Israel Strike Targets Iran Weapons in Syria Port
An Israeli airstrike at 1:23 a.m. on Tuesday "directly targeted an Iranian weapons shipment in the container yard" in the Syrian port of Latakia, causing "huge material losses" but no casualties, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
Iron Dome Replenishment Funding Stymied by U.S. Political Gridlock
- Ben Samuels (Ha'aretz
U.S. Congressional approval for $1 billion in emergency funding for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system is taking much longer than originally anticipated.
Despite U.S. officials' public and private assurances, the approval process will extend into 2022.
The emergency aid is sitting idle in the Senate thanks to opposition of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who insists that the funding should be reallocated from proposed assistance to Afghanistan, preventing fast-track approval of the aid via unanimous consent.
Half of Iran's Civilian Planes Grounded for Lack of Spare Parts
More than half of Iran's fleet of civilian aircraft is grounded due to a lack of spare parts, Alireza Barkhor, the deputy head of the country's airlines association, told the IRNA
state news agency.
"The number of inactive planes in Iran has risen to more than 170...as a result of missing spare parts, particularly motors," he said. "We will see even more planes grounded in the near future."
PA Calls Israeli President's Lighting of Hanukkah Candles at Cave of Patriarchs a "Declaration of War"
- Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch
The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is the site where the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs are buried as related in the Bible.
The Palestinian Authority claims the Cave is a holy place for Muslims alone.
After Israeli President Isaac Herzog recently lit Hanukkah candles at the Cave, Hebron District Governor Jabrin Al-Bakri told official PA TV: "This day is a declaration of war by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people."
PA TV called Herzog, former Chairman of Israel's Labor Party, an "extremist" who "defiled" the site.
Dutch Court Rejects Civil Suit Against Israel's Defense Minister
The Hague Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld a Hague District Court ruling in January 2020 to throw out a civil case against Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and former air force commander Amir Eshel over their roles in an airstrike during the 2014 Gaza conflict.
Israel's Justice Ministry said the airstrike had killed four militants hiding in a house and that the attack was permissible under international law.
Follow the Jerusalem Center on:
Violence Spreads Against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank
Angry Palestinians closed several main roads in Jenin in the West Bank on Sunday and attacked Palestinian security vehicles in protest against the killing of a student by his colleagues at the Arab American University in the city.
Marwan Khalilieh, a relative of the victim, said: "Killing has become a normal thing. Everyone dares to kill because there is no real punishment or deterrent."
Palestinian police spokesman Col. Louay Erzeigat said the failure to take decisive judicial measures against anyone who commits a crime in Palestinian society contributed to the increase of violence.
Israel Has Become a Powerhouse in Quantum Technologies
- David Kramer (Physics Today
Israel is punching above its weight in quantum fields.
The Knesset has committed $400 million to a five-year National Quantum Initiative, which kicked off in 2019.
The program includes $60 million to build the country's first quantum computer.
Israel consistently ranks high alongside leading European nations by such measures as citations and the number of grants in quantum fields awarded by the European Research Council, of which it is an associate member.
Moreover, in the last two years, the number of Israeli firms working in quantum tech surged from 5 to 30, spanning the gamut of hardware and software for defense and civilian applications.
The Jewish Love Affair with the IDF
- Tabby Refael (Los Angeles Jewish Journal
On Nov. 6, I attended a luncheon in honor of IDF soldiers organized by Friends of the IDF (FIDF) Western Region.
The 2021 delegation included Lt. S., who serves in the IDF Home Front Command; Cpl. A., a self-described "troubled kid" who now serves as a commander in the Education Corps; and a father and son duo - the father, Lt.-Col. Y., an F-16 pilot, and his son, Cpl. J., who serves in an Iron Dome unit.
As I watched hundreds of attendees give the soldiers one standing ovation after another, I thought: This is extremely unusual.
Do those around the world who identify as French or Francophile, but who don't live in France, attend events in support of the French army and embrace French soldiers as their own children?
Are Korean Americans moved to tears upon meeting young Korean soldiers in Los Angeles?
But there they were, hundreds of non-Israeli Jews, cheering and hugging Israeli soldiers with an unconditional love reminiscent of family bonds.
As the army of the Jewish state, love for the IDF defies nationality.
Search the Recent History of Israel and the Middle East
Send the Daily Alert to a Friend
If you are viewing the email version of the Daily Alert and want to share it with friends, please click Forward in your email program and enter their address.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
- U.S. Official: U.S., Israel to Discuss Military Drills to Destroy Iran's Nuclear Facilities - Phil Stewart
U.S. and Israeli defense chiefs are expected on Thursday to discuss possible military exercises to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities should diplomacy fail, a senior U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday. The official said Pentagon leaders briefed White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Oct. 25 on the full set of military options available to ensure that Iran would not be able to produce a nuclear weapon.
The U.S.-Israeli preparations underscore Western concern about the nuclear talks with Iran. "Iran's nuclear program is advancing to a point beyond which it has any conventional rationale," the official said.
Such drills could address calls to openly signal to Iran that the U.S. and Israel are serious about preventing it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Dennis Ross, a former senior U.S. official and Middle East expert, said last month that "Biden needs to disabuse Iran of the notion that Washington will not act militarily and will stop Israel from doing so." (Reuters)
- U.S.: "We Will Not Allow Iran to Tread Water in Talks"
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday: "As we continue to believe that a return to compliance with the [Iran nuclear] agreement is the best way forward, that is not an infinite prospect, because what we will not allow is for Iran to, in effect, tread water at talks and not come forward with any meaningful and serious propositions for finally resolving the outstanding issues to returning to compliance while at the same time advancing its program. So the runway is getting very, very short on that."
"The Iranians did not come to the table with a seriousness of purpose necessary to get back into compliance....Having heard not just from us indirectly but directly from our European partners, as well as from Russia and even China, that this is not the way to move forward, we'll see if they take a different approach....'Hopeful' is probably not a word I'd use based on what we've seen so far." (U.S. State Department)
See also Renewed Iran Nuclear Talks Seen Thursday, But France Discouraged - John Irish
Talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are expected to resume on Thursday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tuesday, but he feared Iran was playing for time. "We have the feeling the Iranians want to make it last and the longer the talks last, the more they go back on their commitments...and get closer to capacity to get a nuclear weapon." (Reuters)
- U.S. Hits Iran with New Sanctions for Human Rights Abuses
The U.S. Treasury and State Department slapped fresh sanctions on a dozen Iranian government officials and entities for "serious" human rights abuses Tuesday, targeting those involved in the repression of political activists and prisons where activists have been held in brutal conditions.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, "The United States is committed to promoting democracy and accountability for those who abuse human rights around the world. The United States will utilize its full range of tools to highlight and disrupt these abuses of human rights." (AFP-France 24)
- New Jersey to Divest $182 Million from Unilever over Ben and Jerry's Boycott - Hannan Adely
New Jersey will begin pulling $182 million in Unilever stocks and bonds three months after a preliminary investigation found that its subsidiary, Ben & Jerry's, engaged in a boycott of Israeli-controlled territories. Unilever did not appeal the findings of the investigation. "The provisional determination of ineligibility for Unilever became final on Dec. 1," said Danielle Currie, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. "The Division [of Investment] has placed the company on its prohibited investment list."
Pension officials in New York, Arizona, Illinois and Florida have also moved to sell shares in Unilever because of anti-boycott laws.
New Jersey is one of more than 30 states with laws that bar investment in companies that engage in boycotts targeting Israel.
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Israeli Woman Stabbed in the Back by Palestinian Girl in Jerusalem - Judah Ari Gross
An Israeli woman who was walking her children to school was stabbed in the back by a teenage Palestinian girl in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Medics took the injured woman to the nearby Hadassah Hospital with the knife still lodged in her back. Police officers arrested the girl at the nearby Al-Ruda girls' school. Since mid-November, one Israeli has been killed and ten wounded in a series of attacks by Palestinians. (Times of Israel-Ha'aretz)
- Israel Completes Upgraded Barrier with Gaza - Anna Ahronheim
After three years of construction, Israel has completed the 65-km. upgraded barrier comprised of an iron wall, sensors, and concrete along its border with Gaza in order to remove the threat of cross-border attack tunnels. In addition to an underground barrier, there is a six-meter (20-foot) high above-ground fence.
More than 1,200 people worked on the project. The iron and steel used were "equivalent to the length of a steel wall from Israel to Australia," and the concrete used was "enough to pave a road from Israel to Bulgaria," said Fence Administration Director Brig.-Gen. Eran Ofir. The barrier "does not allow for the construction of additional tunnels to infiltrate into the State of Israel." (Jerusalem Post)
- Coronavirus in Israel: Serious Cases Continue to Fall, Most Cases Are Children
Children and teens up through age 19 make up 64% of the 5,971 active coronavirus cases in Israel, the Health Ministry reported Thursday. The number of seriously ill fell to 96, the lowest figure since July. 7 people have died from corona in the past week.
(Israel Ministry of Health-Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
- Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Wednesday that his decision to categorize six Palestinian civil society groups as terror organizations was based in part on information that known terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) were on their payrolls without actually working for them.
- Israeli defense officials discovered that the NGOs, all recipients of EU funding, had let meetings of PFLP members take place in their offices and that PFLP members controlled management of the NGOs and coordinated between them.
- A confidential dossier that bears the logo of the Israel Security Agency makes the case that six Palestinian charities designated by Israel in October are part of a terrorism network linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.- and EU-designated terrorist group responsible for dozens of hijackings and murders.
- The nonprofit groups have embezzled millions of dollars in funding from the EU and international NGOs to fund PFLP terror attacks. In one case, Israel provides evidence that the NGO Al-Haq, a human-rights group based in Ramallah, prohibits "anyone who is not a PFLP member...from working there."
- Israel did not release the dossier to the public because it is locked in a court case centered on terrorism financing and is barred from publicly releasing the information until the case has concluded.
See also Document - Investigation Findings: The Foreign Funding of the PFLP through the Network of "Civil Society" Organizations (Israel Security Agency)
- Attempts to dismiss the evidence systematically linking the PFLP to a network of NGOs as the actions of a few individuals is deceitful. Open-source evidence published by NGO Monitor shows direct links between more than 70 PFLP officials and many of the NGOs.
- The NGOs and their close allies receive most of their funding - amounting to millions of Euros annually - from European governments. Officials with long records of cooperation with the heads of these Palestinian NGOs have been understandably reluctant to acknowledge major errors in judgement.
The Israeli government is urging the European funders to consider the evidence and reconsider these policies.
- The claim that the organizations involved are "pillars of Palestinian civil society" devoted to human rights should be taken with a large grain of salt. In addition to the terror links, the six NGOs promote demonization of Israel, including campaigns that cross the line into anti-Semitism.
The writer, professor emeritus of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, heads the Institute for NGO Research in Jerusalem.
Support Daily Alert
is the work of a team of expert analysts who find the most important and timely articles from around the world on Israel, the Middle East and U.S. policy. No wonder it is read by heads of government, leading journalists, and thousands of people who want to stay on top of the news. To continue to provide this service, Daily Alert
requires your support. Please take a moment to click here and make your contribution through the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.