Orange CEO to Travel to Israel to "Reaffirm Firm's Commitment" (Ha'aretz)
Orange CEO Stephane Richard will travel to Israel to reaffirm the French telecom company's commitment to its business in the country after his remarks last week about cutting off ties with Israel's Partner Communications, a spokesman said on Sunday.
Richard told AFP he "sincerely regrets" the furor caused by his remarks, adding that Orange "is in Israel to stay."
Australia: Islamic State Likely Has "Expertise to Build Chemical Weapons" (AFP-Guardian-UK)
"The use of chlorine by Daesh [IS], and its recruitment of highly technically trained professionals, including from the West, have revealed far more serious efforts in chemical weapons development," Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said Friday.
"Daesh is likely to have amongst its tens of thousands of recruits the technical expertise necessary to further refine precursor materials and build chemical weapons."
The use of chlorine in homemade bombs has been reported in several parts of Iraq and Syria, with car and roadside bombs easy to rig with chlorine canisters.
Israel Tests Danger of Enemy "Dirty Bomb," Finds Little - Chaim Levinson (Ha'aretz)
Israel carried out a series of tests in the desert in 2010-14 to measure damage from the detonation of a so-called "dirty" bomb by hostile forces, one that used conventional explosives in addition to radioactive material.
The research concluded that high-level radiation was measured at the center of the explosions, with a low level of dispersal of radiation by particles carried by the wind. Sources said this doesn't pose a substantial danger beyond the psychological effect.
In addition, tests were made of radiological material mixed with water in the ventilation system of a building simulating a shopping mall.
Such an approach was not effective from the terrorists' perspective, as most of the radiation remained on the air conditioning filters.
What Do Iranian Textbooks Teach? - Yoram Ettinger (Israel Hayom)
Iranian school textbooks, such as The Quran and Life (Grade 12), prepare Iranian children for the apocalyptic military battle against the U.S. and other "arrogant oppressors of the world," which are ostensibly led by "idolatrous devils."
Hebrew University Professor Eldad Pardo, who has researched Iran's school textbooks over the last 10 years, published a report this month for the Institute of Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education.
He says, "Iran had created a war curriculum to prepare an entire generation for global war, based on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's vision of collective martyrdom."
"The school textbooks prepare the Iranian people for a constant state of emergency, requiring Iranians to foment revolutions throughout the world."
Read the Report - Imperial Dreams: The Paradox of Iranian Education (Institute of Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- EU: No Iran Nuclear Deal Without UN Probe of Past Nuclear Activity - George Jahn
The EU is telling Iran to cooperate with a stalled UN probe of suspicions that it worked on atomic arms if the country wants a nuclear deal that will see removal of sanctions.
The EU statement was obtained by the Associated Press ahead of its delivery at a meeting of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency that opens Monday. The EU statement says getting to the bottom of the allegations "will be essential" to a nuclear deal.
See also Deadline for Nuclear Talks with Iran May Be Softening - Michael Crowley and Nahal Toosi
With a June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran approaching, Western experts and foreign allies - including a top Israeli official - are urging the Obama administration not to treat that date as sacred for fear of giving Tehran leverage in the talks. "The Iranians are using delay tactics. It seems they want to come close to the deadline without an agreement," Yuval Steinitz, Israel's energy minister, said Thursday. If that happens, "there will be no time to close all the loopholes and clarify all the details. And this will serve the Iranians."
"The administration in my view should not feel under any particular pressure to get a deal by June 30," said Gary Samore, who worked on the issue at the Obama White House until 2013. "To the extent the Iranians try to use the deadline for bargaining leverage, we should ignore it." (Politico)
See also Israel Urges U.S. to Extend Iran Talks to Improve Agreement - Nicole Gaouette (Bloomberg)
- Israel's Allies in U.S. Challenge Boycott - Rick Gladstone
South Carolina has become the first state to enact legislation aimed at thwarting an international pro-Palestinian economic and disinvestment campaign intended to penalize Israel. Illinois will soon become the second, and plans are underway for similar laws in 18 more states. Alarmed over what they see as the growing influence of the campaign known as Boycott, Divest and Sanction, or BDS, Israel's advocates in the U.S., mirroring the reaction among many in Israel, are scrambling to respond. The campaign's effort to isolate Israel economically has struck a nerve among many American Jews, who see it as a form of anti-Semitism.
(New York Times)
See also South Carolina Passes Historic Anti-Boycott Law - Eugene Kontorovich (Washington Post)
- Israeli Premier Criticizes World's "Silence" on Gaza Rockets
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet on Sunday that he hadn't heard anyone condemn three rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel over the past two weeks. "It will be interesting to see if this silence continues when we use all our strength in exercising our right to defend ourselves," Netanyahu said.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, "Clearly, the United States stands with the nation of Israel as they defend their nation and their people from these attacks." (AFP)
- Saudi Arabia Shoots Down Missile Fired from Yemen - Shuaib Almosawa and Kareem Fahim
Saudi Arabia used Patriot missiles to shoot down a Scud missile fired from Yemen Saturday by forces loyal to Yemen's Houthi rebels, according to a statement by the official Saudi news agency.
(New York Times)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Hamas Is Not Behind Latest Gaza Rocket Fire - Yaakov Lappin
Israel has received indications that Hamas is not behind the latest rocket fire from Gaza, and that it is making arrests of Salafi jihadis to try and put a stop to the rockets, driven purely by its own interests. The radical Omar Hadid Brigades claimed responsibility for the latest rocket attacks.
