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September 23, 2011

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Obama Gave Israel Bunker-Buster Bombs - Eli Lake (Newsweek-Daily Beast)
    President Obama has secretly authorized significant new aid to the Israeli military that includes the sale of 55 deep-penetrating bombs known as bunker busters, Newsweek has learned.
    U.S. and Israeli officials said the GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators - potentially useful in any future military strike against Iranian nuclear sites - were delivered to Israel in 2009.
    U.S. and Israeli officials said that Israel had developed its own bunker-buster technology between 2005 and 2009, but the purchase from the U.S. was cheaper.

    See also Despite Budget Cuts, U.S. Won't Cut Military Aid to Israel (Jerusalem Post)
    Senior White House and Congressional officials clarified during meetings with Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz that the U.S. has no intention to cut military aid to Israel, despite the drastic cuts in the U.S. budget, the Finance Ministry reported Friday.

Report: Egyptian Politicians Involved in Israeli Embassy Attack - Yousry el Badry (Al-Masry Al-Youm-Egypt)
    Egyptian security forces are currently investigating the possible involvement of two well-known politicians in instigating the recent attack on the Israeli Embassy, a security source said on Thursday, after surveillance cameras located in the embassy building prompted their suspicions.
    The source explained that one of the politicians was involved in inciting the protesters, while the other gave money to some of them.

Czech Republic Backs Israel on Palestinian UN Move - Jack Buehrer (Prague Post-Czech Republic)
    Prime Minister Petr Necas said the Czech Republic will back Israel in its attempt to thwart Palestine's plans to seek membership from the UN Security Council for an independent Palestinian state.
    "The Czech Republic is for two independent states - Israel and Palestine - being established, not on the basis of unilateral steps, but on the basis of direct negotiations of both sides," he said.

The Real Crisis in the Middle East Is Not Palestinian Statehood. It's Syria - Walter Russell Mead (American Interest)
    The controversy over the Palestinian bid for statehood should not distract policymakers from the main event.
    Assad's fall - or his attempts to cling to power - could easily trigger prolonged armed conflict that could well spread beyond Syria's frontiers.
    The situation is exacerbated by the interests of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, who all have much to gain or lose if Damascus is abandoned.
    The writer teaches American foreign policy at Yale University.

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Mother of Four Terrorist Murderers Chosen by PA to Launch Statehood Campaign - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    The Palestinian Authority chose the mother of four terrorist murderers, one of whom killed seven Israeli civilians, as the person to launch their statehood campaign with the UN.
    In a widely publicized event, the PA had Latifa Abu Hmeid lead the procession to the UN offices in Ramallah and to hand over a letter for UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
    The official PA daily reported that she is the "mother of seven prisoners and of the Martyr Abd Al-Mun'im Abu Hmeid."
    However, it did not mention that four of her imprisoned sons are murderers, each serving between two and seven life sentences.

Syria's Ports Suffer as Unrest Hits Economy - Suleiman Al-Khalidi (Reuters)
    The protests in Syria have shrunk traffic at the country's ports. Shipping sources say traffic at Latakia and Tartous has shrunk an average 35-40% from a year earlier in the first eight months of 2011.

IDF Trains in Underground Tunnels - Florit Shoihat (Israel Defense Forces)
    In the Gaza area there are hundreds of tunnels used mostly for terrorist purposes. In June 2006, terrorists used a tunnel near Kerem Shalom, killing two IDF soldiers and kidnapping Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
    Recently, IDF units have begun training in underground combat.

IMF: Israeli Economy to Expand 4.8 Percent This Year - Alisa Odenheimer (Bloomberg)
    Israel's economy is likely to expand 4.8% this year, the same as last year, the International Monetary Fund said in a report Tuesday.
    While Israel recovered from the global financial crisis faster than many of the advanced countries, the weaker outlook in the U.S. and Europe, the country's main export markets, is likely to reduce demand for Israeli products, said Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer.
    See also Israel Punches Above Weight as GDP Beats Developed World (Bloomberg)
    The Israeli economy is growing at triple the pace of the average of the 34 advanced economies.
    The country, whose population of 7.8 million is similar to Switzerland's, has about 60 companies traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the most of any nation outside North America after China, and is also home to the largest number of startup companies per capita in the world.
    Israel ranks third in terms of projected growth this year among 24 developed economies, after Hong Kong and Singapore.
    "Israel's exports are high-added-value exports like informatics and technology," said Jean-Dominique Butikofer, a fund manager at Union Bancaire Privee in Zurich. "If there's a slowdown, these are the kind of assets that are good to have."
    Venture-capital-backed Israeli technology companies raised $364 million in the second quarter of this year, a 77% jump from the $206 million raised in the year-earlier period.

Israel Joins European Particle Physics Laboratory, CERN - Adrian Cho (Science Insider)
    Israel has become an associate member of CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Switzerland which is home to the world's biggest atom smasher.
    Israeli physicists have been working at CERN for decades and have brought 10 Palestinian graduate students with them. 61 Israeli scientists are registered users of the laboratory.
    Israel had been an "observer state" at CERN since 1991.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Harsh Words at UN from Turkey about Israel, and from Iran about the U.S. - Neil MacFarquhar
    Evidently heedless of American attempts to engineer a thaw in Turkish-Israeli relations, Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey used his appearance before the UN General Assembly on Thursday to enumerate a long list of grievances with Israel.
        Representatives of the Quartet were still trying to reach an agreement on a statement about moving peace negotiations forward, intended to counterbalance the proposal for UN membership that PA President Abbas has vowed to present. The Americans and Europeans, close to an agreement, may issue a statement by themselves.
        Iranian President Ahmadinejad delivered one of his characteristic anti-Western broadsides, embroidered with tinges of religious mysticism. He blamed the U.S., Israel and Europe for the global recession and a list of other ills. He also suggested that America's killing of Osama bin Laden last May was part of a dark conspiracy to conceal the real perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks. Ahmadinejad's remarks provoked what has become a ritual large-scale walkout of delegations, led by the U.S. (New York Times)
  • Israel Rejects French Compromise on Palestinian State
    Israel on Friday rejected a proposal by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to upgrade the Palestinians' UN status and admit them as a non-member state, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. "This may seem like a good idea on the surface but in reality you can't cut corners by giving the Palestinians a state, however you describe it, which does not come from an agreement with Israel."  (AFP)
  • Syrian Oil Exports Paralyzed as Sanctions Bite - Dmitry Zhdannikov and Jessica Donati
    Syria's oil exports have come to a standstill due to sanctions, and this may force a cut in production, weakening President Assad's ability to generate cash. After a series of piecemeal measures, European governments have acted vigorously in recent weeks to tighten the screws on Assad in hopes of reining in his bloody crackdown on protesters.
        From Saturday, the EU will ban European firms from making new investments in Syria's oil industry following an earlier ban on imports of Syrian oil. "Exports are fully paralyzed. No one wants to touch it. Banks are not financing the operations. Russian companies listed in New York won't take the risks," said a trader who used to regularly deal with Syrian oil. (Reuters)
        See also Syrian Students Increasingly Join Protests - Bassem Mroue
    Syrian students chanting for revolution marched outside Damascus and other areas after class Thursday in a new tactic that brought a swift response from security services, who beat up or detained many of the young protesters, activists said. Children as young as 10 have been taking to the streets since the new school year started on Sunday, according to witnesses and online videos posted by activists. (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu Readies for Showdown with Abbas at UN - Tovah Lazaroff
    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spent Thursday in New York preparing his speech to the UN General Assembly on Friday. "You will hear a forceful enunciation of Israel's narrative, and its desire for peace with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors," an Israeli official said. Netanyahu also met with South Sudanese President Mayardit, Costa Rican President Miranda and Portuguese Prime Minister Coelho. On Wednesday night, he met with U.S. Secretary of State Clinton for close to two hours; that followed an almost hour-long meeting with President Obama.
        An Israeli official said countries have begun to realize that approving the UN membership bid of a state that is in the midst of a conflict sets a dangerous precedent for negotiated solutions in any conflict worldwide. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also The Downgrading of the Palestinian UN Bid - Herb Keinon
    The buildup to the Palestinian UN gambit is shaping up as being much greater than the climax. If the bid was an attempt to isolate Israel, President Obama's speech at the UN on Wednesday severely immobilized that effort. The UN bid is looking increasingly like this summer's flotilla: More bark than bite; more mild breaker than tsunami. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Durban III Conference Held Amid Counter Events - Yitzhak Benhorin
    The Durban III conference against racism opened Thursday at UN headquarters in New York, marking the 10th anniversary of the first gathering in Durban, South Africa. As in previous years, Israel, the U.S. and 11 Western countries (Canada, Holland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Bulgaria, Britain, France and Poland) did not take part in the conference in protest of its focus on Israel instead of on other global hotspots where racism is present. The participants at the conference voted on a political statement affirming the declarations of the original Durban forum, in which Palestinians were labeled as "victims of racism."
        To coincide with Durban III, several groups staged counter events. The Hudson Institute held a gathering near the UN building, titled, "The Perils of Global Intolerance: The United Nations and Durban III."  (Ynet News)
        See also Durban III Opens Amid Boycott by Major Democracies - Benjamin Weinthal (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel's UN Ambassador Addresses "The Perils of Global Intolerance" Conference (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    President Obama's UN Speech

  • Obama's Focus at the UN - Robert Satloff
    President Obama's speech at the United Nations Wednesday went far beyond just making a case for negotiations as the only way to resolve the conflict. Rather, it was essentially a call for people around the world to put themselves in the shoes of Israel and, most notably, the Jewish people. Perhaps most remarkably, Obama did not pair that recitation of a fundamentally pro-Israel narrative with an equal but opposite recitation of the Palestinian narrative. Instead, with no discussion of Israeli settlement activity or building in Jerusalem, Obama limited himself to one side of the story.
        In essence, the punishment meted out to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for rejecting Washington's request to shelve his UN gambit was that Obama came to New York as Israel's ally, not as an impartial mediator of peace diplomacy. The writer is executive director of the Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
        See also The Education of President Obama at the UN - Glenn Kessler (Washington Post)
  • With the 2012 Elections in the Offing, Expending Any Effort on a Middle East Peace Process Is a Losing Battle - Aaron David Miller
    Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking isn't and shouldn't be Barack Obama's top priority. Despite all the kerfuffle at the UN this week, the last thing he needs to do is pick an unproductive fight with Israel on an Israeli-Palestinian peace process that has been dead for some time now. Nothing that will happen in New York this week or next will bring Palestinians any closer to realizing real statehood; it could, in fact, take them farther away.
        The gaps on the core issues, particularly Jerusalem and refugees, have been unbridgeable for more than a decade now. The current PA lacks a monopoly over the forces of violence, political strategy, resources, even people. And no Israeli government will be willing to make a deal with a partner that doesn't control and silence all of the guns of Palestine.
        There is no conflict-ending agreement now available to Israelis and Palestinians. The gaps are just too big, the regional environment too uncertain, and the capacity of an American (or any other mediator) to serve as an effective broker is just too implausible. The last thing we need right now is a cleverly worded French, American, or Quartet statement to launch a negotiation that will raise false hopes once again and lead to a collapse. The writer is a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former U.S. Middle East negotiator. (Foreign Policy)

