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Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 32 min 4 sec ago

U.S. Charges Iranian in Plot to Kill Former National Security Adviser

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(New York Times) Glenn Thrush - The Justice Department charged a member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on Wednesday with planning to assassinate John R. Bolton, who served as U.S. national security adviser. Court documents suggested a chilling level of sophistication in the planning. At one point, an operative in Tehran provided details of Bolton's movements that could not have been known through public sources. The accused plotter, Shahram Poursafi, 45, remains at large, presumably in Iran. The plan was ultimately foiled by a confidential federal informant who posed as a would-be assassin.

U.S. at UN: "We Fully Support Israel's Right to Defend Its People"

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(U.S. Mission to the UN) U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council on Monday: "We fully support Israel's right to defend its people against terrorist threats, including from rocket fire aimed at civilians or without regard to them....Let us be clear: Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a designated terrorist organization in the United States and in many other nations. And it is also an Iranian proxy group, which has conducted attacks against innocent civilians for years....It was the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, not Israel, that held up agreement on a ceasefire designated to save lives and resume shipments into Gaza, callously prolonging these hostilities." "This Council should be able to come together and unconditionally repudiate the terrorism of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, whose reckless actions have put the lives of civilians, on both sides, at risk. Their actions must be condemned by all countries in no uncertain terms. And no country should be expected to tolerate or passively accept such brazen attacks on its civilians." "We should refrain from jumping to conclusions until we can determine the facts. As just one example, Israel was originally blamed for an attack that inflicted civilian casualties in Jabaliya refugee camp. It now appears to have been caused by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket."

Palestinian Authority to Seek Full Membership at UN

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Arab News-Saudi Arabia) Mohammad Najib - Palestinian leaders have launched a new diplomatic drive to obtain full membership at the UN. The UN granted Palestine non-member observer state status at the General Assembly in November 2012. Fatah official Sabri Saidem said France had encouraged the Palestinians to demand full membership, and Sweden and Ireland had expressed their unconditional support for the move.

Israel Spent Months Planning Its Blow on Gaza Terrorists

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(The Times-UK) Anshel Pfeffer - Israel had been planning an operation against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza "for months" and was able to exploit fractures in the leadership, intelligence sources told The Times. Intelligence services had been monitoring communications between PIJ secretary-general Ziad Nakhalah and two of the group's senior military commanders, and noted the increasingly angry tones in which the commanders demanded the transfer of a large sum of money from Tehran in return for carrying out a spectacular attack on Israel. The Israelis raced to act before the PIJ missile teams were in place.

Tons of Nazi Chemical Weapons in Baltic Sea Pose Environmental Threat

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Al-Mayadeen-Lebanon) The Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported on Tuesday that 40-100,000 tons of Nazi Germany's chemical weapons left after World War II could be resting at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, ready to trigger an environmental disaster as they corrode over time. The chemical weapons are mainly barrels of mustard gas, aviation bombs, and mines containing chemical warfare agents, mainly mustard and arsenic. Nazi chemical weapons were buried in the Baltic Sea in the first years after World War II by the Trilateral Commission comprised of the U.S., UK, and the Soviet Union.

Israeli Students Accuse Ben and Jerry's of Occupying Tribal Land in Vermont

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(New York Post) Carl Campanile - A letter signed by more than 1,000 Israeli students and academics claims that ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is "illegally" occupying land in Vermont that once belonged to the Abenaki native American tribe and should immediately evacuate the properties "it occupies" in South Burlington, Waterbury and Saint Albans and "return them to the Abenaki people." "Ben & Jerry's has never even offered to provide compensation to this indigenous nation in Vermont.... Justice and morality must begin at home." The State of Vermont recognized the Abenaki Nation in 2012.

