DAILY ALERT
Thursday,
May 11, 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:

Israel Thwarted Palestinian Attempt to Produce Rockets in Jenin (Jerusalem Post)
Israel thwarted an attempt by Palestinian Islamic Jihad to produce rockets and a launcher in Jenin in the northern West Bank in recent weeks, Israel Security Agency head Ronen Bar revealed Tuesday.
He said Tareq Ezzaldin, a spokesperson for the PIJ who was killed by the IDF in Gaza on Tuesday, had directly organized and provided knowledge and funding to 20 terrorist cells who aimed to murder Israelis, including the cell attempting to produce rockets.
Bar stressed that "we have no intention of waiting defensively for threats, but are always acting on the offensive against those sending them."
"The PIJ is an organization that is fully funded by Iran. The hands are the hands of Palestinians, the voice is the voice of Iran."



Terrorist Responsible for Deaths of Tali Hatuel and Her 4 Daughters Killed in Airstrike - Matan Tzuri (Ynet News)
In May 2004, two Palestinian terrorists opened fire at Tali Hatuel (34), a pregnant mother, and her four daughters - Hila (11), Hadar (9), Roni (7), and Merav (2) - at the Kissufim crossing in Gaza.
On Tuesday, Jahed Ahnam (62), secretary of the Islamic Jihad's military council, who was involved in planning that murderous attack, was killed in the opening strike of IDF Operation Shield and Arrow.



Israel Builds Defensive Walls along Gaza Corridor to Protect from Hamas Anti-Tank Missiles - Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post)
The Israel Defense Ministry announced Tuesday that it has made significant progress in recent weeks in installing defensive walls at key junctions in the Gaza corridor to protect against Hamas anti-tank missiles.



Hundreds of Israeli Families from Gaza Border Communities Evacuated to Dead Sea Hotels - Matan Tzuri (Ynet News)
Thousands of Sderot residents were evacuated from the city on Tuesday, accompanied by members of the Home Front Command, after Israeli airstrikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
Ramona Sayag, a Sderot resident who evacuated with her family, told Ynet that "a social worker called me and told me that I was going on vacation with the children due to the security situation."
The evacuation program was coordinated and funded by the Defense Ministry, based on lessons learned from previous rounds of fighting in Gaza.
Each Gaza border community has a designated location. The first to evacuate were those with special needs, families on welfare and the elderly.
There was another large evacuation on Wednesday. In some communities, only "those with essential positions" remained, including emergency teams and dairy farmers.



2 Jews among 4 Dead in Tunisia Synagogue Attack - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
Aviel Haddad, an Israeli who was living in Tunisia, and his French cousin Ben Haddad, were among four killed in an attack on a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba on Tuesday, during celebrations of the Lag B'Omer festival at the ancient site. At least 10 others were injured.
They were shot by a naval guard who first killed a colleague before opening fire targeting security personnel protecting the synagogue.
Hundreds of Jewish and Israeli worshipers were attending the festivities. Security forces killed the shooter.
Al-Qaeda militants attacked the Djerba synagogue in 2002 with a truck bomb, killing 21 Western tourists.


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How Israel Came to the UAE's Aid after the 2022 Houthi Missile Strikes - Jacob Magid (Times of Israel)
Israel provided multifaceted assistance to the United Arab Emirates when it faced a series of missile strikes from Houthi rebels in Yemen in 2022, according to an updated version of the book Trump's Peace by Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, released Thursday.
Israel was the second country to send a delegation of intelligence officials to assist with the investigation into the first attacks, and transferred a shipment of SPYDER air defense system batteries to the Gulf country.
In the eyes of the UAE, the Israeli response contrasted starkly with a sense of lackluster American support.



Netanyahu: Since the Start of the Year We Thwarted over 110 Terrorists (Prime Minister's Office)
Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday: "Since the start of the year, we have thwarted and arrested over 110 terrorists...while minimizing casualties among our forces and non-combatants, and indeed, 90% of casualties on the Palestinian side are terrorists."
"It is doubtful if any other military and security forces would be capable of achieving the same result in combat areas that are saturated with civilians."



