June 6, 2024
In-Depth Issues:

IDF Is Causing Massive Damage to Hizbullah (Walla-Jerusalem Post)
    Senior IDF officers assess that Israel "is causing massive damage to Hizbullah."
    The officers emphasized that Hizbullah forces are getting worn down due to consistent IDF attacks after the IDF eliminated over 320 operatives, including the commander of the Radwan Force, a special operations unit.
    "Hizbullah operatives fear to move freely in southern Lebanon because they are being effectively hunted by IDF aerial and intelligence efforts," one officer said.
    Hizbullah must now deal with internal challenges. In the past month, hundreds of Hizbullah reservists refused to enlist.

IDF to Phase Out Hamas Detention Site (Times of Israel)
    The IDF is phasing out the use of the Sde Teiman detention camp for Palestinian terror operatives captured during the Gaza war, justice officials said Wednesday.
    State attorneys told the High Court of Justice that inmates would be gradually transported to permanent holding facilities, with most prisoners to be relocated within a couple of weeks.

Houthis Claim They Attacked U.S. Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier - James LaPorta (CBS News)
    On Friday, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree announced missile strikes against the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
    Videos and images falsely said to show the Eisenhower under attack and sitting damaged in port have racked up millions of views across social media platforms.
    The U.S. Navy said Tuesday there was no truth to the claims.
    More than 5,000 American service members serve on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Thousands of Oct. 7 Survivors Still Struggle - Uri Morad (Jerusalem Post)
    "I can't explain how heavy a body becomes when it is dead," said Yuval Raphael, 23.
    She survived the Supernova massacre by hiding in the far corner of a public bomb shelter where 50 festival attendees sought shelter.
    The terrorists strafed the inside with bullets at regular intervals and threw grenades.
    Yuval became trapped under the dead body of another young woman and played dead for 8 hours.
    "Every time we [those who were still alive] raised our heads, we couldn't understand why there were less and less people in the bomb shelter."
    "We didn't realize it was because of the grenades, blowing up their bodies."
    Only 12 survived long enough to be rescued. Yuval was left with shrapnel under her skin and a mind full of nightmares.
    The writer is director of international law and public diplomacy at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice.

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New IDF Counter-Terror Unit for Gaza Border Towns - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    The IDF has announced the formation of a new counter-terrorism unit that will operate in Gaza border communities, made up of residents of the area who are ex-special forces.
    The unit, known as LOTAR Otef - referring to the Gaza envelope - was established Monday, "as part of learning the lessons that have emerged from the initial investigations into the events of October 7," the IDF said.
    Hundreds of reservists have already applied to serve in LOTAR Otef, and will begin training in the coming weeks.

How Israel Renewed Gaza's Water Supply amid War - Aviv Lavie (Times of Israel)
    Even before Oct. 7, the Gaza water network was in a fragile state and the population suffered from chronic shortages.
    Direct contacts between Israelis and Palestinian professionals in Gaza took place early in the war to ensure the renewal of the water supply from Israel to Gaza.
    In recent years, Israel has pumped 20 million cubic meters of water per year into Gaza using three pipes.
    The northern pumping facility, near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, was rendered inoperative after being damaged in the Oct. 7 attack.
    Giora Shaham, former chairman of Israel's Water Authority, said that to repair damaged pipelines inside Gaza, the Defense Ministry's "COGAT [unit] led a major coordination effort, and in the end Palestinian workers were sent to the places where the pipes were damaged near the fence, and repaired them under heavy IDF security."
    "These were Palestinians who were using heavy machinery and welding tools near the fence." The IDF troops "formed a ring around them to make it clear that this was a partner, not an enemy."
    "After hearing the prosecutor in The Hague talk about deliberate water deprivation, it's important for me to say that the Israeli side made great efforts to replenish the water supply to Gaza by repairing the pipeline on our side and by helping the Palestinians fix their side."
    A source in the Israeli water market said, "When they tried to renew the flow from the Israeli side, every time they activated the stream the pipes on the other side burst from the pressure. There were lots of attempts to fix it. After turning it on and off maybe two hundred times, it somehow worked in the end."

