November 21, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Report: Hizbullah Has Hundreds of Chemical-Tipped Rockets - Tzvi Joffre (Jerusalem Post)
    Hizbullah is storing hundreds of missiles carrying a toxic chemical payload at a warehouse in Al Qusayr, near the Lebanese-Syrian border, the Saudi Al-Hadath news reported on Sunday.
    110 Fajr missiles and over 300 Fateh missiles are all carrying the toxic chemical thionyl chloride.
    Sources said experts from North Korea injected the toxic chemicals into the missiles under the supervision of Iranian chemical weapons expert Qassem Abdullah Massoudyan.
    The missiles are to be moved to the Bint Jbeil area in southern Lebanon near a base belonging to UNIFIL.

U.S. Navy Seizes Missile Fuel Component Sent from Iran to Yemen - Jon Gambrell (AP-ABC News)
    The U.S. Navy said Tuesday that on Nov. 8 it found 70 tons of a missile fuel component hidden among bags of fertilizer aboard a ship bound for Yemen from Iran.
    The Navy said the amount of ammonium perchlorate discovered could fuel more than a dozen medium-range ballistic missiles.
    The wooden sailing vessel known as a dhow was so weighted down by the shipment that it posed a hazard to shipping in the Gulf of Oman.
    The Navy ended up sinking the ship with much of the material still on board.

FBI Director: U.S. Jewish Community "Getting Hit from All Sides" - Omri Nahmias (Jerusalem Post)
    FBI Director Christopher Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee Thursday that "about 63% of religious hate crimes overall are motivated by antisemitism: And that's targeting a group that just makes up about 2.4% of the American population."
    "It's a community that deserves and desperately needs our support because they're getting hit from all sides."

U.S. Pushes Oman to Allow Israeli Flights to Use Its Airspace - Jacob Magid (Times of Israel)
    The Biden administration is pushing the Omani government to follow Saudi Arabia in allowing Israeli flights to use its airspace, a move that would significantly shorten the distance for flights to India and the Far East, two Middle East diplomats said.

Azerbaijan to Open Embassy in Israel - Lahav Harkov (Jerusalem Post)
    Azerbaijan is to become the first Shi'ite-majority Muslim state to open an embassy in Israel, following parliamentary approval on Friday.
    The new embassy will be in Tel Aviv, where the country already has tourism and trade representative offices.
    Israel and Azerbaijan have had relations for 30 years, and there has been an Israeli embassy in Baku since 1993.
    The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found that 69% of Azerbaijan's arms imports in 2016-2020 came from Israel.
    40% of the petroleum imported to Israel comes from Azerbaijan.

