Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 7 min 55 sec ago
(JNS) Lenny Ben-David -
Sometime in the last decade, the relationship between the U.S. and Israel switched from "patron-client" to "partnership." Intelligence sharing became more extensive and energetic; the development of new weaponry to be deployed on, under, and above the battlefield expanded; and joint exercises between air forces, navies and special forces went far beyond anything imagined before.
Israeli defense industries have invented and developed state-of-the-art cyber programs, anti-missile weapons, drones, pilotless armed UAVs, tank protection systems, and avionics. In effect, Israel became an overseas version of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the U.S. Defense Department. Israel has provided the U.S. with real-time weapons-testing of U.S. systems in very hostile skies, particularly the F-35 stealth fighter. Israel's Trophy active protection system shields U.S. Abrams tanks from RPGs and anti-tank missiles.
Foreign policy scholar Walter Russell Mead described the U.S-Israel relationship today as "one of the most intimate and effective partnerships in the world....The integration of Israeli and American defense and tech industries contributes substantially to the security and the prosperity of both countries."
The writer served 25 years in senior posts in AIPAC in Washington and Jerusalem, and as Israel's Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington.
(Jerusalem Post) Lahav Harkov -
Israel's Ambassador to Morocco David Govrin is in constant contact with Moroccan authorities and journalists to relay trustworthy information and build trust. He says, "The Moroccan public deeply identifies with the Palestinians." At the same time, the Palestinians do not overshadow Israel-Morocco relations, but rather the subject "comes up occasionally, mostly in times of crisis. The Palestinian matter is not at the center of the public agenda in Morocco. In internal policy, the central matters are health, education and economic development, and in foreign policy, the most important matter is the [Western] Sahara."
A Moroccan human rights advocate said recent clashes between Israel and the Palestinians "have more of an influence on a media level....The official government level is separate. The Abraham Accords are here, they are a reality, government collaboration is continuing and official diplomatic ties are still ongoing." Ties with Israel "improved really fast, based on putting aside geopolitical differences and past conflicts and focusing on what Israel and Morocco can do."
Amb. Govrin added, "The feeling is that they want us here, they like us and they are embracing us....The Moroccan hospitality is extraordinary and it is nice to be in a place where tolerance and coexistence are very deep values."
(Wall Street Journal) Lori Lowenthal Marcus and Jesse M. Fried -
A group of Jewish public-school parents and teachers filed a federal lawsuit last Thursday challenging the adoption of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist curricular materials in Los Angeles public schools.
The Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium, which disseminates teaching materials lifted directly from radical anti-Israel websites, rejects the idea that all cultures should be studied. It asserts that ethnic studies is about only four groups: Native Americans, black Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, and Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders. That last group includes Arabs from the Middle East - but not Jews, who've lived in that same region for millennia.
The consortium's materials deny that Jews are indigenous to the Middle East and teach that Israel is a "colonialist" and "settler state" founded through "genocide," "ethnic cleansing" and "apartheid." They falsely teach that Zionism is an invention of the "late 19th century." Tell that to the millions of Jews who end their Passover Seders with "next year in Jerusalem," or end every Jewish wedding by breaking a glass to mourn Jerusalem's destruction, or pray each day facing Jerusalem.
The consortium's materials says Israel and the U.S. are "white settler states," even though Israel's Jewish population is more than half "people of color" - including people whose ancestors lived in Africa and India and more three million Israelis descended from Jews who've lived in the Middle East for more than 2,600 years.
Jewish teachers have the right to a workplace, and Jewish parents to a public school for their children, where government-paid teachers don't denounce their homeland, characterize their people as genocidal criminals, or disparage their religious beliefs.
Ms. Marcus is legal director of the Deborah Project and lead counsel in the lawsuit. Mr. Fried is a professor at Harvard Law School and chairman of the Deborah Project's board of directors.
(Jewish Review of Books) Matti Friedman -
Andrew Lawler's book Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World's Most Contested City, surveys some of the colorful and fraught episodes that have played out underground over the past century and a half. 1865 saw the creation of the Palestine Exploration Fund in London, where the founders included the archbishop of York, who "called for a new crusade to rescue from darkness and oblivion much of the history of that country in which we all take so dear an interest." The explorers were inflamed by the possibility of grand findings from Jewish antiquity.
A central problem affecting many Western observers is their narrative of a city "sacred to three faiths." There is a failure to understand the unique centrality of Jerusalem in Judaism or to admit that the city is of interest to other religions only because it was sacred to Jews first. Jerusalem has existed at the center of Jewish consciousness since Rome was a village on the Tiber and it has that role in no other religion.
Christianity cares about Jerusalem because Jesus and his followers were Jews who orbited the Jewish ritual center on the Temple Mount. Islam built the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount because that was the site of the Jewish temple. Both religions have more important cities elsewhere, but came here to claim they had supplanted the numerically insignificant but historically imposing natives of Judea. The lack of interest in archaeology on the part of Arab residents is related to the common, and politically dangerous, knowledge that if you dig past the city's Islamic and Christian layers, what you're going to find is Jewish.
