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  DAILY ALERT Wednesday,
November 22, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Thwarts Attempt to Smuggle Tons of Explosive Material into Gaza - Eytan Halon (Jerusalem Post)
    An attempt to smuggle tons of explosive material into Gaza was thwarted by the Israel Ministry of Defense's Crossing Authority thanks to an advanced chemistry laboratory set up in recent weeks at Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing, it was announced Wednesday.
    Advanced technology permits experts to precisely identify gases, liquids, powders, metals and other substances before they enter Gaza.
    A truck transporting motor oil was found to actually be carrying a dangerous substance destined to assist in the production of large quantities of explosive material by terror groups in Gaza.
    The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said it foiled 1,226 smuggling attempts through the Kerem Shalom crossing in 2016, an increase of 165% from the previous year.

Germany Detains Six Syrians for Planning ISIS Attack (Reuters)
    German police on Tuesday detained six Syrian asylum-seekers in Kassel, Hanover, Essen, and Leipzig suspected of planning an attack using weapons or explosives on behalf of Islamic State, the general prosecutor's office in Frankfurt said.
    Earlier this month a Syrian man was detained on suspicion of planning a bomb attack.

Israeli Girl Injured in 2011 Jerusalem Bombing Dies after Six-Year Coma - Jacob Magid (Times of Israel)
    Hodaya Asulin was 14 when a bomb hidden in a backpack exploded at a bus stop outside the Jerusalem International Convention Center.
    Since that time, Asulin has been unconscious, receiving round-the-clock care from family, friends and volunteers. She died on Wednesday.
    In November 2013, a military court sentenced Palestinian Hussein Ali Qawasmeh to life in prison for orchestrating the terror bombing that killed British national Mary Jean Gardner and injured dozens of passersby.

Poll: Majority of Diaspora Jewish Leaders Favor Embassy Move to Jerusalem - Tamara Zieve (Jerusalem Post)
    62% of Jewish leaders in the diaspora favor moving all embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a study by the Jewish People Policy Institute.
    Close to 75% agreed that "the Temple Mount must remain under Israeli jurisdiction."
    See also Poll: Jerusalem and the Jewish People (Jewish People Policy Institute)
    See also Lawmakers: Move U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem Immediately - Adam Kredo (Washington Free Beacon)

Muhammad Ordered Kids to Throw Rocks at Jews, Says PA-Funded Magazine for Children - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    A poem in the October edition of the Palestinian youth magazine Zayzafuna teaches children that throwing rocks at Jews is mandated by Muhammad.
    "Sing by the order of Prophet [Muhammad] that we carry a rock that we will throw at the people of the Gharqad [tree]" - "the tree of the Jews."
    Zayzafuna is a PLO magazine for children partially funded by the PA.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • State Department: U.S. Wants PLO's Washington Office to Stay Open
    The U.S. wants the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to keep its Washington office open and is in talks with Palestinian officials about the issue despite a U.S. decision that could trigger its closure, the State Department said on Tuesday. "We'd like for them to be able to keep it open," Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday.
        A State Department official on Saturday said under U.S. law, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could not renew a certification for the PLO office to operate after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the International Criminal Court in September to prosecute Israelis for alleged crimes against Palestinians. (Reuters)
  • Turkish Media Says Ankara Could Disable U.S. Radar Station that Would Warn Israel of Iranian Missile Attack
    An editorial in the Turkish pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper on Sunday said Ankara could leave Israel exposed to an Iranian missile attack by disabling the NATO X-band early-warning radar station at Kurecik, in retaliation for a possible Washington ban on the purchase of F-35 fighter jets.
        Heidi Grant, the deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Air Force for international affairs, had earlier said that Turkey's deployment of the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missile system may expose vulnerabilities of the F-35 jets that Turkey plans to purchase. The newspaper says that unlike similar surveillance sites in Israel, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE, the Kurecik station can detect missile launches from the entire western part of Iran. (RT-Russia)
  • Former Saudi Minister Denounces Violence Against Israel as "Un-Islamic"
    Former Saudi Justice Minister Muhammad Bin abdel-Kareem Aleissa said Tuesday, "Any act of violence or terrorism that tries to hide behind religion has no justification whatsoever, not even in Israel," the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported. Aleissa was appointed last year as the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, and is reportedly close to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: I Have Not Yet Come Across the Palestinian Sadat Who Will End the Conflict - Moran Azulay
    Speaking to the Knesset on Tuesday on the 40th anniversary of Egyptian President Sadat's historic visit to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "I say with sincere regret, I have not yet come across the Palestinian Sadat who will declare his desire to end the conflict, who will recognize the State of Israel inside borders, whatever they may be, and support our right to live in peace and security."
        "First comes the recognition of [Israel's] existence and then its right to exist. This is what Sadat did, unlike our Palestinian neighbors, who to this day refuse to recognize the State of Israel's right to exist."  (Ynet News)
        See also Text and Video: The 40th Anniversary of Sadat's Visit to the Knesset - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Syrian Rebels Wounded in Chemical Weapons Attack Treated in Israel - Seth J. Frantzman
    Three Syrian rebels wounded last week in a chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime are being treated in Israel. Helicopters belonging to the Assad regime threw explosive drums containing toxic gases believed to be chlorine on a rebel position, said Abu Omar al-Golany, spokesman for the Revolutionary Command Council in Quneitra and the Golan. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Parole Board Rejects Hamas Prison Release Request, Citing Hamas Refusal to Release Remains of IDF Soldiers - Gilad Morag and Raanan Ben Tzur
    An Israeli parole board recently refused to grant early release from prison to a Palestinian Hamas militant from Gaza sentenced for security-related crimes, citing the fact that Hamas is still holding onto the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed in the 2014 Gaza War. The parole board said, "It is not the job of the parole board to produce levers to pressure Hamas for their (Shaul and Goldin's) return, but the board believes that the early release of the prisoner who is affiliated with the Hamas terror organization could and would be harmful to the public's confidence in the judicial system."  (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Trump Repeating Kerry's Insistence that Palestinians Halt International Campaign Against Israel before Peace Talks - Grant Rumley
    This week, the Trump administration threatened to close the Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) if the Palestinians did not immediately halt their campaign at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and agree to engage in the peace process. In response, the PLO announced Tuesday that it would halt all contacts with American officials.
        American officials have always seen this international campaign against Israel as a nuisance. At the start of peace negotiations in 2013, then-Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the Palestinians halt the campaign in order to participate. The writer is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Atlantic)
  • Islamists Are a Minority in the Middle East - Sir John Jenkins
    Islamism is a set of ideas, a framing system designed to change the world. The Muslim Brotherhood's ultimate objective is to take power and create what they construe as a true Islamic state - an idea they share with all radicalized Islamists including ISIS and other actively violent Islamist movements.
        There is a tendency in Western circles to see Islamism, particularly its Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, as the authentic expression of an Arab "general will." This is a mistake. In Egypt in 2012, the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) received 11 million votes out of a possible 52 million. So even at the height of its power it was only gaining 20% of the vote. By the beginning of 2013, 80% of the population said they greatly distrusted the Brotherhood and wanted something else. Since the Arab Spring, support for the Muslim Brotherhood generally across the region has remained constant at 15-25%.
        The writer, a former UK Ambassador to Syria, Libya, and Saudi Arabia, is executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. (Fathom-BICOM)
  • Why Did Israel Support the Kurdish Referendum? - Ari Heistein
    Israel's declaration of support for Kurdish independence was probably not an important factor in Erbil's decision to hold the referendum. Israel's rhetorical support and limited under-the-table cooperation should not have significantly altered Erbil's calculations. In fact, the Kurds had a number of compelling reasons for moving towards independence at this time, including the belief that they had a small window during which they would receive U.S. support before Washington disengaged from Iraq.
        At the same time, Israel had much to gain and very little to lose from supporting Kurdish independence. Having an ally along the Iranian and Turkish borders could have provided Israel with a platform to counterbalance the strategies of Teheran and Ankara, which seek to apply pressure on Israel by allying with hostile entities on its border. The writer is a special assistant to the director at the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel. (National Interest)

Video: Is It True the UN Created Israel? 70 Years since UN General Assembly Resolution 181 - Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • It is often incorrectly asserted that the United Nations created the State of Israel by means of UN General Assembly Resolution 181, what is also known as the Partition Plan, which was adopted on November 29, 1947, 70 years ago. That is completely untrue.
  • UN Resolution 181 called explicitly for an independent Jewish state alongside of an Arab state and provided international legitimacy for the Jewish claim to statehood. It was a morally significant action, but like all UN General Assembly resolutions, it was not legally binding.
  • What established Israel was not the action of the UN. What actually established Israel was the Declaration of Independence by Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, on May 15, 1948. To this day, what establishes states are not actions in the UN, despite what Mahmoud Abbas might hope.
  • When I served as Israel's ambassador to the UN, a campaign began which called for reviving Resolution 181, led by the Palestinian UN Observer, Nasser al-Qudwa. At the time, Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon said to me, "Go back to Ben-Gurion's speech in the Knesset from December 1949."
  • When Arab armies converged on the nascent State of Israel, put Jerusalem under siege, and bombarded the Old City with artillery, the UN did nothing. As Ben-Gurion told the Israeli Knesset in December 1949, "The UN didn't lift a finger."
  • Ben-Gurion declared, "We cannot regard the decision of the 29th of November 1947 as being possessed of any further moral force since the UN did not succeed in implementing its own decisions." Eight days later he moved the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem just as the Jewish state was being reborn.

    Amb. Dore Gold, former director general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center.

        See also Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem: Challenges and Opportunities - Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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