The Anti-Israel Money Trail - Bret Stephens (Wall Street Journal)
Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP, has more than 100 chapters nationwide and has been canny in pairing itself with left-wing or minority student organizations to sponsor anti-Israel events, heckle pro-Israel speakers, and agitate for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions on campus.
SJP's self-declared goal is to end Israel's "occupation and colonization of all Arab lands" while "promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes."
That's another way of saying destroying the Jewish state.
Last week Jonathan Schanzer, a former Treasury Department official and terrorism-finance expert now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that a prominent backer of SJP and like-minded groups is American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).
Many of AMP's leading members were previously active in some dubious former charities.
The most prominent, the Holy Land Foundation For Relief and Development, was shut down in 2001 by the federal government for providing millions in funds to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Five Holy Land officials eventually were convicted to prison terms and two others fled the country. Today, AMP's leaders include at least three Holy Land alumni.
Then there is the Islamic Association for Palestine, which in 2004 was found civilly liable in federal court for supporting Hamas and was disbanded in 2010.
At least four former IAP senior leaders are currently active in AMP, including its national policy director, Osama Abu Irshaid.
Israel's Elbit Wins $20 Million Contract to Supply Tactical Mobile Radios to a Western European Nation (Defense World)
Elbit Systems has won a $20 million contract from a Western European country for the supply of tactical mobile radios, the company said Tuesday.
E-LynX software-defined radios offer voice, data and video services simultaneously, along with integrated blue force tracking capabilities.
Israeli 4-Minute Malaria Detection Kit Brought to India - Viswanath Pilla (Live Mint-India)
U.S.-based medical devices firm Becton, Dickinson and Co. on Monday said it will introduce a malaria detection method developed by Israel's Sight Diagnostics Ltd. in India, which will make a diagnosis in just four minutes.
In 2013, 880,000 cases of malaria were reported in India with over 128 million tests performed. Malaria testing is mandatory on all blood donations.
Fitch Upgrades Israel's Economic Outlook - Ze'ev Klein (Israel Hayom)
Fitch Ratings on Thursday affirmed Israel's A rating and upgraded the country's long-term outlook from "stable" to "positive."
"The current account surplus expanded to 4.6% of GDP and the Bank of Israel stock of foreign reserves climbed to $90.6 billion," an all-time high, Fitch said.
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- 83 Senators Urge Obama to Boost Israel Aid - Patricia Zengerle
More than four-fifths of the U.S. Senate have signed a letter urging President Obama to quickly reach an agreement on a new defense aid package for Israel worth more than the current $3 billion per year. 51 Republicans and 32 Democrats signed the letter, led by Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Coons.
"In light of Israel's dramatically rising defense challenges, we stand ready to support a substantially enhanced new long-term agreement to help provide Israel the resources it requires to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge," said the letter. The funding is intended to allow Israel's military to maintain a technological advantage over its Arab neighbors.
The letter said the Senate also intends to consider increased U.S. funding for cooperative missile defense programs. (Reuters)
See also Military Aid to Israel Benefits U.S. Weapons Contractors - Karoun Demirjian
Much of U.S. military aid to Israel, which covers about a fifth of its defense budget, is currently tied to the requirement that Israel purchase weapons from U.S. contractors.
- U.S. Shifts Troops in Sinai after Attacks by Islamic Militants - W.J. Hennigan
The Pentagon has shifted more than 100 U.S. soldiers from a desert camp near the Egypt-Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula after a barrage of attacks by militants linked to Islamic State on Egyptian military outposts in northern Sinai. The U.S. troops, part of the peacekeeping force that helps maintain the 1979 treaty between Egypt and Israel, were transferred 300 miles south to a more secure area.
"The Pentagon has valid concerns about troop safety," said Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "But the U.S. tinkering with its force numbers, even if slightly, can give the appearance that it is second-guessing the mission, which is worrisome for the Egyptian government and provides a propaganda tool" for Islamic State.
(Los Angeles Times)
- Iran Threatens Lawsuit in Hague Court over U.S. Ruling on $2 Billion - Rick Gladstone
Iran said on Monday that it would seek to sue the U.S. at the International Court of Justice at The Hague to prevent the distribution of nearly $2 billion in impounded assets from Iran's central bank to compensate American victims of overseas attacks. The U.S. Supreme Court last week validated the distribution of the impounded assets.
Lawyers said it was unclear whether ICJ jurisdiction would be accepted in such a case. The U.S. withdrew its general acceptance of the court's jurisdiction after losing a case to Nicaragua in 1986 over American intervention in that country.
Iran almost certainly would not let the ruling sabotage the far broader nuclear deal, which unfroze billions of dollars of Iranian money and eased a range of economic sanctions.
"The ruling will further chill Iran-U.S. relations, but Tehran still wins a ton from the deal and isn't about to split," said Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, a Washington-based political risk consulting firm.
