July 4, 2024
In-Depth Issues:

Top Hizbullah Commander Killed in Precision Israeli Airstrike (Telegraph-UK)
    Senior Hizbullah commander Mohammed Naameh Nasser was killed in an Israeli drone strike on his car in Tyre in south Lebanon on Wednesday, along with a second fighter.
    Hizbullah responded to the killing by firing 100 rockets at Israel.
    Nasser is the third senior Hizbullah commander to be killed in the recent hostilities.
    See also Massive Hizbullah Rocket Fire Continues - Eitan Glikman (Ynet News)
    Hizbullah rocket and drone barrages continued across northern Israel Thursday morning.
    A Hizbullah official told Al Jazeera that the group has launched over 20 drones and 200 rockets and missiles, in its largest attack against Israel since Oct. 7.

Netanyahu Responds to New York Times Report on Disagreements with IDF (Jerusalem Post)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Tuesday to a New York Times report which claimed that IDF generals wish for a ceasefire in Gaza.
    "Anonymous sources briefed the New York Times. They said that Israel will be ready to end the war before achieving all of its goals. I don't know who those unnamed parties are, but I'm here to make it unequivocally clear - it won't happen."
    "We will end the war only after we achieve all of its goals, including the elimination of Hamas and the release of all our hostages. The political echelon defined these goals for the IDF, and the IDF has all the means to achieve them."
    "We don't give in to defeat either at the New York Times or anywhere else. We are imbued with the spirit of victory."
    See also IDF Commanders Support Elimination of Hamas - Ron Ben-Yishai (Ynet News)
    Senior IDF and security officials have told me that their position was that Hamas must be eliminated both militarily and as a governing force, and that hostages must be freed.
    They believe a ceasefire in Gaza could also prevent an all-out war in the north. At the same time, the military has no hesitation to confront Hizbullah.
    There is no shortage of munitions and spare parts for the tanks and bulldozers participating in the fighting in Gaza. The delay in arms shipment by the U.S. doesn't create such a shortage either.
    The IDF is eyeing its supply of munitions in preparation for a war against Hizbullah.
    There is no change to the motivation of troops to fight the war. Although there is a slight dip in the willingness of reservists to report to additional rounds of duty, that is hardly impacting the military's deployment.

IDF: We're Waging "a War of Attrition Against the Other Side" - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
    IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi said Tuesday, "As we move to the next phase, we will introduce different methods, new tactics and altered logistical support to suit the stage."
    "All of this focuses on our determination, persistence, and resilience, turning this into a war of attrition against the other side and achieving our objectives. With a lot of willpower, patience and perseverance, the results will speak for themselves in due course."

CNN Fires Hamas-Linked Gaza Freelance Journalist  (HonestReporting)
    Throughout the Israel-Hamas war, CNN has given a prominent platform to news reports by Gaza freelance journalist Abdel Qader Sabbah, who has also worked for AP.
    After HonestReporting found that Sabbah photographed himself with a senior Hamas leader, served in a Hamas-run body, praised terrorists, and shared anti-Israeli propaganda online, CNN announced Wednesday that it would no longer use his services.

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Paris Rabbi: "There Is No Future for Jews in France" - Michael Starr (Jerusalem Post)
    Grande Synagogue of Paris Chief Rabbi Moshe Sebbag told the Jerusalem Post on Monday: "It is clear today that there is no future for Jews in France. I tell everyone who is young to go to Israel or a more secure country."

Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.) Is an Israel-Supporting Progressive - Natalie Fertig (Politico)
    Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.), 36, shocked the political world in 2022 by defeating a Republican incumbent.
    She evinced strongly progressive views on a host of issues. But she also voted to send military support to Israel.
    She was one of 20 Democrats who voted to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan for comments she made after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, including using the phrase "from the river to the sea" on social media.
    When asked in May about her votes to support Israel, she told me, "American contributions to Israel are tantamount to like 1% of their GDP," arguing that Israel would keep fighting with or without American money.
    Her reasoning included America's responsibility to its allies and the necessity of ensuring Israel's democracy for women and LGBTQ people in the Middle East.
    Asked about the money she's received from AIPAC this cycle, she said, "If they want to donate to me because they agree with what I'm saying, that's great. I'm not going to change what I'm saying because of an outside group."

