Daily Alerts

  • The Changing Face of the Israel Navy
    (Jerusalem Post) Anna Ahronheim - The expansion of Israel's Mediterranean exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from 40 miles to 150 miles four years ago "has changed the face of the navy," a senior Israeli naval officer said Tuesday. The navy is tasked with securing the natural gas drilling rigs that are in Israel's EEZ, and believes that Hizbullah in Lebanon has long-range missiles that can hit the rigs, which fuel much of the electricity used in Israel. Due to the threat posed by Hizbullah's arsenal, the Sa'ar-6 corvettes being manufactured for Israel in Germany have been redesigned to have two Iron Dome short-range defensive missile launchers instead of one. Moreover, in response to the threat of terrorist attacks from enemy naval commandos operating under the water, the navy has deployed dozens of sensors on the sea floor near Gaza and Lebanon to detect suspicious underwater movement. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Israel Struck Enemy Arms Convoys Nearly 100 Times in Past Five Years
    (Ha'aretz) Amos Harel - Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, the outgoing commander of the Israel Air Force, told Ha'aretz the number of Israeli attacks on convoys bringing arms to Hizbullah and other groups since 2012 is approaching triple digits. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Jordan’s Refusal to Permit the Return of Israel’s Ambassador Is Against International Law and the Peace Treaty
    (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Alan Baker - According to media reports, the Jordanian government is refusing to permit the return to Amman of Israel's resident ambassador following a shooting involving an Israeli security guard. As required by international law, the appropriate legal authorities in Israel have duly opened an investigation of the incident. Hence, barring Israel's ambassador would logically be out of any proportion to the nature of the diplomatic incident concerned. Furthermore, Jordan and Israel have committed themselves in article 5 of the 1994 Jordan-Israel Treaty of Peace to maintain "resident ambassadors" in each other's capital. This commitment is absolute. It is in the vital interests of both countries that Israeli-Jordanian relations be put back on track. The key to protecting this relationship is to make sure that the peace treaty is strictly observed. The writer, former legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in the negotiation and drafting of the peace treaty with Jordan. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Israel Was First to Provide Aid to Sierra Leone
    (Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - Israel was the first country to provide food aid to disaster-stricken Sierra Leone on Wednesday, said Paul Hirschson, Israel's envoy to Sierra Leone, following devastating floods and mudslides earlier this week that claimed at least 300 lives. Within 24 hours of hearing that the country needed food for survivors, Israel had trucks with 20,000 portions of staples in the capital of Freetown to distribute to those left homeless. Israel will also provide antibiotics to deal with concerns of an outbreak of cholera. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Queens Museum Reinstates Israel Event after Backlash
    (New York Post-Politico) Yoav Gonen - The Queens Museum said Wednesday it will proceed with an event commemorating the 1947 UN vote establishing the State of Israel, after it had sought to cancel the event organized by Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon. On Monday, museum director Laura Raicovich notified the Israelis that she was yanking the deal after "Palestinian friends of the museum" expressed concern, because the museum board didn't want to host a "political event," Danon said. He noted that Raicovich is the co-editor of a book that includes essays supporting the boycott of Israel. "Celebrating the momentous decision of the UN recognizing the right to a Jewish state in our homeland is not a political event, but rather an expression of the historical and legal rights of our people," Danon said. After Danon and elected officials publicly criticized the museum, officials there reconsidered the decision, given that its building was the UN's headquarters when Israel was founded in 1947. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Tiny Israel Has Made Tremendous Progress
    (Huffington Post) Jonathan Adelman - In May 1948, Israel was a tiny state of 800,000 Jews and Arabs that suffered 6,400 deaths fighting five Arab states with almost 50 million people. Israel's population today is 8.6 million. Some 3.6 million Jews have moved to Israel since 1948, and immigration continues at over 25,000 a year, mainly from Russia, Ukraine, France and the U.S. Nearly 60% of Israel is the Negev desert, leaving the 92% of Israelis who don't live there only 3,400 square miles, less than one thousandth the area of the U.S. Israel, recognized by over 160 countries, is developing new relationships with key future powers. Israel has nearly $10 billion in trade with China and $4 billion with India. The writer is a professor at the School of International Studies at the University of Denver. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Israeli President: U.S. Will Know How to Face Anti-Semitism
    (AFP-Daily Mail-UK) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin wrote to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to convey his "support and solidarity for the American Jewish community" after the unrest in Charlottesville. "The very idea that in our time we would see a Nazi flag - perhaps the most vicious symbol of anti-Semitism - paraded in the streets of the world's greatest democracy, and Israel's most cherished and greatest ally, is almost beyond belief," he said. "I know that the great nation of the United States of America and its leaders will know how to face this difficult challenge, and prove to the world the robustness and strength of democracy and freedom." Rivlin's remarks came a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned "neo-Nazism and racism" in the Virginia college town. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Suicide Bomber Kills Hamas Guard at Gaza-Egypt Border
    (Ynet News) Jack Khoury - A Hamas border guard was killed Thursday at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt when two men approached the crossing and one blew himself up. Several other Hamas security forces were wounded. The two terrorists are members of the Salafist faction in Gaza, which is affiliated with ISIS. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Iran and Hamas are United in Their Desire to Wreak Havoc in the Region
    (Huffington Post) Daniel L. Glaser interviewed by Joseph Braude - Iran supports terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East and beyond. Iran has long had a foreign policy based on trying to destabilize governments and project power throughout the region. Support for terrorist organizations such as Hizbullah or Hamas gives Iran the opportunity to do just that. Hamas has traditionally been able to look to the Gulf for financial support. But in recent years, Saudi Arabia has taken a hard line against Hamas financing and has done that in cooperation with the U.S. There are so many areas that Israel and the Gulf countries can and should be cooperating in, and in many ways they already are. Daniel L. Glaser served as U.S. Assistant Treasury Secretary for Terrorist Financing from 2011 to 2017. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Is There a Basis for an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal?
    (Australian Jewish News) Joshua Levi - Australia's former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma told the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies on Tuesday that there may be no solution in the current climate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "There is a degree of stability in the status quo," said Sharma, who lived in Israel for four years. "The relationship between the Israeli and the Palestinian people might be as good as it can be for now, until broad political change in the region takes place and the Arab world strengthens." He said that he still supports a two-state solution but that may not be possible until a new generation of Palestinians come forward who are willing to accept Israel as a sovereign nation. "I don't think there is an overlap these days between what the Palestinians see as a two-state solution and what the Israelis see as a two-state solution, and if there is no overlap, then there is no basis for a deal." He said the Israeli-Arab conflict is not the defining fault line of the region. "The big story about what is happening in the Middle East right now is the crumbling of the creation of the nation-state system." People in the nation-states have been failed by their political leadership and Israel is not the principal cause or a relevant factor to those states' failures. Sharma said he was struck by the amount of people who happily profess utter ignorance on a number of issues, but somehow feel empowered to possess an unimpeachable moral clarity on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. "I've always found that puzzling," he said. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • The IDF Counter-Terror School
    (Israel Defense Forces) The IDF's Lotar Counter-Terror School is responsible for training all IDF units in counter-terrorism. Specialized training includes courses for snipers; underground warfare; breaching doors; climbing, rappelling, and rescuing; and operating robots. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Israel Seeks UN’s Respect in Campaign for Security Council Seat
    (Bloomberg) Kambiz Foroohar - Israel is campaigning to win a coveted spot on the UN Security Council next June in a three-way race with Germany and Belgium for two spots on the council. "They've done their campaign with a level of sophistication which is remarkable, doing it systemically, arranging fact-finding missions and bilateral agreements," said Syed Akbaruddin, India's ambassador to the UN. "They start with a disadvantage in that there are countries that are not disposed to vote for them, but they have cultivated certain countries to shore up constituencies." History suggests Israel faces an uphill struggle to secure at least 128 votes, or two-thirds of the 193 member states, in a secret ballot. Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, suggested one potential twist: With the balloting conducted in secret, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni neighbors might cast their ballots for Israel on the bet it would take a tough stand against their common archenemy Iran. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Video: I Am a Zionist
