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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
May 4, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

PA Security Services Dramatically Expand Counterterrorism Efforts - Gili Cohen (Ha'aretz)
    PA security services are responsible for 40% of all arrests of suspected terrorists in the West Bank in recent months, according to data from the Israel Defense Forces' Central Command, representing a dramatic expansion of the PA's counterterrorism effort.
    Until three months ago, they were responsible for only 10% of such arrests.
    In light of this increased PA activity, the IDF has reduced its own activity in Area A in recent months. Area A is the part of the West Bank that, under the Oslo Accords, is to be under full Palestinian control.
    Three weeks ago, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said the extent of IDF activity in Palestinian cities would depend on how much the PA security services were doing. "If they'll do the work, why not? What they don't do, we'll have to do."

Kuwait Airways Halts All Inter-European Flights over Selling Tickets to Israelis (
    Kuwait Airways has halted all inter-European routes in order to avoid "further civil and criminal charges" in Europe for its refusal to allow Israeli citizens fly on its airline, according to the Lawfare Project, a U.S.-based nonprofit legal think tank that has challenged the airline's policies in European courts.
    Earlier this year Kuwait Airways dropped its route between New York City and London rather than transport Israeli citizens, after the U.S. Department of Transportation found the airline to be practicing "unreasonable discrimination."

Video: American Slackliner Walks between Jerusalem's Ancient Towers (Ha'aretz)
    Heather Larsen, one of the top female slackliners in the world, walked across a 35 meter line and then a 20 meter line inside the ancient courtyard of the museum at Jerusalem's Tower of David.
    The sport is similar to walking a tightrope, only the line used has more slack.

Vassar College Students Vote to Reject BDS - Lea Speyer (Algemeiner)
    In March, the Vassar Student Association (VSA) council passed a resolution endorsing the BDS movement. An amendment to the BDS resolution prohibiting the use of student funding for various pro-Israel companies, including Ben & Jerry's ice cream, failed to pass.
    Both the resolution and amendment went up for a VSA campus-wide vote on Thursday and were rejected - the resolution by 573-503 and the amendment by 601-475.

ISIS Recruiting in the Caribbean - Craig Saunders (Daily Star-UK)
    Nearly 100 men from Trinidad and Tobago have traveled to join ISIS fighters in Syria. Caribbean fighters are being featured in propaganda videos from ISIS.
    British diplomat Arthur Snell said the ISIS drive in the Caribbean could be successful as many men live in conditions which could lead to them being radicalized - "people who are exposed to gang violence, broken homes, poor education opportunities, a lack of a sense of self-belonging."

