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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 Wednesday,
July 27, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Satellite to Secure Rio Olympics (JTA)
    The Israeli Eros-B high-resolution imaging satellite will strengthen security during the Olympics and Paralympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro this summer, Brazilian Defense Minister Raul Jungmann announced last week.
    "This is an Israeli satellite at a low Earth orbit altitude capable of capturing high-resolution images of up to 50 cm. [1 1/2 feet] in an area of 450 km. [31 miles], thus enabling the identification of objects, people, cars and goods."
    The satellite will also be used in the future to support border surveillance.
    Another Israeli company, LiveU, will provide cellular-based live video transmission technology to allow broadcasters to beam images from Brazil around the world in real time, with little latency and superb picture quality.

Hamas Summer Camp Trains Young Gazans for War - Adel Zaanoun (AFP)
    A dozen young people surge out of a tunnel, Kalashnikov assault rifles in hand, to launch a surprise assault on a military post.
    At a base east of Gaza City, dozens of young men descend 20 meters from a tower on ropes, as others navigate burning roadblocks.
    The young people, aged between 15 and 20, are taking part in a summer training camp in Gaza for Hamas.
    The camps take place every summer, but this year Hamas has opened the doors to some of its bases where rows of weapons are displayed.

Over 100 Chinese Fighters Have Joined Islamic State in Syria - Jeremy Page (Wall Street Journal)
    More than 100 Chinese nationals have joined the jihadist movement in Syria, leaked Islamic State records show.
    Almost all came from China's northwestern region of Xinjiang, where some members of the Muslim Uighur ethnic group have been resisting Beijing's rule for decades.

Many Leaders Forgo Arab Summit in Sign of Regional Disarray (AP-ABC News)
    Just a handful of leaders from the Arab League's 22 member states turned up in Mauritania on Monday in the most poorly attended Arab League summit in years.

