Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 24 min 17 sec ago
(i24News) Lt.-Gen. Belkhir el-Farouk, inspector general of Morocco's Royal Armed Forces, was welcomed in Israel by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Tuesday, the first public visit by the head of an Arab military. El-Farouk will take part in the International Operational Innovation Conference hosted by the IDF, with delegations from 25 nations. Kochavi visited Morocco in July.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Omar Abu Layla -
Iran is working hard to establish itself in Syria socially and ideologically by strengthening its influence in pre-existing shrines while also building new ones, such as the shrine of Sayyida Zainab in Damascus. In Deir al-Zour, which has a Sunni majority, it has worked to change the very makeup of the region by attracting young people to its militias and attempting to convert youth through social benefits or via cultural activities. These include the Mahdi Scouts, Quran memorization courses, Persian language classes, and trips to its shrines. Iran has also sought to bring in Afghans, Iraqis, and other militia members from outside Syria.
While airstrikes target specific Iranian military capabilities in Syria, confronting Iran's actual presence in Syria or limiting its penetration is a task that no external party is undertaking. If the U.S. truly wishes to limit Iranian military activity in Syria, it will ultimately need to help local Syrians address the Iranian issue. Otherwise, Iran will be left to build up a much more serious military and soft power threat in Syria.
The writer, executive director of the independent Deir Ezzor 24 news platform, is studying for a masters degree in public policy at Princeton University.
(Palestinian Media Watch) Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch -
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is an integral part of PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement. In the last several months, terrorists from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have been participating in an ever-growing number of terror attacks against Israelis.
Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, who was killed on Aug. 9, 2022, during a gun battle with Israeli security forces, was part of a terror cell founded by Abd Al-Hakim Shahin, an officer in the PA Security Forces, according to the official Fatah Facebook page. Three other Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorists, killed in February 2022, were part of the same cell.
Palestinian leader Jibril Rajoub has bragged that "12% of the prisoners in the [Israeli] prisons are members of the PA Security [Forces]."
(Fathom-BICOM-UK) Alex Ryvchin -
The UN is poised to revisit the question of Palestine with renewed vigor. This invariably means flushing more money into UNRWA, a special agency devoted to keeping Palestinians in refugee camps in preparation for their conquest of Israel, and by upgrading the Palestinian status, recognizing them as a state despite virtual consensus that they in no way meet the legal definition.
In the 74 years since Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, Israel has continued to build, absorb millions of refugees from Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union, has forged peace with old belligerents like Egypt and Jordan and more recently, Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan. The Palestinian Arabs have, for the most part, remained unchanged, still viewing their struggle as one against European colonizers and not the ancient custodians of the land, and believing that if they resist long enough, the Jews will eventually go some place else.
It is time to deliver the hard truth that those who reject internationally brokered plans of partition, reject every offer of statehood put to them, and consistently use violence as a political device, do not set the terms. As long as the Palestinian leadership receives cost-free solidarity, currency and diplomatic recognition, a negotiated outcome is an impossibility.
The writer is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
(Gatestone Institute) Khaled Abu Toameh -
The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership has decided to renew its bid to gain full membership in the UN. However, neither the PA leadership nor the Palestinian people is ready for statehood. And the responsibility for that lies squarely with the failed Palestinian leaders.
The Palestinian UN bid comes at a time when the PA appears to be losing control over some parts of the West Bank, where gunmen belonging to several groups have replaced the Palestinian security forces. PA President Mahmoud Abbas is well aware that the gunmen are viewed by the Palestinian public as heroes because of their attacks against Israelis. Abbas himself has long been praising and glorifying Palestinians who carry out terrorist attacks against Israel.
Does anyone seriously think that Abbas or any other Palestinian leader would deploy troops along a border with Israel to stop terrorist attacks? Does anyone seriously think that Abbas would survive for one day if Israel's security forces were to leave the West Bank? Public opinion polls indicate that a majority of Palestinians prefer Hamas to Abbas and his corrupt Fatah faction.
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Ambassador Dore Gold -
The war in Ukraine altered gas markets yet again in 2022. The Europeans are being forced to come up with a new strategy to keep the same quantities of gas flowing, albeit from new sources, given the fact that nearly 40% of Europe's gas supply came from Russia. In July, 26 out of 27 EU member states agreed to cut back Russian imports by two-thirds by the end of 2022.
In June, the EU signed an MOU with both Israel and Egypt that would increase natural gas exports to Europe. The EastMed pipeline project is planned to go beneath the waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Greece and reach a length of 1,200 miles.
Unfortunately, the Biden administration withdrew its support for the EastMed pipeline in January 2022, even though it did not entail U.S. federal funding. The pipeline was supposed to be completed in 2025.
The writer, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, served as Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel's Ambassador to the UN.
(Al-Monitor) Doron Peskin -
Between January and June 2022, royalties to Israel from natural gas reached $250 million, compared to $165 million during the first half of 2021, thanks to record production from the Leviathan and Tamar reservoirs. From 2004 to June 30, 2022, the total revenue from royalties from natural gas came to nearly $3 billion.
(Al-Monitor) Ben Caspit -
Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah now marks 30 years in power. "If there is one leader for whose health and longevity we should be praying three times a day, it is Nasrallah," a senior Israeli intelligence source told Al-Monitor. "He is calculated, credible, plays by the rules, sticks to his promises - and at the same time he is deterred. He knows us very well and we know him. He is far more pragmatic than his bellicose rhetoric suggests. Overall, this is a man with whom we can do business and reach a balance that translates into stability for both sides."
A senior officer in Israel's Northern Command said, "Nasrallah does not want war. He was at war with us and knows its meaning. Even his Iranian handlers will probably not be satisfied with such a flare-up....This Shiite forward base vis-a-vis Israel was not established to wage a fight over natural gas, but to create a strategic threat to Israel in case it decides to attack Iran. Nasrallah knows it; he also knows that we know it."
(Jerusalem Post) Emily Schrader -
The BDS movement is opposing the landmark $1.2 billion Project Nimbus contract between Israel and tech giants Amazon and Google. Project Nimbus, according to Google, focuses exclusively on upgrading cloud computing services at the government level for ministries, such as finance, healthcare, transportation, and education, in an effort that will create over 3,000 jobs for Israeli Arabs and Jews alike. The project has nothing to do with military or weapons technology.
(Jerusalem Post) Ruthie Blum -
Fiamma Nirenstein's latest book, Jewish Lives Matter, paints an aptly bleak portrait of the way in which Jew-hatred has had a resurgence in the West under the guise of human rights. As Nirenstein illustrates, this inversion of good and evil was given a serious push by champions of the Palestinian cause, whose false claims against the Zionist enterprise provided the perfect cloak for any antisemitism that was dormant, or at least kept under wraps, in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
She writes, "Although Jews could only be identified by a very manipulative observer as the white oppressor or masculinist, this is precisely what has happened. The so-called intersectionality purportedly aimed at realizing human rights for all has become the catalyst for the current wave of antisemitism."
The intersectional ploy of linking the Palestinians to a progressive agenda against all oppression is outrageous, since the Palestinian Authority, which has total control over its media, openly discriminates against women, gays and blacks. Nirenstein also notes "the new version of antisemitism that puts the Jew in the same category as the white supremacist....Jews have been strangely expunged from the list of the persecuted and added to that of the persecutors."
(AP) American authorities have returned a 2,000-year-old Jewish coin to Israel nearly two decades after it was looted, smuggled and put up for auction in the U.S., Israel's antiquities authority announced Tuesday. The quarter shekel silver coin, made in the year 69, is one of just two confirmed to exist. The other has been in the British Museum for a century. It was minted during the fourth year of the First Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire in the first century CE.
According to the antiquities authority, the coin was one of a hoard stolen by Palestinian looters from the Elah Valley west of Jerusalem - site of the Biblical battle between David and Goliath - in 2002. It was slated to be sold at an auction in August 2017 but was seized by Homeland Security agents before it went on the block.
(Ynet News) Itamar Eichner -
Israel and Japan on Monday honored Tatsuo Osako, a Japanese travel agent who helped save Jews fleeing from Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. Osako worked as a travel agent in the Japanese coastal city of Tsuruga between 1940 and 1941 when thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing German-occupied Europe through the Soviet Union's Vladivostok arrived at the Japanese port by ship. During the war, he helped transport thousands of Jewish refugees to safety and distributed aid money he received from Jewish rescue organizations.
(Bloomberg) Editorial -
Negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran have reached yet another impasse. Although the deal may not be dead just yet, the U.S. should act as though it is.
The IAEA estimates that Iran now has more than enough uranium enriched to 60% - a short step from weapons-grade - to build a nuclear weapon, and can add to that stockpile relatively quickly.
