Tag: iron dome

INNOVATIVE & BATTLE-TESTED ISRAEL IS THE REGIONAL MILITARY “SUPERPOWER”

Israel's Military Dominates the Middle East For 1 Reason: An Air Force Like No Other: Robert Farley, National Interest, Jan. 9, 2018— Since the 1960s, the air arm of the Israel Defense Forces (colloquially the IAF) has played a central role in the country’s defense.

Iron Dome Goes Naval to Defend Gas Rigs: Yaakov Lappin, BESA, Dec. 20, 2017— The Israeli Navy has a new tool at its disposal to defend the country’s offshore gas rigs in the Mediterranean Sea, which are under threat from the Hezbollah and Hamas terror groups.

Defend IDF’s Women: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 21, 2018— Given the chance, women have proven that they can contribute significantly to the success of our military forces.

How the U.S. and Israel Can Reshape the Middle East: James Stavridis, Bloomberg, Jan. 22, 2018— At a dinner the other evening in Tel Aviv, the former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon said, “There are more changes happening in the Middle East today than at any time since the 7th century.”

 

On Topic Links

 

IDF End-of-Year Video Summarizing 2017 Highlights: Breaking Israel News, Jan. 19, 2018

Need to Fight in a Tunnel or Find Hidden IEDs? Ask Lt. Col. Liron Aroch How: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Jan. 30, 2018

After Years of Alleged Israeli Strikes in Syria, Will Luck Run Out?: Anna Ahronheim, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 9, 2018

Israeli Air Force Leaning Toward Upgraded F-15 Over F-35 for Next Fighter Jet Acquisition: Amos Harel, Ha’aretz, Jan. 30, 2018

 

 

ISRAEL'S MILITARY DOMINATES THE MIDDLE EAST FOR

1 REASON: AN AIR FORCE LIKE NO OTHER

Robert Farley

National Interest, Jan. 9, 2018

 

Since the 1960s, the air arm of the Israel Defense Forces (colloquially the IAF) has played a central role in the country’s defense. The ability of the Israeli Air Force to secure the battlefield and the civilian population from enemy air attack has enabled the IDF to fight at a huge advantage. At the same time, the IAF has demonstrated strategic reach, attacking critical targets at considerable distance. The dominance of the IAF has come about through effective training, the weakness of its foes, and a flexible approach to design and procurement. Over the years, the Israelis have tried various strategies for filling their air force with fighters, including buying from France, buying from the United States and building the planes themselves. They seem to have settled on a combination of the last two, with great effect.

 

In its early years, Israel took what weapons it could from what buyers it could find. This meant that the IDF often operated with equipment of a variety of vintages, mostly secured from European producers. By the late 1950s, however, Israel had secured arms transfer relationships with several countries, most notably the United Kingdom and France. The relationship with France eventually blossomed, resulting in the transfer of high-technology military equipment, including Mirage fighters (and also significant technical assistance for Israel’s nuclear program). These Mirage fighters formed the core of the IAF in the 1967 Six-Day War, in which Israel largely destroyed its neighbors’ air forces in the first hours of the conflict.

 

In 1967, however, France imposed an arms embargo on Israel, which left Tel Aviv in a quandary. The IDF needed more fighters, and also sought capabilities that the Mirage could not provide, including medium-range ground strike. Under these conditions, the Israelis adopted the time-honored strategy of simply stealing what they needed. To complement their existing airframes, the Israelis acquired technical blueprints of the Mirage through espionage (possibly with the tolerance of some French authorities). The project resulted in two fighters, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Nesher and the IAI Kfir. The second employed more powerful American designed engines, and for a time served as the primary fighter of the IDF’s air arm. Both aircraft enjoyed export success, with the Nesher serving in Argentina and the Kfir flying for Colombia, Ecuador and Sri Lanka.

 

This investment helped drive the development of Israel’s aerospace sector, with big implications for the rest of Israel’s economy. Heavy state investment in military technological development does not always drive broader innovations in civilian technology. In this case, however, state investment provided a key pillar for the early development of Israel’s civilian technology sector. To many, the success of the Kfir suggested that Israel could stand on its own in aerospace technology, eliminating the need to rely on a foreign sponsor.

 

Nevertheless, Israel continued to invest heavily in foreign aircraft. The IDF began acquiring F-4 Phantoms in the late 1960s, and F-15 Eagles in the mid-1970s. The arrival of the latter in Israel inadvertently sparked a political crisis, as the first four aircraft landed after the beginning of the Sabbath. The ensuing controversy eventually brought down the first premiership of Yitzhak Rabin. But many in Israel, still buoyed by the relative success of the Kfir and hopeful about further developing Israel’s high-tech sector, believed that the country could aspire to develop its own fighter aircraft.

 

Enter the Lavi. Like its counterparts in both the USSR and the United States, the IDF air arm believed that a high/low mix of fighters best served its needs. This led to the development of the Lavi, a light multirole fighter that could complement the F-15 Eagles that Israel continued to acquire from the United States. The Lavi filled the niche that the F-16 Viper would eventually come to dominate. It included some systems licensed by the United States, and visually resembled an F-16 with a different wing configuration.

 

But the military-technological environment had changed. Developing the Lavi from scratch (or virtually from scratch) required an enormous state investment for an aircraft that had marginal, if any, advantages over an off-the-shelf F-16. Moreover, the United States took export controls much more seriously than France, and had a much more dangerous toolkit for enforcing compliance. Despite initial optimism about the export prospects of the Lavi, it soon became apparent to Israelis that the United States would not allow the wide export of a fighter that included significant American components. That the Lavi would have competed directly against the F-16 only exacerbated the problem.

 

In August 1987, the Israeli cabinet killed the Lavi, which caused protests from IAI and the workers associated with the project. Nevertheless, a political effort to revive the plane failed, and Israel eventually acquired a large number of F-16s. In its afterlife, however, the Lavi helped kill the export prospects of the F-22 Raptor; out of concern that Israel had shared Lavi (and thus F-16) technology with the Chinese (leading to the J-10), the U.S. Congress prohibited any export of the F-22. This decision prevented Israel and several other interested buyers from acquiring the Raptor, and undoubtedly cut short its overall production life…

 [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]               

 

 

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IRON DOME GOES NAVAL TO DEFEND GAS RIGS

Yaakov Lappin

BESA, Dec. 20, 2017

 

The Israeli Navy has a new tool at its disposal to defend the country’s offshore gas rigs in the Mediterranean Sea, which are under threat from the Hezbollah and Hamas terror groups. The system, called C-Dome by its manufacturer, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is stationed on board the INS Lahav navy missile ship. This is a Sa’ar 5-class vessel – the largest of its kind in the Israeli Navy. In the coming years, the navy will install more C-Dome systems on board the Sa’ar 6 missile ships, which are currently being manufactured in Germany. These are designed specifically for the mission of defending the gas rigs, and when they enter service in 2019, they will be the largest ships in the fleet.

 

The reason Israel is investing so heavily in the protection of the gas drilling rigs is because they are a strategic energy supply and a major source of future national income, once Israel begins exporting natural gas to the world. The rigs are vulnerable to enemy firepower. Located in Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone, they form an attractive target for hostile, well-armed entities that share Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and pro-Iranian forces in Syria could all try to target the rigs with ballistic rockets or missiles.

 

That’s where C-Dome comes in. The arrival of a sea-based Iron Dome “enables a multi-layered defense, not only for ground assets but also the sea,” said Lt. Col. Yoni Grinboim, commander of the 137th Iron Dome Battalion, which was set up by the Israeli Air Force to command the Iron Dome batteries stationed in northern Israel. The battalion is also responsible for the first naval Iron Dome unit. C-Dome is linked to the INS Lahav’s powerful new ship’s radar, which can detect a greater number of threats – and at longer ranges – than ever before. Grinboim said that sending his air force Iron Dome operators to a navy vessel, to work closely with naval personnel, was no minor affair. The Iron Dome’s operators now have their own stations in the ship’s battle information center – the area where all data comes in and where decisions are made. They work side by side with navy personnel.

 

Grinboim said there has been a major process of creating “a dialogue with the navy to adapt our battle doctrines and systems. The process included training, and developing [new] doctrines for Iron Dome operators who need to function in a sea environment…we also adapted these weapons for sea conditions.” The Iron Dome batteries themselves have evolved over the years. Though details on how they have improved are generally classified, Grinboim was prepared to say that many upgrades have been installed to adapt the system “to the developing threats throughout the sectors.” “Our working assumption is that in the next war, terror organizations will try to harm Israeli national assets at sea. This strengthens the importance of the sea Iron Dome squadron and its capabilities,” Grinboim said. Before declaring the system operational last month, the navy fired rockets, simulating an enemy Grad attack from the shore towards the sea. The projectiles were detected by the INS Lahav’s radar and Iron Dome interceptors were fired from the ship’s deck, successfully striking the targets in mid-air.

 

The head of the Iron Dome program at Israel’s Defense Ministry, whose name is withheld for security reasons, said the trial “simulated several scenarios of rockets fired from shore to sea. The system detected the relevant threats and successfully intercepted them.” C-Dome does not mark the final word in the story of Iron Dome, according to the defense official, who pledged that Israel would “continue to develop and upgrade the system to deal with additional fronts and relevant threats.” Grinboim, speaking a day after the C-Dome test, said it “created a new breakthrough because we were able to improve issues that were raised in past trials. We also introduced new technological improvements for the maritime and aerial defense of the country.” The navy is increasing the range of coverage of the Iron Dome system at sea by linking it up to radars that are on shore…

 

The INS Lahav has other weapons on board designed to protect the gas drilling rigs. These include Barak 8 surface-to-air missile systems, produced by Israel Aerospace Systems, which are designed to shoot down threatening aircraft (including drones), fast cruise missiles, and other weapons that are believed to be in the hands of Hezbollah. In any conflict, the ship’s battle information center would be buzzing with incoming intelligence and orders. “We will choose to intercept threats with the correct weapons,” Grinboim said. As Iranian-made weaponry continues to pour into Lebanon and Syria, and Gaza’s domestic rocket factories churn out more projectiles, new defenses like C-Dome should prove crucial for Israel’s ability to stop its enemies from threatening the Jewish state’s new energy lifeblood.

 

 

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DEFEND IDF’S WOMEN

Editorial

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 21, 2018

 

Given the chance, women have proven that they can contribute significantly to the success of our military forces. Women might lack the brute force of men, but they often have leadership or technological skills that depend on high intelligence and unique personality traits that are essential for the continued success of the IDF.

 

In the Israel Air Force alone a number of female officers have been appointed to key command positions in recent months. Just last week it was announced that a female pilot with the rank of major, whose name cannot be publicized due to security concerns, will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and will command an aviation squadron responsible for ground-based operations. Another woman, a major, will be promoted to lieutenant- colonel and head the air force’s operational command and control unit. She will be the first female air traffic controller to reach this rank.

 

In November, the air force appointed its very first female deputy commander of a fighter jet squadron, which flies F-15 fighter jets out of the Tel Nof air base in central Israel. Two other women were appointed to deputy commander positions in the IDF’s military drone squadrons. It is only natural that the IDF, like any other institution that wants to maximize its chances for success, takes advantage of all available human resources and does not make the mistake of shunning 50% of the population due to anachronistic conceptions about “proper” gender roles.

 

But not everyone is happy about the IDF’s gender-blind meritocratic approach. On Wednesday, during an interview on Army Radio, Chief Rabbi of Safed Shmuel Eliyahu called to fire IDF Chief-of-Staff Gadi Eisenkot. “The army has adopted a crazy feminist agenda,” Eliyahu said. “I don’t know what’s gotten into Eisenkot. Cabinet ministers and the prime minister should tell Eisenkot, ‘You have to get packing and go home, you have done too much to lower the motivation to enlist, especially waging war on the religious soldiers.’ I call on the prime minister to tell Eisenkot to go home.”

 

Eliyahu’s comments followed a ruling by prominent National Religious spiritual leader Rabbi Shlomo Aviner that men should not enlist until they can guarantee they are not placed in a gender-mixed unit. Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Yosef publicly backed Eliyahu, telling him that Eliyahu’s father, the late chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu “is happy with you in heaven.”  In response, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced that he would ban Yosef, Eliyahu and Aviner from taking part in IDF ceremonies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he is proud of the IDF for integrating women at the highest ranks…

 

Two conflicting trends are competing for prominence within the IDF and both are a blessing to it. On one hand, religious soldiers are disproportionately represented in command positions, particularly in combat units. The IDF is also investing thought and energy in attracting Haredi men to the IDF. National Religious soldiers tend to be highly motivated and view their military service as an extension of their Jewish identity and religious obligations. On the other hand, women are demanding – and receiving – egalitarian treatment in the IDF. Women understand that as long as there is gender-based discrimination in the IDF, Israeli society will never be truly egalitarian. And under the leadership of Eisenkot, the gender revolution is underway. In 2017, the IDF reported a record-high 2,700 women joining combat units, a five-fold increase since 2012…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

 

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HOW THE U.S. AND ISRAEL CAN RESHAPE THE MIDDLE EAST

James Stavridis

Bloomberg, Jan. 22, 2018

 

At a dinner the other evening in Tel Aviv, the former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon said, “There are more changes happening in the Middle East today than at any time since the 7th century.” He was referring, of course, to the split in Islam that divided that religion into its two principal religious streams, Sunni and Shiite. Over the next several days, many senior Israeli defense figures — civilian and military, active and retired — echoed the same thought. Israeli’s world is changing, and that will bring both peril and promise.

 

Fortunately, our Israeli allies have a strong hand of cards at the moment: a rock-solid strategic alliance with the U.S.; an administration in Washington that tactically supports them across a range of key issues; a vibrant and innovative economy that deserves its reputation as the “start-up nation”; a battle-tested military capable of acting across the spectrum of violence from special forces to offensive cyber; newly available offshore natural gas reserves; and, reportedly, a significant nuclear strategic deterrent. In many ways, Israel is the “superpower” in the Middle East.

 

On the other hand, it is facing another rising regional superpower: The Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran has imperial ambitions dating back thousands of years to the various incarnations of the Persian Empire; a large, young and growing population; strong and experienced military cadres; and huge oil reserves. The Iranians are pushing for political control in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Syria — to build a “Shiite corridor” from Tehran to the Mediterranean. They are drawing closer to Turkey and Russia (whose looming influence in the region is growing in the wake of President Vladimir Putin’s successful defense of his ally, the war criminal Bashar al-Assad). And Iran's leaders despise Israel and the U.S.

 

The Israeli world seems to change daily. In addition to this rising Iran, there is a newly aggressive and activist Saudi Arabia; a shattered Syria; an ugly war in Yemen; a still-dangerous Islamic State seeking to reinvent itself; Russian and Turkish troops within a few hundred miles of Israel; the lingering aftershocks of the so-called Arab Spring; and a reduced U.S. presence on the ground. What can Americans do to help our strongest partner in the region? I have a few suggestions:

 

Implement a joint strategy for dealing with Iran. It was reported last month that the U.S. and Israel were working together on a plan for the region that reflects both countries' national interests. This means first and foremost working together — alongside other regional actors as well as partners from outside the Middle East — overtly and covertly to confront and contain Iran. It should include new sanctions to respond to Iranian military and intelligence provocations. The U.S. should remain in the Iranian nuclear deal (despite its flaws and limitations), but lead the effort to sanction Tehran outside the deal for its ballistic missile and terrorist support actions. It should also keep a strong maritime component in the Arabian Gulf, enhance its intelligence collection, and coordinate support to indigenous forces opposing Iran in Syria and Iraq.

 

Encourage Israeli engagement with moderate Sunni states. Israel has for some time enjoyed good relations with Egypt and Jordan. But the rise of Iran has created a real opportunity for it to step up cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. This will be uncomfortable for obvious reasons and bitter history; but the overarching threat posed by Iran makes this a potentially new strategic alignment. With a dynamic young leader in Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the kingdom is assertively acting in Yemen and Syria, exerting influence in Lebanon, and generally confronting Iran from the Arabian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean. The U.S. could act as a coordinator for links between the Saudis and Israel on shared intelligence, regional ballistic missile defense, maritime interception operations against Iranian weapons shipments to Yemen, and other confidence-building measures.

 

Strengthen bilateral military cooperation. While the U.S. and Israel already have an extraordinary level of defense integration, there are still important zones of potential improvement. These include better intelligence sharing; joint work on cyber options, especially vis-à-vis Iran; increased partnering on defense procurement, particularly in missile defense; and maritime operations in both the Eastern Mediterranean (where Israel has significant challenges protecting its nascent offshore gas infrastructure) and the Bab-el-Mandeb strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Another promising zone of defense cooperation is in space. Using their successful ballistic-missile cooperation as a model, the U.S. and Israel could bring together their defense-industrial sectors to explore joint programs. These could include exercises and training focused on the ways in which the two nations use space militarily. Finally, the U.S. should also consider home-porting two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers in Israel –their positioning in the Eastern Med would help counter the increased Russian presence there.

 

Increase Israeli engagement with NATO. Israel was a founding member of NATO’s “Mediterranean Dialogue” — a loose confederation of non-NATO countries bordering the Mediterranean. The Israelis are engaged operationally in some low-key ways with the alliance. The U.S. should try to increase that level of involvement, offering the Israelis opportunities for working with NATO in exercises, training and potentially in operations and intelligence sharing. This could easily be structured out of the NATO Special Operations Headquarters in Mons, Belgium. Above all, the U.S. should continue to stand strong alongside Israel from the halls of the United Nations to the ballistic-missile radar installations in the dusty Negev desert, where our troops are for the first time posted permanently. The two nations will always disagree on a variety of international and political issues, from settlements in the West Bank to the best approach on climate change. But the Israelis will continue to be the closest allies for the U.S. in the most turbulent and war-torn region of the world. That, at least, will not be changing.

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

IDF End-of-Year Video Summarizing 2017 Highlights: Breaking Israel News, Jan. 19, 2018

Need to Fight in a Tunnel or Find Hidden IEDs? Ask Lt. Col. Liron Aroch How: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Jan. 30, 2018—There’s an active Hamas attack tunnel deep inside Israeli territory, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Gaza Strip, stretching tens of meters and full of hiding spots, offshoots and storage depots. There are others like it, too.

After Years of Alleged Israeli Strikes in Syria, Will Luck Run Out?: Anna Ahronheim, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 9, 2018—Israeli jets have struck hundreds of targets in Syria for the past five years, returning safely to base after facing no resistance. Since January 2013, Israel has acknowledged 100 air strikes targeting Hezbollah terrorists, weapon convoys and infrastructure, and it is believed to be behind dozens more, including on early Tuesday morning against a military installation in the al-Qutayfa area east of Damascus.

Israeli Air Force Leaning Toward Upgraded F-15 Over F-35 for Next Fighter Jet Acquisition: Amos Harel, Ha’aretz, Jan. 30, 2018—The Israel Air Force is to decide in a few months between purchasing a third squadron of F-35 fighter jets or the F-15I, which, while less advanced, has other advantages.

 

                                                              

 

 

IDF ADOPTS CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY, INCLUDING IRON DOME, SMART HELMETS & F-35

Israel’s Active Defenses: Tactical Success with Strategic Implications: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, JINSA, Aug. 10, 2016— Over the course of its history, Israel has faced a series of attempts to uproot the Jewish people from its land, including terrorism and massive conventional armies.

What New F-35 Jets Mean For Israel’s Air Force: Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor, Aug. 3, 2016— On July 26, Israeli history was made in Dallas, Texas, when “Israeli” fighter aircraft model F-35, “Stealth,” took off on its maiden flight and successfully passed an examination of its overall system.

The Future of Maneuvering Robotics: Amir Rapaport, Israel Defense, Aug. 11, 2016— Col. (res.) Boaz Cohen cannot hide his enthusiasm…

Time to Walk Away From US Aid: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2016— On Monday, acting head of the National Security Council Yaakov Nagel will sit down with his US counterpart, Susan Rice, and try to conclude negotiations about a new, multi-year defense assistance package.

 

On Topic Links

 

How Does the IDF Deal With the "Intifada of the Individuals"?: Israel Defense, Aug. 7, 2016

Defense Ministry: Breakdown of the F-35 deal: Arutz Sheva, Aug. 14, 2016

Cutting-Edge New IDF Tank is "A Gamechanger": Ariella Mendlowitz Breaking Israel News, July 24, 2016

Urgent Israeli Navy Order for New US Coastal Craft: Debka, Aug. 11, 2016

 

 

ISRAEL’S ACTIVE DEFENSES:

TACTICAL SUCCESS WITH STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror

JINSA, Aug. 10, 2016

 

Over the course of its history, Israel has faced a series of attempts to uproot the Jewish people from its land, including terrorism and massive conventional armies. Today the main threat comes from thousands of rockets and missiles in the hands primarily of Hezbollah, Hamas and their patron Iran. Israel’s development of missile defenses to counter this threat is a technological triumph, but also creates a set of strategic dilemmas. Because these defenses can reduce its own casualties almost to zero, how can Israel justify self-defense against rocket and missile attacks when its enemies launch these weapons behind human shields? This has real implications for Israel’s deterrence against adversaries like Hezbollah and Hamas.

 

The first challenge, which began before the establishment of the state, was a civilian terror campaign. This campaign took various forms, but overall, consisted of a series of waves of terror that began with the arrival of the first Zionist immigrants at the end of the 19th century, continued through the attacks of 1921 and 1936, and the fierce battles held between the U.N. resolution on partition in November 1947 and the invasion of the Arab armies on May 15, 1948. After the establishment of the state, the terror campaign was less coordinated, lasting up until the first terror attack conducted by an organized movement, Fatah, in 1965. The waves of terror have continued with varying levels of intensity up to today, most recently in the form of “lone wolf attacks” with guns or knives.

