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Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 37 min 48 sec ago

U.S. General Says Iran Is Nearly Able to Build a Nuclear Weapon

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(TIME) W.J. Hennigan - Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, tells TIME that the Iranians "are very close this time" to a nuclear weapon. "I think they like the idea of being able to break out." Yet even if Tehran decides to amass enough fuel for a bomb, it hasn't yet standardized a design for a warhead that's small enough to be affixed atop any of its 3,000 ballistic missiles. Nor has Iran shown that it can build a reentry vehicle capable of surviving the searing heat, pressure and vibration of falling from space back to Earth. "We haven't seen any of that. That's what's going to take a little time for them to build." He estimates it would take Iran more than a year to develop this capability with a robust testing program. Iran has, however, shown its missiles have a proven ability to strike targets with precision. In attacks in January 2020 on two Iraqi bases, Al Asad and Erbil, where hundreds of Americans were stationed, "those missiles hit within tens of meters of their targets," turning buildings, aircraft and living quarters into smoldering rubble.

UN Nuclear Chief Leaves Iran without a Deal on Factory Inspection

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Wall Street Journal) Laurence Norman - The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, left Iran Tuesday after failing to reach a deal to allow inspectors access to a factory in Karaj producing key parts for centrifuges for Tehran's nuclear program, diplomats said Wednesday. With Iran, the U.S. and other major powers set to resume negotiations in Vienna next Monday aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear capabilities, that raised new concerns among Western officials that Iran could be diverting nuclear equipment to a possible covert nuclear weapons program. Two diplomats said Iran declined to offer the IAEA access to Karaj unless Grossi dropped parts of a continuing probe into the discovery of undisclosed nuclear material in Iran over the past two years. Grossi declined.

Israel Warns White House over Striking Partial Nuclear Deal with Iran

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Wall Street Journal) Laurence Norman - Israeli officials are urging the White House not to strike a partial nuclear deal with Iran that would offer Tehran partial sanctions relief in exchange for freezing or winding back parts of their nuclear work. "Such an agreement would be detrimental and would only benefit the Iranian regime....It would be an enormous gift to Iran's new, radical and IRGC-affiliated regime," a senior Israeli official told the Wall Street Journal. Israeli officials warn a partial agreement would boost the resources Iran has to intervene across the region, would leave Western powers beholden to constant Iranian threats to resume nuclear-fuel production, and would legitimize Iranian violations of nuclear safeguards rules set by the UN atomic agency. "Such an agreement will convince the Iranian public and countries in the region that nuclear blackmail works," said the Israeli official. Israel opposed the 2015 deal, arguing that its temporary limits on Iran's nuclear work didn't block Iran's long-term path to produce nuclear weapons. This week, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel wouldn't allow Iran to create a nuclear-weapons program and achieve hegemony in the Middle East. "We hope the world does not blink, but if it does, we do not intend to," he said.

Russia Pressures Iran to Withdraw from T4 Airbase in Syria

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Syrian Observer-Turkey) Russia successfully pressured Iran to withdraw from the T4 airbase in Syria, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed. It seemed that Moscow benefited from the continuous Israeli raids on the base to get the Iranian forces to withdraw. Russia has sought to persuade the Iranians to evacuate a number of sites controlled by Tehran in Syria.

Bahrain Foils Planned Attack, Confiscates Iranian Weapons and Explosives

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Reuters) Bahrain security forces arrested a number of militants "linked with terrorist groups in Iran" ahead of a planned attack and confiscated Iranian weapons and explosives, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

British Army to Move Main Overseas Training Base to Middle East

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Telegraph-UK) Dominic Nicholls - UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is expected to announce this week the move of Britain's biggest overseas training base from Alberta in Canada to Oman in the Middle East. The Omani desert, near Duqm airbase and port, will become the main training ground for tanks and other armored vehicles. Defense sources said the shift to the Gulf would enable British forces to position hardware closer and more visibly to potential adversaries, such as Iran. This would reduce the time necessary to respond to any crisis in the region.

Israel, Morocco Sign Defense Cooperation Pact

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Jerusalem Post) Anna Ahronheim - Israel and Morocco signed a defense agreement Wednesday as Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz made an official visit to the North African kingdom. The memorandum of understanding formalizes defense relations between the two countries, allowing for increased cooperation in intelligence, industrial collaboration, military training and more.

Iran Tried to Smuggle Explosives from Syria to West Bank with Drones

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Ha'aretz) Yaniv Kubovich - In February 2018, Iran launched a Shahed 141 drone from the T4 airbase in Syria carrying TNT, bound for its proxies in the West Bank, before it was shot down over northern Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Tuesday. He also revealed the locations of two bases in southern Iran - in Chabahar and on the island of Qeshm - used for drone attacks on maritime targets. Iran also operates outside the region, he said, and "traffics oil and weapons to Venezuela, mobilizes the Quds Force in South America, and tries to implant its influence into Afghanistan." These capabilities "endanger Sunni states and international forces in the Middle East, as well as European and African countries."

Palestinian School Magazine Calls for "Armed Struggle" Against "Israeli Monster"

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Jerusalem Post) Lahav Harkov - Demonization of Israel and incitement to violence are rampant in Waed, a magazine published by Fatah's youth movement and distributed in Palestinian Authority schools, a new study by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) found. The magazine glorifies terrorists who murdered Israelis as heroes and anticipates a Palestinian state that will replace all of Israel, including the removal of Israelis from the land. Waed claims "the liberation of Palestine will only be achieved through armed struggle." The magazine falsifies history, tying today's Palestinians to a "Canaanite Palestinian Arab" people that settled the land 5,000 years ago, when, in fact, Arab migration to the area began in the seventh century. A coin with ancient Hebrew script is called ancient Palestinian currency. "The education transmitted to children via Waed will be the driving force for Palestinian hate and terror for another generation," PMW concludes.

The Self-Defeating Claim that Efforts to Stop Iran's Nuclear Threat Are Counterproductive

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(JNS) Jonathan S. Tobin - An article in the New York Times on Sunday claimed that everyone would be better off if Israel stopped its highly successful efforts at sabotaging Tehran's nuclear program and threatening to take military action if they feel the Islamist regime is getting close to a bomb. According to a "senior American official," Israel has been wasting its time trying to hobble the Iranians' efforts to develop the capacity to make good on their genocidal threats about eliminating the Jewish state. The idea that the West has no chance of halting the nuclear threat through covert actions or the use of military force is self-defeating. It's true that Iran has built back after suffering setbacks; however, think about how much closer it would be to a bomb if the Israelis hadn't been playing havoc with Tehran's facilities and putting the fear of God into scientists working on programs designed to facilitate the mass murder of Israeli Jews. The ayatollahs should take great comfort in the Biden team's latest article planted in the Times aimed at assuring them that the U.S. doesn't mean business when it comes to stopping their nuclear ambition. But Biden shouldn't think that even an Israeli government that would love to stay on good terms with him would acquiesce to an existential threat like that of a nuclear Iran. The chances that the Jewish state can be prevented from defending itself by American pressure are zero.

The Spread of Iran's Malign Activities

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Wade Ze'ev Gittleson and Lenny Ben-David - Iran spreads its revolutionary Islamic doctrine worldwide using invasion, terrorism, infiltration, bribery, and smuggling arms and drugs. In the aftermath of Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979, the theocratic Shiite regime has spread its influence and control throughout the Middle East and beyond in the hopes of achieving hegemony through the exportation of the Islamic Revolution. This special report offers an updated look at Iranian imperialism with a focus on Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and Lebanon.

Media Headlines Obscure Facts on Lethal Palestinian Terror Attack

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(HonestReporting) Emanuel Miller - A Palestinian gunman opened fire in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday, killing one Israeli and injuring several others. Yet multiple news outlets distorted their headlines to hide who was attacking and who was attacked. CNN reported: "One dead, four injured, in suspected shooting attack in Jerusalem." The initial Associated Press headline first referred to the Palestinian terrorist: "Israeli police shoot dead Palestinian who killed 1 Israeli and injured 4 others." BBC News hid who was behind the shooting and who was being targeted: "Jerusalem shooting: Gunman kills one and wounds three in Old City." Ireland's RTE News did the same: "One dead and three wounded in Jerusalem shooting."

