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September 11, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Poll: Iran Unlikely to Honor Nuclear Weapons Deal (Rasmussen Reports)
    62% of likely U.S. voters think Iran is unlikely to uphold its end of the nuclear weapons deal, according to a poll conducted on Sept. 8-9 by Rasmussen Reports.
    Only 32% want their congressional representatives to approve the plan the administration has negotiated.
    44% said earlier this year that the administration's deal with Iran puts Israel more at risk. Only 16% think it makes Israel safer.
    62% of Americans consider Iran an enemy of the U.S., down from 83% in 2012.

Hundreds of Iranian Troops in Syria Helping Assad - Gili Cohen (Ha'aretz)
    Hundreds of Iran's Revolutionary Guard combat troops have been deployed in Syria over the past few days, mostly to aid Hizbullah in the fighting in the Zabadani region near the border with Lebanon, an Israeli defense source said on Thursday.
    Israeli says Assad now controls only about a quarter of the territory of Syria.

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Four Hamas Fundraisers (Reuters-Al-Arabiya)
    The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned four Hamas officials and financiers and a Saudi Arabia-based company controlled by one of them for providing financial support to the Palestinian militant group.
    Among those named was Salih al-Aruri, a Hamas political bureau member responsible for Hamas money transfers.
    See also Treasury Sanctions Major Hamas Leaders, Financial Facilitators and a Front Company (U.S. Treasury Department)

Israel Agrees to Expand Gaza Power Plant, Supply Natural Gas (Xinhua-China)
    A senior Qatari official, Mohamed al-Ammadi, said Thursday that Israel had agreed in principle to expand the sole power station in Gaza and supply it with natural gas.
    Al-Ammadi also said that he discussed with the Israeli private sector establishing a solar power station to provide Gaza with 100 megawatts of electricity.
    The Gaza power station currently generates only 65 megawatts, while Israel supplies Gaza with 120 megawatts and Egypt supplies 22 megawatts.

Israel's Population: 8.4 Million - Yaron Druckman (Ynet News)
    On the eve of the Jewish New Year 5776, Israel's population numbers 8,412,000, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.
    The Jewish population numbers 6.3 million (74.9%), the Arab population 1,746,000 (20.7%), and there are 366,000 (4.4%) non-Arab Christians and others.
    In the past year 28,000 immigrants arrived, mostly from Ukraine, France, Russia, and the U.S.

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Israel to Double Attack Range of F-35 Stealth Fighter - Ran Dagoni (Globes)
    Israel has publicly announced the efforts of its air force to double the flight range of the F-35 Stealth strike fighters.
    The Israeli version of the plane, manufactured by Lockheed Martin according to Israeli specifications, is called Adir (Awesome). The first two Adirs will be delivered to Israel in December 2016.
    An Israeli air force officer, one of the initial cadre of pilots tapped to fly the F-35, told Defense News that with the plane, "your options for attacking the enemy are much more numerous and practical. The things that we could do before will entail much less risk, and the things we might not have been able to do before will be rendered doable."
    He said that the stealth fighters change "the psychology of the arena by allowing you to hit the enemy without him being able to stop you....It really is a game-changer, and the enemy knows that."
    Lockheed Martin is now working with Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. to adapt Israeli-made air-to-ground weaponry to the plane.
    At the same time, Lockheed Martin is considering Israeli ideas for (probably detachable) external fuel tanks on the plane's wings in order to extend their range.

Handheld Radar System Can See Through Walls - Eyal Boguslavsky (Israel Defense)
    The Xaver-100 hand-held radar system developed by Camero was deployed by IDF special operations units during the 2014 Gaza war.
    Amir Be'eri, founder and CEO of the company, said the system "enables fighters to determine, in the course of operational activity in an urban environment, in real time, how many people are present behind the wall, how far they are positioned from the wall, what their spatial attitude is and whether they are moving closer to or away from the wall."
    "The system transmits to a range of 20 meters and several such sets may be employed to form a network."
    "Camero also manufactures the Xaver-800 system - a larger but still portable system. This system offers 3D imaging of the room space and the people in it, and is used primarily for complex situations in hostage rescue and intelligence collection operations."

India to Procure Armed Drones from Israel - Manu Pubby (Times of India)
    The Indian government last week quietly approved the purchase of 10 missile-armed drones from Israel for $400 million - a crucial acquisition that will enhance India's cross-border military strike capability.
    These drones will be operated by the Indian Air Force, which has a fleet of reconnaissance drones. India also has a fleet of Harpy UAVs from Israel, which are self-destructing systems primarily tasked with taking out enemy radar positions.
    Senior defense ministry officials said the project has been accelerated under directions from the highest levels of government and that armed drones may be in service within a year.

Elite IDF Forces to Receive State-of-the-Art Uniforms - Lilach Shoval (Israel Hayom)
    The Israel Defense Forces has begun issuing soldiers in its special units new, customized uniforms.
    The new shirts are made of high-performance fabric which moves perspiration away from the body and onto the fabric surface, where it evaporates.
    The shirts have no buttons, as it was found that once protective vests are worn on regular uniform shirts, buttons may cause injury.
    The new pants are made from highly durable ripstop fabric, and include fitted knee pad inserts.
    The IDF will soon outfit its elite soldiers with new helmets which are significantly lighter and stronger.

U.S. Law Enforcement Officials Learns Anti-Terror Tactics in Israel - Ben Hartman (Jerusalem Post)
    Fifteen officials from U.S. security agencies and police departments are in Israel this week to study counterterrorism strategies and tactics as part of an Anti-Defamation League National Counter-Terrorism Seminar.
    The ADL said the participants will "learn about effective methods of terror attack prevention and response," as well as border and airport security, maintaining safety and access to holy sites, cyber-security and media relations.

Israel, U.S. Cooperate on Gas-Powered Public Transportation - Hedy Cohen (Globes)
    The Israel Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources is hosting a U.S. delegation for a two-day workshop for key personnel in Israel on how to integrate compressed natural gas (CNG) in public transportation.
    The use of natural gas in public transportation is becoming more and more popular worldwide due to the lower price of gas in comparison with diesel fuel, and the lower amount of pollution it produces.

