October 11, 2021

In-Depth Issues:

U.S. Army Deploys Israeli Iron Dome Missile Defense to Guam to Counter Chinese Threats - Bill Gertz (Washington Times)
    The Army is moving one of its U.S.-Israeli-developed Iron Dome missile defense systems to the western Pacific island of Guam to counter threats from Chinese missiles.
    The fiscal 2019 Defense Authorization Act required the deployment of Iron Dome to an operational U.S. military region no later than the end of 2021, the Army said.
    Israel has 10 Iron Dome batteries, which were heavily tested in May after rapid-fire rocket attacks were carried out by Hamas from Gaza.
    The Iron Dome successfully intercepted the vast majority of rockets launched in salvos against Israel.

Report: Sudanese Military Delegation Secretly Visits Israel (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed-UK)
    A Sudanese military delegation secretly visited Israel, Al-Arabiya TV reported Friday.

2 Foreign Fighters Killed in Israeli Strike on Syrian Drone Base (Times of Israel)
    An Israeli missile strike on the T-4 airbase in central Syria killed two foreign fighters and wounded six Syrian soldiers on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday.
    The attack targeted a drone depot at the base, which has been struck multiple times in recent years.

Israeli Air Filtration System Neutralizes Covid-19 - Hezi Sternlicht (Calcalist)
    The Israel Ministry of Health approved Aura Smart Air's air filtration system on Sunday. The system destroys airborne coronavirus particles in enclosed spaces.

EU Announces Moves to Fight Anti-Semitism while Bankrolling Palestinian Hatred of Jews - Melanie Phillips (Israel Hayom)
    The European Commission on Oct. 5 announced its first official strategy to fight anti-Semitism, designed to create a network of organizations across Europe to flag anti-Semitic content online and develop "counter-narratives."
    Yet the EU continues to funnel money to the Palestinians even while they pour out anti-Semitism and remain committed to eradicating Israel.
    Their educational materials, for which the EU helps pay, promote hatred of Jews and incitement to murder Israelis and steal their land.
    The EU also enables the Palestinian Authority to pay the families of terrorists for murdering Israelis.
    Germany had pledged 100 million euros to the PA over the next two years for projects including Palestinian settlements in "Area C" of the West Bank [which the Oslo Accords placed under full Israeli civilian control].
    Moreover, the EU refuses to accept that the Palestinian cause is fueled by exterminatory anti-Semitism.
    The writer is a columnist for The Times-UK.

Why the Global Energy Crisis Skipped Israel - David Rosenberg (Ha'aretz)
    In Europe, the price of natural gas and electricity has soared, and the Continent faces the threat of blackouts this winter.
    China is already suffering blackouts amid surging energy use and a coal shortage. In the U.S., the price of natural gas last week rose to its highest in 13 years.
    In Israel, energy is someone else's crisis: Natural gas supplies far exceed demand and more gas is due to come on stream next year. Prices for gas and electric power are falling.
    Israeli natural gas prices, which for a long time have been higher than much of the world, today stand at a fraction of European prices.

Sharp Increase in Bedouin Volunteering to Serve in IDF - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
    More than 600 Bedouins volunteered for the Israeli military in 2020, a sharp increase from previous years. The majority come from communities in the north.
    At a ceremony Wednesday marking the role of Bedouins in Israeli security forces, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, "You are the best proof that we need to live together, that we can live together."

