Daily Alerts

  • Arab League: Palestinian Issue Has “Reduced” Importance
    (Media Line-Jerusalem Post) Dima Abumaria - Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abu al-Gheith stated during a recent television interview that the priority of the Palestinian cause has been somewhat "reduced." Al-Gheith explained to a local Egyptian channel that times have changed and the Arab world has been dramatically transformed, citing the collapse of Yemen, Libya and Syria. One Egyptian political analyst said that al-Gheith's "statements are a clear attempt to prepare the way for the normalization of ties with the Zionist entity." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Israel: No More Honorary Consulates in Jerusalem
    (Times of Israel) In November, in a step intended to encourage governments to open embassies in Jerusalem, Israel's Foreign Ministry sent a formal letter to all governments with which Israel maintains diplomatic relations, notifying them that honorary consulates would no longer be permitted in the capital. Channel 13 on Thursday reported that this decision follows attempts by the Czech Republic and Australia to open honorary consulates in Jerusalem in lieu of an embassy move. The offers were turned down by Israel. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Mission Impossible? Repairing the Ties between Europe and Israel
    (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Fiamma Nirenstein, editor - In recent decades, Israel-Europe relations have been overshadowed by a dark cloud of European hostility toward Israel, signified by double standards, discussion of blacklists and boycotts, repeated anti-Israel votes at the UN, UNESCO, and other international bodies, and substantial European funding of anti-Israel NGOs. Yet in the wake of numerous terrorist attacks throughout the European continent in recent years by radical Islamists, European states are increasingly recognizing their common interests with Israel, which has become a leading source of anti-terrorist intelligence, modern anti-terror technology, and cyber defense. The 21 essays in this book, edited by Jerusalem Center senior fellow Fiamma Nirenstein, examine the mistakes, wrongdoings, and basic reasons why Europe sometimes cannot or does not want to understand Israel. At the same time, the discussants suggest how these disagreements may be bridged in the future. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Islamic State Returns to Guerrilla Tactics as It Loses Territory
    (Wall Street Journal) Raja Abdulrahim - Islamic State "will come to an end militarily and geographically, but its sleeper cells will continue operating," said Nuri Mahmud, a spokesman with the Kurdish YPG militia, the main component of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. "There are lots of sleeper cells." "The attacks that we have been seeing, and especially the attack that we saw yesterday in Manbij [that killed four Americans] indicates that Islamic State has the reach to carry out quite sophisticated attacks," said Columb Strack, an analyst at Conflict Monitor. "And they have the intelligence structure in place to identify targets....They're targeting the U.S. and Kurdish forces now and eventually the target will become the Syrian government." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • The Era of “Never Again” Is Ending
    (JTA) Eric Rozenman - The era of "never again" is ending in Western Europe, fading in North America and never penetrated the Middle East. Relentless demonization of the Jewish state renormalizes demonization of Jewish people. Including this small chosen people with their tiny promised land in the multicultural rainbow remains one diversity too many. The Holocaust must be understood not only as an event halted by the Allies' defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 but also as a process interrupted. As the survivor and author Primo Levi put it, "It happened, and therefore, it can happen again. This is the core of what we have to say." The writer is former Washington director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and former editor of B'nai B'rith's International Jewish Monthly and the Washington Jewish Week. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • UN Exhibit Highlights Diplomats Who Saved Jews during Holocaust
    (Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - An exhibit about diplomats who saved Jews during the Holocaust will be on display in the UN to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. According to the Israel Mission to the UN, the exhibit will present the story of foreign service personnel who, at the risk of their own lives, used their positions to save Jews. According to Yad Vashem, 36 diplomats from 21 countries helped save Jews, including six Swedish diplomats, five Swiss, four Spanish, and two each from Portugal, Romania and Brazil. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • “We Came to Take You to Riyadh”: Khashoggi Killing Detailed in New Book
    (New York Times) Carlotta Gall - A new book written by three Turkish reporters offers the most comprehensive description to date of what is on audio recordings of the killing of Saudi expatriate Jamal Khashoggi. Journalists Abdurrahman Simsek, Nazif Karaman and Ferhat Unlu work for the pro-government newspaper Sabah, and are known for their close ties to Turkish intelligence. The book, Diplomatic Atrocity: The Dark Secrets of the Jamal Khashoggi Murder, is written in Turkish and went on sale in December. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • PA Deports Palestinian-American Jailed for Selling Land to Jews
    (Times of Israel) Adam Rasgon - Issam Akel, a resident of eastern Jerusalem who holds U.S. citizenship, was freed on Tuesday by the Palestinian Authority after being held for several months for attempting to sell land to Jews. On Dec. 31 he was sentenced to life in prison by a Ramallah court. Under a secret deal between the PA and U.S. authorities, Akel will be sent to the U.S. The U.S. had been heavily pressuring the PA to release Akel, and American officials visited him in jail. A Palestinian official told Israel's Kan TV on Jan. 2 that the PA was eager to get Akel off its hands. "We want to finish this saga. He has become a burden upon us." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Israeli Historians Claims 30-Year Genocide against Ottoman and Turkish Christians
    (Ahval-Turkey) The Christian population that had made up one-fifth of the Ottoman Empire's population was wiped out in waves of violence by successive Ottoman and Turkish republican governments, Israeli historians Benny Morris and Dror Ze'evi conclude in their new book, The Thirty Year Genocide. Not only the Armenians but all Ottoman Christian communities were targeted between 1894 and 1924. Morris told Ha'aretz that "between 1.5 and 2.5 million Christians were murdered." Publisher Harvard University Press notes, "(The) killing of two million Christians was effected through the calculated exhortation of the Turks to create a pure Muslim nation." Morris says the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, was responsible for "the liquidation of the last Armenians who remained in Turkey" as well as hundreds of thousands of Greek and Assyrian Christians. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Pretend Palestinian Refugees and their “Double Identity”
    (Israel Hayom) Nadav Shragai - Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, director of the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, has prepared an exhibit focusing on the regular, successful life stories of Palestinians that illustrate the absurdity of their claims to refugee status. Gaza-born Tareq Abu Nahel now lives in Oslo and has launched a successful career as a rapper. Hoda Daoud, who lives in Lebanon, holds a degree in mathematics and economics from the American University of Beirut and recently posted pictures of her holiday in Morocco. Batoul Bilali, who earned a BA in business administration, frequents the theater and art galleries in Lebanon. Iyad el-Baghdadi, 41, a native of Kuwait, is a noted author and human rights activist who now lives with his family in Norway. Mona Hatoum, 67, was born in Lebanon, lives in Britain, and holds British citizenship; her art work is on display in prominent museums. Shukran Murtaja, 48, a native of Saudi Arabia, became a famous actress in films and TV in Syria. Mayssoun Azzam, 45, a native of Abu Dhabi, is a television broadcaster in Dubai. Fatma Dabdus, born in the U.S., teaches at the school of medicine at the American University of Beirut. Abdul Rahman Katanani earned an MFA from the Lebanese University in Beirut and is a famous artist. Their lives are in no way reminiscent of the image of helpless refugees who need international aid. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • How Jews Became “Too White, Too Powerful” for U.S. Progressive Activism
    (Ha'aretz) Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn - In recent years, progressive Jewish Zionists in the U.S. have been effectively removed - either through deliberately exclusionary language, verbal violence or physical unrest - from progressive activism. Now, the progressive camp has aimed increasingly forceful attacks against American Jews who identify as non-Zionist and even as anti-Zionist. The target now seems to be Jews as a people - with no reference to an individual's specific positions on questions of Jewish nationalism or Israel. In particular, Ashkenazi Jewish activists have been categorized as "white Jews," attacked by Women's March co-chair Tamika Mallory for "uphold[ing] white supremacy," and accused of playing an ahistorically dominant role in the slave trade and mass incarceration in the U.S. Further, anti-Semitism is no longer allowed to remain a distinct form of discrimination, but rather a lesser branch on the tree of general bigotries. Jews are seen as too institutionally integrated, too successful a minority (itself a favorite anti-Semitic trope), or, in other words, too white (and therefore too much the beneficiaries of "white privilege") for anti-Semitism to be taken seriously. Yet, how inclusive and welcoming coalitions are towards Jews have always been the canary in the mine of liberal democracies. The writer is visiting assistant professor of Israel Studies at Northwestern University. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Israeli Startup SeeTree Aims at Better Fruit Yield
    (Times of Israel) Shoshanna Solomon - Tel Aviv-based startup SeeTree said Wednesday it was launching a new service that will provide crop growers with "deep insights" into the health and productivity of every single tree. The company combines intelligence from drones with high-resolution sensing technology, ground sensors, and samples collected by teams on the ground to provide customers with data on individual trees and tree clusters. Chairman and co-founder Barak Hachamov said farmers have to oversee thousands and sometimes millions of trees. "They don't have any data about how much fruit is on the trees," for example. "We have fully digitilized this world and turned the trees into a digital entity, creating a medical file for trees." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Israel Blasts Malaysia for Refusing to Admit Its Paralympic Swimmers
    (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday: "The Malaysian government has taken the decision to ban the participation of Israelis in official international sport events in Malaysia, including the participation of athletes with disabilities in a swimming competition organized by the International Paralympic Committee. This is shameful and totally opposes the Olympic spirit." "Israel condemns the decision, inspired no doubt by Malaysia's PM Mahatir's rabid anti-Semitism. We call upon the International Paralympic Committee to change this wrong decision or change the venue of the event." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • New “Divided” Road near Jerusalem Will Considerably Shorten Travel Time for Palestinians
