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January 15, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Iranian Officials: Capture of Sailors a Display of Power over U.S. - Russ Read (Daily Caller)
    Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Chairman of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi used Iranian media Thursday to commend the recent capture and release of ten U.S. sailors and their two riverine boats.
    "This is a sign of our might," Araqchi said Wednesday to Iran's Fars News.
    Boroujerdi wrote to Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the commander of the forces who apprehended the sailors, calling his move "brave."
    He also noted that the apprehension is a sign that Iran controls the security of the Persian Gulf.
    See also Tehran to Washington: I Control the Gulf (MEMRI)
    After Iranian authorities arrested 10 American sailors on Jan. 12, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hizbullah, argued that the Revolutionary Guards were sending a message to the U.S. that Iran will be willing to clash with it, and at the same time telling the Gulf states not to mess with Iran.
    Al-Akhbar's Jan. 14 front page showed the photo of the American sailors kneeling with hands on their heads, under the headline "Tehran to Washington: I Control the Gulf."

If UN Positions on Syria Border Fall to Radicals, Israel Will Have to Respond - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
    The capture of UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) positions on Mount Hermon on the Syria-Israel border by Sunni terrorist factions, or by elements from the radical Shi'ite axis, would form a "severe threat to IDF posts" in the area, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Assaf Orion warned in a paper for the Institute for National Security Studies, where he is a senior research fellow.
    UNDOF is now made up of a Nepalese company that holds four Hermon posts, a company from Fiji that holds a post near Israeli territory, and an incoming Irish company that will take over Ziwani Camp on the Israeli side of the border.
    UNDOF retains a number of lookout posts, but 46 posts have been abandoned and captured by rebels, who looted them in recent years.

ISIS Burns Fighters Alive for Letting Ramadi Fall - Hollie McKay (Fox News)
    ISIS fighters who fled to the terror group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul after being defeated in Ramadi were burned alive in the town square, sources said, in an unmistakable message to fighters who may soon be defending Mosul from government forces.
    Several Iraqi-Americans and recent refugees with close relatives in Mosul told of ISIS fighters being executed for not fighting to the death in Ramadi.

After Torture in Hamas Jail, Palestinian Journalist Won't Be Writing about Politics Anymore - Fares Akram (AP)
    Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul is one of the few voices willing to publicly criticize the rule of the Islamic Hamas movement. But after nine days in jail, al-Aloul says he won't be writing about politics anymore.
    He said the painful experience made him a "new man" and that he will now focus on less controversial topics.

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Israel, Indonesia Secretly Do Business Together - David Shamah (Times of Israel)
    There are growing business and tech ties between Israel and the biggest Muslim country in the world - Indonesia.
    "Israeli tech has made important breakthroughs, like agricultural technology," one of Indonesia's top venture capital investors told the Israel Foreign Trade Conference in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
    Israel-Indonesia trade reaches "hundreds of millions of dollars a year," said Ohad Cohen, who heads the Foreign Trade Association of Israel's Economy Ministry.

Israel's Ambassador Welcomed in Islamic Republic of Gambia - Raphael Ahren (Times of Israel)
    A month after Gambia declared itself an "Islamic Republic," the country on Tuesday warmly hosted Israel's Ambassador Paul Hirschson.
    Gambia is the smallest state in continental Africa and more than 95% of its 1.9 million citizens are Muslims.

Sailing Body: Malaysia Won't Be Punished for Excluding Israel (AP-New York Times)
    World Sailing has declined to punish the Malaysian Sailing Federation after two Israeli athletes withdrew from last month's Youth World Championship due to conditions imposed by government authorities.
    See also World Sailing Condemns Malaysia for Barring Israelis (International Sailing Federation)
    World Sailing deeply regrets that two sailors from the Israel Yachting Association were unable to compete at the 2015 Youth World Championships due to conditions imposed by Malaysian authorities.
    The conditions required by the Malaysian authorities breached Article 7 of the World Sailing constitution.
    The International Olympic Committee recently stated that "it has to be ensured that all athletes from all their members can enter a country to compete and are treated equally. It was agreed that should this rule not be respected, the event in question cannot serve as a qualification event for the Olympic Games or any other championship."
    World Sailing confirms it will apply this guidance strictly to all future sailing regattas.

