Israel: Changes


November 4, 2022: Israel may now be able to change some of its policies towards, Russia, Iran and Ukraine because of the current elections. This is the fifth time in less than four years that there have been national elections. These closely spaced elections are the result of popular Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu being prosecuted for corruption in 2019. The corruption charges mobilized support among opposition political parties that ousted Netanyahu as prime minister but could not find anyone of equivalent stature and ability to replace him as prime minister. Netanyahu still had a lot of political support, enough to force four more elections. He has apparently won the current elections and, if he can form a new government, that might lead to changes in policies towards Russia and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine revealed that Israel had agreed to provide Ukraine with military communications systems and other support equipment but still refuses to supply weapons. Ukraine downplays the role Russia is playing in Syria to keep Iranian forces away from the Israeli border. While most Israelis support Ukraine, they also support keeping Israel safe from Iranian attacks. Many Israeli and Arabs throughout the region were hoping that two months of protests in Iran would topple the current religious dictatorship but that has not happened. At the same time, despite increasing violence against the protestors and the use of lethal force, the protests continue. Over 200 protestors have been killed so far and the use of more lethal force against protestors has not stopped the demonstrators, who are appealing to the police to side with them against the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), the heavily armed and fanatic force created to protect the religious dictatorship that has ruled Iran since the 1980s. Anti-government demonstrations have become more frequent in the last twenty years and that means most Iranians are not only demanding an end to the dictatorship, but are increasingly willing to die trying. That’s what overthrew the monarchy in 1979. That revolution was hijacked by the Iranian political parties. In effect, the 1979 revolution isn’t over yet. If the rebels succeed it would mean a change on Iranian policies towards, Israel, other Arab states and the West.

Ukraine again called for Western nations to supply Ukraine with modern combat aircraft, longer-range missiles and modern air defense systems, like Patriot. With modern American or European fighters and Patriot systems, Ukraine could quickly eliminate Russian warplanes from Ukrainian air space. Ukraine points out that Russia is seeking to destroy civilian infrastructure to the point where many Ukrainians face months of cold weather with little heat or even fresh water. The objective is to demoralize Ukrainians and reduce their willingness to resist. Russia is using the same tactics against European nations by cutting off all Russian supplies of natural gas.

Ukraine is also angry at Iranian supplying Russia with cruise missiles (UAVs configured for one-way missions) and that Russia has agreed to supply Iran with modern combat aircraft, like the Su-35s being used against Ukraine. Russia used to observe the weapons sanctions against Iran but no longer does. Russia has a limited supply of Su-35s and Ukraine could, with Western fighters, destroy a lot of them. Even before the invasion, Ukraine was seeking American warplanes and set up unofficial simulation training centers so Ukrainian pilots to learn the fundamentals of operating F-16s and A-10s. The Ukrainians have demonstrated an ability quickly learn how to effectively operate new Western weapons and military systems. This helps Israel, which has an informal arrangement in Syria in which Israel doesn’t attack and destroy Russian warplanes and air defense systems in return for Russian cooperation in keeping Iranian forces from operating near the Israeli border. Russia still honors that arrangement, even though Iran has become a major supplier of UAVs, cruise missiles and even tactical ballistic missiles for Russian use in Ukraine. Russia recently removed some of its S300 antiaircraft systems in Syria and sent them back to Russia.

The Palestinian Plan

Western efforts to obtain a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians keep failing because Palestinians refuse to give up demands that Israel cannot accept, as in Israel no longer being a Jewish state. What caused this mess was a mistake made by the Arab world over sixty years ago when the UN was persuaded to grant generations-long hereditary status to Palestinian refugees. Initially this was because the Arab nations were certain that they would eventually be able to crush Israel and allow Palestinians back to homes and property they had fled at the urging of other Arabs, or to steal their land for themselves after conquering Israel, depending on which side you believe. As part of this policy no Arab nation would permit Palestinians to become citizens but instead always treated them as refugees and confined them to “camps”, which were usually special towns and neighborhoods just for Palestinians. By the 1970s it was pretty clear that the Israelis had become too powerful militarily and now had nuclear weapons, for any Arab state or coalition to defeat. Instead, the Arab nations got behind various proposals for a peace deal. Some progress was made by the 1990s but Palestinian radicals refused to allow any peace agreement and threatened civil war if Palestinian leaders did not renounce peace proposals and work towards the destruction of Israel.

The major obstacle to any peace deal was Palestinians insisting on Israel recognizing "right of return without discrimination." That means that the Palestinians who fled the newly formed Israel in the late 1940s, and their millions of descendants, can return to Israel and get all their abandoned property back. Israel would also have to pay compensation. While most of those original refugees are now dead, many Palestinians would not return, but enough could do so and change the demographic composition of Israel, turning it into a country with an Arab majority. This, for both the Palestinians and Israel, is the equivalent of “destroying Israel." Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza refuse to consider compromise on the Arab Return issue and now demand that the only solution is to kill or expel all Jews from Israel so that Arab refugees can return.

November 3, 2022: The election results were certified and the current prime minister resigned and Benjamin Netanyahu now has to take over as prime minister and form a government (selection ministers for all departments.

In Gaza, Islamic Jihad fired four rockets into Israel. One had to be intercepted by Iron Dome because it was headed for a populated area. Israel retaliated with an airstrike against an underground Islamic Jihad explosives workshop where bombs were assembled and stored. Islamic Jihad announced that the rockets were fired in response to Israel force killing an Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank who was wanted for killing an Israeli policeman earlier in the year. The dead man was accompanied by five followers, who were arrested.

Earlier in the day three policemen were wounded by a Palestinian man armed with a knife. The suspect was being questioned at a checkpoint when he pulled out his knife and attacked the soldiers, who shot and killed him.

November 1, 2022: Azerbaijan finally decided to open an embassy in Israel. This comes after three decades of economic and military cooperation, mainly against Iran. Azerbaijan is an oil-rich Moslem majority nation that was, until 1991, part of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijan has purchased several billion dollars’ worth of weapons from Israel since independence.

October 31, 2022: Fourteen European NATO nations are spending over three billion dollars to buy Israeli Arrow 3 BMD (Ballistic Missile Defense) systems. The Arrow 3 missiles and radars will be a key component of this European Sky Shield Initiative. Increasing instability and aggression from Russia made this sale possible. Israel, with U.S. support, developed the Arrow system to defend Israel against attacks by Iranian ballistics with chemical or, eventually, nuclear warheads.

October 29, 2022: Commercial satellite photos confirmed that Israel has sold and delivered at least two Barak-8 anti-aircraft systems to the UAE (United Arab Emirates). This system had been sold to Azerbaijan, where they were responsible for shooting down several Iskander Russian missiles fired at Azerbaijan during a 2020 war between the Armenians and Azeris. The UAE established diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020 and Israeli firms soon had sales offices in the UAE, to handle the sale and service of military and non-military items sold to Persian Gulf customers.

October 28, 2022: In the West Bank Palestinians fired on Israeli soldiers and the Israelis returned fire, killing two Palestinians.

A joint Greek-Israeli pilot training center was opened in southern Greece. Israel and Greece invested $1.65 billion in the center, which will train Greek pilots as well as (for a fee) those from other nations. This sort of service has become quite common, and lucrative. This joint venture is part of a Greek effort to modernize its armed forces and strengthen its long-standing defense relationships with Israel. Both these efforts are crucial because of escalating tensions with traditional rival and fellow NATO member Turkey. Meanwhile, Israeli defense officials are visiting Turkey, as part of an effort to restore economic, diplomatic and military ties that were severed by the Islamic government that has run Turkey for the last twenty years. President Erdogan is trying to keep is Islamic political coalition in power by repairing what most voter see as mistakes. Cutting ties with Israel was always unpopular with most Turks and was done to improve relationships with Arab states. The Arabs weren’t interested but Israel still is. To that end Israel is asking Turkey to end sanctuary for Islamic terror groups like Hamas, which rules Gaza and regularly attacks Israel. Senior Hamas leadership operate from Turkey. Greece is also critical of Turkish support for Islamic terrorist groups. Continuing tensions with Greece are popular with most Turks. Erdogan is very worried about Turkey’s shaky economy and national elections are scheduled for June 2023. He is seeking reelection. Israel can help the Turkish economy and sees maintaining close ties with Greece and Turkey as an asset and opportunity to reduce the tensions between these two NATO members.

