Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Palestinians Come Clean: They Want All of Israel - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch) EU Keen to Tap into Israel's Gas Supply via Trans Adriatic Pipeline - Neal Sandler (Platts) The Waze-Google Deal: Introducing the Next Generation of Israeli Tech - Joshua Mitnick (Wall Street Journal)
Palestinians Come Clean: They Want All of Israel - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
EU Keen to Tap into Israel's Gas Supply via Trans Adriatic Pipeline - Neal Sandler (Platts)
The Waze-Google Deal: Introducing the Next Generation of Israeli Tech - Joshua Mitnick (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - North America and Europe:
A new study by the Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center estimates that at least one hundred Hizbullah fighters have been killed in the battles in Syria. The study draws its information from open sources, mainly the Arab media. It provides a list of 96 names of Hizbullah fighters who died in action in defense of the Bashar Assad regime and had their bodies transported for burial in their home villages and town in Lebanon.
Hizbullah has rendered other important services as part of its combat efforts to defend the regime. They include the training of the shabiha, the armed militias and gangs of the Assad regime. Israel military intelligence estimates that the size of this "popular army" is 50,000 armed members. (The Tower)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was on hand Sunday as officials at a nuclear plant took a critical step toward completing a reactor, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported.
Workers installed two containers on the reactor at the Arak heavy water facility in central Iran, Fars said. It quoted the head of Iran's nuclear agency as saying he thought the reactor will be able to help produce medicine in 2014.
"We are deeply troubled that Iran claims that the IR-40 heavy water reactor at Arak could be commissioned as soon as early 2014, but still refuses to provide the requisite design information for the reactor," Joseph Macmanus, the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said last week at a board of governors meeting for the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency. (CNN)
Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin has told the Israeli ambassador in Sofia, Shaul Kamisa-Raz, that Bulgaria’s position on the results of the investigation into the July 2012 terrorist bomb attack at Bourgas Airport has not changed. This follows Vigenin having been quoted on June 5 as saying that Bulgaria only had an “indication” that the Lebanese-based organization was involved in the terrorist attack, a statement that immediately was interpreted as a backing down by Bulgaria on its February 5 statement linking Hizbullah to the terrorist attack.
In an interview with Bulgaria’s Standart, underlining that Sofia had not changed its position, Vigenin said: “Regarding the ongoing consultations whether the armed wing of Hizbullah should be put on the list of terrorist organizations, Bulgaria will share the stand reached by all EU members.... So, regardless of some speculations of the media, Bulgaria has not reconsidered its stand on Hizbullah.” (Sofia Globe - Bulgaria)
Syrian President Bashar Assad has issued a strong warning to Israel, saying that he is completely serious in opening up the Golan front against Israel, Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar reported on Monday.
The resistance will not launch primitive rockets aimlessly from time to time, but will carry out a well-planned and continuous resistance, Assad reportedly said to a group of visiting Jordanians. He added that Israeli attacks will elicit a strategic, rather than a local response. (Jerusalem Post)
Saudi Arabia condemned the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hizbullah on Monday for its "flagrant" military intervention in the conflict in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad. The cabinet "condemned the flagrant intervention of Lebanon's Hizbullah" in Syria. Saudi Arabia is the largest of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which warned earlier this month that it would adopt measures against the Iran-backed group over its intervention in Syria. (AFP/Ahram - Egypt)
Iran is working round the clock to enlarge its nuclear infrastructure with the eventual aim of developing an industry capable of building up to 30 bombs a year, an Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz
charged on Monday.
"The Iranians are getting very close now to the red line... They have close to 200 kilos -- 190 kilos (418 pounds) -- of 20 percent enriched uranium," Steinitz said. "Once they have 250 kilos, this is enough to make the final rush to 90 percent," the level of enrichment required for a nuclear warhead.
"It is a matter of weeks or maybe two months to jump from 20 percent to 90 percent with so many centrifuges," he said. "What they are doing now -- instead of crossing the red line, they are widening and enlarging their capacity by putting in more centrifuges, faster centrifuges." (AFP/Beirut Daily Star)
Ayatollah Khamenei’s closest advisors and followers are obsessed with the idea of Mahdi’s reappearance. The Mahdi is the “hidden Imam” prophesied to dominate the world and cleanse it of sin and sinners. Khamenei’s appointee at the Iranian Revolution Guard Corp, Ayatollah Ali Saeedi, regularly mentions this notion in his speeches to IRGC officers.
While many experts tell us Iran is a rational, pragmatic regime like any other in the world, all the facts shout that it is not. A large number of Iranian officials and decision makers have deeply rooted apocalyptic beliefs. Underestimating this radical ideology even as the Iranian regime is on its way to building a nuclear bomb can lead to dangerously wrong conclusions. The suggestion taking hold of late that a nuclear armed Iran is not the end of the world may unfortunately be dead wrong. (Times of Israel)
Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have become the most powerful man in the world. Since the start of May, a parade of political giants have flown to Russia to reason with him on the issue of Syria and its civil war. All of them have failed to change his mind, or even his tone.
Russia's state television channels have meanwhile cast Syria as the victim of a bullying Uncle Sam. On Sunday, June 2, Russia's leading news program broadcast a 12-minute segment about American meddling in Syria. It argued that Washington has formed an alliance with terrorist groups like al-Qaeda in order to "spread chaos" across the Muslim world and then to Russia and China.
Never has the leading national news, whose programming is tightly managed by the Kremlin, directly accused Washington of partnering with terrorists in order to conquer the world. Such exchanges play well for Putin at home. They help cast Russia as a bulwark against the conniving West, and that resonates with an electorate bred on the imagery of the Cold War.
Russian firms have billions of dollars in contracts with the Syrian government, including deals to sell arms, drill oil and build infrastructure. Any outside intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state tends to infuriate Putin, who does not want to become the target of such an intervention himself. And on the geopolitical chessboard, the only military base Russia has left outside the former Soviet Union is in the Syrian port of Tartus, a crumbling toehold on the Mediterranean Sea that Moscow is keen to protect. (Time)
Back in the late 1980s when Saddam Hussein was terrorising Iraq's civilians, and his genocide against the Kurds was reaching its peak with the vicious Anfal campaign, the international community did nothing. It deliberately and shamefully ignored his numerous chemical weapons and other attacks in order to maintain trade and contain Iran. It was only after we removed Saddam from Kuwait and had encouraged the Shias and Kurds to rise up, that John Major took the brave decision in 1991 to impose a No Fly Zone. The Kurds still remember this with huge gratitude. Ultimately, we did what was morally right, irrespective of our immediate national or strategic interests.
John Slinger is a strategic communications consultant and member of Labour Friends of Iraq. (The Spectator - UK)
Israel Accelerates Cybersecurity Know-How as Early as 10th Grade - Christa Case Bryant (Christian Science Monitor)
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