Daily Alerts

  • Israel Confirms Deal Reached with Jordan to Reopen Embassy
    (Ha'aretz) Jack Khoury and Noa Landau - Israel and Jordan have reached an agreement on reopening the Israeli embassy in Amman, closed since two Jordanians were killed by an Israeli security guard last July after he had been attacked and wounded. Israel formally apologized for the deaths and agreed to pay compensation to the families, as well as for an incident in which a Jordanian judge was killed in March 2014 at the Jordan River crossing. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Israeli Minister: Abbas Is Sabotaging the Peace Process
    (Ynet News) Attila Somfalvi and Alexandra Lukash - Minister of National Infrastructure Yuval Steinitz, a member of the Security Cabinet, said Thursday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "buried" the peace process, in light of Abbas' belligerent remarks on Sunday in Ramallah and Wednesday in Cairo. "[There will be no further negotiations] as long as Abbas is the Palestinian leader, and so long as the moderate Palestinian leadership does not recognize the right of the Jews to a state of their own," Steinitz told Ynet. "Abbas is taking a very radical line. It is true that he says he will not take the way of terrorism, but he basically promotes it - with stipends for the families of terrorists who succeeded in killing Israelis. This time, though, what he said showed even greater support for acts of violence and terror against Israelis." Abbas showed "amazing ignorance [with] the things he said about Cromwell, the British leader who, according to him, wanted to send the Jews on the ships of the Dutch fleet to Israel about 400 years ago as a plot [against the Palestinians]." Steinitz explained that Cromwell actually "invited the Jews to settle in Britain." "[Abbas] thwarted any attempt...even when [former Prime Minister Ehud] Barak offered him half of Jerusalem...to come close to a peace agreement and did so because...he really does not believe that the Jews have the right...to self-determination and to a state of their own. If Abbas does not change his positions, there is no chance for a peace process." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • U.S. Presses to Relocate Embassy to Jerusalem by 2019
    (New York Times) Mark Landler - The Trump administration is moving to transfer the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv by 2019, senior officials said Thursday, following Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Instead of constructing an entirely new embassy compound, the State Department has settled on a more modest plan to convert an existing consular building in Arnona, a neighborhood in west Jerusalem. That will reduce the cost of the project and allow Ambassador David M. Friedman and his staff to move there as early as next year. The building, which now issues visas and offers consular services to American citizens, is a fairly new structure with better physical security than the embassy in Tel Aviv. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • U.S. Won’t Pay Additional $45 Million Pledged for Palestinian Aid
    (Reuters) The U.S. will not provide $45 million in food aid for Palestinians that it pledged last month as part of the West Bank/Gaza Emergency Appeal led by UNRWA - the UN refugee agency for Palestinians, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday. The State Department said on Tuesday that Washington would withhold a separate $65 million from UNRWA, saying it needed to make reforms. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • After the Iranian Protests
    (Jerusalem Post) Dr. Jonathan Spyer - The protests in Iran appear to be subsiding. The regime reacted with a strong hand - 25 people are dead and hundreds more are wounded. A major absence is that of a revolutionary party or trend with a level of organization and popular appeal, a vision for the future and a broad strategy for defeating the Islamist regime. At present, nothing of this type exists. As long as no nucleus of political (and, probably, military) opposition to the regime emerges, it is difficult to see a way that a wave of unrest can smash the edifice of the Islamic Republic. Tehran foments unrest in neighboring countries in order to keep neighbors weak. There is now an opportunity to return the compliment. There are a variety of ways that this might be achieved - from ensuring that protesters and demonstrators remain organized and in communication with one another, to punitive means to disincentivize those countries and individuals assisting the regime in acquiring the means of repression. The writer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Israel Dismisses Palestinian Threats to End Security Coordination
    (Al-Monitor) Shlomi Eldar - On Jan. 15, the Palestinian Central Council called on the PA to stop "all forms" of security coordination with Israel and declared all Palestinian commitments under the Oslo Accord "null and void." Yet the PCC decisions will probably quickly be exposed as empty threats. The PA is in a bind. It cannot exit the Oslo Accord and survive. An Israeli security source said the PA had not indicated to Israel that the security coordination was at risk in any way. Abbas "was still alive thanks to the security coordination," he said. "On the day the PA, backed by the PLO, decides to suspend recognition of Israel and cast off the Oslo and Cairo [economic] accords, it will collapse." The PA's entire structure and that of its security, economic and civilian institutions are based on the Oslo Accord. If Abbas decides to adopt the PCC's recommendations, he will be signing the death warrant of his rule and of the PA he is heading. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • New Israeli Paint Transforms Sun’s Rays into Air-Conditioning
    (Israel21c) Abigail Klein Leichman - Israeli high-tech paint SolCold doesn't just protect surfaces from the sun, but actually uses the sun's power to activate a cooling mechanism, effectively providing air conditioning without electricity. The coating absorbs the hot rays of the sun and re-emits that energy in the form of cold. The hotter the solar radiation, the more the coating cools down, making SolCold paint an electricity-free solution for intensely sunny climates such as Africa and Central and South America. SolCold is generating interest for coating anything from chicken coops to cargo ships, malls to stadiums, cars to planes, satellites to hothouses, military equipment to apartment houses. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Has Latin America Abandoned the Palestinians?
