November 28, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Upgrading Security Barrier in Northern West Bank - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    On Nov. 14, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved plans to upgrade a section of the West Bank security barrier after a series of terror attacks were committed by Palestinians who illegally entered Israel.
    A tall fence, similar to those on the borders with Egypt and Gaza, will replace a 50-km. stretch of fencing from the Te'enim checkpoint near Avnei Hefetz to Oranit in the northwestern West Bank.
    In the summer, construction began on a 9-meter tall concrete wall to replace another 50-km. stretch of fencing in the northern West Bank from Salem to the Te'enim checkpoint that was built 20 years ago.
    Both upgraded sections will be equipped with surveillance cameras and sensors.
    In July, the IDF began to strengthen defenses along the existing security fence in the Judean Desert in the southern West Bank, digging a deep trench over 20 km. to prevent the passage of people and vehicles.
    Many credit the West Bank security barrier with helping to end the Second Intifada (2000-2005), though only 62% of the barrier was completed.

Israeli Reporters Encounter Hate at Soccer World Cup in Qatar - Raz Shechnik (Ynet News)
    After more than a week in Qatar's capital of Doha for the soccer World Cup, Israeli reporters said they often experienced hatred and hostility.
    We were followed at all times by Palestinians, Iranians, Qataris, Moroccans, Jordanians, Syrians, Egyptians and Lebanese - all giving us looks full of hate.
    The Saudi Arabian fans were different, and they greeted us with smiles.
    At first, we identified as Israelis, but after a while, we decided to claim we were Ecuadorian.
    Despite believing that the conflict with the Arab world is between governments and not people, Qatar has taught us that hate exists first and foremost in the minds of the man on the street.
    They would truly like to see us wiped off the face of the earth, and any notion of Israel evokes their complete disgust.