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Still Fears U.S. Approach to Iran - Ben Caspit
    U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, and their teams met in the White House on Oct. 5 and discussed Iran. Diplomatic sources say the realization is growing that Israel and the U.S. aren't on the same page and their strategic perceptions of the Iranian nuclear threat differ substantially. A senior Israeli defense official described the situation to Al-Monitor:
        "The atmosphere was very friendly and open, the messages were conveyed, but in terms of substance, the situation is bad. Perhaps even very bad. Right now, there is no joint operational contingency plan against Iran should efforts to return to the nuclear agreement fail. And even worse, the Americans do not have any solution whatsoever to such a situation. They do not have a Plan B. They do not have alternatives, and what is truly troubling is that they are not really concerned about it."
        "True, the Americans continue to stress - at our request - that if the diplomatic path fails to yield results, there are other options, but it is not clear whether they mean it. They are not focused on Iran, they are focused on China and domestic U.S. issues....The severity of the situation does not really trouble them; they do not think that American national security is under threat of an Iranian nuclear effort."
        Israel has been presenting the Americans with massive quantities of fresh intelligence. Israel is one of the world's largest repositories of intelligence information on the Iran nuclear issue, after Iran reportedly cracked and brought down a major U.S. intelligence network operating there. Israel is focused on proving Iran's true intentions of acquiring a military nuclear capability, and illustrating the potential results of its success. "We are simply trying to prove to them that the Iranian saga could end up like the North Korean one," the Israeli official said. (Al-Monitor)
  • Report: Iranian UAV Production Centers, Training, and Export
    Over the past decade, Tehran has invested heavily in drone production despite drastic economic challenges. The regime is trying to compensate for its outdated and decrepit air force with this technology. To produce UAVs, the regime smuggles some of the main parts, such as engines and electronic components, from foreign countries.
        This Oct. 6, 2021, report details the 8 industries in Iran responsible for manufacturing UAVs, the 7 UAV maintenance and utilization centers in Iran, the various air, land and sea pathways used by the Quds Force to send UAVs to its proxies in the region, and how the Quds Force uses drones in 5 specific regions: Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and the Kurdish regions. (National Council of Resistance of Iran)
        See also Iran Dissidents Warn of Regime's Use of Drones - Adam Shaw (Fox News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Biden Envoy Talked with PA about Dropping "Pay to Slay" - Lahav Harkov
    U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr encouraged the Palestinian Authority to end its monthly payments to convicted terrorists and their families in his meetings in the region last week. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also below Observations: The Israeli Government Undermines Efforts to Stop Palestinian Authority Salaries to Terrorists - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Former U.S. Secretary of State: Israel Does Not "Occupy" Judea and Samaria - Tovah Lazaroff
    Israel is not an apartheid state and it does not "occupy" the biblical homeland of Judea and Samaria, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday during a visit to Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Coronavirus in Israel: Latest Wave Continues to Recede
    There were 25,155 active coronavirus cases in Israel, down from 84,194 on Sep. 11, one month ago, the Israel Health Ministry reported Monday. There were 1,457 new cases on Sunday, down from 10,949 on Sep. 13. There were 447 people in serious condition, down from 739 on Sep. 22. There were 4 deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday, compared to 30 on Sep. 14. (Israel Ministry of Health-Hebrew)
  • Jewish Groups Alarmed by Ethnic-Studies Bill in Massachusetts - Sean Savage
    Jewish groups in Massachusetts are raising concerns about a bill being proposed by state lawmakers that would develop curriculum materials to "ensure that ethnic studies, racial justice, decolonizing history and unlearning racism are taught at all grade levels." Charles Jacobs, president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, said that racial-justice curricula as now constructed "cast Jews as privileged whites whose very accomplishments and success become the very proof points that we are 'exploiters and oppressors.'"
        Andrea Levin, executive director of the Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), said, "There is now overwhelming evidence that critical ethnic studies and the 'anti-racist' pedagogy are not genuinely concerned with combating the evil of bigotry and prejudice, but are instead part of a political movement that's shot through with anti-Semitism and rank anti-Zionist propaganda. To mandate this pernicious ideology in public schools is a violation of public trust, brainwashes children of all backgrounds, and will ultimately put a target on the backs of every Jewish child."  (JNS-Israel Hayom)
        See also California's Ethnic Studies Requirement Signed into Law - Shira Hanau (JTA)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Talks to Restore a Nuclear Deal Are Going Badly
    President Joe Biden has been trying to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran that Barack Obama negotiated in 2015. But Iran is not making it easy. It has refused to speak directly to American officials in the six rounds of talks in Vienna that ended in June (it negotiated instead with European, Russian and Chinese intermediaries). It has dragged its feet since - citing the presidential election in June that brought to power Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner.
        As though taunting America, Iran has stepped up its nuclear program. On Oct. 9, Iran said it had produced more than 120kg of 20% enriched uranium, approaching the 170kg required to make a bomb after further enrichment. It is already spinning up a growing stock of 60% enriched fissile material, a hair's breadth away from bomb-grade stuff.
        Iran seems determined at least to develop the wherewithal to make nuclear bombs at short notice. The JCPOA was hardly a permanent solution to the problem. It sought to postpone the reckoning. It allowed Iran to continue enrichment and experiment with more sophisticated centrifuges.
        The Biden administration at first sought an agreement that would be "longer and stronger" than the original JCPOA. Iran has demanded that America should move first by lifting sanctions and that it should guarantee that the deal will not be repudiated again. (Economist-UK)
  • Amb. David Friedman Sees Muslim Tourism to Jerusalem as Way to End Conflict - Felice Friedson
    Former U.S. envoy to Israel David Friedman is opening the Friedman Center for Peace through Strength at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. Friedman said in an interview the big goal is to end the conflict. "I think it's endable. I think it's resolvable. I think what we've started is going to continue, the pace of which depends upon a lot of factors including support from the U.S. administration, but we are on a glide path, I believe, to end the Israeli-Arab conflict."
        "My perspective on this is really to focus on Jerusalem. I think that making Jerusalem accessible to the Muslim world to see the care and respect that Israel gives to the Muslim holy sites, or the Christian holy sites, and of course, Jewish - I think seeing that firsthand will go a long way in removing the residual levels of mistrust that exist between the nations or the peoples."
        "I think that the most important thing is to begin to show the Muslim world that the third holiest site is well taken care of by the Israeli government, and that Israel is the solution, if you will, to many of the problems in the Middle East; not the problem....We are going to use the opportunity of being in Jerusalem to meet with as many groups from the region as we can, whether from Egypt or Jordan, or from the Gulf, and to really emphasize the openness and respect that Israel has for the Muslim faith."
        "It's all about changing the way Jewish people and Arabs, and Arab-Israelis and the entire region begins to look at each other in a way where they can coexist. And more than coexist."  (Medialine)
        See also Ex-Ambassador Friedman Wants to Show the Arab World a Tolerant Israel - Lahav Harkov (Jerusalem Post)
  • Kamala Harris Shrugs at Anti-Semitism - Gil Troy
    A student at George Mason University complained last month that the allocation of U.S. funds to the Iron Dome, Israel's missile-defense system, "hurts my heart because it's an ethnic genocide and displacement of people, the same that happened in America." In response, America's vice president nodded and said, "Your truth should not be suppressed."
        Kamala Harris' response was alarming because she wasn't alarmed. Her answer proclaimed that hearing someone falsely accuse Israel and America of genocide is unremarkable. Harris is not anti-Semitic. She is not anti-Zionist, anti-Israel or anti-American. Her reaction is a weather vane, indicating where the conversation might be heading.
        Genocide is the mass murder of a people, yet the Palestinian population has quintupled since 1967. Libeling as guilty of genocide the people who endured the Nazis' genocide is absurd - just as is accusing America of genocide when the U.S. was responsible for ending the Nazi regime.
        The writer is a distinguished scholar of North American history at McGill University. (Wall Street Journal)

The Israeli Government Undermines Efforts to Stop Palestinian Authority Salaries to Terrorists - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Aug. 30 that Israel plans to loan $150 million (NIS 500 million) to the Palestinian Authority at the same time Israel is implementing a freeze of funds paid by the PA for salaries to terrorists.
  • The frozen sum is similar to the amount of the loan to the PA. By this move Israel is severely impairing its ability to demand that the PA cease paying salaries to terrorists, as well as weakening its ability to influence international parties to make the same demand of the PA.
  • To justify the transfer of money, it is alleged that the PA may collapse due to its severe economic crisis. This is largely caused by the cessation of Arab and international aid, and Israel's putative measures. It is also argued that Israel is required to support the PA's Abbas, following Hamas' growing stature in the Palestinian political sphere. There is also a claim that cooperation with the PA's security forces is essential to curbing terrorism from the Palestinian-controlled territories.
  • In practice, Mahmoud Abbas guarantees any terrorist imprisoned for his activities a much larger salary than he would receive in any other job, with salary increases during the years of his/her imprisonment. The more serious the attack, the more money received. Abbas also guarantees that terrorists imprisoned for more than five years will be given employment in the Palestinian Authority, and time served will be considered for seniority purposes.
  • The fear of the collapse of the PA is exaggerated as long as Abbas rules. Although the PA is in political distress more than economic distress, it has already endured much worse crises and it has not collapsed.
  • Last year, the Palestinian Authority, on its own initiative, stopped receiving tax transfers from Israel and halted security cooperation. Nevertheless, the PA continued to function and the scope of terrorism did not rise.

    The writer is Director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center. He was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

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