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 19, 2009
The Implications of Long-Range Hamas Rockets - Jeffrey White (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
Gaza Charity Offers $1.4M for Capture of IDF Soldiers - Diaa Hadid (AP)
Tiny Survivor Doesn't Remember Mumbai Attack - Amy Teibel (AP)
Judea Coin Brings $83,375 at Auction (World Coin News)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Wednesday in Tehran that Iran wouldn't send any of its uranium out of the country, as envisioned in a deal struck Oct. 1 between Iranian negotiators and counterparts from the U.S., France, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Two UN Security Council diplomats said they view the deal as essentially dead, but expect council members to wait until the end of the year before pushing for fresh sanctions against Iran. There is growing concern among Washington's European and Middle East allies that with the deal potentially evaporating, the White House's engagement policy toward Tehran is adrift. (Wall Street Journal)
See also Iran Nuclear Deal Collapses. Time for U.S. to Get Tough? - Howard LaFranchi (Christian Science Monitor)
President Obama issued a strong warning to Iran on Thursday of consequences of its failure to respond to the offer of a nuclear deal. "Iran has taken weeks now and has not shown its willingness to say yes to this proposal...and so as a consequence we have begun discussions with our international partners about the importance of having consequences," Obama said during a visit to South Korea. "We weren't going to duplicate what has happened with North Korea, in which talks just continue forever without any actual resolution to the issue." "Our expectation is that, over the next several weeks, we will be developing a package of potential steps that we could take, that would indicate our seriousness to Iran," he said. (Reuters)
Since the end of Israel's Gaza operation earlier this year, the British government has imposed a partial arms embargo on Israel and failed to vote against the Goldstone report in the UN. The charities War on Want and Amnesty International UK have both promoted a book by the anti-Israeli firebrand Ben White, tellingly called Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide. The Trades Union Congress at its annual conference has called for boycotts of Israeli products as well as a total arms embargo. In the media, the Guardian newspaper has stepped up its already obsessive campaign against the Jewish state.
Readers may be surprised to learn, therefore, that the British media and political establishment is apparently cowering under the sway of a secretive cabal of Zionist lobbyists who have all but extinguished critical opinions of Israel from the public domain. Such charges have been aired to mass critical acclaim this week in a landmark documentary, "Inside Britain's Israel Lobby," on Channel 4 - the same outlet that offered Iran's Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an uninterrupted, seven-minute propaganda slot on Christmas Day last year. The writer is director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society and author of the new book, A State Beyond the Pale: Europe's Problem with Israel. (Wall Street Journal)
See also Shallow Polemic on UK Pro-Israel Lobby Will Do More Harm than Good - David Cesarani (Guardian-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday that Israel's plan to build additional housing in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood "should not be an obstacle to resuming negotiations." Kouchner also said that France would not recognize a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood. (Ynet News)
See also U.S. Demands on Jerusalem Construction Deemed "Strange and Bizarre" - Naama Lanir
Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Zalman Shoval said: "The demand not to build in Gilo seems strange and even bizarre since it has been inhabited for 30 years....It's not east Jerusalem - Arabs have never lived in Gilo and its houses weren't built on private Arab land." (Ynet News)
The U.S. government's continued misreading and misunderstanding of the Israeli public was evident again in its objection to a plan to build 900 new housing units in Gilo, one of the large new neighborhoods built in Israel's capital following the Six-Day War. Gilo is not some far-flung settlement overlooking Nablus, nor part of a settlement bloc, or in an Arab neighborhood. Many Israelis are clearly dismayed that the U.S. now seems to be considering the post-1967 neighborhoods in Jerusalem as settlements.
Pressing a construction freeze in those areas was widely viewed by the public as an unreasonable demand, especially when it was not accompanied by any demands on the Arabs or Palestinians. The irony is that this has come at a time when it looked as if Obama understood that his much touted outreach to the Arab and Muslim world had to be accompanied by some kind of dialogue with Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Obama Calls Israeli Building in Jerusalem "Dangerous"
Referring to Israeli plans to add 900 new apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, President Obama told Fox News Wednesday: "I think that additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel's security. I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors. I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous." (Fox News)
See also Gilo Residents Angered by U.S. Criticism of Building Plans - Abe Selig (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Syria was brought back from the political cold only after indirect talks with Israel via Turkey were revealed. These talks gave the Syrian regime legitimacy, even though Syria continued on as a loyal member of the radical bloc.
Some say that pulling Syria out of the Axis of Evil will improve Israel's overall strategic balance. But closer heed must be paid to the Syrian president's words. To him, peace with Israel means Israeli retreat from the Golan, while he maintains his strategic connection to Iran and other rogue states. Past experience shows that rapprochement attempts by Israel and parts of the international community don't make him moderate his positions, but rather convince him to believe he can have everything both ways.
Syria, having realized it cannot conquer Israel, has chosen the path of resistance and attrition, with the aim of exhausting Israelis in the long run. This change proves the irrelevance of giving away assets in exchange for security arrangements and guarantees, demilitarization and the like. The writer chairs the military research program at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. (Ha'aretz)
Are the Saudis prepared to constrain oil prices to weaken Iran? Saudi output has increased almost 300,000 barrels per day since earlier this year, a strategy that has the side benefit of pinching Iran. While the Saudis in 2009 require an average oil price of about $51 a barrel to cover their budget, Iran needs an average price in excess of $90. If the price holds steady at the Saudi-designated range of $70-$80 for the rest of this year, the Saudi treasury could come in with a slight surplus. The Iranians, by contrast, have reportedly been forced to consider phasing out food and energy subsidies in an attempt to battle their looming fiscal problems.
There's no doubt that Saudi King Abdullah views Iran - and the near-term prospect of its acquiring nuclear weapons - as an existential threat to the House of Saud and its position in the Islamic world. In this regard, Abdullah no doubt perceives Iran's involvement in Yemen as the latest maneuver in a grand strategy whose ultimate target is the kingdom itself. (Foreign Policy)
Palestinians Seek to Overturn UN Resolution 242 - Editorial (Jerusalem Post)
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