Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 18 min 58 sec ago
(New York Times) Vivian Yee -
The tens of thousands of Iranians taking part in nationwide protests against the government in the past two weeks have plenty of grievances to choose from: soaring prices, high unemployment, corruption, political repression, and the law requiring women to dress modestly and cover their hair. But the sorry state of Iran's economy is one of the main forces spurring Iranians into the streets to demand change. Protesters have called for an end to Iran's inflexible clerical leadership and the Islamic Republic it built.
Decades of mismanagement and corruption, compounded by suffocating U.S.-led sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear and missile programs, along with a pandemic, have frozen Iran's economy at pre-2012 levels or worse. Iranians who have spent the past several years cutting meat out of their budgets, scrounging for work and delaying marriage and children are angry with their leaders, whom they see as being responsible for the mismanagement of the economy.
The Iranian rial lost so much value that Iran introduced the toman, essentially to slash four zeros off the currency. Iranians now pay about 75% more for food than they did a year ago.
(New York Post) Natalie O'Neill -
Nine student groups at the University of California, Berkeley, have adopted a policy forbidding pro-Israel speakers at events. The school's dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, who is Jewish, said the policy stops him from speaking at the events.
(Substack) Melanie Phillips -
An anti-Israel bylaw adopted by a handful of law-student groups at Berkeley goes beyond support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, whose goal is to destroy Israel through economic strangulation. These groups at Berkeley will no longer invite any speaker who supports Israel or Zionism.
Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Since the essence of Judaism is the unbreakable connection between the people, the religion and the land of Israel, the Berkeley law students are not merely singling out the Jews as the only people not entitled to their own homeland. They are attacking Judaism itself.
The writer is a columnist for The Times-UK.
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian -
While IDF troops were operating in Jalazone, near Ramallah, early Monday in an attempt to arrest a terror suspect, a vehicle began to accelerate toward them. "During the activity, a ramming attack was attempted against the forces, who responded by firing and neutralized the two [Palestinian] suspects," the IDF said.
(Ha'aretz) Adi Hashmonai -
Six Israeli Arabs suspected of planning to bomb a Muslim high school in Nazareth in the name of ISIS have been arrested, the Israel Security Agency announced Sunday. They also sought out additional targets, including a crowded bus stop, a police station, and forests frequented by Jews.
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian -
An Israeli taxi driver was injured when gunmen opened fire toward vehicles in the West Bank between the Palestinian town of Bayt Furik and the Israeli community of Elon Moreh on Sunday morning. The windshield of a bus was also hit by a bullet in the same area. An armed Palestinian faction based in Nablus called the Lion's Den claimed responsibility.
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian -
A Palestinian man "who tried to throw a firebomb at our forces was neutralized with gunfire" in al-Eizariya on the outskirts of Jerusalem, an Israel Police spokesman said Saturday.
Also on Saturday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli troops operating near the West Bank village of Burqa, and at the Israeli community of Beit El.
(Times of Israel) Jacob Magid -
On Thursday, Palestinian boys in the West Bank village of Tuqua, south of Bethlehem, were seen throwing stones at cars driving near the neighboring Israeli community of Tekoa. IDF Lt.-Col. Richard Hecht, a military spokesman, said a senior officer on the scene went to the house after spotting one of the stone throwers on a balcony and told the father to make the children stop throwing stones at motorists. He said the officer spoke in a "very calm manner" and left. "There was no violence, no entry into the house."
A family member said 7-year-old Rayan Suleiman was upset at the sight of the soldiers, and after the soldiers left, the boy collapsed and died. There is an ongoing IDF investigation into the matter.
(Times of Israel) Michael Horovitz -
Two Palestinian men have been detained for throwing firebombs at passing Israeli buses from Makassed Hospital in eastern Jerusalem on Sep. 7. Israel Police said Sunday that the two entered the hospital in wheelchairs, disguising themselves as patients, and then attacked passing vehicles.
(Jerusalem Post) Anna Ahronheim -
There were 34 shooting attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in September, more than once per day. There were 23 shooting attacks in August and 15 in July. 14 Israelis were injured and two were killed in Palestinian attacks in September. 15 Israelis were injured in attacks in August.
The IDF continues to carry out regular operations in the West Bank to put an end to terror attacks against Israelis.
(Ynet News) Meir Turgeman -
Chief Superintendent D., 48, commander of the IDF's Mista'arvim special forces counter-terrorist squad, described Wednesday's shootout in Jenin in the West Bank.
"The militants rained thousands of rounds of bullets at us, and for the first time used improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They prepared a death trap for us. They rigged the entrance to the house, and as soon as they spotted us, they activated four explosive charges of dozens of kilograms one after the other. It was of a magnitude I had never encountered before. There was a huge blast, the earth shook under our feet."
"The whole operation to take out the wanted terrorists took ten minutes, but the exchanges of fire with camp militants lasted much longer." Under heavy fire, the force summoned armored vehicles to pick them up. "The troops crawled like in boot camp to take cover and after three hours of fighting we managed to get to safety."
(i24News) Calev Ben-David -
Iranian-born Israeli singer Rita is voicing support for Iranian demonstrators who took to the streets to protest the cruelties of the Mullah regime and its morality police. Rita told i24News on Sunday that she received thousands of messages on Instagram after recording a video in support of protesters last week. "They told me, 'Please be our voice.'" "The time will come when we can be in friendship. We have no reason to be enemies."
(Jerusalem Post) Tzvi Joffre -
The IDF and Israel Security Agency have thwarted a Hamas terrorism financing scheme using Gazans who were entering Israel for humanitarian reasons or with work permits, IDF spokesperson Lt.-Col. Avichay Adraee said Thursday. The funds were transferred to Hamas members in Turkey to finance terrorist activities in the West Bank and Turkey.
(JNS) Josh Hasten -
On Friday, Booking.com, the global online lodging website, placed a travel warning on all of its listings - both Jewish- and Arab-owned - in Judea and Samaria, including towns under Palestinian Authority control. Booking.com had been considering labeling Jewish-owned properties only with a security disclaimer.
The Israeli government celebrated the change as a "political achievement for Israel" following "discreet and efficient discussions" with the company to persuade it not to single out Jewish businesses.
(Jerusalem Post) A cache of 44 pure gold coins from the Byzantine era was recently discovered during an archeological excavation at the Banias site within the Hermon River Nature Reserve, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Monday. IAA numismatic expert Dr. Gabriela Bijovsky identified coins minted during the reign of Emperor Phocas (602-610 CE) and Emperor Heraclius (610-641 CE).
The coins were concealed within the base of a stone wall during the time of the Muslim conquest in 635 CE. The excavations were carried out prior to connecting the adjacent Druze holy site Maqam Nabi Khadr to the national electricity grid.
(Globes) Israeli startups raised $800 million in September 2022, for a total of $13.5 billion in the first nine months of the year.
(Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Prime Minister Yair Lapid -
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday: "Over the weekend, Israel and Lebanon received the American mediator's proposal for an agreement on a maritime line between the two countries....The proposal safeguards Israel's full security-diplomatic interests, as well as our economic interests. For over a decade, Israel has been trying to reach this deal. The security of the north will be strengthened. The Karish field will operate and produce natural gas. Money will flow into the state's coffers and our energy independence will be secured."
"We do not oppose the development of an additional Lebanese gas field, from which we will of course receive the share we deserve. Such a field will weaken Lebanon's dependence on Iran, restrain Hizbullah and promote regional stability."
(Israel Hayom) Yoav Limor -
The emerging maritime agreement with Lebanon has benefits. These include negotiations between Israel and Lebanon, albeit indirect and mediated by the U.S. We should not underestimate the importance of an agreement, even if partial, with an enemy state. The ability to generate and implement common interests is a calming and restraining element.
Lebanon is a broken, insolvent country on the verge of anarchy, and the money it would gain from gas drilling would help it stabilize. In addition, Israel could start producing gas from the Karish field immediately, and at a time when the world is hungry for natural gas and prices are increasing. It will do so without a physical threat to its rigs.
The main disadvantage of the deal is the possible loss of maritime assets. Had Israel wanted to, it could have drilled in more extensive areas and extracted gas, but that would involve a considerable risk of an escalation. In other words, Israel has made a tactical concession for a strategic gain of stability on the northern border.
However, Israel must make sure to let Hizbullah know that it wasn't its threats that brought about the results. Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah will not hesitate to challenge Israel if he senses weakness on its part.
(Ynet News) Ron Ben Yishai -
Iran-backed Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah can claim he strong-armed Israel into submission with his threats to attack the Israeli gas rigs. He can say he alone is the protector of Lebanon. That is not true. Israel already approved plans to begin production at the Karish site and the IDF has already taken the necessary steps to ensure its security.
A law passed in 2010 prohibits any Israeli government from conceding Israeli territory without bringing it to a referendum, but that law does not refer to maritime borders.
(Newsweek) Prof. Eugene Kontorovich -
The proposed deal would give the Iranian puppet-state in Lebanon hundreds of miles of territory in the Mediterranean Sea - and the vast reserves of natural gas underneath. In the final U.S. proposal, the recipe for compromise is simple: Israel accepts all of Lebanon's territorial claims and redraws its borders. The standard principle in maritime mediation is equitable division somewhere down the middle. But the deal reportedly requires Jerusalem to meet Beirut's claims in full.
It does not advance U.S. strategic interests to propose a deal that would strengthen Hizbullah, a State Department-designated terror group and Iranian proxy that largely controls Lebanon. The notion that the gas fields give Lebanon "something to lose" depends on the unlikely assumption that Israel would target these fields, operated by a French company, in retaliation for a Hizbullah missile attack on Israeli facilities. In reality, the international community - as well as legal and environmental concerns - would restrain Israel.
The writer is director of the Center for the Middle East and International Law at George Mason University Law School.