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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
September 14, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Former President Shimon Peres Suffers Stroke - Barak Ravid and Ido Efrati (Ha'aretz)
    Former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres, 93, was admitted on Tuesday to Tel Hashomer Hospital after suffering a massive stroke.

Israeli Leaders Meet with Leaders of Eastern Faiths - Greer Fay Cashman and Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
    A delegation that included Hindu gurus, Buddhist monks, Shinto priests, as well as leaders of the Sikh, Jain and Taoist traditions met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.
    They are in Israel for a conference organized by the Foreign Ministry in an effort to intensify Israel's conversation with East Asian countries, working in partnership with the American Jewish Committee and the World Council of Religious Leaders.

Palestinians: Economic Peace vs. Anti-Normalization - Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Institute)
    Sheikh Abdullah Tamimi, who hails from an influential clan in Hebron, is an extraordinarily courageous and unique Palestinian who recently spoke at a seminar organized by Jewish residents of the settlement of Efrat, in Gush Etzion (south of Jerusalem).
    Tamimi has now been "disowned" by his clan and labelled as a "traitor" and a "collaborator" with Israel.
    Encounters between Jewish settlers and Palestinians are not unheard of. Thousands of Palestinians work in most of the settlements and many others maintain close relations with settlers and do business with them on a daily basis.
    Tamimi and his colleagues do not believe in boycotts and divestment. They are convinced that real peace can be achieved through dialogue between Palestinians and all Israelis, and through economic cooperation.
    "We want both peoples to live a dignified life," he says.
    Tamimi represents an increasing number of Palestinians who have lost confidence in their leaders' ability to improve their living conditions and who support the idea of "economic peace" between the two peoples - a notion that goes against the ideas of the advocates of "anti-normalization."

