June 4, 2024
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

Hizbullah Rockets Spark Major Fires in Northern Israel - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    Rockets fired by Hizbullah on Sunday caused fires that consumed 10,000 dunams (2,471 acres) of foliage in open areas, including nature reserves, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said.
    Dozens of firefighters worked for hours to gain control of the blazes in the Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee.
    See also Hizbullah Drone Sparks Fire in Nahariya; 120,000 More Israelis Now within Hizbullah's Range - Yair Kraus (Ynet News)
    In Nahariya, a city of 66,000 people in northern Israel, residents rushed to bomb shelters three times on Sunday following a series of sirens.
    A Hizbullah drone fell in the city, marking the first direct hit since the beginning of the conflict. Several attempts to intercept the drone were unsuccessful.

IDF Downs Ballistic Missile Headed toward Eilat (Reuters-Ynet News)
    The IDF used an Arrow missile interceptor on Monday to shoot down a surface-to-surface missile launched in the Red Sea area, after sounding sirens in Eilat to send residents to shelters.
    Eilat has come under repeated long-range attack by Yemen's Houthis.

Israel Foils Hamas Suicide Bombing Plot Directed from Turkey - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    The Israel Security Agency said Monday that in December 2023, Anas Shurman, a Palestinian from Tulkarm who resides in Jordan, was recruited by Imad Abid, a Hamas operative living in Turkey, to carry out a suicide bombing on behalf of Hamas against a target inside Israel.
    Shurman filmed a last will, took motorcycle lessons for the attack, and received funds and instructions to carry out the bombing, including where to collect the explosive device in the West Bank.
    The large fragmentation bomb weighing 12 kg. was seized by the ISA from a spring.
    Shurman and additional Hamas members from Nablus, who were involved in manufacturing the bomb and hiding it, were detained.

Americans Stand with Israel and We Need to Prove It to the World - Sen. Lindsey Graham (Fox News)
    When you reward behavior, you get more of it. That's basic psychology.
    The ICJ, ICC, Ireland, Norway and Spain are incentivizing continued attacks on the Jewish state and fueling antisemitism, and are not operating within the bounds of reality.
    By unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state - without definition - these countries have thrown gasoline on the raging fire of antisemitism and made every problem in the Middle East worse. Now, Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran are emboldened.
    Supporting Israel unequivocally is the U.S.'s best interest. We will fight back.
    It is time to stop the madness. Murderous, religiously fanatic terrorists are the problem, not Israel.

Yemen's Houthis Training to Invade Israel (Times of Israel)
    Yemen's Houthis have in recent months carried out a series of training exercises to prepare for a potential invasion of Israel.
    Israel's Channel 11 aired footage of Houthi forces in a live fire exercise training to conquer the city of Dimona in Israel.
    Armed men were seen running house to house in a large mockup of an urban area.
    A Yemeni journalist noted that the drills are also aimed at preparing for any direct confrontation with the U.S., UK, or UAE.
    Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi says the Houthi army can muster 350,000 fighters.
    Al-Houthi said a request had been made to the countries between Yemen and Israel that they "open land passages for the movement of hundreds of thousands of my people in order to carry out jihad in Palestine."

How Hamas Turned Gazan Homes into Weapons Depots - Yaakov Lappin (JNS)
    In its war against Hamas, the IDF is operating in an environment where a significant percentage of buildings and homes in Gaza are filled with weapons.
    The mass installing of weapons in civilian homes is part of Hamas's entrenchment program that turned Gaza into a terror fortress that lacks any parallel in the world.
    A large number of civilian households have been repurposed into storage centers for AK-47s, anti-tank missile launchers, RPGs, bombs, mortars, IEDs and sniper rifles.
    This is so terrorists can walk the streets in civilian clothes, arrive at a weapons pick-up center, and begin attacking.
    To dismantle this hidden infrastructure, the IDF must clear each area house by house.
    While some civilians may be coerced into storing weapons, others are willingly involved, making it difficult to distinguish between combatants and noncombatants.

