December 1, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Report: U.S. Will Support Israeli Attack on Iran Nuclear Project (Israel Radar)
    The U.S. will support an Israeli attack to destroy the Iranian nuclear project, Israeli defense officials say.
    American decision-makers realize that Iran threatens world peace, the sources told Yediot Aharonot.
    Makor Rishon journalist Noam Amir reported that Israel has completed over 50% of the preparations for a strike in Iran.
    Some senior defense officials noted that Tehran's military partnership with Russia in Ukraine creates a window of opportunity to strike with the quiet support of the U.S. and Europe.
    Tehran is only 10-14 days away from enriching uranium to 90% weapons-grade, ex-IDF intelligence chief Amir Hayman told Israel Hayom.

    See also Israel, U.S. Hold Air Drill Simulating Striking Iran Nuclear Program - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
    From Tuesday to Thursday this week, the Israel Air Force is holding drills with the U.S. Air Force over the Mediterranean, simulating offensive strikes against Iran's nuclear program.
    The exercise includes refuelers as well as fighter jets from both forces.

Ukrainian Delegation Arrives in Israel to Discuss Creating Missile Warning System in Ukraine (UAWire-Ukraine)
    Israel's Channel 12 reported Monday that a delegation of Ukrainian military arrived in Israel for talks on assisting Ukraine to create a missile warning system.

Israeli Navy Tests Long-Range Cruise Missile Interceptor - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    The Israeli Navy conducted a successful test of a long-range interceptor missile against an "advanced" cruise missile, the Defense Ministry announced Wednesday.
    In the trial this month, the Sa'ar 6-class corvette INS Magen launched an LRAD missile after detecting a "target that resembled an advanced cruise missile" and destroyed it.

ISIS Confirms Death of Its Leader - Eyad Kourdi (CNN)
    ISIS on Wednesday acknowledged the death of its leader, Abu al-Hasan al-Hashmi al- Qurayshi, who was appointed in March.
    His successor was named as Abu al-Husain al-Husaini al-Quraishi.

Follow the Jerusalem Center on:

Israel's Drone Dome System Wins Pentagon Certification (C4ISRNET)
    The Pentagon's Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office has approved the Drone Dome system made by Israel's Rafael for federal contract opportunities in the U.S.
    The Drone Dome system, which demonstrated its capabilities against drone targets during tests in the U.S. in April, utilizes an RPS-42 radar, EO/IR and RF detection & mitigation. Several of these components are already integrated into U.S. defense networks and are globally deployed.
    "We are proud to see this advanced Rafael technology being successfully demonstrated by our American partners on American soil," said Eric L. Brown, chief technology officer for Rafael Systems Global Sustainment (RSGS) in Bethesda, Md.

Israeli Students Discover 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Amulet on School Trip (Jerusalem Post)
    A 3,000-year-old scarab - an ancient amulet and impression seal - was discovered during a school field trip to Azor, about 7 km. from Tel Aviv, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Wednesday.
    Carved into the scarab is the picture of an Egyptian pharaoh.

Gulf-Israel Women's Forum Develops Trade Ties and Friendships - Natalie Lisbona (BBC News)
    Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum co-founded the Gulf-Israel Women's Forum, which first met in October 2020 in Dubai following the signing of the Abraham Accords.
    She admits that she was apprehensive before the first meeting.
    "I was very nervous about it, but it was apparent that we all want the same things - peace and prosperity in the region. Contrary to what others want us to believe, we are not enemies. If anything, Israelis and their sisters in the Gulf are so similar. We all came out of the first meeting giddy."
    The forum now has hundreds of members and includes women from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. They meet up to eight times a year, either in person or via video conferencing.

Montana Tucker Is Bringing Holocaust Education to TikTok - Abigail Adams (People)
    Social media star Montana Tucker, 29, with 9 million followers on TikTok, has launched a series on TikTok and Instagram titled How To: Never Forget, a 10-part series of short videos aimed at educating viewers about the history behind the Holocaust and its devastating impact on the Jewish community.
    The series follows Tucker as she learns more about the Holocaust and her personal connection to the genocide during a trip to Poland.
    She visits locations such as Schindler's Factory, Auschwitz, and Belzec, where some of her relatives died.
    Knowledge of the Holocaust appears to be dwindling in the U.S. A Pew Research poll conducted in 2019 showed that just 45% of Americans know that 6 million Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust.

Listen: Full Recording of UN Vote on Israel's Establishment - Korin Elbaz Alush (Ynet News)
    On November 29, 1947, 75 years ago, the UN General Assembly voted on Resolution 181 to partition the British-ruled Palestine Mandate and enable a Jewish state to arise.
    The final tally: 33 for, 10 abstain and 13 against.
    A seven-minute recording of the rollcall vote has reached Ynet.

Search the Recent History of Israel and the Middle East

Send the Daily Alert to a Friend
    If you are viewing the email version of the Daily Alert and want to share it with friends, please click Forward in your email program and enter their address.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Pro-Israel Democrats Welcome New House Democratic Minority Leader - Marc Rod
    Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), 52, was elected on Wednesday to lead House Democrats in the next Congress, replacing Nancy Pelosi and marking a generational shift. "The Democratic Party and the pro-Israel camp need someone just like Hakeem to lead us into the future. In fact, I would say, if the pro-Israel community wanted to create a Democratic leader for the future, we would create Hakeem Jeffries," former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) told Jewish Insider. "He's respectful of the American Jewish community. He identifies with it. And he's just a really nice guy on top of it."
        Former Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) said that Jeffries "came to Congress as a voice of pro-Israel activism. And he served with the same voice and he has an ability to organize coalitions across a very diverse spectrum that will support U.S.-Israeli relations." Israel called it "a very positive and heartening step in the right direction for U.S.-Israeli relations."  (Jewish Insider)
  • Iran Threatens Families of its National Soccer Team - Sam Kiley
    The families of Iran's World Cup soccer team have been threatened with imprisonment and torture if the players fail to "behave" ahead of the match against the USA on Tuesday, a source involved in the security of the games said. Following the refusal of Iranian players to sing the nation's national anthem in their opening match against England on Nov. 21, the players were called to a meeting with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and told that their families would face "violence and torture" if they did not sing the national anthem. Dozens of IRGC officers have been drafted to monitor the Iranian players at the World Cup, who are not allowed to mingle outside the squad or meet with foreigners. (CNN)
  • UN Palestinian Refugee Agency Finds "Man-Made Cavity" under Gaza School
    The UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees announced Tuesday that it had recently identified a man-made cavity underneath the grounds of an UNRWA school in Gaza. The agency immediately cordoned off the area and permanently sealed the cavity. The agency also protested strongly to the relevant authorities in Gaza to express outrage and condemnation of the presence of a man-made cavity underneath an UNRWA school, calling it a serious violation of the agency's neutrality and a breach of international law. (UNRWA)
        See also UNRWA Discovers Terrorist Tunnel under Gaza School (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commander Killed in Firefight near Jenin - Tzvi Joffre
    The commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad's Jenin Brigade, Muhammad Ayman al-Saadi, was killed near Jenin early Thursday in armed clashes with the IDF during an arrest raid. Naeem Jamal Zubaidi, a senior member of the al-Aqsa Brigades, was also killed. Both were responsible for a series of shooting attacks against Israeli forces. (Jerusalem Post-Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Woman Soldier Seriously Wounded in Palestinian Car Ramming Attack in West Bank - Elisha Ben Kimon
    An Israeli female soldier was severely wounded in a Palestinian car ramming attack on Tuesday near the community of Kokhav Ya'akov in the West Bank. The terrorist fled the scene, but was eventually shot and killed by Israeli forces. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinians Attack Israeli Soldiers in West Bank, Three Attackers Killed
    On Monday night, Israeli troops on patrol near Beit Ummar, northwest of Hebron, came under attack after two of their vehicles broke down. Dozens of Palestinians participated in the attack, shooting at the soldiers and hurling stones and explosives at them, the IDF said. The troops responded with riot dispersal weapons as well as live fire. The PA's WAFA news agency reported that one person was killed and nine wounded in the incident.
        In another incident, Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at Israeli forces near Kafr Ein, northwest of Ramallah, who responded with riot dispersal weapons and live fire. WAFA said two Palestinian siblings, aged 21 and 22, were killed in the exchange. (JNS)
  • IDF Says West Bank Raids Foiled 500 Terror Attacks over Past Year - Emanuel Fabian
    The IDF on Monday said it had foiled 500 terror attacks in the past year in the West Bank. The army has arrested 3,000 terror suspects since March, following a series of Palestinian attacks that left 31 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year, including several soldiers. The IDF has recorded 281 shooting attacks this year, compared to just 91 in 2021.
        There were 8,483 violent incidents by Palestinians such as riots or stone-throwing, a rise of almost 20% from the 7,039 attacks in 2021. 136 Palestinians were killed in the past year, stemming from the fact that a massive amount of gunfire is directed toward troops during West Bank raids, leading them to fire back, many times killing the gunmen.
