May 29, 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:

Inside Israel's Plan to Defend Itself from Attack by Iran - James Rothwell (Telegraph-UK)
    Israeli officials are preparing for a "multi-front war" which could see hundreds, if not thousands, of missiles and drones launched per day from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
    IDF spokesman Lt.-Col. Richard Hecht said, "When we look at a full-scale campaign, it'll be the little event in Gaza and then the big event in the North which will be predominantly Iran."
    "Because they probably can't beat us on the conventional battlefield, their efforts will be in quantity of rockets, projectiles, and the story will be precision."
    "As we're advancing our air defense, our enemies are also part of that race, they're investing in precision. They're investing a lot in being able to saturate our system."

IDF Successfully Tests Naval Iron Dome Defense System - Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post)
    The Israeli Navy has successfully completed a series of interception tests using the naval version of the Iron Dome system on the Saar 6 Magen vessel.
    The "C-Dome" successfully intercepted advanced targets which represented threats to Israel's infrastructure and strategic assets such as the offshore natural gas rigs.
    Monday's test included a wide array of threats including rockets, cruise missiles, and UAVs.

Video: Iranian Missile Base in Tabriz (Alma Center)
    At the underground military base outside Tabriz in northwestern Iran, captured images show the ballistic missile threat to the entire region.
    See also Video: Iranian Revolutionary Guards' UAV Swarm Base (Alma Center)
    This underground UAV base carved into the mountains around Shiraz threatens the entire Middle East.

Iran Exchanges Heavy Gunfire with Taliban on Afghan Border - Jon Gambrell (AP)
    The Taliban and Iran exchanged heavy gunfire Saturday on Iran's border with Afghanistan.
    Videos showed Iranian forces firing a mortar, as well as Taliban troops firing American-made machine guns at an Iranian border post. Other Taliban fighters drove armored vehicles left behind by NATO forces.

Leaders of Iran's "London Office" Are Stripped of Powers - David Rose (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
    The UK Charity Commission has stripped the leaders of the "London office" of Iran's brutal Revolutionary Guards of their powers at the Islamic Center of England, which senior MPs have described as an "outreach center" for the Islamic regime.
    The watchdog has appointed an interim manager to oversee the charity, review its administration, and make recommendations about its future.
    The center regularly hosted extremist preachers and its director, Seyed Moosavi, the UK representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had called protesters against the regime "soldiers of Satan."
    In 2020, the watchdog issued an official warning against the organization after it held a vigil to mourn the IRGC terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani, killed by a U.S. drone strike.

Museum of Palestinian People Shows Fake "Palestinian Coins"  (Elder of Ziyon)
    A virtual tour of the room-sized Museum of the Palestinian People in Washington shows "Palestinian coins, 1917."
    While they have Arabic writing and say 1917, a short amount of research showed they were Egyptian.
    Hussein Kamel was Sultan of Egypt in 1914-1917 and these coins bear his name. There is nothing "Palestinian" about them.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Unveils a National Plan to Fight Antisemitism - Elizabeth Williamson
    The Biden administration released a national strategy for combating antisemitism on Thursday. "An attack on any one group of us is an attack on all of us," President Biden said in a videotaped announcement. In 2022, there were 3,697 reported incidents of antisemitic assault, harassment and vandalism in the U.S., according to the Anti-Defamation League, the largest number of incidents since ADL began its assessments in 1979.
        The strategy contains more than 100 recommendations for the federal government to take in the next year, including workshops to counteract bias in hiring and the workplace, enhanced Holocaust education programs, and an effort to eliminate barriers to reporting potential hate crimes.
        The national strategy sidesteps the debate over the definition of antisemitism. The strategy recognizes the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of antisemitism, which was widely adopted by Western governments, calling the definition the "most prominent." However, it acknowledges the value of other definitions which do not cast criticism of Israel as antisemitic. (New York Times)
        See also Text: The U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism (White House)
        See also below Observations: U.S. Antisemitism Strategy Is Futile without the IHRA Definition - Mitchell Bard (JNS)
  • U.S. Department of Education "Will Be Watching" Campuses for Antisemitic Harassment - Katherine Knott
    The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights wrote to colleges and universities on Thursday to remind them about their responsibilities under federal civil rights law to protect students from antisemitic harassment. The letter was part of the administration's new strategy to counter antisemitism released Thursday.
        The 60-page strategy document stated: "On college campuses, Jewish students, educators, and administrators have been derided, ostracized, and sometimes discriminated against because of their actual or perceived views on Israel. All students, educators, and administrators should feel safe and free from violence, harassment and intimidation on their campuses. Far too many do not have this sense of security because of their actual or perceived views on Israel." All students have "a right to learn [in] an environment free from antisemitic harassment. ED OCR will be watching to be sure these students are safe."  (Inside Higher Ed)
  • Report: U.S. and Iran Negotiating Release of Sanctioned Iranian Funds
    Talks between Iran and the U.S. on the release of Tehran's frozen assets could result in a deal soon, a source with direct knowledge of the talks told Iran International. The talks focused on Iranian funds held in Iraq ($10 billion) and South Korea ($7 billion).
        Iran is expected to show more flexibility on issues related to its nuclear program in exchange for the release of its funds in Iraq, and free hostages with dual nationality in exchange for its assets in South Korea. Currently there are three dual nationals with American citizenship and two individuals with U.S. permanent residency held by Iran on trumped-up charges of espionage. (Iran International)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Terrorist Infiltrates Israeli Community for Stabbing Attack - Liran Tamari
    A Palestinian terrorist wielding a knife - Alaa Qissaya, 28 - was shot and killed on Friday after he infiltrated the Israeli community of Teneh Omarim in the south Hebron Hills and attempted to stab people near a local synagogue. A member of the community's security team opened fire and killed the terrorist. (AP-Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Caught after Placing Bomb on Highway - Emanuel Fabian
    IDF forces opened fire and wounded a Palestinian man after he placed an explosive device on Highway 458 - the Allon Road - near the village of al-Mughayyir on Sunday evening. (Times of Israel)
  • Gunfire from Palestinian Authority Hits Home in Israel - Emanuel Fabian
    Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists based in the West Bank city of Jenin opened fire on Sunday at the Israeli town of Gan Ner, bordering the security barrier. A home was hit by gunfire and a Palestinian-owned car parked outside of the community of Mevo Dotan was also hit. (Times of Israel)
  • New Technology Helps Defend Israel's Airspace - Yoav Zitun
    The IDF utilizes an extensive network of sensors that detect every aerial movement, followed by innovative covert methods to bring down enemy aircraft without resorting to missiles or sky-bound explosions. For the past two years, the "Sky Monitor," the biggest tracking balloon of its kind in the world, has been hovering in the sky in the eastern Galilee, where it can peer hundreds of kilometers into Syria. During critical moments, the balloon can be repositioned to identify missile launches from Iraq or Iran.
        Civilian aircraft are seen on screens landing at airports in Damascus or Beirut, while Russian planes are seen taking off in Syria. Every non-IDF aircraft is a target for surveillance. Any deviation from the normal flight paths raises alarms. "Sometimes, an aircraft that is ten to twenty km. away from Israel's border on its designated path can suddenly veer towards us," described the officers. "We have only a few minutes to respond, activate all interception systems, and neutralize the threat."  (Ynet News)
        See also IDF Downs Small Drone from Lebanon - Emanuel Fabian
    Israeli forces on Thursday downed a small drone that flew over the border from Lebanon, the IDF said. IDF air control units tracked the aircraft "throughout the incident." It was believed to have been downed using electronic warfare means. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Former U.S. Middle East Envoy Greenblatt Doesn't Anticipate Early Israeli-Saudi Normalization - Lazar Berman
    Former U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, now a senior director at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, isn't optimistic about Riyadh normalizing its relations with Israel anytime soon. "I think Saudi Arabia itself is busy with its own things, right? The amount of projects and social change and other changes that they're doing in their country is mind-boggling. I go back there quite often and with each visit I'm surprised. So while the Abraham Accords would be nice for the kingdom, I don't think it's their priority at the moment."
        Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto leader, "is certainly a courageous and creative leader, and he might pull it off, but I don't think it's in the top list of things that the Saudis need to get done or want to get done in the next year."
        With regard to the Palestinians, Greenblatt said, "I'm happy to see that the Biden administration does not believe that this is the time to try to push a peace effort with the Palestinians. I fully agree with him on that." But he criticized the Biden administration's decision to restore funding for the Palestinian Authority. "Handing out U.S. taxpayer money like it's candy for the Palestinians is neither good for the Palestinian people, nor good to develop any form of potential for peace down the road."  (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Enters Palestinian Cities to Fight Terror Only Because the PA Doesn't - Hodaya Karish-Hazony
    Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel's National Security Advisor and head of the National Security Council, said in an interview on May 25, 2023, that Prime Minister Netanyahu met with King Abdullah in Jordan on January 24. This followed a period when IDF forces entered Jenin and Nablus in northern Samaria in order to deal with terror cells.
        The prime minister explained to the king that the Palestinian Authority had greatly weakened in recent years and had lost the ability to govern, leaving a vacuum. Since the PA no longer controlled the territory, terrorist groups like the Lions' Den and others had entered the scene, leaving Israel with no choice but to act in those areas.
        In their discussions, the idea arose of a "pilot" program in which the Palestinians would renew taking security responsibility for a city in Area A. Israel said, "If they have a force that knows how and is prepared to fight terror effectively, we have no interest in doing that ourselves." However, the pilot plan was never implemented because the Palestinians did not accept it. (Makor Rishon-Hebrew)
  • What Is Keeping the Iranian Regime from Getting the Bomb? - Benjamin Weinthal
    Iran has moved dangerously close to enriching weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb, but the regime has not yet built an atomic weapon. "There are a number of retardants that have put a pause in their weapons development," said Lisa Daftari, an Iran expert and editor-in-chief of the Foreign Desk. "They'd relate back to targeted attacks by the U.S. and Israel....Israel has reportedly conducted at least two dozen targeted operations on Iran's regime in the last 15 or so years, including drone attacks, cyberattacks, if you recall Stuxnet, and assassinations of key players in Iran's nuclear program."
        "We cannot underestimate the power of international pressure on Iran's regime," she added. "When there is consistent and targeted pressure on Iran's regime in the form of enforced sanctions and economic and political isolation, we see a weakened regime and an emboldened Iranian people who are brave enough to take to the streets."
        "Iran's regime is quite calculating. As rogue as they have been in capturing oil tankers in the seas, continuing the support of regional terror and, of course, the brutal wholesale executions of innocent protesters, they continue to weigh out the consequences of a heated military confrontation with Israel or the United States."  (Fox News)

