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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
November 22, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

ISIS Terrorists Charged with Plotting to Assassinate Egypt's Sisi, Saudi Arabia's Prince Nayef (Reuters)
    Egypt's public prosecutor has brought before the military judiciary 292 suspected Islamic State militants, some of whom are accused of plotting to assassinate President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.
    One cell plotted to kill Sisi in Egypt by targeting his motorcade. Another cell, based in Saudi Arabia, took advantage of one of its members working in a Mecca hotel where they mistakenly thought Sisi was staying.

Israel Limits Its Trade with America's Rivals - Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman (Mosaic)
    Nothing is more important to Israel's survival and prosperity than the bipartisan commitment of the U.S., the world's greatest power, which also happens to be the home of the world's second-largest Jewish community.
    We Israelis must constantly nurture and sustain that commitment, and never take it for granted.
    In this connection, for all the aid it receives, Israel does in fact repay America for its support, and much more.
    Not only do we Israelis fulfill our obligation to keep our immediate vicinity safe, we also accept strict limits on our trade with America's rivals.
    For example, Israel's trade with China could long ago have reached much higher levels had Israel not been bound by its promises to the U.S.
    The writer is former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel's National Security Council.

Women Increasingly Join the Fight in Israel's Army - Michael Blum (AFP)
    Her face covered in mud, Smadar, 18, crawls beneath thorny brush, her automatic rifle around her neck. She smiles despite the intensity of the training, and her commander, also a woman, shouts encouragement.
    "I don't regret choosing this unit," said Smadar. "I wanted to do my military service in the most combative unit possible." Smadar is part of a growing number of women taking part in combat units within the Israeli military.
    Four years ago, 3% of enlisted women served in combat units compared to 7% today, and that number is expected to rise to 9.5% in 2017.
    Even before the State of Israel was created in 1948, women played an important role in the Haganah, the forerunner to the country's military. More than 41% of those currently serving in the IDF are women.

