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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
May 30, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Report: Iran Agrees to Renew Funding to Hamas - Jacob Magid (Times of Israel)
    Iran has agreed to renew its funding for Hamas after meetings in Lebanon between the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hamas, and Hizbullah, Asharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday.
    Relations between Iran and Hamas have been strained since Hamas came out against Syrian President Assad after the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

UN Pulls Backing for Palestinian Women's Center Named for Terrorist - Ilan Ben Zion (AP-ABC News)
    Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday that the UN has stopped supporting a Palestinian community center in the West Bank named for Dalal Mughrabi, a woman who participated in a 1978 bus hijacking in Israel in which 38 civilians were killed.
    "The glorification of terrorism, or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts, is unacceptable under any circumstance," Guterres said.
    The UN announcement came a day after Norway pulled its funding for the center.

France's Special Forces Hunt French Militants Fighting for Islamic State - Tamer El-Ghobashy, Maria Abi-Habib, and Benoit Faucon (Wall Street Journal)
    French special forces have for months enlisted Iraqi soldiers to hunt and kill French nationals who have joined the senior ranks of Islamic State.
    French special forces have provided to Iraqi troops the names and photographs of 30 men identified as high-value targets. A number of French citizens have been killed by Iraqi artillery and ground forces using location coordinates and intelligence supplied by the French.
    The motive for the secret operation is to ensure that French nationals with allegiance to Islamic State never return home to threaten France, said a current and a former foreign-affairs adviser to the French government.
    About 40 French special forces operate state-of-the-art intelligence-gathering tools, such as surveillance drones and radio interception devices, to help locate militants.

Video: Egypt Blockades the Straits of Tiran (Six Day War Project-Jerusalem U)
    In May 1967, Egypt imposed a naval blockade on Israel and President Nasser deployed of tens of thousands of troops along Israel's border.

Israel's Elbit Signs $390 Million Contract with European Country (Jane's-UK)
    Elbit Systems announced Sunday it was awarded a $390 million contract to supply an array of ground electronic intelligence capabilities to a European country.

Anti-Jihadist Video Goes Viral (AFP)
    A video by the Kuwaiti telecommunications giant Zain that depicts a would-be suicide bomber confronted by the Muslim faithful has gone viral at the start of Ramadan.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Iran to Bankroll Pro-Government Militia Fighters in Syria - Mehdi Jedinia and Ahed Al Hendi
    The Syrian government has asked Iran to take over the supervision and payroll of thousands of foreign Shi'ite militiamen fighting in support of President Assad, the pro-opposition Zaman Al Wasel website reported. "The number of Shia militia has increased dramatically during the last two months," a Syrian official told VOA.
        "While a big part of these militia were recruited by Iran, a relatively big part was recruited by the Syrian government directly. We are speaking about more than 50,000 militants from different nationalities. The Syrian government requested that Iran provide for all of the mentioned militias." Iran has long expressed a desire to command a unified army in the region, particularly in Syria. (VOA News)
  • Democrats, Jewish Groups Join Trump in Protesting Palestinian Terror Payments - Rafael Medoff
    Prominent Democrats and major U.S. Jewish organizations are joining President Trump in calling on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop making payments to imprisoned terrorists and their families. In his May 22 press conference with PA President Abbas in Bethlehem, Trump warned that terrorists should not be "tolerated, funded or rewarded."
        Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) recently introduced the Taylor Force Act, which would make U.S. aid to the PA conditional on its halting payments to terrorists and their families. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told he supports the legislation.
        A spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Schumer "believes it is abhorrent that the Palestinian Authority provides support to terrorists and their families" and "thinks the United States policy should be to seek a way to end this disturbing practice." Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said he "shares deep concerns" about the PA's payments to terrorists and believes "this practice should be stopped."  (
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: Notion that Handing Over Land Will Bring Peace Is False - Ariel Whitman
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Army Radio on Tuesday, "In any peace agreement, we [Israel] will have to maintain military control of all the territory west of the Jordan River." He indicated that an Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank would likely create a vacuum prone to takeover by extremists.
        "Why is there no peace? It is not because of the territories or the settlements. For about 50 years, from 1920 until 1967, we did not hold the territories or have any settlements and they wanted to throw us out of Tel Aviv....Also today, when I ask the Palestinian Authority [leadership] if we were to agree to all your demands, would you relinquish your demand for the right of return of Palestinians to Jaffa....They sit in their chair and refuse to answer the question."
        "The root cause of the conflict was and still is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People within any borders."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinians Paid Terrorists $1 Billion in Past 4 Years
    The Palestinian Authority has paid out $1.12 billion over the past four years to terrorists and their families, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. He added that PA claims that the payments are social welfare benefits are false. The Palestinians' own budgetary documents "clearly state that these are salaries and not welfare payments."
        "The Palestinians are trying to depict themselves as supporting peace while they are still paying the families of terrorists," he said. "Assurance of a cash prize for acts of terror is encouragement to terrorism, and is against international law."
        Dore Gold, a former Foreign Ministry director-general, said, "The idea that a body such as the Palestinian Authority pays money as compensation to families who lost their sons as they were engaged in terror is unacceptable and contradicts common sense. Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell called it 'providing an incentive to terrorism.'"  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The Psychological Profile of the Palestinian "Lone Wolf" Terrorist - Dr. Irwin J. (Yitzchak) Mansdorf
    A series of psychological measures was administered to Palestinian residents of a refugee camp as well as a neighboring village, with subjects asked to rate both themselves as well as how they imagined actual perpetrators of "lone wolf" violence would see themselves. Our sample included many in both groups who actually knew "lone wolves." Our goal was to construct a psychological profile of the young Palestinian "lone wolf" based on the descriptions of those who knew him or her best, namely peers.
        We found distinct differences between the Al-Aroub refugee camp and the nearby village of Beit Ummar. The Beit Ummar subjects saw themselves no less "nationalistic" regarding the rights of Palestinians than they saw terror operatives being, while at the same time were more tolerant of Jewish rights and less tolerant of violent behavior towards Jews.
        The refugee camp residents appear to have more closely identified with those that perpetrate attacks, while Beit Ummar residents see themselves as more psychologically intact, less hopeless, less violent in school settings and more moderate in their beliefs related to incitement. We found that many Palestinian Arabs see the "lone wolves" as psychologically distressed individuals who are not solely driven by ideology. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also The Psychology of "Lone Wolf" Palestinian Arab Violence - Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf
    The decision to carry out a violent terror attack requires both a motivational ideology to act as "fuel" and a specific psychological event or state to serve as the "trigger."  (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Why Is U.S. Funding UN Human Rights Council's Israel Blacklist? - Anne Bayefsky
    The UN Human Rights Council is preparing a blacklist of American and other companies doing business with Israel - and U.S. taxpayers are paying a quarter of the bill. The council's move embraces the "boycott, divestment and sanctions" campaign. Successive White Houses have tried and failed to correct the entrenched anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias of the council.
        Under a sanctions resolution adopted in March 2016, the council is creating a database of companies that "directly or indirectly" do business with Israeli settlements. This means that an ATM in Arab-claimed territory could be enough to land a bank and its business associates on this database. The blacklist threatens to tarnish business reputations, make companies targets for lawfare in European and U.S. courts, and provide fuel for the boycott-and-divestment machinery on college campuses. Meanwhile, the council has no boycott policy for the world's most ruthless regimes. The writer is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. (Wall Street Journal)

Israel Is Not Facing a Dilemma over the West Bank - Dr. Max Singer (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)

  • Israel does not now have a choice about giving the Palestinians land or creating a Palestinian state. While there are undoubtedly peace-seeking Palestinians, as a community, the Palestinians have not even begun to discuss the possibility of making a peace that accepts Israel and ends the Palestinian effort to gain all the land "from the river to the sea."
  • Nor have they begun public discussion of the possibility of most of the "refugees" settling outside Israel. Without that discussion, there is no way the Palestinians can give up their determination to destroy Israel and make a genuine peace.
  • The Palestinians see peace with Israel as defeat in their 100-year struggle. The choice they have made is to force Israel to "occupy" them, because they want to keep up the struggle to destroy Israel. This reality means that the question of what land we should give up is a question for the fairly distant future.
  • We should do whatever we can to make the Palestinians and the Arab world more willing to give up their determination to destroy us. Being nicer to them might help, although that is not usually a very effective strategy in the Middle East.
  • The U.S. could help by replacing false "even-handedness" with a truth-telling strategy that shows the Arab world that the U.S. will not help them destroy Israel.

    The writer, a founder of the Hudson Institute, is a senior fellow at the BESA Center.

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