July 27, 2023
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Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy
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In-Depth Issues:

Hizbullah Troops Seen Patrolling on Israel's Northern Border - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    Hizbullah troops were filmed patrolling Israel's northern border in military gear near the Israeli town of Dovev last week, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which bars armed groups other than the Lebanese Army and UN forces from operating south of Lebanon's Litani River, the Israeli military said Tuesday.
    Israel has accused Lebanon and UN forces of failing to enforce the UN resolution.

The Next Generation of Iranian Ballistic Missiles - Farzin Nadimi (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
    On May 25, 2023, Iran's minister of defense, Gen. Mohammad Reza Qaraei Ashtiani, unveiled the fourth generation of the Khoramshahr liquid-fuel ballistic missile, named Kheibar.
    The message to Israel implicit in the name was unmistakable. Before the Islamic era, Kheibar was a fortified oasis north of Medina, Saudi Arabia, inhabited by Jewish tribes. In CE 628, the Jews there were defeated by Muslim armies.
    The missile has much in common technically with the North Korean Hwasong-10. Iran is thought to have received several Hwasong-10 missiles from North Korea in 2005 for reverse engineering purposes.
    The Khoramshahr is clearly capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Moreover, Iranian military sources claim the new missile can carry a cluster warhead capable of dispensing up to eighty submunitions.
    Tehran has framed the Khoramshahr as a direct threat to NATO and Europe, including the operational Aegis Ashore missile defense sites in Romania and Poland, which were commissioned to defend against Iran's ballistic missile threat.
    The writer is a senior fellow with the Washington Institute.

IDF Weighs Return to Jenin - Elisha Ben-Kimon (Ynet News)
    The Israel Defense Forces completed an anti-terror operation in the Jenin refugee camp three weeks ago, but it appears a return may be necessary.
    Sources in the security establishment reveal that Palestinian terrorists are attempting to rebuild, focusing on infrastructure, producing potent charges, and collecting renewed munitions.
    After the IDF withdrew, Palestinian Authority personnel stepped in to re-establish governance. Dozens of terrorist operatives were arrested.
    However, the IDF remains aware that it cannot rely solely on the Palestinians.

Guns, Drugs, and Smugglers at Israel's Borders with Jordan and Egypt - Dr. Matthew Levitt (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)
    Attempts to smuggle drugs and guns across Israel's borders with Jordan and Egypt have increased significantly over the past two years, despite peace treaties with both countries and their parallel efforts to patrol their sides of the border.
    There were 105 cases of identified, thwarted, or disrupted weapons or drug smuggling attempts into Israel from March 2021 through April 2023.
    The writer, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the U.S. Treasury Department, is director of the Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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Israel Launches Plan to Promote Clean Energy in Arab Sector (Xinhua-China)
    Israel has launched a plan to promote green energy in Arab cities, towns and villages throughout the country, the Israeli Energy Ministry said Sunday.
    The plan will finance energy efficiency and renewable energy production projects, such as the replacement of old, inefficient lighting and air conditioning systems, and the implementation of solar projects in public buildings.
    "Investing in the Arab authorities is an investment in Israel's future," said Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz.

Egypt Pressing Israel to Increase Gas Exports - Dean Shmuel Elmas (Globes)
    In a recent meeting, the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamal, pressed Israel to approve an increase in gas exports for conveyance through Egyptian liquefaction facilities to Europe and for Egypt's domestic economy.
    Gas consumption in Israel in 2022 was 12.7 BCM (billion cubic meters), and export volume was 9.2 BCM, including 4.62 BCM to Egypt.
    To expand production capabilities, an investment of $3 billion is required for Israel's Leviathan field and $1 billion for the Tamar field.
    See also An American Energy Giant Sees Israel as a Springboard to Europe - Stanley Reed (New York Times)
    Largely because of the Leviathan offshore gas field, Israel has far more natural gas than it can consume. Chevron, the American energy giant, manages the platform and finds itself with a trove of gas on Europe's doorstep.
    Expanding production at Leviathan and streamlining the pipelines between Israel and its neighbors are expected to potentially allow exports to more than double.
    Once reliant on coal-burning power plants, Israel now generates 70% of its electricity from gas.