    (Ha'aretz) Shaul Arieli - The opening of the new road northeast of Jerusalem, which features separate lanes for Israelis and Palestinians, will considerably shorten the travel time for Palestinians between Bethlehem and Ramallah - and between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank - and will even improve the safety of their journey. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • IAF Tests Precise Airdrop System
    (Israel Air Force) Carmel Stern and Eitam Almadon - The Israel Air Force is integrating an advanced system allowing for precise airdrop of equipment to ground forces. If IDF troops cannot be resupplied from the ground, the air force is capable of performing airdrops of essential equipment. The new autonomic airdrop system means that the airdropped cargo is able to direct itself towards the ground forces. Over the past two months, the IAF has concluded 18 tests of the airdrop system, dropping the cargo from high altitude. "It was amazing to see the system hit the mark on the ground," said Maj. "A." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s Watergen Develops Disaster Response Vehicle
    (Jerusalem Post) Eytan Halon - Watergen, the Israeli firm with unique technology to extract fresh water from the air, has partnered with the American Red Cross to develop a new Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) for providing fresh water to disaster zones. The ERV is equipped with Watergen's patented atmospheric water generator capable of producing 900 liters per day. It includes satellite communication capabilities, power sockets for charging communication devices, emergency accumulators for power supply and storage for medical equipment. The ERV has already been deployed, providing clean water for emergency services fighting the November 2018 wildfires in California. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Germany Accuses Afghan-German Linguist of Passing Military Secrets to Iran
    (Fox News) Barnini Chakraborty - German police have arrested Abdul Hamid S., 50, an Afghan-German man suspected of passing military secrets to Iran, Germany's federal prosecutor's office announced. "The suspect was a language expert and cultural adviser for the Bundeswehr (German armed forces)," the federal prosecutor said. "In this capacity, he is believed to have passed insights to an Iranian intelligence agency." He is suspected of having worked for Iran for several years, according to German news site Spiegel Online. He had access to highly classified material including troop deployment information and specific missions in Afghanistan. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Israel Develops Non-GPS-Dependent “Watch” to Locate Lost People in Remote Areas
    (Xinhua-China) Israeli technology company Mobit Telecom, in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center, has developed a tiny, watch-shaped satellite transmitter to locate people lost in areas uncovered by cellular networks, the Israel Space Agency said Wednesday. The transmitter is light, compact, easy-to-wear and expected to cost $450. The new "watch" does not depend on the GPS navigation system, which does not get signals in remote areas. The device sends its location to the Argos satellite system once every few hours, and in an emergency it can go to the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Video: See IDF Tank Cross Water Obstacle
    (Jerusalem Post) Anna Ahronheim - Israel's Defense Ministry released video footage of an IDF Merkava tank successfully crossing a water obstacle during a recent exercise. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Social Media Leaders in the Middle East
    (Middle East Monitor-UK) Ray Hanania - Nine Arab leaders are among the top 50 most popular accounts on Twitter. They include Sheikh Mohammed of the UAE, Queen Rania of Jordan, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the UAE, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt and Saad Hariri of Lebanon. Queen Rania has 10.4 million followers. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has 270 followers in Arabic and no English account. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Arabic Twitter account has 114,000 followers. Netanyahu's Facebook page has 2.3 million followers. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Israeli Officials Question U.S. Concerns over Chinese Intelligence-Gathering at Haifa Port
    (Ha'aretz) Osnat Nir - Amid mounting U.S. pressure to adopt a tougher stance on a Chinese presence at Haifa Port out of espionage fears, Israeli officials are countering that the concerns are overwrought. One senior government source said that if the Chinese "want to gather intelligence, they can simply rent an apartment in Haifa instead of investing in ownership of a port." An Israeli official who was involved in awarding the contract said, "Chinese ships dock all over the world. At any given moment, there's a Chinese ship at every port, so why would they need to invest in operating a port?" ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • The Persistence of European Anti-Semitism
