Saturday, December 02, 2023

From Ian:

Josh Hammer: Why Anything Short of Total Eradication of Hamas Isn’t Enough
Israel cannot realistically turn down hostage swaps, at least at face value, no matter the tangible benefits to Hamas. But with Hamas now transparently violating the “truce” and calling all the shots, the Jewish state must regain the upper hand in this conflict immediately. Anything less than unmitigated Israeli victory in Gaza would be catastrophic.

But Israel is losing the war right now: It is waging war on Hamas’ terms and capitulating to Biden administration and Qatari pressure.

Israel, a nation once vaunted for its military and intelligence prowess, appears extraordinarily weak. The optics of abiding by the “truce” while Hamas manifestly does not do so plays right into Hamas’ hands. Hamas is taunting Israel, further sullying its reputation and undermining its deterrent posture. Hassan Nasrallah and Ali Khamenei are surely laughing.

Especially after Thursday’s slaughter in Jerusalem, Israel has no choice but to put on its blinders, tune out the “international community,” and immediately reestablish deterrence by revving back up the IDF tanks and warplanes to eradicate Hamas in Gaza.

In the aftermath of the Hamas Holocaust of Oct. 7, anything short of complete eradication is inexcusable. No citizen in a First World country can live with such a genocidal specter constantly looming.

Eradication of Hamas is also necessary to deter Hezbollah, a considerably more dangerous foe than Hamas, to say nothing of the regional “head of the snake,” the Iranian regime itself.

Israel’s destruction of Hamas would also have salutary global repercussions: The global jihad that has been emboldened since Oct. 7 would be subdued, and Jews all over the world facing skyrocketing antisemitism would finally feel a little bit safer at home.

This is an extraordinarily difficult position for an Israeli leader to be in. But Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister ever, and he comes from a famed Zionist family. The future viability of Zionism now hangs on his next moves.
John Podhoretz: A Shabbat in Tel Aviv
How, you have to ask yourself, did the Jewish people remain on this earth to build this country? Walk through the museum, which is largely dedicated to figures in history who managed to make a difference under the most difficult of conditions, ranging from official discrimination to the occasional but ever-possible pogrom, and you cannot but marvel at the simple fact that the museum even exists, and that it exists on a large college campus, and that it exists on a large college campus in the center of an important world city that is itself barely 100 years old. Here I was, on the Jewish Sabbath in a Jewish city in a Jewish country on a planet of 8 billion people, out of which the 14 million surviving Jews make up two-tenths of one percent, and the subject of my afternoon was: We’re here. And we’ve always been here.

Jews survived in the tiniest numbers, atomized throughout the world, through the two millennia following Christ. One exhibit features the findings of the 12th century Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela, who went from Spain around the world visiting Jewish communities, around 300 in all. He found a few hundred Jews in Greece. I myself know two Jews of Greek origin today whose ancestors must have been among those who met Benjamin on his travels. There were some in Marseilles. Some in a town called Taranto. The biggest surprise is that by far the largest Jewish community in the world seemed to have been in Yemen. Any one of these 300 communities could have been wiped out by plague or famine or just a general falling-away and assimilation into the general surrounding population and maybe some did. The point is that the Jews survived. They were tiny in number then. They are tiny in number now. And yet here we are.

It is the primary contention of our Jewish Commentary columnist, Meir Y. Soloveichik, that the creation and the flourishing of the state of Israel are themselves proof of the existence of the Jewish God. Being in Israel itself can make it hard for someone who does believe in God not to see this. Where once—maybe a little more than a century ago—there was almost nothing, there is now something powerful and beautiful. Where once two Temples stood and were destroyed 500 years apart, with the people who worshipped in them scattered in exile and then returned and then scattered again and then returned again and then scattered seemingly forever, there is the 28th richest country on earth. And all this on a planet where, twice in another 500 years, non-Jews sought to eliminate the existence of Jewry on the Iberian peninsula and then in Europe, there is Israel—facing eliminationist foes again but never to be eliminated as long as it is determined it will not be.

