Mother-of-six murdered in West Bank, in what police believe was terror attack
An Israeli woman in her 50s was found dead in a northern West Bank forest in the early hours of Monday after she went for a run on her own a day earlier, with authorities investigating the case as a suspected terror attack.West Bank: Woman Murdered in Suspected Terror Attack
Police said in a statement that there were signs of violence to her body and that the woman’s death was considered a suspected murder. The Shin Bet security service was also taking part in the investigation.
The woman was later identified as Esther Horgen, 52, of the Tal Menashe settlement, a mother of six.
The police and Shin Bet were “increasingly convinced” that the killing was terror-related, security officials said Monday afternoon, though the police officially said that “all directions are being investigated.” The Shin Bet declined to officially comment on the matter.
The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, said Horgen was killed with a large rock.
There were no initial reports of any arrests. Police requested and received a court-issued gag order on Monday morning, barring media outlets from identifying the identities of any suspects or any other details of the investigation.
Despite the gag order, security officials told reporters that there was growing evidence to indicate that this was a nationalistically-based crime, though it appeared unlikely to have been carried out by a well-trained, established terrorist group, given the brutal and unmethodical manner in which Horgen was killed. The officials said that investigators were looking into the possibility that the suspected terrorist was an Arab-Israeli from the nearby Wadi Ara area.
Husband of woman slain in apparent terror attack urges West Bank construction
The husband of an Israeli woman found dead in a northern West Bank forest called for an increase in settlement building and “an appropriate Zionist response” to the apparent terror attack.
“Esther raised a beautiful family and loved her grandchildren, and now they will have neither a mother nor a grandmother. Esther will be missed by us all, her family and everyone who knew her,” Benjamin Horgen told reporters outside his home in the Tal Menashe settlement.
His wife Esther, 52, a mother of six, had gone out for a run in the Reihan forest near their house Sunday afternoon and did not return, whereupon Benjamin called police. Her body was found overnight in the forest with signs of violence on it.
“Esther went out yesterday as she often did, to stroll through the nature that she loved so much around the settlement,” Benjamin Horgen said through tears. “She was so full of life, light and love for everyone, and all of that was cut short in an instant.”
“We attribute the great success of our family and community as a whole to her,” he continued, calling on the government to put forth “an appropriate Zionist response to the murder and to add [to settlement] construction and light for our children.”
Horgen’s funeral is to be held on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Security forces are increasingly convinced that the death was a terror attack committed by a Palestinian assailant, officials said on Monday afternoon.
Kushner: Jerusalem not cause of problem, it's core of solution
Israel's capital city of Jerusalem is the key to peace between Israel and its neighbors and not the source of Middle East divisions, White House special advisor Jared Kushner said on Monday in Jerusalem's Grove of Nations Forest.US Embassy courtyard named in Jared Kushner's honor
"Jerusalem is not the cause of the problem, it is the core of the solution," Kushner said.
"Some have used the cause of Jerusalem to divide, Jerusalem remains proudly open," Kushner said, adding that regional transformation has officially begun.
Kushner spoke at a special tree planting ceremony with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one day before he is scheduled to head to Morocco with an Israeli delegation headed by National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat.
In Rabat the US and Israeli delegations are expected to sign the first documents that are part of the Israeli-Moroccan normalization deal. Morocco is the fourth Arab and Muslim country to normalize ties with Israel under the US brokered Abraham Accords. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have ratified deals with Israel. Sudan and Morocco have issued declarations.
Kushner said that as the grandchild of Holocaust survivors trees were an important part of his family's history. He recalled how during the Holocaust his grandparents had hid in the forest and fought the Nazis.
"The peace agreements that we have made are planted seeds that will sustain life and bear fruit if tended to correctly," he said.
