Tip Staff

  • The Daily TIP: Gallup: Americans are “As Strongly Pro-Israel” as Anytime in Past Three Decades

    Gallup: Americans are “As Strongly Pro-Israel” as Anytime in Past Three Decades
    Israel's Elbit Systems Signs $65 Million Contract with Asian-Pacific Nation for Rescue Tech
    IDF Paratroopers Teach U.S. Marines “Lost Art” of Fighting in Tunnels During Juniper Cobra
    EU-Sponsored Program Encourage Joint Israel-Palestinian Agricultural Ventures

    Gallup: Americans are “As Strongly Pro-Israel” as Anytime in Past Three Decades

    Americans are "as strongly pro-Israel" as anytime in the thirty years Gallup has polling American attitudes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the polling agency assessed in a news alert released on Wednesday.

    The 64% of Americans who sympathize more with Israel matches the high previously recorded in 1991 and 2013.

    In contrast, only 19% of those surveyed expressed greater sympathy for the Palestinians and 16% favored neither side.

    The increased percentage of Americans showing sympathy for Israel was driven by an increase in Republican support for the Jewish state now at an all-time high of 87%. Democratic sympathy stood at 49%, which is up from 42% in 2001 and consistent with the average since then. 59% of independents felt more sympathy for Israel, up from 51% in 2001.

    This is consistent with the findings of a 2014 Pew poll which found that while Democratic support for Israel remained strong, Republican support has surged in recent years.

    The news release also showed that nearly twice as many Americans favored more United States pressure on the Palestinians to make peace than on Israel by a margin of 50% to 27%.

    In addition, 74% of American view Israel favorably, while 21% view Israel unfavorably. Israel's favorable rating is the highest it’s been since 1991, when Israel was targeted by Scuds launched by Iraq's then-dictator Saddam Hussein. The numbers for the Palestinian Authority were nearly reversed with 71% of Americans viewing the PA unfavorably, while only 21% viewing it favorably.

    Israel's Elbit Systems Signs $65 Million Contract with Asian-Pacific Nation for Rescue Tech

    Elbit Systems Ltd., Israel’s largest non-government-owned defense firm, announced on Wednesday that it was awarded a $65 million contract by an Asian-Pacific country to provide a comprehensive Search and Rescue (SAR) solution. The project will be performed over a three-year period.

    The company did not name the country.

    The Times of Israel reported that, as part of the company’s comprehensive airborne radio communication solutions portfolio Elbit will install Airborne Locator Systems (ALS) and Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) on board a number of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft in use by the customer's air force, army and navy. The Israeli defense firm will also supply thousands of Personal Survival Radio (PSR) systems.

    Yehuda Vered, the General Manager of Elbit Systems, said: "We are pleased with this contract award to supply a comprehensive SAR solution, attesting to the maturity of our systems and to our market leadership.”

    He added: “Based on our vast portfolio of Radio and Communication solutions, already operational with dozens of armed forces worldwide, we are able to provide a technological edge, and we hope that additional customers will follow in selecting our unique SAR systems as their solution of choice."

    The company provides a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial defense technologies globally, including in aerospace, land and naval systems, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance systems, unmanned aircraft, advanced electro-optics and cybersecurity systems.

    Earlier this week, the Israeli government approved Elbit's acquisition of state-owned weapons maker IMI Systems for $520 million.

    IDF Paratroopers Teach U.S. Marines “Lost Art” of Fighting in Tunnels During Juniper Cobra

    As part of the ongoing Juniper Cobra 2018 exercises between the IDF and the United States military, IDF paratroopers have been training their counterparts in the U.S. Marines in the "lost art" of fighting in tunnels, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

    Over the past ten days Israeli and U.S. forces have participated in exercises that have involved "sharing techniques and knowledge on beach-landings and aspects of urban warfare," according to the Times.

    Lt. Col. Marcuz Mainz, commander of the U.S. Marine Corps’ 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, the joint training has included learning to fight in tunnels, which he termed a "lost art" for the American military, who haven't engaged in that form of combat since the Vietnam War.

    In general, Mainz explained to reporters, "“We came to learn, train, and share our techniques and ideas with the IDF. In the end that’s to make us a more effective force in future operations, if we’re doing them together or independently."

    Lt. Ron Semel, the training officer of the IDF's Paratroopers’ Brigade’s Reconnaissance Battalion, said that Israeli troops learned how better to use light-armored vehicles in combat from their American counterparts, "“We did a joint training session with them, fighting side by side, with the armored vehicles, and the way they used them on the battlefield was really effective."

    Semel added that there was a value in sharing combat techniques with other armies, "A visitor sees every flaw. We had someone coming from outside, seeing us work, and then can figure out every issue that we have in our technique and help us strive for perfection."

    EU-Sponsored Program Encourage Joint Israel-Palestinian Agricultural Ventures

    On the first day of a pilot program pairing Israeli and Palestinian farmers interested in joint agricultural ventures, each population sat warily on opposite sides of the room.

    Though all had agreed to be part of the trailblazing training program held at the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) on Kibbutz Mizra, significant social and linguistic barriers stood in their way.

    “The biggest challenge was to overcome the notions we have of the ‘the other,’” says Silvana Nahmad, director of European and Mediterranean Affairs at GIMI. The program was funded by the European Union and developed in cooperation with a foundation that prefers not to be identified.

    To be considered for the program, applicants had to have at least a bachelor’s degree in agriculture or a related field, such as water management, and a willingness to work together over a period of two years to launch businesses growing and exporting olives or dates, two of Israel’s largest crops.

    Nahmad chose 10 Israeli participants and the partnering foundation chose 15 Palestinian participants, mostly between the ages of 23 and 50. Their initial seminars at GIMI last November focused on both the agricultural and business aspects of the future joint ventures.

    Over the course of three five- to six-day learning modules at GIMI, “the participants had a lot of opportunities to speak to one another. They ate together in the kibbutz dining room and they went out to eat in Haifa and Acre together,” Nahmad tells ISRAEL21c.

    “Only some of the Palestinians were able to speak English or Hebrew, and they helped the others. At the end of the three seminars we already had a few ideas for projects they can do together.”

    (via Israel21c)

  • TIP On i24NEWS - THE RUNDOWN | AIPAC's role

    Click here to watch the i24NEWS interview 


  • TIP Managing Director Quoted in WFB on Iran



    March 8, 2018

    Click here to read full article

    Iran is undertaking a massive buildup of its ballistic missile program, sparking fears of a "second Holocaust" amid sensitive international negotiations that could see the Trump administration legitimize Iranian missiles capable of striking Israel, according to multiple sources familiar with ongoing diplomatic talks.

    As the Trump administration and European allies continue discussions aimed at fixing a range of flaws in the landmark Iran nuclear deal, sources familiar with the progression of these talks say the United States is caving to European demands limiting restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program.

    While the Trump administration went into the negotiations with a hardline stance on cutting off Iran's ballistic missile program, it appears the United States is moving closer in line with European positions that would only regulate a portion of the missiles.

    Multiple sources with knowledge of the ongoing talks told the Washington Free Beacon U.S. officials have been backpedaling on key demands originally proposed by President Trump in order to preserve the agreement and appease European allies who are eager to continue doing business with Tehran.

    Senior Trump administration officials recently told the Free Beacon the United States is prepared to abandon the nuclear deal if European allies fail to address what it views as a range of flaws in the nuclear deal that have enabled Iran's missile buildup and allowed it to continue critical nuclear research.

    However, it appears the United States is losing ground in the talks, moving closer to the European position, which includes what insiders described as only cosmetic changes to the nuclear deal that fail to adequately address Iran's massive missile buildup.

    "If Trump doesn't take control of these negotiations, he will be to Iranian missiles what Obama was to Iranian enrichment," said one veteran foreign policy official with direct knowledge of the ongoing negotiations in Europe. "Combined, Obama and Trump's negotiators could end up giving us a bipartisan Iranian nuclear weapon capable of bringing a second Holocaust. What does it say that Donald Trump's negotiators have a weaker position on Iranian missiles than the United Nations?"

    Speculation the Trump administration will cave on the missile issue has been fueled by off-record meetings between Trump administration officials and foreign policy insiders, as well as recent comments by the State Department that only "long-range" missiles are currently up for discussion, according to sources who spoke to the Free Beacon.

    The State Department would not comment on the current state of the talks, but told the Free Beaconthe ballistic missiles issue remains on the agenda.

    This includes "preventing Iran from developing or testing a long-range ballistic missile," according to a State Department official.

    This does not appear to include shorter-range missiles that could strike Israel.

    A White House National Security Council official also declined to discuss the current state of the negotiations, only telling the Free Beacon, "talks are ongoing."

    One senior congressional official with knowledge of the efforts to crackdown on Iran's missile program expressed shock at how the administration's negotiating position has evolved.

    "Give me a break," said the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the sensitive discussions. "Is the U.S. negotiating position really going to be watered down from the standard laid out in UNSCR 2231," the United Nations Security Council resolution banning Iranian ballistic missile work.

    "We need to address the Iranian ballistic missile threat as it appears today, and ensure Iran does not have a free pass to potentially test and acquire ballistic missiles that can be used to rain nuclear bombs down on Riyadh and Jerusalem," the source said.

    As discussions of the deal continue, the U.S. intelligence community has issued a wide ranging warning about the progress Iran has made in its ballistic missile work, which is among the largest stockpile in the region.

    Iran currently "has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East," according to the U.S. director of national intelligence, who recently highlighted the issue in an annual threat assessment.

    "Tehran's desire to deter the United States might drive it to field an ICBM," or intercontinental ballistic missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear payload, according to the DNI. "Progress on Iran's space program, such as the launch of the Simorgh SLV in July 2017, could shorten a pathway to an ICBM because space launch vehicles use similar technologies."

    Iran has used billions of dollars in cash windfalls it received as part of the nuclear agreement to pursue ballistic missile research and construction, according to the U.S. intelligence community.

    "Iran continues to develop and improve a range of new military capabilities to target U.S. and allied military assets in the region, including armed UAVs, ballistic missiles, advanced naval mines, unmanned explosive boats, submarines and advanced torpedoes, and anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles," the DNI warned. "Iran has the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East and can strike targets up to 2,000 kilometers from Iran's borders."

    This endangers Israel and is fueling concerns the Trump administration will fail to constrain the program at a time when Iran is increasingly threatening the Jewish state with a strike.

    While United Nations Security Council resolutions currently ban Iran from conducting ballistic missile work, the Islamic Republic has openly flaunted the ban and vowed to never stop its buildup.

    In 2013, the Obama administration and Congress agreed that Iran should not be able to test fire any ballistic missile exceeding 500km, or about 310 miles. That benchmark eventually increased to 2,000km, or 1,240 miles, following opposition by Iran.

    Legislation proposed by Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) includes a "zero tolerance" clause on Iranian ballistic missiles, meaning that all sanctions waived as part of the nuclear deal would snapback if Iran tests any ballistic missile. Supporters have described the legislation as the "gold standard for how to fix the Iran deal when it comes to ballistic missiles."

    With concerns mounting that the Trump administration will walk back its support of a full ballistic missile ban, insiders worry that Israel will suffer the consequences.

    "Trump will be legitimizing Iranian missiles that can wipe Israel off the map," said one insider with knowledge of the talks and the administration's evolving position. "What does it say that Donald Trump's negotiators have a weaker position than [Democratic leader] Harry Reid and the United Nations?"

    Omri Ceren, a managing director at The Israel Project, a DC-based educational organization that has worked closely with the administration on Iran issues, told the Free Beacon that any fix that does not fully ban ballistic missiles is a failure.

    "Congress and the Israelis are on the same page about this. The only acceptable fix to the Iran deal is one that prohibits all nuclear capable ballistic missiles, which is what the relevant U.N. resolution says anyway, if the international community would ever bother to enforce it," Ceren said. "House Republicans even explicitly laid out those expectations in recent legislation they advanced."

  • Germany hunts for Iranian agents who reportedly spied on Israeli, Jewish targets



    German authorities said Tuesday they were conducting searches countrywide in connection with 10 suspected Iranian spies, with one report saying that the suspects were members of an elite military force that had been watching Israeli and Jewish targets.


    The weekly German-language magazine FOCUS reported that arrest warrants for the suspects listed them as being members of the al-Quds force, which is part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.


    Read full article on The Times of Israel.

  • Child orphaned in 2008 Mumbai attack makes first visit to site



    NEW DELHI (AP) — Moshe Holtzberg, a young boy whose parents were killed at a Jewish center in Mumbai during a 2008 terror attack, returned to that city for the first time Tuesday to visit the site of the attack with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


    Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi for a six-day visit Sunday and will travel to Mumbai on Thursday, where he will visit the Chabad House where Holtzberg’s parents, Rabbi Gabriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah, were gunned down as 10 Muslim terrorists rampaged through Mumbai in a three-day siege. Netanyahu is to unveil a memorial to 166 people killed in the attacks.


    Read full article on The Times of Israel.

  • PA President Abbas: 'Israel a colonial project, has nothing to do with Jews'



    Gloves come off during meeting of PLO's Central Council surrounding US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital, with PA President Abbas launching scathing attack against President Trump over decision to cut aid: 'May your house come to ruin. The deal of the century has become the slap in the face of the century.'; 'Israel a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews,' Abbas adds; Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad boycott conference.


    Read full article on Ynetnews

  • Netanyahu says Israel is ‘systematically eliminating’ Hamas tunnel infrastructure



    After the IDF attacked and destroyed a terror tunnel on Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad “should not try” Israel. “We are systematically eliminating the tunnel infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” he said from India.


    Read full article on Jerusalem Online

  • TIP Applauds House Passage of Taylor Force Act


    (WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5) – The Israel Project today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the bipartisan Taylor Force Act (H.R. 1164), legislation that would eliminate funding that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay salaries to terrorists or their families.

    "The bipartisan measure passed today will send a very clear warning to the Palestinian Authority: the double-game is over and terrorism will not be tolerated, not in any form. Those who enable, inspire, or incite, will also pay a price,” TIP President Josh Block said.

    The bipartisan measure, which passed without objection on a simple voice vote, was adopted initially by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on November 15.

    The Taylor Force Act was named in honor of U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv last year.

    Attention now shifts to the Senate, where other versions of the legislation have been adopted in the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees.

    “Today’s vote is another victory on the long road to holding the Palestinian Authority accountable for its actions,” Block added. “The PA cannot claim to be a legitimate partner for peace while simultaneously providing financial incentives to terrorists willing to commit murder and violence against innocent civilians.”





    (WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6) – TIP CEO & President Josh Block issued the following statement today regarding President Trump’s speech recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:

    The recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of Israel – the nation state of the Jewish people – is a welcome, long overdue acknowledgement of historic, religious and political realities, that enjoys broad bipartisan support across political lines in both the United States and Israel.

    The Jewish people's connection to Jerusalem spans an unbroken chain of more than two millennia and this U.S. administration's declaration is again an affirmation of this profound bond, acknowledged by Democratic and Republican administrations and successive congresses that dates back decades.

    In 1990, the House and Senate overwhelmingly adopted resolutions declaring that Jerusalem "is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel." In 1995, Congress reaffirmed this position with the passing of the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act.

    The city is the home of the Israeli government, parliament and high court. Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s founding fathers and a visionary for peace, is buried in Jerusalem. What is missing are the embassies of other nations to the state of Israel.

    Successive U.S. presidents vowed to change that and today’s speech represents the next logical step. The President is simply enacting the law.

    Charles Schumer, Senate Democratic Leader, stated in October 2017: “As someone who strongly believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am calling for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated to Jerusalem. Moving the embassy as soon as possible would appropriately commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification and show the world that the US definitively acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

    Likewise, Republicans have thrown their support behind the effort. “After thousands of years in exile, the Jewish people are finally back home. Home in the land of their ancestors, home in the land that so many have died fighting to defend, and home in their eternal united capital of Jerusalem never to be divided again,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in June.

    Moving the U.S. embassy is also a consensus view in Israel that enjoys broad support across the Israeli political spectrum, from the opposition Labor and Yesh Atid parties to the members of the country’s governing coalition.

    The administration decided to act at a critical time. Recent and continuous efforts at the United Nations to erase the connection of Jews to the birthplace of Judaism and the site of the First and Second Temples have been an insult to history. Earlier this year – on Independence Day in Israel – UNESCO approved a resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem.