U.S.-Israel Research Foundation Invests $8 Million in 9 New Projects - James Spiro (Calcalist)
    The U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation has approved $8 million in funding for 9 new projects between U.S. and Israeli companies.
    The approved projects, with an overall budget of $23 million, touch on agritech, biotech, electronics, foodtech, medical devices, and quantum technology.

Hungary to Receive Israeli High-Tech Radars (Remix-Hungary)
    The Hungarian armed forces will replace its Soviet radars this year with EL-2084 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars manufactured by Israel's ELTA Systems Ltd., the daily Magyar Hirlap reports.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Secretary of State Blinken: Regarding Iran, Israel Will Make Its Own Decisions about Its National Security
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday: "We're now in a place where we're not talking about a nuclear agreement. We are very clearly making it known to them [Iran] that they need to take actions to de-escalate, not escalate, the tensions that exist in our relationship across a whole variety of fronts. We'll look to see if they do that....We are working across a whole series of lines of effort to push back on them, to make sure we have a strong deterrent."
        "We are in very close contact and coordination with Israel, just as we are, actually, with a number of other countries that are deeply concerned about Iran's nuclear program as well as its many other destabilizing activities in the region. Countries have to make their own decisions about their national interests, their national security. We obviously share views, share information, seek to work together. But fundamentally, Israel will make its decisions about its national security." (U.S. State Department)
  • Iran Helping Russia Build Drone Stockpile "Orders of Magnitude Larger" than Previous Arsenal - Natasha Bertrand
    Analysts from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency said Friday that the drone-manufacturing facility now under construction in Russia with Iran's help is expected to provide Russia with a new drone stockpile that is "orders of magnitude larger" than what it has been able to procure from Iran to date. Tehran has denied providing drones for Russia.
        In April, the U.S. released a satellite image of the location of the drone manufacturing plant, inside Russia's Alabuga Special Economic Zone, 600 miles east of Moscow. When the facility is completed early next year, the new drones could have a significant impact on the conflict, the analysts warned. (CNN)
  • Iran's Morality Police Target One Million Women for Not Wearing Headscarves - Harriet Barber
    Iran is deploying CCTV tracking to crack down on women who defy compulsory veiling. Between April and June, Iranian police sent more than one million text warnings to women seen on camera without a headscarf in their cars, Amnesty International said. Police issued 133,174 texts ordering women to stop using their vehicles, confiscated 2,000 cars, and referred more than 4,000 "repeat offenders" to the judiciary. (Telegraph-UK)
  • U.S. Senate, House Clash on Funding for Palestinians - Marc Rod
    The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the 2024 State and Foreign Operations bill last week, setting up a clash with the House over funding for a range of foreign policy programs. Where the House bill seeks to cut much of the U.S. funding to the Palestinians and significantly tighten conditions on such aid, the Senate bill maintains the funding, including $75 million for the UN Palestinian refugee agency and $225 million for aid to the West Bank and Gaza. (Jewish Insider)
  • Six Found Guilty for Brussels Terror Attacks - Niamh Kennedy
    A Brussels court on Tuesday found Mohamed Abrini, Oussama Atar, Osama Krayem, Salah Abdeslam, Ali El Haddad Asufi and Bilal El Makhoukhi guilty of "terrorist murder" in the 2016 Brussels attacks. The court ruled that the group's intention was to intimidate the Belgian population and kill as many people as possible. Suicide bombings in Brussels airport and a metro station on March 22, 2016, killed 36 people and injured over 300. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks. (CNN)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel's Prime Minister Calls for Reaching Consensus on Judicial Reform
