August 12, 2019

In-Depth Issues:

Report: Ex-French Spy Chief Made Deal with Palestinian Terrorists - Eldad Beck (Israel Hayom)
    After the 1982 terrorist attack at the Chez Jo Goldenberg Jewish deli in Paris, which killed 6 people and wounded 22, French authorities reportedly agreed to a secret pact with the Palestinian terrorists behind the massacre - the Abu Nidal group - guaranteeing Abu Nidal operatives free movement within France in exchange for a promise of no further attacks on French soil.
    The French newspaper Le Parisien reported over the weekend that in January 2019 the former head of French domestic intelligence (DST), Yves Bonnet, confessed to making the deal.
    "We made a kind of verbal deal in which I said, 'I don't want any more attacks on French soil and in return, I'll let you come to France and I guarantee nothing will happen to you'," the paper quoted Bonnet as saying.

Clashes Resume in Southern Syria - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
    Since the end of July, the media and human rights groups have reported violent clashes in southern Syria between local militias and pro-regime and pro-Iranian forces.
    The militias have attacked Syrian military targets, laid bombs at roadblocks, and called on civilians to fight the Syrian regime.
    The rebel militias still have large quantities of small arms and explosives with which they can keep the resistance alive.
    In the city of Daraa, where the rebellion began, the Syrian civil administration isn't functioning yet, even though a cease-fire was reached a year ago. Most services are operated by local committees and the courts are run by tribal heads.

Kissinger and the 1973 War: Recently Declassified Telephone Conversations (National Security Archive-Ha'aretz)
    The U.S. National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research institute, recently declassified telephone conversation transcripts of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during the October 1973 war.
    President Nixon's preoccupation with domestic political crises meant that Kissinger was left to manage many of the crises presented by the war on his own.