Survey: Sentiment toward Israel among U.S. Religious Audiences (Religion News Service)
    A new survey of 2,033 Christian adults conducted on March 8-14, 2024, shows that support for Israel among evangelicals is largely based on age and Biblical knowledge and has not been substantively impacted by the current Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.
    The current conflict generates a negative view of Palestinians and Muslims, with a decrease in the image of Muslims, a decrease in support for an independent Palestinian state, and a larger blame for Palestinians in the conflict.
    Catholics are the least supportive of Jewish interests and causes, and exhibit the highest support for antisemitic tropes.
    Yet their views remained stable between 2022 and 2024, meaning that the current crisis has not substantively altered Catholic opinions.
    While mainline Protestant denominations have been active in supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the 2024 survey shows that 80% of mainline congregants have never even heard of the BDS movement and only 7% support it.
    Thus, the views of the mainline clergy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are out-of-sync with the views of the congregants.
    The researchers found that attitudes toward Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict vary among first-generation immigrants based on the length of their residence in the U.S.
    "The longer one resides in the U.S., the more pro-Israel and the less pro-Palestinian they become," said Motti Inbari, professor of Jewish studies at UNC Pembroke. "American pro-Israel culture changes immigrant attitudes over time."

What Must Be Done to Fight Antisemitism - Rabbi Shmuley Boteach interviewed by Joseph Scutts (Jerusalem Report)
    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the author of over 30 books, including The Israel Warrior: Fighting Back for the Jewish State from Campus to Street Corner.
    He said that in the "four to five thousand messages that I get per day, the antisemitism is so extreme, the bile is so poisonous, the attacks are so personal, that I have seen a whole new side of the world that I had never seen before."
    "You're not going to change any of their minds and almost any of their followers' minds...so why debate them?"
    "The answer is that the Jews are watching, and right now we are a very frightened people."
    "So when one Jew gets up on TV or on a video platform or on a podcast and shows that he or she is not going to be afraid of these guys and will debate with them, it sets an example. I may not change any minds, but I will demonstrate fearlessness."

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli Official: "It's Strange that [Biden Says] It's an Israeli Proposal and at the Same Time that Israel Needs to Agree to It" - Raf Sanchez
    President Joe Biden's description of Israel's ceasefire proposal was "not accurate," a senior Israeli official has told NBC News. In addition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Biden had put forward only a partial version of the Israeli proposal. The official specifically disputed that Israel had agreed to fully withdraw its troops from Gaza as part of the deal.
        The official also said that while the White House described the plan as originating from Israel, it was actually a proposal put forward by mediators that Israel had made amendments and changes to. "It's strange that they say it's an Israeli proposal and at the same time that Israel needs to agree to it," the official said. (NBC News)
        See also below Commentary: The Gaza War - Biden's Ceasefire Plan
  • Thousands March in New York's Israel Day Parade - Chelsia Rose Marcius
    Thousands of supporters of Israel marched along Fifth Avenue in New York City on Sunday during the Israel Day parade, which has been held annually since 1964. The event was mostly peaceful and drew very few protesters. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, state Attorney General Letitia James, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Mayor Eric Adams attended, as did Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz and Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan.
        Eric Goldstein, CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York, said the event was about "showing up proudly and publicly in support of a Jewish homeland." Hundreds of marchers waved Israeli flags, while others draped it over their shoulders. Fliers stuck on lampposts featured photographs of Israeli hostages and the words "kidnapped by Hamas." (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: Israel Can Agree to Six-Week Ceasefire for Captives, Rules Out End of War - Shirit Avitan Cohen
    Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday, "Israel can stop the fighting for 42 days to return the captives. But we cannot stop the war. The Iranians and all our enemies are watching us, wanting to see if we will surrender."
        Netanyahu clarified that "Stage 1 of the [proposed] deal is troubling also because of the return of the terrorists to Gaza and the terrorists who will be released, including the Nukhba terrorists [who invaded Israel on Oct. 7]. The Nukhba terrorists will not be released. That's ridiculous."  (Israel Hayom)
  • Defense Minister Gallant: We Will Not Accept Hamas Rule in any Process of Ending Gaza War
    "In any process of ending the war, we will not accept Hamas rule," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday. He said the government is currently "advancing a governmental alternative to Hamas" in Gaza. He added, "The operation in Rafah is progressing above and below ground. The forces are fighting with great determination and destroying the lifeline connecting Gaza to Egypt. We are increasingly strangling Hamas, preventing it from continuing to exist - it will not have the ability to reinforce, strengthen, or arm itself."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Kills Two Armed Palestinians in PA about to Fire at Israeli Communities - Jack Khoury
    The IDF announced Tuesday that two Palestinians were killed overnight near the West Bank city of Tulkarm after they approached the separation barrier to fire at adjacent Israeli communities. The two were killed in an IDF ambush and soldiers confiscated their weapons. The Al-Aqsa Brigades said the two were killed while shooting near the central Israeli moshav Nitzanei Oz. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli Undercover Forces Kill Senior Terrorist in Nablus
    Undercover Border Police forces and IDF troops, guided by military intelligence, entered an area near the Balata refugee camp in Nablus in broad daylight to arrest a senior terror suspect, who was killed after he tried to escape with a weapon, the military said on Monday. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Gaza War - Biden's Ceasefire Plan

  • The Problem with Washington's Offer to End the Conflict - David M. Weinberg
    Washington is working overtime to sanitize a series of failed concepts and press them on Israel, such as a "revitalized Palestinian Authority," "international security guarantees," "accommodation with Iran," and "regional integration." The first is a fantasy, the second ridiculous, the third ruinous, the fourth premature.
        Relying on Mahmoud Abbas's terror-glorifying Palestinian Authority as a ruling alternative to Hamas would be insane. The PA is both incapable and unwilling to be the moderating force in Palestinian politics that everybody is yearning for.
        The main problem with these concepts is that they sideline the most important strategic goal of the moment, which is Israeli victory - the necessity of a crushing Israeli victory over Hamas. Without that, Israel's deterrent power is forever shot to hell, and no stable peace can come.
        Who will rule Gaza once Hamas is annihilated? What is the endgame? I don't know. This is going to be a long war, as Israel peels away and destroys layer after layer of Hamas's military capabilities. Israel is rightfully fixated on its victory strategy, not on exit strategies and Palestinian rehabilitation. Demands that Israel answer these questions now are meant to prevent Israel from doing what needs to be done in Gaza.
        The world seems hell-bent on emasculating Israel. Insisting that Israel's "primary goal" must be the provision of humanitarian aid to an enemy population in wartime is an absurdity never broached before in history. It continues further with American attempts to micromanage IDF operations.
        At issue is the regional and international perception of Israel as a country capable of resoundingly winning an existential war of self-defense against a state that has genocidal plans for Israel long into the future - unless eliminated. At issue is the perception of Israel as a nation that cannot be steamrolled into diplomatic or military defeat; that is able to act on its essential security imperatives and free all of Israel of terrorist violence and rocket attacks.
        The writer is a senior fellow at the Misgav Institute for National Security and Israel office director of Canada's Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).  (Jerusalem Post)
  • If the Fighting Stops with Hamas in Power, the "Day After" Will Never Begin - Asher Fredmen
    The deal laid out by President Joe Biden in his May 31 address on the war in Gaza reflects the failed paradigms, illusions, and wishful thinking that led to Oct. 7. The plan he described, if implemented, would create an existential threat to the State of Israel. His speech included no concrete steps or road maps for removing Hamas from power. The proposed outline would ensure that Hamas remained in power and was able to rebuild its military strength.
        President Biden assured that "Palestinian civilians would return to their homes...in all areas of Gaza, including the North." He seemed to be claiming that it would only be civilians that would return to northern Gaza. But there would be no way to ensure that Hamas fighters did not return there as well. Their fighters don't wear uniforms and their guns are hidden in the hundreds of tunnels that still exist in northern Gaza. With this plan, Hamas would quickly reassert its control.
        Biden said: "The people of Israel should know they can make this offer without any further risk to their own security because they've already devastated Hamas forces over the past eight months." The reality is that Hamas still has many intact fighters and senior leadership. Once reconstruction began in Gaza, the Islamist terror group would quickly rebuild its capabilities. The idea that leaving Hamas in power does not constitute a severe risk to Israel's security is ludicrous.
        The fact that there are those who recognize that leaving Hamas in power will destroy Israel's deterrence and encourage countless murderous attacks and kidnappings of Israelis does not mean that they care any less about the hostages. They simply believe that the efforts to free the hostages must take place on the basis of a pragmatic understanding of the psychopathic but intelligent enemy that Israel faces.
        If the fighting stops with Hamas in power, the "day after" will never begin. We will simply return to Oct. 6 - only this time, with an emboldened ring of terror along all of Israel's borders, and large swaths of Israel's territory in the western Negev and the north abandoned due to the ongoing terror threats.
        The writer is a senior fellow at the Misgav Institute for National Security and Director for Israel at the Abraham Accords Peace Institute.  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Inside Biden's Shock Proposal to End Gaza War - Ben Samuels
    Despite President Biden's insistence that the proposal he outlined on Friday was Israel's proposal, both the details of the plan itself and the timing of its delivery caused skeptics to believe that Biden was actually the driving force behind the deal and he was playing a political game by stating it originated from the Israeli side. Shortly after Biden concluded his remarks, U.S. officials put a full court press on their international allies to rally public support for the deal.
        Meanwhile, the Americans have all but publicly endorsed Israel's seizure of the Philadelphi route on Gaza's border with Egypt - a step U.S. officials had previously promoted as an alternative to a significant military operation in dense population centers. (Ha'aretz)
  • The Israel-Hamas Conflict Is a Zero-Sum Game - David Horovitz
    President Joe Biden's speech Friday, laying out a proposal for a hostage-ceasefire deal with Hamas, urged Hamas "to take the deal." But it's not so simple. Hamas will only take the deal if it thinks it can survive and rebuild and resume its efforts to destroy Israel. The proposal requires Hamas to consent to its own effective demise. Why, one must ask, would it agree to do that?
        Biden's detailed exposition of the Israeli proposal did not include specific reference to Hamas's demands for the release of all security prisoners recaptured since the 2011 Shalit prisoner exchange, or to Hamas's insistence that it will choose which life-term murderous terrorists go free early in the deal in exchange for female hostage Israeli soldiers, or to Hamas's rejection of Israel's demand for a veto on major terrorists being released into the West Bank - a combination of Hamas demands that are plainly calculated to spark escalated terrorism against Israeli targets in and from the West Bank.
        The Israel-Hamas conflict is a zero-sum game: Israel wants to destroy Hamas; Hamas wants to survive and get back to destroying Israel. Neither side will agree to terms that definitively thwart its core goals.
        The writer, former editor of the Jerusalem Post, is the founding editor of the Times of Israel. (Times of Israel)

