The Abraham Accords Represent a Religious as Well as a Political Breakthrough

In his speech at the signing of his country’s normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Benjamin Netanyahu offered a profound biblical insight in citing a verse from Psalms “May God give strength to His people. May God bless His people with peace.” Meir Soloveichik observes:

The biblical reference captured the astonishing transformation in diplomacy that had occurred. The premise of the Oslo Accords of 1993 had been that Israel had to “take risks” for peace, that only an Israel that was willing to make itself weaker could reach an agreement with the Palestinians, and that only peace with the Palestinians would allow for normalization with the Arab world. Israelis soured on these risks when what followed was not peace, but bus bombings and café massacres. Now, in a region terrified of Iran, it is not Israeli weakness but strength that makes it so attractive, and an agreement with the Palestinians has been deemed unnecessary for normalization with other Arab countries.

The achievement is not only political in nature. Right before the accord signings, the president’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner presented the king of Bahrain with a Torah scroll.

Strikingly, the verse cited by Netanyahu is sung in synagogue every Sabbath as the Torah is returned to the Ark, hinting thereby that what is occurring is religious rapprochement, an embrace by two Islamic countries of the world’s center of Judaism.

On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, [just three days after the signing ceremony], Jews around the world read from the Torah about the separation of Ishmael, by God, from a heartbroken Abraham, and the angel of the Almighty saving Ishmael in the desert. On one of our holiest days, the Jewish focus is, for a moment, not on Isaac, but on the Almighty’s concern for his elder brother. The Jewish people, no matter how persecuted, always made manifest the bond between them and the rest of humanity, yearning for a moment not when all nations will become Jews but when all will recognize the truth of Abraham’s mission, and amity between enemies would be achieved.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Abraham Accords, Hebrew Bible, Jewish-Muslim Relations, Judaism

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