Microsoft Buys Israeli Cloud Computing Security Startup (AFP)
    Microsoft said Tuesday it bought Adallom, an Israel-based cybersecurity startup specializing in defending programs and content in the cloud. TechCrunch put the purchase price at $250 million.
    Adallom works with cloud-based applications such as Salesforce, Dropbox and Microsoft's own Office 365. Its technology will be used in other Microsoft offerings as well, such as its Enterprise Mobility Suite and Advanced Threat Analytics.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • U.S. Senate Democrats Block Vote on Iran Nuclear Deal
    A move in the U.S. Senate to hold a vote of disapproval on the nuclear deal with Iran has been defeated on a first vote. Sixty votes in favor were needed to move the resolution forward, but the vote on Sept. 10 was 58-42 - two votes short.
        On Sept. 10, the House of Representatives agreed in a 245-186 vote to a measure stipulating that President Obama had not properly submitted all documents related to the accord for Congress' review, and therefore a 60-day review clock had not really started. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
  • U.S.: Russia to Start Flying Combat Missions Inside Syria - Josh Rogin
    The Obama administration and the U.S. intelligence community have concluded that Russia is set to start flying combat missions from a new air base inside Syria, but there's disagreement inside the U.S. government on what to do about it. The options are to try to confront Russia inside Syria or, as some in the White House are advocating, work with Moscow to coordinate U.S. and Russian strikes in northern Syria, where the U.S.-led coalition operates every day against the Islamic State.
        But others in the administration fear Russia will attack Syrian opposition groups that are fighting against Assad, using the war against the Islamic State as a cover. "The Russians' intentions are to keep Assad in power, not to fight ISIL," one administration official said. (Bloomberg)
        See also Russian Troops Join Combat in Syria - Gabriela Baczynska
    Russian forces have begun participating in military operations in Syria in support of government troops, three Lebanese sources said Wednesday. U.S. officials said Russia sent two tank landing ships and additional cargo aircraft to Syria in the past day or so and deployed a small number of naval infantry forces. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his Russian counterpart for the second time in four days to express concern over reports of Russian military activities in Syria. U.S. officials said Wednesday that multiple Russian flights have passed over the airspace of Iran and Iraq to reach Syria. (Reuters)
        See also Report: Russia Gets Iran's Clearance for Syria Flights - Lynn Berry and Vladimir Isachenkov
    Iran has granted permission for Russian planes to fly over its territory en route to Syria, Russian news agencies said Wednesday, a bypass needed after Bulgaria rejected Moscow's overflight request. Russia also avoids flying over Turkey, which in 2012 grounded a Syria-bound plane carrying radar parts from Moscow. (AP)
  • Netanyahu, in London, Urges Action to Stop Middle East "Disintegrating"
    Arriving in Downing Street at the start of talks in London on Thursday with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "The Middle East is disintegrating under the twin forces of militant Islam - militant Sunnis led by ISIS [Islamic State] and militant Shiites led by Iran. I believe that we can cooperate in practical ways to roll back the tide of militant Islam both in the Middle East and in Africa."
        Netanyahu also said he was "ready to resume direct negotiations with the Palestinians with no conditions whatsoever to entering negotiations... immediately." Cameron said the UK "remains staunch" in its "defense of Israel's right to exist and to defend itself." Cameron also praised the "close relationship between Britain and Israel" and their "growing economic and commercial ties."  (BBC News)
  • Obama Tells Rabbis He Plans to Meet Netanyahu Next Month
    President Obama told rabbis in a pre-High Holidays phone call on Thursday that security talks with Israel had resumed and he hoped to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu early next month. "Our consultations have already begun with Israeli military and intelligence officials," Obama said. "My hope is to have a long discussion with Mr. Netanyahu about these issues when he comes to the United Nations during the General Assembly of the United Nations, or immediately after that."  (JTA)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu to British MPs: Solution Is "a Demilitarized Palestinian State that Recognizes a Jewish State" - Herb Keinon
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to 120 MPs and members of the House of Lords on Wednesday, said the solution to Israel's conflict with the Palestinians was "a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state, the nation state of the Jewish people."
        "I've been to wars. I have been personally wounded. I've lost loved ones, and I've held a fellow soldier in my arms as he died when he was 18 years old, and I was 18....So the notion that the people of Israel, or that I, prefer conflict to peace, or that we are not ready to take the steps for peace, is absurd."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Livni: Flying Palestinian Flag at UN Part of Campaign to Delegitimize Israel - Lahav Harkov
    A motion to wave the Palestinian flag at the UN is part of a campaign to delegitimize Israel, MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said at Thursday's inaugural meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee on Lawfare, which she leads. "This committee will deal with lawfare not only to see how we can defend ourselves, but also to try to change international trends against Israel in a legal context and how to deal with moves the Palestinians are trying to make over Israel's head," she explained.
        A motion to have the flags of non-member observers, like the Palestinians, waved at the UN "isn't only symbolic, it's part of an orchestrated diplomatic and legal struggle that is meant to create legitimacy for a Palestinian state with all that that means, and to deny legitimacy to the State of Israel," she said. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also UN Approves Flying Palestinian Flag
    The UN General Assembly voted 119-8 on Thursday to fly the flags of non-member observer states like Palestine at UN Headquarters in New York. The U.S. and Israel voted against the Palestinian-drafted resolution. (Reuters-Newsweek)
        See also Prosor: Instead of Flying Palestinian Flag, UN Can Wave White Flag in Surrender of Principles - Herb Keinon
    After the UN approved a Palestinian request to fly its flag, Israel's UN ambassador Ron Prosor said Thursday that rather than flying the Palestinian flag, the UN might as well wave a "white flag" and surrender its principles. "In my four years, I have seen hypocrisy, I have seen duplicity, and I have seen a triple standard - one for democracies, one for dictatorships, and a special standard designed only for Israel....This time, the Palestinians managed to take cynicism to a whole new level. The goal of this resolution is a photo op....The international community must make it clear to the Palestinians that the only way to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations."
        Regarding an imaginary resolution brought by the Palestinians declaring the world flat, Prosor said the EU would "probably try to reach a consensus to abstain on the vote. But some EU countries would consider it a matter of principle to declare that the world is, indeed, flat - if this is how the Palestinians see it."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Slams EU's Bid to Label Settlement Products - Tamar Pileggi
    The European Parliament passed a resolution Thursday by 525 to 70, with 31 abstentions, to label produce from Israel settlements in the West Bank. In response, Israel's Foreign Ministry called the labeling process discriminatory and reeking of boycott. "It's an attempt to force a diplomatic solution, instead of encouraging the Palestinians to return to negotiations," a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
        Prime Minister Netanyahu called the EU decision "a distortion of justice and of logic....The root of the conflict is not the territories, and the root of the conflict is not the settlements. We have historical memory of what happened when Europe labelled Jewish products."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • Sanctions Debate Emerges from Shadow of Iran Nuclear Accord - Michael R. Gordon
    After his victory in Congress on Thursday on the Iran nuclear deal, President Obama will face a new battle over how stringently to impose economic sanctions on Iran. The U.S. agreed to lift many of the crippling sanctions on Iran. But to win over wary Democrats, Obama promised that he would maintain - and perhaps even increase - sanctions to punish Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and other "destabilizing activities in the region."
        Lawmakers have indicated they would like to go further, and they are considering legislative proposals that include renewing the current sanctions against foreign companies that invest in Iran's energy industry. Obama would waive them as long as Iran complied with the nuclear accord, but it would be a signal that Iran is not to be trusted and that sanctions could be restored rapidly.
        Another proposal would seek to discourage Western companies from doing business with any Iranian firm in which the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has even a minority stake, by officially designating the group to be a foreign terrorist organization. Designating the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization "would result in a powerful deterrent for international banks and companies contemplating doing business with the most dangerous element of the regime," said Mark Dubowitz, an Iran sanctions expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
        Obama administration officials insist the Treasury Department is prepared to be vigilant about curbing Iran's non-nuclear muscle flexing without extra help from Congress. Adam J. Szubin, the acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said, "I just got back from Israel where I talked with their security forces, their intelligence and their military about precisely this. There is a whole lot we need to be doing jointly to target Hizbullah's lines of support, the Quds Force's lines of support - how they are procuring parts for UAVs, how are they funneling money from their diaspora communities. We have the tools."  (New York Times)
  • The Risks If Iran Doesn't Become More Moderate with Nuclear Deal - Aaron David Miller
    The durability of the Iran agreement and its benefits for the U.S. depend almost entirely on the moderation of Iran's regime and its behavior in the region. It is virtually impossible to separate Iran's nuclear weapons aspirations from the nature of the regime, its ambitions in the region, or its view of the U.S. The regime that purged Iran of U.S. influence in 1979 has no intention of letting Washington back in.
        Iran's desire to become a nuclear weapons threshold state is driven by its desire to preserve its highly ideological and authoritarian character. Iranian leaders are looking to protect the 1979 revolution and create a hedge against regime change by hostile powers - principally the U.S. and key Sunni Arab states. Henry Kissinger was right years ago that as long as Iran remains a cause rather than a nation, it will not abandon its nuclear weapons pretensions. Without significant changes in Iran's regime at home and its policies abroad, Iran will not give up its option to weaponize. The writer is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Iranians Mean What They Say - Dr. Nesia Shemer
    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blatantly attacked the U.S. - the Great Satan - and Israel - the Little Satan - in a speech on Wednesday. These types of statements are commonplace. How can the Iranian leadership simultaneously sign a deal with the West while spitting in its face? Professor Ze'ev Maghen, head of the Middle Eastern Studies Department at Bar-Ilan University and an Iran expert, explains that there is a cultural-psychological gap that makes it difficult for the West to understand how the Iranian mind works. Iran's goal is to humiliate the U.S., its despised enemy, as much as possible.
        The West has gotten used to these declarations and is not bothered by them, as "Iran will be judged by its actions, not its words." But Middle Eastern countries operate in a "culture of shame and honor." Leaders in the Arab Muslim world would never accept statements that disparage their dignity and honor. In Iran's eyes, Western restraint is not seen as the behavior of a "responsible adult," rather it is interpreted as a sign of insecurity and lack of honor. The Iranians mean every word they say, and as soon as they have the opportunity and the necessary power, they won't hesitate to turn their words into actions. The writer is a lecturer in the Middle Eastern Studies Department at Bar-Ilan University. (Israel Hayom)

