September 2, 2021

In-Depth Issues:

Jews Target of 58 Percent of All Religiously Motivated Hate Crimes in U.S. - Jeremy Sharon (Jerusalem Post)
    Jews are the target of 58% of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the U.S. despite constituting 2% of the population, newly released FBI statistics for 2020 have shown.
    676 religiously motivated hate crimes were committed against Jews.

Taliban: Israel a Tumor in Body of Islamic Nation (Mehr-Iran)
    In an interview with Al-Alam, an Arabic news channel broadcasting from Iran, Taliban spokesman Zabihollah Mojahed said Israel is a tumor in the body of the Islamic nation.

Bahrain's First Ambassador Arrives in Israel (Albawaba-Jordan)
    Bahrain's first ambassador to Israel, Khaled Al Jalahma, announced on Twitter on Tuesday: "I am honored to announce that I will be arriving in Tel Aviv today to begin my post as Bahrain's first Ambassador to Israel."
    See also Hamas Condemns Appointment of Bahraini Ambassador to Israel (Anadolu-Turkey)

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Border Policeman Shot on Gaza Border Dies of Wounds - Michael Starr (Jerusalem Post-Times of Israel)
    St.-Sgt. Barel Hadaria Shmueli, 21, died on Monday after being shot in the head at close range by a Palestinian gunman during the Gaza border riots on August 21. The IDF has accused Hamas of organizing the riots.
    An IDF investigation found that after a sudden rush of rioters toward the security fence, the soldiers stationed on the border did not immediately open fire out of concern that they might hit civilians, a military official said.

Jewish Woman Wounded in Rock-Throwing Attack Saved by Palestinians (Jerusalem Post)
    A 36-year-old Jewish mother of six was driving towards Kiryat Arba near Hebron on Tuesday when a group of Palestinian men attacked her car with rocks.
    "I was driving, and suddenly I found myself in the opposite lane with strong pains and blood flowing from my head," she told Ynet. "When I stopped the car, and I was dripping blood, I tried to call the police and ambulance, but there wasn't any reception."
    "Suddenly three Palestinians arrived and tried to help. One of them told me he was a doctor and stopped the bleeding in my head, while another tried to call the rescue forces because he had a Palestinian network that had reception in the area. It went on like this for ten minutes with me just sitting there and them waiting with me."

President Herzog Visits Israeli Communities in West Bank - Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)
    Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited two Israeli communities in the West Bank on Tuesday to mark the opening of the school year.
    "Har Bracha is in my DNA as an Israeli and as a Jew," Herzog said as he inaugurated a new high school building in the hilltop community in the Samaria region. The president was formerly head of the Labor party.
    Herzog added, "I want to put aside for a moment the political debates regarding a final status arrangement with our Palestinian neighbors to speak of a simple truth - the Jewish people's deep connection [to] this space [Judea and Samaria], which cannot be denied or diminished. Every visit to Samaria is a dive into the depths of our history."
    Herzog also visited the Sal'it community to inaugurate a Montessori school.

U.S. States, Diaspora Jews Continue Buying Israel Bonds - Sharon Wrobel (Algemeiner)
    Israel Bonds CEO Israel Maimon said they expect to raise $1.3 billion in 2021, with $1.1 billion from the U.S.
    In 2020, almost 60 state, county, and municipal pension and treasury funds invested a record $805 million in Israel Bonds.
    In June 2021, after the Gaza conflict in May, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp authorized the purchase of $10 million of Israel Bonds, bringing Georgia's total investment in Israel Bonds to $25 million.
    Three U.S. governors noted their purchases of Israel Bonds after the Ben & Jerry's controversy.

Israel Aerospace Wins Contract to Provide UK Army with Robot Vehicles - Danny Zaken (Globes)
    Israel Aerospace Industries and Marlborough Communications Limited (MCL) have been awarded a tender to provide the UK army with four remote platoon vehicles (RPVs).
    In addition to intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance capabilities, the RPVs can carry platoon equipment, supply ammunition, and extract casualties.

Israel's Rafael Wins $80 Million Asia Combat Naval Systems Deal - Danny Zaken (Globes)
    Israeli defense manufacturer Rafael has been awarded an $80 million contract by a country in South Asia to deliver a naval combat management system for the Shaldag fast patrol vessels being manufactured for the country by Israel Shipyards.

Israeli Startups Raised over $1 Billion in August (Globes)
    Israeli startups raised $1.05 billion in August 2021.
    Israeli tech companies have raised $15.3 billion in the first eight months of 2021, over 50% more than the record $10 billion raised in all of 2020.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli and U.S. Navy Ships Conduct Joint Security Patrol in Red Sea
    Four Israeli and U.S. Navy ships conducted a combined maritime security patrol in the Red Sea on Aug. 30-31 as the U.S. Department of Defense shifted Israel from U.S. European Command to U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility.
        "Our navies are ushering in a new era of expanded cooperation and capacity building," said U.S. Vice Adm. Brad Cooper. "We are partnering in new ways, which is essential for preserving security in today's dynamic maritime environment."
        The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey sailed alongside the Israeli Navy corvette INS Eilat and two patrol boats as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft flew overhead. The units conducted air defense, unit defense, small boat operations and tactical maneuver training. (U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet)
  • PA Faces Dwindling Popularity - Ahmad Melhem
    The popularity of the Palestinian Authority government is declining among Palestinians, according to an opinion poll published by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) on Aug. 25.  25% support keeping the current government, while 70% support forming a new government, and 75% support holding immediate legislative and presidential elections.
        AWRAD Director Nader Saeed said the poll "showed that the higher level of frustration and despair among Palestinians did not result from confronting Israel or the difficult economic conditions, but rather from internal differences and confrontations."  (Al-Monitor)
        See also Poll: Palestinians in the West Bank
    The Aug. 25 AWRAD poll of West Bank Palestinians found that 74% believe that Palestinians came out as the victor of the latest armed conflict in Gaza, while 3% believed Israel won. 2/3 support the annulment of the Oslo Accords, while 26% are opposed.
        61% oppose the continuation of security coordination between the PA and Israel. 60% oppose, while only 30% support, the principle of a two-state solution. Only 8% support a one-state solution with Palestinians and Israelis living together. (AWRAD-PA)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel and U.S. Working on "Plan B" If Iran Nuke Talks Fail - Judah Ari Gross
    Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday said Israel and the U.S. had restored intelligence ties and were working to develop "Plan B" if the stalled nuclear talks between Washington and Tehran fail. Gantz warned that if Iran becomes a nuclear state, it will trigger an international arms race in which many nations in the Middle East will attempt to acquire an atomic bomb.
        Regarding Gaza, which has recently seen a significant increase in violence along the border, Gantz said Israel will make full reconstruction and development there contingent upon the release of two Israeli civilians and the remains of two fallen IDF soldiers from Hamas captivity. He added that the IDF would continue to strike more forcefully than in the past in response to launching balloon-borne incendiary devices. (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Foreign Minister: Palestinian Consulate in Jerusalem Jeopardizes Israel - Tovah Lazaroff
    Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke on Wednesday against U.S. plans to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem which worked directly with the Palestinian Authority. The former U.S. administration had closed the consulate in 2019, folding its services into the U.S. Embassy which relocated to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv the previous year.
        Lapid said, "Once it was closed, reopening it will send the wrong message, not only to the region, not only to the Palestinians, but also to other countries. We don't want this to happen." Israel fears that reopening the consulate would be tantamount to recognizing PA rights to Jerusalem.
        "Jerusalem is the sovereign capital of Israel and Israel alone, and therefore we don't think it's a good idea. We know the administration has a different way of looking at this. But since this is happening in Israel, we are sure that they are listening to us very carefully when we explain to them our point of view."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Covid in Israel: Daily Cases Hit New Record, but Serious Cases Decline
    Israel's Health Ministry reported 11,187 new Covid infections on Wednesday, the highest number since the pandemic began. However, serious cases fell for the third consecutive day to 666. There are currently 90,058 active cases. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Loans PA $155 Million to Shore Up Its Economy - Yoav Zitun
    Israel on Monday loaned the Palestinian Authority $155 million to shore up its economy, after withholding $186 million this year in taxes it collects on behalf of the PA, according to a 2018 law that requires deducting the amount of stipends the PA pays to Palestinian terrorists and their families. (Ynet News)
        See also Israel to Legalize 5,000 Undocumented Palestinian Spouses in West Bank - Aaron Boxerman
    Israel plans to legalize 5,000 undocumented foreign nationals married to Palestinians who have resided illegally in the West Bank for years, upon the successful completion of standard security procedures. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Lets in More Gaza Workers despite Border Riots - Judah Ari Gross
    Israel announced a series of goodwill gestures toward Gaza on Wednesday, expanding its fishing zone to 15 miles, and allowing 5,000 more Palestinian workers into Israel from Gaza, on top of the 2,000 already permitted, despite ongoing nightly riots along the border.
        Bassam Ghabin, director of the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing, said that 30 truckloads of cement, 120 trucks of gravel and 15 trucks of steel entered Gaza, beginning on Monday, and that traffic at the crossing was at almost the same capacity as before the fighting in May. An additional 5 million cubic meters (1.3 billion gallons) of water will also be allowed into the Strip. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • How Will Israel and the U.S. Deal with Iran's Nuclear Program? - Yossi Melman
    Israel is trying to formulate several alternatives that could distance Iran from its aspiration of becoming a nuclear threshold state. For Israel, it is almost a certainty that Iran is planning to reach that threshold, which would enable it to assemble nuclear weapons within a short time.
        Iran is currently enriching uranium to 60%, but has the knowledge and technology to enrich to 93%, the level required to produce fissionable material for military purposes. It must still obtain the knowledge and technology for weaponization - to develop capabilities related to the chain of explosion, to assemble the bomb on a missile, and to miniaturize the warhead. Iran will take at least two years to reach this.
        With or without a nuclear agreement, Israeli intelligence must play a central role in monitoring the Iranian nuclear program. Its goal is to prevent Iran from reaching the nuclear threshold. Britain's MI6 and the CIA have so far demonstrated very impressive knowledge and capabilities on this issue. (Ha'aretz)
  • Under President Raisi, Iran Is Hardening Its Positions in Nuclear Negotiations - A. Savyon
    Under President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran will demand the lifting of all U.S. sanctions - not just those imposed by the Trump administration, but also those imposed by Congress for Iran's support for terrorism and human rights violations. At the same time, they are accelerating their nuclear program on the ground, without technical restrictions or IAEA oversight, and violating all aspects of the agreement with impunity, in order to achieve their goal of becoming a nuclear threshold state. (MEMRI)
  • Iran's New Approach to Missile Proliferation - Fabian Hinz
    The proliferation of missiles and rockets to non-state actors by the Islamic Republic of Iran is a constant source of tension in the Middle East. For years, Iran has equipped its proxies and allies with increasingly sophisticated and longer-range missiles through smuggling. However, in recent years, this method has been augmented by the provision of guidance kits to modify existing rockets and the wholesale provision of manufacturing capabilities.
        Reports about the rocket arsenals of Palestinian factions in Gaza regularly cite Iranian assistance for domestic manufacturing. Indeed, in cooperation with Iran's missile industry, the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) appears intent on enabling all its main proxies to autonomously manufacture artillery rockets and precision-guided missiles. (International Institute for Strategic Studies-UK)

  • Palestinians

  • To Secretary of State Blinken: Repatriating Israeli Captives Is a Basic Humanitarian Right under International Conventions - Amb. Alan Baker
    During discussions in Washington on Aug. 27, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the surprising observation that the return of the Israeli captives should not be a prerequisite for enabling the passage of fuel and electricity into Gaza.
        This position runs counter to all accepted humanitarian norms including the 2006 International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and UN Security Council Resolution 2474 of 2019, which called on parties to armed conflict to unconditionally return missing soldiers and civilians.
        One might hope that Secretary Blinken will be correctly briefed by his advisors as to the genuine, internationally accepted humanitarian priorities, and will refrain from sanctioning a false and dual standard regarding Israel's missing civilians and remains of its soldiers.
        The writer, former legal adviser to the Israel Foreign Ministry, heads the International Law Program at the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Palestinians Seek to Erase Jewish History - Ben Evansky
    The Palestinian Authority is looking to dismantle Judeo-Christian ties to the Holy Land as it seeks to invent a new narrative favoring its claims in the region. PA President Mahmoud Abbas claimed on Palestinian TV in 2016 that "our narrative says that we were in this land since before Abraham." Palestinian leaders dismiss Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount, as an "alleged Temple."
        At the same time, "every single day, archaeological excavations in the City of David - the place where Jerusalem began...are affirming not simply as a matter of faith, but as a matter of fact, the millennia-old connection of Jews and Christians to Jerusalem," said Ze'ev Orenstein, director of international affairs for the City of David archeological site. "This includes the discovery of millennia-old inscriptions affirming biblical events; ancient seals with the names - in Hebrew - of figures straight out of the pages of the Bible."  (Fox News)

