The King of Jordan’s Slander about Israel’s Treatment of Christians

At the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, King Abdullah of Jordan spoke of his monarchy’s historic role as the custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem. He then went on to say that the “rights of churches in Jerusalem are threatened,” and that Jerusalem’s Christians are “under fire.” Shortly after the speech, he had a reportedly friendly meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid. The editors of the Jerusalem Post respond:

Christianity is retreating through the Middle East, with ancient Christian communities in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Gaza, and yes, Bethlehem, shrinking. Three years ago, the British foreign secretary commissioned a report that concluded that the pervasive persecution of Christians, sometimes amounting to genocide, is taking place in the Mideast, triggering a massive Christian exodus from the region. There is only one state in the region where the Christian community is actually growing: Israel. Yet that is precisely the state that Abdullah chose to target as the place where Christianity is under fire.

This represents unparalleled chutzpah, for two main reasons. First, because the king knows that it is not true, and that Israel zealously protects the rights of the churches in Jerusalem, as well as the freedom of worship for Christians throughout the city. He is also certainly aware that while the Christian community in his own country is shrinking, across the River Jordan in Israel it is growing.

Secondly, Abdullah’s presenting himself as some kind of guardian of religious liberty is misleading, considering that Jordanian officials at the border with Israel regularly prevent Jews crossing into Jordan from bringing in with them religious objects they need for daily ritual practice, such as tallitot and t’fillin.

At a time when tensions are running high in Jerusalem on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, responsible leaders of goodwill—among whose ranks Abdullah wants to be counted—should seek to lower the temperature, not artificially raise it. . . . Improving the atmosphere between Jerusalem and Amman is a Jordanian interest as much as it is an Israeli one.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Israeli Christians, Jerusalem, Jordan, Middle East Christianity


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security