October 7 reaffirmed that determination. This is a small country and, even on the Sabbath, it’s not taking a nap. Rockets are going off and they’re being destroyed. Soldiers are fighting in Gaza. Israel is going to save itself from its foes and emerge the stronger for it. Such is the lesson of Jewish history.
John Podhoretz: Kfar Aza Must Live
I doubt the people of Kfar Aza are big fans of COMMENTARY; this is a peacenik, old-time leftie kibbutz. But one cannot view its residents with anything other than respect, because they put their money where their mouth is—and decided to live in a risky way because they believed in something and wanted to walk the walk. They believed in peaceful coexistence with the Gazans. They lived a mile away from the border and tried to find a way to be neighborly. They petitioned the government to let Gazans in to Israel to work, and employed them at Kfar Aza. In extending the hand of friendship, they gave Hamas a window inside their streets and walls—and the information passed back to the leaders helped provide the literal map for the invasion and slaughter.

I am not going to condemn them for foolishness. They knew what they were doing posed a potential danger to them and they did it anyway out of deep conviction. These are not limousine liberals toying with radical politics from their Park Avenue apartments and Hamptons houses. These are missionaries, their religion a secular creed of coexistence. Missionaries have, from time immemorial, risked their lives for their deep conviction and hope of bringing about salvation. I’m not a Christian, but I am awed by the stories of the daring of Christian missionaries across time to spread what they believe to be the Word. I’m not a peace activist either, but the last thing you can say about the victims at Kfar Aza and their fellow kibbutzniks is that they were and self-parodying unserious people. They lived in Israel as Jews and they were murdered for being Jews, their only crime to seek a better future for their country. There’s a word for what they are. The word is “martyr.”

Kibbutzim are collectivist communities of a kind pretty much unique to Israel, a social experiment in radical utopianism which involved the reorienting of the most basic daily life decisions and ordinary human wants toward a sense of collective purpose. In the early decades of the movement’s existence, most kibbutzniks literally owned nothing of their own, dined together, and even raised their children separately from parents in dormitories so as to engineer a sense of collective responsibility for all the kids. They were awash in demented ideas, potted efforts to make communist fantasies real—and as the kibbutzim themselves began to realize this, their novelty and reputation for innovation began to fade.

By now, kibbutzim are best understood as small towns without individual private property whose residents generally join together to pursue a single line of business. Some are still dedicated to farming, which is what all the kibbutzim did from their earliest days in the 1920s. But not many. A family member of mine grew up on a kibbutz that sold chocolate and had a small kiddie amusement park. There’s one that holds a patent on a certain high-grade military plastic and as a result is of the richest places per capita on earth. (With a population of 400, it makes an estimated $850 million per year.) By now, very few Israelis live on them; kibbutzniks make up about 1.5 percent of Israel’s population.

There are a couple hundred kibbutzim left, and they are home to a mere 1.3 percent of the country’s population. I hope, 100 years from now, if there is one still standing, it will be Kfar Aza—because Hamas’s depradations have marked it even more powerfully in the history of our people a place for Jews. And Jews should therefore there forever,

Cease the Ceasefires
The hostages-for-terrorists framework brings with it immense cognitive dissonance. While it yields obvious and immediate benefits for Israel, it also establishes a dangerous precedent, as it gives Hamas an incentive to take new people hostage when hostilities resume. And now that Israel has established the pattern in which it will agree to ceasefires in exchange for hostages, Hamas will doubtless see how far it can stretch the line. Thus, Israel will likely see diminishing returns to this approach—fewer hostages returned in exchange for longer ceasefires and larger quantities of fuel entering Gaza.

On a broader military level, agreeing to the type of long-term ceasefire that some in the West envision and failing to vanquish Hamas would pose an existential danger to Israel, as it will embolden Iran and its other proxies like Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad to heed Hamas’s example and launch deadly attacks against Israel. Additionally, it would cement Qatar as an indispensable player in any enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and amplify the monarchy’s already outsize influence in international matters, despite its being largely responsible for financing and legitimizing Hamas in the West.

Given these considerations, it’s disturbing that the Biden administration would tacitly hint at reduced American support unless Israel achieves the nearly impossible goal of swiftly eliminating Hamas with minimal civilian casualties. A diplomatic shift like this would also galvanize Iranian proxies across the Middle East to intensify their attacks on American troops, including in Syria and the Gulf.

Beyond national security interests, many compelling ethical reasons justify rejecting future ceasefires. Yes, Israel has a moral duty to bring its people home, but this goal should not come at the cost of allowing a genocidal terrorist group to live on its doorstep. A state that cannot safeguard the lives of its people is a failed one that does not deserve their trust and loyalty. Inevitably, such a state will die.

