Daily News Alert from Israel

Subscribe to Daily News Alert from Israel feed Daily News Alert from Israel
Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 45 min 56 sec ago

U.S.-Israel Conduct Bilateral Amphibious Exercise

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(U.S. Naval Forces Central Command) The Israel Defense Forces and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command began a bilateral, three-week amphibious exercise in Eilat, Israel, on Nov. 1. The exercise includes military operations in urban terrain, infantry live-fire training, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) live-fire and rapid maneuvering training, as well as professional exchanges on topics including engineering, medical and explosive ordinance disposal. Participating U.S. forces include 500 personnel from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

In Gaza, Hamas Only Takes Care of Its Own

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(New York Times) Patrick Kingsley - Wasfi al-Garosha, 29, an unemployed plasterer, has lost count of how many times he has been jailed in Gaza City because he is unable to repay a loan he took in 2019 to pay for his wedding. In the first nine months of 2021, the Gaza City police issued 448 arrest warrants for indebted bridegrooms. On his way to a three-week jail term, he passed a monument commemorating a Hamas attack on Israeli soldiers - a giant fist punching its way through an Israeli armored vehicle - and then passed under a huge banner honoring Hamas. He respected Hamas' military campaigns against Israel, he said, but in his view, the group funnels money, jobs and social support to its members, leaving people like him to fend for themselves.

The Palestinian Authority: President Biden's Promises Are a Mirage

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Yoni Ben Menachem - PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is working to renew the involvement of the "Quartet" to convene an international peace conference with the help of Russia, despite the objections of the Biden administration. Senior PA officials accuse the U.S. administration of failing to live up to its promises to the PA, especially the opening of a consulate for the Palestinians in Jerusalem. The Biden administration is totally preoccupied with China, Covid-19, and the U.S. economy. It wants to continue managing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without unexpected tremors and without the PA collapsing. The writer, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center.

Palestinian from Gaza Arrested for Arson Attacks in Israeli City

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Judah Ari Gross - Suleiman Kassab, 29, from Gaza, was arrested on Oct. 12 and charged with committing arson attacks in the Israeli city of Ramle, the Israel Security Agency said Monday. On Sep. 30 he set fire to a number of ceremonial booths set up for the Jewish festival of Sukkot and on Oct. 4 he set fire to a bus. He first entered Israel in January 2020 in order to visit his ailing mother, who was receiving medical care in the West Bank.

Israel to Launch Massive Aerial Reconnaissance Balloon

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Anna Ahronheim - Israel has begun inflation of an advanced surveillance balloon to provide additional early warning capabilities against aerial threats, the Defense Ministry said. The High Availability Aerostat System (HAAS), developed by the American company TCOM, is one of the largest in the world and is designed to carry an improved sensing system to provide early warnings of advanced threats.

Venezuela Hosts Palestinian Terrorist Cells

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Israel Hayom) Damian Pachter - Venezuela hosts Palestinian terrorist cells involved in money laundering, drug dealing, and terrorist activity, the Venezuelan hacker group Team HDP has revealed, after breaking into the country's Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence. One Palestinian cell belongs to Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, consisting of at least four men identified as "doctors."

Explosives-Filled Syrian Bunker from 1967 War Uncovered in Golan Heights

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Judah Ari Gross - Israel's National Mine Action Authority on Tuesday uncovered a Syrian military bunker full of explosives at Mitzpe Gadot on the Golan Heights, the Defense Ministry said. During mine-clearing work, "a bunker was discovered, full of hundreds of pieces of ordnance, including mortar shells of different calibers, flares, pyrotechnic munitions, explosives, hunting rifle ammunition and others inside their original packages." Israel has been clearing the area as part of an effort to open more parts of the Golan to hikers and tourists. Thousands of mines are still buried in the area.

Israeli Protection System Installed on German Tanks

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Globes) Danny Zaken - The German Federal Ministry of Defense has announced the successful completion of trials of Israel's Trophy tank protection system on Germany's Leopard 2 tanks. During the trials, over 90% of attacks were intercepted while the location of the source of fire was accurately detected. The Trophy system has also been sold to the U.S. Army and is installed on Abrams tanks.

Israel's Ability to Attack Iran Is Vital

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Ynet News) Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland - In the last decade, Iran has been the source of 80% of Israel's security problems. A decade ago, Israel reached the ability to carry out an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities but avoided launching such a strike. In 2021, Israel must be prepared for at least two scenarios that Iran is capable of producing. The first scenario is a direct attack on Israel with cruise missiles and armed drones operated by Iran or militias under its rule, like the attack carried out two years ago against the Saudi oil infrastructure. Even though Israel has better defensive capabilities than Saudi Arabia, such an attack would likely require an Israeli retaliation on Iran's soil. The second scenario involves Israel attacking Iran's nuclear facilities if the Iranian regime begins accelerating toward a nuclear bomb. The importance of the ability to perform such an attack is great in order to show the international community that the threat of an Israeli strike is real. As a result, they might try harder to reach an agreement that will keep Israel safe, or harden the sanctions against the Islamic Republic or even prepare their own military options. One of the reasons Iran allows itself to be so brazen with the U.S. is the fact that Washington has not yet proven that it also has a credible military option. The writer is a former head of Israel's National Security Council.

Dealing with an Intransigent Iran

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(JNS) Lt.-Col. (ret.) Yochai Guiski - Iran has shown it is willing to go to great lengths and endure economic and humanitarian hardships (sanctions and rampant Covid-19) in order to avoid making concessions in the nuclear realm. Iran has also doubled down on its regional activities targeting various countries with missiles, drones and cyber attacks while providing its militia proxies with advanced weapons and financial aid. But Iran is not invincible, and its rise is not preordained; its resiliency is suspect. Showing Iran an unyielding and united front that is willing to act against aggression, while offering it a diplomatic solution (backed by China and Russia) to truly address its nuclear program, is still the best option. The writer, an expert at the MirYam Institute, served in Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Strategic Planning Division, and the Ministry of Defense.

We Were Right to Oppose the Iran Deal

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(JNS) Barry Shrage - In 2015, CJP, the Jewish Federation of Greater Boston, which I then headed, became the first U.S. Federation to oppose the Iran nuclear deal. We believed that rather than ending Iran's nuclear ambitions, it merely delayed them. The deal greatly increased Iran's resources and we believed that this would fuel Iran's longstanding aggression towards Israel, the U.S., and our allies through its funding of terror organizations worldwide. Tragically, we were right. Additional resources enabled Iran to decimate political opponents, support Assad's murderous regime in Syria killing hundreds of thousands and arm Hizbullah with precision-guided missiles aimed at Israel. Sadly, the Biden administration seems now to be seeking to revive the failed JCPOA deal, even after the election of President Ebrahim Raisi, the most radically anti-Western Iranian leader to date. It gives me no pleasure to know that we were right to oppose the deal in 2015. I wish we had been wrong. I wish that America's ardent pursuit of a deal had led to a kinder, gentler Iranian regime, as many predicted. The American Jewish community has a great deal at stake in this fight. The Abraham Accords have opened up new opportunities for regional peace - opportunities that unchecked Iranian aggression will destroy. We cannot afford to be MIA in this crucial debate. The writer, president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston from 1987 to 2017, is a professor at the Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University.

Israel Cannot Allow Terrorism Financing under Guise of Humanitarian Aid

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(JNS-Israel Hayom) Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan on Monday wrote to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Israel designated six Palestinian organizations as terrorist entities because, through money laundering and other tactics, they provided a lifeline for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU. While they raised funds from foreign donors by disguising themselves as human rights and civil society organizations, they employed and provided regular salaries to individuals who openly declared being PFLP operatives and allowed the PFLP to use their facilities as safe-havens. "Therefore, while Israel attaches value to the work of Palestinian civil society organizations, it cannot allow the financing of terrorism under the pretense of humanitarian and civil assistance....Israel acts against terror, and its channels of funding, in order to protect its citizens and society, as it is obligated to do." "Israel expects the international community to condemn this dangerous abuse of civil society organizations and calls upon all United Nations member states, in accordance with their obligations to prevent terrorism, money laundering and terrorist financing, to immediately halt any further transfers of funds and any other support to these designated institutions."

Israel's Designation of Six Terrorism-Linked NGOs Was in Full Accordance with International Law

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Lea Bilke and Amb. Alan Baker - Israel's designation of six Palestinian NGOs as terror organizations was in full accordance with international law. Israel focused on their connection and active support to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, which clearly outweighs activities ostensibly carried out by such organizations as a cover for their terrorist activity. The linkage between the organizations and the PFLP renders them as eligible for criminalization in accordance with provisions of the relevant UN Conventions and Resolutions. Israel, therefore, is fully justified in designating these NGOs as terror groups and, as such, in protecting itself against prevailing threats to peace and security. Lea Bilke is a law student at the Free University of Berlin in Germany. Amb. Alan Baker, former legal counsel to Israel's foreign ministry, heads the international law program at the Jerusalem Center.

"From the River to the Sea": Hamas Explains What British Students Want

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Gatestone Institute) Col. Richard Kemp - When I arrived at the University of Essex in the UK to give a talk last week, I was met by protesters chanting: "Free, free Palestine - from the river to the sea." What river? What sea? I doubt many of them knew. But they were demanding an end to the Jewish national homeland - tearing down the State of Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state. As Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar explained at a recent conference in Gaza: "The full liberation of Palestine from the sea to the river" is "the heart of Hamas' strategic vision." He meant from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, in other words, the entire territory of the State of Israel. Those arguing that the Palestinian Authority has a different agenda from Hamas are wrong. The PA shares the same "river to the sea" doctrine for the destruction of Israel that British university students find so attractive. This is a constant theme in official PA media, publications and school textbooks. In an era where opposition to racism and discrimination against all other peoples is rightly at the top of university authorities' and students' priorities, why does this not apply to Jews? Calls for the violent erasure of the one and only Jewish state are not only tolerated but are actively encouraged by some professors, faculty bodies and students union leaders. The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK's national crisis management committee, COBRA. (Gatestone Institute)

How the Palestinians Stole the Suffering of Just About Everyone

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Beyond the Great Divide) David Collier - The pro-Palestinian movement can steal any idea, make any accusation, and global anti-Semitism will do the rest. Because their fight is against the Jews, their empty smears all go viral. Basically, if there is a bad thing happening in the world, the pro-Palestinian movement stole the idea to use it against the Jews. These include the theft of Apartheid, the Holocaust, genocide, refugee suffering, ethnic cleansing, victims of colonialism, concentration camps, suffering freedom fighters, racism, and victims of fascism. The pro-Palestinian camp accuses Israel of anything they can. But the truth is that Israel is a society that does its best to both defend itself and uphold the sanctity of life. The pro-Palestinian movement has invaded global human rights movements and corrupted them from within until all they can see is Israel as a demon state, and they are unable to talk about anything else happening in the world without first smearing Israel in the opening paragraph. The irony is that Palestinians could be free tomorrow if only their leaders had the courage to choose peace - a luxury of choice not afforded to any of the world's truly innocent victims - all those voices that the suffocating Palestinian activism has silenced.

A Technology Boom and Geopolitical Change Are Helping Israel Expand Its Horizons

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Financial Times-UK) Gideon Rachman - For decades, Israel's foes have predicted that the "Zionist entity" will be swept away. But during a recent visit, the mood of buoyant optimism among the country's political and business leaders was striking. Israel has enjoyed more than a decade of rising prosperity and relative peace. Its per capita income is now higher than that of Britain. The country's booming tech industry boasts more than 70 start-up companies valued at $1 billion or more, which is about 10% of the global total. Venture capital is pouring into the country. Most intoxicatingly of all, the Abraham Accords have normalized Israel's relations with the UAE and Bahrain and, more tepidly, Morocco and Sudan. Issawi Frej, an Arab-Israeli who is Israel's minister for regional co-operation, predicts that more countries will join the accords soon. It feels like every prominent Israeli has recently visited the UAE. They come back enthusing about the novelty of flying over Saudi airspace and the warmth of their reception in Dubai. One senior Western diplomat in Israel says that 15 years ago diplomacy was "80% Palestine, 20% other things. Now it is 20% Palestine, 80% other things." Israel's technological prowess is key to changing its relationship with the outside world. As the diplomat puts it: "The world wants what Israel is selling." Shifts in geopolitics are also working to Israel's benefit. The governments of China, India and Russia see Israel primarily as a tech partner and a geopolitical actor. In the Middle East, the shared fear of Iran, in Israel and the Gulf, underpinned the Abraham Accords.

