February 16, 2023
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In-Depth Issues:

The State of Antisemitism in America 2022 (American Jewish Committee)
    A survey of American Jews conducted for the American Jewish Committee on Sep. 28 - Nov. 3, 2022, found that 89% view antisemitism as a problem in the U.S. today.
    43% said antisemitism has increased a lot over the past five years, while an additional 39% said it had increased somewhat.
    41% said the status of Jews in the U.S. was less secure than a year ago.
    48% said antisemitism is taken less seriously than other forms of hate and bigotry.

Israel Begins Oil Exports to Europe from Energean's Karish Field - David Sheppard (Financial Times-UK)
    Israel's first overseas crude oil shipment was loaded on a tanker on Monday from the Karish gas field in the eastern Mediterranean.
    Energean started production at Karish late last year. Vitol, the world's largest independent oil trader, has a deal to offtake and market the Karish cargoes internationally, Energean said.
    Energean has grown rapidly since being founded by Greek banker Mathios Rigas in 2007. Its shares have roughly doubled since 2019.
    Israel's largest gas field, Leviathan, which started up in 2019, also produces some associated crude oil that is sent to domestic refineries.

Jordanians Reject Israel, the U.S., and Iran - Marwan Asmar (Albawaba-Jordan)
    94% of Jordanians refuse Amman's recognition of Israel in line with the peace treaty signed in 1994, according to a poll by the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, presented Monday at the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan.
    87% considered the U.S. a great threat to the region, while 78% saw Iran as a security threat to the Arab world.

Video: Kindergarten Children Simulate Killing Israeli Soldiers, Becoming Martyrs (MEMRI-TV)
    The Al-Tofula Kindergarten in Beit Awwa in the West Bank posted videos to its TikTok account on February 14, 2023, showcasing students simulating clashes with the IDF and dying as "martyrs."

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Unique Israeli Radar Used to Help Locate Turkey Earthquake Survivors - Seth J. Frantzman (Jerusalem Post)
    Camero-Tech's Xaver 400 radar that helps rescuers see through walls was used by the IDF Home Front Command's search and rescue unit in Turkey to help locate earthquake survivors.
    Camero-Tech said, "With the help of these systems, the IDF Home Front Command SAR Unit expedition has been able to locate survivors and rescue people who have been trapped in the ruins for days."
    The system, the size of a laptop, can not only detect life, it can see the layers of concrete and enable rescuers to plan the easiest way to get to the victim.

Palestinian School Backed by U.S. Government Celebrated Terrorist Who Murdered 7 at Synagogue - Kate Anderson (Daily Caller)
    The Omariya Secondary School for Girls in Qalqilya was established in 2009 via funding from USAID.
    The school held a ceremony on Jan. 30 commemorating the "hero Khairi Alqam" who killed seven Israelis near a Jerusalem synagogue on Jan. 27.

Radicalization among Negev Bedouin Linked to Intermarriage with Women from the PA - Hanan Greenwood (Israel Hayom)
    Minister for Social Equality Amichai Chikli, in charge of planning and oversight for Israel's Arab population, traces the radicalization among Bedouin in the Negev to intermarriage with Palestinian women from villages in Judea and Samaria.
    "There are more than 300,000 Bedouin living in the Negev.... Polygamy is rife among this population too and this often involves the spread of Palestinian nationalism as a result of Palestinian women originating from villages in Judea and Samaria marrying into Bedouin society."
    "The majority of violent incidents that have included elements of terrorism have been carried out by the sons of women who have come into Bedouin society from the PA."
    "Sons of Palestinian mothers tend to be four times more involved in terrorist activity than the rest of the local Bedouin population."

Startups Celebrate Abraham Accords at Investor Summit - Thomas Helm (The National-UAE)
    Companies from across the Middle East were in Jerusalem on Wednesday at the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit to showcase the vast economic potential in the region after the signing of the Abraham Accords.
    Thousands of potential investors from 80 nations came to learn more about business in the Arab world.
    See also At OurCrowd Summit in Jerusalem, an Explosion of Innovation - Judith Segaloff (JNS)

Israeli Flight Headsets Adapted for Surgery - Nathan Jeffay (Times of Israel)
    The Beyeonics One headset has been approved for eye surgeries by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
    The headset is an adaptation of the head-mounted displays that pilots have used for decades.
    Surgeons see very highly magnified images of the eye, as well as important patient information from pre-surgery tests.
    Prof. Paulo Eduardo Stanga, vitreoretinal surgeon and director at The Retina Clinic in London, said that operating with it "felt like being inside the eye itself during surgery."

