Richard Melson

February 2006

Jerusalem Institute

Monthly Digest of News from the Moslem World

Our purpose is to provide a reliable source of information about what is happening in Moslem states and thus to show Western policy-makers and public opinion the danger Islam presents to Western civilization by citing the Moslems themselves.

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Malka Hillel-Shulewitz

Bernard Smith

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Dr. Dinesh Kumar

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Dr. Mordechai Nisan

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ISSN: 0793-2855 The Institute was founded in 1987.

Its purpose is to provide a reliable source of information about what is happening in Moslem states and thus to show Western policy-makers and public opinion the danger Islam presents to Western civilization by citing the Moslems themselves.

Its original Advisory Council included General George J. Keegan, General Daniel O. Graham, Ambassador Charles Lichenstein (of the Heritage Foundation), Professor Eugene V. Rostow, Professor Charles MacDonald and Dr. Max Singer (all from USA), Admiral Rene M. Bloch (France) and Dr. Uzi Landau, Ambassador Meir Rosenne, Prof. Yuval Ne'eman, General Joshua Sagui and General Rechav'am Ze'evi (all from Israel).

General Keegan and General Graham have since died and Walid Phares (head of Christian Lebanese organization in US) has joined the Council.

The original Board of Directors included Colonel Shlomo Baum, who was one of the founders and an important force in the Institute. He died prematurely of heart failure.

We started publishing irregularly in 1988, but from the beginning of 1990 have published 16 issues a year: 4 Bulletins and 12 Digests.


Ariel Sharon split his party by forcing it to choose between him and its declared principles. For as long as he could cogently argue that Israel would benefit from close cooperation with the Bush administration in matters relating to Judea-Samaria if it withdrew from the Gaza strip, he could count on the support of most Israelis for his misnamed "disengagement". However, the first American reaction to his insistence to liquidate the flourishing Jewish settlements in the strip has been American insistence on a "corridor" through Israeli territory over which Israel would exercise no security control linking the Gaza strip to Judea, proving that the more one gives, the more one is asked to give – even by powers considered friendly. So the Judenrein Gaza strip will be able to supply big quantities of arms and ammunition to the Arabs of Judea-Samaria.

Sharon has compounded this threat to Israel’s security by the totally irresponsible act of leaving the Philadelphi route and the Egypt-Gaza border under Egyptian military control and thus voiding at one stroke the only achievement of Menahem Begin’s peace treaty with Egypt – the demilitarization of eastern Sinai – while restoring the ability of any future hostile regime in Cairo to attack Israel from the Gaza strip too.

Was this the "last straw" that caused Benyamin Natanyahu to resign from the Government? Perhaps. He certainly showed courage and strength of principle by doing so, whatever his motives. Tragically, he was caught between his desire to complete his reforms at the Treasury – a major factor in the revival of the Israeli economy – and his disapproval of "disengaging" from territory without being asked to do so or receiving something in return. Had Natanyahu resigned when a whole group of important ministers shared this disapproval, some of them might have resigned too. Now their resignation remains possible, but is unlikely unless there is a big scandal involving Ariel Sharon or his family.

Nevertheless, Natanyahu has created a major focal point for opposition to Sharon and his plans. Natanyahu deserves growing support and will probably get it. For Sharon, the outlook is dim. The only question is whether he is forced to resign soon enough to save the country and his party from some of the damage caused by his obstinately blind despotism.


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Islamophobia: Jerusalem Institute

February 2, 2006