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|
July 6, 2010
Report: BP Stops Refueling Iranian Passenger Planes - Richard Spencer (Telegraph-UK)
Israel Prepares for Next War with Hizbullah - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
Turkey Pulls Out of Joint Navy Exercise - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Sanctions imposed on Iran over the past four years are having a direct impact on its nuclear program and causing widespread bank liquidity problems, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a Paris-based Iranian opposition group. NCRI said that at Natanz, Iran's main enrichment facility, efforts to increase the number of centrifuges have been set back by a lack of high-strength steel once imported from Britain.
Its report cited an assessment made by senior directors at Iran's oil ministry in March on the impact sanctions were having on banking. "The biggest issue we face is liquidity....Currently, even many of the smaller and low-ranking banks are refusing to engage in deals with us....These even include banks in Turkmenistan, to the extent that in order to make purchases we have to send suitcases full of money." (Reuters)
Israel on Monday gave the go-ahead for the international community to import construction materials into Gaza, but only for projects approved by the Palestinian Authority and implemented and supervised by the international community. The Israeli government said in a statement that while the building materials "are liable to be used for Hamas military purposes (building bunkers, fortifying positions and digging tunnels), Israel will permit their entry into Gaza so as to facilitate construction projects."
The U.S., EU and Britain welcomed the move. "This is an important step in implementing the new policy announced by Israel two weeks ago," said Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman. EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton hailed the move as "another significant step forward in the review of its (Israel's) policy on Gaza." (AFP)
See also Israel's Civilian Policy Towards Gaza (Israel Ministry of Defense)
A delegation of European foreign ministers on Monday accepted Israel's invitation to visit Gaza. In a joint letter, the foreign ministers of Italy, Great Britain, France, Spain and Germany thanked Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for the invitation, and called new measures to ease the embargo on Gaza "a noteworthy and encouraging sign." (Reuters)
More than a year after the U.S. launched a cautious effort to reengage with Syria, wooing it away from Iran and the Iranian-backed Shiite Hizbullah, the process appears to have reached an impasse. Far from loosening its ties to Hizbullah, which the U.S. classifies as a terrorist organization, Syria seems to be drawing ever closer to the group in military cooperation.
In April, reports surfaced that Syria had transferred Scud ballistic missiles to Hizbullah's control. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran had delivered to Syria a new sophisticated radar system. "In a post 9/11 world, this is not what we expected after 14 or so senior [diplomatic] visits to Damascus in the last year," says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Christian Science Monitor)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
This White House meeting will be presented as the latest step in the gradual warming of relations between two leaders who had plainly been at odds. Washington recognizes that Netanyahu's easing of movement for Palestinians in the West Bank has contributed to the dramatic improvement of the economy there. The administration knows that he has honored his settlement moratorium, with no housing starts recorded at West Bank settlements in the first months of this year, and very little new being built even in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem. Moreover, it fully shares Netanyahu's desire to move from the unproductive, indirect "proximity" framework and into direct talks.
But the two leaderships still disagree in assessing the peacemaking credentials of the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas. Obama believes Abbas is for real, and Netanyahu does not. The Palestinian public is still being fed regular PA TV broadcasts asserting Palestinian rights to all of Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
The Foreign Ministry on Monday published a list of items Israel will not allow into Gaza, which follows Wassenaar Arrangement guidelines, as well as Israeli law. The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies includes export controls subscribed to by 40 nations. Goods banned according to the Wassenaar Arrangement includes weapons as well as dual-use goods which could be used to develop, produce or boost military capabilities. (Ynet News)
See also Lists of Dual Use Goods and Technologies and Munitions List (Wassenaar Arrangement)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Two months after a tense meeting at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama are set to meet on Tuesday with a deceptively simple mission: getting their picture taken together in a public show of unity. Obama was cool toward Netanyahu during their last meeting and the two were never photographed, which in diplomatic code sent a chilly message. This next meeting has been promised as "a makeup visit," one senior Democratic lawmaker said.
David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said, "I think the blowup in March between Obama and Netanyahu has led each side to realize that they've gone too far, and they've got to dial it down. Because there's too much at stake." (Washington Post)
See also Netanyahu Comes to Washington - Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog
The Palestinians want an Obama plan or a UN-imposed solution to the conflict and have set a host of preconditions that must be met before negotiations begin.
The Obama administration's focus on engaging the Muslim world has left Israel doubtful that Washington will continue to fully support its security interests. Netanyahu has to be confident not only that there is a Palestinian partner on the other side, but that America will provide a safety net should the process fail. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
See also U.S. Gives Palestinian Leadership a Free Pass - Ari Harow
Prime Minister Netanyahu has proven over the past 15 months his willingness to take extraordinary steps to return the Palestinians to the negotiating table. He has established the government's desire to see the implementation of a two-state solution, removed hundreds of roadblocks to ease Palestinian movement, and agreed to a freeze of all new construction in the West Bank.
While the White House has publicly endorsed all these initiatives, these trust-building gestures have only inspired increasing calls for additional concessions. To date, the U.S. administration has largely given the Palestinian leadership a free pass, conveying that the onus of real responsibility falls on Israel alone. The writer served as director of Prime Minister Netanyahu's bureau. (Jerusalem Post)
If Egypt allowed supplies to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border, there would have been no excuse for the Gaza flotilla. But Egypt is afraid of the Palestinians on its border. The Egyptians will not allow Palestinian refugees to enter Egypt, nor do they want to assist the Hamas rulers of Gaza in any way. Egyptian rulers over the years have done little to help the Palestinians in Gaza, out of fear that they may be reinforcing Hamas, an ally of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. (Ha'aretz)
Are Palestinians Building a State? - Nathan J. Brown (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
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