

Syria Briefs Ambassadors and Red Crescent, Cross Officials on Latest
Developments in Occupied Golan
Sunday, June 18, 2006 - 10:10 PM
Geneva (SANA - Syrian News Agency)-

Syrian Minister of State For the Red Crescent Affairs Dr. Bashar al-Shaar,
who is visiting Geneva, on Sunday briefed ambassadors of some countries on
the latest developments in the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly the
unilateral measures taken by some representatives of the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRS) without coordination with the Syrian
Minister Shaar, who met with the ambassadors of Pakistan, Chile and Norway,
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
Mohammad al-Hadid and Head of the Arab Red Cross and Crescent Organization
Abdullah al-Hazza, said that absence of coordination with the ICRS with the
Syrian authorities led to the failure of laying the cornerstone for building
an emergency diagnosis unit in Majdal Shams as the Syrian citizens there had
boycotted such maneuvers and commitment to considering their national
authorities as true reference.

The Minister held the ICRS responsible for this failure because of its
insistence not to coordinate with the Syrian authorities and taking
unilateral measures to placate the Israeli side at the expense of the
standards of honesty, objectivity and neutrality.

He pointed out that the ICRS shows deliberate indifference regarding its
responsibility towards Syria and instead closely coordinates with the
Israeli occupation authorities. He expressed discontent over such practices.

The meetings were attended by Syria's Permanent Envoy to the United Nations
Dr. Basher al-Gaafari.

Ahmad F. ZAHRA


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: MEMRIT: Fmr Kuwaiti Education Minister
on Arab Conspiracy Theories

The following are excerpts from an interview with former Kuwaiti education
minister Ahmad Al-Rub'i, which aired on Al-Rai TV on March 27, 2006. It is
followed by another MEMRI TV clip with Al-Rub'i which appeared on LBC TV in

TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1171

*Clip # 1171 - Former Kuwaiti Education Minister Ahmad Al-Rub'i: The Arabs
Must Replace Politicization with an Economic Program for Revival

Ahmad Al-Rub'i: Some Arab countries are fictitious countries that are run
very badly. Their natural resources are exploited in a very unjust manner,
money is wasted on armies that do not fight, people are persecuted, and
liberties are non-existent - yet when it comes to pan-Arab issues, the
leader is the number one hero of the Arab nation: He's the one defending the
Palestinian cause and always shouting slogans... This takes me back to Arab
and Islamic history. The tyrannical rulers would summon the Islamic
jurisprudents, and say to them: "Spread among the people that Man has no
free will, that everything is predetermined."

Today, we have the concept of modern conspiracy. In most Arab countries,
everybody is a victim of a foreign conspiracy.


Interviewer: [Some proclaim:] "No Iraqi would kill another Iraqi," "We love
one another, we are great." They begin to review thousands of years of Iraqi
history, and say: "but there are some who have entered Iraq in order to
destroy it." How would you respond to such a person?

Ahmad Al-Rub'i: Abu Tareq, this is the prevalent talk everywhere, I'm sad to
say. "Is it conceivable that Muslims did the killing on 9/11?" Yes, they
did. They killed 3,000 people. But it wasn't Islam - they were criminals.
"No, it must have been an American conspiracy..." "...As the plane was
flying, there was an American who..." With regard to the occupation of
Kuwait, they say: "The American ambassador told Saddam to enter Kuwait." So
America brought Saddam into Kuwait and then took him out, why? "In order to
gain control of the region." But America has been in control of the region
and its oil for a long time.

The concept of conspiracy has spread in a very organized and efficient way,
and many Arabs, even intellectuals, believe they are victims of conspiracy.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1171

*Clip # 425 - Former Kuwaiti Minister Ahmad Al-Rub'i: Those Responsible for
Extremist Fatwas Live in Luxury in the West

Al-Rub'i: Like what unfortunately happened to us in the so-called Afghan
Jihad, which ended in disaster with the return of the Afghani Arabs to their
own countries, which they began to destroy in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Syria,
Yemen, and some of the other Arab countries. It now seems that some people
are repeating this bitter experience and seducing these young people with
false Islamic legal rulings. Those same people make these rulings public on
the Arab TV stations and live in comfort and luxury. Their children study at
the best universities in the U.S. and the West and they send the sons of the
poor and wretched to Falluja and other places.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=425

For assistance, please contact MEMRI TV Project at memritv@memri.org 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.

