June 23, 2024
In-Depth Issues:

Poll: Over Half of Arab Israelis Feel Sense of "Shared Destiny" with Jews - Gianluca Pacchiani (Times of Israel)
    51.6% of Arab Israelis feel that the prolonged war against Hamas in Gaza has given rise to a sense of "shared destiny" between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel, according to a recent survey by the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University.
    Arik Rudnitzky, Director of the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation, who led the survey, said that for "Israel's Arab citizens... sympathizing with Palestinians in Gaza is not the same as identifying with their political leadership."
    "In fact, a significant part of the survey's respondents believe that local elements in Gaza, and not Hamas, should govern life in Gaza after the war, and another third say that a non-Palestinian body should do this."
    Only 15% said Hamas should run Gaza.

India Is Providing Military Assistance to Israel - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
    India has been providing significant military assistance to Israel since Oct. 7.
    Indian media reported in February that India was supplying Israel with advanced Hermes 900 drones manufactured in Hyderabad in a factory established by Israel to supply these drones to the Indian military.
    Twenty drones were converted specifically for the IDF due to the shortage created during the war.
    India has also supplied Israel with artillery shells and other weapons since the start of the war.
    "The Indians always remind us that Israel was there for them during the Kargil War," says Daniel Carmon, former Israeli ambassador to India, referring to India's military conflict with Pakistan in 1999.
    "Israel was one of the few countries that stood by them and provided them with weapons. The Indians don't forget this and might now be returning the favor."

Columbia Administrators Exchange Hostile Text Messages during Alumni Reunion Panel on Jewish Life - Eliana Johnson (Washington Free Beacon)
    On May 31, several top members of the Columbia University administration attended a panel discussion about Jewish life at Columbia.
    Throughout the panel, Susan Chang-Kim, the vice dean and chief administrative officer of Columbia College, was texting her colleagues about the proceedings with mockery and vitriol, dismissing claims of antisemitism.
    Matthew Patashnick, the associate dean for student and family support, suggested that Jewish figures on campus were exploiting the moment for "fundraising potential."
    Chang-Kim also used vomit emojis to describe an op-ed about antisemitism by Columbia's campus rabbi.
    The text messages were captured by an audience member sitting behind Chang-Kim who photographed the messages.
    See also 3 Columbia Deans Placed on Leave Over Conduct at Antisemitism Panel - Hurubie Meko (New York Times)

Catching the BBC Pushing Fake News (David Collier)
    On June 21, the BBC published a story about how Gaza's water system is broken - and how it is crippling children and making them sick.
    On the 19th, it published a story about how Gazan children are living "alongside rotting rubbish and rodents." On the 18th, there was a story about "a desperate mother's plea to feed her baby."
    It's the same story packaged 1000 different ways, as the BBC pushes out empty, skewed and fact-free propaganda articles like a drumbeat.
    The latest article about the water system contained images of healthy-looking parents sitting next to extremely sick children in hospital beds. Parents who clearly eat well do not let their children suffer from famine. Something else is at play.
    BBC ran an image of a broken child - Yunis Jumaa - next to his healthy-looking mum, who informed readers: "when he developed this malnutrition and dehyration, he became as you see him now."
    Yet just before the BBC published their story, Canadian CBC published the same photo, noting that Yunis had quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy.

Israel's Birth Rate Remains Highest in OECD (Times of Israel)
    Israel's birth rate remains the highest among countries in the 38-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to an OECD report released on Thursday.
    Israel's fertility rate is 2.9 children per woman, followed by Mexico and France with 1.8 children. Israel's rate is almost twice the OECD average of 1.5.

Study Shows Israeli Teens Excel at "Creative Thinking" - Gavriel Fiske (Times of Israel)
    The percentage of Israeli 15-year-olds who excel at "creative thinking" is among the highest in the world, according to the 2022 Creative Thinking Assessment, an international study of 63 countries, released on June 18.
    30% of Israeli students rated "excellent" in creative thinking, compared to the OECD average of 27%. The study found that among Hebrew speakers, 35% were rated "excellent," one of the highest rates in the study.
    "Creativity is the ability to bring up multiple ideas and solutions," explained Prof. Anat Zohar, Chair for Integrated Studies in Education at Hebrew University.
    In Israel, "there is a tendency to think out of the box, to be creative about things, to look at different angles and look for different solutions."
    "There is something about Israeli culture that encourages wide, divergent creative thinking," Zohar said.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Says It Would Back Israel in War Against Hizbullah - M.J. Lee
    Senior U.S. officials told visiting Israeli officials that if a full-out war breaks out with Hizbullah on Israel's northern border, the Biden administration is fully prepared to back its ally. (CNN)
  • Thousands of Iran-Backed Fighters Offer to Join Hizbullah in Its Fight Against Israel - Bassem Mroue
    Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Wednesday that militant leaders from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other countries have offered to send tens of thousands of fighters to help Hizbullah, but he said the group already has more than 100,000 fighters. Thousands of Iran-backed fighters from around the region are already deployed in Syria.
        Eran Etzion, former head of policy planning for the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thursday that there could be intervention by the Houthis and Iraqi militias and a "massive flow of jihadists from (places) including Afghanistan, Pakistan" into Lebanon and into Syrian areas bordering Israel. (AP-Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: I Tried Addressing "Diminution" of U.S. Weapons Privately before Going Public - Jacob Magid
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday in an interview that he had tried to resolve the issue of the Biden administration withholding weapons shipments to Israel privately for months with no success. "We tried, in many, many quiet conversations between our officials and American officials, and between me and the president to try to iron out this diminution of supply. I felt that airing it was absolutely necessary after months of quiet conversation that did not solve the problem."
        After Netanyahu issued a video statement on Tuesday slamming the "inconceivable...bottlenecks" that the U.S. had placed in transferring weapons and ammunition, the Biden administration insisted it had no idea what Netanyahu was talking about. Netanyahu responded that he was prepared to incur criticism as long as Israel "receives the ammo it needs from the U.S. in an existential war."
        Netanyahu said that "I'm not talking about F-35s or F-16s that are years down the line. I'm talking about what is necessary now to both win the war in Gaza quickly and avoid a war in Lebanon that - in the absence of such a correction - the risks of it breaking out are increasing....I think it could be solved instantaneously with goodwill. It could be solved right away."
        Netanyahu added that a component of Gaza's post-war stabilization would be "some kind of deradicalization process that would begin in the schools and the mosques to teach these people a different future than the one of annihilating Israel and killing every Jew on the planet."  (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Murdered in Palestinian City - Raanan Ben-Zur
    Amnon Muchtar, 67, was shot dead in the West Bank city of Qalqilya on Saturday. Following the shooting, assailants set fire to his car. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    U.S. Military Assistance to Israel

  • Yes, the Biden Administration Is Slow Walking Arms to Israel - Michael Doran
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration is withholding one single shipment of 2,000-pound bombs, out of fear that they might be used in densely populated Gaza, and that "everything else is moving as it normally would move."
        But on May 15, Politico reported that an order by Israel for JDAM converter kits that turn "dumb" bombs into "smart" bombs "came up for license in December 2023, and the administration has been sitting on it ever since." The JDAMs, Politico reported, are but one of "multiple" sales that the State Department "is reviewing."
        Some military sales to Israel have proceeded without delay; some have slowed but not stopped; still others have been halted altogether. This policy began last December, months before Israel's Rafah campaign became in issue. Israel's Defense Ministry Director General, Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir, traveled quietly to Washington in January to shorten the time it takes to produce and supply weapons for the IDF and to increase the scope of aid. According to Walla, the Biden team said "they would study the issue, but that no answer would be given before the [American] elections so as not to allow political considerations to influence the administration's decisions."
        Zamir made clear to the Biden team that he had come not for weapons to prosecute the war in Gaza, but out of concerns about "the ongoing tensions with Hizbullah along the northern border and with other Iranian proxy forces across the Middle East." Hizbullah represents the most formidable direct military threat that Israel faces. A full-scale conflict with it will burn up an enormous amount of equipment and ammunition in a very short period, and it risks drawing Iran more directly into the war. The Israelis came to Washington to stock up, to be ready for the conflict should it erupt.
        The writer is Director of the Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute.  (Tablet)
  • Senator Says Biden Stopped Fast Tracking U.S. Arms to Israel following Anti-Israel Pressure - Adam Kredo
    The Biden administration stopped fast tracking weapons to Israel in January after pressure from Democratic lawmakers who oppose American support for Israel's war to eradicate Hamas, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday.
        Federal law allows the president to forgo formal congressional notifications on arms sales "when emergencies exist," and the Biden administration invoked this power last year as it worked to quickly provide Israel with the arms it needed to combat Hamas. However, the administration "stopped acknowledging the emergency in Israel after receiving a letter from nearly twenty congressional Democrats in January, urging [it] to end expedited weapons sales to Israel," Cotton said.
        He said the administration has not sent an assortment of promised weapons, prolonging Israel's war and endangering its soldiers at a time when both Hamas and Hizbullah continue to rearm, regroup, and coordinate attacks on Israeli civilians. "Your administration has...[been] withholding...formal notification to Congress of approved weapons sales, including F-15s, tactical vehicles, 120-mm mortars, 120-mm tank rounds, joint direct attack munitions, and small diameter bombs. Your administration can then claim that the weapons are 'in process' while never delivering them."
        "Any delays to military support to Israel blatantly disregard Congress's bipartisan mandate to supply Israel with all it needs to defeat the Hamas terrorists and other Iranian-backed groups. Our ally is under sustained threat, and we must use all available resources to expedite military aid." He said that if Congress must intervene to fast track any outstanding weapons, it will do so. (Washington Free Beacon)

  • The Gaza War

  • A Decent Gaza Is Possible, but First, the Palestinians Must Lose - Daniel Pipes
    While Israel enjoys a huge economic and military edge over its Palestinian enemies, Israel's leaders have sought to conciliate them rather than defeat them. The Jewish state strategically seeks to end the conflict through a curious combination of enriching and placating Palestinians. This approach accounts for its current predicament.
        The Palestinian center of gravity lies in the hope to destroy Israel and replace it with Palestine. Accordingly, Israel's goal must be to extinguish that hope. Ridded of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, Israel can then work with the growing body of Palestinians ready to come to terms with Israel's existence and seeking to benefit from it. This means constructing administrations in Gaza and the West Bank by working directly with moderate Palestinians to build a decent polity comparable to what is found in Egypt or Jordan.
        It means supporting the voices of moderates and amplifying in Arabic the message of Palestinians calling for an end to a century of futile rejectionism in favor of building something positive. But this will happen only if Israel breaks with its tradition of conciliation and instead seeks victory.
        The writer is president of the Middle East Forum.  (Washington Times)
  • "Denazification" Must Be Implemented in Gaza and the West Bank If We Are Ever Going to See Real Peace - Zina Rakhamilova
    How do we truly eradicate Hamas when it is an ideology just as much as it is an established terror organization? The Palestinian Center for Policy published a new poll indicating that 2/3 of the Palestinian public continue to support the Oct. 7 massacre, 75% are "satisfied" with Hamas's performance in the war, and over half believe that Hamas is "the most deserving" of leading the Palestinian people. These findings are consistent with polls published three and six months ago.
        Some assume that the only reason why Palestinians would commit the cruel acts of Oct. 7 is because they were left with no other choice. In their minds, people could never act in such barbarity unless they were pushed to such a breaking point of misery. This line of thinking absolves Palestinians of agency and it ignores the research which proves that Palestinian terrorism is not mere desperate moments of insanity but planned and organized, usually driven by deep-rooted antisemitism.
        Post-World War II, Germans went through a "denazification" process, where the Allied forces had to remove Nazi ideology, influence, and personnel from German society, government, and institutions. This model must be implemented in the case of Gaza and the West Bank in a post-war reality if we are ever going to see real peace. The leadership of Hamas must be removed entirely and put on trial, any terror-related groups and gangs must be eradicated, and the Palestinian education system must be reformed to promote coexistence. (Israel Hayom)

