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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
July 14, 2011

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In-Depth Issues:

Poll: 81 Percent of U.S. Jews Object to Forced Return to 1967 Lines - Shlomo Cesana (Israel Hayom)
    81% of American Jews are opposed to any peace agreement requiring Israel to return to the 1967 lines, a new survey conducted by Democrat Pat Caddell and Republican John McLaughlin has revealed.
    88% agree with the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
    The survey found that American Jews hold the issue of Israel very close to their hearts. 93% expressed concern about a potential attack on Israel, particularly from countries such as Iran.
    In addition, 81% oppose a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood at the UN.

U.S. Army Using Israeli Surveillance Technology - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
    The U.S. Army began using Israeli reconnaissance equipment in Afghanistan this week with the delivery of three tactical aerostat systems - large hot-air balloons - that will be used to protect American soldiers.
    The Skystar-180 carries an advanced electro-optical sensor comprised of a daytime camera and a nighttime sensor with a target detection range of 4 km.
    The balloon can be assembled and launched within 15 minutes.
    Skystar systems are in use by the IDF, Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, the Israeli police, and other militaries for border protection, intelligence operations and homeland security.
    In addition, in 2010, five NATO members in Afghanistan were operating UAVs produced in Israel, including Germany, Australia, Spain, France and Canada.

Hizbullah Facing Financial Problems - Erich Follath (Der Spiegel-Germany)
    In recent months, Hizbullah has become involved in disastrous investments, losing almost $1.4 billion.
    The Iranians, who are now feeling the brunt of UN sanctions, have made it clear that they cannot provide Hizbullah with additional funding at this time.
    This is embarrassing for Hizbullah, whose image in Lebanon depends in large part on its generous social services.
    It is now falling behind in the rebuilding of homes it had promised to Hizbullah's Shiite followers after the destructive 2006 Lebanon war.

