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Weekly Radio Alert
August 3, 2015

Live Webcast: Prime Minister Netanyahu on Iran
    Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
    Co-hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Federations from across North America.
    Please register for this event here.

In-Depth Issues:

Poll: Israelis Say Continue Fighting Iran Nuclear Deal (Israel Hayom)
    76% of Jewish Israelis believe Israel should continue fighting against the Iran nuclear deal, while 15% think Israel should not fight it, a new survey by New Wave Research and Israel Hayom has found.
    Asked whether they thought U.S. President Obama was looking out for Israel's interests, 73% said no, while 20% said yes.

Poll: Palestinians Say Even After Two-State Solution, Resistance Should Continue Until All of Historic Palestine Is Liberated - David Pollock (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
    A poll of Palestinians conducted June 7-19, 2015, found that 58% of West Bankers and 65% of Gazans say that even if a "two-state solution" is negotiated, "the struggle is not over and resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated."
    At the same time, 83% of Gazans say that "Hamas should maintain a ceasefire with Israel."

Iran's Closed Covenants - Editorial (Wall Street Journal)
    U.S. diplomats are often involved in secret diplomacy, but we can think of no instance in U.S. history where the results of so consequential an agreement were closed to public inspection.
    No U.S. secrets are at stake, yet the Administration insists on briefing Congress on the Iran-IAEA deal only in closed session.
    It's nearly a century since Woodrow Wilson insisted, as the first of his Fourteen Points, on "open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in public view."

Israeli Security Fence Part of Region-Wide Trend - Salma El Wardany and Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg)
    From Morocco to Saudi Arabia, borders are being fortified with security fences.
    Tunisia and Turkey are the latest to invest in border barriers in the aftermath of jihadist attacks on civilian targets.
    "Israel's barriers have worked well for them so far," said Brent Sterling, author of Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors? and a professor at Georgetown University.

Israelis Win 61 Medals at Special Olympics in LA - Allon Sinai (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel's delegation to the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles won 61 medals in the past week - 25 gold, 18 silver and 18 bronze.
    Over 6,500 athletes from 165 countries competed this year.

