November 24, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Provides West with Intelligence on Iranian Arms Transfers to Russia - Barak Ravid (Axios)
    Israel in recent weeks has provided intelligence about Iranian arms transfers to Russia to dozens of Western countries and to senior NATO officials.
    Israeli officials said they hope to use the current focus on Iranian assistance to the Russian war effort to increase international pressure on Tehran.
    Israeli officials want to organize an international conference in Israel about the proliferation of Iranian-made drones.

IDF Chief of Staff Tells U.S. Officials: Action Against Iran Needs to Be Accelerated - Tzvi Joffre (Jerusalem Post)
    After meeting at the White House with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday, IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi said:
    "We are at a critical point in time that requires the acceleration of operational plans and cooperation against Iran and its proxies in the region."

Poll: Most Iranians Oppose the Mandatory Hijab (Tony Blair Institute for Global Change-UK)
    The Iranian people have undergone secularization and liberalization faster than any society in the Islamic world, despite having lived under the rule of Islamists for decades.
    When polled in February 2022, 71% of Iranian men and 74% of women disagree with the mandatory imposition of the hijab headcovering.
    Only 26% of urban Iranians pray five times a day, as do 33% of rural Iranians.
    Of those who are against the compulsory hijab, 84% also want to live in a secular state.

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Israeli Hospitals to Be Supplied by Drone Network - Yaakov Lappin (JNS)
    Israel is to become the first Western country to establish an aerial drone medical supply network linking its major hospitals.
    The network will be supported by the Gadfin aero-logistics company, which makes a unique aircraft that takes off and lands vertically, and Sarel, the country's largest medical purchasing and logistics company.
    Gadfin CEO Eyal Regev said his company's Spirit One UAVs will pick up deliveries from Sarel's Netanya logistics center and transport them by air to 30 hospitals and medical centers within 200 km.
    Deliveries will be airborne within an hour of a call being received, and the drones will ferry medical equipment, medicines, vaccines, blood, serum, and lab samples.

3,000th Palestinian Child Has Heart Operation in Israel through Save a Child's Heart - Jack Mukand (Times of Israel)
    Amir Yichya Mabchuch, a 5-year-old boy from Jabaliya, just north of Gaza City, was brought on Sunday to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, where Israeli doctors performed open-heart surgery to save his life.
    He was the 3,000th child from the Palestinian territories to undergo such surgery in Israel, brought by Save a Child's Heart, an Israeli NGO that since 1995 has helped more than 6,000 children from 65 countries, mostly in the developing world.
    Amir's mother said, "When the doctors told us there was a possibility for Israeli doctors to carry out the complicated operation Amir needed, we were so happy. Everyone here in Gaza talks about how Israeli doctors are the most professional in the world and that they can be trusted completely."
    Mabchuch family members said they will return to Gaza with profound gratitude toward the Israelis who went out of their way to help Amir.

Israeli Radiation Protection Vest Tested in Outer Space (Xinhua-China)
    Israel on Wednesday started testing a new radiation protection vest in outer space as part of NASA's Artemis 1 uncrewed 25-day Moon test flight on the Orion spacecraft, the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) said.
    Two identical manikins, named Zohar and Helga, were installed on the spacecraft for testing the vest, developed by the Israeli company StemRad.
    The vest is made of high-density polyethylene and is priced at about $1 million.
    The German-made manikin torsos were manufactured from materials that mimic human bone, soft tissues, and the organs of an adult female.
    The vest is worn only by Zohar for comparison purposes, while both manikins are equipped with radiation detectors to enable scientists to map internal radiation doses.