    (Al Jazeera) Massimo Di Ricco - Only a few days before Guatemala announced in December its decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, several other Latin American and Caribbean countries abstained in a UN General Assembly vote against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, including Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. The shift in Latin America's attitude is symbolic of a stronger Israeli influence in the region. Several Latin American countries that recognized Palestine as a state between 2008 and 2013, including the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Argentina, and Haiti, chose to abstain in the UN condemnation of the U.S. decision. Guatemala and Honduras, which had also recognized Palestine, voted against the UN resolution. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Netanyahu’s Visit to India Shows Great Optics
    (Bloomberg) David Wainer - At the start of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first state visit to India this week, his counterpart, Narendra Modi, showed up unexpectedly to greet him on the tarmac. In Modi's home state, children waved Star of David flags and sang in Hebrew. Farmers praised Israeli technology, and posters and billboards bearing the Israeli prime minister's likeness were plastered on roads. Both leaders see Israel's technology-oriented economy as a natural fit for India's, which needs innovation to improve everything from farming to healthcare. Israel has more than 30 agricultural training centers in India, where locals learn Israeli water-conservation and energy-efficiency techniques. Israel Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem said, "We are engaging on all fronts, beyond the military and diplomacy. We are creating links in the movie industry, oil and gas, cyber and more." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • 30 Foreign Military Bases in Syria
    (MEMRI) On Dec. 2, 2017, the Syrian opposition website Zamanalwsl.net published a study on foreign forces' military airbases in Syria, including their location, what countries they belong to, what they are used for, and what their capabilities are, along with satellite photos. Additional reports followed. On Dec. 19, the Saudi-based Arabian Gulf Centre for Iranian Studies (AGCIS) published a map of 29 foreign military bases in Syria and noted another one. Russian, Iranian, American, French, British, German, Turkish and Hizbullah bases are described. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Wilfrid Israel, an Unsung Holocaust Hero
    (Times of Israel) Jessica Steinberg - The film "The Essential Link, The Story of Wilfrid Israel" documents the efforts of a wealthy German Jew who saved thousands of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s. His biographer, Naomi Shepherd, noted that his family owned Israel's Department Store in Berlin. He engineered the emigration of thousands including his Jewish employees, and helped launch the Kindertransport, which saved 10,000 children. He died in an airplane crash in 1943 together with actor Leslie Howard, shot down by German fighter jets. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Trudeau Explains Why Canada Abstained from UN Vote on Trump’s Jerusalem Recognition
    (Canadian Press-Huffington Post-Canada) Melanie Marquis - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian Press that Canada's abstention from a UN vote on President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was about staying above "political games" aimed at isolating Israel. Trudeau said UN member countries regularly file resolutions targeting Israel for political purposes. "This idea of using votes in the United Nations to isolate or condemn Israel...is not productive in international relations. And Canada avoids taking sides in that." Trudeau reiterated that Canada won't move its diplomatic corps from Tel Aviv. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • At Westerbork, Virtual Reality “Recreates” the Nazi Transit Camp
    (Times of Israel) Matt Lebovic - During World War II, Westerbork was used by the Nazis to imprison Dutch Jews on their way to "resettlement" in the east - a euphemism for genocide. Nearly every Tuesday for two years, a train with hundreds of Jews left Westerbork. Of the more than 100,000 Jews deported, only 5,000 survived the Holocaust. In the 1960s, the Dutch government dismantled Westerbork and the area became a site for massive radio telescopes that are still in operation. Westerbork's museum, located 2 miles away, has begun to offer virtual reality (VR) to tour groups to help visitors envision what took place. Inside a dimmed room with wrap-around screens, users can zoom in and out of dozens of barracks, several guard towers, and all kinds of camp facilities, based on the many photographs that were taken at Westerbork during its operation. The VR simulation was designed by Paul Verschure, a professor of cognitive science at Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University. Two years ago, Verschure's team launched a VR app for the former Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany. In 2015, Germany's Public Prosecution Service ordered the creation of a "virtual reality Auschwitz-Birkenau" to assist in prosecuting Nazi war criminals. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • The Indian Jewish Community Helps Foster Israel Ties
