February 23, 2023
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Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy
Dan Diker, President - Yechiel Leiter, Director General

In-Depth Issues:

Oman Opens Airspace to Israeli Airlines - Jonathan Lis (Ha'aretz)
    Israeli airlines will be allowed to fly over Omani airspace.
    Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the "historic" decision "will shorten flight time to Asia, make flights cheaper for Israeli citizens."
    Last summer, Saudi Arabia officially allowed Israeli airlines to fly through its airspace, but the lack of approval by Oman has forced Israeli flights to continue to bypass the Arabian Peninsula.

Rocket Strike in Damascus Hit Iranian Military Experts - Laila Bassam (Reuters)
    A rocket attack in Damascus on Sunday that Syria blamed on Israel hit an installation where Iranian officials were meeting to advance programs to develop drone or missile capabilities of Tehran's allies in Syria, sources said.
    A source close to the Syrian government said the strike hit a gathering of Syrian and Iranian technical experts in drone manufacturing, though he said no top-level Iranian was killed.
    Another source said the target was part of a covert guided missile production program run by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Netanyahu and Abbas Keeping Backchannel Open - Jacob Magid (Times of Israel)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu okayed a secret backchannel to maintain contact with the Palestinian Authority, even as ties have been strained, a Palestinian official confirmed on Monday.
    The line of communication was set up last month between Israeli National Security Council Chairman Tzachi Hanegbi and PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh.
    The Palestinian official credited the U.S. with helping to facilitate the backchannel.
    Hanegbi and al-Sheikh have met at least once and have held several phone calls over the past month and a half.

Israel to Counter Deliberate Waste of Water by Palestinian Security Prisoners (Times of Israel)
    The Israel Prisons Service will reduce the amount of time that Palestinian security prisoners are allowed to shower, in a move meant to halt the intentional waste of water by inmates.
    The Prisons Service said that in recent years security prisoners leave the showers running for hours at a time.
    See also Israel Prison Service: Palestinian Inmates Deliberately Wasting Water - Itsik Saban (Israel Hayom-30July2018)
    Israel Prison Service data shows that Palestinian security prisoners use 3.5 times more water a year (250 cubic meters) than the average Israeli civilian (70 cubic meters).
    Palestinian security prisoners seem to waste 750,000 cubic meters of water a year, costing taxpayers $1.5 million.

Israel Warned UK of Threat to Anti-Iranian Regime Journalists (Times of Israel)
    Israeli security officials gave intelligence to the UK that Iran intended to harm journalists at a London-based opposition news station, leading them to shift their broadcasts to Washington, Israel's Channel 12 reported on Monday.
    Iran International immediately instructed its workers to avoid their office, then it closed down, after London's Metropolitan Police warned "about the existence of serious and immediate threats to the safety of Iranian journalists" working there.
    "I am appalled by the Iranian regime's continuing threats to the lives of UK-based journalists," British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Monday.
    See also Iran Revolutionary Guards Praise "Expulsion" of Critical Media from London - Seth J. Frantzman (Jerusalem Post)

Hizbullah Agent Arrested after Crossing into Golan Heights from Syria - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    The IDF on Monday said Ghaith Abdullah, a man who had been detained after crossing the border from Syria into the Golan Heights on Jan. 27, was involved in efforts by Hizbullah to gather intelligence on Israel for future attacks.
    "During the questioning, Ghaith [Abdullah] provided information regarding additional terrorist operatives that promote terrorist activities in the area of the border," the IDF said.

More than 5,000 Immigrants Came to Israel from Russia in January - Zvika Klein (Jerusalem Post)
    In January 2023, more than 5,500 immigrants to Israel came from Russia, along with 320 from Ukraine and 159 from Belarus.

Social Media: An Important Tool Used by Palestinian Militant Groups - Joe Truzman (Long War Journal)
    Between Gaza and the West Bank, there are 20 active Palestinian militant organizations, each utilizing social media to spread its ideology, encourage attacks against Israelis, and attract potential recruits.
    The nascent militant organization Lions' Den owes much of its popularity to its social media presence. On Telegram, it has 235,000 followers, more than any other Palestinian faction, including Hamas.

