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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
November 15, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Egypt to Rebuild Its Air Force (TASS Defense)
    "Egypt appears to be poised to commit to the procurement of nearly 50 fourth-generation+ fighters from Russia," Reed Foster, a defense analyst with IHS Jane's said.
    The Egyptian Air Force is rapidly upgrading its inventory. It has received 20 American F-16C/D fighters and has begun to receive French Rafale combat aircraft.

Hizbullah Flaunts American Equipment in Syria Parade - Alex Rowell (NOW-Lebanon)
    In a military parade, Lebanon's Hizbullah flaunted a sizeable fleet of heavy weaponry in the Syrian city of Qusayr on Friday.
    Among the arms on display were American-made M113 armored personnel carriers, of the type provided to the Lebanese army (LAF), which continues to receive American military aid.
    Hizbullah previously seized M113s from the now-defunct Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army.
    It's possible they also captured some from the Syrian jihadist faction Jabhat al-Nusra, which itself won a number off the LAF during an August 2014 battle.

IDF: Every New Tank and APC Will Have Trophy Active Defense System - Lilach Shoval (Israel Hayom)
    The Israel Defense Ministry announced Thursday plans to acquire hundreds of Trophy tank protection systems.
    The Israeli-made active tank protection system, also known as Windbreaker, is designed to intercept and destroy incoming anti-tank missiles.
    The purchase "aims to ensure that every armored personnel carrier and tank coming off the assembly line is equipped with an active defense system," the ministry said.

Who Are America's Jewish Senators and Congressmen? (Jerusalem Post)
    A look at the Jewish candidates who won and lost seats in Congress.

    See also Meet the Jews in Donald Trump's Inner Circle - Josefin Dolsten (JTA)

