Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Via Smartphone


January 14, 2010

Daily Alert Needs Your Support

In-Depth Issues:

Israel to Set Up Field Hospital in Haiti - Ronen Medzini (Ynet News)
    Israel will send a delegation to establish a field hospital in Haiti, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy said Thursday.
    The hospital will include 40 doctors and 24 nurses, and is scheduled to leave Thursday evening. The hospital, capable of treating 500 patients, will include an intensive care unit, two operating rooms, a pharmacy, and an X-ray lab.
    Search and rescue agents from the Homefront Command will also be sent.
    See also Israeli Aid Being Readied Following Haiti Catastrophe - Haviv Rettig Gur (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel and diaspora Jewish groups are rushing to get aid workers, supplies and money to the disaster zone in Haiti following Tuesday's catastrophic earthquake.
    An advance five-member IDF-Foreign Ministry team left for Haiti on Wednesday, including experts in engineering, medicine, logistics and rescue operations from the IDF's Home Front Command.
    A team of four ZAKA volunteers, who had arrived in Mexico on Monday to recover body parts of victims of a helicopter crash that killed Jewish businessman and philanthropist Moises Saba Masri and three of his family members, were making their way to Haiti as well.
    Meanwhile, an Israeli coalition of humanitarian groups, IsraAID, is sending a 12-man search-and-rescue team, which includes emergency medical staff.

Ex-FBI Agent Says He Was Fired for Contacts with Israel Lobby AIPAC - Ryan Abbott (Courthouse News Service)
    A Jewish FBI agent says he was falsely accused of "an unspecified foreign preference" for Israel.
    He accuses the FBI and the Justice Department of allowing "ill-informed biases regarding the country of Israel and the loyalty of Jewish Americans to improperly and illegally color their personnel decisions."
    In June 2008, nearly three years after learning of the investigation, he says the FBI handed him his walking papers after refusing to let him appeal the revocation of his security clearance.

Sharp Rise in Study of Israel in U.S. Schools - Haviv Rettig Gur (Jerusalem Post)
    The past three years have seen a huge jump in the number and variety of courses about Israel taught in America's top universities, according to a study commissioned by the Schusterman Family Foundation and made public Wednesday.
    316 of the top U.S. colleges and universities surveyed in 2009 offered a total of 1,400 courses that include Israel studies in some way. 572 focused specifically on Israel.
    Most of the new courses focused on Israeli cinema, literature and other aspects of culture and society, while many of the students were alumni of birthright israel programs.
    Read the Report (Schusterman Family Foundation)

Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • U.S. Pushing for Israeli-Palestinian Proximity Talks? - David Harris
    As U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell hopes he can bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, there are increasing signs that Washington favors proximity talks rather than direct negotiations. Eytan Gilboa, a senior researcher at Israel's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, thinks the idea of introducing proximity talks is mistaken. Washington appears to be set on making Israel and the Palestinians talk and is using whatever mechanisms it can to make that happen, "even though the conditions might not be right," he said.
        Gilboa believes the U.S. proposal to reach a final-status agreement between the parties within two years is "groundless," adding that the maximal concessions Israel is currently ready to give fall short of the minimal concessions the Palestinians are prepared to accept. Gilboa warns: "Only move ahead when the time is ripe. If the basic demands of both sides aren't anywhere close to one another, there's no point."  (Xinhua-China)
  • Israel Gives an Apology to Turkey
    Israel on Wednesday apologized to Turkey over an insult to its ambassador in an attempt to defuse the latest crisis between the two nations. (AP/Wall Street Journal)
  • Hamas TV: "The Real Palestinian Beauty Queen Is the Jihad-Fighting Mother"
    Dr. Kifah al-Ramali of the Gaza Islamic University told Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV on Dec. 23, 2009: "The real Palestinian beauty queen is the Jihad-fighting mother, the mother who perseveres and endures the siege, the mother...who sacrificed martyrs and demonstrated forbearance. She is the wife of the martyr, who left her in the prime of life, with her children, yet she says: I will persevere, and I will raise my children to be mujahideen."  (MEMRI)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • IDF Holds Simulation of Biological Warfare Attack - Meital Yasur-Beit Or
    The Israel Defense Forces' Medical Corps held a drill Wednesday to simulate a mass-casualty biological weapons' attack in Tel Aviv. Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and Wolfson Medical Center in Holon participated in the drill. The mock casualties were brought into empty wards by medical staff equipped with protective suits and masks. (Ynet News)
        See also The ABCs of Biological Warfare and Terror Agents - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich (Jerusalem Post)
  • PA Jails Wanted Men in West Bank - Ali Waked
    In recent days, the PA instructed several wanted men in the West Bank city of Nablus who were included in the amnesty agreement with Israel to return to jail. Senior PA officers asked wanted men who had been given amnesty to fully meet their commitments and not to jeopardize their release conditions. "The wanted men were asked not to carry weapons or talk nonsense on the phone. In short, to honor the document they signed two and a half years ago," a PA security source said. (Ynet News)
  • Many More than Six Million Jews Killed in Holocaust - E.B. Solomont
    Father Patrick Desbois believes that many more than six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and he can prove it. Since 2004, Desbois has worked systematically to document and map the sites of Jewish mass killings by Nazi mobile killing units, or Einsatzgruppen, in Eastern Europe. He has uncovered upwards of 700 previously unknown Jewish mass graves where at least 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews are buried, and last year turned his attention to Belarus. "If you look only at the German archives, you'll find five to six times less than what we found," he told a gathering in New York City on Tuesday hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Focus on West Bank, Not Negotiating - Elliott Abrams interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
    Elliott Abrams, who served as a senior Middle East adviser in the George W. Bush administration, says, "What we have been seeing from Senator Mitchell are 'trial balloons,' such as, 'let's have proximity talks instead of direct negotiations.'"
        "Proximity talks would be the Palestinians and Israelis in different hotels or different rooms in the same hotel and the Americans would shuttle back and forth. What is ridiculous about that is that these people have been negotiating face to face for twenty years, so to go back to proximity talks is a real admission of failure." "The tragedy here is that this focus on the negotiating table has led the United States to continue, as we did in the Bush administration, to put much too much emphasis on negotiations and too little emphasis on the actual daily work of building a Palestinian state in the West Bank."
        "Both the Palestinians and Israel will ultimately decide that their relations with the United States are important enough to sit at the table together, but that's not a formula for successful negotiations; that's just a formula for keeping the United States off your back....Our pressure on them, while it leads them to the table, does not lead them to successful negotiations if they're not ready."  (Council on Foreign Relations)
  • The Future of Iran - Nazenin Ansari and Jonathan Paris
    The deadline for Iran to accept a UN-brokered deal on its controversial nuclear program expired on Dec. 31, proving yet again that the policy of modifying the behavior of the Islamic Republic is not working. Meanwhile, more and more experts are concluding that it is no longer a question of whether the regime in Tehran will fall, but rather when. The stranglehold on Iran's economy wielded by elements of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the state militia's attack last month on mourners at the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, revealed to the nation that the Islamic Revolution has degenerated into an illegitimate cartel backed by merciless armed militias.
        The question now being asked is how the Green Movement can evolve from a resistance movement into an alternative political force capable of ruling Iran. Ms. Ansari is the diplomatic editor of the London-based weekly Iranian newspaper Kayhan. Mr. Paris is a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and Adjunct Fellow with the London-based Legatum Institute. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Israel Blamed as Palestinians Become More Intransigent - Zvi Mazel
    In spite of Israel's ongoing dialogue with the U.S. to search for the right formula for the resumption of peace talks, the position taken by the Obama administration, and the unfair pressure exerted by the EU, have brought down the fragile structure which had previously made negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians possible. The PA refuses to come back to the negotiation table and has launched an all-out diplomatic, media and legal war against the Jewish state. The EU has issued a call for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and for Jerusalem to become the capital of both countries. This would, in effect, render negotiations useless by determining their outcome from the outset.
        It is as if the world has forgotten that Israel already made the most extraordinary concessions at Camp David and in Taba. Former Prime Minister Olmert made even greater concessions, but that was not enough for Mahmoud Abbas. Here lies the Palestinian paradox: While Israel has made great efforts to move toward a solution, Palestinian leaders, riding the crest of favorable public opinion in the West, are becoming more and more intransigent - and it is Israel which takes the blame. The writer is a former ambassador to Egypt and Sweden. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Observations:

    The Palestinians' Unilateral "Kosovo Strategy": Implications for the PA and Israel - Dan Diker (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    • Mahmoud Abbas' new precondition that the international community recognize the 1967 lines in the West Bank as the new Palestinian border bolsters the assessment that the Palestinians have largely abandoned a negotiated settlement and instead are actively pursuing a unilateral approach to statehood.
    • Senior Palestinian officials note that Palestinian unilateralism is modeled after Kosovo's February 2008 unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. European and U.S. support for Kosovo's unilateral declaration has led the Palestinian leadership to determine that geopolitical conditions are ripe to seek international endorsement of its unilateral statehood bid, despite the fact that leading international jurists have suggested that the cases of Kosovo and the Palestinian Authority are historically and legally different.
    • The Palestinians are legally bound to negotiate a bilateral solution with Israel. Unilateral Palestinian threats to declare statehood have been rebuffed thus far by the European powers and the United States.
    • The Palestinian "Kosovo strategy" includes a campaign of delegitimization of Israel, seeking to isolate Israel as a pariah state, while driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The unilateral Palestinian bid for sovereignty will also likely turn the Palestinians into the leading petitioner against the State of Israel at the International Criminal Court. Although the PA is not a state and therefore should have no legal standing before the court, the petition it submitted to the court after the Gaza war was not rejected by the ICC.
    • Finally, a unilateral Palestinian quest for the 1947 lines may well continue even if the 1967 lines are endorsed by the United Nations. The PLO's 1988 declaration of independence was based on UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which recognizes the 1947 partition plan for Palestine, not the 1967 lines, as the basis for the borders of Israel and an Arab state.

    Unsubscribe from Daily Alert