January 16, 2023
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy
Dan Diker, President - Yechiel Leiter, Director General

In-Depth Issues:

ADL: Number of Americans Harboring Extensive Antisemitic Prejudice Doubled since 2019 (Anti-Defamation League)
    A new survey from the Anti-Defamation League found belief in antisemitic conspiracy theories among 20% of Americans, nearly double the antisemitic prejudice ADL found in 2019.
    39% believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the U.S., while 20% say Jews have "too much power."
    23% believe that Israel gets away with anything and controls the media. 18% say they are uncomfortable spending time with a pro-Israel person.
    3% believe every one of 11 anti-Jewish statements respondents were asked about, which might seem small but adds up to 8 million Americans - more than the number of Jews in the U.S.
    See also Report: Antisemitic Attitudes in America (Anti-Defamation League)

Pro-Palestinian Protestors Accuse Vice President Kamala Harris of "Genocide" for Supporting Israel - Dion J. Pierre (Algemeiner)
    "Kamala, Kamala, you can't hide, you're committing genocide," pro-Palestinian student protestors chanted at the University of Michigan on Thursday during Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to speak about climate change.
    A student who appeared to be leading the demonstration condemned the Biden administration for approving aid to Israel.
    The protesters also chanted "There is only one solution: Intifada revolution," while waving Palestinian flags.

Erdogan Seeks to Stretch His Rule over Turkey into a Third Decade - Bobby Ghosh (Bloomberg-Washington Post)
    In the elections in Turkey on June 18, President Erdogan is seeking to stretch his rule over Turkey into a third decade. Western leaders will be glad to see the back of Erdogan.
    He has undermined NATO's security by acquiring missile-defense systems from Russia, blocked the membership of Sweden and Finland, repeatedly threatened to flood Europe with refugees, and has hurled increasingly bellicose rhetoric toward Greece.
    Top Turkish officials routinely accuse the U.S. of backing a coup against Erdogan and of complicity with terrorist groups.
    Erdogan's worldview is "far more radical than most Westerners think," says political analyst Selim Koru. His ambitions for Turkey's immediate neighborhood is not to complement American and European influence, "it's to replace and counter them."
    Even if Erdogan should be defeated, nobody should expect a quick 180-degree turn. Erdogan has had 20 years to seed Turkish institutions - the government, the military, academia, the religious establishment and the media - with his radical worldview.
    See also Turkey's Approval of Swedish, Finnish Membership in NATO Could Take Months - Jared Malsin (Wall Street Journal)

Elbit Systems UK to Deliver Micro-Drones to British Army (Army Recognition)
    Elbit Systems UK has been awarded a contract to provide Magni-X micro-Uncrewed Aerial Systems to the UK Ministry of Defense by mid-2023.
    Magni-X is a proven military-grade Vertical Take-Off and Landing quadcopter, capable of autonomous flight and integration with Elbit's Legion-X System to give it swarming capabilities.

