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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
March 17, 2022
Israeli Airstrike Targeted Iranian Drone Factory - Ronen Bergman (New York Times)
A senior intelligence official briefed on the operation said that six suicide quadcopter drones exploded on an Iranian drone factory near Kermanshah on Feb. 12.
The official said the facility was Iran's main manufacturing and storage plant for military drones, and that the Israeli attack destroyed dozens of them.
Israeli military officials say that Israel has been attacked by Iranian drones several times.
American officials say that Iran also provides drone technology to proxy forces in Iraq and Syria, who carry out strikes against American personnel in those countries with Tehran's blessing or direction, including an attack on the American base at Al Tanf, Syria, last October.
Report: Israel Key Mediator in Ukraine-Russia Talks - Neri Zilber (Financial Times-UK)
Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has been the primary international mediator in the Ukraine-Russia talks, three people familiar with the matter said.
See also Putin, Zelensky Still Talking - Through Israelis - Michael Hirsh (Foreign Policy)
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for an hour and a half on Monday about a possible cease-fire in Ukraine, one of several talks that Bennett has had with Putin since the Israeli prime minister returned from a visit to Moscow on March 6.
Bennett also spoke on Monday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Putin's willingness to engage in talks with Bennett - the only Western leader he has met directly with since the war began - indicates he is looking to keep diplomatic channels open.
See also With Ties to Russia and Ukraine, Israeli Leader Seeks to Turn Awkward Position into Diplomatic Opportunity - Shira Rubin (Washington Post)
Americans Still Pro-Israel, Palestinians Gain Support - Lydia Saad (Gallup)
55% of Americans now sympathize more with the Israelis and 26% with the Palestinians, based on Gallup's annual World Affairs survey for 2022, conducted Feb. 1-17.
While still wide, Israel's advantage has narrowed since 2013 as sympathy for the Palestinians has edged higher, while sympathy for Israel has diminished slightly.
Whereas 64% of adults 55 and older and 57% aged 35 to 54 are more sympathetic toward Israel, this drops to 40% among those under 35.
Liberal Democrats favor Palestinians over Israel by 52% to 28%, while conservative and moderate Democrats favor Israel over Palestinians by 50% to 28%. Conservative Republicans favor Israel by 84% to 9%.
See also Americans Rank Israel 7th among Favorable Countries (Jerusalem Post)
71% of Americans rated Israel favorably according to Gallup's annual World Affairs poll, published Monday, after Canada, Britain, France, Japan, Germany and India.
80% of Republicans and 65% of Democrats said they view Israel favorably. 38% of Democrats and 17% of Republicans view the Palestinian Authority favorably.
See also World Affairs Poll 2022: Country Ratings (Gallup)
All 25 Jewish House Democrats Blast Amnesty Director for Comments on Israel - Ron Kampeas (JTA)
All 25 Jewish Democrats in the House slammed recent comments by Amnesty International's U.S. director, Paul O'Brien, who told the Women's National Democratic Club in Washington last week, "We are opposed to the idea...that Israel should be preserved as a state for the Jewish people."
Gazans Outraged over Spending on Luxurious Mosques - Hadeel Al Gherbawi (Al-Monitor)
In recent years, the construction of luxury mosques has outraged the largely impoverished population of Gaza.
Imam al-Shafei Mosque in the al-Zaitoun neighborhood was built at a cost of $3.5 million, and the Al-Hassayna Mosque in Gaza City cost more than $2 million. The Al-Khalidi and Salim Abu Muslim mosques cost $1 million each.
Gaza citizen Mohammad al-Khalidi said, "Mosques can be built at a reasonable cost and the remainder of the donations could be used to build hospitals, schools or residences....Citizens have the right to ask how the state's funds or donations are being spent."
Mohammad Abu Samra, an expert on Islamic and Arab affairs, said, "Every few meters you find a mosque, constructed at extremely high costs."
Washington Post Uses Russia's Invasion of Ukraine to Attack Israel - Sean Durns (Algemeiner)
Russia's invasion of Ukraine isn't anything like Israel's security situation. The Washington Post, however, pretends otherwise.
On March 7, it published an op-ed titled, "The world of inconsistencies between Ukraine, the Middle East, and beyond," by Khaled Beydoun, an associate professor at Wayne State University where he specializes in "Islamophobia."
His opinion piece glamorizes terrorists, misleads about Israel's security concerns, and omits important history and facts, asserting that Palestinians "have long embodied the very struggle put forward by the Ukrainian people."
The writer is a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).
Sierra Club Reinstates Israel Trips after Canceling Scheduled Visits - Luke Tress (Times of Israel)
The U.S. environmentalist Sierra Club said Tuesday it will reinstate trips to Israel, after canceling scheduled visits in response to pressure from anti-Zionist groups.
Acting Executive Director Dan Chu said, "Recently, the Sierra Club hastily made a decision, without consulting a robust set of stakeholders, to postpone two planned outings to Israel. The process that led to this was done in ways that created confusion, anger, and frustration. We do not take positions on foreign policy matters."
The Sierra Club has offered trips to Israel for nearly a decade.
Palestinian Woman Recounts Torture by Palestinian Interrogators - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Suha Jbara, a Palestinian woman with U.S. citizenship, was arrested in November 2018 during a raid by Palestinian Authority security forces on her home in Turmus Ayya in the West Bank.
She was held in the PA's Jericho Prison, charged with "collaboration" with Israel, illegal possession of weapons and distributing money to Islamic charities.
She was released in January 2019 but has since been on trial in a Palestinian court in Jericho.
Her testimony, obtained by the Jerusalem Post, sheds light on the harsh methods used by Palestinian interrogators against detainees. In it she describes being blindfolded, handcuffed, beaten, and threatened with rape.
85 Percent of French Jews Say Anti-Semitism Widespread in France (European Jewish Congress)
A survey on anti-Semitism published by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) in January 2022 found that 64% of the French population, and 85% of French Jews, believe that anti-Semitism is widespread in France.
68% of French Jews declared they had been subjected to mockery and 20% say they were victims of physical aggression.
French people over 65 were much more likely to have anti-Semitic prejudices.
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Israeli Experts Oppose a Formal Defense Alliance with the U.S. - Nadav Shragai (Israel Hayom)
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