October 22, 2020

In-Depth Issues:

Iran to Import North Korean Long-Range Missiles - Simon Watkins (OilPrice.com)
    Following the end of the UN embargo on Iran buying or selling weapons, the military component of a 25-year deal between China and Iran may now feature the deployment in Iran of North Korean weaponry and technology, in exchange for oil, according to sources close to the Iranian government.
    This would include Hwasong-12 mobile ballistic missiles, with a range of 4,500 km., and the development of liquid propellant rocket engines suitable for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
    As recorded in Jane's Intelligence Reviews, over the first five-year period from the onset of Iran's ballistic missile program in 1987, Iran bought up to 300 Scud B missiles from North Korea.
    Pyongyang was also instrumental in helping Iran to build a Scud B missile plant that became operational in 1988. Iranian personnel traveled to North Korea for training in the operation and manufacture of these missiles.
    In addition, up to 130 officers from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps receive training every year at various military institutions in China.
    See also Iran: Expiration of UN Arms Embargo a "Major Victory"  (Tehran Times-Iran)

The End of the Arms Embargo on Iran - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    The termination of the arms embargo on Iran on October 18, 2020, will allow Iran to purchase and export arms without restrictions.
    Iran is likely to quickly pursue advanced weapons, particularly from Russia and China, with an emphasis on air defense systems, such as the Russian S-400, to improve the defense of Iranian nuclear facilities.
    Iran will also seek components that will enhance the performance of its missiles that are expected to carry nuclear weapons in the future.
    The writer, former head of the research division of IDF Military Intelligence, is a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center.

IRGC Commander: "The Americans and the Zionists in the Region Are Surrounded by Fighters of Islam"  (MEMRI)
    Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of coordination in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said in a TV interview on Oct. 9, 2020:
    "We are closer to the Zionists' [borders] than you can imagine. When the day comes, you will see how suddenly everything they have will fall apart. Thank God, both the Americans and the Zionists in the region are surrounded by fighters of Islam."
    "As [Khamenei] said, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be turned to ashes, [and] we will liberate Jerusalem....The result surely will be the liberation of Palestine."
    "Everything is ready; the forces are ready and trained, and they are sufficiently armed. There is a mighty potential both within Palestine, and outside it."

EU to Operate Israeli Drones to Search for Migrants Crossing the Mediterranean - Jasper Jolly (Guardian-UK)
    Airbus, the European aerospace and defense conglomerate, will work with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to operate its Heron medium-altitude long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) to spot migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
    The EU has awarded Israel's Elbit Systems a separate contract for identical services using its Hermes drones.
    The drones will be based in Greece, Italy or Malta.

EU Funding to Palestinian and Israeli NGOs (NGO Monitor)
    On June 30, 2020, the European Commission updated the details about grants to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) authorized in 2019.
    In that year, the EU authorized 32 grants totaling 30.1 million euros for projects listed under "Palestine" and an additional 9 grants totaling 3.3 million euros for projects listed under "Israel."
    At least 3 grants totaling 5.8 million euros involve Palestinian NGOs with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an EU-designated terrorist group.
    Seven grants totaling 6 million euros went to Palestinian NGOs that promote hateful anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and/or glorify terror.

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The Elimination of Islamic Jihad's Chief of Staff in Gaza - Hanan Greenwood (Israel Hayom)
    On Nov. 12, 2019, an Israeli Air Force drone carried out a surgical strike to eliminate the commander of the Gaza division of Palestinian Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades, Baha Abu al-Ata.
    Ata was the mastermind behind 99% of the terrorist attacks emanating from Gaza in recent years and he was single-handedly disrupting the delicate status quo between Israel and Hamas. Intelligence indicated that he was planning additional rocket and sniper attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border.
    Drone surveillance enabled the IDF to know not only where Ata was at any given time, but also when his children were with him.
    According to drone unit officer Captain A., "The enemy invests considerable resources to camouflage itself among civilians, but we have our capabilities to counter that."
    Lt. G., another squadron member, noted, "We follow the principle of proportionality, try to be as humane as possible and minimize harm as much as possible. It's not a computer game and it's not easy for anyone to do these things. You decide people's fate and you are fully aware of the meaning of what you do."
    Captain A. concluded, "there is no doubt [this mission] saved Israeli lives."

Israel Develops New Navigation System Immune to GPS Jamming - Udi Etsion (Calcalist)
    GPS-jamming techniques have been used against Israeli forces in various arenas, including by a foreign power operating in Syria. In response, Israeli defense contractor Rafael was asked by the IDF to develop a battlefield navigation system for armored vehicles that does not rely on GPS.
    The solution, CT-MENTOR, involves a series of cameras installed on combat vehicles that scan the surroundings, creating a 3D image. This image is then combined with previous aerial photos and satellite images, enabling the system to determine the vehicle's exact location to within five meters.
    Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Shmuel Olanski, former head of the IDF Armored Corps, noted: "The vehicles already carry multiple cameras for their intel and weapons systems, so we can use them to calculate their location, too."

Video: Israeli Psychologists Discuss Living and Working near Gaza - Gal Nevo (YouTube)
    Israeli psychologists answer questions about living and working in the Israeli communities next to Gaza - with English subtitles.
    "After living here for 18 years, I have been caught off guard by hundreds if not thousands of Code Red alarms" signaling Palestinian missile attacks, said one Israeli.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Emiratis Land in Israel, Firming New Ties - David M. Halbfinger
    Diplomats from the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday made their first official trip to Israel since the countries normalized relations in August, and the two sides signed pacts deepening their ties. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin of the U.S., which brokered the new diplomatic relationship, was also present. (New York Times)
        See also Israel and UAE Open Talks over Oil Pipeline - Paul Wallace
    Israel and the United Arab Emirates have opened talks over use of the Eilat-Ashkelon oil pipeline linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, the Europe Asia Pipeline Co., controlled by Israel's government, said Tuesday. The pipeline, built by Israel and Iran in the 1960s, has a capacity of 600,000 barrels a day and 23 million barrels of storage space. (Bloomberg)
        See also U.S. Congress Supports Israel-UAE-Bahrain Accords - Omri Nahmias
    91 U.S. Senators and 372 House members have cosponsored bipartisan resolutions in support of the Abraham Accords to normalize ties between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) announced Wednesday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israeli Diplomats Arrive in Sudan - Nancy Abdel Rahman
    Two senior Israeli diplomats arrived in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Wednesday, according to a Sudanese foreign ministry source. The diplomatic source said the Israeli diplomats were accompanied by an Emirati diplomat and a Saudi security officer. (Sudans Post)
        See also U.S. to Remove Sudan from List of Terrorist States - Lara Jakes
    The State Department will take Sudan off a list of countries that sponsor terrorism, President Trump announced Monday. As a condition, Sudan has agreed to pay $335 million to compensate victims of Al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the Navy destroyer Cole in 2000. American courts have concluded that Sudan was complicit in the attacks. (New York Times)
  • France Cracks Down on Militant Islam after Teacher's Beheading - Adam Nossiter
    The beheading of a teacher by a Chechen immigrant has triggered a broad government crackdown against Muslim individuals and groups in France. There have been dozens of raids throughout the country, the closure of a prominent mosque, the shutting down of Muslim aid organizations, and the mass expulsion of foreigners identified in government antiterrorism files.
        The teacher was targeted for having shown cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the same images at the origin of the massacre on the magazine's premises in 2015. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Exposes Gaza Terror Tunnel Entering Israeli Territory - Yoav Zitun
    The IDF on Tuesday announced it had pinpointed a terror tunnel dug by Hamas from Gaza that stretched dozens of meters into Israeli territory. (Ynet News)
        See also Israel's Anti-Tunnel Barrier Pays Off - Amos Harel
    Israel began building its anti-tunnel barrier on the Gaza border in 2017. Most of the barrier, both above and below ground, is finished, and it's slated to be completed by March 2021 at a cost of $890 million. To date, around 20 tunnels have been discovered, some of them thanks to technologies deployed while building the barrier.
        That's what happened with the latest tunnel discovered along the Gaza border. It was deep underground, penetrated into Israel, but it didn't get past the barrier. This is a relatively new tunnel that has been built over the past few years and was discovered before it was finished. (Ha'aretz)
  • Coronavirus in Israel: Active Cases Drop below 20,000
    Active coronavirus cases in Israel dropped to 19,344 on Thursday morning following a month-long national lockdown, the Health Ministry reported. On Oct. 2, the number of active cases had reached 72,164. The number of serious cases dropped to 581, after peaking at 900 on Oct. 4. 231 patients are on ventilators. The death toll has reached 2,292. (Times of Israel)
  • U.S. Ambassador Friedman: Jewish Communities in West Bank Are Permanent - Lahav Harkov
    U.S. Ambassador David Friedman told the Kohelet Policy Forum on Wednesday: "The position of the United States is that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria will never be evacuated....We believe [that] in [the] long run, it is in Israel's interest and America's interest to extend [Israeli] sovereignty over these communities."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    Israel-Arab Peace

  • Saudi Prince Bandar Tells Palestinians: We Won't Cover for You Any Longer - Dennis Ross
    In 2000, I briefed Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to America, on the Clinton parameters for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Bandar told me privately, "If Arafat rejects this, it won't be a mistake, it will be a crime." But no Arab officials were prepared to openly to criticize the Arafat decision or counter the Palestinian story misrepresenting what had been offered.
        Now, the Middle Eastern landscape is changing when it comes to the Palestinian cause. The fear that Palestinians could arouse opposition to Arab leaders by claiming they were betraying Palestinian national aspirations is gone. Last week Bandar bin Sultan told Al-Arabiya about the historic failures of the Palestinian leadership. His message to the Palestinians was: We won't cover for you any longer. The same logic motivated the United Arab Emirates to formalize peace with Israel now. In the end, Bandar will have done Palestinians a favor if he forces them to look in the mirror and realize it is time to choose correctly.
        The writer, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama, is the counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (The Hill)
  • The New Arab World: No Longer United Against Israel - Lt.-Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar
    It has been commonly accepted that there is an "Arab world" with an agenda centered around the desire to see Israel disappear and a Palestinian state take its place. Yet today this world is divided into two hostile coalitions. On one side is Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Qatar, and Gaza, supported from the outside by Turkey, Russia, and China. Against it stands Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, and Israel, supported from the outside by the U.S.
        While there was no Saudi response to the September 2019 Iranian attack on Saudi oil-producing facilities or Iran's attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea, Israel has proven capabable of inflicting severe blows on Iranian forces and pro-Iranian militias in Syria.
        It turns out that there are things more important to some countries than a resolution of "the Palestinian problem." The Iranian problem has escalated to the level of an existential threat, while the Israeli-Palestinian problem is not an existential threat to anyone. Moreover, after the "Arab Spring," which precipitated the collapse of regimes and economies and the rise of the Islamic State, the fight for the "liberation of Palestine" is not uppermost among Arab concerns.
        The writer, a senior research associate at the BESA Center, served for 25 years in IDF military intelligence. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
  • Widening Arab-Israeli Normalization in the Middle East - Dina Ezzat
    On Sunday an Israeli delegation arrived in Manama, Bahrain, and on Monday, in Abu Dhabi. While officials in Abu Dhabi and Manama have been stressing that cooperation with Israel will not include security or intelligence matters, Israeli media and Western diplomats suggest otherwise.
        On handing her accreditation to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi in September, Israel's new Ambassador to Egypt, Amira Oron, stressed the importance of Egypt to Israel. Oron said that while Israel will continue to pursue relations with more Arab countries, it will always cherish its first peace deal with Egypt. Informed government sources say that Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation is stable and political consultations happen on a regular basis and at a high level. They insist Cairo is not at all jealous of Arab countries consolidating their ties with Israel. (Al-Ahram-Egypt)
  • A Strategic Turning Point in Arab-Israeli Relations - Salm Salmen Alnoiami
    The architects of the Abraham Accords realized that it was impossible to wait for the next generation to effect change. This treaty is a strategic turning point in Arab-Israeli relations and the beginning of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Israel was never given the proper opportunity in the region, as it has always been isolated from its neighbors in what can only be described as a type of religious and ethnic discrimination. The writer is an Emirati author and researcher. (Israel Hayom)