Israel's Plasan to Armor Australian Navy Frigates (Navy Recognition)
    Plasan Sasa Ltd. in Israel announced on Jan. 16 they have signed a contract with BAE Systems Australia to armor the first three Hunter class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
    Bisalloy Steel Australia will be responsible for the production of the ballistic steel under the contract.
    Plasan is currently providing composite armor for UK Type 26 frigates.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Britain Reconsidering Iran Nuclear Deal after Execution of British-Iranian - Camilla Turner
    The UK is reconsidering its support for the Iran nuclear deal following the execution of a British-Iranian dual national, the Sunday Telegraph understands. Alireza Akbari, a former Iranian deputy defense minister, was charged with spying for MI6 and before his death claimed to have been tortured. Senior Whitehall sources said that the "landscape" has changed significantly since the negotiation process began "because of the behavior of the Iranian regime" and Britain is now reviewing its options regarding future involvement. (Sunday Telegraph-UK)
  • Iran Restricts Supply of Cheap Oil to Syria - Benoit Faucon
    In recent weeks, Iranian officials have told their Syrian counterparts they would now have to pay more for additional shipments of oil as peak winter demand sets in, doubling the price to more than $70 a barrel. Tehran also asked Damascus to pay in advance for the oil, refusing new deliveries on credit. The Syrian economy depends on Iran for more than half its oil requirements. The result is that Syria is suffering its worst shortage of fuel since the start of the civil war.
        Factories are closing down as they struggle to find fuel to run generators amid a scarcity of electricity. Many of the poor now burn wood to cook and keep warm. The local currency fell to a record low last month. (Wall Street Journal)
  • U.S. Surface Drone Task Force Will Help Deter Iran - Jared Szuba
    The U.S. Fifth Fleet's Task Force 59 in Bahrain, which has been experimenting with unmanned surface drones to help surveil the region's waterways since October 2021, is now fully operational, Fleet commander Vice Adm. Brad Cooper said Tuesday. The Navy has approved a plan to have officers in charge of squadrons of unmanned vessels paired with manned ships. "When you start to connect two or three [surface drones] with an escort, you essentially can create a radar barrier about 100 miles wide," Cooper said. "You're going to see everything."
        Data from the task force's 20 AI-linked sea drones can already be displayed on the main screen in Fifth Fleet's Maritime Operations Center in real time. Navy officials claim the drones are already beginning to have a deterrent effect on IRGC activity. Cooper said he expects additional basing hubs to be established in the region, and for Middle Eastern navies to acquire and deploy 80 U.S. surface and underwater drones by this summer. (Al-Monitor)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinians Killed after Firing at IDF Soldiers from Moving Vehicle
    Two Palestinian terrorists were killed early Saturday after opening fire at Israeli forces from a passing vehicle near Jenin. Troops returned fire at the car, which then crashed into a wall. The two men killed were Palestinian Islamic Jihad members Izz a-Din Basem Hamamra and Amjad Adnan Khaliliya. IDF forces located an M-16 rifle at the scene. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinian Gunmen Open Fire at Israeli Bus - Emanuel Fabian
    Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an Israeli bus traveling between Kiryat Arba and Jerusalem. The Israeli bus driver reported coming under gunfire near the city of Halhul. Images showed one impact on a window near the driver's seat of the bulletproof bus. (Times of Israel)
  • EU Financial Support Used to Fund Murder of Jews - Elisha Ben Kimon
    The European Parliament in Brussels held a special session on Wednesday to discuss the funding it provided to the Palestinian Authority, much of which, Israel said, was used to finance monthly stipends to convicted terrorists or their families. The session began with a memorial service to honor Esther Horgen, a French-Israeli woman who was brutally murdered two years ago while jogging near her home in the West Bank.
        Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said: "The despicable terrorist Muhammad Mruh Kabha, who murdered Esther Horgan, receives from you, the European taxpayer, NIS 12,000 ($3,490) per month, six times the average salary in the PA. So I ask you. Does it not pay to kill Jews?"
        Binyamin Horgen, Esther's husband, said: "There are Israelis and Palestinians who work and live together, peacefully. However, some of the Palestinians do not. They are guided and supported by their leaders in the PA."  (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Hamas Spies on Israel for Iran from Istanbul - Yoni Ben Menachem
    Several senior leaders of Hamas and their families now live permanently in Turkey, and some received Turkish passports. In addition to engaging in terrorism, they have also established their own businesses. The intelligence branch of the military wing of Hamas continues to operate unhindered in Istanbul, with the approval of Turkish intelligence, despite Israel's protests.
        According to senior Israeli security officials, the Hamas branch in Istanbul collects intelligence on Israel for Iran in exchange for large sums of money. Hamas terrorists who learned Hebrew in Israeli prisons, along with Hamas cyber experts, monitor the communication networks and phone calls of the IDF, social networks, and computer communications. This information is then passed on to Iranian intelligence.
