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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
November 30, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

Islamic State Claims Its "Soldier" Carried Out Ohio State Attack - Thomas Joscelyn (Long War Journal-Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
    The Islamic State's Amaq news agency has claimed that Monday's attack at Ohio State University was the work of its "soldier," Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who "carried out the operation in response to calls to target the nationals of the international coalition countries."
    Amaq released a nearly identical statement after another native Somali, Dahir Adan, stabbed multiple people at a mall in Minnesota in September.

Ohio State Attack Looks Familiar to Israelis - Benny Avni (New York Post)
    Security experts looking at Monday's car-ramming and stabbing attack at Ohio State University will find it looks familiar. Israel has been subjected to a wave of Palestinian car and knife attacks since 2014.
    Hopefully, unlike media accounts that largely treat Israeli victims as if they're a case apart from a larger global terror phenomenon, anti-terror professionals in America and Europe will find time to coordinate with the Israelis and learn from their priceless experience.
    Name your terrorist tool: plane hijacking, bus bombing, attacks on Olympians - it likely was first tried against Israelis.

Another Arab Awakening Is Looming, Warns a UN Report (Economist-UK)
    The UN's latest Arab Development Report, published on Nov. 29, notes that while in 2002, five Arab states were mired in conflict, today 11 are. As states fail, youth identify more with their religion, sect or tribe than their country.
    Although home to only 5% of the world's population, in 2014 the Arab world accounted for 45% of the world's terrorism.
    The Arab youth unemployment rate, at 30%, stands at more than twice the world's average of 14%.

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Israel Cyber Cooperation - Ran Dagoni (Globes)
    The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved two bills to promote U.S.-Israel cooperation on cyber security research.
    The United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act will establish a grant program for joint R&D projects focusing on detecting and combatting cyber threats.
    The United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act expands a binational R&D program to include cyber security research.
    The legislation was introduced by Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and John Ratcliffe (R-TX).

Edward Lifesciences to Buy Israel's Valtech Cardio - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
    Edwards Lifesciences Corp., a U.S. medical devices company focusing on heart diseases, said Monday it will buy Israel's biotech startup Valtech Cardio Ltd.
    Valtech specializes in innovative valve repair and replacement devices for the treatment of the most prevalent heart valve diseases.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. House of Representatives Calls on Obama to Oppose Anti-Israel Efforts at UN - Jacob Kornbluh
    The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously passed bipartisan legislation urging President Obama "to oppose and veto United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues, or are one-sided and anti-Israel." It also calls to reject any resolution that sets "parameters" for a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
        "There is a growing concern in Congress that despite established, bipartisan United States policy, the Obama Administration may end the practice of vetoing resolutions in the Security Council that strayed from the principal that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties," said Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA). "U.S. policy has long and wisely been that only Israelis and Palestinians can work out a peace agreement between themselves, and that efforts to impose one would be counterproductive."
        House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said, "I'm proud to be part of a broad, bipartisan coalition in Congress that stands up for our ally Israel and works to ensure that Israelis have the support they need to pursue a secure peace that will bring safety and opportunity to all people in the region."  (Jewish Insider)
  • Erdogan Urges Muslims to "Embrace Palestinian Cause and Protect Jerusalem"
    Turkish President Erdogan said Tuesday, "It is the common duty of all Muslims to embrace the Palestinian cause and protect Jerusalem," and that safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque should not be left to children armed with nothing but stones. His comments come as Israel and Turkey prepare to exchange ambassadors as part of a reconciliation deal. (AP-Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Report: Israel Attacks Syrian Arms Depot, Hizbullah Arms Convoy - Roi Kais and Yoav Zitun
    The Israeli Air Force reportedly attacked a Syrian army arms depot and a Hizbullah arms convoy west of Damascus early Wednesday, the London-based Rai al-Youm reported. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Arrested for Starting Fire near Jerusalem - Roi Yanovsky
    A Palestinian from Qatanna in the West Bank was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of hurling firebombs into the Israeli town of Nataf in the Jerusalem Mountains which caused a giant fire on Friday that inflicted devastating damage to the town. An investigation by the Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Services revealed that the Nataf fire was indeed caused by firebombs from Qatanna and the remains of two were found in the area. (Ynet News)
  • President Rivlin Meets Religious Leaders on Use of Mosque Loudspeakers - Greer Fay Cashman
    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin brought together Muslim and Jewish spiritual leaders at his official residence on Tuesday to discuss the use of loudspeakers by houses of worship. Sheikh Abdel al-Hakim Samara, president of the Islamic Shari'a Court, emphasized that only through discourse and agreement can solutions be reached in those areas where the loudspeakers are problematic. He added: "We all agree there is a need to lower the volume in problematic areas and we will act to ensure this."
        Sheikh Mohammed Ciooan, who heads the Committee of Imams, stressed that human dignity should be the guideline in all discussions. His organization has already made a public request for the volume of the loudspeakers to be reduced in all the communities concerned, he said. (Jerusalem Post-JTA)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Jimmy Carter Blames Israel One More Time - Elliott Abrams
    In Monday's New York Times, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter writes that "America must recognize Palestine" and presents a version of Israeli reality that simply takes leave of the facts. Granting diplomatic recognition to "the state of Palestine" will no more make it a legitimate and genuine country than granting diplomatic recognition to Plains, Ga.
        Carter writes that "Israel is building more and more settlements, displacing Palestinians," but he offers no data - because there is none to support his claim. Anyone who has visited the West Bank knows that virtually all settlements have not displaced Palestinians but have been, instead, built on fallow land. The actual land area taken up by settler buildings themselves covers perhaps 1% of the West Bank.
        What is really needed to move toward peace is security - an end to terrorism. That is a subject entirely absent from Carter's op-ed. Since 1978, round after round of Palestinian terror has killed nearly 2,000 Israelis in hundreds of attacks. But Carter holds the Palestinians responsible for nothing and accountable for nothing.
        George W. Bush used to refer to "the soft bigotry of low expectations," and the phrase surely applies here. Mr. Carter infantilizes the Palestinians, but then says they must immediately have a state. 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. (National Review)
  • Israelis' Hopes and Expectations for Donald Trump - Moshe Arens
    The past eight years have been an aberration in the U.S.-Israeli relationship. President Barack Obama told Israel at regular intervals what it should and should not do. Israel and the U.S. remained friends, but that was still no way to treat an ally. Allied nations on occasion disagree, but they deal with such disagreements without turning them into public debates, without giving each other orders, while respecting each other's democratically elected leaders.
        Obama did not treat Israel as an ally in the negotiations with Iran. It was Israel that Iranian leaders said they intended to wipe off the map. Israel is the target of Iran's nuclear program and Israel is the target of Iran's terror campaign. It was Iran which blew up the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the Jewish Community Center there. Yet Israel was kept in the dark by Obama about the negotiations with Iran, and they were concluded despite Israel's objections.
        Until this day, the U.S. does not recognize Israeli sovereignty in West Jerusalem, and maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv. It is hoped that President Donald Trump will order the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. All Israelis have a right to expect that. The writer served as Israel's Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Ha'aretz)
  • The Palestinian Authority - Where Talking to Israelis Is Taboo - Evelyn Gordon
    Ohad Hamu, the Arab affairs reporter for Israel's Channel 2 television, recently told Ha'aretz, "Not so long ago I could wander freely around Gaza and the West Bank and bring cultural and political stories, but today there are few places I can enter in the West Bank....The Israeli media doesn't go into something like 70% of the West Bank, and even when I do go, it'll be to film some 10-minute dialogue with someone and then we're out of there right away, because it's just become too dangerous. They don't want to see us there....Israeli journalists used to serve as a bridge between Israeli and Palestinian society, but this bridge has been gradually cracking."
        The "anti-normalization" campaign - a euphemism for refusing to talk to Israelis and intimidating others into doing the same - has also produced boycotts of Israeli cultural figures, businessmen, and NGOs. The Palestinian Authority has spent the last two decades systematically teaching its people to hate Israel. It's going to take a long, long time, and probably a lot of pressure from the PA's Western donors, to reverse these decades of hate education. Clearly, it's difficult to imagine Israeli-Palestinian peace breaking out as long as even talking to Israelis is taboo. (Commentary)

The Battle Over the Balfour Declaration, 100 Years Later - Danna Harman (Ha'aretz)

  • At a meeting at the British House of Commons on Tuesday, MP Michael Gove, a former justice minister, attacked "the anti-Semitic," masquerading as "anti-Zionist," premises of the challenge to the Balfour Declaration. He spoke of his wish that Britain, to mark the 100th anniversary of the declaration, would move its embassy to Jerusalem and make sure Queen Elizabeth II finally made a visit.
  • Israeli UK Ambassador Mark Regev reiterated Israel's "firm belief" that Britain should be proud of the declaration and that it had put Britain on the "right side of history" by "correcting historical wrongs" and "doing the right thing" for a "people who had suffered like no other people."
  • Dore Gold, former director general of Israel's Foreign Ministry who today heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, focused on the Palestinian Return Center (PRC), which had earlier held a meeting in the House of Lords to demand an apology from Britain for the declaration.
  • "Asking for an official apology fits into the zeitgeist of the West these days, that feels guilt about everything that happened in the last hundred years. That's what they are trying to tap into it. But Israel is no colonialist entity. Israel is a state restored," Gold argued.
  • Gold said the PRC, despite having recently been granted consultative status at UNESCO, is a terror organization "intimately tied to Hamas." Some of the PRC's senior figures are Hamas activists who found refuge in Britain. In 2010, then-Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak outlawed the PRC as an "unlawful association because it is part of the Hamas movement."
  • "This is not who you want to invite into your British legislative body," he suggested. Gold said it took real audacity for an organization that "calls for the killing of Jews" to "come to the greatest parliamentary democracy in the world and challenge Israel's legitimacy."

        See also Video - Dore Gold: Britain Should Be Proud of What It Did in 1917 When It Allowed the Jewish People to Restore Their Ancient Homeland (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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