Despite War, Israeli Startups Raised More Money in Second Quarter - David Rosenberg (Ha'aretz)
    In the second quarter of 2024, Israeli high-tech startups raised $2.8 billion, the highest quarterly amount in two years.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Biden Told Netanyahu after Iran's April Attack on Israel: "If You Launch a Big Attack on Iran, You're on Your Own" - Peter Baker
    President Biden's aides, citing examples of the president's alertness and coherence where critical national security issues were on the line, described the Situation Room the night that Iran hurled a barrage of missiles and drones at Israel. Aides present portrayed a president lecturing Prime Minister Netanyahu by phone to avoid a retaliatory escalation. "Let me be crystal clear," Biden said. "If you launch a big attack on Iran, you're on your own."
        Netanyahu pushed back, citing the need to respond in kind to deter future attacks. "You do this and I'm out," Biden said forcefully. Ultimately, the aides noted, Netanyahu scaled back Israel's response. (New York Times)
  • Israel to Test Hamas-Free Enclaves in Gaza
    Israel will create "humanitarian enclaves" for civilians who are not linked to Hamas in Gaza as part of a pilot scheme for how the territory could be ruled after the terror group is defeated. The test is set to begin in Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia and Atatra in northern Gaza, where local Palestinians will slowly take over responsibility for distributing aid - a job currently left to humanitarian groups under the supervision of Hamas. However, "locals are still reluctant to take over from Hamas unless they realize Hamas is no longer a threat to them," an intelligence source explained. (Telegraph-UK)
  • U.S. Government Routes Millions to Foreign NGOs behind Anti-Israel Boycott Campaigns - Gabe Kaminsky
    The U.S. government has granted tens of millions of dollars to foreign groups behind campaigns pressuring American defense contractors to boycott supplying Israel with arms and jet fuel, according to an analysis of funding records.
        The U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department have funded the Netherlands-based Center for Research on Multinational Corporations, Norwegian People's Aid, and the Ireland-based Catholic Church agency Trocaire, which have supported pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns against Israel and published reports calling on the U.S. to choke off key Israeli aid.
        NGO Monitor President and founder Prof. Gerald Steinberg said this funding conflicts with the interests and goals of the U.S. "It is alarming that taxpayer funding is being provided to foreign organizations seeking to harm U.S. companies."  (Washington Examiner)
  • Egyptian Government Press: Hamas Operatives in Gaza Are Heroes Who Don't Fear Death; Israel's Demise Is Certain
    Articles published in the Egyptian government press in the last few weeks praise Hamas's conduct in the Gaza war and predict the demise of Israel and of the U.S. as a world power. Titled "The End of Israel," "Israel Has No Future," "Israel Self-Destructs," "A World Without America," and more, the articles describe Hamas's fighters as "brave" and as "heroes" who are unafraid of death, and as "wise" men who created "the most important and influential juncture in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict."
        Meanwhile, IDF soldiers are described as helpless cowards who are "weaker than a spider's web." They describe Israel as a constant threat to the Arabs that must perish if the Arabs are to survive, and predict that its end is indeed near. They also claim that the war in Gaza has brought an end to America's global hegemony. (MEMRI)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Soldier Murdered in Shopping Mall, Wounded Companion Kills Attacker - Nir Cohen
    Sgt. Aleksandr Iakiminskyi, 19, was murdered in a terrorist stabbing attack at a shopping mall in the northern city of Karmiel on Wednesday. Sgt. Natan Shimon Avny, who was stabbed three times in the chest and shoulder, eliminated the terrorist. Surveillance footage shows Jawad Rabia, 20, an Arab Israeli citizen from a nearby town, sneaking up on the two soldiers from behind and lunging at them with a knife. (Ynet News)
  • Dozens of Terrorists Eliminated in Gaza on Wednesday - Yoav Zitun
    The IDF eliminated dozens of terrorists in face-to-face encounters, and with tank fire and airstrikes, and destroyed several tunnel routes in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood over the past 24 hours, the army said Thursday morning. Other armed terrorists were eliminated in Rafah and in central Gaza. (Ynet News)
  • IDF Airstrike Eliminates West Bank Terror Cell Planting Explosives - Amir Bohbot
    An IDF aircraft targeted a Palestinian terror cell as it was planting explosives in Nur Shams near Tulkarm in the West Bank on Tuesday night. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    The Gaza War

