December 19, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Gives Ukraine Intelligence on Iran via NATO - Yossi Melman (Ha'aretz)
    Israel has stepped up its intelligence assistance to Ukraine in recent weeks via NATO, sources in Brussels told Ha'aretz.
    "Iran's decision to supply drones and increase its military cooperation with Russia is a strategic mistake by Tehran and the best thing that could have happened to Israel-NATO relations," said an Israeli defense source.
    Israel transferred a detailed file on Iran's drones, especially the Shahed-136, a kamikaze drone.
    Iran used it against Saudi oil facilities in 2019, and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen used it to attack U.S. targets in Iraq and oil tankers in the Arabian Sea.

Iran Says Uranium Enrichment Capacity Has More than Doubled - Fatma Khaled (Newsweek)
    Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced on Saturday that Iran's uranium enrichment capacity "more than doubled" despite international concerns about the country's expanding nuclear capabilities.

Is the New York Times a "Strong Supporter" of Israel? - Chaim Lax (HonestReporting)
    The New York Times published an editorial Saturday on the incoming Israeli government, titled "The Ideal of Democracy in a Jewish State is in Jeopardy."
    The editorial board prefaces its piece with the claim that "This board has been a strong supporter of Israel."
    This claim is certainly laughable, if not outrageous.
    In recent years, the Times has published opinion pieces that whitewashed the anti-Israel BDS movement, accused Israel of wantonly destroying Gazan infrastructure, and claimed that the campaign against antisemitism has become a "threat to freedom."
    A study of the Times' coverage of Israel this year found that 53% of the stories were negative in their portrayal of Israel, 34% were neutral, and only 13% were positive.
    See also Netanyahu Accuses New York Times of "Demonizing Israel for Decades" (Times of Israel)

New Saudi Poll Finds Declining Trust in U.S. - David Pollock (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
    According to a poll of Saudi citizens conducted in November 2022, 61% agree that: "We cannot count on the U.S. these days, so we should look more to other countries like China or Russia as partners."
    The proportion of Saudi citizens who accept contacts with Israel is holding steady at 43%, with little difference between older and younger generations.

Israel's Plasan to Armor Frigates for UK Royal Navy - Eyal Boguslavsky (Israel Defense)
    Plasan, an Israeli manufacturer of survivability solutions for land, air and naval platforms for the military market, announced it has signed a contract with BAE Systems for armoring five more Type 26 anti-submarine Global Combat Ships for the UK Royal Navy.
    Plasan is currently delivering composite armor for the first three frigates.

Dental Volunteers for Israel - Dr. Satinder Matharu (The Probe-UK)
    In 1980, Holocaust survivor Trudi Birger set up Dental Volunteers for Israel (DVI), a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive dental care to impoverished children, Holocaust survivors, and the elderly, regardless of race or religion, all without charge.
    In 2019 DVI had 140 volunteers from 19 different countries.
    Its clinic in Jerusalem treats Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, Jews, African refugees and Ukrainian refugees.
    DVI trains 5 Palestinian and Arab dentists annually to help advance their careers. Its clinic also runs a Free Denture Project for the elderly.

We wish our readers a Happy Hanukkah holiday!

