Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at www.dailyalert.org|
July 6, 2009
Report: U.S. to Block Iran Sanctions at G8 Summit - Shlomo Shamir (Ha'aretz)
Al-Qaeda in Sinai Plotted Attack on Israel-Egypt Gas Lines - Avi Issacharoff (Ha'aretz)
Israel Approves PA Request for 1,000 Kalashnikov Rifles - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
Gazan Infiltrated Israel through Sinai to Set Up Terror Network - Hanan Greenberg
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
Israel has a sovereign right to decide what is in its best interest in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions whether the U.S. agrees or not, Vice President Joe Biden told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination, that they're existentially threatened," Biden said. Israel has said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence, noting Iranian President Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel to be wiped off the map. (Reuters-Washington Post)
The most important group of religious leaders in Iran, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the most public sign of a major split in the country's clerical establishment. "This crack in the clerical establishment, and the fact they are siding with the people and Mousavi, in my view is the most historic crack in the 30 years of the Islamic republic," said Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University. "Remember, they are going against an election verified and sanctified by Khamenei." (New York Times)
See also Iranian Opposition Leader Details Election Fraud - Thomas Erdbrink
Mir Hossein Mousavi, the leading opposition candidate in last month's disputed election, released documents Saturday detailing a campaign of fraud by supporters of President Ahmadinejad. Mousavi accused Ahmadinejad supporters of handing out cash bonuses and food, increasing wages, and printing millions of extra ballots. (Washington Post)
Syria's leader sent a July 4 message full of praise to President Obama on Friday and invited him to visit Syria - the latest signs Damascus is hedging its bets at a time when its longtime ally Iran is in turmoil. Syrian President Bashar Assad sent a telegram to Obama saying, "The values that were adopted by President Obama during his election campaign and after he was elected president are values that the world needs today." In an interview with Britain's Sky News, Assad said, "We would like to welcome him in Syria, definitely....I will ask you to convey the invitation to him."
"All the world around Syria on which it built its policy is falling apart," said Sateh Noureddine, managing editor of the Lebanese As-Safir daily, which tilts toward Syria's Lebanese allies. "Hizbullah lost the election in Lebanon, Hamas is being subjected to unprecedented attrition and Iran is drowned in its internal crises." (AP)
See also Iran, Syria Push Economic Ties
Mohammad Saeidikia, the Iranian housing and urban development minister, met with Syrian Trade Minister Amer Husni Lutfi for two days in Damascus last week to develop bilateral economic ties further. Engineering companies active in Syria have set up 11 different economic projects that have generated more than $1.3 billion in the decade since they were established. Trade between both countries stands at $350 million per year. Saeidikia called for the establishment of free-trade agreements between Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Damascus recently announced the opening of a rail line from Syrian ports on the Mediterranean to Basra on the Persian Gulf. (UPI)
See also U.S.: Obama Visit to Damascus Conditional on Changes in Syrian Behavior
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said Friday at the Aspen Ideas Festival that a visit by President Obama to Damascus will not take place anytime soon. Steinberg wondered how Obama would visit Damascus if Syria continues to provide Hizbullah with arms, supports Hamas and allows fighters to cross the border into Iraq. (Naharnet-Lebanon)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet Sunday: "We have brought a national agreement on the idea of 'two states for two peoples' and the outlines of the agreement are - first of all - that the Palestinians will need to recognize the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish People. This says that the problem of the refugees will be resolved outside the State of Israel and that Israel needs - and will receive - defensible borders, and includes the full demilitarization of the Palestinian territory." (Prime Minister's Office)
See also Defensible Borders for a Lasting Peace - Yuval Steinitz, Yaakov Amidror, Meir Rosenne, and Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
See also Defensible Borders on the Golan Heights - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
According to Dr. Eran Lerman, the new deputy chief of Israel's National Security Council, "Iran is like a huge, outspread octopus. But what has been going on within the country recently, the serious hit Hizbullah took in the Lebanese elections, as well as the change embodied by U.S. President Barack Obama - who is allowing Muslim figures ostentatiously to have photo ops with him, all this is an indication that Iran's power quest, which nuclear capability is meant to bolster, is not unavoidable or a sure success. It can be fought and slowed."
Lerman also said, "Israel is not on a collision path with the U.S....The American people are still pro-Israel, and the foundations of the connection with Israel are strong. It is true that the U.S. has undergone political changes that affect their perceptions and priorities, but, in its deepest essence, nothing has changed in the relationship with Israel." (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Menashe Amir, Israel Radio's Farsi broadcaster for the past 50 years, says opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi "is certain he won the election - and I can confirm that he did. According to all the information I have received, he garnered twice the amount of votes as Ahmadinejad....The elections are a perfect example of how Ahmadinejad manipulated the system in order to declare himself the winner....Those who determine policy in Iran decided a year ago that Ahmadinejad was going to win the election."
"On the nuclear issue...it makes no difference whether the president is Mousavi or Ahmadinejad. In any case, even Mousavi declared openly that, if elected, he would continue Iran's nuclear program, as well as its policy of supplying weapons to Hizbullah and Hamas."
"Ahmadinejad...is a merciless fanatic. One of his past jobs was as a final executioner. He would fire the last bullet into the heads of people put to death. His nickname is "the man of a thousand bullets," since he used to boast that he had shot bullets into the heads of 1,000 executed people."
"What is going on in Iran has only just begun. And if the world grasps the enormity of this moment, and does what it can to help the Iranian people in their struggle, it will not be necessary to bomb the nuclear facilities, because the Iranian people will rise and do the job themselves." (Jerusalem Post)
Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin found himself charged with giving classified information to suspected agents of Israel. Now, breaking silence for the first time since he became entangled in the Israel-spy-ring-that-wasn't, Franklin says he gave sensitive information to a pro-Israel lobbyist in hopes that it would be passed on to the White House. He also admitted telling an Israeli official "that the Iranians were planning to kill Americans in Iraq." He didn't think the information was classified. Four years later the charges were dropped.
Franklin says he was desperate in early 2003 to get his information about Iranian preparations to kill Americans in Iraq into the hands of a White House policy-maker. The problem was, he didn't know anyone close to White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. So when AIPAC official Steven J. Rosen intimated that he had good White House contacts, Franklin "jumped at the chance" to get his report into the right hands, he said. "This was my initiative. I was not directed by him," Franklin said. (CQ Politics)
A Message to the World - Ron Ben-Yishai (Ynet News)
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