Friday, November 03, 2023

From Ian:

Lee Smith: The Israel Op
No one wants to send U.S. troops to fight for Israel, and Israel doesn’t want the Americans there. Historically, the U.S. officials who want to deploy troops to Israel are anti-Israel leftists, like Samantha Power, who once imagined a scenario in which the U.S. would have to dispatch troops to prevent an Israeli “genocide” of Palestinians. When Biden sent a Marine general to consult with Israeli brass two weeks ago it was to stall the ground invasion, not to assist the Israelis. That Hezbollah has repeatedly fired on Israel is further evidence the aircraft carrier groups Biden deployed to the eastern Mediterranean are there not to deter Hezbollah, but rather Israel.

Contrary to Macgregor’s assessment, Biden is not escalating. In demanding that Israel allow aid trucks across the Egyptian border uninspected, and restore Gaza’s electricity, water, and internet, the president is dismantling Israel’s blockade. With Israeli troops on the verge of bisecting Gaza Wednesday, Biden called for a ceasefire. These are actions characteristic not of an ally but an adversary. And offering Iran negotiations for the purpose of legalizing its nuclear weapons program and giving it access to hundreds of billions of dollars are signs of friendship, not enmity.

Which is why, of course, Iranian allies are shooting at U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq: not because they’re escalating war with the U.S., but to encourage Biden to pressure the Israelis. And it’s working. The Biden administration has even prohibited U.S. small arms manufacturers from exporting rifles and handguns for Israelis to defend themselves against another Oct. 7 massacre.

Macgregor worked briefly in Trump’s administration, and thought he, too, was headed for war with Iran after the president killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s external terror unit, the Quds Force. Soleimani was behind an attack on an Iraqi airbase that killed one American contractor and then an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. He was plotting more operations against Americans, and had been responsible for the deaths of thousands of U.S. servicemen in Iraq. It wasn’t complicated for Trump: If you kill Americans, you die.

Some of Trump’s base don’t like that about him. They praise him for starting no new wars but that was an effect of his being good at foreign policy: He had a clear vision of the national interest, he supported allies, and he was unpredictably violent, and sometimes emotional. He wanted to kill Bashar Assad, too, after he’d seen pictures of children murdered by the Syrian president, until Defense Secretary James Mattis talked him out of it.

Trump’s assessment of the Oct. 7 massacre shows that the man who was the immediate target of every information operation over the last seven years nonetheless sees the world clearly. “This is a fight between civilization and savagery, decency and depravity, and between good and evil,” Trump told a Jewish organization recently. “There is no comparison between a group that worships death and a group that cherishes life.” He added that every death in the conflict was on Hamas alone, and then seemed to go off script for a moment. “I think you really have to add in the word ‘Iran’—Iran, people don’t want to talk about it.”

Trump was referring primarily to the Biden White House, but he might also have been referring to some of his supporters. Trump is right. The best way for America to avoid entering foreign wars is to get the details straight, or else relaying White House and Iranian talking points will obscure the factor most likely to lead to Armageddon—that the Biden administration is determined to give Iran’s murderous regime the bomb.

It’s nearly impossible to believe it and most people won’t until it’s too late. The American right can’t afford self-pity and self-delusion.
Victor Davis Hanson: A Therapeutic Middle East vs. A Tragic One
Yet there is a tragic retort to these common therapeutic scenarios.

The more severely Israel deals with Hamas, and the more the world sees that Hamas’s massive infusions of international aid were almost all misappropriated for tunnels and rockets—soon to be rendered into rubble—the less Hezbollah will want a similar scenario in Beirut. And, therefore, the less likely it will be to intervene.

As for Iran, if Hamas is crushed, would it wish the same fate for its greater investment in Hezbollah? Would Iran like to say to the world, “Hezbollah and Beirut are in rubble, but their rocket barrages against the Jews topped even the late, great Hamas’s body count?” Without Hezbollah and Hamas buffers, will Iran be safer, or more exposed?

As for global opinion, it is now anti-Israel as never before, as the stronger power is currently shown to be the weaker. And so the anti-Israeli world concludes that there are no great consequences to its anti-Semitism, especially if Israel takes such a savage blow and does not respond. Is that not sad proof, in an abjectly amoral world, that Israel deserved the blow? If it did not deserve the blow, why did it not respond to kill the killers?

In contrast, if Israel crushes Hamas, the world will not like Israel, but it will caution prudence to anti-Semitic killers, lest they incite a righteous Israeli retribution. And they may well secretly hope that Israel deals with the murderers who deserve their fate. The more Israel hesitates, the more the EU crowd and the “moderate” Arab regimes will damn Israel: “Doesn’t Jerusalem’s hesitation reveal its guilt or fear?”

But the more it blasts Hamas into oblivion, the more the opportunists will privately shrug: “Well, that’s that – good riddance. We warned the killers not to provoke Israel, so what did the late great Hamas expect anyway?”

There are two caveats, of course. First: the worst thing that Israel could do is inflicting enough damage on Gaza to incite global empathy, but not enough to destroy Hamas – an act that would justify the rubble videos on CNN and the BBC. And, second, it must continue to regret its need to bomb Hamas into smithereens, given the unavoidable collateral damage. The quieter and less triumphalist it becomes, the more the damage it does to Hamas will resonate.

Israelis are not haughty Athenians dialoguing with an innocent, Melian Hamas and its supporters on realism and human nature. Rather, they are the ones who were attacked and who now must make reluctantly clear to the attackers that they did not ask for and do not particularly enjoy the messy work of destroying them.

