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 10, 2009
Report: Cell Plotted to Kill Israel's Ambassador to Egypt (Ynet News)
66% of Israelis Back Continued Construction Anywhere in Jerusalem (Ynet News)
U.S. Policy Shift on Sudan Becomes More Vivid (Sudan Tribune)
LIFE Magazine Photos of Israel - 1948 - Part 1
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday the U.S. has no illusions that Iran will accept overtures to return to negotiations about its nuclear program and will not wait much longer for Tehran to respond. "We are under no illusions. We were under no illusions before their elections that we can get the kind of engagement we are seeking," she told CNN. Clinton said the U.S. would re-evaluate its efforts to entice Iran back to the negotiating table in September. "We're not going to keep the window open forever," she said. (AP)
John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, told the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Aug. 6: "Hizbullah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early '80s and has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hizbullah organization.... Quite frankly, I'm pleased to see that a lot of Hizbullah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion." (Center for Strategic and International Studies)
See also State Department: U.S. Policy Toward Hizbullah Has Not Changed
Deputy State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said on Aug. 7: "Hizbullah is a terrorist organization. U.S. policy toward Hizbullah has not changed. We do not make any distinction between the political and military wings." (State Department)
Revolutionary Guard generals, top politicians and senior clerics have called for the arrest and punishment of opposition leaders, including defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, Iranian state media reported Sunday, while the national police chief acknowledged that protesters had been mistreated while in custody. "In order to end this mayhem, they need to arrest, try and punish these political figures," Gen. Yadollah Javani, head of the political office of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Sunday. "These individuals should be prosecuted, punished and tried as traitors." He singled out Mousavi, defeated candidate Mehdi Karroubi and former president Mohammad Khatami. (Washington Post)
See also Iran Admits Election Demonstrators Were Tortured - Simon Tisdall (Guardian-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Fatah's sixth General Assembly on Saturday approved a resolution saying Jerusalem is an "integral part of the Palestinian homeland and political entity," the latest in a series of hard-line decisions adopted by the conference. Fatah defines Jerusalem as the "eternal capital of Palestine, the Arab world and the Islamic and Christian worlds." Fatah pledges to continue to make sacrifices "until Jerusalem returns to the Palestinians void of settlers and settlements." The conference also endorsed the Aksa Martyrs Brigades as Fatah's official armed wing, contradicting promises made by the Fatah leadership that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades have been dismantled. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Fatah Moves "to Remove, Defeat Occupation" - Khaled Abu Toameh
Fatah's sixth General Assembly on Sunday approved a political platform that emphasizes the Palestinians' right "to resist occupation in all forms." The conference also endorsed a resolution that defines Fatah as a "national liberation movement whose goal is to remove and defeat the occupation." In a statement, Fatah also stressed the Palestinian refugees' right to return to their original villages inside Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet Sunday: "The unilateral evacuation from the Gaza Strip brought neither peace nor security. To my regret, the opposite occurred and we know that Gaza became a Hamas base under Iranian control from which thousands of missiles have been fired, including in the last campaign. In short, this did not bring peace....We will not repeat this mistake."
"We want multilateral agreements based on two basic components: One, the genuine recognition of the State of Israel and two - of course - security arrangements, the honoring and enforcement of which will be assured. Regarding the unilateral evacuation from Gaza, these two elements were lacking. We will see to it that if there is a turn towards peace by the more moderate Palestinians, we will insist on the following components: Recognition and genuine demilitarization will find expression in, and be integral parts of, the peace arrangements." (Prime Minister's Office)
According to a Saturday report in the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat, speculations about a nearing Middle East peace summit are premature. U.S. sources are quoted as saying that three conditions must materialize if any further progress is to be made: Having Israel halt settlement expansion, seeing the PA advance security issues, and ensuring some overtures by Arab nations ahead of normalizing their relations with Israel. The sources said Obama's efforts are focused on "creating the proper regional atmosphere." (Ynet News)
On Sunday, Gaza militants fired mortars at a border crossing just as Palestinian patients were being transferred to Israel for treatment. "It's a miracle nobody was hurt," said Palestinian Health Ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain. Earlier Sunday, Palestinians fire a Kassam rocket into Israel. In response to Sunday's mortar and rocket attacks, Israel targeted a tunnel in Rafah suspected of being used to smuggle explosives into Gaza from Egypt. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The conspiracy case against two former AIPAC lobbyists came to an inglorious end in May when the government dropped all charges after 3 1/2 years of pre-trial maneuvers. The lobbyists were targets of a bizarre sting in which they were fed false information suggesting that the lives of U.S. and Israeli operatives in Iraq were at risk. The accusation was not that they brokered this information to some foreign enemy but that they offered it to everybody they could, hoping that it might save U.S. lives. In short, even if the two were guilty as charged, they look more like whistle-blowers than spies.
But the most curious element of the case is why it was ever brought. Why set up a sting unless you believe there's some underlying pattern of wrongdoing to be exposed? Larry Franklin, the former Pentagon analyst who leaked the bogus tip to the lobbyists, told the Washington Times last month that investigators "asked about every Jew I knew" in his office. Anti-Semitism was "part of this investigation and may have been an initial incitement of this investigation."
After years and millions of dollars spent investigating the nefarious "Israel Lobby," the case produced no stolen secrets, no money changing hands, no covert meetings, no high-level, dual-loyal officials, no harm to the national interest and no spies. The writer is a professor of government at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. (Washington Post)
The rejection of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's far-reaching offer to Mahmoud Abbas, as well as previous offers by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David (July 2000) and the Clinton parameters, cast a heavy shadow of doubt over fundamental assumptions underlying the Oslo process. The rejection of the Barak and Olmert offers reflects what much of Israeli public opinion has long felt, namely, at critical moments the Palestinians find it difficult to make a decision in favor of a pragmatic compromise.
This contrasts sharply with the model of the Zionist movement which, in its desire to obtain any territory whatsoever for the persecuted Jewish people, was willing to accept almost any diplomatic plan, provided only that a sovereign Jewish state would be established in its framework. The Palestinian leadership has demonstrated a radically different approach and seemingly operates on the principle of all or nothing. This questions the sincerity of the drive to establish an independent Palestinian state as a concrete political plan. The writer is a Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies. (INSS-Tel Aviv University)
No Expansion vs. Freeze: Obama's Dilemma over Israeli Settlements - David Makovsky (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
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