Wednesday, July 03, 2024

From Ian:

Survey Shows 'Complete Collapse' of Israeli Left Since Oct. 7
Nearly nine months after Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attack, the Jewish state's political divisions have reemerged, with protests criticizing the government for various and often opposing reasons breaking out across the country.

But a sweeping new public opinion survey by pollsters affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has revealed how the Oct. 7 attack on Israel solidified a national consensus on what used to be the country's main political disagreement. When it comes to the Palestinians, the survey found, almost everyone is a right-winger now.

"Oct. 7 caused a complete collapse of the old Israeli left," Hebrew University political psychologist Nimrod Nir, who led the survey, told the Washington Free Beacon. "Until a few years ago, I could find out which political camp you were in by asking you one question: Palestinian state, yes or no? Today, that question doesn't really differentiate the two camps because no one supports the old idea of a Palestinian state."

The findings help explain why the Biden administration has so far failed to persuade Israel to end its war to destroy the Palestinian terror group Hamas in Gaza and recommit to a two-state solution.

"There isn't even a majority for a Palestinian state among liberal voters anymore," Nir said. "It's just not on the table."

Nir and his team, known as Agam Labs, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 4,000 Jewish Israeli adults in August and then, from Oct. 9 through last month, checked back in with most of them every 10 days or so. By tracking so many of the same individuals over time, the pollsters were able to minimize noise and uncertainty—yielding the most comprehensive picture to date of how Israeli politics have shifted since Oct. 7.

Each round of polling had a margin of error of about 4 percentage points. But changes as small as 2 percentage points are significant if consistent over time, according to the pollsters.

The survey found that the rightward ratchet of Israeli politics across decades of Palestinian terrorism and rejectionism has lurched ahead since Oct. 7. Based on political self-identification, the right has grown by 5 percentage points to include 36 percent of Jewish Israelis, or 60 percent when the poll factors in the moderate and hard right. The left has shrunk by 3 percentage points to just 8 percent of the public, or 13 percent factoring in the moderate and hard left. And the center has held steady at about a quarter of the political spectrum.
Israel Fights Wars Knowing It Values Life, While Enemies Seek ‘Power Over Death’
Though the most evident source of human governance is power, true power can never stem from war-making stratagems or capacities. In principle, at least, consummate power on planet earth is immortality, but such power is intangible and must be based on faith rather than science. All things considered, the promise of “power over death” holds primary importance in world politics. This is especially the case in the jihadist Middle East.

There are relevant particulars. The consequences of this sort of thinking represent a lethal triumph of anti-Reason over Reason. Such triumph, in turn, expresses the continuing supremacy of primal human satisfactions in war, terrorism and genocide. On this matter of world-historical urgency, scholars and policy-makers should consider the probing observation of Eugene Ionesco in his Journal (1966). Opting to describe killing in general as affirmation of an individual’s “power over death,” the Romanian playwright explains:
I must kill my visible enemy, the one who is determined to take my life, to prevent him from killing me. Killing gives me a feeling of relief, because I am dimly aware that in killing him, I have killed death … Killing is a way of relieving one’s feelings, of warding off one’s own death.

Whatever the standards of assessment, all individuals and all states coexist in an “asymmetrical” world. Certain state leaderships accept zero-sum linkages between killing and survival (both individual and collective), but others do not. Although this divergence might suggest that some states stand on a higher moral plane than others, it may also place the virtuous state at a grave security disadvantage. As a timely example, this disadvantage describes the growing survival dilemma of Israel, a still-virtuous state that must unceasingly bear the assaults of utterly murderous adversaries.

What should Israel do when it finds itself confronted with faith-driven enemies who abhor Reason and seek personal immortality via “martyrdom?” As an antecedent question, what sort of “faith” can encourage (and cherish) the rape, torture and murder of innocents? Must the virtuous state accept barbarism as its sine qua non to “stay alive”?

There are science-based answers. What is required of still-virtuous states such as Israel is not a replication of enemy crimes, but decent and pragmatic policies that recognize death-avoidance as that enemy’s overriding goal. For Israel, this advice points toward jihadist enemies. Of special concern is a soon-to-be-nuclear capable Iran and Iranian terror-group surrogates (e.g., Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah), notably anxious to acquire “power over death.”

Israel’s most immediate concern will be the expanding war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, a conflict in which the terrorist patron state (Iran) could display greater commitments to Reason than its associated fighting proxies. Nonetheless, even this relative reasonableness would devolve into brutish expressions of anti-Reason. What else ought Jerusalem to expect from adversaries who take palpable delight in the killing of “others?”

