November 21, 2018

In-Depth Issues:

Jordan Asks Israel for More Water (Times of Israel)
    Jordanian officials arrived in Israel on Monday to request an increase in the amount of water Israel gives to the kingdom, Hadashot reported Tuesday.
    Israel already sends 50 million cubic meters of water to Jordan as part of peace agreements.
    The Jordanian request comes after Jordan announced last month that it will not renew an agreement to lease two parcels of land on the border to Israel for agricultural use, which it has done for the past 24 years.

Attacker Shouting "Allahu Akbar" Stabs Belgian Policeman (Reuters)
    An attacker shouting "Allahu akbar" stabbed a Belgian policeman several times in the neck in central Brussels on Tuesday, prosecutors said.
    The assailant, who wielded two kitchen knives outside the city's main police station, was then shot and wounded by two police officers.

Hizbullah Money-Laundering Has a "Safe Home in Germany" - Benjamin Weinthal (Jerusalem Post)
    Lax German illicit terror finance policies permitted Hizbullah to run a vast enterprise to raise funds through a money laundering operation in Europe and South America.
    French prosecutors put 15 members of the criminal organization on trial last week in Paris, according to three German media outlets.
    The members are charged with laundering Colombian narcotics money with the aid of the Lebanese diaspora.

Canadian Federation of Students Endorses BDS (Canadian Jewish News)
    The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) on Monday approved a resolution at its annual general meeting supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.
    The vote was swiftly condemned by Hillels across Canada. The Jewish student organization wrote: "This latest call for a boycott of Israel is anti-academic, fueled by hatred, and is counterproductive to peace."

UNESCO Teams with World Jewish Congress to Launch a Holocaust Education Website (JTA)
    UNESCO and the World Jewish Congress launched a website dedicated to Holocaust education and memory on Monday.
    The site includes important facts, video testimonials of survivors, and the latest news updates about Holocaust educational programs and activities.
    See also New Website: Facts about the Holocaust (World Jewish Congress-UNESCO)

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Trump: The U.S. Intends to Remain a Steadfast Partner of Saudi Arabia
    President Donald Trump issued a statement on Thursday regarding U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia: "The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone....We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body....It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event."
        "In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region."  (White House)
        See also Pompeo: U.S. Commitment to Saudi Arabia Is Vital to National Security
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday: "It's a mean, nasty world out there, the Middle East in particular. There are important American interests, to keep the American people safe, to protect Americans....It is the President's obligation - indeed, the State Department's duty as well - to ensure that we adopt policies that further America's national security. So...the United States will continue to have a relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are an important partner of ours....This is a long, historic commitment, and one that is absolutely vital to America's national security."  (State Department)
  • U.S. Sanctions Firms in Iran, Russia for Shipping Oil to Syria - Maria Danilova
    The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday added a network of Russian and Iranian companies to its blacklist for shipping oil to Syria in violation of sanctions. The network helps fuel the Syrian war effort of President Bashar Assad while providing revenue for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hamas and Hizbullah, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. (AP-Washington Post)
        See also U.S. Designates Illicit Russia-Iran Oil Network Supporting the Assad Regime, Hizbullah, and Hamas (U.S. Treasury Department)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Details of the IDF Commando Raid Revealed
    New details on the IDF special forces raid in Gaza on Nov. 11 were revealed by Israel's Hadashot TV based on transcripts of radio chatter between Hamas security forces, who initially thought the suspicious vehicle in Khan Yunis belonged to either a criminal gang or a militia group not under their control. Hamas forces began trailing the car, and were soon engaged in a chase through the city streets. Hamas units then set up a roadblock to stop the vehicle.
        According to Hamas radio traffic, "The car ran through our checkpoint and fired at us." Then Hamas officials realized they were dealing with Israelis. "Fighter jets are suddenly above us. Everyone be careful.... They're Jews....Close in on the Jews. Don't let them leave."
        At this point, the IDF commander in the field, Lt.-Col. M, is hit by Hamas gunfire and mortally wounded. The Israeli forces stop, step out of their car and face the pursuing Hamas force. The IDF soldiers charge, apparently killing the entire Hamas team.
        An Israeli helicopter then fired a missile that destroys the Hamas force's vehicle. An IDF officer went back to the Israeli car to pull M's body free and is wounded. Under the watchful eye of a hovering IDF helicopter, the Israeli force then continues on foot toward the rescue helicopter's landing site. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Children's TV - a World of Hate - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
    The world of hate that the PA creates for its children includes messages of violence against Israel, teaching that Israel has no right to exist and all of Israel is Palestinian, and that Israel's eventual replacement by "Palestine" is inevitable.
        Official PA TV on Nov. 1 had a Palestinian girl declaring: "A Zionist stole the land of Palestine....Rebel, rebel...and shoot with your fire, like volcanoes so Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] will return to us, O Muslims." The PA TV host responds: "Bravo!...Soon, Allah willing, we will return to our land."  (Palestinian Media Watch)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Israel's Interests Regarding Gaza - Kim Lavi and Udi Dekel
    Over the last year, Hamas has improved its strategic situation vis-a-vis Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Since his selection as chairman of Hamas' Political Bureau in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar has changed the nature of the struggle from a focus on the religious-nationalist aspect to progress in the humanitarian-civil realm. Rocket fire was replaced with mass marches along the border fence and incendiary balloons and kites.
        Gaza is governed by a terror organization that is hostile to Israel. Thus Israel's current policy is to prevent Hamas' military buildup and exert pressure on it. The goal is to create deterrence that will prevent Hamas from using force, while at the same time designating it as the responsible address for actions in Gaza. Kim Lavi is a research assistant at INSS, where Brig.-Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel is Managing Director. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
  • Growing Up in a Community near Gaza, Trauma Remains with You for Your Entire Life - Sivan Rahav Meir
    The youth of the Gaza envelope - the area surrounding Israel's border with Gaza - have lived with 18 years of rockets and 8 months of kite and balloon arson. Shaked Rinek, 17, from Kibbutz Nir Am, sent me the following description of the life that she and her friends and neighbors are living:
        Living here is something that remains with you for your entire life, because it's simply impossible to forget past traumas. I have a fear of bunk-beds, because when you are in third grade and you fall out of bed in the middle of the night because you missed the ladder due to your panic from the Red Alert siren, it's traumatic. When you can't bear to hear loudspeaker announcements, the sound of moving chairs, the roar of a nearby plane, megaphones, car engines, or any sudden loud noise, that's also from trauma.
        Going to sleep on a mattress on the floor of a security room is traumatic. Running in a sprint at speeds you did not know you had. Traumatic. Seeing Grandma and Grandpa struggling to reach the security room on time is traumatic. This is my life and the life of everyone who lives in the Gaza envelope. I know that we deserve for the situation here to be different. (Times of Israel)

Iran's Nuclear Archive Shows It Planned to Build Five Nuclear Weapons by 2003 - David Albright, Olli Heinonen, and Andrea Stricker (Institute for Science and International Security)
  • According to the Nuclear Archive that Israel seized in Tehran earlier this year, by the end of 2003 Iran had put in place the infrastructure for a comprehensive nuclear weapons program. Iran intended to build five nuclear warheads by 2003, each with an explosive yield of 10 kilotons and able to be delivered by ballistic missile.
  • Iran was preparing to conduct an underground test of a nuclear weapon, if necessary. The end goal was to have tested, deliverable nuclear weapons, and Iran made more progress toward that goal than was known before the seizure of the archives.
  • It is the responsibility of the IAEA and member states to ensure that Iran's nuclear weapons program is ended in an irretrievable permanent manner, pursuant to in-depth verification that has not yet been carried out under Iran's comprehensive safeguards agreement, its provisional implementation of the Additional Protocol, and the JCPOA.
  • Absence of progress on this critical issue is largely due to lack of Iranian cooperation. Moreover, there is no visible indication that the IAEA is yet acting on the new information.