  • Big Lies about Israel - Robert Williams
    For months, Israel has refuted the false, malicious narrative pushed by international organizations that it was causing famine in Gaza and even using it as a "weapon of war." Now, it turns out, it was all a big lie.
        In its report published on June 4, the UN's Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) concluded that famine was no longer even "plausible" and had no "supporting evidence." The UN has also admitted that until now there have only been 32 deaths in Gaza from malnutrition and 28 of those were among children under 5 years old. The most recent IPC report, published on June 25, concluded that the supply of food to Gaza had, in fact, increased, not decreased, in recent months and that "in this context, the available evidence does not indicate that famine is currently occurring."
        By comparison, more than three million children in Sudan are acutely malnourished. "About 222,000 severely malnourished children and more than 7,000 new mothers are likely to die in coming months if their nutritional and health needs remain unmet," the Nutrition Cluster in Sudan reported. The main reason that Sudan - and other conflict spots - are ignored is that the UN focuses almost all its resources on Gaza.
        The claim that Israel is not allowing enough humanitarian aid into Gaza was the ostensible reason for President Joe Biden to build a pier in Gaza. Yet UN Watch reported that "as of April 4, 2024, approximately six months into the war, some 13,000 trucks of food have entered Gaza, which amounts to 272,000 tons of food, more than double the required amount according to the [UN's World Food Program] WFP." Despite this, on June 18, UN human rights chief Volker Turk repeated the defamatory accusation that Israel stops humanitarian aid from entering Gaza.
        For months the media has reported casualty figures directly from Hamas, which claims that Israel has killed more than 37,000 people in Gaza, mainly women and children. In May, the UN effectively admitted that Hamas's casualty figures were untrustworthy, lowering the number of fatalities from 34,000 to 24,000 and reducing the number of childhood casualties from 14,000 to 7,800. According to the IDF, 14,000 of those 24,000 were Hamas terrorists, meaning that the actual number of civilian deaths at that time was closer to 10,000.
        "Civilians" in a Palestinian context is a complicated issue. Many so-called "civilians" took part in the Oct. 7 massacres in Israel. In addition, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are known for their recruitment of teenage terrorists. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Hizbullah

