December 10, 2020

In-Depth Issues:

Iran Moving Nuclear Fuel Enrichment Facility Underground - Christoph Koettl (New York Times)
    After a July explosion destroyed a centrifuge assembly hall at Iran's main nuclear fuel enrichment facility in Natanz, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said the facility would be rebuilt in "the heart of the mountains."
    New satellite imagery has revealed new tunnel entrances for underground construction in the mountain foothills south of the Natanz facility.

Senate Fails to Block Sale of F-35 Jets to UAE - Ted Barrett (CNN)
    The Senate on Wednesday failed to pass two disapproval resolutions to block the sale of F-35 fighter jets to the UAE in votes of 46-50 and 47-49.

Israel to Attempt New Moon Landing - Kenneth Chang (New York Times)
    On Wednesday, SpaceIL, which launched the Beresheet spacecraft that crashed on the moon in April 2019, announced Beresheet 2, involving two landers and an orbiter, to be launched in 2024.
    The two landers would be much smaller than the first spacecraft and would land on different parts of the moon, while the orbiter would circle the moon for years.

Turkey Chooses New Ambassador to Israel - Amberin Zaman (Al-Monitor)
    Turkey has selected a new ambassador to Israel in line with efforts to normalize relations.
    Ufuk Ulutas, 40, is chairman for the Center for Strategic Research at the Turkish Foreign Ministry. He studied Hebrew and Middle Eastern politics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
    There has been no ambassador in either country since May 2018, when Turkey asked the Israeli ambassador to leave due to fighting in Gaza and the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

New Saudi Poll Shows Sharp Rise in Support for Israel Ties - David Pollock (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
    A new public opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Institute shows that the Saudi public is increasingly open to contacts with Israel.
    41% call the agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain a "positive development, while 54% label the agreements as negative.
    37% agree that "people who want to have business or sports contacts with Israelis should be allowed to do so," compared to 9% who agreed in June 2020. 61% disagree, compared to 86% in June.
    The writer is a fellow at The Washington Institute.

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UNESCO Unanimously Adopts Resolution Condemning Israel over Jerusalem (Ammon News-Jordan)
    The Foreign Affairs Committee of UNESCO's Executive Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Monday reaffirming the rejection of Israeli measures in the Old City of Jerusalem.
    It also reaffirmed the 18 UNESCO resolutions relating to Jerusalem and Israeli excavations in the city.
    See also Diplomats Claim UNESCO Has Reformed, Is Less Political - John Irish (Reuters)
    Four years after the U.S. quit UNESCO, the UN cultural agency, over accusations of anti-Israel bias, diplomats say the Paris-based body has managed to put its house in order.

Palestinian Authority Looking for Creative Ways to Continue Payments to Terrorists (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    The Palestinian Authority does not intend to make any substantial changes in financial support for terrorist prisoners, released prisoners, and families of "martyrs."
    In order to please the new U.S. administration, two "creative solutions" have recently been put forward in the PA regarding payments to terrorists.
    One involves paying stipends based on socioeconomic status. Another is to have the PA employ released terrorists, a practice that dates back to the Arafat era.

Indian Navy to Procure Israeli Anti-Drone Systems (Press Trust of India)
    The Indian Navy has finalized a contract to procure the Israeli SMASH 2000 fire control system that is capable of bringing down high-speed enemy drones, official sources said Tuesday.
    See also The SMASH 2000 Plus (Smart Shooter)
    The SMASH 2000 Plus includes an advanced Counter-UAS Mode which provides accurate Hard Kill capability to counter the emerging drone threat.

Jews Are Native to the Middle East - Sandy Rashty (Jewish News-UK)
    Israel's Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely spoke at an event to mark the persecution of Jews from Arab countries and Iran on Dec 1.
    "Here in this country [Britain], the perception about Israel is: 'Some European colonialists came to the Middle East and found shelter for the Jewish people.' That is not historically right."
    "It's important to remember Jews were always part of the Middle East and we are natives like our Arab neighbors. Many are not aware of the fact that almost a million [Arab Jews] had to leave [their homes]. Israel accepted them - they are an integral part of the Israeli story."