  • Palestinians

  • The Palestinian Predicament, Part 1: The PLO Loses Relevancy - Pinhas Inbari
    Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas suffered a defeat on Sept. 9, 2015; his plan to convene the Palestinian National Council, as a means of boosting his legitimacy before speaking at the UN General Assembly later this month, failed. The reasons for the failure essentially come down to the PLO's loss of relevance to the Arab world's order of priorities.
        The Palestinian leadership has kept clinging to the old agenda as if the struggle for a Palestinian state is the cardinal issue for the Arab world, and not the very survival of the Arab peoples themselves - including the Palestinians - as they suffer assaults from Shiite and Sunni radical armies as well as stream into Europe for refuge. The writer, an analyst for the Jerusalem Center, is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and Al Hamishmar newspaper. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also The Palestinian Predicament, Part 2: Hamas Behind Talk of Long-Term Gaza Truce - Yoni Ben Menachem
    Hamas is pursuing a new agenda that involves attacking Abbas after the failure of the initiative by Tony Blair, former emissary of the International Quartet, to work out a long-term truce in Gaza. Hamas is in distress because it has no solution to the Gazan malaise and the failure to rehabilitate Gaza. In recent weeks it merely deluded the population that it was on the verge of signing a long-term truce that would mean the lifting of the blockade and the building of a seaport.
        Abbas anticipated Hamas by taking his own initiative. He is threatening to retire from politics and to announce the cancellation of the Oslo Accords as part of his upcoming speech to the UN General Assembly, convening on Sept. 15. At the same time, Abbas is unable to offer a new diplomatic horizon to the Palestinians or even a temporary solution for their state of affairs. The writer is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center and former Director General and Chief Editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • What Matters Is Negotiations, Not Palestinian Flag-Raising - Uri Dromi
    It is the Palestinians who avoid the negotiating table by turning to the UN. Only last week the Israeli prime minister said he was willing to go to Ramallah to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and resume talks without any preconditions. In the eyes of most Israelis, the Palestinians are responsible for the deadlock. While most Israelis favor peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, they do not believe that negotiations would lead to peace in the coming years. Why? Because Israelis just don't believe that there is a Palestinian partner who would - or could - be willing to make the heavy compromises needed to really put an end to the conflict. The writer was the spokesman of the Rabin and Peres governments (1992-96). (Newsweek)

  • Other Issues

  • A (Moderately) Hopeful Sign for Israel from Cairo - Zvi Mazel
    The Israeli ambassador's residence in Maadi, Cairo's southern suburb, has been elevated temporarily to the rank of embassy until a new "permanent" building is ready. At the public ceremony on Wednesday, Dore Gold, director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry, raised the flag while the anthems of both countries were played. This follows June's appointment of a new Egyptian ambassador to Israel, Hazem Khairat. These two steps can be interpreted as signaling a positive shift in the relations between Egypt and Israel, perhaps as a result of increased security cooperation in the Sinai Peninsula.
        Since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took the helm, there has been a significant lessening of tension between Cairo and Jerusalem. The new president has refrained from attacking Israel publicly. The Egyptian media are still overwhelmingly hostile, but in more subdued tones, even though there are still outbursts of hatred, mainly from Islamic circles. The writer is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Time to Open Our Eyes to the Arab Disaster - Ari Shavit
    The Arab humanitarian disaster is now migrating from the Middle East to central Europe. Millions are voting with their feet against the failure of the national Arab project to produce a single state combining prosperity and freedom.
        One reason for the Arab humanitarian disaster is political correctness. Professor Edward Said and his students caused indescribable damage to the ability to think or speak the truth when it comes to the Arab world. Their wacky intellectual legacy did not permit talking about the region's residents as anything but victims. The grand Arab nation was treated like a juvenile who isn't responsible for his actions. So all the ills of Arab politics were attributed to others - imperialists, colonialists, Zionists. No real criticism of the Arab world was permitted and no one demanded it mend itself. (Ha'aretz)
  • Saudi Arabia, Israel Team Up Against Common Foe Iran - Salman Rafi
    Saudi Arabia's rapidly growing covert relations with Israel is an alliance that has a very clear anti-Iran agenda. According to reports, Saudi and Israeli officials have met at least five times since 2014, leading Saudi-Israel relations to an entirely new level of strategic understanding. As Iran expands its influence throughout the region in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Israel have found themselves increasingly united on a confluence of issues.
        Both countries are concerned over the proliferation of Iranian-backed proxy groups throughout the region and the damage these groups have already done and can further do. Saudi military spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ahmed al Aseer recently said: "Wherever the Iranians are present, they create militias against these countries. In Lebanon, they have created Hizbullah, which is blocking the political process and has conducted wars against Israelis, destroying Lebanon as a result. And in Yemen, they have created the Houthis." Moreover, an Israeli representative, Shimon Shapira, who participated in Israel-Saudi secret meetings, said: "We discovered we have the same problems and same challenges and some of the same answers."  (Asia Times-Hong Kong)
  • Israel Sees Increasing Convergence of Interests with Turkey - Emine Kart
    "Israelis feel a great affinity to Turkey," Israeli Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold told a visiting group of Turkish journalists on Sept. 1, citing the Ottoman Empire's role as a haven for the Jewish people in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition. Such a bond is still in the "political consciousness" of the Israeli people, he said. Gold sees "a period of greater Iranian expansionism" as a key factor which requires rapprochement of the once close allies. "What we are seeing is an increasing convergence of our interests in the last number of years," and he believes the Iran issue is "another element in convergence of interests." "I think the general direction we are moving is positive," he concluded. (Hurriyet-Turkey)
  • "Resolution 242 Revisited": The Security Council's Approach to Israel-Arab Conflict - Eugene Kontorovich
    My new article, "Resolution 242 Revisited: New Evidence on the Required Scope of Israeli Withdrawal," has just been published in the Chicago Journal of International Law. Res. 242 represented a territorial compromise, with accommodations to Arab and Israel positions. A proposed new French resolution - which mandates a withdrawal to the 1949 Armistice Lines - would specifically undo the parts of that compromise that were in Israel's favor, and essentially "reverse" 242, replacing it with the resolution demanded by the USSR and Arab states in 1967. If the U.S. allows this to happen, it would be a fundamental reversal of 50 years of Middle East diplomacy.
        If the French resolution is approved, this would teach the international community that if one does not like compromises embodied in Security Council resolutions, simply ignore them and wait for the political winds to shift and bring a different resolution. The writer is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law. (Washington Post)