    (Hindustan Times-India) Nissim Moses-Talkar - Israel has always sought friendship with India from even before the independence of both countries from the same imperial power. The Indian Jewish community has played an important part in fostering these relations. At the time of independence, many senior officers in the Indian Armed Forces were Jews. Many founders of medical faculties, leading doctors, senior teachers, lawyers and judges were from the Indian Jewish community. Bombay University was the first in the world to revive the teaching of Hebrew as a second language way before Herzl even dreamt of the creation of the State of Israel. Mahatma Gandhi was operated upon at the Sassoon Hospital in Poona and his personal physician and friend was Abraham Solomon Erulkar. Even the signature tune of All India Radio was written by Walter Kaufman, a Jew. The writer is a historian and president of the Indian Jewish Heritage Centre. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Leader of Terror Cell that Killed Rabbi Said Still at Large after Jenin Raid
    (Times of Israel) Dov Lieber - Israeli defense officials believe the head of the terror cell responsible for murdering Rabbi Raziel Shevach last week remains at large after a Border Police raid in Jenin on Wednesday, according to Hebrew media reports. The body of Ahmad Nassar Jarrar was not found in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the operation. One Palestinian was killed and two other members of the cell were said to have been captured. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Israeli President Rivlin: “Those Wishing to Harm Us Will Be Found”
    (Ynet News) Itamar Eichner - President Reuven Rivlin visited Haifa's Rambam Hospital to visit the anti-terror policeman seriously wounded in Wednesday's operation in Jenin against the group of terrorists who murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevah last week. "We're here to thank the police and the Border Police," Rivlin said. "We'll continue and tell anyone who wishes to harm us - we will find you anywhere. Let anyone considering to raise a hand against an Israeli citizen simply because they're Israeli know, we will find them." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • The More We “Understand” the Palestinians, the More We Bolster Their Rejectionism and Perpetuate Their Delusions
    (Ynet News) Ben-Dror Yemini - After Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cursed the leader of the strongest world power ("may your house be demolished"), we were told that we have to understand him. When Zionism began, there was no "Palestinian home." Maps produced by the Palestine Exploration Fund in the 19th century show that the area had been poorly populated. Most of today's Palestinians arrived as work migrants from nearby countries in the past few centuries. Hamas interior minister Fathi Hamad admitted that the Palestinians are actually Egyptians and Saudis. But to hell with the facts. The more we "understand" the Palestinians, the more we bolster their rejectionism and perpetuate the delusion of the right of return. Does this "understanding" bring the chance for peace and reconciliation closer, or does it push it away? When, for the sake of this "understanding," they say we must understand what Jerusalem means to the Muslims in general and to the Palestinians in particular - although Jerusalem remained marginal and neglected under Muslim rule for centuries - they are helping inflate the lie. And when they spread the lie that the Palestinians are living under an oppression similar to Auschwitz, it's a blood libel, because under Israeli rule, the Palestinians have experienced huge growth in every possible area. No, terrorism isn't justified, because the Palestinians have repeatedly received decent proposals for an agreement. They could have gained independence. They are the ones who have said no. And those who keep justifying them are justifying the continuation of violence and terror. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Guardian Corrects Op-ed: Ahed Tamimi Is No “Peaceful” Activist
    (UK Media Watch) Adam Levick - A Guardian op-ed on Jan. 15 by a radical anti-Israel activist described Ahed Tamimi a "peaceful" human rights activist. The Guardian's own coverage reported on the video of the Palestinian teen striking an Israeli soldier - an assault which led to her arrest. Further, the suggestion that Tamimi promotes anything resembling "peace" was contradicted in her "message to the world" video, also covered by the Guardian, which justified Palestinian stabbings and suicide bombings. Guardian editors upheld our complaint and removed the word "peaceful" from the sentence referring to Tamimi. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Bethlehem Fiction in National Geographic
    (CAMERA) Tamar Sternthal - National Geographic published an interview on Bethlehem with Nicholas Blincoe, a novelist. Among Blincoe's numerous falsehoods are claims that Bethlehem is the source of water for Jerusalem (it isn't), that there were no tourists in the city for ten years after an Israeli incursion (that decade included record-setting years in tourism to Bethlehem), and that "Palestinian cities got wiped out" during Israel's Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 (not a single city was "wiped out"). Following contact from CAMERA, National Geographic corrected some errors. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Jerusalem’s New British-Born Deputy Mayor Targets “False Narrative” on Israel
