Daily Alerts

  • Jihadists Are Trying to Take Over the Sahel
    (Economist-UK) As the American and other allied troops who helped crush IS are quietly heading home, a form of IS' brutal ideology is taking root in and around the Sahel, the arid, sparsely populated belt of land that runs along the southern fringe of the Sahara desert. Last year the jihadists in Africa killed some 10,000 people, mostly civilians. That compares with about 2,000 civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria. Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Nigerian jihadist group, has 3,500 fighters and is trying to build a "caliphate." Jihadists connected to al-Qaeda and IS have attacked Western embassies, hotels and oil facilities in the Sahel. A suicide-bombing in 2017 that claimed 23 lives in Manchester has been linked to Libya. So too was an attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016 that killed 12 people. The risks of more such attacks will grow if jihadists are allowed to hold territory and establish camps. France already has 4,500 troops in Africa; America has 6,000. Yet they are having an outsize effect by training, supporting and providing crucial intelligence to the African armies that are doing almost all the fighting. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • With Rivers Dry and Fields Dust, Iranian Farmers Turn to Protest
    (AP-Washington Post) Nasser Karimi and Mohammed Nasiri - As water shortages caused by a years-long drought were worsened, experts say, by government mismanagement, protests in Iran have gotten larger, with bursts of violence. In farming towns like Varzaneh south of Tehran, the Zayandeh Roud river dried up years ago. The fields around Varzaneh are now stretches of salt-laced dirt. The cattle are gone. Around 90% of the farming activities in the district have faded away. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • U.S., Allies to Evacuate Aid Workers from Southwest Syria
    (AP-Chicago Tribune) Matthew Lee and Sarah El Deeb - The U.S. is finalizing plans to evacuate several hundred Syrian civil defense workers and their families from southwest Syria as Russian-backed government forces close in on the area, officials said Thursday. The U.S., Britain and Canada will transport members of the White Helmets group to transit camps in neighboring countries. The White Helmets, who have enjoyed backing from the U.S. and other Western nations for years, are likely to be targeted by Syrian forces as they retake control of the southwest. "I hope they rescue us before it is too late," said a White Helmets volunteer in Quneitra. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Bengal Farmers Adopt Israeli Greenhouse Technique
    (WION-India) Indian farmers in West Bengal have adopted Israeli greenhouse technology to grow tomatoes during the rainy season. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Egypt President Faces Dissent over Rising Prices
    (Washington Post) Sudarsan Raghavan and Heba Farouk Mahfouz - Rising prices linked to economic austerity measures are taking a toll on Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi's core middle-class supporters. While the economy is growing, steep subsidy cuts have driven up prices for fuel, cooking gas and electricity. In exchange for a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, Sissi agreed in 2016 to put austerity measures in place. Last week, the IMF praised Egypt's efforts, projecting that economic growth will reach 5.2% this year. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Life Sentences for Palestinians Who Murdered Their Israeli Boss in Terror Attack
    (Times of Israel) Yousef Kamil and Mohammed Abu al-Rub stabbed and beat Reuven Schmerling to death after he hired them to work in his coal warehouse in the Arab Israeli city of Kafr Kassem last October. The Lod District Court on Thursday sentenced the two West Bank Palestinians to life in prison for the murder. The indictment said the pair decided to "carry out an attack for nationalistic reasons and cause the death of Jews." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Time to Rethink Our Attitudes toward Middle East Refugees
    (Tablet) Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander Joffe - There are currently 655,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, another 1.1 million in Lebanon and 3.5 million in Turkey. In addition, there are over 6 million internally displaced persons. This does not begin to count other Middle Eastern refugees, in Yemen, Sudan, and elsewhere. UNRWA, a permanent welfare organization dedicated to Palestinian refugees, has spent tens of billions since its creation in 1950. Wages, salaries and employee benefits for UNRWA's 30,000 employees comprise over $700 million in annual expenditures. UNRWA is a vast internationally funded jobs program. There are far more pressing crises in the world than the Palestinian issue and it is an obstacle to providing for real refugees. It is time for the international community to realize, at long last, that Palestinians are not refugees; they are residents and citizens of various countries. Countries like Lebanon, which have discriminated against Palestinians in housing and employment, must accept reality and integrate the populations they have hosted for decades. For decades, Western states were convinced they were buying regional stability with massive payoffs to Palestinians and disproportionate political attention to their cause. But the immensity of contemporary refugee crises, the strident demands of Palestinians to remain at the front of the welfare line, and the collapse of the old Arab state system have created a new mindset in the Arab world. The stark disparity of real needs versus Palestinian claims (and threats) should disabuse the West about the putative centrality of the cause. UNRWA and the PA are perpetuating an ideology that Palestinians are entitled to permanent international support pending a magical return to a mythical status quo that predates the creation of Israel. Asaf Romirowsky is Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Alexander Joffe is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow of the Middle East Forum. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Israel vs. Gaza Airborne Firebombs
