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The Daily TIP: White House Considers Hosting Anti-Terror Summit to Unite Arab Allies, Reassert US Leadership

Posted by Tip Staff - June 28, 2017

White House Considers Hosting Anti-Terror Summit to Unite Arab Allies, Assert US Leadership
IDF Intelligence Chief: Iran Gives Anti-Israel Terror Groups Hundreds of Millions Annually
ADL, A Wider Bridge Demand Apology From Chicago LGBT March That Ejected Jewish Participants
Spurred by Father’s Injury, Israeli Scientist Develops Games to Improve Mental Functions

White House Considers Hosting Anti-Terror Summit to Unite Arab Allies, Assert US Leadership

The White House is considering convening a summit with traditional Arab allies who recently severed relations with Qatar over its support of terrorism and ties to Iran, Fox News reported Friday.

The White House is reportedly seeking to settle the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and five other Arab nations by hosting a gathering based on the 1978 Camp David peace talks that led to a historic treaty between Israel and Egypt.

"It’s a Camp David moment. We’ve seen nothing like this in 40 years, and now the president wants to follow through,” a senior administration official told Fox News. The official added that the discussed summit would call for a change in behavior, and “not just Qatar’s."

“They need to disavow groups like the [Muslim] Brotherhood for the stability of the Middle East at large," the official explained. "It’s not just about Qatari elements funding the Brotherhood but disavowing support for extremism in general."

Speaking before a gathering of Arab leaders in Riyadh last month, President Donald Trump called for America's Middle Eastern allies to confront the “crisis of Islamic extremism.”

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister listed a number of condition that Qatar has to meet in order to restore diplomatic ties with the kingdom and its allies, including cutting ties with Iran.

A Middle East expert who was briefed on the proposed summit said that it would aim to repair Washington's alliances and reassert its leadership in the region.

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Eric Shawn of Fox News on Sunday that convening such a summit to unite moderate Arab states against Iran's influence is a good idea. "If you really want to go for it, have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there too," he added.

Bolton explained that the event could help reassure Arab allies who were upset by President Barack Obama's "tilt towards Iran, the central banker of international terrorism, a country pursuing nuclear weapons."

IDF Intelligence Chief: Iran Gives Anti-Israel Terror Groups Hundreds of Millions Annually

Iran is a major state sponsor of terrorism that gives anti-Israel groups hundreds of millions of dollars each year, the intelligence chief of the Israel Defense Forces said during the IDC Herzliya Conference on Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi detailed how Iran contributes $50 million to Hamas’ annual budget, while bankrolling its Shi’ite Lebanese proxy Hezbollah with $75 million and funding Palestinian Islamic Jihad with an additional $70 million, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Halevi also noted that Tehran transfers weapons and missiles while providing training and technology to these groups. Iran is regularly “acting to get exact and advanced weapons into Lebanon and Yemen,” Halevi said. It is also building facilities to produce precision weapons and advanced rockets inside Lebanon, a development which Israel says it will not tolerate.

News of a secret Iranian missile factory in Lebanon was previously reported by a Kuwaiti newspaper in March.

Referring to recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria, Halevi stated that “Israel cannot ignore this development and we have not.” Most of Israel's reported strikes have been around Damascus, about 60 kilometers from the Israeli Golan Heights, aiming at cutting the biggest supply artery to Hezbollah.

Halevi also referred to the situation inside the Gaza Strip, saying that “the dispute about electricity in Gaza is an internal Palestinian issue” between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. He placed the blame for the humanitarian crisis and lack of construction supplies squarely on Hamas.

Israel has let into Gaza “four times the volume of building materials” required to build one of the world’s largest buildings, but “Hamas is using the materials for war, not rebuilding,” Halevi concluded.

Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in 2015 that “Iran is expected to use new revenues chiefly ... by shoring up its budget, building infrastructure, maintaining the stability of the rial, and attracting imports,” rather than funding terror. Similarly, former President Barack Obama said in a speech that August, “our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people.”

ADL, A Wider Bridge Demand Apology From Chicago LGBT March That Ejected Jewish Participants

Both the Anti-Defamation League and A Wider Bridge on Monday demanded an apology from organizers of an LGBT march in Chicago that asked Jewish participants to leave because they carried a rainbow flag superimposed with a Star of David.

The incident was described by Laurel Grauer, an official with the A Wider Bridge, which connects LGBT Jews in the United States with their counterparts in Israel, who was one of the individuals ejected from the Dyke March on Saturday.

Grauer said she had participated in the Dyke March for 10 years and always carried with her a rainbow flag, a widely-recognized symbol of LGBT pride, emblazoned with a Star of David, which is closely associated with Judaism and the Jewish community. Grauer said this flag, which she received from her LGBT-inclusive Jewish congregation, prompted the march's organizers to target and exclude her this year.

"You have to leave because you are making people feel unsafe. You are putting them in danger by being here," Grauer said she was told by the march's organizers, volunteers, and even other participants.

When she raised an objection to that demand, explaining that the flag was an expression of her personal identities, Grauer said she was told, "That may be what the flag means to you, but other people find it offensive. This march is a private event and you are offending the organizers of this event."

Grauer noted that the Dyke March was supposed to be a celebration of inclusiveness and that she had previously carried the flag from her Jewish congregation "unhindered."

In previous years, "people even took pictures either with me, or holding my flag, because they were so happy to see it and proudly proclaimed their Jewish Pride and/or solidarity on the spot," she wrote. "This year, there was some of that, but it was attached to a much more disturbing message."

"Thank you for marching," said more than one Jewish marcher. "I’ve felt unsafe in the past." They were there because, like me, felt a strong connection with Dyke March Chicago, yet felt they had to hide their Judaism. Furthermore, as this continues to pour out in social media, other Queer Jewish activists are sharing stories of have been excluded, or how they decided to avoid the march for this reason. How can this be called a Chicago Dyke March if local Dykes are made to feel unwelcomed and unsafe, be they at the march or in spirit?

Jewish organizers of the march told Grauer that even if she viewed her flag as an expression of Jewish pride, "this is seen as an Israeli Pride Flag and offensive to others."

Grauer was also asked if she was a Zionist. When she responded in the affirmative and added that she also supported a Palestinian state, she was told, "You cannot be Zionist and believe in a Palestinian state, Zionism is inherently racism."

Grauer was told that one other woman who was carrying a similar flag had been asked to leave the march. (Other reports say that three marchers were singled out and expelled.)

"It is outrageous that while celebrating LGBTQ pride, Jewish participants carrying a rainbow Star of David flag were asked to leave the Chicago Dyke March. The community of LGBTQ supporters is diverse and that is part of its tremendous strength,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.

"Both the act and the explanation were anti-Semitic, plain and simple," he added. "We stand with A Wider Bridge and others in demanding an apology. We appreciate the Human Rights Campaign’s support and we call on other leaders from LGBTQ and progressive communities to join us in condemning this exclusion.”

A Wider Bridge posted their demands on Change.org asking for a formal written apology to Grauer, and other LGBTQ activists who were threatened or alienated by the organizers of the Chicago Dyke March, a commitment to include all LGBTQ Jews and not to exclude any due to their stands on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to learn from the ADL and A Wider Bridge “about the ugly manifestations of anti-Semitism against the Jewish community; historically against global Jewry,” and how it is affecting Jews today now both in the LGBT community and in the United States and Europe. The expulsion of visibly Jewish participants from the Dyke March recalls an incident from January 2016, when a Sabbath service at an LGBTQ event in Chicago was shut down by anti-Israel protesters.

Leading LGBT activist James Moon recently penned an op-ed for The Miami Herald calling on the "LGBTQ and progressive ally communities” to take a stand "against censoring, and against anti-semitism." Moon wrote his op-ed in response to the efforts of some LGBTQ groups to boycott a Tel Aviv LGBT film festival.

"BDS and those that hate Israel are playing a zero-sum game where any achievement by Israel or any community or person in or from Israel cannot be tolerated or recognized," Moon observed. But "you cannot advocate for LGBTQ rights” without supporting Israeli LGBTQ rights, he added. "And you cannot advocate for progressive values — and not stand against bald bigotry when confronted with it."

For more on Israel’s strides in granting rights to its LGBT citizens and residents, read The Persistent Progress of Israel’s LGBT Community, in which Corinne Berzon discusses the advances LGBT individuals in Israel have made in gaining mainstream societal acceptance, and the challenges their community continues to face.

Spurred by Father’s Injury, Israeli Scientist Develops Games to Improve Mental Functions

After her father suffered a brain injury, Israeli neuroscientist Son Preminger noted deficiencies in the rehabilitation process and felt a calling to correct them.

Preminger invited a group of fellow neuroscientists, clinicians and engineers to join her in founding Intendu, a startup that has developed cloud-based software comprised of motion-based adaptive video games for brain training and rehabilitation. It runs on a 3D camera console that connects via cable to a TV or computer screen.

Intendu is unique among brain-training game software, she explains, in that it adapts in real time to the cognitive and physical abilities of each user; challenges the user to accomplish virtual tasks from real life, such as serving food or driving; and incorporates physical movement to activate the whole neural network, which in turn enhances cognition and brain plasticity.

Founded in 2012 and incubated in 2014 at the Microsoft accelerator in Tel Aviv, Intendu launched in October 2015 and now is used by about 30 rehabilitation centers in Israel and the United States, with more to come.

However, Preminger’s main focus is the home version of the product, currently available for sale by contacting Intendu’s clinical team through the website. The home version gives patients the opportunity to continue and supplement brain-training therapy on their own.

“It’s great that Intendu is being used in rehab centers but it was my main goal to have it in the home,” she tells ISRAEL21c. “That’s really why I created Intendu.”

The nine-employee Herzliya-based company won the Israeli Chivas Venture competition for social impact last March and will represent Israel at the global round in mid-July in Los Angeles, where 30 finalists from 30 countries will vie for a piece of the $1 million prize.

Preminger, whose company already has won awards including the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition for Europe, was studying for her PhD in neuroscience at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science when her father suffered the brain injury that later spurred her founding of Intendu.

Previously, she had earned a master’s degree at Weizmann in computer science and a master’s of business administration at Harvard, and worked as a product manager at Microsoft, a programmer at Amdocs and director of business development at Israeli startup Schema.

Preminger reports that her father is much better today. “He’s always the first person to try Intendu’s new games and give feedback,” she says.

(via Israel21c)

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