May 31, 2019

In-Depth Issues:

Jerusalem Day Next Week to Celebrate Re-unification of the City - Lenny Ben-David (Twitter @LennyBenDavid)
    Photo collection. Throughout history, every day was Jerusalem Day for Jews.

Lyon Bomb Suspect Told Police He Pledged Allegiance to ISIS - Aurelien Breeden (New York Times)
    The main suspect in the bombing last week in the central French city of Lyon has told investigators that he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, a French judicial official said on Thursday. The official identified the suspect as Mohamed M., but did not provide any additional details.
    French news reported that the suspect was a 24-year-old Algerian, who had previously stayed in France on short-term visas and was then refused a student visa.

Palestinian Security Forces Honor Arch-Terrorist Abu Jihad - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    One of the most celebrated heroes in the Palestinian Authority is Abu Jihad, (Khalil Al-Wazir) who organized attacks in which at least 125 Israelis were murdered. Earlier this month, PA Chairman Abbas inaugurated a university building named after him, "The Martyr Khalil Al-Wazir 'Abu Jihad' Faculty Building for Administration and Military Sciences."
    U.S. Envoy Jason Greenblatt responded to an earlier tribute of Abu Jihad: "Despicable glorification of violence and terrorism displayed at a Palestinian school with a painting of Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir). Palestinian students deserve to learn about respectable accomplishments of their community not this."
    The PA's Ministry of Foreign Affairs defended the painting: "Accusing the Palestinians of teaching 'terror' due to the hanging of a picture of Martyr, commander, and symbol Abu Jihad is ridiculous and expresses the extent of the American bias and its uselessness."

Intel Launches New Processors that Bring AI to the PC, Sired by Haifa Team - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
    U.S. tech giant Intel Corp. said Tuesday it has released a new generation of processors that bring broad-scale artificial intelligence to the PC for the first time. The processors were developed by Intel's Israel team in Haifa.
    The new 10th Gen Intel Core processors, code-named Ice Lake, are now shipping and are targeted to laptops and PCs. The processors will be in computers by the end of 2019, the company said in a statement.

Latest Video Of Iran's Bond Villain-Like Ballistic Missile Lairs Shows Key New Detail - Tyler Rogoway (The Drive)
    The video, which was posted by Iranian media just days ago, gives us a higher-definition look at some of the areas in one of the country's missile caverns. The impressively large missile caverns are not only designed to store and assemble ballistic missiles, but also to launch through from deep cylindrical concrete apertures in the roofs of specially designed subterranean firing rooms.
    Videos of the caverns show long lines of missiles sitting ready for deployment on mobile transporter-erector-launchers. As such, at least some of them serve as ready storage and deployment sites for land-mobile ballistic missiles systems, as well. These facilities are in addition to Iran's "underground cities" where the missile components themselves are constructed.

Lebanese Monkey Escapes Nun's Farm, Infiltrates Border, Drives Israelis Nuts (Middle East Monitor)
    A monkey has been spotted in northern Israel after apparently crossing the Lebanese border. A local Lebanese outlet reported that the monkey had escaped from the farm of a French nun named Beatrice Maugerin in the Qouzah village in Bint Jbeil area. VIDEO.
    See also Tachtouche Is a 'Messenger for Peace,' Says Monkey's French Nun Owner (The National - UAE)

