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January 22, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Prepare for Another War with Hamas - Alex Fishman (Ynet News)
    According to senior Israeli defense officials, Hamas feels that it has reached a sufficient level of preparedness to get through another war against Israel, a year and a half after the last confrontation in summer 2014.
    The warning signs have been clear to Israel for several months: Israel believes Hamas has completed basic preparations for delivering a surprise attack that will penetrate into Israel simultaneously via a number of points from the air, sea and tunnels, accompanied by mortar fire and a massive blitz of rockets.
    Booby-trapped tunnels penetrating inside Israel have apparently been newly dug, including several openings for each tunnel.
    Hamas special forces and divers continue their intensive training, their UAV strength was rebuilt, and their rocket arsenal has been partially restocked.
    Hamas has instructed its people in the West Bank to once again carry out terrorist attacks inside the Green Line.
    Money has begun pouring into those terror cells as Hamas - led by Mohammed Deif - is changing direction and raising the stakes against Israel.

Report: U.S. Troops Take Over Airbase in Syria - Andrew Tilghman (Military Times)
    A small team of U.S. troops is setting up a base camp at Rmeilan Airbase in the Kurdish region of northeastern Syria near the Iraqi and Turkish borders.
    American helicopters operated at the base over the past couple of weeks as local workers expanded the runway, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
    The airfield was until recently under control of Syrian Kurdish forces - the YPG.
    Control of the airfield would help U.S. troops expedite delivery of weapons and ammunition to the region as well as operate more aircraft such as medevac helicopters, armed drones or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms.

Christian Support Boosts Hizbullah and Iran in Lebanon - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
    On Monday, Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces party, publicly endorsed his rival, former general Michel Aoun, for the presidency, replacing his loyalty to Saad al-Hariri, head of the anti-Syrian al-Mustaqbal movement (and son of Rafik al-Hariri, the prime minister murdered by Syrian intelligence in 2005), with an alliance with the enemy camp headed by Hizbullah which wants Aoun for president.

Slovenian Supermarket Brings Back Israeli Produce - Raoul Wootliff (Times of Israel)
    Following strong opposition by Israel's Foreign Ministry, the Mercator chain, Slovenia's largest supermarket chain, has reportedly reversed a decision to pull Israeli produce from its shelves.
    The Slovenian Embassy told the Times of Israel that "there is no boycott of Israeli products in Slovenia."

Anti-Semitism Threatens France's Jewish Community - Matt Hadro (Catholic News Agency-Washington Times)
    Reported anti-Semitic hate crimes in France more than doubled from 423 in 2014 to 851 in 2015, according to the report "Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Antisemitism and Extremism in France" released Jan. 7 by the group Human Rights First.
    Jews only comprise 1% of France's population, but over half of the reported hate crimes in France were anti-Semitic in 2014. And more than 80% of incidents are not reported, according to one EU survey.
    See also Poll: 43 Percent of French Jews Interested in Aliya - Sam Sokol (Jerusalem Post)

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Video: U.S. Paratroopers Visit Israel, Climb Masada (U.S. Embassy-Israel)
    Paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade came to Israel not only to train with the Israel Defense Forces, but also to learn about the country.

Sony to Buy Israel's Altair Semiconductor for $220M - David Shamah (Times of Israel)
    Japanese conglomerate Sony is buying Altair Semiconductor for $220 million. The Israeli company is a developer of 4G (LTE) chips for devices.
    The 4G communications standard is considered by telecom pros to be the next big thing in cellphone data communications. Currently, most people still use devices that support the 3G standard, while 4G is up to ten times faster.

Israel Is a Nanotech Superpower - David Shamah (Times of Israel)
    In the past nine years, Israeli nanotechnology researchers have filed 1,590 patents (769 granted so far), published 12,392 scholarly articles, and had 129 nano-success stories, which include establishing start-ups, selling ideas or technology to multinationals, or licensing a patent.
    Currently, there are over 1,600 ongoing research programs between Israeli universities and local or international companies studying the application of nanotech research conducted in Israel to a slew of industrial, infrastructure, and information technology issues.
    A good example is the Israeli energy tech firm 3GSolar, which is using nanotechnology to develop photovoltaic energy cells that will allow consumer devices to recharge themselves with ordinary lighting, thus eliminating a need for batteries.

Israeli Airport Currency Converter TravelersBox Raises $10M (Reuters)
    Israel's TravelersBox, which allows travelers to convert leftover foreign currency into digital currency, said on Thursday it raised $10 million.
    TravelersBox operates kiosks in airports throughout the world where travelers can convert foreign change and bills for deposit into a PayPal account, turned into gift cards for retailers or used to make charitable donations.

Cybersecurity Startup ForeScout Gets $76M - Lizette Chapman (Bloomberg)
    The Israeli-U.S. cyber startup ForeScout said Thursday it had raised $76 million from investors.
    Founded by three Israeli entrepreneurs in 2000, ForeScout's technology allows companies to monitor all devices on their networks without requiring special software to be installed on each device.

Israeli Firm EdenShield Keeps Crop-Destroying Pests Out of Greenhouses - without Pesticides - David Shamah (Times of Israel)
    EdenShield develops nontoxic insect-control solutions derived from natural plant extracts.
    In greenhouses in Italy where tomatoes are grown, EdenShield's GateKeeper prevented close to 100% penetration of pests and led to a reduction of over 80% in the use of pesticides.
    GateKeeper includes a sprinkler system at the entrance to the greenhouse that sprays the EdenShield Net natural pesticide product intermittently throughout the day around the entrance and on the greenhouse netting - not on the plants themselves.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Slams Report Claiming Settlement Business Violates Palestinians' Rights
    Israel's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday slammed a report by Human Rights Watch which accused companies operating in or dealing with Israeli West Bank communities of facilitating the violation of Palestinians' rights. "Israel is concerned with this one-sided, politicized report, which jeopardizes the livelihoods of thousands of Palestinians and discourages rare examples of coexistence, coordination and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians," the ministry said. (Xinhua-China)
        See also Official PA Daily Lauds Israel's Treatment of Palestinian Workers - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
    The Palestinian Authority's official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida lauded Israeli employers of Palestinians for their positive employment ethics towards their workers. "Whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to quit their jobs with their Palestinian employers - for reasons having to do with salaries and other rights....The [Israeli] work conditions are very good, and include transportation, medical insurance and pensions. These things do not exist with Palestinian employers."  (Palestinian Media Watch)
  • Chinese Leader Reasserts Call for Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as Capital
    "China firmly supports the Middle East peace process and supports the establishment of a State of Palestine enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital," Chinese President Xi Jinping told the Arab League in Cairo on Thursday. (RT-Russia)
        See also Fatah: Palestine Alongside Israel Is Just "a Phase"
    Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, told Ma'an news agency on Jan. 19: "Palestine stretches from the river to the sea:...a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, is just a phase, as far as I am concerned." Tirawi said that he would gladly accept a state along the 1967 borders as a first step, but warned: "Don't think that there can be a solution to the Palestinian issue by establishing a state the borders of which are limited to the West Bank and Gaza."  (Times of Israel)
  • Islamic State Uses Syria's Biggest Dam as Refuge and Potential Weapon - Damian Paletta
    Islamic State militants are using the Tabqa Dam, Syria's largest dam 25 miles west of Raqqa, to hide high-value prisoners and shelter senior officials in the conviction the U.S. won't bomb it for fear of unleashing a giant flood, three people familiar with the matter said. If the dam is ruptured, it would flood large parts of Iraq and "mean that there's no electricity for all of eastern Syria," said Ariel Ahram, an associate professor at Virginia Tech. (Wall Street Journal)
  • New UN Arrangements Set Out to Monitor Arms Embargo on Iran - Edith M. Lederer
    The UN Security Council has set out new arrangements to monitor an arms embargo on Iran and restrictions on its ballistic missiles and other programs that remain in place after the nuclear deal. While economic sanctions are now lifted, the nuclear deal keeps the UN's arms embargo on Iran for up to five years, while UN restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Tehran could last for up to eight more years. (AP-ABC News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Prepares for Increased Threats to Israel's Northern Border
    The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday concluded a major two-week drill on Israel's northern border which simulated concurrent wars on the Lebanese and Syrian fronts. "We simulated vast maneuvers, substantial fire power, and attacks on thousands of targets in all combat areas, with high efficiency, including residential areas exploited by the enemy," Northern Command head Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Reclassifies 380 Acres of Jordan Valley Land It Has Farmed for Decades - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Israel has reclassified 380 acres of Jordan Valley land it has farmed for decades as state land following a Civil Administration investigation into the land's legal status under Israeli law. The land is close to the Israeli communities of Vered Yeriho, Almog and Beit Ha'arava. No Palestinians live in the area, which is situated near the northern tip of the Dead Sea. (Jerusalem Post-Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • Looking Beyond the Iran Agreement's Implementation Day
    A bipartisan group of 16 American diplomats, legislators, policymakers, and experts have issued a policy statement citing the need for vigilance in enforcing the nuclear deal and urging the administration to reject the idea of Iran as an ally in the anti-ISIS campaign. They urge the Obama administration to take steps ensuring Iran's full compliance with its many continuing commitments, and to implement a truly robust regional strategy designed to push back on Tehran's problematic behavior throughout the Middle East. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