The proposed pact has not been lengthened or strengthened in any way: Key provisions begin to lapse in a couple of years. Nor would it address Iran's burgeoning missile and drone programs, or its support for violent proxies such as Hizbullah. Given that, the U.S. will arguably need to take many of the same actions to contain the Iranian threat whether the 2015 deal is resurrected or not.
Shifting to a Plan B now might help persuade Iran to back off its most unreasonable demands - and will put the U.S. in a better position to deal with the consequences if it doesn't. The U.S. should thus work harder to close sanctions loopholes that have allowed Iran to continue to sell millions of barrels of oil, primarily to China.
Deal or no deal, the challenge of confronting Iran's malign activities across the Middle East will remain. When challenged by Iranian proxies, the U.S. should hit back harder and faster. Most important, the U.S. should make sure Iran understands that its patience isn't infinite.
The White House should also support Israel's right to defend itself, including by speeding delivery of key systems such as refueling tankers for long-range air strikes, and should continue to conduct joint exercises to prepare for a conflict.
(Al-Monitor) Ahmad Melhem -
Violence and armed clashes across the West Bank, which for months had been limited to the Jenin refugee camp and the old city of Nablus, have now expanded to other areas including the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, al-Faraa camp near Tubas, Rujib near Nablus, Silwad near Ramallah, and Burqin and Qabatiya near Jenin. On Sept. 4, a group of Palestinians opened fire at a bus carrying Israeli soldiers near Hamra in the Jordan Valley, wounding seven.
(Israel Hayom) Prof. Eyal Zisser -
Not a day goes by without violent incidents between the IDF and Palestinian mobs or without some raid in a Palestinian village turning into a battlefield with hundreds of residents clashing with troops, who respond with fire. Not a day goes by without some stabbing attack or ramming incident. Jenin, the Jordan Valley, the Binyamin region, Nablus, Hebron, and the Jerusalem area (including its Arab neighborhoods) have all seen daily occurrences of violence.
Total calm is something our generation is unlikely to see. Israel has recently marked 55 years of holding Judea and Samaria, a period that is much greater than that of the British Mandate and the Jordanian occupation combined.
The writer is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University.
(Reuters) Iran has developed an advanced long-range suicide drone "designed to hit Israel's Tel Aviv, Haifa," Iran's ground forces chief Brig-Gen. Kiomars Heidari said Monday.
(NBC News) Courtney Kube -
U.S. Central Command is developing plans to open a new military testing facility in Saudi Arabia. The facility will test new technologies to combat the growing threat from unmanned drones, and it will develop and test integrated air and missile defense capabilities. Saudi Arabia has large open spaces owned by the government and the ability to test methods of electronic warfare, like signal-jamming and directed energy, without interfering with nearby population centers, U.S. defense officials said.
(National Interest) Caleb Larson -
The U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornets just completed initial flight testing with the LITENING advanced targeting pod. Israel's Rafael defense corporation developed the original LITENING I pod for the Israeli Air Force.
In the mid-1990s, Northrop Grumman further refined the targeting pod for use on American planes. Rafael says it has sold over 900 targeting pods to customers worldwide.
(Jerusalem Post) Yonah Jeremy Bob -
The Mossad thwarted dozens of terror attacks against Israelis and Jews worldwide, Mossad chief David Barnea revealed on Monday. "We thwarted dozens of Iranian terror attacks. We stopped attacks in Cyprus against a businessman; in Turkey, we stopped attacks against businessmen and diplomats" and ordinary visitors, and "in Colombia we saved a businessman," as well as in many other places.
"This is state terror ordered by leader [Ayatollah Khamenei], perpetrated by the IRGC" and other Iranian security organizations. Over the past few months, Israeli intelligence thwarted a number of attempted terror attacks on Israelis and Jews in Turkey and Greece that were operated by Iranian terror cells.
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian -
Israel Security Agency chief Ronen Bar said on Sunday, "We foiled 312 significant terrorist attacks, stabbings, shootings, suicide attacks, and have made 2,110 arrests" since the beginning of the year. Bar cited an increase in shooting attacks against troops and civilians in the West Bank - 130 this year so far, compared to 98 in 2021 and 19 in 2020.
Bar added, "Iran's influence is evident in the terror arena wherever it is, in the countries [surrounding Israel], in the Palestinian arena, in Israel, and in cyberspace....Iran is the origin of most of the [terror] phenomena in the region and it also has a significant part in the instability we are experiencing in the Palestinian arena. Iran...is the underlying problem of the Middle East."