August 28, 2019

In-Depth Issues:

Gallup Poll: 90 Percent of American Jews Are More Sympathetic to Israel than to the Palestinians - Frank Newport (Gallup)
    The data show that Jews in the U.S. are highly likely to express views that are highly loyal to Israel and there is little evidence of a change in these trends.
    90% of American Jews are more sympathetic to Israel than to the Palestinians, compared to 60% of all Americans.
    95% of Jews have favorable views of Israel, while 10% have favorable views of the Palestinian Authority.
    Overall, 71% of Americans have favorable views of Israel and 21% favorable views of the Palestinian Authority.

New Tech Lets Israel Take Over Hostile Drones - Yaniv Kubovich (Ha'aretz)
    Israel has developed anti-drone technology that can seize control of enemy unmanned aerial vehicles and land them anywhere.
    "The system that we developed can detect hostile drones at a range of up to three and a half kms. [about 2 miles] and take control of about 200 drones at the same time," said Asaf Lebovitz of Skylock, one of the Israeli companies that developed the technology.
    "We have the ability to disrupt communications between the drone and its operator, and then to remotely take control of it and land it to check what it's carrying and whom it belongs to."

Virtual Reality Helps Israeli Soldiers Train for Underground Warfare (AFP-Daily Mail-UK)
    Hizbullah tunnels exposed by Israel have been digitally scanned and appear on an IDF combat engineering soldier's headset as he trains using virtual and augmented reality.
    The headset displays every detail of the virtual tunnel. Soldiers can experience scenarios where there are obstacles such as holes, cables, or explosive devices and simulate the hand movements they will need to defuse a real bomb.
    Not far from the "VR room" is a physical mockup of a Hamas tunnel where soldiers can engage in combat exercises, polishing what they have learned through VR.