    (Israel Institute of New Zealand) The Jewish people are the indigenous people of Israel. Archeology, history and genetics all prove this incontrovertibly. In 1947, the UN offered a two-state solution and the Arabs turned it down. Israel, as a nation-state, has more legitimacy than almost every other country in the world. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Prominent Opposition Leader in Iran Begins Hunger Strike
    (New York Times) Thomas Erdbrink - Prominent Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, 79, under house arrest since 2011, was hospitalized Thursday, a day after he began a hunger strike to demand a public trial. Karroubi, a cleric and former speaker of Iran's Parliament, ran for president in the disputed 2009 election. President Hassan Rouhani had vowed to release Karroubi and another former presidential candidate under house arrest, Mir Hossein Mousavi, though it is widely thought that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, opposes their release. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Thursday, August 17, 2017
    16 hours ago
  • Missile Countermeasures: North Korea’s Threat, Israel’s Experience
    (UPI) Michael J. Armstrong - Israel is a leader in missile countermeasures because of its neighbors. It has experienced rocket fire for more than a decade from Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon. The country hasn't forgotten Iraq's 1991 Scud missile strikes. It also worries about future attacks from Syria and Iran. Israel has consequently developed a set of countermeasures that provide it with a layered defense. Iron Dome intercepts short-range rockets, David's Sling handles medium-range missiles and Arrow targets long-range missiles. Arrow claimed its first interception this year, while Iron Dome has engaged hundreds of rockets since 2011. The writer is an associate professor of operations research at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • EU Support for Palestinian Security Reforms Has Not Increased Prospects for a Democratic and Viable Palestinian State as Intended
    (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) Filip Ejdus and Alaa Tartir - The international community fears that another intense round of violence and confrontation in the West Bank could, as in the past, threaten billions of dollars of investments in the Palestinian state-building project over the last decade. The international donor community remembers well when EU-funded premises, equipment, and PA infrastructure were flattened during the second intifada. The EU, which is the biggest donor to the PA, has invested in the EU Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS), which prides itself on reforming and overhauling major elements of the Palestinian security establishment and enhancing effective policing. From the political point of view, however, the mission has achieved little. Over the last decade, the mission has indeed carved the EU a niche in Palestinian security sector reform and increased its visibility in the Middle East peace process. Nevertheless, the EU's strategy to use EUPOL COPPS to pave the way for a democratic and viable Palestinian state by building its security capacities has fallen short. While the EU generally refrains from supporting security services with a reputation for human rights abuse, such as the U.S.-sponsored Preventive Security agency and the General Intelligence Service of the PA, the EU-supported Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) has also been implicated in the excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrations. If the current authoritarian backslide of the PA continues, the EU and its mission will be increasingly criticized for financing, professionalizing, and legitimizing a highly politicized and democratically unaccountable police force. This is far from the EU's envisioned approach to security sector reforms. Filip Ejdus is Marie Curie Fellow at the School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies at the University of Bristol. Alaa Tartir is a research associate at the Center on Conflict, Development, and Peacebuilding (CCDP) at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • Abbas Congratulates North Korean Leader
    (Times of Israel) Dov Lieber - PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday congratulated North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on his country's "Liberation Day," the official PA news agency WAFA reported. Abbas expressed his appreciation for North Korea's "firm solidarity in support of the rights of the [Palestinian] people" and for the "historic relationship between Palestine and North Korea." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • U.S.: Iran Cannot Use Nuclear Deal to Hold the World Hostage
    (U.S. Mission to the UN) U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Tuesday: "Today, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened that Iran would break its commitments under the JCPOA if the United States chooses to take additional steps to hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing behavior outside of the JCPOA." "Iran cannot be allowed to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage. Iran, under no circumstances, can ever be allowed to have nuclear weapons. At the same time, however, we must also continue to hold Iran responsible for its missile launches, support for terrorism, disregard for human rights, and violations of UN Security Council resolutions. The nuclear deal must not become 'too big to fail'." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • When Will the EU Stop Supporting Anti-Israel Incitement?
    (Jerusalem Post) Itai Reuveni - On Aug. 4, Israel's Channel 2 exposed Palestinian Ma'an TV's post of a music video and article titled "Song in Hebrew in Defense of Al Aqsa Mosque." The video shows footage of terrorist attacks committed against Israelis, accompanied by a Hebrew song with the lyrics: "I will clean my country of every Jew / I will strive for it with all my being." NGO Monitor research shows that Ma'an is currently the recipient of a 427,200 euro three-year grant (2016-2019) from the EU's Peacebuilding Initiative. This funding is provided regardless of the actions of members of the European Parliament, who on three occasions alerted the European Commission to Ma'an's glorification of terrorism and Holocaust denial. Moreover, dozens of EU-funded NGOs promote boycott campaigns against Israel. The writer is a senior researcher at NGO Monitor. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • PLO Condemns U.S. Lawmakers for Targeting Payments to Terrorists
    (Palestinian Media Watch) Itamar Marcus - At a meeting of the PLO Executive Committee chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO condemned the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for their vote in favor of the Taylor Force Act, which calls to cut all funding to the PA if it continues paying salaries to terrorists and allowances to their families. The Palestinian Authority sees all Israelis as legitimate targets and therefore rewards the terrorists and families of those who are imprisoned or killed, spending $355 million a year on these payments. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • U.S. Should Work to Block Further Iranian Expansion in Syria
    (Asharq al-Awsat-UK) Dennis Ross - Russia now has an air base in Syria. It is expanding its naval facility at Tartus. It has established an air defense umbrella in Syria. Today, every state in the area needs to reckon with Moscow. At this point, the Assad regime with the manpower of Hizbullah and Iran's other Shi'ite militia proxies are extending their control in Syria, fulfilling Iran's desire to create a land bridge from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon. The U.S. needs to ensure that Iran and the Shi'ite militias don't keep expanding their presence in Syria. It should convey to Russia that cooperation in Syria depends on the Assad regime and the Shi'ite militias not expanding from where they are now. The writer, a former special assistant to President Obama, is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • Abbas’ Political Battles Escalate
    (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Yoni Ben-Menachem - Reliable Fatah sources say that PA President Mahmoud Abbas' deteriorating health, coupled with the alliance Hamas has forged with his bitter political rival Muhammad Dahlan, have forced him to focus on the domestic Palestinian front. Abbas has also come to realize that no salvation for the Palestinians is on the way from the Trump administration, which, in his view, is biased in Israel's favor. Abbas, whose political days are numbered, is taking off the gloves against Israel, Hamas, and Dahlan. He is also planning, next month, to ask the UN General Assembly to grant "Palestine" full UN membership and to appeal to the International Criminal Court regarding the settlements. The writer is a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • Report: Iran and Russia Violated UN Weapons Sanctions
    (Jerusalem Post) Benjamin Weinthal - Citing an anonymous source in Western intelligence services, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported Sunday that Tehran had secretly sent some components of heavy offensive weapons to Russia for maintenance via Syrian territory in an alleged violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • Israel Aerospace Industries Hunts for U.S. Acquisitions
    (Financial Times-UK) John Reed - Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) plans to expand its U.S. operations in the wake of America's $38 billion, 10-year, military aid package for Israel which gives preference to U.S. manufacturers, IAI CEO Joseph Weiss said in an interview. IAI already has a subsidiary in Maryland, Elta Systems, which makes radar systems. Stark Aerospace, based in Mississippi, makes unmanned aerial vehicles, electro-optics, and radar equipment for the Israeli group. "IAI want to produce in the U.S. products whose final destination is the Israel Defense Forces," said Amir Rappoport, publisher of Israel Defense. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • Israel: Iran Building Long-Range Rocket Factory in Syria
    (Reuters) Israel Channel 2 television reported Tuesday that Iran is building a facility in northwest Syria to manufacture long-range rockets, and showed satellite images of the site under construction. The report compared images of buildings at a rocket factory near Tehran to structures at the Syrian site and said there was a strong resemblance between them. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • Israel Uncovers Hamas Terrorist Payment Network
