US tells Israel to back off attacks on Iran
Biden Administration officials have cautioned Israel that its repeated attacks on Iran’s nuclear program are “counterproductive,” reported The New York Times. While blowing up centrifuges and taking facilities temporarily offline might be “tactically satisfying,” the report cited the US officials as saying that for Israel to do so is “ultimately counterproductive.”
The Americans stressed that in nearly every case of suspected Israeli interference, the Iranians quickly recovered and came back stronger and even closer to their goal of attaining a nuclear weapon. The report stated that Israeli officials rejected Washington’s warning and stressed that the Jewish state has no intention of backing off.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defence Minister Benny Gantz attended a IDF exercise in northern Israel last week that simulated an attack by Iran and its proxies.
Bennett told reporters, perhaps in direct response to the American position:
Gantz added: ‘The world must act against Iran and Israel must continue to do what it needs to do.’
Iran is scheduled resume negotiations with world powers in Vienna. The negotiations are aimed at renewing the previous Iran nuclear deal that Israel’s previous government vehemently opposed.
Former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, explained the difference in the US and Israeli positions regarding the process with Iran:
In other words, the US is committed to preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon, but not to stopping it from becoming a nuclear threshold state. There are a number of nuclear threshold states in the world, and Washington seems to believe that like them, Iran could ultimately be persuaded against going nuclear, even if it has the capability to do so.
But “threshold” in this sense means that a country has the ability to produce and field a nuclear weapon within weeks, or even days, if it ever chooses to go down that path. That would leave far too little time for the international community to do anything about it.
Israel cannot live with that risk.
Even without ever producing “the bomb,” an Iran that reaches threshold status would alter the balance of power in the Middle East by providing a viable, if potential nuclear deterrent for itself and all its proxies. Taking action against Iranian aggression would suddenly become a far more perilous endeavour.
Lastly, for Iran to reach threshold status would prompt a number of rival Sunni Arab states to do the same, sparking a nuclear arms race in one of the most unstable regions in the world.
Main Source: Israel Today
Israel’s co-operation with Arab neighbours
The historic Abraham Accords signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in 2020 are causing growing cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
Israeli Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli and Mohamed Al Khaja, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Israel, met in Jerusalem on 21st November. The two discussed bilateral and regional relations, as well as the development of transportation links between Israel and the UAE, according to an official statement.
Michaeli told the ambassador. Michaeli and Al Khaja discussed additional ways to increase business and tourist travel and agreed to work together to address them, according to the statement.
Bilateral trade between Israel and the UAE has reached $1 billion since the two countries established full diplomatic relations last year.
Israel and Jordan struck a historic deal on November 22nd which will see Jordan provide Israel with electricity in exchange for desalinated water. Jordan has vast swaths of unused land in its desert regions. A UAE company will build a massive solar power plant in the Jordanian desert that will then feed energy-hungry Israel. Israel will at the same time begin providing Jordan with about twice as much fresh water as it does today. The Jewish state is considering the construction of another desalination plant on its Mediterranean coast as part of the project.
The solar power plant, to be built in Jordan, will produce about 1.2 gigawatts of electricity. It is scheduled to open in five years. The agreement facilitates future expansions to the plant to enable it to produce up to 5 gigawatts of electricity. Jordan will increase its purchase of fresh water from Israel to 200 million cubic meters annually, about double what it currently buys. The two counties are considering the possibility of building a private desalination plant on Israel’s Mediterranean coast dedicated to the project.
Israeli military tech giant Elbit has announced the establishment of its subsidiary in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The subsidiary is working to develop long-term collaborations with UAE military forces. It also facilitates adapting technological solutions to the operational needs of new end users, and leads the transfer of technologies to local partners.
Israel Air Force Commander Gen. Norkin attended the recent Air Show in Dubai. This included the multi-dimensional network warfare display includes a solution for integrative communications networking for air, sea and land from the tactical level to the headquarters level. The pilot helmet systems on display are of the JHMCS-II type which include a colour display as well as the “Brightnite” system which gives helicopter pilots the ability to fly on dark nights and in extreme weather.
The conference was attended by Air Force commanders from around the world, including Middle Eastern countries. This visit is indicative of the continued development and strengthening of the relationship between the IDF and foreign armies in general, at the national and strategic level; as well as being an example of the growing cooperation with the IDF here in the Middle East.
Israel joins the hi-tech super league
Significant news for Israeli hi-tech – Israel officially joined the GPAI Forum (Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence) this week affirming its position as one of the world’s most powerful countries in the field of artificial intelligence. Currently, 18 countries are members of the forum and Israel’s acceptance into the prestigious body strengthens the Jewish state’s position as an international leader in hi-tech.
The forum’s decision to include Israel followed a meeting of Minister of Innovation Science and Technology Orit Prakash HaCohen and Director of the Technology and Innovation Department Moran Dayan with the OECD Secretary General and The Minister of Science of France. At the meeting, the minister presented the significant progress that Israel has made in the past year in the field of artificial intelligence.
The GPAI was established at the initiative of Canada and France with the aim of creating collaborations between experts from academia, industry, governments and leading organizations around the world. To date, members include 18 countries from the European Union as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Israel was selected from 10 countries that applied.
Israel’s accession to the GPAI will enable the Jewish state to cooperate with the most powerful countries in the field of artificial intelligence, to take part in international research in the field of AI, to influence the design of international policy and to get to know other countries’ processes in the field.
All of this will help the government to optimize its policies for the growth of the industry and for increased innovations and improvements in the hi-tech industry and of the economy in general.
Rise of anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitic incidents hit an unprecedented high at universities in the United Kingdom during the previous academic year, according to recently released data collected by the Community Security Trust (CST).
A total of 111 anti-Semitic cases were recorded at British universities, which is a 59 percent rise from the 70 cases recorded during the 2019-20 school year. The jump represents a record high for CST since it began tracking anti-Semitic incidents on university campuses in 2002.
The Union of Jewish Students, which was reportedly targeted in eight of the incidents, said it is
A spokesperson added that
In the Polish city of Kalisz on November 11th (Polish Independence Day), hundreds of far-right activists converged on the main square where they shouted bloodcurdling slogans, including “Death to the Jews!” “Death to the enemies of the fatherland!” and some stomach-churning calumny that linked the Jewish community with paedophiles.
Though some of the demonstrators reportedly brandished Palestinian flags, this was not the anti-Zionist anti-Semitism with which we are familiar in the West, which casts the State of Israel as the principal source of suffering and misery in the world. What we saw in Kalisz was the type of anti-Semitism that was familiar to our grandparents and great-grandparents, with Jews as the unambiguous targets of violent incitement.
Main information source: JNS.org. Jewish News Service.