Israel’s Arabs and Jews: Destined, not Doomed, to Live Together

Israel’s president recently appeared at a ceremony in the village of Kafr Qasim, commemorating the anniversary of the killing of 49 Arab civilians by Israeli border police in 1957. (The next year, Israeli courts convicted eight of those involved.) In his speech, Reuven Rivlin reiterated Israel’s official apology for the killings, condemned recent acts of Palestinian terror, and commented frankly on the future of the relationship between Israeli Jews and Arabs.

Friends, “I hereby swear, in my name and that of all of our descendants, that we will never act against the principle of equal rights, and we will never try and force someone from our land.” These are not my words, but the words of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the Beitar movement. Words he spoke more than 80 years ago, and which I repeat here today.

The state of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, who returned to their land after two millennia of exile. This was its very purpose. However, the state of Israel will also always be the homeland of the Arab population, which numbers more than one-and-a-half million, and makes up more than twenty percent of the population of the country. . . .

I am not naïve. There is no point in denying or ignoring the reality of relations between the communities. Between the Jewish and Arab populations of the state of Israel, there remain the sentiments of a difficult past. We belong to two nations, whose dreams and aspirations, to a great extent contradict each other. . . . [T]he Arab population of Israel must be brought to internalize and accept that the state of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people. As long as there exists any aspiration to eradicate the Jews from this land, there will be no chance of building a true partnership.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli Arabs, Laws of war, Reuven Rivlin, Suez Crisis

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin