IAEA: Iran Building New Underground Centrifuge Assembly Plant
- Jon Gambrell (AP-Washington Post
Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told AP
on Tuesday that Iran is building a new underground advanced centrifuge assembly plant at its Natanz nuclear facility after its last one exploded in a sabotage attack in July.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, last month told state television the destroyed above-ground facility was being replaced with one "in the heart of the mountains around Natanz."
Israel to Get Direct Access to U.S. Satellites and More F-35 Capabilities
- Arie Egozi (Breaking Defense
The U.S. will grant Israel direct access to the highly-classified Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) for early missile detection and ensure Israel gets critical defense platforms in a very short time by using production slots planned for the U.S. armed forces.
Israel Eyes New Normalization Deals with Five More Arab Countries
- Latifa Babas (Yabiladi-Morocco
After Israel signed normalization agreements with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, Israel's Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen told Channel 20
"There are five others, namely Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Morocco, and negotiations with these countries will intensify after the U.S. presidential elections."
Israel-Emirates Peace: A Gateway to 3 Billion People
- Ben Caspit (Al-Monitor
Business people, investors and the top echelons of the Emirati economy are rushing to forge promising Israeli connections. Israel and the UAE are forging a different kind of peace, a cordial peace that is growing warmer with every passing day.
An Israeli delegation that visited the Emirates this week was led by former Labor Knesset member Erel Margalit, a high-tech entrepreneur. He and the 13 other leading business people were greeted with enthusiasm.
Margalit said, "The Emirates are a gateway to markets of 3 billion people."
Russian Airstrikes Kill Dozens of Turkey-Backed Fighters in Syria
- Nazih Osseiran (Wall Street Journal
Russian airstrikes killed 33 Turkey-backed fighters and wounded more than 60 at a training camp in Idlib province in northwestern Syria on Monday, according to Sheikh Omar Hodeifah, a commander in the targeted group, Faylaq al-Sham.
Despite a cease-fire agreement, Russia has repeatedly called on Turkey to withdraw from areas it occupies in Syria.
Follow the Jerusalem Center on:
U.S. Offers up to $10 Million Reward for Information on Hizbullah Financial Networks
(U.S. State Department
The U.S. State Department is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of the global terrorist organization Lebanese Hizbullah.
The U.S. is seeking information on the activities, networks, and associates of Hizbullah that form a part of its financial support, which includes financiers and facilitators like Muhammad Qasir, Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal, and Ali Qasir.
Since its inception in 1984, the Rewards for Justice program has paid over $150 million to more than 100 people who provided actionable information that helped bring terrorists to justice or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.
The American Public and Israel in the 21st Century
- Prof. Eytan Gilboa (BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University
Considerable majorities of Americans - between 2/3 and 3/4 - have held highly stable favorable
views of Israel.
Israel even went up 12% in the past two decades - from 62%
favorability in 2000 to 74% in 2020.
Despite the unpopularity of foreign aid and the sizeable
U.S. military aid to Israel, majorities said it should be kept at the current level or even increased.
Between 2015 and 2019, American Jews sympathized more with Israel
than with the Palestinians by a ratio of 86% to 7%.
The writer is a professor of political science and international communication at Bar-Ilan University and a senior researcher at the BESA Center.
IDF's Coronavirus Task Force Now Fully Operational
- Judah Ari Gross (Times of Israel
With the Israel Defense Forces' coronavirus task force fully operational, "we've doubled, even tripled the capabilities of the State of Israel in terms of sampling, testing and epidemiological surveys," said Brig.-Gen. Nissan Davidi.
In the coming weeks, the IDF will be able to perform 100,000 coronavirus tests and conduct up to 4,000 contact tracing probes each day to prevent widespread outbreaks.
Israel to Supply U.S. Army with Night-Vision Goggles
- Udi Etsion (Calcalist
Elbit Systems' American subsidiary has signed a contract to provide night-vision goggles to the U.S. Army for $22.5 million.
The new goggles enable soldiers to see realistic images at up to 300 meters, double the range of previous versions.
Israel Has Greatest Number of "Unicorns" per Capita
- Abigail Klein Leichman (Israel21c
A privately held company worth $1 billion is known as a unicorn. Israel has more unicorns per capita than any other country.
