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July 21, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Video: In Temple Mount Attack, Fourth Accomplice Left Guns in Backpack at Al-Aqsa Mosque - Alexander Fulbright (Times of Israel)
    Israel Police on Thursday released video footage from the terror attack at the Temple Mount last Friday showing that the three Arab-Israeli gunmen had an accomplice who brought the guns in a backpack onto the Temple Mount that morning and left them in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
    Channel 2 reported that the accomplice has been arrested and that he was also an Arab-Israeli.

U.S. Ambassador Visits Bereaved Families of Israeli Policemen Slain at Temple Mount - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
    U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman paid a condolence visit Thursday to the families of the two Israel Police officers who were murdered last Friday at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
    Hugging the families of Staff Sgt.-Maj. Ha'il Satawi of Maghar and Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shnaan of Hurfeish, Friedman told them: "We need to focus on ensuring that no other family should have a reason to suffer this way."

Hamas Permits Gaza Rally for Former Foe Mohammed Dahlan (AP-New York Times)
    Hamas permitted more than 2,000 supporters of Mohammed Dahlan to stage a rally in Gaza City on Thursday, signaling a possible power-sharing deal between two former arch foes.
    Dahlan backers also opened an office in Gaza last month and began disbursing $2 million in aid from the UAE.
    Dahlan, forced into exile after falling out with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010, is poised to launch a comeback.
    Hamas seized Gaza in a violent 2007 takeover that included battles with forces loyal to Dahlan.
    The emerging Dahlan-Hamas agreement was made possible, in part, by the election of Yehiyeh Sinwar as the new Hamas chief in Gaza in March. Dahlan, 55, and Sinwar, 54, have known each other since boyhood.

Anger and Mistrust in Gaza as Hamas Hunts for Israel "Collaborators" - Phoebe Greenwood (Guardian-UK)
    On May 25, Abdullah al-Nashar, who served as a presidential guard for both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, was one of three men publicly executed for helping Israel assassinate Hamas military chief Mazen Fuqha in Gaza.
    His brothers Mohammed and Khaled al-Nashar are convinced he was killed for a crime he did not commit. Israel has officially denied that it was responsible for the killing.
    Since the 2014 war, Hamas has run a major campaign against the internal threat posed by collaborators. Following Fuqha's death, 45 people were arrested on charges of collaboration.

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Islamic State Digs In for Guerrilla Warfare - Michael Georgy (Reuters)
    Intelligence officials said that a few months ago they noticed a growing stream of commanders and fighters flowing out of the Iraqi city of Mosul to set up bases for new operations in the Hamrin mountains in northeast Iraq, which offer hideouts and access to four Iraqi provinces.
    "They are digging in," said Lahur Talabany, a top Kurdish counter-terrorism official.
    "They'll try to hide with the population. Their cells will get smaller - instead of companies and platoons, they'll go to squads and cells," said Lt.-Gen. Steve Townsend, commander of the U.S.-led coalition.
    "The notion of a caliphate is gone. The dream is gone. They will revert back to their old tactics of hit and run attacks," said senior Kurdish official and former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshiyar Zebari. "The hardcore will keep fighting."

UK-Israel Trade Increased after Brexit Vote (BICOM)
    From June 2016 to May 2017, 32 new Israeli companies entered the UK market. They invested 152 million pounds and created 888 new jobs, the British Embassy in Tel Aviv reported.
    This is an increase on the previous year where 25 Israeli companies entered Britain with an investment of 114 million pounds and created 787 jobs.

UK-Israel Science Program Has Invested 7 Million Pounds in 5 Years - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
    The Britain Israel Research Academic Exchange (BIRAX) has funded over 7 million pounds ($9.1 million) in 15 bilateral research programs including stem cell treatments for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease and therapies for Type 1 diabetes.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli Leader Urges Renewed Talks with EU - Thomas Hunt
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meeting with European leaders in Budapest, was caught on an open microphone as he encouraged the EU to build closer ties with his country. He said: "I think Europe has to decide if it wants to live and thrive or if it wants to shrivel and disappear. I am not very politically correct. I know that's a shock to some of you. But the truth is the truth - both about Europe's security and Europe's economic future. Both of these concerns mandate a different policy toward Israel."
        "The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel - which produces technology in every area - on political conditions. The only ones! Nobody does it." Europe was wrecking its own progress by "undermining its connection with Israeli innovation by a crazy attempt to create conditions."
        "Don't undermine the one European Western country that defends European values and European interests, and prevents another mass migration to Europe - stop attacking Israel, start supporting Israel."  (Daily Express-UK)
  • House Appropriations Committee Approves Restrictions on U.S. Funding for UN and Palestinian Authority - Ben Cohen
    The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved restrictions on American funding for both the UN and the Palestinian Authority. There will be "no funding for the (UN) Human Rights Council unless the Secretary of State determines that it is in the national security interest and the Council stops its anti-Israel agenda and increases transparency in the elections of its members," the committee said in a statement. "The bill also prohibits funds for UN organizations headed by countries that support terrorism, and withholds a portion of funds for the UN and international organizations until transparency and accountability measures are met."
        The bill "maintains restrictions on the PA," including a requirement to reduce funds to the Palestinians by an amount "equivalent to that expended by the PA as payments to prisoners that committed acts of terrorism." Funding will be cut off "if there is a Palestinian government formed through an agreement with Hamas or if the Palestinians are not acting to counter incitement." An additional provision would restrict Palestinian diplomatic representation in the U.S. in the event that the PA initiates an International Criminal Court investigation against Israel. (Algemeiner)
  • European Human Rights Court: Islamist Hate Speech Is Not Protected Free Speech
    The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that online videos considered by a Belgian court to be Islamist hate speech were not protected under free speech provisions. Fouad Belkacem, a Belgian national, is currently imprisoned for his activities as the head of Sharia4Belgium, an organization banned for recruiting foreign fighters to participate in militant activities in the Middle East. In the videos, Belkacem called on viewers to "overpower non-Muslims, teach them a lesson and fight them," content the Court called "markedly hateful."
        The ECHR upheld the 2013 decision of Belgium's top court, which found that, far from simply expressing his views, Belkacem had incited others to discriminate on the basis of faith and to violence against non-Muslims. (VOA News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel's Security Cabinet: Leave Metal Detectors at Entrances to Temple Mount - Tovah Lazaroff
    Israel's Security Cabinet decided to leave in place the walk-through metal detectors installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount after the murder of two Israel Police officers. "Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and to protecting the safety of worshipers and visitors," the Prime Minister's Office said Friday morning.
        Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Channel 2 that "once the red line has been crossed of automatic weapons on the Temple Mount [as in last Friday's terrorist attack], there is a need to change the security arrangements." He said the metal detectors should remain because the focus should be on preventing future terrorist attacks. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel Prepares for Friday Muslim Prayers on Temple Mount - Raoul Wootliff
    Ahead of anticipated violence by Muslims on Friday over the new security measures at the Temple Mount, the Israel Police are planning to limit the number of worshipers allowed to enter the Temple Mount area and block entry to the capital from other areas of the country. (Times of Israel)
        See also Israeli Police Ban Muslim Men under Age 50 from Friday Prayers in Jerusalem (Independent-UK)
  • Palestinians Careen toward Confrontation with Israel over Temple Mount Security Measures - Avi Issacharoff
    The Israeli decision to set up walk-through metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem may well seem reasonable and justified, in light of the deadly terror attack last Friday. But any attempt to apply "reason" is irrelevant, as the measure has brought about a consensus of resistance among the Palestinians, as well as in the Arab and Muslim world.
        Israel insists it is not seeking to change the status quo or to create new facts on the ground on the Temple Mount - only to prevent further attacks. But in the minds of some Muslims, the Israeli security measures are seen as a precursor to a takeover of the compound. And if top religious leaders declare the Al-Aqsa Mosque under attack, no Palestinians would dare say differently, lest they be deemed traitors and collaborators. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel: UNESCO Is a Full Partner in Palestinian Incitement - Tovah Lazaroff
    "UNESCO is a full partner to the false incitement by Palestinians and radical Islam who claim that Al-Aksa [mosque] is in danger," Israel's ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, Carmel Shama HaCohen, said Thursday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinian Attempts to Stab Female IDF Soldier in West Bank - Elisha Ben Kimon and Yoav Zitun
    Mohammad Hussein al-Tanuh, 20, of Tuqua in the West Bank, attempted to stab a female IDF soldier on Thursday before being shot and killed by security forces at the scene. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Former ISA Chief: Use of Metal Detectors on Temple Mount Based on "Pure Security" Concerns
    Israel's decision to install metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount following a deadly terror attack there was based on "pure security," Knesset member Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid), a former head of the Israel Security Agency, said Thursday. While searching the Temple Mount area after the lethal assault, authorities say they found a stockpile of weapons, including a submachine gun.
        Perry described the Palestinians' accusation that Israel is attempting to change the status quo as "an outrage....It's in the interest of everybody - Islam, Judaism, governments, people, Jews and Palestinians - to try to protect these holy places better than they were protected before the act of terror." He observed that the Saudi government installed metal and explosives detectors at the Holy Mosque in Mecca in 2011.
        In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, when weapons "were smuggled or stolen or hidden on the Temple Mount, it's a must to tighten the security belts and I hope that even the Palestinians...will understand this as well."  (The Tower)
  • No Israeli-Palestinian Agreement on Core Issues - Aaron David Miller
    Former Arab-Israeli peace negotiator Aaron David Miller spoke at a July 11, 2017, book launch at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington for The Last Palestinian: The Rise and Reign of Mahmoud Abbas.
        Miller: "The reality is not so much Abbas and the risks he refused or was willing to take. We saw this with a much more legitimate Palestinian leader at Camp David [Arafat]. This issue is the issues and whether or not any Israeli and Palestinian leader is prepared to make definitive decisions on the six core issues that drive the conflict: borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem, recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, and end of claims and conflict. The answer has been, to date, no."
        "I see nothing...certainly on the Palestinian side, that suggests that any Palestinian leader, certainly Abbas and those who will follow him, are ready to make those sorts of choices."  (Foundation for the Defense of Democracies)