Israel Wins Second Medal at Rio Paralympics - Allon Sinai (Jerusalem Post)
    Doron Shaziri, 49, won a bronze medal at the Rio Paralympics on Monday in the men's 50-meter rifle three positions final. He has won at least one medal in every Paralympics since 1996.
    Moran Samuel won a bronze medal for rowing on Sunday.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. and Israel Reach Agreement on 10-Year Military Aid Package - Carol Morello and Ruth Eglash
    The U.S. and Israel will sign a 10-year military aid agreement on Wednesday, expected to give Israel as much as $3.8 billion a year over 10 years, the State Department said Tuesday. Israel agreed to phase out a special arrangement in place since the 1980s that has allowed Israel to spend 26% of U.S. aid on defense research, development and procurement in Israel. The new agreement will run from 2019 through 2028 and replaces a memo of understanding that will end in 2018. (Washington Post)
        See also U.S. Military Aid Agreement Sends a Powerful Message to Israel's Enemies - Herb Keinon
    The new 10-year military aid agreement between the U.S. and Israel will go a long way toward ensuring Israel's military superiority in the region. It sends a powerful message to Israel's enemies, who might have thought that U.S. support for Israel is waning, that when it comes to providing Israel with the wherewithal to defend itself, by itself, America still very much has Israel's back. They see that Israel's military power will remain formidable for the foreseeable future.
        That it is Obama offering this package - a progressive Democrat who has had his disagreements with Israel and not been shy about making them public - means that wider swaths of the American public may be more likely to understand that this is something truly in America's interests. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinians Throng Tel Aviv Beaches during Muslim Holiday
    Thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank swam at beaches in and around the Israeli commercial capital of Tel Aviv on Tuesday, after being granted permits to visit during the Eid al-Adha holiday. A few thousand Palestinians celebrated the Muslim festival at the beach near Jaffa. Palestinian women in burkinis swam or played with children near bikini-clad Israelis and foreigners. 100,000 visiting permits for Palestinians from the West Bank were issued by Israel for the Eid holiday which started on Monday.
        Gil Ochyon, an Israeli lifeguard who used a megaphone to urge swimmers to be careful in rudimentary Arabic, said he was unhappy at what he perceived as a double standard, arguing that Israelis were unwelcome in Palestinian cities. (AFP)
  • BDS Event on Capitol Hill Cancelled after Congresswoman Withdraws Support - Jenna Lifhits
    The office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) had reserved a room on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to host an event on Friday advocating economic boycotts of Israel. Rep. Jackson Lee's office confirmed that the room had been booked by a former staffer, and that they had withdrawn their sponsorship. A senior House aide later said the event had been cancelled. (Weekly Standard)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Arrests Gazan for Smuggling Explosives - Yoav Zitun
    In August Israel arrested Hamis Jahed Said a-Raishi, 24, a Palestinian who was attempting to smuggle explosives and weapons-making materials into Gaza by boat, the Israel Security Agency announced Tuesday. He admitted smuggling for Hamas and other terror groups since 2012. Information gathered during the investigation shed light on water smuggling routes and how Hamas uses seemingly innocuous fishermen for terrorist activities. (Ynet News)
  • Israeli Communities Evacuated in Drill Simulating Hizbullah Infiltration - Noa Shpigel
    Two communities along Israel's northern border with Lebanon were evacuated on Tuesday to predetermined areas further south in a military drill simulating an attack by Hizbullah. The Israel Defense Forces is installing obstacles along the northern border, though cross-border tunnels are not a major concern due to topographic conditions. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • At the UN, Only Israel Is an "Occupying Power" - Eugene Kontorovich and Penny Grunseid
    The UN uses an entirely different rhetoric and set of legal concepts when dealing with Israel compared with situations of occupation or settlements world-wide. Israel is referred to as the "Occupying Power" 530 times in General Assembly resolutions.
        Yet in seven major instances of past or present prolonged military occupation - Indonesia in East Timor, Turkey in northern Cyprus, Russia in areas of Georgia, Morocco in Western Sahara, Vietnam in Cambodia, Armenia in areas of Azerbaijan, and Russia in Ukraine's Crimea - the UN has not called any of these countries an "Occupying Power." Not even once.
        General Assembly resolutions employ the term "grave" to describe Israel's actions 513 times, as opposed to 14 total for all the other conflicts. Verbs such as "condemn" and "deplore" are sprinkled into Israel-related resolutions tens more times than they are in resolutions about other conflicts. Mr. Kontorovich, a professor at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law, heads the international law department at the Kohelet Policy Forum, where Ms. Grunseid is a researcher. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Unsettled: A Global Study of Settlements in Occupied Territories - Eugene Kontorovich
    Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which prohibits what is colloquially known as settlements in occupied territory, is ubiquitously invoked in relation to the Israeli presence in the West Bank and Golan Heights.
        Yet there are numerous countries that have engaged and continue to engage in settlement policies that would constitute clear violations of Art. 49(6). These non-Israeli settlement efforts have often been on a large scale, and have involved far-reaching demographic and economic consequences for the occupied population. (Northwestern University Law School)
  • Israel and the Civil War in Syria - Moran Stern
    Israel's policy on the civil war in Syria has been to remain neutral. In the short term, having the conflicting parties in Syria fighting each other reduces their likelihood of threatening Israel. In the long term, a growing consensus in the Israeli security establishment is that the main strategic threat to Israel is a victorious Assad, who enjoys the active backing of Iran and Hizbullah. Accordingly, the emergence of a Syrian regime that will be part of a radical Shia-axis, stretching from Tehran to south Lebanon, is Israel's least favorable outcome. The writer teaches courses on Israel and the Middle East at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. (Atlantic Council)

End U.S. Aid to Palestinian Terrorists - Sen. Dan Coats (Jerusalem Post)

  • For the past 18 years, the Palestinian Authority has honored Palestinian terrorists serving criminal sentences in Israeli prisons and rewarded the families of those "martyred" by their own violent acts.
  • These "social welfare" payments received by terrorists and their families increase dramatically with the severity of the crime for which the terrorist is convicted. Where else in the world does a prisoner receive benefits that actually increase with the level of violence committed?
  • American taxpayer dollars have been used to make these payments to terrorists. Since 1998 when this terrorist payments program first began, the U.S. has contributed more than $4.6 billion to the PA budget, which includes payments to terrorists and the families of "martyrs."
  • The PA budget for rewarding terrorists is about $128 million annually, with a separate line item for the "Institution for the Care of Martyrs' Families" that totaled $155 million.
  • For the past two years, I have been working with my Senate colleagues to reduce the amount of aid to the PA by the amount that is paid out to terrorists and their families. These payments provide rewards and motivations for brutal terrorists, plain and simple.
  • To provide U.S. taxpayer money to Abbas and his government so that they can treat terrorists as heroes or glorious martyrs is morally unacceptable.

    Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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