Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
October 29, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Iran's New Palestinian Terror Group Has Missiles that Can Reach Tel Aviv - Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Institute)
    The new Iranian-backed Al-Sabireen group, comprised mostly of former members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has about 400 followers in Gaza.
    One of its top military commanders, Ahmed Sharif Al-Sarhi, was shot and killed two weeks ago by the Israel Defense Forces.
    Palestinian sources said Iran has been supplying Al-Sabireen with new types of weapons to attack Israel. According to the sources, Al-Sarhi was killed while trying to fire a new Steyr HS .50 long-range sniper rifle he had recently received from the Iranians.
    The Iranians are also believed to have supplied the group with Grad and Fajr missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

Iran Wades Further into the Syrian Swamp - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
    An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 Iranians and other combatants sent from Iran and Iraq are fighting in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime.
    According to reports on Syrian opposition websites, about 1,000 Revolutionary Guards and other Iranian troops are active in Aleppo Province; others operate in the Latakia area, considered the Assad regime's stronghold.
    Iranian forces are under fire and are dying in battle in Syria. This month over a dozen members of the Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were killed, including eight officers, among them deputy commander Gen. Hossein Hamedani.
    But a few thousand Iranian combatants cannot achieve a decisive military victory, even with the aid of Russian air cover.

Palestinian Preacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque Calls to Restore the Caliphate, Annihilate the Jews (MEMRI)
    In a video posted on Oct. 24, Palestinian preacher Ali Abu Ahmad, speaking at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, said: "Allah willing, the Caliphate will be the one to liberate Jerusalem very soon...and it will annihilate the Jewish entity."
    "Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews. Oh Allah, let us kill them. Oh Allah, make the ground swallow them up, along with their homes....Oh Allah, bring the whip of torment cracking down upon them."

Israel Makes Arabic Compulsory in Schools - Joe Dyke (AFP)
    Israel's Knesset voted unanimously on Wednesday to make Arabic classes compulsory for students from the age of six.

