October 3, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Shooting Attacks in West Bank Rise 47 Percent - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
    There were 34 shooting attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in September, more than once per day.
    There were 23 shooting attacks in August and 15 in July.
    14 Israelis were injured and two were killed in Palestinian attacks in September. 15 Israelis were injured in attacks in August.
    The IDF continues to carry out regular operations in the West Bank to put an end to terror attacks against Israelis.
    See also below News Resources - Israel: Escalating Palestinian Violence in the West Bank

Anti-Terrorist Commander Describes Shootout in Jenin - Meir Turgeman (Ynet News)
    Chief Superintendent D., 48, commander of the IDF's Mista'arvim special forces counter-terrorist squad, described Wednesday's shootout in Jenin in the West Bank.
    "The militants rained thousands of rounds of bullets at us, and for the first time used improvised explosive devices (IEDs)."
    "They prepared a death trap for us. They rigged the entrance to the house, and as soon as they spotted us, they activated four explosive charges of dozens of kilograms one after the other."
    "It was of a magnitude I had never encountered before. There was a huge blast, the earth shook under our feet."
    "The whole operation to take out the wanted terrorists took ten minutes, but the exchanges of fire with camp militants lasted much longer."
    Under heavy fire, the force summoned armored vehicles to pick them up.
    "The troops crawled like in boot camp to take cover and after three hours of fighting we managed to get to safety."

Iranian-Born Israeli Singer Rita Voices Support for Iranian Women - Calev Ben-David (i24News)
    Iranian-born Israeli singer Rita is voicing support for Iranian demonstrators who took to the streets to protest the cruelties of the Mullah regime and its morality police.
    Rita told i24News on Sunday that she received thousands of messages on Instagram after recording a video in support of protesters last week. "They told me, 'Please be our voice.'"
    "The time will come when we can be in friendship. We have no reason to be enemies."

Hamas Uses Gazans with Israeli Entry Permits to Fund Terrorism - Tzvi Joffre (Jerusalem Post)
    The IDF and Israel Security Agency have thwarted a Hamas terrorism financing scheme using Gazans who were entering Israel for humanitarian reasons or with work permits, IDF spokesperson Lt.-Col. Avichay Adraee said Thursday.
    The funds were transferred to Hamas members in Turkey to finance terrorist activities in the West Bank and Turkey.

Booking.com Won't Single Out Jewish Businesses in West Bank for Security Warning - Josh Hasten (JNS)
    On Friday, Booking.com, the global online lodging website, placed a travel warning on all of its listings - both Jewish- and Arab-owned - in Judea and Samaria, including towns under Palestinian Authority control.
    Booking.com had been considering labeling Jewish-owned properties only with a security disclaimer.
    The Israeli government celebrated the change as a "political achievement for Israel" following "discreet and efficient discussions" with the company to persuade it not to single out Jewish businesses.

Cache of Gold Coins Uncovered in Israeli Nature Reserve (Jerusalem Post)
    A cache of 44 pure gold coins from the Byzantine era was recently discovered during an archeological excavation at the Banias site within the Hermon River Nature Reserve, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Monday.
    IAA numismatic expert Dr. Gabriela Bijovsky identified coins minted during the reign of Emperor Phocas (602-610 CE) and Emperor Heraclius (610-641 CE).
    The coins were concealed within the base of a stone wall during the time of the Muslim conquest in 635 CE.
    The excavations were carried out prior to connecting the adjacent Druze holy site Maqam Nabi Khadr to the national electricity grid.

Israeli Startups Raised $800 Million in September (Globes)
    Israeli startups raised $800 million in September 2022, for a total of $13.5 billion in the first nine months of the year.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Protests Fueled by Sickly Economy - Vivian Yee
    The tens of thousands of Iranians taking part in nationwide protests against the government in the past two weeks have plenty of grievances to choose from: soaring prices, high unemployment, corruption, political repression, and the law requiring women to dress modestly and cover their hair. But the sorry state of Iran's economy is one of the main forces spurring Iranians into the streets to demand change. Protesters have called for an end to Iran's inflexible clerical leadership and the Islamic Republic it built.
        Decades of mismanagement and corruption, compounded by suffocating U.S.-led sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear and missile programs, along with a pandemic, have frozen Iran's economy at pre-2012 levels or worse. Iranians who have spent the past several years cutting meat out of their budgets, scrounging for work and delaying marriage and children are angry with their leaders, whom they see as being responsible for the mismanagement of the economy.
        The Iranian rial lost so much value that Iran introduced the toman, essentially to slash four zeros off the currency. Iranians now pay about 75% more for food than they did a year ago. (New York Times)
  • UC Berkeley Student Groups Adopt Pro-Israel Speaker Ban - Natalie O'Neill
    Nine student groups at the University of California, Berkeley, have adopted a policy forbidding pro-Israel speakers at events. The school's dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, who is Jewish, said the policy stops him from speaking at the events. (New York Post)
        See also Bigotry at Berkeley Law - Melanie Phillips
    An anti-Israel bylaw adopted by a handful of law-student groups at Berkeley goes beyond support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, whose goal is to destroy Israel through economic strangulation. These groups at Berkeley will no longer invite any speaker who supports Israel or Zionism.
        Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Since the essence of Judaism is the unbreakable connection between the people, the religion and the land of Israel, the Berkeley law students are not merely singling out the Jews as the only people not entitled to their own homeland. They are attacking Judaism itself.
        The writer is a columnist for The Times-UK. (Substack)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

Escalating Palestinian Violence in the West Bank
  • Two Palestinians Killed after Trying to Run Over Israeli Soldiers in West Bank - Emanuel Fabian
    While IDF troops were operating in Jalazone, near Ramallah, early Monday in an attempt to arrest a terror suspect, a vehicle began to accelerate toward them. "During the activity, a ramming attack was attempted against the forces, who responded by firing and neutralized the two [Palestinian] suspects," the IDF said. (Times of Israel)
  • ISIS Sympathizers Planned to Bomb Muslim High School in Nazareth - Adi Hashmonai
    Six Israeli Arabs suspected of planning to bomb a Muslim high school in Nazareth in the name of ISIS have been arrested, the Israel Security Agency announced Sunday. They also sought out additional targets, including a crowded bus stop, a police station, and forests frequented by Jews. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinian Gunmen Target Taxi, Bus in West Bank - Emanuel Fabian
    An Israeli taxi driver was injured when gunmen opened fire toward vehicles in the West Bank between the Palestinian town of Bayt Furik and the Israeli community of Elon Moreh on Sunday morning. The windshield of a bus was also hit by a bullet in the same area. An armed Palestinian faction based in Nablus called the Lion's Den claimed responsibility. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Shot while Throwing Firebombs at Israel Police - Emanuel Fabian
    A Palestinian man "who tried to throw a firebomb at our forces was neutralized with gunfire" in al-Eizariya on the outskirts of Jerusalem, an Israel Police spokesman said Saturday.
        Also on Saturday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli troops operating near the West Bank village of Burqa, and at the Israeli community of Beit El. (Times of Israel)
  • IDF Investigates Death of Palestinian Boy - Jacob Magid
    On Thursday, Palestinian boys in the West Bank village of Tuqua, south of Bethlehem, were seen throwing stones at cars driving near the neighboring Israeli community of Tekoa. IDF Lt.-Col. Richard Hecht, a military spokesman, said a senior officer on the scene went to the house after spotting one of the stone throwers on a balcony and told the father to make the children stop throwing stones at motorists. He said the officer spoke in a "very calm manner" and left. "There was no violence, no entry into the house."
        A family member said 7-year-old Rayan Suleiman was upset at the sight of the soldiers, and after the soldiers left, the boy collapsed and died. There is an ongoing IDF investigation into the matter. (Times of Israel)
  • Two Palestinians Arrested for Firebombing Buses in Jerusalem - Michael Horovitz
    Two Palestinian men have been detained for throwing firebombs at passing Israeli buses from Makassed Hospital in eastern Jerusalem on Sep. 7. Israel Police said Sunday that the two entered the hospital in wheelchairs, disguising themselves as patients, and then attacked passing vehicles. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