For Israel, there will be moral, legal and tactical imperatives. Though Reason will never govern the world, civilized states ought not plan to join the barbarians. In the best of all possible worlds, national and terror-group leaders could rid themselves of the notion that killing variously designated foes would confer immunity from mortality, but this is not yet the best of all possible worlds.


The Results of Biden’s Policy Toward Iran Are Now Evident
The IDF proved well able to do its job and the initial U.S. response was strong.

But in short order, President Joe Biden said Israel was “over the top.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the U.S. would change its policy toward Israel if it doesn’t “adequately address” the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The famine — you know, the famine that wasn’t.

President Biden signed an executive order to impose sanctions on four West Bank Jews and initiated an investigation of an Israeli defense company — small matters, but with the implied threat of more.

For Iran, Biden extended the oil sanction waivers — allowing Iran to sell oil to China — and declined to veto the expiration of the UN embargo on Iran’s production and sale of ballistic missiles. He also declined to veto a UN Security Council Resolution that called for a ceasefire in Gaza without condemning Hamas and called for the release of Israel’s hostages only after the ceasefire was in place.

So back to Gen. Brown and American forces.

The Pentagon has announced the departure of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower from the Red Sea – where it had ostensibly protected international shipping from Iranian-supported Houthi terrorists. It will be replaced — after a while — by the USS Theodore Roosevelt, currently in the Pacific. The Theodore Roosevelt will head out of the Pacific region in about a week and will sail, slowly, toward the Middle East. There is no projected date for its arrival.

At the same moment, Iran’s face-to-the-West, Qatar, elevated by the Biden administration to the position of “Major Non-NATO Ally,” announced that the U.S. cannot use the American airbase there to strike Iran. Ditto Kuwait.

Wasting no time, the Houthis targeted another ship after sinking one earlier in the week. They missed this one — but the absence of a U.S. aircraft carrier must clearly make life seem easier for the terrorists and their master, Iran.

Back to Israel.

Hezbollah is conducting an unprovoked war over an internationally recognized border; Iran is its partner. Whatever action Israel finds necessary to protect the citizens of the north, U.S. help will surely be appreciated — as are the president’s words. But the administration is still urging “de-escalation” and Hezbollah has little reason to agree.

And if, for example, Iran were to chose to attack Israel directly as it did a few months ago, an American military response against Iran would not be out of line. But if the nearby air bases are off limits and the aircraft carrier is gone, with what and from where would the U.S. strike?
Biden told Netanyahu the night of Iran attacks: 'You retaliate, and you're on your own'
US President Joe Biden threatened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to scale back his response toward Iran’s massive missile and drone attacks in April, according to a New York Times report Tuesday.

“Let me be crystal clear,” President Biden told Prime Minister Netanyahu that night from the Situation Room, where he received updates in real-time on the US-coordinated international response that successfully shot down 99% of the estimated 300 weapons launched from Iranian territory toward Israel.

“If you launch a big attack on Iran, you’re on your own.”

Iran’s attack was a response to the assassination of several Iranian generals, including the top commander in Syria, by an airstrike in Damascus a few weeks prior, an action attributed mainly to Israel. According to the IDF, only “a small number” of Iran’s ballistic missiles reached Israel. After the attack was over and most of the missiles had been successfully neutralized, Biden reportedly told Netanyahu by phone: “You got a win. Take the win,” without, according to the report, “reading from a script or extensive notes.”

Concerns over Biden's fitness for presidency
Netanyahu initially refused to heed Biden’s advice, arguing that a response was necessary to deter future attacks from Iran, but Biden only doubled down. “You do this,” Biden said, “and I’m out.” Eventually, the aides in the Situation Room said Netanyahu agreed to scale back Israel’s response.

The conversation is being referenced now amid claims that Biden’s mental state is not sufficient for his presidential bid and that he is unfit to handle foreign counterparts. At 81, Biden is the oldest serving president in American history and drew global attention for his troubling and, at times, incoherent debate performance at the 2024 Presidential Debate against former president Donald Trump. The president was seen, at times, stumbling over his words and staring into space with his mouth slightly open, leading many to call for his immediate resignation from the presidential race.


'When America's weak, the axis strengthens': Fmr. Mossad official says Hezbollah fears war
Oded Ilam, a former senior Mossad official, spoke recently with Arel Segal on his show on 103FM radio to discuss the implications of Biden's failure in the recent presidential debate against Donald Trump and the possible escalation in the North.

Ilam began by saying, "The Americans, although I don't think they are anti-Israeli, continue to misunderstand the situation we are in. Biden and his administration have their hearts in the right place. The famous 'warning' that Biden gave to the Iranians didn't move them at all. They attacked Israel anyway, and the American response was that the administration issued condolences for Raisi's death. The American administration repeatedly shows weakness, which is also reflected in the ongoing negotiations."

"Every time Hamas does not accept a deal with Israel, we are forced to step back two more steps. It is hard for me to see a situation where Hamas allows us to write up another agreement that doesn't include withdrawing from the Philadelphi Corridor," Ilam noted. "I can assume that when America is weak, the axis strengthens. This confrontation is very significant. I saw Biden's performance in Atlanta, where he was different than at the recent debate. He was excellent. The same team that advised him to go to the debate is exactly the same team that shapes America's policy."

Israel-Lebanon conflict parties aim to avoid war
Ilam further added that "the Israel-Lebanon situation is interesting. All four main players, the US, Lebanon, Hezbollah, and Israel, do not want war. The one who least wants war is Nasrallah, who entered the situation in a very difficult state, both economically and in terms of his legitimacy from within Lebanon itself."

"All four players do not want war. Nasrallah is waiting for the moment when Sinwar signs an agreement. I think they are sending him messages to urge him to sign. Even if this does not happen, the chance of a full-scale war decreases in favor of a settlement. Is a settlement good for Israel based on the current situation? That is another question," Ilam concluded.
Iran Exploits Biden’s Weakness to Derail Israel-Saudi Normalization Deal
Political officials in Jerusalem note that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently stopped speaking to the media about normalization with Israel.

Despite American pressure, he has refrained from doing so.

Saudi Arabia is currently in a ceasefire with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have sent messages warning of the potential consequences of signing a normalization agreement with Israel on the ceasefire agreement.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is concerned about the Biden administration’s perceived weakness in the Middle East.

He also monitors President Biden’s political difficulties in the U.S. election campaign and considers his possible withdrawal from the race.

Additionally, the Israeli government refuses to agree to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as demanded by Saudi Arabia as part of the normalization agreement.

Moreover, working against a normalization agreement at this time, an all-out military confrontation between Hizbullah and Israel could lead to a regional war.

Given these developments, Saudi officials believe that only a decisive Israeli victory over Hamas in Gaza could encourage Crown Prince Bin Salman to sign a normalization agreement with Israel.

Currently, this is not happening, and the situation on Israel’s northern front against Hizbullah remains uncertain.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has no interest in signing a normalization agreement – which also involves security agreements – with Israel while it appears weak against the pro-Iranian axis.

Such an agreement would be complicated to pass on the Saudi street.

He also fears being portrayed in the Arab world as someone trying to help Israel recover from the events of October 7, 2023.

The current assessment in Israel is that the Saudi crown prince would prefer to wait for the results of the U.S. presidential elections before making a final decision on normalization with Israel.
Exposed: How Russia tries to exert influence on public opinion in Israel
A few weeks ago, when news articles were published about Russia's attempts to undermine the government of a certain European state, by chance I met with the ambassador of that particular country. After having expressed my disdain with these events, he responded by telling me that Israel is the one that really should be concerned. "We at least are aware of the problem and are adopting measures to contend with it," he said earnestly, "you simply prefer to turn a blind eye."

But not everybody here in Israel is turning a blind eye to the situation. Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Daniel Rakov, an analyst at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS), recently published an illuminating study on the manner in which Russia, from early 2023, has been operating an entire setup to influence public sentiment and intervene in Israel's domestic scene, as well as the ensuing threat that this poses.

"During 2023, I began to receive screenshots of posts on Facebook, which at first sight appeared to be nothing more than an interesting anecdote: the posts were written in rather poorly-worded Hebrew and were seasoned with graphic language that the average Israeli would find it difficult to relate to, with the common denominator in them all being the attempt to promote pro-Russian messages. The longer this went on, the more it became clear that it involved an organized campaign, and then a growing number of indications showed that this campaign was not limited to Hebrew alone – it was being conducted simultaneously in an additional 12 languages. In late 2023, one of the European intelligence services that had decided to 'get to grips' with this issue, exposed the original documents used in the planning of the Russian campaign. An obscure Telegram channel then leaked another document, and this led to the uncovering of the Russian modus operandi and the scope of the entire operation."

Rakov, who served for 20 years in the IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate and is a former research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies' (INSS) Russia program, was naturally interested above all in the Israeli aspect of the Russian influence and disinformation campaign and just how it forms part of Russia's overall strategy in relation to Israel. He is now uncovering them for the first time, and these exposures should be of prime concern to both the public as a whole and the policymakers in particular.