How the IDF Kept the West Bank Relatively Quiet - Lazar Berman (Times of Israel)
    Before the Gaza war, the IDF's Samaria Regional Brigade had to deal with a range of threats, including repeated shooting attacks on Route 60, the north-south West Bank artery that cut through the Palestinian town of Huwara. Route 60 now loops around the town.
    After Oct. 7, Hamas called for Palestinians in the West Bank to join it in attacking Israelis, but that didn't happen and the number of attacks dropped.
    The year before the Hamas invasion saw 77 shooting attacks in Samaria. In the eight months since, there have been five such incidents, and all the perpetrators have been caught or killed.
    There were 50 rock-throwing attacks every month before Oct. 7 and less than five per month since then.
    A senior IDF officer said the main reason is because of significantly expanded IDF operations since the start of the war.
    "Any force that tries to be guided by Hamas or Iran, or receives money, we simply go in and take it apart," said a brigade officer. "We used to need special forces to go into Balata [refugee camp near Nablus]. Now, we go in whenever we want."
    The brigade has killed around 200 terrorists. "We will continue the system of mowing the grass here, and we won't need to reach the type of fighting in Gaza," said an officer.

Why Aren't Palestinians Demanding to Return to Where They Came From? - Barry Shaw (Times of Israel)
    Most Arabs belong to tribes or clans and their family name in Arabic contains the source of where their families originated.
    Prominent Palestinian family names include: Almasri - Egypt; Masarwah - Egypt; Hourani - Hauran in Syria; Sourani - Tyre, Lebanon; Dibini - South Lebanon.
    Bushnaq - Bosnia; Iraqi - Iraq; Zarqawi - Zarqa, Jordan; Al-Karaki - Kerak, Jordan; Trabulsi - Tripoli, Lebanon; Abayat - Turkey.
    The writer is Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
    See also Egyptian Emigres in the Levant - Prof. Reuven Aharoni and Prof. Gideon Kressel (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • House Votes to Impose Sanctions on International Criminal Court Officials over Israel Prosecution - Robert Jimison
    The U.S. House of Representatives voted 247 to 155 to impose sweeping sanctions on officials at the International Criminal Court in a rebuke of efforts by the court's top prosecutor to charge top Israeli leaders with war crimes in connection with the offensive against Hamas. The bill reflected broad bipartisan anger, as 42 Democrats crossed party lines in support. The White House opposed the bill and it is not expected to pass the Senate.
        The bill would compel President Biden to restrict entry into the U.S., revoke visas, and impose financial restrictions on anyone at the court involved in trying to investigate, arrest, detain or prosecute "protected persons," or allies of the U.S.  Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), the author of the bill, said that actions taken against Israeli officials could be a prelude to actions against American officials. "What happens here is going to be coming at us and our country," he said on Tuesday. (New York Times)
  • UN Nuclear Agency's Board Votes to Censure Iran for Failing to Cooperate - Stephanie Liechtenstein
    The International Atomic Energy Agency board on Wednesday censured Iran for failing to cooperate fully with the agency. The censure followed a report by the IAEA a week ago that Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels.
        The resolution was put forward by France, Germany and Britain. Twenty countries voted for the resolution, Russia and China opposed it, and 12 abstained. (AP-Washington Post)
  • Plenty of Food Aid Is Getting to Gaza. If Palestinians Are Starving, It Is Hamas's Fault - Joel Zivot and Matthew Rabinowitz
    The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court accuses Israel's Prime Minister and Defense Minister of "intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare." Yet the facts disprove the accusation. A new study by a group of Israeli academic nutritionists and physicians finds that more food is being delivered to Gaza today than before the war.
        The study analyzed airdrops and food shipments delivered by land from January through April 2024, based on shipping details provided by international donors. The study revealed that the supply provided an average of 3,374 calories per person daily, well above the 2,100 recommended minimum standard. In a survey conducted on March 20 by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 96% of Gazans said they could access food and water.
        The study illustrates that the ICC case is factually baseless. Israel has taken concrete actions to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid into Gaza in the heat of battle. This should be recognized as a new standard for the world - the furthest thing imaginable from a war crime.
        Dr. Zivot is a professor of medicine at Emory University. Mr. Rabinowitz is a healthcare executive. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Aid Trucks Entering Gaza "at Fairly Good Clip," Says World Central Kitchen - Jeremy Sharon
    World Central Kitchen's Middle East Activation Manager John Torpey said Tuesday that it is bringing trucks of food aid into Gaza "at a fairly good clip" and is able to distribute them to its community kitchens in different areas through close coordination with the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) agency of the Israeli Defense Ministry. (Times of Israel)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Pushes Through in Gaza, Pounds Hizbullah in Lebanon
    Guided by precise intelligence, IDF troops operated in the el Bureij and Deir al-Balah areas of Gaza on Wednesday, both above and underground, the military said. It first conducted aerial strikes on weapons storage facilities, military compounds, and underground terror infrastructure. In Rafah, IDF troops continued activities, finding weapons and killing terrorists.
        Israel Air Force jets struck Hizbullah launchers and structures in five different locations in southern Lebanon. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: IDF Destroys Massive Rafah Tunnel, Finds Mortar Launcher beneath UN Post
    The IDF destroyed a 2-km. tunnel in Rafah that reached the Philadelphi corridor and destroyed a ready-to-launch mortar launcher hidden beneath a UN post in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, the military announced Wednesday. The tunnel contained weapons such as AK-47s, anti-tank missiles, many intelligence assets, and explosives. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Reservist Killed in Hizbullah Drone Attack on Northern Israel
    Staff Sgt. (res.) Refael Kauders, 39, was killed and ten were injured when two drones exploded in the Druze town of Horfeish in northern Israel on Wednesday. The two drones impacted within a few minutes of each other, with the second targeting rescue crews who arrived to treat those wounded by the first, a tactic Hizbullah has employed several times. At least nine of those wounded were soldiers. (Israel Hayom-Times of Israel)
  • IDF Strikes Terrorists Sheltering in UNRWA School - Emanuel Fabian
    Some 20-30 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were gathered at a UN school in Nuseirat in central Gaza when it was struck Wednesday night. The terrorists were in three classrooms, separate from an area where civilians were sheltering. The strike was delayed twice as the IDF worked to fine-tune the plan to avoid harming civilians. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Gaza War