October 27, 2022: In southern Syria (Damascus) another Israeli airstrike damaged a weapons storage site near the airport outside the city that contained Iranian missiles delivered by air. Large explosions of these missiles took place right after the airstrike. Four Hezbollah gunmen dead. Was the third attack against targets near Damascus in the last week. It was also the 30th Israeli airstrike on Syrian targets this year. Most of the attacks were against Iranian assets.

October 25, 2022: Israel has quietly provided Ukraine with details of how it defeated Shahed 136s launched from Lebanon. This includes details of AUDs Israel has developed. Iran has used these UAVs against Israel, which has developed optical and radar sensors that can detect them quickly so they can be shot down at the border (usually of Lebanon). While Israel is criticized by Ukraine, and many Israelis, for not supplying Ukraine with weapons to fight the Russians, the two countries maintain diplomatic relations and Israel has quietly shared information with Ukraine about Russian weapons and cooperation with Iran in Syria. Ukraine apparently does the same for Israel about what Iran is up to in Ukraine. Israel is increasingly open about support for Ukraine and the covert aid now includes help with defeating the Iranian cruise missiles Russia has obtained. Iran also sent Iranian trainers to who the Russians how to use the Iranian guided missiles. Iran is at war with Israel and suffers Israeli airstrikes and an occasional commando attack. Then there are the battles between Turkey and Islamic terrorists, Syrian Kurds and the Assad forces. Russia sometimes bombs Turkish forces (Syrians working for the Turks). Russia only has a few warplanes left in Syria, and these use unguided bombs. Russia considers Syria a place to give some of its pilots realistic practice carrying out airstrikes the old-fashioned way, without missiles or guided bombs. There’s no real threat to the Russian warplanes, unlike Ukraine where Russia continues to lose warplanes and pilots. Russia is also on the defensive with Israel because Russia can no longer do much to halt Iranian efforts to get forces close to the Israeli border. That means Israel is free to sell or donate some weapons to Ukraine. Currently what Ukraine wants most is Israeli tech developed to disable to destroy UAVs like the Iranian Shahed 136 cruise missile, which is basically a cheap UAV equipped to his stationary targets. Iran did a barter deal with Russia, providing over a thousand of these cruise missiles in exchange for dozens of the latest Russian fighter-bomber and air craft spare parts. Iran expects Russia to be more helpful in Syria, where Russia already has an understanding with Israel that involves Russia not interfering with Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets. In return Israel does not supply Ukraine with weapons. Most Israelis support the Ukrainians but they also recognize the threat from Iranians in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. Russia and Iran are still negotiating on this issue because Russia does not want to lose all its economic, military and diplomatic links with Israel.

Since August Russia and Iran have been expanding their economic and political cooperation. These discussions ignore sanctions currently imposed on Russia and Iran and formalize cooperation between them to evade Western sanctions, notably on their oil exports. This includes finding ways to support each other militarily. Iran has supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine while Russia backs Iranian threats to other Middle Eastern oil producers. This does not include unofficial Russian agreements in Syria that keep Israel and Russia from going to war because of continued Israeli attacks on Iranian forces in Syria. Russia continues to support Iranian efforts to expand its influence over the Iraqi government.

October 24, 2022: Israel and Lebanon have settled their offshore border dispute. A side effect of this was Hezbollah reducing its threats to attack Israel.

October 15, 2022: In southern Syria (Damascus) another Israeli airstrike damaged a weapons storage site near the airport outside the city. This warehouse contained Iranian missiles delivered by air. Large explosions of these missiles took place right after the airstrike. Five Syrian soldiers and two members of Iran-backed militias were killed. There were also a lot of wounded. Most of the casualties were the result of munitions in the storage area detonating.

October 11, 2022: A recent international survey found that Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran were three most religious nations in the world. The United States ranks 66th while most of the least religious nations are in Europe.

October 10, 2022: In the south (Gaza) Iran backed Hamas, which runs Gaza, announced that it had resumed diplomatic relations with Syria. These diplomatic links had been severed in 2012, as the Syrian civil war got underway. Syria had long provided sanctuary for Hamas leaders but that ended when many of the Palestinian refugees living in Syria sided with the rebels trying to overthrow the Assad government. The rebels lost, in part because of massive aid from Iran. Hamas has also become a recipient of Iranian aid.




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