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 28, 2010
Iran Executes Two over Election Unrest (Reuters-Washington Post)
Key Gaza Power Plant May Shut Down over Internal Palestinian Money Dispute (AP/Jerusalem Post)
The Gulf States in the Shadow of Iran - Patrick Knapp (Middle East Quarterly)
International Commando Teams Train with the IDF in Israel (Israel Defense Forces)
Saudi Teen Sentenced to 90 Lashes for Cell Phone in School (FOX News)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
In his State of the Union Address Wednesday, President Obama said: "Diplomatic efforts have...strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that insist on violating international agreements in pursuit of nuclear weapons....That's why the international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated. And as Iran's leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: They, too, will face growing consequences. That is a promise." (White House)
See also U.S. Readies New Iran Sanctions at UN - Matthew Lee
The Obama administration is preparing to circulate proposed tough new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program as early as this week at the UN, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The proposed measures would target elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Officials said negotiations on a proposed fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions could begin within weeks.
U.S. Secretary of State Clinton said she thinks Russia, China and others are coming around to the view that it is time for the Iranian government to face consequences for failing to prove its nuclear program is peaceful, saying there was a growing belief in the "international community that Iran should face consequences for its defiance of international obligations." (AP/Washington Post)
Human Rights Watch has disputed Hamas claims that it did not target civilians during last year's Gaza war. Researcher Bill van Esveld said Thursday that most of the rockets hit civilian areas, suggesting Hamas deliberately targeted civilians. He said their actions amounted to war crimes. (AP)
See also Hamas Clears Itself of UN Gaza War Crimes Charges (AFP)
Normally, about half of Jalazon's able-bodied men are employed in construction in nearby Jewish settlements. But since Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Obama, announced the settlement building freeze in October, much of the work has disappeared. While, theoretically, the 10-month freeze on building in Israeli settlements in the West Bank was supposed to benefit the Palestinian cause, in the short-term, thousands of Palestinians who work in construction are feeling the pinch.
"Work in the settlements has decreased dramatically in the last few months - it's nothing like it was before. But our lives haven't changed for the better and the leaders aren't any closer to peace, so what's the point?" says Walid Mustafa, a father of seven who says he's lucky to find work one day a month. "The settlement freeze has only brought more poverty," complains Abdel Aziz Othman. (Christian Science Monitor)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Europe has been trading with Iran in the amount of some $91 billion in the past three years. The leading countries in trade with Iran include Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Holland and Belgium, according to a document circulating in the Foreign Ministry based on EU numbers. Between January and July 2009, trade between the 27 EU countries and Iran amounted to $14 billion, compared to $20 billion during the same period in 2008, still a significant amount, especially since the decline was mainly a result of the global economic crisis. (Ynet News)
See also Siemens to Reject New Orders from Iran - Marilyn Gerlach and Madeline Chambers
The German engineering conglomerate Siemens said on Tuesday it would reject any further orders from Iran. Germany is one of the biggest exporters to Iran. Siemens Chief Executive Peter Loescher said the Siemens board decided in October not to agree to any further orders with customers in Iran, though existing orders would be fulfilled. (Reuters)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Wednesday in Sharm al-Sheikh to discuss ways of restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The two also discussed the stalled negotiations with Hamas over a deal for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, as well as the situation along the Gaza border where there has been an improvement in Egypt's efforts to thwart arms smuggling. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The Goldstone Report is much more scurrilous than most of its detractors believe. According to the report, Israel used the more than 8,000 rocket attacks on its civilians merely as a pretext, an excuse to target innocent Palestinian civilians for death, as decided upon by the highest levels of the Israeli government. The report found these serious charges "to be firmly based in fact" and had "no doubt" of their truth.
The hard evidence conclusively proves that the exact opposite is true, namely that Israel did not have a policy of targeting innocent civilians for death. Indeed the IDF went to unprecedented lengths to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas did have a deliberate policy of having its combatants dress in civilian clothing, fire their rockets from densely populated areas, use civilians as human shields, and store weapons in mosques. (Jerusalem Post)
See also The Goldstone Report: A Study in Evidentiary Bias - Alan Dershowitz (AlanDershowitz.com)
See also Goldstone's Gaza Report: Part 1 - A Failure of Intelligence - Richard Landes (GLORIA Center, IDC Herzliya)
See also Goldstone's Gaza Report: Part 2 - A Miscarriage of Human Rights - Richard Landes (GLORIA Center, IDC Herzliya)
See also The UN Gaza Report: A Substantive Critique - Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
President Obama's first year in office turned out to be one of the most encouraging for Israelis and Palestinians in over 15 years. There was less violence than there had been for years, with 2009 being the first year in a long time without any successful suicide bombings against Israel. In addition, Palestinian security forces in the West Bank have finally started to behave like a security force rather than like a terrorist group. Then there was the strong economic growth in both Israel and the Palestinian territories relative to most of the rest of the world.
What has been happening on the ground in the past year - brought about by both Israeli and PA leaders effectively ignoring Mr. Obama and the other so-called "peace processers" - is that the Palestinian government in Ramallah, with quiet assistance from Israel, is finally doing some state-building instead of engaging in endless hollow "processing" involving talks about talks with foreign leaders. (Wall Street Journal)
On Jan. 18, the BBC's documentary program "Panorama" was devoted to Jerusalem. Rarely will you get a clearer insight into the flagrant institutional bias inside the world's most powerful media outlet than this. The slipperiness of the tactics employed, the unabashed censorship of vital historical context, and the blatant pursuit of a political agenda constituted a lesson in the techniques of modern day propaganda.
We are told of, and shown, instances of Palestinians being thrown out of homes they have "lived in for generations." This is stated as fact by the narrator. When the counter argument is made that the land they have lived on was stolen from Jews in the first place, this was offered as mere opinion. Welcome to the world of the BBC and to yet another illustration of the slippery path to the delegitimization of the world's only Jewish state. (robinshepherdonline.com)
See also BBC Panorama Distorts the Facts about Jerusalem - Ricki Hollander and Gilead Ini (CAMERA)
International Holocaust Remembrance Day - President Shimon Peres (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres addressed the German Bundestag on Wednesday:
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