Israel Calls on UN Security Council to Condemn Islamic Jihad for War Crimes

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(TPS-J-Wire-Australia) Aryeh Savir - Ahead of the UN Security Council's special meeting on the fighting in Gaza on Monday, Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan called on the international community to condemn the Islamic Jihad terror organization. Erdan presented video evidence proving that indiscriminate shooting of rockets by Islamic Jihad caused most of the deaths of uninvolved Palestinians in Gaza, where the IDF estimated that at least 15 civilians were killed by misfired rockets. "While the Islamic Jihad was indiscriminately firing rockets at Israeli civilians over the past couple of days, its leader Ziad al-Nakhalah, was meeting with his Ayatollah puppet-masters in Tehran and getting orders from them," Erdan noted. He asked, "How would Norway react to Islamists plotting to fire missiles at civilians in Oslo? How would Ireland react if Jihadi rockets were raining down on Dublin in an effort to wipe out the 'infidel'?" "If the Council truly wishes to improve the situation in Gaza, there must be one outcome and one outcome only - to condemn the Islamic Jihad for its double war crimes while placing the full accountability for the murder of innocent Palestinians on the shoulders of this radical terror group."

Islamic Jihad Planned to Attack Israeli Civilian Bus with Anti-Tank Missile

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Tzvi Joffre - On Aug. 3, Israel received an alert that Islamic Jihad planned to launch an anti-tank missile at an Israeli civilian bus, leading to the decision to impose strict restrictions on movement for Israeli residents living near Gaza. The IDF operation against Islamic Jihad began with a strike against senior commander Tayseer al-Jabari, who was in a 14-story building with 28 apartments. In order to minimize harm to innocent civilians in nearby apartments, the IDF used a Spice-250 bomb which penetrated an empty room in the apartment above Jabari. The bomb exploded, destroying just the floor, which brought the ceiling down on Jabari, killing him. Seconds later, Israeli jets fired seven more missiles at the rooms of the apartment from different angles to kill any other terrorists inside.

Islamic Jihad Tried to Launch Drone toward Israel's Tamar Gas Rig

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(i24News) The IDF revealed Tuesday that Palestinian Islamic Jihad failed in its attempt to launch a drone toward Israel's Tamar off-shore gas rig from Gaza during the recent fighting. The platform is located 14 miles off the coast of Ashkelon. During the conflict with Hamas in May 2021, the group fired dozens of rockets toward Tamar, missing the intended target. Fuel was removed from the rig and it was temporarily taken offline at the start of the fighting.

Jewish Agency Expected to End Physical Presence in Russia

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Zvika Klein - The Jewish Agency is expected to end its physical presence in Russia and is discussing how to move all of its operations from Russia to Israel, according to a senior source. "The Jewish Agency will operate all of its work on aliyah from Israel, online or by phone," the source said. The Agency will continue to encourage aliyah from Russia by funding local activities or send temporary educators from Israel. The agency has 200 employees in Russia and three full-time Israeli emissaries, whose contract ended during the summer and who aren't expected to return to Russia.

IDF Kills Wanted Palestinian Terrorist in West Bank

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Shira Silkoff - The head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Nablus, Ibrahim Nabulsi, was killed in an IDF operation in the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday. A second Palestinian with Nabulsi was killed and the Red Crescent said an additional 30 people were injured. No casualties to Israeli forces were reported, but a trained IDF canine was shot and killed. A large number of explosives and weapons were found at the location. Nabulsi had been wanted by the IDF for years and was responsible for a number of shooting attacks. Most recently, the Brigades claimed responsibility for a shooting in Bnei Brak in March 2022 in which five people were killed.

A Memorable Israeli Victory

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Ynet News) Ron Ben-Yishai - Palestinian Islamic Jihad was compelled to agree to the Egyptian mediators' offer of a ceasefire on Sunday. It was essentially an unconditional surrender for PIJ, for the sake of Hamas and Gaza residents. The Israeli public, with the cooperation of the Israel Security Agency, Military Intelligence, soldiers and commanders, pilots, and UAV operators, all took part in making this operation a memorable Israeli victory. This time, instead of mourning losses at home, Israel came out of the operation feeling uplifted that justice has been done. The missiles fired by our jets landed exactly where they were supposed to, the intelligence was flawless, and the collateral damage, i.e., innocent Gazan civilians, was kept to a minimum. Still, the PIJ was not obliterated. It still has the ability to cause harm both in Gaza and the West Bank. This round of fighting was conducted against a cruel yet very limited enemy in a small battlefield. Nonetheless, Israel proved that it is indeed ready and capable of fighting for the sake of its civilians and its sovereignty.

