July 8, 2021

In-Depth Issues:

Hamas Works with Hizbullah and Iran to Learn Lessons for Next War - Yaakov Lappin (Investigative Project on Terrorism)
    According to an Israeli military source, Hamas is sharing its operational lessons from the May conflict with its allies, Iran and Hizbullah, while Israel is sharing its own lessons with the U.S.
    Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the research division in IDF Military Intelligence and now director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said it is Israel that has proven so far to be the better student of past conflicts. It has remained ahead of its enemies in terms of preventing surprises.
    Kuperwasser cited Hamas' launching of heavy rocket barrages designed to overwhelm Israel's improved Iron Dome batteries, the launching of a guided torpedo toward Israel's offshore gas rigs, and the development of drones.
    Israel had operational answers to all of these attacks, which were developed with Iranian cooperation and under Iranian guidance.

Israel Seizes $7.3 Million in Cryptocurrencies from Hamas - Alex Dovbnya (U.Today)
    The Israeli government has moved to confiscate 84 cryptocurrency wallets linked to Hamas, according to an administrative seizure order issued by Israel's National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing.
    According to blockchain sleuth Elliptic, the wallets collectively have $7.3 million worth of crypto.

Palestinian Prime Minister Claims No Connection Exists between Israelis and Jews (MEMRI-TV)
    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told Palestine TV on June 29, 2021:
    "There is no connection between the Israelis and the Jews....The Jews of today...are the Khazar Jews, who converted to Judaism in the sixth century CE."
    [Note: The Khazar myth is a largely abandoned historical hypothesis that has sometimes been abused to further anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist agendas. Genetic studies on Jews have found no substantive evidence of a Khazar origin among Ashkenazi Jews.] (Wikipedia)

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Should U.S. Taxpayers Subsidize Palestinian Corruption, Terror and Intransigence? - Mitchell Bard (JNS)
    While the Biden administration is determined to provide aid to the Palestinians, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said he will not end payments to terrorists, in violation of the Taylor Force Act, which bars U.S. aid as long as the PA continues its pay-to-slay policy. In 2020, the PA spent $181 million on pay-to-slay.
    The Palestinians have never shown any gratitude for U.S. assistance and have never responded to American largesse by cooperating with peace initiatives.
    They don't hide their contempt at the idea their support can be bought and have for decades undermined U.S. interests in the region.
    The Arab states have reduced aid to the Palestinians because they are tired of their ingratitude, criticism of normalization with Israel, and unwillingness to reach a peace agreement with Israel.
    The writer is executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE).

Western Silence as Gaza Summer Camps Train Future Terrorists - Lawrence J. Haas (Newsweek)
    Teenage boys in Gaza, some still in junior high, are learning how to shoot guns and launch anti-tank missiles at Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad summer camp.
    The aim is to "prepare the long-awaited army for the liberation of Palestine," Hamas says.
    Through these camps, Hamas and PIJ glorify military operations against Israel and recruit the next generation of terrorists.
    Yet the camps attract little notice in the West, showing just how committed leading media and academic institutions are to a narrative of Israeli oppression and Palestinian victimization.
    The writer is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

Ahmed Jibril, Founder of Palestinian Terrorist Group, Dies in Damascus - Eyal Arvid (Ynet News)
    Ahmed Jibril, 83, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, has died in Damascus, Syrian state TV reported on Wednesday.
    His group was responsible for the hijacking of an El Al jetliner in 1968 and machine-gunning another at Zurich airport in 1969.
    In 1970, it planted a time bomb on a Swissair jet that blew up on a flight from Zurich to Tel Aviv, killing all 47 onboard.
    On May 22, 1970, PFLP-GC gunmen attacked an Israeli school bus at Avivim, killing 12 civilians, nine of them children, and wounding 25 others.

Jerusalem Think Tank Hosts Conference on European Reactions to the Gaza War (Israel Hayom)
    The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, headed by former Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold, hosted on Monday a panel on the 2021 Gaza War and the reactions in Europe.
    Senator Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Italian League Party, said he would distribute the text of the Hamas Charter to members of the Italian Parliament and the European Parliament so that they would understand its intentions in its war against Israel and its ambition to spread Islam around the world.
    Hungary's ambassador to Israel, Levente Benko, condemned Hamas' firing of rockets at Israel, stressing that Hungary backed Israel's right to defend itself and had blocked the EU's joint declaration against Israel during the military operation.

Israel Aerospace to Sell Drone Guard System to South Asian Country (Globes)
    Israel Aerospace Industries' ELTA Systems will deliver dozens of Drone Guard systems to a South Asian country in a deal worth tens of millions of dollars.
    The Drone Guard is a battlefield-proven system with the ability to detect and defeat drone attacks.