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday: "We are not giving up on the chance of reaching broad agreement....Already in the coming days, the coalition will turn to the opposition in order to advance a dialogue between us. We are prepared to discuss everything, immediately, and...reach a comprehensive agreement on everything."
        "We have consensus. We all agree that Israel needs to remain a strong democracy, that it will continue to safeguard individual rights for all, that it will not become a state governed by Jewish religious law, that the court will continue to be independent and that no side will control it."
        "The IDF must remain outside any political controversy. We all know that the IDF relies on dedicated reservists who love this country. Calls for refusal to serve harm the security of every citizen of the state."
        "A last word to our enemies: I know that you do not know what democracy is. Do not misunderstand this debate we are having. As always, we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder and together repel any threat to our dear country."  (Prime Minister's Office)
        See also Netanyahu: "When the Dust Clears, It Will Be Clear that the Israeli Economy Is Very Strong"
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Tuesday: "When the dust clears, it will be clear that the Israeli economy is very strong. The security industries are bursting with orders. The gas industry is increasing exports to Europe and seven companies are now competing for tenders to explore for gas in Israel at an investment worth billions."
        "Intel is planning its largest investment outside of the U.S. ever and will invest $25 billion in Israel. NVIDIA is building a supercomputer in Israel and we are moving forward in AI, cyber and the manufacture of chips in Israel. Growth is increasing and inflation has been blocked."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • 3 Palestinian Gunmen Killed in Samaria - Emanuel Fabian
    Three Palestinian gunmen opened fire at IDF troops at an army post next to a Samaritan community in Samaria on Tuesday. The troops "engaged and neutralized" the gunmen. The attack came hours after Palestinian terrorists opened fire at a bus carrying Israelis in the West Bank town of Huwara on Monday night, without causing injuries. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • The Golden Days Return for Iran - Gabriel Noronha
    Syrian media reported on July 13 that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had increased salaries for its militia fighters in Syria by 13%. The budgets for the regime's other terror arms have also increased by double digits this year. As the U.S. has suspended enforcement of most Iran sanctions in a bid to have them rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran's foreign currency reserves have skyrocketed from their $4 billion low in 2020 to $43 billion in 2023, enabling them to increase funding for their efforts to destabilize the region.
        Even without formal sanctions relief, Iran is able to enjoy most of the economic benefits it would have received in that deal without giving up or even pausing its nuclear enrichment activities.
        The writer, former Special Advisor for Iran at the State Department, is a Fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. (Washington Examiner)
  • The Rockets Fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv Use Knowhow Provided by Iran
    On June 12-23, 2023, the secretary-general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Ziad Al-Nakhaleh, visited Iran. He told the official Iranian news agency IRNA:
        "The rockets, the anti-tank weapons and the explosive charges are made locally. A significant portion of the knowledge was provided by our brothers in the Islamic Republic, which had considerable impact. The resistance action we see today, as part of which rockets are fired at the occupied cities, especially at Tel Aviv and all of Israel's major cities, [utilizes] expertise that the Palestinian resistance and people learned from the Islamic Republic, in addition to the knowhow about mortars, explosive charges, etc....That is what made the difference. "  (MEMRI)