New York Times Features Video by Anti-Israel Propaganda Group

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(CAMERA) Ricki Hollander - The New York Times is featuring a video on its website, "Mission: Hebron," that portrays Israel's military presence in the city as inherently evil. The protagonists/interviewees are seasoned employees, former employees, and activists with Breaking the Silence (BtS), whose mission is to slander Israel in the international public arena with hearsay and uncorroborated stories of villainy. Those credited with providing footage include the International Solidarity Movement, that supports deadly terrorist attacks against Israeli Jews. The New York Times fails to acknowledge that this is, at its core, a BtS film. Breaking the Silence is a European-funded Israeli NGO established in 2004 that peddles anonymous tales of IDF wrongdoing, rather than report alleged incidents of military misconduct to the proper authorities. Fact-checking investigations by even sympathetic journalists have shown that most BtS claims are either entirely false or grossly exaggerated. The film conceals the affiliations of the interviewees. The primary interviewee, Ron Zeidel, is Deputy Director and Chief Research Officer for BtS. Another interviewee, Dean Issacharoff, served as BtS Spokesperson. Interviewee Nadav Bigelman was on BtS' staff for nearly six years. Interviewee Nitzan Ron is employed as Director of Activities by Peace Now, a BtS funder. Moreover, what is concealed is that Hebron is the second holiest of Judaism's four holy cities and the site of the world's oldest Jewish community, referred to dozens of times in the Hebrew Bible. Jews have prayed and, with few interruptions, have lived in Hebron continuously since biblical times. In 1929, Arab mobs destroyed the longstanding Jewish community in Hebron. In 1968, after Hebron came under Israel's control, Jews re-established a community in their holy city but were frequently subject to violent and deadly attacks by Arabs. Jews are confined to under 20% of the city, while Palestinians have access to the entire city. The writer is a senior media analyst at CAMERA.

Washington Post Shows Clear Bias in Its Language

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(JNS) Sean Durns - The Washington Post's Nov. 22 story, "Highway of Hope and Heartbreak," says it chronicles "how remote the prospect of a Palestinian state - and a resolution of the Middle East conflict - has become." But the Post can't bring itself to tell readers the truth about why there isn't a Palestinian state. It never tells readers that Palestinian leaders alone are responsible for the lack of such a state because they have rejected numerous offers for a state if it means living in peace next to Israel. Moreover, the Post's bias is made clear by its language. Palestinians have "villages," whereas Israelis have "settlements." Israeli businesses are described sinisterly as "proliferating." The settlements, the Post claims, have been "relentlessly expanding." Yet a March 31, 2017, Post report was titled "Israel set to approve first new settlement in 20 years." "Zealotry," the Post says, "is on the rise" on "both sides." Yet only the Palestinian side names streets, schools and sports tournaments after terrorists. Only one side pays salaries to terrorists who murder and maim Jews. The writer is a senior research analyst for CAMERA.

Israel Has Built the World's Most Accurate Military Machine

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Jerusalem Post) Yaakov Katz - In May 2021, the Israel Air Force attacked Hamas' Metro tunnel network. "It was an underground city," explained one senior IDF officer. "It was supposed to be their most protected weapon." 160 F-15s and F-16s dropped 500 GPS-guided bombs. The mission took just 23 minutes. It was the largest aerial operation in over 50 years. Israel needed to destroy the tunnels without toppling peoples' homes above. The idea was to hit the tunnels that were not adjacent to buildings, and if there was no choice, then to hit them on an angle. It knew exactly how to hit the corner of a tunnel at a street intersection, having analyzed precisely how many bombs and pounds of explosives would be needed so the explosion would have a greater effect underground and not above. The buildings themselves were not attacked. It was the most accurate and precise military operation of this scale in modern military history.

Why Israel Is Not a "Settler Colonial" Society

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Fathom-BICOM-UK) Alan Johnson - 100 artists have signed an open letter indicting Israel as an illegitimate "settler colonial" society, akin to the USA, Australia and New Zealand. The Jews are cast as the "white" settler-colonialists and the Palestinians are given the role of the "black" indigenous. This radically misunderstands the conflict, harms the cause of peace, and aligns these activists with Hamas. The Jewish relationship to the Land of Israel is utterly unlike anything in the societies usually identified as "settler colonial." The Jews were returning to a land that had been theirs, in which their religion was born, their Temple built, and their Matriarchs and Patriarchs walked. A land that was at the absolute center of Judaism and Jewish peoplehood. The land from which they had been forcibly expelled. And to a Jerusalem in which they had been a majority since the 19th century. The "settler colonialism" paradigm also erases the facts about a series of international community mandates that nurtured a new Jewish state into being. The League of Nations and United Nations superintendence of the creation of Israel is utterly unlike anything experienced by the "settler colonial" societies. Had the Palestinians done as the Jews did in 1947-1948 and accepted the UN partition plan, instead of starting a war to drive the Jews into the sea and losing it, they would now be celebrating the 73rd anniversary of their own state of Palestine.