See also Hamas' Islamic State Woes - Benedetta Berti
The past few weeks have seen a series of clashes between Hamas and self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) affiliates in Gaza, such as Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiyya. These local jihadi cells maintain ideological (but not operational) links to al-Qaeda and have been active in Gaza since 2007, opposing the Hamas government. The writer is a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel.
(Sada-Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
- Israel Doubles Water Supplies to Gaza - Ilana Curiel
Israel recently doubled the amount of water it supplies to Gaza from 5 million cubic meters to 10 million cubic meters. Under the Oslo Accords,
Israel is committed to transferring 30 million cubic meters per year to the Palestinian Authority, including Gaza and the West Bank.
In 2014 Israel provided 57 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinians in the West Bank. Israel also supplies 55 million cubic meters of water to Jordan. (Ynet News)
- Jibril Rajoub in Trouble with Arab States after FIFA Vote
The chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, has found himself in deep water after he was seen shaking hands with the head of the Israeli Football Association, Ofer Eini, and for voting to re-elect FIFA chief Sepp Blatter instead of Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan.
His controversial decision sparked anger back home, with Palestinian activists launching an online petition to have him sacked. PA President Mahmoud Abbas visited the prince's home in Amman to "apologize for the mishap." Jordanian media reported that Rajoub had been declared persona non grata following the vote and was banned from entering the kingdom.
- BDS Is a Threat to Israel's Very Existence - Ben-Dror Yemini
BDS is a movement that uses the language of rights, but deals in practice with denying Israel's right to exist.
"The idea of two states was unacceptable from the beginning," said Omar Barghouti, a leader of the BDS campaign, adding that ending Israeli control of Palestinian territories is only a step on the way to achieving the vision of dismantling Israel. BDS leader Ali Abunimah said that "the two-state solution is meant to save Zionism."
Almost everything the Nazis said about the Jews is said today by BDS supporters about Israel. There is a worldwide struggle today against the very existence of one country of the all countries in the world. Not North Korea. Not Iran. Not Sudan. Only Israel.
The war against BDS is not a political issue, it is a matter of national interest. All sane forces, left and right, must be enlisted in this fight against it. (Ynet News)
See also Anti-Semitism Is the Motivation for the BDS Campaign, Whose Goal Is to Delegitimize Israel - Amb. Freddy Eytan
Israel is rightly alarmed at the escalating scale of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. BDS constitutes a concrete threat to the future of Israel's economic, academic, cultural, sports and political standing. The
BDS movement goes far beyond legitimate criticism, and in essence calls for the dismantling of the Jewish state. Any fair-minded person must contemplate why the BDS movement is focused on the Jewish state, while massacres continue all over the Middle East and are almost completely ignored. The writer, a former Foreign Ministry senior advisor who served in Israel's embassies in Paris and Brussels, was Israel's first Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- How Isolated Is Israel? - Elliott Abrams
It was announced last week that later this year Narendra Modi will become the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. Israel's trade with India reached $4.39 billion in 2013. Chinese President Jiang Zeming visited Israel in 2000, and four Israeli presidents and three prime ministers have visited China, where annual trade with Israel is now over $10 billion.
Israel's own "pivot to Asia" is real - and successful. Often more attention is directed at critical actions toward Israel by nations such as Ireland, population 4.6 million, than to Israel's developing political and economic relations with the world's two most populous countries. The writer is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
No, Mr. President, You Don't Fully Understand Israel's Fears - David Horovitz (Times of Israel)
- Discussing Israeli reservations about the Iran nuclear deal, President Obama asserted in an interview with Israel Channel 2 last Tuesday that "I can say to the Israeli people: I understand your concerns and I understand your fears."
- But here's the thing, Mr. President: You don't. Most of us endorse every word you had to say about the necessity to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians in order to maintain Israel as a Jewish democracy. We share your worries about what becomes of that "Palestinian youth in Ramallah," embittered and frustrated by the status quo. You know full well that the Jewish state and its people want nothing more than to live in peace and tranquility alongside their neighbors.
- What you haven't fully internalized, however, is the extent to which Israelis have been battered by recent history, and continue to be battered by the events unfolding all around us. You seek to assure us that this deal with Iran is in our own best interests when we know that Iran - which almost daily calls for our destruction - will paint any agreement as a victory and a vindication, and will utilize that ostensible victory to step up its efforts to harm us.
- We know that it was your negotiators who blinked, who never forced the regime to choose between survival and its nuclear program, when the financial leverage was available to impose that choice.
- Have you really internalized that Hamas booted out the forces of Mahmoud Abbas from Gaza in a matter of hours in 2007, and that there is every reason to believe that Hamas would seek to do the same in the West Bank were Israel to do as you wish, and pull out? A single Hamas rocket that landed a mile from the airport last summer prompted two-thirds of foreign airlines to stop flying to Israel for a day and a half - including all the major U.S. airlines. Hamas rule in the West Bank would close down our entire country.
- Barely a decade ago, we were murdered in our hundreds by an onslaught of suicide bombers dispatched from the cities of the West Bank where we had relinquished day-to-day control.
The writer is the founding editor of the Times of Israel. He previously edited the Jerusalem Post (2004-2011) and the Jerusalem Report (1998-2004).
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.