May 22, 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:

How Israel Exposed and Destroyed Islamic Jihad Rocket Production Sites in Gaza - Amir Bohbot (Walla-Jerusalem Post)
    In the IDF's recent operation against Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket fire from Gaza, one minute after targeted attacks on three Islamic Jihad officials, the Israel Air Force bombed 12 PIJ targets that included a tunnel that contained the largest workshop for the production of rockets, laboratories for the production of explosives, launch pits and weapons depots.
    By the end of the operation, the IDF had attacked 32 infrastructure targets.
    One target was a material storage site for chemicals that were very difficult to smuggle into Gaza. Another targeted location was a tunnel where a factory was built for the production of rockets deep underground.
    The IDF used artificial intelligence to locate production workshops. The IDF's research division assessed that Islamic Jihad's main rocket production areas were "completely wiped out."

Gaza War Showcases Advanced Capabilities and Precise Coordination of Ground and Air Forces - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
    The IDF's 116-hour operation in Gaza showcased the effective utilization of advanced aircraft such as the F-35 and manned intelligence planes, as well as direct communication between a spotter and a fighter pilot, moments before launching an attack.
    Utilizing advanced detection and tracking technologies integrated within the F-35 stealth aircraft, the Southern Command established rapid response circuits facilitating swifter attacks by Israeli forces.
    Unlike previous rounds where requests for modifications of policy regarding the use of firepower faced lengthy processes that hindered effectiveness, this time saw a more dynamic and expedited approach.
    Adjustments were made with greater frequency, responding to the evolving ground situation, enabling more timely and tailored responses.

Who Lives in Jerusalem? - Peggy Cidor (Jerusalem Post)
    The Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research's Yearbook paints a recent picture of Jerusalem. The capital's population reached 966,200, doubling that of Tel Aviv.
    Metropolitan Jerusalem has more than 1.4 million residents spread over 80 neighborhoods.
    In 2021, Jerusalem had 590,600 Jewish residents, 375,600 Arab residents (362,600 Muslim and 12,900 Christian), and 3,500 non-Arab Christian residents.
    The average birthrate among Jerusalem's Jewish women was 4.4 in 2022, and the birthrate among its Arab women was 3.1.

Portuguese Parliament Passes First Resolution Supporting Israel (Times of Israel)
    The Portuguese parliament on Friday passed a resolution in support of Israel, in a gesture for the Jewish state's 75th anniversary, receiving support from 215 out of 230 legislators.
    "This is the first time in history that such a vote has passed in Portugal," Israeli Ambassador Dor Shapira said.

