July 31, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

Family of Palestinian Who Murdered Israeli Father to Receive Financial Reward (Algemeiner)
    The Palestinian terrorist who murdered an Israeli man, Yotam Ovadia, 31, a father of two young children, near Jerusalem last week, has been designated as a "martyr" by the Palestinian Authority.
    Under PA policy, the families of Palestinians who die as "martyrs" are entitled to a grant of $1,600, as well as a monthly allowance.

Syrian Activists: "Ahed Tamimi Lucky Not to Be Imprisoned by Assad Regime" - Seth J. Frantzman (Jerusalem Post)
    Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, 17, was released on Sunday after serving 8 months in prison for attacking an Israeli soldier.
    "Israel released Ahed Tamimi full of health and without a scratch," Syrian activist Yasser Wardh tweeted on Monday. Wardh compared her leaving prison "while thousands of Palestinians are killed in prisons of the Assad regime."
    Nedal al-Amari, a journalist from Dara'a, wrote, "Ahed Tamimi came out of prison in good health, better than before. Notice: The father of Ahed Tamimi supports Assad's regime."
    Dozens of tweets in Arabic mentioned her "9 kilos" weight gain.

Gaza Rolling in Fake Money - Hana Salah (Al-Monitor)
    On July 11, Gaza police raided a large factory printing fake money in Gaza City.
    "Some find counterfeiting banknotes an easy way to make illicit money," said Seif Eddin Audi, an assistant professor at the Islamic University of Gaza.
    "False bills are not easily transferred outside the Gaza Strip. They are immediately detected by the currency exchange offices and banks."
    The most commonly seen counterfeit banknotes in Gaza are the $100 bill and notes for 100, 50 and 10 shekels.

Video: What Are Palestinian Terrorists Thinking? - Pierre Rehov (Vimeo)
    Here are interviews with Palestinians who tried to blow themselves up in terrorist attacks, or even succeeded and survived.
    "I will not feel sorry for any Israeli child, and I will not regret even if it is a nursery full of kids. It is enough that I will be a martyr and I will go in front of God representing my family - 70 people, my wife, my children, my sisters and all my friends - 70 people will go to Paradise on my merit. This is a big honor for me."
    "It is written in the Koran: when a martyr blows himself up it's beautiful, it feels so good, he doesn't feel any pain, only pleasure."
    "Those who blow themselves up get a good bonus from God. They marry 72 virgins. When I put on a belt I was not afraid, on the contrary. I was excited. I felt I was the most powerful person on earth."
    "I advise my fighting brothers to continue killing the Jews to the last one."