353 Italian Jews Emigrated to Israel in 2015 (ANSAmed-Italy)
    More Italians emigrated to Israel in 2015 than any other year since 1948-49, Italian-Israeli demographer Sergio Della Pergola said Thursday.
    "The figure was 353 - which could seem small but it really isn't, compared with the only roughly 30,000 Italian Jews.''
    Della Pergola stressed that ''steadily rising levels of anti-Semitism was a matter of large concern'' for Italian Jews who moved to Israel, as was the case with other European Jews.

Debt Burden Falls in Israel - Amiram Barkat (Globes)
    Israel's ratio of public debt to GDP fell by 1.8% in 2015 - a key indicator of economic soundness, the Ministry of Finance reported Tuesday.
    The figures show that Israel has lowered its debt ratio more than any other Western country since 2008.

Useful Reference:

Palestinian Authority Anti-Semitism - 2015 - Itamar Marcus (Palestinian Media Watch)
    In a report prepared for a conference at the European Parliament, Palestinian Media Watch found that the Palestinian Authority continued to emit overtly anti-Semitic messages throughout 2015, portraying Jews as inherently evil, comparing them to apes and pigs, and depicting them as a threat to all humanity.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Quietly Courts Sunni States - Rory Jones
    Growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran have raised hopes in Israel that officials can build closer ties with the Gulf monarchies based on their shared animosity toward Tehran. Led by Dore Gold, director-general of the foreign ministry, Israel has stepped up efforts to improve ties in the region. "Clearly there's been a convergence of interests between Israel and many Sunni Arab states given the fact that they both face identical challenges in the region," Gold told the Wall Street Journal.
        Tzipi Livni, a former Israeli foreign minister, said in an interview: "We have the same understanding of the region. This is the basis for an alliance." Yet Gulf Arab states still don't publicly recognize Israel's right to exist and would be loath to disclose closer ties with Israel at home. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Turkey Attacks Islamic State Targets in Syria, Iraq in Response to Istanbul Bombing - Ercan Gurses
    Turkish tanks and artillery have bombarded Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq over the past 48 hours, killing almost 200 of its fighters in retaliation for a suicide bombing in Istanbul, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday. An Islamic State suicide bomber, who entered Turkey as a Syrian refugee, blew himself up among groups of tourists in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing 10 Germans. A double bombing in Ankara in October by the radical Sunni militant group killed 100 people. (Reuters)
  • Lapid Urges EU to Reject Attempts to Boycott Israel - Yossi Lempkowicz
    During a visit to Brussels on Wednesday, Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel's opposition Yesh Atid party, met with EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mognerini and asked her to push for a joint statement by the 28 EU foreign ministers against attempts to boycott Israel. Mogherini emphasized that she and the entire EU oppose calls to boycott Israel. Mogherini continued to insist that the plan to label Israeli products from the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as "Products from settlements" instead of "Products from Israel" "is in no way a boycott." Hungary, Greece and the Czech Republic have so far expressed their opposition to the EU labeling decision. (European Jewish Press)
        See also European Parliament President Opposes EU Labeling Plan - Lahav Harkov
    European Parliament President Martin Schulz told visiting Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein in Berlin Thursday that he was against the EU directive for member countries to specially label products from the West Bank, Golan Heights and east Jerusalem, saying "it mainly hurts Palestinians who make a decent wage there."
        Edelstein concurred: "Israel will survive the labeling. The ones who won't survive are thousands of Palestinian families who work shoulder to shoulder with their Jewish friends and coexist." Labeling "will hurt their economy, their lives, their families and will destroy the existing seeds of peace in the areas of employment." He added: "Europeans boycott wines from the Golan Heights....Who should we give the Golan to, Syria or ISIS?"  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Dentist with Family in Israel Wins Appeal to Work at Naval Dental Clinic - Dennis Yusko
    Gershon M. Pincus, an American dentist whom the Defense Department deemed a security threat for having family in Israel, will keep his job at a naval dental clinic in Saratoga Springs after the federal government, in a striking reversal, granted him security clearance to work in the military. The decision marked an about-face from September, when the Pentagon denied the civilian dentist security clearance on the grounds that he frequently talks on the telephone with his mother and siblings in Israel. (Albany Times Union)
  • Hollande: "Intolerable" for France's Jews to Hide - Julian Robinson
    French President Francois Hollande has said it is "intolerable" that French Jews feel they have to hide their religion after anti-Semitic attacks prompted a call to abandon wearing the kippah. "It is intolerable that in our country citizens should feel so upset and under assault because of their religious choice that they would conclude that they have to hide."  (Daily Mail-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Motives for Palestinian Attacks Have Changed - Amos Harel
