April 16, 2019

In-Depth Issues:

Report: Israel Used New Supersonic Rampage Missiles during Airstrikes in Syria (Defence Blog)
    The Israeli Air Force reportedly successfully used new supersonic Rampage stand-off air-to-surface missiles for the first time during a Saturday airstrike on military positions in Syria.
    Rampage is a supersonic all-weather day/night ASM with a stand-off range of 100s of kilometers.
    The missile is able to control and monitor the extent of its shrapnel, which will make its strike surgical, accurate and with minimum collateral damage.

Has the Body of Israeli Hero Eli Cohen Been Recovered? - Yoni Ben-Menachem (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    The Syrian opposition issued reports that the remains of the Israeli spy Eli Cohen had been delivered to the Russians, and they also gave details about the remains of other Israelis buried in Syria. There has been no clear Israeli denial of these reports.
    If Cohen's remains have indeed been transferred, they will have to undergo Israeli identification.
    Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition also issued new information on how Syrian intelligence has been guarding the remains of Israelis in Syria at President Bashar Assad's bidding.
    See also Video: Bringing Back Legendary Spy Eli Cohen - Yoni Ben-Menachem (i24News)

Tel Aviv University Scientists Print First 3D Heart Using Patient's Biological Materials (American Friends of Tel Aviv University)
    Tel Aviv University researchers have "printed" the world's first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient's own cells and biological materials.
    "This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers," said Prof. Tal Dvir.
    "Maybe, in ten years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world."
    See also 3D Printed Heart Not Yet Functional (CBS News)
    The 3D-printed heart is small, about the size of a rabbit's. It is not yet functional and doesn't pump.
    However, the Israeli work on the engineered heart has more immediate value in making a cardiac patch, a piece of functioning heart tissue to repair heart attack damage.