Palestinian Demand for Deer Meat Worries Wildlife Activists - Nasouh Nazzal (Gulf News-Dubai)
    Hunting deer in the West Bank is technically illegal, but that does not stop Palestinian hunters from killing the animals for profit.
    In the winter the deer are more easily hunted as they take shelter in caves.
    Palestine Wildlife Society head Ebrahim Odeh predicts there might only be 200 deer left and says the PA is not doing enough to crack down on these hunters.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Former CIA Director Hayden: U.S. Needs to Push Back Harder on Iran - Mallory Shelbourne
    Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Sunday that the Obama administration is held hostage by the Iran nuclear agreement. "We don't push back on Iran in a whole lot of other places," Hayden told ABC's "This Week." He said U.S. foreign policy in the next administration should push back against Iran in Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf states. "If the Iranians want to walk away from the deal, fine," he added. (The Hill)
        See also Obama Seeks to Fortify Iran Nuclear Deal - Carol E. Lee and Jay Solomon
    The Obama administration is considering new measures in its final months in office to strengthen the nuclear agreement with Iran, including providing licenses for more American businesses to enter the Iranian market and the lifting of additional U.S. sanctions, senior U.S. officials said. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also below Commentary: An End of Trickery on Iran - Amir Taheri (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
  • ISIS Used Chemical Arms 52 Times in Syria and Iraq - Eric Schmitt
    The Islamic State has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur mustard agents, at least 52 times in Syria and Iraq since 2014, according to a new analysis by the London-based IHS Conflict Monitor.
        "As the Islamic State loses ground around Mosul, there is a high risk of the group using chemical weapons to slow down and demoralize advancing enemy forces," said Columb Strack, the head of IHS Conflict Monitor. "Mosul was at the center of the Islamic State's chemical weapons production, but most of the equipment and experts were probably evacuated to Syria in the weeks and months leading up to the Mosul offensive."  (New York Times)
  • State Department Issues Travel Alert for Europe Ahead of Holiday Season - Abigail Williams
    The State Department on Monday warned Americans traveling to Europe of an increased risk of terrorist attacks. "Credible information indicates the Islamic, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events." Travelers are urged to avoid large crowds and exercise caution at tourist sites, festivals, large holiday events and outdoor markets. Terrorists have already carried out attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey this year. (NBC News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Stabbing Attack Thwarted near Jerusalem - Joshua Davidovich and Judah Ari Gross
    A Palestinian man armed with a knife was shot and killed by Israeli security forces as he attempted to stab a guard at the Qalandiya Crossing north of Jerusalem on Tuesday. (Times of Israel)
  • Taskforce to Explore Outpost Regulation Based on Cyprus Model - Shlomo Cesana and Mati Tuchfeld
    Israel is exploring the possibility of regulating West Bank outposts based on a model that was adopted to resolve land disputes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently met with Prof. Joseph Weiler, an international law expert who helped devise the Cyprus arbitration mechanism.
        The mechanism, which operates under the auspices of the European Court of Human Rights, has helped resolve disputes between Greek and Turkish Cypriot landowners who claimed their land was used without their consent following the partition of the island in the mid-1970s. Many cases culminated in financial compensation being awarded to the landowners, without the residents being evicted. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel's Unemployment Rate Hits All-Time Low - Moshe Golan
    Israel's unemployment rate for October dropped to an all-time low of 4.5%. (Globes)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • An End of Trickery on Iran - Amir Taheri
    No one has signed and no legislature has ratified the 179-page press release known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - the nuclear deal with Iran. The mullahs of Tehran have pretended that the JCPOA is a bona fide international treaty under which all sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic will be lifted. Yet Tehran has agreed to a set of mostly cosmetic concessions that leave its nuclear program intact.
        Since Trump's election, the mullahs have started referring to UN Security Council Resolution 2231 as the basis for the agreement. This is interesting because Rouhani and his team had repeatedly asserted that they do not accept that "cruel and unjust" resolution, just as Iran never accepted any of the six previous resolutions passed by the Security Council with regard to the Iranian nuclear problem.
        Now that the mullahs have suddenly started casting themselves as ardent defenders of Resolution 2231, the new American president could demand that Tehran formally and officially accept the UN resolution. Articles 11 and 12 of the resolution enable any member of the Security Council to bring a case alleging non-compliance by Iran. That would trigger the so-called snap-back process under which the council would have to review the whole situation again and come up with a new decision within 30 days.
        If there is no accord after 30 days, the six previous UN Security Council resolutions would be re-activated with suspended sanctions re-imposed by all UN members. Thanks to its right of veto, the U.S. would be able to prevent any new council decision that might try to fudge the issue. The writer was executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
  • Iran Continues to Push the Envelope of Nuclear Compliance - David Albright and Andrea Stricker
    On Nov. 9, the IAEA released its fourth report on Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. Nowhere in the report does the IAEA state that Iran is fully compliant with the JCPOA. The IAEA is still unable to determine the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran. Moreover, the IAEA reporting is so sparse as to confirm suspicions that compliance controversies are being deliberately omitted from the report. Overall, the IAEA effort in Iran needs to be strengthened. (Institute for Science and International Security)
  • Mosque Loudspeakers Disturb the Arab and Muslim Public Too
    Dr. Salman Masalha, a Druze Israeli-Arab intellectual, writing in Al-Hayat on Nov. 19, discussed an Israeli bill seeking to ban the use of loudspeakers by houses of worship. "In the 1970s, renowned [Muslim] preacher Muhammad Metwali Al-Sha'rawi declared: 'If it were up to me, I would ban mosques from using loudspeakers to announce the dawn prayer.' The reason for this is obvious: these early morning hours are the quietest hours, when people are sound asleep and have not yet woken up to go to work and make a living."
        "People in the Arab world suffer greatly from this worrying phenomenon and are seeking a solution to it, and Muslim clerics are likewise working to resolve it. That is why there are debates about it and fatwas issued about it. has posted fatwas by [Saudi Arabia's] Standing Committee [for Scholarly Research and Issuing Fatwas] stating that loudspeakers and microphones 'must be used only inside the mosque so as not to disturb people outside.'"  (MEMRI)

Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem - Max Singer (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)

  • The U.S. State Department understands very well that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will leave at least western Jerusalem as Israel's capital and part of sovereign Israel. But the foreign policy establishment continues to insist that because Jerusalem's ultimate status can only be determined by agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, it would be wrong for the U.S. to "prejudge" the outcome by acting on the truth that Israel's capital is Jerusalem.
  • The State Department's insistence on the diplomatic fiction that none of Jerusalem is part of Israel helps preserve the Palestinian hope that, someday, Israel will be forced to give up its capital. That Palestinian hope is the main obstacle to peace. The Palestinians can only make peace when their community comes to understand that international pressure will never force Israel to acquiesce in its own destruction.
  • The Palestinian leadership now tells its people that compromise with Israel would be immoral because Israel is a colonial invader that stole Palestinian land by force. But Israel is descended from Jewish kingdoms that ruled parts of the land for centuries in ancient times. It also has legal claims from the League of Nations mandate.
  • The U.S. may not be able to induce the Palestinian Authority to stop inciting its constituents and teaching its children to hate Israel. But there are ways in which the U.S. can expose and eventually defeat Palestinian lies that work against peace.
  • If the U.S. consistently tells the truth about the ancient Jewish presence in Palestine, and publicly refuses to swallow the Palestinians' false denials of history, the Palestinian leadership will not be able to keep the truth from their people.
  • The U.S. has followed a policy of avoiding truths that are painful or embarrassing to the Arabs for at least 50 years. It hasn't worked. Maybe it is time to try the strategy of telling the truth. Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, in accordance with the long-standing congressional position, would be a good way to make a start on a truth-telling strategy.

    The writer is co-founder of the Washington-based Hudson Institute.

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