    Palestinian terrorists held in Israel after being captured while carrying out attacks during the present wave of violence have been interviewed by IDF intelligence officers. Over 60% of the attacks in the West Bank have taken place at seven well-known locations. The stabbers wanted to take revenge - to carry out an attack at places where terrorists had been killed previously.
        In October, fears over the fate of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem were the central consideration behind the decision to carry out an attack. In November, the atmosphere was one of preparations for a third intifada and the attacks were seen as part of a broader initiative. By December, the attacks were mostly a matter of mimicking earlier terrorists.
        In recent weeks, the main justification given by the terrorists is the desire to take revenge for the deaths of other terrorists, often relatives or acquaintances. In many cases, the young men were on the margins of Palestinian society and saw a terrorist attack as a way they could "purify" themselves and win recognition from the Palestinian public. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Officer Stabbed in West Bank Thursday; Ya'alon: Palestinian Violence Is Waning - Tovah Lazaroff and Khaled Abu Toameh
    On Thursday, Haytham Mahmoud Yassin, 36, threw an object at a military jeep near Nablus in the West Bank, the IDF said. Soldiers stopped the jeep and got out of the vehicle to investigate when Yassin approached them and stabbed an officer. One of the soldiers then shot and killed Yassin.
        Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday that Israel's preemptive raids and arrests have prevented violence from escalating. "We are managing to foil plans by the organizations, the terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to carry out attacks. If it were up to them, there would be suicide bombings and gun attacks here every day," Ya'alon told Israel Radio. We will "prevail over this phenomenon, I say, but this is a process that takes time. Statistically, we see that this is waning."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Why the West Bank Palestinian Refugee Camps Refuse to Join the Violence - Avi Issacharoff
    Even as the "intifada of knives" rages elsewhere, residents of the Jenin refugee camp are enjoying one of the calmest periods they have experienced over the past decade. And many don't want it to end. I asked M., a former wanted man who served a four-year sentence in a PA jail and was an inmate in an Israeli prison before that, why no resident of the camp took part in the "intifada of knives" over the past three months. "It's not an intifada. It's a fad," he says.
        "And let's be honest. What did we gain from the Second Intifada? What did we get? Those of us who live here in the camp paid the heaviest price. And what did that do for us? Did we get representation on the Revolutionary Council or on the Central Committee [Fatah's supreme leadership group]? So why should we take part in this? What will we get out of sending a kid to stab somebody with a knife?"
        "Let us live in peace and quiet," M. says. "We don't want anything. We want to live together with the Israelis. We have no problem with that. They are our cousins. We will live with them in peace." But what about the Palestinian state? Sabr, a friend of M.'s and also a former wanted man, says: "The Palestinian state is nonsense. Talks have been going on here for 20 years without results....So let them open the border crossings for us, let us live normal lives, and that's it."
        Balata, near Nablus, is where the First Intifada began. There we meet Tayseer Nasrallah, a well-known Fatah official in the Nablus region. He says, "I thought and still think that there's no need to go into a new intifada as long as we don't understand where we're going and what our goal is. In other words, we want a better life for our children instead of them just getting killed....Honestly, there's a feeling in the camp that we're in a situation of ongoing neglect by the Palestinian Authority and that we never received anything from the PA that was worth the sacrifices that this camp made."  (Times of Israel)
  • Ya'alon: Iran Not Part of Solution to Islamic State Threat - Yaakov Lappin
    After meeting with visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Rob Work in Tel Aviv on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told Israel Radio, "We very much do not want to see Iran becoming hegemonic in Syria, as it is hegemonic today in Lebanon or in Iraq....It seems it is easy to hold Iran as something that fights Islamic State, as part of the solution, and we still see it as a main part of the problem."
        Ya'alon added that from Israel's perspective the main conflict in the Middle East is between Shi'ites and Sunnis, and that Sunni states have begun forming an Arab coalition - which Pakistan has joined - against Iran. "I think the West has to be on a certain side, as we are on a certain side based from the perspective of our interests, and certainly, from the perspective of common enemies."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • U.S. Thanks Iran for Resolving the Crisis It Created - Eli Lake
    After the return of 10 U.S. sailors from Iranian custody on Wednesday, a senior State Department official briefed reporters about five phone calls between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif. When British sailors were detained in 2007 by Iran in a similar incident, it took nearly two weeks for Iran to release them. In this case it took less than a day.