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Official: Necessary to Annihilate Israel (Fars-Iran)
    A senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, former spokesman Kamal al-Halbawi, told Iran's Fars news agency, "The Egyptian nation supports and welcomes Iran's anti-Zionist stance."
    "Both nations underline the necessity for Muslim nations to maintain solidarity and unity to annihilate this cancerous tumor (Israel)."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Arab League Attacks U.S. for Withdrawing Support for Syria's Assad - Richard Spencer
    President Barack Obama has been attacked by Arab countries for his withdrawal of support for Syria's Assad regime. The head of the Arab League, Nabeel Al-Arabi, denounced "foreign intervention" in Syria after Obama said President Assad was "losing legitimacy" in the eyes of his people. Al-Arabi by contrast insisted that he "supported" Syria's reform process. His words put the Arab League at odds not only with America but also Europe.
        In separate comments the French foreign minister, Gerard Longuet, said it was "indecent" that China and Russia continued to block a Security Council resolution condemning the Assad regime's crackdown. (Telegraph-UK)
  • U.S.: UN Security Council Split Likely on Syria Atomic Issue - Megan Davies
    Divisions in the Security Council are likely to prevent any immediate concrete outcome when the body discusses Syria's covert atomic work on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said. The International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors voted in June to report Syria to the Security Council for stonewalling an agency probe into the Dair Alzour complex bombed by Israel in 2007. Russia and China - both permanent council members - were among those opposing the referral. "Some veto-wielding members, who did not support the referral...are unlikely to be prepared to support a council product at this time," she said. (Reuters)
  • On Arab Visits, State Dept. Envoy on Anti-Semitism Facing Resistance on Arab Textbooks - Ron Kampeas
    Hannah Rosenthal, the State Department's envoy for combating anti-Semitism, visited Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia last month on a mission to persuade officials to remove from their textbooks intolerance aimed at non-Muslims and to introduce positive references to Judaism. The most common response, she said, was avoidance. "As soon as a conversation about religious tolerance becomes tense, they shut it down or they go to Israel-Palestine," she said. (JTA)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Former Lebanon PM: Hizbullah Weapons Are Root of Country's Problem
    Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Tuesday that Hizbullah's possession of arms was at the root of conflict in Lebanon. Hizbullah, with its allies, toppled his government in January. Hariri said indictments issued by the UN-backed tribunal seeking the killers of his father accused four members of Hizbullah. "If [Hizbullah leader Hassan] Nasrallah comes out in 300 press conferences, [he] will not change the content of the indictments," he said. "There are people accused [in the killings] and they must be put on trial."  (Reuters-AP-Ha'aretz)
  • Rethinking Gas from Egypt - Editorial
    On February 5, April 27, July 4 and July 12, the pipeline that supplies natural gas from Egypt to Israel was blown up. Cairo's post-Mubarak rulers are unable to control Sinai lawlessness, meaning that this sabotage can no longer be downplayed as the odd exception to the rule. The interruptions have thus far added NIS 630 million to the Israel Electric Corporation's fuel expenditures. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Rise and Fall of Iran's Ahmadinejad - Karim Sadjadpour
    Given the youthful Iranian public's desire for change, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, seemed to have lost the war of ideas within the country by the early 2000s. Yet his saving grace was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose pious populism resonated among Iran's working classes, and his revolutionary zeal and willingness to attack Khamenei's adversaries endeared him to the supreme leader, whose backing of Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential election proved decisive.
        What Khamenei failed to realize was that Ahmadinejad and his cohorts had greater ambitions. In "private" meetings - which were bugged by intelligence forces loyal to Khamenei - Ahmadinejad's closest adviser, Rahim Mashaei, spoke openly of designs to supplant the clergy. Then Ahmadinejad tried to take over the Ministry of Intelligence, whose vast files on the financial and moral corruption of Iran's political elite are powerful tools of political persuasion and blackmail.
        The supreme leader was publicly nonchalant about Ahmadinejad's insubordination; privately, however, he unleashed the jackals. The Revolutionary Guards - who helped engineer Ahmadinejad's contested 2009 reelection - swiftly declared their devotion to Khamenei, and several of the president's advisers were arrested.
        By accentuating the country's internal rifts and breaking previously sacred taboos - such as challenging the supreme leader - Ahmadinejad has become an unlikely, unwitting ally of Iran's democracy movement. He is likely to be remembered by historians as the man who hastened the Islamic Republic's decay. The writer is an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (Washington Post)
  • The Syrian Regime's Slow-Motion Suicide
    Desperate to survive at all costs, Syria's regime appears to be digging its grave. Protesters have gained ground but have yet to cross the crucial threshold that requires enlisting the capital, Damascus. The crisis of confidence with much of the population and loss of legitimacy is almost surely too deep to be overcome. Economic conditions are worsening; should they reach breaking point - a not unimaginable scenario - the regime could well collapse.
        Predominantly Alawite security forces are overworked, underpaid and increasingly worried. Should they conclude that they ought to protect what still can be salvaged - their own villages - rather than try to defend what increasingly looks doomed - the existing power structure - their defection would precipitate the end of the regime. (International Crisis Group)
  • Hizb ut-Tahrir: Islam Has Replaced Communism as Top U.S. Enemy - Steven Emerson
    Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), a radical Islamist group which claims a presence in nearly 50 countries, is so confident it can help establish a global Muslim government - or caliphate - that it distributed a draft constitution during a recent conference outside of Chicago that drew more than 300 people on June 26. It calls for the death penalty for apostates, and for creating a government department dedicated to jihad.
        HT preaches a virulent brand of hatred for the U.S., and for Western democracy in general. Its alumni include such violent Islamists as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and the late Iraqi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. (Algemeiner)
        See also The Hizb ut-Tahrir Threat - Muhammad Amir Rana
    HT claims to be a non-violent movement, but has been linked to a number of terrorist plots in Pakistan, including an attempt to assassinate former president Gen. Pervez Musharraf. HT does not discount the possibility of resort to violence via the military, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of establishing the state; it rather obliges it. Naveed Butt, HT spokesman in Pakistan, states that after the establishment of the state, part of the second phase will be to widen the borders of the state through offensive jihad or aggressive warfare. (Dawn-Pakistan)

How Not to Have a Palestinian State - Friends of Israel Initiative (Jerusalem Post)

  • The unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, and its international recognition, would be a huge mistake. A peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians is essential, but can be achieved only through honest negotiations - not by one party imposing a unilateral decision.
  • Serious Palestinians know very well that they do not meet the requirements to become a viable state, much less a new UN member. The unilateral declaration is in reality simply another tactic in a broader strategy of embarrassing and then delegitimizing the State of Israel.
  • This is not the time for destructive gestures: it is time to encourage everyone to sit down and negotiate face to face, with no preconditions other than mutual and unequivocal recognition.
  • There cannot be two states living in peace side by side unless Palestinians accept that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and the Israelis accept that the Palestinian state will be the state of the Palestinian people.
  • The undersigned all have a sincere desire to see a Palestinian state alongside Israel, living in a lasting and stable peace. We urge the Palestinians to see that the only way they can have their own state is through an agreement with the Israelis. Only sincere dialogue and the unconditional recognition of each side by the other can set the foundations of a viable Palestinian state.

    This piece was co-written by members of the Friends of Israel Initiative: Jose Maria Aznar, David Trimble, Alejandro Toledo, George Weidenfeld, Marcello Pera, Andrew Roberts, Fiamma Nirenstein, George Weigel, Robert Agostinelli, Carlos Bustelo and William Shawcross.

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