Severely Wounded Ukrainian Soldiers Arrive in Israel for Medical Treatment
(Times of Israel
Two Ukrainian soldiers who were severely injured in the war arrived Monday in Israel as part of an agreement that will see 20 service members receiving advanced medical treatment in Sheba Medical Center.
All are amputees and will go through rehabilitation and be fitted for prosthetics.
Israel Says It Won't Recognize Russia's Annexation Referendums in Ukraine
- Jonathan Lis (Ha'aretz
Israel's Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday that Israel "recognizes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine." Israel "will not accept the results of the referendum in the eastern districts of Ukraine."
Israeli officials said Israel's rebuke of Russia is intended to show Ukrainian President Zelenskyy that Israel stands by his country.
Iran Acquires 2.5 Million Acres of Venezuela
- Lawrence A. Franklin (Gatestone Institute
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed a 20-year cooperation treaty this June during a visit to Iran.
The pact included the provision of 2.5 million acres of farmland to Iran, Iranian agrarian economist Ali Revanizadeh told Venezuelan media.
The land grant will ostensibly be used to grow staple crops, but the vast acreage may also be used for military and terrorist operations.
Hizbullah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela's Margarita Island, northeast of the mainland.
U.S. Shoots Down Iranian Drone in Iraq
- Barbara Starr (CNN
A U.S. F-15 jet shot down an Iranian drone that appeared to be heading toward U.S. forces in Erbil, Iraq, on Wednesday.
The U.S. had tracked dozens of Iranian short range ballistic missiles launched from inside Iran and headed for Kurdish positions in northern Iraq.
Saudi King Gives Up Prime Minister Role to Crown Prince
- Simon Henderson (Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MbS) was named as Saudi Arabia's new prime minister on Tuesday.
His father, King Salman, 86, had previously served as prime minister.
MbS' younger brother, Khalid bin Salman, 34, a former F-15 pilot, has been promoted from deputy defense minister to defense minister.
EU Aims for Reboot with Israel
- Ilya Gridneff (Politico
The EU is seeking to reset its relationship with Israel next week, convening a meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council on Monday which has essentially been dormant since 2013.
Brussels is also eager to shore up energy supplies from Israel amid Russia's war in Ukraine.
Palestinian officials are also watching closely, demanding not to be left out of a similar diplomatic engagement with Brussels.
Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual Leader Dies in Qatar
- David Gritten (BBC News
Egyptian Sunni Muslim cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has died aged 96 in Qatar.
Qaradawi founded the International Union of Muslim Scholars and was seen as a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
For many years, he had a religious phone-in show on Al Jazeera
that was watched by tens of millions.
He claimed that Islam justified Palestinian suicide bomb attacks against Israelis during the second Palestinian intifada that began in 2000.
The governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE accused Qaradawi of terrorism in 2017.
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Visiting Israel, Pakistani Delegation Promotes Peace "One Step at a Time"
- Ash Obel (Times of Israel
A delegation of 12 Pakistani community leaders came to Israel in September for a six-day visit designed to foster deeper ties between the two countries, which do not have diplomatic relations.
The trip was organized by Sharaka, an organization that emerged in the wake of the 2020 Abraham Accords to promote peace and cooperation in the region. Some of the group live in the U.S. and some in Pakistan.
Nasim Ashraf, a former Pakistani government minister, said, "Coming here has cleared up a whole lot of misunderstandings, fixed notions and wrong perceptions."
"Since the Abraham Accords, I've sensed there is definitely an appetite [in Pakistan] for peace with Israel. There is a lot of opposition too - one step at a time."
Iranian President Raisi Abandons Interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour Who Refused to Wear Hijab
- Eliza Mackintosh (CNN
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi withdrew from a long-planned interview with CNN
anchor Christiane Amanpour in New York on Sep. 21, after she declined a last-minute demand to wear a head scarf.
Amanpour, who grew up in Tehran, said she wears a head scarf while reporting in Iran to comply with the local laws and customs. But she said she would not cover her head to conduct an interview with an Iranian official inside a country where it is not required.
