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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
July 5, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Israel: Palestinians Behind Tel Aviv Attack Were Inspired by ISIS - Gili Cohen (Ha'aretz)
    The Israel Security Agency announced Monday that the two terrorists who killed four Israelis last month at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market were inspired by the Islamic State group.
    On the day of the attack, the two attackers took a photograph together with the Islamic State flag.
    They initially planned to attack a train at the Beersheba train station, but changed their plan after they saw heavy security.
    They also bought rat poison, with the idea of stabbing Israelis with knives coated in the toxin.

Israeli Intelligence Playing Key Role in Trying to Combat ISIS - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    Israel plays a significant role in the Western struggle against ISIS, though mostly behind the scenes.
    According to Western intelligence sources, Israel has supplied more intelligence to its allies than any other intelligence organization.

Israel: Turkey's Construction of Water Desalination Plant and Power Station Depends on Quiet from Gaza - Ariel Kahane (Makor Rishon-Hebrew-1July2016)
    Israeli National Security Council Acting Chairman Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Nagal, one of those responsible for Israel's reconciliation agreement with Turkey, said in an interview:
    "The agreement [with Turkey] specifies that Turkey's humanitarian aid [to Gaza] will continue as long as the quiet in the area continues. All the agreements on the construction of a water desalination facility and a power station are dependent on the continuation of quiet."
    "Many countries that want to assist the residents of Gaza are concerned that they will invest money and then war will break out and we will bomb the facility in which they had invested."
    "They want us to promise not to attack, something that no country can agree to. This means that if the Turks build a power station or a desalination plant in Gaza, and Hamas puts 500 missiles there aimed at Israel, if war breaks out...."