Israel Aerospace Industries Reports Order Backlog of $15.8 Billion (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) reported an order backlog of $15.8 billion for the third quarter of 2022, the highest in its history.
    "The security instability around the world creates a demand for our systems that continue to prove themselves," said IAI Chairman Amir Peretz.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Steps Up Production of Highly Enriched Uranium - Laurence Norman
    Iranian officials said Tuesday that the country has started producing near-weapons-grade enriched uranium at a second nuclear facility. Iran has already produced enough 60%-enriched uranium at its Natanz nuclear facility to provide fuel for at least one nuclear weapon. Tuesday's claim means Iran will now also produce highly enriched uranium at its heavily fortified, underground Fordow nuclear site.
        Since April 2021, Iran has produced 62.3 kg. of uranium enriched at 60% purity, with the country producing almost 7 kg. of the material in the three months to Oct. 22, the IAEA recently reported. (Wall Street Journal)
  • High-Profile Iranians Signal Support for Protests - Cora Engelbrecht
    At the World Cup in Qatar, Iran's soccer players on Monday declined to sing their country's national anthem. In Tehran, two well-known actresses were arrested for defiantly removing their head scarves. High-profile Iranians are increasingly making public gestures of support for the protests that have gripped the country for the past two months, posting photos and messages critical of the government on social media, or flouting the country's strict hijab laws. (New York Times)
  • Some of Russia's Biggest Talents Flee to Israel, Seeking Freedom - Daniel Estrin
    Some of Russia's biggest artistic talents have immigrated to Israel this year, finding a safe place to rebuild their careers and voice their conscience about their country's war in Ukraine. More than 28,000 Russian nationals have acquired Israeli citizenship since the war began. They include a pop superstar, a top photojournalist, and many other creatives in art, theater, film, music and dance.
        Those with at least one Jewish grandparent can get Israeli citizenship for themselves and their close family. "When the war started, I think, like, everybody literally remembered their Jewish grandma," says Liza Rozovsky, a Russian-born Israeli journalist tracking Russian celebrity arrivals. Israel is already home to 1 million Russian-speakers who fled the Soviet Union in the 1990s. (NPR)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Canadian-Israeli Teen Killed, 22 Wounded in Two Jerusalem Bombings Wednesday - Anna Ahronheim
    Aryeh Shechopek, 16, a Canadian-Israeli, was killed and 22 people were wounded in two explosions at bus stops in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning near the Central Bus Station and the Ramot neighborhood in coordinated terror attacks. The bombs were detonated remotely and were packed with nails and bolts to maximize casualties. (Jerusalem Post-Times of Israel)
        See also Two Americans Injured in Jerusalem Bombings - U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides (Twitter)
  • Gazan Laborer Planned to Bomb Bus in Israel - Emanuel Fabian
    Fathi Ziad Zakot, 31, who had a valid permit to enter Israel from Gaza for work, was arrested on Oct. 30 for planning a bombing attack on a bus in Israel on behalf of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Israel Security Agency said Thursday. After entering Israel on Oct. 19, Zakot obtained wires, batteries and other materials used to build an explosive device. In response, Israel revoked 200 work permits from Palestinians with ties to Zakot. (Times of Israel)
  • Body of Israeli Killed in West Bank Crash Snatched from Jenin Hospital by Palestinian Gunmen - Emanuel Fabian
    The body of Tiran Fero, 18, an Israeli Druze killed in a car crash in the West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday, was snatched by Palestinian gunmen from Ibn Sina hospital. A senior Palestinian official said the gunmen thought Fero was an Israeli soldier, but in fact he was a 12th grader at a school in the Druze town of Daliyat al-Karmel. A security official said the gunmen were demanding the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. (Times of Israel)
        See also Uncle of Israeli Snatched in Jenin Says Teen Was Still Alive When Taken
    Edri Fero, the uncle of Tiran Fero, 18, said his nephew was still alive and connected to a ventilator when he was taken by Palestinian gunmen from a hospital in Jenin. "This is murder. It's a terrorist attack. He was sedated and on life support, he was alive," he told Israel's Channel 11 on Wednesday. "They disconnected him from the machines and tossed him into a car."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Druze Seethe, Threaten to Storm Jenin
    After Palestinian terrorists snatched the body of an Israeli Druze from a hospital in the West Bank, some members of Israel's Druze community vowed to take action as thousands attended a protest march near the Druze town of Daliyat al-Karmel. Walla news reported that members of the community warned that if his body was not returned soon, they may attempt to enter Jenin and retrieve him themselves. Channel 12 posted a video of five masked men holding rifles threatening to go into Jenin to retrieve the body. (Times of Israel)
        See also Palestinians Return Body of Israeli Teen Killed in West Bank - Anna Ahronheim
    The body of Tiran Fero, the Druze teen who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in Jenin on Tuesday, has been returned to his family after intense talks with the Palestinian Authority. Rafik Halabi, the head of the Daliyat al-Karmel Council, said that Qatar, Jordan and Egypt were involved in the talks. Israel had sought a diplomatic solution, but was also preparing for a military operation to retrieve the body. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • IDF Intelligence Chief: Iran Is Continually Surprised and Impressed by Israeli Determination - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Iran recently weighed initiating a terrorist attack at the World Cup soccer tournament and was only dissuaded out of concern for how Qatar, the host country, might respond, IDF Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva said Monday. Haliva said Iran would likely soon carry out at least a symbolic enrichment of uranium to the 90% weaponized level, and the world will be tested as never before. He expressed doubt about the West's determination on the Iran nuclear issue, noting that the West still does not comprehend the sustained challenge that Iran presents to it directly.
        Regarding the conflict between Iran and Israel in different parts of the region, Haliva said: "The vision of [IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem] Soleimani has fallen. There are very few Iranians in southern Syria. The number of Iranian personnel also in Syria [generally] is getting smaller. Iran sees the determination of Israel to deal with them. Most of the time, if Iran pushes, most of the world retreats." He said Iran is continually surprised and impressed by Israeli determination. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Palestinians

