October 31, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Goes to the Polls on Tuesday - Carrie Keller-Lynn (Times of Israel)
    On Tuesday, 6,788,804 eligible Israeli voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots for one of 39 parties to elect Israel's 25th Knesset.

UAE Deploys Israeli-Made Air Defense System - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    A satellite image taken in September reveals that the United Arab Emirates has deployed an Israeli-made air defense system to protect the country from Iranian missiles and drones.
    The Tactical Report news site published an analysis of satellite images, which it said show two Barak 8 launchers and an Elta ELM 2084 radar near the al-Dhafra airbase, south of the capital Abu Dhabi.
    Barak 8 was co-developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and India. The Barak 8 system is already in use by Israel, India and Azerbaijan.

Israel's Military Cooperation with UAE Is "Revolutionary" - Maya Margit (Medialine)
    Dr. Dan Schueftan, who heads the International Graduate Program in National Security Studies at the University of Haifa, called the deployment of Israel's Barak 8 aerial defense system in the UAE "revolutionary."
    "For a long time, the perception of Israel was not only that it was not beneficial for powers to cooperate with Israel, but also that it could be counterproductive because Israel was so hated and isolated in the region. This has now changed in a very fundamental way."
    Israel's burgeoning alliance with several Arab states "makes it much easier for Israel to defend itself because before, Iran had allies on the borders of Israel and Israel had no allies on the borders of Iran. This is now changing."
    While Israel has refused Ukraine's requests for Iron Dome, Schueftan argued that this missile defense technology is not suitable for Ukraine.
    "The instruments that Israel developed are for tiny territories. There are not enough Iron Dome systems in the universe to defend a small fraction of Ukraine."
    "Israel does not even have enough projectiles to defend itself from all the existential threats."
    See also below Observations: What's Behind Israel's Reluctance to Share Iron Dome with Ukraine? - Bradley Bowman (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)

15 European Countries Eye Israel's Arrow-3 for Joint Air Defense System - Udi Etsion (Calcalist)
    The U.S. Department of Defense is currently discussing requests from both Israel and Germany to approve the sale of Arrow-3 ballistic missile interceptors.
    The deal is expected to grow to 3 billion euros after 14 NATO member countries, plus Finland, signed a Letter of Intent in October initiating the development of a joint defense system named the European Sky Shield Initiative.
    U.S. approval is required since the Americans covered most of the cost for developing and manufacturing the Arrow missiles.
    The U.S. denied previous requests to sell the Arrow system to South Korea, but the Americans may approve the deal following the rising tensions in Europe after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Fatah Boasts 7,200 Terror Attacks Against Israel in 2022 - Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    The Palestinian Fatah movement, headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, posted on Facebook on Oct. 2, 2022, that it was responsible for 7,200 terror incidents in the West Bank since the start of the year.
    These acts "include shooting at Israeli targets, confrontations and repelling invasions, infiltrations and carrying out high-quality operations, locally produced explosives and Molotov cocktails, [throwing] rocks at the occupation forces," and demonstrations.

Head-Scratching Questions about Jews and Israel - Tabby Refael (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)
    If Jews control the media, why does the media generally depict Israel in such a harsh and even untruthful manner, and if Jews control the world, why isn't the world more sympathetic toward Jews?
    If Jews are white, why do white supremacist groups demand their demise?

