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May 22, 2015

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In-Depth Issues:

Iran: 80,000 Hizbullah Missiles Ready to Target Israel (Iran Daily)
    The top military aide to Iran's Supreme Leader, Maj.-Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, said Wednesday that 80,000 missiles belonging to Hizbullah in Lebanon are ready to be fired at Haifa and Tel Aviv.
    "If Zionists wish to do anything wrong (about Iran), we will raze Haifa and Tel Aviv to the ground," he said.

Hamas Is Digging Tunnels - Shlomi Eldar (Al-Monitor)
    Israel is well aware ofHamas'rebuilding of the tunnels that were destroyed during the Gaza war in August 2014.
    Hamas has invested immense resources in the project, while ignoring the deplorable condition of the population in Gaza.
    The tunnel reconstruction project employs hundreds of Palestinians as well as heavy machinery. Palestinians are fighting for the privilege of working in the tunnels, since this is their only chance to find work.
    Before long, the project will get to the point at which dozens of tunnels are primed and ready for a strike in Israel.
    See also Hamas Will Try to Surprise Israel Again Using Tunnels - Col. (ret.) Gabi Siboni (Institute for National Security Studies)
    Since the end of the 2014 conflict, Hamas has concentrated on rebuilding its system of offensive tunnels from Gaza into Israel.
    Its leadership realized that the number of tunnels it had built and the extent to which they were used came as a surprise to Israel. For this reason, the offensive tunnels became a key element of Hamas' fighting doctrine.
    In the end, the yield from the tunnels during the war was not directly proportionate to the decisive weight Hamas had assigned to them and their potential damage was not fully realized.
    Hamas will presumably try to surprise Israel again using the tunnels in order to kidnap live soldiers or civilians.
    Col. (ret.) Gabi Saboni, former commander of the Golani Brigade's reconnaissance unit, is director of the Military and Strategic Affairs Program at INSS.
    See also Hamas' Tunnel Network: A Massacre in the Making - Daniel Rubenstein (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Middle East Realities that Challenge Obama's Nuclear Deal with Iran - Aaron David Miller (Wall Street Journal)
    The U.S. is not really good at following up. We grow tired and disillusioned as things get too hard, and come to feel that it's really not our neighborhood or our fight; along with expecting results that are not realistic.
    But in the Middle East, the nations and leaders we deal with have watched U.S. presidents come and go. Because they see their struggles in terms of survival, there is greater caution.
    The writer is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.

Hizbullah in Syria: Winning the Battle, Losing the War - David Schenker and Oula Abdulhamid Alrifai (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
    Fighting in Syria has hardened a new generation of Hizbullah militiamen, but it has also depleted the group's ranks and eroded its carefully cultivated image as an organization devoted to "resisting" Israel.
    Moreover, the group's involvement in a war that has killed tens of thousands of Sunnis has spurred ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra to target Shiites, Alawites, and Hizbullah members back home in Lebanon.
    As the war drags on, Hizbullah's operational stresses and limitations will become ever more apparent.
    Even Assad's most reliable Shiite allies may not be able to sustain him as the war's attrition increasingly highlights his demographic disadvantage.
    David Schenker is director of the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute. Oula Abdulhamid Alrifai is a research assistant at the Institute.

Legion of Foreign Fighters Battles for Islamic State - John-Thor Dahlburg and Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili (AP-ABC News)
    Between 16,000 and 17,000 men and a small number of women from 90 countries have streamed to Syria and Iraq to wage Muslim holy war for the Islamic State, according to one independent Western estimate.
    They include 3,300 Western Europeans and 100 Americans, according to the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King's College London. Ten to 15% are believed to have died in action.
    According to a study by German security authorities, among people leaving that country for Syria out of "Islamic extremist motives," 65% were believed to have prior criminal records and 61% were German-born.

Iran Says Can't Afford Ahmadinejad Cash Handouts (AFP)
    Iran can no longer sustain the cash handouts enacted by former president Ahmadinejad, Ali Rabii, Iran's minister of labor and social welfare, said Tuesday, signaling plans to halt them.
    The handouts were a partial replacement after subsidies on staples such as electricity, gas, water and bread were cut.
    All Iranians receive about $15 monthly, whether rich or poor. Despite repeated calls from the government for affluent families to refuse the allowance, only 2.4 million of Iran's 80 million population have opted out.
    Rabii also said money spent on handouts was harming domestic production and investment.
    "Since 2010, 500,000 people have lost their jobs in development projects. This is the result of raiding development funds in order to pay cash allowances."

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Why I Tour the U.S. as an Israeli Soldier - Elad and Lital (New York Jewish Week)
    Lital and I participated in the 6th "Israeli Soldiers Tour," speaking on campuses throughout the Northeast.
    Sponsored by StandWithUs, the tour features reserve duty soldiers who recount their personal experiences. We put a human face to the IDF uniform.
    Lital is proud of her service in the IDF, and chose service in the border police unit. She served in checkpoints aimed at thwarting terrorist attacks.
    Lital tells a harrowing tale of a woman in labor, screaming in pain, who arrived in an ambulance at a checkpoint between Israel and the West Bank. She is 18-years old. What would you do?
    In that split second, Lital made the executive decision to check the ambulance to ensure that nothing harmful was being transported into Israel. She found an explosive device hidden under one of the seats.

Israel Exported $5.66 Billion in Defense Goods in 2014 - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel's military exports in 2014 were worth $5.6 billion, the Defense Ministry announced on Thursday, down from $6.5b. in 2013.
    Most of the sales involved planes and aerial systems, drones, command and control and communications systems, air defense systems, radars, electronic warfare suites, precision weapons, and advanced protection systems.
    The Asia Pacific region was the leading region for Israeli sales. Israeli defense industries are ranked within the top 10 defense exporters in the world.

Bedouin Camels Wear Glowing Bands to Cut Down on Crashes - Paul Goldman (NBC News)
    The more than 6,000 camels at large in southern Israel have proved a deadly foe for nighttime drivers. Father-of-three David Cohen hit one while driving home on Dec. 14 and later died from his injuries, sparking an outcry.
    Nave Midbar regional council veterinarian Sliman El Sana has been meeting with Bedouins to test a plan: outfitting camels with three glowing bands each - one on the neck and one on each front leg.
    The solution has been embraced by the Bedouins. "My camels roam freely at night and it is very hard to see them," said Yusuf Ben Hamid. "The glowing bands will protect my camels from accidents."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Obama Defends the Iran Nuclear Deal, Anguishes about Israel - Jeffrey Goldberg
    President Obama said in an interview on Tuesday:
        "[The Iranians] may make irrational decisions with respect to discrimination, with respect to trying to use anti-Semitic rhetoric as an organizing tool. At the margins, where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest. But the costs here are not low, and what we've been very clear [about] to the Iranian regime over the past six years is that we will continue to ratchet up the costs, not simply for their anti-Semitism, but also for whatever expansionist ambitions they may have. That's what the sanctions represent. That's what the military option I've made clear I preserve represents."
        "There is no doubt that the environment worldwide is scary for a lot of Jewish families....You have a Middle East that is turbulent and chaotic, and where extremists seem to be full of enthusiasm and momentum. You have Europe, where...there is an emergence of a more overt and dangerous anti-Semitism. And so part of the concern in the Jewish community is that, only a generation removed from the Holocaust, it seems that anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Israeli rhetoric is on the rise."
        "It would be a moral failing for me as president of the United States, and a moral failing for America, and a moral failing for the world, if we did not protect Israel and stand up for its right to exist, because that would negate not just the history of the 20th century, it would negate the history of the past millennium."
        "There's a direct line between supporting the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland and to feel safe and free of discrimination and persecution, and the right of African Americans to vote and have equal protection under the law."
        " acknowledge the justness of the Jewish homeland, you acknowledge the active presence of anti-Semitism - that it's not just something in the past, but it is current - if you acknowledge that there are people and nations that, if convenient, would do the Jewish people harm because of a warped ideology. If you acknowledge those things, then you should be able to align yourself with Israel where its security is at stake, you should be able to align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not held to a double standard in international fora, you should align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not isolated."  (Atlantic)
        See also Obama Seeks to Boost Ties with Jewish Americans Amid Iran Nuclear Talks - Carol E. Lee
    President Obama, anticipating intensified criticism of his pursuit of an Iran nuclear deal, is trying to boost ties with Jewish Americans. He is scheduled to mark Jewish Heritage Month in a speech Friday at Adas Israel Synagogue in Washington. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Video Shows Syrian Airmen Dropping Barrel Bombs - David Blair
    New video footage has emerged showing Syrian aircrew using barrel bombs. An airman inside a Syrian military helicopter is seen as he lights the fuse of a barrel bomb, then casually pushes it out of the aircraft and sends it hurtling towards the ground. Amnesty International says that barrel bombs have been used to lay waste to civilian areas, claiming at least 11,000 lives since 2012. Last month alone, at least 85 were dropped on the city of Aleppo.
        British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the latest footage exposed Syrian President Assad's "lies." "It shows the casual and indiscriminate way in which Syrian regime forces are dropping these horrific weapons out of helicopters onto civilians below." The use of barrel bombs breaks international humanitarian law because these weapons cannot be targeted and are inherently indiscriminate. (Telegraph-UK)
  • U.S. Sanctions Triggered by Plane Sale to Iran - Jay Solomon
    The U.S. took punitive measures against Iraq-based Al-Naser Airlines and Syrian businessman Issam Shammout on Thursday over the sale of nine Airbus aircraft to Iran's blacklisted Mahan Air, in a case that has sparked concerns that U.S. sanctions are beginning to fray. Shammout's UAE-based Sky Blue Bird Aviation served as a front for Mahan Air to buy the planes from European companies.
        The Israeli government had pushed the U.S. for months to block the delivery, Israeli officials said. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin said the Obama administration remains committed to enforcing sanctions on Iran, regardless of the nuclear diplomacy. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Segregation or Security on Public Transportation in the West Bank? - Yifat Erlich
    Suddenly when there is an attempt to separate Israelis and Palestinians on Israeli public transportation, cries of apartheid drown out the public discourse. No one is crying racism about the fact that there is no chance I, an Israeli, will ever be able to get on a Palestinian transportation company's bus. Outside Palestinian towns are signs banning Israelis from entering. In practice, Israelis of Arab descent can enter freely. Only Jews are barred entry.
        The reality is that the Jewish residents of Ariel and Samaria prefer to hitchhike instead of getting on buses filled with Palestinian Arab laborers. Jews are entitled to come home from work without feeling threatened, and therefore they should be offered a public transportation solution which will guarantee their safe return.
        Will an Israeli Arab get on a bus designated for Israelis? Of course he will. In other words, we are not talking about racial segregation but about security segregation on the backdrop of a 100-year conflict. (Ynet News)
  • Israel: U.S. Arms Purchase "Not Linked to Iran Deal" - Yaakov Lappin
    The $1.87 billion U.S. arms sale to Israel approved by the State Department this week is not tied to the emerging deal with Iran over its nuclear program, a senior Israeli security source said Thursday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Six Arab Teens Charged with Firebombing Jewish Homes in Jerusalem - Edna Adato
    Six Arab youths, aged 14 to 16, from the A-Tur neighborhood in Jerusalem, were charged Thursday with hurling rocks and firebombs at homes of Jews in the area. They also targeted pedestrians and drivers whom they deemed to be Jewish. (Israel Hayom)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • Deterring an Iranian Nuclear Breakout - Michael Eisenstadt
    Deterring Iran from developing or acquiring nuclear weapons will remain the core imperative driving U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic in the years to come. This will be true whether or not ongoing nuclear diplomacy with Tehran leads to a long-term agreement to limit its nuclear program. Iran has a record of noncompliance with its own voluntary commitments, IAEA obligations, and UN Security Council resolutions. It is therefore prudent to assume that Tehran may well continue to engage in undeclared activities and to violate its commitments and obligations if it believes it can do so without getting caught, or without paying an unacceptable price.
        To deter Iran from building or acquiring a nuclear device, Washington will need to convince Tehran that it would not only get caught but also suffer unacceptable consequences: the U.S. would reimpose or ratchet-up sanctions, launch a destabilizing soft-warfare campaign against the regime, or, even use military force to destroy its nuclear program. The writer is director of The Washington Institute's Military and Security Studies Program. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Ex-Sen. Joe Lieberman: Negotiations with Iran Heading toward a Very Bad Agreement - Laura Kelly
    Negotiations with Iran are heading toward a very bad agreement, former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said in an interview Thursday in Jerusalem. "The goal was to end the Iranian nuclear program in return for the end of economic sanctions....Now it looks like we're heading toward the permanent end of economic sanctions and the temporary dialing back of Iran's nuclear program."
        Lieberman said that this is the best time in history for the Jews: "We are really a fortunate and blessed generation to be alive when the State of Israel has been recreated and re-established in its ancient homeland." He adds that the Jews are "doubly blessed" because of the unprecedented relationship between Israel and America. "There is strength in Israel and America to resist the challenges that my children and grandchildren will grow up with," he adds.
        Lieberman said that, in light of Prime Minister Netanyahu's announcement that Israel is ready to reengage in peace talks, President Obama should order construction of America's new embassy in Jerusalem. "That would end the unjust anomaly of the U.S. locating our embassy in the city in every other country in the world that the host country designates as its capital, but not doing so in a country that is one of our closest allies and best friends in the world."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Khamenei Is Not Preparing the Iranian Public for Compromise - Mehdi Khalaji
    Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has elaborated on his worldview in recent speeches. On May 20, Khamenei defined "the new Islamic discourse" as that "created by our Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] and whose flag was raised by the Iranian nation with altruism and sacrifice." Reconciliation and rapprochement with the "unjust, bullying, arrogant, selfish discourse [produced and held] by the world's dominant powers...would never be possible, because one discourse believes in injustice and fighting with nations while the other believes in supporting suppressed people and confronting oppressors."
        Khamenei explained that "one of the challenges [of the nuclear negotiations involves] the other party's bullying and unreasonable demands....The nation and the government that emerged from it will not yield to bullying demands." Khamenei is inflaming public opinion, not preparing the Iranian people for compromise. The writer is a fellow at The Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Iran Seeks a Foothold in Iraq's Sunni Anbar Province - Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
    Following the conquest of the city of Ramadi, capital of Iraq's largest province, Anbar, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan went for an urgent visit to Iraq. Dehghan reiterated Iran's support against Takfiri [apostate] terrorist groups (ISIS) and its willingness to provide Iraq with training, arms and intelligence.
        A spokesperson for the Shiite National Mobilization (NM) forces in Iraq said that Iran was planning to mount a large-scale offensive to liberate Ramadi. Iranian television reported the arrival of thousands of NM fighters from provinces adjacent to Anbar who were to take part in the anti-ISIS struggle. NM forces continue to receive massive assistance from Iran, including advisers as well as fighters from the Revolutionary Guard, weapons, and logistics. With Iran's help, the NM freed Tikrit from the hands of ISIS.
        The visit by the Iranian defense minister to Baghdad a short time after Ramadi's fall indicates that the Iraqi government intends, in coordination with Iran, to take rapid, decisive action to liberate the city. NM forces' participation in Ramadi's liberation will likely lead to deepened Iranian involvement in Iraq and also in areas thought of as Sunni strongholds that border Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Iran is sending more and more forces to Iraq for ground operations, some openly and some camouflaged as Iraqi forces. The writer is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center and at Foresight Prudence. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also Combatting ISIS in Iraq - Charles Krauthammer
    Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition is nowhere to be seen. Instead, it's the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who's in charge - while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America's alleged strategy for combating the Islamic State is in freefall. (Washington Post)

  • Palestinians

  • Some Hamas Leaders Want Calm, Some Don't - Jonathan Schanzer and Grant Rumley
    The regime in Egypt, which sees Hamas as an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood movement it toppled in 2013, has destroyed an estimated 2,000 smuggling tunnels - and even flooded some with tear gas - thereby cutting off Hamas' access to weapons, cash and goods. Hamas leaders know that if they are ever to convince Egypt to open its borders, they will need to charm Cairo's financial patrons in Saudi Arabia. Hamas knows that another war with Israel, especially one fought with Iranian weapons, will not necessarily earn the favor of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the other Sunni states. Between the Iranian nuclear threat and the expansion of the Islamic State, the Sunnis don't want any more conflict in the region - even against Israel - if it can yield Iran more leverage.
        This might explain why Hamas has defied its own principles by engaging in behind-the-scenes cease-fire negotiations with Israel. Senior Hamas official Ahmed Youssef recently acknowledged the Islamist group was in indirect "chats" with Israel via international mediation.
        But even if some Hamas members want to sue for calm, others may not be inclined to go along. Mohammad Deif, Hamas' top military commander, believed to be dead after an Israeli strike last summer, is alive and preparing for another round. Deif will undoubtedly look to Iran to restock his rocket supply. We can also expect an encore of the 40 tunnels that prompted last summer's Israeli ground invasion. Deif was the brains behind those tunnels and Hamas is rebuilding them. Jonathan Schanzer is vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where Grant Rumley is a research analyst. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Judge Palestinians By the Same Standard as the Israelis - Jonathan S. Tobin
    Why don't foreign critics judge Palestinian and Israeli negotiators by the same standard? Netanyahu has never closed the door to negotiations in any of his previous terms in office. The Palestinians blew up the talks last year when Fatah signed a unity pact with Hamas and decided to pursue recognition at the UN in an end run around the peace process.
        Tzipi Livni, who led the Israeli delegation at the talks, though a bitter critic and rival of Netanyahu, confessed that it was not the prime minister who torpedoed Secretary of State Kerry's initiative. Rather, she said, it was Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.
        That's a key point that Israel-bashers consistently forget. Israel has already offered the Palestinians statehood and almost all of the territory they demanded three times between 2000 and 2008. Were they to come to the talks prepared to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders would be drawn, they would find that no Israeli government would be able to resist taking them up on a two-state solution.
        It's time for the international community to start holding the Palestinians accountable. Until they do, they'll never have an incentive to start talking in good faith. (Commentary)
  • The State of Palestine? Still Mired in Jew-Hatred - Gil Troy
    Palestinian rhetoric and behavior reflect their honest intentions: their official organs and most of their leaders seek Israel's destruction and hate the Jewish people - not just "Zionists" - so much, they keep their people miserable rather than make any accommodation with the Jewish state.
        If Palestinians want a state, let them build one. Rather than turning their people into "the world's largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid," as a recent Congressional Research Service report observed, let them tap the entrepreneurial genius reflected in the Palestinian diaspora and build the Palestinian economy.
        Imagine what would have happened if the Palestinians had accepted Secretary of State John Kerry's $4 billion plan to double the Palestinian economy. Instead, the Palestinians rejected Kerry's plan. The PA's economic adviser, Mohammad Mustafa, said the "PA's priorities are not economic." But they could achieve more politically through financial power rather than violence. The writer is professor of history at McGill University. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Other Issues