  • Other Issues

  • Why Israel Chose to Aid Ailing PLO Leader - Jonathan S. Tobin
    When Palestine Liberation Organization leader Saeb Erekat recently fell ill with Covid-19, instead of going to a Palestinian or Jordanian hospital, he chose to go to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. This is the same person who spent his career smearing Israel as a nation of oppressors and war criminals. As the PA's chief negotiator, he's spent his tenure working to make peace negotiations impossible, swearing that he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state and end the ongoing conflict.
        Jewish values still play a crucial part in Israel's decision-making. While it's doubtful that any other country would be so generous to an enemy, the notion that Israel would turn away a person in need is inconceivable. There is a specific Jewish obligation to help others rather than to stand by only watching their plight. Behaving decently to those who would not reciprocate is still the default position of any government of the Jewish state. (JNS)
  • Syrian Mercenaries Fight on Foreign Battlefields - Zvi Bar'el
    More than 45,000 Syrians have registered with the Russian Army at Khmeimim Airbase in Latakia to enlist for military action in Libya. Tens of thousands of their compatriots are already there, recruited by the Russian private military contractor Wagner Group.
        A Syrian fighter who returned from Libya told Beirut-based Raseef22 news that anyone between the ages of 18 and 58 is eligible to enlist. Guards earn $1,000 a month, while combat soldiers receive three times more. They work for three months straight, after which they receive a month-long paid vacation in Syria.
        Turkey is also sending Syrian militiamen under its patronage to fight on the other side in Libya, and is recruiting Syrian refugees living within its borders as well. Moreover, Turkey has sent 1,200 Syrian fighters, mostly belonging to the Turkmen ethnic group, to aid Azeri forces in Nagorno-Karabakh. (Ha'aretz)
  • Time to Act on Human Shields - Prof. Orde Kittrie
    The "Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act" of 2018 required the president to impose financial sanctions on each foreign person involved in human-shields use by Hamas or Hizbullah. Yet as of October 2020, the administration has not imposed any sanctions, pursuant to the law.
        On Sep. 29, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly of specific Beirut locations where Hizbullah established missile factories near or underneath civilian residences. This is strong evidence for a human-shields designation.
        The writer, who served for ten years as a U.S. State Department attorney, is a senior fellow at FDD and law professor at Arizona State University. (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
  • The BBC Incites Baseless Hatred over Israel - Melanie Phillips
    For years, the BBC has presented Israel falsely as the rogue state in the region while downplaying or ignoring the attacks on Israelis and the incitement and anti-Semitism that are daily features of Palestinian Arab life. The most recent example concerns a Palestinian terrorist, Ahlam Tamimi. In August 2001, she handed a guitar case filled with explosives to an accomplice who detonated it in the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, murdering 15 people, seven of them children, and wounded more than 130.
        Tamimi has repeatedly gloated over what she did. She was given 16 life sentences, but was released in a prisoner swap after only 10 years. Since then, she has lived in Jordan, where she hosts a talk show on Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV. The U.S. wants Ahlam Tamimi to stand trial on federal terrorism charges in Washington.
        Last week, BBC Arabic TV broadcast a sympathetic presentation of the story Tamimi wanted to tell about herself, framed as a sentimental human interest story which whitewashed the murderous activities by both Tamimi and her husband - himself a terrorist who participated in the murder of Israeli civilian Chaim Mizrahi in 1993. The program made no criticism of the Tamimis and none of those who were murdered in Ahlam Tamimi's terror attack were mentioned. The writer is a columnist for The Times of London. (JNS)
        See also BBC Apologizes for Broadcast with Hamas Terrorist behind Jerusalem Massacre - Tali Fraser
    The BBC on Wednesday apologized for a recent broadcast featuring Hamas terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, convicted for the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria. "We accept that the segment should not have been shown and apologize for the offense caused," a spokesman said. (Jewish News-UK)
        See also Senior BBC Producer Admits Sharing Pro-Palestinian Propaganda on Twitter - Lee Harpin (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
  • The Struggle between Israel and Hizbullah: 1982-2020 - Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira
    Iran views Lebanon as part of the territory of an Islamic empire based on the Shiite populations of the region. Hizbullah was founded in 1982 by Iran, which intended it to be the spearhead to export the Islamic Revolution to the Arab and Islamic world.
        This study by one of Israel's leading experts on Hizbullah offers a behind-the-scenes look at the major individuals and events in the contest between Israel and Hizbullah over the past four decades. It details the key events in Hizbullah's creation, the Hizbullah suicide operation in Tyre in 1982 that killed 76 Israeli security forces, the 1992 assassination of Hizbullah leader Abbas Musawi, Hizbullah's response with bombings in Buenos Aires, Israel's 1996 campaign in Lebanon, and Hizbullah's ambush of Israeli naval commandos in 1997.
        Other key topics include the importance of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, Iran's overall strategy in Lebanon, the Second Lebanon War of 2006, the assassination of Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh, Hizbullah's intervention in the Syrian civil war, and Hizbullah's plan to conquer the Galilee.
        The writer, a senior research fellow at the Jerusalem Center, served as Military Secretary to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Anti-Semitism

  • Taking Aim at Online Anti-Semitism - Elan S. Carr
    Anti-Semitism has been increasing globally for more than a decade, largely because of its propagation online. In the first eight months of 2020, 1.7 million anti-Semitic posts appeared on Twitter and YouTube alone. In the online world, increasing numbers of the world's youth are lured into dangerous virtual neighborhoods where they are vulnerable to poisonous influences and can be lost to violent radicalization. A recent European study found that radicalization to the point of violence is accomplished much more quickly on the Internet than through face-to-face interaction.
        Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is hosting a conference on combating online anti-Semitism on Oct. 21 and 22, titled "Ancient Hatred, Modern Medium." Many of the conclusions and recommendations that emerge from the conference will be equally applicable to other forms of online hate and will serve as tools in the broader cause of defending human dignity and religious freedom everywhere. The writer is the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. (The Hill)
        See also The U.S. Will Not Tolerate Anti-Semitic Acts on the Internet or Elsewhere - Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen (U.S. Department of Justice)

  • Weekend Features

  • Study: Compliance with Covid-19 Guidelines among Israel's Older Population - Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf
    We studied the consistency of compliance with Coronavirus guidelines on masking and social distancing with actual behavior among a large group of English-speaking Israelis over the age of 60, considered an "at-risk" group for Covid-19. We asked respondents how they follow the guidelines when it comes to their own adult children and grandchildren who do not live with them.
        Our results point to a stark contrast between what people say they believe and how they act regarding their own families. While there was near unanimity regarding the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing, we found a stunning difference in compliance with reference to one's children and grandchildren. Over 65% understood the risks, yet less than half acted consistently with that belief in indoor settings.
        The writer, a clinical psychologist, is a fellow at the Jerusalem Center, specializing in political psychology. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The Decorated Nazi Commander's Son Who Joined the Israeli Army - Michael Havis
    Bernd Wollschlaeger, born in 1958, was taught that the Holocaust was a lie and that his father, Arthur Wollschlaeger, was a war hero who was personally awarded the Iron Cross by Adolf Hitler. A major turning point for Bernd came when Palestinian terrorists massacred 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich. His father reacted: "Look what they do to us again! They, the Jews, are tearing down our reputation to make us look bad." The massacre raised a question - if Jews were being killed in Germany again, when had it happened before?
        He learned that his father's unit terrorized Jewish villages in Russia, slaughtering the locals, and tearing out pages from the Torahs in the synagogues to use as insulation for their tanks. Furthermore, he discovered that his father had sent people to their deaths at Auschwitz.
        At an interfaith summit in Germany he bonded with an Israeli girl and later visited her in Israel. The girl's parents welcomed him. "They hosted me like a long-lost brother," said Bernd. "I asked the father how he learned German and he showed me the number tattooed on his forearm....He was in Auschwitz....He took me to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, and there I realized the extent of the murder and I broke down emotionally."
