11 Rockets Launched from Gaza Hit Israel in 24 Hours

Israel, Nov. 19 – Southern Israel was hit by 11 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza from Thursday to Friday, including four white phosphorous-filled mortars shot by an Iran-backed terror group. That brings to almost 200 the number of rockets, missiles and mortars fired from Gaza at Israel since the beginning of 2010 .

The Israel Air Force struck back Friday (Nov. 19), hitting three terror bases including a Palestinian Islamic Jihad training area. Eight people were injured, according to Palestinian reports.

The Salah al-Din Brigades, the military arm of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), claimed responsibility for the mortar shells. White phosphorous, a dangerous substance that causes burns and other injuries, is an illegal substance by international standards unless used for illumination purposes. The PRC said it hit at Israel to avenge the killing of two Army of Islam members.

Most of the projectiles hit open fields in Israel; one struck Palestinian land. The attacks didn't cause any human injuries, but a Grad rocket – the first such rocket fired since July - injured several cows and a building.

The Army of Islam is an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group that together with Iran-backed Hamas kidnapped Israeli-French citizen Gilad Shalit four-and-a-half years ago. Shalit has been held captive by Hamas since then.


5-Star Hotels to Open in Gaza, West Bank

Jerusalem, Nov. 8 - Plans for a luxury hotel in northern Gaza and the opening of Ramallah's first five-star hotel, the Movenpick Ramallah, are the latest signs of economic growth in the Palestinian economy.

Gaza City already has three popular hotels—Al-Deira, Commodore Hotel Gaza and Grand Palace Hotel—that cater to an international clientele. The Nablus-based Palestinian multi-millionaire Munib al-Masri, the lead investor in the new hotel in Gaza, revealed plans for the hotel on Friday, Nov. 5.

The arrival of an international 5-star hotel in Ramallah, the administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority (PA) located six miles north of Jerusalem, is a testament to "political stability" that "highlights economic growth in an area previously associated with Palestinian militancy," reported The Guardian.

At the end of the second fiscal quarter of 2010, the number of hotel guests in the West Bank was up 42 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

If peace talks fail, renewed resistance and economic and political uncertainty are likely, Palestinian-American businessman Sam Bahour told The Guardian.

The Movenpick Ramallah is located a few minutes away from Ramallah's city center overlooking Jerusalem. It employs mainly local staff and has 172 rooms, pools, terraces, restaurants and business conference centers.

Ramallah is experiencing a building "boom," and property prices rose 30 percent during the last two years. The PA is building new roads to deal with the influx of traffic.

Other large industrial projects include the new Gaza Mall, the West Bank's first planned city of Rawabi—intended to be a high-tech and research hub, and the Ersal Center, which is "the first modern commercial center in Palestine." The Ersal Center is planned near the twin Palestinian cities Al-Bireh and Ramallah and is to include 66 percent office space for high-tech companies and recreational green spaces.

The West Bank's economy has shown significant growth in recent years: the per capita gross domestic product has increased steadily since 2007 and projections estimate it will be 60 percent higher than its 1994 level by 2013. The West Bank economy grew nine percent in the first half of the year while Gaza's economy expanded some 16 percent.


Fire in Northern Israel

The Carmel Fire in 2010 was Israel's worst civilian disaster. The massive blaze raged for four days and nights, claiming 44 lives and forcing the evacuation of approximately 17,000 people. The fire also devastated roughly 8,650 acres of land and natural forest.

 


33 Women Running in Israel's Municipal Elections Nov. 11

 

There are 196 regional, local and town councils in Israel holding elections tomorrow ( Nov. 11) and several more being held for mayor or council heads. The candidates include 33 women from a broad spectrum of Israeli society, representing elements of religious, secular, Jewish and Arab communities. Below we have highighted four of the women vying for mayor in different cities.

Asma Eighbariegh – Tel Aviv


Asma Eighbariegh, 34, an Arab resident of Jaffa , works as a journalist and political activist. She is the "Da'am" party's candidate for mayor of Tel Aviv. She has been active in pursuing workers rights and rights for the unemployed. Eighbariegh is currently the head of an organization that assists people adversely affected by a "welfare to work" program.