    (Independent-UK) Joe Wallen - Born in London and raised in Gibraltar, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, 44, has been named as the new deputy mayor of Jerusalem. Her father, Sir Joshua Hassan, was the Chief Minister in Gibraltar for over 20 years. Hassan-Nahoum embraces the recent recognition given by Donald Trump when affirming Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state. "Absolutely, we welcomed it, even if it does nothing more than confirm a reality which already exists on the ground. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, always has been." She says people around the world believe a "false narrative" propped up by the media of "a brutal genocidal Israeli apartheid rule." She insists it is in fact the Palestinians who "time and again, when they are at a crossroads of peace or war, have chosen the path of war. I will never understand how the liberal public in Europe have so blindly accepted the rhetoric from misogynist, homophobic and genocidal groups in Palestine without question." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Is It Possible to Make “the Ultimate Deal”?
    (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen - President Trump seeks what he has called "the ultimate deal" for Israel and the Palestinians, one that would be advantageous to both parties. In the business world, a signed deal is final. But agreements between states and peoples are likely to be revisited as national interests change. There is a crucial difference between such agreements and what transpires in the business world. Peoples have national aspirations that are stronger than any agreement. Those aspirations are not under the control of leaders and cannot be conceded in negotiations. They continue to arouse passions even when their fulfillment has been deferred. How far, after all, can any people be expected to go in giving up its dreams? The constraints of reality can indeed bring even ideological leaders to a compromise, but the resulting agreement is always temporary and awaits a strategic shift in which everything will be reconsidered. National passions can be repressed and deferred, but they do not dissipate. A hundred years after the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish passion for lands that were under Turkish control before WWI continues to burn and to drive President Erdogan's regional policy. For the Iranians, the golden age of the kingdom of Darius impels their current logic. The writer served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Iran’s Protests Reveal the Truth about Hassan Rouhani
    (World Affairs Journal) Michael J. Totten - The protests that rocked Iran in December and January largely fizzled out after the government arrested more than 3,000 people. However, these events should put to bed once and for all the myth that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is some kind of reformer. Rouhani famously ran as a "moderate" during the 2013 election, where only the hand-picked candidates of "Supreme Guide" Ayatollah Khamenei can get their names on the ballot. But he's still a regime creature who participated in nearly every state crackdown against dissidents and protesters since the revolution against the Shah in 1979. Western foreign policy makers and journalists have treated him as a moderate and reformer for more than four years now. But Rouhani is not the head of state. Khamenei is. He's the one who calls every shot that matters. Rouhani can no more reform the Iranian regime than the mayor of Washington, D.C., can overhaul the U.S. federal government. Sure, Iranians chose Rouhani by a 3-1 margin in 2013, but only because he was the lesser of evils. His cabinet consists strictly of hardliners backed by Khamenei. Did Rouhani tamp down Iran's belligerent foreign policy? Last month, he spent an hour in parliament defending an increase in the Revolutionary Guard budget that makes it triple the size of the regular army's. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • IDF Recruits Youths with Disabilities to Serve as Military Dog-Handlers
    (Jerusalem Post) 20 young people with disabilities have been recruited into the IDF and trained as dog handlers. They completed a lengthy training course at the Beit Dagan veterinary center on Tuesday. The graduates will be stationed at military and police bases, working with guard dogs, detection dogs, and search and rescue dogs. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Finnish Volunteers Were Involved in the Mass Murder of Jews in Ukraine
    (Jerusalem Post) Tamara Zieve - The Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, has appealed to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto to launch an official inquiry into the participation of Finnish volunteers in Holocaust crimes in Ukraine in 1941. Research published in October by Dr. Andre Swanstrom, chairman of the Finnish Society of Church History, strongly suggests that Finnish volunteers who served in the Viking Division of the Waffen-SS were actively involved in the mass murder of Jews. Zuroff noted that similar revelations were made recently regarding the role played by SS volunteers from Denmark and Norway. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Why Is Arab Violence Taken as a Given?
