December 15, 2023
Special Edition
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Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

Denmark and Germany Announce Arrests of Terror Suspects, including Hamas Members - Jan M. Olsen (AP-Washington Post)
    Denmark and Germany announced Thursday the arrests of several terror suspects, including Hamas members suspected of plotting attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions in Europe.
    Danish police said three people were arrested across Denmark while a fourth was detained in the Netherlands.
    In Germany, authorities said three Hamas members were arrested.

Video: Another Mass-Surrender by Hamas Terrorists (Israel Defense Forces-X)
    Over 70 terrorists came out of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza with weapons in hand. This is what dismantling Hamas looks like.

Video: IDF Kills Hamas Terrorists Inside Tunnels in Gaza - Elisha Ben Kimon (Ynet News)
    The IDF and Israel Security Agency has revealed video from a recent operation in which IDF soldiers of the Combat Engineers' Yahalom unit killed terrorists underground in a major Hamas tunnel.
    IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said, "We have new combat methods that we will deploy to kill terrorists."
    "We will enter, plant explosives in locations we know terrorists frequent, and will wait for the right moment to kill them underground. The terrorists won't be safe underground."

IDF: One in Five Hizbullah Rockets Land in Lebanon - Sam Halpern (Jerusalem Post)
    Of the hundreds of rockets fired into Israel's north by Hizbullah in recent months, one in five fell short and struck inside Lebanese territory, the IDF spokesperson's unit said Thursday.
    In one barrage of rockets fired by Hizbullah this week, eight rockets landed inside Lebanon.

Israel Sends New Sa'ar 6 Corvette to Red Sea - Seth J. Frantzman (Breaking Defense)
    One of Israel's new Sa'ar 6 corvettes has been deployed to the Red Sea, the Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday, following increased threats from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
    The Houthis have been behind a series of missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea in recent weeks.
    Israeli defense systems and American Navy ships in the area have knocked down a number of those threats.
    The Sa'ar ships, built in Germany, have been fitted in Israel with the IAI Barak long-range missile interceptor as well as the naval version of the Iron Dome, called C-Dome.

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Cheering Hamas on Campus, Too Uneducated to Grasp How Grotesque That Is - George F. Will (Washington Post)
    The year 2023 marks the West's awakening from the grand illusion that large-scale, high-intensity warfare ignited by barbarians is a thing of the past.
    Today, the desire of Hamas to complete the Holocaust is applauded by moral cretins in academic cocoons, too uneducated to understand the grotesque pedigree of their enthusiasm.
    Today, academic ethicists at a safe distance are instructing Israel to be "proportionate" in its response to what was done on Oct. 7.
    Perhaps the students and faculty exhilarated by Hamas need to see pictures of what was done.
    So, give every U.S. college and university the 46-minute video that Israel compiled from Hamas cameras and other sources, showing the sadists inflicting their carnage.
    Challenge the schools to screen it. This would be disturbingly educational, but the schools, many of them uneasy about such things, should do it anyway.

