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The Daily TIP: Hezbollah-Allied Lebanese President Says Israel “Would Not Win” Next War

Posted by Tip Staff - November 03, 2017

Hezbollah-Allied Lebanese President Says Israel “Would Not Win” Next War
Factsheet: The Iranian-Backed Militias Propping up Assad
The Balfour Declaration and Palestinian Denial
Investors Bullish on Israeli Cybersecurity Sector in October


Hezbollah-Allied Lebanese President Says Israel “Would Not Win” Next War

Michel Aoun, who was chosen as president of Lebanon and threatened Israel in his inauguration speech last year, said that if there was another war between Israel and Lebanon, Israel "would not win such a war," The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

“All the Lebanese are prepared to fight against Israel,” Aoun told a Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai. “Yes, we are a small country, but we have reestablished our national unity, and part of that is the united opposition to anyone who attacks our country.”

Aoun was chosen by Lebanon's parliament as president in October last year, filling the office after more than two years of obstruction by Hezbollah. Hezbollah has subsequently cemented its hold on the institutions of Lebanon's government by expanding the cabinet and taking control of some of the most important ministries.

In August the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) fought alongside Hezbollah against ISIS in northeastern Lebanon. A Washington Post reporter noted that in areas under Hezbollah's control "nowhere was there any evidence of the Lebanese state.”

Hezbollah has kept its weapons and operates in southern Lebanon in violation of United States Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, and stipulated that the LAF should be the only armed force in Lebanon and should have control of southern Lebanon.

Because of Hezbollah's control over Lebanon, and its tactic of using human shields, the next war between Israel, Hezbollah and Lebanon could lead to mass civilian casualties.



Factsheet: The Iranian-Backed Militias Propping up Assad

Iranian involvement in the Syrian conflict has gradually escalated since the beginning of the uprising in the country in 2011. As the result of international sanctions against Damascus and the drastic weakening of the Syrian economy, Iran has financially propped up the country by granting at least $4.6 billion in credit lines, as well as illicit deliveries of oil and military aid.

This aid was granted despite the pressure on the Iranian economy caused by the sanctions, leading to speculation that Tehran would be forced to make a choice between continued expenditure in support of Damascus and domestic priorities.

Although Iran had a notable military presence in Syria prior to the nuclear deal, the second half of 2015 saw the beginning of a new influx of direct and indirect assistance. In October of that year, it was reported that hundreds of Iranian troops were arriving in Syria to support a ground offensive in parallel with the then just-commenced Russian airstrikes.

Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War dates back to 2012. At present, an estimated 7,000 fighters are working to support the Assad regime, with the vast majority of their funding---together with training, weapons and logistics support---coming from Iran.

Tehran has also supported an array of militias, with the U.S. State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 asserting that “Iran has facilitated and coerced, through financial or residency enticements, primarily Shia fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan to participate in the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown in Syria.”

Tehran has also supported an array of militias, with the U.S. State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 asserting that “Iran has facilitated and coerced, through financial or residency enticements, primarily Shia fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan to participate in the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown in Syria.”

For the complete factsheet, please click here.



The Balfour Declaration and Palestinian Denial

In her speech on Thursday, honoring the hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration that called for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," British Prime Minister Theresa May said that she would "absolutely not" apologize for the document as Palestinians were demanding. Rather, she said, "we are proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the State of Israel."

And what would May's government apologize for?

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Information, the Balfour Declaration is "the greatest political crime in the history of mankind."

The idea that Britain wronged the Palestinians with the Balfour Declaration is premised on two beliefs. The first is that Britain acted unilaterally in promoting a Jewish national home. The second is that it is the Balfour Declaration that has prevented the Palestinians from statehood.

Martin Kramer wrote an extensive essay earlier this year showing that the declaration was in fact approved of by the United Kingdom's major allies, including France and the United States. "In expressing a broad consensus of the Allies," Kramer wrote, "it might even be seen as roughly comparable to a UN Security Council resolution today."

Regarding the second premise, Lior Weintraub, vice president of The Israel Project wrote this week that it wasn't the Balfour Declaration that prevented the Palestinians from achieving statehood, but its own rejectionism.

The Palestinian objection to the Balfour Declaration is enshrined in its national charter.

For the complete essay, please click here.



Investors Bullish on Israeli Cybersecurity Sector in October

Israeli cybersecurity companies Skybox, Intezer and NanoLock dominated investment news during the month of October.

Skybox Security raised $150 million in a financing round led by CVC Capital Partners’ Growth Fund, which invested $100 million; $50 million came from Pantheon. Skybox, founded in Israel in 2002, is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has its R&D in Herzliya Pituach.

Tel Aviv-based Intezer raised $8 million in a Series A financing round led by Intel Capital with co-investors Magma and Samung NEXT, while NanoLock Security of Nitzanei Oz and New York raised $4.5 million from Canadian VC Awz Homeland Security Fund.

Artificial intelligence (AI) companies also did well in October.

Intelligo Group raised $5.7 million in a Series A round from New York-based investment firm Governing Dynamics and Eileen Murray of Bridgewater Associates to further develop its machine-learning and AI-based Clarity platform that carries out background checks and due diligence on investments and individuals.

AI-powered video creation platform Wibbitz raised $20 million in Series C funding led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments with participation from The Weather Channel, The Associated Press, TF1 Group and existing investors including NantMobile, lool Ventures and Horizons Ventures. The Tel Aviv-based company has opened offices in New York.

In other funding news this month, two Israeli venture funds, Grove Ventures, and JAL Ventures, raised a total of $170 million.

(via Israel21c)


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