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|
April 14, 2010
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Spanish Court Shelves Israeli Probe - Ciaran Giles (AP)
Peace with Israel Brings Dividends to Jordan - Jamal Halaby (AP-Orlando Sentinel)
UK Ad Authority: Western Wall Not in Israel - Stian Alexander (Independent-UK)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
President Barack Obama on Tuesday discussed the chances for a U.S.-brokered peace settlement in the Middle East, saying the U.S. can't help if Israel and the Palestinians decide they cannot negotiate. The two sides "may say to themselves, 'We are not prepared to resolve these issues no matter how much pressure the United States brings to bear,'" Obama said. He reiterated that peace is a vital goal, but one that may be beyond reach "even if we are applying all of our political capital." (AP-Washington Post)
Gen. David Petraeus told the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington on Tuesday he never claimed that inaction toward a Middle East peace deal puts American soldiers at risk, and that he does not blame Israel for the lack of a deal so far. He said a policy statement he submitted to Congress last month was misconstrued and misquoted, and said that in hindsight he wishes his statement had made clear that Israel is a valued strategic ally and will remain one. (AP-MSNBC)
More than three quarters of the U.S. Senate, including 38 Democrats, have signed on to a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, circulated by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and backed by the pro-Israel group AIPAC, implicitly rebuking the Obama administration for its confrontational stance toward Israel. A similar letter garnered 333 signatures in the House. (Politico)
At the end of the nuclear summit on Tuesday, President Obama was asked about Israel's refusal to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. "As far as Israel goes, I'm not going to comment about their program," Obama told a news conference. But he said that "whether we are talking about Israel or any other country, we think that becoming part of the NPT is important." That was a long-held U.S. position that preceded the current administration, Obama added. (AFP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israeli President Shimon Peres told French Prime Minister Francois Fillon Tuesday in Paris: "Syria is playing a double game - on the one hand it talks peace, yet at the same time it hands over accurate Scud missiles to Hizbullah so that it can threaten Israel." "Syria's real face had been exposed by the weapon smuggling," he added.
Peres also said that the Jewish state, in the wake of the Holocaust, cannot stay indifferent to Iran's wish to develop nuclear weapons, stressing that such weapons in the hands of a fanatical regime will constitute a tangible danger to world peace. "Had Hitler possessed nuclear weapons, we wouldn't be sitting here today," he said. (Ynet News)
The head of the counter-terrorism bureau in the Prime Minister's Office, Nitzan Nuriel, said Tuesday there was intelligence information about immediate plans to abduct an Israeli from one of the coastal resorts in Sinai and bring him or her to Gaza. Hamas is thought to be behind the abduction plan. "We call on all Israelis in Sinai to return to Israel immediately," a statement said. (Ha'aretz)
Disputing claims of having instituted a new West Bank expulsion policy, Israel launched an information campaign to explain that the new policy had been introduced out of concern for Palestinian human rights. "The purpose of the [amended] orders is to IMPROVE [capital letters in the original] the current situation rather than worsen it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor wrote. "Pursuant to the recommendations of the High Court, a joint judicial committee of Jewish and Arab judges will deliberate on each case of potential repatriation. The committee will make a decision within eight days of having a case brought before it."
Palmor emphasized that anyone issued a "repatriation order" was entitled to legal representation, and "that there is a minuscule number of individuals to whom the orders are pertinent, since in recent years Israel has, as a concession to the Palestinians, allowed non-West Bank residents to register [their residency] with the Civil Administration."
Maj. Peter Lerner, IDF Central Command spokesman, said the only change created by the new orders was the establishment of a clear legal procedure that gave the subject of the order the chance to appeal before a tribunal instead of the military commander who issued the order. Lerner said that over the past three years there had been only 30-60 expulsions per year. "There will not be an increase in the volume as a result of the new orders," he added. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
The U.S.' notions of UN sanctions on Iran have devolved over the past months from crippling ones to ones that bite to the currently described smart ones, which although packaged with the words "tough" and "strong" might not be hard-nosed enough to cost the mullahs a half-hour's lost sleep. If you scorn the gasoline sanctions that look to many like the best nonbelligerent shot you've got to spook the mullahs (after all, they came to power after a strike closing gas pumps demonstrated the impotence of the shah's regime), then Iran may well think it has scant reason to believe the U.S.' still-official bottom line: that when it comes to stopping the Iranian nuclear drive, all of America's options remain open. (New York Times)
Nuclear material in the hands of well-run democracies that play by international rules isn't likely to fall into the hands of terrorists. However, were Iran to develop an atomic bomb and the means to deliver a warhead, the danger automatically rises that the world's leading sponsor of terrorism might share it with its friends in Hizbullah or Hamas. Or imagine a North Korea hard up for cash and willing to sell a device to al-Qaeda.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled plans to attend the nuclear summit in Washington after Turkey and Egypt declared their intention to turn the spotlight on Israel's presumed nuclear arsenal. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently declared the Jewish state "the principal threat to peace in the region today." But Israel's nukes aren't prompting him or the Saudis or Egyptians to kick-start their atomic programs; an Israeli bomb poses no threat to them. An Iranian bomb would.
In our view, "the single biggest threat to American security" would be to allow Iran to defy years of effort by the world's leading nations and become a nuclear power. That would unleash a new age of proliferation that would swamp this week's attempts at controlling nuclear materials. Prevent an Iranian breakout, and the risk of an al-Qaeda nuclear attack falls sharply. (Wall Street Journal)
Does American Deployment Abroad Help Israel? - Avigdor Haselkorn (Ha'aretz)
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