September 30, 2021

In-Depth Issues:

Iran: We Have Established Six Armies Outside Our Borders - Rawad Taha (Al Arabiya-Dubai)
    Iranian Maj.-Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid said that Revolutionary Guards Gen. Qassem Soleimani announced, three months before his death, that he had organized six armies outside Iranian territory to defend Tehran against attack.
    These armies include Lebanese Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the regime forces in Syria, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, and the Houthi militia in Yemen.

Young Iranians Increasingly Want Out - Vivian Yee (New York Times)
    After years of sanctions, mismanagement and the pandemic, many prices in Iran have more than doubled since 2018, living standards have skidded, and poverty has spread, especially among rural Iranians.
    All but the wealthiest have been brought low.
    The darkening mood for middle-class Iranians can best be measured in the rush to leave the country after graduation, in delayed marriages and declining birthrates.
    The rial plunged from 43,000 to the dollar in January 2018 to 277,000 this week, a decline that forced the government last year to slash four zeros off the bills.

Photos: Yemen Rebels Have Suicide Drones Linked to Iran - Tom O'Connor (Newsweek)
    An unmanned aerial vehicle that appeared at a weapons exhibition held earlier this year by the rebels ruling much of Yemen bears a striking resemblance to the kamikaze drone used in a deadly attack against an Israeli-owned oil tanker off the coast of Oman, experts told Newsweek.

UK Labour Party Conference Votes for Sanctions Against Israel for "Apartheid" - Rob Merrick (Independent-UK)
    At the Labour Party conference in Brighton, a motion passed demanding sanctions against Israel for its "apartheid" policy towards Palestinians. The measure was opposed by the party leadership.
    See also Labour Friends of Israel Chair Condemns Anti-Israel Motion - Lee Harpin (Jewish News-UK)
    Labour Friends of Israel chair Steve McCabe criticized the "one-sided" Palestine motion passed by the Labour conference as "completely hostile to the people of Israel."
    He said the motion "is completely unacceptable, grossly inaccurate and morally repugnant. It does not represent Labour's longstanding policy in support of a two-state solution, backs the toxic BDS movement which singles out the world's only Jewish state, and propagates the apartheid smear."
    The motion, presented by Young Labour, appeared to pass with a 2-1 majority following a show of hands.

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Jordanian Red Crescent Chief: Israeli Training Prepared Our Medics for Covid - Justin Cohen (Jewish News-UK)
    Mohammed Al-Hadid, president of the Jordanian Red Crescent, spoke of how training in Israel helped equip paramedics in his country to face the Covid crisis.
    Al-Hadid personally paved the way for the admission of Israel's Magen David Adom (MDA) to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent organization in 2006.
    He told MDA UK that the Israeli emergency service was "a fantastic organization. I sent a cohort of Jordanian students to Israel."
    "They spent four years there and made lots of friends. MDA trained them and trained them well. Now many of them are working in our center and were instrumental in the Covid crisis."

Israel Receives 3 More F-35 Stealth Jets (Xinhua-China)
    Israel's Air Force received three new F-35 stealth fighter jets on Sunday from the U.S., an Israeli military spokesperson said.
    Israel now has 30 F-35s, part of an order of 50.

Czech Republic Buys Israeli Spyder Air-Defense Weapon for $627 Million - Jaroslaw Adamowski (Defense News)
    The Czech Ministry of Defense has signed a deal to acquire Spyder surface-to-air missile systems made by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for $627 million.
    Czech Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar said, "Finally, we will get rid of our dependence on the Soviet Kub [systems] from the 1970s which do not meet the current requirements for airspace protection."

Israeli Cybersecurity Company Guardicore Acquired for $600 Million - Assaf Gilead (Globes)
    U.S. company Akamai Technologies has acquired Israeli cybersecurity company Guardicore for $600 million.
    Guardicore has developed a platform for preventing ransomware and other cyberattacks in real time by dividing an organization into impenetrable "secured cells" (network segmentation).