A long-term ceasefire, and even additional short-term ones, are strategic pitfalls. They foster a false sense of security, set dangerous precedents, and fail to address the conflict’s causes. The path to restoring calm to Gaza is undoubtedly complex, but it cannot succeed through demonstrably ineffective measures that fail to meet what must be the ultimate objective: vanquishing Hamas.

IDF spokesperson: Hamas was supposed to release Bibas family in truce deal it violated
Palestinian terror group Hamas was supposed to release a kidnapped mother and her two children as part of its multi-day truce agreement with Israel this week, and violated the agreement when it failed to do so, the Israeli military said Friday.

Speaking at a briefing, Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari did not appear to be saying Hamas had specifically committed to release Shiri Bibas, 32, and her young children Ariel Bibas, 4, and Kfir Bibas, 10 months old, but rather that they were clearly in the category of those the sides had agreed would be freed: children and their mothers.

The three were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, along with Shiri’s husband and the father of the two boys, Yarden Bibas, 34, as Hamas-led terrorists rampaged through southern Israel, killing more than 1,200 people, a majority of them civilians.

Terrorists also took some 240 hostages, about 100 of whom were released since last Friday amid a now-defunct truce deal that saw a pause in the war, seven groups of Israeli and foreign hostages freed — mainly women and children — over seven days, the release of over 200 Palestinian prisoners over that same period, and the facilitation of more humanitarian aid to the Strip.

The truce, brokered by Qatar and Egypt, came to an end early Friday morning with the resumption of hostilities, as Hamas failed to provide a list of hostages it intended to release by 7 a.m. as stipulated in the agreement that had been in place since last week, and also launched rockets toward Israeli territory early in the morning. The terror group also claimed responsibility for a deadly terror attack in Jerusalem Thursday.

“The Bibas family — it’s a case we have been following with intelligence and operationally since the beginning of the fighting,” Hagari said at the briefing.

“In the framework, the Bibas family, the mother and the kids, were supposed to be returned to Israel. Hamas decided not to do this.”
Mossad team leaves Qatar as talks to renew truce hit impasse
For the moment, the U.S. is directing all efforts at securing the release of the remaining hostages, supporting Israel’s retaliation and improving humanitarian conditions in Gaza. But serious internal talks on whether to make the demand of Qatar is expected, three U.S. officials told NatSec Daily, and early indications are Hamas will have to find a new home.

“We have made clear that following Oct. 7 there can be no more business as usual with Hamas,” said a senior administration official, granted anonymity to discuss a sensitive diplomatic matter. “This is a discussion we will continue to have with partners in the region.”

But there’s a gnawing fear that closing Hamas’ political outpost would complicate any future backchannel between the U.S., Israel and the group.

The civil war in Syria forced Hamas to move its political leadership to Qatar in 2012. The arrangement has long come under scrutiny, as some suggest the tiny Middle Eastern country is too cozy with Hamas and Iran and should be reprimanded for those relationships.

“The time has come for an honest reflection on the role Qatar played in building up Hamas and the steps that will need to be taken to dismantle all Qatari support for Hamas going forward,” said RICHARD GOLDBERG, a former Trump National Security Council official now at The Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank. In addition to ensuring the office’s closure, Goldberg suggests stripping Qatar of its non-NATO ally status or designating it a state sponsor of terrorism.

Qatar has long argued such stances are unfair. MESHAL BIN HAMAD AL THANI, the country’s ambassador in the U.S., wrote in an October Wall Street Journal op-ed that the office relocated there “after a request from Washington to establish indirect lines of communication with Hamas.”

If the U.S. asked for the Hamas office to operate in Qatar, it could effectively order it closed and have its leadership ejected. Qatar, home to a major American military airbase, could reject the demand, but U.S. officials and experts argue Doha would grant Washington’s wish.

That’s not what Qatari officials are saying in public, however. “This channel has been very instrumental in countless deescalations that took place,” MAJED BIN MOHAMMAD AL ANSAR, spokesperson for Qatar’s foreign affairs ministry, told CNN last month. “As long as this channel is useful in creating peace, we have to have it, we can’t afford to lose it.”

U.S. officials find the channel important, too, and it has proven crucial in seeing about a third of Hamas-held hostages released in recent days. Some expressed fear to NatSec Daily that Hamas, if kicked out, could find a home in a more hostile country like Syria or Iran. The group could still keep the lines of communication open, but in either case it would require the U.S. to work with designated state sponsors of terrorism to engage a designated foreign terrorist organization.