IHRA Definition of Antisemitism Is Only "Polarizing" to Israel's Detractors - Avi Benlolo (National Post-Canada)
    The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) "working definition" of antisemitism is not polarizing to anyone other than Israel's detractors and antisemites.
    The IHRA definition has been adopted by three dozen nations, at least six Canadian provinces and numerous states in the U.S.
    The IHRA's detractors refuse to acknowledge that modern antisemitism is often tied to the Jewish State (e.g., Jewish soldiers being called Nazis).
    They accuse those of us who defend the definition of being "right-wing" and of "weaponizing antisemitism" in order to defend Israel.
    This is meant to undermine our efforts to protect ourselves against hate.
    In the case of the IHRA definition, it's often the same people who call for universal rights and freedoms who oppose those very same rights for the Jewish people, particularly as they define their relationship with the State of Israel.
    The IHRA definition is not "polarizing" to anyone other than those who either lack an historical understanding or are with an agenda to exacerbate the problem of hate and defame the Jewish state.
    The writer is the founder and chairman of the Abraham Global Peace Initiative.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Enters a New Era of Direct Confrontation with Iran - David E. Sanger
    A new era of direct confrontation with Iran has burst into the open. President Biden's hope of re-entering the U.S. into the deal with Iran that was struck in 2015 has all but died. At the White House, national security meetings on Iran are devoted less to negotiation strategy and more to how to undermine Iran's nuclear plans, provide communications gear to protesters and interrupt the country's supply chain of weapons to Russia, according to several administration officials. Robert Malley, the State Department's special envoy for the Iran negotiations, has usually been more optimistic about the chances of a diplomatic solution, but said on Tuesday, "Iran turned their back on a nuclear deal that was within grasp."
        "Imagine telling the incoming administration in January 2021 that within two years, Iran would be enriching to near weapons-grade uranium at Fordow, deploying its most advanced centrifuges in large numbers, accepting severely limited international monitoring, accumulating multiple bombs' worth of highly enriched uranium and rejecting diplomatic efforts," said Henry Rome, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "That's not quite a worst-case scenario, but it's pretty close....The administration must now contend with the fact that, in essentially all fields, the Iranian threat to international peace and security is greater today than it was two years ago."  (New York Times)
  • UN to Investigate Iran's Human-Rights Violations during Protests - Sune Engel Rasmussen
    At a special session in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council voted 47-6, with 16 abstentions, to investigate human-rights violations in Iran since the outbreak of the protests in mid-September. At least 440 people, including 60 children, have been killed in clashes with security forces. Several people have been sentenced to death for their role in the protests. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Deaths of Children at Iran Protests Stir Anger among Demonstrators - Benoit Faucon
    Mourners at the funeral of a 9-year-old Iranian boy shot during one of the protests chanted for the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as anger grows over the deaths of dozens of children involved in the demonstrations. In a protest movement that is overwhelmingly made up of young people, the presence of minors has been common at demonstrations, especially teenagers. Their deaths have contributed to the anger of demonstrators, instead of instilling fear, activists and victims' families said. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also The West Is Finally Waking Up to the Real Problem in Iran - Masih Alinejad (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Second Israeli Wounded in Jerusalem Blasts Dies
    Tadese Tashume Ben Ma'ada, 50, who was critically injured in an explosion Wednesday at a bus stop at the entrance to Jerusalem, died on Saturday. Ben Ma'ada immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia 21 years ago, and left a wife and six children.
        Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said he had met Ben Ma'ada the evening before the bomb attack at the inauguration of a new community center for the Ethiopian community. "In one moment [the terror attack] ended a human story - a story about Zionism, about aliyah, about the love of the Land of Israel, about the love of Jerusalem. And in a symbolic and tragic way, this happened on the day of Ethiopian Jews' holiday of Sigd."
        Immigration and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata said, "The bitter enemy will not defeat us, and we will not allow any evildoer and cursed terrorist to break us as a nation."  (Times of Israel)
  • Two Israeli Arabs Convicted of Attacking IDF Soldier in Tel Aviv in 2021 - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Muhammad Iyash and Ali Mutzri were convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday of aggravated bodily injury and incitement to terror and violence against an IDF soldier in Jaffa in southern Tel Aviv on May 13, 2021, during a round of fighting in Gaza. During a wave of Arab riots in Jaffa, Iyash called on a WhatsApp group to join in on the riots, giving a specific location. Mutzri went to where the soldier was standing, pinned him to the wall, and started to kick him. Others started to kick him also and sprayed him with tear gas.
        Then another rioter, Nur Yusef, who is being tried for attempted murder of the soldier, struck him in the head with a brick and he fell to the ground. Iyash took a video of the soldier as blood was streaming out of his head and sent it to the WhatsApp group with the voiceover saying, "He is done. This is him after he got beaten." Later, Iyash sent additional messages calling for more violence against Jews, including a specific call to throw firebombs at Jewish homes. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Arab Who Attempted to Lynch Jew during May 2021 Riots Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison - Adi Hashmonai
    The district court in Haifa on Monday sentenced Adham Bashir, 25, to ten years in prison for severely assaulting a Jewish man due to nationalist motives during nationwide riots in May 2021. According to the indictment, on the night of May 12, Bashir joined dozens of young Arabs who gathered at an intersection in the city of Acre armed with iron bars, clubs and stones. When they identified a vehicle with a Jewish driver, Mor Janashvili, they pelted it with dozens of stones.
        The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a wall. When he exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot, he was beaten to the ground and his vehicle was torched. Eight residents of Acre were charged for involvement in the attempted lynching. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • A New Strategic Landscape in the Middle East - Dan Schueftan
    Arab-Israeli relations are a source of good news these days. The conflict between the Jewish state and its radical enemies, Palestinians and others, is far from over, and the threat of the Iranian revolutionary regime may be greater than ever. However, a new strategic alignment promises a better chance for regional states to isolate and stand up to the radicals who continue to threaten the existing order. The old structure of the Arab-Israel conflict that defined the Middle East for generations is now being replaced by a strengthening Arab-Israeli coalition against Iran and its radical Arab proxies.
        The erosion and ultimately the abolition of aggressive regional solidarity targeting the Jewish state has been the supreme objective of Israel's regional strategy since its inception. Breaking up regional solidarity is an indispensable precondition to any progress toward peace. Arab states would consider accepting Israel only following a painful recognition of the failure of the attempt to erase it at an acceptable cost.
        The profound change in the strategic landscape of the Middle East in the recent decade may be characterized by four pillars: the magnitude of the Iranian regional threat, the inability of Arab states to stand up to that threat by themselves, the questionable steadfastness of American support, and the proven capacity and dependability of Israel.
        Unlike most European and American officials, Arabs fully realize the magnitude of the Iranian determination to hegemonize the Middle East at their expense and the effectiveness of Iranian brutality and sophistication in the pursuit of that objective. Watching the impact of the Iranian takeovers in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen and its subversion in their own countries, they know they are in desperate need of external assistance to survive.
        The most vulnerable Arab states turned to the only power that fully appreciates the magnitude of the Iranian threat and is capable and determined to provide a forceful response. Israel has been engaged for more than half a decade in a wide-scale preventive war in Syria and western Iraq to thwart the Iranian takeover where it threatens Israel most acutely. The historic all-Arab coalition against Israel has been replaced by a de facto Arab-Israeli coalition against the radical forces that threaten them both.
        The writer is Director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa. (Tablet)
  • Fake Hysteria over Temple Mount Prayer - Nadav Shragai
    Critics are warning that the appointment of MK Itamar Ben-Gvir as Israel's public security minister will lead to a decision to permit Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount. Let everybody calm down and take a deep breath. This is the year 2022. Jews have been praying on the Mount for five years now; quiet prayers, without provoking anyone, in the southeastern corner of the Mount, with police authorization, and under police supervision. This was implemented gradually, after endless material changes on the holy Mount initiated and executed by the Muslims in violation of the status quo.
        Changes by the Muslims on the Mount since 1967 include turning the Dome of the Rock into a mosque, which originally was not a mosque. They paved large sections of the Temple Mount compound, which is in practice used as a mass prayer hall for tens of thousands. They established three additional mosques on the Mount: the Al-Marwani Mosque located in Solomon's Stables; the ancient Al-Aqsa Mosque underneath the overground Al-Aqsa Mosque; and the Gate of Mercy compound.
        Eventually, the Jews decided in a bottom-up initiative that if everything is allowed to change on the Mount, then it is time for a change to counter the blatant discrimination against them with regard to prayers at the holiest site in the Jewish religion. (Israel Hayom)

