March 2, 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.: Iran Can Make Fissile Material for a Bomb "in 12 Days"  (Reuters)
    Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said Tuesday, "Back in 2018...it would have taken Iran about 12 months to produce one bomb's worth of fissile material. Now it would take about 12 days."

IDF: Iran Tried to Drone Strike Two Israeli-Linked Vessels in Arabian Sea in February - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    Maj.-Gen. Oded Basiuk, head of the IDF Operations Directorate, revealed Wednesday that Iran had twice attempted to attack Israeli-linked vessels in the Arabian Sea in February.
    He told a conference hosted by the Institute for National Security Studies, "In the last month, Iran tried twice to attack vessels in the Arabian Sea and failed, and it did so using drones, which we also see being used in the Ukraine-Russia war. Iran poses a danger to the security and stability of the entire region."

British Navy Seizes Smuggled Iranian Weapons in Gulf of Oman (Reuters)
    Britain's Royal Navy said Thursday it had seized Iranian weapons, including anti-tank missiles and medium-range ballistic missile components, last month from a smugglers vessel in international waters in the Gulf of Oman.

Iran's Currency Tumbles in New Challenge to Clerical Leadership - David S. Cloud (Wall Street Journal)
    The Iranian rial has lost a fifth of its value since last week, hitting a low of 601,500 to the U.S. dollar on Sunday. Iran's official exchange rate is 42,000 rials to the dollar.
    Urban inflation hit 52.7% in January, up 2.1% from December, according to Iranian government statistics.

Hizbullah-Backed Terrorists Form Dozens of Cells on Syrian Border - Yaakov Lappin (JNS)
    Hizbullah has established dozens of terrorist cells in southern Syria, just over the Israeli border, composed of local recruits.
    Maj. (res.) Tal Beeri, head of research at the Alma Research and Education Center, described a "military terrorist infrastructure that was built by Hizbullah, with Iranian-Syrian cooperation, in order to create a new front of terrorism against Israel from the Syrian border."
    "It is made up of dozens of cells, with each cell made up of local squads of Syrians. These are Sunni and Druze operatives located all along the Israeli border with Syria on the Golan Heights, from the village of Hader in the [Syrian] northern Golan to the triangle of borders of Israel, Jordan and Syria."
    "There are some cells that operate independently, and others that act as part of a cluster under the instructions of a more senior handler....In either case, presiding over this 'food chain' is a Lebanese Hizbullah operative who instructs the squads, activating them."
    The network "uses Syrian military lookouts, positions, [and] equipment."
    In most cases, the local terror operatives are motivated by money, not ideology, said Beeri.
    "They don't identify with Hizbullah's goals, but they show up because Hizbullah pays well and they have to survive."

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Russia Recruiting Palestinians in Lebanon to Fight in Ukraine - Majdi Halabi (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
    Russia is offering $350 a month to Palestinian residents of Lebanon to join the conflict in Ukraine, a security source in the Lebanese government said Monday.
    Individuals connected to the Palestinian embassy in Beirut are leading the recruitment drive.
    Most recruits are from Ein Al-Khalwa near Sidon and are affiliated with Fatah, led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
    Some 300 individuals have already completed rapid training in Russia and have been deployed to the frontlines.
    In addition, the Wagner Group has recruited Palestinian fighters from the Russian-controlled Khmeimim Air Base near Latakia.
    Fighters from regular Syrian military units supervised by Russia, such as the 25th Special Operations Division, are being paid $500-700 per month to enter the war zone.
    Hizbullah is also aggressively recruiting young supporters to aid Russia in the conflict in Ukraine, especially those proficient at operating drones and those knowledgeable in guerrilla warfare in urban settings.

Ukraine War Aggravates Egypt's Economic Crisis - Samy Magdy (AP)
    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has pushed up food and energy prices in Egypt. Egypt is the world's biggest importer of wheat.
    Annual inflation reached 26.5% in January, the highest in five years, with food prices in urban areas soaring 48%.
    The prices of rice, cooking oil, bread, and eggs have all doubled in Cairo's supermarkets.
    In response, the government has bolstered welfare programs, raised salaries of civil servants, and postponed cuts to subsidized bread and planned electricity price hikes.
    It also established hundreds of government-owned markets across the country that sell staples for cheaper prices.

