November 1, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

Report: Iran Infrastructure Hit by Computer Virus (Times of Israel)
    Iranian infrastructure and strategic networks have come under attack in the last few days by a computer virus similar to Stuxnet but "more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated," Israel's Hadashot TV reported Wednesday.
    See also Iran Says President Rouhani's Cellphone Was Tapped (Al Jazeera)
    Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali has revealed that President Hassan Rouhani's mobile phone was tapped "recently," Iran's ISNA news agency reported Monday.

Israeli Officials Traveled to Chad to Discuss Renewing Ties (Times of Israel)
    A delegation of Israeli officials traveled to the African Muslim country of Chad this week to discuss renewing diplomatic relations which were cut in the 1970s, Israel's Channel 10 reported.
    Israel's then-Foreign Ministry director general Dore Gold visited Chad in September 2017 for talks with senior officials.

Video: Ayatollah Khamenei Watches as Soldiers Chant: "Death to America! Death to Israel!"  (MEMRI-TV)
    Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps held a military parade on Oct. 15 depicting the White House with a Star of David protruding from its roof, with soldiers shouting, "Death to America! Death to Israel!"

Meet Israel's New Ambassador to Egypt - Fatma Lotfi (Daily News-Egypt)
    Amira Oron has been named as Israel's next ambassador to Egypt, the first woman to hold the post.
    Oron, who replaces David Govrin, served as Israel's charge d'affaires in Ankara from 2014 to 2016. She is fluent in Arabic and studied Islamic and Middle Eastern studies.
    She was formerly a staff member at the Israeli embassy in Cairo and deputy spokesperson as well as head of the Israel Foreign Ministry's Arab Media Department.

Hamas Fighter Dies in "Work Accident" in Gaza (IMEMC-PA)
    Daoud Rezeq Eid Jneid, 37, a member of Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades, was killed on Thursday when a grenade accidentally detonated in Gaza.

Israel's Elbit Gets $68 Million European Drone Deal (Reuters)
    Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems won a contract worth up to $68 million to supply maritime unmanned aircraft patrol services for the European Maritime Safety Agency to countries in the EU.

