April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024
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U.S.-Israel Cooperation

U.S.-Israel Cooperation

(Jinsa Security Digest)—A number of recent joint activities with the U.S. highlights U.S.-Israel relations. * A subsidiary of Israel-based Elbit Systems delivered its first advanced composite component for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, marking the first composite part manufactured by a country committed to purchasing the next generation fighter.  *The USS Kearsarge, a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship, called on the port of Eilat last month. It was the largest U.S. ship to dock in Eilat in more than 14 years. *CIA Director John Brennan made an unannounced visit to Israel, to hold consultations on a range of issues, most notably the situation in Syria. *Recently retired U.S. Marine Corps General John Allen was appointed special advisor to the Secretary of Defense focusing on security in the context of Middle East peace. He will help developing the U.S. position on Israeli security needs and arrangements in the context of a Palestinian state. *Lockheed Martin is establishing a development center in Israel, demonstrating Israel’s capacity not just as a customer but also as a developer of advanced weapons systems.

Gas Adds Energy to Israeli Diplomacy

(Bloomberg)–Israeli foreign policy may be entering a new era as the country turns into a natural-gas producer. “This a new age for Israel,” said David Wurmser, director of the Washington-based Delphi Global Analysis Group. “While the quantities are still modest in global terms, Israel could strategically leverage marginal amounts of gas for major impact if it utilizes them correctly.”

“The gas could be a geopolitical game changer for Israel, if it makes the right decision,” Gal Luft, senior adviser to the United States Energy Security Council in Washington, said on a visit to Israel last week. “That decision is whether it tries to become a minor player in the global liquefied natural gas market, or a big fish in a smaller pond by exporting to regional isolated markets.”

Chinese Entrepreneurship in Israel

(Algemeiner) One of China’s largest conglomerates has announced it plans to establish a technology incubator in Israel. “The Fosun Group chairman updated the Prime Minister on the establishment of a venture capital fund in Israel to locate investments for the group in Israeli start-ups,” said the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement. “The group intends to increase its commercial presence in the form of a technological incubator to locate and promote Israeli technologies, as well as find additional business opportunities for cooperation with Israeli companies and distribute their products in the Chinese and international markets.”

Israel Hasn’t Stopped Pressing Russia on Air Defense System to Syria

(McClatchy)—While Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he had every right to sell arms to the Syrian government, Moscow had not yet delivered the advanced S-300 air defense system to Damascus. Most sources on the S-300 system say it’s designed to shoot down aircraft and missiles within about 90 miles. But Israeli defense officials insist the actual range is greater: 125 miles. Given Israel’s small airspace, the longer range would place most aircraft within range. Israeli officials say they are also concerned that Iran or the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon will get their hands on the weapon, and have warned the Russians that they will prevent them from reaching Syria.

Netanyahu: Israel Thwarted Terror Attacks and Kidnappings in the Last Year

(Ynet News)—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos that over the past year, Israel has thwarted five terror attacks and more than 30 kidnap attempts.

Israel Exports Military Equipment to Arab Countries

Israel has exported security equipment—radar, navigation, electronic warfare, and jamming systems, and more—over the past five years to Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, according to a British government report. From January 2008 to December 2012, British authorities processed hundreds of Israeli applications to purchase military items containing British components for use by the Israel Defense Forces, or to go into systems exported to third countries.

Mossad Reportedly Gives Ankara Intelligence About Iranian Agents in Turkey

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org)—The head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, Tamir Pardo, met secretly with the Turkish intelligence agency’s undersecretary, Hakan Fidan, with Syria, Iran and the Gezi Park protests on the agenda, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported. Pardo claimed to have information that Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Syrian intelligence were working against Turkey. Fidan and Pardo reportedly discussed the ongoing protests in Turkey that started to oppose a development project in Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park and have spread to other parts of the country. The two intelligence officials discussed the “possible influence of the intelligence organizations of regional countries on the Gezi Park protests in Turkey.”

Alicia Keys, Israel and Civil Rights

(Wall Street Journal)—Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, has lately garnered more attention for her unhinged political views than for her writing. Perhaps nothing was more off-base—at least morally speaking—than the open letter Ms. Walker wrote in late May to singer-songwriter Alicia Keys urging Ms. Keys to cancel a July 4 performance in Israel. Ms. Walker wrote: “You are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country.” Ms. Keys rebuffed Ms. Walker: “I look forward to my first visit to Israel,” she told the New York Times. “Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”

Don’t Be Deluded by New Iranian President: Bibi

(Bloomberg)—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the world to keep pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program, even after Hassan Rowhani’s election as president of the Islamic Republic. “Regarding the elections in Iran, we do not delude ourselves,” Netanyahu told the Cabinet in Jerusalem on Sunday. “The international community must not be caught up in wishful thinking and be tempted to relax the pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program.” The Israeli leader said that Iran’s nuclear program is controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not Rowhani, and remains a threat to world peace.

Jerusalem Increasingly Upset by EU

(Jerusalem Post)–Israel is expected to tell visiting EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that the EU’s “obsessive” focus on settlements is “undermining” efforts to restart peace negotiations by giving the Palestinians the impression that no matter what they do, European diplomatic fire will always be aimed at Israel, one Israeli official said. Ashton will be told that this policy is “undermining” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative to restart the negotiations, and that the EU needs to back his efforts by making clear to the Palestinians that they do not have a blank check.

Tense Meeting with Bennett on National Service Recruits

(Arutz 7)—A politically charged meeting recently took place with Minister of Economics Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home Party) on the issue of drafting yeshiva students to Sherut Leumi (national service). The meeting took place at the Yad Sarah medical aid organization in Jerusalem. Minister Bennett promised that he would work to ensure that mandatory army duty or national service duty would not infringe upon Torah study and a Torah way of life. A large number of participants posed questions expressing protest and frustration.

‘Price Tag’ Attacks on Muslim and Christian Sites Are  ‘Un-Jewish’

(JNS.org)—Israel’s economy minister and leader of the nationalist Jewish Home Party,  has announced that “Every ‘price tag’ act is immoral and un-Jewish. A small group, which we have yet to catch, is trying to light the Middle East on fire and harm the efforts we’re making to create stability and good, neighborly relations with Arabs,” Bennett said. He made the statement after 28 cars in the Arab-Israeli town of Abu Ghosh had their tires slashed, and graffiti posted saying in Hebrew, “Arabs go home.”Graffiti also appeared on Arab-Christian graves in an Orthodox Christian cemetery in Jaffa, and anti-Christian graffiti appeared on the Church of the Dormition in Jerusalem in late May. Israel’s cabinet on Sunday voted to expand legal and investigative tools for the country’s police force to end “price tag” attacks.

National Service in Arab Sector Up 76 Percent

(Jerusalem Post)–A record-high 3,000 Israeli Arabs volunteered for national service this year, an increase of 76% over last year, when 1,700 participated. 90% of Arab volunteers serve in the Arab sector, in schools, daycare centers and programs against drugs and violence. Sar-Shalom Gerbi, director of the Civil and National Service Administration, said many endure intimidation and attacks because of their service. While Arab political leaders are very strongly against Arab participation in national service, “most of the population is very much for it,” Gerbi noted.

Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Metzger Arrested and Questioned for Pocketing Donations

(Ynet)– Change first sentence to: Rabbi Yona Metzger, Chief Asheknazi rabbi of Israel was arrested and questioned about whether hundreds of thousands of shekels meant for nongovernmental organizations were used for personal affairs. Israeli police raided the rabbi’s home and confiscated documents and property, while Metzger was taken to the National Fraud Unit for questioning. Three associates of Metzger—two heads of NGOs and a Chief Rabbinate employee—also were arrested. Among the charges were fraud and money laundering. An informer sparked the investigation months earlier. Metzger’s 10-year term will soon expire, and the campaign to replace him has already begun.


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