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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
September 23, 2014

In-Depth Issues:

Islamic Jihad Says 123 Operatives Killed in Gaza War, Including Several Senior Commanders (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    On Aug. 29, Palestinian Islamic Jihad reported that 123 of its operatives were killed in the Gaza war. The group published photographs of 96 operatives who were killed, some of whom held senior military positions.
    We believe the final number of Islamic Jihad fatalities may reach 150 to 170.
    Hamas still conceals the number of its casualties, which we estimate exceeds 500.

IDF Disputes Death Toll after Rafah Kidnap Attempt - Adiv Sterman (Times of Israel)
    An IDF investigation found that the bombing of Rafah in Gaza on Aug. 1 after Hamas operatives snatched the body of IDF officer Lt. Hadar Goldin resulted in the deaths of 41 people - including 12 Hamas operatives - and not 130 Palestinians, as announced by Gaza health officials.

PA Daily: Hamas Tortures Political Prisoners Next to Gaza School - Elhanan Miller (Times of Israel)
    Classes at a girls school in Khan Yunis in Gaza have been disrupted by the screams of political prisoners being interrogated by Hamas security forces in a nearby building, Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah reported Monday.

Fatah in Gaza Producing New Rockets for Next War with "the Zionist Enemy" - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    Last week, Fatah invited a Russian TV journalist to a rocket production facility to film the production of new rockets.
    Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, took an active part in the Gaza war alongside Hamas, firing rockets at Israeli towns and cities.