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Palestinian Teachers in 3rd Week of Strike - Qassam Muaddi (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed-UK)
    Palestinian public school teachers gathered in Ramallah on Monday to demand independent union representation and an increase in their salaries in the third week of a strike.
    "This isn't about resources, it's about control," said Issam Abdeen, a human rights lawyer who has been assisting the teachers' movement.
    "The Palestinian Authority is panicked by the idea of independent social movements because its leadership hasn't been elected for 17 years, and it has concentrated all powers in the hands of a few."
    "The teachers' movement is only a symptom of growing social pressure, part of which is also due to the lack of elections, the absence of a legislative power, the shrinking independence of the [PA] judiciary, and lack of social dialogue."
    "This social pressure can only be eased through deep democratic reform, including elections."

Israel's Natural Gas, Oil Revenues Hit Record High in 2022 (Xinhua-China)
    Israel's natural gas and oil revenues reached $460 million in 2022, the Energy Ministry reported Tuesday.
    Israel's natural gas fields produced 22.2 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas in 2022, up from 19.5 BCM in 2021.

European Companies Invested $1.66 Billion in Israeli Startups in 2022 (Jerusalem Post)
    Investments by European companies in Israeli startups in 2022 totaled $1.66 billion in 239 transactions.
    9 Israeli startups were purchased in 2022 by European entities for a total of $2.336 billion.
    66 European investment entities are currently operating in Israel, including 36 from the EU, 20 from Britain, and 10 from Switzerland.

Israel's Economy Expanded by 6.5 Percent in 2022 (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel's GDP rose by 6.5% in 2022, after rising 8.6% in 2021, the Israel Bureau of Statistics reported.

Israel Inaugurates Pavilion at Abu Dhabi Defense Exhibition (i24News)
    Israel's Defense Ministry on Monday inaugurated its first national pavilion in Abu Dhabi at the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX).
    Over 30 leading Israeli defense industries presented their technologies, which included air defense systems, rocket and missile systems, unmanned aerial systems, artificial intelligence, electro-optical systems, and cyber solutions.

