Belgian Intelligence Had Precise Warning that Airport Was Targeted for Bombing - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
The Belgian security services, as well as other Western intelligence agencies, had advance and precise intelligence warnings regarding the terrorist attacks in Belgium on Tuesday, Ha'aretz has learned.
The security services knew, with a high degree of certainty, that attacks were planned in the very near future for the airport and, apparently, for the subway as well.
See also Belgian Security Forces Missed Chances to Disrupt ISIS Plotters - Anthony Faiola (Washington Post)
Counter-Terrorism Lessons Europe Needs to Learn - Ronen Bergman (Ynet News)
In the wake of the terror attacks in Belgium, the West must fundamentally change its perceptions of intelligence.
The Israel Security Agency (ISA) practices what it calls "Basic Coverage." This means monitoring widespread populations and geographical areas, all the time, at high resolution.
This would mean tracking large Muslim populations in Europe, and not just those against whom particular information has been received.
Basic Coverage is executed by employing human and technological resources on every street, in community centers and in mosques, with local intelligence knowledge so complete, it's as if the intelligence operatives lived there.
This is how the ISA operates vis-a-vis the Palestinian population. Without Basic Coverage, Israel would not have triumphed against the suicide-bomber intifada a decade ago.
PA Official: The West Brought Islamist Terror on Itself (Times of Israel)
The West has brought a wave of Islamist terrorism on itself as a result of European colonialism, PA security forces spokesman Adnan Damiri wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
"We the Arabs are the ones who have been burned worst in the fire of terror that was made and exported by Europe and America," Damiri charged.
Colorado Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill - Ed Sealover
(Denver Business Journal)
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on March 18 signed a bill requiring the state's retirement program to divest from companies that boycott Israel.
Foreign Investment in Israel Up 90 Percent in 2015 - Ziva Eger (Times of Israel)
Foreign direct investment in Israel totaled $11.6 billion in 2015, a 90% increase over 2014.
More than 270 multinational companies have set up shop in Israel, establishing over 320 world-class R&D centers.
Israel's workforce has the highest concentration of PhDs and engineers per capita in the world, and Israel invests more than any other country in R&D as a percentage of GDP - 4.2%.
The writer is Chief Executive of Foreign Investments and Industrial Cooperation at the Israel Ministry of Economy.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- ISIS Has Over 400 Trained Fighters to Target Europe
The Islamic State has trained 400 to 600 fighters specifically for external attacks, deploying interlocking terror cells like the ones that struck Brussels and Paris. The ringleader of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks claimed to have entered Europe in a multinational group of 90 fighters.
French speakers with links to North Africa, France and Belgium appear to be leading the units and are responsible for developing attack strategies in Europe, said a European security official. The fighters include Muslims and Muslim converts from all across Europe.
"Special units have been set up. The training is longer. And the objective appears to no longer be killing as many people as possible but rather to have as many terror operations as possible," the security official said.
- Obama Sees No Middle East Peace Deal before His Presidency Ends
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday in Argentina that he did not expect a breakthrough on Middle East peace before he leaves office.
- University of California Softens Anti-Semitism Statement - Cassie Paton
The University of California's regents declared on Wednesday they would not tolerate anti-Semitism on campus but rejected a proposal to equate anti-Zionism with religious bigotry. The regents rebuffed draft language that would have defined opposition to Israel as anti-Jewish bigotry, voting instead to disapprove "anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism."
Student regent Avi Oved, who supported the draft language, said anti-Zionism has evolved into a politically coded contemporary brand of anti-Semitism. Supporters of the draft said anti-Zionist rhetoric - marked by calls for Israel's destruction or denial of its right to exist - frequently feeds more overt forms of anti-Jewish hatred.
- Lawsuit Against CUNY Alleges Pervasive, Explicit Anti-Semitism - Andrew Pessin
A lawsuit filed last month by Professor of Business Jeffrey Lax
at the City University of New York's (CUNY) Kingsborough Community College alleges explicit anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment by senior administrators. According to the complaint, senior administrators actively limited the hiring and obstructed the promotion of Jews, and have "promoted and maintained a pervasively hostile work environment."
Kenneth Marcus, president of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, said: "I hear from so many Jewish students, professors and staff members who tell heartbreaking stories of recent anti-Jewish discrimination [at CUNY]." (Algemeiner)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Israeli Soldier Wounded in West Bank Stabbing Thursday - Chaim Levinson
An Israeli soldier was wounded in a stabbing attack at the entrance to the Tel Rumeida neighborhood
of Hebron in the West Bank on Thursday. The two Palestinian assailants were shot and killed.
