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|
June 10, 2010
Report: Russia to Freeze Iran Missile Deal (Reuters)
Why Didn't Israel Know the Intentions of the Flotilla Attackers? - Yossi Melman (Ha'aretz)
Poll: 78% of Israelis View Turkey as Enemy State (AFP)
Hamas Cash Flow Crisis in Gaza Ends (World Tribune)
OAS Rejects Israel Condemnation (JTA)
Egypt Bars Israeli Professor from Academic Convention - Ahiya Raved (Ynet News)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The UN Security Council leveled its fourth round of sanctions against Iran's nuclear program on Wednesday, but the measures did little to overcome widespread doubts that they - or even the additional steps pledged by American and European officials - would halt Iran's production of nuclear fuel. Twelve nations voted for the measure, Turkey and Brazil voted against it, and Lebanon abstained. The main thrust of the sanctions is against military purchases, trade and financial transactions carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which controls the nuclear program. (New York Times)
See also Text of UN Security Council Resolution 1929 (United Nations)
After a meeting at the White House on Wednesday with Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama said: "There is a lot of work that remains to be done so that we can create a two-state solution in the Middle East in which we have an Israel that is secure and fully accepted by its neighbors, and a Palestinian people that have their own state, self-determination, and the ability to chart their own destiny."
"We agree that Israelis have the right to prevent arms from entering into Gaza that can be used to launch attacks into Israeli territory. But we also think that it is important for us to explore new mechanisms so that we can have goods and services, and economic development...within Gaza....In the meantime, the United States - which is already the biggest humanitarian aid donor in Gaza - is going to be announcing an additional $400 million in assistance." (White House)
State Department Spokesman Philip J. Crowley said Wednesday: "We have offered Hamas a spot at the table many, many times if Hamas will agree to very straightforward conditions - recognize Israel, recognize existing agreements, and give up violence against Israel. Those are not complex demands."
"There are two stories here. There's a compelling and urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza. And there is a growing economy and a relatively stable situation that is improving every day in the West Bank. What is the difference between those two? It's not the difference of Palestinians who live in the West Bank and...in Gaza. It is the nature of the government that is currently ruling in the West Bank and was part of a unified government until Hamas changed the situation on the ground in Gaza. So let's put the responsibility where it clearly lies. It is Hamas' unwillingness to come to the table, to be a constructive force, to meet the international community or the Quartet's clear, straightforward conditions and play a constructive role in the region. That opportunity is available to Hamas. But because Hamas chooses, rather than serving the needs of its people, to fire rockets at Israel, that's the reason why you have the current situation in Gaza." (State Department)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel's inquiry into the flotilla raid will examine how "extremists" were able to board the convoy, as well as Israel's actions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday. "We have to establish who stood behind this extremist group, who financed its members, and how knives, axes and other weapons were brought aboard," Netanyahu said. "We also need to ask what large sums of money found aboard the boats were doing there, and for whom they were intended," he added. (Ha'aretz)
Palestinian sources reported Tuesday that Israel has pardoned 73 wanted members of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. 13 were given full amnesty and the other 60 were given conditional amnesty. The most prominent is Kamel Ghanam, a senior Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades commander in the Ramallah area, who had been wanted by Israel since 2003 and hid in Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah. The new list of pardoned men was seen as an Israeli gesture to the PA. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The sanctions don't touch Iran's gasoline or its domestic energy sector. They will allow China to continue developing three large oil fields as well as oil refineries that will eliminate Iran's need for gasoline imports. They will permit Russia to switch on the Busheir nuclear plant this summer. The sanctions came six months later than the U.S. wanted. During that time Iran's centrifuges have enriched more than 2,000 pounds of uranium.
Ahmadinejad is getting stronger at home, as well. A few months ago he and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei were fighting with the opposition Green movement for control of the streets of Tehran and other major cities. Now, with the anniversary of the fraudulent election that touched off that rebellion approaching this Saturday, the streets are quiet. For now, at least, the Green movement has been quelled. (Washington Post)
See also New Sanctions Fail to Impose Serious Costs on Iran - Paul Koring
"These are not the crippling sanctions that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had promised about a year ago," said James Lindsay, senior vice-president of the Council on Foreign Relations. "China and Russia insisted that the resolution contain nothing that would impose broad costs on the Iranian economy - or damage Chinese and Russian commercial interests." The sanctions leave untouched the $100 billion in annual oil exports that underpin Iran's Islamic regime and pay for its nuclear program, which Washington says is an ill-disguised effort to acquire nuclear weapons. (Globe and Mail-Canada)
See also What U.S. Paid for Iran Sanctions - Benny Avni (New York Post)
Last year, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan defended Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court for killing half a million Sudanese Christians and non-Arab Muslims. In March 2010, he denied that Turks ever killed Armenian civilians. He said the Turkish military garrison stationed in Cyprus since 1974 is "not an occupier" but "[ensures] the peace." On tens of thousands of Kurds killed by Turkish security forces from 1984 to 1999, he says nothing.
Could it be that there is something more to Erdogan's rage against Israel? Turkish elections, 13 months away, hold the answer. Backing for Erdogan's party has fallen to 29%, the lowest level since it won power in 2002 and far below the 47% it scored in July 2007. So Erdogan decided to play the Israel card.
In the 2009 Pew Global Attitudes survey, 73% of Turks rated their opinions of Jews as "negative." Meanwhile, 68% of Turks rated their opinions of Christians as "negative." A 2010 BBC poll found negative views of the U.S. among 70% of Turks. (Wall Street Journal)
Over the past three years, Iran's Khomeinist regime has portrayed Israel as a waning power, a small and vulnerable enclave that, having lost the support of its powerful protector, the U.S., is facing the might of a resurgent Muslim world under Tehran's leadership. This message is pumped out through Iranian satellite television stations, and in scores of magazines and books that are freely distributed throughout the Muslim world. Muslim opinion-formers are regularly invited to Iran for seminars on the pan-Islamic campaign to accelerate "the inevitable end of Israel," a phrase repeatedly used by Iran's official media.
To underline this new image of Israel, the Tehran propaganda machine has replaced footage of poor Palestinians crushed by "Zionists" with that of the growing arsenal of rockets that Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza have built up for what President Ahmadinejad calls "the final assault on the Zionist state." The Jew, previously depicted as aggressive and domineering, is presented as cowardly. (Times-UK)
Why Israel Ignores Criticism of Gaza Flotilla Raid - Joshua Mitnick (Christian Science Monitor)
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