Palestinians Won't Cooperate with Israel on Sewage Treatment - Oded Revivi (Times of Israel)
    The Oslo Accords required the Palestinian Authority to build a system of wastewater treatment plants to prevent pollution of the groundwater.
    The EU transferred funds to the Palestinians for the construction of the wastewater treatment system, but, according to reports in the media, these funds never reached their destination.
    A few months ago, as the mayor of Efrat, I approached a number of Arab leaders who live near Efrat and offered to connect their sewage pipes to Efrat's wastewater purification plant.
    They returned with a negative response: The extremists told them that "they would not allow Arab wastewater to flow next to Jewish wastewater."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Death Toll Climbs Above 200 in Islamic State Bombing in Baghdad - Mustafa Salim and Loveday Morris
    The death toll from a suicide bomber who detonated his explosives-laden car in Baghdad early Sunday rose to more than 200 on Monday. Most of those killed died in a huge fire that burned down shops and consumed several small malls. At the moment of the blast, the street was full of families late-night shopping during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, while cafes were packed with young people watching the Euro 2016 soccer tournament. (Washington Post)
  • Bangladesh: ISIS Militants Tortured and Murdered Hostages Who Could Not Recite Quran - Lizzie Dearden
    Islamic State terrorists massacred at least 22 people at a cafe in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Friday. The victims included 9 Italians, 7 Japanese, and a U.S. citizen. Rezaul Karim told Bangladesh's Daily Star newspaper: "The gunmen were doing a background check on religion by asking everyone to recite from the Quran. Those who could recite a verse or two were spared. The others were tortured." Army Brig.-Gen. Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury said most of the hostages were "killed mercilessly by sharp weapons."  (Independent-UK)
  • Suicide Bombings Hit Three Saudi Arabian Cities - Nic Robertson
    A wave of suicide bombings hit three Saudi Arabian cities over a 24-hour period. The first occurred on Monday near the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah where the attacker, a Pakistani national, killed only himself but injured two policemen. In Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, a suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque but killed only himself. In Medina, a suicide bomber killed four people. (CNN)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu Meets Seven East African Leaders During Africa Visit - Herb Keinon
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the leaders of seven east African nations in Entebbe, Uganda, on Monday for a regional counterterrorism summit. The leaders present represented Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zaire and Tanzania.
      The prime minister said the aim of his visit to Africa was to widen "our circle of ties. If we succeed in making inroads with the 54 countries of Africa, the automatic majority against Israel [at the UN] would fall by the wayside."
        Netanyahu said African countries have two basic interests in ties with Israel. The first is security, fighting terrorism; and the second is Israeli technology in the field of agriculture, water, energy and health. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel and 7 African Countries Agree to Collaborate on Security and Economic Matters (Lusaka Times-Zambia)
        See also Netanyahu Marks 40 Years Since Entebbe Rescue Operation (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Hamas Seeks Another Prisoner Exchange Deal But Israeli Society Has Changed - Yossi Yehoshua
    Yediot Ahronot has learned that Israel has been engaging in talks through mediators to start a negotiation with Hamas over the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, and civilians Avra Mangisto and Hisham al-Sayed. A senior Israeli official said, "Hamas wants a 'Shalit Deal 2,' with the release of hundreds of prisoners."
        In 2011, IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was released from captivity in Gaza after more than five years in return for 1,027 prisoners. Hamas also demands an "entry fee" to even engage in negotiations in the form of the release of 50 security prisoners arrested in the West Bank, a demand Israel has rejected.
        Israel, the mediators were told, was no longer willing to pay a high price in prisoner exchange deals, particularly in light of the fact that, in the case of Goldin and Shaul, there is no doubt that the negotiation will be over bodies. "Hamas is interested in exhausting us, but Israeli society has changed since the Shalit deal," the Israeli official said. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Middle East Quartet's New Report Misses the Point - Elliott Abrams
    The Middle East Quartet - comprising the UN, Russia, the U.S. and the EU - was created in 2002 by Colin Powell and had managed to go for 14 years without issuing a report. (I was a participant from 2002 to 2008.) The report contains a powerful denunciation of terrorism, and a strong discussion of "incitement," meaning the ways the Palestinian authorities glorify terror and the murder of Israelis.
        The main problem with this report is that it is all about what's "hurting the peace process," when in fact there is no peace process. There hasn't been one since 2008, when PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas rejected the offer from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The report continues an old pattern of equating morally the construction of a home and the murder of an Israeli civilian. The writer, a senior fellow at CFR, was a deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration. (Council on Foreign Relations)
  • The Post-Brexit Future of European-Israeli Relations - Freddy Eytan
    Amid immigration concerns and multiplying terror attacks, the European leadership's helplessness and inability to find solutions are reminiscent of the dangers that arose in the 1930s as Hitler took power in the run-up to the Second World War. The British, not wanting to follow along behind a failing leadership, preferred to deal with the problems on their own.
        As long as Muslims do not internalize the fact that they, like all other immigrants, must acclimatize and accept the rules of the host countries, the situation will get worse. Most Europeans are not prepared to grant the Muslim community a status that is separate in all regards from Western civilization.
        Brexit should not damage Israel's relations with Europe or its exports to it. Israel is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It has common interests with Europe in all the economic domains, science, and energy. It will also continue to be an active member of Project Horizon 2020, the EU's massive, seven-year research and innovation program. Amb. Freddy Eytan, a former Foreign Ministry senior advisor who served in Israel's embassies in Paris and Brussels, heads the Israel-Europe Project at the Jerusalem Center. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also Britain Will Remain a Friend and Partner of Israel - British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey (Ynet News)
  • Brexit and the Validation of Zionism - Daniel Gordis
    Brexit is actually a profound validation of the very premise of Zionism. Zionism is predicated on a passionate devotion to the survival of the Jewish people, shaped by an instinctive Jewish love of the land on which the Jewish people lived long ago. Zionism was about saving the Jewish people, not about pretending that all peoples are fundamentally the same. Zionism was about reviving a Jewish language with uniquely Jewish dreams, Jewish idiom, Jewish imagination and hopes for Jewish flourishing. If people believing in the innate worth of their people and their heritage is xenophobic, we Zionists are guilty as charged.
        With Brexit, millions of Britons have now declared that they, too, want to preserve their heritage; they, too, have a history of which they are proud. They, too, understand that memory matters, and that so do borders. The writer is chairman of the core curriculum at Jerusalem's Shalem College. (Jerusalem Post)

Elie Wiesel's Great Mission on Behalf of Soviet Jews - Natan Sharansky (Washington Post)

  • Elie Wiesel understood that the failure to speak out, about both the horrors of the past and the evils of the present, is one of the most effective ways there is to perpetuate suffering and empower those who inflict it.
  • Wiesel therefore made it his life's mission to ensure that silence would not prevail. First, he took the courageous and painful step of recounting the Holocaust, bringing it to public attention in a way that no one else before him had done. Then he turned his attention to the present, giving voice to the millions of Jews living behind the Iron Curtain.
  • Wiesel first traveled to the Soviet Union in 1965 as a journalist from Ha'aretz. The book that resulted, The Jews of Silence, was an impassioned plea to Jews around the world to shed their indifference and speak out for those who could not. Wiesel's book became the banner of activists, students and others who would not stay quiet. The history of the Soviet Union would likely be very different had the struggle for Soviet Jewry not come to encompass the kind of outspoken, grass-roots activism that Wiesel encouraged in his book.
  • Elie Wiesel's humanism, his active concern for the voiceless, hardly stopped with his fellow Jews. He spoke out against massacres in Bosnia, Cambodia and Sudan, and against apartheid in South Africa. He became, as others have said, the conscience of the world.
  • Yet he did not feel he had to give up his Jewish loyalty or national pride to be a better spokesman for others. To the contrary: It was the tragedy of his people that generated his concern for the world.

    The writer, a human rights activist and former political prisoner in the Soviet Union, is chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

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