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|
September 30, 2009
British Intelligence Believes Iran Has Resumed Work on Nuclear Warhead - James Blitz, Daniel Dombey, and Najmeh Bozorgmehr (Financial Times-UK)
UK Court Rejects Plea to Arrest Israeli Defense Minister (UPI)
Survey: Growing Support among American Jews for U.S. Action Against Iran Nukes (American Jewish Committee)
If Iran Can't Be Stopped Now, All Bets Are Off - Michael Singh (Foreign Policy)
Israel Gets Two More German Submarines (AFP)
Academics Against Israel and the Jews - Manfred Gerstenfeld, ed. (Institute for Global Jewish Affairs)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Iran said on Tuesday it would not discuss a previously secret nuclear plant at international talks this week. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said, "We are not going to discuss anything related to our nuclear rights....The new site is part of our rights and there is no need to discuss it." White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, asked about Iran's insistence it would not discuss the facility in the Geneva talks on Thursday, declared: "They may not, but we will." (Reuters)
European oil giant BP PLC, which has extensive trading operations, stopped shipments of gasoline and other oil products to Iran at least six months ago, according to a person familiar with the matter. In addition, an official at Total SA said the French oil major would stop gasoline shipments to Iran if the U.S. and other European nations were to approve measures calling for a halt on fuel exports to Iran. Iran imports around 140,000 barrels a day of gasoline and diesel - at a cost of $5-7 billion - because of inadequate refining capacity at home.
Venezuela said it planned on sending Iran about 20,000 barrels a day of gasoline starting next month. Asian oil traders say gasoline originating from China is routinely blended with other supplies and tankered to Iran. (Wall Street Journal)
See also Oil, Ideology Keep China from Joining Push Against Iran - John Pomfret (Washington Post)
32 U.S. Senators have signed a letter asking Secretary of State Clinton to block any punitive actions against Israel related to the Goldstone Report. "We commend the State Department statements criticizing the one-sided mandate directing the Goldstone report and highlighting the real causes of the war between Israel and Hamas," the letter said. "The report does not adequately recognize the extraordinary measures taken by the Israel Defense Forces to minimize civilian casualties, which frequently put Israeli soldiers at risk....We hope you will succeed in your efforts to ensure that consideration of the report at the current meetings of the UN Human Rights Council will not provide an opportunity for Israel's critics to unfairly use the Council and the report to bring this matter to the UN Security Council." (JTA)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel's Security Cabinet on Wednesday decided to release 20 Palestinian women security prisoners and detainees in return for a recently recorded video tape of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, as proof that he is alive. "It is important that the entire world know that Gilad Shalit is alive and well and that Hamas is responsible for his well-being and fate," Prime Minister Netanyahu said. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
An Israeli was moderately wounded on Tuesday night after Palestinians shot at his car east of Shilo in the West Bank, Israel Channel 2 television reported. The shots apparently came from terrorists positioned at the side of the road. "This is the fourth shooting in the area in the past four months," said Binyamin Council Head Avi Roeh, who linked the attack to the removal of roadblocks. (Ynet News/Jerusalem Post)
I personally submitted a nine-page, annotated and referenced brief to the Goldstone Commission last July showing that the high male-female ratio of fatalities among Palestinians in Gaza argues for the combatant status of many whom human rights organizations classified as non-combatants. However, the Commission was not driven by the evidence, but by its preset agenda. The writer is head of the Genocide Prevention Program at Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Goldstone Report Ignored Israeli Evidence: 2 - Dr. Mirela Siderer
I am a gynecologist living in Ashkelon, Israel. In July you invited me to testify. On May 14, 2008, I was working in my clinic when the building was hit by a missile, fired from Gaza. I was terribly wounded, my patient was also wounded, and more than 100 others. I told you all of this, in detail. In a 500-page report, why are there only two pages about Israeli victims like me, who suffered thousands of rockets over eight years? Where were you when Gaza attacked my medical clinic, in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law? (UN Watch)
See also Israel to UN Human Rights Council: Goldstone Report a "Betrayal of Israelis and Moderate Palestinians Alike"
Israel's representative to the UN in Geneva, Amb. Aharon Leshno Yaar, told the UN Human Rights Council Tuesday: When Colonel Richard Kemp, Commander of British forces in Afghanistan was asked about Israel's conduct in Gaza, he replied: "I don't think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF in Gaza." Unlike the Hamas terrorists who rejoice with every civilian death, Israel regards every civilian casualty as a tragedy. Israel is committed to fully examining every allegation of wrongdoing, not because of this report but despite it. In providing support and vindication for terrorist tactics, it is a betrayal of Israelis and moderate Palestinians alike. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
This hitherto unknown second uranium enrichment facility is located inside a mountain near the ancient city of Qom and designed to hold some 3,000 gas centrifuges. The purpose of this enrichment plant cannot have been for Iran's peaceful nuclear program.
The U.S. still holds by its National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessment that Iran's military nuclear program was stopped in 2003. Yet three possibilities must be taken into account: a) that the NIE assessment is correct; b) that there is simply a lack of intelligence concerning this program; and c) that the program was already finalized by 2003. This last one can be correct if Iran received the design of the nuclear explosive device from Pakistan, in the same way that Libya reportedly did. Taking the NIE as a solid indication that Iran mended its ways would be a gross error. The writer worked at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission for over 40 years. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
See also Lifting Iran's Nuclear Veil - Gary Milhollin and Valerie Lincy
The Qom plant doesn't make much sense as a stand-alone bomb factory; the new plant makes more sense if it is one of many. If Iran had a string of such plants, it would be able to fuel a small arsenal quickly enough to reduce greatly the chance of getting caught. This would also limit the damage if one site were discovered or bombed. Gary Milhollin directs the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. Valerie Lincy is the editor of Iranwatch.org. (New York Times)
The Iranian technique of dissimulation [taqqiya] reached unprecedented levels when Tehran embarked upon deceiving the international community and building a new nuclear facility on a military base in Qom. The features of this new chapter between Iran and the West were plain to see on Thursday from the reactions of the Americans, the British and the French. Their leaders took a break from the G20 summit in Pittsburgh to strongly condemn Iran's actions to the extent that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that "the level of deception and betrayal [of Iran] will shock and anger the whole international community." He added that certain countries are left with no choice "but to draw a line in the sand."
This development means that it is now difficult to believe the Iranian regime, or trust its intentions whether on the international or regional level. From here we are able to understand the extent to which Iran is exercising sectarian mobilization in our region, the Arab world and the Islamic world as a whole, as it seeks to play on the religious dimension and political Shiafication. The writer is the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
The Goldstone report's lack of credibility has not gone unnoticed in all quarters. Canada, Japan and the EU all refused to support Justice Richard Goldstone's mission from the start. Even Switzerland, which has often lavished red-carpet treatment on tyrants, acknowledged that the anti-Israel bigotry of Goldstone's team made it unsupportable. Mary Robinson, the former Irish President and a fierce critic of Israel, described Goldstone's mandate as "guided not by human rights but by politics."
It is no surprise, therefore, that the report wilfully ignores the context of Israel's Gaza operation. Israeli civilians were battered for eight years by thousands of missiles from Gaza. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, hoping the missiles would stop. Instead, the attacks increased, escalating further when Hamas seized power in a brutal coup in 2007. With a million Israelis under fire, and Hamas' range increasing, Israel did what any democratic state would do. It defended its citizens. The writer is the Israeli Ambassador to the UK. (Times-UK)
Few Choices Left on Iran - Eliot A. Cohen (Wall Street Journal)
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