The courtyard of the US Embassy in Jerusalem was named Monday in honor of White House Special Advisor Jared Kushner in recognition of his work on behalf of US President Donald Trump both for regional peace and in strengthening recognition of the Israel's connection to the ancient biblical city which is also its capital.Netanyahu's Iran Speech to Congress Increased Arab Respect for Israel
Kushner, along with a visiting US delegation stopped in the embassy in the afternoon for a small ceremony with US Ambassador David Friedman. He unveiled a Cooper plaque on the courtyard wall and read from it.
"Kushner courtyard, dedicated in honor of Jared Kushner and inspired by his relentless pursuit of peace," Friedman wrote.
"When there is peace in this region we will look back upon this day and remember that the journey for peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth," Friedman said.
Amb. Ron Dermer interviewed by Gedalia Guttentag (Mishpacha) As the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran was emerging in 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a protocol-defying speech to a joint session of Congress to sound the alarm. Amb. Ron Dermer says, "Without that speech, I doubt that we'd have the peace deals with the Arab states today."Shtayyeh says settlements are a ‘war crime’
The speech changed the perception of Israel in the Arab world. "If the prime minister of Israel is willing to stand up for what he believes in, then we [Israel] can be an independent force to rely on. And I can tell you as a fact that the speech dramatically accelerated contacts beneath the surface between Israel and many Arab states."
"If you think about it from the Arab states' point of view, what you see is an Iranian tiger or an ISIS leopard, and you have an 800-pound American gorilla that is leaving the building, and they look around and see a 250-pound gorilla with a kippah on, and they say, well, you know, we'd like to have a strong partnership with you."
"I've met Joe Biden many times. He's an extremely warm and friendly person. He's somebody I think has a deep emotional commitment to Israel - he passes the 'kishke test' with flying colors. He's been involved in politics for 50 years, and I think his bond with Israel is extremely strong."
"We hope that a new administration works toward trying to find a common position where they will not go back to the mistakes of the past."
A bill seeking to legalize 65 outposts in the West Bank that passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset last week is a “war crime,” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Monday.Canadian Court Takes Stand Against PA's "Pay-to-Slay" Policy
The bill was presented by the Land of Israel Lobby, chaired by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina).
“We consider this measure a war crime that will be added to the file of the International Criminal Court,” Shtayyeh said in opening remarks during the weekly meeting of the PA cabinet in Ramallah. “We want the international community to do everything possible to confront, condemn and stop the entire settlement enterprise and boycott its products.”
The Palestinians consider all settlements to be illegitimate and illegal, Shtayyeh said.
He called on the United Nations Security Council to implement Resolution 2334, especially regarding settlement activities.
Adopted in December 2016, Resolution 2334 demands that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities.
Shtayyeh expressed satisfaction with the outcome of Saturday’s meeting in Cairo between the foreign ministers of the PA, Egypt and Jordan. At the end of the meeting, the ministers issued a joint statement calling on the international community to urge Israel to resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians on the basis of international resolutions, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and the two-state solution.
The Canadian Federal Court on Thursday denied the refugee application of Khitam Khudeish, a Palestinian woman who worked for the Palestinian Martyrs' Families Foundation, an organization that pays stipends to Palestinian terrorists and their families, B'nai Brith Canada reported.
The court confirmed that the foundation was established by the PLO "to fulfill the criminal purpose of incentivizing acts of terrorism against Israelis" and that Khudeish "made a significant contribution to the PLO's criminal purpose by issuing the sums of payments and facilitating payments to family members of terrorists."
Malley is the quintessential anti-Israel western leftist. He's happy to sit in the comfort of Washington DC and fight Israel to the last Arab https://t.co/uFSB2pDvDl— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) December 20, 2020
Israeli-US delegation makes final preparations for historic trip to Morocco
Less than two weeks after US President Donald Trump announced that Israel and Morocco will normalize diplomatic relations, US officials were expected to arrive in Israel on Monday to hammer out the final details of Tuesday's historic trip to Rabat by a joint Israeli-American delegation.El Al Airlines to operate first Israel-Morocco flight on December 22
On Monday, a delegation of senior White House officials was to land in Israel, headed by senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner, who was to be accompanied by US Special Representative for the Middle East Avi Berkowitz, Adam Boehler, the CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation, and other American officials.