  • In the new Biden administration strategy to combat antisemitism, without the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, all but the most blatant forms of antisemitism will be ignored, and antisemites will define the threat to exclude themselves.
  • What drives critics to apoplexy are the examples of modern manifestations of antisemitism, which "might include the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity." For decades, antisemites have gotten a pass by simply replacing the word "Jew" with "Israel(i)" or "Zionist." The IHRA called their bluff by stripping away the fig leaf.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. saw through the masquerade decades ago when he declared: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking antisemitism."
  • The biggest red herring of the critics is that adopting the IHRA will unconstitutionally deny people their right to free speech by prohibiting criticism of Israel. Are there any sentient beings unaware of criticism of Israel? Read the New York Times for a week. Have you ever noticed that the people who complain the loudest about being silenced are the ones who regularly demonize Israel with impunity?

        See also Some Jewish Groups Disturbed over New Policy to Counter Antisemitism - Victor Nava
    Some Jewish groups say that the new White House strategy to counter antisemitism has chosen a diluted definition of the term that doesn't say it's antisemitic to oppose Israel's creation or hold the Jewish state to different standards than other countries.
        Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said, "We must also remember that a significant portion of the antisemitic hate generated against the Jewish people specifically targets...the democratic Jewish State of Israel, which today is home to the largest Jewish community in the world."  (New York Post)
        See also Jewish Organizations Critique Biden's Antisemitism Strategy - Zvika Klein (Jerusalem Post)

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