Israeli Firefighters Arrive in California to Assist in Wildfire Battles
- Richie Ramos (Channel 13-CBS Sacramento
Northern California fire crews got an extra bit of backup Sunday as a team of Israeli firefighters arrived in Sacramento to assist with the multiple large wildfires.
"To help California deal with these wildfires, the people of Israel do what they always do with an open heart, they said yes," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
UN Extends UNIFIL Mandate in Lebanon
(Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
After the UN Security Council on Friday extended UNIFIL's mandate, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi said:
"The security incidents that have taken place along the northern border over the past several days clearly illustrate above all else the need for a strong and effective UNIFIL. The State of Israel's security will be guaranteed by its own defensive and political power."
"The true test now will lie in the readiness of the Lebanese government and UNIFIL to implement all of the requirements of the resolution."
Hungary Defends Israel at EU Foreign Ministers' Summit
- Denes Albert (Remix-Hungary
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto stood up for Israel at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers on Thursday.
He wrote in a Facebook post,
"The European Union must...discontinue its anti-Israeli policies. Instead of criticism based on unilateral and biased opinions, it is time to stress partnership."
"As a first and perhaps most important step, the European Union should immediately cease the financial support of NGOs that threaten the internal security of Israel, conduct anti-Israeli policies, and interfere in the internal affairs of the country."
Revised California Curriculum: Write about Jews "Gaining Racial Privilege"
- Editorial (Wall Street Journal
The California Department of Education offered a new draft model ethnic-studies curriculum this month.
One course outline says, "Students will write a paper detailing certain events in American history that have led to Jewish and Irish Americans gaining racial privilege."
This is ugly stuff, replacing civic nationalism as America's creed with enforced identity politics.
India to Procure Two More Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems from Israel
(Press Trust of India
The government of India is in the final stage of approving the acquisition of two Phalcon airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) for the Indian Air Force from Israel at a cost of around $1 billion, official sources said on Thursday.
The Indian Air Force already has three Phalcon AWACS.
The AWACS is mounted on Russian-origin Illyushin-76 transport aircraft and is capable of tracking enemy aircraft, hostile missiles, and movement of troops without crossing territorial limits.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
- UAE Formally Ends Boycott of Israel - Jon Gambrell
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and leader of the United Arab Emirates, issued a decree Saturday formally ending the country's boycott of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decree, saying, "This is an important step toward advancing peace and prosperity in the region." (AP)
See also First Israel-Abu Dhabi Flight to Fly over Saudi Arabia - Lahav Harkov
El Al flight LY 971, the first-ever direct flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates, took off from Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday morning. Pilot Tal Becker said, "For the very first time, an Israeli plane with an Israeli flag will fly over Saudi Arabia and land in the UAE - over three hours instead of what would have been seven." (Jerusalem Post)
- Kushner: We Don't Seek to Isolate the Palestinians But We Won't Reward Bad Behavior - Jacob Kornbluh
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner said he told representatives of the "Quartet" on Wednesday that the Palestinians are complaining about "a self-made financial crisis" because they are unwilling to take the money Israel is ready to transfer from an escrow account.
Addressing the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, he said, "The only reason why they have conflict is because they're shooting rockets on buildings in Israel. In the past, people would rush and try to help them, but we just haven't rewarded bad behavior."
"We're not going to send American taxpayer money over...to a people who basically insult America and take [us] just for granted. So we've just taken a common-sense approach. We've tried not to do stupid things." (Jewish Insider)
- Palestinians Are Not Ready to Restore Ties with Israel - Steve Hendrix and Hazem Balousha
When Palestinians cut off long-standing security, financial and civil ties with their Israeli counterparts in May, they pledged not to resume them until Israel gave up its plans to extend Israeli law to Jewish communities in the West Bank.
But when these plans were halted as part of a diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Palestinian leaders condemned the UAE for normalizing relations with Israel. Weeks later, they still will not restart cooperation, rebuffing European and Arab allies that pushed them to end a policy that seemed to be hurting everyday Palestinians more than Israel.
Public coffers are being drained and civil servants are on half pay because the Palestinian Authority refuses to accept tax and customs payments from Israel. More than 25,000 babies born in the West Bank have not been registered by Israeli civil authorities, making them ineligible for passports.
