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					             NEWS FROM ISRAEL 16-APR-10
Clinton: U.S. won't impose peace deal, but Israel must do more
by Natashsa Mozgovaya, Haaretz
Israel must do more to pursue peace with the Palestinians and to strengthen their institutions or risk
empowering militant groups such as Hamas, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.
Israel cannot avoid the difficult choices required to achieve peace with the Palestinians—but President
Barack Obama's administration will not force the two sides into a deal, Clinton said.
          In a speech at the opening of the Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, a think tank,
Clinton said that improved security had given some Israelis the false impression that a peace settlement
could be postponed. While Clinton said that the Palestinians should also promote peace by ending in-
citement, curbing corruption and refraining from inflammatory rhetoric, she appeared to put more re-
sponsibility on Israel. "For Israel, accepting concrete steps toward peace—both through the peace
process and in the bottoms-up institution building I have described—are the best weapons against Ha-
mas and other extremists," Clinton said.
          "Those who benefit from our failure of leadership traffic in hate and violence and give strength
to Iran's anti-Semitic president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and extremists like Hamas and Hezbollah,"
she added.
          "Israel has worked hard in recent years to improve security, and, along with the increased ca-
pacity and commitment of Palestinian security forces, the number of suicide bombings has—
thankfully—dropped significantly," Clinton said. "As a result, however, some have come to believe that
Israelis, protected by walls and buoyed by a dynamic economy, can avoid the hard choices that peace
          Yet failing to address the need for peace talks could be disastrous, Clinton warned. "[It] would
mean continuing an impasse that carries tragic human costs, denies Palestinians their legitimate aspira-
tions, and threatens Israel's long term future as a secure and democratic Jewish state," she said.
          "Israelis and Palestinians alike must confront the reality that the status quo has not produced
long-term security or served their interests, and accept their share of responsibility for reaching a com-
prehensive peace that will benefit both sides."
          While outlining the United States' goal of an end to the conflict, Clinton offered the govern-
ment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reassurance that the U.S. would not impose a settlement
on the Middle East. "We know that we cannot force a solution. The parties themselves must resolve
their differences," she said.
          She added: "But we believe that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually
agree to an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and
viable state based on the '67 lines, with agreed swaps, and Israel's goal of a Jewish state with secure
and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israel's security requirements."
          Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently pulled out scheduled U.S.-mediated peace
talks in protest at Israeli plans to build Jewish homes beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem
          Associated Press reports: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‟s comments came just two days
after US President Barack Obama delivered a surprisingly downbeat assessment of the prospects for a
US-brokered peace agreement, saying the United States cannot help if Israel and the Palestinians de-
cide they cannot negotiate.
          Clinton's speech followed Obama's pessimistic assessment delivered on Tuesday at the conclu-
sion of a Nuclear Security Summit he hosted in Washington. The two sides "may say to themselves,
'We are not prepared to resolve these issues no matter how much pressure the United States brings to
bear,'" Obama said. Peace is a vital goal, he said, but one that may be beyond reach "even if we are ap-
plying all of our political capital."
          The United States is pushing for new Israeli-Palestinian talks in which the US would be a go-
between. Previous talks broke off more than a year ago, and despite shuttle diplomacy and unusual
pressure on ally Israel, the Obama administration has been unable to reach even the modest goal of
indirect talks that it had hoped would start last month.
          Those talks have been on hold since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government an-
nounced the construction of new Jewish housing in east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the
capital of a future state. Since the announcement, the Obama administration has postponed sending
special Middle East envoy George Mitchell back to the region.
          The housing announcement precipitated the worst crisis in US-Israeli relations in years. Neta-
nyahu acknowledged last week that the US and Israel still have not ironed out their differences over          1
construction in east Jerusalem.
          The US administration's strong criticism of its top Middle East ally has alarmed many of
Israel's supporters in the United States, particularly in Congress where there have been bipartisan calls
to ease tensions.
          Administration officials have said that despite the furore, the US-Israeli relationship is solid,
and the US commitment to Israel's defense is unwavering.
'No need to remove any settlements'
by HERB KEINON, Jerusalem Post
Israel should not have to remove any settlements in a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Strategic
Affairs Minister Moshe Ya‟alon has told The Jerusalem Post, adding that just as Arabs live in Israel, so,
too, should Jews be able to live in a future Palestinian entity.
          “If we are talking about coexistence and peace, why the [Palestinian] insistence that the terri-
tory they receive be ethnically cleansed of Jews?” Ya‟alon asked during a wide-ranging interview.
          “Why do those areas have to be Judenrein?” he asked. “Don‟t Arabs live here, in the Negev
and the Galilee? Why isn‟t that part of our public discussion? Why doesn‟t that scream to the hea-
          Ya‟alon said that if Israel and the Palestinians were truly headed down the path of peace and
coexistence, “Jews living in Judea and Samaria under Israeli sovereignty and citizenship” should be
possible. He stressed that “no settlement” should be removed, and that the country‟s previous with-
drawals—from Lebanon and from Gaza—strengthened Hizbullah and Hamas, respectively. “That is
opposed to our strategic interest and to the strategic interests of the West,” he said.
          Ya‟alon, who sits on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‟s top decision-making body, known
as the septet, and is among those deliberating on how to reply to US President Barack Obama‟s re-
ported demands for a construction freeze in east Jerusalem, said Israel must not give in on the issue.
“We cannot fold on Jerusalem. What is Jerusalem? It is Zion,” he said.
          “We disengaged politically in Judea and Samaria, and physically from Gaza,” Ya‟alon pointed
out. “The policy of the Netanyahu government is that we don‟t want to rule over them [the Palestini-
ans]. But not ruling over them does not mean we have to withdraw to the 1967 borders, which are inde-
fensible borders; or that we have to divide Jerusalem in order to bring Hamas snipers into Jerusalem.”
          Ya‟alon, like the other members of the septet, is very discreet about the discussions regarding
the answers to be given to the Americans, and would not even discuss what it was exactly that Obama
was demanding. And while stressing that the US and Israel had a deep, strategic alliance, Ya‟alon ac-
knowledged significant conceptual gaps regarding how each side saw the region.
          “In order for there to be a proper prognosis, you need a proper diagnosis,” he said, adding that
the US administration had misdiagnosed the root of the conflict here as territorial, when in reality it
was about the failure of the Palestinians to recognize the right of the Jews to be here in any permuta-
          “Those who want to continue the Oslo process, who want us to continue to give and give and
give, without a Palestinian willingness to recognize our right to a national home, are cooperating with
the phased plan for Israel‟s destruction,” Ya‟alon said.
          Amid reports that Obama may, in a few months, try to impose a peace plan on Israel and the
Palestinians, Ya‟alon—who has accompanied the diplomatic process from up close since he was the
head of Military Intelligence in 1995—said that anyone who thought it was possible to “impose peace
just like that” is “detached from reality.” The government must work closely with the Obama adminis-
tration to prevent the imposition of any such plan, he said.
          Turning to Iran, Ya‟alon said that country‟s rulers must be faced with a determined West that
placed the following dilemma before them: the bomb or regime survival.
          Asked who in the West was showing the most determination against Iran these days, Ya‟alon
replied with France and Britain.
          “Something has happened here that we haven‟t seen in the past,” he said. “Previously, the US
led the aggressive line. Today, as I said, the president of France and prime minister of Britain are lead-
ing a more aggressive line than the president of the US.”
          Asked if there were people in Jerusalem charged with coming up with plans on how to contain
Iran if it eventually got the bomb, Ya‟alon replied, “By one way or another, the Iranian military nuclear
project should be stopped. And we should not discuss any other possibility.”
'Strategic ties vital to US and Israel'
WASHINGTON—Even though Israel has yet to respond to US demands for gestures to get the peace
process moving, top White House adviser David Axelrod told The Jerusalem Post that he was optimis-
tic about the prospects for progress.