  • Campuses Are Flooded with Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) - Natan Sharansky
    Today, nearly every American campus is awash in double standards, efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state and rhetoric demonizing Israel. Campuses are flooded with Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions, which this year increased in both reach and intensity. Considering the absence of comparable calls to boycott the world's most egregious human rights violators, there is clearly a double standard at work in such campaigns.
        The danger of movements like BDS is not in the economic damage they could do to Israel; rather, it is in their ability to intimidate anyone who is ready to show sympathy to the Jewish state, an interest in traveling to it, or even a readiness to acknowledge his or her own Jewishness. Studies have shown that even Jews who are sympathetic toward Israel and feel positively about their own Jewishness choose to be silent in order not to defy mainstream opinion or damage their career.
        Israel's sympathizers have to shift gears, from playing defense to launching a confident offense. They have to take back the banner of human rights and liberalism, and not permit this rhetoric to be misused by those who are defending some of the world's most reactionary forces. The writer is a former prisoner of Zion in the USSR, a former Israeli cabinet minister, and currently Chairman of the Jewish Agency. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The High Cost of Boycotting Israel - Jay Tcath
    A recent Tribune editorial correctly applauds the Illinois legislature for having divested pension funds from companies doing business with Sudan (for its genocide in Darfur) or with Iran (for its illicit nuclear program). The General Assembly has passed a bill to synchronize our state's investment policies with our values: divesting from foreign companies boycotting Israel.
        Illinois will be the first state to compel foreign boycotters to make a choice: You are free to profit from our investment dollars. You are also free to boycott Israel. But in this state you will no longer be free to do both. If you choose the boycott avenue, we are free to cash in our investment. You - the foreign company - do not have U.S. or Illinois constitutional rights to our discretionary investment dollars. The writer is executive vice president of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. (Chicago Tribune)
  • Israel Is Not an Apartheid State - Benjamin Pogrund
    During 26 years as a journalist in South Africa I investigated and reported the evil that was apartheid. I saw Nelson Mandela secretly when he was underground, and I was the first non-family member to visit him in prison. I have now lived in Israel for 17 years. Put simply, there is no comparison between Israel and apartheid.
        The Arabs of Israel are full citizens. Crucially, they have the vote and Israeli Arab MPs sit in parliament. An Arab judge sits on the country's highest court; an Arab is chief surgeon at a leading hospital; an Arab commands a brigade of the Israeli army; others head university departments. Arab and Jewish babies are born in the same delivery rooms, attended by the same doctors and nurses, and mothers recover in adjoining beds. Jews and Arabs travel on the same trains, taxis and buses. Universities, theaters, cinemas, beaches and restaurants are open to all. So anyone who equates Israel and apartheid is not telling the truth. (Guardian-UK)
  • Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Becoming More Radical - Eric Trager and Marina Shalabi
    A group of exiled young Muslim Brotherhood members have rebelled against the group's older leaders, rejecting their calls for a patient, long-term struggle against Egypt's military-backed government. They advocated instead for revolutionary and violent tactics to destabilize the government sooner rather than later. The younger, revolutionary wing of the Brotherhood won the organization's latest internal elections in February. Yet they are escalating a fight they are unlikely to win.
        The Muslim Brotherhood's central aims are uncompromising: the Sisi government must be destroyed. The Brotherhood's political party in North Sinai recently posted photos on Facebook showing off its work: burned tires blocking train tracks and an arson attack on an electricity transformer. Other Muslim Brotherhood branches across the country have posted photos of Molotov cocktail-toting Islamist youths, roads set ablaze, and police stations engulfed in flames.
        However, the Brotherhood faces declining relevance within Egypt as a result of its failures in government. According to the Brotherhood's own estimates, 70% of antiregime activity within Egypt is occurring without the Muslim Brothers. (Foreign Affairs)