"Hava Nagila" Celebrates the End of World War I - Lenny Ben-David (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    The World War I years in the Holy Land were traumatic for the Jewish community, which faced starvation, locust plagues, and disease.
    In 1918, a music teacher and cantor in Jerusalem, Avraham Zvi Idelsohn, took an old tune (nigun) of the Sadigorer Hasidim (from today's Ukraine) and composed a song to celebrate the liberation of Jerusalem and the Balfour Declaration in 1917. It was called "Hava Nagila - Let Us Rejoice!"
    The song, with phrases from the Psalms, caught on among all Jewish residents of Eretz Yisrael and it became an anthem at Jewish celebrations around the world.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Hizbullah Carries Out Mock Cross-Border Raids into Israel
    Journalists were invited to watch as 200 Hizbullah fighters took part in simulated cross-border raids into Israel on Sunday, using live ammunition and an attack drone, 20 km. north of the Israeli border. Snipers shot at targets adorned with the Star of David, while other fighters jumped through flaming hoops. Hizbullah also displayed anti-aircraft weapons and rocket launchers as well as rocket-propelled grenades. (AFP)
        See also Hizbullah's Military Parade Sends Familiar Message to Israel - Richard Spencer
    Who knew Hizbullah had a marching band? As part of the biggest show of strength Hizbullah had put on in public for years, masked fighters paraded weaponry, stormed hilltops and practiced martial arts routines before an admiring crowd and a more skeptical one of Lebanese and foreign reporters. In an assault on the opposite hillside, Israeli flags were shot, blown up, and finally replaced by the yellow of Hizbullah. Souped-up military parades are a standard feature of Arab regimes. (The Times-UK)
  • Lebanon Deporting Refugees to Syria to Face an Uncertain Fate - Sarah Dadouch
    In recent weeks, Lebanese authorities have been deporting about 250 Syrian refugees a day back to Syria, turning them over to the Syrian army. Once across the border, some men have disappeared into Syrian custody - detained for past political activity or evasion of army conscription. The returns coincide with moves by Arab states to normalize relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was welcomed back into the Arab League this month after a 12-year suspension. (Washington Post)
  • Pro-Palestinian Protester Convicted for Criminal Damage to UK Factory - George Herd
    Ruth Hogg, 40, has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal damage at the Teledyne Labtech factory in Presteigne, Powys, after protesters caused 1.2 million pounds in damage. Hogg was part of a group that believed the factory made circuit boards for Israeli drones. Hogg admitted smashing panes of glass, spraying red paint into the plant, and was filmed drilling holes in the roof of the factory. Other protesters entered the factory floor where they smashed computer screens and set off smoke grenades.
        Prosecutor Elen Owen said the attack was "professionally planned" and likened it to a "terrorist attack." "They targeted a small factory in rural Wales with, at best, tenuous links to the arms companies because it would give them maximum publicity for minimum effort." The site was not a military facility, but made circuit boards for MRI scanners and radar equipment. The jury was told that the factory last made circuit boards for Israel in 2009, which were used for mobile phone towers.
        Judge Rhys Rowlands told Hogg, "Good people on occasion do bad things - and this was a very bad thing."  (BBC News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu Hits Back at Abbas' Lies at UN about Israel's Ties to Jerusalem
    The Israeli Cabinet met on Sunday in the Western Wall Tunnels in honor of Jerusalem Day. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Several days ago, Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] told the UN that the Jewish People have no links to the Temple Mount and that eastern Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian Authority....Today we are holding a special Cabinet meeting in honor of Jerusalem Day at the foot of the Temple Mount upon which King Solomon built the First Temple of the Jewish People, and which is...the heart of the historical State of Israel, the City of David, and has been here for 3,000 years."
        "The deep ties between the Jewish People and Jerusalem is one that has no parallel among the nations. Jerusalem was our capital around 1,100 years before London became the capital of England, approximately 1,800 years before Paris became the capital of France, and around 2,800 years before Washington, D.C., became the capital of the U.S. For over 100 generations, Jews expressed their special yearning for Jerusalem in prayers that are repeated three times a day and under the wedding canopy."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Three Palestinians Killed in Clashes with IDF in Nablus - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Three Palestinians were killed and another six were injured by Israeli security forces in Balata refugee camp near Nablus early Monday. Israeli defense sources said the IDF had confiscated illegal weaponry as well as destroying an explosives lab and multiple heavy explosives. The three slain men were members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade terror group, linked to PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. (Jerusalem Post-Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Soldier Wounded in Huwara Car-Ramming
    An IDF soldier was wounded in a car-ramming on Sunday evening in the West Bank town of Huwara. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Should Jerusalem Accept Washington's Offer of Joint Military Planning on Iran? - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    There have been reports that American officials seeking to deepen sharing of operational planning against Iran have been rebuffed by Israel. The U.S. wants to make Israel feel safe by showing it is serious about military cooperation, but also wants to discourage Israel from actually using force against Iran's nuclear program before the Biden administration views it as necessary.
        Recently, former IDF intelligence chief Tamir Hayman indicated that Israel might strike the moment it sees signs that Iran is moving toward a nuclear weapon. In contrast, the U.S. might want to wait until much later - until a mere days or weeks before Iran might be capable of using a nuclear weapon - before acting, or wanting Israel to act. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Demonizing Those Who March with Israeli Flags on "Jerusalem Day" Is Wrong - Jonathan S. Tobin
    The Western press treated the annual "Jerusalem Day" flag march on the anniversary of the city's unification in 1967 as a mass exercise in intolerant nationalist fervor. They expressed a discomfort with the open and joyful expression of national identity, finding the spectacle of flag-waving Jews of all ages marching through Jerusalem to assert their identity and their rights to their people's ancient capital and its holy places to be distasteful.
        Universalist arguments that demand that Jews retreat, concede and forebear from exercising their rights only encourage those who wish to deny them the most basic right to live and defend themselves. The best way to defend Jewish lives in Israel is to make it clear that those who wish to return to a situation when Jews were a despised, oppressed and powerless people must be reminded that they are on the wrong side of history. (JNS)
        See also Joy on Jerusalem Day as Tens of Thousands March in Capital - Shimon Sherman
    Tens of thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds waving Israeli flags walked through the streets of Jerusalem on Thursday to symbolize the city's unity, dressed in traditional blue-and-white attire and singing religious and patriotic songs together. "Every year I bring my whole family because it is important for the kids to feel connected to this city," said Yotam Ariel from Petah Tikvah. "This is my third time coming to this march and it just has incredible energy, you can really feel the nation coming together."
        "This march is about celebration," said Police spokesperson Master Sgt. Dean Elsdunne. "We want to dispel the idea that this is about instigation or provocation; this is a festive event in which almost everyone is acting respectfully." Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum noted that Jerusalem is "the reason we became a united people 3,000 years ago.... Certain foreign elements still do not recognize the reunification of our capital and so they try to villainize what is happening here," adding that "99.9% of people are marching in love and in song and in celebration."  (JNS)
  • Jerusalem Day Lessons - Herb Keinon
    Hamas threatened, once again, to fire rockets at Jerusalem if the annual flag march proceeded as usual through Damascus Gate to the Western Wall. Other terror groups in Gaza threatened to set fields in Israel alight via inflammable balloons if the march went ahead. In the end, Jerusalem Day came and went this year without much incident.
        Once Hamas threatened to fire rockets at Israel, as it did in 2021, it all but ensured that Israel would go through with the march. To do otherwise would be to project a weakness Israel cannot afford to project. One need not quiver every time Hamas or any other terrorist organization issues a threat.
        Israel's enemies engage in psychological warfare, using social media and traditional media to try and strike fear into the hearts of the country's citizens. Yet Israel is not helpless in the face of their threats and need not allow them to dictate Israel's policies - especially regarding what is permissible in the country's capital. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel's Operation in Gaza: A New Level in Precision Fighting - Yaakov Katz
    It is one thing to know the building terrorists are in; it is another to pinpoint the apartment and the room in which they are sleeping. This was evident from the images of the different targeted strikes. One building showed a blown-out apartment on the ground floor; another on the top floor on just one corner. In one case, a team of IDF engineers carefully studied the inside walls of an apartment to assess exactly how the rubble will fall when a missile flies through the house. Their assessment was that children sleeping in a nearby room would be okay. They were.
        While the IDF bombed over 700 targets in Gaza, Gaza health officials reported 33 dead. At least half of those killed were terrorists and the IDF has most of the names to prove it. When looking at the way wars are fought today, the low ratio of civilians killed is simply not seen in any other conflict. (Jerusalem Post)

The Nakba Narrative Is Nonsense - Dr. Alex Safian (CAMERA)
  • In the years since Israel's rebirth in 1948, a narrative has taken root that portrays well-armed and financed Jews overrunning peaceful Palestinian villages, brutally expelling Palestinians from their homes and their country, summed up in the Arabic word nakba, or catastrophe. Yet this narrative contradicts basic historical facts.
  • Even as early as 1937, Israel's founding father, David Ben-Gurion, wrote: "We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places. All our aspiration is built on the assumption - proven throughout all our activity...that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs."
  • On Dec. 13, 1947, Ben-Gurion said, "In our state there will be non-Jews as well - and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without exception....The attitude of the Jewish state to its Arab citizens will be an important factor - though not the only one - in building good neighborly relations with the Arab states."
  • In 1948 the Arab states launched a brutal war against the Jews, in which more than 1% of the Jewish population was killed. When the Arab armies began to fall back from their initial victories (to within 21 miles of Tel Aviv), the local Palestinians panicked and began to flee, thus creating the Palestinian refugee problem.
  • Had the Palestinians accepted the UN-approved partition plan, a Palestinian state would have been created side-by-side with Israel in 1948, and there wouldn't have been a single Palestinian refugee.
  • The Palestinian nakba narrative is a massive collection of blatant falsehoods that stand history on its head and turn the victim into the perpetrator. Western acceptance of these falsehoods encourages the Palestinians to keep rejecting compromise and peace, guaranteeing more suffering and death, especially for the Palestinians themselves.

    The writer is associate director and research director of CAMERA.

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