Israel's Jewelry Industry Enjoying an Upsurge - Shira Sapir (Globes)
    Israeli exports of jewelry totaled $873 million in 2022, compared to $791 million in 2021 and $552 million in 2020.
    "The upsurge mainly stems from growth in sales of jewelry on Internet platforms...and from the reopening of malls and stores in Europe and the U.S. after the peak of the pandemic," said Oren Harambam, executive director of the Manufacturers Association of Israel.
    "The main countries to which Israel exports are the U.S. (65%), India, the UK, Sweden, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy."

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iranian Weapons Seized by U.S. Navy May Go to Ukraine - Dion Nissenbaum
    U.S. officials said they are looking at sending Ukraine more than 5,000 assault rifles, 1.6 million rounds of small arms ammunition, antitank missiles, and proximity fuses seized in recent months off the Yemen coast from smugglers working for Iran. "It's a message to take weapons meant to arm Iran's proxies and flip them to achieve our priorities in Ukraine, where Iran is providing arms to Russia," said one U.S. official. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Iran Doubles Number of Cyberattacks on Israel - Claudia Glover
    The number of cyberattacks by Iran on targets in Israel has doubled in the past year, said Gaby Portnoy, director general of the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD). Portnoy said his organization thwarted 1,000 potential cyberattacks over the past year.
        "There are 200 attacks a month on Israel by Iran. Last year there were 88 attacks per month on average. The [number of] groups involved also grew, from six to 14." In the first quarter of 2022, cyberattack attempts against Israel jumped by 137%, prompting the INCD to start work on a cyber equivalent to Israel's Iron Dome air defense system. (Tech Monitor-UK)
  • Militant in Iran Identified as al-Qaeda's Probable New Chief - Andrew Jeong
    Saif al-Adel, who is wanted by the U.S. in connection with the 1998 bombings of its embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, has been identified as the new "de facto and uncontested" leader of al-Qaeda, according to a report by UN experts. It is believed that Adel is located in Iran, the report said. (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Turkey Thanks Israel for "Solidarity" in Earthquake Aid - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Turkish Ambassador to Israel Shakir Ozkan Torunlar on Monday said, "Thank you very much Israel," at an official ceremony at Ben-Gurion Airport with the return of Israel's rescue teams from Turkey. Torunlar said, "Thanks to the friends of Turkey, many were saved by search and rescue teams in the field. The government of Israel was among the first to provide its team....You saved 19 Turks...followed by a field hospital being erected in less than 24 hours and becoming operational." He also complimented a wide variety of Israeli civil society and NGO groups who "displayed exemplary solidarity with the Turkish people."
        Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the returned rescuers they "showed the whole world the good and true face of the State of Israel: a small state with a giant soul that works to help people whoever they are, anywhere in the world in crazy conditions - with a supreme level of dedication."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Israeli Field Hospital Team Returns Home from Turkey - Emanuel Fabian
    A team of Israeli medical experts returned to Israel on Wednesday after treating wounded civilians in Turkey at a field hospital in Kahramanmaras. The hospital treated 470 victims, including 150 children, and performed ten surgical and orthopedic operations. (Times of Israel)
  • Knesset Votes to Strip Israeli Citizenship from Terror Convicts Paid by PA - Carrie Keller-Lynn
    Israel's Knesset on Wednesday voted 94-10 to approve a law to strip Israeli citizens and permanent residents convicted of terror of their citizenship if they receive funding from the Palestinian Authority or an associated organization. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • Iranian Nationalists Reject the Regime - Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh
    Longtime loyal lieutenants of the Islamic revolution now ruminate loudly about the split between Iranian society and the state. On the streets, Iranians blame their economic plight on their leaders - not the U.S. and its sanctions. Iranians on university campuses and social media have harangued officials for making Iran party to a bloodbath. Nationwide, protesters chant against money being sent to Islamist causes they care nothing about.
        It has long been accepted that any significant foreign military action against Iran would be counterproductive. Iranian nationalism would kick into gear, turning opponents of the regime into angry patriots. However, far from quelling Iranians' anger with the regime, a U.S. military response would likely stoke it further.
        Mr. Gerecht is a resident scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Iranian Terror Is a Clear and Present Danger to the UK - Stephen Crabb and Steve McCabe
    The brutal regime in Tehran is deploying unimaginable violence against its own citizens for daring to call for greater freedoms. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has become the world's pre-eminent terror organization. Its terror franchises Hizbullah and Hamas are the de-facto rulers of Lebanon and Gaza respectively, inflicting immeasurable suffering.
        The UK's continuing failure to proscribe the IRGC is indefensible. This inaction has led to an emboldened IRGC. It is now brazenly conducting ever more activities in the UK, presenting a clear and immediate threat. Its involvement in the attempted kidnap and killing of UK-based individuals was dramatically revealed by MI5 last year. A number of Islamic centers in the UK have also been publicly linked to the IRGC. Photos showing British children celebrating arch-IRGC terror leader Qassem Soleimani as a "martyr" are particularly chilling.
        Criminalizing the IRGC would decisively curtail its activities in the UK - disrupting funding streams, and ending its attempts to promote home-grown extremism. There is near unanimous support for proscription in Parliament, uniting members in a way that precious few issues do.
        Stephen Crabb MP is Conservative Friends of Israel parliamentary chairman (Commons). Steve McCabe MP is Labour Friends of Israel parliamentary chairman. (Telegraph-UK)

