Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
UN Statehood Bid 'Threatens Palestinian Rights' (Ma'an News Agency) Whose Brilliant Idea Was That UN Vote? - Elliott Abrams (Council on Foreign Relations) Libya's Oil Industry Should Be Able to Recover Quickly - Jim Michaels (USA Today) Raytheon-Rafael Get Boost for Iron Dome System (Space War/UPI)
UN Statehood Bid 'Threatens Palestinian Rights' (Ma'an News Agency)
Whose Brilliant Idea Was That UN Vote? - Elliott Abrams (Council on Foreign Relations)
Libya's Oil Industry Should Be Able to Recover Quickly - Jim Michaels (USA Today)
Raytheon-Rafael Get Boost for Iron Dome System (Space War/UPI)
News Resources - North America and Europe:
Palestinian militants fired rocket barrages that wounded an Israeli baby Wednesday, and Israel retaliated with airstrikes that killed four Gaza fighters. See Israel stories below (AP/CBS News)
Israel bolstered its security along the Egyptian border on intelligence reports indicating terrorists planned to attack Israelis, officials said. Israel's Chief of Staff ordered the army to bolster security along the border and gather intelligence using electronic and visual means to track down the terrorists.
An initial inquiry by the army into last week's terror attack near Eilat was submitted to Egyptian officials. The report showed Israeli soldiers did their utmost to prevent Egyptian soldiers and border guards from being hurt during gun battles that erupted between Israeli soldiers and terrorists who fled to the Egyptian side of the border.
Videos taken from aircraft showed Israeli soldiers intentionally diverted fire from the Egyptian all-terrain vehicles and soldiers towards open areas near the border base. The investigation also found Egyptian army troops spotted the terrorists but did nothing to detain them. (UPI)
The European Union announced on Wednesday that it was leveling sanctions against Iran’s Al Quds military force, saying it had given technical and material support to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in his efforts to crush the five-month-old uprising against his rule.
The list of sanctions also names five Syrian generals, as well as Hassan Turkmani, a former defense minister and special Assad envoy; Munir Adnuf, the deputy chief of the Syrian Army; Samir Hassan, a businessman that it identifies as one of the government’s financiers, and Mr. Assad’s younger brother, Maher, who commands the army’s Fourth Division and is believed to be responsible for much of the bloodshed. (New York Times)
The State Department says the Syrian government has delivered a diplomatic note of protest to the United States, expressing concern over U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford's visit Tuesday to the city of Jassem, 70 kilometers south of Damascus, without permission from the Syrian government.
Ford decided to go to Jassem, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, because the Syrian government repeatedly had denied him permission to travel. "So it was on that basis, the fact that he had been denied again and again and again permission to travel under their own system that they set up, that he made the decision ... to go." (CNN)
For the first time, British defense sources have confirmed that the SAS has been in Libya for several weeks, and played a key role in coordinating the fall of Tripoli. With the majority of the capital now in rebel hands, the SAS soldiers, who have been dressed in Arab civilian clothing and carrying the same weapons as the rebels, have been ordered to switch their focus to the search for Gaddafi, who has been on the run since his fortified headquarters was captured on Tuesday.
With pro-Gaddafi forces putting up stubborn resistance in Tripoli and in loyalist towns including Sirte, the National Transitional Council and its NATO allies made urgent appeals for the swift capture of the former leader and his family. NATO has ordered all available surveillance aircraft, including British spy planes, to focus on tracking Gaddafi. (Telegraph -- UK)
More than 20 rockets were fired on southern Israel from Gaza during the night with strikes on Beersheva, Ashkelon, Sderot, Ofakim, Netivot and villages in the region. An 11-month old baby was lightly injured by the blast on one of the kibbutzim in the area. Damage was reported to a house in Sderot this morning.
The Iron Dome defense system successfully intercepted rockets that were fired on Beersheva and Ashkelon. In response to the ongoing attacks, the IDF bombed a band of Palestinians in Gaza firing kassam rockets. Reports say that six Palestinians were killed. (Globes)
Egyptian police guarding the Israeli Embassy in Cairo turned a blind eye this past weekend when a demonstrator climbed up 15 flights to remove Israel’s flag from the building. On Tuesday, as crowds continued to demand that Israel’s ambassador be expelled from the country, the police took it upon themselves to remove the flag.
One of the terrorist leaders in Sinai, formerly Osama bin Laden’s doctor, Dr. Ramzi Muwafi, was recently captured by the Egyptian military. Muwafi commanded a terrorist training camp near El Arish, the capital of Northern Sinai. (Israel Hayom)
No uprising is alike, but Libya’s complexities echo in the revolts in Bahrain, Syria and, most of all, Yemen, suggesting that the prolonged transition of Arab countries to a new order may prove as tumultuous to the region as Egypt’s moment was stirring. Unlike at the start of the year, when the revolutionary momentum seemed unstoppable, uncertainty is far more pronounced today, as several countries face the prospect of stalemate, sustained conflict or power vacuums that may render them ungovernable.
Iran’s revolution a generation ago was followed by a grinding war with Iraq, the birth of Hizbullah in Lebanon and the politicization of Shiite Muslims across the Persian Gulf. The Arab world is now embroiled in three revolutions (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya) and three full-fledged revolts (Syria, Yemen, Bahrain). (New York Times)
We must realize that the facts on the ground around us are changing, and that there may yet be more changes in the wind. It is time for a reappraisal of pre-conceived ideas.
This is not a time to throw caution to the wind. This is not a time to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines. It is not a time for "daring political initiatives." It is a time for watching and waiting to see how things are going to turn out. It is a time to think how we are going to assure the security of Israel's citizens in the southern part of the country from daily rocket attacks, and make sure that those living in the north and the center of the country do not share their fate. (Ha'aretz)
It has been more than two and a half years since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Israel's President Shimon Peres, “You (Jews) know well how to kill.” In this holy month of Ramadan full of blood on Muslim territories, let’s try to identify who are the ones who know well how to kill.
As the Syrian death count clicks every day to come close to 2,000, the Turkish-Kurdish death count does not stop, already over 40,000 since 1984. Only during this Ramadan, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK’s, death toll has reached 50 in this Muslim Kurds vs. Muslim Turks war. This excludes the PKK casualties in Turkey and in northern Iraq due to Turkish military retaliation since they are seldom accurately reported.
But a simple, strictly Middle East research will reveal one million deaths in the all-Muslim Iran-Iraq war; 300,000 Muslim minorities killed by Saddam Hussein; 80,000 Iranians killed during the Islamic revolution; 25,000 deaths in 1970-71, the days of Black September, by the Jordanian government in its fight against the Palestinians; and 20,000 Islamists killed in 1982 by the elder al-Assad in Hama.
Muslim Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict are estimated at 46,000 including 11,000 during Israel’s war of independence. That makes 0.05 percent of all deaths in all conflicts, or 0.4 percent of all Arab deaths in the Middle East conflicts.
Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, had a perfectly realistic point when she said that peace in the Middle East would only be possible “when Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” (Hurriyet - Turkey)
Palestinian-Style Silence of the Lambs - Avi Dichter (Washington Times)
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