Islamic State Boosts Attacks (Reuters)
    There were 891 Islamic State attacks during the first quarter of 2016 in Iraq and Syria, more than in any three-month period since the militants' sweeping advance in mid-2014, the analysis firm IHS said on Sunday.
    Those attacks killed 2,150 people, a 44% rise over the previous three months.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • NATO Upgrades Ties with Israel Amid Mounting Regional Threats - David Wainer
    NATO has upgraded its ties with Israel amid mounting instability in the Middle East. Israel will now be able to open offices at NATO headquarters in Brussels and complete a credentialing process for its representatives, Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said. While Israel is not a member, it signed a security agreement with the alliance in 2001, is an associate member of the NATO parliamentary assembly, and has taken part in joint military exercises. (Bloomberg)
  • House Armed Services Committee Would Boost Israeli Missile Defense Systems by $200 Million - Jen Judson
    The U.S. House Armed Services Committee would boost funding for Israeli missile defense programs by nearly $200 million above the level requested in the president's defense budget, according to the chairman's mark-up of the fiscal 2017 defense bill. The committee would bump the funding for Tamir interceptors for the Iron Dome air defense system from $42 million requested in the president's budget to $62 million. The committee would also plus up funding for procurement and co-production of the David's Sling medium- and long-range air defense system from $37.21 million to $150 million and the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Missile Defense System from $55.8 million to $120 million.
        Israel traditionally receives significant congressional plus-ups from the administration's budget request for cooperative missile defense programs. Over the past 10 years, Congress has appropriated $1.9 billion more than was originally requested by the administration. In 2016, the president requested roughly $150 million and Congress enacted $488 million for Israeli missile defense funding. Lawmakers said that Israeli and U.S. national security are strongly linked and that Israel's missile defense innovations are significant to the U.S.
        The additional funds directly bolster U.S. industry, said U.S. Missile Defense Agency director Adm. James Syring. The Israeli-U.S. partnership on Iron Dome includes an agreement for co-production of the system that, in fiscal 2015, brought 55% of the work to the U.S., and a similar agreement to produce David's Sling is being negotiated. (Defense News )
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Three Israeli Soldiers Wounded in Car-Ramming Attack in West Bank - Gili Cohen and Chaim Levinson
    A car-ramming attack wounded three Israeli soldiers at the Ein Arik roadblock northwest of Ramallah in the West Bank on Tuesday. The driver, Ahmed Riyad Shehada, 36, from Beitunia, was shot and killed at the scene. (Ha'aretz)
  • U.S. Proposes to Reduce Multinational Force in Sinai - Amos Harel
    Today some 700 American soldiers from special combat and supportive logistical units serve in several camps in Egyptian Sinai, the largest of which are in El Giyora southeast of El Arish and in Sharm El-Sheikh. The American soldiers number a little less than half the entire size of the Multinational Force whose role is to monitor the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. Egypt has objected to a U.S. proposal to reduce its participation in the Multinational Force, while Washington worries that American soldiers may be hurt in terrorist attacks by a wing of ISIS operating in Sinai. The U.S. has plans to reduce the number of its soldiers in Sinai by at least a third.
        Egypt is opposed to such a move for fear it would be seen as an American expression of no confidence in President el-Sissi's ability to effectively fight terrorists in Sinai. The number of attacks against the multinational force in Sinai has been relatively small. According to Israeli assessments, the main reason for this is that many of the Bedouin tribes in Sinai make a living from these camps. (Ha'aretz)
  • Abu Khdeir Murderer Sentenced to Life Plus 20 Years - Yael Friedson
    Yosef Ben-David, 30, who was convicted of the July 2014 kidnapping and murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was sentenced on Tuesday to life plus an additional 20 years in prison. Shortly before his sentencing was announced, Ben-David apologized to the Abu Khdeir family. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Hitler Did Not Support Zionism - Niall Ferguson  
    In an interview on BBC last week, Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, claimed that "when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism - this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews." Some Nazi officials did indeed favor emigration as the "solution to the Jewish Question." But to claim that this was Hitler's preferred option is simply wrong.
        In a speech he gave in April 1920, Hitler called for the Jews "to be exterminated." In Mein Kampf he wrote: "If at the beginning of the [First World] War and during the war (12,000) or 15,000 of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas...the sacrifice of millions at the front would not have been in vain." Germans who voted National Socialist in 1932 and 1933 were not voting for a Zionist resettlement program. The writer is a professor of history at Harvard and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford. (Boston Globe)
  • Hitler and the Nazis' Anti-Zionism - Jeffrey Herf
    During the Cold War the Soviet Union spread a variety of lies about Zionism, the most famous being the assertion that Hitler and the Nazi regime were supporters of Zionism. The fact is, however, that Hitler despised Zionism. He ridiculed the idea as he was convinced that the Jews would be incapable of establishing and then defending a state. More importantly, he viewed the prospect of a Jewish state in Palestine as part of the broader international Jewish conspiracy which his fevered imagination presented as a dire threat to Germany.
        The Holocaust itself was an enormous blow to the Zionist project. Millions of Jews in Europe who might have contributed to the establishment of the Jewish state could not do so because the Nazis had murdered them.
        Moreover, in November 1941, Hitler promised the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, then in Berlin, that if and when the German armies were successful in the Caucuses, they would drive south to destroy the Jewish population then living in areas controlled by Britain in North Africa and the Middle East. It was only the Allied victory at El Alamein by forces from Australia, New Zealand and Britain that prevented mass murders of Jews in Mandatory Palestine. The writer is professor of history at the University of Maryland. (Fathom-BICOM)
  • The World Is Forgetting the Holocaust - Jeff Jacoby
    When World War II was over, the mind-boggling scope of the Final Solution was fully grasped: the Germans and their collaborators had annihilated 6 million Jews from every corner of Europe, wiping out more than one-third of the world's Jewish population. Germany had constructed a vast, industrial-scale campaign and committed immense financial resources to track down and murder every last Jew in Europe.
        Never before had a world power, deranged by anti-Semitism, made the eradication of an entire people its central aim, or gone to such exhaustive extremes to achieve it. That is what makes the Holocaust so grotesquely, terrifyingly unique. Hitler set out to incinerate the Jews; in the end, all of Europe was in flames.
        But now there is evidence aplenty that the Holocaust is already fading from common knowledge. In 2013, a survey of more than 53,000 respondents in 101 countries found that only 54% of the world's adults had even heard of the Holocaust - and of those, one-third believe it is either a myth or has been greatly exaggerated. (Boston Globe)

