January 30, 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:

U.S. Criticizes Palestinian Move to Suspend Security Ties with Israel - Joseph Haboush (Al Arabiya)
    Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf on Thursday criticized the Palestinian decision to cut off security coordination with Israel after Israeli forces killed several Palestinians during a raid.
    "We don't think this is the right step to take at this moment. Far from stepping back on security coordination, we believe it's quite important that the parties retain and, if anything, deepen security coordination."
    See also By Ending Security Coordination with Israel, the Palestinian Authority Is Shooting Itself in the Foot - Yoni Ben Menachem (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    Israel can maintain its security even without the assistance of the PA. The Israel Security Agency does an excellent job and relies only on itself.
    Cessation of security coordination will worsen the situation on the ground for Palestinians and severely damage PA rule.

Air Strike Targets Convoy of Trucks on Syria-Iraq Border (AFP-Al Arabiya)
    Seven "truck drivers and their assistants, all of them non-Syrians," were "killed as a result of unidentified aircraft targeting a convoy of Iran-backed groups" that crossed into eastern Syria from Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday.
    The strikes destroyed six refrigerated trucks transporting Iranian weapons.

Israeli Ambassador: Israel Supports Ukraine More Than Is Known (Ukrinform-Ukraine)
    Israeli Ambassador to Germany Ron Prosor told the German newspaper Morgenpost, "We help [Ukraine] - albeit behind the scenes - and much more than is known."

U.S. Kills Senior ISIS Leader in Somalia - Haley Britzky (CNN)
    A U.S. military operation killed Bilal al-Sudani, a senior ISIS leader, and 10 members of his group in northern Somalia on Wednesday.
    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Thursday that "al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group's operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan."

Video: On the Front Lines of Major U.S.-Israel Joint Military Exercise - Hadas Gold (CNN)
    View the largest joint military exercise ever between the U.S. and Israel.
    See also Photos: U.S.-Israel War Games Seen in Spectacular Pictures - Dean Murray (Independent-UK)
    See also U.S., Israel Conclude Largest Exercise in History (U.S. Defense Department)

Israel Strikes Targets in Gaza in Response to Rocket Fire (i24News)
    IDF planes attacked an underground facility for the production of rockets belonging to Hamas early Friday in response to two rockets fired from Gaza hours earlier.
    After the airstrike, three more rockets were launched. One was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system and one fell inside Gaza.

Justice Dept. Announces More Arrests in Plot to Kill Iranian Writer - Benjamin Weiser (New York Times)
    The U.S. Justice Department said on Friday that it had indicted three men in a plot hatched in Iran to assassinate Masih Alinejad, an American human-rights activist in Brooklyn who has criticized the country's repression of women.
    Rafat Amirov of Iran, Polad Omarov of the Czech Republic, and Khalid Mehdiyev, an Azerbaijani living in Yonkers, were charged with murder-for-hire and money-laundering conspiracy.
    Mehdiyev was arrested in July after he was found with a loaded AK-47-style assault rifle outside Alinejad's house.

Hizbullah and Iranian Militias in Southwestern Syria - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
    Violent clashes flared last month in a town in the Druze majority province of Sweida in southwestern Syria, demanding the removal of Iranian forces and Hizbullah members positioned near the Druze districts.
    Hizbullah and Iranian militias, staffed partly by fighters recruited from among the Afghan refugees in Iran, have bolstered their forces and established dozens of military outposts north of the cities of Sweida and Daraa.
    Recently it was reported that Iran plans to establish a large military base where its forces will be concentrated. According to social media, forces armed with heavy weapons and short-range missiles have already arrived at this base.

The Bitter War between Pro-Palestinian Protesters and "Besieged" Midlands Factory Workers - Jamie Brassington (Birmingham Mail-UK)
    Since 2014, protests have been taking place outside of a Staffordshire factory making repurposed motorbike engines for drones.
    While the business is Israeli-owned, it says it is "fully compliant with all the UK export license laws" and does not send military parts to Israel for use.
    Recent protests have been carried out by the activist group Palestine Action, which has vandalized the premises.
    Jody, who is head of security at the factory, said: "This narrative that they communicate to their people is completely false.... Everybody has got the right to protest. But when they cross that line and start smashing the bejeesus out of our building, intimidating our people, it ain't on."
    "We live in a democratic society; if they have got an issue, take it to the Government or stand for election, do it that way."

Israel Provides Nine Moldovan Hospitals with New Equipment (Moldpres-Moldova)
    Israel has donated equipment worth over $250,000 to perinatal centers in nine district hospitals, including 8 incubators, 6 resuscitation tables and 3 radiant tables for newborns.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Drone Attack Targets Defense Compound in Iran - Dion Nissenbaum
    Israel carried out a drone strike late Saturday targeting a defense compound in the Iranian city of Isfahan, according to U.S. officials and people familiar with the operation. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Sources: Drone Attack on Iranian Facility Was Phenomenal Success - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    There were four large explosions at the military facility developing advanced weapons. The damage goes far beyond the "minor roof damage" that the Islamic Republic claimed. Western intelligence sources have credited Israel's Mossad with similarly successful attacks including the destruction of 120 Iranian drones in February 2022. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israel Responds to Iranian Aggression - Ronen Bergman
    Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says in a forthcoming YouTube video that after "Iran tried to murder Israelis in Cyprus, in Turkey," the Revolutionary Guards Corps commander behind it [Sayad Khodayee] "was eliminated in Tehran." Bennett says President Biden, during a meeting, made a "sharp request" that Israel inform the U.S. in advance "of any action we take in Iran." Bennett refused, saying, "There are things you do not want to know about in advance."  (New York Times)
  • Israeli Police Confiscate Money, Cars of Released Palestinian Prisoners
    Israeli police raided the family home of two recently released Palestinian prisoners, Karim and Maher Younes [who kidnapped and murdered IDF soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980], and seized money worth about $150,000 and a car belonging to the family.
        The police said they carried out this operation on the orders of Defense Minister Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Gallant, who said the two prisoners received the money and the vehicle from the financial allocations transferred to them by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The order came on the recommendation of the economic anti-terrorism authority in the Ministry of Defense. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
        See also Palestinian Terrorists Received $100,000 Each for Murdering Israeli Soldier - Charles Bybelezer (JNS)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Gunman Murders Seven near Jerusalem Synagogue - Bar Peleg
    Palestinian gunman Khairi Alqam killed seven people and wounded three on Friday evening near the Ateret Avraham synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Neve Yaakov. He parked his car across from the synagogue and began shooting passersby, killing four of them, then turned his fire on a man driving by on a motorcycle, killing him as well. He returned to his car and opened fire at another group of people, killing two of them. He also fired at passersby who had stopped to help the wounded. He then drove 800 meters and encountered a police vehicle. He fired at the police, who then killed him. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Wife Was Giving CPR to Dying Husband When Jerusalem Synagogue Gunman Opened Fire - James Rothwell
    The Palestinian gunman behind Friday's synagogue attack in Jerusalem shot at a young woman as she gave CPR to her dying husband, after the killer had paused his attack to reload, according to eyewitnesses. Shimon Israel, 45, said, "I saw a guy shooting at the corner of the synagogue, there were already bodies in the streets. My neighbor ran out to the guy and he shot him. His wife came running after him and gave CPR. He came and shot at her."  (Telegraph-UK)
  • Victims of Jerusalem Terror Attack Identified - Shimon Sherman
    These are the victims of the Palestinian terrorist who opened fire in Jerusalem's Neve Yaakov neighborhood on Friday night: Eli and Natalie Mizrahi, aged 48 and 45, heard the gunshots and went outside to help the wounded. Rafael Ben-Eliyahu, 56, is survived by a wife and three children. Asher Natan, 14, had left home following the Friday night meal to meet up with friends. Shaul Chai, 68, was walking back home after a Shabbat meal at a relative's home. Irina Korolova, 59, a Ukrainian citizen, came to Israel six years ago and worked as a private nurse. Ilya Sosonsky, 26, also a Ukrainian national, was a resident of Jerusalem and a locally-known DJ and musician. (JNS)
  • Palestinian Wounds Two in Second Shooting Attack in Jerusalem on Saturday - Josh Breiner
    A 13-year-old Palestinian opened fire on five Jews walking toward the Western Wall in the City of David in Jerusalem on Saturday, wounding a father and son before being shot. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Israeli Paratrooper Wounded in Jerusalem Attack Shot Terrorist while Bleeding - Yoav Zitun
    An Israeli paratrooper who was seriously wounded by a Palestinian shooter on Saturday neutralized his attacker with his weapon. The IDF said Lt. N. "acted calmly and engaged the terrorist, neutralizing him, and was only then evacuated to the hospital....Lt. N. acted proficiently and prevented a more severe attack from taking place."  (Ynet News)
        See also Education Monitor Finds Anti-Israel Incitement in Textbooks of Teenage Jerusalem Attacker - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
  • Armed Palestinian Attempts to Infiltrate Jewish Community - Emanuel Fabian
    A Palestinian man armed with a handgun was spotted by surveillance cameras approaching Kedumim's northern neighborhood shortly before midnight on Saturday. The community's security coordinator and another guard reached the scene, engaged the terrorist, and killed him. The IDF later released an image of the terrorist's gun.
        Earlier on Saturday, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at a restaurant near the Almog Junction near Jericho, then fled after his gun jammed. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinians Celebrate Murder of Israelis in Jerusalem Attack
    Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza on Friday night celebrated the terrorist attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem. In Gaza City, calls of "God is great!" were heard from mosque loudspeakers along with celebratory gunfire. Videos posted on social media showed Palestinians chanting in the streets, setting off fireworks and firing guns, cars honking and people giving out sweets in Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, as well as east Jerusalem. (i24News)
        See also Arab Immigrants in Greece Celebrate Killing of Jews in Jerusalem
    Arabic-speaking and Palestinian immigrants on the Greek island of Kos chanted pro-Palestinian slogans as they celebrated the killing of seven people in Jerusalem. (Proto Thema-Greece)
  • Arab First-Responder Talks about Jerusalem Terror Attack - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
    Veteran Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic Fadi Dekidek was on the front lines providing life-saving medical treatment to those injured in the shooting attack in Jerusalem on Friday night. Dekidek hails from the Beit Hanina neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. During his nearly two decades in an MDA uniform, Dekidek has seen "many terror attacks." "I checked the pulse of the victims. All the wounded were in the street, and there were those who died on the spot." He hasn't yet been able to visit the wounded people he helped save, but said he hopes to do so.
        "The difference between a culture that glorifies terror and one that works hard to heal is education," he said. "I'm sure you and the public all know that MDA is in a state of its own for co-existence. Jews save Arabs. Arabs save Jews. I think it's an example for the whole world."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    A Palestinian Culture of Hatred

