Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at


April 7, 2009

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Pledges to Work with U.S. for Mideast Peace - Steve Weizman (AP)
    "Israel appreciates President Obama's commitment to Israel's security and to the pursuit of peace," said a statement released by Prime Minister Netanyahu's office after Obama's comments in Turkey on Monday.
    "The government of Israel is committed to both of these goals and will formulate its policies in the near future so as to work closely with the United States."

Daily Alert Needs Your Support
Daily Alert is the work of a team of expert analysts who find the most important and timely articles from around the world on Israel, the Middle East and U.S. policy.
    No wonder it is read by heads of government, leading journalists, and thousands of people who want to stay on top of the news.
    To continue to provide this service, Daily Alert requires your support. Please take a moment to click here and make your contribution through the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Hamas TV Teaches Children: "Death Is Honor" - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
    The children's program "Tomorrow's Pioneers," broadcast on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV on March 20, featured the following song: "Teach the children that death is honor and victory. Through death, we seek to bring the dawn and the day."
    While the words are being sung, a young girl throws darts shaped like missiles at a target shaped like the Star of David.
    When the target is hit and the Star of David falls, the young girl raises her hands in victory.

Canadians Counter Israeli Wine Boycott - Sheri Shefa (Canadian Jewish News)
    A boycott against Israeli wine backfired in Toronto on Sunday when hundreds of consumers staged a counter-boycott and bought up one store's entire stock of Israeli wine in a matter of hours.
    See also Israeli Wines Sell Out in British Columbia (Canada-Israel Committee)
    In response to a planned boycott, Israeli wine sold out in at least three Vancouver area stores.

Israeli Envoy Gets UN Post Despite Arab Opposition - Shlomo Shamir (Ha'aretz)
    Israel's deputy ambassador to the UN, Danny Carmon, was elected chairman of the UN Commission on Population and Development on Friday despite opposition from Arab states.
    The Syrian, Iranian, Lebanese and Qatari envoys delivered strongly-worded speeches against Carmon before the vote.

