Poll: Voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania Oppose Iran Pact by More than 2 to 1 (Quinnipiac University)
Voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania oppose the proposed nuclear pact with Iran by more than 2-1, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released on Aug. 24.
In Florida, voters oppose the nuclear pact with Iran by 61-25; in Ohio by 58-24; and in Pennsylvania by 61-26.
British Hacker for Islamic State Killed in U.S. Drone Strike in Syria - Mark Hosenball (Reuters)
Junaid Hussain, a British hacker who became a top cyber expert for Islamic State, was killed Tuesday in a U.S. drone strike near the Syrian city of Raqqa, a U.S. source said Wednesday.
Video: Palestinians Hid Ammunition Clips in Teddy Bear (Jerusalem Post)
IDF forces raided a Palestinian home on Tuesday and discovered six rifles and a handgun.
Several rifle ammunition clips were discovered inside a teddy bear.
Israeli Doctors Restore Sight to 90 Kyrgyzstanis (JNS.org-Algemeiner)
A group of doctors from Israel restored the eyesight of 90 adults and children in Kyrgyzstan earlier this month.
Eye from Zion is a volunteer Israeli-Jewish group that performs cornea surgery, plastic surgery, tumor removal, and treatment of cataracts for underprivileged populations around the world.
Egypt-Israel Economic Partnership a Success - Oren Kessler (Foreign Affairs)
The Egyptian-Israeli free-trade framework known as Qualifying Industrial Zones, or QIZs, has pumped billions into Cairo's vulnerable economy over the past decade.
QIZs are industrial parks through which Egypt (and Jordan) can export goods under the flag of the U.S.-Israeli free-trade agreement. Egypt is now home to 15 QIZs and Jordan to 13, which together account for some $1 billion in exports a year.
Egyptian QIZs now supply fabrics to American brands such as Gap and Levi Strauss and provide a livelihood for nearly 300,000 people.
In February, Cairo announced plans to double its QIZ textile exports within three years.
Israel Listed as Fourth Best Place to Raise a Family (Jerusalem Post)
Israel was listed in fourth place out of 41 countries in the 2015 InterNations Family Life Index released Tuesday.
The Family Life Index ranks countries according to availability and costs of childcare and education, quality of education, and family well-being.
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- Retired Generals and Admirals Urge Congress to Reject Iran Nuclear Deal - Carol Morello
Nearly 200 retired generals and admirals sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement, which they say threatens national security. Many of the signatories served in the White House, under Democratic administrations as well as Republican. The letter is a response to one sent last week by three dozen retired senior military officers who support the nuclear deal.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said: "What I don't like about this is, the number one leading radical Islamic group in the world is the Iranians. They are purveyors of radical Islam throughout the region and throughout the world. And we are going to enable them to get nuclear weapons. Why would we do that?" (Washington Post)
See also Text of Letter Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal (Washington Post)
- Arab Countries Forcing Palestinians Back into Syria - Nina Strochlic
Before its civil war, Syria was home to a large community of Palestinians. Now, as they flee the country, many Arab countries are forcibly deporting them back into hell. An estimated 70,000 Palestinians from Syria are living in neighboring countries, all of which except Turkey explicitly turn away Palestinians at the border. In Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, hundreds of people have been caught and deported back into Syria.
Most of the host countries have historical issues with Palestinian refugee populations - along with concerns that offering permanent resettlement would negate the right of return Arab countries have been fighting for since Israel's creation. "Leaders often talk about protecting the right of return, but fear of the destabilizing effects of absorbing another few hundred thousand Palestinians is the real culprit," said Adam Coogle, a Human Rights Watch researcher in Jordan.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Video: Hamas Reveals Its Attack Tunnel Commandos - Yaron Schneider
A new video posted on Wednesday reveals Hamas' major investment in preparing its attack tunnel forces. The video depicts Palestinian attack tunnel commandos training for surprise assaults on IDF positions and civilian homes in Israel.
Hamas is currently emphasizing the strategic threat of attack tunnels even more than that of rockets, in light of the success of Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defenses in the 2014 Gaza war.
(Israel Channel 2 TV-Hebrew)
See also Hamas' Tunnel Network in the 2014 Gaza War - Daniel Rubenstein
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- Palestinian Stabs Israeli Border Police Officer in Jerusalem - Nir Hasson
A Palestinian armed with an axe and a knife stabbed an Israeli border police officer at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday evening. (Ha'aretz)
See also Palestinian Who Stabbed Officer Had Murdered Israeli Professor
Muammar Ata Mahmoud, 56, of Hebron, who stabbed an Israeli border policeman in Jerusalem on Wednesday, had been convicted of murdering Menahem Stern, an Israel Prize-winning Hebrew University history professor, on June 22, 1989. Mahmoud was released in 2013 as part of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
(Times of Israel)
- How Iran Fuels Negative Perceptions - and What that Means for the Nuclear Deal - Aaron David Miller
Maybe the reason so many Americans don't like the Iran nuclear agreement is because they believe Iran is run by a very bad regime unworthy of being respected and trusted. Pew polling in June found that only 14% of Americans had a favorable view of Iran. Yes, the U.S. has reached agreements before with some tough authoritarian regimes. But when President Richard Nixon visited China, Americans were able to see their president being warmly received in that country. Nothing about that applies to Iran, where the supreme leader continues to speak negatively of the U.S.
The Obama administration has a hard sell in arguing that the nuclear deal can somehow be separated from Iran's behavior at home or abroad when Iran is holding Americans and has been designated by U.S. intelligence as the leading sponsor of terrorism in the region. The facts are the facts: The Obama administration has cut a deal with a repressive, anti-Semitic, anti-American regime. The writer is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.
(Wall Street Journal)
- America's Dangerous Bargain with Turkey - Eric S. Edelman
The Turkish government is now permitting the U.S. to use Turkey's Incirlik Air Base to fly missions in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State. But the price of this agreement may be too high. Turkey has launched a wave of airstrikes on Kurdish targets, striking hard at Syrian Kurds who have been America's most reliable ally in fighting the Islamic State in northern Syria. Erdogan's air war against the Kurds is severely undermining the fight against the Islamic State by weakening the most effective ground force fighting the Islamic State in Syria: the Kurds.
It was the Syrian Kurdish PYD, with logistical support and reinforcement from the Kurdish PKK in Iraq, that liberated the city of Kobani last year and recently retook Tal Abyad, cutting off a key route for infiltration of arms and foreign fighters for the Islamic State. The U.S. risks losing the valuable real-time intelligence provided by Kurdish forces that is so crucial for U.S. airstrikes targeting the Islamic State. The writer is a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and was undersecretary of defense for policy from 2005 to 2009.
(New York Times)
- New Alliances to Counter Iran in the Middle East - Ramy Aziz
Iran has consistently demonstrated its desire for the land and wealth of the Arab states.
Iran's former intelligence minister Ali Younis said in March: "Today, Iran has once again become an empire as it has been throughout history....The entire Middle Eastern region is Iranian...we will defend all of the region's people because we consider them part of Iran."
Today, new alliances are visible Arab responses to Iran's maneuvers. Other than Saudi Arabia and Egypt, there is no one more aware of the coming danger and more capable of meeting the challenge than Tel Aviv. Therefore, there must be discussion of the possibility of benefiting from Israel's capabilities, either openly or secretly, in order to ensure the peaceful and free coexistence of the people of our region. Ramy Aziz is an Egyptian writer and analyst working on a master's degree in political science from the University of Rome.
Questions and Answers about the Iranian Nuclear Agreement - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- The deal leaves Iran having enough fissile material to "break out" to a bomb within six months, and not within one year as the Administration claims (because the excess centrifuges and infrastructure are not destroyed). It also does not efficiently prevent a "sneak out" to a bomb because of the difficulty to inspect undeclared sites.
- The threat of a credible military option is what has deterred Iran from racing to the bomb so far. If Iran does attempt to break out and military force is used effectively, then from Iran's standpoint there would be no point in rehabilitating the project since it would know that a decision to thwart its nuclear ambitions had already been taken once and will be taken again if necessary.
- President Obama says that Israel can be compensated for the increased dangers from the deal with weaponry and by boosting U.S. military aid and commitment to its security. But no compensation can suffice for paving the way to a nuclear arsenal for a country that constantly reiterates its commitment to Israel's destruction.
- The claim that rejection of the deal by Congress will speed up Iran's march toward the bomb and hence inevitably lead to war is devoid of logic. If the deal is voted down in Congress, Iran will still have an incentive to abide by the spirit of the deal since Iran repeatedly declares that it has no interest in nuclear weapons, and the deal's implementation will likely lead to the lifting of at least Russian and Chinese sanctions and possibly those of other countries.
- Ramping up U.S. sanctions would probably cause Iran to show greater moderation and augmenting the credible threat to use force if necessary would probably keep deterring Iran from attempting a breakout. So far, all of the Administration's prophecies of doom whenever measures were taken against Iran have turned out to be false. It is also worth recalling that the U.S. Administration strongly opposed the oil and financial sanctions and began to impose them only when, under pressure from Congress, it had no choice.
- The confidence the Administration demonstrates in the ability of intelligence to detect Iranian cheating is curious. So far, the record of American intelligence (and that of Israeli intelligence, too) when it comes to revealing foreign nuclear programs, including those of Iran, is far from impressive (one thinks of North Korea, Syria, Iraq, India, and Pakistan).
The writer was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research and Analysis and Production Division of IDF Military Intelligence.
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