But those concerns aren’t overpowering a sense in Washington that the status quo is unsustainable.

Sen. TED BUDD (R-N.C.) argued Tuesday that after the hostage crisis is resolved, Hamas’ leadership in Qatar “should be extradited to the United States, so that these terrorists can face justice for killing and kidnapping American citizens in a U.S. court of law.” He called on the Middle Eastern partner to ensure the group’s honchos are “brought to justice for the despicable acts of terror they committed.”
The last days of Hamas’ office in Qatar?

Ben Dreyfuss: The Anti-Israeli Left Is Turning Into QAnon
Many people on the Left of the #CeasefireNow persuasion are sane and nice folks. They think that the collateral cost of defeating Hamas is too great. Or they think doing so will lead to Hamas 2: Hamas Harder, so what is really needed is a long-term peace agreement. I also am for a long-term peace agreement, but like the overwhelming majority of the Israeli population, I think first, Hamas needs to die.

OK, so we disagree about this, but their opinion isn’t some insane, evil position. It’s just a thing people can disagree about.

However, there are also many people on the Left who are batshit insane.

Take, for instance, the band Eve6. Their Twitter account is deep in with a lot of the Left and is utterly deranged. They subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the massacre at the music festival on October 7th was in part or in whole committed by Israel. I don’t want to get into the details of this conspiracy theory because it doesn’t deserve it, but here is a tweet they sent last night suggesting that Israel was trying to cover up their evildoing.

This is QAnon shit. To be honest, it’s actually far more popular and widespread than QAnon! But it is just as insane. And this is a recurring theme of the Left going back to the afternoon of October 7th.

They have seen conspiracies and lies everywhere.

The plans found on the dead Hamas terrorists? Those couldn’t be real because Hamas couldn’t possibly have color printers.

The babies who were beheaded? Those babies’ heads fell off postmortem.

The reports of rapes? The oldest wartime propaganda lies in the book!

The missile that hit the hospital? Israel did that! (Islamic Jihad did it.)

Hamas couldn’t be under the other hospital! (They were under the other hospital.)

The guns in the MRI room? Planted.

On and on.

At every point, the Left has had some new insane conspiracy theory, and they can basically all be summed up as “the powerful Israelis have faked this to justify their oppression and slaughter of the oppressed Palestinians, BUT they are also so incompetent at it that random lunatics on Twitter can catch them!”

There are dozens of these every day. I’m sure there are new ones happening right now.

There is no equivalent on the pro-Israeli side. The closest thing is people, including Biden, who have doubted the casualty numbers from the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry. I personally don’t think it was good of Biden to do that. Not because I trust the Gazan Health Ministry, but because even if it’s inflated, the fact is thousands and thousands of civilians have indeed died in Gaza. Whether it’s 9,000 instead of 11,000 or whatever, it’s still many thousands of dead people! Not all of those people are civilians, of course. But a lot of them are.

But second-guessing the accuracy of these numbers is worlds removed from the absolutely bananas theorizing the other side does daily.
The Jew-Movers Are Back
Here they come again
Sages of social media and swarms in the streets tell us, “It’s time to move those Jews again.” “From the river to the sea,” they inform us, “Palestine will be free.” Free of Jews, that is. Or, some Germans once put it, “Judenrein.”

Following Hamas’s livestreamed orgy of murder, torture, rape, beheading, kidnapping, and necrophilia, and before Israel had reacted in any way, celebrants took to Western streets and campuses to condemn Israel, not Hamas, and to chant their ambiguous little rhyme, which has three plausible interpretations: (1) extermination, (2) coexistence in a binational state, and (3) expulsion and exile. Hamas has always made crystal-clear that their ambition is option (1)—the murder of every Jew on earth. Rep. Rashida Tlaib chose option (2), saying the phrase “is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate;” but she proffered that definition while dodging censure and repeatedly spreading Hamas’s murderous lie that Israel had killed 500 by bombing a hospital.

So, let’s explore interpretation (3)—expulsion and exile. We’ll examine a whole array of questions: How long have Jew-Movers been forcibly relocating Jews? How did European and Arab governments force Jews to move to what is now Israel? What would happen if Israel’s Jews suddenly left Israel en masse? Where do Jew-Movers insist they go?