        But Iran's handling of the situation violated international norms, and to pretend otherwise is to define deviancy down. If the two small U.S. sea craft transiting between Kuwait and Bahrain strayed into Iranian territorial waters because of a mechanical failure, international maritime law spells out the appropriate response - and in a situation like this, it does not give Iran the right to board these boats or detain the sailors, as the Iranian navy did.
        Senator John McCain, a former Navy pilot, pointed out: "Under international law, sovereign immune vessels like navy ships and boats do not lose their sovereign immune status when they are in distress at sea. Under international law, sovereign immune naval vessels are exempt from detention, boarding, or search. Their crews are not subject to detention or arrest."  (Bloomberg)
  • Living Under the Sword of ISIS in Syria - Marwan Hisham
    Raqqa, since 2014 the de facto capital of the Islamic State, is my hometown. Many Raqqa residents are stuck there as the town becomes the No. 1 target for airstrikes by the American-led coalition. Many Raqqa residents face the additional problem of keeping their sons from being sucked into the fighting. I've seen first-hand that for Raqqa's teenagers, the Islamic State's ideology has zero appeal. What they want is its money and its guns.
        Not counting bonuses, a fighter starts out earning about $200 a month - more than a family needs to live. He gets additional money for wives, children, slaves and provisions, raising his potential monthly income to more than $500. If he applies for a house, the Islamic State will hand him the keys within two months. These young men want to be listened to when they speak, and feared. These motives - "respect," cash and guns - are turning ordinary young people into murderers.
        Minorities are persecuted and virtually every day people are whipped or executed in the streets, accused of violating Shariah law or of being spies. The Islamic State gives people one choice: Escape your poverty by fighting for us. (New York Times)
  • For Historians, Facts Matter - Jeffrey Herf
    On Jan. 9, members of the American Historical Association (AHA) meeting in Atlanta voted 111 to 50 to reject a resolution denouncing Israeli policies towards Palestinian universities in Gaza and the West Bank, as they did a year ago. The standards of evaluation of the AHA are those of professional historians, not those of diplomats in the UN General Assembly or partisan NGOs. Historians join the AHA for professional, not political, reasons.
        We take pride in defeating this resolution, viewing the vote as a defense of the discipline of history and a moment when scholars asserted that facts are indeed stubborn things. Other academic organizations may refuse to follow our lead and may support wretched texts filled with distortions about Israel. Yet if they do, many historians will conclude that their standards of evidence and verification are not as rigorous as ours and that their scholarly claims about other matters should be taken with a large grain of salt. The writer is Distinguished University Professor, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Struggles to Combat Homegrown ISIS Threat - Shira Rubin
    A growing number of Muslims are signing up to fight for the Islamic State across Israel's northern border with Syria. The Israel Security Agency estimates that 50 Israeli Arabs have joined the civil war in Syria or are fighting in Iraq, and more may do so soon. The worry is that these fighters will return home to commit terrorist acts.
        "ISIS recruits from Israel were not regarded as a problem a year ago, but the security establishment sees them as a concerning trend," said Boaz Ganor, director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. "The phenomenon of Israeli Arabs joining ISIS is relevant to the homegrown terrorist phenomenon of Muslim communities in Western countries, bad seeds being radicalized and falling into the trap of ISIS incitement via the Internet, social networks, personal connections."
        While a majority of Israeli Arabs condemn the Islamic State, there is a surprisingly high level of sympathy for it, said Sammy Smooha, a Haifa University sociology professor who focuses on Israeli-Arab public opinion. His recent poll shows 17% of Israeli Arabs said that they do not see the group as an extremist organization, and that as Muslims they are not ashamed of it. (USA Today)
  • Israel's Most Advanced Submarine - Tyler Rogoway
    Israel's new submarine, the INS Rehav, is crewed by 35 sailors, but can hold an additional 10 people for special operations. It can reach a top speed of 25 knots underwater and can operate without resupply for up to 30 days. It uses Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) to stay submerged for weeks at a time, and its fuel cell technology is extremely quiet.
        It is capable of operations that were long only possible with much more expensive nuclear-powered submarines. Its six standard torpedo tubes can fire torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship missiles, while its four jumbo tubes can deploy frogmen, remotely operated vehicles and large cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear payloads.
        Originally, Israel wanted to buy Tomahawk cruise missiles from the U.S. to outfit its submarine fleet, but the request was denied by the Clinton Administration. Instead, the Israelis developed their own long-range submarine-launched cruise missile particularly suited to their submarines. (Foxtrot Alpha)