        Back in Germany, Bernd eventually converted to Judaism and completed medical school. He later traveled to Israel and served in its army as a medical officer. Today, he is a family physician in Miami, Florida. (Daily Mail-UK)
  • The Last Nazi Hunter - Miranda Levy
    Efraim Zuroff, 72, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Israel Office, is widely known as the "last Nazi hunter." In 42 years, Zuroff has submitted the names of more than 3,000 suspected Nazi war criminals to 20 countries. In 40 cases, legal action was taken against a Holocaust perpetrator.
        In 1989, he came across the testimonies of dozens of Lithuanian survivors and identified 1,284 potential war criminals. Out of a population of 220,000 Jews in Lithuania, just 8,000 survived. There were only 1,000 Germans present during the occupation of Lithuania, with the majority of the horrors perpetrated by "willing local collaborators." "The Lithuanians didn't put people on trains," says Zuroff. "They personally killed their Jewish neighbors, usually by shooting them and throwing them, one on top of each other, into pits dug in the forest."
        Zuroff cites as his biggest victory the case of Dinko Sakic, the sadistic commandant of the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia, responsible for the murder of 2,000 people. He was found living in Argentina and prosecuted in 1998. When he received his 20-year sentence, Sakic said, "I would do it again; let's finish the job."  (Telegraph-UK)

Arab Leaders Want the U.S. to Support Israel - Walter Russell Mead (Wall Street Journal)
  • As the U.S. has reduced its regional footprint and ambitions, the Middle East has begun to change on its own. Saudi Arabia has opened its airspace to commercial flights from Tel Aviv to Dubai, while the UAE has shifted from not recognizing the Jewish state to building a warm peace and economic partnerships with Israel.
  • In the new Middle East, the younger generation is turning its back on religious radicalism, and Arab public opinion is moving to accept the presence of a Jewish state. The Palestinians have lost their position at the center of Middle East politics, and it is Turkey and Iran, not Israel, that Arab rulers are most concerned to oppose.
  • President Trump's peace plan, which many longtime Middle East experts dismissed as a ghastly blunder that would destroy the American role in Middle East peace negotiations, has turned out to be relatively popular on the Arab street. A Zogby survey found majorities in favor of the "Deal of the Century" in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 56% considered America "an ally" of their country, up from a low of 35% in 2018.
  • U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien told me that key Arab leaders have embraced the idea that better relations with Israel are critical to their states' security and even survival.
  • It is Turkey even more than Iran that keeps some Arab leaders awake at night. President Erdogan has aligned himself closely with the Muslim Brotherhood, a regional Islamist movement. Iran can only call on the minority Shiites for religious support, but Turkey can attract supporters from the Brotherhood's networks within the Sunni majority.
  • Ironically, the current Arab nightmare is that the next U.S. administration won't support Israel enough.

    The writer is Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard College.
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