The Soviet Union’s Most Famous Jewish Dissident Discusses Alexei Navalny, Freedom, and Anti-Semitism

In last Tuesday’s newsletter, we linked to Natan Sharansky’s moving correspondence with the Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, recently murdered in a Siberian “corrective colony.” Sharansky, a former refusenik whose experience in KGB prisons had much in common with Navalny’s imprisonment by the former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, discusses what motivates someone to risk his life for the cause of freedom, and what such acts can achieve, with Danielle Pletka and Marc Thiessen. He also addresses Israel’s relationship with Russia, the dangers of leftwing anti-Semitism, and much else. (Audio, one hour. A transcript is available at the link below.)

Read more at American Enterprise Institute

More about: Israel diplomacy, Natan Sharansky, Soviet Jewry, Vladimir Putin

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security