Tablet: Israel’s Eyes in the North – The Woman Who Watches Hezbollah

Sarit Zehavi, founder of the Alma Center think tank, has her eye on Hezbollah and her feet planted firmly in her beloved Galilee.

At the end of August, there was tension in the northern Galilee. Israel stopped Hezbollah from launching a drone from Syria by killing two terrorists, who had both been trained in Iran, before they could carry out the attack. Two drones crashed in Beirut, and the Lebanese blamed Israel, which denied involvement.

Sarit Zehavi, founder and CEO of Alma Research and Education Center, a think tank in the western Galilee focused on geopolitics and security on Israel’s northern border, posted a video on YouTube on Aug. 27, briefing viewers on how Israel foiled an Iranian attack from Syrian territory, and Lebanon’s connection to the incident. On Sept. 1, Hezbollah shot several rockets into northern Israel.

Zehavi’s son Mor was supposed to have his bar mitzvah several days later in their hometown, just a short drive from Israel’s border with Lebanon. But now, the plan looked like it was going to be a bust, and it reminded her of an entirely different bar mitzvah story—her father’s.

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What challenges and opportunities will Israel face in 2020?

The experts at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS), a foreign affairs and defense think tank, gave The Jerusalem Post a first look at its forecast for the coming year.

In the past year, we’ve heard Israel’s top officials say again and again that Israel is facing increased threats in the region, together with unprecedented expansion of its international ties. It’s easy to dismiss those statements as political spin, since those challenges and opportunities weren’t enough for our representatives to get their act together and form a government, and now we’re going to a third election in a row.

Regardless of our leaders’ political ineptitude, Israel’s geopolitical situation is always complex, and 2020 does not look like it will be an exception.

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Ex-MP Ryan: Labour moderates must stand up against antisemitism

The former MP, who did not stand for reelection last week, told ‘The Jerusalem Post’ she’s “relieved” that Jeremy Corbyn did not become prime minister, as he would be “a disaster” in the role.

Any moderates remaining in the UK’s Labour Party must have the moral courage to uproot “Corbynism,” hatred and antisemitism at the party’s core, former Labour MP Joan Ryan said on Sunday at the sidelines of the 11th annual conference of The International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue.

Ryan, who resigned from her party in February to join the Independent Group of former Labour MPs because of the antisemitism and hatred of Israel, called to “uproot the phenomenon of Corbynism, which promotes hate and antisemitism,” during a panel on antisemitism and BDS, saying that Corbyn “brought a culture of poison and incitement to the party.”

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Everyone is to blame for the third election – analysis

Public opinion polls show that people blame Netanyahu the most, then Liberman, followed by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz with a huge margin between them.

With a third election in less than a year on the way, a reasonable question to ask is how did we get into this predicament? And who is to blame?

No one is taking responsibility, unsurprisingly. Everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else. The Likud says it’s because of Blue and White, Blue and White says it’s because of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman says he has “zero percent” of a role in all this, it’s all the two big parties.

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EU think tank advocating for West Bank boycotts funded by occupied territories worldwide

The ECFR has close ties to the European Commission, with commissioners serving on its council, and its studies are often adopted by Brussels as EU policy.

The influential European Council on Foreign Relations accepts major funding from companies active in occupied territories worldwide, while pushing for the EU to exclude eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank and Golan Heights from agreements with Israel, according to a report by the Kohelet Policy Forum, an Israeli think tank.

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Netanyahu plays statesman in Portugal – analysis

The prime minister also argued that he has unique abilities to bolster US-Israel ties.

Multiple indictments on the way, with 333 planned witnesses for the prosecution, stalled coalition talks with a Wednesday deadline, a Knesset careening toward a third election in less than a year, and a leadership challenge in the Likud Party.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left all that behind for a quick jaunt to Portugal to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and discuss his favorite subject, as he described it himself: “The first thing we’ll discuss is Iran. The second is Iran. And the third is Iran.”

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Political paralysis could put Netanyahu’s trial on hold for months

A coalition is needed to hold an immunity vote in the Knesset, and even then, he needs a majority to get it.

Two political countdown clocks started ticking on Thursday.

The first started after President Reuven Rivlin officially gave the Knesset, represented by Speaker Yuli Edelstein, the mandate to find a MK supported by 61 of his colleagues to form the next government. That is a 21-day clock: The buzzer will sound on December 11 at midnight.

The second started when Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Since then, Netanyahu has 30 days – until December 22 – to ask the Knesset to grant him immunity from prosecution.

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