Israeli Beats Reigning World Champion for Under-21 MMA Title (Times of Israel)
    Shaked Nisimian, 19, became the first Israeli to win a gold medal at a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) World Championships, beating the reigning champion on Thursday to claim the under-21 title in Serbia.
    Nisimian's victory is astonishing, given she only joined the sport in recent months, having previously focused her efforts on jiu-jitsu, where she won the European title.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli Defense Chiefs Discuss Possible Attack on Iran's Nuclear Installations - Campbell MacDiarmid
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has held five meetings with his defense chiefs, intelligence officials, and the head of Mossad to discuss a potential strike on Iran's nuclear program, according to a leaked report on Israel's Channel 12 on Tuesday.
        Israel has consistently messaged its concerns over Iran's nuclear program, suggesting the leak could be a deliberate signal from the Israeli government to compel Western allies to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons. Israel has reportedly shared its secret plans with the U.S. and France, warning them it will act alone if the international community will not provide support.
        Details of the meetings emerged after Netanyahu said on Tuesday: "The only thing that has ever stopped rogue nations from developing nuclear weapons is a credible military threat or a credible military action. A necessary condition and often a sufficient condition is credible military action. The longer you wait, the harder that becomes. We've waited very long."
        Netanyahu has said that Iran's nuclear program poses an existential threat to Israel. Last week, Bloomberg news reported that the UN nuclear watchdog had detected uranium enriched to 84% purity at an Iranian nuclear facility - close to weapons-grade. (Telegraph-UK)
        See also Iran Acknowledges It Enriched Uranium to 84 Percent - Jon Gambrell (AP)
  • U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to State Laws Banning Anti-Israel Boycotts - Alex Swoyer
    The Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place a lower court ruling upholding a state law restricting boycotts against Israel. The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law, arguing it ran afoul of the First Amendment. (Washington Times)
  • UN Security Council Denounces Israel in Statement - Michelle Nichols
    The UN Security Council issued a formal statement on Monday denouncing Israel's settlement activity, the first action the U.S. has allowed the body to take against its ally Israel in six years. "The Security Council reiterates that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines." Washington's support for the statement by the council came after the UAE said it would not put a stronger draft resolution to a vote, a move that could have prompted a U.S. veto. (Reuters)
        See also Israel: UN Statement Should Never Have Been Made and U.S. Should Never Have Joined It
    Israel responded to Monday's critical UN Security Council statement: "The UN Security Council has issued a one-sided statement which denies the rights of Jews to live in our historic homeland, fails to mention the Palestinian terror attacks in Jerusalem in which 10 Israeli civilians were murdered, ignores the Palestinian Authority's grotesque pay-for-slay policy, which subsidizes the murder of Jews, and belittles the evil of antisemitism, which has resulted in the slaughter of millions. The statement should never have been made and the United States should never have joined it."  (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also Israel to UN: Why Are Building Permits More Important to Discuss than Dead Jewish Children? - Haley Cohen
    Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan recounted to the UN Security Council on Monday the stories of the Israelis murdered in recent Palestinian terror attacks, including two young brothers, aged six and eight, who were murdered in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem. Holding up a photo of Yaakov Yisrael and Asher Menahem Paley, Erdan said, "These two beautiful children were murdered just for being Jews. Today's meeting should have been convened to condemn the price paid by innocent Israelis for the Palestinian Authority's incitement and hate....I pray that you think of them in the future when discussing the true obstacles to peace in our region."
        "Israel has been mourning the deaths of eleven recent victims of terror and dozens injured. Civilians. Yet shockingly, we are not here today to condemn the Palestinian acts of terror that led to this loss of life. This meeting was once again initiated to condemn Israel - this time, for issuing building permits in already-existing communities. Building permits in our homeland sparks international uproar, while dead Jewish children illicit nothing. This is an utter disgrace."  (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Operates Against Lions' Den Terrorists in Nablus - Emanuel Fabian
    Heavy gun battles broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen Wednesday in Nablus during an attempt to arrest terror suspects. The Palestinian Authority said 11 people were killed in the clashes. A military source said that soldiers surrounded a home where three members of the Lions' Den terror group were holed up, demanding they surrender. Israeli forces then fired missiles at the building to flush the men out. The IDF said troops came under "massive gunfire," and responded with live fire at gunmen. No Israeli troops were hurt.
        The IDF named the Lion's Den members killed as Hussam Bassam Isleem, 24, who was a member of a cell that killed IDF Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch in October; Mohammad Abdul Fattah, 23, who was also affiliated with Islamic Jihad; and Walid Riyad Dkhail, 23. All three had participated in shooting attacks against Israeli forces. Lions' Den and Islamic Jihad later claimed six of the fatalities as members. (Times of Israel)
        See also Israel Raids the Lion's Den - Yaakov Lappin
    According to IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, during the raid in Nablus, the Israeli force came under fire from rooftops, motorbikes and vehicles, as well as from the hideout itself. (JNS)
  • Israel Responds to Palestinian Rocket Fire from Gaza
    After Palestinians fired six rockets into southern Israel on Wednesday, Israeli planes struck targets in Gaza early Thursday, hitting a Hamas weapons workshop and another a "military site," the IDF said. Five of the rockets were downed by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. Video posted on social media shows interceptions over Israeli cities, including Ashkelon. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinians Open Fire at IDF Checkpoint
    Palestinians opened fire from a car at IDF soldiers at a checkpoint at the Homesh junction in Samaria on Wednesday evening. The soldiers returned fire and the shooters fled the scene. No casualties were reported. (Jerusalem Post)
  • First Arab-Africa-Israel Security Conference to Be Held in Jerusalem - Etgar Lefkovits
    Representatives of 14 African and Arab countries will convene in Jerusalem next month for the first-ever Arab-Africa-Israel conference on Middle East security. The three-day conference, entitled "Trusted Regional Partnerships at a Time of Shifting Alliances," organized by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, will include participants from countries without diplomatic relations with Israel.
        The conference will focus on security, stability and cooperation, with discussions on the Abraham Accords, anti-radicalism and counterinsurgency, as well as food and water security. The participants are from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Somaliland, South Sudan and South Africa.
        "Iran and its Hizbullah terror proxy are subverting states across the region and Africa as well," said Dan Diker, president of the Jerusalem Center. "Israel is being sought after by its Arab and African neighbors near and far to collaborate on key issues such as food and water security at a time of regional instability."  (JNS)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • Israel Tells UN to Act Against Iran for Ukraine's Sake - Tovah Lazaroff
    "Ukraine has been a testing ground for Iran," Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. Iran's "armaments are now being sold to some of the most dangerous international actors. If this is what the Iranian threat looks like today, I truly cannot imagine what it will be like should Iran become a nuclear threshold state. It's time, not for the international community to wake up but to act against the Iranian threat. Iran must be stopped." Erdan spoke at a special session to mark the end of the first year of Russia's war against Ukraine. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Palestinians

