October 24, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

Iranian Terrorists Lurk Abroad in Guise of Diplomats, Dissidents Report - Rowan Scarborough (Washington Times)
    From Austria to Albania to Iraq, an expansionist Iran has turned embassies into terrorism planning sites to meddle in host governments and hunt down the opposition, according to a report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

Thai Ambassador Thanks Israel for Aid in Rescue of Boys in Cave - Yvette J. Deane (Jerusalem Post)
    Thailand's Ambassador to Israel Penprapa Vongkovit, speaking at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America on Tuesday, thanked Uzi Hanuni, Founder and CEO of Maxtech Networks Ltd., for valuable communication technology that helped ensure the safety of the Thai boys trapped in a cave in Thailand earlier this year.
    The "experts and essential communication device" played a significant role in the rescue, she said.
    Maxtech's communication technology, that does not require infrastructure, has been used by the IDF and other rescue crews around the world.
    Vongkovit also thanked Israel for "its special navy team and specialized diving helmets to assist the operation."

Paypal Halts Services for UK Charity with Ties to Palestinian Terrorists - Yvette J. Deane (Jerusalem Post)
    PayPal stopped providing services to the NGO War on Want after UK Lawyers for Israel and The Lawfare Project provided evidence to PayPal showing that the charity had ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
    PayPal also recently stopped providing services to International Alliance, a German charity that also has links to the PFLP.

Peace Index: 78 Percent of Israeli Jews Say Mood of People Around Them Is Good - Profs. Ephraim Yaar and Tamar Hermann (Tel Aviv University and Israel Democracy Institute)
    78% of Israeli Jews define the mood of the people around them as good, according to the Peace Index survey of Israeli opinion taken on October 16-17, 2018.
    At the same time, 74% of Israeli Jews and 66% of Israeli Arabs do not believe that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will lead in the coming years to peace.
    86% of Israeli Jews believe the IDF is the most moral army in the world.

Israeli Arts at 70 (City University of New York TV)
    "Israeli Arts @ 70" is a half-hour TV special featuring a vibrant array of leading and emerging contemporary Israeli artists in dance, literature, film/TV and music.

Siemens and Israeli Start-up Healthy.io Team Up on Smartphone Home Urine Test (Reuters)
    Siemens Healthineers has teamed up with Israeli start-up Healthy.io to allow patients to test their urine at home by using a smartphone camera that scans a dipstick and sends the results to their doctor.
    Healthy.io CEO Yonatan Adiri describes the technology as a "medical selfie."

