Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Google Set to Acquire Israeli App Waze for $1.3b - Hagai Golan, Tzachi Hoffman (Globes/Jerusalem Post) Saudi Silence on Deadly MERS Virus Outbreak Frustrates World Health Experts - Helen Branswell (Scientific American) Palestinian Terrorists Step Up Attempts to Abduct Israelis (JTA) Israel's African-Born Beauty Queen - 3 Part Series - Sara Sidner (CNN African Voices) Israel Aids Oklahoma Tornado Victims - Video (KOCO - TV News)
Google Set to Acquire Israeli App Waze for $1.3b - Hagai Golan, Tzachi Hoffman (Globes/Jerusalem Post)
Saudi Silence on Deadly MERS Virus Outbreak Frustrates World Health Experts - Helen Branswell (Scientific American)
Palestinian Terrorists Step Up Attempts to Abduct Israelis (JTA)
Israel's African-Born Beauty Queen - 3 Part Series - Sara Sidner (CNN African Voices)
Israel Aids Oklahoma Tornado Victims - Video (KOCO - TV News)
News Resources - North America and Europe:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the planned withdrawal of some U.N. peacekeepers from the Golan Heights shows that the Jewish state can only rely on itself for security. Netanyahu was speaking Sunday at a government meeting days after Austria announced it was withdrawing its U.N. peacekeepers from the Golan. Netanyahu told the ministers that "the crumbling of the U.N. force on the Golan Heights underscores the fact that Israel cannot depend on international forces for its security." (Washington Post/AP)
See also The Risks of Foreign Peacekeeping Forces in the West Bank - Maj.-Gen. [res] Yaakov Amidror, National Security Advisor (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran and its Palestinian and Lebanese allies on Sunday of carrying out "non-stop" cyber attacks on major computer systems in his country. He gave no details on the number of attacks but said "vital national systems" had been targeted. Water, power and banking sites were also under threat, he added. (Reuters)
Foreign Islamist extremists are streaming into Syria, apparently in response to the Shiite militant group Hizbullah’s more visible backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a development that analysts say is likely to lead to a major power struggle between foreign jihadists and Syrian rebels should the regime collapse. While many foreign fighters have been absorbed into established Syrian rebel groups, there are signs now that an increasing number are remaining in free-standing units that operate independently and are willing to clash with other rebels and Syrian communities to implement their own rigid vision of Islamist governance. (Kansas City Star/McClatchy)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year offered to free 50 Palestinian security prisoners who have been held since before the Oslo Accords of the early 1990s, in a bid to get Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to come back to the peace table. Abbas rejected the offer.
Today, a senior Palestinian official told The Times of Israel, the Palestinians might agree to renew talks with Israel if Netanyahu releases all 107 of the pre-Oslo veterans still in jail, most of whom have blood on their hands. It is understood that the Israeli security establishment has no objections on security grounds to the release of the 107 pre-Oslo veterans. The Prime Minister’s Office had no comment on the matter. (Times of Israel)
Hizbullah has 950 members in Germany, including 250 in the capital, a study by Berlin’s domestic intelligence agency released last week showed. According to the Berlin Agency for the Protection of the Constitution, the agency responsible for security in the capital and which published the report, "The supporters of Hizbullah in Germany behave in a largely inconspicuous way. One distinguishable role is played by the Orphans Project Lebanon [Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon e.V] in Göttingen and supports the survivors of fighters against Israel." The charity is "the German branch of a Hizbullah suborganization" that “promotes suicide bombings" and aims to destroy Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
A young Lebanese man was killed on Sunday after two groups clashed in southern Beirut following a protest over the roles of Iran and Hizbullah in Syria. The shooting incident happened near the Iranian embassy in Bir Hassan, which is in an area where support for the Shia group Hizbullah is strong. (Al Jazeera)
Every nation bordering Syria—Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey—is being drawn into the conflict there. The leaders in these countries are worried, to say the least. But why is Saudi Arabia in a panic? Hundreds if not thousands of Saudis are pouring into Syria to fight with one or another of the factions trying to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And that has Saudi leaders terrified.
King Abdullah warned Saudis to stay out of the fighting to no good effect. Why are they so concerned? Well, all of them remember well what happened almost 10 years ago when thousands of Saudis joined the jihads against the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan and then came back and turned their weapons on Saudis and foreigners who lived there. Hundreds died. (World Affairs)
It was a shocking speech — as if Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had declared a war against a segment of his own people. "We’ve been patient for far too long," Erdogan said on Sunday, June 9, upon his arrival in Ankara's international airport. Erdogan increasingly perceives that the people protesting in the streets are conspiring to bring him down illegally. He is convinced that the protesters have not really come to the streets on their own, but that domestic and foreign provocateurs have goaded them into doing so.
If there is provocation on the streets, it first started with excessive use of force by the police, and the more the prime minister continues to refuse to find a middle way. His decade-long policies, and the weak opposition, are responsible for the unrest on Turkey’s streets. But with this speech, Erdogan made it clear that he wants to pick a fight with those who disagree with him. He is doing his best to divide the nation between his supporters and the others, and increasing the risks of clashes between those groups. Turkey has turned a corner to a dangerous path. (Al-Monitor)
Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, has lately garnered more attention for her unhinged political views than for her writing. Perhaps nothing was more off-base—at least morally speaking—than the open letter Ms. Walker wrote in late May to singer-songwriter Alicia Keys urging Ms. Keys to cancel a July 4 performance in Israel. Ms. Walker wrote: "You are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country."
The analogy is false: "Apartheid" is a more apt description for the systemic discrimination against women across the Arab world than the only democracy in the Middle East. But this comparison is also an insult to the courageous civil-rights activists who risked their lives in the South. What characterized the civil-rights movement was its strict adherence to the philosophy of nonviolence. The Palestinian leadership, by contrast, for decades has used violence whenever missile attacks or suicide bombers suit its aims.
Ms. Keys rebuffed Ms. Walker: "I look forward to my first visit to Israel," she told the New York Times. "Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show."
Mr. Friedman is executive director of the Jewish Federation in Birmingham, Ala. (Wall Street Journal)
Sykes-Picot and Israel - Editorial (Jerusalem Post)
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert