August 24, 2023
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Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy
Dan Diker, President - Yechiel Leiter, Director General

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Helped the U.S. Solve Scores of F-35 Glitches - Yoram Ettinger (Algemeiner)
    Israel is a cost-effective laboratory for the U.S. defense and aerospace industries and armed forces.
    In 2016, Israel became the first country to use the highly-computerized F-35 operationally.
    Israel soon became successful in solving most of the operational and maintenance glitches which had caused concern among prospective buyers.
    Scores of Israeli solutions to F-35 glitches in data gathering and processing, electronic warfare, and firing control accuracy have been shared with U.S manufacturer Lockheed-Martin and the U.S. Air Force.
    The enhanced performance of the F-35 demonstrates Israel's role as an important source of modernization, reduction of unit cost, and expanding job creation in the U.S.
    Israel shares with the U.S. more intelligence than many countries, and Israel's battle experience has been shared with the U.S., saving American lives.

IDF Confiscates 3D-Printed Weapons in West Bank (IsraelDefense)
    In August, IDF Combat Engineering forces entered a Palestinian weapons storage site and confiscated three pistols, a rifle, and various other weapon parts, printed on 3D printers.
    "These are entirely functional weapons," said an IDF officer. "This is a phenomenon that we have yet to encounter."

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Guatemala's New Hebrew-Speaking President - Jacob Kessler (JTA)
    Guatemala's new president, elected on Sunday, is Bernardo Arevalo, son of former president Juan Jose Arevalo.
    When his father served as Guatemala's ambassador to Israel, Bernardo studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received his BA there.
    Bernardo also worked at the Guatemalan embassy in Israel from 1984 to 1986.
    He said, "Israel is a country for which I have great affection. I lived 10 years of my life in Israel. They were very important years."

Almost Half of Palestinians View Abraham Accords Positively - Frances McDonough (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
    47% of Palestinians in Gaza and 63% in eastern Jerusalem express a positive view of the regional impact of the Abraham Accords, according to a poll commissioned by The Washington Institute and conducted in July 2023 by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion. Support in the West Bank was only 27%.
    At the same time, Palestinians appeared more receptive to good relations with Iran than residents of most other Arab countries. 65% in Gaza, 51% in the West Bank, and 63% in eastern Jerusalem said good relations with Iran were important.

Arab Youth Look to a Future Abroad - Daoud Kuttab (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
    53% of youth in the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Syria, and Yemen) and 48% in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, South Sudan, and Tunisia) reported a desire to emigrate, chiefly for economic reasons, according to a study of Arab youth in March-April 2023 by ASDA'A BCW, a Middle East consultancy.
    However, only 27% of youth in Gulf countries say the same.

Israel's Arab Society Sees Rising Employment Rates (Xinhua-China)
    The employment rate of Israeli-Arab men rose from 72.1% in the first half of 2022 to 76.4% in the first half of 2023, Israel's Ministry for Social Equality reported Sunday.
    During the same period, the employment rate among Israeli-Arab women rose from 42.1% to 44.7%.
    The ministry attributed the increase to government programs that promote occupational orientation and professional and technological training.
    The programs focused on promoting literacy and the Hebrew language, as well as providing grants to private companies to encourage employment.

Israel Helping Palestinians Develop Fish Farming Industry (ANI News-India)
    Israel is helping fish farmers in the Palestinian Authority increase the volume of the fish they breed.
    Israel provided financing, equipment, fish food, water treatment filters, and training by Israel Ministry of Agriculture experts for two main projects in Tulkarm and Jenin.
    Israel has been cooperating and transferring knowledge to the Palestinians in the fields of veterinary medicine, forestry, plant protection, marketing, and agricultural imports.

Netherlands Buys Counter-Drone Defense from Israel's Elbit - Tzally Greenberg (Defense News)
    Elbit Systems will supply its multilayered ReDrone counter-drone system to the Netherlands in a deal worth $55 million, the Israeli firm announced Monday.
    The Dutch Defense Ministry said the counter-drone systems are to deploy at air bases and the Den Helder naval port "to protect the armed forces units and the main weapons systems from enemy action."
    It "can also be used to protect essential non-military infrastructure and processes in the Netherlands."
    The ReDrone system cuts off the drone's communication with its operator and blocks its use of GPS.

Israeli Women Win Gold, Silver at Windsurfing World Championships - Michael Horovitz (Times of Israel)
    Israeli windsurfer Shahar Tibi, 25, took first place and Katy Spychakov, 24, came second in the women's iQFoil category at the Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands on Saturday.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Report: Israel Launches Missile Attack on Weapons Depots in Syria
    Israel carried out a missile strike on military sites around Damascus on Monday night, the Syrian army said, adding that the missiles were launched from the Golan Heights. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three military sites, including weapons depots that belong to Iran-backed Hizbullah, were targeted. (Xinhua-China)
  • Russian Air Strike Blew Apart Syrian Market - Fared Al Mahlool
    On June 25, Russian warplanes struck the town market in Jisr al-Shughur in Syria's Idlib region, killing nine farmers and wounding dozens. After the first wave, the Russian jets returned and fired two more missiles, bringing the death toll to 13. The attack, the deadliest this year, was one of several launched by the Russian army in Syria as it continues to back Bashar al-Assad in his ongoing civil war.
        Since 2015, when the Russian intervention in Syria began, Moscow's forces have bombed communities in northwestern Syria to rubble and displaced tens of thousands, forcing survivors to live in camps along the Syrian-Turkish border. Samer Al-Ali, a local humanitarian activist, said it seemed that Russia "possesses an international license to kill Syrian civilians."  (Telegraph-UK)
  • Israel Expands Gas Exports to Egypt
    Israel on Wednesday said it will boost natural gas production from its offshore Tamar field by 60% and increase exports to Egypt by an additional 38.7 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas over 11 years. "This step will increase the state's revenue and strengthen diplomatic ties between Israel and Egypt," Israel's Energy Minister Israel Katz said. In 2022, energy companies in Israel produced 21.29 bcm of natural gas, with 9.21 bcm exported to Egypt and Jordan. (Reuters)
  • IMF: Lack of Reforms Hamper Palestinian Economic Growth - Sarmad Khan
    Growth of the Palestinian economy will continue to slow this year, weighed down by a lack of reforms, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Wednesday. The economies of the West Bank and Gaza are largely dependent on foreign aid and grants.
        "An ever-binding liquidity crunch has...constrained the full payment of public sector wages and pensions (persisting since late 2021)," the IMF said. "Arrears continue to accumulate, and without substantial adjustment policies, public debt remains unsustainable."  (The National-Abu Dhabi)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Arrests Two Palestinians for Terror Attack near Hebron - Yoav Zitun
    Israeli security forces arrested two Palestinians overnight Monday for involvement in the murder of Batsheva Nigri, a mother of 3, and the serious injury to Aryeh Gottlieb, 39, near Hebron. Nigri's 12-year-old daughter, who survived the attack, said, "I called the emergency service and told them we were shot at." The gun used in the attack was found and the car used by the terrorists was found burned in the nearby city of Halhul. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Arab Indicted for Stabbing Jewish Co-worker - Michael Starr
    A Palestinian from Nablus, Mohammed bin Mohammed Bassiouni, 35, was indicted for a stabbing attack against his coworkers at a Petah Tikva garage on Aug. 10 that left one man severely wounded, the Central District Attorney's Office announced on Monday. Bassiouni, who had a permit to work in Israel, attacked the son of one of the owners, who also worked at the garage, though there had been no prior conflict between the two men before the attack. He took a large knife from the garage's kitchen and attacked the owner's son while shouting "Allah Akbar."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • How U.S. Navy Can Destroy Iranian Small Boat Swarm Attacks - Kris Osborn
    Iranian small boats have harassed and interfered with U.S. Navy ships and private commercial vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. Their tactical concept is to blanket or overwhelm a larger surface ship with multiple points and angles of attack so as to overwhelm deck-mounted guns and ship defenses. Explosive-packed small boats or those armed with shoulder-fired missiles could exact a substantial toll on larger warships. U.S. Central Command reports that Iran has seized at least 20 vessels since 2021.
        The U.S. Navy has in recent years taken specific and impactful measures to improve ship defenses. It has conducted numerous live-fire drills and scenario reenactments to sharpen its ability to counter and destroy swarming small boat attacks.
        Most surface Navy warships operate with a Close-In-Weapons-System (CIWS) ship-defense weapon, an "area" weapon able to fire hundreds of small metal projectiles across a wide envelope in seconds to destroy incoming enemy missiles, aerial drone swarms and even lower flying helicopters or other fast-incoming attacks. Ten years ago the Navy upgraded CIWS to specifically enable it to "blanket" incoming small boats across a wide surface area, essentially denying any ability for small boats to survive moving close in to large warships.
        Moreover, short- and mid-range deck-fired interceptors such as SeaRAM and the Rolling Airframe Missile have been upgraded to increase range, lethality and precision, weapons enhancements increasingly capable of targeting and destroying fast-moving small boats. Yet another critical factor is the air assets the Navy can deploy. The USS Bataan now in the region can carry 24 rotary-wing and fixed-wing attack aircraft. With its long-range, precision sensors and next-generation air-to-surface weaponry, a single F-35B would be positioned to obliterate groups of swarming small boats.
          The writer, president of the Center for Military Modernization, served at the Pentagon with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army - Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. (Warrior Maven)
  • Is Iran's Economy on the Brink of Collapse? - Ali Ansari
    The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), long considered the shock troops of the revolution, are not as content with their lot as they used to be. Protected from the winds that regularly buffet the regime, members of the IRGC can normally expect to reap economic benefits from their privileged position. But leaks from IRGC commanders show that the financial largesse that oiled the political system is waning.
        Foreign sanctions are simply the salt rubbed into the self-inflicted wound of monumental mismanagement. Transparency, accountability and the rule of law, the hallmarks of a modern investment-led economy, are alien concepts. Structural reform of the economy would require a level of trust in the regime that doesn't exist.
        Inflation is officially at 40% (though most believe it to be higher) and the currency has lost more than half its value over the last two years. Ironically, one source of immediate salvation for the regime is the Biden Administration's lax enforcement of oil sanctions.
        The writer is Professor of Iranian History at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. (Telegraph-UK)
  • The Real Story of the 1953 Iranian Coup - Ray Takeyh
    70 years ago, a coup toppled Iran's Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq. Mossadeq was a Persian aristocrat who objected to Britain's control of Iran's oil. Appointed to his post by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, he had led the nationalization charge to reclaim Iran's national asset.
        America became involved with Iran at Mossadeq's instigation. Once negotiations over oil with Britain deadlocked, Mossadeq implored President Truman to mediate the dispute. From 1951 until the eventual coup, a succession of American diplomats came up with numerous plans, all of which Mossadeq rejected.
        To pressure him, Britain imposed an embargo on Iranian oil and Iran's economy cratered. Mossadeq became more despotic. He rigged elections, disbanded Parliament, usurped the powers of the monarch, and showed little respect for the constitution, alarming Persian power brokers. By 1953 Iranians were asking the U.S. Embassy for support. Eisenhower seemed sympathetic because of Mossadeq's increasing reliance on the Tudeh Communist Party.
        The CIA didn't create the opposition to Mossadeq. Iranian Lt.-Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi had already organized the military to overthrow the prime minister, mullahs were organizing demonstrations against Mossadeq, and merchants were closing their bazaars in protest. America's most essential contribution to Mossadeq's removal was to get the young and hesitant shah to dismiss his prime minister.
        The writer, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a senior advisor on Iran at the U.S. State Department. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Forgotten Arabs of Al Ahwaz: A Century-Old Struggle for Liberation from Iran - Suzan Quitaz
    Every year on April 20, the Ahwazi people mark the loss of their homeland, Arabistan, an autonomous emirate that for centuries was ruled by Arab tribes. In 1925, the Persians invaded Arabistan, and by brutal force, they implemented measures to erase its Arab identity and change its ethnic composition. Al Ahwaz is home to the third largest oil field in the world, yet the Ahwazi Arabs are marginalized and poor. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Palestinian Arabs

  • EU Builds "Resistance Schools" to Help PA Grab Land in Israeli-Administered Territories - David Isaac
    Under the 2009 plan drawn up by former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, "resistance schools" are being built with EU funding in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which entirely falls under Israeli jurisdiction. The schools are a key element in a wider plan to create unilateral facts on the ground and encroach on Israeli territory, says Naomi Kahn, director of the International Division at Israeli NGO Regavim. "We tracked and mapped out 100 such schools....They're placed in strategic spots in Area C."
        If the schools are left standing, the PA builds villages around them. "There are schools that are built at archaeological sites, inside firing zones, even on property belonging to Jewish communities," she said. (JNS)
  • When Will the World Stop Funding Palestinian Murderers - Rabbi Leo Dee
    Batsheva Nigri, the kindergarten teacher of the kids of some of my close friends in Efrat, a giving lady with a wonderful heart, was murdered this week by Fatah, the faction of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. The PA is the funder of 70% of terror attacks that go on in Judea and Samaria, including the attack that killed my wife and two daughters four months ago.
        World governments are funding the PA to the tune of $1.2 billion per year - the same PA that educates children to murder Jews through textbooks and terror training summer camps, the same PA that pays more than $300 million annually to families of terrorists to encourage the next round of attacks.
        When more than 200,000 Palestinians come into Israeli towns every day and earn more than 70% of the PA's GDP, these decent, good, hard-working Palestinians should be running their country, not the bunch of terrorists that constitute the PA and Fatah. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
  • Was Rabin Fooled by Arafat when They Signed the Oslo Accords? - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
    Two months after the signing of the Declaration of Principles for the Oslo Accords in Washington, I met with Yasser Arafat in Tunis to speak about the future of the negotiations. To my dismay, Arafat told me that the future territory of the nascent Palestinian Authority would stretch from Ein Gev in the north (on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee) to Ein Gedi (situated on the Dead Sea) in the south. He further said that the hills overlooking Jericho were his. Back in Jerusalem, I briefed the Prime Minister about Arafat's position. Rabin did not believe what he heard and asked me to check with our Foreign Ministry. They replied that during the meetings in Oslo there was no mention whatsoever of Arafat's claims.
        At a December 13, 1993, meeting in Cairo, Rabin met with Arafat alone. Ten minutes later, he came out of the meeting, furious at having been taken in by Arafat's positions. He told the Israeli entourage, "Too bad I didn't meet with Arafat before the Oslo agreements were signed. I would not have signed them."
        My work with Rabin leaves me with no doubt that he was aware of the contacts being held in Oslo but was not aware of the fine details of the understandings presented there, and he did not seem to have assigned enough importance to those understandings. Moreover, Rabin did not consider Arafat's positions as threatening. Arafat could claim whatever he wanted. There was no way Rabin would accept his whims.
        Rabin did not call for establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel and definitely not on the 1967 lines. He spoke of a political entity - a little more than an autonomy and less than a state - that would be obligated by federative or confederative agreements with Israel and Jordan.
        The writer was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence. This article is part of the Center's new "Oslo at 30" compendium. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Why Palestinians Do Not Have a Free Press - Bassam Tawil
    It is no secret that the Palestinians do not have a free media. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza are doing their utmost to silence and intimidate Palestinian journalists who criticize them or report about their repressive measures and financial corruption. Any Palestinian journalist who does not comply with their wishes is beaten, arrested or thrown out of his or her job. Yet the fierce crackdown on Palestinian journalists is ignored by the mainstream media in the West. The outrage of foreign journalists seems reserved only for stories that reflect negatively on Israel. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Antisemitism

  • Cowardly Anti-Semitism Hides behind Criticism of Israel - Con Coughlin
    In his new book, Israelophobia: The Newest Version of the Oldest Hatred & What to Do About It, Jake Wallis Simons reveals that in 2022, when tens of thousands of Ukrainians perished in the conflict with Russia and the Yemeni violence claimed 3,000 lives, it was the deaths of 180 Palestinians that attracted the most comment from the so-called neutral human rights activists at Amnesty International. A study of its Twitter feed between January and April 2023 showed that while the organization posted just two critical comments on the Ukraine conflict, and none at all about Yemen, it published 26 comments about supposed Israeli crimes.
        The age-old curse of anti-Semitism, which is not content with slandering the Jewish people, now focuses on denouncing the State of Israel. The term Israelophobia, Simons explains, was originally coined by the Italian-Israeli journalist Fiamma Nirenstein to describe the surge in anti-Israeli sentiment in recent years. According to Simons' definition of Israelophobia, there are three defining characteristics: demonizing Israel, weaponizing activists to condemn the Jews and their national home, and using Soviet- and Nazi-era propaganda to falsify the stated aims of the Zionist enterprise. (Telegraph-UK)
        See also Israelophobia and the West: The Hijacking of Civil Discourse on Israel and How to Rescue It - Dan Diker, ed. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2020)

  • Weekend Features

  • Israel's Economy Beats Estimates, Ignoring Political Turmoil - Steven Scheer
    Israel's economy sustained its solid growth in the second quarter, beating expectations with consumer spending bouncing back after a slow start to 2023, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday. "Israel's economy is performing relatively well considering various headwinds and GDP continues to grow in line with its pre-pandemic trend," said Liam Peach, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics. (Reuters)

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Jenin, Psychological Warfare, and the West's Perceptual Failure - Aviram Balleishe and the Jerusalem Center-Iran Desk (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Foreign media coverage of the events in Jenin have erroneously reported that the Iranian regime's recent terror and influence operations in the city were a "Palestinian-Israeli clash."
  • Yet statements by Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, senior IRGC officials, and the regime's official news agencies - documented here - present the broader strategic implementation of the IRGC's West Bank operations. Statements from Palestinian officials also support the IRGC's operations program.
  • There is a clear need to change the false narrative of young Palestinian freedom fighters struggling against the "Zionist occupier" to a more accurate narrative that reflects a carefully planned, Iranian regime-backed initiative that supports and directs Palestinian terror activity from the West Bank against Israeli civilians. 
  • The battle in the West Bank, and Jenin specifically, is not an Israeli-Palestinian conflict per se but part of a more significant Iranian-Israeli conflict, part of Iran's plans to support and build up terror capabilities along Israel's borders and in Gaza and the West Bank.
  • This document underscores the need for Israel to wage a soft-power war of perception alongside its counter-terror operations in Jenin to eliminate the IRGC-supported Palestinian terrorist nests there. 
  • Simultaneously, Israel must provide the Palestinians with the evidence that what matters to the present Iranian regime is not Palestinian welfare, but the Shiite revolution.

    Aviram Balleishe, Senior Director, Security, Diplomacy, and Communications at the Jerusalem Center, has served in senior government positions for over 25 years as a business intelligence and Middle East specialist, negotiation expert, and international cooperation manager.
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