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 26, 2010
Netanyahu, Obama to Meet in Washington Next Tuesday - Barak Ravid (Ha'aretz)
U.S. Gen. Dayton to Step Down - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff (Ha'aretz)
Fancy Restaurants and Olympic-Size Pools in Gaza - Tom Gross (National Post-Canada)
Arab Women Join IDF Rescue Units - Roni Shaked (Ynet News)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday rejected as inadequate an Iranian plan to swap some of its enriched uranium for reactor fuel. "There is a recognition on the part of the international community that the agreement that was reached in Tehran a week ago between Iran and Brazil and Turkey only occurred because the Security Council was on the brink of publicly releasing the text of the resolution that we have been negotiating for many weeks," Clinton said. "It was a transparent ploy to avoid Security Council action." (AP)
The Turkish passenger ship Mavi Marmara was to leave Turkey on Tuesday with two cargo ships and join six more ships organized by the Free Gaza organization. The humanitarian aid and purchasing of Turkish ships were organized by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), and the other ships are supported by England, Ireland, Kuwait and Greece. Israel's Ambassador to Ankara Gabby Levy said, "The sole purpose of these activities is to create provocations that pose security risks to the State of Israel." Serkan Nergis, IHH's press coordinator, said, "These ships have the Turkish flag on them. Anything that is going to be done to them is also done to Turkey, and they will have a diplomatic response." (Hurriyet-Turkey)
See also Israel: Ships Forcing Their Way into Gaza Will Do Nothing to Aid the People There - Yigal Palmor
In a typical week, 15,000 tons of supplies enter Gaza. Truckloads of meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, milk powder, baby food, wheat and other staples arrive in Gaza on a daily basis. Building materials are also shipped in, when monitored by international organizations so as not to be commandeered by Hamas for the fortification of bunkers. Since the ceasefire in January 2009, well over a million tons of humanitarian supplies entered Gaza from Israel - that is almost a ton of aid for each man, woman and child.
Israel has invited the organizers of the flotilla to use the land crossings, in the same manner as all the reputable international organizations. However, they are less interested in bringing in aid than in promoting their radical agenda, playing into the hands of Hamas. While they have wrapped themselves in a humanitarian cloak, they are engaging in political propaganda and not in pro-Palestinian aid. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
See also IDF Says Aid Mission to Gaza a Provocation - Hanan Greenberg
IDF Col. Moshe Levi, commander of the Gaza District Coordination Office, said Wednesday there is no shortage of food or equipment in Gaza. "The sail is a provocative act that is unnecessary in light of the figures, which indicate that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is good and stable," he said, adding that Israel allows the transfer of many products apart from those which may be used by Hamas for terror-related activities. Some 100 trucks enter Gaza every day. (Ynet News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Palestinians on Tuesday blew up a donkey cart filled with dynamite near the Gaza border and fired several mortar rounds into Israel. In response, Israeli planes attacked two terror tunnels being dug a kilometer from the border to enable terrorists to enter Israel to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers. (Israel Defense Forces-Hebrew-Ha'aretz)
Hamas, which seized power in Gaza, is supported and funded by Iran. It denies Israel's right to exist and continues to build up its weapons stockpiles to continue attacking the Israeli civilian population. In 2010, 140 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel from Gaza. Whether using smuggling tunnels or fishing boats, Hamas is constantly trying to smuggle in missiles, rocket launchers, guns, explosives and materials for building weapons.
IDF operations, including the maritime closure and crossing restrictions, arise from the need to maintain the safety of the citizens of Israel from the terrorist threat in Gaza and to prevent weapons smuggling. The IDF allows the crossing of goods and equipment into Gaza in a routine and frequent manner, and enables the transfer of people for medical, religious, welfare, business or diplomatic reasons. (Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson)
See also Full Gaza Markets - 29 Photos (Palestine News Agency-Arabic)
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian television Tuesday that Hamas was refusing to achieve intra-Palestinian reconciliation because of an Iranian veto. "We, the Palestinian people, are like a hijacked airplane," he said. "The decision-making power is not in our hands, but rather, in the hands of the Iranians. For that reason, the Palestinian people's unity, just like the plane, is also hijacked." (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
When I first saw the May 17 picture of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, joining his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with raised arms - after their signing of a putative deal to defuse the crisis over Iran's nuclear weapons program - all I could think of was: Is there anything uglier than watching democrats sell out other democrats to a Holocaust-denying, vote-stealing Iranian thug just to tweak the U.S. and show that they, too, can play at the big power table?
"Lula and Erdogan's visit to Iran came just days after Iran executed five political prisoners who were tortured into confessions. They warmly embraced Ahmadinejad as their brother, but didn't mention a word about human rights. There seems to be a mistaken assumption that the Palestinians are the only people that seek justice in the Middle East, and if you just invoke their cause you can coddle the likes of Ahmadinejad," observed Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment.
What this deal really does is what Iran wanted it to do: weaken the global coalition to pressure Iran to open its nuclear facilities to UN inspectors, and, as a special bonus, legitimize Ahmadinejad on the anniversary of his crushing the Iranian democracy movement. (New York Times)
See also Lula's Folly: The Brazilian President Embraces Iran - Jaime Daremblum (Weekly Standard)
See also Much Lacking from Lula and Erdogan's Diplomatic Foray - Emile Hokayem (The National-UAE)
A new poll of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza provides a startling conclusion: Fully one-third of the population no longer wants a separate state of their own. No, these Palestinians now say they want to live in one state alongside the Israelis. This number has increased by 60% in the last ten months. Fewer than half now say they support a two-state solution, a sharp decline since last year. Israel is not likely to accept such a solution, afraid of what might happen if Palestinians eventually outnumbered Jews. But that's not the point.
Special envoy George Mitchell is now shuttling from Jerusalem to Ramallah and back in the latest iteration of American-sponsored peace talks. But it's apparent that no one really wants a peace agreement, except maybe a few officials in Washington. When Israel pulled out of Gaza five years ago, look what happened: Hamas seized control and began firing hundreds of missiles at Israel. What is to say that a new Palestinian state would not be the same? That's how many Israelis view it.
The Arab world has been championing the Palestinian cause for more than 40 years. Most Middle East analysts believe Arab leaders continually promote this view primarily as a means to distract their subjects from the sorry state of their own lives. For now, these leaders say, all our resources must be devoted to fighting the Zionists, freeing our Palestinian brothers! If Israel and the Palestinians reached a peace agreement, removing that issue from the region's political equation, how long would it be before Arabs began looking at their own problems instead? Peace would not be good news for Arab dictators. The writer, a former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, is now a professor of journalism at Stanford University. (Providence Journal)
Demilitarization - Preventing Military and Terrorist Threats from Within and By Way of the Palestinian Territories - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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