        See also Text: Statement on U.S. Policy toward Iran (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • The Real Story of "Implementation Day" - Charles Krauthammer
    The real story of Jan. 16 - "Implementation Day" of the Iran deal - was that in a stroke, Iran shed almost four decades of rogue-state status and was declared a citizen of good standing of the international community, open to trade, investment and diplomacy. This, without giving up, or even promising to change, its policy of subversion and aggression. This, without having forfeited its status as the world's greatest purveyor of terrorism.
        On Saturday, the Iranian transport minister announced the purchase of 114 Airbuses from Europe. Cash-rich, reconnected with global banking and commerce, and facing an Arab world collapsed into a miasma of raging civil wars, Iran has instantly become the dominant power of the Middle East. Iran is the regional hegemon, with a hand - often predominant - in the future of Syria, Yemen, Iraq, the Gulf Arab states and, in time, in the very survival of Israel. (Washington Post)
  • Addressing Iranian Threats to U.S. National Security - Michael Singh
    When the next president enters office, Iran will be a nuclear-weapons threshold state operating more than 5,000 centrifuges, with more than 14,000 additional ones at hand but deactivated. It will be openly engaged in research and development on advanced centrifuges. Its heavy water reactor and its underground second enrichment facility will both be modified but otherwise intact and in use. Iran will also possess a large, sophisticated ballistic missile arsenal.
        Some may regard these developments as an acceptable price for deferring a long-running confrontation between Tehran and Washington over Iran's nuclear ambitions. But the truth is that Iran poses a challenge to vital U.S. interests in the Middle East: nonproliferation, counterterrorism, the freedom of navigation in key waterways such as the Strait of Hormuz, cyber security, and others.
        As part of a broader comprehensive strategy to rebuild American alliances, advance U.S. interests, and improve stability and security in the region, the next Administration should devise an Iran policy focused on re-establishing American deterrence, strengthening constraints on Tehran's nuclear program, countering Iranian efforts to project power regionally, and increasing pressure on the regime.
        Iran's security strategy hinges on projecting power well beyond its borders while seeking to create an inhospitable security environment for the U.S. and its allies. To advance this strategy, Iran has cultivated impressive asymmetric capabilities to compensate for its conventional military weakness, primarily by building, training, arming, and funding proxies and allies. Since Iran shows no sign of reconsidering its regional interests or strategy for advancing them, its destabilizing activities are likely to increase rather than wane. The U.S. and its allies must impose costs on Iran for its destabilizing regional activities.
        The next President should also seek effective ways to support human rights in Iran, and to demonstrate American sympathy with political reformers. This should be done in recognition that a true resolution of international concerns with Iranian policy is likely only to follow a broader political shift within Iran itself, albeit one that only Iranians can bring about. The writer is managing director at The Washington Institute. (John Hay Initiative-Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Iran's Real Leaders Remain Paranoid Over the West, Obsessed with Destroying Israel - Eran Lerman
    The real Iran, the revolutionary Islamic Republic led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and controlled by the hard core of the Revolutionary Guards, is a totalitarian state not much impressed by the outward trapping of a "democratic" election. The real Iranian regime is almost paranoid in its assumption of innate hostility by the West; and at the same time, almost obsessed with destroying Israel. Perhaps it is how they validate a revolution that has failed the Iranian people in every other respect and how they make the people forget the bitter memory of defeat in the war with Iraq.
        They have made an immense investment in long-range missiles (and now even ICBMs), which makes absolutely no sense if all they would deliver are conventional explosives. And they have made an equally immense effort to arm, train and finance several terror organizations: Hizbullah, now in effective possession of Lebanon; Hamas, in possession of Gaza, which they have been arming for years; and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman is a former deputy national security adviser for foreign policy at Israel's National Security Council. (New York Times)
  • The Free World Lost, Big Time - Alex Fishman
    The removal of sanctions gives the government in Tehran the power to feed the flames between Shi'ites and Sunnis, between Israelis and Palestinians, and to keep subverting the regimes in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Jordan, as well as strengthening the Assad regime in Syria. The Western powers haven't merely given Iran legitimacy, but have provided it with material means that will aid it in realizing its destructive vision.
        From Israel's national security perception, Iran remains the number one threat - not ISIS or al-Qaeda. The world will take its attention off Iran with time, but Israel doesn't have that privilege: While they go back to sleep, Israel will have to increase its investments in intelligence. (Ynet News)
  • As the Cash Flows to Iran's Regime, a Dark Day for the Middle East - Avi Issacharoff
    The removal of sanctions from Iran is not a festive day for the Middle East. It is, rather, a grim day for the region, which will see billions flowing into the Iranian regime's coffers, part of which will lead to a great deal more weaponry, conflict, bloodshed, and death throughout this area. Hizbullah is now set to receive much-increased financial assistance from Iran, as are the popular militias in Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen, and Hamas (as well as Islamic Jihad) in Gaza.
        For relatively moderate Sunni states, this a grim day, indeed - a day on which Iran is welcomed back to the international community and is simultaneously assisted in deepening its capacity to back terrorist and destabilizing forces in those Sunni states and beyond. (Times of Israel)

  • Other Issues

  • Building the Future in Israel - Yoav Gallant
    Israel's Arab minority accounts for 1.7 million of our more than eight million citizens. We must preserve the rights and freedoms of an open democracy, and maintain the atmosphere of respect and tolerance necessary for a diverse and pluralistic society. This involves the recognition that the fates of our land's Jewish inhabitants and its Arab ones are deeply intertwined.
        At this critical moment, we have to carry out a strategic plan to fight crime and poverty among Israel's Arab population and build the community's social and economic institutions. We are planning to build a new state-of-the-art Arab city in Israel's north; named Jadeidi-Makr, it will be home to 45,000 people.
        Jews and Arabs have lived together in our land for many centuries, and will continue to do so for generations to come. It is our duty to accept this reality by nurturing a culture and a country where both peoples can thrive. IDF Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yoav Gallant is Israel's minister of housing and construction. (New York Times)
  • NATO's Evolving Role in the Middle East - W. Bruce Weinrod
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established in 1949 as a defensive alliance to deter or prevail against a military attack by the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO adjusted its military capabilities downward, though recent Russian expansionism has caused NATO to assess Russia as a significant potential security threat.
        While NATO did not formally participate in the 1991 Gulf War, NATO resources, supplies and bases provided crucial support prior to and during the U.S.-led coalition military action to force Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Also in the 1990s, new international security threats unrelated to NATO's traditional mission arose. Adopting a new strategic concept, NATO gradually assumed new missions, undertook unprecedented military operations, expanded its membership and developed a much wider range of global relationships.
        NATO's most significant new mission has been combatting terrorism. Beginning in 2003, NATO deployed thousands of troops to Afghanistan. Separately, NATO deployed maritime capabilities to deter terrorist activity by monitoring shipping in the Mediterranean and taking on anti-piracy responsibilities as the threat of piracy on the high seas has re-emerged. NATO intervened in the Balkans in the mid-1990s and more recently was involved in Libya.
        An additional new mission for NATO has been missile defense; NATO has allocated substantial resources to developing a core capability that can protect its bases and logistics sites while also providing the framework for broader national territorial and population defense capabilities. The writer served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy. (American Interest)
  • The Islamic State: How Viable Is It? - Yoram Schweitzer and Omer Einav, eds.
    Islamic State forces have been defeated after encountering organized, determined enemies. Such was the case in a conflict with the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq, where Islamic State troops were exposed as being average to below average in terms of operational capability. Its operational capabilities are not stellar, but the high level of its fighting spirit and the readiness with which its followers embrace self-sacrifice have allowed it to expand its control over the region.
        The main activity for Israel regarding the Islamic State must be assisting the international coalition with intelligence sharing and at the same time focusing on basic preparations for future escalation vis-a-vis the Islamic State and its allies, and on concerns of destabilization of neighboring countries. (Institute for National Security Studies)
  • Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
    Over the last four years, the Islamic State has developed from an extremist fringe and marginal faction to become the strongest, most ferocious, best funded and armed militia in the religious and ethnic war that is waged today in Syria and Iraq. ISIS rules today over a swath of land bigger than the United Kingdom, with a population of almost 10 million. ISIS changed its name to the Islamic State to illustrate that its goals are not limited to Iraq and the countries of the Fertile Crescent.
