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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
April 16, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Marks Holocaust Memorial Day (AP-USA Today)
    Israel came to a two-minute standstill on Thursday morning in remembrance of the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.
    As sirens sounded, cars and buses pulled over on the side of highways and roads. Motorists stepped out of their cars and pedestrians stopped in their tracks, bowing their heads as they remembered those who perished.
    Somber music and interviews with Holocaust survivors filled the airwaves, while TV stations showed documentaries about the genocide.
    See also Video: Israel Comes to a Standstill on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jerusalem Post)
    See also Knesset Members Read Names of Holocaust Victims - Lahav Harkov (Jerusalem Post)
    Members of Israel's Knesset spoke about their personal connection to the Holocaust and read the names of murdered relatives at a ceremony in Israel's parliament on Thursday.

North Korea Transferred Missile Components to Iran During Nuclear Talks - Bill Gertz (Washington Free Beacon)
    North Korea supplied several shipments of missile components to Iran during recent nuclear talks, in violation of UN sanctions on both countries, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
    Since September, more than two shipments of missile parts have been monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies as they transited from North Korea to Iran.
    Critics of the nuclear framework agreement have said one major deficiency of the accord is its failure to address Iran's missile program, considered a key nuclear delivery system.

To Saudi Arabia, Iran Is a Greater Threat than Israel - Abdulateef Al-Mulhim (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
    Who is the real enemy of Saudi Arabia? Following the Iranian revolution, Tehran shocked the world by adopting a hostile policy toward the Kingdom.
    In the mid-1980s during the Haj season, thousands of Iranians went on a rampage and rioted. Saudi security officials at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah found tens of pounds of C4 explosive paste with some Iranians.
    During the past few years, Iran's intentions to control Yemen and threaten the security and stability of Saudi Arabia have been exposed. Now it has become clear that Iran was behind the Houthi takeover of Yemen.
    Iran is no doubt a threat to Saudi Arabia even greater than Israel.

