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

In-Depth Issues:

U.S. Weapons Pause Cheers America's Adversaries and Frightens America's Friends - Robert Satloff (X)
    The U.S. decision to publicly vow to hold up delivery of weapons to Israel at a critical moment in wartime cheers America's adversaries and frightens America's friends.
    This decision runs the risk of causing more civilian casualties and extending the Gaza fighting so long that it hurts Biden's reelection chances.
    It is not easy to come up with a lose-lose policy but I fear this is it.
    The Administration should be pursuing the exact opposite strategy - working closely with Israel to conclude main battle operations (i.e., Rafah) as quickly and efficiently as possible.
    The writer is Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Israel: U.S. Weapons Pause Could Sabotage Hostage Talks - Barak Ravid (Axios)
    Senior Israeli officials have warned that the unprecedented Biden administration decision to pause a weapons shipment to Israel could jeopardize efforts to secure a deal for the release of Israeli hostages.
    The Israelis are concerned that Hamas will not move from its positions when it sees the level of U.S. pressure on Israel.
    Israeli officials told the Biden administration that it needs to put pressure on Hamas, not on Israel.

Israel: Biden's Pause of Arms Encourages Our Enemies - Charles Bybelezer (JNS)
    Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said Thursday that President Biden's decision to withhold weapons shipments gives hope to Israel's enemies.
    "I think it's quite clear that any pressure on Israel, any restrictions imposed on Israel, even if they are from close allies who want our best interests, are interpreted by our enemies - and that could be Iran, Hamas and Hizbullah - as something that gives them hope to succeed in their goals."
    "If Israel is restricted from entering such an important and central area such as Rafah, where thousands of terrorists, hostages and the leaders of Hamas are still present, how exactly is the goal of destroying Hamas supposed to be achieved?"

U.S. Jewish Organizations Blast Biden's Decision to Halt Military Aid to Israel - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
    After President Joe Biden announced his administration would halt military aid to Israel should the IDF launch a military operation in Rafah, American Jewish Committee CEO Ted Deutch wrote, "It is Hamas that started this conflict."
    "It is Hamas that continues to endanger Israeli and Palestinian lives. President Biden should not take steps that could impair Israel's ability to prevent Hamas from attacking it again and again."
    "The U.S. knows that defeating Hamas is critical to Israel's long-term security and to defeating the global threat posed by the Iranian regime and its proxies."
    The Democratic Majority for Israel, which supported and funded Biden's election campaign, wrote, "We are deeply concerned about the Administration's decision to withhold weapons now and potentially impose further restrictions."
    "A strong U.S.-Israel alliance...plays a central role in preventing more war and making the path to eventual peace possible. Calling the strength of that alliance into question is dangerous."
    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee wrote, "It is dangerous and counter to American interests to deny our ally the weapons necessary to remove Hamas from power and prevent it from ever attacking Israel again."

The U.S. Should Know Better, Given Its Track Record on Civilian Deaths - Micah Halpern (Jerusalem Post)
    Quite frankly, the hypocrisy and holier-than-thou attitude of the U.S. toward Israel is truly infuriating.
    The U.S., too, kills civilians in war. The death of civilians is, unfortunately, a part of the cost of war.
    Good nations, like Israel and the U.S., don't target innocent civilians. They try their best to minimize civilian casualties.
    According to a report in the Guardian (Sep. 7, 2021), the U.S. is responsible for the killing of at least 22,000 civilians - perhaps as many as 48,000 - since 9/11.
    The U.S. knows full well that, sometimes, innocent civilians are hurt in war. But the U.S. is refusing to extend that same understanding to Israel - the country that has, by all other accounts, set the gold standard for civilian death ratios.
    The constant haranguing of Israel by the U.S. over the accidental deaths of innocents, the unavoidable deaths of innocents during wartime, constitutes an immoral attack against an ethical army that is doing its best to prevent civilian casualties, even to the point of often endangering its own forces.