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Foreign Minister Vows to Eliminate Zionism - Ben Evansky
    Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told last week's UN anti-racism conference that "my nation's willpower is dedicated to the total elimination of...Zionism." Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said this "is code for working towards the destruction of the Jewish state."
        "Washington should understand that working zealously to engage Iran with the aims of reviving the flawed 2015 nuclear deal not only makes no strategic sense given Iran's irreversible nuclear advances in 2021, but would result in yet another infusion of cash to the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism."  (Fox News)
  • Talk of Iraq Recognizing Israel Prompts Threats of Arrest or Death - Jane Arraf
    A conference last Friday in Iraq's Kurdistan region called to normalize relations with Israel. Participants are now facing arrest warrants, death threats and the loss of jobs, but Kurdish authorities are refusing to turn over the wanted Iraqis who were their guests. Iraq is technically in a state of hostilities with Israel dating to Israel's founding in 1948. Iraqi law makes it a crime to "promote Zionist principles" and lists the punishment as death.
        The conference has triggered a sectarian skirmish between the mostly Sunni Muslim attendees and Iranian-backed Shiite paramilitary groups who have declared the attendees traitors. (New York Times)
  • Palestinians Demand Cancellation of Agreement Signed with U.S. to Resume UNRWA Funding
    Palestinian factions in Gaza on Sep. 14 called for the revocation of the new framework agreement between the U.S. and the UN relief agency UNRWA.
        The agreement called for restoring U.S. funding, cut off for several years under former president Trump, but stipulates, "The U.S. will not make any contributions to UNRWA except on the condition that UNRWA takes all feasible measures to ensure that no part of the U.S. contribution is used to assist any refugee receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestinian Liberation Army or any other guerrilla organization or has participated in any terrorist act."  (Al-Monitor)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Foreign Minister Opens Embassy in Bahrain - Damian Pachter
    Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid arrived in Bahrain on Thursday to inaugurate Israel's embassy in Manama and hold talks with Bahraini officials in the first official visit by an Israeli cabinet member. Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz said, "The Israeli Embassy in Manama is the fourth Israeli mission we will have inaugurated in recent months....Regional stability, economic prosperity and technological advancement are the tidings that this partnership with Bahrain, together with the Emirates and Morocco, brings to the entire region."  (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas Explosives Meant for Attacks in Israel Found in West Bank - Emanuel Fabian
    Israeli security forces on Monday carried out further operations in the West Bank to disrupt Hamas plans for major terror attacks. In Bidu, near Jerusalem, where three Hamas gunmen were killed in a shootout the night before, Israeli forces found a significant cache of explosive devices intended to be used in a terror attack in the capital in the coming days, according to television reports. "Kilograms of explosives" were hidden in a well, whose whereabouts were determined after Israel Security Agency interrogation of cell members. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Gunman Killed in West Bank - Yoav Zitun
    A Palestinian Islamic Jihad gunman was killed by Israeli security forces early Thursday after he opened fire during a riot in the West Bank town of Burqin. (Ynet News)
        See also Palestinian Attempts to Stab Israeli Police near Temple Mount in Jerusalem - Tzvi Joffre
    A Palestinian woman attempted to stab Israeli Border Police officers at the Chain Gate to the Temple Mount on Thursday before she was shot and killed. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iron Dome Funding Episode Teaches Israel the Need for More Independence - Lahav Harkov
    The lesson Israel learned from the attempt by progressive Democrats to block American funding for Iron Dome missile defense batteries is that Israel needs to make sure it is not dependent on others, a diplomatic source traveling with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday. "We have to make our economic abilities even better so that we are never dependent," the source said. (Jerusalem Post)
  • EU to Condition UNRWA Funds on Removing Incitement from PA Textbooks
    The European Parliament's budget panel on Tuesday approved an amendment to withhold 20 million euros from UNRWA if immediate changes are not made to the curriculum taught in its schools, which includes anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement of violence. "The reserve of EUR 20 million will be released by the next academic school year if substantive positive changes are made in the Palestinian Authority curriculum that promote coexistence and tolerance with the Jewish-Israeli 'other' and peace education with Israel in alignment with the goals of the two-state solution," the amendment said. (Tazpit Press Service-Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Mahmoud Abbas' UN Speech Illustrates Why He Is No Partner for Peace - Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch
    The recent speech by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas before the UN General Assembly confirms why he is not a partner for peace. Abbas started his speech by referring to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 as a "catastrophe." For Abbas and the PA, the problem is not the Israeli settlements built in Judea and Samaria after the 1967 Six-Day War, but rather the very existence of Israel.
        Abbas demands the "return" of millions of Palestinians who have never set foot in Israel. He is really saying that Israel should commit national demographic suicide and agree to its own democratic destruction.
        Despite multiple requirements in the Oslo Accords that the Palestinians prevent terror, Abbas justified the PA's "Pay-to-Slay" terror-reward policy. The PA spends millions on monthly payments to imprisoned terrorists, released terrorists, wounded terrorists, and the families of dead terrorists, including the families of murderers and suicide bombers.
        The writer, director of legal strategies for Palestinian Media Watch, served for 19 years in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps. (JNS)
  • The Folly of "Economics for Peace" - Dr. Doron Matza
    The hope that economic easing in Gaza will moderate Hamas terrorism is a mistaken attempt to apply a Western logic of conflict management to a Palestinian enemy whose definition of the end of the conflict with Israel is not in the West's political-cultural lexicon.
        The Palestinian national movement is not a struggle to achieve a political settlement based on territorial compromise. It continues to be a long-term campaign with the ultimate object of completely destroying the State of Israel. Like the PLO, which was unwilling to accept the existence of Israel and expressed that view with violence even as it pretended to negotiate, Hamas' strategy is based on a combination of negotiations and terrorism.
        There is no fundamental difference between the PLO and Hamas. As far as Israel is concerned, they feel the same way: the goal is Israel's total destruction. This combination of a false willingness to negotiate and constant violent behavior also characterizes Iran in its relations with the U.S. as it attempts to forge a path toward a nuclear weapon. Artificially imposing Western thought patterns on one's enemies is political folly. Economic regulation carries no promise whatsoever of a secure peace.
        The writer, a research associate at the BESA Center, has held senior positions in the Israeli intelligence system. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
  • The Taliban Victory Is a Gift to Iran - Danielle Pletka
    The trope that Shiite Iran is a natural enemy to the Sunni Taliban in Afghanistan is rubbish. The Taliban victory in Afghanistan is a gift to Iran. Both Sunni and Shiite fundamentalists allow for both religious and political expediency in pursuit of a higher goal. In the West, this is called realpolitik.
        Despite ostensible support for the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) began feeding weapons to the Taliban and other anti-government forces inside Afghanistan, and provided an escape route for al-Qaeda members fleeing the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Tehran had no interest in seeing a stable, pro-American government to its east. Tehran permitted Taliban training camps inside its borders and provided light arms, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and military training for Taliban forces on Iranian soil. The Iranian government was also paying Taliban salaries.
        The writer is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. (The Dispatch)
  • Saudi Arabian Textbooks Show Improvement
    A new report by IMPACT-se, which analyzes schoolbooks for compliance with UNESCO-defined standards on peace and tolerance, finds further dramatic improvements in Saudi textbooks in 2021. The textbooks have removed or edited several lessons demonizing Jewish people, Christians and non-believers, while an entire textbook unit on jihad was taken out of the curriculum. Items removed from 2021 Saudi textbooks include forbidding friendships with Jews and Christians, and lessons justifying and praising violence and murder on behalf of the Prophet Mohammad.
        "We are witnessing a clear Saudi governmental policy of making rapid improvements to its textbooks," says Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The German Spy Who Mediated between Israel and Terror Groups - Gerhard Conrad interviewed by Yossi Melman
    For 30 years, Gerhard Conrad was a top foreign intelligence officer in Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND). He frequently lived or spent time in Damascus, Beirut, Gaza, Cairo and Jerusalem, but is best known for his involvement in Israel's prisoner exchanges with Hizbullah and Hamas. (Ha'aretz)

