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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
September 27, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Abbas' Fatah Praises Palestinian Killer of 3 Israelis as "Heroic Martyr" - Isabel Kershner (New York Times)
    Fatah, the Palestinian movement led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, posted an image of Nimer Jamal - who killed three Israeli security personnel and wounded a fourth on Tuesday at Har Adar near Jerusalem - on its official Facebook page, hailing him as a "heroic martyr."
    Jamal's motives appeared to be more personal than ideological. A preliminary investigation indicated that Jamal "had significant personal and family problems, including those regarding family violence," the Israel Security Agency said, adding that his wife fled to Jordan weeks ago, leaving him with their four children.

European Parliament Hosts Convicted Palestinian Terrorist (European Jewish Press)
    Convicted Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled was invited to speak in the EU parliament on Tuesday at a conference on "the role of women in the Palestinian Popular Resistance."
    Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, the Brussels-based office of the American Jewish Committee, said Khaled is member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group designated as terrorist by the EU and "which has the blood of innocent victims on its hands."
    Khaled is "a convicted terrorist who was captured in 1970 while hijacking a commercial airplane."

Saudi Arabia to Let Women Drive - Nicole Gaouette (CNN)
    A royal decree has been issued that will allow women to drive by June 2018, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
    "In order to change women's participation in the workforce we need them to be able to drive to work," said Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.

Belgian Court Sentences Holocaust Denier to Visit Nazi Concentration Camps - Liam Stack (New York Times)
    Laurent Louis, a former Belgian lawmaker convicted of Holocaust denial in 2015, was sentenced this week to visit one Nazi concentration camp a year for the next five years and write about his experiences.