    (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Monika Schwarz-Friesel - Almost every day in Europe there is a statement, a workshop, or a symposium on anti-Semitism. Do such activities have any effect on European anti-Semitism, which grows by the day? Eloquent speeches are given, appeals are published, cliches are uttered about confronting Jew-hatred with a "resolute fight" and "with all the severity of the law" - and everybody returns to business as usual. Researchers have been warning for years about the expansion, radicalization, and increasing normalization of Jew-hatred. This is occurring throughout European society and is especially worrying in terms of its focus on Israel. All the stereotypes of classical Judeophobia are projected onto the Jewish state. Its Jewish population is demonized and its right to exist contested. Little is done to reject this newly dominant pattern, and Israel-related hate is becoming a politically correct form of anti-Semitism. The writer is a cognitive scientist and anti-Semitism researcher at the Technical University of Berlin. Together with Jehuda Reinharz she published Inside the Antisemitic Mind: The Language of Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Germany (2017). ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Working to Integrate Israeli Arabs into High-Tech Jobs
    (Algemeiner) Ira Stoll - Tsofen, an organization working to better integrate Israeli Arabs into Israel's high-tech sector, was founded by Paz Hirschmann and Sami Saadi. A decade ago, there were 300 Arab engineers or software engineers in Israel's high-tech workforce. Today there are 6,000. More than 100 Israeli startups are either co-founded or co-owned by both Arabs and Jews, Hirschmann says. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Hamas, PA Suspicious of Israel’s New Internet Radio Webcast
    (Al-Monitor) Adnan Abu Amer - The Israeli Defense Ministry unit known as COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories) launched its first Internet radio broadcast Dec. 20 in a new effort to improve relations with Palestinians. COGAT has been providing mainly entertainment content such as Arab oldies, but once the format shifts to around-the-clock broadcasts, it will become more interactive, allowing listeners to ask questions and helping them tackle problems Palestinians face. The webcast is one of many technologies COGAT uses - in addition to Facebook, Telegram, smartphone apps, and Wi-Fi at West Bank checkpoints and crossings. Nearly 500,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have "liked" and interacted with COGAT's Facebook page. Local radio stations in the Palestinian territories are considered the main source of information. There are nearly 70 local radio stations in the West Bank and Gaza. Emad Abu Awad, an expert on Israeli affairs at the Vision Center for Political Development in Turkey, said, "COGAT's radio seeks to break the barriers between Israel and the Palestinians, boost dealings with the Israeli Civil Administration and lay the foundations of an economic peace between the two sides." "Many Palestinians are interested in obtaining a work or construction permit or agricultural support. COGAT's radio hopes for open relations between Israel and Palestinians. Unfortunately, there is a chance that this radio will attract a wide audience, as it will focus on ameliorating their living conditions." The writer heads the Political Science and Media Department of Umma University Open Education in Gaza. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • Rich Iranians Face Blowback at a Time of Economic Stress
    (Washington Post) Erin Cunningham - The lifestyles of Iran's privileged youths have sparked public anger in recent months as U.S. sanctions squeeze the economy. The young elite, some with government connections, flaunt their wealth on Instagram and in the streets of Tehran, sporting designer clothes and flashy cars and vacationing at posh resorts. They are promoted to state jobs, granted lucrative scholarships and travel with ease. An Instagram account, "Rich Kids of Tehran," showcases the lives of some of Iran's most glamorous youths. But few in Iran can afford such comforts, and Iranians have started speaking out against a culture of nepotism they say favors the "noble-born" children of the elite. Last month, President Hassan Rouhani's son-in-law Kambiz Mehdizadeh was forced to step down after just two days as head of the Geological Survey of Iran following a public outcry and online accusations of cronyism. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, January 18, 2019
    2 days ago
  • The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever
    (Foreign Policy) Steven A. Cook - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration on the idea of formally acknowledging Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights. But whether Washington recognizes Israel's annexation or not, the Israelis are never withdrawing from the Golan Heights - conquered in the June 1967 war - nor should they. Above all, the Golan does not require the control of a large hostile population, as the 27,000 Druze on the Golan Heights have accommodated themselves peacefully to Israel's rule. The Golan Heights multiplies Israel's force in the event of a war, and is an unrivaled intelligence-gathering platform. From its posts atop the Golan Heights, the IDF can look and listen in on the valley below that leads to Damascus, only 45 miles away. There is no question that holding onto the plateau is superior to withdrawing and the uncertainty of an agreement with the Syrian regime. In the wake of the Syrian civil war, Iran and its expeditionary force, Hizbullah, are a threat to Israel's security. The Golan Heights is critical to keeping both from achieving their ends. The writer is a senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Trudeau: I Will Continue to Condemn the BDS Movement
