April 30, 2024
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

Poll: 80 Percent of U.S. Voters Support Israel in Its War with Hamas (Harvard CAPS Harris Poll)
    According to a new Harvard CAPS Harris poll conducted on April 24-25, 2024, 80% of Americans support Israel in its war with Hamas.
    72% think Israel should move forward with an operation in Rafah to finish the war.
    67% think Israel is trying to avoid civilian casualties in the fighting.
    61% support a ceasefire only after the release of all hostages and Hamas is removed from power.
    80% think Iran is a danger to the U.S. and that it must be stopped from having nuclear weapons.
    Only 35% believe it is possible to negotiate a deal with Iran to stop it from obtaining nuclear weapons.
    67% say NATO countries have a responsibility to support Israel against Iranian aggression, including 71% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans.

Israel Recruiting Gazans to Help in Search for Hostages - Melanie Swan (Telegraph-UK)
    Israel's intelligence services have enrolled a swathe of new recruits from within Gaza to aid them in their search for the remaining hostages.
    It has become much easier to draw Gazans in to work for Israel after Oct 7, intelligence sources told the Telegraph, with offers of cash, immunity from prosecution, or physical safety.
    One source said a huge team of specialists trained to blend into the Palestinian community was currently working in key locations in the area.

Pro-Israel Camp Screens Footage of Oct. 7 Attack to Counter Pro-Hamas Protest at UCLA (Israel Hayom)
    Pro-Israel activists set up a large screen and loudspeakers at UCLA to play a taped loop of images from the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre in Israel.
    The video aimed to counter pro-Hamas and anti-Israel protests on campus.

U.S. Campuses Grooming Terrorists - Bassam Tawil (Gatestone Institute)
    While protesters at Columbia University and Yale celebrate Hamas and its "resistance" (a euphemism for violence and terrorism), Arabs have been ridiculing the "pro-Palestinian" demonstrators on American college campuses.
    For these Arabs, including some Palestinians, there is nothing "pro-Palestinian" about supporting Iran-backed Hamas.
    While there were some relatively small protests at a few universities in Jordan and Egypt, they did not come close to the wave of antisemitism sweeping U.S. campuses.
    Those who are chanting "we are all Hamas" are not helping the Palestinians of Gaza even slightly. They are being used by the terrorist group Hamas in its genocidal war against Israel and Jews.
    These students and faculty members are actually saying that they approve of the atrocities committed by Hamas over the past three decades, including suicide bombings, stabbings, and firing of thousands of rockets and mortars into Israeli cities.
    Loay Al-Shareef from the UAE wrote on social media: "Dear White Americans and Gen Zs who support or tolerate Hamas supporters on U.S. campuses, a gentle reminder from a credible Arab Muslim voice from the Middle East."
    "You are supporting a terror group with the same Islamist/ Muslim Brotherhood pathological creed that brought down the twin towers in Manhattan in 2001."
    "You would not survive a day in Gaza under Hamas, which demands that 'infidels' live with dignity only if they are subordinate to Islamists."

Congress Leads on Iran Sanctions - Andrew Ghalili (Wall Street Journal)
    The package of national-security bills recently signed into law contained important provisions expanding sanctions against Iran.
    The most significant Iran-related provisions are the Mahsa Amini Human Rights and Security Accountability Act, the Stop Harboring Iranian Petroleum Act, the Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act, and the Iran-China Energy Sanctions Act.
    The first two target high-level officials in the Islamic Republic. The other two support the U.S. position on Iran's largest source of foreign income - its petroleum industry.
    The Islamic Republic has been war-mongering for decades, and its threats and actions have ramped up amid America's accommodating policy.
    As the West has failed to deter Tehran from advancing its nuclear program, Iran's bad behavior has become more flagrant.
    Fortunately Congress has decided to reclaim its role in keeping the U.S. safe.
    The writer is a senior policy analyst at the National Union for Democracy in Iran.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Opposes ICC Probe of Israel's Conduct in Gaza - Danny Kemp
    The U.S. said Monday it opposed the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation into Israel's conduct in Gaza, amid reports that Israeli officials fear the Hague-based tribunal could soon issue arrest warrants. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, "We've been really clear about the ICC investigation, that we don't support it, we don't believe that they have the jurisdiction."
        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, "Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense. While the ICC will not affect Israel's actions, it would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the soldiers and officials of all democracies fighting savage terrorism and wanton aggression." Neither the U.S. nor Israel is a member of the ICC. (AFP)
  • U.S. Pushes Postwar Plan for Gaza - Missy Ryan
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought to press ahead Monday with plans for securing and rebuilding Gaza once the Israel-Hamas war ends, but reticence among the Arab nations that U.S. officials envision will help oversee the territory underscored the difficulty Washington faces in forging a "day after" blueprint. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas and ensure it cannot strike again, but has not signed onto any U.S.-backed plans for the future.
        Arab nations are reluctant to commit to providing troops or funding for Gaza. At a World Economic Forum event in Riyadh, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia cited the scale of devastation in Gaza and the possibility that foreign forces would be seen as new occupiers. "Whoever goes there, if they are seen or perceived to be there to consolidate the misery that this war has created, then they will be seen as the enemy," said the Jordanian foreign minister, Ayman al-Safadi. (Washington Post)
  • In Northern Israel, Clashes with Hizbullah Drive a Hospital Underground - Johnatan Reiss
    At the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, for the past six months nearly all of the hospital's staff members and patients have gone underground as strikes from Lebanon by Hizbullah, just six miles to the north, have intensified. Getting to the hospital's nerve center these days involves navigating past 15-foot concrete barricades and multiple blast doors, then descending several floors into a labyrinthine subterranean complex.
        The hospital is one of the most striking examples of how life in northern Israel has been upended since Hizbullah began launching near-daily attacks against Israel in October in solidarity with Hamas. Tens of thousands of Israelis have evacuated towns, villages and schools, and factories and businesses have been forced to close.
        The hospital had been preparing for such a scenario for years. "We knew this moment would arrive, we just didn't know when," said Dr. Masad Barhoum, the hospital's director general. "This is what I've been preparing for my whole life."
        The neonatal unit was the first to move below ground on Oct. 7, said Dr. Vered Fleisher Sheffer, the unit's director. "While everyone feels safer here, it's challenging because we are humans, and now we must stay underground." Her unit also went underground in 2006, during Israel's last all-out war with Hizbullah. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Border Police Officer Stabbed by Turkish Tourist
    A Border Police officer was injured Tuesday in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist, a tourist from Turkey, was neutralized. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas Fires 20 Rockets from Lebanon at Northern Israel - Emanuel Fabian
    Hamas terrorists in Lebanon launched 20 rockets at northern Israel on Monday. Most were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, while the others struck open areas near Kiryat Shmona, the IDF said. Later Monday, another barrage of at least 15 rockets was launched by Hizbullah at the Upper Galilee. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Dismantles West Bank Terror Cell on Its Border - Elisha Ben Kimon
    Alaa Nazzal, 29, was the mastermind behind the establishment of the terror battalion in the West Bank city of Qalqilya, less than 7 km. from the Israeli city of Kfar Saba. Nazzal received funding from abroad, including from Iran, to expand the terror network in the city, setting up command centers, safe houses, monitoring IDF forces, deploying snipers, manufacturing explosives, and smuggling in significant amounts of weaponry.
        Several months before the Gaza war, the IDF noticed an increase in terror attacks emanating from Qalqilya. "They were shooting from passing vehicles, planting explosives, carrying out luring attacks - one even right next to our base at the city entrance," explained Superintendent Daniel Gapso, a platoon commander in the Border Police.
        "We saw that each time we entered for operations, they were waiting for us, knowing exactly from where we would arrive and where we would depart. They employed groups of young boys from the neighborhoods to conduct surveillance for them in exchange for money. The observations were linked to cameras they had placed in the streets. The terrorists were on rooftops near the routes our forces traveled, and they would start shooting whenever our forces entered."
        The terrorists' goal was to ultimately launch terror attacks deep into Israeli territory. After intense efforts by Israel Security Agency and the IDF, Nazzal was eliminated in December and the terrorist cell was dismantled. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • The International Criminal Court and Israel - Editorial
    The Israeli media is flush with reports of imminent International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants for Israel's political and military leaders. If President Biden and British Prime Minister Sunak don't act, they risk finding Americans and Britons next under the gun.
        The Israeli high command has prosecuted a limited war in self-defense against a genocidal terrorist group. Israel has a civilian-to-combatant casualty ratio that compares favorably with other urban conflicts. Israel takes extraordinary measures to spare civilians, and it has disciplined and relieved officers for wrongdoing.
        The ICC prosecutor is supposed to investigate before indicting a world leader, not the other way around. An indictment now would be highly irregular and revealing of bias or great-power pressure. The ICC is supposed to complement national legal systems, intervening only when they are unable to investigate. Is that really the issue with Israel's Supreme Court - famous for its judicial activism and antigovernment tilt?
        There's a reason the U.S. isn't a party to the ICC and Congress has long authorized a President "to use all means necessary and appropriate" to resist ICC arrests of Americans and U.S. allies. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Hamas' Passionate Campus Supporters' Incoherent and Unrealistic View of the World - Walter Russell Mead
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken is barnstorming the Middle East to develop plans for a ceasefire and for postwar reconstruction in Gaza. American national interests demand that the U.S. resist Iran's drive to disrupt what is left of the post-Cold War order in the Middle East. Failure to stabilize the region could lead in the short term to inflationary gasoline price spikes, and in the longer term could seriously weaken Washington's position in the contest with the revisionist powers seeking to overturn the American order worldwide.
        Many of Hamas' most passionate campus supporters believe that the organization wants to establish a secular Palestinian state. They also believe that Israeli Jews are European immigrants displacing an indigenous population - white settlers who should go home to Poland. They think that Israel survives only because America supports it and that an American president who "gets serious" with Israel can make it do almost anything he wants.
        They see Hamas as part of a global coalition of "progressive" movements advancing causes such as climate change, democracy and LGBTQ rights against global capitalism. But the wisest heads in the world all working together couldn't craft a feasible diplomatic strategy based on such an incoherent and unrealistic view of the world.
        The writer, a fellow at the Hudson Institute, is Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Palestinians' Global Empire - Lee Smith
    Why should the Palestinians bother with arduous negotiations leading to compromise over establishing a Palestinian state when they already have something far greater and much rarer? Empire. The ongoing marches around the world to "flood" Western cities, college campuses, and government offices, and halt traffic on major thoroughfares in support of Hamas, are evidence that the Palestinians have managed to create something much loftier.
        Oct. 7 represents the high-water mark of their long campaign against the Jews. With the intifada globalized, millions of supporters are cheering their champions, who kidnapped, raped, executed, and beheaded children. The protesters' goal is hardly a two-state solution. Rather, the ceasefire they're calling for is a tactic to strangle Israel's war effort.
        The crushing military defeat suffered by the Palestinians will hardly matter, as long as the U.S., alongside Europe and the Gulf Arab states, stand ready to rebuild and revitalize the Palestinians, a society that celebrates death as its highest value. The source of their steadfastness - their ability to replenish their arsenal and other military infrastructure - is, in fact, a luxury repeatedly afforded them by the U.S. and its European partners.
        The Palestinians have immolated themselves and their children many dozens of times in their efforts to burn down Israel. Their culture is so devoted to death that its highest purpose is to extinguish itself in the service of killing others. Under the rules set by great powers to govern the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, anything is possible. Losing is winning. Crime is justice. Rape is love. Death is life. (Tablet)
  • Jerry Rubin, an Icon of the '60s Protests, Knew the Difference between Genuine Activism for Peace and Today's Violent Extremism - Adam Rubin
    While my father, Jerry Rubin, a renowned antiwar activist, advocated for peace and social justice, there is a dangerous trend in which certain factions, under the guise of antiwar sentiment, openly support violent organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah. These groups do not promote peace but rather espouse ideologies that promote violence and hostility towards Jews.
        There is a vast divide between genuine antiwar activism, which seeks to prevent conflict and promote dialogue, and the insidious agenda of those who use the rhetoric of peace to justify their support for organizations with violent aims. During the Vietnam War era, college students protested against the military draft and the war, not in support of the Viet Cong or calls for the eradication of South Vietnam.
        Today's purported intersectionality with LGBTQ/feminist rights is not only fictitious but also abhorrent. Hamas has perpetrated significant sexual violence against Israeli women, prohibits Palestinian women from property ownership, and executes individuals based on their sexual orientation.
        During the 1960s, protesters advocating for civil rights and against the Vietnam War often took to the streets, their faces uncovered, to demand change. It was the Ku Klux Klan that wore hoods to conceal their identities while perpetrating acts of violence and intimidation.
        At colleges like Columbia University, demonstrators are advocating for the murder of Israeli soldiers defending their homeland. These protesters are far from embodying antiwar sentiments; rather, they espouse a fervent enthusiasm for war, with chants like "Al Qassam you make us proud, kill another soldier now."
        Authentic peace activists recognize the importance of dialogue, negotiation, and mutual respect in resolving conflicts. They understand that lasting peace can only be achieved through compromise, understanding, and acknowledgment of the fundamental rights and aspirations of all people, while also rejecting terrorism as a means to achieving political goals. (Times of Israel)

