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 3, 2010
PA Incapable of Stopping Hamas Terrorists - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
American Jews Remain Attached to Israel, Study Shows (JTA)
Photos: Hamas Supporters Celebrate the Murder of Israeli Civilians - Tom Gross (Mideast Dispatch Archive)
Send Birthday-Jewish New Year Greetings to Gilad Shalit (Giladgreetings.org-Conference of Presidents)
Attackers Strike Home of Iranian Opposition Leader (Reuters-New York Times)
Anxiety, Anger Over Gaza Attacks Still Alive in Israel - Lourdes Garcia-Navarro (NPR)
Anti-Semitic Cartoons on Progressive Blogs - Adam Levick (Institute for Global Jewish Affairs)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
At a meeting at the State Department on Thursday with Secretary of State Clinton and PA President Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "Just as you expect us to be ready to recognize a Palestinian state as the nation-state of the Palestinian people, we expect you to be prepared to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. There are more than a million non-Jews living in Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish people, who have full civil rights. There is no contradiction between a nation-state that guarantees the national rights of the majority and guaranteeing the civil rights, the full civil equality, of the minority. I think this mutual recognition between us is indispensible to clarifying to our two peoples that the conflict between us is over."
"New forces have risen in our region, and we've had the rise of Iran and its proxies and the rise of missile warfare. And so a peace agreement must take into account a security arrangement against these real threats that have been directed against my country, threats that have been realized with 12,000 rockets that have been fired on our territory, and terrorist attacks that go unabated." (U.S. State Department)
See also Behind the Scenes at the Washington Peace Summit - Barak Ravid
At the festive dinner at the White House, Abbas looked like someone who'd been dragged to a party against his will. He sat beside Netanyahu for an hour, hardly exchanging a word. Even the handshake the two leaders exchanged seemed no more than polite. In contrast to the Israeli prime minister, who tried to prove in his speech that he was full of good will and was looking ahead, Abbas spoke of the historic injustice done to the Palestinians. (Ha'aretz)
See also In Search of "Creative Solutions" - Shlomo Cesan
While Netanyahu was talking about Sadat, among those listening to the prime minister were some who were asking themselves if we are dealing with a leader who underwent a transformation. Will he evacuate settlements? But the prime minister explained that his solutions are different. According to him, "we will need to think in new terms. The models that we worked with in the past until now, in the areas of security and population, did not prove themselves. What is needed is a revision in thinking. Leaders need to think creatively," Netanyahu explained. (Yisrael Hayom-Hebrew, 3Sep10)
See also Hillary Clinton: U.S. Won't "Impose" Solution for Mideast Peace - Glenn Thrush and Laura Rozen (Politico)
Hamas said on Thursday it would keep on attacking Israelis and denounced peace talks between Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian government. "Operations of resistance will continue," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. "Mahmoud Abbas does not have the right to speak for the Palestinians, nor to represent them, and, therefore, any results will not be binding on the Palestinian people." (Reuters)
See also Hamas Leader Rejects PA Talks with Israel - Diaa Hadid and Karin Laub
Top Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar rejected compromise with Israel in a fiery speech Wednesday in Gaza, a day after Hamas gunmen killed four Israelis. Zahar rejected the idea of compromise with Israel, saying that "liberating" all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River - a reference to Israel's destruction - is a moral and religious duty. The group - shunned by the West and Israel as a terror organization - possesses a large arsenal of rockets that it could launch at Israel. (AP)
See also Hamas among Intractable Issues in Mideast Talks - Ibrahim Barzak and Josef Federman (AP-Washington Post)
Japan is suspending new oil and gas investments in Iran and freezing the assets of 88 organizations and 24 individuals in its latest round of sanctions for Tehran's nuclear program. "We've decided to add more sanctions to prevent nuclear proliferation and development," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said Friday in Tokyo. Iran is Japan's third-biggest supplier of crude oil. (Bloomberg)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
At the beginning of direct talks in Washington, Israelis and Palestinians agreed to work out a framework agreement in the coming months as a first step to a full peace treaty, U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell announced on Thursday. The idea, according to sources close to Netanyahu, is to reach agreement in principle on core issues, and then have the respective staffs settle the details. In private meetings, Netanyahu said that what was needed were decisions by the leaders, "not a sea of staff work."
