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,
June 30, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Palestinian Enters Jewish Home, Murders Israeli Teen - Elisha Ben-Kimon and Elior Levy (Ynet News-Ha'aretz)
    A Palestinian terrorist, Mohammed Taraireh, 19, from Bani Na'im, climbed over a security fence surrounding the Harsina neighborhood of Kiryat Arba in the West Bank, entered a Jewish home, and repeatedly stabbed Hillel Yafa Ariel, 13, in her bedroom.
    The terrorist then stabbed and wounded a security guard before he was killed.
    See also The Knife and the Message: The Roots of the New Palestinian Uprising - Hirsh Goodman and Yossi Kuperwasser, eds. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

U.S. Congress Targets Stipends for Palestinian Terrorists - Michael Wilner (Jerusalem Post)
    Congress is moving to prevent the Palestinian leadership from using U.S. aid dollars to provide monthly stipends to people convicted of murder or terrorism, Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) told the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
    Language has been inserted into next year's foreign aid bill to reduce aid to the PA by the amount paid to Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorism.
    "I believe there's a moral issue here....I don't see how Palestinians can defend this practice," Coats said.

Israel Defense Prize Awarded for Top-Secret Work - Judah Ari Gross (Times of Israel)
    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman awarded the Israel Defense Prize to two teams for the development of new, top secret technologies over the past year.
    The first group was a joint effort from the IDF Intelligence Directorate, the Israel Air Force and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, while the second team was made up of members from the Prime Minister's Office and IDF Intelligence Corps.
    "Thank you for making the defense network stronger. Thank you for your determination in turning imagination into reality," Lieberman said.

