Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Israel Pursuing Kidnappers of Cpl. Gilad Shalit - Ronen Solomon and Arik Weiss (Maariv-Weekend-10Oct08-Hebrew)
Fake Report about Lehman Brothers Moving Billions to Israel - Anshel Pfeffer (Ha'aretz)
Israeli Step-on Scanner Lets Air Passengers Keep Shoes On (Reuters-Washington Post)
Fatah Clan that Fled Gaza Returns (Maan News-PA)
Hebrew University Makes London Times List of 100 Top Schools - Ofri Ilani (Ha'aretz)
Israel Ranks High in Ease of Doing Business - Ron Dagoni and Eran Peer (Globes)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The U.S. and its allies are discussing a "coalition of the willing" that would impose sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors without UN backing as concerns increase about Tehran's accelerating nuclear program. A European diplomat told the Financial Times that European countries and the U.S. were planning to impose sanctions on Iran's energy sector as "like-minded countries" - rather than through the UN - and were discussing targeting exports of engineering products for Iranian refineries as well as refined oil itself. He said that Western countries had concluded: "If there is another [UN resolution], it will take a lot of time and there will be very little substance in it." (Financial Times-UK)
See also Iran Interfering in U.S.-Iraq Security Pact, General Says - Ernesto Londono
Gen. Ray Odierno, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said Sunday that American intelligence reports suggest Iran has attempted to bribe Iraqi lawmakers in an effort to derail a bilateral agreement that would allow U.S. troops to remain in Iraq after the end of this year. (Washington Post)
There is real danger that Islamic extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and Hizbullah could form alliances with wealthy and powerful Latin American drug lords to launch new terrorist attacks, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Extremist group operatives have already been identified in several Latin American countries, mostly involved in fundraising and finding logistical support. But Charles Allen, chief of intelligence analysis at the Homeland Security Department, said they could use well-established smuggling routes and drug profits to bring people or even weapons of mass destruction to the U.S. "The presence of these people in the region leaves open the possibility that they will attempt to attack the United States," said Allen, a veteran CIA analyst. "The threats in this hemisphere are real. We cannot ignore them." (AP)
Iran is evading UN sanctions by running a global network of merchants prepared to supply equipment that could be of military use. Dubai, the Gulf's largest port and Iran's crucial economic outlet, is central to this effort. A company indicted in America for allegedly exporting "dual-use" electronics to Iran remains open for business in Dubai. Meanwhile, people named in American courts for conspiring to deal in banned items are living normally in the city. Iran relies on Dubai in the manner that Communist China once depended on Hong Kong: as a free port for an isolated regime. A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who helped build his country's nuclear arsenal and covertly aided Iran and Libya as well, channeled banned components through Dubai.
"The UN sanctions and the U.S. pressure to cut off the banks is hurting. But Iran's end runs, chiefly setting up shelf companies and so forth in Dubai, are a significant hole in the net," said Mark Fitzpatrick, an expert on Iran's nuclear program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. (Telegraph-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
In the wake of rioting in the northern Israeli city of Acre, Israeli police said they were hunting for a Muslim man believed to have taken control of the speaker system of a mosque in the Old City on Wednesday evening, at the beginning of Yom Kippur, and who wrongly broadcast that an Arab driver had been killed by a Jewish mob, causing hundreds of Arabs armed with axes and sticks to march on Jewish east Acre.
Acre's mayor, Shimon Lancry, told the Jerusalem Post he heard the incitement being blared from the mosque's speakers. "He said one man had been killed and another injured. He called on the [Arab] youths to march on the eastern part of the city," Lancry recalled. "Because of him, 200 masked youths with axes ruined an entire area, and this is unforgivable." (Jerusalem Post)
The IDF nabbed three Palestinians carrying nine pipe bombs at a checkpoint west of Nablus on Sunday, averting a planned terror attack. When a female soldier at the checkpoint asked a Palestinian to open his bag, he refused. The soldier insisted, prompting the Palestinian to remove a shirt and pants from the bag before closing it again. However, then the soldier opened the bag herself, and found three pipe bombs inside it. At that point, the suspect's two friends were also searched and were found to carry three pipe bombs in each of their bags. (Ynet News)
The Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City - which was abandoned in 1938 in the wake of waves of Arab violence - is closer than any other Jewish house of prayer to the Temple Mount, according to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz, rabbi of the Western Wall. On Sunday, the synagogue, located about 100 meters from the Temple Mount, was reopened.
Ohel Yitzhak was built in 1904 by Hungarian Jews. The courtyard was purchased by the Hungarian Jewish community from the Muslim Khaladi family. Rabbi Yitzhak Ratsdorfer, a Belz Hassid and diamond merchant, financed the building of the synagogue. In its heyday, about 5,000 Jews lived in the neighborhood. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The disappearance of trillions of dollars worldwide will make it difficult for the international community to pay for an Israeli-Palestinian, or Israeli-Syrian, agreement, even if they miraculously appear. Who would pay for the tens of billions of dollars worth of new early warning systems Israel would have to set up following deep withdrawals from the West Bank and Jordan Valley, or a complete withdrawal - as the Syrians are demanding - from the Golan Heights?
Who would pay compensation to Palestinian refugees if an agreement were reached that would deny them a "right of return" to pre-1967 Israel, but would recognize their right to compensation? Who would pay for the Palestinian security services or fund the infrastructure if a Palestinian state were agreed upon? The U.S.? After this month, forget about it. With the governments of the world now preoccupied with their own economies, the importance of solving the Israeli-Palestinian issues right now will likely fade. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Financial Crisis Seen Dooming Mideast Accord - Joshua Mitnick
Whatever glimmer of hope remained for a Middle East peace accord is being snuffed out by the financial crisis, which is likely to preoccupy the White House into the next administration and sap financial resources to bolster an accord, analysts in Israel say. "We are being shelved for the moment," said Hanna Siniora, co-president of the Israel-Palestinian Center for Research and Information and a veteran Palestinian interlocutor with Israel and the U.S. (Washington Times)
Until the Palestinians and the larger Arab world accept Israel's right to exist, there is no way to resolve either the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or the Arab-Israeli conflict of which it is a component part. It can only be stabilized and then managed until such a time as the Palestinians, with the support of the wider Arab world, accept Israel's right to exist and abandon their efforts and designs to see the Jewish state eradicated. In this state of affairs, it is clear that policies aimed at immediately resolving the conflict must be discarded in favor of more modest efforts that seek to end Palestinian terrorism and the links between Palestinian terror groups and outside state sponsors of terror. Similarly, these policies must be aimed at encouraging Palestinian society to accept Israel's right to exist and coexist peacefully with the Jewish state. (Journal of International Security Affairs)
Today, with over half a million Jews living across the 1949 Armistice Line, it's almost too late to reverse the process. It is therefore time for action, not words. Practically, this means pushing within the next few months for a fair deal both parties can live with. And that means a two-state deal; the Israelis will never agree to anything else. Many Palestinians think a single state might be ideal - since it would involve the defeat of the Zionist project and its replacement by a binational country that would eventually be ruled by its Arab majority. But many ships have been wrecked on such rocks before. The writer is president of Al-Quds University. (Newsweek)
Imperative to Stop the Spread of Nuclear Weapons Now - Henry Kissinger (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
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