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 10, 2010
Jihad in Nigeria - Melanie Phillips
Iranians Caught Using Stolen Israeli Passports - Dominic Waghorn (Sky News)
American "Jihad Jane" Arrested for Recruiting Muslim Terrorists - Richard A. Serrano (Los Angeles Times)
Israel Pardons 77 Former Fatah Terrorists (Maan News-PA)
Ask Razan Naaim About Israeli "Apartheid" - Liat Collins (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israeli officials are beginning to signal impatience with the slow pace of diplomacy aimed at restraining Iran's nuclear ambitions. In Jerusalem on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the need for the international community to join a U.S. sanctions push aimed at limiting Iran's nuclear program. "The stronger those sanctions are, the more likely it will be that the Iranian regime will have to choose between advancing its nuclear program and advancing the future of its own permanence," Netanyahu said. He added: "I think that the international community and the leading countries in the international community have to join the American effort. And Israel has been helping out with key countries and continues to do so."
The Obama administration had said that after a year of outreach to Iran, it would get tough in 2010, promising "crippling sanctions." UN sanctions were to be enacted quickly, followed by EU sanctions and then even tougher unilateral sanctions by a group of like-minded countries. "We were led to believe that by now, or the end of the month, that sanctions would be in place," said a senior Israeli official. "Iran is the litmus test" for American power, he said, and any failure to deal toughly with Iran will only encourage America's enemies. (Washington Post)
See also Israel: Outlook for Tough UN Steps on Iran "Grim" - Louis Charbonneau
The outlook for imposing tough new UN sanctions on Iran is increasingly grim, as Russia and China work to slow down a U.S. and European drive for swift action, Israel's UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said Tuesday. "The chances now seem grim regarding sanctions that will be crippling," she said. (Reuters)
The Tomb of the Patriarchs - a site revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians as the burial place of their common forefather, Abraham - needed bathrooms and a new roof over an outdoor prayer area. To the spokesman for Hebron's Jewish community, that should not have been grounds for international scandal. "In any normal country, people would take a site like that and turn it into a nationally recognized monument," David Wilder said. Demonstrators threw rocks in Hebron last week after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that Israel would spend $100 million rehabilitating 150 "national heritage" sites, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. Most of Hebron is a bustling, modern Arab city filled with honking taxis, vendors and shops - a thriving hub of West Bank commerce. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel's Interior Ministry announced Tuesday that the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee had approved 1,600 new housing units to ease the ultra-Orthodox community's housing shortage for young couples in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, a community of 20,000 in northern Jerusalem. Interior Ministry officials rejected claims that the plan's authorization was intended to scuttle efforts to renew proximity talks between Israel and the PA, or to otherwise compromise Vice President Biden's visit. The program had been drafted three years ago and the work of district planning committees is not under the direct authority of Israel's political leadership, which tries not to interfere with their work.
Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly told Biden, "No one was seeking to embarrass you or undermine your visit - on the contrary, you are a true friend to Israel." A high-ranking Israeli official said Netanyahu has "no problem" with construction in Jerusalem and has no intention of apologizing for building there. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that the construction announcement does not represent a new development. "This is an ultra-Orthodox city very close to the 'green line,' and these are housing units for people who are struggling and cannot buy elsewhere," he said. (Ha'aretz)
See also U.S. Slams Approval of New Jerusalem Homes
Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned Israel's approval of 1,600 new housing units for young haredi families in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. "The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now," Biden said, warning that "unilateral action taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations." White House spokesman Robert Gibbs also condemned the announcement. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Minister: Timing of Announcement Unfortunate
Interior Minister Eli Yishai told Army Radio that the timing of the announcement of a Jerusalem building plan was not discussed with him or other senior ministry officials. "The approval is a purely technical matter and we have no intention of insulting or seeking a confrontation with the U.S. vice president," Yishai said. He said he regretted the timing of the decision, adding that if he had known about the matter he would have recommended that the announcement be delayed by a week or two. However, he does not plan to cancel the building plan because the government's construction freeze in the territories does not apply to Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post)
Vice President Joe Biden assured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that Israel enjoyed Washington's unstinting support for its security and repeated U.S. intent to curb Iran's nuclear program. "There is no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel's security," Biden said following talks in Jerusalem. (Ynet News)
Israel is to begin officially monitoring incitement in the Palestinian Authority and will periodically issue a report on it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of Military Intelligence's research department, will serve as government coordinator for incitement in the PA. "We will set parameters by which to measure the level of incitement," Netanyahu told the committee. "People must know exactly what is happening on this issue, because for a peace agreement, education toward peace and acceptance of Israel are needed."
Building a "culture of peace...should not wait until the day a state comes into being," a senior Israeli government official said. The "incitement index" will be produced by monitoring broadcasts in the official PA media, statements and actions by senior PA officials and textbooks. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
President Obama and George Mitchell erred last year by raising expectations that a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations could be achieved relatively quickly. Even now Arab leaders, who endorsed the new process last week, may hold lingering hopes that the U.S. president will impose a solution. Yet as the new administration discovered in 2009, there are limits to how far the U.S. can push Middle East diplomacy. On the whole it is better to have Israelis and Palestinians talking than not. But Mitchell must aim for a quick transition to direct negotiations - and he should avoid raising expectations about what they can accomplish. (Washington Post)
An Arab member of the Knesset who goes all the way to the U.S. and Canada to tell university students and professors that Israel is an apartheid state is not only a hypocrite and a liar, but is also causing huge damage to the interests of his own Arab voters and constituents. If Israel were an apartheid state, what is this Arab doing in the Knesset? Doesn't apartheid mean that someone like him would not, in the first place, even be permitted to run in an election?
Fortunately, Arab citizens can go to the same beaches, restaurants and shopping malls as Jews in this "apartheid" state. The Arab community has a free media that many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza envy. Ironically, an Arab newspaper in Nazareth or Haifa that is licensed by Israel enjoys more freedom than the media controlled by Hamas and Fatah, as well as most corrupt Arab dictatorships.
The Arab Knesset member's presence on these campuses plays into the hands of those Israelis who accuse the Arab citizens, the majority of whom remain loyal to the state, of being a "fifth column" and an "enemy from within." The more the Jews are afraid of their fellow Arab citizens, the more the latter will suffer. (Hudson Institute New York)
Disproportionate Reactions to Israel Are a Scandal - Walter Russell Mead (American Interest)
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