  • Weekend Features

  • Uncovering Holocaust Perpetrators Where Few Have Looked - Matt Lebovic
    With new access to archives, historians are supplanting archetypal images of Aryan Nazi men as the Holocaust's sole perpetrators. Perpetrator "sub-groups" being exposed range from women who guarded death camps to Dutch bounty hunters of Jews in hiding. Sarah Helm's 2015 book, Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women, looks at the camp where 132,000 women and children were imprisoned, which also functioned as an SS training camp for women to become concentration camp guards. Wendy Lower's 2013 book, Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, also helped expand understanding of women's roles in the Holocaust.
        Dutch journalist and historian Ad van Liempt estimated that 15,000 Jews were captured in hiding by reward-driven Nazi collaborators. His 2012 book, Jew Hunt, exposed files on 250 Dutch police officers who organized units to locate and arrest Jews in hiding. "Every large town in the Netherlands had such units," he said.
        Some researchers are studying the role of Muslims recruited to the Waffen-SS in Yugoslavia, including Edwin Black in his 2010 book, The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance During the Holocaust. Up to 42,000 Muslim SS members and police troops were recruited by the Nazis, and thousands of them participated in the slaughter of Jews and Orthodox Christians in Bosnia and Serbia, respectively. Muslim units also participated in the murder of Jews in Greece and Russia. (Times of Israel)
  • Maverick Educator Seeks to Change Israeli Arab World from Within - Dov Leiber
    Dr. Dalia Fadila, an Arab-Israeli educator and professor at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, is the founder of Q Schools, a network of schools that emphasize English in three northern Israeli Arab towns, east Jerusalem, the West Bank city of Ramallah, and Amman, Jordan.
        Fadila is angry with Arab parliament members who spend most of their time "lobbying for the freedom of Palestine, while neglecting education and employment." Arab Israelis can and must strengthen themselves through integration with the Jewish majority, she says. Fadila's educational work has found many admirers in U.S. Jewish communities, which have helped fund scholarships for many of her students.
        Summing up her motivation and her vision, she says: "Fully educated kids, with something to lose, will be more positive towards themselves and the state. They will also have the skills to work better for their rights and to compete for jobs. That's a much softer revolution than an intifada, and in the long run, more sustainable."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Video: Education and Identity as an Arab Israeli Woman - Dalia Fadila (TEDxHolyLand)
  • Omri Casspi Represents Israel in NBA - Jake Fischer
    Omri Casspi of the Sacramento Kings gets news of every stabbing in Israel and has the Red Alert application on his cell phone, which shrieks with every fired rocket, mortar or missile. Such is life for the first Israeli-born player in NBA history. When he was 3, Casspi's parents moved to Yavne, only 25 miles north of Gaza. "Every time there's stuff going on in Gaza, my family feels it because it's right around the corner," Casspi said.
        Life in the NBA opened a door he never imagined. "I feel like people want to know more," Casspi said. "A lot of players in the Association are always asking, 'What's going on?' 'What do you think?' 'When's it going to end?' 'What's the solution?' 'How can you live like this?'" This summer he escorted seven teammates and former teammates to Israel for one week.
        "He's very proud of where he comes from," said former teammate Chandler Parsons. "He served over there (in the Israel Defense Forces), his sister served, his dad served, his brother is still in [the reserves.]"  (Sports Illustrated)
  • Germany to Lease Israeli Drones Instead of Buying U.S.-Made Predator - Sabine Siebold