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli Ambassador Condemns UN Commission for "One-Sided" Report on Palestinian Conflict - Ronn Blitzer
    Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan on Thursday condemned a UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that only blamed Israel, ignoring Palestinian violence. "The Commission of Inquiry report being presented is a one-sided, terror white-washing, and morally bankrupt document that does nothing remotely productive for the Palestinians or the region," Erdan said. "In fact, it only makes matters worse. It shows the terrorists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the true oppressors of the Palestinian people, that terror pays off."
        Erdan added: "Their report deliberately omits any mention of Hamas or their thousands of indiscriminately fired rockets, while exclusively placing all the blame for every aspect of the conflict on the law-abiding, liberal democracy of Israel."
        Accompanying Erdan were the parents of 5-year-old Ido Avigal, who was killed when a Hamas rocket hit his family's home in Israel. "Can you look into the eyes of Ido's parents and explain to them why you deliberately ignored their son's murder?" Erdan asked. (Fox News)
        See also Other States Come to Israel's Defense in Face of Latest Commission of Inquiry Report - Mike Wagenheim
    Several states came to Israel's defense on Thursday as a UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) presented its second report. Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechia, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Netherlands, the UK, the U.S. and Uruguay were among the countries defending Israel's position, along with the EU, which issued a statement against the COI. (JNS)
  • U.S. Ambassador to UN: Disproportionate Number of Anti-Israel Resolutions Do Nothing to Improve the Situation
    U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the UN Security Council on Oct. 28, 2022: "We are once again facing a disproportionate number of resolutions with an unfair focus on Israel. These one-sided resolutions and activities are a distraction and do nothing to improve the situation on the ground."
        "These outdated texts do not reflect the changing realities on the ground with new possibilities for cooperation ushered in through the Abraham Accords and other normalization agreements....Rather than simply rubber-stamping these General Assembly resolutions, we should all be thinking about how to collectively advance the cause of peace."  (U.S. Mission to the UN)
  • Fresh Uproar over Palestinian President "Governing by Decree" - Mohammed Najib
    An Oct. 28 decision by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to form a Supreme Judicial Council headed by himself has caused anger among Palestinian human rights institutions and opposition political parties. Human rights experts said Abbas was exploiting the absence of the Palestinian Legislative Council to dish out legislation that served the interests of influential groups both within the PA and businesses. The president's decision has angered Palestinian citizens, many of whom have responded with criticism on social media.
        Ali Al-Sartawi, former Palestinian minister of justice and currently a professor of law at An-Najah University in Nablus, said the country was in a state of legislative chaos with new laws being issued almost every week. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • 5 IDF Soldiers Hurt in Ramming Attack near Jericho; Palestinian Assailant Killed - Emanuel Fabian
    A Palestinian attacker rammed into IDF soldiers near Nabi Musa on Sunday, then continued driving and slammed his car into a bus stop at the Almog Junction, before being shot dead by a police officer and an armed civilian. (Times of Israel)
  • Hamas Gunman Kills Israeli, Wounds 4 in West Bank Shooting; Medic Shot while Trying to Help - Emanuel Fabian
    A member of Hamas, Muhammed Kamel al-Jabari, opened fire near Kiryat Arba in the West Bank on Saturday night, killing Israeli civilian Ronen Hanania, 50, and wounding four other people. The gunman was later shot dead by an off-duty soldier. An Israeli medic was seriously injured by the attacker as he arrived on the scene to assist the other victims. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinians Open Fire at IDF Position in West Bank
    Palestinian gunmen in two vehicles approached an IDF position near Huwara in the West Bank and opened fire early Friday morning. IDF forces returned fire, killing Ammar Abu Rashid, 47, and injuring two others, including an officer of the Palestinian Authority security forces, N12 reported. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Fatah Deputy Chairman: PA Security Forces Are Working Together with Terrorists - Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch
    Responding to the killing of Palestinian terrorists in Nablus, Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul admitted that the PA security forces were fighting together with terrorists against Israel. He added that Israeli soldiers were wounded "as a result of the brave position of the Palestinian security forces" and that all Palestinians are "one unit" including the PA security forces and Fatah's terror faction. (Palestinian Media Watch)
  • UN General Assembly Calls for Israel to Get Rid of Its Nuclear Weapons - Tovah Lazaroff
    The UN General Assembly's First Committee voted 152-5 on Friday to call on Israel to dispose itself of all nuclear weapons and place its nuclear sites under the International Atomic Energy Agency's purview. Israel has never admitted to possess nuclear weapons. Countries opposing the resolution included the U.S. and Canada. Another 24 countries abstained, including EU members. The annual resolution submitted by Egypt was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority and 19 counties including Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco and the UAE.
        Israeli deputy ambassador to the UN Michal Maayan said it's impossible to speak of a regional security architecture around the nuclear issue in a situation where Middle East countries do not recognize Israel's right to exist. Moreover, "for decades now, Iran has been rapidly advancing its illicit nuclear programs and currently possesses large quantities of highly enriched nuclear material." In addition, "the existence of undeclared nuclear activities in Syria remains relevant and worrisome."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Will U.S. Guarantees in the Lebanon Maritime Deal Complicate Israel's Freedom of Action Against Hizbullah? - Tony Badran
