November 14, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Iran Claims New Hypersonic Missile Could Hit Israel within 400 Seconds - Tzvi Joffre (Jerusalem Post)
    Iranian Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) Aerospace Force, said that Iran had obtained technology for hypersonic missiles that could reach Israel in 400 seconds, the Sobh-e-Sadegh newspaper reported Monday.
    Defense expert Hamza Pariyab called the new missile a "game changer" that can avoid most modern-day missile defense systems.
    Pariyab added that the missile could be used to take out a country's defense systems and open the way for a mass launch of drones and missiles.
    Hypersonic missiles travel at a speed of Mach 5 or greater and are maneuverable, giving them the ability to dodge defense systems and evade radar.

Israel, U.S. Working Together to Counter Hypersonic Missiles - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel has been working with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to counter the threat of hypersonic missiles.
    "Hypersonic missiles are not yet a threat in the region but they are a big concern," said one senior IDF officer.
    There is still no system that can intercept hypersonic missiles.

Israel Targets Iranian Militias and Hizbullah in Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights-UK)
    Israel fired four missiles at positions of Iran-backed militias and Lebanese Hizbullah at Al-Shoairat Military Airport near Homs in Syria. The missiles hit ammunition warehouses, destroying them.
    Two Syrian air defense officers were reported killed, and three others were injured. The new attack is the 29th in 2022.

Zelensky Aide Says Ukraine's Vote Against Israel at UN "a Grave Mistake" - Luke Tress (Times of Israel)
    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's personal aide, Alexey Arestovych, said Sunday that Ukraine's recent support of a UN resolution against Israel was "a grave mistake... illogical and unacceptable."
    "We're teaming up with Russia and Iran who are attacking us, and distancing ourselves from Israel - which we want as an ally. Ukraine must at least abstain from such votes."
    Israel's Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky tweeted Friday that Ukraine's "support of the UN resolution... denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and calling for an ICJ advisory opinion is extremely disappointing. Supporting anti-Israeli initiatives in the UN doesn't help to build trust" between the countries.

Protesters in Iran Face a Justice System Stacked Against Them - Miriam Berger (Washington Post)
    An Iranian man accused of lighting a trash can on fire during a protest could face death for "waging war against God." Another protester was sentenced to death for committing "corruption on earth."
    Two female journalists who helped break the story of Mahsa Amini - the woman who died in the custody of Iran's morality police - have been in jail since September, accused of being CIA agents.
    This is what justice looks like in Iran, where the trials of protesters, bystanders and chroniclers of the current uprising have begun, with little expectation of due process in a judicial system dominated by the security services.
    More than 15,000 Iranians have been arrested and several hundred killed in nearly two months of protests.