    German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday announced plans for the army to lease Heron TP drones from Israel Aerospace Industries rather than buy Predator B drones from U.S. defense contractor General Atomics. The Israeli drones, like the Predator B, can be armed, government sources said, adding Germany planned to lease 3-5 drones from 2018. Germany already has three earlier versions of the Heron reconnaissance drone which are deployed in Afghanistan. The new drones are to serve as an interim measure until the EU has developed its own, von der Leyen said. (Reuters)
  • Two Israeli Inventions Voted Consumer Electronics Show Favorites - David Shamah
    At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, both the Last Gadget Standing Live Audience winner and the Last Gadget Standing Online winner were Israeli. The VUZE camera from HumanEyes Technologies is the world's first sub-$1,000, 360 degree 3D camera for virtual reality applications. The camera turns ordinary footage into a canvas where users can add elements and effects inside the camera, obviating the need for expensive and technically sophisticated hardware and software.
        The Ripple Maker from Steam CC can reproduce any image or message from a smartphone onto the foam of lattes, cappuccinos or other foamy beverages. The system combines patented 3D printer mechanics with ink-jet printing technologies using a natural coffee extract to create the "printed" foam content. (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Device Treats Chronic Heart Failure
    Israeli startup V-Wave has completed a $28 million fund-raising round led by Johnson & Johnson for an implanted device for patients with chronic symptomatic heart failure. The device, which has been successfully implanted in 30 patients, is intended to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, and to reduce the need for acute hospitalization. (Globes)
  • Israel Developing Device for Cartilage and Bone Regeneration
    Israeli cartilage and bone regeneration device developer CartiHeal has closed a $15 million financing round led by Johnson & Johnson. CartiHeal founder and CEO Nir Altschuler explained, "Agili-C enables biological resurfacing of cartilage and its underlying subchondral bone through a tissue regeneration process." Agili-C has been successfully implanted in nearly 200 patients. (Globes)

The Psychology of "Lone Wolf" Palestinian Arab Violence - Dr. Irwin J. (Yitzchak) Mansdorf (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • One of the characteristics of the "knife intifada" is the almost inevitable death of the attackers, raising the question of the cost-benefit in these actions by those deciding to attack.
  • This lack of rationality in carrying out such attacks is reflected in the schizophrenic manner Palestinian media treats these incidents. On the one hand, there is a reflexive denial of the perpetrators' involvement in any attacks, with Israel accused of "executing" innocent Palestinians. On the other hand, praising and glorifying the attackers for their "alleged" actions against Israeli Jews are common.
  • "Incitement" is a process requiring two stages; first, factors which create the fuel or basic motivation for the behavior, and second, an ignition process which sets off the behavior itself. Both factors are necessary for violent action to take place. Without the fuel, ignition would be ineffective, and without an ignition mechanism, the fuel would be meaningless.
  • The constant Palestinian institutional and social support of those who engage in violent behavior against Israelis somewhat blunts the idea that attacks classified as "lone wolf" can be fully described as such.
  • While one may not have a direct and explicit order and directive for a specific attack, the atmosphere supporting these attacks and the systematic reinforcement, materially and socially, of those who engage in these attacks provides a constant reminder of societal approval at any given time, even in the absence of an organizational framework.

    The writer is a clinical psychologist and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center, where he directs the Israel-Arab studies program for university students.
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