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|
September 24, 2009
Iran's Only AWACS Plane Crashes - Thomas Newdick (Defense News)
Egyptian Minister Blames Jews for UNESCO Loss - Hadeel al-Shalchi (AP)
Hamas Teaches Kids to Kill Jews - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
Palestinian Rocket Fire Continues - Ilana Curiel (Ynet News)
Report: 30 Shiite Militia Leaders Killed in Syria - Roee Nahmias (Ynet News)
Ritual Bath Used by Temple Pilgrims Found in Jerusalem (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Iranian President Ahmadinejad faced a series of walkouts at the UN General Assembly Wednesday after launching a renewed attack on Israel. Within minutes of his criticism of Israel, delegations from various countries began to rise from their seats and noisily left the chamber. Many other countries had left before he even began, partly in protest over his brutal crackdown on the Iranian opposition after June's election and partly over comments last week again questioning whether the Holocaust had taken place. (Guardian-UK)
Delegations from Argentina, Australia, Britain, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand and the U.S. left the room as Ahmadinejad began to rail against Israel, a European source said. Israel was not present when the Iranian leader began his address and Canada had said it would heed the boycott call. (AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's call to resume negotiations with the Palestinians "without preconditions." "The president said let's come and resume the peace process without preconditions. As you know, I have been saying that for nearly six months," Netanyahu said. Netanyahu said he also welcomed what he called Obama's "unequivocal support for Israel as the nation of the Jewish people" in his UN speech. (Reuters)
See also Netanyahu: Obama Sent Message to Arabs that Israel Is a Jewish State - Natasha Mozgovaya (Ha'aretz)
See also below Observations - Obama to UN: Time to Re-Launch Peace Negotiations Without Preconditions (White House)
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi told the UN Wednesday to abolish the Security Council, saying the five permanent members had created a "terror council" to punish small nations. During his speech, Qaddafi tried to rip in two a copy of the UN Charter. He said UN headquarters should be moved out of New York to China or India, and called for "Isratine," a single Arab state made up of all Israelis and Palestinians, including refugees. (Bloomberg/CNN)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday said Iran should be given until December to engage in fruitful talks with leading world powers over its nuclear program or face fresh sanctions. Sarkozy held out little hope that the talks would lead to a serious discussion of Iran's nuclear program. "Iran has the right to nuclear energy, but imagine a nuclear weapon in the hands of the current leaders. It is unacceptable." (Financial Times-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
The National Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Division revealed Wednesday that in July, terrorists caught up with a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Sinai and attempted to fire an explosive at the vehicle near Nuweiba. A technical malfunction with the bomb prevented the explosion. The Counter-Terrorism Division reiterated its warning against traveling to Sinai, citing "concrete" threats of kidnappings or attacks on Israeli targets, as well as a major terror attack believed to be planned by Hizbullah. (Jerusalem Post)
PA officials in Ramallah have not hidden their disappointment with the summit in New York between President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA Chairman Abbas. Some even accused Obama of "humiliating" Abbas by forcing him to meet with Netanyahu against his will. The officials said Abbas had "reaffirmed" to U.S. emissary George Mitchell that he remained "strongly opposed" to the idea of meeting with Netanyahu or resuming peace talks with Israel unless all construction in the settlements was halted. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Earlier this month, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, reported little or no progress on either the six-year probe of Iran's nuclear activities or the more recent probe of Syria's clandestine cooperation with North Korea. For more than a year, Iran has refused to engage in substantive discussions about "possible military dimensions" to its activities. Tehran refuses to inform the IAEA of the construction of new nuclear facilities and refuses to allow monitoring of workshops where centrifuges for uranium enrichment are assembled.
Damascus continues to deny the building of a covert nuclear reactor with North Korean assistance. Although Syria's reactor has been reduced to rubble, the IAEA still needs to ensure the absence of undeclared activities elsewhere in the country.
If the IAEA settles for stalemate, these countries - and others - may conclude that they can violate their safeguards obligations and, if caught, merely refuse cooperation in order to avoid international scrutiny and sanction. If the IAEA cannot successfully investigate the most obvious of safeguards violations, its credibility will collapse. When confronted with emerging proliferation threats, countries at risk may see no real option other than to respond unilaterally. Amb. Schulte was the U.S. permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency from 2005 to 2009. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
The lesson of Oslo, Camp David and Annapolis is clear-cut: Even the most moderate Palestinian leadership is not prepared to accept Israel's most far-reaching peace proposal. In 16 years of a painstaking and exhausting peace process, the Palestinians never agreed to a single concession on a core issue. Their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, to agree to demilitarize a Palestinian state, or to give up their demand for the return of refugees to Israel has blocked peace in the past, is blocking peace in the present, and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future. As of now, there is no genuine Palestinian partner for the partition of the country.
The lesson the incumbent president should learn from these resounding flops is there's no room for revolutions in the Middle East. This region must be given evolutionary, and not revolutionary, treatment - a long and thorough chipping away that will gradually change Palestinian society. (Ha'aretz)
A new report from a UN "fact-finding mission" about January's war in Gaza marks a new low, employing logic and arguments that will be felt wherever the West confronts terrorism. The argument of the Goldstone report seems to be that Hamas can surround its combatants with civilians, and for Israel to strike back is a war crime. By this logic, FDR and Churchill could have been charged because the bombing of German industries and cities killed civilians in World War II. The UN also holds Israel accountable as Gaza's "occupying power," never mind that former Prime Minister Sharon uprooted all of Gaza's Jewish settlements in 2005.
The report treats Israel as the aggressor in the conflict, though the Israeli government sat still for more than three years as Hamas transformed Gaza into a terrorist enclave while firing rockets at Israeli towns and cities. At exactly what point, if any, does Mr. Goldstone believe Israel is entitled to self-defense? If it is taken seriously, the Goldstone logic could (and eventually will) be applied to NATO tactics in Afghanistan, where civilians are also sometimes killed in the course of anti-Taliban operations. (Wall Street Journal)
Obama: Time to Re-Launch Peace Negotiations Without Preconditions (White House)
President Barack Obama told the UN on Wednesday:
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