Lessons from a Short War in Gaza

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(American Enterprise Institute) Danielle Pletka - After the three-day war between U.S.-designated terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Israel, we learn that the fate of "Palestine" is in the hands of the most extreme elements in Palestinian politics. Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza, has been hard put to govern; its popularity has shrunk as the group has failed to deliver any tangible improvements. Hamas blames the Jews; Hamas' subjects are quietly unsure whether the Jews are to blame, or just Hamas. They don't dare say so. Palestinian Islamic Jihad has been behind a continual stream of killings in recent years, and its sponsors in Iran have been pleased. As a result, the Israeli government decided to take out PIJ's top two leaders. Tehran's efforts to elevate PIJ should not go unnoticed in Washington. Iran is not interested in the fate of Palestine; it is interested in the eradication of Israel. That's why concentrating only on nuclear Iran, and not on terrorist Iran, missile-proliferating Iran, human rights-denying Iran, is a mistake. Here's the bottom line: It won't matter how much land Israel gives up, because Palestinian maximalists own the decision-making, and they and their sponsors' goal is the destruction of Israel. The writer is a senior fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at AEI.

Don't Allow the Terror Organizations in Gaza to Rebuild between Rounds of Fighting

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Wall Street Journal) Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Amir Avivi - In the latest round of fighting in Gaza, more than 1,000 rockets were fired at Israel. Millions of Israelis found cover and relative safety thanks to the phenomenal Iron Dome, which intercepted more than 96% of the lethal rockets aimed at Israeli civilians. Almost the entire chain of command of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was eliminated in pinpoint strikes, as at least 20 PIJ operatives were killed in action and scores more were wounded. A few years ago, the biggest rockets in Gaza barely reached 15 miles, yet today they can deliver dozens of pounds of explosives north of Tel Aviv (60 miles) and effectively have between three million and four million Israelis within range. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have also accumulated advanced antitank missiles as well as explosive drones. Most of this weaponry has been smuggled into Gaza through Egypt, with the vast majority paid for or manufactured by Iran. We can't sit idly by while jihadist thugs stockpile arsenals larger than those of many European countries at our doorstep, constantly adding range and payloads. Hamas and the other terror organizations mustn't be allowed to stockpile rockets, and Israel should eliminate them before the enemy uses them. The IDF should apply the same principles used in mitigating the Iranian presence in Syria and not allow the terror organizations in Gaza to rebuild between rounds of fighting. The writer served as deputy commander of the IDF Gaza Division.

Israel's Astonishing Iron Dome Missile Defense System

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) David Horovitz - Constantly improving, Israel's astonishing Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted almost every rocket and shell that was headed toward populated areas. Thanks to the combination of Iron Dome, reinforced rooms and a disciplined public, there were no Israeli fatalities. Without Iron Dome, life here would be untenable. Israel would not be able to tolerate enemy attacks, and would have to follow an infinitely more aggressive strategy against its assailants. Yet, all of the IDF's astounding precision capabilities have not enabled it to halt incoming rocket fire from Gaza. Hamas chose not to get involved, not because it has abandoned its strategic goal of destroying Israel, but because it does not believe it can destroy Israel right now.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Is Part of Global War Against Free Nations

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(JNS) Bassem Eid - The terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a militant faction capable of immense violence, operates under the command and control of the world's top terror sponsor - the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has provided the group "millions of dollars in direct funding, as well as training and weapons." PIJ's goal is to replace Israel with an Islamic theocracy. In 1981, PIJ's founders were expelled from Egypt after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat by the related Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ). EIJ, under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri, merged with al-Qaeda in 1998. Iran began funding PIJ via incentive payments for successful terror attacks in 2000. Starting in the 1990s, PIJ became a pioneer of modern suicide bombing. During the second intifada of 2000-2005, PIJ carried out more than 400 attacks in which 134 Israelis were killed and 880 injured. PIJ is used by Iran as a pawn in a global war on free nations. Faced with such a fierce foe and its dangerous patron, Israel has no choice but to defend itself. The writer is a Jerusalem-based Palestinian political analyst and human rights pioneer.

