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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
November 13, 2012

In-Depth Issues:

Egyptian Islamist Leader Urges Razing of Sphinx, Pyramids - Joanna Paraszczuk (Jerusalem Post)
    Radical jihadist leader Murgan Salem al-Gohary told Egypt's Dream TV2 on Saturday that the Sphinx and pyramids are "idolatrous" and must be destroyed, al-Masry al-Youm reported Monday.
    "The idols and statutes that fill Egypt must be destroyed. Muslims are tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and removing these idols, just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the Buddha statues," Gohary said.

Toulouse Gunman's Brother: "Mom Taught Us to Hate Jews" - Sarah Dilorenzo (AP-ABC News)
    Mohamed Merah killed three Jewish children, a rabbi and three paratroopers in and around the French city of Toulouse in March.
    A new book by Mohamed's brother, Abdelghani, says his parents, particularly his mother, are responsible for Mohamed's radicalization.
    "My mother always said, 'We, the Arabs, we were born to hate Jews.' This speech, I heard it all throughout my childhood," Abdelghani said in a documentary.

Secret Protocols Reveal: Yitzhak Rabin Approved Israeli Operation to Kill Saddam Hussein - Gili Cohen (Ha'aretz)
    One year after Saddam Hussein fired 39 rockets at Israel during the first Gulf War, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave the go-ahead for a military mission to assassinate the Iraqi president, according to secret protocols of the operation that are currently being revealed.
    Rabin is quoted as saying that Saddam Hussein is "a meaningful target concerning Israel's internal security. I do not see anyone like him in the Arab world."
    The plan was shelved after a training accident occurred on November 5, 1992, during preparations for the operation. During the exercise, five IDF soldiers were killed and six were wounded.
    See also Israel Tried to Kill Saddam, Eichmann Aide in the 1970s - Mitch Ginsburg (Times of Israel)
    In the 1970s, Israel's Mossad tried to kill Saddam Hussein with a bomb hidden in a book, a documentary aired by Israel's Channel 1 TV on Monday revealed.
    But Saddam didn't open the package. The bomb exploded, but killed a different high-ranking Iraqi official.
    The report also revealed that the Mossad sent a letter bomb to the Damascus home of Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's right-hand man and the commander of the Drancy concentration camp in France.
    Brunner lost an eye and several fingers, but the attack did not kill him.

Video: An IDF Emergency Situation Instructor (Israel Defense Forces)
    IDF soldier Noy Eisen teaches fifth graders proper procedures in emergency situations.