  • Hizbullah and the Weakness of the West - Dr. Fiamma Nirenstein
    From the moment of the Oct. 7 massacre, Hizbullah has been attacking a Western ally - Israel. As a result, residents of Israel's north have had to be evacuated. But the West chose to cower in the face of Hizbullah's violence.
        After the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah, UN Security Council Resolution 1701 demanded that Hizbullah withdraw from the Israeli border area to the Litani River, its presence to be replaced by the Lebanese army and the peacekeeping force UNIFIL. Hizbullah ignored the resolution and the world did nothing as it built dense networks of tunnels and placed missile launchers in numerous civilian areas.
        Israel cannot continue to tolerate the current situation. There are tens of thousands of evacuees. Cities like Kiryat Shmona have been abandoned. Kibbutzim and numerous villages stand empty. So do houses, schools, offices, research centers and medical clinics. Local agriculture is in ruins. Israel is in existential danger from a monster far worse than Hamas. It is a battle of life and death, us or them.
        The writer, a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, served as vice president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Italian Chamber of Deputies.  (JNS)
  • Why Isn't the World Blasting Hizbullah for Its Unprovoked War Against Israel? - Herb Keinon
    More than 60,000 Israelis were forced to flee their homes in northern Israel due to Hizbullah attacks. According to a Yediot Ahronot report on Tuesday, 1,023 homes, public buildings and infrastructure facilities have been hit by rockets, drones and missiles from Lebanon. The hardest hit communities are Kiryat Shmona (147 incidents), Menara (130), Metulla (121), Shlomi (115) and Arab al-Aramshe (88). More than 130 communities have been affected.
        Why isn't the world blasting Hizbullah for this unprovoked act of war? Why does the world accept as normal a situation where an attack of one UN country is taking place continuously from another? Why isn't this an issue in the world's media? Why isn't the international community slapping economic sanctions on Hizbullah and its supporters - first and foremost Iran - to discourage attacks?
        Beyond urging Israel to refrain from launching a full-scale military action against Hizbullah, the Biden administration does not seem to have any other plans or strategies to help Israel deal with the issue and regain its sovereignty in the northern part of its own country. The slow-walking of weapons shipments to Israel - weapons that will be needed if a major operation is to take place in Lebanon - only hampers Israel if it takes the decision to restore its lost sovereignty through military means. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Palestinian Arabs

  • Does the Palestinian Leadership Represent All Palestinians? - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Palestinians who live abroad are calling for a voice in Palestinian decision-making. The Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad, which claims to represent 6-7 million Palestinians dispersed throughout 50 countries, is fiercely opposed to the Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, and supports the "resistance" against Israel.
        Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and several PLO leaders are incensed over the formation of the Popular Conference, viewing the PLO's status as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" as directly threatened by the group. They are also concerned about the group's extreme stances.
        Given that the group was established in Istanbul, PA officials surmise that Turkey, together with Qatar, are its primary backers. On June 28, 2024, 200 representatives of the Popular Conference convened in Istanbul for a symposium on the aftermath of Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
        Speakers at the parley agreed that the attack catalyzed "achievements" gained by the Palestinians, including anti-Israel student demonstrations in the U.S. and a rise in international attention to the Palestinian cause. These Palestinians are sending a message that Palestinian leaders are not authorized to sign any peace agreement or make any concessions to Israel.
        The writer, a veteran Israeli journalist, is a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • For Jews, a Wrong Turn into a Palestinian Authority Town Can Be a Death Sentence - Moshe Phillips
    It can be a death sentence to make a wrong turn into a Palestinian Authority town if you're a Jew. Recently, an elderly Jewish man was attacked by Arab rock-throwers and nearly murdered after he took a wrong turn into Kalandiya, just north of Jerusalem. Social media video showed a mob hurling rocks at the car, chasing it down the street. You can see people joining the mob, streaming from all directions, throwing rocks, for block after block. 16 Israelis - four of them American citizens - have been murdered by Arab rock-throwers since the 1980s.
        Can you imagine the UN condemnations if an Arab driver made a wrong turn into an Israeli Jewish neighborhood, and a mob of Jews spontaneously attempted to stone him to death? Of course, Arab drivers make wrong turns into mostly-Jewish neighborhoods all the time, and nobody tries to harm them. (Jerusalem Post)