News Resources - North America and Europe:
  • Pompeo Says Iran Attacked Tankers to Help Raise Oil Prices
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran attacked oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this month in an effort to push global crude prices higher. "These were efforts by the Iranians to raise the price of crude oil throughout the world," Pompeo told reporters on May 30.
        Earlier in the day, the White House national-security adviser, John Bolton, said evidence that Iran was behind the attacks would be presented to the United Nations Security Council next week. Asked if he had seen the evidence, Pompeo said: "Oh, yes. Ambassador Bolton got it right." (RFE/RL)
  • Trump Administration to Release Mideast Peace Plan 'When the Timing Is Right' - Jackson Richman
    As Israel heads to the polls on Sept. 17, the fate of the release of the Trump administration's entire Mideast peace plan for the Israelis and the Palestinians remains to be seen, an administration official told JNS on Thursday.
        "The Bahrain workshop will go on as scheduled, June 25-26," said the official in an email. "As far as the rest of the plan/rollout, we've long said that we will release the plan when the timing is right." (Jewish News Syndicate)
  • Swiss Minister: UNRWA Is Part of the Problem in the Middle East
    United Nations aid work for Palestinian refugees is a stumbling block to peace in the Middle East, hindering the integration of Palestinians who have lived in Jordan and Lebanon for years, according to Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis. So long as Palestinians live in refugee camps, they can dream of returning home, he said.
        "It is unrealistic that all of them can fulfil this dream. Yet the UNRWA keeps this dream alive," Cassis said. "For a long time the UNRWA was the solution to this problem, but today it has become part of the problem. It supplies the ammunition to continue the conflict. By supporting the UNRWA, we keep the conflict alive. It's a perverse logic."
        He called for the integration of long-term refugees in their countries of residence. (Swiss Info)
  • Trump Signs "Nice" on Map Showing Golan as Part of Israel - Andrew Carey
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed off a new State Department map of Israel autographed by President Donald Trump during a televised statement Thursday night, telling viewers that it marks the Golan Heights as part of Israel and that Trump had written "Nice" on it.
        Netanyahu said the map was a gift from Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is visiting Jerusalem as part of a swing through several countries in the region. (CNN)
News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:
  • Two Injured in Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem's Old City - Ilanit Chernick
    One person remains in critical condition, while a second person is moderately-to-seriously wounded, following a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday morning. Israel police said a "terrorist stabbed one person at Damascus Gate, critically injuring him, and made his way into the Old City and stabbed a second person injuring him moderately. The terrorist also attempted to stab a police officer. The terrorist was then shot by police forces." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Hamas Leader Thanks Iran for Long-Range Rockets, Threatens Tel Aviv
    Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar on Thursday thanked Iran for providing his terror group the rockets it used to strike deep into Israel and warned the Jewish state that Tel Aviv would be struck again in response to any offensive against the Gaza Strip.
        "Iran provided us with rockets, and we surprised the world when our resistance targeted Beersheba," Sinwar said in a live TV address. "Had it not been for Iran, the resistance in Palestine would not have possessed its current capabilities," Sinwar said.
        Israel Fire and Rescue Services reported that an incendiary balloon launched from Gaza sparked a fire in an open field near the border with the coastal enclave. This was the 45th such fire in May, which has seen ceasefire of rockets since May 6, but a near daily onslaught of incendiary objects flown from the Strip toward Israel, burning dozens of acres of land. (Times of Israel)
  • Germany's Merkel Refuses to Outlaw Hizbullah, Snubbing German Jews after Kippah Row - Benjamin Weinthal
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, ignored an urgent plea from the country's tiny Jewish community to outlaw the terrorist organization Hizbullah amid a shocking climate of anti-Semitism.
        When asked on Wednesday by The Jerusalem Post numerous times if the German government - in response to a demand by the nearly 100,000-member Central Council of Jews - plans to ban the Lebanese Shi'ite terrorist organization, Merkel and Seehofer refused to answer.
        Berlin authorities claim they won't prevail in court with respect to a ban of the al-Quds Day rally on Saturday. The anti-Western and anti-Israel rally calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. The authorities have declined to test the law. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Taiwanese Start-Ups Urged to Look to Israel - Natasha Li
    Taiwanese start-ups can look to their Israeli counterparts for inspiration to gain international significance, Taiwan External Trade Development Council chairman James Huang said yesterday at InnoVEX - a special Computex Taipei section devoted to innovation and start-ups.
        "Our start-ups have narrow mindsets, they lack a global perspective," Huang Taipei said, adding that emerging Taiwanese entrepreneurs often design products with only the domestic market in mind, while Israeli start-ups design products for the world. Local start-ups are often short of good marketing strategies, which their Israeli counterparts excel at, he said. (Taipei Times)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Iran Marks "Quds Day" by Saying No to Trump's "Deal of the Century"
    On the eve of International al Quds [Jerusalem] Day in Iran, the country's leaders and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are declaring that the "deal of the century" to be announced by the Trump Administration will never be implemented. They stand with the Palestinians, and they are committed to the "removal of the Zionists from Palestine."
        Khomeini's anti-Israeli outlook continues to dictate and shape the objectives and strategy of exporting the Islamic Revolution. Those objectives include perpetuating the fundamental hostility and hatred toward Israel and the calls for its destruction. Today, his successor Khamenei is committed to the legacy of Khomeini's Jerusalem Day. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • His Faculty Tried to Kill Israel Study-Abroad. He Stopped Them, then Spoke in Israel.
    Melvin Oliver hasn't made many friends at Pitzer College since the president vetoed a legislative council motion to abolish the private school's study-abroad program at the University of Haifa in Israel.
        The faculty senate had previously voted four-to-one to end the program to protest Israel's policies. It also endorsed the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.
        The student government demanded Oliver's resignation for his "anti-democratic decision," ignoring that Pitzer vests authority in the president to veto legislation.
        But the president isn't fazed. He's sticking it to Pitzer's Israel haters by going to Israel and denouncing BDS.
        "Academic boycotts of any nation set us on a path of breaking the free exchange of ideas," Oliver told the University of Haifa's board of governors at their meeting Tuesday, according to a press release from the American Society of Haifa University, which represents the university's interests in the U.S. "To boycott a country on the basis of their policies is by definition a blanket indictment of the nation itself, and by extension its citizens," Oliver said: "This is whether we are talking about Israel and its immigration policies or the United States and its Muslim ban." (College Fix)
  • Abbas Is Ready to Reject Peace Plan, But Not for the Consequences - David May
    Palestinians will reject the deal of the century if it does not meet their demands, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki warned.To prepare for the rejection, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been consolidating power for more than a year at the expense of his rivals. Though centralizing power may look like an effective strategy from within, it will not likely shield the Palestinian Authority from the consequences of rejecting the White House's forthcoming peace plan. (Real Clear World)
  • Iran's Actions over Abu Musa and Tunb Islands Tell Us Everything about its Regional Designs - Nick March
    The islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunb, which lie off the UAE coastline and are regarded as strategically important waypoints in the Strait of Hormuz, provide the closest reminder of Iran's sustained program of regional disruption and aggression, as well as its long-standing willingness to ignore international law.
        All three were seized by Iran in 1971 as the UAE was formed. The Tunbs had historically belonged to Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Musa to Sharjah, when both emirates were still part of the Trucial States.
        In the years since the islands were taken on November 30, 1971, the UAE had sought to settle the issue of Iran's illegal occupation through peaceful methods and arbitration. This country has repeatedly pressed the case directly with international organizations and with Iran itself. The UAE enjoys widespread international support for its case. For its part, Iran has met this diplomatic outreach with inflammatory rhetoric and has consistently rejected referring the matter to the International Court of Justice. Seven years ago, Iranian officials declared Tehran's occupation was "permanent and non-negotiable."
        Iran's actions over Abu Musa tell you everything you need to know about its regional designs. Strident and unwilling to compromise, it has no apparent strategic vision save for aggression and expansion by proxy. (The National - UAE)
  • Why Agritech Is Israel's Next Big Import - Adam Popescu
    The train ride from Jaffa to Jerusalem passes through fields of grapes, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and bananas. In many ways, these fields are a miracle. As the Dead Sea evaporates and the Jordan River dwindles, Israel has been forced to get creative around water efficiency. More than half of Israel's usable water is man-made from desalinated seawater, and 86% of its wastewater is treated and reused.
        Israel has survived as a modern nation because the country created a revolutionary irrigation system in the 1960s that would become the world standard for efficient and high-tech agriculture. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the concept of "drip" irrigation exemplifies that maxim.
        Israel's agritech sector now comprises 500 companies, many of them new, which have raised over $170 million in funding since 2017 -- more than competitors in far larger farming nations like Brazil and Australia. Agriculture and food tech startups received over $10 billion in investments last year globally, up 29% from 2016, and a significant proportion is going to Israel.
        This month, Taranis - a four-year-old Tel Aviv startup whose drones monitor fields and diagnose nutrient problems, plant disease, and insect infestations in farms in the U.S., Brazil, Russia, and Australia - closed a $20 million investment round.
        In January, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. signed an agreement to supply drones to Brazil's Santos Lab as a way to improve large scale precision agriculture. The first foray into the agriculture market for the Israeli company is estimated to be a more than $100 million deal. Last October, China's vice president Wang Qishan toured Israeli agri-parks, which have been popping up across China, as well as Ethiopia, India, Greece, and Panama after similar state visits. In late 2017, China signed a $300 million "'clean tech" deal to import and white-label Israeli agricultural tech. (OneZero)
  • Israel's 'Uber For First Responders' Goes Global - Yaron Carni
    United Hatzalah (Hatzalah means Rescue in Hebrew), with its all-volunteer network of trained emergency first responders, has become a regular feature in Israel. It's now going global.
        United Hatzalah's model is predicated on two facts. First, when it comes to emergency response, every second counts. An ambulance crew that's too far away, gets stuck in traffic, misses a turn, or waits on a slow elevator can often mean the difference between life and death. Second, when someone has an emergency, there are almost always people nearer to the scene than the dispatched ambulance.
        Average ambulance response times in Israel and the U.S. often exceed 10 minutes, depending on population density. Hatzalah's volunteer medics average less than 3 minutes. In large cities, their average response time is 90 seconds. So, how do they do it?
        United Hatzalah has trained volunteer medics throughout Israel who complete 180 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of field training before being certified.
        There are now over 5,000 volunteers-secular and religious Jews, Muslims, Druze, and Christians, men and women, old and young, from every socioeconomic background-who all work together to save the lives of their neighbors in need. Over 3 million people have been treated to date.
        The centralized dispatch center tracks the location of volunteers, including what equipment and training they have, via an app on volunteers' phones. When a call comes in, the closest medics are immediately located and dispatched via the app. To deal with congested urban areas, Eli Beer invented the ambucycle-a medically equipped motorcycle that can race through traffic. There are now over 800 ambucycles deployed in Israeli cities.
        In the U.S., a four-year-old program in Jersey City has 200 volunteers, and another branch is launching in Englewood, New Jersey. New York City could be on the horizon. Brandon Fuller, deputy director at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, observes: "If United Rescue can do for New York what it has done on a smaller scale for Jersey City, it will save lives and promote the volunteerism that can strengthen communities across the city." (Forbes)

Thank You, Florida Governor DeSantis - Editorial (Jerusalem Post)
  • Even before his trip to Israel, in the weeks after DeSantis was elected governor last year, he immediately took action on behalf of the Jewish state. Florida's cabinet recognized Jerusalem as "Israel's eternal capital," invested $10 million in Israel Bonds, and blacklisted Airbnb because of its plan to boycott listings in West Bank settlements, which the global company has since reversed.
  • This week, DeSantis repeatedly spoke out against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, leading the first official trade mission to the West Bank led by a U.S. governor - with two dozen business leaders.
  • "Anti-Semitism is driving the BDS movement, and you cannot separate the two," he said at the Gush Etzion Industrial Zone on Wednesday, meeting with Jewish and Arab businesspeople who oppose boycotts. "We are not going to discriminate against certain Israelis - and if people do... we will take action accordingly."
  • "You have people that are willing to trade with Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world - some of the worst regimes in the world - and yet they only want to boycott the one Jewish and democratic state in the world," he said. "If you support BDS in Florida, you are dead, politically," he added.
  • The Florida delegation signed over 20 memoranda of understanding in multiple fields including business, trade, academia, innovation and tourism.