IDF Keeps Gazan Terrorists in Its Sights - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
    At the IDF's Southern Command Fire Control Center, screens display real-time visual data, and broadcast centers, roads and vehicles of interest in Gaza.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • France in Shock Again after ISIS Murder of Priest in Normandy - Kim Willsher
    Two men slit the throat of a priest as he was celebrating mass in a Normandy church on Tuesday. A nun who witnessed the murder described how the men forced Father Jacques Hamel, 85, to his knees before killing him and filmed themselves preaching in Arabic by the altar. They also tried to cut the throat of a parishioner, leaving him for dead. French President Francois Hollande described the attack as an act of terrorism carried out by two followers of Islamic State. The two men were shot dead by police as they came out of the church. (Guardian-UK)
  • Spike in Campus Anti-Semitism Reported in 2016
    A study released Tuesday which examined anti-Semitic activity from January to June 2016 on more than 100 public and private colleges and universities with the largest Jewish undergraduate populations found that 287 anti-Semitic incidents occurred at 64 schools, a 45% increase from the 198 incidents reported in the first six months of 2015. There were 14 incidents that restricted Jewish students' civil rights by suppressing their speech, blocking their movement or hindering their assembly on 12 campuses, up from 8 such incidents on 7 campuses in the first half of 2015. The first half of 2016 saw an almost three-fold increase in the number of campus incidents that contained expression opposing the existence of Israel. (Amcha Initiative)
        See also Report on Anti-Semitic Activity at U.S. Colleges and Universities - Jan.-June 2016 (Amcha Initiative)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Who Murdered Rabbi Michael Mark Killed in West Bank - Gili Cohen
    Mohammed Fakieh, 29, the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian assailant who murdered Rabbi Michael Mark of Otniel, was killed Tuesday in Zarif near Hebron in the West Bank. After Fakieh fired at Israeli forces, they demolished the house where he was hiding. Other cell members were also detained, including Mohammed Omaireh, who drove the car from which Fakieh shot at the Mark family's car. (Ha'aretz)
  • American Jewish Groups Rally Against Anti-Israel Bias at UN - Danielle Ziri
    Over 50 Jewish groups joined forces this week against anti-Israel bias at the UN in an initiative launched by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. "Vitriolic anti-Israel rhetoric continues to intensify in UN resolutions, reports, and in the official statements from many member states," Conference Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement. "Since November 2012 the Palestinian strategy of using the UN as a weapon against Israel has led to a disturbing increase in the number of anti-Israel resolutions presented in UN bodies....These actions not only distort the truth about Israel, they also undermine the principles of the UN and its Charter. It has to stop."
        The Conference said it will enlist "all people of good will who want the UN to live up to the principles and values on which it was founded," to join in signing a Declaration Opposing Discrimination Against Israel at the United Nations. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Why Palestinians Prefer to Work for Israeli Employers - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
    Conditions for Palestinians working in Israel and Jewish communities in the West Bank are much better than in the Palestinian Authority, according to the PA TV program "Workers' Affairs." Israeli Arab labor lawyer Khaled Dukhi noted that Israeli labor law is "very good" because it does not differentiate between men and women or between Israelis and Palestinians. Qassem Abu Hadwan, a laborer from Hebron, noted that "a month's work here [in the PA] equals a week's work there [in Israel]."  (Palestinian Media Watch)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Is Europe Helpless? - Bret Stephens
    At last count, members of the EU spent more than $200 billion a year on defense and employed 1.4 million military personnel. More than a million police officers also walk Europe's streets. Yet in the face of an Islamist menace the Continent seems helpless.
        The best guide to how Europe can find its way to safety is the country it has spent the best part of the last 50 years lecturing and vilifying: Israel. For now, it's the only country in the West that refuses to risk the safety of its citizens on someone else's notion of human rights or altar of peace.
        Europeans will no doubt look to Israel for tactical tips in the battle against terrorism - crowd management techniques and so on - but what they really need to learn from the Jewish state is the moral lesson. Namely, that identity can be a great preserver of liberty, and that free societies cannot survive through progressive accommodations to barbarians. (Wall Street Journal)
  • European Elites Not Equipped to Deal with Islam's Insurgency - Jonathan Spyer
    The low-level Islamist insurgency taking place in a number of west European countries represents a profound failure of Western European political culture and of the continent's elites. The problem with these elites is not that they are evil or decadent. It is that their worldview is inadequate to grasp the nature of the time in which they are living.
        Their response is denial. Ways are found to maintain that the insurgents are not in fact Islamists or jihadis at all. Mohammed Lahouaiyej Bouhlel drives a truck into a crowd of passersby screaming "Allahu Akbar." This is found to have nothing to do with Islam because of his poor record of mosque attendance. It would be comical if it were not so serious. The writer is Director of the Rubin Center (formerly the GLORIA Center), IDC Herzliya, Israel, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. (PJ Media)
  • Little Progress in Post-Deal U.S.-Iranian Relations - Mohammed Nuruzzaman
    The nuclear deal with Iran addressed some short-term concerns and issues in U.S.-Iranian adversarial relations, while leaving a host of deeper political and strategic problems unresolved. The lack of progress in post-deal U.S.-Iranian relations speaks of deep political, ideological and strategic divergences, which are not necessarily reducible, between the two adversaries. Politically, Iran and the U.S. stand poles apart: the U.S. proclaims itself a free and open society, while Iran is led by a Supreme Leader with strict adherence to Islamic rules, norms and values. The writer is associate professor of international relations at Gulf University for Science and Technology in West Mishref, Kuwait. (National Interest)

Implications of U.S. Disengagement from the Middle East - Efraim Inbar (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)

  • The U.S. is retreating from the Middle East. The implications of this policy shift include the acceleration of Tehran's drive to regional hegemony, the palpable risk of regional nuclear proliferation following the nuclear deal with Iran, and the spread of jihadist Islam.
  • The new perception of the U.S. administration as a vacillating ally weakens Israel's deterrence. In addition, Washington's attempt to compensate its Arab allies for the Iranian nuclear deal by providing them with the latest state-of-the-art weapons erodes Israel's qualitative advantage.
  • Washington's disengagement appears to close the book on the longstanding U.S. support for democratic movements around the world and undermines the relatively small and weak pro-democratic forces in the Arab world. The prospect of regime change in Iran has faded as challengers to the mullahs see little hope of getting substantial assistance from Washington.
  • Washington's reluctance to confront Tehran on the nuclear issue sends the message that nuclear aspirants need not fear direct U.S. intervention, despite stated commitments to counter-proliferation. In addition, states that are ready to sell sensitive technologies are now less deterred by Washington from doing so. One can already see increased cooperation between North Korea and Iran.
  • U.S. weakness in the Middle East will inevitably have ripple effects in other parts of the globe. Its credibility is now subject to question, and allies elsewhere may determine that it would be wise to hedge their bets and look elsewhere for support.

    The writer, director of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, is professor emeritus at Bar-Ilan University.

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