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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
August 6, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Iran Refuses UN Inspectors Access to Scientists and Military Officers - Jay Solomon and Kristina Peterson (Wall Street Journal)
    Iran so far has refused to allow UN inspectors to interview key scientists and military officers to investigate allegations that Tehran maintained a covert nuclear-weapons program, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, said in an interview Wednesday.

Iran to Receive Jet Fighters from China - Liu Rong (People's Daily-China)
    Iran will get 24 J-10 fighters from China in exchange for allowing Beijing to utilize the large Azadegan oilfield over the next 20 years, according to the Taiwanese China Times.
    The fighters, which have a range of 2,940 km., will be delivered to Iran by 2020.
    They will increase Iran's air force capabilities in defending the country's key facilities and even pose a threat to Israel.

Ayatollah Khamenei Publishes Book on How to Destroy Israel - Amir Taheri (New York Post)
    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a new book called Palestine, a 416-page screed against the Jewish state. A blurb on the back cover credits Khamenei as "The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem."
    Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, but rather on "well-established Islamic principles."
    One such principle is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the Infidel that must be recovered.
    These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of the Philippines and Thailand.
    Khamenei recommends a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant for Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.

Arabs Note Failure of U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels - Ariel Ben Solomon (Jerusalem Post)
    The Arab world perceives the dramatic failure of the small U.S.-trained Syrian rebel force as a further indication that the U.S. is not a reliable ally against the Iran-led Shi'ite axis.
    A U.S. defense official said on Tuesday that at least five Syrian rebels it has trained are believed to have been captured by the Nusra Front.
    The New Syrian Forces, numbering less than 60, have only recently been deployed on the battlefield. The Pentagon is far behind on its goals to train 5,000 fighters a year.

Photos: Thousands of Gazan Children Graduate Hamas Military Summer Camp (Jerusalem Post)
    Thousands of young Palestinians in Gaza concluded a Hamas military summer camp on Wednesday. The children were "trained in military techniques and in firing live ammunition," AFP reported.

