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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
September 28, 2011

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In-Depth Issues:

Fatah Leader: Don't Tell the World We Want to Wipe Out Israel (MEMRI)
    Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, told Al-Jazeera on September 23, 2011:
    "The settlement [with Israel] should be based upon the borders of June 4, 1967. When we say that the settlement should be based upon these borders, President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall - what will become of Israel? It will come to an end."
    "If we say that we want to wipe Israel out....C'mon, it's too difficult. It's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself."

Hamas Expanding Its Activities in Saudi Arabia, Turkey - Matthew Levitt (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
    Information released by Israeli and American authorities suggests that Hamas has extended its planning and operational activities as far afield as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and China.
    Since May, Israeli security forces have arrested dozens of Hamas operatives in a network of cells in the West Bank, some based in Hebron. Israeli authorities report that Hamas members recently met with new recruits from the Hebron area in Saudi Arabia. Ahmed Madhoun, one of the Hebron cell's leaders, was recruited at a meeting in Saudi Arabia.
    in July, Israel arrested Ayman al-Adam, a Jordanian courier of Palestinian descent whose family hailed from the Hebron area. Through him, Hamas leaders in Syria delivered money and instructions on how to assemble bombs and execute kidnappings to members of the Hebron cell. During questioning, al-Adam stated that his Hamas handler in Syria also sent him on missions to Turkey and China.
    Israeli security officials assert that the scale and scope of Hamas political and operational activity in Turkey - long a comfortable place for the group - have increased significantly over the past two years.
    Over the past few months, Hamas operatives in Syria have been moving some of their activities to Turkey, where they enjoy greater operational freedom under the Erdogan government.
    The writer, former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Treasury Department, is director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute.

Why Reveal Transfer of Bunker-Buster Bombs to Israel Now? - Laura Rozen (Yahoo News)
    In late 2009, the Obama administration transferred 55 bunker-buster bombs to Israel, Newsweek's Eli Lake reported Friday.
    The 5,000-pound bombs conceivably put Israel in the position to attack Iran's buried nuclear facilities - or to target Hizbullah's buried bunkers in Lebanon.
    American and Israeli officials initiated the disclosure of the information now to send a potent warning to Iran.
    The Obama "administration is interested in sending a message to the Iranians that we have lots of things we can do that are tougher,...[that it] can ratchet up the pressure on Iran," suggested Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in an interview on Monday.

U.S. Hiker "Hid Israeli Father from Iranian Captors" - Mohammed Mahjoub (AFP)
    Josh Fattal, one of two U.S. hikers who was released from an Iranian jail last week, has an Israeli father, Ha'aretz newspaper reported on Tuesday.
    Fattal's father Jacob, who has lived in the U.S. since completing his Israeli military service, declined to give any interviews after his son was arrested in July 2009, in a bid to hide his nationality.

Expect a Change in Leadership in Saudi Arabia - Simon Henderson (Foreign Policy)
    Saudi King Abdullah is 88 years old and has a variety of ailments. A diplomatic friend recently described the monarch as "lucid for only a couple of hours a day" and he might not be around this time next year.
    His nominated successor, Crown Prince Sultan, 87, is even less likely to be alive then; he currently resides in a New York City hospital and is believed to be terminally ill.
    The apparent next in line is the conservative Prince Nayef.

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Saudi Arabia Denies Women the Vote - Editorial (Washington Times)
    On Sunday, Saudi King Abdullah decreed that women would be able to participate and run in local elections in 2015.
    This diverts attention from the fact that women will still be banned from voting in Thursday's elections, making the king's announcement nothing more than a public-relations ploy.
    Voting in the kingdom is hardly empowering for anyone. Elections are only held at the local level in the 178 Saudi municipalities while national policy is tightly controlled by the palace.

Israel's Population Is 7.8 Million on Eve of Jewish New Year - Moti Bassok (Ha'aretz)
    On the eve of the Jewish New Year 5772, Israel's population stands at 7,797,400 - 5,874,300 Jews, 1,600,100 Arabs, and 323,000 of other ethnicity (most of whom are immigrants from the former USSR), Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics reported Sunday.
    Israel's population is considered young compared to Western countries. In 2010, 28% were between 0-14 years, compared to 17% in other Western countries, and about 10% were over 65, compared to 15% in Western countries.

Report: 93,000 Egyptian Christians Left Egypt since March - Emad Khalil (Al-Masry Al-Youm-Egypt)
    Nearly 93,000 Coptic Christians have left Egypt since March, a report by the Coptic Egyptian Federation of Human Rights has said.
    Naguib Gabriel, the head of the NGO, attributed the Coptic emigration to hardline Salafi groups seeking to apply Islamic law, to attacks on Coptic churches, and the government's failure to bring attackers to justice.
    He said Copts have emigrated to America, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Austria, Germany and France.

The Mideast Refugees You Never Hear About - Robert Fulford (National Post-Canada)
    In the 1940s, 80,000 Jews lived in Cairo. After the founding of Israel, Egyptians decided that their Jews had to go home, though many of them had never known any home but Egypt.
    The Egyptians began acting like 1930s Nazis. They confiscated Jewish bank accounts and fired Jews from government jobs. They withdrew professional status from Jewish doctors, engineers, lawyers and teachers. There were pogroms, riots and synagogue burnings as well as racist propaganda.
    In reaction against Israel, one Muslim country after another decided it could no longer tolerate Jews. Across the region about 800,000 became refugees.
    There's no separate UN agency for them, as there is for Palestinian refugees. No one describes the expulsions as "ethnic cleansing," though that's what they were.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Iranian Naval Vessels to Be Deployed Near U.S. Waters
    Iranian Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Tuesday that Iran plans to deploy naval vessels in the Atlantic Ocean near the maritime borders of the United States. "As the global arrogance (forces of imperialism) have a (military) presence near our sea borders, we also plan to have a strong presence near the U.S. sea borders," he said.
        In addition, on Monday, commenting on the proposal for the establishment of a direct military hotline between the U.S. and Iran, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, said, "When we go to the Gulf of Mexico, we will establish direct communication with them. In the view of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the illegitimate presence of the U.S. in the Persian Gulf makes no sense."  (Tehran Times-Iran)
  • U.S. Seeks to Slow UN Action on Palestinian State - Matthew Lee
    The Obama administration pressed other members of the UN Security Council to take their time in considering the Palestinians' bid for statehood, arguing on Monday that going slow may allow Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to resume without a confrontation at the world body. U.S. officials said they were telling fellow members that there's no rush to act on the bid submitted Friday, over U.S. and Israeli objections. The U.S. is also asking for cooperation from other members in persuading the Palestinians not to push for a quick vote. (AP)
  • Syrian Uprising Showing Signs of Armed Rebellion - Elizabeth A. Kennedy
    Led by defecting army conscripts and Syrians with access to weapons smuggled in through neighboring Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon, once-peaceful Syrian protesters have begun taking up arms to fight back, analysts and witnesses say. They are being aided by Sunni fighters returning from Iraq to their native Syria. "Now these Syrian insurgents are returning to their country to help topple the Assad regime," said Qassim al-Araji, a Shiite member of the Iraqi parliament's defense and security committee.
        There have been increasing reports of attacks on security forces and police patrols. Mohammed Saleh, an opposition figure in Homs, said he saw a police car riddled with bullets and a burned-out security bus in the city last week. He also said gunmen attacked an army force last week, destroying six armored personnel carriers in Homs. (AP)
        See also Video: Inside the Syrian Revolution - Jane Corbin (BBC)
  • Erdogan Urges UN Sanctions on Israel - Ishaan Tharoor
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told TIME in an interview: "Until today, the UN Security Council has issued more than 89 resolutions on prospective sanctions related to Israel, but they've never been executed.... One might wonder why no sanctions have been imposed on Israel. When it's Iran in question, you impose sanctions. Similarly with Sudan. What happens with Israel then?...I'd like all the parties involved to be sincere and stand behind those resolutions."
        "And that is actually also where reform is needed in the UN. What's the deal with these permanent-seat-holding members in the Security Council? They should be eliminated. The entire world is literally a slave to the decisions of these five permanent seat holders."  (TIME)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Jerusalem Committee Approves 1,100 Apartments in Gilo Neighborhood - Michal Margalit (Globes)
        See also Netanyahu: Israel Has Been Building in Jerusalem for Decades - Herb Keinon
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview Monday: "In a metropolitan area like Jerusalem, with three-quarters of a million people, there is planning that takes place for new projects. People have families, families have children, and communities grow: they grow in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and they grow in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem. I have to say that this is one of the areas where Israel's massive planning bureaucracy gets full international attention. We have so many planning stages, so many phases of approval, that every time a plan moves through one of these stages, it gets world headlines. It shouldn't."
        "I don't think there is anything new. We plan in Jerusalem. We build in Jerusalem. Period. The same way Israeli governments have been doing for 44 years, since the end of the 1967 war. We build in Jewish neighborhoods, the Arabs build in Arab neighborhoods, that is the way the life of this city goes on and develops for its Jewish and non-Jewish residents alike."
        Regarding the Palestinian refusal to recognize any Jewish connection to the land, he said: "Any fair minded observer can tell you whether the Jewish people have been here for 4,000 years or not. And when that is ignored completely by the Palestinian side, you know something is wrong. Why can't they utter the words 'the Jewish people and the Jewish state?' There is a problem there, and you can't build hope by shutting your eyes and saying it doesn't matter - of course it matters; this is what this conflict is all about."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Clinton: Gilo Construction Counter-Productive to Peace - Melanie Lidman
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday: "We believe that this morning's announcement by the government of Israel approving the construction of housing units in east Jerusalem is counter-productive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also EU "Deplores" Israel's Approval of New Settlements (Telegraph-UK)
        See also Administration Refights the Battle of Gilo - Jonathan S. Tobin
    Those who believed the Obama administration's attitude toward Israel has changed for the better got a rude wakeup call when Washington condemned the start of a housing project in Jerusalem. Gilo is no settlement. Built on the southern border of the city, it was established more than 40 years ago and is the home of approximately 40,000 residents of Israel's capital. Up until Barack Obama took office, it was not the subject of much comment by any previous administration. By seeking to force Israel to cease building houses in existing Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Obama has legitimized Palestinian demands for not only a re-division of the city but also their desire to evict the more than 200,000 Jews who live in those parts that were illegally occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967.
        During the second intifada, Gilo was under constant murderous sniper fire from the nearby Arab village of Beit Jala. Despite murderous attacks for many months, the Jews of Gilo stood their ground. Gilo became one of many symbols of the courage of the Israeli people and their determination to hold onto Jerusalem.
        Building in Gilo - or any other part of Jerusalem - would have no effect on the creation of a Palestinian state if a peace deal should ever be signed. The only way homes in Gilo could be construed as an obstacle to peace is if the vision of peace being pursued is one in which every Jew is thrown out of much of Jerusalem. Despite the hopeful signs about a rapprochement between the administration and Israel during the debate in the UN, the president is still holding on to dangerous misconceptions about Jerusalem. (Commentary)
        See also Photo of Gilo, Jerusalem (Honest Reporting)
  • Al Jazeera Journalist Admits to Being Hamas Operative - Yaakov Katz
    Al Jazeera's bureau chief in Afghanistan, Samer Allawi, who was arrested in August at the Jordan border, was released from an Israeli prison Sunday after a plea bargain under which he confessed to serving as a Hamas operative, the Israel Security Agency said. He said he was recruited into Hamas in 1993 and served until 2004 on a senior committee that oversees Hamas operations abroad and is responsible for fundraising. Allawi met with a senior Hamas operative in Dubai in 2000 and expressed his readiness to participate in military operations if asked. He also offered to use his job as a reporter for Al Jazeera to promote Hamas interests. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Morocco University Holds Holocaust Conference - David Sheen
    A symposium on the Holocaust hosted by Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, in September included three days of presentations and panels on the Nazi genocide, its repercussions for Morocco, and the historical relationships between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. During World War Two, when Morocco was occupied by the French under the Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazis, Moroccan King Mohammed V is said to have protected the Jews living in his domain from suffering the fate that befell the Jews of Europe. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    The Palestinians at the UN

  • Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas Must Stop Deluding Himself - Editorial
    It is a pity Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has been so quick to dismiss a serious proposal to get peace talks with Israel restarted without any further delay. The blueprint was proposed by the Middle East Quartet, but the ink was hardly dry on the proposal before he put the kibosh on it. Once again Mr. Abbas has displayed a lack of flexibility that ill-serves the best interests of the Palestinian people. Such obduracy from the Palestinian leader is regrettable.
      Mr. Netanyahu has rightly insisted Israel cannot be expected to make the same territorial mistakes over its security that have led to Gaza being turned into what is effectively an Iranian base run by Hamas terrorists. Given the lessons of history, Mr. Netanyahu can hardly be expected to exercise anything other than the utmost caution. Hamas doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist. It's hell-bent on its destruction. It has rained down thousands of rockets on Israel.
        Mr. Abbas must stop deluding himself. The only way Palestine will achieve statehood is through direct talks with the Israelis. Grandstanding at the UN is no substitute. (The Australian)
  • Abbas at the UN: Another Lost Chance for Peacemaking - David Harris
    On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the UN General Assembly. Unfortunately, what he said did not advance the cause of peace. The speech was filled with recklessly incendiary language - "colonial military occupation," "brutality of aggression," "racial discrimination," "multi-pronged policy of ethnic cleansing," "war of aggression," "apartheid policies," "racist annexation wall," and more. Is that the language of a peacemaker determined to narrow the space between himself and his adversary?
        How does Abbas square that description of demonic Israeli policies with the fact that the West Bank's Arab population and GDP are growing impressively, in what he erroneously dubbed as "the only occupation in the world"? And he described the Palestinians as a "defenseless people," as if there hadn't been decades of terrorism, thousands of dead and injured Israelis, and lethal weapons, courtesy of Iran, in the hands of self-professed killers. The writer is executive director of the American Jewish Committee. (Huffington Post)
  • Truth and Lies at the Theater of the Absurd - Melanie Phillips
    Some 1941 years ago, the Romans conquered the ancient Jewish kingdom of Judea by force and attempted to expunge all memory of the Jews' claim to the land by renaming the area Palestine. Mahmoud Abbas attempted to do the same thing by diplomatic force at the UN. If Abbas really wanted a state of Palestine to live in peace alongside Israel, all that is needed is for him to say that he accepts the right of Israel to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people, and that his own people will no longer wage war against it. If he were to say that, and to match those words by deeds to show he meant them - for example, by ending the incitement in the media under his command to hatred and murder of Jews and Israelis - there would be peace and a state of Palestine.
        For peace to be achieved, the belligerent has to stop making war. The Arabs have made war on the Jews in their ancient homeland since Israel became a state and indeed for three decades before that. The problem is not the absence of a state of Palestine. The problem is that the Arabs want to get rid of Israel. (Daily Mail-UK)
  • The UN Showdown - Josef Olmert
    The debate over full Palestinian membership in the UN, billed as a diplomatic showdown, is just another chapter in a long saga whose end is still not in sight. The Israelis can be encouraged by the decision of Nigeria to abstain in the Security Council. Being half Muslim and a member of OPEC, Nigeria was supposed to be firmly in the Palestinian column.
        The Arab Middle East is far from being engulfed with fervor watching the debate in New York and the Arab masses are preoccupied primarily with their own predicament. Even the demonstrations in the West Bank are significantly smaller than anticipated. In addition, polls taken in the U.S. indicate very clearly that the majority of Americans are not really interested in the New York drama. The writer, an Adjunct Professor at American University's School of International Service in Washington, served as director of the Israel Government Press Office. (Huffington Post)
  • The Palestinians' Jew-Free History - Dennis Prager
    Earlier this month in Ramallah, I interviewed Ghassan Khatib, director of government media for the Palestinian Authority, and the spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. I asked him: Do the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state? There is no Jewish people, he told me, so how could there be a Jewish country? In other words, Palestinians, a national group that never existed by that name until well into the twentieth century, deny the existence of the oldest continuous nation in the world, dating back over 3,000 years. Indeed, the Palestinians deny that the Jews ever lived in Israel. (FrontPageMagazine)
  • Palestinians Defy the UN Charter - David French
    Does international law matter? Do UN member states respect the UN Charter? If the UN recognizes the Palestinian Authority, it will violate its own charter and longstanding norms of international law.
        UN membership is open to "states" only. Granting membership to an entity which cannot meet the most basic and accepted international legal requirements for statehood would not only be a violation of this foundational requirement, it would set a dangerous precedent in international relations. To regard the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a "state" would mean stretching the meaning of the term beyond all reason. If the UN nullifies all objective criteria for statehood - leaving recognition open for all aspiring separatist movements with sufficient political influence - then a multitude of secessionist groups would easily qualify for statehood, whether they be Tibetans, Tamils, Basques, Kurds, or countless others. (National Review)