Eighbariegh's Da'am party seeks to address social welfare issues in Israel , in particular unemployment and poverty. The party seeks to encourage organized labor and ensure social conditions of workers, bring a halt to the import of foreign labor and tax the wealthy to fund social welfare programs. If elected, Eighbariegh says she will encourage Arab women to find employment in order to combat poverty in the Arab community. In addition, she states that subsidized apartments for young couples that were built in the city are in need of refurbishment, and resources need to be poured into education in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipal area.[1]

Office: 972-3-537-3271

Aviva Hajbi – Netivot


Aviva Hajbi, 47, is a religious Jew running in the mayoral race for the southern Israeli city of Netivot . Hajbi is running on the independent party list "Lemaan Achai" (For the Sake of my Brothers). Conservative members of the religious community have criticized Hajbi because they are opposed to women holding public office. Nevertheless, Hajbi believes that women are under-represented, a problem she wants to redress. "I want to serve the community, to have an influence, to change the situation and to build. I'm a bulldozer and know how to fight," she says.[2]

Hajbi has a number of ideas and objectives she wishes to implement in Netivot. One of those is to deal with the town's delinquent youth who fall through the gaps of the education system. Hajbi also seeks to establish workshops for women and to increase employment opportunities for women. Additionally, Hajbi wants to establish new education agencies in the city and provide more youth clubs and organized group activities for the city's children. She has five children and eight grandchildren.

Tel.: 972-8-994-1778

972-8-993-2258

Cell: 972-52-595-2117

972-52-595-2113

 

Karen Katzman – Even Yehuda


Karen Katzman has served as a council member in the town of Even Yehuda for the last five years for the independent "Yes" faction and has lived there since she immigrated from America in 1984. She is now running to head the municipal council in Even Yehuda. Katzman has a master's degree in public management and has a great deal of professional experience in the fields of management and public financial systems. Katzman is director of the Jewish Federation of Washington's Israel office and is also responsible for the planning, implementation, management and supervision of a range of projects funded outside Israel that have been implemented throughout the country, with an annual budget of $14.5 million (55 milion shekels). She was an economist at IBM in Israel and was twice selected as the representative of the Jewish Agency in North America, a position she held for five years. In this role in the community of Metro West in New Jersey, she served as a member of the fundraising team responsible for raising $26 million a year for projects in Israel .[3]

Katzman's campaign focuses largely on reforming and improving the education system in Even Yehuda. She states that as council head she will hold herself personally responsible for bettering Even Yehuda's education system and make significant increases in education investment. Katzman's campaign also says she will plan and implement special incentives to bring new employment opportunities to the town's industrial zone, with a special focus on light industry and small businesses.[4]

Cell: 972-52-613-0703

 

Ricky Shai  – Ashkelon


Ricky Shai, a resident of the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon , is running for city mayor for the "Ashekelon Shelanu" (Our Ashkelon) party. Shai was born to an Indian family and was engaged to be married at 15, a common practice in her community. Dr. Shai was involved in organizing a women's empowerment conference in southern Israel , which she initiated along with the "Yes" organization. Shai has a bachelor's and master's degree and earned a doctorate in behavioral science, all of which she gained while raising a family; she has four children. She says that in breaks between classes at university she would feed her baby, who she took with her to lectures. Shai is currently the director of a college for computing. She put herself through university and afterward gained a teaching qualification and began to teach in the "Sea View" school in Ashkelon while also managing the school's computer studies network. Shai is chairwoman of a number of community projects for the women's council in Ashkelon, a board member of many educational institutes in the city and is the chairwoman of an Israeli delegation for dialogue with Palestinians. [5]

Shai is focusing on four specific issues that she believes need to be developed in the city: education, tourism, public services and the advancement of equal opportunities for women. In the sphere of education, Shai's ideas focus on improving the professionalism of the educational system and paying greater attention to the individual needs of the city's students. She also says she will develop Ashkelon's tourist infrastructure to make the city the tourist capital of southern Israel . To improve public services, her campaign states that she will undertake specific projects to improve the cultural life of the city, develop its sports facilities and upgrade the general quality of environment.[6]

