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July 1, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

PA, Fatah Honor Murderer of Israeli Girl - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    Palestinian terrorist Muhammad Taraireh entered the home of an Israeli girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, while she slept in her bed, and stabbed her to death on Thursday.
    WAFA, the official PA news agency, honored the terrorist by referring to him as a "martyr," as did Fatah's official Facebook page.
    Under Palestinian Authority law, the family of the murderer will immediately receive a monthly stipend that the PA pays to the families of all the martyrs.
    The mother of the terrorist told a local Hebron news network, "My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque....Allah willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine."

    See also Israeli Terror Victim Was American Citizen (Reuters)
    Hallel Yaffa Ariel, who was murdered in her home in Kiryat Arba, was an American citizen, State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed Thursday.

    See also Father of Murdered Teen among Security Forces Who Found Her - Noam Amir (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
    Eyal Golman, the local security coordinator, described how Hallel Yaffa Ariel's father, who was part of the emergency security team, was present as the forces found his daughter in bed with over eight stab wounds.

Volunteer Paramedic Treats Husband Hurt in Terror Attack - Yael Fridson (Ynet News)
    Yehoshua Gilboa, 31, a member of the civilian emergency security squad in Kiryat Arba, was seriously injured during Thursday's attack. His wife, Shlomit Gilboa, is a volunteer paramedic for Israel's Magen David Adom, and treated Yehoshua in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
    Shlomit said: "I went to the main street because I heard an ambulance. I asked the driver to stop, and I helped treat my husband - I stopped his head from bleeding, I bandaged his wounds and hugged him."
    "I myself have been going through a difficult time too," she added. "I have had to treat almost everyone who's been injured (in terror attacks) in the region. I've had to go to families and tell them that their children were murdered."

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Top Contenders to Succeed British Prime Minister Cameron Are Israel Supporters - Jenni Frazer (Times of Israel)
    The two leading contenders to succeed David Cameron as Conservative prime minister in the UK are Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Theresa May, both of whom are staunch supporters of Israel.
    Gove, 48, is one of Parliament's most passionate pro-Zionists who has denounced BDS as "a crime."
    May, 59, a committed Christian, is a friend of the Jewish community and has spoken to a variety of charities, particularly the Community Security Trust.
    In the wake of the Paris terror attacks last year, May said, "I could never have imagined Jewish people being too scared to stay in Britain." Without its Jews, she said, "Britain would not be Britain."

India Tests New Surface-to-Air Missile Developed with Israel - Kalyani Pandey (International Business Times-India)
    India on Thursday successfully test-fired its new surface-to-air missile that was jointly developed by India and Israel. The missile has a striking range of 50-70 km.