  • Palestinian Arabs

  • In Israel, Blinken Is Betting on the Wrong Peace Process - Enia Krivine and Jonathan Conricus
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently visited Israel and the West Bank, and said that normalization is "not a substitute for progress between Israelis and Palestinians." In other words: Washington wants to tether Israel's warming relations with the wider Arab world to the progress of negotiations with the Palestinians that have gone nowhere for the last fifteen years. By linking these two efforts, Blinken is likely guaranteeing the failure of both.
        Palestinians see the PA as both corrupt and incapable of preserving law and order. It has no mandate to make the difficult compromises necessary for peace with Israel. Israelis know they have no credible partner with whom to negotiate peace. Four Israeli prime ministers from different political parties offered compromises in the name of peace over the years, but Palestinian leaders rejected them all. The PA continues rewarding terrorists and their families with handsome salaries for killing and maiming Jews.
        It makes no sense for Blinken to create a linkage between advancing regional normalization and the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The normalization track has particular value for Washington because it is building a robust regional alliance to serve as a bulwark against Iran.
        Enia Krivine is the senior director of the Israel Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus served for four years as the IDF International Spokesperson. (National Interest)
  • The Palestinian Addiction to Violence Poses the Biggest Obstacle to Peace - Gil Troy
    Imagine the hate required to run over fellow humans at a bus stop. Imagine the evil required to keep accelerating when you notice six- and eight-year-old brothers standing there, innocently chatting with their dad. And imagine the perversity involved in celebrating such murders, proving - again - how deep anti-Jewish demonization has been drilled into too many Palestinian hearts, deforming their souls.
        Until the world acknowledges this wickedness, more such murderers will be mass-produced - with Western dollars. Too many Blame-Israel-Firsters discount this cultivated ugliness which mocks their delusions that peace will descend once Israel retreats, creating a Palestinian dictatorship next door.
        This Palestinian addiction to violence reveals more about the killers. Palestinian rejectionism and antisemitism, fueling terrorism, poses the biggest obstacle to peace. Contrast Israel's army, which will abort legitimate missions to minimize civilian casualties, with Palestinians' death cult, which targets kids and often blackmails the most vulnerable Palestinians into terror.
        The writer is a Distinguished Scholar of North American History at McGill University. (Jerusalem Post)
  • EU, U.S. Ignore Palestinian Lies - Bassam Tawil
    PA leader Mahmoud Abbas continues to rewrite history. On Feb. 12, Abbas addressed an Arab League conference in Cairo and repeated his false claim that there was no connection between Jews and Jerusalem, as well as the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, part of the retaining wall from the Second Temple of Solomon that was destroyed in 70 CE - more than 500 years before the Islamic Prophet Mohammad was born. Abbas also once again argued that Israel was created because the Europeans wanted to get rid of the Jews living in their countries, when in fact the Jews have continuously lived in area since at least 1550 BCE.
        Two days after Abbas' latest attempt to rewrite history, his friends in the Biden administration and some European countries issued a joint statement attacking Israel for advancing plans to build new homes for Jewish families in the West Bank, claiming that this would "exacerbate tensions between Israelis and Palestinians."
        It is the Palestinian leadership's refusal to accept Israel's right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people and to erase history that is exacerbating tensions between Israelis and Jews. It is the Palestinian leadership's massive campaign of incitement against Israel and Jews and continued glorification of terrorists that is aggravating tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
        Abbas made it clear in Cairo that the Arabs' problem with Israel started back in 1917, when the Jews were promised a homeland of their own. The conflict started long before the construction of even one house for Jews in the West Bank. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Other Issues

