Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Via Smartphone


October 29, 2009

Daily Alert Needs Your Support

In-Depth Issues:

FBI Raid Kills Islamic Separatist Leader in Detroit - Nick Bunkley (New York Times)
    FBI agents on Wednesday fatally shot Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, described as the leader of a violent Sunni Muslim separatist group in Detroit.
    Abdullah, whom the agents were trying to arrest in Dearborn on charges that included illegal possession and sale of firearms and conspiracy to sell stolen goods, refused to surrender and began firing at them from a warehouse.
    Abdullah led a faction of a group called the Ummah, which advocates the establishment of a separate nation within the U.S. governed by Islamic laws.
    Abdullah trained his followers in the use of firearms, martial arts and sword fighting, and directed them to conduct an "offensive jihad" against the U.S. government.

Scientist Offered U.S. Secrets for $2 Million - Del Quentin Wilber (Washington Post)
    Stewart Nozette, 52, who was arrested Oct. 19 on charges of selling classified information to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence operative, wanted $2 million for his secrets, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Ayatollah Khameinei: Questioning Iran Election Is a Crime (AP/Wall Street Journal)
    Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that questioning the results of Iran's June presidential election is a crime, his strongest warning yet to opposition leaders who continue to insist the vote was rigged.

Germany to Use Israeli Drones in Afghanistan (AP/MSNBC)
    Israel Aerospace Industries said Wednesday it would supply unmanned Heron drones to be deployed by the German air force in northern Afghanistan in early 2010 for reconnaissance missions.

Why Pro-Arab France Is Warming Up to Israel - Bruce Crumley (TIME)
    In the Middle East, President Nicolas Sarkozy has rebalanced France's customarily pro-Arab positions with a warm embrace of Israel, a state regarded frostily by past French presidents.
    French officials say France's new warming to Israel has not come at Arab expense, and is based on the pursuit of greater influence in the region through taking a more central role in resolving the conflict.
    Yet Sarkozy's warmth toward Israel should not be mistaken for a strategic shift. After all, Sarkozy brought Syria out from international isolation.

Israel Levies Pistachio Tax to Combat Iranian Imports (Bloomberg-Jerusalem Post)
    The Knesset Finance Committee, in a bid to block covert imports from Iran, on Tuesday approved a government plan for a 23% tax on roasted pistachio nuts.
    Roasted pistachios in Israel are imported through Turkey and appear to originate in Iran.

