Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: TIP CEO: Until It Reforms, UNRWA Remains an Obstacle to Peace

Posted by Tip Staff - August 31, 2018

TIP CEO: Until It Reforms, UNRWA Remains an Obstacle to Peace
Reuters: Iran Transfers Ballistic Missiles to Iraqi Proxies, Threatening Israel, Saudi Arabia
Eurovision Officials Visit Israel to Choose Site for Next Year's Competition
Israeli Startup Teams with Pharmaceutical Giant Merck to Fight Diabetes in Vietnam


TIP CEO: Until It Reforms, UNRWA Remains an Obstacle to Peace

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) must undergo significant reform to advance the chances of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Joshua S. Block, CEO and President of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed published by The Algemeiner on Tuesday.

“This issue is not a matter of left or right. Advancing peace, reconciliation, and coexistence is a moral imperative, not a political matter. Those who want to see a lasting settlement between Israelis and Palestinians — particularly my fellow Democrats and progressives — should embrace those efforts,” Block argued.

With the 'Right to Return' UNRWA “has created a mentality of perpetual victimhood” among the Palestinian population, which “is a major impediment to peace,” Block charged. UNRWA is the only UN refugee agency dedicated to a single group of people and the number of registered refugees has been inflated by the organization “to the point of absurdity.”

Based on UNRWA’s criteria, every Palestinian born since the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-1949 is a refugee, including Palestinians with other nationalities and those who never left Arab-Palestinian territory, but relocated to the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. This number has now reached 5 million.

UNRWA, in its current form, “is actively working against two states for two peoples — the dominant paradigm of US foreign policy from Clinton to Bush and Obama,” Block observed. “This is not the pathway to peace. It’s a recipe for perpetual failure and conflict. It’s time to acknowledge that reality and introduce real reform at UNRWA,” he concluded.



Reuters: Iran Transfers Ballistic Missiles to Iraqi Proxies, Threatening Israel, Saudi Arabia

Iran has transferred a number of short-range ballistic missiles to proxy forces in Iraq, which could threaten Israel, Saudi Arabia, or American forces in Iraq, Reuters reported Friday, citing multiple sources.

The sources included three Iranian officials, two Iraqi and two Western intelligence sources. A number of the sources said that Iran was teaching its proxies how to manufacture the missiles on their own.

An Iranian source described the transfer as a "backup plan if Iran was attacked." The senior official also told Reuters, "The number of missiles is not high, just a couple of dozen, but it can be increased if necessary."

According to Reuters, there are locations in southern and western Iraq where the missiles would be within range of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, or Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, the Iranian force in charge of operations in foreign countries, according to several sources, has bases in those areas.

According to Reuters, the transfer by Iran of advanced weapons to its Iraqi proxies could "embarrass France, Germany and the United Kingdom," who are trying to rescue the nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that Iran "cannot avoid" talks about its ballistic missile program or its aggression across the Middle East.

"But Iran cannot avoid discussions, negotiations on three other major subjects that worry us — the future of Iran’s nuclear commitments after 2025, the ballistic question and the fact there is a sort of ballistic proliferation on the part of Iran… and the role Iran plays to stabilize the whole region," Le Drian said at a meeting of European foreign ministers in Vienna.

Bassem Qassemi, a spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, dismissed Le Drian's remarks, saying, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly declared its clear and transparent stance on unwarranted concerns rooted in some countries’ wrong perceptions and ignorance."



Eurovision Officials Visit Israel to Choose Site for Next Year's Competition

Officials from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) toured three Israeli cities this week as they explored the options for next May's Eurovision Song Contest, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

The EBU representatives inspected the Pais Arena in Jerusalem, toured the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, and in Eilat they met with the city’s deputy mayor. Following the site inspections, Jon Ola Sand said: "We are open to out of the box solutions, as we were in the past, if they would meet the schedule."

While Sand’s statement indicated that Eilat is still in the running, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are seen as the front-runners to host the contest. While touring Eilat, officials presented to the EBU an ambitious plan for a unique construction in Eilat port, making it suitable for hosting the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

Israel won the right to host the 2019 contest after winning the event in Lisbon in May with Netta Barzilai's rendition of "Toy." It was the first time Israel had won the competition in 20 years. The Eurovision finale is expected to be held on either May 18 or May 25, to avoid conflict with Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and Independence Day.

Israel’s three previous Eurovision triumphs occurred in 1978, for “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” performed by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta; in 1979 (in Jerusalem) for “Hallelujah” performed by Milk and Honey; and in 1998, for Dana International’s rendition of “Diva.”



Israeli Startup Teams with Pharmaceutical Giant Merck to Fight Diabetes in Vietnam

Vietnam is experiencing the fastest growing rate of diabetes in Southeast Asia, yet patients must travel far to reach hospitals for treatment and follow-up.

To address that problem, Israeli digital diabetes platform provider GlucoMe of Yarkona has begun a pilot collaboration with Merck KGaA of Germany to evaluate GlucoMe’s digital diabetes platform across five Vietnamese hospitals, in order to compare it to the current standard of care.

Patients will use GlucoMe’s wireless blood-glucose monitor to measure their blood sugar levels at home. The clinical data will be synced through GlucoMe’s mobile app and analyzed by GlucoMe’s Digital Diabetes Clinic and its Control Tower alert system. This will enable medical professionals to monitor their patients continuously and intervene quickly when necessary.

Of Vietnam’s 92.7 million population, around 5 million (5.4%) have been diagnosed with diabetes.

“The collaboration announced today will evaluate the advantages and acceptance of GlucoMe’s digital diabetes care system in a country with a vast diabetes patient population, which today faces a significant lack of resources to effectively manage their condition,” said Daniel Ruggiero, global head of diabetes strategy at Merck’s biopharma business.

GlucoMe CEO Yiftah Ben-Aharon noted that GlucoMe’s solution was introduced in India and in Central America earlier this year. “We intend to work our way around the world with the goal of modernizing diabetes care for the benefit of patients, medical teams and payers.”

(via Israel21c)


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