The Russian campaign is based on the clone or doppelganger system – whereby they set up dummy websites that mimic websites of familiar Israeli media outlets (Walla, N12, Jerusalem Post, etc.) or those that do not exist at all, but whose names have a strong genuine ring to them ("Jerusalem Herald Tribune", for example) and then publish articles in them that are designed to promote the Russian agenda, on occasions these appear to be signed by renowned Israeli journalists and writers. The innocent reader, who has been led to these impostor websites via links or other forms of bait, probably has no idea that he was visiting a fake website rather than the genuine thing. He will then have read refined Russian propaganda in relation to the war in Ukraine, wrapped up in the apparent opinion of a highly esteemed Israeli columnist.
Netanyahu stresses ‘joint stand against Iran’ in meet with US lawmakers
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu thanked Gottheimer for the congressman’s consistent support for Israel, as well as American backing since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre and the ensuing war.

The prime minister emphasized “the importance of a joint stand against Iran and its axis of proxies,” according to a statement from his office. Netanyahu also stated that he is looking forward to his upcoming speech to a joint session of Congress.

In the meeting with Kustoff, Netanyahu likewise raised “regional developments, with an emphasis on the Iranian threat,” his office said.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Rep. Kustoff for his consistent and unconditional support for the State of Israel since the beginning of the war,” added the statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kustoff attended the inauguration of the House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group, the newest body aimed at deepening ties between the two allies.

“My message for you is that the United States strongly supports you. Prays for you, and will never abandon Israel,” the Jewish congressman, who chairs the U.S. team, said in his address.
Biden expected to meet Netanyahu in DC
U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the latter travels to Washington later this month, according to CNN.

The report, citing a source familiar with the process of hammering out the logistics, said the meeting will likely take place at the White House.

The two leaders last met in mid-October, when Biden visited the Jewish state in the aftermath of Hamas’s terror invasion and massacre of 1,200 Israelis.

Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on July 24, at the invitation of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

In a statement, the four men said the invitation “symbolizes the U.S. and Israel’s enduring relationship and will offer Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu the opportunity to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending their democracy, combatting terror, and establishing just and lasting peace in the region.”

The speech will mark the fourth time the Israeli premier has addressed the U.S. governing bodies, the highest number for any foreign leader.

“I am thrilled by the privilege to represent Israel before both chambers of Congress and to present the truth about our just war against those who seek our lives to the representatives of the American people and the entire world,” Netanyahu said of the invitation.

The Israeli leader recently upset Washington by publicly lamenting a steep drop in American weapons shipments to the Israel Defense Forces.
Lebanese FM to Israel: We are interested in peace
The Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib sent a special third-party message to Foreign Minister Israel Katz explaining to him that his country did not want a war to break out between them.

"We are interested in peace, we do not want war,” Habib said, in a statement that was delivered through the Azeri Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov who spoke with Katz on Tuesday. Their conversation was conveyed to The Jerusalem Post by Katz’s spokesperson.

Lebanon and Israel do not have diplomatic relations, so communications between them are unusual and often done through third parties.

Habib spoke up amid growing fear of a Third Lebanon War after almost nine months of cross-border violence between the IDF and Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy group located in Lebanon along its border with Israel.

Hezbollah has launched consistent attacks against the northern part of the country since Hamas invaded southern Israel on October 7.

In a show of solidarity with the Iranian proxy group Hamas, it has insisted that it won’t stop that violence until such time as there is a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Some 60,000 Israelis who were evacuated from their homes when the cross-border violence began in October have been unable to return home.

Israel has preferred a diplomatic solution but has consistently said that it would launch a campaign against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon to push the terror group back behind the Litani River.


New probe finds 1982 blast at IDF’s headquarters in Lebanon war was suicide bombing
After more than 41 years, a new commission of inquiry into a deadly explosion at Israel’s military headquarters in Tyre during the First Lebanon War has determined that the blast was a suicide bombing, officials said Wednesday

Until now, Israel had said the explosion on November 11, 1982, was caused by a gas leak, although multiple reports, including those in the immediate aftermath, pointed to a Hezbollah suicide bombing attack.

The commission of inquiry, headed by Maj. Gen. (res.) Amir Abulafia — the former commander of the military’s Planning Directorate — found the explosion that killed at least 91 people, including 75 members of the Israeli security forces and several more Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners, was a suicide bombing and not a gas leak.

Israeli authorities announced in November 2022 that they would reinvestigate the explosion and by June last year the commission headed by Abulafia was formed, following a Shin Bet investigation that found the suicide bombing theory far more likely.

Dozens of members of the Shin Bet security agency, Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police were involved in the investigation. Officials said several academics and defense experts were also consulted.

“Approaching an investigation of a terror attack that took place four decades ago, is extremely difficult, complicated… it is almost impossible since most people [who were there] are no longer with us. And those who are [still alive] don’t remember many of the details,” said the head of a Shin Bet department involved in the early 2023 probe that led to the formation of Abulafia’s commission of inquiry, who was identified only as “Shin ” — her first initial in Hebrew.

“Shin,” whose rank is equivalent to a major general in the military, told reporters that investigators worked with “secrecy and compartmentalization,” due to the sensitivities surrounding the findings and the discrepancy with the earlier probe established immediately after the 1982 blast, which had determined the explosion was a gas leak.


Blinken stresses US commitment to Palestinian statehood in call with Jordanian FM
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call with his Jordanian counterpart earlier today, the State Department says.

The pair discussed ongoing efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza along with “the post-conflict period and diplomatic efforts to achieve an enduring end to the crisis in Gaza that provides lasting peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” the US readout says.

Blinken thanked Safadi for Jordan’s efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The top US diplomat also “emphasized the US continuing commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel,” the US readout adds.


School of War: Ep 130: John Spencer on Israel’s Unprecedented War (or, Urban Warfare 101)
John Spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute and host of the Urban Warfare Project, joins the show to talk about urban combat and how Israel is fighting an unprecedented war against Hamas with justice and humanity.

Times
• 01:50 Introduction
• 02:08 Fighting and teaching
• 09:31 Changes in urban warfare
• 17:14 Terrain still matters
• 21:54 Israel’s unprecedented war
• 26:11 Learning on the ground
• 33:24 Genocide
• 43:57 The battle of Manila
• 49:41 Suffering is the strategic aim
• 51:04 Tunnels
• 55:51 Outthinking the enemy
One killed, one wounded in terror stabbing in northern Israel
One Israeli soldier was killed and another seriously wounded in a terrorist stabbing in a shopping center in the northern city of Karmiel on Wednesday.

Magen David Adom paramedics treated the two victims, both males in their 20s, on the scene before evacuating them to Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, where one of them died of his wounds.

The slain victim was identified on Wednesday evening as Israel Defense Forces Sgt. Aleksandr Iakiminskyi, 19, from Nahariya. The military said he served as a driver in the 188th Armored Brigade’s 71st Battalion.

The terrorist was shot dead by the second victim, the commander of the Israel Police Northern District, Maj. Gen. Shuki Tahauko, told local media following a situational assessment.

Tahauko told reporters that the terrorist arrived at the mall on foot before stabbing the two victims, one of whom managed to “keep it together and immediately neutralized the terrorist.”

Police identified the terrorist as 21-year-old Jawwad Omar Rubia, from the nearby town of Nahf. Tahauko was said to have ordered the arrest of his relatives, with local media reporting a large police presence in Nahf.


Seth Frantzman: Khan Yunis rocket fire is a wake-up call
Hamas senses the war is winding down
THE OVERALL trend of the war in Gaza is now to an even less “intense” war. This means there is a de facto ceasefire in most of Gaza. For instance, electric lines to a desalination plant run by UNICEF was repaired recently. The IDF said “a new power line from Israel has been directly connected to a water desalination plant managed by UNICEF in Khan Yunis. This desalination plant supplies drinking water to the areas of Deir al-Balah, Khan Yunis, and al-Mawasi, where a large percentage of Gazans are currently located.”It’s worth noting the plant is in Khan Yunis. The rockets were fired from Khan Yunis. This means basically that Hamas is once again thriving in many places in Gaza. As civilian infrastructure begins to be repaired Hamas will return even more. This is what Hamas did in the past.

Each good deed, such as helping reconnect the desalination plant, will likely also come with Hamas bad deeds, as Hamas once again senses the war is winding down.

This is why the rocket fire should be a wake-up call. Hamas continues to control most of Gaza, except for the corridors along the Egyptian border and along Netzarim. It controls the cities. It has forces it has moved from places like Rafah, and this consists of thousands of fighters.

A new report at Ynet this week says Hamas is recruiting again in Gaza and that more evidence of recruitment is being found. This means that Hamas will soon replace many of the thousands of fighters it lost in the past eight months of war.

Hamas and other groups won’t be able to easily repair their rocket launching capabilities, however, their ability to control the strip remains. While Israel has said its policy is to defeat Hamas capabilities, including governing capabilities, it is not clear how Israel can get to a new phase in Gaza so long as Hamas continues to easily control most areas in Gaza.