Arab Governments Move Their Jews to Israel
Contrary to the common belief of people with PhD’s, journalism degrees, and/or TikTok accounts, most Israeli Jews didn’t come from post-Holocaust Europe; rather, they were forced to go to Israel as refugees from a collective temper tantrum by Arab and other Muslim governments. Beginning in the 1940s, most were stripped of their homes and other wealth and sent packing. They and their ancestors had never lived anywhere but the Middle East since Biblical times. Consider Iraq:

In 586 B.C.E, the Babylonians demolished the Kingdom of Israel and moved its Jewish population to modern-day Iraq. The Jewish community’s fortunes there ebbed and flowed for 2,500 years. Oppression rose under the Mongols and medieval caliphates, but things improved when the Ottoman Turks welcomed Jews with open arms into their empire. As the Ottoman Empire grew decrepit, some of its Jews faced persecution. For example, the Sassoons, once prominent in government and business, fled from Baghdad to Mumbai, India in the early 19th century and then onward to other parts of the British Empire.

In 1941, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, after fleeing the British in Palestine, helped mastermind a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq, followed by the “Farhud”—a Hamas-like slaughter of Baghdad’s Jews. (A BBC report recounted a mob triumphantly carrying the severed breast of a freshly tortured and slaughtered Jewish woman.)
Meet Eylon Levy, Israel's spokesperson and viral meme sensation
On the morning of October 7, Eylon Levy, 32, was just an ordinary Israeli citizen, an oleh (immigrant) from the UK who had a huge interest in Israeli politics and diplomacy.

A few weeks later, he became an international viral sensation while representing the Israeli government in an interview with Sky News anchor Kay Burley, raising his eyebrows in astonishment, and then a split second later answering in a way that made every supporter of Israel around the world proud.

Burley asked whether the hostage deal, which would trade 150 Palestinian security prisoners in exchange for just 50 hostages held by Hamas – or three Palestinians for every captive – meant that Israel valued Palestinian lives less than Israeli ones, at one-third the value.

The interviewer explained that she had spoken to a hostage negotiator in preparation for the interview and that he had said that the numerically unbalanced exchange spoke of Israel’s diminished valuation of Palestinian lives. Asked to comment on the above, Levy answered, with arched eyebrows in a look of shock, that the comment was “an astonishing accusation.”

“If we could release one prisoner for every hostage, we would do that. We are operating in horrific circumstances,” he said.

“We’re not choosing to release these prisoners who have blood on their hands. We are talking about people who have been convicted of stabbing and shooting attacks,” Levy stressed.

“Notice the question of proportionality doesn’t interest Palestinian supporters when they’re able to get more of their prisoners out. But really, it is outrageous to suggest that the fact that we are willing to release prisoners who are convicted of terrorism offenses, more of them than we are getting our innocent children back, somehow suggests we don’t care about Palestinian lives. That is a disgusting accusation.”

Levy later posted on a video on X (formerly Twitter) and wrote that the question had left him “speechless.” To date, the video has more than 16 million views.

Ever since, Levy – or at least his eyebrow raise – has become a household name in Israel. Even though his job as one of the Prime Minister’s Office spokespersons is specifically to deal with international media, suddenly the Israeli media has discovered this smart and talented and young man.

‘Israel going for the absolute elimination of Hamas’
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated on Saturday night that the military is operating in new areas of the Gaza Strip, adding that Jerusalem’s war objective to fully dismantle Hamas remains unaltered.

“In the last two days, we are operating in areas we have not been active in over the last month, and it will increase and intensify,” said Gallant. “This operation will reach every point that needs to be reached. We are going for the absolute elimination of the Hamas terror organization.

“We are going until we defeat them, dismantle their military capabilities and break their governing ability, and we will need to do this by adapting to the new conditions of the terrain we are fighting in. There will be intense and precise fire,” continued the minister.

Gallant said that the IDF’s offensive in northern Gaza has produced “very good achievements in the first month,” adding that Hamas battalion commanders across the entire Strip “already know very well what the IDF can do.”

Several Hamas battalion commanders in northern Gaza have been killed by Israeli airstrikes.

Earlier Saturday, the IDF announced that it had struck more than 400 terror targets throughout Gaza since the war resumed the previous morning, when Hamas violated a week-long ceasefire agreement by firing rockets at Israel.

