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Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 7 min 52 sec ago

Iran's Rebellion Spreads, despite Lethal Repression

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Economist-UK) Inside Iran, events since September 16th have been an earthquake, after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, detained by morality police in Tehran for her supposedly incorrect hijab. Her death - photos and witnesses indicate she was badly beaten - tapped a deep well of grievances. There have been reports of protests in all of Iran's 31 provinces. The government calls the unrest a foreign plot coordinated by America, Israel and other such evil places (it is not).

Iranian President Raisi Abandons Interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour Who Refused to Wear Hijab

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(CNN) Eliza Mackintosh - Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi withdrew from a long-planned interview with CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour in New York on Sep. 21, after she declined a last-minute demand to wear a head scarf. Amanpour, who grew up in Tehran, said she wears a head scarf while reporting in Iran to comply with the local laws and customs. But she said she would not cover her head to conduct an interview with an Iranian official inside a country where it is not required.

Anti-Israel Motions Off the Agenda at British Labour Party's Annual Conference

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Jewish News-UK) Lee Harpin - Not a single Labour Party branch submitted an anti-Israel motion as their chosen topic of debate at this year's annual conference in Liverpool. In a clear signal of the change in direction of the party under Keir Starmer's leadership, the anti-Israel sentiment and Palestinian flag-waving that had dominated conferences under previous leader Jeremy Corbyn appear to have been replaced with concern for other issues. Labour national executive committee member Luke Akehurst recalled the "period where there were deliberately provocative debates about Israel involving seas of Palestinian flags being waved on the conference floor." In 2018, at the height of Corbyn's control of the party, hundreds of Palestinian flags were held aloft by delegates, who voted to debate that issue instead of the crisis in Britain's National Health Service.

New British Tanks to Feature Israeli Laser Warning System

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(UK Defence Journal) George Allison - Elbit Systems UK has been selected to provide 150 Elbit Laser Warning Systems (ELAWS) as part of Britain's new Challenger 3 main battle tank program. ELAWS is a widely operational and proven system capable of detecting, categorizing and accurately pinpointing laser sources such as range finders, anti-tank guided missiles, target designators and infrared illuminators. It can also seamlessly integrate with a wide array of countermeasures.

Palestinian Gunmen "Planning Significant Attacks" Killed in West Bank City of Jenin

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian - Israeli forces on Wednesday sought to arrest Abd al-Rahman Hazem, the brother of Raed Hazem, the terrorist who killed three civilians on Tel Aviv's Dizengoff street in April. Hazem and Muhammed Alownah were responsible for a series of shooting attacks in recent months. Israeli officials said the pair planned "more significant attacks in the near future." Israeli troops had surrounded Hazem's home in Jenin. The wanted gunmen set off a large bomb as troops attempted to enter the home. "Hazem and Alownah were killed in the exchange of fire," police said. The PA said another two people were killed in the clashes, and 44 others were hurt. Ahmed Alawneh, 24, a member of the PA security forces, was killed as he was firing at Israeli troops.

Israeli Security Forces Thwart Attempt to Derail Train

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Walla!-Jerusalem Post) An obstacle placed on railway tracks between Akko and Carmiel in northern Israel was discovered Monday night. Those responsible took advantage of the shutdown of the tracks due to the holidays and placed the object to cause the train to derail. Former Police Assistant-Chief Shahar Ayalon said, "The railway's security unit...specializes in track security, patrols along the tracks all the time and periodically finds obstacles of a similar type to the one found during this incident."

Terrorists Place Bomb at West Bank Gas Station

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) On Sunday morning, security camera footage showed terrorists arriving in a car at a gas station at the entrance to Kedumim in the West Bank, setting down a bag carrying 4 kg. of explosives and driving off. The explosives did not detonate and no injuries were reported.

Palestinian Attacks Israeli Motorists near Modiin

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian - A Palestinian stopped his vehicle at a traffic light close to Shilat junction near Modiin last Thursday evening and began to open car doors and attack people with a knife and pepper spray. Two men were stabbed in the hand and another 5 passengers were treated after pepper spray. The attacker was shot dead by an off-duty Border Police officer who was in the area. He said, "I was at a red light so I slowed down. Just as I was stopping, I saw a man running on the shoulder toward the car. He opened my partner's door and tried to stab her. I hit the gas, stopped the vehicle nearby, and got out and shot him."

Severely Wounded Ukrainian Soldiers Arrive in Israel for Medical Treatment

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Two Ukrainian soldiers who were severely injured in the war arrived Monday in Israel as part of an agreement that will see 20 service members receiving advanced medical treatment in Sheba Medical Center. All are amputees and will go through rehabilitation and be fitted for prosthetics.

Israel Says It Won't Recognize Russia's Annexation Referendums in Ukraine

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Ha'aretz) Jonathan Lis - Israel's Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday that Israel "recognizes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine." Israel "will not accept the results of the referendum in the eastern districts of Ukraine." Israeli officials said Israel's rebuke of Russia is intended to show Ukrainian President Zelenskyy that Israel stands by his country.

Visiting Israel, Pakistani Delegation Promotes Peace "One Step at a Time"

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Ash Obel - A delegation of 12 Pakistani community leaders came to Israel in September for a six-day visit designed to foster deeper ties between the two countries, which do not have diplomatic relations. The trip was organized by Sharaka, an organization that emerged in the wake of the 2020 Abraham Accords to promote peace and cooperation in the region. Some of the group live in the U.S. and some in Pakistan. Nasim Ashraf, a former Pakistani government minister, said, "Coming here has cleared up a whole lot of misunderstandings, fixed notions and wrong perceptions. Since the Abraham Accords, I've sensed there is definitely an appetite [in Pakistan] for peace with Israel. There is a lot of opposition too - one step at a time."

How to Understand the Iranian Threat

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Dore Gold - Recently, the head of the IDF General Staff's Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate, who is also an Israeli F-35 pilot, discussed in an interview his analysis of the current Iranian military buildup. "A regional superpower is emerging next to us, which constitutes the main threat to the State of Israel and challenges the Israeli security approach many years ahead." He spoke about "a dramatic leap forward in its military capability." Iran wants to remake the Middle East. It had dispatched Shi'ite proxy armies to Syria, with their families, in order to reconfigure the demography of the region as it aspired to convert Syria into a Shi'ite state. It used similar techniques elsewhere, working to expand the Shi'ite population of eastern Turkey. Syria is emerging as part of Iran's strategic system for the region. Iran is using Syria as a location for new missile production facilities, especially long-range, precision-guided missiles. The Iranians have a historical tradition connecting them to Syria and surrounding states. When Shi'ism was established as the state religion in Persia by the Safavid dynasty in 1501, the Safavid Empire included what is today Iran, Iraq and large parts of Syria. Contesting the action of an aggressor is a military mission above all. But it is also a diplomatic operation that must be pursued in parallel. The next Israeli government will have no choice but to act more intensely and consistently in this regard. The writer is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Letting Iran Go Nuclear

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Robert Satloff - Washington remains ready to re-enter the nuclear deal whenever Iran says okay. But Iran hasn't said okay. In the meantime, the Iranians have gone on an enrichment blitz, using centrifuges far more advanced and sophisticated than those allowed under the original agreement. The menacing reality is that Iran's nuclear program is galloping ahead - and the U.S. is doing very little about it. I oppose a return to the deeply flawed JCPOA and I especially oppose the sweetened terms the U.S. has since offered to entice Iran to accept a watered-down version. Whatever nonproliferation benefits there may be to the deal are far outweighed by the huge advantages Iran would reap, from legitimizing its illegal nuclear progress to receiving substantial financial rewards that would fuel subversion and terrorism throughout the Middle East. The writer is executive director of The Washington Institute.

Iran Wants a Bomb, Not a Deal

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(The Times-UK) Roger Boyes - The original Iran deal in 2015 was billed as transformative but turned out to be merely transactional: the West undertook to lift sanctions in return for time-limited restrictions on Tehran's nuclear plans. It was essentially a bribe. Russia, which was supposed to be an enforcer of the nuclear deal, turned out to be a military partner of Iran. What's the alternative to a deal, ask its supporters. The answer is, keep your eyes open, learn from experience. Did the deal help create an Iran more at ease with itself, less hungry for a nuclear umbrella? Did it lay the groundwork for a more open governance, for a more tolerant society? Did it weaken the grip of the brutal Revolutionary Guard? No. Diplomacy has failed and it would be well to acknowledge that. Iran has got used to having its own way. When a country is so close to building a nuclear arsenal and has so many enemies, it is no good just tickling its tummy. The days of starstruck statecraft are over.

Israeli Ambassador Herzog: With Iran, Need to "Focus on the Disincentives"

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Jewish Insider) Gabby Deutch - "Our relations with the administration and with the American people are strong and solid," Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog said in an interview at the Israeli Embassy. "It's no secret that there are differences between us on some issues. But we speak openly about everything. We know exactly where we stand. We know what we agree on. We know what we disagree on. And to the extent that we disagree on certain issues, we know how to manage our disagreements." Herzog's policy is to meet with almost everyone. "I will not speak to [Rep.] Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), because I know that she doesn't want to speak to me, and she has no interest in whatever I have to say, and I will not speak to antisemites, people like that. But save for that, everybody else I will speak to, no matter if they agree with me or disagree with me." Herzog's biggest focus in Washington is Iran. "Israel is not against diplomacy or a diplomatic outcome. We agree with the administration that Iran should be denied the nuclear weapon or the ability to become a nuclear-armed state, and that diplomacy is the preferred method to go about it. The issue we had was with what kind of deal was - is - on the table." Herzog argues that the focus must be on deterrence. "Diplomacy offers Iran incentives, but I think you have to focus on the disincentives: economic pressures, political pressures and other types of pressures on Iran, including a last-resort credible military option" - essentially, the strategy for which Israel has been advocating for years. "We think that with more pressure on Iran, and with a better mix of incentives and disincentives, you can get a better deal."

