Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at
Daily Alert Mobile
Search Back Issues
  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
November 17, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Kosovo Arrests 19 for Planning Islamic State Attacks Including Against Israeli Soccer Team - Fatos Bytyci (Reuters)
    Police in Kosovo said on Wednesday they had arrested 19 people with links to the Islamic State.
    "They were planning to commit terrorist attacks in Kosovo and also against the Israeli football team and their fans during the Albania-Israel match," Kosovo police said.

Drone Gifted to Russia Carried No Defense Technology, Officials Say - Hezi Sternlicht (Israel Hayom)
    An Israeli drone given as a gift to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to Israel by Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel last week contained no defense technology.
    One official said that Ariel had "ordered all cameras to be taken off the drone prior to handing it over to the Russians."
    An official noted that Israel is negotiating a $2.9 billion agricultural trade deal with Russia.

Israel and French Air Force Hold First Joint Exercise - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel and France held their first joint air exercise on the island of Corsica over the past two weeks with Israeli F-15s flying alongside French Rafale jets.

Israeli Economy Grew 3.2 Percent in Third Quarter - Amiram Barkat (Globes)
    Economic growth in Israel in the third quarter of 2016 was 3.2%, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Wednesday.

Turkey Rebuilds 9 Mosques in Gaza (Anadolu-Turkey)
    Turkey's Religious Affairs Presidency Foundation has rebuilt nine mosques destroyed during the 2014 Gaza war, the Religious Affairs Directorate announced Tuesday in Ankara.

Israeli Researchers Make Solar Cells 70 Percent More Efficient (American Technion Society-Science Daily)
    Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a technology that could improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cells by nearly 70%.
    In a paper published in Nature Communications, the researchers describe using a photoluminescent material they created that absorbs radiation from the sun and enables higher conversion efficiency in a photovoltaic cell.

Israel and Germany Launch 30 Million Euro Nanotechnology Funding Initiative - Gedalyah Reback (Geektime)
    The Israeli Innovation Authority and the German Ministry of Science announced the launch of a new 30 million euro project to have nanotechnology institutes in both countries collaborate in joint projects.
    The joint announcement cited recent accomplishments in the industry: nano-material glass five times stronger than classic glass; iron stronger by a factor of six; ceramic body armor stronger than steel that is six times lighter than today's standard issue; and nano-based fabrics with anti-bacterial properties thanks to the metals embedded in the fabric.

RSS Feed 
Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Archives Portal 
Fair Use/Privacy 

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Obama Promises to Veto Bill to Block U.S. Aircraft Exports to Iran - Britain Eakin
    The U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee voted 7-2 on Monday to put U.S. financing off-limits for Iran to buy or lease commercial Boeing aircraft, but President Obama has promised to veto the bill.
        Supporters of the bill say Iran could use the planes for military purposes. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) reminded the committee that the Treasury Department sanctioned Iran Air in 2011 for using its planes to transport military equipment on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He said Iran Air has continued to use its aircraft to fly weapons to Syria.
        "Also last month, Iran conducted military drills using Boeing planes that have been a part of its air force fleet for many years," he said. "This is not surprising as Boeing itself has posted that its commercial jetliners 'make an ideal platform for a variety of military derivative aircraft.'"  (Courthouse News)
  • India Seeks Israel's Help in Containing Terrorism from Pakistan - Nayanima Basu
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought Israel's help in containing terrorism from Pakistan as he vowed to expand defense and security ties during his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. "President Rivlin and I deeply value our strong and growing partnership to secure our societies. Our people are constantly threatened by forces of terrorism and extremism," Modi said in New Delhi on Tuesday. Modi said he and President Rivlin have agreed that the international community must act against terror as well as against states that encourage it. (The Hindu-India)
        See also Why Tiny Israel Can Be a Natural Partner to Populous India - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin
    More than 10% of foreign exchange students in Israel are from India. The Indo-Israeli Agricultural Project is active in nine states across India, and has 15 fully operational Centers of Excellence, with more being planned. (Times of India)
  • Israel Comes to the Aid of the Faltering Palestinian Economy - Rory Jones
    Faced with increasingly dire economic conditions in the Palestinian territories, Israel is trying to keep the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority afloat as donor aid plummets. That assistance is forecast to fall to $600 million this year, less than half the amount three years ago, according to the World Bank.
        Under the Oslo Accords, Israel levies taxes on goods and services imported into the territories, and collects health, social security and other benefits from firms in Israel that employ Palestinians. Using that mechanism, Israel so far this year has transferred $262 million, nearly 8% of total Palestinian revenues, to the PA. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Asks Russia Not to Sell Jets and Weapons to Iran - Barak Ravid
    Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday that Israel had asked Russia not to go through with a major deal to sell advanced fighter jets and other weapons to Iran. He said Israel raised the issue during Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Israel last week. Viktor Ozerov, head of the Russian Federation Council's Defense Committee, said the negotiations are still underway and that if the deal is concluded, the first shipment could only take place in 2020, when the sanctions against selling arms to Iran are due to be lifted. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel's Elbit Unveils Hostile Drone Protection System
    Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. has developed the Redrone system for protection of closed air spaces, national infrastructures and other critical areas against hostile drones. ReDrone is designed to detect, identify, track and neutralize different types of drones and can deal with a number of different drones simultaneously.
        The ReDrone system disrupts the drone's communication with its operator, blocks its radio and video signals and GPS positioning data, and sends it off track, preventing it from carrying out an attack. (Globes)
  • Clashes between Palestinian Forces, Gunmen in Nablus - Adam Rasgon
    A Palestinian civilian was killed on Wednesday in Nablus amidst armed clashes between PA security forces and gunmen. Three PA security forces were wounded. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also The Fraying Palestinian Political Entity in the West Bank - Pinhas Inbari (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser
    The Palestinian Authority's allocations of monthly salaries and benefits rewarding imprisoned and released terrorists, and the families of "martyrs," amount to $300 million annually. This financial reward clearly demonstrates the PA's institutional commitment to sponsoring terror against Israel.
        Reflecting the core identity of the general Palestinian public, terrorists are seen as heroes fighting for the national and religious cause, to be glorified and rewarded without any hesitation. PA legislation that refers to the terrorists specifically as "fighters" makes clear that the Oslo Accords are not considered by the Palestinian leadership and by most of the Palestinian people as a deviation from or an end to the battle against Zionism. Yet in the Oslo agreements, the PLO and the PA committed themselves to stop terror and to refrain from encouraging terror.
        The policy of paying salaries to terrorists is unacceptable and must change. This should be a condition for assisting the Palestinians, and it is the only way to promote a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The writer, Director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center, was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • President Trump Could Unilaterally Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel - Julian Ku
    The U.S. Supreme Court recently confirmed in Zivotofsky v. Kerry that the U.S. Constitution grants the President the exclusive power to recognize foreign nations and governments. This power includes, the Court held, the exclusive power to withhold recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
        Certainly, the Palestinian Authority is ready to raise holy hell if Trump carries out his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy there. But the U.S. President is authorized, under U.S. constitutional law, to violate or abrogate UN Security Council resolutions, if they actually prohibited such recognition. The writer is Professor of Constitutional Law at Hofstra University School of Law. (Opinio Juris)
        See also What Would Trump Have to Do to Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem? Nothing at All - Raphael Ahren
    The U.S. Congress in 1995 decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and transfer the embassy and the ambassador's residence from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Every six months since then, the president has signed a waver suspending the decision, and President Obama is expected to do so again in about three weeks. If Trump decides to break with tradition, he could simply not sign the presidential waiver.
        Former Israeli national security adviser Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror said this week that such a decision "will not change anything fundamentally on the ground, but it would be very important symbolically." Ilan Goldenberg, director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, said, "It would be a huge problem for the Palestinians, but the rest of the Arab world doesn't really care about this; they have other worries right now."  (Times of Israel)

Repairing the Iran Nuclear Deal's Damage - Ephraim Asculai and Emily B. Landau (Times of Israel)

  • It is imperative for the next U.S. president to take steps to strengthen compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, and deliver new messages of determination to Iran.
  • By insisting on keeping its nuclear infrastructure, Iran succeeded in maintaining its nuclear "breakout" capability. Indeed, in contrast to their initial stated aim of dismantling Iran's nuclear program, the P5+1 ultimately agreed to a significantly watered-down goal: namely, to extend Iran's possible breakout to nuclear weapons from an estimated 2-3 months to a year. But once the deal expires, breakout time will again be reduced to two months or even less.
  • The sunset clauses of the Iran deal must be revisited, and no automatic passage from one stage to the next should be permitted, unless the P5+1 unanimously agree.
  • More importantly, Iran's international and internal behavior should be the benchmark against which the expiration of restrictions is assessed, including not only its nuclear behavior, but support for terror and rejection of Israel's place in the Middle East.
  • In addition to improvements regarding the JCPOA agreement itself, things need to change in terms of U.S.-Iran interactions. Iran has been exploiting the eagerness of the Obama administration to ignore and/or attempt to explain away all moves Iran has made over the past year to strengthen its position in the military realm and across the Middle East.
  • Until Iran indicates that it plans to be a willing international and regional player, it cannot be treated as one, especially when it comes to the nuclear realm.

    Dr. Ephraim Asculai, a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University, worked at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission for over 40 years. Dr. Emily B. Landau is Head of the Arms Control Program at INSS.

Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.