    Likewise, the Palestinians must realize that unilateralism will no longer be rewarded and that the only acceptable path forward is genuine peace negotiations. For too long, the embassy relocation has been delayed by threats of violence from leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Arab states. Incitement comes from the PA, which inspires terrorism and pays for murder. American Jewish leaders and diplomats must continue to make clear that U.S. policy will not be held captive to blackmail.


  • US-Israel relationship is stronger than ever


    The US-Israel relationship is “stronger than ever,” US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top advisor said Thursday in Tel Aviv at the top of a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Trump “is very committed to achieving a solution here that will be able to bring prosperity and peace to all people in the area, and we really appreciate the commitment of the prime minister in engaging very thoughtfully and respectfully in the way the president has asked,” Kushner said.

    Read full article at The Jerusalem Post.

  • TIP Senior Fellow on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Discusses Barcelona Attacks

    Barcelona terrorist attack was a matter of 'when', not 'if'

    Speaking with AM's Samantha Donovan, Julie Lenarz says that Spain has been a hub for Islamic extremists for some time, with authorities arresting around 200 people on terrorism-related charges over the last two years. She says the Islamic State group has long threatened to 'retake' Spain, which was part of the Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus for nearly 800 years.

    Click here to listen to the full interview.

  • TIP Senior Fellow Op-Ed in The Telegraph on Barcelona Terror Attack

    Targeting Barcelona was sadly predictable - Spain holds both historic and modern importance to jihadists

    By Julie Lenarz

    18 August 2017

    Click here to read full article 

    The uncensored amateur videos taken in the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s terrorist attack make for gruesome viewing. Victims, dead and injured, young and old, scattered across the pavement of Barcelona’s busy Las Rambas street, lying in pools of blood, in a perverse spectacle reminiscent of the road to hell.

    The horrific scene was all-too familiar in Europe, which has dealt with a series of car-ramming incidents over recent months, such as in Nice, Berlin and London. And yesterday, Islamic extremists claimed another 13 innocent souls and ruined the lives of many others caught up in the atrocity claimed by ISIL in a statement published by its news agency Amaq.

    Spain has been spared Islamic-inspired terrorism since March 2004, when four bombs exploded on commuter trains in Madrid, leaving dead 191 people. The attack was carried out by an Al-Qaeda affiliated cell.  

    What happened in Barcelona, however, was not a freak incident. The writing on the wall has been there for years. No, not because of foreign policy often cited as a legitimate grievance of why we see “backlash” on our streets, despite ISIL writing in its magazine Dabiq in 2016 that “even if you were to stop bombing us … we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam.”

    On the contrary, Spain has kept a low profile and avoided foreign policy adventures since the departure of former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar in 2004, a close ally of the United States in “the war on terror” post-9/11. Under his leadership, Spain took part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a decision for which Aznar paid a heavy price. Following the Madrid attacks, he lost in an election to José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who immediately ordered the withdrawal of Spanish troops.

    Spain has erred on the side of caution ever since and as countries around the world stepped-up their roles in a US-led coalition against ISIL in Iraq, the country remained a reluctant partner. But just because Spain had little appetite to confront ISIL, the group still showed interest in Spain. 

    The country has been identified as a key target on extremist websites for historical reasons, given that Muslims ruled in Spain for close to eight centuries until 1492, a fact that informs ISIL’s central narrative in the fight against the “crusaders”. In January 2016, the terrorist organization issued a chilling video threatening to launch attacks in Spain and to reconquer the territory of the Iberian Peninsula that previously was part of the Islamic caliphate. “We will recover our land from the invaders”, ISIL vowed in the video message.

    As ISIL continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria, the group has increasingly focused on attacks abroad, including efforts to recruit supporters in Spain. In a report published in February 2017, the Spanish government warned that “ISIS has been publishing in Spanish, which means an increase in the risk of its influence on radicals living in our country”, adding that the group last summer “launched a campaign to hire Spanish translators, which suggests a growing interest in attracting Spanish-speaking foreign fighters”.

    An exact number is not available, but statistics show that up to 100 Spanish nationals have so far  travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the terrorist group on the battlefield. According to Spanish authorities, 181 alleged jihadists have been detained since 2015, with Barcelona being identified as a hotspot accounting for 30 percent of all foreign, mostly Moroccan, jihadists arrested across Spain, the majority of which were men aged between 20 and 34. Only 10 percent of suspects can be classified as “lone wolves”, with nine out of ten arrested individuals operating as part of a terrorist network, predominately ISIL but also groups in North Africa.

    Crucially, of those arrested on charges of terrorist activities between January 2013 and November 2015, over 40 percent were born in Spain. A Spanish passport belonging to a person of Moroccan origin has also reportedly been found at the scene of yesterday’s attack.

    The circumstances surrounding the incident in Barcelona therefore fit perfectly into the pattern that we see unfolding across Europe. Angry young men, many of them homegrown, radicalised online, promised honour and glory by a vicious terrorist organisation with only its own interest at heart. That interest is not so much informed by our actions but rather eminently shaped by a skewed historical narrative and fascist ideology.

    ISIL could not be clearer about its intention: “Even if you were to stop fighting us, your best-case scenario in a state of war would be that we would suspend our attacks against you … before eventually resuming our campaigns”, they wrote in Dabiq. “So in the end, you cannot bring an indefinite halt to our war against you. At most, you could only delay it temporarily.”

    It is an uncomfortable truth to accept for it sheds light on the real magnitude of the threat that we face, above all the admission that the options we have to stop, or at least contain, the global Islamist insurgency are limited. There is no common ground, no basis for negotiation with people that strap suicide belts around children to usher in an era of Islamic theocracy in which life as we know it would no longer exist.

  • The Israel Project Applauds Kansas for Passing Bipartisan Anti-discrimination Legislation

    The Israel Project Applauds Kansas for Passing Bipartisan Anti-discrimination Legislation

    (WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3) – The Israel Project today applauded the Kansas state legislature for passing a bill that opposes discriminatory boycotts of Israel.

    The Kansas Senate today passed HB 2409, a bill that prohibits the state from participating in any boycotts of Israel or entering into contracts with companies that participate in boycotts. The measure passed 28-9, making Kansas the 21st state to pass such a measure.

    In April, The House passed a similar bill 116-9. The bipartisan legislation now heads to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who is expected to sign it into law.

    “Discrimination is wrong, no matter who it affects,” said Josh Block, President and CEO of The Israel Project. “The whole community in Kansas should be applauded for standing up against anti-Semitism,” he said. “This legislation is a major, concrete step against bigotry and hate.”

    “Though BDS poses as a human rights movement, in truth, it is an attempt to sow anti-Israel and anti-Semitic prejudice,” Block said.

    Hiding behind laudable rhetoric on human rights, dignity and freedom, boycott advocates single out the Jewish state for special punishment. In fact, Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that universally protects these values.

    “We congratulate the lawmakers of Kansas, who saw through this attempt at deception,” Block said. “In particular, we want to thank Rep. William Sutton, Sen. Bud Estes, and Sen. Tom Hawk for their thoughtful leadership and dedication.”


    About The Israel Project

    The Israel Project (TIP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that provides factual information about Israel and the Middle East to the press, policymakers and the public. Founded in 2003, TIP works in multiple languages to provide real-time background information, images, maps, audio, video, graphics and direct access to newsmakers. To learn more about TIP, visit http://www.theisraelproject.org

  • The Israel Project Applauds North Carolina for Passing Bipartisan Anti-BDS Legislation

    The Israel Project Applauds North Carolina for Passing Bipartisan Anti-BDS Legislation; Tar Heel State Becomes #22 to Stand up Against Anti-Semitism

    (WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28) – The Israel Project today applauded the North Carolina state legislature for passing a bill that opposes discriminatory boycotts of Israel.

    The North Carolina House of Representatives today passed Senate Bill 329, a bill that prohibits the state from participating in boycotts aimed against Israel, or engaging in any contracts with companies that participate in boycotts.  The measure passed the House 96-19.  A previous vote taken in the state senate passed 45-3.

    North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is expected to sign the measure into law.

    “The whole community in North Carolina should be applauded for standing up against anti-Semitism,” said Josh Block, President and CEO of The Israel Project.

    “And make no mistake, though BDS poses as a human rights movement, in truth, it is nothing more than an attempt to sow anti-Israel hate,” he said. “Hiding behind laudable rhetoric on human rights, boycott advocates single out the Jewish state for special punishment. In fact, Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that universally protects these values.”

    “We congratulate the lawmakers of Kansas for standing up and doing the right thing” Block said.  “We also want to extend special thanks to Representatives Stephen M. Ross and Ken Goodman and Senators Rick Gunn, Andrew Brock and Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue.”

    This victory follows the passage of similar bills in 21 other states across the country.


    About The Israel Project

    The Israel Project (TIP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that provides factual information about Israel and the Middle East to the press, policymakers and the public. Founded in 2003, TIP works in multiple languages to provide real-time background information, images, maps, audio, video, graphics and direct access to newsmakers. To learn more about TIP, visit http://www.theisraelproject.org

  • TIP Senior Fellow Op-Ed in International Business Times on Hamas’ Role in Gaza’s Suffering

    Hamas is behind Gaza's suffering, not Israel

    No work, no water, and now no light: The oppression of Gazan people is the bloodline of Hamas.

    By Julie Lenarz

    June 21, 2017

    Click here to read full article.

    Gaza's sole power plant shut down on last week for lack of funds, leaving the nearly two million residents of the coastal enclave with only three hours of electricity a day.

    The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza blame each other for the energy shortage. After multiple failed reconciliation attempts between the two parties, the Palestinian Authority is now flexing its muscles in an aggressive push to reassert some control over Gaza, which Hamas seized a decade ago in a violent takeover.

    The standoff has left Israel in a tough spot, having to choose between giving tactical support to Hamas by keeping the fuel running or risking a humanitarian crisis that could trigger an upsurge in violence. Last time Palestinian reconciliation collapsed, Hamas members kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in June 2014.

    All of this is a tragedy. But it is a tragedy deliberately manufactured by Hamas that easily could have been avoided. Hamas is doing again what it has done a hundred times before: sacrificing the well-being of Gaza's civilian population on the altar of cynical political ambitions.

    Hamas could, if it wanted to, pay for the lack of electricity and ease the suffering immediately. According to data from the Hamas Finance Ministry, the group collects at least $15m (£11m) a month in taxation. But instead of paying for education, medical services and electricity, Hamas invests millions of dollars a year in its military infrastructure and preparations for war, including smuggling tunnels and rockets. 

    Why? Because it is a terrorist organisation and terrorists, as their name says, live off terrorising people. Despite its claims to the contrary, the last thing Hamas cares about is the welfare of the Palestinians in the impoverished seaside territory.

    The bitterness and hardship of Gaza's residents is the bloodline of Hamas. It is the fertile ground on which its extremist Islamist ideology flourishes and from which it recruits its fighters. The same rationale is guiding Hamas in confiscating food aid and blankets and robbing fuel stockpiles from hospitals: the more misery the better.

