Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Carter, Targeted by Islamic Terrorists in Gaza, Calls to Remove Hamas from U.S. Terror List (FOX News)
Iranians Agree, Ahmadinejad Re-election Was a Miracle - Bill Keller (New York Times)
Report: Hamas Helping Iran Crush Street Protests - Sabina Amidi (Jerusalem Post)
How Long Can Israel Resist U.S. Pressure? - Christoph Schult, Gerhard Sporl and Gabor Steingart (Der Spiegel-Germany)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told BBC he believes Iran is mastering nuclear technology and it wants the option of a nuclear weapon. "It is my gut feeling that Iran would like to have the technology to enable it to have nuclear weapons," he said. "The ultimate aim of Iran, as I understand it, is they want to be recognized as a major power in the Middle East. This is to them the road to get that recognition, to get that power and prestige."
In the wider world, ElBaradei said the biggest threat was the prospect of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of an extremist group. He said the principle of nuclear deterrence would not apply to such groups. (BBC News)
Iran's leaders failed on Tuesday to halt a second day of huge demonstrations against last week's election results. Reformist politicians said they would accept only a new election, as supporters of defeated opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi marched in Tehran. "No one in his sane mind can accept these results," said senior opposition cleric Hassan-Ali Montazeri. (New York Times)
See also Defiant Ahmadinejad Blasts U.S. at Russia Summit - Anna Smolchenko
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday sat alongside Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and China's Hu Jintao at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Russia, attacking the U.S. and defiantly proclaiming that "the international capitalist order is retreating." (AFP)
The Obama administration's special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, George Mitchell, indicated on Tuesday that an agreement on new peace talks might be only weeks away. "What I think is the total personal effort of the Secretary of State and the President have made a dramatic difference in attitudes in the region. In addition, the threat from Iran creates a circumstance unique in the region's history in establishing the possibility of a common interest between nations who, for so long, have been in an adversarial position," he said.
Mitchell said the Obama administration's position on settlements is unchanged. He stated that an Israeli press report that said he agreed on his latest trip to the region to accept the expansion of settlements within their current boundaries was "highly inaccurate." (VOA News)
Prime Minister Netanyahu is negotiating a deal with Washington under which Israeli building in existing Jewish settlements could go forward in certain cases, Israeli and Western officials said on Tuesday. In talks with President Obama's Middle East envoy, Netanyahu has asserted that his government does not have the legal authority to stop building in cases in which tenders for new structures have already been awarded or when homes under construction have already been purchased. "I'm confident that we will be able to reach an agreement in the near future that will enable us to put the settlement issue aside and to move forward to what I regard as far more substantive issues in the peace process," said Michael Oren, Israel's new ambassador to Washington. Oren said "creative" proposals have been presented by both the Netanyahu and Obama administrations to narrow differences. A senior Western official said some in Washington were "sympathetic" to Netanyahu's position.
Netanyahu told U.S. television he would meet Middle East envoy George Mitchell in Europe next week to discuss settlements, and that he hoped to find "a common position." A senior Western diplomat said Washington's focus was shifting somewhat, from the highly contentious settlement issue to ways to restart negotiations with the Palestinians. (Reuters)
See also Old Legal Opinion Raises New Questions - Glenn Kessler (Washington Post)
See also U.S. Policy on Israeli Settlements - Dore Gold (ICA-Jerusalem Center)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Mossad chief Meir Dagan on Tuesday told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the riots in Iran over the election results will die out in a few days rather than escalate into a revolution. He said that while the reformist candidate Mousavi is perceived internationally as a moderate, "it is important to remember that he is the one who began Iran's nuclear program when he was prime minister." The Mossad believed that Iran would have its first nuclear bomb ready for action in 2014, "if the project continues at the present rate and is not interrupted." He said that if international sanctions were sufficiently harsh, they could stop Iran's nuclear program. (Ha'aretz)
Haytham Amro, 28, from Dura in the West Bank, died in a Hebron prison overnight Monday after being interrogated by Palestinian Intelligence personnel. Hamas has accused the Palestinian Authority of torturing the man to death. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Salam Fayyad's agreement to remain as PA prime minister defied the unprecedented opposition to his new PA government by both Hamas and the Fatah movement. While Fayyad's stellar reputation in the West as a reformer-statesman continues to inspire confidence among U.S. security officials and Western donor nations, his position is far more difficult in the fragile Palestinian political reality. While the Fatah Central Committee tolerated the previous PA government due to its offensive against Hamas subversion in the West Bank, Fatah's overall opposition to the current cabinet reflects fundamental divisions between its "young guard" and the older and more powerful founding generation.
Fayyad has continued to pay monthly salaries to nearly 12,000 Hamas Executive Force members, the same force that fought IDF troops in the recent Gaza war. He integrated militia leaders of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades as local commanders in the PA's National Security Forces (the U.S.-backed "Dayton forces"). The deals he has made with local warlords in the West Bank have severely compromised his state-building project. Fayyad does not have the political base to succeed in the long term. Moreover, Washington's notion that reformed political power can be purchased is naive. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Americans instinctively sympathize with those struggling for freedom; their triumph promises a new regime both more democratic and friendlier to us. Yet, unless the U.S. is prepared to risk direct intervention, it has no ready means to ensure their victory. The U.S. has few ways to help the opposition - and it may have to deal with whoever wins the current struggle. But, however the crisis ends, it may require rethinking of the administration's Iran strategy. There is a connection between the regime's internal character and its external conduct. (Washington Post)
See also Death of the Islamic Republic in Five Acts - Daniel Brumberg
Every revolution ends up devouring its children. In this case, the menu includes many grandchildren as well. In the coming days we will probably see a systematic purge of anyone who opposes Iran's new Caesar. The writer is acting director of the U.S. Institute of Peace's Muslim World Initiative and associate professor at Georgetown University. (Washington Post)
Just after Iran's rigged elections last week, it looked as if a new revolution was in the offing. Five days later, the uprising is little more than a symbolic protest, crushed by the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The real revolution is that the guard has effected a silent coup d'etat. Iran has evolved from a theocratic state to a military dictatorship. Fourteen of the 21 cabinet ministers appointed by former Revolutionary Guard officer Ahmadinejad are former members of the guard or its associated paramilitary, the Basij. Provincial governors, press commissars, film directors, intelligence officers and business leaders are increasingly former members of the guard. Danielle Pletka is the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Ali Alfoneh is a visiting fellow at the institute. (New York Times)
See also Khamenei on the Ropes? - Robert Baer
Iran is not a theocracy. It is a military dictatorship headed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and advised by a coterie of generals from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Army, as well as hard-liners in the secret police. Ahmadinejad is little more than the spokesman for this group. Former president Rafsanjani is rumored to be in the holy city of Qum plotting against Khamenei, seeing if he has enough votes in the 86-member Assembly of Experts to remove Khamenei. (New Republic)
Denying Israel's Right to Exist Is No Basis for a Settlement - Editorial (The Australian)
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