Apple Buys Israeli Firm LinX for $20M - Dave Smith (Business Insider)
    Apple has acquired LinX, an Israel-based camera technology company, for an estimated $20 million, according to CNBC.
    LinX builds "miniature multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices," hinting that this acquisition is aimed to improve the camera in the iPhone.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Netanyahu Likens Iran to Nazis on Holocaust Memorial Day
    As Israel marked its Holocaust memorial day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Iran to the Nazis on Wednesday and warned the Islamic Republic must be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons. (AP-Huffington Post)
        See also below Observations - The Lesson of the Holocaust: No Room for Weakness When Facing Expansionist Regimes - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister's Office)
  • G-7 Nations Say Russia Too Early on Iran Missile Sale - Patrick Donahue and Gregory Viscusi
    Germany and Italy said Russia's planned sale of S-300 air-defense systems to Iran before world powers complete an agreement on the country's nuclear program is premature. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tuesday that such deals should wait until a full agreement is reached. "To talk about rewards already is too early."
        Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said, "When at the end of June there is a complete accord, Italy will be one of the countries in there trying to reestablish commercial relations, but first we need the accord, we shouldn't be getting ahead of ourselves."  (Bloomberg)
  • Iran Is Raising Sophistication and Frequency of Cyberattacks - David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth
    A new study of Iran's cyberactivities, to be released by Norse, a cybersecurity firm, and the American Enterprise Institute, concludes that Iran has greatly increased the frequency and skill of its cyberattacks over the past year. Norse traced thousands of attacks against American targets to hackers inside Iran. Frederick W. Kagan, who directs the institute's Critical Threats Project, argues that if sanctions against Iran are suspended under the proposed nuclear accord, Iran will be able to devote the revenue from improved oil exports to cyberweapons.
        U.S. officials have said that Iran attacked American banks in retaliation for sanctions and that it wiped out data on 30,000 computers at the oil giant Saudi Aramco in retaliation for the close Saudi ties with the U.S. (New York Times)
  • Israel Launches Initiative to Have Antisemitism Recognized as an International Crime - David Daoud
    In a new Israeli initiative, Alan Baker, Israel's former ambassador to Canada and legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, wants antisemitism to be treated as an international crime. Baker has drafted an international convention calling for the "Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Antisemitism." The Convention will allow countries to cooperate and exchange information in order to extradite those suspected of acts that meet the definition of antisemitism, Israel's NRG reported on Wednesday.
        "Everyone knows to condemn antisemitism, but they are not doing what is necessary in order to fight against it on an international legal level," Baker said. (Algemeiner)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Hamas Accelerates Tunnel-Building Using Heavy Machinery - Avi Issacharoff
    Hamas has begun using heavy machinery to accelerate the excavation of attack tunnels leading from Gaza under the Israeli border, Palestinian sources said Wednesday. Israeli security officials confirmed that Hamas was making great efforts to dig tunnels at high speed. They also said Hamas was attempting to produce as many short-range rockets as possible. (Times of Israel)
        See also New Tunnel Detection System Developed for Gaza Border - Udi Etsion and Matan Tzuri
    Israel's Elbit Systems has developed a new system using sensors to detect tunnel building activity. The system, the first of its kind in the world, will be implemented along the Israel-Gaza border to protect Israeli citizens from infiltration by Hamas terrorists. The system enables the precise identification of tunnels without false alarms. (Ynet News)
  • Israel Security Agency Probing Terror Link after Arab Driver Strikes Two Israelis at Jerusalem Bus Stop - Yaakov Lappin
    A car driven by an Arab resident of east Jerusalem struck two Israelis waiting for a bus in the capital on Wednesday night, killing Shalom Yohai Cherki, 25, and seriously injuring an Israeli woman. The Israel Security Agency said it was investigating the possibility that this was an act of deliberate terrorism. Jerusalem has seen a string of car ramming attacks over the past year. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Iran's Nuclear Bazaar - Editorial
    Vladimir Putin agreed Monday to sell the mullahs sophisticated air-defense missile systems. Now China plans to join Russia in building new nuclear reactors for the Islamic Republic. Oil-rich Iran has little need for the one nuclear power plant it already has in Bushehr, but it wants five more. The reactors will open more paths to nuclear-weapons capability.
        Reactors "can be copious producers of plutonium suitable for nuclear weapons," notes Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. He adds that building a small clandestine reprocessing plant to extract the plutonium "is actually easier than putting up a centrifuge plant" such as those Iran has at Natanz and Fordo. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Khamenei Redefines Iran's Red Lines for Nuclear Talks - Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
    On April 9, 2015, Iran's top leaders, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, spelled out new red lines for the ongoing nuclear negotiations: immediate removal of sanctions as soon as the agreement takes effect; opposition to special monitoring and inspections of Iran's military sites and missile program; and non-intervention in Iran's ongoing assistance to "resistance" organizations around the world. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Ready for the Truth about Iran? Khamenei Wants to Destroy Us - Michael Ledeen
    Our basic error is that we think our offer of a strategic alliance - President Obama's "outstretched hand" - is attractive to Iran. It isn't. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei doesn't want a deal with us; he wants to destroy us. When he calls us the "Great Satan" or when he leads chants of "Death to America!," he means it. Khamenei wants to go down in Islamic history as the man who defeated America, not the imam who signed a deal with the devil. He's willing to accept our surrender, but he won't forge a partnership with Obama.
        Why did they agree to negotiate? Because Iranian President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif convinced Khamenei that the Americans were desperate for a deal, that there was no danger of an American military option and that Iran could get all manner of favors from the Americans without conceding anything important. Think of the negotiations as a component in the Iranian war against us, not as a step on the path to detente. We have real enemies who don't want to seize our outstretched hand. They want to chop it off. The writer, the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was special adviser to former Secretary of State Alexander Haig. (The Hill)

The Lesson of the Holocaust: No Room for Weakness When Facing Expansionist Regimes - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister's Office)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at Yad Vashem on Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday:

  • The most important lesson of World War II [is that] democracies must not turn a blind eye to the aspirations of tyrannous regimes to expand. A conciliatory attitude toward these regimes only increases their tendency for aggression. And if this aggression is not stopped in time, humanity might find itself in a much bloodier battle. There is no room for weakness when facing tyrannous regimes who send their murderous tentacles in every direction.
  • Just as the Nazis aspired to crush civilization while annihilating the Jewish people, so too does Iran strive to gain control over the region, from which it would spread further, with the explicit intent of obliterating the Jewish state.
  • The bad deal that is being made with Iran demonstrates that the historic lesson has not been internalized. The West is yielding in the face of Iran's aggressive actions. Instead of demanding a significant dismantling of the nuclear program in Iran, the superpowers are leaving Iran with its nuclear capabilities, and even allowing it to expand them later on, regardless of Iran's actions in the Middle East and around the world.
  • The superpowers turn a deaf ear to the crowds in Iran shouting: "Death to America; Death to Israel." They turn a blind eye to the scenes of execution of those who oppose the regime and the members of minority populations. And they hold their peace in the face of the massive arming of terrorist organizations.
  • Meanwhile, we will continue to insist on the truth, and we will do everything we can to open the eyes that have closed. Even if we are compelled to stand alone, we will not be afraid. We will keep our resolve to defend ourselves. It is our duty to fight those who wish to destroy us, not to bow down to them nor to downplay reality.

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