Tel.: 972-8-675-7581 (Campaign staff)

Cell: 972-50-752-6117

Cell: 972-52-837-5248

E-mail:  michlla@barak.net.il

 


Footnotes:

[1] "Asama Eighbariegh," Asimon.co.il (Hebrew),

http://www.asimon.co.il/ArticlePage.aspx?AID=1891&AcatID=97 , accessed on Nov. 2, 2008 ; Kobu, Hila, "Asama's Attack," Etgar (Hebrew), Aug. 1, 2008,

http://www.etgar.info/he/article__273

[2] Korial, Eleina, "Meet the orthodox woman who's standing for Netivot council," YnetNews (Hebrew), Oct. 15, 2008,

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3609342,00.html

[3] "Karen Katzman," Web site of Karen Katzman (Hebrew),

http://www.karenkatzman.com/ , accessed Nov. 2, 2008

[4] "Vision," Web site of Karen Katzman (Hebrew),

http://www.karenkatzman.com/vision/ , accessed Nov. 6, 2008

[5] Yakir-Tafiro, Ayellet, "Ricky Shai," Ashkelon News (Hebrew), Nov. 11, 2007,

http://www.ashkelon-news.co.il/modules.php?name=News2&sid=1194

[6] Web site of "Our Ashkelon" (Hebrew),

http://www.2all.co.il/web/Sites/ashkelonshelano/DEFAULT.asp , accessed  Nov. 6, 2008


60 Groups to Rally Tonight Against Ahmadinejad "Peace" Dinner

Protesters from more than 60 national religious and political organizations  are scheduled to gather outside a "peace" dinner for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City at 6 p.m. today (Sept. 25) in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 East 42nd St. The "Rally Against Ahmadinejad," will feature speakers such as Richard Land of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Rabbi Avi Weiss of AMCHA – The Coalition of Jewish Concerns, and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights.

The dinner with Ahmadinejad – billed as "Has Not One God Created Us? The Significance of Religious Contributions to Peace" – is hosted by American Friends Service Committee, the Mennonite Central Committee, the Quaker United Nations Office, Religions for Peace and the World Council of Churches – United Nations Liaison Office. Besides Ahmadinejad, other speakers at the dinner include Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann , president of the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Rev. Kjell Bondevik, former prime minister of Norway and president of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights.

On their official website , the protest rally organizers state, "The religious groups meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad September 25 are being used to give legitimacy to one of the world's greatest violators of human and religious rights. Our mission is to expose the truth of the current Iranian regime's crimes against humanity, and to deny them that false legitimacy." Full list of rally organizers

The dinner comes two days after Ahmadinejad addressed the U.N. General Assembly , telling world leaders gathered for the annual event, "[The] American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road…" and "Today, the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters."

Said The Israel Project (TIP) Founder and President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, "If Iran is for peace, why do they keep sending weapons and funds for Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorists who collectively have launched almost 10,000 rockets, missiles and mortars at Israel since Israel gave up all of Gaza three years ago? If Iran is for peace, why has Iran promised to share its nuclear know-how with other countries? This is a man who is responsible for the deaths of innocent people around the world. The international community needs deeds from Ahmadinejad - deeds of peace - not more rhetoric about peace."

TIP is currently running TV ads in the New York City area about the threat of Iran and has put out fact sheets about the danger of the regime.

Despite numerous and recent reports to the contrary, Ahmadinejad also told the U.N. General Assembly that his country's nuclear program is transparent and has provided "full cooperation" to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Agency's reports about Iran – including  one released Sept. 15 – have consistently found that Iran has failed to fully cooperate with the IAEA and that it was impossible to determine whether the program is for peaceful purposes as Iran has claimed. [1] The reports have also found that Iran is continuously developing and operating new centrifuges [2] and enriching uranium in violation of several U.N. Security Council resolutions. [3]

For more information about the Rally Against Ahmadinejad, visit  www.925rally.org or contact (212) 726-1124 or info@925rally.org.