Six Israeli Creations among TIME's 100 Best Inventions for 2020 - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
    Six Israeli tech firms have been named in TIME magazine's annual list of 100 Best Inventions.
    Beewise offers a smart home for bees, the Beehome, that helps bees thrive at a time when 40% die every year as a result of disease, pesticides, and climate change. It uses precision robotics, computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI).
    TrialJectory's software uses AI to read through thousands of clinical trials and extract information about patients for researchers.
    Augmedics' xvision headset uses augmented reality to turn a patient's CT scan into a 3-D image to help guide spinal surgeons.
    Mifold has developed a compact, portable child's booster seat with a design that keeps the seatbelt off the child's stomach and neck for better safety and comfort.
    City Transformer offers a folding electric two-seater car that can reach up to 55 miles per hour. Four of them fit into a standard parking spot.
    DouxMatok's Incredo Sugar allows bakers and food companies to reduce sugar content by 30-50% while retaining the same level of sweetness. The sugar grains are engineered so that most of the flavor reaches the taste buds.

Israeli Startups Raised over $900 Million in November (Globes)
    Israeli tech companies have already raised over $9.7 billion in the first 11 months of 2020, compared with a record $8.3 billion in 2019, despite the Covid-19 crisis.

The Arab Caretaker of the Largest Jewish Cemetery - Anjana Sankar (Khaleej Times-UAE)
    Ibrahim Sayyed, 59, is the Muslim caretaker of the world's largest Jewish cemetery located atop the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. He is the third-generation of caretakers for the cemetery, where Jews have been burying their dead for 3,000 years.
    "I have been taking care of the graveyard for more than 40 years now. I took over the mantle from my father and grandfather."
    There are between 60,000 and 150,000 tombs from various periods in history.
    Sayyed says, "I know each and every one of these tombs by name. Families from different parts of the world come here often to look for a family member who passed away years ago. And if they tell me the name, I know where they are resting in peace."
    But Sayyad says none of his children is interested in continuing the family tradition.
    See also The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem - Nadav Shragai (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2009)

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Biden National Security Adviser Sees U.S. Rejoining Iran Nuclear Deal - Gordon Lubold
    Jake Sullivan, President-elect Joe Biden's choice for national security adviser, said Monday the incoming administration wants to put Iran "back into the box" by rejoining the nuclear deal and forcing Tehran to comply with the terms of the original agreement. "We think that it is feasible and achievable," he said. Re-entering that agreement, which would mean lifting sanctions worth billions of dollars to Tehran, would lay the groundwork for a "follow-on negotiation" on broader issues, he said.  (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Biden's National Security Advisor Conducted Secret Negotiations with Iran on Nuclear Deal
    Professor Eytan Gilboa, an expert on American-Israeli relations and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, told JNS on Tuesday that while tight military cooperation with the U.S. will continue, he foresees some strategic disagreements over Iran.
        Future Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan have strong motivation to prove that the U.S. was wrong to leave the Iranian nuclear deal, and this motivation could translate into an acceptance of some Iranian conditions. Gilboa noted that in 2013, "Sullivan conducted secret negotiations and took Israel completely out of the picture. This time, I think Israel must make sure it participates."  (JNS)
