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The Daily TIP: Iraqi Prime Minister Cancels Visit to Iran After U.S. Reimposes Sanctions

Posted by Tip Staff - August 13, 2018

Iraqi Prime Minister Cancels Visit to Iran After U.S. Reimposes Sanctions
Former Israeli National Security Advisor: War with Hezbollah will be "Very Nasty"
Indonesia Bans Israeli Athletes from Asian Games, but Names Israel’s Moovit the Official Transit App
Archaeologists Find 2,200-Year-Old Gold Earring in Jerusalem Parking Lot

Iraqi Prime Minister Cancels Visit to Iran After U.S. Reimposes Sanctions

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has cancelled his visit to Iran following the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States government on the Islamic Republic, Radio Free Europe reported Sunday.

Abadi on August 7 said he did not agree with the renewed U.S. sanctions, but clarified that he would abide by them to protect Iraq’s interests and shield the country from retaliatory actions by Washington.

"Can I, the prime minister of Iraq, endanger the interests of Iraqis just to take a stand?" Abadi asked. "We consider them a strategic mistake and incorrect, but we will abide by them to protect the interests of our people," he stated.

The U.S. administration last week announced crippling new sanctions on Iran - putting pressure on the regime and penalizing foreign companies that do business with the Islamic Republic. Under the sanctions regime, foreign banks and companies will be forced to choose between America’s $19 trillion financial system or Iran's $400 billion economy.

“The United States is fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions, and we will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance. Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences,” President Donald Trump said in a statement on August 6.

Iraq is the second-largest importer of Iranian non-oil products, buying some $6 billion worth of goods from the Islamic Republic in 2017. Iraq also purchases Iranian-generated electricity to deal with the chronic power shortage that have sparked mass protests in recent weeks.

Former Israeli National Security Advisor: War with Hezbollah will be "Very Nasty"

The next war between Israel and Hezbollah will be "very nasty" because the Iranian-backed terrorist group stores its weapons in residential neighborhoods, a former Israeli National Security Advisor told Armin Rosen in an interview published in Tablet on Sunday.

“Think of about 120,000 rockets and missiles, 50 percent or 80 percent of them stored by the Iranians within populated areas in private houses. Areas will be evaporated," Maj. Gen. (res) Yaacov Amidror, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's advisor from 2011 to 2013, explained.

"Think about a missile of half a ton, with all the fuel in it, and Israel hits it with only 100 grams of TNT. … Think about what will be damaged just by the stored missiles. Thousands and thousands of Lebanese will be killed and part of Lebanon will be destroyed.”

Israel will be forced to strike Hezbollah's missiles on the ground because, as good as Israel's missile defenses are, Hezbollah has an arsenal of “thousands and thousands” of precision guided missiles aimed at all Israeli population centers. If Hezbollah were to engage in a war with Israel, Amidror said, "Israelis will be killed, no question."

Amidror believes that there is a "very-high-probability” of another war between Israel and Hezbollah, but that such a conflict is not necessarily inevitable. If the conflict does occur, Amidror assessed that Israel's aim would be to neutralize Hezbollah's military capabilities.

The retired general's assessment of a conflict with Hezbollah was part of a wide-ranging discussion of the challenges Israel is facing in the near future.

Indonesia Bans Israeli Athletes from Asian Games, but Names Israel’s Moovit the Official Transit App

An Israeli startup's mobile guide has been chosen as the official mobility app for the Asian Games in Indonesia to help millions of fans get to sports competitions at the event from which Israel has been banned since 1981, highlighting the ambiguity at the heart of the boycott movement against the Jewish State.

Israel competed at the Asian Games five times, from 1954 to 1974. In 1981 the Asian Games Federation was organized as the Olympic Council of Asia and for political reasons Israel was excluded, and a year later banned permanently. Palestinian athletes, however, remain on the roster, The Times of Israel reported Monday.

The Asian Games, held every four years, are hailed as the second-largest multi-sport event after the Olympics. Teams for 44 countries compete in the tournament, which attracts 3 million visitors from all over the world.

During the Asian Games, also known as Asiad, which will take place August 18 - September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang, Moovit will send out notifications of all transit updates and changes.

“Moovit has the most complete, up-to-date coverage of all modes of transit and lines in Jakarta & Palembang than any other provider,” the company said in a statement. Moovit previously helped organize major sport events, including the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the UEFA EURO 2016.

The crowdsourced public transportation app, created by an Israeli startup of the same name, has become the world's most downloaded transit app, and has more than 200 million users in over 2,500 cities in 82 countries.

Archaeologists Find 2,200-Year-Old Gold Earring in Jerusalem Parking Lot

Did you ever find a shiny penny in a public parking lot and think “this is my lucky day?” That must have been how archaeologists digging in the Givati parking lot outside Jerusalem’s Old City felt when they discovered a rare golden earring dating back to the second or third century BCE.

The 2,200-year-old earring – a tiny gold filigree piece from Jerusalem’s Hellenistic era – was discovered during an archeological dig in the lot next to the City of David National Park.

The hoop earring bears the head of a horned animal, possibly an antelope or deer. Excavators also found nearby a gold bead with intricate embroidered ornamentation resembling a thin rope pattern.

While the earring’s owner and gender are a mystery, archaeologists are sure that it “definitely belonged to Jerusalem’s upper class. This can be determined by the proximity to the Temple Mount and the Temple, which was functional at the time, as well as the quality of the gold piece of jewelry.”

Filigree is a jewelry-making technique in which threads and tiny metal beads are used to create delicate and complex patterns. Ariel Polokoff and Adi Erlich from the archeological department at the University of Haifa explained that this type of earring first appeared in Greece during the early Hellenistic period. Similar earrings have been found across the Mediterranean basin but rarely in Israel.

“Up until now, only a few such earrings have been found in Israel, many of them in the coastal region,” said Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University, who led the excavation along with Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “This is the first time such an earring has been found in Jerusalem inside of archeological ruins from that time.”

During the second and third centuries BCE, the City of David was part of a Hellenistic vassal state under semi-autonomous Jewish rule. That rule ended with the Maccabean Revolt in 167 BCE. The era was described in detail by historian Flavius Josephus in his book Antiquities of the Jews but until now there has been little physical evidence in Jerusalem.

The earring was found underneath the parking lot, inside a building unearthed during the excavation. That too was an important discovery. “Hardly any remains of buildings [can] be accurately dated to [the Hellenistic] period,” Shalev said. The excavation findings “open a window to what Jerusalem was like during the early Hellenistic period.”

(via Israel21c)

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