 

The second challenge, interstate warfare, began with the end of the British Mandate, when the armies of seven Arab countries invaded the nascent Israel. These rounds of warfare continued over a 25-year period, with the last war against regular armies having taken place in 1973. Throughout the years since, up until the US invasion of Iraq and the Arab Spring, Israel was surrounded by millions of troops, tens of thousands of artillery pieces, thousands of tanks, and many hundreds of warplanes. Israel handed the Arab armies a series of resounding defeats on the battlefield, and thus wars of this kind became less attractive to Arab states.

 

The third, contemporary challenge is rooted in the failures of the civilian terror campaign and regular Arab armies against Israel. Now, Israel’s opponents instead invested immense resources in large-scale firepower based on rockets and missiles. Following the Arab Spring, and the removal of the Syrian army as a threat to Israel, non-state combatant organizations-mainly Hezbollah, but also Hamas-have constructed most of their force around this type of firepower. Today, Israel’s civilian population is threatened by some 120,000 rockets and missiles. Most of them-over 100,000-are held by Hezbollah in Lebanon, while up to 5,000 rockets are deployed in Gaza by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The remainder consist of several hundred ballistic missiles in Iran, and several hundred rockets held by Islamic State in Syria and the Sinai Peninsula.

 

Israel has invested significant efforts in shifting the balance of power against missiles and rockets. While all the rockets fired by Hezbollah in 2006 toward Israeli population centers found their targets; in 2014, 90 percent of the rockets fired by Hamas toward Israeli civilian targets, which Israel decided to defend, were intercepted by the Iron Dome active defense system. This represents a revolution in Israel’s ability to defend itself against the main threat to its armed forces and to its civilian and military home front. This is a first-rate technological achievement, which, together with the Arrow 2 system, provides Israel with a good level of defense. With the completion of the David’s Sling system within the coming year, and of the Arrow 3 system within the next two years, Israel will be even better protected. We owe a great debt to American aid; but this success is founded on Israeli genius, originality, creativity, and of course a large-scale Israeli financial investment. This is an expensive project, at around $7-10 billion, in addition to the high-quality personnel required for the new defensive array.

 

Due to the drastic reduction in the number of casualties and the extent of destruction caused to Israel, active defense reduces the amount of pressure on Israeli leaders to wipe out enemy rocket and missile capabilities, and to do so as quickly as possible. Simply put, the success of Iron Dome has saved the lives of many of Israelis and much more of the Palestinians, because it has allowed the Israeli government and the IDF to be far more circumspect in the use of firepower. However, this success also brings with it some fundamental problems at the strategic policy level.

 

First, given that the number of interceptors is limited, where should the defense system be activated, and where should rockets “be allowed to fall” within Israel? This is a difficult question of priorities. Is it more important, in these kinds of operations, to protect the civilian population, or to protect the armed forces and military infrastructure so that the fight against the enemy can continue? It is clear that Hezbollah’s main goal is to harm as many civilians as possible. It is necessary to take into account the pressure that can be expected from the civilian home front to defend them, but it is also clear that only the armed forces can shorten the war and strike at Hezbollah’s launching capabilities. This creates very difficult trade-offs: where should the interceptors be allotted-to defend civilians, or to defend various elements of the military system? Should an attack on IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv be prevented, at the cost of a missile being allowed to hit the Bavli neighborhood a mile or two north of there? Second, what are the implications of a reduced number of casualties on Israel’s home front? This being the case, what would be the justification for Israel to inflict large losses on the other side? What are the international implications of such a situation, including legal considerations?

 

I recently watched a public debate at Oxford, during which it was claimed that Israel is guilty of war crimes, with one of the most vocal arguments being the ratio between civilian casualties-according to the speaker, seven Israelis killed versus 1,500 Palestinians. The truth is that while Israel defends its citizens and invests boundless efforts toward this end, Hamas intentionally sacrifices its civilians, all of whom are “human shields” as far as it is concerned. Ironically, the world (or at least the gentleman from Oxford) would like to punish Israel for this. Both sides are successful in their efforts: Israel acts legally, and saves its civilians; Hamas acts illegally, yet the end result is that Israel’s legitimacy is damaged. The irony would only be increased should a case be brought against Israel at the International Court of Justice, with any accusation of disproportionate use of force being essentially based on Israel’s very success in defending its own citizens. This was not the intention of the authors of the relevant international conventions…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                           

 

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                   WHAT NEW F-35 JETS MEAN FOR ISRAEL’S AIR FORCE          

                                                      Ben Caspit                    

Al-Monitor, Aug. 3, 2016

 

On July 26, Israeli history was made in Dallas, Texas, when “Israeli” fighter aircraft model F-35, “Stealth,” took off on its maiden flight and successfully passed an examination of its overall system. The traditional rollout ceremony of the aircraft had been held June 22 with the participation of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. The arrival of the first planes to Israel is planned for December. The Israeli air force will be the first air force outside the United States with an operational Stealth squadron. In the United States, the Navy has already made the F-35 serviceable and announced its Initial Operating Capability status. The US Air Force will reach this same milestone in the near future.

 

The timing of the arrival of the Stealth aircraft to Israel is especially auspicious. A high-level Israeli military figure told Al-Monitor last week on condition of anonymity, “Batteries of surface-to-air S-300 missiles produced by Russia have already reached Iran.” He added, “Although they are not yet operational, we expect them to become operational in the near future.” The arrival of the F-35 to Israel — simultaneously with the supply of S-300 missiles from Russia to Iran — preserves Israel’s qualitative edge over Middle East skies. “In most cases, the F-35 is able to elude the radar of the S-300,” a high-placed military source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “This is a big challenge for us, but we are up to it. The Stealth [aircraft] was built for exactly this purpose and will give us freedom of movement even against this new development.”

 

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in general and the air force in particular are more concerned with the possibility that some of the S-300s — missiles that cover a territory of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) each — will find their way from Iran to Syria or Lebanon. “Such a scenario would pose a major strategic change for us,” said a senior Israeli military source on condition of anonymity. He told Al-Monitor, “We will do everything possible to avert this.” There is also the worry that the Iranians will learn the system, try to produce it by themselves and then transfer the know-how to Hezbollah or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Israel is hoping that this will not happen.

 

One way or another, the Israeli air force is waiting impatiently and excitedly for the new Stealth aircraft. The fierce debate that was held surrounding the capabilities of the aircraft and were detailed in an earlier article in Al-Monitor have come to an end. “This plane will upgrade the entire air force by a complete technological generation,” said a senior IDF source. He told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “This is a transition from fourth-generation fighter jets to fifth-generation, and even more than that. Missions that we carried out to date with a double-digit number of planes will be able to be executed with a low single-digit number of planes.”

 

The reason is simple: “When you embark on an important strategic bombardment,” a senior Israeli military source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “you need aircraft that will carry out the shelling, other planes to protect the first ones from interception and yet other planes to provide protection from surface-to-air missiles [SAM]. But the F-35 carries out all these tasks by itself, with tremendous effectiveness. It has small radar footprint and is not threatened by most SAMs. It is a totally different world.” Some high-ranking Israeli air force members have already flown simulation flights on the sophisticated F-35 simulator system. “We are in a completely different league,” one of them told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “The flight included dogfights against an octet of advanced, non-F-35 aircraft, and the Stealth [aircraft] won hands down.”

 

Conversations with their counterparts in the US Air Force also greatly encouraged the Israeli pilots. According to the Israelis, it was impossible to wipe the smiles off the faces of the Americans after a week of trial runs of the Stealth jets at a US Air Force base. The data was excellent, all the planes were fit for service and available, the hits were good and the results were perfect. The expression “almost too good to be true” exactly describes the Israeli air force’s view of the Stealth aircraft. The Israeli air force assessment is that the Stealth planes not only will bring new capabilities, but will also “pull” all the other air force planes forward and bump the entire corps up. The reason: the visual range ability of the Stealth. These aircraft fly within formations and carry a system that enables each pilot to see the entire picture of the surrounding arena from his pilot’s booth. Other planes that are not F-35s can also be included in the F-35 system, thus sharing its tremendous advantages. In this way, the capabilities of hundreds of F-15s and F-16s already owned by the Israeli air force can undergo great improvement, too…

 [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

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               THE FUTURE OF MANEUVERING ROBOTICS

Amir Rapaport                                

Israel Defense, Aug. 11, 2016

 

Col. (res.) Boaz Cohen cannot hide his enthusiasm, standing by one of the innovations Elbit Systems showcased at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris in June 2016: a system enabling the crew to fight out of their armored combat vehicle with their hatches closed, while still receiving an almost complete picture of their surroundings, as if they were fighting with their heads outside the turret. In addition to the picture of the immediate surroundings around the tank or APC, the system continuously provides relevant information regarding the battlefield.

 

The IronVision helmet – a "transparent turret" of sorts – was developed by Elbit Systems in view of the way the battlefield has changed: massive armor-versus-armor battles conducted over expansive areas, as we all remember from the past, have evolved into armored platforms maneuvering in dense urban areas, where the enemy might pop up suddenly on the eighth floor of a nearby building or from behind, not only from the front. The system consists of a network of cameras that cover a 270-degree sector around the platform, horizontally and vertically, during the day and night. A computer integrates the various images and assembles the reality afresh for the platform commander or driver. The image may be viewed using specialized eyepieces and a visor attached to the front part of the user's helmet. The information from the battlefield is transferred through the command and control infrastructure and displayed on the helmet visor just like the smart helmets of fighter pilots Elbit had invented (and currently supplies for the F-35 future fighter).

 

Is there a future for smart helmets in land warfare (or in civilian ground applications)? For the exhibition in Paris, Elbit built a compartment simulating an armored vehicle with the hatches closed. To illustrate this unusual experience: when the driver or commander shift their gaze in a certain direction, the image of the world outside the vehicle moves along with them. If the crewmen identify a target on the ground, they can lock onto it using a joystick and then launch munitions at it – almost like a computer game.

 

"The new system provides a solution to an acute operational problem," says Boaz Cohen, VP Land Systems. "In many combat zones, if you pop your head out of the tank – you will be shot by a sniper. Today, combat operations take place in a highly complex environment. In the past, as soldiers, we fought less in closed, dense areas and much more in open areas. Today we fight in dense areas and in three dimensions, and you cannot do it with your head inside the hull, using only the periscope of the past (the old optical system that provided an image of the situation outside the platform but covered only a very narrow field of view). Even if you had a thousand periscopes surrounding you, eventually you would have seen the outside world through a straw.

 

"Using the new system, on the other hand, you get to see an open-wide space, the entire area – not through a sight. On top of the image, the command and control system adds icons and data that reflect the battle picture. In fact, you receive the C2 picture right on your helmet. You can enslave the weapon system you want to employ – a remotely controlled weapon station, a gun or any other weapon – to your helmet. Through this system, we are offering an innovative solution to a difficult operational problem. We do the same thing in the field of artillery guns and mortars." Before addressing the category of artillery guns and mortars, it is important to note that Boaz Cohen possesses operational experience that dates back to the days of the periscope: he rose through the ranks of the IDF Armored Corps, where he advanced from a crewman to the position of Senior Staff Officer in charge of Operations, Planning & Instruction at IDF Northern Command during the Second Lebanon War, ten years ago. The exclusive interview with Cohen, in his present senior capacity at Elbit Systems, was conducted during the Eurosatory 2016 exhibition.

 

Let's talk about the world of mortars. What is the operational solution you referred to? According to Cohen, the solution in question is the SPEAR mortar system – a 120mm mortar with significantly reduced recoil, unveiled for the first time about a month prior to the Eurosatory exhibition at the International Fire Conference produced by the IDF Artillerymen Association and Israel Defense. "This mortar system is an innovative solution, as in the past it had a recoil of 120 tons. We reduced it to 35 tons and now we have reduced it further to less than 10 tons, which enables you to mount this mortar on a standard 4×4 vehicle and fire it directly off that vehicle.

 

"What is the operational problem it solves? When you want highly mobile special operations forces that you can drop deep inside enemy territory for prompt action – that is the solution. You cannot accomplish that using the mortar currently mounted on the M-113 APCs (the older KESHET mortar system). What you want is an agile force, capable of traveling from one point to another very fast, for example – exit a helicopter and promptly start producing accurate fire. "So far, no one has been able to provide a 'pocket artillery' system that is so readily available, mobile and accurate, and when you combine it with precision munitions, it catapults the entire solution one step forward."…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents          

                                                     

                               TIME TO WALK AWAY FROM US AID

Caroline Glick                         

          Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2016

 

On Monday, acting head of the National Security Council Yaakov Nagel will sit down with his US counterpart, Susan Rice, and try to conclude negotiations about a new, multi-year defense assistance package. We must all hope that he fails. No clear Israeli interest will be advanced by concluding the aid deal presently on the table. Indeed, the deal now being discussed will cause Israel massive, long-term economic and strategic damage. This is true for a number of reasons.

 

First, there is the issue of the deal’s impact on Israel’s military industries, which are the backbone of Israel’s strategic independence. Under the current defense package, which is set to expire next year, a quarter of the US aid Israel receives is converted to shekels and spent domestically. Reportedly, the deal now under negotiation will bar Israel from using any of the funds domestically. The implications for our military industries are dire. Not only will thousands of Israelis lose their jobs. Israel’s capacity to develop its own weapons systems will be dangerously diminished.

 

Then there is the problem of joint projects. Today, Israel receives additional US funds to develop joint projects, including the Iron Dome and David’s Sling short range missile and rocket defense programs. These programs were undertaken in response to threats that weren’t foreseen when the current deal was negotiated a decade ago. According to reports, the deal now being negotiated denies Israel and the US the ability to fund jointly new projects or to provide supplemental funding for existing projects. All funding for all projects will be covered by the lump sum that is currently being negotiated. Not only does this preclude new projects, it prevents Congress from exercising oversight over administration funding of existing joint projects with Israel. President Barack Obama has consistently tried to slash funding of missile defense programs, only to be overridden by Congress. Under the deal now on the table, Congress will be denied the power to override a hostile administration.

 

Given the obvious problems with the aid program currently being proposed by the Obama administration, there’s little wonder that until now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly stated that if necessary, Israel is ready to wait for the next administration. Some argue that Netanyahu’s apparent newfound interest in concluding negotiations on Obama’s terms owes to his fear that this is the best offer Israel is likely to get. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for various reasons, it is argued, will be less likely to offer significant increases in US military assistance. Assuming this is accurate, the question becomes whether Israel has an interest in the assistance at all.

 

And so we come to the F-35. For Israel, to a significant degree, the aid package on offer is about the F-35, the US’s fifth generation fighter, otherwise known as the Joint Strike Fighter. Last month Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and IAF Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen Tal Kelman flew to Texas to ceremonially “take possession” of Israel’s first two F-35s. Both aircraft are set to be delivered to Israel in December. To date, the IAF has purchased 33 F-35s – all with US aid money. The IAF wants to purchase a total of 75 F-35s, which are supposed to replace the F-16s and the F-15s that the IAF currently fields. As Liberman made clear during his visit, whether Israel purchases them or not is entirely dependent on the aid deal. We should not take them. We should walk away. And we should walk away even if we receive nothing in exchange for the planes we reject.

 

The F-35 is a disaster of epic proportions, for the US first and foremost. If Israel agrees to base its next generation fighters on the F-35, it will be a disaster for us as well. Although it is late in the game, we need to cut our losses. To date, the F-35 has cost the US $400 billion. That is twice what it was supposed to cost. The project is already four years behind schedule and still in development. It won’t be operational until May 2018 – at the earliest. The F-35 is a jet that was developed by a committee and tasked with doing everything. So it isn’t surprising that it doesn’t work. In February, J. Michael Gilmore, the director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation office, submitted a scathing report to Congress on the F-35 program…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

           

On Topic Links

 

How Does the IDF Deal With the "Intifada of the Individuals"?: Israel Defense, Aug. 7, 2016—The IDF has been bolstering its counter-terror strategy with an increase of weapons seizures and the shutdown of weapon manufacturing facilities; 27 weapon-manufacturing machines and over 235 guns have been seized. Last week alone, security forces seized six machines used to build guns in Nablus and Ramallah.

Defense Ministry: Breakdown of the F-35 deal: Arutz Sheva, Aug. 14, 2016—The Ministry of Defense, continuing its countdown to the December 2016 arrival of Israel's first F-35s, last week completed its semi-annual data summary.

Cutting-Edge New IDF Tank is "A Gamechanger": Ariella Mendlowitz Breaking Israel News, July 24, 2016—The Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) Battalion 82 recently decided to drop its decades-old Merkava MK 2 tanks and launched into a new world of military technology by adopting the cutting edge Merkava MK 4 tanks in their place, reported The Jerusalem Post. A part of the 7 Armored Brigade, Battalion 82 was formed prior to Israel’s War of Independence in 1948 and has since taken part in each of Israel’s wars, according to Major Itamar Michaeli, the battalion’s deputy commander.

Urgent Israeli Navy Order for New US Coastal Craft: Debka, Aug. 11, 2016—The Mediterranean is fast filling up with bigger and more sophisticated warships than ever before, leaving the Israeli Navy lagging behind and short of the new kind of vessels needed to meet the changing challenges to its shores and marine assets, notably from seaborne terror.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes

 

Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf

 

On Topic Links

 

 

The New Strategic Environment: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Jewish Press, Mar. 19, 2013

The Powerful New Antioxidant Made of Sun and Algae: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, Mar. 17, 2013

Arab Peace Initiative and Israeli Concessions: Daniel Frank, Times of Israel, Mar. 20, 2013

 

 

 

“I walk with you on the historic homeland of the Jewish people.”US President Barack Obama, in his remarks upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. Invoking the Jewish people’s 3,000-year history in the land, he referred to modern Israelis as “the sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah.” Obama said that his visit was "an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors. We stand together because peace must come to the  Holy Land. I am confident in declaring that our alliance is l'netzach, eternal, is forever." (Jerusalem Post, New York Times, Mar. 20, 2013)

 

“Thank you, Mr. President, for upholding the Jewish people’s right to a Jewish state in our historic homeland, and for boldly defending that right at the United Nations. And thank you for strengthening the unbreakable alliance between our two nations during your presidency.…Mr. President, on this historic visit, you will have an opportunity to see a different side of Israel. You will see past, present, and future in this tiny land which has left such a huge imprint on the course of civilization. You will see the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, the world’s oldest text of the Bible, written in Hebrew here 2,000 years ago, scrolls that bear witness to the timeless bond between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel….We extend our hand in peace to the Palestinians. Israel has proven time and again it is ready for concessions in exchange for real peace, and the situation today is no different. With a Palestinian partner, that is willing to hold negotiations in good will, Israel will be ready for a historic compromise that will end the conflict with the Palestinians once and for all.”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his opening remarks upon the arrival of US President Barack Obama to Israel. (Times of Israel, National Post, Mar. 202, 2013)

 

Thank you for the hopes you carry with you. In a few minutes you will be on your way to Jerusalem. Our ancient capital. The cradle of all believers, of all prayers. You will see the hills and mountains where our prophets preached. Where the soul of the Jewish People was born. Where the State of Israel was created. America and Israel are somewhat different in size. In size, not in destiny. The American dream stems from the bible. The Israeli spirit is inspired by American exceptionalism.”—Israeli President Shimon Peres, in his opening remarks upon the arrival of US President Barack Obama to Israel.” (Times of Israel, Mar. 201, 2013)

 

"Three American presidents have spoken on the Knesset stage, as well as [former Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat and leaders from Europe."MK Reuven Rivlin, former Knesset Speaker (Likud Beytenu), commenting on US President Barack Obama’s decision not to address the Knesset.  Rivlin asserted that "President Obama should speak to the people of Israel through its elected representatives,"  He maintained that Obama's decision not to speak in the Knesset is a cause for concern because it shows that he does not have faith in the representatives of the nation to which he is speaking. "Unfortunately…President Obama decided not to visit the Knesset, a decision which is in bad taste." he said. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 18, 2013)

 

"It is unfortunate that the information that was first communicated [by the Foreign Ministry] to Parliament and which was based on information obtained from the PA at the time, in retrospect, is imprecise."Foreign Ministry of Norway's statement corroborating Palestinian Media Watch’s report that Norwegian financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority is being used to pay salaries to convicted terrorists in Israeli custody.  "According to the PA, the discussed support program is not a salary – but direct support for the prisoners' canteen expenses and social allowance to the families of prisoners. The social allowance compensates for the loss of income because the main breadwinner is no longer able to contribute."Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, in a letter to the Norwegian Parliamentary Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs. (Palestinian Media Watch, Mar. 20, 2013)

 

“By urging the removal of all [Jewish] settlers living beyond the green line, the report [of the UN Commission of Inquiry into Israeli Settlements] is inconsistent with Security Council Resolution 242, endorsed by the [Security] Council decision establishing this commission. It could lead to the utterly grotesque consequence that the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem should be returned to the desolate condition that existed between 1948 and 1967. I regret to say that the [UN Human rights] Council displays the same selectivity that led to the abolition of the earlier Commission. I urge you to heed the criticism by successive UN secretary-generals of this Council’s habit of singling out only one specific country, to the exclusion of virtually everything else.”Lord David Trimble, Nobel Peace Laureate and member of the British House of Lords, in an address to the UN Human Rights Council during its debate, on Mon [Mar 18], of its report on Israeli settlements beyond the 1948 armistice line.  (UN Watch, Mar. 18, 2013)

"Our history is replete with lies… [including] the lie about Al-Qaeda and the September 11 events, which asserted that Muslim terrorists committed it, and that it was not an internal American action by the Freemasons."…"Churchill and Roosevelt were alcoholics, and in their youth were questioned more than once about brawls they started in bars, while Hitler hated alcohol and was not addicted to it. He used to go to sleep early and wake up early, and was very organized. These facts have been turned upside down as well, and Satan has been dressed with angels' wings…Had Hitler won, Nazism would be an honour that people would be competing to belong to, and not a disgrace punishable by law."Hassan Ouda Abu Zaher, from an op-ed article in the official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, just prior to the arrival in Israel of US President Barack Obama. (Palestinian Media Watch, March 18, 2013)

“The world is talking about dividing Jerusalem — it’s in many ways churning water. What has happened since 1967 in the Old City and around the Old City has made any discussion of dividing Jerusalem the way the Arabs see it irrelevant, because on the ground it ain’t going to happen.”—Daniel Luria, executive director of Ateret Cohanim, commenting on objections to two new private Jewish housing developments in predominantly Arab neighbourhoods of  the Old City. Ateret Cohanim is an organization that is not involved in these particular projects but has led many other efforts to establish Jewish beachheads in the area. (New York Times, Mar. 17, 2013)

 

“If the Americans once again do not honor their commitments and keep on disobeying, then this will be considered as an occupation, and they may expect to see a reaction to their action…. As the Koran says: Almighty Allah has never paved the road for infidels to rule and govern Muslims.”— the Afghan Ulema Council, which represents all of the country’s Islamic clerics and whose members are appointed by President [Hamid] Karzai.  It referred to American forces in Afghanistan as “infidels,” echoing language used by the Taliban. (New York Times, Mar 17, 2013)

 

I hope to “contribute to the progress that relations between Jews and Catholics have known from the Second Vatican Council, in a spirit of renewed collaboration.”—Pope Francis I, in a message to the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, on the day of his election. (New York Times, Mar. 16, 2013)

 

“France must first convince its European partners. But we cannot let a people be massacred like this. So already the British and French are in favour of lifting the embargo.French President Francois Hollande to reporters in Brussels, where he is attending an EU summit. The British government said that it is not ruling out any options to help the [Syrian] opposition. (Globe and Mail, Mar. 15, 2013)

“In reality, the existential threat to Israel posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons program puts the Palestinian issue into the proper perspective. And despite extensive administration bluster about ‘keeping all options on the table,’ the chances of Obama actually using force against Iran’s nuclear program are as close to absolute zero as one can get except in outer space. He wants to reduce Israel’s odds of using force to the same level, and that is his trip’s highest priority. So here’s the real message to Israelis from Americans: Whatever our religious backgrounds, we do not agree with Obama’s views on Israel or the Middle East.”—John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, in an op-ed article in the Jerusalem Post. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 20, 2013) 

 

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BARACK OBAMA TO DINE WITH FIRST BLACK MISS ISRAEL—(Jerusalem) An advance party of White House officials insisted on inviting Yityish Aynaw, 22, to next Thursday's gala dinner hosted by Shimon Peres, Israel's president, after hearing how she became the first Israeli of Ethiopian origin to win the country's premier beauty queen contest last month. The mass circulation Yedioth Ahronot newspaper reported that Ms Aynaw – who emigrated to Israel from Ethiopia with her Jewish grandparents after the death of her mother when she was 12 – would have the chance to exchange pleasantries with the president. "For me, he is a role model who broke down barriers, a source of inspiration that proves that every person really can reach any height, regardless of their religion, race or gender," Ms Aynaw said. (The Telegraph, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

 

ISRAELI OFFICIAL: CHEMICAL WEAPONS USED IN SYRIA(Jerusalem) A senior Israeli official said Wednesday that it is "apparently clear" that chemical weapons were recently used in Syria, and that the attack will be a main topic of conversation with visiting President Barack Obama.
The statement by Yuval Steinitz, the newly appointed Minister of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs, conflicts with U.S. assessments that there is no evidence behind accusations traded the day before between Syrian rebels and the Bashar Assad regime. A senior defence official told AP that he concurred chemical weapons had been used, basing that on intelligence reports. (ABC News, Mar. 20, 2013)

 

BAYIT YEHUDI MINISTER ARIEL TO OBAMA: PLEASE FREE POLLARD(Ben Gurion Airport) Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel asked US President Barack Obama to free Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard as he shook the visiting US president's hand upon his arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday. "Please free Pollard," Ariel stated, noting that Obama listened, but did not respond. Obama said in a Channel 2 television interview last week that he had no plans to free Pollard in the immediate future. "After 28 years that Pollard is caged in American captivity, I felt a personal obligation to turn directly to President Obama and to ask him to pardon Jonathan out of humanitarian considerations," Ariel stated after having met Obama. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 20, 2013)

 

PALESTINIANS ERECT PROTEST TENTS IN E-ONE(Jerusalem) Dozens of Palestinians erected protest tents in the E1 region between Ma'ale Adumim and Jerusalem in the West Bank on Wednesday, Israel Radio reported. The protesters flew a large Palestinian flag and hung a photo of US President Barack Obama on one of the tents. Around 150 Palestinians came to the site and put up a number of smaller tents.   The Palestinian Authority has said that E1 land is needed so the future Palestinian state will be viable and have territorial continuity. It warned that Israeli construction there imperils the two-state solution. On the other hand, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in January that the area must be linked to Jerusalem saying, "We will not allow anyone to harm the contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim." Netanyahu made the January remarks to his cabinet after the IDF evacuated Palestinian activists from the region. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 20, 2013)

 

UK: SYRIA CHEMICAL ATTACK BOOSTS CASE FOR REBELS(London) Britain said on Wednesday reports of a chemical attack in Syria strengthened the case for relaxing a European Union arms embargo on the country, and warned that a failure to do so could lead to the kind of wartime massacres seen in Bosnia. Britain and France are pushing for the EU ban to be eased to allow a flow of arms to outgunned rebels waging a two-year-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad, but several EU countries and Russia oppose the move. "The French president is concerned and I am concerned that we should not be restricted for months and months ahead when we don't know exactly what could happen in Syria, including the very worrying reports of use of chemical weapons," British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament. (Reuters Canada, Mar. 20, 2013)

 

CANADIAN AMONG TERRORISTS KILLED IN ALGERIAN GAS PLANT STANDOFF (Ottawa) Two months after an Al Qaeda splinter group attacked a gas plant in the Algerian dessert, killing almost 40 foreign workers, the RCMP has confirmed that at least one of the terrorists was a Canadian citizen. The RCMP said Monday it had identified “Canadian human remains” in Algeria. About three dozen armed Islamists led by Al Qaeda-linked Mokhtar Belmokhtar stormed the In Amenas plant on Jan. 16 and held hundreds of workers hostage for four days. All but three of the terrorists were eventually killed by Algerian troops. (National Post, Mar. 18, 2013)

 

LABOUR PEER SUSPENDED OVER CLAIMS HE BLAMED IMPRISONMENT ON 'JEWISH CONSPIRACY'(London)Lord Ahmed, a Labour life peer, is alleged to have told a TV station in Pakistan that he was imprisoned in 2009 because of pressure on the courts from Jews “who own newspapers and TV channels". Labour immediately suspended the peer “pending an investigation” and Ed Miliband, the party’s leader, described Lord Ahmed’s reported comments as “disgraceful”. In the TV broadcast it is alleged Lord Ahmed said of his jail sentence: “My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.” Ed Miliband, the Labour leader said: "I think that the comments reported by Lord Ahmed are disgraceful comments. There's no place for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, and frankly anybody who makes those kinds of comments cannot be either a Labour lord or a Labour member of Parliament." (The Telegraph, Mar. 14, 2013)

 

HUNGARIAN JEWS SET UP ADL-INSPIRED WATCHDOG GROUP—(Budapest) The Budapest-based, nongovernmental entity was registered recently in Hungary as Action and Protection Foundation, or TEV by its Hungarian-language acronym, and is set to have six employees and about 20 volunteers by June, according to Daniel Bodnar, chairman of the organization’s board. Bodnar said TEV is made up of delegates from the major organizations representing Hungarian Jews. “We decided to create this body out of the realization that anti-Semitic statements have become more common and acrimonious as public discourse continues to deteriorate in Hungary — a country which unfortunately has a strong par excellence neo-Nazi party in its Parliament,” Bodnar said in reference to Jobbik, the country’s third largest party. In November, a senior lawmaker for Jobbik said in Parliament that Jews needed to be listed as “security threats,” drawing international condemnations and triggering several protest rallies in Hungary. (JTA, Mar. 4, 2013)

 

SURGERY WITHOUT SCARS OR SCALPELS—(Tel Aviv) Surgery without scalpels and scars? It’s not science fiction. Israel’s InSightec is in the midst of transforming the operating room with its ExAblate MRI-guided high-intensity ultrasound technology. The ExAblate O.R. system uses interchangeable “cradles” set on a regular MRI treatment table. The tool allows doctors to destroy targets, such as tumors and uterine fibroid cysts, deep inside the body without incisions. ExAblate O.R. is already being used in several countries, including Europe and the United States, to treat uterine fibroids and pain caused by bone cancer. “We started with uterine fibroids, which afflict a quarter of all women sometime in their lives and usually are treated with a hysterectomy,” says InSightec president and founder Kobi Vortman. “We believe for patients looking for alternative treatment to preserve the uterus, this is effective and safe.” (Israel21C, March 19, 2013)

 

BOMBINGS IN IRAQ KILL 65 A DECADE AFTER INVASION(Baghdad) Insurgents sent a bloody message on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, carrying out a wave of bombings across the country Tuesday that killed at least 65 people in the deadliest day in Iraq this year. The nearly 20 attacks, most of them in and around Baghdad, demonstrated in stark terms how dangerously divided Iraq remains more than a year after American troops withdrew. More than 240 people were reported wounded. It was Iraq's bloodiest day since Sept. 9, when an onslaught of bombings and shootings killed 92. Violence has ebbed sharply since the peak of Sunni-Shiite fighting. (Yahoo Daily News Mar.19, 2013)

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

The New Strategic Environment: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Jewish Press, Mar. 19, 2013—The way it looks now, it seems that the regime of al-Assad will not last more than a number of days or weeks. A coalition of Sunni jihad organizations will succeed in toppling the government of an Arab state despite the state having used every weapon in its arsenal – including scud missiles – in order to survive.

The Powerful New Antioxidant Made of  Sun and Algae: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, Mar. 17, 2013— How about some astaxanthin with your tea and scones? Made from sunshine and red microalgae in Israel’s Arava Valley, the antioxidant is believed to support and protect the immune, cardiovascular and nervous system, joints and muscles.

 

Arab Peace Initiative and Israeli Concessions: Daniel Frank, Times of Israel, Mar. 20, 2013—Earlier today, it was reported that American Secretary of State John Kerry would try to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process based on the Arab Peace Initiative. For those unaware, the Arab Peace Initiative is based on a complete Israeli withdrawal from to the 1949 armistice lines and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Although appalling, this is not very surprising.

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843

 

 

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Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes

 

Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf

 

On Topic Links

 

Address by President Shimon Peres to the European Parliament: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 Mar 2013
Taking Refugees Off the Table: Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, March 13, 2013
PollardNow.org Petition Over 154,000 Signatures: Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013

 

 

ISRAEL’S NEXT GOVERNMENT AGREED: 4 PARTIES, 68 MEMBERS(Jerusalem) Six weeks of coalition talks drew toward a successful conclusion Wednesday evening, when the Likud finally conceded the Education Ministry to Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, and Lapid reportedly accepted the other terms of Likud’s compromise offer. The necessary legal documents were to be drawn up and signed Thursday, leaving Netanyahu free to formally inform President Shimon Peres on Saturday night — the final day of the six weeks allocated to him — that he has mustered a Knesset majority. The coalition will comprise four parties: Likud-Beytenu (31 seats), Yesh Atid (19), Jewish Home (12) and Hatnua (6), for a total of 68 members in the 120-seat Knesset. (Times of Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

 

 

“Like many Canadians I am concerned with the rise of anti-Israel activities on campuses across Canada, culminating in the so-called 'Israeli Apartheid Week' (IAW), which is often promoted in a manner that disregards the rights and safety of Jewish students and professors. Universities are meant to offer an environment in which academic discourse can take place freely. Jewish faculty and students have the right to engage in this debate without feeling the need to conceal their identity, or to self-censor.
   The irony of this week cannot be overlooked.  While singling out the only liberal democracy in the Middle East for condemnation, the organizers of IAW ignore Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's brutal slaughter of his own people and the suppression of basic human rights in many countries around the globe. Debate over Israeli policy is legitimate and encouraged through academic dialogue. However, there is a point at which well-intentioned debate is overrun by hatred and intolerance, creating a toxic environment that prevents meaningful dialogue on important issues from taking place.

   The organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week use the cover of academic freedom to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel. In reality, this week is nothing more than an unbalanced attempt to paint Israel and her supporters as racist. This week runs contrary to Canadian values of tolerance, mutual respect, and understanding. I call on all Canadians to reject anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, discrimination and intolerance, which are unacceptable and completely contrary to Canada’s fundamental values.”Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. (Citizenship Immigration Canada, Mar. 7, 2013)
 

“I am writing to commend you for your clear and forthright statement concerning "Israeli Apartheid Week", which is about to infest our campuses. This vicious antisemitic movement is the antithesis of what the universities it focuses on should stand for: mutual respect and the objective search for truth.  IAW speakers' vicious, propagandistic hatred of Israel and Jews abuses the precious democratic concept of freedom of expression and the scholarly principle of academic freedom. It is made possible, as well, by an appalling professorial and administrative silence, an abdication of both educational, and moral, responsibility. We can all be proud of Canada's leading role in supporting democratic Jewish Israel. In this regard it is to be hoped that your courageous statement will play a role in rallying the forces of freedom and human dignity on our campuses, as well as in society at large.”Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, in an email to Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. (CIJR, Mar. 8, 2013)

 

“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking at the “Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum” in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace. (Hurriyet News, Feb. 28, 2013)

"This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world."Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, condemning Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement about Zionism and its comparison to fascism. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 28, 2013)

“A clear voice must be raised against the violation of human rights by the Iranian regime, against a regime that hangs people without bringing them to court, that throws journalists into prison without trial, that fires live bullets at civilian demonstrators. A moral voice will encourage the Iranian people in their fight for freedom, in their struggle against misery.”Shimon Peres, President of Israel, speaking to the European Parliament in Brussels. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mar. 12, 2013)

[The] “demand for the right of return [of Arab refugees to Israel] was actually intended to achieve the purpose of annihilating Israel.”Egyptian Foreign Minister, Muhammad Salah al-Din (1949).

   “[T]he Arab countries do not want to resolve the problem of the refugees. They want to leave them like an open wound, as a weapon against Israel. The Arab rulers don’t care at all if the refugees live or die.”Alexander Galloway, a senior official in UNRWA (1952), quoted by Ben-Dror Yemini in The Story Of Arab Apartheid. (Front Page Magazine, June 3, 2011)

 

"To the Arabs, indeed Zionism seems as hideous as anything the Nazis conceived in the way of racial expansion at the expense of others."from a 1945 pamphlet by the Arab League, the representative body of all Arab states.
   "The Zionist concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Arab problem' in Palestine, and the Nazi concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem' in Germany, consisted essentially of the same basic ingredient: the elimination of the unwanted human element in question."from a pamphlet published by the PLO shortly after its creation in 1964, quoted by Ephraim Karsh in “The Middle East's Real Apartheid.” (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 5, 2012)

 

“Many UNRWA camps are decorated with keys. Young Palestinians are taught that these keys will one day open doors for them. But in reality these keys lock them in, in perceptions of the past and frustrations that they will never be able to realize."Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, speaking last week [Mar.6] at a small gathering of former officials, diplomats and lobbyists in New York City’s Harvard Club, who were meeting to initiate changes to the UN definition of who is a Palestinian “refugee”. Currently, Palestinian refugee status is handed down from one generation to another, the only refugee population for which this is allowed. While there remain only an estimated 50,000 original Palestinian refugees the UNRWA definition allows for about 5 million, 40% of whom are citizens of Jordan. This “insane” policy is “the major hurdle to peace,” Prosor added, [and] “without talking about this problem, there won’t be peace.” (Times of Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

"From early on, people are taught in religious schools that slaves are the masters’ properties, who are passed along as inheritance and where the condition of slavery is transmitted from parent to child, where women slaves must submit their bodies to their masters."Abidine Merzough, a man born as a slave to slave parents in Mauritania, commenting on that country’s ongoing practice of slavery under sharia law while attending UN Watch’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.  (The Commentator, Feb. 24, 2013)

 

“It was one of those clear examples of crossing that line from legitimate criticism of Israel into hate and anti-Semitism. Am I gonna cry at night? … No, but I think on campus we’re supposed to have a more academic atmosphere. If I disagree with the drop [tuition] fees campaign, at least that is something they [the Student Union] are doing for [all] students. But when you get into polarizing foreign policy issues that go against your own rules of singling out people on campus, I think that’s when we see the problem.”Eitan Gilboord, president of the Campus Conservatives and Israeli Student Association clubs at Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto, commenting on the anti-Israel “Gaza Teach-In” held on campus using Student Union funds.  (National Post, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

“Real apartheid, genocide and ethnic cleansing are occurring on our watch, yet these people have become so obsessed with the end of Zionism that the suffering of others has become a side show. Protest the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia and you'll have my respect. Protesting against an Israeli theater group is pathetic.”Kasim Hafeez, a British-born pro-Israel Muslim in an op-ed article in Ynet News. (Ynet, Feb. 20, 2013)

 

“A political lie of a variety well known in the twentieth century and scarcely exceeded in all that annal of untruth and outrage. The lie is that Zionism is a form of racism. The overwhelming truth is that it is not.”Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (quoted in a David G. Dalin’s review of Gil Troy’s new book, “Moynihan’s Moment”), coming to the defense of Zionism in his effort to block UN resolution 3379, passed by the General Assembly in November 1975, declaring Zionism to be a form of racism. Moynihan further proclaimed that, in the approval of this resolution, the “abomination of anti-Semitism…has been given the appearance of international sanction,” and that the General Assembly had granted “symbolic amnestyand moreto the murderers of  millions of European Jews.”  The resolution was ultimately repealed in 1991 with 111 countries voting for the motion to repeal. (National Review, Feb. 11, 2013)

 

"[Palestinian] children grow up learning that Jews are 'Satan with a tail'… Adults hear that Jews are evil and not to be trusted. It is perhaps not surprising that the [Palestinian] hatred is growing. The messenger is a [PA] government that receives large amounts [of money] from Norway."Norwegian state-owned TV, NRK in a recent program on Palestinian Media Watch's findings concerning the direct connection between the Palestinian Authority's promotion of hatred and terror glorification and the Norwegian funding of the PA, at 300 million kroner a year ($52,628,700). (Palestinian Media Watch, Feb. 27, 2013)

 

“I think Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu understands the importance of the issues surrounding Har Hazeitim [Mount of Olives] and the significance of the sensitivities involved concerning the historic site and for the unity of Jerusalem. We have made dramatic progress in recent years…to assure visits to loved ones and Jewish figures from throughout the ages take place without fear and endangerment. These efforts have resulted in a significant reduction in the wanton destruction of graves of some of the 150,000 Jews who are buried there, including three of our prophets, foremost Torah scholars, heads of hassidic dynasties, and many of our national leaders over the ages, including prime minister Begin.” However, these efforts are “overshadowed by the continued violence on the approaches to Har Hazeitim, most notably the Ras al-Amud Square, and the road that leads from Har Hatsofim to Har Hazeitim.”Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to The Jerusalem Post on Monday [Mar. 11]. (Jerusalem Post, Mar.11,2013)

                                                                                                                                           

“[W]ith tensions on the Korean peninsula rising, experts point out seven years of UN sanctions have done nothing to derail Pyongyang [North Korea]’s drive for a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States. They may have even bolstered the Kim family by giving their propagandas maestros ammunition to whip up anti-US sentiment and direct attention away from government failures.”Choe Sang-Hun in the New York Times. (New York Times, Mar. 11, 2013)

 

“Anyone still not convinced of the need to stop Iran from getting a nuke should watch the behavior of North Korea.  Its threat of ‘all-out war’ against South Korea and vow to turn Washington into a ‘sea of fire’ is Exhibit A of how madmen gain a sense of immunity once they have the bomb.  North Korea gets away with its outrageous provocations because of its ability, and apparent willingness, to use nuclear weapons. Imagine how Iran’s madmen would act if they get a nuke. Its impossible to without shuddering, which is why that day must never come to pass.”Michael Goodwin, in an op-ed in the New York Post. (New York Post, Mar. 10, 2013)

 

“Despite his admission and his regret, Jonathan continues to serve a sentence unprecedented in American history [for the crime he committed]. His health is fleeting and the remainder of his life is diminishing.”Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau in a letter to US President Barack Obama in anticipation of the latter’s visit to Israel in March. He noted that Pollard would soon mark the unfortunate milestone of 10,000 days in prison. “Let him live the rest of his life with his wife, Esther, in the State of Israel that granted him citizenship. This action would be seen as a humanitarian gesture by the seekers of freedom in the world,” Lau wrote. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 23, 2013)

 

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CATHOLIC CHURCH CHOOSES NEW POPE(Vatican City) Cardinals elected a new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff. In a remarkably fast conclave, they named Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, who took the name Francis, as pontiff. (Times if Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)

ALMOST A MILLION PALESTINIANS ALLOWED INTO ISRAEL IN 2012(Jerusalem) More than 930,000 Palestinians traveled to Israel in 2012, according to the Israeli Civil Administration. The figures include tens of thousands of family visits, traveling in Israel, receiving medical care in Israeli hospitals, and commerce and employment for Palestinian workers and merchants in Israel. This marks a rise of 98.5% in total. The Civilian Administration has upgraded the infrastructure of  passageways, increasing inspection sections, adding manpower, and improving service. (Israel Defense, Mar. 11, 2013)