  • Other Issues

  • Can Contemporary International Law Cope with Today's Terror? - Amb. Alan Baker
    The war between Israel, Hamas, and other terror organizations has heightened the awareness of the question of whether today's international law is capable of addressing armed conflict between a state and terror organizations. How is a sovereign state, obligated by the conventional rules of international humanitarian law and the laws of armed conflict, expected to engage in asymmetrical war with terror organizations that distinctly, and by definition, do not consider themselves bound by such rules?
        The international community lacks practical and legal means, as well as the basic desire and capability, of obliging such terror groups to abide by the rules. It is questionable whether the law of armed conflict as it exists today is capable of providing legal as well as operative answers to the practical issues arising out of today's struggle against terror.
        In light of the biased and partisan reaction of the international community and its automatic accusations against Israel of committing war crimes and even genocide, it is high time that responsible states come to terms with the fact that modern-day terror undermines and abuses accepted humanitarian norms and standards. This must be dealt with both militarily and legally.
        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.  (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The Policies that Are Killing Israeli Soldiers - Jonathan Schanzer
    Biden Administration policies have put Israeli soldiers in greater danger. On the eve of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, in March, the White House warned Israel to halt its military advance on Rafah as the IDF was on the cusp of destroying Hamas, defying the predictions of most Middle East experts. When Ramadan was over, the White House moved the goal posts.
        The U.S. began to warn of a potential humanitarian disaster in Gaza. The State Department went so far as to suggest that Israel could be guilty of war crimes in Rafah. The White House even threatened to halt the provision of ammunition to Israel. Never mind that Israel had kept the civilian to militant casualty count lower than any of America's previous engagements in Iraq or Afghanistan.
        Then, in mid-May, a major lawfare campaign against Israel kicked into high gear. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) charges of siege warfare leveled at Israel would likely have never been aired had the State Department not first suggested it was occurring in the first place.
        The cumulative effect of all of this over the last three months has prompted the IDF to halt its advance in Rafah, and to move much slower than it originally anticipated. These three months of relative quiet afforded Hamas the time to prepare the lethal booby traps and IEDs that are now killing Israeli soldiers.
        The writer is senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Commentary)
  • Israel Is Not Conducting a Counterinsurgency Campaign, It Is Conducting a War - John Spencer
    Hamas is not an insurgency. It is the ruling power of Gaza that had complete control of a geographic area, a population, all institutions, and a vast military (40,000 fighters, 15-20k rockets, 400 miles of military tunnels, and a massive supply of small arms, mortars, crew served weapons, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft guns, mines, and improvised explosive devices) with the stated objective to destroy Israel and all Jews of the world.
        Israel is not conducting a counterinsurgency or counterterrorism campaign. Israel is conducting a war to remove a regime from power and dismantle its military.
        To say Israel cannot "destroy Hamas" through military force, that it increases Hamas's "support" or "you can't destroy an idea" is a fallacy. This line of thinking is equal to saying you can't remove Hitler from power or destroy the Nazi military in Germany because of concern for further hardening the beliefs and sentiment of the portion of the German population who supported the Nazis.