        With a large number of troops newly stationed along the separation barrier between Israel and the PA, the number of illegal infiltrations has dropped from 34,085 per week in March to 475 a week in November. With the IDF cracking down on weapons smuggling and confiscating 250 weapons this year, the price of weapons and ammunition has risen. A bullet for an M-16 rifle that used to cost NIS3, now costs NIS20. (Times of Israel-Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Slams UN Resolution to Mark Palestinian Nakba - Jonathan Lis
    The UN General Assembly on Wednesday voted 90-30 with 47 abstentions to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nakba (the catastrophe), the Palestinian name for the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Among those voting "no" were the U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK, Brazil, and most members of the EU.
        Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, slammed the vote, asking, "What would you say if the international community celebrated the establishment of your country as a disaster? What a disgrace." Erdan described the Nakba as the disaster that the Palestinians brought upon themselves with their aggression against Israel. "The Palestinians' lies must no longer be accepted on the world stage, just as this body must stop allowing the Palestinians to continue pulling its strings. I urge you all to stop blindly supporting the Palestinians' libels."  (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Urges World Leaders to Press Palestinians to Walk Back Bid for International Court Probe - Jonathan Lis
    Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid wrote on Monday to more than 50 heads of state, calling on them to exert their influence over the Palestinian Authority to prevent the vote in the UN General Assembly to request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
        He wrote: "This resolution is the outcome of a concerted effort to single out Israel, to discredit our legitimate security concerns, and to delegitimize our very existence." If "this resolution is brought to a vote in December, I hope and expect that your country will vote against it and voice your clear concerns regarding its dangerous ramifications. At times like this, we look to our friends to stand with us."
        Lapid explained that the status of disputed territory will be subject to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and that bringing the matter before the ICJ "contravenes the principle of direct negotiations accepted by Israel, the Palestinians and the international community." However, a senior Israeli official warned there is little chance of stopping the Palestinian move at the UN. (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Rise in Iranian Assassination, Kidnapping Plots Alarms Western Officials - Shane Harris
    The Iranian government has stepped up its efforts to kidnap and kill government officials, activists and journalists around the world, including in the U.S., according to government documents and interviews with 15 officials in Washington, Europe and the Middle East. Tehran has targeted former senior U.S. government officials; dissidents who have fled the country for the U.S., Britain, Canada, Turkey and Europe; media organizations critical of the regime; and Jewish civilians or those with links to Israel.
        Iran's intelligence and security services rely largely on proxies to carry out their plans, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to jewel thieves, drug dealers and other criminals in murder-for-hire schemes. Officials say Iran's persistence makes it likely to eventually carry out the killing of a high-profile dissident, journalist or Western government figure, which could spark direct confrontation with Tehran. The tempo of the plots has dramatically increased in the past two years.
        Just since last year, Western security and law enforcement agencies said they have disrupted an attempt to assassinate former national security adviser John Bolton in Washington and to kidnap Iranian American journalist Masih Alinejad in New York City; multiple attempts to kill British nationals and others living in the UK; an operation to murder French journalist Bernard-Henri Levy in Paris; attempts to kill Israeli business people in Cyprus; and a plan to use assassins recruited in a prison in Dubai to kill Israeli business people in Colombia.
        Matthew Levitt, a former U.S. counterterrorism official and now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has tracked 124 foreign plots by Iran since 1979. (Washington Post)
  • Veteran U.S. Peace-Processors Seek to Thwart Israeli Democracy - Jonathan S. Tobin
    Veteran U.S. State Department peace-processors Aaron David Miller and Daniel Kurtzer penned an op-ed in the Washington Post this week calling on the Biden administration to intervene in Israel's domestic debates, place limits on aid to it, and prevent Israel's new government from following the allegedly "malign" policies on which it was elected.
        While acknowledging that neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas want to make peace, the authors continue to cling to the myth that what the Palestinians seek is an independent state alongside Israel, and that America must force Israel to pretend that this is still true. They are ready to blame Palestinian terrorism and rejection of peace on the assertion of Jewish rights and the defense of Israel's security, rather than on the fact that both the Fatah kleptocrats in Ramallah and the Hamas Islamists in Gaza refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its boundaries are drawn.
        Their position effectively legitimizes Arab terrorism against Jews and antisemitism at the UN by branding Israeli actions that might protect its interests and security as the behavior of a rogue state. They aren't defending democracy, peace or the U.S.-Israel alliance. Their objective is to thwart the verdict of Israeli democracy and promote instability and violence by reverting to Oslo fantasies. (JNS)