European-Funded NGOs Linked to Palestinian Terror Network (NGO Monitor)
    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, Canada, and Israel, has been involved in suicide bombings, hijackings, and assassinations, among other terrorist activities targeting civilians.
    Many European countries fund a network of organizations, some of which are directly affiliated with the PFLP, and others with a substantial presence of employees and officials linked to the PFLP.
    European funders should ensure that funds do not go to groups affiliated with the PFLP or other terrorist entities.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Seeks Negotiated Peace with Defensible Borders - Isabel Kershner
    Israelis who generally reflect Prime Minister Netanyahu's thinking said he was unlikely to forswear the two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians after the recent American elections. "Israel has its own interest in reaching a negotiated solution with its neighbors," said Dore Gold, a longtime Netanyahu adviser who recently served as director general of Israel's Foreign Ministry. "This is not a function of pressure or arm-twisting. Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it clear that this is his goal."
        But Gold suggested that a Trump administration was likely to roll back the demand that Israel withdraw to the 1967 lines and support borders that are more accommodating to Israel. "Trump's policy paper spoke about Israel having defensible borders, which are clearly different from the 1967 lines," he said.
        Michael B. Oren, a deputy minister in the prime minister's office and a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., told Israel Radio: "We have to ask ourselves what is in Israel's interests. The interest of the Israelis and, in my view, of the government, is indeed to achieve peace with the Palestinians through direct negotiations, without preconditions, at any time, in order to get to a solution of two states for two peoples."  (New York Times)
  • 11 Arab Countries Accuse Iran of Sponsoring Middle East Terror
    Eleven Arab countries have written to the UN accusing Iran of being "a state sponsor of terrorism" throughout the entire Middle East, and of increasing "aggression in the region and the continuation of support for terrorist groups" since the signing of the nuclear deal. The letter was signed by the UN ambassadors of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
        "We stress that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism in our region, from Hizbullah in Lebanon and Syria, to Houthis in Yemen and terrorist groups and cells in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Iraq, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and elsewhere."  (UN Watch)
        See also Text of Letter on Iran Sponsoring Middle East Terror (United Nations)
  • U.S. National Guard Chief in Israel to Learn about Emergency Readiness - Barbara Opall-Rome
    A delegation led by U.S. Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, was in Israel last week to witness the latest local developments in emergency responsiveness, as the guest of the IDF Homefront Command.
        On Tuesday the visiting Americans observed a large-scale exercise in Israel's north, where emergency responders trained in alerting and assisting civilians threatened by Hizbullah's arsenal of nearly 100,000 rockets. The delegation was briefed on the latest technologies and procedures, including a locally-developed Personal Alert, providing an individual warning straight to one's smart phone. (Defense News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Hamas Official with Ties to Iran Tapped to Lead Gaza - Avi Issacharoff
    Hamas recently appointed Imad al-Alami, 60, a founding member with close ties to Syria and Iran, to replace Ismail Haniyeh as the effective political leader in Gaza, sources said Sunday. Alami lived for some time in Tehran, then moved to Damascus in 2008, before returning to Gaza. (Times of Israel)
  • Turkey, Israel Hold First Meeting on Gas Pipeline - Nati Yefet
    Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday that professional teams from Israel and Turkey had begun discussions last week on the technical details of laying a gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey, and that there were talks with Egypt on the export of gas from Israel to that country. (Globes)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • U.S. and Israel Must Act to Preserve Partnership
    Robert D. Blackwill, a former senior official in the Bush administration, and Philip H. Gordon, a former senior official in the Obama administration, have called "to reframe and revive the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership." They propose to "enhance Israel's sense of security and confidence in the United States by committing to expanded missile defense, anti-tunnel, and cybersecurity cooperation."
        They call to "move beyond the debates about the merits of the Iran nuclear deal and work together to implement and rigorously enforce it, with a commitment to imposing penalties on Iran for noncompliance and a joint plan for preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons after the deal's main restrictions expire." Moreover, they seek to "develop and implement a coordinated U.S.-Israel approach to address the regional challenges posed by Iran."  (Council on Foreign Relations)
        See also Report: Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship - Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon (Council on Foreign Relations)
  • The West Must Stop Enabling Palestinian Lies and Hate - Mordechai Ben-Dat
    Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the chief of the research division of IDF military intelligence and director general of Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs, recently published a forceful plea to the countries of the West regarding the Palestinians' conflict with Israel.
        "Tell the Palestinians that they are not going to get any more money to support this kind of indoctrination [of hatred toward Jews and Israel]. If they want the money, 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 between a Palestinian state and a Jewish state where everybody recognizes the other's identity as the nation-state of their people."
        Kuperwasser challenges the international community to demand that Palestinian leaders change their malicious ways. But he goes further. He accuses the West of helping sustain the hatred. "By closing their eyes, the Europeans, and even to some extent the Americans, enable this hatred to go on. How will we ever be able to start moving toward peace when this indoctrination of hatred goes on all the time?"  (Canadian Jewish News)
        See also The West Must Insist that the Palestinians Change Their Narrative - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Can Turkey and Israel Reconcile? - Pinhas Inbari
    While Turkey and Israel signed a reconciliation agreement in June 2016, Turkey is in the midst of defining its identity - as Turkish first or Muslim first. If Turkey chooses its "Turkish" identity, a true Israeli-Turkish reconciliation may be possible, but if Erdogan chooses his neo-Ottoman Muslim path, obstacles may block the reconciliation.
        Their relations are also affected by Turkey's ties with the Palestinians, which have several dimensions, including Turkey's ties with Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. Turkey's involvement in Gaza presents a challenge to its enemies - Egypt and Iran - as well as to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Turkey's agreement with Israel was reached behind the PA's back. Moreover, giving Turkey a major role in Gaza's rehabilitation pulls the rug out from under Europe's status.
        The real difficulty likely to arise between Turkey and Israel concerns east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Turkey has ties with the most extreme elements, such as former mufti Akrama Sabri, inciter Raed Salah, and Hamas. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Everyone Loves Israel - Until They Don't - Robert Satloff (Mosaic)

  • In "Everybody Loves Israel," the Hudson Institute's Arthur Herman celebrates Israel's stunning global popularity. Yet, given the speed of seismic strategic shifts in the Middle East, it is foolhardy for any government - especially Israel's - to bank on the idea that "the way things are" are the way things are going to be.
  • In Israel's immediate neighborhood, its good fortune rests on a strengthened partnership with an increasingly authoritarian Egypt; a convergence of interests with the Sunni states of the Gulf; and an energy-based condominium with Turkey. The long-term stability of any of these three realities is not a foregone conclusion.
  • Egypt's volcanic domestic change has probably not seen its last tremor; the Gulf's under-the-table romance with Israel will last only so long as Gulf leaders see it as a useful component of regional competition with revolutionary Iran; and no one can seriously bank on any strategic continuity with a megalomaniacal leader like Turkey's Erdogan at the helm.
  • An important component of Israel's current global success is the fact that countries around the world seem to have lost interest in the Palestinian issue. In the current moment, calm reigns between Israel and Ramallah and Gaza. However, when change comes in a post-Mahmoud Abbas environment, few would wager that calm will reign forever.

    The writer is executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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