Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Via Smartphone
  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
November 24, 2011

Daily Alert Needs Your Support

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Returns Drones to Turkey (Zaman-Turkey)
    Israel recently sent technical staff to Turkey for the renovation of Heron unmanned air vehicles (UAV), in a step to ease strained Israeli-Turkish relations.
    Turkey purchased 10 Herons from Israel in 2004 at a cost of $183 million for its fight against the PKK.
    Seven Herons had been sent to Israel for repair, but Israel has recently returned all of the aircraft to Turkey.

    See also Turkey, Israel Clash over Gas Drilling - Sharon Udasin (Jerusalem Post)
    Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday Israeli and Cypriot energy exploration in the Mediterranean was illegal and resources should be equally shared.
    Israel's Foreign Ministry replied that "Israel strictly abides by international law." "If Turkey wants to lay claim to Israeli resources, then it should do so through the UN and not through the media."

Cyberwar Explodes in Syria - Ivan Watson (CNN)
    A student activist in Syria phoned a reporter abroad using Skype and Psiphon, an online encryption system that protected him from detection by the Syrian security services.
    Psiphon is a surveillance-busting networking system designed by a Canadian company with funding from the U.S. State Department.
    The company's CEO, Rafal Rohozinski, told CNN the software had been "aggressively" introduced to Syria just three weeks ago. Since then, thousands of people had begun using it.

Are the American Peacekeepers Safe in Sinai? - Eitan Haber (Ynet News)
    The Egyptian regime's loss of control over the Bedouins in Sinai may be seen in the attacks on the gas pipeline to Israel and growing pressure on the 1,200 American peacekeepers in the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO) who are helping to maintain the 1979 Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel.
    The Bedouins have been gravely disrupting and abusing the Americans, who may lose their patience.
    See also Sinai: The New Frontier of Conflict? - Ehud Yaari and Normand St. Pierre (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Sarkozy Reassures Jewish Community of France's Commitment to Israel - Yossi Lempkowicz (European Jewish Press)
    French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday told a delegation of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, that France "is at the forefront of the struggle against the Iranian nuclear weapon" and noted his "commitment and his friendship" towards Israel.