  • Israelis Say Palestinian Waste Fires Are "Killing Us Slowly" - Tzvi Joffre
    Israelis living in Judea and Samaria told the Knesset Interior Affairs Committee on Monday that illegal Palestinian waste fires are "killing us slowly." "Our house is closed all the time. My children have an aggravation of hives and tingling in the throat. The neighbors' children have asthma," said Reut Schechter from the community of Kedem Arava. "We have been suffering from these fires since our first day, and recently it has increased to the extent that there are fires all day long. The fires can be for days in a row....The suffering is daily - you cannot play outside, do sports or go on a walk....We are simply being killed."
        MK Yitzhak Kreuzer told the committee, "Illegal burning of waste is one of the main causes of carcinogenic air pollution in Israel and harms the health and quality of life of millions of residents."
        Former director-general of the Environmental Protection Ministry Galit Cohen said in January 2023 that the ministry offered the Palestinian Authority thousands of shekels to gather the waste from 72 villages, but the PA had refused to accept the funds. A 2021 report by the ministry found that illegal waste fires caused 43% of the air pollution in Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. Ambassador to Israel: "I Spend 60 Percent of My Time Trying to Help the Palestinian People" - Jacob Magid
    U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, in a podcast interview last Thursday, said, "I spend 60% of my time trying to help the Palestinian people." He cited U.S. efforts to increase aid to the UNRWA agency for Palestinian refugees and to hospitals in eastern Jerusalem, in addition to urging Israel to expand the operating hours of the Allenby West Bank-Jordan crossing and allow Palestinians access to 4G cellular coverage.
        He added, "We chase around this idea of a two-state solution, [but] at the end of the day, it's all about...taking care of the Palestinian people without compromising the security of the State of Israel....The average person does not wake up every day and say, 'Where is my two-state solution?'"
        "Former administrations have come up with big peace plans. Sadly, [if] we chase that rabbit down the hole, we're not focusing on the things that need to happen on a day-to-day basis for the Palestinian people, and for the security of the State of Israel."  (Times of Israel)
  • Why Keep Pretending that Jews Building Homes Prevents Peace? - Jonathan S. Tobin
    The U.S. foreign-policy establishment has always held to the farcical notion that the presence of Jews in Jerusalem and in the territories is the primary obstacle to ending the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The building of any homes in what the world calls the "West Bank" is a problem because of the assumption that all of it is stolen property that must be returned to their rightful Palestinian owners.
        That is false. Jews have every right to live in the territories even if the ultimate disposition of the land is something that can and should be negotiated by the parties - assuming that the Palestinians ever chose to negotiate seriously to reach an agreement that will end their century-old war on Zionism.
        The Biden administration is well aware that the Palestinian Authority leadership has no intention of ever negotiating seriously with Israel. But each time they resurrect the line about wanting to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution that the Palestinians don't want, they reinforce the conviction of both Fatah, which runs the PA, and their Hamas and Islamic Jihad rivals that Israel can be pushed out of the territories as a first step towards its ultimate elimination.
        Biden knows that the places where new homes will be built in Judea and Samaria will never become part of even a theoretical Palestinian state. Already, more than 500,000 Jews live in the parts of Judea and Samaria that were labeled as "Area C" in the Oslo Accords. None of them are going to be chucked out of their homes to create a Palestinian state. The more the world continues to act as if that were a possibility, the less likely it is that the next Palestinian leadership understands that if they want sovereignty over any part of the country, they'll have to concede the areas where Jewish communities exist.
        If foreign governments and so-called human-rights groups really wanted to end the cycle of violence, then they would ditch the cycle of diplomatic condemnations of Israel that help reinforce the Palestinian mindset that Israel is an illegitimate nation that can eventually be destroyed. (JNS)
  • Can the Whole World Be Wrong? - Melanie Phillips
    One of the mysteries of the war against Israel is the extent to which a monstrously twisted narrative about Israel and the Palestinian Arabs - casting the former as evil and the latter as sanctified victims - has been absorbed by so many people.
        The astonishing story of Mohammed al-Durah illustrates this. On Sep. 30, 2000, the French TV station France 2 broadcast footage from Gaza that apparently showed 12-year-old al-Durah being shot dead by Israeli fire as he clung to his father during a demonstration. The footage incited hysteria across the Arab and Muslim world. But it was all a set-up and a grotesque lie.
        As I saw in a Paris courtroom in 2007, previously unseen French TV footage showed that the scenes of battle had been staged. Palestinian "demonstrators" were laid out on stretchers and carted off to ambulances. But there was no blood or evidence of injuries whatsoever, not even on al-Durah, with the boy peeping through his fingers moments after a reporter announced he had been killed.
        The person who has done more than anyone to bring this monstrous calumny to public attention is Richard Landes, a professor at Boston University. His new and magnificent book, Can the Whole World be Wrong? Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism and Global Jihad, is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand today's lunacies.
        As Landes says, today's Western journalists behave like true believers in the lies about Israel. Journalists who report Palestinian jihadi war propaganda as objective fact fail to grasp that they are thus reporting their own enemy's war propaganda as news. This has led to what Landes terms: "The Alice in Wonderland mindset: when jihadis attack a democracy, blame the democracy."  (Melanie Phillips)
  • What Is to Blame for the Involvement of Palestinian Kids in Terror Attacks? - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Social media platforms, including TikTok, are one of the main reasons behind the involvement of Palestinian children in terror attacks. Ibrahim Odeh, a political activist from eastern Jerusalem, said, "Every child has a smartphone or a computer....The children watch videos of gunmen from Jenin and Nablus, and some want to be like them. They want to imitate the gunmen and other people who carry out attacks."
        Scenes of teenagers and children throwing stones and firebombs or launching fireworks at police officers and vehicles in eastern Jerusalem are common. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also The Phenomenon of Palestinian Teen Terrorists - Yoni Ben Menachem (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Other Issues

