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 16, 2009
Next Round of Hostilities in Gaza or Lebanon Will Be More Intense - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
Can the PA Survive on Its Own? - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
Yuri Foreman Becomes First Israeli World Boxing Champion - Kevin Baxter (Los Angeles Times)
Report: Five Hamas Men, Two Iranian Revolutionary Guards Die in Syrian Training Accident - Roee Nahmias (Ynet News)
Iran Advocacy Group Said to Skirt U.S. Lobby Rules - Eli Lake (Washington Times)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Both President Obama and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday after meeting in Singapore that they are losing patience with Iran and want a commitment that would ease fears the Iranians are developing nuclear weapons. The two leaders warned they won't wait much longer for Iran to accept a proposal that would resolve the dispute through diplomatic means. If Iran is defiant, Obama said, "the alternative would be an approach that would involve increasing pressure on Iran to meet its international obligations.'' (Los Angeles Times)
David Coleman Headley personally visited every target site of the 26/11 terror strikes last year in Mumbai, carrying out reconnaissance on behalf of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Indian police source said Saturday. Posing as a Jew, he even visited Nariman House, the Jewish Chabad center, in July 2008. Headley, a Pakistani-born U.S. national, was arrest by the FBI last month.
Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006, posed as a Jewish American during his Mumbai stay. "The FBI seized a book called How to Pray Like a Jew from him at the time of his arrest in Chicago. He had prepared himself thoroughly to pose as a Jew," a top Mumbai police officer said. (Calcutta Telegraph-India)
See also Headley Arrested in October for Role in Foreign Terror Plot in Denmark
Headley was arrested on Oct. 3, 2009, on federal charges for plotting to commit terrorist acts against overseas targets, including facilities and employees of a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005. (Reuters)
The current clashes between the Saudi security forces and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who have infiltrated Saudi Arabia from Yemen have intensified the steadily escalating conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In a column titled "The Houthis Are the Yemeni Hizbullah," Saudi columnist Muhammad bin 'Abd Al-Latif Aal Al-Sheikh wrote: "The situation in northern Yemen and in the south of our country, and the situation in Lebanon, are identical [reflections] of Iran's aspirations [and its method of] exploiting the sectarian dimension to further the next Persian agenda."
Iranian officials rejected the Saudi accusations, and made threatening statements. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said about the fighting in Yemen: "We firmly warn the countries in the region and [our] neighbors against interfering in Yemen's internal affairs." An article in the daily Iran, which is associated with the Ahmadinejad government, claimed: "This war, which has been forced on the Shi'ites in Yemen, is a coordinated conspiracy by America and several Arab governments in the region, particularly Wahhabi ones...as evidenced by the fact that Saudi Arabia has occupied three Yemeni provinces and some 10 Yemeni islands...and is unwilling to withdraw from them, because they are very rich in oil." (MEMRI)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Saban Forum on Sunday: "The way to achieve peace is through negotiations, cooperation and the agreement of both sides....There is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and any unilateral attempt outside that framework will unravel the existing agreements between us, and could entail unilateral steps by Israel."
"The Goldstone report is a clear threat to peace in our region. Achieving a final peace settlement with the Palestinians will require territorial compromise. But how can Israel vacate additional territories if we cannot defend ourselves against attacks from that territory? Be assured that this UN report is not Israel's problem alone. It threatens to handcuff all states fighting terrorism. For if terrorists believe that the international community will justify their crimes when they fire on civilians while hiding behind civilians, they will employ this tactic again and again."
"A responsible government should always seek to minimize civilian casualties in territories controlled by the enemy. But they also have an obligation to defend their citizens....The responsibility for the unintended civilian casualties such an operation entails should be place squarely on the terrorists and not on the defending government." (Prime Minister's Office)
Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday rejected Israel's call for direct peace talks. Assad said that face-to-face talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be fruitful. (Jerusalem Post)
Salim Zanoun, chairman of the Palestinian National Council of the PLO, confirmed Sunday that the PLO was planning to take over the duties of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council. PA sources said the parliament currently ruled by Hamas will be usurped by the PLO's Central Council, which will become the supreme Palestinian legislative body. Hamas is not a member of the PLO. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad published a plan in August 2009 to unilaterally declare statehood after a two-year state-building process. However, any unilateral action that undermines the existing Oslo interim framework could jeopardize the peace process and remove the basis for the existence of the Palestinian Authority. Were the Fayyad plan to be adapted and integrated within a resumed negotiating process, on the basis of the extensive infrastructure that already exists in the Oslo Accords, then this plan could serve as a constructive starting point for any new round of negotiations. The writer is former Legal Adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador of Israel to Canada. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
It will continue to be necessary to fight an enemy part of whose military strategy is to hide behind civilian shields. This is indeed the new face of war, and countries, even as they do everything possible to limit civilian casualties to a minimum, must find ways of defending themselves, their interests and especially their citizens.
In his Nov. 5 debate with Dore Gold, Richard Goldstone seemed at a loss as to what would have constituted a "proportionate" response on the part of Israel. The definition of "proportionality" he had in mind seemed to make no sense in military terms. If a country, confronted with the challenge of this kind of warfare, concludes that it just can't fight, then that country will be unable to defend itself. In the case of Israel, such a decision would result in its destruction. It, and other countries facing this dilemma, will have to devise, in response to this new face of war, a new way of dealing with it - one that enables it to defend itself even as it minimizes, to the extent possible, civilian casualties. The writer, a former director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is Professor of International Affairs, Ethics and Human Behavior and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University. (Middle East Strategy at Harvard)
Former deputy prime minister Natan Sharansky said in an interview: The Goldstone report is part of the continuing war by the UN and dictatorial states within the UN to delegitimize the State of Israel. As a human rights activist who is in continuous contact with organizations and activists throughout the world, I can say with authority that we in Israel have the strongest democratic institutions in the world.
The UN has a miserable record of defending human rights. What has it done to advance human rights in dictatorships like Egypt, Syria, or Jordan? Why has the UN never denounced the killing in Chechnya, Darfur, or China? UN representatives have admitted that there is an agreement between the Arab states and Russia that neither will deal with the dictatorships of the other. So what is left except Israel? During all the years of its existence, the UN has denounced human rights violations by Israel more than by all the world's dictatorships put together. This is because dictatorships won't criticize other dictatorships. (Maariv Weekend-Hebrew, 13Nov09)
Did the U.S. Act "Disproportionately" Against the Taliban? - Editorial (Washington Post)
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