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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
April 5, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Iranian Commandos Deployed to Syria (Press TV-Iran)
    Brig.-Gen. Ali Arasteh, the deputy for coordination in the Iranian Army's Ground Forces, told Tasnim news agency on Monday that Iranian commandos are advising Syrian government forces.

French Court Upholds Hate-Crime Convictions of BDS Activists (JTA)
    A French appeals court last week upheld the hate-crime convictions of seven activists who called for a boycott of Israel at a demonstration outside a supermarket in 2010.
    French law views BDS as discriminatory and in 2003 extended anti-racist legislation to include boycotts against countries or their peoples.

ISIS-Hizbullah Rivalry in Latin America - Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung (Jerusalem Post)
    During Hizbullah's 2006 war with Israel, the entire Wayuu indigenous tribe in Venezuela converted to Islam, adopted the Hizbullah name, and attempted to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.
    Dabiq, ISIS' website, has announced its mission to convert the native Mayas in Chiapas, Mexico, and in Guatemala. It also seeks to Islamicize other indigenous peoples including the Tainos in the Caribbean, the Wayuu in Ecuador, and the Guarani and Amazonian tribes in Brazil.
    In the lawless "Triple Frontier" region between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, looking from Paraguay toward Brazil one sees huge Shi'ite mosques on the horizon and ayatollahs in SUVs.
    Dr. Shimon Samuels is director for international relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Dr. Ariel Gelblung is its Latin American representative.

Israel Expands Gaza Fishing Zone (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel on Sunday extended the distance Gaza fishing vessels are permitted to travel from six to nine nautical miles off the coast of southern Gaza. In the waters off of northern Gaza, the six-mile restriction will remain.