    (Huffington Post-Canada) Ryan Maloney - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday: "I will continue to condemn the BDS movement" that calls to boycott Israel. Trudeau said the anti-Semitism that was commonplace decades ago still exists, as evidenced by hate crimes against Jewish Canadians. He added that Canada must be very careful "not to sanction this new frame around anti-Semitism and undue criticism of Israel." "When you have movements like BDS that single out Israel, that seek to delegitimize and in some cases demonize, when you have students on campus dealing with things like Israel apartheid weeks that make them fearful of actually attending campus events because of their religion in Canada, we have to recognize that there are things that aren't acceptable, not because of foreign policy concerns but because of Canadian values." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • The Myth of the Israel-Diaspora “Schism”
    (Jerusalem Post) Rafael Medoff - Since Israel's earliest days, there has always been a minority of American Jews who are deeply troubled by some Israeli policies, or even uncomfortable with the very existence of a sovereign Jewish state. The voices of the critics are amplified precisely because their perspective runs contrary to that of most American Jews. For the media, Jews supporting Israel is a boring dog-bites-man story; Jews denouncing Israel, however, is man-bites-dog. But the notion that there is a substantial new split between American Jews and Israel is contradicted by years of public opinion polling. Every year, the American Jewish Committee, in its annual survey of U.S. Jewish public opinion, asks respondents how much they care about Israel. And every year, the results are the same. For the past 20 years - regardless of who Israel's prime minister was - 70-75% of American Jews have said they care "strongly" or "somewhat strongly" about Israel. The percentage who care "strongly" about Israel (as opposed to "somewhat strongly") has actually increased over the years. It was in the 20s in 1997-2002, the 30s from 2003 to 2015, and reached the 40s in each of the past three years. The writer, an American historian, is founding director of the David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Washington. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Iran’s Tiny Navy Is Trying to Revive the Persian Empire
    (Bloomberg) Adm. (ret.) James Stavridis - The Iranian navy announced it will undertake a five-month deployment to the western Atlantic, to include docking in Venezuela. It will undoubtedly be conducted in cooperation with the Russian navy, which has been increasing its patrols in the approaches to the continental U.S. It is also an indication of how Iranians truly believe themselves to be a global power. Iranians see themselves as the inheritors of the Persian Empire, which at its peak ruled nearly half of the world's population. Iran's navy has strong capabilities to create mischief in the Arabian Gulf and the northern Indian Ocean. Iran has stealthy diesel submarines, it employs swarming flotillas of small armed boats to threaten larger warships, and it is very good at employing mines to constrict shipping. But this new deployment to the distant waters off America is a concerning display of advanced capability and ambition. The writer is former military commander of NATO and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • ISIS Attack in Syria Kills 4 Americans
    (New York Times) Eric Schmitt - Four Americans were among 19 people killed in Syria on Wednesday in a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State that targeted an American military convoy in Manbij. The American casualties included two service members, a civilian employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a military contractor. Three other service members were wounded. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 10 Syrian civilians and five local fighters were also killed. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Palestinian Conspiratorial Thinking as an Obstacle to Peace
    (UK Media Watch-CAMERA) Adam Levick - We know from polling that conspiratorial thinking is quite common among Palestinians. 88% believe that Jews have too much control over global affairs and the global media. 78% think Jews are responsible for most of the world's wars. Other conspiracy theories widely accepted in Palestinian society involve the claim that Israel is trying to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque, and that it steals Palestinian organs. The fact that most Israelis have indeed grown wary of the logic of Oslo does not reflect any affection towards the status quo in the West Bank. Rather, it's nurtured by the trauma of the 2nd Intifada, frustration over multiple Palestinian rejections of real Israeli peace offers, the rise of Hamas following their evacuation from Gaza, and PA leaders who express little if any interest in inculcating a culture of peace, liberalism and tolerance. The promotion and acceptance within their society of conspiracy theories only fuels Israelis' profound skepticism that, even if their leaders did one day agree to two states, the state would be a responsible state actor and prevent extremist groups like Hamas - whose ideologically driven wish to annihilate Israel is immutable - to obtain political power. The media and most international diplomats ignore such Palestinian pathologies. Until such behavior is called out, Israelis will have little reason for hope that two states will actually achieve peace. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • White House Dismisses Israel TV Report on Peace Plan
    (Times of Israel) Eric Cortellessa - The Trump administration on Wednesday dismissed as "inaccurate" an Israeli TV report on its forthcoming peace plan. Jason Greenblatt, the White House special envoy for Mideast peace, tweeted, "Speculation about the content of the plan is not helpful." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Radicalized Muslim Planned Jihad Attack on White House
