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Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 4 min 48 sec ago

Israel Is at the Center of a New International Security Order

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Wall Street Journal) Seth J. Frantzman - Last week's five-day drill in the Red Sea was the first time in history that forces from Bahrain, Israel, the UAE and the U.S. Navy trained together. There is now a large, organized bloc of countries opposed to Iran's ambitions of regional hegemony. After the Abraham Accords altered the geopolitical landscape, Israel was moved from the U.S. European Command's area of responsibility to Central Command, making it easier for the U.S. to organize joint military drills in Israel. Another joint training exercise this month involved 500 U.S. Marines who trained with Israeli commandos. In October, air force units from France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, the UK and the U.S. flew in the biennial Blue Flag drill over Israel, the largest number of countries in the exercise since it began in 2013. In July, Israel hosted American, British and German drone operators. In June, Israel, the UK and the U.S. flew F-35s together as part of the Tri-Lightning exercise. In March, Cyprus and France joined the Israel-led Noble Dina naval drill for the first time. These exercises are building a new alliance system, with Israel as its linchpin. Military units that practice with Israeli forces gain real combat expertise and signal that Jerusalem has allies increasingly working to confront potential threats in the region. Where belligerent actors once faced a series of isolated countries, they'll now have to tangle with an organized alliance.

China to Continue Promoting Relationship with Israel

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Xinhua-People's Daily-China) China sees the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel next year as an opportunity to promote the development of their comprehensive partnership, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Israeli President Isaac Herzog in a phone conversation on Wednesday. Xi said China highly values its relations with Israel, noting that both the Chinese nation and the Jewish nation have a time-honored history and civilization. Chinese enterprises have actively taken part in Israel's infrastructure construction, and many Israeli innovative companies have settled and developed in China, Xi said. Herzog said that Israel has high respect for China's long history and splendid culture, and sincerely admires the development achievements made by the Chinese people. He said that the Israeli people will never forget the precious help the Chinese people rendered to the Jewish refugees in World War II.

Anti-Israel Activists Resort to Violence Because Their Views Cannot Withstand the Application of Fact

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Telegraph-UK) Tom Harris - On Nov. 9, the Israeli ambassador to the UK delivered a speech to students at the London School of Economics (LSE). When she left the building, she had to be bundled into her car by her security team as dozens of screaming, aggressive protesters shouted insults, booed and sought to break through a phalanx of Metropolitan police officers. It's one thing to stamp your feet and burst into tears whenever a university invites someone whose views you disagree with, even as you demand that your feelings are more important than free speech. But this is about physical, violent intimidation of your political opponents. The thugs will claim that their cause is so just, so righteous, so obviously right, that their willingness to enforce their views with a fist, a stone or a bottle is merely the natural and just response to the threat of opposing views. But there's a much easier, simpler and more logical way to explain why these activists will always resort to mob rule rather than sit down and discuss their views in an adult fashion: they know their views cannot withstand the application of fact. When your own views are based on emotion, wishful thinking and a conviction that lends itself more easily to religious edict than to rational thought, the last thing you want to do is expose them in an arena where your opinions can be examined, analyzed and called out.

Israel Listens to Western Opinion But Must Make Its Own Security Decisions

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Ottawa Citizen-Canada) Mike Fegelman - A recent column claimed that support for Israel is eroding, particularly among younger American Jews. Yet there is little evidence that attachment to Israel has significantly weakened between Jews in the U.S. or Canada and Israel. A large majority of U.S. Jews report positive views of Israel, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey, and Canadian Jews report even higher levels of attachment. In fact, 75% of Americans in general say they are supportive of Israel, according to a Gallup poll, a figure virtually unchanged since 1991. Individual Israeli policies may be viewed differently, but when it comes to Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state in safe and secure borders, there is widespread support. The bigger issue is the assumption that Israel, as a sovereign state, needs to adhere to public opinion from the other side of the world. It's a sign of maturity and growth on Israel's part that it exercises its own agency and self-determination, which may or may not be in line with any other country. Jewish history over the last century has shown that when it comes to protection, Jews simply cannot outsource their security. This is not to suggest that Israel cares little for opinions in the West. Israel takes great pains to explain its positions, often in the face of significant misinformation. But ultimately, Israel - like all countries - needs to craft its own policies and positions which benefit its citizens first and foremost. The writer is executive director of HonestReporting Canada.

