Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 9 min 8 sec ago
(History Extra) Gershom Gorenberg -
Hitler had declared his intent to eradicate the Jews of the Middle East and the SS actively prepared to do so. On July 20, 1942, SS Lt.-Col. Walther Rauff landed in Egypt, assigned to carry out the mass murder of Jews, as soon as German Gen. Rommel completed his expected conquest of Egypt. Rauff's previous assignments included the mass production of mobile gas chambers used by the SS to murder half a million people in eastern Europe as part of the Final Solution.
After Egypt, Rauff's next target would be the 500,000 Jews of Palestine, followed by the Jews of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Yet due to Rommel's defeat at El Alamein, this never happened.
(Fathom-BICOM-UK) Efraim Halevy -
In War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East, Gershom Gorenberg reveals that a group of Egyptian officers were preparing for Cairo to fall to Rommel. One of them, Anwar Al Sadat, was caught together with his diary that proved he had been sending messages to the Germans, and he was sent into detention until the end of the war. The group was led by Gamal Abd Al Nasser.
In 1952, the CIA station chief in Cairo, Miles Copeland, advised the Egyptian officers prior to the coup - announced by Sadat - that brought down the monarchy in Egypt, leading to Nasser's assumption of power.
The writer served as director of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency (1998-2002).
(Jerusalem Post) Mark Regev -
Had the Axis military advance not been stopped in 1942 by the British Army at El Alamein in Egypt, there can be little doubt what Nazi occupation would have meant for the half a million Jews living in Mandatory Palestine.
In German-occupied territories where the populace was either supportive of the genocide or indifferent to the fate of their Jewish neighbors, such as occupied Ukraine and the Baltic states, the destruction of the Jews was often near total. There can be little doubt that in Mandatory Palestine, the Germans would have found a collaborationist leadership eager to enlist the local population in the mass killing of the Jews.
At the time, Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem, president of the Supreme Muslim Council, and president of the Arab Higher Committee, was the pivotal figure in the Palestinian national movement. He was a hardcore anti-Semite and an infamous Nazi collaborator. Husseini helped orchestrate the April 1941 pro-Nazi Rashid Ali coup in Iraq and the subsequent Farhud massacre of Baghdadi Jews. Husseini relocated to Berlin where he became Hitler's most outspoken Arab advocate, broadcasting Nazi propaganda to the Middle East while recruiting Bosnian Muslims to the Waffen-SS.
Germany's post-war integration into Europe was predicated upon taking full responsibility for its wartime actions. It is high time the Palestinians did the same.
The writer is a former adviser to the prime minister and currently a senior visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies.
(JTA) Shira Hanau -
Justus Rosenberg, a professor of literature and languages who served in the French resistance during World War II, died last month at the age of 100. As a Polish-Jewish refugee in Paris, he worked as a courier for a rescue effort led by the American journalist Varian Fry to save intellectuals, writers and artists stuck under Nazi rule.
Rosenberg, who was blonde, appeared younger than his age and spoke French, ferried forged documents and accompanied refugees across the border to Spain. The rescue effort saved 2,000 people, among them the writers Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Mann and artists Marc Chagall and Marcel Duchamp.
When Fry's efforts ended in 1941, Rosenberg was sent to a prison camp but escaped and joined the French Resistance. He described his wartime experiences in a 2020 memoir, The Art of Resistance: My Four Years in the French Underground.
(Real Clear Defense) Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Richard Natonski and Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Thomas Trask -
During a detailed fact-finding trip to Israel this summer, the authors found real advances in Hamas' military capabilities, with implications for U.S. operations.
Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza fired 4,500 rockets at Israel in just 11 days - roughly the same amount as in the 50-day 2014 conflict. Hamas sought to overwhelm Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defenses with large volleys intended to overpower a single battery.
While Hamas possessed as many rockets as in 2014, these boasted larger payloads and longer ranges - up to 70-100 miles.
Hamas was developing new electronic warfare capabilities to degrade the effectiveness of the Iron Dome. The conflict also saw the first use of suicide drones by Hamas, sending them against an offshore natural gas platform and other targets.
Hamas also attempted to launch an explosive underwater drone for the first time. Hamas excavated an elaborate, 200-mile network of tunnels to command and move combat forces, launch rockets, and shield military assets from Israeli airstrikes.
This conflict is a harbinger of growing threats to the U.S. from adversaries that fight unconventionally with advanced weaponry. Hamas' new capabilities reveal the need for concerted U.S.-Israel cooperation on research and development - as well as joint tactics, techniques, and procedures - to effectively defeat threats posed by technologies that are proliferating into the hands of unconventional adversaries.
Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Richard Natonski, former Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, and Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Thomas Trask, former Vice Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, are members of the Gaza Assessment Task Force at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA).
(New York Times) David E. Sanger -
Iranian negotiators plan to meet with their European, Chinese and Russian counterparts on Nov. 29 to discuss the future of the 2015 nuclear agreement. American officials will be in Vienna but not inside the room because Iran will not meet with them. While five months ago, U.S. officials seemed optimistic that the 2015 deal was about to be restored, they return to Vienna far more pessimistic. Today President Biden's vision of re-entering the agreement and then building something "longer and stronger" appears all but gone.
Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran's newly appointed chief nuclear negotiator, does not refer to the upcoming talks as nuclear negotiations at all. Instead, he refers to them as "negotiations to remove unlawful and inhuman sanctions."
The Iranians are declaring that they have now produced 55 pounds of uranium enriched to 60% purity. That is below the 90% normally used to produce a weapon, but not by much. It is a level "that only countries making bombs have," said Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN watchdog.
(Reuters) Stephen Farrell -
Britain's interior minister Priti Patel on Friday said she had banned the Palestinian militant group Hamas, bringing the UK's stance in line with the U.S. and the EU. "Hamas has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist training facilities," Patel said. "That is why today I have acted to proscribe Hamas in its entirety." Until now Britain had banned only its military arm - the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
(Times of Israel) Several officials from the Israel Security Agency traveled to the UK in recent weeks to provide the British government with intelligence on several individuals in key positions in Hamas as well as on funding mechanisms to finance the terror group, Israel's Channel 12 reported Saturday night. The UK's terror designation is a major blow for Hamas, which carries out significant fundraising there.
(Politico) Eric Geller -
U.S. federal prosecutors on Thursday announced charges against two Iranian hackers accused of attempting to sow chaos and fear during the 2020 presidential election. Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi and Sajjad Kashian, who worked for an Iranian technology company that has provided services to the regime, stole private information on more than 100,000 voters, sent threatening emails to voters, and spread false claims about election security vulnerabilities, according to the indictment. The two are not in U.S. custody.
Earlier this year, the U.S. intelligence community said Iran had waged a "covert influence campaign intended to undercut" then-President Donald Trump's campaign. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei authorized the campaign, which included both "messaging and cyber operations," the intelligence community said. The two tried to hack into "11 state voter websites" in September and October 2020 and successfully breached "a misconfigured computer system" in one state, prosecutors said.
(New York Times) Eric Schmitt and Ronen Bergman -
Most of the 200 American troops stationed at the Al Tanf base in southern Syria, which was attacked on Oct. 20 by Iranian suicide drones, had been evacuated hours earlier after being tipped off by Israeli intelligence, officials said. Senior U.S. and Israeli officials said they had intelligence indicating that the drone attack was retaliation for several recent Israeli strikes on Iranian forces in Syria.
(Wall Street Journal) Dion Nissenbaum -
Yemeni forces supported by Saudi Arabia and the UAE abruptly withdrew last week from key positions near the western port city of Hodeidah. At the same time, the Houthis have been methodically gaining new ground for months near Marib, the center of an energy hub near the Saudi border.