  • Sickening Behavior over Israeli Massacre - Melanie Phillips
    Israeli Jews were murdered outside a Jerusalem synagogue on Friday night, the start of the Jewish Sabbath. As is commonplace among Palestinian Arabs after they have murdered Israeli civilians, jubilant celebrations broke out in their communities with crowds chanting in support of the killing of Jews.
        Western leaders have helped incentivize these killings for decades. Once again, we have witnessed the nauseating spectacle of Western governments - which sanitize, fund and pump up the genocidal Palestinian Arab cause - expressing shock and sympathy with Israel over these attacks. The Biden administration continues to fund the Palestinian Authority despite the PA's "pay-to-slay" policy of rewarding the families of terrorists for every Israeli Jew they murder, and despite its never-ending incitement to murder Jews.
        Medieval demonization of the Jewish people pours out of the PA. Yet the U.S. and the rest of the West refuse to acknowledge that the war against Israel is caused not by the absence of a Palestinian state but by Jew-hatred. As Israel's Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli correctly observed: "I see the Palestinian Authority as a neo-Nazi entity in its essence and outlook. It is an enemy that is antisemitic to its core."
        Last week, the IDF killed nine Palestinian terrorists in Jenin who had been plotting yet another imminent terror attack. Yet to the West, the fact that Israel only ever takes such action to defend itself against murderous attack is presented as a "spiral of violence." Israel's self-defense is presented instead as aggression that causes the attacks.
        The writer is a columnist for The Times-UK. (Substack)
  • Palestinians Must Confront the Violence in Our Culture - Bassem Eid
    Friday night's massacre of civilians outside a Jerusalem synagogue was celebrated by Palestinians. There is something deeply broken in a Palestinian street culture that honors violence against innocents, a culture in which some were filmed dancing in the streets and handing out candies after the 9/11 terror attacks. Multiple generations of Palestinian young people have been taught to hate Jews and Israel's allies. Too much of the Western world has coddled this perverse cycle. Enough is enough. Palestinians and all those who truly support us must stand for humanity.
        All humanity should recognize the difference between a preventative assault on a terrorist cell in Jenin on Thursday and the massacre of civilians near a house of worship on Friday. Yet Palestinian culture has somehow come to tolerate such chilling slaughter.
        It's time to admit that Palestinian institutions are broken, and that they have developmentally harmed generations of Palestinian men and women, boys and girls, by whipping them into a constant froth with violently antisemitic educational and media content that celebrates "martyrdom" attacks against Israelis. The Palestinian Authority provides a financial incentive for terrorism by providing pensions to the families of those who attack Israelis.
        The writer is a Palestinian political analyst and human rights pioneer. (Forward)
  • The Hatred for Jews in the Palestinian Narrative - David Suissa
    It's comforting to think that the terrorist who murdered seven Jews coming out of a Jerusalem synagogue was striking a blow against "the civilized world," as President Biden asserted. But he wasn't. Khairi Alqam, 21, a resident of eastern Jerusalem, was specifically going after Jews. His Palestinian brethren who celebrated his murderous act were rejoicing at the death of Jews.
        The hatred for Jews within much of Palestinian society is ugly and personal. They teach Palestinian kids that "the Jews don't belong here." No amount of clever reframing can change that. The narrative that has always been exceedingly difficult for Westerners to contemplate is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a political conflict but an existential one. This narrative doesn't lend itself to solutions.
        Unlike the Palestinians who kept saying no and built an identity around victimhood, the Zionists took what the UN gave them in 1947 and built a powerful state. The Jews, who for centuries had to accept their second class dhimmi status in Arab and Muslim lands, have broken free to a place of empowerment through the Jewish state.
        Until a radically new and brave leadership infiltrates Palestinian society, teaching its people that Jew-hatred is violently against their interest, we are relegated to dealing with facts on the ground. Terrorists will continue to try to kill Jews, and Jews will continue to try to stop them. This may not be very comforting for the civilized world, but for the Jews of Israel, it's the only world they know. (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)

  • Israel's Judicial Reforms

  • Knesset Member Defends Israeli Judicial Reform in U.S. - Mike Wagenheim
    MK Simcha Rothman, chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee which is overseeing the government's judicial reform plan, returned from the U.S. last week confident that he allayed concerns from allies. "It was the first time they heard the story straight," Rothman said. "All democratic countries elect their judges in a democratic manner, except Israel," he said.
        Rothman said the perception that the current government doesn't care deeply about American Jewish support is false. "The connection with Jews around the world and in the U.S. is very important to us. That's the beginning and that's the end of every conversation I had on this issue. But when I ask them what they are worried about, usually the answer that I will get is that they heard we're trying to pass legislation against gays. That's the first lie they're told."
        Rothman addressed concerns about potentially revising the Law of Return, in order to eliminate the clause granting automatic citizenship to anyone with a Jewish grandparent. "For some reason, they think this applies to American Jewry. Some 97% of those from the U.S. are eligible to make aliyah without any connection to the grandfather clause."
        "If I would read the New York Times, I would be very worried about what's going on in Israel...because I will get only one side of what's going on."  (JNS)
  • Israel's Proposed Judicial Reforms Aren't "Extreme" - Richard A. Epstein and Max Raskin
    Critics ignore the crucial truth that the reforms will bring Israel's judicial systems more in line with Western norms. The rule of law is not the same thing as the rule of lawyers or of unelected judges. Israel's new judicial reforms are another step in its journey toward concordance with more traditional conceptions of balanced government.
        Mr. Epstein is a law professor at New York University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Mr. Raskin is an adjunct professor of law at New York University and a fellow at the school's Institute for Judicial Administration. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Proposed Israeli Judicial Reforms Are Measured, Justified, and Democratic - Yonatan Green
    With all the alarmism employed by the opponents of Israel's proposed judicial and legal reforms, a closer look at the proposed reforms reveals a measured, justified, and indeed a patently democratic response to decades of illegitimate judicial overreach. They are well within the democratic prerogative of an elected government with a popular mandate for constitutional redesign, and hardly warrant a collective panic attack.
        Genuine criticism of the flaws in Israel's legal system has been consistent (and consistently growing) since the 1980s and has been forcefully advanced by some of Israel's leading legal scholars. These critics include Prof. Daniel Friedmann, Prof. Ruth Gavison, Prof. Yoav Dotan, and Chief Justice Moshe Landau - all considered political moderates.
        The writer, an attorney, is Executive Director of the Israel Law & Liberty Forum. (Times of Israel)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the European Parliament on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 26, 2023:
  • "I stand before you today as the President of the State of Israel, the democratic nation-state of the Jewish People, but my heart and thoughts are with my brothers and sisters killed in the Holocaust, whose only crime was their Jewishness."
  • The story of the Holocaust is "the story of the monstrous, deranged obsession to totally exterminate a nation with roots stretching deep into history....Existence was a crime punishable by death."
  • "The Holocaust was not born in a vacuum. We must never forget that the Nazi death machine would not have succeeded in realizing its nightmarish vision had it not met soil fertilized with Jew-hatred....Nazi ideology intensified traditional antisemitism and...fanned the flames of hatred....Even before a single extermination camp was built, in the minds of the masses, the Jew was already human dust, sub-human."
  • "I wish to underscore the fine line between criticism of the State of Israel and negation of the State of Israel's existence. It is, of course, OK to criticize the state that I head....Israeli democracy certainly excels in fierce and penetrating internal criticism."
  • "However...criticism of the State of Israel must not cross the line into negation of the very existence of the State of Israel....Casting doubt on the nation-state of the Jewish People's right to exist is not legitimate diplomacy! It is antisemitism in the full sense of the word, and it must be thoroughly uprooted."

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