    (Ha'aretz) Amos Harel - Of the current threats facing Israel's Gaza Division, the kite and balloon arson ranks third. IDF forces deployed around Gaza are first of all on the lookout for attempts to infiltrate Israeli border communities by tunnel, parachute or a breach in the security fence. Next is addressing the firing of rockets and mortar shells. The army is putting tremendous energy into extinguishing the fires and developing more effective solutions to the problem. Observation and firefighting teams spread out along the border have shortened the response time. Every week, scientists, inventors and industry representatives gather near the border to test out new ideas for intercepting the kites and balloons. The army is keen to find more interception solutions. Terrorist groups are increasingly using drones, a developing threat that requires an answer. Since the air force began shooting deterrent fire at cells launching the incendiary devices, the Palestinians have switched to operating from within densely populated areas. At this point, the helium balloons are doing more damage than the kites. Many are intercepted, with gunfire or by drones, but they are being launched in such volume that they ignite new fires daily. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Syrian Rebels Surrender in Quneitra as Assad Continues Advance in South
    (Telegraph-UK) Syrian rebels have agreed to surrender Quneitra - a sensitive area bordering the Israeli Golan Heights - to government forces, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Thursday. "The deal provides for a ceasefire, the handover of heavy and medium weapons, and the return of government institutions to the area." A member of the rebel delegation to the talks told AFP that Syrian government forces accompanied by Russian military police would enter the buffer zone with the Golan. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Israel Begins Supplying Upgraded Anti-Tank Missile
    (Ynet News) Yoav Zitun - Israel's Rafael Systems has recently begun providing the IDF and other armies, mainly from Europe, with the new version of the Gil 2 anti-tank missile. In recent field tests, the improved missile penetrated through 20 cm. of concrete walls and bunkers, and has a range of 5.5-6 km. The system is able to receive target coordinates from a drone and launch a missile without requiring the force operating the missile to expose itself. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Help Is at Hand for Palestinians. It’s All Up to Hamas
    (Washington Post) Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman - The nightmare of Hamas' leadership is needlessly prolonging the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza. Despite the billions of dollars invested for the benefit of Palestinians in Gaza over the past 70 years, 53% live below poverty level and unemployment is 49%. In the past, investments in badly needed infrastructure have been diverted for weapons and other malign uses, and even the projects that are built are often destroyed as a consequence of Hamas aggression. Until governance changes or Hamas recognizes the State of Israel, abides by previous diplomatic agreements and renounces violence, there is no good option. Peace will be achieved only by embracing reality and dismissing a flawed ideology. Life could significantly improve in short order for the Palestinian people if Hamas allowed it. If Hamas demonstrates clear, peaceful intentions, then all manner of new opportunities becomes possible. Hamas must immediately cease provoking or coordinating attacks on Israelis and Egyptians. Rockets, mortars, terror tunnels, kite bombs and other weapons of aggression lead only to stricter constraints that have only produced misery for the people of Gaza. The world is moving forward, but bad choices are causing Palestinians to fall further and further behind. Hamas leadership is holding the Palestinians of Gaza captive. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Mossad Helped Foil Iranian Terror Attack in France
    (Ynet News) Itamar Eichner - The Mossad, Israel's Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, helped thwart a major Iranian terrorist attack in France last month, Israel's Channel 2 reports. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s as Secure as It’s Ever Been But That Can Change Quickly