Partial Schedule of Speakers at U.N. General Assembly ( Click here  for latest schedule)

Friday, Sept. 26, 2008

10 a.m. - United Kingdom

12 p.m. - Germany

The U.N. is located at 405 E. 42nd St. in New York City.

U.N. Media contact : Enrique Yeves, U.N. General Assembly spokesman, 212-963-1256

Israeli delegation : Ayelet Frisch, Tel: 011-972-50-620-5111; Ofra Eshed (Travel Director), Tel: 011-972-50-846-8015; Ido Sharir (Consultant to the President), Tel: 011-972-50-846-2010

Contacts for Israeli President Shimon Peres : Spokeswoman Ayelet Frisch, Tel: 011-972-50-620-5111 or Assistant Spokeswoman Meital Jaslovitz, Tel: 011-972-2-670-7256 (in Israel, + 7 hours)


 


Upcoming Events:

 

New York City:

Protest for Peace: Stopping Iran 's Support of Terror and Nuclear Program


Date : Sept. 25, 2008

Time : 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Location : Outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel

109 East 42nd Street, New York City

Sponsoring organizations : 911 Families, ACT for America, Alliance of Iranian Women, AMCHA, American Center for Law and Justice, American Coptic Union, American Maronite Union, Americans for a Safe Israel, Arabs for Israel, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Center for Security Policy, Christian Solidarity, Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, Committee on the Present Danger, Concerned Women for America, Council for a Democratic Iran, Family Security Matters, Foundation for Defense of Democracy, Guardian Angels, Institute for Freedom and Democracy, International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, International Christian Union, Jewish Action Alliance, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Log Cabin Republicans of New York City, Open Doors USA, StandWithUs, Stop Shariah Now, Sudan Freedom Walk, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Traditional Values Coalition, Women's Freedom Movement of Pakistan. Additional sponsoring groups: www.925rally.org

Contact : (212) 726-1124 or info@925rally.org

Web site :  www.925rally.org


Washington, D.C.:

Visit by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas


 

On Sept. 25, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with President Bush at the White House for talks relating to the Middle East peace process. [4]

On Sept. 22, Abbas' Palestinian Authority  published a caricature in its main newspaper portraying Tzipi Livni, Israel's foreign minister and the new Kadima party leader, wielding a blood-stained knife. In the background, a white dove hangs with its head in a noose. [5]

Please note: The Israel Project is pleased to provide information about community events regarding the threat of Iran during the Iranian president's attendance at the U.N. General Assembly in NYC. The Israel Project was not involved in inviting or disinviting any candidates to rallies in NYC and is not a sponsor of the New York City rally on Mon., Sept. 22. The Israel Project is a non-partisan, non-profit educational organization that does not rate or endorse candidates.


TIP's Presidential Campaign Forums:

Where Do Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain Stand on Israel, Iran and Other Key Issues?

Campaigns Will Send Top Surrogates to These Events


October 6 - Boston, MA with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston

Featuring Gov. Linda Lingle, Jewish governor of Hawaii since 2002, representing the McCain campaign, and a top level surrogate representing the Obama campaign

October 16 - New York City

October 23 - Rockville, MD with Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Greater Washington Area Chapter of Hadassah

October 26 - Boca, FL with Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County

October 27 -  Miami, FL with Jewish Community Relations Council of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation in partnership with the American Jewish Committee, Greater Miami & Broward Chapter, the American Jewish Congress; and the Anti-Defamation League

October 30 - Cleveland, OH with The  Cleveland Jewish News

 


Footnotes:

[1] "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007) and 1803 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran ," F.28, May 26, 2008,

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2008/gov2008-15.pdf

[2] "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) in the Islamic Republic of Iran ," F.56. Feb. 22, 2008,

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2008/gov2008-4.pdf

[3] "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran," G.22, Aug. 30, 2008, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2007/gov2007-48.pdf

[4] "Bush to talk Mideast peace with Palestinian leader," Washington Times, Sept. 19, 2008,

