The Significance of the Recent Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem

Aug. 18 2022

On Sunday, a gun-wielding Palestinian opened fired at a bus in Jerusalem not far from the Western Wall, injuring eight—including five Americans. Nadav Shragai comments on the attack’s significance:

An attack near the Western Wall is a strategic one that endangers not only the lives of Jewish citizens and worshippers but the very Jewish presence in the Old City.

Every year, about 10 million Jews visit the holy site, which can be accessed through three points: David Street (through the market), Hagai Street (through the Musrara neighborhood and Damascus Gate), and public transport that passes through Dung Gate, which is where the shooting occurred. A terror attack near the Western Wall was intended to undermine the Jewish presence in the Old City. As such, the response must be strategic.

In recent years, Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall have been used to unite Arab Israelis and Arabs in the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem for a common goal: to push the Jews out of Jerusalem, its holy sites, and Israel in general. Sometimes it is done through organized terrorism. Other times, it’s lone terrorists. The method might change, but not the goal.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror, Temple Mount

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy