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 23, 2010
See also Thousands Demonstrate in Paris for Captured Israeli Soldier (AFP)
IDF Draws Up New Gaza War Doctrine - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
Turkish Military Delegation in Israel for Shipment of Heron Drones (Today's Zaman-Turkey)
Red Sea Oil Leak Pollutes 100 Miles of Egyptian Coastline - Salah Nasrawi (AP)
Saudi Arabia Convicts 15 Men, Women for Mingling at Party - Abdullah Al-Shihri (AP)
Iran Issues Warning to 62,000 "Badly Veiled" Women (AFP)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday: "Virtually all major financial institutions have either completely cut off or dramatically reduced their ties with Iran. We are now starting to see companies across a range of sectors, including insurance, consulting, energy, and manufacturing, make similar decisions....The impact of these actions on Iran has been significant, and is deepening." (U.S. Treasury Department)
See also below Observations: American Policy Toward Iran in the Aftermath of UN Sanctions - U.S. Undersecretary of State William J. Burns (State Department)
Israeli national security adviser Uzi Arad on Tuesday described the Palestinians as "major actors in the delegitimization of Israel." "In trying to make peace" via the indirect U.S.-led talks, "we are embracing an adversary who is conducting a very effective battle against us internationally." Arad said that Israel still aspires to peace with the Palestinians, but he was skeptical of the value of Israel putting forth any bold new peace initiative. "If we do make an initiative, which incorporates further concessions, it would only validate their current rejectionist position, leading them to say, 'If we wait long enough there will be some more,'" Arad said, referring to the Palestinians.
On Iran, Arad did not directly address the likelihood that Israel would strike militarily to set back the country's nuclear program. "I don't see anyone who questions the legality of this or the legitimacy," Arad said of a possible Israeli strike. "They only discuss the efficacy, which is interesting. It suggests that people understand the problem. And they are not questioning the right."
He also noted what Israeli officials have perceived as a shift in U.S. policy toward Iran, citing a subtle change in rhetoric. Officials say they think Obama is now more willing to employ military force, in the event it becomes necessary, to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. "All of us did take notice that the United States changed the definition of its policy on Iran, from one that said a nuclear Iran would be 'unacceptable,' to one in which it said that the United States 'is determined to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear.' There is determination there. There is activism," Arad said. (Washington Post)
Canada has implemented the latest UN sanctions on providing Iran access to uranium, and is willing to look at more steps if Tehran does not curb its nuclear program, the government said on Tuesday. "In the absence of a positive response from Iran, Canada stands ready to implement additional sanctions to address Iran's egregious violations and continued threat to global peace," Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said in Ottawa. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Israel launched an "advanced technology remote sensing satellite" into space on Tuesday - Ofek 9 - to boost its intelligence-gathering capabilities. "When we wish to examine targets, we need our own satellites to do the job," a senior defense official said. "The new satellite will enable us to perform frequent activity at higher resolution." (Ynet News)
Ofek 9 was placed in orbit by an Israel Aerospace Industries-manufactured Shavit booster rocket. The new satellite will carry a camera that's a bit more advanced than the one aboard the Ofek 7. Weighing 300 kg., Ofek 9 will orbit Earth from up to 600 km. in space, and has a four-year life span. (Jerusalem Post)
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Tuesday defended the King's Garden development plan which was approved on Monday by the municipality's local planning council. "The new plan for Silwan allows for the addition of thousands of housing units for the Arab sector and the resolution of hundreds of construction violations," said a statement from the mayor's office.
Jerusalem City Councilman Hilik Bar of the Labor party said: "The King's Garden plan is an important project that could have an impact on both the value of the land and the houses in Silwan, and improve the quality of life of its residents....In my opinion, Silwan residents and the residents of [King's Garden] should seriously examine the solutions offered by the mayor."
State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said the plan "undermines trust" needed for progress in negotiations with the Palestinians. (Jerusalem Post)
See also Prime Minister's Office Hopes to Solve Jerusalem Development Plan Dispute - Roni Sofer
The Prime Minister's Office on Monday said the development plan was in a "very initial stage" and that its final approval would require many discussions. Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his hope that all sides would reach "an acceptable solution." As part of the plan, 22 illegal houses will be demolished and 66 other buildings will receive approval for construction. The demolished houses will be replaced by an archaeological garden. Owners of the 22 buildings would be able to build their houses legally in open areas on the eastern side of the complex. (Ynet News)
See also The King's Garden Development Plan - Mayor Nir Barkat (City of Jerusalem); View Powerpoint Presentation (City of Jerusalem)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
There remains an immutable obstacle to any lasting relief to the Gaza predicament. It is not Israel. It is Hamas. Israel is justified in maintaining the security blockade, on the highly legitimate ground of excluding materiel for warfare, including dual-use construction supplies that could strengthen Hamas. Israel cannot afford to relax its guard against a group that is dedicated to wiping it off the map. Hamas has established a terrorist statelet, which harbors a range of extreme Islamist factions and is a client of theocratic Iran.
Efforts to push for a fundamental change in policy toward Gaza will be hampered by the immutable obstacle that is Hamas, as will any hope of eventual coexistence between Israel and the people of Gaza. (Globe and Mail-Canada)
During the 500 years the Ottomans ruled the Arabic-speaking Middle East, they were hated throughout the region, not only by the regional minorities (Christians, Jews, Shia, etc.), but also by their Sunni Arab coreligionists. In the last few weeks, however, half a millennium's worth of history has been conveniently forgotten, perhaps even forgiven, as Turkey has emerged as a regional power and the guarantor of Arab interests - against Israel. Long before Arab nationalism identified Israel and the U.S. (and before that the European powers) as the enemy, it was the Ottomans who were called to account for everything that was wrong in the Arabic-speaking regions.
In the end it all comes down to sectarianism. Turkey is Sunni, Iran is Shia, and despite the Ottoman Empire's long history of oppressing their imperial subjects, the Arabs prefer anything to the prospect of Persian hegemony. If it means casting their lot with the progeny of those who enslaved them for centuries - well there is great comfort in custom. (Weekly Standard)
As the dust settles after the May 31 Israeli commando raid on a Turkish aid ship to Gaza, Turkey's resurgent opposition seems to be gaining traction by articulating fears that Erdogan is steering NATO's only Muslim member away from the West. The secular pro-Western Republican People's Party has a popular new leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who made a name for himself by exposing corruption within Erdogan party's that led to two senior officials stepping down. Kilicdaroglu's party has also criticized Erdogan's confrontational style against Israel. An opinion poll published Saturday shows 38.8% backing Erdogan's party against 31.3% for Kilicdaroglu's Republicans - up from 25% support under the previous leadership. (AP)
American Policy Toward Iran in the Aftermath of UN Sanctions - William J. Burns (State Department)
U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday:
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