The writer was an Associated Press reporter in Jerusalem between 2006 and 2011.
(Gushpanka-Hebrew, 13May2022) After Tekoa resident Yair Maimon stopped a Palestinian attacker armed with a knife at the entrance to his home on May 8, hundreds of residents gathered in the community's central park to give thanks and recognition to the local hero.
Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne'eman told Maimon, "You and your family were heroes, both at the beginning of the evening and afterwards. You deserve great credit for agreeing to explain to the people of Israel what happened. This is very important because we need to recall that 'He who arises to kill you, kill him first.' And you demonstrated this plainly, with strength, bravery, without hesitation, without confusion."
Maimon thanked the crowd and said: "It is wonderful to see you all here. I am happy that it turned out as it did, and I want you to know that in Tekoa there are many heroes. I happen to know them from Magen David Adom and the Emergency Squad. After 13 years in the Emergency Squad I am acquainted with each of them and I believe that they would have done exactly the same thing. There are many heroes in this community."
(Israel Hayom) Yoav Limor -
Major M. was three years old when his family fled to Israel from Khomeini's Iran. He served as a Persian language analyst in the Intelligence Corps and has been training the next generation of intelligence personnel in the Persian language.
He sees a dual mission: To help Israel fight its main enemy and to help the Iranian people escape the tyrannical regime in Tehran. "From my perspective, we are saving Iran and we are trying to help it return to what it once used to be."
(Times of Israel) Israeli kickboxer Loai Sakas, a Christian Arab, won a gold medal on Thursday at the world championships in Turkey and draped himself with the Israeli flag. Sakas told Channel 12, "I'm first and foremost an Israeli citizen....I represent the country and want everyone here to live in peace with each other."
(Ynet News) Ben-Dror Yemini -
Does the fact that thousands of Palestinian Arabs enlisted in the British Army in World War II prove that only a tiny minority of Palestinians backed the Nazis? Israeli researcher Yoni Rainey claims it doesn't.
In his books - Closed Case and The Hidden Side of Nazism and the Holocaust - he claims that 9,000 Palestinian and Jordanian Arabs did enlist in the British Army during the war (in comparison with 27,000 Jews). But from the moment it became evident that the Germans may pass through Egypt and reach Palestine in spring 1942, Palestinian Arabs switched sides.
About 78% of the Arab volunteers deserted the British army, often stealing weapons for the purpose of helping the Germans fight the Jews when the time came. Additionally, a survey in 1941 showed that 88% of Palestinian Arabs supported Nazi Germany, while only 9% backed the British Mandate.
If the war would have ended with a German victory, no Nakba would have taken place. Rather, the extermination of all Jews in the Mideast would have commenced.
Amb. Alan Baker -
The two-state solution for settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has been adopted by the U.S. and the international community as the magic panacea for all the ills of the Middle East.
Yet the two-state solution has never been accepted by Israel and the Palestinians as the agreed solution to their dispute, and it does not figure in any major peace process document, such as Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), or the 1993-5 Oslo Accords.
The Oslo Accords, still the only valid and mutually agreed basis for resolving the dispute, determine that the permanent status of the territories remains an open negotiating issue. They contain no reference to a one-, two- or three-state solution.
Former Israeli Prime Ministers Rabin, Sharon and Netanyahu each visualized some form of Palestinian entity, possibly a demilitarized state, existing side-by-side in amity and mutual respect with Israel, with limited security and sovereign prerogatives.
Any such state would be expected to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, just as Israel would recognize a Palestinian state as the nation-state of the Palestinian people.
However, no such two-state solution could materialize without cognizance of the necessary, basic components that a Palestinian state entity would need to meet, including political and economic stability, unified leadership, the ability to represent the entire Palestinian people, and the removal of terror elements and infrastructure.
The writer, who heads the international law program at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is former legal counsel to Israel's Foreign Ministry and participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.
(Daily Mail-UK) Geoff Earle -
The Israel Police said Saturday: "Plans for the funeral procession of [Al Jazeera journalist] Shireen Abu-Akleh were coordinated in advance by the Israel Police together with the Abu-Akleh family. On Friday, about 300 rioters arrived at Saint Joseph hospital in Jerusalem and prevented the family members from loading the coffin onto the hearse to travel to the cemetery as had been planned and coordinated with the family in advance. Instead, the mob threatened the driver of the hearse and then proceeded to carry the coffin on an unplanned procession to the cemetery by foot."
"Israel Police instructed that the coffin be returned to the hearse, as did the EU ambassador and Abu-Akleh's own family, but the mob refused. Israel Police intervened to disperse the mob and prevent them from taking the coffin, so that the funeral could proceed as planned in accordance with the wishes of the family. During the riot that was instigated by the mob, glass bottles and other objects were thrown, resulting in the injury of both mourners and police officers."
(JTA-Times of Israel) Philissa Cramer -
Payton Gendron, 18, charged with killing 10 people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket Saturday in a predominantly Black neighborhood, was motivated by a conspiracy theory that has spurred recent deadly attacks on Jews, among others. His online manifesto says that Jews are the real problem but that "they can be dealt with in time."
The "Great Replacement" theory outlined in the manifesto says Jews are responsible for non-white immigration, and that non-whites will overwhelm and wipe out the white race. Robert Bowers, who killed 11 people at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018, cited the theory before his attack.
In his manifesto, Gendron said, "The real war I'm advocating for is the gentiles vs the Jews. We outnumber them 100x, and they are not strong by themselves....The Jews are the biggest problem the Western world has ever had. They must be called out and killed....For our self-preservation, the Jews must be removed from our Western civilizations, in any way possible."
(New York Times) Farnaz Fassihi -
Protests against the government spread to at least six provinces in Iran on Friday following several days of unrest sparked by rising food prices. Demonstrators took to the streets in Ahwaz, Qazvin, Shahreh Kurd and Dezfoul, chanting "death to the dictator," social media showed. In one instance on Thursday, a crowd tore down a banner featuring Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as onlookers cheered.
(Reuters) Yomna Mohamed -
UAE President and Emir of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan died on Friday. He had rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014. His half-brother and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MbZ, has for years been the de facto ruler of the UAE. MbZ led a realignment that created a new anti-Iran axis with Israel.
(Syrian Observatory for Human Rights-UK) Israeli planes fired missiles at an ammunition warehouse and positions of Iranian militias in the Misyaf area in the Hama governorate on Friday.
(Jerusalem Post) Anna Ahronheim -
Images published by Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat of a site struck by Israel on Friday show its complete destruction. The structures that were hit served as an entrance to underground tunnels. A five-man crew of a Pantsir missile-defense system was killed after firing toward Israel Air Force jets. The Syrian Arab Army has fired over 1,000 missiles toward Israeli jets in the past seven years, but have been unable to stop them from carrying out their missions.
(Syrian Observer) Two solar-powered Watergen devices have been installed producing 1,000 liters of pure mineral drinking water per day in an area of Syria controlled by the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in collaboration with the U.S. organization Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees. Eight more devices will be installed in medical facilities and schools to provide local communities with 10,000 liters of water per day.
(JNS) Mike Wagenheim -
According to a diplomatic source, the UN has relented and will allow Israel to display an exhibit on Israel's parliament, the Knesset, at UN headquarters in New York. The world body had conditioned its permission on Israel agreeing to the removal of some content, including references to Jerusalem as the country's capital.
Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan fought back, and an agreement was reached whereby all content will remain, and Israel will add a disclaimer noting the objections. Erdan had written to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, saying, "The impertinent demand of the UN to censor the exhibit and remove pictures that reflect our national history is, in fact, a request to rewrite Israel's history and we will not agree to that in any way."
(Defence Blog) Colton Jones -
Lockheed Martin has mounted Israeli-made Spike-NLOS missiles on Oshkosh's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) for delivery to U.S. Special Operations Command. "The combination of Spike NLOS' long-range and precision-strike capabilities with the JLTV's superior agility will result in next-level mobility and mission effectiveness for our operators," said Jerry Brode, vice president of Close Combat Systems at Lockheed.
"This advanced weapon system's real-time video imagery allows operators to alter or abort missions while en route to a target, providing users with more options in critical moments." Today, this system is in service with U.S. forces and in six other countries.
(Prime Minister's Office) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday: "Over the weekend we lost one of our best people, Israel National Counter-Terrorism (INCT) Sergeant Major Noam Raz...who was wounded in an initiated operation against terrorists in the Jenin area. Noam served in the INCT for 23 years during which he participated in many operations to defend the security of the citizens of Israel."
"Noam loved Israel and was a hero of Israel. Only a few weeks ago, Noam [also a paramedic], saved the life of a senior colleague who had been severely wounded in a clash with terrorists in the Tulkarem area."
"Noam, a resident of the community of Kida [in the Binyamin region], leaves behind him [his wife] Efrat and six children, as well as a clear legacy - to love our country, to contribute to the state, and to fight our enemies with uncompromising determination."
(Times of Israel) A Palestinian man hurled a cinderblock at a car carrying Israeli civilians in the West Bank, smashing the front windshield, before being shot by an IDF soldier Friday morning near Beit El. The IDF said a knife and bottle of acid were found on the man.
Video of the incident showed the Palestinian throw the cinderblock and try to open the car's door, as a van that a soldier was driving stops on the other side of the road. The soldier can then be seen with his rifle drawn running after the Palestinian, who appears to charge toward the soldier with a large stone in hand.