December 15, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Irish UN Peacekeeper Killed in Southern Lebanon - Abby Sewell (AP)
    An Irish UN peacekeeper was killed and several others were wounded after unidentified attackers opened fire on a convoy in southern Lebanon on Tuesday.
    A source said that an armored vehicle carrying the peacekeepers had rolled over while trying to escape after locals began shooting.
    Cell phone videos circulated online show one of the two UNIFIL vehicles speeding to leave the area while it was shot at.

Family of Dead Activist to Take Palestinian Authority to International Criminal Court - Guillaume Lavallee (AFP)
    The family of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat, who was beaten to death after being arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces in June 2021, will submit a case Thursday to the International Criminal Court accusing seven top Palestinian officials of responsibility for his death.

Poll: Rise in Palestinian Support for New Armed Intifada - Dr. Khalil Shikaki (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research)
    There has been a significant rise in Palestinian support for a return to an armed intifada, according to a new poll conducted on Dec. 7-10, 2022.  55% support a return to armed confrontations, up from 48% three months ago.
    Support for the two-state solution stands at 32%, with 66% opposed.
    72% support the forming of armed groups such as the "Lions' Den," which do not take orders from the PA.  79% oppose the surrender of these groups to the PA.
    75% of the public wants President Abbas to resign. Perception of corruption in PA institutions stands at 81%.

Mahan Air Serves the Iranian Quds Force - Tal Beeri (Alma Research and Education Center)
    Mahan Air, the largest private airline in Iran, operates under the auspices of the IRGC and serves as a central arm of the Quds Force for the transfer of weapons components from Iran to Syria and Lebanon.
    In the past, the airline flew to many European destinations, including Germany, Spain, France, and Italy. These flights were stopped in 2008 when the U.S. imposed sanctions on the company.
    Mahan Air continues to fly to Damascus, Beirut and Aleppo.

IDF: Photos Show Palestinian Terror Groups Put Rocket Launchers next to Gaza Schools (Times of Israel)
    The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday released photos showing rocket launch sites positioned next to three schools in Gaza City.
    "Hamas purposely puts civilians and pupils in danger by using them as human shields," the IDF said.

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Fiction Passes for Fact at TIME Magazine - Karen Bekker (CAMERA)
    "Farha," a film by Darin Sallam, a Jordanian director of Palestinian descent, purports to be about the Palestinian "nakba."
    While Sallam made clear that the film is a work of fiction, a Dec. 7 article in TIME calls the film, that depicts Israelis as "bloodthirsty monsters," a "true story."

The Only Country in the Middle East that Has a Growing Christian Community Is Israel - Andrew Bennett (National Post-Canada)
    The Middle East is being cleansed of Christians after two millennia of faithful presence.
    The only country in the region that has a growing Christian community is Israel, where the Christian population grew by 1.4% in 2020 and where their religious freedom is guaranteed.
    In a December 2021 report by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, 84% of Christians surveyed indicated they were satisfied with life in Israel.
    In Syria in 2011, there were 1.7 million Christians. Today there are fewer than 450,000. In Aleppo alone, the Christian population has shrunk from 360,000 in 2012 to 25,000 today.
    In Iraq in 2003, there were 1.5 million Christians. Today there are under 120,000.
    In the past 100 years, the town of Bethlehem saw its Christian percentage fall from 84% to 28% in 2007.
    In the West Bank and Gaza, the Christian percentage has plummeted from 11% in 1922 to 1% in 2017.