  • Palestinians

  • Palestinian Refugees Were Used as a Political Prop - Prof. Fred Baumann
    In "Palestinians Deserve a Passport" (op-ed, July 20), Abdullah Ektileh justly focuses on the abominable treatment Palestinians have been given by Arab governments. Where, in the great population exchanges of the 1940s, Muslims were absorbed into Pakistan, Hindus into India, Silesian Germans into West Germany and Jews from Arab lands into Israel, the Palestinians were an exception.
        Rejected by their fellow Arabs, who largely kept them cooped up in camps and fed a diet of hatred and revenge from birth, Palestinians were meant to be a tool for a war of total destruction against the Jewish state. Eventually, the plan backfired and, after the (barely) failed attempt of radicalized Palestinians to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy, they became too dangerous to absorb. To this day, they suffer from their exclusion by their fellow Arabs, while directing their passionate hatred toward Israel.
        The Oslo agreement intended for them to become citizens of a Palestinian state, one offered by Israel in 2000, 2001 and 2008. During what was supposed to be a transition period, Oslo granted them autonomy under the Palestinian Authority. But the PA has flatly refused all those offers of statehood and promoted terrorism, even making payments to Palestinians who kill Jews. By their policies, the Arab states created a monster that terrifies them and also has made the two-state solution, one perfectly sensible in theory, a practical impossibility.
        The Palestinian leadership's last card has been posing as victims. While that has succeeded in whipping up a worldwide wave of Jew-hate, it has done nothing to help the Palestinians themselves.
        The writer is Professor of Political Science at Kenyon College. (Wall Street Journal)

  • Other Issues

  • Israel Is Not a "Racist State" - Ahmed Charai
    Comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa ignores the reality that is visible to anyone who stands on an Israeli sidewalk. Israel's demography is far more complex than critics imagine. One out of every five Israelis was either born in Morocco or the descendants of Moroccans. Another fifth hail from elsewhere in North Africa or East Africa, such as the Ethiopian Jews.
        Then there are the Israelis from the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Then there are Jews who hail from the former Soviet Union, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and other eastern lands. And, of course, there are European descendants of the Nazi horror. Israel also has many Christian and Muslim citizens who fully participate in public life.
        American non-Jews support Israel in larger numbers than American Jews, according to numerous polls. Many U.S. Christians support Israel because their Bible-focused religion makes Israel a familiar place. They have grown up reading and hearing about ancient Israel and have no trouble translating that into an affection for modern-day Israel.
        The writer, a Moroccan publisher, is on the board of the Atlantic Council, the International Crisis Group, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and the Center for the National Interest. (National Interest)

  • Antisemitism

  • Fight Antisemites, Not Antisemitism - Col. (ret.) Yigal Carmon
    The rise in violent antisemitism in the West is so significant that the White House, the EU, and the UN have all taken action to devise strategies to counter this phenomenon. It is critical to understand that there is no such thing as "combating antisemitism" without combating antisemites themselves, in the same way that one cannot fight crime without fighting criminals or fight terrorism without fighting terrorists. Any strategy that deviates from this principle constitutes an evasion on the part of governments of their responsibility to protect targeted minorities.
        Section 230(c)(1) of the 1996 U.S. Communications Decency Act must be repealed. It gives immunity to social media companies that is not enjoyed by any other media outlet, enabling illegal activities, including incitement to violence, to reach millions of people. In 2022, prominent American neo-Nazi James Mason said: "The Internet is the greatest thing...to ever come along....It's astronomical, the people we're reaching now, the quality we're reaching them with, and at no risk to ourselves, and at essentially no cost - it's fabulous!" Traditional media outlets - print, television, radio - are legally liable for the content they publish, without this being considered a violation of free speech.
        The writer, former counter-terrorism advisor to two Israeli prime ministers, is founder and president of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). (MEMRI)
  • American Anthropological Association Votes to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions - Menachem Wecker
    The membership of the American Anthropological Association voted 71% to 29% on July 24 to boycott Israeli academic institutions, referring to Israeli "apartheid" and Israeli universities' "complicity in violating Palestinian rights." Just 37% of the membership voted, with 2,016 approving the resolution and 835 opposing it.
        According to the new resolution, the AAA will no longer list Israeli academic institutions in its published materials nor allow Israeli institutions to interview job candidates at association facilities. It also will bar journals owned by Israeli institutions from republishing AAA-published materials and will prevent the institutions from participating in AAA conferences and events.
        Sergei Kan, professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College, told JNS, that "the association has been increasingly hijacked by the radical... Israel-haters."
        Don Seeman, an anthropologist and associate professor of religion and of Jewish studies at Emory University, said, "When policymakers and ordinary people increasingly mock or ignore the insights of professional anthropology, the profession need look no further than this sort of rank politicization to understand why. We have become an echo chamber of the most extreme and insupportable views....The continual singling out of Israel from among every nation on the planet - including those with far more despicable human rights records - is, despite all protestations to the contrary, an expression of antisemitism."  (JNS)

  • Weekend Features

  • 200 African-American Christian Women Meet in Jerusalem to Strengthen Ties with Jewish People - Etgar Lefkovits
    A delegation of 200 African-American Christian women met on Tuesday with leaders of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus in Jerusalem, seeking to strengthen the ties of friendship with the Jewish people. "We are fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King to bring African Americans to Israel," said Cathelean Steele, national project coordinator at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil-rights organization co-founded by King. "Our job is to bring us back together because of the history we share."  (JNS-Miami Herald)
  • Rebel Jewish Coin Dating to Revolt against Rome Discovered in Israel - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
    A rare half-shekel silver coin from the first year of the First Jewish Revolt against the Romans two millennia ago has been discovered in the Ein Gedi nature reserve in the Judean Desert. The coin had the words "The Holy Jerusalem" in ancient Hebrew on its face and is dated to 66/67 CE.
        The coin was found in the course of the Judean Desert Survey led by the Israel Antiquities Authority, with the aim of examining every cave and retrieving ancient finds before antiquity looters do so. Amir Ganor, a director of the Judean Desert Survey project, said, "Over the six years of the project, we have recorded over 800 caves and have found thousands of significant finds."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • EU Funds Yad Vashem's Memorial Project in Jerusalem - Etgar Lefkovits
    Yad Vashem - the World Holocaust Remembrance Center - is planning a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art sound and light show, funded in part by the EU, as part of a family-oriented educational center to tell the story of Jewish communities lost in the Holocaust. The project is taking place at the Holocaust Memorial's "Valley of the Communities," a massive monument with the names of over 5,000 Jewish communities engraved on its walls.
        "It is only by telling the story of the vibrant Jewish life that existed before the Holocaust that we can fully understand the enormity, the magnitude of that which was tragically lost during the devastation of the Shoah," said Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan. The project is expected to debut in the spring of 2024. (JNS-Miami Herald)

Zionism Is a Pillar of Jewish Life in America - William Daroff (Israel Hayom)
  • America's new national strategy to combat antisemitism puts the weight of the federal government behind the fight to combat antisemitism, demonstrating that this fight is not just a Jewish priority, but an American priority.
  • The report also distinguishes an essential fact of contemporary Jewish life and identity: that there is an intrinsic link between the Jewish people and the State of Israel. By recognizing and celebrating "the deep historical, religious, cultural, and other ties many American Jews and other Americans have to Israel," it acknowledges our community's long-standing affirmation that Zionism is inherent to our identity as American Jews.
  • At its core, Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. It emphasizes that Jews, like any other people, have a right to self-determination in the land of our ancestors after facing 1900 years of oppression and violence in Europe and the Middle East.
  • While the American Jewish community is grateful for the opportunities and freedoms afforded by our country, we simultaneously maintain a steadfast connection to the Land of Israel, our heritage, and our brethren abroad. We also see Israel's existence as an essential contributor to our people's safety and well-being in a modern world still plagued by antisemitism.
  • Judaism and the Land of Israel are tightly intertwined. Israel is the birthplace of our Jewish identity, language, culture, and religion, and the modern Zionist movement is the actualization of the longstanding Jewish aspiration to return to and be free in the Land of Israel. For millennia, Jews pray in the direction of Jerusalem and for their people's return to Zion.
  • As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis reasoned over 100 years ago, "the highest Jewish ideals are essentially American," and "to be good Americans, we must be better Jews, and to be better Jews, we must become Zionists." To a supermajority of American Jews, Zionism lies at the heart of what it means to be Jewish and American.

    The writer is CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

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