June 19, 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:

Report: Israeli Who Died in Italian Lake Sinking Saved Two Others - Ze'ev Abrahami (Ynet News)
    On May 28, a boat sank in a storm on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. Four people drowned, including an Israeli man who was a retiree of the Mossad security service.
    As the boat sank, the Israeli man tried with all his might to save two other passengers. He succeeded, then died.

New Poll: Most Palestinians Support "Armed Struggle" Against Israel - Dr. Khalil Shikaki (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research)
    A poll conducted in the West Bank and Gaza on June 7-11, 2023, found that 66% of Palestinians say Israel, now 75, will not celebrate its 100th anniversary.
    71% (79% in Gaza and 66% in the West Bank) say they favor forming armed groups such as the "Lions' Den," which do not take orders from the PA.
    86% say the PA does not have the right to arrest members of these armed groups to prevent them from carrying out attacks against Israel.
    51% expect the current escalation to lead to a third intifada, down from 61% three months ago.
    If new presidential elections were held today between Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh, Abbas would receive 33% and Haniyeh 56%.
    The level of satisfaction with the performance of President Abbas stands at 17% and dissatisfaction at 80%. Moreover, 80% of the public wants President Abbas to resign.
    Perception of corruption in PA institutions stands at 84%.
    40% of West Bankers think people there can criticize the PA without fear while 55% think they cannot. In Gaza, 40% think people can criticize Hamas without fear and 59% think they cannot.
    Support for the concept of the two-state solution stands at 28% and opposition stands at 70%.
    53% supported return to armed confrontations and intifada, down from 58% three months ago.

Pillay's Latest Propaganda Crusade against Israel: The June 2023 UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry Report - Prof. Anne Bayefsky (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    This is a detailed analysis of the third report targeting Israel by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Occupied Palestinian Territory, established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2021.

Retired Israeli Tanks to Be Sold Abroad - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
    More than 200 Merkava Mark 2 and Mark 3 tanks, manufactured in Israel in the 1980s and 1990s, which had been retired and were in storage, are to be sold to two foreign armies, including one in Europe.
    The sale comes against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and renewed demand for armored vehicles.
    Since certain parts are American-made, especially the engine, approval from the U.S. is required.
    Today Israel's regular armored brigades are equipped with advanced Merkava Mark 4 tanks with an active defense system against anti-tank missiles.

Israel to Supply Electronic Warfare Systems to Protect German Helicopters (Ukrainian Military)
    Israel's Elbit Systems was awarded a contract to supply Airborne Electronic Warfare (EW) self-protection systems for helicopters of the German Air Force.
    The systems are capable of rapidly detecting and accurately locating a wide range of threats.

