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Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 12 min 31 sec ago

U.S. Jewish Leaders Welcome Approval of Restocking Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense System

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Conference of Presidents) Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said Friday they welcomed Congressional approval of $1 billion to Israel for the restocking of its life-saving Iron Dome missile defense system. "The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 90% of the over 4,000 rockets launched at Israel by the Hamas terrorist regime last May. It is a key line of defense for the people of Israel - Jews, Muslims, and Christians." Also approved was increased funding to help protect houses of worship, which have increasingly come under attack.

Dozen House Democrats Say: "Hard to Envision Supporting" New Iran Deal

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Jewish Insider) Marc Rod - A bipartisan group of House members - 12 Democrats and 8 Republicans - sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday indicating plans to oppose the forthcoming Iran nuclear agreement and expressing their concerns about some of the publicly reported provisions. "From what we currently understand, it is hard to envision supporting an agreement along the lines being publicly discussed." Among their concerns was the possibility of lifting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and sanctions on members of the Supreme Leader's inner circle. With these provisions, alongside other sanctions relief, "the United States would be providing a clear path for Iranian proxies to continue fueling terrorism" and would also break a commitment by Secretary of State Tony Blinken during his confirmation hearing not to lift terrorism sanctions on Iran. The letter was led by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Tom Reed (R-NY).

American Jewish Committee Conveys Urgent Concerns over Iran Nuclear Deal

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(American Jewish Committee) American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris has written to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to express grave concerns about the emerging Iran nuclear deal. "If the final result in Vienna is a return to essentially the same inadequate 2015 package, we will be left to wonder on what basis such an agreement advances regional and global security." "In the six-plus years since the [2015] deal was implemented, Iran's regional behavior has crossed one red line after another, with periodic missile and drone attacks by Iran and its proxies on U.S., Israeli, and GCC targets. Its missile program has advanced." Iran "has leapt ahead in the deployment of sophisticated centrifuges and the stockpiling of near-weapons-grade fissile material."

Iran Has Enough Enriched Uranium for Four Nuclear Weapons within Four Months of Breakout

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Institute for Science and International Security) David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Andrea Stricker - An analysis of the IAEA's March 3 quarterly safeguards report shows that Iran now has enough enriched uranium to produce weapon-grade uranium for two nuclear weapons in two to three weeks after breakout commences, and to produce the second quantity by the end of that month. The third quantity could be produced soon after the start of the second month after breakout, and the fourth in less than four months.

Yemen's Houthis Claim Drone Attack on Saudi Refinery

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Reuters) Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis targeted a Saudi Aramco refinery in Riyadh using three Samad-3 drones, its military spokesman said on Friday. Six Samad-1 drones were also fired at Aramco facilities in the Saudi cities of Jizan and Abha.

Israeli Foreign Minister Lapid Meets Jordanian King Abdullah in Amman

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Lahav Harkov - Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman on Thursday. Lapid underscored that Israel's "special relations with the Kingdom of Jordan ensure a better future for our children. The peace between us is not just being good neighbors, but the moral duty to both nations." He also praised Abdullah for strengthening relations between the countries and for his willingness to cooperate.

Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem Slams Former U.S. Vice President Pence for "Storming" Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Khaled Abu Toameh - The Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, condemned the visit by former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Wednesday, accusing Pence of "storming" the site. Palestinians regularly use the word "storm" to describe visits by Jews to the Temple Mount, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. He also condemned Israeli work at the Tomb of the Patriarchs to make the biblical site wheelchair-accessible.

Iran Sends Its Missile Regards

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Wall Street Journal) Editorial - The U.S. pursuit of a new nuclear deal looks increasingly bizarre. Another provocation from Tehran came Sunday in a missile attack near a U.S. consulate under construction in northern Iraq. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said it carried out a missile attack on what it claimed were Israeli targets inside Iraq, saying it was in response to an Israeli airstrike in Syria last week that killed two IRGC commanders. Iran's missile attack shows the incongruity of the looming nuclear deal. It would do nothing to restrict Iran's support for regional terror groups. It includes no restrictions on Iran's missile program that is growing more sophisticated and dangerous. The U.S. condemned the missile strike, yet is eager to give Iran countless billions that it can use to fund more such attacks.

