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Iran Warns Neighbors Not to Aid Israel - Parisa Hafezi (Reuters)
Iran warned neighboring countries not to help its arch-foe Israel.
"Our neighbors and the regional countries that have ties with the Zionist regime should know that any assistance given to this regime would be viewed as a threat to Iran," Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said Tuesday.
"The regional countries' interaction with this regime will help the creation of bases for terrorist and espionage actions."
Iran said on Monday it had arrested a "network of spies" linked to Israel's Mossad intelligence service which it blamed for the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist in 2010.
Video: Gaza 2011 - Your Next Travel Destination (YouTube)
Gaza 2011 - not what you think: beaches, kids' attractions, fine dining, shopping malls, open markets and more.
Former Secretary of State Shultz Calls for Pollard's Release - Yitzhak Benhorin (Ynet News)
Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz on Tuesday sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to pardon Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and release him from prison. Shultz served in the position for seven years under President Ronald Reagan.
See also Text of Shultz Letter on Pollard - Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post)
South Korea Eyes Upgrading Defense Deals with Israel in Light of North Korea Tensions - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
South Korea has expressed interest in substantially expanding defense-related deals with Israel in view of its deteriorating relations with North Korea.
After a number of border incidents, the South Korean government recently decided to increase its annual defense budget by 25%.
South Korea is interested in Israeli drones, missiles, radar and missile defense systems.
The last three years have seen a significant increase in South Korea's defense procurement from Israel.
Israel Blacklists Foreign Charities for Supporting Terrorism - Chaim Levinson (Ha'aretz)
The Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority has issued orders over the past three years prohibiting receiving money from 163 organizations contaminated with funds related to terrorism, Defense Ministry data shows.
The total list of banned organizations numbers 352.
Video: The Battleground of the Mind - Melanie Phillips (YouTube)
British journalist Melanie Phillips discusses the difficulties of holding rational discourse about Israel in a Jan. 9, 2011, interview with Israel TV.
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- East Jerusalem Arabs Not Enthusiastic about Joining Palestine - Jackson Diehl
A new poll conducted in November shows that the 270,000 Arabs who live in east Jerusalem may not be very enthusiastic about joining Palestine. The awkward fact is that more would prefer to be citizens of Israel than of a Palestinian state.
The survey, designed and supervised by former State Department Middle East researcher David Pollock, found that only 30% said they would prefer to be citizens of Palestine in a two-state solution, while 35% said they would choose Israeli citizenship. (The rest said they didn't know or refused to answer.) 40% said they would consider moving to another neighborhood in order to become a citizen of Israel rather than Palestine, and 54% said that if their neighborhood were assigned to Israel, they would not move to Palestine.
"Quite clearly there is a discrepancy between people's attitudes and the assumption that Palestinian neighborhoods should be part of Palestine," said Pollock. "That's not actually what the people want." (Washington Post)
See also The Palestinians of East Jerusalem: What Do They Really Want? (Pechter Middle East Polls-Council on Foreign Relations)
See also Jerusalem Palestinians Taking Israeli Citizenship - Daniel Estrin (AP-Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Clinton: Only a Negotiated Settlement Will Bring a Sustainable Peace
From an interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Al Arabiya television in Dubai on Tuesday:
Q: Why don't we support the Palestinians and recognize the Palestinian state within the borders of 1967?
Clinton: "Because we don't believe that there is any lasting solution other than through negotiation. We think that unless the two parties agree - which would not come about through unilateral recognition, but only through a negotiated settlement - that there is not a sustainable peace. We want a sustainable, durable peace. That's what we are committed to." (State Department)
See also U.S. Says Unilateral Recognition of Palestine Not a Lasting Solution (RTTNews)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Prime Minister Disagrees with Claim Iran Won't Get Bomb until 2015 - Herb Keinon
Speaking to the foreign press Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped back from former Mossad head Meir Dagan's appraisal that Iran will not get nuclear weapons until the middle of the decade.
"I think that intelligence estimates are exactly that, estimates," Netanyahu said. "They range from best case to worst case possibilities, and there is a range there, there is room for differing assessments."
Since the U.S.-led sanctions against Iran were aimed at changing the Iranian government's determination to obtain nuclear arms, "those sanctions have not yet achieved their objective," he said. "I think they should be strictly enforced and materially strengthened."
Netanyahu said "the only chance these sanctions will achieve their objectives would be to couple them with an understanding from Iran that if they [the sanctions] don't achieve their goal, they would be followed by a credible military option."
Netanyahu enumerated the steps he has taken to further the peace process, while the Palestinians had done nothing: calling for direct negotiations; removing hundreds of West Bank roadblocks to allow the economy there to flourish; accepting the two-state vision in his speech at Bar-Ilan University; agreeing to a 10-month settlement freeze; and then agreeing to another three-month freeze after negotiating the conditions with the Americans.
The reason the additional freeze did not go into effect, he said, was because the U.S. decided that it would do nothing to move the process forward. "What is preventing the advent of peace negotiations is that the Palestinians are doing everything in their power to avoid them," he said. "This is the simple truth."
Regarding the Syrian track, Netanyahu said that the peace agreement with Egypt was reached only after Anwar Sadat took Egypt out of the Soviet camp. A similar break from Iran would be necessary for Syrian President Bashar Assad to make peace with Israel, Netanyahu said, adding that he did not see "any clear willingness" on the part of Damascus to change its relationship with Teheran. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Netanyahu: Only Credible Military Option Will Stop Iran's Nuclear Program - Ronen Medzini
Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that the only time the Iranians stopped their nuclear development was in 2003, when they thought they were threatened with a military strike by the U.S. "If there is a credible military option, you won't need to use it," he said.
He also said Israel must maintain a presence in the Jordan Valley, the eastern edge of the West Bank. He explained that extremists took over south Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew, and "we need to have some safeguards that we don't repeat this a third time." (Ynet News)
- IDF Strike Kills Islamic Jihad Terrorist in Gaza - Hanan Greenberg
A missile fired by an Israeli aircraft on Tuesday killed Mohammed Najjar, 24, an Islamic Jihad terrorist riding a motorcycle in Gaza close to the border with Israel, the group said.
Israeli security officials said Najjar planned a mass terror attack in Israeli territory.
Palestinian militants have stepped up cross-border rocket attacks on southern Israel in recent weeks and Israel has responded with air strikes.
- Muslims and Truth - Benny Morris
In the wake of the New Year's Day bombing outside the church in Alexandria, Egypt, in which 23 Coptic Christians were murdered,
Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Qabbani, Lebanon's Grand Mufti, immediately announced: "This assault...is not an individual internal Egyptian act, but a criminal act with Zionist...fingerprints."
A spokesman for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Munim Abu al Fattouh Abdel, said: It could not have been Egyptians. Perhaps it was the Mossad.
Iranian TV put it: "It goes without saying that no Muslim...will ever commit such an inhuman act."
This raises a serious question. What are the bounds of credulity in the mendacity-ridden Muslim societies of the Middle East? Is there no limit to what the infidel can be accused of - and to the expectation that the charge will stick?
Which raises the still more profound question: What are the long-term prospects for peaceful cohabitation on planet Earth between us in the West and these Muslim societies in which truth has absolutely no traction or importance, where the masses believe that the CIA or the Mossad knocked down the Twin Towers on 9/11?
- Book Review - Fatal Intersection: The Marriage of Islamic Fundamentalism and European Anti-Semitism - Reuel Marc Gerecht
Jeffrey Herf's Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World and Ian Johnson's A Mosque in Munich are two indispensable books for understanding how we got to a world where Islamic fundamentalism, a wickedly anti-Semitic movement, is the dominant intellectual force in the Middle East and among devout Muslim elites in the West.
As Johnson points out, the major Muslim organizations within Europe are all much more militant than ordinary Muslim denizens. Most of them were born through the missionary activity of the Muslim Brotherhood, combined with cash coming from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Johnson understands that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt could be viewed as a reform movement at home, given the despotism of President Mubarak. But "what seems moderate in Egypt can be radical in Paris or Munich." "Although the Brotherhood says it supports terrorism only in certain cases - usually against Israel - it does more than target Jews. It creates a mental preconditioning for terrorism." The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
- Europe Needs a Parliamentary Inquiry on NGO Funding - Gerald M. Steinberg
Before NGO Monitor was founded, no one was examining the biases, political campaigns and funding of groups that claim to promote human rights, questioning their claims and agendas or revealing their donors.
NGO Monitor has found massive and often secret funding for highly political NGOs from European governments, and the European Union in particular.
Much of this European money is used to promote lawfare, as well as boycotts, divestment and sanctions to achieve the complete international isolation of Israel.
It was recently revealed that the Dutch government was supporting the intensely anti-Israel (and often anti-Semitic) actions of Electronic Intifada via a church-based humanitarian framework (ICCO). The Dutch foreign minister was surprised by the revelation that his own government was fuelling the Arab-Israel conflict.
A parliamentary inquiry into abuses of NGO funding would be most useful in the European context. The writer heads NGO Monitor. (Jerusalem Post)
Time Magazine Takes Israel Hatred to a New Level - Alana Goodman (Commentary)
- Time Magazine's article "Israelís Rightward Lurch Scares Even Some Conservatives" is packed full of misinformation and outright contempt for the Jewish state. The online version also includes links to alleged atrocities committed by Israel - i.e., "Watch video of Israel preparing to deport children of migrant workers," "See photographs of young Palestinians in the age of Israelís security wall," "Watch video of the water crisis in the West Bank."
It was written by Karl Vick, who penned the November cover story about how Israelis were too busy living the 90210 lifestyle to worry about the peace process.
- It claims - without evidence - that Jawaher Abu Rahma was killed by tear gas from IDF soldiers:
"Last week, after a Palestinian woman died after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli troops, army spokesmen mounted a whisper campaign suggesting she died of natural causes." Abu Rahma was 500 meters away and inside a house when the non-toxic gas was fired. Additional medical issues were involved, and the IDF has concluded that the woman died from medical treatment she received at a Ramallah hospital.
- Time also reports factually incorrect information about the recent NGO law passed by the Knesset:
"Taking a page from neighboring authoritarian states, Netanyahu encouraged support for the law, appointing a panel to investigate independent organizations that are critical of government actions."
The panel was created to examine whether NGOs involved in the delegitimization movement were being funded by foreign governments.
See also New Facts Emerge in Abu Rahma Case - Alana Goodman (Commentary)
See also Who Is Afraid of Transparency? - Danny Ayalon (Jerusalem Post)
See also Time Magazine Savages Israel - Again - Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post)
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