Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
October 10, 2013

In-Depth Issues:

Palestinian Leadership Refuses to Recognize "Historic Palestine" as "the Homeland of the Jewish People" - Elhanan Miller (Times of Israel)
    Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary of the PLO, told Palestinian radio on Monday that the recently revived talks would collapse due to Netanyahu's positions.
    The senior Palestinian official dubbed Netanyahu "a racist" and "the number one extremist in Israel," in light of the prime minister's demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
    See also PLO Official: Palestinians "Seriously Considering" Declaring Failure of Peace Talks - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    The Palestinians are seriously considering declaring the failure of the peace talks with Israel, Hanna Amireh, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said Wednesday.

Arab League Furious at Czech President's Call to Move Country's Embassy to Jerusalem (AP-Washington Post)
    The Arab League on Wednesday condemned remarks by the Czech president about moving his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling them a violation of Palestinian rights and international resolutions.
    In a statement, the organization called for summoning the Czech ambassador in Cairo to express the "dangers of these remarks."

Islamic Movement in Israel Warns of "Israeli Plan to Destroy Al-Aksa Mosque" - Yasser Okbi (Jerusalem Post)
    Tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs attended the 18th annual "Al-Aksa Is in Danger" rally in Umm al-Fahm on Friday, organized by the Islamic Movement's northern branch and broadcast live to the Arab world on Al-Jazeera.
    A large picture of deposed Islamist Egyptian president Morsi was displayed on the stage as well as a large Syrian flag.
    See also The "Al-Aksa Is in Danger" Libel: The History of a Lie - Nadav Shragai (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Israeli Scientists Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry (Jerusalem Post)
    Three Jewish American scientists, two of whom have Israeli citizenship, won the 2013 Nobel Prize for chemistry on Wednesday.
    Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel had pioneered the use of computer models that mirror chemical reactions, which helps in complex processes such as the development of drugs.
    Warshel was born 1940 in Kibbutz Sde-Nahum in Israel. He received a PhD in 1969 from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.
    Michael Levitt is a U.S., British and Israeli citizen.
    See also Nobel Laureates Won Prize for Research Begun in Israel - Yarden Skop (Ha'aretz)
    Arieh Warshel and Michael Levitt, the Israeli scientists who won the 2013 Nobel for chemistry after emigrating to America, both started their award-winning research in Israel.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Suspends Significant Military Aid to Egypt - Elise Labott
    In a dramatic shift toward a major Arab ally, the Obama administration announced the suspension of significant military aid to Egypt on Wednesday over its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. The U.S. will halt a $260 million cash transfer to Egypt and suspend transfers of F-16 aircraft, M1A1 tank parts, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Apache helicopters.
        The U.S. will "continue to hold the delivery of certain large-scale military systems and cash assistance to the government pending credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. (CNN)
        See also Israel Expresses Dismay at Cutback of U.S. Aid to Egypt - Isabel Kershner
    Officials and experts in Israel responded on Wednesday with a mixture of disappointment and alarm to the news that the U.S. planned to reduce its military aid to Egypt. One Israeli official said the U.S. is playing with fire. "You cannot disassemble the [Israel-Egypt] peace treaty and take out this part or that part....This is not just about Israel. This is about America's standing in the Arab world."
        Israeli officials say that security cooperation between Israel and Egypt under Gen. Sisi, the Egyptian military leader who removed Morsi, has grown closer than ever. After Morsi's ouster, Israel asked Washington not to cut aid to Egypt. (New York Times)
        See also Background Briefing on U.S. Assistance to Egypt (State Department)
  • Egypt's Harsh Military Campaign in Sinai - Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail
    As soon as the Egyptian military helicopter arrives over the northern Sinai village, the men flee the village. They know government ground forces won't be far behind. Each company of ground troops has its own form of attack. In one village, home after home is riddled with tank rounds. In another, the military flattens the homes. In a third, the military simply ransacks the houses it enters.
        This has become the norm in Sinai as the country's military avenges a string of assassinations and attacks on security forces by Sinai tribesmen. The military not only attacks suspected insurgents, but it's also taking out its wrath on everyone related to the insurgents. Military officials say the attacks are aimed at destroying enemies of the state who've killed 125 members of the security forces and wounded nearly 1,000. (McClatchy)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Dismisses Iran's Nuclear Concessions as "Cosmetic" - Herb Keinon
    An Israeli government official said the Iranians were angling for a deal that would relieve sanctions but keep the fundamentals of their program in place. "This is the Iranian strategy that we have warned about all along...cosmetic concessions that leave the heart of their program in place and give them breakout capacity to build a nuclear weapon at a time of their choosing."
