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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
November 27, 2013

In-Depth Issues:

FBI Stats Again Belie Islamophobia Myth - Jonathan S. Tobin (Commentary)
    According to the FBI report on hate crimes for 2012, Jews remain the No. 1 target of hate crimes in America and no other group comes even close.
    Of the 1,340 incidents of anti-religious hate crimes reported, 674 or 62% were anti-Jewish in nature.
    Only 130 incidents or 12% involved Muslim victims.
    While there is a consensus in the media that American Muslims have been under siege since the 9/11 attacks, in virtually every year, the number of anti-Semitic incidents is a multiple of those involving Muslims.
    Yet no reasonable person claims that Jews are under siege in America.
    See also 2012 Hate Crime Statistics (FBI)

Report: Israel's Geostrategic Status in Mideast Improves - Attila Somfalvi (Ynet News)
    Israel's diplomatic-security cabinet convened Tuesday for the Mossad's annual report on Israel's geostrategic status.
    The report notes Syria's loss of chemical and ballistic capabilities, internal conflicts in Lebanon between Hizbullah and other factions, and the halt to the development of the Egyptian army as a result of Egypt's focus on domestic affairs.
    However, as a result of chaos in Syria, terror groups have grown stronger, posing a risk. Hizbullah has also grown stronger.
    At the same time, Iran has become Israel's most dangerous enemy due to its nuclear program.

Iranian Think-Tank Advising Khamenei: The Jews Want Nuclear Bomb to Kill Muslims and Achieve World Domination (MEMRI)
    Mahdi Tayeb, head of the Iranian Ammar think-tank advising Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said in a video posted on the Internet on February 1, 2013:
    "In order to become global, the Jews must kill Muslims en masse. In other words, they have to kill 1.4 billion people."
    "They need means of mass killing, which can kill 500,000 people in one go....Only the atomic bomb can achieve this."
    "Do you know who invented the atomic bomb? Einstein. Einstein of the most despicable figures. He was a Zionist, a Jew, one of the founders of the State of Israel."

Legendary Israeli Singer Arik Einstein Dies - Yaron Kelner (Ynet News)
    Arik Einstein, 74, one of Israel's greatest singers, died Tuesday in Tel Aviv.
    "The songs he composed and sang are the soundtrack for Israel," Prime Minister Netanyahu said. "With much sadness Israel parts with a cultural giant."
    See also Video: Six Essential Arik Einstein Songs (Times of Israel)

Fatah Threatens to Kidnap Israeli Soldiers, Fire Rockets - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    "We are preparing to kidnap Zionist soldiers to settle accounts with the Zionist enemy properly, in order to empty out the Zionist prisons," promises a video made by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades - the military wing of Fatah, published on Fatah's official Facebook page.
    The same video threatens to fire rockets that will "strike the Zionist enemy on its own ground."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran, North Korea Secretly Developing New Long-Range Rocket Booster for ICBMs - Bill Gertz
    Iranian missile technicians secretly visited North Korea as part of joint development of a new rocket booster for long-range missiles or space launchers, at the same time nuclear talks took place in Geneva, according to U.S. officials. The booster is believed by U.S. intelligence agencies to be intended for a new long-range missile or space launch vehicle that could be used to carry nuclear warheads, and could be exported to Iran in the future. Recent U.S. intelligence assessments have said that both North Korea and Iran are expected to have missiles capable of hitting the U.S. with a nuclear warhead in the next two years. (Washington Free Beacon)
  • Iran Rejects Text of Geneva Agreement Released by White House
    The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called "invalid" the text released by the White House of the nuclear agreement reached in Geneva on Sunday. "What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva...which is not true," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Tuesday. [This article includes the Iranian Foreign Ministry's version of the text of the agreement.] (Fars-Iran)
        See also Iran's Leaders Emphasize Limitations of the Nuclear Agreement - Mehdi Khalaji
    Iran's leaders all seem confident that the regime did not surrender any of its essential nuclear activities in Geneva. In his first interview with state television after returning from Geneva, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated, "None of the nuclear facilities will be shut down." He also noted that "all of our confidence-building actions and commitments are reversible, and we can undo them in a matter of a few weeks." The writer is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Israel, EU Reach Research Deal, Finessing Settlement Issue
    Israel struck a compromise deal with the EU on Tuesday allowing it to join the Horizon 2020 scientific research project, Israeli government sources said, resolving a dispute over Jewish settlements. "A compromise has been reached that will allow this project to move forward," said an Israeli government official. "Both sides understand that the other side has a different position on the politics, but there is an understanding that there is a mutual interest to cooperate in the issues of science and technologies." Israel is the only non-EU country to have been asked to join Horizon 2020 as a full partner. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Three Salafi Palestinian Terrorists Killed in West Bank - Yaakov Lappin
    Two Salafi-jihadi terrorists who were planning a terror attack for the coming days were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli security forces in Yatta in the West Bank, the Israel Security Agency announced Tuesday. The Palestinians were in a car that had explosives and firearms in it. An hour later, security forces engaged and killed a third armed terrorist. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Salafi Power Growing in West Bank - Amos Harel
    Israeli security forces confronted an armed presence in the West Bank that was not the Palestinian Authority or Fatah or Hamas, but a radical Salafi Islamic group operating independently. There have been similar clashes between Salafi operatives and Palestinian security forces in recent months.
        The presence of the Salafis is now being felt in the West Bank nearly a decade after they established themselves in Gaza. "Suddenly, from nowhere, you hear that 30,000 people are attending a gathering at the stadium in the South Hebron Hills," a senior Israeli military official said.
        The rise in popularity of the Salafis in the West Bank is apparently the result of disappointment with the PA and the difficulties that Hamas is having in presenting a viable alternative. On the margins of the Salafist movements is a violent jihadist arm under the influence of al-Qaeda's ideology. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Interim Agreement with Iran Must Not Become a Permanent Arrangement - Amos Yadlin
    Despite his firm opposition to the agreement - or perhaps because of it - Prime Minister Netanyahu can take credit for an improvement in the agreement, compared to what was proposed to Iran two weeks earlier. He has helped transform a "very bad" agreement into an agreement that can be lived with - for six months. On the plus side is that this is the first time since 2003 that the Iranian nuclear program has been stopped and is even being rolled back, albeit to a limited degree. Even if this is only a slight improvement, the change in direction is significant.
        In the final agreement, it will be necessary to make certain that the time it takes Iran to break out to a nuclear weapon is measured in years rather than in months. Israel must resume a close and intensive dialogue with the Americans regarding the seven key issues needed in a final agreement: the level of enrichment in the Iranian program, the number of centrifuges, the inventory of uranium to be removed from Iran, the future of the Fordow site, the non-operation of the plutonium reactor in Arak, the extent of future supervision of the program, and the closing of open questions concerning weapons issues.
        It is not at all clear that a final agreement can be reached with the Iranians - especially if the economic and military threats are not maintained. Israel must therefore prepare a Plan B to include a guarantee from the Americans that there will be no extension of the preliminary agreement and that it will not evolve into a permanent arrangement. Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, former head of IDF Military Intelligence, is director of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies. (Institute for National Security Studies)
  • Will the Iran Endgame Dismantle Core Nuclear Weapon Components? - Michael Herzog
    The deal implicitly legitimizes Iran as a member of the community of nations, and may allow it a freer hand to continue other negative activities in the region beyond the nuclear program, including supporting Assad in Syria, and backing Hizbullah's terrorist activities.
        There seems to be no agreement among the P5+1 when it comes to the endgame. The guidelines in the deal regarding the endgame are not very promising because they implicitly recognize the Iranian right to enrich and that sanctions will be fully lifted, but do not clearly address the concerns of Israel and many others in the region: Will the agreement really take Iran significantly back from the capacity to breakout to nuclear weapons through the dismantlement of core components in its program?
        Israel is now fixing its sights on the end of the six months and will start a dialogue with the U.S. on the desired endgame. A very likely scenario is that there will be no deal and talks will continue beyond the six months. Facing a strung out process will put Israel in a dilemma of deciding if and when to intervene. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Michael Herzog served as head of the Strategic Planning Division of the IDF and worked with four ministers of defense as senior military aide and advisor, and chief of staff. (BICOM)
  • Iran Looks Beyond the Nuclear Talks - Michael Segall
    Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's statements convey that Iran does not really need the negotiations. Iran does not come to the nuclear negotiations out of weakness, but, indeed, from a position of strength, and rather than having anything to lose from the talks, it only stands to gain from them, as it did in the interim agreement. Iran's considerations in coming to the negotiating table are its assessment of America's declining regional and international status and its own expanding reach.
        The West must ensure that by the end of the negotiating process, Iran will not have a breakout capacity toward a nuclear bomb, and the countries subject to the threat emanating from Iran must goad the West in this direction if it shows hesitation. IDF Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael (Mickey) Segall is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the Terrogence Company. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Iran Wins on Points - Aaron David Miller
    Does Iran want a deliverable nuclear weapon? Sure it does. The idea that the mullahs have abandoned permanently their quest to acquire a nuclear weapons capacity or that any agreement - interim or final - will provide ironclad assurances that they have done so is an illusion. Unless Iran crosses the President's redline of actually acquiring a nuclear weapon, the Obama administration is going to go to extreme lengths to avoid attacking Iran.
        When Kerry is congratulating Javad Zarif, Iran's top negotiator, on a Geneva agreement and there's little to celebrate with Bibi, you know the Iranians have scored more than a few points. Let's hope the U.S. and the other members of the P5+1 can do better the next time around. The writer, a vice president at the Wilson Center, is a former adviser to U.S. secretaries of state on the Middle East. (New York Daily News)

The Iran Interim Deal: Let the War of Interpretations Begin - Emily B. Landau (Ha'aretz)

  • In negotiations for a comprehensive deal, the Iranians can be expected to challenge what was agreed and continue to haggle over the terms, while pressing the P5+1 to agree to further sanctions relief. Already there are two texts of the agreement, one released by the White House and one by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, and they are not identical.
  • Iran's strategy is still to get maximum sanctions relief for the absolute minimum nuclear concessions. The only truly revolutionary change is that for the first time in over a decade Iran is at the table actually looking for a deal. It cannot get sanctions relief without cooperating with the international community. This leverage is the most precious asset the P5+1 have, and it cannot be given up for less than a truly comprehensive deal.
  • Many accuse Netanyahu of being contrary, not willing to join the celebrations. But why are the international negotiators not voicing similar concerns as Netanyahu on the technical questions? Netanyahu's positions on these issues are actually in line with the long-held positions of the international community - even codified in a string of UN Security Council resolutions.

    The writer is a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

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