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|
September 1, 2010
Senior Palestinian Official: "No Territorial Exchange, No Recognition of Settlement Blocs" (MEMRI)
Outlines of Palestinian State Emerging in West Bank - Ethan Bronner (New York Times)
Report: Syria, Hizbullah Sign Defense Pact (Jerusalem Post)
Body of Top Russian Spy, Who Disappeared in Syria, Found - Andrew Osborn (Telegraph-UK)
Iran's New Qiam Missile - Michael Elleman (International Institute for Strategic Studies)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Four Israeli civilians traveling in a car near the West Bank city of Hebron were shot dead Tuesday night as the Obama administration prepared to host Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington. Hamas asserted responsibility for the attack. (Washington Post)
See also West Bank Shooting of Israelis Underscores Security Needs, Netanyahu Says - Gwen Ackerman and Calev Ben-David
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a West Bank shooting attack that killed four Israelis underscored his nation's security needs ahead of a new round of Mideast peace talks. "I will set clearly the security needs that are required precisely to address this kind of terror," Netanyahu said in Washington. (Bloomberg)
See also The Murder Victims - Aviel Magnezi
Yitzhak Imes, 47, his wife Talya, 45, Kochava Even-Haim, 37, and Avishai Shendler, 24, were all from Beit Hagai. Talya and Yitzhak were survived by six children, including a one-and-a-half-year-old infant. Kochava Even-Haim, a teacher in Efrat, was survived by her husband and eight-year-old daughter. Avishai Shendler had recently moved to Beit Hagai with his wife. (Ynet News)
See also Medic Discovers Wife's Body at Scene of Attack - Yaakov Lappin
Zaka volunteer Momy Ben-Haim was dispatched to the scene of the terrorist attack with his colleagues. "We saw a crying volunteer, and at first we did not understand what was happening - he has seen many disasters before," Zaka volunteer Isaac Bernstein told the Jerusalem Post. "Then he started shouting, 'That's my wife! That's my wife!' We took him away from the scene immediately." (Jerusalem Post)
Reports by Palestinian rights groups highlight a surprising symmetry in the abuse that the U.S.-backed government of PA President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and his Iranian-supported rivals Hamas in Gaza inflict on each other. Both governments carry out arbitrary arrests, ban rivals from travel, exclude them from civil service jobs and suppress opposition media, the rights groups say. Torture methods in West Bank and Gaza lockups include beatings and tying up detainees in painful positions. The crackdowns have become more sweeping in recent months. (AP-Washington Times)
Britain on Saturday demanded the release of Gilad Shalit as the Israeli soldier marked his 24th birthday in Hamas' captivity after having been captured in a cross-border raid on June 25, 2006. The Foreign Office said: "His detention is unjustifiable and unacceptable. The British Government demands his immediate and unconditional release." Shalit has not been allowed any visits by the Red Cross. (CNN)
A man accused of plotting to bomb New York synagogues and shoot down military planes ranted against Jews, according to audio tapes played Monday at his federal trial. The tapes were secretly recorded by a paid informant testifying against James Cromitie and three other men who were arrested in 2009. "Muslims want to take the U.S. down," Cromitie says on one tape. "Believe me, we can do it with our regular Muslims here." Prosecutors allege that the men hatched the scheme to blow up two synagogues in the Bronx with remote-control bombs. (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Hamas sent a painful reminder to the U.S. administration and the Israeli government that in order to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they must also be made party to any deal. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have a long tradition of shooting attacks on cars on the eve of important peace summits. (Ha'aretz)
"There was no justification for the flotilla, because there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza," IDF Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, told the Israeli committee investigating the flotilla incident on Tuesday. Dangot said that Gazans have all the goods necessary to maintain a basic lifestyle.
"There isn't hunger in Gaza, now or in the past," he said. According to Dangot, the Mavi Marmara, the ship on which nine Turkish activists were killed during clashes with Israeli naval commandos, did not bring any humanitarian supplies. He told the committee that ten days before the flotilla incident, he met with the Turkish ambassador in Israel and suggested to him that the aid be delivered to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where it could be speedily transferred to Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
Ahead of the peace talks, the IDF's Planning Branch formulated a paper outlining Israel's security requirements that refers to three requirements necessary for any withdrawal from the West Bank: a commitment that rockets would not be smuggled into the West Bank, a commitment that the Palestinians will not resume terrorist attacks against Israel, and a commitment that if Iraq were to one day pose a military threat to Israel again, the Palestinians would not allow it or any other country to deploy military forces in the West Bank.
In talks Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak have held with U.S. officials, there appears to be a readiness by the U.S. to offer Israel an arms package if the direct talks result in a peace deal with the PA, that may include additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets and additional funding for missile defense systems. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
As president of Egypt, I have endured many ups and downs in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Egypt's decision to be the first Arab state to make peace with Israel claimed the life of my predecessor, Anwar el-Sadat. The biggest obstacle that now stands in the way of success is psychological. For the talks to succeed, we must rebuild trust and a sense of security.
Egypt stands ready to resume its efforts to resolve the many difficult issues surrounding Gaza: mediating a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, bringing an end to Israel's blockade and fostering a reconciliation between Hamas and its rival Fatah, which controls the West Bank. The Palestinians cannot make peace with a house divided. If Gaza is excluded from the framework of peace, it will remain a source of conflict, undermining any final settlement. (New York Times)
See also Obama Peace Talks Won't Succeed - Yossi Beilin
The peace talks in Washington won't succeed in finding a permanent solution to the conflict. The U.S. should change the goal of the talks to deal with what the parties are prepared to implement, and not with what they are forced to do as a result of American pressure. Netanyahu wasn't voted in to divide east Jerusalem. The distance between his positions and the minimum claims of the pragmatic Palestinian camp can't be bridged.
Abbas can't implement a peace agreement with Israel because as long as Hamas retains control of Gaza, Gaza won't be part of the solution. We need to pursue a different line of thought, which will lead us, at this stage, to a partial agreement. The writer, a former Israeli cabinet minister, was an architect of the Oslo accords. (Bloomberg)
In those parts of the Palestinian Mandate occupied by Arab armies in 1948, including the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, all Jewish residents were removed and Jewish religious sites were systematically destroyed. Far from questioning the morality and justice of the apparent Palestinian demand that their state should be free of Jews, the Western world has accepted the Arab argument that Jewish "settlements" on land that is expected to become part of the Palestinian state are an obstacle to peace. What is the special justification for Palestine, unlike the rest of the world, to be rigorously free of Jews? Why shouldn't Jews live in Palestine as Arabs live in Israel?
When Palestine is like a European country, Israel should live with it as European countries live with each other - but that is not now, nor will this peaceful coexistence immediately follow the end of the current peace process. The writer is a founder and senior fellow of the Hudson Institute. (Wall Street Journal)
The Resumption of Direct Talks between Israel and the Palestinians (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
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