Contrasting Views: The Proposed Israel-Lebanon Maritime Deal
    In Favor

  • The U.S. Maritime Proposal for Israel and Lebanon Safeguards Israel's Security-Diplomatic Interests - Prime Minister Yair Lapid
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday: "Over the weekend, Israel and Lebanon received the American mediator's proposal for an agreement on a maritime line between the two countries....The proposal safeguards Israel's full security-diplomatic interests, as well as our economic interests. For over a decade, Israel has been trying to reach this deal. The security of the north will be strengthened. The Karish field will operate and produce natural gas. Money will flow into the state's coffers and our energy independence will be secured."
        "We do not oppose the development of an additional Lebanese gas field, from which we will of course receive the share we deserve. Such a field will weaken Lebanon's dependence on Iran, restrain Hizbullah and promote regional stability."  (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Maritime Agreement: A Tactical Concession for the Sake of Strategic Gain - Yoav Limor
    The emerging maritime agreement with Lebanon has benefits. These include negotiations between Israel and Lebanon, albeit indirect and mediated by the U.S. We should not underestimate the importance of an agreement, even if partial, with an enemy state. The ability to generate and implement common interests is a calming and restraining element.
        Lebanon is a broken, insolvent country on the verge of anarchy, and the money it would gain from gas drilling would help it stabilize. In addition, Israel could start producing gas from the Karish field immediately, and at a time when the world is hungry for natural gas and prices are increasing. It will do so without a physical threat to its rigs.
        The main disadvantage of the deal is the possible loss of maritime assets. Had Israel wanted to, it could have drilled in more extensive areas and extracted gas, but that would involve a considerable risk of an escalation. In other words, Israel has made a tactical concession for a strategic gain of stability on the northern border.
        However, Israel must make sure to let Hizbullah know that it wasn't its threats that brought about the results. Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah will not hesitate to challenge Israel if he senses weakness on its part. (Israel Hayom)
  • Pending Israel-Lebanon Maritime Border Deal Is a Win-Win - Ron Ben Yishai
    Iran-backed Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah can claim he strong-armed Israel into submission with his threats to attack the Israeli gas rigs. He can say he alone is the protector of Lebanon. That is not true. Israel already approved plans to begin production at the Karish site and the IDF has already taken the necessary steps to ensure its security.
        A law passed in 2010 prohibits any Israeli government from conceding Israeli territory without bringing it to a referendum, but that law does not refer to maritime borders. (Ynet News)

  • Opposed

  • Israel Must Reject a Terrible Natural Gas Deal with Hizbullah - Prof. Eugene Kontorovich
    The proposed deal would give the Iranian puppet-state in Lebanon hundreds of miles of territory in the Mediterranean Sea - and the vast reserves of natural gas underneath. In the final U.S. proposal, the recipe for compromise is simple: Israel accepts all of Lebanon's territorial claims and redraws its borders. The standard principle in maritime mediation is equitable division somewhere down the middle. But the deal reportedly requires Jerusalem to meet Beirut's claims in full.
        It does not advance U.S. strategic interests to propose a deal that would strengthen Hizbullah, a State Department-designated terror group and Iranian proxy that largely controls Lebanon. The notion that the gas fields give Lebanon "something to lose" depends on the unlikely assumption that Israel would target these fields, operated by a French company, in retaliation for a Hizbullah missile attack on Israeli facilities. In reality, the international community - as well as legal and environmental concerns - would restrain Israel.
        The writer is director of the Center for the Middle East and International Law at George Mason University Law School. (Newsweek)
  • Netanyahu: Emerging Gas Deal with Lebanon May Not Be Binding - Ariel Kahana
    Ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called the Lebanese deal "a humiliating surrender to [Hizbullah chief] Hassan Nasrallah." Netanyahu said the deal "is giving away sovereign areas with a massive gas field - which belongs to...the Israelis." He added that if the deal is approved "without triggering a national referendum, we won't consider it binding." The current Israeli government is a caretaker government with elections to be held on Nov. 1. (Israel Hayom)
  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman: Gas Deal Gives 100 Percent to Lebanon and 0% to Israel - Ariel Kahana
    Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Monday that the decision to all but endorse a U.S. plan to redraw the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel was a squandered opportunity that put to waste years of hard work. "We spent years trying to broker a deal between Israel and Lebanon on the disputed maritime gas fields. Got very close with proposed splits of 55-60% for Lebanon and 45-40% for Israel. No one then imagined 100% to Lebanon and 0% to Israel. Would love to understand how we got here," Friedman tweeted. (Israel Hayom)

A Chance to Restore American Dignity in Iran - Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Islamic Republic's foreign minister, Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, revealed that Tehran had received word from the Biden administration, after the recent wave of protests in Iran had started, that it remains committed to reviving the nuclear deal.
  • It isn't hard to imagine Western functionaries believing that the clerical oligarchs would now be prone to come to terms to refurbish their domestic appeal.
  • All this misses the fundamental fact that Iran's theocrats, who claim to know the mind of God, pay little attention to public opinion.
  • The Western approach to Iran is predicated on the assumption that the other side is pragmatic and can shelve ideological impulses for the sake of an agreement, and that the Iranian government is a responsible stakeholder and can be trusted with residual nuclear assets. Such assumptions have always been wrong.
  • If the president were wise, he would throw his lot in with Iranian women. Aligning American policy behind the rebels at least gives the administration a chance at regime change.
  • It also gives the White House a chance to restore American dignity.

    Mr. Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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