Iran Demands Syrian Bases - Eric Sumner (Jerusalem Post)
About a month ago, Iranian Chief of Staff Gen. Mohammad Bagheri visited Damascus and presented Assad with a list of demands, Walla! News reported Tuesday.
Tehran's demands included a 50-year lease on a Mediterranean naval base, the establishment of air bases throughout Syria, and permission to mine phosphates - including uranium.
60 MEPs Urge EU to Stop Funding Anti-Israel BDS Movement (European Jewish Press)
60 members of the European Parliament called on EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini to stop EU funding and isolate the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
The move is spearheaded by Cristian Dan Preda of Romania, foreign affairs coordinator for the European People's Party; Ioan Mircea Pascu (S&D, Romania), a Vice-President of the European Parliament; Petras Austrevicius (ALDE, Lithuania) and Arne Gericke (ECR, Germany).
Other signatories include Chair of Security and Defence Anna Fotyga (ECR, Poland), Vice-Preident Pavel Telicka (ALDE, Czech Republic), Dietmar Koster (S&D, Germany), and Vice-Chair of Human Rights Beatriz Becerra (ALDE, Spain).
Israel Is the New Promised Land for Chinese Investors - Coco Liu (South China Morning Post-Hong Kong)
A growing number of Chinese investors view Israeli businesses as the next smart buy, fueled by China's soaring demand for advanced technologies and warming relations between Beijing and Israel.
China's total investment in Israel almost tripled last year to $16 billion, largely driven by a surge in funding in Israel's hi-tech industry.
See also Chinese Cultural Center Opens in Israel - Xiang Bo (Xinhua-China)
China opened a Cultural Center in Tel Aviv on Sunday to host art performances, cultural exhibitions, and academic seminars to allow Israelis a better understanding of Chinese culture.
The Israeli Who Captured Chinese Hearts - Frank Tang (South China Morning Post-Hong Kong)
Raz Gal-Or, 23, produced a series of short videos in which foreign residents shared their perspective on Chinese matters, which have gained huge popularity in China through the Internet.
The Foreigners Research Institute, cofounded by Gal-Or last year, now has 1.8 million followers on Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter.
His father, Amir Gal-Or, is a successful venture capitalist who moved his businesses and the whole family to China when Raz was 13.
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- Pence Says Trump "Actively Considering" Moving U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem - Anne Gearan
"While for the past 20 years, Congress and successive administrations have expressed a willingness to move our embassy, as we speak, President Donald Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday at an event in New York marking the 70th anniversary of the UN vote paving the way for establishing the State of Israel. Trump faces another deadline on Dec. 1 to say what he will do about the embassy. (Washington Post)
See also Video: Vice President Pence at Commemoration of 1947 UN Vote on Israel
"We are gathered today on the eve of a historic anniversary, to celebrate what happened here, in this very hall, 70 years ago, when the United Nations declared to the modern world an ancient truth - that the Jewish people have a natural, irrevocable right to an independent state in their ancestral and eternal homeland." (YouTube)
See also Text: Vice President Pence Commemorates UN Vote Establishing Israel (White House)
See also Video: Prime Minister Netanyahu on the 70th Anniversary of the UN Partition Resolution (Prime Minister's Office)
- Egypt Is in Trouble in Sinai - Robin Wright
Now that the Islamic State's caliphate in Iraq and Syria has been destroyed, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula is gaining notoriety as the hottest front line against jihadist groups, including ISIS, an al-Qaeda franchise, and smaller cells.
Since 2013, the Egyptian hinterland has witnessed more than 1,700 attacks, according to the Washington-based Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. Sinai Province, the local ISIS affiliate, has claimed credit for 800 of them. Almost 1,000 Egyptian police officers and soldiers have been killed while fighting extremists and insurgents.
A report on Sinai Province by the Woodrow Wilson Center claims that "foreign fighters - largely from Libya, the Maghreb and Europe - have migrated to the Sinai, where they constituted as much as 80% of the Sinai Province's fighting force by mid-2017." (New Yorker)
See also The Sinai: Jihadism's Latest Frontline - Evan W. Burt (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu Meets with Kenyan President, Other African Leaders - Jonathan Lis
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Tuesday in Kenya with African leaders who were in Nairobi to attend the inauguration of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The prime minister also announced the opening of a new Israeli embassy in Rwanda. Netanyahu did not attend the inauguration due to security concerns, but sat next to Kenyatta at a luncheon that followed. He met with the presidents of Gabon, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Botswana and Namibia, as well as the prime minister of Ethiopia.
See also Video: Prime Minister Netanyahu at Inauguration of Kenyan President (Prime Minister's Office)
- PA Orders Former Civil Servants in Gaza to Resume Posts, Angering Hamas
The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday called on all of its former civil servants in Gaza - who were forced out of work following Hamas' June 2007 takeover - to return to work in their former posts, casting doubt on the future of tens of thousands of Hamas-hired employees in Gaza.
- Pressure Iran on Regional Terror - Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon
The main feature of today's Middle East is the struggle for hegemony between three radical Islamic camps: The Iranian Shiite camp that strives steadily to extend is influence, establish Islamic regimes in the region, and divide the Sunni Arab world. The Sunni Salafi jihadist camp, led by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, which seeks to set up an Islamic caliphate. The Muslim Brotherhood under the aegis of Turkish President Erdogan, who aims for a new-Ottoman empire based on Muslim Brotherhood ideology.
It is already possible to put heavy pressure on the Iranian regime, due to its violation of the Security Council resolution on weapons dissemination, terror, the missile project, and violations of human rights, including the arrest and execution of opponents of the regime. At the same time, the U.S. administration must work for closer supervision of the Iranian nuclear project, invest in intelligence, and cooperate with allies, in order to prevent Iran from achieving military nuclear capability. The writer is a former Israeli defense minister and IDF chief of staff.
(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
- Obstacles Hindering Iran's Expansion in the Middle East - Dr. Raz Zimmt
While Iran seeks to create a sphere of influence in western Iraq and eastern Syria and establish a land corridor to the Mediterranean, the government of Iraq (with American encouragement) may hinder the transfer of weapons through this route. In addition, parts of this route are controlled by forces opposed to Iranian meddling, such as the Kurdish militias supported by the U.S. or the Sunni communities in western and central Iraq. Moreover, ISIS will likely revert to guerrilla tactics and carry out hit-and-run attacks against Iranian vehicles moving along the land corridor.
In Syria, Russia has become the dominant player, and Iran has had to settle for a secondary role. In addition, it is likely that Sunni Turkey will view increasing Shi'ite influence spearheaded by Iran as harmful to its interests.
Iran's ability to cement its influence in the region is constrained by the demographic composition of the largely Sunni region and the competing influence of other players. The writer is a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
(Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
- 70 Years after UN Resolution 181: An Assessment - Liora Chartouni
Seventy years ago, on November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 calling for the partition of Mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. The Jews accepted the plan with a mixture of joy and hesitation, while the Arabs rejected it and launched a war to forcibly prevent its implementation. The Arabs denied the Jews any right whatsoever in their ancestral homeland, and a large majority still maintains this view to this day.
Since the Arab states rejected the resolution upon its adoption and prevented its implementation, the Palestinian leadership can neither logically nor legally claim today that Resolution 181 can serve as a basis for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Finally, according to the UN Charter, General Assembly resolutions are simply recommendations and are not legally binding. Only resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter 7 of the Charter may be obligatory. Thus, Resolution 181 cannot in any manner be considered to be a basis for a Palestinian claim to statehood. The writer is pursuing a Master's degree in Human Rights and Transitional Justice at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This was written under the supervision of Amb. Alan Baker. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
The Israeli Government and the Jewish People - Emily Amrousi (Israel Hayom)
- Step outside the disputed Western Wall prayer space and you'll see that the State of Israel has never been more closely connected to the Jewish people at large than today.
- Israel's Declaration of Independence mentions the "Jewish nation" 11 times. For the first time in modern history, Jews in Israel feel responsible for the fate of Jews in the Diaspora. Until a few years ago, the situation was reversed.
- Two years ago, Israel gave 4 million shekels to help the Jewish refugees of the civil war in Ukraine. Israel sent rescue teams to Houston after Hurricane Harvey, and gave the Jewish community in the city $1 million for their immediate needs.
- Israel invests 200 million shekels annually in the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, which serves as a policy office for the Jewish people. Other government ministries are also partners in projects abroad. The sum of investment in world Jewry runs to half a billion shekels every year - more than twice the amount of a decade ago.
- The joint initiatives include investing in Jewish schools across the globe (shipping textbooks, teacher training), Israeli funds for summer camps for Jewish youth, the Jewish Women's Renaissance Project, and the Masa and Taglit-Birthright programs, in which the state invests around NIS 340 million every year, that have brought more than half a million young Jews to visit Israel over the past 18 years.
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