  • Israel: New U.S. Administration Should Speak to Its Allies Who Are in Danger from an Aggressive Iran
    Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday: "I would hope that the incoming administration would understand that 2020 is not 2015. We opposed the nuclear deal at the time. The Arab states also privately opposed it. We publicly opposed it because we were concerned, one, that it did not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would put limited restrictions that would be removed in a few short years."
        "Secondly, because it was going to actually reduce and eliminate the sanctions on Iran, which would create a tailwind that would increase Iran's campaign of aggression in the region. And that's exactly what we saw happen between 2015 and 2018."
        "So what we would hope the new administration would do is to speak to your allies in the region....Speak to Israel, speak to the Arab states, try to form a common policy with us because we are on the front lines and we are in danger from an aggressive Iran."  (MSNBC)
  • France Takes On Islamist Extremism with New Legislation - Roger Cohen
    The French government on Wednesday unveiled draft legislation to combat radical Islamism. The legislation would curb online hate speech; punish doctors who provide "virginity certificates" for traditional religious marriages; and oblige community associations to sign declarations of allegiance to the "values of the republic" at the same time as imposing strict controls on their funding. The government's intent is to target the separate culture of extremist groups holding the laws of Islam as superior to the laws of the French Republic. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Iran Is Stalking Israelis Visiting the UAE - Yossi Melman
    Visits to the Persian Gulf by tens of thousands of Israelis for vacations or business is a major headache for Israeli intelligence agencies. Most native Bahrainis are Shi'ites with religious, cultural and ethnic ties to Iran. Israeli Col. (res.) Elhanan Tennenbaum was kidnapped in Dubai in October 2000 after being lured by Hizbullah agents with Iranian intelligence backup to travel there.
        Hundreds of thousands of Iranians visit and live in Dubai. A good number of the businesses established by Iranians in the Gulf are fronts for Iranian intelligence. The smuggling network of Abdul Qadeer Khan - the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb - which supplied blueprints of the centrifuges for enriching Iran's uranium, operated from Dubai.
        Another threat is that Iranian intelligence will recruit agents among Emiratis or Bahrainis who visit Israel, or Iranian agents will acquire passports of these two countries and pretend to be tourists or businesspeople visiting Israel. In the past, Israel has exposed Westerners (from Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Britain), some of them of Lebanese origin and some converts to Islam, who were sent to Israel by Hizbullah or Iran for terror missions or to gather intelligence. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Israelis Pour into UAE for Business and Pleasure (Media Line-Ynet News)
  • Coronavirus in Israel: New Cases on the Rise
    There were 1,828 new coronavirus cases in Israel on Wednesday, the Health Ministry announced Thursday. 318 patients are in serious condition, with 100 intubated. The death toll is 2,934. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel to Start Testing Palestinian Workers for Covid-19 at Checkpoints - Aaron Boxerman
    Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced Wednesday that it will begin randomly testing Palestinian workers entering Israel for Covid-19. 87,000 West Bank Palestinians are legally employed in Israel, in addition to 35,000 who work in Israeli West Bank communities. Palestinian areas have put partial lockdowns in place as the number of cases has surged - with 10,206 active cases in Gaza and 15,003 in the West Bank. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    U.S. Policy toward Iran