  • The Palestinians at the UN

  • Palestinian Statehood and the Lessons of Oslo - Fouad Ajami
    "UN 194" is the slogan of the campaign to grant the Palestinians a seat at the UN, to recognize their authority as the 194th nation in that world body. This is the Palestinians' second chance, for there was the session of the General Assembly in 1947 that addressed the question of Palestine and the struggle between Arabs and Jews. A vote took place on the partition resolution that November and provided for two states to live side by side. Israel would become the 58th member state. The Palestinians refused the 59th seat.
        Were the Palestinians to look at their history, they would come to recognize that the one break that came their way happened in 1993, through direct negotiations with Israel. The peace of Oslo that secured them their national authority, that brought Yasser Arafat from his Tunisian exile to Gaza, was a gift of direct diplomacy. A generation later, the lesson of that accord remains unaltered. There can be no avoiding direct negotiations. The deliberations at the UN are only theater, just another illusion. The writer is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Why Europe Should Reject the Palestinian UN Statehood Bid - Amos Yadlin and Robert Satloff
    A UN statement recognizing Palestine within certain borders will make future progress toward a negotiated settlement with Israel virtually impossible. With UN approval of the shape of their state and, most likely, of "East Jerusalem" as its capital, future Palestinian leaders will find it nearly impossible to compromise on these key issues, even if they want to. Moreover, the UN drive for statehood recognition violates the core Palestinian vow in the Oslo Accords to resolve the conflict with Israel solely through bilateral negotiations. Supporting the UN route effectively encourages a culture of reneging on agreements.
        As April's International Monetary Fund report on Palestinian state-building makes clear, not only was virtually every aspect of the impressive progress achieved by the Palestinian Authority made possible by Israel, but future progress will require even more Israeli cooperation. Prospects for such cooperation are likely to vanish if the Palestinians opt instead to go it alone. Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli defense intelligence, is the Kay fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Robert Satloff is the Institute's executive director. (Foreign Policy)
  • Palestinian State Is Wishful Thinking - Jordan Sekulow and Brett Joshpe
    The Palestinians are planning to defy their international obligations and international law by unilaterally declaring independence at the UN. The legal effect of that declaration will be nil. According to international legal precedent, statehood is a function of whether an entity possesses the qualities that the world associates with independent, sovereign states. In essence, a state comes into existence by being able to stand on its own as a separate, independent political body.
        First, the Palestinians lack both a defined territory and a defined population. In the West Bank, areas are designated A, B and C, with the Palestinians exercising virtually no control in Area C and limited control in A and B. Second, their government consists of an internationally recognized terrorist group - Hamas - and the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose authority is only recognized through the Oslo Accord agreements with Israel.
        Just as importantly, the Palestinians lack the stability of a state. Of the PA's $4 billion annual budget, more than $500 million comes directly from the U.S. European countries also provide hundreds of millions of dollars, and nearly half of the remaining budget requires Israeli assistance. Jordan Sekulow is the executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice. Brett Joshpe is a lawyer with the ACLJ in New York City. (Washington Times)
  • I Oppose the Palestinian UN Bid for Practical Reasons - Fareed Zakaria
    I am opposed to the Palestinian effort at the UN because I think that it is going to get them nowhere. This is not the time for romantic gestures. The push is going to go nowhere in the Security Council. It may get to the General Assembly, and there may be a symbolic vote, but the result may well be that they lose funds - financial support from Israel, the U.S. and potentially some European countries - and it will make the Israelis feel that the Palestinians have gone in a unilateral direction when the only viable strategy is a bilateral one.
        At the end of the day, there is only one way you're going to get a Palestinian state. And that's if the Israelis agree to it. I think the next big push the Palestinians need to figure out is how to get control of Gaza. If you have half of the Palestinian leadership that engages in terrorism and does not accept Israel's right to exist, the Israelis are simply not going to create a Palestinian state under those conditions. (CNN)
  • A Friend of Israel Must Vote No to Palestinian State - Greg Sheridan
    Australia should vote no to any resolution for Palestinian statehood that is brought to the UN General Assembly. An abstention would be a dishonorable act of cowardice that could be read only as appeasement to curry favor with the Arab and African blocs in support of Australia's bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
        In reality, the UN moves are part of the ugly demonizing of Israel. They continue the wholly distorted picture that the only obstacle to peace is Israeli intransigence. That is just plainly untrue. Previous UN resolutions say that final borders between Israel and a Palestinian state should be negotiated. Absent real peace, the 1967 borders put Palestinian rockets within a few short kilometers of Tel Aviv airport. The security dangers are immense, and obvious. All the demands are made of Israel and none, in effect, of the Palestinians. (The Australian)
  • The Palestinian Gambit and UN Hypocrisy - Alan Baker and Dan Diker
    It is high time that the international community resolves itself to stop catering to the illegal whims of the Palestinian leadership in the mistaken hope that by allowing them to manipulate international institutions they might change their ways and adopt accepted norms.
        It is also high time that the UN stop pampering the Palestinians and bending their own rules and principles and instead take a serious look at the far-reaching security, legal and diplomatic consequences of the upcoming events and the dangerous precedent they will be setting for future attempts by other non-state actors and similar international bodies to abuse and manipulate the very principles that anchor the international state system. Alan Baker is former Israeli ambassador to Canada and former legal advisor to Israel's foreign ministry. Dan Diker is the secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel's Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy
    Eleven world-renowned experts explain why the Jewish people deserve a state of their own and refute the claims against Israel's rights.
        Download the full report (pdf, 12.6Mb, 238 pp.) (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and World Jewish Congress)
  • Without Solid Guarantees of Peace, Palestinian State Is a Bad Idea - Editorial
    Israel, an oasis of democracy in a desert of despotism and religious intolerance and hatred, encompasses about one-tenth of 1 percent of the Middle East leaving the remaining 99.9 percent to Arabs. And yet, Arabs carry on as if Israel was about to crowd all of them into the Mediterranean. When Israel was established in 1948, the notion of "Palestinianism" was more than a little fuzzy. As Arab Christian writer Joseph Farah notes, "There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc."
        How is it that the world, and the United Nations, has managed to ignore all the rockets that Palestinians have rained down on Israel's civilian society all these years? Not to mention all the suicide bombers. Now the reward is to be statehood? The truth is, there would be a Palestine already today if Palestinians had been more concerned with peaceful coexistence and statehood and their own well-being and less bent on killing Jews and trying to win the PR war.
        Given history - in which no Israeli concession was ever enough - would a "Palestine" be content with its current borders? Or would the next push be to "liberate" the "rest" of it - i.e., Israel? Without ironclad guarantees of its peaceful intentions, it would be historical folly to recognize a Palestinian state, and the U.S. should veto such a resolution. (Augusta (GA) Chronicle)
  • Showdown in the Middle East - David Warren
    The habit of throwing money (now mostly borrowed) at international whiners has become the preferred method of keeping peace in the world. Let us take Palestine for our example. Neither the West Bank nor Gaza now needs an economy. Rather than face down the root problem of violence, the "international community" opted to buy the Palestinians off. In the course of the last two decades, extraordinary amounts have been delivered to the West Bank, then Gaza, in a slew of bilateral and multilateral programs, mostly from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Israel. So much that the food markets of Palestine are well-stocked, and there are many examples of conspicuous affluence. This hardly means everyone is thriving, however, for much of this money is corruptly appropriated.
        The reduction of tensions in the West Bank can be attributed entirely to Israeli security measures, in combination with the PA's simply desisting from direct sponsorship of violence, as a tactical measure to collect the aid. In other words, money buys love only temporarily. On both sides of the Atlantic, the strategy remains: "How much must we pay to buy you off this time?" The alternative, tough-love option being: "What if we cut you off?"  (Ottawa Citizen-Canada)
  • Canada Is Right to Oppose Palestinians' UN Bid - Editorial
    The UN has a long and ugly history of contempt for Israel, so showing up for peace negotiations armed with its imprimatur will not do Abbas and his government the slightest good. The same goes for their transparent attempts to use the UN to pressure Israel into concessions. Israel is accustomed to pariah status and is not about to wilt in the face of the global body's renewed scorn. Rather, the Palestinians will find that the international goodwill they generate with their campaign will utterly fail to dissolve the obstacles to peace that they actively maintain.
        To date, all attempts at a lasting settlement have ended in failure, and most of the blame can be ascribed to Palestinian intransigence. The Israelis understand better than anyone that peace is the preferred solution. After multiple failed intifadas, plenty of Palestinians know this too, which makes the grandstanding at the UN all the more tragic. Harnessing hostility to advance the cause of peace is absurd, and the Harper government's refusal to support the Palestinians' campaign is the right decision. (Calgary Herald-Canada)
  • Don't Reward the Palestinians' "Lawfare" Campaign with Statehood: Make Peace with Israel First - Rory Lancman and Rachel Ehrenfeld
    A UN declaration of statehood will instantly give the Palestinians full membership in the International Criminal Court, and the power to refer for ICC prosecution every Israeli soldier in the West Bank and Gaza operating to thwart missile attacks and suicide bombings, and every Israeli civilian (and many Americans, as well) living outside the outdated 1967 borders. The ICC will become yet another hostile international forum in which Israel's very legitimacy - its right to be free from attack and to affirmatively act in self-defense - must constantly be defended.
        UN statehood will also block American victims of Palestinian terror from obtaining justice in American courts, by giving Palestinian institutions involved in terrorism a blanket of sovereign immunity reserved only for states. Rory Lancman is an assemblyman from Queens and an advisory board member of the Lawfare Project. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is the director of the American Center for Democracy. (New York Daily News)

