April 9, 2024
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

Islamic Jihad Prisoners Say All Gaza Hospitals Used as Military Bases - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
    Tariq Silmi Ousa Abu Shlouf, the spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad's political office in Gaza, confessed during his interrogation that Hamas and other terror organizations use all hospitals in Gaza as military bases, the IDF revealed on Monday.
    He said they "use all hospitals because they have internet and electricity there 24/7. They choose certain places. For example, they take two rooms from the X-ray department, two from the triage department, and two from the internal medicine department."
    He also admitted that they use hospital ambulances for transporting senior, wanted individuals.

Remember the American Hostages in Gaza - Jessica Hornik (National Review)
    Of the 250 people taken into captivity by Hamas on Oct. 7, 130 are still held in Gaza six months later, including five Americans.
    Edan Alexander, 19, grew up in Tenafly, N.J., and volunteered for the Israeli army after graduating from Tenafly High School.
    Omer Neutra, 22, from Long Island, N.Y., volunteered for the Israeli army after a gap year in Israel and was planning to return to attend Binghamton University. His parents describe him as "an all-American kid" who loves the NBA.
    Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, was born in California and lived in Virginia before immigrating with his family to Israel. He was at the Nova music festival. Video of his capture shows him missing his left arm below the elbow.
    Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35, was seized while trying to protect his community at Kibbutz Nir Oz from the terrorist invasion.
    Keith Siegel, 64, from North Carolina, immigrated to Israel many years ago. He and his wife, Aviva, were abducted from Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Aviva was released in November.

Donations to Israel since Oct. 7 Top $1.4 Billion - Asaf Elia-Shalev (JTA)
    Organizations and individuals around the world have donated at least $1.4 billion toward Israel's recovery from the attack of Oct. 7, according to a new report published by Israel's Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.
    The report includes fundraising by Jewish federations, crowdsourced campaigns, and "Friends of" charities benefiting the Israel Defense Forces and Magen David Adom, the national emergency service.
    At least 350 Israeli nonprofits along with several government agencies have received donations from abroad to help with medical and emergency services, mental health support, aid for victims of terrorism, and economic needs.
    Some 58,000 volunteers flew to Israel to volunteer for military service, agricultural work, and with organizations supporting Oct. 7 victims and evacuees.
    Separately, the Israeli government borrowed $1.7 billion through the sale of Israel Bonds, with $300 million coming from American state and local governments.

Iranian Soccer Fans Boo during Moment of Silence for General Killed in Damascus - Rachel Fink (Ha'aretz)
    On Saturday night, Iranian soccer fans in Tehran's Aryamehr Stadium were asked to observe a minute of silence in honor of Revolutionary Guard General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, who was killed in an airstrike in Damascus.
    Instead, spectators began booing and blowing air horns.

A Record 419 Humanitarian Aid Trucks Enter Gaza on Monday (Jerusalem Post)
    419 humanitarian aid trucks were inspected and transferred to Gaza on Monday, the most since the start of the war, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said Monday evening.
    Additionally, 258 packages with thousands of meals were airdropped over Gaza and 29 food trucks entered northern Gaza.
    COGAT also published photos on Monday showing food markets fully stocked in northern Gaza on Sunday.
    See also A Record 322 Humanitarian Aid Trucks Transferred to Gaza on Sunday (Times of Israel)

Iran's Currency Reaches Historic Low (Iran International)
    Iran's currency, the rial, reached another historic low on Saturday, dropping to 653,000 per U.S. dollar, marking a nearly 30% decline since January.

Al-Shifa Hospital and the Crisis of the West - Brendan O'Neill (Spiked-UK)
    The West's activist class is raging against Israel over its incursions into al-Shifa Hospital.
    They're saying Israel should back off and let the people who are already in the hospital - Hamas - do their thing. It's a pro-terror stance masquerading as peace activism.
    Much of the media has given an entirely skewed view of the al-Shifa battle.
    They've virtually invisibilized Hamas, giving the impression that Israel laid waste to a hospital for fun.
    Alex Crawford of Sky News tweeted about "the utter destruction" of al-Shifa following a "two-week-long Israeli bombardment."
    That's it? No mention of the army of anti-Semites that was the object of this Israeli "bombardment"? No reference to the other party in what eye-witnesses describe as "fierce fighting"?
    If you only get your news from X, you could be forgiven for thinking Israel "destroyed" this hospital because it is that evil.
    CNN put up a video of the destruction and invited us to take a look at "what's left of the al-Shifa complex after the Israeli siege."
    After terrorists turned a medical facility into a frontline in a war, you mean?
    The whitewashing of Hamas' involvement in the al-Shifa battle is a crime against truth.

