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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
September 28, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Malaise in the Palestinian Authority - Ohad Hemo (Ha'aretz)
    The overall sense of the Palestinian residents of the West Bank is one of absence of leadership and direction.
    The popularity of PA President Mahmoud Abbas is at its nadir, according to recent polls. Almost two-thirds of Palestinians want him to go.
    Increasing numbers of Palestinians dare to come out and criticize him, even openly, and the PA is perceived as an anachronistic and collaborationist mechanism that is preoccupied with its own survival.
    At the same time, the anarchy that began in refugee camps in the northern West Bank is metastasizing into Palestinian cities. Confrontations with armed lawbreakers are becoming frequent.
    See also The Fraying Palestinian Political Entity in the West Bank - Pinhas Inbari (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

The Palestinian Economy Is an Optical Illusion - Caroline B. Glick (Jerusalem Post)
    In an article this week in the Hebrew-language online journal Mida, economist Uri Redler showed, using World Bank data, that the Palestinian economy is an optical illusion.
    75% of its tax income comes from indirect taxes that Israel collects for it on imports. 40% of its budget comes from donors.
    Only 18% of its income comes from direct taxation and most of that comes from deduction at the source for PA employees.

Gagged in Gaza: Hamas and Fatah Try to Silence the Press (Economist-UK)
    Just 20% of Palestinians think they enjoy press freedom, according to a March poll; 66% believe they cannot openly criticize the Palestinian Authority (PA).
    Even a Facebook post can provoke a visit from the authorities.
    Young Palestinians often joke that their next intifada, or uprising, will be against their own leaders instead of Israel.