ISRAEL'S BOLD NEW QUEEN(Jerusalem) Almost 30 years since the first clandestine Israeli airlift of Ethiopian Jews,  Ethiopian-born Yityish "Titi" Aynaw, 21, was just crowned Miss Israel., Israel's most beautiful woman. The past few years have been trailblazing ones for Ethiopian-born Israeli women. In 2011, Hagit Yaso was the first Ethiopian-born winner of the Israeli version of "American Idol." In 2012, Belaynesh Zevadia was appointed Israel's first Ethiopian-born ambassadorto Ethiopia. (Tablet, Mar. 13, 2013)

MORE LOCUSTS SWARM INTO ISRAEL(Revivim) Additional bands of locusts entered Israel on Tuesday, marking a week since the first wave of bugs flew across the Sinai border. Aerial and ground spraying has largely worked in eradicating the swarms, the Agriculture Ministry stressed. Locusts are not harmful to humans, and they only pose a threat to agriculture in large swarms. The chemicals used to combat the locusts are "soft pesticides." They have no effects on other animals and leave no residue. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)

EGYPT BANS FILM ON EGYPTIAN JEWS(Cairo) The director of the film "On Egypt's Jews" film Amir Ramses has said that the National Security Agency banned the film in Egypt. Ramses said that the NSA’s ban violated the powers of the country’s censorship authorities. "This is an encroachment on the powers of the censorship authority. The film had been displayed as it already gained the [censorship authority] approval without remarks. It was displayed in the [Panorama European Film] Festival, in addition to being displayed in more than one festival," Ramses wrote on his Facebook account. [He] lashed out at the National Security Agency, which he said was “as authoritarian” as the Interior Ministry and the equivalent of the former State Security Investigation Services under ousted President Hosni Mubarak. (Egypt Independent, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

UK DIPLOMAT FLEES PROTESTS AT WEST BANK UNIVERSITY(Ramallah) British Consul-General Sir Vincent Fean was forced to flee Birzeit University near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Tuesday, after student protests broke out. The senior diplomat was at the university to discuss Britain's foreign policy in the Middle East, and to meet with Birzeit President Dr Khalil al-Hindi. But he cut short his visit and departed abruptly after the protests erupted. Dozens of students shouting, "Get out of Birzeit!" attacked Fean's car as it left the campus. "His intention had been to engage in an open dialogue with the student community about the UK’s policies in the Middle East," the British Consulate-General said in a statement. (Jerusalem Post. Mar. 6, 2013)

 

ISRAEL PREPS FOR OBAMA'S FIRST VISIT WITH OPERATION "UNBREAKABLE ALLIANCE"(Tel Aviv) Israel is preparing to go into near-lockdown mode with a security mission dubbed "Unbreakable Alliance" for President Obama's upcoming visit. Air Force One lands on March 20, and for 48 hours Israel will be on a high state of alert. The presidential party will then board 12 Blackhawk helicopters to fly to Jerusalem. "This is a huge security operation, in which thousands of police officers, Israel Security Agency agents and U.S. Secret Service agents will be participating," a senior police officer said. "Success, as far as we're concerned, means zero mistakes."  (Washington Times, Mar. 11, 2013)

 

SPANISH TOWN TO HOLD FIRST SEDER SINCE 1492—(Ribadavia, Spain) A town in northern Spain is preparing to hold its first Passover Seder since 1492. The ritual dinner will take place in the old center of the town of Ribadavia on March 25, the first Seder night, and is being organized by the municipality’s tourism department in partnership with the Center for Medieval Studies, a Ribadavia-based association that researches the history of Iberian Jews prior to their expulsion during the Spanish Inquisition that began in 1492. Historian Abraham Haim, the center’s honorary president, will conduct the Seder, according to a report by La Voz de Galicia, a local newspaper. The public is invited; a seat costs about $40, the newspaper said. The city expects a few dozen people will attend. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

SHIN BET: HAMAS INCREASING SUICIDE BOMB EFFORTS(West Bank) Hamas in Gaza has increased efforts to set up terrorist cells in the West Bank, and ordered new recruits to create and fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank, to kidnap and kill a soldier, and to prepare suicide bombings, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] said Wednesday [Mar. 13]. On the surface, the four-month truce between Israel and Hamas appears to be holding well since the cessation of last year's eight-day conflict, but behind the scenes, senior Hamas officials in Gaza are increasing their efforts to carry out deadly attacks on Israelis, the Shin Bet added. The intelligence came partly from the questioning of security suspects who have been arrested days before planning to act, the domestic security agency said. It named Hamas interior minister in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, as a figure behind many of the efforts to carry out atrocities. Hammad has often called out for the continuation of terror attacks in Israel. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

EGYPT, GIVING CITIZEN ARREST POWERS(Cairo) The Sunday announcement by Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah that citizens have the right to arrest "vandals" has caused a firestorm of controversy. "Egypt's prosecutor-general urges all citizens to exercise the right afforded them by Article 37 of Egypt's criminal procedure law issued in year 1950 to arrest anyone found committing a crime and refer them to official personnel," said a statement issued by the prosecutor-general's office.  Another statement issued on Monday by the prosecutor-general's office said that "the statement of the prosecutor-general did not include granting 'judicial arrest' powers to citizens, but rather granting the judicial arrest to officers as defined officially in the law."  Nevertheless, the statements of the prosecutor-general opened an angry debate about security issues in the face of an ongoing police strike in a number of governorates. (Al Ahram, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

SCHALIT SIGNS PETITION URGING OBAMA TO FREE POLLARD(Tel Aviv)  Former kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit became the latest well-known Israeli to sign a petition Monday calling upon US President Barack Obama to commute the life sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. The petition has been signed by nearly 150,000 Israelis, including Nobel prize winners, dovish authors, and politicians from across the political spectrum. Schalit urged his Facebook friends to sign the petition. “Freedom is a great gift and a right,” Schalit wrote. “Thank you to those who worked on my behalf. Now join to save Pollard.” (Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013)

 

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Address by President Shimon Peres to the European Parliament: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 Mar 2013I stand here before you, burning memories in my heart, great hopes in my soul. I carry profound pain concerning the past. And look with confident eyes to the future. I immigrated to Israel in 1934, at the age of 11. In 1942, most of the inhabitants of my town were burned alive. Had my family delayed their emigration by 8 years, we would have been exterminated.

Taking Refugees Off the Table: Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, March 13, 2013A new effort is underway, backed by Israel, to tackle ‘the major hurdle to peace:’ how the UN defines a Palestinian refugee. “There was never a thorough debate about what is a Palestinian refugee,” explained Steve Rosen, a former top AIPAC official now affiliated with the Middle East Forum, and an organizer of the event together with Australian real estate developer Bob Magid.

PollardNow.org Petition Over 154,000 Signatures: Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013The petition is located at www.PollardNow.org and reads in part "Jonathan Pollard has now served 28 years of a life sentence in American prisons. A few short weeks from now, he will mark his 10,000th day in jail."

 

 

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 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
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Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes

 

Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf

 

On Topic Links

 

Exposing The UN's Dirty Little Secrets:  Daniel Schwammenthal, The Commentator, Feb. 24 2013

France to Return Art Stolen By the Nazis: Kim Willsher, Telegraph, Feb. 24, 2013

New Implant is Alternative to Spinal Fusion: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, Feb. 27, 2013

 

 

“Real apartheid, genocide and ethnic cleansing are occurring on our watch, yet these people have become so obsessed with the end of Zionism that the suffering of others had become a side show. Protest the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia and you'll have my respect. Protesting against an Israeli theater group is pathetic.”Kasim Hafeez, a British-born pro-Israel Muslim in an op-ed article in Ynet News. (Ynet, Feb. 20, 2013)

 

“A political lie of a variety well known in the twentieth century and scarcely exceeded in all that annal of untruth and outrage. The lie is that Zionism is a form of racism. The overwhelming truth is that it is not.”Daniel Patrick Moynihan, coming to the defense of Zionism in his effort to block UN resolution 3379, passed by the General Assembly in November 1975, declaring Zionism to be a form of racism. Moynihan further proclaimed that, in the approval of this resolution, the “abomination of anti-Semitism…has been given the appearance of international sanction,” and that the General Assembly had granted “symbolic amnestyand moreto the murderers of  million European Jews.”  The resolution was ultimately repealed in 1991 with 111 countries voting for the motion to repeal. (National Review, Feb. 11, 2013)

 

"To many who know little or nothing about Hollywood or the falsity of such Jewish stereotypes, there’s a much higher potential for the ‘Jews control Hollywood’ myth to be accepted as fact. It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism. It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars awards show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs."Abe Foxman of the ADL, in response to a Seth McFarlane comedy routine at the Oscars which suggested that  in order to "work in this town" (Hollywood) he [had to] be Jewish. He then [went] on to say, "I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever." (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 26, 2013)

 

"[Palestinian] children grow up learning that Jews are 'Satan with a tail'… Adults hear that Jews are evil and not to be trusted. It is perhaps not surprising that the [Palestinian] hatred is growing. The messenger is a [PA] government that receives large amounts [of money] from Norway."Norwegian state-owned TV, NRK in a recent program on Palestinian Media Watch's findings concerning the direct connection between the Palestinian Authority's promotion of hatred and terror glorification and the Norwegian funding of the PA, at 300 million kroner a year ($52,628,700). (Palestinian Media Watch, Feb. 27, 2013)

 

Iran is closer than ever to achieve enrichment for a nuclear bomb.”a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu’s office in response to a recent UN report indicating that Iran has made significant progress in upgrading it’s nuclear capabilities. Furthermore, the statement said, the report’s findings “prove that Iran continues to advance to the red line” that Israel considers intolerable. (Montreal Gazette, Feb. 22, 2013)

 

“After [Mohamed] Merah the French are afraid of terrorism. They are afraid that you can have one or two or three Merahs. And they could be right; no one really knows.”Marc Trévidic,  France’s most prominent investigative judge dealing with terrorism, commenting on the potential spillover effects of the French government’s intervention against Islamists in Mali. “The field of suspects is much larger, so the situation gives me a little fear. We’re fighting groups that are less powerful and organized than before, but which are much more difficult to detect. The young Muslims I see in my office have developed a kind of paranoia,” he said. “They are sure that we want to fight Islam, that we’re against Islam. They were born in France and were not practicing Muslims, but now they pray and they are sure we are against Muslims.” (New York Times, Feb. 24, 2013)

 

“Bashar al-Assad and the security and military leadership responsible for the state of Syria today must step down and be considered outside this political process. They cannot be part of any political solution for Syria and must be held accountable for their crimes.”Syrian opposition coalition in a statement contradicting recent statements by its leader, Sheik Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, who had said he was open to talks with members of Mr. Assad’s government about a political solution to end the conflict. (New York Times, Feb. 23, 2013)

 

“This new document… shows we are no longer dealing with an isolated local problem, but with an enemy which is reaching across continents to share advice.”Bruce Riedel, a 30year veteran of the CIA, now the director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution, commenting on an al-Qaeda tipsheet left behind by Islamist fighters fleeing French troops in Mali. The tipsheet provided advice on how to best avoid drone detection, amongst other things.

   “These are not dumb techniques. It shows that they are acting pretty astutely.”Col. Cedric Leighton, a 26-year-veteran of the United States Air Force, who helped set up the Predator drone program. “What it does is, it buys them a little bit more time — and in this conflict, time is key. And they will use it to move away from an area, from a bombing raid, and do it very quickly.” (National Post, Feb. 22, 2013)

 

 “A non-militarized Palestinian state, together with security mechanisms that address Israeli concerns while respecting Palestinian sovereignty, and a U.S.- led multinational force to ensure a peaceful transitional security period. This coalition peacekeeping structure, under UN mandate, would feature American leadership of a NATO force supplemented by Jordanians, Egyptians and Israelis. We can envision a five-year, renewable mandate with the objective of achieving full Palestinian domination of security affairs on the Palestine side of the line within 15 years.”from a 2009 report, co-authored by newly sworn-in US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, and released by the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP), on whose board Hagel serves. The report recommended, among other things, the imposition of a “peace agreement” on Israel despite the potential for alienating the American Jewish constituency. (Breibart, Feb. 24, 2013)

 

"From early on, people are taught in religious schools that slaves are the masters’ properties, who are passed along as inheritance and where the condition of slavery is transmitted from parent to child, where women slaves must submit their bodies to their masters."Abidine Merzough, a man born as a slave to slave parents in Mauritania, speaking at UN Watch’s annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Some 20 percent of Mauritanians, about 600,000 people, are still slaves. Mauritania uses Sharia to justify a racist system where Arabs exploit the country's black African population.  (The Commentator, Feb. 24, 2013)
 

“Despite his admission and his regret, Jonathan continues to serve a sentence unprecedented in American history [for the crime he committed]. His health is fleeting and the remainder of his life is diminishing.”Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau in a letter to US President Barack Obama in anticipation of the latter’s visit to Israel in March. He noted that Pollard would soon mark the unfortunate milestone of 10,000 days in prison. “Let him live the rest of his life with his wife, Esther, in the State of Israel that granted him citizenship. This action would be seen as a humanitarian gesture by the seekers of freedom in the world.” Lau wrote. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 23, 2013)

 

“The opening of the [Canadian] Office of Religious Freedom is a positive step forward in helping to secure fundamental freedoms across the globe and we were pleased to be part of the original consultation process. Canada has an obligation to display moral leadership and do its part to protect vulnerable communities around the world. Today’s announcement…will hopefully be the first step in a series of important initiatives by the Office to further the rights of religious minorities.”Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, commenting on the Canadian government’s recent announcement establishing the new ‘Office of Religious Freedom’. (B’nai Brith Canada, Feb. 19, 2013)

 

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U.S. SET TO SEND DIRECT AID TO SYRIAN REBELS—(Paris)  America is poised to provide direct assistance for the first time to rebel forces fighting to overthrow the Syrian regime, in an attempt to end a stalemate in the country's bloody two-year civil war. John Kerry, the new US secretary of state, signaled yesterday that Washington is actively considering a shift in policy that would send financial aid and equipment such as armored vehicles, body armour and night vision goggles to Syria's opposition council. There was however no indication that weaponry would be supplied. "We are examining and developing ways to accelerate the transition the Syrian people seek and deserve," Mr Kerry said in Paris, after meeting Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister. A White House spokesman confirmed the move. (Telegraph, Feb. 27, 2013)

 

CHUCK HAGEL SWORN IN AS US DEFENSE SECRETARY—(Washington) After rocky confirmation process, Republican described by his own party as showing 'troubling lack of judgment on critical issues' finally takes office. Chuck Hagel took charge of the US Defense Department on Wednesday after a bruising confirmation fight – and two days before billions in budget cuts are scheduled to hit the military. The Republican, who still faces skepticism and anger from some former Senate colleagues of his own party, was sworn in after a deeply divided chamber voted Tuesday to confirm him. The vote was one of the closest seen in the House – 58-41. The twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran now faces $46 billion in automatic, across-the-board budget cuts that will hit the Pentagon on Friday unless a deal can be made by the Obama administration and Congress to avoid them. But no talks on an agreement appeared to be under way.  (Israel News, Feb. 27, 2013)

 

IRAN ROCKET EXPERTS HELPING MILITANTS IN GAZA—(Tel Aviv)  Expert rocket makers dispatched from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have in recent days arrived in the Gaza Strip, senior Palestinian security sources have told the Israeli news outlet Walla!  on Tuesday. According to the report, the sources said that they are in Gaza to help Hamas and the Islamic Jihad develop long-range missiles. Israeli security and diplomatic sources have reportedly confirmed the Palestinian claims that there is an Iranian presence in Gaza, but did not elaborate. Walla! quoted the Israeli sources as saying that Iranian agents have previously visited the Gaza Strip as well. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 26, 2013)

 

BRITISH JIHADI SUICIDE BOMB GANG GUILTY OF PLOTTING TERROR ATTACK—(London, UK)  The ringleaders of an al-Qaeda-backed British jihadi group – Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27 – have been found guilty of plotting the worst terror attack on UK soil. The Birmingham-based gang planned to use eight suicide bombers, armed with guns, to cause "mass death" and "carnage" on the streets of Britain and wanted to carry out "another 9/11." Targets included an unnamed synagogue. Naseer and Khalid traveled to Pakistan for terror training, where they made martyrdom videos to be released by al-Qaeda after they had blown themselves up. The gang raised more than £20,000 by claiming to be collecting for Muslim Aid to fund their atrocity. (Telegraph, Feb. 21, 2013)

 

'58% RISE IN ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS IN FRANCE IN 2012'—(Paris) France saw an increase of 58 percent in anti-Semitic incidents in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to a report by the French Jewish community. The report released Tuesday by the SPCJ, the security unit of France’s Jewish communities, showed that 614 anti-Semitic acts were documented in the republic last year compared to 389 in 2011. "2012 has been a year of unprecedented violence against Jews in France,” according to the report, which referenced the shooting murders of a rabbi and three Jewish children on March 19 by an Islamist radical at a Jewish school in Toulouse. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 20, 2013)

 

COURT ORDERS GAZA TUNNELS DESTROYED—(Cairo)A Cairo court ruled that the Egyptian government must destroy all tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. The labyrinth of tunnels is an infamous smuggling route for arms trafficking. It is also believed that 30% of the goods that reach the Gaza Strip, as well as over 1.5 million people a year, make their way through the tunnels in an attempt to bypass the blockade that has been imposed by Israel and Egypt for more than seven years. The underground maze stretching beneath Rafah, Sinai and Gaza is said to include 450 main tunnels and 750 sub-tunnels. (Israel News,  Feb. 27, 2013)

 

SYRIAN REBELS ATTACK HIZBULLAH POSITIONS IN LEBANON—(Beirut) Syrian rebels started to attack Lebanon's Hizbullah on Feb. 21, after the Free Syrian Army (FSA) chief of staff issued a warning to Hizbullah to stop shelling territory held by the insurgents. "We have bombed the territories of Hizbullah in Lebanon and Syria. The Free Syrian Army will continue bombing these positions," said Col. Hisam al-Avvak of the Group of Free Officers, which operates under the umbrella of the FSA. (Hurriyet News, Feb. 21, 2013 )

 

SYRIAN REBELS CLAIM TO KILL HEZBOLLAH DEPUTY CHIEF—(Beirut) Hezbollah's deputy chief, Naim Qassem, was killed Tuesday when Syrian rebels bombed a convoy consisting of high-ranking Syrian government officers near the Lebanon border, news portal Now Lebanon quoted the Free Syria Army as saying on Wednesday. “It has been confirmed… that Hezbollah’s number two man died after [receiving] a serious injury,” the Free Syria Army posted on its Twitter account. Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal quoted the Syrian rebels as saying mines placed on the Beirut-Damascus highway had detonated as the convoy returned from a high-level security meeting in Lebanon. The explosion reportedly took place near the town of Jdeidet Yabous near the Lebanon-Syria border. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 27, 2013)

 

OXFORD STUDENTS REJECT ISRAEL BOYCOTT CALL—(London) A controversial motion calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions, goods and produce at Oxford University was unequivocally defeated by students on Wednesday [Feb 27]. Students at the prestigious university voted against the motion at Oxford University Students’ Union (OUSU), with 69 votes against, 10 for and 15 abstentions. A margin of seven to one. Oxford University’s collegiate system is made up of 38 colleges and six private halls founded by various Christian denominations. Each college has a “junior common room” that votes at the OUSU. The number of votes each college has is determined by the size of the college. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 27, 2013)

 

TALKS RESULT IN  EASED SANCTIONS FOR IRAN(Almaty, Kazakhstan) World powers offered broader concessions than ever to Iran in attempts Wednesday [Feb. 27] keep alive diplomatic channels that seek to rein in the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program and prevent it from building an atomic weapon. The offer was hailed by Saeed Jalili, Iran’s top official at diplomatic talks in Kazakhstan, who said it represented a “turning point” by world powers to compromise on Tehran’s uranium enrichment program. The deal allows Iran to keep a limited amount of highly enriched uranium — but not make any more — stops short of demanding the full shutdown of an underground nuclear facility, and offers to remove some trade sanctions that have hurt Iran’s economy. Still, a senior US official said, crippling sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial industries would remain in place as negotiations continue. (Times of Israel, Feb. 27, 2013)

 

IMAGES INDICATE IRAN PURSUING ‘PLAN B’ FOR NUKES(London)  New satellite images reveal that an Iranian nuclear site that has been kept away from the inquiring eyes of UN inspectors is operational and apparently producing materials that could eventually be used to make an atomic bomb. Fresh photographs of the Arak facility, published late Tuesday [Feb 26] by Britain’s Daily Telegraph, indicate that heavy water production has commenced at the site. Arak is a heavily guarded facility that contains two main sections: a nuclear reactor and a heavy water production plant. The heavy water section of the facility has been off-limits to international inspections for the past 18 months. The images show a large number of anti-aircraft batteries protecting the Arak site. Most of the missiles are on the western side of the complex, facing toward Israel and the direction from which an Israeli airstrike would likely emanate, the report said. (Times of Israel,  Feb. 27, 2013)

 

DISPUTED JEWISH TEXTS TO STAY IN RUSSIA, PUTIN SAYS—(Moscow) A disputed collection of Jewish writings will remain in Russia because returning it to a New York-based group would set a precedent paving the way for more such claims dating back to Soviet times, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. Dispute over the Jewish books and documents claimed by the Chabad-Lubavitch group adds to tensions between Moscow and Washington, which have seen ties deteriorate over human rights and security issues since Putin's return to the Kremlin in May. "The Schneerson Collection belongs to Russia," Putin said in a grand new Jewish museum in Moscow, in referring to texts held in Russian libraries and archives, some of them confiscated by the Soviet Union from Nazi forces during World War Two. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 19, 2013)

 

SEARCH FOR JEWS OF KAIFENG—(Jerusalem) In recent decades, a vast resurgence of a large variety of religious, ethnic and cultural identities has been sweeping China. The wave of interest in old traditions has had a major effect on the descendants of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng. With no synagogue or rabbi since the mid-19th century, until very recently the Jews of Kaifeng had almost completely assimilated into the Chinese world around them. In recent years, some members of the community have begun to examine and explore their Jewish roots. Interest in the faith of their ancestors and increasing contact with Jews from Israel and elsewhere has even led some of the community members towards conversion to Judaism. This talk by scholar Gideon Elazar is based on a visit with the community in Kaifeng under the auspices of the organization "Shavei Yisrael" during the holiday of Sukkot, and an analysis of their history and current situation in the context of contemporary China.  (The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Video, Feb 14, 2013)

 

NEW IMPLANT IS ALTERNATIVE TO SPINAL FUSION—(Tel Aviv)  One of the most common causes of back pain is spinal stenosis of the lower back – a narrowing of the spinal canal that causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. Fixing the problem usually involves spinal fusion, an operation to permanently join two or more vertebrae bones so there is no movement between them. The Israeli company Premia Spine is offering a unique and – it believes – better option. Its trademarked TOPS (Total Posterior Solution) System aims to revolutionize the spinal implant market. “We believe patients suffering from spinal stenosis can also get joint replacement rather than fusion,” CEO Ron Sacher. “We’ve developed an implant that recreates all functions of the posterior spinal column…[including] control over twisting, bending and flexing.” The titanium-sandwiched implant not only gives patients normal, pain-free mobility, but it also protects adjacent levels of the spine from similar degeneration – a common unwanted side effect of fusion surgery.  (Israel 21 C, Feb. 27, 2013)

 

FRANCE TO RETURN ART STOLEN BY THE NAZIS—(Paris) The French government has launched a new bid to return paintings stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners – or, given the seven decades that has passed – their descendants. President Francois Hollande's administration is setting up a group of experts and curators to pro-actively track down families, rather than simply waiting for them to come forward. The group, which will start work next month, will carry out its detective work with the help of a new computerised database compiled of digital scans of thousands of pages of relevant documentation currently gathering dust in archives. French museums currently hold some 2,140 art pieces that are thought to have been looted from Jewish families, including paintings by famous names such as Cezanne, Degas, Van Dyck, Ingres, Pissarro, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, and Tiepolo. (Telegraph,  24 Feb 2013)

 

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France to return art stolen by the Nazis: Kim Willsher, Telegraph, Feb. 24, 2013The French government has launched a new bid to return paintings stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners – or, given the seven decades that has passed – their descendants.