    (CAMERA) Suri Bandler - President Trump's announcement that America officially acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel's capital is entirely a symbolic gesture. The Israeli people already view Jerusalem as their capital in theory and in practice and all government business is conducted in the city. In response to Trump's declaration, the Palestinian "national and Islamic forces" announced "days of rage," which included rioters throwing rocks and firebombs. Over 30 rockets were fired indiscriminately into Israeli communities from Gaza, and Hamas promised an intifada. The last intifada, the Second Intifada that began in 2001, saw the killing of over 1,000 Israelis. Why is the immediate international reaction to Trump's declaration a call to repeal his declaration, in light of the "eventual" violence and instability that this purely symbolic move will cause? Why is there not an immediate condemnation of the incitement and calls to violence witnessed across the Arab world? Why is Arab violence taken as a given and why does the international community impose few expectations regarding violent uprisings that target Israeli civilians. If we establish a status quo where violence against civilians is overlooked or justified, then there will never be peace. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • U.S. Funding Cut Reignites Debate on Palestinian Refugee Agency
    (New York Times) David M. Halbfinger - The U.S. announced this week that it was withholding $65 million from a scheduled payment to UNRWA. Unlike the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNRWA allows refugee status to be passed down for generations. UNRWA also does not remove people from its list who have acquired citizenship in a new country, so their number always increases. Hence, the Palestinian refugee population has grown from 700,000 to more than 5.2 million. "At the rate we're going now, it's going to be 15 million soon," said Asaf Romirowsky, executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, who has called for disbanding the agency and turning over its functions to other institutions, like the Palestinian Authority. He said that freezing the agency's money could be a good step if it forced the Palestinians to the negotiating table. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Last Fallen Soldier from Lebanon War Laid to Rest 31 Years Later
    (Ynet News) Itay Blumenthal - Sgt. Abraham Ajami, 50, who was wounded at age 19 while fighting in Lebanon in 1987 and has since been in a vegetative state, passed away on Tuesday and was laid to rest on Wednesday, surrounded by family and friends. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Secretary of State Tillerson Warns of the Iranian Threat in Syria
    (U.S. State Department) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke at Stanford University's Hoover Institute on Wednesday: "Continued strategic threats to the U.S. from not just ISIS and al-Qaeda but from others persist. And this threat I'm referring to is principally Iran. As part of its strategy to create a northern arch, stretching from Iran to Lebanon and the Mediterranean, Iran has dramatically strengthened its presence in Syria by deploying Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops; supporting Lebanese Hizbullah; and importing proxy forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Through its position in Syria, Iran is positioning to continue attacking U.S. interests, our allies, and personnel in the region." The U.S. desires an end state for Syria in which "Iranian influence in Syria is diminished, their dreams of a northern arch are denied, and Syria's neighbors are secure from all threats emanating from Syria." "ISIS presently has one foot in the grave, and by maintaining an American military presence in Syria until the full and complete defeat of ISIS is achieved, it will soon have two....It is vital for the United States to remain engaged in Syria....Ungoverned spaces, especially in conflict zones, are breeding grounds for ISIS and other terrorist organizations....Similarly, we must persist in Syria to thwart al-Qaeda, which still has a substantial presence and base of operations in northwest Syria." "U.S. disengagement from Syria would provide Iran the opportunity to further strengthen its position in Syria. As we have seen from Iran's proxy wars and public announcements, Iran seeks dominance in the Middle East and the destruction of our ally, Israel. As a destabilized nation and one bordering Israel, Syria presents an opportunity that Iran is all too eager to exploit." "Finally, reducing and expelling malicious Iranian influence from Syria depends on a democratic Syria. For many years, Syria under Bashar al-Assad has been a client state of Iran. A Syrian central government that is not under the control of Assad will have new legitimacy to assert its authority over the country....A stable, unified, independent Syria will serve the national security interests of the United States, its allies, and our partners." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Pentagon: U.S. Not Forming New “Army” in Syria
    (U.S. Defense Department) The U.S. continues to train local security forces in Syria to enhance security for displaced persons returning to their devastated communities. It is also essential so that ISIS cannot reemerge in liberated and ungoverned areas. This is not a new "army" or conventional "border guard" force. The military campaign against ISIS in Syria is not over and heavy fighting is still underway. These forces will protect the local population and help prevent ISIS from launching new attacks against the U.S. and its allies and partners, pending a longer-term political solution to the Syrian civil war. We are keenly aware of the security concerns of Turkey and stand by our NATO ally in its counter-terrorism efforts. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Navy’s New Defense System Can Mislead Enemy Missiles