Teaching Terror to Tots - Itamar Marcus (Palestinian Media Watch)
    Palestinian Media Watch recently published a report on Fatah's Waed magazine for children ages 6-15.
    The messages for Palestinian children spread through the last eight years of Waed confirm that the PA/Fatah end game remains Israel's destruction and replacement by "Palestine."
    The magazine has been teaching Palestinian children that: "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free" after "the Zionist invaders will go to the garbage can of history" because "the period of Zionism will eventually pass."
    As a last step, all "the Jewish settlers in Palestine will disappear." "The liberation of Palestine will only be achieved through armed struggle."
    The children are taught that they have the responsibility to bring about the future world without Israel.
    If no action is taken to combat the PA/Fatah education to hate and terror, it will continue to be the driving force for Palestinian violence for generations.
    Read the Full Report (Palestinian Media Watch)

Israel Tests New Defense System for Armored Personnel Carriers - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    Israel's Defense Ministry on Monday announced a successful test of a missile defense system, dubbed Iron Fist and developed by Elbit Systems, for the new Eitan advanced armored personnel carrier, and potentially for its armored bulldozers.
    The Iron Fist, similar to the Trophy system deployed on the IDF's Merkava tanks and Namer APCs, blocks incoming anti-tank missiles.
    See also Video: Watch Iron Fist Anti-Tank Interception Test (Defense Update)

Autistic IDF Soldiers Serving with Distinction - Udi Heller (Ynet News)
    Security Officer S. graduated basic training with distinction and serves in a tech position in Unit 81. Corporal N. graduated the IDF programming course with distinction and serves in Unit 8200. Private S. is set to be the first autistic participant in the IDF medic's training course. Three soldiers with autism are the first to embark on an officer's training course.
    Corporal N., 20, told the Chief of Staff at a recent meeting: "I feel that the very fact that I chose to enlist for the IDF sends out a clear social message - I'm just like everyone else. The IDF needs me just like it needs any 18-year-old civilian. Maybe more. I've been given a wonderful opportunity and I've completely taken it on."
    A. completed the IDF Cyber Defense Academy's programming course. His commanding officer describes how "we received an exceptionally talented soldier with outstanding abilities, a phenomenal capacity for learning, fast comprehension and enormous talent."

Israeli Firm to Build World's Largest Wave Power Plant in Turkey - Darius Snieckus (Recharge)
    The world's largest wave power plant is set to be built by Israel's Eco Wave Power (EWP) on Turkey's Black Sea coast.
    The 77MW plant will be based on a modular array of steel floats hinged to piston-equipped arms that pump in time with the rise and fall of incoming waves.
    EWP is to soon start installation of a pilot in the Port of Los Angeles.