        After the U.S. occupational authority in Baghdad disbanded the Iraqi army in May 2003, thousands of well-trained Sunni officers were robbed of their livelihood with the stroke of a pen, creating some of America's most bitter and intelligent enemies. In addition, many Islamic State terrorists spent years in detention centers in Iraq after 2003. Never in the modern history of the Muslim world has a conflict drawn so many jihadists, who seek to participate in the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate to rule the world after the defeat in battle of the Western powers and their local Arab allies. The writer, a special analyst at the Jerusalem Center, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Weekend Features

  • Raised in Egypt, Served in IDF - Smadar Perry
    Dina Ovadia, 22, was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. "My name was Rouleen Abdullah, and I went to a Muslim school," she told the IDF journal. When she was 15, "I was at home with my mother and brothers, and all of a sudden bearded thugs stormed into our apartment. They were Salafists, radical Muslims. They fired into the air and warned us to leave Egypt immediately....After they left, my grandfather sat us down, his three grandchildren, for a talk and told us we were Jewish. It was hard for me to comprehend this, because at school we were taught to hate the Jews."
        The family left Egypt in a hurry and found a home in Jerusalem. Ovadia joined the IDF and served in the IDF Spokesman's Unit. On Monday Egyptian TV personality Ahmed Moussa revealed that Egyptian prime minister Sherif Ismail had decided to revoke Ovadia's Egyptian citizenship. (Ynet News)
  • Israel: A Superpower for the Status of Women - Rivka Lazovsky
    Today Israel is a superpower for the status of women, creating and exporting some of the most advanced ideas which define the basic parameters of a healthy society. Israeli society has adopted the norm that sexual harassment is a disgrace that prevents a person from holding public office, and makes him liable to face criminal charges.
        The number of female Knesset members is at an all-time high. Women head the Bank of Israel and the Supreme Court. They hold positions of power in banks, are directors of huge firms and their centrality is growing in the business world as well as in the public arena. In the IDF, a woman has reached the rank of general. Women are presenting and directing the main news broadcasts and determining the public agenda no less than men. The writer is chairperson of the World WIZO (Women's International Zionist Organization) Executive. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Grandson of Infamous Nazi Spends Lifetime Making Amends - Tal Bashan
    I received an invitation from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, to speak on a panel on "Humanity and Barbarism in the Holocaust and in Europe Today." The invitation noted: "The other keynote speaker will be Mr. Rainer Hoss, the grandson of Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hoss, who, like you, also has a family connection with Auschwitz." Rudolf Hoss commanded Auschwitz-Birkenau. My 92-year-old mother survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.
        Rainer Hoss, 51, lives in Munich and has made it his life mission to promote Holocaust education and tolerance. At the age of 15, when he found out who his paternal grandfather was, he ran away from home. Rainer's father, Hans-Jurgen Hoss, who was born in 1937, grew up in a large villa near Auschwitz. There are color photographs taken during the war which show the Hoss children frolicking in the garden and swimming in the pool at the villa, with the death camp and crematoria in the background. After the war ended, Rudolf's children - and even his wife - claimed that they did not know what was taking place at the camp. "This is ludicrous, of course, because all of the servants at the house were prisoners from the camp," Rainer explains.
        Rainer spent hours looking through archival information, and this is how he found out about his grandfather's mistress, Eleanore Hodys. Rainer succeeded in finding some of Hodys' belongings in a storage room in Vienna. "Inside a box, we found gloves with my grandfather's initials on them, uniforms and a ring with his initials on it that was made of gold taken from the teeth of Jewish prisoners. My daughter, who's a dentist, helped me investigate this. It turns out there were 153 grams of gold in the ring. If you consider that the average person had between one and five grams worth of gold fillings in their mouth, quite a lot of Jews died to make that ring."  (Jerusalem Post)