  • Anniversary of Iranian-Hizbullah Bombing Attack in Argentina

  • On Bombing Anniversary, Iran Still Engaged in Illicit Activity - Matthew Levitt
    This week marks the 23rd anniversary of the 1994 bombing by Iranian agents and Hizbullah terrorists of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and wounded an additional 300.
        Following the attack, Argentinean authorities concluded that "the decision to carry out the AMIA attack was made, and the attack was orchestrated, by the highest officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the time, and that these officials instructed Lebanese Hizbullah - a group that has historically been subordinated to the economic and political interests of the Tehran regime - to carry out the attack."
        Since 1994, Iran has continuously supported Hizbullah in its efforts to perpetrate terrorism around the world. The writer is director of the Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (The Hill)
  • Anniversary of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association Bombing - Heather Nauert
    The United States shares the sorrow of the families of those who perished in the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building in 1994. For the past 23 years, we have joined the Argentine government and victims of this terrorist attack in seeking justice. We continue to believe that the Iranian government has a responsibility to cooperate fully with Argentine authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
        On this occasion, we also reflect upon the significant contributions of prosecutor Alberto Nisman in investigating the AMIA bombing, and note the importance of clarifying the circumstances of his tragic death. On this day, as has been the case in the many years since the bombing, we remain united with the people of Argentina in the search for justice. (State Department)
        See also Thousands in Argentina Remember Victims of Buenos Aires Jewish Center Bombing (JTA)
        See also Iran Continues to Protect AMIA Bombing Suspects - Toby Dershowitz and Gardner Lange (Long War Journal)
  • Argentina-Israel Relations: Nazi Trials and Terrorist Tribulations - Avraham Spraragen
    Argentina-Israel relations have included Israel's capture of the notorious Nazi commander Adolph Eichmann in Buenos Aires, cases of blatant anti-Semitism, horrific acts of terrorism, the Argentinian government's support of Israel's adversaries, and its policy of diplomatic measures pressuring Israel to make concessions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
        The previous presidential administration of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (2007-2015) supported relations with Iran including direct talks and negotiations with terrorists who masterminded the two most lethal acts of terrorism in the history of Argentina. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Weekend Features

  • The Israel Air Force Seeks to Foster a Culture of Innovation - Yaakov Lappin
    The Israeli Air Force's Innovation Department is mostly staffed by immigrants, many of whom have worked at high-tech giants like Google and IBM, where they developed cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence. South African-born American immigrant Sgt. Ilan Regenbaum said his department works for "increasing the culture of innovation within the air force, and the military...not so much on the technological side, but more on the side of culture and organization - the way the air force functions." Regenbaum affirmed the department is injecting techniques that are commonplace in major firms like Google and Facebook into the heart of the IAF.
        "If a soldier or officer says, 'Here's an issue, let's fix it,' or, 'Here's a project that can save millions of shekels, or improve the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers,' how do you manage all of that in a structural, regimented organization?" The IAF Innovation Department has started doing just that. It has allowed any soldier of any rank who sees problems on the ground, or has ideas on new ways of working, to list their proposals on an air force computer system that is linked to officers who are authorized to make decisions. (
  • The Red Cross and the Holocaust - Samuel Moyn
    In Humanitarians at War: The Red Cross in the Shadow of the Holocaust, historian Gerald Steinacher chronicles how an organization meant to curb the barbarity of warfare found it difficult to live down its most grievous mistake: cozying up to the Third Reich, remaining silent about the Holocaust, and later helping Nazis escape justice.
        The book rightly lays most of the blame on Switzerland's Carl Jacob Burckhardt, who was second in command and made major decisions regarding relations with Adolf Hitler's government. Burckhardt harbored a traditional anti-Semitism and such hatred of communism that he regarded German Nazism as a bulwark of civilization. In the 1930s Burckhardt was given an inspection tour of the German concentration camp of Dachau and officially lauded the commandant "for his discipline and decency."
        After Germany's defeat, Burckhardt opposed the Nuremberg trials, labeling them "Jewish revenge." After the Holocaust, the ICRC - by then helmed by Burckhardt - abetted the flight of Nazis such as Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele by providing them with travel papers. The writer teaches law and history at Yale. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Documentary Chronicles India's Rescue of 1,000 Polish Children during WWII - Manik Mehta
    The documentary "Little Poland in India" describes how, during World War II, a kindhearted Maharaja in the princely state in Gujarat agreed to accept orphaned Polish Christian and Jewish children and look after them. Though India was in the midst of an independence struggle against colonial British rule and faced a famine, the "Jam Sahib" - Maharaja Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja of Nawanagar - welcomed a group of 1,000 Polish orphans in 1942 who had been shifted to Siberia after the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland. They were housed in a camp in Balachadi until 1946. The documentary, a joint Indo-Polish production, is the first to tell this story. (Times of Israel)

Iran's Terrorism Goliath - R. James Woolsey and Peter Vincent Pry (Washington Times)

  • The world's biggest terror threat, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), dwarfs ISIS by any measure. The IRGC's purpose is to advance the Islamic Revolution in the Middle East and the world.
  • The IRGC has killed and wounded thousands of Americans, far more than ISIS, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, Hizbullah and Hamas, the twin terror plagues of Israel, are subsidized by the IRGC.
  • Most worrisome is that the IRGC is in charge of Iran's missile forces and nuclear, chemical, and biological weapon programs.
  • The U.S. Institute of Peace notes that "Iran has the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East" - and that most Iranian missiles "were acquired from foreign sources - notably North Korea."

    R. James Woolsey was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Peter Vincent Pry served in the House Armed Services Committee and the CIA.
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