Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Daily Alert Mobile
Search Back Issues
  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
May 31, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

20,000 People Walk with Israel in Toronto - Daniel Koren (Canadian Jewish News)
    A record 20,000 people participated in UJA Federation of Greater Toronto's 46th annual Walk with Israel event on May 29 in Toronto.
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement noting, "Canada has been a friend of Israel for almost seven decades, through triumph and tragedy. We will continue to stand with Israel, one of our closest friends and partners, thanks to our shared values and the presence of a dynamic and thriving Jewish Canadian community."

French Jews Flee Paris Suburbs over Rising Anti-Semitism - Pauline Froissart and Benoit Fauchet (AFP)
    When Alain Benhamou walked into his apartment near Paris in July 2015 and saw the words "dirty Jew" scrawled on the wall, his second such break-in in less than three months, he knew it was time to leave Bondy, a Paris suburb he had called home for more than 40 years.
    "Until the years 2000-2005, the town was nice and quiet, with 250 to 300 Jewish families and synagogues full on the Sabbath. Now, only about a hundred Jewish families remain," Benhamou says.

Teacher Sent to Nepal after Quake Named Outstanding Reservist - Nitzi Yaakov (Israel Hayom)
    One of the 45 IDF reservists cited Monday for outstanding service is Tom Shay, 32, a civics teacher from Tel Aviv. Shay performs her reserve duty with the National Search and Rescue Unit in the IDF Homefront Command.
    Last year when she was dispatched to Nepal following a devastating earthquake. She set up an emergency situation room and within 24 hours had contacted 180 Israelis in the country that were unreachable.

Israeli Start-Up Develops Remote Biomedical Sensor (Globes)
    Israeli start-up ContinUse Biometrics has developed a sensor capable of remote continuous detection and monitoring of bio-medical indicators with no need for contact.
    The sensor can detect heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing pace, glucose level, oxygen saturation and alcohol levels in the blood even if the subject is located a few meters away and is fully dressed.
    Tyco, a global security, access control and fire extinguishing corporation, is to invest $1 million in the technology.

Israeli Food Exports Expand in East Asia (The Tower)
    Costco stores throughout Japan hosted an Israeli food festival last week, with similar food festivals held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
    In addition, four Israeli wineries attended the China (Guangzhou) International Wine & Spirits Exhibition this year.

RSS Feed 
Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Archives Portal 
Fair Use/Privacy 

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran-Led Push to Retake Falluja from ISIS Worries U.S. - Tim Arango
    While American commandos are on the front lines in Syria in a new push toward the Islamic State's de facto capital in Raqqa, in Iraq, Iran has become the face of an operation to retake the jihadist stronghold of Falluja from ISIS. Tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, police officers and Shiite militiamen backed by Iran are preparing for an assault on the Sunni city, as Iran has placed advisers, including its top spymaster, Qassim Suleimani, on the ground to assist in the operation.
        The U.S. has long believed that Iran's role, which relies on Shiite militias accused of sectarian abuses of Sunnis, can make matters worse by making the Sunnis more sympathetic to ISIS militants. In a widely circulated video, a Shiite militia leader is seen rallying his men with a message of revenge against the people of Falluja, whom many Iraqi Shiites believe to be Islamic State sympathizers rather than innocent civilians. (New York Times)
  • Future of Syrian Peace Talks in Doubt as Syrian Opposition Negotiator Quits - Dana Ballout and Raja Abdulrahim
    Mohammad Alloush, the chief Syrian opposition negotiator in Geneva, has resigned, citing both the international community's failure to make concrete progress toward ending the country's conflict and continuing hostilities by the regime. The latest cease-fire attempt, brokered by the U.S. and Russia, broke down weeks after it began in February. "The last three rounds of negotiations in Geneva under UN auspices have been unsuccessful because of the unwillingness of the regime to compromise and its continuation in the bombing and aggression against the Syrian people," Alloush said Sunday. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Soldier Stabbed by Palestinian in Tel Aviv
    An Israeli soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian in the Nachalat Yitzhak neighborhood of Tel Aviv on Monday. The 17-year-old attacker from the West Bank was arrested. (Ynet News)
  • Israel Intercepts 10 Gaza-Bound Drones
    Israeli security forces intercepted a mailed shipment of 10 motorized drones at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza, the Defense Ministry announced Monday. Security checks have thwarted dozens of attempts to send weapons through the mail. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Sisi: Egypt Will Not Play a Leading Role in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Moves
    In a recent speech, Egyptian President al-Sisi pointed to the range of options on the table for Israeli-Palestinian peace moves, saying that Egypt is willing to support whichever efforts lead to progress, but that Egypt would not be taking a leading role. "There is currently an Arab initiative, a French initiative, there are American efforts and there is the Quartet that are all working toward a solution to this issue. In Egypt, we do not intend on playing a leading role or to be leaders of this issue, but we are prepared to exert all efforts that will contribute to finding a solution to this problem."
        Hazem Abu Shanab, a senior member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, dismissed claims last week that a three-way Cairo "summit" involving Sisi, Abbas and Netanyahu was being planned. The senior Palestinian official added that normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states at this time would be a "stab in the back" for the Palestinians. (Egypt Independent)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Paris "Peace" Talks the Usual Charade - Jeff Robbins
    This Friday the French government is convening a one-day "peace conference" in Paris to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Eager to curry favor with its large Muslim population in advance of upcoming elections, France recently backed a Palestinian resolution in UNESCO denying any link between Jews and Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
        The French have said that their purpose is "saving the two-state solution" and "bringing the parties back to the negotiating table." This is a head-scratcher, since the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected the two-state solution and have refused to negotiate with Israel for many years now, rejecting its request for negotiations as recently as last week.
        "The Palestinians are not able to agree to any resolution that doesn't involve them getting 100% of what they want," says David Roet, Israel's deputy permanent representative to the UN. In 2000, 2001 and 2008 they were offered an independent state on virtually all of the West Bank, all of Gaza and a capital in east Jerusalem. They said "no." The writer is a former U.S. delegate to the UN Human Rights Council. (Boston Herald)
  • Meet the New Head of Iran's Assembly of Experts - Editorial
    Iran's Assembly of Experts, which will select the Islamic Republic's next supreme leader, voted last Tuesday to make Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, 89, its speaker. His speeches should be instructive. On America: "They are the masters of terrorism world-wide and the teachers of terrorists."
        On Jews: "The Zionists have the appearance of humans, but they aren't humans and have the bearing of pigs and predators." On Israel: "The fall of Israel and its fellow travelers is coming, and soon we will witness this event."
        Jannati has said he will aim to preserve the Assembly of Experts' "revolutionary" mission. His rise means that whoever follows Khamenei as supreme leader is unlikely to alter the regime's core anti-Western philosophy. (Wall Street Journal)
  • "Reservists on Duty" Fighting to Counter BDS - Lidar Grave-Lazi
    "Reservists on Duty" is attracting the support of hundreds of IDF reservists from across the political spectrum, says the group's co-founder, Amnon Goldstof. "The main goal of our organization is to fight against the new anti-Semitism and the groups that lead it, primarily BDS," says Goldstof, who adds that the boycott movement is a manifestation of classic anti-Semitism "pure and simple." "Old anti-Semitism wanted to see a world without Jews, and the new anti-Semitism wants to see a world without a Jewish country."
        "In Israel, we are comfortable because we live with a certain security, but when you go on campus [in the U.S.] you see Jews being attacked, whether they are Zionist or non-Zionist, simply because they are Jewish." He called it "unbelievable" that in 2016, Jews are afraid to walk around on the streets of many countries in the world and that every Jewish institution must hide behind a security barrier. "We see this as our civic duty to fight for the Jewish people and for Israel."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Poll: Third of American Students Say BDS Justified
    One-third of American students believe that a boycott of Israel is justified and represents a legitimate means of bringing pressure to bear, according to a survey by Ipsos in the U.S., Israel's Channel 2 reported. Nevertheless, 62% of respondents in the U.S. and 50% in the UK consider the BDS movement to be a modern form of anti-Semitism. (Globes)

Moderation Postponed in Iran - Walter Russell Mead (American Interest)

  • Somehow all those plucky moderates elected in Iran don't seem to be having much impact on actual decisions as Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, an ultraconservative who called for the execution of opposition activists, was chosen on Tuesday to lead Iran's Assembly of Experts.
  • What's really going on in Iran has almost nothing to do with the happy Beltway talk about peaceable mullahs and the kinder, gentler theocracy they aspire to create. Unfortunately, hardline values are hard-wired into the Iranian regime and Iranian foreign policy, and no White House spin can make that grim reality go away.
  • Iran is a multi-ethnic state where Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Arabs, Baluchis and many others share the territory with ethnic Persians, who comprise about 60% of the total population, but the large majority of Iran's citizens are Shi'a.
  • Shi'a identity is the ideological bond that keeps the country together, more than Persian nationalism. If Tehran sacrificed its hard Shi'a edge, it would face the same kind of centrifugal forces that have torn apart many other multiethnic conglomerate states in recent decades such as the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.
  • But if Iran's unity is linked to hardline Shi'a politics, its international position is even more tightly wedded to hatred of America and Israel. Iran needs to legitimate its presence as an aspiring hegemon in a mostly Arab, mostly Sunni part of the world.
  • This is where the rage against the U.S. and Israel comes in. Iran positions itself as the only true leader of Islamic "resistance" to American imperialism and Zionist aggression. If Iran drops the anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism from its foreign policy, it doesn't have an ideological leg to stand on in the struggle for hearts and minds in the modern Middle East.

    The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College and professor of American foreign policy at Yale University.

Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.