Iran Acquires 2.5 Million Acres of Venezuela

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Gatestone Institute) Lawrence A. Franklin - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed a 20-year cooperation treaty this June during a visit to Iran. The pact included the provision of 2.5 million acres of farmland to Iran, Iranian agrarian economist Ali Revanizadeh told Venezuelan media. The land grant will ostensibly be used to grow staple crops, but the vast acreage may also be used for military and terrorist operations. Hizbullah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela's Margarita Island, northeast of the mainland.

How Iran Took Over Syria's Secret Missile Production

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Israel Hayom) Yoav Limor - Not a week goes by without some foreign media reporting on an alleged Israeli strike against Syria. The main objective of these reported attacks is to frustrate Iran's entrenchment in Syria through the militias it trains and arms, as well as to interdict the weapon shipments to its proxies in the region - chiefly Hizbullah. Weapons manufactured in Iran are transported to Syria by air, land, or sea, and from there to Lebanon. Israel has reportedly attacked these routes hundreds of times in recent years. The systematic attacks have cost Iran dearly and derailed its plans to arm Hizbullah with precision-guided munitions within Syria to challenge Israel's security from the Golan Heights. To overcome the difficulties posed by these strikes, Iran is using Syria's indigenous production capabilities to manufacture arms. This has led to dozens of strikes against Syrian infrastructure and installations. These are under the auspices of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) - Syrian military industries. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently revealed that there are dozens of subterranean installations that Syria uses to manufacture advanced arms. Moreover, Iran has been engaged with CERS without even coordinating this with the Syrian authorities. Senior members of the Revolutionary Guards have been paying CERS bigwigs and essentially have them work on Iranian projects. Israel has increased its strikes against this newly built Iranian apparatus, seeking to damage the manufacturing assets so that they are no longer usable. Since 2017 Israel has struck CERS facilities - according to foreign reports - dozens of times. Targets include factories for the production of engines, casting of warheads, manufacturing of propellants and engine casings for missiles, as well as centers for research and development. These targets are the product of pinpoint intelligence and rigorous analysis. According to Israeli officials, the ties between the Revolutionary Guards and the CERS upper echelon have not been sanctioned by Syrian President Assad and his defense ministers. "Assad is hardly aware of what is going on; he is being fed lies by his people," a senior Israeli official told me.

Israel: PA President Abbas Incited Hate and Glorified Terrorism at UN

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Tovah Lazaroff - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas incited hatred and glorified terrorism when he addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday, said Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan. "In a lie-filled rant completely detached from reality, he further proved his absolute irrelevance. Abbas uses the UN as a platform to incite hatred against Israel while glorifying the terrorists that he himself funds." "The U.S. and members of the Security Council are well aware that the Palestinians rejected every peace plan ever presented, that they fund terrorists, and that the Palestinian Authority doesn't even have sovereignty over their own territories, which are controlled by terror groups." In his speech, Abbas launched a scathing attack on Israel, accusing it of committing "massacres" against the Palestinians and "assaults" on Islamic and Christian holy sites. He also called on Israel, the U.S. and Britain to apologize to the Palestinians and offer them compensation because of their responsibility for the Balfour Declaration.

Israel's "Peace Partner" behind Terrorist Attacks Against Israel

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Gatestone Institute) Khaled Abu Toameh - In the past few months, there has been a rise in the number of terrorist attacks against Israelis carried out by gunmen belonging to, or associated with, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its ruling faction, Fatah, both headed by Mahmoud Abbas. He encourages the murder and wounding of Israelis and pays generously for it - with money from Europe and the U.S. The PA has been described as Israel's Palestinian peace partner. It is largely dominated by members and activists belonging to Fatah, which has proven over the years that its actions and rhetoric are actually no different from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that openly call for the elimination of Israel. This year, Fatah has once again increased its terrorist attacks against Israel. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and other armed groups belonging to Fatah boast about the attacks and threaten to continue the fight against Israel, while Mahmoud Abbas continues to incite against Israel and glorify those involved in terrorism. This is the "peace partner" that the Biden administration is hoping to assist in establishing a Palestinian state next to Israel. Meanwhile, Israel's "peace partner" is doing everything in its power to confirm the fears of Israelis about the presence of a Palestinian state just a few kilometers from their homes.

Palestinian Human Rights Activist Blasts BDS Supporters at Duke University

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 17:00
(Duke University Chronicle) Jazper Lu - Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid told a student group on Sunday that the top priorities for ordinary Palestinians are to survive and to secure education and health care for their children. "The majority of the Palestinians these days are people who are seeking dignity rather than identity." Contrary to what the Palestinian leadership thinks, he believes that the Abraham Accords were "very important," with UAE investment in Israel leading to the creation of jobs that will benefit Palestinians. Asked about the pro-Palestinian organizations that supported Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) or Israel Apartheid Week, he replied: "These people...have no problem from time to time to give a speech on behalf of the Palestinians. [But] they are using us. The BDS movement is people who used to be jobless and they found a job forever. If the Israeli-Palestine conflict [was] solved, all of the BDS members will be jobless." "What do the Palestinians benefit from BDS? Zero. Several factories in Israel have been closed, thousands of Palestinian workers have been thrown out from their jobs."

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