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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
September 27, 2011

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In-Depth Issues:

Palestinian Convicted of Stabbing U.S. Tourist (AP)
    Israeli authorities have convicted a Palestinian man, Kifah Ghneimat, of killing an American woman last December in a forest near Jerusalem.
    Kristine Luken, 44, was stabbed to death while hiking with a friend.
    Prosecutors say her attackers believed Luken, a Christian missionary, was Jewish.

Turkish List of Flotilla Soldiers a Sham - Sa'ar Haas (Ynet News)
    The Turkish media published a list of 174 IDF soldiers allegedly connected to the IDF raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla ship in 2010, but an examination of the list reveals that most of those named had already completed their military service by the time of the incident.
    The IDF Spokesperson's Office said most of the names were "recycled from previous lists that were published on anti-Israeli websites" following Israel's 2009 Gaza operation.

The Palestinians' Big Lie Machine - Kenneth Lasson (Baltimore Jewish Times)
    Several months ago, a Facebook group called "Freedom Will Come to Palestine" published a photograph that appeared to depict an Israeli soldier with his foot on the body of a prone Palestinian girl, a rifle aimed at her head. Readers were urged to "share this photo and let the world see what is really happening."
    Then an Israeli news organization called Tazpit noted that the rifle was a Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifle - not the standard issue M16 of the Israel Defense Forces.
    Careful scrutiny disclosed that the soldier's outfit was not an authentic IDF uniform. In short, the photo was a fraud.

LA Times Remakes Judah Ben-Hur into "Palestinian Nobleman" (CAMERA)
    The Los Angeles Times has converted Judah Ben-Hur, the fictional enslaved Jewish nobleman who serves as a protagonist in Charlton Heston's 1951 Hollywood blockbuster, into a "Palestinian nobleman."
    Monday's paper reports: "The period drama revolves around Judah Ben-Hur (Heston), a Palestinian nobleman who is enslaved by the Romans."