IDF Names First Ethiopian-Born Brigade Commander - Lilach Shoval (Israel Hayom)
    Lt. Col. Avi Yitzhak has become the first Ethiopian Israeli to graduate the IDF brigade commanders course.
    Yitzhak is a doctor who heads the Combat Medical Branch in the Medical Corps. He immigrated to Israel in 1991 at the age of 19 and served as a combat doctor.
    "I always felt the responsibility of representing the Ethiopian community," Yitzhak said.
    "I was the first student from the community to study medicine in Israel and I believe, ultimately, that everything is dependent on the individual and the sky is the limit. In my community, people need to understand this."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Navy Confiscates Iranian Weapons at Sea - Dan Lamothe
    The U.S. Navy confiscated a cache of weapons being transported from Iran to Houthi rebels in Yemen on March 28, marking at least the third time in two months that such a shipment was stopped, Navy officials said. The cache included 1,500 Kalashnikov rifles, 200 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 21 .50-caliber machine guns.
        On Feb. 27, the Royal Australian Navy intercepted 2,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 100 RPG launchers, 49 PKM machine guns, 39 PKM machine gun barrels and 20 60mm mortar tubes. On March 20, the French navy intercepted 2,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 64 Dragunov marksman rifles, and nine antitank missiles. (Washington Post)
  • "Panama Papers" Show How Syria Regime Circumvented Sanctions
    Syria's regime circumvented international sanctions and funded its war effort through shadow companies, according to leaked "Panama Papers" seen by the French daily Le Monde. Three Syrian companies under U.S. sanctions used the services of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca to create shadow companies in the Seychelles. (AFP)
  • Palestinian Terrorists Who Stabbed British Woman Each Receive 9,000 Pounds a Year with the Help of UK Aid - Nick Constable
    Two Palestinian terrorists who repeatedly stabbed a British woman, Kay Wilson, and left her for dead, after killing her friend Kristine Luken in a brutal attack near Jerusalem, are now each receiving a monthly stipend of £750 with the help of UK aid. Wilson, 51, and her friend were hiking in the Judean Hills in 2010 when the two men pounced on them, believing both women to be Jewish, although Luken was Christian.
        After tying the women up the terrorists launched a savage attack. Wilson said: "We were held for 30 minutes at knife point, then gagged and bound before being butchered with machetes. I watched my friend chopped up before my eyes, and only survived because I played dead, despite being stabbed 13 times and having over 30 bones broken by the sheer force of the blows." Her life was saved by a Muslim Arab-Israeli surgeon. (Mail on Sunday-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel "Our Indispensable Ally" in War on Islamic Terror, Says House Speaker Paul Ryan in Jerusalem - David Horovitz
    Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's 2012 running mate, makes clear that he very deliberately chose to visit Israel now "to reinforce our alliance." He emphatically endorses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's view that Palestinian terrorism directed against Israel is ultimately no different from the Islamic terror afflicting Europe and threatening the U.S., and that the civilized world must unite to fight it. "They're coming at Israel but they're ultimately coming for us," he says. "So we are partners in this war on radical Islamic terrorism. Israel is an indispensable ally in that. Israel is on the front line in so many ways with respect to it."
        Ordinary Americans understand "that our ties with Israel are deep and strong, and that they're mutual....We need Israel for our own national security. We need Israel to keep ourselves safe as well."  (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Suspends Cement Deliveries to Gaza after Hamas Pilfering - Tovah Lazaroff
    Israel this week temporarily suspended the delivery of cement to Gaza intended to rebuild destroyed houses because Hamas was diverting the material. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, accused Hamas of theft on Monday. "Those who seek to gain through the deviation of materials are stealing from their own people and adding to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza," he said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Electric Plans Power Outages over Palestinian Debt - Jack Khoury
    The Israel Electric Corporation cut power Monday to the West Bank city of Bethlehem as part of a plan to disrupt the power supply in the West Bank over the next two weeks in response to the failure of the Palestinian Authority and the Jerusalem District Electricity Company to pay an accumulated debt of $449 million. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Israel Will Support Europe in the Fight Against Terrorism - Shimon Peres interviewed by Itamar Eichner
    Last month, former Israeli president Shimon Peres, 92, received international recognition from UNESCO for his work in advancing peace, dialogue and science across the world. In an interview shortly after the ceremony, he said, "Europe must unite and dedicate all of its resources to putting an end to the barbaric phenomena of murder and beheading....Israel would support Europe and offer its experience and technological capabilities in the fight against terrorism, whenever called to."
        Asked about the UN Human Rights Council's decision to prepare a blacklist of businesses operating in the settlements, Peres said, "I condemn and vehemently oppose it. This kind of move harms the State of Israel and gives encouragement to supporters all over the world of the boycott against us."  (Ynet News)
  • What Palestinians Think about the Knife Intifada - Daniel Polisar
    Not a single leading figure in Israel's current government or any of its predecessors has proposed building a synagogue on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, or suggested harming the Muslim holy sites that have stood on it for the past thirteen centuries. Similarly, no Israeli government has taken any steps that could plausibly be interpreted as indicating an interest in such actions. Yet none of this seems to have the slightest effect on the sense among most Palestinians that Israel aims to destroy the Muslim holy sites.
        Among residents of the West Bank and Jerusalem, 57% said that most of the Palestinians who fell in attacks did not try to stab Israelis, despite the widely available videos of the stabbings, despite the fact that family members of many of the perpetrators publicly took pride in what they had done, and despite the fact that leading Palestinian figures and media often celebrated these attacks.
        A December 2015 poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) found that 62% rejected a deal for a two-state solution modeled on the Clinton parameters, and 61% rejected the idea of mutual recognition between "Israel as the state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people."
        What has changed is the belief that the attacks are an effective means of securing gains. In December, 51% thought that continuing the uprising would advance Palestinian rights in ways negotiations could not. By March, only 43 thought the current confrontations would serve Palestinian national interests more effectively than negotiations, while the figure in the West Bank decreased to 36%. The writer is provost and executive vice-president of Shalem College in Jerusalem. (Mosaic)
  • A New Generation of Palestinian Terrorists - Alon Ben-David
    From Israeli interrogations of 90 terrorists in past months, an impression emerges of a generation that does not remember the traumas of the past uprisings. This generation of Palestinians is not interested in a diplomatic solution with Israel and it does not care if Israel negotiates or not with the Palestinian Authority. The terrorists, mainly from middle class families, read a lot of Islamic State content on their smartphones, even though they are not themselves religious.
        They hate the Palestinian Authority and also have contempt for the existing terror organizations such as Hamas, Fatah, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. At Ofer Prison, which like other detention centers divides its prisoners based on their membership in terror organizations such as Fatah and Hamas, there is a new section labeled the "One Homeland Unit" for those not part of the established groups. The writer is a senior defense correspondent for Israel's Channel 10. (Jerusalem Post)

I Grew Up in South Africa, Israel Is Not an Apartheid State - Ephraim Mirvis (New Statesman-UK)

  • Growing up in South Africa, I found myself confronted every day by a society that would routinely degrade and demean black South Africans, not just culturally or socially, but also in the eyes of the law.
  • My father, who is a rabbi, preached against apartheid and visited political prisoners. My late mother was the principal of what was at the time the only college for black pre-school teachers.
  • University campuses across the UK held "Israel Apartheid Week." Note: not Palestinian "nationalism" or "awareness" week, which might focus on the well-being of the Palestinian people, but a week dedicated to attacking Israel - its government, its people, its very existence.
  • The implied message - that Israel today is where South Africa was - is a grave insult to those who suffered under apartheid and a tragic obstacle to peace.
  • Israel is a country whose Arab, Druze, Bedouin, Ethiopian, Russian, Baha'i, Armenian and other citizens have equal status under the law.
  • Anyone who truly understands what apartheid was cannot possibly look around Israel today and honestly claim there is any kind of parity.

    The writer is the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth.

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