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June 19, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Kushner, Greenblatt to Visit Israel to Pursue Peace Deal - Joy Bernard (Jerusalem Post)
    Top White House aides Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt will travel to Israel this week in pursuit of a peace deal, the White House confirmed Monday.
    The two are expected to meet Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem and PA President Abbas in Ramallah in an effort to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

BBC Apologizes for Misleading Jerusalem Attack Headline - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
    The BBC has published an apology regarding coverage of the terror attack in Jerusalem on Friday.
    The initial headline was: "Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem" - making no mention of the three Palestinian terrorists or that border policewoman Hadas Malka was murdered in the attack.
    In response to the widespread outcry, the BBC said, "We accept that our original headline did not appropriately reflect the nature of the events and subsequently changed it. Whilst there was no intention to mislead our audiences, we regret any offense caused."
    The headline was only changed after strong protest from the Israel Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Ambassador in London, Mark Regev. The two sharply criticized the network for refusing to use the word "terror" when it comes to attacks against Israelis.

    See also PA Turns Murderers into Victims - Itamar Marcus (Palestinian Media Watch)
    According to the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, to stop Palestinian terrorists in the act of murdering Israelis is a "war crime."
    Fatah and the PA immediately and repeatedly condemned Israel's cutting short Friday's Jerusalem terror attack, and honored the terrorist murderers as Islamic "martyrs."
    Presenting Israeli self-defense against Palestinian terrorists as illegal aggression is PA policy.

Iran and China Conduct Naval Drill in Gulf (Reuters)
    Iran and China began a joint naval exercise in the Gulf on Sunday, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
    An Iranian destroyer and two Chinese destroyers are among the vessels that will participate in the exercise in the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.

Israel Speeds Up Security Camera Placements in West Bank - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    In the past year, the Israel Defense Forces has accelerated the installation of a comprehensive network of surveillance cameras throughout the West Bank.
    More than 1,700 cameras have already been put in place on roads, intersections and in Israeli communities, including cameras clearly visible as well as hidden cameras.
    Along Route 443 from Jerusalem to Modi'in, an operations room has been set up that collects data from many cameras in an effort to reduce stone-throwing and firebomb attacks on this major artery.
    There has also been increased use of drones, helmet-mounted cameras and cameras installed on military patrol vehicles and those of civilian security personnel.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Fighter Jet Shoots Down Syrian Warplane - Michael R. Gordon and Thomas Erdbrink
    An American fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday after it dropped bombs near local ground forces supported by the U.S., south of the town of Tabqah. The U.S. had airlifted hundreds of Syrian fighters and their American military advisers near Tabqah in March in a push to cut off the western approaches to the ISIS capital of Raqqa.
        The U.S.-led task force in Syria said: "The coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The coalition does not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat."  (New York Times)
  • Iran Fires Missiles at Militant Groups in Eastern Syria - Babak Dehghanpisheh
    Iran fired missiles on Sunday into eastern Syria, aiming at the bases of militant groups it holds responsible for attacks in Tehran which left 18 dead last week. Iranian Revolutionary Guards launched the mid-range ground-to-ground missiles from western Iran, over Iraq, into the Deir al Zour region of Syria, targeting the "headquarters and gathering centers of Takfiri terrorists supporting and building car bombs," Iran's Tasnim news agency reported. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Tehran attack. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Border Police Officer Stabbed to Death in Palestinian Terror Attack in Jerusalem
    Sgt. Hadas Malka, 23, was stabbed to death near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Friday evening while fighting off her attacker. Nearby troops shot and killed the assailant. Seconds earlier, two Palestinian assailants attacked Border Police troops with a gun and knives in the Muslim Quarter before they were killed. The attack was carried out by "two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a third from Hamas," Hamas said Saturday. (Times of Israel)
        See also Hadas Malka, the Soldier Who Died Fighting a Terrorist - Matan Tzuri
    Sgt. Hadas Malka, who was killed Friday in Jerusalem, fought to serve in the Border Police and continued on after her mandatory service. "She wanted a meaningful service, she wanted to contribute, she was patriotic like no other," her uncle, Yaakov Abutbul, told Ynet. "She would come home from the army with a smile on her face, and never complained."  (Ynet News)
        See also To My Sister in Arms - Eden Panker
    The writer served in the Border Police with Sgt. Hadas Malka. (Israel Hayom)
  • Netanyahu: PA Refusing to Condemn Murder of Israeli Border Policewoman
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday: "I would like to send condolences from the depths of my heart to the family of Border Police fighter, the late Hadas Malka. Their grief is our grief; their sorrow is that of the entire nation. Hadas was a young person full of life. She was imbued with a sense of mission of defending the State of Israel."
        "Instead of condemning the attack, Fatah - which is headed by Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] - issued a statement in which it condemn the Border Police fighters who killed the terrorists, and praised the murderers as heroes....Of course, the Palestinian Authority is refusing to condemn the murder and the same authority will now pay financial compensation to the murderers' families."
        "I call on the countries of the world to condemn both the murder and those who praise it, and demand the immediate cessation of Palestinian Authority payments to the families of terrorists, something that only encourages terror."  (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also UN Envoy Condemns Jerusalem Attack: Terrorists Should Not Be Extolled as "Heroes" - Joy Bernard
    The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, on Saturday condemned Friday's terror attack that killed border policewoman Hadas Malka. "I am appalled that once again some find it appropriate to justify such attacks as 'heroic.' They are unacceptable," he said. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Israel Seeks Friendly Buffer Zone in Syrian Golan to Counter Iranian Penetration - Rory Jones
    Israel has been supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash, food, fuel and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces. Israel's aim is to keep Iran-backed fighters away from the border on the Golan Heights.
        Israeli officials have pointed out that rebels in certain areas have never tried to attack Israel, while an Islamic State affiliate that has carved out a pocket of control on the south end of the Syrian Golan exchanged fire with Israeli forces last year.
        Israel has dubbed the current Golan operation "The Good Neighborhood" policy, according political analyst Ehud Ya'ari. "It's a matter of interests," said a person familiar with Israeli policy. Israel offers humanitarian support and in return gets a "buffer zone" of local militias defending themselves. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Leaks Against Trump Are Hurting Israel - Elliott Abrams
    American officials leaked highly classified information to the New York Times revealing details of Israeli involvement in penetrating a cell of extremist bombmakers in Syria. Those officials committed a crime. The Times' unprincipled and irresponsible disclosure damaged not only Israel but our own safety. It helped ISIS.
        As Alex Fishman wrote in Yediot Ahronot, "Somebody is waging their battle against Trump at Israel's expense and is deliberately causing serious damage to an ally of the United States, bordering on betrayal." 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. (Newsweek)
  • Is Europe More Desperate for a Palestinian State than the Palestinians? - Bjorn Brenner
    Year after year, the EU channels millions of euros from European taxpayers into various projects in the Palestinian territories focusing on building the institutions of a future state. But the establishment of an independent Palestinian state no longer constitutes either a realistic alternative, or the most effective way of helping the Palestinians improve their lives - if this is really what the Europeans are seeking to do. The current situation is the way it is, and any serious policy-making must be adapted to what is realistic and feasible here and now.
        Today, seemingly abyssal rifts run between the Palestinian people and its leaders, between the Islamist and secularist blocs, between the old and young generations and between the scattered pieces of land that were once intended to make up the State of Palestine. Policy-makers in Brussels need to face the painful understanding that Palestine today is a project primarily advocated by the EU itself (together with the old guard in Ramallah).
        According to recent opinion polls, the majority of Palestinians believe that the (EU-funded) institutions in Ramallah are malfunctioning and corrupt. Evidently, public opinion in the Palestinian territories runs in the opposite direction to the EU's ongoing state-building efforts. The writer is a lecturer at the Swedish Defence University in Stockholm and a visiting fellow at Institut Francais du Proche-Orient in Amman, Jordan. (Ha'aretz)

From Cape Town to Jerusalem - Ariel Kahane (Makor Rishon, 16June2017, Hebrew)

  • The 2001 Durban Conference Against Racism and Xenophobia that took place in Durban, South Africa, 16 years ago is still considered the opening shot in the intensifying global war to delegitimize Israel. Last week the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs hosted a roundtable with black South Africans together with Israeli officials and experts to discuss the Israel apartheid accusation along with strategies to defeat this libel.
  • Dan Diker, a Jerusalem Center Fellow and Director of its Program to Counter BDS and Political Warfare, has been researching the Israel apartheid libel, which led him to Luba and Cassandra Mayekiso, two staunchly pro-Israel black South African Christians from Cape Town. In 2016 Diker recorded fascinating meetings with black South African politicians, human rights activists, and former leaders of the BDS movement.
  • Diker invited Luba and Cassandra Mayekiso to Jerusalem to expose the sharp differences between apartheid and life in Israel. Cassandra, 22, said it's possible for Israel to win the public diplomacy war in South Africa.
  • "There are 55 million people in South Africa. 40 million of them are Christians who have no knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and who believe in the Old Testament," she said. "It's also important to show daily life in Israel, and the broad range of people of different ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Rational, reasonable people will be influenced by the facts."

        See also Between Begin and Mandela - Amnon Lord
    In 2016, when Dore Gold was Director General of Israel's Foreign Ministry, he visited South Africa. There, he met an old Jewish Communist who told a story of when a manhunt was underway for Nelson Mandela, who was hidden in a Jewish home. Here, Mandela read Menachem Begin's book The Revolt. Begin's book was present in the African Liberation Movement against apartheid.
        Later, Gold managed to arrange a meeting with the South African foreign minister, who is very hostile toward Israel. He told her of the book by one of the leaders of the Jewish liberation movement that inspired the leader of the struggle against apartheid. (Israel Hayom, 15June2017, Hebrew)

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