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 14, 2010
Ahmadinejad to Attend UN Meeting in New York Next Week (Press TV-Iran)
Iranian Diplomat in Finland Resigns in Protest - Alexandra Sandels (Los Angeles Times)
Hamas Video Presents the "Liberation of Tel Aviv" - Ali Waked (Ynet News)
Palestinian, Cuban Migrant Arrested in Miami for Plot to Send Weapons to West Bank - Jay Weaver and Diana Moskovitz (Miami Herald)
Five Muslim Men Planned Attack on Australian Army Base - Norrie Ross (Herald Sun-Australia)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israeli and Palestinian leaders are in the Egyptian Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh Tuesday for the second round of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who flew in from Washington, calls it a "moment of great opportunity" for the two parties. "Negotiations at least hold out the potential for reaching an agreement that both parties have pledged that they wish to pursue," she said. (VOA News)
The UN nuclear agency cannot confirm that all of Iran's atomic activities are peaceful because of Tehran's selective cooperation with nuclear inspectors, Yukiya Amano, the agency's chief, said Monday at the start of an IAEA board meeting in Vienna. Iran has banned more than 40 UN inspectors over the past four years. The Islamic Republic continues to stonewall an IAEA probe into U.S. and other intelligence agency allegations that Tehran conducted secret experiments meant to develop atomic arms.
An IAEA report noted that Iran continued to enrich uranium in defiance of five UN Security Council resolutions. "This report is the clearest evidence yet that Iran is refusing to address the proliferation concerns of the international community, number one, and number two, much more ominously, that it appears determined to acquire a nuclear weapons capability," said Glyn Davies, the chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA. (AP-Washington Post)
The U.S. envoy to the UN atomic watchdog urged Arab states on Monday to withdraw a resolution calling on Israel to sign an anti-nuclear arms treaty, warning it would send a negative signal to Middle East peace talks. Arab countries, backed by Iran, narrowly won support at an assembly meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency last year for a non-binding resolution calling on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and are expected to propose a similar text at this year's meeting which starts on Sept. 20.
Israel condemned last year's resolution, saying it was backed by adversaries that question its right to exist. Israel says full Middle East peace is a condition for it to join the NPT. Glyn Davies, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, said, "We have been working with the Arab League but also other partners to urge them to withdraw the Israeli nuclear capabilities resolution." (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The Palestinians' "all or nothing" strategy of insisting on a total freeze on West Bank settlement construction risks paralyzing Middle East peace talks in their infancy, Israeli officials close to the negotiations warned Tuesday. Senior officials in the prime minister's office said they expected the Palestinians to avoid extreme responses that could derail the U.S.-sponsored peace process. "This attitude of all or nothing has over the past year led to a stagnation, with the result that in nine months of construction freeze, there were no negotiations," one high-ranking official told Ha'aretz.
"The aim of this trip [to Egypt] and the meeting with Abu Mazen [Abbas] is to find a way to continue the talks, not to blow them out of the water," the Israeli official said. "If we can't reach agreement on a small issue like the settlements, what are our chances of striking a deal over borders and refugees?" (Ha'aretz)
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced Monday the entry into Gaza of 250 tons of construction materials in order to upgrade the Sheikh Ajlin sewage treatment plant in central Gaza under the sponsorship of the German government and the KfW Bankengruppe. Last week, over 80 tons of iron were transferred for the second stage of the northern Gaza sewage treatment plant, which is under the aegis of the World Bank. The transfer of equipment was carried out despite the recent firing of mortar rounds and Kassam rockets by terrorist organizations at Israeli communities. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Historically, the U.S. has made its most significant progress in Middle East peacemaking when it operated from a pre-eminent position in the region. That's what convinced Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to chuck the Soviets. It is also what convinced Arabs and Israelis to start the modern era of peacemaking at the Madrid peace conference, following the U.S.-led liberation of Kuwait. But this iteration of peace talks, which will resume on Sept. 14 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, begins with many in the Middle East questioning American strength, not deferring to it. This change has potentially negative implications for our ability to help Arabs and Israelis forge peace.
With all its messy implications, U.S. action to prevent Iran's march toward a nuclear weapons capability would buoy America's friends and undermine its adversaries from Morocco through the Persian Gulf. It alone would create a regional environment conducive to historic progress in Arab-Israeli peace. The writer is executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Foreign Policy)
The White House can pressure the Palestinian Authority to make concessions that would show the Israeli public that they are really interested in making a peace deal. These concessions could include ending the incitement against Israelis and Jews that appears daily on official Palestinian television (the PA promised this in earlier peace negotiations but has failed to live up to this promise). It could also include ending Palestinian efforts to delegitimize Israel in international forums such as the UN and the International Criminal Court. Finally it could include a willingness to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The White House could also try to persuade the Saudis to invite Prime Minister Netanyahu to Saudi Arabia, as New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has suggested. (Hudson Institute-New York)
The major threat to the peace process is not a new housing project in a West Bank settlement, but the threats coming from the evil forces in Gaza, Damascus, Beirut and Tehran. No "moderate" Palestinian leader will dare make any concessions for peace as long as Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran are continuing to issue daily threats against "traitors." They are opposed to peace because they believe that Israel has no right to exist and should be wiped off the map. The peace process will never move forward as long as these forces are actively working to destroy Israel and eliminate any Arab or Muslim who talks about compromise. As long as the U.S. and its Western allies continue to turn a blind eye to these real threats, Israel and the PA will never be able to make any progress towards peace.
Syria continues to play host to several radical Palestinian terror groups whose declared goal is to prevent the signing of any peace agreement between Israel and the PA. These groups have armed cells in the West Bank and Gaza that are ready to launch terror attacks against Israeli targets. The Palestinian "rejectionist" groups are under the control of the Syrians, who use them to advance their own interests the same way they have been using Hizbullah and other terror groups in Lebanon for decades. If Washington wants to ensure any kind of progress in the current peace talks and stop these radical groups, it should put pressure on the Syrian dictator in Damascus to rein them in. (Hudson Institute-New York)
Setting the Parameters for Success in Peace Talks - Michael Herzog (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
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