Israeli Scientists Blast Tumors with Bubbles in the Bloodstream (Israel21c)
    Scientists from Tel Aviv University have developed a noninvasive, targeted way to destroy cancerous tumors by combining ultrasound and the injection of nanobubbles into the bloodstream.
    "Our new technology makes it possible, in a relatively simple way, to inject nanobubbles into the bloodstream, which then congregate in the area of the cancerous tumor. After that, using low-frequency ultrasound, we explode the nanobubbles, and thereby the tumor," explains Dr. Tali Ilovitsh.
    "The combination of nanobubbles and low-frequency ultrasound waves provides a more specific targeting of the area of the tumor and reduces off-target toxicity."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Ousted from UN Commission on the Status of Women - Edith M. Lederer
    The UN Economic and Social Council voted Wednesday to immediately oust Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women in a 29-8 vote with 16 abstentions, because of its systematic violation of the rights of women. The U.S.-sponsored resolution expresses "serious concern" over Iran's actions since September "to continuously undermine and increasingly suppress the human rights of women and girls, including the right to freedom of expression and opinion, often with the use of excessive force...as well as through the use of lethal force resulting in the deaths of peaceful protesters, including women and girls."  (AP)
        See also Israel Praises Decision to Remove Iran from UN Women's Commission (Reuters)
  • Iran Strengthens Political, Economic Hold over Iraq - Ammar Karim
    Pro-Iran parties now dominate Iraq's parliament, and in October they named a new prime minister. Iraq has become an "economic lifeline" for Iran, said Ihsan al-Shammari, a political scientist at the University of Baghdad. This is "even more so with sharpening Western economic sanctions and nuclear negotiations that do not seem to be leading to a favorable deal for Iran."
        Iran provides one-third of Iraq's gas and electricity needs. Iraq is the number one importer of Iranian goods. "With a pro-Iranian figure at the head of the government, Iran will be able to further take advantage of the Iraqi economy," said Fabrice Balanche, from France's Lumiere Lyon 2 university.
        Iran's influence can also be seen through its links with Iraq's Hashed al-Shaabi, a former paramilitary force made up mainly of pro-Iran militias that have since been integrated into Iraq's regular forces. (AFP)
  • Egypt Making a Fortune Selling Israeli Gas to Europe
    The Israeli economic website Biz Portal said that Egypt is earning a "huge fortune" from exporting Israeli natural gas to Europe at a price that is at least three times higher than the price it pays to Israel. "Egyptian profits from Israeli gas, which it imports annually, amount to about $3.5 billion, which...constitutes more than 10% of their foreign currency reserves," the site said, noting that Israeli gas companies earn good profits but relatively less than the Egyptian profit.
        The reason for this is that the price of gas exported to Egypt was set at the end of 2019, when prices were at their lowest levels, but Egypt now sells Israeli gas at market prices that have peaked in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war. (Middle East Monitor-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Teen Standing Next to Gunman Killed in Firefight in Jenin
    Jana Zakarneh, 16, who was standing next to a Palestinian gunman on a rooftop during a firefight in Jenin on Sunday, was likely killed by Israeli fire, according to the initial findings of an Israeli military investigation, Channel 22 reported on Monday. The IDF Spokesperson's unit said the Israeli military regrets all harm to non-combatants, "including those who are in a combat environment during exchanges of fire, in close proximity to armed terrorists."  (JNS)
        See also What Was the Palestinian Teen Doing in the Midst of a Firefight? - Ruthie Blum
    Palestinian teen Jana Zakarneh's presence next to an armed terrorist during a firefight with the Israeli military raises serious questions about her degree of involvement. Initial investigations indicate that she regularly served as a photographer for gunmen in her neighborhood. And cellphone footage from her camera isn't the only evidence.
        Her grieving uncle told one media outlet that his niece had been at home when the sound of gunshots overhead spurred her to race to the roof. Most young girls would not have responded to the noise of gunfire by rushing to get in on the action. It's puzzling that no adult blocked her exit from the apartment under the circumstances.
        During the incident, Palestinian residents of the area hurled rocks, firebombs and explosives at Israeli soldiers from the rooftops. The soldier who ended up shooting Zakarneh was simply doing his extremely difficult, dangerous job - in pitch darkness. Had the young woman not been next to the terrorist, filming the exchange to post on social media for propaganda purposes, she would still be alive. And now her family will be rewarded with a generous monthly stipend from the PA. (JNS)
  • UN Calling Palestinian Teen's Death "Shocking" Shows They Don't Have a Clue - Editorial
    A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the death of Jana Zakarneh, 16, on a Jenin rooftop during armed clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli forces, "shocking." However, barely a day goes by without a Palestinian attempting a terror attack against Israelis. More than 20 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian terror attacks this year.
        Zakarneh's death was indeed tragic. But it's obscene to create a moral equivalency between the death of a teenager caught in the crossfire with a death caused by a deliberate action aimed at murdering and maiming innocent civilians. Israel's security forces must continue to be relentless in hunting down those who are planning terrorist activity. By calling Zakarneh's death "shocking" and urging an investigation, the UN is demonstrating that it doesn't have a clue. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel to Show UN Envoy Proof Most Slain Palestinian Minors Had Terror Ties
    Israel is to present visiting UN special representative for children and armed conflict Virginia Gamba with proof that most of the Palestinian minors killed by Israeli troops had been involved with terror groups and were engaged in hostile activity. A diplomatic source cited by Channel 13 on Monday said, "Regarding the Palestinian casualties, Israel will present data indicating that most teenagers were operatives of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups, or engaged in military activity or military-linked activity. Additionally, Israel expects Gamba to examine the Palestinians' use of teenagers as part of terror activities."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    U.S.-Israel Relations