  • Israel's UN Envoy Accuses New York Times of "Overt Anti-Israel Bias" - Haley Cohen
    Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan on Wednesday sent a letter to the New York Times' executive editor sharply condemning the newspaper's "overt anti-Israel bias." Erdan called asymmetry in the Times' coverage of Israel, from opinion columns to news stories, "libelous narratives" and demanded the reporting be rectified.
        He cited a study by Bar-Ilan University covering 2022 which found 361 articles focusing on Israel, most of which disparage Israel and brand it a human right's violator. The number of opinion columns condemning Israel was almost double the number condemning Iran.
        "The cornerstones of journalism ethics are truth, accuracy, and objectivity - values that, when it comes to Israel, the Times deliberately refuses to uphold," he wrote. "When the New York Times chooses to demonize Israel, the very least professional journalism demands is that the reader is exposed to the whole story....Yet when the Times reports Israel's actions with nearly non-existent context, it actively contributes to warping the truth."
        "Due to your whitewashing of Palestinian terror and the propagation of half-truths, your readers are hardly aware of these Jihadist organizations' existence, let alone the constant threat they pose to Israel....Through this deceitful coverage, the Times not only twists the truth but also incentivizes terrorism."
        "Much of today's violent Jew-hatred takes the form of Israel-hatred. And part of the blame for this growing bigotry lays on your shoulders. The New York Times' libelous narratives are actively contributing to the growing hatred of my country and, as a result, your publication plays a role in endangering Jews around the globe."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • As Lebanon Disintegrates, Nasrallah Incites War - Baria Alamuddin
    In recent days, a rash of angry demonstrations have torn across Lebanon's urban centers, with banks the focus of particular outrage after the lira lost 98% of its value. With this background, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah made a televised address on Feb. 16, 2023, to praise the Iranian people's "massive participation" in nationwide rallies celebrating the Islamic Revolution's anniversary, disregarding the civil disorder in his own nation and the continuing anti-regime protests across Iran.
        Nasrallah revealed that all of Lebanon's travails are the fault of the "Great Satan," thundering: "I tell the American government that if they want to sow chaos in Lebanon, you will lose everything. If you push Lebanon into chaos, we are ready to use our arms against your protege, Israel....We are ready to resort to the option of war." But at a time when most Lebanese citizens are consumed by trying to ward off starvation for their families, such warmongering is grotesque.
        Lebanon has undergone one of the most severe economic implosions of any nation in modern history. Does Nasrallah seriously believe that it is in any shape for embroilment in a wholesale conflict with the amassed armies of America, Israel and the remainder of the Western world?
        In Lebanon's current reality, even the middle classes have been reduced to considering sending their children to orphanages for their own survival, while people die due to a lack of medication for preventable diseases. Meanwhile, Hizbullah commanders - with their luxury SUVs, access to dollars and foreign goods - having grown fat on narcotics smuggling revenues, are insulated from economic ruination. But their opulent lifestyle in upmarket Beirut neighborhoods will abruptly end if war were really to reach Lebanon's shores. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
        See also Video: Hizbullah's Radwan Force Simulates Invasion of Northern Israel (MEMRI-TV)
  • China's Interests in the Middle East - David P. Goldman
    On Dec. 9, while Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia, he signed a Gulf Cooperation Council call "to address the Iranian nuclear file and destabilizing regional activities, address support for terrorist and sectarian groups and illegal armed organizations, prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles and drones, ensure the safety of international navigation and oil installations, and adhere to UN resolutions."
        China's public criticism of Iran reflects its self-interest as the largest importer of oil from the Persian Gulf. China's annual exports to Saudi Arabia reached $42 billion in 2022 from $16 billion in 2017, while its exports to Iran fell to $8 billion in 2022 from $16 billion in 2017. China's exports to Israel are $17 billion a year. China shares with Israel a common interest in stopping Iran from destabilizing the region.
        Israel's alliance with the U.S. is the cornerstone of its foreign policy and should remain so. Israel has discouraged Chinese participation in infrastructure projects to placate Washington. But Western security won't suffer if a Chinese construction firm builds light rail lines or desalination plants.
        The writer is deputy editor of the Asia Times. (Times of Israel)

