ISIS Leader: Jews Give Everything to Fight Against Jihad - Yasser Okbi (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio message Thursday calling on ISIS fighters to destroy the "infidels" in the Iraqi city of Mosul and invade Turkey.
Baghdadi added that "Jews, Christians, Shiite heretics and all nations have allocated their media, all their money, all their equipment, and all their armies to fight against Muslims and jihadi fighters in Mosul after they saw it as one of the bases of Islam and a beacon of the caliphate."
He also called on Hizbullah fighters to invade Iraq and turn it into a flaming war zone.
Report: Israel Thwarted Terrorist Attack in Azerbaijan (Israel Hayom)
Israeli intelligence agents prevented a major terrorist attack in Azerbaijan during the 2012 Eurovision song contest in Baku, Azerbaijani MP Yevda Abramov revealed Tuesday.
He said "Mossad divers neutralized at sea a group of terrorists who arrived from Iran to Azerbaijan."
He added that Mossad agents played "a key role" in helping to secure the 2015 European Games in Baku.
Abramov chairs the parliamentary committee on Israel-Azerbaijan relations.
Egypt Devalues Its Currency to Meet IMF Demand for $13 Billion Loan (Al Jazeera)
Egypt devalued its currency by 48% on Thursday, meeting an important demand set by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $13 billion loan over three years to overhaul the country's economy.
In the West Bank, a Political Struggle Turns to Violence - Luke Baker (Reuters)
Hundreds of bullet holes scar the concrete walls, shop fronts and alleys of Balata near the West Bank city of Nablus, the result of six hours of furious clashes last week between Palestinian security forces and local gunmen.
"Balata is a fortress," said Khattam Abu Rezak, 31, one of the men sought by the security forces. "We don't let the Palestinian Authority in."
Italy Sees Israel as "Model of Scientific Research" (ANSA-Italy)
Israel is a model of scientific research for Italy, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday during the presentation of the Rita Levi Montalcini prize for scientific cooperation between the two countries to Professor Itamar Procaccia of Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science.
Italy currently has more than 100 researchers in Israel and there are 170 projects involving scientific collaboration between the two countries.
My Name Is Israel: A Do-It-Yourself Exhibition (Israel21c)
Since its founding, Israel has sent aid to 140 countries.
Israel21c has created an inspiring online exhibition to celebrate the devotion and accomplishments of Israeli aid workers.
Download, print and post it in any location.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Ayatollah Khamenei Reiterates Futility, Harmfulness of Talks with U.S.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday that negotiating with the U.S. government will not resolve Iran's problems, but will aggravate them. Khamenei underlined that the notion that detente with the U.S. would resolve Iran's problems was wrong and "very dangerous." He added that the U.S. failure to honor commitments under the nuclear deal is now acknowledged by all Iranian officials. American officials are liars and deceitful, Khamenei explained.
- Supreme Leader's Adviser Emphasizes Iran's Export of the Islamic Revolution - Paul Bucala
In a recent interview, Maj.-Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, a senior military advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, underscored Iran's commitment to building a network of armed and unarmed proxies, partners, and allies. He detailed Iran's support of actors in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Levant, and publicly confirmed Iranian military deployments to Gaza. He emphasized the concept of the Islamic Revolution, noting that Iran is at the center of the Muslim world and it is where the Islamic Revolution has come forth and is growing, to be exported to the world.
"In Gaza and Palestine, which is our top priority politically and religiously, we deployed advisers there, trained their forces, delivered scientific knowledge, treated their illnesses, and trained their researchers."
(American Enterprise Institute)
- Battle for Mosul on Schedule - Michael Knights
On Day 16 of the offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reached the eastern edges of the city at two points. Cooperation between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the ISF has been effective and enthusiastic. IS resistance has been strong, with around 100 car bombs, but the attacking momentum of the security forces has not been reduced.
In addition, Shia paramilitary units led by the Hashd al-Shaabi are quickly filling up the desert areas between Mosul and the Syrian border. The writer is a fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
See also U.S. Artillery, Airstrikes Pound ISIS Defenses in Mosul - Jeff Schogol (Marine Corps Times)
See also Battle for Mosul Resets Ties between Kurds and Baghdad - Yaroslav Trofimov (Wall Street Journal)
See also Mosul Neighbors Enjoy a Day without ISIS - Tim Arango (New York Times)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Palestinian Terrorist Who Murdered Israeli Mother Sentenced to Life in Prison - Ariel Whitman
Morad Bader Abdallah Adis, a Palestinian who murdered Dafna Meir in front of her teenage daughter inside their home in Otniel in January, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.
Meir, a mother of six, was a nurse at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba.
The court stressed that the murderer carried out the attack with unusual cruelty, and that denying him his freedom for the rest of his life is a fitting punishment. It also recommended that any future parole committee refrain from releasing him.
(Jerusalem Post-Ynet News)
- Fatah Lauds PA Police
Officer Who Shot Israeli Soldiers as "Heroic Martyr" - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jaques Zilberdik
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement glorified PA police officer Muhammad Turkeman, who shot and wounded three Israeli soldiers on Monday, as a "heroic martyr" on its official Facebook page. (Palestinian Media Watch)
- Lebanon under General Michel Aoun - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
Former Lebanese Army commander General Michel Aoun, 81, the new president of Lebanon, is the Arab world's oldest politician. A Maronite Christian from southern Lebanon, his Hizbullah-backed election is a reflection of the deep changes in Lebanese society where the traditional elite Maronite families from northern Lebanon have been pushed aside.
In a typical Lebanese manner, Aoun has no dogmatic positions. His view is mainly influenced by the Maronite struggle for survival in a Middle East shaken by the tremors generated by the radical Islamic tsunami aimed at the destruction of Christian presence in the area.
When Aoun was in exile in Paris (1990-2005), he had numerous encounters with Israelis and discussed with them ways to ensure the presence of Christianity in the Middle East and ways of cooperation with Israel.
After his return to Lebanon following the departure of the Syrian Army, Aoun understood that the future of the Christians in Lebanon could no more be ensured by the U.S., France, or Israel.
His understanding was that only through cooperation with Hizbullah and its Iranian patron could the Lebanese Christians guarantee their independent survival in the Middle East.
The writer is a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center.
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
See also Kerry Tells Lebanese President Aoun U.S. to Maintain Support for Army
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday congratulated Lebanese President Michel Aoun on his election, stressing that Washington will maintain its support for the Lebanese army.
- Apologizing for the Balfour Declaration Won't Achieve a Two-State Solution - Alona Ferber
The call for Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration of 1917 contributes little to advancing the Palestinian cause, building bridges between Israelis and Palestinians, or securing an independent and viable Palestinian state. Criticism of the declaration
assumes that Britain's treatment of the Jews was somehow better than its treatment of the Arabs under the Mandate, and that the Jewish community did not suffer between 1917 and 1948. In fact, the Jewish Yishuv, or community, was often at odds with Britain over its Palestine policy, which as the decades ground on put less and less stock in supporting the Zionists.
The logical conclusion of a British apology for Balfour is that Israel should never have existed. The problem is that it does exist, and the millions of Israelis who call it home have nowhere to go. By looking to overturn a nearly century-old endorsement of a Jewish national home in Palestine, the apology campaigners offer no solutions or practical suggestions, only counterproductive rhetoric. What Israelis and Palestinians need are opportunities to look forward, not to the past. The writer is deputy managing editor of the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics, Tony Blair's counter-extremism think tank.
- American and Israeli Jews: Twin Portraits
Four out of every five Jews in the world live in Israel or the U.S. The Pew Research Center has surveyed Jewish adults in both places, and has found deep bonds between them. Nevertheless, their experiences and perspectives are very different.
Fewer than half of Israeli Jews (43%) polled in 2014 and 2015 said they believe "a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully with each other," compared with a clear majority of American Jews (61%).
About four in ten American Jews have traveled to Israel at least once (many have done so more than once), and a similar share of Israeli Jews have visited the U.S. A solid majority of Jewish Americans say they are either "very" or "somewhat" attached to Israel and that caring about Israel is either "essential" or "important" to what being Jewish means to them. Most Israeli Jews say that a thriving diaspora is vital to the long-term survival of the Jewish people and that Jews in the two countries share a "common destiny." (Pew Research Center)
Netanyahu: This Conflict Was Never About a Palestinian State, It's About Accepting the Jewish State (Prime Minister's Office)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday:
- Sadly, Palestinian President Abbas continues to refuse to accept a Jewish state in any boundaries and this remains the core of the conflict.
It is wrong to think that the conflict between us and the Palestinians is rooted in the settlements. It preceded the settlements by half a century. And when we left Gaza and all the settlements there, they continued to fire rockets at us.
- I asked President Abbas, "Would you recognize a Jewish state, assuming we solve the settlement problem?" And they won't, because the real settlement issue is the "settlements" of Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and Haifa.
- This conflict is not and never was about a Palestinian state, which successive Israeli governments, including this prime minister, is willing to arrange. It is about the Jewish state, and unless and until our Palestinian neighbors face this, and give up trying to destroy the Jewish state, peace will be harder to achieve. Denying our history is one of the means of denying the Jewish state.
- What fills me with great hope is that there is a dramatic change taking place in the Arab world. Many of the Arab countries see Israel no longer as their enemy but as their ally in fighting against Islamist terrorism and militant Islam, either led by Iran or led by the Islamic State.
- If we said in the past that if we break through with the Palestinians, we'll have broader peace with the Arab world, I think the odds are that now peace is going to be achieved through a reverse path - that a broader rapprochement with the Arab world would bring peace with the Palestinians. Israel's hand is extended in peace to all those who want to make peace with us.
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.