  • The U.S. Relationship with Israel's New Government - Interview with Amb. Dore Gold
    In November 2022, Amb. Dore Gold was interviewed by Dr. Robert J. Shillman for the "Life Lessons with Dr. Bob" podcast.
        Q:  Now that Netanyahu is likely to be the prime minister, what will be the impact on Israel's relationship with the United States?
        Gold: If Israel stands strong for what it believes, I think that means the U.S. will have an honest partner and the two countries can work together.
        Going forward, we have to do more than ever to defend our vital interests. We have to protect the unity of Jerusalem. We have to protect defensible borders for Israel, above all, in the Jordan Valley. As Iran builds up its military presence in Syria and perhaps eventually in Jordan, having a defensible border becomes all the more urgent. So I'm hoping the new Netanyahu government will do exactly that, leave us with strong borders that allow us to protect ourselves.
        One of the major issues that Netanyahu will be focusing on is going to be the security of Israelis all around the country and in particular in the Negev and in the Galilee. This is where we had Arab riots over the last couple of years.
        Q:  Why are they rioting?
        Gold: I don't think it has to do with the distribution of resources in the country. I think it has to do with incitement of their population.
        Right now, the fear factor that existed in the past in parts of the Israeli Arab sector has dissipated. And that means there are individuals who will attack cars on the highway. That has to stop. We have a strong country. But you have to defend democracy to keep democracy alive.
        Amb. Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (2000-2022), served as Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel's Ambassador to the UN. (YouTube)
  • Democracy at Work: Supporting Israel Regardless of Its Government - Alan M. Dershowitz
    It is important to continue to support Israel even if one disagrees with some policies of a particular government. One's support for Israel should not vary with whether one agrees or disagrees with the outcome of a particular election, any more than one's support for the U.S. depends on whether Democrats or Republican are in control.
        Being a Zionist means that one strongly believes in the concept of a secure and democratic nation-state for the Jewish people. One can continue to support the security of Israel against external enemies such as Iran, as well as terrorists such as Hamas and Hizbullah. One can continue to invest in its economy. And one can continue to defend it on campuses against false accusations.
        One need not threaten to abandon Israel if the Israeli government adopts policies with which one strongly disagrees. As then-President Bill Clinton once complained: "Israel is a democracy, damn it!" His point was that he could simply call the leader of a non-democratic ally and tell him what do. He could not do that to Israel, where the citizens decide what their government should do.
        Look at the big picture: no country has contributed more to the world in its first three quarters of a century than has Israel; no country faced with dangers comparable to those faced by Israel has had a better record of human rights, compliance with the rule of law and concern for enemy civilians than Israel. Support for the only democracy in the Middle East should remain constant.
        The writer is Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. (Gatestone Institute)
  • Conditional Support of Israel Is Not Support at All - Mark Lavie
    Some American Jews don't like the results of the Israeli election. But that's how the election turned out. It's democratic by definition. Is there another American group - ethnic, national, religious or racial - that is so intimately involved in the workings of another country, the way Jews are with Israel? Do descendants of Chinese immigrants demonstrate over Chinese abuses of human rights? Do Japanese Americans pore over the inner workings of the Japanese government? Of course not.
        Israel has its problems, to be sure. But getting in the way of solving them is the security issue. The Palestinians have sabotaged all efforts to solve the problem, turning down viable offers to create a Palestinian state. The reality is that much of the Middle East has moved on from the Palestinians. In contrast, antisemites have taken on the Palestinian issue as a way of bashing Israel and Jews in general. BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel), for example, really has little to do with Palestinians and everything to do with Jew-hatred.
        The writer has been covering the Middle East for major news outlets since 1972. (Medialine)
  • Changes in American Support for Israel - Samuel J. Abrams and David Bernstein
    For decades, the American public has sided with Israel by rather hefty margins. The 2022 Jewish Institute for Liberal Values (JILV) survey of likely voters in the U.S. found that Israel sympathizers out-number Palestinian sympathizers by almost 2:1 - 39% to 21%. If we focus on those with strong feelings, the pro-Israel advantage in the American public grows to nearly 3:1 (22% for Israel vs. 8% for the Palestinians).
        Among Boomers, now age 58-76, Israel sympathizers outnumber Palestinian sympathizers by over 4:1 (52% vs. 12%). But among Millennials, age 26-41, Israel sympathizers and Palestinian sympathizers are almost equal (31% vs 29%). The long-standing widespread support for Israel in the American public is clearly at risk, as pro-Israel attitudes are less frequent among younger likely voters than their parents' generation.
        Samuel J. Abrams is a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College and a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
        David Bernstein is the founder of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values and author of
    Woke Antisemitism: How a Progressive Ideology Harms Jews. (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)