  • Weekend Features

  • Israel Planning to Export Gas via LNG Ship - Simon Henderson
    The war in Ukraine has changed the natural gas market, increasing prices and demand in Europe. Israel currently sends its offshore gas to Egypt, where it is used to generate domestic electricity, freeing up Egyptian gas for the more lucrative export market. Chevron, which operates Israel's largest offshore field, Leviathan, is proceeding with a basic engineering study after assessing the feasibility of producing liquefied natural gas (LNG).
        An Israeli LNG project would involve building a multibillion-dollar specialist vessel and the expansion the Leviathan field's production, with more seabed pipelines from the field, 75 miles offshore, to the production platform, 5 miles out to sea from Zichron Yaakov. The LNG vessel would be anchored close to the platform. (Israel's environmental lobby will likely be vociferously opposed to the impact on the local sea view.)
        The writer is director of the Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at The Washington Institute. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Why Arabs Should Learn about the Holocaust - Robert Satloff
    The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has been working for more than a decade to build partnerships across the Middle East to engage local Arab communities in discussion of the relevant lessons of the Holocaust. The UAE and Morocco are now preparing to include discussion of the Holocaust, alongside other genocides, in their educational curricula. But why should Arabs today care about terrible events that occurred long ago in a faraway place?
        The reason why Arabs should learn about the Holocaust - the effort by Nazi Germany to exterminate the Jewish people, which led to the killing of 6 million innocents, including 1.5 million children - is because its lessons apply to all peoples. The Arab world itself has seen the gassing of the Kurds in Halabja, the burning of villages in Darfur, and the merciless ISIS campaign to annihilate Yazidi men and enslave their women. Learning about the Holocaust is necessary for Arabs to join with the rest of the world in efforts to keep the profound promise of "never again."
        The writer is director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
  • Dutch Woman Hid Hundreds of Jews from the Nazis - Matt Lebovic
    In The Watchmaker's Daughter, Larry Loftis offers the first comprehensive English-language biography of Corrie ten Boom, who used her family's home - and the watchmaking shop downstairs - to hide hundreds of Jews and Dutch resisters from the Nazis. Both she and her father (Casper ten Boom) were recognized Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. Most of the refugees stayed for a matter of days - or hours - but several people lived in the house for months alongside the family.
        In February 1944, a Dutch informant betrayed the hiding place, and Germans arrested the entire ten Boom family. Corrie and her sister Betsie were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany. Betsie died while incarcerated, while Corrie survived and died in 1983 at age 91.
        The Corrie ten Boom House was converted into a museum in 1988. It includes Corrie's bedroom, where a false wall was constructed to hide up to six people. Curator Jaap Nieuwstraten said, "Out of principle, we do not charge an admission fee. We do so, because we believe that everybody should be able to hear the message of forgiveness, toleration, and love for the Jewish people for free."  (Times of Israel)

Sudan: Expanding the Tent of the Abraham Accords - Dr. Yechiel M. Leiter (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • In his February 2, 2023, meeting with the Sudanese ruler, Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, in Khartoum, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen finalized the text of a formal peace agreement between the two countries.
  • Sudan's full entry into the Abraham Accords is a powerful symbolic statement of the rejection of Arab rejectionism, as exemplified in the Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967, which declared the "Three Nos": "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."
  • Growing normalization with Israel will significantly augment military cooperation between the two countries. In addition, it will strengthen intelligence gathering and sharing capabilities and empower the Sudanese military to contend with and ultimately curtail the arms trafficking running through its ports and territorial waters.
  • Agriculture remains a critical sector of Sudan's economy, with almost 80% of its citizens engaging in subsistence farming. Food insecurity is of paramount concern, as food scarcity and severe malnutrition threaten the country's economic autonomy and social stability. Israel excels in agricultural innovation and is eager to export its technologies that can change the food production paradigm of Sudan and help guarantee food security for millions of Sudanese.
  • There are those in the West who want any normalization with Sudan to be contingent on the country's complete transition to civilian governance. This is a mistake. Cultures differ, as do the historical processes of political development. The differences should be respected. The will for democracy is admirable and should be supported, but full democratization is a process that requires care and common sense.
  • Sudan is a country slowly weaving its way to democracy. It is happening because its military leaders want it to happen and are carrying it in that direction. They have hoisted the flag of cooperation and reconciliation.

    The writer is Director-General of the Jerusalem Center.
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