Jordan Strikes Iran-Linked Drug Factory in Southern Syria - Suleiman Al-Khalidi (Reuters)
Jordan carried out airstrikes on southern Syria on Monday, hitting an Iran-linked drug factory and killing Syrian drug kingpin Marie al-Ramthan, intelligence sources said.
Ramthan had been sentenced to death on several occasions in recent years in absentia by Jordanian courts for drug trafficking.



Cypriot Airline Banned from Lebanese Airspace due to Israeli Minority Ownership (L'Orient Today-Lebanon)
Lebanese officials banned the Cypriot airline TUS AIR from flying in Lebanese airspace or landing at Beirut International Airport after learning that an Israeli corporation owns shares in the airline.



Israel Introduces BlueWhale Unmanned Submarine (Israel Defense)
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has introduced its BlueWhale Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.
The submarine has successfully undergone thousands of hours of autonomous operation, including intelligence-gathering for both maritime and coastal targets, acoustic intelligence, and identifying the presence of naval mines.
The craft can perform a significant portion of the operations of a manned submarine, for periods of several weeks, at minimal cost and maintenance.



Israel Sets Up Innovation Center in Arab Community (Xinhua-China)
Israel announced Wednesday the launching of a healthcare startup incubator in the northern Arab city of Sakhnin.
The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) said the new center's goal is to promote startup companies in Arab society, promoting tech-based projects in the fields of medical devices, digital medicine, food tech, and artificial intelligence for medical applications.
The center is part of a program aimed at increasing the representation and integration of the Arab population in Israeli hi-tech.



Israel to Share Agrotech, Water Management Expertise with Morocco - Sara Zouiten (Morocco World News)
Israel's Minister of Economy Nir Barkat on Wednesday inaugurated the Israeli pavilion at the International Exhibition of Agriculture (SIAM) in Meknes and stressed his country's willingness to collaborate with Morocco on agriculture and agrotech.
"Morocco is very well-positioned to be a gateway to Africa and for Israelis to feel comfortable coming here and creating joint ventures with Moroccan companies," Barkat said.
He hopes Morocco will pave the way for Israel to share its water tech, agrotech, and desert tech expertise with countries across the world.



Agreements Signed to Allow 42,000 Indian Workers to Work in Israel (Press Trust of India)
Visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and his Indian counterpart, Dr. S. Jaishankar, signed an agreement in New Delhi on Tuesday that will allow 42,000 Indian workers to work in the Jewish state in the fields of construction and nursing.



Israel Rated Best Summer Vacation Destination Worldwide (Jerusalem Post)
A recent article from Club Med, the French travel and tourism agency, named Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, the best destination for a summer vacation worldwide.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli Airstrikes Kill Three Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commanders in Gaza - Barak Ravid
    Three Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commanders who were responsible for recent rocket fire into Israel and coordinating terrorist attacks in the West Bank were killed Tuesday in targeted Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. They included Khalil Bahatini, PIJ commander in northern Gaza, who was in charge of the rocket fire toward Israel in the past month and was planning further attacks; Jihad Ghanam, secretary of the PIJ military council in Gaza; and Tareq Izz al-Din, who was in charge of planning PIJ attacks in the West Bank. The IDF also attacked ten PIJ military facilities in Gaza used for producing rockets or storing weapons.
    IDF spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said preparations for the operation had gone on for weeks and that 40 fighter jets, attack helicopters and attack drones took part in the strike. (Axios)
    See also IDF Targets Commander of Islamic Jihad's Rocket Forces, Rockets from Gaza Kill Palestinian Civilians - Elisha Ben Kimon
    Islamic Jihad commander Ali Hassan Ghali, head of the group's rocket forces, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Thursday, the IDF said. Two other Islamic Jihad commanders, including his brother, were also killed. "Ghali was responsible for directing and carrying out rocket fire at Israeli territory, including the recent barrages."
    As of Wednesday evening, 507 rockets had been fired toward Israel. 154 were intercepted by Israeli air defense systems, as Iron Dome recorded a 96% success rate. Another 108 crashed inside Gaza, killing four Palestinian civilians including 3 children. (Ynet News)
    See also Israel: "Islamic Jihad Is Getting Humiliated" - Elisha Ben Kimon
    A senior Israeli official said Thursday: "It's in everyone's interest to wrap up [the campaign], but Islamic Jihad is getting humiliated so bad that it's struggling to come to terms with its complete lack of achievements and zero Israeli casualties." (Ynet News)
  • White House Affirms Israel's "Right to Defend Its People from Indiscriminate Rocket Attacks"
    U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi on May 10 to discuss the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Sullivan reaffirmed the Administration's ironclad support for Israel's security, as well as its right to defend its people from indiscriminate rocket attacks. (White House)
    See also U.S. Secretary of Defense Underscores Support for Israel's Right to Defend Its People (U.S. Defense Department)
  • UK: Israel Has "Legitimate Right to Self-Defense" - Lee Harpin
    UK Minister for the Middle East Lord Tariq Ahmad has defended Israel's "legitimate right to self-defense" after responding to questions in the House of Lords amid the escalating conflict with the Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Lord Ahmad also said he welcomed signals that Hamas did not appear "involved in this current conflict."
    Lord Leigh noted the fact that 100 rockets had been fired towards Israel from Gaza before Israel launched its attack against three Islamic Jihad commanders, one of whom had been helping build a rocket launching facility in Jenin. (Jewish News-UK)
    See also U.S. and Britain Block UN Security Council Condemnation of Israel on Gaza - Tovah Lazaroff
    The U.S., together with Great Britain, blocked the UN Security Council from condemning the IDF's military operation in Gaza, Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told Army Radio on Thursday. Their opposition meant the issue never came to a vote. (Jerusalem Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Hamas Stays Out of Latest Rocket Fire from Gaza - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    According to IDF intelligence, Hamas has not been a major factor in the current wave of rocket fire from Gaza. Hamas issued numerous statements that it was involved and supported Islamic Jihad, but this appears to be a public-relations move to cover up the fact that the true rulers of Gaza stayed out of the conflict. As Israel has responded to the rocket fire from Gaza, it has barely touched Hamas. (Jerusalem Post)
    See also Iran Urging Hamas to Join Forces with Islamic Jihad to Attack Israel (Iran International)
  • Israel's Diplomatic Messaging on Gaza - Lahav Harkov
    Israel signaled to Hamas that it wants to keep Operation Shield and Arrow limited and focused. Israel sent a message via Egypt that Hamas should not get involved in this operation, or else Israel will strike their assets, including targeted killings of their leadership, Israel's Channel 12 reported. Israeli statements about the fighting left out what was once a consistent message, that it views Hamas as responsible for everything that happens in Gaza.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the difference between Israel and the PIJ is "they want to strike civilians, while we avoid them. We are sorry for all harm to uninvolved civilians, while they celebrate it and give out candy." (Jerusalem Post)
    See also Operation Shield and Arrow Seeks to Reestablish Israeli Deterrence - Yaakov Lappin
    The Israeli Air Force surprised Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Tuesday with a series of airstrikes in Gaza in an effort by Israel to reestablish deterrence after PIJ fired 104 rockets at Israeli civilians on May 2 and 3. Maj. Nir Dinar, head of the IDF's International Press Department, said that all of the PIJ operatives targeted had recently engaged in terrorist activity. They had also been planning attacks on Israelis in the near future, including in Judea and Samaria. (JNS)
  • David's Sling Downs Rocket Headed for Tel Aviv in First Interception - Emanuel Fabian
    Israel's David's Sling air defense system successfully shot down a rocket from Gaza on Wednesday, marking its first real interception. (Times of Israel)
  • IDF Strikes Islamic Jihad Cell in Gaza Readying Missile Attack - Emanuel Fabian
    A Palestinian Islamic Jihad squad in Gaza that sought to carry out an anti-tank missile attack against targets on the Israeli border was targeted in an airstrike on Tuesday while on their way to the launch site. Two were killed and two were wounded in the strike. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Rockets Damage Homes in Israel
    Rockets fired from Gaza on Wednesday hit a private home in Sderot, two residential buildings in Ashkelon, and a private home in Kibbutz Nir Am. No injuries were reported. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Soldier Seriously Hurt in Shootout with Palestinians - Emanuel Fabian
    An Israeli woman soldier was seriously wounded during an exchange of fire between armed men and IDF forces on an arrest raid in the city of Tubas, near Nablus, on Wednesday. (Times of Israel)
  • Two Palestinian Gunmen Killed by IDF in Samaria - Emanuel Fabian
    IDF soldiers entered the Palestinian city of Qabatiya, south of Jenin, early Wednesday to arrest wanted terror suspects. During the operation, two gunmen opened fire at troops from a passing vehicle. "The troops responded by firing at the two terrorists, killing them," the IDF said. The gunmen were Ahmed Jamal Assaf, 19, and Rani Walid Qatanat, 24. An assault rifle and handgun were found in the car. (Times of Israel)
  • European Parliament Calls to Freeze Funding to PA over Hate in Textbooks - Lahav Harkov
    The European Parliament has passed a resolution that "deplores the problematic and hateful material in Palestinian school textbooks and study cards which still has not been removed." The resolution called on the EU to freeze funding to the Palestinian Authority until the textbooks are aligned with UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance.
    Hateful content "has still not been removed," the resolution stated, despite claims to the contrary by the Palestinian Authority. The European Parliament voted down five attempts to remove the resolution, overcoming a lobbying campaign by the PA delegation to Brussels and pro-Palestinian NGOs. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    Palestinian Arabs

  • IDF Operation Shield and Arrow Sends a Message to Israel's Enemies - Herb Keinon
    Tuesday's Operation Shield and Arrow was a meticulously planned and executed action in Gaza in response to last week's firing by Islamic Jihad of more than 100 rockets at Israel. This operation was not launched impulsively nor under political pressure.
    The killing of the three senior Islamic Jihad terrorists sent a loud message to Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and their sponsors that the current domestic crisis in Israel has not rendered the country feeble. The message to Israel's enemies is that Israel still has the will and capacity and the ability to act in a big way. Some of the aircraft involved in the operation were reportedly flown by reserve pilots who threatened a couple of months ago in the heat of the judicial reform debate that they would not show up for reserve duty. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Some Think the Israelis Will Tire of the Battle to Preserve Their Existence and Give Up - Jonathan S. Tobin
    Palestinian Islamic Jihad is an Islamist party that believes that the entire country - Israel and the territories - should be governed solely by Islamic law. As far as PIJ is concerned, every inch of Israel is "occupied." It regards the creation of the Jewish state as a crime that must be expunged by violent struggle. Yet everyone pretends that it is all a misunderstanding between two parties that don't know how to compromise.
    Some think that if they protest loud enough and long enough, someday the Israelis will tire of the battle to preserve their existence and give up. This will never happen. (JNS)
  • Israel's Treatment of Hunger-Striking Terrorist - Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch
    Khader Adnan was a senior member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an internationally designated terror organization. Prior to his current arrest, he had previously been arrested a dozen times for his involvement in terror. This time he was indicted for membership in a terror organization and incitement to terror, and a judge ordered that he be held pending trial.
    An appeals court found that his decision to go on a hunger strike was not grounds for his release and that accepting such an argument would cause others to follow the same course and would end in "security chaos." During his hunger strike, Adnan refused any medical treatment, including refusing to allow the doctors to monitor his vital statistics. He also insisted on remaining in his cell rather than being transferred for medical treatment.
    The European Court of Human Rights discussed a similar situation in Horoz v. Turkey (1639/03). Horoz had been charged with terror-related offenses and was held on remand where he died as a result of a hunger strike. The court held that there had been no violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights since it was clear that Horoz had died of his hunger strike and not as a result of the authorities' decision not to release him.
    The writer served for 19 years in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps and was director of the Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria. (Palestinian Media Watch)
  • Mother of Hamas Terrorist Who Murdered Israeli Mother and Two Daughters: The Jews Are Our Enemies, We Should Fight Them, Devour Them with Our Teeth
    On May 7, 2023, the Quds News Agency (Hamas) aired an interview with the mother of Hassan Qatanani, the Hamas terrorist who murdered Lucy Dee and her two daughters in April 2023. Qatanani's mother said: "He loved martyrdom. He would say to me, day and night, 'Mom, I want to be martyred....Pray to Allah that I will be martyred.'...We should devour the Jews with our teeth....The Jews are our enemy from beginning to end." (MEMRI)
  • The Human Rights of Palestinians Living under Hamas Rule in Gaza - Bassam Tawil
    Two Palestinian men died in Hamas custody recently. Their deaths were ignored by the world media. The UN and human rights organizations remained silent, apparently because Israel is not associated with their deaths.
    Mohammed Al-Sufi, 43, was an Islamic preacher from Rafah. Al-Sufi's 16-year-old son, Abdullah, told the Palestinian Center for Human Rights that he and his father were arrested on April 19 by Hamas security officers shortly after they returned home from a visit to Egypt. Abdullah said that he was punched and beaten by the officers. Mohammed's death was announced on April 20. Al-Sufi's family insist he was arrested because he had criticized Hamas for serving as a proxy for Iran, which he said was responsible for killing Muslims in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza.
    Ahmed Al-Louh, 56, was arrested by Hamas security officers on March 8 and died on May 1. Those who ignore human rights violations committed by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority against Palestinians do a massive disservice to the Palestinians whom they claim to support. (Gatestone Institute)


