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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
September 7, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Archaeologists Restore Second Temple Flooring from Discarded Stone Fragments - Nir Hasson and Ruth Schuster (Ha'aretz)
    Sections of floor tiling from the Second Temple courtyard have been restored by archaeologists, using fragments found in debris removed from the Temple Mount by the Palestinians.
    The marble shards were found during laborious filtering of debris removed from the site in 1999 by the Islamic Waqf (religious trust).
    Some 600 colored floor tile pieces were found, of which about 100 have been dated with near-certainty to the Second Temple period.
    The restored tiles will be shown publicly for the first time on Thursday at the City of David archaeological site in Jerusalem.
    Dr. Gabriel Barkay said, "this represents the first time that we can see with our own eyes the splendor of the flooring that decorated the Second Temple and its annexes 2,000 years ago." 

German Teachers Union Apologizes for Israel Boycott Article - Benjamin Weinthal (Jerusalem Post)
    The local teachers union in Oldenburg, Germany, has formally apologized for its publication of a pro-boycott Israel article in its September magazine. In addition, the union's parent-teacher organization termed BDS "anti-Semitic."
    Moreover, the national German Education and Science Workers Union (GEW) wrote in its Twitter feed: "Of course, the GEW condemns an anti-Semitic campaign like BDS."

Jewish, Muslim, Druze and Christian Volunteer First-Responders Work Side-by-Side in Israel - Abigail Klein Leichman (Israel21c)
    Some 300 Muslim, Druze and Christian Arab citizens of Israel volunteer and work for the emergency response organizations Magen David Adom (MDA), ZAKA and United Hatzalah.
    "Our volunteers are dealing with saving lives of their neighbors who have heart attacks and car accidents," says United Hatzalah founder Eli Beer. "They feel comfortable with what they're doing and they feel privileged to do it."
    "It gives me faith and pride that they depend on me," Sheikh Jaffal Abu Sabet, leader of ZAKA's Muslim unit in the Negev, told JTA. "In the end we are all people - Jews, Muslims, Christians - and we all must be taken care of the same way."
    "Natural disasters do not differentiate between peoples; they affect everyone," said Dr. Akram Amro, director of the Palestinian volunteer organization Green Land Society for Health Development.
    "Therefore, we too, as residents in this region, must unite in order to be able to help each other, regardless of religion or nationality."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • ISIS Planned to Strike More Targets During Paris Attacks - Scott Bronstein, Nicole Gaouette, Laura Koran and Clarissa Ward
    The ISIS network that plots foreign strikes had planned for the carnage in the November 2015 Paris attacks to be far worse and to occur in other European countries as well. European investigators now believe that ISIS initially planned for the operatives it sent last year to also attack The Netherlands. In addition, recently obtained intelligence indicates that ISIS has stepped up efforts to infiltrate operatives into the UK. Even now, operatives inside Europe await instructions from senior handlers in Syria.
        "ISIS is increasing its international attack planning," said Paul Cruickshank of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. "It's set up an intricate, logistical support system for these launch these terrorist attacks."  (CNN)
  • Iran Vessel Harasses U.S. Navy Ship in Persian Gulf - Idrees Ali
    A U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship changed course after a fast-attack craft from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came within 100 yards of it in the Persian Gulf on Sunday in the fourth such incident in less than a month, U.S. Defense Department officials said on Tuesday. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said an Iranian vessel sailed directly in front of the USS Firebolt after seven Iranian ships "harassed" the U.S. ship.
        A U.S. defense official said there have been 31 similar interactions with Iranian ships this year, almost double the amount from the same period last year. The number of such incidents makes it "very hard for me to believe these are not sanctioned by higher authority" within Iran, said Kenneth Pollack, a former top CIA and White House official who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. (Reuters)
  • Syrian Planes Drop Chlorine Bombs on Aleppo
    Syrian activists and rescue workers in the rebel-held part of Aleppo said that government warplanes dropped chlorine bombs Tuesday on a crowded neighborhood. One hospital said at least 71 persons, including 37 children and 10 women, were treated for breathing difficulties and that their clothes smelled of chlorine, with 10 of the patients in critical care. (AP-Chicago Tribune)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: In the Fight Against Islamist Terror, Israel Is Helping to Defend Europe
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague on Tuesday. Netanyahu said: "There is a fateful battle that is raging today in the entire world, between the forces of peace and the forces of terror, between the forces of democracy and the force of tyranny, between modernity and medievalism. Israel and The Netherlands stand together for peace, democracy and modernity."
        "Radical Islamist terrorists are spreading murder and misery across the Middle East and now deep into Europe as well....If militant Islam is not stopped at the Middle East, the refugee crisis will only get worse. So all civilized nations must band together to defeat this scourge."
        "In the fight against Islamist terror...Israel is not only defending itself, Israel is also helping to defend Europe."  (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also Netherlands, Israel to Improve Water, Gas Supply to Gaza
    The Dutch government will assist Israel in improving water and gas supplies to Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Tuesday in Holland. (Reuters)
  • Netanyahu Willing to Meet Abbas Any Time, But Without Preconditions - Barak Ravid
    Prime Minister Netanyahu said Tuesday in Holland, "If Abu Mazen [PA leader Abbas] wants to meet without preconditions for direct talks, I'm ready at all times. I've been calling on him to do so for seven years already."  (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Using New Tech to Try to Rescue Trapped Workers - Shoshanna Solomon
    A four-story underground parking garage under construction in Tel Aviv collapsed on Monday, killing four and injuring 20, with 3 construction workers believed trapped underground. Israeli rescue teams are working using fiber-optic cables and new technology that tracks cellphones to pinpoint the location of trapped victims, Col. Ramtin Sabti, head of the Jerusalem and Central District of the IDF Homefront Command, said Tuesday. The new technology to track cellphones helped save one of the trapped victims. Some 500 IDF soldiers are involved in the rescue efforts alongside civilian units. (Times of Israel)
        See also With the Home Front Command Rescue Teams - Telem Yahav and Etti Abramov (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Taking the Fight Against Anti-Semitism to the United Nations - Amb. Danny Danon
    On Wednesday, at "The High Level Forum on Global Anti-Semitism," Israel, the U.S., Canada, and the nations of the European Union will conduct an honest assessment of the current damage inflicted on humanity by anti-Semitism and plan concrete steps the international community can take to minimize, and eventually eliminate, this particular form of hate.
        While the UN was established after the horrors of World War II and the terrible tragedy of the Holocaust, the institution hasn't been immune to anti-Semitism. All too often Israel has been singled out, boycotted and treated differently for no reason other than it is the world's only Jewish state. At its depth of hypocrisy, the world's nations passed a resolution in the General Assembly in 1975 equating the national movement of the Jewish people, Zionism, with racism.
        Even today, two-thirds of the hate crimes committed in the U.S. target Jews. As President Obama has said, "When the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Jews are repressed, the rights and freedoms of other minorities and other sectors are often not far behind." We must ensure that the next generation is educated about the moments when humanity has failed and allowed racists to prevail, and is then equipped with the tools needed to fight those who still believe in such evil. The writer is Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. (New York Post)
  • Dutch Anti-Israel Incitement - Manfred Gerstenfeld
    The Anne Frank story has entirely overshadowed a far more important one: the total disinterest of the Dutch government in exile in London during the Second World War in the fate of its Jewish citizens under the German occupation. Three-quarters of the 140,000 Jews in The Netherlands were murdered in the German death camps in Poland. It has only recently been published that Dutch SS volunteers participated in mass killings of Jews in Eastern Europe.
        Looking at contemporary Dutch anti-Israel sentiment, a 2011 study found that 38% of the Dutch population agreed that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. The most dangerous political party to Israel nowadays is Labor, the junior partner in the current government led by liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Labor Party incites against Israel in many ways and has, with the D66 Democrats and the Christian Democrats, also promoted a parliamentary motion which may lead to sanctions against Israel. The writer is chairman emeritus of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Jerusalem Post)

Anti-Israel Boycott a Threat to the Entire Middle East - Abed Almaala (Israel Hayom)

  • As a Jordanian politician, I feel obligated to speak out against the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. BDS is a reckless act of hatred that threatens the security and stability of not only Israel, but also my country, Jordan, and the entire Middle East.
  • As the head of the Jordanian opposition, Mudar Zahran, wrote last year: "If the day were to come when Israel falls, Jordan, Egypt and many others would fall, too, and Westerners would be begging Iran for oil. We can hate Israel as much as we like, but we must realize that without it, we too would be gone."
  • Israel is at the front of the war against terror in our region, and if Israel is hurt, we all will suffer, and Jordan will suffer the most. Therefore, BDS is a threat to us all.
  • Why does BDS never boycott Lebanon, where Palestinians are banned from working as taxi drivers? Why does it not boycott Syria, where President Bashar Assad has killed thousands of Palestinians in Yarmouk camp?
  • I say, BDS: Shame on you for attacking the only country that offers jobs to my Palestinian brothers. Shame on you for attacking the country that provides free health care for Palestinian cancer patients.
  • If the biggest supporters of BDS are Arab and Muslim dictators, what does this say about BDS?
  • We Arabs have boycotted Israel for 70 years. Where has it gotten us? We are light-years behind Israel in technology and the economy. We will stop this in Jordan and begin learning from our Israeli friends.

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