Together with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the American representatives were to meet on Monday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and other senior Israelis. The sides were to finalize the remaining details of the first-ever nonstop flight from Tel Aviv to the Moroccan capital.
The Israeli delegation, which will be headed by National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat, will be in Morocco for 24 hours.
National flag carrier El Al said on Sunday it would operate the first flight from Israel to Rabat, which is expected to last six hours.
A senior Israeli member of the delegation told Israel Hayom, "The desire is to develop widespread relations in all fields and also establish full embassies."
Israeli flag carrier El Al Airlines said on Sunday it would operate the first flight from Israel to Rabat, Morocco on Dec. 22 and that the plane would carry a joint U.S.-Israeli delegation.Bahrain's King eager to attract Jewish tourism with new plan
The direct flight, LY555, is expected to take six hours and follows a U.S.-brokered deal earlier this month in which the countries agreed to normalize relations.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has mandated a new plan to attract Jewish tourists to the small Gulf state following the recent Abraham Accords.First documents of historic Israeli-Morocco deal likely signed in Rabat
The North American-Jewish Tourism Initiative has brought together rabbis, hotels and tourism authorities to tap into a previously inaccessible market.
“As a center of peaceful coexistence with a rich history, heritage and tourism landscape, this tourism initiative will provide a memorable experience to all who visit and will open new horizons for Jewish tourists looking for a new and exciting destination,” Bahraini Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed R. Alzayani said.
According to Jehad Amin, chairman of the Best of Bahrain tourism management company, new direct routes to the US in 2021 and Tel Aviv in January on Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air will help efforts. Liaising with Da’at Travel in the US, which caters to religious Jewish travelers, there are many reasons to attract tourists to the tiny archipelago, home to the only indigenous Jewish population in the Persian Gulf, he said.
“With 25% of visitors to Israel mostly Jewish Americans, what we’re also trying to do is offer an extension to that trip to Israel,” Amin said. Currently, American tourists in Bahrain are limited, he said, and the biggest market is from the UK. But thanks to the Abraham Accords bringing more attention to the kingdom, which has a population of 1.6 million people, he hopes this will soon change.
The first documents of the historic Israeli-Moroccan normalization deal will likely be signed in Rabat this week during a visit by White House special adviser Jared Kushner and Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.There was ‘never any persecution’ of Moroccan Jews, Rabat’s UN envoy says
Earlier this month, the two countries declared the normalization of ties, but have yet to sign any agreements to solidify that understanding. "It's our intention to sign numerous Memoranda of Understandings that will help bring these normalization agreements to life and bring substantive improvements to the lives of people both in Israel and in Morocco," Avi Berkowitz, special US representative for international negotiations, told The Jerusalem Post.
The two countries are expected to sign agreements on civil aviation and agriculture, among others.
Kushner is expected to land in Israel on Monday. The White House delegation will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials, Berkowitz said.
They will discuss the progress of the Abraham Accords with their Israeli peers, "and talk about the progress we made over the last few years." Under the US-brokered Abraham Accords, Israel in the last four months has ratified normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Sudan and Morocco have also declared their intent to normalize ties.
Morocco’s Ambassador to the UN said Thursday that his country’s Jews never faced persecution, glossing over some historical tensions, a week after Rabat’s decision to normalize relations with Israel.Canada’s ambassador to the UAE is celebrating Jewish life in the Emirates
“We are very proud that in the history of Morocco, there was never any persecution of Jewish people. They were just… part of our society,” Omar Hilale said at a Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony in New York hosted by Israel’s UN Mission and the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy.