  • Weekend Features

  • Is It Time to Say, "Who Cares"? - Mitchell Bard
    No one in the U.S., including the president, has the power to settle the conflict with the Palestinians (see the Rogers Plan, Reagan Plan, Camp David Accords, Clinton Parameters, Middle East Road Map, Kerry Plan, and Deal of the Century). There is no magic formula that is yet to be discovered to change the status quo. Peace will only come when the Palestinians decide they are prepared to give up their delusions of having a state from the river to the sea where every Palestinian can return to the homes they lived in before 1949.
        Who cares what professors think about Mideast policy? The Washington Post published a survey of 557 professors where 65% agreed the current situation is akin to Afrikaner South Africa. If they are using the university to indoctrinate students with their personal agendas, they are committing academic malpractice.
        Who cares about people who deny Israel's right to exist? Abba Eban said: "Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its 'right to exist.' Israel's right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel's legitimacy is not suspended in midair awaiting acknowledgement....There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its 'right to exist' a favor, or a negotiable concession."
        Who cares about anti-Semites telling Jews the definition of anti-Semitism excludes them? Racists don't get to tell non-whites what constitutes racism. We have an internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism.
        People need to stop telling Jewish students to be scared because it is making them fearful. We never did that in the past when things were no less hostile on campus. We should be creating muscular Jews - proud, knowledgeable and confident - not snowflakes.
        The writer is executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). (JNS)
  • "My Friends Joined the Islamic State, I Enlisted in the IDF" - Korin Elbaz Alush
    Yoel Levi, 21, was born in Melilla, an autonomous Spanish city located on the coast of Africa next to Morocco where the majority of the population is Muslim. "Melilla has changed. In the past, there were many Jews there but now there are almost none." Levi says Melilla has turned into an Islamic State hub in recent years. As he was about to graduate high school, he learned that three of his classmates joined the jihadist group.
        Levi decided last year to make aliyah on his own. Six months later, he enlisted in the IDF. His parents in Melilla are still unaware of their son becoming an IDF soldier. "After a year in Israel, I can say that there is nothing like it. People here, who do not know me, make sure I have everything. When people hear that I am a lone soldier, they offer me to stay with them, even offer me money. I'm very happy to be here."  (Ynet News)

Israel to UN: "We Will Not Allow Iran to Acquire a Nuclear Weapon" - Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the UN General Assembly on Sep. 27:
  • "Israel is...eager to contribute to the world - despite being in the toughest neighborhood on earth. We are an ancient nation. Returned - to our ancient homeland. Revived - our ancient language. Restored - our ancient sovereignty. Israel is a miracle of Jewish revival."
  • "Israelis don't wake up in the morning thinking about conflict. Israelis, like everyone else, want to lead a good life, take care of our families, and build a better world for our children. Which means that from time to time, we might need to leave our jobs, say goodbye to our families, and rush to the battlefield to defend our country - just like my friends and I have had to do ourselves."
  • "Israel is, quite literally, surrounded by Hizbullah, Shia militias, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas on our borders. These terror groups seek to dominate the Middle East and spread radical Islam across the world....They all want to destroy my country. And they're all backed by Iran."
  • "Iran seeks to dominate the region - and seeks to do so under a nuclear umbrella. For the past three decades Iran has spread its carnage and destruction around the Middle East, country after country: Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Gaza."
  • "Over the past few years, Iran has made a major leap forward in its nuclear R&D, in its production capacity, and in its enrichment. Iran's nuclear weapons program is at a critical point. All red lines have been crossed."
  • "Iran is violating the IAEA's safeguard agreements - and it's getting away with it....They enrich uranium to the level...one step short of weapons-grade material - and they're getting away with it....We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon."

        See also Video: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Addresses the UN General Assembly (Prime Minister of Israel)

        See also Bennett to U.S. Jewish Leaders: Israel Is Helping the World Keep Terrorism at Bay - Dmitriy Shapiro
    Highlighting Israel's importance to the U.S., Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Jewish community leaders on Monday, "We are nine million boots on the ground, we are fighting, we are in touch with those terrorists, day-in and day out. We're gaining intelligence methodologies and we're fending them [off] without ever asking America to send even one troop and we never will."
        "We are not the problem. We're the solution. Smack in the middle of the toughest region in the world, we're fighting the problem and managing it."  (JNS)
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