Tuesday, December 26, 2006

December 2006

Slogan of the Month

Some people would like to put their mistakes inside a balloon and fly it to oblivion. Alas some mistakes are so grave that they leave a long trail behind them, akin to a balloon’s rope tied to their hand; so tight that it affects their present ability to make decisions, stopping the blood flow in their veins.

Raphael Cohen-Almagor

For two weeks the news was dominated by the Benny Sela story. Sela is a notorious serial rapist who escaped from jail and was able to hide from the police for two weeks, until he was captured. All people, especially women, are now relieved as his dangerous shadow does not loom over society. Prime Minister Olmert made some statements that made the headlines; some were planned and intended, some were careless as the person is. The planned reiterated his convergence vision. The mistaken admitted Israel is a nuclear power. The first is much dependent on Abu Mazen’s ability to introduce law and order in the Palestinian Authority and sway his people onto the direction of peace rather than terror and mayhem. The second, slip of the tongue, negated the long established policy of vagueness regarding Israel’s nuclear capacity. Soon afterwards, Olmert corrected himself by reiterating the accepted slogan, that Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear power into the Middle East. Some people would like to put their mistakes inside a balloon and fly it to oblivion. Alas some mistakes are so grave that they leave a long trail behind them, akin to a balloon’s rope tied to their hand; so tight that it affects their present ability to make decisions, stopping the blood flow in their veins. Raphael Cohen-Almagor For two weeks the news was dominated by the Benny Sela story. Sela is a notorious serial rapist who escaped from jail and was able to hide from the police for two weeks, until he was captured. All people, especially women, are now relieved as his dangerous shadow does not loom over society. Prime Minister Olmert made some statements that made the headlines; some were planned and intended, some were careless as the person is. The planned reiterated his convergence vision. The mistaken admitted Israel is a nuclear power. The first is much dependent on Abu Mazen’s ability to introduce law and order in the Palestinian Authority and sway his people onto the direction of peace rather than terror and mayhem. The second, slip of the tongue, negated the long established policy of vagueness regarding Israel’s nuclear capacity. Soon afterwards, Olmert corrected himself by reiterating the accepted slogan, that Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear power into the Middle East.

Elections NOW, Israel so-called “leadership”, UN Resolutions, The Supreme Court Decision Regarding the Establishment of A State Inquiry Commission, Arabs in Israel, Hamas and Fatah Clash, Holocaust Denial, Help Fight the Iranian Nuclear Threat, Why America Will Fail in Iraq?, Robert M. Gates, KNIGHT FOUNDATION OFFERS GRANTS FOR NEW MEDIA PROJECTS, New Books, Relationships.

Elections NOW

Some people approached me, saying that they don’t support my plea for elections now, because they fear the outcome might be Bibi Netanyahu.

Here is my answer to all those people:

You are entitled to disagree. That’s OK. On my part, I do not trust this government any more and fear further disasters. Also, it cost us many lives, thousands of refugees, and deterioration of our deterrence. This partisan bunch of people called the Israeli government cares first and foremost about themselves and don’t know the meaning of responsibility. I know you are not more forgiving than me. You simply calculate and prefer “the lesser evil”. Well, I do not know what is the lesser evil anymore. Moreover, it is too soon to envisage the future. While you are certain it will be Bibi, I try to maintain optimism. Between Olmert, Bibi and Ayalon, for instance, maybe it will be the latter. Anyway, if successful in this campaign, the next one will be for Ayalon. Some time ago I had a conversation with Eitan Cabel. Cabel is a minister of the Labour Party, and General Secretary of the party. Until recently, he was very loyal to his chairman, Amir Peretz. We discussed various social matters and on most of issues we see eye to eye. By the end of the pleasant conversation I asked whether he thinks Peretz’s nomination to Minister of Defence is a good idea. His answer was: “sure”. He emphasized the novelty of appointing a civilian to this important ministry, thus inserting fresh, civilian ideas to army administration. He did not ask for my opinion and as this topic was raised by me close to closure I said that if he is interested in my opinion, he is welcome to call. By now all the reasons that brought me to think that this nomination was careless have flooded the media. Now Cabel urged Peretz to leave the Defence Ministry. This tragic nomination cost us lives of soldiers and civilians. It will cost Olmert and Peretz their careers. I wrote to Shimon Peres, saying that the urgency of Israel’s situation prompts me to ask for a meeting. I still await his response. I am afraid it won’t come, as he does not share my sense of urgency. For him, we can live with such gross mistakes. He always says: One who does, also makes mistakes. Almost none is too severe to call elections. I beg to differ. A recent poll by Yedioth Ahronoth, published on December 22, shows that if elections were held now, Olmert would have received 13 percent of the votes, Labour headed by Ami Ayalon 23%, and Likud headed by Netanyahu 28%. If Labour will still be headed by Peretz, the party would get 12% of the vote. I publicly joined the following petition signed by more than 22,000 people and published as an ad on December 10, 2006 in Haaretz:

As Citizens of Israel, belonging to a wide spectrum of sectors and political opinions, members of all religions, we call upon all citizens and members of the Knesset to join us in our struggle to save the State of Israel.

1. We call upon the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff to resign immediately because of their responsibility for the failure of the Lebanese war, the abandonment of the civilian population and the scandalous conduct until this day.

2. We call upon the Israeli government to install a State commission of Inquiry, presided by a supreme judge. The committee will include sub-committees, and will investigate all office holders in the political, military and civilian sectors, from the most senior to the most junior. The conclusions of the State commission of enquiry will be implemented without delay.

3. We call on the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff, as long as they are in function, to act immediately to procure the release of the three kidnapped soldiers in whatever manner is necessary, by negotiation with the relevant parties and abstention from any steps which will delay the release of the kidnapped soldiers.

4. We call on the government and Knesset to anchor in legislation the principle of assuming responsibility for all civil servants, elected or nominated.
Ministerial responsibility: An elected person or civil servant who has failed in his mission, shall be suspended and disbarred from serving in the future in any public position.
Personal responsibility: An elected person or civil servant, who is charged with a criminal offence, shall resign immediately and replaced. If found guilty, he should be disbarred from serving in the future in a public position.

As citizens of Israel, we trust the Israeli society and democratic system.
The democratic system, in spite of its weaknesses, is sufficiently strong and stable to secure the State, even during the investigation and rehabilitation of military and government bodies. We are committed to continue our protest until all four demands are met. Only then can we suspend our civil protest and return to our homes. The new and veteran representatives, elected democratically, will govern adequately the State, and will devote their efforts to create a better life and society in the State of Israel.

Israel's so-called “leadership”

Former Chief of Staff, Dan Shomron, is about to release his report on the functioning of Israel’s army headquarters during the Hezbollah War. He will need to invent new acrobatic modes to find Halutz not responsible. On the other hand, his own reputation and name are at stake. Halutz’s days are numbered. The countdown for Peretz's downfull has begun. The Labour Primaries are scheduled for May 28, 2007. Peretz will try to recruit as many suppoerts as possible till May. He does not realize that the only person who believes in Peretz, is Peretz. It won’t be enough. As for Olmert, well it’s all depends on his mouth. Apparently, this is his worse enemy. His mouth eats him alive. The sense of power consumed Olmert and has the tendency to release inhibitions. Olmert speaks far too much, and says too many things he should not say in public.

UN Resolutions

On Friday, December 1, 2006 the General Assembly approved six pro-Palestinian resolutions over U.S. and Israeli objections, culminating in the world body's declaration of backing the Palestinians' right to an independent state. In the key resolution on the "Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine," the General Assembly welcomed the November 26 cease-fire in Gaza and urged both sides to maintain the truce which it said could pave the way for negotiations towards a solution to the conflict. At the end of three days of speeches, the 192-member world body on Friday reaffirmed the UN's responsibility regarding the Palestinian question and stressed the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and an independent state. The Palestinian UN observer, Riyad Mansour, said the vote - 157 to 7 with 10 abstentions - showed massive support in the international community for moving forward on the peace process. A separate resolution topping 150 "yes" votes declared any attempt to impose Israel's laws, jurisdiction and administration on Jerusalem illegal, and therefore null and void. It was approved by a vote of 157-6 with 10 abstentions. Two other resolutions called on Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and from the Golan Heights. The resolutions are not legally binding - as Security Council resolutions are - but they are a reflection of world opinion. Each of the six resolutions received more than 100 "yes" votes. The United States, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau voted against all six resolutions. U.S. diplomat Ned Siegel opposed the Golan Heights resolution, saying it prejudged the outcome of negotiations between Israel and Syria. He accused Syria of using the General Assembly "to direct accusations at Israel even as it flaunts a number of Security Council resolutions ... with its refusal to treat Lebanon as a genuinely sovereign country." "We would like to reiterate our alarm at indications that Syria is working with Hezbollah and other Lebanese allies to destabilize the democratically elected Government of Lebanon," Siegel said. Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari accused the U.S. of using its veto in the Security Council to protect its Israeli friends and prevent them from complying with UN resolutions.

The Supreme Court Decision Regarding the Establishment of a State Inquiry Commission

On November 30, 2006 the High Court of Justice in a 4-3 decision rejected two petitions that had called for the establishment of a state commission of inquiry into the last Lebanon war. The decision means that the Winograd Committee, appointed by the government to probe the war, can continue its work. Nevertheless, most of the justices sharply criticized the decision to appoint a governmental inquiry panel rather than a state commission. "That the court is refraining from intervening in [this decision] does not attest to satisfaction with the government's decision and does not provide public backing for the choice," wrote Deputy Supreme Court President Eliezer Rivlin in his majority opinion. Rivlin was backed by justices Asher Grunis, Salim Joubran and Esther Hayut. The dissenting justices, who thought that the court should have accepted the petitions and ordered the establishment of a state commission of inquiry, were Ayala Procaccia, Miriam Naor and former Legal Advisor to the Government, Elyakim Rubinstein. The petitioners - the Ometz organization and the Movement for Quality Government in Israel - had argued that since the government's decisions were an important component of any inquiry into the war, the government could not choose the people doing the investigating. Members of a governmental inquiry panel are appointed by the government, whereas members of a state commission of inquiry are chosen by the Supreme Court president. The petitioners also argued that a governmental committee lacked the authority to investigate events such as the war, which involved numerous different governmental agencies. In his ruling, Rivlin stressed that the court's powers to intervene in a decision on whether to establish a state commission of inquiry were "extremely limited," as this decision "is among the core powers of the executive branch." Moreover, he wrote, "There is no inherent flaw in the fact that the inquiry committee set up at the government's initiative is also supposed to examine the government's own activities." As long as the committee members are appointed in a proper fashion, he said, they are "obligated [to demonstrate] professional independence and independence from the party that appointed" them. However, he added, the fact that the government's decision was not so unreasonable as to be illegal in no way makes it appropriate. The other majority justices similarly stressed that their ruling stemmed from a commitment to judicial restraint rather than agreement with the government's decision. The dissenting justices vehemently disagreed. Justice Procaccia, for instance, wrote, "The rule of nonintervention in governmental activities of a political-national-security nature is not an absolute rule; it applies to a narrow sector of exceptions." In this specific case, she wrote, the government was aware that a governmental committee's statutory powers "were insufficient to investigate the events of the war"; moreover, she said, "The substance of the matter given to it to investigate is not among the matters that [such a] committee is authorized to deal with." These factors, coupled with the great public importance of properly investigating the war, made the government's decision so unreasonable as to be illegal, she wrote. Naor, in her dissent, also complained that the government never explained why it preferred a governmental committee to a state commission. "The considerations at the basis of this choice were never presented. [The government] did not claim that this was the appropriate method, but merely that this was the method that was chosen. This creates the impression that the choice was arbitrary," she wrote. Early in October the High Court instructed the State to explain its decision to not establish a State commissioned inquiry to investigate the war. The State responded five days later, saying that the manner in which the issue was investigated was legitimate and entirely reasonable. The State also claimed that the decision at hand was at the very heart of the expanse of issues given to the government's judgment. The government said that there was no substantial difference between the authority of the appointed Winograd Committee and the authorities that would be given to the State-commissioned inquiry. The representative speaking on behalf of the attorney general's office told the court that the government was well within its rights to decide for or against the formation of a State-commissioned inquiry on any matter. The Winograd Committee therefore, the attorney general's office argued, will conduct a creditable, comprehensive and thorough examination of the state's conduct and will accordingly submit its findings and recommendations.

Arabs in Israel

The Arab Association of Human Rights published a few reports on the status and treatment of Arabs in Israel. See: http://www.arabhra.org/publications/reports/index.htm

Hamas and Fatah Clash

On December 15, 2006 Hamas deployed armed militants in key parts of the Gaza Strip, one day after it accused rival Fatah forces of trying to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The premier has threatened to "deal with" shots fired at his convoy at the Rafah crossing. The show of force followed an assault on Haniyeh's convoy upon his return from a fundraising tour of the Middle East. Haniyeh's bodyguard was killed in the shooting, and more than two dozen people - including Haniyeh's son, Abdel Salam, and his political adviser, Ahmed Yousef - were wounded.

The incident deepened factional violence that has pushed the rival Hamas and Fatah parties to continued clashes. The shooting capped a turbulent day of intensifying factional fighting between the Islamic militant Hamas and the Fatah movement of moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Both sides have warned that they are edging closer to civil war. Haniyeh was held up at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza for more than seven hours. Israel triggered the closure to prevent him from bringing in $35 million in suitcases of cash raised on a trip to Iran and other Muslim states. Haniyeh was allowed to reenter Gaza after being forced to leave the funds in Egypt.
Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres said the money must not be allowed in because it will be used to fund terror. "It won't go to the hungry Gaza residents," he said. "It will go to the tunnel diggers, to the weapons smugglers." Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the shooting was an attempt to assassinate Haniyeh, and held the Fatah-allied Presidential Guard responsible. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas expressed regret for the shooting, according to the Palestinian news agency, WAFA. Many red lines were crossed recently: shooting at the Minister of the Interior, the Foreign Minister, and now Haniyeh; the kidnapping of the former minister Sofian Abu-Zayde. The seeds of civil war are germinating. I said time and again: The Palestinians will need to pass and overcome their own Altalena challenge. Maybe the time has come.

Holocaust Denial
Earlier this month, the Iranian regime gathered some 70 Holocaust revisionists from 30 countries to participate in a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran entitled, “The Holocaust: A World Prospect.” This development came after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claimed that the Holocaust was ‘a myth’ and sponsored an international Holocaust cartoon contest in Tehran. I ask you to join the Wiesenthal Center’s petition to United Nations Secretary-General-designate Ban Ki-moon urging him to step up the UN’s commitment to fight against the desecration of the memory of the Holocaust and to honor the words of Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he stated at a Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration in January of 2006, “Holocaust denial is the work of bigots. We must reject their false claims whenever, wherever, and by whomever they are made."

