As part of the January 6, 2008 Roundtable with Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor, the Homeland Security Policy Institute prepared a resource page where you will find some useful links to recent reports, government agencies and other relevant information.
“HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics,” By Dr. Sherifa D. Zuhur, United States Army War College Strategic Studies Institute (December, 2008).
“Efforts to separate HAMAS from its popular support and network of social and charitable organizations have not been effective in destroying the organization, nor in eradicating the will to resist among a fairly large segment of the Palestinian population. It is important to consider this Islamist movement in the context of a region-wide phenomenon of similar movements with local goals, which can be persuaded to relinquish violence or which could become more violent.”
“Assad: Direct peace talks with Israel possible and will happen,” Haaretz (December 22, 2008).
“Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday he believes direct peace talks with Israel are possible and that they will eventually take place. ‘It’s natural that we would move, at a later stage, to direct negotiations. We cannot achieve peace through indirect talks only,’ Assad said.”
“Hamas signals thaw; Israel sets up Gaza offensive,” Associated Press (December 22, 2008).
“ Gaza’s ruling Hamas on Monday ordered militants to hold their fire for 24 hours and said a truce with Israel could be restored, but as rockets continued to fall, Israel signaled it was preparing for a possible offensive.”
“Time is ripe for Obama to seize on Mideast peace,” By Ori Nir, The Washington Times (December 17, 2008)
“If the Obama administration is looking for a good place from which to launch its Mideast peace efforts, this is it: Push Israel to impose a real, full settlement freeze while working with the Arab world to animate the Arab peace initiative.”
“IDF general warns Israel to face huge security challenges in 2009,” XinhuaNet (December 17, 2008)
“A senior Israeli army officer warned Tuesday that the Jewish state would face "huge security challenges" in the next year and military attack against Iran in the future is possible. [He divided] the Middle East region into two camps: one camp, with the United States as its leader, comprises Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate; the other one mainly consists of Iran, Syria and Palestinian Hamas movement. Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan were affected by the two sides and would fall into different camps at last, he said, adding that Russia also had important influence to the situation.”
“The Challenges of Israeli Military Action in Gaza,” By Jeffrey White, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (December 16, 2008)
“The nominal December 19 expiration date of the Israeli-Hamas ceasefire, in conjunction with the agreement's erosion over the past several months, has generated increased discussion about Israel's military options in the Gaza Strip. Much of the recent talk has centered on the prospects and problems of a large-scale military operation in Gaza, and even if the ceasefire is renewed, the issue of Israel's appropriate military response to Hamas will likely remain on the table. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would face a number of military challenges in the course of a major operation, and understanding those challenges is critical to any assessment of potential outcomes.”
“Why there could be a surge in jihadi terrorism,” By B Raman, Rediff News ( India) (December 16, 2008)
“The pressure on Pakistan from the US and other Western countries to act firmly against the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and its political wing the Jammat-ud-Dawa is quite strong not only because of their anxiety to prevent an Indian military retaliation for the Mumbai terrorist attacks, but also because of the anger in Israel and the Jewish Diaspora in the West over the brutal massacre of eight Israeli nationals -- two them with dual US nationality -- and a Jewish person from Mexico by the terrorists in Mumbai.”
“UN Rights Investigator Expelled by Israel,” The New York Times (December 16, 2008)
“Israeli authorities on Monday expelled Richard Falk, a United Nations investigator of human rights in the Palestinian territories, saying he was unwelcome because of what the government has regarded as his hostile position toward Israel.”
“Rice presses Palestinian statehood, with nod from Obama,” By Ron Kampeas, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (December 16, 2008)
“President Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who attended Monday's meeting, already have made clear that they want talks to advance as much as possible before the Obama administration takes over next month. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made clear that this was the intent of the Quartet statement when he read it to reporters.”
“Near East: Remarks at the United Nations Security Council,” Condoleezza Rice (December 15, 2008)
“The United States has a national interest in the conclusion of a final treaty. And it is in the long-term interest of Israel to provide a more hopeful society for Palestinians. The establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue, and there should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967…This a bilateral process and the two parties will have to conclude a final agreement. But it is incumbent upon the international community to provide support to their efforts and to create the political context with which – within which their negotiations can prosper.”
