October 10, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

Turkish Officials Say Saudi Dissident Was Killed at Saudi Consulate in Istanbul - David D. Kirkpatrick and Carlotta Gall (New York Times)
    Top Turkish security officials say Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from the highest levels of the royal court.
    Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival by a team of Saudi agents who dismembered his body with a bone saw.
    Fifteen Saudi agents had arrived on two charter flights last Tuesday, the day Khashoggi disappeared. All 15 left just a few hours later; one was an autopsy expert, presumably there to help dismember the body.
    Khashoggi was a legal resident of the U.S. and a columnist for the Washington Post.

Egypt's Most Wanted Jihadist Militant Captured in Libya - Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post)
    Hisham al-Ashmawy, a former Egyptian special forces officer with ties to al-Qaeda and one of the region's most dangerous Islamist militants, was taken into custody Friday in the Libyan city of Derna by the Libyan National Army.

Senior Iranian Official Requests Political Asylum in Switzerland - Iran Desk (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    A senior official in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's office has requested political asylum in Switzerland, according to Iran's Seda newspaper, which is affiliated with the broadcasting authority.

Israeli-Palestinian Industrial Zones in the West Bank - Eytan Halon (Jerusalem Post)
    A Palestinian terrorist attack on Sunday killed two Israelis and wounded a third at the Barkan Industrial Park in the West Bank.
    The 11,100 Palestinians working at the 16 Israeli industrial zones often earn more than double the average West Bank wage.

Childhood Friends Separated by Holocaust Reunite 75 Years Later - Yehuda Shlezinger (Israel Hayom)
    Chaya Levy, 91, and Esther Sheinberg, 88, were childhood friends who grew up in the same Transylvanian village of Beclean, in what was then Hungary and is now Romania, before being deported to Auschwitz.
    Until Sunday, neither suspected the other had survived the Holocaust.
    When their daughters were introduced through a mutual friend, they were surprised to discover that both their mothers had grown up in the same village.
    When the daughters later told their mothers the story, Levy and Sheinberg immediately recognized the other's name.