  • Iran

  • IDF: Quality Intelligence behind Israel's Success Against Iranian Weapons Flow to Syria - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Israel struck a convoy of trucks carrying Iranian weapons along the Syrian-Iraqi border last month, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi confirmed on Wednesday. Kohavi told a conference at Reichman University that the IDF had "perfect intelligence" to hit "Truck Number 8" out of a 25-truck caravan because it knew this truck was the one containing Iranian weapons. Kohavi gave this example to show the crucial connection between intelligence and operations. He said that sometimes Tehran has succeeded in smuggling weapons to Syria and Hizbullah in Lebanon, but that overall, Iran's dream of a "new Hizbullah" on the Syrian Golan Heights has been thwarted. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel Prevented Iran from Deploying Hundreds of Missiles in Lebanon, Syria
    Israeli army chief Aviv Kohavi said Wednesday, "As a result of many years of activity, the Iranian vision - which was supposed to include at this time hundreds of surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles in the Syrian and Lebanese arenas - has been completely disrupted. It was supposed to include tens of thousands of militiamen - at their peak there were indeed tens of thousands - and a new Hizbullah organization in the south of the Golan Heights. These three things have been significantly disrupted....The level of deterrence against the Iranians has increased significantly."  (Naharnet-Lebanon)
  • Why Iran's Protests Could Topple the Regime - Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh
    It is the Central Intelligence Agency's view that the current wave of unrest in Iran poses no threat to the regime. But that view is too pessimistic. The Islamic Republic's rulers surely know that these demonstrations aim to foment revolution, not reform. And they have reason to worry that the demonstrators will be successful.
        Iranians are more than aware of the serious nature of self-government. They are unlikely to fall victim again to the allure of a secular strongman or militant mullah, having seen the damage such leaders cause. Iranians have come far in placing the blame for their own predicament on themselves. Democracy can't ignite, or last, if the citizenry doesn't assume responsibility for its own destiny. Iran seems ready.
        Most telling, Iranian women are no longer fazed by accusations of being "Western-struck." They appear eager to make Western ideas about natural rights, especially individual liberty, their own. This is an essential step toward making democracy work in non-Western lands.
        Mr. Gerecht, a former Iranian-targets officer in the CIA, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Israeli Intelligence Sees Genuine, Lasting Changes in Iran - Ben Caspit
    Israel's intelligence agencies, monitoring developments in Iran, are mostly united in their assessment that the nationwide protests of the past three months are not a fleeting phenomenon, unlike previous waves of anti-government protests over the past 40 years. "What is going on there now is deeper, broader and irreversible," a senior Israeli security source said. "The deep change Iran is undergoing will not necessarily result in a revolution and regime change....The regime still has many tools with which to defend itself and it has not exhausted most of them....On the other hand, what was will no longer be. The change in Iran is real."
        The source noted that even if the regime scrapped the mandatory wearing of the hijab, the protests would continue. "There may be a lull, but the people of Iran have overcome the barrier of fear and protesters are talking about rights, freedom, in opposition to the Islamic state."
        Israeli experts point to three elements still lacking for the protest to overturn the regime: prominent, charismatic leadership that authorities cannot silence; organized funding; and the backing of respected clerics. (Al-Monitor)
  • Iranian Society Faces Cultural Shift - Sune Engel Rasmussen
    In Iran, teenage girls now share videos of each other stomping on pictures of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei, and his successor, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Young Iranians have been filmed knocking turbans off clerics' heads, with the footage posted online. Thousands of women now walk around Tehran without the mandatory hijab, or headscarf, in what would have been a rare act of defiance just a few months ago.
        A 2020 survey by Iranian researchers with the Netherlands-based GAMAAN research foundation showed more than 30% of Iranians identified as nonreligious or atheist - about the same proportion who said they followed the state religion of Shiite Islam. A survey by the Iranian Parliament's research center in 2018 showed support for the hijab had fallen from 85% in the early 1980s, in the years immediately following the revolution, to 35%. (Wall Street Journal)
  • We're Playing Catch-Up on Our Response to Iran - Dr. Colin Rubenstein
    Recently, a consensus has finally been developing among Western governments about the hostile intentions and rogue behavior of the Iranian regime. Thanks to both the bravery of Iranian anti-regime protesters and Iran's blatant complicity in Russian crimes in Ukraine, Western advocates of appeasement with respect to Iran have now mostly been silenced or sidelined.
        Iran is not only blatantly sprinting toward nuclear weapons capabilities, it is now effectively blocking most International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) scrutiny of its nuclear facilities and flagrantly stonewalling urgent IAEA questions about man-made uranium particles found near three undeclared sites. Virtually the whole Western world today understands the danger to global stability from a nuclear-armed, revisionist, rogue Iran.
        The writer is the Executive Director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council. (AIJAC)

