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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
September 5, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Video: U.S. Military Testing Israeli Radiation Exposure Drug - Oren Liebermann (CNN)
    The U.S. Department of Defense is testing an Israeli drug designed to help the body recover after exposure to radiation in the case of nuclear fallout.
    The U.S. is testing the medicine to see if it can be administered before service members are exposed to radiation.
    The test of what North Korea claimed to be a hydrogen bomb has increased the urgency here.
    The Israeli company Pluristem has partnered with the medical university at Fukushima, Japan, site of a 2011 nuclear meltdown, in developing the drug.

ISIS Fighters Escaped to Iraq, Despite U.S. Promises to Stop Them - Liz Sly and Mustafa Salim (Washington Post)
    300 Islamic State fighters in a convoy that set out from western Syria last Tuesday under a deal brokered by Hizbullah may have found their way into Iraq, despite the U.S. military's determination to stop them.
    On Wednesday the U.S. military blocked the convoy's path by bombing the desert road ahead of it.
    However, according to Syrians in the area and Iraqi officials, all or most of the fighters have gotten off the buses and made their way to Iraq using back roads.

Dozens of Seals from First Temple Period Found in Jerusalem - Ruth Schuster (Ha'aretz)
    Several dozen seals and seal impressions from the First Temple period, many with biblical-type names in ancient Hebrew text, have been found in this year's excavations at the City of David, lending credence to the theory that Jerusalem was a major administrative capital of the Judean kingdom, say archaeologists exploring the site.
    When the Middle Eastern ancients wanted to secure a letter or notarized document with a seal, they used moist clay that would be imprinted with the seal.
    "Somewhere in the late 8th century BCE, until 586 BCE, seals started bearing names of the officials sealing the letters," explained Joe Uziel. "Jerusalem was the capital of the Judean monarchy." 
    See also Video: Seals from First Temple Period (Israel Antiquities Authority)