  • Biden Should Not Be Stampeded into Returning to the Nuclear Deal - Bret Stephens
    The Iranian regime has made it clear that it intends to ramp up its production of enriched uranium while threatening to expel international inspectors by early February if the U.S. doesn't immediately lift sanctions. The regime has also ruled out any extensions to the nuclear deal. "It will never be renegotiated," says Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Yet the Biden administration should bide its time.
        Tehran is desperate to have sanctions lifted. Its negotiating position is weak and its options for escalation are limited. The regime wagers that it can provoke a nuclear crisis and then stampede the new administration into giving up its immense economic leverage even before meaningful negotiations begin.
        There is growing evidence that Iran has long been in breach of its past commitments by hiding hundreds of tons of nuclear equipment and material that should have been disclosed under the terms of the nuclear deal. The Biden administration and its European partners have a right and responsibility to insist that Tehran provide a full accounting of that material as the entry price of negotiations. (New York Times)
  • U.S. Shouldn't Reenter Iran Nuclear Deal - Iran Sponsors Terrorism and Seeks Nuclear Weapons - Lt.-Col. (ret.) James Jay Carafano
    Iran is a terror-sponsoring state that aspires to become a nuclear power. The prospects of Washington pivoting to happy days with the Iranian regime were already quite slim. It is easy to campaign on promises to time-travel back to the Iran nuclear deal. It is a lot harder in practice.
        It was claimed that the Iranian regime would act more responsibly after the nuclear deal. It didn't. Iran fueled insurgencies, wars and terrorism in Syria, Yemen, Israel and Iraq. How can Washington rejoin the Iran nuclear deal with a straight face and not demand an accounting of the regime's cheating? Is the U.S. really going to remove sanctions on arms transfers? What about Iran's appalling human rights record? What about its ballistic missile program?
        Washington also has to consider what the rest of the region would think about the U.S. allowing money and resources to pour into the Tehran regime. Wouldn't they see an about-face by Washington as a sellout? Let's be honest. If Israel is poking Iran and that makes it harder for Washington to abandon sensible policies that are constraining the Tehran regime, we should all be thankful for that.
        The writer is vice president at the Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy of the Heritage Foundation. (Heritage Foundation)
  • Elliott Abrams: "There Is No Reason to Make All Sorts of Concessions to Iran" - Jackson Richman
    U.S. Special Representative for Iran Elliott Abrams told JNS on Tuesday: "President [Trump] always said he anticipated a negotiation with Iran, and the purpose of the ['maximum pressure'] campaign is to build leverage for that negotiation, and we've got it....Without the 'maximum pressure' campaign, I think you would not be seeing the kind of coordination in cooperation you are seeing between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates."
        "My hope is that the next administration recognizes that we have the upper hand. Iran's economy is reeling. Iran's people despise this regime....There is no reason that we have to make all sorts of concessions to Iran. They are the ones who need relief. I hope the leverage that has been built up will be used."  (JNS)
  • Biden Should Be in No Hurry to Change Iran Policy - Xiyue Wang
    If President-elect Biden truly wants to return to diplomacy, reverse the trajectory of Iran's nuclear program, and achieve the best possible outcome for the U.S., ordinary Iranians, and the broader Middle East, he should understand that time is not on Iran's side. The regime is unstable and the national currency is in a free-fall. Much of the region stands united against the ayatollahs. The U.S. can afford to wait, and it can use Iran's own bargaining style to advance its interests by pushing Iranian leaders to make the first move.
        It is wrong to suggest that the maximum pressure policy has been a boon to Tehran. Within weeks of the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran's currency had lost half its value, and Iran's economy sank. It is true that Iran's leaders have survived in the short term. The long-term outlook, however, is very different.
        Iranian leaders bet that the more congenial Joe Biden would reverse sanctions and allow them to avoid a choice between a change of policy or the country's collapse, avoiding any serious dialogue with the Trump administration or concessions on the troubling sunset clauses of the deal. They believed the president-elect would best ensure their regime's survival without requiring key compromises.
        True strategic diplomacy requires silence and distance at times. If Biden simply decides that he should stand aloof and wait for the Iranians to act first, he might find that the regime's ability to withstand maximum pressure is incredibly short, and the diplomatic options then open to him would be far greater than even he or his aides now imagine.
        The writer, a Ph.D. candidate in history at Princeton University and an incoming fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was imprisoned in Iran from August 7, 2016, to December 7, 2019. (Real Clear World)
  • Don't Let Iran Get Away with Hostage-Taking - Xiyue Wang
    One year ago, I was released from Iran as an American hostage in a prisoner swap. After a 40-month ordeal in the notorious Evin Prison, I left the country with the hard-learned knowledge that the Iranian regime is obdurately hostile toward the West, especially the U.S. At least 11 foreign nationals are still held in Iran.
        Why does the Iranian regime keep taking foreigners hostage as political leverage? The simple answer is that this tactic always works. Starting from the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis in 1979, the regime has inevitably got something in return for releasing captive foreigners, be it some form of financial gain, repatriation of Iranian prisoners detained overseas or other political concessions from foreign governments. Inevitably, these swaps have been described as "diplomacy." But when the old hostages are sent home, the regime simply arrests new ones to replenish its stock of political pawns.
        The regime's hostage-taking is a manifestation of its anti-diplomacy orientation. The Islamic Republic, from its formation in 1979, has consistently defied international norms. This is because of its revolutionary outlook and a unique, divine-sanctioned sense of hubris. Western states should require the regime, as a precondition for any future political deal, to release all hostages and forswear hostage-taking in the future. (Bloomberg)
  • Security Officials Doubt New Iran Deal with Biden in 2021 - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Former U.S. national security advisor John Bolton and former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers both told an Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) virtual conference on Monday that if any major comprehensive deal with Iran could be struck, it would take more than a year to do so. Bolton added that if the main dynamic leading into the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was U.S.-EU cooperation, today Israeli cooperation with moderate Sunni countries had upended all expectations and past trends. Likewise, former top CIA official Norman Roule implied that the negotiating positions of the incoming Biden administration and the Islamic Republic were far apart.
        Former IDF intelligence chief and INSS executive director Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin said that giving up leverage created by the U.S. maximum pressure sanctions campaign without getting new Iranian concessions on ballistic missiles and Tehran's destabilizing of the region "would be a big mistake."  (Jerusalem Post)

