IDF Deploys Iron Dome, Raises Alert amid Islamic Jihad Terror Threat - Judah Ari Gross (Times of Israel)
The IDF deployed a number of Iron Dome missile defense batteries in central Israel on Monday amid heightened threats from Palestinian Islamic Jihad after the army demolished an attack tunnel from Gaza last month, killing 12 members of the group.
On Saturday, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai warned the group's leaders by name that they would be "held responsible" should Islamic Jihad attack Israel.
Mordechai warned that Israel is "aware of the plot that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is planning against Israel," and said "any attack will be met with a powerful and determined Israeli response, not only against the Jihad, but also against Hamas."
See also IDF Nabs Top Islamic Jihad Official in West Bank - Judah Ari Gross (Times of Israel)
Israeli forces on Monday arrested Tariq Qa'adan, a top Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank.
U.S. Delegation Arrives in Israel to Discuss Syria Border Deal (Times of Israel)
A delegation from the U.S. National Security Council arrived in Israel on Tuesday to discuss the U.S.-Russia agreement regarding Syria and Iran's growing threat to the region, U.S. officials confirmed.
Israel Has Highest Fertility Rate in OECD - Maytal Yasur Beit-Or (Israel Hayom)
Among the 35 developed countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), women in Israel have the highest birthrate, with 3.1 children. On average, a baby is born in Israel every three minutes.
Mexico placed a distant second with 2.2 and the fertility rate for France, the U.S., Britain, the Netherlands, and Spain is less than 2.
Israeli Firm to Desalinate Seawater for France's Mayotte Island - Abigail Klein Leichman (Israel21c)
Israel's Fluence Corp. has been awarded a 1.5 million euro contract to supply three NIROBOX reverse-osmosis seawater desalination units for the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean.
This follows the company's recent contract to supply a desalination plant in South Africa.
Athena Fund Distributes iPads to Special Ed Teachers in Israel (Disabled World)
Israel's Athena Fund has distributed iPads to 1,300 special education teachers and kindergarten teachers in Israel since Nov. 2015.
The iPad improves interpersonal communication with teachers, family and the environment, and enables students to better cope with their difficulties.
The program plans to distribute iPads to 10,000 special education teachers in Israel, along with special software and applications for students with special needs and disabilities.
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- U.S. Ambassador to Israel: "We're Working Very Hard" on Mideast Peace Plan - Shiryn Solny
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman confirmed Sunday that a Trump administration team is drafting an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. "We're working very hard on it," he said.
"The United States government treats Israel the way it deserves to be treated: as a critical strategic and trusted ally in one of the world's toughest neighborhoods. Prime Minister Netanyahu and I agree that we have turned a page on the relationship between Israel and the United States."
Friedman also spoke of Iran. "In Iran, there are three independent things to be concerned about: Iran as a nuclear power that threatens to annihilate Israel; Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism through Hizbullah and other proxies; and Iran as a regional superpower expanding through Iraq, Syria and Yemen and filling the vacuum created by the defeat of ISIS." (JNS.org-Algemeiner)
See also below Commentary: Trump's Middle East Peace Initiative Still on Hold - Ben Caspit (Al-Monitor)
- Iraqi Forces Settle Score with Kurds - Isabel Coles and Ali Nabhan
Since routing the Kurds in October in Kirkuk and other parts of northern Iraq they had ruled for three years, Iraqi forces have set off a new round of score-settling that undermines hopes for stability in the country. More than 180,000 people, mainly Kurds, have fled the disputed areas, according to the UN.
Some Kurds who fled said they fear retribution by Iraqi forces and local residents from other ethnic groups, primarily Arabs, who have been newly empowered by the restoration of federal authority. In some areas, Kurdish property has been ransacked and torched.
(Wall Street Journal )
- Israel Expresses Concern about "Racist" March in Poland - Vanessa Gera
Polish President Andrzej Duda has sharply condemned anti-Semitic slogans and chants by some of the 60,000 people who took part in a march on Saturday in Warsaw. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called the event "a dangerous march of extreme and racist elements. We hope that Polish authorities will act against the organizers. History teaches us that expressions of racist hate must be dealt with swiftly and decisively." (AP-Washington Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu: Israel Seeing Diplomatic Renaissance - Itamar Eichner
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Monday that Israel was experiencing "a diplomatic renaissance." "This morning I was visited in my office by a special emissary from my friend, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was reelected. The emissary delivered an invitation to visit Japan, if possible by the end of the year. He also informed me that over the past three years, Japanese investments in Israel have grown 20 times over."
"Yesterday I received a warm letter from another friend, U.S. President Donald Trump, thanking me for the support we've given to the U.S. stance against the Iran nuclear deal....A week ago, I got another letter, a warm letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who praised the relationship building between China and Israel."
"Two weeks earlier, I had a conversation with another friend, Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a matter of importance to Israeli security. In a few weeks, I'll be heading to India at the invitation of a friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi....This weekend, I spoke on the phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi....Countries are lining up to strengthen ties with us. This is happening every day." (Ynet News)
- Knesset Sets Up Task Force to Keep EU Funds Away from Terrorists - Gideon Allon
The Knesset is setting up a special task force designed to ensure that money the European Union donates to the Palestinian Authority for welfare purposes will not be funneled to terrorist elements and used against Israel, or to the families of terrorists with blood on their hands. The project is the brainchild of opposition Zionist Union MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, who brought in MKs from six other parties.
"Every month, some 4.5 million euros in EU funds are divided among those who carried out terrorist attacks against Israel and the families of terrorists. It's hard to convince Israelis...that the Palestinians want to promote the peace process as long as donations from countries throughout the world, especially Europe, are transferred to murderers rather than benefiting the Palestinian population," she said.
- Israel Bars EU MPs from Entering Israel - Tal Schneider
Israel has refused to grant entry permits to 20 members of the European Parliament, members of the French parliament, and French mayors because they supported a boycott against Israel, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced Monday. The delegation members announced in advance that they planned to visit Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms in prison for murder.
- Trump's Middle East Peace Initiative Still on Hold - Ben Caspit
Al-Monitor has learned that President Trump and his staff's original plan was to launch a U.S. Middle East peace initiative in January 2018, with an impressive ceremony in Washington with the participation of Israel and the Palestinians, as well as high-level representatives from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, and the Quartet. The launch has now been delayed until March 2018.
On Nov. 6, PA President Mahmoud Abbas was summoned to Riyadh. According to Palestinian sources, once there, Abbas received a message delivered to Riyadh by Trump aide Jared Kushner several days earlier: The American initiative was supposed to begin soon, and the U.S. expected the Palestinian leader to respond positively to it, even if there were certain elements of the deal that he did not like. The Palestinians must not reject the initiative out of hand, it was said. Every comment and reservation they had would be handled during the course of the negotiations.
Diplomatic sources involved in the process believe the American initiative will not see the light of day unless Netanyahu agrees to it. Another important factor is that Trump has not even approved it yet and it will be brought to him only when it is finished. Sources say the initiative will consist of regional negotiations along three channels: Israeli-Palestinian with American mediation, Israeli-regional, and international (including rehabilitation of the refugee camps). (Al-Monitor)
- Al-Qaeda Has Rebuilt Itself - with Iran's Help - Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark
While the Islamic State's experiment in statehood nears its end, al-Qaeda has flourished - its comeback assisted by a pact with Iran. Last week, the CIA declassified a new trove of documents from the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his compound in Pakistan. This document dump detailed how Hamza, Osama bin Laden's son, sheltered in Iran and even got married there; and how negotiations between al-Qaeda and the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran touched on funding and arming the Sunni terror outfit so it could strike at American targets.
A contingent of al-Qaeda's clerical and military leaders remained in Iran until April 2012.
Most of the outfit's military council remained in Iran until 2015. Only 400 strong when the Twin Towers fell, al-Qaeda now, with its leadership split between Iran, Pakistan, and Syria, has quietly rebuilt itself to the point of being able to call on tens of thousands of foot soldiers.
The Dishonesty of the "Palestinian Narrative" - Adam Levick (UK Media Watch)
- The Guardian published an op-ed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Nov. 1 that included nearly every distortion and lie within what's known as the "Palestinian narrative."
- The language used by Abbas frames Jews as interlopers with no historical or religious connection to the land, despite the fact that there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the Land of Israel for over 3,000 years.
- While Abbas claims that the Balfour Declaration triggered devastating events for the Palestinian people, the tragic events were mostly the result of decisions by Palestinian (and Arab) leaders to reject political and territorial compromise and maintain hostility to a permanent Jewish presence in the land.
- While Abbas claims that 2.9 million Palestinians live in the West Bank under a draconian military occupation, in fact, over 95% of the Palestinian population in the West Bank live under Palestinian Authority control.
- Abbas claims the Palestinians "have made deeply painful compromises for the sake of peace, beginning with the decision to accept a state on only 22% of our historical homeland."
But, in fact, a Palestinian national identity separate from Arab or tribal identities is only a 20th century phenomenon. Palestinians didn't "lose" 78% of their land because you can't "lose" land you never had control of in the first place.
- Abbas' op-ed is an illustration of the Palestinians' refusal to acknowledge and learn from past mistakes and come to terms with the true "obstacles to peace": endemic anti-Semitism, the glorification of violence, and the failure to promote tolerance, pluralism and other liberal democratic values.
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