  • Other Issues

  • BBC Faces Parliamentary Probe over Its Coverage of Jews and Israel - David Rose
    A cross-party group of MPs and peers is launching an investigation into the BBC's coverage of Jews and Israel, after a Jewish Chronicle (JC) petition calling for an inquiry attracted over 10,000 signatures. Former Labour minister Ian Austin, who is secretary of the inquiry, said, "Our inquiry will be wholly impartial and will aim to offer expert guidance and recommendations for the corporation to address when it comes to antisemitism and Israel, the handling of complaints and the 'culture of defensiveness' identified by Ofcom," the UK's communications regulator. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
        See also BBC to Reform Its Arabic News - Ben Bloch
    The BBC has introduced reforms to its Arabic news service - including dropping the controversial terrorist sympathizer Abdel Bari Atwan as a pundit - in the wake of widespread criticism. A source said four Output Monitors are being appointed to make sure Arabic-language reporting complies with guidelines. These include naming the Jewish state "Israel" rather than "Tel Aviv"; abandoning the term "Wailing Wall" to describe the Western Wall in Jerusalem; and ceasing to referring to Israeli towns as "settlements" and all Israelis as "settlers." Journalists were also instructed not to report that Israeli forces had entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque when they were only in the outer compound. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)

  • Anti-Semitism

  • American Jews Are a Threatened Group - Sheldon Goldman
    Recently, I spoke before a group of officers and cadets at West Point on behalf of the MirYam Institute on the topic: "We American Jews are a threatened group." History should not have worked out this way. Jews are proud Americans. We've been here since the 16th century. Our tradition profoundly impacted the U.S. The seals of Columbia, Dartmouth and Yale have Hebrew words, and the Liberty Bell quotes from Leviticus: "Proclaim liberty throughout the land." Jews have fought in all our wars since the Revolutionary War. There are 17 Jewish recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
        I grew up privileged, being born in the U.S. Real antisemitism was elsewhere. We were safe here. My understanding of the Jewish-American paradigm changed when my daughter decided to serve in the military. She wanted to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). My daughter made me aware that there is a generation of American Jews who wonder whether the U.S. will continue to be their home. While you may think this is an exaggeration, there is a generation of Jews emigrating to Israel from France because they are no longer welcome in their homeland.
        Israel remains central to the identity and safety of American Jews. Understanding Israel is fundamental to understanding the Jewish people, not just because of religion, but because each time Israel needs to defend itself, the rest of the world convulses in hatred. The marches and the protests against Israel lead to physical assault, injury and even death.
        The writer is an investment banker in the U.S. and board member of The MirYam Institute in Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Professor Reveals Pervasive Antisemitism at University of Toronto Medical School - David Swindle
    Dr. Ayelet Kuper, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, served from June 2021 to June 2022 as senior advisor on antisemitism for the Temerty Faculty of Medicine (TFOM), a position created in response to increasing antisemitism on campus. Kuper on Dec. 5 published her findings in the Canadian Medical Education Journal, describing antisemitic statements and viewpoints she experienced herself, and noting her family's need to conceal their Jewish heritage.
        Kuper relates how Covid-19 prompted antisemites to blame Jews both for the virus and for promoting vaccines. She also said, "I was told dozens of times that the current environment of growing antisemitism at TFOM was triggered by the war in Gaza in the spring of 2021, which implies...that the cause of TFOM's 'antisemitism problem' is Israeli government policy." Kuper points out that rising Canadian antisemitism preceded Israeli actions in Gaza, noting that "hateful attitudes about Jews have been on the rise at TFOM for at least three years."
        She describes a "now-common strategy" in which Jews who counter antisemitism are accused of racism and lying in order to harm Palestinians. The term "Zionism," she writes, is frequently redefined by opponents of the Jewish state as inherently racist - in an attempt to deny the belief held by 86% of Canadian Jews that caring about Israel is either essential or important to being Jewish. Kuper writes that colleagues have insisted that her refusal to denounce Israel as a Jewish state means that she is a racist and that any antisemitism she experiences is deserved. (JNS)