  • Other Issues

  • A New Status Quo for the Temple Mount - Amb. Alan Baker
    The right of worship - including by Jews - is an internationally recognized universal right that should be applied equally and without discrimination on the Temple Mount to worshippers of all religions.
    Without wishing to impinge in any way on the recognized and accepted historic prerogative of Muslims to pray at the Muslim sacred sites within the Temple Mount compound including the Al-Aqsa Mosque, it is nevertheless inconceivable in the modern age of accepted international norms and concepts of equality, human rights and freedom of religion and worship, that Jews should be prevented from exercising the right of worship at the very epicenter of the Jewish faith within the same compound on the Temple Mount, parallel to exercise of the same right by Muslims. Such discrimination runs counter to accepted norms of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, tolerance, understanding, and cooperation.
    The problem centers around the age-old Ottoman "status quo" governing custodianship, worship, and visits to the Temple Mount. This status quo, formalized by Ottoman imperial decrees stemming from the 18th and 19th centuries, restricted prayer on the Mount by non-Muslims. In the then-existing social hierarchy within Ottoman society that governed the area, an institutionalized second-class status was applied to non-Muslim subjects, whether they be Jews, Christians, or other minority religions.
    In the present ambiance in some extremist Muslim quarters of heightened sensitivity, incitement, and political manipulation, any realization of the rights of Jews to worship on the Temple Mount appears to be unrealistic. That being said, in the 21st century, the dichotomy between an ancient, discriminatory, and anachronistic status quo and the fundamental international right of worship for all calls for a practical and honorable resolution that respects the rights of all.
    The writer served as Legal Adviser and Deputy Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Israel Hayom)
    See also The Discriminatory "Status Quo" on Jerusalem's Temple Mount: An International Law Viewpoint - Amb. Alan Baker (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Iran's Unhappy Workers - Amir Taheri
    At present, over 100,000 Iranian workers are on strike in 122 businesses in 35 cities, and the protests seem to be spreading. According to the International Labor Organization, Iran ranks 160th among all UN member states for average wages. In 2022, Iranian wages averaged $75 a month. With the official inflation rate now topping 50%, the average purchasing power of those wages has declined further.
    Official clerics are attached to every workplace employing more than 50 people. The clerics insist on workers attending Friday prayers, thus depriving them of part of their only weekly day off. The Islamic authorities employ specially trained strike-breakers known as Construction Jihad, reinforced by paramilitary Basij units when and if needed.
    The writer was the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. (Gatestone Institute)