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/19/bush-to-talk-mideast-peace-with-palestinian-leader/

[5] Marcus, Itamar; Crook, Barbara, "Tzipi Livni with blood-stained knife," Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin, Sept. 22, 2008


19 Injured in Third Attack by East Jerusalem Resident

 

An East Jerusalem Palestinian man [1] deliberately crashed his black BMW into a crowd of pedestrians near Jerusalem's Old City at about 11 p.m. Monday (Sept. 22), wounding 19 people. Seconds after the attack, the perpetrator was shot and killed by an off-duty soldier. [2]

Two of the victims are in serious condition, four sustained moderate injuries, and the rest were mildly wounded. Most of those hurt were Israel Defense Forces soldiers on their way to the Western Wall for prayers marking the upcoming Jewish new year. Authorities have not yet released the name of the attacker. [3]

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed it was a terrorist attack and Israeli TV reported that the man was from Jabel Mukaber, a village in Arab East Jerusalem. [4]

It was the third time in the past few months in which East Jerusalem Palestinians used vehicles to carry out terror attacks. [5]

On July 2, three Israelis were killed and 46 others were injured by an East Jerusalem Palestinian man who deliberately plowed his tractor into a crowd of pedestrians and overturned two buses in downtown Jerusalem. [6] On July 22, more than 16 Israelis were wounded , including children and an infant, after a terrorist deliberately plowed a bulldozer into vehicles, including a passenger bus. [7]

The attack comes one day after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert turned in his resignation and less than a week after Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni won the Kadima party primaries, putting Livni in line to become the next prime minister. Both Olmert and Livni are actively working toward a peace agreement that will include a two-state solution.

"It's hard to imagine that it is a coincidence that this terrorism is increasing at the same time that Iran is ratcheting up its nuclear program and its rhetorical attacks on Israel," said The Israel Project Founder and President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "The Zionist regime is an artificial regime… a fictitious regime." [8] He also said, "The Zionist regime is a regime that will disappear." [9]

Since Israel gave up Gaza three years ago, almost 10,000 rockets, missiles and mortars have been fired at Israel by Iran-backed terrorist groups including Hezbollah and Hamas.

Press Contacts

Dr. Jonathan Spyer

Field: Middle East affairs, Israel-Palestinian conflict, international politics,

Affiliation: Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center at the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herzliya.

Cell: 972-52-878-3591

E-mail: jspyer@idc.ac.il

Dr. Jonathan Rynhold

Field: US-Israel relations, Middle East affairs, Israel-Palestinian conflict, Middle East-Far East relations, Lectures in political science at Bar-Ilan University

Affiliation: Bar Ilan University

Cell: 972-54-577-5817

Tel.: 972-3-531-8873

E-mail: rynhold@mail.biu.ac.il

Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum,

Field: U.S.-Israel relations, history and politics of the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians.

Affiliation: Senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Senior Lecturer in the Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University, visiting associate professor of political science at Stanford University.

Cell: 972-54-431-2980

Marcus Sheff, Executive Director, The Israel Project-Jerusalem Office

Cell: 972-54-807-9177

Mrs. Shoham Rubio, Spokeswoman, Shaarey Tzedek Hospital – Treating injured

Cell: 972-50-740-0661

Yael Bosem-Levi, Spokeswoman, Haddasah-Ein Kerem Hospital

Tel: 972-50-404-8666

Meir Indor, Director of Almagor Terror Victims

Cell: 972-54-440-3636

Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Spokesman

Tel: 972-50-627-5870 (cell)

Yerucham Mandola, Spokesman for Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross)

Cell: 972-52-256-9955; Email: dover@mdais.co.il

Bernard Barrett, Jerusalem Representative, International Committee of the Red Cross

Tel.: 972-2-582-8845; Cell: 972-52-526-0191

Bana Sayeh, Jerusalem Representative, International Committee of the Red Cross

Tel.: 972-2-582-8845; Cell: 972-52-601-9142

 


 

Footnotes:

[1] "Palestinian drives into crowd, injures 15, police say," CNN, Sept. 22, 2008, http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/09/22/jerusalem.attack/index.html

[2] Lis, Jonathan and Harel, Amos, "19 hurt as terrorist plows car into Jerusalem crowd," Haaretz, Sept. 23, 2008, http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1023443.html

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Hadi, Jonny, "Bulldozer driver shot dead after going on rampage in capital," The Jerusalem Post, July 2, 2008, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1214726186987&

pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

[7] Haaretz Service and News Agencies, "Bulldozer driver goes on rampage in Jerusalem , apparent copycat of recent deadly attack," Haaretz, July 22, 2008,

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1004437.html

[8] "Myth of Iran Wiping Israel Off the Map Dispelled," Press TV, Sept. 18, 2008,

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=69866&sectionid=3510302

[9] Ibid.


63 Percent of U.S. Voters Support Military Action Against Iran if Diplomacy Fails

Washington, D.C.A new bipartisan poll commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP) shows that Americans across the political spectrum see the Iranian regime as a threat to the U.S. Fully 85 percent of Democrats and 97 percent of Republicans believe Iran represents a serious threat to the U.S.    A total of 91 percent of American voters agree Iran poses a threat to Israel ; the percentage jumps even higher - to 96 percent - when respondents were asked whether a nuclear-armed Iran poses a threat to Israel . Another 83 percent view this threat as serious. Similarly, 87 percent of American voters say a nuclear-armed Iran poses a threat to the U.S.   Fully 90 percent of Americans believe Iran will likely share nuclear technology or materials with terrorist organizations if it obtained nuclear weapons. Additionally, 80 percent of Americans say it is likely Iran would use nuclear weapons if it acquired them. American voters oppose Iran 's development of a civilian nuclear research program, with 71 percent of the public strongly in favor of international efforts to prevent such a program.    Among those polled, 62 percent say an opportunity to pursue a diplomatic solution with Iran still exists. However, 55 percent of Americans would approve of the U.S. and its allies making targeted conventional military strikes against Iran 's nuclear weapons facilities, with nearly a third of Americans strongly approving of such action. In addition, if economic and diplomatic action does not stop Iran 's pursuit of nuclear technology, and Iran acquires medium-range missiles and a nuclear capability, 63 percent of Americans say they would also approve of Israel taking targeted military action against Iran 's nuclear sites. The poll shows that negative feelings about Iran are rising in the U.S. and Germany : 77 percent of likely American voters hold an unfavorable attitude toward Iran , and 64 percent of Germans view Iran unfavorably. Moreover, attitudes toward Iran are consistently negative in the UK , with 39 percent of the British public holding a negative view of Iran. "Americans, the British and the Germans worry about the direct threat to Israel from Iran and fear Iran's potential to share nuclear technology with terrorist groups ," said Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. "All countries want diplomacy over military action to address this threat. The Germans oppose military action for historical and cultural reasons and the British do not want another Iraq . Yet the Americans are more open to military action, especially if a diplomatic solution fails to become a reality."

Said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project , "The threat of a nuclear Iran isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue – it's a concern for all peace-loving people who don't want to live under the constant threat of a nuclear attack by an unstable regime and its terrorist proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. Let us not forget that Iran is the world's largest state sponsor of terror and continually threatens to attack the U.S. and Europe ."

Mizrahi also said the international community needs to work harder to keep Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from realizing his goal of gaining nuclear capabilities, particularly as he threatens to annihilate Israel and trigger a catastrophic war between countries in the Middle East and the West. "The nuclear clock is ticking faster than the diplomatic clock and time is running out," Mizrahi said.

Threats by Iran's president to wipe Israel off the map and Iran 's funding, training and arming of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas worry Americans, the British, and Germans. Iran 's threats against Israel and its promises to share nuclear technology with terrorist groups are of particular concern to Americans and Germans.

American support for Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians is at an all-time high of 69 percent, and only six percent support the Palestinians. Americans say they feel close to Israel , ranking it only behind Canada and the UK . Israel 's image has steadily increased among German opinion elites during the past two years, as 40 percent now view Israel favorably.

