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|
January 6, 2010
Iraq to Demand Compensation from Israel over 1981 Nuclear Reactor Strike (DPA)
Terrorist Commander Killed in Gaza Airstrike - Ali Waked (Ynet News)
Hamas: Torture Continues in PA Prisons - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
PA Crews Help Put Out Israeli Bus Fire in West Bank (Maan News-PA)
Tennis Protest Against Israeli Player Backfires (NZPA-New Zealand)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Over the past decade, Iran has quietly hidden an increasingly large part of its atomic complex in networks of tunnels and bunkers across the country. In doing so, American government and private experts say, Iran has not only shielded its infrastructure from military attack in warrens of dense rock, but it has further obscured the scale and nature of its notoriously opaque nuclear effort. The discovery of the Qum uranium enrichment plant buried inside a mountain only heightened fears about other undeclared sites.
Google Earth, for instance, shows that the original hub of the nuclear complex at Isfahan consists of scores of easily observed buildings. But in recent years Iran has honeycombed the nearby mountains with tunnels. Satellite photos show six entrances. (New York Times)
"This is not the right time or right moment for sanctions, because the diplomatic efforts are still going on," China's UN envoy Zhang Yesui said Tuesday as his government assumed the rotating monthly presidency of the UN Security Council. Council diplomats say that China, which is expanding its commercial ties with Iran, has hardened its resistance to sanctions in recent months.
The Obama administration has been preparing a package of targeted sanctions against the Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian institutions it deems responsible for acquiring nuclear and ballistic-missile technology. U.S. and European diplomats have acknowledged that China and Russia are likely to approve only the mildest of new sanctions. One Security Council envoy said the U.S. and its Western allies are planning to unveil a second round of their own sanctions against Iranian officials. (Washington Post)
Egyptian security forces clashed on Wednesday with members of a convoy led by British politician George Galloway trying to take relief supplies to Palestinians in Gaza. A Reuters correspondent in the port city of El Arish, 25 miles from Egypt's border with Gaza, saw security forces throwing stones at about 520 people traveling with the convoy. Police used water cannon to force the protesters to leave Arish harbor, which they had occupied, a security source said. Around 40 members of the convoy had minor injuries while around 15 police officials were hurt, witnesses said.
Egypt's Interior Ministry said protesters had broken a gate into the port complex, while others scaled its walls. Some of the protesters "lit cardboard boxes and prevented firemen from reaching them and moved cars from the convoy to block the port gate," the ministry said. The activists struck a deal with police to trade four police officers who had been held by the protesters for a few hours in exchange for seven members of the convoy detained by police. (Reuters/New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The international community has to stop "coddling" the Palestinians and tell them unequivocally that they need to return to the negotiating table, Prime Minister Netanyahu told a visiting U.S. congressional delegation on Tuesday. A senior Israeli official added: "Everyone wants the current impasse to break, and no one sees a continuation of the current situation desirable." Israel's expectation was that various countries - including leading players in the Arab world - would begin saying that to the Palestinians. According to Israeli sources, the U.S. is working hard to get key Arab players to support Abbas if and when he decides to return to talks. (Jerusalem Post)
IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has issued an order requiring the Israel Defense Forces to consult with the army's legal advisers while military operations are underway and not just when they are being planned. However, in an effort to keep the legal advisers from disrupting the combat, they will work only with the divisional headquarters while operations are underway - rather than with brigade or battalion headquarters. Meanwhile, greater emphasis has been placed on training officers in the rules of war and international law, as part of officer training courses at the level of company, battalion and brigade commanders. (Ha'aretz)
Britain is determined to find a way to modify its system of universal jurisdiction so that visiting Israeli leaders will not face arrest, British Attorney-General Baroness Scotland of Ashtal said Tuesday at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "The foreign secretary...is determined that Israeli leaders should always be able to travel freely to the United Kingdom," she said, referring to a recent incident in which a warrant for arrest was issued against Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni. The baroness earlier told Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon that she was aware of the importance of finding an urgent solution to the issue. (Jerusalem Post)
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday took part in a demonstration in which he threw products made in Jewish settlements, which were confiscated from Palestinian stores, into a fire. PA Economics Minister Hassan Abu Libdeh said the Western-backed Palestinian government had already confiscated $1 million worth of food, cosmetics and hardware, and the goal is to eliminate all settlement-made goods from Palestinian store shelves.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the Palestinian boycott would only damage peace prospects: "I don't think by concentrating their efforts on boycotts they will achieve any of the political goals, if these still include reaching a peace agreement with Israel." Israel's Histadrut labor federation said a boycott would harm the Palestinians more, as many of them are employed by Israeli factories in the West Bank. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The fundamental disagreements between Israel and the EU regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are linked to the lesson taken by European states from the profound trauma of World War II. The preference for multilateral frameworks, the adherence to the principles of international law, the rejection of the use of force to change political realities, the sanctification of human rights as an absolute value (that is sometimes applied in a manner that leaves a sense of double standards), and empathy toward those who are perceived as being weak - all these are part of the principles by which the EU states conduct themselves.
The threat of terror, which has become an inseparable part of Israel's reality, and Israel's responses - which are covered obsessively - bumps up against a European reality that with a few exceptions has not experienced the horrors of terror. It follows from this that Israel's responses to terror, which result in unintended harm to civilians, are met by a lack of understanding. The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to Germany. (Ha'aretz)
Recently Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka called TV interviewer Dan Margalit "an immigrant." This comes on top of Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi's statement that the Jews are immigrants. Yet Kfar Qara, where Dr. Zahalka resides, was only established in the 18th century, while Arabs only arrived at Taibe, where Dr. Tibi hails from, in the 17th century from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as attested to by the last names of some residents. By the end of the 19th century, only about 140,000 non-Jews resided in the Land of Israel, while by 1948 this number grew tenfold, mostly because of Arab immigration.
Under Arab villages in the Galilee one can find synagogues from the Second Temple period. Pharaoh Merneptah noted the existence of Israelites in Canaan about 3,225 years ago. (Ynet News)
U.S. Criticizes Jerusalem Building Project on Mount of Olives - Tovah Lazaroff and Hilary Leila Krieger (Jerusalem Post)
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