2,000-Year-Old Jewish Ritual Bath Unearthed in Jerusalem (Israel Antiquities Authority)
    An impressive ritual bath (mikve) dating from the time of the Second Temple (first century CE) was exposed during a routine archaeological inspection at the site of the construction of a nursery school in the Arnona quarter of Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.
    The walls of the mikve were adorned with numerous wall paintings and inscriptions in Aramaic, written in Hebrew script.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • It's Either Iran Nuclear Deal or "Some Sort of War," Obama Warns - Julie Hirschfeld Davis
    President Obama took on critics of the Iran nuclear deal in a speech on Wednesday at American University in Washington. He said: "The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some sort of war - maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon."  (New York Times)
        See also Transcript: President Obama on the Iran Nuclear Deal
    "No one can blame Israelis for having a deep skepticism about any dealings with a government like Iran's - which includes leaders who have denied the Holocaust, embrace an ideology of anti-Semitism, facilitate the flow of rockets that are arrayed on Israel's borders, are pointed at Tel Aviv. In such a dangerous neighborhood, Israel has to be vigilant, and it rightly insists that it cannot depend on any other country - even its great friend the United States - for its own security. So we have to take seriously concerns in Israel."
        "I recognize that Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees - disagrees strongly. I do not doubt his sincerity. But I believe he is wrong."  (White House)
        See also Israel "Doesn't Doubt Obama's Sincerity," But Disagrees on Iran - Marissa Newman
    Israel "doesn't doubt President Obama's sincerity" on the Iran nuclear deal, but disagrees that the accord blocks Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, an Israeli diplomatic source said Wednesday, following a speech by the president. "This deal does not prevent war but rather hastens it because it gives Iran international legitimacy to build the infrastructure for an arsenal of nuclear bombs; it bolsters its terror machine and its aggression with hundreds of millions of dollars," the Israeli official said.
        "Iran's economic crisis today restricts its capacity for destruction, and removing the sanctions will propel it to proportions that will endanger Israel, the region, and the entire world," the official said. "The deal leaves Iran with nuclear infrastructure that a peaceful program does not need, but which is essential for a military nuclear program. Those seeking a civilian nuclear program don't need thousands of uranium-enriching centrifuges."
        "The claim that Iran won't be able to hide a military nuclear program does not correspond to reality," he added. "Iran already managed to fool the international community and build secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom."  (Times of Israel)
  • U.S. Intelligence: Iran Already Sanitizing Nuclear Site - Josh Rogin and Eli Lake
    Satellite imagery picked up by U.S. intelligence in mid- and late July showed that Iran had moved bulldozers and other heavy machinery to the suspected nuclear military site at Parchin to clean up the site ahead of planned inspections by the IAEA. This calls into question Iran's intention to fully account for the possible military dimensions of its current and past nuclear development.
        David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said, "You have to worry's Iran's last-ditch effort to eradicate evidence there. The day is coming when they are going to have to let the IAEA into Parchin, so they may be desperate to finish sanitizing the site." The facility first came to the attention of the international community in 2004 when reports surfaced that it was being used to test explosives for a nuclear warhead. In 2012, Abright's group reported on satellite imagery that it said showed efforts to clean up evidence of an explosives testing chamber there. (Bloomberg)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Religious Leaders Call to Ban Jews from Temple Mount - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinian religious leaders on Wednesday issued a declaration titled "the Blessed Aksa Mosque Document" expressing objections to Israeli and Jordanian understandings that allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount. Former Jerusalem mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sabri said the Jews' entering the site is an incursion of Palestinian Muslim rights. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Persian Jews in U.S. Bemoan World's Naivete over Iran Deal - Lori Silberman Brauner
    There are some 15,000-17,000 Persian Jews in the greater New York area, with the Great Neck Persian Jewish community second in size only to Californian enclaves. Members of the community largely voiced despair at the naivete of an international community that is legitimizing "a brutal and tyrannical regime." Former Tehran native Dr. Naheed Neman, a dentist, said of the regime, "Even if they sign the contract, they can break it." It is "naive to believe they're going to keep their promises."
        Sam Kermanian, senior adviser to the Iranian American Jewish Federation, said of the agreement, "It is an extremely bad deal which will legitimize a brutal and tyrannical regime which suppresses its own people at home and carries a dangerous and adventurous foreign policy abroad."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Strategic Impact of the Iran Deal - Walter Russell Mead
    Whatever the Iran agreement (JCPOA) does in terms of the nuclear program, when it comes to the conventional balance in the region the JCPOA appears to strengthen Iran. The end of sanctions does not just result in a "windfall" gain to Iran as frozen assets are released; it also adds substantial and growing amounts to Iran's national income as normal trade relations resume, as Iranian oil production expands, and as access to markets for new technology and spare parts increases the productivity of Iranian society.
        In the short term, this means that Iran will have more money with which to support regional allies like the Assad regime in Damascus; in the medium term, as conventional weapons restrictions are lifted, Iran will have the opportunity to strengthen both defensive and offensive arms capabilities; in the medium to long term, Iran's greater economic clout will substantially increase its political weight both in the region and in world affairs, giving it new allies and making a return to sanctions and isolation increasingly unlikely.
        The JCPOA strengthens Iran's hand by reducing its isolation and adding significantly to its economic resources. Unless this effect is offset by a much more robust policy of containing Iran, the JCPOA will make the Middle East as a whole less secure. The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College and professor of American foreign policy at Yale University. This excerpt is from his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on August 5, 2015. (American Interest)
  • Confrontation with Iran Is Inevitable - Jose Maria Aznar
    The nuclear deal will strengthen Iran's tyrannical, revolutionary and fundamentalist regime, and they will have the bomb within a matter of years. The evil is in the nature of the regime itself, which believes that violence is a legitimate tool to achieve expansionist goals. Dictators do not dissolve when they are showered in money. The more likely outcome is an empowered regime, better equipped to pursue its regional interests and perfectly capable of building a nuclear bomb.
        Sooner or later the West will have to confront Iran - only later it will face an emboldened, better prepared, modernized and richer Iran that will do its best to attain the goals we've always tried to prevent. The writer is chairman of the Friends of Israel Initiative and a former president of Spain. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Iran and Obama vs. the States - Sarah Steelman
    In 2006, as treasurer of Missouri, I decided to divest state funds - including in employee pensions - from any bank, company or financial institution doing business with a terrorist-sponsoring state. At that time the list included Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. At least 30 other states have undertaken similar initiatives.
        Paragraph 25 of the Iran agreement reads: "The United States will actively encourage officials at the state or local level to take into account the changes in the U.S. policy reflected in the lifting of sanctions under this JCPOA and to refrain from actions inconsistent with this change in policy." Federal law of course pre-empts state law, but does this agreement?
        No taxpayer wants his tax dollars to help those who have killed our soldiers, as Iran has. This agreement undermines the will of the people in the states that adopted these policies and will allow billions of dollars of taxpayer money to flow to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. The writer is an assistant professor of economics at Missouri University of Science and Technology. (Wall Street Journal)

One Difference between Palestinians and Israelis - Bassam Tawil (Gatestone Institute)

  • I cannot count the number of times that I heard from Israeli Jews the phrases "I'm ashamed" and "I'm sorry" in response to the horrific crime that claimed the life of Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha in the West Bank village of Duma last week.
  • The wall-to-wall Israeli condemnation of this crime by the Israeli public and leaders has left me and other Palestinians embarrassed because this is not how we react to terror attacks against Jews - even the murder of Jewish children.
  • Mahmoud Abbas' ambiguous, half-hearted condemnations of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis are only intended for public consumption and are primarily aimed at appeasing Western donors. His condemnations almost always seek to blame Israel for the Palestinian terror attacks.
  • I cannot remember ever hearing Abbas or any other Palestinian leader express shock and outrage over the killing of a Jew in a Palestinian terror attack. Moreover, each time Abbas reluctantly condemns a Palestinian terror attack, he faces a wave of criticism from many Palestinians. How many times have we taken to the streets to hand out sweets and candies in jubilation over the killing of Jews?
    See also Condemnation and Condolence by the UN Secretary General - Genuine or Politically Biased? - Alan Baker (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The recent tragic act of terrorism and hatred that caused the murder of a Palestinian child is deserving of utter condemnation and repudiation by all elements of society, and has indeed been so condemned and rejected.
  • Yet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's statement on July 31 that arbitrarily links this heinous act to the "absence of a political process and Israel's illegal settlement policy, as well as the harsh and unnecessary practice of demolishing Palestinian houses" is nothing more than a regrettable politicization of what should be a straightforward message of sorrow and condolence.
  • He cannot and should not render a political determination declaring that the event was caused by the lack of a political process or by Israel's settlement policy.
  • Reviewing his condemnations of terrorist attacks elsewhere, none arbitrarily proffer political value judgments. Thus, as in most issues regarding Israel, the classical UN double-standard would appear to be applied.

    Amb. Alan Baker, former legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in the drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.

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