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 Thursday,
August 18, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Hizbullah Drone Is a Warning to the U.S. and Israel - David Axe (Daily Beast)
    On Aug. 9, Hizbullah posted a video online purportedly depicting a commercial, quad copter-style drone dropping grenade-size explosives at rebel vehicles and structures in Aleppo.
    A $200 quadcopter is easy to procure and simple to operate. That means it could crop up again not only in Syria, but also on battlefields all over the world.
    In 2006 during the Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah launched three explosives-laden Ababil drones toward Israeli territory. (All three were shot down.)
    Yet at present, weaponized drones are way ahead of defenses against weaponized drones.

India Wants Israeli Radar to Unearth Terrorists Hiding in Forests - Jitendra Bahadur Singh (Daily Mail-India)
    India is set to equip itself with Israeli foliage penetrating radar that will enable security forces to carry out surveillance through dense forests and vegetation, particularly in the jungles of the Kashmir Valley.
    India is said to be building defenses along its border with Pakistan to plug any possible routes for terrorists to infiltrate the country, modeled on Israeli security mechanisms.
    A network of sensors, radars, cameras, optical fibers, and automatic guns is to be laid along the Pakistan border, which will be linked to a 24/7 control room.

Israel Scores Success Against Skin Cancer - Katte Beiter (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
    Over the past five years, an aggressive campaign predicated upon awareness, identification and research has apparently been responsible for significantly lower skin cancer rates in Israel.
    "We were third in the world in the incidents and mortality after Australia and New Zealand and it was, of course, because we have a lot of people who come from Europe with light skin," said Miri Ziv, director general of the Israel Cancer Association.
    "In the last five years, Israel dropped to the 20th country with the highest incidents (of skin cancer) and in terms of mortality, we dropped to number 13 for men and number 20 for women."
    Emerald Medical Applications has released an FDA-approved free app, DermaCompare, which uses air force image processing and big data analytics to track suspicious moles by asking users to take photos of themselves and upload the images to the app every six months.
    In addition, in 2014, the FDA approved a revolutionary antibody drug to treat metastatic melanoma, Keytruda, developed jointly by researchers in the U.S. and Israel. Keytruda helps the immune system destroy the tumor and has revolutionized cancer treatment.

Israeli Animators Earn Top Prize at Film Festival (JTA)
    Gal Haklay and Shulamit Tager, two graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, won first place for design for their film "Scapegoat" at the 13th annual Animation Block Party Awards in New York, Bezalel announced Monday.

