Jerusalem Center Initiatives and Impact (2017)

A Unique Model of Applied Diplomacy

The Jerusalem Center has developed a unique model of applied diplomacy, involving rapid responses to current events and challenges based on top-level research and expertise, tailoring an effective response to the issues to reach key target audiences.

The Center was strengthened in the past year with the return of Amb. Dore Gold in October 2016, after 16 months of service as Director General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Jerusalem United: Fifty Years of Freedom

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s unification – and in response to UN resolutions that sought to deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem – Amb. Gold created an original, world-class presentation of 3,000 years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, with the assistance of Israel’s finest, state of the art multi-media technology. This exciting sensory experience brings sacred sites and ancient documents to life while telling the story of the Jewish people’s unbreakable connection to Israel and Jerusalem through the ages.

Amb. Dore Gold

In the live presentation, Gold offers compelling visuals of archaeological treasures, rare documents, vintage photos and clandestine film footage that brings the historical record to life, offering irrefutable evidence of the Jewish people’s persistent ties to Jerusalem.

Amb. Gold has brought his presentation to the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America in New York and the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, as well as the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London, England’s oldest think tank.

Palestinian Authority Payments to Terrorists

In the Jerusalem Center report Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families, Brig.- Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser detailed the official PA policy of allocating more than $300 million annually in payments to terrorists and their families.

This policy, based in PA legislation that reflects their ideology, demonstrates the PA’s institutional commitment to sponsoring terror against Israel and reflects the core identity of the general Palestinian public. These payments are not mere social welfare payments to needy families, but are scaled to increase according to the severity of the crime (and length of incarceration). Thus, mass murderers and their families receive payments far in excess of the funding received by the poor. Numerous terrorists have cited these payments as an incentive for their engagement in terror attacks.

In the wake of a wide-ranging campaign aimed at government leaders and opinion-makers who could no longer ignore the issue, the issue of PA payments to terrorists has achieved a place of prominence on the American political agenda.

Congress is now moving to pass the Taylor Force Act, named after a West Point graduate who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv on March 8, 2016, which would cut U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it stops payment to terrorists. JCPA research has provided the critical data to understand the law proposal.

Learning from Israel How to Cope with Terrorism: Lessons for the West

Europe is urgently seeking ways to contend with a new wave of Islamic terror. This new situation is affording Israel a unique opportunity to work with European nations on common problems. Israel has positive and important lessons to offer other nations in this realm due to its decades of experience in dealing with terror attacks.

Book cover

Jerusalem Center expert Fiamma Nirenstein, a former Vice President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Parliament, brought together a team of experts to discuss how democracies can fight terror. Their findings appear in the volume Lessons from Israel’s Response to Terrorism.

Participants in this study include Amb. Freddy Eytan, a former Foreign Ministry senior advisor who served in Israel’s embassies in Paris and Brussels; Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs; Amb. Alan Baker, former legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Prof. Asa Kasher, Professor Emeritus of Professional Ethics and Philosophy at Tel Aviv University and author of the IDF’s Code of Ethics; and Dr. Irwin Mansdorf, a clinical psychologist who has worked with the psychological consequences of Hamas rocket attacks on the Israeli civilian population.

On May 25, 2017, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs hosted a dinner at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem attended by the Ambassadors of Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Greece, Poland, Belgium, and the European Union in order to introduce Lessons from Israel’s Response to Terrorism.

Jerusalem Center President Amb. Dore Gold stressed the commonality of the European countries and Israel in facing the threat of jihadist terror, which makes no distinction between countries. He added that effective solidarity and coordination among all states is an essential factor in the war of the Western countries against jihadist terror.

Fiamma Nirenstein explained that the publication provides the European countries with the most recent and updated lessons of Israel’s experience in dealing with terror, and Israel is willingly offering this information in order to assist Europeans in meeting the challenges they presently face.

BDS Unmasked : Radical Roots, Extremist Ends

The global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) leadership has intensified its multi-front assault against the State of Israel. Many believe BDS is a progressive, nonviolent movement to boycott Israeli goods produced in the disputed West Bank. This is a deception. The BDS leadership’s publicly stated goal is to delegitimize and isolate Israel internationally with the strategic objective of causing its implosion.