MEMRI TV Project
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: NGO Analysis: CESR - Human Rights a Pretext for Political Agenda

June 19, 2006:

NGO Analysis: CESR - Human Rights a Pretext for Political Agenda
[For annotated version
www.ngo-monitor.org/archives/infofile/cesr_email_190606.html ]

The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), a New York City-based NGO,
funded by the Ford Foundation and other philanthropies, claims to "promote
social justice through human rights."[1] However, CESR publications on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict promote a highly political agenda, reflected in
a one-sided Palestinian narrative that erases the context of terrorism. CESR
campaigns demonize Israel and involve partnerships with organizations such
as ICAHD, Sabeel, and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights. CESR's public
relations activities and special consultative status with the UN Committee
on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ECOSOC) provide a forum to promote
its radical ideology, masked in the rhetoric of universal rights.


According to its mission statement, CESR's objectives include advancing
"social justice through human rights"[2] as well as promoting "the universal
right of every human being to housing, education, health, and a healthy
environment, food, work, and an adequate standard of living."[3] CESR's
extensive activities related to Israel and the Palestinian Territories claim
to highlight "the root cause of ESCR violations [Economic, Social, and
Cultural Rights] - the discrimination and brutality inherent in the Israeli
occupation - and to advocate for alternatives that recognize and promote
equal rights for all people living under Israeli rule."[4]

CESR was co-founded in 1993 by two lawyers and a scientist from Harvard
University: Roger Normand, Sarah Zaidi, and Christopher Jochnick. Following
a 2004 leadership change, CESR is now headed by Eitan Felner, a former
director of B'Tselem and previous chair of the Israeli Section of Amnesty


According to its website, CESR was established on a grant of "a little over
$100,000 from the MacArthur Foundation and the Echoing Green Foundation
[...and] currently manages an annual budget of well over half a million
dollars."[6] In 2004, CESR received a $435,000 grant from the Ford
Foundation[7] and has also received funds from the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore
Foundation, Samuel Rubin Foundation, and the Life Foundation as well as
substantial donations from Elizabeth Benjamin, Carol Bernstein Ferry, and
Claude Welch.


CESR produces articles, fact-sheets, and reports on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, and also organizes conferences and teach-ins on topics such as
"Palestinian Refugees and the Right of Return" and "Great Expectations,
Bitter Realities: Human Rights Abuse and Economic Decline under the Oslo
Process." In addition, CESR's special consultative status with the UN
Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights has enabled it to provide
reports and oral testimonies to the UN including the discredited and now
defunct UN Commission on Human Rights.


CESR coordinates research projects on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from
its New York City and Gaza regional offices with a variety of organizations,
including LAW , Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, B'Tselem, Palestinian
Ministry of Education, UNRWA, Birzeit University, The Palestinian Centre for
Human Rights, Defense of Children International/Palestine Section, as well
as Caritas, Center on Housing Rights and Evictions, and PENGON. As past NGO
Monitor reports have documented, many of these NGOs are active in promoting
the Durban strategy of demonization against Israel.

In October 2001, together with over 200 NGOs and individuals, including
Christian Peacemaker Teams, Grassroots International, Israel Committee
Against House Demolitions-USA, MADRE, US Campaign to Stop the Wall, and
Friends of Sabeel-North America, CESR helped to create U.S. Campaign to End
the Israeli Occupation. This organization spearheads the divestment
campaign, promotes the "right" of return and perpetuates extreme anti-Israel
rhetoric, for example attacking Israel's disengagement from Gaza as "a
prelude to consolidating Apartheid."[8]

CESR formerly employed Lucy Mair, who, as documented in a previous NGO
Monitor report, has written for Electronic Intifada and is currently
employed by Human Rights Watch as a researcher on Israel/Palestine issues.
Mair contributed to CESR reports to the UN, coordinated protests against
Israeli officials, and organized events which promoted a decidedly one-sided
and highly distorted view of the conflict.


In the introduction to one report entitled "Violations of the Right to
Education During the Al-Aqsa Intifada," CESR claims that the so-called
'second intifada' "led to the most comprehensive Israeli military and
economic siege ever experienced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
(OPT)."[9] Through a selective application of human rights norms, CESR
emphasizes the Palestinian right to education, while making no mention of
Israel's right to defend its citizens from Palestinian terrorist attacks.

A 2001 report submitted to UN ECOSOC, entitled "Under Siege: Israeli Human
Rights Violations in Palestine," highlights the primacy of CESR's political
agenda. The report asserts that "...while Israel's occupation is the
underlying cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the current systematic
violations of economic, social and cultural rights in the OPT derive from
Israel's interrelated policies of [...] closure, curfew and siege."[10] By
rewriting the history of the conflict, and grounding its attacks on Israel
in human-rights terminology, CESR exploits the "halo-effect" surrounding
human rights NGOs to advance a highly biased, pro-Palestinian narrative.

In a highly contradictory fashion, CESR criticizes IDF actions, while
cynically justifying Palestinian violence as an "expression of Palestinian
frustration and rage over the accelerated loss of land and freedom under the
Oslo process, a period that was supposed to bring peace and improved living

In summary, CESR's political agenda, shrouded in the rhetoric of "social
justice through human rights," consistently serves to delegitimize Israel by
erasing the context of terrorism and promoting the Palestinian narrative,
while absolving the Palestinians of accountability. Instead of advocating
for "social justice using human rights tools and strategies," CESR exploits
the "halo-effect" of human rights work in order to advance the strategy of
demonization proclaimed in the 2001 Durban conference.

By Aaron Beitman

This report was sent to the following officials at the Ford Foundation for
comment. As of publication, we have received no response:
Susan Berresford, President, Ford Foundation
Marta L. Tellado, Vice President for Communications, Ford Foundation

[1] http://cesr.org/about
[2] http://cesr.org/about
[4] http://cesr.org/palestine
[5] http://cesr.org/aboutfelner
[6] http://cesr.org/node/view/674
[7] http://www.fordfound.org/grants_
[8] http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=37
[9] http://cesr.org/node/view/91
[10] http://cesr.org/filestore2/download/692/under%20siege.pdf
[11] http://cesr.org/node/view/692
NGO Monitor is published in cooperation with the Institute for Contemporary
Affairs founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation
NGO Monitor
Beit Milken 13 Tel Hai St.
Jerusalem, 92107 Israel


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: MEMRITV: Palestinian Militants in
Gaza Talk about Being Influenced by Hizbullah

The following are excerpts from interview with Palestinian militants from
various factions in Gaza, which aired on Al-Manar TV on May 25, 2006

TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1172

*Clip # 1172 - Palestinian Militants in Gaza Talk about How They Were
Influenced by Hizbullah

Reporter: The Palestinian resistance has made many great achievements, which
forced the occupying army to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and the northern
West Bank. It followed the model of Hizbullah in Lebanon, from which it drew
moral support, as well as some resistance methods, which were adapted to the
setting of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

3rd militant: The Palestinian resistance has greatly benefited from the
experience - from the martyrdom-seeking operations conducted by Hizbullah in
Lebanon. It has also learned something very important - that this enemy can
be broken. It can be driven away from the blows of the courageous
resistance, and this has given great momentum to the Palestinian resistance
forces, and has enabled them to continue, despite all the difficulties, to
expel this occupier from Gaza, and, Allah willing, from the rest of the
Palestinian lands.

Reporter: The experience of Hizbullah, which was adopted by the fighters in
Gaza, was not limited to combat methods, or to the psychological warfare
waged against the occupier and its soldiers. It also included the
determination to hold onto the weapons of the resistance, despite the
pressure exerted on them.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1172

For assistance, please contact MEMRI TV Project at memritv@memri.org 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.

MEMRI TV Project
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Confronting the New Nasser in Iran

BESA Perspectives No. 18, June 19, 2006

onfronting the New Nasser in Iran

Jonathan Paris

Executive Summary: The president of Iran presents more than a nuclear threat
to the world. His successful defiance of the international community is
beginning to galvanize Muslims throughout the world behind a radical vision
of puritanical Islam that rejects the liberal democratic model. In
responding to this new Nasser, the international community might recall the
original Nasser's ability to turn military defeat into political victory in
1956, as well as Nasser's rhetorical excesses that led to his humiliating
defeat in 1967. Ahmadinejad's fortunes will have significant implications
not only on the future of the region but on the civil war within Islam.

Washington is increasingly coming to the view that the new leadership in
Iran wishes to provoke a confrontation with the US. Ahmadinejad calculates
that with President Bush bogged down in Iraq, the US will blink.

The New Nasser's Global Appeal to Muslim Fence-Sitters

Washington is reluctantly but surely coming to a view about the current
president of Iran. Whether or not he holds ultimate power within Iran, he
has been given a platform by the kingmakers in Iran to be the new Nasser.
What made the original Nasser so threatening to the West and to the region
was his transnational appeal.

