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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
April 15, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

IDF Erecting Barrier on Northern Border to Thwart Hizbullah - Elhanan Miller (Times of Israel)
    The IDF has begun erecting an 11 km. (7 mile) earth barrier along Israel's border with Lebanon in the northwestern Galilee to prevent the infiltration of Hizbullah terrorists into Israeli communities, Israel Channel 2 TV reported Tuesday.

Obama's Approval Advantage among U.S. Jews Narrows - Frank Newport (Gallup)
    For the first quarter of 2015, 54% of American Jews approved of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, compared with an average of 46% among all Americans.
    That 8-point gap is lower than the average 13-point gap seen so far throughout Obama's term in office.
    In 2009, Obama's support among Jews was 77%.

Palestinian Security Coordination with Israel Continues - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Despite repeated threats by Abbas and other Palestinian leaders, security coordination with Israel continues as usual.
    This coordination is mainly directed against Hamas and other radical groups that pose a threat not only to Israel, but also to the PA.
    PA leaders in Ramallah are well aware that without help from Israel, they would face another Hamas coup like the one that took place in Gaza in the summer of 2007.
    Today, the number of Hamas operatives and supporters in the West Bank arrested by PA security forces is larger than the number arrested by Israel.

Israel's Beit Guvrin Recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site - Sharon Udasin (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel's Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park became a UNESCO World Heritage site on Tuesday.
    The Beit Guvrin caves contain a "city under a city" characterized by 500 man-made caves.

Israeli Scientists Develop Breath Test to Detect Stomach Cancer Much Earlier - Sarah Knapton (Telegraph-UK)
    A new breath test that can predict the chance of developing stomach cancer has been developed by Israeli scientists that could save thousands of lives.
    The test senses tiny changes in exhaled breath which signal that stomach cancer is present.
    "The attraction of this test lies in its non-invasiveness, ease of use, rapid predictiveness, and potentially low cost," said Prof. Hossam Haick, of the Technion in Haifa, Israel.