  • When Is Terror Not Terror? When the Victims Are Jews - Lilac Sigan
    In the aftermath of the shooting of seven people near a synagogue in Jerusalem, one of the deadliest mass shootings in over a decade, many media outlets including the New York Times carefully avoided the word "terror." In 2022, the Times mentioned Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah in its headlines only eight times throughout the entire year. Only one mention of Hamas and Hizbullah was negative. Islamic Jihad was mentioned negatively twice. By comparison, 192 headlines mentioned Israel in a negative or critical tone.
        In total, 53% of New York Times' news coverage of Israel was negative in tone, compared with 11% that was positive. Between January and October 2022, before the new government was elected, 60% of op-eds were negative towards Israel. After the election, the negative tone became more extreme.
        According to the Israel Security Agency (ISA), there were 2,618 terror events in 2022, 204 of them significant (shootings, bombings, stabbings, or intentional car ramming). Another 472 significant attacks were thwarted. The Times has stressed that most of the Palestinians killed were not terrorists, whereas IDF data shows the exact opposite.
        The Times is obsessed with Israel but offers the world a monochromatic picture of the situation. Its journalistic failing contributes to the growing hatred of the world's only Jewish state, and the global rise in antisemitism that comes with it.
        The writer is an Israeli author and journalist who completed a year-long study of the coverage of Israel in the New York Times for Ma'ariv and Bar-Ilan University. (Newsweek)
  • New York Times and Washington Post Obscure Reality on Jerusalem Car-Ramming - Chaim Lax
    A Palestinian car-ramming attack in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot on Feb. 10 killed 3 Israelis. Reporting on the attack, the New York Times and Washington Post made a number of egregious distortions and misleading claims. Both referred to Ramot as a "settlement," although it is within the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality.
        Both reports repeatedly referred to the perpetrator as simply a "man," the "driver" or the "assailant," only once using the term "Palestinian." The Washington Post removed all agency from the terrorist, stating that a "car rammed into a crowd" and a "blue Mazda sedan rammed into people," thus placing the responsibility on the car rather than the terrorist who was driving it. Moreover, the Post repeatedly referred to the terrorist as an "alleged assailant," calling into question his culpability. (HonestReporting)
  • State Anti-BDS Laws Pass the Constitutional Test - Bobby Miller
    The boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, which singles out Israel for reproach and condemnation, aims to punish Israel for policies often pursued in self-defense. In 2015, Tennessee became the first state to pass an anti-BDS law, calling the movement "one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state." By 2021, 35 states had passed laws that ban public entities (such as state pension funds) from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
        Anti-BDS statutes have drawn fire from Israel's detractors and from free-speech advocates. But according to a recent academic study, "Boycotts: A First Amendment History," by Josh Halpern and Lavi Ben Dor, there is a U.S. tradition of regulating boycotts. The authors explained that those who violate an anti-BDS statute "are not fined or otherwise subject to legal sanction, but merely lose their access to certain privileges like state contracts or investments."
        Halpern explained in an interview that "during the heyday of the Arab League's boycott of Israel, states like New York and Massachusetts enacted laws that were plainly designed to prevent economic discrimination against Israel and Israeli firms. The fact that those states thought that they could pass those laws without raising any constitutional issues is a good indicator that contemporary anti-BDS laws pass constitutional muster." Modern anti-boycott laws surgically target "the act of boycotting, while leaving regulated entities free to say whatever they please."  (National Review)

  • Weekend Features

  • Israeli Eye Surgeons Helped Dozens of Wounded Azerbaijani Soldiers - Nurit Greenger
    On Sept. 27, 2020, amid the Covid pandemic, a war erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia that lasted 44 days. Wounded Azerbaijani soldiers with severe face and eye injuries urgently required surgical eye restoration and orbital reconstruction with ocular prostheses. Dr. Messoud (Mesut) Ashina, a Danish-Azerbaijani neurologist, reached out to Dr. Yishay Falick, an Israeli ophthalmologist and surgeon, to organize a humanitarian delegation to Baku to provide medical assistance to veterans. In order to overcome the pandemic restrictions, the medical team was flown to Azerbaijan on a private jet.
        From Feb. 27 to March 7, 2021, the Israeli team provided medical care and surgeries to over 150 Azerbaijani veterans. The team worked 12 to 15-hour days, sometimes using three operating rooms simultaneously to perform a total of 56 operations.
        One of the wounded soldiers was Arif Hajiyev, a Muslim, who required a triple cornea transplant to restore his eyesight. On Dec. 18, 2022, Hajiyev landed in Israel where he met with and deeply thanked the wife of the late Kobi R., whose corneas had saved Hajiyev's sight. Hajiyev prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and thanked Israel for its humanitarian spirit. (JNS)
  • Nazi-Funded Plots Sought to Topple U.S. Government - Matt Lebovic
    By the time William Dudley Pelley called for the forced sterilization of all Jewish males in 1939, the American white supremacist's "Brown Shirts"-inspired militia claimed more than 100,000 members. Pelley led a plot to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt and install a pro-Nazi government. Pelley's vision was to begin with the kidnapping and execution of 20 prominent Hollywood figures, including several Jews, after which Jews throughout the country would begin to flee.
        In the 1930s, radio's leading anti-Jewish personality, Father Charles Coughlin, formed the Christian Front, whose members divided themselves into "cell" teams, preparing to attack several hundred targets. Berlin's key agent liaising with Nazi-sympathizing congressmen was George Sylvester Viereck, who partnered with the Christian Front and other fascist groups to stage massive "America First" rallies with antisemitic content. Born in Munich, Viereck met with Hitler in 1933. The next year, he addressed 20,000 pro-Nazi supporters at New York City's Madison Square Garden.
        In Brooklyn, 17 Christian Front members were indicted in 1940 for stockpiling bombs and guns for use on Jewish targets. The local jury, however, failed to convict anyone. Meanwhile, Christian Front "gangs robbed Jewish merchants, defiled synagogues and cemeteries, and committed other acts of vandalism," said historian David Greenberg. Jews in New York City and Boston "were attacked and beaten on the streets, in parks, with some victims stabbed or disfigured."
        Rachel Maddow's eight-episode podcast "Ultra," released in October, depicts several antisemitic, Nazi-inspired conspiracies. The largest sedition trial in U.S. history, held in 1944, investigated two dozen U.S. senators and representatives for partnering with Berlin to spread Nazi propaganda. (Times of Israel)

  • To contend with the protracted wave of Palestinian terrorism, what is called for is the judicious use of the broad basket of means available, each of which provides a limited contribution, but whose cumulative impact might just be able to bring about the desired change.
  • A rapid and effective response is required at the very moment an attack is perpetrated. Attempted attacks that end one after another in the death, injury, or arrest of the attackers without them being able to cause damage, will not encourage copy-cats.
  • Prevent the glorification of terrorists. If the intelligence organizations have information that can harm the image of terrorists being portrayed as national Palestinian heroes, then they should make sure it is published and do everything to highlight it, to prevent such an individual from becoming a role model for others to imitate.
  • Destroy the houses of the perpetrators. In traditional Palestinian society, family plays a key role in a terrorist's life. So the fate awaiting the family could have a significant impact on a would-be terrorist's desire to engage in acts of violence. This is also designed to encouraging the family to step in and stop the would-be attacker as soon as they identify any suspicious, tell-tale signs.
  • Action should be taken to confiscate funds and assets belonging to the terrorist and to trace funds transferred to him or his family from the Palestinian Authority or various terrorist organizations. This would enable the authorities to prevent potential attackers from receiving any financial incentives.
  • Revoke the permanent residency status of inciters from eastern Jerusalem and deport them to Gaza or to other areas within the Palestinian Authority.

    The writer, a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, served as Israel's national security adviser and head of the National Security Council between 2017 and 2021.
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