         “We have an ongoing dialogue with Israel and I‟m confident that we will move forward in a
productive way,” he said when asked by the Post about the lack of Israeli measures sought by the US,
including those outlined during an Oval Office meeting between US President Barack Obama and
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in March.                                                                  2
         Axelrod, one of Obama‟s closest confidants, called the relationship strong and enduring de-
spite occasional differences over policy. “We have unbreakable bonds and we have a strategic alliance
that‟s essential to both Israel and the United States,” he said. “And that is an impetus for us to work
through whatever disagreements that we have.”
         He also said that the administration was “hopeful” about the proximity talk process taking off
and leading to progress. Indirect talks have been deadlocked since tensions erupted between the US
and Israel when the Interior Ministry approved construction plans in Ramat Shlomo during the visit of
Vice President Joe Biden last month.
         The Palestinians then refused to begin nascent proximity talks, while the US has demanded
that Jerusalem take measures to meet Palestinian demands and get the process moving.
         Axelrod spoke briefly to the Post at Wednesday‟s Independence Day reception held by the
Israeli Embassy. During the event he told the audience, “Let‟s not confuse the occasional dispute over
policy with the fundamental partnership that has guided our two nations for so long and will continue
to guide our two nations.”
         He also spoke about the US commitment to Israel‟s qualitative military edge, to fighting dele-
gitimization of the Jewish state and to ensuring that Iran not get nuclear weapons, earning him ap-
         Axelrod, the son of Jewish immigrants to America, began his remarks by emphasizing his own
family‟s emotional connection with Israel as a place of safety for Jews escaping oppression and noted
that he‟d visited the country six times. He said he was pleased to be at Wednesday‟s event now
representing a president “who understands this history and the deep historic bonds between our two
countries.” He stressed, “These are unbreakable bonds.”
         Israel‟s Ambassador to the US Michael Oren also spoke of the deep ties between the US and
Israel and the joint desire for a two-state solution, mentioned by Axelrod as well. “We share the vision
of a secure and recognized Jewish state of Israel living side by side with a stable and non-violent Pales-
tinian state, and the government of Israel is deeply committed to working with President Obama to
realize that vision,” Oren said.
         “Together with the United States, Israel will strive to create a Middle East—indeed, a world—
free of the threats of terrorism and its extremist supporters, a world in which Israelis can live and inte-
ract peacefully with all peoples.”
Petraeus praises camp survivors
US General David Petraeus, head of US Central Command, praised concentration camp survivors for
building a country, Israel, that is “one of America‟s great allies” in a speech commemorating the Holo-
caust at the US Capitol Thursday.
          The program was dedicated to the American service members who had liberated the camps 65
years ago, 120 of whom attended the memorial event. The division that Petraeus led in Iraq in 2003,
the 101st Airborne, liberated a Dachau subcamp.
'Occupation’ semantics thwart water deal
by TOVAH LAZAROFF, Jerusalem Post
“A regional water agreement that could have reduced usage was thwarted this week when Israel and
the Arab League sparred over the use of the term “occupied territories” in the document. It had been
hoped that the 43 countries that attended the 4th Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Water,
which met in Barcelona, would approve a regional strategy for water. There was agreement on all as-
pects of the document except on the disputed phrase.
         The Arab League insisted that the term “occupied territories” be inserted into the Union for the
Mediterranean document outlining a joint strategy for guaranteeing the water resources for the whole
Mediterranean basin.
         National Infrastructures Ministers Uzi Landau (Israel Beiteinu) objected to the term, but would
have accepted as a compromise the alternative phrasing of “territories under occupation.” The Arab
League, however, stood its ground. Since all members of the Union for the Mediterranean needed to
approve the document, the meeting ended in deadlock.
         Landau accused the Arab League of hijacking an important environmental meeting by shifting
the spotlight away from the issue of water and on to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. “They want to turn
every forum into an arena where they can just isolate us,” Landau told The Jerusalem Post after his
return from Barcelona. “They [the League] came with a pre-prepared agenda to the meeting.”
         The strategy under debate was supposed to establish the political, methodological and finan-
cial framework for introducing regional policies. It envisaged reducing the consumption of water by
2025, to levels 25 percent below those of 2005.
         The conference was jointly held by the Union for the Mediterranean and the Spanish Envi-
ronmental Ministry. Ahmad Masa‟deh, the secretary-general of the Union for the Mediterranean, said
urgent action action was needed to guarantee water access for all Mediterranean residents.
Hizbullah admits receiving Syrian scuds                                                                          3
by Jerusalem Post and Associated Press
Hizbullah sources confirmed on Thursday that the group had received a shipment of Scud missiles from Sy-
ria, the Kuwaiti paper Al-Rai reported. But the missiles were old and unusable, according to the sources. Hiz-
bullah also accused Israel of blowing the incident out of proportion to provoke a media ruckus.
          “Our organization has many surface-to-surface missiles spread across all of Lebanon, in case
Israel attacks the country again,” the Hizbullah sources said.
         Despite this confirmation of what Jerusalem has been saying for days, the Syrian Foreign Min-
istry denied the reports, saying Israel was trying to stoke tensions in the region and could be setting the
stage for an Israeli “aggression” to avoid Middle East peace requirements.
         Thursday‟s Syrian statement came after President Shimon Peres accused Syria of supplying
the Lebanese group with Scuds for the first time. Israeli defense officials also have said they believe
Hizbullah has Scud missiles, and that the projectiles could alter the strategic balance with the Islamist
         In an effort to prevent renewed conflict, the US State Department summoned the Syrian am-
bassador in Washington, Imad Mustafa, and warned him that war could break out if the weapons ship-
ments were not stopped, Al-Rai reported on Monday.
         The IDF came very close recently to attacking a convoy carrying weapons from Syria to Leba-
non, but at the last moment decided against it, according to The Wall Street Journal.
         The possibility that Syria would give Scud missiles to Hizbullah is not a new concern in the
Israeli defense establishment. According to Al-Rai, Israel sent warnings to Syria through Turkey and
Qatar that it would “bomb Lebanese and Syrian targets in case the missiles crossed the border and
reached Hizbullah.”
         In related news, Col. Ronen Cohen, formerly in charge of the Northern Front in Military Intel-
ligence and the currently chief intelligence officer for the IDF‟s Central Command, said in a research
paper that an Israeli bombing of Lebanese national infrastructure would likely unite the Lebanese
people behind Hizbullah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
HRW, Amnesty condemn Hamas executions
by Jerusalem Post
Human rights NGOs Human Rights Watch and Amnesty condemned the executions of two Palestinian
by Hamas in the Gaza Strip after the terror group ruled that the men collaborated with Israel.
         HRW said the executions were conducted after a trial where the two men's admissions were
gleaned through use of torture. The organization said the executions were one of the largest "steps
backwards" by Hamas since it took control of the Gaza Strip.
         Amnesty said the trial was a military trial that did not stand up to the standards of fair trial,
Israel Radio reported.
Olmert deflects blame to Lupolianski
by YAAKOV LAPPIN, Jerusalem Post
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert is viewed by police as the chief suspect in the Holyland bribery
affair, it emerged on Thursday, after police lifted what was left of a media ban on details of the investi-
           The scandal revolves around businessman Hillel Charni, who allegedly paid tens of millions of
shekels in bribes to senior Jerusalem Municipality officials in exchange for their approval of changes to
and the expansion of the Holyland housing project in the capital.
           Olmert, who was mayor when the Holyland project was approved in 1999, promptly and
vehemently denied involvement in the affair. In a brief televised statement, he called the allegations an
unprecedented “attempt at character assassination,” but thanked police for lifting the gag order on his
alleged involvement.
           “I firmly declare, I was never offered a bribe, never accepted a bribe from anyone in any way,
ether directly or indirectly,” said Olmert, who had been abroad and arrived back in Israel early Thurs-
day morning. He said rumors had been spread about him that were “baseless and don‟t contain an
ounce of truth.”