Palestinian Human Rights Activist Blasts BDS Supporters at Duke University
- Jazper Lu (Duke University Chronicle
Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid told a student group on Sunday that the top priorities for ordinary Palestinians are to survive and to secure education and health care for their children.
"The majority of the Palestinians these days are people who are seeking dignity rather than identity."
Contrary to what the Palestinian leadership thinks, he believes that the Abraham Accords were "very important," with UAE investment in Israel leading to the creation of jobs that will benefit Palestinians.
Asked about the pro-Palestinian organizations that supported Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) or Israel Apartheid Week, he replied: "These people...have no problem from time to time to give a speech on behalf of the Palestinians. [But] they are using us."
"The BDS movement is people who used to be jobless and they found a job forever. If the Israeli-Palestine conflict [was] solved, all of the BDS members will be jobless."
"What do the Palestinians benefit from BDS? Zero. Several factories in Israel have been closed, thousands of Palestinian workers have been thrown out from their jobs."
New British Tanks to Feature Israeli Laser Warning System
- George Allison (UK Defence Journal
Elbit Systems UK has been selected to provide 150 Elbit Laser Warning Systems (ELAWS) as part of Britain's new Challenger 3 main battle tank program.
ELAWS is a widely operational and proven system capable of detecting, categorizing and accurately pinpointing laser sources such as range finders, anti-tank guided missiles, target designators and infrared illuminators. It can also seamlessly integrate with a wide array of countermeasures.
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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
- Iran's Rebellion Spreads, despite Lethal Repression
Inside Iran, events since September 16th have been an earthquake, after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, detained by morality police in Tehran for her supposedly incorrect hijab. Her death - photos and witnesses indicate she was badly beaten - tapped a deep well of grievances. There have been reports of protests in all of Iran's 31 provinces. The government calls the unrest a foreign plot coordinated by America, Israel and other such evil places (it is not).
See also Iran Protests: Death Toll Rises to 76 - David Gritten
Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) said it had recorded the deaths of 76 protesters across 14 provinces as of Monday, including six women and four children. IHR said live ammunition was being fired directly by security forces at protesters.
See also At Least 185 Basiji Militiamen Injured in Clashes with Protesters in Tehran
At least 185 agents from Iran's Basij paramilitary forces, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, have been injured during clashes with protesters in Tehran.
See also Iran's National Soccer Team Joins Protests
Before an international friendly match against Senegal on Tuesday, Iran's soccer stars caused a stir when they lined up for the national anthem wearing black jackets to cover up the national symbols on their uniforms in a show of solidarity with protests against the repression of women in their home country. (AFP-Guardian-UK)
See also Prominent Iranian Actors, Directors, Artists, Poets and Athletes Back Protests - Benoit Faucon (Wall Street Journal)
- Anti-Israel Motions Off the Agenda at British Labour Party's Annual Conference - Lee Harpin
Not a single Labour Party branch submitted an anti-Israel motion as their chosen topic of debate at this year's annual conference in Liverpool. In a clear signal of the change in direction of the party under Keir Starmer's leadership, the anti-Israel sentiment and Palestinian flag-waving that had dominated conferences under previous leader Jeremy Corbyn appear to have been replaced with concern for other issues.
Labour national executive committee member Luke Akehurst recalled the "period where there were deliberately provocative debates about Israel involving seas of Palestinian flags being waved on the conference floor." In 2018, at the height of Corbyn's control of the party, hundreds of Palestinian flags were held aloft by delegates, who voted to debate that issue instead of the crisis in Britain's National Health Service. (Jewish News-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Palestinian Gunmen "Planning Significant Attacks" Killed in West Bank City of Jenin - Emanuel Fabian
Israeli forces on Wednesday sought to arrest Abd al-Rahman Hazem, the brother of Raed Hazem, the terrorist who killed three civilians on Tel Aviv's Dizengoff street in April. Hazem and Muhammed Alownah were responsible for a series of shooting attacks in recent months. Israeli officials said the pair planned "more significant attacks in the near future."
Israeli troops had surrounded Hazem's home in Jenin. The wanted gunmen set off a large bomb as troops attempted to enter the home. "Hazem and Alownah were killed in the exchange of fire," police said. The PA said another two people were killed in the clashes, and 44 others were hurt.
Ahmed Alawneh, 24, a member of the PA security forces, was killed as he was firing at Israeli troops.
(Times of Israel)
See also Shots Fired at Israeli Vehicle in Southern West Bank - Emanuel Fabian
An Israeli vehicle came under fire from a passing vehicle near the Adorayim junction in the South Hebron Hills area of the West Bank on Wednesday night. The driver was not injured but the car was damaged. (Times of Israel)
- Israeli Security Forces Thwart Attempt to Derail Train
An obstacle placed on railway tracks between Akko and Carmiel in northern Israel was discovered Monday night. Those responsible took advantage of the shutdown of the tracks due to the holidays and placed the object to cause the train to derail.
Former Police Assistant-Chief Shahar Ayalon said, "The railway's security unit...specializes in track security, patrols along the tracks all the time and periodically finds obstacles of a similar type to the one found during this incident."
- Terrorists Place Bomb at West Bank Gas Station
On Sunday morning, security camera footage showed terrorists arriving in a car at a gas station at the entrance to Kedumim in the West Bank, setting down a bag carrying 4 kg. of explosives and driving off. The explosives did not detonate and no injuries were reported.
- Palestinian Attacks Israeli Motorists near Modiin - Emanuel Fabian
A Palestinian stopped his vehicle at a traffic light close to Shilat junction near Modiin last Thursday evening and began to open car doors and attack people with a knife and pepper spray. Two men were stabbed in the hand and another 5 passengers were treated after pepper spray.
The attacker was shot dead by an off-duty Border Police officer who was in the area. He said, "I was at a red light so I slowed down. Just as I was stopping, I saw a man running on the shoulder toward the car. He opened my partner's door and tried to stab her. I hit the gas, stopped the vehicle nearby, and got out and shot him." (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
- How to Understand the Iranian Threat - Dore Gold
Recently, the head of the IDF General Staff's Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate, who is also an Israeli F-35 pilot, discussed in an interview his analysis of the current Iranian military buildup. "A regional superpower is emerging next to us, which constitutes the main threat to the State of Israel and challenges the Israeli security approach many years ahead." He spoke about "a dramatic leap forward in its military capability."
Iran wants to remake the Middle East. It had dispatched Shi'ite proxy armies to Syria, with their families, in order to reconfigure the demography of the region as it aspired to convert Syria into a Shi'ite state. It used similar techniques elsewhere, working to expand the Shi'ite population of eastern Turkey.
Syria is emerging as part of Iran's strategic system for the region. Iran is using Syria as a location for new missile production facilities, especially long-range, precision-guided missiles. The Iranians have a historical tradition connecting them to Syria and surrounding states. When Shi'ism was established as the state religion in Persia by the Safavid dynasty in 1501, the Safavid Empire included what is today Iran, Iraq and large parts of Syria.
Contesting the action of an aggressor is a military mission above all. But it is also a diplomatic operation that must be pursued in parallel. The next Israeli government will have no choice but to act more intensely and consistently in this regard.
The writer is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Jerusalem Post)
- Letting Iran Go Nuclear - Robert Satloff
Washington remains ready to re-enter the nuclear deal whenever Iran says okay. But Iran hasn't said okay. In the meantime, the Iranians have gone on an enrichment blitz,
using centrifuges far more advanced and sophisticated than those allowed under the original agreement. The menacing reality is that Iran's nuclear program is galloping ahead - and the U.S. is doing very little about it.
I oppose a return to the deeply flawed JCPOA and I especially oppose the sweetened terms the U.S. has since offered to entice Iran to accept a watered-down version. Whatever nonproliferation benefits there may be to the deal are far outweighed by the huge advantages Iran would reap, from legitimizing its illegal nuclear progress to receiving substantial financial rewards that would fuel subversion and terrorism throughout the Middle East.
