September 19, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

U.S. Delaying German Procurement of Israel's Arrow 3 Missile Defense System - Ariel Kahana (Israel Hayom)
    Israel has worked for months to convince the U.S. to allow the sale of its Arrow 3 missile defense system to Germany and other countries. The initial request by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was made half a year ago.
    U.S. approval of the deal is needed since 80% of the system's development costs came from U.S. In addition, Arrow 3 includes technological components developed in the U.S.
    Washington has so far neither confirmed nor vetoed the move.

Travel Warning: Israelis and Jews at Risk of Attack by Iran and ISIS Overseas (Jerusalem Post)
    The Counter-Terror Division of the Israeli Prime Minister's Office issued a travel warning on Monday for the upcoming Jewish holidays for Israelis to be wary of potential terror attacks overseas by Iran or ISIS.
    The recent attempts by Iran to murder Israelis visiting Turkey were recalled, when the Mossad was said to have rescued some Israelis only minutes before they would have been shot dead by an Iranian terror cell.

A Newly Established Militant Organization in the West Bank Claims Several Attacks - Joe Truzman (Long War Journal)
    A new Palestinian militant organization called The Lion's Den (TLD) appeared in the West Bank in August and has published statements claiming shooting attacks against IDF troops.
    Some clues suggest its affiliation to Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Germany's Public Broadcaster Mandates that All Employees Support Israel's Right to Exist - Toby Axelrod (JTA)
    Germany's public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, revised its code of conduct on Sep. 1 to require support for Israel's right to exist, and employees who fail to do so may now be fired.

AFP Overlooks Palestinian Prisoner's Seven Murder Convictions - Tamar Sternthal (CAMERA)
    Agence France Presse reported in September on demands for "the release of Nasser Abu Hamid, a Palestinian prisoner held by Israel who suffers from cancer," while failing to mention why he is sitting in jail.
    In December 2002, Hamid confessed in Jerusalem District Court to killing seven Israelis and was sentenced to three life sentences and fifty additional years' imprisonment. He also was convicted of 12 counts of attempted murder and other charges.

Is Israel Really a Safe Country? - Roman Meitav (Jerusalem Post)
    In 2020, Israel had a crime rate of 30.4 per 1,000 citizens, including anything from petty theft to murder. How does that compare to other Western countries?
    In England, the crime rate in 2020 was 77.5 crimes per 1,000 citizens, and Germany had 63.8.
    In Israel, the murder rate in 2019 was 1.47 per 100,000 civilians. The U.S. had a rate of 5.07 - more than triple.