    (Times of Israel) Chuck Freilich interviewed by Judah Ari Gross - Chuck Freilich, 62, a former deputy national security adviser of Israel and current senior fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center, has written Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change, published in March by Oxford University Press. The book draws on his decades of experience in the Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry and his stretch as deputy national security adviser under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "One of my sub-recommendations is put more money into defense. We have to have overwhelmingly effective capabilities," Freilich said. "We need a national rocket shield....We've got about 10 batteries today. According to the experts, if you want the kind of national shield that I'm talking about, you need between 13 and 20 Iron Dome batteries. A battery today costs about $60-80 million. An interceptor is $30,000-$50,000. If we want 20, and we want, let's say, 100,000 interceptors, this comes out to $5-7 billion." Q: You include a chapter about Israel's policies regarding its own alleged, reported, purported nuclear capabilities, according to foreign media. Isn't this getting a bit silly? Freilich: "It's the best foreign policy decision Israel has ever developed. We enjoy all the benefits of having a declared nuclear capability, without having done so. Everyone in the world is convinced that Israel isn't only a nuclear power, but has a fairly large arsenal. Everyone's convinced we've got a triad (the ability to launch nuclear weapons from the air, sea and land)....And what are the costs? The costs are severe. According to U.S. law, the United States must impose a complete end to relations...no military aid and no diplomatic support." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • A Visit to the 2,000-Year-Old Mountaintop Fortress of Masada
    (Business Insider) Ben Gilbert - Visiting an ancient mountaintop fortress that overlooks the Dead Sea doesn't feel real. Because of its isolation and the arid desert climate, the fortress once occupied by King Herod is a remarkably well-preserved relic of humanity's ancient past, one you can climb to on the same paths used by visiting dignitaries and invading Roman troops. Masada dates to King Herod, an influential ruler of ancient Judea, a mountainous region of modern-day Israel. The fortress doubled as a palace for Herod during his lifetime, around 100 BCE. Masada is today a UNESCO World Heritage site. When you visit Masada, it's impossible not to see the vast scope of human history. It's there in front of you. In a two-week trip full of life-changing memories, climbing to Masada just in time for sunrise topped them all. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Palestinians Force U.S. Officials to Cancel West Bank Visit
    (Jerusalem Post) Khaled Abu Toameh - Palestinians boasted on Thursday that they forced the U.S. consulate-general in Jerusalem to cancel a visit by a U.S. delegation to the Palestinian Securities Exchange offices in Nablus and the nearby town of Sebastiya in the West Bank. The ruling Fatah faction said, "Receiving any representative of the U.S. administration is rejected and is a deviation from the national will." Fatah also warned that it would take "legal and popular action" against any Palestinian institution that defies the boycott of U.S. officials. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Are the Saudis Playing a Double Game with Israel?
    (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Dr. Edy Cohen - Saudi Arabia's National Cyber Security Authority's Twitter account tweets daily, mostly against Qatar and Iran. It refers to Qatar as "Qatariel," a combination of Qatar and Israel, and claims Qatar's Al-Jazeera network "belongs to the Israeli Mossad." One tweet says the Qataris are scheming to divide the Arab states to fulfill the dreams of the "Zionist entity" and Iran. Another alleges that Qatar is "trying to destroy the Arab world to serve the enemies of the Muslim world: Israel and Iran." The Saudis are playing a double game. Behind the scenes, they send the Israelis the message that Tehran is a common enemy and goad it to fight Iran and Hizbullah. At home, they say the enemy is first and foremost the State of Israel, followed by Iran. These statements penetrate deep into the Arab consciousness and increase their existing hatred towards Jews and Israel. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Get Over It – Israel Is the Jewish State
    (Wall Street Journal) Eugene Kontorovich - On Thursday Israel finally expressed in constitutional law the basic achievement of Zionism: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. In the seven years since the new provision was first proposed, it has attracted a barrage of criticism from the U.S. and Europe. Foreign politicians have demanded Israel not pass the law, and they have not been mollified by the removal of most of its disputed provisions. In reality, Israel's Basic Law would not be out of place among the liberal democratic constitutions of Europe - which include similar provisions that have not aroused controversy. The law does not infringe on the individual rights of any Israeli citizen, including Arabs; nor does it create individual privileges. The illiberalism here lies with the law's critics, who would deny the Jewish state the freedom to legislate like a normal country. The writer is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law and head of the international law department at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Israel Cuts Industrial Air Pollution by Half in a Decade