New Israeli Skin Patch Can Detect Tuberculosis within an Hour - Nathan Jeffay (Times of Israel)
    A new Israeli tuberculosis-detecting skin patch developed at the Technion can give a diagnosis within an hour.
    Since current tests require lab processing, the patch enables testing beyond areas where there is good infrastructure of labs.

Koolulam Mass-Singing Event Returns after Corona (Koolulam)
    Watch the energy of thousands of Israelis at a Koolulam mass-singing event in Tel Aviv in June 2021.
    Koolulam is an Israeli social-musical initiative meant to bring together people from all walks of life, to simply stop everything for a few hours and just sing - together.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iranians Protest over Power Outages, Chant "Death to Khamenei"
    Massive power outages in Iran during a heatwave have drawn widespread criticism and triggered street protests. Officials have blamed the blackouts on surging demand for power, along with low rainfall cutting hydroelectric output and illegal cryptocurrency mining farms accessing subsidized electricity. Protests turned political in some areas, with people chanting "Death to the dictator" and "Death to (Supreme Leader) Khamenei," according to videos posted on social media. (Reuters)
        See also Power Outages Are Causing Disruptions across Iran - Seth J. Frantzman
    Power outages are causing disruptions across Iran. Demand far outweighs supply and the shortfall is 11 gigawatts daily. Things are so bad that a clock in Iran that "counts down" to Israel's destruction has reportedly stopped due to the outages.
        According to UK-based Iran International, "large parts of the Iranian capital Tehran and Karaj, a city west of Tehran, as well as other cities, were plunged into darkness Saturday night to early Sunday as a result of unannounced power cuts."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Man Arrested in Firework Attack that Burned Jewish Woman in New York - Tina Moore
    Mohammed Othman, 24, was arrested for hurling a firework that struck a Jewish woman, Melissa Mettle, 55, in Manhattan on May 20 during a pro-Israel demonstration, the NYPD said. Othman was also charged with two other incidents. (New York Post)
        See also Three More Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators Arrested for Attacks on Jews in New York - Thomas Tracy
    On May 20, a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators jumped Joseph Borgen, who was beaten and pepper-sprayed. Three of the attackers have been arrested, including Waseem Awawdeh, 23; Faisal Elezzi, 25; and Mahmoud Musa, 23. (New York Daily News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • After Palestinians Reject Corona Vaccine Deal, Israel Sends 700,000 Doses to South Korea
    Israel has sent South Korea 700,000 doses of the Pfizer Corona vaccine that are due to expire shortly in a deal signed between the two nations on Tuesday. The deal comes after the Palestinian Authority backed out of a similar agreement, saying the vaccine doses were too close to their expiration date, despite Israel using the same batches to vaccinate its own citizens. The agreement was made with the cooperation of Pfizer. (Times of Israel)
  • Demolition of Palestinian Murderer's Home Delayed at U.S. Request
    At the request of the U.S. government this week, Israel has delayed demolition of the home of Palestinian Muntasir Shalabi, who opened fire at Israeli students at a West Bank bus stop in May, killing Yehuda Guetta, 19, and injuring two other Israeli teenagers, Israel's Channel 12 reported Tuesday. Shalabi and his family hold U.S. citizenship.
        In June, Israel's High Court of Justice unanimously rejected a petition against the pending demolition in the West Bank town of Turmus Ayya. The court said the need to provide a deterrent against future attacks was weightier than the need for consideration of the relatives living in the house who may have been uninvolved in the attack. (Times of Israel)
        See also IDF Demolishes House of Palestinian Murderer - Elisha Ben Kimon (Ynet News)
        See also U.S. Slams Israel for Razing Home of Palestinian-American Who Murdered Israeli - Yaniv Kubovich (Ha'aretz)
  • Hamas Rocket Attack from Gaza Provoked Major Israeli Policy Shift - Alex Fishman
    When Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar gave the order to fire rockets at Jerusalem on May 10, he failed to see that this would lead to a fundamental shift in Israeli policy on Gaza. Due to his miscalculation, Israel is now transferring only limited amounts of humanitarian aid and fuel to Gaza.
        In the days preceding the fighting, Israel was still conducting talks with Hamas on a wide arrange of economic projects for Gaza including a new water pipeline, the construction of fish farms, the establishment of a large fuel reservoir to prevent future power shortages, and a jointly operated industrial zone at the Karni border crossing. All of these projects have now been canceled.
        During the fighting, Israeli officials kept repeating, "What was, is no more." The true meaning of that is now clear. Moreover, the IDF is just waiting for the first rocket to fly as a reason to destroy Hamas' remaining arsenals. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • Violence in Yemen, Gaza, and Iraq Isn't Coincidental - Richard Goldberg
    Israeli security officials and those of its new Arab allies see an emboldened Islamic Republic of Iran directing its terrorist proxies to use similar tactics to attack Arabs and Israelis alike. From Gaza to Yemen, Tehran's fingerprints are easy to detect, and have only strengthened the logic of the Abraham Accords.
        Attacks by Iranian proxies against U.S. forces in Iraq came alongside the coordinated assault on Israel in May by Iran's clients in Gaza. And before that assault, Iran's Yemeni proxy had escalated its own missile attacks against Saudi Arabia. Yet Washington seems to be treating Iran's proxies as disconnected actors rather than holding their sponsors and grand strategists in Tehran accountable.
        The U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal means the lifting of sanctions on Iran and the influx of billions of dollars for Iran-backed terrorists who are already emboldened to attack U.S. allies.
        The writer is a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Mosaic)
  • Iranian Athletes Speak of Arrest and Torture - Don Riddell
    In Iran, the theocratic government makes the rules for sport and enforces them through fear. Former junior world champion wrestler Sardar Pashaei campaigned to try and save the life of wrestler Navid Afkari, who was executed in 2020. Pashaei now lives in exile abroad.
        When entering a tournament, Iranian athletes don't fear the prospect of a stronger opponent; their biggest concern is that an Israeli athlete lies ahead of them, because they're not going to be allowed to compete against them. At the 2005 World Championships in Cairo, judoka Vahid Sarlak was on course for a bronze medal when he drew an Israeli opponent. "It was the most difficult moment of my life," he recalled. "I was just crying and asking why? Why should I lose?...I broke all the windows in my room. It was the worst day of my life....I will never forgive them."
        In 2017, Shiva Amini, who was regarded as the most technically gifted player on the women's soccer team in Iran, posted pictures of herself on social media practicing in Switzerland without the compulsory hijab. Given that she wasn't on official business for Iran, she didn't give it a second thought, until a storm of controversy broke out back home. Amini has not been home since and says both she and her family are routinely harassed and intimidated. (CNN)