The writer is executive director of The Washington Institute.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
- Iran Wants a Bomb, Not a Deal - Roger Boyes
The original Iran deal in 2015 was billed as transformative but turned out to be merely transactional: the West undertook to lift sanctions in return for time-limited restrictions on Tehran's nuclear plans. It was essentially a bribe. Russia, which was supposed to be an enforcer of the nuclear deal, turned out to be a military partner of Iran.
What's the alternative to a deal, ask its supporters. The answer is, keep your eyes open, learn from experience. Did the deal help create an Iran more at ease with itself, less hungry for a nuclear umbrella? Did it lay the groundwork for a more open governance, for a more tolerant society? Did it weaken the grip of the brutal Revolutionary Guard? No. Diplomacy has failed and it would be well to acknowledge that.
Iran has got used to having its own way. When a country is so close to building a nuclear arsenal and has so many enemies, it is no good just tickling its tummy. The days of starstruck statecraft are over.
- Israeli Ambassador Herzog: With Iran, Need to "Focus on the Disincentives" - Gabby Deutch
"Our relations with the administration and with the American people are strong and solid," Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog said in an interview at the Israeli Embassy. "It's no secret that there are differences between us on some issues. But we speak openly about everything. We know exactly where we stand. We know what we agree on. We know what we disagree on. And to the extent that we disagree on certain issues, we know how to manage our disagreements."
Herzog's policy is to meet with almost everyone. "I will not speak to [Rep.] Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), because I know that she doesn't want to speak to me, and she has no interest in whatever I have to say, and I will not speak to antisemites, people like that. But save for that, everybody else I will speak to, no matter if they agree with me or disagree with me."
Herzog's biggest focus in Washington is Iran. "Israel is not against diplomacy or a diplomatic outcome. We agree with the administration that Iran should be denied the nuclear weapon or the ability to become a nuclear-armed state, and that diplomacy is the preferred method to go about it. The issue we had was with what kind of deal was - is - on the table."
Herzog argues that the focus must be on deterrence.
"Diplomacy offers Iran incentives, but I think you have to focus on the disincentives: economic pressures, political pressures and other types of pressures on Iran, including a last-resort credible military option" - essentially, the strategy for which Israel has been advocating for years. "We think that with more pressure on Iran, and with a better mix of incentives and disincentives, you can get a better deal." (Jewish Insider)
- How Iran Took Over Syria's Secret Missile Production - Yoav Limor
Not a week goes by without some foreign media reporting on an alleged Israeli strike against Syria. The main objective of these reported attacks is to frustrate Iran's entrenchment in Syria through the militias it trains and arms, as well as to interdict the weapon shipments to its proxies in the region - chiefly Hizbullah. Weapons manufactured in Iran are transported to Syria by air, land, or sea, and from there to Lebanon. Israel has reportedly attacked these routes hundreds of times in recent years.
The systematic attacks have cost Iran dearly and derailed its plans to arm Hizbullah with precision-guided munitions within Syria to challenge Israel's security from the Golan Heights. To overcome the difficulties posed by these strikes, Iran is using Syria's indigenous production capabilities to manufacture arms.
This has led to dozens of strikes against Syrian infrastructure and installations.
These are under the auspices of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) - Syrian military industries. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently revealed that there are dozens of subterranean installations that Syria uses to manufacture advanced arms. Moreover, Iran has been engaged with CERS without even coordinating this with the Syrian authorities. Senior members of the Revolutionary Guards have been paying CERS bigwigs and essentially have them work on Iranian projects.
Israel has increased its strikes against this newly built Iranian apparatus, seeking to damage the manufacturing assets so that they are no longer usable. Since 2017 Israel has struck CERS facilities - according to foreign reports - dozens of times. Targets include factories for the production of engines, casting of warheads, manufacturing of propellants and engine casings for missiles, as well as centers for research and development. These targets are the product of pinpoint intelligence and rigorous analysis.