(New York Times)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Israel Says It Is Acting Responsibly on Temple Mount in Jerusalem - Daniel K. Eisenbud
On Monday, Jordanian Media Affairs Minister Muhammad al-Momani accused Israel of violating international laws and conventions by "storming al-Aksa Mosque," after 13 Jews were removed from Jerusalem's Temple Mount by Israeli security forces for illegally praying at the contested holy site.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly denied the accusations, assuring the Muslim world that Israel has no intention of altering the status quo which allows unlimited Muslim prayer and limited Jewish visitation.
On Monday, the Prime Minister's Office emphasized that "there is absolutely no basis to these claims," adding that "Israel is behaving responsibly, and Jordan knows that." (Jerusalem Post)
- Poll: Young West Bank Palestinians Say Knife Attacks on Israelis Serve the Palestinian Cause
JMCC interviewed 1,000 Palestinians aged 15-29 in the West Bank and Gaza on April 13-19, 2016. The poll, published on Monday, showed that 41% of Palestinian youths in the West Bank believe the recent wave of terrorist attacks on Israelis "serves the Palestinian cause," while 23% say it harms the cause.
52% in the West Bank support the continuation of the current unrest, while 44% are opposed.
When asked, "Do you think young Palestinian activists should work together with like-minded Israelis to end the conflict?" 58% in the West Bank and 75% in Gaza said "No."
At the same time, 73% in the West Bank said they were optimistic regarding the Palestinian future, while 26% were pessimistic. (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center)
- Divesting from Israel Is Counterproductive, Simplistic, Biased - Edmund Bannister
The Northwestern University Divest movement aims to prevent NU from investing in companies including G4S, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard, which make products for the Israeli military.
Just last year, Lockheed Martin reached an $11.25 billion military contracting deal with Saudi Arabia. Both Lockheed and Boeing manufacture the F-16 and F-15 fighter jets used by the Saudi Air Force. According to the UN, the Saudis have killed over 3,000 civilians in their military intervention in Yemen's civil war.
Boeing also recently reached a multi-billion dollar agreement with Turkey to manufacture F-16s, many of which are used in Turkey's violent repression of the Kurdish minority population. According to the Los Angeles Times, Turkey is responsible for the destruction of 4,000 Kurdish villages and the deaths of 35,000 Kurds.
If we can't sanction every country on Earth that violates human rights, surely we must choose the worst ones first. I find it difficult to believe that Israel is more repressive than Syria's Bashar Al-Assad, Egypt's Al-Sisi, or the Saudi monarchy.
As a result I find it impossible to believe that NU Divest is making rational choices when it attempts to sanction Israel. It is insulting and unfair for the divestment movement to target a small Jewish democracy over far larger and more violent actors. (Daily Northwestern)
- The Cold Arab-Israeli Alliance Against Iran - Michael J. Totten
The Egyptians and Saudis aren't worried about Israel anymore. Cairo and Riyadh - like most Arab capitals - are far more worried about Iran, especially now that Washington is letting Tehran come in from the cold as part of the nuclear deal.
Egypt's General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has turned out to be a staunch champion of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, not because he loves the Israelis - surely he doesn't - but because, like all Egyptian Army officers, he's painfully aware that another war with Israel would be just as stupid and pointless as the previous wars with Israel and that Egypt would get its ass kicked all over again for nothing. And he's realistic enough to know that the Israelis won't wake up some random morning and decide to bomb Cairo just for the hell of it.
The Saudis are congenitally incapable of saying anything friendly about Israel in public, but behind closed doors, the Saudis get along with Israel fine. The real threat from Iran is uniting most of the Arab states, and it's triggering a serious rethink about the non-threat from the Jewish state.
The World Dodged a Bullet in Syria - Thanks to Israel - John Hannah (Foreign Policy)
- I well remember the day in spring 2007 when I got an urgent call from Vice President Cheney. The head of Israel's Mossad, the late Meir Dagan, had just been in to brief Cheney and President Bush. He revealed compelling evidence that in the Syrian desert east of Damascus, near the town of Al-Kibar, North Korea was covertly building a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor. It was more or less a replica of the North's own reactor at Yongbyon.
- Making matters worse, Al-Kibar was perilously close to completion. Options for getting rid of it would narrow considerably once operations began and the reactor went "hot." For its part, the U.S. intelligence community had totally missed Al-Kibar.
- The fact is that the U.S. dodged a bullet in Syria - and, it's worth stressing, all courtesy of the Israelis. Not only did they discover Al-Kibar in the nick of time. They also carried out the attack that was almost certainly the only means of ensuring the reactor never went hot.
- Just imagine the nightmare that the world would have faced if, on top of everything else in Syria, we were also dealing with the nightmare of the Islamic State getting its hands on a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor.
The writer, a senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney from 2005 to 2009.
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