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|
October 20, 2009
Poll: 78% of Americans Back Sanctions to Block Iran Nukes - Jon Cohen (Washington Post)
Cooperation with Israel Underlies PA Security Forces' Success - Marty Peretz (New Republic)
The Case for Demographic Optimism - Yoram Ettinger (New York Jewish Week)
Germany Arrests Iranian for Exporting Missile Equipment (Deutsche Welle-Germany)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Iran opened two days of nuclear talks with the U.S., Russia and France on Monday with veiled public threats that it could back away from an agreement to ship more than three-quarters of its stockpile of nuclear fuel out of the country, unless the West acceded to Iranian demands to provide it with new fuel. Although Iran's representatives did not reject outright the idea of sending the country's fuel to Russia and France for further enrichment, its negotiators stopped well short of reaffirming the statements the country made in talks on Oct. 1. In recent days the Iranians have repeatedly suggested that they might not ship the fuel out of the country at all, and would demand that the West sell them new fuel for their medical reactor. (New York Times)
See also Iran Says Nuclear Technology Program to Go Ahead
Iran will never abandon its "legal and obvious" right to nuclear technology, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Tuesday, adding that Tehran had no plan to halt its disputed uranium enrichment work. "The meetings with world powers and their behavior shows that Iran's right to have peaceful nuclear technology has been accepted by them," Mottaki said. (Reuters-Washington Post)
See also Iranian Supreme National Security Council Advisor: We May Need Uranium Enriched to 63 Percent
Talks in Vienna are focused on a proposal to have Iran send its low-enriched uranium to a third country that will further enrich it to a level of 20%, for use at a Tehran research reactor. However, Abdolfazl Zohrehvand, advisor to Iranian Supreme National Security Council secretary Saeed Jalili, told the Iranian news agency IRNA on Sunday: "Circumstances may arise under which Iran will require uranium enriched to 63%." (MEMRI)
Stewart David Nozette, 52, a former U.S. government scientist, was arrested Monday and charged with trying to deliver classified information to someone he thought was an Israeli intelligence official, but who really was an FBI undercover agent. The criminal complaint does not accuse the government of Israel of any violations of U.S. law. (CNN)
See also Israel: "No Espionage or Intelligence Gathering in Friendly States"
Senior government officials in Jerusalem said Israel does not gather intelligence nor is it involved in any espionage activities in friendly states, Israel Radio reported Tuesday. (Jerusalem Post)
U.S. and European counterterrorism officials say a rising number of Western recruits - including Americans - are traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan to attend paramilitary training camps. The flow of recruits has continued unabated despite an intensified campaign over the past year by the CIA to eliminate al-Qaeda and Taliban commanders in drone missile attacks.
Since January, at least 30 recruits from Germany have traveled to Pakistan for training, according to German security sources. In August, Pakistani officials arrested 12 foreigners headed to North Waziristan where many of the camps are located. Among those arrested were four Swedes, including Mehdi Ghezali, a former inmate of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo. Three Belgians and a French citizen are facing trial in their home countries after they were arrested upon their return from Pakistani camps last year. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Facing Tomorrow, an international conference initiated by President Shimon Peres, will take place on Oct. 20-22 in Jerusalem, bringing together 3,500 participants with top economic, political, intellectual, and technological leaders from Israel and abroad. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Turkey's turn against Israel is best understood in the context of its evolutionary transformation from the secular, nationalist and Western-oriented ethos of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to the dogmatic, radical, pan-Islamic and Middle Eastern attitudes of its current rulers. It is senseless for Israelis to ask ourselves what we did to cause Arab, Persian and now Turkish rulers to ascribe the most villainous of intentions to us - for example, conspiring to demolish Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount, or relishing the systematic murder of Arab children. Israel did not lose Turkey any more than it lost Iran or the "moderate" Palestinians.
The Palestinian national movement under Mahmoud Abbas and Salaam Fayad has been outmaneuvered by Hamas. Any move Abbas now makes in the direction of moderation gets pounced upon as perfidy. This environment has led even a sensible man like Fayad to hold cabinet deliberations on whether Israeli soldiers are stealing the organs of Palestinian youths.
The overriding explanation for what is happening in Turkey and among the Palestinians (and happened decades ago in Iran) is that these polities could not make peace with modernity. Instead, to varying degrees, they turned to radical Islam because it provides absolute answers about right and wrong and uplifting distinctions between believers and infidels. But it also ensures never-ending estrangement from those who have chosen another path. Since this predicament stems from within Muslim civilization, so, too, must any solution. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Who Lost Turkey - II - Nahum Barnea
Israel is paying a heavy price for processes it has no connection to: The European Union, acting on French pressure, rejected Turkey's requests to integrate into the EU. Under such circumstances, Turkey chose to move closer to Syria and Iran. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
As the founder of Human Rights Watch and its active chairman for 20 years, I must do something that I never anticipated: I must publicly join the group's critics. Human Rights Watch had as its original mission to pry open closed societies, advocate basic freedoms and support dissenters. But recently it has been issuing reports on the Israeli-Arab conflict that are helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state.
Israel is home to at least 80 human rights organizations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, and a judiciary that frequently rules against the government. Meanwhile, the Arab and Iranian regimes remain brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent. The plight of their citizens is being ignored as Human Rights Watch's Middle East division prepares report after report on Israel. Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hizbullah. The writer was the chairman of Human Rights Watch from 1978 to 1998. (New York Times)
The explosion in the south Lebanese village of Tayr Felseir offers the latest evidence of how Hizbullah is rebuilding its infrastructure following the Second Lebanon War in 2006, constructing arms caches and permanent fortifications in private homes. Hizbullah's decision to make use of populated areas is primarily a result of the increased presence of UNIFIL and Lebanese Armed Forces personnel in the area south of the Litani River, since operating within residential areas has served to render its renewed military infrastructure largely off-limits to international inspection. UN peacekeepers who investigated a similar explosion in Khirbet Silm on July 14 concluded that the site contained large quantities of 107 mm. Katyusha rockets, heavy machine gun rounds and mortar tubes of a type used by Hizbullah.
UNIFIL remains deployed mainly in unpopulated areas and enters Shi'ite villages only with a Lebanese army escort, doing its best to stay out of the way of Hizbullah and the civilian population. Ultimately, the situation in southern Lebanon is a facet of a larger problem, the existence of a Hizbullah state within a state, which answers only to its own leadership and its Iranian patrons. The writer is a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya. (Jerusalem Post)
Israeli President Shimon Peres said in an interview:
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