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October 14, 2010

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PA Rejects Inferred Recognition of Jewish State - Kevin Flower (CNN)
    Top PA negotiator Nabil Sha'ath, an advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, distanced the PA government from comments by PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo inferring that Palestinians might recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for a future Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
    "We are not going to do it - forget it," Sha'ath told CNN, adding that Abed Rabbo's comments did not represent the position of the PLO or the Fatah faction which dominates the Palestinian Authority.

Fayyad's Advisor Demonizes Israel - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
    PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's national affairs advisor Omar Hilmi al-Ghoul used last week's arson attack at a West Bank mosque to libel and demonize Israel.
    Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on Oct. 6 that al-Ghoul said "what happened in Beit Fajar was not incidental, but rather represents part of a policy of state terror, which the Zionist apartheid state is carrying out against the Palestinians."

The First Muslim IDF Officer - Yana Pevzner (Ynet News)
    Lt. Hisham Abu Varia, a Muslim Israeli from Sakhnin in the Galilee, was inspired to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces by one of his older brothers who had joined up.
    "The army is the entry pass into Israeli society," he explains. "The Arab sector thinks it's second rate here, but to get privileges one has to give and not just receive."
    See also Muslim Arab Officer Proudly Serving in IDF - Tammy Habteyes (Israel Defense Forces)
    "My job is to prepare the Arab community to handle any type of emergency. Whether it's an earthquake, a flood or a war, the community must be prepared with the same level of readiness as the Jewish community," Lt. Abu Varia explains.
    "The IDF is a strong, challenging, non-discriminatory army, and is a great supporter of human rights. This is the first step to bringing both the Jewish and Muslim nations together," he says.

Iraqi Child Saved in Israel - Bat-Hen Epstein Elias (Ynet News)
    Boland, a three-year-old Iraqi child with a heart defect, recently underwent surgery at Safra Hospital for Children at the Sheba medical center near Tel Aviv.
    The Shevet Achim foundation, which flew him to Israel, is working to bring another 30 Iraqi children to Safra Hospital for life-saving operations.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Hizbullah Chief Echoes Iran's Call for Israel to Disappear - Mohamad Ali Harissi
    Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah echoed Iran's call on Wednesday for Israel to disappear, speaking during a mass rally in Beirut organized in honor of visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "President Ahmadinejad is right when he says Israel is illegitimate and should cease to exist," Nasrallah told an ecstatic crowd. Ahmadinejad, who has called Israel a "tumor," has denied the Holocaust and repeatedly said the Jewish state is "doomed to be wiped off the map." Last month he said the people of the Middle East are "capable of removing the Zionist regime" from the world scene. (AFP)
        See also Ahmadinejad: Lebanon a School of Jihad - Attila Somfalvi (Ynet News)
        See also Ahmadinejad Denounces U.S. "Colonial Goals" at Hizbullah Rally - Nicholas Blanford (Christian Science Monitor)
        See also U.S. Lawmakers: Lebanon's Embrace of Ahmadinejad May Affect Military Aid - Jack Khoury (Ha'aretz)
  • 18 Iran Guards Killed by Blast at Their Base - William Yong
    An explosion on Tuesday at an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps base near Khorramabad in southwestern Iran killed 18 and wounded 14 more, Iranian state media reported Wednesday. The Revolutionary Guards said the blast was caused by a fire spreading to an ammunition store at the base, which the research group Global Security says houses underground launching and storage facilities for Iran's medium-range Shahab-3 ballistic missiles. The base is close to Iran's restive Kurdistan region, the site in recent months of several attacks on Revolutionary Guards installations and personnel. (New York Times)
  • Deputy PM: Israel Officials Doubt Peace Reachable - Amy Teibel
    Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday that top officials doubt a peace deal with the Palestinians can be reached soon even though the prime minister has committed to try to reach an agreement within a year. "I don't know a single minister in the septet who thinks it's possible to reach a deal in the foreseeable future," he said, referring to the seven-member decision-making body in the Cabinet. Yaalon, speaking to Army Radio, accused the Palestinians of being intransigent and of carrying out repeated violence and incitement since 1993, when the two sides signed their first, interim peace accord. (AP)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Israel Eyes Ahmadinejad's Visit to Lebanon - Herb Keinon and Yaakov Lappin
    Ahmadinejad in Lebanon is "like a landlord coming to inspect his domain," Foreign Minister spokesman Yigal Palmor said. Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev said that "Iran's domination of Lebanon, through its proxy Hizbullah, has prevented Lebanon from being a partner in peace and turned Lebanon into an Iranian satellite and a hub of regional terror and instability."
        Sources in Jerusalem said the visit demonstrates that Lebanon - thanks to Hizbullah - has turned into an Iranian client state firmly in the axis of extreme countries that support terrorism and are opposed to peace. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel: EU Call to Equality "Kicking at an Open Door" - Herb Keinon
    Israel dismissed as "preaching to the converted" a comment by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's spokeswoman on Tuesday that Europe expected Israel to guarantee equal rights for all its citizens, "whether they are Jewish or not." Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor responded, "It was never on anyone's agenda to deny equality of rights to all citizens of Israel, as is guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and by constitutional law....Warning against a phantom danger does not contribute to advancing the debate."
        Another diplomatic official said there was "no question whatsoever that Israel's non-Jewish citizens will continue to enjoy full civil and legal equality. This is fundamental for Israel and not a matter of debate - it is something we demand of ourselves." The official questioned what exactly equality for Jews would mean in a future Palestinian state - where the PA recently reaffirmed that the death penalty would be applied to anyone convicted of selling land to Jews. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Why the Demand to Recognize Israel as a Jewish State Is Legitimate - Ari Shavit
    The demand to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a legitimate one. That is why we came here. The supreme goal of Zionism is that in the Land of Israel the people of Israel will have a national home. Those who don't believe in the right of the Jewish people to a national home are racists.
        This is the heart of the conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict stems from the fact that for a century, the Jewish national movement and the Palestinian national movement refused to recognize each other. In 1993, Israel recognized the Palestinian people and its rights. But to this day the Palestinians have not recognized the Jewish people and its rights. For true peace to prevail, there must be peace between the Arab Palestinian nation-state and the Jewish Israeli nation-state. (Ha'aretz)
  • Who Invited You? Ahmadinejad Visits Lebanon - Judith Miller
    No one in Lebanon seems to know who invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Beirut for a two-day "official visit." No Lebanese official has claimed credit for the trip, but it's shaping up as a huge political embarrassment for Lebanon. Ahmadinejad has visited southern Lebanon before. More than two decades ago, he came to the Bekaa Valley as an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps to help train the Lebanese Shiites who became the nascent Hizbullah.
        Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah was giving speeches in the late 1980s declaring that "Lebanon should not be an Islamic republic on its own, but rather, part of the Greater Islamic Republic, governed by the Master of Time [the Mahdi], and his rightful deputy, the Jurisprudent Ruler, Imam Khomeini," according to a speech published by MEMRI. (Fox News)
  • Welcome Ahmadinejad! - Tariq Alhomayed
    Contrary to everything that is being said about the Iranian president's visit to Lebanon, I believe that this is an important visit that will contribute to raising awareness in Lebanon and the region to the reality of Hizbullah and its subservience to Tehran, and the danger of following Iranian slogans. Hizbullah is welcoming a man that is opposed by half the people of Iran, and criticized by the Iranian conservatives more than the reformists due to the deteriorating economic conditions in his country.
        Nasrallah, who has excelled at corrupting the entire political process in Lebanon, is welcoming a guest that shares his hostility towards almost all Arab countries and the international community. Many in the region need to be shocked in order to see what is being plotted against them, and Ahmadinejad's visit is one such beneficial shock. This will help the Lebanese and Arabs see the danger that Hizbullah's subservience to Iran represents to Lebanon. The writer is the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
        See also Arab Media Slam Ahmadinejad over Visit - Meris Lutz (Los Angeles Times)
  • Observations:

    Efforts to Reinforce Israel's Jewish Identity - Ruth Gavison (Ynet News)

    • I subscribe to the majority opinion of Jews in Israel, who believe that Israel is indeed the place where the Jewish people can realize its right to national self-determination, and that this characteristic is a crucial and just one.
    • I also believe that the gap between the state's Jewishness and a true commitment to democracy and human rights - including individual and collective rights for the Arab minority in Israel - is not unbridgeable.
    • Israeli-born citizens are not required to pledge their allegiance. Naturalized citizens (with the exception of those entitled under the Law of Return) are.
    • A nation is under no obligation to grant citizenship to anyone and it most certainly does not have to grant citizenship to an individual who is opposed to key elements in its creed. A nation is under no obligation to "volunteer" to accept those who object to its fundamental goals. A nation can condition citizenship. All nations do.
    • Naturalized citizens' pledge of allegiance to the state should include not only their wish to enjoy the benefits of citizenship, but also their willingness to undertake the obligations that come with it. It is a shame that the Arabs see the need to recognize Israel as the Jewish state as a beacon of discrimination or exclusion.

      Prof. Ruth Gavison is a law professor at Hebrew University, a senior fellow emeritus at the Israel Democracy Institute, and founder of the Metzilah Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and Humanist Thought.

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