So we are back to square one: only speaking seldom and quietly, with the readiness to use force when necessary, achieves deterrence—and with deterrence at last comes peace.

The tragedy is that realist deterrence is moral, while naïve appeasement is immoral. Yet the former is unpopular and falsely dubbed cruel as it saves lives, while the latter is praised as humane as it dooms them.
Victor Davis Hanson: One Sick War
There is something surreal, even sick, about the current Gazan war.

Throughout European and American cities and campuses, tens of thousands of Middle Eastern immigrants and students and radical leftists chant nonstop, "Free Palestine from the River to the Sea."

More recently, they are also yelling, "Israel, you can't hide; we caught you in genocide."

Consider the hypocrisy of that dual messaging.

Hamas and its supporters are openly and eagerly calling for the genocidal end of Israel by wiping it out from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Yet, at the same time, they also claim it is Israel that is committing genocide -- the very current self-described agenda of Hamas and its expatriate community of devotees!

The war has become crazier still.

Hamas and its megaphones abroad also blast Israel daily for retaliating for the October 7 butchery of some 1,400 Israeli infants, children, women, and the elderly.

They further demand Israel must be selective in its airborne targeting of the Hamas killers, who burrow beneath hospitals and mosques while using civilians as shields.

Hamas takes for granted that a supposedly heartless Israel nevertheless will be reluctant to strike the Hamas terrorists when and if civilians surround them.

Indeed, Gazans are put in more danger by Hamas than they would otherwise be by the Israel Defense Forces.

Yet the world accepts that Israel itself would never employ such a ruse of using civilians to shield its cities from indiscriminately fired Hamas missiles.

The world further knows that if Israel ever employed such a barbaric tactic, Israeli civilian shields would attract -- not deter -- Hamas rockets.
The 'Two-State' Solution to Murder Jews
Every Palestinian child knows that if presidential elections were held today, the terrorist group Hamas would win. The most recent PSR poll, published one month before the Hamas massacre, showed that 58% of the Palestinians would vote for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as opposed to 37% for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The poll also showed that 58% of the Palestinian public supports "armed confrontations and intifada" against Israel.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have proven again and again that they hate Israel as much, if not more, than Hamas hates Israel.

There is a dangerously false idea that Abbas or any other Palestinian leader would rein in Hamas in the West Bank. Abbas has no problem with Hamas operating in the West Bank, as long as the terrorist group is targeting Israel, and not him or the Palestinian Authority leadership.... but everyone who lives in the West Bank and Gaza Strip knows that this is a lethal lie.

Creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank would mean turning it into another Iran-led base for Jihad against Jews.

What appears to be missed by many in the West is that it is Israel's security and civilian presence in the West Bank that is preventing Hamas, or groups such as Al Qaeda or ISIS, from seizing control of the area.

It is high time for Biden and other Western leaders to stop pushing delusional ideas that will quickly lead to a repeat of the October 7 massacre. How many Jewish babies must be beheaded or baked alive in an oven, one wonders, for them to see that Palestinian leaders have radicalized their people against Israel to a point where they brag about slaughtering Jews with their own hands.

Col Kemp: Biden must not betray Israel
As Israel launched a major ground offensive against Hamas last week, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed an Arab-initiated resolution to deny Israel’s right to self-defence following the horrific assault on October 7. While refusing to name Hamas as the aggressor, the UN called for an immediate ‘humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities’.

That is nothing less than a policy of appeasement which both Israel and the US have rightly rejected. What does a cessation of hostilities actually mean? Does it mean negotiation, dialogue and compromise? Of course not. Hamas is a jihadist organisation, dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel and, like ISIS, the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in which Jews are either killed, expelled or subjugated. Does it mean Hamas laying down its arms? Absolutely not. Hamas fanatics can only fight to win, die fighting or escape to fight another day.

No, a cessation of hostilities can only mean Israel withdrawing back behind its borders, leaving Hamas to rebuild the military capability it used to such inhuman and devastating effect three weeks ago, and to replenish the 7,500+ missiles that have been fired at Israel’s civilian population over the last three weeks. In other words, exactly what happened after Jerusalem agreed to a ceasefire following each of the previous four rounds of fighting in Gaza since Hamas took control in 2006.

After October 7, Israel can no longer tolerate that. No country could. The only option is to fight Hamas and its fellow Gaza terrorists until it destroys their ability to attack its people again. There is no doubt about how hard and bloody that will be: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described it as Israel’s second war of independence. It is an existential fight and if there is any compromise now, Israel will cease to exist in its current form: a country that can defend its people and its territory.

Israel must defend itself not only against Hamas but also its paymasters and military quartermasters in Tehran. Time and again the Iranian ayatollahs have made clear their intention to annihilate the Jewish state and have been building nuclear weapons for exactly this purpose. Alongside that apocalyptic project, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or IRGC has put together a network of jihadist proxies, its ‘axis of resistance’, which includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and terrorist groups in the West Bank, Syria and Lebanon.
Blinken in Israel for talks on Hamas war
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Friday for his third visit since the start of the war with Hamas.

The top American diplomat met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of the War Cabinet including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Ministers-without-Portfolio Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi also attended the meeting, as did Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi and Shas Party leader MK Aryeh Deri.

Participating in the meeting for the U.S. side were Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, State Department Counselor Derek Chollet, U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues David Satterfield and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew.

At the beginning of their meeting, Netanyahu showed Blinken and his delegation footage of the massacre perpetrated by Hamas on Oct. 7.

