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The Daily TIP: PM Netanyahu, Leaders of Australia, New Zealand Attend Battle of Beersheba Reenactment

Posted by Tip Staff - October 31, 2017

PM Netanyahu, Leaders of Australia, New Zealand Attend Battle of Beersheba Reenactment 
Politico: IDF Ensuring that Syrians Who Need Health Care, Get It 
Calls Increase for Fixing Weaknesses in Iranian Nuclear Deal 
Despite Snubs, Israeli Judo Team Brings Back Five Medals from UAE Competition 
PM Netanyahu, Leaders of Australia, New Zealand Attend Battle of Beersheba Reenactment

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and New Zealand Governor-General Patsy Reddy attended the hundredth anniversary of the battle for Beersheba, where the cavalry of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) captured the city from the Ottomans and allowed the British to capture what was then called Palestine, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

In the key World War I battle, soldiers of the 4th Australian Light Horse charged the entrenched Ottoman troops and captured the city on October 31, 1917.

At a ceremony honoring the ANZAC soldiers who died in the charge, Netanyahu said, “Nearly 4,000 years ago, Abraham came to Be'er Sheba, the City of Seven Wells. Exactly 100 years ago, brave ANZAC soldiers liberated Beer Sheba for the sons and daughters of Abraham and opened the gateway for the Jewish people to reenter the stage of history. The heroism of your fallen men will never be forgotten.”

Turnbull was more explicit in connecting the ANZAC victory to the creation of Israel.

“Had the Ottoman rule in Palestine and Syria not been overthrown by the Australians and the New Zealanders,” Turnbull continued, “the Balfour Declaration would have been empty words.”

The Balfour Declaration was issued two days later on November 2.

Reddy, New Zealand’s leader, said that the battle “changed political conditions in this region in the most profound way.”

Politico: IDF Ensuring that Syrians Who Need Health Care, Get It

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation “Good Neighbor” is providing thousands of Syrians engulfed in the brutal civil war across the border with medical assistance, humanitarian aid, food and basic infrastructure, Politico reported Saturday.

Since the special operation was launched in June 2016, after seven badly injured Syrians dragged themselves to the border fence, the IDF has deepened and expanded its outreach to the Syrian side.

Israel is no longer hiding its role in humanitarian operations in Syria, demonstrated by the IDF unit’s insignia next to the Arabic writing on the boxes. The commander of the “Good Neighbor” mission, Lt. Col. E (as he is identified per Israeli military guidelines), told Politico that having Hebrew written on the aid was a deliberate policy. “That’s the point,” he said. “They should know where it’s coming from.”

More recently, a medical clinic has been set up along the heavily fortified border fence, which is operated by a little-known U.S. humanitarian nongovernmental organization and protected by the IDF.

But the operation also has a strategic dimension, whereby Israel seeks to stabilize the border region. Various groups are fighting along the Syrian side of the fence, including a local Islamic State franchise, Al Qaeda-affiliated militants and more moderate Syrian rebels.

“I’m not doing all this for a Nobel Prize,” E. said. “I’m an officer in the IDF, and my job is to protect the State [of Israel]. But I do believe there is such a thing as win-win situations — even in the Middle East.”

Calls Increase for Fixing Weaknesses in Iranian Nuclear Deal

Two recently released letters call for the strengthening of the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and fixing the deficiencies that provide Iran with “a legal glide path to a nuclear weapons arsenal.”

A letter organized by Ray Takeyh and Mark Dubowitz, and signed by experts and former high-ranking government officials, faults the deal for “Its cascade of sunset clauses, permissive advanced centrifuge research and development schedule, lax inspection regime, and refusal to address Iran’s growing ballistic missile threat,” and calls on Congress and the president to establish “clear conditions for any sanctions relief provided under the JCPOA to continue.”

A second letter was sent by a group of senators to United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, urging her to work towards bolstering “the inspection and verification regime of the JCPOA to ensure that the deal is fully and verifiably enforced.”

The senators’ letter, was spearheaded by Sen. David Perdue (R – Ga.), focused on Section T of the JCPOA which governs “activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device.” IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said last month that “more clarification” about those activities by Iran “would be helpful” in allowing his agency to verify Iran’s compliance with the deal.

The goal of strengthening the IAEA’s hand in these matters, the senators concluded, would be to “better deny Iran’s access to a nuclear weapons capability,” than the deal currently does.

Despite Snubs, Israeli Judo Team Brings Back Five Medals from UAE Competition

A delegation of 12 Israeli judokas brought home five medals from the International Judo Federation’s Grand Slam 2017 in the United Arab Emirates, October 26-28. Tal Flicker won a gold medal. Bronze medals went to Ori Sasson, Peter Paltchik, Gili Cohen and Tohar Butbul.

Alone among the 48 participating countries, the Israelis were forced to compete as representatives of the IJF rather than of Israel. They were not permitted to have the ISR letters on their judogi uniforms or on the scoreboard. Nor was “Hatikvah” played when Flicker stood on the podium, though he mouthed the words to the Israeli national anthem as the IJF theme song played. No Israeli flag was displayed.

“Israel is my country, and I’m proud to be Israeli,” Flicker told Israeli reporters. “The anthem that they played of the world federation was just background noise. I was singing ‘Hatikvah’ from my heart.”

IJF President Marius Vizer commented, “Sometimes with courage, respect and politeness, you can solve tensions and conflicts, which have not been solved since many decades. … Two years ago we achieved the first participation of [the] Israel team in Abu Dhabi, now it’s the second time, but with a much better approach and I hope in the near future we can achieve the best condition of participation for the Israel teams.”

(via Israel21c)

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