New Implant Is Alternative To Spinal Fusion: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, Feb. 27, 2013Israel’s Premia Spine has a transformative solution for spinal stenosis inspired by the success of total hip and total knee replacement.

Exposing The UN's Dirty Little Secrets:  Daniel Schwammenthal, The Commentator, Feb. 24 2013A gathering of the tortured in Geneva shames the UN Human Rights Council by giving victims not perpetrators a platform to tell their story.

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843

 

 

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Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes

 

Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Search For Jews Of Kaifeng: The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Video, Feb 14, 2013
The Time for a Final Status Agreement Has Passed: Dore Gold, Algemeiner, Feb. 18, 2013

The Hezbollah Connection in Syria and Iran: Bernard Gwertzman, Council on Foreign Relations,  Feb. 15, 2013

 

 

"I am hoping for a peace deal based on two states for two people, as per the parameters I outlined during my speech at Bar Ilan University. Today Israel extends its hand once more for peace. We want a peace process, and we hope that it will yield results."— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,  at a press conference announcing Tzipi Livini as his first coalition partner.

 

 

"He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media — which they, of course, control, he said — to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal. He then compared the Jewish controlled media with Hitler, because they are 'protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against the church.'”—Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor, in a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald responding to a list published last week after the resignation of [Pope] Benedict, which identified Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras as a possible successor to the current pope. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 18, 2013

“I did not betray my Judaism in the pact with Iran because we are trying to solve the AMIA bombing case [in Buenos Aires]. The move was inspired by the deep humanistic tradition of Judaism and thinking always about the victims and the relatives of the victims.”Argentinean  Foreign Minister Hector Timmerman, responding to criticism over Argentina’s agreement to involve Iran in the investigation of the bombings of the Jewish community and the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, which have been generally attributed to Iran itself. (Jewish Press, Feb. 18, 2013)
 

“These talks [with Iran] can only make progress if the Iranians come to the table determined to make and discuss real offers and engage in a real dialogue. Countries that have peaceful programs do not have problems proving to people that they are peaceful.”—US Secretary of State John Kerry in a joint press conference with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ahead of their meeting at the State Department. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 14, 2013)

 

"We do not see stability in Lebanon. With regards to the West, from afar they see things from another perspective. European states are saying: 'Let us focus on what is happening in Mali and Syria.' For us, this Arab Spring seems to have become a winter, when we look at what is happening in this troubled region of the world. These conflicts are not confined to Syria and Mali. Tunisia is returning to violence, things have not calmed down in Libya, Egypt is on the verge of a new phase of confrontation and things are still boiling in Iraq. Westerners do not want to see Lebanon in a similar situation, something that would only cause them more headaches."—Lebanese Deputy Speaker Farid Makari, in response to questions concerning the EU’s likelihood of listing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization following Bulgaria’s determination that Hezbollah was responsible for the attack against Israelis on European soil. (Al-Monitor, Feb. 10, 2013)

“The majority of Syrian refugees are pro-revolution, so they go to areas where they are welcome. But now these areas are full and they started to go to other places. We are worried. We cannot cope with the refugees we have here already and if fighting increases in Damascus, we won’t be able to manage. The damage in Syria is so great, it will take years until the refugees can go back. Even though most of them are from my sect, I want them to go. They are creating problems.”—Fadi Chamieh, a member of the Humanitarian Association Collaboration, an umbrella organization that coordinates humanitarian aid to Syrians arriving in southern Lebanon. (Now Lebanon, Feb. 18, 2013

 

“The chemical weapons issue is important. [However] it is tangential to the overall issue of Israel's enemies possessing long range missile capability and other advanced technological weapons systems [such as anti-aircraft missiles]. Stemming the flow and technological upgrade of these rockets and missiles is a top priority for Israel’s military and intelligence community.” —Michael Ross, former Mossad operations officer. (Now Lebanon, Feb. 15, 2013)

 

“OPEC is about to collapse, and they know it. All the political power of the Arab world accumulated since 1973 is about to explode. This is a change in the global rules of the game that goes far beyond the borders of the Middle East. This process creates opportunities for a new energy world and sophisticated gas market with competition between the new oil and the old oil, between the new gas and the old gas. The new rules of the game will be set by the coordination of the economic interests of the US and China, and Israel should start getting ready for that.”Shraga Biran, a Tel Aviv-based lawyer and entrepreneur with diverse energy interests, who heads the Institute for Structural Reforms, a think tank that promotes structural and political reforms based on technological advances. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 15, 2013)

 

“So in addition to a piece of paper, we need actual security on the ground. This means that when we speak about our Palestinian neighbors, we must have a credibly, thoroughly demilitarized Palestinian state. We have to have that. Otherwise, we'll have a replication of what happened in Lebanon and in Gaza. And this is not a simple task. It requires very, very stringent conditions, and it requires very tough negotiations. And the second thing is: we want to have a peace that is based on mutual recognition. Mutual recognition means not only that we recognize them, but that they recognize us. We have the Jewish nation-state of Israel here. It's high time that the Palestinians recognize that.”Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech to the Jewish Agency Board of Governors.(Israel National News, Feb. 19, 2013)

 

“People tend to misunderstand the relationship between Hezbollah and Iran, which has changed over time [and] is now extremely close. The U.S. intelligence community has publicly described this as a “strategic partnership.” But people don’t fully appreciate Hezbollah’s ideological commitment to the concept of “velayat-e faqih,” or guardianship of the jurists, which holds that a Shiite Islamic cleric should also serve as supreme head of government. For Hezbollah, this means the Iranian leadership is also their leader — not for every foot soldier, but for Hezbollah’s senior leaders absolutely.”Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Council on Foreign Relations, Feb. 15, 2013)
 

“If Hamas takes positions in the [PA] government, it will be very difficult if they do not do what is necessary, including recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and all of those other things that we regularly state.”Olivia Nuland, U.S. State Department spokesperson, to a reporter who asked if unity between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority would be a positive step following a recent declaration by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ that reconciliation talks with Hamas are progressing and that he will head a new unity government. (Jewish Press, Feb. 19, 2013

 

“I’m here because of the strategic and moral imperative to leave no stone unturned, to exhaust every path and to be in any government that commits itself to bringing peace.”—Tzipi Livni, former Israeli foreign minister, upon being the first to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition.

 

“Now, really, it’s time — it’s time. We are pressuring the international community to act because it’s time to act.”—Carla del Ponte, a United Nations human rights investigator, and member of the United Nations Human Rights Council commission investigating Syria, which reported that violence in Syria was worsening, “aggravated by increasing sectarianism”. (New York Times, Feb. 19, 2013)

 

“As currently defined and negotiated, a conflict-ending settlement is practically unachievable; even if signed it will not be implemented and even if implemented it will not be sustained.”—Hussein Agha, an adviser to Palestinian leaders over the last two decades, and Robert Malley, a member of President Clinton’s National Security Council, in the New York Review of Books (2009), as quoted by Dore Gold, former advisor to Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. (Algemeiner, Feb. 18, 2013)
 

 

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LIVNI BECOMES FIRST MEMBER OF NETANYAHU-LED GOV'T—(Jerusalem) Tzipi Livni became Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's first official coalition partner on Tuesday after the two former rivals reached an agreement over outstanding governmental issues for the upcoming Knesset. Livni will be Israel's next justice minister, while her party's number three, Amir Peretz, will be the environmental protection minister. Perhaps most importantly, Netanyahu apparently has allowed Livni to take charge of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. She will also appoint a special staff for the talks, but as a caveat, Netanyahu's envoy Yitzhak Molcho will be a member of the negotiating team. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 19, 2013)

 

 

THOUSANDS OF CHRISTIAN ARMENIANS FLEE SYRIA—(Yerevan, Armenia) An estimated 7,000 of Syria's Christian-Armenian community have arrived in Armenia since the start of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Sarkiss Rshdouni escaped the fighting in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo months ago but cannot shake memories of what he witnessed. "I was with a friend when I heard gunshots," said Rshdouni, who is among hundreds of thousands of people who have fled the war in his country. "It was fast — second by second, the sound was getting closer. I saw mass shooting, people running." Aleppo is home to more than 80% of Syria's Armenian community, and those who are still there remain at the center of the battle for control of the country. (USA Today, Feb. 13, 2013)

 

BULGARIA SEEKS EU ACTION ON HEZBOLLAH (Brussels) Bulgaria's foreign minister, Nickolay Mladenov, called for Hezbollah to face consequences for its link to the July 2012 bus bombing in Burgas, adding momentum to a push by some European countries to isolate the Lebanese group. The Bulgarian government has linked Hezbollah's military wing to the bomb attack last July, which killed five Israelis and a local bus driver. Monday's call for action from the Bulgarians likely will add pressure on holdouts in the EU to take official action against Hezbollah. "We need to take measures to make sure that such activity doesn't go without consequences," Mladenov told reporters Monday on his way into a meeting of European Union foreign ministers. (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18, 2013)

 

U.S. CALLS ON IRAN TO FREE TWO LEADERS (Washington) The U.S. formally called for the release from house arrest of Iran's two top opposition leaders in a blunt statement that indicated a policy shift regarding Tehran as it approaches national elections. The politicians, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, have been detained by Iranian security services for two years after charging the government of rigging 2009 presidential elections, in which both men were candidates and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner. The White House at the time offered only muted condemnation of Tehran's handling of the presidential vote. Iranian political and human-rights activists charged the U.S. with playing down the Iranian government's abuses. Now, however, the State Department warned Tehran against suppressing its political opponents ahead of Iran's next presidential election, which is scheduled for June. (Wall Street Journal, Feb 14, 2013)

 

IRANIAN REPORTED KILLED NEAR SYRIAN BORDER(Beirut) At least one senior Iranian official was reported killed in an attack while driving from Syria to Lebanon on Wednesday [Feb. 13],  in separate and at times conflicting reports that drew attention to suspicions of Iran’s role in the Syrian civil war. The Iranian Embassy in Lebanon reported that Hossam Khosh Newes, an Iranian development official working in Lebanon, was killed by “armed terrorist groups” — a phrase used by Syria and its allies as a blanket description of opposition forces — in an attack on his car on the Lebanese side of the border with Syria after he had come from Damascus. (New York Times, Feb. 13, 2013)

 

IRAN NUCLEAR FUEL MOVE MAY AVERT MID-YEAR CRISIS (London) Iran appears to have resumed converting small amounts of its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel, diplomats say, slowing a growth in stockpiles of material that could be used to make weapons. Tehran could otherwise have amassed sufficient stock by June to hit a "red line" set by Israel. Iran averted a potential crisis last year by converting around 100 kg. of its 20%-enriched uranium into fuel – prompting some analysts to believe it was deliberately keeping below the threshold for potential weapons-grade material set by Israel, while still advancing its nuclear technology. (Reuters, Feb. 10, 2013)
 

EGYPT BLOCKING SMUGGLING ROUTES IN SINAI(Rafah) Over the past 10 days, Egyptian soldiers have set up checkpoints in Sinai, stopped incoming trucks, and confiscated merchandise headed for Gaza through the smuggling tunnels, the Safa news agency reported Monday [Feb. 17]. Tunnel owners said the Egyptians have dug a well opposite the border with Gaza and installed hoses leading into the tunnels. Some tunnel owners have begun employing pumps to empty the water. Egyptian forces have discovered over 225 smuggling tunnels under the border with Gaza, military spokesperson Col. Ahmed Mohamed Ali said Sunday. "Each tunnel has several exits, including inside Egyptian houses." (Times of Israel, & Ma'an News-PA, Feb. 11, 2013)

 

ISRAEL PERMITS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS FROM TURKEY INTO GAZA(Ankara) In a move described as a gesture of goodwill toward Turkey, Israel has authorized the passage of Turkish trucks through Gaza carrying materials for the construction of the Turkish-Palestine Friendship Hospital. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is expected to visit Gaza to inaugurate the hospital within a year. Permission for passage came as part of Israel’s decision to soften its embargo over Gaza after terminating military operations into the enclave last fall and starting a fresh round of talks between Israelis and Palestinians over a gradual lifting of sanctions under Egyptian mediation. (Hurriyet Daily News, Feb. 11, 2013 )
 

ARAB COUNTRIES WITHHELD DONOR MONEY BECAUSE OF P.A. REFUSAL TO NEGOTIATE WITH ISRAEL(Ramallah) According to Palestinian Al Quds media, several ‘heavyweight’ Arab countries have [reportedly] been pressuring PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to step down because of his firm stance towards negotiations with Israel. Abbas and other PA officials have criticized Arab countries who pledged to donate $100.000.000 a month to alleviate the severe financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority. Until now that money has not arrived. Palestinian sources now reveal that the refusal to transfer these funds to the PA is connected to Abbas’ refusal to enter negotiations with Israel. (Missing Peace, Feb. 9, 2013)

 

METEOR SMASHED RUSSIAN SYNAGOGUE’S STAINED WINDOWS(Chelyabinsk)

The Russian meteor shower that caused widespread damage Friday [Feb. 15] smashed the stained glass windows of a synagogue in Siberia Friday morning. Yechiel Michel Levitin, director of the Or Avner Jewish day school in Chelyabinsk, located 1,000 miles east of Moscow, said a miracle saved one congregant from injury when he left his seat to find out the cause of blasts that were heard seconds before. When he returned, he found a piece of a stained glass window on his seat. (Jewish Press, Feb. 17, 2013)

 

ISRAEL TO AWARD OBAMA PRESTIGIOUS MEDAL DURING VISIT—(Jerusalem) Israel will award President Barack Obama the country's Presidential Medal of Distinction during his upcoming visit. Israeli President Shimon Peres' office said Monday that Obama will be recognized for his "unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens." Obama has often had a tense relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Jewish state's West Bank settlement policies and the lack of peace process with the Palestinians. But Peres and the committee behind the award noted Obama's overall friendship and backing of the Iron Dome missile defense system. Israel's Presidential Medal of Distinction is comparable to the France's "Legion of Honor" or the "Order of Canada." (Newsmax, Feb. 18, 2013)

ISRAEL: NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR TEST SHOWS SANCTIONS ALONE WON'T STOP IRAN'S ATOMIC PROGRAM—(Jerusalem) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that North Korea's recent nuclear test shows that "sanctions alone will not stop" Iran's atomic program. He said Western sanctions against Tehran "have to be coupled with a robust, credible, military threat. If they are not, then there is no chance to stop them." He says Iran will top his agenda when President Barack Obama visits Israel next month. (Washington Post, Feb. 18, 2013)

 

IDF TO SET UP FIELD HOSPITAL ON SYRIAN BORDER—(Golan Heights) The Israel Defense Forces is preparing to erect a field hospital near Israel's border with Syria on the Golan Heights in order to treat wounded Syrian nationals. The decision was taken after Israeli troops evacuated seven wounded Syrians to an Israeli hospital after they had approached the border and appealed for help. The field hospital will enable Israel to provide further medical assistance without having to bring the Syrians into Israel for treatment. (Times of Israel, Feb. 19, 2013)

ISRAEL SUPPLIES TURKEY WITH NEW MILITARY EQUIPMENT—(Tel Aviv) Israel has supplied advanced electronic warfare systems to the Turkish Air Force, marking the first transfer of military equipment since relations between the two countries deteriorated in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010. The deal was confirmed on Monday by a senior Israeli defense source who said it was approved due to American pressure as well as Israeli attempts to improve relations with Turkey. Boeing, which supplied Turkey with four new Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, ordered electronic warfare systems for the Turkish aircraft from ELTA, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries. (Ha'aretz, Feb. 18, 2013)

 

ISRAEL PROPOSING ALTERNATIVE TO SUEZ CANAL—(Ashdod)  Israel is close to finalizing the route of a rail alternative to the Suez Canal as instability in Egypt has added to the urgency of a project to connect the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. Last month 40 people were killed in protests in the three big Egyptian cities lining the canal, and some shipping groups had to suspend work for several days. President Morsi has warned of a “collapse of the State” if protests continue. Fees for using the canal are Egypt’s only reliable source of foreign currency, bringing in about $5 billion (£3.22 billion) of revenue a year. (Times of London, Feb. 16 2013)

ASSAD REGIME FIRES SCUDS AT CITIES, FSA THREATENS HEZBOLLAH IN LEBANON—(Demascus)  While Syrian oppositionists are reporting the use of Scud missiles by the Assad regime against population centers held by rebel forces, the Free Syrian Army is threatening to attack Hezbollah within Lebanese territory if it does not desist from aiding the Assad regime. On Tuesday, the Free Syrian Army gave Hezbollah a 48-hour time-frame to stop shelling Syrian villages from within Lebanon before “returning fire” toward Hezbollah-held villages in eastern Lebanon. Hezbollah denied direct involvement in fighting within Syria, but a member of the FSA speaking to A-Sharq Al-Awsat said the Lebanese Shiite movement was assisting local Shiites in Syria with training, supplies and fire cover from positions within Lebanon. (Times of Israel, Feb. 20, 2013)

 

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The Time for a Final Status Agreement Has Passed: Dore Gold, Algemeiner, Feb. 18, 2013In light of developments over the last few years, there has been a growing realization in Israel that the chances of reaching a complete final status agreement with the Palestinians are presently extremely small. This is not just an ideological position coming out of certain quarters in Israel, but it is also the professional view of practitioners who have been involved in the political process itself.

 

 

Search For Jews Of Kaifeng: The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Video, Feb 14, 2013 A wave of interest in old traditions in China has had a major effect on the descendants of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng. This talk by scholar Gideon Elazar is based on a visit with the community in Kaifeng under the auspices of the organization "Shavei Yisrael" during the holiday of Sukkot, and an analysis of their history and current situation in the context of contemporary China.

 

The Hezbollah Connection in Syria and Iran: Bernard Gwertzman, Council on Foreign Relations,  February 15, 2013In recent days, U.S. and Mideast officials have reported that Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group, are making military preparations for the sectarian chaos likely to engulf a post-Assad Syria. Counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt says that Hezbollah has closely aligned itself with Iran's Quds Force, an elite paramilitary group linked directly to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, while fighting alongside the Assad regime.

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine (current issue: “Israel’s Levy Report”:  ISRAZINE.

 

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Please urge colleagues, friends and family to visit our website for more information on our Briefing series.
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The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible membership contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address or “Donate” button on Website)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s Briefing series attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.