Italy Seeking Israeli-Egyptian-Italian Natural Gas Export Cooperation - Tal Shalev (i24news)
    Representatives of the Italian energy company Eni are expected in Israel this week to discuss joining forces on gas exports to Europe.
    Eni is developing Egypt's gas reserves in the newly discovered Zohr field, which is 30% larger than the Israeli Leviathan field.
    Eni wants to explore the potential of "an east Mediterranean gas hub" which will receive gas from various countries and send it on to Europe, mainly Italy and Spain.
    The company also seeks to be an outlet for Cyprus' Aphrodite field.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Kerry: Palestinian Leaders Must Stop Incitement
    Secretary of State John Kerry told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Wednesday: "The kind of violence that we have been seeing in recent weeks [in Israel] hurts everyone....It is absolutely vital for Israel to take steps that empower Palestinian leaders to improve economic opportunities and the quality of life for their people on a day-to-day basis. And it is equally important for Palestinian leaders to cease the incitement of violence and to offer something more than rhetoric; instead, propose solutions that will contribute in a real way to the improvement of life, to the reduction of violence, and to the safety and security of Israelis....A two-state solution with strong security protections remains the only viable alternative."  (State Department)
  • Russia Flying Iranian Weapons into Syria in Violation of UN Embargo - Jennifer Griffin
    Russia has helped Iran deliver weapons into Syria twice a day over the past 10 days, Western intelligence sources told Fox News. The flights are in breach of two UN Security Council resolutions which impose an arms embargo on Iran. (Fox News)
  • UN Rights Investigator Highly Critical of Iran - Rick Gladstone
    Ahmed Shaheed, a former Maldives foreign minister and an expert on human rights in Muslim-majority countries who is the special UN investigator of human rights in Iran, presented a highly critical report on Tuesday that described a record rate of executions, a deeply flawed judiciary, and repression of journalists, dissidents, women and freedom of expression. It was Shaheed's fifth report on Iran since he was appointed in 2011, and his first since the completion of a nuclear agreement in July between Iran and the major world powers. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Woman Stabbed in the Back by Palestinian at Supermarket - Tovah Lazaroff
    A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli mother of eight in the back just outside the parking lot of the Rami Levi supermarket at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank on Wednesday afternoon. Security forces arrested the terrorist. The store is considered an oasis of coexistence where both Palestinians and Israelis shop and work. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also IDF Soldier Stabbed by Palestinian in Hebron - Elisha Ben Kimon
    An Israeli soldier was stabbed in the face in Hebron on Thursday morning. A border policeman shot and killed the Palestinian assailant. (Ynet News)
  • Anti-Semitism among Migrants a Concern for German Jews - Sam Sokol
    German Jews are concerned over the potential for a rise in anti-Semitism due to "widespread anti-Semitism among Muslim youth" who have made their way to Germany, several community leaders told Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday.
        In recent weeks Germany's security and intelligence agencies expressed alarm over the influx of migrants who harbor radical Islamic views and hatred of Jews. According to a security document obtained by Welt am Sonntag, Germany is "importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different societal and legal understanding."
        Security sources warn that "the integration of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants in Germany is no longer possible in light of the number and already existing parallel societies." The term "parallel societies" is frequently defined as insulated Muslim communities that have little or no contact with mainstream society. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Europe's Refugee Crisis: Jews Must Tread Carefully - Manfred Gerstenfeld
    In the current century all murders of Jews in Europe because they are Jews, be they in the Paris area, Toulouse, Brussels or Copenhagen, have been committed by Muslims. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Responsibility of Arab Culture in the Continuation of the Palestinian Tragedy - Hassan Mneimneh
    While presented as resistance, some Palestinian militants are engaged in the commission of abject injustice, not a realization of justice. Knifing a bystander is not the means to regain lost rights. Brainstorming creative means to harm the innocent in no way equates to supporting the oppressed. And aggression against these innocents - men and women, young and old - is not an act that bestows honor on the perpetrators, their supporters, or any culture that finds these acts praiseworthy.
        Arab media is saturated with solemn declarations that Israel should be eliminated. Virtually all Arab media jubilantly welcomes the killing of any Israeli. It is only reasonable to expect that this attitude results in an Israeli hardening of position and action as a response.
        There is a need, now long overdue, for an honest reconsideration of the Arab approach to the Palestinian cause. Arab culture must address the fundamental question of whether it conceives of a place for Israel in the Arab region. Currently, the disagreement in Arab culture vis-a-vis Israel is between the proponents of its elimination through active "resistance" and the advocates of waiting for its extinction through passive "moderation." Either way, there is no room for Israel.
        The end result is an Arab culture that calls for death and prides itself on murder as long as it is inflicted on the other. (Fikra Forum)
  • Arab World's Silence over Terror Attacks in Israel Shows Lack of Support for Palestinians - Prof. Eyal Zisser
    The Arab world's silence during the recent wave of terrorism in Israel represents a certain lack of support for the Palestinians. In the past, the slightest of incidents would have been enough to see masses take to the streets. Arab media has also marginalized the story, with the exception of Qatar-based Al Jazeera.
        In the Arab world no one has the time or the energy for yet another round of Palestinian unrest. Both Egypt and Jordan are trying to defuse the situation and convince the Palestinians to shelve the issue. The writer is former director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. (Israel Hayom)
  • Make EU Funds to Palestinians Conditional on an End to Incitement to Violence - Lars Adaktusson
    The recent attacks are symptomatic of a malaise in Palestinian society that the international partners, and Europe, in particular, have been trying to duck for several decades: Hate speech and incitement to violence. The EU should stop tiptoeing around this issue by continuing to make large wire transfers to the PA bank account. We need to be assertive and condition all the EU funds for the territories on an actual Palestinian renouncement of hate and incitement to violence. Building a Palestinian society that will see cutting people's throats as abhorrent as it is for any Western society is not a pro-Israel position. It falls into the oft forgotten category of the right thing to do. The writer, a Swedish journalist and television news anchor, is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs. (Ynet News)

If You Love Israel, Don't Boycott It - Elliott Abrams (Washington Post)

  • We love Israel. That's why we must do all we can to destroy its economy. That is the message of the bizarre Oct. 25 column in the Washington Post by professors Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl.
  • History reveals two recent attempts by Israeli leaders to negotiate a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians - by prime ministers Ehud Barak in 2000 and Ehud Olmert in 2008 - which were rejected by Palestine Liberation Organization leaders Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. Of this, Levitsky and Weyl say nothing. They also do not mention Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, seeming to regard it as "occupied" even though not a single Israeli soldier or civilian lives there.
  • The professors note that the "peace movement" in Israel has been weakened. But the reason is the conduct of Palestinians. The Palestinian refusal of negotiations is not mentioned. The waves of terror - from Arafat's intifadas to today's stabbings - are barely mentioned.
  • Sadly, Palestinian "violence," which the professors scrupulously avoid calling terrorism, long predated the "occupation." Decades of Palestinian terrorism was meant to stop Jews from coming to Israel and from establishing their state, and then continued from 1948 to 1967. The fundamental problem is the widespread Palestinian rejection not of Israeli settlements but of the existence of the State of Israel.
  • Particularly striking is what the professors demand of Palestinians: nothing. They do not demand that the Palestinians negotiate. They do not even demand an end to terrorism, not even during a month of terror by stabbing. To them, Palestinians are apparently like small children, unable to reason or control their actions.
  • While some people boycott Israel out of hatred, the professors will do it out of "love for Israel and the desire to save it." In taking this position, they reject the views of the vast majority of "progressive" Israelis they claim to support and align themselves with every enemy of the Jewish state.

    The writer is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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