  • Turkey

  • Turkey Looks to Punch Above Its Weight - Daniel Dombey
    When Recep Tayyip Erdogan's entourage brawled with UN staff last week, it was almost as if it was physically enacting the Turkish prime minister's confrontational approach to diplomacy. After all, Erdogan has spent recent weeks locking horns with Israel, sparring with Cyprus and making noises about sending troops across the border into Iraq. At the same time, his government has alienated Iran, broken with Syria and annoyed Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
        In a newspaper article last week, Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan's foreign policy adviser, argued that the Turkish prime minister was "almost an idol for the Arab masses because he takes them seriously, speaks their language and stands up for justice on a global scale." Such language, and such ambitions, may well be overdone. Turkey, as Western diplomats and even some Turks argue, could be overplaying its hand. (Financial Times-UK)
  • Is Turkey Going Rogue? - Daniel Pipes
    When four out of five of the Turkish chiefs of staff abruptly resigned on July 29, 2011, they signaled the effective end of the republic founded in 1923 by Kemal Ataturk. A second republic headed by Prime Minister Erdogan and his Islamist colleagues of the AK Party began that day. The military safely under their control, AKP ideologues now can pursue their ambitions to create an Islamic order.
        After Ankara backed a protest ship to Gaza in May 2010, the Mavi Marmara, whose aggression led Israeli forces to kill eight Turkish citizens plus an ethnic Turk, it has relentlessly exploited this incident to stoke domestic fury against the Jewish state. Erdogan has called the deaths a casus belli, speaks of a war with Israel "if necessary," and plans to send another ship to Gaza, this time with a Turkish military escort.
        Companies operating out of Israel discovered potentially immense gas and oil reserves in fields located between Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus. When the government of Cyprus announced its plans to drill, Erdogan responded with threats to send Turkish "frigates, gunboats and...air force." This dispute, just in its infancy, contains the potential elements of a huge crisis. Already, Moscow has sent submarines in solidarity with Cyprus.
        Ankara threatens to freeze relations with the EU in July 2012, when Cyprus assumes the rotating presidency. Turkish forces have seized a Syrian arms ship. Turkish threats to invade northern Iraq have worsened relations with Baghdad. The Turkish and Iranian regimes may share an Islamist outlook and an anti-Kurd agenda, with prospering trade relations, but their historic rivalry, contrary governing styles, and competing ambitions have soured relations. That's why, along with Iranian nuclear weapons, I see a rogue Turkey as the region's greatest threat. The writer is president of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. (National Review)

