NASA writes: NASA is making final preparations for its Perseverance Mars rover to collect its first-ever sample of Martian rock, which future planned missions will transport to Earth. The six-wheeled geologist is searching for a scientifically interesting target in a part of Jezero Crater called the “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough.”
NASA writes: Before NASA’s InSight spacecraft touched down on Mars in 2018, the rovers and orbiters studying the Red Planet concentrated on its surface. The stationary lander’s seismometer has changed that, revealing details about the planet’s deep interior for the first time.
NASA writes: A group of researchers is using artificial intelligence techniques to calibrate some of NASA’s images of the Sun, helping improve the data that scientists use for solar research. The new technique was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on April 13, 2021.
Yoram Schweitzer and Oded Eran write for INSS: The impending United States withdrawal from Afghanistan fulfills the goals of the three administrations prior to the Biden administration to end the US role as liberator, policeman, and funder of this divided and riven country, which it entered following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The American offensive in Afghanistan achieved its initial objectives, attacking al-Qaeda and toppling the Taliban regime, but subsequently the US failed to prevent the Taliban’s regaining power. The United States has vowed to respond harshly if it is attacked on its territory again, but Afghanistan’s neighbors are looking toward the future with concern given the vacuum left by the withdrawal. Furthermore, the narrative that will be disseminated by the Taliban and al-Qaeda alike about the victory of the fundamentalist Islamic muqawama (resistance) over a superpower could be a source of inspiration to other organizations in various regions, including in the Middle East. Israel and its allies in the West should prepare for the possibility that Afghanistan will return to being a base for global terrorism and a model for emulation.
Sima Shine writes for INSS: Iran is not in a hurry to return to the nuclear talks with the United States and will not return to negotiations before President-elect Ebrahim Raisi takes office. In the meantime, Tehran is accumulating important knowledge and experience for a decision to progress toward nuclear weapons, and in the international arena there is increasing doubt regarding the chance of renewing the nuclear deal. Under the auspices of the dialogue underway in Vienna, Iran is progressing on uranium enrichment to high levels, uranium metal production, and the operation of advanced centrifuges. The United States and Israel must prepare an alternative to the diplomatic path, which could come to an end. It is important to strengthen American deterrence vis-à-vis Iran, in part in order to strengthen those in Tehran who support returning to the deal.
Lev Stesin writes for BESA Center: The US is no longer the country that recovered from the Pearl Harbor disaster and won WWII, or that both morally and economically sustained itself throughout its prolonged ideological conflict with the Soviet Union. The people of the once great country are confused and disoriented. Once America’s feet of clay crumble, the colossus will never rise again.
go to BESA Center: The American Colossus May Crumble (besacenter.org)
Alex Joffe writes for BESA Center: A recent poll purports to capture the attitudes of American Jews regarding Israel and politics. While the poll boasts the sensational result that 22% of American Jews apparently think Israel is guilty of “genocide” against the Palestinians, a closer look shows that the poll was presented with a clear narrative arc designed to manipulate the respondents. Significantly, the poll was conducted by a progressive consulting firm on behalf of an allegedly impartial Jewish political organization that is in reality a spin-off of a Jewish Democratic organization. This gaslighting of Jews by other Jews on behalf of the Democratic Party and its progressive causes is in keeping with longstanding Obama-Biden-era practice.
go to BESA Center: Jews Gaslighting Jews: A Primer (besacenter.org)
Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen writes for BESA Center: Israel needs to formulate a new Jewish-Israeli story that is attuned to the challenges of the future. This requires a political leadership with a lofty spiritual stature.
go to BESA Center: Israel’s Fear: The Destruction of the Third Temple (besacenter.org)