Netanyahu: New Nuclear Agreement Will Give the Ayatollahs a Nuclear Arsenal

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Amy Spiro - Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted video messages on social media Sunday saying, "Iran fired missiles in the vicinity of the American consulate in Iraq, and the U.S. continues to charge ahead, along with the other powers, to sign a nuclear agreement that will give the ayatollahs a nuclear arsenal. It would also relieve sanctions and give them hundreds of billions of dollars in order to continue the terror that they...wage every day throughout the Middle East and the world." "This agreement is even worse than its predecessor, because in three years' time, under this agreement, Iran will be a threshold nuclear state. It will have enough enriched uranium to create dozens and dozens of nuclear bombs and it will have the ICBMs to deliver them to any place in the United States." Such a deal is "not merely unacceptable, it endangers not only my country, Israel, but your country, the United States, and the entire world. We should not let an aggressive rogue terrorist regime like Iran have nuclear weapons. Have we learned nothing?"

Iran Is Exploiting the War in Ukraine to Strengthen Its Presence in Syria

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Yoni Ben Menachem - Two Revolutionary Guards officers died in a recent bombing allegedly by Israel of Iranian targets near Damascus International Airport. Israeli security sources said the two officers were involved in Hizbullah's precision-guided-missile project. Senior Israeli security sources say Iran is exploiting the war in Ukraine to shore up its military presence in Syria. The Syrian army now controls almost all of southern Syria. It closely coordinates with the Iranian militias, which significantly concerns Israel. The Iranian militias in Syria have stepped up their activity in the south. Iran has also intensified its arms smuggling to Syria and Lebanon, including drones, precision-guided missiles, and aerial defense systems. Russia's ongoing military invasion of Ukraine may force Russia to transfer some of its military forces in Syria to Ukraine. As a result, Russia's military power in Syria could decline while Iran's could grow.

Jews Are Once Again Fleeing Ukraine

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Washington Post) Miriam Berger - Jewish aid organizations estimate that there are still 200,000 Ukrainian Jews. Since Russia invaded, Ukrainian Jews are pouring out of the country or digging in to fight. Rabbis have fled with their congregants, and synagogues, community centers and schools are closed. Some Ukrainians are relocating to Israel. A consortium of Jewish groups has shepherded 3,000 Ukrainians who identify as Jewish into Moldova and 3,000 more into Poland, Hungary and Romania, Michael Geller, the director of media relations for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a relief organization, said Sunday.

The New Ukrainian Aliyah

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Tablet) Matti Friedman - The war in Ukraine is going to manifest itself in Israel in a new wave of aliyah, "ascent," the word we like to use for immigration. Israel will tell newcomers they're not homeless but home and that they're not refugees but olim, "those who ascend." There are 10 Jewish Agency emissaries at the different border crossings from Ukraine into Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova. The agency has rented 2,100 hotel rooms to put people up as they transit to the airport. At the beginning of the war, the agency opened an emergency hotline. More than 6,000 people called the hotline from Ukraine in the first 72 hours. The same hotline has fielded several thousand immigration inquiries from people in Russia proper and in Belarus.

Israel Rescues Arabs from Ukraine

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) David May - Israel has helped its Arab citizens and other Arabs to whom it owes nothing to find safety during the conflict in Ukraine. To assist in evacuating Arabic-speaking Israelis, Israel dispatched its deputy consul in Turkey, Yara Shibli, a Bedouin, to the Ukrainian border. Arab-Israeli media personality Eman Kassem Slimani praised Israel for rescuing hundreds of its Arab citizens from Ukraine, including many Bedouin. Israeli medics assisted a Gazan and an Iranian. Israel also facilitated the evacuation of east Jerusalem students fleeing Ukraine, most of whom are Israeli residents but not citizens. A Syrian sent Israel a thank you note for helping him. An Israeli official invited a Lebanese citizen to board an Israeli bus headed for the border. Israel also helped individuals from Morocco escape. The writer is a senior research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

