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|
August 6, 2009
Little Hope Iran Will Meet U.S. Diplomatic Deadline - Ross Colvin (Reuters)
Visiting U.S. Congressmen Pledge Support for Israel (AFP)
Israel Takes First Place in American Air Competition - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
Judgments of the Israel Supreme Court: Fighting Terrorism within the Law (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The Fatah congress has been "hijacked" by the "old guard" who had packed it with delegates loyal to them in a bid to maintain the status quo, Palestinian reformers said on Wednesday. "We have been demanding to hold this congress for many years but this is not the congress that we dreamt of," said Qaddoura Fares, an advocate of modernization. The "old guard" added some 700 names to an initial list of 1,550 delegates, in what looked like a bid to pack the congress with likeminded people. (Reuters)
See also Anarchy Still Reigns within Fatah - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff (Ha'aretz)
Saudi King Abdullah has told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that the split within the Palestinians' ranks is more damaging to their cause of an independent state than the Israeli "enemy." In a letter to Abbas marking the Fatah party congress released Tuesday, Abdullah said: "I can honestly tell you, brothers, that even if the whole world joins to found a Palestinian independent state, and if we have full support for that, this state would not be established as long as the Palestinians are divided." (AFP)
In a video posted on the Internet on August 3, 2009, Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahiri said: "We are not a nation of stupid, gullible people who would let Obama treat us as fools with meaningless, malleable expressions, while he is a new manifestation of the same old American criminality, whose purpose is the implementation of a Zionist scheme."
"The Muslims will not accept two states on the land of Palestine. Palestine belongs to the Muslims. It was occupied by the infidels, and it is the duty of the Muslims to drive the invaders out of it. Israel is a crime that has to be eliminated." (MEMRI)
Rocket attacks carried out against Israel by the Hamas rulers of Gaza and other Palestinian militants amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Thursday. "Hamas forces violated the laws of war both by firing rockets deliberately and indiscriminately at Israeli cities and by launching them from populated areas and endangering Gazan civilians," HRW program director Iain Levine said.
"Hamas rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable and amount to war crimes," he said. "Under the laws of war, such weapons are indiscriminate when used against targets in densely populated areas." "As the governing authority in Gaza, Hamas should publicly renounce rocket attacks on Israeli civilian centers and punish those responsible, including members of its own armed wing," Levine said. (AFP)
Read the Report (Human Rights Watch)
See also Six Questions on HRW's Gaza Rockets Report (NGO Monitor)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
While former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert were willing to compromise on Jerusalem, when Benjamin Netanyahu says the city will be the undivided capital of Israel, he apparently means it. Both Israel and the world are laying down their markers. With the protests over the decision to build 20 apartments at the site of the Shepherd Hotel and the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, the world is saying "hands off east Jerusalem," and Netanyahu is replying, "no, it's ours."
It is important to keep in mind that the Israeli government did not initiate the eviction of the families in Sheikh Jarrah. Rather, the police were implementing a decision on ownership of the house handed down by the Supreme Court. (Jerusalem Post)
See also U.S. Congressman: "We Wouldn't Want Another Country Telling Us How to Implement Our Laws"
Visiting U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.) supported Israel's handling of the eviction of two Arab families from a house in eastern Jerusalem earlier this week, a move criticized by the EU and Secretary of State Clinton. "I don't think we, in America, would want another country telling us how to implement and execute our laws," Cantor said. (AP)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner appealed to Israel for clemency for a Palestinian who plotted the assassination of former Israeli Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Salah Hamouri, 24, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who holds French citizenship, was arrested in 2005 after he and his friends had purchased weapons and ammunition. Hamouri confessed to planning the attack. Hamouri's mother, Denise, has led a public campaign in France to win his release, with the aid of Palestinian non-government groups. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The gleaming black Mercedes, Jaguars and BMWs are lined up in front of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. The 2,000 people gathered for the first general conference of the Fatah movement in 20 years range from ageing Palestinian exiles, to former militant commanders, to Mahmoud Abbas and his suited contemporaries. The movement's critics see it as a nepotistic, corrupt and ineffective body whose leadership failed to hold the Palestinians together after Yasser Arafat's death in 2004. "Who will I elect?" asks travel agent Khalil Salahat, 50. "Those people who ride a jeep worth $125,000, or have $1 million villas? Will he be my representative?" (BBC News)
Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshal told the Wall Street Journal that he's finally willing to accept a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but he needs to do a lot more before any of us begin to take what he said seriously. Yasser Arafat was famous for saying one thing to Westerners in English and something else entirely to Palestinians in Arabic. Not until hundreds of Israeli civilians were killed by suicide bombers during the Second Intifada did most in Israel and the U.S. understand what Arafat was up to. If you want to know what Middle Eastern political leaders really think, pay more attention to what they do than to what they say. (Commentary)
See also Hamas Chief Outlines Terms for Talks on Arab-Israeli Peace - Jay Solomon and Julien Barnes-Dacey (Wall Street Journal)
The Iranian regime's claim of religious legitimacy is no longer credible. Iranians did not sacrifice their lives in a revolution and in a brutal eight-year war with Iraq to have their freedom stolen by a supreme leader and a president. Shia Muslims see it as their duty to reject an oppressive regime. The cycle of demonstrations will not stop, and if stopped by force, the opposition will go underground as it did under the shah. The senior religious establishment will not give its support to the supreme leader or to President Ahmadinejad. The regime has lost its appeal to the Muslim masses outside of Iran. The brutality of the regime has bared its ugliness for the whole world to see.
The government may survive for a few weeks, months, or even for a few years, not as an Islamic Republic but as a military dictatorship. The writer is the Iran Professor of Business and International Affairs at George Washington University. (National Interest)
Iran's Nuclear Aspirations Threaten the World - Dore Gold (Los Angeles Times)
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