Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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November 9, 2010
Bush Ordered Pentagon to Plan Iran Attack - Heidi Blake (Telegraph-UK)
Why Do Palestinians Attack Israeli Doctors and Ambulances? - Khaled Abu Toameh (Hudson Institute New York)
Israeli Know-How Helping to Combat Hunger in Africa - Danielle Nierenberg and Janeen Madan (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israel's Interior Ministry said Monday that it was moving ahead with plans for construction of about 1,300 new apartments in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, including 978 apartments in Har Homa [current pop. 12,000] and 320 in Ramot [pop. 50,000]. An Israeli official said that in every peace plan considered in recent years, the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem would remain part of Israel. "Building in these neighborhoods in no way contradicts our desire to move ahead toward peace and a two-state solution," he said.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "We were deeply disappointed by the announcement of advanced planning for new housing units in sensitive areas of east Jerusalem. It is counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties." (Washington Post)
See also Har Homa Neighborhood in Jerusalem Is Built on Jewish-Owned Land (Jerusalem Municipality)
Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi said Monday that opposition to the Iranian government is growing, spurred by an increase in government violence, more human rights violations and deepening poverty. During a visit to the UN, Ebadi urged the international community "to bring the voice of the people of Iran and the political prisoners to the outside world," stressing that the human rights situation in Iran "is very bad...(and) is worsening." (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Prime Minister Netanyahu told the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans on Monday: "The greatest danger facing Israel and the world is the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. Iran threatens to annihilate Israel. It denies the Holocaust. It sponsors terror. It confronts America in Afghanistan and Iraq. It dominates Lebanon and Gaza. It establishes beachheads in Arabia and in Africa. It even spreads its influence into this hemisphere, into South America. Now, this is what Iran is doing without nuclear weapons. Imagine what it would do with them."
"If the international community, led by the United States, hopes to stop Iran's nuclear program without resorting to military action, it will have to convince Iran that it is prepared to take such action. Containment will not work against Iran."
"Israel also wants a secure peace [with the Palestinians]. We do not want to vacate more territory only to see Iran walk in and fire thousands of rockets at our cities. That is exactly what happened after we left Lebanon and Gaza. We don't want to see rockets and missiles streaming into a Palestinian state and placed on the hills above Tel Aviv and the hills encircling Jerusalem. If Israel does not maintain a credible security presence in the Jordan Valley for the foreseeable future, this is exactly what will happen." (Prime Minister's Office)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday discussed a recent ruling by UNESCO that West Bank heritage sites such as Rachel's Tomb would be considered Palestinian. Netanyahu said, "the profound link between the Jewish people and the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb had existed for close to 4,000 years." "Over a billion people know of this bond and it is documented in the Bible....Historical facts should not be distorted in the name of politics." (Ha'aretz)
See also below Observations: Rachel's Tomb, a Jewish Holy Place, Was Never a Mosque - Nadav Shragai (ICA-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Abbas felt trapped by Obama's call for a complete settlement freeze in the spring of 2009. He had never insisted upon a settlement freeze being a precondition for talks during previous negotiations with Olmert. Nor had Arafat made this a precondition in negotiations with Rabin and Barak. Abbas has blamed the U.S. for instilling a settlement freeze as his own precondition. He could not appear to be less pro-Palestinian than President Obama.
There were no rallies in Israel saying "Yes to Obama" once Netanyahu said he was already willing not to geographically expand the settlements. If the administration had instead assumed the position of non-expansion instead of a total freeze, this issue would have been defused. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
It appears that Ankara's recent antagonism toward Israel is a result of its pursuit of "strategic depth," a concept popularized by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu. "Strategic depth" has meant distancing Turkey from the West and cultivating closer relations with Middle Eastern states like Iran and Syria.
Far from bolstering Turkish influence, however, deteriorating ties with Israel can only diminish Ankara's standing. Turkey had enjoyed the trust of both Israel and its Arab neighbors, which allowed Turkey to serve as a mediator in Israeli-Syrian peace talks from 2007 to 2008. Turkey has not only sacrificed the trust of Israel since then, but through its outspoken defense of Hamas and Iran, has distanced itself from the positions of Arab states who see Tehran and its proxies - and not Israel - as their "principal threat." The writer is a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council. (Foreign Policy)
See also Changes in the Turkish Threat Perception: Strategic Significance for Israel - Gallia Lindenstrauss (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
Rachel's Tomb, a Jewish Holy Place, Was Never a Mosque - Nadav Shragai (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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