           Olmert then appeared to place the blame for the affair on his successor as Jerusalem mayor,
Uri Lupolianski, who was arrested on Wednesday for alleged bribe-taking and other offenses.
           The former prime minister said that he had backed the Holyland project from the start, when
the plans had been for three hotels to boost tourism and a few hundred housing units for the non-haredi
public, but that the project had been radically “changed after my tenure. I had no hand in those
           He called on the public and media to “respect the investigation, don‟t prejudge, don‟t draw
unjustified conclusions and don‟t assist with the perversion of the course of justice.”
           The explicit news of Olmert‟s alleged involvement came after yet another senior Jerusalem
Municipality figure, City Councillor Eli Simhayoff (Shas), was arrested on Wednesday night on suspi-
cion of taking bribes. Simhayoff, a former deputy mayor, is also a director of the Danya Cebus con-
struction company, a subsidiary of Africa Israel Investments.
           Police said Simhayoff was suspected of “taking the initiative and demanding” hundreds of           4
thousands of shekels in bribe money for himself, and after allegedly receiving the cash, he “divided it
between himself and others in the municipality.”
           Simhayoff‟s attorney, Moshe Yitzhak Osditsher, said his client was innocent of any wrong-
doing, and expressed outrage over “the fact that the central suspect in the investigation, Ehud Olmert,
has not yet been even called in for questioning” while Simhayoff and several additional suspects were
under arrest.
         Rishon Lezion Magistrate‟s Court Judge Avraham Haiman, however, said Osditsher‟s claims
were “irrelevant” to the case at hand. He added, “From the material available to me, it would not be an
exaggeration to say that we are looking at the corruption of authority, based on a group of people
guided by lust for wealth, and who stole public assets which they were entrusted to protect.”
         Haiman said the affair involved “bribery that penetrated every sphere,” and extended Sim-
hayoff‟s custody by eight days.
         Meanwhile, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein said on Thursday that although he would not
be able to be involved in the criminal aspects of the Holyland affair, there were also civil and adminis-
trative aspects that he was not barred from handling. Weinstein was one of Olmert‟s lawyers before
being appointed attorney-general and signed a conflict-of-interest agreement barring him from dealing
with criminal cases involving his former client.
         Detectives from the National Fraud Unit are focusing significant efforts on getting suspects in
the Holyland affair to incriminate former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who is suspected of accepting
large bribes when he was mayor of Jerusalem, in return for his support for the Holyland project.
         On Thursday, Olmert‟s former law partner, attorney Uri Messer, suspected of acting as an in-
termediary between bribe givers and takers and transferring hundreds of thousands of shekels in bribes
to senior officials, was released to 10 days house arrest in his home in Caesarea. Messer is banned from
leaving the country for 180 days, and was ordered to hand over his passport to the National Fraud Unit,
as well as deposit a bail of NIS 100,000, as part of the terms of his release.
         Messer did not cooperate with detectives during his police interrogations, an associate close to
him told The Jerusalem Post. “The police held him until Olmert came back [from overseas],” the
source added. “Now that Olmert is here, they‟re letting him go. He didn‟t say a word during question-
         Eilyahu Hasson, an accountant who worked under then-Holyland development company boss
Hillel Charni, and who is suspected of transferring bribery funds to public officials, has been placed
under intense pressure in recent days in the police interrogation room to name Olmert as the chief bribe
receiver. Hasson has been shown allegedly incriminating documents bearing Olmert‟s initials, and been
asked to identify the former prime minister as the person involved.
         Similarly, real estate developer Meir Rabin, who is suspected of passing on tens of millions in
bribery money to decision makers in the Jerusalem Municipality, is facing heavy pressure to name
those who received the alleged bribe money.
         A number of further details concerning the alleged bribery affair can be revealed following the
lifting of a media ban on Thursday. Police believe that the authorized building area for the Holyland
project grew by 1,200 percent—12 times larger than in the original plan that was approved before the
bribes were paid.
         In addition, the property‟s original purpose, as a site for hotels, was altered to become a resi-
dential housing development, and significant benefits were given saving the project‟s backers millions
of shekels.
         Police say several public officials who resisted the project changed their stance after being
bribed, and then “promoted the project, allowing it to be increased in size significantly, and approving
a change in the project‟s original purpose.”
         In recent weeks, police have raided the offices of the Jerusalem Municipality, its Planning and
Construction Committee, as well as the offices of the Ministry of Interior‟s District Planning and Con-
struction Committee and those of the Holyland Tourism Company and the Holyland Park Company.
At Yad Sarah, shock, disbelief
The voluntary activities at Yad Sarah‟s Jerusalem headquarters proceeded as usual on Thursday, but
volunteers, paid employees and visitors to its medical-equipment lending service were in shock. The
founder of the 35-year-old organization, former Jerusalem mayor Rabbi Uri Lupolianski, was in a
Ramle lockup on suspicion of taking more than NIS 3 million in bribes and alleged money laundering
to benefit Yad Sarah.
         The haredi former high school teacher and father of 12 had been detained for five days while
the National Fraud Unit in Lod questioned him as part of investigations into the Holyland Park apart-
ment complex in Jerusalem‟s Malha neighborhood. The police suspect that between 1999 and 2008,
during the mayoral terms of former prime minister Ehud Olmert and his successor Lupolianski, the
Holyland development company then owned by businessman Hillel Charni bribed senior officials in-
volved in planning and building.
         Since entering politics, Lupolianski has served as president of Yad Sarah, whose 101 branches
manned by 6,000 volunteers around the country annually assist some 400,000 sick, lonely and elderly          5
with a wide variety of free and subsidized services.
         People at Yad Sarah headquarters, including those who had worked there for many years and
knew him well, said they couldn‟t believe the former mayor had taken bribes to benefit their charitable
organization, and certainly not for his own benefit. He has lived for decades in a 90-square-meter third-
floor walkup apartment in the capital‟s Sanhedria Murhevet neighborhood, where he and his wife Mi-
chal have raised their children and continue to use some of the space for lending out medical equip-
ment to the public.
          But some added that in the “very small likelihood” that Lupolianski had in fact accepted bribes
from businessmen to help Yad Sarah, such an act violated Israeli—and Jewish—law and was morally
          Some among its 200 paid staffers said that Lupolianski had never been involved in processing
contributions and that thousands of them arrived each year to cover the vast majority of the organiza-
tion‟s NIS 70 million budget. All donors were given receipts, and management was said never to ask
why contributors decided to give Yad Sarah money, they added.
          Although many people—volunteers, donors and the general public—have called the organiza-
tion during the past 24 hours to offer it their moral support, the staff is concerned that even though Yad
Sarah had nothing to do with approval for building construction, some might consider withholding vital
donations. The government funds only 4 percent of the budget, with 30% coming from service fees and
the rest from voluntary donations.
Noam Schalit to Mashal; 'release my son'
by TOVAH LAZAROFF, Jerusalem Post
Noam Schalit urged Hamas leader Khaled Mashal to finalize a deal with Israel by which 1,000 Pales-
tinian prisoners would be released in exchange for his son, who has been held captive in Gaza for the
last four years on Thursday.
          In a letter which he sent to Mashal in Damascus, Schalit wrote, "show leadership and approve
without delay the German mediated deal which sits on your desk."
          Schalit wrote the letter in advance of Palestinian Prisoner day this Saturday. Such a deal is in
the best interest of the Palestinians prisoners and their families, said Schalit. He also reminded Mashal
that his group was holding Schalit in violation of international law.
Peres among thousands stranded by volcanic ash cloud
by Zohar Blumenkrantz, Haaretz, and Reuters
A huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano turned the skies of northern Europe into a no-fly zone on
Thursday, stranding hundreds of thousands of passengers, among them President Shimon Peres.
