January 12, 2023

In-Depth Issues:

U.S.: Return to Iran Deal "Not on the Agenda" because "Iranians Reneged on Commitments" (U.S. State Department)
    State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said Monday: "The Iranians killed the prospect for a swift return to compliance with the JCPOA. A return to compliance with the JCPOA isn't on the agenda."
    "It's not on the agenda for primarily one reason; that's because the Iranians turned their back on it, the Iranians reneged on commitments they had made."

U.S. Navy Intercepts 2,000 Assault Rifles Headed from Iran to Yemen - Courtney Kube (NBC News)
    The U.S. Navy seized more than 2,000 assault rifles bound for Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen from a fishing boat Friday in the Gulf of Oman, U.S. Central Command said.
    "This shipment is part of a continued pattern of destabilizing activity from Iran," said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper.
    On Dec. 1, the U.S. seized more than 50 tons of ammunition, fuses and rocket propellant from a fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman.
    A month earlier, the Navy intercepted an enormous Iranian shipment of explosive materials headed to Yemen.

Iran's Economic Woes Add Fuel to Protests - Babak Dehghanpisheh (Washington Post)
    The value of the Iranian rial hit record lows in December. Inflation topped 48% in December, the highest since 1995.
    Moreover, the government restricted internet access to prevent protesters from communicating, driving hundreds of thousands out of the job market. A driver who works for a popular ride-hailing app said his income was severely reduced after the internet was cut.
    For many Iranians, there is only one solution left. "After 44 years, people are seeing that there's not even the smallest amount of rationality in the authorities, and there's not the smallest hope for reform," said a programmer. "Now the only discussion is about overthrowing the government."

Muslim Worship at Rachel's Tomb - Nadav Shragai (Israel Hayom)
    Two weeks ago, a tour bus parked opposite Rachel's Tomb with dozens of Sufi Muslims from India, who entered the site and prayed alongside the Jewish worshipers. This sight has been repeated on several occasions at Rachel's Tomb recently.
    Shachar Fireman, the manager of the Rachel's Tomb site on behalf of Israel's National Center for the Development of Holy Sites, says, "These groups come here 12-13 times a year, they do not come to provoke or harm anyone....It's true, they are Muslims, but they do not incite or cause any harm."
    Prof. Yitzhak Reiter, from Reichman University, explains, "There are numerous biblical figures whom the Muslims honor and respect, attributing to them the status of prophets....Rachel's Tomb is not the only tomb of a biblical figure visited by the Muslims. They also come to David's Tomb, Samuel's Tomb (Nebi Samuel), Reuven's Tomb near Palmachim, and the Cave of Elijah."
    Veteran researcher of the Arab world Pinhas Inbari reminds us that for many years Rachel's Tomb has been identified with Rabia al-Adawiyya al-Qaysiyya, a medieval female Sufi saint.
    However, in recent decades, Yasser Arafat connected the site to Bilal ibn Rabah, a servant in the house of the prophet Muhammad who served as the first-ever mu'azzin.
    A decade ago, UNESCO succumbed to pressure from the Palestinians and the Arab states and registered Rachel's Tomb as the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque, even though ibn Rabah is buried in Damascus.
    Rachel's Tomb, located just south of Jerusalem's municipal boundary, has been identified as a holy Jewish site for more than 1,700 years.
    Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places Shmuel Rabinovitch noted that "Judaism does not prevent anybody genuinely seeking to visit Jewish holy sites from doing so. We have never closed off the Western Wall to any other religion."
    "If a Muslim, from anywhere in the world, feels an authentic connection to the figure of the matriarch Rachel and comes to visit Rachel's Tomb, without disturbing or coming to incite, take over the site or harm the Jews there, or to engage in customs that are contrary to the holy nature of the site, then Judaism as a religion has no problem at all with this."
    "This is completely in contrast to how the Muslims treat Jews on the Temple Mount."

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India's Adani Group Purchases Haifa Port (Reuters-Ha'aretz)
    A consortium led by India's Adani Group has completed the purchase of Haifa Port for $1.15 billion, Israel's Finance Ministry said Tuesday. Adani operates 13 sea terminals in India.
    When Gautam Adani's group won the tender for privatizing the port in July, he tweeted that the purchase holds "immense strategic and historical significance for both nations! Proud to be in Haifa, where Indians led, in 1918, one of the greatest cavalry charges in military history!"

Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan Rank among the "World's Angriest Countries" - Rawan Radwan (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
    Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan ranked among the world's angriest countries in Gallup's latest annual Global Emotions Report.
    Lebanon topped the list, with 49% reporting feelings of anger the previous day. Since 2019, Lebanon has been in the throes of a financial crisis which has wiped 95% off the value of its currency and left much of the population below the poverty line.
    Michael Young, a senior editor at Carnegie Middle East in Beirut, noted, "The system simply does not work, at any level. People feel constantly robbed."
    Julie Ray, managing director of Gallup World Poll News, reported that a record 63% of Lebanese adults said "they would leave if they could."
    Iraq came fourth with 46%. Jordan came sixth at 35%.

Videos Claiming Israel Police Killed Palestinian Boy Were from Incident in Sweden - Hazel Gandhi (Boom-India)
    Several videos claiming to show an Israeli police officer suffocating a Palestinian boy to death have gone viral on Facebook.
    A reverse image search found the incident occurred in 2015 in Sweden, where a security guard assaulted a boy for traveling in a train without a ticket.

Women from Israeli Undercover Unit Share Their Experiences - Shosh Mula (Ynet News)
    In the early 2000s, during the Second Intifada, women were incorporated into the undercover Yamas unit in Israel's Border Police.
    Sunny, Shir and Gali were among the few who completed the grueling training in counter-terrorism, fighting in built-up areas, and undercover training.
    Sunny: "A woman raises less suspicion. In their culture, a woman doesn't constitute a threat."
    Gali: "A man can't embed himself in a crowd of women, in a clothes shop, public restrooms....I've disguised myself as a teenage girl, a student and sometimes as an adult woman. In Arab culture, a man isn't supposed to look at a woman directly in the eyes. You'll go into a shop, and the man won't actually look at you. That's an advantage."
    Gali: "I've arrested a lot of wanted women and carried out body-searches on suspected women. Before women were in the unit, Arab women took advantage of the situation and thought they were being clever by concealing things in their clothing, even in their underwear - because men wouldn't search there. But, as a woman, I can't be tricked."

Tourism Surged in Israel in 2022 Post-Covid (Xinhua-China)
    The number of foreign tourists visiting Israel in 2022 reached 2.7 million, compared to 396,500 in 2021, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics said Sunday.
    810,500 were from the U.S., 235,500 were from France, and 177,900 were from Britain.
    In 2019, before the pandemic, 4.6 million tourists traveled to Israel.

Israel Posts Fiscal Surplus in 2022 - Oren Dori (Globes)
    Israel reported a fiscal surplus of NIS9.8 billion in the 12 months ending December 31, 2022, the Ministry of Finance Accountant General reported. This was the first time since 1987 that Israel recorded more revenue than expenditures.
    Revenues amounted to NIS468 billion, up 13.6% from 2021, reflecting growth after the Covid pandemic.
    Meanwhile, expenditures declined in 2022 to NIS458.8 billion from NIS481 billion in 2021, due to the end of state assistance for businesses and the unemployed during the pandemic.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Four Arab Governments Meet with Israel and U.S. to Expand Regional Cooperation
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the meeting of the Negev Forum Working Groups hosted by the United Arab Emirates on January 9-10, in Abu Dhabi. Senior government officials from Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, the UAE, and the U.S. discussed opportunities to advance initiatives that encourage regional integration, cooperation, and development, for the benefit of their populations and the wider region. These include initiatives that could strengthen the Palestinian economy and improve the quality of life of the Palestinian people. The U.S. strongly supports this effort to build bridges and opportunity across the region. (U.S. State Department)
        See also U.S. Wants Palestinian, Jordanian Participation in Negev Forum Process (Arab Weekly-UK)
  • Iran Keeps Building an Air Defense Network in Syria, Israel Keeps Bombing It - Tom O'Connor
    Iran has pursued the establishment of a comprehensive aerial defense network in Syria in a project Israel has sought to thwart through repeated airstrikes, an intelligence source from a nation allied with the U.S. told Newsweek. Israeli airstrikes in Syria began in late 2017 as Iranian forces began to entrench themselves in the country. The strikes have targeted "Iranian military assets and interests in the Syrian territory that threaten Israel."
        Over the course of "the last two years," Iran has been "promoting the deployment of aerial defense capabilities on its behalf in Syria at a cost of tens of millions of dollars in order to deal with the Israeli airstrikes." The source said that over the past few years, 10 Iranians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes in Syria. IRGC Aerospace Force Col. Davoud Jafari, commander of Iran's air defense efforts in Syria, recently died in a roadside bombing. (Newsweek)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinians Open Fire at Northern West Bank Crossing - Emanuel Fabian
    Palestinian gunmen fired a hail of bullets Wednesday at the Salem military base and nearby crossing checkpoint between Israel and the West Bank, the Border Police said. Border Police officers fired back at the gunmen, who fled toward Jenin. No Israelis were hurt in the incident. The Salem crossing has been the target of numerous shooting attacks in recent months. It is predominantly used by Arab Israelis who travel to Jenin for business or leisure. (Times of Israel)
  • PA Security Forces Disperse Protesters Supporting Lions' Den Leader - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinian Authority security forces in Nablus on Tuesday used force to disperse hundreds of Palestinians who demanded the release of Mosab Shtayyeh, one of the founders and commanders of the Lions' Den armed group. Shtayyeh, a member of Hamas, was arrested in September 2022 by PA security forces. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Temple Mount in Jerusalem

  • Why a Jew's Visit to the Holiest Jewish Site Provokes Outrage - Clifford D. May
    Imagine if Pope Francis said: "Only Christians are permitted in the Vatican! No Muslims and no Jews!" The international community would be outraged. Yet when Palestinians and Jordanians say, "Only Muslims are permitted on Haram al-Sharif, the third holiest site for Muslims," the international community is outraged - at Jews.
        While Israeli minister Itamar Ben-Gvir did not approach - much less enter - the al-Aqsa Mosque on Jan. 3, the Kingdom of Jordan condemned "in the severest of terms the storming" of the Haram al-Sharif and the violation of the "sanctity" of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
        When walking becomes storming based solely on the nationality, race, ethnicity or religion of the individual putting one foot in front of another, shouldn't there be objections from members of the international community who say they oppose discrimination? Instead, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the presence of a Jew at Judaism's holiest site.
        The writer is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). (Washington Times)
  • 2022 Sees Surge of Jews Visiting Temple Mount
    During 2022, 51,483 Jews visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, up from 34,651 in 2021 and 20,684 in 2020, according to the NGO Beyadenu. (JNS)