The New York Times Revises the English Language

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(JNS) Stephen M. Flatow - On Oct. 27, the New York Times reported that "the Israeli government advanced plans on Wednesday to build more than 3,000 new settlement units" in the West Bank. These largely involved apartments within existing communities, but calling them "settlement units" conveys a much more sinister image that sounds more menacing. It is a rhetorical trick and a rhetorical weapon to make Israel look bad when the facts alone won't accomplish that objective. During the past three decades, the Israeli government has authorized exactly one new settlement in the West Bank. Since 1992, the only Jewish construction authorized in the territories by a succession of Israeli governments has been within existing communities.

The New York Times Sells a Comical Account of Israel

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(CAMERA) Gilead Ini - The 2021 World Happiness Report ranked Israel as the 12th happiest country in the world out of 149. Polling by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics found 88% of Israelis, including 76% of the country's Arab citizens, were satisfied with their lives. But an Oct. 26 report in the New York Times found only "tensions," "inequities," "divisions," "unrest," "fury," "ambivalence," "illegitimacy," "alienation," "injustice," "discrimination," "bias," and "abuse." Such reporting says a lot more about the ideological agenda of the Times than it does about Israel.

New Miss South Africa Caught in Anti-Israel Crossfire

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(South African Jewish Report) Nicola Miltz - Newly crowned Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, is looking forward to the Miss Universe pageant in Eilat in December, despite calls by Mandla Mandela, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, for her to boycott the pageant in Israel. Former Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, who is Muslim, criticized Mandela's calls in a video posted on social media. "How dare you, as a man, try to tell an organization for women and women empowerment what to do? This is an opportunity that millions of women dream of having, to go on the world stage and represent their people, their nation, and their culture...not your political agenda." "To go and experience Israel up close...I'm positive, just like me, she will be shocked to see that the Israeli government consists of Muslims, Jews, Arabs, Christians....They're also part of the Knesset, have political parties, and some of them are even Israeli ambassadors to the world." Reeva Forman of the South African Zionist Federation said, "Israel is a thriving multicultural democracy, and accusations that it's similar to the former South African government are beyond ridiculous. In fact, one of Israel's recent entrants to Miss Universe is a woman of Ethiopian descent."

Secrets of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 17:00
(Israel Hayom) Nadav Shragai - The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is believed to be the biblical burial place that Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite, containing the tombs of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah. Muslims today prevent any access to the underground caverns below the structure built by King Herod, but a doctoral thesis by Dr. Noam Arnon reveals details of past visits to the caverns below the site. A young British Jew, Jack Seklan, visited the site in 1933 and Arnon met him in 2012, when Seklan was 97, but still sound of mind and with a fantastic memory. Seklan described in detail how, accompanied by the British officer in charge of the site, he descended three flights of stairs into the subterranean hall deep underground. After passing through a door, recalls Arnon, "they descended another few steps and reached a barred window overlooking an underground hall...built out of natural rock....The Muslim guide explained to them that these were the graves of the forefathers themselves." Arnon himself clandestinely went deep into the cave in 1981, reaching a double cave that dated back to the time of the patriarchs. In 2014, the site was analyzed with ground-penetrating radar. "We didn't find a grave on which it was written 'Abraham is buried here,' but when you weigh all the historical and archaeological data, the writings of travelers, biblical sources, topography; all of that together shows us that this is indeed the case."


Support the Conference of Presidents Fund

Every day, the Conference of Presidents Fund works publicly and behind the scenes addressing vital concerns with US and world leaders, key opinion molders and the public about Israel's security and vitality, threats posed by a nuclear Iran, global terrorism, anti-Semitism and the delegitimization campaign, making a critical difference at home and abroad.