    The same rockets, bombs and rifles that are killing Israeli civilians are being used by Hamas to terrorise and oppress its own population 

    No wonder the Gazan population is growing increasingly agitated as conditions worsen. Gaza's economy lies in ruins. In its decade-long rule, Hamas has offered its people preciously little but destruction and death. 

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees paints a grim picture. Gaza's unemployment rate is at 43.9 per cent - the highest in the world. Over the last 20 years, real per capita income has fallen by 31 per cent. Over two-thirds of the population receive social assistance and nearly 40 percent of them fall below the poverty line. The water is dangerously polluted. And now the lights have gone out.

    Since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2004 and Hamas took control of the Strip, it has become increasingly evident that the only way to achieve meaningful and enduring peace is to disarm the group and dismantle its military infrastructure. 

    The same rockets, bombs and rifles that are killing Israeli civilians are being used by Hamas to terrorise and oppress its own population. The residents of Gaza have been abused by the group as human shields and Hamas has exploited civilian infrastructure as deceptive sanctuaries to provoke an Israeli response.

    And all the while the people of Gaza have been humiliated, threatened and had to fear for their lives and the lives of their children as a price to pay for the cynical political agenda of Hamas, its leadership has ruled with an iron fist from the comfort of lavish hotels in Qatar where they reside in exile.

    Hamas warned of renewed violence if Israel acquiesces to the demands of the Palestinian Authority and reduces its electricity supply for the Gaza Strip. If the current crisis spirals out of control, there is only one party to blame: Hamas. 

    Julie Lenarz is the Executive Director of the Human Security Centre and a Senior Fellow at The Israel Project. She tweets at @MsJulieLenarz

  • TIP Senior Policy Analyst in MinnPost on BDS and the Double Standard it Creates

    Boycotting Israel for political purposes is unfair and creates a double standard

    By Jacob Millner | 07:00 am


    August 4, 2017

    Click here to read the full article.

    BDS not only seeks to do damage to the Jewish state, but also would do grave harm to the U.S.

    Individual states, including Minnesota, have been quick to pass legislation aimed to push back against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) effort. To date, 21 states and New York, which enacted an Executive Order, have some form of anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation enshrined in law. In just about two years, since Illinois passed the first-in-the-nation anti-BDS legislation in May of 2015, numerous other states have followed suit. This has been one of the most successful efforts in recent legislative memory.

    These bills call out BDS efforts directed at Israel for what they are — a form of economic hate warfare and discrimination aimed at the lone Jewish state in the world. Additionally, this successful legislative effort has prospered from the East Coast to the West Coast, from north to south, and in blue, red, and purple states. In a nation seemingly divided on everything, legislatures in New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and many more have all forcefully, and with strong bipartisan support, decided that BDS is hate, and states will not tolerate or condone taxpayer dollars going to subsidize discrimination.

    In February, Republican Minnesota State Rep. Ron Kresha said, “It's pretty widely accepted that discriminating against the Jewish people ... is not a practice the state of Minnesota should engage in.” His assessment was shared by Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who wrote in an op-ed, “My order ensures that no state agency or authority will engage in or promote any investment activity that would further the harmful and discriminatory BDS campaign.” And Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott added as he signed this bill, “As Israel’s No. 1 trading partner in the United States, Texas is proud to reaffirm its support for the people of Israel and we will continue to build on our historic partnership. ... Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally.” 

    Double standard should not be tolerated 

    What the comments made by Kresha, Cuomo, and Abbott all have in common is the understanding, correctly, that boycotting Israel for political purposes is unfair and creates a double standard, which the U.S. State Department has deemed anti-Semitism. I do not use this term lightly. There is legitimate criticism of Israel, her government, and her policies. However, the singling out of the lone Jewish nation-state for divestment and sanction under the guise of “opposing occupation,” while not addressing the hundreds of other territorial disputes around the world, is a form of double standard that should not and cannot be tolerated.

    French President Emmanuel Macron echoed this exact sentiment recently when he stated, “We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism.” 

    This follows U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, who recently said that “The denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism. “[Israel] should be treated like any other member state.”

    If one takes the time to actually listen to the words of the leaders of the insidious BDS movement, it becomes even clearer. The clarion call “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” says everything you need to know. No more Israel. No more Jewish state. And those who say they are solely fighting the post-1967 “occupation” should ask themselves why BDS activists constantly target concerts and art exhibitions in Tel Aviv, far from the Green Line. 

    American state legislators and governors, Democrat and Republican alike, understand that BDS is a hateful movement focused on the destruction of Israel. Taking a stand against it must be applauded.

    Bills show sound economic sense

    In addition to the moral courage legislators and state governments are showing, it also makes sound economic sense for states. According to the latest figures from the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), in 2016, trade between the U.S. and Israel totaled $35 billion. From across the nation, states trade in the millions and billions of dollars with Israel. Nevada, for example, conducted $97 million worth of trade with Israel; California exported $2 billion; New York $4.9 billion; and Minnesota, $105.6 million. 

    Hatemongers, who aim to harm the economy of the Jewish state, are also hurting the economy of the U.S. States recognize the importance of the innovative achievements of Israel and clearly see that translating into business for us over here.

    Why has the effort to pass anti-BDS legislation been so successful? It comes down to two simple truths. First, discrimination is wrong and must never, under any circumstances, be tolerated. Second, BDS not only seeks to do damage to the Jewish state, but also would do grave harm to the U.S. Almost half of the states, in just over two years, have passed anti-BDS legislation. More will follow and now Congress is working on bipartisan legislation as well. America is a beacon for freedom and democracy and continues to lead the way with strong and sound judgment. 

    Jacob Millner, of Minnetonka, is the Midwest regional director and senior policy analyst for The Israel Project as well as a board member of the local Jewish Community Relations Council.

  • TIP CEO Op-Ed in The Orlando Sentinel on Pressuring Qatar to Stop Funding Radicals

    Trump, allies must pressure Qatar to stop funding radicals

    June 21, 2017

    Click here to read the full article.

    U.S. President Donald Trump launched a blistering attack against Qatar recently when he accused the Gulf emirate of sponsoring terrorism. "The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level," the president told reporters at the White House.

    His comments echoed allegations of the Saudi-led group of Arab countries that last week cut diplomatic ties to Qatar over the emirate’s links to extremist groups. Qatar has long bankrolled with billions of dollars radical Sunni Islamist organizations and forged close ties with the Shiite Republic of Iran and its terror proxy Hezbollah.

    This refreshing honesty from Washington and states in the region is an important step in the right direction to bring an end to Qatar’s malign influence. For that to happen, it is just as important that his statement of condemnation translates into real action. Two concrete steps that could be taken immediately would be for the United States and other allies to call for the sanctioning of the Muslim Brotherhood and the disarmament of Hamas in Gaza — primary beneficiaries of Qatar’s terror network.

    Regional dynamics explain why these measures would significantly strengthen the stability of the Middle East. The diplomatic rift between Qatar and the Saudi-led group is not taking place in a vacuum. It is the product of deep fault lines created by a power struggle between forces of extremism and forces of stability.

    The camp of extremism includes the Islamic Republic of Iran, trans-national jihadist organizations like al-Qaida and Islamic State, as well as radical Islamist-nationalist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Their vision of the Middle East violently clashes with that of the camp of stability, a group of countries ranging from most Gulf states to Egypt, Jordan and even Saudi Arabia.

    In this battle for hearts and minds that is affecting security far beyond the borders of the Middle East, the United States must come down on the right side of history. And the Trump administration has already set the stage when, during his visit to Saudi Arabia, the president endorsed Riyadh’s campaign to challenge Iranian influence with $110 billion in arms sales to the kingdom.

    The Trump administration has also indicated its intention to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a “foreign terrorist organization.” At his confirmation hearing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson grouped al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood as “agents of radical Islam.”

    The Muslim Brotherhood is a global Islamist organization with tentacles of influence everywhere, both in the Islamic world and the West, where it works toward a Shariah-based caliphate. The Qatari government has bankrolled this organization with billions of dollars across the Middle East.

    The Brotherhood is often misrepresented as an acceptable branch of political Islam, a fatal miscalculation best demonstrated by the group’s credo: “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”

    With Qatar now under serious pressure to stop the funding and the United States in a unique position to sanction the organization, there is a real opportunity to significantly disrupt the group’s operations and that of its affiliates, including Hamas.

    Since Israel pulled out of Gaza and Hamas took control, it has been evident that the only way to achieve meaningful and enduring peace is to disarm Hamas and dismantle its military and financial infrastructure. The group’s hundreds of thousands of rockets, bombs and rifles, with which it oppresses its own population and murders Israeli civilians, must be surrendered.

    Critical to that is ending the support of Qatar’s ruling family. The al-Thanis pour millions of dollars every year into the Gaza Strip to cement Hamas's grip on power. Last year alone, Doha transferred $31 million to the group, and the country is expected to pledge an additional $100 million to Hamas in the coming years.

    Isolating Qatar and its terror network is not unprecedented. A similar diplomatic rift took place in 2014, when several Gulf states temporarily withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. And it worked. Qatar backed down and made concessions.

    With the full backing and support of the United States, pressure on Qatar to end its funding of radical Islamist organizations could be multiplied. By coordinating with our regional allies and striking on all fronts — expose Qatar, sanction the Muslim Brotherhood, and disarm Hamas — a significant blow could be struck against the forces of extremism.

    Joshua S. Block is president and CEO of The Israel Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that provides factual information about Israel and the Middle East to the press, policymakers and the public.

  • TIP Senior Fellow in The Daily Telegraph on Confronting Terrorism

    Failing to confront far-right terrorism will only embolden the other barbarians among us



    The Daily Telegraph

    June 19, 2017 

    Click here to read the full article.

    One man has died and 10 others were wounded after a van was rammed into worshippers outside Finsbury Park mosque in north London Monday night. The killed and injured are the latest victims in a grim wave of attacks that have plagued the country in recent months.

    The victims all have one thing common. They lost their lives not because they did harm to anyone. They were murdered, in cold blood, simply because of who they were.

    To Islamic extremists we are not human beings – mothers, husbands, children. We are infidels unworthy of life and deserve to die at the sword of radical Islam. To far-right extremists all Muslims are potential terrorists. They are “fair game” in the struggle to preserve the identity of our country in the name of ethno-nationalism.

    The perpetrators behind such senseless acts of barbarism do not conceal their motivation. They take pride in it. According to an eye witness at the scene of last night’s attack, the suspect – a 48-year-old white man who was detained by members of the public before being arrested by police – screamed "I'm going to kill all Muslims”.

    These killers all have one thing in common: they are terrorists. 

    Terrorism has not one religion. Terrorism is not linked to one ideology. It is a tactic that has been used by many groups for many centuries to achieve political ends.

    The government has labelled the attack at Finsbury Park mosque an act of terrorism and the investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command.

    This is hugely significant. The language used by Islamic extremists and far-right perpetrators is similar. Their crimes are similar. Yet public discourse has somewhat been hesitant to apply the term terrorism to atrocities not grounded in Islamic extremism.

    But for words to have any meaning we must apply them consistently, without moral double standards. Using the wrong words, either deliberately or by neglect, to describe the exact same problem distorts public perceptions, as well as the decisions taken by our leaders. If we rightfully call someone an Islamic extremist for killing in the name of radical Islam, then we also have to call someone a far-right extremist for murdering in the name of white nationalism. 

    Finsbury Park mosque has a complicated history. For many years it served as a hotbed for extremists dating back to the arrival of Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was the mosque’s imam from 1997 to 2005. Hamza, a notorious hate preacher, is thought to have radicalised with his poisonous sermons attendees such as Zacarias Moussaoui, a former al-Qaeda operative involved in 9/11, and Mohammed Sidique Khan, one of the four suicide bombers who blew themselves up on the London underground and a bus in July 2005. The mosque was eventually raided by police and shut down in 2003 before reopening in 2005 under new management. 

    Does that mean they had it coming? Absolutely not. Although, sadly, it is only a matter of time until someone will suggest exactly that. Few things in life are absolute, but this is one: there is no justification or excuse for terror.

    Our drones are not “triggering” Islamic extremists to blow themselves up among a crowd of children at a pop concert. And the decision to attend mosque is not “making” far-right extremists ram cars into a group of worshippers. Victim-blaming is not just revolting. It is also dangerous for it takes away agency from the perpetrators.

    We demand not to absolve Islamic extremists of responsibility for their acts of violence on the grounds of any grievances, real or perceived, and we must be very clear not to allow excuses to be made in this case either. When Islamic extremists strike, we seek out the hate preachers within Muslim communities that declare war on our way of life. We must do the same to those that encourage violence against innocent Muslims. 

    After the attacks in Manchester and London, we were told that Britain stands united. But the frightening truth is that there are barbarians among us, born and raised in this country, Muslims and non-Muslims, that are determined to divide us through acts of terror.

    Both Islamic and far-right extremism produce the same type of people, driven by the dehumanisation of “the other”, that are willing to kill for their cause and cleanse society of an undesirable ethnic or religious group. It is exactly this negative reciprocity between Islamists and the far-right that makes consistency when dealing with their crimes pivotal as a first step to break the vicious cycle of violence.

  • TIP CEO Op-Ed in The Boston Herald on Hezbollah’s New Attacks With Human Shields

    Block: Hezbollah preps for new attacks with ‘human shields’

    By Joshua S. Block

    Guest Column

    The Boston Herald

    June 30, 2017 

    Click here to read the full article. 

    Those who follow events in the Middle East are no stranger to the carnage in Syria, but there is another humanitarian crisis in the making you probably haven’t heard much about. Why? Because you will only read it, splashed across international newspapers, when it is too late and everyone acts surprised and outraged that it happened.

    Hezbollah, the Shiite terrorist organization bankrolled by Iran and effectively in control of Lebanon, is steeling itself for a new war with Israel. At the heart of the group’s military strategy is the deployment of human shields — a war crime and terrorist tactic aimed at exploiting the moral sensibility of the enemy.

    Israeli military officials have warned that Hezbollah has turned hundreds of Lebanese villages into fighting zones, establishing bases in Beirut, the Bekaa Valley, and southern Lebanon, both “above and below live civilians whom we [Israel] have nothing against — a kind of human shield,” said Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, chief of staff for the Israel Defense Forces.

    Hezbollah has a presence in “every third or fourth house,” he added, spread out across 240 villages in southern Lebanon, in blatant violation of U.N. Resolution 1701, which calls for the removal of all armed groups from the area. Hezbollah continues to receive weapons from its patrons in Iran and the U.N. Security Council has so far failed to enforce the resolution.

    A significant part of Hezbollah’s military infrastructure is embedded in civilian areas. Rockets, bombs and rifles are placed under homes, schools and hospitals with the grim intention that, if Israel needs to take out Hezbollah’s arsenals in a preventive strike, the operation will lead to mass civilian casualties.

    Hezbollah is playing a zero-sum game at the expense of its own population, thus leaving Israel in a tough spot: knock out the weapons before they put at risk the lives of Israelis, or wait until they are deployed and risk the lives of both Israeli and Lebanese civilians. It is a no-win situation for Israel. Either way, Israel will be inevitably blamed for any civilian casualties.

    A senior Israeli defense official told The New York Times in May 2015 that the buildup of Hezbollah’s terror infrastructure in southern Lebanon meant that “civilians are living in a military compound. … We will hit Hezbollah hard, while making every effort to limit civilian casualties as much as we can…[but] we do not intend to stand by helplessly in the face of rocket attacks.” 

    No doubt Hezbollah will shamelessly exploit images of dead Lebanese civilians and, as expected, certain elements in the political and media arena will blindly swallow the propaganda spoon-fed to them by a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, the United States and Europe will come under pressure to force upon Israel a premature cease-fire.

    It is a tactic that has worked for Hezbollah in the past. In 1996 and again in 2006, Hezbollah blackmailed impoverished Shiite families when they offered to rebuild their homes — not out of goodwill, but on condition that they agree to store rocket launchers in their apartments, ready to strike against Israel at any time.

    When the time comes for Israel to take preventive military action against Hezbollah, civilians will die. In a perverse twist of reality, Israel will stand accused of violating international law and committing war crimes against the people of Lebanon.

    But whatever rewriting of history takes place, it will forever be on record that Israeli officials warned repeatedly that Hezbollah was putting Lebanon’s civilian population at risk and that the international community did nothing to prevent it.

    When you sleepwalk into disaster with alarm bells ringing, the moral high ground is no longer yours to claim.

    Joshua S. Block is president and CEO of the Israel Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

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