Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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


June 28, 2010

Daily Alert Needs Your Support

In-Depth Issues:

Turkish Airspace Closed to Israeli Military - Suzan Fraser (AP)
    Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said Monday in Toronto that Turkey has closed its airspace to Israeli military flights following the May 31 flotilla incident, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
    See also Turkey Blocks IDF Aircraft Flying to Poland - Yossi Yehoshua (Ynet News)
    Ankara prevented an Israel Defense Forces aircraft making its way to Poland from flying in Turkish airspace. The cargo plane was carrying officers to a tour of memorial sites and concentration camps.
    Israeli civilian and military planes on route to Poland regularly pass over Turkey, but this time the Israel Air Force was forced to use an alternative route.

Israeli Ambassador Denies Statement of "Rift" with U.S. - Glenn Kessler (Washington Post)
    Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren denied Sunday that he had told Israeli diplomats a "tectonic rift" was emerging between the U.S. and Israel.
    Oren said that he had spoken of a "tectonic shift in American foreign and domestic policies" under President Obama and that "Israel has to adjust to that." "I said 'shift,' not 'rift,'" he noted.

Gaza-Egypt Tunnel Industry Slows (Maan News-PA)
    Abu Ahmad, who supervises three tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, says the smuggling tunnel industry has seen a sharp drop both in imports and profits following Israel's decision to allow in certain previously banned products.
    He said the tunnel industry also saw a sharp drop after Egypt completed construction of its underground wall, under U.S. pressure. As a result, between 80 to 100 tunnels are operational, down from previous estimates of 2,000.
    The number of tunnel workers has dropped significantly as well, from 25,000 to 3,000.

The Danger of an Islamized Gaza - Bill Van Esveld (Los Angeles Times)
    In Gaza, severe violations of personal freedom and repression of civil society groups that defend that freedom appear to be sharply on the rise. The Hamas government is consolidating its social control by upping its efforts to "Islamize" Gaza.
    A notorious example is the expanded role of Gaza's "morality police." Couples walking down the street are routinely stopped, separated and questioned by plainclothes officers asking whether they're married. "You basically have to carry a copy of your marriage license on you at all times, or risk being humiliated," one young couple told us.
    The writer is a Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch.
    See also Another UN Summer Camp in Gaza Vandalized (AP-Washington Post)
    Gaza UN spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said vandals broke into a UN summer camp site in central Gaza early Monday, burned down tents and damaged facilities in the second such attack in as many months.
    Islamic extremists have accused the UN aid agency of corrupting Gaza's youth with its summer programs.
    The UN's main competitor, Hamas, operates camps for some 100,000 children and offers lessons on Islam and military-style marching.