          The ash cloud also disrupted air traffic between Israel and European destinatuions, with flights
grounded to destinations including London and Paris. El Al, British Airways and Easy Jet all canceled
flights between Israel and the U.K. and El Al also grounded flights to Brussels and Amsterdam. Brus-
sels Airlines also canceled flights to Ben-Gurion airport, as did Dutch airline KLM.
          Peres, who was on an official visit to Paris and was to return to Israel Thursday, was forced to
cancel his return due to the ash cloud hovering over much of Europe. The European air safety organiza-
tion said the disruption, the biggest seen in the region, could last another two days and a leading volcano ex-
pert said the ash could present intermittent problems to air traffic for six months if the eruption continued.
          Scientists said, however, that the ash cloud does not pose any health threats as it is hovering at
an extremely high altitude.
          The volcano began erupting on Wednesday for the second time in a month from below the Ey-
jafjallajokull glacier. It hurled a plume of ash six to 11 kilometers (3.8 to 7 miles) into the atmosphere,
and this spread south east overnight. Volcanic ash contains tiny particles of glass and pulverized rock
which can damage engines and airframes and an Icelandic volcanologist said on Thursday the eruption
was growing more intense.
          Raphael Ahren, Haaretz, reports: Roy Shay raced round Luton Airport yesterday afternoon,
desperate to find an alternative route to Israel after his 12:20 P.M. EasyJet flight to Tel Aviv was can-
celed, along with hundreds of flights from the U.K.
          "We actually stood for an hour in line trying to get to the EasyJet desk to ask what replacement
flights were available, but it just wasn't moving," said Shay, an Israeli living in London, who is sup-
posed to take part in a close friend's wedding in Jaffa this (Friday) afternoon.
          The 32-year-old and his girlfriend had managed—via cell phone—to reserve two of the last
three remaining seats on an El Al flight from Brussels to Tel Aviv, but when they headed toward the
Eurostar station where they had hoped to purchase train tickets to the Belgian capital, they found them-
selves at the wrong end of an enormous line. "It literally went around the Eurostar station," Shay said,
adding that hundreds of others people had obviously had the same idea earlier.
          Last night, the groom told Shay he is going out to buy "replacement shoes," as the pair he was
planning to wear at the wedding were in Shay's suitcase. "Unlike you, the shoes are replaceable," the
groom said in an SMS.
Kassam rocket hits Eshkol region
by Jerusalem Post
A Kassam rocket fired by terrorists in Gaza hit an open area in the Eshkol region on Thursday night.
No one was wounded and no damage was reported.
         A Givati Brigade force shot at a Palestinian terrorist who appeared to be attempting to plant a
bomb next to the Gaza border fence early Friday, the IDF said. The terrorist hurled a grenade at the
troops in the incident near Kfar Azza, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.
         The terrorist‟s condition was unclear.
         An Israeli citizen was mildly injured Thursday evening as Palestinians threw stones at passing
vehicles near Beit Omer, which is south of Arab Bethlehem. The man received first aid on the spot, and
was not taken to a hospital. Superficial damage was caused to the vehicle.
Cars torched in W. Bank village
by Jerusalem Post
In an apparent act of settler vandalism, two cars were found torched in the Palestinian village of Jen
Safout, near Kedumim, early Friday morning. In addition, the words “Price-tag” were spray-painted on
a house in the village. The IDF condemned the incident and said police would investigate.
         "Price-tag" is a term used by settlers either to retaliate against government decisions which
curb settlement activity or in response to Palestinian attacks. The incident came some 48 hours after a
mosque was vandalized in Hawara, south of Nablus.
Parisians protest 'Ben Gurion Promenade'
by GREER FAY CASHMAN, Jerusalem Post
With Independence Day only days away, President Shimon Peres attended the inauguration of the Ben-
Gurion Promenade in Paris on Thursday. Peres was joined at the gala ceremony by Paris Mayor Ber-
trand Delanoe, who said he was proud to be able to name a promenade within the context of the history
and legacy of France-Israel relations.
          Delanoe lauded Ben-Gurion‟s vision, saying that not only had the former prime minister
created a state, but he was also a man who had been in constant pursuit of peace under the motto that it
was preferable to have a small state living in peace than a large state always caught up in war.
          The promenade—located in the 7th arrondissement alongside the Seine River and close to the
Eiffel Tower—is not only a tribute to Ben-Gurion, but an honor to the State of Israel, Peres said.
          The dedication ceremony was not without incident. For several months prior to the event, there
had been attempts by communists and pro-Palestinian elements to prevent the naming of the prome-
nade after Ben-Gurion. Those elements were frustrated because Delanoe would not agree to name a
square or promenade after PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
          Anti-Israel demonstrators lined the banks of the Seine, and some even boarded a pleasure boat
from which they displayed banners and posters with anti-Israel slogans. Some of the demonstrators
called Ben-Gurion a criminal, shouted that he had been responsible for expelling Palestinians from
their homeland in 1948, and charged the Netanyahu government with continuing a policy of seizing
Palestinian property and indulging in needless killing of Palestinians.
          Peres‟s own peacemaking efforts—including receiving the Nobel Peace Prize together with
Arafat and former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin—were not recognized by the demonstrators, who
claimed that he was no less a criminal than Ben-Gurion.
          Delanoe referred to those opponents of naming the promenade for Ben-Gurion, saying he
would not apologize for going ahead with the plan, but in fact regarded it as an honor and a privilege to
inaugurate the promenade. He was also proud that the municipality of Paris had been unanimous in its
agreement to honor Israel‟s founding prime minister.
          Peres recalled that when the State of Israel had come into being so soon after the Holocaust,
France had ignored the arms embargo that had made it almost impossible for the nascent state to defend
itself, and had put tanks and weapons at Israel‟s disposal.
          Ben-Gurion had been the leader of the state before it even existed, said Peres, and his big
dream was to bring his people, scattered around so many parts of the globe, back to their ancestral ho-
meland. “He even commanded a war before we had an army. He pursued peace and he pursued eth-
ics—and this is the legacy he bequeathed us,” he declared.
          Following the inauguration, Peres met French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who assured him
that he would continue to do his utmost to secure the release of kidnapped soldier St.-Sgt. Gilad Scha-
lit, who is also a French citizen.
          Sarkozy also reiterated France‟s commitment to Middle East peace and a resolution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying there was no alternative other than to resume negotiations between
the two sides and to get the peace process back on track.
          With regard to Iran, Peres said that while he would stop short of comparing its President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Hitler, Israel could not remain silent and indifferent in the face of Ahma-
dinejad‟s continuing calls for Israel‟s extermination.                                                      7
          Sarkozy was likewise critical of Iran, saying it was behaving in an intolerable manner and
must be subjected to the severest of sanctions.
Israelis to help build industry parks in Kazakhstan
by SHARON WROBEL, Jerusalem Post
Israel has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Kazakhstan for stronger eco-
nomic cooperation between the two countries, including an agreement to support Israeli entrepreneurs
to take part in the creation of industrial parks based on the model of the Tefen industrial zone.
         “The relations between Israel and Kazakhstan have been taken to the next level in a number of
areas,” Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said earlier this week. “There is great
potential in Kazakhstan for Israeli companies, and co-operation between companies will benefit both
countries. “Israel can offer a lot of knowledge worth a lot of money. With the emergence out of the
global economic crisis, we will be able to boost the volume of economic relations between our coun-
         The agreement for closer economic cooperation was struck during Ben-Eliezer‟s official visit
this week to Kazakhstan. He attended a meeting of the Joint Israel-Kazakhstan Economics Committee
in Astana, where talks focused on the two nations‟ wish to upgrade bilateral economic and political
         Ben-Eliezer signed a memorandum of understanding with his Kazakhstani counterpart, Aset
Orentaevich Issekeshev, after meetings with government ministers and company executives, including
Communications Minister Abelgazy Kusainov and Agriculture Minister Akylbek Kurishbayev.
