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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
November 9, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Four ISIS Suspects Arrested for Terror Plot Against Israeli Soccer Team in Albania - Allon Sinai (Jerusalem Post)
    Four people with links to ISIS were seized in Albania following a tip from the Mossad that they were preparing an attack on the Israel squad at the 2018 World Cup qualifier this weekend.

Majority of Interpol Members Voted Against PA Membership - Ori Lewis (Reuters)
    An attempt by the Palestinians to push for membership in the global police organization Interpol was rejected at the body's congress in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday.
    The proposal to put the Palestinian request to join on the meeting's agenda was defeated with 56 in favor, 62 opposed, and 37 abstained.

France's Total Signs First Post-Sanctions Western Energy Deal with Iran - Andrew Callus (Reuters)
    France's Total has signed a deal with Iran to further develop the South Pars gas field in the Gulf, becoming the first Western energy company to sign a major deal with Tehran since the lifting of international sanctions earlier this year.

Warren Buffett Invests $5M in Israel Bonds, Helps Raise $60M (JTA)
    Business magnate Warren Buffett made a $5 million investment in Israel Bonds on Sunday at an event in Omaha, Nebraska, that raised $60 million.
    "If you are looking for brains, energy and dynamism in the Middle East, Israel is the only place you need to go," Buffett said.

Israeli Smart Glass Firm Gauzy Raises $7M (Jewish Business News)
    Israeli material science and nanotechnology startup Gauzy recently attracted $7 million of investment from the U.S. and Asia.
    Gauzy has created a unique liquid crystal film which can be embedded into raw materials - with a current focus on glass - to perform a vast array of functions including providing users the ability to control the levels of transparency and opacity in windows in cars or buildings.
    See also Video: Already Possible by Gauzy (YouTube)

