June 30, 2024
In-Depth Issues:

Israeli Importer Sounds Alarm on Lagging U.S. Military Supplies - Navit Zomer (Ynet News)
    The owner of an Israeli company specializing in the import of military equipment said Thursday that there is indeed a halt in the supply of military equipment from the U.S. to Israel.
    "The U.S. Department of Defense has been delaying export licenses for military equipment to Israel for months, including licenses for dual-use equipment intended for both civilian and military application," he said.
    "The Americans claim there is no policy of delaying shipments, but this is the reality. I have licenses that have been delayed for six months, some not even for the IDF but for the police."

Egypt Opens Gaza Border for 19 Sick Palestinian Children - Aaron Boxerman (New York Times)
    Israel and Egypt agreed to allow at least 19 sick children, most of them cancer patients, and their escorts, to leave Gaza for medical treatment on Thursday, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.
    It was the first major evacuation of critically ill Gazans since Egypt closed the Rafah border crossing in early May.
    After Israeli forces captured the Rafah crossing with Egypt, Egypt shuttered its side of the gateway in protest.
    The children allowed to leave were taken into Israeli territory through the Kerem Shalom border point, before being brought to Egypt.

Ideologically Motivated Actors Are Working to Shape Knowledge Shared on Wikipedia - Gabby Deutch (Jewish Insider)
    Wikipedia's editors voted earlier this month to rate the Anti-Defamation League as an unreliable source on matters related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    Central to Wikipedia's mythology is the notion that its vast network of unpaid, anonymous editors have no hidden motive besides expanding access to knowledge.
    But the decision by several dozen Wikipedia editors to deem the ADL - founded in 1913 to combat antisemitism - an unreliable source raises questions about the motivations driving a handful of highly active, ideologically driven users.
    More than 40 Jewish organizations, led by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, wrote a letter on Monday to the Wikimedia Foundation, asking the organization to investigate the process that led the ADL to be deemed unreliable.
    "Fundamentally, Wikipedia is stripping the Jewish community of the right to defend itself from the hatred that targets our community," the groups wrote.

A Committed Zionist and a Lapsed Progressive - Joanne Feinberg Goldstein (Ha'aretz)
    In many progressive circles, the only acceptable stance is to bash Israel and its citizens, regardless of whether those citizens are concerned for Palestinians.
    There is little recognition that Hamas and its allies play any role in the conflict and are able to end the war now.
    While progressive values are still my North Star, I no longer have a progressive community that shares my principles. I have become a "lapsed progressive."
    The current state of the progressive community has left me no choice but to withdraw from it. These days one cannot be a committed Jew and Zionist and be welcomed in the progressive community.
    I am no longer considered an ally, but rather an imperialist to be eradicated.
    This evaporated for me on Oct. 7 and the resulting actions of the progressive community.
    As has been well-documented, Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization committed in its charter to genocide of all Jews and the annihilation of Israel, rampaged through southern Israel, killing, raping and torturing Israeli and other nationals.
    Yes, I support Israel's right to respond and defend itself. I also understand that Israelis are traumatized by Hamas's savagery on Oct. 7 and the world's fleeting memory of it.
    I am appalled by progressive organizations, especially Jewish ones, who pressure Israel and the U.S. for a ceasefire, but make no demands of Hamas.
    The progressive community should be pushing Hamas to release the hostages and better the lives of Palestinians by ending the war.
    The progressive world is seemingly unwilling to hold Hamas accountable or put any onus on it to stop the death and destruction.
    The writer served as the Massachusetts Secretary of Labor.

