November 29, 2021

In-Depth Issues:

Iranian General Urges Annihilation of Israel - Benjamin Weinthal (Jerusalem Post)
    The spokesman for Iran's armed forces, Brig.-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, said Saturday: "We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter. We want to destroy Zionism in the world."
    He also blasted Bahrain and the UAE for normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel, saying: "For us they are part of the Zionist regime."

Kenya Police Uncover Iranian Terror Plans (The Star-Kenya)
    Kenya's security agencies have arrested an Iranian citizen, Mohammed Saeid Golabi, believed to be at the core of terror activities targeting both local and Israeli interests in Kenya and neighboring countries.
    Golabi, who is suspected to be an Iranian intelligence officer, has been seeking to establish a team of Kenyans who would gather intelligence against Iran's purported enemies within Kenyan territory in preparation for imminent attacks.

Canada's Largest Labor Union Votes to Reject Israel Boycott (Jerusalem Post)
    The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) voted 68% to 32% to reject a proposal to endorse the BDS movement's boycott of Israeli businesses at the union's biennial summit on Thursday.
    The Canadian Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) on Friday praised the majority of voters who chose "peace over division."

New German Coalition Parties Vow to Defend Jews, Israel's Security - Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA)
    The new German coalition government agreement, presented Wednesday by the Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democratic Party, and the Greens, states:
    "We will protect Jews and their institutions together with the federal states. It is a shameful and painful state of affairs in Germany that they must be permanently guarded."
    The government "will strengthen initiatives that promote Jewish life and promote its diversity, and combat all forms of anti-Semitism."
    "Israel's security is a national interest" of Germany, and the new government vows to block "anti-Semitic attempts to condemn Israel, also at the UN."
    It also welcomes normalization of ties between Israel and Arab countries.
    However, in the past, the Greens and the Social Democrats have criticized Israel frequently.
    See also What Is Germany's Next Foreign Minister's Position on Israel? - Marvin Ziegele (Jerusalem Post)

Egypt Is Rebuilding Gaza - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
    Huge billboards bearing pictures of Egyptian President Al-Sissi decorate the coastal road in Gaza as Egyptian bulldozers, engineers and construction workers remove the ruins of buildings demolished in Israeli airstrikes in the fighting in May.
    The main beneficiary of the Egyptian reconstruction plans is the Beni Sinai company, owned by Bedouin businessman Ibrahim al-Arjani, who also heads the Tarabin Bedouin tribe and the association of the tribe's leaders in northern Sinai - which are cooperating with Egyptian intelligence in its war against terrorist groups in Sinai.

Greek Beauty Queen Who Announced Boycott of Miss Universe Contest in Israel Is a Fraud - Michael Starr (Jerusalem Post)
    Greek beauty queen Rafaela Plastira, who claimed she would be boycotting the 2021 Miss Universe competition in Israel, was denounced as a fraud on Thursday by the organization representing Greece.
    The 2021 national competition for Miss Universe was won by Miss Greece Sofia Arapogianni and not Plastira, who won the Star Hellas 2019 contest.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Confirms: We Have a Program for an Offensive Atomic Weapon - Ehud Yaari
    In a dramatic change, senior Iranian officials have admitted that Iran has plans to build offensive atomic weapons. The plans were prepared by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran's nuclear program, who, according to foreign sources, was assassinated by Israel a year ago. A senior Iranian military official said that Iran has the ability to build a military nuclear weapon but supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei must approve it.
        In addition, former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani said that Fakhrizadeh had prepared plans for an offensive weapon, not just to defend Iran but also to serve other nations threatened by Israel, such as Syria and Iraq.
        At the nuclear talks in Vienna, the Iranians will announce to the world: "We have the ability and knowledge to make the bomb." In addition, they will say that the factory making advanced centrifuges at Karaj is out of bounds and international inspectors will not be permitted. (Channel 12-Israel-Hebrew)
        See also Former Iranian Nuclear Head: Fakhrizadeh Worked on Nuclear Weapons - Tzvi Joffre (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. Threatens Escalation with Iran at IAEA
    The U.S. threatened on Thursday to confront Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency next month if it does not cooperate more. "If Iran's non-cooperation is not immediately remedied...the [IAEA] Board will have no choice but to reconvene in extraordinary session before the end of this year in order to address the crisis," a U.S. statement to the Board of Governors said, referring "especially" to re-installing IAEA cameras at the Karaj factory, which makes parts for advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium. (Reuters)
  • UK and Israel Join Forces to Stop Iran Gaining Nuclear Weapons - Ben Riley-Smith
    British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday signed a 10-year memorandum of understanding for deepening ties on issues such as cybersecurity, technology development, defense, trade and science. They declared they will work "night and day" to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Moreover, the agreement will see Israel become one of the UK's most trusted allies in thwarting cyberattacks. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Iran Forcefully Clamps Down on Protests Against Growing Water Shortages - Farnaz Fassihi
    After two weeks of growing protests over water shortages in the Iranian city of Isfahan, the Iranian government violently cracked down on Friday. Security guards fired bird shot and tear gas at crowds of protesters and beat them with batons, injuring scores of demonstrators. Dozens of people were arrested. Videos showed protesters throwing stones at police and chanting "death to the dictator" and "death to Khamenei."
        In Isfahan, water has been diverted away from farmlands and toward industrial complexes in the desert province of Yazd and for drinking water to the religious city of Qom. The Iran Meteorological Organization estimates that 97% of the country is dealing with drought. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli President Herzog Celebrates Hanukkah in Hebron
    Israeli President Isaac Herzog, former chairman of the Labor Party and son of former Israeli President Chaim Herzog, on Sunday lit a menorah for the first night of Hanukkah at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron in the West Bank. Herzog said, "The historic connection of Jews to Hebron, to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, to the heritage of the patriarchs and matriarchs, is unquestionable. Recognition of this connection must be beyond all controversy."
        At the same time, he appealed to the shared heritage between Jews and Muslims. "In this holy space dedicated to all sons of Abraham, we have to continue dreaming of peace, between all faiths and creeds in this land, and to condemn any type of hatred or violence."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Herzog's Hanukkah in Hebron Is about Tradition - Herb Keinon
    There is no denying that Jews have a claim in Hebron that goes back thousands of years, and have a right to pray and study and even light Hanukkah candles there. The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Judaism's second-holiest site, is the plot of land that the Torah records Abraham buying to bury his wife, Sarah.
        Herzog wanted to light the first Hanukkah candle at a site that represents the Jewish historical claim to Israel. To highlight that at a time when many are trying to paint the Jews in Israel as interlopers and settler colonialists is to be welcomed. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinian Poll: Support for Two-State Solution Is Losing Ground - Ghassan Khatib
    According to a new Palestinian poll released on Nov. 22, 2021, the percentage of those who believe the two-state solution is the best solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict dropped from 39% in April to 29% in October. 33.7% supported peaceful negotiations, 33.1% supported armed resistance, and 20.8% supported popular resistance (Intifada). 41% in Gaza supported peaceful negotiations, compared with 29% in the West Bank.