Israel Develops Sonar to Identify Hostile Divers - Hanan Greenwood (Israel Hayom)
    Researchers at the University of Haifa's Underwater Acoustics and Navigation lab have created an advanced sonar system, funded by NATO, to identify hostile divers approaching ships or ports to sabotage strategic targets.
    The revolutionary system is capable of differentiating between aquatic life and divers.
    Moreover, unlike existing technologies, the new system is very small and mobile, and will allow naval and special forces to easily identify threats.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Pompeo Says Khamenei Does Not Care about Progress for Palestinians
    Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tweeted, "The plot of the 'Deal of the Century,' which is being worked on by the oppressive U.S. and its traitorous cohorts, is a crime committed against humankind, not just the Palestinian nation."
        U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded on Sunday that "Khamenei's faux concern for the Palestinian people runs so deep that under his reign of terror he provided less than $20,000 in aid since 2008, while sending millions to Hamas and other terrorists. In contrast, the U.S. provided $6.3 billion in support to Palestinians since 1994."
        Khamenei said during a recent meeting with a Hamas delegation that Palestinians who used to throw stones against Israel are now using precision missiles, "and that is progress." Pompeo responded: "Khamenei doesn't see 'progress' as prosperity for the Palestinian people, but Palestinian terrorists switching from rocks to rockets to kill more Jews."  (Radio Farda)
  • Las Vegas Man Planned Attack on Synagogue - Derrick Bryson Taylor
    Authorities have arrested Conor Climo, 23, a Las Vegas man who discussed attacking a local synagogue, and charged him on Friday in connection with bomb-making materials found in his home, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Prosecutors said Climo had communicated with people who identify with a white supremacist organization and had encrypted online conversations in which he regularly used derogatory anti-Semitic slurs.
        In 2016, Climo made headlines when he announced plans to become a one-man neighborhood watch organization. In a segment on KTNV, he was seen patrolling his neighborhood with an assault rifle and four 30-round magazines. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Arrests Two Palestinians in West Bank Murder of Student Dvir Sorek - Anna Ahronheim
    Nazir Saleh Khalil Atafra, 24 - a Hamas activist, and Qasem Araf Khalil Atafra, 30, two cousins from Beit Kahil near Hebron, were arrested Friday for the murder on Wednesday evening of Israeli student Dvir Sorek, Israeli security forces said Saturday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Kills 4 Armed Palestinian Terrorists near Gaza Border on Saturday - Lilach Shoval
    IDF troops killed four heavily-armed Palestinians as they attempted to cross the Gaza border at 4 a.m. on Saturday. "The terrorists were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG grenade launchers, and hand grenades," the IDF said. IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said "a large-scale terrorist attack was thwarted." He added that the nature and scope of the weaponry showed that there was a carefully prepared operation in motion. (Israel Hayom)
        According to reports, the four were former members of Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades who belonged to an extremist Salafi Muslim sect. Israeli defense sources said it was unlikely that an attack with this level of preparation could have been planned without Hamas or Islamic Jihad's knowledge. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Three of the Terrorists Were Hamas Fighters Three Months Ago - Avi Issacharoff
    Hamas on Saturday condemned the IDF's killing of four heavily-armed Gazans trying to infiltrate into Israel, referring to the dead gunmen as "angry youth." Yet it is clear from the images of the dead terrorists published in the Gaza media that these were not teens, rather adults. According to sources in Gaza, three of those killed were Hamas fighters as recently as three months ago. (Times of Israel)
        See also Another Armed Palestinian Killed at Gaza Border on Sunday
    A Palestinian Hamas member opened fire at IDF troops at the Gaza border early Sunday before being killed by return fire. (Ynet News)
  • Muslims Attack Jewish Visitors to Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av - Efrat Forsher
    The Jewish fast day of Tisha B'Av coincides this year with the beginning of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The Jewish fast day marks the commemoration of the destruction of the temples located at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, of which the Western Wall is the only remnant.
        Tens of thousands of Muslims flocked to the Temple Mount on Sunday after rumors circulated that police would allow Jewish visitors to enter the site. Palestinians threw stones at police, who responded with crowd control measures. When a group of Jewish visitors entered the site under close police escort, Muslims began throwing chairs and other objects at them. (Israel Hayom-i24News)
        See also Guardian Edits Out Palestinian Violence from AP Story on Temple Mount Clashes - Adam Levick (UK Media Watch-CAMERA)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • U.S. Peace Envoy: There's "No International Consensus" on Mideast Conflict - Eric Cortellessa
    In a podcast interview released Friday, U.S. envoy for Middle East peace Jason Greenblatt told the outgoing head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein: "There is no international consensus on this [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict. People reflexively try to pretend that an international consensus exists as to how to resolve the conflict. That's not true."
        "In fact, we couldn't even get an international consensus to condemn Hamas. Hamas is a terror organization that subjugates 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, vows to destroy Israel, shoots thousands of rockets at Israel. If there's no international consensus on that, there's no international consensus on a resolution here."  (Times of Israel)
  • The Unique Status of the Jerusalem Suburb of Wadi Hummus - Nadav Shragai
    The Israel Supreme Court approved Israel's demolition of 12 buildings in the Jerusalem suburb of Wadi Hummus on July 22, 2019. Wadi Hummus is not included in the municipal territory of Jerusalem but is adjacent to it. The neighborhood was included inside the security fence at the request of the local Arab residents. They even appealed to the Supreme Court on the matter.
        Approving the demolitions of empty apartments, Supreme Court Justice Menachem Mazuz wrote, "Any building that is carried out in contravention of the order prohibiting building, even in Areas A and B, is illegal....The petitioners sealed their own fate when they began and continued building the structures...while ignoring the order."
        The construction of the security fence around Jerusalem, built in response to the wave of suicide bombings and terror during the Second Intifada, resulted in two kinds of "enclaves." The first comprises parts of Jerusalem that are outside the security fence, with 120,000-140,000 Arab residents. The second comprises areas that are inside the fence but outside the city's jurisdictional boundaries, with 7,000 Arab residents.
        The writer, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center and a veteran journalist, has documented Jerusalem for thirty years. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • The EU is poised to mandate that Israeli products made in contested territories carry consumer warning labels. The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice recently issued a non-binding opinion arguing that EU law requires Israeli-made products to be labeled as coming from "settlements" and "Israeli colonies."
  • Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project, said, "The Advocate General's opinion said that goods produced by Muslims are to be labeled from 'Palestine,' and goods produced by Jews labeled as coming from 'Israeli colonies.' Both people are living in the same geographic location, and yet Jewish goods are being treated differently."
  • "This labeling fiasco will turn into a nightmare for EU importers of goods from any and all countries involved in territorial disputes. I trust the court will...reject the push to politicize labeling."
  • Yaakov Berg, CEO of the Psagot winery, said, "The application of the current EU trade directive to label goods from Jewish producers, and only Jewish producers, in the West Bank is discriminatory and illegal. We are not the Israeli government. Psagot winery is not responsible for Israeli government policy."
  • "But because we are Jewish owners of a winery in a beautiful and hotly contested land, we are being targeted and punished. And we are being punished precisely because we are Jews living in Judea where we have every right to be, as do the Palestinian Arabs and Druze and the Christians."
  • "No one should be discriminated against because of their religion. If you support a Palestinian state, would you support a Judenrein [Jew-free] state of Palestine? That seems to be what the EU is proposing when it says Jewish businesses are illegal in Palestine but Muslim businesses are not, in the same location! Such a de facto boycott of Jewish products, the likes of which we have not seen since Nazi Germany, would definitely run afoul of U.S. law."