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
June 22, 2010
Lebanese Flotilla Organizer: Send Israelis Back to Poland - Jonatan Urich (Israel Defense Forces)
Poll: Public in 16 Countries Supports Preemptive Strike on Iranian Nuclear Program (Pew Research Center)
Arab Expenditures for Weapons, Not Science (National-UAE)
Uproar Over UK Methodist Report on Israel - Simon Rocker (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Calling himself a Muslim soldier, a defiant Faisal Shahzad, 30, pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing. He described his effort to set off a bomb in an SUV he parked in Times Square on May 1, saying he chose the warm Saturday night because it would be crowded with people he could injure or kill. He said he conspired with the Pakistan Taliban, which provided more than $15,000 to fund his operation.
"It's a war. I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people," he said. He wanted to let the U.S. know that if it did not get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, halt drone attacks and stop meddling in Muslim lands, "we will be attacking [the] U.S." Shahzad, born in Pakistan, moved to the U.S. when he was 18. (AP)
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to shelve plans for a UN-backed investigation of the Gaza flotilla raid last month. Barak said the five-person panel Israel has established, which includes two foreign observers, would be sufficient. "We are moving ahead with our independent investigation, which we believe is clearly independent, reliable, credible and should be allowed to work," he said. (Reuters)
See also Large Majorities in Congress Back Israel's Flotilla Raid - Ben Smith
Large majorities in the House and Senate have signed on letters supporting the Gaza blockade and defending Israel's enforcement of it against a Turkish vessel. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, along with 83 other senators, have signed the Senate version of the letter, which is backed by AIPAC; 298 members of the House also have signed. (Politico)
U.S. lawmakers on Monday reached agreement on legislation that would penalize Iran's business partners for selling the country gasoline, investing in its refineries, or providing financial services to firms linked to its political and military elite. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel's decision to scale back the civilian blockade on Gaza while tightening the security blockade enables Israel to focus on real security issues, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. "The cabinet decision is the best one for Israel, because it eliminates Hamas' main propaganda claim and allows us and our international allies to face our real concerns in the realm of security," Netanyahu said. He added that the decision was coordinated with the U.S. and Quartet representative Tony Blair. (Ha'aretz)
Anyone thinking of organizing an aid flotilla for Gaza should instead utilize the legitimate existing land crossings, where Israel is now lifting restrictions on civilian goods, Quartet envoy Tony Blair said on Monday. "Where I divide from some others in the international community is that I think that Israel has got a genuine security concern that it is entitled to meet," he said. "The fact that Israel says, 'Look, we're not going to allow things into the [Gaza] seaport, but you can bring them to Ashdod, and we can check them, and then they can come on to Gaza,' I think that is a reasonable position." (Jerusalem Post)
President Shimon Peres said Sunday: "If Gaza would turn to peace, she would have peace and there would be no need for flotillas....We withdrew from Gaza entirely and no Israeli was left in the Gaza Strip.... We did not understand then, nor do we understand now, why after evacuating Gaza, the rulers of Gaza started to fire thousands of missiles against civilian life in Israel. For what reason? For what purpose?"
"If Gaza leaders would denounce terror, stop the building of tunnels and shooting missiles, stop attempting to kidnap Israeli soldiers and release Gilad Shalit who was abducted on Israeli territory, there would be no need for any sort of closure or blockade." (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Israel has a responsibility to its citizens to stop the delivery of all weapons and rockets to Hamas, which continues to rocket Israeli cities and refuses to accept Israel's right to exist. Prime Minister Netanyahu has rightly refused to abandon the sea blockade of Gaza. He cannot do that until Hamas stops rocketing Israeli cities and towns. (New York Times)
The decision by Israel's government to loosen its grip on the flow of goods into Gaza was aimed squarely at a world watching from beyond missile range. "Look, I come from a kibbutz that's very close to Gaza," says Ran, a 40-year-old in Tel Aviv. "I go there to visit, and it's not nice." The agricultural collective he comes from, called Nirim, grows organic peanuts and sweet potatoes in fields that run right up to the barrier with Gaza. From the northern tip of Gaza, militants scramble across to launch rockets. In March, a Thai man working in a field in Nirim was killed there.
Rocket attacks surged after Israel pulled its settlers and soldiers out of Gaza five years ago. Dahlia Scheindlin, a pollster and political consultant, says, "The narrative is, 'We left Gaza and got a rain of Kassam rockets. We gave them everything they wanted and we got a rain of Kassam rockets and a Hamas takeover.' I hear it over and over again in focus groups." (TIME)
The international community's protection of the Hamas regime - even though it is a revolutionary Islamist, terrorist, genocide-intending, anti-Western client of Iran that will fight Israel and subvert Egypt - makes its overthrow impossible. The government's new policy means Israel has given up the strategy of trying to reduce Gaza's economy and the rewards that Hamas can give its supporters.
So this is the future: A revolutionary Islamist statelet, a long-term outpost of Iran, a base for spreading terrorism and subversion, a source for genocidal anti-Semitic propaganda has been established on the shores of the Mediterranean. Hamas will be in power in Gaza for a long time. It will return to war against Israel at the first opportunity. It teaches its people to kill Jews and to be terrorists.
What could be more ironic than the fact that Western governments, frantic for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, have just helped put one more gigantic roadblock in the way? Even without Hamas ruling almost half of those under Palestinian rule, the PA probably wouldn't be able to make peace. The consolidation of a Hamas state makes that inability a certainty. The world has no idea what it has done, or how much blood will flow as a result. The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of Middle East Review of International Affairs. (Jerusalem Post)
U.S. Middle East Policy after the Gaza Flotilla Incident - Robert Satloff (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
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