(Wall Street Journal) Gordon Lubold -
U.S. intelligence agencies learned this spring that China was secretly building what they suspected was a military facility at Khalifa port, 50 miles north of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, one of the U.S.'s closest Mideast allies. Alarmed, the Biden administration warned the Emirati government that a Chinese military presence in its country could threaten ties between the two nations. After rounds of meetings and visits by U.S. officials, construction was recently halted.
It appeared the Emirati government was unaware of the military nature of China's activity. "The UAE has never had an agreement, plan, talks or intention to host a Chinese military base or outpost of any kind," a UAE Embassy spokesman in Washington said.
(Times of Israel-Jerusalem Post) Judah Ari Gross -
A Hamas gunman, Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, 42, from eastern Jerusalem, opened fire in Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday morning with a Beretta M12 submachine gun, killing one Israeli and wounding four others. Eli Kay, 26, an immigrant from South Africa who was employed at the Western Wall as a guide, was shot dead by the gunman. Rabbi Zeev Katzenelnbogen, 46, and yeshiva student Aaron Yehuda Imergreen were injured, as were two police officers who were lightly hurt. Israeli security forces killed the shooter.
(Jerusalem Post) Jeremy Sharon -
Eli Kay, who was murdered by a Hamas terrorist on Sunday, is remembered by his friends as an ardent Zionist with a deep sense of mission to contribute to the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. Eli made aliyah from South Africa in 2016 by himself and then enlisted in the army, serving in the Paratroopers Brigade.
One of his commanders described him as the hardest-working member of the unit. "He forced people to be better." When the company was on duty on the Gaza border, Eli would tell his comrades to look behind them at the Israeli towns and say, "That's why we're here, that's who we're doing this for."
(Jerusalem Post) Khaled Abu Toameh -
Fadi Abu Shkhaydam was a well-known mosque preacher who was described as a "senior Hamas official in Jerusalem." He was known for his daily presence at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, where he delivered sermons and led protests against tours by Jewish groups. He worked as a teacher of Islamic education at a secondary school operating under the supervision of the Jerusalem Municipality.
(Ynet News) Elior Levy -
Hundreds of Palestinians marched through the Shuafat neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem on Sunday in support of the Hamas gunman who killed one Israeli and wounded four others on Sunday. The crowd set tires on fire, threw rocks at Border Police forces, and chanted, "the martyrs are going to Jerusalem in the millions."
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian -
A Palestinian, 18, from Jenin in the West Bank, who was in Israel illegally, stabbed an Israeli man, 67, in the back five times and attempted to stab his wife in Jaffa before he was arrested, Israel Police said.
(Ha'aretz) Sagi Cohen -
During 2018, Israeli communities adjacent to Gaza came under a relentless assault of hundreds of explosive and incendiary kites and balloons. In response, the Israel Defense Forces called up for reserve duty 15 of the most experienced drone operators to intercept the balloons. Over several months, the experts downed hundreds of kites and balloons, controlling the drones intuitively with virtual-reality goggles that provide the operator with the drone's point of view.
A new drone operating system enables soldiers with very little training to fly drones. "We eliminated the concept of control by means of sticks," said Rubi Liani. "We reduce two years of training into five minutes. Soldiers arrive, and within 10 minutes of training they start downing balloons in Gaza," Aviv Shapira added. Takeoff and landing are performed automatically.
(Morocco World News) Oumaima Latrech -
Morocco's Royal Armed Forces have purchased five Israeli Skylock Dome anti-drone defense systems. Last year, Morocco purchased three Israeli Heron drones for reconnaissance to combat insurgent groups in Western Sahara.
(Jerusalem Post) Khaled Abu Toameh -
Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank entered the Jenin refugee camp to make arrests on Friday. Dozens of local residents hurled rocks and other objects at the vehicles of the security forces, forcing them to retreat. Masked gunmen opened fire at the vehicles from rooftops and alleyways. Later, gunmen attacked the headquarters of the PA security forces in Jenin.