In a focused operation overnight Friday, Israeli Air Force fighter jets hit more than 50 targets in the Khan Yunis region of southern Gaza.

Additionally, IDF ground troops were active in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, employing tank fire and directing aerial strikes against terrorists and Hamas infrastructure.

The northern Gaza Strip saw targeted artillery fire and aerial strikes. An IAF aircraft struck a mosque used as an operational command center by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli Navy conducted targeted activities in the Khan Yunis marina, striking Hamas assets with precision munitions. Furthermore, IDF troops thwarted terrorist cells.

When John McCain Warned Antony Blinken Was ‘Dangerous to America’
In 2014, then-Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) rose to the floor of the U.S. Senate to give a 24-minute speech denouncing Antony Blinken, nominated by President Barack Obama to be Deputy Secretary of State, as “dangerous to America.”

The speech is gaining attention again in conservative media circles in the wake of Blinken’s trip to the Middle East, in which he reportedly told Israel that it lacked “credit” to remove Hamas from the Gaza Strip, a goal the U.S. had supported in public.

McCain, known (and criticized) as a foreign policy hawk, said that he usually did not oppose presidential nominees, even from the opposing party, because “elections have consequences,” and the commander-in-chief generally had the right to pick his own team.

However, he said, Blinken had repeatedly misled the public about the Obama administration’s commitment to stated foreign policy goals, and had backed policies that turned out to be disastrous, such as the hasty withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.

McCain faulted Blinken for a variety of other policies: weak negotiations with Iran toward a nuclear deal; the abandonment of Syrian civilians to genocide by dictator Bashar al-Assad; and meager support for Ukraine, which had been invaded by Russia.

He said that Blinken’s pronouncements on Iraq — where the administration had ignored advice to leave a residual force, a decision that created room for the rise of the so-called “Islamic state,” or ISIS — were either dishonest, or ignorant.

He concluded: “And now we are going to promote this individual [Blinken] … Not only is Mr. Blinken unqualified, but he is, I believe, a threat to the traditional interests and values that embody the United States of America.”

Mission Brief: The Official Podcast of the Israel Defense Forces: Back in Action: Meet the Reservists Who Put Their Lives on Pause To Join the Fight
This week's Mission Brief focuses on the incredible commitment of IDF reservists to the defense of the State of Israel, even years after concluding their mandatory service.

We host Alon and Sam, two reservists from the Paratroopers Brigade, who speak about their experience getting back in uniform and on the field. They share how their training prepared them for war, as well as the distinctly different atmospheres in Israel right now: that of civilian life and that among IDF ranks.

Troops in Gaza find dozens of rockets under UNRWA boxes

Israel-Hamas war: How a legendary IDF commando was killed on October

IDF kills Hamas terrorists and destroys tunnels, subterranean infrastructure in Jabalya

Report: Truce fell apart after Hamas refused to release more female Israeli hostages

'Every day could be their last': Hostage families speak out at Tel Aviv rally

REVEALED: Hamas forced Mia Schem to say on camera how 'kind' they were, how well they cared for her - despite getting a vet to operate on her - and even praise their FOOD before they would release her

Ra’am’s Abbas urges armed Palestinian factions to disarm, before softening statement
Ra’am party chairman MK Mansour Abbas has called for Palestinian terror groups to demilitarize and work with the Palestinian Authority in order to establish a Palestinian state through non-violent means.

“In order to move forward, the Palestinian militant groups need to throw down their arms. They need to work hand in hand with the Palestinian Authority in order to realize a national movement that will aspire for a state of Palestine in a peaceful solution alongside the state of Israel,” Abbas told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in a rare interview with international media released Thursday.

On Saturday, Ra’am issued a clarification in an apparent effort to soften that statement, saying Abbas had meant that “the Palestinian state that will arise will negate the arming of Palestinian factions.”

Abbas, whose Islamist Ra’am party was the first independent Arab-majority faction to join an Israeli coalition — the 2021-2022 Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid government — began the interview by reiterating his condemnation of Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, which saw some thousands of terrorists burst across the border, kill some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seize over 240 hostages.

“Any action that is taken against innocent people — against women, children, elderly — is inhumane and it goes against the values of Islam as well. We categorically condemn this. This cannot be discussed or cannot be justified because it goes against all human values and religious values as well,” he said.