    (Ynet News) Yoav Zitun and Yishai Porat - The Israel Security Agency and police forces uncovered a network of money transfers from Hamas in Gaza to the families of convicted terrorists, including the mother of Tarek Abu-Arafa, who took part in the 1994 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Nachson Wachsman. The purpose of the money transfers was to encourage more terrorism. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • Palestinians Say Honeymoon with U.S. Is Over
    (Gatestone Institute) Bassam Tawil - As U.S. envoys Greenblatt and Kushner prepare to return to the Middle East, Palestinians are saying that they have lost confidence in the Trump administration, accusing the U.S. of being "biased" in favor of Israel - as they have done with all previous administrations. A statement issued on Aug. 13 by the "National and Islamic Factions," a coalition of various Palestinian groups, including Abbas' own ruling Fatah faction, accused the Trump administration of "incitement" against the Palestinians and dismissed as a "mirage" the talk about a "regional peace" that would see Israel and some Arab countries sign peace treaties "behind the Palestinians' back." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    2 days ago
  • Israel to Send Aid to Sierra Leone after Devastating Landslide
    (Times of Israel) Israel is to send medicines, clean water, blankets and other needed items to Sierra Leone, where hundreds of people were killed in a massive landslide in Freetown, the capital, Prime Minister Netanyahu's office said Monday. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Russia Re-examines Relationship with Iran
    (Al-Monitor) Anton Mardasov - As Islamic State has been in steady retreat in Syria, Iran and Russia are facing real difficulties sustaining their partnership. Russia is currently opting for agreements beyond the peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan - that is, behind Iran's back. Examples include the de-escalation zone in southwest Syria that Russia negotiated with the U.S., as well as de-escalation zones in eastern Ghouta and northern Homs, both of which were negotiated in Cairo. A Russian military intelligence source said that since eastern Aleppo was recaptured by Assad's troops, Russia and Iran have been fiercely vying for regional dominance. The writer heads the Department of Middle Eastern Conflicts at the Institute for Innovative Development in Moscow. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Rising Chinese Enrollment at Israeli Universities
    (Jerusalem Post) Sarah Levi - The University of Haifa currently has 200 Chinese students, compared to 20 in 2013. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology had 117 full-time Chinese students during the 2016-2017 academic year, and 177 Chinese students enrolled in its summer school of engineering. A branch of the Technion in China's Guangdong Province will open in October with 240 students. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Israel to Take Part in U.S. Space Project
    (Israel Hayom) Ilan Gattegno - Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have been selected by NASA to develop a Transient Astrophysics Observer, which will measure blasts of electromagnetic energy from outer space on the International Space Station. Technion researchers Ehud Behar and Shlomit Tarem have already developed a gamma ray detector. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Top Islamic Cleric in Israel Arrested for Incitement to Terror
    (Times of Israel) Islamic cleric Raed Salah, who heads the banned Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was arrested Monday in Umm al-Fahm. Police said Tuesday he was "a central instigator" of incitement to violence and terror. Salah has spearheaded campaigns asserting that "Al-Aqsa [mosque] is in danger," an allegation that was at the heart of last month's violence at the site in Jerusalem. Salah was released from prison in January after serving a nine-month sentence for incitement to violence and racism, after being convicted over a 2007 sermon in which he praised martyrdom for the sake of Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Russia Foils ISIS Bomb Plot, Discovers Moscow Explosives Lab
    (Newsweek) Jack Moore - Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has thwarted a double suicide bomb plot in Moscow directed by Islamic State, the agency said Monday. Four people were arrested for plotting the attacks: one targeting the city's metro system and another that would strike a shop. An explosives lab on the outskirts of Moscow was also uncovered. Two militants from the former Soviet Union fighting for ISIS in Syria directed the attacks. Russia estimates that 2,500 Russian nationals have joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria since 2015. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • UNRWA Condemns the Palestinians to Refugee Status in Perpetuity