  • Weekend Features

  • Video: California Looks to Israel on Drought Crisis
    As California's drought crisis continues to get worse, civil engineers have looked to other nations for possible solutions. New desalination technology transformed Israel, allowing one of the driest countries in the world to cultivate a water surplus. See if it could work here. (CBS News-Los Angeles)
  • Palestinian Patients Find Help in Israeli Hospital - Fares Akram
    Gaza teenagers Ahmed and Hadeel Hamdan spend 12 hours a day connected to dialysis machines that come from an Israeli hospital. Israel allows thousands of Gazans to travel each year to its hospitals, even though Israel considers the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to be a hostile entity, and has fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized power in 2007.
        The Hamdan siblings have been regular guests at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa since July 2012. Rambam worked with Palestinian officials to get the equipment installed at the family's home and trained their mother how to operate the machines. She said the hospital makes sure that solutions and medical supplies are delivered to the family on a regular basis.
        Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said granting access to Israeli hospitals was "fundamentally" a humanitarian matter. "This is an ongoing policy. That has been the policy for decades," he said. Israel even treated a daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh last year. (AP-US News)
  • ReWalk Users Become Healthier - David Shamah
    With the ReWalk exoskeleton, people with spinal cord injuries who are paralyzed below the waist "can get the exercise their body needs, preventing severe conditions like heart problems, osteoporosis, kidney disease, and much more," said ReWalk CFO Kevin Hirschberger.
        Radi Kauf, an IDF soldier who was severely injured in the Second Lebanon War, said, "There's no question that I am a lot healthier with ReWalk than I would be otherwise....Many people around the world would benefit from ReWalk simply for the ability the system gives them to exercise, helping them to avoid other severe medical problems."
        Clinical studies show that using ReWalk provides significant mental health benefits as well, with users having a much more positive self-image as they gain independence. Moreover, insurance companies are discovering that, despite its high price tag, they pay less for the ReWalk system than for the treatment required from the secondary effects of paralysis. (Times of Israel)

Palestinians Switch Tactics in Rejection of Jews - Col. Richard Kemp (NRG-Hebrew)

Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said Tuesday at Bar-Ilan University:

  • "The Arab nations came to understand that they will not be able to defeat Israel on the battlefield, and therefore decided to transfer the battlefield to the civilian population. The only change on the Palestinian side was an under-the-radar tactical change, but this change still adheres to their original agenda - total rejection of the Jewish population. Instead of tank battles in distant deserts, the Palestinians transferred their battles to densely populated areas where the civilians serve as human shields."
  • "Instead of reporting the news, the media creates it. Mass communication is influencing and misleading public opinion. The media warps reality according to its own view and is influenced by a post-colonial culture that presents Palestinians as victims. It cultivates hate for Israel and strengthens the violence against Israelis. We are witnessing a trial-by-media and the effect it has on public opinion."
  • "As we saw in Gaza last summer, the rockets and tunnels are aimed at civilians and their purpose was not to defeat Israel but rather achieve two goals: The first is to show their own people that they are fighting against Israel, and the second is to drag Israel into reacting....Hamas was counting on the media to strengthen its message and force international organizations and Western governments to pressure Israel." 
    See also Col. Kemp: "I Have Been Placed on a Terrorist Death List" - David M. Weinberg (Jerusalem Post)

Col. Richard Kemp told the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University:
  • "In social media, I have been the subject of sustained assaults by particularly virulent anti-Israel and anti-Semitic networks. In universities, I have been the subject of demonstrations that have sought to silence me. I have been accused of corruption and being in the pay of the Zionist entity. I have been deliberately denied business opportunities. I have been placed on a terrorist death list."
  • "It is for one reason, and that is because I fail to falsely condemn Israel in circumstances where to even be neutral on the subject is itself a crime in the eyes of so many. It is because I have gone further, and used my military experience and my objective view to explain and defend Israel's legitimate military actions."
    See also Text: The Amoral Revolution in Western Values, and its Impact on Israel - Col. Richard Kemp (BESA Center-Bar-Ilan University)

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