U.S. Veterans with PTSD Find "Common Bond" and Healing in Israel - Dave Copeland and Peter Jeary (NBC News)
    Female U.S. war vets are finding help for their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Israel - and speak of a "common bond" shared with their Israeli counterparts.
    Heroes to Heroes, a New Jersey-based nonprofit, organizes trips designed to provide emotional and spiritual healing for groups of 10 vets to meet Israeli counterparts suffering from similar problems.
    Veteran Kamilla Miguel, 27, who served in Afghanistan, said she was impressed by the supportive bond shared by the former IDF women she met.
    "All the women in the U.S. should feel how they feel with each other, with this common bond and connection, it's amazing."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Shimon Peres, Israeli Statesman and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies at 93 - Robin Shulman
    Shimon Peres, an Israeli statesman who helped build his country into a regional military power, shared a Nobel Peace Prize for laying out a short-lived framework for peace with the Palestinians and more recently defended Israel's military actions in Gaza and Lebanon, died Wednesday in Tel Aviv at 93. Peres held nearly every high office and his influence spanned 10 U.S. presidencies.
        As director general of the Defense Ministry in the 1950s, Peres negotiated with Germany for arms, cultivated a secret alliance with France, fathered Israel's aircraft industry and made his country a nuclear power by building a reactor in the Negev desert. In 1993, Peres and Rabin sealed peace accords with Arafat on the White House lawn under the gaze of President Bill Clinton.
        Peres was born Shimon Persky on Aug. 2, 1923, in Vishneva, in what was then Poland and is now Belarus. He attended a Zionist school that advocated the return of Jews to the biblical land of Israel - then under British rule - and his family immigrated to Palestine in 1934. In 1947 he joined the Haganah, a Jewish militia, and was assigned responsibility for manpower and arms. Peres lived a life like that of his country, struggling to find a balance between security and peace. (Washington Post)
        See also World Leaders to Arrive in Israel for Friday Funeral of Shimon Peres (Jerusalem Post)
  • Homegrown Terror Attacks Are an Increasing Threat, U.S. Homeland Security Chief Says - Matthew Daly and Erick Tucker
    Bombings in New York and New Jersey - and a stabbing attack in Minnesota the same day - underscore the threat to the U.S. of homegrown attacks inspired by violent extremists, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told a Senate committee Tuesday. He said Islamic State has "increased its plotting on targets outside of Iraq and Syria and continues to encourage attacks in the United States."
        The panel's chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), said, "In all, Islamic extremist terrorists have killed 63 people on U.S. soil since our committee last held its annual hearing to consider threats to the homeland."  (AP-Military Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Bids Farewell to a Founding Father - Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences Wednesday at the passing of Israel's ninth president and internationally cherished diplomat emeritus Shimon Peres. Netanyahu said Peres dedicated his life to Israel's independence and was a visionary who looked to the future. He was also a man who buttressed the country's security capacities in many ways, some of which are still not publicly known to this day.
        As a man of peace, "he worked until his last days toward reconciliation with our neighbors for a better future for our children." Peres' name will be forever etched in the memory of the nation "as one of Israel's great leaders, and one of the founding fathers who established the State of Israel."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • President Rivlin: Shimon Peres Carried a Whole Nation on the Wings of Vision
    President Reuven Rivlin expressed his deep sadness on the passing of Israel's former president and prime minister Shimon Peres, describing him as one who "never ceased to work for the sake of the Zionist movement, for the sake of the State of Israel, and the people of Israel. There is not a chapter in the history of the State of Israel in which Shimon did not write or play a part. As one man he carried a whole nation on the wings of imagination, on the wings of vision....We loved him because he made us dare to imagine not what was once here, nor what is now, but what could be."  (President's Spokesperson-Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Shimon Peres Urged Israel to Dream and Innovate - Shoshanna Solomon
    "All my life I have worked to ensure that Israel's future is based on science and technology as well as on an unwavering moral commitment," Shimon Peres said in a speech in July, when he laid the cornerstone for the Israeli Innovation Center, which will be part of the Peres Peace House in Jaffa. "They called me a dreamer. But today, when I look at Israel, we all can see clearly that the greater the dream, the more spectacular the results."
        Peres called upon Israel's neighbors to join forces to create a "startup region." "Not only Israel should benefit from the fruit of innovation, but the whole region. Let us adopt the road to peace and innovation, which will always be better than war and terror." He concluded: "Finally, I have one small request - Israel is a dream that came true. Permit me to continue to dream."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Countries Who Were "In the Pocket" of the Arabs: The Case of India - Shalom Salomon Wald
    From 1948 when Israel was created to 1992 when India first established diplomatic relations with Israel, its policy was resolutely hostile to Israel and supportive of all Arab and Palestinian claims against Israel. Then, later in the 20th century, the Indians began to see that they got little back for their support: the Arabs and Iranians were convinced that India was "in their pocket" anyway.
        With Narendra Modi coming to power in Delhi in 2014, India's attitude toward Israel became one of open friendship and fast-increasing links. Did this damage India's relations with the Muslim world? Not at all. Now, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran are eagerly competing for India's favors, mindless of India's growing military links with Israel. The writer is a senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iran's Likely Next Supreme Leader Is No Friend of the West - Ray Takeyh
    The candidate Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards are grooming to succeed him is one of the most reactionary members of Iran's ruling elite. Ibrahim Raisi, 56, served as prosecutor general and lead prosecutor of the Special Court of the Clergy, responsible for disciplining mullahs who stray from the official line. The writer is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. (Washington Post)
  • Abbas' Inaccurate History - Elliott Abrams
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly last week he wants the Balfour Declaration of 1917 undone, wants the British to apologize for it, and complained of the UN's partition resolution in 1948. He forgets that Israel accepted the resolution but was then attacked by the Arab states, which did not accept it. The Arabs lost that war and paid the price.
        As long as Palestinian leaders are inciting violence with fantasies about the Temple Mount and are mired in their inaccurate history of past victimization, it is hard to see how progress is possible. The writer, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, handled Middle East affairs at the U.S. National Security Council from 2001 to 2009. (Newsweek)

Shimon Peres Reflects on War, Peace and Life (New York Times)

  • "I've been controversial for most of my life. Suddenly, I've become popular. I don't know when I was wrong, then or now." September 2007, Ha'aretz
  • "At my age, after looking back, if I feel that I have to make a choice between being experienced and cynical or being curious and innocent, I prefer the second. It is much more appealing." May 2000, Jerusalem Post
  • "Most of our neighbors, who want to destroy us, believe that Israel has the capability to destroy them. Their suspicion is our strength." November 2009, Yediot Ahronot
  • "There is no doubt that an Iran with nuclear weapons is a mortal danger. I also have no doubt that Israel has to view this matter with all seriousness and gravity. Iran is a danger to the entire world. It is currently as dangerous to America as it is to Israel, and that is a good union. We have often been alone." August 2012, Mako
  • "Jewish history is devoid of any desire to rule over another people. I think that what is happening now is a deviation. All the people who ruled over us have been erased from the stage of history. We are the only ones who never ruled over anyone else, and we prevailed." February 1988, Jerusalem Post

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