April 24, 2019

In-Depth Issues:

Nikki Haley: "Most Countries Envy Israel" - Charles Duncan (Kansas City Star)
    Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, speaking at the Shaar Hashamayim synagogue in Montreal on April 10, called her veto vote that paved the way for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to move to Jerusalem "one of my proudest moments."
    "I felt like I was fighting for the truth and for what was right. And I was mad. Every country has the sovereign right to put their embassy wherever they choose."
    "The U.S. always chooses to have its embassy in the capital. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The rest of the world can't hide what we know as fact."
    She noted, "If you actually go into the quiet corners of the UN, most countries don't hate Israel, most envy Israel."
    She said of UN resolutions, "I don't think they matter." Member states are not actually required to abide by UN resolutions.
    See also Video: Nikki Haley in Montreal, April 10, 2019 - Interviewed by Hillel Neuer (UN Watch)

New Israeli Supersonic Missiles Can Defeat Russia's S-300 in Syria (UAWire)
    The new Israeli supersonic Rampage air-to-surface missile cannot be intercepted by Russian S-300 missile defense systems, claims Florian Rotzer in the German publication Telepolis.
    Israel used the new missiles on April 13 in a strike from Lebanese airspace on Iranian facilities in the Syrian town of Masyaf.
    The missiles are designed specifically to attack targets that are well protected by air defense systems, as well as to destroy underground bunkers.
    In addition, the missile has two warheads that can explode sequentially.

Netanyahu Bodyguard Seen Carrying Anti-Drone Rifle (Algemeiner)
    One of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bodyguards was seen on video Tuesday carrying an anti-drone rifle.

Iranian Chess Champion Refuses to Play Israeli - Aditya Pai (Firstpost-India)
    Iranian Grandmaster Alireza Firouzja forfeited a game for refusing to play Israeli Or Bronstein at the Grenke Chess Open in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Friday.
    Iran imposes sanctions on its chess players if they decide to play against an Israeli.

FDA Approves Israeli Generic Nasal Spray to Treat Opioid Overdose (AP-CBS News)
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the green light Friday for naloxone spray from Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals.
    The first generic nasal spray version of Narcan reverses opioid overdoses.
    "In the wake of the opioid crisis, a number of efforts are underway to make this emergency overdose reversal treatment more readily available and more accessible," said the FDA's Dr. Douglas Throckmorton.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Sri Lankan Bombings Show ISIS Maintains Influence after End of Caliphate - Shane Harris
    The coordinated attacks in Sri Lanka that killed at least 359 people demonstrated that ISIS can still sow carnage beyond the borders of its former "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria. Rita Katz, co-founder of the SITE Intelligence Group, a terrorism analysis organization, said, "The Sri Lanka blasts were both sophisticated and well-coordinated, making it very likely that the attackers received some sort of training and assistance from ISIS - possibly from one of the group's bases in the Philippines or elsewhere in the region."
        Juan Zarate, a former U.S. deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism, said, "I do think it is possible that ISIS has communicated directly or embedded with these local groups and found a way of helping plot, amplify and supercharge their capabilities and operational effectiveness on the ground. The ISIS diaspora and expertise is real, and ISIS has global designs."
        "Defeat of the physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria was never going to be the end of the ISIS challenge," said Nicholas Rasmussen, a former senior director for counterterrorism on the National Security Council. (Washington Post)
  • Israeli Arab Woman Helped ISIS Plan Terror Attacks on U.S. Water Sources - Liam Stack
    Waheba Issa Dais, 46, a permanent legal resident of the U.S who was born in Israel, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, authorities said Monday. She recruited new members, encouraged supporters who said they wanted to launch terrorist attacks, and shared plans for building explosives from her suburban Milwaukee home, prosecutors said.
        Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, said Dais had been a "key voice online....She wasn't just a connector, she was providing some level of skill to individuals who otherwise wouldn't have it." Dais posted how-to videos that provided step-by-step instructions on how to build explosives, including how to build an explosive belt worn by suicide bombers, the Justice Department said.
        She also used Facebook to share a recipe for ricin, a deadly poison. She said it could be especially useful in an attack against a government facility or a city water reservoir. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Said to Reject "Immoral" French Demand to Restore Funds to PA to Pay Terrorists
    France sent an official letter to Israel last week, urging Israel to "change your decision to freeze the transfer of tax funds to the Palestinian Authority," Channel 12 reported on Sunday. The letter came after Israel announced in February that it would withhold funds from monthly payments to the PA to offset the PA's payments to Palestinians jailed for terrorism and to the families of dead terrorists. Israel says the "terror salaries" encourage further violence.
        Israel replied that it would maintain its policy, telling Paris: "Your request is neither morally nor diplomatically right, and even contradicts the principles of European policy on the struggle against terrorism."  (Times of Israel)
  • Hamas Announces "Higher National Commission for Resisting the Deal of the Century" - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Salah Bardaweel, a Hamas official in Gaza, has announced the formation of "The Higher National Commission for Resisting the Deal of the Century." Bardaweel urged all Palestinian factions to resort to "armed and popular resistance" to foil the upcoming U.S. peace plan. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • The Impact of the Deal of the Century - Prof. Eyal Zisser
    This June the U.S. will supposedly unveil details of its "deal of the century" to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many of the relevant parties have openly declared they will refuse to accept it. The Palestinians are looking on forlornly as their dream of having all their demands of Israel delivered on a silver platter by the international community rises in smoke. While it might seek to meet the Palestinians' desires, the deal of the century is light years from the concessions that previous administrations, from Clinton to Obama, were willing to grant.
        Arab countries will follow in the wake of the Palestinian rejection. Arab rulers would be happy to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to an end, but from there to a willingness to lie on the fence for Israel and Trump, the distance is great. But it would be a mistake to think the deal of the century will be completely inconsequential.
        First, the details of the plan will become the starting point for any future discussions about the conflict, instead of or in conjunction with the Clinton outline or former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer to Abbas. The plan will also be evoked and used to significantly improve Israel's bargaining position opposite future American administrations and the international community.
        Second, the proposal could essentially remove several central issues from the agenda, chief among them the issue of Palestinian refugees. The American plan calls for refusing these refugees the right of return and settling them in their current countries.
        Finally, the plan could give the Israeli government an opportunity to apply Israeli law over the large settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria that are supported by a wall-to-wall consensus in Israel. The writer is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University. (Israel Hayom)
  • The West Bank's Area C: Israel's Eastern Line of Defense - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen
    This study explores the strategic-military implications of the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-June 1967 lines. Its central thesis is that the creation of such a state, on the heels of the IDF's total withdrawal from the West Bank, will not only deprive Israel of defensible borders but will almost certainly lead to the advent of a terrorist entity like the one created in Gaza.
        Since 1996, 90% of the Palestinians in the territories have not lived under Israeli occupation but rather under the Palestinian Authority's rule (in Gaza, since 2007, under Hamas rule). In other words, the current dispute between Israel and the Palestinians is not about ending the "occupation."
        The demilitarization of a future Palestinian state is a pipedream, as evidenced by the resounding failure to demilitarize Gaza despite the PLO's commitment to this step in a number of signed agreements. The writer served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)

Saving U.S. Soldiers from Runaway Prosecutors - Eugene Kontorovich (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Trump foreign policy team scored a big victory in The Hague that will protect American soldiers from illegitimate and unaccountable foreign prosecutions. The International Criminal Court dropped a more than decade-long inquiry into alleged crimes by U.S. personnel in Afghanistan after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. would deny a visa to the court's prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.
  • If the ICC were to indict U.S. servicemen, no American president would turn them over, but it would have a real effect on their lives. They would face peril in traveling to countries that have joined the ICC, including all of Western Europe. They would be international fugitives.
  • The court's officials are unaccountable to nationals of non-member states like the U.S. Yet they might sit in judgment of decisions made by U.S. personnel in life-or-death situations, and second-guess the judgments of professional prosecutors in democratic countries that have chosen not to join the court.
  • The court is currently considering whether to open an investigation into whether Israel is committing war crimes by allowing Jews to live in the West Bank. Thus the ICC would be investigating a non-member state at the behest of a non-state member, for a supposed crime that no one in the history of international criminal law has been charged with.

    The writer is a professor at George Mason University Law School.