  • Jerusalem Bombings Don't Mark Beginning of Third Intifada - Herb Keinon
    Since March, shootings, stabbings and car rammings by Palestinians had claimed 27 lives in Israel. Still, Wednesday's twin bombings in Jerusalem felt different, recalling the bus bombings in 1995-1996 and the attacks of the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005.
        Yet there are several substantial differences between then and now. The first difference is that the IDF can and will go into any Palestinian city and neighborhood whenever it wants, which was not true of the first two years of the Second Intifada - until Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. Today, Israel acts continuously to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in Palestinian cities.
        Secondly, in the early days of the Second Intifada, before the IDF moved back into the Palestinian cities, Israel's intelligence about what was going on in those cities was limited. Today, its intelligence picture is significantly better.
        Third, there remains nominal security coordination with the PA, unlike the Second Intifada when Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority was largely behind the terror war against Israel.
        Fourth, the security fence, which was not in place in 2000, makes carrying out attacks more difficult. Before it was erected, terrorists could simply walk across fields and blow themselves up inside Israel's cities. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Other Issues

  • Changing Population Patterns Will Reshape the Middle East - Patrick Clawson
    The UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs recently released its 2022 World Population Prospects report. The UN forecasts that Turkey and Iran will experience population declines by the year 2100. Iraq is predicted to expand from 44 million to 112 million. Yemen is projected to increase from 34 million to 74 million. Egypt is slated to almost double from 111 million to 205 million. Saudi Arabia is expected to reach 50 million.
        The UN forecasts that Israel's population will double from 9.2 million to 18.4 million. The Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank will grow from 5.2 million to 12.8 million. Syria will nearly double from 22 million to 43 million. Jordan will grow from 11 million to 18 million. Yet, Lebanon will shrink from 5.5 million to 4.7 million.
        The writer is senior fellow and director of research at the Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

  • Weekend Features

  • IDF Combat Intelligence: Keeping Watch on the Enemy along the Syrian Border - Anna Ahronheim
    IDF combat intelligence company commander Cpt. Lihi Moshe said, "We spend hours in the field, working 24/7, day and night, to thwart the enemy." Iran has increased its influence in the Syrian Army. Hizbullah has increased its presence on the Golan Heights with over 60 bases, including near the demilitarized buffer zone. "We are continuing to see Hizbullah continue to entrench itself in southern Syria," she said.
        Sgt. Anog Zinger grew up on stories about the IDF, as her father was left disabled from his combat service. "Going into combat gave my father a feeling that he was finishing his service through me," she said. "The shifts are long and it's hard to be in the field for days alone with no phone or showers or bed. We get to the most difficult place mentally, the place farthest from our homes and comfort zone, but we learn to deal with it."
        Sgt. Issy Lyons serves in a specialized drone team, conducting reconnaissance over enemy forces. She says, "There's been a lot of times that we are pushing our limits. We practice a lot to make sure that we are the best that we can be. When there is a technological issue, we work together as a team to fix the problem."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Elbit's Micro-Suicide Drone Swarms Can Hunt Enemies in Urban Combat - Seth J. Frantzman
    Lanius search and attack drones, developed by Israel's Elbit Systems, can scout and map buildings, flying around small corridors and through doorways, while carrying lethal payloads. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: The Lanius Drone-Based Loitering Munition (Elbit Systems)
        See also Innovative Tools to Defend Ourselves - Editorial
    Israel's best and brightest have been developing the innovative tools the country needs to defend itself and to effectively take the fight to the enemy. These advanced weapons can also deter enemies. This capability was on full display last week when Elbit Systems announced a new drone called Lanius, designed for warfare in urban areas.
        The small drone can scan a building, differentiate between enemy combatants and civilians, and detonate on enemy targets in a pinpoint manner. The Lanius can decrease soldier casualties by reducing the need for soldiers to blindly enter buildings in search of terrorists. Because it can differentiate between combatants and non-combatants, the small drone is also designed to reduce "collateral damage."
        Israel is located in among the worst neighborhoods in a far-from-perfect world. Without these types of weapons, innumerable lives would be lost to terrorists. Israel need not be embarrassed that it developed the Lanius. On the contrary, the country should be proud that it can produce science fiction-like weaponry to protect its people. (Jerusalem Post)

A Revolution Is Taking Place in Iran - Iranian American human rights activist Masih Alinejad (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

On November 17, 2022, The Washington Institute honored Iranian American human rights activist Masih Alinejad. Here are excerpts of her remarks:
  • A historical revolution is taking place in Iran, which is being led by women but supported by men. It started because of protesting against compulsory hijab laws. The compulsory hijab is not just a small piece of cloth when it is in the hands of the Islamic Republic or the Taliban or ISIS. It is one of the most visible symbols of oppression and the main pillar of religious dictatorship.
  • Jews and Iranians are historical friends. Jews came to Iran thousands of years before Islam came to Iran. We have common friends, the great Cyrus. We are all fighting for the same goal. We want to have a country where Bahai, Jews, minorities, men, women, Kurds, Turks, Baluch, and everyone has dignity and freedom. That is what is happening in Iran right now.
  • For years I have been comparing the compulsory hijab to the Berlin Wall and I strongly believe that. If women can say no to the one who told them what to wear, they can say no to big dictators as well. I believe that if we are successful in tearing this wall down, the Islamic Republic will not exist.
  • My body is here [in the U.S.] but my thoughts, my soul, and everything else is there [in Iran]. I am able to find my own window to sneak into my homeland. My windows are social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I have more than 10 million followers. I have more followers than the mullahs and the ayatollahs all together.
  • The Iranian regime did everything to shut me up, to keep me silent. They put my brother in jail for two years. They brought my sister on TV to denounce me publicly. They actually sent people [to the U.S.] to kidnap me. The FBI arrested a man with a loaded gun in front of my house just three months ago.
  • I don't accept when the politicians in the West say, "We don't want to interfere in an internal matter." By keeping silent, sending billions of dollars to the Iranian regime, or negotiating with them, you are actually interfering because there is a war being imposed on women and men in Iran by the Iranian regime. When you go and negotiate with the warmongers, you are taking sides.
  • Like millions of other students in Iran, I was told that I have to say "Death to Israel" so loud that Tel Aviv could hear us. I was told that we had to say "Death to America" so loud that the White House could hear us. Now Iranians are saying "Death to Khamenei" so loud that Khamenei can hear them.

        See also The Iranian Regime's Most Wanted Woman - A Conversation with Masih Alinejad - Bari Weiss (Common Sense)
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