According to Israeli officials, the ties between the Revolutionary Guards and the CERS upper echelon have not been sanctioned by Syrian President Assad and his defense ministers. "Assad is hardly aware of what is going on; he is being fed lies by his people," a senior Israeli official told me. (Israel Hayom)
- Israel: PA President Abbas Incited Hate and Glorified Terrorism at UN - Tovah Lazaroff
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas incited hatred and glorified terrorism when he addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday, said Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan. "In a lie-filled rant completely detached from reality, he further proved his absolute irrelevance. Abbas uses the UN as a platform to incite hatred against Israel while glorifying the terrorists that he himself funds."
"The U.S. and members of the Security Council are well aware that the Palestinians rejected every peace plan ever presented, that they fund terrorists, and that the Palestinian Authority doesn't even have sovereignty over their own territories, which are controlled by terror groups."
In his speech, Abbas launched a scathing attack on Israel, accusing it of committing "massacres" against the Palestinians and "assaults" on Islamic and Christian holy sites. He also called on Israel, the U.S. and Britain to apologize to the Palestinians and offer them compensation because of their responsibility for the Balfour Declaration. (Jerusalem Post)
- Israel's "Peace Partner" behind Terrorist Attacks Against Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh
In the past few months, there has been a rise in the number of terrorist attacks against Israelis carried out by gunmen belonging to, or associated with, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its ruling faction, Fatah, both headed by Mahmoud Abbas. He encourages the murder and wounding of Israelis and pays generously for it - with money from Europe and the U.S.
The PA has been described as Israel's Palestinian peace partner. It is largely dominated by members and activists belonging to Fatah, which has proven over the years that its actions and rhetoric are actually no different from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that openly call for the elimination of Israel.
This year, Fatah has once again increased its terrorist attacks against Israel. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and other armed groups belonging to Fatah boast about the attacks and threaten to continue the fight against Israel, while Mahmoud Abbas continues to incite against Israel and glorify those involved in terrorism.
This is the "peace partner" that the Biden administration is hoping to assist in establishing a Palestinian state next to Israel. Meanwhile, Israel's "peace partner" is doing everything in its power to confirm the fears of Israelis about the presence of a Palestinian state just a few kilometers from their homes.
- Inside a Terrorist Tunnel between Lebanon and Israel - Heather Nauert
When in 2018 the Israel Defense Forces discovered a network of underground tunnels along its northern border with Lebanon, I served as the State Department spokeswoman and made it a priority to publicly highlight this worrisome find. But it wasn't until September 2022 that I saw it firsthand. Lt.-Col. Sarit Zehavi, who studies northern border security for the Alma Research Center in Israel, estimates that the tunnels from Lebanon are nearly a hundred miles long and contain underground command and control rooms, weapons, supply depots, field clinics, and shafts used to fire missiles.
Along with a bipartisan group of former American officials, I stepped into a dark, damp tunnel that descended underground, ultimately reaching a depth of 260 feet. Strung along the tunnel walls are thick cables powering lights. The tunnel was wide enough to fit fighters carrying weapons and equipment. At the halfway point, nearly under the Lebanese border, Israel had filled the rest of the tunnel with cement. The IDF discovered six tunnels intended for a possible ground war against Israel.
For ten years, Hizbullah used heavy equipment to drill through the hard rock. (New York Sun)
- Trade and Security Ties Are Knitting Israel into its Region
In the two years since the UAE and Israel signed the Abraham Accords, more than half a million Israelis have visited the Arab country. Soon there will be 20 flights a day between the two. For the first time since its creation in 1948, Israel has a warm peace with an Arab country, not just the formal, often frosty ones with Egypt and Jordan.
The UAE is "the first to bring Israeli and Arab people together," says Ebtesam al-Ketbi, who heads an Emirati think-tank. The accords are underpinning a realignment of trade, diplomacy and security arrangements in the Gulf. Bilateral trade has exploded from $11.2 million in 2019 to $1.2 billion in 2021.
