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Updates on Current Israel Situation

This web page houses all the information we have on the current situation in Israel and will be updated in real time as more details are made available to us.
Scroll down to see all information to date.

 

Briefing on Iran’s Nuclear Files

Late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the discovery of Iran’s secret nuclear files. Some have called the revelation “startling” and claim the documents are proof Iran is lying about its nuclear ambition. Others say that Iran has never violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which bans it from weapons production.

Join Dr. Jonathan Schachter, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, for a behind-the-scenes briefing on the secret files. This briefing is off-the-record.

The briefing will take place on Tuesday, May 29 at 12:00 pm (Eastern Time). Register here.

 

In the Media

Click here to read a letter submitted by Andrew Rehfeld and Gerry Greiman to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in response to the article, “US Embassy move to Jerusalem gives Israel an undeserved reward.”

 

Resources

Palestinians observe ‘catastrophe,’ temporarily shutter dozens of St. Louis-area businesses
KWMU interview featuring Andrew Rehfeld, Jewish Federation of St. Louis President & CEO

LIVE AUDIO BRIEFING May 15 at 3:00 pm (Eastern Time): Update on Israel-Gaza Border Clashes
Join top Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, who just returned from the border, for a live audio insider briefing.

Background: ‘Great Return March’ on the Gazan Border from Israel Action Network

Embassy Move & Jerusalem Facts from Israel Action Network

Jewish Community Relations Council Update on May 14, 2018

 

Updates from the American Jewish Committee (AJC)

AJC Insiders Briefing: Escalating Tensions Between Israel and Iran

Join the AJC for an off-the-record conference call exclusively for members of AJC’s National Leadership Council and Marshall Society.

Escalating Tensions Between Israel and Iran
Featuring: Lt. Col. (Res.) Avital Leibovich, AJC Jerusalem Director

Friday, May 11 | 12:00 pm (Eastern)

Dial-in Information**
U.S. & Canada: 866-548-4713
Passcode: 9314799

Join as AJC Jerusalem Director Avital Leibovich briefs members of AJC’s National Leadership Council and Marshall Society about events on the ground in Israel.

 

Updates from the Jewish Community Relations Council

We would like to share the Jewish Community Relations Council bulletins as a resource. Please click here to read their most recent news alert on the issue.

 

Briefing May 10 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time

The Jewish Federations of North America will be holding a live briefing with top Middle East analyst Dr. Robert Satloff on Thursday, May 10 at 2:00 pm (Eastern). Register now.

 

More Information about President Trump’s Announcement to Withdraw from the Iran Agreement (JCPOA)

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran agreement (JCPOA) has brought renewed attention to the prospects of a nuclear Iran. As this situation develops, it is important to recognize that both supporters and opponents of the Iran Agreement strongly oppose Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

While most global authorities found that the JCPOA was significantly setting back Iran’s ability to quickly develop nuclear weapons, it did not deal with other issues of terrorism nor did it stop Iran from restarting its ambitions at its conclusion—not without Iran risking future sanctions or armed conflict with other nations. There are good reasons that many of Israel’s own security establishments opposed Trump’s recent actions, even as its current elected leadership supports them.

Whether you supported the JCPOA or opposed it, it is important to understand why the prospect of a nuclear Iran should terrify us. The leadership of Iran continues to spew annihilationist, anti-Semitic language against Israel, condones anti-Semitism and promotes terrorist activity, particularly against Israel. We must not ignore these stated threats, particularly with a regime set on securing nuclear weapons.

There are three different reasons to fear a nuclear Iran based on the three kinds of risks that it poses to Israel and world security.

The first risk of a nuclear Iran is strategic. As a matter of strategic policy, a nuclear Iran changes the relationship between Iran and Israel, along with other nations in the Mideast because it frees Iran to act in a way that Israel’s nuclear capability now constrains it. The strategic threat of a nuclear Iran is that it would take the regional power structure away from Israel’s dominance that has protected Israel from conventional military harm. With a nuclear weapon, it could wage a conventional attack with less concern that Israel would use the nuclear option itself. This strategic shift is the reason why Saudi Arabia has aligned with Israel in their opposition to Iran’s nuclear program.

The second risk of a nuclear Iran is the whole-scale physical destruction of Israel through nuclear weapons deployed by the Iranian government. While this is a possibility and consistent with its leadership’s rhetoric, it seems unlikely for strategic reasons. A detonation of Iranian weapons in Israel would create radioactive fallout that would head east towards Iran and across other Arab States, leading to a possible mobilization of regional forces that would harm and possibly destroy Iran. It would also come with significant international response detrimental to the current Iranian regime.

The third and most fearful threat to Israel of a nuclear Iran comes from its continued support of a range of terrorist organizations in the region, organizations that operate under a much different strategic logic. With Iran’s history of fueling terrorism in the region and a stated commitment to destroy Israel, a nuclear Iran significantly increases the probability that a non-state actor would secure a nuclear device and detonate it in Israel.

Given our people’s history of facing the irrational hatred of anti-Semitism, even to the point of suicidal self-destruction, it would be foolhardy and irresponsible to dismiss these three risks as empty. They are all real. They are all bad. Moreover, they are all very disturbing.

It is for these reasons that supporters of Israel have worked hard to prevent Iran from ever securing nuclear weapons, even if they disagree about the right path to achieve this shared objective.

 

Important Message from Andrew Rehfeld about President Trump’s Announcement to Withdraw from the Iran Agreement (JCPOA)

As has been widely reported and expected, on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, President Trump pulled out of the Iran Agreement (JCPOA).

In the summer of 2015, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis issued a statement strongly condemning Iran’s nuclear ambitions as a risk to global security and a specific threat to Israel. This represented a unanimous position of our leadership and a strong consensus position of our community.

Recognizing that there was deep disagreement within the community about whether the JCPOA would advance or hinder Iran’s ambitions, the Federation took no position on the agreement itself. We have no current comment on Trump’s decision to withdraw.

While the full consequences of President Trump’s decision are unlikely to be known for a period of time, the withdraw may have more immediate consequences for our work and the security of Israel.

Currently, there are some concerns that Iran will “send a message” via some kind of terror attack on Israel from the North through Syria. We will update our community as developments happen and if we will need to mobilize to support.

The Jewish Federations of North America will be holding a live briefing with top Middle East analyst Dr. Robert Satloff on Thursday, May 10 at 2:00 pm (Eastern). Register now.

If you have any questions or wish to provide feedback, please contact me directly.