Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Hamas Slams UN over "Holocaust Classes" in Gaza - Nidal al-Mughrabi (Reuters) Following Inflammatory Article, Sweden to Join EU Condemnation of Anti-Semitism - Adar Primor (Ha'aretz) Was Russia's 'Hijacked' Ship Carrying Missiles to the Mideast? - Simon Shuster (Time) Turkey and Armenia to Establish Diplomatic Ties - Sebnem Arsu (New York Times) Israel Campus Beat Launched (Conference of Presidents, Israel Campus Coalition, JCPA)
Hamas Slams UN over "Holocaust Classes" in Gaza - Nidal al-Mughrabi (Reuters)
Following Inflammatory Article, Sweden to Join EU Condemnation of Anti-Semitism - Adar Primor (Ha'aretz)
Was Russia's 'Hijacked' Ship Carrying Missiles to the Mideast? - Simon Shuster (Time)
Turkey and Armenia to Establish Diplomatic Ties - Sebnem Arsu (New York Times)
Israel Campus Beat Launched (Conference of Presidents, Israel Campus Coalition, JCPA)
News Resources - North America and Europe:
In an exclusive interview, Israeli President Shimon Peres said President Obama is expected to moderate a planned summit between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which could lead to a resumption of peace negotiations, at the end of September at the United Nations. Peres suggested that President Obama is putting too much focus on trying to halt settlement construction in the Palestinian territories, urging all sides to broaden the scope of Mideast peace talks. (Fox News)
See also Settlement Housing Starts Drop by a Third in First Half of Year - Tovah Lazaroff
Housing starts in Judea and Samaria fell by 33.7 percent in the first six months of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008, according to Central Bureau of Statistics data released on Monday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not approved any new West Bank construction projects since taking office on March 31. Peace Now says that no new settlement projects have been approved since November. (Jerusalem Post)
See also White House: Obama Postponed Israel Trip Due to Healthcare Reform - Yitzhak Benhorin
The National Security Council suggested that U.S. President Barack Obama travel to Israel in the coming months, but the trip was postponed due to the political dispute surrounding healthcare reform, White House officials told Ynet. (Ynet News)
Germany and France have reinforced a call for Iran to respond to concerns about its nuclear program in September or face tougher sanctions. French President Nicolas Sarkozy says "initiatives must be taken during the month of September which take account of Iran's will or otherwise to cooperate." He says that, if it does not, "Germany and France will be united in calling for a strengthening of sanctions." The German government says officials from six countries trying to address concerns about Iran's nuclear program will meet Wednesday in Germany. (AP)
The Iraqi Defense Ministry revealed Sunday that it owns 19 MIG-21 and MIG-23 jet fighters which are in storage in Serbia. Serbian defense officials told the Iraqis that Saddam Hussein had sent 19 fighter jets to Serbia for repairs in the late 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq war, but was unable to bring them back after sanctions were imposed on his country. The American military’s training command has recently arranged for the delivery of Iraq’s first trainer for jet pilots, the propeller-driven T-6, in December. The T-6 is used to train pilots for the F-16 jet, but plans for Iraq to buy F-16s are still in the discussion stage, American officials say. (New York Times)
See also Iraqi Planes Found in Serbia in Pieces - Dusan Stojanovic
Serbian officials say that if Iraq plans to use them to rebuild its air force, their hopes will be dashed: Most of the planes, they said, are cannibalized, abandoned and useless. (AP)
Hizbullah recruited an Israeli-Arab and ordered him to collect intelligence on IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi ahead of plans to assassinate him to avenge the death of the guerrilla group's military leader Imad Mughniyeh. On Monday, an indictment was filed at the Petah Tikva District Court against Rawi Sultani, a 23-year-old Israeli-Arab from the town of Tira, alleging that he was recruited by Hizbullah in the summer of 2008 when he traveled to Morocco to attend a Balad Party summer camp. The suspect provided him information about Ashkenazi, particularly his routine at the Kfar Saba country club where the two occasionally worked out together. (Jerusalem Post)
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki said yesterday that 90 per cent of foreign terrorists who infiltrate Iraq did so via Syria, a charge likely to worsen already fractured relations between the neighboring states. "We demand that the Syrian side hand over the main people wanted in this crime," he said, alluding to Baathist suspects Mohammed Yunis Al Ahmed and Sattam Farhan, "and many others who have Interpol warrants against them." Syrian President Bashar Assad yesterday dismissed the Iraqi accusations, calling the allegations "immoral" and politically motivated. (Gulf Daily News - Bahrain)
The Jewish chairman of the Gilboa Regional Council and his Arab deputy met on Monday with the Palestinian governor of Jenin in New York City. In the United States to promote their unique social and economic partnership, the trio promoted their grassroots cooperation as a bridge to broader Israeli-Palestinian relations.
"We are sitting now on one table," said Qadoura M. Qadoura, governor of Jenin, as he sat alongside Danny Atar and Eid Saleem. Finding a "common language," they said, is imperative to peace and stability in the region. Of the Gilboa region's 30,000 residents, 60 percent are Jewish and 40 percent are Arab.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which hosted the Monday meeting, said the fact that 20 percent of Israel's population is not Jewish showed the need for such partnerships. (Jerusalem Post)
The post-election trials of the opposition in Tehran resemble the Soviet purge trials of the 1930s. At the time, every aspect of Soviet life was reduced to worshipping Stalin. Institutions were purged; formerly respected leaders put on trial, admitting they were fascist-capitalist agents, and being finished off with a bullet to the head. To say this is happening in Iran now would be an exaggeration but parallels are striking.
Iran's ruling group is becoming more, not less, militant. Being on the verge of getting nuclear weapons makes them feel stronger and able to be more aggressive, not the opposite. Those who think a nuclear Iran will be a secure and reasonable Iran are in for a big disappointment. (Ottawa Citizen)
A much anticipated IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities was leaked this week. The report indicates that, among other things, Iran has conceded to additional safeguard at Natanz. This is a welcome development but occurring amidst a contested Iranian election, European threats of increased sanctions, continuing oblique hints of Israeli military action, and U.S. talk of cutting off Iranian gasoline imports if nuclear talks are rejected. How important are these increased safeguards? Do they represent a change of course for Iran?
From a technical perspective, we believe that Iranian concessions on enhancing safeguards at Natanz do not present a fundamental change nor do they cause Iran much inconvenience. The changes are proportionate with the continued build up in the number of centrifuges and failure to implement them would have soon amounted to a violation of Iran’s Safeguards Agreement.
We should not read much political significance into Iran’s acceptance of additional safeguards. Whether Iran is cooperating with inspections because of, or in spite of, the threat of increased sanctions, their centrifuge program is continuing. Indeed, cooperation with the IAEA helps to weaken international political support for sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program. We believe that agreeing to additional safeguards monitoring is not, by itself, an indication that Iran is willing to sit down at the negotiating table, let alone give up its centrifuge program. (Federation of American Scientists)
ElBaradei’s Swan Song - Emanuele Ottolenghi (Commentary Magazine)
2. Iran is accumulating low-enriched uranium (LEU) at a rate of approximately 2.77 kgs a day, which means it will have enough LEU for a second weapon by February 2010. At the current pace, it is producing enough LEU to yield enough weapons-grade material, once the LEU is reprocessed, to build one weapon a year.
3. Iran’s installed centrifuges currently number 8,308 — a steady increase in machinery (though not in active machines) over the past few months.
4. Iran refuses to apply the revised code of its safeguards agreement with regard to designs of new facilities and modifications of existing ones. This is especially worrisome when it comes to the power plant scheduled to be built in Darkhovin, the designs of which IAEA inspectors have not seen.
See also Syrian Noncompliance and Nuclear Proliferation - Emanuele Ottolenghi (Commentary Magazine)
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