  • Other Issues

  • As Muslim World Frays, UN Obsesses Over Israel - Jeffrey Goldberg
    Last week, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, shared with me a list of the diverse steps the country has taken to protect Israel from what she and President Obama consider to be scapegoating by the world body. The list includes U.S. opposition to the "dozens of biased resolutions" directed against Israel in the General Assembly, and also notes the number of times the U.S. has fought for the appointment of Israelis to various posts within the UN, from which they are, as a matter of course, excluded. It also offers a good illustration of the lengths the U.S. must go to in fighting the UN's pathological, detestable and intermittently comical obsession with Israel - one that prevents it from forcefully addressing many of the more dire problems confronting the Arab world.
        I support the creation of a Palestinian state, but the Palestinian cause isn't the world's only such cause. Many groups not lucky enough to have Jewish adversaries are seeking independence as well. They can't seem to get anyone's attention. (Bloomberg)
  • Libya Adrift - Zvi Mazel
    Gaddafi's forces are holding their own with courage and tenacity while the rebels forces - which have benefited from massive NATO aerial strikes as well as the discreet support of a limited number of European special units - are still largely disorganized and lack heavy artillery and ammunition. The National Transition Council owes a heavy debt of gratitude to European countries, and especially to France, which pushed for their intervention. Gaddafi himself is still free, while heavy bombardments from NATO's planes are killing civilians in areas controlled by his forces.
        Unfortunately, 40 years of authoritarian rule have left the country with no political parties. The only organized groups which managed to survive were the Islamists. The leader of the rebel forces that took Tripoli is Abd el Hakim Belhaj, an extremist Islamist who fought in Afghanistan against the Russians. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Myth of Mideast Stability - Elliot Jager
    It has become diplomatic dogma that the absence of an Israel-Palestinian peace deal contributes "dangerously" to regional instability. But the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, in relation to Middle East instability, is like a lighted match tossed into a three-alarm fire. The number of Arab League member-states not riven by violence can be counted on one hand. Conversely, there is no reason to think that UN approval of Palestinian statehood will increase regional stability. Certainly it will not increase prospects for long-term security in Jordan.
        To be gripped by the delusion that solving the "Question of Palestine" will deliver stability to the Middle East requires overlooking intrinsic regional, tribal, ethnic, and religious fault lines. Thus, no matter how much the international community wishes to cater to the Arabs on the "Palestine" issue, Israeli security cannot realistically be traded for regional stability. (Jewish Ideas Daily)
  • Israeli Control of the Golan Heights: High Strategic and Moral Ground - Efraim Inbar
    Giving up the Golan plateau deprives Israel of its best defense against potential Syrian aggression. It also signals Israeli weakness and undermines Israel's deterrence. Designing borders in accordance with current but changing military technology and transient political circumstances is strategically foolish. Moreover, the expected political returns for Israel from a peace treaty with Syria are meager. Syria is unlikely to align itself with pro-Western Arab states and abandon its regional alliance with Iran in return for Israeli territorial concessions on the Golan Heights.
        Moreover, a return to the 1967 border is morally repugnant because it implies that the aggressor of 1967, Syria, should not pay any price for its flagrant violation of international norms. (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
        See also Defensible Borders on the Golan Heights - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Anti-Semitism Permeates the Contemporary Islamic World - Greg Sheridan
    The key issue in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and in the wider Israeli-Arab dispute, is the pervasive and profound anti-Semitism that permeates the contemporary Islamic world, especially the Middle East. This is the real barrier to peace.
        Israel cannot will a peace agreement into existence if there is not a partner on the other side both willing and able to make and enforce a peace agreement that provides for Israel's security. You cannot have a lasting peace settlement when Israel's neighbors are consumed with hatred for Jews and contempt for Israel as a political entity. (The Australian)
  • Terrorist Incidents Against Jewish Communities and Israeli Citizens Abroad, 1968-2010 - Michael Whine
    The phenomenon of terrorism against Jewish communities and Israeli targets abroad represents the most violent aspect of contemporary anti-Semitism, and the greatest physical danger to diaspora Jewish communities. The rational calculations of political violence and the irrational fantasies of extreme ideologies can combine to threaten the lives of ordinary Jews and others all over the world. This clarifies in the starkest terms why Jewish communities require security at their synagogues, schools, and community buildings. The writer is Director of Government and International Affairs at the Community Security Trust in the UK. (Institute for Global Jewish Affairs)

How the Palestinian Leadership Is Ignoring History - Alan Dershowitz (New Republic)

  • It is imperative to world peace that the Palestinians pay a price - even if it's only a symbolic price - for rejecting the generous Clinton/Barak offer and responding to it with a second intifada in which 4,000 people were killed.
  • It is also important that Israel not return to the precise armistice lines that existed prior to the 1967 war. If the Palestinians were to achieve a return to the status quo prior to Jordan's attack on Israel in June of 1967, then military aggression will not have been punished, it will have been rewarded.
  • That's why Security Council Resolution 242 which resulted from the end of the Six-Day War intended for Israel to retain territory necessary to give it secure boundaries. (Indeed, the formal application submitted by Abbas to the UN sought membership based on UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of November 29, 1947, which would put the borders where they were before the Arab armies invaded the new Jewish state in 1948. This would reward multiple aggressions.)
  • If the end result of Jordan's 1967 attack on Israel - an attack supported by the Palestinian leadership and participated in by Palestinian soldiers - is that the Palestinians get back everything Jordan lost, there will be no disincentive to comparable military attacks around the world. If the Palestinians get more than, or even as much as, they rejected in 2000 and 2001 (and did not accept in 2007), then further intifadas with mass casualties will be encouraged.
  • A price must be paid for violence. That's how the laws of war are supposed to work and there is no reason to make an exception in the case of the Palestinians. But the negotiations must not begin where previous offers, which were not accepted, left off. They must take into account how we got to the present situation.
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