    (Xinhua-China) Israel invested billions of dollars to reduce industrial exhaust gas emissions by more than half, thanks to the Clean Air Law passed a decade ago, the Israel Ministry of Environment said. The law included strict regulations to reduce pollution from companies, industrial plants and power stations, with 145 polluters undergoing continuous inspections. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Sharp Rise in Indian Tourist Arrivals to Israel
    (Times of India) Neha Madaan - More than 40,000 Indian tourists visited Israel from January to June 2018, the Israel Ministry of Tourism said, with 17,800 Indian arrivals in May alone. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Video: Will the Trump-Putin Summit Lead to Some Pushback Against Iran in Syria
    (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Dore Gold - Iranian President Rouhani now threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz and endorses Ayatollah Khamenei's call for the elimination of Israel, exposing as a lie the claim that there is a moderate faction in the Iranian regime. Under Rouhani's presidency, Iran continued its drive for regional hegemony and continued to increase the number of areas under its influence in Africa and South America, while exporting the Islamic Revolution throughout the Middle East. If Iran was moving in the direction of moderation, as was asserted back in 2015, you would have seen Iran pull back from all its foreign commitments. What we have seen is that Iran has doubled down with its Shiite militias. Iran is not leaving Syria. Iran is digging in to Syria and expects international support for remaining there, seeking to consolidate what it has won in the Syrian civil war. The Iranians want to establish a crescent of influence from the Iran-Iraq border across to the Mediterranean Sea, and have a supply line for the massive military operation that it is planning. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has laid out a plan to combine the various militias in Syria into a 150,000-man army to achieve Iranian hegemony in the Middle East. The writer, former director general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Friday, July 20, 2018
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s Conditions for Accepting the Return of Syrian Regime Forces to Its Border
    (BICOM-UK) Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Michael Herzog - The Syrian regime has regained control over nearly 2/3 of the country. The regime's assault in the south essentially put an end to the 2017 de-escalation agreement in the southwest provinces. In principle, Israel is not opposed to Syrian moves to recapture these areas as long as certain conditions are met. They include the immediate withdrawal of Iran's military presence and other Shia proxies such as Hizbullah that are present in the south. It appears that Russia is willing to accept this Israeli demand. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the Russians can actually deliver on this pledge. Israel has argued that it is not enough to distance Iranian forces from the south, and seeks to have them excluded from all of Syria. According to Israeli Intelligence, Iran is working toward turning the whole of Syria into another military front with Israel, including military air and naval elements, proxy Shiite "legions," and a huge arsenal of rockets to complement Hizbullah's 120,000 rockets in Lebanon. Accordingly, Israel has been targeting Iranian military capabilities that have been introduced into Syria. On this issue, while Russia has publicly agreed that in the long-term, Iranian forces should be excluded from Syria, it believes that this is unrealistic at present. With the war not yet over, Russia still needs Iranian forces. At the same time, Russia has turned a blind eye to Israeli initiatives targeting Iran and its proxies in Syria, as long as Israeli actions do not endanger Russian troops or assets or target the Assad regime. An additional Israeli condition is the full implementation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement, which was reached following the 1973 Yom Kippur war. This established a buffer zone between Syrian and Israeli military forces (about 80 km. long and between 0.5 and 10 km. wide), as well as additional areas with limitations on troops and weapons on both sides. At the July 16 Helsinki summit, Putin noted that he and Trump agreed on the need to fully implement the 1974 agreement so as to ensure Israel's security. The writer is a former chief of staff to four Israeli ministers of defense. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Haley: Human Rights Council Is UN’s “Greatest Failure”
    (VOA News) Margaret Besheer - U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley defended the Trump administration's June 19 decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, saying Wednesday that the body is the UN's "greatest failure." "More often, the Human Rights Council has provided cover, not condemnation, for the world's most inhumane regimes." She spoke of the council's singling out of Israel for criticism through "Agenda Item 7." "No other country - not Iran, not Syria, not North Korea - has an agenda item devoted only to it. Agenda Item 7 is not directed at anything Israel does, it is directed at the very existence of Israel." She said it is a "blazing red siren" signaling the council's "political corruption and moral bankruptcy." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • 200 Rockets and Mortars Fired on Israel in One Day – Where Is the Outrage?