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Russia Tells Israel: We Can't Force Iran Out of Syria
    Russia cannot compel Iranian forces to quit Syria, Moscow's ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov told Israel's Channel 10 on Monday. "We can talk with our Iranian partners very frankly and openly, trying to persuade them to do or not to do something," he said. But asked whether Russia can force Iran out, he answered: "We cannot." Viktorov added: "We cannot dictate to Israel how to proceed....It is not up to Russia to give Israel freedom to do anything, or to prohibit Israel to do anything."  (Reuters)
  • Trump Says He Would Meet with Iranian Leader, But Iran Rules It Out - Michael D. Shear and Rick Gladstone
    President Trump said Monday that he would meet with President Hassan Rouhani with "no preconditions" as soon as the Iranian leader agreed to do so. "I'll meet with anybody....If they want to meet, I'll meet. Anytime they want." But hours before he spoke, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, "With current America and these policies, there will definitely not be the possibility of dialogue and engagement....I think there are no conditions for such a discussion at all."  (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Syria Takes Control of Entire Border Area in Golan Heights - Leith Aboufadel
    For the first time since 2014, Syrian forces have taken control of the entire border with Israel in the Golan Heights. On Monday the Syrian Army captured the town of Shajarah, the Islamic State's last major stronghold in the Daraa Governorate, and seized its last border points. (Al Masdar News-Syria)
        See also Israel Trying to Prevent Massacre of Syrian Civilians on Golan Heights Border
    Israel has asked Russia to ensure that Syrian government forces do not harm or massacre civilians as they complete their takeover of the area bordering Israel's Golan Heights, Hadashot TV reported Monday. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Religious Authorities Ban Participation in Jerusalem Municipal Election - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinian Islamic religious authorities on Monday issued a fatwa (religious decree) banning Arab residents of Jerusalem from participating in the November Jerusalem municipal election. The ruling came in response to a decision by Arab community leader Ramadan Dabash from Sur Baher to run in the election.
        Dabash said Monday, "Our participation in the election has nothing to do with politics or religion. This so-called fatwa does injustice to the Arab residents of Jerusalem, who are seeking better services and want to improve their living conditions."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Video: If Iran Leaves the Nuclear Deal, It Can Have Enough Material for a Bomb in Six Months - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser
    The purpose of the nuclear deal in the eyes of the Iranians is to allow Iran to have a nuclear arsenal in 15 years. The archives of the Iranian nuclear program that Israel acquired prove that it was a military program. The documents show that they were ordered by the leadership to produce five nuclear bombs in the first stage.
        Notably, it was Israeli intelligence, not the IAEA, which found the trove of documents. This shows that there is no real monitoring of the agreement by IAEA. There is no access by the IAEA monitoring teams to the scientists. In addition, now that Iran controls another country that is not subject to any kind of monitoring - Syria - they can take their scientists, move them into Syria, and do whatever they like there. There's no limitation on what they can do outside of Iran.
        The Obama administration said that under this agreement, it is going to take them a year before they are going to have enough fissile material for a first bomb. Yet the Iranians are now saying that within two weeks they can come back to production of 20%-enriched uranium. The Iranians had 19,000 centrifuges, 13,000 of which were put in Hall B in Natanz, which is two meters away from where they were before. They were not dismantled. They were disassembled, so they can put them all together within no time and have 19,000 centrifuges working.
        The only question becomes whether it will take them six or seven months before they have enough fissile material for a bomb. They have already started developing more advanced centrifuges that will shorten the time even more.
        The speaker was formerly director general of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence. This is from his presentation at the Jerusalem Center on July 11, 2018. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The Palestinians Have Never Accepted a Two-State Solution - Einat Wilf interviewed by Raphael Ahren
    Former Labor MK Einat Wilf believes the Palestinians are miles away from accepting the idea of dividing the land and are still hoping Israel will soon disappear. Her new book, The War of Return, co-authored with former Ha'aretz journalist Adi Schwartz, provides an in-depth analysis of the Palestinian refugee problem. The War of Independence has never ended, Wilf and Schwartz maintain. Officials at the Palestinian Authority today are convinced that masses of "refugees" will soon "return" to their homes in Jaffa and Haifa, ultimately destroying the Jewish state.
        The issue of refugees "is the core of the conflict," Wilf said, "because no other issue reflects more deeply the continued Palestinian, and more broadly Arab, view that Israel is temporary." The international community's longstanding position on the refugee question - including support for UNRWA, the UN's agency for Palestinian refugees - is among the main reasons the Palestinians continue to foster the ethos of return, according to Wilf. The Palestinians interpret the West's support for UNRWA as support for the right of return.
        "What we're showing [in the book] is that the Palestinians have actually never, not for a single moment, accepted the two-state solution. There was never a moment where they said: We're done, we understand that the other state will never be Arab or Palestinian and that it will belong to the Jewish people."  (Times of Israel)

Haley: "The U.S. Has No Moral Duty to Be Neutral between Right and Wrong" - UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (U.S. Mission to the UN)

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Christians United for Israel Summit on July 23:
  • "We respect everyone's right to peacefully protest. But no one should be fooled about the role of Hamas. Many of the protesters in Gaza are anything but peaceful. If they were peaceful, there would be no burning tires, there would be no Molotov cocktails, there would be no flaming swastika kites flying into Israel burning thousands of acres of land. And of course, if this was a peaceful movement, there would not be hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel."
  • "Like any country would do, Israel has responded to the violence at its border. What is so stunning is the international reaction to all of this. Think about it. If there were tens of thousands of people looking to attack your border fence, and you had a terrorist group providing guidance on how best to kill innocent civilians inside your country once the border fence was broken, what would you do? What would the United States do? What would any country do?...Israel has acted with more restraint than just about any other country would under those same conditions. It's true."
  • "The United States has no moral duty to be neutral between right and wrong. On the contrary, we have a moral duty to take sides, even when that means standing alone. Being silent has never been something I was good at....The top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat - bless his heart - recently had some advice for me. He told me I just needed to 'shut up.' I responded by saying, 'Mr. Erekat, I will always be respectful, but I will not shut up.'"
  • "[At the UN] our approach on Israel is tied together by one major idea. The idea that runs through all of it is the simple concept that Israel must be treated like any other normal country. We demand that Israel not be treated like some sort of temporary provisional entity or pariah. It cannot be the case that only one country in the world doesn't get to choose its capital city."
  • "It cannot be the case that the Human Rights Council has a standing agenda item for only one country. It cannot be the case that only one set of refugees throughout the world is counted in a way that causes the number to grow literally forever. It cannot be the case that in an organization with 193 countries, the United Nations spends half of its time attacking only one country."
  • "Our demand for fairness for Israel is actually a demand for peace. The UN's bias against Israel has long undermined peace, by encouraging an illusion that Israel will go away. Israel is not going to go away. When the world recognizes that, then peace becomes possible. It becomes possible because all sides will be dealing with realities, not fantasies. Fantasies encourage absolutist demands. When realities are accepted, then compromise becomes possible. When the reality of Israel's existence is accepted, both sides will become freed to achieve a durable peace."

        See also Video: UN Ambassador Nikki Haley at Christians United for Israel Summit - July 23, 2018 (YouTube)