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 12, 2010
Report: Libya Preventing Gaddafi Jr. from Joining Gaza-Bound Ship - Roi Kais (Ynet News)
Report: Iranian Missile, Ammo Convoy Headed to Syria via Iraq (Jerusalem Post)
Lawyers from 60 Countries to Sue Israel (Bernama-Malaysia)
Iran Vows to Fight Western Influence in Classrooms - Nazila Fathi (New York Times)
New Industrial Park for Israeli Arab Sector (Ynet News)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Reza Kahlili, a pseudonym for the author of A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran, spoke Friday at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. In the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution, he joined the newly formed Revolutionary Guard, but said he quickly became disillusioned when he saw people being tortured and murdered and women raped in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. But rather than quit the Guard and endanger his family, he contacted the CIA and began work as an American agent.
He said he provided critical information to his CIA handlers about Iran's role in the Iran-Iraq war, the Iran-contra affair, the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which he said was masterminded by Tehran. He predicted that Iran will eventually attack Israel, Europe and the Gulf and advocated a preemptive military strike against the regime but not against the Iranian people or infrastructure. "Stop dreaming, please," he said. "You are not dealing with rational people. Every time you extend a hand, it is not seen as sincerity, but stupidity." (CNN)
Thanks to the dwindling traffic of big container ships from Dubai to Iran, business is booming for a whole fleet of smugglers in smaller wooden ships, as well as for the group that dominates Iran's black market: the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The latest UN sanctions were designed to punish the Revolutionary Guards for running Tehran's covert nuclear program. But the IRGC has spent decades mastering the art of sanctions-busting. "You're using pinpoint sanctions against the very entity that's best positioned to evade those sanctions," says Matthew Levitt, a counterterrorism expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Newsweek)
Lebanon is sending as many as 5,000 additional soldiers to the country's south after clashes between civilians and UN troops and Israel's warning that Hizbullah is preparing for a new war there. France called a meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday. "We wanted to emphasize the seriousness of the situation," said Gerard Araud, France's UN ambassador. "We cannot accept obstacles to freedom of movement" of UN troops. (Bloomberg-Washington Post)
Presbyterian leaders Friday in Minneapolis approved by an 82% vote a report that included a call to end U.S. aid to Israel unless the country stops settlement expansion. The 172-page report details the church's approach to issues in the Middle East. The Anti-Defamation League said the report managed to "avoid a rupture with Jewish people, but bias against Israel continues." The Simon Wiesenthal Center said the report "takes definite sides in a complex struggle."
In 2004, the church's general assembly voted to authorize "phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel." That stance has since been softened, and this year delegates voted down an amendment that would have put divestment back on the table. "There are many longtime friends in the Jewish community who believe this report misstates Jewish theology and misquotes the Jewish voice," said the Rev. Susan Zencka. "We have come to a position of Palestine good, Israel bad. Life is not that simple." (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told "Fox News Sunday": "I don't think we can make peace with an organization that seeks our destruction. That's Hamas. But I think we can make peace with the Palestinian Authority."
"We should stay focused on the real problem in the Middle East. It's not Israel. It's these dictatorships that are developing nuclear weapons with the specific goal of wiping Israel away." "There's only been one time that Iran actually stopped the [nuclear] program and that was when it feared U.S. military action....The president's position that all options are on the table might actually have the only real effect on Iran, if they think it's true."
"We had a conversation in this meeting in Washington the other day [with President Obama]. And a good chunk of it - I'd say about half of it - was devoted to a detailed discussion of Israel's security problems: the problem that when we vacate territory, Iran and its proxy terrorists walk in with rockets....[The President] understands that we need to have a solution for it...so that we can couple security with peace, because that's the only peace that will endure, peace based on security." (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
See also Israel's Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace - Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon et al. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Former chief Palestinian negotiator and prime minister Ahmed Qureia said Sunday that he saw no reason for the Palestinians and Israelis to hold indirect peace negotiations after years of direct talks. (Ha'aretz)
Four years after the Second Lebanon War, southern Lebanon is once again in Hizbullah's hands. It has rebuilt its military capabilities north of the Litani River, where it has established a network of missile launchers any army in the world would be proud to possess. Furthermore, it has repaired the infrastructure of the Shi'ite villages south of the Litani that were severely hit in the war.
UNIFIL, which was deployed to southern Lebanon in 2006 in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701 - passed at the end of the war - was supposed to prevent such activity. In recent months, however, UNIFIL has been harassed by Shi'ite villagers in the south who are apparently acting on Hizbullah's orders. UNIFIL's commander, Maj. Gen. Alberto Asarta Cuevas, has asked the Lebanese government to protect his troops. Thus, one of Israel's chief accomplishments in the war - distancing Hizbullah from its northern frontier - is slowly vanishing. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The Palestinian issue has been around for decades, and there is no immediate need to resolve it, even assuming that is possible. It poses no threat to the United States, and when it periodically reaches a boiling point, it can be contained. Arab states especially can live without a near-term resolution of the Palestinian issue, which does not materially affect their national interests.
However, a nuclear Iran would pose an immediate, existential threat to states in the Gulf region. And the Iranian nuclear threat is on a rapidly diminishing timeline. It needs to be addressed urgently and decisively. (Washington Times)
Given the publicity the plan to pressure Israel with boycotts, divestment and sanctions (routinely abbreviated as "BDS") has been receiving, the program should be on the way to success. But is it working? The answer seems to be No.
Jon Haber, who runs the website "Divest This!" (divest-this.com), reported in the Jerusalem Post that despite nearly a decade of BDS activism, not one college or university has sold even one share of a company identified as a supporter of Israel. The divesters are good at attracting crowds, writing manifestos, passing motions and getting their opinions onto TV. But they get few results.
In May, the divesters were cheered by news that Deutsche Bank had sold its shares in the Israeli company Elbit. However, this news was closely followed by Deutsche Bank's announcement that it was untrue - the bank had no Elbit shares to sell. Curiously, during the period when enemies of Israel were doing their best to cut its economic lifelines, Israel's economy remained in much better shape than equivalent economies elsewhere. Of all the OECD nations, Israel was the last to show signs of recession and among the first to begin recovering. (National Post-Canada)
Palestinians Have to Say "The Conflict Is Over," As Sadat Did - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
After meeting with President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York on July 7:
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