Reenergizing the Israel-Africa Strategic Partnership - Dr. Yechiel M. Leiter (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

On November 23, 2022, Dr. Yechiel M. Leiter, Director-General of the Jerusalem Center, addressed a regional conference at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia on national security challenges in the Horn of Africa.
  • Since the advent of Zionism and the birth of modern Israel, there has been a strong ideological connection between Israel and the African continent. The fruitful existence of a strategic partnership between Ethiopia and Israel goes back at least as far as King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
  • Israel contributes to "world order" by opposing hostile states and their proxies with intelligence-gathering and sharing, military knowhow, and, when necessary, military action, and by contributing to economic growth and human development through advanced technologies in agriculture, medicine, R&D, and social and cultural cohesiveness.
  • There are many places where our interests converge. One such area involves the safety of waterways in and around the Red Sea. Curtailing contraband, drugs, arms smuggling, and other forms of serious corruption are all vital for us.
  • One critical area of cooperation I'd like to put the spotlight on is in the realm of food security. We should conceptually move food security from the social and economic realm to the realm of national security. National security includes the ability to feed the people of one's sovereign territory.
  • Imagine Ethiopia's cows producing 30 or 40 liters of milk a day instead of the 2 or 3 that they produce today. Imagine the establishment of an agriculture industry that grows alternatives to wheat. Imagine a fish industry based on fish pond production. Israel has proven technology in these and other agro-areas, and we're neighbors.

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