  • Other Issues

  • Answers to Tough Questions about Israel - Gil Troy
    Calling Israel "colonialist" negates Jews' indigenous ties to their homeland, while rejecting Christianity too. Jesus emerged in a deeply-Jewish Land of Israel also called Judea. Jews are the original aboriginal people, being tied to the same land, praying to the same God, maintaining the same traditions and culture for millennia. Whether you're religious and believe the Bible, or historically-oriented and trust archaeological evidence - or both! - the Land of Israel has always been central to the Jewish people.
        The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is national not racial. There are light-skinned Palestinians, while many Israelis are dark-skinned. Some want to inject America's racial dynamics into the Middle East, simply to make Israel look bad. In a matter of decades, despite few natural resources, using their smarts and their sweat, Israelis built a strong country with a thriving start-up scene. Israelis shouldn't apologize for succeeding.
        In 1967, under attack, Israel won the Sinai and Gaza from Egypt, the Golan from Syria, and Jordan's "West Bank," what Jews called "Judea and Samaria" since Biblical days. Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt in 1979 - hoping for peace. Israel withdrew from much of the West Bank under Oslo in the 1990s - only to suffer waves of Palestinian terrorism from 2000-2003 that murdered over 1,000 innocents. In 2005, Israel withdrew completely from Gaza, only to see Hamas slaughter over 1,200 people on Oct. 7. Most Israelis wonder why Palestinians remain so preoccupied with trying to kill them.
        Over 70% of Americans support Israel and like Jews. But a rabid minority hates Jews. Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Jews - young and old - see Zionism and Israel as central to their Jewish identities. True, a few outspoken Jews who attract lots of attention reject Israel. But they are trying to undo the core consensus most Jews have accepted since the Holocaust that ended in 1945 and the State of Israel which began in 1948 - that Judaism, Zionism, and support for Israel are intertwined and mutually reinforcing.
        Sometimes, I'm not worried - I'm terrified! We've seen Gazans slaughtering our kids, Hizbullah rocketing houses up north, and 320 Iranian missiles trying to eradicate us. Worry, yes - but despair, no. Golda Meir said you can't be a Zionist and a pessimist. I'm a Zionist. Knowing Jewish and Israeli history, I remain an optimist, and blessed by Zionism, today's greatest Jewish renaissance project.
        The writer, a Distinguished Scholar of North American History at McGill University, is a Senior Fellow in Zionist Thought at the Jewish People Policy Institute. (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)
  • Western Hamasniks Must Come to Terms with Israel's Existence - Alex Hearn
    The subjugation of Jews is a core motivation behind the Israel-Hamas conflict. Hamas believes that Israel - which it sees as a tiny state of weak Jews - is the only obstacle to its religious empire. It will go to any lengths to destroy the infernal Jewish state whose very existence contradicts Hamas's claim to religious superiority. And unlike other regimes in the region, Hamas is happy to shed any amount of blood to fulfill its Islamist ideal. Now, many in the West are resonating with this murderous vision.
        Oct. 7 gave us a glimpse into a pre-Israel world - and the most likely scenario in the event of a post-Israel world. Before Israel existed, the majority of its Jewish citizens lived a precarious existence in the Middle East with inferior rights.
        Palestinians certainly aren't going anywhere, but neither are Israelis because, unlike colonial communities, they are home and living in their motherland. The West needs to come to terms with this reality. Until that happens, support for Hamas's perpetual war of elimination will only get more Palestinians and Jews killed. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)

The Mythical Gaza Famine - Jonathan S. Tobin (JNS)
  • Reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post in recent months have routinely noted that Palestinians are starving. Indeed, the notion that there was a genuine shortage of food in Gaza motivated President Joe Biden to order the U.S. Armed Forces to construct a floating pier and anchor it alongside the Gazan shoreline to facilitate the flow of vital supplies to those in need.
  • On the strength of these allegations, the International Criminal Court has requested warrants for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, largely because of the claim that they are committing war crimes by deliberately starving the Palestinians.
  • But what if there is no famine? The UN's own Famine Review Committee admitted in a June 4 report that the claims about not enough food being sent into Gaza were untrue. Faulty data was being used to justify claims of a Gaza famine. If there are food distribution problems in Gaza - and, obviously, an area of an ongoing military conflict set off by Hamas's Oct. 7 attacks on Israel is going to experience disruptions - it is not due to a shortage of food. The amount of items being shipped into Gaza from Israel is, as studies show, clearly sufficient to feed the people of Gaza.
  • Israel's efforts to keep aid flowing into Gaza are unprecedented in the history of armed conflict. It is a given that warring powers are not responsible for feeding their enemies, especially people under the control of hostile combatants. Even the U.S. has acknowledged that few of the supplies that had entered Gaza via the floating pier had reached their intended recipients.
  • In wartime, food distribution networks are inevitably disrupted. But if Palestinians are suffering, then it's nothing short of libelous to blame Israel for it. From the start of the war, armed Hamas operatives have hijacked most of the deliveries. In addition, gangs of smugglers - most of which are likely affiliated with the various terrorist movements - have also commandeered aid shipments.
  • Then why are so many media outlets, international organizations and the Biden administration still talking about starvation and putting the onus on Israel for this largely fictional catastrophe? Inflating the predicament of Palestinians in Gaza into a famine must be seen as the latest in a long list of falsehoods that have been flung at the Jewish state since Oct. 7 by the anti-Israel media chorus that has faithfully repeated every lie spread by the Hamas propaganda machine.
  • Every death and all of the privations suffered by Palestinian Arabs since Oct. 7 is the responsibility of the Hamas terrorists who started this war. The claim that Israel is starving the Palestinians should be seen for what it is: a 21st-century blood libel.

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