Mitchell stressed that the framework deal would not be an "interim agreement," but would tackle all of the issues at the heart of the conflict. The parties agreed to hold another round of talks on September 14 and 15, possibly at the Egyptian resort of Sharm e-Sheik, together with Secretary of State Clinton and Mitchell. Netanyahu and Abbas held a one-on-one discussion for two hours on Thursday. Mitchell indicated that Abbas and Netanyahu would meet personally every two weeks. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Briefing by U.S. Middle East Envoy George Mitchell on Middle East Peace Talks (State Department)
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon noted Thursday that a Palestinian Authority minister had visited the families of suicide bombers while PA President Abbas was meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. PA Minister for Prisoner Affairs Issa Karake visited the Abu Hamid family, to meet a mother whose four sons were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Israelis and give her an award. Karake praised the terrorists' mother and her family's contribution to the "struggle for Palestinian independence." He also visited the family of Ayyat Al-Akhras, a suicide bomber who murdered two Israelis in a Jerusalem supermarket in 2002.
"While negotiations are restarting in Washington, ministers in Abbas' government are continuing with their incitement and encouraging acts of terrorism," Ayalon said. "The Palestinians need to make a decision, they cannot talk peace and at the same time encourage terrorism." (Jerusalem Post)
See also Mother of Four Terrorist Murderers Honored by Palestinian Authority - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
See also PLO Ambassador to Iran Hopes to See "Complete Eradication" of Israel
Palestine's Ambassador to Tehran Salah Zawawi said on Thursday that the relentless struggle with the Zionist occupiers will continue until liberation of Holy Qods (Jerusalem). He said that the Zionist regime was established by Western powers to harm unity of the Arab nations and the world Muslims. "As our struggles with the Zionists will get tougher in the future, we hope for more support from the Islamic Ummah," he said. "Through solidarity of world Muslims, we hope to witness the complete eradication of the fabricated regime in due course," Zawawi said. (IRNA-Iran)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The Hamas Attacks and the Peace Process
"The peace process is back," my friend said with bitter sarcasm, after four Israelis were killed in a terror attack just before Palestinian-Israeli negotiations got underway this week. The Oslo peace process of the 1990s was accompanied by waves of attacks by Hamas jihadists, which Israelis believe were tacitly orchestrated by their negotiating partner at the time, Yasser Arafat. Then, in September 2000, just as Israel accepted a Palestinian state and the re-division of Jerusalem, Arafat responded by launching a four-year terror war.
But there is one crucial difference. Today, Israel is facing a negotiating partner who isn't instigating terrorism while feigning moderation. Abbas is engaged in a life-and-death power struggle with Iran's ally, Hamas. That is why he approved an unprecedented level of cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. In the Middle East, pessimism is almost always warranted. But if expectations are kept modest and the focus holds on the common jihadist threat, Palestinians and Israelis may yet surprise themselves. The writer is a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. (Los Angeles Times)
That the Hamas attacks came on the eve of Mideast peace talks is a grim reminder that spoilers will try desperately to upend hopes for negotiations seeking to end the conflict. Hamas' latest attack is reminiscent of the tactics they employed in the 1990s, when their aim was to plant a bomb on an Israeli bus immediately preceding a key moment of peace negotiations. Yet violence in the '90s did not succeed in forcing Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. Four bombs in the course of nine days preceding the 1996 election only angered Israelis and led to Benjamin Netanyahu's first victory as prime minister. Hamas attacks also decreased the popularity of peace talks among the Israeli public, rendering withdrawal tantamount to vulnerability, not security.
Hamas has made clear its intention to demonstrate that the security cooperation between Israel and the PA is not strong enough to stop their terrorist activities. The answer must be the continuation of tight Israeli-PA security cooperation to thwart those who want to sabotage the chances of peace. The writer directs the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (USA Today)
Hamas set out to "disrupt" the negotiations taking place in Washington between Israel and the Palestinians by murdering Israelis. Hamas knows that its murderous attacks upon Israeli civilians inevitably results in pressure by the "civilized" world not on those who wage such terror campaigns but on their Israeli victims. It is not Hamas or the Palestinians who are punished by America, Britain and Europe for murdering Israelis, but Israel for either defending itself against them or refusing to make more suicidal "concessions" which expose yet more of its civilians to murderous attack.
The obsessional focus upon the settlements has allowed the Arabs to pretend that the core issue is indeed the settlers, and if only they were removed from the territories there would be peace. The slightest acquaintance with history shows that this is a ludicrous analysis. The Arabs have been waging a war of extermination against the Jewish presence in first Palestine and then Israel from the 1920s onwards. The proof that the settlements were not the issue came when Israel evicted the settlers from Gaza - to which the reaction was not peace or nation-building towards a state of Palestine, but thousands of rockets fired from Gaza at Israel.
The settlers are said to have stolen land from the Palestinians. This is false. The land never belonged to a sovereign country of Palestine because there was none. It was "no man's land," illegally occupied for a while by Jordan. Nor was it "stolen" from individual Palestinians since most of it was empty space, or bought from Arabs, or it was land originally owned and lived in by Jews. (Spectator-UK)
The latest attack by Hamas, killing four Israelis, was a signal, timed for the restart of direct negotiations, that Hamas will subvert by terror any progress toward Israel-Palestinian peace. The attack signals to the Palestinian public that "resistance" is an alternative accorded much more honor and respectability. It is Hamas' counter-campaign to show that violence is preferable. And why not? Murdering Israelis is right in the dominant Palestinian political culture, is made to seem heroic, and doesn't carry heavy penalties either for the groups doing it or individual terrorists carrying it out.
