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November 27, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Putin: Russia, Israel Share Anti-Terrorism Information (Sputnik-Russia)
    "We will continue to maintain contacts with the Israeli share information on the anti-terrorism track," Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

Israel Air Force Foresees No Conflict with Russian Planes in Syria - Noam Amir (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
    After Turkey downed a Russian jet that it claims entered its air space from Syria, such a scenario is not in danger of repeating itself in the skies over Israel, a senior Israeli air force official said Thursday.
    "Our policy is that we do not attack or down anything that is Russian.... Russia is not an enemy," he said.
    "We are trying to avoid tension with the Russians. Both sides wish not to get to a point where two pilots, an Israeli and a Russian, will meet in the air and will be unsure of what to do. We are not going near the aerial zone in which they are operating, and they don't come close to where we are operating."

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Soldiers from America in IDF Attend Thanksgiving Dinner in Tel Aviv (JTA)
    Some 200 Israeli soldiers from North America without family in Israel attended a special Thanksgiving dinner catered by a former IDF soldier from New York who now owns a deli in Raanana.
    The holiday dinner on Thursday was hosted by Nefesh B'Nefesh, Friends of the IDF, the Israel Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, and the Jewish National Fund.

Israelis among Highest Educated in Developed World - Lidar Grave-Lazi (Jerusalem Post)
    Israelis are among the highest educated in the developed world, according to an OECD report released Tuesday.
    According to "Education at a Glance 2015," 49% of Israelis have attained higher education degrees, well above the OECD average of 34% and the second highest rate of all member countries.
    In addition, 85% of the population ages 25-64 has completed upper secondary education, above the OECD average of 76%.

Fatah Fighter Eats Snake in Promotional Video - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    In a new terror promotion video posted on its Facebook page, Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement apparently sees biting and chewing on a snake as a sign of military prowess.
    The video also shows Fatah terrorists practicing the kidnapping of an Israeli through a tunnel and other images of terrorists in training.

Israel's Elbit Systems Wins $200M Swiss Drone Contract (Globes)
    Israel's Elbit Systems has won a $200 million contract from the Swiss Federal Department of Defense for the supply of Hermes 900 Unmanned Aircraft Systems to the Swiss Air Force.
    The Hermes 900 system to be supplied is an advanced adverse-weather unarmed reconnaissance UAS.

Israel's Impressive Economy - Alex Brill (Detroit News)
    The Israeli economy remains an incredible example of a developed country's ability to achieve sustained economic growth, a strong testament to the powerful influence of a market-based, democratic economy and the virtues of a well-educated and disciplined labor market.
    According to the International Monetary Fund, among the 37 advanced economies, only three did not experience a contraction in the aftermath of the global financial crisis: South Korea, Australia and Israel.
    The IMF projects 3.3% growth for Israel in 2016, among the highest growth rates for all developed nations.
    Israel's economy has doubled in size since 1996 while the U.S. economy has increased just 50% and the EU economy just 24%.
    These achievements are quite remarkable given the political tensions both in-country and regionally.
    The writer is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Indian Zoo Gets Four Zebras from Israel (Deccan Herald-India)
    The Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru on Thursday received four zebras from the Ramat Gan Safari in Israel under the animal exchange program approved by the Central Zoo Authority of India.
    BBP director Santosh Kumar said, "So far, no animals have been given in exchange to Israel, but we are planning to give them our tigers or elephants, as there are many. We will wait and see what they require."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Russia Deploys S-400 Anti-Aircraft System in Syria
    On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Moscow's plans to deploy the state-of-the-art S-400 air defense system in Syria, after the Turkish Air Force shot down a Su-24 jet of the Russian Air Force. CNN's Matthew Chance believes that the deployment of the S-400 will allow Russia to control Syrian airspace. The S-400 system has already been delivered to Syria and deployed at Hmeymim airbase. (Pravda-Russia)
  • Senators Propose Anti-BDS Guidelines for Export-Import Bank - Burgess Everett and John Bresnahan
    Congress is expected to resuscitate the Export-Import Bank next month, but senators from both parties are pitching a condition meant to counter a pro-Palestinian campaign to undermine Israeli exports. Specifically, the Ex-Im Bank would have to consider whether applicants for loans oppose "policies and actions" meant to inhibit "commercial relations specifically with citizens or residents of Israel." In the past, Ex-Im has taken into account applicants' stance on human rights and terrorism, prompting advocates of the new language to propose the new qualification.
        The attempt to insert the pro-Israel language is being led by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), along with Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is also strongly advocating for inclusion of the language, meant to undercut the so-called boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. (Politico)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Two IDF Soldiers Injured in Car-Ramming on Friday - Elisha Ben Kimon
    Two IDF soldiers were wounded in a car-ramming attack at Kfar Adumim outside of Jerusalem on Friday morning after a Palestinian attempted to run them over at a bus stop. Members of a civilian search and rescue team who were coming back from a training session witnessed the attack and shot the driver, while another member of the team who works at Magen David Adom administered initial treatment to the soldiers. (Ynet News)
        The Palestinian who carried out the car-ramming attack was identified by Palestinian media as Fadi Hasib, the brother of Shadi Hasib, who perpetrated another such attack on the same road last week. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Six Soldiers Wounded in Second Vehicular Attack on Friday - Elisha Ben Kimon
    A Palestinian rammed his car into six Israeli soldiers in Beit Ummar near Hebron in the West Bank on Friday afternoon. The attacker was shot by army forces on the scene and neutralized. (Ynet News)
  • Israel to Open Diplomatic Mission in Abu Dhabi - Barak Ravid
    Israel will inaugurate an official diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, in the coming weeks, accredited to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is based there. Dr. Dore Gold, director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, visited Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to participate in the biannual meeting of IRENA's Council and finalize the opening of the Israeli mission. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli Navy Carries Out First Successful Interception Test of Barak 8 Ship Defense Missile - Yaakov Lappin
    The Israel Navy and Israel Aerospace Industries carried out the first successful interception test of the next-generation Barak 8 missile system on Thursday, which is designed to protect naval ships and offshore gas rigs from hostile aircraft and missiles. In the test, the navy's INS Lahav corvette launched a Barak 8 missile from its deck, striking a jet-powered, fast-moving drone. The system is due to become officially operational in both the Israeli and Indian Navies within a year or two, said Brig.-Gen. Eli Sharvit, Israel's Navy chief of staff. Boaz Levi, IAI corporate VP, said the Barak 8 radar can detect threats at over 100 km. and track multiple targets simultaneously. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Australian Foreign Minister Reaffirms Support for Israel - Julie Bishop
    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the Friends of Hebrew University on Nov. 22: "Australia fully supports the right of the people of Israel to live within secure borders, in peace and security. I have stated our unambiguous support many times, particularly at the UN General Assembly where we join a very small number of nations prepared to oppose one-sided, unfair and discriminatory resolutions that target Israel, and only Israel....And we will not hesitate to call out anti-Semitic discrimination where we see it, wherever it occurs, particularly the pernicious BDS campaign that is still operating in this country."
        "Israel's struggles are our struggles. Their fight is our fight. Israel's opportunities are our opportunities. Israel's values are our values. We must both be prepared to continue to defend them."  (Minister for Foreign Affairs-Australia)
  • To End Violence, Scrap PA Curriculum - Evelyn Gordon
    East Jerusalem Arabs have committed a huge proportion of the recent attacks on Israelis. Whereas Israeli Arabs study the Israeli curriculum in school, most of east Jerusalem's Arab residents study the Palestinian Authority curriculum, which is filled with vile anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement. This curriculum rejects the legitimacy of Israel's existence, justifies violence against it, defines such violence as a religious obligation and informs students that Jews and Zionists are irredeemably evil. (Commentary)

  • Voices from the Arab World

  • The "Other" Israeli Arabs: Loyal to Their People and to Their State - Ben-Dror Yemini
    An important stream among Israel's Arab population are those who want to be and are trying to be part of the Israeli existence. According to the latest survey conducted by Prof. Sammy Smooha, 42% of Israeli Arabs recognize Israel as a state with a Jewish majority. According to previous surveys, more than 50% of young Israeli Arabs are in favor of volunteering for national service. They are trying to be loyal both to their people and to their state.
        S., a hospital department head, and G., a successful businessman, belong to quite a large group of people who have gained personal and professional success thanks to the state. When one of them voices his moderate views, he is ridiculed not only by the screamers in the Arab sector, but also by screamers in the Jewish sector, who want their Arabs angry and full of hatred against the apartheid state they paint in their wild imagination. (Ynet News)
  • A Nation Dominated By Some Very Bad Ideas - Hussein Aboubakr
    I was born and raised in Egypt, and I have experience with the rapid radicalization of Egyptian society. Advocates of reform in the Muslim world are as marginalized and persecuted as any other non-Muslim minority. Many such Muslims, like me, do not actually reside in their home countries but in the Western world since many parts of the Muslim world are extremely intolerant towards reform and criticism.
        In my childhood I was told that every day that passes on the Islamic nation without a caliphate is a sin. That the failures and miseries of the Muslim world started the moment we gave up conquests and wars against the infidels. That our prosperity depends on conquering new lands, converting new believers, looting new resources and enslaving more women. I was taught that a Jew is essentially a demon in flesh and that it is our destiny as good Muslims to kill them all. It was not just me, a small child in Cairo, who was raised with these great apocalyptic prophecies, it was also so many people from all around the globe.
        It is quite possible, at one point of history, to have an entire nation dominated by some very bad ideas. We have seen it before and we are seeing it today. For the West now to deny this fact and pretend that the majority of people are always naturally sane, rational, peace-loving hippies is hypocritical, misleading and dishonest. It is quite possible for a significant portion or even the majority of the world's Muslim population (estimated to be over 1.5 billion) to be anti-Semitic, homophobic and in sympathy with violence and even Islamic totalitarianism. The writer, persecuted by state police for his research at the Israeli Academic Center in Cairo, now lives in the U.S. (Times of Israel)
  • Al-Aqsa Mosque Is in No Danger - Bassam Tawil
    The Palestinians have been sending their children to the streets of Israel and the West Bank to murder Israelis again. And for what? Is Al-Aqsa mosque in danger? It is not. But the cynical, calculating Fatah, PLO, Hamas and Islamic Movement in Israel are desperate to bring the Palestinian issue back to the headlines. The Palestinian "martyrs" for the sake of Allah are victims of the misconception that Allah wants us to die for Him. But Allah forbids us to murder. Muhammad forbids us to murder. The Qur'an forbids us to murder.
        Sadly, the Palestinians, instead of looking like people who want peace, look like Muslim extremists. The knife-wielding Palestinian children - and the other young people who commit murder - are not a spontaneous occurrence. They do not simply "spring" full-blown from an "endangered Al-Aqsa." They are the product of a careful, methodical, ongoing tactic of brainwashing about how glorious it is to become a martyr by murdering.
        Is al-Aqsa mosque now less in danger? Given that, throughout the Middle East, mosques are being blown up one after another, Al-Aqsa mosque is not only in no danger, it is eminently secure. (Gatestone Institute)
  • Israel References in University of Jordan Geography Book Cause Controversy - Suzanna Goussous
    Members of the National Campaign for Defending Students' Rights on Tuesday criticized a University of Jordan geography textbook for containing words that "promote normalization" of ties with Israel. "We are not used to seeing a book at Jordanian universities that recognizes the Zionist entity and the state of what is referred to as 'Israel'," said the group's coordinator, Fakher Daas. The text reads: "Aqaba Gulf plays an important role in geopolitics between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel."
        Book editor and co-author Ziyad Makhamreh said the State of Israel is recognized in the UN and students should separate sentiments from reality, adding that the terms used in the book are "academic." Yusra Husban, the other editor, said, "We must understand that there is an entity sharing the land with us." Nevertheless, in the next edition of the book, to be released in 2016, Israel will be replaced with "the occupied territories" or Palestine, according to Husban. (Jordan Times)
  • Israel Is Not Our Enemy - Saleh Al-Shayeji
    After seven whole decades since the State of Israel was founded and was recognized by the world except for Arab countries, as Arabs, who is our real enemy today? Has Israel ever invaded Kuwait? Has it killed its citizens? No. Why does Kuwait consider Israel as an enemy while it deals with Iraq, that already invaded and occupied it, as a friend, brother and neighbor?
        The bottom line is that Israel is not the Arabs' enemy and Arab countries have to individually get rid of the Arab nation's complex and make their own individual decisions independently. (Kuwait Times)

  • Weekend Features

  • Anxious French Rush to Israeli Tech to Check on Friends - Abigail Leichman
    In the wake of the Paris tragedy, some 4.1 million people checked in with friends and relatives using Facebook's Safety Check feature, developed at the Tel Aviv headquarters of Facebook Israel. Around 360 million people received automatic messages through it from friends in Paris who had marked themselves as "safe."
        Paris marked the first time Safety Check was activated following a terror attack. Facebook Growth VP Alex Schultz said: "We chose to activate Safety Check in Paris because we observed a lot of activity on Facebook as the events were unfolding. In the middle of a complex, uncertain situation affecting many people, Facebook became a place where people were sharing information and looking to understand the condition of their loved ones."  (Israel21c)
        See also Israel Trains French Trauma Experts to Cope with Terror - Abigail Leichman
    When 130 people were killed and 368 injured in terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 15 clinicians trained by Israeli experts fanned out to area hospitals to offer psychotrauma interventions. These French mental-health professionals from OSE, the largest Jewish welfare organization in Paris, were among 80 who had been trained by the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) following the terror attack on a Paris kosher supermarket last January. (Israel21c)
  • Helping the Palestinians Improve the Quality of Life - Eylon Aslan-Levy
    For the last year, I have served with IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. A military unit within the Ministry of Defense, COGAT is responsible for helping the Palestinians improve the quality of civilian life as much as possible to create a positive dynamic of hope and progress. That meant aggressively promoting the reconstruction of Gaza, advancing new infrastructure projects and exploring innovative solutions to bottlenecks that prevented progress on issues of common interest to Israelis and Palestinians.
        We worked with international partners to promote four new industrial parks in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). We connected the new Palestinian city of Rawabi to water. We enabled the transfer of more than 2.5 million tons of construction materials to Gaza, virtually tripling the number of trucks entering the Strip. Sometimes I felt like I was working for the Israeli branch of an international aid organization. The writer is a graduate of Oxford and Cambridge. (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Startup Offers Innovative Water Pipe Leak Repair - Neal Sandler
    Some key urban areas lose 50% or more of their water supply to leakage. An Israeli start-up, Curapipe System Ltd., believes its pipe repair technology can provide a solution and substantially reduce the leaks. Curapipe signed a seven-year service agreement in November with Hagihon - the Jerusalem regional water and wastewater utility that is the largest in Israel - after 18 months of tests of the company's Trenchless Automated Leakage Repair system.
        "The Curapipe technology will enable us to fix leaks without stopping traffic and incurring the cost of ripping up sidewalks and streets," says Zohar Yinon, Hagihon CEO. The technology uses a unique viscous curing substance that was recently approved by Israel's Health Ministry and Israel Standards Institute for use in potable water systems. The substance seals leaky joints, fittings and service connections. (Engineering News-Record)

The Anniversary of the UN Resolution that Re-established Israel
on November 29, 1947
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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