Facing Discontent, Tunisia’s President Blames the Jews

While the roughly 2,000 Jews currently living in Tunisia are but a fraction of the population of over 100,000 that was present at the end of World War II, they nonetheless constitute one of the largest and most secure Jewish communities in the Arab world. Given their small numbers, it is difficult to believe that they have much influence over the country. Tunisia’s president, however, seems to think otherwise, as Edy Cohen writes:

Ten years after the so-called “Arab Spring” began in Tunisia, that country is in the headlines once again. A series of violent demonstrations have taken place there against a backdrop of economic hardship. The Tunisian president Kais Saied, troubled by the demonstrations, employed the traditional means of gathering support and deflecting complaint away from himself: he blamed Israel and the Jews.

President Saied . . . stated on a recent visit to a Tunis suburb that the Jews are nothing but thieves. “We know very well who the people are who are controlling the country today,” he said to a crowd in a speech that was captured on video. “It is the Jews who are doing the stealing, and we need to put an end to it.” The accusation of theft is a well-known anti-Semitic slur that has been used against the Jews for centuries.

Saied was elected two years ago on campaign promises that he would maintain no ties with Israel, that normalization with Israel constitutes treason, and that he would bar Israelis from visiting the country. That being said, Saied has not issued any criticism of the four Arab states that signed peace agreements with Israel in recent months.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arab Spring, Tunisia

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