UK Poll: 57 Percent Say UK Should Not Suspend Arms Exports to Israel - Rebecca McPhillips (Telegraph-UK)
    In a new Telegraph poll, 57% of over 20,000 readers voted that the UK should not suspend arms exports to Israel.
    Many readers argue that Hamas is to blame, Hamas started the war with Israel, and the UK Government must enable Israel to overcome its enemy.

Just One in Four British Muslims Believe Hamas Committed Murder and Rape in Israel - Camilla Turner (Telegraph-UK)
    Only 24% of British Muslims believe that Hamas committed murder and rape in Israel on Oct 7, compared to 62% of the general public, a poll commissioned by the Henry Jackson Society found.
    46% of British Muslims said they sympathize with Hamas. 32% want to see Shariah law implemented in the UK.

Israel: Six Months after Terrorists Attacked - Ruth Marcus (Washington Post)
    Israelis, of all political persuasions, feel besieged and misunderstood.
    Six months after a day on which more Jews were murdered than since the Holocaust, Israel finds itself nearing the status of international pariah.
    Does it reflect the ugly reality that much of the world has never accepted the existence of Israel as a Jewish state?
    To visit the sites of the Oct. 7 atrocities, as well as to speak with survivors, feels as gut-wrenching as visiting a concentration camp, but it's as though the Holocaust were only months in the past, and the enemy as yet undefeated.
    It is to meet with a farmer who displays the broken chair, stashed in a Kfar Aza safe room, that saved his family. On Oct. 7, the farmer's son jammed the chair under the handle of the door of the safe room, designed to protect against rocket attacks, not terrorists in the house.
    This provides essential context about the degree to which Israelis experienced Oct. 7 as a threat to their existence and continue to believe their country will remain in peril if the enterprise of destroying Hamas' military capabilities is left unfinished.
    Tens of thousands of Israelis are still displaced from their homes near Gaza and the border with Lebanon, many living in hotel rooms.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Active Fighting Subsides in Gaza, but the War Is Not Over - Patrick Kingsley
    With the Israeli military's departure from southern Gaza over the weekend, active fighting there receded on Monday to its lowest ebb since a brief truce with Hamas in November. But both Hamas and Israeli officials suggested the war was not yet over. Analysts said the war had entered a new phase, one in which Israel would continue to mount small-scale operations across Gaza to prevent Hamas' resurgence.
        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that while Israel was still pursuing a deal to secure the release of its hostages in Gaza, it was also seeking "total victory over Hamas. This victory requires entering Rafah and eliminating the terrorist battalions there. This will happen; there is a date."
        The remaining Israeli troops inside Gaza are mostly guarding a supply road known as the Netzarim corridor that separates northern Gaza, including Gaza City, from the rest of the territory, as well as a buffer zone Israel created along the border. (New York Times)
        See also Israel to Buy 40,000 Tents to Evacuate Palestinians from Rafah
    Israel's Defense Ministry on Monday published a tender seeking a supplier of 40,000 tents for the evacuation of Palestinians from the Gaza city of Rafah. Israel has said it plans to evacuate civilians from the city ahead of its offensive. (AP-Times of Israel)
  • Tensions Build among Palestinian Rivals in Wake of Gaza War - Omar Abdel-Baqui
    Signs of a civil conflict between Hamas and its Palestinian rivals are beginning to build. Hamas last month detained several Palestinian Authority officials in Gaza and tried to prevent an aid convoy overseen by Palestinian Authority staff from traveling inside Gaza, accusing them of working with Israel.
        Meanwhile, Fatah, the party that controls the Palestinian Authority, last week issued a rare public rebuke of Iran, one of Hamas' primary funders and supporters, saying it rejects Tehran's attempts to dictate what happens in the region, while also criticizing the creeping influence of other foreign powers in Palestinian affairs. Much of the friction between the two dates back to 2007, when Hamas forcibly ousted Fatah from Gaza. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Defense Minister: IDF Withdrawal from Khan Yunis Is in Preparation for Rafah Operation
    Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday: "The withdrawal of the troops from Khan Yunis was carried out after Hamas ceased to function as a military organization in the city. The forces left to prepare for the operation in Rafah." IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said Sunday, "The war in Gaza continues, and we are far from stopping."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also In an Ever-Evolving Strategy, the IDF Pullback from Khan Yunis Is a Smart Move - Ron Ben-Yishai
    The redeployment of IDF forces from Khan Yunis is intended to allow the continuation of maneuvers there, employing a strategy of swift strikes and rapid relocations. This mirrors the tactics a month ago when IDF forces ostensibly withdrew from northern Gaza before launching a surprise raid on Shifa Hospital. The IDF's exit from Khan Yunis is designed, in part, to open up opportunities for intelligence-guided strikes that will catch Hamas terrorists off guard.
        IDF forces are less than an hour from any target location, including Rafah. All intelligence, air and ground fire resources currently active in Khan Yunis will remain in place. The redeployment signifies the IDF's assessment that the current operational and intelligence gains have plateaued. The new strategy reduces the forces' vulnerability to terrorist attacks by avoiding static positions. (Ynet News)
        See also Behind the IDF Withdrawal from Khan Yunis - Yaniv Kubovich
    Senior IDF officers said the decision to withdraw its forces from southern Gaza was decided on strictly for operational reasons, based on the security situation in the area, and not due to American demands. The 98th Division had been operating in the Khan Yunis area for four months. The IDF has long understood that keeping troops essentially static in Gaza, instead of moving them to fight in new areas, turned them into targets for terrorist cells.
        "Sometimes, you have to let the other side emerge from its hideouts," one senior officer explained. "To reach the power centers we haven't yet targeted, we sometimes have to operate in a way that lets the enemy think it has an advantage over us, so as to get them out of their comfort zone and push them to take action and come out."
        Israeli security sources say the Americans have made it clear they are not opposed to an operation in Rafah, but want to reduce the number of civilians in the city, and allow them to move to areas with better humanitarian conditions, a process which could take several weeks. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Continues to Strike Hamas in Gaza
    An Israeli fighter jet eliminated Hamas rocket launch official Hatem Alramery in central Gaza on Monday night, the IDF announced on Tuesday. Israeli forces also eliminated a terrorist in central Gaza who directly participated in the Oct. 7 massacre. An IDF combat team eliminated a number of terrorists in short-range battles using aircraft and sniper fire. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel's Naval Iron Dome Downs Hostile Drone near Eilat - Yoav Zitun
    For the first time, Israel intercepted a drone that had entered its airspace near the southern city of Eilat using a C-Dome interceptor missile launched from a Sa'ar 6-class corvette. (Ynet News)
  • 70 Percent of Israeli Evacuees from Gaza Area Are Home - Canaan Lidor
    Six months after the Hamas onslaught on Israel, 70% of Israelis who evacuated the area near Gaza have returned home, including 23,000 from Sderot, the government said Sunday. Amid a still-ongoing military operation against Hamas in Gaza, many view the rehabilitation of Israel's border area as a crucial mission not only for the economy - the area is a main agricultural and industrial asset - but also as a symbol and test of Israeli society's resilience.
        Kibbutz Kissufim, along with Be'eri, Kfar Aza, Netiv Ha'asara, and Nir Oz, are among 13 locales that were either too severely damaged or are too risky to be repopulated for the time being. Groundwork is underway in Omer, a municipality near Beersheba, for a new neighborhood of temporary homes to house Kissufim's population until the kibbutz is rebuilt sometime in 2025. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Israel Defense Forces Work to Protect Civilians - Not Kill Them - John Spencer
    The world mourns the tragic loss of World Central Kitchen workers in Gaza. Israel took responsibility and admitted the grave error very quickly. This is what law-abiding, moral, ethical military forces do even when they make mistakes in the fog and friction of urban combat.
        But, in fact, Israel has taken extraordinary measures to follow international humanitarian law and prevent civilian casualties and civilian harm. In their criticism, Israel's opponents are erasing a remarkable, historic new standard Israel has set. In my long career studying and advising on urban warfare for the U.S. military, I've never known an army to take such measures to attend to the enemy's civilian population, especially while simultaneously combating the enemy in the very same buildings.
        In fact, by my analysis, Israel has implemented more precautions to prevent civilian harm than any military in history - above and beyond what international law requires and more than the U.S. did in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
        The international community, and increasingly the U.S., barely acknowledge these measures, while repeatedly excoriating the IDF for not doing enough to protect civilians - even as it confronts a ruthless terror organization holding its citizens hostage. Instead, America and its allies should be studying how they can apply the IDF's tactics for protecting civilians.
        The writer is chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point.  (New York Post)
  • When Perceptions Ignore History - Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf
    Despite a quick Israeli investigation and acceptance of responsibility for the unintentional strike that killed seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Gaza on April 1, governments and world leaders were quick to condemn and demand a ceasefire. An academic study in 2018 showed that hundreds of medical facilities were targeted in various conflicts worldwide, including strikes carried out by American forces, which resulted in civilian casualties.
        Despite the history of unintentional civilian casualties as a "fact of war," with even the UN noting that 90% of wartime casualties are civilians, the rush to judgment against Israel continues.
        In a war where psychological factors play an essential role, perception often becomes a reality. The false and contrived perception of Israeli intentionality in the WCK tragedy may be misperceived and create obstacles to defeating Hamas and restoring stability and security to the region.
        Governments that benefit from fresh intelligence and understand battlefield reality know that Israel's behavior is within the limits of "just war" guidelines. To the degree that political expediency clouds moral judgment, any resultant policy adjustment represents a psychological victory for Hamas and other terror-based organizations.
        The writer is a clinical psychologist and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center specializing in political psychology. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Israel's Foes Use Aid-Worker Deaths to Try to Save Hamas - Jonathan S. Tobin