  • The Killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

  • Why Was Iran's Nuclear Expert Fakhrizadeh Secretly Decorated After the JCPOA Went into Effect? - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser
    The Iranian Islamic Republic has issued portraits of the late Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Brig.-Gen. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the mastermind of the Iranian military nuclear program, hugging the late commander of the IRGC Quds Force, Maj.-Gen. Qasem Soleimani, clarifying how these two generals were responsible for the two parallel vectors to turn Iran into a hegemon superpower - exporting the Islamic revolution and acquiring an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
        One photo shows Fakhrizadeh receiving a special award on February 9, 2016, from President Rouhani for his role in the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. Why was the Iranian leadership so appreciative of the head of the military nuclear program after the conclusion of a deal that allegedly guaranteed to block Iran's path to achieve a nuclear weapon? One would expect Fakhrizadeh to be upset about a deal that limited his work.
        He had every reason to be gleeful because he had instructed the Iranian negotiating team on what issues they should insist upon to make sure that the deal improves Iran's capability to acquire a nuclear arsenal. He got everything he wanted.
        Now, in retrospect, we know that Iran never meant to give up its military nuclear project. This is evident from the way they saved their nuclear archives, from the contents of the archives, and from everything Iran did after the JCPOA came into effect. The "maximum pressure" policy gives the Biden administration the leverage to force Iran to accept a much better deal that would really guarantee that the radical Islamic regime will not have a nuclear weapon for decades to come.
        The writer, former head of the research division of IDF Military Intelligence, is a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • What Fakhrizadeh's Killing Says about the Durability of the Islamic Republic of Iran - Ray Takeyh
    It has often been suggested that no matter how unpopular the Islamist regime has become, it is firmly in control of the country. Now, this widely accepted truism has to be called into question since, in recent years, Iran's nuclear installations have been sabotaged, its scientists killed and its secrets stolen. These events could not have taken place unless many in the system were so disenchanted with Islamist rule that they were willing to provide critical information to an adversary.
        The misjudgments of the clerical elite and the persistent failure of their security services to protect the regime are all too reminiscent of the shah whom they deposed. The death of a famed scientist may be the harbinger of greater dangers that are lurking below the surface. The writer, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a senior advisor on Iran at the U.S. State Department. (New York Daily News)
  • We Are Already at War with Iran - Maj. (res.) Dan Feferman
    The killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh won't lead to war with Iran because the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States have long been fighting a shadow war against Iran. It has attempted multiple times to threaten Israel from Syria through missile and drone attacks, has attacked American targets through proxy actors in Iraq, and launched a major drone and missile strike against Saudi oil installations.
        There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of how Iran fights wars. Since it lacks conventional capabilities, it employs significant and deniable capabilities using its various proxies, trained and operated by its Quds Force, but does so in ways that do not get covered widely in the American press.
        Over the past decade and a half, Iran has shown that it will only slow its illicit nuclear, ballistic, or regional behavior when it is under significant pressure. The combination of economic and diplomatic pressure with the threat of the use of force is what brought Iran to the table in the first place.
        Israel's enemies are not theoretical nor across an ocean. They are very real and very nearby. And the war with Iran is one that Israel cannot afford to lose. (Algemeiner)

  • Other Issues

  • How to Maintain Israel's Qualitative Military Edge in a Changing Middle East - Yair Ramati
    The U.S. has a long-standing, bipartisan commitment to maintain Israel's qualitative military edge (QME). With both Israel and the Gulf states facing a similar threat from Iran and its proxies, it remains unclear how wise a policy it is to object to Gulf countries procuring modern weapons systems from the U.S. Blocking such procurements could push the UAE to purchase Russia's Su-57 stealth fighter jet instead of the U.S. F-35, and it is not clear how such a scenario would better serve the mutual interests of the U.S. and Israel.
        No policy is free from risks, and it is necessary for Israel to identify these and manage them appropriately. Two of the most disturbing risks are long-term regime instability and the potential of other countries achieving advanced defense technology.
        Governments that are pragmatic today could become hostile tomorrow. Examples include the Muslim Brotherhood's takeover of Egypt, the conversion of Turkey from an ally of Israel to a bitter opponent, and Iran's change from a close partner of the U.S. and Israel to a sworn adversary.
        In order to navigate these risks with minimum negative impacts, strategies can include technological differentiation, based on the idea that not all platforms are the same and that the U.S. can keep some of its naval and airborne platform software packages to itself.
        Opening new technological routes for upgrading Israeli-American mutual cooperation, and increasing the volume and diversity of American pre-positioning of military equipment in Israel, would also further such strategies, as would deepening cooperation in missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and cooperation in space.
        The writer, an expert at the MirYam Institute, is a former director for the development, production and delivery of missile defense systems with Israel's Defense Ministry. (Defense News)
  • UN Funding Palestinian Construction in Israeli-Controlled Areas of West Bank - Ben Evansky
    The UN is funding illegal infrastructure projects for Palestinians in areas where Israel exercises exclusive control, in violation of the Oslo Accords. Naomi Kahn, spokesperson for the Israeli NGO Regavim, said UN funding encourages "Palestinian intransigence, making a negotiated resolution of the conflict less and less likely, by circumventing the entire process of negotiation and compromise and creating a de facto Palestinian state, specifically in areas under Israeli jurisdiction."
        Israeli minister Tzachi Hanegbi said, "All Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria must be legal. This is why the Supreme Court of Israel ruled several times in the past that settlers on private land must move from their homes, sometimes after years of living there. The same principle must be applied when it comes to the illegal invasion of Palestinians to land in Area C."
        Eugene Kontorovich, director of the Center for the Middle East and International Law at George Mason University Law School, said, "When Israelis see the UN literally paying for Palestinian violations of existing peace agreements, they naturally conclude that signing any more such agreements would be a big mistake - the UN only considers them to bind Israel, and not the Palestinians."
        Israel's former ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said, "Hundreds of millions of euros have been spent, and continue to be spent, to physically alter Israel's landscape. How would the United Nations react if an Israeli organization were to pump millions of euros into another member state for illegal infrastructure projects?" (Fox News)

