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 14, 2010
Israel to Set Up Field Hospital in Haiti - Ronen Medzini
Ex-FBI Agent Says He Was Fired for Contacts with Israel Lobby AIPAC - Ryan Abbott (Courthouse News Service)
Sharp Rise in Study of Israel in U.S. Schools - Haviv Rettig Gur (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
As U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell hopes he can bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, there are increasing signs that Washington favors proximity talks rather than direct negotiations. Eytan Gilboa, a senior researcher at Israel's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, thinks the idea of introducing proximity talks is mistaken. Washington appears to be set on making Israel and the Palestinians talk and is using whatever mechanisms it can to make that happen, "even though the conditions might not be right," he said.
Gilboa believes the U.S. proposal to reach a final-status agreement between the parties within two years is "groundless," adding that the maximal concessions Israel is currently ready to give fall short of the minimal concessions the Palestinians are prepared to accept. Gilboa warns: "Only move ahead when the time is ripe. If the basic demands of both sides aren't anywhere close to one another, there's no point." (Xinhua-China)
Israel on Wednesday apologized to Turkey over an insult to its ambassador in an attempt to defuse the latest crisis between the two nations. (AP/Wall Street Journal)
Dr. Kifah al-Ramali of the Gaza Islamic University told Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV on Dec. 23, 2009: "The real Palestinian beauty queen is the Jihad-fighting mother, the mother who perseveres and endures the siege, the mother...who sacrificed martyrs and demonstrated forbearance. She is the wife of the martyr, who left her in the prime of life, with her children, yet she says: I will persevere, and I will raise my children to be mujahideen." (MEMRI)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The Israel Defense Forces' Medical Corps held a drill Wednesday to simulate a mass-casualty biological weapons' attack in Tel Aviv. Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and Wolfson Medical Center in Holon participated in the drill. The mock casualties were brought into empty wards by medical staff equipped with protective suits and masks. (Ynet News)
See also The ABCs of Biological Warfare and Terror Agents - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich (Jerusalem Post)
In recent days, the PA instructed several wanted men in the West Bank city of Nablus who were included in the amnesty agreement with Israel to return to jail. Senior PA officers asked wanted men who had been given amnesty to fully meet their commitments and not to jeopardize their release conditions. "The wanted men were asked not to carry weapons or talk nonsense on the phone. In short, to honor the document they signed two and a half years ago," a PA security source said. (Ynet News)
Father Patrick Desbois believes that many more than six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and he can prove it. Since 2004, Desbois has worked systematically to document and map the sites of Jewish mass killings by Nazi mobile killing units, or Einsatzgruppen, in Eastern Europe. He has uncovered upwards of 700 previously unknown Jewish mass graves where at least 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews are buried, and last year turned his attention to Belarus. "If you look only at the German archives, you'll find five to six times less than what we found," he told a gathering in New York City on Tuesday hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Elliott Abrams, who served as a senior Middle East adviser in the George W. Bush administration, says, "What we have been seeing from Senator Mitchell are 'trial balloons,' such as, 'let's have proximity talks instead of direct negotiations.'"
"Proximity talks would be the Palestinians and Israelis in different hotels or different rooms in the same hotel and the Americans would shuttle back and forth. What is ridiculous about that is that these people have been negotiating face to face for twenty years, so to go back to proximity talks is a real admission of failure." "The tragedy here is that this focus on the negotiating table has led the United States to continue, as we did in the Bush administration, to put much too much emphasis on negotiations and too little emphasis on the actual daily work of building a Palestinian state in the West Bank."
"Both the Palestinians and Israel will ultimately decide that their relations with the United States are important enough to sit at the table together, but that's not a formula for successful negotiations; that's just a formula for keeping the United States off your back....Our pressure on them, while it leads them to the table, does not lead them to successful negotiations if they're not ready." (Council on Foreign Relations)
The deadline for Iran to accept a UN-brokered deal on its controversial nuclear program expired on Dec. 31, proving yet again that the policy of modifying the behavior of the Islamic Republic is not working. Meanwhile, more and more experts are concluding that it is no longer a question of whether the regime in Tehran will fall, but rather when. The stranglehold on Iran's economy wielded by elements of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the state militia's attack last month on mourners at the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, revealed to the nation that the Islamic Revolution has degenerated into an illegitimate cartel backed by merciless armed militias.
The question now being asked is how the Green Movement can evolve from a resistance movement into an alternative political force capable of ruling Iran. Ms. Ansari is the diplomatic editor of the London-based weekly Iranian newspaper Kayhan. Mr. Paris is a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and Adjunct Fellow with the London-based Legatum Institute. (Wall Street Journal)
In spite of Israel's ongoing dialogue with the U.S. to search for the right formula for the resumption of peace talks, the position taken by the Obama administration, and the unfair pressure exerted by the EU, have brought down the fragile structure which had previously made negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians possible. The PA refuses to come back to the negotiation table and has launched an all-out diplomatic, media and legal war against the Jewish state. The EU has issued a call for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and for Jerusalem to become the capital of both countries. This would, in effect, render negotiations useless by determining their outcome from the outset.
It is as if the world has forgotten that Israel already made the most extraordinary concessions at Camp David and in Taba. Former Prime Minister Olmert made even greater concessions, but that was not enough for Mahmoud Abbas. Here lies the Palestinian paradox: While Israel has made great efforts to move toward a solution, Palestinian leaders, riding the crest of favorable public opinion in the West, are becoming more and more intransigent - and it is Israel which takes the blame. The writer is a former ambassador to Egypt and Sweden. (Jerusalem Post)
The Palestinians' Unilateral "Kosovo Strategy": Implications for the PA and Israel - Dan Diker (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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