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 15, 2010
New Information on the Violent
Intentions of the IHH Operatives (Intelligence and Terrorism
Turkish Drones Idle After Israeli Staff Leaves - Burak Ege Bekdil and Umit Enginsoy (Defense News)
Jordan's Nuclear Ambitions Pose Quandary for the U.S. - Jay Solomon (Wall Street Journal)
Israeli Civil Rights Group Asks YouTube to Repost Flotilla Satire Video - Ben Hartman (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The European Union is likely to agree on tough new sanctions against Iran that cover further investment in the country's oil and gas industry as well as its financial sector, Foreign Secretary William Hague of Britain said Monday. Britain, France and Germany are advocates "of strong measures," Hague said. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Monday that the European bloc would adopt supporting measures to reinforce the UN sanctions resolution approved last week. (New York Times)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the minority leader, circulated a letter last Friday among their colleagues that would press President Obama to investigate the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, the group involved in the Gaza flotilla incident. "Israeli forces were able to safely divert five of the six ships challenging the blockade," the letter says. "However, video footage shows that the Israeli commandos who arrived on the sixth ship, which was owned by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (the IHH), were brutally attacked with iron rods, knives, and broken glass."
"We recommend that your administration consider whether the IHH should be put on the list of foreign terrorist organizations, after an examination by the intelligence community, the State Department, and the Treasury Department." The letter also encourages Obama to continue to support Israel "before international organizations such as the United Nations." (JTA)
University of California-Irvine officials have recommended the suspension of the university's Muslim student group whose members disrupted a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on Feb. 8. Oren was shouted down repeatedly by Muslim students, and each time Oren attempted to resume his speech, another student jumped up with another outburst.
E-mails between members of the Muslim Student Union and detailed minutes from a Feb. 3 meeting described a "game plan" to disrupt Oren's speech, which also instructed students to deny that the Muslim Student Union organized the protest. Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine's law school, said the ban was appropriate punishment and stressed it stemmed not from the students' speech but for misrepresenting their role in the incident. (Los Angeles Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
"Lifting the naval blockade on Gaza would constitute a very dangerous development for Israel," Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Yuval Diskin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday. Diskin said terror organizations in Gaza "continue to arm themselves, both through production and smuggling." He noted that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had some 5,000 rockets with a range of up to 40 km, and also a few rockets capable of reaching the Tel Aviv region. "Even if vessels headed for Gaza will be inspected by foreign security personnel, this [lifting the blockade] will be a major security breach," he said. (Ynet News)
Israel asked EU countries to prevent flotilla vessels from leaving from their ports and prevent their citizens from taking part, as the security establishment reports on plans for ten more flotillas by October. (Ynet News)
See also Israeli Navy Braces for Next Flotillas - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
Last week, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi appointed former head of the National Security Council Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland to head an internal military probe into the Navy's operation to stop the flotilla. According to senior officers, one of the issues the probe will focus on is intelligence. "No agency in Israel, including the Mossad, currently collects intelligence on terror organizations in Turkey," a senior defense official said on Sunday. "There is a radical process sweeping throughout Turkey right now," the official said. "It is important to understand where things are heading there and how this will affect Israel." (Jerusalem Post)
A three-person panel to monitor Israeli and Palestinian compliance with the Goldstone Report was appointed Monday by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. In March, a UN Human Rights Council resolution insisted on the formation of a committee to ensure that Israel and the Palestinians conduct independent probes into their alleged human rights violations during the Gaza Operation. Israel has complained that the Goldstone Report was biased and flawed, and has insisted that its military probe of the operation meets the standards held by any democracy for such an investigation. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Over two years ago, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) began a diplomatic and philanthropic process to import water from Turkey to help to narrow Israel's significant water deficit and benefit Israel's neighbors as well. A detailed business plan was developed for a private company to purchase five single-hull tankers. Due to new regulations requiring double-hull tankers for oil transport, the price of these ships would have made the plan financially feasible. They would have brought water to provide food and sustenance to Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians as well. Today, Israel annually provides more than 80 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinians and 50 million cubic meters of water to the Jordanians, much more than is required by the Oslo Accords.
But in May, the Turkish government began demanding that the water be directed toward the Jordanians and Palestinians alone. Then Turkey's deputy foreign minister announced a suspension of all projects with Israel. (Wall Street Journal)
Prime Minister Erdogan appears set to milk the popularity he gained in the streets of Turkey and the Middle East after the Marmara crisis. Turks are easily swayed emotionally even if this means that the bread and butter issues of vital importance to them are pushed to the background. It is clear that there is great public animosity towards Israel today. The almost endemic anti-Americanism among Turks is also adding grist to Erdogan's populist mill.
Over the weekend he said, "They are asking us...why is Turkey bothered about Gaza? But could they not be asked in return what America is doing in Iraq? What is it doing in Palestine? Could it not be asked what is it doing in Afghanistan?" Erdogan is utilizing the least sophisticated of political tools to increase support for the AKP at home, and totally disregarding what harm he may be doing to Turkey's well established links with the West in general and the U.S. in particular. (Hurriyet-Turkey)
While the riots of last June did not topple the mullahs, the Islamic Republic is now permanently unstable. Every national holiday has the potential of turning into a day of protest, and the regime must send out hundreds of thousands of security forces. While many in the West casually dismiss the movement because it's been unable to maintain huge street demonstrations, Ayatollah Khamenei has an acute grasp of how numerous his enemies are and how volatile the country remains. Khamenei is far more likely to compromise on nuclear weapons if he feels he's about to be undone by the Green Movement.
The opposition needs access to satellite-fed Internet connections which are difficult for the government to shut down. Just $50 million per year could open the entire country to the Internet. Millions less would allow the diverse range of pro-democracy groups to communicate with each other and more effectively counter the regime's security forces. The writer, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is a former Middle Eastern specialist in the CIA's clandestine service. (New York Times)
See also Deafening Silence from West as Iranians Protest - David Burchell (The Australian)
Why Is Fayyad Burning Israeli Products? - Dalia Itzik (Jerusalem Post)
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