This attack also reminds Israel that the PA is unable to stop terrorism. Thus, the creation of a Palestinian state at this time and in these circumstances would not necessarily be a solution ending the conflict, but merely a new stage of cross-border attacks, official anti-Israel incitement, and growing power for Hamas and its radical allies within the Fatah group that rules the West Bank.
Moreover, nowadays such acts of terrorism don't generate real international support for Israel but often suggestions that it should make more concessions faster in order to "end" the violence. Indeed, the New York Times' opening paragraph on the attack actually succeeded in blaming Israel as the culprit after four of its own innocent civilians are murdered: "The killing of four Israeli settlers...underscored the disruptive role that the issue of Jewish settlements could play in the already fragile negotiations." Not the disruptive role of Palestinian terrorism but of Jewish settlements! The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. (Rubin Report)
The catastrophic outcome of the Oslo process has increased Israeli concerns over security, and the demonization campaign against Israel has led many Israelis to give up on international acceptance, with or without peace. In parallel, Palestinians are deeply divided, with Hamas in control of Gaza, and the remnants of the PLO/Fatah group clinging to power in the West Bank.
Nevertheless, there is a slim basis for considering a positive outcome. Israelis are tired of the conflict and ready for a compromise that meets basic requirements. Polls consistently show that the majority want an end to the post-1967 stalemate, without inviting renewed terrorism, as occurred following the Gaza withdrawal in 2005. Internationally recognized and defensible borders (not the 1949 cease-fire lines) would have a number of positive impacts. The writer is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and heads NGO Monitor. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
My father, his parents and family were just a few of the almost one million Jews who were expelled or forced out of Arab lands. My father and his family were Algerian, from a Jewish community thousands of years old that predated the Arab conquest of North Africa and even Islam. Upon receiving independence, Algeria allowed only Muslims to become citizens and drove the indigenous Jewish community and the rest of my family out. While those Arabs who fled or left Mandatory Palestine and Israel numbered roughly 750,000, there were roughly 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands. Before the State of Israel was reestablished in 1948, there were almost one million Jews in Arab lands, today there are around 5,000.
Financial economists have estimated that, in today's figures, the total amount of assets lost by the Jewish refugees from Arab lands is almost twice that of the assets lost by the Palestinian refugees. Normally the definition of a refugee only applies to the person that fled and sought refuge, while a Palestinian refugee is the person that fled and all of their descendants for all time. So, according to the UNRWA definition of conferring refugee status on descendants, I would be a refugee. (Jerusalem Post)
Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah, in Washington for the launching of direct negotiations between Israel and the PA, went there out of concern for their regimes, and not because they cared so much about the Palestinians or the Middle East peace process. There is growing opposition in Egypt to the idea of Mubarak's son, Gamal, succeed him as president, as posters carrying pictures of Gamal and seeking support for his candidacy have appeared in many places in the country. Mubarak, 82, knows that without the backing of the U.S. and the approval of the Western media, Gamal will never be permitted to step into his father's shoes. Such backing is even more important than winning the support of the Egyptians, whose opinion doesn't matter anyway.
Mubarak went to Washington not to seek peace between Palestinians and Israelis, but to pave the way for his son's rise to power. If Mubarak really cared about the peace process, he would not be allowing his government-controlled media to continue vomiting anti-Semitism and anti-Israel propaganda: instead of delegitimizing Israel and demonizing Jews, he would be preparing his people for peace.
King Abdullah went to Washington because he wants to secure the continued backing of the West - and Israel - for his regime. King Abdullah is afraid of an independent Palestinian state on his border. He would rather see IDF soldiers patrolling the border with Israel than Palestinian border guards. Mubarak and Abdullah are in Washington because they want to get rid of the Palestinians, not because they want to help them, because they want to make sure that the Palestinian issue remains Israel's problem alone. (Hudson Institute-New York)
See also Group Promotes Egypt's Spy Chief for President - Sarah El Deeb
Activists on Thursday hung posters across Cairo supporting Lt. Gen. Omar Suleiman, Egypt's intelligence chief, as a candidate in next year's presidential elections. Suleiman, 74, is a close Mubarak adviser and is in charge of Egypt's most pressing foreign policy issues, such as relations with Israel, the U.S. and neighboring Sudan. (AP-Washington Post)
Reason for Optimism in Mideast Talks - Michael B. Oren (McClatchy-Tribune)
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