U.S., Israeli Medical Teams Work Together to Help Ukrainian Refugees in Moldova

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Miami Herald) Dr. Zev Neuwirth - I am a Miami-based physician with a specialty in internal medicine, currently in Chisinau, Moldova, with United Hatzalah of Israel. Upon the arrival of United Hatzalah's advance team from Israel, we joined forces and suddenly, we were 15 people instead of 3, which included logistics, operation, and advanced life support team members. We established two displaced-persons centers and began initial intervention and treatment at each. Together with telemedicine technologies brought from Israel, we obtained greater insight into patients' conditions, more accurately guiding assessment-based treatment. United Hatzalah chartered a plane from Israel with an additional 40 medical personnel, all volunteers who left their families to help the refugees here. We dispatched teams to go to displaced-persons encampments, including hotels, schools, shelters and border crossings. Our aim is to provide medical treatment, as well as emotional and psychological intervention and humanitarian aid, to any and all those in need regardless of race or religion.

Ukrainian Family Who Hid Girl during Holocaust Now Helped by Her Grandchild

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Newsweek) Alexandra Schonfeld - Two Ukrainian refugees, Lasia Orshoko and Alona Chugai, have found refuge in Israel with Sharon Bass, granddaughter of Fanya Bass, a Jewish girl who was hidden from the Nazis by Maria Blishchik in Ukraine. Orshoko and Chugai are Blishchik's granddaughters.

Kyiv Mayor Says He Is Inspired by the Israeli Army

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Gil Hoffman - Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former heavyweight boxing world champion, told the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that his models for how to win against all odds are Israel - a country he has visited and admires - and the IDF, which has been successful in mobilizing and maximizing its reservists. "We have to learn from Israel how to defend our country with every citizen," he said, "to defend his home and his future." Klitschko father's mother is Jewish, and he said, "I am proud to have Jewish blood."

Ukrainian Officer Wants to Follow Israel's Example

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(The Times-UK) Askold Krushelnycky - Russia's hopes for a swift victory in Ukraine have been dashed as Russian soldiers have encountered obstinate resistance. Gen. Dmytro Marchenko of Ukraine's Armed Forces said, "We have a vast amount of intelligence, including much from our American partners." Col. Roman Kostenko said that Ukrainian officials were using information from belongings found in abandoned or captured Russian vehicles and other means to compile a list of names and home addresses of everyone who had attacked civilians or committed war crimes. "I assure them that after this war is over we will act as the Israelis do and we will come after every one of them and punish them."

The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Legal and Political Implications

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Alan Baker - The bitter hostilities between Russia and Ukraine are accompanied by widely reported instances of indiscriminate targeting by the Russian military forces of civilians and civilian centers as well as nuclear power plants, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and the use of weapons outlawed by international law. On March 2, 2022, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, announced that the Court had received referrals by 39 state parties to the ICC Statute, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, calling upon the Court to open an investigation against the Russian political and military leadership with regard to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine. Palestinian spokespeople are expressing considerable concern and indignation that the international community is immersed in the legal proceedings regarding the Russia-Ukraine war, rather than pursuing Israel. Such Palestinian lamentations are misplaced, misleading, and manipulative. The Palestinian attempt to compare or equate the Palestinian issue with the open warfare, the massive bombardment of civilian population centers, and the waves of refugees in the Russia-Ukraine conflict is patently flawed and presumptuous. No equation can, or should be made, between these horrors and the legally questionable Palestinian complaints to the Court. In fact, it is widely acknowledged that the Palestinian referrals to the Court do not stem from any genuine or substantive concern for human rights. They are part of the Palestinian political struggle to manipulate the international judicial organs within the international community to target and delegitimize Israel. Israel expends considerable efforts to ensure that its actions to defend itself from Palestinian terror attacks accord with all international norms and relevant conventions. It does not engage in the mass bombardment of civilians, the use of illegal weaponry, or the starvation of the civilian population. The writer, former legal counsel to Israel's foreign ministry, heads the international law program at the Jerusalem Center.

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