December 10, 2019

In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Missile Tests May Deter Iran - Alex Fishman (Ynet News-Ha'aretz)
    On Dec. 6, Israel's Defense Ministry announced a test launch of a "rocket engine propulsion system."
    The deterrence factor of such rocket tests is unquestionable.
    In recent months, there have been growing concerns in Israel that Iran would conduct missiles strikes on Israeli targets in response to attacks on its own infrastructure in Syria and Iraq.
    Israel's experimental rocket launches serve to remind Iran that Israel has the capability to respond to any Iranian attacks with a retaliation strike on Iranian soil.
    The entire world assumes that Israel has the capability to manufacture long-range rockets since it launched its first reconnaissance satellite, Ofek-1, in 1988.

Jordanian Jailed for Eight Years over Plan to Attack Israeli Embassy (AFP-i24News)
    A Jordanian man, Khaled Abu Raya, 33, was sentenced to eight years behind bars by a state security court over a plot to attack the Israeli embassy in Amman last year.
    According to the charge sheet, Abu Raya planned "to open fire on the embassy and its employees in a bid to kill a large number of Israelis."
    The plotted attack was allegedly in retaliation for Washington's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem's Chief Rabbi Visits Bahrain (i24News)
    Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Ammar, who previously served as Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, met Monday with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
    Ammar participated in a religious forum along with clerics from Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and other Arab and Islamic countries, Israel's Channel 11 reported Tuesday.

How Israel Helped Singapore Establish Its Defense Forces - Aqil Haziq Mahmud (Channel News Asia-Singapore)
    A new book, Beating the Odds Together, describes how Israeli military advisors helped Singapore establish the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) after other countries such as India and Egypt declined its calls for help.
    "Today, we can be open in telling the story of the extraordinary contribution by our Israeli friends to our security when few thought that Singapore could survive on its own," wrote Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in the Foreword.
    Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 amid a communist insurgency and armed confrontations in the region, prompting Singapore to make defense capability an existential priority.
    "It has always been our fervent hope that Singapore can be a benefit to Israel to whom we owe a deep, eternal debt of gratitude," said former Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Suspects Iran Is Behind Increasingly Sophisticated Rocket Attacks on U.S. Bases in Iraq - Barbara Starr
    The U.S. government believes that Iranian-backed groups are behind a series of increasingly sophisticated rocket attacks on joint U.S.-Iraq military facilities in Iraq, U.S. officials say. There have been nine rocket attacks on or near Iraqi facilities that host U.S. troops in the last five weeks. In the most recent attack on Monday, four rockets struck a military training site near Baghdad International Airport, injuring six Iraqi security forces. (CNN)
  • Natan Sharansky Receives Israel's Prestigious Genesis Prize - Josef Federman
    Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky has been awarded Israel's prestigious 2020 Genesis Prize for a lifetime of work promoting political and religious freedoms, organizers announced Tuesday. Following a tradition set by previous winners, Sharansky will forgo the $1 million award, and the prize money will be donated in his honor to nonprofit organizations.
        Sharansky, quoting the late President Ronald Reagan, said, "freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not passed to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like to live when men were free."  (AP-Washington Post)
  • Nazi Camp Survivor Recalls Stutthof Horrors in Trial of Guard
    Israeli Holocaust survivor Abraham Koryski, 92, gave evidence Monday in the trial of Bruno D., 93, a former SS guard accused of being an accessory to murder at the Stutthoff concentration camp from 1944 to 1945. "We were beaten constantly, the whole time, even while working," Koryski told the Hamburg District Court. "Worst of all were the whips." Koryski said he had seen SS guards put on sadistic "shows" to torture prisoners, including one instance in which a son was forced to beat his father to death in front of other inmates.
        Koryski said his "work" at the camp involved cleaning the crematorium, which meant loading bones and other burnt remains onto a cart to be thrown into a trench. Prosecutors argue that as a guard, Bruno D. helped the camp function and "supported the insidious and cruel killing of mainly Jewish prisoners."  (Deutsche Welle-Germany)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Erdogan Bashes Israel, Calls on Muslims to Unite Against the West - Seth J. Frantzman
    In a speech to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Israel and called for Islamic unity to confront the West and conspiracies against Islamic countries. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Erdogan Accuses Israel of "Executing" Palestinian Women and Children
    Turkish President Erdogan told the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul on Monday: "We today face a Palestine on the streets of which innocent girls, fathers, mothers, elderly people, children and young people are openly executed and mercilessly murdered by Israel."  (Times of Israel)
  • Young Social Democrats Want Germany to Stop Its Anti-Israel Votes at UN - Benjamin Weinthal
    The 70,000-member Young Socialists (Jusos) organization of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) last month condemned its leadership's anti-Israel voting record at the UN. Jusos wrote of the "disproportionate condemnation of Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East," and urged Germany to "dissociate from the initiatives and alliances of anti-Semitic member states in the bodies and specialized agencies of the United Nations."
        Germany's Social Democratic Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has greenlighted nearly 30 condemnations of Israel at the UN since 2018. In March, Germany's ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, compared Israel with the terrorist organization Hamas. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Jewish Labour Movement Won't Back Party in Upcoming UK Election - Toby Helm
    The Jewish Labour Movement has declined to back the party it has supported for almost a century because of Jeremy Corbyn's refusal to stamp out anti-Semitism. JLM Chairman Mike Katz says its members concluded "a while ago that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to be prime minister."
        Katz says he and others have told Corbyn and his team of the strength of feeling among British Jews, but have been met with "obfuscation, denial and delay." Scores of serving and former Labour officials have given sworn statements about anti-Semitism in the party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. (Observer-UK)
        See also Why British Jews Are Worried by Jeremy Corbyn - Helen Lewis (Atlantic)
  • Getting Iran Out of Syria - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen
    Israel's offensive activity against Iranian forces in Syria establishes an awareness of Israel's capabilities in the eyes of both Iran and the international arena. Having the audacity to use force, especially in a situation that hovers on the very real threshold of war, does entail the risk of escalation, but also holds the potential to give Israel a prominent role in the crystallizing anti-Iran regional coalition.
        One objective of such clashes is to showcase Israel's operational superiority by proving its military capability and strategic daring, thereby making clear that Jerusalem does not fear a military conflict in defense of its vital interests. The writer served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
  • If NATO Is Going to Fight Terrorism, It Needs Israel - Jonathan S. Tobin
    The U.S. and NATO rely heavily on Israel when it comes to counter-terrorism. The intelligence information shared by Israel is vital to U.S. security and that of the alliance. Israel coordinates closely with the Americans and Western Europeans when it comes to the battle against ISIS and the threat from Iran. The joint exercises that America and some other NATO allies conduct with Israel are also an indication that even though the Jewish state is not a formal part of NATO, it is an essential element in the defense of the West. (JNS)

Arming Israel to Defeat Iranian Aggression (Jewish Institute for National Security of America)
  • The U.S. increasingly depends on Israel to uphold regional stability in the Middle East due to rising threats from Iran and others, while America seeks to reduce its footprint in the region.
  • We recommend providing Israel what it needs to secure a strategic advantage over the growing challenges. Priorities for the IDF include, but are not limited to:
    • Combat aircraft, including an additional Lockheed Martin F-35 squadron, and potentially new Boeing F-15I advanced fighters in the interim while the F-35 squadron is onboarded.
    • Airborne refueling tankers, including the latest-generation Boeing KC-46.
    • Longer-range transport helicopters like the Lockheed Martin CH-53K, and Bell Boeing V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
    • Precision guided munitions such as Boeing JDAM kits for unguided munitions, Boeing GBU-39 and Raytheon GBU-53/B small diameter bombs, and Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
    • Missile defense systems such as Rafael-Raytheon Iron Dome, Rafael-Raytheon David's Sling and IAI-Boeing Arrow 2 and Arrow 3, as well as interceptors for these systems.
  • Providing these weapons to Israel would send a clear strategic signal that American policymakers appreciate the rising risks from Iran and other adversaries to both the U.S. and Israel.
  • Moreover, the American worker and economy are key beneficiaries, since Israel must spend the lion's share (and eventually all) of U.S. military aid funds on U.S.-made equipment.