  • Knesset Election Saw Gains for Arab Party in Outgoing Israeli Government - Dr. Ofir Haivry
    One big winner in Israel's recent elections was Mansour Abbas and his party, Ra'am (United Arab List). With 195,000 votes, Ra'am won five seats in the Knesset, the same number as the joint Hadash (Communists) and Ta'al (Arab Movement for Renewal), which together received 180,000 votes. Balad (National Democratic Alliance) didn't pass the electoral threshold, receiving 140,000 votes. Thus, Ra'am became the largest Arab party, receiving 40% of the votes for Arab parties, with the remainder divided between the three other parties.
        Its success comes in the wake of the move by Abbas after the 2021 elections to be a partner in a coalition with Zionist parties, in the face of stern opposition within the Arab sector and even within his party. But in fact the Arab electorate didn't reject his move; he was rewarded with their votes, crowning Abbas as the leader of the Israeli Arab sector.
        The writer is vice president for Academic Affairs of the Herzl Institute and director of its National Strategy Initiative. (Israel Hayom)
  • An Exile Returns to Syria - Nizar Kinaan
    My trip home to Syria to see friends and family showed me that the country I knew has gone forever. As we entered the city of Latakia, the darkness in the city was shocking. On a good day, Latakia has only four hours of electricity. There was almost no traffic. There is so little fuel that people don't go anywhere unless they really have to.
        Due to electricity shortages, noisy generators are always filling the air with the smell of diesel. At night, you cannot walk around without a light. The streets are incredibly dirty and damaged. Cholera is a growing worry for everyone. Everything is aggressively rationed; not just electricity and water, but fuel, cooking gas, diesel, rice, sugar and even bread.
        Strangely, most men carried handbags. Due to the currency collapse, it is necessary to carry large amounts of cash, which can't be done with pockets alone. Syria was never a rich country, but neither was it in poverty as dire as this. Now, the streets are full of malnourished children digging in garbage containers. According to the UN, more than 90% of people live under the poverty line, and at least 60% are food insecure. The destitution contrasts painfully with the SUVs complete with tinted windows which roam the streets, filled with pro-Assad thugs.
        I don't remember female waitresses in Latakia, yet now most of the people working in restaurants, cafes and shops are women, even in the most conservative areas. I did not meet one woman who did not work. "Where are the young men?" I asked my friends. "They are dead, in the army or they left like I should have done," one replied.
        The Alawites - the religious minority community from which the Assad family hails - are among the angriest at the Syrian government. A friend explained, "If you go to their villages, there are no men. They all died fighting for him [Assad] and what did they get in return? They live in extreme poverty." The majority of Alawites who did not benefit directly from the regime had no option but to fight for Assad. Otherwise, they had to face the Islamists who committed massacres, slaughtering everyone in the Alawite areas they managed to reach. (New Lines)
  • The Burgeoning Israel-India Strategic Alliance - Jonathan Spyer
    India is now the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment, with exports to India constituting 46% of Israel's total arms exports. In agriculture and water management, Indian authorities have partnered with Israel to develop methods to cope with an emergent water crisis. The deepening connections between Jerusalem and New Delhi in a myriad variety of fields are inescapable. India and Israel are facing a challenge common to Western-aligned states at a time when the U.S., the leader of the democratic world, is in a process of recalibrating and reducing its external commitments.
        In an essay published by the Middle East Institute in July 2021, Egyptian-born strategic thinker Mohammed Soliman posited the emergence of an "Indo-Abrahamic Alliance," bringing together the UAE, Israel and India. The UAE is now India's third-largest trade partner. The alliance would be based on deepening formalized cooperation in such areas as maritime security in the Mediterranean, the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, missile defense, drones, common opposition to Islamist extremism, and data security.
        A poll conducted by Israel's Foreign Ministry in 2009 found that 58% of Indians declared themselves supporters of Israel. Similar levels of warmth and support may easily be discerned on the Israeli side.
        The writer is executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis. (Jerusalem Post)
  • New York Times' Gaza Fishing Story Reels in Readers, Forgoes Facts - Tamar Sternthal
    On Nov. 27, the New York Times' Raja Abdulrahim described the Gaza fishing industry as collapsing under Israel's blockade. "The fishing sector now works at 50% capacity and every day it is decreasing," she quotes Jehad Salah, head of the fisheries directorate in Gaza, as saying. Yet, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Gaza's fishing industry has thrived over the last 15 years.
        In 2005, two years before the blockade was imposed in 2007, 707 fishing boats were in Gaza. By 2019, a dozen years into the blockade, that figure more than doubled to 1,739 boats. In 2009, Gaza fishermen caught 1,524,913 fish. In 2019, that figure climbed to 3,943,369.
        The Israel Defense Forces tweeted that it had provided the New York Times with extensive information about smuggling attempts and about Israeli Navy efforts to assist Gaza fishermen in distress, but the paper excluded all of it.
        The writer is director of CAMERA's Israel Office. (CAMERA)