    (Washington Times) Victor Morton - Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of planning a jihad attack in Washington. Taheb was arrested immediately after picking up weapons in an FBI sting operation. He told an FBI informant in October that he "wished to conduct an attack in the United States against targets such as the White House" and a "specific synagogue" in the Washington area. Taheb said that "jihad was the best deed in Islam and the peak of Islam," and "it was not complicated at all to do jihad today." He said that he wanted to be a "martyr" and do as much damage as possible. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Israel Police: “Hebron International Observer Mission Deliberately Creates Friction”
    (Ynet News) Elisha Ben Kimon - The Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) "is deliberately creating friction to justify their salaries," the Judea and Samaria District Police said in a report to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. "The members of the mission confront Israel Defense Forces troops stationed at permanent checkpoints and disrupt standard inspection procedures." "It is no wonder that a mission comprised of police officers from hostile countries - such as Turkey and other pro-Palestinian countries that promote boycott of Israel - causes disturbances to the IDF and the police," Erdan said. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Iran Vows No Military Withdrawal from Syria
    (Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty) The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Wednesday, "The Islamic Republic of Iran will keep its military advisers, revolutionary forces, and its weapons in Syria." He warned Israel, "Be afraid of the day that Iran's precision-guided missiles roar and fall on your head." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Will Israel’s Sea Barrier Protect It from Future Hamas Infiltration?
    Adnan Abu Amer - The Israeli army announced the completion of a sea barrier next to Zikim beach on Gaza's northern border. The barrier, which is 200 meters long and six meters high and took seven months to build, is fitted with sensors to detect the movement of Hamas infiltrators. Hamas military expert Rami Abu Zubaydah said, "The barrier will not completely prevent the Palestinians from infiltrating the Israeli army lines, but it will make their task more difficult as their swimming and diving distances are increased." Hamas' naval units have "acquired equipment enabling its members to cross distances underwater much longer than distances crossed on land." The writer heads the Political Science and Media Department of Umma University Open Education in Gaza. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Iran’s Leaders Becoming Fed Up with Europe
    (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall - In recent weeks, there has been a marked deterioration in relations between Iran and Europe. The imposition of EU sanctions on the Iranian intelligence ministry, the arrest of Iranian diplomats, and repeated delays in operating a system for bypassing sanctions has increased Iran's disappointment with Europe. Against this backdrop, Iranian media have recently been covering the renewal of the uranium enrichment program, the possibility of Iran leaving the nuclear deal, and the announcement of a conference in Warsaw on Feb. 13-14 to "Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East" to bring the positions of the U.S. and Europe closer to each other. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Hamas Interrogates Italians It Suspected Were Israelis
    (Ha'aretz) Jack Khoury - Hamas interrogated four bodyguards of an Italian diplomat on Tuesday at UN headquarters in Gaza City under the suspicion they were an Israeli special-operations team, Palestinian media reported. After the four men, armed with automatic weapons, did not stop at a Hamas checkpoint, Hamas security personnel chased and shot at their car, after which they sought refuge at UN headquarters. The men were released after being questioned by Hamas investigators. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, January 17, 2019
    3 days ago
  • Israeli UN Envoy to Abbas: “Stop Spending 7 Percent of Your Budget on Terrorist Salaries”
    (Algemeiner) Ben Cohen - After Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday told the UN in New York that Israel was an "obstruction" to the "cohesive development of all peoples" in the Middle East, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told Algemeiner: "As the United Nations very well knows from all of the development work Israel does, Israel is not what undermines development but actually helps it." "Instead, it is the Palestinian Authority that undermines its own capacity and development. The PA should stop spending 7% of its annual budget on inciting and paying terrorist salaries, and instead use it to develop its infrastructure and help its people." The PA spent $355 million of international donors' money in 2017 on paying salaries and other benefits to convicted or "martyred" terrorists and their families. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • Talks Underway to Build Gas Pipeline to Egypt, Israel Says
    (Bloomberg) Mirette Magdy - Talks are in progress to build an underwater natural gas pipeline from Israel's offshore Leviathan and Tamar fields to Egypt's existing liquefied natural gas plants for processing and re-export, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday in Cairo at the first East Mediterranean Gas Forum. The new line would allow Israel to export much more to Egypt than the maximum 7 billion cubic meters per year that can flow through the existing EMG pipeline connecting Israel to Egypt's Sinai. Steinitz said Egypt would begin to receive significant quantities of Israeli gas through the EMG pipeline in October. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • IDF Troops to Get Advanced Gunsight