"Counting just the unicorns that have their main operations or headquarters in Israel, the count is 14," says Yaron Samid of the TechAviv Israeli startup founders club. "With a population of just 8.9 million, that's 1.58 unicorns per capita and makes Israel No. 1 in the world."
If you count all Israeli-founded unicorns, regardless of their HQ location, "the count is a staggering 41 unicorns." Silicon Valley houses 12 Israeli-founded unicorns and New York is home to 9.
These do not include Israeli companies that had unicorn valuation when private but have gone public - such as JFrog, Lemonade, Fiverr, Checkmarx and Waze.
Israeli Scientists Called In to Stop Toxic Algae Bloom in Florida Lake
- Idan Zonshine (Jerusalem Post
Israeli scientists from BlueGreen Water Technologies, who specialize in cleaning algae from large bodies of water, were brought in to keep the toxic algae in Lake Okeechobee from getting into the St. Lucie River estuary.
Lake Okeechobee covers an area of 2,200 sq. km. (13 times the size of the Sea of Galilee) and is a major tourist and recreation center.
The algae bloom, which feeds on fertilizers that flowed into the lake, turned its normally-clear waters greenish-brown with a pungent odor. Contact with the water can cause serious illness.
"We responded quickly to an emergency call from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In a very complex logistical process, we were able to put up a control station on the shores of the lake less than 36 hours from the call," said Maayan Naveh, VP of BlueGreen.
Search the Recent History of Israel and the Middle East
Send the Daily Alert to a Friend
If you are viewing the email version of the Daily Alert and want to share it with friends, please click Forward in your email program and enter their address.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
- Three Dead as Woman Beheaded in Knife Attack at French Church - Eric Gaillard
A woman was beheaded by an attacker with a knife who also killed two other people at the Notre Dame church in the French city of Nice on Thursday. The attacker was detained shortly after the attack.
Mayor Christian Estrosi said the attacker had "repeated endlessly 'Allahu Akbar' when he was being treated at the scene." (Reuters-BBC News)
See also Muslim Countries Denounce French Response to Killing of Teacher, Urge Boycott - Steven Erlanger
Since a young Muslim beheaded a French schoolteacher on Oct. 16 who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class, France - a nation traumatized by 36 Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks in the last eight years - has conducted dozens of raids against suspected Islamic extremists. In response, criticism of France has been led by Turkish President Erdogan, who said French President "Macron needs mental treatment" and called for a boycott of French goods.
In Bangladesh, an estimated 40,000 people took part in an anti-France rally, burning an effigy of Macron. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan accused Macron of encouraging Islamophobia. Jordan's foreign ministry condemned the "continued publication of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad under the pretext of freedom of expression." (New York Times)
- U.S. Calls on UN to "Embrace the Opportunities Presented by the Abraham Accords"
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft told the UN Security Council on Monday:
"Once again, we find ourselves in the Council debating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and members states will read statements packed with the same rhetorical fodder of hundreds of statements before them. It's time to stop this unproductive practice. Jews and Arabs are Abraham's children, they share Middle Eastern ancestry, culture and history, and deserve a future of peace as the cousins they are."
"President Abbas...called for an international conference....We have no objection to meeting with international partners to discuss the issue - but I have to ask, how is this different than every other meeting convened on this issue over the past 60 years?...We cannot keep doing what we have been doing and expect things to change."
"The United States has demonstrated for the first time in 25 years that a different approach to the situation in the Middle East can yield results. Today, because of American leadership, Israel is closer to its Arab neighbors than ever before....We encourage members of the Security Council to embrace the opportunities presented by the Abraham Accords and encourage the Council's support for the [U.S.] Vision for Peace." (U.S. Mission to the UN)
- U.S. to Allow "Israel" to Be Added to Passports of Americans Born in Jerusalem - Nahal Toosi
U.S. passports of Americans born in Jerusalem can now list Israel as the country of birth, a U.S. official confirmed Wednesday. American passports have not used the phrase "Jerusalem, Israel" because the status of the city has long been disputed. But in December 2017, President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. A 2015 Supreme Court decision ruled that the president, not Congress, had the sole authority to bestow recognition on the city's status.
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- U.S. to Permit Funding for Cooperative Projects in Israeli West Bank Communities - Lahav Harkov
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman signed an agreement on Wednesday removing language from previous agreements that barred cooperative Israel-U.S. projects "in geographic areas which came under the administration of the Government of Israel after June 5, 1967." This will affect three large endowments that provided grants to American and Israeli academics and companies for research and technology - the Binational Science Foundation (BSF), the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), and the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD).
In November 2019, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. was returning to the position of former president Ronald Reagan that "the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law." Prof. Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason Law School and director of the Kohelet Policy Forum said Tuesday, "This is really quite momentous. It is the first time the U.S. has adopted a policy that explicitly and clearly authorizes the use of funds across the 'green line.'...It's a very strong recognition that settlements are not illegal." (Jerusalem Post)
- Israel to UN: The Palestinians Attack Those Who Make Peace - Jacob Magid
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the Security Council on Monday: "Instead of viewing the [normalization] accords as a new opportunity to kick-start negotiations, the Palestinians have attacked the Emirates, Bahrainis and Sudanese....Now everyone can see that the Palestinians incite against any country that seeks peace in the region, even its fellow Arab League members. The fact that the Palestinians attack those who make peace with Israel demonstrates that, for years, the council has been applying pressure to the wrong side." (Times of Israel)
- Coronavirus in Israel: Number of Active Patients Continues to Decline
The Israeli Health Ministry reported Thursday that the number of active Covid-19 patients in the country now stands at 11,914 - down from 69,248 on Oct. 4. 464 patients are in serious condition, down from 890 on Oct. 4. 199 patients are on ventilators. The death toll has reached 2,494.
See also Behind the Scenes in Jerusalem's Coronavirus Wards - Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman (Jerusalem Post)
- IDF Denies Killing Palestinian Teen - Tzvi Joffre
Responding to reports of stones being thrown at Israeli vehicles near Turmus Ayya in the West Bank on Saturday, the IDF found two Palestinians who began running from the scene. "One of them fell and hit his head," the IDF said Sunday. "He was not hit by IDF soldiers. The forces at the scene as well as military medical forces provided first aid." The IDF's Arabic-language spokesperson tweeted a photo from the scene showing Israeli forces treating the teen, adding, "Do not believe the lies of the Palestinian media!" - which claimed that he was beaten to death by Israeli security forces.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
- The Balfour Declaration, issued 103 years ago on November 2 on behalf of the British government, stated: "His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." But was the Balfour Declaration really a colonial document?
- Unlike classic colonial documents, the Balfour Declaration was an open declaration, not a secret treaty or a correspondence. It conveyed a commitment made in public, and it was made not to a foreign government, or to a client chieftain, but to an entire people, the Jewish people. The Balfour Declaration thus belongs to the new style of public diplomacy ushered in by the 20th century.
- Yes, the Balfour Declaration looks like a gesture by a powerful empire. But Britain by 1917 wasn't the power it had been and was in no position to issue a unilateral commitment with regard to Palestine or any other Ottoman territory. Any number of dissenting Allies could have scuttled the whole thing: the French, the Italians, certainly the Americans, possibly even the Vatican.
Zionist leader Nahum Sokolow secured a letter from the French as good as the Balfour Declaration (if not better), and even received a nod of acquiescence from Pope Benedict XV.
- After the U.S. entered the war in April 1917, it was unthinkable that Britain would issue any public pledge without the agreement of the American president, Woodrow Wilson. Had Wilson not given the word, the Balfour Declaration would never have been born. Thus, by the time the declaration was approved by the British Cabinet, its principles, and in Washington's case even its text, had been approved by all of Britain's allies.
- The Balfour Declaration had morphed into the Allied declaration. This smoothed the way for its inclusion in the League of Nations mandate of Palestine to Britain, thereby making it international law. The Balfour Declaration survived the war not because it harked back to prewar colonialism but because it anticipated the postwar world of national self-determination and international legitimacy.
The writer was founding president at Shalem College in Jerusalem, and is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Support Daily Alert
is the work of a team of expert analysts who find the most important and timely articles from around the world on Israel, the Middle East and U.S. policy. No wonder it is read by heads of government, leading journalists, and thousands of people who want to stay on top of the news. To continue to provide this service, Daily Alert
requires your support. Please take a moment to click here and make your contribution through the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.