Daimler to Open Israeli Research Center - Dubi Ben-Gedalyahu (Globes)
    The German corporation Daimler, which controls car manufacturer Mercedes Benz, announced Monday that it will open a new R&D center in Tel Aviv.
    The center will focus on "car mobility and information services, in addition to the development and testing of various projects and user interfaces."
    General Motors already has a large R&D center in Israel, which has been undergoing a rapid expansion, and Renault recently opened an R&D center in cooperation with Tel Aviv University.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Netanyahu Sees U.S.-Israel Ties "Reaching New Heights" after Trump Victory
    In a statement congratulating newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel, and I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region....I am confident that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between our two countries and bring it to ever greater heights."  (Reuters-Daily Mail-UK)
        See also Israeli Opposition Leader Herzog Congratulates Trump
    Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog, head of the Zionist Union party, offered his congratulations to President-elect Trump in a post on Facebook. "American democracy today elected a leader who surprised the pundits, and showed that we are in an era of change and new direction. You did the unexpected, against all odds....I am convinced that the security and economic alliance between Israel and our strongest ally, the United States, will continue to strengthen under your presidency."  (JTA)
  • UN Votes to Condemn Israel Ten Times
    The UN General Assembly adopted 10 resolutions singling out Israel on Tuesday. The vote on the renewal of the mandate of a special committee to investigate "Israeli practices" was 86 in favor, 71 abstaining, and 7 opposed. (UN Watch)
  • In Libya, ISIS Is "Fighting to the Death" Despite U.S. Bombardment - Andrew Tilghman
    The U.S. is continuing military strikes against Islamic State targets inside Libya, where militants are fiercely clinging to a small patch of territory along the Mediterranean Sea, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Monday. After more than three months and 367 airstrikes, about 200 ISIS fighters continue to control a neighborhood in the city of Sirte.
        The Islamic State's ability to hold ground highlights the challenge faced by the U.S. and its allies and raises concerns about the far larger operation against ISIS in Iraq, where the U.S. military provides airstrikes and special operations troops on the ground. Nonetheless, earlier this year, U.S. intelligence officials estimated Libya had as many as 6,000 fighters loyal to the Islamic State. (Military Times)
  • Remains in Mass Grave Near Mosul Identified - Margherita Stancati
    Iraqi troops discovered a mass grave on Monday containing 100 bodies, 30 miles southeast of Mosul. Iraqi authorities said the remains were likely those of Iraqi security forces and their families. "Residents told us that Daesh [ISIS] used to round up security forces and behead them there," said local police commander Ali Allami. "If Daesh didnít find the men they were looking for, they would detain a brother, a son, or another relative and behead them there instead." On Tuesday, authorities discovered two more mass graves containing 23 bodies, including the remains of women and children. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Water Crisis Looms as PA Refuses to Cooperate with Israel - Itamar Eichner
    The IDF has warned the international community that the water infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza will collapse because the Palestinian Authority refuses to cooperate with Israel. Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), sent an urgent letter to the UN humanitarian aid coordinator in the West Bank, the heads of UNRWA, the Red Cross, and USAID, and the German, UK, Italian, French and EU ambassadors to Israel, noting that the Palestinians have refused to convene the joint Israeli-Palestinian water distribution council since 2010.
        He wrote that "the water infrastructure in place isn't enough to meet the needs of the population, leading to water shortages in certain areas (of the West Bank)." Moreover, "according to official estimates, there will be huge water shortages amounting to tens of millions of cubic meters of water in the coming years." At the same time, "waste water treatment (in the Palestinian Authority) is seriously lacking."
        "We are warning the international community that if there is no immediate change in the water situation, we can expect a water crisis by next summer....Mobilizing the international community to help us prevent this crisis is of the utmost importance."  (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Tries to Stab Soldier at West Bank Checkpoint - Judah Ari Gross
    A Palestinian man, armed with a screwdriver, tried to stab an Israeli soldier near the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus in the West Bank on Wednesday. Troops on the scene shot the attacker, the Israel Defense Forces said. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Moving Forward on Iran: A Policy for the Next U.S. Administration - Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky
    The Islamic Republic of Iran is a cruel and nasty regime - a serial human rights abuser at home and a promoter of policies in the region that are clearly at odds with many U.S. interests and those of its partners and allies. And it would be foolhardy to conclude that the nuclear agreement with Iran will be the last that the world sees of its flirtation with nuclear weapons.
        An effective approach to Iran requires containing it when its ambitions for regional hegemony present a threat to vital U.S. interests. That means defending allies when their territorial integrity and independence are threatened by Iranian military attack, using force to prevent Iranian efforts to impede the flow of maritime traffic in the Persian Gulf, preventing and responding to Iranian or Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks against U.S. facilities and military and civilian personnel, and using force to prevent Tehran from breaking out of the nuclear agreement in violation of its commitments.
        Maintaining a tough sanctions regime will be an indispensable tool in supplementing a credible policy of containment. Aaron David Miller is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. Richard Sokolsky is a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (Foreign Affairs)
  • What Recent Houthi Moves in the Red Sea Mean for Israel - Ephraim Sneh
    In October, Houthi rebels in Yemen fired anti-ship missiles three times at vessels near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The Bab el-Mandeb Strait is a vital passage between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Its closure would be a serious economic blow to Egypt, Jordan and Israel. In light of this, all the states bordering the Red Sea that are susceptible to growing Iranian-sponsored activity off their shores must tighten their military cooperation.
        Egypt, which has one of the region's largest navies, has a vital role to play since all naval transportation to and from the Suez Canal passes through the strait. Israel, whose trade with Asia passes primarily through the threatened shipping lane, will also have to adopt special precautions and make clear the price to be paid for attacking ships headed for the Red Sea port of Eilat. Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Ephraim Sneh served as Israel's deputy minister of defense and is chair of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue at Netanya Academic College. (Al-Monitor)

Britain Can Be Proud of the Balfour Declaration - Col. Richard Kemp (Gatestone Institute)

  • This week we enter the centenary year of the Balfour Declaration, signed on November 2, 1917 - the first recognition by the greatest power in the world at the time of the right of the Jewish people to their national homeland in Palestine. Under the San Remo Resolution three years later, the Balfour Declaration was enshrined in international law, leading ultimately to the proclamation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948.
  • In demanding that Britain apologize for a 99-year-old statement supporting a national home for the Jewish people, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas exposes his true position, and the true position of all factions of the Palestinian leadership: that the Jewish people have no right to a national home; the Jewish state has no right to exist.
  • Despite Britain sometimes sinking into moral weakness over its subsequent failure to support the state that it incubated, the country can be intensely proud that Britain alone embraced Zionism in 1917.
  • And it was the blood of many thousands of British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers that created the conditions that made the modern-day State of Israel a possibility. These men fought and died in the Palestine campaign to defeat the Ottoman Empire that had occupied the territory for centuries.
  • Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, the true motivating force behind the Balfour Declaration, said in 1931: "The Jews surely have a special claim on [Palestine]. They are the only people who have made a success of it during the past 3,000 years. They are the only people who have made its name immortal, and as a race, they have no other home. This was their first; this has been their only home."
  • Nothing has changed in the Arabs' attitudes and actions from Balfour's day to our own. Yet we have seen a miraculous and untold transformation over those 99 years within the State of Israel.

    Col. Richard Kemp was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan.

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