October 29, 2020

In-Depth Issues:

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 TV:
    "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.

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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.

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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. (Politico)
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. (Ynet News)
        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. (Jerusalem Post-i24News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Israel-Sudan Agreement

  • Sudan's Leader: We Are the Biggest Winners of the Israel Deal - Samy Magdy
    Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudan's ruling sovereign council, told state television on Monday that without the normalization with Israel now, "We would have waited for August or September" of 2021 to be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. "We are more winners than any other party....It was necessary for us to bring Sudan back into the global system."
        Sudan wants to revive its battered economy and rescue its transition to democracy. The transitional government has been struggling with a huge budget deficit and widespread shortages of essential goods, including fuel, bread and medicine. (AP)
  • Sudanese Official: Normalizing Ties with Israel Is a Gain for Sudan - Ahmed Younis
    Deputy Chairman of the Sovereign Council in Sudan Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo on Tuesday denied the presence of foreign pressure on Khartoum to normalize relations with Israel. Sudan's historic commitment to the Palestinian cause does not prohibit its establishment of ties with Israel, he said, adding that the boycott has been worthless and did not benefit anyone.
        "There is no enmity between us and Israel, and no war," he stated, emphasizing that Sudan will "reap the fruits of peace and communication with Israel." He confirmed that 90% of the Sudanese people support the move. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
  • Sudanese Analyst: Time to Establish Relations with Israel
    Sudanese political analyst Muhammad Adam told Russia Today on Oct. 5: "Today the Sudanese no longer talk about Israel being a plundering country and so on. This nonsense, this broken record, is a thing of the past. We will not pay the price or bear the consequences of other people's mistakes....Today, we live in an era of peace, of brotherhood, and of establishing mutual ties and interests with Israel."  (MEMRI-TV)
  • The Sudan Agreement: Another Arab-Israel Milestone - Ehud Yaari
    The agreement for normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel represented the successful conclusion of a multiparty deal that had been negotiated intensively for over a year. The authorities who toppled the dictatorship of Gen. Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 have been desperate to end U.S. sanctions, attract investments, and open prospects for relieving $60 billion in debt. The U.S. firmly conditioned the end of sanctions on peace with Israel. The writer, a fellow with The Washington Institute, is a veteran commentator for Israeli television. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

  • Palestinians

  • Could a New U.S. Government Undo Trump's Policy toward the Palestinians? - Adam Rasgon and David M. Halbfinger
    Allowing the reopening of the Palestine Liberation Organization's diplomatic mission in Washington or restoring much of the aid to projects that directly benefited the Palestinian Authority would require overcoming a number of legal obstacles, some of which might require Congressional approval. And re-establishing the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, which until 2019 functioned as the American diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, would require Israel's permission. "These are all possible but they would require heavy political lifting," said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
        What PA President Abbas may wish for most - that a new U.S. president would prioritize the Palestinian cause, pressure Israel to make concessions, and even move the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem - seems highly unlikely at best. Former Vice President Joe Biden has made clear he has many higher priorities and has signaled that he does not want to clash with the Israeli government. "The idea that everything will go back to the way it was before is somewhat of a fairy tale," said Mouin Rabbani, an expert on Palestinian politics. (New York Times )
  • Saudis, Arab States Drastically Reduce Aid to Palestinians - Ahmad Melhem
    According to the Palestinian Ministry of Finance, Arab financial aid and grants for the Palestinian budget decreased by 81.6% during the first eight months of 2020. Total grants and aid amounted to $39.2 million compared to $212 million during the same period last year. Saudi support declined by $98.3 million.
        "Unfortunately some Arab countries...have officially informed us that the U.S. administration asked them to refrain from supporting and financing the PA," said Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the PLO Executive Committee. "These countries have told us, 'We will not be able to assist you moving forward.'"  (Al-Monitor)
  • The Arab World Has Decided to Move Forward without the Palestinians - Khaled Abu Toameh
    For the first time ever, the Palestinian leadership are now feeling that the Arab world is really fed up with them and does not want to wait for them anymore. The Arab world does not like the condemnations coming from the Palestinians and the accusations of treason. They do not like seeing pictures of their leaders being burned at Al-Aqsa Mosque. They also do not like to hear the PA Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, issuing a fatwa banning citizens of any Arab country that normalizes relations with Israel from praying at Al-Aqsa.
        I follow what is being said in the Arab world. It is unimaginable what Arabs in the Gulf are saying about the Palestinians: "You ungrateful people. We've given you billions of dollars all these years. In the end, you spit in our face and you burn our flag." One prominent Emirati academic tweeted pictures of UAE flags in the Israeli city of Netanya. Next to them, pictures of the UAE flag being burned by Palestinians in Ramallah and Gaza. He wrote: "My flag is being honored in Israel while these Palestinians are burning my flag."
        Other Arabs are asking Mahmoud Abbas: "Are you trying to punish an Arab country simply because they want normal relations with Israel? What about you, Abbas? In 1993, didn't you and Yasser Arafat allegedly recognize Israel's right to exist? Haven't you been negotiating with Israel all these years? Haven't you been conducting security coordination with Israel? Where is the problem, if an Arab country such as the United Arab Emirates wants to make peace with Israel?"
        The Palestinians are afraid that if you normalize relations with Israel, you are actually recognizing Israel's right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people in this part of the world. This whole conflict is really about Israel's very existence in the Middle East. There are still a large number of people in the Arab and Muslim world who continue to see Israel as a foreign body imposed on this region by Western powers, even though Jews have been here for more than 3,000 years. (Gatestone Institute)
  • The Palestinian National Movement Is Addicted to Violence - Dr. Dan Schueftan
    The Palestinian national movement has become addicted to a pattern of behavior that combines failed aggression with serial whining. It's important to remind those who insisted on pitying the Palestinians that this behavior is what has brought most of their misfortunes down upon them. At the end of the British Mandate, the Palestinians were offered independence under the Partition Plan, but they chose to cling to the goal of a Palestinian state on the ruins of Israel. The Palestine Liberation Organization was set up on the same basis: to eliminate Israel through armed resistance.
        At the heart of the Oslo Accords was an Israeli illusion that the Palestinians had changed their ways. It turned out that their addiction to terrorism, insistence on the "right of return," and rejection of the Jewish state eventually convinced most of the backers of the agreement in Israel that there was no Palestinian partner. After the offers former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made in 2008, PLO Spokesman Saeb Erekat explained that for the Palestinians, even 100% of what they were demanding would only be a first step.
        The writer heads the International Graduate Program in National Security Studies at the University of Haifa. (Israel Hayom)
  • The UN Should Stop Funding the Palestinian Narrative - Daniel S. Mariaschin and Richard Schifter
    In the aftermath of the infamous 1975 UN Zionism=Racism resolution, the General Assembly created the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) and the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), each of which advances only one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
        The CEIRPP organizes conferences, exhibitions and other programs aimed at undermining, discrediting and demonizing Israel. It does so with the active cooperation of the UN's Department of Global Communications. The DPR sits inside the UN Secretariat, giving the Palestinians a UN home no other people or sovereign state has. Only in the case of the Palestinians has an infrastructure been established to perpetuate a crisis.
        The Palestinians have overplayed their hand, pressing for a zero-sum outcome to the conflict with Israel. It is the UN that encourages the Palestinians to hold out for their one-state solution: A "Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea." The CEIRIPP and the DPR are the chief proponents of this campaign. Eliminating the CEIRIPP and the DPR would send a clear message to the Palestinians that the free ride is over.
        Daniel S. Mariaschin is the CEO of B'nai B'rith International. Amb. Richard Schifter, who died on Oct. 3, was former U.S. ambassador to the UN in Geneva. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Europe Still Funds PA Radicalization - Melody Sucharewicz
    Palestinian children are taught from an early age to identify with the Islamist death culture of martyrism. Over the past decade, entire volumes of examples depicting hard-core incitement in mainstream Palestinian culture and schoolbooks have been published by international media. Thus, European politicians know that the culture of hate they blindly fund is fueled by ideas of anti-Semitism and radical Islam. They know that many of the "human rights" NGOs they generously support are affiliated with terrorist groups.
        The PA keeps radicalizing generations of Palestinians and the EU keeps paying. It is high time that Europe stop this vicious cycle and embrace a reality-based paradigm that peace-seeking Arab states like the UAE and Bahrain have adopted. The writer is a former foreign affairs adviser to Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Other Issues

