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|
August 25, 2010
Lure of the Homeland Fades for Palestinian Refugees - Lina Sinjab (BBC News)
Video: The Iranian Bomb - The Song (Latma-YouTube)
Norway Divests from Two Israeli Companies (JTA)
Don't Blame Israel for Arab Failures - Salim Mansur (Toronto Sun-Canada)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Three people were killed and several others wounded when clashes broke out between members of Hizbullah and Ahbash, a conservative Sunni movement, in the Beirut neighborhood of Bourj Abu Haidar on Tuesday. Hizbullah official Mohammad Fawaz and Ahbash official Ahmad Jamal Omairat were killed in the fighting, which included machine guns and rockets. (Los Angeles Times)
See also Hamas, Fatah Clash in Lebanon after Prayer Dispute
Three people were wounded Monday after a dispute between clerics loyal to Fatah and Hamas over who would lead prayers at a mosque in Tyre turned into armed clashes. Well-informed sources said the incident reflected tensions between Hamas and Fatah over the resumption of direct peace talks with the Israeli government. (Daily Star-Lebanon)
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on Lebanon's government to follow in Tehran's footsteps and build a nuclear facility to generate electricity like the reactor in Bushehr, Iran. The Lebanese daily As Safir reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit Lebanon on Sep 11. (Times of India)
See also Hizbullah: Iran Can Equip Lebanese Army (AP)
UN officials say the Israeli government is blocking them from speaking to Israeli soldiers about the country's raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. UN Human Rights Council investigators from Britain, Trinidad and Malaysia have been refused entry by Israel, which rejects the mission as biased. The council's inquiry is separate from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's own panel on the incident. Israel is conducting its own investigations into the flotilla incident as well, one by the military and one by an independent panel. (VOA News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal said Tuesday that the upcoming U.S.-backed direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are illegitimate and the result of coercion by Washington. He said the talks "do not obligate our people to anything." Meshal also called on Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II not to take part. (AP-Ha'aretz)
Israeli officials confirmed Monday that the government is in quiet talks with the U.S. in search of a "creative" solution that will allow at least some limited construction in settlements to take place after Israel's 10-month moratorium ends on Sept. 26. "Many options are being discussed," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. In Washington, a U.S. official confirmed the dialogue with Israel. (AP-Ynet News)
To delegitimize Israel is an affront not only to Israelis, but to those "everywhere, in every part of humanity, who share the values of a free and independent human spirit," Quartet envoy Tony Blair said on Tuesday in a speech at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. He said the best answer to those who sought to delegitimize the Jewish state "lies in the character of Israel itself, in the openness, fairmindedness and creativity of the Israelis." "What you have created is a remarkable example for the rest of us."
"The issue of delegitimization is not simply about an overt denial of Israel's right to exist. It is the advocating of prejudice in not allowing that Israel has a point of view that should be listened to," he asserted. "A consistent conversation I have with some, but by no means all, of my European colleagues is to argue not to apply rules to the government of Israel that they would never dream of applying to their own governments or their own countries." (Jerusalem Post)
See also Tony Blair's Five Steps toward Fighting Israel Deniers - Orit Arfa (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
In the 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll conducted for the Brookings Institution, one can get a glimpse of Arab opinion in the so-called moderate countries of Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Those thinking Israel is a huge threat are 88% (down slightly from 95% in 2008). The idea that the U.S. is the main threat to Arab countries declined from 88% under President Bush to 77% under President Obama. The Iranian threat grew from 7% in 2008 to 13% in 2009 and down to 10% in 2010.
Several conclusions emerge: The adjective "moderate" hasn't any place in the Middle East. Negative attitudes to Israel persist, and it is unlikely this will change substantially as long as Israel exists. There is relatively little change in the Arab attitude about Obama and Bush. Despite the imperial aims of Iran and its threats against Sunni-dominated states, Arabs believe that the U.S. is a far greater threat to their societies. This adds up to an Arabic-speaking community where radicalism is ensconced; where, despite foreign aid, diplomatic appeasement and attempts at cultural understanding, a passionate hatred of Israel and the West is unflagging.
As a consequence, policy implications are apparent: The effort to appease, flatter and buy off has not worked. The notion that Obama represents a new chapter in Middle East history is regarded as mythology. There cannot be a peace as long as Israel is regarded as a greater threat than Iran. The writer is president of the Hudson Institute and professor emeritus of New York University. (Hudson Institute-New York)
The Quartet has long applied three principles Hamas must adopt to take part in negotiations. It must renounce violence, recognize Israel and abide by previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. At no point has Hamas satisfied these conditions - or indicated any intention to do so. The Hamas charter advocates the destruction of the State of Israel, the genocidal slaughter of Jews and the imposition of an Islamic state governed by sharia law.
Some in the West fondly refer to Hamas as the elected representatives of the Palestinians. While Hamas won the Palestinian council elections in 2006, it was not a mandate to violently overthrow the Palestinian Authority. Nor does it justify terror against Israel. Only 32% of Israeli voters believe talks with the Palestinians will lead to peace. It is the Israelis who require confidence-building measures. In Gaza, no missiles would mean no blockade. It is that simple. The writer is the Israeli ambassador in London. (Guardian-UK)
Malmo police say that, of the 115 hate crimes recorded in the city in 2009, 52 were aimed at Jews or Jewish institutions. Anti-Semitism is back, and what is taking place in Malmo is merely an extreme manifestation of what is happening across the whole of Sweden. Swedish mainstream hostility to Israel has clearly begun to cross the line into outright anti-Semitism.
A second major issue at play here is Sweden's Muslim population. While all manifestations of intolerance against Muslims must be firmly resisted, it is also vital to recognize the danger that some Muslim immigrants have brought with them from their home cultures: bigotry against Jews and Israel. When mainstream politicians, newspapers, and churches rail against Israel, many Swedish Muslims inevitably see this as a green light for them to unleash their own hostility toward ordinary Jews. They feel that their anti-Semitism is acceptable. The writer is president of the World Jewish Congress. (Daily Star-Lebanon)
Will an IDF Withdrawal from the West Bank Mean a Safe Haven for Extremist Groups? - Col. Richard Kemp (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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