Sympathy for Palestinian Islamic Jihad Is Deranged

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Spiked-UK) Brendan O'Neill - Remember when progressives were opposed to hardline religious movements that use violence to try to destroy democratic states? Islamic Jihad is a thoroughly regressive movement that says it will settle for nothing less than the obliteration of Israel. It wants to create an Islamic State of Palestine in which Sharia would rule and all who fall foul of it - uppity women, homosexuals, atheists - would suffer. Islamic Jihad is not a national liberation movement. It is a violent and extremist religious organization generously funded by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. It rejects the political process and has executed numerous acts of indiscriminate slaughter in Israel in recent years, massacring hundreds of Israeli citizens in restaurants, at supermarkets, on buses. Name me one nation on Earth that would turn a blind eye to such existential threats? If there was a well-armed group of religious fundamentalists a few miles from Britain that had sent suicide bombers to slaughter British men, women and children, we would act, no? And yet Israel is always condemned for acting. Islamic Jihad is not good for the Palestinian people. Its activities in recent years have in part been designed to weaken the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Mahmoud Abbas-led government of the West Bank. It wants to dislodge the PA. That will help the Palestinian people, will it?

Cringeworthy Headlines from Israel's Battle Against Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Honest Reporting) Gidon Ben-Zvi - During the fighting in Gaza, when Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired 1,100 rockets at Israeli civilians, several international media headlines displayed a bias against Israel exercising a fundamental right to defend itself. An ABC News story was titled: "Israel strikes what it calls terrorist targets." Yet the sites struck by Israel weren't alleged terrorist targets but were based on credible intelligence on PIJ members and infrastructure. The Washington Post headline: "Israel cheers its wins, Gaza mourns its dead as cease-fire holds" depicts Israel as a warlike country that enjoys inflicting harm. Someone just reading the headline would never know that Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system shot down 300 rockets launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, saving many thousands of lives.

Media Put Anti-Israel Spin on Gaza Fighting

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(National Review) Jack Wolfsohn - Israeli communities near Gaza had been locked down since Aug. 2 as Palestinian Islamic Jihad prepared to fire anti-tank missiles at Israelis near the border, when Israel launched a preemptive strike against PIJ terrorists on Aug. 5. Many media outlets put their usual anti-Israel spin on the story. The Associated Press ran a headline reading, "Israeli strikes on Gaza kill 10, including senior militant." The word "terrorism" is not mentioned once in the story. AP uses the euphemistic term "militants" to describe Islamic Jihad, also omitting the word "Palestinian" from the name. The AP also refers to Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza, as "militant," although both groups are designated as terrorist groups by the U.S. government. The New York Times ran a headline that omitted any mention of Palestinian rockets, saying, "Israel Strikes Gaza as Tensions Rise." The article mentions the rockets in the second sentence of the subheading, saying, "Militants responded with a volley of rockets into Israel." The Times makes the 1,100-rocket barrage launched at Israeli civilians sound like a game. The fact that the media routinely view Israel's conflict with its terrorist neighbors through a lens that finds a moral equivalence between both sides is not only bad journalism, it's morally repugnant.

No Visa for Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi

Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:00
(Wall Street Journal) Joe Lieberman and Mark D. Wallace - Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will seek a U.S. entry visa to attend the UN General Assembly in New York in September. The Biden administration should reject his request, given Raisi's bloodstained record and Iran's continuing threats against U.S. citizens. On Wednesday the Justice Department unsealed an indictment against a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for plotting a murder-for-hire scheme against John R. Bolton, a former UN ambassador and White House national security adviser. This is unacceptable behavior by the Iranian government. Tehran has directed other assassination plots on American soil, targeted former U.S. officials such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and recently attempted to kill Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad in Brooklyn. An Iranian attack against Americans should be treated as an act of war. The least the U.S. should do is exercise its sovereign right to deny an entry visa to Mr. Raisi, a hangman who oversaw the star-chamber trials and executions of several thousand political opponents of the regime. Joe Lieberman was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 2000 and a U.S. senator from Connecticut (1989-2013). Mark D. Wallace served as U.S. ambassador to the UN for management and reform. They are, respectively, chairman and CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran.


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