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|
December 1, 2009
Iran Expands Naval Clout in Gulf - Adam Entous (Reuters)
Venezuela to Upgrade Palestinian Ties - Walker Simon (Reuters)
Holland Votes to Put Iran's Revolutionary Guards on EU Terror List - Benjamin Weinthal (Jerusalem Post)
Explosion in Car Kills Gaza Militant (Ha'aretz)
Video: Alan Dershowitz Challenges the Goldstone Report (Hasbara Fellowships)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Iran's announcement of plans to build ten more uranium enrichment facilities is largely bluster, analysts said Monday. Nonetheless, the defiance is fueling calls among Western allies for new punitive sanctions to freeze Iran's nuclear program. "They can't build those plants. There's no way," said nuclear expert David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. "They have sanctions to overcome, they have technical problems. They have to buy things overseas...and increasingly it's all illegal."
Still, the announcement is of major concern because it could signal an intention to put up numerous decoy sites to deceive the outside world, while building perhaps a few secret military enrichment sites that could be put to use in weapons production, Albright said. "This Qom site was probably meant to be a clandestine facility for breakout that they wanted built for nuclear weapons," said Albright. "And now that it's been exposed they may want to replace it." (AP)
Iran faced mounting threats of sanctions Monday over its plans to expand massively its uranium enrichment program. French Defense Minister Herve Morin said, "The uranium enrichment programs have no other goal than a military goal," citing evidence "from the intelligence services of several countries, notably France." He said Tehran's defiance meant the international community "would probably have to impose new economic sanctions."
Guido Westerwelle, the German Foreign Minister, said, "If Iran rejects the hand that has reached out, it must expect heavier sanctions." A spokesman for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said sanctions could be introduced as soon as next month, while David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, noted that "instead of engaging with us, Iran chooses to provoke." (Times-UK)
See also U.S. Envoy to UN Slams Iran Enrichment Plan - John Heilprin
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on Monday called Iran's plans to build additional uranium enrichment plants "unacceptable," warning they could bring increased international pressure on Tehran. "We view the Iranian announcement...as completely inappropriate and further isolating Iran from the international community," Rice said. "As Iran makes choices that seem to indicate that it is not at this stage ready and willing to take up the offers on the engagement track, then we will put greater emphasis on the pressure track." (AP/Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel celebrates the historic date of November 29, 1947 - the day the UN approved the partition plan creating the Jewish state - as marking the end of the British mandate and the beginning of independent rule. However, UN headquarters in New York and Geneva are holding ceremonies of mourning and solidarity with the Palestinian people. The UN General Assembly has embarked on a two-day marathon of anti-Israeli debates, which culminates with votes on six anti-Israel resolutions. (Ynet News)
Israeli officials were bracing for Palestinian diplomats to use a General Assembly debate to ask the UN Security Council to declare a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. Israeli officials reject the concept of a one-sided establishment of a Palestinian state, emphasizing that the only way to achieve peace is through negotiations. (Jerusalem Post)
Sweden's attempts to insert language into an EU resolution on the Middle East that would recognize eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state harms European efforts to play a significant part in mediating between Israel and the Palestinians, the Israel Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The statement followed a Ha'aretz report that the Swedes were pushing a resolution to be discussed at a monthly meeting of EU ministers next week in Brussels that would officially call for the division of Jerusalem.
The Foreign Ministry said that after the significant steps that Israel has taken to enable the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians - a reference to the recent moratorium on new housing starts in the West Bank - "the Europeans should be pressuring the Palestinians to return to the negotiation table. These types of moves being led by Sweden bring about the opposite result." (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
While Ahmadinejad declares Iran's pacific intentions, that is disingenuous bluster. No disinterested observer can believe that Iran's program is designed purely to generate electricity. Iran pretends to cooperate with the IAEA and comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while withholding salient information and continuing its nuclear developments. It has built a second enrichment facility, near Qom, which should have been declared much earlier.
This was the object of the IAEA's criticism last week. The plan to build ten new plants is a new declaration of recalcitrance. Coming from a leader who believes in a literal and imminent apocalypse and who gleefully anticipates the extinction of the Jewish state, it is chilling.
The international community, specifically the U.S. and the EU3 (Britain, Germany and France), have been accommodating to a fault to Iran's reasonable needs. Further sanctions will need to bite, and the message from the UN should be single-minded. The multilateral arms control regime will be upheld, or it will be worthless. (Times-UK)
In the "enlightened," postmodernist secular societies of Europe, which shun all manifestations of nationalism, Israel is no longer considered a revival of Jewish nationhood, but as a colonial implant that many would be happy to see somehow disappearing as a national entity. Simultaneously, the realpolitik imposed by oil-producing countries when securing energy that has become the national priority for most nations, together with the growing empowerment of radical Islamic groups throughout Europe, have resulted in many countries siding against Israel rather than confront the jihadists within their own borders. It is in this context that Israel remains the only country in the world whose very right to exist is challenged.
It also highlights the dilemma facing Israel: the more concessions Israel has made over the last decade in order to reach an accommodation with its neighbors, the greater has been the terror unleashed against it and the more its international standing has eroded. (Guardian-UK)
What Prime Minister Olmert Offered Mahmoud Abbas - Greg Sheridan (The Australian)
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