 

 

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes

 

Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Appreciation: King of No-Man’s Land: Amotz Asa-El, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 11, 2013

Canadian Suspect in Bulgaria Bus Bombing Related to Terrorist who Died Planting Explosives: Stewart Bell, National Post,  Feb 12, 2013
ZOA Chief: US Jews Shied Away From Hagel Row: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 13, 2013

 

 

 

“We will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace.”—U.S. President Barack Obama in his State of Union speech, to a standing ovation. He did not, however, mention the Palestinians in his reference to a lasting peace. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 12, 2013)

 

“[Pope] Benedict XVI has profoundly bolstered the positive trajectory of Catholic-Jewish relations launched by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. Benedict, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, worked closely with John Paul during his 26 year papacy, developing a historic new relationship between Catholic and Jews as “loving brothers and sisters” after centuries of tragedy. Pope Benedict XVI reconfirmed the official Catholic position that God’s covenant with the Jewish people at Sinai endures and is irrevocable. He said that the Catholic Church should not try and convert Jews.”—Abraham H. Foxman, Anti Defamation League national director, who had five audiences with the pope during his nearly eight years as pontiff, in a statement of praise following Benedict’s sudden resignation on Feb. 11. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 12, 2013)

 

“We had gone to a remote beach half an hour from Honolulu. The waves there were high, huge breakers about four meters high, and as the minutes passed, the waves got stronger and even higher. As we neared the children we saw that they had been swept out to sea and were being pounded by the huge waves. On the shoreline we saw the mothers watching powerless as their children were drowning in front of them. Yair [Naftali] and I, who were at that point together in the water, tried with all our might to reach the group to try to get them away from the strong waves.”—Tzvika Elias, one of three Israelis, including Yair Naftali and Gabi Liptz who took 40 grueling minutes to save eight children aged 12 to 14 years old from drowning in huge surf off the coast of Honolulu. They were hailed as heroes by the childrens’ parents. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 10, 2013)

 

“AJC, AIPAC, ADL [and] the Conference of Presidents never came out and said we oppose this man because he is horrible on Iran, he is horrible on terrorism, horrible on Israel, horrible on fighting radical Islam. I was called by major Jewish leaders, personally called, and [they] told me to stop our campaign against Hagel.”—Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America on Tuesday [Feb 12] in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. Klein said that his counterparts at other organizations said that he was “making this a Jewish issue,” which they considered “bad for the Jews.” The fact that he got these calls, he says, shows that “we are still a frightened group of Jews even as successful as we are in America.” (Jerusalem Post, Feb 13, 2013)

 

"Egyptian prosecutors are investigating a popular television comedian for insulting the president. That could never happen here [in the U.S.]. When do popular television comedians insult the president?"—National Review’s The Week. (National Review, Jan.24, 2013)

 

"Syria is basically disintegrating as a nation, similar to how Lebanon disintegrated in the '70s into ethnic components, and as Iraq did. It's going to be very hard to put Syria the nation back together."—Paul Salem, director of the Beirut-based Mideast Center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington Post, Feb. 10, 2013)

 

"The Iranian president [should] respect Bahrain as a brotherly Arab nation, and not interfere in the affairs of Gulf states."—Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar University, considered the world's seat of Sunni learning, to Iranian President Mahmoud  Ahmadinejad, a Shia Muslim, on his historic visit to Egypt, Tuesday [Feb 5]. (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 5, 2013)

 

"[A]ncient history of Palestine bore witness to the invasion of the Israelites, led by Joshua, and to their battle with the Canaanites and the Palestinians. King David fought the Canaanites and the Palestinians and built his kingdom on part of the Palestinian land."—from a Palestinian textbook taught in Palestinian Authority schools. (Israel Hayom, Feb. 10, 2013)

“Argentina’s move did more than evoke shock and concern in Israel… It was clear to all that the Iranians and their Hezbollah minions were involved in the attack” and  bringing the Iranians into the so-called “truth commission” was equivalent to “inviting the murderer to participate in a murder investigation.”—Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responding to the Argentinean government’s announcement that it had struck a deal with Iran to jointly investigate the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in March 1992 in Buenos Aires which killed 29 and wounded 242 people and a second bombing in July 1994 which targeted the Jewish community center (AMIA) killing 85 and injuring hundreds. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 10, 2013)

 

"I am going to do everything in my power to make sure there will be civil marriages in Israel. The complete dominance of the Orthodox rabbis in Israel over divorces and marriages is an insult."—Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid leader, addressing the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations in Jerusalem, Tuesday [Feb 12]. (Ynet News, Feb. 12, 2013)

 

“My brother was assassinated. I am desperate and depressed. I accuse Rachid Ghannouchi [leader of the influential Islamist Ennahda Party] of assassinating my brother.” —Abdelmajid Belaid, brother Tunisian secular opposition leader, Shokri Belaid, 48, murdered outside his home in Tunis on Feb 6. (National Post, Feb 7, 2013)

 

The Syrian government "must read history and grasp its immortal message: It is the people who remain and those who put their personal interests before those of their people will inevitably go."—Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, addressing an Islamic summit in Egypt Feb. 6. (National Post, Feb 7, 2013)

“We have a very poisonous situation at hand [in Canada]. I have no reason not to believe that it’ll turn violent one day, it’s just a matter of time and numbers…. The Muslim population is growing and, with that, people are bringing in their issues. The danger that is going to happen in the future is that they’re going to make every tragedy in the Muslim world into a Jewish conspiracy. They’re going to make the Jewish community, who have nothing to do with this, look like the villains in Canada. The US and Israel are the scapegoats of every tragedy, whether it’s a tsunami, an earthquake or a human tragedy brought about by Muslims themselves. [It’s happening in] Shia mosques because of the Iranian influence [and in] Sunni mosques because of the Wahhabi influence.”—Sohail Raza, director, Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, a group of self-described moderate Muslims attempting to push back against the rising tide of Islamist anti-semitism. (Jewish Tribune, Feb. 7, 2013)

“The verdict under shariah for those who seek corruption on earth is to be fought, or crucified, or have their arms or legs cut off or be exiled from earth. Strike with an iron fist. Otherwise, the country will be lost at your hand and they’ll say it is your fault. They’ll say Islam doesn’t know how to rule and that it’s the Islamists who wrecked the country.”—Wagdi Ghoneim, a hard line Egyptian cleric in a video statement pleading with President Mohammed Morsi to crack down heavily on opposition groups protesting outside the presidential palace.

   “They are going there to get raped. These are devils named women…. They speak with no femininity, no morals, no fear…. Learn from Muslim women, be Muslims.” Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah, another hard line cleric who, on Egyptian TV, justified a string of mob sexual assaults on women protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. (National Post,Feb. 8, 2013)

 

“We all recognized, first of all, the right of Israel to exist and second, we realized that the prevailing antisemitism in some of the Muslim Diaspora in Canada, particularly, is impeding our thought process. Some Muslim groups show hatred towards our fellow community, the Jewish community, [and] that’s not the right approach. We feel that our community should denounce any sort of antisemitism in Canada. We need to keep our eyes and our ears tuned for these kinds of activities so we can confront hatred against Jews [because] that’s not the way we should live in a civilized world.” — Tahir Gora, general secretary of the Muslim Canadian Congress, founder and director of Canadian Thinkers Forum, and recent founder of a new group, Muslim Committee Against Antisemitism.   (Jewish Tribune, Feb. 7, 2013)

 

Mr President, when I spoke with you in 2010, I asked why the US administration condemns repressive practices in Iran while remaining silent when Arab regimes engage in the same violations. Over recent months, statements by your administration have similarly failed to address violations and have even blamed protesters and victims for violence committed in the context of demonstrations. Indeed, the stances of your administration have given political cover to the current authoritarian regime in Egypt and allowed it to fearlessly implement undemocratic policies and commit numerous acts of repression.”—Bahieddin Hassan, director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, in an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama published in Egypt’s Al-Ahram Weekly. .

   “Is not anyone in the [U.S.] Department of State aware that Egypt is now run by an Islamist zealot from the bowels of the Muslim Brotherhood whose goals differ profoundly from those of Americans?” —Daniel Pipes, president of Middle East Forum, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

   The US cannot “end funding [arms to Egypt] even if it wanted to, because of the way the foreign aid is structured.” There is financing that allows them to “fund weapons systems over a multi-year period. If congress freezes this, then US businesses get hit, which are producing $1.3 billion in arms per year.”—David Schenker, a senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 13, 2013)

 

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POPE BENEDICT XVI ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION(Vatican City) Pope Benedict XVI's unprecedented announcement today [Feb 11] that he will resign Feb. 28 brings to a close one of the shortest papacies in history, for which the pontiff will leave a legacy as a leader with views in line with church tradition, but also as one who worked during a controversial reign to advance religious links cross the globe. The pope's decision, which he announced in Latin today during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, makes him the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years. (ABC News, Feb. 11, 2013)

 

EGYPT STRANGLING GAZA BY FLOODING SMUGGLING TUNNELS(Gaza City) Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime has been flooding Hamas smuggling tunnels for three days in a move that may be aimed at punishing Sinai terrorists who threaten Cairo’s authority but also may be a warning to Hamas of who is the boss. The smuggling tunnels have long been a source of up to one-third of goods and merchandise, including diesel fuel, for Gaza. They also are a vehicle for terrorists to travel between Gaza and the northern Sinai and for the flow of advanced arms and explosives. It is estimated that up to 35% of the tunnels have been closed down as a result of Egypt’s move.(Jewish Press, February 13th, 2013)

 

OTTAWA CONFIRMS CANADIAN 'DUAL NATIONAL' INVOLVED IN BULGARIA BUS BOMBING(Ottawa) The federal government is confirming that a Canadian dual national based in Lebanon has been linked to the bombing of a bus filled with Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said he learned last week of the Canadian citizen’s alleged involvement in the matter, although details about his links to Canada remain unclear. (Globe and Mail, Feb. 5, 2013)

 

OBAMA WILL MAKE FIRST TRIP TO ISRAEL AS PRESIDENT THIS SPRING(Washington) U.S. President Barack Obama will go to Israel in the spring, marking his first visit to the staunch U.S. ally since becoming president. The White House has not released the date of Obama’s trip or details about Obama’s itinerary, but Israel’s Channel 10 reported that the trip had been scheduled for March 20. “The start of the president’s second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern, including Iran and Syria,” said National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor. (National Post, Feb. 5, 2013)

 

MERKEL LOSES MINISTER: SCHAVAN STEPS DOWN AMID PLAGIARISM SCANDAL (Berlin) German Education Minister Annette Schavan announced her resignation on Saturday, just days after a university moved to strip her of her Ph.D. title in a plagiarism scandal surrounding her doctoral dissertation, whose subject was "the formation of conscience”. She announced her decision during a joint press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Annette Schavan offered me her resignation last night," Merkel said, adding that she had accepted the resignation with deep regret. "She knows that brains are the capital of people in this country. And she knows that good study conditions are just as important as promoting excellence." (Spiegel, Feb. 9, 2013)

SENATE PANEL APPROVES HAGEL NOMINATION AS PENTAGON CHIEF—(Washington) A Senate panel approved Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama's new secretary of defense on Tuesday, setting the stage for a vote on his confirmation by the full Senate, possibly this week. After acrimonious discussion of the former Nebraska Republican senator, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 14-11 along party lines to advance Hagel's confirmation to succeed Leon Panetta as the civilian leader at the Pentagon. (Reuters, Feb 11 2013)

U.S. MEMO DETAILS RULES FOR APPROVING DRONE STRIKES(Washington) An unclassified U.S. Justice Department memo reveals that the Obama administration has had more lenient rules than publicly known for when drone attacks can be launched to kill U.S. citizens working abroad with terrorists. The government does not need evidence that a specific attack is imminent, the newly disclosed Justice Department white paper says, only that the targeted suspect is involved in ongoing plotting against the United States. "The threat posed by al-Qaida and its associated forces demands a broader concept of imminence in judging when a person continually planning terror attacks presents an imminent threat," the document says (Vancouver Sun, Feb. 6, 2013)

 

IRAN AND HIZBULLAH BUILD MILITIA NETWORKS IN SYRIA IN EVENT THAT ASSAD FALLS(Damascus) Iran and Hizbullah, its Lebanese proxy, are building a network of militias inside Syria to protect their interests in the event that President Assad's government falls. A senior Obama administration official cited Iranian claims that Tehran was backing as many as 50,000 militiamen in Syria. "It's a big operation….The immediate intention seems to be to support the Syrian regime.” (Washington Post, Feb. 10, 2013)

 

TEAM WANTS ISRAEL TO BE THIRD COUNTRY TO REACH MOON(Tel Aviv) A team of scientists and space enthusiasts is aiming to make Israel the third country to reach the moon. Team SpaceIL has developed a nanorocket, and is entering the Google Lunar X Prize – a global lunar competition whose prize is a whopping $30 million. SpaceIL’s ship is designed to be the smallest spacecraft in the world, built using the latest nanotechnology, and the first ever nano-spaceship to land on the moon. The competition requires entrants to successfully land a robotic spacecraft on the moon. The spacecraft must then travel across the surface of the moon, and send data back to Earth. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 12, 2013)

 

ISRAELI TEAM WINS ICE HOCKEY WORLD CUP HOSTED BY TURKEY (Istanbul) The Israeli ice hockey team took home the winning title in the U-18 World Championship, which was hosted in Turkey’s Kocaeli. South Africa placed second after losing 3-1 to Israel in the finals while Turkey finished third. An awards ceremony closed out the tournament with Turkey’s Ice Hockey Federation President Orhan Duman attending. The Israeli team made headlines when Turkish fans attempted to rile them up during their match against Turkey on Feb. 10 in İzmir, which they won by an impressive 6-1. (Hurriyet Daily News, Feb. 11, 2013)

 

ISRAEL PUTS CONFLICT ASIDE TO SAVE PALESTINIAN LIVES(Jerusalem) According to a 2012 World Health Organization report, Israel approved 91.5 percent of Palestinian applications from Gaza to receive medical care in Israel proper. In total, 210,469 Palestinians received medical treatment inside Israel proper in 2012. Many democratic states don’t provide so much medical assistance to the civilian populations who are citizens of nations that they are in conflict with. Yet Israel has adopted a different approach, to value all human lives, including the lives of Palestinian civilians, despite the adversarial comments and actions taken by their leadership. (United With Israel, Feb 11, 2013)

NORTH KOREA TESTS NUCLEAR WEAPON(London) The seismic magnitude of an "explosion-like event" in North Korea on Tuesday [Feb. 12] was roughly twice as large as that of a 2009 nuclear test in the country, an international nuclear test monitoring agency said. "We can assume this is roughly twice as big in magnitude," Lassina Zerbo, director of the international data center division of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) told a news conference. (Reuters, Feb 12, 2013)

 

SARAH BRAVERMAN, PIONEER PARATROOPER, DIES AT NINETY-FIVE(JerusalemSarah Braverman, z”l, a founder of the IDF Women’s Army Corps, passed away on Saturday at the age of ninety-five. Surika, as she was known, was one of the first women to join the Palmach, the elite striking arm of the Hagana militia, the forerunner of the Israeli army. She was also one of only three women among a select group of thirty seven volunteers from the Yishuv, Israel’s pre-state Jewish community, who, with Hannah Senesh, were parachuted into Nazi controlled territory during the Second World War. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 10, 2013)

 

JEWISH PHILOSOPHER RABBI DAVID HARTMAN DIES(Jerusalem) Rabbi David Hartman, z”l,  founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute, died on Sunday morning at eighty-one. Hartman was considered to be one of the pioneers of liberal Orthodox Judaism who deeply influenced Jewish thought and education, as well as thousands of people in Israel and around the world. Hartman established the Shalom Hartman Institute in 1976, named after his father, and developed an approach that departed from more traditionally conservative Orthodoxy. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 10, 2013)

 

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Appreciation: King of No-Man’s Land: Amotz Asa-El, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 11, 2013

Having contrasted between two schools of Jewish thought, the medieval one which said God can take no human form, and an earlier one that said God could possess “an emotional interior,” David Hartman took sides. The earlier school, he explained, allowed him “to cite God’s shift from being a figure of complete and total authority to a figure who works in concert with human beings.”

Canadian Suspect in Bulgaria Bus Bombing was Related to Terrorist who Died Planting Explosives: Stewart Bell, National Post,  Feb 12, 2013  A Canadian suspected of organizing the bombing of a bus full of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria is a relative of the unidentified terrorist who died while planting the explosives.

ZOA Chief: US Jews Shied Away From Hagel Row: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 13, 2013American Jews are “frightened of making an issue seem more important to Jews than others,” said Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein on Tuesday. In Israel as a member of a delegation organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Klein sat down to speak with the Jerusalem Post in the lobby of Jerusalem’s Inbal hotel to provide his take on the issues facing organized American Jewry.

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-8284

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine (current issue: “Israel’s Levy Report”:  ISRAZINE.

 

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by fax and e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends and family to visit our website for more information on our Briefing series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, contact us at http://www.isranet.org/.

 

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible membership contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address or “Donate” button on Website)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s Briefing series attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.

 

 

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes

 

Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf

 

On Topic Links

 

'PA Promotes Hatred, Terror Towards Israelis, Jews': Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2013
Argentina-Iran Deal Makes a Mockery of Justice: Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, Jan. 30, 2013

How Water Became a Weapon in Arab-Israeli Conflict: Yochanan Visser, Jerusalem Post, Feb.3, 2013

 

 

"It is rather quaint to be lectured about settlements from the representative of a country which has ethnically cleansed the northern part of Cyprus and illegally settled 200,000 Turks in that territory."—an Israeli official, on Monday in response to yet another anti-Israel tirade by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who said that, “Israel has now been rendered by the international community a ‘pariah’ status for its expanding illegal settlements.” Turkey's leaders have become the "laughingstock of the international community with their self-righteous discourse," said the official, accusing Turkish leaders of “brazen hypocrisy.” (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2013)

"The attack in Burgas was only one of a series of recent terrorist operations against civilians in Thailand, Kenya, Turkey, India, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Georgia. All this is happening in parallel to the deadly support given by Hizbullah and Iran to the murderous Assad regime in Syria. The attack in Burgas was an attack on European soil against a member country of the EU. We hope that the Europeans draw the necessary conclusions as to the true character of Hizbullah."—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement in response to the Bulgarian government's announcement placing blame on Hizbollah for the terrorist bombing in Burgas. (Israel Prime Minister's Office, Feb. 5, 2013)

“If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the punishment [often death] for apostasy, Islam would not exist today.” —Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the most respected leaders of the Sunni world, recently on Egyptian television. (Gatestone Institute, Feb 5, 2013)

 

"The idea of establishing a 'truth commission' on the AMIA tragedy that involves the Iranian regime would be like asking Nazi Germany to help establish the facts of Kristallnacht," —David Harris, American Jewish Committee, commenting on a  deal struck between Argentina and Iran to jointly investigate a 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which according to Argentine prosecutors and Interpol was masterminded by top Iranian officials. (Miami Herald, Jan. 30, 2013)

“I could not agree more with the decision of the Israeli government to withdraw from this particularly disgraceful UN body [UN Human Rights Council]. I find it appalling and hypocritical in the extreme that the Council's "fact-finding mission" report would dare call for sanctions against Israel, even as they routinely ignore the grossest human rights violations of many of its member states, half of whom deserve to be investigated well before Israel.” Nachman Shai, a member of Israel's Knesset for the Labor Party. (Ha'aretz, Feb. 1, 2013)

“The Palestinian Authority continues to promote incitement… and a culture of hate, terror, and non-acceptance toward Israelis and Jews. The Palestinians have a full system of indoctrination, including government-sponsored television programs, PA youth magazines and summer camps.”—Yosef Kuperwasser, the deputy director-general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, presenting Israel’s response to an American-funded study that asserted that instances of demonization and dehumanization of Jews in Palestinian school books are “rare.” (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2013)

“There’s an unexplained feeling in our hearts, an overwhelming excitement, emotionally and spiritually. For over 2,000 years, we have been waiting for this moment. We know that we are the hopes of many generations. We are the ones who have the privilege of finally stepping foot back in the Land of Israel.”—Ephraim Manlun, a recently arrived member of the B’nei Menashe community from northeast India who came on the first flight of a renewed wave of aliya for this ancient Israelite tribe. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 4, 2013)

“The continuation of conflict, and the differences among the various political groups on the management of the country’s affairs, may lead to the collapse of the [Egyptian] state.” Egyptian Gen. Al Sisi, in comments posted to the [Egyptian] military’s Facebook page, in response to the ongoing violence that has resulted in at least 60 people killed during protests against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The General added that the violence and political deadlock “threaten the future of coming generations.” (Globe and Mail, Jan. 30, 2013)

“What is happening now in Egypt is natural in nations experiencing a shift to democracy. Nations take time to stabilize and in some countries that took many years. It has only been two years in Egypt and, God willing, things will stabilize soon.”—Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to reporters during a brief visit to Germany on Wednesday.[Jan. 30] (Washington Post, Jan. 31, 2013)

"There is no question when you start passing MANPADs [anti-aircraft missiles that can be carried by a single person] around, that becomes a threat—not just to military aircraft but to civilian aircraft. That is an escalation." Leon Panetta, outgoing U.S. Defence Secretary to The Wall Street Journal commenting on the recent interception of a boat off the coast of Yemen carrying MANPADs said to have been supplied by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2, 2013)

“The report disregards the thousands of suicide bombings, knifings, and other terrorist attacks committed by Palestinian Arab groups, failing to acknowledge how this violence brought about Israeli security measures in the territories that did not previously exist. The reality is that the HRC’s fact-finding enterprise is dedicated chiefly to attacking but one country: Israel. In the entire history of the HRC, there have been seven one-sided inquiry missions on Israel, and only five on the rest of the world combined. Mass atrocities committed by Iran, China, or Sri Lanka, for example, have never been subjected to a single HRC inquiry. In a week when the UN legitimized genocidal Sudan, by electing the regime as vice-president of a top human rights body, it is now focusing its scarce time, resources and moral outrage on yet another biased, politicized and one-sided report against Israel.”—Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director, commenting on the UN Human Right’s Council recent report which said that Israel was violating international humanitarian law under the Fourth Geneva Convention and that Israeli settlements are “a mesh of construction and infrastructure leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian State and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.” (National Post, Jan 31, 2013)

“a kind of weapon for the Palestinians.”—Christine Chanet, a French judge and head of the UN panel behind the UN Human Rights Council report on Israel, characterizing a possible use that could be made of the report by the Palestinians if they decide to take Israel to the International Criminal Court, as they have repeatedly threatened to do. (National Post, Jan 31, 2013)

“Israel’s preference would be if a Western entity would control these weapons systems. But because it appears the world is not prepared to do what was done in Libya or other places, then Israel finds itself, like it has many times in the past, facing a dilemma that only it knows how to respond to.”—Tzachi Hanegbi, incoming Israeli Member of Knesset close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  (National Post, Jan. 31, 2013)

