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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
November 21, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Remembering Anwar Sadat's Legacy - Yehuda Yaakov (Boston Globe)
    Forty years ago, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat embarked on a groundbreaking visit to Jerusalem that set in motion the dynamic of the Israeli-Arab rapprochement we are witnessing today.
    Sadat deserves much credit for this positive shift in behavior toward Israel. He believed that Arab states should view Israel as we truly are - an asset to strengthen the Middle East, not a country to be destroyed.
    As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized at this year's UN General Assembly, Israel stands "shoulder-to-shoulder with those in the Arab world who share our hopes for a brighter future."
    The writer is Israel's Consul General to New England.

German Justice Ministry Urges Ban on Kuwait Airways over Israel Issue (Reuters-New York Times)
    Christian Lange, parliamentary state secretary in the German Justice Ministry, appealed to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to advocate a ban on Kuwait Airways' operations in Germany, given its ban on Israeli passengers.
    A German court ruled on Thursday that the airline had the right to refuse to carry an Israeli passenger due to his nationality.
    "We cannot say 'Never again' at a remembrance ceremony, but then remain silent when activists in Germany call for a boycott of Israel, or, as in this case, when an airline refuses to carry Israeli citizens," Lange said.
    The Lawfare Project, the legal group that represented the plaintiff in the case, has vowed to appeal against the ruling.

Kids' Book Called "P Is for Palestine" Enrages Jewish Moms - Sara Dorn and Stephanie Pagones (New York Post)
    A children's book titled P Is for Palestine is infuriating some New York Jewish mothers who charge that it's anti-Semitic propaganda disguised as a kids' alphabet book.
    Some of the phrases and illustrations are clearly anti-Israel. "I is for Intifada, Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!" It shows a child on her father's back standing before barbed wire and flashing peace signs.

British Library Publishes Trove of Hebrew Manuscripts - Raphael Ahren (Times of Israel)
    The British Library last week published a new website showcasing 1,300 Hebrew manuscripts, ranging from ancient Torah scrolls and prayer books to philosophical, theological and scientific works.
    See also Catalogue of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts (British Library-UK)

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia: News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Sees Increased Threats in Region - Tovah Lazaroff
    Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a press briefing on Monday, "There is a fundamental change in the security situation in the region" and the "situation is fragile and volatile." The new situation includes a "massive Russian presence" in Syria; precision weapons introduced in the area, with both Hizbullah and "other elements" trying to get precise weapons; and a dramatic acceleration in the Iranian military industry. He added that the Iranian military budget was growing at a much faster rate than the IDF budget. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israeli Satellite to Help Global Agriculture Flourish - Shlomo Cesana
    The UN is to announce that Israel will head efforts to assist agriculture worldwide through the analysis of satellite images derived from its Venus vegetation and environment monitoring microsatellite, launched into space in July. (Israel Hayom)
  • IsraAID Helps Set Up Science and Tech Center in South Sudan - Shoshanna Solomon
    The University of Juba, in South Sudan, has joined IsraAID, an Israel-based humanitarian NGO, and other partners to set up a center for the study of science and technology in the country. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Preparing for Iran's Next Move in Syria - Josh Rogin
    Tehran is pouring thousands of fighters into newly acquired territories and building military bases. Iran has stated its intention to help Assad retake all of Syria. The agreement President Trump struck with Vladimir Putin was sold as a way to ensure that the liberated areas of Syria stay out of Assad's control and to provide for the exit of foreign fighters. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow has no intention of pushing Iran to remove its troops from Syria.
        A report by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America proposes that the U.S. "impose real obstacles to Tehran's pursuit of total victory by the Assad regime in Syria." The U.S. should work with regional allies to stop Iran from moving weapons and troops into Syria, interdicting shipments by sea and ensuring that U.S.-supported forces control key border towns in Syria and Iraq. "We need to cut off Iran's ability to build a crescent of influence," said task force co-chair Air Force Gen. (ret.) Charles Wald. (Washington Post)
  • Waiting for Uncle Sam - Daniel C. Kurtzer
    Is it still reasonable to believe that a peace settlement, brokered by the U.S., is possible between Israel and the Palestinians? I believe that determined, persistent American leadership can change the calculus of the Israelis and Palestinians and move them toward a fair and conclusive peace settlement.
        While it may not be possible now to move expeditiously toward a final peace settlement, and while it may be impossible to rely on the parties themselves to do the right thing and to get serious about negotiations, it is possible for the honest broker, the U.S., to take a number of steps that, at a minimum, can preserve the idea of a two-state peace settlement and also establish conditions that will provide an impetus to negotiations whenever they do resume.
        The U.S. should take the lead in developing and empowering an international support mechanism for the peace process. An international Quartet (the U.S., Russia, the EU, and the UN) already exists, but it has never been very effective. There is an Arab quartet (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the UAE) created to follow up the Arab Peace Initiative, but this too has not been very effective. The point is to engage with others to develop a mechanism or a series of mechanisms that could play effective roles in advancing the prospects for peace.
        The writer served as the American ambassador to Israel (2001-2005) and to Egypt (1997-2001). He is currently the S. Daniel Abraham Professor in Middle Eastern Policy Studies at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. (Cairo Review of Global Affairs)
  • Time for a Peace Process Paradigm Change? - Jonathan S. Tobin
    Sometime in the next few months, the details of President Trump's Middle East peace plan will be unveiled as part of an effort to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. But this scheme has no more chance of working than the efforts of his predecessors because the essential element for peace is still missing. The Palestinians are still stuck in a mindset that rejects Israel's legitimacy.
        The Palestinian Authority won't accept a deal that ends the conflict no matter where the U.S. and the Saudis draw the borders, how much of Jerusalem the Palestinians receive, how many descendants of the 1948 refugees are allowed to "return," or even how much money is thrown at them. That's because the Palestinians' national identity is still inextricably bound up in a futile century-old war on Zionism that its people have been taught to think they will eventually win.
        At various times, the PA has declared a willingness to accept peace. Yet every such gesture has been undermined by its cradle-to-grave incitement that promotes a culture of hatred for Israel and Jews, and makes new rounds of bloodshed inevitable. ( )

To Counter Tehran's Influence, Start with Iraq and Syria - Kenneth M. Pollack and Bilal Y. Saab (Wall Street Journal)

  • Without a U.S.-led initiative to limit Iran's regional sway, U.S. allies who perceive the acute Iranian threat will act on their own and escalate regional crises.
  • The Iran policy the Trump administration rolled out last month is an important effort to forge a comprehensive strategy. It recognizes that merely curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions won't end its aggressive behavior across the region.
  • Syria and Iraq are the places to execute an Iran strategy effectively. Iran has gone all-in on Syria, and while it is winning, it is also badly overexposed. Washington could take advantage of this by ramping up covert assistance to Syrian rebels to try to bleed Damascus and its Iranian backer over time, the way the U.S. supported the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s.
  • In Iraq, Tehran's dominance is far from complete. There are still many Iraqis, including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who don't want to live under Iran's shadow. Helping them would mean a major U.S. investment after the defeat of ISIS to empower champions of political reconciliation.

    Mr. Pollack is a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Saab is director of the Defense and Security Program at the Middle East Institute.

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