Morocco is home to North Africa’s largest Jewish community, which has been there for centuries and grew with the arrival of Jews expelled from Spain by Catholic kings from 1492.
The Moroccan Jewish population reached about 250,000 people in the late 1940s, making up 10 percent of the national population. But the vast majority left after the creation of Israel in 1948, many of them fleeing local hostilities directed at them over the establishment of the Jewish state. About 3,000 Jews remain in Morocco today.
Much of the remaining community celebrated last Thursday’s announcement by US President Donald Trump that Morocco had agreed to re-establish its diplomatic relations with Israel, as Washington recognized Rabat’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region.
But Hilale said his participation in the holiday ceremony hosted by his Israeli counterpart Gilad Erdan “should not be seen as a surprise or as an extraordinary image.”
When Marcy Grossman celebrated Hanukkah in the United Arab Emirates last year, it was a subdued, underground affair.
“It was basically like 75 people in a residence, we lit candles, ate latkes, that was it,” said Grossman, who has served as Canada’s ambassador to the UAE since October 2019. The gathering was held in what was known as “the villa,” Dubai’s secret, unmarked synagogue. But this year, just a few months after the signing of the Abraham Accords codifying peace between Israel and the UAE, the celebrations reached another dimension.
“It’s a different world,” Grossman told Jewish Insider in a video interview from Abu Dhabi on the seventh night of Hanukkah. “I was in Dubai last week for the start of Hanukkah… there were three major Hanukkah celebrations to choose from, there was a 12-foot menorah put up in front of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, there was ‘Sevivon’ [the dreidel song] being sung in the streets, there were kippot, there was kosher food — it’s just unbelievable, really,” she added. “And it just keeps growing.”
Grossman, a career officer with the Canadian Foreign Service, first arrived in the UAE in 2018, as Canada’s consul general to Dubai. A native of Montreal, Grossman received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Carleton University in Ottawa. She got her start in public service in the Correctional Service of Canada before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2001. Since then, Grossman has served in a series of diplomatic postings in the United States including Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles and Denver.
After close to 20 years in the U.S., Grossman was ready for a change — and grateful when one came her way.
“Dubai was really calling to me, I don’t know why,” she told JI. “I was really thrilled when I got matched to Dubai. I like to say that Dubai picked me.”
In anticipation for Tuesday’s historic flight from Tel Aviv ✈️ Rabat, we asked Prof. Shimon @Shetreet to tell us why he’s excited about #IsraelMorocco normalization. Which sites do you want to visit in Morocco? Tell us in the replies! #AbrahamAccords 🇮🇱🇺🇸🇲🇦 pic.twitter.com/6pta9o1IGU— US Embassy Jerusalem (@usembassyjlm) December 20, 2020
Algerian Islamic Scholar Yahya Sari: Normalization with Israel Has Turned Arabs into Zionists; We Are Adopting Zionist Art, Theater, Media, and “Talmudic“ Practices pic.twitter.com/Gz1ufkM2vR— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 21, 2020
Corona cabinet approves: No foreigners to enter Israel after Wednesday
Foreigners, including those with pre-existing travel permits, will not be able to enter Israel, according to a decision made by the coronavirus cabinet on Monday.New elections near as Likud, Blue and White say talks have broken down
The new rule goes into effect on December 23 and will last for 10 days.
In addition, also beginning on December 23 at 2 p.m., any Israeli returning to the country from abroad will be required to isolate in a coronavirus hotel. People will isolate for between 10 and 14 days, depending on if they agree to be screened for the virus.
Over the next 48 hours, returnees will still need to isolate, but can choose to isolate at home.
These decisions go above and beyond the decisions made the day before that closed the skies to any foreigner traveling from Britain, Denmark or South Africa, Denmark and required hotel isolation for any Israelis returning from those places.
New elections appeared almost inevitable Monday evening after the coalition’s Likud and Blue and White parties claimed that negotiations between the two on delaying the deadline to pass a state budget had broken down and blamed each other for failure to reach an agreement.
Blue and White has walked back all the agreements it reached with Likud, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party said in a statement after Gantz appeared to increase his demands just hours after a bill to delay the budget passed its first Knesset committee reading.
“Due to an internal fight in Blue and White, Gantz has retracted all the agreements reached in negotiations between Blue and White and Likud,” Likud said. “It’s unfortunate that Gantz has decided to drag the country to unnecessary elections at the height of the coronavirus crisis.”
The accusation came after Gantz, speaking to his Blue and White MKs, said he had laid out five demands to Netanyahu for his party to support the bill to delay the budget in the plenary: passing a 2020-2021 budget; approving all the senior appointments that have been held up; closing all loopholes that would allow Netanyahu to avoid handing over power to Gantz as part of their rotation agreement; keeping Avi Nissenkorn as justice minister; and approving the Knesset rules of procedure.
“If they want it, they’ll take it. If they don’t, there will be elections,” he said.
These estimates are from Israel, but striking: vaccinate the 0.5% of people over 90, and total fatality risk drops 19%. Vaccinate the 2.5% over 80, and it falls by half. Vaccinate the 7.5% over 70, and it drops by 3/4. Age skew remains under appreciated. https://t.co/8YqPCsZTrJ— David Wallace-Wells (@dwallacewells) December 19, 2020
PMW: PA: Murderer of pregnant woman and child is "heroic” and victim of “kidnapping” by Israel
According to the Palestinian Authority, Muhammad Daoud who in 1987 murdered, Ofra Moses, a pregnant Israeli woman and mother of four, and her 5-year-old son, Tal, by throwing a Molotov cocktail at their car, is “heroic.”
The PA’s hailing of Daoud as a hero for murdering an Israeli mother of four, came one week before yesterday’s murder of an Israeli mother of six, Esther Hurgan, near her home in Samaria.
Ignoring the fact that Daoud is a child murderer, the PA even portrays him as an innocent victim of Israel, which is said to have “kidnapped” Daoud – a euphemism for his arrest and subsequent imprisonment for life for these murders.
Official PA TV newsreader: “Prisoner Muhammad Daoud (i.e., murderer) has begun his 34th year in the occupation’s prisons…” Official PA TV reporter: “On Dec. 8, 1987, with the outbreak of the first Intifada when young Muhammad Daoud was beginning his path in life, the occupation forces kidnapped him to be a prisoner in their prisons (i.e., he was arrested and imprisoned for murder)…” PA-funded Prisoners’ Club Director in Qalqilya Lafi Nassoura: “We draw our faith in the certain victory from the resolve of this prisoner [Muhammad Daoud], and from the resolve of all the heroic prisoners.” [Official PA TV News, Dec. 9, 2020]
In fact the PA values this murderer so much that it has paid him over 1.5 million shekels in salary under the PA’sPay-for-Slay program, which Palestinian Media Watch has exposed in detail. Through this program, which the PA has ratified by law, the PA generously rewards terrorists and murderers, be they imprisoned, released, wounded or dead - in which case the family receives the allowance.
Hamas slams PA for 'politically-motivated' arrests
Efforts to end the Fatah-Hamas rift suffered yet another blow as Hamas said on Monday that the Palestinian Authority was continuing its crackdown on supporters of the Islamist movement in the West Bank.PreOccupiedTerritory: NGOs Forced To Go With ‘Israel Won’t Supply Palestinians With COVID Vaccine’ Instead Of ‘Israel Encouraging Palestinians To Stick One Another With Needles’
Hamas accused the PA security forces of launching “politically-motivated” arrests and pointed out that the move coincided with the Palestinian leadership’s decision to resume security and civil coordination with Israel.