  • Israel in the Media

  • What the BBC Gets Wrong about Israel - Stephen Daisley
    If you get your news on the Middle East from the BBC, every so often Israel appears to go mad and begins lustily bombing Palestinian civilians. No rhyme or reason - simply pummeling Gaza for the hell of it. Under the BBC's approach to reporting on Israel, the story invariably begins when Israel responds to attacks, with those original attacks deemed insufficiently newsworthy. Thus, self-defense is cast as aggression.
    The BBC's approach is certainly not the result of a conspiracy. Its bias against Israel reflects institutional culture, the political attitudes of the sort of people who work in news and current affairs, and patterns and assumptions long embedded. Change is sorely needed.
    The BBC's flawed journalism makes a country trying to defend itself in a complex environment with very few options look like a bloodthirsty aggressor. At present, its coverage is sloppy, partial, hostile and distorting. Until it changes, the BBC's coverage of Israel and the Palestinians will only continue to discredit itself. (Spectator-UK)
  • Economist Claims Gaza Is "Occupied" - Adam Levick
    An Economist article of April 25 stated: "The UN projects that the population of the occupied territories will more than double by 2050, to 9.5m. Half (4.7m) will live in Gaza." Yet, as they of course know, Israel withdrew every civilian and soldier from Gaza in 2005, and, since 2007, the territory has been ruled by the terror group Hamas.
    Israel's painful 2005 disengagement from Gaza was predicated on the premise that Israel's withdrawal from the territory would rob Palestinian extremists of their political capital and deprive them of their putative justification for engaging in terror attacks. That clearly didn't happen - as a plurality of Palestinians voted, despite Israel's withdrawal, for Hamas, the Islamist extremist party dedicated to the Jewish state's destruction. Since then, there have been multiple wars and thousands of rockets fired at Israeli cities from Gaza. The conventional wisdom that territorial concessions will deliver peace was blown to bits. (CAMERA-UK)
  • As Israel Turns 75, Foreign Affairs Publishes a Call to Eliminate It - Elliott Abrams
    The effort to eliminate the Jewish State continues even as Israel celebrates its 75th anniversary, in the belief that one Jewish State, one Jewish homeland, is one too many and cannot be tolerated. This view is receiving new energy nowadays from academics and intellectuals in a new article in Foreign Affairs entitled "Israel's One-State Reality," authored by professors Michael Barnett, Nathan Brown, Marc Lynch, and Shibley Telhami.
    Their argument is that there is already a one-state reality and that Israel treats non-Jews very badly, that to defend Israel is "defending colonialist principles." The U.S. should acknowledge all this, denounce it, and begin punishing Israel with "sanctions on Israel and Israeli leaders."
    The authors refer to Arab citizens of Israel as "Palestinians," which is the way only a very small minority of Israeli Arabs characterize themselves. A poll by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 77% of Arab Israelis "feel part of the state." In that poll the great majority of Israeli Arabs believe they have a common destiny with other Israelis. "The proportion of non-Jewish people who define themselves primarily as 'Palestinian' now stands at around 7%."
    The authors urge that "Although Washington cannot prevent normalization of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the United States should not lead such efforts." The clear suggestion here is that if it were possible to "prevent normalization," that would be fine.
    The article calls for the end of the State of Israel as it has existed since 1948. By publishing this article, Foreign Affairs has served only to show us the state of the debate in academia. The goal of many of today's academic critics is not to reform the State of Israel but to eliminate it.
    The writer, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the CFR, served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East for the White House. (Council on Foreign Relations)
  • Report Listed Hamas Terrorists as "Journalists" - Rachel O'Donoghue
    A recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists alleges that it has "documented at least 20 journalist killings by members of the Israel Defense Forces" over the last 22 years. Yet a number of those listed were affiliated with terrorist groups.
    Yaser Murtaja, a Palestinian press photographer who died in 2018, served for four years as an officer in Hamas' internal security services in Gaza. Cameraman Khaled Reyadh Hamad, who died in 2014, was a member of Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
    Three employees of the Al Aqsa Media Network are highlighted in the report - Hussam Salama, Sameh al-Aryan and Yousef Abu Hussein. Run by Hamas and regularly featuring programming that encourages terror attacks on Israeli civilians, the network is an Islamist propaganda outfit, not a legitimate news outlet. Both al-Aryan and Salama were full-fledged Hamas operatives. (HonestReporting)