My friends on the left want a cease-fire. Why aren’t they demanding that Hamas surrender, instead?
The fact that cease-fire calls have focused almost exclusively on Israel shows me that there is a deep antisemitic rot within the left that has conditioned people to view Jewish lives as less important. American leftists have minimized Israeli losses, dehumanized Israelis, endorsed violence and inflamed the conflict with outlandish rhetoric for years. You wanted to “globalize the intifada.” Every time you yelled these things you damaged efforts to build peace.

You have used your rhetoric to erase the existence of Mizrahi Jews, Ethiopian Jews and other Jews of color to claim that Israel is an entirely white state populated by European colonizers. You ignored Jews’ clear claims of indigenousness to the Levant and claimed we were “settler colonialists.” You justified terrorism and worked to demonize Zionism.

When your rhetoric sounds exactly like that of far-right white nationalists, doesn’t that disturb you? From hate crimes in London to violent intimidation at Cooper Union, you have helped to make Jews less safe: Early data shows a 388% increase in incidents of antisemitism since Oct. 7.

American Jews have been a critical part of a strong vibrant left throughout American history. We were at the forefront of the labor movement, marched for civil rights, stood at Stonewall, fought for women’s rights, gay marriage, and much more. I am deeply grateful to those on the left, from elected officials to activists to writers, who have awakened to antisemitism and are standing tall against it. I am deeply grateful to President Biden, who has declined calls for a cease-fire and said he supports a “pause” to provide time to free prisoners, and the leaders across Congress who have stood strong with Israel and stood against rising antisemitism.

I am grateful for those pushing Israel to be the most just and moral it can be, in good faith.

The left is meant to prioritize justice, equality and dignity. You cannot be the left if you endorse authoritarianism, terrorism, and brutality. There should be no space on the left for those attempting to justify, excuse or “contextualize” Hamas’ attack on Israel.

We are stronger together when we fight hate, poverty, cruelty and systemic injustice and oppression. If you look at Jewish children and see combatants that do not deserve defending, your progressive principles are lacking. If your desire to end hate stops when you see a Star of David, you are abandoning those principles to stand with the same bigots we are supposed to fight together. If you cannot allow the horrors of the Simchat Torah massacre to change your perspective, than it is not the pro-Israel Jew who no longer belongs on left. It’s you.

Seth Frantzman: The key figures leading Israel’s military campaign to destroy Hamas in Gaza
Israel’s war on Hamas, codenamed Swords of Iron, is about to enter its fifth week with a plan dubbed “Momentum” that was adopted in 2020 for achieving decisive victory on multiple fronts. This plan was supposed to push technology to the front line and enable troops to move faster and conduct strikes more efficiently, using precision and speed. It was put in place by former IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi.

But as Israel’s planes continue to pound Hamas strongholds and its troops penetrate further into Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reported to have frequently been at loggerheads with his military and intelligence top brass.

In a now deleted post on social media, Netanyahu wrote on October 28 that “at no point was a warning given to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Hamas’s intention to start a war”. He was slammed by Benny Gantz, the opposition leader now serving in the war cabinet, and others for the post and then deleted it from X/Twitter.

Netanyahu apologised for the post last Sunday, saying he backed the security services and the army. The dispute goes to the heart of questions after October 7 about whether the leadership will take responsibility.

While the defence establishment has largely taken responsibility, but said unity is needed to win the war, the political leadership has been more circumspect. As more details come out about warnings and failures on October 7, the desire to maintain unity until victory, during a long war, could be difficult.

Here is a guide to the key people in the IDF and intelligence who are conducting the Gaza operation.
Five IDF soldiers killed in Gaza, as toll hits 24 since start of ground op
The Israel Defense Forces on Friday released the names of five more soldiers killed in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll in the week since the start of the ground operation to 24.

Those killed in action against Hamas terrorists in the northern Strip on Thursday were:
• Capt. Beni Wais, 22, a company commander in the 460th Armored Brigade’s 195th Battalion, from Haifa.
• Master Sgt. (res.) Uriah Mash, 41, a soldier in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Talmon.
• Master Sgt. (res.) Yehonatan Yosef Brand, 28, a soldier in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Jerusalem.
• Sgt. Maj. (res.) Gil Pishitz, 39, a tank driver in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 9th Battalion, from Harish.
• Staff Sgt. Itay Saadon, 21, a tank commander in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Har Halutz. Hamas battalion commander killed

Israel Air Force fighter jets killed Mustafa Dalul, commander of Hamas’s Sabra Tel al-Hawa Battalion, the IDF announced on Friday morning. He was responsible for “managing the combat against IDF troops in the Gaza Strip” since the start of the war, and in recent years held several positions in Hamas’s terror army in Gaza City, the military said.

Israeli forces have killed dozens of Hamas commanders and hundreds of terrorists in Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas massacred at least 1,400 people and wounded more than 5,000 during an invasion of the northwestern Negev. The terrorists took over 200 hostages back to the Strip.

Israel said likely to form tribunal to try Hamas terrorists for October 7 atrocities

Gaza ground invasion revealed, inch-by-inch: Incredibly detailed satellite image shows precise movements of Israeli tanks and every crater left by artillery strikes

Call Me Back: Understanding Israel’s battlefields (& U.S. involvement) – with Dr. Fred Kagan
The speech that I reference in today’s episode — in which I discuss the resilience of Israelis in this moment — can be found here:

By the time you listen to this episode, we may be witnessing escalation on Israel’s Northern border. Certainly there’s a highly anticipated address by Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah. This will be his first major address since the October 7 War began. If there is major escalation, we will be dropping an emergency episode with Dr. Matthew Levitt, an expert on Hezbollah who was on this podcast last week.