    (Ynet News) Yoav Zitun - The Israeli Navy has a new defense system to defend against the most advanced anti-ship cruise missiles and shoulder-fired missiles. In response to an incoming missile, the system launches chaff rockets to create a "wall" of hundreds of metal wires which mislead the enemy missile into thinking this is the Israeli ship, diverting the missile before it hits the ship. An additional new defense system allows naval vessels to disrupt the frequencies of enemy missile radars. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Iranian Spies in Germany Targeted Israel Embassy, Jewish Kindergartens
    (Times of Israel) Josef Hufelschulte, of the weekly German-language magazine FOCUS, told Israeli broadcaster Kan on Tuesday that the suspected Iranian spies sought in Germany had been gathering information on the Israeli embassy in Berlin, as well as on the local Jewish community, including kindergartens. The suspects were members of the al-Quds force, part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Kan also reported that the Israeli Mossad intelligence service had provided critical information that led to the raids. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Terrorist in Rabbi’s Killing Was Hamas Member
    (Times of Israel) Dov Lieber - Hamas on Thursday said the Palestinian terrorist killed by Israeli security forces overnight in Jenin was part of its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Israeli Forces Hunt Down Murderers of Rabbi in West Bank
    (Times of Israel) Jacob Magid - Israeli special forces killed Palestinian terrorist Ahmed Jarrar, 22, in the West Bank city of Jenin early Thursday, believed to have been behind the murder last week of Israeli Rabbi Raziel Shevach in a drive-by shooting. A second suspect in the murder was arrested. Two Border Police officers from the counter-terror unit were injured in the operation. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Trial Opens in Bulgaria for 2012 Bombing of Israeli Tourists
    (AP-Washington Post) On July 18, 2012, Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini, a French-Lebanese national, blew himself up on a tourist bus at the airport in the Black Sea resort of Burgas, killing five Israeli tourists and their bus driver and injuring 35. A Bulgarian court has opened the trial in absentia of Meliad Farah, a dual Lebanese-Australian national, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a dual Lebanese-Canadian national, who provided the explosive device and logistical support to the bomber on behalf of Hizbullah. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Abbas: Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem Was “Sinful”
    (AP-Washington Post) Hamza Hendawi - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday in Cairo that President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "sinful." "Jerusalem will be a gate for peace only if it is Palestine's capital, and it will be a gate of war, fear and the absence of security and stability, God forbid, if it is not." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • UNRWA Is Being Investigated by the U.S. Government
    (Israel Hayom) Nadav Shragai - UNRWA - the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees - is being investigated by the U.S. government over suspicions about its growing overlap with the goals of the PLO, to the point of accepting violence, terrorism and incitement. In January, a team from the U.S. Attorney General's office launched a probe, on behalf of Congress, into whether the textbooks used in UNRWA schools in the West Bank and Gaza included anti-Semitic content and encouraged terrorism. The team is also investigating to what extent UNRWA is linked to terrorist entities, particularly in Gaza. One example has to do with UNRWA's links to Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf, who was made its official youth ambassador. Assaf was supposedly chosen to promote peace, but his songs praise violence and glorify a martyr's death and jihad. He also sings about the vision of a Palestinian state that will stand on the entire territory of Israel. His music videos, broadcast on PA and Hamas television, have background images of Palestinians fighting IDF soldiers and funerals of "martyrs." The writer, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a journalist and commentator who has documented the dispute over Jerusalem for 30 years. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Haley: Palestinians “Not Serious” about Peace
    (VOA News) Margaret Besheer - U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority was "not serious" about the peace process, and she threatened to withhold future funding if they did not move toward talks. "We are not going to reward bad behavior," she said in an interview. "Here you've got the Palestinians who are basically saying they are going to cut the U.S. out of the peace process. They are saying that they no longer want to have anything to do with us....By the Palestinians cutting us out of the peace process, it shows they are not serious in truly getting to peace." "They go and take us to the United Nations and are basically very hostile in what they say and what they do. We are not going to pay to be abused. It doesn't make sense." Haley suggested that UNRWA could find new donors among the countries that rejected the U.S. decision on Jerusalem. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • U.S. Signals Open-Ended Presence in Syria