The national survey of 800 U.S. likely voters was conducted by telephone July 23-27, 2008. The national omnibus surveys of 1,001 German adults and 229 opinion elites and 995 UK adults and 158 opinion elites were conducted July 18-22, 2008. The surveys were commissioned by The Israel Project and carried out by Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies and Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The margin of error for the U.S. poll  is +/- 3.5 percent; the margin of error for the UK and German polls is +/- 3 percent. Earlier this week, The Israel Project launched a major TV and print campaign at the Democratic National Convention in hopes of pushing for diplomatic and economic measures that can help prevent war. The ad, which will also air during the Republican convention next week, will focus on the threat of a nuclear Iran . The Israel Project does not rate or endorse any candidates. The  nuclear Iran ad  along with a second one about U.S.-Israel efforts to develop  alternative energy technologies, will run more than 1,300 times overall on CNN, CNN's Headline News, FOX NEWS, MSNBC and other networks at the Democratic convention in Denver Aug. 25-28 and the Republican convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul Sept. 1-4. The Israel Project also began running its alternative energy ad Aug. 25. The print campaign includes informational fliers about the threat of a nuclear Iran and alternative energy technologies. The front of the  nuclear Iran flier shows a photo of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, posing the question, "Just one man's opinion?" The other side states, "Actually, it's government policy" and explains that support for terrorist groups, Iran 's avid pursuit of nuclear technology and hatred of Israel and the West are doctrine shared by the highest echelons of the Iranian government. It also contains numerous quotes by Iranian leaders backing up that doctrine with their own words. A second piece about Iran shows a  ticking bomb where time is running out and explains the dangers of a nuclear Iran .   The  alternative energy flier depicts a gas pump where the prices are an "Arm," a "Leg" or "Both." The back contains information on Israel 's pioneering efforts to cut reliance on Middle East oil.  The Israel Project has a team of 22 people on site at the Democratic convention wearing blue T-shirts stating "I love Israel " and "I want peace" as they distribute materials about both the threat posed by Iran and the opportunities of alternative energy. The Israel Project will do the same at the Republican convention.


Board of Advisors: Sen. Evan Bayh (IN), Sen. Ben Cardin (MD), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA), Sen. Tom Coburn (OK), Sen. Norm Coleman (MN), Sen. Susan Collins (ME), Sen. Judd Gregg (NH), Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT), Sen. Ben Nelson (NE), Sen. Gordon Smith (OR), Sen. Arlen Specter (PA), Sen. Ron Wyden (OR), Rep. Rob Andrews (NJ), Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV), Rep. Tom Davis (VA), Rep. Eliot Engel (NY), Rep. Frank Pallone (NJ), Rep. Jon Porter (NV), Rep. John Sarbanes (MD), Rep. Jim Saxton (NJ), Rep. Brad Sherman (CA), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC), Actor and Director Ron Silver


2,000 Qassam Rockets and Mortars Fired at Israel from Gaza in 2007; Number of Attacks by Palestinian Militants Escalating Dramatically

 

On Dec. 4, the number of rocket and mortar attacks Palestinian militants in Gaza launched atIsraelduring the past year hit the 2,000 mark  - almost double the number in 2006. The increase in attacks has continued despite last week's renewed Israel-Palestinian peace talks, which include the goal of creating a sovereign Palestinian state.  Israel welcomed the U.S.-brokered talks despite the continual and deadly rocket and mortar siege out ofGaza.

The escalation in attacks also comes almost two-and-a-half years after Israel gave up all ofGaza and parts of the West Bank, handing control of the areas over to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in hopes that it would lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state. To carry out the disengagement from Gaza, a region that Israel won from Egypt after Israel fought a defensive war in 1967 against several Arab armies, roughly 9,000 Jews were uprooted from the communities where they had been living for generations.

Iran-backed Hamas , designated a terrorist organization by five countries and international entities ,  has encouraged the attacks. Hamas seized control of Gaza in June following a bloody fight against P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party.

Background on Gaza Rocket/Mortar Fire

  • On the evening of Dec. 4, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired the 2,000th Qassam rocket this year. By contrast, in 2006, militants fired 1,100 rockets and mortars at Israel.
  • Palestinian militants in Gaza launched a total of 21 rockets and mortars at Israel on Tues., Dec. 4.
  • Since Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in Aug. 2005, Palestinian militants fired more than 3,600 rockets and mortar bombs at Israeli towns and communities.
  • Thirteen Israeli citizens have been killed by indiscriminate rocket and mortar fire from Gaza, and another 307 people have been physically injured. Among those killed were a 2-year-old baby, Dorit Inso, and two 4-year-olds, Yuval Abebah and Afik Zahavi.

  • In 2007, 60 Israeli civilians have been injured by rocket and mortar fire and two people killed.
  • In 2007, one rocket has been fired every four hours.
  • Since Jan. 2001, more than 7,300 rockets and mortar bombs have been fired at Israeli civilians.
  • A total of 68 percent of all Qassam rockets and mortar bombs were fired from the city of Beit Hanoun in Gaza. [12]
  • Fourteen percent of all rockets and mortars were fired from the Beit Lahiya area of Gaza and 8 percent were launched from the Jabaliya refugee camp, at the northern end of Gaza.
  • Since Hamas took control of Gaza by force in June 2007, the rate of Qassam and mortar fire has increased by 500 percent.
  • More than 200 families - about 1,200 people - have fled Sderot due to the ongoing shelling from Gaza by Palestinian terrorists.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leaders Comment on Rocket Fire

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas leader, Aug. 2005:

"The Qassam [rockets] is what forced the enemy out. This is a victory for the resistance and for all of the Palestinian people."

Abu Ahmed, Palestinian Islamic Jihad Spokesman, Sept. 2007:

"The rockets have become accurate, they hardly miss, and most important they manage to disrupt the Israelis livesWe definitely planned to increase the rocket fire when the school year opened."

Footnotes

[1] Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman's Unit, Dec. 4, 2007

[2] Ibid.

[3] "Six-Day War," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2007,

http://encarta.msn.com, 1997-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

[4] "Council Decision," Council of the European Union, Dec. 21, 2005,

http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2005/l_

340/l_34020051223en00640066.pdf;

"Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)," U.S. Department of State Web site, Oct. 11, 2005,

http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/fs/37191.html;

Wilson, Scott, "Hamas Sweeps Palestinian Elections, Complicating Peace Efforts in Mideast," The Washington Post , Jan. 27, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/

01/26/AR2006012600372.html;

Public Security and Emergency Preparedness Canada, National Security, Listed entities, accessed Jan. 18, 2007, http://www.psepc.gc.ca/prg/ns/le/cle-en.asp#hhi18;

"Listing of Terrorist Organisations," Australian Government Web site, May 24, 2007,

http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/agd/www/nationalsecurity.nsf/AllDocs/

95FB057CA3DECF30CA256FAB001F7FBD?OpenDocument

Ibid.

[5] Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman's Unit, Dec. 4, 2007

[6] Issacharoff, Avi, and Azoulay, Yuval, "Qassam hits Sderot residence; IDF kills 2 Hamas gunmen," Haaretz, Dec. 5, 2007, http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/931440.html

[7] IDF Spokesman's Unit, Dec. 4, 2007

[8] Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, Committee for a Secure Sderot, Dec. 5, 2007. Retrieved Dec. 5. 2007 from http://www.matesderot.co.il/info_en.asp?cat=119457167

[9] IDF Spokesman's Unit, Nov. 30, 2007

[10] IDF Spokesman's Unit, Dec. 4, 2007

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Yossi Cohen, Spokesman for the City of Sderot, Nov. 19, 2007

[16] Hussain, Aiza, "Quotes from Hamas leaders on Hamas, Israel, and Palestinian politics," Foundation for Middle East Peace, Jan. 19, 2006,

[17] Waked, Ali, "Al-Quds Brigades: Sderot strike strengthens us," YnetNews, Sept. 4, 2007,

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3445458,00.html

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