Finance Ministry: Brexit May Be Good for Israel (Ynet News)
    The financial implications of Britain's withdrawal from the EU are not necessarily negative, according to a report published Sunday by Israel's Ministry of Finance.
    The British economy is the fifth largest in the world and the second in Europe.
    The Finance Ministry believes "it is possible that the UK's exit from the EU will improve Israel's ability to compete in the European market."
    An increase in Israeli exports to Europe is likely in high-productivity goods, such as pharmaceuticals, electronic machinery and equipment, and optical equipment, in which Israel has a relative advantage in export and which now constitute a significant share of British exports to Europe.
    There is also the possibility of an increase in British demand for Israeli exports, which could substitute importing from Europe in many industries, such as pharmaceuticals.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Quartet Report: Israel, Palestinians Must Tackle Peace Barriers - Edith M. Lederer
    Seeking to revive Mideast peace negotiations, a new report by the Quartet of Mideast negotiators will call on Israel to urgently reverse settlement expansion, the Palestinian Authority to assert control over Gaza, and demand an end to "violence, terrorism and incitement," the UN's Mideast envoy Nicolay Mladenov told the Security Council Thursday. "The Quartet has outlined a reasonable set of steps that, if implemented sincerely and resolutely, with support from the international community, could set Israelis and Palestinians firmly along a navigable course towards establishing a comprehensive peace with historic implications for the entire region," he said.
        But Mladenov stressed that a final peace agreement can only be reached by direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. He said the report isn't an attempt to assign blame but to outline ways to set the stage for talks leading to a two-state solution "that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues." "Palestinian frustration cannot be wished away....But neither will the violence and terror, fueled by resentment, bring about a Palestinian state."  (AP)
        See also Quartet Report on Stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Blames Both Sides - Jack Khoury
    The Palestinians expressed disappointment at the version of a report they had received in advance of its release by the Middle East Quartet on the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The report is expected to be critical of both Israel and the Palestinians. The report stated that Israel and the Palestinians could reach an agreement only through cooperation, and not through unilateral steps. (Ha'aretz)
  • Hamas Military Leaders Never Stopped Receiving Funds from Iran - Fahd Al-Zayabi
    Although Hamas had undergone disputes with Iran concerning the Syrian revolution against Assad, sources revealed that the leader of Hamas' Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Marwan Issa, along with military leaders Yehya al-Sinwar and Mahmoud al-Zahar, have maintained contact with Iran over the past period. The three commanders had uninterruptedly received financial and military aid from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps exceeding $45 million annually, though prior to the dispute Hamas received far more from Iran. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
        See also Hamas Political Leadership Praises Iran Aid - Hazem Balousha
    Deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk told Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV on June 15: "The support offered by Iran to the Palestinian resistance - be it in logistics, training or funds - is unmatched and beyond the capabilities of other countries." Abu Marzouk's statement confirms the change in Hamas' relationship with Tehran and that relations between them had been restored with a resumption of Iranian funding.
        A senior Hamas leader in Gaza told Al-Monitor, "Hamas' political bureau settled the internal political debate by voting in favor of resuming relations with Iran, particularly after expectations waned concerning the relationship with Saudi Arabia....Hamas' military wing strongly endorsed the resumption of said relations, especially in light of the urgent need for funds and military support that only Iran can provide."  (Al-Monitor)
  • Istanbul Bombers Identified as ISIS Loyalists - Humeyra Pamuk and Daren Butler
    Three Islamic State suicide bombers who killed 44 people in a gun and bomb attack at Istanbul's main airport this week were Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals, a Turkish government official said on Thursday. The Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper said the Russian bomber was from Dagestan, which borders Chechnya, and the organizer of the attack was suspected to be Akhmed Chatayev, of Chechen origin, a leader in Islamic State responsible for training Russian-speaking militants, who is wanted by Russian authorities. (Reuters)
        See also Three Palestinians among Dead in Istanbul Attack - Dov Lieber (Times of Israel)
  • U.S. Proposes Deal with Russia to Ground Syrian Air Force - Adam Entous and Gordon Lubold
    The U.S. asked Moscow to force the regime of President Assad to ground its air force and put an end to the regime's barrel-bomb attacks on opposition enclaves, as part of a proposal that could lead to greater cooperation with Russia in Syria. The Pentagon would then consider helping Moscow with its targeting in Syria, to ensure its strikes hit the Nusra Front and Islamic State militant groups, rather than the U.S.-backed moderate opposition. The U.S. has delivered the proposal to the Russians, but "I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that the Russians want it," a U.S. official said. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Video - Netanyahu: "You Don't Murder a Sleeping Child for Peace"
    In the wake of the killing of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, by a Palestinian terrorist, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "You don't murder a sleeping child for peace. You don't slit a little girl's throat to protest a policy you don't like. You do this because you've been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn't human."
        "Today, each of us is going to fight back....We fight back first by fighting the terrorists, fighting their backers, fighting those who incite for such murder, whether in Hebron or in Orlando, or in Berlin, or in Ankara, or in Belgium, anywhere....We will defend and honor her dignity by redoubling our efforts around the world to defeat the scourge of radical Islamist terror."  (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Stabs Two Israelis in Netanya Thursday - Lee Yaron
    Wa'il Abu Saleh, 46, of Tulkarm in the West Bank, stabbed an Israeli man and a woman in the coastal city of Netanya on Thursday before being shot by an armed civilian. (Ha'aretz)
  • Relative of Kiryat Arba Killer Tries to Stab Israeli Soldier in Hebron Friday
    Sara Hajaj, 27, a relative of the Palestinian who on Thursday murdered Hallel Yaffa Ariel in Kiryat Arba, approached Border Police officers at the entrance to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday armed with a knife, and tried to stab one of them. The officer shot the female terrorist. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • Turkey Is Paying the Price for Cooperating with ISIS - Lior Akerman
    Over the years, Turkey has supported and assisted ISIS. ISIS members have crossed over Turkey's borders, smuggled weapons, and Turkey has purchased oil from wells controlled by ISIS.
        Pressure from NATO forced Turkey to switch its allegiance against its will, to cease purchasing oil from and smuggling arms to ISIS, and to allow troops from Western countries to use its border as a base from which they could launch attacks against ISIS. But ISIS fighters still seem to be getting across the border pretty easily and using Turkey as a home base.
        Turkey is currently paying the price for cooperating with ISIS and allowing freedom of movement for ISIS fighters. ISIS has no problem sending a few fighters to carry out an attack in a busy city in a neighboring country, since they come across no resistance at border crossings. The writer served as a division head in the Israel Security Agency. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Why ISIS Attacked Turkey - Soner Cagaptay
    The question was never if ISIS would attack Turkey in a spectacular way, but when it would. Turkey represents what's normal in Islam. Turkey is a secular country with a democratic constitution, full gender equality, a member of NATO, in accession talks with the EU, a friend of the U.S., and has just made up with Israel. Everything Turkey has is antithetical to everything ISIS wants to create.
        There are also tactical reasons why ISIS attacked. Turkey has been working with the U.S. inside Syria to push back against ISIS. ISIS felt the heat of Turkish assistance and wasn't happy about it and decided to finally launch a war with Turkey that was ultimately unavoidable. The writer is director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