        With the number and advanced nature of the centrifuges they have in place, the official said, if they were not barred from all enrichment, "they can go from low enrichment to high [weapons-grade] enrichment in a matter of weeks."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Report: U.S. Discussing Deal to Keep Iran "Two or Three Years Away" from Nuclear Weapons Capability - Yoel Goldman
    Iran and the U.S. have secretly made significant progress toward an agreement that would aim to keep Iran "two or three years away" from a nuclear weapons capability, Israel TV Channel 2 correspondent Ehud Ya'ari reported Wednesday.
        In addition, Israel Radio reported that after talks with visiting British and French officials, sources said the European position on Iran is "stable" and Israeli officials "did not identify an intention to follow blindly Iranian proposals that are not serious."  (Times of Israel)
  • Ya'alon to Hagel: Iran Sanctions Will Completely Collapse If Eased at All - Gili Cohen
    Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon met his U.S. counterpart, Chuck Hagel, at the Pentagon on Tuesday. Hagel told Ya'alon that the U.S. would not waver from its firm policy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Ya'alon, meanwhile, warned that the sanctions against Iran would completely collapse should the world powers agree to ease any of the measures. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Responds to Syrian Mortar Fire - Yoav Zitun
    Syria fired two mortar shells into Israeli territory on Wednesday, injuring two soldiers. In response, the IDF fired a missile at the source of the fire. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Angering Everyone in Egypt - Editorial
    The annual $1.2 billion Egyptian military aid program predates by three decades the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. The Obama Administration has announced plans to suspend the delivery of "nonessential" weapons to Egypt's military-led government, while continuing to support Egypt's counterterrorism efforts against Islamist militias in Sinai.
        With this decision, the U.S. is managing to anger nearly everyone in Cairo. The Islamists who demand President Morsi's return will see this as continued U.S. support for the generals. The generals get to feel the back of Washington's hand. Israel is also upset, since its peace with Cairo was premised in part on U.S. aid. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Saudi Arabia Moves Against Muslim Brotherhood Amid Increased Pressure for Reform - Irfan al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz
    By refusing support to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood administration of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, Riyadh has found itself allied with Egyptian liberals and secularists, in apparent incongruity with its fundamentalist Wahhabi legacy. In addition, Saudi Arabia is more outspoken than any other Arab country in challenging Iranian ambitions.
        Both postures are often characterized by Westerners as driven by raw fear - in the first instance, by worry that the rebellions of the Arab Spring would spill across Saudi borders and threaten the ruling caste, and, in the second, by Saudi Sunni rivalry with Tehran's Shias, as claimants to global guidance for Muslims. (Weekly Standard)
  • Iran's Military Nuclear Capabilities - Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
    Iran is about to give birth to its prohibited weapon. Iran spent a lot of money and sacrificed a lot over the last decade and a half for the sake of its nuclear program. It is therefore not possible to believe that all of this was geared towards lighting Tehran's streets using nuclear energy. Iran is implementing a project which cannot be considered anything but a military one. The writer, general manager of Al-Arabiya television, is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
        See also Iran's Tranquilizing Words to Chloroform the West - Ali Salim
    According to the principle of taqiyya, to advance his goal, a Muslim can lie to the enemy, the infidel, the non-Muslim, with total impunity and religious sanction. The Iranians have fallen over themselves uttering words such as "Lasting peace, No to war, Stability, Dialogue" - all the tranquilizing words that can chloroform the West into a false sense of security, while deep in the mountains the centrifuges keep spinning, and Iran keeps on completing its bomb. (Gatestone Institute)

Hizbullah Sleeper Cells in America - Michael Totten (Wall Street Journal)

  • Hizbullah is a multinational terror operation with Iran as its funder and controller. Until 9/11, no terrorist organization had killed more Americans than Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shiite group, from the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which killed 241 Marines, to the 1996 detonation of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. airmen.
  • In Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God, former FBI counterterrorism analyst Matthew Levitt explodes the myth that it is a parochial Lebanese political party with an armed wing charged solely with resisting an Israeli occupation that ended 13 years ago, on May 25, 2000.
  • Levitt narrates the full history of the organization in absorbing detail with an emphasis on its 30-year history of terrorism. The Iranian regime created Hizbullah as the overseas branch of its own Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - the tip of an Iranian imperial spear.
  • Hizbullah operatives and sleeper cells are certainly in America. "Law enforcement officials across the Southwest," Levitt writes, "are reporting a rise in imprisoned gang members with Farsi tattoos," including some with Hizbullah imagery. Another official he quotes puts it this way: "You could almost pick your city and you would probably have a [Hizbullah] presence."

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