Tag: Water Technology

ISRAEL’S HIGH-TECH SECTOR THRIVES, DESPITE SATELLITE EXPLOSION AND EXODUS OF STAFFERS

What's Next for Israel's Satellite Program After Amos-6?: Noam Amir, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 2, 2016 — The future of Israel's satellite industry has recently been called into question.

Cyberspace, the Final Frontier: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, Aug. 30, 2016 — Sometimes dramatic advances are made in important fields far from the public eye, overshadowed by senseless media uproars over insignificant things.

Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here: Rowan Jacobsen, Scientific American, July 29, 2016 — Ten miles south of Tel Aviv, I stand on a catwalk over two concrete reservoirs the size of football fields and watch water pour into them from a massive pipe emerging from the sand.

Zionism Jilted as Israelis Flock to Far Lands in Tech Push: Shoshanna Solomon, Times of Israel, Sept. 13, 2016 — As Israeli engineers, academics and high tech workers leave their homes to conquer foreign markets, one cannot but help wonder what the founder of the Zionist movement Theodor Herzl would have to say on the matter.

 

On Topic Links

 

Israel’s Greatest Victory?: Seth Siegel, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 8, 2016

SpaceCom to Recoup $173m, Plus Interest, for Destroyed Satellite: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Sept. 4, 2016

Israel Launches New Ofek-11 Spy Satellite (Video): Breaking Israel News, Sept. 14, 2016

Israeli Invention Helps Paralysed Woman Finish Race: Josh Jackman, the JC, Sept. 12, 2016

 

 

 

Noam Amir

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 2, 2016

 

The future of Israel's satellite industry has recently been called into question. On Thursday, Israel's space industry was shocked after a rocket carrying the Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd's Amos-6 satellite, considered to be the most-advanced Israeli communications satellite in history, exploded on the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The blast decimated the $200 million Israeli-built device, which was made by Israel Aerospace industries (IAI) and the Israel Space Agency.

 

The Israel Space Agency said an explosion occurred during the fueling of the missile launcher, leading to the satellite’s total loss, which will have a “substantial affect on the agency.” Worries about the future of Israel's satellite program were nothing new, however. There had already been fears that Israel would scrap its satellite program after the government said it would thin out funding to the program. In addition, the State had already said it would not continue funding development of an "Amos 7" satellite. This alone would have caused Israel to lose its competitive edge in the field of satellite technology.

 

Even though Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis said his office will continue to support Israel's communication satellite program, he did not specify how much funding would continue. Many worry it will not be enough. Currently, the program gets $300 million worth of government funding. Even in April, senior IAI officials had fears that they would have to let go of some of its most qualified employees, responsible for the satellite's development, manufacturing, assembly and hoped-for launch into outer space.

 

Although the IAI invests large sums of its own money into satellite development,  the government had plans to thin out its contribution, which would have lead to the firing of between 200 to 250 people, most of them experts in their field. Of further concern is that there is no long-term government plan for the satellite industry, despite Israel's 30-year dominance in the field. Thursday's explosion will delay any new satellite launches by at least two-and-a-half years, causing a major setback to Israel's space program. In addition, the IAI would have to shut down its pressure detection department, which employs some of the best satellite engineers in the world.

 

In contrast, Israeli satellites used for security purposes do not have funding problems. For communications satellites, however, there is no real policy in place. Currently, Spacecom purchases its parts outside of Israel because they are cheaper and are produced in larger amounts. While the United States produces between five to eight satellites a year, Israel produces one every three to four years. Israel cannot expect to maintain its competitive edge at this pace. If it wants any chance in the industry, the government must also reach into its pocket and give the program more funding.

 

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                                                                  CYBERSPACE, THE FINAL FRONTIER

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror

BESA, Aug. 30, 2016

 

Sometimes dramatic advances are made in important fields far from the public eye, overshadowed by senseless media uproars over insignificant things. One of these leaps was made a month ago when Israel's cybersecurity legislation entered a new phase. After prolonged discussions, the Knesset voted in favor of a temporary provision laying the groundwork for Israel's civilian cyber defenses. In 2012, following the recommendations of a committee headed by Maj. Gen. (res.) Isaac Ben-Israel, the National Cyber Bureau (NCB) was established at the Prime Minister's Office. The NCB has come a long way since then, and its framework of principles allows Israel to better protect its civilian cyber infrastructures.

 

This was a case in which the quality of the human capital involved in the government's efforts would have significant impact on the fate of the initiative. A high bar was set for those involved with the NCB. They would have to be top-notch individuals, ready and willing to dedicate their time, energy and skills to a project whose objectives are sometimes ambiguous. Israel has had several breakthroughs in civilian cyber defense knowhow and organization. People now come here from all over the world to study the field so they can construct similar infrastructures and systems in their own countries.

 

The captains of the NCB held firm that the pursuit of cyber excellence should be multi-pronged. This meant bolstering the academic aspect of the field, encouraging private sector investment, and building the mechanisms necessary to protect current cyber infrastructure while constantly developing it further. The object was for Israel to capitalize on its achievements in the field by bolstering cybersecurity ties worldwide and boosting both its economy and its defensive capabilities.

 

The southern city of Beersheba, the "capital of the south" and home to Ben-Gurion University, was selected as the focus of government efforts in cyber defense. The decision to turn Beersheba into a hub of cyber excellence coincided with the decision to relocate the military's Communications Branch and Intelligence units to the Negev.

 

The nationally important greater Beersheba area can no longer be considered the "periphery," and global giants have recognized this. Encouraged by significant tax breaks, they are setting up research and development centers there, either moving them from other locations in Israel or establishing new ones. If this continues, Beersheba will soon be a household name within the international cyber community – an Israeli Silicon Valley, if you will.

 

Israel's young cyber industry is a remarkable success story. A few years ago, 200 Israeli startup companies were known in the field, and over 100 additional companies were anonymous. Today there are too many budding cyber startups to count. The more top-notch researchers our academies produce, the more their success will encourage others to follow their dreams, resulting in more capital being earmarked for cyber initiatives. The scope of ideas in this field is endless, and the world is thirsty for them. In this respect, the biggest challenge Israel faces is building a truly robust cyber industry, rather than serving solely as an incubator for ideas that are to be sold off early in their development. The rush to run towards an “exit” is somewhat ingrained in Israeli culture – a culture that is also responsible for the wealth of ideas.

 

One of the most important aspects of Israel's cyber endeavor is the outlining of measures to protect the country's critical civilian infrastructure. These efforts have been quietly pursued by the Shin Bet security agency for years, but rapid changes in this sphere now require more comprehensive efforts. In a democracy, it is best to divide responsibility for the protection of critical infrastructure between intelligence services and other organizations, devoid of intelligence interests, that are tasked with the technical aspects of the issue. It was therefore decided that another state body, one removed from the Israeli intelligence community and with a technological outlook on the issue, would assume the mantle…

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

 

Contents

ISRAEL PROVES THE DESALINATION ERA IS HERE

Rowan Jacobsen

Scientific American, July 29, 2016

 

Ten miles south of Tel Aviv, I stand on a catwalk over two concrete reservoirs the size of football fields and watch water pour into them from a massive pipe emerging from the sand. The pipe is so large I could walk through it standing upright, were it not full of Mediterranean seawater pumped from an intake a mile offshore. “Now, that’s a pump!” Edo Bar-Zeev shouts to me over the din of the motors, grinning with undisguised awe at the scene before us. The reservoirs beneath us contain several feet of sand through which the seawater filters before making its way to a vast metal hangar, where it is transformed into enough drinking water to supply 1.5 million people.

 

We are standing above the new Sorek desalination plant, the largest reverse-osmosis desal facility in the world, and we are staring at Israel’s salvation. Just a few years ago, in the depths of its worst drought in at least 900 years, Israel was running out of water. Now it has a surplus. That remarkable turnaround was accomplished through national campaigns to conserve and reuse Israel’s meager water resources, but the biggest impact came from a new wave of desalination plants.

 

Bar-Zeev, who recently joined Israel’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research after completing his postdoc work at Yale University, is an expert on biofouling, which has always been an Achilles’ heel of desalination and one of the reasons it has been considered a last resort. Desal works by pushing saltwater into membranes containing microscopic pores. The water gets through, while the larger salt molecules are left behind. But microorganisms in seawater quickly colonize the membranes and block the pores, and controlling them requires periodic costly and chemical-intensive cleaning. But Bar-Zeev and colleagues developed a chemical-free system using porous lava stone to capture the microorganisms before they reach the membranes. It’s just one of many breakthroughs in membrane technology that have made desalination much more efficient. Israel now gets 55 percent of its domestic water from desalination, and that has helped to turn one of the world’s driest countries into the unlikeliest of water giants.

 

Driven by necessity, Israel is learning to squeeze more out of a drop of water than any country on Earth, and much of that learning is happening at the Zuckerberg Institute, where researchers have pioneered new techniques in drip irrigation, water treatment and desalination. They have developed resilient well systems for African villages and biological digesters than can halve the water usage of most homes. The institute’s original mission was to improve life in Israel’s bone-dry Negev Desert, but the lessons look increasingly applicable to the entire Fertile Crescent. “The Middle East is drying up,” says Osnat Gillor, a professor at the Zuckerberg Institute who studies the use of recycled wastewater on crops. “The only country that isn’t suffering acute water stress is Israel.”

 

That water stress has been a major factor in the turmoil tearing apart the Middle East, but Bar-Zeev believes that Israel’s solutions can help its parched neighbors, too — and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause. Bar-Zeev acknowledges that water will likely be a source of conflict in the Middle East in the future. “But I believe water can be a bridge, through joint ventures,” he says. “And one of those ventures is desalination.”

 

In 2008, Israel teetered on the edge of catastrophe. A decade-long drought had scorched the Fertile Crescent, and Israel’s largest source of freshwater, the Sea of Galilee, had dropped to within inches of the “black line” at which irreversible salt infiltration would flood the lake and ruin it forever. Water restrictions were imposed, and many farmers lost a year’s crops. Their counterparts in Syria fared much worse. As the drought intensified and the water table plunged, Syria’s farmers chased it, drilling wells 100, 200, then 500 meters (300, 700, then 1,600 feet) down in a literal race to the bottom. Eventually, the wells ran dry and Syria’s farmland collapsed in an epic dust storm. More than a million farmers joined massive shantytowns on the outskirts of Aleppo, Homs, Damascus and other cities in a futile attempt to find work and purpose.

 

And that, according to the authors of “Climate Change in the Fertile Crescent and Implications of the Recent Syrian Drought,” a 2015 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was the tinder that burned Syria to the ground. “The rapidly growing urban peripheries of Syria,” they wrote, “marked by illegal settlements, overcrowding, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and crime, were neglected by the Assad government and became the heart of the developing unrest.” Similar stories are playing out across the Middle East, where drought and agricultural collapse have produced a lost generation with no prospects and simmering resentments. Iran, Iraq and Jordan all face water catastrophes. Water is driving the entire region to desperate acts.

 

Except Israel. Amazingly, Israel has more water than it needs. The turnaround started in 2007, when low-flow toilets and showerheads were installed nationwide and the national water authority built innovative water treatment systems that recapture 86 percent of the water that goes down the drain and use it for irrigation — vastly more than the second-most-efficient country in the world, Spain, which recycles 19 percent. But even with those measures, Israel still needed about 1.9 billion cubic meters (2.5 billion cubic yards) of freshwater per year and was getting just 1.4 billion cubic meters (1.8 billion cubic yards) from natural sources. That 500-million-cubic-meter (650-million-cubic-yard) shortfall was why the Sea of Galilee was draining like an unplugged tub and why the country was about to lose its farms.

 

Enter desalination. The Ashkelon plant, in 2005, provided 127 million cubic meters (166 million cubic yards) of water. Hadera, in 2009, put out another 140 million cubic meters (183 million cubic yards). And now Sorek, 150 million cubic meters (196 million cubic yards). All told, desal plants can provide some 600 million cubic meters (785 million cubic yards) of water a year, and more are on the way. The Sea of Galilee is fuller. Israel’s farms are thriving. And the country faces a previously unfathomable question: What to do with its extra water?…

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

 

 

Contents                                   

             

ZIONISM JILTED AS ISRAELIS FLOCK TO FAR LANDS IN TECH PUSH

Shoshanna Solomon

Times of Israel, Sept. 13, 2016

 

As Israeli engineers, academics and high tech workers leave their homes to conquer foreign markets, one cannot but help wonder what the founder of the Zionist movement Theodor Herzl would have to say on the matter. Ironically in the Israeli town of Herzliya, named after Herzl, some 140 of Israel’s brightest attended a gathering on Tuesday evening to find out how to navigate their transition to Silicon Valley in the smoothest possible way. Most of them will soon join as many as 50,000 other Israelis that are said populate the strip between San Francisco and San Jose working in high tech jobs there.

 

The gathering was of people, mainly in their 30s, who were both hopeful and fearful of their future ahead. It also highlighted how far Israel, the Start-Up Nation has moved from the days in which those who left the country were looked down upon as betrayers of the Zionist dream. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once dubbed those leaving Israel, “Nefolet shel nemoshot“, loosely translated as the “falling of the weak” and the term has seared the minds of Israelis. Today however, academics and high-tech workers who leave for foreign shores are seen as pioneers of Israeli technology who set sail to flaunt Israel’s talent, create ties and push their careers forward. They are viewed as the lucky ones.

 

And if and when they come back, they are viewed as bringing their knowledge and acquired experiences to the benefit of the nation. They leave with their heads held high. “This is definitely not a falling of the weak,” said Oded Solomon, 35 (no relation to this reporter) who attended the meeting. “This is the falling of the stronger ones. People who can leave are perceived as those who have an advantage over others. This is the falling of the successful ones.” Solomon and his wife Lihi, 35, will be leaving for Silicon Valley, possibly Sunnyvale, in December because of his job with Nokia. They don’t have a home yet, but hope to find one close to where other Israelis are located. They have a four-year old child and a baby on the way. They are leaving indefinitely. It is a “one-way ticket”, said Solomon. “Our parents are sad but they support us. My father talks about Zionism and how important it is to come back. He worries we won’t.”

 

According to figures provided by Ogen, a relocation company that organized the gathering, there are about 50,000 Israelis who live in the Silicon Valley area, based on figures provided by the Israeli consulates. “They generally come for two or three years but then stay for five years or more,” said 39-year old Aya Shmueli Levkovitz, the organizer of the conference and the founder of Ogen. “Most of them come back to Israel, even if it is after 12 years, and generally before their children go to middle school or high school because that is when they change schools anyway.”

 

Levkovitz also moved to Sunnyvale, California 10 years ago following the high-tech job of her husband. Spotting a need, she set up her company together with another Israeli partner in 2012. Since then, Ogen has helped steer a “few hundreds of families” through the quagmire of getting visas,finding a home and the best supermarket for those who have relocated, said Levkovitz. “There is a significant change in attitude of Israel’s government,” said Dr. Nurit Eyal, director of a government program set up three years ago to lure academics and high tech professionals back to Israel. “If once people who left the country were viewed as rotten fruit that should be shunned, today the attitude is that relocation is part of the Israeli academic and hi-tech ecosystem and when they want to come home we are here to help them,” Eyal said.

 

Eyal believes Ogen’s figure about Israelis living in Silicon Valley is too high. According to the program’s data based on the Central Bureau of Statistics, there are about 27,856 Israeli academics living abroad – for a period of three or more years, compared with 24,503 in 2012 – 75 percent of them in the US. The statistics bureau figures also show that over the last three years there has been an average net outflow (more people leaving than coming back) of academics (in all sectors of academia) of around 1,000 people a year. “From our experience most come back” at one point or another, Eyal said. But not enough long-term data is available on the matter, she said.

 

Even so, the phenomenon of leaving Israelis cannot be avoided, said Eyal. “Israel has opened up and has become global, the know-how is global and we are part of this trend. Today we don’t talk about brain drain but about brain cycling. Many people relocate, perhaps even more than once,” she said. “People have an alternative to live and work elsewhere in the era of globalization. Companies are competing for workers worldwide and the Israeli government recognizes this. That is why we try to make it as easy as possible to return,” Eyal added.

 

The Israel National Brain Gain program that Eyal heads can match returning Israelis to a network of 350 companies in Israel and it also assists them with bureaucratic and other issues that may deter their return. Initial findings of a recent survey conducted by the program among 800 people who are living abroad or returned via the program found that most of the program’s academics living abroad left Israel for career reasons. And those who return, do so because they view Israel as their country and because their family is here, Eyal said.

 

Dar, 32, and Adi, 31, are married and prefer not to disclose their family name as they are still not sure if they will be relocating. Both are bio-medical engineers and are still checking out the work options available abroad. Both have jobs in Israel and said their motivation is to advance their careers and climb the economic ladder. “Economically the value you get for the work you do is higher abroad than in Israel,” said Dar. His brother also left, and came back to Israel after 10 years abroad. “My mother raises the issue of Zionism and she says there is no place like Israel. But we are a different generation. We have done our bit for the country by going to the Army and now we want to get ahead economically. In Israel it is almost impossible to get ahead, to exist.”

 

The high cost of living and the deterioration of public services and education in Israel drove citizens to the streets in protests in the summer of 2011, spurring the government to take steps to lower prices for its citizens. “The exit of highly skilled Israelis to work and live abroad – with some of them staying abroad is unavoidable if Israel wants to be part of the global world and global economy. It would be disastrous if Israel tried to be a closed economy,” said Omer Moav, professor of economics at the University of Warwick and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. “However the government must take this brain drain problem into account in terms of policy. We need to allow Israelis to have a reasonable life here, especially for those who have higher education and who have the ability to push our economy forward. The returns-to-skills shouldn’t be taxed so heavily.”

“The Zionist dream is to have people here and a successful state,” Moav said. “A dictatorship that just locks people in is not an attractive option nor a reasonable scenario. But another way is to create a country that is great to live in. Unfortunately that is not the case in terms of housing, cost of living, bureaucracy, or security for that matter. When the Zionist dream, with its strong socialist roots, meets the global economy, a change in policy is required to maintain the skilled Israelis in Israel.”                                                              

 

Contents                       

           

On Topic Links

 

Israel’s Greatest Victory?: Seth Siegel, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 8, 2016 —There isn’t a high school student in Israel who doesn’t know about the War of Independence, the Six Day War and the audacious raid at Entebbe among other Israeli triumphs on land, sea and air. Far less known to most – yet with potentially greater impact and reach – is Israel’s triumph over nature and its current water abundance in a time of growing global scarcity.

SpaceCom to Recoup $173m, Plus Interest, for Destroyed Satellite: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Sept. 4, 2016—Israel’s Aerospace Industries will compensate a communications firm whose satellite was destroyed in a fiery rocket explosion last week, IAI said Sunday.

Israel Launches New Ofek-11 Spy Satellite (Video): Breaking Israel News, Sept. 14, 2016—Israel launched its Ofek-11 observation satellite from the Palmachim army base on Tuesday in a breathtaking display of aerodynamic splendor. Watch it make its way into space!

Israeli Invention Helps Paralysed Woman Finish Race: Josh Jackman, the JC, Sept. 12, 2016—A woman who is paralysed from the chest down has completed the Great North Run wearing an Israeli exoskeleton. Claire Lomas, who has also finished the London Marathon, took five days to walk the half marathon in the ReWalk suit, created by Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer after he was paralysed in a car crash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHINA AND INDIA: ISRAEL CULTIVATING STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS WITH BOOMING ASIAN TIGERS

Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing.

 

Contents:                          

 

Asia is Becoming Israel's New Frontier – Here's Why: Jonathan Adelman & Asaf Romirowsky, Forbes, May 14, 2013—When we think of Israel, we usually think of the Middle East (its neighborhood), North America (its close ally the United States) and Europe (the long history of Ashkenazi Jews). Rarely do we think about Israel and Asia, even less about Asia as Israel’s new frontier.

 

Netanyahu in China to Cultivate Relations with Increasingly Relevant ‘Sleeping Giant’: Alex Traiman, JNS, May 6, 2013—As tensions brewed along Israel’s northern border with Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left the country for highly anticipated talks with leaders of one of the world’s superpowers. To the surprise of many who closely follow Israeli geopolitics, that superpower is not the United States, but China.

 

India Seeks Water Management Lessons From Israel: Debra Kamin, New York Times, June 12, 2013—As Indian municipal officials and water engineers search for ways to provide cleaner water to their nation’s 1.2 billion people, they are increasingly turning to Israel, which has solved many of the same problems that India is now experiencing.

 

On Topic Links

 

India, Israel Inching Closer to Signing Free Trade Agreement: Israeli Envoy: Times of India, June 13, 2013

The Big Story Out of Herzliya Might Be About China and Israeli Drones: Eli Lake, The Daily Beast, Mar. 12, 2013

Pakistan Military Technology Row 'Threatens Israel's Strategic Relationship with India': Phoebe Greenwood, The Telegraph, June 13, 2013

 

 

ASIA IS BECOMING ISRAEL'S NEW FRONTIER – HERE'S WHY

Jonathan Adelman & Asaf Romirowsky

Forbes, May 14, 2013

 

When we think of Israel, we usually think of the Middle East (its neighborhood), North America (its close ally the United States) and Europe (the long history of Ashkenazi Jews). Rarely do we think about Israel and Asia, even less about Asia as Israel’s new frontier. We don’t think of Asia as playing any significant role in Israel’s evolution given the tiny Asian Jewish population, the lack of significant Jewish history in Asia, and minimal relations between Israel and most Asian countries for the first 40 years (1948-1988) of Israel’s existence. Yet, last year Israel called 2012 “the year of Asia in Israel.” The Israeli government sponsored an Asian Science Camp attracting over 220 Asian students to join nearly 40 Israeli students for a week long program of lectures by world class Israeli researchers

 

How did such a gathering ever happen? Many factors propelled Israel-Asian relations to the forefront. Historically, Asia largely lacks the anti-Semitism that was so prominent in Europe and also the Middle East. Geographically, Israel is in West Asia, only four hours by air from India and 11 hours by air from China. Historically, Israel, like most Asian states, is a new state born after World War II after a struggle with a Western colonial power, in this case Great Britain.

 

Economically, Israel’s rapid transition from Third World power to First World “start-up nation” echoes the great transformation underway in such Asian countries as India, China and the Four Tigers. Scientifically, Israel has emerged as a high-tech superpower (with Tel Aviv rated #2 in the world for its startup companies, thereby very attractive to Asian high tech [powers in Bangalore, Xinchu Park and Beijing Silicon Valleys]. Politically, the growing threat of Islamism in the regime draws many of these countries towards a country that is in the forefront of fighting this threat to governments around the world. And, militarily, the Israeli military, a world leader in anti-missile technology (Iron Dome), UAVs (which they sell even to the Russians) and 5 billion dollars of military exports, is attractive to Asian countries developing their own militaries as they rise economically. Finally, in intelligence matters, which are so critical to many developing countries, Mossad, with its strong human intelligence capabilities, is attractive for helping these countries overcome foreign threats to their rise to power.

 

Most of all, Israel has developed strong relations with the two Asian countries in the BRICs—China and India. Both of these countries, which had no diplomatic relations with Israel before 1992, now have major Israeli embassies in their capitals (Beijing and New Delhi) as well as consulates in their leading cities (Shanghai and Mumbai).

 

Militarily, Israel is the second biggest arms exporter to India today, and sold it the Phalcon AIWACS system for a billion dollars back in 2004. In turn India in 2004 launched a 300 kilogram Israeli satellite in orbit which dramatically increased Israeli intelligence gathering capabilities against the Iranian nuclear program with clear images in all kinds of weather. At one time in the ‘90s Israel was the second biggest arms exporter to China (4 billion dollars worth of exports). In turn Israeli intelligence works closely with Indian intelligence against radical Islamic threats and is on friendly terms with its Chinese counterparts.

 

Economically, Israel can claim $5 billion worth of trade with India and over $8 billion dollars with China.  It hopes to boost trade with the world’s second largest economy by GDP to $10 billion in the coming years. Back to India, Israel is working with it on the framework for a Free Trade Zone that within five years could triple annual exchange between producers in each country to $15 billion. Politically, Israel supports India in its fight over Kashmir and against Pakistan, while China also battles Islamic fundamentalism in Xinjiang Province.

 

Outside the two BRIC members, Israel has developed diplomatic relations with a large range of Asian countries. It has extensive trade with a number of these nations—ranging from $2 billion with Japan and South Korea, to several hundred million dollars worth of trade with Vietnam. It also has growing economic and educational ties with Singapore. Israel has developed strong relations too with a series of newly independent states formerly part of the Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.

 

Not all of these relations have been easy. Few Asian states face serious existential threats as Israel has and continues to face. And it can’t be forgotten that some of them are Muslim states (as Pakistan and Indonesia), plus very few have attained Israel’s strong First World economy ($33,000 GNP/person) status.

 

But it seems as China and India have risen economically, so has Israel’s global status.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s four day to visit to China this week highlights the importance of China to Israel.  Excitingly for Israel, the importance is mutual. As Chinese Ambassador to Israel Gao Yanping stated ahead of the visit, “China views its relationship with Israel with tremendous importance.”Truly Asia is the new frontier for Israel in the 21st century.

 

Jonathan Adelman is a professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and Asaf Romirowsky is the acting executive director for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME).

 

Contents

 

 

NETANYAHU IN CHINA TO CULTIVATE RELATIONS WITH
 INCREASINGLY RELEVANT ‘SLEEPING GIANT’

Alex Traiman

Jewish News Service, May 6, 2013
 

 

As tensions brewed along Israel’s northern border with Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left the country for highly anticipated talks with leaders of one of the world’s superpowers. To the surprise of many who closely follow Israeli geopolitics, that superpower is not the United States, but China.

 

Netanyahu’s five-day trip to China, which began Sunday [May 5], presents Israel with numerous economic and diplomatic opportunities during a time of growing global and regional instability. “Well it’s I think really obvious to any observer of what is going on in the world, these past decades, that China’s importance in the world is growing from year to year. And I think it’s probably correct to say at this stage that there are two superpowers: the United States and China,” Moshe Arens, former Israeli Defense Minister and Foreign Minister told JNS.org.

 

Netanyahu may have considered delaying the trip, just days after Israel reportedly twice-bombed Syrian targets, allegedly storing sophisticated Iranian weaponry on its way to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon.

Choosing to continue with the pre-scheduled visit may signal that tensions are not expected to escalate further with Syria in the near-term. But more importantly, the trip signals that Netanyahu did not wish to insult the Chinese, after twice canceling trips to a country that is growing increasingly important to Israel.

 

“It is important for us to have good, very good relations with China, better relations than what we have today,” Arens said. “I think considering China’s status in the world today, it is appropriate and I would say probably natural for China to play a bigger role in Middle Eastern affairs than it has in the past.”

 

“China has been a sleeping giant for a long time, but in the last 20 years, as its economy began to grow, its relevance started to become more and more important,” Carice Witte, Executive Director of SIGNAL (Sino-Israel Global Network and Academic Leadership), an institute working to advance Israel-China relations, told JNS.org.

 

The economic decline of Europe and the U.S., and changing balances of diplomatic and military power, have necessitated that Israel develop additional allies.  “In 2008 when the sub-prime debacle happened, Israeli business people began to realize they need to spread their interests and investment and their outreach beyond the U.S. and EU,” Witte said.  Netanyahu on Monday in Shanghai said, “I came to open doors for Israeli companies. We’re interested in a small piece of a giant market.”

 

But economics are only one piece of the China-Israel equation. “Among several reasons, China is very significant to Israel because it has a vote in the Security Council,” Witte told JNS.org. And China has taken a growing interest in the Middle East, a region critical to China’s economic stability. China has grown tremendously as a manufacturing power over the past several decades. And one of the fuels powering that growth is oil. “The two nations providing most of China’s oil are Saudi Arabia and Iran. So the area of the Middle East is core for China’s domestic policy, for China’s domestic economy.  Stability in the region is essential,” Witte said. Disturbances in the flow of oil, or rises in prices could have a significant impact on China’s economy. According to Witte, China has watched its investments in Libya and now Syria decline due to the events of the “Arab Spring.”

 

While China wants tensions between Israel and Iran to cool, the Chinese see Israel as one of the most stable and forward-thinking countries in the region. The Chinese have been particularly impressed with Israel’s rapid growth in an often-hostile environment.

 

In the past two decades—with both countries experiencing significant economic growth—Israel and China have begun to recognize that perhaps they share more common interests than they did in the past. Yet it has been historically difficult for the two countries to develop strong bilateral relations.

According to Arens, Israel’s relationship with the U.S. may have impacted China-Israel relations, particularly during the Cold War. 

 

“The United States was seen as a backer of Israel, as a very close ally of Israel, and almost naturally then, I think in those days China would take a position that would back the Palestinians, or back Arab nations,” Arens said. “China has a strong 60-year relationship with all the Arab nations and Iran. And they have been learning about the Middle East and Israel only through them for all that period of time. They're limited to what the Arabs are telling them,” Witte added.

 

At the same time, China has virtually no history of anti-Semitism, meaning that the Chinese are open to the Israeli point of view. According to Witte, Israel has a unique opportunity and even an imperative to change the way the Chinese look at the Middle East—in a way that is more favorable to Israel’s position.  Doing so would have mutual benefits.

 

But strengthening the relationship has not always been simple. “There’s an enormous cultural gap,” Witte said. “The Jews have lived in and amongst the European cultures for 2,000 years. There is no common religion in China. There’s no Judeo-Christian history. There’s no AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) of China, there’s no real Jewish community. So they don’t have any point of reference for many of the issues that we’re dealing with in Israel and in our region.”

 

Netanyahu’s trip to China will focus primarily on strengthening economic trade. Currently the two countries exchange approximately $8 billion in goods per year, the majority of which are Chinese exports to Israel. In addition to seeking an increase in trade as well as greater balance between imports and exports, Netanyahu is likely to try and reach understandings regarding Iran, and its illicit nuclear program.

 

The good news is that shifting China’s perspectives may not be as difficult in China as in other countries around the world. “I'm always asked, ‘How do you make an impact on a country of 1.4 billion people?’” Witte told JNS.org. “The fact is; you can make a difference if you understand China, and if you know how to target your resources. You can make an enormous difference because China works top-down. You don’t need to reach the whole country.”

 

For Netanyahu, developing better relations with China’s leaders could create tremendous benefits for Israel’s future.

Contents

 

 

INDIA SEEKS WATER MANAGEMENT LESSONS FROM ISRAEL

Debra Kamin

New York Times, June 12, 2013

 

As Indian municipal officials and water engineers search for ways to provide cleaner water to their nation’s 1.2 billion people, they are increasingly turning to Israel, which has solved many of the same problems that India is now experiencing. Last week, a delegation of 16 high-ranking Indian officials of the water authorities of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Goa and Haryana arrived in Israel for a seven-day visit. They visited wastewater treatment plants, met with some of Israel’s leading environmentalists and agronomists and listened to explanations of some of the newest technologies that keep this desert country green.

 

“In India, we have a major crisis of water,” said Rajeev Jain, an assistant engineer in the water department of Rajasthan. “Our problem is the same that Israel faced,” he said, noting that Rajasthan, home to 63 million people, has a similar climate and groundwater resources that are meager at best. “But Israel is an expert at successfully implementing technologies that we aren’t able to implement. So we have come here to understand which technologies they use and how they manage these things.”

 

The visit was jointly arranged by the governments of India and Israel and managed by the Weitz Center for Development Studies and Israel NewTech, the national sustainable water and energy program of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. Israel has been a global leader in the fields of drip irrigation and desalination, two ventures for which it has contributed groundbreaking technology. These technologies helped the country of eight million pull itself out of a severe water crisis in the early 2000s.

 

While Israel’s primary investments in India remain in the realm of diamonds and information technology, more and more shekels are being invested in Indian water systems. The two countries began working with each other on water technology in the late 1990s. In 2006, Israeli and Indian ministers of agriculture signed a long-term cooperation and training deal, which has since been supervised by field experts from Mashav, an international development program of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Next came a $50 million shared agriculture fund between both nations, focusing on dairy, farming technology and micro-irrigation. And Netafim, the Israeli company that pioneered drip irrigation, has created new technologies in Jharkhand specifically calibrated for the small family farms scattered across India.

 

In 2011, India and Israel signed an agreement to foster cooperation on urban water systems, which came after more than a decade of joint research, development and shared investment in the countries’ respective water technologies. Israeli officials and green technology specialists saw last week’s visit as a preview to the influx of Indian officials they expect in October for the country’s annual conference on water technology and environmental control.

 

Oded Distel, director of NewTech, said the most significant lesson Israel can teach India is the Middle Eastern country’s unique approach. “It’s a system that balances the demand and available resources among the various sectors: municipal, industrial and agricultural,” he said. Several delegates said they were shocked to learn how expensive water is in Israel and how all citizens, regardless of income or geographic region, must pay uniform tariffs and fees for the clean drinking water that flows into their taps.

 

It would be nearly impossible to adopt a similar model in India, Mr. Jain said. In India, much of the water generated by cities is illegally siphoned off by residents or lost to leaks, and in rural areas, most farmers get their water at no cost. “In India, they consider water a gift from God. And everything God has given, no one can charge for it,” he said. “It is not easy to frame new policies, because we have to go to our assembly and Parliament first.”

 

But he said he was optimistic that some of the Israeli techniques for salvaging wastewater could be transferred to his home region. “In India, there are a lot of unauthorized connections to the water system, so maybe we can learn how to control the wastewater out of these connections,” he said. On June 5, the group traveled to Kibbutz Naan, a cooperative community that is the largest in Israel, to see the manufacturing operations for NaanDanJain Irrigation, the world’s foremost irrigation solutions company. It is also a joint venture of Kibbutz Naan, another Israeli kibbutz called Kibbutz Dan and Jain Irrigations Systems of India.

 

Over a vegetarian lunch in the kibbutz cafeteria, where the tables were festooned with the flags of India and Israel, Sarban Singh, an Indian delegate from Haryana, said that last year he visited Singapore to learn about water technology and that he and his colleagues were also closely following innovations in Japan and Germany. The water sector in Israel, he said, was nevertheless the most important to him and other Indian officials. “This is what we feel,” he said. “The way they are able to take care of these two areas, drinking water and treatment of wastewater — they are soldiers and pioneers.”

 

For Mr. Singh, the most eye-opening technology that he saw during his time in Israel involved optimizing systems so that water can be provided at all times, which requires clean and secure reservoirs; tracking the liquid’s distribution into homes; and adding state-of-the-art water sensors on piping systems to pinpoint exactly where the precious resource is being lost.

 

Mr. Singh was quick to add, however, that between inspiration and implementation, many hurdles would present themselves in India. “They are doing this on a very small scale, while we are doing it on a very large scale,” he said. “So even if we have the technology, we may not be as successful as they are. We welcome the technology, but before we can implement it, we have to see how much the manufacturing will cost and how much it benefits us at home.”

Contents

 

India, Israel Inching Closer to Signing FTA: Israeli Envoy: Times of India, June 13, 2013—Hoping that an India-Israel free trade agreement (FTA) would be signed "in the coming months", the Israeli ambassador on Thursday said the agreement would be a "strategic game changer" in trade relations between the two countries.

 

The Big Story Out of Herzliya Might Be About China and Israeli Drones: Eli Lake, The Daily Beast, Mar. 12, 2013—For the globalist CEO, there is Davos. For the comic-book nerd, there is Comic-Con. For the Middle East policy professional, there is Herzliya. And while you may never have heard of the annual conference held at the Israeli seaside hamlet named for Theodore Herzl, the intellectual godfather of Jewish nationalism, the Zionist wonk in your life almost certainly has.

 

Pakistan Military Technology Row 'Threatens Israel's Strategic Relationship with India': Phoebe Greenwood, The Telegraph, June 13, 2013—Israel has rejected in strongest terms data recorded and published by the [UK] Ministry of Defense which documents the sale of Israeli-manufactured cockpit displays and electronic warfare components for F16 fighter jets to Pakistan in 2010.

 

Cybersecurity Projects Next on Israel-India Agenda: David Shamah, Times of Israel,  June 24, 2013—To the already robust cooperation between Israel and India, add the field of cybersecurity, with Israeli companies being recruited to protect India’s networks, databases, and enterprise computer systems. 

 

Top of Page

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit 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 contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

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

MIDDLE EAST WATER — THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM — A SOURCE OF CONFLICT & OF JOY…MAYIM, MAYIM B’SASON

Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing.

 

Contents:                          

 

 

Ode to the Hebrew Language: Baruch Cohen, CIJR, May 8, 2013— This language is poetry, The language of Moses, Abraham, David and Ben Yehuda

 

How Water Became a Weapon in Arab-Israeli Conflict: Yochanan Visser, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 3, 2013—One of the results of the refusal to cooperate with Israel is that almost all of the 52 mcm of waste water generated by the Palestinian population flows untreated into Israel and the West Bank, where it contaminates shared groundwater resources. Nevertheless, the Palestinians claim that Israel is blocking their waste water infrastructure.

 

A Parched Syria Turned to War and Egypt May Be Next: Mitch Ginsburg, Times of Israel, May 9, 2013—Some look at the upheaval in Syria through a religious lens. The Sunni and Shia factions, battling for supremacy in the Middle East, have locked horns in the heart of the Levant, where the Shia-affiliated Alawite sect has ruled a majority Sunni nation for decades.

 

Getting Drunk on Water: Rabbi Ian (Chaim) Pear, Joyous Judaism, Dec. 21, 2007—The classic proof for this connection — that water and joy share an intimate relationship — is the water drawing ceremony that used to take place in the Temple area during the fall festival of Sukkoth. 

 

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Touring Israel's Ancient Water Systems: Tsvika Tsuk, Israel Parks

Watering a Thirsty Planet: I.C. Mayer, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 20, 2011

The Issue of Water between Israel and the Palestinians: Israel Water Authority, March 2009

The Politicization of  the Oslo Water Agreement (dissertation): Lauro Burkart, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,Geneva Switzerland, 2012

Political Currents of Water Mgt: Israel, Palestine, and Jordan: Jay Famiglietti,National Geographic, May 13, 2013

Water: Facts about Israeli and Palestinian Use: The Israel Project,  March 22, 2013

 

ODE TO THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

Baruch Cohen CIJR, May 8, 2013

 

This language is poetry

The language of Moses, Abraham, David and Ben Yehuda

A brass trumpet blasting the cosmos destined to pour out floods of rage

Against the world’s abuses and indifference.

 

This language, this Hebrew language destined to pour out a flood of rage

Against the world’s indifference.

Thus, this language written with letters of fire is poetry!

It is a call from heaven to praise life.

 

Top of Page

 

 

HOW WATER BECAME A WEAPON IN ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

Yochanan Visser

Jerusalem Post. Mar.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.

 

According to the report, the negotiation route standard between 1988 and 2008 was to be shut down indefinitely and terror (termed “resistance” by the PSG) would be replaced by a more sophisticated “threat power.” This would entail the refusal to cooperate and the push for boycotts. Another important element in the new strategy was eliciting more third-party support and ensuring the Palestinian discourse would be the primary viewpoint in the discussion about the “Palestinian national project.”

 

Cognitive warfare, a form of propaganda, has become a successful element in this Palestinian attempt to elicit third-party support. Disinformation about the Israeli settlements in the West Bank spearheaded this campaign. Today much of the world is convinced that the Israeli settlements are the main reason for the absence of peace.

 

But in many other fields, too, the Palestinian discourse dominates the international attitude toward the Palestinian- Israeli conflict. The dispute about the water resources in the West Bank is a good example. The international community has been willfully misled by Palestinian propaganda on water issues.

 

Until now much of the literature about the water conflict followed either the Palestinian discourse (vast majority) or the Israeli discourse (small minority).

 

However, a thesis titled “The Politicization of the Oslo Water Agreement,” written by Lauro Burkart, a Swiss graduate of the Institute of International and Development studies in Geneva gives a more accurate and impartial picture of the topic of the scarcity of water in the Palestinian Authority.

 

Burkart interviewed many key players in the water conflict, Palestinians and Israelis as well as representatives of NGOs and the donor countries. He also examined many original documents such as the minutes of the meetings of the joint Israeli Palestinian Water Committee (JWC).

 

Here are some of the most important conclusions in Burkart’s thesis:

 

• The goals of the Oslo II water agreement have been reached regarding the quantities of water provided to the Palestinian population (178 mcm/year in 2006). The Oslo water agreement estimated that demand would eventually reach 200 mcm/year.

 

• The JWC functioned well in the first years following signature of the agreement, but since 2008 cooperation has come to a halt.

 

• The facts disseminated by the Palestinians, international organizations and donors about the root causes of the water scarcity in the West Bank are incorrect.

 

Burkart writes: “It is not the Israeli occupation policy but the Palestinian political resistance against joint management and cooperation that is responsible for the relatively slow development of the Palestinian water sector and the deteriorating human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories” and “There is convincing evidence of mismanagement within the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA).”

 

He cites the pro-Palestinian NGO Aman, that concluded that there is “no clear legal separation between the political and executive levels within the Palestinian water institutions. To date there is no real functioning water law. Furthermore the National Water Council is not meeting and not functioning well.”

 

Although the PWA embarked on an institutional reform process in reaction to international critics such as the World Bank this did not solve the issue of mismanagement within the institution. The head of the Palestinian Hydrology Group called the reform a “fundraising mechanism.”

 

The PWA also did not manage to gain control over many municipalities (where Israel has no control) due to the autocratic and undemocratic manner in which they are managed. These power holders did not want to lose control of the water systems since it was one of the main services provided by the municipalities.

 

As a result the water supply is not centralized and illegal drilling is rampant. The fact that the PA pays most of the water bills of the Palestinian population gives no incentive for saving and leads to an unreasonable use of water in the domestic sphere as well as in the agricultural sector.

 

Burkart also interviewed Dr. Shaddad Attili, head of the PWA, who was appointed in 2008. Attili, a Fatah member, is responsible for the de facto ending of the cooperation with Israel in order to bolster Palestinian water rights claims. He did this to strengthen the position of Fatah after the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections.

 

This policy is conducted at the expense of the marginalized and peripheral Palestinian population which is suffering from water shortages. Burkart writes that the abundance of donor money allowed Atilli to continue the noncooperation strategy which has lead to a complete stagnation of the water negotiations during the past five years.

 

One of the results of the refusal to cooperate with Israel is that almost all of the 52 mcm of waste water generated by the Palestinian population flows untreated into Israel and the West Bank, where it contaminates shared groundwater resources. Nevertheless, the Palestinians claim that Israel is blocking their waste water infrastructure.

 

The facts are that most of the Palestinian waste water treatment and reuse projects have already received foreign funding and were supported by Israel.

 

The PA, however, has not taken sufficient action to execute those projects. Instead the PA claims Israel is demanding an unreasonably high level of treatment (BOD 10/10).

 

A JWC memorandum of understanding from 2003, however, which was signed by both parties, agreed on a gradual process to achieve this standard (starting with BOD 20/30).

 

Following a meeting in November 2011 between Colonel Avi Shalev of the Civil Administration and PWA officials about the implementation of Palestinian water projects, Israel offered to finance water and waste water projects that would serve Palestinian communities in the West Bank. The Palestinians didn’t respond.

 

Another solution that could solve the water crisis in the PA is seawater desalination. In fact Israel made an offer to the Palestinians to build a desalination plant in Hadera south of Haifa and pump the desalinated water to the northern West Bank. The Palestinians rejected this solution since it would put Israel in an upstream position to the West Bank. Another reason for this rejection has to do with water rights since the Palestinians claim the Mountain Aquifers.

 

Attili even withdrew a PWA expert team from an Israeli desalination program using the argument that Israel had unilaterally destroyed a number of illegal wells on the West Bank. This proved to be another example of Attili’s propaganda campaign.

 

Israel responded after Attili complained about the wells in a letter to the international community. The decision to shut down these wells was taken by the Joint Water Committee. After that several reminders were sent to the PWA which reiterated its intention to execute the JWC decision. Nothing happened, however. Four years after the decision was taken Israel decided to execute the decision since illegal drilling diminishes the amount of water produced by legal wells and damages the main aquifers.

 

It is obvious that Attili’s non-cooperation strategy is connected to the overall change in strategy vis-à-vis Israel in 2008 by the PA. Water has become a weapon against the so-called Israeli occupation.

 

Unfortunately Attilli has been able to convince the international community that Israel is to blame for the slow development of the Palestinian water sector. A good example is Abdelkarim Yakobi, the project manager in the department of water, transport and energy at the Office of the EU representative for the West Bank and Gaza. Yakobi, who was interviewed by Burkart, also blamed Israel for the slow development of the Palestinian water sector.

 

This is strange; if a Swiss graduate was able to get access to all the relevant information, why did the European Union, with all of its resources, not do the same? Had it done so there is no doubt the EU would have found out who really is to blame.

 

The EU has allocated funds for at least seven waste water treatment plants. It is reasonable to assume that the Europeans would have some oversight on the execution of these projects – so why did they not demand accountability from the PWA? In fact the PA has now been given a free pass to use water as a weapon against Israel. By doing so, the international community is in fact contributing to the aggravation of the conflict and harming the interests of the Palestinian population.

 

 

A PARCHED SYRIA TURNED TO WAR AND EGYPT MAY BE NEXT

Mitch Ginsburg

Times of Israel, May 9, 2013

 

Some look at the upheaval in Syria through a religious lens. The Sunni and Shia factions, battling for supremacy in the Middle East, have locked horns in the heart of the Levant, where the Shia-affiliated Alawite sect has ruled a majority Sunni nation for decades.

 

Some see it through a social prism. As they did in Tunis with Muhammad Bouazizi — an honest man who couldn’t make an honest living in this corruption-ridden part of the world — the social protests that sparked the war in Syria started in the poor and disenfranchised parts of the country. And others look at the eroding boundaries of state in Syria and other parts of the Middle East as a direct result of the sins of Western hubris and Colonialism.

 

Professor Arnon Sofer has no qualms with any of these claims and interpretations. But the upheaval in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, he says, cannot be fully understood without also taking two environmental truths into account: soaring birthrates and dwindling water supply.

 

Over the past 60 years, the population in the Middle East has twice doubled itself, said Sofer, the head of the Chaikin geo-strategy group and a longtime lecturer at the IDF’s top defense college, where today he heads the National Defense College Research Center. “There is no example of this anywhere else on earth,” he said of the population increase. Couple that with Syria’s water scarcity, he said, “and as a geographer it was clear to me that a conflict would erupt.”

Arnon Sofer, a longtime professor at the IDF's National Defense College, sees a link between the war in Syria and the water shortages there (Photo credit: Moshe Shai/ Flash 90)

 

The Pentagon cautiously agrees with this thesis. In February the Department of Defense released a “climate-change adaptation roadmap.” While the effects of climate change alone do not cause conflict, the report states, “they may act as accelerants of instability or conflict in parts of the world.” Predominantly the paper is concerned with the effects of rising seas and melting arctic permafrost on US military installations. The Middle East is not mentioned by name.

 

But Sofer and Anton Berkovsky, who together compiled the research work of students at the National Defense College and released a geo-strategic paper on Syria earlier in the year, believe that water scarcity played a significant role in the onset of the Syrian civil war and the Arab Spring, and that it may help re-shape the strategic bonds and interests of the region as regimes teeter and borders blur. Sofer also believes that a “Pax Climactica” is within reach if regional leaders would only, for a short while, forsake their natural inclinations to wake up in the morning and seek to do harm.

 

Syria is 85 percent desert or semi-arid country. But it has several significant waterways. The Euphrates runs in a south-easterly direction through the center of the country to Iraq. The Tigris runs southeast, tracing a short part along Syria’s border with Turkey before flowing into Iraq. And, aside from several lesser rivers that flow southwest through Lebanon to the Mediterranean, Syria has an estimated four to five billion cubic meters of water in its underground aquifers.

 

For these reasons the heart of the country was once an oasis. For 5,000 years, Damascus was famous for its agriculture and its dried fruit. Since 1950, however, the population has increased sevenfold in Syria, to 22 million, and Turkey, in an age of scarcity, has seized much of the water that once flowed south into Syria.

 

“They’ve been choking them,” Sofer said, noting that Turkey annually takes half of the available 30 billion cubic meters of water in the Euphrates. This limits Syria’s water supply and hinders its ability to generate hydroelectricity.

 

In 2007, after years of population growth and institutional economic stagnation, several dry years descended on Syria. Farmers began to leave their villages and head toward the capital. From 2007-2008, Sofer said, over 160 villages in Syria were abandoned and some 250,000 farmers – Sofer calls them “climate refugees” – relocated to Damascus, Aleppo and other cities.

 

The capital, like many of its peer cities in the Middle East, was unable to handle that influx of people. Residents dug 25,000 illegal wells in and around Damascus, pushing the water table ever lower and the salinity of the water ever higher. This, along with over one million refugees from the Iraq war and, among other challenges, borders that contain a dizzying array of religions and ethnicities, set the stage for the civil war. Tellingly, it broke out in the regions most parched — “in Daraa [in the south] and in Kamishli in the northeast,” Sofer said. “Those are two of the driest places in the country.”

 

Professor Eyal Zisser, one of Israel’s top scholars of Syria, agreed that the drought played a significant role in the onset of the war. “Without doubt it is part of the issue,” he said. Zisser did not believe that water was the central issue that inflamed Syria but rather “the match that set the field of thorns on fire.”

 

Since that fire began to rage in March 2011, the course of the battles has been partially dictated by a different sort of logic, not environmental in nature. “Assad is butchering his way west,” Sofer said. He believes the president will eventually have to retreat from the capital and therefore has focused his efforts on Homs and other cities and towns that lie between Damascus and the Alawite regions near the coast, cutting himself an escape route.

 

Sofer and Berkovsky envision several scenarios for Syria. Among them: Assad puts down the rebellion and remains in power; Assad abdicates and a Sunni majority seizes control; Assad abdicates and no central power is able to assert control. The most likely scenario, Sofer said, was that the Syrian dictator would eventually flee to Tehran. But he preferred to avoid that sort of micro-conjecture and to focus on the regional effects of population growth and water scarcity and the manner in which that ominous mix might shape the future of the region.

 

Writing in the New York Times from Yemen on Thursday, Thomas Friedman embraced a similar thesis, noting that the heart of the al-Qaeda activity in the region corresponded with the areas most stricken by drought. Sofer published a paper in July where he laid out the grim environmental reality of the region and argued that, as in Syria, the conflicts bedeviling the region were not about climate issues but were deeply influenced by them.

 

Egypt, Sofer wrote, faces severe repercussions from climate change. Even a slight rise in the level of the sea – just half a meter – would salinize the Nile Delta aquifers and force three million people out of the city of Alexandria. In the more distant future, as the North Sea melts, the Suez Canal could decline in importance. More immediately, and of greater significance to Israel, he wrote that Egypt, faced with a water shortage, would likely grow more militant over the coming years. But he felt the militancy would be directed south, toward South Sudan and Ethiopia and other nations competing for the waters of the Nile, and not north toward the Levant.

 

As proof that this pivot has already begun, Sofer pointed to Abu-Simbel, near the border with Sudan. There the state has converted a civilian airport into a military one. “The conclusion to be drawn from this is simple and unequivocal,” he wrote. “Egypt today represents a military threat to the southern nations of the Nile and not the Zionist state to the east.”

 

The Sinai Peninsula, already quite lawless, will only get worse, perhaps to the point of secession, he and Berkovsky wrote. Local Bedouin will have difficulty raising animals in the region and will turn, to an even greater degree, to smuggling material and people along a route established in the Bronze Age, through Sinai to Asia and Europe.

 

Syria, even if the war were swiftly resolved, is “on the cusp of catastrophe.” Jordan, too, is in dire need of water. And Gaza, like Syria, has been battered by unchecked drilling. The day after Israel left under the Oslo Accords, he said, the Palestinian Authority and other actors began digging 500 wells along the coastal aquifer even though Israel had warned them of the dangers. “Today there are around 4,000 of them and no more ground water. It’s over. There’s no fooling around with this stuff,” he said.

 

Only the two most stable states in the region – Israel and Turkey – have ample water.

 

Turkey is the sole Middle Eastern nation blessed with plentiful water sources. Ankara’s control of the Tigris and the Euphrates, among other rivers, means that Iraq and Syria, both downriver, are to a large extent dependent on Turkey for food, water and electricity. That strategic advantage, along with Turkey’s position as the bridge between the Middle East and Europe, “further serves its neo-Ottoman agenda,” Sofer said.

 

He envisioned an increased role for Turkey both in the Levant and, eventually, in central Asia and along the oil crossroads of the Persian Gulf, pitting it against Iran. Climate change, he conceded, has only a minor role in that future struggle for power but it is “an accelerant.”

 

Israel no longer suffers from drought. Desalination, conservation and sewage treatment have alleviated much of the natural scarcity. In February, the head of the Israel Water Authority, Alexander Kushnir, told the Times of Israel that the country’s water crisis has come to an end. Half of Israel’s two billion cubic meters of annual water use is generated artificially, he said, through desalination and sewage purification.

 

For Sofer, this self-sufficiency is an immense regional advantage. Israel could pump water east to Jenin in the West Bank and farther along to Jordan and north to Syria. International organizations could follow Israel’s example and fund regional desalination plants, which, he noted, cost less than a single day of modern full-scale war.

 

Instead, rather than an increase in cooperation, he feared, the region would likely witness ever more desperate competition. Sofer said his friends see him as a sort of Jeremiah. But the Middle East, he cautioned, is a region where “leaders wake up every morning and ask what can I do today to make matters worse.”

 

 

GETTING DRUNK ON WATER

Rabbi Ian (Chaim) Pear

Joyous Judaism, Dec. 21, 2007

 

Last night was the first really good rain of the season here in Israel –  and I use the word ‘good’ purposely.  After all, the rain last night was not just strong and steady, but it — like all rain here — was also good for Israel.   On one level — the physical level — understanding why this is so is probably fairly obvious: Rain nourishes the land, from replenishing Israel’s drinking water resources to enabling the growth of agriculture.  Without rain, we can’t survive — and so it certainly is very good when rain comes along.

 

I would like to talk about how this rain — and water in general — is also good for Israel on a spiritual level.   To many, this assertion, too, may appear fairly obvious; after all, our sacred sources are replete with references to the value of water – water symbolizes Torah, rain is viewed as a sign of blessing, and praying for rain is considered the paradigmatic means to cry out to God and deepen one’s relationship with the Creator.  I would like to, however, discuss a less well known connection between water and spirituality — namely that water is the source of the deepest form of joy in Judaism.

 

The classic proof for this connection — that water and joy share an intimate relationship — is the water drawing ceremony that used to take place in the Temple area during the fall festival of Sukkoth.  During this ceremony, water was drawn in golden vessels from the Siloah well just outside of the old city in Jerusalem, then accompanied with much fanfare and shofars blasting to the Temple area, and ultimately poured over the holy Alter in an elaborate and majestic way.  Celebrations throughout the day before and night (and day) afterwards accompanied this process.  As the Talmud describes:

 

The entire city of Jerusalem glowed with light during this time thanks to golden candlesticks more than 70 feet high filled with golden bowls of holy oil.  The greatest Sages would participate joyfully in the celebration, performing the most extraordinary feats. Some of them would bear burning torches in their hands while singing Psalms and other praises of G-d. The Levites would play many various musical instruments, including harps, lyres, cymbals, and trumpets.  The great Sage Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel rejoiced at the water festival by juggling eight lighted torches; he would also kiss the ground as he did head stands, a feat which no one else could do.  Reb Levi used to juggle in the presence of Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi with eight knives. Shmuel would do the same with eight glasses of wine, without spilling any of their contents. Rabbi Abaye would juggle before Rabbi Rabba with eight eggs.  Rabbi ben Chanania said, “When we used to rejoice at the place of the water-drawing, our eyes saw no sleep.” It is explained that the entire day was occupied with holy activities, so that the participants in the simcha were busy from day to night.

 

Sounds like a great party, huh?  The Talmud certainly thought so, and thus declared: ”Whoever never witnessed the Simchat Beit Hashoeva – The Joyous Celebration of Drawing of Water – has never in his life seen true joy.”

 

Now while I am all for a good party, it strikes me that there are at least two problems with the description above.  First, isn’t the declaration of the Sages that “one who has not witnessed the Drawing of Water Celebration has never seen true joy” a little exaggerated?  Surely there must be other times of great joy in the lives of people; births, weddings and other personal, communal and national celebrations are but a few possibities.  We, of course, can dismiss the statement of our Sages as simple hyperbole, but is there also a way to understand it literally?

 

Second, and this question is not mine but rather the query of Rabbi Aron Soloveitchik, why is it that water is the source of all this joy?  Wouldn’t it make more sense if some other liquid, something more regal – like holy oil — or more celebratory — like wine — was the medium poured onto the Temple’s Alter?  After all, throughout our sacred texts we have a number of examples of how precious these latter liquids?  Olive oil, for example, is used to light the Menorah inside the Temple (and of course is the hero of the Chanuka miracle, a source of millenia of joy); wine, meanwhile, is described by the book of Psalms  as the source that ”gladdens the heart of man.”  Surely either of these liquids — both of which are more expensive, more rare and more valued by all — would have made a better choice to celebrate rather than simple water (which also, at least in those days, was basically free to all)?  So again, why is it that water is the source of all this joy?

 

Rabbi Soloveitchik answers as follows:  Yes, wine is a source of joy, just as the psalmist says it is.  And yes, imbibing it has the power to cause one to celebrate … and that’s the problem.  Wine is an outside factor that produces joy, and thus the joy that is produced is often outside the person him or herself.

 

Water, in contrast, does not produce any effect whatsoever on the person.  Nor is it something overly special — like olive oil in those days — that one would innately rejoice over possessing it.  It was everywhere, as common as … well, as common as water.  Therefore, if one was able to appreciate the water — despite it’s mundaneness — well, then, the resultant joy would not have been produced from the outside but rather something that emanated from within the person.

 

Water is a basic building block of life, and obviously we could not survive without it.  But because it is so basic we often forget about just how precious it really is.  Being joyous over it, therefore, is not obvious … just as it is not obvious to celebrate all things that are common and part of our everyday existence — our families, our friends, our daily routine, the little moments. 

 

Just imagine, though, if in spite of the fact that feeling uncontrollable joy over these basic things is not obvious we felt such joy nevertheless.  Just imagine, if in spite of the fact I always see my family, and I always do many of the same things each day — and thus these things are not special in the sense that they are not unique nor rare — just imagine if I nevertheless always felt a great joy in expereincing them.  Just imagine if everytime I saw my family it was like the first time (or some other special time) I saw them — like the day I married to my wife, the moment my child was born, the reunion with my parents after a long absent.  If that were the case, certainly I would not only live a more joyous life on a regular basis, experiencing joy thoughout the day, but I would also be able to even heighten the sense of joy when experiencing things that are less common.  If I learn how to appreciate my child everyday and not just on her birthday, or at her wedding, or at some other special time, then certainly I will appeciate these latter moments with even greater intensity and joy when they do arrive.

 

And that’s the lesson of water.  Yes, compared to wine and oil, it’s cheaper and less special.  And yes, water in itself — unlike wine — does not produce joy.  To be able to celebrate water, then, is a very high level; it means one has achieved an existential state of joy, one not dependent on outside forces, not wine nor the occurrence of some special event.  No, all such a person needs are the basics in life, the water in life.

 

Now we can understand the statement of the Talmud much better.  They were not saying that someone who never witnessed this particular ceremony never saw true joy in his life; rather, they were saying that someone who cannot find joy in the celebration of water alone — someone who cannot find joy in the common, everyday experiences – well then, this person will never experience true joy — even at uncommon moments.  Their joy will be the joy of wine – of needing an outside element — and that is incomplete.

 

If, however, such a person finds joy in everyday living, his potential for joy throughout life becomes unlimited.

 

And that’s something to celebrate. 

 

Top of Page

______________________________________________________

 

On Topic
 

Touring Israel's Ancient Water Systems: Tsvika Tsuk, Israel Parks — “To each of the dwelling-places, both on the summit and around the palace, as well as in front of the wall, he (Herod the great) had cut in the rock a number of capacious cisterns, as reservoirs of water; thus securing a supply as ample as is derived from fountains”.  (The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius, book 7, chap. viii, 3).

 

 

Watering a Thirsty Planet: I.C. Mayer, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 20, 2011— Israel's advanced approaches to water scarcity position it perfectly to tap into markets targeting the world's most rapidly depleting resource. Israel may be a land of milk and honey, but it is not blessed with an abundance of fresh water resources. In fact, the Sea of Galilee is the country's only natural lake and the rivers in Israel are quite modest in scale.

 

The Issue of Water between Israel and the Palestinians: Israel Water Authority, March 2009—The purpose of this document is to examine the issue of water between Israel and the Palestinians by presenting the existing water agreements and modes for implementing them, as well as stating the principles of both sides for coping with the shortage of water, currently and in the future.

 

The Politicization of  the Oslo Water Agreement (dissertation): Lauro Burkart, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,Geneva Switzerland, 2012—Political events in the aftermath of the second Intifada led to a radicalization of the positions. This resulted in a politicization that is particularly driven by the Palestinian political leadership.

 

Political Currents of Water Management: Israel, Palestine, and Jordan: Jay Famiglietti,National Geographic, May 13, 2013—The geopolitics of water management in the Middle East are primarily governed by the basic distribution of freshwater resources: there are vast differences between the naturally available water resources in the region. Layer to this the additional complexity of political stability, financial assets, and other socioeconomic factors, and the potential for improved transboundary water management in the Middle East becomes vastly complicated.

 

Water: Facts about Israeli and Palestinian Use: The Israel Project,  March 22, 2013—Israel is in full compliance with the terms for water use and supply as outlined in the Oslo II peace process and delineated in the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement. In fact, Israel provides 30 percent more water to the Palestinians than required, with the total amount of water available to them exceeding agreed-upon terms.

Top of Page

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit 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 contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

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 Chairman, 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

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…..

 

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

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…..

 

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit 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 contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

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

POSITIVE ECONOMIC & POLITICAL PROSPECTS FOR ISRAEL, A JEWISH RETURN TO SPAIN?

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

Israel winning in Europe: Arsen Ostrovsky,Ynet News, Dec. 14, 2012—Before the ink was even dry on the Palestinian vote at the UN last week, headlines already started flooding on how Israel 'lost Europe.' The reality however, could not be further from the truth, as Israel continues to make stunning headway in its trade and bilateral relations with the EU.

 

Israeli Find Barrels Of Shale Oil In 'Game Changer': Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 17, 2012—Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), which has already completed an exploratory pre-pilot drilling phase in Israel’s Adullam region near Beit Shemesh, has claimed that the area – also called the Shfela Basin – contains approximately 250 billion barrels of shale oil, amounts that could be competitive to the amount of crude oil in Saudi Arabia.

 

A Tepid ‘Welcome Back’ for Spanish Jews: Doreen Carvajal, New York Times, Dec. 8, 2012—Top government officials pledged to speed up the existing naturalization process for Sephardic Jews who through the centuries spread in a diaspora — to the Ottoman Empire and the south of Italy; to Spain’s colonies in Central and South America; and to outposts in what are now New Mexico, Texas and Mexico..

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Israeli Cardboard Bike Revolutionizes Transportation: Algemeiner, Oct 18, 2012

Groundbreaking Innovations in Hydroelectricity: Gedaliah Borvick, Times of Israel, Oct. 18, 2012

Massachusetts, Israel Cooperate to Build Water Innovation: Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 18, 2012

 

 

ISRAEL WINNING IN EUROPE

Arsen Ostrovsky

Ynet News, Dec. 14, 2012

Before the ink was even dry on the Palestinian vote at the UN last week, headlines already started flooding in on how Israel 'lost Europe.' The reality however, could not be further from the truth, as Israel continues to make stunning headway in its trade and bilateral relations with the EU.

 

Anyone familiar with the mechanisms of the United Nations, where the Palestinians enjoy an automatic anti-Israel majority, never seriously doubted the outcome. Despite the predictable posturing by President of Germany, the Jewish state may have liked a few more 'no' votes in their camp, but given the choice, Israel would take tangible results over symbolic victories at the UN any day.

 

Regrettably, when commentators lament how Israel has 'lost' Europe, they overlook the impressive list of achievements by this government in the past four years. For example, in May 2010 the OECD unanimously voted to invite Israel to join the organization. This was no small achievement, and came despite intensive lobbying by the Palestinians. Even countries like Norway, Spain and Ireland, traditionally the most hostile to Israel in Europe, voted in favor.

 

In September 2011 Israel became the first non-European member of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, while in July this year the EU and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen their scientific cooperation in the fields of energy and water desalination, where Israel is a world leader.

 

Moreover, in October the European Parliament ratified the ACAA agreement (Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products) with Israel. The agreement is unprecedented in that it recognizes Israel’s industrial standards as equivalent to those in Europe, especially in healthcare, and is a prime example of a 'win-win' situation for both Europe and Israel.

 

According to David Saranga, the head of European Parliament Liaison Department for the Israeli Mission to the EU: "The ACAA protocol will eliminate technical barriers to trade by facilitating the mutual recognition of assessment procedures. This will in turn help lead to facilitating imports of high-quality, low-cost Israeli medicines into the EU, while at the same time increasing medicinal choice for European patients and healthcare professionals."

 

In the last few years, Israel has also held an increasing number of government-to-government meetings at the highest level of Cabinet with various European allies, including the Czechs, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Germany….As a result of these meetings, Israel has signed a number of significant bilateral agreements in areas of high-tech, green energy, culture and the sciences.

 

This year alone, Israel has signed multi-billion dollar gas deals with Cyprus and Greece; Israel’s Aerospace Industries has secured two contracts worth nearly $1 billion to provide Italy with air force military equipment; whilst the past year has also been Israel’s “best tourism year ever”, with more than 3.5 million visitors to the Holy Land – most of whom have come from European countries.

 

Importantly, in 2011 the EU was Israel's largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to approximately €29.4 billion for the year – an increase of 45% from 2009; and this came during the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis in Europe….

 

Whilst the United States will always remain Israel's most important ally, the Foreign Ministry, under the present political leadership, has made a concerted effort to reach out to allies in Europe (and elsewhere) that had been neglected in the past. Perhaps the key factor behind Israel’s success in Europe has been its ability to successfully extricate 'the conflict' from their bilateral relations.

 

Previously, there had been a direct correlation between how the conflict was progressing and Israel's trade relations. Today, Israel has created an environment in which its bilateral agreements are increasingly judged on trade merits alone, while membership in international organizations is based on the same criteria as for every other nation – that is, what can Israel contribute by way of skills, experience and expertise. No, Israel has not 'lost' Europe. Rather, Israel is 'winning' in Europe.

 

Arsen Ostrovsky is an International Human Rights Lawyer and freelance journalist.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

ISRAELI FIND BARRELS OF SHALE OIL IN 'GAME CHANGER'

Sharon Udasin

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 17, 2012

 

Developing a firmer understanding of shale oil’s chemical complexities is crucial to oil explorers in both Israel and North America, who are drilling in shale rock and sand in the search for alternatives to traditional OPEC crude, an expert told The Jerusalem Post in an interview last week.

 

Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), which has already completed an exploratory pre-pilot drilling phase in Israel’s Adullam region near Beit Shemesh, has claimed that the area – also called the Shfela Basin – contains approximately 250 billion barrels of shale oil, amounts that could be competitive to the amount of crude oil in Saudi Arabia. The company intends to acquire the oil by drilling a production well and surrounding in situ heating wells approximately 300 meters below the Earth’s surface, in order to melt the hydrocarbon-filled sedimentary rock from within the ground before extraction.

 

While the country’s green groups adamantly protest the drilling process as potentially catastrophic both below and above ground, the company has repeatedly stressed that an impenetrable layer of rock separates the shale layer and the water aquifer, and that there will likewise be little permanent surface impact.

 

Prof. Carol Parish, of the chemistry department at the University of Richmond in Virginia, has called the oil shale finds in Israel a “game changer,” but also said it was crucial to study the relatively new resource on a molecular level, and compare it to traditional crude oil. “In order to fully harness this resource, it is necessary to develop a thorough understanding of the petroleum chemistry and reactivity of the molecular constituents of oil shale,” Parish said.

 

Upon completing a Fulbright fellowship with Prof. Sason Shaik, director of the Lise Meitner Minerva Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at Hebrew University, Parish spoke last week with The [Jerusalem] Post about the importance of studying shale oil on such a close level. Parish visited Israel under the Fulbright fellows academic exchange program, which works in partnership with the US-Israel Educational Foundation that manages Israeli participation in the program.

 

In her research, Parish is looking at applying quantum mechanics techniques to the characterization of molecules in alternative energy sources, particularly oil sand and oil shale. “There are actually a lot of parallels with the development of petroleum crude,” she said.

 

Yet in typical light, sweet crude oil, about 90 percent of the molecules exist in long, straight chains and about 10% are cyclical, Parish explained. The reverse is true for shale oil molecules in that they are predominantly cyclic. Because crude oil is made up almost entirely of straight chains, this is where the bulk of molecular research has thus far been done on oil. Parish, on the other hand, is looking at the cyclical molecules that dominate shale oil.

 

Often as a result of the cyclical molecules, diradicals – molecules with two dangling electrons – can form. According to Parish, diradicals are very difficult to properly characterize because many are very reactive. Visiting Shaik’s lab in Israel for four months allowed her to learn a specific quantum mechanics technique called the Valence Bond Theory, aiding in the understanding of the bonding that occurs between the diradicals.

 

With this knowledge, scientists will be able to derive a more accurate characterization of the shale molecules, comprehending the combustion and pyrolysis – decomposition of compounds by heat in the absence of oxygen – that are the foundation for petroleum production, she explained.

 

Due to Shaik’s expertise in Valence Bond Theory and the huge oil shale supply in the country’s Shfela Basin, Parish stressed that the “the two things put together caused Israel to be the perfect place to pursue this kind of work.”

 

During her time here, Parish said her work with Shaik amounted to a great success. “We were able to characterize a diradical system which hadn’t been characterized using valent bonds,” Parish said, noting that she now has 90% of the results necessary to publish her research. Because IEI plans to heat the shale in-situ, meaning while it is still underground, rather than pump sludge to a refinery, Parish said she believes that the process will be a much cleaner one than methods that have thus far prevailed.

 

“The advantage to the Israeli method is that they’re going to get it pure, directly out of the ground, and don’t have to ship it to the refinery,” she said. “They are basically going to do the refining right out of the ground.”

 

She noted that another advantage the Israeli shale deposits have over those of the US is that “there is an impenetrable layer of material that separates oil shale deposits from the water table.” In the US, on the contrary, the two layers are often intermixed.

 

Because she is not a geologist and therefore could not officially confirm IEI’s claims that an impassable barrier separates the shale and the aquifer, she stressed that “it would be an outright lie to say what they are saying if it is not true.” Parish suggested that the green groups who doubt IEI’s claims raise funds to bring in third-party geologists to survey the region.

 

Ultimately, focusing on her own research, Parish said she hopes to be laying the groundwork for further research into the characteristics of shale oil, as the world continues to demand more and more long-term, sustainable sources of energy. “The harvesting of oil shale is a very new field and people become more interested in alternative energy like that when the price per barrel of conventional fuel rises,” Parish added.

 

“There has to be an economic motivation in order to harvest alternatives. I believe that we can get a better understanding of the energy content and the reactivity of these alternative sources of fuel,” she said. “That too will motivate the development of more sophisticated techniques to harvest the alternative fuels.”

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

A TEPID ‘WELCOME BACK’ FOR SPANISH JEWS

Doreen Carvajal

New York Times, Dec. 8, 2012

 

Top government officials pledged to speed up the existing naturalization process for Sephardic Jews who through the centuries spread in a diaspora — to the Ottoman Empire and the south of Italy; to Spain’s colonies in Central and South America; and to outposts in what are now New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

 

I am conducting a global search for a missing menorah that my great-aunt Luz concealed in a commode in her cramped bedroom in a garden apartment in San José, Costa Rica. She preserved it until she died, in her 80s, in 1998, when she was buried swiftly the next day with a Sabbath-day psalm on her funeral card — cryptic signs of my Catholic family’s clandestine Sephardic Jewish identity because the prayer avoided any reference to the trinity or Jesus.

 

I tallied these and other Carvajal family clues a few days after the Spanish government heralded its new immigration reform last month. Five hundred and twenty years after the start of the Inquisition, Spain opened the door to descendants of Sephardic Jews whose ancestors had fled the Iberian Peninsula, forced, in order to live in Spain or its colonies, to choose between exile or conversion to Christianity. Or worse.

 

Top government officials pledged to speed up the existing naturalization process for Sephardic Jews who through the centuries spread in a diaspora — to the Ottoman Empire and the south of Italy; to Spain’s colonies in Central and South America; and to outposts in what are now New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

 

Spain’s foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, sought to address his nation’s painful legacy when he revealed the reforms, declaring it was time “to recover Spain’s silenced memory.” But the process is much more complicated than it appears, and some descendants are discounting the offer as useless, or even insulting, as it dawns on them that they are excluded.

 

Some of those converts in Spain’s colonies — still within the reach of the Inquisition — led double lives for generations, as I learned from writing a book about my own family’s concealed identity. They lived discreetly, maintaining Jewish rituals that would have put them in peril if they had been discovered. They risked confiscation of wealth, prison, torture or death. Some relatives knew, some didn’t and others refused to see.

 

For this act of heresy, living life as Jews, a branch of Carvajal converts in the 16th century was decimated in the Spanish colony of Mexico by burning at the stake. They are called anousim — Hebrew for the forced ones — crypto Jews or Marranos, which in Spanish means swine. I prefer a more poetic term that I read in a French book: silent Jews who lived double lives.

 

The Spanish offer was not as simple as it first sounded, and almost immediately evoked a mix of reactions. The Federation of Sephardic Jews in Argentina, for one, was elated. But there were some hard questions from bnei anousim, the descendants of the anousim. They were concerned about criteria that were not widely explained.

 

Genie Milgrom, president of the Jewish Genealogical Association of Greater Miami, researched her family’s unbroken Sephardic Jewish line through 19 generations of grandmothers to Spain. She said she had no interest in Spanish citizenship in “a country that extinguished my heritage.” But for those who want nationality, she said Spain “needs to be abundantly clear on what they are going to do with the anousim.”

 

The proof of Jewish identity among the anousim is often pieced together like a mosaic of broken Spanish tiles. Clues range from last names to cultural customs in the home to intermarriages among families with traditional Sephardic Jewish names.

 

In my case, I have a family tree ornamented with such names, since ancestors had an enduring habit of marrying among trusted distant cousins to protect their secret lives. Is it enough, though, to offer the Spanish government a family tree? Or what about Aunt Luz’s old menorah if I can ever find it? My great-grandfather had a habit of visiting a local rabbi in San José weekly. Was that evidence of interior religious lives?

 

When I asked Isaac Querub, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, about the criteria for anousim, I was startled by the response. To be naturalized and become citizens, secular bnei anousim Jewish applicants whose families had maintained double lives as Catholics must seek religious training and undergo formal conversion to Judaism. It is the federation that will screen and certify the Sephardic Jewish backgrounds of applicants who seek the documents that can be submitted to the government to obtain citizenship. Mr. Querub said that what the government meant by Jews is “the Sephardic descendants who are members of the Jewish community.”

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

Israeli Cardboard Bike to Revolutionize Transportation in Developing Nations: Algemeiner, Oct 18, 2012—An Israel inventor, Izhar Gafni, has created a bicycle made nearly entirely out of cardboard as well as a new model of “green” transportation production that could allow poor nations to get bicycles for free.

 

Groundbreaking Innovations in Hydroelectricity: Gedaliah Borvick, Times of Israel, Oct. 18, 2012—The story of Israel’s burgeoning energy industry is absolutely fascinating as it reinforces the “can do” spirit of the Jewish nation. While its neighboring countries account for four of the top six oil producers in the world, Israel – ranked way down the list at number 98 – is rising to the occasion by discovering creative alternative energy solutions.

 

Massachusetts, Israel Cooperate to Build Water Innovation: Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 18, 2012—As Massachusetts eagerly seeks Israeli partners in water innovation, a Herzliya-based firm specializing in rapid microbiological water testing will get the chance to showcase its systems in the New England hi-tech hub.

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit 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 contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

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