  • Weekend Features

  • Israeli Teen MDA Volunteer Saves American Tourist's Life at Yad VaShem - Roi Yanovsky
    An Israeli teenager saved the life of an American tourist who suffered a cardiac arrest at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Yam Carmel, 17, who volunteers at Magen David Adom (Israel's emergency ambulance service), was touring the museum with his high school class when he noticed the man collapse, immediately ran to him, and started CPR. "He didn't have a pulse and wasn't breathing, and I started compressions," he said. "For several minutes I did compressions alone in the field."
        "I asked a passerby to call...and get an ambulance, and sent another one to get a defibrillator. By law, crowded places have to have a defibrillator on the premises. As I understand, he got it from another group of school kids. That passerby connected the defibrillator to the patient while I was compressing. After one round of compressions, the device diagnosed arrhythmia in the heart, which required an electric shock. Following protocol, I checked for a pulse. It returned and then an MDA paramedic team arrived." The tourist was taken to hospital and his life is not in any immediate danger.
        "I believe that as an MDA volunteer, I have to be prepared for any scenario 24/7. I saw the situation, I'm glad I did what's expected of me as I've been instructed. I'm very happy that it helped and the man lived. It's what makes me happy, I don't see heroism in it. I see it as performing my job well."  (Ynet News)
  • Israel's Culinary Empire - Moshe Glantz
    In the past few years Israel has been perceived as a culinary power, thanks to its innovation, variety and quality, but also to the fact that the majority of Israeli food exported abroad is kosher, appealing to people with different allergies who trust the supervised food and to Muslims in need of halal food, which adheres to Islamic law. The export of food and beverages from Israel has almost doubled since the year 2000.
        "In the past year we have had buyers from the East - Taiwan, China and Japan - who came to Israel to find substitutes for rice," such as ptitim (baked Israeli pasta shaped like rice) and couscous, said Caroline Naveh, food and beverage manager in the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI). Other major food exports include fruit juice, hummus, and wine. (Ynet News)
  • Handicapped Can Make Music with Laser Technology - Danny Brenner
    A unique and ingenious music room at the Grabski Rehabilitation Center in Migdal Haemek allows residents, some of whom are wheelchair-bound and unable to move their arms or legs, to play instruments and create music of their own. Cameras and laser sensors, connected to computers and screens, were installed throughout the room. By "cutting" the laser beam with their hands, or via any other bodily movement captured by the camera, the patients can control sounds and create a computerized melody. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel: A Water Technology Powerhouse - Dan Lavie
    Revolutionary technologies for the water industry will be presented at the WATEC Israel 2015 expo in Tel Aviv in October. Solaris Energy will present its photovoltaic system that floats on the Eshkol Reservoir, producing 50 kw. of electricity. Putting solar systems on top of a body of water saves the cost of real estate and also saves water by decreasing evaporation. Neotop Water Systems uses thousands of TopUp water balls in a reservoir to reduce evaporation, algae buildup, and even fend off predatory birds.
        Migal - the Galilee Research Institute - has developed a mini-sensor that can be embedded in tree trunks, vines and plants to let farmers water each of their crops at the correct time and to the optimal degree. The sensor is operated by a solar battery and provides constant measurements of the plants' water level. (Israel Hayom)

It's Time for Congress to Come Together on Iran - Dennis Ross and David Makovsky (Politico)

  • Even many of the supporters of the nuclear deal with Iran have worries about what happens when Iran is no longer limited in the size or the quality of its centrifuges or nuclear infrastructure. Similarly, both supporters and opponents of the deal are understandably concerned about Iran using sanctions relief to provide significantly more material support to Hizbullah and other trouble-makers in the region.
  • Thus, shouldn't it be possible to gain bipartisan agreement on bolstering deterrence and creating a firewall between Iran's threshold nuclear status and its becoming a weapons state, and raising the cost to the Iranians of destabilizing behavior in the region?
  • Putting in legislation language that would support the use of force in response to an Iranian dash toward a nuclear bomb is critically needed if the Iranians are to understand that force and not sanctions will be the response to Iran's violating its commitment not to pursue a nuclear weapon at any point.
  • In addition, we also see a need for legislation to provide the massive ordinance penetrator (MOP) - and the aircraft to carry it - to Israel to reinforce Israeli deterrence. Providing it to Israel would have the added benefit of signaling that we mean what we say about preventing Iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons state.
  • Finally, legislation that provides for select and targeted sanctions in response to a surge of material support for Iran's proxies in the region is necessary to ensure that Hizbullah, Hamas, and other Iranian-supported militias in the area don't gain as a result of the Iran deal.
  • These practical steps reflect the consensus that exists on preventing Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon or shifting the balance of power in the region against the U.S. and its partners in the area.

    Amb. Dennis Ross is a long-time U.S. Mideast negotiator. David Makovsky is director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Project on the Middle East Peace Process.
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