  • Who's Really Prolonging the Gaza War? - Editorial
    After Oct. 7, President Biden told Israel to scale down its ground invasion of Gaza. Then he supported Egypt's decision to trap Gazans in the war zone. When the Israelis defeated Hamas in northern Gaza, he pressured Israel to "shift to the next phase" by sending most troops home and fighting with less firepower in southern Gaza. Israel did so, and it very slowly won in Khan Yunis.
        Next, Mr. Biden tried to stop Israel from invading Rafah. He cut off weapons as leverage. Israel eventually invaded Rafah, but with fewer troops to satisfy the President. That means a slower operation. His decision to pressure Israel, while going soft on mediators Egypt and Qatar, has also given Hamas reason to draw out hostage talks and continue the war. (Wall Street Journal)
  • A Provisional Civil Administration in Gaza Is an Ethical Imperative - Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Amir Avivi
    Following the toppling of the Hamas regime, setting up a provisional civil administration in Gaza is a legal and ethical imperative to prevent anarchy, as was done by the Allies in Germany and Japan in 1945. A civil administration is needed to provide basic humanitarian solutions for the people of Gaza, with assistance from local actors and international organizations. This will allow the local population to disengage from Hamas and enable a new reality.
        Education in Gaza blatantly incites its public to annihilate Israel and has got to undergo fundamental changes. If Israel does not assume responsibility for education, it will perpetuate the same cesspool that has produced such a catastrophic crop of terrorists. It is advisable to be assisted by external bodies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which understand the culture and language and have already carried out similar processes themselves.
        The desirable course is for civil management to be assigned fully to local leaders, who will be selected from among the large clan leaders. As opposed to Hamas, the clans seek stability, they have an interest in developing the region, and they have legitimacy from the local populations. (Ynet News)