  • Weekend Features

  • The German Officers Who Prevented the Massacre of the Jews of Palestine in World War I - Lenny Ben-David
    The Ottoman war effort in Palestine during World War I was often led by German officers. A German photographic collection contains a picture of Erich von Falkenhayn, a Prussian officer who served as Chief of Staff of the German Army, who was the commander of the Turkish, Austrian, and German troops during 1917. The photo includes a caption that claims, "Falkenhayn and the German Staff need to be credited with have [sic] prevented an Ottoman genocide towards Christians and Jews in Palestine similar to the Armenian suffering."
    Zionists were particularly suspected by the Turks of leading opposition to Ottoman rule, and leaders such as David Ben-Gurion were arrested, harassed, or exiled.� Meanwhile, 1,000 Jewish volunteers for the British army, including some from Palestine, formed the Zion Mule Corps in 1915, later known as the Jewish Legion, which fought with valor against the Turks at Gallipoli.
    This article is from the author's forthcoming book Secrets of World War I in the Holy Land. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Polish Responsibility for the Holocaust Was Not Minor - Andrew Apostolou
    A recent book, Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in German-Occupied Poland, edited by historian Jan Grabowski and by Barbara Engelking, director of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, is a significant addition to our understanding about how the Germans pursued the "Final Solution" in Eastern Europe with the help of local non-Jewish populations.
    The German effort to find and murder every Jew on three continents was a vast undertaking. The Germans killed Jews throughout the war, shooting Jews and their Christian companions barely 300 yards from the U.S. Army in Pisa in August 1944.
    Poland was the center of the slaughter. Of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, some 3 million were Polish Jews. The Germans called the final stage of the Holocaust - the elimination of the survivors of the initial waves of mass killings - the Judenjagd (hunt for Jews). It was a shared enterprise, involving Germans, the Polish authorities, and Poles who lived near the Jews.
    While the Germans destroyed the Polish nation, many Poles exploited the assault on the Jews to settle scores, enrich themselves, promote nationalist and antisemitic politics, or to survive at the expense of Jewish friends and neighbors. The Germans and Polish police sometimes killed Poles who hid Jews, which in turn led other Poles to preemptively murder Jews they were concealing - either with their own hands or by surrendering them. Few Poles were willing to help Jews, and those who were endured threats and sometimes retaliation, including murder, from fellow Poles.
    The book demonstrates how the Germans' genocidal goals were impossible without the collaboration of Poles. Polish neighbors could identify Jews in a way Germans could not. In Nowy Targ county, Polish village guards, not the Germans, scoured the woods for Jews. Polish volunteer firefighters hunted Jews. The authors write, "Sizable parts of Polish populations participated in liquidation actions and later, during the period between 1942 and 1945, contributed directly or indirectly to the death of thousands of Jews who were seeking refuge among them." (Tablet)
Observations:

  • On May 1, the New York Times reported "Facial Recognition Powers 'Automated Apartheid' in Israel," which began: "Israel is increasingly relying on facial recognition in the...West Bank to track Palestinians." Yet the U.S. uses the same technology.
  • A June 2021 report by the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) found that 20 Federal agencies reported owning systems with facial recognition technology or using systems owned by other entities, such as other federal, state, local, and non-government entities.
  • Likewise, facial recognition technology is used for security reasons throughout Europe. Airports in the Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany, and the UK, as well as bus and metro systems in Berlin, Paris, and Madrid, use it for security screenings, including border control and identification.
  • Police in the UK use this technology to scan crowds for individuals wanted for serious crimes. The Irish Department of Social Protection deploys a facial recognition system to prevent social welfare fraud.
  • When the Times singles out Israel for negative headline treatment, it is effectively holding the Jewish state to a different standard than every other government that is using security cameras to fight crime and increase national security.
  • The New York Times itself reported in March 2023 that Manhattan businesses, including Madison Square Garden, Macy's, and Fairway, are using facial recognition to improve security and fight shoplifting. It didn't accuse them of "apartheid."

    See also Say Hello to the New Face of Speed, Security and Safety: Introducing Biometric Facial Comparison (U.S. Customs and Border Protection-Department of Homeland Security)

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