    (Newsweek) Vladimir Sloutsker - In the space of 24 hours, starting last Friday evening, Hamas terrorists in Gaza rained down over 200 rockets and mortars on communities in southern Israel, causing thousands of families to spend their day running in and out of bomb shelters. It was the heaviest day of rocket fire since the end of the 2014 Gaza war. Imagine if even one rocket was fired on London, Paris, Brussels or Berlin? There would be universal outrage, condemnation, and an immediate, forceful response. Yet when hundreds of rockets and mortars were fired on Israel, the response from the international community was silence. By refusing to hold Hamas to account, the international community is only emboldening, empowering and encouraging the terror group to commit further attacks. Where is the outage that Iran, which continues to call for the destruction of the State of Israel, is the primary funder and supplier of weapons to Hamas? And is it "peaceful protestors" in Gaza who fire rockets and mortars at Israel's civilian population? The writer is president and co-founder of the Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC). ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Egypt’s Nubian Minority Revives Dream of Return to Homeland
    (AP) Hamza Hendawi - Siham Othman, 30, was born decades after her grandparents were forced to evacuate from their homes on the banks of the Nile River along with tens of thousands of their fellow Nubians. Osman and a young generation of Nubian activists have revived the cause of their people. They are trying to preserve Nubians' unique culture and identity and are campaigning for a return to their traditional lands. Yet the government of President Sissi has shown little tolerance for dissent and Osman is among 50 Nubian activists on trial for participating in protests. Nubians are an ancient ethnic group that, since Pharaonic times, lived along the Nile in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Darker skinned than most Egyptians, they have a distinct culture and a language unrelated to Arabic. Some 3.5 to 5 million of Egypt's 90 million people are estimated to be Nubians. When Egypt built the Aswan High Dam, the government moved 55,000 out of their homes in 1963-4 as the creation of Lake Nasser flooded the Nubians' homeland. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Israeli Earthquake Prediction System Put into Use Worldwide
    (Xinhua-China) An earthquake prediction system invented by Israeli start-up SeismicAI will be put into use in several Asian and European countries, Israeli technology website Geektime reported Sunday. The system uses artificial intelligence which collects data from frequent small earthquakes to predict stronger ones. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Iran Nuclear Chief Says Uranium Stockpile Reaches 950 Tons
    (AP-Washington Post) Nasser Karimi - Iran's uranium stockpile has nearly doubled in the last few years and Iran is close to finishing a factory where it can build more centrifuges to enrich it, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said Wednesday. Iran has imported 400 tons of yellowcake uranium from Kazakhstan and Russia since 2015, bringing its stockpile to between 900 and 950 tons, up from 500 tons, Salehi said. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • IAI’s TaxiBot to Be Deployed at Indian Airports
    (Globes) Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has entered an agreement with KSU of India for operating TaxiBot vehicles at New Delhi and Mumbai airports. TaxiBot is a semi-robotic vehicle which is controlled by the pilot to taxi the airplane from the terminal to the runway with no use of the aircraft's main engines. TaxiBot saves 85% of the fuel consumed during standard taxiing and reduces noise levels and pollution. Moreover, it reduces foreign object damage by 50%, as foreign objects can't be sucked into the aircraft engines if they are not running. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Visits Israel
    (Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a two-day official visit. He noted that anti-Semitism is on the rise in western Europe, while it is declining in eastern Europe. "I want to tell you that in Hungary there is no tolerance for anti-Semitism, and all Jews in Hungary are protected by the government," he emphasized. Netanyahu thanked Orban for his country's support in international forums, something the Hungarian premier said will continue. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Documents List Hungary PM’s Pro-Israel Actions
    (Israel Hayom) Ariel Kahana - Israel Hayom has obtained documents that detail numerous actions Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his government have taken in support of Israel since he entered office in 2010. They include Hungary's refusal in April 2015 to sign a letter demanding special labeling for goods produced in the West Bank, Hungary's refusal in December 2017 to join in condemning President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and Hungarian (and Czech) opposition in May 2018 to an official condemnation by the European Council on the status of Jerusalem, which caused the council to drop the initiative. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • U.S. Report Finds Only 20,000 Palestinian Refugees
    (Israel Hayom) Ariel Kahana - Sources who have seen a State Department report compiled during the Obama administration on Palestinians who became refugees during the 1948 War of Independence say the report indicates that only 20,000 of the 700,000 Arab refugees are still alive and displaced from their homes. Members of Congress are demanding the State Department make the report public. UNRWA, the UN agency which provides assistance to Palestinian refugees and their descendants, asserts that there are 5.1 million Palestinian refugees worldwide. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Saudi Journalist: We Must Advance Peace with Israel