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel's Arab Allies Signal Business as Usual with New Government - Patrick Kingsley
    When Benjamin Netanyahu won a general election last month, analysts wondered how three Arab countries that normalized relations with Israel in 2020 - Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates - might react. Netanyahu forged the deals himself when last in office. But any unease has quickly morphed into a more pragmatic approach: Business as usual.
        "Any change of government will not affect Bahrain's approach to developing positive relations with Israel," Khaled Al Jalahma, the Bahraini ambassador to Israel, said Thursday. "Bahrain's stance on the change of administration in Israel is the same as it would be with any other country." That stance reflects the extent to which the Abraham Accords redrew the contours of Middle Eastern geopolitics.
        The signing of the accords underscored how solidarity with the Palestinians had been eclipsed, for certain Arab leaders, by national self-interest. Shared fears of a nuclear Iran, coupled with enthusiasm for better economic, technological and military ties with Israel, prompted the accords' signatories to prioritize relations with Israel. (New York Times)
  • Netanyahu: Unlike Much of the Arab World, the Palestinians Refuse to Recognize that Israel Is Here to Stay
    Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Al Arabiya in an interview: "The reason we've not had an Israeli-Palestinian peace is because the Palestinians have refused to do...what is finally happening in the rest of the Arab world. And that is to recognize that the State of Israel is here to stay....The reason we got the historic Abraham Accords is that we got out of this mode that Mahmoud Abbas wants to stay in....It's when we started thinking about things in a new way that we broke the cycle of paralysis that paralyzed peace for a quarter of a century."  (Al Arabiya)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Deports to France Palestinian Who Tried to Kill Chief Rabbi
    Israel deported French-Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri on Sunday, who is accused of security offenses, the Israeli Interior Ministry said. Hamouri has been accused of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a recognized terrorist group. Hamouri was arrested in 2005 after being charged with plotting to assassinate then-Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. He was released in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinians Fire at Israeli Car, Bullet Hits Driver's Headrest - Emanuel Fabian
    An Israeli driver came under gunfire by Palestinians in a passing car in Samaria on Friday near the community of Havat Gilad. The windows were shattered and there were bullet holes in the driver's headrest, but he was not injured. (Times of Israel)
        See also IDF Arrests Two Palestinians for Drive-by Shooting
    The Israel Defense Forces arrested two Palestinian men in Nablus on Sunday who carried out a drive-by shooting attack on an Israeli vehicle near Havat Gilad on Friday. Acting on intelligence from the Israel Security Agency, they arrested Nasser Naqib, 47, who served time as a security prisoner in the past and was a member of Fatah's Tanzim terror militia. Naqib's son Mohammad, 21, was also arrested for taking part in the attack. (JNS)
  • Palestinian Gunmen Fire at Israeli Bus in Samaria - Emanuel Fabian
    Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an Israeli bus near the community of Mevo Dotan in Samaria on Sunday night. While no one was injured, seven shots were fired at the vehicle. Images from the scene showed several bullet holes in the body of the bus and some shattered windows. Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Minors Recruited by Armed Groups in Nablus - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinian minors aged 15-17 have been recruited by armed groups in Nablus to take part in clashes with the IDF. Some have been tasked with preparing explosive devices, while others have been armed with rifles. Nasser, 15, said he and other children have quit school to join the Balata Battalion and that he wants to be a martyr, referring to a gunman killed by the IDF as his "role model." Last month, Mahdi Hashash, 15, was killed when an explosive device he was carrying exploded.
        Some Nablus residents have criticized the armed groups. A school headmaster said he received complaints from many parents about the "exploitation" of their children. "We don't want to endanger the lives of our children," he said. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • For the Media, Even the World Cup Is about the Palestinians - Mitchell Bard
    Given the media's obsession with the Palestinian cause and need to cover it out of all proportion to its importance in world affairs, it was not surprising the New York Times and the Washington Post would find a way to make the World Cup about the Palestinians, even though it wasn't. But if you're going to report it, shouldn't journalists at least place the activities in context and admit that examples of support for the Palestinian cause were pre-planned and supported by the Qatari government?
        It is all but impossible for a building in Doha to be lit with a Palestinian flag alongside a sign reading "Gaza is in our hearts" without it being planned long in advance. In addition, shopkeepers in Qatar were selling Palestinian flags and armbands, which could not have happened without the government's tacit approval. Qatar is also behind the most popular media source in the region, Al Jazeera, which is an anti-Israel propaganda arm of the government.
        It is nothing new for the media to cheer the Palestinians or ignore their incitement, terrorism, abuse of human rights and corruption. Such virtue-signaling during the World Cup gives Palestinians a warm and fuzzy feeling without changing their circumstances. They still are under the thumb of the Abbas and Hamas regimes, whose commitment to Israel's destruction guarantees that their flag may be unfurled at a soccer match in Qatar, but not over a capital in Jerusalem. (JNS)
  • Time for Britain to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital - Catherine Perez-Shakdam
    Over five decades have passed since Israel reclaimed control over Jerusalem (1967) in an exercise in self-defense and sovereignty. Jerusalem is, and always was, unequivocally and absolutely the capital of the State of Israel - it is not a matter of opinion. Israel has valid legal status in Jerusalem. The unification of the city came on the back of Jordan's declaration of war on the Jewish state. It was an exercise in survival against calls to forever wipe out the Jews from the region.
        Moving the British embassy to Jerusalem now, at this particular juncture in our history, when authoritarianism is threatening once more to dislodge our democracies, would send a clear signal to our commitment to peace and the rule of law. Such a move would reflect a commitment on the part of Britain to help consolidate peace in the Middle East by holding to the values underwriting its democracy.
        The writer is a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. (Express-UK)
  • Western Wall Rabbi Tells European Envoys: Jews Don't Need Your Approval
    Ambassadors from Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Moldova withdrew from a group visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem a week ago after the EU ordered member-states not to participate in any Israeli-hosted tour of eastern Jerusalem. Representatives from seven countries attended the visit as planned. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the rabbi of the Western Wall, responded on Friday.
        "It was with extreme dismay that I heard of your decision not to attend the official tour of the Western Wall given by the State of Israel for ambassadors....Your decision to 'avoid' the tour was a resounding victory for evil, a deeply upsetting choice. The Jewish nation does not need anyone's approval for its eternal connection with Jerusalem and the Western Wall. This is a bond of thousands of years that was shaped by the love of a nation for its God and forged through the fire of destruction."
        "It is a bond that is validated every single day by unusual archaeological findings from the days of ancient kings of Judah, discovered in the earth of Jerusalem. Had you joined the tour, you would have seen them yourself."  (JNS)