It is not as if Hamas is being challenged. Repeated calls to evacuate areas, such as Zeitun or Khan Yunis now, have not produced a popular uprising against Hamas. The Arab states and others who might be interested in supporting an alternative in Gaza may be on board but they have not come up with a clear plan. Therefore the rocket fire continues to be a wake-up call.


Israeli injured in car-ramming attack in Judea
An Israeli man sustained light injuries in a terrorist vehicular assault near Asael in the South Hebron Hills of Judea on Wednesday night, authorities said.

“A report was received of a suspected vehicular attack involving an Israeli who was slightly injured, near the town of Asael. Two suspects fled the scene in a Palestinian vehicle towards the nearby [Arab] village of as-Samu,” the Israel Police confirmed in a statement.

The Hatzalah Judea and Samaria rescue group said the victim had responded to reports of rock-throwing on a road near the Jewish community of Asael. When he arrived at the scene, a Palestinian van tried to run him over, causing a minor leg injury.

Following a manhunt, security forces “managed to track down the suspects and arrested one of them. The identity of the other suspect is known, and scans are being conducted to locate him,” police said.

Earlier on Wednesday, one Israel Defense Forces soldier was killed and another seriously wounded in a terrorist stabbing attack in a shopping center in the northern city of Karmiel.

On Tuesday, an Israeli civilian was moderately hurt when Palestinian terrorists fired on the Mitzpe Yosef outpost on Mount Gerizim near Nablus (Shechem) in northern Samaria.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in Palestinian terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-05, per IDF data.


Hezbollah confirms death of top terrorist commander by IDF
An Israeli strike outside the Southern Lebanese coastal city of Tyre on Wednesday targeted one of the most senior Hezbollah commanders to be eliminated since the start of the war, the terror group confirmed.

According to Reuters, Muhammad Nimah Nasser was of the same rank and importance to the Iranian proxy as Sami Taleb Abdullah, who was killed in an IDF airstrike last month and was the most senior terrorist to be killed since Hezbollah joined the war in support of Hamas on Oct. 8.

In a statement cited by Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hezbollah, the terror group confirmed the death of “Hajj Abu Nimah,” bestowing upon him the title of “martyr commander.” Israel’s Ynet noted that only two other slain terrorists received the honorific title over the past months.

Lebanese “security sources” told Reuters that Nasser commanded the “Aziz” unit, responsible for terror operations on the southern border.

Confirming the strike, the IDF said, “Nasser entered his position in 2016 and led the rockets and anti-tank missile attacks from southwestern Lebanon toward Israeli civilians, communities and security forces.”

The military continued, “He also directed a large number of terrorist attacks toward Israel both during, and before the war, and he previously held several central roles within the Hezbollah terrorist organization.”

“He was the counterpart of Sami Taleb Abdullah, the commander of the Nasser Unit, who was eliminated last month. Together, they served as two of the most significant Hezbollah terrorists in Southern Lebanon,” the IDF statement concluded.


IDF says it struck three Hezbollah rocket launchers after barrage at northern Israel
Israeli fighter jets struck three Hezbollah rocket launchers in southern Lebanon this evening, including one used in the barrages on northern Israel earlier today, the IDF says.

There were no injuries after Hezbollah fired at least 100 rockets at Kiryat Shmona, the Galilee Panhandle, and northern Golan Heights.

The IDF says most of the rockets hit open areas, although some struck the Kiryat Shmona area. Several rockets were also intercepted by the Iron Dome.

Some of the rocket impacts also sparked fires in northern Israel.


UN Gaza coordinator blames ‘data gap’ with Israel for aid row
The United Nations point person on Gaza said on Tuesday that a “data gap” with Israel is leading to “different conclusions” where the Gaza Strip is concerned.

Sigrid Kaag, the U.N. senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza, briefed the U.N. Security Council in an open setting before following members into closed consultations.

During the discussion, she noted that while additional supply routes for humanitarian aid were provided by Israel and the process has been streamlined under a mechanism created by the council in December, the process “has been fraught with challenges.”

In the end, Kaag said, “There is no substitute for political will” to change the conditions on the ground.

Kaag, a Dutch politician, diplomat and veteran U.N. administrator, cited the start of the Israeli military operation in Rafah and the subsequent closure of the Rafah border crossing in early May as a turning point, since which “the volume of aid entering into or distributed across Gaza has dropped significantly.”

The “near-total breakdown of civil order has further led to an environment of lawlessness and criminality,” according to Kaag, who noted that the United Nations “has asked Israel to find solutions to enable the safe delivery of aid that includes its distribution.”

With respect to ongoing disputes between the United Nations and Israel regarding the amount of aid being screened by Israel and entering Gaza, “and the ability of the U.N. actually to come and collect it and distribute it, you see a data gap there. And those are obviously different conclusions that we draw,” said Kaag during a later press briefing in answer to a JNS query.

