July 11, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

UK Navy Seized Iranian Cruise Missiles in February - Dominic Nicholls (Telegraph-UK)
    The Royal Navy seized Iranian surface-to-air missiles and engines for land attack cruise missiles in two operations on January 28 and February 25 after intercepting vessels from Iran headed for Houthi rebels in Yemen.
    The British frigate HMS Montrose led the operation, which involved a high-speed pursuit by Royal Marine commandos.
    They were supported by the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Gridley.
    The Royal Navy retains a permanent presence in the Gulf region, based in Bahrain.

The Return of Fatah's Tanzim - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    In the West Bank, tensions are still high on the ground, despite the dip in the recent wave of terror.
    Nighttime arrest operations continue, along with troop reinforcement along the seam zone. Extensive repair efforts are underway at several spots along the separation fence.
    In the northern West Bank, in Jenin and Nablus, local organizing is uniting armed militants from Islamic Jihad, the Tanzim of Fatah and, to a lesser extent, Hamas.

Israel Delivers Nine Tons of Medicines and Supplies to Ukraine (Interfax-Ukraine)
    Israel delivered 9 tons of humanitarian supplies to the city of Kharkiv on July 6, the Embassy of Ukraine in Israel announced on Thursday.
    The supplies sent by the Israel-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Israel International Humanitarian Aid Forum IsraAID include ligatures, bandages, hemostatic agents, occlusive dressings, surgical packs, hygiene kits, and diapers.
    This cargo will help save the lives of Ukrainians who are suffering from the horrors of the Russian invasion.

Israeli System Intercepted 24 Drones at Concerts in Italy - Eyal Boguslavsky (Israel Defense)
    Israel's MCTECH RF Technologies deployed counter-drone systems to protect three live concerts and a beach party in Italy in June and July.
    24 different drones attempted to infiltrate the restricted airspace during the events but were all intercepted and neutralized.

Rescued Sea Turtles in Israel Released Back to the Wild - Oded Balilty (AP-U.S. News)
    Over a dozen endangered sea turtles that were rescued by Israel after suffering major injuries were released back into the Mediterranean on Friday after months of medical care.
    The 15 loggerhead sea turtles and two green sea turtles underwent months of rehabilitation at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in central Israel.

