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 15, 2010
Our Secret War Against Iran - Eli Lake (New Republic)
Iranian Unrest Grows Over Economic Woes - Barbara Slavin (Asia Times-Hong Kong)
Anti-Israel Protesters Delay El Al Flight in Athens - Zohar Blumenkrantz (Ha'aretz)
Record Number of Tourists in Israel - Ron Friedman (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama expressed hopes of an imminent resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and of achieving a peace deal. However, Palestinian officials and analysts suggest that the current proximity talks have merely accentuated the deep and abiding differences between the sides.
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, recently raised a new bar for the start of direct talks. Alongside the longstanding demand for a complete freeze in settlement building, including in East Jerusalem, Erekat said talks should start from the point at which the last direct negotiations with the previous Israeli government left off in December 2008. He also said that Netanyahu should state his readiness to recognize a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs recently published a study seeking to identify Israel's minimum security requirements, especially in light of the thousands of rockets that landed in its territory after its withdrawals from Gaza and Lebanon. Moshe Yaalon, a former army chief of staff and now a vice prime minister, described the study as a "corrective" to the notion that peace requires Israel to withdraw to the "perilous" 1967 lines, denying Israel strategic depth against rocket and other attacks. Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center and a former foreign policy adviser to Netanyahu, said the new approach was not about percentage points of land swaps. "Let's start with security and then put in diplomacy," Gold said.
Yaalon and other authors invoked the principles of the Allon Plan, an Israeli proposal from the late 1960s that envisioned Israel's maintaining control of the Jordan Valley, on the eastern border with Jordan, and other strategically significant chunks of the West Bank. (New York Times)
Direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis would make no sense without the participation of the international community, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said Wednesday. "We, the Palestinians, we do need a third party presence," he said, "not only to sit and to watch us, but to intervene." (AFP)
Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty last month to trying to explode a car bomb in New York's Times Square, says in a video that he planned the attack as revenge for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Al-Arabiya television reported. Dressed in traditional tribal clothes and holding an assault rifle, Shahzad praises Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq. "You shall see how the Muslim war has just begun and how Islam will spread across the world," Shahzad said. (Bloomberg-Washington Post)
Shahram Amiri, the Iranian nuclear scientist who claimed to have been abducted by the CIA before departing for Iran Wednesday, was paid more than $5 million by the agency to provide intelligence on Iran's nuclear program, U.S. officials said. The transfer of millions of dollars into Amiri-controlled accounts seems to bolster U.S. assertions that Amiri was neither abducted nor brought to the U.S. against his will. One U.S. official said, "He just wanted to see his family and, unfortunately, he chose a dumb way to do it, lying about what happened to him here to try to build up his credibility back home." (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
A Libyan aid ship headed for Gaza changed course Wednesday and docked at Egypt's El Arish port after Israel warned it not to run the Gaza blockade. Its cargo will be trucked into Gaza via the Rafah crossing. (Ha'aretz)
Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted a number of missile barrages in tests this week. The test rockets mimicked Kassam and longer-range Grad Katyusha rockets that are known to be in Hamas' arsenal. During the test, the radar succeeded in detecting which rockets were headed toward open fields and therefore did not launch an interceptor to destroy them. (Jerusalem Post)
The Palestinian protest movement has its darker side. One of the more prominent activists in Umm Salamuna - a village south of Bethlehem, long entrenched in a battle against the West Bank separation fence - is suspected of the attempted rape of a Muslim-American peace activist who had been residing in the village as a show of her support for the protest.
Omar Aladdin was arrested three months ago, then released after agreeing to apologize to the woman. However, Ha'aretz learned that representatives of both the protest movement and the PA have since pressured the American peace activist to prevent her from going public with the story. Activists know of other incidents in which Palestinians have allegedly sexually assaulted foreign peace activists. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
"I say in front of you, Mr. President, that we have nothing to do with incitement against Israel, and we're not doing that," claimed PA President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to the White House in June. It is unfortunate for the prospects of Middle East peace that this denial by Abbas was just plain untrue. In fact, proclaiming peaceful intentions to the international community while inciting their population to hatred of Israel is one of the primary impediments to any sort of solution.
There are countless examples of pronouncements or actions by Abbas and other Palestinian leaders that suggest a glorification of violence and terrorism and undermine the belief that they seek peace. Abbas should handle incitement by stopping it, not by denying that incitement occurs in the first place. If he cannot do so, the chances for real peace are slim.
The character of a Palestinian state, and of Palestinian society, is more important than final borders in achieving and maintaining peace. Is terrorism defended and glorified by the top officials? Are terrorists who murder children branded as heroes? Is war with Israel a tactic that must be set aside only for pragmatic reasons as a short-term strategy? The Palestinian leadership never seems to pay any penalty for its words. The writer is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. (New York Daily News)
For decades, publicly traded multinational companies have been able to conduct business in Iran with impunity, shielded from public scrutiny. It is time for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require all companies that avail themselves of the U.S. capital markets to fully disclose any and all business they conduct in or with Iran. Shining a light on such dealings is the first step to ensuring that money doesn't go to advance Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. law now requires that publicly traded companies disclose all "material" information related to foreign investments in their shareholder reports and in other SEC filings. But many companies have been less than forthcoming about their business dealings with Iran. New regulations should require SEC registrants and their subsidiaries to come clean and report any and all commercial dealings in Iran and to report any Iranian assets they might hold. The writer, president of United Against Nuclear Iran, served as U.S. ambassador to the UN, representative for UN Management and Reform, from 2006 to 2008. (New York Post)
UN Moves Forward to Implement Goldstone Report - Anne Bayefsky (Weekly Standard)
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