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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
December 2, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Cruelty of Palestinian Attackers at 1972 Munich Olympics Revealed - Sam Borden (New York Times)
    Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer, whose husbands were among the 11 Israeli athletes held hostage and killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, have for the first time spoken openly about documentation, previously unknown to the public, about how the Israeli Olympic team members were beaten and, in at least one case, castrated.
    Ms. Spitzer explained that she only learned the details of how the victims were treated in 1992, when German authorities released reports they previously denied existed.
    The New York Times reviewed the photographs but has chosen not to publish them because of their graphic nature.

ISIS in America - Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes (Program on Extremism - George Washington University)
    This is a comprehensive study of known ISIS recruits in the U.S.
    As of the fall of 2015, U.S. authorities speak of some 250 Americans who have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria/Iraq to join the Islamic State and 900 active investigations against ISIS sympathizers.
    71 individuals have been charged with ISIS-related activities since March 2014. 27% were involved in plots to carry out attacks on U.S. soil.

PA Busts Islamic Jihad Cell Planning Attacks on IDF - Tamar Pileggi (Times of Israel)
    PA security forces on Tuesday arrested six members of an Islamic Jihad cell in the West Bank caught transporting explosives intended to be used in attacks on IDF soldiers, Israel Radio reported.
    PA forces have carried out several major arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives in recent weeks. Last week, Palestinian sources claimed that the PA security apparatus has thwarted more than 100 attacks by Palestinian men and women since October 1.
    On Monday, the PA suspended Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV in the West Bank.

Two Kenyans with Iran Links Arrested for Plotting Attacks (Reuters)
    Kenyan security forces have arrested two Kenyan men with links to Iran on suspicion of planning attacks against "hotels in Nairobi frequented by Western tourists and diplomats," the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
    Abubakar Sadiq Louw, 69, a prominent figure in Nairobi's Shi'ite Muslim community, is suspected of working on behalf of Iran's Qods Force. Louw told investigators he had arranged for Yassin Sambai Juma, 25, to travel to Iran and introduced him to a Qods force contact.

Israeli Kibbutz Produces $4,000-Per-Jar Caviar - Paul Goldman (NBC News)
    Kibbutz Dan is producing caviar that fetches $4,000 for a two-pound jar.
    The kibbutz is home to 60,000 sturgeon and produces about 6,000 pounds of caviar annually.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Deploying New Forces to Fight Islamic State in Iraq - Barbara Starr
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the U.S. military will send "a specialized expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and to put even more pressure on ISIL. These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders." The force is in addition to the "less than 50" Special Operations forces Obama authorized in October to aid in the fight against ISIS in Syria. (CNN)
        See also 200 U.S. Special Forces to Fight IS Jihadists in Iraq, Syria
    A U.S. official told AFP the number of additional special forces troops would be about 200. Though the new troops will be based in Iraq, they will have the ability to conduct raids across the border in northern Syria. (AFP)
  • Israel Takes Aim at Palestinian Social Media Incitement - Alisa Odenheimer and Fadwa Hodali
    A cartoon of an Arab wielding a bloody meat cleaver above the prone body of a religious Jew. How-to videos demonstrating best practices for stabbing Israelis, complete with a final twist of the knife. A video of a Gaza preacher exhorting West Bank Muslims to slaughter Jews. The latest outbreak of Arab attacks on Israelis is being shaped by social media and its power over young Palestinians.
        With more than 20 people killed and over 235 wounded on the Israeli side in the past two months, Israel's Foreign Ministry is drafting Arabic speakers and computer programmers to join the fight against posts the government says is driving the bloodshed. "It's clear to all of us that the youths who go out to stab and kill Jews were influenced by incitement videos that clearly call for the murder and maiming of Jews," Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Army Radio on Sunday.
        Social media "has had a huge impact on Palestinians in the past two years, especially the youth," said Mamoun Matar, a Palestinian lecturer on social media at Birzeit University in the West Bank. (Bloomberg)
  • Young Palestinian Women Seek to Become Killers - Diaa Hadid and Rami Nazzal
    Fifteen Palestinian women have tried to stab Israeli soldiers or civilians since October, about 20% of all Palestinian attackers, wounding several Israelis. Nine women attackers were shot dead and six were arrested. The faces of teenage girls stare out from martyrdom posters in their hometowns.
        Many appear to be consumed with the ideal of dying for the cause of their generation. "It's very romantic," said Eileen Kuttab, director of women's studies at Birzeit University. The martyr "will never be forgotten."  (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Paris Summit Shows How Israel Is Not Isolated - Herb Keinon
    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with a long list of world leaders in Paris on Monday. He said many countries realize that achieving a comprehensive deal between Israel and the Palestinians at this time is an illusion. And those countries do not want to mortgage their relationship with Israel to this one issue because Israel has what to offer them: from experience, advice and intelligence on fighting terrorism to technological solutions for a wide array of pressing problems.
        With countries trying to figure out how to deal with the aftershocks of the earthquake sweeping through the Middle East, and with their economies increasingly driven by technology - which Israel is very good at - more and more of these countries want to deal with Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Three East Jerusalem Arabs Sentenced for Planning Attacks Against Jews - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    The Jerusalem District Court on Monday sentenced three east Jerusalem Arabs - Jalal Koutoub, Muhammad Shaar, and Ahmad Bazalmit - for conspiring to carry out shooting and kidnapping attacks against Jews on the Temple Mount and Israeli security forces in eastern Jerusalem. The terrorist cell met 10-15 times in February and March and intended to help enemy terrorist organizations in their war with Israel. The cell also planned to kidnap a Jew with a weapon, in order to kill him and steal his weapon. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Thousands Commemorate 800,000 Jews Expelled from Arab Countries - Mati Tuchfeld
    Thousands of people attended Israel's first official commemoration event for Jews expelled from Arab countries and Iran, held in Jerusalem on Monday. The ceremony began with a moment of silence for Jews killed in pogroms in Arab countries and Iran. Social Equity Minister Gila Gamliel said the ceremony corrected a historical injustice - the lack of acknowledgment of the sufferings of the more than 800,000 Jews who were forced to flee or were expelled from Middle Eastern and North African countries in the 20th century. (Israel Hayom)
        See also Commemorating the Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries - Ashley Perry (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Those Israel Boycotts Are Illegal - Eugene Kontorovich and Steven Davidoff Solomon
    Under corporate law, an organization, including a nonprofit, can do only what is permitted under the purposes specified in its charter. Boycott resolutions that are beyond the powers of an organization are void, and individual members can sue to have a court declare them invalid. The individuals serving on the boards of these organizations may be liable for damages.
        Consider the American Historical Association. Its constitution - a corporate charter - states that its purpose "shall be the promotion of historical studies" and the "broadening of historical knowledge among the general public." There's nothing in this charter that would authorize a boycott.
        And an anti-Israel boycott will do nothing to promote "historical studies" or broaden "historical knowledge." A boycott by definition restricts study and research. Eugene Kontorovich is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law. Steven Davidoff Solomon is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Imagine ISIS with a Nuclear Reactor - Shai Baitel
    In 2007, Syria was suspected of initiating a nuclear program - quite possibly designed to produce weapons-grade plutonium, with a sizable assist by North Korea. When it became clear that the U.S. was not going to intervene, Israel went for it herself, and destroyed the Al Kibar nuclear reactor construction site, located in Syria's Deir ez-Zor region.
        Despite serious concerns about Syrian retaliation, Israel acted out of conviction of the necessity of a strike and a belief that it is the supreme duty of a state to protect its citizens. That decision was validated four years later when the International Atomic Energy Agency officially confirmed that the site had been a nuclear reactor. Had it never been destroyed, the reactor would have been smack in the center of Islamic State territory.
        Thinking about the Jewish state's action at the Deir ez-Zur reactor site, now in ISIS territory, it might be time to thank Israel. The writer is a fellow in the Program on Applied Decision Analysis at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya, Israel. (New York Daily News)