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

  • Panetta Warns of Iran Nuclear Threat - Jay Solomon
    Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta said Iran already has enough fissile material for two atomic bombs, and that it could develop nuclear weapons in two years if it wanted, in the Obama administration's starkest assessment to date of Tehran's nuclear work. Panetta conceded that the U.S. assessment of Iran's nuclear program continued to diverge from Israel's analysis. Israel believes Tehran could have deployable nuclear weapons within a year. "I think, you know, Israel obviously is very concerned, as is the entire world, about what's happening in Iran," Panetta said. "I think they feel more strongly that Iran has already made the decision to proceed with the bomb. But at the same time, I think they know the sanctions will have an impact."  (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Russia Alarmed by CIA View of Iran's Weapons
    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday he was alarmed by U.S. assertions that Iran may have enough fuel for two nuclear weapons and warned that, if confirmed, the Islamic Republic may face new measures. (Reuters)
        See also CIA Chief: Sanctions Probably Won't Dissuade Iran
    In an interview with ABC's "This Week" program on Sunday, CIA chief Leon Panetta said the new sanctions could create serious economic problems and help weaken the Tehran government. "Will it deter them (Iran) from their ambitions with regards to nuclear capability? Probably not," he said. (Reuters)
  • Chavez Meets with Syria's Assad in Venezuela - Christopher Toothaker
    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday in Caracas and called on Latin America and the Arab world to fight what he called America's imperialist and capitalist interests abroad. Chavez told Assad it was an honor to host the Syrian leader on his first visit to Latin America. "Arab civilization and our civilization, the Latin American one, are being summoned in this new century to play the fundamental role of liberating the world, saving the world from the imperialism and capitalist hegemony that threaten the human species," Chavez said. "Syria and Venezuela are at the vanguard of this struggle." Following his meeting with Chavez, Assad is slated to travel to Cuba, Brazil and Argentina. (AP)
        See also Chavez: "Genocidal" Israel Will Be Put in Its Place - Frank Jack Daniel
    Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that Israel "has become the assassin arm of the United States, no one can doubt it. It is a threat to all of us....But one day the genocidal state of Israel will be put into its place."  (Reuters)
  • UN: Bickering Palestinians Causing Gaza Electricity "Crisis"
    The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Sunday called on bickering Palestinian factions to resolve a deepening electricity "crisis" in Gaza. The territory's sole power plant, which provides 25% of its electricity, was forced to shut down over the weekend as a result of a payment dispute between Hamas and the PA. The quantity of diesel fuel brought in to Gaza has declined since November, when the European Commission transferred responsibility for buying the fuel to the PA after its aid program expired. (AFP)
        See also Hamas-Fatah Fuel Spat Leaves Thousands in the Dark - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Admiral Mullen Visits Israel
    Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen said during a visit to Israel Sunday: "I always try to see the threats and the challenges from an Israeli perspective." IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and senior IDF staff held an extended meeting with Mullen to discuss military cooperation and mutual security challenges. Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who also met with Mullen, said we are "really are happy to see him here as someone who contributes a lot to the security of the entire area and the State of Israel."  (Ha'aretz)
  • Arabs Riot in East Jerusalem - Abe Selig
    200 Arabs hurled stones and firebombs at security forces in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Sunday night, during large-scale rioting that left at least six Border Police officers and four private security personnel lightly wounded. Sunday night's rioting marked a dramatic increase in what Jerusalem Police described as an "upswing" in violence since an announcement of preliminary approval for a redevelopment plan involving 22 home demolitions in the King's Garden section of the neighborhood. Jerusalem municipal officials maintain that the plan will improve the residents' quality of life, and that a number of individual agreements have already been reached with Palestinian families living in King's Garden. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also The King's Garden Development Plan - Mayor Nir Barkat (City of Jerusalem)
  • Jerusalem Construction Sparks Controversy - Ronen Medzini
    Construction at the site of the Shepherd Hotel in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah began Sunday. The Jerusalem Municipality explained: "Just like any other municipality in Israel, the Jerusalem Municipality issues building permits in the entire city based on their compliance with professional criteria only, and without checking religion, race, or sex, which is against the law. If a private entrepreneur files a construction plan that complies with the professional criteria required, the municipality is obligated to approve it regardless of his religion."
        The municipality said the plan had been approved in 2009, and the permit issued in March. "The municipality approves the plans of dozens of entrepreneurs, Jewish and Arab, each week, to build on the private lands they have purchased. Any attempt at presenting this as a provocation comes from ignorance of construction and legal procedures."  (Ynet News)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Iran Has Waged War Against the U.S. Since 1979 - Mortimer B. Zuckerman
    The peril increases daily that Iran will become a nuclear power. Arab leaders are as alarmed as Israel. The West is behaving as if it has all the time in the world. It does not. The year-end 2009 deadline set by the West for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue came and went and nothing happened. Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, does not want a seat at the negotiating table with the great powers, he wants to overturn the table. He is a messianic revolutionary. A nuclear Iran, already a neighborhood bully, would export its revolutionary ideology and destabilize the Middle East. It would sabotage any dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
        From an American point of view, the issue is not just the nuclear program. It is the hostile intentions of a regime that since 1979 has waged war persistently against the United States and its allies. We must impose an embargo even more extensive than the one we imposed on Cuba at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. This would include a ban on the sale or purchase of products or services to or from Iran, a ban on all financial transactions of any kind with Iranians for their businesses, a ban on all travel to and from Iran, and more. This policy must make it absolutely clear that any companies or individuals who violate the embargo will be banned from doing business with the U.S. (U.S. News)
  • Internal Change in Iran Is the Only Realistic Path to a Durable Nuclear Compact - Ray Takeyh
    The most fundamental transformations of Iran's foreign policy have resulted not from external pressure but from internal political change. Only a regime beholden to popular approbation can be counted on to respect international norms.
        The Green movement today is America's only realistic path to a constructive and durable nuclear compact with Iran. The Greens believe that democratic empowerment at home mandates a foreign policy that acknowledges prevailing conventions. As such, the Greens embrace detente and cooperation as the best means of advancing Iran's practical interests. A viable strategy of engagement would be to embrace and enable the democratic movement pressing for genuine transformation of the Islamic Republic. The writer is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. (New York Times)
  • Observations:

    Israel Won't Free "Mega-Terrorists' in Swap for Shalit - Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)

    • Hamas has not replied to an Israeli offer to release hundreds of terrorists - including more than 100 responsible for murdering more than 600 Israelis - in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, on condition they do not return to the West Bank, but go either to Gaza or to another country.
    • According to government sources, Israel sent the offer through a German mediator six months ago, the Jerusalem Post has learned. The offer includes a willingness to release 450 Palestinian prisoners in negotiations with Hamas, and another 550 prisoners unilaterally as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority - meaning the deal would be one for 1,000.
    • However, Israel has made clear it would not release what it has called "mega-terrorists" - those responsible for some of the worst atrocities, including those responsible for the attacks in Jerusalem at Sbarro restaurant where 15 people were killed in 2001; the Moment Cafe where 11 were killed in 2002; Cafe Hillel where seven were killed in 2003; the Rishon Lezion attack where 16 were killed in 2002; the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv where 21 were killed in 2001; and the Park Hotel in Netanya where 30 people were killed on Seder night in 2002.
    • Israel has made clear that these and other mega-terrorists would not be released because they would establish a "terrorist industry" wherever they were sent. Hamas, however, is demanding the release of these megaterrorists. They are also demanding they be allowed to return to the West Bank in order, according to Israeli assessments, to rehabilitate Hamas' military capabilities there.
    • According to Israeli figures, 45% of released terrorists return to terrorism. The number is even higher among Hamas members, of whom 63% return to terrorism. Of the 400 terrorists released to gain the return of Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three IDF soldiers in 2004, 52% of those released returned to terrorism and are responsible for killing 27 Israelis.

    Unsubscribe from Daily Alert