    (MEMRI) Writing in the Saudi government daily Al-Yawm on July 15, 2018, Saudi journalist Sukina Meshekhis called on the Arab countries to take bold steps, including certain concessions, in order to advance peace with Israel. She wrote that the Arabs have missed too many opportunities to make peace with Israel, and this is stopping them from developing and advancing. The collective interest of the Arabs today "requires rapprochement and understandings with Israel," and therefore they must be more pragmatic. In several recent reports, MEMRI has noted an increasing number of Saudi intellectuals, journalists, and commentators expressing public support for Israel and calling for peace and normalization with it. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Iran’s Businesses Begin to Buckle under Sanctions Threat
    (Wall Street Journal) Aresu Eqbali and Asa Fitch - New U.S. sanctions are sending an economic shock through Iran even before they take effect. Iran's manufacturers, Persian-rug exporters and shopkeepers have increasingly struggled to make transactions in dollars for imports of needed supplies. Foreign companies are winding down contracts and the threat of sanctions has scared away big foreign banks, many of which paid billions of dollars in fines to U.S. regulators for sanctions violations in the past five years. The weakness of Iran's rial - down 50% this year - has made imports so expensive that Iranian companies are cutting production and canceling contracts. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • Israel Cannot Rely on Russian Promises regarding Iranian Deployment in Syria
    (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Eldad Shavit, Zvi Magen, Vera Michlin-Shapir, and Udi Dekel - In spite of Russian interest in principle in the removal of Iranian forces from Syria, it is hard at the moment to identify a substantive Russian desire or ability to prevent the deployment of Iran and its proxies in southern Syria. Agreements regarding southern Syria do not, in any event, provide a sufficient response to Iran's ongoing efforts to deploy forces deep inside Syria and position advanced weapon systems there. The likelihood that the Trump-Putin summit will succeed in promoting meaningful change in the balance of developments in Syria is not great. Israel must continue to maneuver with Russia, and perhaps also with the U.S., particularly with respect to delaying the rapid withdrawal of American forces from Syria without guarantees for the removal of the Iranians. Time after time, Russia has failed to honor its commitments in Syria, and it would therefore be a mistake for the U.S. to evacuate its forces and rely on Russia before there is clear evidence that Iranian forces and proxies have left the country and dismantled their military infrastructures as well as their rocket and air defense systems. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • European Monitor Filmed Puncturing Tires of Israeli Vehicle in Hebron
    (Ha'aretz) Yotam Berger - A European activist with the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) was caught on a security camera video puncturing the tires of a car belonging to a Jewish resident of Hebron. The police report states: "The video clearly shows a TIPH vehicle arriving at the site and three men from TIPH getting out. One, wearing a red and blue vest with the words TIPH on it, went to the vehicle." The report says the suspect "can clearly be seen approaching the Citroen and standing next to the left back tire" before bending down and doing something to the tire. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, July 19, 2018
    3 days ago
  • “Israel Is More Humanitarian than our Arab Brothers”
    (Independent-UK) Bel Trew - Syrian shopkeeper Diaa, 24, had his face torn open by a missile that struck his village in Deraa province. His legs and arm had also been broken. Diaa says he would have died had he not been hospitalized in neighboring Israel. Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya is currently treating 43 Syrians. It has administered care to a steady stream of the wounded over the last five years. "It's strange for us that Israel is more humanitarian than our Arab brothers," says Ammar, 27, who is camped out in the Syrian Golan Heights close to the Israeli border. "I once even heard people saying they hope that Israel would include this area in the [Israeli] Golan." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Iran Teen Arrested for Dancing at Home and Posting the Video on Instagram
    (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Iran Desk - Maedeh Hojabri, 17, from Tehran, has more than 600,000 followers on Instagram. She incurred the wrath of the Iranian regime when she danced alone in front of her bedroom mirror and then posted the video. She was arrested, and her tear-filled apology was broadcast on national TV together with the "confessions" and apologies of another three young people - two girls and a boy - who were also arrested for posting their dances on the Internet. This led to a huge of wave of protests against the broadcasting authority in particular, and the regime in general. Men and women of all ages posted videos of themselves dancing on social media in protest against the arrest of Maedeh and to show the government that they also dance in their homes. The Iranian people are dealing with a devaluation of over 50% in the worth of personal property because of a loss of more than 100% in the value of the Iranian rial in the past three months. Iranian social media report that several senior government officials are busy smuggling more than $42 billion in foreign currency abroad, as well as tens of millions of dollars in gold, out of fear that the regime will fall. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Iran Sues U.S. in International Court of Justice over Renewed Sanctions