The Plight of Palestinian Women - Robert Fulford (National Post-Canada)
    The position of women today in the West Bank and Gaza provides chilling insight into what life in a Palestinian state will be like if that state ever becomes a reality.
    According to the official daily paper of the PA, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, about half of Palestinian women have been exposed to domestic violence.
    In 2014 a senior official in the PA Ministry of Women's Affairs reported a 100% increase in "family honor" killings.
    Zainab Al-Ghneimi, who runs the Women's Legal Counselling Center, believes that a Palestinian husband assumes the right of ownership. Typically, Al-Ghneimi says, a man believes he has bought the woman and paid for her. She has become his property and must obey his orders.
    The PA newspaper claims that many women accept violence as their due.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Obama Concedes Congress Role on Iran Deal - Patricia Zengerle
    President Obama conceded on Tuesday that Congress will have the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously, 19 to 0, to approve a bipartisan bill that would give Congress oversight of a final deal. Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker said the White House had agreed to go along with the bill "only when they saw how many senators were going to vote for this."  (Reuters)
        See also White House: Obama Would Sign Pending Senate Deal on Iran - David McCabe and Ben Kamisar
    President Obama is willing to sign a new Senate deal that would allow Congress to review and vote on a proposed nuclear deal with Iran, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday. The new bill shortens the timeframe for Congress to review a nuclear deal with Iran to 30 days and allows Obama to submit the deal after the June 30 deadline for negotiators to conclude their work.
        The president would have to submit the deal by July 9 to have the expedited timeframe. If Congress votes to reject the deal, the bill says the president could not waive sanctions that had been imposed through legislation. (The Hill)
  • Iran: West Not Allowed to Threaten Tehran at the Negotiating Table
    Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Hamid Baeidinejad said Monday that Western countries are not allowed to threaten Tehran at the negotiating table. "We negotiate on equal footing and with mutual respect and don't allow the other side to participate in the negotiations with a hidden gun and in (military) boots."
        He stressed that "all the EU, U.S. and UN Security Council sanctions will be terminated on the first day that final nuclear deal comes into effect." He also emphasized Tehran's determination to continue R&D activities and said "Iran will continue nuclear fusion technology" even after a final deal with the powers.
        Noting that "Iran holds no trust in the U.S.," he stressed that "the issue of Iran-U.S. rapprochement has never been on the agenda of talks."  (Fars-Iran)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu Urges Putin Not to Supply Iran with Missile Defenses - Elhanan Miller
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, expressing Israel's "grave concerns" regarding Russia's decision to provide Iran with advanced antiaircraft missiles. Netanyahu told Putin that the S-300 deal "will only encourage Iranian aggression in the region and further undermine the stability of the Middle East."
        Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Tuesday, "This sale of advanced weaponry to Iran is the direct result of the dangerous deal on the table between Iran and the P5+1. Can anyone still seriously claim that the deal with Iran will enhance security in the Middle East?"
        Security experts called the potential deployment of the system by Iran a hindrance but not a game changer. Israel Channel 2 TV on Tuesday said Israeli pilots have trained against the S-300 in recent years, with the cooperation of friendly nations that have the system. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Thwarted Hamas Terror Plot - Yoav Zitun
    Israel stopped a Hamas terror cell planning to fire at soldiers near Abu Dis outside Jerusalem last month, the Israel Security Agency said Tuesday. Ma'an Nur al-Din Ahmad Shaer and Daud Raja Daud Adwan, who were previously imprisoned in Israel and were arrested in early March, bought a car to be used in the attack, trained in shooting and collected intelligence on their target. (Ynet News)
        See also Israel Nabs Dozens of Hamas Men in West Bank - Yaakov Lappin
    Security forces arrested 29 Hamas members in the Nablus area of the West Bank Tuesday night, the Israel Security Agency said. The suspects "were funded and orchestrated by a Hamas overseas headquarters" and sought to carry out terror attacks against Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Reaction to Kidnapped Soldier in Gaza War Deemed Proportional - Tamar Pileggi
    On August 1, 2014, after a truce was declared in the Gaza war, a Hamas suicide bomber attacked an IDF unit in Rafah, killing and wounding several soldiers. Hamas fighters kidnapped the body of Lt. Hadar Goldin. Believing Goldin had been captured alive, the army responded with massive force in an effort to thwart his abductors. An IDF investigation released by Army Radio Tuesday concluded that the IDF counterstrike was proportionate. "Shots that were fired during the operation were designed to block the escape routes of kidnappers, and were done proportionately," the report stated.
        Palestinians claimed that Israel's response resulted in the deaths of as many as 150 civilians. However, the IDF investigation found that 41 people were killed, 12 identified as terrorists, 13 as civilians, and the rest as undetermined, although the army categorized them as "of fighting age."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Rare Bipartisanship in Congress over Iran - Max Boot
    Rare bipartisanship prevailed in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to force President Obama to submit any Iranian nuclear deal for congressional approval. Ironically, this legislation could actually strengthen Obama's hand with the Iranians: Secretary of State John Kerry can now plausibly tell his Iranian interlocutors that, however much he would like to concede their points, Congress won't stand for it.
        The basic message, from Democrats and Republicans alike, is that there is deep unease in Congress, as well as in the country at large, about the terms of the accord, and for good cause. As former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger have noted, "negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability."  The writer is a Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. (Commentary)
  • Getting U.S.-Iranian History Wrong - Michael Rubin
    In defense of President Barack Obama's empathy with Iran, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman gets Iranian history wrong. Friedman describes how: "We, the United States, back in the '50s, we toppled Iran's democratically-elected government. You know, there might be some reason these people actually want to get a weapon that will deter that from happening again."
        The idea for the coup was British because Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq had nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (a predecessor of British Petroleum) and then refused to negotiate. The U.S. was more concerned by Mosaddeq's pro-Soviet proclivities. So, too, were the Iranians themselves, especially the military and the clergy. That's right, the folks who run the Islamic Republic today were co-conspirators with the U.S. and deeply opposed to Mosaddeq's anti-clerical attitudes. At the time of the coup, Mohammad Reza Shah was a popular head of state whom Mosaddeq was seeking to force out in order to assume dictatorial power himself.
        Moreover, the idea that the 1953 coup motivates the Iranian nuclear program is bizarre. The resurrection of the Iranian nuclear program after the 1979 Islamic Revolution can be traced more to Iraqi chemical weapons attacks on Iran. The assumption that grievance motivates the Iranian nuclear drive is lazy thinking and belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic, which at its heart is an ideological state that seeks to export its revolution. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. (Commentary)