“America keeps silent. The way we see it as Arabs: If you are silent, then you are agreeing with what is happening.”—Abdulkader al-Saleh, leader of the military wing of Al Tawhid, the largest antigovernment fighting group operating in and near Syria’s most populous city, Aleppo .
  “All the world has abandoned us. If the revolution lasts for another year, you’ll see all the Syrian people like Al Qaeda; all the people will be like Al Qaeda.”—Abdel-Aziz Salameh, Al Tawhid’s political leader. (New York Times, Feb. 2, 2013)

“I don’t expect any serious strategic repercussions. There’s very little sympathy in the region for Syria and Iran, and I don’t think they’ll get any traction by escalating the conflict. Hezbollah is not going to retaliate either, and that would’ve been the easiest way for Syria to bring pressure on Israel.”—Gary Gambill, associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, commenting on recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
   “Syria is in such a bad state right now that an Israeli retaliation to a Syrian action would be harsh and could topple the regime. Therefore Syria is not responding.”—Moshe Maoz, a professor emeritus who specializes in Syria at Hebrew University.
   “There’s a huge imbalance of power, obviously in favour of the Israelis. It’s not a war Syria could win and it knows that.”—Bessma Momani, political science professor at the University of Waterloo and fellow at the Brookings Institution. (National Post, Feb. 1, 2013)

“While the world is discussing where and when the next meeting with Iran will be, Iran is rapidly advancing towards obtaining a nuclear bomb. The international community cannot allow Iran to arm itself with a nuclear weapon.”—a senior official from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in response to Iran’s announcement that it was planning to increase its uranium enrichment. (National Post, Feb. 1, 2013)

 

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BULGARIA: HEZBOLLAH BEHIND BOMBING THAT KILLED FIVE ISRAELIS(Sofia) After 7-month probe, Bulgarian interior minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, announced Tuesday [Feb 5] that two Hezbollah terrorists were involved in the Burgas suicide bombing of a bus transporting Israeli tourists from airport. "We have established that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah," Tsvetanov said. "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects." The conclusions of the Bulgarian investigation may open the way for the European Union to join the United States in branding the Iranian-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization since there is now a clear connection to an attack on EU territory.(Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2013)

NGO MONITOR: FOREIGN GOVERNEMTS FUNDING ISRAELI NGOS(Jerusalem)  Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor released a report analyzing submissions made by NGOs to the Israeli registrar of non-profits in Israel in 2012, as legislated under the NGO Transparency law. The reports for 2012 show that a total amount of 34,355,579 NIS ($9,161,000 CA) annually is being provided to 30 NGOs from a number of foreign governments. NGO Monitor highlights in our analysis the use of foreign government money to fund political advocacy NGOs based in Israel. As of January 27, 2013, 13 political advocacy NGOs reported grants from foreign governments totaling 21,671,115 NIS, these groups include B’Tselem, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Gisha, and Yesh Din. (NGO Monitor, Feb. 4, 2013)

OBAMA TO VISIT ISRAEL ON PASSOVER EVE TO PUSH PEACE(Jerusalem) President Barack Obama is planning to visit Israel, the PA and Jordan this spring, probably in March, the White House said yesterday, hinting at a new American effort to restart Israel-Palestinian peace efforts.  Israel’s Channel 10 News cited a source in Washington that said the president will visit Jerusalem on March 20th—the week just before Pesach. (Jewish Press, Feb. 6, 2013)

 

HUNGARY ORDERS HOLOCAUST DENIER TO VISIT AUSCHWITZ(Budapest) A court in Hungary ordered a Holocaust denier to serve a most unconventional punishment. He was instructed to visit either the Budapest Holocaust memorial center, the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp or the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel. Gyorgy Nagy, a 42-year-old unemployed computer technician, is the first Hungarian convicted under the country’s Holocaust denial law, which came into effect in February 2010. Nagy was arrested at a political rally in Budapest in 2011 when the local police read on the banner he was holding: “The Shoah didn’t happen.” The court also gave him an 18- month suspended jail sentence. If Nagy chooses to visit the local Holocaust memorial center, he will have to visit the place three times, and write down his thoughts and observations after his visits in order to complete his sentence. Holocaust denial is a crime in Hungary punishable by a maximum three-year sentence.(Jerusalem Post, Feb. 3, 2013)

ISRAELIS UNHAPPY WITH STUDY OF THEIR TEXTBOOKS(Jerusalem) A [US] State Department-funded study to be released Monday [Feb 4] on how Israelis and Palestinians depict each other in textbooks says both sides are locked into narratives that portray the other side as the enemy and erase it from maps, yet do not dehumanize each other. The study was boycotted by Israel's Education Ministry, which refused to cooperate. The ministry called the study biased and said it was based on a false comparison between the Israeli and Palestinian school systems. Passages related to peace were extremely rare in Palestinian books, present in only 2% of those examined. Such passages were present in 25% of the books used in Israeli public schools. (Washington Post, Feb. 3, 2013)
 

EGYPT’S DIESEL RESERVE ONLY ENOUGH FOR THREE DAYS (Cairo) Egypt’s strategic reserve of diesel fuel — used for trucks and group transport vehicles — can meet demand only for three days, according to an official at the Ministry of Supply and Domestic Trade, who added that the shortage would be resolved soon. “Though the strategic reserve of diesel fuel has dropped from five days to three days, it has helped curb the […] crisis,” Magdy Wasfy, director of the ministry’s subsidy department, told state-run news agency MENA on Tuesday. Since the January 2011 uprising, Egypt has suffered chronic fuel shortages, resulting in long lines of vehicles outside oil stations. (Egypt Independent, February 5, 2013)

IRAN'S AHMADINEJAD LANDS IN EGYPT ON HISTORIC VISIT(Cairo) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Egypt on Tuesday on the first trip by an Iranian head of state since the 1979 revolution, underlining the thaw in relations since Egyptians elected an Islamist head of state. President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood politician elected in June, kissed Ahmadinejad as he disembarked from his plane at Cairo airport. The leaders walked down a red carpet, Ahmadinejad smiling as he shook hands with waiting dignitaries. .(Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2013)

ALEPPO EXECUTIONS: SEVENTY-NINE BODIES PULLED FROM SYRIA RIVER(Aleppo)At least seventy-nine Syrian men and teenage boys, each with a single bullet hole to the head, have been found dead in a river in Aleppo in the biggest mass execution of the country’s two-year civil war. It was impossible to be certain who was responsible for their deaths. But those identified, at least half the total by nightfall, were from rebel-held districts, and locals blamed government checkpoints on the other side of the river. Most of them were young men, some dressed in military fatigues, and others in civilian clothes. The corpses of two young boys, no older than 11 and 15, were among the dead.  (The Telegraph, Jan. 29, 2013)

SEPARATE CARS FOR WOMEN ON TRAINS STARTING WEDNESDAY (Cairo) The Egyptian Railways Authority is set to enforce women’s-only train cars on several popular routes to and from the capital starting Wednesday. [Feb 6] The move is part of its efforts to curb sexual harassment, which is rampant across the country. Egyptian women are already afforded private metro cars in Cairo, which comprise the only public transportation that separates genders. In 2008, an Egyptian court dismissed a lawsuit filed by two lawyers demanding the end of women’s-only cars on the grounds that separating the sexes violates gender equality.  The court ruled that allocating cars to women did not fall under its jurisdiction and added that Islamic law emphasizes respect for women, which obligates the state to protect them. (Egypt Independent, Feb. 5, 2013)

NAZI PLUNDER TRIGGERS FUROR ART DEALER’S ANCESTORS FIGHT FOR MASTERPIECES(Berlin) The heir to a prominent Jewish art dealer who fled Adolf Hitler’s Germany urged the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to relinquish paintings by Paul Klee and Juan Gris that he says were lost due to Nazi persecution. Alfred Flechtheim was one of the earliest collectors of Pablo Picasso in Germany and among the best-known art dealers in Europe before the Second World War, representing Klee, George Grosz and Max Beckmann as well as the French Cubists. His great-nephew Mike Hulton, a medical doctor based in California, first contacted the Dusseldorf museum that houses the two works in 2008. (Bloomberg News,  Jan. 29, 2013)

IRAN PLANS TO VASTLY INCREASE PACE OF URANIUM ENRICHMENT(Vienna) In a defiant move ahead of nuclear talks, Iran has announced plans to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment, which can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads. Eager to avoid scuttling those negotiations, world powers are keeping their response low-key. Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency of its intentions last week, and the IAEA informed member nations in an internal note seen by The Associated Press on Thursday. The brief note quoted Iran as saying new-generation IR2m “centrifuge machines …will be used” to populate a new “unit” – a technical term for an assembly that can consist of as many as 3,132 centrifuges. (National Post, Jan 31, 2013)

EXHIBITION DETAILS HITLER’S RISE(Berlin) On the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to always fight for their principles and not fall into the complacency that enabled the Nazi dictator to seize control. Opening the exhibition Berlin 1933 – The Road to Dictatorship at the documentation centre Topography of Terror, on the former grounds of the SS and Gestapo headquarters in Berlin, the chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the rise of Hitler had been made possible because "the majority had, at the very best, behaved with indifference. The co-operation of the German elite and broad swaths of society" had allowed it, she said, speaking almost precisely to the minute that Paul Hindenburg, then the president of the Reich, had sworn Hitler in as chancellor eight decades before. (The Guardian, Jan. 31, 2013)

CANADIAN EXTREMISTS MORE LIKELY HOMEGROWN: 'SECRET' CSIS REPORT(Ottawa) Violent Canadian extremists are more likely to be citizens than immigrants, according to a “secret” study by the federal intelligence service. And these radicals tend to be relatively young and well-integrated members of society. These findings appear in “A Study of Radicalization: The Making of Islamist Extremists in Canada Today,” a 21-page study released to The Globe and Mail under the Access to Information Act. Canadian-born radicals now “represent a plurality” of those identified as violent extremists. In fact, none of the radicals studied by CSIS were “assessed to be poorly integrated into Canadian society.” It adds that “the low incidence of refugee claimants would suggest that immigration trauma is not a significant driver for radicalization in Canada.” (The Globe and Mail Feb. 2 2013)
 

RABBI MARTIN PENN PASSES AWAY AT SIXTY-THREE. (Montreal) CIJR notes with sadness the passing of Rabbi Martin Penn, in Montreal, on Monday, 21 January 2013, at age sixty-three. Rabbi Penn was one of the leader's of Montreal's Free Soviet Jewry movement, and at his passing he was co-rabbi of Congregation Shomrim Laboker. A fine scholar and religious leader, Rabbi Penn first fought back after a debilitating stroke, and then valiantly struggled against cancer.  "May his memory forever be a blessing", Yish hassid v'zadik.

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'PA Promotes Hatred, Terror Towards Israelis, Jews': Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2013Israel attacks study comparing Palestinian and Israeli textbooks, while Washington tries to distance itself from report. “The Palestinian Authority continues to promote incitement… and a culture of hate, terror, and non-acceptance toward Israelis and Jews,” government officials told foreign journalists on Tuesday.
 

Argentina-Iran Deal Makes a Mockery of Justice: Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, Jan. 30, 2013—Argentina has crossed a line by making a sweet deal with Iran to jointly investigate a 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which according to Argentine prosecutors and Interpol was masterminded by top Iranian officials.

 

How Water Became a Weapon in Arab-Israeli Conflict: Yochanan Visser, Jerusalem Post, Feb.3, 2013—The conflict between the Palestinians and Israel is fought on many fronts nowadays. This is the result of a change in strategy decided on by the current Palestinian Authority leadership in 2008. A 2008 report by The Palestinian Strategy Group, which advises the PA, called “Regaining the Initiative” formed the basis of this strategic overhaul in PA politics vis-à-vis Israel.

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-8284

 

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CIJR’s Briefing series attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.

 

 

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes

 

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A Native and a Zionist: Ryan Bellerose, The Metropolitain, Jan. 24, 2013
Exposing the Palestinians' Anna Baltzer: Lee Kaplan, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 29, 2013
Deadly Riots Erupt Across Egypt on Anniversary of  Revolution: David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, Jan. 25, 2013

 

 

“France’s foreign minister said this month that his country was fighting to prevent the creation of an Islamist terrorist enclave ‘at the doorstep of France and Europe.’ If Mali is on France’s doorstep, Gaza is in Israel’s living room. Make no mistake, France’s principled stand should be commended. We only ask that France and all the countries who are supporting its principled stand today, support Israel tomorrow when we fight Islamic terrorism on our borders.”—Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, in comments at the UN Security Council’s monthly open debate on the Middle East. Referring, furthermore, to the November 2012 UN vote to create a non-voting “State of Palestine” Prosor said, “The only Palestinian state in these halls is the Palestinian state of denial. Last month’s resolution did not confer Palestinian statehood. It did not constitute recognition of a Palestinian state. The change in terminology and titles risks creating a false impression of Palestinian statehood when no such state exists.” (Times of Israel, Jan. 23, 2013)

“[I]n our view, any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’ in the United Nations, including the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ on the placard in the Security Council or the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ in the invitation to this meeting or other arrangements for participation in this meeting, do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state. Only direct negotiations to settle final status issues will lead to this outcome.”—Susan Rice, American Ambassador to the UN, on the occasion of the first Palestinian address to the Security Council since the U.N. General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinians from U.N. observer to non-voting member state. (Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2013)
 

"I do not understand the meaning of this expression [diplomatic terrorism], but, frankly, yes, we are waging diplomatic war against Israel for our rights, to isolate Israel's policy in our land and delegitimize Israel on our land."—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a speech on the occasion of  the birthday of the prophet Mohammed. [Jan. 24]. (Elder of Ziyon,  Jan. 24, 2013)

 “Many of our best friends are telling us…'Don't worry, if worst comes to worst the world will inevitably (help)….It cannot be taken for granted. It's on the screens all around the world, tens of thousands of [Syrian] people slaughtered by their own leader and the world doesn't move."—Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.(Washington Post, Jan. 24, 2013)
 

“The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?  It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”—Hilary Rodham Clinton, American Secretary of State, responding angrily to a question at the Congressional hearings on the Benghazi debacle in September 2012 where four Americans, including the US Ambassador to Libya, were killed by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in a pre-planned attack. (Times of Israel, Jan. 23, 2013)

 

"It [Iran] would definitely use it [a nuclear bomb] against Israel or against any other enemy state. The [Iranian] regime thinks that if it has several atom bombs, [that] will grant it an insurance policy…They believe that the world would treat them the way it treats North Korea."—Mohammed Razza Hidari, a former representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, who defected two years ago in Oslo, Norway, speaking to Israel's Channel 2 television on Friday [Jan. 25]. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2013)

 

“Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.”—British Liberal Democrat MP David Ward, upon signing the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment in the House of Commons. In a further statement to The Commentator Ward said, "The Holocaust was one of the worst examples in history of man's inhumanity to man. When faced with examples of atrocious behaviour, we must learn from them. It appears that the suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treated." The Liberal Democrat party has denounced Ward's statements, saying, “This is a matter we take extremely seriously. The Liberal Democrats deeply regret and condemn the statement issued by David Ward and his use of language which is unacceptable.” (The Commentator, Jan. 25, 2013)

“Not at all hopeful. I think it’s nothing. You saw how it ended in Libya. It ended in a kind of mess, you know. It will happen elsewhere, too. It [will] come and go, and we’ll be back where we started. Chaos, one-man rule, which is how these things usually end in the Muslim world.”—author V.S. Naipaul, in an interview with Isaac Chotiner, commenting on the Arab Spring.  (New Republic, Dec. 20, 2012)

 

"What is surprising about this is that not only was this a public amputation, but that photos of it were distributed by official press agencies, and that they showed a machine that we had until yet never seen images of. We have noticed that the authorities have recently been making more and more publicity surrounding cases of corporal punishment. Every time we get closer to an election, the number of these incidents increases. And we're getting quite close to the presidential election [slated for June]. I believe this is a strategy to instil fear in the population so as to avoid any protests.”—Mahmoud Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights based in Norway, commenting on the public amputation of an alleged thief’s fingers in Shiraz, Iran, using a new machine invented for that purpose. (American Thinker, Jan. 27, 2013)

 

“I cannot emphasize enough the challenges that we are all facing, both in Jordan and Lebanon, and it’s only going to get worse. What we’re asking from the international community is not just to help us with the refugee problems and their challenges as they face this harsh winter, but also stockpiling in Jordan so that we can move supplies across the borders to keep people in place.”—King Abdullah of Jordan, commenting on the increasing influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (New York Times, Jan. 26, 2013)

“This is the beginning of another revolution. The Egyptian pound is down against the dollar. Our economy is even worse now than it was under Mubarak. Morsi behaves like a dictator. Something must be done.”—Ahmed Attif, an anti-Morsi demonstrator in Tahrir Square, where he hawked Palestinian scarves because his usual work in a bazaar disappeared when tourism dropped.
   “We begin again because no other course of action is open to us,” Mr. Ahmed said. “Life is worse for us in every way today. We don’t trust the police. Most of us have serious economic problems and no chance to solve them.” —Mohammad Ahmed, a demonstrator at Tahrir Square.(National Post, Jan. 26, 2013)

“This is not a minister of defense, it’s a minister of chaos. [Choosing Chuck Hagel] makes it seem Mr. Obama is just a joke, American power is just a joke. What we hear from your country makes us so confused. What [potential] American defense minister will say he will never go to war? Such a statement from a high-level politician will…push Iran to understand there is no serious position in America.”—Mithal al Alusi, a former Iraqi Parliamentarian who has championed counter-terrorism cooperation and normalized relations between Iraq and Israel, in an interview with the Algemeiner. (Algemeiner, Jan. 27, 2013)
 

"For the Morsi I know, any cooperation with Israel is a serious sin, a crime. Anti-Israeli rhetoric is a cornerstone of the Brotherhood's ideology.”—Abdel-Jalil el-Sharnoubi, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood who has known Mohammed Morsi for 13 years and believes that behind the Egyptian president's veneer of goodwill towards Israel lies a deep-seated hatred. He explains that Morsi is a "master of disguise." With respect to Egypt itself, Sharnoubi said,  “They [the Brotherhood] will infiltrate all areas of our society: government offices and ministries, schools and universities, as well as the police and the military. They will eliminate their enemies. The Brotherhood will never give up its power without a fight."  (Der Spiegel, Jan. 28, 2013)

 

 

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HAMAS TO ESTABLISH MILITARY ACADEMY FOR SCHOOLKIDS(Gaza City) Hamas plans to establish a military academy in the Gaza Strip to train and educate schoolchildren. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced on Thursday [Jan 24] that the military academy, the first of its kind in the Gaza Strip, would prepare the children for the “phase of liberating Palestine.” He said that children in grades 7-9 could join the school and graduate with a diploma or a BA in military affairs. Haniyeh made this announcement during a ceremony in the Gaza Strip marking the birth of the prophet Muhammad. More than 10,000 schoolchildren attended the ceremony, which included a “military parade” by some of the teenagers. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 24, 2013)

 

ARABS DESECRATE JOSEPH'S TOMB, AGAIN(Shechem, Samaria) Visitors to the Tomb of Yosef in Shechem were shocked to discover Wednesday night yet another instance of major Arab vandalism to the holy site. Arabs trashed furniture, destroyed books, and defaced the site with anti-Semitic graffiti, and there was evidence that they had tried to burn the structure down. In addition, human and animal waste was found all over the floor of the site. Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said tonight "Only barbarians do these horrid things to desecrate this holy place." (Arutz-7, Jan. 24, 2013)

 

NO ISRAELIS KILLED BY WEST BANK TERROR IN 2012, FIRST TIME SINCE 1973(Jerusalem) For the first time since 1973, no Israelis were killed in terror attacks in the West Bank in 2012, according to a report published Thursday by the Israel Security Agency. However, in 2012 there were 578 terror attacks in the West Bank as opposed to 320 incidents in 2011. 10 Israelis were killed during security-related incidents in other parts of the country: 6 by rocket attacks, 2 by shooting, and 2 from terrorist attacks near the Israel-Egypt border. 2,327 rockets and 230 mortar shells were fired from Gaza in 2012. Also, 8 rockets were fired at Israel from Sinai. There were 11 attempts to fire anti-aircraft weaponry at IDF planes, compared to 1 such attempt in 2011. (Ha'aretz, Jan 24, 2013)

 

IRAN, SYRIA AND NORTH KOREA DEVELOPING BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS (Washington) Dangerous biological weapons are being developed by the nexus of Iran, Syria and North Korea. Among the more than 16 biological agents that Iran reportedly is developing are anthrax, Ebola, encephalitis, biological toxins, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cholera, smallpox and plague. Worse yet, Iran, with North Korea's help, has genetically altered the smallpox virus in ways that may make current vaccinations ineffective. (Washington Times, Jan. 24, 2013)

 

ISRAEL GIRDS FOR ATTACKS AS SYRIA FALLS APART(Jerusalem) Israel deployed at least one Iron Dome missile defense battery in northern Israel on Sunday [Jan 27] amid reports of intense security consultations regarding the possibility of Syrian chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist rebels or being transferred to Hizbullah. "If there will be a need, we will take action to prevent chemical weapons from being transferred to Islamic terror organizations," Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told Army Radio. (New York Times, Jan. 27, 2013) [Latest reports indicate that two Iron Dome batteries were moved into northern Israel. – Ed.]

