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 10, 2010
Hamas Invites Ahmadinejad to Visit Gaza (Fars-Iran)
Poll: Palestinians Oppose Compromise, Want New Elections (Arab World for Research and Development-PA)
IDF: Hizbullah Refused Hamas Request to Bomb Israel During Gaza War - Anshel Pfeffer (Ha'aretz)
The Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
President Obama said Tuesday that Israel is not helping the cause of peace by restarting home construction in territory claimed by both Arabs and Israelis. "This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations," Obama said. "And I'm concerned that we're not seeing each side make the extra effort to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel living side by side in peace with a sovereign Palestine." (Los Angeles Times)
See also Netanyahu Rejects Obama Criticism of East Jerusalem Construction Planning - Gwen Ackerman, Jonathan Ferziger and Christopher Power
In an interview with Bloomberg Television Tuesday, Netanyahu called Palestinian complaints about Israeli settlement construction "a minor issue" that has become "way overblown." He said previous settlement construction hadn't prevented Egypt or Jordan from concluding peace agreements with Israel. "In many ways it's a minor issue that has assumed center stage for no objective reason." (Bloomberg)
"You are talking about a handful of apartments that really don't affect the map at all, contrary to impressions that might be perceived from certain news reports." (Wall Street Journal)
See also Netanyahu: Jerusalem Is Not a Settlement
Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a statement Tuesday: "Jerusalem is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. Israel has never accepted upon itself restrictions of any kind on construction in Jerusalem."
"Israel sees no connection between the diplomatic process and planning and building policy in Jerusalem, which has not changed in 40 years. All Israeli governments in the past 40 years have built in all parts of the city. During this period, peace agreements were signed with Egypt and Jordan, and for 17 years, diplomatic negotiations have been conducted with the Palestinians. These are historical facts. Construction in Jerusalem has never hindered the peace process."
"The disagreements with the U.S. over Jerusalem are well-known. They are not new and have continued for 40 years. We hope to overcome them and continue to advance the diplomatic negotiations." (Prime Minister's Office)
President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Washington's effort to reach out to the Muslim world was earnest and would help improve U.S. security. Obama described a range of efforts the U.S. is making to reach out to Muslims, including education and business initiatives. "That will be good for our security but it will also be good for the larger cause of understanding between the United States and the Muslim world. I think it's an incomplete project we've got a lot more work to do. It's not going to eliminate or replace some tough dialogue around concrete policy issues." (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
In less than a decade, Har Homa (officially Homat Shmuel - "Samuel's wall") has 20,000 residents, wide streets, modern infrastructure, and plans to build another 2,000 housing units. The neighborhood was set up in the face of strong Palestinian and international protests during Benjamin Netanyahu's first term as prime minister. Attorney Herzl Yechezkel, one of the first residents of the new neighborhood, has been the head of its residents' committee since its inception. "I remember the fight that accompanied the birth of the neighborhood....Then everyone threatened that there would be a third world war. The bottom line was that [Faisal] al-Husseini made some noise and some headlines but when we started to actually build, the whole world was quiet."
"It's our right to build up Jerusalem...the capital of the Jewish people....The demands of the world are hallucinatory. It's as if I were to say: Don't build in Washington." (Ha'aretz)
See also Is Har Homa a Settlement? The Strategic Significance of Har Homa - Lenny Ben-David (I*Consult)
Prime Minister Netanyahu met Tuesday in New York with American business and financial leaders and business news outlets to encourage investment in Israel. "We [take] pride [in] our brainpower and the entrepreneurship of our people," Netanyahu told Bloomberg television. "We have lived with uncertainty from day one. And that hasn't prevented us from moving to an economy that is now about $30,000 per capita. But the growth is right there, it's in front of us, because we can produce per capita more conceptual products right now than any other society on Earth....The future belongs to those who can produce conceptual products." (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
What did President Obama talk about upon arriving in Jakarta? Israeli construction projects. Israel's decision to proceed with the building of some 1,000 housing units in the Har Homa neighborhood of municipal Jerusalem - a "settlement" only in the most jaundiced sense of the term - was made in October. Israeli governments of both the right and left have encouraged similar building projects since Jerusalem was reunified in 1967.
All Israel has done is insist that Jews have a right to live anywhere in their capital city, something that might be controversial in Ramallah but ought not to be in Washington. Mr. Obama's public endorsement of the Palestinian view of what constitutes a settlement only puts the negotiated peace he seeks further out of reach. Meanwhile, the Indonesian government forbids Israeli citizens from visiting their country. If Mr. Obama wants to bridge the distance between Jakarta and Jerusalem, maybe he can start with that one. (Wall Street Journal)
Obama chose to use his visit to Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, as the venue for comments directly criticizing Israel for approving the building of 1,000 new housing units in the Har Homa section of Jerusalem. Obama's stance on Jerusalem was unprecedented in U.S.-Israel relations: although the U.S. had never recognized Israel's annexation of the eastern part of the city in 1967, it had also never treated the building of Jewish neighborhoods there as a point of dispute between the two countries in this manner. (Commentary)
The Muslim Brotherhood - with Hamas as its Palestinian branch - is a natural partner of Iran, with which it shares a common set of values and a joint vision of the revival of the caliphate, despite the divide that historically separates Sunnis from Shiites. Hamas Foreign Ministry Director-General Dr. Ahmed Yousef explains this in an Arabic-language booklet titled The Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Revolution in Iran, The Dialectic of State and Nation in the Thought of the Imams al-Banna and Khomeini. The preface was written by Dr. Muhammad al-Hindi, the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Yousef, recognized as one of the main spokesmen for the more moderate wing of Hamas, was allowed to define "What Hamas Wants" in a New York Times op-ed in June 2007.
He explains that Hamas' dependence on Iran is not an accidental marriage of convenience, but an inevitable partnership based on the common aspiration for the divine ideal of the "Islamic state." Hamas is rapidly distancing itself from the Saudis and other traditional benefactors in order to strengthen its pact with Iran, and is very unlikely to make more than a pretense of reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
Israel's Red Lines - Make Clear to Our U.S. Allies Where We Stand on Key Issues - Ari Harow (Ynet News)
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