Three New F-35 Jets Land in Israel (Jerusalem Post)
    Three new F-35 jets were delivered by Lockheed Martin to Israel on Sunday, joining the 33 already based in the country.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • UN Votes to Ask International Court of Justice for Opinion on Israel's "Occupation"
    The UN decolonization committee on Thursday adopted a draft Palestinian resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank. 98 countries supported the resolution, 52 abstained and 17 voted against.
        Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said that by calling to involve the ICJ, "the Palestinians are decimating any chances of reconciliation. The Palestinians have rejected every single peace initiative, and now they embroil an external body with the excuse that the conflict has not been resolved?"  (Reuters)
        See also below Observations: U.S. Opposes PA Push for International Court of Justice Ruling Against Israel (U.S. Mission to the UN)
        See also Chart: How Countries Voted on the UN Resolution Against Israel
    Countries voting with Israel against the resolution included Australia, Austria, Canada, Czechia, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, and the U.S. Countries voting against Israel included Argentina, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, Ukraine, and UAE. (Twitter)
  • Iran Uses Private Detectives to Spy on Dissidents in America - Benjamin Weiser
    An international client asked New York-based private investigator Michael McKeever to help track down a debtor who had fled from Dubai and was believed to be in Brooklyn. McKeever was to surveil a house and photograph the people coming and going. Another team was watching the same address - FBI agents - who told him, "Your client is not who you think" he is.
        McKeever would later learn that he had been used by Iranian intelligence agents in a suspected plot to kidnap Masih Alinejad, a prominent Iranian-American journalist and critic of Iran's human rights abuses. "We were afraid they were going to look to snatch and grab her, bring her home and probably kill her," said FBI official James E. Dennehy.
        Across America, investigators are increasingly being hired by authoritarian governments like Iran and China, attempting to surveil, harass, threaten and even repatriate dissidents living in the U.S., law enforcement officials said. (New York Times)
  • Iranian Dissidents Terrorized by Iranian Spies in Britain - Glen Keogh
    London-based journalist Aliasghar Ramezanpoor, 61, along with a number of other UK journalists working for the Farsi-language television station Iran International, has recently received details of a credible and "imminent" threat on his life after a hit squad was allegedly sent from Iran to assassinate dissidents on British soil. He is now receiving round-the-clock police protection.
        "The only thing that they are looking for is stopping journalists covering the story," he said. But with "the crackdown on internet and social media [in Iran], the only outlet that people have is media like us." This has highlighted how the tentacles of the Iranian regime are infiltrating Britain, disguised, according to prominent British-Iranians, within Islamic centers in London and elsewhere. Hundreds of journalists, political activists and those speaking out against Iran's hardline regime from Britain have received letters from counterterrorism police in recent months warning them of being lured back to Iran and sentenced to death. (Sunday Times-UK)
        See also Britain Summons Iran's Senior Diplomat over Threats to Journalists in UK
    British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Friday, "The UK will always stand up to threats from foreign nations. I summoned the Iranian representative today to make clear that we do not tolerate threats to life and intimidation of any kind towards journalists, or any individual, living in the UK."  (UK Foreign Office)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Leaders Slam UN Vote to Probe Israeli "Occupation"
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Saturday said Israel "strongly rejects the Palestinian resolution....This is another unilateral Palestinian move that undermines the basic principles for resolving the conflict and may harm any possibility for a future process. The Palestinians want to replace negotiations with unilateral steps. They are again using the United Nations to attack Israel." The move "will not change the reality on the ground, nor will it help the Palestinian people in any way....Supporting this move is a prize for terrorist organizations and the campaign against Israel."  (Times of Israel)
  • PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas Is Trying to Internationalize the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Ariel Kahana
    A future anti-Israel declaration by the International Court of Justice will be a headache to Israel at most. The countries that are already hostile to the Jewish state do not need a court to justify their approach. Similarly, the states that understand the situation or support Israel will not change their policies because of a political opinion disguised as international law. There have been plenty of these over the years and Israel is still standing.
        69 countries opposed the measure or abstained at the UN on Saturday, which is not a few. Those who supported the Palestinians were mostly Arab, Muslim, or African countries, with one notable exception: Ukraine, which continues to put sticks in our wheels at the UN while asking Israel for favors.
        The Palestinian appeal to the ICJ is a desperate step taken by Mahmoud Abbas in order to internationalize the conflict. Abbas learned that he is not held responsible for the diplomatic battles he starts with Israel, which is why he has since escalated by appealing to a long list of international institutions. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF Nabs Wanted Islamic Jihad Member near Jenin - Emanuel Fabian