        If legislative elections were held, 34% would vote for Fatah (44% in Gaza and 28% in the West Bank), while 10% would vote for Hamas and 34% would not vote. 57% said they were dissatisfied with President Mahmoud Abbas and 50% were dissatisfied with the work of the PLO.
        Who won the war in May in Gaza? Hamas 41%, Israel 6%, Neither side 38%. However, 52% in the West Bank said Hamas won, while only 26% in Gaza agreed. Moreover, 82% agreed that it was important for Palestinians to learn Hebrew. When asked which Palestinian personality do you trust the most, 54% said they don't trust anyone. (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center-PA)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Iran Nuclear Deal Talks Head toward Oblivion - Nahal Toosi
    As talks on restoring the Iran nuclear deal resume, the Iranians are making unrealistic demands and blowing off the UN nuclear watchdog. Iran's nuclear program is more advanced, and Iranian leaders are less optimistic about the benefits of potential sanctions relief. Last week, Iranian officials were unwilling to strike an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to restore some of its access to inspect Iranian nuclear sites - behavior that rang alarm bells in Europe.
        "Expectations are extremely low for any progress," said Henry Rome, an Iran analyst with the Eurasia Group. A senior Biden administration official insisted the U.S. objective is to disabuse Iran's new negotiators of "false expectations" about what the U.S. will do to accommodate them. Biden and his team say they won't lift sanctions unless Iran returns to compliance with the agreement. (Politico)
  • Some Harsh Truths about Hamas in Gaza - Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano interviewed by Yoav Limor
    Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano, head of the IDF Southern Command, said in an inerview that the IDF is seeking an offensive solution to rocket fire from Gaza. "It's a matter of time, but we'll get there." As far as Toledano is concerned, Hamas leaders are living on borrowed time. He revealed that during the May 2021 Gaza War, Hamas tried twice to cross Israel's underground border barrier. Both attempts were thwarted in Gazan territory.
        "There are no images of victory because we've already won. We're a strong country....Hamas...understands that beating Israel is not an option, or even threatening its existence. But it can scare Israel....We are facing an enemy whose only equipment is to cause fright. To do that, he'll take a balloon and burn our fields, or fire a rocket. That's a weapon of influence, fear, consciousness."
        "We're strong. And we have wins. During the fighting in May we killed 15 rocket manufacturing operatives under the ground. That's an unprecedented elimination....Think about the intelligence needed to locate them, what capabilities were necessary to hit them. It's true that this doesn't stand up with a mother who has to run with her kid to the stairwell [for protection from rockets], but we need to understand that if we don't panic, they lose."  (Israel Hayom)
  • The Evidence Linking Palestinian Civil Society Organizations to Terror Groups Is Well-Documented - Dan Diker
    Israel's decision to outlaw six Palestinian civil society organizations as terror groups was based on years of hard evidence, provided by research organizations and the Israeli government, that exposed the operational and financial links between these groups - funded largely by European countries - and Palestinian terror organizations.
        In 2016, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs published BDS Unmasked, and in 2019 published The Palestinian Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel Deception: Unmasked, revealing the association of Palestinian terror groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as full members of the BDS National Committee in Ramallah.
        The writer is a research fellow and the director of the program to counter political warfare and BDS at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli Plan to Counter Iran - Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz interviewed by Jonathan Lis (Ha'aretz)
  • The Iranians have no intention of retreating from their military nuclear program, said Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz in an interview.
  • "They have not stopped their technological advances....The Iranians won't be coming to Vienna to return to the agreement. I think the Iranians will be coming to obtain whatever they can and wish for in the economic [sphere], in other words, an easing of sanctions at the lowest possible cost."
  • "I don't think there are big differences in the understanding of where the technological situation is. But [Iran's] intentions are more difficult to analyze. Not a single partner is saying to us, 'We've come to terms with the Iranians getting a bomb.' Quite the contrary."
  • Ushpiz believes the international community needs to adopt a different plan of action, one that is much firmer and more forceful. He describes a pincer action in which the U.S. would impose harsh sanctions and demand that Iran retreat from its nuclear ambitions, while at the same time threatening a significant military operation if it fails to cooperate.
  • "Multidimensional pressure needs to be applied on the Iranians all the time....The Iranian military nuclear program cannot be given legitimacy. Absolutely not. As soon as that happens, this whole story unravels."
  • The present agreement "gives legitimacy to an Iranian nuclear program the moment you tell [the Iranian regime] that from a certain point, you can conduct whatever research and development that you wish."
  • Moreover, "an interim agreement is a very bad idea...because it's not certain that anything will come after it, and because it rewards the Iranians and gives them legitimacy."

Daily Alert is published every Monday and Thursday.
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.