         The main areas of interest are agrotechnology, energy preservation, water technology, biotech-
nology, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and communications. Terms for cooperation in agriculture
research and development were also agreed upon. Kazakhstan and the Volcani Center for Agricultural
Research, the research arm of the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, which is responsible
for most of the agricultural research conducted in Israel, will establish the Kazakhstan-Israel Fund for
agricultural innovation. Each side will allocate $1 million. The focus will be on agricultural R&D,
training of scientists from Kazakhstan in Israel and development of technologies and agricultural
         Other areas of agreed upon for cooperation were the space industry and academia. To encour-
age tourism to both countries, the possibility of introducing a direct route between Israel and Ka-
zakhstan is also being discussed.
         In recent years, trade relations between the two countries have grown from $40m. in 2004 to
$162m. in 2008.
Irish unions host 'anti-Israel' parley
by JONNY PAUL, Jerusalem Post
Ireland‟s national trade union federation is hosting a conference in Dublin today (Friday) on the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict, with a majority of speakers either firm advocates or not opposed to a complete
boycott of Israel.
          The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), which last year voted to support a boycott of
Israeli goods and services, described the conference as an “international conference on the Middle East
which will feature contributions from Palestine, Israel, the US, Canada, South Africa and the EU.”
          Titled “Palestine-Israel: The way forward for Trade Union Solidarity,” the one-day conference
for trade union members and affiliates has been accused of aiding those who want to isolate and de-
monize Israel. “This kind of one-sided Israel-bashing will do little to promote the goal of peace and
reconciliation in the Middle East—but will aid those who want to isolate and demonize Israel,” said
Eric Lee, spokesman for the Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP), a movement working
to unite trade unions and nongovernmental organizations to counter boycott calls of Israel.
          There will be two pro-Israel speakers at the conference: the Histadrut‟s International Depart-
ment director Avital Shapira, and Arieh Lebowitz from the Jewish Labor Committee. But the remaining
speakers either do not oppose a boycott or are major players in the “boycott, divestment and sanctions”
(BDS) campaign against Israel.
          Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin is also addressing the conference. The Irish
government is opposed to any trade sanctions or boycotts against Israel.
          “The conference arises from the motions passed at successive ICTU conferences in 2007 and
2009 and from the recommendations of a Congress fact-finding visit to Israel and Palestine, in Novem-
ber 2007,” an ICTU spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
          “The primary aim is to build support for our policy, stated in the motions, and learn from other
union movements that have undertaken similar campaigns. It also aims to strengthen our relationship
with the labor movements in the region, in order to contribute to a peaceful resolution that respects
both the UN resolutions and human and trade union rights,” the spokesman added.                              8
          “The boycott of Israeli goods was formally adopted as ICTU policy at its conference in July
2007. Only afterwards, in November 2007, did ICTU deem it appropriate to send a mission to the area
to assess the situation for itself,” said a spokesman from the Israeli Embassy in Dublin. “Not surpri-
singly, this „fact-finding‟ effort supported the boycott approach and at their conference in 2009, ICTU
policy was updated by a motion calling for a full campaign of BDS.
         “ICTU‟s policy of boycotting Israel ignores completely the myriad programs of exchange and
cooperation between the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions and their Israeli counterpart, the
Histadrut. Indeed BDS, if implemented, would actually undermine the ability of Palestinian workers to
realize their rights and interests,” the embassy spokesman added.
         Testimonies from members of the group Breaking the Silence, made during Operation Cast
Lead, will also be screened to the conference participants. These testimonies, according to the group‟s
Web site, “demonstrate the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military.”
         Palestinian representatives at the conference include Omar Barghouti, from the Palestinian
National Committee for BDS; Daragh Murray from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights; Fathi
Nasser, Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, and Raed Sadeq, from the Palestinian Democ-
racy and Workers‟ Rights Center.
         ICTU has also invited a member of a small radical fringe group called the International Jewish
Anti-Zionist Network and a host of other organizations vocal in the BDS campaign. These include
Dave Moxham from the Scottish Trade Union Congress. Last April, at its annual conference, the STUC
voted to endorse a boycott of Israeli goods.
         Other invitees and boycott supporters include Owen Tudor from Britain‟s Trade Union Con-
gress, which just joined forces with radical fringe group Palestine Solidarity Campaign to call for a
boycott of settlement produce. The PSC iscommitted to a complete boycott of Israel.
         “Could the organizers not have found representatives of, say, the trade union movement in
Germany, which is outspoken in its opposition to the boycott of Israel? Or perhaps top trade union
leaders in the UK, US and Australia who have lent their support to TULIP?” Lee asked.
         “We hope that the ICTU takes the opportunity to foster co-operation between the Israeli and
Palestinian trade unions, as they have representatives from both organizations present,” said Stephen
Scott from Trade Union Friends of Israel. What we don‟t want is for an anti-Israel session that will real-
ly prove utterly unproductive in what could be a missed opportunity to build some bridges.”
         The Israeli Embassy said that boycotts will only perpetuate conflict and do little to bring
peace. “In reality, the campaign to promote BDS against Israel is an exercise which by promoting an
absurdly simplistic, black and white picture of the Middle East will only help perpetuate conflict rather
than helping to bring reconciliation and peace,” the embassy spokesman said. “The proponents of BDS
do not speak of peace, reconciliation or coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. Their program is
not one of encouraging constructive engagement or bridge-building, but one of demonization and zero-
sum politics.”
Aim to double Tel Aviv tourism
by RON FRIEDMAN, Jerusalem Post
Strategy aims to turn the city into an internationally recognized tourism brand. Israel‟s tourism industry
leaders held a joint meeting with Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai in
Tel Aviv on Thursday, in an effort to produce a strategy to turn the city into an internationally recog-
nized tourism brand.
          The parties presented their ideas on how to draw more foreign tourists to Israel by marketing
Tel Aviv as a destination for people looking for short, close, affordable and fun vacations.
          At the end of the meeting it was decided that the parties would hold joint workshops and that
within two months would present the minister and the mayor with operative plans. “Obviously we see
the branding of Tel Aviv as a national project and not just a municipal one. We all witnessed the suc-
cess of the city‟s centennial celebrations. Everyone who was involved caught on to the huge potential
of the city,” said Huldai.
          “When we talk about the success of Tel Aviv, we are talking about the success of all of Israel,”
he continued. “Tel Aviv may be the symbol and the focus point, but the benefit [of increased tourism]
will be shared by the whole country. Likewise I think it‟s important that the effort of branding, market-
ing and preparing the city for tourism, resonate on the national level.”
          According to Tel Aviv Hotel Association director-general Eli Ziv, 50 percent of the 750,000
tourists who stay in Tel Aviv hotels come to the city for the sun and the sea and 20% come for the night
life. Only 15% come for the city‟s historical heritage and to visit ancient Jaffa. This, he said, indicates
where the branding efforts should be focused. “We must embrace the slogan of Tel Aviv as „The City
That Never Sleeps‟ and continue marketing it as such,” said Ziv.
          Ronen Arditi, the head of the Restaurant Association, said he saw great value in marketing Tel
Aviv as a culinary destination. “Tel Aviv has fine restaurants and the city‟s culinary scene is expanding
constantly. We in the restaurant business are used to advertising and marketing ourselves independent-
ly, but if there was a concerted effort to brand the city as a gastronomic hub, everybody would benefit,”
said Arditi.                                                                                                  9
          Ronen Miley, chairman of the Bar and Nightclub Association said Tel Aviv‟s nightlife was
second to none and could proudly compete with Europe‟s most popular destinations in that regard. “All
we need is for the authorities to let us, and we will succeed in bringing in young tourists,” he said.
