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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
September 6, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Embassy in Washington Sends Several Tons of Aid to Hurricane Harvey Victims - Eric Cortellessa (Times of Israel)
    The Israeli Embassy in the U.S. has joined with IsraAid and Movers 495, an American-Israeli moving company, to send several tons of aid by truck to Houston.
    See also Jewish and Israeli Groups Rally to Help Hurricane Victims in Houston - Tamara Zieve (Jerusalem Post)
    150 college students from Texas, Louisiana and Colorado traveled to Houston in a convoy of 50 trucks and cars on Sunday to provide assistance to victims of Hurricane Harvey, joining a Chabad on Campus-led mission.
    See also Israeli Rescue Group Zaka Helping with Hurricane Cleanup in Houston (JTA)
    A team of volunteers from Israel's Zaka search-and-rescue organization is in Houston to help with the cleanup in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, assisting with tasks ranging from clearing debris to delivering food.

Hamas Rejects Red Cross Demand to Visit Israelis Detained in Gaza - Kifah Ziboun (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
    Hamas chief in Gaza Yehia Sinwar rejected a demand by the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, to verify the condition of Israeli captives, sources said after a meeting Tuesday.

Israel Holds Major Military Drill "Simulating War" with Hizbullah - Bethan McKernan (Independent-UK)
    Beginning Monday, the Israel Defense Forces deployed thousands of air, sea and land personnel to the Lebanese border for its biggest military drill in almost two decades.
    A military official said the exercise was to prepare for "preserving the current stability in the northern sector," as well as "scenarios we'll be facing in the next confrontation with Hizbullah."
    The drill will utilize planes, ships, submarines, drones, cyber and canine units, and Israel's missile defense system.
    Elite units will practice disarming bombs and locating and fighting in tunnels.
    Two field hospitals and trucks and helicopters for evacuating casualties will also be set up.

New Israeli App Orients Visually Impaired in Malls, Schools, and Hospitals - Brian Blum (Israel21c)
    Idan Meir and Gil Elgrably sought to build a technology to help stores sell more goods and wound up with a product that allows blind and visually impaired people to navigate malls, universities and hospitals.
    RightHear mimics the function of a venue's directory board and speaks to users about what's nearby. It's also integrated with ride sharing and taxi apps.
    The developers are also thinking of additional uses for the RightHear system.
    "Because this is basically a text-to-speech engine, we can translate the data into other languages," Meir explains.
    Imagine visiting an airport or hotel in Spain but you don't speak Spanish. Just fire up the RightHear app and you'll understand everything.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • UN Envoy Haley Makes Case for U.S. to Potentially Pull Away from Iran Nuclear Deal - Anne Gearan
    UN Ambassador Nikki Haley made a case Tuesday for how the U.S. could back away from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Haley left little doubt that she would support a presidential finding next month that Iran is not complying with the deal.
        That would trigger a 60-day congressional review that Haley said would be beneficial. "Congress could debate whether the nuclear deal is in fact too big to fail," Haley said. "We should welcome a debate over whether the JCPOA is in U.S. national security interests."  (Washington Post)
        See also below Observations: Considerations on U.S. Policy towards Iran - Amb. Nikki Haley (American Enterprise Institute)
  • Syrian Army Makes Gains Against ISIS in Eastern Syria - Liz Sly
    The Syrian army broke a three-year siege by the Islamic State on an enclave of the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour on Tuesday. The victory set the stage for a race to control the rest of Deir al-Zour province, which the U.S. has been preparing to liberate from Islamic State fighters.
        The Syrian army was aided in the fight by Iranian-backed militias, Russian advisers, and Russian airstrikes. On Tuesday, Russia's Defense Ministry said that one of its warships in the eastern Mediterranean had fired cruise missiles into the area in support of the Syrian army. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: Israel's Cooperation with Arab States Has Never Been Greater - Herb Keinon
    Israel is enjoying a greater level of cooperation today with the Arab world than it has ever had in its history, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. There is cooperation in "different ways" and "at different levels," though it is not public.
        Netanyahu said that the alliance with the U.S. is "stronger than ever" and that - in addition - there are strong ties with Europe, with openings being made in Eastern Europe. "Our return to Africa and the expansion of our technical assistance there is leading to a great deal of interest on the continent," he said. Important breakthroughs were made this past year in China, India and Japan, as well as with Muslim countries in Asia, especially Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, which he visited in December.
        Netanyahu will be traveling to Argentina, Colombia and Mexico in Latin America next week before going to the UN General Assembly in New York. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Charges Palestinian Security Officer for Inciting Violence - Yoav Zitun
    Muhammad Jalal Naji al-Sawiti, who holds a senior position in the Palestinian Preventive Security Service in Jenin in the West Bank, was arrested last month for incitement to violence against Jews and was indicted at the Judea Military Court on Monday. Al-Sawiti has been posting extremist content on his Facebook page, including photos of Adolf Hitler, writing "We need Hitler," as well as a photo of Adolf Eichmann, noting he misses "people like him." He also called to "shed blood" for the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Security Expert: Iran Can Be Where North Korea Is in a Short Time - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    "What people need to understand is that Iran can be where North Korea is" in a short time, Dr. Emily Landau, an expert at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, told the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. To prevent this from happening, the world must devise "a strategy to increase pressure on Iran" with a combination of increased, truly biting sanctions, isolation, and the threat of a military option, she said.
        Landau said there have always been concerns about North Korea transferring nuclear weapons technology to Iran, but after its latest nuclear test, which registered as far more powerful than past tests, that could mean sharing hydrogen bomb technology.
        Because the North Korea situation is showing the West that once it is too late, its options are limited, Landau said it is crucial to bring pressure on Iran, including "getting access to their military facilities and clandestine" nuclear activities at sites outside the IAEA's inspections regime. "Blind reliance on the JCPOA [nuclear deal] and the IAEA giving certifications" that Iran is complying with the agreement "are not enough."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Marking the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre - Tania Kramer
    At dawn on September 5, 1972, Palestinian militants took 11 Israeli athletes hostage, killing two of them. The other athletes and a policeman died in a failed rescue attempt by German police. 45 years after the terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, a permanent memorial will be unveiled at the Olympic Park.
        Ankie Spitzer lost her husband, Andre, in the attack. He was the coach for the Israeli fencing team and killed during the rescue attempt. "We sat there the whole day in front of the TV. It was horrible. The terrorist had said at 9 a.m. they were going to shoot an Israeli every hour if the Israeli government did not free 236 Palestinian prisoners from prison in Israel."
        "At around 5 p.m., I suddenly saw the window opened on the second floor, where they were kept hostage. I saw Andre in front of the window. I saw his hands were tied behind his back. There was a terrorist standing next to him. Of course I could see him on television, but I could not hear what they were saying. But he was talking to the crisis team. Later on I understood that they had asked him, what is the situation inside? He said all are ok except one. When they asked what happened to him and when he wanted to answer - you could see he was hit by the terrorist. It was all live on TV. He was pushed back into the room, they closed the window, they closed the curtains and it was the last time I saw him alive."  (Deutsche Welle-Germany)
        See also Israel's President to Attend Opening of Munich Massacre Memorial in Germany
    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said before departing for Germany on Tuesday to attend the inauguration of the memorial for the 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich: "45 years after the massacre, international terrorism continues to threaten and strike innocent civilians. There are still those who see the massacre of the [Israeli] sportsmen as an heroic act. There can be no apologizing for terror. Terror must be condemned unequivocally, everywhere. In Barcelona, in London, in Paris, in Berlin, in Jerusalem, everywhere. We, the international community, must stand united in the struggle against terror, determined to fight and defeat it."  (i24News)

