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|
March 4, 2010
Americans Love Israel Even More Than You Think - Barry Rubin (Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya)
Israel Increasingly Popular. Surprised? - Editorial (New York Jewish Week)
The Arab Lobby Racks Up Another Victory - Benny Avni (New York Post)
United Arab Emirates to Follow Third Reich Policies Against Jews (Pravda-Russia)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The British government is to announce plans to stop politically-motivated groups using British courts to secure arrest warrants for visiting foreign officials. The move follows an outcry over a series of attempts to detain high-profile figures during trips to London, including Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister. Under the proposals, the Crown Prosecution Service will take over responsibility for prosecuting war crimes and other violations of international law, ending the current system in which magistrates are obliged to consider a case for an arrest warrant presented by any individual. (Telegraph-UK)
See also Britain Must Protect Foreign Leaders from Private Arrest Warrants - Prime Minister Gordon Brown (Telegraph-UK)
The U.S. is circulating a draft of new, tougher sanctions against Iran that concentrate on the banking, shipping and insurance sectors of Iran's economy, UN Security Council diplomats said Wednesday. The focus is on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which runs a vast array of Iranian businesses, while the oil industry is not included.
The proposed measures are likely to be diluted in further talks. The initial reaction from Russia was that the measures were too strong. The Western nations want a Security Council resolution finished before May when Lebanon, home to the militant group Hizbullah that is closely allied with Iran, will be president of the Council.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a trip to Latin America, was unable to budge Brazil from its opposition to sanctions against Iran. Brazil's president, Luiz da Silva, said Wednesday, "It is not prudent to push Iran against a wall." Brazil is a voting member of the Council. (New York Times)
See also EU Ready for New UN Sanctions after Iran "Provocation"
The European Union confirmed Wednesday that it would support new UN sanctions against Iran, reacting to provocative steps recently taken by Tehran over its nuclear program. "Iran's persistent failure to meet its international obligations and Iran's apparent lack of interest in pursuing negotiations require a clear response, including appropriate measures," the EU said in a statement to the IAEA's governing board in Vienna. (DPA)
See also China Still Rejects Iran Sanctions
China said Thursday it will continue to push for a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear standoff, rebuffing efforts by Western powers to introduce a new set of sanctions against Iran. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China would continue to "make constructive efforts for a proper resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations." (AP)
U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace George Mitchell will travel to the region over the weekend to see if Israel and the Palestinians are ready to begin indirect peace talks, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. The visit follows a declaration of support by Arab League ministers for such talks, a gesture that Washington hopes will allow the two sides to resume a dialogue, albeit via U.S. mediators. The public stance by the Arab ministers was designed to give Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas regional cover to resume talks. (Reuters-Washington Post)
See also Mideast Peace Talks Could Begin Next Week - Barak Ravid, Jonathan Lis and Avi Issacharoff
The U.S. is hoping the sides will declare the beginning of indirect talks on Sunday, ahead of the arrival of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Monday. Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Knesset Wednesday that "it seems the conditions for proximity talks are ripening." (Ha'aretz)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The Prime Minister's Bureau said Wednesday that Prime Minister Netanyahu is willing to meet with the Syrians immediately and without preconditions. A statement to the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat said, "Netanyahu is prepared to immediately set out for Damascus to meet with President Assad, or to invite him to Jerusalem, or to meet with him in a third country." (Ha'aretz)
While Arab residents of the King's Garden/El-Bustan neighborhood in Jerusalem have declared they adamantly oppose Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's plan to redevelop their neighborhood, sources inside city hall and among the residents themselves have hinted that behind closed doors, the two sides are closer to an agreement than has been reported thus far. When details of the plan were first revealed two weeks ago, a senior city hall official said the municipality and local residents were "very close" to an agreement. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
President Obama clearly doesn't want a war with Iran (and neither do I), but if history teaches anything, it's that you can't always get what you want. There are signs that the Iranian mullahs overestimate their clout and underestimate America's ability to confront them. In the past, Iranian radical factions have turned up the temperature in the U.S.-Iranian relationship in order to improve their political standing at home. Calling on Iranians to unite against the foreign menace has worked before, isolating moderates and consolidating the radicals' grip on power.
It would be easy for radical clerics to miscalculate and, intending only to stage a crisis, to overreach and set off a war. Paradoxically, the only way to avoid scenarios like these with Iran may be to make the regime and its radical allies fear us more than they now do. Somehow the mullahs need to understand that a real shooting war between the two countries almost certainly means regime change in Tehran.
There are quiet ways of communicating a truth that the Iranian leaders must never forget: that an attack on the forces of the United States would be an act of suicidal folly. But we should not be so polite and so low key that they miss the main point. The writer is the Henry Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. (American Interest)
See also Poll: 60 Percent of Americans Say Force Required to Stop Iran (FOX News)
Palestinian protests against the restoration of Jewish heritage sites are part of a campaign of delegitimization against Israel. The inclusion in Israel's heritage restoration project of two of the most sacred Jewish sites, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb, has sparked riots and led supposedly moderate Palestinian leaders to burst forth with disturbingly inflammatory rhetoric, with the U.S. State Department and the UN secretary general both reprimanding Israel for the decision as well.
This latest uproar is another example of the general Palestinian unwillingness to accept and acknowledge the deep-seated historical roots of the Jewish people in the region. The Cave of the Patriarchs is mentioned in the Bible and has been a focus of Jewish pilgrimage for more than 3,000 years as the burial place of the people's three forefathers. The refurbishment of two shrines central to Jewish history in no way threatens Palestinian political ambitions. What it does do is present an obstacle to those who wish to erase Jewish history in the region. (Guardian-UK)
Israel Was Not Alone in Wanting to "Detonate" the Hamas Missile Man - Stephen King (Irish Examiner)
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