Canadian Human Rights Commission Chief Made a Career of Attacking Israel - Collin May (National Post-Canada)
    The newly appointed Chief of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), Birju Dattani, engaged in anti-Israel activity while an academic in London a decade ago.
    He posted links to an article comparing Israelis to Nazis and Palestinians to Warsaw Ghetto fighters, shared a stage with a member of the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, and was interviewed at an anti-Israel rally.
    During the 2014-2015 academic year, Dattani appeared at several Israel Apartheid Week events.
    The writer is an adjunct lecturer in medicine at the University of Calgary and a former Chief of the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • IDF Returns to Fight Hamas in Gaza City - Hiba Yazbek
    On Thursday, Israel ordered people in Shajaiye, part of eastern Gaza City, to evacuate as Palestinians reported heavy strikes on the area. Israel's public broadcaster reported that the military was conducting a ground operation to root out Hamas based on intelligence that the armed group had begun to resume control of the neighborhood.
        Mohammed Qraiqea, a researcher with a human rights advocacy group, who was in Shajaiye, described artillery shelling, airstrikes and drone fire. He had seen Israeli tanks on the eastern edge of Gaza City. "The tanks have advanced in a limited manner, so far, on the outskirts of the neighborhood," he said Thursday. By afternoon, he said, most people had evacuated. Shajaiye was home to one of Hamas's strongest battalions. It is unclear how big a presence Hamas now has there. (New York Times)
  • Britain Challenges ICC's Jurisdiction over Israel, Delaying Arrest Warrant Decision - Charles Hymas
    Britain has challenged the right of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, and Yoav Gallant, its defense minister, whom its chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, has accused of war crimes. The UK claims the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the Israeli nationals. The ICC will now consider the British challenge - and that will delay the decisions on whether to issue the warrants until at least the end of July.
        In May, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak criticized the ICC for seeking the arrest warrants, arguing there was no "moral equivalence" between the two sides after the Oct. 7 terror attack. The Foreign Office says the Palestinian authorities have no jurisdiction over Israeli nationals under the Oslo accords. This means they cannot transfer jurisdiction to the ICC. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Israel Blames UN for Gaza Aid Crisis - Annabelle Timsit
    Israel blamed the UN on Wednesday for the lack of humanitarian aid being distributed inside Gaza. Israeli prime minister's office spokesman David Mencer said Wednesday that UN agencies including UNRWA, the agency for Palestinian refugees, are responsible for the bottlenecks, and claimed that "non-UN aid agencies have been able to deliver aid successfully....Stop blaming Israel. We must stop this halo around the United Nations of their being a force for good. Unfortunately, in many, many cases, they are not a force for good."  (Washington Post)
        See also Gunfire, Lawlessness and Looting Gangs Are Preventing Aid Distribution in Gaza - Menelaos Hadjicostis
    Thousands of tons of food, medicines and other aid piled up on a beach in Gaza is not reaching those in need because of a dire security situation and a "general sense of lawlessness," said Doug Stropes, with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Truck drivers are getting caught in the crossfire or have their cargo seized by marauding gangs.
        Since June 25, ships have delivered almost 7,000 metric tons of humanitarian assistance from Cyprus to Gaza via the U.S.-built pier, but only 1,000 metric tons have so far reached Palestinians. The rest is being stored on the beach by the pier. Looting has become "more organized and systemic," undermining aid efforts, Stropes said. (AP)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Kills over 1,000 Terrorists in Rafah - Amir Bohbot
    In the past six weeks, the IDF has killed over 1,000 terrorists in Rafah whose names the IDF knows, not including those buried under the ruins of buildings or underground. Most of the surviving Rafah battalion operatives have fled to Khan Yunis. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel's Security Cabinet Okays Sanctioning PA Officials
    Israel's Security Cabinet has approved a series of sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs confirmed. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said the move came "in light of Palestinian Authority action at the International Criminal Court, International Court of Justice, the UN, the [pending] arrest warrants against the country's leaders, and its push for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state."
        Among the steps taken were the cancellation of various benefits for officials; cancellation of exit visas for PA officials and restrictions on their movement; "enforcement action against incitement" by PA officials; and the transfer of enforcement responsibilities from the PA to Israel in a nature preserve in the Judean desert that has seen unbridled Palestinian building activity, damaging heritage sites and the environment.
        At the same time, the Finance Minister will unfreeze tax funds withheld from the Palestinian Authority and extend a waiver allowing Israeli banks to work with their Palestinian counterparts. (Times of Israel)