- UN Picks Canadian Prof Who Blames West for Islamist Terror as New Palestinian Rapporteur
UN Human Rights Council President Choi Kyonglim on Wednesday nominated Canadian law professor Stanley Michael Lynk to be special rapporteur for the Palestinian territories. The monitoring group UN Watch noted that Lynk blamed the 9/11 attacks on "global inequalities" and "disregard by Western nations for the international rule of law." (Times of Israel)
- Israel to UN: International Community Must Disarm Hizbullah - Danielle Ziri
Hizbullah's leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened on Monday that if a future war breaks out with Israel, his terrorist group will strike targets in the Jewish state "without any limits." In response,
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sent a letter to the UN Security Council on Wednesday saying, "The time has come for the Security Council to respond firmly against Hizbullah's repeated threats against the citizens of Israel and its ongoing military buildup. The international community must act to disarm Hizbullah."
The Israeli mission to the UN reported that Lebanon had violated UN Security Council Resolution 1701 some 2,374 times in 2015. The resolution was intended to resolve the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon and called for the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, including Hizbullah.
According to the report, 1,079 incidents in which armed individuals were seen freely roaming in south Lebanon were recorded. In addition there were 589 violations of the border between Israel and Lebanon, and 653 Hizbullah patrols along the border fence.
- The Islamic State's European Front - Daniel Byman
In the fight against the Islamic State, Europe has emerged as a key battleground and European security services are overwhelmed. Terrorists are free to cross Europe's open borders, but European security services often do not share lists of suspects and they do not have a common system for transliterating Arabic names.
Europe also faces another difficulty: Muslim integration. In the U.S., many plots are disrupted because the American Muslim community reports them to the police and the FBI; such trust is lacking in Europe.
The writer, a professor at Georgetown University, is a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
(New York Times)
- Dying for Allah - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser
In an address in Jerusalem in 2013,
President Obama said there was no real difference between his daughters and the Palestinian youths he had met in Ramallah.
Really? Do his daughters identify on Facebook with the worldview of radical Islam, which calls on one to seek "death for Allah"? Almost every Palestinian child you ask will tell you he wants to be a martyr, and many believe that by attempting to stab a Jew to death they increase their chances to attain that honor.
The Zionists are seen as a colonialist extension of Western culture, which views achieving happiness in this world as the goal of life.
The perpetrators of attacks, who actively seek to be martyrs, win the highest status. A favored place in heaven is promised them, and their death is described as a marriage ceremony.
Of course, Palestinians love their children as any human being, and are against death that is outside the framework of the struggle against the enemies of Allah. However, radical Islam and the Palestinians view "death for Allah" as a great privilege. Nor do they see prolonging life, let alone achieving happiness during it, as a supreme value.
The writer was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.
- Hizbullah's Growing Threat Against U.S. National Security Interests in the Middle East - Matthew Levitt
Hizbullah continues to present a significant threat to U.S. interests both in the Middle East and, as events in Europe and South America indicate, closer to home. Iran is Hizbullah's primary benefactor, giving the militant group $200 million a year in addition to weapons, training, intelligence, and logistical assistance. Increased Iranian spending in the wake of the Iran deal is likely to benefit Hizbullah's regional and international operations. The writer is director of the Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
Israeli Apartheid Week May Be Coming to a Campus Near You - Ruth R. Wisse (Wall Street Journal)
- This month, American campuses are being invaded by the latest form of college hazing: Israeli Apartheid Week. Jewish students are made to walk past displays that distort their history, defame their national homeland and shame their religious heritage. The annual campaign now claims participation by 150 universities and cities.
- The displays are part of a much larger anti-Jewish front whose academic spearhead is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. That effort stems from the original 1945 Arab League boycott calling on all Arab institutions and individuals "to refuse to deal in, distribute, or consume Zionist products or manufactured goods."
- The agents of anti-Semitism are anti-Semites, and unless they become the object of scrutiny, the belligerents will achieve their goal. Blaming Israel for the suffering of Palestinian Arabs is first and foremost a strategy of deflection, intended to divert attention from dysfunction in Arab and Muslim societies.
- Where are the campus rallies for women's rights in Islam, relief efforts for Syrian refugees, vigils for Christian victims of Islamic State? Where is the outrage of historians, archaeologists and anthropologists at the destruction by radical Muslims of ancient monuments and of indigenous societies.
- University administrations and faculties have been complicit in allowing anti-Jewish politics to flourish.
Entire disciplines use their academic conferences to attack the Jewish state. Campus anti-Israel coalitions exploit freedom of speech and assembly to assail the only Middle Eastern country that guarantees those freedoms.
- Anti-Semitism flourishes because onlookers who think they have no stake in the conflict choose not to face down the belligerents.
The writer is a former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard.
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