Secretary General Annan has also stated, “The United Nations was founded as a reaction to the horrors of World War II.” But, this conference mocks the very founding principles of the United Nations and ridicules the General Assembly resolution designating January 27th as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The Iranian regime, which has threatened genocide against the Jewish State, is using Holocaust denial as Statecraft. Its ultimate goal is to demonize the Jewish people, its history, values and faith. We dare not be silent. Please sign the following petition now - these threats cannot be left unchallenged. And after signing the petition, please use the forward-to-a-friend function to send this important message to your friends and family today. http://www.wiesenthal.com/siteapps/advocacy/ThankYou.aspx?c=fwLYKnN8LzH&b=2284823&aid=7804&lid=7966292

Send inquiries to: information@wiesenthal.net
Or send mail to:Simon Wiesenthal Center1399 South Roxbury, Los Angeles, California 90035310-553-9036

Help Fight the Iranian Nuclear Threat

I was asked to post the following:

Israel’s enemies are openly advocating its destruction. They pose a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire free world.

Ahmadinejad’s plan to “wipe Israel off the map” is not much different than Hitler’s was in the 1930’s. The world didn’t listen then, will the world listen now?

Global leaders are practicing the politics of appeasement while the menace of Iran is gathering strength. Will you sit on the sidelines or will you do your part to get the world to act?

No one wants to think the unthinkable – another war in Israel or a nuclear strike on 5 million Jews congregated in one small place. Those who bury their heads in the sand and simply count on others to do the right thing are relying on hope. But when lives are at stake, hope is a poor planning tool. At The Israel Project (TIP), we plan ahead and then work our plan. Help TIP fight the Iranian threat by supporting our work at http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M7220792814926475438530965&af=y. TIP has clearly stated objectives and a plan for how we will achieve them. In the next year, we will focus on the following activities which are imperative if Israel is to remain safe: · Educating the public in the United States and Europe that the threat of nuclear Iran is unacceptable. This will include sophisticated public opinion research as well as a full-scale media relations effort reaching out to global media covering Iran. · Gathering public support for the need to compel Hamas to agree to the “3 R’s”: Recognize Israel, Renounce terror and Respect previous agreements. This will be done by reminding the public about the sacrifices Israel has made for peace and focusing on the continuing terrorism emanating from Gaza and beyond. · Focusing attention on the threat of Hezbollah and the need to implement UN resolutions on Lebanon. This is especially important now, when Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, is threatening to destabilize Lebanon and the whole Middle East.
As you know, our team includes the best and brightest in strategic communications: Stan Greenberg, PhD; Neil Newhouse; Anna Greenberg, PhD; Ari Fleischer; and Dan Hazelwood.
With your help we have become the “go to” place in the pro-Israel community for message research and communications strategies proven effective in the war for the hearts and minds of the public. But current threats demand that TIP execute strategic communications efforts with the sophistication of, but not the budget of, a U.S. presidential campaign for some time to come. Your continued help is needed! Help support TIP’s strategic communication efforts on behalf of Israel by donating at http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M7220792914926475438530965&af=y. Our enemies have poured tens of millions of dollars into a media campaign designed to destroy US support for Israel and to make matters even worse in Europe. Our enemies have staged tragedies and doctored photos to position Israel as an aggressor with no regard for human suffering.
Help us show the world that they are wrong. Help us tell Israel’s story to the world. This is the time. This is the place. Israel’s existence is at stake. Your continued and increased tax-deductible gift is needed today!

Why America Will Fail in Iraq?
The following piece is taken from Foreign Policy, November/December 2006
Why America Will Fail in Iraq ? http://www.foreignpolicy.com

The future of Iraq may depend more on the policies of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr than those of U.S. President George W. Bush. The young firebrand’s views remain clouded in mystery, in part because he and his loyalists usually refuse to speak to the Western media. In a rare interview, his spokesman, Baha al-Araji, sounds off on Iraq’s troubled past, present, and future.

FOREIGN POLICY: Was Iraq better off under Saddam Hussein than it is today?
Baha Al-Araji: The Iraqi people knew terrible oppression and prejudice from the dictator Saddam Hussein, and the Iraqi people once thought that the American project would end that. But because the American commanders lack any awareness of the nature of the Iraqi people, their presence has actually increased the level of oppression. Saddam Hussein killed my father and my elder brother and jailed one of my brothers and my mother for a long time. Some of my family escaped Iraq and lived in exile, while others remained in the country. Now we are able to see, unfortunately, that the situation during Saddam’s reign was better than today because then, the oppression was targeted and predictable. Today, danger and oppression overwhelm all Iraqi people without exception.