  • The Gaza War - Legal Aspects

  • The Insidious Anti-Israel Agenda of the International Court of Justice - Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch
    While purporting to be a legal decision, the latest order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was nothing more than a cheap trick designed to snag Israel. In December 2023, South Africa, acting on behalf of Iran's proxy, Hamas, initiated an assault on Israel in the ICJ, claiming that it was Israel - and not the homicidal terrorists from Gaza who carried out the October 7, 2023, massacre - who had engaged in genocide.
        The convoluted decision of the court gave rise to a false and deliberately misleading claim that the ICJ had found plausible evidence that Israel had committed genocide. Months later, after substantial damage to Israel's reputation had already been caused, the former president of the court, Joan Donoghue, clarified that no such decision was ever made.
        For decades, Israel has maintained its sovereign right to refuse to participate in medieval-style UN witch hunts and "kangaroo courts," the mandates of which had already found Israel and the Jews guilty as charged before any investigation was ever carried out.
        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 Attempt to Deny the Legal, Historical, and National Rights of the Jewish People - Robert L. Meyer
    False Arab claims attempt to nullify Jewish historical and legal rights to the Land of Israel. As a historical and legal fact, there is no such thing as "Palestinian land" inasmuch as a Palestinian state does not exist and never has. The claim of "illegal occupation" is empty inasmuch as a situation of "occupation" is a legitimate component of the laws of armed conflict.
        Annual nonbinding and nonauthoritative UN General Assembly resolutions repeating accusations of the illegality of Israel's presence in the territories have no authoritative status that match the international treaty status of the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which encapsulated the international recognition of the rights of the Jewish people to establish their national home in the area.
        False claims also prevail regarding the status of the areas of Judea and Samaria, with the manufactured term "Occupied Palestinian Territories" appearing repeatedly. The issues of the permanent status of Judea and Samaria, as well as the status of Gaza, are negotiating issues between Israel and the Palestinian leadership pursuant to internationally acknowledged agreements. This negotiation is ongoing and has not been completed.
        Similarly, the term "colonization by the Jewish people" is a politicized phrase with negative connotations that is intended to mislead. A more accurate description of the aim of the Mandate instrument would have been the "reconstitution of the Jewish people" through the League of Nations' decolonization of the land from the 400-year Ottoman rule. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • Palestinian Arabs

  • The PA Returning to Gaza? It Can't Even Control the West Bank - Nurit Yohanan
    Mahmoud Abbas, 88, now in his 19th year as head of the Palestinian Authority, is regarded by the Biden administration as the preferred choice to govern Gaza on the "day after" the war. Multiple surveys in recent years have shown that 2/3 of Palestinians want him out of office. Two decades after the PA was brutally expelled by Hamas from Gaza, its capacity for governance is fast declining in the West Bank.
        Over the last two years, armed groups affiliated with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations have accrued growing power in the northern West Bank - especially in Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarem. The PA's security forces do not operate in parts of these cities, which are controlled by armed militias.
        A recent rare arrest of a Hamas member by PA security forces in Nablus triggered 24 hours of chaos, with crowds of Palestinians blocking streets and throwing stones at PA forces. It's hard to imagine how the same PA security forces could return to Gaza and reassert genuine control. The PA does continue to pay the salaries of 40,000 Gazans, but most of them are middle-aged ex-government officials, with questionable loyalty after long years under Hamas rule.
        The writer is a Palestinian affairs reporter at Israel's Channel 11. (Times of Israel)