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Takes Diplomatic Action Against Saudis Believed Tied to Journalist's Killing - Peter Nicholas
    The U.S. has taken diplomatic action against 21 Saudi officials believed connected with the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On Tuesday, President Trump said Saudi Arabia bungled the handling of Mr. Khashoggi's killing from "beginning to end," though he made clear he doesn't want to cancel lucrative U.S. contracts with the kingdom in reprisal.
        Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Saudi officials singled out for U.S. action included "those in the intelligence services, the royal court, the foreign ministry, and other Saudi ministries." They will be subject to visa revocations and special screening procedures meant to keep them out of the U.S. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Iran Nuclear Archives Show High Explosive Work at Parchin Test Site - David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Olli Heinonen, and Frank Pabian
    Iranian documents and photos from an archive seized by Israel in Tehran confirm that Iran was testing a neutron initiator to start the chain reaction in a nuclear explosion.
        It is essential for the IAEA to ask to visit Parchin, and now, to visit the nuclear archive and warehouse sites, since maintaining such documents, material, and equipment is not compatible with the spirit and obligations of Iran under the NPT, its safeguards agreement, including the Additional Protocol, and the JCPOA nuclear deal. There is no evidence in the IAEA reports that Section T of the Iran deal - which bans key aspects of nuclear weapons research and development and applies controls and monitoring - has ever been implemented in practice.
        The new information raises profound questions about whether Iran is complying with the fundamental goal of the JCPOA, namely that "under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons." In the case of South Africa, giving up its nuclear weapons program involved program officials searching for and burning all nuclear weapons sensitive documents and destroying the sensitive components, equipment, and non-nuclear materials. (Institute for Science and International Security)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Moves to Replace UNRWA in Jerusalem
    15 Jerusalem municipal sanitation workers entered the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp to remove trash and provide other cleaning services as part of Mayor Nir Barkat's plan to expel UNRWA from operating in the city. Workers found hundreds of tons of untended garbage and construction waste and will enter the area daily to gradually take over UNRWA's services. Barkat, who visited Shuafat on Tuesday, said, "The time has come to stop the refugee lie in Jerusalem. There are no refugees in our city, only residents. They must receive their services from the municipality like any other resident."
        "We are implementing the first phase of the UNRWA evacuation plan by taking responsibility for the cleanliness of the camp, and in the near future, together with the government, we will also provide education, welfare, and health services there until full sovereignty is achieved," he added.
        Seven UNRWA-run schools that operate without a license from the Education Ministry will be closed at the end of the current academic year, and the pupils absorbed into existing municipal schools. UNRWA's medical centers, which operate without approval from the Health Ministry, will be replaced by a new public health center. Existing UNRWA-run welfare programs will be transferred to the governance of municipal welfare and employment services. (Times of Israel)
  • U.S. Treasury Undersecretary: Sanctions to Hit Iran Hard - Tal Schneider
    "Because of our sanctions, oil purchases by foreign authorities from Iran will be going significantly down," U.S. Undersecretary of the Treasury Sigal Mandelker told Globes. She is visiting Israel as part of a delegation headed by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Mandelker is leading the campaign to apply financial sanctions against Iran and halt financing for terrorism.
        At the agency she heads, the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, 700 professional federal employees track capital or tangible assets to stop the use by terrorist organizations of the return on these assets and the transfer of funds through the international financial system. She says that the additional sanctions against Iran that become effective on Nov. 4 are designed to be much more severe and include oil. (Globes)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Bethlehem after Oslo: Terror Spiked in Israel's Absence - Nadav Shragai
    Bethlehem is only several hundred meters from southern Jerusalem. On Dec. 21, 1995, after the Oslo Peace Accords, Israel officially handed Bethlehem over to Palestinian rule. When the Palestinians had exclusive responsibility for security in Bethlehem, Palestinian snipers sat on the rooftops and shot at soldiers and Jewish visitors to Rachel's Tomb. Waves of terror emanating from the city killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis.
        What happened in Bethlehem was representative of the other districts in the Palestinian Authority. In the 15 years that preceded the Oslo Accords, 270 Israelis were murdered by Palestinians. During the 15 years that followed the accords, close to 1,500 Israelis were killed. When the IDF was physically present in an area, the frequency of terror attacks decreased. When Israel relied on the Palestinian Authority, the frequency of terror attacks increased.
        The writer, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center, is a journalist and commentator who has documented the dispute over Jerusalem for 30 years. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Will China Abandon the Palestinians? - Ramzy Baroud and Romana Rubeo
    China's Vice President Wang Qishan arrived in Israel on Monday for a four-day visit to head the fourth China-Israel Innovation Committee. Chinese investments in Israel grew from $50 million in the early 1990s to $16.5 billion in 2016. China's total trade with Arab countries is estimated at $171 billion. However, the nature of the exchange is different. China is a main client for Israel's IT industry, while its trade with Arab countries is mostly focused on selling cheaper consumer goods and military hardware.
        For years, China has called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. However, Beijing's position seems of little consequence to its relationship with Israel, as joint technological ventures, trade and investments continue to grow unhindered.
        China finds itself under no particular obligation to side with a well-defined Arab position on Palestine, simply because the latter doesn't exist. The political division of Arab countries, the wars in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere have pushed Palestine down from being a top Arab priority. This painful reality has weakened Palestine's position in China, which, at least for now, values its relationship with Israel at a much higher level. (Al Jazeera)

  • Jordanian King Abdullah II announced his country would reassert control over two agricultural enclaves leased from Jordan by Israel for 25 years under the 1994 peace agreement.
  • Joshua Krasna, an expert at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies [JISS], said: "Regarding the Naharaim site, as former [Jordanian] Prime Minister Abdul Salam Majali noted, Israeli citizens have 'ownership rights' that date back to 1926, when Russian Jewish engineer Pinhas Rutenberg...obtained a concession for production and distribution of electric power." "That there are Israeli property rights in the northern disputed area is not widely known in Jordan. So the discussion of this area may well be protracted, and require compensation and even legal processes."
  • Eran Lerman, vice president of JISS, said: "The arrangement was for 25 years, and it will expire next year. It would have been surprising if the king did not claim what is his [and perhaps leave open the option of higher remuneration for these plots]."
  • Uzi Rabi, director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, said: "This is not more than a PR exercise [by King Abdullah] to his own people, as he wishes to please some trade unions and other unsatisfied sectors in Jordan. We have a year to work this out and Israel has the tools to make this all work out."
  • Abdullah Swalha, founder and director of the Center for Israel Studies in Jordan, said: "During the last two years, there has been an ongoing campaign in Jordan asking the government to cancel this agreement. Just last week, over 80 members of Jordan's parliament signed a petition asking the king not to renew the agreement. So the king is responding to public opinion." At the end of the day, he said, Jordan will not destroy its peace agreement with Israel over two small tracts of land.