    (Ynet News) Udi Etzion - Israel Defense Forces infantry troops are to get the advanced "Dagger" gunsight. It gives them the ability to hit moving targets precisely, allows soldiers to hit a target on the first shot, and reduces the chances of innocent civilians being hit. The Dagger has an electro-optic system and a processor that calculates the distance of a target and its movement, the movement of the shooter and the ballistics of the ammunition and the rifle used. It then processes all the information in order to select the optimum moment to shoot. The sights follow the target and, with the aid of an algorithm and an advanced image processing system, "know" the right moment to pull the trigger. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • U.S. Army Eyes Purchase of Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System
    (i24News) The U.S. army has asked Congress to approve $373 million to purchase two of Israel's Iron Dome missile interception batteries, the American defense website Inside Defense reported Wednesday. The army is seeking to acquire the two batteries with 240 interception missiles by 2020 to provide U.S. ground forces interim protection against unmanned air vehicles, mortars, rockets, artillery and cruise missiles in conflict zones around the world. While the U.S. has attempted to develop interceptor systems of its own, only Iron Dome could meet the mandated goal of implementing an interim cruise missile defense capability by 2020. A U.S. Army document submitted to Congress on Oct. 26, 2018, said that based on cost analysis and recent simulation results, the Iron Dome system was the best option to fulfill immediate needs and requirements. "The Iron Dome system provides the best value to the Army based on its schedule, cost per kill, magazine depth, and capability against specified threats," the document said. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • The Iran Deal, Three Years Later
    (Institute for National Security Studies) Emily B. Landau and Ephraim Asculai - Three years after the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) in mid-January 2016, supporters insist that "the deal is working" - but what does this mean? If the intention is that Iran is prevented from becoming a nuclear weapons state, clearly this is not the case; not least because the deal has an expiration date in the form of its sunset provisions, and thus at best only delays the time whereby Iran is able, technically, to continue developing a nuclear weapon. If the deal is dangerously flawed, compliance with its terms would not confirm that it has prevented Iran from carrying on its nuclear development program or that there is room for complacency regarding the prospects of Iran going nuclear in the future. Two major problems related to the Iran deal that arose over the course of 2018 demand immediate attention. The first relates to inspections at undeclared nuclear-related facilities in Iran. The second is Iran's missile program, in particular the recent Iranian test of a medium-range missile that can reach the entire Middle East and parts of Europe, and can carry a nuclear warhead. Dr. Emily B. Landau heads the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at INSS at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Ephraim Asculai, a senior research associate at INSS, worked at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission for over 40 years. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • New Threat from Gaza: Landfills and Sewage Build Up along Israeli Border
    (Ynet News) Matan Tzuri - The residents of Israeli communities bordering Gaza are now battling polluted sewage being pumped from Gaza into the Israeli side of the border after the local wastewater treatment plant serving Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia in Gaza collapsed. Palestinians are draining sewage into Nahal Hanun, which crosses Israel and empties into the sea, polluting the groundwater in the process. In order to stop wastewater flow and reduce the environmental damage, the Israel Water Authority has recently set up a pumping station near the Erez border crossing. In addition, massive piles of trash have accumulated in three giant landfills along the border fence, leaving Israelis to cope with a putrid and toxic smell being carried by the wind across the border. Insects and rodents that breed in the landfills then make their way across the border, infesting Israeli communities. Disease-ridden cats and dogs that feed off the landfill constantly breach the fence. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • Chinese Trade Offices Open in Israel
    (Times of Israel) Sam Chester - More than a dozen Chinese investment promotion offices have opened in Israel over the last eighteen months, representing cities and provinces across China, to actively support commercial activities between their localities and Israel. They include Dongguan, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Qingdao, Zhuhai, and Xiamen. Major U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and European cities all operate commercial representative offices in Israel. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • Netanyahu Asked Trump for Support Ahead of Mossad Operation in Iran
    (Times of Israel) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump in January before a major Israeli intelligence operation in Iran in order to secure American support if the mission were to go awry, Israeli Hadashot TV reported Tuesday. Netanyahu was seeking U.S. assistance in case the Israeli operatives had to be rescued during the mission. In April, Netanyahu revealed a trove of documents from Iran's atomic archives that the Mossad had spirited out of a warehouse in Tehran. It was also reported that the extraction of the Mossad agents was far more complicated than previously reported. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • Is U.S. Concern over China-Israel Haifa Port Reasonable?
    (China.org) Jin Liangxiang - On Jan. 6, while visiting Israel, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a deal with China on a new port at Haifa, raising concerns that the U.S. Sixth Fleet will change its longstanding operations in Haifa. U.S. fleets in the Asia-Pacific area have long regarded China's Hong Kong as a site of logistical support. Despite tensions, China is always ready to approve docking of U.S. fleets at Hong Kong, the latest being the [nuclear-powered supercarrier] USS Ronald Reagan in November 2018. The U.S. has chosen to dock there, never expressing a concern that China would collect intelligence as a result. In addition, the U.S. military base in Djibouti and China's logistic support base were established in the same area, yet the U.S. never expressed unease about China's military presence. The writer is Senior Research Fellow with the Center for West Asian and African Studies at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • Another PR “Victory” for Abbas at the UN
    (Jerusalem Post) Khaled Abu Toameh - On Tuesday, Palestinian Authority officials celebrated what one called a "major public relations victory for President Abbas and Palestine" - assuming the presidency of the Group 77 (G77) and China, a bloc that represents 134 nations. Radio and television stations in Ramallah broadcasted news and interviews related to the event all day, with their main message being: Abbas is a hero; he has done it again; he has scored another historic victory for the Palestinians. One Abbas loyalist interviewed by the PA's Voice of Palestine radio boasted: the Palestinian state is now only a stone's throw away. But Abbas will soon return to Ramallah to realize that his latest "victory" has not changed the reality on the ground. As he was speaking at the UN, Hamas and other Palestinian factions were pointing out that Abbas was no longer a legitimate and rightful president since his term in office expired 10 years ago. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • There Is No “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”
    (New York Times) Matti Friedman - To someone here in Israel, there isn't an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think. In the Israeli view, no peacemaker can bring the two sides together because there aren't just two sides. There are many, many sides. Most of Israel's wars haven't been fought against Palestinians. Since the invasion of five Arab armies at the declaration of the State of Israel in May 1948, the Palestinians have made up a small number of the combatants facing the country. Today Israel's most potent enemy is the Shiite theocracy in Iran, which is more than 1,000 miles away and isn't Palestinian or Arab. The gravest threat to Israel at close range is Hizbullah on our northern border, an army of Lebanese Shiites founded and funded by the Iranians. A threat of a lesser order is posed by Hamas, which is Palestinian - but was founded as the local incarnation of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and is kept afloat with Qatari cash and backed by Iran. There are also Islamic State-affiliated insurgents on our border with Egypt's Sinai. By framing it as only an "Israeli-Palestinian" conflict, Israelis seem stronger, more prosperous and more numerous. But many in Israel believe that an agreement signed by a Western-backed Palestinian leader in the West Bank won't end the conflict, because it will wind up creating a power vacuum destined to be filled by intra-Muslim chaos or Iranian proxies. That's exactly what has happened around us in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago
  • Atomic Chief: Iran Can Enrich Uranium to 20 Percent within Four Days
    (Reuters) Iran can enrich uranium up to 20% within four days, Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday. Iran's 2015 accord caps the level to which it is able to enrich uranium at 3.67%. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
    4 days ago