Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Mossad Chief Meets Head of Turkish Intelligence (Hurriyet - Turkey) India Seeks Water Management Lessons From Israel - Debra Kamin (New York Times) Waze Deal Primes Israel's Silicon Wadi for Wave of Investment - Douglas MacMillan (Bloomberg) Human Rights Lawyer Anne Bayefsky Speaks at UN Human Rights Council (EyeontheUN)
Israel's Mossad Chief Meets Head of Turkish Intelligence (Hurriyet - Turkey)
India Seeks Water Management Lessons From Israel - Debra Kamin (New York Times)
Waze Deal Primes Israel's Silicon Wadi for Wave of Investment - Douglas MacMillan (Bloomberg)
Human Rights Lawyer Anne Bayefsky Speaks at UN Human Rights Council (EyeontheUN)
News Resources - North America and Europe:
Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey slammed Iran on Tuesday as "a threat to U.S. national security," emphasizing that the Islamic republic is "certainly preserving and building on [its] options" for creating a nuclear weapon.
"Iran is a threat to U.S. national security in many ways, not simply their move towards the potential to develop a nuclear weapon," General Martin Dempsey said during a Congressional hearing. "I choose my words carefully, because the intelligence community has not yet come to a conclusion that they intend to build a nuclear weapon, but they're certainly preserving and building on their options to do so, which should be of concern to all of us and is," he said in response to a question.
"We have been very clear as a nation that we are determined to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon because it would be so destabilizing to the region. But they are also active in cyber. They've got surrogates all over the region and all over the world. They proliferate arms. They are a disruptive influence globally. And so I do consider them a threat to our national security," Dempsey said. (The Tower)
Israeli foreign policy, dominated by conflict with its neighbors,may be entering a new era as the country turns into a natural-gas producer.
"This a new age for Israel," said David Wurmser,director of Washington-based Delphi Global Analysis Group. "While the quantities are still modest in global terms,Israel could strategically leverage marginal amounts of gas for major impact if it utilizes them correctly."
"The gas could be a geopolitical game changer for Israel, if it makes the right decision," Gal Luft, senior adviser to the United States Energy Security Council in Washington, said on a visit to Israel last week. "That decision is whether it tries to become a minor player in the global liquefied natural gas market, or a big fish in a smaller pond by exporting to regional isolated markets." (Bloomberg)
See also The Geopolitics of Israel's Offshore Gas Reserves - David Wurmser (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
A Syrian helicopter gunship attacked the eastern Lebanese town of Arsal on Wednesday. The helicopter fired two rockets towards the square of the town on Wednesday, wounding one person, in the first such attack from Syria on an urban center inside Lebanon in the nearly 27-month conflict. Arsal is a mainly Sunni Muslim town. (Al Jazeera)
See also U.S. Condemns Syrian Regime's Attack on Arsal - U.S. Embassy, Damascus
The Syrian regime's aggression is an unacceptable provocation and risks dragging Lebanon into the Syrian conflict. We join the international community in reiterating our call for all parties in Lebanon to respect Lebanon's disassociation policy. We equally condemn the brutal, unprovoked gunfire by Hizbullah supporters on peaceful protestors outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut on Sunday that led to the death of a student leader. (Facebook)
In a somewhat unorthodox summer camp in the Gaza Strip, children aged between six and 16 picked up AK-47s and engaged in a series of quasi-military drills, including a lively game of "kidnap an Israeli soldier" in the sand dunes of Rafah.
An AFP correspondent listed some of the activities the Islamic Jihad summer camp offers its enrollees: Weapons use, jumping over fire and crawling under barbed wire, all performed to the tune of exploding charges. (Ynet News)
A handwritten doctor's note was found attached to the clothing of a Syrian man brought to Israel in critical condition Tuesday. The note explained, in Arabic, previous surgical procedures and medical care the man had received days before in Syria. It asked Israel to save his life because the Syrian doctors could not provide the necessary medical treatment. The note, which was signed by a Syrian doctor and dated June 8, opened with "Hello distinguished surgeon" and explained that the patient, aged 28, suffered from a gunshot wound in the chest and shrapnel damage to his diaphragm and liver.
Israel has so far treated around 20 Syrians who have been injured as a result of the Syrian civil war, and the IDF has set up a field hospital along the Israeli-Syrian border to help care for the injured. (Times of Israel)
As fighters with Lebanon's Hizbullah movement wage the battles that are helping Syria's regime survive, their chief sponsor, Iran, is emerging as the biggest victor in the wider regional struggle for influence. Iran's supporters and foes alike are mulling a new reality: that the regional balance of power appears to be tilting in favor of Tehran, with potentially profound implications for the Middle East.
"This is an Iranian fight. It is no longer a Syrian one," said Mustafa Alani, director of security and defense at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Council. "The issue is hegemony in the region. If Iran wins this conflict and the Syrian regime survives, Iran's interventionist policy will become wider and its credibility will be enhanced," he added.
Iran has provided advice, money and arms to Assad's regime, but the manpower needed to bolster his forces has come from Hizbullah.
Amr al-Azm, a history professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio who is Syrian and active in the opposition, warned, "Politically we're screwed, and militarily we're taking a pounding," Azm said. "America talked the talk while Iran walked the walk." (Washington Post)
See also U.S. Credibility on Iran at Stake in Syria - Michael Singh (Foreign Policy)
Turkey, although nominally part of the West, is in most ways culturally closer to the Middle East. People in a supposedly democratic Turkey are reluctant to air their grievances out of fear their government might take revenge on them.
In the culture of the Middle East, there is no such thing as a win-win compromise. Turks, like their neighbors, consider backing down or apologizing dishonorable. Consequently, they blame each other and look for scapegoats but almost never admit responsibility for problems.
Before Erdogan came to power in 2002, many observant Muslims complained that the state discriminated against them. Under Islam, there can be no separation of religion and state. Since Erdogan and his AKP ["Truth and Reconciliation Party"] came to power, they have done their best to dismantle the secular apparatus of the state and impose their version of Sunni fundamentalist Islam.
To understand whether a revolt has staying power, one might ask if a regime has the will and ability to do what is necessary to restore calm. Will Turkey descend into chaos like most of its Arab neighbors? In terms of security forces, Turkey is better organized than its Arab neighbors so it is difficult to see Turkey in a similar chaotic situation.
Events of the past few weeks have forced onto the Turkish agenda issues the government had pushed underground. Whatever happens, Turkey has shown that it is not the stable island of calm and democracy its allies had hoped it to be. The writer served as the Turkish Desk Officer at the US Department of Defense. He is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. (Gatestone Institute)
Iran Elections 2013: Does the President even Matter? - Saffiya Ansari (Al Arabiya)
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert