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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
August 30, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Ambassador Returns to Egypt after 8-Month Absence - Jonathan Lis (Ha'aretz)
    Israel's ambassador to Egypt David Govrin returned to Cairo on Tuesday with eight staff members, eight months after he and his staff returned home because of security threats.

15 Turkish Security Officials Indicted for Attacking Protesters during Erdogan's Visit to Washington - Ashraf Khalil (AP-Chicago Tribune)
    Fifteen Turkish security officials and four others were indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in Washington for attacking protesters outside the home of the Turkish ambassador on May 16, 2017, during a U.S. visit by Turkish President Erdogan.
    Several are members of Erdogan's security detail who returned with him to Turkey, so it is unclear if any will face legal repercussions.
    American officials strongly criticized Turkey's government and Erdogan's security forces for the violence.
    Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said at the time that Erdogan's security team moved in to disperse the protesters because "police did not heed to Turkish demands to intervene."
    The indictment states that most of the demonstrators were supporters of Kurdish independence but repeatedly maintains that their protest was peaceful and permitted.

PA: Israeli Cities of Jaffa, Haifa, Safed, Tiberias, and Acre Are All in "Palestine" - Itamar Marcus (Palestinian Media Watch)
    The PA's most fundamental message to its people and its children - that all of Israel is actually "Palestine" - is prominent in many songs broadcast regularly on official PA and Fatah TV stations.
    On Aug. 25, PA TV broadcast a video depicting a bird that flies over all of "my country Palestine."
    The bird "flies over" the Israeli cities of Safed, Tiberias, Acre, Haifa, Nazareth, Beit Shean, Jaffa, and Ramle.
    This song has been broadcast at least 30 times this year.

Israel's Tal Flicker Takes Bronze in World Judo Championships - Uri Talshir (Ha'aretz)
    Israel's Tal Flicker won a bronze medal on Tuesday at the World Judo Championships in Budapest.

