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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
July 4, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Palestinian Cleric at Al-Aqsa Mosque: "Oh Allah, Enable Us to Slaughter the Americans!" (MEMRI TV)
    Preaching at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in a video posted on June 18, 2017, Palestinian cleric Sheikh Nadhal Siam said, "Oh Allah, enable us to slaughter the Americans!"
    The audience responded with "Amen!"
    Siam added: "And the Europeans! And our criminal and treacherous [Arab] rulers!"
    "Oh Allah, do not leave a single one of them on the face of the earth!"
    "Oh Allah, bring about their downfall and their annihilation soon!"

Iranian Parliament Allocates $600 Million to Support Missile Program, IRGC Qods Force (Mehr News-Iran)
    Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said that "$300 million has been allocated to promote Iran's missile program, while a similar amount has been assigned to support the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

More Gas Offshore Israel than Originally Thought - Daniel J. Graeber (UPI)
    An independent reviewer, Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc., said the volume of natural gas estimated in the Tamar gas field offshore Israel stands at 11.2 trillion cubic feet, with an additional 14.6 million barrels of condensate, a 13% increase from the previous estimate.

United Church of Christ Condemns Israel (JTA)
    Delegates at the 31st General Synod of the United Church of Christ on Sunday voted 79% to 13% in favor of a resolution condemning Israel for its treatment of Palestinian children living in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and Gaza, and called on the U.S. to withhold military assistance to Israel.
    In response, Rabbi Noam Marans, director of interreligious and intergroup relations at the American Jewish Committee, said Monday, "The latest UCC resolution does nothing to advance the possibility of peace. Rather, by continuing to demonize Israel, UCC supports those who oppose peace."

Things I Learned as Israel's Ambassador in South Africa - Amb. Arthur Lenk (Daily Maverick-South Africa)
    Israel, for many African countries, is an easier model than far-off European or Asian countries. Tiny Israel has been successful in transforming from a developing to modern country in a generation.
    Twice over the past year, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Africa to share a message that if Israel can achieve this goal, African states can too.
    A recent survey by the University of Cape Town of black South Africans found that the vast majority had not even heard of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the huge efforts of a loud and aggressive anti-Israel lobby.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Ontario Court Upholds $1.7 Billion Judgment Against Iran, Ruling in Favor of American Victims of Terrorism - Andrian Humphreys
    Ontario's Court of Appeal upheld a US$1.7-billion judgment against the government of Iran in favor of American victims of terrorism, accusing Tehran of trying to derail Canada's Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.
        "The terrorist attacks out of which the respondents' U.S. judgments arise are repugnant to civilized society. The fact that a foreign government would engage in the sponsorship of such atrocities is chilling," wrote Justice C. William Hourigan. "There is nothing offensive about using peaceful legislative means to combat terrorism. To the contrary, awarding damages that may have a deterrent effect is a sensible and measured response to the state sponsorship of terrorism and is entirely consistent with Canadian legal morals."
        Victims of terror attacks and their families had sued Iran in the U.S. for arming, training and bankrolling Hamas and Hizbullah. The terror victims won their cases, but with few Iranian government assets remaining in the U.S., the victims turned to Canada for restitution, where Tehran maintained property and bank accounts. Canada's Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, enacted in 2012, allows U.S. victims to seek Iran's money in Canada. (National Post-Canada)
  • French Energy Giant Total Signs Major Iran Gas Deal, Defies U.S. Pressure
    French energy giant Total defied U.S pressure on Monday by signing a multi-billion-dollar gas deal with Iran, the first by a European firm in more than a decade. Total will invest an initial $1 billion in the South Pars offshore gas field as part of a consortium with Chinese and Iranian firms. (France 24)
        See also Why Has Iran's Investment Gold Rush Been So Slow to Emerge? - Eric Randolph
    Despite thousands of business delegates flooding into Tehran after the 2015 nuclear agreement, big deals have been slow to emerge. A UN trade report published in June said total foreign direct investment into Iran in 2016 was $3.4 billion - way below the $4.7 billion it received in 2012 before sanctions hit.
        Although many international sanctions were lifted under the nuclear deal, Washington maintained many related to human rights, ballistic missile tests and Iran's role in regional conflicts. U.S. lawmakers are in the process of tightening these sanctions, leaving many international firms worried they could face massive fines or be barred from working in the U.S.  Moreover, Iran remains a risky investment prospect due to its pervasive corruption and red tape, a banking sector crippled by toxic debt and a fluctuating currency. All this has scared off the global banks needed to finance long-term deals. (AFP-Daily Mail-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • U.S. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley: Oppose Declaring Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as Palestinian Heritage Site - Raphael Ahren
    U.S. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Friday asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova to oppose a Palestinian effort to have UNESCO declare the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a Palestinian heritage site. Haley noted that "The Tomb of the sacred to three faiths." She noted that "Many precious sites - from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Libya to Iraq to Syria - are under real and imminent threat of destruction today. They urgently demand UNESCO's full and immediate attention, which should not be wasted on this sort of symbolic action."  (Times of Israel)
  • Senior Hamas Terrorists Move from Qatar to Lebanon
    Senior Hamas terrorist Saleh al-Arouri and two other senior Hamas figures have relocated to the Hizbullah stronghold of Dahieh in southern Beirut after being expelled last month from Qatar, Israel's Channel 2 reported Monday. Arouri, said to be the group's military commander in the West Bank, is believed to have helped plan the June 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • How UK Police Are Turning to Israel for Help Stopping "Lone Wolf" Terror Attacks - Kim Sengupta
    The rise in the number of Islamist attacks by "lone wolves" in Europe has led to increased liaison on the issue between a number of foreign security agencies and the Israelis. A British team, according to Whitehall sources, is due to travel to Israel to look at the methods used there in the near future.
        Unlike Israel, Britain's unarmed police force operates with a small number of specialized firearms units. In London, PC Wayne Marques, of British Transport Police, described how he had fought off the three London Bridge terrorists who were slashing with butchers' knives, with just a baton.
        Israel Police Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld, who was born in North London before his family emigrated to Israel, reflected, "I must admit that if I was walking around as a police officer in London at a time like this, with just a baton for protection, then I would be worried....Having armed officers means that not only can they protect themselves better, they are in a better position to protect the public."  (Independent-UK)
  • Radical Ignorance - Cameron K. Khansarinia
    The mantra of a cruel Israeli state oppressing the Palestinians is ubiquitous in many intellectual circles. They deplore the situation in Gaza, yet they ignore that Israel pulled out of Gaza more than a decade ago. Instead of a vibrant Palestinian state in Gaza, it is a terrorist haven in which the people are repressed by their fundamentalist rulers. Hamas does not spend the billions it receives in foreign aid on schools or hospitals, but rather on tunnels through which terrorists can attack Israel and cash stipends to incentivize suicide bombers, children included. Why should Israel repeat the mistake in the West Bank?
        Israel is already surrounded by millions of people who, inspired by their leaders and a perverted version of Islam, hate them. An Israeli mother told me, "If the Jews had our way, there would be a Jewish state and a Palestinian state in which we could guarantee our ability to survive. If the Palestinian leaders had their way, there wouldn't be any Jews left, much less a Jewish state."
        Let's not pretend that Israeli security measures are in place to intentionally hold back the vast majority of peaceful Palestinians. They are to hold back those who would drive the Jews into the sea, given the chance. (Harvard Crimson)
  • Video: What Are Defensible Borders and Why Are They Important for Israel? - Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Uzi Dayan
    "Defensible borders" means the line from which you can defend yourself with your own forces. The average distance between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is 40 miles, which does not provide minimal strategic depth. The Jordan Valley with the ridge to the west is the best line that you can rely upon. There are only five strategic passages through the ridge.
        We know that to fight terrorism effectively, if you don't control the envelope of the region, terror groups like Hamas will quickly take over, and they will invite the Iranians and, all of a sudden, you have an Iranian outpost in the West Bank. They already have an outpost in Lebanon and in Gaza. We don't need another one in the West Bank and near Jerusalem. Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Uzi Dayan is a former Israeli national security adviser and IDF deputy chief of staff. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

The India-Israel Breakthrough - Walter Russell Mead (American Interest)

  • This week, Narendra Modi will make history as India's first prime minister to make an official visit to Israel. He will be putting the Palestinian issue aside to forge closer ties on defense, agriculture, tech, and trade.
  • In agriculture, Israeli water recycling technology is helping India grow food more efficiently; Israel has also established 26 agricultural expertise centers in India to teach local farmers new tricks.
  • Meanwhile, Israel Aerospace Industries is working with local Indian partners on space cooperation and developing high-res radar satellites.
  • It is also about the successful expansion of Israeli diplomacy away from Europe. From the Gulf to Africa to all across Asia, Israeli diplomacy is more active and diversified than ever before. It reflects a recognition that Israel is not a West European state.
  • Israel's integration into the non-Western world was delayed by Arab hostility. But Arab power is weakening.
  • As OPEC's power over world oil prices declines, and as sectarian war and political failure rip the Arab world apart, Israeli tech prowess and close links to the U.S. make it a valued partner for more and more of the postcolonial world.

    The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College.

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