  • Palestinians

  • Bring Home My Son Hadar Goldin - Leah Goldin
    On August 1, 2014, at the end of yet another round of bloodshed provoked by Hamas, a ceasefire finally took hold, brokered by the UN and the Obama administration. Two hours later, Palestinian terrorists, taking advantage of the lull in fighting, shot and killed two soldiers, and abducted another - my son, Lt. Hadar Goldin. Hadar was almost certainly killed in action, and we demanded that his body be returned to us for proper burial. Secretary of State John Kerry said: "It was an outrageous violation of the ceasefire negotiated over the past several days, and of the assurances given to the United States and the United Nations. Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier."
        The U.S. must demand that Gaza's rehabilitation be contingent upon the return of my son and of Oron Shaul, another Israeli soldier whose body is held captive by the terrorist organization. Not another dime should be given to any Palestinian organization until Hadar is brought back for burial in Israel. This is a human rights issue, the humans in question being my son and our family, which deserves the same basic dignity we wish for people everywhere. (Tablet)
        See also Israel Reiterates Link between Rebuilding Gaza and Release of Four Israelis
    "Rebuilding the Gaza Strip is conditioned on the release of four Israelis lost or detained in Gaza," Haim Regev, from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the UN Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on Tuesday, Anadolu reported. (Middle East Monitor-UK)
  • The Palestinian Police State - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction have shown that they are basically not all that different from other totalitarian regimes, especially those in the Arab world. They have turned the PA-controlled areas of the West Bank into a police state where political opponents are beaten to death, arrested, tortured and intimidated.
        Recent protests reflect the Palestinians' growing frustration and disillusionment with their corrupt and repressive leaders. The message they are sending to the Biden administration: Stop empowering our corrupt leaders. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Other Issues