Israel's Elbit to Provide African Country with Defense Systems in $240 Million Deal - Richard Tomkins (UPI)
    Israel's Elbit Systems is providing an array of electronic defense systems to an African country under a $240 million contract.
    They include systems to protect aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles, missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, and unmanned aerial systems.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Interpol Votes to Admit Palestine as Full Member - Peter Beaumont
    Interpol has voted to admit Palestine as a full member, dealing a diplomatic blow to Israel which lobbied against Palestinian admission. In a secret vote of the international police organization's members in China, Palestinian membership was approved by 75 to 24, with 34 abstentions - exceeding the two-thirds requirement of yes to no votes. Israel opposes all moves by Palestine to join international bodies, arguing that it is not a state. (Guardian-UK)
  • Over 90 Percent of Iraqi Kurds Vote to Secede from Iraq - Maher Chmaytelli and Ahmed Rasheed
    The Kurdish Rudaw TV channel said an overwhelming majority, possibly over 90%, had voted "yes" to independence in a referendum on Monday. The U.S., major European countries, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran strongly opposed the referendum. Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani called on Iraq's central government in Baghdad to engage in "serious dialogue."  (Reuters)
        See also Iranian Kurds March in Support of Referendum
    Thousands of Iranian Kurds marched in the streets to show their support for a Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq, while Tehran flew fighter jets over their areas. Videos posted on social media showed drivers beeping their car horns in celebration and people clapping in the cities of Marivan and Baneh. Many wore masks so as not to be identified by the security forces.
        There are 8 to 10 million Kurds living in Iran. Iran sent Revolutionary Guards Commander Qassem Sulaimani to northern Iraq last week in a failed final effort to persuade the Kurdistan regional government from holding the referendum. (Reuters)
        See also Damascus Says Syrian Kurdish Autonomy Negotiable
    The Syrian government is open to negotiations with Kurds over their demand for autonomy within Syria's borders, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said. (Reuters)
        See also Turkey's Erdogan Says Israel's Support for Kurdish Statehood Harms Relations - Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
    Turkish President Erdogan warned Israel Tuesday that it should review its support for Kurdish statehood. "If they do not review, we cannot take a lot of steps that we were about to take with Israel."  (Anadolu-Turkey)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Three Israeli Victims of West Bank Terror Attack Laid to Rest - Nir Hasson
    The funeral of Youssef Ottman, a former Border Police officer who was a security guard at Har Adar, took place in his home village of Abu Ghosh. Or Arish, 25, had served in the IDF paratroopers brigade and had moved to Har Adar last month. 1st Sgt. Solomon Gabariya, 20, joined the Border Police a year and a half ago and was previously wounded in action. He came to Israel from Ethiopia in 1999. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Wounded Har Adar Security Coordinator Says Slain Guard Saved His Life - Yishai Porat
    Amit Steinhart, 33, security coordinator at Har Adar who was wounded along with 3 Israelis killed by a Palestinian on Tuesday, says his life was saved by security guard Or Arish. (Ynet News)
  • Har Adar and the Battle for Israel's Independence - Ido Aharoni
    Har Adar has been my home for almost two decades. Whatever twisted personal motives the murderer might have had, the fact remains that he chose to pour out his wrath and frustration on Israelis.
        Har Adar, founded in the foothills of the historic Radar Hill, is a living monument to the heroic battle for Israel's independence. In April 1948, the Palmah's Harel Brigade, led by Yitzhak Rabin, made several attempts to conquer the hill, losing 15 men on Radar Hill. In 1967, the same Harel Brigade conquered Radar Hill. Dozens of lives were lost during this battle and the Harel Brigade's official monument was erected on top of this hill. The writer is a former Israeli consul-general in New York and professor at New York University's School of International Relations. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Memories of an Anti-Semitic State Department - Dennis B. Ross
    Former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson repeated the well-worn narrative that Jewish neoconservatives promoted the invasion of Iraq - and are beating the drum for a conflict with Iran. Of course, most Jews are not neoconservatives, and most neoconservatives are not Jewish. In any case, it was two influential non-Jews, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who played the central role with President Bush in deciding to invade Iraq in 2003.
        When I began working in the Pentagon during President Jimmy Carter's administration, there was an unspoken but unmistakable assumption: If you were Jewish, you could not work on the Middle East because you would be biased. However, if you knew about the Middle East because you came from a missionary family or from the oil industry, you were an expert. People with these backgrounds were perceived to be unbiased, while Jews could not be objective.
        Secretary of State George Shultz tried to change the culture of the State Department during the Reagan administration. Shultz was more interested in your knowledge than your identity. He made me and Daniel Kurtzer members of the small team working with him on Arab-Israeli diplomacy.
        Tweeting that Jews are pushing for a new war is the definition of prejudice. How can it not be when you label a whole group and ascribe to all those who are a part of it a particular negative trait or threatening behavior? And once you have singled out groups, the leap is small to imposing limits on them, quarantining them and rationalizing violence against them. The writer, a former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (New York Times)
  • Valerie Plame's Real Blunder - James Kirchick
    Valerie Plame Wilson got into trouble for retweeting a vile anti-Semitic screed entitled "America's Jews are driving America's wars." Plame was foolish enough to implicate all Jews in advocating war with Iran, instead of simply identifying a few convenient culprits. The article proposes that Jews be barred from assuming "national security positions involving the Middle East."
        Dark insinuations about nefarious Jewish political influence, dual loyalty to Israel, and "warmongering" on behalf of a foreign country have been central themes of far right and not-so-far left political discourse for quite some time. The writer is a visiting fellow with the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. (Tablet)
        See also Plame Knew What She Was Tweeting - Alan Dershowitz
    Valerie Plame retweeted a virulently anti-Semitic article by a well-known bigot, which she characterized as "thoughtful." The article advocates that "The media should be required to label [Jews like Bill Kristol] at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up....That would be kind of like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison."
        In other words, Jewish supporters of Israel, like Kristol and me, should have to wear the modern day equivalent of a yellow star before we are allowed to appear on TV and poison real Americans. The writer is professor of law emeritus at Harvard Law School. (Jerusalem Post)

Video - Inspections and Monitoring: The Weak Link in the Iran Nuclear Deal - Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • One of the most important standards set by the U.S. Congress for the Iran agreement concerns covert Iranian activities in the nuclear field. The Iran agreement gives the International Atomic Energy Agency access to certain declared facilities. But the agreement doesn't adequately address the question of undeclared sites.
  • It's as though the negotiators forgot some famous names: Natanz - the main enrichment site of Iran; Arak - where the Iranians have their heavy-water facility which will allow them the pathway to a plutonium bomb; and the famous underground site at Fordo near Qom where the Iranians have another enrichment facility for their uranium.
  • These sites were all secret, undeclared sites. If the Iranians are going to break through to a nuclear bomb, they're going to do it in those kind of secret sites that eventually the West discovered over the last 20 years, and not through some declared facility.
  • Dr. Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, wrote in September in an FDD policy brief that he has information from an IAEA staff member that the agency has not conducted a single visit to suspected military sites in Iran. They're off the table. In fact, the whole arrangement for inspections and monitoring is the weak link in the Iranian nuclear deal.

    The writer, president of the Jerusalem Center, served as Israel's ambassador to the UN and director general of the Foreign Ministry.

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