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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
February 23, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Hizbullah Founder Criticizes Its Intervention in Syria - Maayan Groisman (Jerusalem Post)
    Hizbullah's first secretary-general, Subhi al-Tufayli, told the Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal on Sunday that the organization is serving the interests of the Russian conqueror.
    Al-Tufayli claimed that due to its intervention in Syria, Hizbullah will cause much blood to be spilled in Syria and Lebanon.
    He added that Hizbullah should withdraw from Syria and that it is actually Iran that decides for Hizbullah, although its considerations do not correlate with the interests of the Shi'ites in Lebanon.

Palestinian Human Rights Speaker Clashes with BDS Activists - Emily Kramer (Chicago Maroon)
    An event featuring Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist, abruptly came to an end Thursday when disagreements between Eid and members of the audience led to police intervention. Eid is a vocal critic of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS).
    Discussing the divisions in the Palestinian leadership, Eid said, "On the division of the Palestinians I will never, ever accuse Israel.... When will we, the Palestinians, start taking responsibility for what is going on?"
    In an interview, Eid said that some Palestinian students could only display a sense of nationalism by criticizing Israel, but "I refused to put the blame on Israel."
    On Friday, Eid released a video of the lecture on YouTube, referring to some individuals who asked him questions as "Gangsters of the BDS." He said, "These people are the coming terrorists. The university must impose greater control on these kinds of events."

Oracle Acquires Israeli Company Ravello Systems for $500 Million (Globes)
    U.S. software giant Oracle has acquired Israeli cloud software company Ravello Systems for $500 million.

U.S. Government to Stock Israeli Bio-Tech Cure for Lethal Radiation in 2017 - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel's Pluristem Therapeutics has developed an anti-radiation therapy that the U.S. government will likely begin stocking next year, and which is able to cure nearly all patients exposed to lethal doses of radiation from incidents such as "dirty" bombs or attacks on nuclear power plants.
    Within 48 hours of someone receiving the injections, bone marrow blood cell production levels return to normal.

Syrian Refugee Creates Website to Thank Israelis - Viva Sarah Press (Israel21c)
    Aboud Dandachi, a Sunni Muslim from the Syrian city of Homs now living in Istanbul, has created a website - Thank You Am Israel - dedicated to the Israeli and Jewish organizations and people helping Syrian refugees.
    "It is imperative that Syrians reciprocate the enormous goodwill shown towards us by Israelis and the Jewish people," he wrote.
    "Whatever supposed reasons we may have had to be adversaries is dwarfed by the compassion shown to us during our darkest days."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S.-Russia Deal on Partial Truce in Syria Raises More Doubt than Optimism - Mark Landler
    The U.S. and Russia announced an agreement on Monday for a partial truce in Syria effective this Saturday, but the truce does not apply to two of the most lethal extremist groups, the Islamic State and the Nusra Front. The truce "depends entirely on the good faith of Russia, Iran and the Assad regime, none of whom have shown much good faith in the last five years," said Frederic C. Hof, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who worked on Syria policy during the first term of the Obama administration. (New York Times)
  • Trudeau Backs Motion Condemning BDS Movement Against Israel
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals approved an opposition Conservative motion condemning Canadians who promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The motion was approved by a vote of 229-51. (Canadian Press-Huffington Post-Canada)
  • Islamic State Propaganda Features Minors on Suicide Missions - Mia Bloom, John Horgan, and Charlie Winter
    The Islamic State is mobilizing children and youth at an increasing and unprecedented rate. From Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 31, 2016, 89 children and youth were eulogized in Islamic State propaganda. 51% died in Iraq, while 36% died in Syria. The remainder were killed in Yemen, Libya, and Nigeria. Of the 89 cases, 39% died upon detonating a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device against their target, while 33% were killed as foot soldiers. Bloom and Horgan are professors at Georgia State University, where Winter is a senior research associate. (Combating Terrorism Center-West Point)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Ya'alon: U.S., Russia Recognize Israel's Freedom of Action in Syria - Gili Cohen
    The U.S. and Russia both recognize Israel's "freedom to act and to defend our interests" in Syria, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Monday during a visit aboard the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Carney, which is currently docked in Haifa Port.
        Regarding the possibility of a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war, Ya'alon said, "It's difficult to see the reality of a stable ceasefire, with all of the elements agreeing to it. ISIS is not a part of this process, the Nusra Front is not a part of this process. I can't see a comprehensive ceasefire in the horizon."  (Ha'aretz)
  • Terrorism Expert: PA in Competition with Hamas on Anti-Israel Incitement - Mati Tuchfeld
    Terrorism expert Lt.-Col. (res.) Dr. Anat Berko, a new Knesset member (Likud), has a doctorate in criminology and has written books about suicide bombers. Viewing the Palestinian knife attacks of recent months, she said, "The incitement is enormous, from every direction. Soon we'll see that it's abnormal not to be a terrorist. They plant the values of terrorism very deeply. The government institutions in Ramallah are in danger because they're trying to stop the wave [of terrorism], because they understand it hurts them. But what we're seeing is that they, too, in schools and on television, participate in the incitement because Hamas is breathing down their necks. So they pay the shahids [martyrs] and speak against the State of Israel. If they stopped it, Hamas would throw them off a cliff."  (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Thwarts Attempt to Smuggle Drones into Gaza - Yaakov Lappin
    Crossings Authority inspectors together with the Israel Security Agency recently foiled an attempt to smuggle commercial multicopter drones into Gaza, authorities announced on Sunday. The drones were earmarked for use by "terrorist elements in Gaza" to gather intelligence on IDF movements. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Israeli Nuclear Expert: Iran Deal Could Make Things Worse - Yaakov Lappin
    Dr. Ephraim Asculai, founder of Israel's Negev Nuclear Research Center, has serious concerns that the nuclear deal with Iran could make things worse. "There is a huge amount of things it [the Iran deal] does not include. Relations between Iran and the world. Iran-Israel relations. Iranian missiles. Human rights. None of these things are covered," he said.
        "Despite what President Barack Obama has said, there is no ability to look at undeclared [nuclear sites]." Additionally, the agreement "does not look at the actual developments of weapons - not nuclear material - but the weapons....The nuclear agreement postponed conflict by a number of years. But if conflict comes later, it will be much worse. Iran can do many hidden things." Furthermore, claims that intelligence agencies "will know" if Iran transgresses the clauses of the deal are questionable, Asculai said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Overlooked Iranian Missile Threat - Jonathan Ruhe and Blake Fleisher
    The focus on Tehran's ballistic missiles overlooks an important point: Iran already possesses cruise missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. Tehran has at least a dozen nuclear-capable, Russian-made Kh-55 cruise missiles, procured illegally from Ukraine around 2001. They have a range of 1,500 miles, allowing Tehran to place a warhead anywhere from Cairo to New Delhi. The regime has also copied that design to create its own Soumar missile.
        Cruise missiles have short launch times - on the order of minutes, and have sophisticated guidance systems that allow them to fly close to the ground and around obstacles, making them more difficult for radar to track. The nuclear deal will allow Tehran to expand its arsenal of cruise missiles. UN Resolution 2231, which endorsed the deal, removed the categorical bans that prevented Iran from buying military technology that it could potentially use to deliver nuclear weapons.
        Under Resolution 2231, the U.S., Britain and France can block Russia and China from transferring cruise missiles, parts and technology to Iran. The U.S. must uphold its pledge to veto attempts to give or sell Iran missile technology. Mr. Ruhe is the associate director, and Mr. Fleisher is a policy analyst, at the Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy, part of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. (Wall Street Journal)
  • I Went to Israel Expecting to See an Apartheid State - Lesiba Bapela
    I recently took part in an educational tour to Israel and Palestine. I went to Israel expecting to witness an apartheid state, but I immediately understood that I had been misled. During the trip I observed a vast difference between Israeli and Palestinian cities. In Israeli communities and kibbutzim, people embrace respect, social norms and communal values, largely promoting peace and coexistence.
        However, in Palestinian cities and the Kalandia refugee camp, controlled by the Palestinian Authority, the modus operandi is completely different. Many people there do not practice what they preach in the media. They believe that the radical political influence of Hamas violence toward Israeli Jews is the defining factor for their liberation, according to their own right. As they openly expressed to us, they believe that the country should have Palestinians as first-class citizens and Israelis as second-class citizens.
        I decided to write this article because I, personally, will no longer allow other people to use our tragedy, as the survivors of apartheid, for their own agenda. The problems between Israel and Palestine should never be compared to South African apartheid; the current conflict is completely different. The writer is chairperson of the University of the Witwatersrand Student Representative Council in South Africa. (Jerusalem Post)