One-Fourth of Seeds Imported by Turkey Comes from Israeli Firms (Hurriyet-Turkey)
    Turkey is continuing to import nearly 25% of its seeds from Israel despite the ongoing diplomatic disputes. "Turkey imported $62 million in vegetable seeds from Israel in the first seven months of this year," Ibrahim Yetkin of Turkey's Agriculturalists' Association said Sunday.
    Turkey imports tomato, cucumber, onion and lettuce seeds from Israel.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Syria Cuts Oil Production after EU Embargo - Javier Blas
    Syria has told foreign oil companies to cut production as a backlog of crude fills its storage capacity because the government has been unable to bypass an EU embargo on exports. Before the ban, the EU bought 95% of the country's crude exports. However, not a single cargo of Syrian crude has left the nation's main export oil ports this month, according to shipping data. (Financial Times-Washington Post)
        See also Import Ban Will Intensify Syria Unrest - Sami Moubayed
    Syria's Ministry of Economy on Thursday banned the importation of foreign consumer goods - cars, electronics, clothes, food and anything classified as "luxury items" - in order to "preserve" Syria's foreign currency reserves. Banning imports will drive a wedge between the Syrian regime and the business community which, to date, has been fully supportive.
        The new ban will please Syrian smugglers who will now make a fortune - as they did in the 1980s - from smuggling these products across the border from Lebanon. Furthermore, as winter approaches, ordinary Syrians will have a hard time purchasing heating fuel now that their government has ended its decades-long subsidy. (Gulf News-Dubai)
  • Egyptian Foreign Minister: Egypt Respects Peace Treaty with Israel
    Egypt's foreign minister Mohamed Amr said Monday his country will always respect its landmark peace treaty with Israel and is seeking ways to strengthen its "strategic relationship" with the U.S. (AP-Washington Post)
  • Israel Slams "Outrageous" Erdogan Remarks
    In a weekend interview with CNN, Turkish premier Erdogan claimed that the number of Israelis killed in the conflict with the Palestinians was up to "200," while "hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday described these remarks as "outrageous," noting that thousands of Israelis had been killed in Palestinian violence and that Israel had certainly not taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. (AFP)
  • Report: Turkey Has No Argument with Israel's Mediterranean Gas Resources - Hugh Pope
    Turkey has vowed to ensure "freedom of navigation" in the eastern Mediterranean and says its navy will protect any future aid flotillas to Gaza. But Ankara's actions speak louder than words. It stopped its pro-Islamic charities from attempting to sail to Gaza again this year. And Turkish officials have told the International Crisis Group that they have no argument with Israel's Exclusive Economic Zone or its exploitation of gas resources there. The writer is the Turkey/Cyprus project director for the International Crisis Group. (Ekathimerini-Greece)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinians Stepping Up Anti-Israel Boycott - Elior Levy
    Sabri Saydam, a Fatah official and advisor to the Palestinian president, announced Monday that the Palestinians will embark on a campaign to boycott all Israeli products, not just goods manufactured beyond the Green Line. In addition, Saydam said, "We will increase pressure on Israeli academic institutions by demanding that universities worldwide, and especially in countries that support us, sever academic ties with Israeli institutions."  (Ynet News)
  • PA Unilateralism May Cost Them Post-Oslo Gains - Tovah Lazaroff
    The Palestinians could lose the achievements of the last 15 years if they continue to pursue their unilateral statehood bid at the UN, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post on Sunday. It's understood that unilateral moves would harm the Palestinians' aspiration to statehood and would jeopardize agreements that Israel and the U.S. have with the PA, he said. "We were pleased to see that the Quartet has called for an immediate return of the Palestinians to the negotiating table with us, without pre-conditions," he added. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Egypt Gas Pipeline to Israel Blown Up for Sixth Time
    The Egyptian pipeline in Sinai that supplies Israel and Jordan with gas was blown up again on Tuesday. The pipeline has been blown up six times since February. (Reuters-Ha'aretz)
  • 2,000-Year-Old Dead Sea Scrolls Go Online - Melanie Lidman
    Thanks to a partnership between the Israel Museum and Google, five of the most complete Dead Sea Scrolls were photographed at extremely high resolutions and are now available online. Second Temple period scribes wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls on parchment 2,000 years ago. (Jerusalem Post)
        View the Dead Sea Scrolls (Israel Museum)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Abbas Moving Closer to the Anti-U.S. Camp - Khaled Abu Toameh
    By rejecting President Obama's requests to avoid a UN bid for Palestinian statehood and to return to the negotiating table, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is hoping to join the few Arab and Muslim leaders who have dared to stand up to the Americans. By distancing himself from Washington, Abbas has moved closer toward the Arab world's anti-U.S. camp, led by Iran and consisting of Hamas, Hizbullah and other radical groups.
        Further, Abbas has not only turned his back on the Americans; he is now also whipping up anti-American sentiment among Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. Speaking to journalists in Ramallah, top Abbas aides accused Obama of "surrendering to Zionist pressure" and being influenced by "Zionist and pro-Israel" advisors. One official in Ramallah even called for a boycott of U.S. envoy Dennis Ross under the pretext that he was "pro-Israel." On instructions from senior Palestinian officials, demonstrators took to the streets to chant anti-U.S. slogans and burn portraits of Obama. (Hudson Institute New York)
  • Abbas Strikes Out - Elliott Abrams
    The rapturous applause that greeted Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly was deceiving. The states that swooned when he spoke will never give him a state - nor even the foreign-aid money to pay his delegation's hotel bills. His statehood project depends on Israel and the U.S., and to a lesser extent on the Europeans (and a bit of Gulf Arab financing). His UN gambit has annoyed or offended all of those parties.
        The Abbas speech was a nasty piece of work filled with harshly worded denunciations. His reference to the "Holy Land" as the home of Jesus Christ and the place from which Mohammed ascended to heaven excluded all references to Jews and Jewish history. The Abbas speech will end up strengthening Netanyahu's tough approach to Israeli security. Abbas' UN ploy may work for him in terms of his own domestic politics - for a while, anyway. Instead of being the man who lost Gaza, he may briefly be the man who "bravely" took the statehood issue to the UN. But he did not take the Palestinians one step closer to peace. The writer was the deputy national security adviser handling the Middle East in the George W. Bush administration. (National Review)
  • The False Palestinian Narrative - Moshe Ya'alon
    The Palestinians have submitted a series of false claims. The first is that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is territorial in essence, and its solution is well known and could be accomplished in a short time if both sides would only show a great deal more flexibility. The truth is that even though the conflict has a strong territorial component, the heart of the conflict centers on the Palestinians' refusal to recognize the Jews' right to build their national home, whatever its borders may be.
        Israel has no interest in ruling over the Palestinians, nor does it have any interest in maintaining the status quo, but it wants to make certain that the situation that replaces the current one will be no worse nor more dangerous. Even today, the Palestinians have control over all civil aspects of their lives except for those that have to do with Israel's security.
        No political agreement between the sides will stand the test of time as long as the young generation of Palestinians is taught to deny the existence of the Jewish people and the connection between the Jews and the Land of Israel, and is educated to glorify suicide bombers. Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon is Israel's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs. (Israel Hayom)

Settling for Statehood - Diana Muir Appelbaum (Jewish Ideas Daily)

  • Palestinian spokesmen say they had no choice but to make their end run around serious negotiations with Israel and seek a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood because what Israel is offering in such negotiations is just a fraction of the territory to which the Palestinians are entitled.
  • Yet virtually no nation founded in modern times has been born in possession of all the territory to which it could lay plausible claim. Settling for statehood in a territory significantly smaller than the desired homeland is the price that most national liberation movements have paid for self-determination and international recognition.
  • Garibaldi, the pre-eminent military leader of 19th-century Italian unification, was born in Nice. But French possession of Nice was the price Italy paid for independence, recognition and peace. Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was born in Salonika, which was ceded to Greece in return for recognition of the Republic of Turkey, with internationally settled borders.
  • In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles created a series of independent states for Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Czechs and Slovaks. None of these states had the borders that their people's leaders wanted. In 1947, Lord Mountbatten drew a line across the map that excluded the Indus Valley, the cradle of Indian civilization and then home to millions of Hindus, from the new nation of India.
  • In 1937, Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky asked "merely for a small fraction" of the "vast piece of land" that included modern-day Israel. And in 1948, that is precisely what the UN offered the Jews, reserving the larger part of the land west of the Jordan for Arabs. Yet the Jews accepted the UN's offer.
  • If Palestinian leaders are serious about taking their place in the community of nations, they will need to make the kind of concession that Ataturk and Garibaldi, Greece, Poland, India and Israel made.

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