  • Other Issues

  • Saudi Arabia Builds Its Defense Industrial Capability - Jason Greenblatt
    Saudi Arabia is working to build up its defense industrial capability in just a few years to meet half its own demand. These are among the ambitious goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, the modernization plan conceived of and championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
        While Saudi Arabia - one of the world's top military spenders - has been able to purchase materiel from trade partners in the past, there is concern of how reliable allies will remain in supplying critical materiel. As recent whiplash in American Middle East policy has revealed, even staunch allies sometimes go wobbly due to domestic considerations that often change with the politics of the day.
        No country wants to rely on fickle external affairs if they can afford not to. In fact, the Kingdom's prestige will only grow if it drives the supply chain as a producer of important technologies, rather than participating in the marketplace as one of many buyers. Saudi Arabian Military Industries has drawn significant foreign investment and has begun partnering with leading American defense titans.
        The writer, a former U.S. Middle East envoy, is director of Arab-Israel diplomacy at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
  • A War on Truth, Freedom, and Justice - Stewart Weiss
    The Islamic radicals of Hamas, Iran, Hizbullah, and "Palestine" seek to devour Israel, the wondrous country that we have developed. Backed by almost an entire world that is one part evil and one part ignorant, they fabricate history by denying our ancient, ongoing connection to the Holy Land, seeking to displace us with yet another fundamentalist, racist, totalitarian state that enriches the leaders while oppressing the majority of its members. On a larger scale, this is just one small skirmish in a global battle that would see Islamic dominion spread across the entire planet.
        In this conflict, universal human rights are flippantly cast aside. While much lip service is spent glorifying the role of women, they can also be raped at random when the situation calls for it. Diversity is a holy virtue, but only as far as it extends to those deemed worthy. Whites, Jews, and intellectuals need not apply. The forces of darkness invoke the rule that there is no abstract truth, no baseline of what is right and wrong. "You have your truth, and I have mine."
        So, the savage behavior of Hamas terrorists can simply be denied, and the so-called courts of justice can focus only on the side that they predetermine is guilty. They will be eagerly assisted by all manner of accomplices, such as media editors who focus almost all their attention on the suffering of the victimizers and precious little on that of the victims.
        The writer is director of the Jewish Outreach Center of Ra'anana.  (Jerusalem Post)

  • Weekend Features

  • "The Post-October 7 Reality Puts Us in a Completely New World" - Interview with Dr. Dan Diker
    "We really have to think out of the box, because the post-October 7 reality puts us in a completely new world, breaking misconceptions, and building new realities," Dr. Dan Diker, President of the Jerusalem Center for Foreign Affairs, told the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference on Monday.
        The Center - formerly the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs - is changing its name to reflect its current activities. "We see ourselves as the engine for Israel's foreign affairs, serving as a bridge between the West and the Arab Muslim majority East." It will lead research-driven strategic and communication initiatives for the security and prosperity of Israel, its Abraham Accord partners, and prospective allies seeking normalization with Israel.
        Diker said, "What shocked us was the glee, the energy, and the enthusiasm for Hamas in the free world....Israel has been recast as Hamas, and Hamas, from the point of view of virtue, legitimacy, and justice, has been recast as Israel. This inversion of legitimacy has been taking place over the last 31 years since the Oslo Accords, and it is time that we stop defending ourselves intellectually and morally. We must move from intellectual defense to offense reflected in an assertive diplomacy."
        Diker spoke with Mossab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef. Yousef defected to Israel in 1997 and now lives in the U.S. Yousef said, "Palestine is a device that the Muslims use as a weapon against Israel and as a weapon against the Jewish people. Fundamentally, Muslims think that Allah hates the Jewish people." He said that it was unacceptable for Muslims to take the side of a terrorist group that committed unforgivable crimes in the name of "resistance."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • This Jerusalem Day, Choose History over Propaganda - Nathan J. Diament
    On Wednesday, Jews celebrated Jerusalem Day, marking the day in 1967 during the Six-Day War when Jerusalem was reunified for the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple, nearly 19 centuries prior. Before the Six-Day War, Israel was an even smaller country surrounded by neighbors who wanted to wipe it off the map.
        When Jerusalem was finally unified, Jews were allowed to visit their most holy place - the Temple Mount - a privilege denied to them under Jordanian rule. Under Israeli sovereignty, the Old City of Jerusalem became open to Jews, Christians, and Muslims to worship freely.
        Jerusalem Day marks a modern-day miracle. It is the story of Jewish perseverance against much larger armies. If young college students want to learn the truth about the history of conflict in the Middle East, they should visit the Israeli capital in all of its ancient and modern splendor. They may be shocked by what they learn.
        The writer is Executive Director for Public Policy at the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.  (Times of Israel)
  • The Day of Jerusalem's Liberation Is a National Holiday - Amb. Dror Eydar
    The war we find ourselves embroiled in erupted under the banner of Jerusalem. Our enemies dubbed the atrocities they committed "The Al-Aqsa Flood." Since our return to our capital and its unification, the primary aim of our nearby foes and detractors worldwide has centered on Jerusalem - challenging our sovereignty; denying our historic and spiritual ties; and inevitably - perpetuating their core tactic: The indiscriminate killing of Jews. They understand, almost instinctively, that Jerusalem epitomizes the national and spiritual essence of our existence.
        After the destruction of the Temple, our sages recognized that to avert the fates of other exiled nations - assimilation and an exit from history's stage - we must perpetually remember where we came from and where we are heading. When blessing bread, we Jews implore God to rebuild Jerusalem, thus affirming that national endurance depends on Jerusalem. At every wedding, a glass is broken underfoot with the oath to never forget Jerusalem.
        The writer is a former Israeli Ambassador to Italy. (Israel Hayom)
  • Jews Are Not Colonialist Invaders of the Land of Israel - Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg
    The Jews are not colonialist invaders of the Land of Israel. This land was the home of the earliest tribes of Israel dating back to the 13th century BCE. The major books of the Bible were written by Jews in the Land of Israel or nearby nations to which Jews were exiled. Despite the exile of Jews inflicted by the Roman Empire, there was never a time when some Jews did not live in the land - usually as second-class, often-mistreated inhabitants.
        The name "Palestine" was imposed by the Romans on the area to erase the Jewish historical presence in the land. Jesus was not a Palestinian. He died as a Jew in Judea. Muslim Arabs did not live in the area until it was conquered by Arab armies a century after the birth of Islam in the seventh century, almost 2,000 years after the first Jews moved into the area.
        The Jews are the indigenous people in the Holy Land. It is an incontrovertible historical reality that there had been a Jewish Holy Temple on Mount Moriah for hundreds of years, long before the al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock shrine were built there in the Middle Ages.
        There is some evidence that most of the Arab population in Israel and the West Bank moved to the area in the 18th and 19th centuries, many of them attracted by the rising economy generated by the Zionist settlements. Palestinian nationalism did not emerge until the second half of the 20th century.
        More than 50% of Israeli Jews are Sephardim - Jews who lived in the Middle East for millennia before they were driven out by the newly independent Arab nations such as Iraq, Syria, Algeria, Libya, etc. They are indigenous people and have no home countries to which to return. Their skin hues are pretty much the same as the Arabs.
        The writer is president of the J.J. Greenberg Institute for the Advancement of Jewish Life, and a senior scholar-in-residence at the Hadar Institute.  (Jerusalem Post)

Don't Blame Israel First - Daniel Henninger (Wall Street Journal)
  • As reports come out of the Biden administration about ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas, bear in mind that the goal of one side in the discussions remains the elimination of the sovereign nation of Israel.
  • Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose wealth subsidizes Hamas's military operations, has said, "The perpetual subject of Iran is the elimination of Israel from the region."
  • The debate over the terms of the current Israel-Hamas ceasefire proposals turns mainly on whether a stop to the fighting would be permanent or temporary, following a hostage and prisoner exchange.
  • The Biden administration's proposal for a six-week ceasefire includes the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas in Gaza. Such a departure surely would be interpreted as a victory for Hamas.
  • Hamas's military leader, Yahya Sinwar, the primary architect of the Oct. 7 invasion, apparently believes he has Israel bogged down in a quagmire and that international opinion has turned the Jewish state into a pariah, pushing the Israelis toward a settlement on his terms.
  • A belief has emerged in what passes for world opinion that if Mr. Netanyahu can be forced out of office, a "moderate" Israeli leadership will emerge, and somehow the war will end. Yet the assumption that any successor Israeli government would allow the Sinwar-led Hamas to emerge intact in Gaza is incredible.
  • The debate over the Israel-Hamas war has fallen deeply into a moral imbalance. The conflict has little hope of changing until the statements of foreign leaders, analysts, the media and Mr. Biden begin to impose serious political and moral pressure on the man who put this horror in motion: Hamas commander Yahya Sinwar. Blame him first.
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