American Jewry Raised $1 Billion for Israel in First Month of War - Canaan Lidor (Times of Israel)
    North American Jewry raised $1 billion for Israel in the first month of the war with Hamas, according to the report by Haifa University's Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies published Wednesday.
    The Jewish Federations of North America raised more than $600 million, with the remaining $400 million raised in multiple campaigns by communal and private organizations with a Jewish affiliation, including friendship associations supporting Israeli hospitals, universities and emergency services.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. National Security Advisor in Israel to Discuss Defeating Hamas
    National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his War Cabinet on Thursday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Gaza and our shared objective of defeating Hamas, while minimizing harm to civilians and ensuring the increased and sustained flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.
        Sullivan was briefed in detail on Israel's military campaign in Gaza, including its objectives, phasing, and setting conditions for shifts over time from high-intensity clearing operations to lower-intensity surgical operations against Hamas remnants. (White House)
  • Israeli Defense Minister: War on Hamas Will Last More than Several Months - Julia Frankel
    Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said it will take months to destroy Hamas, as U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Israeli leaders to discuss a timetable for winding down major combat in Gaza. Israeli leaders repeated their determination to pursue the military assault until they crush Hamas for its Oct. 7 attack.
        Gallant said Hamas has been building military infrastructure in Gaza for more than a decade, "and it is not easy to destroy them. It will require a period of time. It will last more than several months, but we will win, and we will destroy them."  (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Urging U.S. Not to Talk about Two-State Solution - Jacob Magid
    Israeli leaders have been privately urging the Biden administration to refrain from publicly talking about the two-state solution after Hamas' Oct. 7 terror onslaught, four Israeli and U.S. officials said this week. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, War Cabinet member Benny Gantz, and even Opposition chairman Yair Lapid conveyed their discomfort with the Biden administration's revived rhetoric regarding the need for a two-state solution since the war's outbreak.
        "A two-state solution after what happened on Oct. 7 is a reward to Hamas," said one Israeli official. "Netanyahu is the one saying it loudly and bluntly, but there truly isn't any appetite right now in Israel across the political spectrum for the idea of two states."
        A U.S. official said that Washington has no intention to tone down the public rhetoric regarding the need for a two-state solution. He said, "We have our own domestic politics and our global diplomatic standing to take into account. We're doing a lot for Israel, and they need to understand this is something we need to do."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Israeli President Says Now Isn't Time to Discuss Two-State Solution - Julia Frankel
    Israeli President Isaac Herzog said in an interview on Thursday that it is not the time to be talking about establishing an independent Palestinian state when the country's pain from Hamas' Oct. 7 attack is still fresh. Herzog is a former leader of Israel's Labor Party.
        "What I want to urge is against just saying two-state solution. Why? Because there is an emotional chapter here that must be dealt with. My nation is bereaving. My nation is in trauma. In order to get back to the idea of dividing the land, of negotiating peace or talking to the Palestinians, etc., one has to deal first and foremost with the emotional trauma that we are going through and the need and demand for a full sense of security for all people."  (AP-Washington Post)
  • IDF: Long War Still Ahead, Israel Has No Choice - Felice Friedson
    IDF international spokesman Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus said in an interview, "In order to dismantle Hamas, we said that we understand and know that it is going to be a long and difficult fight, that unfortunately we are going to have to pay a price in blood in order to achieve our goals, and that it will not be easy, but that our resolve is very clear. All of us... understand that we have to dismantle Hamas in order for Israeli civilians [who live near Gaza] to be able to go home....We are going to defeat Hamas. There is no other option."
        "Hamas will be dismantled, and as our forces on the ground advance, we uncover what Hamas is leaving behind. We're documenting everything, and we're also sharing it with the world so that everyone can see where international aid has gone, where it was supposed to have gone above ground, and where it evidently ended up underground in the hands of Hamas."
        Conricus says it's evident that Hamas has absolutely no regard for Palestinian civilians. "We see them looting UNRWA warehouses. We see them taking over humanitarian trucks and convoys. We see them stealing fuel. We see them stealing food and medicine that is intended through the generous aid of the U.S. and the help of Egypt and many other parts of the international community."
        "We've been saying all along that Hamas abuses the civilian population....Hamas is violating everything that is supposed to be holy, and any of the basic tenets of humanity. They are committing crimes against humanity on a daily basis."  (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Troops Dismantle Terror Infrastructure in Jenin - Elisha Ben Kimon
    Until a few months ago, IDF forces entering Jenin in northern Samaria suffered explosives, firebombs and constant riots. One of the commanders I spoke with at the time described it as "Lebanon in the heart of Israel." Since Oct. 7, more than 100 wanted persons were arrested, 60 terrorists were killed and 50 weapons were confiscated in 16 operations in Jenin.
        On a recent tour, Judea and Samaria Brigade Commander Brig.-Gen. Avi Bluth showed me the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin. Armed terrorists from the Jenin refugee camp are fleeing to the hospital in ambulances and hiding among the patients, using the patients as human shields. A few weeks ago, IDF forces captured a wanted man in an ambulance at the entrance to the hospital.
        This week, 1,400 soldiers, predominantly reservists, moved between the camp's alleys, detained hundreds of suspects, searched for hiding places, detonated tunnel shafts, and dismantled terrorist infrastructure.
        A security official said, "Today's Jenin is not like what it was before.... Infantry soldiers move here relatively easily and we work, going from area to area and cleaning it....The houses are empty, 80% of the residents here left already a few weeks ago. They realized that we are operating here with great force....They express resentment at the mess the terrorists cause here. They want us to work here. The IDF is forced to work in the camp simply because the Palestinian Authority is unable."
        "We are pushing the terrorists out," said Battalion Commander Lt.-Col. Tomer Brock. "We have a special [reservist] battalion made up of all types of people from Israeli society. They all dropped everything on Oct. 7 and just came here without a summons and without anyone telling them. We understood very quickly the severity of the situation and since then we have been here with the exception of a few visits at home. Morale is through the roof."  (Ynet News)
        See also 10 Armed Palestinians Killed in Jenin - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • The Oct. 7 Attacks Were the Most Barbarous Massacre of Israeli Civilians Ever - David J. Michaels
    Over more than two months of conflict, Hamas has perpetrated unspeakable atrocities among Israel's Jews and Arabs alike, while also imperiling Palestinian civilians by hindering their evacuation, firing and hiding among them, and diverting aid. The Oct. 7 attacks were the most barbarous massacre of Israeli civilians ever. Hamas glorifies the murder of Israelis, and it revels in terrorizing other Israelis in order to weaken the Middle East's only democracy and render it unlivable.
        But Hamas and its backers may have miscalculated. Israel's most fundamental raison d'etre is the prevention of the sort of pogroms Palestinians unleashed from Gaza, and their carnage instantly forged a resolve and unity among Israelis. Indeed, the credibility of Israelis - and the U.S. - as partners to moderate Arabs is dependent on ensuring that the jihadist model is seen as an unambiguous failure.
        Hamas scored certain ignoble "achievements" in October. But in the months to follow, Israel - the sole nation-state of a people that has outlived more than one genocidal fantasy - will do whatever possible to restore deterrence, attempting to lessen civilian harm while making the pogroms not worth their price.
        The writer is Director of UN and Intercommunal Affairs at B'nai B'rith International.  (U.S. News)
  • Pro-Hamas Protesters Are Sanctimonious Psychopaths - Dr. Jordan Peterson
    We are now exposed to the truly appalling spectacle of widespread demonstrations across the West supporting - explicitly or implicitly - the terrorists of Hamas. The main reason why Hamas has acquired so much support is the careless naivete and sheer blind heedlessness of the West in dealing with one of its most deadly national foes - Iran.
        We like to believe that differences in metaphysical and religious outlook can simply be overlooked in favor of the humanity we all hypothetically share. In consequence, we fail to seriously consider the very real differences that still exist. We believe we can wave the magic wand of goodwill, and have all such variance in opinion and outlook vanish at the borders. We also foolishly underestimate the persistence, strength and cunning of those who regard our virtues and freedoms as vices and historical accidents.
        Few would disagree that Israel is a highly successful nation. It is a society that hyper-values intellectual accomplishment and success. Does this make it admirable? Not to those for whom any sign of success whatsoever indicates the dynamic of victimizer and victim. Not to those who would rather assume that such success must be a consequence of some behind-the-scenes conspiracy.
        The descendants of the ancient Israelites are the universal canaries in the coal mine. If we allow those who are envious of their success to rule, or even to move among us unimpeded in their actions, we are most truly laying our necks, as well as theirs, on the line. The barbarians are no longer at the gate. They are inside - inside our cities, our civilization.
        The writer is a Canadian psychologist, author, and media commentator.  (Telegraph-UK)
  • Feminist Leaders Ignored Hamas Crimes Because the Victims Were Jews - Letty Cottin Pogrebin
    I despise Hamas for starting the war. I'm sad that the Palestinians rarely get the leaders they deserve. At the same time, as a Jew and as a woman, I refuse to let Hamas' brutal assault on Israeli women and girls be forgotten in the fog of war, lest the erasure of those unpleasant "details" facilitates the terrorists' campaign to rebrand themselves as "freedom fighters."
        In 2023, for Jewish feminists like myself, the women's movement's deafening silence about Hamas' sadistic abuse constituted a uniquely frightening betrayal. Some people are in denial. Rapes didn't happen, they say; Israel faked the murders. Others are chillingly dismissive of the victims, calling the sexual violence committed against Jews the unavoidable byproduct of a noble rebellion.
        You'd think it a no-brainer for decent people, regardless of their political views, to instantly and unequivocally condemn the unspeakable atrocities carried out by Hamas on Oct 7. If no one else, certainly the feminist community should have been quick to denounce the men who perpetrated such horrific acts against hundreds of Israeli women and girls. But to their everlasting shame, many of my feminist "sisters" have turned a blind eye, even as unimpeachable evidence, including survivors' testimony and footage from Hamas body cams, has mounted.
        If you know women who have been brandishing antisemitic pro-Hamas signs, ask them if they themselves would be willing to be governed by militant Islamic fundamentalists whose ideology is larded with violent misogyny, Jew-hatred, homophobia and male supremacy. You can be sure that women who now excuse Hamas travesties never would have forgotten or remained "neutral" about #MeToo sex predators.
        Gloria Steinem and I, both co-founders of Ms. magazine, pressed its current editors for in-depth coverage of the fate of women and girls on the ground in Israel. Ms. ran a piece on "Combating Terrorism and Misogyny Together" without even a passing mention of the events of Oct. 7. Can you imagine Ms. ignoring hundreds of Black or other women of color who'd been similarly victimized and massacred in one day? How did the blood of Jewish women become meaningless?
        The writer, a founding editor of Ms. magazine, is a co-convener of several Palestinian-Jewish dialogue groups. (Forward)

  • The Israeli public understands in the wake of Oct. 7 that we are not dealing with a normal entity that seeks territory or political independence, but with savages whose thirst for blood is only equaled by their passion to rape our daughters, and for whom the population of Gaza is not worthy of life, but just to serve as human shields.
  • In Hamas' eyes, all Israelis deserve to die. One cannot compromise with an entity whose foundational charter believes in the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews - a charter that is a modern-day Mein Kampf. If we were to do so, it would be as if the Allies had stopped fighting the Nazis as they invaded Europe.
  • In the Middle East, victory must be seen to be overwhelming and must resonate in a way the enemy understands and according to its codes. We must achieve such a victory even if we must fight on for many more months. We cannot suffice with eliminating ten thousand Hamas terrorists and leaving another twenty thousand free to operate in Gaza.
  • Hamas must be eradicated, not just dealt a heavy blow. This is our moral duty to the victims, to the residents of the western Negev communities, to all the citizens of Israel, and to the soldiers of the IDF who are putting their lives at risk.
  • Only then perhaps we will have a chance at peace, when they understand what price those who did to us as Hamas did will pay. In the meantime, we must fight on with full force.

    The writer served as Israel's Ambassador to Italy.
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