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President Donald Trump on Jan. 12 outlined his intentions to “fix the terrible flaws” of the Iran nuclear deal, giving the pact what he called “a last chance” and setting in motion a 120-day timetable for the U.S. to reach an accord with European nations that would strengthen the deal by imposing stricter terms on Iran. Israel and the U.S. are largely on the same page about policy towards Iran. But can Trump get Europe on board?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India is occurring against the backdrop of a massive and still growing river of defense sales and technology transfers from Jerusalem to New Delhi. “This has been a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Vinay Kaura, an assistant professor of international affairs and security studies at India's Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice. “India has diversified its arms purchases while getting highly advanced weapons. Israel has benefited substantially monetarily.”
The recent moves at the U.N. by the PA and the PLO mark the latest use of rejectionism as a tool in the Palestinian arsenal of diplomatic warfare against Israel—and now the U.S. While terrorism is rightly condemned and fought around the world, Palestinian rejectionism, though equally damaging, is not. Those who want peace, stability and security for all people must fight rejectionism as they do terrorism, writes attorney Richard D. Heideman.
In a bid to show the world what responsible, considered citizens they are, Iran’s leaders recently hosted their annual, gloriously named “Tehran Security Conference.” A paper delivered to the conference outlined the “State-Resistance Doctrine”—the principles that guide Iran in dealing with the outside world. Through its own words, the Iranian regime gives the lie to Western claims of “moderation.” The doctrine might also turn out to be the source of the Islamic Republic’s coming collapse, writes JNS columnist Ben Cohen.
President Donald Trump has not shied away from challenging conventional stances on domestic and international issues. Will Trump’s approach extend to U.S. funding for UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency that is solely dedicated to the Palestinians? “The original intent of American foreign policy [on UNRWA] was resettlement, repatriation and reintegration [of Palestinian refugees]. On all three accounts we have failed,” Asaf Romirowsky, executive director of the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East nonprofit, told JNS.
They may live thousands of miles apart, but student activists from around the world identify various shared challenges living as Jews in their respective countries and campuses—including the BDS movement, anti-Semitism and apathy. At the recent 44th World Union of Jewish Students congress in Jerusalem, 157 delegates from 36 countries gathered to connect with other passionate student leaders and explore various facets of what it means to be a Jewish student leader today.
The singling out of Israel by the BDS movement, the U.N. and others as the country most deserving of reproach is anti-Semitic on its face. Nonetheless, that Lorde was hoodwinked by BDS into canceling her concert in Israel reflects not personal anti-Jewish bias, but something worse—the infiltration of such bias into the terms of our ordinary political discourse. Lorde, like many others more or less honestly trying to do the right thing, is swimming in polluted waters, writes columnist Jonathan Marks.
Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf states supported last week's U.N. resolution opposing U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but they didn’t make a lot of noise over it. Ron Prosor, Israel’s former ambassador to the U.N., said the Arab bloc’s vote at the world body has two sides. “On the one hand,” he told JNS, “Muslim countries will naturally support the Palestinians. But suddenly, after many years, Israel and the Saudis have coinciding interests, primarily because both countries see Iran as a major threat.”
Last week’s inauguration of the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT)—the first Israeli university campus in China—represents a fusion of the Jewish state’s innovation with the Asian giant’s abundant resources and comes amid developing ties between the two nations. “[GTIIT] will serve as a reminder to China of Israel’s unique assets such as excellence in advanced education and the ability to innovate,” said Carice Witte, director of Sino-Israel Global Network and Academic Leadership, an institute working to advance Israel-China relations.
There’s an intense debate going on in Germany right now about whether to create a post for a federal commissioner to deal with the growing problem of anti-Semitism. Dealing with the problem now, devoting research and resources to it, and stating resolutely that anti-Semitism is alien to national culture and national life is the most realistic option open to governments who want to ward off both domestic and foreign extremism, writes JNS columnist Ben Cohen.
Upon the anniversary of the 2016 Berlin Christmas market terror attack, Jewish community leaders and other activists say that German politicians wrongly disconnect last year's attack from Islamic motivations as well as the Islamist attacks that have hit Israel and other countries, leaving Germany—and particularly its Jewish population—susceptible to more terrorism. The sentiment came after anti-Israel protests engulfed Germany following the recent U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The critically acclaimed documentary “Remember Baghdad,” released this year upon the 100th anniversary of the British-Ottoman battle over that city during World War I, is the untold story of Iraqi Jews—filmed through their eyes. Their story is not always one of simply fleeing to arrive in the Jewish state. About half of Iraqi Jews fled to countries outside of Israel and still yearn for what once was. “I feel that there is unfinished businesses there....Nobody should be required to cut his roots or lose ancestry,” Edwin Shuker, one of the film’s four protagonists, tells JNS.
Despite France’s public quarreling with Iran in recent months, Europe is unlikely to fall in line with the hardline policies of the U.S. and Israel against the terrorism-supporting Tehran regime, experts say. “The French may be publicly voicing stronger rhetoric than their European counterparts on Iran’s missile threat and regional adventurism, but so far have shown no appetite to make their business overtures to Iran conditional on different behavior,” said Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
In the German Jewish community, fears are growing that migration from Muslim countries with long histories of anti-Semitism might prompt a reversal of Germany’s confrontation of its anti-Semitic past as well as its strong relationship with Israel. The release of a survey that found “widespread” anti-Semitic views among migrants from Iraq and Syria coincided with massive anti-Israel protests in Berlin and Munich following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The bearers of Hanukkah candles in Tübingen, Germany, aren’t Jewish. In fact, many of them are descendants of avowed Nazis. They are members of TOS Ministries, a church that has made it a religious mission to redeem the town, the souls of its residents and the Christian faith by connecting Christianity to its Jewish roots, researching personal family history as it relates to the Holocaust and standing up for Israel.
There are those in the U.S. Jewish community who act as though the Islamist transformations of Qatar and Turkey haven’t occurred, and who continue to respond to the outreach of those countries’ representatives with flattered hearts and minds. It is time to end the self-delusion, writes JNS columnist Ben Cohen.
A Palestinian ambassador’s boast that he assaulted an Israeli student in an argument over the origins of falafel is drawing strong criticism from British Jewish leaders and veteran Israeli diplomats. Manuel E. Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority’s chief envoy in London, asserted in a recent Lebanese television interview that when he was a graduate student at the University of Toledo in 1976, he got into an argument with an Israeli student who claimed “that falafel and hummus are Israeli foods.”
In October, the State Department notified UNESCO that America would withdraw from the U.N. cultural body. The U.S. cited the need for fundamental reform, mounting arrears and “anti-Israel bias” at the organization. But the problem is much deeper: UNESCO does not consider Jewish culture and heritage worthy of protection, writes columnist Sean Durns.
For many NGOs, besmirching Israel’s name is the goal, not improving the universal human rights for Palestinians and Israelis. The disconnect between real human rights work and hollow social media advocacy campaigns is stark. There is little evidence that internet-based slacktivism generates lasting change, writes columnist Rena Young.
Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demonstrations pervaded Europe last weekend as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the continent days after the Trump administration’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The civilian protests as well as widespread opposition to the White House’s Jerusalem policy changes within the European political establishment may serve to deepen the chasm between Israel and Europe.