“Israel's plan to free Palestinian prisoners is foolish – and illegal,” By Louis René Beres, The Christian Science Monitor (December 15, 2008)
“A formal agreement from terrorists not to terrorize is a silly document. Likewise, the presumption that a Fatah-led " Palestine" would be better for Israel is plainly wrong. Fatah's present statements may be moderate, but its past and its hoped-for future tell a different story. In its bloody history of violence against Israelis, Fatah is essentially indistinguishable from Hamas. And a glance at official Palestinian maps of " Palestine," which encompass all of Israel, shows what it really thinks of the "two-state solution."”
“Court orders Israel to reroute part of West Bank barrier,” Reuters (December 15, 2008)
“The Israeli High Court rejected government plans on Monday to build a section of its barrier in the occupied West Bank, saying the proposed route encroached too much on Palestinian land…The High Court ordered the government to re-route part of the barrier near the West Bank village of Bilin to ensure that it was largely or entirely built on Israeli rather than Palestinian land.”
“Quartet Press Statement,” Office of the Spokesman, Department of State (December 15, 2008)
“The Quartet reaffirmed support for the bilateral, comprehensive, direct, uninterrupted, confidential and ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and commended Israel and the Palestinians for their continuous efforts to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues without exception…. The Quartet reiterated its support for the Egyptian-brokered calm that came into effect on June 19, 2008, urged that it be respected and extended, and expressed the hope that it would lead to improved security and humanitarian conditions for Israelis and Palestinians alike, actions to alleviate humanitarian conditions, and the restoration of normal civilian life in Gaza.”
“Israel’s crisis of leadership,” By Benny Morris, The Los Angeles Times (December 14, 2008)
“ Israel is in the throes of a grave crisis of leadership. General elections are scheduled for Feb. 10, and there is no widely respected or overwhelmingly popular leader in sight. Even with the existential threat of a nuclear Iran looming over the country, the candidates and party lists are unattractive, the political landscape bleak.”
“UN official slams Israel ‘crimes’,” BBC (December 10, 2008)
“The UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories has said Israel's policies there amount to a crime against humanity.”
“Hamas, Showing Split, Hints It May Extend Truce,” The New York Times (December 15, 2008).
“Hamas leaders in Gaza on Sunday left open the possibility of renewing a tenuous truce with Israel that is due to expire Friday, putting themselves at odds with a statement by the exiled political leader of the group in Damascus, Syria.”
“Israel Frees 224 Palestinian Prisoners,” Associated Press (December 15, 2008)
“ Israel released 224 Palestinian prisoners Monday in a gesture to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israel holds more than 8,000 Palestinians and their fate is an emotionally charged issue. Separately, Israel expelled an arriving U.N. human rights envoy after accusing him of bias against the Jewish state.”
“’The time has come to say these things,’” By Ehud Olmert, The New York Review of Books (December 4, 2008)
“We have a window of opportunity—a short amount of time before we enter an extremely dangerous situation—in which to take a historic step in our relations with the Palestinians and a historic step in our relations with the Syrians. In both instances, the decision we have to make is the decision we've spent forty years refusing to look at with our eyes open.”
“Syria-Israel talks ‘one year old,’” Al-Jazeera (May 22, 2008)
“Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, has confirmed that Israel and Syria have maintained contact for a year, hours after it emerged that Turkey is mediating peace talks between the countries.”
“Counterterrorism Trip Report: Israel and Jordan,” By Daniel L. Byman, Brookings Institution (April 2008)
“In both Israel and Jordan, interviewed a range of current and former government officials, as well as several prominent academics and officials from non-governmental organizations. In both countries the predominant mood was one of frustration and gloom. Israelis felt trapped between their sense that inaction would encourage more violence and their recognition that the military and political options looked unpromising.”
News and Resource Links
The Economist: Israel
New York Times: Israel
BBC Profile: Israel
State Department: Israel
CIA World Factbook: Israel
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