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|
November 3, 2010
Israeli Airport Gives Rare Glimpse into Security - Daniel Estrin (AP)
PA Weighs Islamic Indoctrination for Undisciplined U.S.-Trained Forces (World Tribune)
IDF Unveils New Systems to Bring Supplies to Troops - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Western powers' strong new sanctions on Iran have so far failed to push Tehran's leaders toward compromise on their disputed nuclear program, a senior European diplomat said Tuesday. The official said that although the economic punishments clearly have inflicted pain on Iran, there has been no signal from the country's leaders that they are willing to yield ground to relieve the pressure. (Los Angeles Times)
See also Iran Unlikely to Accept Nuclear Deal, Its Envoy Says
Iran's envoy to the UN nuclear agency in Vienna on Tuesday dismissed a suggestion by the U.S. that Iran should agree to tougher conditions than those it rejected last year for a possible compromise on its nuclear program. Senior Obama administration officials said last week that the U.S. was prepared to revive an offer it made last year to ship Iran's uranium to another country for enrichment, in a complex deal intended to ensure that Iran did not have access to enough highly enriched uranium to make a bomb.
When asked about reports that Iran would be asked to release about two tons of its uranium stockpile under a revised proposal, Iran's envoy indicated that Tehran was unlikely to agree. "I'm afraid there is no logic for these kind of statements," he said. (Reuters-New York Times)
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday staked a claim to Israeli-controlled east Jerusalem, announcing that his government quietly helped fund the renovation of 14 schools in what the Palestinians hope will be their capital. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will not relinquish east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 War and annexed. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Palestinian government activity in Jerusalem is not permitted under the interim agreements that helped set up the Palestinian Authority. "They (the Palestinians) did commit not to conduct official Palestinian activities in Jerusalem, and Israel expects them to abide by that commitment." (AP)
The Obama administration Monday said it opposes shifting the venue of Israel-Palestinian peacemaking to the UN. U.S. officials say only direct dialogue and agreement between the parties can produce a two-state settlement of the conflict. The Obama administration is giving a chilly reception to suggestions that recognition of Palestinian statehood by UN or other international bodies might advance prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian accord. (VOA News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
As far as the U.S. president's overall Middle East policy is concerned, despite the midterm election results, Israel will see more of the same from Obama. Obama has been very consistent regarding his perception of our conflict, and the way to resolve it. Over the last few months there has been a tactical change regarding his tone toward Israel, but not an overall strategic shift in how he views the conflict or its solution. He will not, justifiably, interpret the election defeat as a vote on his Middle East policies.
Where there may be some change is in his appreciation of the genuine political constraints facing Prime Minister Netanyahu. Over the last few weeks, numerous stories have been coming out of Washington saying there was a good deal of frustration and anger at Netanyahu inside the administration for using domestic political "excuses" as a reason for not responding positively to Obama's call to extend the settlement moratorium. They do not see this as a legitimate excuse. As a result of the thunderous loss his party took in the elections, the real political choices Obama himself will have to make may give him a better appreciation of the real political challenges Netanyahu is up against. (Jerusalem Post)
Israel has canceled its special strategic dialogue with London to protest a law that enables Britain to arrest visiting Israeli officials for alleged war crimes, officials in Jerusalem said Wednesday during British Foreign Secretary William Hague's visit to the region. "The question of Israeli officials being unable to travel to Britain will be on the top of the agenda as far as we are concerned," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP. Britain is one of the European pioneers of universal jurisdiction, a broad legal concept that empowers judges to issue arrest warrants for nearly any visitor accused of committing war crimes anywhere in the world. (Ha'aretz)
See also Curbing the Manipulation of Universal Jurisdiction - Justus Reid Weiner and Diane Morrison (Global Law Forum-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Arabs have been documented cutting down Palestinian olive trees using an electric saw in order to falsely accuse Israelis of vandalism, the Tazpit organization said Saturday. Many incidents allegedly targeting Palestinians in the last few weeks were said to be staged by the Palestinians themselves in order to harm the image of Israeli settlers. Tazpit director Amotz Eyal said that "during every olive harvest season, just like this one, there are many cases of Arab farmers cutting down olive branches, later blaming it on the settlers." (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Are there really two narratives to the history of Israel's War of Independence? Would anyone suggest that in American schools the "Japanese narrative" of World War II be taught alongside the "American narrative"? Is the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor no more than the American version? Or how about teaching in Russian schools the "German narrative" of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941?
Yes, there is a "Palestinian narrative" of the 1948 war called "Nakba." But as every student of that war and the still-living witnesses know only too well, the Nakba version is no more than a pack of lies. One percent of the Jewish population fell fighting against the Arab attack by local Arab militias and regular armies of the neighboring Arab countries, plus Iraqi forces, which attempted to destroy the Jewish state in a war they started immediately after the UN resolution dividing western Palestine into Jewish and Arab states in November 1947.
Six thousand Jews - soldiers and civilians - fell in that war fighting against the Arab onslaught. Where the Arabs were successful, the Jewish population was killed or deported, and all Jewish property was destroyed. What happened in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and in the Etzion bloc in May 1948 when they fell to the Jordanian Legion was a portent of the fate that awaited the entire Jewish community had the Arabs won this war.
It is true that the Arab population of Palestine suffered grievously during that war. But it is also beyond doubt that this tragedy was brought on them by the decisions taken by the Arab leadership. If true peace is ever to reign among Israel and its Arab neighbors, it is important that the Arabs recognize that what they call the Nakba was a self-inflicted tragedy. The writer served as Minister of Defense three times, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. (Ha'aretz)
The New York Times editorial "Enough Game-Playing" (Oct. 30) ends with the counterfactual assertion that "Israelis cannot bet on the infinite patience of the Palestinian people." It is the Israelis who have demonstrated "infinite patience," while waiting for the Palestinians to come to terms with a two-state settlement.
The Palestinian side rejected every opportunity along the way starting in 1947, when the UN proposed a two-state solution for British-controlled Palestine. The Jews accepted the plan; the Arab world rejected it. Until 1967, the West Bank, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem were in Arab hands, yet no Palestinian state emerged. In 2000, Israel, with American support, offered a two-state proposal at Camp David, only to be rebuffed by the Palestinians. In 2008, Israel again offered a two-state accord, with the same tragic result.
And now Israel calls on the Palestinians to resume direct talks leading to a two-state deal. The reply is procrastination and preconditions. It is Israel that, for the sake of peace, has shown remarkable patience. It is high time for the Palestinians to reciprocate and move toward a better future for both peoples. The writer is executive director of the American Jewish Committee. (New York Times)
IDF Intelligence Chief Warns: Iran Laying Ground for Two New Nuclear Sites - Rebecca Anna Stoil
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