  • Israel's New Government

  • Why European Elites Demonize Benjamin Netanyahu - Guy Sorman
    I cannot see on what grounds the objecting Europeans allow themselves to denounce Israeli democracy. The manner of the election of Benjamin Netanyahu was perfectly legitimate. The parties that have entered into the government coalition were also elected. As it happens, a majority of Israelis consider themselves represented in Netanyahu's new government. Therefore, before diabolizing Netanyahu, Europe's finest should ask themselves about his repeated electoral successes and record for longevity.
        Under Netanyahu, Israelis have experienced their greatest security, and never has their economy been more prosperous. It was thus not by chance that Netanyahu was reelected, but as a reward for his success.
        It may be doubted that he will threaten democracy since the person who could make the Israelis shut up would not be of this world. The Hebrews quarreled with God; the Jews argue ceaselessly among themselves, and that includes the Israelis. The media are free and will remain so, as are the parties and the judges. The Israeli army does not accept orders from without. As for the rabbis, there are as many points of view among them as there are synagogues.
        The despair displayed by the European Left comes from the fact that its adherents judge Israel from the standpoint of the Palestinians. But the Israeli government is not the Palestinian government, and it defends the interests of Israelis before those of the Palestinians.
        We may bemoan the fate of the Palestinians, but whose responsibility is that, really? In 1947, the UN divided Palestine into two territories, one Jewish and the other Arab. Who is it that refused this division into two states, as demanded today by the Arabs, the Palestinians, and the "international community"? From the moment of the UN's announcement of the partition, the Arab armies of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt attacked Israel. The Israelis, against all expectations, much like today's Ukrainians, resisted.
        The writer is a French author and public intellectual. (City Journal)
  • Israel's Judicial Reform Will Strengthen Its Democracy - Prof. Avi Bell
    Israel's newly elected government has proposed a judicial reform package that has elicited fretting from political opponents and foreign critics who claimed it will sound the death knell for Israel's vibrant democracy. These cries are simply lacking in historical context.
        One reform would give the Israeli Supreme Court explicit statutory authorization to overturn legislation, while also preserving the Knesset's authority to legislate. A second would slightly modify Israel's existing process for appointing judges by adding more elected representatives to the committee that does so. The third would reduce the ability of the Supreme Court to overrule elected officials' decisions on the grounds of the Court's mere policy preferences.
        Calls for legal reform have been a facet of Israeli society since the 1990s. The proposed measures would actually bring Israel closer in governance to other democracies, such as Canada and the U.S.  Israel's radically democratic political culture is healthy and vibrant. Judicial reform will ensure it remains so.
        The writer is professor of law at the University of San Diego and Bar-Ilan University. (Newsweek)
        See also U.S. Ambassador to Israel: We Won't Involve Ourselves in the Judicial Process of Israel
    U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides declined to express an opinion on Tuesday about plans to reform Israel's judiciary. He told Israel's Channel 11, "I'm not here to involve ourselves in the judicial process of Israel. The Israeli people don't want to be lectured by America....We're going to let the Israeli public articulate their support or their dismay, that's up to them. It's not up to the United States to be commenting around the judicial issues that they face."  (Ha'aretz)

  • Iran

  • Strategy for a New Comprehensive U.S. Policy on Iran - Mark Dubowitz and Orde Kittrie
    America should adopt a "roll back" strategy to intensify the existing weaknesses of the regime and to support the Iranian people's goal of establishing a government that abandons the quest for nuclear weapons and is neither internally repressive nor regionally aggressive.
        The administration should address every aspect of the Iranian menace, not merely the nuclear program. The Islamic Republic cannot be reformed; it must be rolled back. Washington should target the regime's terrorist networks, influence operations, and proliferation of weapons, missiles, and drones. Iranian military support for Vladimir Putin's murder of Ukrainians, and growing Russian support for the Islamic Republic's military expansion, should be a wakeup call for Washington and Europe that Tehran's malign activities will not remain confined to the Middle East.
        President Biden also should explicitly abandon the objective of returning to the JCPOA nuclear deal.
        Mark Dubowitz, an expert on Iran's nuclear program who has been sanctioned by Iran, is the chief executive of FDD, where Orde Kittrie, a law professor at Arizona State University, is a Senior Fellow. (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)

  • Palestinians

  • The "Two-State Solution": An Exercise in Diplomatic Wild Goose-Chasing - Amir Taheri
    After decades, some genius pretended to have discovered the "two-state solution" to the "Palestinian issue." That "solution" had been offered by the UN and accepted by the Jews under David Ben-Gurion in 1947, but rejected by neighboring Arab states. Its revival by Western powers, notably the U.S., was an exercise in diplomatic wild goose-chasing.
        For decades now, almost everyone has paid lip service to that "solution" or even imagined "roadmaps" towards achieving it, without wondering whether the Israelis and the Palestinians actually want it. The fact is that repeated opinion polls and elections show that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians do not want the "two-state solution."
        The writer was the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. (Gatestone Institute)
  • In Gaza, Anger Rises over Hamas Leaders' Travel
    In recent months, high-profile Hamas officials have quietly decamped to upscale hotels in Beirut, Doha and Istanbul, stirring resentment among Gaza residents who see them as leading luxurious lives abroad while the economy collapses at home. Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh relocated to Qatar with his wife and several children in 2019. Political leader Fathi Hamad moved to Istanbul a year ago and frequently flies to Beirut, where media have shown him in meetings at a five-star hotel. Deputy leader Khalil al-Hayya also relocated to Turkey last year.
        Former government spokesman Taher Nounou and leader Ibrahim Salah moved to Doha, Qatar. Senior member Salah al-Bardawil, spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, and dozens of aides also have resettled in Doha, Istanbul, or Beirut. Several children of Hamas leaders are running lucrative real estate businesses for their parents in Istanbul.
        While Hamas casts leaders' stays abroad as temporary foreign tours aimed at drumming up support, some of these tours last for years. Azmi Keshawi, Gaza analyst at the International Crisis Group, said, "Ordinary Palestinians see that Hamas has gone from this humble Palestinian leadership who lived and struggled among the people to living in these comfortable zones where they are no longer suffering and seem far from the Palestinian cause and issues. Definitely people talk about this and draw comparisons in anger."  (AP-Al Arabiya)