Israel Ranks 1st in Digital Quality of Life with World's Most Affordable Internet - Zachy Hennessey (Jerusalem Post)
    According to SurfShark's annual Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL), Israel ranks first in 2022 among 117 countries.
    Digital quality of life is defined by: internet quality, e-government, e-infrastructure, internet affordability, and e-security.
    Israel boasts the most affordable internet in the world, primarily due to its remarkably cheap mobile internet.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Woman Dies after Arrest by Iran's Morality Police - Farnaz Fassihi
    Mahsa Amini, 22, was detained in Tehran on Tuesday for violating the hijab law, which mandates covered hair and loose-fitting robes for women. Iran's security forces claimed Amini had suddenly collapsed from a heart attack at the detention center, while receiving educational training on hijab rules. A photo and video of Amini circulating on social media on Thursday showed her lying unconscious with blood oozing from her ear and bruises around her eyes.
        Amini's death has sparked widespread outrage among many ordinary Iranians, as well as some officials, senior clerics, celebrities and athletes. Many have called for an end to the practice of harassing and detaining women for not observing the hijab rules. (New York Times)
  • Arab Aid to UN Palestinian Refugee Agency Continues to Decline
    Annual Arab financial aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) declined to 3% of UNRWA's budget in 2022, Adnan Abu Hasna, the media advisor of UNRWA in Gaza, said Saturday. In 2018, Arab financial support to the agency reached $200 million, while in 2021 it declined to $20 million. Abu Hasna said that during all the previous Arab summits, the Arab League agreed that Arab support for the UN agency should not be less than 7.5%, "but today we have seen it decline to 3%...this is a big problem."  (Xinhua-China)
  • U.S. Approves Most Aid to Egypt despite Rights Concerns
    The U.S. on Wednesday approved most military aid to Egypt for a second straight year despite concerns on human rights. $130 million in aid was withheld from the $1.17 billion package after Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined that Egypt did not meet rights standards. But he gave the green light to the rest, partially under an exemption to assist counter-terrorism efforts and also after certifying that Egypt "is making clear and consistent progress" on due process for prisoners. (AFP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Car Shot at in Northern West Bank
    The IDF confirmed that a passing car fired at an Israeli car near Hawara in the West Bank on Monday morning. No casualties were reported, though the vehicle sustained a lot of damage. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Shows Off Its Innovative Might at International Conference - Anna Ahronheim
    The IDF hosted an international innovation conference with chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Michael Kurilla, and 200 participants from 25 countries including Finland, India, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Holland, Canada, Germany, the U.S., Greece, and Cyprus.
        The conference included professional workshops led by IDF commanders, as well as an operational simulation that demonstrated innovative techniques for the challenges of future urban battlefields. The delegations were also shown operational demonstrations using drones and electronic warfare. (Jerusalem Post)
  • PA Not Interested in Military Showdown with IDF - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinian Authority security forces are not headed toward an armed confrontation with the IDF, despite the involvement of some PA officers in recent attacks in the West Bank, Fahmi Shabaneh, former PA General Intelligence Force commander of the Hebron area, said Sunday. "The Palestinian Authority and its security forces are not interested in a military showdown with Israel," Shabaneh said. "The Palestinian leadership considers the security coordination to be sacred. That's why they won't stop the security coordination with Israel."
        Shabaneh pointed out that most of PA President Abbas' senior aides support the continuation of security coordination. "The recent attacks were carried out by individuals who don't represent the policies of the Palestinian leadership and the security forces."
        Shabaneh added that the PA has already lost control of the situation in most parts of the West Bank. "The Palestinian Authority is strong only against an individual here and an individual there. But when it comes to the general situation, the Palestinian Authority has undoubtedly lost control." For example, "there are many areas in Hebron where the Palestinian security forces have no presence at all. The clans have more power than the Palestinian security forces."
        The battle to succeed PA President Mahmoud Abbas, 87, has resulted in the division of the West Bank into three regions that are controlled by competing parties. Shabaneh said he expected armed clashes to erupt between supporters of rival Fatah leaders the day after Abbas departs the scene. "Each one of the Fatah leaders has prepared his own armed men. They are ready for the fight. There won't be a civil war, but there will be armed clashes between groups belonging to [rival] Fatah leaders, each one of whom considers himself a natural successor to Abbas."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Increased Israeli Air Activity over Syria: Why Now? - Jonathan Spyer
    A notable uptick in Israeli air operations against Iran-linked targets in Syria has taken place over the last month, according to regional media. The specific targeting of Aleppo Airport is almost certainly related to recent indications that Iran is relying increasingly on its "air bridge" to Syria and Lebanon, because of Israel's successful and systematic targeting of efforts to move weaponry and equipment by land. Moreover, the increased tempo of activity is part of a broader picture of increasing regional tension.
        Russia's pulling back in Syria to support its faltering military campaign in Ukraine means greater freedom for the Iranian role in Syria. But it also enables Israeli freedom of action to increase. In addition, the uptick in Israeli activity is part of a more general broadening and deepening by Israel in recent months of its assertive posture regarding the full gamut of Iranian activity in the region. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Fearing Attacks by Coalition and Israel, Military Movements by Iranian-Backed Militias Noticeably Decline throughout Syria
    Areas dominated by Iranian-backed militias across Syria have witnessed a noticeable decline in military activity in recent days. Militiamen left their headquarters and bases only when necessary, and are taking precautions for fear of assassination. (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights-UK)
  • Iranian Regime Threatens to Destroy Israel in a Multi-Arena Struggle - A. Savyon and M. Manzour
    On April 28, 2022, the Iranian regime mouthpiece Kayhan daily highlighted a video by the Iraqi pro-Iran Shi'ite militia Al-Nujaba depicting a missile attack on Israel launched simultaneously from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza. Kayhan stated, this video "sent a warning to Tel Aviv that in the event of military conflict, it would be facing not just one country, but a large regional coalition called the 'resistance movement.'"
        A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran Media Project. M. Manzour is a Research Fellow at MEMRI. (MEMRI)
  • A Simplistic Attitude to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict - Adi Ophir Moaz
    For some Irish activists and commentators, Palestine and Israel are a veritable obsession. All too often, the perspective is extremely biased against Israel and ignores the complexity and roots of the conflict. In a Sep. 14 article, Kathy Sheridan says that Palestinians are "the largest and longest case of displaced persons in the world today." But why is it still the case?
        After the Second World War, 40 million to 60 million displaced people found new homes and became part of society. Many Arab countries could have absorbed the Palestinians a long time ago, but the funding that the countries receive through the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) incentivizes them to keep the status quo and "hold the torch" of opposing the existence of the State of Israel.
        According to figures compiled by the OECD, aid to the Palestinians amounted to more than $40 billion between 1994 and 2020. Of this, non-Arab donors provided close to 77%.
        The writer is Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Dublin. (Irish Times)

The Arab World Is in a Different Place on Peace with Israel - Amb. Ron Dermer interviewed by Jordan B. Peterson (YouTube)
  • The Abraham Accords were formally signed on Sep. 15, 2020. They represent the surfacing of Israel's relations with our Arab partners, particularly in the Gulf.
  • By around 2012, the Saudi leaders had changed and wanted to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. What changed was a fundamental shift in their understanding and throughout the Gulf as the result of several factors that came together to give Arab leaders a different understanding of their most vital security interests and this changed their approach to Israel.
    • One was the Arab Spring. All across the region things were starting to get unstable. Regimes that were certain of their hold on power for decades to come were less certain.
    • Second was the rise of Iran as a very dangerous power in the region. Iran is a Shiite radical power. They not only threaten Israel with destruction but they also threaten their Sunni Arab neighbors.
    • Third was the rise of Sunni radicalism in the form of ISIS and al-Qaeda.
    • Fourth was the reduction of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East.
  • At the same time we have seen the rise of Israel as a global technological power. Israel is the second great source of innovation outside of Silicon Valley. The Arab leaders see that their security interests and their economic interests are tied to a partnership with Israel. They want to move into an alliance with Israel, but these regimes have been poisoning their populations against Israel for seven decades.
  • The Saudis are the invisible hand behind the whole Abraham Accords. It wouldn't have gotten off the ground without at least their tacit support. But this was something that was possible to do years before. In 2012-13, they were ready for peace. Netanyahu spoke about it at the UN before the Trump years and said, "Never in my lifetime have I seen the possibilities that I see today. The Arab world is in a different place." A peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia is effectively the end of the century-old Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • The reason why we have the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today is the same reason we've had a conflict for the last century, which is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the legitimacy of a nation-state of the Jewish people in any boundary in our ancestral homeland. In their minds, we stole their house.
  • They don't understand that this is the territory where the patriarchs of the Jewish people prayed or where our prophets preached and our kings ruled. It's a complete denial of any historical connection between the Jews and the Land of Israel. They refuse to accept some sort of compromise. The Abraham Accords is a beginning of a shift - the removal of the Palestinians' veto over Israel-Arab peace.

    Ron Dermer served as the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. from 2013 to 2021.

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