A Mindset of Pure, Unadulterated Anti-Semitism

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Toronto Star-Canada) Michael Levitt - An inordinate amount of the content on Twitter is directed against Jews and Israel, reflecting a toxic, widespread obsession online and off which betrays a disturbing anti-Semitic bent. The endless defamation of Israel is of little surprise, marked by a troubling double-standard and righteous indignation reserved only for the Jewish homeland. In addition to social media, this preoccupation also plays out in news coverage, the UN, NGOs, in academia and in the arts community. Of course, like all other countries, Israel is and should be subject to criticism. But when its very existence is questioned, it's an attack on the Jewish people. Anti-Israel activists often wrap themselves in the "anti-Zionist" flag, as if denying Jews the right to their own state in their ancestral homeland were a badge of honor. This has a negative impact for Jews, with many feeling they're having their safe space stripped away. Let's be clear, diaspora Jews and Israelis criticize Israel all the time. It's something else entirely when celebrities and social media influencers with millions of followers use their platforms to regularly denigrate Israel with highly charged misinformation and falsehoods, sometimes even justifying violence and terror against it and its civilian population. One has to wonder why they devote such wildly disproportionate attention to a liberal democracy - that just happens to be the world's only Jewish state. The writer is president and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.

British Labour Party Leader: We Have to Root Out Anti-Zionist Anti-Semitism

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Jewish News-UK) The head of the British Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, told Labour Friends of Israel on Tuesday: "On the day I became leader of the Labour party 18 months ago, my first act was to acknowledge and apologize for the pain and hurt we have caused to the Jewish community in recent years." "Anti-Zionist anti-Semitism...denies the Jewish people alone a right to self-determination. It equates Zionism with racism, focuses obsessively on the world's sole Jewish state, and holds it to standards to which no other country is subjected." "We will be clear-sighted about the nature and ambition of the likes of Hamas and Hizbullah, whose use of violence and terrorism destroys the prospect of peace. And let me be clear, too, the Labour party does not and will not support BDS. Its principles are wrong - targeting alone the world's sole Jewish state."

American Jews Face Anti-Semitism in Washington, D.C.

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Washington Post) Brooke Goldstein - Sunrise DC, local affiliate of a national youth-led organization focused on climate change, backed out of a voting rights rally organized by Statehood DC last month because of the participation of three Jewish organizations that support Israel. Any attempt to discriminate against Jews using a political litmus test is racist. A Jewish presence in Israel is not a form of "oppression." Israel is the Jewish ancestral homeland and Jews are indigenous to Judea. Zionism is the political movement ensuring Jewish sovereignty in a land Jews have continuously called home for nearly 6,000 years. Asking Jews to reject their identity to participate in interfaith communal events is bigotry, pure and simple. Telling Jews not to identify as Zionists is like telling Black people not to identify as African or telling people of Chinese descent not to identify as Asian. Being anti-Zionist is the antithesis of supporting indigenous rights and statehood for indigenous people. Zionism is the ultimate of progressive values in its recognition of Jews as indigenous to the Land of Israel. The writer is founder and executive director of the Lawfare Project.

U.S.-Born IDF Missile Defense Officer Takes American UN Envoy on Tour of Iron Dome

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Algemeiner) Sharon Wrobel - U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield toured an Israeli Iron Dome missile defense unit on Tuesday, guided by Lt. Tova, a U.S.-born Israel Air Force officer. "The IDF shared a look at the Iron Dome and David's Sling systems, which our nations developed together to save the lives of innocent civilians," Thomas-Greenfield said. Lt. Tova said, "When there are rockets being sent into Israel, we have very few seconds or split-second decisions if we want to shoot it down. We are a team of several people, but at the end I am the one who makes the life-or-death decisions." She added, "In America, there is no such thing as a 22-year-old who is making life or death decisions, but in Israel, it is the reality."