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2016 (Yad Vashem-The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority)

Each year, six Holocaust survivors are chosen to light torches on Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins Wednesday evening, in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered. These are the torchlighters:

  • Jehosua Hesel Fried was born in 1930 in Czechoslovakia. In 1938, the region where he lived was annexed to Hungary, and in 1944, Hungarian police and Gestapo officers deported the Jews to Auschwitz. In December 1944, Jehosua and his friends were taken on a death march. At night, they slept in the snow. They were eventually transported to Mauthausen, where they had to eat snails and frogs to survive. The U.S. Army liberated the camp in May 1945.
  • Chaim Grosbein was born in 1937 in an area of Poland that is today in Belarus. When the Germans came, Chaim and his family hid in a pit under a stove. When the refuge was discovered, most of them were forced out and then shot or beaten to death. Chaim and his cousin Rishka were hiding in the corners of the pit, and went undetected. They eventually found refuge in the woods. After Chaim was ambushed and shot by the Germans, Russian partisans found him and saved him. He later lived on his own for two years, sleeping in ditches in the ground.
  • Sara Kain was born in 1919 in Czechoslovakia. In 1938, the region where Sara lived was annexed to Hungary, and after the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, she and her family were deported to Auschwitz. On arrival, her parents were led to the gas chambers, while Sara and her sister Ethel became inmates. They were transferred to Bergen-Belsen in open-door cattle cars in the snow in the winter of 1944-1945. After being in other camps, they were liberated by the U.S. Army in April 1945.
  • Joseph Labi was born in 1928 in Benghazi, Libya. In 1938, when the Italian racial laws were extended to Libya, Joseph and his fellow Jewish students were transferred to a separate school. In 1942, Joseph's entire family was deported to the Giado concentration camp in Libya, and were then deported to Italy, where they were interned at Castelnovo ne' Monti. In February 1944, the Germans sent them to Bergen-Belsen. Joseph was transferred to France in a prisoner exchange deal in March 1945.
        On returning to Benghazi, Joseph met soldiers from the British Army's Jewish Brigade who suggested that he come to Israel. "I went to the train station. Somebody gave me a hat and dressed me in a Jewish Brigade uniform," said Joseph. "I boarded the train dressed as a soldier and we went to Alexandria." After being smuggled into Israel, Joseph volunteered for the Palmach and fought in Israel's War of Independence.
  • Lonia Rozenhoch was born in 1920 in Poland. After Germany invaded Poland, she and her two sisters were sent to a labor camp at a weapons factory. In July 1944, with the advance of the Red Army, Lonia and her sisters were sent on a death march across Poland to Auschwitz. In April 1945, the sisters were released in a prisoner exchange deal and went to Sweden, coming to Israel in 1948.
  • Robert Tomashof was born in 1916 in Czechoslovakia. In March 1939, when the fascist regime rose to power, Robert was forced into the Slovak army. In 1942, after his mother and brothers were deported to Auschwitz and murdered, Robert fled and, using false papers, reached Budapest, where he was arrested after the Germans invaded Hungary in April 1944. After escaping, he fled to Romania, coming to Israel in 1948.

        See also Selected for Life by Dr. Mengele - Shira Leibowitz-Schmidt
    Livia Bitton Jackson recounted her initiation into Auschwitz and selection for life by Dr. Josef Mengele in a talk in Netanya this week: "On May 31, 1944, during the fourth night of the train ride from the ghetto, the train comes to a halt. A huge sign catches my eye: Auschwitz. An officer in a gray SS uniform stands facing the lines."
        "He looks at me with friendly eyes. 'Goldene Haar!' he exclaims in German and takes one of my long braids into his hand....'Are you Jewish?' 'Yes, I am Jewish.' 'How old are you?' 'Thirteen.' 'You are tall for your age. Is this your mother?' With his riding stick he shoves Mommy and me to the group going to the right. 'Go. And remember, from now on you're 16.'"  (Jerusalem Post)

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