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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
September 6, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Cybersecurity Company at Rio Olympics Reports Serious Threats - Michinari Nishida (Yomiuri Shimbun-Japan)
    The Israeli company KELA was in charge of cybersecurity for the Rio Olympic Games. Afterward, a KELA official said the company's staff faced more serious threats than had been anticipated.
    KELA monitored the Rio Games' official website around the clock for cyber-attacks, and also watched for communications on the "dark net" implying plans for terrorist attacks.
    The Israel Cyber Companies Consortium (IC3) reports that there are 100,000 cyber-attacks a day against Israel.

Another Israeli Satellite Can Be Ready for Orbit within Two Years - Gideon Allon, Hezi Sternlicht and Ilan Gattegno (Israel Hayom)
    Israel's next communications satellite could be ready within two years, Israel Aerospace Industries CEO Joseph Weiss said Sunday, in the wake of the destruction of the Amos-6 communications satellite in an explosion last Thursday.

Assad Turns Syria's Hospitals into Death Traps (Economist-UK)
    Barrel bombs, artillery and air strikes have struck more than 265 medical facilities in Syria since the start of the civil war.
    Those documenting attacks on medical facilities say Syria's government and its Russian backers have launched more than 90% of the attacks.
    In the besieged east of Aleppo, fewer than 35 doctors remain to treat a population of 300,000. The rest have fled or been killed, detained or tortured.
    "During sieges, people don't want to give blood. They'd rather save it for themselves. Many are too scared to go to hospitals because they know they'll be hit," says Dr. Hatem, a pediatrician in eastern Aleppo.

Iran's Pistachio Farms Are Dying of Thirst - Eric Randolph (AFP)
    Pistachio trees in Sirjan in southern Iran are long dead, the underground water reserves sucked dry by decades of over-farming and waste.
    Pistachios are Iran's biggest export after oil, with 250,000 tons produced last year.
    Some of Hassan Ali Firouzabadi's pistachio trees in Izadabad date from the 17th century. "The well was six to 10 meters (deep) when I was a child, but now it's 150, and the water is bitter and salty," he says.
    Kerman province is losing about 49,400 acres of pistachio farms every year to desertification.