  • Sen. Fetterman: Those Boycotting Netanyahu's Speech to Congress Are Cheering Hamas On - Tovah Lazaroff
    Visiting U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) on Thursday dismissed as absurd the charges of genocide leveled against Israel for its war in Gaza, noting that if this were the case, the IDF would not have allowed over a million people to flee Rafah ahead of its military campaign there. "What kind of a nation that is committed to genocide would allow" its supposed victims to leave the battlefield scene so they would not be hurt.
        Fetterman said he also supported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the democratically elected leader of the State of Israel. "We just voted billions" in military aid for Israel, so "let's hear" from the country's leader, adding that Congress had a responsibility to do so. While some members of the House and Senate plan to boycott the event, "I don't understand how that does anything but to cheer Hamas on."
        It was appalling, he said, that European countries such as Ireland, Spain, and Norway unilaterally recognized Palestine as a state in the middle of the Gaza war. "Why would you give Hamas that kind of a reward when you have Israeli citizens still being held hostage?...What's wrong with you?...If anyone thinks that Israel is part of a problem in the Middle East, you know, you're getting it way, way wrong."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Sen. Fetterman: No to Any Deal that Leaves Hamas in Power - Lazar Berman (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • U.S. to Support Israel in Defense but Not Offense - Yaakov Lappin
    On June 24, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Charles Q. Brown, cautioned that in any full-scale war between Israel and Hizbullah, it would be "harder for us to be able to support them [Israel] in the same way we did back in April," referring to Iran's April 14 missile and drone attack on Israel. On June 25, two U.S. officials told Politico that Hizbullah should not expect the U.S. to rein Israel in should a war break out and needs to understand that Washington will help Israel defend itself.
        Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, a research fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, referring to Iran's April attack, explained, "The United States can't provide that level of assistance against a potential Hizbullah assault due to the proximity and scale differences [of Hizbullah's rocket arsenal]."
        He noted that the U.S. has historically focused on defensive assistance. "The policy of aiding Israel in defense only is not new; the Americans are always ready to help Israel in defense," Kuperwasser stated. He highlighted the U.S.'s consistent support in joint exercises and defensive measures. Kuperwasser also stressed the importance of intelligence sharing and the continued flow of ammunition and supplies from the U.S.
        At the same time, the U.S. has largely steered clear of offensive operations in the region. For instance, "They did not take it upon themselves to handle the Iraqi nuclear reactor, nor the Syrian nuclear reactor....I would not trivialize the assistance in defense. It's important, but of course this leaves Israel the offensive dimension."
        Hussain Abdul-Hussain, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, noted the U.S.'s fluctuating stance on Iran and its implications for regional alliances. "If Iran becomes nuclear, like everyone in the region expects it will because Biden is not stopping it, then it's better for these Sunni states to be on the good side of the bully and its militias. Sunni states are behaving like America does not exist. They cannot afford to bet on a power that doesn't show up when the shooting starts."
        The writer is an analyst at the Miryam Institute and a research associate at the Alma Research and Education Center. (JNS)
  • Israel Retaliates in Southern Lebanon - Raya Jalabi
    Over nearly nine months of conflict with Hizbullah, Israel's military has laid waste to military targets across southern Lebanon. In the villages and towns that dot the frontier, some entire neighborhoods have been levelled within a 5 km. corridor just north of the UN-drawn border. Hassan Shayt, mayor of the town of Kfar Kila, said: "There are neighborhoods that look like Gaza." Just handfuls of civilians remain. Most buildings are empty; many have been destroyed.
        Hizbullah began firing into northern Israel on Oct. 8 in "solidarity" with Hamas and to draw Israeli military forces away from Gaza. Attempts to negotiate a deal that would include Hizbullah pulling back from the border have not succeeded. The UN says more than 95,000 people have been forcibly displaced in Lebanon. Israeli strikes have killed more than 90 civilians and 320 Hizbullah fighters - more militants than died in a month-long war in 2006.
        Hizbullah's attacks on northern Israel have killed more than two dozen soldiers and civilians and displaced about 60,000 people. A senior Israeli military official said that "this isn't a buffer zone. We just want Hizbullah pushed back....We have to 'clean out' the area of Hizbullah's presence. They pose a direct threat to Israeli homes via sniper fire, anti-tank guided missiles, cross-border attack and other means. This is a tactical need to provide security for Israeli residents."
        Israel said it exclusively targets Hizbullah positions. "Every third home in south Lebanon is used by Hizbullah for weapons storage, training, firing positions and meeting points for a possible cross-border attack," said the senior Israeli military official. (Financial Times-UK)