Israel to Train 1,000 Nigerian Rice Farmers (This Day-Nigeria)
    Prof. Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River state in Nigeria, has signed a pact with the government of Israel to train 1,000 rice farmers in modern farming techniques.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Denmark Consulting Allies over Possible Iran Sanctions
    After accusing Iran of plotting an attack against Iranian dissidents in Denmark, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Wednesday, "We are going to reach out to our European allies in the coming days to try to find a united response." The UK and the U.S. have expressed support for Denmark. Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen began contacting his European counterparts to discuss possible economic sanctions against Iran. (The Local-Denmark)
  • Illicit Procurement Network Used Firms in China, Portugal, and Turkey to Supply Iran - Mana Mostatabi
    A recently unsealed indictment provides details on Iran's use of deceptive practices to procure export-controlled items with military applications from the U.S. and elsewhere. The indictment details an elaborate, multi-year conspiracy directed by Iranian-born Canadian Ghobad Ghasempour, Chinese national Yi Xiong, and Iranian national Reza Rejali, to procure such items for an Iranian firm, with help from co-conspirators in China, Portugal, and Turkey. Ghasempour was sentenced to 42 months in prison on August 20, 2018.
        Using a network of agents and front companies, the conspirators were able to falsify shipping documents and mislead U.S. manufacturers by claiming that the procured items were intended for end users in Portugal and Turkey. Furthermore, this network enabled the Iranian end users to pay for the items and finance the scheme using Chinese front companies. (Iran Watch-Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control)
  • South Korea's Hyundai Cancels $521 Million Petrochemicals Deal in Iran
    South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction said on Monday that it scrapped a $521 million deal to build a petrochemical complex in Iran, saying the Iranian customer's ability to fund it had been hit by the prospect of U.S. economic sanctions against Tehran. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Sources Report Significant Progress in Ceasefire Deal with Israel - Elior Levy
    There has been significant progress in reaching a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt and the UN over the past few days, Palestinian sources said Wednesday. As part of trust-building measures, Israel has allowed Qatari fuel to enter Gaza, enabling households to receive 8 hours of electricity a day instead of 4. Gaza's fishing zone has also been increased to 6-9 miles.
        At the same time, Hamas has stopped providing free transportation to the weekend riots at the border and has reduced the number of incendiary balloons flown from Gaza into Israel. (Ynet News)
        See also Hamas Political, Military Leaderships Disagree on Israel Arrangement - Shlomi Eldar
    The military and political wings of Hamas are locked in conflict. While the political wing wants Hamas to accept Egypt's proposals for a deal with Israel, the armed wing favors continued armed struggle and the continuation of violent border riots. (Al-Monitor)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • We Must Fight the Culture of Hate - Jason D. Greenblatt
    I traveled to Pittsburgh on Sunday in shock and grief, trying to grapple with the news of the devastating attack this past Shabbat at the Tree of Life synagogue, reportedly the deadliest attack on a Jewish community in the history of the United States.
        There is a culture of hate that is breeding and multiplying. These evil haters are demonizing Jews, they are demonizing Israel, they are demonizing "the other" - anyone who isn't like them. The anti-Semites are found on the far left and the far right.
        I am devastated to know that there are evil people who dwell among us who have so much hate in their hearts that they think nothing of extinguishing the lives of others because they are Jews or because of their faith. A murderous ideology and hatred has reared its vicious and ugly head in our great nation.
        As President Trump said after the murders in Pittsburgh: "This evil, anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us. It's an assault on humanity. It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world....We must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism and vanquish the forces of hate...and those seeking their destruction, we will seek their destruction."
        The writer is an Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations. (Fox News)
  • The Many Faces of Jew-Hatred - Ruth Wisse
    Instead of prompting a serious inquiry into the ideology that fuels the murder of Jews, the atrocity in Pittsburgh seems to be reinforcing a misconception that can only worsen the problem. Anti-Semitism is a politics of misdirected blame, and Americans must be sure to avoid its trap.
        Anti-Semitism becomes truly dangerous to a society only when espoused by its leaders and politicians. But unlike in Germany, where the attacks on Jews were launched by the Fuhrer, our head of government ordered the full press of law enforcement to prosecute the sole gunman. Unlike in Germany, where the SS directed and fomented the attacks on Jews, here four policemen were shot trying to save the Jews. Moreover, the American people are united in horror at this atrocity.
        That a single shooter wants to kill the Jews is less dangerous to this country than Louis Farrakhan's smiling designation of Jews as "termites," broadcast to a vast audience, or the vicious movement to boycott Israel - an extension of the Arab boycott launched in 1945. The writer, a senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund, is a former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Learn from Israel's Effective Anti-Terror Methods - Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon
    What can be done to prevent future attacks by anti-Semitic madmen? Israel can offer some recommendations. Social media offers the potential to identify some who may be inspired to violently act out their bigotry. Between 2015 and 2017, 60% of lone-wolf attackers in Israel signaled their intent beforehand on social media. If these criminals want to broadcast their plans, it would be irresponsible for us to ignore them.
        Our security agencies began intensely monitoring social media sites for individuals who, based on their public statements, may engage in specifically anti-Semitic violence. This led to a dramatic decrease in lone wolf attacks, including the arrest of over 200 would-be assailants who confessed to planning to carry out an anti-Semitic attack. (New York Post)

Logic Dictates that Pakistan Should Re-examine Its Attitude toward Israel - Kamran Bokhari and Tamir Libel (Daily Times-Pakistan)
  • Rumors about a secret Israeli visit to Pakistan have provided us with the opportunity to publish this piece that we have been holding back on for nearly a year.
  • Like many of their Arab and Muslim brethren, Pakistanis view Israel as the enemy. Geopolitics, however, is anything but an emotional exercise; rather it is the art of skillfully pursuing the national interest.
  • Pakistan's policy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue remains frozen in time, while many Arab and Muslim states have assumed a pragmatic attitude towards the issue. Israel is not the one shunning Pakistan. It is the other way around. It is high time that Pakistan re-examine its stance.
  • There is no evidence that Israel has ever acted against Pakistan. The Israeli motivation for forging ties with India is because it needs all the allies it can get, and close relations with the world's soon-to-be most populous nation is something that the Jewish state will logically pursue.
  • The largest Arab state, Egypt, normalized relations with Israel since the 1978 peace treaty. In 1994, Jordan formalized its long behind-the-scenes relations with Israel. Pakistan's closest Middle Eastern ally, Saudi Arabia, is also openly moving towards a relationship with the Jewish state.
  • The common denominator in all of these relations is that they have been forged on the basis of their respective national interest. If Saudi Arabia has altered its position because of its own national security concerns, what is stopping Pakistan from doing the same?

    Dr. Kamran Bokhari is a Washington-based national security and foreign policy specialist with the University of Ottawa's Professional Development Institute.
        Dr. Tamir Libel is a Germany-based Israeli scholar on security studies and until recently a research fellow at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI).