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 29, 2010
Egypt Blames Bedouin for Gas Line Explosion (Maan News-PA)
British Security Firm to Train Palestinian Guards in East Jerusalem - Ronen Bergman (Ynet News)
Hizbullah Not Interested in Dialogue with U.S. - Bassem Mroue (AP-Washington Post)
Hamas Warns Palestinians Against Collaborating with Israel - Harriet Sherwood (Guardian-UK)
Thousands of Egyptians Protest Police Torture (AP-New York Times)
Bedouin IDF Battalion Sees 50% Increase in Volunteers - Amir Buchbut (Maariv-Hebrew-IMRA)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The French oil group Total said it had suspended sales of refined products to Iran. Spain's largest oil company Repsol has pulled out of a contract it won with Royal Dutch Shell to develop part of the South Pars gas field in Iran, a spokesman said on Monday. Italy's oil and gas major ENI is handing the operation of the Darkhovin oilfield in Iran to local partners to avoid U.S. sanctions, ENI told U.S. authorities on April 29. Russian oil major LUKOIL will cease gasoline sales to Iran, industry sources said on April 7, following a similar decision by Royal Dutch Shell in March. (Reuters)
See also UAE Freezes 41 Iran-Linked Bank Accounts (Reuters)
Adm. Mike Mullen said Monday he believes Iran will continue to pursue nuclear weapons, even if sanctions against the country are increased. Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said it would be "incredibly dangerous" for Iran to achieve nuclear weapons, and that there's "no reason to trust" Iran's assurances that it is only pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, especially after the discovery of the secret nuclear facility in Qom. Mullen added that he believes the U.S. and Israel are "in synch" with their current policies on Iran. (AP)
Several thousand Palestinians and Lebanese civil activists converged on central Beirut on Sunday, demanding more rights for Palestinians. Dozens of buses transported demonstrators waving Palestinian flags from refugee camps across the country, where some 425,000 Palestinians are registered as refugees. Palestinians in Lebanon are barred from working in dozens of professions and are generally paid lower wages than their Lebanese counterparts when they do find jobs. They are not allowed to benefit from public social or medical services. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Hamas plans to kidnap more IDF soldiers and the price for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will increase if Israel doesn't meet its demands for a prisoner swap, Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal warned on Monday. (Jerusalem Post)
Israel Police said Monday that three Israeli Arabs inspired by global jihad have been indicted for the 2009 murder of taxi driver Yefim Weinstein, 54. According to police, they were part of a seven-man cell that regularly watched al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's speeches online and wanted to join the fight against Jewish and Christian "infidels." The suspects were also involved in several other attacks against Jewish and Christian targets. The group was exposed after two of its members were arrested in Somalia, where they planned to fight against U.S. soldiers, and extradited to Israel. (Ha'aretz)
In an interview published on Friday, Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair said: "It was only when I came back to this after leaving office [as British prime minister] that I understood the impact of the [second] intifada and the disengagement from Gaza on the Israeli mindset. The combination of those two things fundamentally changed the way Israelis look at this situation. Their position now is to say, 'Show us that if we make peace, it's a genuine, lasting peace with a Palestinian state that we can predict, that is stable, and that is a secure partner for us. Show us that, and we'll give it a go. But if you can't show us that, the experience of the last ten years makes us very doubtful.'" (Jerusalem Post)
The Israel Air Force targeted a Palestinian militant who fired an anti-tank missile at IDF soldiers near the Nahal Oz crossing on Monday. (Israel Defense Forces)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Israel could insist on a deal with the activists once again steaming its way: You can proceed to Gaza if, once you get there, you demand that Hamas cease the persecution of women, institute freedom of religion, halt the continuing rocketing of Israel, release an Israeli hostage, ban torture and rescind an official charter that could have made soothing bedtime reading for Adolf Hitler. In fact, these demands would never be met. Gaza is a mean and brutal place with a totalitarian government steeped in a cult of violence and death.
Paul Berman, in his new book The Flight of the Intellectuals, traces Hamas' intellectual pedigree to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, whose founder, Hassan al-Banna, greatly admired Hitler, and to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who spent much of World War II in Germany cozying up to Hitler, organizing a Muslim SS unit and, on occasion, remonstrating with the Nazis for not killing enough Jews. (Washington Post)
Even if Israel and the Palestinian Authority were to reach a peace agreement in the near future, it is certain that the PA would not be able to implement it or sell it to a majority of Palestinians. Therefore, decision-makers in Washington need to ask themselves: Is there a majority of Palestinians who are prepared to make far-reaching concessions in the context of a peace treaty with Israel? Is there a Palestinian leader who is willing to make compromises on explosive issues such as Jerusalem, settlements and the "right of return?"
Some Palestinians are convinced that if a free and democratic election were held tomorrow in the West Bank, Hamas would emerge victorious because most Palestinians still do not regard Abbas' Fatah faction as a better alternative to the Islamic fundamentalist movement. So what is the point of "proximity talks" if the partner in Ramallah would not be able to deliver his side of an agreement?
Perhaps before we search for ways to make peace between Jews and Palestinians, we first need to find a way to achieve peace between the two Palestinian states - one in Gaza under Hamas and the second in the West Bank under Fatah. (Hudson Institute-New York)
Unlike, say, the African-American boycott of segregated buses, which aimed to change a racist policy and did not apply to whites in general, the boycott of Israel reaches much wider. Any Israeli who does not explicitly disavow his or her country is fair game - and those who declare their solidarity with Israelis are, as a consequence, equally suspect.
A recent issue of The Nation included a piece by Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss endorsing BDS - a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel - with zealot-like enthusiasm. Crucially, the "United Call for BDS," which Horowitz and Weiss approvingly link to, dates the Israeli occupation as beginning not in 1967, following the Six-Day War, but in 1948, when Israel was created. This is no accident, for the aim of the BDS movement is not to effect a change in Israeli policy, but to dismantle the state which makes those policies. The writer is associate director of communications of the American Jewish Committee. (Huffington Post)
Turkey's Islamic Revolution Paid for by Wealthy Islamists - Michael Rubin (Commentary)
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