“At the same time, we cannot forget that there is a political struggle that is happening,” Abbas continued.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists shake hands after handing over hostages to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (AFP) “But the actions that the armed groups have decided to take and to use violence in order to achieve their means, looking at the past, have always failed. The victim of each and every one of those militant attempts have been the Palestinian people who were the ones who paid the price. In this current conflict, we look at the number of people killed — we’re talking about over 15,000 Palestinians who lost their lives,” he lamented.

Ministers decry Mansour Abbas for calling on Palestinians to lay down arms
Two far-right ministers and one Likud minister attacked Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas on Saturday night after he called on armed Palestinian factions to lay down their arms in a Friday CNN interview.

“I think the armed Palestinian factions need to stop using weapons and turn to a diplomatic project with the Palestinian Authority to strengthen the chances of a Palestinian state and announce an inclusive and permanent ceasefire to bring about peace and an end to this conflict,” he said.

After the comment drew outrage from Palestinians and Abbas’s Arab constituents, Ra’am published a clarification in his name, saying that when a Palestinian state is established, it will be the one to hold the weapons.

Complaints about Abbas
When Shabbat ended, various coalition ministers and MKs attacked Abbas for his remarks.

Energy Minister Israel Katz said: “Abbas thinks we’re stupid and that he’ll trick us with smooth but empty words,” and claimed that “In the morning, he talks about disarming the factions, and in the evening, he explains that actually it’s only after a Palestinian state is established.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir posted that “for anyone who was wondering, terrorist supporter Mansour Abbas doesn’t want to lay down the weapons that killed the elderly and babies.”

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich also accused Abbas of supporting Israel’s enemies.

“No one is surprised by Abbas’s words,” he said. “The people of Israel have woken up and know very well who is standing by us and who supports our enemies.”

UN Women finally condemns Hamas attacks, sexual violence on October 7

FM Cohen: UN Women’s condemnation of Hamas attacks ‘tepid and late,’ chief should quit

The Spectator: War resumes: what next in the Israel-Gaza war?
Ben Lazarus, The Spectator's special projects editor, speaks to Avi Issacharoff, Israeli journalist and creator of the Netflix show Fauda, about the war between Israel and Gaza. Has the ceasefire hampered Israel's war effort? What will be the fate of the hostages still in the Strip? When the war is over, is Netanyahu's political career finished?

The Israel Guys: Hamas’s Dangerous Infiltration Into America | Episode #3
When Israel was attacked on October 7th, many of us in America stood with the nation of Israel. But the idea of something like that happening here on our own soil seemed crazy, at least those were my thoughts when we started researching for this episode. What we found was much deeper, more comprehensive, and more frightening than I ever could have imagined.

'The Good Wife' star accuses newspaper of sitting on her op-ed about antisemitism
Television star Julianna Margulies revealed that she had clashed with The New York Times over an op-ed about antisemitism she said the paper "sat" on before turning to USA Today.

Margulies penned an emotional letter to her "non-Jewish friends," saying their "silence on antisemitism is loud." The letter was published last week in USA Today.

However, in an interview on "The Back Room" podcast, the Emmy-winning actress said she had written the letter a week after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks against Israel with the intention of having it published in the Times.

Julianna Margulies accused The New York Times of having "sat" on her op-ed for a week before turning to USA Today. (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

"I wanted it to be an op-ed in The New York Times, and they took it and sat on for a good week," Margulies said. "And then when I finally got the editor's notes, it said- and by the way, when I sent it in, the title was ‘A Letter to my Non-Jewish Friends.’ They sent it back and they said, ‘This sounds more like a letter’ after sitting on it for a week. 'Could you talk more about have you been violently oppressed? Let's talk about antisemitism. Can you talk more about your Holocaust education program?'"

"I was like, ‘It is a letter! I speak for so many Jews when I write a letter to my non-Jewish friends saying it hurts us. And let me tell you why. And let me explain why,'" Margulies continued.

She added, "And so I took the letter back, I was like, you know, you are not the right publication for this letter."