New Israeli Technology Eliminates Toxic Algae Blooms - Kaylyn Hlavaty (News 5-Cleveland)
    All summer long, toxic algae blooms have been plaguing water sources around Northeast Ohio.
    An Israeli company, Blue Green, treated algae blooms at Chippewa Lake - the first lake in the U.S. where this technology has been tested.
    A blue powder distributed by boat was successful in killing all of the toxic algae in the lake within a day.
    The powder floats on the water and kills the cyanobacteria on the top layer, which then dissolves into the environment. The company says it's EPA-approved.
    "So it's a good way to protect the fish, protect all the beneficial algae, and all the plants that are in the lake," said Mark Krosse, a volunteer with the Save the Lake Coalition.
    The company says it's been used in Israel, China and South Africa for some time.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Bolton: Iran Sanctions Removal Will Come Only After New Iran Deal - Aresu Eqbali and Sune Engel Rasmussen
    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday rejected the possibility of meeting with President Trump as long as the U.S. sanctioned his country. In response, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton told Radio Free Europe on Tuesday: "The idea that Iran would receive some tangible economic benefit merely for stopping doing things that it shouldn't have been doing in the first place is just a non-starter. If there's a comprehensive deal, then of course, the sanctions will come off at that point."  (Wall Street Journal)
  • Suicide Bomber Kills Three Palestinian Police Officers in Gaza
    A suicide bomber thought to be aligned with Islamic State killed three Palestinian police officers in Gaza on Tuesday, security sources say. The attacks follow a recent operation by Hamas against ISIS-linked militants. (BBC News)
        According to Al Jazeera, a Salafist first parked a motorcycle carrying explosives next to a group of Hamas police officers and then continued by foot with an explosive vest towards a police checkpoint. (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. Army Tests Israel's Spike Missile - Jen Judson
    On Aug. 26 in Arizona, a U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter fired an Israeli Spike Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) anti-tank guided missile at a target in an experiment to achieve greater standoff against enemy threats. The test was designed for the Apache pilot to lose connectivity in the last few seconds to ensure the missile could take over using its automated capability and still take out the threat. The experiment left the target engulfed in flames.
        All six shots taken by the U.S. Army so far have been successful, said Brig.-Gen. Wally Rugen. The Spike has the capability to defeat targets 32 km. away. The standoff capability allows aviation to target threats from a relatively advantageous position, as well as evade and penetrate enemy lines of defense. (Defense News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • The Beirut Attack: What Really Happened - Anna Ahronheim
    Early on Sunday, two DIJ drones appeared in the skies over Hizbullah's Dahiyeh stronghold in Beirut. One exploded and damaged Hizbullah's media office. But it's unlikely that the media office posed an imminent threat to the safety and security of the citizens of Israel. The target had to be something else.
        According to a report by The Times of London, two trucks seen in flames after the explosion had been carrying crates with machinery to mix high-grade propellant for precision-guided missiles. An Iranian-made industrial mixer was seriously damaged and its computerized control mechanism was totally destroyed.
        According to sources, Hizbullah officials made a conscious decision to transfer the center of gravity of the precision-missile project from Syria to the heart of Beirut. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Report: Beirut Strike Will Delay Hizbullah Missile Program - Judah Ari Gross
    The target of a drone attack in Beirut on Sunday was a rare industrial mixing machine used in the creation of solid fuel. Its destruction set back Hizbullah's plans to develop long-range precision missiles by at least a year, according to Hebrew media reports on Tuesday. Lebanese media said the drones were launched from within 8 km. of the site of the explosion, indicating that they were either launched within Lebanon or came in from the sea.
        According to Channel 13 news, the planetary mixer had recently been flown into Lebanon from Iran. It was being held temporarily in Hizbullah's Dahiyeh stronghold before being transferred to the factory where the actual work on the precision missile project was being performed. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinians in Gaza Fire Four Mortar Shells at Israel Tuesday - Judah Ari Gross
    Palestinians fired four mortar shells at Israel from Gaza on Tuesday, the IDF said. One struck an open field in Israel, while three others landed inside Gaza. In response, an Israeli aircraft bombed a Hamas observation post. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Iran and Hizbullah Are Preparing to Confront Israel in Response to Its Actions in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq - Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira and Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
    Hizbullah's Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah threatened to react to two Israeli actions against Hizbullah: the attack against drone launchers in Syria in which two Hizbullah fighters were killed, and drone attacks in Beirut. Nasrallah stated that the Beirut attack was the first Israeli attack on Lebanon since the 2006 war.
        Mohammad Imani, from Iran's hardline Kayhan newspaper (which reflects the views of Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei), warned that Israel "shouldn't be surprised if in the coming days or nights anonymous pilotless aircraft will attack security, military, and nuclear targets of Israel or the port cities and major Zionist centers....Israel should be prepared for the bitter and harsh news of the incursion and attacks by UAVs on Dimona, Haifa, and Tel Aviv - similar to the attacks carried out against Saudi Arabia (and the UAE)."
        Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira served as Military Secretary to Israel's Prime Minister. Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall is an expert on strategic issues with a focus on Iran. Both are fellows of the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The Iran-Israel War Is Here - Jonathan Spyer
    The regime in Tehran favors the destruction of the Jewish state. This is a longstanding aim, dating to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. What's brought it to the fore is that Iran has emerged in the past half decade as the prime beneficiary of the collapse of the Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese states. This has substantially increased its capacity to menace Israel, which has noticed and responded.
        Iranian proxies today dominate Lebanon (Hizbullah), constitute the single strongest politico-military force in Iraq (Popular Mobilization Units, or PMU), and maintain an independent, powerful military infrastructure in Syria. This nexus, against which Israel is currently engaged, brings Iran to the Syrian and Lebanese borders with Israel.
        Tehran seeks the transformation of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon into Iranian satrapies, and it has made considerable advances toward its goal. Israel's involvement is entirely reactive, pushing back against Iranian domination and destroying the missile caches that bring it within Iran's range.
        Israel is largely alone in this fight. The U.S. is certainly aware of Israel's actions against Iran and may tacitly support them. Yet the White House shows no signs of wishing to play an active part in the military challenge to Iranian infrastructure-building across the Middle East. The writer is director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis. (Wall Street Journal)

Lessons from the Hebron Riots of 1929 - Douglas J. Feith and Sean Durns (National Review)
  • In 1929, Arab clerics and politicians provoked riots across Palestine by accusing Jews of plotting to take control of Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque. This month marks the 90th anniversary of those riots and Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaders incite violence today using similar falsehoods and ideology.
  • The 1929 riots destroyed the Jewish community in Hebron. They persuaded Labor Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion that socialist fraternity among Jewish and Arab workers and peasants would not ensure peace. They impelled Palestine's Jews to bolster the Haganah, their underground self-defense group. And they vindicated Zionist warnings against relying on foreigners for security.
  • Today's conventional wisdom holds that Palestinian-Israeli peace will result from resolving the "final-status issues." This is to assume away profound Muslim religious and Arab national objections to Israel's very existence.
  • To commemorate the 1929 riots is to refute the common error that the conflict is about the "occupation" that began in 1967. Arab anti-Zionist violence predates not only 1967 but Israel's birth in 1948. It started even before the 1929 Hebron massacre.
  • Arab rejection of Israel and Zionism emerges from an all-or-nothing view of justice and honor. It has never brooked compromise or moderation. It has justified, indeed demanded, murder of the enemy and destructive sacrifice of Palestinian lives.
  • Until the Palestinians have a leadership willing to set aside the ideology and cool rather than inflame the passions that spawned the Hebron massacre, the conflict will not be resolved through diplomacy.

    Douglas J. Feith, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, served as undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration. Sean Durns is a senior research analyst for the Committee for Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).