    See also Faces of the Israel Defense Forces - Meir Azulay (Live Journal)
    Israel's defenders as you've never seen them.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli Official at White House for Syria, Iran Talks
    President Barack Obama's national security advisor, Tom Donilon, met Monday with his Israeli counterpart, Yaakov Amidror, at the White House for talks on the conflict in Syria and Iran's nuclear program, in the first high-level dialogue between U.S. and Israeli officials since the U.S. elections. The meetings "were the latest in a series of regular, high-level consultations between the United States and Israel, consistent with our strong bilateral partnership, and part of our unshakeable commitment to Israel's security," Donilon's spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement. (AFP)
  • Israel Hits Syrian Artillery that Fired on Golan - Crispian Balmer
    Israel's army fired tank shells into Syria on Monday and scored "direct hits" in response to a Syrian mortar shell that struck the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said. Israeli military sources said Syrian army mobile artillery was directly hit in the incident.
        Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon said he did not believe Assad wanted to wage war with Israel. "He is very careful. He responded to messages that were passed through different channels, and not just by us - regarding chemical weapons and fighting on the border," Yaalon told Army Radio. (Reuters)
        See also At Least Two Syrian Soldiers Injured by Israel's Retaliatory Fire - Stuart Winer and Ilan Ben Zion (Times of Israel)
        See also Report: Syrian Army Tempers Fire near Israeli Border - Roi Kais
    Syrian opposition sources based in Quneitra on the Golan Heights reported Monday that Syrian army forces had tempered their shelling of rebel strongholds near the Syria-Israel border. The change was linked to the IDF's retaliation over Syrian mortar fire that struck Israel in recent days. (Ynet News)
  • Saudi Arabia Says Iran Trespassing on its Territory
    Saudi authorities have complained to the UN that Iranian helicopters flew several times over a Saudi gas field at Hasba in the Gulf, Saudi UN ambassador Abdullah al-Mualimi told Okaz on Monday. He also said two Iranian navy boats intercepted a vessel belonging to state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco. Mualimi said the kingdom reserved the right to respond with appropriate action to protect its territory and oil. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Gaza Terrorists Continue Shelling Israel - Ilana Curiel
    Gaza-based terror groups continued relentlessly shelling Israel's southern communities on Monday. Magen David Adom emergency medical crews have treated 47 people since the escalation started Saturday, mostly for shrapnel injuries and shock. (Ynet News)
        See also Netanyahu to Foreign Ambassadors: Your Governments Would Never Accept Rocket Fire
    Prime Minister Netanyahu told foreign ambassadors in Israel on Monday that a million Israelis are being targeted on a daily basis by people who are firing from areas that the Government of Israel had vacated. "I don't know of any of your governments who could accept such a thing....I think the whole world understands that this is not acceptable....So we're going to fight for the rights of our people to defend themselves. We'll take whatever action is necessary to put a stop to this."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Red Alert: Postcard from Sderot - Odelia Ben Porat
    On Sunday at 8 a.m., we heard the Red Alert sirens warning of an incoming rocket attack. The sirens were followed immediately by a long and continuous series of enormous explosions. My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter started to cry hysterically, "I don't want wed alert!" while my one-year-old daughter kept trying to sneak out of our family bomb shelter.
        Suddenly we heard a huge boom as a rocket exploded just a few meters away. It is difficult to describe in words how rapidly my heart pounded after the blast. We had been meters away from certain death or injury. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Video: 15 Seconds to Save Your Mama
    When rockets are fired from Gaza, the residents of southern Israel have 15 seconds to get to shelter. 15 seconds is all they have to save themselves and the ones they love. (YouTube)
  • "Miracles Happen" - Hagit Riterman
    Zalpa Yoz, who lives in the kibbutz next to mine, was awakened in the early morning hours to the sound of the "Red Alert" rocket warning. She wanted to keep on sleeping, assuming that this time the rockets would fall somewhere else, but something inside told her: "Get up, take cover." Zalpa got out of bed and rushed to take cover in the narrow hallway.
        "Suddenly I heard an awful explosion," she recounts, "and everything flew and disintegrated. The bed I was sleeping on one minute earlier flew outside through the wall and pieces of it were everywhere, all over the grass. There was a lot of smoke and I was afraid that everything was going to collapse. Then I ran outside. Miracles happen. A miracle happened to me."  (Makor Rishon-Hebrew, 26Oct12)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Israel Takes Care of Asylum-Seekers - Aaron Sagui
    In its Nov. 3 article "Israel closing its doors to illegal African migrants," the Washington Post presented accusations that Israel is violating human rights by refusing to distinguish between illegal immigrants and asylum seekers. The charge is simply untrue. Israel, the only developed country with a common border with Africa, has attracted many thousands of illegal migrants. The vast majority of these are men seeking work, not asylum.
        Since Israel cannot easily repatriate them - Sudan, for example, refuses to recognize our existence - they are accommodated at centers that provide full health services and free education, as well as humanitarian protection for those in need. Israel not only meets UN requisites on illegal migrants but exceeds them. We welcome those Africans who genuinely seek asylum, just as we formerly sheltered refugees from Bosnia and Vietnam.
        Over the past six months, the Post has published two other pieces on this subject that were similarly misleading. Such focus is odd if not disturbing. The writer is the spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington. (Washington Post)
  • America and the Middle East: The Next Four Years - Amir Taheri
    After two decades of virtual absence from the Middle East, Russia is trying to revive the influence that the Soviet Empire once enjoyed. Moscow's new activism is partly caused by fears that the American retreat might pave the way for a neo-Islamist domination of the Middle East. Russia is concerned about the emergence of a "green Islamic belt" containing it to the south, while its horizons are also blocked by the EU to its west and China to its east. A neo-Islamist bloc stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Basin could send wrong signals to Russia's restive Muslim regions.
        For its part, Turkey's neo-Ottoman elite is trying to cast itself as the leader of a new Middle East dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood behind a political facade. Four years ago, Turkey was the region's only nation that had no problems with its neighbors. Today, this is no longer the case. (Asharq Alawsat-UK)

The "Arab Street" and Democracy - Edmund Sanders interviews Benny Morris (Los Angeles Times)

  • In an interview, historian Benny Morris said: "In the 1990s I was cautiously optimistic that the Palestinians were changing their tune and becoming agreeable to a two-state solution...with the Oslo process. Before the 1980s, they just talked about destroying Israel."
  • "By 2000, two things changed to make me deeply pessimistic. Arafat rejected the two-state proposal put on the table by [former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Barak and [former U.S. President] Clinton, and then the launching of the second intifada. The other thing was, I was looking at the whole conflict for a book I was writing at the time and I saw the monotony and consistency of the Palestinian stance, and their unflinching desire for all of [historic] Palestine [including Israel]."
  • "The Arab Spring gave more of a voice to the Arab street than it's ever had. You could call that moving in the direction of democracy. But what ended up happening was that the Arab street was basically Islamic fundamentalist.... These people hate democracy. They will only use it get to power."
  • "[I wrote] an entire history of the 1948 war. When you look at the whole war, the Palestinian refugee problem is much more intelligible and less brutal. You can see clearly it was a product of self-defense. Arabs attacked Jews and the Jews had to clear the roads and border areas because the Arab armies were about to invade. Certain actions were necessary if Israel wanted to survive."
  • "Three years after the Holocaust, you have to give the Israelis the right to feel that when the Arabs were shouting bloody murder on the radio, they meant it. They felt that if the Arabs had won, they would have killed everybody."
  • "I'm hopeful there will be a renewal of negotiations, but my fear is that it won't go anywhere because Palestinians, deep in their heart, don't want a negotiated peace."

    Benny Morris is a professor of history at Ben-Gurion University.

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