Nuclear Archive Revelation Stirs Internal Iranian Dissent
- Oz Rosenberg (Maariv-Jerusalem Post
After Prime Minister Netanyahu's presentation on Monday of Iran's nuclear archive,
Dr. Thamar Eilam Gindin, an expert on Iran at Shalem College and Haifa University's Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, reported on Wednesday about reactions on Iranian social media.
"I saw a large number of people who asked not to call Iran the Islamic Republic. There were many calls from people who said: 'They do not represent the Iranian people, they took us hostage.'"
"People in Iran feel insecure, their currency is weak and the economy is shaky. There are many who oppose the regime."
They also very much want their regime to fall. There are many keyboard warriors, but when it comes to taking to the streets, they are scared.
Israel Weighs Creating New Quarter for Embassies Relocating to Jerusalem
- Greer Fay Cashman (Jerusalem Post
Israeli Construction Minister Yoav Galant has instructed his ministry to find a new quarter in Jerusalem for the establishment of embassies that will relocate to the capital.
Most foreign diplomatic residences are currently located in Tel Aviv suburbs.
Hizbullah Chief Pledges Loyalty to Iran's Supreme Leader
- Amir Toumaj (Long War Journal
In March, an Iran state-affiliated media outlet published a speech by Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah, where he emphasized his belief in the velayat-e faqih,
the founding ideology of the Islamic Republic.
It calls for a theocratic government and an Islamic state with power vested in the hands of a cleric, or the vali-ye faqih,
who is the Supreme Leader and acts as the deputy of God on earth.
Nasrallah's speech confirms that Hizbullah is an arm of the Iranian government and the Lebanese branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Jordan's Economy Is Under Siege
In January, bread prices in Jordan nearly doubled after an IMF-backed reform program. The unemployment rate is 18%.
Exports to Syria and Iraq fell after ISIS seized territory in both countries. Exports to Saudi Arabia fell 27% last year.
Jordan gives shelter to 656,000 Syrians who have fled the war and has spent $10 billion to cope with the influx.
Meanwhile, aid from Gulf states has dried up.
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Peace Index: Most Israelis Do Not Believe Negotiations with the PA Will Lead to Peace
- Profs. Ephraim Yaar and Tamar Hermann (Peace Index
70% of Israeli Jews and 67% of Israeli Arabs do not believe that negotiations between Israel and the PA will lead to peace in the coming years, according to the Peace Index survey conducted on Apr. 24-25 and published by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University on Wednesday.
91% of Jews and 33% of Arabs said they were proud to be an Israeli.
75% of Jews and 44% of Arabs said they were optimistic about the future of Israel.
83% of Jews said the IDF's policy on opening fire at the Gaza border clashes was appropriate.
New York Times Electrifies Israel's Gaza Fence
- Simon Plosker (Algemeiner
The New York Times
reported on April 27 on Israel's
"electrified, sensor-laden fence that marks the edge of Israeli territory" at the border with Gaza.
Describing the Gaza fence as "electrified" conjures up images of people risking shock and electrocution if they touch it.
In fact, the 10-foot-high "smart fence" packed with sensors is electronic,
but will certainly not provide any real obstacle for any determined infiltrator wielding wire cutters.
In response to complaints, on May 2 the Times
issued a correction, noting that while the fence barrier "is fitted with electronic sensors to detect infiltrators, it is not an electrified fence."
The IDF's Eyes on Syria
- Yoav Zitun (Ynet News
Working in 4-hour shifts around the clock, the lookouts of the IDF's Golan Division have been outfitted with a sophisticated multisensory system (MSS) to detect threats from Syria.
The MSS is comprised of state-of-the-art radars and advanced cameras capable of observing deep within Syria.
Hyperbaric Therapy at Israeli Hospital Achieving Impressive Results
- Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman (Jerusalem Post
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy enhances the body's natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, director-general of Israel's Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center, said Sunday.
She described the case of Ron, an IDF officer who was injured in a blast.
"Ron was badly injured, including a severe brain injury. He could not read. He could not remember anything."
After 80 treatments in the hyperbaric chamber, "It was an amazing thing: At the end of his treatment, he went back to active service."
Revolutionary Israeli Device Allows Ultrasound Tests via Smartphone
- Michael Bachner (Times of Israel
PulseNmore Ltd. is completing development of a revolutionary handheld ultrasound device that will allow pregnant women to check on the health of their baby using a smartphone.
The device displays images on the phone's screen and can send them to a woman's doctor for examination, Hadashot
TV reported Tuesday.
The invention could revolutionize ultrasound tests in Israel, where pregnant women undergo 6-8 tests on average, according to Prof. Israel Meisner, head of the Obstetric Ultrasound Unit at Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
He also noted the product's "calming effect. Women sometimes don't feel movement, call their doctor, and are told to go to an emergency room. Here there's the option to put a phone on her stomach and see her baby."
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
- U.S. Special Forces Secretly Help Saudis Combat Threat from Yemen Rebels - Helene Cooper
In December 2017, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia's border with Yemen - weeks after a ballistic missile fired from Yemen sailed close to the Saudi capital, Riyadh - to help locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Saudi cities. U.S. officials said the American commandos are training Saudi ground troops to secure their border.
They also are working closely with American intelligence analysts in Najran in southern Saudi Arabia to track the Houthi weapons and their launch sites with the aid of American surveillance planes. On April 17, Robert S. Karem, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the U.S. had about 50 military personnel in Saudi Arabia, "largely helping on the ballistic missile threat."
Since 2015, Houthi rebels have launched more than 100 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, Karem said.
(New York Times)
- Iran Is Trying to Sabotage Morocco - Michael Rubin
On May 1, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita announced that Morocco had broken off diplomatic relations with Iran. "This month Hizbullah sent [surface-to-air] SAM-9, SAM-11 and Strela missiles to the Polisario with the connivance of Iran's embassy in Algiers," he said.
The Polisario Front is a Cold War relic and Algerian proxy that claims to be the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. It has conducted a terrorist and military campaign against Morocco since 1975, claiming Morocco's southern provinces as its own, while history is clear that the Western Sahara was and should be Moroccan.
The Polisario today is about smuggling and money. They have lost their Soviet patrons and the Cubans are focused elsewhere. They are looking for patrons such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or Hizbullah who will rent their smuggling networks or fund their leader's lavish lifestyle.
The U.S. should formally bless Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara and provide Morocco with every counterterror resource it might need to roll back the Polisario and the Iranian threat.
The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official.
See also Arab League Backs Morocco for Cutting Off Ties with Iran (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Israel Hosts Japanese Prime Minister
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Iran's nuclear program and developing bilateral trade ties with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Netanyahu told Abe, "We are seeing tremendous growth in Japanese investments in Israel, Israeli investments in Japan, the technology opportunities. This is a great partnership and we'll make it even better." Abe brought a business delegation from Japan with him to Israel.
Earlier, Abe met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Jericho and toured an agricultural park bankrolled by Japan.
- Israel Weighs Responses to Palestinian Arson Kites
With the number of Palestinian arson kite attacks now reaching as many as 15 per day, the IDF is considering dramatically escalating its response after Israeli towns near Gaza experienced a large number of blazes. The army is determined to end the phenomenon before it sparks a fire that turns deadly in a populated area within Israel. Weather conditions in the area are dry, windy, and hot - ideal for fires to spread.
(Times of Israel)
See also IDF Warns Gazans Against Flying Firebomb Kites into Israel
IDF Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee tweeted to his 171,000 followers in Arabic that the Israel Defense Forces would not tolerate the burning kites which have destroyed acres of fields and crops in Israel. "The arson phenomenon is not hidden from our eyes, and we are taking it very seriously. Attack kites are not a kids game and we don't see it that way....I advise you to stop working for Hamas and start working for yourselves to solve your own problems." (Times of Israel)
- Israel: Russia Should Support Our Vital Interests - Itay Blumenthal
In an interview with the Russian Kommersant daily published Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he expected Russia's "understanding and support of our vital interests in the Middle East. Our relations with Russia are normal and we take into account its interests. We hope it does the same." Lieberman stressed that Israel did not actively seek confrontation with Russia in Syria and harbors no intention of meddling in Syria's internal affairs.
Lieberman said Prime Minister Netanyahu's revelations about Iran's secret nuclear archives provided certain proof that the Islamic republic never forsook its ambitions of attaining nuclear weapons.
"They simply temporarily halted their program in order to maximize their benefits from the deal. Why does Iran even need enriched uranium when it has huge oil and gas deposits?"
Speaking about Iranian leaders' frequent statements about "annihilating the Zionist entity," Lieberman said, "We expect a clear, unequivocal response on the part of Russia to Iran's statements and actions." (Ynet News)
- Israel: Hamas Sent Funds through Turkey to Palestinian Student Leader in West Bank - Michael Bachner
Hamas member Omar al-Kiswani, 24, student council head at Birzeit University in the West Bank, was arrested in March after receiving 150,000 euros from Hamas operatives in Turkey. "It is another expression of the efforts by Hamas command centers in Turkey and Gaza to accelerate the activity" of the terrorist group in the West Bank, the Israel Security Agency said Thursday.
The agency is currently in the process of exposing other members of Hamas' student group at the university who planned shooting attacks near Ramallah.
(Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
- How Iranians Reacted When Confronted with Force - Dr. Harold Rhode
Iranians fear confrontation. They most often get others to do their dirty work so that others would be forced to take the blame. That's why they created Hizbullah, to carry out terrorist acts for which Hizbullah and not Iran would be held responsible.
It would be out of character now for the Iranians to directly confront the U.S. or Israel, both of which have proven their ability to destroy Iranian targets in Syria. Iran knows that it cannot stand up to either.
Now is the time to reassure the Iranian people that we stand with them against their brutal rulers, and after their terrorist regime is overthrown, that we will gladly welcome them back into the community of nations. The writer served for 28 years as an advisor on the Islamic world in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
- Israel's Struggle with Iran - Amos Harel
Israel's struggle with Iran has been taking place for many years. Israel strives to block Iran's nuclear program and acts to halt the supply of Iranian weapons to pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon, Gaza, and Syria. Israel is cautious, enabling operations to remain below the threshold of war.
So far five strikes against Syrian sites associated with Iran have been attributed to Israel: a large facility for producing weapons was bombed last September, a Shi'ite militia base was hit in December, two strikes were directed against Iranians at the Syrian T-4 airbase near Homs, and this week a large shipment of missiles was hit south of Aleppo. The IDF believes there is still wide scope for maneuvering, with determined action possible without sliding into a war.
See also Israel Must Stop Iran's Deepening Presence in Syria - Amos Harel
The heads of Israel's defense establishment say Israel must continue to act to stop Iran's military consolidation in Syria.
This forceful, resolute policy is driven by an urgent need to block Iran's next moves and show Tehran that Israel won't accept a deepening of its presence in Syria.
Without such decisive steps, they argue, Iran will be able, within a relatively short time, to set up a network of surface-to-surface missiles, drones, and aerial defense systems in Syria that will be under Iran's exclusive control and complement the armaments it has already given Hizbullah in Lebanon.
- New Accord Needed to Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons Forever - Nehemia Shtrasler
This week Morocco cut off its diplomatic ties with Iran due to Iranian involvement in supplying weapons to the Polisario Front, which is trying to undermine the Moroccan government. That's the nature of Iran - an evil empire embracing terror and aggression, sending out its tentacles everywhere, like an octopus. Its fundamentalist leaders want to not only take over the Middle East and the Islamic world, but to become a global power that threatens the entire world.
It is unacceptable that in seven years, when the nuclear accord expires, Iran will be able to advance freely towards obtaining a nuclear weapon. A new accord is needed, one that will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons forever. Our survival depends on it.
- Why Netanyahu's Revelations Are Significant - Matthew Kroenig
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's presentation of secret Iranian nuclear documents was revealing. Netanyahu claimed that illegal nuclear weaponization work continues to the present day. He said that "today, in 2018, this work is carried out by SPND, that's an organization inside Iran's Defense Ministry." His presentation claimed that the name of the program for developing a functioning nuclear warhead changed in 2003, but that substantive work has continued under a new label with the same lead scientist and some of the same staff under the euphemism of "scientific knowhow development."
A condition of the nuclear deal in Section C, Part 14 was that Iran would come clean about the possible military dimensions (PMD) of its nuclear program. Netanyahu's presentation shows that Iran did not come clean, but lied about many aspects of its program in reporting to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2015. Moreover, Netanyahu's briefing lends support to those who argue that Iran is merely waiting out the clock in order to resume its march to the bomb.
The writer is deputy director for strategy at the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, associate professor of government at Georgetown University, and a former adviser on Iran policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
- Israel's Intelligence Coup Accentuates Iran's Nuclear Threat - Tzvi Kahn
Israel's intelligence coup first suggests that nuclear activities prohibited by the JCPOA may endure at sites where the IAEA has yet to receive access. However, the international community has not pressed the IAEA to demand entry to these locations.
Second, it denotes that Tehran willfully prevaricated when it agreed, as part of the JCPOA, that "under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons."
Third, it indicates that the threat of Iran's nuclear program will likely persist after the JCPOA's key provisions began to expire in 2023. Many supporters of the JCPOA have contended that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which Tehran signed in 1970, will still be sufficient to deter Iran from going nuclear. But Israel's findings show that Tehran had been violating the NPT for years before the JCPOA. If the NPT were effective, the international community would never have needed the JCPOA.
The writer is a senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
- The Palestinians Are at a Dead End - Prof. Eyal Zisser
Hamas is no longer hiding the fact that the demonstrations along the border fence are not intended to be quiet marches but rather attempts to carry out attacks on Israeli forces and civilians. Hamas has nothing to offer the residents of Gaza other than violence and terrorist attacks, while the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has been keeping mum. At the same time, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his friends cannot escape the trap they closed on themselves when they turned up their noses at the American administration's attempts to kick-start the peace process.
It would appear that the sources of Palestinian weakness have never changed: the lack of a national identity that supersedes the tribe, the clan, or the village and is anything more than a rejection of Zionism; the lack of any legitimate, effective leadership that lays out a path and convinces the public to take it; a weak economy; religious radicalization; and, above all, depending on others to rescue the Palestinians from their distress.
This is a challenging reality for Israel, because it means that the hope that one day Israel would find a Palestinian partner for either a peace deal or in the case of Gaza, a truce, is a false one. It's hard to think that the Palestinians in their current situation are capable of compromising, much less making a compromise acceptable to Israel. The writer, vice rector at Tel Aviv University, is former director of its Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies.
- The Israeli Farmers Who Live near Gaza - Avner Yona
It pains my heart to see a field on fire after we worked day and night to sow it. People who aren't farmers might not understand, but when you grow wheat, you only have a certain time frame. We invest a lot of money and effort in fertilizing the soil and irrigating the wheat, so in a situation in which we see everything going up in flames, I see crops burning before they can be harvested, and my heart burns along with them.
I'm not a firefighter, I'm a farmer. It's always something else: tunnels, bombs, snipers, and now the terrorists are using kites. The writer lives in Kibbutz Nahal Oz near the Gaza border.
See also I Am a Member of Kibbutz Nir Oz, 1 1/2 Miles from Gaza - Jonathan Dekel-Chen
As a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz, my home is approximately 1 1/2 miles from the border with Gaza and faces the Friday protests that have erupted over the past five weeks. Like most kibbutz members, I am dedicated to defending the country. Kibbutzniks living on Israel's borders would benefit the most from peace with our neighbors, yet are the most endangered of all Israelis by the current state of affairs.
Generations of Israelis have suffered murderous cross-border attacks perpetrated by Palestinian terrorist organizations or individuals since the early 1950s, many of them originating in Gaza. After the Oslo agreements were signed, waves of terror attacks from the West Bank and Gaza flooded Israel, forcing the construction of barrier walls and fences. During the Second Intifada alone, more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered.
Finally, Hamas and other terrorist groups have indiscriminately launched massive numbers of mortar shells and rockets at our communities, sparking three deadly rounds of large-scale operations by the IDF. As a result of these historical truths, Israelis along the border and the IDF have good reason to believe that our lives would be at risk if thousands of enraged Gazans tore down the border fence.
The writer is a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
- There Is Nothing Israel Can Do to End the Calls for Its Destruction - Dr. Daniel Gordis
Iran and Israel share no border, and there is no territorial dispute between the two. Yet nothing about radical Islam's appetite for Israel's destruction can be sated, and ultimately, Israelis believe, the same is true of the Palestinians as well. Abbas' recent diatribe simply confirmed that Palestinian lust for Israel's demise has not abated in 70 years.
What unites Israelis is their largely shared sense that other than ceasing to exist, there is nothing that Israel can do to end the calls for its destruction and avoid periodic armed conflict. In 1923, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the father of revisionist Zionism, wrote his famous essay, "The Iron Wall," arguing that the Arabs would never accept the existence of a Jewish entity in their midst, and that to survive, Zionists would have to put up an iron wall and be willing to fight, perhaps forever.
Increasing numbers of Israelis sense that Jabotinsky, sadly, may have been right. Few Israelis want a war with Iran. If war does come, however, most will see it not as a fresh conflict, but as the latest tragic battle in the now century-long conflict over whether the Jews have a right to a national home in the Middle East. The writer is senior vice president at Shalem College in Jerusalem.
- Explaining Zionism to Palestinians - Yossi Klein Halevi interviewed by David Horovitz
In Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, Yossi Klein Halevi seeks to explain to our Palestinian neighbors who we Jews are and what we are doing here.
It is being translated into Arabic and will be available online for free.
In recent years, Klein Halevi, 64, has headed a program at Jerusalem's Hartman Institute that teaches visiting groups of American Muslim leaders about Judaism and Israel, and he rejects the idea that the Arab world "hates us and always will hate us" as self-defeating.
He says he's also written this book for Jews and Zionists. We do ourselves and our cause a terrible disservice, he argues, by misrepresenting modern Israel as a story founded in European Jewry and the Holocaust. What we should be explaining is the "Zionism of longing" - "how we preserved the centrality of the Land of Israel in Jewish consciousness, in every corner of the globe where Jews lived" for thousands of years. (Times of Israel)
- Former Egyptian Official Compares Israel and Arab Countries
Reda Abd Al-Salam, former governor of Egypt's Al-Sharqiya province, wrote in Nile-press on Jan. 12 that Israel surpasses the Arab countries in many ways because it has invested in education, health, science, and technology, and in building a democracy, while the Arabs have remained mired in primitiveness and tyranny.
"The Arab and Muslim peoples live under regimes that for decades have engaged not in developing their peoples and establishing themselves in economy, society, science, and democracy, but in establishing their rule....During this time, those we called 'the sons of apes and pigs' engaged in real building. They focused on education, health, economy, and technology, and of course on democratic process."
"Over the past decades Egypt has received tremendous support, in billions of dollars, from its Arab brothers and also from the international institutions in the form of grants and aid for developing education, roads, and the like. Where has [this money] gone?" (MEMRI)
- Israel and U.S. Military Assistance to Egypt - Col. (ret.) Shimon Arad
In January 2018, the U.S. and Egypt signed a bilateral communications security agreement which regulates the use of sensitive American avionics and communications systems. This allows, for the first time, the acquisition by Egypt of U.S.-made high precision, GPS-based, air-to-ground weapon systems and components, as well as advanced air-to-air missiles.
Given the unreliability of enduring stability in the Middle East, Israel should not disregard possible future scenarios in which its Qualitative Military Edge (QME) versus Egypt may matter. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
- Americans Knew a Lot about the Holocaust as It Was Happening - Ron Kampeas
A new exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington asks: What did Americans know about the Nazi genocide against the Jews?
"Visitors will be surprised at how much Americans knew about Nazism and the Holocaust and how early they knew it," said curator Daniel Greene.
Yet according to public opinion polls from 1938 until after the war ended, over 70% of Americans opposed allowing a larger number of Jewish refugees from Germany to come to the U.S. to live. At the same time, 94% disapproved of the Nazi treatment of Jews in Germany. Sympathy for the plight of the Jews is a constant, but so is resistance to measures that might mitigate the impending genocide.
A museum crowdsourcing initiative launched in 2016 found
15,000 articles published in American news outlets on atrocities against Jews as they happened. At a time when 2/3 of Americans saw newsreels at the cinema at least once a week, they made clear that the Nazis' prime victims were Jews. (JTA)
- In "American Jews Have Abandoned Gaza - and the Truth" (Forward, April 26, 2018), Peter Beinart manipulates and misrepresents what he claims is "the truth." The thousands of Palestinians who "risk their lives by running toward the Israeli snipers who guard the fence" do so not because Gaza is becoming uninhabitable and Israel is responsible for its plight, as he claims, but because the "protesters" are driven and incited by those who send them in a futile and symbolic act to "drive the Jews out of Palestine."
- To claim, as he does, that Israel is "denying Gaza's people the water, electricity, education, and food they need to live decent lives," is grossly inaccurate to the point of being a vicious lie. Israel provides water and electricity to Gaza despite the objections of Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority.
- As for education - the responsibility for education passed to the Palestinian Authority when the PLO entered into the Oslo Accords with Israel. As for food, over 500 trucks enter Gaza every day from Israel with flour, rice, and other foodstuffs. Israel limits only those products that could be used for the construction of offensive tunnels or the production of rockets and other weapons.
- The 1995 Interim Agreement (Oslo 2) stated: "There will be a security perimeter along the Delimiting Line inside the Gaza Strip...[and] the Palestinian Police will enforce special security measures aimed at preventing infiltrations across the Delimiting Line."
- Since the attempted breaching and infiltration through the fence are organized by Hamas and their police do not act to prevent the violence, Israel has the responsibility to protect its border from those Palestinians who are sent to attach explosive devices to the fence, lob grenades and explosives at Israel's soldiers, and attempt to dismantle the fence and infiltrate into Israel.
The writer participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians and served as deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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