Israel Renews Ties with Largely Muslim Nation Guinea
- Cara Anna (Associated Press)
Israel said Wednesday it has renewed diplomatic ties with the largely Muslim African country of Guinea, the latest step in Israel's courtship of the continent, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected another nation to soon follow suit.
Israel's foreign ministry announced that the countries restored ties after 49 years. The director of Israel's foreign ministry, Dore Gold, signed an agreement in Paris with the chief of staff of Guinea's presidential office, Ibrahim Khalil Kaba.
FBI: Tucson Man Charged in Terror Plot Eyed Jewish Community Center
- Jacques Billeaud (Tuscon.com/AP)
A Tucson man charged with plotting a terrorist attack on a motor vehicle office in metro Phoenix also expressed to an undercover FBI employee that he wanted to target a Jewish community center in his hometown in a violent attack, a federal agent testified Tuesday at a court hearing.
The agent said 18-year-old Mahin Khan wanted to inspire an insurgency in the United States to carry out the sort of attacks that had occurred in Paris and Brussels and had online exchanges with a person believed to be a member of the Islamic State terrorist group.
Israeli Students Win 10 Medals at Physics and Math Olympiads
- Itay Blumental and Roi Kais (Ynet News)
Israeli competitors earned a combined ten medals at the International Physics Olympiad which took place in Zurich, Switzerland, and the International Mathematical Olympiad which took place in Hong Kong, China. The Israeli teams, comprised of high school students, were ranked 19th and 22nd, respectively.
The math team jumped 18 places in the ranks from last year, when it finished in 40 place. 109 countries participated in the competition.
Best Israeli Summer Ever for Live Pop Concerts from Abroad
- Ben Shalev (Haaretz)
The summer of 2016 is the richest, most relevant and most balanced performance season in recent years. There are many performances characterized by nostalgia, but also quite a few with their hands on the pulse of the present. In the coming months the trend of cross-generational abundance will continue, with performances by dinosaurs along with visits by people belonging to the present.
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- Turkey Declares 3-Month State of Emergency
- Zoya Sheftalovich
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Wednesday that the government would be implementing a three-month state of emergency following Friday’s failed army coup. The state of emergency grants the president and his cabinet increased powers such as the ability to bypass parliament in enacting new laws and allows them to limit or suspend rights and freedoms.
“This measure is in no way against democracy, the law, and freedoms,” Erdogan said. “Europe does not have the right to criticize this decision.” (Politico EU)
Turkish Pilots who Downed Russian Jet Arrested over Coup Plot - Hortense Goulard
Two Turkish pilots accused of shooting down a Russian plane near the Turkish-Syrian border last November were arrested in the wake of Friday’s failed military coup. (Politico EU)
- Chart of 60,000 Arrested or Dismissed by Turkish Government
Turkey has dismissed or suspended some 60,000 people from their jobs. Here's a breakdown. (Radio Free Europe)
- Atlanta Mayor Nixes Black Lives Matter Demand To Stop Police Cooperation with ‘Apartheid Israel’
- Deborah Denan
The mayor of Atlanta rejected outright a demand by Black Lives Matter protesters to terminate the local police force’s joint training exercises with “Apartheid Israel” police.
“There was a demand that I stop allowing the Atlanta Police Department to train with the Israeli police department. I’m not going to do that; I happen to believe that the Israeli police department has some of the best counterterrorism techniques in the world, and it benefits our police department from that longstanding relationship.” VIDEO (Breitbart)
- Treasury Designates Three Senior Al-Qaida Members Located in Iran
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury took action to disrupt the operations, fundraising, and support networks that help al-Qaida move money and operatives from South Asia and across the Middle East by imposing sanctions on three al-Qaida senior members located in Iran since 2014. Specifically, Treasury designated Faisal Jassim Mohammed Al-Amri Al-Khalidi (Al-Khalidi), Yisra Muhammad Ibrahim Bayumi (Bayumi), and Abu Bakr Muhammad Muhammad Ghumayn (Ghumayn) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists for acting for or on behalf of al-Qaida.
As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which these individuals have any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.
“Today’s action sanctions senior al-Qaida operatives responsible for moving money and weapons across the Middle East,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “Treasury remains committed to targeting al-Qaida’s terrorist activity and denying al-Qaida and its critical support networks access to the international financial system.” (U.S. Treasury)
- Computer Hack Helped Feed an Islamic State Death List
- By Tim Johnson
An Albanian hacker wormed his way into the computer server of a U.S. online retailer. For two months he sorted through the server, extracting emails and personal data. But this case was more than a surreptitious digital mugging. The trespasser had ties to the Islamic State Hacking Division, a terrorist cyber unit, and before it was over he’d put together a “kill list” for the Islamic State with the identities of 1,351 U.S. government and military personnel from the 100,000 names, credit card records and Social Security numbers he’d extracted from the host server. (McClatchy DC)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Erdogan Aide: Coup Attempt Will Tighten Israel-Turkey Ties
- Stuart Winer
The failed putsch attempt by members of the Turkish military will serve to deepen Turkey’s newly restored ties with Israel, a senior adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Israel Channel 2 television on Wednesday. Mutual security fears will act as a spur to reinforce the reconciliation agreement between Jerusalem and Ankara that was signed last month, said Ilnur Cevik.
“It will maybe speed up the normalization process,” Cevik told the Israeli news channel in a meeting at the presidential palace in Ankara. “We feel Israel has always helped us in intelligence gathering. We need that in our fight against Daesh [ISIS],” he said. “We need that in putting some order into Syria.” (Times of Israel)
- Drone Expert Concerned by Failure to Shoot Down UAV that Penetrated Israeli Airspace
- Gili Cohen
An expert on drones has expressed concern over Israel’s inability to shoot down an unmanned aerial vehicle that penetrated the country’s airspace on Sunday and warned that Israel should expect more drones in the future.
The drone entered Israeli airspace over the central Golan Heights on Sunday afternoon. The air force unsuccessfully tried to intercept it three times, firing two Patriot missiles from a battery located in the north, and then scrambling fighter jets to shoot it down with an air-to-air missile.
“Hermetic defense does not exist, and various devices could very well penetrate [Israeli airspace],” said Tal Inbar, head of the Space and UAV Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies. “It is not easy to shoot down drones because of their size, speed and the materials they are made from, which make detection difficult,” he added. (Haaretz)
- Israeli Plastic Company Sells Off 80% to European Equity House for $1.5B
- Michael Rochvarger
In one of the biggest corporate sales ever in Israel, the Sagol family agreed yesterday to sell control of its Keter Plastic to the European private equity fund BC Partners for about $1.5 billion. The company, which began as a workshop in Jaffa in 1948, sells its products worldwide and operates about 29 plants in the United States and Europe. (Haaretz)
- Don’t Forget, or Deny, Hizbullah’s Brutal Crimes
- Matthew Levitt
For the victims of Hizbullah terrorism, this week is a painful one. While the world was focused on horrifying attacks in France, Germany and across the Middle East, a grim anniversary on July 18th went little noticed.
In 1994, Hizbullah carried out the suicide truck bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 and wounding 300 people. Eighteen years later, the group struck again, this time blowing up a busload of Israeli tourists at the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing seven and wounding 32 others. Despite overwhelming evidence, Hizbullah has denied responsibility for these (and many other) attacks.
Contrary to its denials, Hizbullah continues to engage in illicit activities around the world. This week, as we mark the anniversary of two of Hizbullah’s most spectacular attacks on opposite sides of the globe — from Bulgaria to Argentina — it is high time to a call spade a spade: Hizbullah is a social and political movement in Lebanon, but engages in terrorist, military, criminal activities there, and around the world. Its legitimate activities in Lebanon should not be a free pass for its illegitimate conduct. (National Post)
- One Year after the Iran Nuclear Deal
- Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser
Iran took full advantage of the paralysis and failure of the West to block its policies so that it could pursue its ballistic missiles and nuclear weaponization programs – two programs aimed at gaining the ability to hit not only Israel but Europe too, with nuclear warheads towards the end of the deal duration (only 10-15 years from now).
The Iranians and the rest of the people living in the Middle East understand that the West is weak. The Iranians, like other Radical Islamists (and Russia) take advantage of that. They proceed with their plans to take over the Middle East from the Pragmatists and threaten Israel.
To avoid any confrontation, the West was ready to “kick the can down the road” while paving for the Mullahs a guaranteed way to their dreams – and which are our nightmares. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Tehran Teaches Its Children Hatred and Genocide
- Editorial (Wall Street Journal)
- Every restriction on the Iranian mullahs’ nuclear program expires in 15 years. So it’s worth paying attention to what the next generation of Iranians is being taught about their country’s mission in the world.
- Our best look so far comes thanks to a new report from Impact-se, a Jerusalem-based institute that monitors the content of textbooks across the Middle East.
- Regime leaders are presented as infallible, divinely inspired and beyond criticism.
- A third-grade religion textbook’s section on cleanliness includes an illustration of Iranian children chasing away a filthy, mucus-like blob with a Star of David on its back. A fifth-grade text for the 2016-17 academic year shows Palestinian children attacking Israeli soldiers with rocks and slingshots. It’s accompanied by regime founder Ayatollah Khomeini’s portrait and his injunction that “Israel must be wiped out.”
- Part of Mr. Obama’s bet in signing the nuclear deal is that Iranian youth will be more moderate than the religious fundamentalists who now rule the country. This curriculum suggests that’s not a bet he’s likely to win.
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