The response in the Arab world was far from what Palestinian leaders wanted. Bahrain, Egypt and Oman expressed support for the UAE deal. Kuwait and other Arab states in the Persian Gulf declined to condemn it. Palestinian requests for an emergency response from the Arab League have so far produced little. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Netanyahu: Israel Is Holding Many More Secret Talks with Arab States on Normalizing Ties
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem on Sunday with U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner. Netanyahu said, "We're all thrilled by the swift pace of normalization between Israel and the UAE. Yesterday, the Emirates officially abolished the anachronistic boycott of the Jewish state. This opens the door for what I can only call unbridled trade, tourism, investments, exchanges between the Middle East's two most advanced economies."
"For far too long, the Palestinians have had a veto on peace, not only between the Palestinians and Israel, but between Israel and the broader Arab world....They planned to sue Britain for the Balfour Declaration. So if we have to wait for the Palestinians, we would have to wait forever. Well, no longer."
"Two years ago, I visited Oman. One year ago, I visited Chad. Half a year ago, I met with the leader of Sudan....There are many more unpublicized meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders who recognize that their true interests are to normalize relations with the State of Israel." (Prime Minister's Office)
- Coronavirus in Israel
The Israel Health Ministry reported on Monday that 453 people with Covid-19 were in serious condition, including 123 who were intubated. 922 people have died. (Jerusalem Post)
- 69 New Coronavirus Cases Reported in Gaza
69 new cases of the coronavirus were reported in Gaza over the past 24 hours, the Gaza Health Ministry announced on Monday. 243 cases have been reported outside of quarantine centers.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
- Former U.S. Envoy Greenblatt: The Door to the White House Has Remained Open to the Palestinians - Mike Wagenheim
Former U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt told The Media Line, "Unless and until the Palestinian leadership gets its house in order, particularly between Hamas and the PA, and unless and until they are willing to negotiate realistically and in good faith, directly with Israel, and not resort to trying to get other countries and organizations such as the UN to circumvent direct negotiations with Israel, little can be done on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
"But that is a choice that the Palestinian leadership has made in the past with other peace efforts as well, to the significant detriment of the Palestinians. What the UAE-Israel deal does show is that the Arab-Israeli conflict can actually be resolved, even if only on a piecemeal basis, without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
"The door to the White House has remained open since the Palestinians cut ties back in December 2017....If the Palestinians come back in good faith, they will be welcomed....The only entry fee is a willingness by the Palestinians to negotiate realistically and in good faith." (Media Line)
- A Good Deal for the UAE - Editorial
By swiftly scrapping the 1972 Israel boycott law, the UAE has now fully formalized its peace deal with Israel. This commercially sensible step paves the way for greater partnerships that will work in the best interests of the people in these two nations. Individuals and companies based in the UAE will be able to collaborate with Israeli firms and openly trade in services and have access to fresh markets. The UAE's position as a gateway to the wider Arab world would be particularly useful to the Israelis.
The deal is monumental, far-thinking, and certain to pay dividends over the years. The UAE's quiet diplomacy sees peace in interfaith harmony and reason in dialogue. It is a nod to voices of reason that believe peace and development logically follow trade and commerce.
- Moroccan Criticism of UAE Peace Deal Fades - Ahmed Charai
The Arab world was strangely quiet in the wake of the United Arab Emirates' announcement of peace with Israel. The "Arab street" did not explode.
Far from the region, Morocco's Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani criticized the peace deal. What happened next is significant. Days later, he walked back his remarks, saying he was speaking in his personal capacity, not as a government official. This "clarification" is telling.
Othmani does not speak for Morocco on foreign policy. Under Morocco's constitution, foreign policy, diplomacy and national security are the exclusive province of the king. Many Arabs, myself included, are hoping for the day when Arabs and Israelis can peacefully prosper together through tolerance, trade, tourism and cultural exchange.
The writer, a Moroccan publisher, is on the board of the Atlantic Council and is an international counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
- For the first time, there is a "warm peace" between Israel and an Arab state, where both sides see the mutual advantage from their scientific, economic, cultural, and strategic cooperation.
- In contrast, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians maintained "cold relations" with Israel that were meant to extract the maximum concessions from Israel while minimizing normalization with it.
- With this diplomatic achievement, Israel is taking a huge step towards one of its long-term strategic goals – integration into the region.
- The pragmatic Arab camp members feel that the radicals are weaker. Israel is perceived as a powerful country that dares to act against the extremists and will not change its position.
- The agreement is a historic achievement for Israel, the UAE, the United States, and the pragmatic camp. It creates a potential for further achievements at the regional level and in the Palestinian context, as progress continues in the normalization process.
The writer, former head of the research division of IDF Military Intelligence, is a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center.