    (New York Times) Rick Gladstone - Iran on Monday sued the U.S. at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, asking the court to order the U.S. to "terminate the 8 May sanctions without delay." The lawsuit also demanded that the U.S. compensate Iran for financial damage already done by the re-imposed sanctions. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that Iran sought "to hold [the] U.S. accountable for its unlawful re-imposition of unilateral sanctions." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Ayatollah Khamenei: “Zionist Regime Will Be Eradicated”
    (Los Angeles Jewish Journal) Aaron Bandler - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote on Twitter Tuesday: "The Palestinian nation will certainly gain victory over the enemies and will witness the day when the fabricated Zionist regime will be eradicated." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Israeli Firm Develops System for Faster Blood Tests
    (Digital Journal) Tim Sandle - Israeli firm Sight Diagnostics has developed an accelerated blood diagnostics system based on computer imaging coupled with machine learning technology. The OLO machine enables medical practitioners to measure blood count directly in their office, obviating the need for a sample to be sent away for laboratory testing. Results are obtained in ten minutes, allowing physicians to place patients on the most appropriate treatment right away - during the initial visit. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • The Birth of Israel’s Iron Dome
    (Moment) Dan Raviv - In 2006, Hizbullah fired 4,000 rockets at Israel, a quarter of which hit populated areas. In 2007, the government-owned weapons development company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems began to work on short-range missile defense. On April 7, 2011, Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defense system achieved its first operational, real-world interception of a Grad rocket fired by Hamas in Gaza at a power plant in Ashkelon. Israel gave the U.S. details of the Iron Dome technology, enabling American contractor Raytheon to create and market SkyHunter, only slightly modified from Iron Dome. The U.S. military can now order SkyHunter as a fully approved, domestically-manufactured product to protect American bases and forward positions in South Korea and the Middle East. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Why Is Israel the Only Country with No Right to a Normal Foreign Policy?
    (Commentary) Evelyn Gordon - The news that Hungary's prime minister will visit Israel this week has sparked outrage, an example of the way Israel is routinely held to standards applied to no other country. The objection is that Viktor Orban is an authoritarian. The reality is that most countries in the world today are authoritarian. Thus, any country which wants to maintain relationships with more than a handful of other countries will end up hosting a lot of authoritarian leaders, which is why every other Western democracy also does so. Just this month, Switzerland and Austria welcomed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as did France and Italy in 2016, even though Rouhani's government is actively abetting the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in Syria and Yemen and brutally crushing dissent at home. That's far worse than hosting Orban, whose government isn't killing anyone. Moreover, Hungary is genuinely important to Israel's core foreign policy interests, since it has repeatedly helped quash anti-Israel decisions by the EU. According to a JTA report on Hungarian anti-Semitism last month, Jews in Britain or Austria were far more likely to suffer anti-Semitic violence than their Hungarian brethren. Indeed, unlike in France or Belgium, Jews with beards and kippahs said they feel safe walking Hungary's streets. Once you remove the straw man of anti-Semitism, you're left with the double standard in all its glory: Israel alone has no right to host authoritarian leaders important to its interests, even as other Western democracies routinely host worse leaders with less justification. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Episcopal Bishops Rejects Israel Divestment Resolution
    (Episcopal News Service) David Paulsen - The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops rejected a resolution to divest from Israel in a 48-78 vote on July 11 at its General Convention in Austin, Texas, after the House of Deputies approved the resolution in a 619-214 vote. "Divestment will not move us one inch forward in the peace process," said retired Bishop Ed Little of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, who was one of six bishops to speak against the resolution before the vote. Little warned that divestment would do "irreparable damage" to the church's relations with Israel. Bishop J. Scott Barker of Nebraska warned of persistent claims in the territories that Israel has no right to exist. "I would be all for proactive investment in the Palestinian territories...but actions to boycott, divest from or sanction Israel alone as the antagonist in this story no longer makes sense to me," Barker said. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Report: Airstrike at Iranian Revolutionary Guard Center in Syria Killed 22
    (Times of Israel) Syrian rebel forces claimed that 22 people, including nine Iranians, were killed in an airstrike in northern Syria blamed on Israel, Al Jazeera reported Monday. "Israeli missiles targeted an Iranian Revolutionary Guard center near the Neyrab military airport," said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Why Are Greens Silent over Ecological War Against Israel?