  • After the Israeli Knesset elections in November, Benjamin Netanyahu is back, and is now on the cusp of his third stint as prime minister of Israel. I spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu on the eve of his return to power.
  • "Israel is the one country that is openly targeted for destruction, first by the Arab world, which happily has changed...but also now by non-Arab Iran, which openly declares its goal of annihilating the State of Israel off the face of the Earth....We can defend ourselves finally against these forces in ways that were unimaginable a century ago."
  • "To achieve the prosperity, security and permanence of the State of Israel, my belief was that Israel has to be very powerful. It's not enough to be moral. It's not enough to be just. It's not enough to be liked. It doesn't even make a difference. If you're weak, you don't survive in our area."
  • "If you ask, what is my goal now? The first thing is to prevent Iran from annihilating us....The second is to expand the circle of peace beyond our imagination. Saudi Arabia would be a tremendous achievement, to have peace with them, because it would effectively end the Arab-Israeli conflict....The Palestinians are 1-2% of the Arab world, but they're the tail that's wagging the Arab body. I'll get there, too, but I think that it'll be easier to get there if you end the Arab-Israeli conflict."
  • Asked about forming a coalition with MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, Netanyahu said, "First of all, his eligibility to be a coalition member and a minister was determined by none other than the Supreme Court, and they gave him complete clearance....The second point is [that]...the main policy or the overriding policy of the government is determined by the Likud and, frankly, by me....I've often heard these doom projections, but none of them materialized. I maintained Israel's democratic nature....Israel is not going to be governed by Talmudic law. We're not going to ban LGBT forums....We're going to remain a country of laws."
  • "I was removed from office [in 1999] and in came my successor, Shimon Peres, and later Ariel Sharon and Olmert and Barak and so on. They didn't achieve peace with the Palestinians. Why didn't they achieve peace with the Palestinians? Because the Palestinians don't want peace with Israel. They want peace without Israel. They don't want a peaceful state next to Israel. They want a state instead of Israel. That's the obstacle that has prevented peace for a century."
Support Daily Alert
Daily Alert is the work of a team of expert analysts who find the most important and timely articles from around the world on Israel, the Middle East and U.S. policy. No wonder it is read by heads of government, leading journalists, and thousands of people who want to stay on top of the news. To continue to provide this service, Daily Alert requires your support. Please take a moment to click here and make your contribution through the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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