    (Reuters) David Brunnstrom - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday discussed the Trump administration's new strategy on Syria, saying a U.S. disengagement from Syria would provide Iran with an opportunity to reinforce its position in the country. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • UN Palestinian Refugee Agency Launches “Crowdfunding” Campaign following U.S. Aid Cut
    (Xinhua-China) The UN relief agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, said Wednesday it has launched an international "crowdfunding" campaign after the U.S. cut aid to the agency by over 50%. Sami Mshasha, spokesperson of UNRWA, said, "We've contacted all donors from the international community to help us." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • U.S. Support for UNRWA Has Gone On Long Enough
    (Washington Examiner) Michael Rubin - UNRWA has become the poster child for UN bureaucratic bloat, mission creep, and twisted morality. When the UN created UNRWA in 1949, it was meant to be a temporary agency to address a temporary problem. But Arab states like Egypt, Syria, and Iraq used UNRWA to undercut normalization with Israel and transformed an aid agency into a weapon against Israel. If UNRWA promises to take care of housing, education, and support for many Palestinians, this allows the PA and Hamas to spend their money on terror pensions, terror tunnels, and an arsenal of rockets. It's long past time to cut off UNRWA and ask the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to take over. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • Israel Air Force Appoints First Female Squadron Commander
    (Ha'aretz) Yaniv Kubovich - Major T., 35, has been appointed the first female commander of a flight squadron in the Israel Air Force. A mother of 2, she has been promoted to lieutenant colonel. In addition, Maj. M, a female flight supervisor, has been appointed chief of a command and control unit at the air force operations headquarters and will be promoted to lieutenant colonel. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • Abbas Believes His Own Lies about Jews
    (Times of Israel) David Horovitz - On Sep. 16, 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered PA President Mahmoud Abbas pretty much everything the Palestinians ostensibly seek from Israel in a bid to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. For years afterwards, Olmert would say he was still waiting to hear back from Abbas. Abbas chose not to accept Olmert's unbeatable offer of statehood because it would have required the Palestinians to acknowledge the legitimacy of an Israel which - in Abbas' own words to the PLO leadership on Sunday - is just a "colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism." The man whose doctoral thesis blamed Zionist agitation for the Holocaust, detailed a narrative that allowed no historic Jewish connection to this land - no Biblical history, no Temples, no ancient sovereignty. He airbrushed the Jewish nation out of its own past. Obviously, no leader so determinedly blinded to his enemy's legitimacy could ever have agreed to reconciliation. The tragedy is that first Arafat's and then Abbas' dead-end leadership affects us all. However inconvenient, the fact is that there are millions of Israelis and Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and we somehow have to find a way to live here together. The solution lies not in some attempted quick diplomatic fix - trying to strong-arm the two sides into an accord on terms they do not want, against an artificial timetable they will not honor. The Palestinians have convinced themselves that Israel is a transient, shallow presence that can ultimately be ousted, despite the spectacular evidence of our strong, resilient, thriving nation. Abbas' speech dismally underlined that the false narrative of Jewish history is not only cynically disseminated by Palestinian leaders to their people, but also is thoroughly accepted by the leaders themselves. The UN can vote itself blue in the face against Israel. Foolish nations can unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood - to the detriment of the Palestinians, since such "support" merely deepens their obduracy. But the only route to Palestinian independence runs via a negotiated settlement with Israel. The writer, a British-born Israeli journalist, is a former editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report, and is founding editor of the Times of Israel. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • Report: U.S. Peace Plan Triggered Abbas Speech
    (Jerusalem Post) Gil Hoffman - Ben Caspit reported in Maariv last week that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was angered by the preliminary reports of President Trump's peace plan that the Saudis had given him. According to the report and another on Hadashot (formerly Channel 2) news on Tuesday, the U.S. plan would create a Palestinian entity that is less than a state, and it would not be based on the pre-1967 lines. Israel would control its borders and the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem would be an issue for negotiations, settlements might not have to be removed, and the Palestinian refugee issue would not be addressed. Caspit quoted senior officials close to Abbas saying last week, "We understood that Trump's declaration [on Jerusalem] did not really matter and had no impact on what is happening on the ground. We just used the declaration as a preemptive strike to torpedo the negotiations before the Americans finished drafting their peace plan, so we wouldn't have to reject it publicly later on." A senior White House official told the Post, "It is unfortunate that the Palestinian leadership is seeking to prejudice people against our unfinished plan, which they have not seen....In the meantime, we will remain hard at work on a draft plan that benefits both sides." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • Report: Israel Strikes Hizbullah Weapons Depot near Damascus
