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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
August 4, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

International Olympic Committee Honors Israelis Murdered at 1972 Games (Reuters-Ynet News)
    After years of refusing requests by widows of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics, a ceremony including a minute's silence was held on Wednesday at the Olympic village in Rio de Janeiro led by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, who read out the names of the Israeli victims.
    Those present included Ankie Spitzer, wife of Andre, a fencing coach, and Ilana Romano, wife of weightlifter Joseph Romano.
    "We waited 44 years to have this remembrance and recognition for our loved ones who were so brutally killed in Munich," Spitzer said.

New Underground Barrier to Encircle Gaza, Stop Terror Tunnels - Udi Etzion (Ynet News)
    The Israel Defense Ministry has called for bids to construct an underground barrier around the Gaza Strip to defend against Hamas attack tunnels. Work is set to begin in October.
    Concrete barriers will extend several stories underground and will include above ground sections as well.
    The barrier will also detect tunnel digging close to it, which will enable the IDF to destroy these terror tunnels before they pose a threat.

Fatah Brags It Killed 11,000 Israelis (Times of Israel)
    Ahead of the October 8 municipal elections in the West Bank, PA President Abbas' Fatah faction posted a list of its achievements on its official Facebook page Tuesday, Palestinian Media Watch reported.
    At the top of the list was a claim that Fatah had killed 11,000 Israelis, a gross exaggeration.

Five Iranian Soldiers Killed in Battle for Aleppo, Syria - Amir Toumaj (Long War Journal)
    During the latest fighting in Aleppo, Syria, officials have thus far announced the deaths of five Iranian soldiers.

Is the BDS Movement Facing New Challenges in the U.S.? - Alex Kane (Al-Jazeera)
    BDS advocates are facing a barrage of bills in state legislatures that condemn the movement as "anti-Semitic" and bar state governments from contracting with or funding entities that support boycotting Israel.
    "Israel's diplomatic missions in the U.S. have expressed full support and appreciation for legislative initiatives to boycott the boycotters," said Shimon Mercer-Wood, spokesperson for the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
    "The BDS movement is racist, discriminatory and hostile to freedom of speech....The movement itself is dedicated to silencing Israeli voices in the public space."
    Legislation that prohibits state funds from going to pro-BDS entities has been enacted in 10 states and is being debated in many more.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • How a Secretive Branch of ISIS Built a Global Network of Killers - Rukmini Callimachi
    Believing he was answering a holy call, Harry Sarfo left his home in Bremen, Germany, last year and drove for four straight days to reach the territory controlled by the Islamic State in Syria. The Islamic State's secret service informed him that where he was really needed was back home, to help carry out the group's plan of waging terrorism across the globe. "They have loads of people living in European countries and waiting for commands to attack the European people," Sarfo recounted on Monday, in an interview inside a maximum-security prison near Bremen.
        "They said, 'Would you mind to go back to Germany, because that's what we need at the moment.' And they always said they wanted to have something that is occurring in the same time: They want to have loads of attacks at the same time in England and Germany and France." Sarfo's account, along with those of other captured recruits, has further pulled back the curtain on the Islamic State's machinery for projecting violence beyond its borders. The group has sent "hundreds of operatives" back to the EU, with "hundreds more in Turkey alone," according to a senior U.S. intelligence official and a senior American defense official. (New York Times)
  • U.S. Air Campaign in Libya Will Last Weeks - Andrew Tilghman
    The new air campaign targeting Islamic State militants in Libya entered its second day Tuesday as U.S. officials said the operation would last for "weeks" until the extremist group was ousted from its stronghold in the coastal city of Sirte. AV-8B Harrier II attack jets from the amphibious assault ship Wasp, which is currently in the Mediterranean Sea, took part in the airstrikes in support of forces loyal to the Libyan "government of national accord." Military officials estimate there are fewer than 1,000 ISIS fighters in Sirte, down from several thousand earlier this year.
        Officially the campaign is known as Operation Odyssey Lightning and is overseen by U.S. Africa Command. The U.S. is using a combination of manned and unmanned aircraft to conduct the airstrikes. Small "contact teams" of special operations troops have gone in and out of Libya in recent months to gather intelligence and forge alliances with local militias, officials say. (Military Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Hamas Infiltrated International Aid Group, Stole Millions to Buy Weapons, Build Attack Tunnels - Yaakov Lappin
    Hamas infiltrated the World Vision international aid organization in Gaza and redirected tens of millions of dollars - 60% of the organization's budget - to its military wing to buy weapons and build attack tunnels, the Israel Security Agency (ISA) announced Thursday. Funds stolen from World Vision were also used to build a military base in Gaza and pay the salaries of Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigade members. In addition, packages of goods for poor Gazans were redirected to Hamas battalions.
        Civil engineer Muhammad Halabi, who became head of World Vision's Gaza branch in 2010, was the Hamas operative responsible. He was arrested in June at the Israel-Gaza border crossing. World Vision was unaware that it was being exploited, an ISA source stressed. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinian Father Pushes Son to Attack Israeli Soldiers
    Prime Minister Netanyahu said Wednesday: I've just watched a video that shook me to the core of my being. A Palestinian father pleads with Israeli border police to kill his 4-year-old son. He pushes his son forward toward the soldiers. One of them extends his hand in friendship. The boy gives him a high-five. Palestinian and Israeli children deserve better. They deserve to live in peace. The Palestinian leadership must stop encouraging children to kill. Children should never be pushed to violence or hate. (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also Video: Palestinian Father Pushes Son toward Israeli Soldiers, Daring Soldiers to Shoot. Instead, Soldier and Boy Shake Hands (Palestinian Media Watch)
  • Video: Arabs in Jerusalem Shoot Fireworks at Jewish Neighborhood - Roi Yanovsky
    Security camera footage shows the Jewish Jerusalem neighborhood of Ma'ale ha-Zeitim being attacked on July 30 with fireworks launched from the Arab Ras al-Amud neighborhood. The residents of Ma'ale ha-Zeitim have also been suffering from barrages of stones and firebombs for years. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Boston Jewish Community Relations Council Rejects Black Lives Matter Platform on Israel - Adam Suttin and Jeremy Burton
    On August 1, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement released a platform, created collectively by organizations representing a range of BLM groups around the country. We are deeply dismayed by elements of this platform that advance a biased and false narrative about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. To conflate the experiences of African-Americans and Palestinians oversimplifies complex matters and advances false equivalencies that diminish the unique nature of each.
        JCRC cannot and will not align ourselves with organizations that falsely and maliciously assert that Israel is committing "genocide." We denounce an agenda to wage economic and cultural warfare against Israelis, including efforts to mobilize against state and local efforts that reject the BDS movement. We reject participation in any coalition that seeks to isolate and demonize Israel singularly amongst the nations of the world.
        The posture on Israel expressed in this platform does not reflect or represent the views of many in the African-American community including our own cherished partners here in Boston, a community that has staunchly supported Israel's existence and rights as a nation. It is time to end the destructive campaign against Israel's existence and to pursue peace through negotiation, dialogue and cooperation. Adam Suttin is president and Jeremy Burton is executive director of Boston's JCRC. (Jewish Community Relations Council-Boston)
  • Flaws in the "Lone Wolf" Analysis - A.J. Caschetta
    The term "lone wolf" to denote perpetrators of particularly heinous crimes who act without the assistance of others is illogical and misleading when used to describe jihadists. A jihadist may attack solo but he is always supported by a community that believes he is partaking honorably and piously in a 1400-year-old tradition. The battle cry "Allahu Akbar" is a sign of that community; those who shout it during an attack are not "lone wolves."
        Often, those quickly dubbed "lone wolves" during or shortly after their attacks are proven to be affiliated with terrorist groups. Even when law enforcement cannot prove membership or even physical contact between jihadists and terrorist organizations, there is often a great deal of evidence to show virtual contact.
        Ultimately the "lone wolf" analysis provides a useful tool for anyone seeking to disconnect Islam from jihad attacks. But by refusing to look for jihadists, and then after their attacks looking for reasons other than jihad, we make it easier for them to hide. The writer is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and a senior lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology. (New English Review)
        See also The Knife and the Message: The Roots of the New Palestinian Uprising - Hirsh Goodman and Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, eds. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

What the World Can Learn from Israel after July's Wave of Deadly Attacks - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (Newsweek-Europe)

  • Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East have been rocked by a growing wave of extremist terror in the past few weeks. Unfortunately, we in Jerusalem have seen this before and we have mastered strategies to deal with this threat.
  • We must condemn any and all justification for terror. Justifying one kind of terror is justifying it all.
  • We must fight terror with all the tools in our arsenal - relying on professional teams - but also on the strength, resilience and vigilance of our cities' residents. In Jerusalem, the public takes an active part in combating terror by being alert at all times and refusing to alter their daily lives. It creates a sense of mutual accountability, puts hundreds of thousands of eyes on the lookout, and builds confidence, which empowers our residents.
  • Israel has invested in the world's best signal intelligence and human intelligence which we use to implement a "smart deployment" of our units. Instead of protecting the city after an attack, we put the "bad guys" on the defensive. When terrorists are busy trying to evade our security services, they are unable to dedicate time to planning attacks.
  • We also seek to strengthen the forces of moderation, making a clear distinction between the majority who foster coexistence between Jews and Arabs, and a small minority who seek to destroy it.
  • Israel has a rare asset - a large number of veterans. While only 2% of Israeli civilians have gun licenses, by calling on these trained Israelis to carry their arms at times of crisis, we've managed to cut down response times to an ongoing attack. Jerusalemites, instead of running from an attack, run towards the scene, reducing the harm a terrorist can cause. In February 2015, my security guards and I did just that.

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