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 24, 2009
Swedish Daily Publishes Second Article on "IDF Organ Harvesting" (Ynet News)
British Academic Declared Israel Guilty of "War Crimes" Before Joining UN Gaza Fact-Finding Mission - Jonny Paul (Jerusalem Post)
Hamas' Gaza War Victory Festival in Damascus (MEMRI)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israel makes no secret that it sees Iran is its biggest threat. Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, said: "The IAEA has inspected the known nuclear sites of Iran, but it's believed they still have other clandestine nuclear sites where they may be enriching uranium or they may be pursuing a plutonium route like the North Koreans, so there's a certain amount of uncertainty in any assessment in the timeline of an Iranian bomb." "What is a prime minister of Israel supposed to do when he sees that threat growing to his east?"
Efraim Kam, an Israeli analyst on Middle East affairs, estimates that theoretically Iran could develop a nuclear bomb within the next year. "My personal view is that Iran would not do it because they understand that Israel does have a nuclear arsenal. It has to take that into account, and because the U.S. will deter Iran as well. If you ask me, 'can you guarantee they will not use it?' then no I can't." (CNN)
Iranian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to create a $20 million fund intended in part to expose human rights violations by the U.S. Passage of the bill suggests the depth of mistrust that remains between the nations as Iran faces a September deadline to respond to President Obama's offer for talks. Iranian lawmakers said the legislation was in retaliation for what they consider similar action by the U.S. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israeli envoys who have met with U.S. officials on a freeze in West Bank settlement construction have told senior government officials in Jerusalem that the two sides are closing the gaps in their respective positions on the matter. A source in Jerusalem said Saturday night that several further rounds of talks will be necessary, culminating in a meeting between Netanyahu and Obama in September, in order to reach a final understanding on the future of settlement construction. (Ha'aretz)
See also Democratic Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman: Obama Demand for Settlement Freeze "Mistaken" - Barak Ravid
The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Howard Berman (D-Cal.), said during a closed meeting with Jewish leaders in Los Angeles last week that the Obama administration is making a mistake in demanding Israel completely freeze construction in the settlements. Berman said Israel and the U.S. are close to reaching an agreement that will "be face-saving for everyone." A political source in Jerusalem said Friday that ultimately it is likely the freeze will be for nine to 12 months and would not apply to eastern Jerusalem or include most of the housing units already under construction.
"PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is waiting for the U.S. to present him Israel on a platter," Berman told the Jewish leaders. (Ha'aretz)
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman discussed building in the territories and Jerusalem on Army Radio on Sunday: "We are really not looking for confrontations or friction. We are looking for a positive way to continue normal life, natural life, also in Judea and Samaria, and to try to help the United States stabilize the entire region and, perhaps, to change a little the direction of the Muslim world. We are open, we want to reach understandings, agreements, also based on previous agreements and understandings."
"Today, in the western part of the city [of Jerusalem], in Jewish neighborhoods, thousands of Arabs live - they rent apartments, they buy apartments, they build apartments. Private people initiate a private project, purchase land legally, acquire all the necessary permits from the Planning Commission, and the courts also confirm that everything is according to law. What exactly should the State of Israel do here? Pass laws restricting Jews in Jerusalem?" (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
On Aug. 18, Aftonbladet, Sweden's largest newspaper with close ties to the Swedish Social Democratic Party, published an article saying that Israel's army deliberately kidnaps Palestinian civilians and then murders them so it can cut out and sell their organs to sick people needing transplants. The Swedish story is based on Palestinian sources - like so many slanders of Israel which are widely purveyed. At least the competing newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, blasted the article which it says is an anti-Semitic blood libel without a shred of evidence.
What does this incident tell us? That there is no limit to the insanity of how Israel is treated nowadays in so many supposedly responsible intellectual circles. It also tells us that anyone of decency and good intentions should start re-examining right now their credulity in accepting anti-Israel slanders. All this bashing and chipping away at Israel's reputation; this unfair blaming; this blindness toward the goals, behavior, and ideology of radical Islamist forces and Palestinian intransigence is promoting an anti-Semitism beyond anything seen in the Western world since 1945. The time has come to realize that anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, absurd misrepresentation of Israel and the effort to wipe it off the map are all tightly intertwined.
We have seen the rise of a systematic industry in wild anti-Israel claims by Palestinians which are repeated without evidence by the Western news media. Palestinians make up charges, tell them to sympathetic reporters or academics or "human rights'" officials who don't demand evidence, and then are widely spread through other willing executioners of truth whose low degree of professionalism and high level of politicization make them conducive to becoming collaborators in the enterprise. The fact that none of these accusations is ever ultimately proven correct seems to have no effect on the industry. The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. (Rubin Report)
See also Guilty Until Proven Innocent - Ilya Meyer
The Aftonbladet article's author, Donald Bostrom, freely admits that he has no evidence of any of his allegations but says it is up to Jews and Israelis to prove themselves innocent. An interesting twist - Jews are guilty until they prove themselves innocent. (Jerusalem Post)
Col. Muammar Gaddafi will soon celebrate the 40th anniversary of the coup that made him master of Libya and the longest-lasting dictator in the world today. At his side will be Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the "mass murderer" whose release from prison in Scotland on compassionate grounds is billed in Libya as a victory over imperialism. Al-Megrahi, a distant relation of Gaddafi, always claimed his innocence. Had he admitted responsibility for the Lockerbie tragedy he would have implicated the entire Libyan regime headed by the very colonel who has become the toast of Western leaders.
Over the past 40 years the colonel has had something like a trillion dollars in oil revenues to play with. That much money could have done wonders in a nation of four or five million. However, visitors to Libya would be struck by the rundown aspect of public infrastructure and the widespread poverty. What did Gaddafi do with all that money? (Times-UK)
See also Libya Tactics Change, But Goal Doesn't - Alan Cowell (New York Times)
See also FBI Director Condemns Lockerbie Bomber's Release
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, wrote to Scottish Minister Kenny MacAskill regarding the release of the Lockerbie bomber: "I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of 'compassion.' Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world who now believe that regardless of the quality of the investigation, the conviction by jury after the defendant is given all due process, and sentence appropriate to the crime, the terrorist will be freed by one man's exercise of 'compassion.'" (Telegraph-UK)
A Mideast Test for President Obama - Jackson Diehl (Washington Post)
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