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 20, 2010
Iron Dome Rocket Defense System Passes Tests - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
The Iranian Regime's Days Are Numbered - Melik Kaylan (Forbes)
India in Talks to Buy Israeli Missile Interceptors - Ran Dagoni (Globes)
Waiting for Ireland to Expel a Russian Diplomat, Israel-Style - Jeffrey Goldberg (Atlantic)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
The European Union is considering tough new sanctions against Iran to protest its nuclear program, including banning investment in the oil and gas sector and tightening restrictions on shipping and finance. Senior European diplomats will discuss the proposed sanctions on Thursday. If approved, they are likely to represent a significant tightening of Europe's economic pressure on Tehran. (New York Times)
See also German Bank Tied to Iran Nuclear Effort - Peter Fritsch and David Crawford
Tehran is increasingly relying on a small, Iranian-owned bank in Germany to conduct business on behalf of the regime's blacklisted companies, Western officials say. The European-Iranian Trade Bank (also known as EIH Bank) has done over a billion dollars of business for Iranian companies associated with Iran's conventional military and ballistic missile procurement programs, including companies blacklisted by the U.S., UN and EU. (Wall Street Journal)
See also Tightening the Sanctions Noose on Tehran - Emanuele Ottolenghi and Mark Dubowitz (Wall Street Journal)
Al-Qaeda no. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri slammed Arab leaders as "Zionists" who are helping Israel's siege of Gaza, in a message posted online Monday. "These Arab Zionists are more dangerous than Jewish Zionists," he said. "Who is besieging our people in Gaza and is surrounding them with an underground metal fence? Is he not the chief of Arab Zionists (Egyptian President) Hosni Mubarak?" He went on to accuse Jordan's King Abdullah II, Saudi King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of being "Zionists."
"Obama, whether you admit it or not, Muslims have defeated you in Iraq and Afghanistan and will defeat you in Palestine, Somalia and the Islamic Maghreb [north Africa]," he added. Zawahiri has a U.S. bounty of $25 million on his head. (AFP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel's Cabinet on Monday decided to accelerate the construction of a fence along the southern border in order to block the growing number of infiltrators from African countries. Interior Ministry representatives reported that over 26,000 infiltrators - mostly from Eritrea and Sudan - are already in Israel and some 1,200 infiltrators enter Israel each month. An in-depth analysis of 3,500 infiltrators found that only two might be eligible for refugee status; all of the others came looking for work. There is a considerable industry that brings labor migrants to Israel from Africa under the guise of "refugees." (Prime Minister's Office)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi spoke during a short ceremony at the historic Arch of Titus in Rome Monday evening, on the eve of Tisha B'Av [9th of Av on the Jewish calendar - a fast day marking the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples in Jerusalem]. The Arch of Titus commemorates Titus' victory over the Jews in Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Gen. Ashkenazi said: "Despite all the misery and horrible tragedies that struck us since the destruction of the Second Temple and our exile, the Jewish People were able to re-establish their national independence in 1948. The Israel Defense Forces...is the force that stands prepared against all of our enemies and those who seek to harm us. It is the force that, when required, will prevent tragedies like the one commemorated by this arch." (Israel Defense Forces)
Egyptian media reported on July 9 that the head of the small Jewish community of Cairo, Carmen Weinstein, 79, had been sentenced to three years in jail for having defrauded an Egyptian businessman. The court had found her guilty of selling Nabil Badia a piece of real estate belonging to the community on which stands a synagogue for the sum of three million pounds, and refusing either to put the place in his name or to return the money.
The news came as a surprise to Mrs. Weinstein since she had not been informed of the trial, although as the president of the community she has an office in town and it would not have been difficult to notify her and to call her to testify. The media in Egypt and in other Arab countries seized on the occasion to launch a vicious attack against Jews in general and Israel more specifically.
There have been a number of attempts to sell properties belonging to the Jewish community, with the help of forged documents, involving Egyptian members of parliament from the ruling party, the Egyptian daily Al Shuruk reported on April 2, 2010. One such case involves the same synagogue that is at the core of the case against Weinstein and the basis of her sentence. The writer is a former Ambassador of Israel in Egypt and a Fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Tensions have been steadily rising between the French contingent of UNIFIL forces deployed in south Lebanon and supporters of Hizbullah. A number of incidents took place after UNIFIL conducted a 36-hour deployment exercise on June 29. Following a series of consultations with the Lebanese government and armed forces, UNIFIL commander Alberto Asarta Cuevas issued a contrite statement, apologizing to the residents of the south for the inconvenience to them caused by his force's activities. It was later announced that UNIFIL would no longer use sniffer dogs in patrols (a point which had particularly annoyed the villagers). Also, it was reiterated that UNIFIL would not enter houses and yards in populated areas.
Whatever the precise reasons for Hizbullah's latest move against UNIFIL, the recent events once more demonstrate the relative helplessness of the UN force. The writer is a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya. (Jerusalem Post)
Israel has made it clear again and again that it is ready for direct and open talks. The PA wanted remote negotiations, and George Mitchell obliged it with the hocus pocus of proximity talks. Abbas now demands that Israel accede in advance to returning to the 1949 armistice lines. According to the Financial Times, Abbas "also called on Israel to accept a 'security' arrangement discussed between the two sides in the past - a reference to the deployment of international, and not Israeli, forces to guard the borders of a future Palestinian state."
No Israeli state would hand over to some UN arm or to some other assemblage of countries the security of its land and people. As we can see from Afghanistan but even less treacherous areas, the patrolling of peace is not a chore for foreigners. (New Republic)
The fate of the Arab world's two most important states lies in the hands of ageing autocrats. Hosni Mubarak, 82, who has ruled Egypt since 1981, is widely reported to be grievously ill. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is reckoned to be 86. Decades of repression have ensured that the opposition is quiescent in Egypt and virtually inaudible in Saudi Arabia. But they have also made these countries vulnerable to violent disruption. Transition in autocracies often means instability. Of the Arab League's 22 members, not a single one is a stable and fully fledged democracy.
It would be naive to urge or expect either country to become a full-blooded democracy in a trice. Each could descend into chaos, winding up with a fundamentalist version of Islamist rule that would make the present regimes look cuddly by comparison. Many Egyptians fear that the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood would never relinquish power once they had won it at the ballot box. Sensible Saudis know that those who sympathize with their compatriot Osama bin Laden would impose an incomparably nastier regime than the present one, if given the freedom to do so. (Economist-UK)
Preventing the Next Lebanon War - Stephen P. Cohen (Wall Street Journal)
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