Netanyahu ousts Hebron observers; Dems new pro-Israel group: Israel Update

February 1, 2019

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov announced that Russia is not exactly an ally of Iran and that Israel's security must also be taken into account. This statement is a blunt u-turn from Russia's adoption of a pro-Iranian policy after Syria accidentally shot down a Russian plane during an Israeli strike. Additionally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russia's Syrian envoy and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs who reiterated Russia’s commitment to protecting Israel’s security.


Several prominent veteran Democrats are starting a new political group, Democratic Majority for Israel, that will try to counter the rising skepticism on the left toward the State of Israel by supporting lawmakers and candidates in 2020 who stand with the country. The fundamental challenge pro-Israel Democrats are confronting is millennials' growing wariness of Israel and the Netanyahu government. The new group could become a formidable counterweight to the advocacy group J Street.


Netanyahu decided to oust international observers from Hebron who helped enforce the 1997 division of the city between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) reported alleged Israeli abuses against Palestinians and patrolled the city to give the Palestinians a sense of security. TIPH members allegedly interfered with the work of IDF soldiers and the police, created friction with the settlers, and cooperated with organizations that delegitimize Israel.


At the Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said that Iran attempts cyberattacks on Israeli infrastructure “daily,” only to be thwarted by the Jewish state. Netanyahu also touched on the vulnerabilities of airlines and highlighted Israeli achievements in the cyber arena. Netanyahu did not respond to a challenge earlier at the same conference to his control of the cyber agency that has the largest responsibility for managing election cybersecurity. There are additional concerns that hundreds of Iranian social media bots are being used to influence the upcoming Israeli elections. 


Hostility to Israel is closely related to anti-Jewish hatred, a new study of public attitudes in Britain reveals. Entitled “The Apartheid Contention and Calls for a Boycott: Examining Hostility Towards Israel in Great Britain,” the study seeks to examine the contentious question of when legitimate criticism of Israel becomes outright antisemitism.


Shabbat Shalom,


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


Shep Englander, CEO, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati


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Zeiser writes, "If you spend a day in Netanya, you’re going to hear people yelling, 'Llama!'" or 'why'. In Israel,things are questioned, examined, and challenged by people who value curiosity, strength, and independence." In her teaching, Zeiser tries "to communicate the why behind American Jewry and not just the what. Read more here.



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