U.S. Strike Kills al-Qaeda Leader in Syria
- Howard Altman (Military Times
U.S. forces carried out a strike on a "senior al-Qaeda leader" in Syria on Tuesday, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said.
A drone strike hit a vehicle traveling on the Idlib-Binnish road east of Idlib province in rebel-controlled northwestern Syria.
Large parts of Idlib and neighboring Aleppo provinces remain in the hands of Syrian armed opposition, dominated by radical groups. There are over 4 million civilians living in the area.
Florida Ready to Pull Investments from Unilever over Ben and Jerry's Decision
(Tampa Bay Times
Ash Williams, chief investment officer of the State Board of Administration, said Tuesday he anticipates Unilever will be added to Florida's list of "Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel," prohibiting state investments and contracts with the companies.
The state has $139 million in holdings in Unilever and its subsidiaries.
Unilever was advised of the state's position in July, and a 90-day period will end Oct. 26 for Ben & Jerry's to reverse its decision to stop selling ice cream in the West Bank.
Survey: 2/3 of Jewish College Students Feel Unsafe
(Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law
A survey of 1,027 members of the predominately Jewish fraternity AEPi and the leading Jewish sorority AEPhi conducted in April found that 70% of the students personally experienced or were familiar with an anti-Semitic attack in the past 120 days, with more than 65% feeling unsafe on campus and one in 10 fearing physical attack.
Furthermore, 50% of students said they felt the need to hide their Jewish identity.
The survey also found that 84% were supportive of Israel, 83% considered other Jews extended family, and 56% had traveled to Israel.
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The Abraham Accords: Accomplishments One Year Later
- Dmitriy Shapiro (JNS
Speaking at the newly established Abraham Accords Peace Institute (AAPI) in Washington on the first anniversary of the accords, Jared Kushner, a former presidential advisor tasked with leading the Israeli-Arab peace process, said that within a 12-month period, Israel has exchanged ambassadors with Bahrain and UAE, opened an embassy in Dubai and a consulate in Abu Dhabi, and inaugurated a diplomatic mission to Morocco.
Commercial airlines have begun operating nonstop flights between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt, and a flyover agreement with Saudi Arabia was reached.
There have been 35 diplomatic agreements and hundreds of business transactions involving innovation, tourism, sports, culture, science, air transit, and technology, as well as a drastic increase in Israel's trade with the accord's members.
"This means that more jobs and opportunities will be available for Jews, Muslims and Christians throughout the entire region," he said.
Kushner's speech was interrupted by a protestor screaming, "Free Palestine!"
After she was moved out of the hall, Kushner said, "I don't know why people do that....Quite frankly, there is so much that's available to the Palestinians today and to their leadership if they would just go with focusing on what's best for the people."
The False Narrative of the 1948 Nakba
- David Collier (David Collier
" is the name given to the Arab defeat in a war that they wanted, started and lost in 1948, a war in which they sought to annihilate the Jews.
The Arab violence did not begin in reaction to the UN partition vote in November 1947. There were Arab massacres of Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936 and 1938, all of which occurred before 1947. And between each of these major events were lots of little ones.
The truth is that by the 1920s, organized violence against Jewish communities had become a regular feature of Jewish life in Mandatory Palestine. Arabs attacked and Jews responded. Arabs that did not attack Jews were mostly left alone.
From the very beginning, the Arab leadership refused to cooperate with the British Authorities or the Jewish community. Archives are full of examples of the Arab side simply not participating in discussions.
Islamists such as the Grand Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini, or clan leaders in Beirut or Damascus, would issues orders and gangs on the streets of Jerusalem and Haifa would enforce them. This destroyed the opportunities for moderate voices to emerge.
This strategy of rejection - more than anything else - is the reason that Arabs in the West Bank do not enjoy independence today.
The controlling elements of Arab society always saw the destruction of the Jews as the ultimate goal. Nor were they shy about admitting it.
Everywhere where Jews existed and "Palestinian Arabs" remained in control, Jews suffered massacres and expulsion.
The Jews had no choice but to stand and fight for every inch of land they held. The alternative - as the Arabs made clear - was annihilation.
The Arabs, who did not see "Palestine" as anything other than part of a greater Arab nation, could seek refuge in any nearby part of "Arab lands."
The Arabs had somewhere to go; the Jews did not.
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
- U.S. and Israel Held Secret Talks on Iran "Plan B" - Barak Ravid
The U.S. and Israel held secret talks on Iran last week to discuss a possible "plan B" if nuclear talks are not resumed, two senior Israeli officials tell me.
The meeting last week was held via a secure video conference call and led by national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata.
The U.S. said it would impose additional sanctions on Iran if talks don't resume soon, an Israeli official told me. A spokesperson for Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Iran would be ready to resume Vienna nuclear talks in a few weeks.
- Funding for Israel's Iron Dome Cut from U.S. Spending Bill - Juliegrace Brufke
A group of anti-Israel lawmakers forced the House Democratic leadership Tuesday to cut $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome from a short-term government funding bill. The move prompted a call from Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who reassured Lapid that the cut was a "technical postponement" and that the aid "will be transferred soon."
