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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
September 13, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Russia Urges Syria Not to Respond to Israel's Attack on Weapons Factory - Ronen Bergman (Ynet News)
    Russia has urged Syrian President Assad not to respond after an airstrike on the country's Scientific Studies and Research Center which the Syrian regime attributes to Israel, a senior Russian official in Moscow dealing with Middle East affairs told Yediot Ahronot.
    The official also noted Russia is aware of Israel's concerns of Iranian entrenchment in Syria and will prevent Tehran from establishing a foothold in the Golan Heights significant enough to pose a threat to Israel.
    "If Hizbullah and Iran overstep their bounds in their involvement in Syria, we will suppress them," the official said, adding that "Israel's concerns...were made clear at the last meeting between (Russian President) Putin and (Israeli Prime Minister) Netanyahu."

Egypt Cuts Military Ties with North Korea - Samy Magdy (AP-U.S. News)
    Egyptian Defense Minister Sidki Sobhi told his South Korean counterpart during a visit to Seoul that Cairo had "already severed all military ties with North Korea," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Monday.
    Egypt has for decades maintained close ties with North Korea, which has sold weapons to Egypt and upgraded its arsenal of medium-range, ground-to-ground missiles.

Hundreds of ISIS Defectors Mass on Syrian Border Hoping to Flee - Martin Chulov (Guardian-UK)
    Hundreds of defectors from Islamic State have massed in Syria's Idlib province, with many planning to cross the nearby Turkish border, where several dozen former fighters have already crossed the heavily patrolled frontier in recent weeks.

    See also Video: Escaped ISIS Militants Regrouping in Northeast Iraq - Dilshad Anwar (VOA News)
    ISIS militants are trying to make Hamrin mountain in northeast Iraq their new stronghold as they continue to lose ground to Iraqi forces.

    See also Vast New Intelligence Haul Fuels Next Phase of Fight Against Islamic State - W.J. Hennigan (Los Angeles Times)
    U.S. intelligence analysts have added thousands of names of Islamic State operatives to an international watch list over the last two months as a result of a vast cache of digital data recovered from recently liberated areas of Iraq and Syria.
    Analysts at the National Media Exploitation Center in Bethesda, Md., an arm of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, are scrutinizing handwritten ledgers, computer spreadsheets, thumb drives, and mobile phone memory cards for clues to terrorist cells or plots in Europe or elsewhere.
    The material came from Mosul and Tal Afar in Iraq, and from Raqqa in Syria.

Israel's Counter-Terrorism Bureau Warns: Avoid Sinai and Turkey (Times of Israel)
    Israeli authorities on Monday issued severe travel warnings urging Israeli travelers to avoid places where they would be prime targets for jihadist terrorists, including Turkey and the Sinai Peninsula.
    Warnings were also in effect for Jordan and the rest of Egypt.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Khamenei Advisor: International Atomic Energy Agency Is Barred from Inspecting Iran's Military Sites
    Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday vehemently rejected foreign demands for inspection of Iran's military sites under the pretext of implementing the 2015 nuclear deal.
        IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told the agency's Board of Governors in Vienna on Monday that IAEA did not distinguish between civilian or military sites in its inspections and would ask for access when necessary. Velayati said previous agreements between Iran and the IAEA did not include any permission to visit Iran's military sites, adding that Tehran would have never signed any such agreement. (Press TV-Iran)
  • UK Communities Secretary Sajid Javid Attacks Israel Boycott - Marcus Dysch
    Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, told the World Jewish Congress, "Someone said we should apologize for the [Balfour] Declaration, to say it was an error of judgment. Of course that's not going to happen....Here in Britain we will not merely mark the centenary, we will celebrate it with pride."
        "I'll be 100% clear. I do not support calls for a boycott, my party does not support calls for a boycott. For all its bluster, the BDS campaign is most notable, I think, for its lack of success. Trade is booming, tourism is soaring. The media campaign is full of sound and fury, but to the majority of Britain today it signifies nothing."
        "Let's be honest, we are talking about anti-Semites, however many times they claim they are opposed to Zionism."  (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
  • German Cities Split with "Anti-Semitic" BDS Boycott Movement - Christoph Strack
    Municipal authorities in Frankfurt - considered Germany's business and financial capital - decided they would not allow any locations or public spaces to be used for BDS activities in the city, and they appealed to private landlords to follow suit. In addition, they announced that any associations or organizations supporting the BDS movement would see their public subsidies revoked.
        Uwe Becker, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and a member of Frankfurt's mayoral council, said the BDS movement is "profoundly anti-Semitic" as it uses the language "that Nazis once used" in their messaging. There has been discussion of similar moves in Munich and Berlin. (Deutsche Welle-Germany)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: Israel Supports the Establishment of an Independent Kurdistan
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Tuesday that Israel supports the establishment of an independent Kurdish state. "Israel rejects the PKK and considers it a terrorist organization, as opposed to Turkey, which supports the terror organization Hamas. While Israel rejects terror in any form, it supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of their own."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Dermer: Israel Hopes for "Dramatic Change" in U.S. Policy on Iran - Michael Wilner
    The Israeli government hopes that the coming weeks "will bring about a dramatic change" in the trajectory of the nuclear deal with Iran, Israel's U.S. ambassador, Ron Dermer, said on Tuesday in Washington.
        At his annual Jewish New Year reception, Dermer noted that the U.S. Mideast peace team is "very quietly working to advance a serious process" toward regional peace. He also called on lawmakers to pass the Taylor Force Act, to cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to compensate the families of terrorists and murderers convicted in Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Exercise Focuses on Defeating Hizbullah Decisively - Lilach Shoval
    In the event of another war with Hizbullah, Israel's achievement will be measured according to how massive a blow it would deal the group's leadership and infrastructure, a senior IDF officer involved in the wide-scale military exercise currently taking place near the northern border said Monday. Unlike previous drills, the current 11-day exercise, launched on Sep. 5, focuses on defeating Hizbullah decisively rather than on generating deterrence.
        "It's reasonable to assume that under certain circumstances, given a certain concentration of effort [by Hizbullah], our line of contact will be breached. The question is what will happen when it's breached and what happens to those who breach it....With all due respect to Hizbullah's capabilities, and we have a healthy respect for them, it won't be able to seize [Israeli] territory for long."
        "We're not playing with them [Hizbullah]. One breach of Israeli sovereignty, one time with [civilian] casualties and the reaction will be decisive, significant and sophisticated. The trick is to...identify their weaknesses and target those weaknesses in a surprising way."  (Israel Hayom)
        See also Simulating War with Hizbullah - Judah Ari Gross (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Israel Seeks Latin American Allies - Editorial
    Prime Minister Netanyahu has embarked on a visit to Latin America, the first by a sitting Israeli head of state. It is part of a broader foreign policy push to develop ties beyond the U.S. and Europe with countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
        In sharp contrast to the previous Kirchner government, Argentina's President Mauricio Macri is a strong supporter of Israel. Macri broke off attempts by the previous administration to improve ties with Iran. He has also vowed to get to the bottom of the bombings of the Israeli embassy and AMIA.
        Widening our diplomatic efforts to those areas which have historically received less attention is important as part of the ongoing fight against unfounded attacks on the Jewish state. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also below Observations: Prime Minister Netanyahu Visits Buenos Aires (Prime Minister's Office)
  • It's Time to Update America's Important Anti-Boycott Law for Israel - Jonathan A. Greenblatt and Stuart Eizenstat
    Bipartisan legislation is making its way through Congress that would bar Americans from joining in boycotts by international organizations against companies doing business in Israel. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act has attracted criticism from free-speech advocates. These concerns are unfounded.
        In 1977, the Carter administration supported and Congress passed legislation that prohibited American companies from complying with boycotts imposed by foreign governments against nations friendly to the U.S. The measure aimed squarely at the Arab League's secondary boycott of Israel. Over 40 years, the law helped to break the back of the Arab boycott.
        The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would extend the 1977 law to international organizations. It couldn't come at a better time. Already, the UN Human Rights Council is creating a database of companies that operate in or have business relationships in the West Bank beyond Israel's 1949 Armistice lines, which includes all of Jerusalem, Israel's capital.
        Under this legislation, companies and individuals would not be able to boycott Israel at the behest of international governmental organizations, just as they are now prohibited from doing at the behest of Arab nations. Congress has wide constitutional authority to limit such discriminatory international commercial conduct that lawmakers find contrary to U.S. national interests.
        Jonathan A. Greenblatt is chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. Stuart Eizenstat helped negotiate anti-boycott laws in 1977 as President Jimmy Carter's chief White House domestic policy adviser. (Washington Post)
Observations: - Prime Minister Netanyahu Visits Buenos Aires

To the Jewish Community in Buenos Aires: We Have Rediscovered Our Ability to Defend Ourselves - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister's Office)

  • "Jews first came here [to Argentina] in the 19th century, and then again in the 1930s....They did so to escape anti-Semitism....The Jews could not defend themselves against anti-Semitism; it was impossible. They could only run to the New World....The Jews did not have the capability of self-defense."
  • "Jews were perceived just 70, 80 or 100 years leaves blowing in the wind, the Wandering Jew, even the cowardly Jew. And when we look back, this is astonishing, because we know that the Jews had the greatest heroes in human history: Joshua, Gideon, Samson, King David, the Maccabees, Bar-Kochba."
  • "We were not always successful, but we always fought, we always defended ourselves, our existence, our freedom. That is what characterized the Jews in ancient times. Knowing how to defend themselves was the strongest Jewish characteristic....This ability disappeared when we lost our country and our independence....The Jews lost the ability to control their destiny."
  • "When we returned to our land and established our country, we rediscovered our ability to defend ourselves. The fathers of Zionism...did not say that the attacks on the Jews would stop when the Jewish state was established.... Rather, they said that when the state was established, the Jews would have the tremendous capability to push back these attacks, and that is exactly what has happened."

        See also At the AMIA Building in Buenos Aires: Iran Initiated, Planned and Carried Out the Horrible Attacks Here - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    "Iran still instigates terrorism all over the globe as it did two-and-a half decades ago. It was Iran that lit the fuse of the bomb that struck Argentina twice. Iran initiated, planned and carried out these horrible attacks through its proxy, Hizbullah....The time has come to publically place full responsibility on those responsible and condemn them once and for all. The time has come to deliver justice to the victims."  (Prime Minister's Office)

        See also At Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Israeli Embassy Square in Buenos Aires: Terrorism Only Wins If We Do Not Fight It - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    "Buenos Aires, New York, Jerusalem, Paris, Barcelona and Brussels - no country is immune to radical Islamist terrorism....But terrorism only wins if we do not fight it. Let us fight it, because all of our futures are at stake."  (Prime Minister's Office)

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