Israel and Jordan Pledge to Rehabilitate the Jordan River - Doug Cunningham (UPI)
    Israel and Jordan have agreed to cooperate on restoration, ecological rehabilitation and sustainable development of the Jordan River, signing a joint declaration at the COP27 environmental conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
    The countries will work to remove pollution sources by building wastewater treatment facilities and connecting communities along the river to advanced sewage infrastructure as they work to improve freshwater flows in the river.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Will Help Russia Build Drones for Ukraine War - Joby Warrick
    Moscow has quietly reached an agreement with Tehran to begin manufacturing hundreds of unmanned weaponized drones on Russian soil, according to new intelligence. After a meeting of Russian and Iranian officials in Iran in early November, the two countries are moving rapidly to transfer designs and key components that could allow production to begin within months. (Washington Post)
        See also Drone that Hit Israeli-Owned Tanker near Oman Was Launched from Iranian IRGC Base - Emanuel Fabian
    An Iranian drone that last week struck the Pacific Zircon oil tanker, managed by Israeli-controlled Eastern Pacific Shipping, was launched from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Air Force regional command in the southeastern city of Chabahar, officials said Thursday. An Israeli defense source told Israel's Army Radio that "the Iranians are no longer hiding behind their proxies. They have made a mistake and will not be able to evade [blame] for the action."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Iran Targets Dissident Sites in Iraqi Kurdistan with Missiles, Drones (Reuters)
  • IAEA: Iran Installs 1,740 New Advanced Centrifuges - David Albright
    According to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) quarterly report on Iran of November 10, 2022, since the last IAEA report, the quantity of installed advanced centrifuges at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant has surged with 1,740 new IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuges, making the current installed capacity over 50% larger than it was in August. This reduces the time Iran would need to break out and produce enough weapon-grade uranium for nuclear weapons. This increase erodes further the value of a revived nuclear deal.
        Iran's breakout time remains at zero because it has more than enough 60%-enriched uranium to directly fashion a nuclear explosive. Iran could produce enough 90%-enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon within a few weeks utilizing only a few advanced centrifuge cascades. Iran can now produce enough 90%-enriched uranium for four nuclear weapons in one month and make enough for a fifth weapon within the following month.
        The IAEA concludes that "Iran's decision to remove all of the Agency's equipment previously installed in Iran for surveillance and monitoring activities in relation to the JCPOA has also had detrimental implications for the Agency's ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."  (Institute for Science and International Security)
        See also IAEA Board Passes Resolution Criticizing Iran for Lack of Cooperation
    The International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors has passed a resolution criticizing Iran's lack of cooperation with the UN agency, diplomats told AFP Thursday. The motion, opposed by China and Russia, is the second of its kind within six months. (AFP)
  • Iran's Forces Flood Cities at the Heart of the Hijab Rebellion - Richard Spencer
    Iranian security forces are storming rebellious cities in the restive north, the focal point of the most serious protests against the regime. Videos showed helicopters and military vehicles pouring into the town of Mahabad, where protesters had in effect taken over. Streets were thick with tear gas and shots could be heard, as well as screams. Security forces fired on protesters in other Kurdish towns, including Divandarreh, where three people were killed, and Sanandaj.
        According to opposition groups and exiles, protesters are fighting back and have killed several security officers. State-sponsored funerals at the weekend for members of the security forces killed by protesters included three colonels. 378 people have died in the unrest, according to Iran Human Rights, including 47 children. In the ethnic Balochi southeast, Sistan-Balochistan province has recorded 123 deaths. (The Times-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Under U.S. Pressure, Israel Funded "Strategic Materials" for Ukraine - Yossi Melman
    Under pressure from the U.S., Israel recently agreed to finance "strategic materials" worth several million dollars to contribute to the Ukrainian war effort. The payment was transferred to a NATO member deeply involved in supplying military equipment to Ukraine.
        In addition, the Israel Defense Ministry recently agreed that NATO members such as the UK could supply Ukraine with weapons systems containing Israeli components like electro-optical and fire-control systems. The apparent catalyst for the change in policy was Iran's decision to arm Russia with drones. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Completes New Test of Naval Iron Dome System - Emanuel Fabian
    A ship-mounted version of the Iron Dome air defense system has been declared operational following a recent test aboard the Sa'ar 6-class corvette INS Oz, the Defense Ministry and the Israeli Navy announced Thursday. The navy's new Sa'ar-6 corvettes are tasked with guarding the natural gas platforms off Israel's coast as well as its shipping lanes. (Times of Israel)
  • IDF Arrests Palestinian Planning "Significant" Attacks - Emanuel Fabian
    Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen near the West Bank city of Jenin on Monday morning as they arrested Ratib al-Bali, who was "advancing significant terror attacks," the IDF said. Al-Bali, previously jailed for terror offenses, was involved in numerous shootings in recent weeks. In raids across the West Bank early Monday, another eight wanted Palestinians were arrested. (Times of Israel)
        See also Undercover Troops Nab Islamic Jihad Man in West Bank - Emanuel Fabian
    Undercover Border Police officers arrested wanted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror operative Abdullah Loubani in a village near the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday. Loubani was in contact with PIJ members in Gaza and was involved in planning terror attacks in Israel. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Palestinian Leadership Venturing into International Legal Field - Amb. Alan Baker
    The Palestinian leadership, in addition to its repressive and corrupt dictatorial regime and its penchant for illegally and systematically inciting, financing and glorifying terror, is now attempting to further extend its destructive influence among the only milieu that still, naively, takes it seriously - the international community.
        The Palestinian leadership is not satisfied with having abused, manipulated and politicized major UN bodies such as the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, UNESCO, and the International Criminal Court (ICC). It has now set its sights on targeting the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a frantic attempt to turn that body into one more Israel-bashing international institution.
        In their request to the Court, the Palestinian leadership is attempting to invent a new, curious international status of prolonged occupation, while no such status is recognized by international law. In addition, they are also asking the Court to examine Israel's alleged crime of altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, claiming the city to be solely Palestinian.
        The writer has served as a legal adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry and as Israel's ambassador to Canada. (Jerusalem Post)
  • 1,000 Israeli Students Call on Harvard Crimson to Move Office from "Stolen Lands"
    Over 1,000 Israeli students signed a letter to the Harvard Crimson, Harvard University's newspaper, calling for the editorial board to move its office off of lands "occupied" from indigenous tribes, in a move to highlight the Crimson's hypocrisy in supporting the BDS movement in an April editorial.
        Students for Justice in America claimed: "The land that the Harvard Crimson operates [on]...is territory that belongs to the Massachusett (indigenous) people. This land, like much other territory in the Boston and Cambridge regions, was taken from these native tribes during its earliest conquest by French and British colonialists and then the American military."
        "Accordingly, we, the Students for Justice in America, bluntly demand that the Harvard Crimson, its woke editorial board and staff immediately evacuate the 14 Plympton Street, Cambridge, property it occupies at Harvard and return it to the Massachusett people....Justice and morality must begin at home."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israeli Elections Reflect Wish for Security, Not Bigotry - Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum
    Panicked headlines have appeared in the British Jewish press about a perceived shift in Israel in the wake of the recent elections. As a liberal and a feminist, I understand some of the concerns. Yet, I feel that there has been little attempt to understand the context and reasons for the rise of the Religious Zionist and Otzma Yehudit parties.
        There is one key reason for the success of these two parties. In recent years, Israelis have felt increasingly under attack in their own country. During the Gaza War in 2021, pockets of Israeli Arabs in mixed cities such as Lod and Acre turned on their neighbors. In the south, Bedouin mafias have been taking protection money from businesses around the Negev as well as stealing cattle from local farms.
        In Arab towns of northern Israel, gun use is a major problem for the Arab population, who have become victims of gangland-style shootings. Most Israeli Arabs are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are successful professionals. Nevertheless, the pockets of criminal and extremist elements cannot simply be brushed aside because it is deemed politically incorrect to talk about them. (Jewish News-UK)

Time for the UN to Stop Funding Hate Groups - Former U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Eliot Engel (Newsweek)
  • Israel has been subjected for many years to unfair, microscopic attention over its actions and relationship with the Palestinians, subjected to a standard that no other country in the world has had to endure.
  • It is now clear that the criticism is not about particular issues but about Israel's very existence.
  • Two UN institutions were created in the wake of the 1975 General Assembly resolution which characterized Zionism as a form of racism: the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) and the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR).
  • While the resolution was repealed in 1991, the two institutions that have served to implement its message continue to operate, engaged in a year-round effort to undermine and delegitimize Israel - all in the name of the international community.
  • If UN members are interested in contributing toward ending the conflict, they should stop supporting the anti-Israel propaganda apparatus of the CEIRPP and DPR that makes peace impossible to achieve.

    The writers formerly chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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