  • Weekend Feature

  • UK Exhibit Highlights Jewish Resistance to the Nazis - Robert Philpot
    "Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust," an exhibition at London's Wiener Holocaust Library, draws on a unique collection of photographs, manuscripts, and over 1,000 eyewitness accounts. "There was Jewish resistance to the Holocaust across Europe," said Dr. Barbara Warnock, the library's senior curator. Warsaw and Bialystok were two of the seven major and 45 smaller ghettos in occupied Poland and the Soviet Union where Jewish underground groups operated. In dozens of ghettos, including Krakow, Vilna, Kovno, Bedzin and Czestochowa, Jews took up arms against their persecutors.
        In the Minsk ghetto, up to 10,000 Jews successfully escaped, many of whom joined the Soviet partisans. Jews led six prisoner rebellions in concentration and death camps, with at least 18 occurring in slave labor camps. In the uprising at Sobibor on October 14, 1943, coordinated by Polish Jewish resisters and Soviet Jewish prisoners of war, 300 prisoners escaped, of whom 47 survived the war. 144 prisoners escaped from Auschwitz.
        Up to 30,000 Jews served as armed partisan fighters in Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic states. The Avengers, a Jewish partisan group operating in the Lithuanian forests, is credited with killing over 200 enemy soldiers, rescuing at least 70 Jews, and destroying 180 miles of train tracks. Jews were also over-represented in the resistance movements of Germany, Austria and Western Europe. In Belgium, the Comite de defense des Juifs (CDJ) saved some 2,400 Jewish children. (Times of Israel)

  • American Enterprise Institute expert Kori Schake wrote that the U.S. "maximum pressure" campaign with Iran "has not succeeded. None of the twelve demands that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined as preconditions for new negotiations with Iran have been met."
  • However, to write off "maximum pressure" as ineffective or a mistake is wrong, even if it is true that the Islamic Republic has increased its uranium enrichment and its support for proxy militias. It is a mistake to assume that effective strategies must conform to the U.S. political calendar.
  • Put aside the fact that Pompeo's twelve demands are common-sense policy: an end to terrorism, nuclear weapons work, missile proliferation, sponsorship of militias fighting governments across the region, and threats to eradicate Israel.
  • To suggest any of these are not realistic or attainable goals is to normalize the Islamic Republic's rogue behavior. There is historical precedent to Tehran reversing course in the face of overwhelming economic duress and isolation.
  • The economic wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) controls up to 40% of the Iranian economy. To lift sanctions would be to enrich them further. While critics suggest that the policy undercuts so-called reformers, this too projects a misunderstanding of Iranian politics, as reformers have no influence over security and military issues, nor are their ideological disputes with hardliners significant.
  • Sanctions have failed to prevent North Korea's nuclear program, so would greater aid be in order? It is a logical fallacy to say just because strategy A is slow-working or seemingly ineffective, that strategy B is a panacea. Sometimes the opposite of an imperfect strategy can actually be much worse.
  • It was the inability of the Soviet Union to economically weather the Cold War that led to its demise, and precedent suggests even Iran's Supreme Leader will sacrifice declared principles in order to survive.

    The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
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