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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
June 1, 2011

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Poll: Israelis Oppose Division of Jerusalem, Construction Freeze - Aaron Lerner (Israel Television-IMRA)
    A poll of Israeli adults asked: Would you oppose or support having part of Jerusalem part of a Palestinian state? Oppose any part 66%. Support some Arab neighborhoods 23%.
    Would you agree to international control of the holy places within the framework of a peace agreement? No 73%. Yes 21%.
    Should construction be frozen in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the '67 lines? Build 67%. Freeze 23%.
    The poll was carried out by Geocartography and broadcast on Israel Television Channel One on May 31.

Torture of Boy Reinvigorates Syria's Protest Movement - Liz Sly (Washington Post)
    Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was 13 years old. And since a video portraying the torture inflicted upon him was broadcast on al-Jazeera on Friday, he has rapidly emerged as the new symbol of the protest movement in Syria.
    In Hama, thousands swarmed a central square holding pictures of the boy and chanting "Hamza, Hamza." In Aleppo, people climbed onto rooftops Saturday, chanting, "God is great. Hamza, Hamza." In Darayya, a suburb of Damascus, children took to the streets Sunday to denounce his torture.

Peace in Jerusalem - Editorial (Jerusalem Post)
    The Jewish people have not given up hope of one day living side by side with the Palestinians in peace.
    That day can only come, however, after the Palestinians abandon the rejectionism - so insistently ignored by too much of the international community - that sees them continuing to give every sign of refusing to internalize the Jews' sovereign legitimacy anywhere in this land, no matter how far-reaching the Israeli offers of compromise.

Egypt Facing Economic Meltdown - Spengler (Asia Times-Hong Kong)
    Egypt's economy is in free fall. Last month, rice disappeared from public storehouses amid press reports that official food distribution organizations were selling the grain by the container on the overseas market.
    Last week, diesel fuel was the scarce commodity, with 24-hour queues forming around gasoline stations. Foreign tankers were waiting at Port Said on the Suez Canal to pump diesel oil from storage facilities, as government officials sold the scarce commodity for cash.

Egyptian Delegation Arrives in Tehran (Fars-Iran)
    A 45-member delegation of Egyptian revolutionary youth, thinkers, intellectuals and religious scholars arrived in Tehran to attend the "International Conference on Islamic Awakening."

Israel's Largest Underground Stream Discovered in Jerusalem - Zafrir Rinat (Ha'aretz)
    A cave discovered during excavation work by Israel Railways in Jerusalem contains the largest and most impressive underground water sources ever discovered in Israel.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Braces for Border Clashes in Coming Days - Josef Federman
    The Israeli military is preparing for the possibility of violent protests along its borders in the coming days, aiming to avoid a repeat of deadly unrest that erupted earlier this month, a senior military official told the Associated Press on Sunday. Facebook-organized activists have called for demonstrations next weekend in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war, in which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
        The official said the army hopes to avoid civilian casualties but would set "red lines" for the demonstrations. That means Israel will not allow demonstrators to burst across the borders - as they did on the Syria-Israel border on May 15. He said Israel will not react to nonviolent demonstrations, but that it would be forced to take action in "life-threatening" situations. The official said the army will be much better prepared this time around. Larger numbers of troops will be deployed, and they will be equipped with crowd-control tools such as rubber bullets and water cannons. (AP)
        See also Palestinians Prepare for Marches on Israel's Borders - Oren Kessler
    Palestinians and their supporters are preparing to launch another multipronged assault on Israel's borders this week to mark the Arab defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War. Marches on Israel's borders with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza, as well as processions to Jerusalem's Al-Aksa Mosque, have been called for June 3, 5 and 7. Ofir Gendelman, the Prime Minister's Office spokesman for Arabic media, said Israel is ready to use "any means necessary" to protect its borders. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Lebanon's Palestinians to March to Border Sunday - Wassim Mroueh
    A Lebanese Army source said the military might keep protesters from approaching the border. (Daily Star-Lebanon)
        See also On Our Way to Palestine - Nour Samaha
    The reporter details Lebanese troops firing on protestors on May 15. Also note the description of minefields being cleared, apparently by trained sappers. (Jadaliyya)
  • Israel Vows to Cement Ties with China - Zheng Qingting
    Israel expects to boost its bilateral relations with China in a variety of fields, including high technology, clean technology, agriculture, trade and cultural exchanges, said Rafael Barak, director-general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during a visit to Beijing on May 30. "We created a department in Jerusalem that will be dealing only with China. We have here the Embassy and the Consulates General in Shanghai and Guangzhou. A third Israeli consulate will be established next year to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
        Barak added, "The relations between China and Israel have a long history, more than a thousand years. Both Israel and the Jewish people will always remember the last period of WWII when almost 30,000 Jews lived in Shanghai as refugees."  (People's Daily-China)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: Jerusalem Will Never Be Divided - Ari Galahar
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday on the eve of Jerusalem Day: "Jerusalem is full of archeological sites that prove its connection to the Jewish people." "Jerusalem was united, and will never be divided again." He concluded with a play on an ancient Jewish saying: "Next year in a more built-up Jerusalem."  (Ynet News)
  • Egypt Is "Unstable," IDF Chief Cautions Knesset - Lahav Harkov
    In his first appearance before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz described an "expanding arc of threats in the Middle East" from "the knife of an individual terrorist to Iranian nuclear weapons." "We have peace with Egypt....However, it is important to mention that Egypt is not as stable as it was in the past, and our level of security needs to be higher than it was."
        "Iran is a central threat, not only because of its nuclear capabilities, but because of its support to radical groups, which it supplies with weapons," he added. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Using Mosques as Party Branches - Yaakov Lappin
    The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is using mosques as the headquarters of its party branches as it seeks to create a Shari'a-based state, former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit warned on Tuesday during a conference at Tel Aviv University. He said the Muslim Brotherhood remained the only real organized political force in Egypt. "Every mosque is a party branch headquarters. Every cleric at the mosque is the party branch chairman. A contribution to the mosque is a contribution to the party," Shabtai added. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Terrorist "Work Accident" in Gaza Kills Three Palestinians - Roi Qais
    Three Palestinians were killed Tuesday in an explosion at a training facility of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in Gaza. Four more were hurt in what appeared to be a work accident. The IDF Spokesperson said the army was not operating in the area. The PRC took part in the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Time to Assert Jerusalem's Jewish Heritage - Nathan Diament
    President Obama said at a London news conference that Jerusalem goes deep into how the Jewish people think about their identity. As we mark 44 years of a reunited Jerusalem this week, we should appreciate the centrality of Jerusalem to Jewish identity. This is why most Israelis and American Jews consistently reject the idea that Israel surrender swaths of the holy city as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
        Modern Jerusalem is far more an interwoven checkerboard of Jewish and Palestinian areas than starkly segregated enclaves. It is no more feasible to separate the Palestinian and Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem from one another than to ethnically divide the neighborhoods of Manhattan.
        The international community would never expect the Muslims to cede sovereignty over Mecca, the cradle of their faith and history, any more than Americans would be asked to return Philadelphia to the queen of England. The Jewish people should be afforded no less respect. Jerusalem must remain united under Jewish sovereignty. The writer is director of public policy at the Orthodox Union. (JTA)
  • What September at the UN Holds for Israel-Palestine - Josef Olmert
    Any inclusion of a new member state in the UN requires a Security Council decision. Judging by President Obama's repeated statements, the U.S. will object, and that means end of story. The General Assembly will have its automatic anti-Israel majority for a symbolic resolution, but Palestine will not be a member. Second, at least 4 out of the 8 G-8 Forum states, the U.S., Canada, Germany and Italy, are likely to vote no in the General Assembly, thus depriving this resolution from most of its actual significance.
        Third, no UN decision regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict has ever been historic in reality, rather than in rhetoric, and that includes the Partition Resolution from 1947 that was blatantly violated by the Arab invasion of the newly-established State of Israel. The writer is an adjunct professor at American University's School of International Service. (Huffington Post)
  • The IAEA and Syria - Bennett Ramberg
    "The Agency concludes that the destroyed building was very likely a nuclear reactor and should have been declared by Syria." So writes the International Atomic Energy Agency's director general, Yukiya Amano, in his May 24, 2011, report to the IAEA board of governors about the installation the Israeli Air Force bombed in September 2007. Although he does not explicitly say so, Mr. Amano's finding places Syria in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
        At its meeting next week, the IAEA board of governors must decide whether to formally declare Syria in noncompliance with the nonproliferation treaty. Doing so will place the matter before the UN Security Council, opening the way for sanctions. Failure will only encourage prospective nuclear proliferators to follow Syria's path. If the international community believes in the nuclear nonproliferation regime, it must act with conviction. Syria is a test case. The writer served as a policy analyst in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs under President George H.W. Bush. (International Herald Tribune)

The UN Can't Deliver a Palestinian State - Fouad Ajami (Wall Street Journal)

  • The vote in 1947 on the question of the partition of Palestine was viewed as Israel's basic title to independence and statehood. The Palestinians and the Arab powers had rejected partition and chosen the path of war. Their choice was to prove calamitous.
  • Few Arabs were willing to tell the story truthfully. Henceforth the Palestinians would live on a vague idea of restoration and return. No leader had the courage to tell the refugees who had left Acre and Jaffa and Haifa that they could not recover the homes and orchards of their imagination.
  • The odds might favor the Palestinians in the General Assembly, but any victory would be hollow. The Palestinians have misread what transpired at the General Assembly in 1947. The Zionist project had already prevailed on the ground. Jewish statehood was a fait accompli perhaps a decade before that vote.
  • There was a military formation powerful enough to defeat the Arab armies, there were political institutions in place, and there were gifted leaders, David Ben-Gurion pre-eminent among them. The vote at the General Assembly was of immense help, but it wasn't the decisive factor in the founding of the Jewish state. The hard work had been done in the three decades between the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the vote on partition.
  • Sadly, the Palestinian national movement has known a different kind of leadership, unique in its mix of maximalism and sense of entitlement, in its refusal to accept what can and can't be had in the world of nations.

    The writer is a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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