    A mistaken strike that caused the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers is being treated as not merely a tragic accident all too common in wars, but as a transcendent act that proves that Israel's tactics are too brutal to be allowed to continue. While the deaths of the aid workers were the result of a terrible blunder, the firestorm of criticism aimed at Israel since the incident isn't really about their tragic fate. The claim that Israel has engaged in an "indiscriminate" bombing campaign or is "over the top," as President Biden has claimed, simply isn't true.
        Mistakes in war always happen as U.S. wars proved. On his first day in office in January 2009, President Barack Obama ordered drone strikes in Waziristan, Pakistan, which led to the deaths of as many as 20 civilians. 540 strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq killed more than 300 civilians during his two terms in office, a number that might be underestimated since the strikes were conducted in areas where reporting casualties was not as organized as it is in Gaza.
        Obama would later joke that he had discovered in the White House that "it turns out that I'm really good at killing people," though no one in the press assumed that he was deliberately slaughtering civilians. (JNS)
  • Sinwar Could Not Care Less about a Deal - Prof. Eyal Zisser
    The U.S., Egypt, and Qatar, who have taken it upon themselves to mediate with Hamas for the release of the Israeli captives, are presenting new formulas day after day in an attempt to appease Hamas. Israel has shown a willingness to be flexible in its positions and make compromises and concessions - only to have Hamas keep hardening its stance, unwilling to make any compromise.
        Six months after the war began, it is clear to all that the traveling circus of Hamas' external leadership, who attend the talks with the mediators, has no real meaning or leverage. They are not the ones making decisions. That role falls to Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, hiding deep in a bunker somewhere.
        Sinwar does not mind that negotiations are taking place. In his view, they increase pressure on Israel from within and abroad. But it appears he does not want a deal, rather Israel's surrender to all his demands: a ceasefire and end to the war; withdrawal of the IDF from the strip; the return of Gazan refugees to their homes; the wholesale release of prisoners from Israeli jails; and, ultimately, guarantees and assurances for his safety and that of his men after the fighting ends.
        Sinwar does not care about the residents of Gaza. For him, they are "grease for the wheels of the revolution," expendable for the cause. What interests him is how the war he initiated against Israel will be remembered in the history books. If Hamas survives the war and emerges standing - in Sinwar's view, it will be a great victory that would only encourage him to continue on his path.
        The disparity between Israel's determination to continue fighting until Hamas is defeated, and the organization's desire to secure immunity for itself and end the war, cannot be bridged.
        The writer is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University. (Israel Hayom)
  • Recognition of a Palestinian State Will Be a Victory for Iran and a Reward for Islamist Terrorism - Amb. Freddy Eytan
    The president of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, says he has agreed with the leaders of Ireland, Malta, and Slovenia to take "the first steps towards the recognition" of a Palestinian state. Acts of recognition of a Palestinian state within the pre-June 1967 borders represent no significance other than an expression of political opinion.
        These actions and declarations contradict UN Security Council resolutions in favor of "secure and recognized" borders freely negotiated between the parties in a peace process sponsored by the international community and in accordance with Resolution 242. Negotiations are also a requirement of the still valid Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995.
        The writer is a former Foreign Ministry senior advisor who served in Israel's embassies in Paris and Brussels and was Israel's first Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Iran Is at War with the West, but Only Israel Is Fighting Back - Col. Richard Kemp
    Tehran claims that the air strikes which killed Iranian military commanders in Damascus were "Israel's latest war crime against a foreign mission with diplomatic immunity." They were nothing of the sort. The target was an Iranian command center coordinating military action against Israel, adjacent to the Iranian consulate. Israel is perfectly entitled to hit military facilities in another country that is engaged in active hostilities. It was merely the latest move in a war that Tehran itself has launched against Israel and the West.
        The flow of arms to Hizbullah could now be further impeded. Since Oct. 7, that terror group has launched missile strikes against Israelis near the Lebanese border, leading to the evacuation of nearly 100,000 civilians. Do Jerusalem's critics really expect it to sit back and let those attacks continue?
        But the real question is why it only seems to be the Israelis who are taking the Iranian threat seriously. Iranian proxies have attacked international shipping in the Red Sea and Iranian-backed militias have launched more than 150 strikes against U.S. forces in Syria, Iraq and Jordan since Oct. 7.
        Tehran is a major weapons supplier to Russia in its war against Ukraine. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Tehran has ordered hundreds of terrorist attacks and assassinations in more than 40 countries. Meanwhile, Tehran is on the verge of acquiring a nuclear capability.
        The response by the U.S. and its allies to all of this has been pitiful. Indeed, they have actively encouraged Iranian aggression by failing to respond in kind. Instead of appeasing Iran, our countries should stand by our Israeli ally in its vital defensive action, and maybe even consider taking a leaf out of its book.
        The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK's national crisis management committee, COBRA. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Gen. Amos Yadlin: The Problem Is Not Gaza. The Problem Is Iran. - Yaakov Lappin
    "I think by now everybody understands the problem is not Gaza. The problem is Iran. Iran is behind all of this," former head of Israeli Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin said on April 4. "Iran is enjoying the fact that Israel was diverted toward a front in Gaza. Most of the world is ignoring the fact that Iran continues to advance to a nuclear weapon."
        While Israel has spent years combating Iranian efforts to transfer weapons to Hizbullah and entrench itself in Syria, prior to Oct. 7 it was careful not to target Iranians, said Yadlin. However, when "Iran launched its proxies against Israel from Lebanon, from Syria, from Yemen, from Iraq, Israel changed the policy and "took off the gloves."  (JNS)
  • There Are Times when Civilization Depends on the Use of Lethal Force - Charles Moore
    On Thursday, 809 former judges, KCs, barristers, solicitors and academic lawyers wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak "reminding" him of his "obligations" under international law in relation to Israel's actions in Gaza and called for him to suspend "the provision of weapons and weapons systems to the government of Israel." By way of legal justification, the letter cited the "provisional order" of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in January which, it alleged, "concluded that there was plausible risk of genocide in Gaza."
        No, that is wrong, says Joshua Rozenberg, the Telegraph's former legal affairs editor. The phrase "plausible risk" does not occur in the ICJ's order. The court could not possibly have come to this view, as it had not heard evidence and made a judgment. All it decided was that South Africa's arguments for making a case before it were plausible enough to be heard. This suggests that the letter is political, and part of a wider political campaign.
        The help we get from the Israelis is greater than what we give them. We have a deep level of trust and technological synergy in intelligence. Do we want to break that trust? By breaking our arms trade with Israel, we would be sending a signal to other clients that when they get into difficult situations, we are ready to drop them.
        To resist the power of evil, it is sometimes absolutely necessary to use lethal force. Unfortunately, it is not the case, particularly when fighting people such as Hamas who have no scruples about murdering civilians or using them as human shields, that lethal force can always be neatly contained. If our societies cannot accept this, our own armies will be reduced to toothless peace-keeping forces and there will be precious little peace for them to keep. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Ignorance about Israel Provides Opportunity - Lawrence J. Haas
    Much of the world sees Israel as an "apartheid state," a uniquely prominent human rights abuser now committing genocide in Gaza. However, ignorance about Israel provides opportunity.
        In a recent survey of 250 college students, 85% supported the Palestinian chant "from the river to the sea." Many, however, couldn't identify that river or that sea, and many didn't know basic facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "After learning a handful of basic facts about the Middle East," the University of California at Berkeley professor who commissioned the survey wrote in December, "67.8% of students went from supporting 'from the river to the sea' to rejecting the mantra."
        Discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I've evoked blank stares when noting that Palestinian leaders have rejected multiple offers of statehood, that Palestinians overwhelmingly oppose a two-state solution and support Hamas' brutality of Oct. 7, and that the Palestinian Authority continues to pay pensions to the families of terrorists who kill Jews.
        So, for those who want to level the playing field of discussion about the Jewish state: relay facts, offer history, suggest reliable sources, and change the world - one blank stare at a time.
        The writer is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.  (National Interest)
  • Why Israelis Are So Happy - Gil Troy
    America has fallen out of the top 20 countries on the 2024 World Happiness Index. Israel finished fifth. Amid unspeakable suffering, Israelis have found comfort in one another and a higher calling. Israelis pursue happiness through family and community, by feeling rooted and having a sense of purpose. Belonging to communities teaches citizens to care about and cooperate with others.
        Despite disagreeing passionately, Israelis live in an intimate society that runs on trust and generates hope. Israelis feel they're never alone, and that their relatives and friends will never abandon them. Israelis don't count in days and decades but in millennia and eternity. They feel part of a bigger story, Jews' historical saga reaching back 3,500 years.
        Compare anti-Israel progressive students with their Israeli soldier peers. The pinched ideology of many protesters deems the U.S. systemically racist and is intent on sorting everyone by "gender identity" and skin color. They pessimistically compete for reparations and indulgences and trash traditional families, religion and America's noble story.
        Israelis didn't seek this war - but when attacked, they unleashed a patriotism, idealism, self-sacrifice and grit. Israelis' resilience, duty and love of life explain how this often polarized and besieged society remains such a happy place. Rather than demonize these heroes, protesters could learn from Israelis about the art of living.
        The writer is an American presidential historian and senior fellow in Zionist thought at the Jewish People Policy Institute. (Wall Street Journal)

Western Democracy's Future Depends on Israel's Victory - Gerard Baker (Wall Street Journal)
  • If the Biden administration forces a "ceasefire" that leaves our closest ally in the region short of victory over an enemy that seeks to destroy it, sooner or later we shall all pay the price.
  • Israel is battling, above all else, for its own survival. In a hostile region, it is also the sole standard-bearer of individual freedom, tolerant pluralism and self-rule. Contrast the condition of ethnic minorities, women, gays and dissidents in Israel with that of their counterparts anywhere else in the Middle East. We should give thanks every day for the sacrifices Israelis make at the fragile frontier of freedom.
  • Every Islamist terrorist Israel kills is one fewer threat to the rest of us. Every setback Israel can deal to the Iranian puppet masters of Hamas, Hizbullah and others inflicts a loss on the regime that is sworn to eliminate us, the "Great Satan."
  • There is no historical evidence that appeasing enemies committed to our extinction ever keeps us safe.
  • If Israel can somehow be bullied into forgoing victory over this enemy, our own capacity to wage wars inflicted on us will be dramatically diminished, setting a standard no nation taking necessary measures to protect itself would ever be able to meet, a standard to which our enemies will certainly never hold themselves.
  • If this is the way we fight modern wars, our enemies will have freedom to commit acts of bestial savagery on us, knowing that our own scruples will give them an insuperable advantage.
  • In World War II, the British political and military leadership decided on a strategy called "dehousing" German civilians: bombing cities to a level of destruction that would demoralize their inhabitants and make them turn on their Nazi government. The British people tolerated this morally doubtful approach because they had fresh in their minds the memory of the Blitz, when the Nazis successfully "dehoused" many British citizens.
  • Israel suffered an atrocity on Oct. 7 comparable to the Blitz, yet has worked with restraint to limit inevitable civilian losses. If it can't even be allowed to do that, we are placing impossible shackles on the fighting ability of democratic nations.

    The writer is a former editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal.

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