  • Weekend Features

  • The Evolution of AIPAC's Political Operation in Washington over 50 Years - An Eyewitness Perspective - Lenny Ben-David
    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) had never contributed to a political candidate in the 60 years of its existence. In 2022, AIPAC donated $17 million to 365 candidates of both parties, adhering to its commitment to bipartisanship and reflecting Congress' bipartisan support for Israel.
        The writer, former Deputy Chief of Staff in Israel's Washington Embassy, worked for AIPAC for 25 years in Washington and Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • 2,200-Year-Old Coin Hoard Gives Proof of Book of Maccabees - Amanda Borschel-Dan
    Archaeologists recently uncovered a cache of 2,200-year-old silver coins near the Dead Sea, which they say is the first physical proof that Jews fled to the Judean Desert during the upheaval and persecution under Hanukkah villain Antiochus. As told in I Maccabees 2:29, in the period prior to the Maccabean Revolt, righteous men were exhorted to leave everything and flee to the desert.
        In May, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) discovered an incredibly preserved wooden box holding 15 silver tetradrachma coins in a cave in the Darageh Stream Nature Reserve. The coins were minted by Ptolemy VI, king of Egypt, and date to up to 170 BCE.
        The hoard was stashed by a fleeing Jew, said Eitan Klein, deputy director of the IAA's Theft Prevention Unit. "In general, when we find a cache of coins, they tell us a story of war. Otherwise people don't run off and leave their life savings." In today's terms, the coins are worth two months' average salary. "You don't just go off and leave NIS 30,000 [$9,000] in a cave."  (Times of Israel)

  • As part of the annual three-month "Israel-bashing" festival at the UN General Assembly, on 7 December 2022, 146 states adopted one of the annual resolutions calling upon Israel to renounce possession of nuclear weapons and to place its nuclear facilities under international supervision.
  • Substantively and legally speaking, such resolutions, like all General Assembly resolutions, have no binding legal authority and represent nothing more than the collective, partisan political viewpoint of the automatic majority of states that regularly vote against Israel, no matter what the subject.
  • The resolution was sponsored by the Palestinians together with 20 Arab and African countries, including Israel's allies in the Middle East such as Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and the UAE. It merely copies the eight previous identical resolutions that have been adopted every year since 2015.
  • Some of the most extreme and fanatical states such as Iran and Syria are parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968. The extent to which such states openly violate their NPT obligations, and persistently threaten Israel, is indicative of the inherent weakness and lack of reliability of the supervision system.
  • Hence, Israel insists on the prior establishment and maintenance of stable regional security conditions. Without such a regional framework, Israel is not prepared to commit itself to the obligations of the NPT while other regional powers maintain a state of war with Israel and constantly threaten Israel's very existence, even while being parties to the NPT.

    The writer served as the legal advisor to Israel's Foreign Ministry and as Israel's ambassador to Canada.
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