Israel, U.S. Sign Security Supply Deal - Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post)
    The Israel Defense Ministry and the U.S. Department of Defense on Wednesday signed a Security of Supply Arrangement (SOSA) to ensure that both countries have special priority to purchase security supplies on an emergency basis in case of a conflict.
    The ministry called the new deal "an additional anchor to the special security relations between the countries as well as to the deep commitment between the nations."

Inscription Bearing Name of Persian King Darius Discovered in Israel - Melanie Lidman (Times of Israel-Jerusalem Post)
    Eylon Levy, international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog, was visiting the ancient city at Tel Lachish in central Israel in December when he picked up a piece of pottery with scratches that looked like writing.
    "I immediately reported it to the Israel Antiquities Authority," which took the potsherd for testing, Levy said.
    After multiple scans and laboratory tests, including at the Dead Sea Scrolls Lab, the IAA confirmed that the potsherd was the first discovery of an inscription bearing the name of Persian king Darius the Great anywhere in Israel. Darius is the father of King Ahasuerus, known from the biblical story of Purim.
    The inscription reads "Year 24 of Darius," which dates back to 498 BCE. At the time, during the Persian period, Lachish was a large administrative center.
    See also Video: Discovery in Israel - Rare Inscription Naming Persian King Darius (Israel Antiquities Authority)

Israeli Drip Irrigation Firm Netafim Opens Plant in Morocco - Jihane Rahhou (Morocco World News)
    Israeli drip irrigation manufacturer Netafim announced Monday the opening of a manufacturing plant in Kenitra, Morocco, that may generate 200 jobs and help strengthen the country's agricultural sector.

Israeli Startups Raised over $700 Million in February (Globes)
    Israeli startups raised over $700 million in February 2023, more than double the $340 million raised in January.
    Israeli privately-held tech companies raised $15 billion in 2022, after raising a record $25.6 billion in 2021.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • UN Report: Uranium Particles Enriched to 83.7 Percent Found in Iran - Stephanie Liechtenstein
    A confidential quarterly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency distributed to member states on Tuesday found uranium particles enriched up to 83.7% in Iran's underground Fordo nuclear site. The report described inspectors discovering on Jan. 21 that the two cascades of IR-6 centrifuges in Fordo had been configured in a way "substantially different" to what had been previously declared.
        A spokesman for Iran's civilian nuclear program, Behrouz Kamalvandi, sought last week to portray any detection of uranium particles enriched to 84% as a momentary side effect of trying to reach a finished product of 60% purity. However, experts say such a great variance in purity would appear suspicious to inspectors.
        Iran's 2015 nuclear deal limited Tehran's uranium enrichment to 3.67% - enough to fuel a nuclear power plant. Iran has been producing uranium enriched to 60% purity - a level that has no civilian use. Uranium at 84% is nearly at weapons-grade levels of 90%. (AP-Washington Post)
        See also Germany Fears Iran a Danger to Entire Middle East - Tim Stickings
    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Tuesday that Iran is threatening the security of the whole Middle East, after meeting Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. She said there would be "no plausible civilian justification" for Iran enriching uranium to 84%. "Iran must not come into possession of a nuclear weapon. That is our common position and the goal of our diplomatic efforts....Iran is also endangering stability and security in the whole Near and Middle East through its support for militant groups."  (The National-UAE)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Gunmen Murder Israeli-American near Jericho - Emanuel Fabian
    Israeli-American Elan Ganeles, visiting Israel for a wedding, was shot to death while driving near Jericho on Monday after two gunmen in a car opened fire at his vehicle on Route 90. The terrorists then continued driving and opened fire at another car near the Beit Ha'arava Junction, then shot at a third car nearby. The gunmen then set fire to their car as they fled toward Jericho.
        Haim Terbelsi, who was in one of the vehicles that was targeted, said his friend who was driving said, "I automatically hit the brakes and the terrorists' vehicle went past us while firing and disappeared." Bruno Zaramti, who was driving in another car that was targeted, said, "I saw a person come out of a car window and shoot at us....They could have easily killed us."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Elan Ganeles, American Jewish Victim of Terror, Remembered by Friends - Jackie Hajdenberg
    Elan Ganeles, 26, grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, and was an honors student at Hebrew High School of New England. He enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and rose to the rank of sergeant, working as a computer programmer on financial monitoring systems. Ganeles returned to the U.S. in 2018 to attend Columbia University and graduated in 2022. (JTA)
        See also Palestinians Suspected of Killing Israeli-American Captured by IDF
    Israeli forces on Wednesday caught two Palestinian suspects in the killing of Israeli-American Elan Ganeles on Monday at the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp near Jericho. A third suspect was killed in a gunfight with the Israeli army.
        On Wednesday, thousands of Israelis came from around the country to Ganeles' funeral. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinian Gunmen Open Fire at Israeli Motorist - Emanuel Fabian
    An Israeli family driving between Qusra and Migdalim in the West Bank was hit with at least four bullets fired by gunmen in a passing vehicle on Monday. The driver was lightly hurt. (Times of Israel)
        See also Israeli Bus Firebombed near Modiin
    An Israeli bus caught fire after being hit by a firebomb on Monday night near Beit Sira, west of Ramallah. As it reached the Modiin checkpoint, the passengers were able to evacuate and no injuries were reported. (IMEMC)
  • Israel Arrests Eight Palestinians Wanted for Shooting Attacks - Matthias Inbar
    The IDF and the Israel Security Agency arrested eight Palestinians on Monday suspected of shooting attacks since December against Israeli soldiers and civilians. (i24News)
  • Israeli Transport Minister Vows to Complete Huwara Bypass Road - Josh Hasten
    On Sunday, brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv were gunned down by a terrorist as they drove through the Arab village of Huwara. In 2017, the Israeli government approved a plan to construct bypass roads throughout Judea and Samaria, including the Huwara Bypass Road, to improve security for Israeli motorists while creating safer and modernized roads for Jewish and Arab drivers alike.
        Israel's current minister of transportation, Miri Regev, toured the bypass road construction site this week and vowed to complete it much sooner than planned. Yigal Dilmoni, former CEO of the council of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, said "the Arabs have been impeding the construction by building illegally on the route and damaging the construction site, causing delays. It's a very important road which the Arabs also want as it alleviates traffic since drivers avoid having to go through the village [Huwara] and getting stuck in traffic."  (JNS)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • Iran's Nuclear Endgame Warrants a Change in U.S. Strategy - Michael Singh
    Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have discovered that Iran had enriched uranium to a level just shy of weapons-grade. This revelation underscores the need for a new U.S. and European policy toward Iran. Washington and its partners need to activate the "snapback" mechanism of the 2015 Iran deal (JCPOA), and governments must heighten their efforts to deter Iran through credible threats of military force.