Daily Alert Blog 
Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Egypt's Latest Protests Threaten to Derail Muslim Brotherhood's Ride to Power - Patrick Martin
    Egypt's election, which is to start Monday, is also a referendum on the Muslim Brotherhood. Until this past weekend, it was assumed that the election was the Muslim Brotherhood's to lose. The Islamist movement's recent political strategy to cooperate with the country's interim military leadership rather than to criticize it is effectively splitting the organization, and may well cost its Freedom and Justice Party the victory.
        The movement's leaders believe the party, with the whole Muslim Brotherhood organization behind it, can come out on top in this election. The longer the vote is delayed, however, the better the chance that other parties will close the gap, they say. Today's leaders "are reluctant to be drawn into the unrest so close to the elections that they are likely to do well in," said Karim Alrawi, an Egyptian political analyst at Simon Fraser University in British Colombia. (Globe and Mail-Canada)
        See also Muslim Brotherhood Struggles to Find Its Balance in Egypt's Whirlwind - David D. Kirkpatrick
    New divisions in the Muslim Brotherhood appeared on Wednesday as a senior leader hinted that it might walk away from a deal struck with Egypt's interim military rulers. A day after the Brotherhood agreed to the deal that would speed the transition to civilian rule while also enhancing the group's own political prospects, the senior official said that the security forces had not fulfilled their promise to halt their attacks on protesters in Tahrir Square. (New York Times)
  • Israeli Court Sentences U.S. Tourist's Palestinian Killer to Life in Prison
    An Israeli court on Thursday sentenced West Bank resident Kifah Ghneimat to life in prison in the stabbing death of an American woman, Kristine Luken, 44, last December in a forest near Jerusalem. Prosecutors say Luken's assailants thought the Christian missionary was Jewish. The court said in its ruling that words could not express the "wickedness and cruelty of the accused."  (AP-Washington Post)
  • Hizbullah Waits and Prepares - Nicholas Blanford
    Many analysts believe that Iran could direct Hizbullah to unleash its military might against Israel, pummeling it with thousands of long-range rockets, placing the Jewish state's heartland on the frontline for the first time since 1948. The two sides have been making feverish preparations for another encounter, one that neither Hizbullah nor Israel wants but that both believe is probably inevitable. The rate of recruitment into Hizbullah's ranks has soared and some receive advanced training in Iran. Military instruction is interspersed with religious lessons, teaching the importance of jihad, martyrdom and obedience to Hizbullah's religious figurehead, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, the supreme leader of Iran.
        Hizbullah has evolved into the most formidable nonstate military force in the world. It has amassed as many as 50,000 rockets, including guided missiles that can strike targets in Tel Aviv, and Hizbullah fighters are being trained to cross the border into Israel in the next war. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Two Egyptian Soldiers Killed by Bedouin Smugglers on Israel-Egypt Border - Yoav Zitun
    Two Egyptian policemen were killed Wednesday night on the Egypt-Israel border by Bedouin smugglers. Cooperation between the Israeli and Egyptian security forces during the incident proved efficient and professional, and the Egyptians recognized immediately that their troops were killed by the smugglers. (Ynet News)
  • Former Mossad Head Warns of Nuclear Iran - Yaakov Lappin
    Former Mossad chief Danny Yatom on Wednesday told a security conference at Bar-Ilan University: "There is a big argument over whether to attack Iran or not....Some say Israel will pay a high price, no matter who does the attacking....As difficult a price it may be, and even if those predicting apocalyptic results are correct - and I don't think they are - this is still not as bad as the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb."
        Israel can't afford "to wake up every morning and ask, 'Will they go crazy and throw a bomb on us or not?'" It was impossible to stake the nation's security on predictions that a nuclear Iran can be deterred and that the Iranian regime would not launch a nuclear attack, he said.
        Yatom acknowledged that rocket attacks would likely ensue from Lebanon and Gaza following a strike on Iran, but added that Israel's response would be "so painful and crushing that rockets will come to an end." "Civilian facilities and infrastructures in Lebanon and Gaza will be hit. Innocent civilians could be hurt. But the barrage of rockets will no longer be falling over our heads."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The 2011 Arab Public Opinion Poll - Shibley Telhami
    The 2011 Arab Public Opinion Poll surveyed 3,000 people in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the UAE in October 2011. Turkey is the biggest winner of the Arab Spring. Prime Minister Erdogan is the most admired among world leaders.
        64% of Arabs feel that Iran has the right to its nuclear program and should not be pressured by the international community to halt it, while 35% believe that if Iran acquires weapons of mass destruction it would be negative for the Middle East.
        37% of Egyptians support maintaining the peace treaty with Israel, while 35% support cancelling it. The writer, a professor at the University of Maryland, is a nonresident senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. (Brookings Institution)
  • UNESCO Fueling Cultural Conflict over Hebron Holy Site - Anav Silverman
    The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is the world's most ancient Jewish site. Now that the Palestinians have been accepted as a UNESCO member, they can apply for World Heritage classification for cultural sites they deem exclusively theirs. They are seeking to persuade UNESCO to declare the Cave of the Patriarchs as a World Heritage Site belonging to Palestinians only. The cave houses the tombs of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. According to the Book of Genesis, Chapter 23, Abraham purchased the cave and the adjoining field from Ephron the Hittite, to bury his wife Sarah there. This past weekend marked the anniversary of Sarah's death. Over 20,000 Jews from Israel and abroad visited Hebron to pay homage to the first matriarch of the Jewish people.
        In November 2010, UNESCO classified Rachel's Tomb, the third holiest site in Judaism, as a mosque. A study of Palestinian Authority school textbooks found that the site was known as the "Dome of Rachel" until 2001, when the term Bilal bin Rabah Mosque suddenly emerged. (Huffington Post)
  • Is Ireland the Most Hostile EU Country to Israel? - Jessica Elgot
    The Israeli website Ynet reported that Ireland had become the most hostile country to Israel in the EU, "pushing all of Europe's countries to a radical and uncompromising approach." Yet a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Dublin said, "The problem is a very vocal, small minority. They have some sympathy in the media and parliament which exaggerates their influence." "The present Irish administration has actually had a more positive relationship than the last one; the current foreign minister, Eamon Gilmore, is very fair and impartial, more so than has been the case in the past."  (Jewish Chronicle-UK)

Islamotopia: The Muslim Brotherhood's Idea of Democracy - Uriya Shavit (Azure-Shalem Center)

  • Democracy without the Muslim Brotherhood is impossible, but so is democracy under its leadership. There is no doubt that the Brotherhood enjoys broad support in every Arab country that has undergone democratic revolutions or uprisings in the last year. Elections in which the movement is not allowed to participate will therefore lack popular legitimacy.
  • The inevitable result of its electoral victory, however, will be the formation of a theocracy. It will not permit the scientific and technological revolution of which Arab societies are in such dire need. Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood must be permitted to run in elections, but not gain power.
  • How can the West deal with the very tangible threat that Arab societies will be taken over by Islamist movements? If it confronts them, it will only confirm the Brotherhood's claim that the West conspires to undermine the religious identity of the Muslim world and seize control of it.
  • However convoluted the knot may be, Western decision-makers must not ignore the astonishing truth revealed during the previous year: Forces within Arab society yearn for genuine democracy, and understand that the Western form of government embodies a formula for human success and political stability.
  • The West must make plain what it holds to be the essence of democracy, why the political ideas of the Muslim Brotherhood are incompatible with it, and, thus, why it cannot offer economic or diplomatic support to Arab states that follow the path of political Islam.
  • The West needs to explain, to all who are willing to listen, that the conflict is not between the secular and the religious, the West and the East, the Christians and the Muslims. It is, quite simply, a clash between freedom and tyranny.

    The writer teaches Islamic history and theology at Tel Aviv University.

Unsubscribe from Daily Alert