Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Warren Buffett: Risk in Israel Is Equal to U.S. - David Rosenberg and Alisa Odenheimer (Bloomberg)
Virgins of Paradise Video Returns to PA TV - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
Federal Agents Raid Muslim Charity in Michigan - Niraj Warikoo (Detroit Free Press)
New AWACS Enhances IAF's Vision - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
Building Security in the Broader Middle East - Philip Zelikow (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
President Bush, speaking at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, assured Muslims that he is not waging war against Islam. "Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam," Bush said. He told Syrians that their leaders have allowed the country to become a "crossroad for terrorism" and their government must end support for terror so they can live in peace.
Speaking to Iranians, he said their country's future has been clouded because "your rulers have chosen to deny you liberty and to use your nation's resources to fund terrorism and fuel extremism and pursue nuclear weapons." He declared that Iran "must abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions." (AP/TIME)
See also Text: President Bush Addresses UN General Assembly (White House)
Iran's president told the UN on Tuesday that the organization had become a tool used by the world's powerful to oppress the weak, and called for a radical overhaul. (Los Angeles Times)
See also Text: Iranian President Ahmadinejad's Speech at UN General Assembly (IRNA/GlobalSecurity.org)
On Monday, French President Jacques Chirac dealt a significant blow to the Bush administration's effort to slow Iran's nuclear development, saying his government would join Russia and China in resisting the U.S. push for sanctions against Tehran. "I am never in favor of sanctions," Chirac told Europe 1 radio. "I have never observed that sanctions were very effective." Chirac proposed a compromise in which the Security Council would suspend the threat of sanctions and Iran would suspend enrichment of uranium while the two sides talked. (Los Angeles Times)
See also Sanctions Against Iran Would Target Dual-Use Items - Deborah Tate
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nick Burns told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday that any sanctions against Iran would initially seek to curb Tehran's access to civilian technologies that could help it build nuclear bombs. Such action, he said, has the support of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. (VOA News)
French President Jacques Chirac has warned against a continued Hizballah armed presence in southern Lebanon. "It is absolutely normal to have a current which expresses politically what the Hizballah part of Lebanese public opinion thinks," Chirac told Europe 1 radio in Paris. "What is unacceptable is to express it by the use of force, with armed militias....No country accepts that part of its territory be controlled by armed militias."
On Monday, China announced it was bolstering its peacekeeping forces in Lebanon to 1,000, in what analysts said was an attempt to reinforce Beijing's role in international affairs. (AFP/Yahoo)
Israeli authorities on Monday charged three Hizballah militants captured in Lebanon with murder and other terrorism-related crimes. Israeli officials say the three are not prisoners of war, but terrorists who will be tried as common criminals. The three were allegedly involved in the July 12 Hizballah raid into Israel, during which two Israeli soldiers were abducted. Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said, "The crimes that were committed and the attacks that happened did take place on Israeli soil, and this is the background and the basis of the decision that has been made [to charge] these three individuals." (VOA News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
A 15-year-old from the Bedouin village of Rahat was hit in the chest by shrapnel and moderately wounded when a rocket fired by Palestinians in Gaza hit a kibbutz in Israel's western Negev region on Wednesday. A second rocket landed in the greenhouses of the Erez communal farm that borders Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
Amr al-Fara, head of the official PA news agency Wafa in Khan Yunis, was severely beaten Tuesday by five masked gunmen who stormed his office and destroyed all the equipment and furniture. Fatah officials said they were almost certain that the attack was carried out by Hamas. Hamas spokesmen pointed out that Abbas was using PA-funded media to defame Hamas and undermine its government. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The buried lead in Bush's UN remarks was his announcement of a potentially significant U.S. initiative for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Bush spoke with a new urgency about the need for negotiations to achieve a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. He reaffirmed U.S. support for the "road map" for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations agreed on in 2002. And he said Secretary of State Rice would lead a renewed diplomatic effort in the region.
While this might sound like diplomatic boilerplate, it amounts to a subtle change in direction. In May, Bush seemed receptive to Prime Minister Olmert's proposals for unilateral Israeli withdrawal from parts of the West Bank, a plan predicated on the idea that the road map had become irrelevant. Now the president has unfolded the map again and invited Palestinians to take advantage of it. Bush said Hamas should "serve the interests of the Palestinian people." "Abandon terror, recognize Israel's right to exist, honor agreements, and work for peace." That may sound like a stern injunction, but it also offers Hamas a route to respectability. (Los Angeles Times)
New Yorkers have, God knows, welcomed plenty of truly disagreeable dignitaries to our shores - Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat. And now we have Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, here as official head of state, notwithstanding the fact that he has pulled out every stop to become the civilized world's worst nightmare. This time, we gag that our streets are being walked by a man who showers terrorist groups with funds and arms, who questions whether 9/11 was a Western conspiracy, who doesn't trouble to conceal his views that Israel is to be annihilated, that the Holocaust never happened, and that since it didn't, the job is up to him. Ahmadinejad has openly defied every Security Council call for compliance with its peacemaking wishes and continues to assert that Iran is divinely entitled to secret nuclear programs that UN inspectors aren't permitted to inspect.
If the UN wants to give a speaking invite to a man who regularly spits in its face, well, there's not much to be done about diplomatic courtesies. We're stuck with Ahmadinejad. We try to be polite. Welcome to New York, you medieval goon. (New York Daily News)
We have grown exaggerated in describing war. The words "massacre," "genocide," and "war crimes" flow too freely. During a recent visit to Lebanon, I didn't see any massacres, period. I didn't see any wholesale killing of civilians. There was no genocide.
Fact: Hizballah operated from southern Lebanese villages and towns, virtually owning their controlled areas. They managed to fire almost 4,000 rockets into Israel and another 1,000 anti-tank missiles against Israeli forces on the border and in southern Lebanon. This means hundreds if not thousands of combatants, scores if not hundreds of launch and supply points. To say Hizballah was nowhere near villages where the Israelis killed civilians or that Israeli attacks were unconnected to Hizballah is false. (Washington Post)
Israel's Priorities at the 61st UN General Assembly (Israel Foreign Ministry)
To subscribe to the Daily Alert, send a blank email message to:
To unsubscribe, send a blank email message to: