IMRA Middle East News Updates https://www.imra.org.il Middle East News & Analysis en-US 1716147461 1716147461 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Capalon Internet 2.0 imra@netvision.net.il (Aaron Lerner) News & Analysis IMRA Middle East News Updates https://www.imra.org.il https://www.imra.org.il/imra_sm.png 144 97 Netanyahu's Missing Monologue To The Public https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74165 <p>Netanyahu's Missing Monologue To The Public<br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner, 19 May, 2024</p> <p>The following is my best approximation of what Prime Minister Binyamin<br /> Netanyahu would tell the public if he opted to share the truth:</p> <p>The North:</p> <p>We have no solution to intercept "line-of-sight" attacks. Anything we<br /> rebuild within line-of-sight is a waste of money. The only effective<br /> solution is an arrangement which moves Hezbollah far enough that our border<br /> communities are not within their line of sight. That's not moving them for a<br /> day, a week, or a month; it's permanently moving them. So far, no one has<br /> come up with a serious alternative to re-occupying the relevant southern<br /> portion of Lebanon.</p> <p>If we launch an operation to occupy part of Lebanon so that the Israeli<br /> border communities can return home, Hezbollah will launch hundreds of<br /> thousands of long-range and mid-range rockets and guided missiles. The<br /> damage to Israel's infrastructure and other strategic locations, until we<br /> complete our operation to destroy these rockets and missiles, is expected to<br /> be worse than any damage we have suffered since the founding of the Jewish<br /> State.</p> <p>That's not to say we shouldn't do what we must do if we want to make it<br /> possible for the Israeli border communities to return home.</p> <p>It's even more complicated: Hezbollah, as the side which picks the time and<br /> place for each "tit for tat" round, has "home court advantage" as we race<br /> each other up the learning curve, so time isn't on our side.</p> <p>Gaza:</p> <p>One day, a practical local leadership may be able to take full<br /> responsibility for the provision of municipal and other civilian services in<br /> the Gaza Strip. But this will take years. We tried a "shortcut" in<br /> developing an alternative to Hamas, and many of them were slaughtered.</p> <p>For the foreseeable future, any third party controlling Gaza will either<br /> completely deny or make light of terrorist preparations and operations, and<br /> are very likely to serve as human shields.</p> <p>No third party arrangement will, in practice, allow the IDF a free hand to<br /> operate in the Gaza Strip.</p> <p>Terrorist attacks are typically framed as a response to Israeli activity, be<br /> it in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, or elsewhere. In the instance of a<br /> third-party arrangement, we can expect supporters of the arrangement,<br /> including the United States, to essentially attribute the attacks to Israeli<br /> "incitements" and call for "moderation" on the part of the Jewish State.</p> <p>In the meantime, we need to take responsibility, and that means COGAT. The<br /> taxes collected will go to COGAT - and that includes the duty and VAT<br /> collected on everything imported.</p> <p>The Saudis:</p> <p>All the mental and verbal gymnastics in the world cannot negate the<br /> fundamental truth that a sovereign state remains a sovereign state even if<br /> it openly renounces the commitments it made in order to gain sovereignty.</p> <p>So, a sovereign Palestinian state is off the table.</p> <p>The Biden team is determined to compel Israel to enter a process that<br /> guarantees the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state. A repeat of<br /> Netanyahu's 2009 Bar-Ilan Speech won't do the trick.</p> <p>If the "two-state solution" has been injected by the Americans into the<br /> Saudi normalization demands, then it may be possible to negotiate it out of<br /> a deal.</p> <p>Otherwise, we are going to have to pass on full normalization for the time<br /> being.</p> <p>The Haredis:</p> <p>Unfortunately, contrary to expectations immediately after October 7th, the<br /> Haredi community has not budged on its position regarding participation in<br /> the defense of the State. If anything, their position has hardened, with the<br /> leadership opposing army service even for Haredis who are not attending<br /> yeshiva.</p> <p>At the same time, the Haredi leadership has doubled down on their rejection<br /> of any effective oversight of government funding to the entire spectrum of<br /> Haredi educational institutions.</p> <p>It is hardly clear that at this juncture we have the resources available<br /> today to literally force Haredis, at least initially, to serve in the army<br /> against their will.</p> <p>The law Gantz proposed when the Likud wasn't in power and now opposes<br /> doesn't seriously increase the number of Haredis serving in the IDF. It did,<br /> however, allow for yeshiva students to spend half their time taking<br /> vocational training and reduced the number of years they needed to stay in<br /> yeshiva to avoid army service. Resuscitating this law was a very short-term<br /> move since Gantz now rejects it along with the Haredis in the ruling<br /> coalition.</p> <p>Ironically, the best outcome for the time being may be the absence of<br /> legislation.</p> <p>Treasury Minister Smotrich's team has been laying the groundwork to slash<br /> all the financial support which yeshiva students who don't serve in the IDF<br /> now enjoy by, among other things, not treating yeshiva study as a form of<br /> employment.</p> <p>Another group in the Treasury Ministry is close to pulling the plug on the<br /> Haredi educational institutions which defy oversight requirements.</p> <p>________________________________________<br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis</p> <p>Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on<br /> Arab-Israeli relations</p> <p>Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Sun, 19 May 2024 15:37:41 -0400 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74165 Smotrich's recommendation caused major change in defense budget https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74164 <p>Smotrich's recommendation caused major change in defense budget <br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner 19 May 2024 <br /> <br /> The following item is noteworthy as Gantz slams the righter wing member of <br /> the cabinet, which include Treasury Minister Smotrich: <br /> <br /> "The initial signs of the confrontation blossomed back in December. During a <br /> government discussion, a draft for a defense budget supplement of 222 <br /> billion shekels for the next four years was put on the table. Smotrich <br /> wondered aloud how the IDF managed to quickly prepare, under fire, a budget <br /> proposal that incorporates the lessons of the war with future needs. The IDF <br /> representatives in the discussion were offended: "You don't trust us?" <br /> Smotrich, as usual, clarified that he indeed did not trust them. He was also <br /> unimpressed by the macho remark Gallant threw at him: "I don't tell you how <br /> to manage the economy, don't tell me how to manage security." <br /> <br /> In the subsequent budget discussion, a significant amendment in the spirit <br /> of one of Smotrich's recommendations was introduced, but this amendment <br /> actually increased his suspicions that the IDF was still improvising. The <br /> Finance Minister demanded the establishment of a public committee to examine <br /> the defense budget, which would include expert representatives appointed by <br /> him. The events of October 7 and onwards convinced him that the traditional <br /> priorities of the system rest on a high mountain of shaky assumptions. The <br /> committee he demands to establish might refresh these assumptions; for <br /> example, preferring the addition of divisions to the ground forces over the <br /> addition of squadrons to the Air Force, or finding a more appropriate <br /> response to the Iranian threat than what the General Staff currently <br /> proposes, perhaps under the illusion that Israel is capable of thwarting the <br /> threat on its own. Instead of erecting a new fence on the Jordanian border <br /> for 4 billion shekels to prevent the increasing arms smuggling from Tehran <br /> to the West Bank, perhaps a line of fortifications would be better? After <br /> all, on October 7, it was proven what a fence is worth." <br /> <br /> Hagai Segal Makor Rishon 17 May 2024 <br /> ________________________________________ <br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis <br /> <br /> Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on <br /> Arab-Israeli relations <br /> <br /> Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Sat, 18 May 2024 23:47:52 -0400 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74164 Red Team Working Paper Required For Genuine Discussion Of Local Control In Gaza https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74163 <p>Red Team Working Paper Required For Genuine Discussion Of Local Control In<br /> Gaza<br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner<br /> 17 May 2024</p> <p>"Ready to hold a genuine discussion on local control in Gaza"<br /> Netanyahu in a cabinet discussion<br /> 17 May 2024</p> <p>Our tax dollars have paid for the production of working papers by the<br /> defense establishment which feature:</p> <p>#1. A best-case scenario for handing over the Gaza Strip to "Palestinian<br /> entities" supported by forces from various countries.</p> <p>#2. An incredibly exaggerated estimate of the cost of having Israeli control<br /> of the Gaza Strip for a year.</p> <p>The idea is to create a situation where, when the security cabinet meets to<br /> discuss DM Galant's proposal supporting reliance on "Palestinian entities,"<br /> the only official analysis on the table supports the move.</p> <p>To be clear: there will most certainly be a number of people around the<br /> table presenting excellent arguments against this proposal, but they will be<br /> severely handicapped by not having "official" analysis supporting their<br /> position.</p> <p>"Radical right."</p> <p>"Civilians with no serious military experience."</p> <p>"Listen to the experts."</p> <p>After the Yom Kippur War, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and its Military<br /> Intelligence Directorate (Aman) underwent significant reforms to address the<br /> failures that led to the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria. One key figure<br /> in instituting the practice of Red Team analysis within Military<br /> Intelligence was Major General Shlomo Gazit, who became the head of Aman in<br /> 1974.</p> <p>Shlomo Gazit emphasized the need for critical thinking and challenged<br /> assumptions within the intelligence community. He promoted a culture where<br /> alternative analyses and dissenting opinions were encouraged to prevent<br /> groupthink and ensure more robust and accurate intelligence assessments.<br /> This approach is often referred to as Red Teaming, where a group<br /> intentionally adopts an adversarial perspective to identify weaknesses and<br /> improve the overall strategy.</p> <p>Unfortunately, since his time, this approach has seriously deteriorated.</p> <p>The security cabinet must not meet to discuss this matter before a serious<br /> Red Team working paper is presented analyzing the alternative.</p> <p>This important tool is critically needed before we succumb to the tremendous<br /> pressure being exerted by the Americans in concert with the Israeli defense<br /> establishment and the Israeli media to embrace DM Galant's plan.<br /> ________________________________________<br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis</p> <p>Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on<br /> Arab-Israeli relations</p> <p>Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Fri, 17 May 2024 09:44:50 -0400 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74163 Weekly Commentary: We can't afford a Gazan "Day After" that is Oslo on Steroids https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74162 <p>Weekly Commentary: We Can't Afford a Gazan "Day After" That is Oslo on<br /> Steroids<br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner, 15 May 2024</p> <p>The day after we finish fighting the organized Hamas battalions, there will<br /> be a significant number of active Hamas fighters embedded in the civilian<br /> population, along with members of other terror groups.</p> <p>They will be heavily armed and able to exploit what remains of a network of<br /> terror tunnels larger than the London Underground.</p> <p>Unless our operation in the Gaza Strip includes a major civil works project<br /> in the Philadelphi Corridor to block smuggling from the Egyptian Sinai,<br /> these terror forces will quickly be equipped with even better weapons than<br /> they have today.</p> <p>When the reckless so-called "calculated risk" known as Oslo was launched, we<br /> injected a limited number of armed terrorists, aka "peace partners," into an<br /> area which we had under our complete and effective security control.</p> <p>The day after in Gaza there will be a limitless number of terrorists in an<br /> area which we barely have under our control.</p> <p>Despite this reality, Defense Minister Gallant proposed today that a<br /> Palestinian entity should instantly "take control of Gaza, accompanied by<br /> international actors." </p> <p>Gallant insists that it is reasonable to assume that this Palestinian entity<br /> backed by international forces on the ground would provide Israel "full<br /> freedom of operation in the Gaza Strip."</p> <p>This is Oslo on steroids.</p> <p>We can't afford a Gazan "day after" that's Oslo on steroids.</p> <p>I appreciate that until October 7th it was de rigueur for the Israeli<br /> defense establishment to make unrealistic best-case scenario assessments<br /> which jibed with a mind-numbing combination of ideological agendas and a<br /> thirst for easy solutions.</p> <p>But we are after October 7th, and there are no excuses for such an approach<br /> today.</p> <p>For the foreseeable future, The Coordination of Government Activities in the<br /> Territories (COGAT) is going to have to run the show in the Gaza Strip.</p> <p>It is going to cost us dearly, but the alternative will ultimately cost us<br /> much more.</p> <p>Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly slammed the "Palestinian entity" running<br /> Gaza idea.</p> <p>So let's get moving with COGAT.</p> <p>President Biden wants the Rafah Crossing to reopen.</p> <p>We also want the Rafah Crossing to reopen.</p> <p>Let's finesse the refusal of the PA to send staff to man the Gaza side of<br /> the Rafah Crossing to introduce COGAT to the Gaza Strip.</p> <p>________________________________________<br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis</p> <p>Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on<br /> Arab-Israeli relations</p> <p>Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Wed, 15 May 2024 16:25:54 -0400 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74162 Contagious Disruption: How Chinese Communist Party Influence and Radical Ideologies Threaten Critical Infrastructure and Campuses Across the United States https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74161 <p>Contagious Disruption: How Chinese Communist Party Influence and Radical <br /> Ideologies Threaten Critical Infrastructure and Campuses Across the United <br /> States <br /> NETWORK CONTAGION RESEARCH INSTITUTE <br /> https://networkcontagion.us/wp-content/uploads/SID4P-Report_May-2024.pdf <br /> <br /> Executive Summary <br /> <br /> This report analyzes the activities and foreign connections of the Shut It <br /> Down for Palestine (SID4P) movement since its formation in October 2023. It <br /> examines SID4P’s use of protests, direct-action initiatives, and <br /> sophisticated media campaigns to advance anti-America and anti-Israel <br /> narratives both online and offline. Additionally, it highlights the <br /> involvement of a network linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that <br /> funds and supports both alternative anti-establishment media organizations <br /> promoting anti¬American narratives, as well as seemingly grassroots activist <br /> movements, such as, and including, SID4P. <br /> Due to its potential to exacerbate social unrest and influence institutional <br /> decision¬making in the U.S., the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) <br /> assesses that this network represents a significant concern to the internal <br /> stability of the United States. <br /> <br /> Key Takeaways and Assessment: <br /> <br /> 1. SID4P’s Emergence: Shut It Down for Palestine (SID4P) is an <br /> anti-capitalist, anti¬police, and anti-government protest movement that <br /> emerged after October 7, 2023. It functions as a hybrid online/real-world <br /> network for mobilizing frequent demonstrations as well as gradually <br /> escalating direct-action campaigns targeting critical infrastructure and <br /> public spaces. <br /> <br /> 2. SID4P’s ties to CCP-Linked Entities: “Convenors,” or organizations <br /> operating under the SID4P umbrella, are members of the ‘Singham Network’ <br /> donor portfolio. The Singham Network is a global web of nonprofits, fiscal <br /> sponsors, and alternative news sources tied to Neville Roy Singham, a known <br /> conduit for CCP geopolitical influence. <br /> <br /> 3. SID4P’s Funding: The Singham Network exploits regulatory loopholes <br /> in the U.S. nonprofit system to facilitate the flow of an enormous sum of <br /> U.S. dollars to organizations and movements that actively stoke social <br /> unrest at the grassroots level. <br /> <br /> 4. Alternative Media and Social Media Strategy: Alternative media <br /> outlets associated with the Singham Network have played a central role in <br /> online mobilization and cross-platform social amplification for SID4P. <br /> <br /> 5. Ties to Extremist Groups: SID4P has ties to extremist groups that <br /> embrace a violent, single-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian <br /> conflict. At least one SID4P Convener is linked to the extreme edge of <br /> pro-Palestinian groups operating in the U.S. that advance anti-American and <br /> anti-Jewish agendas. <br /> <br /> Assessment: The NCRI finds that the increase in direct-action, targeting <br /> infrastructure and public spaces, is in part driven by organizations <br /> connected to CCP foreign influence efforts. While nominally focused on <br /> Israel, the current protests can be better understood as a well-funded <br /> initiative driving a revolutionary, anti-government, and anti¬capitalist <br /> agenda, with the leading organizations serving as versatile tools for <br /> foreign entities hostile to the U.S. The methods of these organizations <br /> exacerbate societal tensions, polarize the younger generation, and appear to <br /> seek the destabilization of American institutions. NCRI assesses that these <br /> organizations will persist in inciting unrest throughout the summer of 2024 <br /> and in the lead-up to the U.S. Presidential election. <br /> ________________________________________ <br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis <br /> <br /> Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations <br /> <br /> Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Wed, 15 May 2024 07:56:05 -0400 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74161 Erdogan: The occupation began in 1947 - a year before Israel's Independence https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74160 <p>Erdogan: The occupation began in 1947 - a year before Israel's Independence </p> <p>"Hamas is a resistance organization whose lands have been occupied since<br /> 1947, and it has protected its lands after the occupation," Erdogan said.<br /> Hurriyet Daily News May 13 2024 18:41:38<br /> https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-says-turkiye-greece-focus-on-posit<br /> ive-agenda-193423<br /> ________________________________________<br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis</p> <p>Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on<br /> Arab-Israeli relations</p> <p>Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Tue, 14 May 2024 02:04:33 -0400 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=74160