Considerations on U.S. Policy towards Iran - Amb. Nikki Haley (American Enterprise Institute)

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley discussed U.S. policy toward Iran at the American Enterprise Institute on Sept. 5:

  • "Many observers...think, 'Well, as long as Iran is meeting the limits on enriched uranium and centrifuges, then it's complying with the deal.' That's not true....Next month, President Trump will once again be called upon to declare whether he finds Iran in compliance with the terms of the deal. It should be noted that this requirement to assess compliance does not come from the deal itself. It was created by Congress in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act....If the President chooses not to certify Iranian compliance, that does not mean the United States is withdrawing from the JCPOA."
  • "The truth is, the Iran deal has so many flaws that it's tempting to leave it. But the deal was constructed in a way that makes leaving it less attractive. It gave Iran what it wanted up-front, in exchange for temporary promises to deliver what we want. That's not good."
  • "The deal [President Obama] struck wasn't supposed to be just about nuclear weapons. It was meant to be an opening with Iran; a welcoming back into the community of nations....We were promised an 'end' to the Iranian nuclear program. What emerged was not an end, but a pause....We were promised 'anytime, anywhere' inspections....Iranian leaders...have stated publicly that they will refuse to allow IAEA inspections of their military sites."
  • "Why did we need to prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons in the first place? The answer has everything to do with the nature of the regime, and the IRGC's determination to threaten Iran's neighbors and advance its revolution."
  • "When the nuclear agreement was signed, the Obama Administration took Iran's non-nuclear activity - the missile development, the arms smuggling, the terrorism, the support for murderous regimes - and rolled it up into one UN Security Council resolution - 2231....Every six months, the UN Secretary General reports to the Security Council on the Iranian regime's compliance with this so-called 'non-nuclear' resolution."
  • "Each report is filled with devastating evidence of Iranian violations. Proven arms smuggling. Violations of travel bans. Ongoing support for terrorism. Stoking of regional conflicts....[And] ample evidence of ballistic missile technology and launches....They are clearly acting in defiance of UN Resolution 2231."
  • "We must consider not just the Iranian regime's technical violations of the JCPOA, but also its violations of Resolution 2231 and its long history of aggression. We must consider the regime's repeated, demonstrated hostility toward the United States. We must consider its history of deception about its nuclear program. And we must consider the day when the terms of the JCPOA sunset. That's a day when Iran's military may very well already have the missile technology to send a nuclear warhead to the United States."

        See also Video - UN Ambassador Nikki Haley: Considerations on U.S. Policy towards Iran (YouTube)

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