    (Times of Israel) Dov Lieber - Israel carried out airstrikes at the Mezzeh military airport southwest of Damascus Tuesday night, possibly hitting a Hizbullah weapons depot, according to Syrian opposition reports. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • Israel Backs U.S. Aid Cut to UNRWA
    (Jerusalem Post) Daniel J. Roth - Responding to the U.S. announcement that it would enact cuts in aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon said Tuesday: "UNRWA has proven time and again to be an agency that misuses the humanitarian aid of the international community and instead supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate. Just over the last year alone, UNRWA officials were elected to the leadership of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA schools denied the existence of Israel, and terror tunnels were dug under UNRWA facilities. It is time for this absurdity to end." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • Germany Searching for 10 Iranian Spies
    (AP) Authorities searched private homes and offices across Germany for 10 suspected Iranian spies following extensive investigations by the country's domestic intelligence service, Stefan Biehl, a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutors Office, said Tuesday. "We believe the suspects spied on institutions and persons in Germany at the behest of an intelligence unit associated with Iran." He declined to comment on a report by the weekly magazine Focus that the suspects were spying on Israelis in Germany. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • Saudi Arabia Shoots Down Yemeni Missile
    (Reuters) A ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthis toward Saudi Arabia was shot down by Saudi forces on Tuesday, Saudi state TV Ekhbariya reported. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • U.S. Reform Movement Condemns Abbas’ Speech
    (Ha'aretz) Amir Tibon - The Movement for Reform Judaism in the U.S. condemned on Tuesday Palestinian President Abbas' recent speech in which he attacked the U.S. and claimed that Israel was created by colonial powers. "Such statements and actions undercut possibilities for a peace process that alone holds the path to a viable and independent Palestinian state." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • Pro-Israel Groups Slam Abbas for “Anti-Semitic” Speech
    (Ha'aretz) Allison Kaplan Sommer - After Sunday's speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said: "The intemperate and extreme language used by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not better the situation of Palestinians or promote meaningful negotiations. Quite the contrary, with Abbas alleging that the Trump administration committed 'the crime of the century' for recognizing the simple fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel....The true 'crime of the past century' has been the refusal by Arab and Palestinian leaders to engage in serious negotiations that could have brought about a permanent resolution and meet the aspirations of the Palestinian people." The Israel Policy Forum said the speech contained "vitriolic rhetoric" and expressed "disgust over President Abbas' remarks before the Fatah council delegitimizing Zionism, denying the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, and peddling conspiracy theories about the plight of European Jewry." It was "impossible to view Abbas as a viable negotiating partner when he continues to deny the right of the Jewish people to their own national movement and when he continues to insist that the basic recognition of a Jewish homeland is the original sin of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." The Anti-Defamation League said Abbas' "anti-Israel diatribe was a sober reminder that the core of the conflict was the Palestinian leadership's long-standing refusal to recognize the historic Jewish connection to the Land of Israel. Abbas' argument that Israel was founded as 'a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism' is rooted in an anti-Semitic rejection of the undeniable Jewish connection to Israel." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago
  • State Department: Aid Cut to UNRWA “Not Aimed at Punishing Anyone”
    (U.S. State Department) State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Tuesday: "We committed a voluntary contribution of $60 million [to UNRWA] for 2018 so far....That money is going to sustain schools and health services to ensure that teachers and also health care providers can be paid their salaries." "This is not aimed at punishing anyone. The United States Government and the Trump administration believe that there should be more so-called burden sharing to go around....We don't believe that taking care of other nations and other people has to solely be the United States' responsibility....I would argue we're the most generous nation on the globe, but we will ask other countries to do more." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    5 days ago