    In the maritime boundary deal with Lebanon that Team Biden succeeded in imposing on Israel, the two principal actors were in fact the U.S. and Hizbullah.
        A supposed "balance of deterrence" was said to be established by the deal, whereby the offshore platforms of both countries would be held hostage by the other side. According to this formula, Israel, if attacked by Hizbullah, could always blow up a platform owned and operated by the French oil company Total - thereby violating its own contractual agreements with the French company and bringing France into the conflict on Hizbullah's side. How this would deter rather than encourage Hizbullah to interfere with Israel's oil rigs is unclear.
        The drivers of a potential conflict between Israel and Hizbullah are multiple, growing, and entirely unrelated to the maritime issue. Hizbullah's arms build-up, acquisition of more advanced weapons systems, and development of precision-guided munitions continue apace.
        The more invested the U.S. and France are in Lebanon, the more complicated Israel's freedom of action becomes, as Washington and Paris will lean on Jerusalem to dissuade it from taking any action against Hizbullah in Lebanon, even if it were dictated by national security imperatives. The insertion of the U.S. as a guarantor between Israel and Hizbullah means that, moving forward, this will put multiple checks in place on Israeli action in Lebanon.
        The writer is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Al-Arabiya)
  • Report from the Tehran Protests - Azadeh Moaveni
    Five weeks into the protests that erupted across Iran, the floundering Iranian authorities thought it would be a good idea to put up a massive poster in central Tehran depicting dozens of eminent Iranian women as supporters of the mandatory wearing of the hijab. Within hours, several women demanded their images be removed. Overnight, the billboard vanished.
        While more than two hundred people have been killed since the protests began in mid-September, the demonstrators have reason to celebrate. On the streets and in daily life, they have defeated the state's mandatory hijab policy, which is often described as the key pillar of clerical rule. Last month, I watched girls in central Tehran walking around with their hair showing, impressed by their ease and fearlessness. Morality policing lies in ruins.
        In Tehran, the nightly confrontations have spread into the northern areas, a sign that a less economically battered class is now also participating. In girls' schools, headteachers have been told to remove the austere pictures of the revolution's founders from classrooms, so that the girls can't tear them down and stomp on them while their friends film them on their phones and upload the videos. (London Review of Books-UK)
        See also Iran's New Protest Generation - Robin Wright (New Yorker)
  • Britain's New Prime Minister Should Acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's Capital - Stephen Daisley
    Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss had vowed to review the location of the British embassy in Israel, which is still based in Tel Aviv, despite Israel proclaiming Jerusalem its capital in December 1949 and placing its parliament, government and Supreme Court there. We pretend that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel. By withholding recognition of Jerusalem, we tell ourselves that the UK is advancing the cause of peace.
        Recognizing Jerusalem is not about what Israel or the Palestinians want. It is about what UK foreign policy ought to be. Some might argue that it is in our interests to be scrupulously even-handed, but the fact is that we are not neutral at present. The UK government refuses to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty in any part of Jerusalem, while defining East Jerusalem as part of the "Occupied Palestinian Territories." We have intervened in the conflict to say that East Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians and West Jerusalem is up for debate.
        Does upholding the failed status quo on Jerusalem advance or hinder our material interests? Israeli companies support thousands of jobs in the UK. London, Scotland and the north-west alone sell half a billion in goods to Israel every year. Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva provides one in every six medicines prescribed on the NHS. Mossad has supplied us with information that has helped break up terrorist cells in London. It is plain where our interests lie. (Spectator-UK)

What's Behind Israel's Reluctance to Share Iron Dome with Ukraine? - Bradley Bowman (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
  • After Kyiv asked Israel to provide its highly-effective Iron Dome missile defense system to help protect against Russian rockets, Jerusalem's reluctance to do so has invited criticism.
  • But Americans should not hold Israel to a standard the U.S. is unwilling to follow itself. First consider why the U.S. has not provided the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to Ukraine.
  • Why? Primarily because the American military has nowhere near enough of them to protect U.S. troops. In addition, the U.S. industrial base has an insufficient surge production capacity to address the Pentagon's own needs and often leaves allies that have purchased Patriots waiting for years.
  • Any decision to send Patriot systems to Ukraine would require the U.S. Army to under-resource vital contingency plans or pull Patriots currently protecting forward-deployed U.S. forces in harm's way.
  • Moreover, some in Israel worry Russia could capture an Iron Dome system sent to Ukraine and then provide the system and its information to Iran, which could then develop capabilities to circumvent it, increasing the ability of Hizbullah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to kill Israelis in future conflicts.
  • One can understand why a country confronting such threats might be reluctant to reduce its means of self-defense.

    The writer is the senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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