FP: Why are the Americans failing in Iraq?
BAA: The situation in Iraq differs from that in the United States. There is bureaucratic competition for power [in the United States]. The Department of Defense took control for a certain period, and then the State Department did. And this kind of alternating power and influence is good. But that is the United States. The same is not true in Iraq. Thus, the American project in Iraq will fail. Sometimes, the Iraqi government reaches a good agreement with the political advisor of the U.S. embassy here in Baghdad. But, then, suddenly, in the night, some military commander will [attack] a certain local community. And so negates the accord that was reached between the Iraqi government and the U.S. embassy’s political advisor. The Americans should look at the Iraqis as Iraqis, not [as] Americans in training.

FP: Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki wants to disband the militias or find some way to incorporate them into the government. What does this mean for Sadr’s movement and the Mahdi Army? BAA: I personally disagree with [that]. Whether or not these militias undermine the sovereignty of the Iraqi government is an open question. This question was provoked by the Maliki government. [They] raised it for purely political reasons in an effort to provoke a clash between the Sadr movement and the current government. The emergence of militias in Iraq is a natural response to the situation here. There is a principle which says that for every action, there is a reaction. So, when there are occupation forces on the ground, there should naturally be a resistance to that occupation. We choose peaceful and diplomatic resistance, so the government and the coalition forces should not exaggerate our activities. Because those of us who are affiliated with the Sadr movement are sensitive, we don’t like to provoke this contentious question. Do you know that 60 percent of the Mahdi Army already serves in government programs and installations? One of our biggest challenges with this issue is getting the Americans to understand it. The problem is that the U.S. leaders in Iraq, even though they are here, still think in an American way. But Iraq totally differs in its nature, its economy, and its culture from the United States.

FP: Many people in the American government blame the Mahdi Army for some of the insecurity. How do you respond to these critics?
BAA: There are many terrorists who can acquire and get this green badge [pointing to his Green Zone credential]. Terrorists can easily gain access to the Green Zone. And they enter with weapons. This highly protected area is already penetrated. Some of these activities have been disclosed by the Iraqi government and the Americans as the actions of the Mahdi Army. But these actions are actually not linked to [us], because our army is ideological.

FP: In the elections in December 2005, the Sadr movement was part of the United Iraqi Alliance. But now you’re saying that you’re anti-government. What are the relations like between the parties in the UIA?
BAA: Because I am affiliated with the Sadr movement, I received 40,000 votes. If I had run as an individual candidate, I would only have received 3,000 votes.... But 70 percent of these attacks, and this is my personal viewpoint, derive from disputes between the leadership of the political parties, whether they are in the council of representatives or the government. This is unacceptable.

FP: What should be the role of Iraq’s neighbors?
BAA: We have problems, unfortunately, with all of Iraq’s neighbors. Some are historical problems. Some are ethnic problems … The Shiites are the majority in Iraq. But, in the Islamic world, they are the minority. And our neighbors, the Arab countries that border us, are 100 percent Sunni. So they fear the situation in Iraq. To be sure, some of the problems we face today in Iraq are of our own making. But the biggest challenges derive from Iraq’s neighbors. Our mistake is that we didn’t go to them in the beginning and tell them about the nature of Shiites in Iraq, that we are peaceful. But the real problem—the enduring challenge—is that Iraq’s neighbors won’t tolerate a Shiite-governed Iraq. They think that there is major collaboration between Iraqi Shia and Iran, but we will control this. It is a very big mistake to think that our community works at the behest of Iranian allies and friends. I don’t think Iran likes Iraq. Iran is the beneficiary of this current situation. Iran’s enemy is the United States, so Iran does everything in its power to fuel instability in the new Iraq so that Iran can remain strong and keep the United States distracted. The reason nobody is doing anything about Iran’s nuclear program is that they are all too busy trying to salvage Iraq. We also have a small problem with Syria. Saddam’s regime was affiliated with the same school and political party that rules Syria. In Syria, there are many in the local Baath Party leadership who think that the situation in Iraq is a big loss for the Baath Party. Though the Syrian Baathist ideology differs from Saddam’s, there is still a desire [there] to see him reinstated. And this sense of party solidarity has led them to incite instability in Iraq in order to ensure that the occupiers and the new government they support fail.