        The writer is chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point. (X)
  • Why a Sovereign Palestine Would Be a Failed State from the Start - Ilan Berman
    Customary international law mandates that a sovereign state must ensure neighboring nations are protected from harms emanating from within its own borders. If a country is unwilling or unable to do so, they will face the consequences, including the use of force.
        This legal justification has been interpreted by countries to permit tactical strikes on foreign soil (as was the case in the Obama administration's policy of extensive drone strikes on Pakistani soil), and likely will be used by Israel as the basis for extensive counterterrorism operations throughout the Palestinian territories. This means a nascent Palestinian state would find itself at war with neighboring Israel almost immediately.
        Leaving Hamas in power is unacceptable to Israel and the U.S. The alternative of the Palestinian Authority is widely acknowledged as a hotbed of corruption, graft and misrule that is overwhelmingly unpopular among Palestinians. This means that "Palestine" is predestined to be a failed state from the start.
        If the 142 countries that have formally recognized "Palestine" are truly interested in helping Palestinians, a more useful and meaningful approach would be to press for sustainable development and responsible governance.
        The writer is senior vice president at the American Foreign Policy Council.  (The Hill)
  • Israeli Author Answers Critics of Gaza War - Dina Rubina
    Pushkin House in London, in collaboration with the University of London, recently invited Israeli author Dina Rubina to a literary discussion on Zoom about her books. Then she received an email from the meeting's moderator who demanded she state where she stands "on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Rubina responded by cancelling the meeting, with the following message:
        My beloved country currently lives (and always has) surrounded by ferocious enemies who seek to destroy it. My country is waging a just war today against a rabid, ruthless, deceptive and cunning enemy.
        On Oct. 7, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, the ruthless, well-trained, well-prepared and well-equipped Hamas terrorist regime attacked dozens of peaceful kibbutzim and bombarded my country with tens of thousands of rockets. Hamas has committed atrocities that even the Bible cannot describe, atrocities that rival the crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah.
        For hours, thousands of happy, blood-drunk beasts raped women, children and men, shooting their victims in the crotch and heads, cutting out the babies from the wombs of pregnant women and immediately decapitating them, tying up and burning the small children. Judging by the utter joy of the population (captured by thousands of mobile cameras), Hamas is supported by almost the entire population of Gaza.
        While the international community has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Gaza, Hamas used this money to build an empire with a complex system of underground tunnels, stockpiled weapons, taught schoolchildren from primary school to disassemble and assemble Kalashnikov assault rifles, printed textbooks in which hatred of Israel is indescribable, in which even math problems call for the murder of Jews with every word: "There were ten Jews, the martyr killed four, how many are left?"
        The academic community was not concerned about the massacres in Syria, nor the massacre in Somalia, nor the mistreatment inflicted on the Uighurs, nor the millions of Kurds persecuted by the Turkish regime for decades. Now, this very worried community, which wears keffiyehs, the trademark of murderers, around their necks at rallies, calls to "Liberate Palestine from the river to the sea," which means the total destruction of Israel (and Israelis). It is this same public which asks me "to express a clear position on the issue."  (Quadrant-Australia)

Biden's "Peace Now" Plan - Dr. Dan Diker (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • On May 31, President Joe Biden laid out his vision to end the Hamas-Israel war. However, its message emboldens Hamas, Hizbullah, and Iran, and serves to weaken Israel. The U.S. position appears to back Hamas's ultimate control in Gaza while leaving Israelis vulnerable to more extensive and more lethal assaults. Biden's approach echoes Israel's failed "Peace Now" movement that led to the fatal Oslo experiment that exploded on Oct. 7 and served as the catalyst for hostilities from Lebanon, Yemen, and Iran.
  • Over the course of the Hamas war, the Biden administration has repeatedly admonished Israel over its retaliation ("take the win"), the use of precision munitions, the attack on Rafah, and civilian casualties based on Hamas's exaggerated figures. Biden's even-handed treatment of Hamas and Israel engenders a moral equivalence between a jihadist organization and a democratic ally.
  • Biden laid out his grand vision for peace as if the two sides in the Gaza war are playing by the same rules. The American administration suggests negotiations with an ISIS-like terror organization. The first phase of the plan calls for the trade only of some live hostages and some dead hostages' remains in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian security prisoners.
  • "Egypt and Qatar have assured me," the president said, "that they are continuing to work to ensure that Hamas [is held] accountable for its obligations. The United States will help ensure that Israel lives up to its obligations as well." Qatar is Hamas. The sheikhdom supports the jihadi Muslim Brotherhood, funds Hamas terrorism, and is home to Hamas's political leadership. Qatar is behind the Islamist propaganda war against Israel and the West via its global media conglomerate, Al Jazeera.
  • The call for an immediate ceasefire will only reassure Hamas of its eternal life and grant it legitimacy to extend the ceasefire for months or years while it rearms and reasserts power. With 2/3 of Hamas fighters and leaders still active, how would the plan end Hamas's rule?
  • The U.S. administration plan puts more pressure on Israel than on Hamas. Israel is under the unrelenting hyper-scrutiny of the international community, while Hamas remains uncommitted to any rules-based order. This leaves Hamas to do as it chooses while tying Israel's hands in the international legal and diplomatic community.
  • By applying public pressure on Israel, the plan conveys the message to the Middle East that America is reining in Israel. Arab interlocutors have told me that without the clear defeat of Hamas and Israeli control in Gaza, no viable "day after" alternative is possible. What Arab state would participate in a "day after" plan while Hamas is still in the driver's seat? The majority of Israelis understand that defeating Hamas as a military and political power is an unconditional requirement for guaranteeing Israel's survival in the Middle East.

    The writer is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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