 

ISRAEL STRIKES AT SYRIA-LEBANON BORDER(Jerusalem) Israeli forces attacked a convoy on the Syrian-Lebanese border on Wednesday, sources told Reuters, after Israelis warned their Lebanese enemy Hezbollah against using chaos in Syria to acquire anti-aircraft missiles or chemical weapons.  "The target was a truck loaded with weapons, heading from Syria to Lebanon," said one Western diplomat, adding that the consignment seemed unlikely to have included chemical weapons. Its load probably included high-tech anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 30, 2013)

 

PALESTINIAN INFILTRATED INTO SHAVEI SHOMRON FOR SANCTUARY (Shavei Shomron, Israel) On Tuesday [Jan. 29] a Palestinian managed to infiltrate into the town of Shavei Shomron, about 40km due east of Netanya in Shomron.  He was caught by the town’s local security team. Apparently he did not infiltrate into the town to commit a terror attack. The Palestinian was involved in a family feud in his village and ran to the settlement for sanctuary. (Jewish Press, Jan. 29, 2013)

 

THE GENIUS OF IRANIAN INDUSTRY(Tehran) It seems that cutting off the fingers of thieves the old-fashioned way was messy. Iranian ingenuity came to the rescue and now the mullahs have a machine that cuts off the fingers of thieves. Quick, efficient, and ruthless. One of Iran's official press agencies published photos showing the public amputation of a thief's fingers on Wednesday [Jan. 23] These show a man getting his finger chopped off with a machine resembling a rotary saw. According to the INSA press agency, the man shown getting his finger cut off was charged with robbery and adultery by a court in the south-western city of Shiraz. He was also accused of being at the head of a criminal organization. On top of losing one of his fingers, he was sentenced to three years in prison and 99 whip lashes. (American Thinker, Jan. 27, 2013)

 

HISTORY MADE AS NATURAL GAS FLOWS FROM SHIP TO HADERA(Hadera)

History was made on Saturday evening as natural gas began flowing to its power stations from a regasification ship hired by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC). The ship, anchored about ten kilometers from the Hadera coast, was connected last week to a marine buoy and as of Saturday night, natural gas began flowing from the LNG (liquid natural gas) ship through an underwater pipeline directly to the Company's power stations throughout the country. The LNG, which is imported from Trinidad, is cheaper than imported oil. This marks an important step in the development of Israel’s new offshore natural gas. The Tamar field is due to begin producing gas in April this year. (Israel National News, Jan. 28, 2013)

 

IRAN LAUNCHES MONKEY INTO SPACE(Tehran) Iranian state TV says the country has successfully sent a monkey into space, in what is described as another step toward Tehran’s goal of a manned space flight. Monday’s report said the monkey was sent up in a Pishtam, or Explorer, rocket to a height of 120 kilometers (72 miles). The monkey returned safely. The US and its allies worry that technology from the space program could also be used to develop long-range missiles that could potentially be armed with nuclear warheads. (Times of Israel, Jan. 28, 2013)

RUPERT MURDOCH APOLOGIZES FOR LONDON SUNDAY TIMES CARTOON(London) Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of Britain's Sunday Times, has issued an apology for the cartoon that was published by the Times Sunday, calling the image "grotesque" and "offensive." The cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a large-nosed Jew, hunched over a wall, building with Palestinian blood-cement as they writhe in pain within the wall. (Algemeiner, Jan. 28, 2013)

UNHRC POSTPONES ISRAEL'S REVIEW OVER BOYCOTT(New York) The United Nations Human Rights Council postponed its periodic review of Israel's human rights record on Tuesday [Jan. 29], after Jerusalem said it would boycott the proceedings due to what it perceives as a bias against it. The Council stated that the review would take place no later than November 2013.  UN Watch's Hillel Neuer slammed the Council, saying that "a jury of brigands is not justice, it’s a travesty. We regret that today's resolution failed to acknowledge the elephant in the room: the council's systematic bias against Israel," he said.  (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 29, 2013)
 

IRAN SENTENCES U.S. PASTOR TO EIGHT YEARS FOR CHRISTIANITY—(Tehran) An American pastor, Saeed Abedini, who has been jailed in Iran since September, has been sentenced to eight years in prison, the U.S. State Department said Sunday. Abedini's attorney, Nasser Sarbazi, said his client, who is of Iranian origin but lives in Boise, Idaho, was tried in the Revolutionary Court on charges of attempting to undermine state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes. State Department Spokesman Darby Holladay said, "We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion." (Washington Post, Jan.  , 2013

ANCIENT TIMBUKTU MANUSCRIPTS TORCHED BY ISLAMISTS(Timbuktu, Mali) The historic manuscripts of Timbuktu, including one written in Hebrew, are, reportedly, no more. They were destroyed by Islamic terrorists in the African nation of Mali. The library, which contained thousands of priceless manuscripts from ancient times, was put to the torch as the rebels fled the French and Malian troops who were closing in on the Saharan city. At least one of the manuscripts, buried beneath the sand or in caves for centuries in wooden trunks and boxes, was written in Hebrew. The manuscripts covered women’s rights, medicine, music, poetry, geography, history, religion and even astronomy. Researchers had managed to digitize only a small percentage of the manuscripts. (Arutz Sheva, Jan. 28, 2013)

NORWAY: FAILED BOYCOTT, RECORD IMPORTS FROM ISRAEL(Oslo) In spite of boycotts, Norway has never bought so many goods from Israel as in the last year. “These figures show the lack of success when it comes to boycotting Israeli goods”, says Ola H. Grytten, a professor of economy, to Dagen News.   Interim figures covering Norwegian foreign trade in 2012 show imports from Israel estimated at a value of 762 Million NOK; an increase of 5.5 percent, compared to the year before. On the other hand, total imports to Norway only increased by 1.5 percent. The largest category of goods from Israel is electrical appliances, valued at 129 Million NOK, one million more than in 2011. (Israel What, Jan. 16, 2013)

 

 

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A Native and a Zionist: Ryan Bellerose, The Metropolitain, Jan. 24, 2013—I am a Métis from Northern Alberta. My father, Mervin Bellerose, co-authored the Métis Settlements Act of 1989, which was passed by the Alberta legislature in 1990 and cemented our land rights. I founded Canadians for Accountability, a native rights advocacy group, and I am an organizer and participant in the Idle No More movement in Calgary. And I am a Zionist.

Deadly Riots Erupt Across Egypt on Anniversary of  Revolution: David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, Jan. 25, 2013— Violence erupted across Egypt on Friday as tens of thousands of demonstrators filled Tahrir Square to mark the second anniversary of the country’s revolution with an outpouring of rage against the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood. At least seven protesters and two police officers were killed in clashes in Suez, the state news media said.

Exposing the Palestinians' Anna Baltzer: Lee Kaplan, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 29, 2013—Will Oxford Endorse a Fraud? Anna Baltzer — apparently neither a Fulbright Scholar, nor a descendant of Holocaust survivors, nor an alumna of the Birthright Program — appears to be just a fraud and a fabulist. So why is Oxford having her speak January 31st? 

 

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-8284

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine (current issue: “Israel’s Levy Report”:  ISRAZINE.

 

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by fax and e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends and family to visit our website for more information on our Briefing series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, contact us at http://www.isranet.org/.

 

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CIJR’s Briefing series attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.

 

 

 

Israel’s Military, A Story of 
Successful Innovation Under Fire

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

 

(Please Note: some articles may have been shortened in the interest of space. Please click on the article  link for the complete text – Ed.)

 

Israel’s Defence Tech Industry: Israel Strategist, May 31 2012—The success of Israel’s defence sector is no surprise, considering the country’s history of having to confront violent conflict on its borders and consistent existential threats. What is remarkable is the extent to which Israeli innovation in the defence arena has integrated into other sectors of the economy.

 

Israel Redefines Victory in the New Middle East: Yaakov Lappin, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 28, 2012—Senior Israeli officials have indicated this month that any round of future fighting with Hezbollah will make last month's Gaza conflict seem minor by comparison. Offense, not defence, is still preferred.  Israel is redefining its concept of military victory in a Middle East dominated by terrorist organizations turned quasi-state actors.

 

Volatility in the Middle East Drives Israeli Defence Industry Innovation: Rupert Pengelley

Janes Intelligence, June 10, 2008—The past decade has seen considerable restructuring and an expansion of overseas involvements as Israeli concerns have sought to acquire a bigger share of global defence markets. Their success in achieving this is, as ever, not unconnected with their nation's security circumstances.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Trapped Under the Iron Dome: Ariel Harkham, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 1, 2012

Bankrupting terrorism – one interception at a time: Akiva Hamilton, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24, 2012

How Israel's Defense Industry Can Help Save America: Arthur Herman , Commentary, Dec. 2011

Israeli Technology Turns Air Into Drinking Water, Jerusalem Post, March 17, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

IN DEPTH–ISRAEL’S DEFENCE TECH INDUSTRY

Israel Strategist, May 31 2012

 

The success of Israel’s defence sector is no surprise, considering the country’s history of having to confront violent conflict on its borders and consistent existential threats. Israel’s innovative defence technologies were born of these conflicts. What is remarkable is the extent to which Israeli innovation in the defence arena has integrated into other sectors of the economy. Israeli defence companies rank as some of the largest in the world, contributing significantly to Israeli industry and economy….. All over the world, and from high-tech to green-tech, we are seeing the fruits of Israeli innovation in the defence-technology arena.

 

Israel’s success at technological innovation stems in part from a cultural emphasis on education and science, and from high government spending in the defence sector. Israel’s population has the highest percentage of engineers in the world and, according to 2010 OECD data on government expenditure, Israel contributes a higher percentage of GDP to education than the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden, at 7.2%….Though natural resources are scarce, human capital has become Israel’s most abundant and valuable resource….

 

Israel’s defence companies are some of the largest in the world, with five companies ranked in the international top one hundred. According to the Samuel Neaman Institute, the defence industry in Israel accounts for 25% of industrial output and 20% of employment in the industrial sector, contributing significantly to the country’s domestic economy. Between 1963 and 2010 Israel was granted over 20,000 patents by the USPTO, only 3,000 fewer than Australia, a country with three times its population.

 

Israeli innovation in the defence industry ranges from weapons technology to transportation vehicles, medical supplies, and unmanned drones. Defence exports reached a record high in 2010 at $7.2 billion, making Israel one of the top four arms exporters in the world. Israel leads the market in development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles, mini satellites, and the refurbishment of various types of commercial and military aircraft. It has established joint ventures and partnerships in North and South America, Asia, and India.

 

Israel’s most groundbreaking defence-related products include:

 

Uzi Submachine Gun – Designed in 1949 by an Israeli lieutenant, this gun has been adopted by over 90 countries around the world for military use and law enforcement. The design is simple and inexpensive to produce, and with few moving parts it is easy to repair, even on the field.

 

Galil Assault Rifle – Developed 30 years ago, this short, lightweight assault rifle is highly reliable under adverse and extreme conditions. Air-cooled, gas operated, magazine fed, no tools required to strip the weapon on the field. Used by 27 countries world wide including India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and South Africa.

 

The Corner Shot Gun – A gun which allows the user to shoot around corners with its flexible front section, allowing a solider to shoot without being exposed. The gun is equipped with a camera suitable for low light and the ability to also function as a normal handgun. Used by the Beijing SWAT team in China, the Indian National Security Guard, and South Korean Special Forces.

 

Multi-Purpose Modular Armored Vehicle – A 4×4 tactical vehicle with the strength to “absorb the deformations generated by mines and IED blasts” protecting the soldiers inside.

 

Emergency Field Bandage – Used widely in the United States and abroad to stop blood loss on the field before soldiers can reach the nearest hospital. These bandages have played a major role in disaster relief, emergency surgery and field medicine.

 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) – Non-rocket propelled aircraft which do not require humans on board and thus prevent loss of life. Used in counter terrorism and missile defence. Technology sold abroad to Chile, Singapore, India and the Unites States.

 

Reactive Armor Tiles – Tiles fastened to the outside of tanks allowing them to withstand direct hits from munitions. The tiles use a high-energy explosive causing them to explode outward, protecting the soldiers inside. Tile sets are made specifically for the US Bradley Tank, among others. A congressionally mandated study of these tiles was done in 1999, and in 2010 a $33 million order was placed by the US government.

 

Iron Dome Missile Defence System – Mobile defence for countering short range rockets. Project given $205 million in funding by the US government this year….

 

Israel’s defence companies straddle the line between public and private, applying national security solutions to the private market. Though in many cases founded originally as part of Israel’s government agencies, they have become commercial and facilitated the production of revolutionary products for civilian use:

 

Israel Aerospace Industries, IAI, is Israel’s largest aerospace and defence company, as well as the largest industrial exporter in Israel. The company takes on projects ranging from aeronautics and nano-materials and processes to space, ecology and security. Its most popular exports include business jets integrated into the Gulfstream family and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for civil and military use. IAI also considers renewable energy and green-tech in its designs and developments, particularly in the areas of wind and solar technologies, industrial waste-water cleaning systems, and environment-friendly coatings. In January of 2012, IAI signed its largest ever defence deal with India: over $1.1billion worth of missiles, anti missiles systems, UAV’s, intelligence and other systems. According to estimates, defence trade between India and Israel amounts to almost $9 billion….

 

As a result of Israel’s unique economy and national security situation, equipment designed for government military use has not only been commercialized, but also adapted for civilian use. Perhaps the best example of this adaptation is Better Place, an Israeli company that uses technology developed for the Israeli Air Force and applies it to a system of battery powered cars. Better Place uses technology developed to load and unload missiles from F-16 fighter jets, and applies it to the efficient and effective installation and replacement of lithium-ion batteries into electric vehicles…. Better Place currently operates in Israel, Denmark, Australia, North America, Japan and China.

 

Internationally recognized for its aviation security, Israel exports techniques for airline screening to countries all over the world including to the U.S…. Also looked to as global leaders in emergency management, Israeli Defence companies and the Israeli government are consulted by FEMA and the US National Guard for hi-tech solutions in emergency management…. Israel is at the forefront of disaster relief and field medicine. It was one of the first countries to respond and send forces after the earthquakes in both Haiti and Japan and was the first to set up fully functional field surgical tents complete with scanners….

 

The face of global warfare is changing rapidly. Direct conflict is becoming less common as armies fight elusive terrorists, and strikes are often carried out by unmanned drones and through technological means. Israel is already ahead of the curve on these fronts, and other nations are beginning to turn to Israelis for their expertise and innovations…..

 

 

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ISRAEL REDEFINES VICTORY IN THE NEW MIDDLE EAST

Yaakov Lappin

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 28, 2012

 

Senior Israeli officials have indicated this month that any round of future fighting with Hezbollah will make last month's Gaza conflict seem minor by comparison. Offense, not defence, is still preferred.  Israel is redefining its concept of military victory in a Middle East dominated by terrorist organizations turned quasi-state actors.

 

Once, decisive, unmistakable victories, accompanied by conquests of territory that had been used to stage attacks against Israel, provided all parties concerned with a "knockout" image. Victory was seen by the Israel Defence Forces as a clear-cut event, which ended when the enemy raised a white flag. Today, however, the IDF considers this thinking out of date in the 21st century battle arenas of the region, where a terror organization such as Hamas will continue firing rockets into Israel right up until the last day of a conflict, and claim victory despite absorbing the majority of damages and casualties.

 

Today, the goal of seizing control of the enemy's turf is seen as a short-term initiative, and assuming long-term control and responsibility for hostile populations is a highly unpopular development among strategic planners, who now argue that this should be avoided wherever possible. For decades, the IDF has been facing irregular asymmetric terrorist organizations which can change form, melt away and reform according to their needs.

 

The last time Israel fought direct battles with organized, hierarchical military foes was during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Today, as the main goal of most conflicts, victory has been replaced by deterrence. Deterrence, rather than clear-cut conquest or triumph over the enemy, has formed the goal of Israel's last three conflicts: the Second Lebanon War of 2006; Operation Cast Lead against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in 2009 and Operation Pillar of Defence against the same entities in Gaza in November.

 

Although the Second Lebanon War was claimed by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah as a "divine victory," six and a half years later, at the end of 2012, Hezbollah has still not repaired all of the damage it suffered in that conflict, and the Lebanese-Israeli border has never been quieter. Despite several glaring tactical and operational shortcomings, as a deterrent the Second Lebanon War was an Israeli victory.

 

Nevertheless, deterrence-based military achievements are temporary by nature. At some point, deterrence erodes away, and must be re-established all over again. This is what happened in Gaza last month. And the IDF has been preparing for a fresh confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon, which today is armed with at least 50,000 rockets and missiles, many of them with a range of 200 kilometres, that can strike deep inside Israel.

 

Quietly, the Israel Air Force has been upgrading its weapons systems to allow it to face down Hezbollah with enhanced firepower. The new systems currently installed in IAF jets mean that a very large number of targets can be struck in Lebanon from the air within a very short period of time. The 1500 targets struck in Gaza, for example, during November's operation over the course of eight days, could have been struck in 24 hours had the IAF elected to do so.

 

Israeli intelligence has been mapping out the weapons storehouses in southern Lebanese villages and towns, and building up a long list of targets, for the day that Israel's deterrence runs out. The IDF's evolving new doctrine involves short spells of fighting, in which the IDF hits the other side hard – hard enough to ensure that the Israeli home front will enjoy prolonged calm after the fighting ends. As opposed to the mission of utterly destroying Hamas or Hezbollah, such limited goals can be obtained quickly. Hezbollah is fully aware, meanwhile, that should it begin another conflict, it will reap major destruction on Lebanon.

 

The Israeli doctrine is flexible. It allows the IDF to choose the severity of the blows it lands on the enemy, depending on the circumstances of each fight, and the adversary involved. Senior Israeli defence sources have indicated this month that any future round of fighting with Hezbollah will make last month's Gaza conflict seem minor by comparison. Even if the goal will not be to destroy Hezbollah, the organization is still susceptible to enormous damage; it is well aware of its exposure to overwhelming Israeli firepower.

 

The day after a future conflict ends, one defence source said this month, Hezbollah will have to "get up in the morning and explain to their people" why they invited yet more destruction on Lebanon. The fact that Islamist terror organizations Hamas and Hezbollah have formed political entities, and are responsible for managing the affairs of their people, means that they are more vulnerable than ever.

 

Unfortunately, the rocket and missile capabilities possessed by both means that Israeli civilians are also in the firing line; and the IDF is not counting on rocket defence systems such as Iron Dome to prevent wide-scale damage and secure future victories. Even in the service of the limited goal of deterrence, offense, not defence, is still preferred.

 

Finally, the new doctrine is not fixed in stone; should Israel ever find that it cannot deter the enemies on its borders, it may choose to revert to its older method of defending its citizens: fully vanquishing hostile forces, despite the price it may have to pay.

 

 

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VOLATILITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST DRIVES
ISRAELI DEFENCE INDUSTRY INNOVATION

Rupert Pengelley

Janes Intelligence, June 10, 2008

 

The past decade has seen considerable restructuring and an expansion of overseas involvements as Israeli concerns have sought to acquire a bigger share of global defence markets. Their success in achieving this is, as ever, not unconnected with their nation's security circumstances. Despite the Middle East peace process, events have continued to prompt development of a new generation of innovative 'combat proven' military equipment, this time forged in the heat of contemporary asymmetric conflict. These are finding wide acceptance within the armed forces of other nations, most of whom are similarly being required to modify their earlier exclusive focus on preparation for conventional inter-state conflict.

 

To take but one example, 20 years ago the Israel Defence Force (IDF) pioneered the tactical use of full-motion video (FMV) systems, and Israel now appears to have a superabundance of companies engaged in this particular field. Suffice it to say, FMV has since proved to be one of the crucial factors in the correct application of the (non-kinetic as well as kinetic) effects being used by coalition organisations in the prosecution of stability operations and 'wars among the people', not least in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

One of Israel's smaller defence companies is Azimuth Technologies, employing 140 personnel and having a turnover of USD29 million. It has an established tradition of addressing the needs of special forces, and today has four main areas of activity, including manportable target acquisition systems, navigation and orientation systems for armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), the networking of sensors and weapons, and homeland security.

 

Among the company's better-known products is the Comet GPS-based north finding and positioning system, or 'smart compass', which has now been adopted by 10 different armies. Comet is particularly suited to attitude measurement in armoured vehicles, where normal magnetic compasses are degraded. According to Azimuth representatives, its uptake has been driven by its low cost and by contemporary rules of engagement that require every firing platform to be able to provide accurate target position information, particularly in urban settings.

 

In its standard form Comet embodies three GPS receivers and an integral processor unit in a unitary, plank-like configuration, and is used to calculate azimuth, elevation, pitch and roll. The latter is determined by an internal tilt sensor, while a calculation based on the phase difference of the received GPS signal is used to determine azimuth and elevation…..

 

 

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How Israel's Defense Industry Can Help Save America: Arthur Herman, Commentary, Dec. 2011—Israelis are realizing that a strong and independent high-tech defense sector may be more crucial to Israel’s future than relying on U.S. help. The Israeli way of doing defense business is changing the shape of the military-industrial complex. Smaller, nimbler, and entrepreneurial, Israel’s defense industry offers a salutary contrast to the Pentagon’s way of doing things.

 

Bankrupting terrorism – one interception at a time: Akiva Hamilton, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24, 2012—The strategic implications are that the current rocket-based terror strategy of Hamas and Hezbollah has been rendered both ineffective and economically unsustainable. I estimate it is currently costing Hamas (and thus its patron Iran) around $5m. (500 rockets at $10,000 each) to murder a single Israeli. When Iron Dome reaches 95% interception rate these figures will double and at 97.5% they will double again.

 

Trapped Under the Iron Dome: Ariel Harkham, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 1, 2012—This month, all of Israel was subjected to an unrelenting eight-day missile blitz, disabusing middle Israel of the notion that there is any distinction between the periphery and the center of Israel in its ongoing war with Hamas. Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, which featured prominently in the conflict, is being hailed as a great success. In reality, however, it represents a total failure of strategic vision and erodes the concept of deterrence for the State of Israel.

 

Israeli Technology Turns Air Into Drinking Water: Jerusalem Post, March 17, 2012—Military troops around the world, no matter where they are instated, know that even with the best training, personnel and arms, they cannot survive battle if they are lacking one vital thing: water. Among the concerns of military heads is  to ensure water sources are always available, even in the most arid of places. Rishon Lezion-based company Water-Gen takes up challenge to ensure troops have access to water at all times.

 

 

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CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org