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Iran Wants Key Changes in Nuclear Deal - Reza Derakhshi
    Iran will seek two changes to a UN-drafted nuclear fuel deal, including shipping abroad its low-enriched uranium (LEU) in stages rather than all at once, the pro-government newspaper Javan reported on Thursday. Tehran also wanted a "simultaneous exchange," receiving fuel for a Tehran research reactor at the same time as it ships LEU abroad. Both conditions are likely non-starters for Western countries which suspect Iran is seeking to develop nuclear bombs. (Reuters)
        See also Israel: Iran's Uranium Deal Insufficient
    Israel said Thursday that the proposed uranium exchange deal with Iran would only delay by one year Tehran's progress toward a nuclear weapon. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the downside of the agreement was that it granted international recognition to uranium enrichment by Iran. "It is important to insist on an end to enrichment in Iran," he told Israel Radio. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)
  • U.S. House Panel Passes Iran Petroleum Sanctions Bill - Ian Talley
    The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday passed the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, a bill targeting the firms conducting energy business with Tehran. The measure, co-signed by almost three quarters of the House membership, gives the Obama administration stronger powers to sanction companies that provide Iran with gasoline, diesel and other refined petroleum fuels. Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) said the bill will "maximize the chances that Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism, will be prevented from acquiring the capacity to produce nuclear arms."  (Dow Jones-Wall Street Journal)
        See also Russia: Sanctions Against Iran Unlikely - Guy Faulconbridge
    "Sanctions in relation to Iran are hardly possible in the near future," the Kremlin's top foreign policy aide, Sergei Prikhodko, said Wednesday. "Sanctions seldom lead to the required result," he added. (Reuters)
  • U.S. Weighs Better Ties with Syria - Susan Cornwell
    The U.S. wants to move beyond dialogue to a more constructive relationship with Syria but will not trade away Lebanon's sovereignty to do so, Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told lawmakers on Wednesday. "We believe that there is further potential for a positive, constructive U.S.-Syrian relationship," he said. But Syria must address U.S. concerns about some of its regional policies, such as its support for "terrorist" organizations like Hizbullah and Hamas and its control of foreign fighters trying to enter Iraq. (Reuters)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Hizbullah Arms Cache in Every South Lebanon Town - Yaakov Lappin
    The UNIFIL peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon is doing a good job of preventing Hizbullah from operating in open areas, but dares not enter the hundreds of villages which dot the area and which have become Hizbullah's central bases of operation, an IDF source told the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. Recent explosions of weapons caches in Lebanese villages offered more than enough proof of Hizbullah's rearmament efforts, the source said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Hamas Bars PA from Arranging Gaza Vote - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Hamas announced on Wednesday that it won't allow the Palestinian Authority to hold new presidential and parliamentary elections in Gaza on January 24, 2010, as announced by Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas' decision raises doubts regarding Abbas' ability to hold the elections on time. Hamas and other Palestinian factions have also declared their intention to boycott the vote, leaving Abbas' Fatah faction alone in the race. The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Interior said that Hamas was opposed to holding any elections before a "reconciliation" agreement was reached with Fatah, and pointed out that Abbas did not have the authority to issue a "presidential decree" calling for new elections. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Claims that Israel Deprives Palestinians of Water Are Groundless - Israel Harel
    Any libel involving discrimination against Palestinians immediately makes headlines. Yet Amnesty's accusations that Israeli settlers are taking Palestinians' water are groundless. Most of the settlements get their water piped in from inside the Green Line, not, as Amnesty claims, from wells that belong to the Palestinians. According to the Oslo II accords, the Palestinians are entitled to 23.6 million cubic meters a year - but in fact they pump, with Israeli consent, 70 million cubic meters. On top of this, the Israeli Civil Administration supplies, over and above the Oslo requirements, water to villages that are suffering from a shortage.
        Amnesty does not ask where the millions of dollars that flowed to the Palestinian Authority for the construction of an efficient water system have vanished, or where the money is that the World Bank provided for a sewage system that would protect the environment and prevent the seepage of wastewater into the aquifers. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Hamas Threatened by Muslims Preaching Violence in Gaza - Daniel Williams
    Salafi is a branch of Islam that advocates restoring a Muslim empire across the Middle East and into Spain. Armed Salafis are challenging the authority of Hamas in Gaza. "They believe Hamas has been neutralized and has given up the fight," said Mkhaimar Abusada, a professor at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. Hamas is holding dozens of Salafis in jail, trying to persuade them to end their opposition, said Hamas police spokesman Rafik Abu Hani. "They want to implement their own ideas through weapons, and we can't allow that."
        There are at least four armed Salafi organizations in Gaza including the Warriors of God, Army of Islam, Victory of Islam and Lions Den of Supporters. Abu Hani said their members total no more than 400 to 500, while Abusada estimated there were between 4,000 and 5,000, including defectors from Hamas. "What the Salafis don't understand is we need to give the people a break; we need to rebuild and prepare for the next battle," said Hamas parliament member Younis Astal. (Bloomberg)
        See also New Fundamentalist Movements on the Rise in Gaza - Jonathan Spyer (Jerusalem Post)
  • George Mitchell's Mission Impossible - Efraim Inbar
    American diplomacy can hardly make a dent in the schism within Palestinian society that is the main stumbling block for progress in peace-making. As long as Islamist Hamas has a powerful grip on the Palestinian ethos and Palestinian aspirations, and as long as its ruthless rule over Gaza continues, Palestinian politics are hostage to the extremists and are unable to move toward an historic compromise with the Jewish-Zionist national movement. Palestinian society, be it in the West Bank or Gaza, is not entertaining reconciliation with the Jews. The shaheed (martyr) is still the role model in the Palestinian media and education system. The writer is professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University and director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. (BESA-Bar-Ilan University)
  • Proportionality in Context
    Dr. Michael Walzer of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study argues that it makes no sense to consider proportionality without a thoroughgoing analysis of which side bears responsibility for civilian casualties. The attacking army, Walzer points out, does not bear responsibility if the defenders use civilians as human shields. One of the principles of just war theory, he reminds us, is that warfare cannot be made "morally impossible."  (International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life-Brandeis University)
  • Observations:

    Israel: We Want to Coexist in Peace (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the London School of Economics on October 26:

    • Israel left Gaza totally in 2005, to the last inch. We hoped to achieve an entire paradigm shift in the area so nobody will have the "pretext" of an occupation - so the Gazans will have a chance not only to control their own affairs but to build Gaza as a showpiece to the world.
    • When we left Gaza there were about 1,000 acres of greenhouses. And none of the Palestinians wanted to buy them. So we raised $14 million from private investors. They could have employed at least 8,000 Palestinians, and fed many more. Unfortunately, two days later these greenhouses were burned to the ground.
    • We do not have to agree on the past. Each people is entitled to its own narrative. Each people is also entitled to its own national vision and dreams. But then we hit this brick wall of reality. We cannot afford having a Palestinian state which will not live in peace with us, because we are not suicidal and we want to coexist in peace.
    • Just as we made peace with Jordan and we made peace with Egypt, we can make peace with the Palestinians. It's not Heaven-ordained that we cannot live together peacefully with our Palestinian neighbors.

    Unsubscribe from Daily Alert