Goldstone won't attend family bar mitzvah
by JONAH MANDEL, Jerusalem Post
Judge Richard Goldstone, who headed a war crimes probe that has infuriated Israel and Jewish com-
munities around the world, will not be attending his grandson‟s bar mitzva in Johannesburg next
month, according to a South African newspaper.
         Goldstone will not be present when his grandson performs the religious rite, following an
agreement between the family, the South African Zionist Organization (SAZF) and the Beith Hame-
drash Hagadol synagogue in Sandton, where the event will take place, the South African Jewish Report
         SAZF chairman Avrom Krengel said his organization had “interacted” on the matter with the
chief rabbi, the beit din (rabbinical court) and others, adding that the federation was “coming across
most forcefully because we represent Israel,” the paper said.
         Rabbi Moshe Kurtstag, head of the local beit din, commented that the court had not been offi-
cially consulted, “But I know that there was a very strong feeling in the shul, a lot of anger [around the
issue of Justice Goldstone attending],” the newspaper quoted Kurtstag as saying.
         “I heard also that the SAZF wanted to organize a protest outside the shul—[there were] all
kinds of plans. But I think reason prevailed,” Kurtstag added.
         Meanwhile, Goldstone was quoted in the newspaper as saying that “in the interests of my
grandson, I‟ve decided not to attend the ceremony at the synagogue.”
Facebook page for 6,000,000 lost friends
by Gal Beckerman, The Forward
Anne Frank's Facebook page looks much like any other teenage girl's: The profile picture shows Anne
leaning against a wall; her hair is tucked behind her ears, and she stares off sideways, daydreaming
perhaps, a slight smile lifting up the corner of her mouth.
           The comments on her "wall" are typical, too. "We share the same birthday!" and, "I hate this
girl." A string of teenage commentary follows every one of the many photos that have been posted to
the page. One, in which Anne is standing outside in shorts and a sunhat, elicits this remark: "she had
long legs! woah! model" In response, a prepubescent boy named Ricky laments, "she did have long
legs . . . i hate hitler."
           Whether the fact that Anne Frank has a Facebook page (one set up for "fans") strikes you as
creepy and inappropriate or as completely normal and even charming will depend largely upon your
age and the number of hours you spend on a laptop each day.
           But the reality is that Holocaust memorialization is moving on to social-networking sites like
Facebook and presenting new opportunities for remembering the victims—and bringing a whole new
set of complexities. One of the most popular and most disorienting forms that this new virtual comme-
moration is taking is the Facebook profile. Even the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is now
involved with providing information to fill out the details of some of these profile pages.
           The desire to personalize the identities of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust
is not new. What is novel is the combination of this desire with a platform that is premised on empo-
wering anybody to project his or her individuality far and wide.
           There's no more successful example of this fusion than the Facebook profile page of Henio
Zytomirski. A small boy who must be no more than 7 or 8 years old appears in a black-and-white photo
in the box provided for a profile picture. He looks full of joyful young life. But Henio has been dead
since 1942, killed in a gas chamber at the Majdanek concentration camp when he was 9. On March 25,
which would have been his birthday, dozens of Facebook users wished him a happy birthday on his
"wall." As of April 12, he had 4,989 "friends."
           One element unique to Henio's profile is that it is being used to recount a narrative of this little
boy's life. In status updates written in Polish, Henio seemingly tells his story in his own voice. On Sep-
tember 29 of last year, for example, this entry was posted: "Winter has arrived. Every Jew must wear
the Star of David with his last name. A lot has changed. German troops walk the streets. Mama says
that I shouldn?t be frightened, and always that everything is just fine. Always?"
           The person posting in Henio's name—and with the knowledge of his relatives—is Piotr Buzek,
a 22-year-old history student from Lublin who works at the Brama Grodzka Cultural Center. According
to Facebook's policy, profiles of people other than oneself are allowed only with permission from the
profiled person or, in this case, from that individual's family.
           Buzek set up Henio's page in August 2009, and since then he has been dutifully adding
"friends" and posting photos and frequent updates. The center where he works was set up to promote
the multicultural heritage of Lublin and has an archive of information and material on Henio's life. It is        10
from this that Buzek has created his virtual identity.
           Buzek doesn't think it strange that he should be speaking in the voice of a long-deceased Ho-
locaust victim. As he sees it, this is a way of engaging a younger generation with what he calls "our
tragic history." Focusing on Henio and in essence bringing him back to life through Facebook is his
way of making the Holocaust real.
          "We can't commemorate six million people," Buzek said when the Forward reached him in
Lublin. "I can't imagine this number. But I can imagine one person. This boy was one of them. I can
imagine him. And if you want to feel something deeper, you should concentrate on one person. You can
touch it. You can't touch six million people. You can touch one."
          Henio Zytomirski's Facebook profile got some attention for being one of the first to use the
site for that purpose. More than a few people were puzzled that Facebook could become a place for
          "The thing to remember is that many of these new social-media platforms are fluid, and infor-
mation posted on them is very ephemeral," said Evgeny Morozov, a blogger and contributor for For-
eign Policy magazine. "What is it about Facebook or Twitter that makes them suitable for commemoration? I
can?t find anything, because they are built on the opposite principle. All the most recent stuff comes first."
          Those engaged in the more traditional forms of Holocaust remembering—namely, museums
and physical memorials—are mostly skeptical of this new, looser, virtual form.
          David Klevan is the education manager for technology and distance learning at the Holocaust
museum. He was one of the organizers of what was called an "un-conference," a gathering last Decem-
ber of museum professionals partly to try to figure out how to better use these new social-networking
platforms in ways that don‟t trivialize the content.
          Klevan looks a little warily at the Facebook profile phenomenon because he worries that those
posting and those reading the posts don't have access to a full historical context. Young people respond
directly and sometimes thoughtlessly to the image or words in front of them—like the photo of Anne
Frank in shorts. The pieces of information presented are disconnected from a larger narrative, and in a
way that does not allow for any follow-up questions or further study.
          "We prefer to maintain as much of the context as possible," Klevan said. "If people are going
to learn the stories of the victims, it's preferable that they have easy access to supporting information
and also being aware of where the content is being encountered."
          But the Holocaust museum has been providing information on the individual stories of victims
to a Web site called, an online service that is trying to digitize historical documents and
use them to create virtual memorialization projects. One of the service's bigger endeavors is a complete
online simulacrum of the Vietnam Wall Memorial, where information can be added to fill out the iden-
tities of those who died. has used the information provided by the Holocaust museum to
create 600 Facebook profiles for Holocaust victims.
          Unlike Henio's profile, the Facebook pages created by are different from the
pages that individuals make for themselves. But they do still have all the usual features—a profile pic-
ture, and a "wall" where pictures and comments can be posted, and attempt to do the same thing: create
a virtual space for the individual victim to emerge.
          "Our running tagline has been, 'History is biography,'" said Chris Willis, vice president of so-
cial media for "If we are changing the form that that biography is being presented, it is
only to make it more accessible. It‟s going to make it easier for people to add more information about a
life, maybe even add the kind of information that will help that life seem more unique and, in the end,
much more compelling.

Crisis: US-Israel tension—have we been here before?
by Dore Gold, Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs
We are in a period in which the U.S.-Israel relationship appears to be in flux, but it is hard for many
observers to establish whether the policies of the Obama administration represent a sharp break in U.S.
policy toward Israel ora continuation of past U.S. policies. Will military ties between the two countries
be affected? According to a charge that has been associated with officers in the U.S. Central Command
(CENTCOM), Israel's disagreements with the Palestinians, or Israel's construction efforts, have a nega-
tive effect on the U.S. military posture in the Middle East, with some reports even going so far as to
suggest that they risk the lives of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, on the basis of past
experience, is it likely that the U.S. and Israel will ultimately resolve their differences, or are the
present gaps between the two countries so wide that their long-term relationship will change?