Support Egyptian President Sisi; Stand Up to Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei - Malcolm Hoenlein interviewed by David Horovitz (Times of Israel)

  • American Jewish leaders from the 52-member Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations recently met with Egyptian President Sisi. Malcolm Hoenlein, the group's executive vice chairman, described the meeting: "He said when Sadat (made peace with Israel) 40 years ago, no one could have imagined that the current level of engagement and cooperation with Israel would exist. He said to me earlier, 'if 30 years ago I would have said to you that 1,000 Egyptian war tanks would enter the Sinai, and Egyptian war planes would fly every day along the Israeli border, and nobody has to worry about a stray bullet, would you have believed me?'...He gets Hamas. He gets the threat and the need to address it."
  • The Muslim Brotherhood attacked him afterwards for his meeting with us. They called him "Sisi the Jew." Just think, if President Sisi was not there, what would the Gaza war have been like (in 2014)? How many more lives would have been lost? He stands up to the terrorists. And the West should be there supporting him.
  • The perception in other countries is that the West is doing nothing, it's a paper tiger. They say, look, Iran is getting away with their violations. The West doesn't have the will to stand up to them. You know that they're not going to keep the agreement. Ask any of the serious people at the IAEA, as we have. They say, we don't really have full access yet to all information.
  • Listen to what the Iranians say: We're already doubling the amount we have of enriched uranium. We have other facilities. We're doing ballistic missile tests and we will do much more. So they'll wait the 10 years to perfect the system. They could buy (the bomb) elsewhere; the North Koreans could be testing for them.
  • Iran has a huge infrastructure, and now will have a lot of money to place behind it. But it's driven by an extremist ideology. That's why I said, when you have radical religious ideologies behind the movements that we're dealing with, you can't deal with them in the traditional, rational way, because often the motivation is an irrational one.
  • You've got to stand up for principle. You've got to be tough with terrorists and their supporters. You've got to take the words of their leaders seriously. Khamenei has told us all along what he intends to do, and what Iran's goals are, and what they want to impose. When they say they want to destroy Israel. When they say they want to establish hegemony. When they say they want to spread Iranian influence. All those things they mean and they're doing much of it today.

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