Georgia State Police in Israel for Two Weeks of Training - Ariella Roitman (Jerusalem Post)
    16 officers from the award-winning Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program recently completed the program's 29th peer-to-peer professional training sessions "to better deal with threats to public safety and improve security."
    Israel has hosted over 1,200 public safety officials since the start of the program.
    The officers "were shown best practices and latest technologies in policing and public safety," said a report from the public policy research center at Georgia State University.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Biden Will Find a Changed Middle East on His Coming Visit - Patrick Kingsley
    When President Biden arrives in the Middle East on Wednesday on his first visit as American head of state, he will find a region where alliances, priorities and relations with the U.S. have shifted significantly since his last official trip, six years ago.
        His visit to Israel is expected to focus on Israel's fast-strengthening ties with Arab countries and an emerging Arab-Israeli military partnership to combat threats from Iran. When Biden last visited Israel in 2016 as vice president, the country had diplomatic ties with just two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan.
        "U.S. engagement, let alone presidential involvement, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no longer a priority," said Alon Pinkas, an Israeli former consul general in New York. "An Israeli-Gulf, counter-Iranian coalition is far more important to the U.S. than solving the conflict."
        Biden and his Israeli hosts are expected to discuss strengthening military coordination between Israel, its new Arab allies and the U.S.  The system allows the participating armies to communicate in real time about aerial threats from Iran and its proxies, and has already been used to help bring down several drones, according to Israeli officials. (New York Times)
        See also President Biden's Visit to the Middle East - Maj. Gen. (res.) Tamir Hayman and Col. (res.) Eldad Shavit (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
  • Iran Enriches to 20 Percent with New Centrifuges at Fordow - Nasser Karimi
    Iran announced Sunday that it has begun enriching uranium up to 20% using sophisticated centrifuges at its underground Fordow nuclear plant, state TV reported. (AP)
        See also IAEA: Iran Escalates Enrichment at Fordow - Francois Murphy (Reuters)
  • Britain's Chief Rabbi Urges Methodist Church to Drop BDS Stance - Felix Pope
    Britain's Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has said: "I am deeply disappointed and saddened to learn that the Methodist Church Conference has again voted in favor of" the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. "BDS does not in any way advance the cause of peace. I call on the Methodist community to invest its efforts instead in constructive engagement with Israel and its society."  (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel: No Gaza Arrangement without Return of Captives - Tovah Lazaroff
    Any agreement on Gaza must include the return of the two Israeli citizen captives and the bodies of the two fallen soldiers, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Sunday at a state ceremony at Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl military cemetery to mark the eighth anniversary of the 2014 Gaza war, in which Israel lost 68 soldiers. Hamas has held onto the bodies of two IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. Two Israeli civilians who suffered from psychological illness, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayad, wandered into Gaza after the war and are held captive by Hamas.
        "Without their [return], there cannot be a full arrangement in the Gaza Strip beyond humanitarian assistance," Gantz said. "We have nothing against the residents of Gaza. On the contrary, we want their well-being and prosperity. This is Hamas working against them, against their interests. It is Hamas that cynically...trades in blood and holds captive innocent civilians."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Turkish Media Release New Images of Iranian Hit Squads Targeting Israelis
    Turkish media on Sunday published new images of an Iranian death squad that tried to assassinate Israeli tourists in Istanbul last month. A group of Israelis that arrived at the hotel where the Iranian assassins stayed noticed the Iranians in the hotel lobby. A member of the group said he had received a phone call informing him that the Iranians were planning to assassinate him. According to reports, the assassins' main target was former Israeli consul-general in Istanbul Yossi Levi Sfari, while aiming to kill other Israeli tourists as well.
        The Iranian squad was arrested by Turkish intelligence on June 16. Turkish officials seized three pistols, three silencers, and two laser sights. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Poll: Half of Jerusalem Arabs Say They Would Prefer to Become Israeli Citizens - David Pollock
    A June 2022 survey of Palestinians in Jerusalem, commissioned by the Washington Institute and conducted by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion, shows that 48% of the city's Arab residents say that, if they had to make a choice, they would prefer to become citizens of Israel rather than of a Palestinian state. 43% would prefer a Palestinian state and 9% would opt for Jordanian citizenship.
        63% agree at least "somewhat" that "It would be better for us if we were part of Israel, rather than in Palestinian Authority or Hamas-ruled lands." 63% also agree that "the Palestinians should push harder to replace their own political leaders with more effective and less corrupt ones." 65% say "the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is mostly just for politicians or old people, and I just don't think about it very much."
        61% disagree that "the Palestinians should move to a new intifada and make armed struggle their top priority." 54% agree that "I hope someday we can be friends with Israelis, since we are all human beings after all." 23% agree "strongly" and an additional 46% agree "somewhat" that "Israel wants to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and harm our religion."  (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Why Does the Palestinian Cause Get So Much Attention? - Alan M. Dershowitz
    Why does the Palestinian cause get so much attention, when there are much more compelling causes around the world such as those of the Kurds, Uyghurs, and other stateless and oppressed people? There are more demonstrations on university campuses against Israel than against Russia, China, Belarus and Iran. Why?
        The answer has little to do with the Palestinians, and everything to do with Israel, as the nation state of the Jewish people. It is a political manifestation of international anti-Semitism. It is only because the nation accused of oppressing Palestinians is Israel.
        This is not to say that is wrong to support the Palestinian cause. It is to say that it is wrong - and bigoted - to prioritize that deeply flawed cause over other, equally or more deserving, causes. The Palestinians have been offered statehood in 1948, 1967, 2000-2001, 2005 and 2008, and have rejected it. As the former leader of the Palestinian people, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, put it: We want there not to be a Jewish state more than we want there to be a Palestinian state.
        What they call the "Nakba" was a self-induced catastrophe. Many current Palestinian leaders and followers fault their predecessors for not accepting the two-state solution offered by the UN 75 years ago, as several have told me.
        The writer is a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School. (Gatestone Institute)
  • Israel's West Bank Security Fence Has Been a Lifesaver - Herb Keinon
    Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Tirza, who headed the Strategic Planning Unit of the Judea and Samaria Division in the IDF Central Command from 1994-2007, was the chief architect and planner of the West Bank security barrier, the construction of which began 20 years ago this month.
        Tirza [a research fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs] said there were more than 3,000 Palestinian attacks that originated from the West Bank from September 2000 until the end of 2006 that resulted in the deaths of 1,622 people. From 2007, when most of the existing fence was up, until today, there have been 141 attacks from the West Bank, that led to the killing of 100 people inside Israel. The fence was set up to save lives and the numbers show it succeeded. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Myth of the Powerful Israel Lobby Doesn't Fit the Facts - Lahav Harkov
    Walter Russell Mead, Wall Street Journal columnist and foreign affairs professor at Bard College, spoke with the Jerusalem Post about his new book about the U.S.-Israel relationship. "The hypothesis that the Jews or the Israel lobby are making the U.S. behave differently where Israel is concerned just doesn't fit the facts."
        "I don't actually think Israel's security or survival depends on its popularity in the U.S. In 1948, the U.S. might have recognized Israel, but Truman almost immediately started pressing for territorial concessions.... Israel didn't become strong because it had an American alliance, it got the American alliance because it became strong."  (Jerusalem Post)

Why I'm Giving Up Tenure at UCLA - Joseph Manson (Common Sense-Bari Weiss)
  • I've been a professor in the Anthropology Department at UCLA since 1996; I received tenure in 2000. For decades, anthropology has been notorious for conflict between the scientific and political activist factions. In recent years, militant faculty members came to comprise the department's most influential clique and recruited even more militant graduate students to work with them.
  • Typical of elite U.S. universities today, UCLA is awash in Jew-hatred thinly disguised as anti-Zionism. In May 2019, one of my colleagues, Kyeyoung Park, invited a guest lecturer, San Francisco State University professor Rabab Abdulhadi, to her class to proclaim that Zionism is a form of white supremacism.
  • Park was celebrated by the faculty and administration as a courageous, embattled exponent of academic freedom. The Anthropology Graduate Students Association chimed in with a resolution agreeing with Abdulhadi. More recently, the Asian-American Studies Department posted to its website a statement accusing Israel of settler colonialism, racial apartheid, and so on.
  • Irrespective of the content, doesn't it infringe on the academic freedom of individual professors for an academic department to take a political stand on behalf of all its members? Several other Jewish faculty and I have made that case to UCLA and the University of California leadership to no avail.
  • A 2019 article by Liel Leibovitz, titled Get Out, argued that the increasingly open hostility of American universities toward Jews is inseparable from the universities' rejection of two values that, during the 20th century, made them into places where Jews could thrive: meritocracy and free debate.
  • In 2019, I thought Leibovitz was exaggerating. Everything that's happened since has shown that he was spot on. That's it: I'm getting out.

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