Today’s guest is Dr. Fred Kagan, an expert in understanding war theaters – as he tries to help us understand the various battlefields in which Israel is currently fighting or might be fighting in the future. Fred is a former professor of military history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He spent meaningful time in the Middle East informally advising US military commanders.
Israel stopped warning Russia of Syria strikes

In much-hyped speech, Nasrallah makes threats but does not commit to broader war
In his first speech since Israel declared war on Hamas after the Gaza terror group’s October 7 slaughter of Israelis, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Friday lobbed threats at the Jewish state and expressed solidarity with the Palestinians and their “martyrs.” But he made no announcement of explicit plans to broaden his Lebanese terror group’s conflict with Israel, as some had feared he would.

“Some claim Hezbollah is about to join the fray. I tell you: We have been engaged in this battle since October 8,” he said.

“Some would like Hezbollah to engage in an all-out war, but I can tell you: What is happening now along the Israeli-Lebanese border is significant, and it is not the end.”

Nasrallah cautioned Israel against launching a preemptive offensive: “I tell the Israelis, if you are considering carrying out a preemptive attack against Lebanon, it will be the most foolish mistake you make in your entire existence.”
Hezbollah's Nasrallah blames IDF for massacre of Israelis
The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah warned the United States on Friday that preventing a regional war depended on stopping the Israeli attack on Gaza, and there was a realistic possibility of fighting on the Lebanese front turning into a "wide war."

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in his first speech since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7, also threatened Israel's main ally the United States, hinting his Iran-backed group was ready to confront US warships in the Mediterranean.

Nasrallah went on to claim that the October 7 massacre was carried out by Israeli forces on Israeli civilians, adding that there was no evidence of Hamas beheading babies.

In the speech, he claimed that "brothers from Hamas" had planned the October 7 attack alone, and they hid it from their other terrorist allies. Despite the secrecy, the terrorist leader insisted that the attack did not upset anyone in the "resistance axis."

Nasrallah, in further praise of the attack, stated that the" Al-Aqsa Flood," as Hamas calls its offensive against Israel, had exposed Israel's weakness. The attack took the lives of 1400 people, including the lives of civilians and Arab Israelis.

He said the Oct. 7 operation led to an "earthquake" in Israel and claimed that it exposed the country's weakness.

Bragging, Nasrallah celebrated that Israel was "under financial pressure" after multiple towns near the Gaza border were evacuated. He claimed that Israel was "anxious that front could escalate..."

Mocking Israel, the terrorist leader said that in a whole month, Israel had failed to rescue any hostage or make any significant military achievement.

How an elite Israeli platoon unified to fight terrorists during Hamas war
An Israeli soldier described to the Washington Examiner how civilians and his platoon from different backgrounds have come together in a "beautiful" way following the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks, with the common goal of fighting for Israel's "existence."

Itai Reuveni, a 40-year-old combat medic in the elite Paratroopers Brigade airborne infantry, said in an interview that Israelis have "put all problems aside," including politics, in order to unify around their love of country. Since the conflict began on Oct. 7, over 1,400 Israelis have been killed, while injuries in the Jewish state stand at over 5,400. More than 200 people, including Americans, are estimated to be held hostage in Gaza by Hamas. At least 33 U.S. citizens are dead in connection to the war.

"The best way to look at it is to deeply understand what happened that Saturday will be remembered as one of the biggest breaking points Israel has ever had," Reuveni, who was called up from the reserves after previous Israel Defense Forces service, including in 2004, described. "We are still in the vengeance and denial phase. We see the pictures, the videos, we read the horrific stories that I cannot even talk about."

"But we choose to put that aside for a moment and just go on and finish them," Reuveni said. "For us, it's about our existence."

Reuveni's brigade, a historic group whose soldiers are instilled with the motto, "Initiate, Lead, Make an Example and Win," is commanded by Col. Ami Biton, one of the first military leaders to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon him declaring war weeks ago. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the Paratroopers led a famous operation known as Nightgown Sayeret Tzanhanim, which ended in Israel destroying Iraqi tanks crossing into Israel's Golan Heights.

Reuveni told the Washington Examiner on Monday that Hezbollah presents a "unique" and "more challenging" threat than Hamas to Israel in relation to the 2023 conflict. In a Monday press conference, Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer said the country doesn't "seek an escalation in the north," though it will "respond" based on whether Hezbollah escalates attacks. Hamas says over 8,700 have been killed in Gaza, though national security experts and the U.S. government scrutinize the data as unreliable.

"Day to day, it's moving from being on high alert to being with the guys on the platoon, spending time together, and having endless coffee, and speaking, talking, laughing, and it's a very interesting experience," Reuveni said. "In the platoon, there are people who are 22 years old."

Because the country has come to a "halt," one of the "beautiful" things is how civilians are logistically helping the military by providing food, equipment, and even handing over house keys for soldiers to shower, Reuveni said.

"It's very unusual to see," he noted. "Like, it's not the military that was drafted, but all the civilians were drafted. It's an amazing thing. Whether we are waiting for the war or inside the war, we all feel that we are all the same."
An Iranian-backed terror army in Yemen

Flood the Gaza Tunnels
The engineering is straightforward. Egypt flooded thirty-seven cross-border tunnels in southern Gaza back in 2015 in what stands as a practical proof of concept in this location. Seawater from the Mediterranean would be pumped directly into the tunnel openings through short pipelines. While there’s little hydrological head, there is also little topographical relief to deal with in laying the pipe. Large volumes of water are pumped long distances every day, and Israeli water technology is world class.

The shortest and most direct route to the tunnel entrances would be directly from the Mediterranean. This would require kinetic clearing of the construction sites and holding them for the duration of the operation to protect the temporary water transmission lines. The distance that would need to be cleared and held could be minimized on the northernmost and eastern tunnels by running a trunk line through adjacent Israeli territory and feeding water distribution lines to the tunnel entrances off that.

Flooding doesn’t have to be slow. A six-by-five-foot tunnel that runs 300 miles is a huge volume to fill, but how fast it fills depends on how fast the water is pumped. Rough calculations indicate that if a single pipe were used for each of eleven tunnels, with each pipe pumping at a very conservative 100 gallons per minute, it would take about seven and a half months for all eleven tunnel networks to fill. Pumping water at ten times that rate, however, is routinely done today everywhere from wastewater treatment plants to oil field operations. Also, the tunnels wouldn’t have to be filled to capacity to generate the desired effect. The effect would begin as soon as water started to flow; by the time a tunnel has two or three feet of water it would be effectively unusable.

The collateral damage to infrastructure should be minimal. The distances are short, the diameter of the required pipe is small, and the pipelines would run very close to the surface. As with the Egyptian tunnel operations, the impact of flooding on groundwater salinization would no doubt be raised. The extent of saltwater leakage through the tunnels into local groundwater would depend on the depth and construction of the tunnels and the configuration of the local aquifer. Gaza’s shallow aquifer is already over-depleted, however, and ninety-five percent of its groundwater was considered unfit for public consumption as far back as 2017. The reason is that it’s extensively contaminated with chemicals and sewage, as well as saltwater intrusion from the Mediterranean due to a long history of over pumping. Because of that, Gaza relies heavily on desalinization for potable water.

In the short term, think of flooding Gaza’s tunnels as humanitarian assistance. By eliminating the need to keep bombing them, flooding would reduce civilian casualties and other collateral damage. In the long term, think of denying Hamas access to the tunnels as an A2AD stratagem. At the end of the war, there can be no complete destruction of Hamas, nor long-term peace out of Gaza, unless and until the Gaza tunnels are taken out.

House PASSES bill to give $14 billion in aid to Israel by cutting IRS funding: 12 Democrats join Republicans to push through plan Biden has ALREADY said he will veto

USAID Admin._ Hamas Hides in Civilian Targets, But Israel Undermines 'Legitimacy' of Its Effort when It Hits Them There

Two year old 'tried to follow Daddy' into Hamas captivity, says mother
When Hamas terrorists took over Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7th, Lishay Lavi tried to make sure her family stays safe. She took her daughters, Alma (7) and Roni (2) to the bomb shelter and speaks about what happened next on video.

"I looked into Omri's eyes and told him I loved him, I'd be waiting for him, that I'd take care of our daughters and that he should not be a hero. He told me he loved me.

"They came in through the bathroom window. I was holding Alma. Omri stood by the door holding a knife. About five (terrorists) came in, and asked Omri to stand up. That was the only time my Roni just broke down, and when she saw him leave she just screamed: Nishi wants Daddy. My daddy, my daddy, I want my daddy. I held her back, because she tried to escape and follow him. And then she fell asleep in my arms… and woke up, no longer two years old."

‘Only blood stains’: Son of Hamas hostage pleas for missing mother
The son of an assumed Hamas hostage is begging to see his mother for just "ten minutes" after she was taken during the terrorist organisation's barbaric attack on October 7.

Noam Sagi last heard his mother's voice on October 7 when she called to say she heard voices speaking in Arabic outside her home and she was going into her safe room.

“It’s only by six o'clock in the evening when the army took over the Kibbutz that we learned that my mum was not found at home,” Mr Sagi told Sky News host Erin Molan.

“She wasn’t there, it was only blood stains in her house.”

“I want to see her for ten minutes, to get a call to say there’s a deal releasing her and come and meet her," he said.

He crossed the world to work on a farm. Now he’s a pawn in a foreign war>He crossed the world to work on a farm. Now he’s a pawn in a foreign war
When she was first alerted to the photograph of her husband being held at gunpoint near the Gaza Strip, Wanida Ma-asa thought it was a prank.

It was late in the afternoon on October 7, the day Hamas militants set out on their murderous rampage in southern Israel. The 30-year-old mother of one had been taking a nap at her home in the district of Kudjab in Thailand’s north-eastern Udon Thani province.

“I woke up and saw the picture in our family [social media] group,” she said. “My aunt had seen it on a Facebook group for workers in Israel.

“I thought it wasn’t real because the picture looked so scary. The first thing I did was call the mother of my husband and said ‘what is this?’. She was crying and said : ‘He’s been taken’.”

In the image, her husband, Anucha Angkaew, whose nickname is Art, could be seen with his hands tied behind his back and his head bowed sitting against a wall beside four other men, an assault rifle in the foreground pointed at them.

The 28-year-old avocado farmer was captured as Hamas killing squads burst through the border fence from Gaza that morning and slaughtered more than 1400 soldiers and civilians, including children.

He was caught up in the onslaught along with many other Thais, who have constituted the vast majority of the foreign labour force in Israel’s agricultural sector.

The government of Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has said 32 of its citizens were slain, a greater toll than any nationality besides Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinians have suffered more than 9000 reported deaths in the Israeli airstrikes that have battered Gaza in the weeks since.

Of the more than 200 people taken hostage and yet to be released, 22 are Thais, among them Anucha.

He had been living and working for the past 1½ years in Israel’s rural south at Kibbutz Re’im, about four kilometres from Gaza and close to the site of a music festival where Israeli authorities said at least 260 people were massacred on October 7.

Jordanian man, 20, arrested in Houston for 'illegally owning a gun' is 'radical who posted of his hatred of Jews and was possibly planning attack'

Caroline Glick: After Hamas Attack, The Left Needs to Finally Wake Up
The IDF continues to make gains in Gaza, the Palestinian poster child Ahed Tamimi shows her true face and the time has come for the left to finally admit they were wrong.

The Israel Guys: BREAKING: Devastating Shooting Attack in Samaria Kills Israeli Man
Joe Biden Says Israel Should Pause the Fighting in Gaza Because Hamas Needs a Water Break. Not Biden’s exact words, but effectually his message.

A young Israeli was murdered today in a shooting attack in Samaria just down the road from this studio.

The IDF continues to make headway, eliminating terrorists, and coming closer to their strongholds in Gaza City. Josiah covers those stories as well as a fascinating look at how the Israeli Air Force is using epic bombs to destroy tunnels.

Ben Shapiro: Time To Cut Off Your Own Head To Prevent Community Tension
The Metropolitan Police in London remove posters of children kidnapped by Hamas in order to lower “community tensions,” but arrest a man questioning why pro-Hamas people have been imported to the West; the press continue to root for Hamas; and anti-Semitism predictably spikes everywhere.

Ben Shapiro Takes On Cambridge (HEATED)
While debating a multitude of topics at Cambridge University, Ben encountered yet another group of woke college students. Why do people think like this?

The Commentary Magazine Podcast: The Tik-Tok War
Hosted by Abe Greenwald, Christine Rosen, John Podhoretz & Matthew Continetti

Meghan McCain joins the podcast to help buck up our spirits about how ordinary Americans really feel about Israel and Hamas as opposed to the elites on campuses who are siding with evil. And we discuss, yet again, the politically suicidal nature of Joe Biden’s courtship of the forces who want to keep Israel from winning the war. Give a listen.

Douglas Murray: Faced with rise in Jewish hate, Kamala Harris tackles made-up ‘Islamphobia’
In any case, the veep had a very specific form of hatred she said she wants to fight.

And that is the thing called “Islamphobia.”

Personally, I do not care for this word. It has always seemed to me to be — as my late friend Christopher Hitchens put it — “a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.”

He must have seen Kamala coming.

Because on Wednesday Harris announced that the Biden-Harris administration was planning to leap into action and present a new “National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia.”

You might have thought that it is Jews who most need a strategy right now to counter Jew-hatred.

But no, despite the fact that the figures are in.

As FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a Senate hearing this week on hate crimes against Jews, “The reality is that the Jewish community is uniquely targeted by pretty much every terrorist organization across the spectrum. And when you look at a group that makes up 2.4%, roughly, of the American population, it should be jarring to everyone that that same population accounts for something like 60% of all religious-based hate crimes, and so they need our help.”

That’s quite a stat: 2.4% of the population, but 60% of the victims of hate crimes.

But Kamala doesn’t seem to know this figure, or doesn’t know what to do about it, and so on a video posted to X this week, she said, “For years, Muslims in America and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks. As a result of the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we have seen an uptick in anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents across America.”

Of course, if there is any such thing as “Islamophobia,” it has a very straightforward explanation.

“Islamophobia” is the expression of distaste many people feel about the murderous behavior of radical Muslims.

And while most Muslims in the West don’t engage in such acts, too many are willing to condone them, or fail to condemn them. A lot of people notice that and don’t like it.

But this stupid moral inversion is all that this administration seems to be capable of.

VP Harris’ statement echoed White House press spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre’s declaration that “For too long, Muslims in America, and those perceived to be Muslim, such as Arabs and Sikhs, have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks and other discriminatory incidents.”

What people like KJP may not realize is that the false narrative they pump out gives cover to people who should have none.
Douglas Murray slams normalisation of harassment towards Jewish students at universities
Author Douglas Murray has slammed the normalisation of the harassment and intimidation being directed at Jewish students at universities across the United States.

American college campuses have become focal points for pro-Palestine demonstrations since Hamas’ attack on October 7.

Troubling video footage recently emerged showing a Harvard University student getting aggressively mobbed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the Ivy League campus.

“They dare to chase down Jews and chant ‘shame’ at individual Jews? I hope that the identities of all these people come out and the world can make judgements about them,” Mr Murray told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

He said if what was happening to Jewish students was happening to anyone else people “wouldn’t tolerate it”.

“We would not miss a second in condemning this and yet this has become normal on US campuses and across much of the so-called civilised world,” Mr Murray added.

Alan Dershowitz: This is the modern-day version of the Hitler Youth Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz weighs in on antisemitism on college campuses on ‘Kudlow.’

Megyn Kelly: Biden Panders to Anti-Israel Dems & Cancel Culture Today, w/ Tom Bevan, Josh Holmes & Greg Lukianoff
Megyn Kelly is joined by RealClearPolitics' Tom Bevan and Josh Holmes of the Ruthless podcast to talk about the outrageous pandering of the Biden administration to those who display anti-Israel sentiments, the creation of an "Islamophobia" strategy for some reason, anti-Semitism on the left and right, the new evidence uncovered by the House of President Biden receiving money personally from foreign countries, the corporate media refusing to follow the money and cover this story, Nikki Haley's rise in the GOP primary, how Trump might possibly lose the nomination, the question of whether Gov. Ron DeSantis wears lifts in his cowboy boots, and more. Then Greg Lukianoff, co-author of "The Canceling of the American Mind," joins to talk about how colleges like Harvard who were last in FIRE's free speech rankings are suddenly discovering the value of free speech after the Israel terror attack, how the DEI touted at these woke schools are being ignored when it comes to Jewish students, how to define "cancel culture," whether people losing jobs because of anti-Semitic comments is actually cancel culture, balancing free speech with freedom from consequences of that speech, solutions to the crisis of speech censorship, some of the worst examples of "cancel culture" consequences, how to experiment big in higher education, and more.

White House announces strategy to tackle Islamophobia but not anti-Semitism
Newsweek opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon has slammed The White House for addressing the “wrong problem” after a national strategy was announced to tackle Islamophobia – but not anti-Semitism.

Her remarks come amid the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States after the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas launched attacks on Israel on October 7.

“Hating Muslims, Islamophobia is horrible – the problem is I’m not sure it really exists in the numbers that such attention would suggest,” Mr Ungar-Sargon told Sky News host James Morrow.

“What we’re seeing a lot of is anti-Semitic vandalism, anti-Semitic chanting, anti-Semitic attacks against American-Jewish students on college campuses.”

She said she doesn’t believe many Jewish people will hold the move against the Biden administration as many feel the President has shown a lot of support for Israel.

Israeli cage fighter writes the names of Muslim UFC stars on an artillery shell destined to be used in the war on Hamas
Israeli MMA fighter Haim Gozali has published a shocking photo of an explosive projectile with the names of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, Khamzat Chimaev and Belal Muhammad written on it.

The weapon, believed to be an artillery shell, is intended for use by the Israeli military against Hamas in the current conflict.

All of the UFC fighters named on the shell are Muslim, with Gozali adding: 'This is from me to the [rat emoji].'

The post has been removed from social media platform X, formerly Twitter, for violating the platform's rules.

However, it has been widely shared and panned by opponents of the war in the Middle East.
Tim Kennedy's Concerns About Israel-Hamas War and Escalating Conflicts

1) Calls to replace a Jewish state with a Palestinian Arab state
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free
From the river to the sea
Palestine will be free
Free free Palestine
Viva viva Palestina
We will chant in jubilation—until freedom and liberation
End the occupation

river to the sea – from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, covering the entire land of Israel

free, freedom, liberation – terms used to indicate freedom and liberation from a Jewish governed state anywhere in the Middle East.

occupation – Palestinian Liberation activists considers Jewish political and security control anywhere in the region (both Israel and the disputed territories) to be occupation of Palestinian land.

Explaining the message in their own words:

The Palestinian liberation movement seeks the complete return of ancestral homeland and the return of its people to this land. Palestinians do not view this as a movement of “equality,” or ending “apartheid.” Liberal zionists and their lobbies hope Palestinians buy into this agenda but it is wholly rejected… [Our fight] is not over until all land, from the river to the sea, has been returned to the indigenous Palestinians and the occupation has been totally dismantled. It is never over until imperialism is over. (Palestinian Resistance News Network’s Media Guide)

The fight for Palestinian liberation is a necessary struggle against an occupying and colonial state; not a “war” or “conflict.” It is a struggle for national liberation… The occupation and the existence of Israel is not peaceful; there is no ‘maintaining the peace’ with a violent settler state. (BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group Palestine Organizing Toolkit)

2) The Jewish State—an illegitimate, foreign entity to be eliminated
We don’t want two states, we want ’48
Nakba, seventy five years — Give back the land, stop the tears
Displacing lives since ’48 – Nothing here to celebrate!
1-2-3-4 occupation no more — 5-6-7-8 smash the settler Zionist state
Free the people free the land -Justice is our demand -No peace on stolen land.
Hey hey, ho ho, Zionism/colonialism/imperialism has got to go!
Decolonize Palestine
Settler settler go back home — Palestine is ours alone
Zionist settlers leave us alone, Palestine is our home
Israel, Israel you shall learn! By the millions we’ll return!
Right of Return for refugees

1948 – the year Israel was established

Nakba – the loss of the Arab war to annihilate the State of Israel in 1948

Displacing lives – a reference to the Palestinian Arabs who became refugees in the 1948 war waged by their leaders to wipe Israel off the map

Occupation – Palestinian Liberation activists consider Israeli political or security control of the land of Israel and the territories to be occupation of Palestinian land

Justice – the return of the Jewish state to Palestinian hands, which they claim is Palestinian by right

Stolen land – all of Israel. Palestinians claim they are the indigenous people, that Jews have no ancestral homeland, no history or right to the land of Israel

Colonialism/imperialism – Israeli habitation anywhere within the Jewish ancestral homeland, which Palestinians consider to be theirs

Decolonize/decolonization – to rid the land of Jewish cities, towns, collective communities, and neighborhoods

Settler – any Jew who lives in the area of Israel or in the disputed territories

Go back home – a call for Jews to leave Israel for Europe, which Palestinians claim Jews come from

Return – a call to anyone with Palestinian ancestry from anywhere in the world to move to Israel and become the dominant ethnic group to take over governance

Refugee – refers to any Arab, anywhere in the world with an ancestor who lived in the area before 1948 Explaining the message in their own words:

Anti-zionism means the dismantlement of the zionist entity. .. It is referred to as the zionist entity or “israel” because it is a colony… To Palestinians, the entirety of the zionist entity is a settlement. It is never over until imperialism is over.…This is a long and steadfast resistance movement against settler colonialism: The resistance has been consistent since the British invasion of Palestine and onward against settler colonialism… (Palestinian Resistance News Network’s Media Guide)

The occupation and the existence of Israel is not peaceful; there is no ‘maintaining the peace’ with a violent settler state…. decolonization is a call to action, a commitment to the restoration of Indigenous sovereignty. (BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group Palestine Organizing Toolkit)

Exclusive: Amazon Australia selling t-shirts with Hamas rally cry
Sky News host Erin Molan reveals Amazon Australia is selling t-shirts with the Hamas rally cry.

Multi-coloured t-shirts with the words 'From the river to the sea - Palestine will be free' are being sold on its website.

“You can read about our global policy on controversial products and content here… for additional background… our CEO Andy Jassy also posted a statement following the Oct 7 attacks,” a statement read when queried about the t-shirts.

Ms Molan followed up with Amazon Australia for further clarification but was told no further comment.

“I wonder how many other calls for the eradication of a particular country, religion, ethnicity or race on a t-shirt would be allowed?” she questioned

University campuses have become ‘hotbeds of hatred and intolerance’: Rita Panahi
Sky News host Rita Panahi has condemned the attacks and intimidation of Jewish people on university campuses, pointing out that the institutions have become “hotbeds of hatred and intolerance”.

American college campuses have become focal points for pro-Palestine demonstrations since Hamas’ attack on October 7.

Troubling video footage recently emerged showing a Harvard University student getting aggressively mobbed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the Ivy League campus.

Ms Panahi said university campuses have become the “rotten fruit of the left’s long march through the institutions”.

“But as Jewish students are being monstered and Jews are feeling compelled to hide signs of their Jewishness, and as enraged crowds march in the streets chanting anti-Semitic slogans, well the Islamists and their useful idiots in the West are banging on about Islamophobia,” she said.

“Every dangerously stupid politician from Sadiq Khan in London to Kamala Harris in the White House is talking about the evils of ‘Islamophobia’.”

“Even as the victims of extremist Islamism are seeing an enormous surge in attacks.”

New York Post exposes ‘disturbed radicals’ arrogantly spreading anti-Semitism
Sky News Digital Editor Jack Houghton has applauded the New York Post for putting a spotlight on the “disturbed radicals” who tried to erase the existence of Israeli hostages after tearing down posters of civilians kidnapped by Hamas.

Mr Houghton said the New York Post published an article that showed two women who “arrogantly ripped” down posters of hostages being held by Hamas “to hide their story, to hide their horror”.

“It was a brilliant front page which cast a spotlight directly on the extraordinary cultural issues we face in Western countries,” Mr Houghton said.

“Predictably when many anti-Israeli activists looked at that front page it didn't trigger any contrition; it didn't cause them to pause and think, perhaps we shouldn't attempt to erase the existence of hostages from the public.

“Well done to the Post for drawing a hard line in the sand and perhaps next time an activist wants to rip down a poster hung by a grieving family member, they will remember the shame of these two women.”

JK Rowling issues 'brilliant smackdown’ on left media following biased reporting
JK Rowling has issued a "brilliant smackdown" to Vice News after the media outlet levied an argument as to why Neo Nazis were at pro-Palestinian protests, says Sky News Digital Editor Jack Houghton.

“People should be responsible for their own actions, not the actions of someone next to them or even worse, someone in the near vicinity,” Mr Houghton said.

“Many journalists on the left have been incapable of drawing that distinction, until of course, it involves Palestine.”

Vice News wrote in a tweet: “Neo-Nazis have used growing anger against the Israeli government as an opportunity to spew antisemitic and anti-immigrant conspiracy theories, launder them into the mainstream, and drive recruitment.

JK Rowling responded: “Hang on. When far-right groups eager for publicity/violence agitate near women's rallies, that makes all the women sticking up for their rights fascists. However, when Nazis join a protest YOU agree with, they're opportunists who mustn't be allowed to besmirch a righteous cause.”

“What an absolutely brilliant woman, how lucky are we to have her on the side of reason and logic,” Mr Houghton said.

Couple arrested over Stars of David in Paris blame Russia
A Moldovan couple arrested in Paris for allegedly scrawling Stars of David on a school building reportedly told investigators they were acting on orders from “an individual in Russia.”

The 33-year-old man and 29-year-old woman were apprehended last Friday after a witness reported seeing the pair tagging “a blue star” on a wall in a bohemian enclave of the French capital city, according to prosecutors.

When questioned by the police, the duo “declared they had committed this offense on the orders of a third party,” namely “an individual from Russia,” reported the French broadcaster Europe1, citing an unnamed source.

No additional information on the identity of the alleged Russian mastermind was immediately available.

The Moldovan nationals were booked into an administrative detention center on a preliminary charge of damage aggravated by the fact that it was committed because of their origin or religion.

The couple, who have been living in France illegally, will likely face deportation to their home country if convicted.

The pair’s arrests come after some 60 blue Stars of Davis were drawn on multiples buildings in Paris’ 14th and 15th arrondissement. The city’s public prosecutor said that the “authors of the multiple tags observed Tuesday had not yet been identified.”

Hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters take over Philly's Amtrak train station as they call for ceasefire between Israel and Hamas

Now Birmingham New Street station is invaded by pro-Palestinian supporters for disruptive sit-down action

London chaos looms as hundreds of thousands plan to join pro-Palestine march on Saturday at same time Festival of Remembrance is held at Royal Albert Hall

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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