Israel-U.S. Binational R&D Foundation to Invest $7.5 Million in New Projects (Biospace)
    On June 8, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved $7.5 million in funding for nine new projects between U.S. and Israeli companies.
    The projects involve an improved stem cell selection system, development of new drought-tolerant wheat varieties, an imaging system for pollution detection, treatment for prevention of lung transplant rejection, a new medical device for cerebral protection during cardiovascular procedures, prescription error surveillance, and polymer optical fibers for data centers.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • CIA Director Warns of Islamic State Attack in U.S. - Tim Johnson
    CIA Director John Brennan told the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on Wednesday that the suicide bombings at Istanbul's international airport on Tuesday bore "the hallmarks" of the Islamic State. He said the group was determined to attempt to strike terror inside the U.S.
        "It would be surprising to me that ISIL is not trying to hit us both in the region as well as in our homeland....If anybody here thinks that the U.S. homeland is hermetically sealed and that Daesh or ISIL [Islamic State] would not consider that, I would guard against that."  (McClatchy)
  • Ending Free Rein for Islamic State, Turkey Feels Its Wrath - Rukmini Callimachi
    For years, Turkey served as a rear base and transit hub for Islamic State fighters, possibly protecting it from violence. Now, analysts say, the country may be paying the price for tightening its borders and allowing the U.S. to use a Turkish air base to fly sorties over Syria and Iraq. (New York Times)
  • Erdogan Criticizes Gaza Flotilla Organizer IHH
    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday criticized the Turkish charity group IHH for trying to undermine the reconciliation agreement with Israel, saying the deal is a good development for Palestinians and based upon the principle of mutual benefit. Erdogan said the IHH did not ask for permission from him back in 2010 when he was prime minister, when they organized the flotilla to Gaza that led to a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel. (Daily Sabah-Turkey)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel: Palestinians Are Responsible for Diplomatic Logjam - Herb Keinon
    Israel Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold said Wednesday that the Palestinians are responsible for the lack of diplomatic progress to settle their conflict with Israel. The first factor has been PA President Mahmoud Abbas' refusal to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "You can't have a negotiated solution if there are no negotiations."
        The second factor is Palestinian incitement and violence. The Oslo process of 1993 "was predicated on the assumption that the parties were putting their hostile relationship behind them, that violence cannot coexist with the quest for peace." But since then, Israel has had to deal with suicide bombings in its cities, then rockets from Gaza, and finally a new wave of knife attacks. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israeli Coexistence Group Attacked by Arabs in Ramallah
    Nine Israeli citizens entered Ramallah in the West Bank on Wednesday evening to share a Ramadan meal at the home of a Palestinian working for Jewish-Arab coexistence. Palestinians who noticed them then hurled firebombs at their cars, setting one on fire. Eight of the Israelis succeeded in leaving Ramallah, while the ninth was rescued by the Palestinian security services. (Ynet News)
  • IDF Unveils New Cyber Defense HQ - Israel Wulman
    Somewhere in central Israel, deep underground, is a 24/7 war room meant to enable the Israel Defense Forces to fully function, even under severe cyber attacks. Even though its direct responsibilities are limited to military networks, the IDF is in close cooperation with civilian cyber bodies - the national cyber warfare HQ in the Prime Minister's Office, the Defense Ministry's cyber HQ (responsible for protecting the ministry's networks, as well as those of military industries), and the Israel Security Agency's cyber HQ (which protects the country's critical infrastructure).
        Brig. Gen. Danny Bren, the founder of the first cyber defense unit, said, "Israel is the only democratic nation in the world that has enemies who desire its kinetic destruction, who have cybernetic abilities, and who combine these two together into a single operational idea. These enemies are called Iran and Hizbullah."  (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Abbas and the European Parliament: Incitement in Spades - Jonathan A. Greenblatt
    PA President Mahmoud Abbas has apologized for telling the European Parliament that rabbis in Israel "have said very clearly to their government that our water should be poisoned." But his speech included other provocative elements. At a time when the world is coping with the horrors of ISIS terror, Abbas claimed that "once the occupation ends, terrorism will disappear, there will be no more terrorism in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world." One can seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians without attributing to it a magical ability to solve the enormous threat from ISIS.
        In addition, Abbas charged that Israel has started three wars in Gaza. In fact, of course, it was Hamas deliberately attacking Israeli civilians and making life in Sderot and other Israeli cities unbearable that forced Israel to attack Hamas in Gaza. Despite his litany of untruths, the European Parliament members gave Abbas a standing ovation. The writer is national director of the Anti-Defamation League. (Ha'aretz)
  • What the Horror in Istanbul Reveals about the Fight Against the Islamic State - Editorial
    Paris, Brussels and now Istanbul. The horrific attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on Tuesday suggested that the Islamic State's capacity to mount major raids on strategic international targets remains robust. The Istanbul assault succeeded in spite of tight Turkish security. The attackers were spotted soon after they emerged from a taxi outside the airport; at least two were shot by security forces, and only one made it inside the international terminal. The explosives they detonated were nevertheless able to slaughter dozens of people, some of whom were waiting in security lines.
        More broadly, Istanbul shows that the threat of major, coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic State has not been much diminished. (Washington Post)
  • The Regional Impact of Israeli-Turkish Normalization - Eyal Zisser
    Both Israel and Turkey benefit from the reconciliation deal. The compensation that Jerusalem is willing to pay Turkish victims of the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident is negligible when compared to the potential economic benefits Israel could reap from renewed relations with Turkey. While the deal will not set off a honeymoon period between the two countries, the diplomatic, security and economic benefits both countries will gain as a result of normalizing relations are worth so much more than the price of compromise. The writer, Vice Rector at Tel Aviv University, is former director of its Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. (Israel Hayom)
  • Why the Anti-Israel Boycott Movement Is an Immoral Threat to Peace - Yossi Klein Halevi
    As the Middle East devours itself, leaving behind the worst human devastation since World War II, an international movement seeks to delegitimize Israel, the region's only intact society. Israel alone in the Mideast has an independent judiciary, a free press, universal healthcare and religious freedom. Yet the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, or BDS, has singled out the Jewish state as the world's most pressing problem.
        BDS perpetuates the lie that Israel is primarily to blame for the absence of a Palestinian state - rather than the repeated rejection by Palestinian leaders of peace plans presented over the decades. As the Palestinian media broadcast on a daily basis, their goal isn't two states living in peace but a single Arab-majority state in which Jews would be at best a tolerated minority. The writer is a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. (Los Angeles Times)

The Positive Side of Nationalism - Elliott Abrams (National Review)

  • The decision of the British electorate to reject all advice and vote to leave the European Union is above all a display of nationalism, though when pundits mentioned the word, they used it as a synonym for chauvinism, isolationism, and ignorance much more frequently than as a synonym for patriotism.
  • Nationalism is out of favor, especially in Europe, for obvious historical reasons, having been understood as a basis for fascism and extreme chauvinism.
  • For Israelis, the referendum fight helps explain their unpopularity among European elites. If nationalism is primitive and infantile and dangerous, it is no wonder that Israel is criticized endlessly and its efforts to defend itself are seen as excessive.
  • Israel's basic demand - to be understood and acknowledged as a Jewish state - is itself considered illicit; ethno-national states are out of the question these days. Defending your state with actual guns is positively medieval in the eyes of today's European leaders.
  • Americans beg to differ, and that's a reason that Israel is more popular there. Believing in your country and defending it with your army is considered patriotic in the U.S., not primitive.

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

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