  • Other Issues

  • More 9/11-Style Plots Are Inevitable - Matthew Hennessey
    Afghanistan is lost, but jihadism is far from finished with us. The roots of Muslim rage run deep. Bloodthirsty madmen don't hate America because Americans were in Afghanistan. The U.S. military's presence in the greater Middle East was merely a pretense. They hated us because we are allied to the Zionists, because in their eyes we are decadent and irreligious, and, above all, because our culture has left theirs in the dust. Our successes embarrass them.
        There will be more 9/11-style plots. The perpetrators are jubilant, optimistic, fired up in a way they haven't been for 20 years. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Will China Drive a Wedge between America and Israel? - Jake Wallis Simons
    U.S. leaders have expressed concern about Chinese investment in Israel. In the last two decades, there have been 460 Chinese investments and acquisitions in Israel, totaling tens of billions of dollars.
        From an Israeli point of view, however, the need to panic is a long way off. After all, China accounts for no more than 10% of total foreign capital investments in Israel. By comparison, Chinese investment in UK interests amounts to 135 billion pounds ($186 billion), dwarfing that in Israel. There are 216,000 Chinese students studying in British universities, compared to 1,000 in Israel.
        Whereas Chinese infrastructure is deeply embedded in the UK, from the Hinkley Point nuclear plant to 5G, Israel's sensitive national security infrastructure is far more secure. How can Washington complain about Israel's trade with China when Britain is so much more compromised?
        The writer is deputy editor of the Jewish Chronicle. (Spectator-UK)
  • Investor Divisions over Israel Risk Conflict for Companies - Attracta Mooney
    After Ben & Jerry's decided to pull out of the West Bank, a series of U.S. pension funds are looking at dumping the company. 35 U.S. states have passed laws to combat the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction movement, which lobbies for companies to stop operating in the territories. Florida's state pension fund, which has $171 million invested in Unilever, this month added the group to its blacklist of companies that boycott Israel. If Ben & Jerry's, which Unilever bought in 2000, does not cease its boycott within 90 days of being listed, the fund will not be allowed to invest in the company.
        Richard Goldberg, who helped spearhead anti-BDS state law in 2015 as deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs in Illinois, said, "It makes no sense to make a corporate decision to boycott Israel. It is morally wrong, politically wrong and economically wrong for your shareholders....Does denying Jews and Arabs ice cream because of where they live help bring peace?"  (Financial Times-UK)

  • Weekend Features

  • Robert Kennedy Was My Dad. His Assassin Doesn't Deserve Parole - Rory Kennedy
    I never met my father. When Sirhan Sirhan murdered him, my mother was pregnant with me. My father's murder was absolute, irreversible, a painful truth that I have had to live with every day of my life. In 1969, Sirhan was found guilty by a jury of his peers and sentenced to death. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional and suspended it.
        My mother and the majority of my siblings agree with what I now write. Sirhan is not someone deserving of parole. Across the decades, right up through last week, he has not been willing to accept responsibility for his act and has shown little remorse. The recommendation to release Sirhan still has to be reviewed by the full parole board and then by California's governor. I ask them, for my family - and I believe for our country, too - to please reject this recommendation and keep Sirhan Sirhan in prison. (New York Times)
  • Bad News and Good News about Anti-Semitism - Dan Schueftan
    The bad news is that anti-Semitism, along with its institutionalization as a permanent phenomenon in an enlightened society, has dramatically increased in the West. The good news is that the Jewish people and their nation-state have a proven ability to survive and even flourish despite this hatred.
        From Israel's standpoint, it is the prevalence of anti-Semitism in open societies that bolsters the recognition that even in the liberal era, a strong, developed, and ethical Jewish state is necessary to ensure the future of the Jewish people. Israel has proven that even a small, strong, and determined state can guarantee its citizens' security and even prosperity as well as international recognition of its achievements, despite the pathological hatred spreading across enlightened circles.
        The writer heads the International Graduate Program in National Security Studies at the University of Haifa. (Israel Hayom)

  • The controversy on Polish approval of legislation that shuts down Holocaust-era restitution claims should be understood as part of a campaign by the Polish state to rewrite the history of World War II as a narrative of Polish victimhood, a group of leading historians concluded. The four scholars have all published extensively on the Holocaust in Poland, where over 90% of the country's Jewish population were exterminated, accounting for nearly half of the six million Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide.
  • They observed that transforming the Holocaust from a Jewish trauma into a Polish one depended on excluding from historical inquiry the topic of collusion between elements of the population in Poland, a country with a long history of anti-Semitic agitation, with the Nazi persecution of the Jews. As a result of this campaign, many ordinary Poles believe that Auschwitz, where 1.1 million Jews were exterminated, is "primarily a place of Polish suffering."
  • Jan Gross, emeritus professor of history at Princeton University, said, "One hears from the right-wing nationalists that the Jews are trying to seize property....At the same time, the Polish government is demanding restitution from the Germans for damages incurred during the Nazi occupation, which they estimate at $850 billion."
  • "When this issue is brought up, you hear that the number of Poles killed [in World War II] was six million - that number is not a coincidence. However, the real number is under five million, and that is when we include the three million Polish Jews murdered in the Holocaust. So the...Polish regime intends to request compensation from Germany for Jewish property that was destroyed during the war."
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