        Security officials in Israel say that Turkish intelligence, led by Hakan Fidan, is a professional organization with accurate information about everything that happens in the Hamas branch in Istanbul. However, as long as President Erdogan gives backing to Hamas, nothing can be done. Israel has committed to Turkey not to act against Hamas operatives on Turkish soil, even though they engage in terrorist activities against it. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • A Revived Iran Deal Would Be Dangerously Stupid - Editorial
    For a decade, Western diplomats have tried to bring the warped Iranian regime in from the cold - even as it militarily supported Syria's Assad, Hizbullah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and Shia militants in Iraq. The pinnacle of the West's stunning naivete was the nuclear deal that America signed in 2015 and withdrew from in 2018. To revive the Iran deal now would be beneath contempt.
        Sunset clauses would take effect after a few years, while the regime could pocket billions in sanctions relief. This might actually rescue the mullahs at the very moment when courageous Iranian dissidents are risking (and losing) their lives to challenge it. This is dangerously stupid. Britain should have nothing to do with it. The time has come for the West to acknowledge the scale of the threat posed by Iran to its neighbors and to its own people. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Harvard Decides Not to Honor a Leading Proponent of Attacks on Israel - Jonathan S. Tobin
    Harvard's move to deny a fellowship at its John F. Kennedy School of Government to Kenneth Roth, the former head of Human Rights Watch (HRW), is a rare instance of a leading academic institution's taking a stand against antisemitism, rather than tolerating it.
        By denying Roth the honor of a fellowship, the Kennedy School was rightly seeking to distance itself from a person who is one of the leading proponents of antisemitic attacks on the State of Israel. Roth turned HRW, a group that prior to his becoming its head was respected as an unbiased advocate for human rights around world, into an organization obsessed with the cause of delegitimizing Israel and valorizing those seeking its destruction.
        Robert Bernstein, HRW's founder, wrote that Roth had hijacked HRW and turned it into an anti-Israel activist group that focused disproportionately on efforts to support the Palestinian war on Zionism. HRW is an avid supporter of the antisemitic BDS movement and "lawfare" efforts aimed at manipulating international law to make Israel a pariah.
        An honest assessment of Roth's record must lead to the conclusion that he isn't a "critic" of Israel's, but rather someone who regards its existence as a crime that must be atoned for by its destruction. It is to the credit of Harvard's Kennedy School that it drew the line at giving him the kind of honor he clearly doesn't deserve. (JNS-Israel Hayom)
  • How American Troops in Syria Remain Useful - Amb. William Roebuck
    The U.S. still keeps troops in northeastern Syria, albeit about half as many as at the height of the fighting against ISIS. After the final ISIS surrender in March 2019, U.S. Special Forces shifted from combat support to training and other support for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-led counter-terrorism operations. ISIS' leadership and command-and-control capabilities have been severely damaged, but the group has been slowly rebuilding in Syria. A small U.S. military presence is critical to maintain pressure on ISIS.
        If the U.S. were to withdraw, the low-intensity effort against ISIS would likely fall apart and, relatively quickly, ISIS would feel emboldened to intensify operations in Syria. A U.S. withdrawal might also encourage a new invasion of northeastern Syria by Turkey, which considers the SDF part of a broader Kurdish national security threat. Should Turkey invade, the SDF would likely collapse. It would certainly stop fighting ISIS.
        While SDF forces suffered some 10,000 deaths in the fight against ISIS, U.S. combat fatalities have been fewer than a dozen over a seven-year deployment. The tiny U.S. military footprint, and associated financial costs, are negligible, compared to the costs that the U.S. would incur if it were forced to take on a fully reconstituted ISIS.
        The writer, Executive Vice President of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington and former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, served as Deputy Special Envoy for the Global Coalition against ISIS. (Defense One)

  • While critics charge that proposed judicial reforms in Israel foreshadow the demise of Israeli democracy, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who was formerly Deputy Chairman of the Israel Bar Association, told Army Radio that "The situation of 'rule by judges' is not democracy. The time has come for clear legislation to define the authority of the attorney general, who is supposed to advise, and not make decisions instead of the government."
  • The United Kingdom is among the most influential parliamentary democracies in the world. According to the UK's Supreme Court web site: "Unlike some Supreme Courts in other parts of the world, the UK Supreme Court does not have the power to 'strike down' legislation passed by the UK Parliament."
  • Proposed reforms of the judicial appointments system have also come under severe criticism, although among democratic countries, there is not a single one in which the method of appointing judges is similar to the system in Israel, where sitting justices and representatives of the Bar Association have a majority in the appointments committee.
  • In 30 countries including the U.S. and France, the judiciary has no place in the appointment of judges.

    The writer is the Associate Director and Research Director of CAMERA.

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