  • The Gaza War

  • Hamas Sees Oct. 7 Attack as Part of a Religious War Against the Jews - Itay Ilnai
    Dr. Ido Zelkovitz, Chair for Geostrategy at the University of Haifa and head of the Middle Eastern Studies program at Yezreel Valley College, said that the Oct. 7 attack followed "an orderly work plan, the result of Hamas' poison machine, which built this event over a long time. This was accompanied by a long mental preparation, which allowed people to commit the atrocities they committed."
        "The younger generation in Gaza has grown up all their lives under a regime that promotes ideas that present the Jew in a dehumanized way, as an inferior creature....In Hamas, they learned religious rulings that allow them to harm any Jew, since even a child and an elderly person were or will be soldiers. Hamas commanders gave orders on Oct. 7, while quoting verses from the Quran and highlighting cases from Islamic history where famous commanders beheaded and dismembered during battle."
        "When you talk about killing and abusing Jews as a commandment that promises you reward in the afterlife, it has a significant impact. Even an ordinary Gazan citizen who enters Israel doesn't feel that he's acting for something material, but performing these actions - murder, rape, looting - for the sake of a religious war. It's no coincidence that in the terrorists' GoPro videos, you can see them singing songs of praise and glory to the Prophet Muhammad and Allah, and not talking about liberating Palestine. The idea of a religious struggle is what accompanies them, not the idea of national liberation."  (Israel Hayom)
  • Why Did a Massacre of Jews Lead to an Explosion of Antisemitism? - David Suissa
    How can the biggest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust lead to the biggest rise in antisemitism in modern times? My theory is that the tragedy of Oct. 7 was so enormous, the violence of Hamas so blatant, the images of Jews being massacred so graphic, this posed a stunning threat to the cemented narrative of Israel as the oppressors and Palestinians as the oppressed. Thus, it would require an immediate and massive response to shift the focus back to Israel - that big, bad Israel had it coming.
        The war has fueled the rioters by reminding them how difficult it will be to get rid of Israel. This has exacerbated their rage. They see that these are not the powerless Jews who went to their slaughter in Holocaust death camps. These are badass Zionists who know how to fight. Nevertheless, Oct. 7 introduced the tantalizing possibility that even these badass Zionists can be defeated. The haters smelled blood.
        Oct. 7 made the haters taste the ultimate victory of eliminating Israel, and they like the taste. That's why they're going hysterical. Their mission is to put Israel squarely in the defeated camp. (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)

Israel Struggles Against Global Amnesia - Elliot Kaufman (Wall Street Journal)
  • "We pray that one day there will be peace," says Nina Tokayer, half of the Israeli musical duo Yonina. "Sometimes that means eliminating our enemies, who hate peace and want to destroy us. For some reason, a lot of people around the world don't understand that." Israelis don't understand what the world doesn't understand about Oct. 7.
  • Hamas is the Palestinian majority party. It will try to do Oct. 7 again if Israel quits Gaza too early, and it will do worse if Israel surrenders the West Bank. Yet the world demands both, leaving Israelis to conclude that the world has little problem subjecting them to more massacres.
  • Micah Goodman, a leading intellectual of the Israeli center, says, "We had Oct. 7 before - in 1929," when Arab mobs massacred more than 100 Jews across Hebron, Safed, Jerusalem and Jaffa and left more than 300 wounded. "Jews were attacked in the streets, in their homes, with all the terrible atrocities that we saw on Oct. 7."
  • The story the West tells itself is that after the massacre, Israel had the world's sympathy and support. But Israel went too far, and the world turned against it. The truth is darker. Most of the world didn't condemn Oct. 7 or repudiate Hamas. Qatar and Egypt, the mediators, both blamed Israel on Oct. 7. On Oct. 8, China called on Israel to "immediately end the hostilities." Russia still hosts Hamas delegations. None of Hamas's patrons have abandoned it.
  • The big human-rights groups equivocated on Oct. 7 about "civilians on both sides." Ever since, they have pretended the war began on Oct. 8, representing the Israeli effort as pure malevolence.
  • U.S. support for Israel has been essential, but it has strings attached. At every stage of the war, President Biden has worked to slow and scale down Israel's military response. U.S. generals advised Israel not to invade Gaza, senior Israeli officials say. The Americans insisted that raids from the perimeter would defeat Hamas. By January, the Biden administration was pressing hard for a Palestinian state. Never mind that polls show 2/3 of Palestinians support the Oct. 7 attack.

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