FP: Do you think Kurdistan will split off from Iraq? Will the south also secede?
BAA: Of course other regions want to secede. Would you want to be part of this mess by choice? If you believed that you could build a prosperous life and leave the forces of violence to fight their own petty wars of attrition on the streets of Baghdad, you would do it. These threats of secession say nothing of Iraqi unity or fragmentation. People just want a normal life.

This interview is excerpted from an upcoming volume of the Oxford International Review

Robert M. Gates

In the wake of the recent nomination of Robert M. Gates to the post of Secretary of Defense, the Georgetown University Law Library has compiled a list of resources about him.

Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense Nominee: A Bibliography
Table of Contents: Introduction Confirmation Documents Internet Resources Selected Publications by R.M. Gates Congressional Testimony by Mr. Gates INTRODUCTION On November 8, 2006, President George W. Bush nominated Mr. Gates to be Secretary of Defense. Mr. Gates previously served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The Senate held two confirmation proceedings for that position. The Library has created this bibliography of documents authored by and related to Mr. Gates. The Library plans to digitize selected hearings and reports, which will be posted on this website. http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/guides/RMGates.cfm

For further information on this issue in particular and the USA in general you are welcome to contact Mr. Alex Daniels and the American Center Library in Jerusalem.
19 Keren Hayesod Street,
Jerusalem 91008.
Tel.: 972-(0)2-625-5755 ext. 333
Fax: 972-(0)2-624-2560


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is seeking project proposals and ideas from journalists from all countries as part of a new grant programme that supports the use of new technologies to improve communication and quality of life in local communities. The 21st Century News Challenge will fund projects that use the Internet in innovative ways to report the news or facilitate connections between citizens. Up to US$5 million in grants will be awarded in 2007. Any person of any age from any country can enter.
The deadline for submitting applications is 31 December 2006.
For more information, visit: http://www2.knightfdn.org/newschallenge/image_noFlash.html

New Books

Gadi Taub, The Settlers and the Struggle over the Meaning of Zionism (Tel Aviv: Yedioth Ahronoth, 2006, Hebrew).

Galia Golan, ISRAEL AND PALESTINE: PEACE PLANS AND PROPOSALS FROM OSLO TO DISENGAGEMENT (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1 December 2006), 240 pp.

The Oslo Accords, inaugurated with the historic Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn, marked a promising breakthrough for resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
These Accords, however, turned out to be but the first in a series of numerous proposals and plans over the next ten years, all designed to cope with repeated failures and disappointment as well as the major issues of the conflict itself.

Golan explores these plans and proposals, concentrating on the key issues addressed by the parties directly involved, along with the contributions of the Americans, the Quartet as a whole, and the Arab League. This book is a valuable resource for understanding the conflict, the issues involved, and the prospects for peaceful resolution.



A man to his friend: I haven't spoken to my wife for 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her.

His friend replied:My wife and I sort of speak. Sometimes. The last fight with her was my fault. She asked, "What's on the TV?" I said, "Dust!"

Happy Festive Season of Light, Love and Warmth,

Yours as ever,

My last communications are available on http://almagor.blogspot.com
Earlier posts at my home page: http://hcc.haifa.ac.il/~rca/
Center for Democratic Studies http://cds.haifa.ac.il/