Female Israeli Soldiers Operate Drones on Lebanese Border

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Jerusalem Post) Anna Ahronheim - Beginning a year ago, female combat intelligence soldiers began to deploy to the border with Lebanon, tasked with collecting real-time intelligence with drones. Operating new technologies, their deployment has been a game-changer to track Hizbullah's hostile activities. Lt. Meitar Kadosh, commander of the drone squadron, said, "We have operational missions in the sector every day. Sometimes they are incidents that are published and sometimes not. Our drones play a big part by giving an operational picture for troops. My troops are guarding Israeli skies."

Non-Jewish Zionists Must Speak Up for Israel

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Jewish News-UK) Rachel Carey - I care about Israel as a Christian, a politics student, and a human being who stands against anti-Jewish hate. Support for the Middle East's only democracy should not be treated like a guilty secret. Defending Israel's right to exist is key to tackling anti-Semitism, which is often cloaked as anti-Zionism. If I stay silent, I help legitimize an insidious culture of discrimination that ultimately threatens us all. Many students don't hold entrenched views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; they just haven't heard Israel's side of the story. I want my fellow students to understand that despite its flaws, Israel is a haven for minority rights, a seedbed for entrepreneurship, and a country committed to peace with its neighbors.

Names of 64,000 Shoah Victims Engraved at Memorial Inaugurated in Vienna

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Jewish News-UK) Stephen Oryszczuk - Austrian and European Jewish leaders inaugurated a new Shoah Wall of Names in Vienna on Nov. 9 to mark the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht. The spherical memorial is engraved with the names of 64,440 Austrian Jewish victims of the Nazis and was opened by Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg. Vienna Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said the names on the wall "give the relatives of Shoah victims a place to commemorate their family's individual fate in a central and public square in Austria's capital [and] makes clear that the Shoah is nothing anonymous, nothing abstract."

Video: Today Saudi Arabia Is Part of the Solution

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 16:00
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Dore Gold - Twenty years ago in Saudi Arabia, there were huge multinational charities propagating a movement representing an extreme form of Islam known as Wahhabism. We in Israel had a particular interest in what they were doing, since one of their recipients was Hamas, a Palestinian group that advocated suicide bombings. I wrote a New York Times bestseller, Hatred's Kingdom, which presented the evidence on Saudi funding of Hamas from captured documents. How much Saudi money is going to Hamas in 2021? The answer is "zero." In fact, Saudi Arabia is not giving a dime to any of the terrorist organizations. Today the main countries funding Hamas are the Islamic Republic of Iran and Qatar. Back in 2001, the Muslim World League, headquartered in the Saudi kingdom, was spreading the ideology that supported a new wave of global terror. Yet in 2020, its secretary-general took a delegation to Auschwitz. We are in a different world. Historically, Jews and Muslims have been cousins who surmounted their differences and reached a common language that brought us together. In the Middle Ages, Jewish religious scholars like Maimonides wrote in Judeo-Arabic. Our religions are rooted in common concepts. We must embrace that history again and, in doing so, set the stage for a very different Middle East. The writer, president of the Jerusalem Center, served as Israel's ambassador to the UN and director-general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Iran to Play Hardball at Nuclear Talks

Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00
(Reuters) Parisa Hafezi - Iran will adopt an uncompromising stance when it resumes nuclear talks with major powers, betting it has the leverage to win wide sanctions relief in return for curbs on its increasingly advanced atomic technology, officials and analysts say. "Our nuclear facilities are up and running....We can live with or without the deal," said a hardline Iranian official. Iran is rebuilding enriched uranium stocks, refining it to a higher fissile purity, and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up production. Iran has also limited access to UN nuclear watchdog inspectors, restricting their visits to declared nuclear sites only. Kasra Aarabi, senior Iran analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, said by using delays in the talks, advancing its atomic expertise and continuing to support paramilitary allies in the region, Khamenei and his hardline allies were "genuinely convinced they can intimidate the U.S. into granting more concessions without facing any consequences." Ali Vaez, senior Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the negotiations were bound to fail "if Iran's opening salvo is indeed its bottom line."