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use 
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Obama Reaches Out to Muslim World - Michael D. Shear and Kevin Sullivan
    President Obama made his most direct outreach to Muslims around the world Monday, telling Turkey's National Assembly that the U.S. "is not and never will be at war with Islam." "Our partnership with the Muslim world is critical in rolling back a violent ideology that people of all faiths reject," he said. (Washington Post)
        See also Obama: U.S. Supports "Two States, Israel and Palestine, Living Side by Side in Peace and Security"
    President Obama told the Turkish Parliament on Monday: "In the Middle East, we share the goal of a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors. Let me be clear: The United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. That is a goal shared by Palestinians, Israelis and people of goodwill around the world. That is a goal that the parties agreed to in the road map and at Annapolis. That is a goal that I will actively pursue as president of the United States." (AP)
  • Iranian Presidential Candidate Calls Ahmadinejad an Extremist - Nazila Fathi
    Rejecting the policies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as "extremist," Mir Hussein Moussavi, 68, a former prime minister who last month announced his candidacy for president in the June elections, said Monday that he favored improved relations with the West and greater individual freedoms at home. "We need to pursue an active foreign policy to achieve detente," he said. "Extremism has cost us a high price." But he said he would not back down from the country's nuclear program, which began when he was prime minister from 1980 to 1988. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Obama to Visit Israel, West Bank in June - Akiva Eldar
    President Obama will visit Israel and the West Bank in June, a senior diplomatic source confirmed. Before Obama's visit, special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell will make another visit to the region beginning April 13.
        An American official told Ha'aretz that Obama does not oppose the inclusion of Hamas in a Palestinian unity government. However, as preconditions for any diplomatic exchanges with Hamas, the U.S. insists that it cease violence, recognize Israel and accept previously signed accords. The Americans also ask that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who has resigned, return to head the next Palestinian government and be responsible for the PA's finances. (Ha'aretz)
  • Mubarak Invites Netanyahu to Egypt - Yoav Stern
    During a phone conversation on Monday Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for an official visit to Egypt for talks. (Ha'aretz)
  • Ancient Hebrew Inscription Found in Jerusalem Dig - Etgar Lefkovits
    A fragment of a limestone plaque bearing several letters of ancient Hebrew script from the period of the Kings of Judah nearly 3,000 years ago has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in the ancient City of David just outside the Old City of Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Monday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Misdirected Fire: The UN Human Rights Council Report on Gaza - Magnus Norell
    In March, the UN Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) special rapporteur for the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, published a report on Israel's Gaza operation that makes far-reaching allegations against Israel and the potential illegality of its actions. These assertions, however, rather than having a factual or legal basis, are essentially political in nature. Now that the U.S. is to be a member of the council, it should ensure that future reports are more balanced and credible.
        By presenting a case that completely disregards the actions of one of the warring sides - Hamas - and its ongoing rocket attacks, the report's findings could very well undermine future investigations by the UN or other international bodies. The writer, a Fulbright scholar, is a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Obama's Strategy Might Undermine Iranian Hard-Liners - Borzou Daragahi
    The U.S. government is pursuing a high-stakes gambit to improve relations with Iran. While many are doubtful that the diplomatic outreach will resolve 30 years of differences between Tehran and Washington, political scientist Sadegh Zibakalam, who heads the department of Iranian studies at Tehran University, said Obama's strategy just might work, by undermining the worldview of Iranian hard-liners. "If there is rapprochement between Iran and the United States, then the hard-liners would receive a psychological blow because they can no longer claim that Iran is waging its historical crusade or struggle against an unjust world power," he said.
        The Iranian leadership is divided over the question of relations with the U.S. The hard-liners are championed and led by the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is simply disregarding Obama's olive branch and is saying the animosity, the war, must be carried on. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Arab League's Selective Silence - Editorial
    At last week's Arab League summit in Qatar, Arab leaders disagreed so profoundly on how to deal with Iran that they passed over this key question in silence. But they did find common ground on condemning the indictment of President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur. They expressed solidarity with Bashir and rejected what Syria's President Bashar Assad called the court's "fabricated accusations," while four million Muslim men, women, and children in Darfur were at risk of perishing because the Sudanese tyrant chased international aid organizations from the region. (Boston Globe)
        See also The Forgotten People of Darfur - Nat Hentoff
    It's not in the least surprising that Iran and Hamas ardently support Sudan's Master Mortician. According to the speaker of Iran's parliament, Ali Larijani, the global arrest warrant for Gen. al-Bashir is an "insult to all Muslims."  (Washington Times)
        See also The Arab League Honors the Butcher of Sudan - Joseph Loconte (Weekly Standard)
  • Observations:

    The Face of Palestinian "Resistance" - Jonathan Tobin (Commentary)

    • Last week an axe-wielding Palestinian terrorist slaughtered a 13-year-old Jewish boy and wounded another in the town of Bat Ayin, a Jewish settlement a few miles southwest of Jerusalem. In much of the world, the attack will be considered an understandable reaction on the part of a Palestinian humiliated by the sight of Jews living in that part of the country.
    • Bat Ayin is part of the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements, an area settled by Jews prior to 1948. In 1948, the Gush Etzion bloc was attacked by Arab gangs and after a long siege, overwhelmed by the attackers who were aided by Jordan's Arab Legion. Most of the Jewish inhabitants were massacred. After this territory was retaken by Israel in June 1967, some of the survivors of the 1948 attack returned to the area and began the work of restoring Jewish life to this part of historic biblical Judea.
    • In recent years we have heard much about the suffering of Arabs living in the West Bank who have to put up with the inconvenience of roadblocks and a security fence, both of which are the direct result of a campaign of terrorism aimed at Israelis. What we don't hear much about is the constant harassment and attacks on Jews who live in the West Bank.
    • As the attack on Bat Ayin confirms yet again, the hatred and violence directed against the settlers is a measure of the Palestinian antipathy for Jews, pure and simple.

      The writer is the executive editor of Commentary Magazine.

          See also Where's the Outrage? - Gary Rosenblatt
      What's particularly sad about the latest tragic terror attack in Israel is that there doesn't seem to be much outrage when an innocent Jewish teenager is axed to death by a Palestinian 50 yards from the boy's home. (New York Jewish Week)

    Unsubscribe from Daily Alert