    Muhammad Abu Zina, a prominent member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group in the northern West Bank, was arrested by Israeli troops on Saturday morning in the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin. Zina was previously jailed in Israel for his activities in Islamic Jihad and was released in August 2022. "Immediately upon his release, Muhammad returned to significant terror activity, in which he worked to finance and arm PIJ military infrastructure" in the West Bank, the IDF said. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Israel Deserves Better than the New York Times' Prophet of Doom - Jason D. Greenblatt
    New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote last week that in the new Israeli government coalition, Benjamin Netanyahu will soon preside over a parade of right-wing horribles whose very existence dooms Israel itself. Friedman then makes a giant leap of logic to suggest that if Jews in America share his distaste for two members of the new Israeli government, they will turn their backs on Israel once and for all. Apparently, these days, members of the Israeli government must pass muster not just with Israeli voters but also with newspaper columnists like Friedman - when in fact Israel, like the U.S., gets to choose its own leaders through free and fair elections.
        Friedman claims that Arab countries entered the Abraham Accords only because "they wanted to trade with Israel." First, there's nothing wrong with that. And second, the Arab nations made peace with Israel because they're tired of pointless, expensive hostilities and because they recognize a common enemy in Iran. Friedman ought to have more respect for the courageous Arab governments that normalized their relations with Israel, and for those who may have quietly supported it from behind closed doors.
        I abhor Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' anti-American comments, his payments to Palestinians to reward them for harming and murdering Israelis, and his comments about the Holocaust - yet I would still work with Palestinians and their leaders to try to improve their lives and seek peace between them and Israel. We don't burn everything down just because we disagree, however strongly, with the views of some of those in power.
        The writer was White House Middle East envoy in the Trump administration. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
  • After Israeli Election, Doomsayers Repeat Old False Claims Against New Government - Jonathan S. Tobin
    In the wake of the Israeli elections, critics claim that the "good Israel" is now gone. In its place will be a different country, run by extremists and horrible people who oppose peace. Those who will try to preserve the U.S.-Israel relationship will now be forced to become part of a new "resistance" to Netanyahu's government, in which they will advocate for American pressure that will help resurrect the "good" Israel.
        The main problem with this gloomy scenario is that everything that the doomsayers are claiming about the new government was already claimed by critics of Israel in their efforts to undermine and delegitimize past Israeli governments. For decades, critics have been falsely claiming that Israel's governments didn't want peace and that the decisions of Israel's voters should be either ignored or overridden by American governments that took up the cause of "saving Israel from itself."
        Israel-haters will work for its destruction no matter who is its prime minister or the composition of the government. Those who care about the Jewish state and its people need to stop longing for an Israel which looks like them and embrace the one that actually exists. By buying into the disingenuous claims that this government will be less worthy of their support than its predecessors, they are merely falling into a trap set for them by anti-Semites. (JNS)
  • The Israeli Elections and the U.S.-Israel Relationship - Shoshana Bryen
    Israel was, is and will remain a free and democratic country. 40 political parties registered to run in the recent Knesset elections, offering a lot more choices than American voters had. More than 70% of eligible Israeli voters went to the polls, which is a lot higher than the American turnout. For those worried that a religious right wing party may be in the government, please note that it won 7% of the vote.
        When American voters elected Ilhan Omar, Israelis did not fret about the end of America. While there is discussion of judicial reform in Israel, no one in Israel said a word about proposals to expand and stack the U.S. Supreme Court.
        The writer is Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center. (Daily Caller)

  • Deputy U.S. Representative to the UN Richard Mills told the UN General Assembly's Fourth Committee on Thursday: "There are no shortcuts to [Palestinian] statehood, which will only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties."
  • "The United States continues to oppose the annual submission of the biased resolutions against Israel which we are here to discuss. We reject measures that are not constructive and that seek to delegitimize Israel. The failure to acknowledge the shared history of the Haram al-Sharif, Temple Mount, in these resolutions demonstrates they are intended only to denigrate and not to help achieve peace."
  • "A request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice...is highly problematic. We believe such an effort is counterproductive and will only take the parties further away from the objective we all share of a negotiated two-state solution."
  • "The decades-old, one-sided approach of the General Assembly towards the Middle East has failed - failed to build trust and create a positive international environment conducive to achieving peace. This approach consumes limited time and diverts resources from other challenges we face around the world without bringing us any closer to a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
  • "We encourage the General Assembly to look for a new way forward and abandon resolutions that are biased against Israel and distract from efforts to achieve peace."

Daily Alert is published every Monday and Thursday.
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.