  • Other Issues

  • Peace with Israel Has Served Egypt Well - Amir Taheri
    The recent raid on the Israeli embassy in Cairo has opened a debate over future relations between the two nations. Most Egyptians have always felt bitter that their country suffered three major defeats at the hands of "tiny Israel." At the same time, they've persuaded themselves that making peace was a favor that Egypt did for Israel. The Mubarak regime had every interest in pretending that peace was an Egyptian gift that could be withdrawn at any time. This enabled Mubarak to collect for that gift again and again without taking the steps needed to foster a proper peace with Israel. So, after three decades, what goes for peace between Egypt and Israel is little more than a ceasefire.
        The Camp David accords let Egypt recover the Sinai Peninsula, an area that holds more than 80% of the nation's oil and natural-gas resources - which provide Egypt's top source of revenue after tourism. It also meant the re-opening of the Suez Canal, the nation's No. 3 income source. Peace also brought $2 billion a year in U.S. aid, as well as gifts from Europe. Thus, over the past 30 years, Egypt has received over $100 billion in peace dividends. Without peace it would have been impossible for Egypt to develop its tourism industry and its hundreds of thousands of jobs. The "Egyptian Riviera" on the Red Sea would remain a forlorn desert. (New York Post)
  • Turkey's Erdogan: Mideast Troublemaker - Jack Rosen
    Since Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and his AKP (Justice and Development Party) came to power a decade ago, Turkey has redirected its strategic thinking away from the U.S. and the West. The notion that Turkey will feel compelled, at the end of the day, to return to the West's fold, reflects wishful thinking.
        Some are convinced that Turkey remains in the West's orbit, pointing to its willingness to host missile-defense facilities designed to thwart Iran. But engaging in a balancing act that buys Ankara credit in Washington while serving the strategic interest of diminishing its regional Iranian rival shows Turkey knows how to use the West to achieve its goals in the East.
        Israel is the perfect foil for Turkey's ambitions, allowing Ankara to champion its Muslim credentials. It has made its assessment on the basis of costs versus benefits, and thrown Israel overboard. The U.S. has reached out to Turkey during the Erdogan era and received very little in return. With Ankara so keen on seeking apologies, it's time we heard Turkey offer one for the massacres of a million or more Armenians during and after World War I, as well as an offer of reparations payments for Armenian families. The writer is chairman of the American Council for World Jewry. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Israel: A Solid Strategic Asset for the U.S. - Arthur Herman
    The U.S. has always looked to Israel as a monument of democracy and stability in a region where's there's been little of either; uncertainties in the wake of the Arab Spring only add to that value. Even the fiercest critics of our pro-Israel policy concede that we get invaluable intelligence from its matchless espionage service, the Mossad. Israelis know more about fighting terrorism than anyone else and have top human-intelligence sources in every country in the Middle East. Since 9/11, the Israelis have not only helped us detect and run down networks like al-Qaeda, but also kept us intimately informed of the spreading nuclear-arms race in the Muslim world.
        Israel pioneered the hostage-rescue mission with its daring raid at Entebbe Airport in 1976. It pioneered the use of unmanned drones to knock out Soviet-built anti-aircraft systems in the '80s and showed how to use our TOW guided munitions to smash massed Soviet tank attacks. When Israeli jets took out Saddam Hussein's nuclear-weapons program in 1981 and did the same to Syria's budding nuclear facilities in 2007, they not only bought time against gathering threats for Israel but also for the rest of the world. The writer is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. (New York Post)

Push for Palestinian State Will Hurt Arabs and Jews Alike - Alan Dershowitz (New York Daily News)

  • What is the Palestinian Authority saying to its own people about what kind of a state Palestine will be? The draft constitution for the new state of Palestine declares that "Islam is the official religion in Palestine." It also states that Sharia law will be "the major source of legislation." It is ironic that the same Palestinian leadership that supports these concepts for Palestine refuses to acknowledge that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.
  • Israel, in contrast to the proposed Palestinian state, does not have an official state religion. Although it is a Jewish state, that description is not a religious one but rather a national one. It accords equal rights to Islam, Christianity and all other religions, as well as to atheists and agnostics.
  • According to statements by the PA leadership, the new Palestinian state would prohibit any Jews from being citizens, from owning land or from even living in the Muslim state of Palestine. In contrast, Israel has more than 1 million Arab citizens, most of whom are Muslims.
  • To summarize, the new Palestinian state will be a genuine apartheid state. It will practice religious and ethnic discrimination, will have one official religion and will base its laws on the precepts of that religion.
  • It is noteworthy that the very people who complain most loudly about Israel's character as the nation-state of the Jewish people are silent when it comes to the new Palestinian state.

    The writer is a professor at Harvard Law School.
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