In July, Fatah and Hamas announced that they have reached agreement to work together to topple Israeli and US “conspiracies” against the Palestinians. The announcement came as PA President Mahmoud Abbas entrusted senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub with the task of negotiating with Hamas to end the rivalry between the two sides and reach agreement on holding long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections.
The Fatah-Hamas talks ended after the PA announced its decision last month to resume security and civil relations with Israel. Hamas officials said that the decision “sabotaged” efforts to end the dispute with Fatah.
“The campaign comes as a continuation of the policy of suppressing freedoms and chasing resistance fighters and activists practiced by the [PA] security services against our people in the West Bank,” Hamas said in a statement regarding the recent arrests.
It warned that the arrests would “undermine national resistance against [US President Donald Trump’s plan for Mideast peace] the Deal of the Century and the annexation decisions.”
The “annexation” refers to Israel’s since-shelved plan to apply Israeli sovereignty to portions of the West Bank.
Activists seeking to frame every Middle East development as a function of Israeli perfidy and depravity have in recent days admitted feeling compelled to shift rhetorical stances on the fluid situation that the coronavirus immunization has generated, deciding to convey messaging that the Jewish State refuses to provide the serum to the Palestinian healthcare system, instead of the message they had planned under the assumption that Israel would, in fact, deliver such supplies: that Israel wants Palestinians to stab one another with needles attached to syringes.Iranian-backed militias' rockets target US embassy in Baghdad
Human rights activists who use their credentials in that capacity to cover for their desire to see the world’s only Jewish state weakened or dismantled conceded they had to retool their propaganda over the last week as Israel began to administer COVID-19 vaccines to certain vulnerable segments of its population. Representatives of at least three activist groups disclosed that they had counted on Israel’s maintenance of a longstanding policy to provide medical supplies to Palestinian heath facilities, in which case the groups could accuse Israel of promoting dangerous abuse of needles. However, as soon became clear, Israel has yet to obtain anywhere near the number of doses it needs for its own citizens, let alone for millions of Palestinians, and then the Palestinian Authority secured shipments of the Pfizer-developed vaccine through the World Health Organization. The shift in circumstances forced the activists to recast Israeli maliciousness in terms of withholding vital medical supplies, but not in terms of promoting dangerous activities among Palestinians such as sticking needles in their arms.
“We’ve faced a real challenge,” acknowledged Médecins Sans Frontières spokeswoman Aniha Mor. “We though it would be a straightforward adaptation of our standard propaganda for Gaza, for example, which is always good for a few hundred thousand dollars in grants every couple of months. But then things changed more or less overnight, and our entire framing of the situation had to change. I think our donors will take it in stride though.”
Rockets targeted the US embassy in Baghdad on Sunday night in an escalation against US personnel and forces in Iraq. It comes a month before the US administration of President Donald Trump will leave office.
In the past Iranian-backed militias have targeted US forces and facilities in Iraq with dozens of rocket attacks since May 2019. The attacks reached a crescendo over the summer and then appeared to slow down as the US threatened to close its embassy and strike at Iranian-backed groups.
The volley of rockets included at least several rockets fired at the Green Zone in Baghdad. It is not the first attack of its kind but it appears more accurate and larger than past attacks.
In the past 107mm rockets launched by pro-Iranian groups have targeted the embassy. Usually these are just one or two rockets fired from nearby. They have usually not caused much damage. In recent months the US has used a C-RAM air defense system against the attacks. The last was recorded in mid-November.
The US indicated there were rising threats in early December. The US has threatened retaliation for these attacks in the past and carried out three rounds of airstrikes since December 2019.
There are a network of pro-Iranian groups in Iraq, including Kataib Hezbollah which is linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
US Ready to Respond If Iran Tries to Avenge Soleimani Killing: US General
The US is “prepared to react” if Iran tries to launch any sort of attack in retaliation for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of US Middle East forces warned Sunday.Seth Frantzman: Iran’s investment in missile technology shows its real plan all along
“We are prepared to defend ourselves, our friends and partners in the region, and we’re prepared to react if necessary,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie said.
“My assessment is we are in a very good position and we’ll be prepared for anything the Iranians or their proxies acting for them might choose to do,” he added.
The comments were made during a telephone interview from an undisclosed location as McKenzie tours the Middle East.
The regional visit comes just weeks before the first anniversary of the January 3 drone strike in Baghdad that killed Soleimani and a major leader of the Iraqi pro-Iran militias.
The CENTCOM chief said he had recently visited Baghdad, where he met with the head of the anti-jihadist coalition, American General Paul Calvert, as well as the Iraqi army chief of staff, General Abdul Amir Yarallah.
A little noticed comment by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani about Iran’s missile program should have raised eyes abroad. He said that the country’s missile program is non-negotiable. Iran’s President had a larger point. He said that US President-elect Joe Biden is “aware” of how Iran feels about its missiles.Israel won't publicly oppose Biden's intentions to return to Iran nuclear deal
This is an example of how Iran’s nuclear program became such a topic that it obscured what Iran was really up to. Iran’s nuclear program has been seen as important by western countries for decades and Israel has warned about Iran’s threats. The nuclear program is indeed a threat and Iran has sophisticated sites designed to hide the program and its military elements. However, the program is only one part of a much more sophisticated Iranian military industrial complex that threatens the region and stability of many countries.
What is Iran’s real goal with the nuclear option? It appears that it is quite different from the nuclear weapons obtained by Pakistan or India, or the US and Soviet Union, which were generally seen to create a kind of parity of threats between rival countries. Once parity was achieved the actual threat of nuclear conflict was reduced. Actually, these countries may have become more responsible actors once they had nuclear weapons.
Iran’s goal is more complex. Its nuclear program is not the end game, it is only part of a much wider military industrial complex and the tip of that spear is actually the drone and missile program. Iran has invested heavily in missiles, probably more per capita than many other countries. Why missiles? Missiles don’t win wars. Never in history has a country won a war with missiles. Strategic bombing might have won wars, but not missiles. Iran decided long ago that while its conventional military forces could not face down all its adversaries, it could invest in missiles to spread havoc. Missiles give you an ability to project power without an air force. Iran’s air force is based on planes inherited from the Shah which are themselves US military equipment. Iran had trouble getting parts for these planes, and they have been aging. So if you’re Tehran what you can do, in the absence of being able to get more military imports, you create an indigenous weapons industry.
Israel will not publicly oppose U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and his team's intentions to return to the nuclear deal with Iran, Jerusalem had promised during initial talks that have recently taken place between Israeli and U.S. officials.Germany to Iran: Don’t Waste Chance for Rapprochement With US
However, Israel will recommend to the new administration not to return to the old agreement between Iran and world powers from which U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018, but to reach a new agreement.
Israel also wants another agreement, under which Iran's belligerent activities in the Middle East through militias will be restricted.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday urged Iran not to waste the opportunity offered by the prospect of Joseph Biden’s United States administration returning to the nuclear non-proliferation deal.
Speaking after a video conference of officials from the countries in the JCPOA deal, Maas said that Iran should avoid taking any tactical steps that would make it hard for Biden to reverse President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the deal.
“To make possible a rapprochement with the US under Biden, there should be no further tactical maneuvers of the kind we’ve seen too many of in the recent past,” he told reporters. “This chance, this last window of opportunity, must not be wasted.”
Lebanese Journalist Ziad Njeim: Even in an Enemy Country Like Israel, There Are People Who Want Peace, Dialogue pic.twitter.com/bI0SC0iqD3— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 21, 2020
Lebanese Polygamist Ali Toma Offers Free Home Appliance to Any Man Marrying More than One Wife: I Am Fighting Spinsterhood; What Can Life Offer Women Beyond Children, a Husband, a Home? pic.twitter.com/6DIbcNNeaF— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 21, 2020