Morning Report: June 10, 2007

The good old days. Cinnamon Stillwell: 'Despite all the calls to "end the occupation," Israel withdrew (against many of its supporters wishes) from Gaza almost two years ago and now it seems the Palestinians want them back. Fed up with the Hamas terrorist leadership they elected (turns out terrorists don't govern very effectively - who knew?) and its constant armed battles with Fatah, the previous terrorist leadership and current partner in the "unity government," Gazans are asking Israel to stop the chaos.' Cinnamon cites this Reuters article: 'For most Palestinians, black-hooded gunmen have long been respected symbols of resistance against Israeli occupation. Now, frequent internal fighting and lawlessness gripping the Palestinian territories have transformed the militants into no more than gangsters in the eyes of many of those who once saw them as heroes.' See Commentary, below.

UK Education Minister slams Israel boycott. JPost: 'The intention to impose a boycott on Israel by the British Union of Colleges and Universities (UCU) is academically counter-productive and does not represent the position of the British people or their government, British Minister of Education Bill Rammell said on Sunday. "A boycott is fundamentally wrong," Rammell said during a press conference at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "I hope that my visit here sends a strong message of the views of the British government and people." '

Six Al-Qaeda suspects captured. MNF-Iraq:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces captured six suspected terrorists Sunday morning during operations that continue to deny safe haven to members of the al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network.

Based on information gained during a successful operation May 27, Coalition Forces targeted a location in Fallujah looking for an individual suspected of recruiting for al-Qaeda. The suspected jihad leader is known for using “join or die” sermons and indoctrination ceremonies where those who refuse to swear allegiance are killed. Coalition Forces detained one suspected terrorist associated with the leader.

In Mosul, two coordinated operations netted three suspected terrorists tied into the al-Qaeda in Iraq network. One of the suspects is allegedly a recruiting emir for the terrorist network in Mosul, while another is suspected of facilitating the movement of foreign fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Southeast of Fallujah, Coalition Forces detained two suspected terrorists for their alleged involvement with a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leader known for placing improvised explosive devices and coordinating terrorist attacks.

“We’re relentlessly attacking the al-Qaeda network to deny terrorists the ability to hide among the Iraqi people and spread their jihadist propaganda,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. “The Iraqi people are choosing their own future, and it does not include terrorism.”

IDF arrests wanted terrorist. Arutz Sheva: 'IDF soldiers arrested an Islamic Jihad terrorist at the Bekaot checkpoint, northeast of Shechem. The operation took place on Saturday, and details were released for publication on Sunday afternoon. The terrorist is Masoud Abdullah Masoud, who has been wanted for some time. He was taken to security services for questioning.'

Lebanon catches terrorists with Al-Qaeda, Syria links. Gateway Pundit: 'The captured Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Lebanon confessed to having direct links to Syrian President Assad's brother-in-law, Gen. Asef Shawkat. The captured Al-Qaeda terrorists in Lebanon were planning attacks on UN and foreign diplomats.'

Commentary. There's been a definite trend in the items showing up on my Google reader. I'm starting to see a lot of stories like this article from JPost: 'One Palestinian was killed and 17 wounded in renewed fighting between the two sides in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority officials expressed fear that the tensions would lead to another round of bloody fighting. About 160 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded in internecine fighting in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year. Burhan Hammad, the top Egyptian security representative in the Gaza Strip, warned about renewed fighting between the two parties. He blamed "suspicious parties" among the Palestinians for working to renew the violence. Although he did not name the parties, his remarks were seen as directed toward a number of Fatah warlords, including Muhammad Dahlan.' The article goes on to tell the story of 20-year-old Hassan al-Bazam, a bodyguard for PA leader Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, who was captured and tortured by Fatah gunmen. "These people are real murderers," Bazam said. "Even the Jews did not do such cruel things to us."

That would probably go a ways to explain this item from Israel Matzav: PA Mufti issues fatwa against emigration. Israel Matzav adds: 'Some 10,000 'Palestinians' - mostly university graduates who cannot find work in the 'Palestinian Authority' administered territories - have applied for permission to reside permanently abroad since the beginning of this year. Most of the applications have been to the US, the EU and Canada. Some 45,000 applications by 'Palestinians' to emigrate are pending over all.'

For some Palestinians, reunification with Jordan is starting to not look like such a bad idea after all.

Also on the radar: Israeli/Syrian talks. Good idea? Bad idea? Here's Anshel Pfeffer at the Jerusalem Post:
The American attitude toward Israel's dealings with Syria reflects the downturn in the cachet Israel enjoyed in Washington before last summer's Lebanon war. At the outset of the war, Israel was regarded as the front-line of the West's war against radical Islam and was given carte blanche to go after Hizbullah. Having failed to do so in a satisfactory manner, Israel's leadership is now seen as too weak to deliver a peace treaty with Syria and its military as too disorganized to deal a conclusive blow to its enemies.

That sounds about right. So does Pfeffer's estimation that, despite Israel's poor position, Washington sees Assad's predicament as no better, and that "he can be left to stew in his own juices" while the Administration tackles the more pressing matters of "stabilizing Iraq, confronting Iran, ensuring the survival of the Saniora government in Lebanon and restarting some kind of process between Israel and an Abu Mazen-led Palestinian Authority."

JINSA wonders what's in it for Syria.
But if we understand the Prime Minister’s motivation, what about Syria’s motivation to talk even as it continues to threaten Israel, make Jordan nervous, and undermine Lebanon and Iraq?

Answer: "Syria doesn’t want to talk to Israel, but to the U.S. government. Bashar Assad wants to find a way to receive assurances that the U.S. will not topple his regime." JINSA believes that "the Administration should not only NOT provide such assurances - nor should Israel presume to discuss this on our behalf - but we should strongly suggest that the longevity of the current regime is of less than no interest to us." And that's my opinion too.