  • Erdogan's Turkey Is Planning a New World Order - Zvi Bar'el
    Turkey's aggressive oil exploration in areas of the Eastern Mediterranean claimed by Greece and Cyprus is setting teeth on edge in the EU and U.S. "Coercion, threats, intimidation and military activity will not resolve tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean," State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said last week. "Ankara must end the cycle of detente and provocation," said Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. But European states are afraid of a new wave of Syrian refugees that Erdogan can send their way if they impose sanctions.
        "Turkey is becoming bigger and stronger and its interest fields are growing with it," Erdogan said recently. Whether it's the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Libya and in Nagorno-Karabakh, oil exploration in the Mediterranean, the Kurds in Syria or the defense pact with Qatar, Erdogan promises Turkey will be everywhere and nobody will stop it. (Ha'aretz)
  • Time to Call Out "Human Rights" Groups for their Anti-Semitism - Jonathan S. Tobin
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly decided to call Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam to account for their prejudicial attacks and efforts to undermine the right of Israel to exist. All three are guilty of supporting the anti-Semitic BDS movement with words and deeds, and seek to undermine the right of Israelis to self-defense against terrorism, as well as to promote false charges of war crimes against the Jewish state.
        These three groups are not being accused of anti-Semitism because they are critical of Israel's government or its policies. Rather, it's because their activities and advocacy have been consistent with the widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism promulgated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance that rightly labels delegitimizing, demonizing and applying double standards to Israel, the one Jewish state on the planet, as acts of Jew-hatred. (JNS)

  • Weekend Feature

  • The Operation Reinhard Death Camps - David Bezmozgis
    Sobibor, Treblinka and Belzec were created as part of Operation Reinhard - named for Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the German Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo) and one of the main proponents and architects of the Holocaust. The Operation Reinhard Death Camps were intended for the annihilation of the Jews of the General Government, the eastern part of occupied Poland that the Nazis didn't annex to Germany. Home to an estimated 2,284,000 Jews, the General Government included the districts of Warsaw, Cracow, Lublin, Lvov, and Radom.
        Unlike Auschwitz, which provided slave labor to various German industries, the sole purpose of the Operation Reinhard camps was the rapid murder and plunder of Jewish men, women, and children. Within hours of arrival at these camps, the people would be dead and anything of value they had with them - including the women's hair - would have been sorted for shipment to the Reich.
        The death camps were designed to spare the rank and file SS the distress associated with the mass shootings they had been conducting in the Soviet Union after the German army invaded. Ultimately, Jews from all over Europe were murdered in the Operation Reinhard camps, most significantly from Holland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany, France, and the Soviet Union. Of the 450,000-600,000 Jews brought to Belzec, only two survived; of the 850,000-880,000 brought to Treblinka, 50 survived; of the 170,000 Jews brought to Sobibor, 57 survived. (Tablet)

  • 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.
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