        The steps Tehran has taken look like preparations to quickly build nuclear weapons. Iran has: expanded its stockpile of enriched uranium, put more centrifuges in operation, enhanced the efficiency of its centrifuges, increased the number of enrichment sites, experimented with enriching to high levels in a single step rather than multiple steps, transferred high-enriched uranium to a site in Isfahan capable of turning uranium hexafluoride gas into metal (a key step in weapons manufacture), and obstructed nuclear inspectors.
        Iran's enrichment to 84% serves as a trial balloon to determine how the U.S., Europe, and Israel will react to it crossing the weapons-grade threshold. Tehran will undoubtedly be watching whether these states are ready to act or looking for excuses to avoid doing so, and whether their response is coordinated or marked by infighting. Whatever its intentions, Tehran may have unwittingly done the U.S. and its partners a favor with its latest move: dispelling the illusory notion that the nuclear issue could be "parked."
        The Iranian regime must be disabused of any notion that it now has a window of impunity for producing nuclear weapons. The U.S. and the E3 should exercise the JCPOA's snapback provision on international sanctions to send a powerful diplomatic message that they are unified. At the same time, the U.S. should provide Israel with the materiel it requires to act independently against Iran - for example, tanker aircraft for aerial refueling - with advance U.S.-Israel agreement on the triggers for attacking nuclear sites with said equipment.
        The writer, Managing Director of the Washington Institute, served as Senior Director for Middle East Affairs on the U.S. National Security Council. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • America Should Follow Israel's Lead on Iran - Mark Fox, Andrew Ghalili and Ari Cicurel
    For years, Iran's missiles and drones have terrorized the Middle East and, more recently, Ukraine. With its attacks on multiple Iranian military interests, Israel appears to be the only country consistently and proactively countering Tehran's threats to regional and global security. Since 2015, Israel has launched over 400 airstrikes to degrade the capabilities of Iran and its partner militias and prevent Tehran from proliferating precision weaponry. These include 350 in Syria, over 50 in Lebanon, four in Iran, and one in Iraq. Moreover, Israel is the only country now hindering the flow of Iranian drones into Russia's hands.
        In the two years since President Biden took office, there have been 80 attacks on U.S. troops or contractors in Iraq and Syria, with Iranian-backed groups firing 170 rockets and launching 60 drones. Yet the U.S. has launched only three rounds of airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria.
        Working with Israel, the U.S. should publicly adopt a policy similar to Israel's to deter and thwart Iranian attacks and weapons proliferation by using consistent, preemptive military force. The U.S. should expedite the delivery of KC-46A aircraft refueling tankers to Israel that would be critical should it become necessary for Israel to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. The Pentagon should also replenish its war reserve stockpile in Israel to preposition the precision-guided munitions that Israel would need in a full-scale war with Iran and Hizbullah.
        The U.S. should be closely partnering with Israel to degrade Iranian capabilities more broadly. Israel has developed a model for directly combating Iranian aggression that America should firmly endorse.
        Vice Admiral Mark Fox, USN (ret.), a member of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, served as Deputy Commander of U.S. Central Command. Andrew Ghalili and Ari Cicurel are Senior Policy Analysts at the JINSA. (National Interest)
  • U.S. under Threat as Iran Pushes Assassinations, Kidnappings - Benjamin Weinthal
    Amirali Hajizadeh, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace, declared last week that, "Inshallah (God willing), we will be able to kill Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, (former) CENTCOM chief Kenneth McKenzie, and others who ordered the killing of Qasem Soleimani."
        FBI director Christopher Wray noted on Jan. 27, "Looking at the threat from Iran more broadly, we've seen the Iranian regime become more aggressive and more brazen across vectors. In just the past couple of years, actors associated with Iran have launched a ransomware attack on a children's hospital in New England, attempted to assassinate the former U.S. National Security Advisor on U.S. soil, and now plotted to silence a U.S. citizen - a journalist who publicized the Iranian government's human rights abuses - by carrying out a murder in the heart of New York City. If that doesn't show how serious the threat from Iran is to Americans right here in America, I don't know what does."
        A new report by the Zachor Legal Institute - "The Unseen Threat of the Mapping Project" - outlines Iranian threats against U.S. targets that include the Boston Police Department, the FBI, and other government and law enforcement agencies. The Boston Mapping Project was initially thought to be limited to planned antisemitic terrorism attacks against Jewish and Israeli organizations in Boston. However, the new report revealed that "out of the roughly 500 entities publicly listed on the Mapping Project website, 298 are American strategic security assets and institutions. This raises concern that the true goal of the project is to map the American security apparatus."
        "A particularly noteworthy feature of the Mapping Project is that it provides, in meticulous detail, the precise addresses of U.S. government institutions and law enforcement offices" including "numerous local branches and offices." The website of the Boston Mapping project declares, "Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them. Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted."  (Fox News)
        See also Read the Report: The Unseen Threat of the Mapping Project (Zachor Legal Institute)