Massive Sandstorm Swallows Amman, Jordan; Flights Diverted to Israel - Itay Blumental and Roi Kais (Ynet News)
    Massive sandstorms on Sunday prevented flights from landing at Amman International Airport, sending two Royal Jordanian flights to land at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport.
    Flights operated by other Arab carriers were diverted to Aqaba in southern Jordan.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Russia Upgrading S-300 Missiles Intended for Iran
    Russia is modernizing its S-300 missile system to supply to Iran, Vladimir Kozhin, a military adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on July 30, RIA news agency reported. Russia cancelled the delivery of the advanced missile system to Iran in 2010 under pressure from the West. But Putin lifted the ban in April following an interim nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. (Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty)
  • U.S., Egypt Resume Formal Security Talks with Kerry Visit - Matthew Lee
    Despite persistent human rights concerns, the U.S. on Sunday resumed formal security talks with Egypt that were last held six years ago. Two days after the U.S. delivered eight F-16 planes to Egypt to help it counter an increasing terrorist threat, Secretary of State John Kerry restarted the "strategic dialogue" with Egyptian officials in Cairo. Kerry noted that the U.S. had also provided Egypt with Apache helicopters, attack boats, armored vehicles and other weapons systems this year. (AP-Washington Post)
        See also Egypt Also Fears the Iran Nuclear Deal - Oren Kessler
    Last week, both the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and the Al-Azhar religious seminary condemned Iran's "interference" in Arab affairs. Like Israel and the Gulf States, Egypt dreads the effect of a cash-flush and potentially nuclear-armed Iran on its interests and security. Egypt is, with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, a pillar of the Sunni Arab bloc opposed to the spread of Iranian influence in the region. Today, just 15% of Egyptians view Iran as having a positive influence in the world, and anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian invective is common in Egyptian media. The writer is deputy director for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (National Interest)
  • The Flow of Jihadists into Syria Dries Up as Turkey Cracks Down on the Border - Erin Cunningham
    For years, Turkey's porous border with Syria provided a lifeline for the Islamic State, allowing the group to ferry weapons and fighters to build its brutal "caliphate." But where jihadists once streamed over this frontier, Turkish authorities have intensified police patrols to block the illicit flow in recent days. Turkish security forces were also rounding up alleged sympathizers of the Islamic State in Turkey. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Chief Rabbi Condemns Firebomb Attack in West Bank
    Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau on Friday spoke with Nablus Governor Akram Rajoub and told him that the entire Jewish People condemn the abhorrent murder and the shameful attack on the Dawabsha family in Duma. "We must act with full force against those who did this and we must educate against those who might be liable to do such things," Rabbi Lau said. "There is no forgiveness for those who sow ruin, kill and deepen the rift between peoples."
        Governor Rajoub said that he accepted Rabbi Lau's remarks, that he knew this was not the tradition of the Jewish People, and that he appreciated the Chief Rabbi's desire for rapprochement between the peoples. (Chief Rabbinate Spokesman-IMRA)
        See also Prime Minister Netanyahu Visits Dawabsha Family in Hospital (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also Netanyahu Speaks with Abbas after Firebomb Attack (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Netanyahu: Israel Condemns Murderers, While Its Neighbors Name Squares for Them - Barak Ravid
    Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday: "What distinguishes us from our neighbors is that we denounce and condemn murderers in our midst and pursue them until the end, while they name public squares after child murderers."  (Ha'aretz)
  • Israelis Treated for Smoke Inhalation after Suspected Arson by Palestinians - Karni Eldad
    Dozens of Israelis in the southern Hebron Hills community of Beit Hagai in the West Bank were evacuated from their homes on Friday as a result of a brush fire believed set by Palestinians. Some 30 people were treated for smoke inhalation. Israelis in Yitzhar in the northern West Bank also reported Friday that suspected Palestinian arsonists set fires on the southern slopes of the hilltop community. (Maariv-Jerusalem Post)
        See also Palestinians Attempt to Set Fire to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus
    Dozens of Palestinians in Nablus in the West Bank threw rocks, bottles, and firebombs at Israeli civilians and soldiers at Joseph's Tomb on Saturday. PA security forces deployed to prevent dozens of youths from setting the tomb site on fire. (Ma'an News-PA)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • A Deeply Flawed Deal - Emily B. Landau
    The narrative of "no alternative" to the Iran deal never was an accurate description of reality. It was always a political tactic that worked especially well with populations that are so frightened of the short-term implications of any military threat that they are willing to close their eyes not only to the problems with this deal, but to the vastly more dangerous longer-term implications of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
        Iran was successful in achieving its goals in the negotiation - namely, to lift all sanctions, retain its breakout capability and gain international recognition and legitimacy for its vast nuclear program - in large part because it stuck to its narrative and its red lines. Iran simply refused to budge on anything of true significance. The U.S. feared that if the P5+1 were tougher with Iran, the talks would have collapsed. But Iran was at the table because it desperately needed sanctions relief; therefore, it would not really have let the talks collapse.
        Now U.S. officials are again twisting the facts and the alternatives, presenting its concessions as nonconcessions. If Congress does voice its opposition, it would be a strong message that this is indeed a bad deal, and that in turn could perhaps garner support for efforts to at least improve mechanisms of dealing with Iranian violations. The writer is head of the Arms Control Program at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. (National Interest)
  • The Pitfalls of Snapback Sanctions - John R. Bolton
    If Iran is caught transgressing, President Obama's plan is to apply "snapback sanctions." Yet in two provisions of the deal (Paragraphs 26 and 37), Iran rejects the legitimacy of sanctions coming back into force. "Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA."
        Thus the pattern will not be: Iran violates the deal; sanctions snap back; Iran resumes compliance. Quite the reverse. The far more likely future is: Iran violates the deal; sanctions snap back; Iran tells us to take our deal and stuff it - but only after Iran had reaped the economic benefits of having its assets unfrozen and the sanctions ended. The writer, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was the U.S. ambassador to the UN (2005-2006). (New York Times)
  • If Iran's Leaders Don't Want Nuclear Weapons, Why Did They Insist on the Sunset Provision? - Martin Peretz
    If Iran's leaders don't want nuclear weapons, why did they insist on a time limit for the nuclear agreement - the sunset provision? The Iranians have managed to achieve sanctions relief, the legitimacy that comes from press conferences with great powers, and an eased path to nuclear weapons - all without having to pause their "Death to America" street rallies, return their American hostages, curb their aggression in the Middle East, or release their presidential candidates from house arrest.
        Strangely, the President and the Secretary of State wanted to separate the issue of the nature and conduct of the Iranian regime from the nuclear issue. Most would think that a negotiation over the details of uranium enrichment would take into account the behavior of those who will control the uranium once it is enriched. The Iranians certainly recognized these two issues as linked, and used that linkage to their advantage, insisting on the easing of the arms embargo. So the U.S. excluded nonnuclear issues in order to get a deal, while Iran included non-nuclear issues to their benefit. The writer is former editor-in-chief of the New Republic (1974-2013). (The Tower)

Comparing Obama's and Reagan's Approach to Adversaries - W. Bruce Weinrod (Washington Times)

  • President Obama has argued that his approach to Iran is essentially the same as that which Ronald Reagan took toward the Soviet Union. Obama cited Reagan's "recognition that if you were able to verify an agreement, that you would negotiate with the evil empire that was hell-bent on our destruction and was a far greater existential threat to us than Iran will ever be."
  • Leaving aside the fact that the verification provisions in the proposed agreement are flawed, and that a nuclear-armed Iran could be at least as serious a threat as was the Soviet Union, the reality is that Obama's approach to dealing with an adversary is fundamentally different from that of Reagan. Obama believed that he could reach a satisfactory agreement by proactive engagement with a militant and aggressive Iran without preconditions or any meaningful changes in its international or domestic policies.
  • Reagan believed that, given Moscow's avowed hostility to the West and expansionist actions, the Soviet Union must change first before he would negotiate seriously. He was not willing to risk the security of the U.S. and its allies on an agreement with an old-style communist leadership with a militant ideology and a record of cheating on arms agreements. Reagan engaged with Moscow only after Moscow began focusing on mounting domestic concerns and in effect abandoned its goal of world domination.
  • Throughout the negotiations, Obama conceded on a variety of issues that were proclaimed to be non-negotiable by the Iranians. Reagan, however, refused to concede on key issues, and was willing to walk away from the negotiating table as he did when he refused at Reykjavik to agree to limitations on U.S. strategic defense programs.
  • Obama has avoided remarks about repressive domestic policies that might offend Iran's leaders. In stark contrast, Reagan at his very first press conference asserted that the Soviets "reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat."
  • Reagan strengthened America internationally and devised a strategy that ended the long-standing Soviet threat to the U.S.  The proposed nuclear agreement would enhance Iran's economic and military capabilities, reinforce its militant leaders' position domestically, and result in increased Iranian regional influence.

    The writer is a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy (1989-1993) and the defense adviser to the U.S. mission at NATO (2007 to 2009).

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