Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Daily Alert Mobile
Search Back Issues
  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
May 3, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

UNESCO Demands Israel Disavow Jerusalem as Its Capital - Jack Heretik (Washington Free Beacon)
    On Israel's Independence Day, UNESCO on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding that Israel disavow Jerusalem as its capital. The measure passed by 22 to 10, with 23 abstentions.

    See also UNESCO Vote Reflects Positive Changes - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
    In the UNESCO vote on Tuesday, aimed at undermining Israel's control over Jerusalem, 10 countries went from supporting an anti-Israel Jerusalem resolution in UNESCO last May to abstaining this time around: Argentina, the Dominican Republic, France, Guinea, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Slovenia, Spain and Sri Lanka.
    Togo went from supporting the resolution to voting against. Four countries that abstained previously voted for Israel this time: Italy, Greece, Paraguay and Ukraine.

    See also Video: From Time Immemorial - The Everlasting Jewish Tie to the Land of Israel (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    On Israel's Independence Day, UNESCO passed a resolution demanding that Israel disavow Jerusalem as its capital.
    This resolution is part of the ongoing Palestinian campaign to delegitimize Israel in the international arena and disseminate false history and libel against the State of Israel.
    It ignores the continuous Jewish presence in the Land of Israel throughout the past 2,000 years - as documented in this video.

Human Rights Watch Condemns Hamas Treatment of Two Israeli Civilians (Human Rights Watch)
    Two Israeli men with serious mental health conditions who crossed separately from Israel into Gaza in 2014 and 2015 have apparently been held by Hamas, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.
    Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who both have histories of wandering far on foot, have not been heard from since they entered Gaza.
    Hamas refers to the men as soldiers, but a Human Rights Watch investigation indicates that the Israeli men were not combatants or affiliated with the Israeli government when they entered Gaza.
    "Hamas' refusal to confirm its apparent prolonged detention of men with mental health conditions and no connection to the hostilities is cruel and indefensible," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "No grievance or objective can justify holding people incommunicado and bartering over their fates."

Female, Ethiopian-Born, IDF Officer Was Israel Independence Day Torch Lighter - Itay Ilnai (Ynet News)
    26 years after coming to Israel, Maj. Yaros Shigot - a proud Israeli, an IDF officer and a social activist - returned to Ethiopia for the first time to celebrate Passover and visit her father's grave.
    On her way to her old village, she was informed she had been chosen to light a torch at Israel's official Independence Day ceremony.
    Maj. Shigot speaks here in an interview.

RSS Feed 
Key Links 
Archives Portal 
Fair Use/Privacy 

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Vice President Pence Hosts White House Celebration for Israel Independence Day, Calls Israel "America's Most Cherished Ally"
    Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday: "We celebrate the 69th anniversary of the independence of America's most cherished ally, the Jewish state of Israel....On this day, the fifth day in the month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar in 1948, nothing short of a miracle occurred. On that day, in the ancient and eternal homeland of the Jewish people, the State of Israel was reborn."
        "How unlikely was Israel's birth? How much more unlikely has been her survival? And how confounding against all odds, both past and present, has been her thriving? Since the moment of their independence, the Israeli people have awed the world with their strength of will, and their strength of character. They've turned the desert into a garden, scarcity into plenty....And at all times, in war and in peace, the people of Israel and the Jewish people have held their heads high. Every day, Israel takes the curses and slanders of too much of the world and turns them into blessings."
        "America stands with Israel. President Trump stands with Israel for the same reason that every freedom-loving American stands with Israel - because her cause is our cause. Her values are our values. And her fight is our fight."  (White House)
        See also Video: Vice President Mike Pence on Israel Independence Day (C-SPAN)
  • U.S. National Security Adviser: President Trump Is Challenging Failed Policies of the Past - Matt Spetalnick
    U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told an Israel Independence Day celebration in Washington on Tuesday that President Trump "does not have time to debate over doctrine" and instead seeks to challenge failed policies of the past with a businessman's results-oriented approach. "The president is not a super-patient man," McMaster said. "Some people have described him as disruptive. They're right. And this is good - good because we can no longer afford to invest in policies that do not advance the interests and values of the United States and our allies."
        McMaster said "arduous circumstances," including Islamic State militancy and a growing regional threat from Iran, "may allow us to resolve what some have regarded as intractable problems, problems like disputes between Israel and the Palestinians....President Trump has taken a typically unconventional and fresh approach to this problem."  (Reuters)
  • With New Document of Principles, Hamas Still Wants to Destroy Israel - Ian Fisher
    Hamas, the militant group built around violent resistance to Israel, on Monday released a new document of principles that calls for closer ties to Egypt, waters down the anti-Semitic language from its charter, and accepts at least a provisional Palestinian state - though it still does not formally recognize Israel. Experts on all sides say the new document is unlikely to represent any profound change in Hamas' true position toward Israel.
        Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said, "Hamas' document is a smokescreen. We see Hamas continuing to invest all of its resources not just in preparing for war with Israel, but also in educating the children of Gaza to want to destroy Israel."
        The document will change "not even one mind" in Israel, said Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser. He called it a "sugarcoating" of old positions that did not renounce Hamas' original charter and did not recognize Israel's right to exist. In the document, Hamas reiterates that Palestinians who fled during wars with Israelis have the right to return - largely a nonstarter in successive peace negotiations with Israel - and it does not renounce violence. (New York Times)
        See also Text: Hamas Document of General Principles and Policies
    The goal of Hamas - the Islamic Resistance Movement - is to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project. Palestine extends from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean. Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Not one stone of Jerusalem can be surrendered or relinquished. (Hamas)
        See also New Document Does Not Replace or Abrogate Hamas Charter - Kate Havard and Grant Rumley (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: Time for the PA to Stop Financing Murder and Start Financing Peace
    Speaking at an Independence Day reception for foreign diplomats on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Peace can be pursued today in ways that are different and perhaps weren't available before.... Through the intertwining of regional normalization and Palestinian-Israeli normalization, we can bootstrap our way up to another historic peace. And I hope that the Palestinian leadership will make it possible for us to advance towards that peace."
        "Yet, the payment of money to terrorists by a sliding scale - the more you kill, the more you get - that's the opposite of peace....The Palestinian Authority pays $300 million a a few thousand jailed terrorists.... Imagine if all that money was put towards coexistence, education for peace, joint projects, for medicine, for agriculture, for sewage treatment.... It's time to stop financing murder and to start financing peace."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • President Rivlin Urges World to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital, Move Embassies - Raphael Ahren
    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday called on the world's nations to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move their embassies to the city. Rivlin told foreign ambassadors at an Independence Day reception at his official residence, "It is time to put an end to the absurd. It is time to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of the State of Israel....It is time to move all the official embassies here."
        "Jerusalem has always been the center of the Jewish world - the place we have prayed toward for thousands of years. There was never any doubt that Jerusalem would be the capital of Israel. And 50 years ago, we returned to the Old City of Jerusalem. We united the whole city under Israeli sovereignty."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Can Trump Make Mideast Peace without Gaza? - Grant Rumley
    President Trump's efforts to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are ultimately doomed to the same failure of his predecessors if he does not address the biggest obstacle to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement: Gaza. The Bush and Obama administrations chose to support negotiations strictly between Israel and Abbas' West Bank-based Palestinian leadership. Yet no Palestinian leader sitting in the West Bank can compromise on the most sensitive issues in Palestinian politics while a rival party controls half the territory of a future Palestinian state.
        Hamas is not going anywhere, and neither force nor wishful thinking will diminish their ability to spoil the chances for a peace agreement. The writer is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Politico)
  • Every Senator Agrees the UN Must Change - Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
    Last week, all 100 U.S. Senators signed our letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, urging him to improve the UN's treatment of Israel and eliminate anti-Semitism in all its forms. Too many of the UN's member states and agencies use the world body as a vehicle for targeting Israel rather than as a forum committed to advancing peace and human rights. This encourages and supports the broader scourge of anti-Semitism.
        As both the UN's principal founding member and its largest financial contributor, the U.S. must insist on real reforms. The UN continues to fund and maintain many standing committees that serve no purpose other than to attack Israel and inspire the anti-Israel boycott, sanctions and divestment movement. These committees must be eliminated or reformed. (Wall Street Journal)

The Truth about the Palestinian Hunger Strike - Gilad Erdan (New York Times)

  • Democracies around the world are searching for ways to protect their citizens from the threat of terrorism. The thousands of attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorists against Israel have made my country a world expert in combating this threat.
  • Of the 6,177 terrorism-related prisoners held by Israel, about 1,200 have recently begun a hunger strike, led by Marwan Barghouti, who was behind several deadly attacks.
  • Since his arrest in 2002, Barghouti has become adept at rebranding Palestinian terrorism as legitimate "resistance." Palestinians call incarcerated terrorists "political prisoners," whitewashing cold-blooded attacks against civilians in restaurants and buses.
  • The hunger strike has nothing to do with the conditions of the prisoners, which meet international standards. It is another step in Barghouti's campaign to position himself as Abbas' successor.
  • Surrendering to such a strike would constitute a surrender to terrorism and would only embolden terrorist groups, weaken our deterrence and lead to further conflict and bloodshed.
  • The Palestinian Authority must also stop the most insidious form of encouragement to violence: payments to convicted terrorists and their families. When Palestinian leaders cease to glorify terrorists and reward violence, security prisoners will become a thing of the past.

    The writer is Israel's Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs.

Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.