    (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Alan Baker - According to the mandate of the "United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East" (UNRWA), refugee status extends to cover all future generations of Palestinians. With refugee status now applying to the fourth generation of Palestinians, this definition has exploded the number of registered refugees from 700,000 in 1949 to 5,000,000. Unlike UNRWA, the much more successful model for international refugee relief - the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - seeks to resettle refugees, not perpetuate their camp existence. The UNHRC operates on the basis of the 1951 Refugee Convention, which does not say a word about passing refugee status to descendants. Any attempt to reach a final Israeli-Palestinian peace must require a complete suspension of UNRWA funding and financing with a view to dissolving the agency and dismantling the refugee camps. New housing should replace them. Funding should be transformed into direct assistance to the appropriate agencies to carry out this task. If the goal is to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all, then UNRWA's current configuration makes a final peace impossible to achieve. Amb. Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center, served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • UNRWA Closes Hamas Tunnel under Gaza Schools
    (Jerusalem Post) Tovah Lazaroff - UNRWA announced Monday that it had sealed a Hamas tunnel it found two months ago built under two of its schools in the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • The North Korean Case of Failed Negotiations Must Be Heeded When Thinking about Iran
    (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Emily B. Landau - Strong international actors cannot afford to be complacent about a negotiated deal when it does not reflect a strategic reversal on the part of the proliferator. If the Iran deal has achieved a delay, the challenge is to use this time to reverse negative trends and prepare better for the future, not to rest on one's laurels while celebrating a deal that has not stopped Iran in the nuclear realm, and could render that goal even more elusive in eight to nine years. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Experts Concerned about North Korean Nuclear Precedent for Iran
    (JNS.org) Ariel Ben Solomon - "The aspect of the North Korean case that needs to be taken into account with regard to Iran is the fact that despite all the differences between the two states, they share a determination to acquire nuclear weapons in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) commitment they took upon themselves to remain non-nuclear," said Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies. "In 1994, there were celebrations of the deal with North Korea that were viewed as ending the nuclear crisis, but it continued to move forward." The Obama administration had celebrated the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran with even greater fanfare, but "there is no indication of an Iranian strategic U-turn in the nuclear realm, and the deal itself is severely flawed." "If a short-term delay causes the international community to be lulled into a false sense that the deal 'is working,' as we are hearing lately from deal supporters, it is likely to wake up with a nuclear Iran that will be as firmly entrenched as North Korea." Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, said the current dilemmas with Iran and North Korea relate to how both nuclear deals were negotiated. "American diplomats in both cases were so afraid talks would fail that they would agree to a bad deal, and ignore backsliding and cheating just to keep hope alive....Those negotiating with Iran fooled themselves into thinking reformists mattered." Col. (res.) Dr. Shaul Shay, director of research for the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Israel's IDC Herzliya college, said Middle Eastern states such as Iran are watching how America deals with North Korea. Failure to thwart North Korea "may be a prelude to a more challenging threat from Tehran.... The campaign against North Korea may define the American position against Iran." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • India Deploying Israeli-Made Smart Fence on Border with Pakistan