  • Palestinian Arabs

  • Address Internal Reform in the Palestinian Authority - Ghaith al-Omari
    The Palestinian Authority's poor governance and political ossification are key contributors to its fragility, as leaders in Ramallah steadily lose control over parts of the West Bank due to their eroding legitimacy. According to reputable polling, 80% of Palestinians consider the PA corrupt, and 60% see it as a liability rather than an asset. None of its main institutions enjoys popular legitimacy, in part because presidential and legislative elections have not been held since 2005 and 2006, respectively.
        The one successful attempt at reform - undertaken a decade ago by then-prime minister Salam Fayyad under pressure from the U.S. and international donors - was undermined through the combined efforts of Hamas and Fatah, led by President Mahmoud Abbas.
        In Nablus and Jenin, local activists do not feel beholden to the PA leadership, opening space for the emergence of armed groups such as the Lions' Den. In Hebron, local clans are increasingly seizing a measure of control simply to ensure stability.
        To salvage the PA as a functioning partner, Washington needs to reprioritize governance and reform issues, as well as pressure Ramallah to open political space in the West Bank and clarify the process of succession. Washington should work with traditional stakeholders Jordan and Egypt as well as European partners, ensuring that the necessary amount of pressure is placed on the PA while securing the necessary resources to make the project viable.
        The writer, a former advisor to the Palestinian Authority, is a senior fellow in The Washington Institute's Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Any Two-State Solution Requires the Disempowerment of Hamas - Neville Teller
    Hamas regarded the Oslo Accords of 1993 as a total betrayal of the Palestinian cause. It seeks to remove Israel through armed struggle and terror, and occupy all the land "from the river to the sea." Hamas has consistently opposed a two-state solution, since one of the two states would be Israel.
        World opinion fails to take account of the realities of championing a two-state solution. Any PA leader signing up to a two-state deal would be regarded as a traitor to the Palestinian cause, which is why no Palestinian leader has done so.
        Even if the PA could be induced to sign such a deal, Hamas and the 40% of the Palestinian population in Gaza would never come on board. There is an uncomfortable truth that the U.S. and all genuine supporters of the two-state solution must eventually face up to. An essential prerequisite to any two-state solution would have to be the disempowerment of Hamas. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Other Issues

  • Israel Cannot Allow Debate to Drown Out Perpetual Red Alert - William Daroff
    The current public debate in Israel is more polarized than ever before. As Jews and proud supporters of Israel, to see such turmoil in the world's only Jewish state is painful. We are extremely anxious by the way in which Israel's enemies are crowing, arming themselves with every criticism and rejoicing in our public disagreements.
        As Israel's brothers and sisters abroad we make one request as non-citizens: let our disagreements strengthen us, not divide us. Respectful debate has always been our strength, from the days of the Talmud onward. But division and disunity has always been our downfall, from time immemorial.
        Today, external challenges remain. Iran continues its march toward nuclear weapons while continuing its malevolent activities across the region. A further threat is the increase in Palestinian terror on Israel's streets. During our recent mission to Israel, we were all issued a timely reminder of the threats we face, as the red alert sounded and more rockets from Gaza targeted Israeli civilians.
        Another increasingly deadly threat is antisemitism. The global rise of Jew-hatred is increasingly prevalent in the U.S. and Europe, on the street, on campus, and online. These threats should not only bind us together but also remind us why Israel is so important as a safe haven for all Jews.
        We believe in the resilience of Israeli democracy and know that it will be able to deal with the challenges it faces. But however fervent the debate, we cannot afford to be distracted from the threat we all face. We cannot allow the debate to drown out the perpetual red alert.
        The writer is CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Antisemitism

  • Anti-Zionism Is the New Antisemitism - Fiamma Nirenstein
    The broader culture of our time is antisemitic. We see it everywhere - at demonstrations, in universities, in UN declarations, in mosques, in schools, and on TV and social media. This new antisemitism announces itself through hatred of Israel, comparing it to the Nazis and declaring it guilty of the worst of human acts: apartheid, genocide, colonialism.
        Because it was supported by America, Israel was declared an "imperialist" power, condemned by an automatic majority at the UN, and buzzwords like "occupation" came to be applied to the entirety of Israel and all its Jews, fundamentally delegitimizing the Jewish state.
        At the same time, the Palestinians were given total legitimacy, even as they made terrorism the most terrible weapon of our time, an example for terrorists all over the world, and even as they slaughtered innocents, persecuted their own people, and consistently refused offers of peace.
        Adherents of human rights have become outright antisemites - the worst human rights violators of all. They believe they are protecting human rights by attacking the Jews. Instead, they are enabling the rise of the cultural evil of antisemitism by wrapping it in the mantle of good.
        The writer, former vice president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Italian Chamber of Deputies, is a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the author of Jewish Lives Matter. (JNS)
  • Israeli Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism Noa Tishby Speaks at Duke University - David Swindle
    Actress Noa Tishby, Israel's special envoy for combating antisemitism, spoke at Duke University in Durham, N.C., on Feb. 21. Tishby wrote the 2021 book, Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.
        To see how normalized anti-Israel sentiments have become, Tishby said that in Wikipedia, Israel is the only country to have a page questioning its legitimacy. Not even North Korea has that, she said. Tishby advised students to ask pro-BDS activists which other countries they want to dismantle. "It's just one country, and that country just happens to be Jewish," she said.
        "Antisemitism is significantly on the rise in our society. During my talk, I asked the audience if they had experienced or witnessed antisemitism online, on campus or off campus. Everyone in the audience raised their hand," Tishby told JNS. "We, as Jews and Zionists, need to be loud and proud and stand up for ourselves. We cannot be silent in the face of antisemitism."  (JNS)