The New York Times did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.
Julianna Margulies apologizes after claiming non-binary anti-Semites would be beheaded and have their heads used as FOOTBALLS in Islamic countries: Also said black people are 'lower than Jews' to Islamists

Scarborough Floats Withholding Israel Aid Until Netanyahu Ousted — ‘We’re Not Going to Throw Money Down a Rat Hole’

Embarrassing U-turn for London council that was slammed by Jewish groups after it cancelled lighting Hanukkah candles over fears it would would 'inflame tensions' between Israel and Palestine supporters

Andrew Neil: In what moral universe can the hard Left's poster boy justify watching the Hamas massacre video - then sowing seeds of doubt about its horrors?
Jones certainly doesn't like Hamas being compared to Nazis. He states that explicitly — and unconvincingly. After all, what happened on October 7 was a carbon copy of Nazi pogroms of the Jews, when Jewish communities were slaughtered simply for the sin of being Jewish — which is, of course, exactly the modus operandi of Hamas, now proudly responsible for the single biggest slaughter of Jews since the Nazis were consigned to dust.

Jones ends up a tad deranged as his video comes to its conclusion. In his determination to undermine the impact of the IDF video he drags in, confusingly, the behaviour of Bosnian Serbs in the 1990s and loudmouthed Israelis today (quickly slapped down) calling for Hamas to be nuked — everything, bar the kitchen sink.

He claims that atrocities can be carried out by ordinary people — just like us — oblivious to the fact that Hamas rears its people on a relentless diet of anti-Semitic hatred from an early age and it is that indoctrination which gave us the horror of October 7.

It is fair to say Jones has experienced some pushback for his video nasty. He is threatening legal action against unspecified critics, claiming they have unleashed a new wave of threats of death and violence on him.

That is a disgrace and he deserves the full protection of the law, though when once, in a TV studio, I commended him on his fortitude against thuggish detractors my reward was to be accused by him of promulgating Right-wing views which I did not commission, publish or support.

The fact is, Jones, the hard-Left's poster boy, is too obsessive to be conciliatory and too ideological to build bridges.

Miss America Hopeful Goes Viral Calling Protesters 'Jihadists'

Head of Anti-Israel Group Says 'Most' Israelis Slaughtered on Oct 7 'Were Killed By Their Own Army'

Susan Sarandon apologizes for anti-Jewish rant at NYC rally — after she’s dropped by top Hollywood talent agency: ‘Terrible mistake’

Orange County City To Vote on Resolution That Accuses Israel of Ethnic Cleansing

Outrage as thousands of children as young as seven skip school and go on Gaza marches - as hardline groups advise parents on how to avoid fines for truancy

Two Injured Outside Atlanta Israeli Consulate After Woman With Palestinian Flag Allegedly Sets Herself on Fire Protestor draped in a Palestinian flag sets themselves on FIRE outside Israeli consulate in Atlanta: Cops say they're in critical condition after 'extreme act of political protest'

Far left anti-Israel activists arrested in Montreal for blocking railway
Alexa Lavoie reports from the scene in Pointe-Saint-Charles, Montreal, where a group of approximately 30 anti-Israel activists, equipped with umbrellas and banners, blocked a CN rail track around 9 a.m. Despite the police presence, no action was taken for about an hour.

Anti-Semitism is a Cancer in the Academy Week in Education

Elite universities taken to task by Yad Vashem chief for rise in antisemitism

Terrorist Group Sponsored Princeton Anti-Israel Rally

Tufts University Student Group Honors Palestinian 'Martyrs'—Including Hamas Terrorists Who Died Attacking Israel

Ottawa taking legal action to recoup anti-racism funds from Laith Marouf: bureaucrat

Amid Unprecedented Surge in Antisemitism, Toronto Public Library Welcomes Radical Anti-Israel Author

Israel Trades Palestinian Terrorists for 3-Year-Old Jewish Girls. The Media See a 'Prisoner Swap.'

King of Jordan: Green Activists Must Be More ‘Inclusive’ of Palestinians ‘on the Front Lines of Climate Change’

Turkey’s Erdogan Rejects U.S. Pressure to Cut Ties with Hamas Terrorists

Israeli strikes in Syria kill two IRGC officers

Hamas delegation in South Africa for Palestinian solidarity event

Lebanon blames Israel for exacerbating climate crisis

Bomb threats at dozen-plus New York synagogues

'I set a synagogue on fire': Texas man sentenced in antisemitic arson case

EXCLUSIVE Thrown together by war, but bound by love: Bob and Ann fled Nazi Germany on the Kinderstransport for the safety of Britain. Here they found a home, security - and each other. Their story shows how romance can blossom, even from the horrors of the Holocaust

Arnold Schwarzenegger Reacts to Teen’s Harrowing Escape from Hamas: ‘Never Dealt with Anything Like This'

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EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


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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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