Netanyahu: Israel Doesn't Seek to Eradicate Iran; Iran Seeks to Eradicate Israel (Prime Minister's Office)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was interviewed by CNN's Fareed Zakaria at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday.

  • Netanyahu: After the [Iran nuclear] deal we have, basically, three things that we have to do, and I think on this we see eye-to-eye with the United States and with President Obama.
    • The first thing is keep their feet to the fire. You have obligations, keep them. We'll all make sure that we monitor any violation and of course that would require taking appropriate action, reinstituting sanctions and the like.
    • Second thing is resist Iranian aggression in the region, which continues and might even accelerate, given the amount of funds that they're going to get with the lifting of sanctions. The strongest way to stop Iranian aggression is to bolster America's allies, first and foremost Israel. We're negotiating now with the United States a Memorandum of Understanding to support Israel's security for the next decade.
    • The third thing is beyond the region to begin to dismantle the global terror network that Iran, and through its henchmen Hizbullah, is establishing in the Eastern Hemisphere and in the Western Hemisphere.
  • In Iran still today, after the agreement, Iranian leaders are talking about their goal to eradicate Israel off the face of the earth, to annihilate the six million Jews of Israel while denying the Holocaust that murdered another six million. That's what they say. They give a billion dollars a year to Hizbullah for the purpose of creating a warfront and the ability to bomb Israel's cities with a hundred thousand missiles and thousands of precision-guided missiles.
  • It's all Iran. You take away the scaffolding of Iran and Hizbullah collapses. They support Hamas to the tune of about a hundred million a year for the purpose of bombing us. Hizbullah and Hamas say, "Our goal, like Iran, our patron's goal, is to wipe out the Jewish state." So to have a country committed to our destruction and the conquest of the Middle East have nuclear weapons, well, that ought to raise some concern. There's no symmetry. Israel doesn't seek to eradicate Iran; Iran seeks to eradicate Israel.
  • Many in the Arab world see Israel as an ally rather than as an enemy, because of the two principal threats that threaten them. The first is Iran, and the second is Daesh [ISIS]. When they look around and say, "Who can help us in this battle that threatens our very future?" obviously Israel and these Sunni Arab states are not on opposite sides.
  • We used to think that if we solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict it would solve the larger Israeli-Arab conflict. The more I look at it, the more I think it may be the other way around - that by nurturing these relationships that are taking place now with the Arab world, that could actually help us resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And we're actually working towards that end.
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