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

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • 17,000 Killed in Syrian Prisons since 2011, Says Amnesty International - Edward Yeranian
    A new Amnesty International report based on the recollections of 65 torture survivors details allegations of systematic torture of political prisoners and accuses the Syrian government of killing more than 17,000 people held in custody from 2011 to 2015. The "catalog of horror stories" included in the report "depicts in gruesome detail the dreadful abuse detainees routinely Syria's notorious intelligence facilities," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's director for the Middle East and North Africa. (VOA News)
        See also Torture, Inhuman Conditions and Mass Deaths in Syria's Prisons (Amnesty International)
  • Syria Attacks Rebels with Incendiary Bombs - Anne Barnard
    Syrian government aircraft hit the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Daraya with incendiary bombs for the third straight day on Wednesday, according to local council members, who said the weapons were packed with substances akin to napalm. Incendiary weapons have been used at least 18 times in the past nine weeks, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued this week, mostly in and around Aleppo. The group said that activists and residents had reported at least 40 other cases, and that it had confirmed 18 through video footage and other evidence.
        An international agreement signed by 113 nations, including Russia, forbids the use of incendiary weapons on areas with concentrations of civilians. However, Human Rights Watch said footage broadcast on June 18 showed a Russian attack aircraft at Russia's air base in the Syrian province of Latakia armed with RBK-500 ZAB-2.5SM incendiary bombs. (New York Times)
  • German Report Calls Turkey "the Central Platform of Action for Islamist Groups in the Middle East" - Jack Moore
    The German government has accused Turkey of being a hub for Islamist groups, according to a leaked confidential document from Germany's Interior Ministry. The document alleges that the government of Turkish President Erdogan supports the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, and "groups in the armed Islamist opposition in Syria," all of which follow Sunni Islam. "As a result of Ankara's domestic and foreign policy that has been Islamized step-by-step above all since 2011, Turkey has developed into the central platform of action for Islamist groups in the Middle East region."  (Newsweek)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel to Support Palestinians "Who Desire Co-Existence" - Yossi Melman
    Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman unveiled a new policy toward Palestinians in the West Bank on Wednesday based on the "carrot and stick" model: economic benefits for families and villages that have not produced terrorists and harsher punishment for those areas from which terrorists originate. "Its purpose is to continue to give benefits to those who desire co-existence with us and make life difficult for those who seek to harm Jews....Anyone who is prepared for co-existence will prosper, while those who opt for terrorism will lose."
        Areas that will benefit immediately include Beit Sahur, where a hospital will be built; western Nablus, where an industrial zone will be built; and Kafr Bidia, where a soccer field will be built. Infrastructure plans will also be expanded in Kalkilya, Hableh and Izbat Tabib, and an economic corridor will be opened from Jericho to Jordan.
        One of the key elements of the plan involves holding talks with Palestinian figures without the approval of the Palestinian Authority. Lieberman noted that PA officials speak to all parts of Israeli society, while Israel holds talks only with PA officials or those who have received the approval of the PA. "Our goal is to create a dialogue with anyone who wants to talk to us."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel's Olympic Winners Meet with Prime Minister
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with Israel's judo delegation to the Olympic Games in Rio, telling bronze medal winners Or Sasson and Yarden Gerbi that they are an inspiration to the whole country. Netanyahu said he received messages from Egypt insisting that not everyone there supported Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby, who refused to shake hands with Sasson. (Times of Israel)
        See also Israeli Olympic Medalist Describes Antagonistic Egyptian Opponent
    Israel's Olympic bronze medalist Or Sasson described the Egyptian judoka who refused to shake his hand in an interview in Yediot Ahronot on Wednesday. "He never spoke to me. He always had an antagonistic attitude. He would look at us like he wanted to murder us. The Egyptians didn't want to take the elevator with us," Sasson said. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Russia's Growing Military Ties with Iran - Editorial
    Russian bombing runs in Syria, flying out of an air base in western Iran, are another sign that Moscow and Tehran are consolidating their strategic ties in the wake of the nuclear deal with Iran. They follow the Kremlin's decision last year to sell S-300 surface-to-air missiles to the mullahs despite earlier promises to withhold the system.
        Yet Assad's army, a demoralized force with as few as 20,000 battle-ready troops, has been unable to retake Aleppo despite Russian air cover and ground support from Iran and its Shiite proxy Hizbullah. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Shock of a Russian Base in Iran - Abdulrahman al-Rashed
    The deployment of Russian bombers at an Iranian base reveals an underestimation of the nature, depth and intentions of ties between Tehran and Moscow. For five years now, Washington has underestimated the threat of Iran's infiltration in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Worse still is the belief that the Iranian regime has changed and is ready to become a peaceful and civil state that is friendly to the West.
        The Iranian-Russian alliance has existed for 15 years now. It can be seen in the building of nuclear reactors, military contracts and trade during the phase when international sanctions were imposed on Iran. There has been no real change in Iran. What has changed is Iran's increased war expenditures and foreign adventures. (Al-Arabiya)
  • ISIS Copies a Palestinian Tactic - Evelyn Gordon
    Palestinian culture encourages suicidal youngsters to kill by offering a simple bargain: Murder a Jew, and you instantly become a hero. Today, the Islamic State is making the very same offer to Muslims in Western countries - murder a Westerner and you can instantly become a hero. As with many other terrorist techniques pioneered by the Palestinians, ISIS copied this one precisely because it proved successful.
        Just as Palestinian organizations attract support by boasting of their efforts to destroy the Jewish state, Islamic State attracts new recruits by being quite open about its aims: It wants to destroy the West and establish a global Islamic caliphate.
        Terror can never be defeated as long as the West keeps giving it a pass among the Palestinians, for they are the ones who pioneered this culture of death and inspired all the subsequent copycats. (Commentary)

Outsiders Fuelling Propaganda War Against Israel Are Not Helping to Bring Peace - Ze'ev Boker (Irish Times)

  • In an article in the Irish Times of Aug. 16 on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the writer blithely ignores the deep historic connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel going back 3,000 years.
  • While noting the 700,000 Muslim Arabs who fled the fighting in 1948, he says nothing about the expulsion of nearly a million Jews at the same time from Arab countries and that whereas Israel absorbed Jewish refugees and gave them equal rights, Arab countries kept Palestinian refugees in camps to be used as political fodder against Israel.
  • It is wrong to say the security barrier built along the West Bank border was designed to seize Palestinian land. The barrier was a response to the murder of 1,100 Israeli civilians by terrorists who easily crossed from the West Bank into Israel during the Second Intifada. The purpose of the barrier is entirely to protect the lives of Israeli civilians.
  • In the 1990s and later, Israel was desperate to find a partner for peace on the Palestinian side. Time and again Israel made concessions on land, giving up parts of the West Bank and in 2005 the whole of Gaza, but every concession made by Israel resulted only in more terrorism from the other side.
  • The writer says Gaza is undergoing a "siege," but apart from the fact that Israel directly supplies Gaza with civilian goods, he barely mentions that Gaza has been controlled by Hamas since 2007, which has fired about 15,000 rockets into Israel over the years. The only reason relatively few Israeli civilians have been killed is because about a million Israelis live with bomb shelters and the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
  • Peace can only come with mutual compromise, and outsiders fuelling the propaganda war against Israel are not helping.

    The writer is the Israeli ambassador to the Republic of Ireland.

Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.