Dan Diker, former director general of the World Jewish Congress, directs the Jerusalem Center’s Political Warfare Project and its Program to Counter BDS. He authored the Center’s 2016 book, BDS Unmasked : Radical Roots, Extremist Ends.

There is a sharp point of intersection between anti-Semitism and the BDS phenomenon, with its destructive libels against Israel. Today’s anti-Semitism is based on arguments against the very existence of the Jewish state.

The Palestinian strategy of “denormalization” of relations with Israel, in contravention of the Oslo peace accords, is an essential feature of the overall Palestinian BDS campaign. The Palestinian leadership refuses to cooperate with Israel in most fields including culture, sports, trade, and commerce, which prevents improvements in the daily lives of Palestinians and perpetuates economic hardship among many Palestinians, whose condition is then used as a weapon against Israel.

Whose Land Is This?

Jerusalem Center experts recently explored the essential question of “Whose land is this?” in a pair of essential articles. In “The Jews:  One of the World’s Oldest Indigenous Peoples,” Alan Baker, former legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, notes that the Jewish People for more than two millennia has consistently maintained the strongest claim to be the aboriginal people in its ancestral homeland, and their existence and roots are widely documented, acknowledged, and recognized.

In “Who Are the Palestinians?” Pinhas Inbari, a veteran Arab affairs correspondent for Israel Radio, debunks Palestinian claims that they are descended from the Canaanites. He notes that according to Palestinian historian Muhammad Y. Muslih, during the entire 400-year period of Ottoman rule (1517-1918), “There was no political unit known as Palestine.” After the First World War, the Palestinians defined themselves as part of Syria. The Zionists called themselves “Palestinians” – with institutions such as the Anglo-Palestine Bank and the Palestine Post – while the Arabs simply identified themselves as Arabs, with institutions such as the “Arab Higher Committee.” Almost every Palestinian family describes its origins as either from Egypt, the northern Arabian tribes or Yemen.

Daily Alert

The Jerusalem Center’s highly-acclaimed Daily Alert Israel news digest has evolved beyond an email newsletter to become a multi-platform publication involving:

  • a daily email newsletter to 31,378 subscribers (on Oct 24)
  • a website updated daily (in Sept. 2017, dailyalert.org registered 197,663 monthly pageviews by 30,243 unique visitors)
  • a mobile version formatted especially for cellphones
  • an RSS web feed
  • an invaluable archive of all back issues since 2002
  • a searchable database of 68,000+ articles

The Jerusalem Center on the Internet: Proven Impact

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs operates one of the largest website networks in the world focusing on Israeli security, regional diplomacy, and international law – in English, Hebrew, French and German. In the month of July 2017 alone, Jerusalem Center websites registered 1,223,172 pageviews by 192,069 unique visitors.

The Jerusalem Center’s English website offers more than 5,000 full-text articles by leading experts, while the Center’s Daily Alert database offers every back issue of Daily Alert since 2002 as well as excerpts from nearly 70,000 Israel-related news stories.

Jerusalem Center videos maintain a strong following, with the video Jerusalem: 4000 Years in 5 Minutes attracting 120,122 views in July 2017 alone. Dore Gold discussed the Temple Mount crisis in Beyond the Debate Over Metal Detectors, which attracted 20,000 views in the same period. In light of the debate surrounding the decertification of the Iran deal, the Center released two videos: Inspections and Monitoring: The Weak Link in the Iran Nuclear Deal and There Is a Precedent for Renegotiating Flawed Agreements. These videos were part of the Center’s new “Diplomatic Dispatch” series, produced by the Center’s Institute for Contemporary Affairs, founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation.

In social media, the Center’s Twitter followers numbered 21,600 (as of August 2017) – among them many of the leading Middle East experts, journalists and diplomats. The Center’s Facebook followers number 16,084, while subscribers to our YouTube channel number 12,173. In a comparison of the 15 leading Israeli think tanks, the Jerusalem Center consistently ranks at or near the top in website traffic and social media impact, according to independent measures.

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The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, under the leadership of Amb. Dore Gold, continues to focus on the key challenges facing Israel, presenting Israel’s case to the world with the help of a top-rank team of experts with decades of hands-on experience in security, diplomacy and international law. With the help of our supporters, the coming year will see the Center continuing its fight on Israel’s behalf on the world stage.