Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Via Smartphone


August 26, 2010

Daily Alert Needs Your Support

In-Depth Issues:

UNIFIL Confirms IDF Account of Lebanese Border Attack - Nessim Boucai (Israel Defense Forces)
    UNIFIL announced Wednesday that it had completed its investigation of the August 3rd incident between the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces, and verified that Israel had operated within its own borders when Lebanese sniper fire targeted Israeli soldiers, killing Lt. Col. (res.) Dov Harari and severely injuring Capt. Ezra Lakia.

14 Israeli Policemen on UN Mission in Haiti (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
    14 Israeli police officers are about to leave to join a multinational policing force in Haiti under the command of UN forces.
    The delegation will become the first Israeli contingent to serve on active duty under UN command.

Gaza Will Be the Ghost at Mideast Talks Banquet - Douglas Hamilton (Reuters-ABC News)
    Even if Israel and the Palestinians can scale a mountain of skepticism and reach a peace treaty in the next 12 months, 40% of Palestinians would be part of it in name only, because they live in Gaza.
    This unwelcome fact is ignored as direct peace talks resume under U.S. auspices in Washington.

Mexico Buys Israeli Drone Aircraft (Reuters)
    Mexico's defense ministry said it bought an unspecified number of Hermes 450 drones last year from Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd. for $23.25 million.
    Javier Oliva, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the military was likely using the remote-controlled drones, which can fly for 20 hours and are equipped with cameras, to locate remote drug fields, as officials fight powerful cartels.

U.S. Funds Restoration of Global Islamic Sites (AP)
    This year, the Obama administration will spend nearly $6 million to restore 63 historic and cultural sites, including mosques and minarets, in 55 nations, according to State Department documents.
    The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation also will fund projects to restore Christian and Buddhist sites as well as museums, forts and palaces.

Palestinian Rocks Injure Israeli Baby (JTA)
    An Israeli infant was injured when Palestinians hurled rocks at a car traveling in the West Bank on Tuesday near Karmei Zur, north of Hebron.
    Also Tuesday, Palestinians threw a firebomb at an Israeli car traveling near Maale Shomron in the northern West Bank.

Wireless in Gaza - David Tafuri (Wall Street Journal)
    Internet penetration is estimated at 40% in the West Bank and as high as 60% in Gaza, higher than in many Arab nations.

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Abbas Breaks Up Anti-Negotiations Meeting in Ramallah - Maher Abukhater
    Crowds had started to arrive at the Protestant church hall in downtown Ramallah in the West Bank on Wednesday to attend an anti-negotiations conference called by local Palestinian leaders opposed to plans by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to start direct negotiations with Israel, when dozens of young Palestinians, believed to be members of Abbas' Fatah movement and his security forces, moved in waving pictures of Abbas and chanting his name, disrupting the meeting even before it had started. Their purpose was to make sure the conference would not be held.
        When the organizers, mainly leaders of left-wing Palestinian factions, realized that it would be impossible to proceed with their conference, they took to the streets of Ramallah in a protest march. Palestinian police then intervened to stop the march, charging that the protestors did not have a permit. The organizers of the conference, some of them members of the PLO Executive Committee, then held a news conference at a local TV station where they accused the PA of preventing freedom of expression and called for a commission to investigate what had happened. Abbas quickly agreed. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Iran: Who's Afraid of Ahmadinejad's New Drone? - Mark Thompson
    Iran's weapons-development efforts have long had a wisp of The Wizard of Oz about them. When Iranian President Ahmadinejad unveiled Iran's first armed drone, it showed the world, if not his fellow Iranians, just how threadbare Tehran's arsenal is. According to Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group, an aerospace-consulting firm near Washington, Iran lacks the ability to guide its drone over long distances, nor does it have the sensors to make it any kind of a threat. Adds Kenneth Katzman, an Iranian-military expert with the Congressional Research Service: "It is likely to have virtually no actual military value."
        But Iran isn't concerned about reality, just making the right impression, especially among its home audience. "Iran has no defense against an Israeli or U.S. first strike," John McCreary, a veteran U.S. intelligence analyst, said Tuesday. "The leaders want to camouflage that fact by showing off weapons, without admitting that they have little value in protecting Iranians."  (TIME)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Foreign Minister Lieberman: We've Made Gestures, But Palestinian Incitement Continues
    From an interview with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Israel Radio on Wednesday:
    Q: What do you think Israel should say if the American president asks Israel to make "a gesture of good will, to freeze building in Judea and Samaria for as long as possible."
    Lieberman: "We did make the gesture. For ten months we were waiting for the Palestinians to deign to come negotiate. They came during the last month. That's their problem. And on the contrary, we expect the Palestinian side to cease incitement, stop naming streets and plazas after various [terrorist] 'engineers.' Stop inciting and working against the State of Israel in all sorts of international forums or the OECD, stop the boycotts and all the opposition to us, filing lawsuits in The Hague."
        "We've made enough gestures and seen nothing in return....We shouldn't have to pay for the pleasure of sitting at the table with the Palestinians, like we always have to pay. They should also have to pay. And first off, to get to the starting point, they should stop their rampant incitement against Jews and against Israel."  (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Development Minister Shalom: Transfer of Goods to Gaza Fully Meets Demand - Ron Friedman
    Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom toured the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza on Wednesday. He said, "Operations have been increased dramatically. We are talking about 250, and sometimes even 280, trucks that cross over here every day, compared to 80 or 100 a day beforehand. We often reach a point when there is no longer any demand from the Gazan side."
        "There is a cognitive dissonance where on one hand we give and on the other we still hear abusive statements, but we will continue giving as long as the help goes toward public needs. We will not allow goods to be used for terrorist activities," Shalom said. "Today everyone in the international community knows that there is no shortage of goods in Gaza."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Islands of Coexistence in the West Bank: Palestinians and Jewish Settlers Work Side-by-Side - Akiva Novick
    134 employees arrive at the Rami Levy supermarket in Shaar Binyamin every morning, some from Jewish towns in the West Bank and 60 from Arab villages. In one of the departments, Halef from Jab'a and Avi from Adam sit next to each other. Ever since the supermarket branch was opened five years ago, Palestinians and settlers work there in a near idyllic state.
        Their friendships continue even after work hours, though it is usually the Palestinians that visit their Jewish friends and not the other way around. Recently, the employees have felt unease as rumors have started that a prohibition will soon be issued against working for Jews. "I have worked with Jews for 17 years," said Sofian, manager of the grocery department. "I can't believe this will stop."
        In the Barkan industrial zone, 5,000 people are employed in 120 factories. About half of them are Palestinian. Yusuf, from Kifl Harith, is in charge of production at the Shamir Salads factory. "We don't believe it will happen," he said. "These are just empty declarations....There are very good relations between us. We have been working together for years, since the previous intifada....What is more peaceful than working together?" he said. (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Islamophobia? Not Really - Jonah Goldberg
    According to the FBI, there were 28 anti-Islamic incidents in 2000. That number climbed to 481 the year a bunch of Muslim terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans in the name of Islam on Sept. 11. Now, that was a hate crime. The following year, the number of anti-Islamic hate-crime incidents dropped to 155. The number has hovered around the mid-100s or lower ever since. Even one hate crime is too many. But does that sound like an anti-Muslim backlash to you?
        In every year since 9/11, more Jews in the U.S. have been hate-crime victims than Muslims. In 2001, there were twice as many anti-Jewish incidents as there were anti-Muslim. In 2002 and pretty much every year since, anti-Jewish incidents have outstripped anti-Muslim ones by at least 6 to 1. Why aren't we talking about the anti-Jewish climate in America? Because there isn't one. And there isn't an anti-Muslim climate either. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Book Review: How the Arab Lobby Rules America - Alan M. Dershowitz
    Yes Virginia, there is a big bad lobby that distorts U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East way out of proportion to its actual support by the American public. But the offending lobby is not AIPAC, which supports Israel, but rather the Arab lobby, which opposes the Jewish state. The Arab lobby is one of the strongest in America - even stronger than Israel's, says Mitchell Bard in How the Arab Lobby Rules America.
        Bard puts it this way: "While the Israeli lobby has hundreds of thousands of grass root members and public opinion polls consistently reveal a huge gap between support for Israel and the Arab nations/Palestinians, the Arab lobby has almost no foot soldiers or public sympathy. It's most powerful elements tend to be bureaucrats who represent only their personal views or what they believe are their institutional interests, and foreign governments that care only about their national interests, not those of the United States....[They have] almost unlimited resources to try to buy what they usually cannot win on the merits of their arguments."
        Saudi Arabia has virtually no support among Americans. Yet, as Bard demonstrates, the Saudi lobby has beaten the pro-Israel lobby over and over again in head to head conflicts, such as the sale of sophisticated weapons to a regime that doesn't even have the technical skills to use them, and the conflict over whether to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. (Daily Beast)
  • Observations:

    Mideast Peace Process Is a Mirage - George F. Will (Washington Post)

    • Talk about the crisis between Israel and "the Arab world" is anachronistic. Israel has treaties with two Arab nations, Egypt and Jordan, and Israel's most lethal enemy is Iran, which is not an Arab state.
    • Israel has changed what it can, its own near neighborhood. Faced with unrelenting Palestinian irredentism, withdrawal from the West Bank would bring Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport within range of short-range rockets fired by persons overlooking the runways. So, the feasibility of such a withdrawal depends on how much has changed since 1974, when Yasser Arafat received a standing ovation at the United Nations when he said Israel had no right to exist.
    • Thirty-six years later, Israelis can watch West Bank Palestinian television incessantly inculcating anti-Semitism and denial of Israel's right to exist. Cigarette lighters sold on the West Bank show, when lit, the World Trade Center burning.
    • The biggest threat to peace might be the peace process - or, more precisely, the illusion that there is one. The mirage becomes the reason for maintaining its imaginary "momentum" by extorting concessions from Israel.
    • Palestinian officials are demanding that the 10-month moratorium on Israeli construction in the West Bank be extended as the price of their willingness to continue direct talks with Israel - which begin Sept. 2 - beyond Sept. 27. If this demand succeeds, the "peace process" will be sustained by rewarding the Palestinian tactic of making the mere fact of negotiations contingent on Israeli concessions concerning matters that should be settled by negotiations.

    Unsubscribe from Daily Alert