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2015 (Yad Vashem - The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority)

Holocaust Remembrance Day begins on Wednesday evening. Each year in Israel, six torches are lit at the central memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered. These are the torchlighters:

  • Shela Altaraz was born in 1934 in Stip, Macedonia. Most of her family were murdered at Treblinka, while she survived being in a concentration camp. Shela arrived in Israel in 1949. After serving as a medic in the army, she came to Jerusalem and began working as a nurse.
  • Avraham Harshalom was born in 1925 in an area of Poland that is today Belarus. His parents, brother, and grandmother were murdered at Birkenau, while he survived in Auschwitz and other camps. In March 1949, Avraham arrived in Israel, and served in the Israel Air Force during the War of Independence.
  • Eggi Lewysohn was born in 1924 in Breslau, Germany. In December 1938, after the Kristallnacht pogrom, Eggi joined a Youth Aliya group that was sent first to Denmark, where the group members were dispersed to different farms. In October 1943, the entire group was caught by the Germans and deported to Terezin. He arrived in Israel in 1951.
  • Ephraim Reichenberg was born in 1927 in Hungary. In July 1944 his family was deported to Auschwitz. He was told to say that he and his brother were twins, so that they would be taken for experimentation and not to the gas chambers. The boys were taken to Dr. Mengele's laboratories for medical experiments on their vocal chords. Ephraim reached Israel in 1948 and served in the Hagana and Palmach. In 1967, he lost his voice due to complications in the wake of Mengele's experiments. In 1984, he regained the ability to speak with the aid of a device manufactured in Germany.
  • Dov Shimoni was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1919. In 1944, after Germany occupied Hungary, thousands of Jews in Budapest, including Dov's family, were imprisoned in a number of buildings throughout the city. Dov managed to transfer his family to a house whose Jewish tenants had been taken away, and upon which a sign hung declaring it "Jew-free." Thus his family survived. In 1949, Dov immigrated to Israel with his family and worked as a manager at hospitals and health care organizations.
  • Sara Weinstein was born in 1935 in an area of Poland that is today Ukraine. In 1942 her family escaped the Stepan ghetto on the eve of its liquidation and fled to the house of a friend. A few weeks later, Ukrainian villagers broke into the friend's home and murdered the people they found there including the friend, his wife, and Sara's mother. Sara was wounded. She survived in the forest with her father, brother and two sisters. In 1944, after the Red Army liberated the region, Sara's father was murdered by local Ukrainian villagers. Sara came to Israel in 1947.

        See also Looking Back at the Holocaust, Through a Child's Eyes - Isabel Kershner
    Jakov Goldstein survived the Holocaust as a child by hiding alone for two years in a narrow attic, sustained by the books delivered by the daughter of the Polish family that shielded him. Eliyahu Rozdzial turned 13, hidden alone in the forest and farms around Dzialoszyce, Poland, after his family had been killed. And 4-year-old Martin Weyl survived life in the Terezin ghetto.
        These and other children are being featured in a new exhibition, "Children in the Holocaust: Stars without a Heaven," which opened this week at Yad Vashem. About 1.5 million children were killed during the Holocaust. Nazi ideology did not differentiate between adults and children, and the plan was to wipe out the Jewish people in its entirety. (New York Times)

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