However, she added, the mechanism created by the Security Council to enhance the flow of aid led to a single database, via which “you can see which types of goods go in, what’s approved, what’s denied, and where’s the follow up.”

That database, Kaag said, will “hopefully” provide “common ground in order to fix” any aid delivery issues.


Israel says it has received Hamas’s updated hostage deal proposal
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says that the Mossad-led Israeli negotiating team has received Hamas’s latest ceasefire proposal from Qatari, Egyptian and US mediators.

“Israel is examining the proposal, and will provide the mediators with its response,” the statement from Netanyahu’s office says.

Israel submitted its latest hostage deal proposal on May 27. US President Joe Biden gave a high-stakes speech revealing some of the major details of the proposal on May 31 during which he noted that the Israeli offer was nearly identical to the previous one made by Hamas.

On June 11, Hamas submitted its response to the Israeli proposal, which the US went on to slam for including dozens of amendments, such as ones that went back on clauses Hamas had already agreed to and others that were beyond the pale.

In the weeks that followed, mediators worked to bring Hamas down on some of its demands, leading to the new proposal submitted by the terror group today.


Call Me Back Podcast: The IDF advocates for an end to the war – with Nadav Eyal
Hosted by Dan Senor
In recent days, while we have all been consumed with the U.S. presidential debate, less international attention has been on Israel. But during this time, Israel’s security apparatus has proposed and advocated for a formal end to the war in Gaza. This is in part because the IDF is closer to achieving its military objectives in Gaza by having dismantled Hamas’s capabilities – and in part because they believe it’s the only way to get some calm on Israel’s northern border, at least for now. The security establishment argues that there is a connection between the two fronts. Whether or not the Government will accept and implement this proposal, is not yet clear.

To help us understand what’s going on here, our guest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. He is a columnist for Yediot. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news.


Israel to Face Hezbollah While Gaza Still Burns | JLMinute
Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to the US Congress sets off sirens both within Israel and the world. Meanwhile, the IDF continues to push forward in Gaza while deciding if full blown war with Hezbollah can be avoided.

Sit down with JNS CEO Alex Traiman and Middle East Correspondent Josh Hasten to examine the hottest issues facing Israel this summer.
- John Fetterman’s visit to Israel
- The Gaza famine that wasn’t
- Israel’s ultra-Orthodox draft

Chapter titles timestamps
00:00 US presidential debate
7:00 Are campus protests worse than Charlottesville?
7:20 Should Netanyahu appear before Congress?
8:33 Ehud Barak undermining Netanyahu
12:20 John Fetterman visits Israel
16:00 The fake Gaza famine
18:45 Gaza update - Sajaiyaa
24:30 Hezbollah continues to attack
30:45 Ultra-Orthodox draft


Mark Regev & Ruthie Blum: WHY In the World Did Israel Release Hamas Terrorists | Israel Undiplomatic
"I'm angry, fuming about what's going on in this country"

In this episode of Israel Undiplomatic, Ruthie Bloom and Mark Regev go head-to-head about the release of Hamas terrorists from prisons and the overcrowding in Israeli prisons. They debate the prioritization of capturing and interrogating terrorists, the need for more prison space, and the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Chapters
00:00 Anger and Concerns
01:07 Release of Hamas Terrorists and Overcrowding in Prisons
03:02 The Positive Side: Killing Hamas Terrorists
04:29 Ethical Questions: Providing Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
06:23 Dealing with Hamas and Hezbollah
08:16 Maintaining Values and Morals




The Israel Guys: Which of These Two American Presidents Are More Pro-Israel?
After last week’s historic presidential debate, and the US presidential elections a little more than four months away, much of the world’s focus has turned towards two individuals - Joe Biden and Donald Trump. For those of us who are American, and who are Israel supporters, you may be interested to know where these two individuals stand on their policies toward the world’s only Jewish state.

Today we’re going to take a look at both of these US presidents' records when it comes to support for Israel, including their past, recent terms while in office, and what we can expect from the man who will occupy the White House in January 2025.




Antisemitism ‘cloaked’ in anti-Israel ‘garbage’: Ami Horowitz
Filmmaker Ami Horowitz says antisemitism has been “cloaked” in anti-Israel “garbage”.

“There’s a silver lining here," Mr Horowitz told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“The silver lining with all the problems that we’ve been having is that we have now revealed what we’ve been saying for years – it’s not really about Israel, it’s not really about anti-Zionism, it’s about antisemitism.

“They’ve cloaked themselves in this 'I don’t hate Jews; I hate Israel' garbage for years, and now it’s all opened up.”




Roger Waters claims 'no evidence' of Oct. 7 Hamas rapes, insists he's not antisemitic
Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters said there was “no evidence” that Hamas terrorists raped Israeli women on October 7, in a contentious interview with broadcaster Piers Morgan on Tuesday that mostly focused on the musician’s longtime opposition to the State of Israel.

At various points in the interview, Waters suggested that the Israeli government intentionally allowed the Hamas slaughter to happen, appeared to deny there was any systematic killing of civilians by Hamas, and defended a video he published on YouTube advising Israelis to “go back to Eastern Europe or the United States or wherever you came from.”

Explaining that video — in which he later said that Israelis who chose to stay in their homes would be “welcome” in a new Palestinian state — Waters said, “I am in tears over Gaza every morning when I wake up. I’m only 80 years old, I have never experienced the genocide of a whole people in front of my eyes happening every day.”

Waters claimed the war in Gaza is the most important issue impacting the world, calling for Israel to apologize “to the whole human race.”

He said that he appeared on Morgan’s program in order to advocate for candidates in the United Kingdom’s upcoming general elections, calling Labour leader Keir Starmer, who is poised to lead his party to a landslide victory, “a bought man.”

Waters endorsed Starmer’s opponent in his local race, Andrew Feinstein, as well as a few other candidates, including Leanne Mohamad, a 23-year-old independent of Palestinian descent who described the October 7 onslaught as “a historic sight,” writing “liberation is possible” in a post on X that she later deleted.


Israel told ‘filthy lies’ about Hamas rapes, Roger Waters tells Piers Morgan
In an explosive interview with Piers Morgan, alleged antisemite Roger Waters said Israel has told “filthy and disgusting lies” about women being raped by Hamas.

The 80-year-old Pink Floyd front man suddenly started talking to himself after he was challenged by Morgan on his denial.

He said to himself: “Roger, Roger calm down. Don't sink to his level, alright I won't. Stop shouting. Stop shouting back. Let him interrupt you as much as he wants.”

A report from the UN finding evidence that Hamas’s October 7 terror attack on Israel involved rape and sexual violence including against dead women.

Speaking on the Talk TV show on Tuesday, Waters said: “I'm not saying a part of the Palestinian resistance movement didn't cross that wire fence. I am not saying that didn't happen at all.

“What I am saying is, there is all this talk about ‘does Israel have a right to defend itself’ – why didn't Israel defend itself that morning?

“Why did they wait seven hours before they started machine-gunning everyone?”

The musician said there should be an “actual” and “real” investigation into October 7.

He said: “Beyond the very good Al-Jazeera documentary that we all saw that came out.

“And all the great work that the Grayzone did in debunking all the filthy degusting lies that the Israeli's told after October 7 about burning babies and women being raped.”

Morgan said there was evidence that women were raped on October 7, the 80-year-old shouted: “No they weren't.”

He then added: “Well there was no evidence. You can say anything that you want but there is no evidence.”

A report by the UN representative Pramila Patten, released in March detailed two incidents from witnesses involving the rape of women's corpses.


Hollywood cop-movie rabbi shocked by the criminality on his Los Angeles doorstep
In a previous life, he was a Hollywood crime thriller film director with classics of the genre including Tortured under his belt.

But now Nolan Lebovitz is a rabbi in Los Angeles living in times that he can only describe as terrifying.

The rabbi was with some of his congregants on a volunteer mission to Israel two weeks ago when he saw footage of an attack on his neighbouring congregation in Los Angeles, the Adas Torah Synagogue, where he has many friends.

“It was a surreal experience to watch it happen from Israel,” he says. “Surreal is the only way I can describe it. And scary, on multiple fronts. This was a pogrom that we saw being played out and it was scary to see the way the police reacted and the city reacted; both were very disappointing.

“And it was strange to be there – we would show up to help soldiers getting ready to go into Gaza and they wanted to talk to us about the antisemitism we are facing in Los Angeles. There is a war going on in Israel – they are facing a battle on a second front – and people are asking us why we don’t move there because they see it as safer than LA.”

It is not something he is ready to consider yet. “I think that Israel needs a strong diaspora,” he says. “I also think that American Jews and British Jews and Australian Jews are going to have to learn to live differently than they lived for the last 50 years. The bubble has burst. We’re no longer living in our in our dream state. We’re back to the Jewish experience of our grandparents and our great-grandparents. And so the way that we raise our kids has to be different. The way that we walk through the streets has to be different, the way that we advocate for ourselves has to be different.






Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 



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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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