Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
August 17, 2018
German Firms Ignore EU Appeal, End Iran Projects (Press TV-Iran)
Deutsche Telekom, Europe's largest telecommunications provider, and rail operator Deutsche Bahn, two state-owned German companies, are following car manufacturer Daimler and tunneling company Herrenknecht to withdraw from Iran because of U.S. sanctions.
Deutsche Telekom stopped all transactions in Iran in May.
Deutsche Bahn will have its projects phased out by the end of September, German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported Thursday.
The exodus flies in the face of the EU implementing a "blocking statute" to protect firms against fallout from breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Study: Israel's Exports to Gulf States Worth $1 Billion - Jacob Atkins (i24News)
Israel's exports to Gulf Arab states were worth nearly $1 billion in 2016, a new analysis of trade data suggests, despite their refusal to recognize Israel or have diplomatic relations with it.
The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change said Tuesday its analysis of goods flows between third countries suggest the true amount of Israel's direct trade in recent years with Saudi Arabia and the UAE is "close to" $1 billion.
The study said the current figure is only a tiny fraction of the trade's potential.
The institute said the true value of current trade is hidden in export statistics of trade with third countries. These goods are then resold to the Gulf.
The institute estimates that the level of trade is greater than Israel has with Egypt and Jordan combined, despite having peace treaties with both.
See also Assessing Israel's Trade with Its Arab Neighbors (Tony Blair Institute for Global Change)
Russia Reports Increased Drone Attacks on Its Syria Airbase - Dmitry Kozlov and Sergei Grits (AP)
Russian air defenses have downed 45 drones targeting the Hmeimim airbase in Syria including 5 in the last 3 days, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.
He said all of the attacks were launched by forces based in rebel-held Idlib province.
Israeli and British Flags Burned during Irish Republican Bonfire in Northern Ireland (RT-Russia)
British and Israeli flags were burned in a huge annual Republican bonfire in Derry, Northern Ireland, as hundreds gathered to watch.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has described the bonfire, held on Wednesday, as a hate crime.
The bonfire was held in the staunchly Republican area of the Bogside, where in 1972 British soldiers opened fire on a protest, killing 14 people, in an event that came to be known as Bloody Sunday.
Alongside the Bogside's murals to the victims of Bloody Sunday are murals adorned with the Palestinian flag.
There is a long history of solidarity between the Northern Irish Republicans and Palestinians.
This solidarity often sees Republicans burning the Israeli flag alongside the Union Jack.
Vox Just Makes Things Up - Gilead Ini (CAMERA)
In an Aug. 6 Vox piece about tensions between Israel and Gaza, Alex Ward told readers that the 2014 Gaza War began when "Israel started launching airstrikes on Gaza, and Palestinians responded by firing rockets into Israel."
Ward is just making this up. Hamas had increased the frequency of its ongoing cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza, leading to Israeli reprisals.
An even steeper increase in rocket fire prompted Israel's ground operation on July 8. The historical record is well-documented in news reports from the time.
Vox is rewriting history. In essence, it is excusing Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by portraying them as retaliation for Israeli airstrikes that, in reality, were launched to stop the Palestinian attacks.
The First Palestinian in Jerusalem's City Hall? - Matti Friedman (New York Times)
Ramadan Dabash, a civil engineer who helped found the community center in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Baher, is running for a seat on Jerusalem's City Council.
More than a third of the city's residents are Palestinian, but in the last election in 2013, not even 2% cast a ballot. The Palestinian Authority sees participation in Jerusalem elections as a form of collaboration.
The way Dabash sees it, the chances of a peace deal are nil. With Hizbullah, Hamas, the Islamic State and the Syrian war all within a three-hour drive, an Israeli pullout isn't happening anytime soon.
To get things done, he has been willing to play ball with Israelis. He points to the community center, which is funded by Israel, as proof he can work the system and get results.
Over the past five years, remarkable changes are afoot in Jerusalem's human landscape. Worlds that have long been distinct are moving closer together.
Seeing Palestinian salespeople in Israeli stores is now common. Palestinian enrollment at Hebrew University is up dramatically, as are requests for Israeli citizenship.
Close to 50% of east Jerusalem wage earners are employed in west Jerusalem. In May, the Israeli government allocated $560 million to projects in east Jerusalem.
Dabash showed me a site where a 140-classroom school complex is under construction. The project was approved with the cooperation of the local Palestinian PTA, which is associated with Hamas.
No one was signing a peace agreement. Everyone just wanted the kids to have a school.
Israeli Invention to Help Combat Cholera Epidemic in Cameroon - Eliana Schreiber (Jerusalem Post)
Israel's NUFiltration (NUF) will provide its unique water filtration systems to thousands of people in the African country of Cameroon who currently have no access to clean water and face a cholera epidemic.
With support of the Foreign Ministry, NUF will provide $15,000 worth of water treatment systems. Each system can convert eight liters of water per minute, providing the average daily water consumption for 500 people.
The device uses disinfected, recycled, high-standard dialysis filters to purify water. The filters do not require electricity and have a minimum lifespan of three years.
"With the use of a medical device that otherwise would have been discarded into the waste...we purify water at the best rate possible," said NUF CEO Mino Negrin.
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