Hoyer later announced that he would bring a stand-alone bill on funding the Iron Dome program to the House floor before the end of this week. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said,
"The United States must fully live up to our commitments to our friend and our ally, Israel."
Moderate House Democrats slammed their colleagues for their anti-Israel stance. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) called removing the funding "irresponsible." "Iron Dome is a purely 'defensive' system - it protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centers. Whatever your views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, using a system that just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives as a political chit is problematic."
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said,
"Just a few months ago, Israel was attacked by over 4,000 rockets launched by Hamas. The Iron Dome saved lives and helped limit civilian casualties during this terrifying escalation. There is strong bipartisan support to supply our friend and ally Israel with the tools to defend itself against future threats." (New York Post)
See also AIPAC Raps "Extremists in Congress" after Iron Dome Funding Struck from Bill
American Jewish groups on Tuesday condemned the removal of a $1 billion allocation for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system from a U.S. budget bill.
"Extremists in Congress are playing politics with Israeli & Palestinian lives. Calling to remove funding for a lifesaving defensive system is an affront to our values, risks further conflict, and is counter to the commitment made by Biden & supported by Congressional leadership," said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). "It's simple: Iron Dome saves lives. Blocking funding for Iron Dome helps terrorists kill civilians." (Times of Israel)
- Funding for Israel's Missile Defense System Set for Vote on Thursday - Marc Rod
The House of Representatives will vote Thursday on authorizing $1 billion for Israel to resupply its Iron Dome missile defense system. The system was used extensively in May, when Hamas fired rockets from Gaza toward Israel, the vast majority of which were intercepted by the system.
See also Israeli Officials Not Worried over Iron Dome Funds - Jonathan Lis
One Israeli government official rejected the claim that the developments in Washington reflected Israel's political standing in the U.S. "This incident wasn't connected to Israel at all. In a situation in which the American administration needs every vote in the House of Representatives to pass the budget proposal, a single-digit number of legislators seized on this political situation to exert pressure through it. Does that mean we won't get the money? Quite the contrary." (Ha'aretz)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- U.S. Senator Releases Palestinian Aid - Jacob Magid
Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, initially held up $75 million in humanitarian assistance that the Biden administration earmarked for the Palestinians last March, due to the Palestinian Authority's payments to prisoners who had carried out attacks against Israelis. In the months that followed, he released $55 million of that aid in two separate approvals.
The senator agreed to release the last $20 million in aid, "as long as it is reprogrammed to be used for food aid, and will not be in the hands of terrorists." Had the aid not been spent by the end of September, it would have expired. (Times of Israel)
- Poll: 62 Percent of Palestinians Oppose a Two-State Solution - Dr. Khalil Shikaki
62% of Palestinians oppose the concept of the two-state solution, while 36% support the concept, according to a poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the West Bank and Gaza on 15-18 September 2021. Moreover, 73% believe that the chances for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel in the next five years are slim or nonexistent.
61% oppose and 24% support an unconditional resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. 58% oppose and 36% support a return to dialogue with the new U.S. administration under President Joe Biden. 54% support a return to armed confrontations and intifada.
78% of the public want President Abbas to resign, up from 68% three months ago. If new legislative elections were held today, 37% say they will vote for Hamas and 32% will vote for Fatah. In light of the recent confrontations with Israel, 45% think Hamas is most deserving of leading the Palestinian people, while only 19% think Fatah under President Abbas should lead the Palestinians. (Palestinian Center for Survey and Policy Research)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
- IDF Lt.-Col. (ret.) Dr. Anat Berko is a criminologist, former Knesset member, and a world-renowned expert on terrorism, whose research focuses on suicide bombers and their handlers. Over the course of 20 years, she met with Palestinian terrorists, including senior Hamas figures such as the group's founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. "The personal relationships that I built with them led to deep insights," she said. "I come from an Iraqi family, I understand Arab culture from the inside."
- Q: What is the recurring pattern in the inner world of security prisoners?
Berko: "They are...people who are rooted in a collective society, while we conduct ourselves as individuals. The issue of masculinity is very important to them, and they don't see incarceration as a blow to their status, as criminal prisoners do, but as something that reinforces their status in the eyes of society - something for which they receive recognition as future leaders."
- "In their society, they are seen as normative people....They are essentially conformists, since acts of terrorism are not seen as something wrong [in Palestinian society]. Even inside the prison walls, they don't feel isolated, unlike criminal prisoners. Security prisoners feel safe in prison since they are jailed in certain affiliation groups, according to the terrorist organization to which they belong, so that they have social support from the inside, and public support from the outside."
- Q: Is there a possibility of rehabilitating Palestinian prisoners?
Berko: "They don't express remorse; in my opinion, there's no potential of rehabilitating them because, from their perspective, they didn't do anything wrong or forbidden. Their society empowers them for what they did."
- "Palestinian security prisoners...receive medical care that isn't included in the [Israeli] healthcare basket....There are security prisoners with serious illnesses who get imprisoned only so they can receive certain medications, or others who get imprisoned so they can study quietly for their matriculation exams. The life of Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, for example, was saved thanks to brain surgery he had when he was a prisoner [in Israel]. If he had been in Gaza, he wouldn't be alive today."
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