  • Other Issues

  • Ground Rules for U.S.-Israel Relations - Meir Ben-Shabbat
    President Joe Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is due to arrive soon in Jerusalem to hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit will serve as an opportunity to agree on "ground rules" for U.S.-Israel relations. Israel is a sovereign country that formulates its policies on its own in view of the responsibility that history has given it as the state of the Jewish people and with the realization that the struggle continues over its existence, stature and security.
        A strong Israel is a boon for the U.S., security-wise, technology-wise, and economically. Israel will continue to use its power to defend itself and will not allow its existence to be threatened. The U.S. should at the very least have our back. As for domestic issues, Netanyahu should make it clear that Israel is a vibrant democracy that sorts things out through the democratic process. There is no room for meddling and foreign influence by any side.
        Iran's involvement in the Ukraine war only underscores the threat posed by it. Just imagine what it would feel it could do if it had nuclear capabilities. Not only has Biden's policy not restrained Iran, it also allowed it to continue with its efforts to advance toward military nuclear capabilities and to continue with its subversive efforts in the region.
        Washington must take the prospect of rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal off the table for good and actively lobby to have snapback sanctions on Iran re-imposed, while also creating a credible military option. Such a policy will reduce the risk of a war breaking out in the Middle East.
        The writer served as Israel's national security adviser and head of the National Security Council between 2017 and 2021. (Israel Hayom)
  • How to Restore American Influence in the Middle East - Walter Russell Mead
    With Tehran's utter rejection of Biden administration efforts for conciliation and its wholehearted embrace of Moscow, U.S. and Israeli views of Iran have become more aligned. The long European romance with Iran is cooling as the regime's brutality at home and its collusion with Russian aggression in Ukraine sour European hopes for profitable and peaceful relations with the mullahs.
        Higher energy prices have sent floods of cash into the Middle East, boosting the confidence of local rulers. China is working to raise its economic and political profile in a region essential to its future. The White House, feeling overstretched against Russian aggression in Ukraine and Chinese ambition in the Indo-Pacific, wants to minimize its exposure to the Middle East.
        Yet the region is too important to ignore - and the more the U.S. withdraws, the more influence it sheds. As America becomes less relevant, regional actors feel free to make more decisions that Washington dislikes, effectively undermining U.S. influence around the globe.
        If President Biden wants to restore American influence in the region, he can still do so. The price, however, is a resolute and effective U.S. policy to disrupt Iran's ability to threaten its Arab neighbors. If combined with measures to ensure that Israel and its friends can, if all else fails, take military action to block Tehran's nuclear program, this would put the U.S. back at the center of Middle Eastern order. The cost of influence is high, but impotence is more expensive in the long run.
        The writer, a fellow at the Hudson Institute, is Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Foreign Policy Forecast for 2023 - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
    The conventional arms balance assessment that used to show the Arab military threat as the existential threat to Israel is no longer valid. The last concerted Arab effort to defeat Israel took place in 1973 and ended with Israeli troops defeating both the Egyptian and Syrian armies. The peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, and the Abraham Accords added to the peace structure, and the Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco have further ruled out the specter of a united Arab effort that would storm Israel.
        The Syrian civil war that began in 2011 and the disintegration of the Syrian state have also eliminated the possible threat of a surprise attack on Israel by the Syrian army. In the last 40 years, new enemies have emerged in the areas facing Israel, spearheaded by Iran, such as Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and pro-Iranian proxies deployed east of the Israeli lines in the Golan Heights.
        Iran will try to retaliate for Iranian targets hit by attacks attributed to Israel by attacking targets inside Israel directly or through its proxies. Moreover, Iran has stepped up its efforts to hit Israeli and Jewish targets outside Israel. Hizbullah will continue to move its positions closer to the Israeli border.
        The Islamic State's obituary, triumphantly declared in 2017, was premature. Africa has become the focus of ISIS efforts and the Islamic State's latest success story. Over the past two years, it has attacked civilian targets in 13 African states.
        The writer is former Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Antisemitism

  • Jew-Hate at American Universities - Col. Richard Kemp
    A new study by the antisemitism watchdog Amcha Initiative documents a pervasive, relentless assault on Jewish identity at U.S. universities. The report paints a stark picture of an increasing, intensifying and carefully coordinated campaign of attacks on Jewish identity at over 60% of the colleges and universities that are popular with Jews, including 2,000 incidents intended to harm Jewish students since 2015. This is being done under the spurious and despicable cover of delegitimizing Israel, spreading blatant lies about the Jewish state and conspiring to prevent those lies from being exposed or countered by seeking to ban anyone who dares speak or even show support for the truth.
        The Amcha report quotes Pew polling data showing that more than 80% of American Jews view Israel as integral to their Jewish identity. However these campus activists might pretend otherwise, they are attacking Jews. A 2021 poll from the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law shows "Nearly 70% of the students surveyed personally experienced or were familiar with an anti-Semitic attack in the previous 120 days. More than 65% of these students have felt unsafe on campus due to physical or verbal attacks, with one in 10 reporting they have feared they themselves would be physically attacked. And roughly 50% of students have felt the need to hide their Jewish identity."
        It is neither exaggeration nor hyperbole to say that the sustained campaign against Jews at U.S. universities in the 21st century could have been modeled on Jew-hate at German universities in the 1930s. German non-Jewish students, who had pioneered antisemitism on campus before 1933, not the government, led the charge against their Jewish fellow students in the early Nazi years, bullying and intimidating them. Jews were excluded or expelled from the German Student Federation and other student groups not because of any state edict but because of pressure by other students.
        The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK's national crisis management committee, COBRA. (Gatestone Institute)
        See also Campus Antisemitism and the Assault on Jewish Identity (Amcha Initiative)
  • Amb. Ron Dermer on the Lesson of the Holocaust - Mike Wagenheim
    Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, a former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., spoke to the International March of the Living gala in Miami on Tuesday. He asked, "What is the lesson of the Holocaust to the Jews? Is the lesson that we have to teach tolerance? Did we need 6 million to die to teach tolerance?"
        Dermer answered, "We didn't need the Holocaust to teach tolerance. The lesson of the Holocaust is that the Jewish people need power."  (JNS)

  • Weekend Features

  • A Significant Contingent of Jewish Soldiers Helped the British Army Liberate Palestine from the Turks - Jacob Sivak
    In 1915 during World War I, the British established the Zion Mule Corps, the first independent Jewish fighting force in well over a millennium, to deliver desperately needed supplies to the troops trying to dislodge the Turks at Gallipoli. It was commanded by Lt.-Col. John Henry Patterson, an Irish Protestant who sympathized with the Zionist cause. The Corps was made up of 737 volunteers, largely Russian-Jewish refugees in Egypt, who were expelled from Palestine by the Turks.
        After Allied forces were evacuated from Gallipoli, Jewish soldiers of the Jewish Legion, commanded by Patterson, participated in Gen. Allenby's offensive on Palestine. The Legion included former members of the Zion Mule Corps as well as British and Russian Jews. Later, they were joined by volunteers from the U.S. and Canada. The battalion, which trained in Nova Scotia in Canada, included David Ben-Gurion, the future Prime Minister of Israel.
        The Legion, numbering 5,000 soldiers, participated in battles north of Jerusalem, at Megiddo, as well as on the east bank of the Jordan River. Close to 100 men were killed or died from malaria. After the force was disbanded, some members founded Moshav Avihayil in central Israel. Before he died, Col. Patterson asked that his remains be transferred to Israel to be close to the men of the Legion, and in 2014 his remains were reinterred at Avihayil.
        The writer, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, is a retired professor from the University of Waterloo. (Algemeiner)
  • How So Many Holocaust Perpetrators Got Away with It - Matt Lebovic
    British filmmaker David Wilkinson's "Getting Away with Murder(s)" is a detailed indictment of how nearly all of the Holocaust's perpetrators - German war criminals and non-German collaborators - avoided accountability. "The lack of justice for the victims of the Holocaust is the greatest miscarriage of justice in the history of mankind. The world needs to know this," he said.
        An estimated 750,000 to one million people helped enact the Holocaust across Europe, according to historians, and fewer than 600 received heavy sentences after the war. "Most of the perpetrators lived long and often prosperous lives, even though so many were identifiable mass murderers," said Wilkinson. "At the end of World War II, at least 400 collaborators moved to Britain from the Baltic states, Ukraine, Belarus, and other formerly Nazi-occupied countries....One of those mass killers lived in Edinburgh. His next-door neighbors were Jewish."
        Wilkinson chose to have the documentary's world premiere in York, England, because in 1190 the entire Jewish population of that town was massacred by neighbors. (Times of Israel)
  • UN Exhibit Remembers When the World Turned Its Back on Stateless Jewish Refugees - Andrew Silow-Carroll
    There is a now-aging cohort of children born or raised in the DP camps, the last with a first-hand connection to the experience of 250,000 Jewish survivors who passed through them at the end of World War II. To recall the experience, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the UN Department of Global Communications have staged a short-term exhibit at UN headquarters in New York City, "After the End of the World: Displaced Persons and Displaced Persons Camps."
        On display through Feb. 23, it is intended to illuminate "how the impact of the Holocaust continued to be felt after the Second World War ended and the courage and resilience of those that survived in their efforts to rebuild their lives despite having lost everything." Among the artifacts on display are dolls created by Jewish children and copies of some of the 70 newspapers published by residents, as well as photographs of weddings, theatrical performances, sporting events and classroom lessons.
        "There's no point where the residents of these DP camps were just sitting around waiting for other people to do things for them," said Deborah Dwork, who directs the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at the Graduate Center-CUNY, who served as the scholar adviser for the exhibition. "They took initiative and developed a whole range of cultural and educational programs."  (New York Jewish Week)

  • 2023 marks an astonishing 19th year of Mahmoud Abbas' endless 4-year presidential term, which began on January 9, 2005. Democracy monitor Freedom House describes my native West Bank as having "no functioning legislature...[the Palestinian Authority] governs in an authoritarian manner, engaging in acts of repression against journalists and activists who present critical views on its rule."
  • In 1993, the peace-seeking Israeli government handed governance of the Palestinian residents in Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a notorious terrorist organization that was known to be responsible for the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes and of schoolchildren, and the hijacking of cruise ships and planes.
  • In 2000 and again in 2001, the Israeli government made generous permanent peace offers that would have created an independent Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Instead, Arafat opted for war. For five horrific years, terrorists armed by the major factions of PA society slaughtered more than a thousand Israeli civilians and wounded thousands more in a campaign of suicide bombings.
  • Since then, peace has eluded the region primarily through Abbas' personal obstinance. In 2008, Abbas walked away from a third Israeli peace offer. Under his rule, Palestinian public education and news media fully normalized and are even saturated in antisemitism, often featuring explicit calls for violence against Jews.
  • Abbas is the real occupier of our cities and our homeland, not our future partner Israel, which has consistently had a majority in favor of peace, and not Benjamin Netanyahu, a leader who has explicitly supported the idea of a Palestinian state so long as Israel maintains the necessary security control.
  • It is time for the Palestinian nation to reach a new agreement with Israel and the international community, abolishing the dictatorial rule of Abbas and the PLO and instead granting our people peace with dignity alongside our neighbor, the Jewish State of Israel.

    The writer is a Palestinian political analyst and human rights pioneer.
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