U.S. Police in Israel for Counterterrorism Training - Daniel K. Eisenbud (Jerusalem Post)
    52 American law-enforcement officers from 12 states have arrived in Israel to train in counterterrorism techniques.
    The U.S. delegation will be based at the Beit Shemesh police academy, where they will participate in multiple counterterrorism training exercises, meet with elite units, and be briefed by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich.
    Michael Safris, chief of the Essex County's Sheriff's Office Deputy Division, said that what distinguishes the Israeli police is their commitment not only to law enforcement but to Israel's existential struggle.
    "In our communities, for a lot of police officers, it's a job, and I think that it's more than a job for a lot of the officers in Israel because they are protecting their homeland."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • ISIS Agent Told Undercover BBC Reporter to Attack London - David Brown and John Simpson
    Islamic State recruiters used encrypted message services to give instructions to undercover BBC journalists to target London Bridge and Westminster. Ben Wallace, the security minister, confirmed that encrypted communications and online videos were used by planners and recruiters who carried out this year's terror attacks in Britain.
        BBC investigators discovered last July that ISIS was appealing on Twitter and Facebook for British Muslims to stage attacks at specific London locations. One plan recommended by an Islamic State recruiter bears striking similarities to the June attack on London Bridge in which eight people were killed and 48 were injured.
        Another recruiter had recommended attacking Westminster and directed the journalist to a terrorist manual on the dark web which advised how a jihadist could use a vehicle as a weapon. In March, Khalid Masood used a car to kill four pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a policeman at the Palace of Westminster. (The Times-UK)
  • ISIS Is Fighting to the Death - Helene Cooper
    The territory held by Islamic State in Iraq continues to shrink, but American officials say the pace of the fight is not slowing. "They have resigned themselves that they're going to fight to the bitter end, and they are going to take as many of us with them as possible," said Capt. Mike Spencer, a U.S. Navy pilot on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf.
        While small numbers of ISIS fighters are surrendering, with some fleeing to Turkey, many more are dying. U.S. pilots say Islamic State fighters were behaving differently than the Qaeda or Taliban fighters, and are far slower to abandon entrenched fighting positions until they are, literally, blown out. (New York Times)
  • UNIFIL Instructed to Step Up Efforts Against Hizbullah - U.S. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
    Last week, the UN Security Council voted to significantly strengthen its efforts to stop the Hizbullah terrorists in southern Lebanon. Our changes will make UNIFIL step up its patrols and inspections which will help disrupt Hizbullah's illegal activity. Our changes require UNIFIL to report when it is prevented from seeing something it wants to inspect, so that when it is prevented from doing its job, the Security Council will know about it. (Algemeiner)
        See also Russia Shielded Hizbullah at UN - Barak Ravid
    Russia worked behind the scenes to protect Hizbullah during Security Council discussions to renew the mandate of UNIFIL. Russia threatened to veto the resolution unless all mention of Hizbullah conducting prohibited military activity in southern Lebanon was omitted. (Ha'aretz)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Pledges $1 Million in Aid to Houston's Flood-Devastated Jewish Community - Sarah Levi
    Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett has pledged $1 million in relief aid for the Jewish community of Houston. The aid will be transferred through the Israeli Consulate in Texas, and will be used to help repair and restore schools, synagogues, and the Jewish community center. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Condemns North Korean Nuclear Test
    The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday: "The State of Israel condemns the recent nuclear test conducted by North Korea. The test is a continuation of North Korea's pattern of defiant activity. North Korea must comply with all Security Council resolutions on this issue and refrain from testing and developing weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. Only a determined international response will prevent other states from behaving in the same way."  (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • How to Reduce Terrorism - Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror
    Three areas must be addressed to see major gains in the battle against terrorism in Europe. First, how the legal system views terrorism must change. Administrative arrests, defining intelligence gathering goals based on ethnicity and religion, and the ability to detain for questioning and even punish people who still haven't committed the act, with the understanding that even considering the idea of terrorism is a punishable offense, are three major but necessary changes. Implementing them is conditional on the political echelon telling its citizens the truth, even though it gives up a small part of citizens' personal freedom.
        The second effort needed is to focus intelligence work on the relevant communities. International cooperation must be improved and more aggressive interrogations must be permitted based on intelligence, before an act is carried out.
        The third effort centers on causing ordinary citizens to respond quickly and aggressively when any terrorist action takes place. Israel has a clear advantage in this because there are many citizens who are licensed to carry firearms who can take action even before the police and the security forces arrive.
        None of these methods can completely wipe out terrorism, but they can significantly reduce the number of acts that terrorists manage to commit, as well as the lethality of the attacks that are carried out. The writer is a former Israeli national security advisor and former director of the research division of IDF Military Intelligence. (Israel Hayom)
  • Peace Is Foundering on the Shoals of Arab Rejectionism - Philip Carl Salzman
    On Sept. 3, 1947, the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) introduced a detailed proposal to the UN General Assembly for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, approved less than three months later by a vote of 33 to 13. Not for the last time, however, a concerted international effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict foundered on the shoals of Arab rejectionism. Arab Muslims roundly condemned UN partition - and more broadly the very principle of a Jewish state anywhere in Palestine - striving instead for complete victory.
        The Arabs acted according to their tradition, refusing compromise with inferiors. Not only did Jews, long a subservient and despised minority in the house of Islam, lack the right to have an independent state in Palestine, but the Arab residents of Palestine had no right to concede it to them.
        The Arabs eventually changed their rhetoric to a more useful narrative. In this retelling, Israel is responsible for seven decades of mayhem, not the victim of unremitting hostility. That role would now be played by the Arab residents of Palestine. The UN has established a complex bureaucracy devoted solely to their needs.
        In the end, the victimization narrative hurts Palestinians by obscuring the actual sources of their misery - their failed supremacist ideology, despotic and corrupt leaders, and irrational hate of Jews - preventing the emergence of genuine solutions to a tragic, festering problem. The writer, a professor of anthropology at McGill University, is a fellow at the Middle East Forum. (Algemeiner)

The Colonialism of Palestinian Arab Settlers - Dr. Alex Joffe (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)

  • It has been claimed that Jews represent an alien population implanted into Palestine to usurp the land and displace the people. Yet a wealth of evidence demonstrates that Jews are the indigenous population of the Southern Levant; historical and now genetic documentation places Jews there over 2,000 years ago, and there is indisputable evidence of continual residence of Jews in the region.
  • In contrast, historical and genealogical evidence shows Palestinians descend primarily from Muslim invaders, Arab immigrants, and local converts to Islam. The Muslim conquest of Palestine in the 7th century CE is a textbook example of settler-colonialism, as is subsequent immigration, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries under the Ottoman and British Empires.
  • Palestinians have the right to define themselves as they see fit. What Palestinians cannot claim, however, is that they are Palestine's indigenous population and the Jews are settler-colonialists. Palestinian genealogies that show their own tribes originating outside the Southern Levant are prima facie evidence of Arab settler-colonialism.
  • Muslim settlers who migrated or were intentionally implanted in Palestine in the 19th century included Egyptians fleeing from and imported by Muhammad Ali from the late 1820s to the 1840s, as well as Chechens, Circassians, and Turkmen relocated by the Ottoman Empire in the 1860s after its wars with Russia. Tribes of Bedouins, Algerians, Yemenis, and many others also immigrated during that century.
  • There was a 37% increase in the Palestinian population between 1922 and 1931, over 60,000 persons, as the result of illegal immigration. From 1932 to 1946, another 60,000 illegal male immigrants entered the country, with uncounted females imported as brides. These were in addition to the great influx of Arab workers from 1940 to 1945 in connection with the war effort.

    The writer, an archaeologist and historian, is a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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