Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
February 15, 2019
Undefeated, ISIS Is Back in Iraq - Aziz Ahmad (New York Review of Books)
Iraq has declared the Islamic State defeated, but the signs of the ISIS resurgence are troubling.
According to the Kurdistan Region Security Council, over the past 15 months, hundreds of attacks linked to the group took place in areas that were supposed to have been freed from ISIS.
Pushed out of Mosul, Islamic State fighters have regrouped in the provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala, Salahaddin, and Anbar. These guerrillas are mounting ambushes against Iraqi security forces on a scale not seen in years.
Even in parts of Mosul itself, reconquered in 2017, the black-and-white ISIS flag has flown again in recent months.
Throughout 2018, dozens of village chiefs have been killed across northern Iraq in assassinations, bombings, and kidnappings. At least 13 have been killed since December, including four in Mosul.
Improvised bomb attacks are back as a daily feature across the north, with hundreds recorded last year.
Major roads have already become "no go" zones for many international organizations.
$1 Billion in Gold Imports from Venezuela to Turkey in 2018 (Ahval-Turkey)
Gold imports from Venezuela to Turkey surged to almost $1 billion in 2018.
The gold was allegedly to be refined in Turkey and returned to Venezuela, but there is no record of re-exportation.
There was growing suspicion that the gold was ending up in Iran, Western diplomatic sources said.
The U.S. is ready to take action against Turkey if its trade with Venezuela violates sanctions, a senior U.S. official told Reuters in early February.
Israel Wants Dutch Case Against Ex-Army Chief Dropped - Josef Federman (AP-Washington Post)
The Israeli Justice Ministry on Monday said the government has asked a Dutch court to dismiss war crimes allegations against Benny Gantz, an ex-military chief who is challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April elections.
A Dutch-Palestinian man originally from Gaza is suing Gantz and Israel's former air force chief, Amir Eshel, for their roles in an airstrike on his family's home during the 2014 war.
An internal Israeli military investigation determined the airstrike had killed four militants, including three family members, hiding in the house.
It said the attack was permissible under international law, and argued the Dutch court does not have jurisdiction.
"Israel has several mechanisms in place and a robust legal system available to address allegations such as those raised by the plaintiff," the ministry said.
U.S.-Israel Military Drill Concludes - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
300 American troops from the U.S. European Command joined 400 IDF troops in Israel for the week-long Juniper Falcon drill, which tested coordination in the event of a ballistic missile threat against Israel.
Brig.-Gen. Erez Maisel, head of the IDF's Foreign Relations Division, said the drill focused on the "three Cs: common language, confidence and capabilities" of troops to enable the maximum protection of Israel.
Washington and Jerusalem have signed an agreement that would see the U.S. assist Israel with missile defense in times of war.
See also Video: Juniper Falcon 2019 - U.S. and Israeli Forces Training Together (Israel Defense Forces)
U.S. Delivers Laser-Guided Rockets to Lebanese Army (AP-Washington Post)
The American Embassy in Lebanon says the U.S. has delivered laser-guided rockets valued at $16 million to the Lebanese army for its fleet of A-29 attack aircraft previously delivered.
Germany Sees Rise in Anti-Semitic Offenses in 2018 (BBC News)
German media on Wednesday said 1,646 crimes were linked to a hatred of Jews in 2018 - a yearly increase of 10%.
There was a 60% rise in physical attacks with 62 violent incidents recorded, up from 37 in 2017.
BBC News Ignores Fatal Terror Attack in Jerusalem (BBC Watch-CAMERA)
BBC correspondents based in Jerusalem could not fail to be aware of the brutal murder of 19-year-old Israeli woman Ori Ansbacher in a terror attack, which was widely reported in local media.
So it's puzzling that BBC audiences have seen no reporting whatsoever on the terror attack.
The Hypocrisy of Eurovision Israel Boycotters - Toby Young (Spectator-UK)
The Guardian last week published a letter from 50 "artists of conscience" urging the BBC to boycott this year's Eurovision Song Contest because it's taking place in Israel.
Why didn't any of them object when the Eurovision Song Contest was hosted by Russia in 2009?
Why is Israel held to a higher moral standard than every other country in the Middle East, including the terrorist-backing Iran?
When trouble flares in Gaza, there is always a renewed call for BDS, but no one would be injured if Hamas fighters weren't intent on breaking through the border fence.
The signatories of the Guardian letter are just having their strings pulled by an Islamist terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel.
Israeli Startup Sight Diagnostics Gets $27.8 Million to Speed Up Blood Tests - Natasha Lomas (Techcrunch)
Sight Diagnostics, an Israeli medical devices startup that's using AI technology to speed up blood testing, has closed a $27.8 million funding round.
The company has built a desktop machine, called OLO, that offers a "lab-grade" point-of-care blood diagnostics system.
OLO currently offers a complete blood count (CBC) from a finger prick's worth of the patient's blood, and will use new funding to expand the menu of diagnostic tests.
The idea is to offer an alternative to having venous blood drawn and sent away to a lab - with OLO taking minutes to perform the test, which a non-professional can carry out.
The Founder of Universal Studios Rescued 300 Jewish Families from Nazi Germany - Rich Tenorio (Times of Israel)
A new documentary looks at the life of Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures, who rescued over 300 Jewish families from Hitler in the 1930s.
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