Gaza Is Losing Its Elites - Alex Fishman (Ynet News)
    Anyone who can is leaving Gaza. It is losing its intellectuals, its professionals and its wealthy. Over 20,000 have left since 2014.
    Many have obtained false documents identifying them as Syrian refugees, so as to improve their chances of settling in Turkey, Greece and Belgium.
    Palestinian sources report at least 6,000 are in Athens alone, most of them carrying false passports.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Anti-Semitism Envoy Says BDS Movement Is Anti-Semitic - Carol Morello
    Elan Carr, the new U.S. envoy sworn in Thursday to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, said that participating in boycotts of Israeli companies and products made by Jews living in the West Bank is anti-Semitic because the campaigns implicitly deny the legitimacy of Israel itself. "An individual has a right to buy or not buy what they please. However, if there is an organized movement to economically strangle the State of Israel, that is anti-Semitic."
        "The idea that somehow there can be movements organized to deny Israel its legitimacy, and not to allow Israel to participate in economic commerce in the world, sure that is [anti-Semitic]. Hatred of the Jewish state is hatred of the Jewish people."  (Washington Post)
  • Iranians Protest U.S. Move Against Revolutionary Guards
    Burning American and Israeli flags, Iranians rallied Friday against the U.S. decision to designate the Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization. Thousands chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."  (AP-VOA News)
  • Texas Divests from Company Boycotting Israel - Taylor Goldenstein
    The Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Texas Permanent School Fund are beginning to divest nearly $72 million worth of stock in DNB ASA, a Norwegian financial services company said to be boycotting Israel, in the first financial move under a law that bars Texas agencies from investing in such companies. (San Antonio Express-News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Security Prisoners End Hunger Strike over Cellphones
    A hunger strike by Palestinian security prisoners belonging to Hamas, in response to new cellphone jamming devices installed by the Israel Prisons Service (IPS), has ended after Israeli officials agreed to install public telephones in prison wards. Israeli officials said the agreement only permitted calls to first-degree relatives, and prisoners have accepted the condition that the calls would be listened to by security officials, Israel's Channel 12 reported Monday.
        The IPS said 300 contraband cellphones had been smuggled into the wards in recent months and were being used to coordinate terror attacks from inside Israeli prisons. (Times of Israel)
        See also Palestinian Hunger Strike Was Limited - Amos Harel
    According to Hamas, 400 prisoners took part in the hunger strike, which attracted limited interest from the Palestinian media. In actuality, no more than 100 prisoners took part in the strike and some of them didn't fully participate. (Ha'aretz)
  • Visiting U.S. Counterterror Expert Blames Iran for Threatening Regional Security - Itamar Eichner
    U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said during a visit to Israel that the key to security in the region lies in Tehran. "We know what the Iranians are capable of," Sales said.
        While visiting the Gaza border area, he said, "I was amazed at the resources Hamas is investing in terror activity against Israel," noting these are at the expense of investments in health, education and housing all needed to improve civilian lives. (Ynet News)
  • Fire Breaks Out near Mosque on Temple Mount in Jerusalem - Tzvi Joffre
    A fire broke out on the Temple Mount near Solomon's Stables on Monday evening. "The fire broke out in the guard's room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Hall," according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency. The fire was quickly put out by the Waqf with no injuries or interior damage reported. The director general of the Jerusalem Waqf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, told Jordan's Al-Mamlaka that the fire may have been caused by children. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • PA Condemns Results of Israeli Elections - Justin Amler
    Palestinian Authority spokesman Saeb Erekat condemned the results of the Israeli elections, saying it was a "vote against peace." I always find it amusing when a representative of a fascist dictatorship comments on the results of a democratic election. When was the last time there were any elections under the Palestinian Authority? The Palestinian leadership today pays those who murder Jews and the families of the murderer, teaching their children that Israel can only be "liberated" by blood.
        Most Israelis have always jumped at the opportunity for making peace with their neighbors, but they have also come to understand that peace with terrorists hell-bent on their destruction is an elusive pipe dream that will never come from appeasement or weakness or pressure from world bodies. Hamas said it makes no difference who is elected in Israel, for the Palestinian national goal remains the same: the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. (Mida-JNS)
  • The BDS Movement Is a Cleverly Disguised Campaign to Destroy Israel - Alex Titus and Alexander Khan
    While many students and activists think they're supporting a noble cause, in fact, BDS is little more than a ploy established and run by radical anti-Semites who deny Israel's right to exist and seek to destroy it. Omar Barghouti, who was recently denied entry into the U.S. to promote the BDS movement he co-founded, has said, "Most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian...will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine."
        Activists attempt to claim that BDS is a grassroots-funded movement, but that is unequivocally false. According to Canary Mission, a nonprofit watchdog group, BDS has received significant financial contributions from organizations such as American Muslims for Palestine, which has direct ties to Hamas. (National Review)
  • How Israel Benefits from the "Arab Spring" - Prof. Eyal Zisser
    In recent weeks, the "Arab spring" has erupted anew in several Muslim countries, leading to the downfall of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after two decades of rule and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir after three decades in power. In the reality of a fractured Arab world crumbling under the weight of its own problems, Israel is viewed as a stable, credible and powerful force, hence numerous regional leaders are choosing to lean on the Jewish state. (Israel Hayom)

The False Palestinian "Nakba" Narrative - Col. (res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
  • The failed Palestinian Arab attempt to destroy the State of Israel at birth, and the attendant flight of some 600,000 Palestinian Arabs, has come to be known internationally as the "Nakba," the catastrophe, with its accompanying false implication of hapless victimhood.
  • Ironically, this was the opposite of the original meaning of the term when it was first used by Syrian historian Constantin Zureiq in his 1948 pamphlet The Meaning of the Disaster (Ma'na al-Nakba).
  • Zureiq wrote: "When the battle broke out, our public diplomacy began to speak of our imaginary victories, to put the Arab public to sleep and talk of the ability to overcome and win easily - until the Nakba happened.... We must admit our mistakes...and recognize the extent of our responsibility for the disaster that is our lot."
  • In his 1956 book Facts on the Question of Palestine, Hajj Amin Husseini, the leader of the Palestinian Arabs from the early 1920s to 1948, avoided the term "Nakba," which was widely associated at the time with a self-inflicted Palestinian Arab disaster - either through land sales to Zionists, failure to put up a fight, or the issuing of instructions to the people to leave.
  • "Nakba" is not a fact. It is a manipulative term designed to service the Palestinian propaganda campaign against Israel by imposing a false sense of guilt or culpability for the creation of the refugee problem. The flight of the Palestinian Arabs was the direct result of a failed "war of extermination" (in the words of the Arab League's secretary-general).
  • As Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban said on Nov. 17, 1958: "The Arab refugee problem was caused by a war of aggression, launched by the Arab States against Israel in 1947 and 1948. Let there be no mistake. If there had been no war against Israel...there would be no problem of Arab refugees today. Once you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem."

    The writer served as a senior analyst in IDF Military Intelligence.