Israeli Doctors Return Smiles to African Children's Faces (Times of Israel)
    Doctors Omri Emodi, a craniofacial surgeon, and Zach Sharony, a plastic surgeon, from Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, recently returned from Ghana where they went to correct facial deformities in local children as part of a mission organized by Operation Smile, a U.S.-based humanitarian initiative.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Rejects U.S. Demand for Inspection of Its Military Sites
    Iran on Tuesday dismissed U.S. demands for the inspection of Iranian military sites by the UN nuclear watchdog, shrugging off a request by American Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley as only a "dream." Iran's government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said Iran will not accept any inspection of its sites and "especially our military sites."  (AP-Washington Post)
  • State Department to Fill Anti-Semitism Envoy Post
    The State Department will fill the post of special envoy for the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism following the urging of lawmakers and Jewish groups, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Monday. (JTA)
  • Canadian Groups Express Concern as UNRWA Boosts Funding to Palestinians - Paul Lungen
    Jewish organizations are urging the Canadian government to ensure that a $25-million allocation to help Palestinian refugees will not end up in the hands of Hamas, a terrorist organization that controls Gaza.
        "Canadian aid should go to those in need, especially those impacted by the ongoing brutality in Syria, but it is crucial that this support actually reaches the most vulnerable. We remain troubled by links between UNRWA and Hamas, a terrorist group notorious for diverting humanitarian funds and materials for its own destructive agenda. We also have serious concerns about violations of UNRWA neutrality," said Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).
        Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B'nai Brith Canada, said, "UNRWA continues to facilitate anti-Semitism and the demonization of Israel. UNRWA's highly-politicized environment actually obstructs the best possible service to the Palestinians."  (Canadian Jewish News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Talks Renewed on U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem - Raoul Wootliff
    Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and peace envoy Jason Greenblatt renewed talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during a meeting in Israel last Thursday. The embassy move "was brought up by both sides as part of a productive broad conversation about a number of issues," a U.S. source familiar with the discussions said Sunday. "The administration's policy is 'when, not if,'" the source added. (Times of Israel)
  • Prisoner Deal with Hamas Is Frozen - Ronen Bergman
    Negotiations between Israel and Hamas on the return of three Israeli citizens and the bodies of two IDF soldiers are stalemated, Israeli intelligence officials say. Col. (res.) Lior Lotan has resigned after three years as coordinator for POWs and MIAs in the Prime Minister's Office. Lotan was seriously wounded in the failed rescue attempt in 1994 of kidnapped IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman.
        Hamas is holding two Israeli citizens: Abera Mengistu, 30, from Ashkelon, who crossed into Gaza in September 2014, and Hisham Shaaban al-Sayed, a Bedouin, who crossed into Gaza in April 2015. In addition, Hamas is holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul from the 2014 Gaza war.
        "Israel of today is not the same Israel that existed on the eve of the (October 2011) Shalit deal," explained a senior Israeli official. "Primarily, because the deal that was signed had already carried with it strong criticism from the public. Secondly, because living citizens who were taken by Hamas, partially due to their own fault, are not considered by the public to be soldiers who were taken captive while defending the country. This is why the public is only willing to pay a lower price for them."
        "Third, because in light of the Shamgar Commission's conclusions on the price that should be paid for POWs and MIAs, there are those in the political ranks, the intelligence and military ranks, and among the public, who want to exchange bodies for bodies rather than pay the price of living prisoners, certainly not prisoners with blood on their hands."  (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Victory, Not Deterrence, Will Be Israel's Goal If War Breaks Out Again in Gaza - Yaakov Lappin
    In the last three conflicts Israel fought against Hamas, its goal was creating deterrence to Hamas aggression. Today, while Israel hopes to avoid war, should hostilities resume, the IDF plans to make sure the end stage of that clash will be an unmistakable Israeli victory, and that no one will be able to mistake it for a tie or stalemate.
        Israel would likely seek to destroy Hamas' military wing, including its underground labyrinth of tunnels under Gaza City, while making every effort to minimize harm to noncombatants.
        Israel has been using the truce to build a growing fleet of armored personnel carriers and tanks that can defend themselves with active protection systems against Hamas' armor-piercing RPGs. That kind of protection is a game changer. Israel's ability to strike Hamas' underground city has also been enhanced significantly in recent years. (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
  • Military Training in PA Summer Camps Run by Jibril Rajoub - B. Chernitsky and S. Schneidmann
    This summer, the Pioneers of Tomorrow camps launched by the Higher Council for Youth and Sports (HCYS), an official PLO body headed by Jibril Rajoub, who is also Fatah Central Committee secretary, hosted 30,000 campers in 300 camps in the West Bank and Gaza. HCYS receives funding from the EU, the UN, and various countries including Japan and The Netherlands.
        In some camps, the campers wore military uniforms and received military training. They were taught the importance of the Palestinian struggle, glorifying the "martyrs," the Palestinian right of return, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque, and more.
        At the concluding ceremony for the camps held at the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah, PA President Mahmoud Abbas stressed the role of the youth in "liberation." Camper Tayseer Al-Shelah told Palestine TV, "We are the generation of the future [and] will liberate Jerusalem."  (MEMRI)
  • The Results of the Iran Nuclear Deal - Moshe Arens
    Two years after the nuclear deal, Iran has continued to develop its ballistic missile arsenal, whose primary objective is to launch nuclear warheads against those Iran considers its enemy. Relieved of the economic sanctions that had forced it into negotiations, Iran has used resources that have become available to project its power in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. It keeps threatening Israel. If Iran so decides, the time required for it to go nuclear would be at most a few months.
        The nuclear deal neglected to address Iran's ballistic missiles, and ignored Iran's ambitions to become the dominant power in the Middle East. Now the Iranians and their proxy, Hizbullah, are approaching Israel's borders. The writer served as Israel's Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Ha'aretz)

The Undercurrents Fueling Terrorism - Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen (Israel Hayom)

  • Despair and alienation are not the only reasons for terrorism - hope is also a motive. Islamic State says this is the moment to act and this opportunity must not be missed.
  • If we are wise and successful in sowing doubt in their minds that the time has not yet come, we may thwart the jihadists' plans.
  • Islam perceives Western society as decaying and declining. This perception stems first and foremost from the significant decline in birth rates in the West, which Islam views as the weakness of an ailing society.
  • Western countries' growing reluctance to use force and their preference for using "soft power" - diplomacy - in the belief that a positive outlook can solve any crisis, are also viewed as a weakness. The manifestation of the West's weakness is what sparks hope in terror operatives.
  • Western society must examine a change in its way of life so that it makes it clear to its enemies that their time to act has yet to come.
  • This will not change the vision of radical jihadists, but it just may prompt them to postpone their violent struggle to another time.

    The writer served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts.

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