January 27, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Survey: 94 Percent of American Jews Concerned about Anti-Semitism (Jerusalem Post)
    A new Ruderman Family Foundation survey found that 94% of American Jews have recognized some anti-Semitism in the U.S. over the past five years, while 75% believe there is more anti-Semitism today than five years ago.
    See also below Commentary: Articles on Jewish Security in America

UK Planes Flew over Israel to Bomb Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - Anshel Pfeffer (Ha'aretz)
    For 7 1/2 years, British planes have been overflying Israel and Jordan from Cyprus on a daily basis to bomb ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq, according to a new book, Typhoon - The Inside Story of an RAF Fighter Squadron at War, by retired RAF Wing Commander Mike Sutton, who commanded some of the missions.

UK's Middle East Minister: "Hamas Have Not Proven Themselves Good for the Palestinians" - Lee Harpin (Jewish News-UK)
    UK Middle East Minister James Cleverly told the House of Commons on Tuesday:
    "Hamas have not proven themselves to have been good for the Palestinian people. The simple truth is their aggressive posture and their threats to eradicate Israel have harmed relations between Israelis and Palestinians."
    "We wish to see a viable two-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians living side-by-side in peace and prosperity. Hamas has long been a roadblock to that."

In Israel, Vaccinations Prevent Serious Covid Cases and Death (Ha'aretz)
    The Israel Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 915 serious Covid cases, of which 198 are on ventilators.
    The 6% of unvaccinated adults over age 60 account for 32% of serious cases and 35% of deaths in January.
    Per capita, for every vaccinated serious case over age 60, there are 8 unvaccinated serious cases. For every death of a vaccinated person, there are 8 deaths of unvaccinated individuals.
    See also Covid Vaccine Has Saved 20,000 Israeli Lives, Public Health Experts Say - Sam Sokol (Ha'aretz)
    Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, director of the School of Public Health at Ben-Gurion University, said Tuesday:
    "We estimate that the [Covid] vaccines saved 20,000 people from dying in Israel. Without vaccines, instead of 8,500 people we'd have close to 30,000 people dying."
    Former deputy director general of the Israel Health Ministry Itamar Grotto said between January 1, 2021, and January 19, 2022, 4,989 people died of Covid in Israel, but without vaccines, 24,661 people would have died.

Follow the Jerusalem Center on:

Video: Israeli President and First Lady Play in the Snow in Jerusalem (YouTube)
    Israeli President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog play in the snow at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on Thursday after the first snowfall of the season.
    See also Photos: Snow Transforms Jerusalem into Winter Wonderland (Times of Israel)

Why Drawing Comparisons of Israel to the Nazis Is Anti-Semitic (World Jewish Congress)
    Comparing Israeli policy towards Palestinians with Nazi policy regarding Jews is an example of Holocaust inversion, where reality is inverted (the Israelis are cast as the "new" Nazis and the Palestinians as the "new" Jews), and an inversion of morality (the Holocaust is presented as a moral lesson for, or even a moral indictment of, "the Jews").
    Any alleged wrongdoings on Israel's part cannot be compared to the systematic attempt to annihilate European Jewry.
    The Palestinian population has grown by all metrics, and is projected to continue doing so.
    To compare this to the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust is preposterous.

Jews Are Indigenous in Israel - Jonathan S. Tobin (JNS)
    The notion that Jews are "European" or non-indigenous to the Middle East or the Land of Israel is a lie. As one recent article in the New York Times about a Jerusalem property dispute put it, the Jews were trying to "Judaize" their own ancient capital.
    The Jews aren't "stealing" land in Jerusalem. Nor are they invaders in a country in which they have lived for three millennia.
    The fallacy about Jews stealing land doesn't merely enable slander; it is the foundation on which most forms of anti-Semitic hate, delegitimization and terrorism rest.

Palestinian Trade with Israel Increases (Al-Monitor)
    Palestinian exports to Israel increased 10% in November 2021 compared to the previous month, the PA's WAFA news agency reported Monday.

Arafat Cartoon Exhibition Causes Uproar - Qassam Muaddi (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed-UK)
    The Yasser Arafat Foundation announced on Monday the removal of all cartoons from a controversial exhibition it had inaugurated on Sunday at the Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah.
    It included 104 artists from 43 countries and 350 works representing the artists' depictions of Yasser Arafat, "not the reality of who he was," the curators said.
    But some Palestinians felt that some of the artworks were "insulting" to Yasser Arafat and his memory.
    The Fatah movement, the party led by Arafat for 40 years, said, "We...call upon the Yasser Arafat Foundation to remove all the insulting works and apologize, or we will have to remove them ourselves."

When Are We Going to Talk about Muslim Anti-Semitism? - Benjamin Kerstein (Algemeiner)
    According to recent Anti-Defamation League surveys, Muslim-majority countries show rates of anti-Semitism that far outstrip those in any other part of the world.
    There, anti-Semitism is systemic and normalized in cultural, political, and religious discourse.
    Since 2000, Muslim anti-Semites in Europe have launched successive waves of brutal anti-Semitic violence - including murders, riots, assaults, and attacks on synagogues.

The U.S. and Europe's Unacceptable Patience for Algeria's Anti-Semitism - Hassan Masiky (Morocco World News)
    The Algerian press has repeatedly used derogatory terms to portray Jews and Moroccans.
    The Algerian military tells the world that Israelis and Moroccans are responsible for every perceived problem and blames Algeria's ills on a Moroccan-Israeli conspiracy.
    The official Algerian news agency APS accused Morocco and Israel of using hypnosis to weaken Algerian soccer players, leading to their defeat during this year's African Cup.
    APS has published stories accusing Israel and Morocco of inflating grocery prices, provoking food shortages, and lighting forest fires in Algeria.
    Algeria's national television, ENTV, broadcast a staged news video showing Algerian police arresting alleged Mossad and Moroccan perpetrators, who turned out to be Algerian intelligence agents posing as terrorists.

Israeli Equipment Helps Train U.S. Air Force Pilots - John A. Tirpak (Air Force Magazine)
    Adversary/aggressor services company Top Aces has begun testing former Israeli F-16s equipped with the Advanced Aggressor Mission System (AAMS), installed by M7 Aerospace of San Antonio, Texas, which is owned by Elbit Systems of America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Israel's Elbit Systems.
    The AAMS suite "provides the most realistic and cost-effective training solution available to pilots flying fifth-generation fighters such as the F-22 or F-35," said Top Aces president Russ Quinn.
    A Top Aces spokesperson said the AAMS suite is already flying on its A-4 Skyhawks providing aggressor services to the German air force "and other European customers for advanced airborne training."

Save for Future Reference:

Jerusalem Cinematheque's Israel Film Archive Offers Historical Treasures to the Public (Jerusalem Cinematheque)
    The Jerusalem Cinematheque's Israel Film Archive's Historical View option offers thousands of rare archival materials such as Albert Einstein in a home movie from 1949, Hollywood stars and politicians' visits to Israel, the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during WWI and thousands of other newsreels and home videos.
    The Artistic View offers over 300 feature classics and documentaries made in Israel, some with English subtitles for the first time.
    The Historical View is accessible free of charge, while some of the feature films in the Artistic View are accessible for a small fee.
    Enter the Israel Film Archive (Jerusalem Cinematheque)

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:
  • As Islamic State Resurges, U.S. Is Drawn Back into the Fray - Jane Arraf
    With an attack on a prison housing thousands of former ISIS fighters in Syria and a series of strikes against military forces in Iraq, the evidence of a resurgence of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is mounting by the day, nearly three years after the militants lost the last patch of territory of their caliphate. The U.S. has conducted airstrikes and provided intelligence and ground troops in Bradley fighting vehicles to help cordon off the prison. What had been believed to be disparate sleeper cells are re-emerging as a more serious threat.
        "It's a wake-up call for regional players, for national players, that ISIS is not over, that the fight is not over," said Kawa Hassan, Middle East and North Africa director at the Stimson Center in Washington. "It shows the resilience of ISIS to strike back at the time and place of their choosing."  (New York Times)
        See also Kurdish-Led Forces End Prison Siege, Defeating ISIS Fighters - Ben Hubbard (New York Times)
  • Report: Biden Proposes that PA Stop Paying Stipends to Prisoners
    The Biden administration has proposed to President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority should stop paying stipends to Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, Arab48.com reported Wednesday. Biden suggested that the funds saved by cutting stipends be used for welfare payments. Israel's Channel 12 reported that a senior Palestinian official said Abbas recognizes that he has to stop paying stipends to the families of the prisoners. "Abbas is, however, looking for a mechanism to continue paying them without triggering Israeli or Western criticism."
        The Biden administration has apparently also pledged that it would accept the nomination of a PA legal advisor to represent the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington instead of reopening the PLO office which was closed by President Trump. (Middle East Monitor-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • U.S. Updates Israel on Nuclear Talks - Jacob Magid
    U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Israeli National Security Council chairman Eyal Hulata met virtually Wednesday to discuss the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna. "Sullivan emphasized that while the United States remains committed to diplomacy as the best means for preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the United States is preparing alternative options, in coordination with its partners, should diplomacy fail," the White House said. (Times of Israel)
        See also Meeting of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Consultative Group (White House)
  • IDF Seizes 53 Guns near Jordanian Border - Judah Ari Gross
    Israeli security forces found 39 handguns, 10 Kalashnikov rifles and four M-16 rifles inside three vehicles stopped along the main highway running along Israel's border with Jordan on Tuesday. Four people suspected of smuggling guns into Israel - three men and a woman from eastern Jerusalem - were arrested. Unlike Israel's frontiers with Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, its border with Jordan is often without significant fencing. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel to Repair, Protect Heritage Sites in Judea and Samaria - Efrat Forsher
    Israel's Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry plans to allocate $3.2 million for the preservation, rehabilitation, and rescue of heritage sites in Judea and Samaria. Dozens of archaeological sites have been targeted by the Palestinian Authority and antiquities robbers in the Palestinian territories. Last month, Israel Hayom reported that antiquities robbers had caused significant damage to an ancient Roman amphitheater in Samaria. Last year, Palestinian roadwork destroyed portions of a 3,200-year-old wall on the biblical site of Joshua's altar on Mount Ebal, near Nablus.
        Funding will go toward reconstruction work at Sebastia, which served as the capital of the kingdom of Israel during the period of the First Temple, and for efforts to better protect archaeological sites. Further funding will be allocated toward reconstruction work at the Hasmonean royal winter palaces, a complex of Hasmonean and Herodian buildings from the Second Temple period near Jericho, after local Arab vandals damaged the site.
        Minister Ze'ev Elkin said, "The destruction of the sites, which is being carried out under the auspices of the PA, is destroying the history of the entire region....The conservation of heritage sites in Judea and Samaria is a national mission."  (Israel Hayom)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • The U.S. Needs to Learn the Lessons of the Past and Make the Iranians and their Clients Pay a Price for their Aggression - Dennis Ross
    The Iranians find the Houthis in Yemen a useful instrument to exert real pressure on Saudi Arabia as they strike Saudi civilian targets, including the capital Riyadh, and oil facilities throughout the country. The Houthis get their missiles, drones, training, and help in drone production from Iran's Quds Force and Hizbullah. This past week the Houthis attacked Dubai international airport as well as the airport in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Had the very busy Dubai airport been hit, many civilians, including many Americans, could have been killed.
        That should tell us that, regardless of the outcome of the talks in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program, Iranian behavior in the region must be countered if it cannot be deterred. After the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, we did very little in response as Iran ratcheted up their aggressive acts throughout the region. Now, we need to learn the lessons of the past and make the Iranians and their clients or proxies pay a price. The Houthis need to see that they will pay a price for these attacks, and that we will act to bolster the defenses of those they attack.
        Moreover, from Vladimir Putin to Xi Jinping to Ali Khamenei, it is essential to counteract their perception of our risk-aversion and demonstrate that their actions are making us more risk-ready. Deterrence demands nothing less.
        The writer, who served in senior national security positions for four presidents, is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (The Hill)
  • Iran Tests Advanced Rocket Engine to Reach Europe - Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall and Iran Desk
    Newspapers worldwide headlined on Jan. 23, 2022, "Iran Launched Solid-Fuel Satellite Carrier Rocket into Space," quoting the official IRNA news agency. Within two days, however, the IRNA account was removed. No rocket left the earth, but a significant static solid-fuel engine test was carried out successfully.
        An Iranian newspaper close to the regime reported that the engine tested could increase Iranian missile range to 5,000 km. (3,000 miles), threatening European countries. With the test, Iran has made it clear that it does not intend to compromise on the issue of missile development during the nuclear deal negotiations.
        The newspaper, Farhikhtegan, criticized former President Hassan Rouhani, writing, "While the Rouhani-led government had tried to curtail the country's missile tests and space drills to prevent any criticism from the West during the Vienna talks, the current government does not want to find favor in the West….And, in fact, Ibrahim Raisi's government sees these experiments as a means of pressure on the other side."  (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Differences Splinter U.S. Team Negotiating with Iran on Nuclear Deal - Laurence Norman
    Differences have emerged in the U.S. negotiating team over how tough to be with Tehran and when to walk away, according to people familiar with the negotiations. U.S. officials confirmed that Richard Nephew, the deputy special envoy for Iran, has left the team. Nephew, an architect of previous economic sanctions on Iran, had advocated a tougher posture in the current negotiations. Two other members of the team, which is led by State Department veteran Robert Malley, have stepped back from the talks because they also wanted a harder negotiating stance.
        Among the issues that have divided the team are how firmly to enforce existing sanctions and whether to cut off negotiations as Iran drags them out while its nuclear program advances. Some in the team urged leaving the talks in December after a new Iranian negotiating team returned to Vienna and reversed most of the concessions the previous government made in the spring 2021. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Split-up of American Negotiation Team Means Weaker Stance on Iran - Lahav Harkov
    Washington is broadcasting that it is going to give Tehran plenty of time and leeway so that Biden can say he kept his promise to revive the Iran deal. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Palestinians