  • Weekend Features

  • Video: Reconnecting Israel and Black America - Dan Diker and Khaled Abu Toameh
    Israel, the American black community, and Jews have a long relationship. Recently, however, that relationship has become strained due to rising antisemitism and intersectional ideology that conflates black and Palestinian identities. Pastor Dumisani Washington, founder of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, has been inspired by Israel's story and message. In a new video, he shares his experiences with a diverse group of pastors, including Asians, Latinos and black Americans, who were impressed with Israel's multiethnic and democratic nature.
        According to Khaled Abu Toameh, Israel's integration with the Arab world greatly worries the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian groups. The PA has established a special team to combat Israel's attempts to "penetrate" the African continent. (JNS)
  • Behind Israel's Curiously High Fertility Rate - Danielle Kubes
    Israel's fertility rate - 2.9 - is the highest in the OECD by a wide margin, nearly double Canada's fertility rate of 1.5.  Israel is an outlier among developed countries with advanced economies, educated populations, and high female workforce participation. The real story is the high birth rate of traditional and secular Jewish couples.
        "Anyone who lives here is expected to have children," Sigal Gooldin, a Hebrew University sociologist, told the New York Times. "In casual conversation you will be asked how many children you have and if you say one, people will ask why only one, and if you say two, why only two?" Why both moderately religious and non-religious couples are choosing to procreate so often is a mystery to demographers, as it is in opposition to trends in Europe, North America and Asia.
        The real secret to Israel's fertility rates appears to be cultural. The family is at the absolute center of Israeli life. Getting married and having kids is the highest cultural value. Holocaust generational trauma is also part of the story. The global population of Jews is still lower than what it was before the Second World War and there is a sense among Israelis that they have a duty to replenish those numbers.
        But most importantly, children are seen as a blessing instead of a burden. I have never heard an Israeli lament the cost of having children and the impact more humans will have on climate change. Despite the fact that they live in a land where they know they will have to send their children into the army at 18, they aren't afraid to bring children into the world. Rather, they believe the only way to make a better world is to have children. (National Post-Canada)

  • In terms of media coverage, the most important event in the Middle East in the last week was a riot carried out by Jews in Huwara following a terrorist attack by Palestinian Arabs that took the lives of two young Jewish men. That this is so is, in a sense, understandable. Terror attacks against Jews are commonplace events. In the last five weeks alone, 13 Jews were slain by Palestinian terrorists.
  • Yet examples of Jews attempting to exact some sort of revenge for terrorism are actually rare. Events on the scale of the riot in Huwara are almost unknown. Incidents of Jewish violence amount to a fraction of the number of attacks of all sorts on Jews in Judea and Samaria.
  • Terrorism against Jews and Israelis is not only widely supported by Palestinian Arabs but embraced by their political parties. This includes the supposedly moderate Fatah Party that runs the Palestinian Authority, as well as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, whose public support is rooted in their record of violence rather than state-building or bettering the lives of their constituents. Financial support for those who kill and wound Jews is official PA policy; terrorist murderers and their families benefit from their crimes.
  • The support that the PA retains in the international community and the willingness of the Biden administration to resume aid to it - regardless of its legal obligations to cut it off because of the 2017 Taylor Force Act that ties assistance to the Palestinians to their ending this "pay to slay" policy - demonstrates the world's indifference to anti-Jewish terror.
  • Jews should condemn extralegal violence and/or acts of revenge that will do nothing but aid the cause of their enemies. Yet as long as terrorism is cheered by Palestinians, don't blame Israel for the continuation of the conflict or the Israeli people for feeling frustrated by the free pass the murderers get from those who dare to lecture terror victims about morality.
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