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|
October 13, 2010
Support for Israel Costs Canada Seat on UN Security Council - Benny Avni (New York Sun)
As Prospects for Peace Talks Grow Dim, Opposition Mounts Against Abbas - Charles Levinson (Wall Street Journal)
Two German Journalists Arrested in Iran - Matthias Gebauer (Der Spiegel-Germany)
Hamas Interrogates Gaza Journalists, Closes Office - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
State Department Spokesman Philip J. Crowley said Tuesday: "We have recognized the special nature of the Israeli state. It is a state for the Jewish people. It is a state for other citizens of other faiths as well....A core demand of the Israeli government, which we support, is a recognition that Israel is a part of the region, acceptance by the region of the existence of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and that is what they want to see through this negotiation. We understand this aspiration and the prime minister was talking [Monday in the Knesset] about the fact that just as they aspire to a state for the Jewish people in the Middle East, they understand the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own." (U.S. State Department)
49% of U.S. Jews approve, while 45% disapprove, of the Obama administration's handling of U.S.-Israel relations, according to a new American Jewish Committee survey of 800 respondents conducted Aug. 31-Oct. 5. An earlier AJC earlier survey conducted in March found that 55% approved and 37% disapproved. In contrast, 62% approve how Prime Minister Netanyahu is handling U.S.-Israel relations, while 27% disapprove. In March, 57% approved and 30% disapproved.
Only 43% approve of the Obama administration's handling of the Iran nuclear issue, while 46% disapprove. In March, 47% approved and 42% disapproved. 72% believe there is "little" or "no" chance that a combination of diplomacy and sanctions can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while 23% believe these approaches do have a chance. 59% support, and 35% oppose, U.S. military action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. 70% would support Israeli military action, while 26% are opposed.
48% favor, and 45% oppose, establishment of a Palestinian state. Regarding West Bank settlements, 6% say "all," 56% say "some," and 37% say "none" should be dismantled as part of a permanent agreement with the Palestinians. 60% support a united Jerusalem as Israel's capital, while 35% say Israel should compromise on the city's status in the framework of a permanent peace with the Palestinians. 95% supporting requiring the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement. 50% of American Jews say the Turkish government today is not a friend of the U.S., while 35 percent think it is. 71% say it is not a friend of Israel, and 16% say it is. (American Jewish Committee)
See also Poll: 76% of American Jews Think Arabs Want to Destroy Israel - Natasha Mozgovaya
76% of American Jews believe that the goal of the Arabs "is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel," while only 20% disagreed, according to a recent poll by the American Jewish Committee. 82% said Israel could not achieve peace with a Hamas-led government. 69% feel "very close" or "fairly close" to Israel, while 30% feel "fairly distant" or "very distant." (Ha'aretz)
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was greeted by tens of thousands of Hizbullah supporters as his convoy made its way toward the presidential palace in Beirut under a shower of rice, sweets and rose petals. (AFP)
See also Ahmadinejad Accused of Meddling in Lebanon's Affairs
Some 250 Lebanese politicians, doctors, teachers and journalists issued an open letter to Iran's president on Tuesday, accusing him on the eve of his official visit to Lebanon of meddling in the country's affairs. "One group in Lebanon draws its power from you...and has wielded it over another group and the state," said the letter. "You are repeating what others have done before you by interfering in our internal affairs," referring to Tehran's financial and military backing of Hizbullah, considered a proxy of Iran. Hizbullah is the only party in Lebanon that refused to surrender its weapons after the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.
"Your talk of 'changing the face of the region starting with Lebanon'...and 'wiping Israel off the map through the force of the Islamic resistance in Lebanon'...gives the impression that your visit is that of a high commander to his front line." (AFP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Despite PA rejection of Prime Minister Netanyahu's proposal to extend the settlement construction moratorium if the Palestinian leadership recognized Israel as a Jewish state, an Israeli official said Tuesday that the "ball is still in play, this is still a work in process." "If the Palestinians are willing to engage seriously in a process of give and take, Israel is willing to show flexibility," the official said. "But it has to be a process of give and take, not demand and take."
The official said the whole moratorium matter was an "artificial issue." The vast majority of construction is in large settlement blocs that Israel would retain in any agreement. The amount to be built outside the major settlement blocs is minuscule and not going to change anything, he added. "No settlement growth in the coming year would influence the final map of peace, so for that reason this is an artificial issue," he explained. (Jerusalem Post)
A large rock thrown by Arabs Tuesday hit the front window of a minivan carrying nine members of the Israeli Knesset returning from a tour of the east Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood. Border Guard troops dispersed the attackers. Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said, "We will stop the stone-throwing with covert and overt forces, and we will bring back the quiet." (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revived a previous offer Monday, saying he would support a new settlement freeze if Palestinians would recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a demand he made when he first endorsed a Palestinian state a year ago. Israelis see Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland as confirmation that their neighbors accept Israel's legitimacy.
Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN under Netanyahu, said that the prime minister is responding to what he sees as Palestinians front-loading the peace process with divisive issues that should be part of the negotiations rather than a precondition. "Israel is essentially saying that if we are going to abide by these new rules of putting the substance of the negotiations ahead of time, why can't Israel do the same thing?'' he said. "Either they will do it, or they are going to drop the notion that you have to have preconditions for negotiation.'' (Christian Science Monitor)
One purpose of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's trip to Beirut this week may be to influence the fate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), charged with investigating the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. As the tribunal inches closer to indictments that reportedly include Hizbullah operatives, both the group and Syria - apparently backed by Tehran - have stepped up what seems to be an orchestrated campaign to pressure Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Western allies into ending their support for the judicial process.
The Obama administration should use its nascent dialogue with Damascus to make clear that Syrian efforts to undermine the tribunal will have adverse consequences. Washington should continue to reaffirm support for the tribunal and make clear that it will not countenance any political deal over its future. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
Lattes and Beach Barbecues in the "World's Biggest Prison Camp" - Peter Hitchens (Daily Mail-UK)
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