  • The International Criminal Court's (ICC) reported intention to issue warrants for the arrest of Israel's senior governmental and security personnel shows that the international judicial body has been simply hijacked, politicized, abused and, to all intents and purposes, ruined.
  • From the very establishment of the court, Arab and Palestinian leaders have eyed the ICC as a potential target for their struggle to undermine the legitimacy of Israel, in addition to the various UN bodies that they have already politicized and ruined.
  • Despite the clear and basic requirement that only sovereign states may be party to the 1998 Rome Treaty which defines the aims and purposes of the ICC, the UN Secretary General accepted the Palestinian request to be recognized as a "state party" to the ICC. Thus, a non-existing, terror-oriented state was granted full party status in the ICC, although its sole purpose was not to advance the cause of international justice but to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.
  • Accompanied by some accommodating and politically-oriented prosecutors, the Palestinians have succeeded in manipulating the ICC into possibly issuing arrest warrants against Israel's leadership, while the brutal Palestinian Hamas perpetrators of the largest and cruelest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust apparently go scot-free and enjoy apparent immunity.
  • People like myself who were heavily involved in negotiating, drafting and creating the ICC and who are intimately familiar with its original aims and purposes cannot but shudder in fear at the unbelievable abuse of that Statute and of the noble aims and intentions of its founding fathers.

    The writer, Director of the Institute for Diplomatic Affairs at the Jerusalem Center, served as Legal Adviser and Deputy Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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