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The Daily TIP: Former U.S. Ambassador: In Wake of Trump-Putin Summit, Israel Must Protect Its Own Interests

Posted by Tip Staff - July 17, 2018

Former U.S. Ambassador: In Wake of Trump-Putin Summit, Israel Must Protect Its Own Interests
U.S. Defense Giant Lockheed Will Help Market Rafael’s SPICE Weapon Guidance System
Fire Falcon: The Latest, and Cruelest, Hamas Terror Weapon
"Sapiens," Bestseller Written by Israeli Prof to be Adapted for a Movie

Former U.S. Ambassador: In Wake of Trump-Putin Summit, Israel Must Protect Its Own Interests

Despite commitments from both United States President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to look after Israeli security interests in Syria, Israel will have to "ensure its interests are protected," Daniel Shapiro, the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in Haaretz.

Shapiro, who served as President Barack Obama's ambassador to Israel, observed that he defended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's outreach to Russia, following the start of Russia's military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2015.

He explained that "Israel had no choice but to develop and sustain a productive dialogue with Russia, to ensure that Russia would not do harm to Israel’s security or curtail its freedom of action, as it surely could if it wanted to," and that Netanyahu's cultivation of Putin had to be viewed as "utilitarian," so that Israel could defend its interests in Syria.

In a similar vein, Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Wall Street Journal after the summit that Trump's apparent belief that Putin could or would oversee Iran's expulsion from Syria is "a delusion."

Josh Block, president and CEO of The Israel Project, wrote in The Algemeiner in June that "getting Iran booted out of Syria is essential for Israel’s security."

The failure for the U.S. to ensure this outcome, Block warned, would mean "we may have squandered our best chance to avoid another violent conflict in an already war-torn region."

U.S. Defense Giant Lockheed Will Help Market Rafael’s SPICE Weapon Guidance System

Lockheed Martin and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding to market Rafael’s Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective (SPICE) stand-off weapon guidance kits, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

SPICE is an autonomous, air-to-surface weapon systems, capable of destroying targets with pinpoint accuracy and at high attack volumes in a GPS-deprived environment.

"SPICE is a leading air-to-surface weapon system offering U.S. and international air forces operating Lockheed Martin's platforms, as well as strategic bomber aircraft, an important complement to their existing operational capabilities," said Yuval Miller, Executive Vice President, Head of Rafael's Air & C [4] ISR Division.

Miller continued: "SPICE's unique features greatly enhance the U.S.' ability to operate in contested environments. We are excited to engage in cooperation with Lockheed Martin to make SPICE available as a U.S.-made system, adapted to fully meet U.S. standards.”

SPICE employs a state-of-the-art electro-optical seeker with unique scene-matching algorithms, navigation guidance and homing techniques to achieve operational missions in hostile environments without GPS signal.

The MOU covers the SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000.

"Lockheed Martin has a long history of successfully providing customers with missiles and missile systems that are affordable, proven and in production," said Dan Norton, vice president of Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This partnership will allow us to share our precision guided system and aircraft integration expertise with allies that can benefit from the mission flexibility that the SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000 offer."

Fire Falcon: The Latest, and Cruelest, Hamas Terror Weapon

A worker in Habesor National Park in southern Israel found a dead falcon, with flammable material tied to its legs, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

The bird was found hanging from a tree attached to a harness that was connected to a wire that carried the flammable material.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a department of Israel's ministry of defense that deals with Gaza, tweeted, "Arson fires have been caused by incendiary materials flown from Gaza into Israel. Apparently it’s not enough to destroy nature with kites, now falcons are being used for terror as well."

Since April, groups of Gazans have been launching kites, balloons, and even condoms attached to incendiary devices and causing fires, burning nearly 2,500 acres of fields, parks and nature reserves in southern Israel.

According to Israel's National Parks Authority (NPA), this is the first time that a living creature has been used to ignite a fire inside Israel.

The employee who found the bird discovered it after putting out a fire in the park.

A group that calls itself "Sons of Zouari" said that it would step up the arson attacks against Israel following direct attacks on the group of aerial arsonists by the IDF, The Times of Israel reported Sunday.

The Times of Israel reported Tuesday that Hamas has threatened Israel with “dangerous consequences” for not allowing fuel to be delivered into Gaza and for requiring explicit permission for food and medicine to cross.

"Sapiens," Bestseller Written by Israeli Prof to be Adapted for a Movie

A multiplatform screen adaptation of Hebrew University history professor Yuval Noah Harari’s bestselling 2011 book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is planned by British film producer Sir Ridley Scott (“Blade Runner,” “Alien”) and Oscar-winning documentarian Asif Kapadia, according to Hollywood Reporter.

In Sapiens, Harari posits that the human species “began as an insignificant animal and is now on the verge of becoming a god” and asks readers to reconsider the role of human beings in the past, present and future.

“It is a book that changes how you see the world and our adaptation should do the same, to serve as a wake-up call for who we are, where we have come from and where we are heading,” Kapadia said in a statement.

Scott added that he and Kapadia, who secured the rights to the book in 2017, believe a visual version of Sapiens “has all the elements to be massively entertaining as well as historically important.”

Last month, ISRAEL21c reported on the Haifa-born Harari’s speech at an international conference, “What Makes Us Human: From Genes to Machine,” held at Hebrew University’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences.

(via Israel21c)

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