  • Antisemitism

  • Federal Court Orders U.S. Jews to Pay Antisemites' Court Costs due to "Vexatious" and"Frivolous" Claims - Nathan Lewin
    In September 2003, a cadre of antisemites devised an ingenious style of harassing Jews who came on Saturday mornings to worship at Ann Arbor's Beth Israel Synagogue. They gathered only at the hours of Sabbath services on the sidewalk in front of the synagogue and brandished signs with mottoes like "Resist Jewish Power," "Stop Funding Israel," and "End the Palestinian Holocaust." Civil libertarian synagogue members opined that this was only free speech and that the harassment would have to be tolerated. So the synagogue never went to court.
        After many years, two of the congregation's members, represented by a volunteer attorney, filed a lawsuit requesting that the protest be moved at least 1,000 feet from the synagogue. The federal trial judge assigned the case dismissed it. The congregants' lawyer appealed this decision to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose chief judge, Jeffrey Sutton, rejected the legal claim and directed that the complaint be dismissed.
        Although I was supremely confident that no fair and impartial federal court would ever penalize an individual congregant for seeking a court order that signs accusing Jews of corruption and committing a holocaust be distanced from once-a-week synagogue attendees, the trial judge directed payment of the defendants' enormous attorneys' fees - $158,721.75. On appeal, Judge Sutton approved the penalty, finding that the congregants' federal complaint was "vexatious" and "frivolous."
        I filed a brief supporting the request that the Supreme Court review the extraordinary assessment of attorneys' fees, writing: "Jewish Americans are living in perilous times. They must turn to the courts to respond to unprecedented antisemitism." The Supreme Court denied the petition on Oct. 2, 2023, just days before the Hamas massacre.
        The writer is a Washington, D.C., lawyer with a Supreme Court practice who has also taught at Harvard, Georgetown, Columbia, and University of Chicago law schools.  (Tablet)

  • Other Issues

  • Palestinianism and the Red-Green Alliance: Similarities in the Ideology and Practice of Marxists and Islamists - Tirza Shorr
    Global left radicals ("Reds") and Islamists ("Greens") may hold vastly different beliefs, but they exhibit similarities in their respective all-encompassing ideologies and ways of political and militant action. Both feature uncompromising and enforced dogmas and both believe that their religious or political solutions will solve humanity's historical ills.
        The Red-Green Alliance's common enemy is the West: socialists believe the West is exploitative, oppressive, inequitable, and hegemonic. Islamists believe the West corrupts traditional morals, is overly focused on materialism, and wishes to dominate them.
        Aggressive practices of "revolution" and "resistance" are common to left radicals and Islamists. Both movements exploit the poor and marginalized of their societies to mobilize armed struggle.
        Though ideologically fierce and focused, the societies born of socialist thought and Islamism are severely flawed. Their ideologies ultimately appeal to naive followers in the West - "useful idiots" - who serve the corrupt Red-Green Alliance's metaobjective of world domination.
        The writer is a senior researcher and program coordinator at the Jerusalem Center.  (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

How Oct. 7 Affected Israel's National Consensus - Andrew Tobin (Washington Free Beacon)
  • A new public opinion survey by pollsters affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has revealed how the Oct. 7 attack on Israel has solidified a national consensus when it comes to the Palestinians.
  • Political psychologist Nimrod Nir, who led the survey, told the Washington Free Beacon, "Until a few years ago, I could find out which political camp you were in by asking you one question: Palestinian state, yes or no? Today, that question doesn't really differentiate the two camps because no one supports the old idea of a Palestinian state....It's just not on the table."
  • Nir's team, Agam Labs, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 4,000 Jewish Israeli adults in August and then, from Oct. 9 through May, checked back in with most of them every 10 days, yielding a comprehensive picture of how Israeli politics have shifted since Oct. 7. Based on political self-identification, the hard right (5.7%), right (36.4%), and moderate right (17.9%) had grown to a collective total of 60%. The center held steady at 26.5%, while the hard left (0.5%), left (4.6%), and moderate left (8.4%) totaled 13.5%.
  • Debbie Sharon, 60, a criminal defense attorney from Yated, near Gaza, recalled that prior to Oct. 7, she subscribed to the prevailing conception that Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and subsequent economic support for the strip encouraged quiet and might one day lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. "People on the right warned us that the Palestinians don't think the way we think....They only care about eliminating us. But we didn't believe them," she said.
  • Then, several thousand Hamas terrorists and ordinary Palestinians burst through the Gaza border, a few miles from Sharon's house. As she hid in her safe room for more than 30 hours, the terrorists slaughtered dozens of her friends, neighbors, and clients.
  • Earlier this year, Sharon volunteered for Tzav 9, a grassroots movement that sprang up to protest Israel's provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza during the war. "They can have aid in Gaza when they give us back our hostages," she said.
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