The Palestinian Issue Is about Arab Supremacy, Not Justice - Lt.-Col. (ret.) Yochai Guiski (Miryam Institute)
  • The Palestinian campaign to turn the date of the historic UN decision to partition the British Mandate of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states into an "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" is about privilege and supremacy of the Arabs and Palestinians, and not about justice. Privilege and supremacy are not exclusively white, but are borne of deep-seated perceptions of superiority by those groups who are in power, especially if they have held power for a long time.
  • Some societies manifest it by formally making religious or ethnic minorities into second-class citizens. Jews were second-class citizens in the areas controlled by the various incarnations of Arab or Islamic rule over the centuries, and this only ended after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. When the "second-class" Jews were suddenly equal rights citizens under the British Mandate, the Arabs chafed under what seemed sacrilegious - a Jew enjoying the same rights as an Arab.
  • The racist treatment of Jews intensified to a crescendo of violence all over the Middle East and North Africa as Israel was established. Attacks on Jews were the norm, their properties were confiscated, and many were arrested or detained in camps. Around 900,000 Jews were thus forced to migrate and leave most of their property behind. There was not a single Arab or Middle Eastern country that didn't see its Jewish community decimated and abused.
  • The rejection of the right of Jews to self-determination in their ancient homeland is pervasive. The notion of Zionism, the national movement of the Jewish people, is described in the most derogatory terms - colonialism, racism, apartheid, crimes against humanity.
  • The Palestinians and their supporters are out to redefine history as part of denying Jewish claims to the Holy Land. In the Palestinian version of reality, only Muslims have a sacred connection to the Temple Mount. Make no mistake about it, this is racist to the core.
  • Palestinians maintained their privilege through the decades. They are the only refugees that have their own UN agency, which has received tens of billions of dollars over the years, and their refugee status is permanent and passed on to their descendants. They also have two other dedicated UN agencies.

    The writer, an expert at The MirYam Institute, is a 23-year veteran of the IDF, serving in Military Intelligence.

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