    (New York Post) Editorial - Since the end of March, Hamas-spurred terrorists have flown hundreds of firebombs into Israel, setting aflame thousands of acres of farmland, forests and nature preserves. Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry fears that particulate matter from the fires may boost cancer and vision problems as well as respiratory illness. If one combatant can launch environmental war without global censure, the tactic will catch on. Why aren't the world's greens screaming at this "assault on the planet"? ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Palestinians Criticize Saudi Documentary on Israel’s Founding
    (Jerusalem Post) Menachem Shlomo - A recently released two-part documentary from Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya titled "The Naqba" that depicts the lead-up to the creation of Israel is rich with imagery from the Holocaust and the pre-state Jewish population. Attempting to depict the topic in an unbiased light, the narrator says things like, [following the Holocaust] "Israel was born, and the dream became reality" and "Arab neighboring armies invaded Palestine." Palestinian groups have condemned the show as an attempt by Saudi Arabia to normalize the Jewish country. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Iranian Militias Test Israel with Advance on Golan Heights
    (Times-UK) Hannah Lucinda Smith - The Syrian army, supported by Iranian militias, was pushing into the rebel pocket next to the Israeli border from the east, after their victory in neighboring Deraa last week. Militias linked to Iran, including Lebanese Hizbullah, are fighting alongside the Syrian army, which has been weakened by years of fighting and cannot operate independently. On Monday regime forces were 2 1/2 miles from Israel's frontier. There are now believed to be more than 10,000 Iran-linked militiamen in Syria, and parts of the Syrian army are linked to the Iranian military command. The local defense forces, known as Syrian Hizbullah, includes commanders from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Trump Says Meeting with Putin Came to “Good Conclusion for Israel”
    (Fox News) President Donald Trump told Fox News on Monday after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin: "At the end of this meeting, I think we really came to a lot of good conclusions, a really good conclusion for Israel. Something very strong. He [Putin] is a believer in Israel. He's a fan of Bibi. And really helping him a lot and will help him a lot, which is good for all of us." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Palestinian Arson Balloon Lands in Israeli Kindergarten as Attacks Continue
    (Ha'aretz) Jack Khoury - On Tuesday, 17 fires were caused by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza. One incendiary balloon landed in a kindergarten in an Israeli community near the Gaza border. Children were in the courtyard at the time. An Israeli aircraft targeted a Palestinian group launching incendiary balloons, reportedly wounding two Palestinians. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Trump: Russia, U.S. Working Jointly to Create Safety for Israel
    (White House) At a joint press conference with Russian President Putin on Monday, President Trump said Moscow "would like to do certain things with respect to Syria having to do with the safety of Israel. So in that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel, and Israel will be working with us. So both countries would work jointly....I think that working with Israel is a great thing, and creating safety for Israel is something that both President Putin and I would like to see very much." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    4 days ago
  • Egypt Gives Hamas a Few Days to End Kite, Balloon Terror
    (Ynet News) Elior Levy - Egypt has warned Hamas to significantly reduce or completely end the launching of incendiary balloons and kites into Israeli territory from Gaza within a few days, Ynet learned on Tuesday. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, July 17, 2018
    5 days ago