UK Hamas Ban Doesn't Go Far Enough

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Spectator-UK) Stephen Daisley - The decision to add Hamas to the UK Home Office list of terrorist organizations corrects a 20-year-old error. The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was "immensely grateful" to the government for "end[ing] the dangerous loophole" which allowed Hamas to "spread its extremist poison here and raise funds and support in the UK." The flare-up between Israel and Gaza earlier this year occasioned disturbing scenes of Hamas-sympathizing and anti-Israel incitement on Britain's streets and this is likely to make it easier for police to crack down on similar conduct in the future. The last time Palestinians were given the chance to vote on the matter, they chose Hamas. Denying the nature of Palestinian extremism heavily informs British attitudes to the conflict. While Hamas is a gang of thugs, there is the rote insistence in Britain that the Palestinian Authority is a legitimate authority. This is an outfit that incites against Israelis and pays stipends to the families of those who are imprisoned, killed or injured carrying out attacks on Israel. Yet Labour and Tory governments alike scold Israel to make peace with the PA, even as every Israeli offer of peace and statehood is rebuffed and proposed peace talks are rejected out of hand.

South Africans Support Miss SA's Travel to Israel

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(News 24-South Africa) Wendy Kahn - Every propagandist tactic is being used against Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, including death threats. This public intimidation and mistreatment of a young woman is abusive and criminal behavior. Seemingly, when the country of discussion is Israel, there are no limits to how badly one can behave. A poll conducted by Newzroom Afrika on Nov. 18 on whether Miss SA should withdraw from the Miss Universe event in Israel showed nearly 2:1 in favor of her competing. Another poll from SABC came out with similar results. It has been made clear in recent weeks that the BDS movement and our own Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture do not speak for the average South African. The writer is the National Director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.

To the Students Who Walked Out on Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Times of Israel) Yossi Klein Halevi - Last month, I spoke, together with my friend Mohammed Darawshe, at the University of Illinois, in Champaign-Urbana. When the event began, several dozen students staged a walk-out. In response, I said there are two warring cultures playing out in this hall. Those warring cultures are not Muslims versus Jews, not even Israelis versus Palestinians. Instead, the war is between those who are committed to sitting together, looking each other in the eye and trying to make peace, and those who are committed to a culture of cancellation, boycott, hyperbole and hatred. On some crucial issues, Mohammed and I agree; on some we disagree. For us, these are life and death issues for ourselves, our families, our peoples. Yet we are committed to unpacking these issues together because we realize that the alternative is much worse. Three years ago, I wrote a book called Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, a New York Times bestseller. It was an attempt to explain who the Jewish people are, why we returned after two thousand years to a home that we share with the Palestinian people, why we believe this is our home as well. It was also an attempt to listen. The book was translated into Arabic and hundreds wrote responses. In a subsequent paperback edition, I included 50 pages of those letters as an epilogue: letters from Palestinians to their Israeli neighbor. The writer is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Jewish Israelis Face Deadly Anti-Semitism Every Day

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 16:00
(Forward) Ari Hoffman - The murder of Eli Kay in Jerusalem is a good reminder that the greatest threats to Israel are the intentions of its real-life foes. Israel has two major enemies - Palestinian terrorism and Iranian aggression - whose capacity for violence are connected not to what Israel does but what it is. Kay's death illuminates the toxicity of Palestinian ideology that Israel's existence is a crime. The link between Iran's designs and Palestinian terrorism is bound up in a politics deeply motivated by anti-Semitism, where the two entities actively wish Jews harm. The problem is that both Hamas and Iran have the means to make that wish come true. It is long past time to acknowledge that Israel's imperfections do nothing to excuse the deep guilt of its enemies. Israel is not its own worst enemy: its worst enemies are its worst enemies. The dangers it faces are not primarily of its own making: they are ones devised by those who relentlessly seek to do it harm.

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