British Medical Journal Lancet Hijacked in Anti-Israel Campaign - Jake Wallis Simons (Telegraph-UK)
    According to senior British medical figures, the respected medical journal Lancet is being hijacked to campaign against Israel. In August, it published a controversial "open letter" that condemned Israel in the strongest possible terms, but made no mention of Hamas atrocities.
    Two of the authors of the letter, Dr. Paola Manduca and Dr. Swee Ang, who are both members of pro-Palestine NGOs, have sent emails to their contacts promoting a video which features David Duke, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard.
    A third author, Dr. Mads Gilbert, told the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet in 2001 that the 9/11 atrocities were a result of Western foreign policy, and that he supported terror attacks in that "context."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S., 5 Arab Countries Strike Islamic State Targets in Syria - Alan Cowell and Ben Hubbard
    The U.S. military said Tuesday that five Arab nations - Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE - "participated in or supported" airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on Monday. The strikes "destroyed or damaged multiple targets," including "ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles." Almost 50 cruise missiles were launched from two American vessels in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
        Separately, the U.S. Central Command said that American forces acting alone "took action" against "a network of seasoned al-Qaeda veterans" from the Khorasan group in Syria to disrupt "imminent attack planning against the United States and Western interests."  (New York Times)
        See also Islamic State Urges Attacks on U.S. - Yara Bayoumy
    The Islamic State urged its followers on Monday to attack citizens of the U.S., France, Canada, Australia, and other Western "crusaders" who have joined a coalition to destroy the radical group. (Reuters)
  • U.S. Rejects Iran Bid to Link Islamic State Fight to Nuclear Concessions
    The U.S. on Monday rejected an Iranian proposal to cooperate in the fight against the Islamic State in exchange for flexibility on its nuclear program. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the effort by world powers to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear program is "entirely separate" from President Obama's attempts to build a coalition against the Islamic State. "The United States will not be in the position of trading aspects of Iran's nuclear program to secure commitments to take on ISIL," he said. (Reuters)
  • U.S. Court Finds Arab Bank Liable for Supporting Terrorism - Stephanie Clifford
    A federal jury on Monday found Arab Bank liable for knowingly supporting terrorism efforts connected to two dozen attacks in and around Israel during the second Palestinian uprising of the early 2000s. The plaintiffs said the acts had been carried out by Hamas, and accused Arab Bank of supporting the organization by handling transfers and payments for Hamas members.
        "Terrorist organizations have been able to thrive largely because folks like Arab Bank and others have turned a blind eye," said Gary Osen, a plaintiffs' lawyer. The 297 plaintiffs represent those who were killed, injured or had a family member killed in the Hamas attacks. (New York Times)
  • With the Kurds Fighting Islamic State in Syria - Terry Glavin
    Adam Derike, 35, leads 45 fighters with the Syrian Kurdish YPG, or local defense forces. He said that by failing over the past three years to arm and fund Syria's democratic opposition, the NATO powers have squandered the opportunity to confront both Bashar Assad's regime in Damascus and the forces of the Islamic State. And now, NATO is risking the alienation of the West's strongest and most capable allies remaining in the region - the Kurds. In recent days, the YPG has been battling a major Islamic State offensive in the Syrian Kurdish canton of Kobani. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Murderers of Three Jewish Teens Killed in Hebron - Yaakov Lappin
    Hamas members Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, the two Palestinians who kidnapped and murdered three Jewish teenagers on June 12, were shot and killed by the IDF in an exchange of fire on Tuesday in Hebron. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said, "There is no comfort for the families in their heavy mourning and pain, but I hope they have a little relief in the knowledge that we got to the murderers of their sons."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Jet over Golan Heights - Spencer Ho
    The IDF shot down a Syrian fighter plane that had infiltrated Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights on Tuesday using a Patriot missile. (Times of Israel)
  • Netanyahu: Saudi Peace Initiative No Longer Relevant - Herb Keinon
    The Saudi peace initiative of 2002 is no longer relevant in the much-altered Middle East of 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview. "If you read it carefully, you'll see it was set up in another period, before the rise of Hamas; before Hamas took over Gaza; before ISIS [Islamic State] took over chunks of Syria and Iraq, effectively dismantling those countries; before Iran's accelerated nuclear program." The plan calls for returning the Golan Heights to Syria, a proposal made "before the takeover of Syria by al-Qaeda on the Golan Heights."
        "What is relevant is the fact that there is a new recognition among major countries in the Middle East that Israel is not their mortal enemy, to say the least, but is a potential ally in addressing the common challenges."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Coalition of Convenience in the War Against the Islamic State - Aaron David Miller
    Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE clearly see a significant threat from the Islamic State. But this group of nations is too diverse, weak, and preoccupied to provide the necessary traction to aid the war against the Islamic State in a measurable way - either from the air or ground.
        The notion that Arab state forces will be mobilized in large numbers to fight IS in Syria, or to fly hundreds of sorties above Iraq, is a real stretch. That's not to say the Arabs aren't willing to fight the Islamic State. They are - but primarily to the last American.
        The Islamic State problem is ultimately a Syrian and Iraqi problem; it will require the kind of local buy-in that doesn't exist now. The regional coalition the Obama administration has assembled should not be overestimated. Together with U.S. military power, it's a way to help keep the Islamic State off balance. But it cannot destroy it. Only Syrians and Iraqis can do that. The writer is vice president for new initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. (Foreign Policy)
  • Qatar's Support of Hamas and Jihadist Forces in the Middle East
    Qatar is unquestionably engaged in international terrorist financing, aiding Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda affiliates, Libyan Islamists, and even ISIS. The key Qatari link to the Muslim Brotherhood has been Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who broadcasts on Qatar's Al-Jazeera.
        Through the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar has attempted to undermine Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. By buying influence with the Muslim Brotherhood network, Qatar hoped to be in a position to build its power base with the new Muslim Brotherhood regimes that it expected would emerge. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also How Qatar Is Funding the Rise of Islamist Extremists - David Blair and Richard Spencer
    Radical Islamists stormed Libya's capital, Tripoli, last month. The new overlords are allies of Ansar al-Sharia, a jihadist movement suspected of killing America's ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. Qatar has dispatched cargo planes laden with weapons to the victorious Islamist coalition.
        Last December, the U.S. Treasury designated a Qatari academic and businessman, Abdul Rahman al-Nuaimi, as a "global terrorist." The U.S. accused him of sending nearly 366,000 British pounds to "al-Qaeda's representative in Syria," named as Abu Khalid al-Suri. (Telegraph-UK)

Does Human Rights Watch Understand the Nature of Prejudice? - Jeffrey Goldberg (Atlantic)

  • A few days ago, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, tweeted: "Germans rally against anti-Semitism that flared in Europe in response to Israel's conduct in Gaza war." Roth's framing of this issue is very odd and obtuse.
  • Anti-Semitism in Europe did not flare "in response to Israel's conduct in Gaza," or anywhere else. This is for the simple reason that Jews do not cause anti-Semitism.
  • The targets of prejudice are not the cause of prejudice. Anti-Semitism is not a rational response to observable events; it is a manifestation of irrational hatred.
  • The demonstration in Berlin was meant to protest the rough treatment of Jews, and Jewish institutions, across Europe, mainly at the hands of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. These events included the sacking of synagogues; the desecration of Jewish cemeteries; arson attacks on Jewish-owned stores; and physical attacks on people who dress in an identifiably Jewish manner.
  • The people who perpetrated these violent acts, and who made these genocidal statements, were not protesting Israeli army policy. They were giving vent to sharp and negative feelings about Jews, feelings that obviously predated this summer's war.
  • Jews were victims of hate crimes in Europe before the latest round of fighting in the Middle East; themassacre of Jewish childrenat a school in Toulouse, and thefatal attackon the Jewish Museum in Brussels, are two examples.

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