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|
November 12, 2009
The Meaning of the U.S.-Israel Juniper Cobra Military Exercise - Fikret Ertan (Today's Zaman-Turkey)
Video: Watch Amb. Dore Gold's Presentation at Brandeis on the UN Report (Jerusalem Center)
Brazil to Buy Israeli Drones from Israel - Yossi Melman (Ha'aretz)
Israel Records First Trade Surplus in Years - Alisa Odenheimer (Bloomberg-Jerusalem Post)
Egyptian Cleric: "The Muslims Will Kill the Jews - Be Patient" (MEMRI)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's low-profile White House visit on Monday, widely portrayed as frosty, in fact broke the ice in his relations with President Obama, a senior Israeli official said on Wednesday. And since the meeting, Washington has been keeping the pressure on Palestinians to resume peace talks without an Israeli settlement freeze first. The low-key nature of the Oval Office visit, Israeli officials said, was partly aimed at not upsetting the Palestinians or undermining Mahmoud Abbas.
Uzi Arad, Netanyahu's national security adviser, spoke of the change in Washington's tone toward settlements, saying on Wednesday that the U.S. was a "pragmatic nation" that understood and respected Israel's red lines on the issue. Netanyahu's position on settlements is supported by a majority of Israelis and the U.S. recognizes that, Arad told Israel Radio. (Reuters)
After meeting for 90 minutes, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and French President Sarkozy announced Wednesday that they had agreed to work toward "immediately reviving the peace process" in the Middle East and discussed international efforts to stop Iran from enriching uranium. (New York Times)
A second Palestinian cellphone company opened on Tuesday, with a planned investment of hundreds of millions of dollars; and a long-closed crossing point between Israel and Jenin in the West Bank opened to limited motor traffic. International envoy Tony Blair said at the ceremony marking the arrival of the Qatari-controlled telephone company Wataniya, "This is a sign of sovereignty and statehood, and it is vital to build on it." Prime Minister Netanyahu had vowed to create the conditions for West Bank economic improvement, and Mr. Blair said Tuesday that the growth had been significant, probably in double digits. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Most of Prime Minister Netanyahu's White House meeting with President Obama on Monday centered on the Palestinian issue, according to people Netanyahu briefed after the meeting. Netanyahu asked Obama to convince PA leader Abbas to begin negotiations with him. "The absence of a political process would be deadly for the Palestinians and also for us because that would strengthen Hamas, which in turn would be a victory for Iran," Netanyahu warned.
Netanyahu told Obama that any final-status deal with the Palestinians will have to include a solution to the danger posed by the introduction of advanced weaponry into the territories. "It can't be that Israel will be left with a piece of paper while arms smuggling goes on," he said. "We must create security arrangements that will prevent the introduction of weapons across the border." "We suffered rockets twice, from Lebanon and from Gaza, and we do not want to suffer them a third time, in much larger doses." (Ha'aretz)
Senior Hizbullah official Mahmoud Kamati boasted to Al-Jazeera on Wednesday that "all the cities and all Israeli military and industrial centers are within Hizbullah's fire range." He warned that if Israel bombed Beirut, Hizbullah would retaliate by bombing Tel Aviv. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The U.S. needs to try getting "out of the box" on Middle East peace. West Bankers might be willing to settle for the two-state solution. But for refugees huddled in miserable camps in Gaza, Lebanon, or Syria, the right of return to an overpopulated, violent, and poor homeland is not very attractive. Nor do Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank look forward to welcoming hundreds of thousands of "foreign" Palestinians into their camps.
Israeli leaders know that even if some Palestinians sign a peace treaty with Israel, violent resistance will continue. Eighty years after partition in Ireland, bombs still sometimes go off in Belfast. Israeli leaders aren't enthusiastic about making territorial concessions that, in the end, won't bring them the kind of security they crave. Many Israelis believe that a two-state solution is desirable in theory, but won't work in practice because there isn't a partner - a Palestinian government that can not only sign the peace but enforce it against the inevitable radicals and extremists that are sure to pop up on the Palestinian side.
Washington needs to figure out how to make the deal work better for Palestinians. This can't be about land or the right of return. There isn't any more land to divide, and there isn't any room in pre-1967 Israel for the descendants of the Palestinians who fled more than 60 years ago. That ship has sailed. Working with our friends and allies, the U.S. needs to take the lead in developing workable and dignified solutions to the concrete problems Palestinians face as a way to energize the negotiating process and make both sides more willing and able to make the tough choices they both know lie ahead. The writer is the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. (Daily Beast)
It may not be fashionable, but just for a moment look through the eyes of ordinary Israelis to understand their deep skepticism over demands they make sweeping new concessions for "peace" - on top of those they have already made. After 3,300 rockets were fired from Hamas into Israeli communities during 2008 alone, the IDF belatedly responded with a military operation last winter targeting Hamas' terrorist infrastructure.
Yet what has been the reaction to Israel's defense against Hamas, whose founding Charter is a blueprint for wiping the Jewish state from the map? The Goldstone Commission Report whose precooked conclusions condemn the Jewish state. Israelis listen carefully to their designated "peace partner" Mahmoud Abbas as he bids up Palestinian extremists to see who can scream loudest demanding Israel's leaders be tried as "war criminals" by the International Criminal Court in the Hague - and this after a military operation that freed Fatah prisoners from probable execution in Hamas' torture chambers. Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian, is a consultant to the Center. (Washington Post)
The U.S. stood disgracefully silent last week as the UN General Assembly debated a resolution endorsing the stacked investigation that accused Israel of committing crimes against humanity in the Gaza conflict. No exercise of American moral authority took place during the debate. The Goldstone report was not merely "deeply flawed" or "excessively negative" or filled with "overreaching recommendations," as the U.S. said.
The report, commissioned by the anti-Semitic Human Rights Council, a body populated by the world's worst human rights abusers, was illegitimate at its root, filled with specious assertions of fact and based on constructions of international law never before seen and never to be seen again. In other words, it was a monumental frame-up. The sponsors wanted to find Israel guilty for pursuing Hamas in Gaza after Hamas had fired more than 7,000 rockets into Israel with hardly a peep from the international community. (New York Daily News)
The Campaign to Delegitimize Israel with the False Charge of Apartheid - Robbie Sabel (Global Law Forum-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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