         The present tensions in U.S.-Israel relations appeared to erupt in response to an Israeli build-
ing project in the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem, where 1,600 new apartments
were approved by a local zoning board. Ramat Shlomo is one of several Jerusalem neighborhoods that
were established in Jerusalem in territories that were captured by Israel as a result of the 1967 Six-Day
War, when Israel formally extended Israeli law to these parts of its newly united capital.
         Formally the U.S. did not recognize the annexation by Israel of the eastern parts of Jerusalem
in July 1967. And while past administrations did not support Israeli construction of new neighbor-               11
hoods, they did not let this issue disrupt the overall U.S.-Israel relationship.Much of the present discord
in the relationship is partly attributable to the fact that the background of how Israel entered the eastern
parts of Jerusalem has been forgotten. It is important to remember that Israel entered the eastern parts
of Jerusalem and the West Bank in what it saw as a war of self-defense.
         Factually, Israel only entered these areas after it was attacked, and after it requested that the
Jordanians not join the Egyptian war effort. That didn't happen. There were Jordanian artillery attacks
throughout Jerusalem and all of Israel. There was movement of Jordanian ground forces into areas that
were previously no-man's land, and Israel responded and captured the eastern parts of Jerusalem.
          The Soviet Union, which was an adversary of the State of Israel back in 1967, tried to have
Israel branded as the aggressor in that war. The Soviets first went to the Security Council and failed.
Then they went to the General Assembly, which is not exactly Israel's home territory, and also failed.
The new situation produced a particular dilemma for U.S. policy about how to treat the issue of Jerusa-
lem. On the one hand, Israel had now moved into territories which were previously not in its posses-
sion. But on the other hand, there were fundamental problems with the status quo ante. Jerusalem had
originally been slated to be internationalized for ten years as a corpus separatum under Resolution 181,
that the UN failed to implement, and the city was invaded in 1948 by an Arab war coalition that in-
cluded the Arab Legion. The UN secretary general in 1948 called that invasion a war of aggression.
And as a result of that war, the Jews were ethnically cleansed from the areas that came under Jordanian
control, and were denied access to Jewish holy sites.
          To call for a restoration of the status quo ante would mean that the U.S. backed the return of
an illegal situation that was imposed in 1948, which also denied religious freedom. Ultimately, the in-
ternational community decided not to restore the status quo ante that existed prior to the war, and
sought some other kind of outcome, which was reflected in the resolutions and decisions taken with
respect to Jerusalem. Following the war, UN Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted in Novem-
ber 1967, and did not call for Israel to return to the pre-1967 lines. It called for a withdrawal from terri-
tories but not from all the territories, which is what the Soviet Union was insisting upon. Resolution
242 did not mention Jerusalem. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the time, Arthur Gold-
berg, wrote to the New York Times in 1980 that the Johnson administration kept Jerusalem out of 242
          U.S. policy on Jerusalem went through different shifts. Back in 1948, the U.S. was originally
committed to the failed internationalization proposals in UN General Assembly Resolution 181. This
original position was quickly replaced in the 1950s by acceptance of the 1949 armistice agreements.
          When President Richard Nixon came to the White House in 1969, there was a definite harden-
ing of the U.S. position on the issue of Jerusalem. For the first time, the U.S. ambassador to the UN,
Charles Yost, described Jerusalem as "occupied territory," terminology that had not been used by Am-
bassador Arthur Goldberg, who served under President Johnson. Under Nixon, the United States did
not veto or even abstain from resolutions that disagreed with Israeli policy on Jerusalem in 1969, 1970,
and 1971.
          In successive administrations, we see that the U.S. did not want the issue of Jerusalem ad-
dressed by the UN Security Council, and we see a movement of U.S. policy much closer to the Israeli
position. No U.S. administration formally recognized Israel's annexation of Jerusalem in July 1967.
Nonetheless, in the past we saw the U.S. and Israel coming to a modus vivendi with respect to Israeli
policy in Jerusalem, when Israel built various neighborhoods in the eastern parts of the city.
          For example, Gilo, in southern Jerusalem, with nearly 30,000 residents, was founded in 1971
at the time of the Nixon administration. Though Israel had differences with the U.S. those differences
did not lead to a crisis in relations between the two countries. In 1973 the Neve Yaakov neighborhood
was reestablished. It was originally established in 1924, but was overrun by the Arab Legion in 1948.
The Ramat Eshkol neighborhood was established in 1969 at the very beginning of the Nixon adminis-
tration. The Ramot neighborhood, established in 1974, has over 40,000 people living there today.
          A neighborhood called Har Homa in southeastern Jerusalem, next to Gilo, was established in
1997 during the Clinton administration. Israel had just completed negotiations with the Palestinian Au-
thority under Yasser Arafat over the Hebron agreement. At that time, the Israeli government informed
the Clinton administration that after completing the deal on Hebron, it would be taking some initiatives
in Jerusalem that were necessary because of the considerable shortage of housing in both the Jewish
sector and even to some extent in the Arab sector. The Clinton administration was informed when
Israel decided to approve the Har Homa project, which the Israeli government saw as compensation for
the big initiative it took in signing the Hebron agreement. Now the Clinton administration did not say it
welcomed this initiative, but it basically accepted that Israel was going to go ahead and build Har
          On two occasions in 1997, the Arab bloc, together with some other countries, initiated a draft
resolution in the UN Security Council that would have condemned Israel for constructing Har Homa.
And on those two occasions the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Bill Richardson, vetoed those resolutions
under instructions from the Clinton administration. So even though we didn't always agree on the de-
tails of the legal status of the territory, we were able to cooperate, we were able to work together, and
again a modus vivendi was worked out.
          Ramat Shlomo, the current Jerusalem neighborhood being discussed, was originally begun in             12
1995 during the period when President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin were in office.
So again, in the past, the U.S. did not actively oppose Israeli efforts to construct housing for both the
Jewish sector and the Arab sector in the eastern parts of Jerusalem.
          The policies of the Obama administration definitely represent a shift in U.S. policy towards
Israel and Jerusalem because of the efforts to have Israel freeze all construction in the eastern parts of
the city. The original Oslo Agreements in 1993 do not require a freeze of any kind on construction in
Jerusalem. Furthermore, under the Oslo Agreements, Jerusalem was treated as having a completely
different status than the West Bank and the city was kept under Israeli control, while seen as an issue
for permanent status negotiations in the future. Israel kept building for its residents, just as Palestinian
Arabs built for their needs in the areas under their control and elsewhere.
          The relationship between the United States and Israel is not confined to their governments. It
involves the people of the United States, who overwhelmingly support the State of Israel, and it also
involves the U.S. Congress which reflects the will of the people. While U.S. administrations have not
formally recognized Israel's unification of Jerusalem, back in 1995 the U.S. Congress adopted the Jeru-
salem Embassy Act by a massive bipartisan majority. It called for the movement of the U.S. embassy
from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Equally important, it also acknowledged that Jerusalem must remain united
under Israeli sovereignty.
          Israel is not within the area of responsibility of CENTCOM, the U.S. Central Command. U.S.
military planners kept Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey within the responsibility of EUCOM, the
U.S. European command, while in 1983, Jordan, Egypt, and the Gulf States were put under the respon-
sibility of CENTCOM. The statement by CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus to the U.S.
Senate Armed Services Committee on March 10, 2010, says the whole issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict
fits into a category called "Cross-Cutting Challenges to Security and Stability." It doesn't fit into the
more severe category of "Significant Threats." General Petraeus' written statement says that the endur-
ing hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to the U.S. ability to
advance its interests. But he did not specifically make this point in his oral remarks, and in neither his
oral or written remarks did he suggest that Israel had become a strategic burden because its policies
threatened U.S. soldiers, as some have tried to suggest.
