Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
May 8, 2012

In-Depth Issues:

Early Israeli Elections Cancelled, New Broad Coalition Announced - Attila Somfalvi (Ynet News)
    In a surprise move, the Kadima party under its new chairman Shaul Mofaz agreed to join the Israeli government coalition on Tuesday, hours before the Knesset was to approve the calling of new elections.
    As a result, the next Israeli elections will likely be held, as planned, in October 2013.

Irish Justice Minister Accuses Palestine Group of Cyberbullying - Jerome Reilly (Independent-Ireland)
    Justice Minister Alan Shatter has launched a blistering attack on the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Group (IPSG), accusing them of "cyberbullying" the folk group Dervish who were forced to pull out of a planned concert in Israel.
    The band cancelled the tour planned for June, citing an "avalanche of negativity" and "venom" directed towards them on social media websites.
    Shatter, who is Jewish, said, "It is a great pity that the bullying tactics of the IPSG worked."
    He added that the IPSG's appeal to human rights "ignores the constitutional rights of Irish citizens and those who live in this state to get on with their lives, to travel and to perform around the world free from bullying, intimidation and discrimination."
    "It is particularly extraordinary that the orchestrated campaign targeted at Dervish occurred at a time when thousands have lost their lives in Syria and the IPSG have remained silent about the crimes against humanity."

Police Investigating Toronto Muslim School for Comparing Jews to Nazis - Stewart Bell (National Post-Canada)
    Toronto police are investigating a complaint about a Toronto Muslim school whose curriculum tells boys to exercise so they are "ready for jihad," refers to "treacherous Jews" and contrasts Islam with "the Jews and the Nazis."
    The complaint was made by the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which found the material on the website of the East End Madrassah.