  • Palestinian Authority Cracks Down on Opposition - Jehad Barakat
    The Palestinian Authority has intensified its crackdown on political opponents in the West Bank in recent months, analysts say. The PA has been obstructing events to welcome released Palestinian prisoners affiliated with parties other Fatah, particularly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Moreover, funeral processions for Palestinian "martyrs" have been disrupted by PA security forces in an effort to suppress public displays of support for rival parties. On several occasions, PA security forces have carried out preemptive arrests and fired tear gas at crowds.
        Political analyst Hani al-Masry, director of Masarat - The Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies in Ramallah, said, "The PA fears the growth of other factions, as well as the decline in its standing, and [potential] collapse." A Dec. 14 poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, would defeat President Mahmoud Abbas by 68% to 35%, 71% disapproved of Abbas' performance, and Hamas would defeat Fatah in legislative elections by 38% to 35%. (Al Jazeera)
  • Why Palestinian Leaders Ignore Arab Atrocities - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinian leaders never miss an opportunity to accuse Israel of committing "crimes" against the Palestinians. However, they remain oblivious to the suffering of Palestinians in Arab countries, especially Syria, where more than 4,100 Palestinians have been killed during the fighting between the Syrian army and the opposition or died as a result of torture, starvation and medical negligence over the past decade.
        Since the eruption of the civil war in Syria in 2011, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been arrested or displaced by the regime of President Bashar Assad. The PA leadership is currently trying to curry favor with Assad. Many Palestinians and Syrians say they cannot grasp the logic of reconciling with an Arab leader who has so much Palestinian blood on his hands. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Israel-China Relations

  • Israel Holds High-Level Tech Summit with China after Consultation with U.S. - Barak Ravid
    Israel coordinated with the Biden administration in advance of a technology and economy summit held virtually with Chinese officials on Monday, led by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. The meeting followed low-profile consultations on China last month between the U.S. and Israeli governments. Israeli officials stressed they were cognizant of U.S. concerns about Chinese investments in Israel and wanted to proceed with maximum transparency. (Axios)
        See also The China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation Convenes (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
        See also Israeli Ambassador Lauds 30 Years of Israel-China Cooperation
    Ties between Israel and China are booming, with "substantial" political, economic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges since they established diplomatic ties 30 years ago, Israeli Ambassador to China Irit Ben-Abba has said. Bilateral trade has grown from $50 million in 1992 to $22.8 billion in 2021. (Xinhua-China)
        See also China Congratulates Israel on 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties (CGTN-China)
  • Israel to Crack Down on Chinese Attempts to Obtain Israeli Defense Technology - Arie Egozi
    Israel is launching a new effort to crack down on Chinese attempts to obtain Israeli defense technology as a result of increased Chinese efforts, sources in the Israeli defense establishment say. Several months ago, the Biden administration warned Jerusalem that China is operating a web of companies inside Israel as part of a dedicated effort to acquire advanced defense technologies. Some efforts have already been uncovered and foiled.
        Defense firms in Israel have strict orders not to have any contact with China on issues that have a "smell of security or defense," a security official in one of the Israeli defense industries said. The Israel Security Agency has been in charge of countering these efforts. In recent months, the Israel Ministry of Defense has issued a set of new instructions. Any attempt to make contact with an Israeli defense company is to be brought immediately to the ISA and the security department of the Ministry of Defense. (Breaking Defense)

  • Other Issues

  • Call the Houthis in Yemen "Terrorists" - Col. Richard Kemp
    This week, Ansar Allah ("Supporters of God"), also known as the Houthis, an Iranian-backed armed militia in Yemen, launched missiles against civilian targets in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Immediately after he took office, U.S. President Joe Biden removed the group's Foreign Terrorist designation. He also ended support for Saudi Arabia's offensive military operations against the group. These steps emboldened Ansar Allah and their Iranian sponsors and reduced Saudi Arabia's capacity to fight against them.
        These moves were a classic example of the failure of appeasement. The Iranian ayatollahs were not won over. Instead, they have increasingly demanded more U.S. compromises in exchange for fewer restrictions on their nuclear weapons project - a typical Iranian regime response to perceived weakness. Meanwhile, Ansar Allah has stepped up its aggression, including increased drone strikes against U.S. allies in the region.
        Ansar Allah now controls Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and 60% of the country, with around 50% of the population, under a tyranny reminiscent of the Islamic State. Its motto is: "Allah is greater, death to America, death to Israel, curse on the Jews, victory to Islam."
        The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK's national crisis management committee, COBRA. (Gatestone Institute)
  • Unapologetic Zionism Is the Key to Reform Judaism's Survival - Interview with Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch by Armin Rosen
    Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York, a flagship of the Reform Movement, spoke in a Friday night sermon in November of a letter signed by American rabbinic students criticizing Israel during the May 2021 conflict with Palestinian terror groups based in Gaza. "It isn't that you are critical of Israel," he said. "Go ahead. We need critics. The issue is that you never seem to speak about Israel's enemies or their threats against us." Ammiel Hirsch is the most prominent Reform rabbi who is willing to publicly challenge his colleagues' alleged complacency toward the movement's commitment to Israel.
        Hirsch explained, "I think there is a risk in our movement that we will revert to the default position of liberalism, which is the elevation of universalism at the expense of Jewish peoplehood, not as an extension of Jewish peoplehood." Without peoplehood, and without commitment to a shared purpose and destiny, liberal Judaism risked losing its ability to stand for anything recognizably Jewish. (Tablet)
  • Why I'm Opposed to Ilhan Omar's Bill Against Islamophobia - Masih Alinejad
    As someone who has been repeatedly targeted by a vicious authoritarian regime - like countless others - in my home country of Iran, I worry that other Americans might be creating precedents that could undermine our freedom to speak out. In December, the House passed the Combating International Islamophobia Act by a vote of 219-212.
        There is no question that the U.S. government should act to defend Muslims overseas wherever it sees crimes being committed against them - as in the cases of the Uyghurs in China or the Rohingya in Myanmar. But the U.S. government is already doing these things, and without needing to establish a new office. The bigger risk is that creating a mandate to monitor Islamophobia comes with its own risks.
        The legislation does not provide a clear definition of Islamophobia, nor does it make any clear effort to exempt the crimes of Islamist states against their own people. Is criticism of the Taliban a form of Islamophobia? What about criticism of the Islamic Republic of Iran? Can one criticize Hamas or Hizbullah as terrorist organizations? Many women who live in countries such as Iran, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia have a rational fear of sharia laws. To call out laws that treat women as second-class citizens is not Islamophobia.
        The writer, an Iranian journalist and women's rights campaigner who was thrown out of Iran after launching a campaign against compulsory hijab, hosts a talk show on Voice of America's Persian service. (Washington Post)
  • Jews Must Take Responsibility for Their Own Security - Cpt. (ret.) Micah Q. Jones
    The Jan. 15 hostage situation at a Jewish congregation in Texas reinforces the belief that Jews must be responsible for their own safety and security. Jewish places of worship should have both armed security, as well as encourage those congregation members with the appropriate training and credentials to be a part of that security apparatus.
        Most of all, there must be a mindset change and a realization that law enforcement response time will likely be slow. The Jewish community or congregation must assume that no one will come to rescue them, and must be prepared to protect themselves. Through increased training and readiness, Jewish communities and congregations ensure that they will be able to react quickly and effectively if an emergency arises.
        The writer, who served in U.S. Army Military Intelligence, is a publishing adjunct at the Miryam Institute. (Jerusalem Post)
  • We Need to Protect Jews, Just in Case - Rabbi David Levy
    On my first day as a newly ordained rabbi in a New Jersey pulpit in 1988, I was shown the location of panic buttons installed in various places, "just in case." Over the next 30 years, and especially after the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in 2018, "just in case" came to include active shooter training, situational awareness and security audits with local, state and federal law enforcement.
        "Just in case" meant uniformed security at the door, local police in the parking lot, and plainclothes security in the sanctuary. It included becoming a grant writer so my synagogues could install electronic door locks, hardened entry doors, security lighting, video surveillance, blast-proof window coatings, and truck-stopping bollards. A security consultant even suggested my lectern be lined with Kevlar.
        After the hostages in Texas escaped, my daughter tweeted, "it's why at Jewish summer camp, we practiced lockdown drills and had to know where we would be able to hide the kids across camp if someone armed made it onto camp." This is Jewish life in America in 2022.
        The writer is Director of the American Jewish Committee New Jersey Regional Office. (Star-Ledger-NJ)
  • After Texas Attack, U.S. Lawmakers and Jewish Groups Push to Boost Security Funding for Houses of Worship - Ben Samuels
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a major push to double the funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program from $180 million to $360 million, after 10 major Jewish organizations - spearheaded by the Jewish Federations of North America - urged President Biden to do so. They wrote: "Unfortunately, less than half the applications submitted in fiscal year 2021 were funded and $220 million in requests were left unfulfilled."  (Ha'aretz)
  • Security Training Offered to All in Jewish Community - Ilana Keller
    In the wake of the terror attack in Texas, Jewish Federations around the nation are encouraging community members to partake in the Secure Community Network's new safety training program. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville credits security training from SCN with helping him and his congregants escape the hostage situation.
        "In Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties, Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ and its partners like SCN bring security training to synagogues and Chabads, schools, camps, JCCs and cultural centers...Rutgers Hillel and many more - routinely and free of charge - training nearly 300 leaders and countless more community members multiple times each year," said Susan Antman, executive director of the federation.
        A new program from SCN, called "BeAware: An Introduction to Situational Awareness," begins on Jan. 27. BeAware training is designed for all members of the Jewish community across the U.S. - from parents to professionals and receptionists to rabbis - to "provide attendees with an improved ability to recognize suspicious behavior and criminal activity, guidance on how to report it, and strategies to protect themselves and others from violence."
        SCN is the "official homeland safety and security initiative of the organized Jewish community in North America." It was founded in 2004 by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. (Asbury Park Press-NJ)
  • Philanthropist Pledges $1 Million to Install Advanced Security Platforms in 500 U.S. Locations - Zachy Hennessey
    An anonymous philanthropist has pledged $1 million and enlisted friends to match his gift in order to install the Gabriel Network advanced security platform in 500 locations across the U.S. to protect synagogues, campus facilities, and schools. The security suite provides integrated video, audio, gunshot detection, hot-zone mapping, geo-fencing, robust communication and instant situational awareness for responders. It can be used with pre-existing security camera systems. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Weekend Features

  • Non-Jews Still in Touch with Jews They Saved from the Nazis - Kirsten Grieshaber
    On International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022, Polish man Andrzej Sitkowski, 93, is still regularly in touch with Hadassah Kosak, now 84, after his mother agreed to hide the little Jewish girl from the Nazis at their home on the outskirts of Warsaw in 1943, when he was 15. "Of course, we were afraid, but fear was our daily dish during those years anyway," Sitkowski said. For their efforts to help save the lives of Kosak, her sister Marion and their mother Bronislawa, Andrzej and his mother were named "Righteous Among the Nations" in 1995, a title bestowed by Yad Vashem on non-Jews who took great risks to save Jews during the Holocaust.
        After the war, Kosak immigrated via Israel to the U.S. where she became a professor of history in New York. "One of the amazing things about the rescuers is that not only did they rescue the specific person who was hidden, but all of their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren - an entire family tree," said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.
        Kosak's mother and sister ended up in Britain, where Marion married Ralph Miliband and where their two sons Ed and David, two well-known politicians with the British Labour Party, were born. (AP)
  • The Houdini of the Vilna Ghetto - Jeffrey Meyers
    Abraham Sutzkever (1913-2010), the leading modern Yiddish poet, lived in Nazi-occupied Vilna, Lithuania, until the liquidation of the ghetto in September 1943. In March 1944, Sutzkever, considered a cultural treasure, was helped by the influential Soviet-Jewish writer Ilya Ehrenburg and flown to Russia in a dramatic rescue. His journal was published as From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg.
        Sutzkever had many amazing escapes from death. He hid in a coffin, in a common grave and in a lime pit. He jumped out of a high window. He hid in the sewers. He gave brief journalistic accounts of horrific events that he actually experienced or heard from eye-witnesses. Nazi doctors drew blood from Jewish children for transfusions to Germans and "extracted the most delicate facial skin for use in cosmetic surgeries on wounded and burned German soldiers."
        Sutzkever took an active part in sabotage campaigns. Resistance fighters stole bullets, pistols, rifles, machine guns and gunpowder to make bombs from German factories, bunkers and armored cars. They blew up a train and killed 200 soldiers, blew up a bridge and killed another 200.
        Torn between overwhelming sorrow and a burning desire for revenge, Sutzkever had the chance to smuggle a gun into the Nuremberg trial and execute Hermann Goering. But as a Russian citizen he would have antagonized the Americans, who would not have believed he acted on his own. He was forbidden to exact revenge, and Goering took poison before he could be hanged. (The Article)
  • The Extent of Palestinian-Nazi Collaboration - Adin Haykin
    On March 31, 1933, two months after Hitler came to power, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, called on Heinrich Wolff, head of the German Consulate in Jerusalem. Wolff reported that Husseini said: "Muslims inside and outside Palestine welcome the new regime in Germany and hope for the spread of fascist, antidemocratic state leadership to other countries." In March 1935 the Husseinis formed the Palestinian Arab Party. Its president, Jamal Husseini, boasted that it was inspired by German Nazism. It included the "Al-Futuwwa" youth, modeled on the Hitler Youth, and for a while was actually called the "Nazi Scouts."
        In February 1941, 88% of Arab Palestinians polled expressed support for Germany, while only 9% supported England. According to the Jewish Sentinel of June 1, 1941, "Axis agents stationed in Syria and Iraq have been smuggling large quantities of weapons and ammunition to renegade Arab tribes in the desert and mountains of Palestine." In addition, Nazi war planes taking off from Iraq dropped leaflets inciting the Arabs for a "holy war" against the British and the Jews. According to a CIA report from August 1942, a majority of the Palestinian Arabs was fiercely "anti-Jewish" and saw in the approach of Rommel an ideal opportunity to murder all Jews and seize their property. (Medium)

Israel Wins the War of Ideas - Bret Stephens (Sapir: A Journal of Jewish Conversations)
  • I am often asked, "Why does Israel have such lousy PR?" The problem is that Israel's usual defenders keep trying to win over the wrong kinds of people with the wrong kinds of arguments in the wrong kinds of places.
  • The wrong kinds of people are anti-Zionists who deny Israel's very right to exist as a Jewish state, who belong to the Blame Israel First crowd, who think that the words "apartheid" or "genocide" or "racist" attach to Israel the way that "juice" attaches to "orange," and whose views stem either from ignorance or hostility. Merely to engage with their charges (e.g., "Why does Israel kill so many Palestinian children?") legitimizes bogus assumptions and bigoted arguments.
  • The wrong kinds of arguments include the Israel-as-the-bigger-victim case. A major military power is never going to win an international pity contest, nor should it want to: Israel came into being to end Jewish victimization, not to showcase it. Moreover, such arguments rarely do more than preach to the converted.
  • As for the unconverted, the best argument is that Israel is under no obligation to justify its existence to anybody, least of all those who despise it; that, like any democratic and sovereign nation, it has every right to do what it must to safeguard its vital interests and security; that it isn't interested in winning popularity contests; and that sincere and constructive criticism is always welcome, but its policies won't be swayed by those who fundamentally wish it ill.
  • Year after year, positive perceptions of Israel among the American public at large have generally risen, according to Gallup, from 58% in the wake of 9/11 to 75% in March 2021.
  • Outside the U.S., things look even more promising. Israel has forged increasingly close relations with formerly unfriendly states, from Uganda to Greece to India to the United Arab Emirates. These countries do not want better ties because Israel caved to the demands of larger powers, but rather because Israel resisted them. They are less interested in Israel's concessions than they are in its resourcefulness, its capabilities, its ability to add value in common causes.

    The writer, a New York Times columnist, is the editor-in-chief of Sapir.
Support Daily Alert
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.

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