Unemployment in Israel Down to 4% in August - Hila Weissberg (Globes)
    Israel's unemployment rate in August was 4%, down from 4.1% in July, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Nikki Haley, Fierce Defender of Israel, Resigns as U.S. Ambassador to the UN - Josefin Dolsten and Ron Kampeas
    U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that she will leave her post by the end of this year. President Trump praised Haley and said that about six months ago she told him that she was ready to leave. Haley pulled the U.S. out of UNESCO and pushed for the defunding of UNRWA. She threw a party for countries that did not vote to condemn the U.S. for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (JTA)
        See also Israel Thanks U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday: "I thank Ambassador Nikki Haley for leading an uncompromising struggle against the hypocrisy at the UN and on behalf of the truth and justice of our country."  (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also Israeli Leaders, U.S. Groups Praise Haley - Alexander Fulbright (Times of Israel)
  • University of Michigan Disciplines Professor Who Withheld Recommendation from Student Who Wanted to Study in Israel - Kim Kozlowski
    The University of Michigan is disciplining associate professor John Cheney-Lippold who refused to recommend a student for study in Israel because of his support for Palestinians. The tenured American studies professor will not get a merit raise during the 2018-19 academic year and can't go on his upcoming sabbatical in January, according to an Oct. 3 letter signed by Elizabeth Cole, the interim dean of UM's College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
        The letter stated: "Your behavior in this circumstance was inappropriate and will not be tolerated. In the future, a student's merit should be your primary guide for determining how and whether to provide a letter of recommendation. You are not to use student requests for recommendations as a platform to discuss your personal political beliefs."
        Cole also criticized him for using class time to discuss his views on the Palestinian-led BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement. "This use of class time to discuss your personal opinions was a misuse of your role as a faculty member....The University formally and publicly opposes a boycott of Israeli academic institutions."  (Detroit News)
        See also A Second University of Michigan Instructor Denied Student a Letter of Recommendation for Study in Israel - Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Defying Abbas, Israel Allows Qatari-Funded Fuel into Gaza - Jack Khoury and Yaniv Kubovich
    Diesel fuel funded by Qatar began arriving in Gaza from Israel on Tuesday, Palestinian sources in Gaza reported. The arrangement is expected to ultimately substantially increase the electricity supply to Gaza residents. PA President Mahmoud Abbas opposes any assistance to Gaza without the supervision and cooperation of the PA. (Ha'aretz)
  • Earliest Known Stone Carving of Hebrew Word "Jerusalem" Found near City Entrance - Amanda Borschel-Dan
    The earliest stone inscription bearing the full spelling of the modern Hebrew word for Jerusalem was unveiled on Tuesday at the Israel Museum. The 2,000-year-old three-line inscription on a waist-high column reads: "Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem." The stone column was discovered earlier this year at an excavation near the Jerusalem International Convention Center at the entrance to the city by an Israel Antiquities Authority team. Archaeologist Danit Levi dates the column and its inscription to 100 BCE.
        Israel Museum Director Prof. Ido Bruno said, "Every child who knows a few letters of Hebrew can read it and understand that 2,000 years ago, Jerusalem was written and spelled like today."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • With Nikki Haley's Resignation, We Israelis Lost A Hero - Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll
    Nikki Haley was the international friend many Israelis have waited decades to have. The friend who called out class bullies, crushed the old boy's club and outshone the teacher's pet. She is the friend who has your back with grace, poise and deadly precision, just when you need her most. She had honesty, the grit and the willingness to stand up for what's right. That she did all of this without using inflammatory and partisan language made her all the more worthy of admiration.
        Haley consistently spoke out against the bias she saw in the institution meant to be the embodiment of all that is good in humanity. What should have been the coming together of mankind to seek good and prosperity for the world instead has become a black hole of back door deals where the worst human rights offenders parade as human rights defenders whose common goal is the vilification of the world's only Jewish state. (Forward)
  • Nikki Haley: A Sheriff in Heels on Israel's Behalf - Herb Keinon
    For Israel's supporters in America, Nikki Haley was a superstar. She told the AIPAC convention in 2017: "I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement. It's because if I see something wrong, we're going to kick them every single time. So for anyone that says you can't get anything done at the UN, they need to know there's a new sheriff in town."
        Unapologetically, calmly and intelligently, Haley passionately called out the UN over its anti-Israel bias; eloquently defended the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; and firmly called the Palestinians out for the folly of many of their policies. Haley's presence at the UN, her style and her avid defense, will surely be missed by Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iran's Revolutionary Guard Smuggled Suitcases of Explosives into Saudi Arabia - Iran Desk
    In 1986, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard concealed explosives in the suitcases of unknowing Iranian pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual Haj, under the orders of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The explosives were transported to Saudi Arabia with the intention of detonating them during that year's pilgrimage to Mecca. This was recently revealed by Ahmad Montazeri, the son of Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, deputy to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
        After the Saudis discovered the suitcases, Mehdi Karroubi, who was then Ayatollah Khomeini's representative to Iran's pilgrim organization, was compelled to travel to Saudi King Fahd in person and apologize. When Ayatollah Montazeri found out about this, he wrote to Ayatollah Khomeini, but instead of investigating the matter, the regime placed the blame on Mehdi Hashemi, a Muslim clergyman and a senior officer of the Revolutionary Guard who was not involved at all but was executed in 1987. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

How Iran Plans to Take Gaza - Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Institute)
  • Even if Hamas were to be removed from power in Gaza, the Palestinians would continue to suffer under other radical groups such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Iran considers PIJ its main ally and puppet in Gaza. Through PIJ, Iran inserts its tentacles into the internal affairs of the Palestinians.
  • Islamist fundamentalism is enshrined in the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza. Both Hamas and PIJ do not recognize Israel's right to exist and continue to call for an armed struggle to "liberate all of Palestine" from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
  • The Iranian-funded PIJ has an armed wing called Saraya Al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigades), responsible for hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israel, including suicide bombings and rocket and mortar attacks. Just last week, PIJ's military wing again dispatched its heavily-armed fighters to the streets of Gaza in a show of force.
  • Iran has strong reservations about trusting Hamas, based on the fear that Hamas is ready to reach a truce accord with Israel. In the eyes of Iran, this would constitute a betrayal. Iran sees the PIJ as its real ally in the Palestinian arena and as a natural replacement for Hamas in Gaza.
  • Those who believe that all would be well if Israel would only ease restrictions on Gaza inhabit some alternate reality.