Iran Shutters 800 Clothing Stores over "Inappropriate" Attire (AP)
    Iran's state TV says police have shut down more than 800 clothing stores for selling "inappropriate" attire - believed to mean Western-style outfits or clothes with English printed on them and women's clothing that doesn't meet strict Islamic requirements.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S., Russia Fail to Agree on Syrian Cease-Fire - William Wan, Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly
    Efforts by the U.S. and Russia to forge a deal for a cease-fire in Syria and to coordinate their counterterrorism operations there faltered again Sunday, as a major new Syrian-Russian offensive in Aleppo continued. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Hangzhou, China, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit of major economies. President Obama said he was skeptical that Russia and Syria would abide by any agreement. (Washington Post)
        See also Bombings Targeting Syrian Government Checkpoints Kill 40 - Liz Sly and Zakaria Zakaria
    A car bomb exploded on a bridge in the Alawite stronghold of Tartus on Monday, and then a suicide bomber struck when people gathered to take the wounded to a hospital, the official Syrian Arab News Agency SANA reported. At least 30 people were killed. Elsewhere, four people died in an explosion at a checkpoint in Homs, one person died in a bombing outside Damascus, and five people died in a motorcycle bombing in Hasakah. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blasts. (Washington Post)
  • Japan, Israel Upgrade Relations as Arab Oil Influence Wanes - Tova Cohen
    Japanese executives say they are increasingly drawn to investments in Israel as the price of oil falls and, with it, the influence Arab oil suppliers have on Japan's decision-making. "As oil prices come down, strategically it's not as important," said Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chairman of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, who led a delegation from the Japanese business lobby to Israel in May. "Japan is changing its mind."
        Israel's prowess in Internet, biotech, and automotive technologies is particularly attractive, Kobayashi said. Bilateral trade in goods in the first seven months of 2016 rose to $1.4 billion from $1.1 billion, making Japan Israel's fourth-largest market in Asia. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu Vows to Imbue EU with "New Understanding" of Israel's Role in War on Terror - Raphael Ahren
    Israel is trying to convince Europe that the Jewish state is a key player in efforts to stem a rising tide of Islamic terrorism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday prior to a two-day visit to the continent. Netanyahu plans to discuss Israel's "central role" as the "most stable and most stabilizing element in the Middle East," one that contributes greatly to preventing the spread of terrorism. "It is this understanding that we are working to instill gradually in all European countries."  (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Expert: U.S. Acting as "Iran's Lawyer" - Yaakov Lappin
    Iran is systematically testing the boundaries of the nuclear deal and the Obama administration has repeatedly acted as "Iran's lawyers," Israeli security expert Dr. Emily Landau, head of the Arms Control Program at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, told the Jerusalem Post on Monday. "Iran is continuing to push the envelope, trying to get as much as it can," she said.
        Landau referred to a report published last week by the Institute for Science and International Security, headed by former IAEA inspector David Albright, noting that Iran received a number of exemptions from Washington ahead of the implementation of the nuclear deal. Landau also cited a July AP report showing that in 11 years, restrictions on Iranian uranium enrichment would begin to be lifted, rather than the previously believed 15 years. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Troops Come under Fire from Gaza
    Palestinians in northern Gaza fired across the border at Israeli soldiers overnight Monday, the army said. Two days earlier, a similar incident occurred at the same site. In response, Israeli tanks fired at two Hamas posts in Gaza.
        In a separate operation, IDF troops seized a weapons cache containing explosives in the village of Surif, north of Hebron, in the West Bank. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Justice over Terror Denied as PLO Escapes Responsibility - Editorial
    In a moral error of major proportions, a Manhattan federal appeals panel has thrown out one of the most important anti-terrorism court decisions in years. In 2015, a jury found the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization responsible for terror attacks that killed and maimed Americans in Israel - and liable for $655 million under the 1990 Anti-Terrorism Act, designed to give American victims of terror attacks anywhere in the world recourse in federal courts.
        On Jan. 22, 2002, a Palestinian Authority policeman shot up a bus stop where New Yorker Shmuel Waldman had his leg blown apart. On Jan. 27, 2002, a suicide bombing in Jerusalem badly injured Rena and Mark Sokolow, of Long Island, and their two daughters. On July 31, 2002, five Americans were killed in a Hebrew University cafeteria bombing.
        The appeals panel's ruling sets a standard that effectively renders the entire law moot. The ruling must go to the Supreme Court, which cannot let it stand. (New York Daily News)
  • The Only Syrian Solution - Bret Stephens
    There have been 17 major peace initiatives for Syria in five years. The war in Syria involves four foreign states - Russia, Iran, Turkey and the U.S. - and at least five major nonstate militias, along with the Assad regime itself. But at its root the war is a zero-sum struggle for power. The best option is to partition the country. The point of partition is to shrink Syria's problems to more manageable dimensions.
        In the 1990s the world was confronted by a similar spiral of horrors in the Balkans. What was once Yugoslavia is today seven separate countries. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Bigotry Feeds on Ignorance When It Comes to Hatred of Israel - Ruth Dudley Edwards
    Hundreds of fans of the Scottish team Celtic flew Palestinian flags at a soccer match against the Israeli team Hapoel Beer Sheva in Glasgow on Aug. 17, defying a UEFA ban on "gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message of an ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature." Israel is a fine country which contributes mightily to the world, culturally, scientifically, technologically and in many other ways, while being in the Middle East a model of democracy and religious tolerance where women and gays can live like free people.
        I'm desperately sorry for most Palestinians, but their miserable plight is mainly the fault of bigoted and callous leaders who at every turn have blocked a two-state solution with a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine living side by side in peace. (Belfast Telegraph-UK)

The West Must Insist that the Palestinians Change Their Narrative - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • The fight against Zionism defines the Palestinians. The Palestinian narrative denies the assumption that there is a Jewish people. If there is no Jewish people, then the Jews do not have the right of self-determination and only the Palestinians have such a right.
  • Since the Palestinians are taught to believe that the Jews have no history of sovereignty in this land, that is why they fight in UNESCO against the idea of recognizing the Temple Mount, since they say there was no Temple.
  • The Palestinians also say they are fighting for Islam as well. When they fight against the Jews to liberate a piece of land that is Islamic in its nature because it was conquered by the Muslims in the early years of Islam, they are actually performing an Islamic duty. That is why if they die in this war, they are an Islamic martyr.
  • The West does not interfere with this indoctrination. The West accepts Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, but it doesn't demand that the Palestinians change their narrative. As long as Western nations keep giving the Palestinians money as if they are not doing anything wrong, then it doesn't have any impact on the Palestinians.
  • The U.S. State Department's 2010 definition of anti-Semitism says very clearly that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism in a new form, and anti-Zionism is exactly what the Palestinians are preaching. Demonization of Israel, double standards toward Israel, and delegitimization of Israel are all forms of anti-Semitism. We would have expected the West to do something about it, but it doesn't.
  • In order to start real peace negotiations, the international community has to tell the Palestinians that they are not going to get any more money to support this kind of indoctrination. They have to adopt a different approach that enables real peace with Zionism and the Jewish people, an approach that would eventually lead to mutual recognition where everybody recognizes the other's identity as the nation-state of their people.

    The writer was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

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