          All of this ignores the posture statements and other testimony given by EUCOM commanders,
which actually give Israel a lot of praise. Israel appears as an asset. General Bantz Craddock was the
EUCOM commander in 2007 and spoke extensively about Israel in his appearance that year before the
House Armed Services Committee. He specifically described Israel as the closest ally of the United
States in the Middle East. Moreover, the U.S. ambassador to Israel at the time, Richard Jones, spoke
about Israeli research and development on countermeasures against IEDs, those highly lethal roadside
bombs used by insurgents that had become the single largest cause of U.S. casualties. Jones disclosed
that Israel was helping the United States Army in Iraq in this area. In short, Israeli efforts were saving
American lives, and not putting them at risk, as some irresponsible pundits contended.
          Is it possible for the U.S.-Israel relationship to recover from the recent tensions? If history is
any guide, we have had such problems at different times in the past and we have recovered each time.
At the very beginning of the Reagan administration, in 1981, Prime Minister Menachem Begin decided
that it was necessary for the future of Israel to destroy Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor in
Baghdad. Israel took upon itself to do that and U.S.-Israel relations went into a period of extreme ten-
sion. Yet by 1983, the United States and Israel reached the first of a series of strategic cooperation
agreements that brought their military relationship to unprecedented heights. So there was a crisis for
about two years, which basically ended as the U.S. and Israel pulled together because they had para-
mount strategic interests and reasons to cooperate. Ultimately, the strategic challenges that both coun-
tries faced and saw in a similar light trumped the differences that existed in the background of the de-
struction of the Iraqi reactor.
          The period of 1989 to 1990 was another one of unusual tension in the U.S.-Israel relationship,
when President Bush and his Secretary of State, James Baker, got into direct conflict with Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir over the question of settlement construction. We remember Secretary Baker
saying to Israel: "When you're serious about peace, here's the White House phone number." Then in
1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and the Middle East changed entirely, and in the First Gulf War
the military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel reached new heights. Strategic circumstances led
both countries to realize their mutual interests and overcome their differences.
          The United States and Israel have been tied by mutual strategic interests for many years, and
those interests will eventually trump the differences that we're seeing today. The major strategic interest
that both countries share is the threat of Iran. The Iranian nuclear program is advancing steadily to-
wards a point where it will cross the nuclear threshold in a military sense. Therefore, the restoration of
U.S.-Israel cooperation and understanding is probably a greater imperative today than it ever was in the
past. It is extremely important for both countries to bury their differences because the only ones who
are smiling during this entire episode are the leadership in Iran, who are continuing to move toward a
military nuclear program.
          There is one caveat to the idea that U.S.-Israel relations will get back on track in the near fu-
ture. It is possible to discern a growing view, which has been reported in the Washington Post, that the
Obama administration intends to put on the table its own plan for Middle East peace, based on a nearly         13
full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, that most Israeli planners view as militarily indefensible. As
the Palestinians see this scenario unfold, their incentive to re-enter negotiations will decline as they
look forward to the prospect that an American peace plan will be imposed. An Obama plan for a com-
plete Israeli retreat of this sort would not only deny the Jewish state "defensible borders," but would
also divide Jerusalem, placing the Old City and its holy sites within Palestinian jurisdiction.
         If indeed there is such a plan being prepared, then the recent U.S.-Israel tensions over con-
struction in east Jerusalem may only be Act I in a much longer drama that the two countries are about
to face. Undoubtedly there are sober voices in the U.S. government today that would advise against the
President taking such a course of action. But should he indeed advance a new division of Jerusalem,
then in the months ahead the U.S. and Israel will be facing a serious crisis in their relationship, just as
the military threats from Iran can be expected to worsen.
     Ambassador Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was the eleventh
       Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations (1997-1999). Dr. Gold served as
       foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first government
               and has advised Israeli governments since that time on U.S.-Israel relations.
Editorial: British chutzpah
by Jerusalem Post
What else can explain the ban of an Israeli ad featuring the Kotel?
          "The Temple Mount is in our hands.” These six words, radioed by Mordechai “Motta” Gur,
commander of the 55th Paratroopers Brigade, to his commander Uzi Narkiss on the third day of the Six
Day War, resonate to this day in the Israeli consciousness.
          These words marked the end of 19 years of Jordanian rule, during which—in brazen disregard
for Article VII of the 1949 Armistice Agreement—Jews were forbidden to visit, let alone pray at, the
Western Wall. These words also signified the end of the Jewish people‟s humiliating exile from its spi-
ritual focal point.
          But Gur‟s call was not triumphalist. Though shocked by the revelation that Jordan had de-
stroyed Old City synagogues and had paved roads and even latrines with Jewish tombstones from the
Mount of Olives, the mood among Israelis was uplifting exuberance which led to magnanimous ges-
          Wasting no time, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol placed the holy places of Jews, Muslims and
Christians under the jurisdiction of their respective clergy. Eye-patched, battle-hardened defense minis-
ter Moshe Dayan ensured that the Palestinian community and religious leaders, for the most part, re-
mained in their prewar positions, leaving the Muslim Wakf atop the Temple Mount, a move criticized
by Israeli hawks.
          To this day Israel skillfully and sensitively balances the potentially explosive religious interests
in Jerusalem, ensuring freedom of religious expression to all. It even forbids the prayer of Jews on the
Temple Mount out of deference to Muslim sensitivities.
          But Israel‟s extraordinary efforts go unappreciated.
          What else can explain the ban of an Israeli Tourism Ministry ad featuring the Kotel that has
been issued by the British Advertising Standards Authority, an independent advertising watchdog?
          The ASA determined that it was “misleading” for the Tourism Ministry to include pictures of
the Western Wall in a promotional ad encouraging Britons to visit Israel:
          “The ASA noted the [travel] itinerary image of Jerusalem used in the ad featured the Western
Wall of the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, which were both in East Jerusalem, a part of the
occupied territories of the West Bank . . . and considered that readers were likely to understand that the
places featured in the itinerary were all within the state of Israel . . . The ad breached Committee of
Advertising Practice Code clause 7.1 (Truthfulness),” the ruling stated.
          Broadcasters are obligated by a condition of their broadcast licenses to enforce ASA rulings. If
they don‟t, Ofcom, Britain‟s communications authority, can force them to.
          Ironically. when Palestine was under British rule, Jews suffered severe discrimination. The
Mandate repeatedly caved in to Arab demands, prohibiting Jews—even the elderly and the sick—to sit
on chairs near the Kotel.
          On Yom Kippur 1928, women were beaten by British police when they attempted to erect a
partition that separated them from men. Nor did the British take steps to stop the incitement of Jerusa-
lem‟s Mufti Amin al-Husseini, who had close ties with the Nazis.
          Britain‟s treatment was a continuation of centuries of discrimination against Jews—whether it
was by the Crusaders or under various Muslim decrees. Thankfully, after nearly two millennia of yearn-
ing, the Jewish people have finally returned to the remnants of their destroyed spiritual center, bringing
with them justice, freedom of religious expression and respect for all faiths.
          As the ASA pointed out, de jure the majority of UN countries around the world do not recog-
nize Israel‟s annexation of east Jerusalem. Nor do they recognize the 1980 Jerusalem Law which de-
clared a “complete and united” Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That‟s why foreign embassies are
generally located in Tel Aviv.                                                                                   14
          On a practical level, as the Tourism Ministry has argued in response to the ASA‟s ban, it was
“entirely accurate to assert [in an ad] that a visitor to Israel could visit Jerusalem as part of a short vis-
          On a more fundamental level, however, it is unadulterated chutzpa for a country like Britain,
with its dismal record on protecting religious rights at the Kotel, to preach to Israel.
         Through its fair treatment of all religious faiths, in such acute contrast to previous eras, Israel
has strengthened its claim to continue to maintain control over the religious sites of Jerusalem‟s Old
         As for its right to sovereignty at the Kotel, that is beyond question.


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