- Ukraine War Triggers Antisemitism in Russia - Cnaan Liphshiz
As Russia's war effort in Ukraine founders, openly anti-Jewish rhetoric is entering its mainstream media. In July, Vladimir Solovyov, a popular talk show host, listed on air the names of Jews whom he faulted for lacking patriotism. On Sep. 18, senior writer Dmitry Popov published a list of well-known Jews whom he called "foreign agents" in the Russian daily Moskovskij Komsomolets.
Roman Bronfman, a former Israeli lawmaker, said, "The antisemitic rhetoric we're seeing now, the loosening of the taboo around it, are probably not directed directly by Putin's government....These are matters of a general atmosphere. Officials and the general population are reading between the lines on how they should treat the Jews. And the message is changing." (JTA)
- University of Vermont Earns Federal Probe over Antisemitism - Jeff Robbins
A University of Vermont teaching assistant wasn't content to merely bully Jewish students who identified with Israel. She boasted about it publicly, chortling on social media about her threats to reduce the grades of Jewish kids for whom Israel has personal meaning.
When an Israeli flag was stolen from an off-campus student house, the TA heartily praised the vandalism. "Who stole the Israeli flag," she tweeted, "I just wanna talk and tell you how cool and special and loved you are."
Last year, UVM students organized a group to support victims of sexual harassment. When Hillel, the Jewish student organization, posted a statement of solidarity, the anti-sexual harassment group rejected it, claiming to "follow the same policy with Zionists that we follow with those who troll or harass others: blocked."
After a group of students spent 40 minutes throwing rocks at the windows of the Hillel Jewish students' campus center, the university insisted that there was nothing anti-Jewish about the attack.
In response to a quite detailed complaint filed by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, the U.S. Department of Education has opened a formal investigation into whether UVM has fostered or permitted a hostile environment for Jewish students, in violation of the federal civil rights laws.
The writer is a former U.S. delegate to the UN Human Rights Commission.
See also How Anti-Israel Faculty Are Radicalizing U.S. Campuses - Miriam F. Elman (Jerusalem Post)
- PA President Mahmoud Abbas asked the UN General Assembly on Friday why the Palestinians do not yet have a state. I found the answers to Abbas' questions were in his speech as well.
- He claimed to genuinely want peace with Israel, but made clear that he rejects Israel's very legitimacy. He described Israel as a colonizing power for 75 years - that is, since its historic rebirth in 1948. He airbrushed Judaism out of his "eternal" Jerusalem, in which there are only Muslim and Christian holy sites.
- There was no mention that Israel dismantled its settlements and withdrew all its soldiers from Gaza in 2005. No hint that Hamas took over, and has provoked conflict with Israel ever since with indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel, teaching Israel that relinquishing adjacent territory merely empowers the forces that seek our destruction.
- Abbas devoted some of his speech to Nasser Abu Hamid, whom he described as a heroic martyr who was now dying in jail of cancer, failing to note that Abu Hamid is serving multiple life terms for the murders of seven Israelis and the attempted murders of 12 more. Abbas championed the killers of Israelis - to whom his Palestinian Authority insists on paying salaries, thus nurturing the next generations of murderers.
- Abbas ignored the "one condition" Prime Minister Yair Lapid set on Thursday for the implementation of a two-state solution: "That a future Palestinian state will be a peaceful one. That it will not become another terror base from which to threaten the well-being and the very existence of Israel."
- Lapid offered Abbas a one-sentence formula for Palestinian independence: "Put down your weapons, and there will be peace."
See also Israeli Defense Minister: Agreement with Palestinians Not Likely in Foreseeable Future
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Israel's Channel 11 on Saturday:
"With regard to the Palestinians, we believe we should reach an accord, but one has to confront reality with clear eyes, and to my understanding there is no way of reaching an agreement in the foreseeable future." He clarified that "We are for two separate entities, but not in a way that endangers Israel." (Ha'aretz)
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