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The Daily TIP: Fmr IDF Intel Chief: Bombing of Syrian Reactor Shows Israel will Act Alone to Survive

Posted by Tip Staff - March 21, 2018

Fmr IDF Intel Chief: Bombing of Syrian Reactor Shows Israel will Act Alone to Survive
Report: In Talks with U.S., Germany Refuses to Designate Hezbollah as Terrorist Organization
Judge Approves Expansion of Anti-BDS Lawsuit Against American Studies Association
Famed Tech Entrepreneur Elon Musk Visits Israel

Fmr IDF Intel Chief: Bombing of Syrian Reactor Shows Israel will Act Alone to Survive

Israel's chief of military intelligence in 2007 said in a press briefing hosted by The Israel Project Wednesday that the Israeli Air Force's destruction of a Syrian reactor shows that when Israel is faced with "a very serious threat" to its existence, "Israel is going to act, and act even if Israel has to act alone."

Maj-Gen. (Ret.)Amos Yadlin, who currently heads the Institute for National Security Studies, observed that he is probably the only person to be involved in the destruction of two nuclear reactors being built by Israel's enemies. In 1981, he was one of the pilots who participated in the raid on the Iraqi reactor, and in 2007 he was head of military intelligence for the strike against the Syrian reactor, known as Operation Orchard.

He said that operating in the latter capacity was more difficult. In 1981 as a pilot, his job was to "aim the gun sights on the target," which he acknowledged was not easy, but it was the job he was trained to do. As chief of military intelligence, when Israel learned of the reactor, he needed to figure out when the reactor would be operational, and know what the consequences of the strike might be, including the possibility that Syria would launch an all-out war with Israel.

The Israel Project also hosted a call with Ronen Bergman to discuss implications of the strike and the decision to declassify it.

Report: In Talks with U.S., Germany Refuses to Designate Hezbollah as Terrorist Organization

Germany has rejected a key United States demand to designate the Lebanon-based Shiite militia Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety as part of talks to rein in the nuclear program in Iran, Benjamin Weinthal reported for Fox News on Tuesday.

Two sources familiar with the ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and European countries over the Iran nuclear deal, said that the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the “least cooperative” of the three European powers.

Germany is resisting the U.S. position on Hezbollah – to make no distinction between the group’s political and military wing, which their leaders confirmed is artificial – because German diplomats believe that any concessions should be tied to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Up to 950 Hezbollah members are believed to reside in Germany, where they raise funds and are recruiting members.

U.S. officials have met with European officials in London, Berlin and Paris over the last few weeks as part of efforts to fix the nuclear agreement with Iran. The sources said that Germany views the Trump administration as too pro-Israel.

Germany’s reluctance to designate Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, as a terrorist organization may be related to growing economic relations between Iran and German. Their exports to the Islamic Republic of Iran climbed to €3.5 billion ($4.3 billion) in 2017, from €2.6 billion (about $3.2 billion) in 2016.

When asked about Germany’s position, a U.S. State Department spokesperson reiterated Trump’s demands from January: “They should designate Hezbollah — in its entirety — as a terrorist organization.”

Judge Approves Expansion of Anti-BDS Lawsuit Against American Studies Association

A Washington D.C. District Court judge allowed the expansion of a lawsuit filed against leaders of the American Studies Association (ASA), who used the association to promote an academic boycott of Israel, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Louis D. Brandeis Center, which assisted in the lawsuit, said.

The lawsuit, which was initially brought in April 2016 by ASA members Michael L. Barton, Simon Bronner, Charles D. Kupfer, and Michael Rockland, alleged that ASA officials who promoted an academic boycott of Israel violated the association’s charter.

In November of last year, it was reported that e-mails uncovered during the litigation process showed that the pro-BDS members of the association conducted a covert campaign to gain control of the ASA.

Among the allegations added to the lawsuit, the statement says, are the "the defendants deliberately limited nominations for the ASA National Council to pro-boycott candidates, strategically hid their pro-boycott agendas when they stood for office, withheld pertinent information about the boycott resolution from voting members, and froze membership rolls prior to the vote to prevent those opposed from voting."

The newly discovered e-mails showed a "covert and premeditated plot" the activists from U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) to pack ASA's leadership with academics who promoted boycotts of Israel in order to make sure that the association would adopt pro-boycott positions. This meant that USACBI activists effectively were "hijacking the ASA and its resources for their own purposes."

Famed Tech Entrepreneur Elon Musk Visits Israel

Technology mogul and superstar entrepreneur Elon Musk referred to Israel as a “technological power” during his visit to the country this week.

Evidence of his travels around Israel has been popping up on Musk’s personal Instagram feed since Tuesday. Between hiking the mountaintop Masada fortress and enjoying Jerusalem’s culinary scene, Musk met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday morning.

Their two-hour breakfast meeting in Jerusalem focused on the future of technology. Netanyahu said Musk is a genius, calling him “perhaps the greatest technological visionary of our time.”

Netanyahu reported that Musk referred to the Negev desert as “the energy future of the State of Israel,” capable of meeting all of the nation’s energy needs.

Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is reportedly visiting Israel to acquire autonomous driving technology and was rumored to have met with Israeli artificial intelligence vision firm Cortica. However, in a Twitter post he said the report “is completely false. Never even heard of Cortica. Just taking my kids on a Spring Break trip to see ancient historical sites in Israel & Jordan.”

This was not the first talk of a joint venture between an Israeli startup and Musk’s electric car company, Tesla. In early 2016, Globes reported that the South African-born billionaire visited Israel to meet with Mobileye executives about using the company’s sensors in Tesla vehicles. The deal fell through after several months, before Mobileye was acquired by Intel in a $15 billion deal.

(via Israel21c)

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