For Israel: ISIS Is Bad, But the Iranian Axis Is the Graver Threat - Brig. Gen. (res.) Michael Herzog (Fathom-BICOM)

  • Syria has become the epicenter of global jihad, emitting waves of terrorism and refugees far beyond the Middle East. What started as a civilian protest five years ago has turned into a bitter sectarian and proxy battle-ground, drawing in thousands of young Muslims - Sunnis and Shiites - as well as external forces competing to shape the end-game.
  • Israelis naturally share Western concerns over the Islamic State (ISIS), and its capacity to project both terrorism and its ideological message around the region and the world. ISIS represents not only a radical anti-Western ideology but is also virulently and explicitly anti-Semitic.
  • ISIS already has affiliates operating along Israel's borders with Egypt and Syria and it poses a direct threat to key Western ally Jordan, with which Israel shares its longest border.
  • At this point ISIS is not focused on Israel. From an Israeli perspective, the gravest strategic threat still comes from the Iranian-led axis. Iran is a regional power deeply hostile to Israel, harboring hegemonic and nuclear ambitions and commanding the region's most heavily armed sub-state actor, Hizbullah, with over 100,000 rockets aimed at Israel.
  • Iran also supports terror groups in Gaza, seeks to establish terror infrastructure in the West Bank, supports Hizbullah's international terror network and activities, and launches continuous cyber-attacks against Israel.
  • For Israel, there is the challenge of hostile actors positioning themselves in the Golan Heights along Israel's border with Syria and turning it into an active front with established military infrastructure and cross-border attacks. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and some ISIS-affiliated elements such as the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade are already there, though currently focused on fighting Assad's forces and their allies.

    The writer is a former chief of staff to Israel's minister of defense.

        See also Former Head of IDF Intelligence: ISIS Is Much Less Dangerous than Iran - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Former head of IDF Intelligence Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin told the Institute for National Security Studies on Tuesday, "Islamic State is much less dangerous than the Islamic Republican of Iran." He said that the Iran nuclear deal had made Iran "more aggressive in Syria," and that Iran is "sending more advanced weapons to Hizbullah."  (Jerusalem Post)

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