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|
May 13, 2010
15 Jihadist Terrorist Attacks Thwarted in France - Edward Cody (Washington Post)
Where Did Tens of Millions of Dollars of Palestinian Assets Disappear To? - Avi Issacharoff (Ha'aretz)
11 French Peacekeepers Injured in Lebanon Munitions Accident (AFP)
Whale Sighting Off Israeli Coast Stuns Scientists (AFP)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The U.S. signaled unease Wednesday with Russia-Syria nuclear talks, saying countries looking at energy cooperation with Damascus should be aware of Syrian shortcomings on nuclear matters. "What concerns us is...Syria has not answered questions that have been raised about its compliance with the NPT," the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said. During a visit to Damascus on Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev voiced Moscow's readiness to build a nuclear power station in Syria as it has long been doing in Iran, Syria's main regional ally. (AFP)
See also Russia Lands $20B Nuclear Deal in Turkey - Anatoly Medetsky
Turkey on Wednesday agreed to let Russia build and own a $20 billion nuclear power plant complex in that country. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Rosatom, the state nuclear corporation, signed an agreement to build four reactors on Turkey's southern Mediterranean coast. (Moscow Times-Russia)
Al-Qaeda operatives who have been detained for years in Iran have been making their way quietly in and out of the country, raising the prospect that Iran is loosening its grip on the terror group so it can replenish its ranks, former and current U.S. intelligence officials say. A major concern among U.S. officials is that this movement foreshadows the release of al-Qaeda's "management council," including some of al-Qaeda's most dangerous figures.
Some experts believe that anyone from al-Qaeda freed to leave Iran must be returning to the battlefield. Others believe that terrorists may actually be working for Iran, gathering intelligence or passing messages before returning to Iran. (AP)
The Obama administration is preparing to begin a formal relationship with the Alliance of Civilizations, an international advisory group that the U.S. has largely shunned due to fears it would adopt anti-Israeli and anti-Western stances, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The five-year-old, UN-backed organization aims to ease strains between societies and cultures, particularly the West and Islam.
The Bush administration boycotted the group when it was founded in 2005, and its concerns were magnified a year later when the alliance released a report that identified Israel's "disproportionate retaliatory actions in Gaza and Lebanon" as a main cause of Muslim-Western tension. U.S. officials said the administration had been assured by the group's current leader, former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, that it would take a "more positive" approach to its work. (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement Wednesday saying it "absolutely rejects calls by the presidents of Russia and Turkey to include Hamas in the diplomatic process and expresses its deep disappointment in President Medvedev's meeting with Khaled Mashal in Damascus."
"Hamas is a terrorist organization in every sense of the word; its declared purpose is the destruction of the State of Israel. Members of Hamas have been responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians, including Russian citizens and other former residents of the CIS. It is totally unacceptable for enlightened nations to divide terrorists into 'good' and 'bad' according to some geographical division. Terrorists are terrorists, and Israel does not see any difference between the Hamas terror operating against Israel and the Chechen terror operating against Russia." (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israel's many gestures to the Palestinians have been reciprocated by "slaps in the face," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday. "We took the unilateral step of deciding on a moratorium, a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. We recognized two states for two peoples. We removed a dramatic number of roadblocks."
"I think we made countless gestures, and what did we get in return? The glorification of terror." "The day before Israel's acceptance by the OECD, [PA Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad approached dozens of countries with a request to sabotage that acceptance. They keep going on with their stories about war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. After all, Mahmoud Abbas himself called and asked us, pressured us to continue the military campaign and overthrow Hamas." (Ha'aretz)
The IDF has recently begun scattering its stores of military equipment as part of a new defense concept to protect them from rocket and missile attacks, Brig.-Gen. Nissim Peretz, commander of the IDF's logistics division, said Wednesday. The equipment includes ammunition, weapons, fuel, food, spare parts and other equipment meant to serve the army in time of war. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The Obama administration is making a mistake forcing Israel and the Palestinian Authority to discuss "core" issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, borders and settlements when the two sides are crying out that the gap between them on these explosive topics remains as wide as ever. The "proximity talks" will eventually undermine the moderates and boost the extremists among the Palestinians. The only ones who will benefit from this are Hamas and its friends in Tehran and Damascus.
By insisting on putting the issues of Jerusalem and refugees on the table, the Obama administration is placing Israelis and Palestinians on a collision course. Achievements on the security and economic fronts seem to be at risk now that the "peace process" is being revived. Sooner or later, Israel and the Palestinians will be trading allegations over which party is to blame for the failure of the "proximity" talks. The higher the expectations, the greater the disappointment - especially among the Palestinians, who later vent out their anger and frustration against Israel. (Hudson Institute New York)
Once upon a time, the UN was about protecting human rights and Eleanor Roosevelt was the chairman of its premier human rights agency, the Human Rights Commission. This week, the UN's top human rights body, renamed the Human Rights Council, is poised to add Libya to its membership. Libya will be elected by the UN General Assembly through a secret ballot in a process that champions geographic and religious loyalties over anything remotely resembling the actual protection of human rights. (FOX News)
Israel's Right to the Dimona Reactor - Ari Shavit (Ha'aretz)
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