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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
November 11, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Iran Has Stopped Dismantling Nuclear Centrifuges (Reuters)
    Iran has stopped dismantling centrifuges in the Natanz and Fordow uranium enrichment plants, state media reported on Tuesday, days after conservative lawmakers complained to President Hassan Rouhani that the process was too rushed.
    The head of parliament's nuclear deal commission, Alireza Zakani, told Mehr news agency that the dismantling had stopped in Fordow because of the lawmakers' letter to Rouhani.

Israel Hosts International Conference on Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
    An International Conference on Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism, attended by delegates from 41 countries and 10 regional and international organizations, opened in Israel on Monday.
    The conference is being held in cooperation with the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and in consultation with the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.

Poll: Israeli Jews and Arabs Overwhelmingly Prefer to Stay in Israel - Tamar Hermann (Israel Democracy Institute)
    The Israeli Democracy Index 2015 survey, conducted during April and May, found that 84.5% of Jews and 83.4% of Arabs in Israel reported that they are not interested in emigrating to a Western country even if offered citizenship in that country.

Israel Launches Largest Solar Plant - Sharon Udasin (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel launched its largest solar plant on Tuesday, the 55-megawatt Haluziot field of Enlight Renewable Energy Ltd., located adjacent to Kibbutz Ohad in the northwestern Negev.
    The field includes 180,000 solar collectors and will generate enough electricity to power 18,000 households.

Israel's Cymmetria, Which Deceives Hackers, Raises $9 Million - Orr Hirschauge (Wall Street Journal)
    Cymmetria Inc., an Israeli start-up whose software lures hackers into cyber traps, has raised around $9 million.
    The cyber-security firm makes decoy servers which simulate an organization's real networks without jeopardizing operations or giving away real data.

Israeli System Purifies Wastewater Using Plants - Abigail Klein Leichman (Israel21c)
    Ayala Water & Ecology's phytoremediation systems are built into the landscaping at hundreds of industrial, residential, agricultural and recreational sites throughout the world.
    CEO and founder Eli Cohen developed an energy-free way to create a balanced water-purifying ecosystem that needs no maintenance aside from pruning as with any garden.
    "You can produce high-quality water from nature if you create the right environment of plants, gravel and soil," he says.
    In Israel, Ayala's Natural Biological System plantings are central to the rehabilitation of the Yarkon and Yavne rivers.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Support for Israel Must Be Bipartisan, Netanyahu Tells U.S. Audience - Julie Hirschfeld Davis
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel made a direct appeal on Tuesday to Democrats, fielding questions at the Center for American Progress, a leading liberal think tank aligned with President Obama, to declare that support for his country in the U.S. must remain a bipartisan proposition. "The relationship with the United States - all parts of the United States - and the American people is a strategic asset to our national security and our future," the prime minister said.
        Netanyahu also said, "It's become an axiom that we are gobbling up land - we're not," asserting that no new settlements had been built in the past 20 years in Israel, and that the expansions had not "materially" altered the map. "Google this," he implored. (New York Times)
        See also Video: A Conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Nov. 10, 2015 (Center for American Progress)
        See also below Observations: Netanyahu at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, Nov. 10, 2015
  • Democratic Senators Call on Obama to Strengthen Security Understanding with Israel
    16 Democratic senators led by Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Ben Cardin, D-Md. - the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - sent a letter to President Obama on Monday calling for a new and strengthened "Memorandum of Understanding" on security assistance to Israel. The letter called on Obama to "provide the necessary and appropriate measures to deter Iran," such as ordinance and delivery systems, as well as to enhance Israel's qualitative military edge over countries in the region.
        "We also support providing missile defense funding, as necessary and appropriate, to accelerate the co-development of missile defense systems, and increased bilateral cooperation on cyber, intelligence, and research and development for tunnel detection and mapping technologies." The senators commended Obama's "commitment to an unprecedented level of military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel to address new and complex security threats."  (JTA)
  • EU Commission Approves Israeli "Settlement" Product Guidelines
    The European Union's executive approved on Wednesday new guidelines for labeling products from Israeli settlements, a decision which many in Israel say is unacceptable discrimination. The European Commission "adopted this morning the Interpretative Notice on indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967," said an EU official. (Reuters)
        See also below Commentary: Europe's Settlement Product Labeling Hurts Palestinians, Not Israelis - Dan Diker (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu Asks Obama for $50B in Military Aid - Ran Dagoni
    Sources close to Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed Monday at the end of his meeting with President Obama that Israel has asked for military aid totaling $50 billion over ten years, starting in 2018. The new $5 billion per year figure includes not only the annual defense aid, but also the separate American investment in the development of missile interceptor systems like the Iron Dome and the Arrow. According to the current agreement, through 2017, America provides Israeli military aid worth $3.1 billion annually. The funds for the missile interceptor systems - which is approved separately each year - have reached $750 million. The negotiations are expected to continue a number of months.
        The sources said that Netanyahu emphasized the technological changes to the security sector which require significant investments in the development of new defensive measures and advanced weaponry. The prime minister noted that he was aware of U.S. budget restrictions, but added: "If you look at the American aid to Israel and the mutual utility it produces, what Israel is asking for is not exceptional, it is not such a large investment."  (Globes)
  • Stabbing Attacks by Palestinians Continue Tuesday - Daniel K. Eisenbud
    On Tuesday afternoon, in the third such attack that day, a Palestinian man pulled a knife on and charged Israeli border police officers manning a checkpoint next to Abu Dis, just east of Jerusalem. Police opened fire and killed the attacker. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: Security Forces Shoot Terrorist Charging at Them with Knife on Tuesday
    Security camera footage emerged on Tuesday evening of a Palestinian wielding a knife who charged two Israeli security guards at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City earlier in the day. In the video the assailant can be seen with the knife running towards the guards and the guards rapidly responding to the attack. (Jerusalem Post)
  • White House: Israeli-Palestinian Talks Unlikely in Next 14 Months - Tovah Lazaroff
    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday: "I think we have been quite candid about the fact that given the dynamic on both [the Israeli and Palestinian] sides, it is unlikely that the two-state solution will be reached in the next 14 months. It is even unlikely that talks in pursuit of that two-state solution would begin in the next 14 months...while Obama was in office." "We will need to see a commitment on the part of the Palestinian leaders, too, to ending violence and incitement and demonstrating their commitment to negotiating in good faith," Earnest said.
        "The commitment of the U.S. to Israel's security is unshakable. Israel is the strongest ally the U.S. has in that region of the world and improving and strengthening Israel's security is good for the national security of the U.S.," Earnest said. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Europe's Settlement Product Labeling Hurts Palestinians, Not Israelis - Dan Diker
    Tens of thousands of Palestinians are employed in hundreds of factories in some eight industrial zones in Area C of the West Bank that falls under Israeli control according to the Oslo interim accords. Saad Shaher, the head of the Palestinian professional association in the West Bank, publicly called on PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas in an emotional plea on Palestinian television to avoid causing the closing of the West Bank industrial zones before a suitable alternative is found.
        If the current BDS campaign rolls forward and the EU product labeling generates BDS momentum, tens of thousands of Palestinian workers will lose their jobs, impacting their families and ensuring that Palestinian anger and frustration will be directed at the PA in Ramallah. The author is a Fellow and project director, Political Warfare, at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Previously, he served as secretary general of the World Jewish Congress. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Will a Post-Deal Iran Attain Regional Hegemony? - Jonathan Spyer
    The most aggressive alliance active in the Middle East is the bloc of states and movements gathered around the Islamic Republic of Iran. With the prospect of release of impounded funds as part of sanctions relief, Iran is well placed to continue its support of proxy political-military organizations in a variety of regional locations, in pursuit of Iranian strategic goals.
        Yet in all areas of Iranian regional "outreach" - including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and the Palestinians - while Iran's intervention has prevented the defeat and eclipse of its local ally, its intervention has ensured continued conflict. Thus, the notion that a post-nuclear-deal Iran can form a partner for stability in the region is deeply flawed.
        Iran is likely to increase its support for its proxies across the region, and the net effect of this will be to increase regional disorder. However, because of the limitations of Iranian methods and the sectarian nature of the conflicts in question (which means Iran finds it very difficult to pursue alliances with non-Shia Arabs), it is unlikely that this will result in the attainment of Iranian regional hegemony. The writer is director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. (Fathom-BICOM)

Netanyahu: When Palestinians Recognize the Jewish State, We Will Have Peace (Prime Minister's Office)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America on Tuesday:

  • "No matter what disagreements there are between Israel and the United States, Israel has no better friend than America and America has no better friend than Israel."
  • "I had a very good meeting with President Obama at the White House, and I deeply appreciate his commitment to bolster Israel's security at the time when the Middle East is becoming more dangerous than ever."
  • "Despite our disagreement over the nuclear deal with Iran, I believe that America and Israel can and should work together now to ensure Iran complies with the deal, to curb Iran's regional aggression and to fight Iranian terrorism around the world."
  • "The reason that we don't have peace yet with the Palestinians is not because of the settlements or a territorial dispute [over] the territories that were won in our defensive war of 1967. Israelis and Palestinians had a conflict for half a century - almost 50 years - before Israel captured any of those territories or built even a single one of those settlements."
  • "And afterwards, we left part of that territory - Gaza. Left it to the very last centimeter or inch. Stripped out the settlements, went to the '67 boundaries, uprooted all the people who were there, disinterred people from their graves. What did we get? Peace? We got rockets."
  • "The truth is that the reason that there isn't peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary."
  • "I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples where a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state, and Israel will continue to work for peace in the hope that what is not achievable today might be achievable tomorrow."

        See also Video: Netanyahu at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, Nov. 10, 2015 (Washington Post)

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