Biden Withholds Bombs to Spare Hamas in Rafah - Editorial (Wall Street Journal)
    The Biden Administration confirmed this week it is blocking the delivery of weapons to its main ally in the Middle East.
    The message from the White House is that Israel shouldn't have large bombs or small bombs, dumb bombs or smart bombs, and let it do without tank shells and artillery shells too.
    Now isn't a good time to send the weapons, you see, because Israel would use them.
    U.S. officials explain that the goal of the embargo is to prevent a wider Israeli attack on the Hamas stronghold of Rafah, home to Hamas leaders, hostages and four military battalions.
    If Israel can't complete its invasion of Rafah, Hamas wins.
    No matter how fiercely the President trumpets his "ironclad" support for Israel, his denial of weapons now puts the Jewish state in danger.
    Israel is at war, assaulted on multiple fronts. Denying it U.S. arms is an invitation to its enemies to take advantage, in hostage talks and on the battlefield.
    It hasn't been four weeks since Iran attacked Israel directly, in the largest drone attack in history, plus 150 ballistic and cruise missiles, while Hizbullah fires dozens of rockets each day, depopulating the north of Israel for seven months and counting.
    Israel needs to be ready now, and its enemies need to know the U.S. stands behind it. That's why Congress approved military aid to Israel in April, 79-18 in the Senate and 366-58 in the House.

UNRWA Staff Stealing and Selling Humanitarian Aid, Gazans Report (UN Watch)
    Senior UNRWA staff are stealing aid and selling it for profit, while those who report it face reprisals, according to numerous reports published by Palestinians in an UNRWA-related chatroom.

Poll: 47 Percent of Americans Oppose, 28 Percent Support Pro-Palestinian College Protests - Taylor Orth (YouGov)
    Nearly half of Americans (47%) oppose the pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses, while around one in four (28%) support them, according to a YouGov poll of 9,012 adults conducted on May 1-2, 2024.
    American Muslims support the protests by 75% to 14%; Jewish Americans oppose them by 72% to 18%.
    31% say their sympathies lie more with the Israelis, 17% more with the Palestinians, and 28% with both sides equally.

Former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman Calls for Support for Israel to "Finish the Job" in Gaza - Lee Harpin (Jewish News-UK)
    Former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman on Tuesday backed an Israeli invasion of Rafah to ensure it "finishes the job to eliminate Hamas from Gaza."
    "We all want peace. We all want to see the end of civilian fatalities. But sometimes countries must fight for peace," she told MPs in the House of Commons.
    "Israel has a right to defend herself and a duty to protect her people from the brutal terrorist cult of Hamas." 

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Emergency Rescue Volunteers Describe "Ambulance of Death" from Oct. 7 - Adir Yanko (Ynet News)
    Three seasoned ZAKA emergency rescue volunteers told Ynet about evacuating bodies from the "Ambulance of Death" hit by a Hamas anti-tank missile on Oct. 7.
    Roi Salomon, 46, said, "Close to ten people hid inside the ambulance, burned to such a degree that it was hard to gather everything there.... Some bodies had melted....There were heaps of burnt bodies stuck together."

Comparisons between Student Protests in 1968 and 2024 Are All Wrong - Michael A. Cohen (MSNBC)
    There is increasing talk about how the campus protests today bear similarity to those opposing the war in Vietnam. These comparisons are wildly off base.
    In 1968, there was a national draft scooping up 18-year-olds into the military, while 17,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam and more than 87,000 were wounded that year.
    Today, college students might be enraged about the situation in Gaza, but virtually none of them has that kind of skin in the game.
    In 1968, Vietnam was one of the pre-eminent issues on the minds of American voters, forcing incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson to bow out and end his bid for re-election.
    The war in Gaza is not a primary issue of concern for voters; it doesn't even crack the top 10.
    In a recent Harvard poll of voters aged 18-29, Israel/Palestine ranked 15th out of 16 on their list of the most important issues facing America. Even among Democratic voters 18-29, Gaza ranks 13th.
    For all the coverage that campus protests are receiving, we're talking about a tiny number of students on an issue that the vast majority of young voters either don't care about or don't understand.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Biden Says He Will Stop Sending Bombs and Artillery Shells to Israel If It Launches Major Invasion of Rafah - Kevin Liptak
    President Joe Biden told CNN on Wednesday that he would halt some shipments of American weapons to Israel if it launches a major invasion of the city of Rafah. "Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers," referring to 2,000-pound bombs that Biden paused shipments of last week.
        "I made it clear that if they go into Rafah - they haven't gone in Rafah yet - if they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities - that deal with that problem....I've made it clear to Bibi and the war cabinet: They're not going to get our support, if in fact they go on these population centers."
        The president's announcement that he was prepared to condition American weaponry on Israel's actions amounts to a turning point in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Until now, the president had strongly supported Israel's efforts to go after Hamas.
        "We're not walking away from Israel's security. We're walking away from Israel's ability to wage war in those areas," Biden said. "We're going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks that came out of the Middle East recently. But...we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells."
        Israeli officials privately expressed to U.S. officials "deep frustration" on the pause in shipments as well as the U.S. media briefings on the decision. (CNN)
  • U.S. Paused Shipment of Thousands of Bombs to Israel amid Rafah Rift - John Hudson
    The Biden administration paused the shipment of thousands of weapons to Israel amid mounting concern about its plan to expand a military operation in southern Gaza, U.S. officials said Tuesday. The disclosure marks the first known instance of a pause in U.S. arms transfers since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack into Israel that killed more than 1,200 people.
        A U.S. official described the move as a "shot across the bow," intended to underscore to Israeli leaders the seriousness of U.S. concerns about the offensive in Rafah. The shipment being prepared for delivery to Israel last week included 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs, the officials said. The Biden administration is reviewing other planned transfers including 6,500 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which convert free-fall bombs into precision-guided weapons.
        Despite the pause, the Israeli military has enough weapons to conduct the Rafah operation if it chooses. None of the pauses apply to the billions of dollars in additional Israel aid passed by Congress last month. (Washington Post)
  • Lawmakers Criticize Pause in Arms Shipment to Israel - Brad Dress
    President Biden's move to pause a shipment of arms to Israel has drawn criticism in Congress. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and House Armed Services Chair Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said Wednesday they were "appalled that the administration paused crucial arms shipments to Israel." Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) asked Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, "Does this not send the wrong message to our ally Israel and embolden Iran and Iranian-backed groups? We should not be signaling to [our] enemies that our support is conditional."
        Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told Fox News on Tuesday, "It seems everyone is pushing against Israel when we should be pushing against Hamas. We should not be using our support, our ammunition, our weapons platforms, to leverage against Israel."  (The Hill)
        See also Sen. Graham: "Give Israel What They Need to Fight the War They Can't Afford to Lose" - Mike Brest
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday expressed his frustration with the administration's decision to pause a military aid transfer to Israel during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing. "If we stop weapons necessary to destroy the enemies of the state of Israel at a time of great peril, we will pay a price. This is obscene. It is absurd. Give Israel what they need to fight the war they can't afford to lose." Graham told Fox News on Tuesday, "That is a strategic mistake for the ages. It makes terrorists more likely to keep fighting. It puts Israel at a very big disadvantage."
        Israeli leaders have maintained that they need to go into Rafah to ensure the lasting defeat of Hamas. The Israelis had delayed their planned operations in Rafah at the behest of the U.S. (Washington Examiner)
        See also Biden Faces Blowback from Democrats over Israel Weapons Pause - Andrew Solender
    President Biden is facing unusually harsh criticism from some Democratic lawmakers for pausing shipments of weapons to Israel. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) said the move "makes a mockery of our credibility as an ally." Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) said: "I strenuously disagree....We have to stand with our key ally throughout all of this." Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) said that Israel is "surrounded by danger, they need the tools to defend themselves." Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) said, "Hamas is also getting the message...and that means the war is going to go on."  (Axios)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • U.S. Signals Backing for "Limited Operation" after IDF Takes Over Rafah Crossing - Jacob Magid
    The Biden administration appeared to signal its initial approval of the operation launched by Israel on Tuesday to take over the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. "What we've been told by our Israeli counterparts is that this operation last night was limited, and designed to cut off from Hamas' ability to smuggle weapons and funds into Gaza," White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Wednesday.
        State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said, "Hamas was continuing to collect revenue from that crossing being open. So it is a legitimate goal to try and deprive Hamas of money that they could use to continue to finance their terrorist activities."
        Miller also pushed back on the claim made by Hamas on Monday that it had accepted the truce proposal that was on the table. "That is not what they did. They responded with...a counterproposal," he said. "Hamas did not accept a ceasefire proposal."  (Times of Israel)
  • Hamas Ceasefire Terms Would Let It Keep Most Hostages, Win the War, Inflame the West Bank - David Horovitz
    A close examination of the Hamas document outlining its counterproposal for a ceasefire agreement shows that it is constructed to ensure that Hamas survives the war and regains control over Gaza. In fact, Hamas can abrogate the deal, with all of its key goals achieved and then some, while continuing to hold almost all of the hostages. The document leaves no doubt about Hamas' intentions. You just have to read it.
        The Hamas proposal is structured to enable it to release very few of the hostages in return not only for an end to the IDF's campaign in Gaza and its survival and resumption of full control there, but also for a planned surge in support for Hamas in the West Bank and a potential major escalation of violence against Israel in and from the West Bank.
        It states that Palestinian security prisoners will be released "based on lists provided by Hamas." It means that, in the very first days of the deal, Hamas would be able to secure the release of hundreds of the most dangerous and iconic terror chiefs and murderers, including at least 150 serving life terms, in return for the release of very few of the hostages. The release of these prisoners to the West Bank would be perceived by West Bank Palestinians as an astounding humiliation for Israel and a stunning victory for Hamas.
        The euphoria accompanying the return of the prisoners would cement Hamas as the peerless champion of the Palestinian cause, fueling soaring support for Hamas in the West Bank and the dawn of a new era of escalated violence and terrorism against Israel. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Gaza War

  • Israeli Control of Rafah Border Crossing Undermines Hamas' Rule in Gaza - Ron Ben-Yishai
    The IDF's control of the Rafah border crossing into Egypt on Monday is a serious blow to Hamas control of Gaza, which was the intent of the offensive. Hamas did not deploy to fight the offensive and the area was taken within a few hours.
        The Rafah border crossing is the primary source of income for Hamas, which charges $5,000 for each adult Gazan seeking to cross into Egypt, and $2,500 for each child. Imports used to produce weapons and equipment to dig underground tunnels also pass through the crossing. (Ynet News)
  • In Seizing Rafah Crossing, Israel Turns Tables on Hamas' Stalling Tactics - Yaakov Lappin
    The decision by Israel's War Cabinet to order the Israel Defense Forces to seize the Rafah crossing is strategically significant, as it will negatively impact Hamas' ability to smuggle weapons and people back and forth from Sinai. The crossing is part of the wider Philadelphi Corridor running along the Gaza-Egypt border, which has for years been a central supply line for Hamas smuggling.
        The IDF's entry into Rafah also puts pressure on Hamas, demonstrating that Israel is not deterred from entering this last Hamas stronghold despite significant international pressure. As such, the move dramatically challenges Hamas' months-long stalling tactics.
        Hamas' leadership has been using Gaza's civilians and the Israeli hostages, as well as international pressure and condemnation of Israel, to play for time and pressure Israel into an agreement that would amount to a devastating Israeli surrender. (JNS)
  • Hamas Is Playing for Time - Jonathan Spyer
    Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, his brother Mohammed, and Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif are almost certainly not currently besieged in a bunker in Rafah. In fact, it is not even certain if the Hamas leaders and their hostages are still in the Rafah area and a battle in the town would not necessarily represent Sinwar's last roll of the dice. While a failure to go into Rafah more or less guarantees an Israeli strategic defeat in the war, entry into the town does not make Israeli victory a sure thing. Victory requires the taking of Rafah, but also additional successes.
        The situation in Gaza is subjecting Israel to an ongoing erosion in its international standing. It has returned the Palestinian issue to front and center. Hamas will also be aware of the waves of pro-Hamas protests in European and American campuses and capitals. Hamas' Gazan leadership is doubtless also aware of the strains being placed on relations between the U.S. and Israel, as a result of sharp differences over next military steps.
        It is in Hamas' interest to allow all these processes to continue and deepen. As a result, Hamas leaders will continue to play for time, confident that it is at present on their side. (Spectator-UK)
  • Hamas Will Be Destroyed in Rafah, Against the Wishes of the West - Col. (ret.) Richard Kemp
    Hamas' agreement on Monday to a ceasefire deal that was never on the table was yet another ruse to buy time and build international pressure to halt a major IDF operation in Rafah. An IDF move into the terrorists' final stronghold in Rafah has been delayed far too long - the result of months of fruitless negotiations over release of hostages. Yet Israel had little option other than to play along while even the smallest glimmer of hope existed. The delay was also brought about by pressure from the U.S. and other Israeli allies.
        Israel is going to have to deal with Hamas by an offensive in Rafah if it is to achieve its goal of dismantling the terrorist threat to its citizens. Israel must push on with its plans and not buckle to international pressure, no matter how great. Failure to do so would amount to nothing less than strategic defeat.
        The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK's national crisis management committee, COBRA.  (Telegraph-UK)

  • Anti-Israel Protests

  • UK Protestors Can't Hide Their Ignorance - Nigel Biggar
    The widely broadcast pro-Palestinian protests in the U.S. have inspired some Oxford students to pitch their tents outside the Pitt Rivers Museum, decrying Oxford University's historic complicity in the British Empire's "disastrous colonial legacies" in Palestine. It remains dismaying that 301 Oxford academics and staff have signed an online letter declaring their support of the students' demand that the university disinvest from "Israel's genocide in Gaza." The signatories represent a fraction of the 15,000 professors, research staff, and doctoral students at Oxford.
        Yet, what should still dismay is that highly educated grown-ups in one of the world's leading universities have got their history, ethics, and law so wrong. The simplistic postcolonial stereotype of "colonization" comprises the invasion and seizure of land from native peoples by rapacious settlers. But before 1914, the land in Palestine on which Zionists settled had been purchased from Arab landlords. Moreover, many of the settlers were refugees from murderous pogroms in Russia.
        In 1922 the League of Nations mandated Britain to administer Palestine, in order to build a new independent Arab state and a Jewish homeland out of the ruins of the irredeemable Ottoman Empire. After Britain unilaterally withdrew from Palestine in 1948, invading Arab armies attempted to crush the infant State of Israel in 1948-9. When Arab troops occupied Jerusalem, Jews were forced out, and about 900,000 more were driven from Arab countries. Thus, the actual history of Zionist settlement in Palestine cannot be squeezed into the simplistic postcolonial template of "colonization."
        As for ethics, the large-scale killing of civilians by itself doesn't amount to a violation of the laws of war. Most of the Anglophone West regards the war to defeat genocidal Nazism in 1939-45 as morally justified. Yet one estimate has it that British and American bombers killed over 350,000 non-combatants in Germany. Air raids over France killed 70,000 French civilians.
        When there are sufficiently compelling reasons for fighting - say, self-defense against a manifestly genocidal Hamas - those civilian casualties may be, tragically, justified. That's why the laws of war don't forbid the killing of non-combatants as such, but only their intentional and disproportionate killing.
        The writer is Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology at the University of Oxford. (Telegraph-UK)
  • I've Read Student Protesters' Manifestos. This Is Ugly Stuff. Clueless, Too. - Max Boot
    Today's pro-Palestinian protesters are their own worst enemies. The students are not succeeding in forcing universities to divest from Israel, and even if they were, it wouldn't have much impact on Israel's economy. Mainstream figures in both parties are right to denounce the demonstrators' anti-Israel and even anti-Jewish bias and their disruptions of campus life.
        The protesters are usually described as being opposed to the war in Gaza and in favor of Palestinian rights. In truth, the groups organizing these protests are opposed to the very existence of what they call the "Zionist project." A manifesto from Columbia University Apartheid Divest, endorsed by 94 student groups, makes no mention of all the violence perpetrated against Israel, including the horrifying Hamas attack on Oct. 7 and the Iranian drone and missile strike on April 13.
        While denouncing alleged Israeli atrocities, the manifesto has not one word of censure for Hamas or its brutal tactics, which include seizing hostages and perpetrating sexual violence, in addition to committing wholesale murder. Even though the protesters claim to care about Palestinian lives, they do not denounce Hamas for stealing international aid to build its tunnels and missiles or for using civilians as human shields. They call for Israel to stop fighting but not for Hamas to release its hostages.
        The protest movement's ideologues see Israel as merely an "imperial outpost in the Arab world," even though Jews have lived in the area since antiquity. The National Students for Justice in Palestine website denounces "bourgeois democracy" and showers praise on the fundamentalist Houthis ("Yemeni comrades stopping commerce in the Red Sea").
        Although the students are failing to achieve their ostensible goals, they are getting to enjoy the thrill - and the media attention that comes with it - of revolutionary performance art. They have managed to shift attention from what's going on in Gaza to what's going on on U.S. college campuses. That's a victory for self-regarding student radicals - not for Palestinians. (Washington Post)
  • A Thank-You Note to the Campus Protesters - Bret Stephens
    Dear anti-Israel campus protesters: Supporters of Israel like me have reasons to give thanks to militant anti-Zionists like you, who demonized anyone who supports Israel's right to exist - which includes a vast majority of Jews - as modern-day Nazis?
        For every student who became ardently pro-Palestinian during the protests, another one, perhaps a Jewish student with previously indifferent feelings about Israel, finally saw the connection between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. For every professor who lent support, you've lost a fair-minded liberal with your Maoist-style sloganeering and your arrogant disdain for the genuine fears of some of your Jewish peers.
        And for every commencement ceremony whose cancellation you've effectively forced, or which you intend to spoil, thousands of apolitical students have taken an intense and permanent distaste to you and everything you stand for. In short, the game you're playing is paying bigger dividends for my side than it is for yours.
        I am a Zionist for the most personal of reasons: because I see Israel as an insurance policy for every Jewish family, including mine, which has endured persecution and exile in the past and understands that we may not be safe forever in our host countries. That kind of insurance is one Jews can't afford to lose. What happened on Oct. 8 - the moment your protests began - gave me a glimpse into what America might yet become for Jews if people like you were to gain real power.
        I get that many if not most of you see yourselves as dedicated idealists who want to end suffering for Palestinians. There are ways you could do that without making common cause with people who hate Jews, want to kill us and often do. You are my daily reminder of what my Zionism is for, about and against. (New York Times)

  • Palestinian Arabs

  • A Palestinian State Will Lead to More Massacres - Bassam Tawil
    Since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has repeatedly spoken of the need for a "pathway" for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem. Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan have already demonstrated that they are capable of making peace with Israel without the establishment of a Palestinian state.
        The Palestinians themselves are the biggest obstacle to the establishment of a state of their own. Palestinian leaders have squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid and failed to create adequate state institutions and a free and vibrant democracy.
        Blinken's claim that a Palestinian state would "isolate" Iran and its proxies is pure nonsense. Iran, its proxies and Qatar would doubtless be extremely happy if the Biden administration would allow them to establish a terrorist state on Israel's doorstep, to be used by Iran and its terrorists as a launching pad for more Oct. 7-style massacres of Israelis. It is Israel - not Iran - that will find itself "isolated" and surrounded by Iran-backed Islamist terrorist groups thirsting for Jewish blood.
        Blinken's claim that establishing a Palestinian state would bring security and stability to the Middle East is counterfactual. Palestinians had an independent Palestinian state in Gaza. For years prior to Oct. 7, Hamas fired tens of thousands of rockets and mortar shells from Gaza at Israeli cities and towns. The Egyptians accused Hamas of working closely with Islamist terrorist groups in Sinai who were responsible for killing Egyptian soldiers and civilians.
        The new Palestinian state will not only be used to attack Israel, but also to undermine security and stability in neighboring countries, especially Jordan and Egypt. Moreover, by continuing to obsessively promote the delusional idea of a Palestinian state, the Biden administration is sending a message to the Palestinians that it wants to reward them for launching the deadliest, most sickening, attack on Jews since the Holocaust. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Antisemitism

  • President Biden: Too Many People Are Denying, Rationalizing, and Ignoring the Horrors of the Holocaust and the Oct. 7 Massacre
    President Biden addressed the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's annual Days of Remembrance ceremony on May 7, 2024: "During these sacred Days of Remembrance, we grieve. We give voice to the 6 million Jews who were systematically targeted and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War Two....We must keep telling the story. We must keep teaching the truth. We must keep teaching our children and our grandchildren. And the truth is we are at risk of people not knowing the truth."
        "Growing up, my dad taught me and my siblings about the horrors of the Shoah at our family dinner table. That's why I visited Yad Vashem with my family as a senator, as vice president, and as president. And that's why I took my grandchildren to Dachau, so they could see and bear witness to the perils of indifference, the complicity of silence in the face of evil."
        "This ancient hatred of Jews...was brought to life on Oct. 7, 2023. On a sacred Jewish holiday, the terrorist group Hamas unleashed the deadliest day of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Driven by the ancient desire to wipe out the Jewish people off the face of the Earth, over 1,200 innocent people - babies, parents, grandparents - slaughtered in their kibbutz, massacred at a musical festival, brutally raped, mutilated, and sexually assaulted. Thousands more carrying wounds, bullets, and shrapnel from the memory of that terrible day they endured. Hundreds taken hostage, including survivors of the Shoah."
        "Just seven and a half months later, people are already forgetting. They're already forgetting that Hamas unleashed this terror, that it was Hamas that brutalized Israelis, that it was Hamas who took and continues to hold hostages. I have not forgotten, nor have you, and we will not forget."
        "As Jews around the world still cope with the atrocities and trauma of that day and its aftermath, we've seen a ferocious surge of antisemitism in America and around the world: vicious propaganda on social media, Jews forced to hide their kippahs under baseball hats, tuck their Jewish stars into their shirts. On college campuses, Jewish students blocked, harassed, attacked while walking to class. Antisemitism - antisemitic posters, slogans calling for the annihilation of Israel, the world's only Jewish state."
        "Too many people denying, downplaying, rationalizing, ignoring the horrors of the Holocaust and Oct. 7, including Hamas' appalling use of sexual violence to torture and terrorize Jews. It's absolutely despicable, and it must stop."  (White House)

  • Other Issues

  • "Both Sides" and "Innocent Civilians": The Psychological Effect of Language in the Gaza War - Irwin J. Mansdorf, PhD
    The "both sides" mantra fails to assign responsibility and has permeated public discourse to create an ugly reversal of reality, where Israel is accused of genocide and Israelis and Jews are harassed and attacked openly on the road to what the Palestinian world has long sought and openly demands in Arabic: The elimination of Israel. The appeal of "both sides" is a psychological mechanism people use to assume an air of fairness. It is a delicately articulate "cop-out" cloaked in false righteousness and misplaced assumptions regarding "innocent civilians."
        Palestinian culture educates children to hate Jews, to glorify violence, to aspire to displace their neighbors and "return" to places they claim rightfully belong exclusively to them. Like most Palestinians, residents of Gazan overwhelmingly supported and even joined the massacre of Oct. 7. International political leaders decry the violence of Oct. 7 but then express sympathy for the people who still support the atrocities perpetrated by the Palestinians' heroes.
        Are there two sides? Israel is the side supplying humanitarian aid to an enemy population while the other is illegally holding hostages incommunicado. Barely a day passes in Israel that does not have another Palestinian civilian terror attempt, sometimes successfully, to shoot, stab, or run over Israelis. The hatred that fuels these actions has been part of the Gazan/Palestinian culture for years.
        The evidence to date shows that for most Palestinians, Hamas is something to be admired. Organized civilian opposition to Hamas and its ideological twin, the Palestinian Authority, does not exist. The amount of weaponry, hateful antisemitic literature, and escape tunnels found by IDF soldiers in the homes of "ordinary civilians" in Gaza belies the notion of benign innocence on the part of many Gazans. They are by no means without responsibility for their plight.
        The writer is a clinical psychologist and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center specializing in political psychology. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Deflating the Threat Posed by the International Criminal Court - Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch
    Experience has shown that the International Criminal Court (ICC), in its efforts to appease the Palestinians and vilify Israel, has been willing to disregard facts and the law and even make decisions lacking any jurisdiction. The prosecutor and the court have been willing to adopt factual and legal positions devoid of any basis, recognizing a state that does not exist and inventing its geographical territory, in explicit contradiction of multiple legally binding documents.
        Petitioning the UN to admit "Palestine" as a state is a fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords since it would have prejudged the outcome of the negotiations. Joining the ICC as a means to attack and delegitimize Israel further compounded the breach.
        As part of the Oslo Accords, Israel agreed to waive substantial tax income in favor of the newly created PA. According to the agreements, Israel collects the tax income on behalf of the PA and transfers it every month. The PA income from these taxes rose from 4.8 billion shekels in 2010 to 11.3 billion shekels in 2022. From 2016 through 2022, the taxes collected by Israel accounted for 75%-79% of the PA's annual tax revenue.
        While Israel waived the income so that the PA would use the funds to further the goals of the Oslo Accords for the benefit of the Palestinians and to prevent incitement to terror and violence and combat terror, in practice, the PLO/PA uses the funds to bankroll all of its practices that breach the Oslo Accords.
        From the outset, the PLO/PA has breached every single one of the commitments it made in the Oslo Accords. Yet Israel has continued to collect and transfer billions of shekels a year to the PLO/PA. Every month, Israel pays the PLO/PA for peace. Every month, the PLO/PA responds with terror and violence.
        Israel should give the PLO/PA an ultimatum: choose adherence to the Oslo Accords and their ensuing funds from Israel or choose unilateralism, the UN, and the ICC, and lose all the funds from Israel. Israel cannot be expected to continue funding its own demise.
        The writer served for 19 years in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps and was director of the Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

The War Against the Jewish Story - Yossi Klein Halevi (Times of Israel)
  • How is it possible that Israel, rather than radical Islamism, would become the villain on liberal campuses? That the most passionate outbreak of student activism since the 1960s would be devoted to delegitimizing the Jewish people's story of triumph over annihilation?
  • The anti-Zionist forces in academia have been preparing the ground for decades, systematically dismantling the moral basis of Zionist and Israeli history. The very origins of Zionism were transformed from a story of a dispossessed people re-indigenizing in its ancient homeland into one more sordid expression of European colonialism.
  • Next, the birth of Israel in 1948 was reduced to the Nakba, a Palestinian narrative of total innocence that ignores the ethnic cleansing of Jews from every place where Arab armies were victorious and the subsequent uprooting of the entire Jewish population of the Muslim world.
  • Post-1967 Israel was cast as an apartheid state - turning Zionism, a movement representing Jews across the political and religious spectrum, into a racist ideology and reducing a complex national conflict into a medieval passion play about Jewish perfidy.
  • Now, with the Gaza War, we have come to the genocide canard. To turn Israel into the world's arch-criminal requires erasure of the connection between the Land of Israel and the people of Israel. In the anti-Zionist telling, a 4,000-year connection that has been the heart of Jewish identity and faith is irrelevant, if not contrived outright by Zionists.
  • The relentless war against Israel is also erased. There is never any context to Israel's actions. Only by erasing Hamas' atrocities can Israel be turned into the villain of this war. Campus protesters are providing cover for Oct. 7 denial: The atrocities didn't happen, you deserved them, and we're going to do it again.
  • Another form of erasure is dismissing the history of peace offers presented or accepted by Israel and uniformly rejected by the Palestinian side. No offer - an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, the re-division of Jerusalem, the uprooting of dozens of Israeli communities - was ever sufficient.

    The writer is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.
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