  • Other Issues

  • Facing the Hamas Challenge - Efraim Inbar
    Hamas is indeed an implacable enemy of Israel. Its ideological commitment to the destruction of the Jewish state is enshrined in its covenant and is propagated in all Hamas-sponsored educational organs. Hamas has acted on its hatred by organizing numerous suicide bomber attacks, by digging tunnels to facilitate the perpetration of terrorist attacks, and by launching thousands of rockets toward Israel's towns and cities. It deserves to be the target of Israeli military action.
        However, the end of Hamas rule is not an easily attainable military objective. The roots of Hamas are deep in Palestinian society, particularly in Gaza. Hamas simply cannot be eradicated by outsiders conquering Gaza.
        Calls for a "political solution" are similarly unrealistic. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Salafist groups see Israel as a theological aberration. They might reluctantly accept temporary cease-fires, but they continue to categorically reject any diplomatic course of action intended to fully solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fanatical commitment of these militias to a radical ideology and to a patient strategy of violent resistance means the conflict will continue for some time.
        Force should be applied in the service of a long-term strategy of attrition designed to debilitate enemy capabilities and exact a cost with the object of enhancing temporary deterrence. This strategy also has a positive effect beyond the borders of the conflict. Other actors in the Middle East are watching, and they too need vivid reminders that aggression against Israel can be costly. In this tough neighborhood, inaction is perceived as weakness, inviting aggression.
        The question "When will this end?" is inherently flawed. There is, unfortunately, no end in sight. As long as the basic motivations of Hamas remain, the violent struggle will continue. But this does not mean that significant periods of quiet cannot be achieved by military action. The writer is director of the Begin-Sadat-Center for Strategic Studies and Professor Emeritus of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University. (BESA Center-Bar-Ilan University)
  • Presbyterians Providing Legitimacy to BDS? - Editorial
    At its biennial General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, last week, the Presbyterian Church of the U.S. blamed "Israel's policy trajectory of continued settlements and brutal occupation" for the stalemate in peace talks with the Palestinians. The Presbyterian leadership also called on its faithful to "prayerfully study the call from Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel."
        Unfortunately, the Presbyterians, once again, have shown how their sincere desire to defend the weak has been exploited by organizations with rabidly anti-Zionist and even anti-American agendas. All five of the mainline liberal Protestant denominations in the U.S. have debated, and in some cases adopted, policies that reflect a simplistic and slanted perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that sees Israel as the perpetual aggressor and the Palestinians as the helpless victim.
        In the process, they ignore the fact that Israel is one of the few places in the Middle East where Christians' rights are fervently protected. Who can take seriously liberal Protestant denominations that express a blatant double standard that provides legitimacy to BDS, an anti-Semitic movement, instead of praising the only country in the region that affords religious freedom for all faiths? (Jerusalem Post)

  • Weekend Features

  • German Museums Handed Nazi-Looted Art to Top Nazi Families after War
    After World War II, German museums handed over artwork looted from Jews to the families of prominent Nazis responsible for the theft, the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, a British restitution group, charged on Monday. As soon as American authorities handed over the restitution task to the Bavarian administration in 1949, German authorities kept some and sold others at deflated prices, including to members of prominent Nazi families such as the widow of Hermann Goring.
        The Munich-based newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and the Commission also found that the Bavarian State Galleries and many other such institutions have been sitting on art that was forcibly "purchased" from Jewish collectors under the Nazi regime. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel's Water Revolution and Its Overflow for the World - Oded Distel
    Israel was until recently one of those countries facing a dire water crisis. Yet today, on the heels of a 7-year drought, Israel now produces 20% more water than it consumes, leaving enough water to export to its neighbors and a wealth of knowledge to export throughout the world.
        Israel currently reuses 86% of its wastewater (slated to reach 95% by 2025); 60% of Israel's fruit and vegetables are grown using recycled, purified water. Drip irrigation was invented in Israel; it is far superior to any other process with 90-95% efficiency and a noted increase in crop yield. Five desalination plants provide over 25% of the nation's water supply and 80% of household water.
        Israeli companies have installed more than 350 desalination plants in close to 40 countries, including the new Carlsbad plant in San Diego, producing enough water to meet the needs of 400,000 people. The writer is the founder and director of Israel NewTech, Israel's world-renowned National Energy & Water Program at the Ministry of Economy & Industry. (Times of Israel)

Iran Is as Belligerent as Ever - Joseph I. Lieberman and Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata (Israel Hayom)

  • On Friday, July 1, thousands of Iranians will gather in the streets for Quds Day, whose main purpose is to call for "Death to Israel." Israeli, and probably American, flags will be burned. There is no more revealing time for the world to understand the true nature of the Iranian regime than on Quds Day.
  • While some want us to see peace, moderation, and even friendship with Iran, the objective truth continues to be Iranian extremism, hostility, and violence.
  • The U.S. State Department recently declared again that Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. Iran also commits gross human rights violations against its own people.
  • Fortunately, nearly one year after the nuclear agreement was signed, there remains considerable wariness and aversion from countries, businesses and financial institutions to broker deals with Tehran because they are not blind to the authoritarian and extremist essence of the ayatollah and his regime. They cannot ignore his bellicose statements, and his regime's vociferous support for such appalling activities as the Holocaust cartoon contest.
  • Younger Iranians may dream of reform, but the power remains in the hands of an extremist clerical establishment with hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East.
  • Quds Day began in 1979. It is clear 37 years later that Iran has not changed. The global community would be wise to keep its distance from this radical government until such time that it does truly change.

    Joseph I. Lieberman is a former U.S. senator and serves as chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran. Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, a former foreign minister of Italy, is a member of the group's advisory board.
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