Almost fifty years ago, Nasserism swept away the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq
and destabilized Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, and eventually Libya and Sudan,
among others. Ahmadinejad's new Nasserism intends to turn the Islamic world
and non-aligned movement against the West and to create an anti-NPT
groundswell that calls for disarmament of existing nuclear countries. He
evokes populist support by calling the status quo a nuclear apartheid. But
the dispute that Iran has picked with the international community is not
primarily about nuclear weapons. Those weapons are a means to an end. The
Iranian firestorm is nothing less than an assault on liberal democracies of
the West.

Where the nuclear issue fits into the wider picture is that by gaining a
nuclear capability, Ahmadinejad can say to the Muslim world: we are the
equal of the West not by emulating their weak liberal democracies, but by
returning to the faith, and the way of the Prophet. His recent letter to
President Bush recalls the Prophet's letters to the neighbouring Persian,
Byzantine and Ethiopian empires, offering them a chance to accept Islam or
be conquered. Ahmadinejad, too, offers a black and white choice: liberal
democracy or puritanical Islam.

If Ahmadinejad can somehow prevent the West from confronting Iran, he will
have shown the fence-sitters in the Muslim and non-aligned world, and also
among the politically awakening Muslims in Europe, that you can win by
defying America and the West. Fence-sitters like a winner.

Ahmadinejad Rallies the Radicals in the Region

What will be the impact on the region of a triumphant Ahmadinejad? Already
we are seeing it. Hamas is taking an extreme position against recognizing
Israel, an utterly absurd and irrational position that only makes sense in
this era of the new Nasserism filled with rhetorical illusion. Palestine
Islamic Jihad continues to launch suicide bombing attacks. This is an
organization that is wholly supported by Iran. It has launched all nine
suicide bombings since the hudna or cease fire between Hamas and Israel over
a year ago.

Hezbollah will be emboldened and Lebanon's democratic evolution will be
retarded. Bashar Assad's Syria, Iran's closest ally, is arresting Syrian
dissidents with little fear from the international community. Iranian
operatives are smuggling more sophisticated missiles into Iraq to shoot down
British and US helicopters and blow up their vehicles.

All this is happening now. What will happen if they get the bomb? For
starters, a Middle East nuclear arms race will break out. Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Turkey and Syria may seek to complete their nuclear fuel cycles.
Already a dangerous place, the Middle East will become exponentially more
dangerous. A nuclear Iran will intimidate the Arab Gulf states with an
adverse impact on the unimpeded and free flow of oil to the world, the
credibility of the IAEA, non-proliferation, and possibly, the post-World War
Two international security system.

If Iran is successful in its current strategy of brinksmanship, it could
galvanize Muslims throughout the world and populist members of the
non-aligned movement like Venezuela into a global anti-Western and
anti-American movement. Ahmadinejad's recent international forays to
Indonesia and elsewhere to mobilize radical Islamic support should leave no
doubt that this new Nasser intends to ride the crest of a global Jihadist
tsunami against the West.

This new Nasser should be of deep concern to Europeans as Europe's problems
in integrating its 20 million Muslims have not escaped Ahmadinejad's
attention. As Amir Taheri noted in a recent article ("About That Letter:
Understanding Iran's Nuke Kook," New York Times, May 11, 2006), "Ahmadinejad
believes that the liberal-democratic model of market-based capitalist
societies has failed and is rejected even in its traditional homeland. He
has been impressed by the recent riots in France, where the extreme left
provided the leadership, but the Muslim sub-proletariat much of the muscle
in the streets." Ahmadinejad's success will fuel separationist tendencies
among European Muslims at the expense of integration. Again, those sitting
on the fence will join a winner.

On Shoving Aside Ahmadinejad: 1956 or 1967

Washington views a policy of accommodation very warily. Accommodation - any
tolerance of the views espoused by the president of Iran - is seen by the
radicals as weakness and a sign of lack of resolve. Iran today is something
like the Germany of 1937 and 1938. When Hitler took policies that seemed
reckless, the professional German generals like General Beck wanted to
launch a coup. But after Hitler's diplomatic success at Munich, they were
undermined. General Becks are surely biding time in the Iranian elite,
waiting for a misstep by the brash president. But Ahmadinejad's ability to
cow the international community and galvanize the crowds at home and abroad
by defying the West and America appears to strengthen him internally and
squelch his rivals. Iranians are becoming deluded by his rhetoric just as
Egyptians and the wider Arab world were deluded by Nasser's rhetoric in May
1967. We all know what happened to Nasser in June. Call it a reality check.

The US has offered to negotiate directly with the Iranian government to
reach a diplomatic solution over Iran's nuclear program, provided that Iran
suspends work on disputed nuclear activities. Iran would like nothing better
than to turn its defiance of the IAEA and the international community into a
bilateral dispute between the Iran and the US, as that would enable them to
play David vs. the Goliath super power. A good reason for the US to be wary
about face-to-face talks is that diplomatic negotiations that enhance the
status of the current leadership also undermine the forces for democratic
change within Iran. It may not be a good idea to negotiate with a regime
that for the last 28 years has been mistreating the Iranian people.

The Islamic Republic of Iran bullies by force internally as it is likely to
do externally if it gets the bomb. The US does not want to legitimize Iran's
current leadership and, in particular, the new Nasser's rants. Many within
the Administration still believe that with resolve and unity, the
international community might not only prevent Iran from going nuclear, but
also create the conditions that will accelerate the evolution of liberal
democracy in Iran.

As the US loses patience with the diplomatic minuet Iran is playing,
American strategists should remember that they are dealing with a wily
populist. The surging Nasser in 1956 managed to turn a military defeat by
British, French and Israeli forces into a major diplomatic and popular
victory. The international community, and especially the US, must assert a
robust policy in a way that not only prevents Iran from completing the
nuclear fuel cycle but also humiliates Ahmadinejad so that he cannot
credibly claim victory.

The Wider Stakes within Islam

If the puritanical Islamic Republic of Iran gets a hold of the bomb, it will
be able to undermine the last 400 years of Arabs and Muslim history, where
Arabs and Moslems looked to the West as the path to modernity. A victorious
Iran in this dispute will not only cause a nuclear arms race in the Middle
East, it will affect seriously the civil war going on within the Islamic
world between the modernizers and the puritans. It will undermine the
liberal reform movement from Egypt to Jordan to the Gulf States, to the
fledgling democracy in Iraq, to the new democracies in Turkey and Indonesia,
to the nascent Euro-Islamic thinking that synthesizes western liberal values
with modern Islam.

What hope will there be for liberal Muslims in the face of this Islamist
tsunami if Iran shows it can win through defiance? Iran cannot be allowed to
win, not just for the sake of the post-1945 international security system
but for the sake of more than a billion Muslims who want to embrace a
forward looking future rather than go backwards to the 7th or 8th century.

We are talking about competing visions here. For the long, slow evolution
toward liberal democracy to continue so that a benign future in the region
may take hold someday, the radical vision offered by Ahmadinejad must be

Jonathan Paris is a Middle East analyst based in London and was a Middle
East Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York from 1995-2000.
This article was adapted from his remarks at a forum on Iran at the House of
Commons, London on May 18, 2006. He also delivered a presentation at the
BESA Center's international conference in May on "Radical Islam: Challenge
and Response."

For the BESA Center website, go to http://www.besacenter.org


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Hizbullah returns to northern border

Hizbullah returns to northern border

Hizbullah members return to outposts along border with Israel, which were
attacked three weeks ago by IDF
Hanan Greenberg YNET 20 June 2006

Hizbullah members are rebuilding their outposts damaged in the IDF attack
three weeks ago , the army has said.

"This doesn't surprise us. The night after the Air Force and tank attacks,
we saw movement in the area, now they are rebuilding, and in some places
upgrading," an army source told Ynet on Tuesday.

"They have built towers, and begun to rebuild destroyed buildings. They have
also set up watch positions, such a new watchtower in the Rosh Hanikra area.
In some of the areas heavy equipment is being used, and some places are
being improved," the IDF source said.

Iranian fingerprints detected

The source added that like Hizbullah's attack, Iranian fingerprints can be
identified in the reconstruction. "There's no doubt that some of the funding
is coming from Iran," he said.

The Northern Command is accustomed to seeing Hizbullah repair its outposts
after IDF attacks. A similar pattern took place following the failed attempt
by Hizbullah to carry out a kidnapping in November 2005.

"We are receiving instructions from the political leadership. All that has
been asked to do - has been done," the IDF source said, hinting
that currently there was no order to "interfere" with Hizbullah's
reconstruction efforts.

"There are still a number of questions from the last Hizbullah attack, such
as why they did not attack Har Dov, like they did in previous attacks. It's
still unclear whether something changed in Hizbullah after the recent
incidents, and what their intentions are currently," the source added.

(06.20.06, 01:19)


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Peres: Enough with Qassam hysteria
Kiryat Shmona was shelled for years

[IMRA: Mr. Peres sends an important message regarding his view about
additional retreats. Even if they are certain to bring continuous rocket
fire for years this is a consequence Israel can handle.]