Growing Opposition to Iran's Involvement in Syria

Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00
(Al-Monitor) Ben Caspit - Several intelligence analysts have assessed recently that with Assad's regime stabilized, the Iranian presence in Syria might no longer be an asset for the Syrian leader. As long as the Iranians remain entrenched in his back yard, the attacks on them attributed to Israel are likely to continue. "If it were up to him, the Iranians would no longer be there," said a senior Israeli military source. "A war between Israel and Iran in his territory is the last thing he wants." Yet Assad "is far from being able shake off this burden." Since the Oct. 22 Sochi summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, several massive attacks on Iranian targets in Syria have been attributed by foreign outlets to Israel. None of the strikes prompted any condemnation from Moscow. According to diplomatic and political sources, the Russian silence attests to Putin's growing impatience with Iran's involvement in Syria. Increased Israeli activity in Syria is likely prompted by Iranian escalation. Israel has no intention of allowing Iran to turn Lebanon and Syria into launching pads for thousands of precision missiles aimed at strategic Israeli targets.

Colombia Expels 2 Hizbullah Operatives Tracking Israelis, Americans

Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00
(AFP) Two months ago, we captured and expelled "two criminals commissioned by Hizbullah with the intention of committing a criminal act in Colombia," Defense Minister Diego Molano told El Tiempo on Sunday. Citing sources in Colombia's military intelligence services, the newspaper said Hizbullah was spying on American and Israeli businessmen in Colombia.

Israel Extracts Former Intelligence Official from Colombia amid Hizbullah Assassination Plot

Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00
(Ha'aretz) Israel secretly spirited a former intelligence official from Bogota after it emerged that he was under surveillance by Hizbullah operatives, the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported on Monday. The report said the official, as well as U.S. diplomatic personnel in Bogota, had been targeted for assassination.

Israel Unveils Revolutionary Scorpius Electronic Warfare System

Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00
(Forbes) Paul Iddon - Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled a revolutionary electronic warfare (EW) system called Scorpius on Thursday. Gideon Fustick, Marketing VP EW Group at IAI, said the Scorpius "is very effective in engaging and disabling enemy systems." "Planes, missiles, UAVs are all using electromagnetic means to sense the environment, to navigate, and to communicate." Scorpius uses active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology to scan the entire sky and can send narrowly targeted beams - "at any wavelength, any frequency, any direction against specific targets without interfering with anybody else" - that disrupt enemy electronic sensors, data communications, navigation and radar. "It's the first system that can really detect anything in the sky and address multiple targets in different directions and different frequencies simultaneously," he said. The ground version of the system, the Scorpius G, "creates an electronic umbrella of defense over a whole region." "One of the advantages about electronic or soft defense systems is that the price per activation is virtually zero," Fustick said. "You don't run out of ammunition."

U.S., Israel, UAE and Bahrain Conduct Maritime Security Exercise in Red Sea

Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00
(U.S. Navy Central Command) Naval forces from the U.S., Israel, UAE and Bahrain began conducting a multilateral maritime security operations exercise in the Red Sea on Nov. 10. The five-day exercise includes at-sea training aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland and focuses on visit, board, search and seizure tactics.

U.S., Israel Join Forces to Combat Ransomware Attacks

Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00
(U.S. Treasury Department) Israel and the U.S. on Sunday launched a joint Task Force on Fintech Innovation and Cybersecurity to protect critical financial infrastructure and expand international cooperation to counter the threat ransomware poses to the global economy.

Ben and Jerry's Israel Boycott Is Harming Unilever Shares

Sun, 11/14/2021 - 16:00
(New York Post) Lydia Moynihan - Since Ben & Jerry's announced on July 19 it would stop selling ice cream in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, Unilever's stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange has fallen 13% and lost about $20 billion in market value as various funds have said they will pull money out of Unilever.

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