  • Lebanon Stands at the Abyss - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
    For months, Lebanon has been enduring a dire economic situation. Lebanon's middle class has been wiped out, as half of the Lebanese have fallen into poverty in the last year. Today, Lebanon experiences shortages in every field: empty gas stations, a few hours of electricity a day, cancellation of night landings at Beirut International Airport for lack of electricity on the runways, and no medical supplies in hospitals. All those who can afford it are fleeing the country.
        The international community must step in, as Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed on July 6, 2021, to the international community and the UN. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also The Collapse of the Lebanese State and Hizbullah's Takeover of the Government in Beirut - Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 17March 2021)
  • Why Israel Receives Such Disproportionate World Attention and Criticism - David E. Bernstein
    Many in the Christian and Muslim world are repulsed by the idea of Jews having sovereignty and wielding military power, for reasons that are ultimately anti-Semitic. Traditional Catholic theology posited that Jews were doomed to wander the earth, stateless and homeless, as punishment for rejecting Jesus. To see the Jews exercising dominion over Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land is a hard theological pill to swallow. While the Church has largely come around, many traditionalist Christians have not. More liberal Christian theologies remain wedded to the notion that martyrdom is the highest form of virtue. Jews refusing to be victims is, ironically, seen as a betrayal of Christian ideals.
        In the Muslim world, the dominant narrative is that Mohammed, after showing his military prowess by massacring local Arabian Jewish tribes, beneficently allowed Jews to live peacefully under Muslim sovereignty. Muslims, as the Divinely-favored religious group, would always rule over Jews and not vice versa. To see a Jewish army consistently defeating Muslim opponents destabilizes many Muslims' worldview. Moreover, just as Mohammed expanded his empire throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Muslims assume that Judaism is expansionist like Islam, which of course misunderstands Zionism and Judaism.
        Finally, it bears noting that anti-Israel ideas did not arise spontaneously, but are products in part of state-sponsored anti-Semitic campaigns run over decades by the Vatican, Czarist Russia, Nazi Germany, the USSR, and various Arab and Muslim states. Young anti-Zionists today repeat slogans from Soviet propaganda of fifty years ago without even being aware of it.
        Thus, criticism of Israel's use of military force cannot easily be reduced by Israel "behaving" differently. It's not how Israel uses force that is the primary source of criticism, but ideologically-based repulsion at Jews exercising military power via their sovereign state, at all.
        The writer is a professor and executive director of the Liberty & Law Center at George Mason University Law School. (Times of Israel)
  • Is Israel Really a Settler Colonial State? - Steven Lubet and Jonathan Zasloff
    When academics call Israel a "settler colonial" state, it is meant to isolate the Jewish state from the legitimate family of nations. Yet historically, colonies have related to a mother country. The Puritans saw themselves as English, Afrikaaners as Dutch, Muslim conquerors as Arabs. They spoke the mother country's language and attempted to transfer its culture to their new land.
        The early, pre-state Zionists, however, sought to escape Europe, not to replicate it. They rejected Yiddish and adopted an old Middle East language - Hebrew - which they updated for modern purposes, while changing their German or Russian-sounding names.
        Central to the Zionist enterprise was the conviction that they were returning home. No other transplanted society made such a claim. Jews had lived in the area continuously for thousands of years. The Hebrew language is Semitic, not Indo-European. Ancient Jewish artifacts could be found everywhere.
        It is therefore more accurate to see Zionism as a form of nationalism - and Zionists as fulfilling a people's aspiration for self-determination in what they regard as their own land.
        Steven Lubet is a professor at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Rabbi Jonathan Zasloff is a professor of law at UCLA. (Ha'aretz)
  • Ireland's Hostile Anti-Israeli Narrative Lacks Honesty - Alan Shatter
    The Irish government and parliament's obsessive, selectively critical, hostile anti-Israeli narrative is economical with the truth. Its demonization and delegitimization of Israel lends international credibility to the malign narratives of Iran, Syria, Turkey, Hamas, Hizbullah, and Islamic Jihad. For the Irish government to make a truly beneficial contribution to peace, an entirely different approach should be adopted.
        The Irish government ignores the inconvenient fact that the Israeli government has no party with whom to currently negotiate. For 14 years Gaza and the West Bank have been ruled as two separate Palestinian entities by acrimonious Palestinian factions (Hamas and Fatah) who are incapable of agreeing on the parameters of any resolution with Israel.
        The Irish government also needs to address Palestinian violations of Israelis' and Palestinians' human rights, the murder by Palestinian factions of their Palestinian critics and opponents, the jailing and denigrating of Palestinian peace activists for engaging with Israeli peace activists, the military training and arming of children by Palestinian militant factions, and the use of Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields when firing rockets from within civilian locations.
        As other EU states have done, the Irish government should also address the Palestinian education system, partly financed by Ireland, which a recent EU report confirms encourages child martyrdom, glorifies terrorist atrocities, and teaches narratives designed to escalate division and conflict instead of encouraging greater understanding, peaceful engagement, and conflict resolution.
        The writer is a former Irish minister for Justice, Equality & Defense. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Weekend Features

  • The IDF Arrives in Surfside - Armin Rosen
    A small team from the Israel Defense Forces' Homefront Command arrived in Surfside. They joined a psycho-trauma unit from Israel-based United Hatzalah, and paramedics from Magen David Adom and Zaka who had also traveled to Miami from the Middle East. "We're here to show support, solidarity," Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, Israel's Consul General in Miami, told me. The Israelis are here for the living.
        That the Israeli visitors have succeeded in alleviating anyone's suffering shows what the Jewish state can mean to people thousands of miles away during the worst moment of their lives. The tragedy in Surfside shows that the connections between American Jews and the Jewish state are not merely political and go beyond the strictly rational. The bonds are resilient in ways that perhaps only a crisis can fully surface. In moments of need, all other contexts retreat into the background, and the Jews can still resemble a family.
        Nachman Shai, Israel's Minister for Diaspora Affairs who was in Surfside last week, said: "It's important for Jews in the diaspora to know that we care for them and that we will come any time they need us." In the official Israeli view, and in the view of many American Jews, the Jewish backyard extends for thousands of miles, meaning that every crisis is inevitably an intimate one.
        Part of the Israeli theory of trauma reduction is that when people are stressed, make them be active. The IDF's presence could be thought of as part of the healing process. Describing the layout of an apartment, or a distinguishing physical feature or piece of jewelry or clothing to Col. Elad Edri or one of his colleagues is an activity that assuages one's sense of helplessness. Some 80% of the families of the missing, Jewish and non-Jewish, talked to the IDF team. (Tablet)
        See also IDF Miami Mission Extended for a Week
    The IDF mission helping rescue efforts in Miami will remain at the site for an additional week, the Israel Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday. The decision was made in light of requests by Jewish organizations and updates concerning the effectiveness of the mission. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The American-Jewish War Hero Who Went Toe to Toe with the Nazis - Rich Tenorio
    Under the leadership of Maj.-Gen. Maurice Rose, 44, during World War II, the U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Division was the first to cross into Germany and breach the Reich's Siegfried Line, and the first to cross the Rhine. On March 30, 1945, Rose was killed in action outside Paderborn, Germany, the highest-ranking Jewish-American service member killed in Europe during the war. His campaign across Western Europe is chronicled in a new book by Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Daniel P. Bolger, The Panzer Killers: The Untold Story of a Fighting General and his Spearhead Tank Division's Charge into the Third Reich.
        Rose, a veteran of the North African and Sicily campaigns, had previously served in World War I. Rose was the son and grandson of rabbis. His parents immigrated from Russian-controlled Poland to the U.S. in the late 19th century.
        The German's Tigers and Panther Panzer tanks were superior to their American Sherman counterpart in some aspects, Bolger says. Yet Rose figured out ways to beat them. (Ha'aretz)

The Media in the 2021 Gaza War: The New York Times' Journalistic Malpractice - Lenny Ben-David (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • During the 2021 Gaza War, the New York Times published ten articles and features from Gaza written and photographed by local Gazan stringers, photographers, and "fixers." Since Gaza is controlled by Hamas, no one can report on or photograph Hamas rocket launchers located in civilian neighborhoods or the extensive and expensive Hamas tunnels with weaponry stored inside.
  • A respected Arab reporter, who reported on Gaza for decades, explained, "They will report what Hamas wants them to write; photograph the pictures Hamas seeks. They cannot write or film anything that will hurt Hamas' image....I blame the news producers sitting in London or New York assigning stories when they know the fixers' restrictions."
  • On June 24, 2021, the New York Times released a 14-minute investigative video entitled "Gaza's Deadly Night." Any Gaza war narrative must deal with Hamas' underground tunnels - used to move weaponry and personnel - which were the target of Israel's precision bombing of the Wahda Street area in Gaza City. Yet the video only included a 10-second clip of armed men moving through a narrow tunnel, from a clip filmed by Reuters in 2014.
  • On June 5, Qatar's Al Jazeera and Iran's Mehr News broadcast a video showing Hamas' elaborate tunnels filled with rockets, guns, missiles, artillery shells, storage areas, and even a command center. But there was no hint of these in the New York Times' mega-production.
  • The Times' video and articles build the case that the collapse of the Gaza apartments on Wahda Street "was a possible war crime." But it ignores the statement of survivor Azzam Al-Kollek, who described the collapse of his three-story building to the Wall Street Journal. He said engineers who visited the site told him the building dropped some 40 feet below street level as it fell into an underground void - a Hamas tunnel.
  • With its coverage of the May 2021 Gaza War, the New York Times has honestly earned its reputation as the most prejudiced and biased critic of Israel in mainstream North American media.

    The writer served 25 years in senior posts in AIPAC in Washington and Jerusalem, and as Israel's Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington.
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