Israel Releases 18 Sea Turtles Back into the Wild (Jerusalem Post)
    17 brown sea turtles and one rare green sea turtle were released back into the sea near Netanya on Friday by Israel's National Sea Turtle Rescue Center.
    The turtles underwent rehabilitation at the rescue center after they washed up on shore last winter.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Gives Preliminary Approval for Maritime Gas Development for Gaza
    Israel gave preliminary approval on Sunday for the development of a gas field off Gaza while saying it would require security coordination with the Palestinian Authority and Egypt. (Reuters)
  • Moroccan Foreign Minister Lauds "Incredible Momentum" from Abraham Accords
    Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Global Forum in Tel Aviv on June 12 that the Abraham Accords have "created an incredible momentum for peace and prosperity in the entire region. After decades of war and hatred, there is now a unique opportunity for peace." He noted that Morocco has seen a 160% jump in trade and a fivefold increase in Israeli tourists over the last two years. (Arab Weekly-UK)
  • Argentina Asks Interpol to Detain Four Lebanese over 1994 Jewish Community Center Bombing
    Argentine federal judge Daniel Rafecas called on Interpol Tuesday to detain four Lebanese citizens suspected in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center that killed 85 people. "There are well-founded suspicions that they are collaborators or operational agents of...Hizbullah," he wrote. Argentine prosecutors have long alleged that Iran used Hizbullah to carry out the deadly attack.
        Rafecas has called for the detention of Hussein Mounir Mouzannar, a Paraguayan national; Farouk Abdul Hay Omairi, a naturalized Brazilian; Ali Hussein Abdallah, a naturalized Brazilian; and Abdallah Salman, believed to be living in Beirut. (AP-ABC News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Seven Israeli Soldiers Wounded in Clashes in Jenin - Emanuel Fabian
    Heavy clashes broke out between gunmen and Israeli troops in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Monday during an operation to detain two wanted Palestinians. Five Border Police soldiers and two IDF paratroopers were wounded in the fighting. An Israeli helicopter gunship carried out strikes in order for wounded soldiers to be evacuated. The IDF said that "as the security forces exited the city, a military vehicle was hit by an explosive device, damaging the vehicle." The Palestinian Authority reported that three people were killed and at least 29 wounded amid the clashes. (Times of Israel-Jerusalem Post)
        See also Palestinian Bombs Target IDF Armored Vehicles in Jenin - Yoav Zitun
    At least four IDF military vehicles were damaged by terrorist fire in Jenin on Monday. The IDF is investigating whether there was an "explosives ambush," in which the terrorists knew the troops' exit route or guessed it - and planted significant numbers of explosives there. Accurate shots were also fired at the troops. (Ynet News)
        See also Jenin Is Out of Control - Yaakov Lappin
    During the fighting in Jenin on Monday, there were large-scale exchanges of fire between Palestinian gunmen and the IDF, and large numbers of bombs were hurled. It is clear that Jenin is out of control. The Palestinian Authority is non-existent in the city, and the area has turned into an active terror hub. Recently, several terrorists fled to Jenin after attacking Israeli civilians or soldiers in other areas, viewing it as a safe haven. Large quantities of firearms are also flowing into the city.
        Prof. Kobi Michael, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies and former head of the Palestinian desk at Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry, has assessed that a large-scale IDF security operation there is now only a matter of time. (JNS)
  • Netanyahu: Israel Opposes Nuclear "Mini-Agreements" with Iran
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet on Sunday: "Our first mission is to stop the nuclearization of Iran. We have made it clear to our American friends...that we oppose the agreements, first of all the original agreement, the JCPOA, which will only pave Iran's way to a bomb and line its pockets with hundreds of billions of dollars....We have also told them that the most limited understandings, what are termed 'mini-agreements,' do not - in our view - serve the goal and we are opposed to them as well."  (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also U.S. Reassures Israel on Security amid Emerging Interim Iran Deal
    As Washington appears to be nearing an interim nuclear agreement with Tehran, the U.S. has assured Israel that it will maintain its security edge and freedom to act against Iran, at a meeting Thursday in Brussels between U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Israel's Channel 12 reported. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Biden's New Iran Nuclear Courtship - Editorial
    The same people who gave us the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 are trying to pull off a new version that would send Iran cash on day one in return for promises down the road. The Biden Administration is pursuing an unwritten "understanding" with Iran to get to the brink of a nuclear breakout but go no further.
        Color us skeptical that an unwritten agreement, without clear technical restrictions, would compel Iran to reinstall monitoring equipment, turn over data or submit to enhanced inspections. "Trust but verify" is being turned on its head. There's no trust and little verification. The new strategy is hope and pay.
        Iran isn't putting its antipathy to the U.S. and its allies on hold. The country is sending drones to Russia to use against Ukraine, and its proxies in Iraq and Syria have killed Americans with Tehran's approval as recently as March. This latest effort at nuclear appeasement won't work any better than the last one. (Wall Street Journal)
  • U.S. Keeps Funding Palestinian Terror - in Defiance of Congress - Sander Gerber
    President Joe Biden recently launched a first-ever National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, yet at the same time - in defiance of Congressional intent - his team continues to provide material support for the PA, even as it not only spouts antisemitic speech but funds anti-Jewish terrorism through its "pay-for-slay" program.
        Congress clearly determined that PA terror payments encourage violence, which is why it passed the Taylor Force Act, barring economic assistance that "directly benefits the Palestinian Authority" until it "stops all payments incentivizing terror." Money is fungible, so if the PA doesn't need to spend money because of an UNRWA program, it can allocate more funds to pay-for-slay payments. If the PA is currently facing a financial crisis, it should start by cutting its payments to murderers.
        The writer is a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (New York Post)
  • What the Arrow-3 Sale to Germany Says about Israel - Herb Keinon
    Germany has announced plans to buy Israel's Arrow-3 missile defense system. When viewed within the context of recent history, this is astounding. Only three generations ago, Germany was responsible for the murder of more than one-third of the Jewish people. Talk about a reversal of fortunes.
        These sales are important to Israel because they strengthen bilateral ties. If Israel is providing a country with weapons that keep it safe, that country will relate to Israel in a fundamentally different way. This is only natural. Countries, like people, relate to and treat those they need differently than those they do not.
        A second reason these sales are so critical for Israel is that they make it possible for the country to pay for the research and development to produce the weapons it needs for its own survival. Amos Yaron, a former director-general of the Defense Ministry, said Israel needs to export 70% of the weapons and systems it manufactures to cover the R&D costs.
        The net result is that Israel's ability to give countries around the world things they need necessarily increases its utility to the world. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Why Is the U.S. Rejoining UNESCO? - Michael Freund
    On June 12, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced that the U.S. has decided to rejoin the group, 4 1/2 years after America pulled out, due in part to UNESCO's stridently unbalanced anti-Israel positions. Yet in May, the UNESCO executive board in Paris once again passed a series of scandalous anti-Israel resolutions.
        In a subsection about Jerusalem, Israel is described as the "Occupying Power" over the city. Another subsection declares that both Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron are "Palestinian sites" which are under Israeli occupation.
        This is so patently offensive and insulting that it borders on outright antisemitism. Denying the Jewishness of our ancestors is nothing less than a direct assault on the very foundations of the Jewish people, and UNESCO deserves to be shunned for it, not embraced. The fact is that UNESCO and its obscene anti-Israel bias has not changed one whit. (Jerusalem Post)

Israel Must Oppose the Iran-U.S. Understandings - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Jacob Nagel (Israel Hayom)
  • Negotiations between the U.S. and Iran on a nuclear deal which trades "quiet for money" are on the verge of finalizing "understandings." Israel must express its firm opposition.
  • The understandings mean de facto approval for Iran's enrichment of uranium to 60% purity.
  • Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency closed two cases against Iran over nuclear traces, while still having not received answers on another two open files. The agreement will legitimize all previous Iranian violations and allow Iran to retain the assets obtained through the ongoing violation of all agreements and treaties it has signed, while injecting billions of dollars to revitalize the economy.
  • Moreover, Iran, under the understandings, will continues to develop and manufacture advanced centrifuges and possess ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Iran will also secretly continue to develop weaponization capabilities.
  • The understandings will stop all action against Iran's nuclear program, based on the mistaken assumption that it would put the nuclear issue "back into a box."
  • The understandings will also make it very difficult for Israel to attack alone if it concludes that the time has come.

    The writer, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is a former Israeli national security adviser to the prime minister and head of Israel's National Security Council.

        See also The Coming U.S. Appeasement of Iran Is a Disaster in the Making - Col. Richard Kemp
    A new interim nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran may be imminent. Yet the White House knows that no diplomatic understanding with Tehran is worth the paper it's printed on and no such undertakings will stop Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state.
        The White House does not seem to have learned that deterrence is the most effective means of averting war. It remains fearful not only of wielding a credible military threat against Iran but also of Israel doing so.
        What we're talking about here is pure appeasement and empowerment of a regime that is implacably and actively opposed to the U.S. and everything it stands for.
        The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK's national crisis management committee, COBRA. (Ynet News)

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