Turkey-Israel Trade Unaffected by Political Crisis - Aydin Albayrak (Zaman-Turkey)
    Economic relations between Turkey and Israel have not been impacted by the political crisis that resulted after the Mavi Marmara incident.
    In 2011, imports from Israel reached an all-time high of $2 billion, compared to $1.360 billion the previous year, while exports to Israel were $2.4 billion, up from $2 billion in 2010.
    The only areas of Turkish-Israeli relations badly affected are military cooperation and tourism.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Plot to Bomb U.S.-Bound Plane Thwarted in Yemen - Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane
    The CIA thwarted a plot by the branch of al-Qaeda in Yemen to smuggle an experimental bomb aboard an airliner bound for the U.S., intelligence officials said Monday. The explosive device was seized about a week ago before it could be deployed. Al-Qaeda leaders had dispatched the would-be suicide bomber from Yemen, but he had been stopped before reaching an airport. The disclosure was a worrisome sign that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains determined to attack the U.S. (New York Times)
  • EU Tells Iran It "Must" Suspend Atom Activity - Fredrik Dahl and Justyna Pawlak
    The EU told Iran on Monday it must suspend uranium enrichment. At a meeting in Vienna to discuss the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Gyorgyi Martin Zanathy, head of the EU delegation, said, "Iran must suspend its enrichment activities and heavy water-related projects, including research and development."  (Reuters)
  • Clinton, in India, Urges Cooperation on Iran - Jia Lynn Yang and Rama Lakshmi
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in India Monday with a clear message for the country's leaders: Cooperate with us on Iran. At the same time, a 56-member Iranian trade delegation is in New Delhi for talks with top Commerce Ministry officials. Clinton said the U.S. "commended" the steps taken so far by India to reduce its imports from Iran but urged its ally to go further. (Washington Post)
        See also Clinton Distinguishes Israel from Iran in NPT - Ananya Dutta
    Drawing a distinction between Iran, which has violated provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and Israel, which hasn't signed it, Secretary of State Clinton said in India on Monday that "Israel has been defending itself for the past 60 years, and has made numerous overtures to try to have a peaceful resolution. It has thus far been unsuccessful in doing so."
        At this moment, the "principal threat is a nuclear-armed Iran," she said, alleging that the country was a "state sponsor of terrorism." She cited the recent attack on Israeli diplomats in Delhi, and a plot to kill the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S. - both allegedly planned by the Iranian government - as examples.
        She added that if put in Israel's position, with the "leaders of a country saying that they want to wipe you off a map, they want to destroy you, they want to end the presence of the Jewish people," it would be worrying. (The Hindu-India)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Supreme Court Rules Against Palestinian Hunger Strikers - Joanna Paraszczuk
    In a unanimous decision, Israel Supreme Court Justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Yoram Danziger and Noam Sohlberg said they found no reason to contravene a military court ruling that extended two Palestinian prisoners' administrative detention. Rubinstein said that revealing classified intelligence material about an administrative detainee could harm the agents and their methodology. It was right, therefore, that the courts should be the body designated to examine that material, he said.
        The justices said that classified information and military court rulings on the prisoners proved that they were active in the Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The security services said that one of the men, Thaer Halahleh, is accused of transferring funds, including from overseas, to finance the terrorist group's activities. Military judges chose to extend Halahleh's detention since he posed a real security threat, Rubinstein said. Classified information presented to the court indicated that the second prisoner, Bilal Diab, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, had access to weaponry and showed "a willingness for military action."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Egyptian Islamist Vows Global Caliphate in Jerusalem - Oren Kessler
    In a video clip from Egypt's Al-Nas TV released Monday, radical Muslim preacher Safwat Higazi is seen telling thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters at a Cairo soccer stadium, "We can see how the dream of the Islamic caliphate is being realized, God willing, by Dr. Mohamed Mursi" (the movement's presidential candidate), as Mursi and other Brotherhood officials nodded in agreement.
        "The capital of the caliphate - the capital of the United States of the Arabs - will be Jerusalem," Higazi said, before leading the crowd in chants of "Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem."
        Mursi responded, "Yes, Jerusalem is our goal. We shall pray in Jerusalem, or die as martyrs on its threshold." Raymond Stock, an American translator and academic who spent two decades in Egypt, said, "This is what the Muslim Brotherhood really stands for: the extermination of Israel - and Jews everywhere - as well as the spread and control of radical Islam over the world."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • By the Numbers: The New York Times' Palestinian Prisoner Article
    The New York Times published a report by its new Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren on May 3 regarding Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike. Number of quoted words by Palestinian supporters of Palestinian prisoners: 269. Number of words explaining the Israeli rationale behind administrative detention: 0. Number of paragraphs before Rudoren gets around to letting readers know that the stars of her article are members of Islamic Jihad: 14. Countries and groups that list Islamic Jihad as a terrorist organization: U.S., Canada, EU, UK and Australia.
        Number of people murdered by Islamic Jihad: Hundreds. Number of rockets fired at Israeli cities and towns by Islamic Jihad: Hundreds. Number of references in the article to those attacks: 0. (CAMERA)
  • Karl Marx and the Jews of Jerusalem - Shlomo Avineri
    Karl Marx discussed Jerusalem in an article published in the New York Daily Tribune on April 15, 1854, noting that the city's "sedentary population numbers about 15,500 souls, of whom 4,000 are Mussulmans [Muslims] and 8,000 Jews," thereby confirming that there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem since the 1850s. (Jewish Review of Books)
  • Don't Ignore Arab World's Appalling Racism - Robert Fisk
    Arab societies are dependent on servants. Yet in the Arab Gulf, the treatment of migrant labor - male as well as female - has long been a scandal. Men from the subcontinent often live eight to a room in slums - even in the billionaires' paradise of Kuwait - and are consistently harassed, treated as third-class citizens, and arrested on the meanest of charges.
        Saudi Arabia long ago fell into the habit of chopping off the heads of migrant workers who were accused of assault or murder or drug-running, after trials that bore no relation to international justice. (Independent-UK)

Israeli Ambassador: Unity of the Jewish People a Primary Concern - Michael Oren (Times of Israel)

  • Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren told the Jewish Council for Public Affairs plenum in Detroit on Sunday that the unity of the Jewish people should be a primary concern for all Jews.
  • "Israel is our state, a work in progress in which every Jew can play a part. Of course, sovereignty is messy, and Jews can and will disagree about Israeli policies without necessarily loving Israel any less. Still, people often ask me, 'how do you define pro-Israel?' I have some elementary answers."
  • A pro-Israel person "recalls what Jewish life was like without a Jewish state and works to ensure that there always will be a Jewish state." A pro-Israel person is also "grateful every day that he or she lives in a time in Jewish history when there is a proud and independent Jewish state." "The pro-Israel person also asks, 'how can I contribute to Israel, how can I enrich it and be enriched by it?'"
  • Oren said a pro-Israel person is aware that Israel is a tiny country living under a massive threat. A pro-Israel person knows that making peace with the Palestinians constitutes a very real risk that the West Bank will devolve into a terror haven, just as Gaza did.
  • The secret to the Jewish people's success, Oren stressed, is the unity of the Jewish people. That means that the Jewish State of Israel and the far-flung tribe that is the Jewish people must work together. "The great task of our generation is to preserve our unity."

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