    (Press Trust of India) India is deploying a smart Israel-developed fence along its volatile border with Pakistan that sends a "quick response team" to the site of any detected infiltration attempt. K.K. Sharma, the director general of India's Border Security Force (BSF), said, "There is going to be a paradigm shift in our operational preparedness. As of now, we patrol from point-A to point-B (along the border). What we are now planning is to shift to a QRT (quick reaction team)-based system." He said the system of smart fences and surveillance methods is from the state-of-the-art technologies being used in Israel. "We will have multi-layered security systems. If one fails, then the second system will detect it." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Iran-Backed Cyber-Espionage Group Uncovered
    (Arab Weekly-UPI) Mohammed Alkhereiji - The Iran-backed cyber-espionage group CopyKittens has increased activities, launching attacks on governments, defense companies and academic institutions in support of Tehran's political agenda, a report by the Israeli firm ClearSky Cybersecurity said. CopyKittens' activities mostly centered on espionage of strategic targets, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, Germany and the U.S. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Rome Reverses Decision to Honor Arafat as “Peace Activist”
    (Israel Hayom) Reuven Berko - This week the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, reversed a decision to memorialize Yasser Arafat by naming one of the city's public parks after him. The head of the Jewish community in Rome, Ruth Dureghello, had condemned the decision, noting Arafat's direct involvement in a terrorist attack that killed a young Jewish man in Rome in 1982. Dureghello wrote, "The municipality must decide whether it wants to memorialize the terrorists or their victims." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Why the North Korea Crisis Has Serious Implications for the Middle East
    (The National-Abu Dhabi) David Rothkopf - The crisis created by the rapid advancements in North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities has implications for future efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear program. North Korea has reawakened America to the palpable threat of nuclear war for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, as U.S. media focused on the possibility of a nuclear strike against America by a rogue state. The result is a much greater public awareness of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, as the American people receive a crash course in what happens if a hostile regime gains the ultimate destructive power of atomic weapons. They are now thinking as they have not in the past about the special challenges posed by states that may not be rational actors and may not be susceptible to the power of deterrence. The writer is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    3 days ago
  • Clarity on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act
    (Huffington Post) Steve Sheffey - The Israel Anti-Boycott Act was introduced to reinforce the bipartisan consensus that boycotting Israel is inimical to U.S. foreign policy interests. The Act simply extends existing U.S. law, passed in 1977, prohibiting participation in boycotts led by foreign governments against Israel, to include boycotts led by international governmental organizations such as the UN and EU. The ACLU believes that the law unconstitutionally impairs free speech, but both this bill and existing law prohibit specific commercial conduct, not free speech. Any person and any company is free to boycott Israel and to advocate for boycotts of Israel under current law and the proposed law. But cooperation with foreign governments, and under the new law, with international governmental organizations, is prohibited. The current law has withstood First Amendment challenges. If it is constitutional, then so is the proposed law. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago
  • Zioness Movement Roars into Progressive Politics
    (New York Jewish Week) Amy Sara Clark - The Zioness Movement is a new group of Zionist progressive women founded after organizers of the annual march against rape culture said publicly that people wearing Stars of David would not be "invited to participate." "For too long, we have allowed certain individuals to advance the idea that intersectionality excludes Jews and Zionists," said co-founder Talia Shifron. "Zionism is a movement for self-determination and civil rights, just like other movements who fight for these same causes." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago
  • Hamas, Iran Plot Closer Path Forward
    (Al-Monitor) Ali Hashem - A delegation headed by Hamas political bureau member Izzat al-Rishq took part in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's inauguration ceremony on Aug. 5 in Tehran. The delegation also met with Quds Force commander Maj.-Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Ayatollah Khamenei's foreign policy adviser Ali Akbar Velayati, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani. Among the delegation were senior Hamas commanders Zaher al-Jabarin and Saleh al-Arouri, both accused by Israel of being responsible for attacks inside the West Bank. An Iranian political source revealed that Iran's support for Hamas is now even beyond what it used to be prior to the Syrian crisis. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago
  • UN Investigator Says There Is Enough Evidence to Convict Assad of War Crimes
    (Reuters) The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria has gathered enough evidence for President Bashar al-Assad to be convicted of war crimes, Carla del Ponte, a member of the commission who announced her resignation last week, said Sunday. A former Swiss attorney general, del Ponte was asked by the Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung if there was enough evidence for Assad to be convicted of war crimes. She replied: "Yes, I am convinced that is the case. That is why the situation is so frustrating. The preparatory work has been done. Despite that, there is no prosecutor and no court." "For six years, the commission has investigated. Now a prosecutor should continue our work and bring the war criminals before a special court. But that is exactly what Russia is blocking with its veto in the UN Security Council." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago
  • Israeli Arabs Who Join ISIS
    (Israel Hayom) Yoav Limor - While ISIS is rapidly shrinking in the real world, it is alive and kicking in the virtual world. Those who bought into the group's propaganda included the Jabarin brothers from the Israeli-Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, who were arrested in July. Pinpointing ISIS volunteers is relatively easy because all their communications are conducted online. They facilitate their own capture by leaving behind sufficient digital footprints. Fourteen Israeli-Arabs joined the group in 2014, 44 in 2015, 65 in 2016, and 33 since the beginning of 2017, with a drop in recent months. Still, the Israel Security Agency treats each of these cases with urgency since anyone who seeks to join the fight for ISIS could be inspired to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago
  • Palestinian Woman Stabs Security Guard in Jerusalem
    (Israel Hayom) Itsik Saban and Yori Yalon - A Jerusalem light rail security guard who is a Christian Arab resident of east Jerusalem was stabbed on Saturday by a female Palestinian from Sur Baher, a Jerusalem Arab neighborhood. Security camera footage shows that she first closed in on a Jewish man near Damascus Gate and tried to stab him several times with a knife, but the man managed to escape. She then proceeded to the nearby station where she zeroed in on the security guard before being overpowered by Israeli police. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago
  • Iran Boosts Missile Funds in Response to U.S. Sanctions
    (AFP) Ali Noorani - Iran's parliament on Sunday approved more than half a billion dollars in funding for the country's missile program and foreign operations of the Revolutionary Guards in response to U.S. sanctions. After the vote result was announced, lawmakers shouted: "Death to America." The bill's text said that Iran "recognizes the entire American military and intelligence forces as terrorist groups" for their "implicit and explicit support for terrorist groups" in the region. ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago
  • Hamas Trains 120,000 Children to Liberate Jerusalem
    (MEMRI-TV) 120,000 children and teens attended Hamas summer camps in Gaza. This year's theme was "Marching on Jerusalem." Former Hamas education minister Osama Al-Muzaini said: "Jerusalem...is part of the Islamic faith, and its liberation is first a religious duty and then a national one." He said the camps' goal is "to train the generation of victory and liberation, which will have the honor of liberating Jerusalem." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago
  • Palestinians Demand Confidence-Building Steps from Israel and U.S.
    (Israel Hayom) Daniel Siryoti - A senior Palestinian official who works under PA President Mahmoud Abbas told Israel Hayom: "To renew the peace process and for us to return to the negotiating table, confidence-building steps will be required, both from Israel and from the administration in Washington. We have made this clear in the past, and we are once again emphasizing that we are willing to renew the negotiations without any preconditions. But the U.S. will have to guarantee that it will be a fair broker. Washington is marching to Israel's drum." Another top Palestinian official said: "If it were up to me, I would inform the Washington delegation not to bother coming to Ramallah. The peace process is long dead and attempts to revive it are useless. We will continue the diplomatic intifada, we will isolate Israel diplomatically, and use every method that international law allows against it." ... read more
    Source: Daily AlertsPublished on Monday, August 14, 2017
    4 days ago