Peres: Enough with Qassam hysteria

Vice Premier: 'I don't understand what the hysteria is about. Kiryat Shmona
was shelled for years. We must tell Palestinians: We will hold firm;
Shmulik Hadad YNET 20 June 2006 (00:55)

Sderot preparing for day of protest: After the hunger-strike in the protest
tent opposite Defense Minister Amir Peretz's home ended, Sderot is preparing
to close its gates at 7:30 in the morning (Tuesday) to the world.

Vice Premier Shimon Peres, however, doesn't understand what the fuss is
about. "This hysteria over the Qassams must end," he told journalists at the
Knesset. "We're just adding to the hysteria. What happened? Kiryat Shmona
was shelled for years. What, there weren't missiles?"

Peres added: "We must tell the Palestinians, Qassams shmassams, we'll hold
firm. We won't move from here."

The vice premier also accused the management of the Israeli side: "Our
response is causing the other side to strike. We must carry out a series of
steps in order to take out the Qassams. Peres refused to detail which steps
he meant.

Sderot prepares for blackout

Hunger strikers in Sderot complied Monday with President Moshe Katsav's
request and agreed to end their strike, nine days after it was first
declared. However, residents said they plan to carry on with their protest.
The strikers' leader, Alon Davidi, stated he was still disappointed that
"there is one man afraid of showing up here, and this is the prime

Mayor Eli Moyal convened a meeting to discuss the protest acts. All of the
city's entrances and exits will be closed, and the streets will be darkened
at nine in the evening.

The protest tent opposite the home of Defense Minister Peretz will be
thickened and receive aid from Sderot municipality. "I hear the voices and I
am aware of them. We have a feeling that our residents are not being
protected and this situation has been going on for five and a half years.
Over 3,000 rockets have landed," said Moyal.

"We are asking the government to uphold its basic commitment to protect the
residents. I wouldn't want the Palestinians and the world to see pictures of
residents ditching the city. We want the city to be full, not abandoned.
Part of the protest acts will go on in Jerusalem, including demonstrations
opposite the Knesset, and other demonstrations," Moyal added.

Defense Minister Peretz said that "the acts are legitimate and have no
political leaning, but rather the sending of a message."

Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Qassam lands in Sderot; no injuries

Qassam lands in Sderot; no injuries
Shmulik Hadad YNET 06/20/2006 08:29

A Qassam rocket fired from north Gaza landed in an open field in Sderot
early Tuesday.

No injuries or damage were reported.


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Tourism to Israel Up 25 Per Cent
in First Five Months of the Year

Ministry of Tourism Spokesperson's Office

Reference: 2006-0005-475
23 Sivan 5766
19 June 2006

Press Release

Tourism to Israel Up 25 Per Cent in First Five Months of the Year
883,900 Visitors Enter the Country between January and May

883,900 tourists entered Israel in the first five months of 2006, a 25 per
cent increase over the same period last year.

According to Isaac Herzog, Israel's Minister of Tourism, increased marketing
efforts will see 2.6 million tourists arriving by the end of the year. The
minister referred to the latest forecast and plans to relaunch English and
Russian-language tourism websites.

The majority of tourists, 739,400, arrived by air in the first five months
of the year, up 20 per cent.

187,800 foreign tourists arrived in Israel in the month of May alone, nine
per cent more than in May 2005.


From: imra@netvision.net.il
To: imra@imra.org.il
Subject: Hamas weaponry manufacturing facility
targeted [are there more?]

[IMRA: Asked the IDF Spokesperson's Office this morening if there are other
similar targets known today to the IDF. It is not yet clear if they will
provide a reply.]

Hamas weaponry manufacturing facility targeted
Hamas weaponry manufacturing facility targeted

Early this morning, June 20th 2006, the IDF targeted a structure used by the
Hamas terror organization as part of the weaponry manufacturing industry in
the Gaza Strip.

The structure, located in Gaza City, was used by Hamas to manufacture
weaponry, including projectile rockets meant for attacks against Israel.

Over 130 rockets have been fired at Israel over the course of the past 10
days alone.
The Palestinian Authority is fully responsible for any attacks emanating
from the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, it continues to take no action in order
to prevent the daily attacks against Israeli civilians.

The IDF will continue to act with determination and to employ all means at
its disposal to combat terrorists and their infrastructure, in order to
defend the citizens of Israel.


From: imra-owner@imra.org.il
Subject: IMRA Subscription Info

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End of [imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1424 (12 messages)

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