Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at www.dailyalert.org|
June 30, 2009
The Fight for Iran's Future Is Far From Over - Amir Taheri (Times-UK)
U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Sept. 11 Claims vs. Saudi Arabia (AP)
Turks Increasingly Turn to Islamic Extremism - Sebastian Rotella (Los Angeles Times)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The powerful Guardian Council touched off scattered protests in Tehran Monday when it formally certified the re-election of President Ahmadinejad to a second four-year term. Security and militia forces flooded the streets, and protesters, who were already out marching down Tehran's central avenue, broke into furious chants. Secretary of State Clinton said the Iranian government was facing an enormous credibility gap over the election. "I don't think that's going to disappear by any finding of a limited review of a relatively small number of ballots," she said. (New York Times)
See also Crackdown in Iran Aimed at Opposition Candidate Mousavi - Thomas Erdbrink
In recent days, President Ahmadinejad's supporters have said they are ready to put opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi's advisers on trial and have threatened to execute some of the Mousavi supporters who took to the streets to protest the election result. State media have rolled out a daily serving of alleged plots and conspiracies involving Mousavi supporters. They refer to the protesters as "rioters" and "hooligans." Mousavi can either acknowledge his defeat and be embraced by his enemies or continue to fight over the election result and face imprisonment. (Washington Post)
The Obama administration has assured Israel it will continue defending Israel at the UN despite the allies' dispute over West Bank settlements, Israel's UN ambassador Gabriela Shalev said on Monday. Asked by Israel's Channel 10 television whether U.S. use of a veto at the UN Security Council to protect Israel could be at risk, Shalev said: "We were told explicitly (by the Americans) that there are no consultations and no discussions at all within the administration in this direction." (Reuters)
Israeli Arabs have converged on West Bank cities in recent weeks, taking advantage of lower prices and boosting the Palestinian economy after Israel removed key checkpoints. "Many sectors in the city are benefiting. The restaurants are full of them," says Nasser Atyani, who heads the Jenin chamber of commerce. An average 3,000 shoppers arrive in the city of Nablus each Saturday. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Defense Minister Barak left for the U.S. on Monday for talks with U.S. special envoy George Mitchell after a forum of ministers including Prime Minister Netanyahu decided not to freeze construction in West Bank settlements. Barak will propose that the future of the settlements be determined during talks with the Palestinians. (Ynet News)
See also Meridor: Understandings on "Natural Growth" Were Part of Israel-U.S. Agreement - Roni Sofer
During a foreign press briefing in Jerusalem, Minister of Intelligence Services Dan Meridor said Monday that relations between Israel and the U.S. "are based in mutual agreements, and agreements must be upheld. In 2003, Israel accepted the Roadmap plan and the government voted in favor of it, while filing 14 reservations. It is part of a larger agreement, some of which was in writing and some of it was oral, that has been implemented for the past six years."
"We never had a deal with the Republican administration; we had an agreement with the United States. Yes, it entailed halting settlement expansion, including for "natural growth," and it was in writing, but there were understandings as to the nature and the interpretation of the suspension. These understandings were a part of the agreement. Its written part and its oral part complement each other." (Ynet News)
President of Israel Shimon Peres arrived in Azerbaijan on Sunday for a state visit. Peres will be visiting Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan on 28 June - 1 July 2009 for the first visit by an Israeli president since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the two Muslim states. Joining the delegation are 60 senior officials of leading Israeli companies in the fields of water technology, agriculture, communications, medical technology, and defense. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
See also Iran Recalls Ambassador to Azerbaijan to Protest Peres Visit - Barak Ravid (Ha'aretz)
The Palestinian Authority has arrested a Hamas cell that admitted to planning to assassinate senior Palestinian officials by July 7. Tayeb Abdul-Rahim, the secretary-general of the Palestinian Presidency, said the order to attack Palestinian officials was given by Hamas' leadership abroad. (Ynet News)
An IDF force operating near Gaza Monday opened fire at Palestinian terrorists planting an explosive device near the Karni border crossing. Shortly before the incident, a mortar was fired from Gaza towards Israel, exploding near the security fence. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Barack Obama might want to reflect on how his push for a freeze is being seen among mainstream Israelis - those who want a peace deal. They wonder why there is no withering campaign to pressure Abbas into insisting that a Fatah-Hamas unity government explicitly accept the Quartet's principles.
Netanyahu articulated the consensus position of the Israeli body politic: "Palestine" must be demilitarized so that we don't wake up to find Iranian Revolutionary Guards overlooking Ben-Gurion Airport; that in a region which includes two dozen Muslim states, the Palestinians need to give up the "right of return" and accept Israel as the Jewish state; that Israel cannot agree to pull back to the hard-to-defend 1949 Armistice Lines. Would a temporary settlement freeze bring us any closer to peace? More likely, it would encourage the Palestinians to dig in their heels. (Jerusalem Post)
What's happening in Iran now is all about democracy, about the questioning of authority. Democracy in Iran implies regime change. Khamenei has forced Mousavi and the people behind him into opposition to himself and the political system he leads. Unless Mousavi gives up, a permanent opposition to Khamenei and his constitutionally ordained supremacy has now formed.
The smart money should still be on a coup by the Revolutionary Guard if Khamenei does not stand firm against Mousavi. The Guard's commanders, who are among the most ideologically committed Islamists in Iran, certainly would be willing to kill their countrymen to protect the system they cherish. But there may be cracks in the rank and file's esprit that are hard for outsiders to see.
No matter what happens, the Islamic Republic as we have known it is probably over. All regimes need some sense of legitimacy to survive. The illusion of representative government backing the Islamic revolution has been inextricable from Iran's identity since 1979. If Iran collapses into just another military dictatorship, this populist raison d'etre goes with it. In addition, if Khamenei ends up giving a green light to the slaughter of young Iranians on the streets, he'll probably lose the clergy. A coup by the Revolutionary Guard would be an unmitigated disaster in the eyes of most mullahs, who would go into permanent opposition. The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Weekly Standard)
In the wake of mass protests against election irregularities, Iran has been hit by a wave of arrests and repression not seen since the bloody early years of the republic. The street protests are no longer just the result of what could well be the biggest election fraud in the history of the Islamic Republic. The protestors' chants of "where is my vote?" have since turned into calls for "death to the dictator." Public criticism is increasingly being directed at the man behind the president, revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was previously considered above all reproach. Having declared his protege Ahmadinejad the winner so prematurely is proving to be Khamenei's biggest mistake in the 20 years since he has been in power. (Der Spiegel-Germany)
The Palestinians' Violent Past - Ofer Bavly (Miami Herald)
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