Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Security Forces in the Gaza Strip After the Oct. 7 Attack: The Case for a Better Future of the Middle East
The Gaza Strip was active for the most part in the middle of the night, but at the Shin Bet headquarters officials spent hours watching it. Israeli intelligence and national security officials, who had convinced themselves that Hamas had no interest in going to war, initially assumed it was just a nighttime exercise.
If they were listening to the traffic on the Hamas radios, their judgement that night might have been different. But Unit 8200, Israel’s signals intelligence agency, had stopped eavesdropping on those networks a year earlier because they saw it as a waste of effort.
Until nearly the start of the attack, nobody believed the situation was serious enough to wake up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to three Israeli defense officials.
Since gunmen from Hamas — the armed group that rules Gaza — burst through the border fence on Oct. 7, killing around 1,400 people in southern Israel and taking more than 220 more hostage, according to Israeli authorities, Gazans say they have been living inside of a nightmare. In response to the attacks, the Israeli military declared a siege of the densely populated territory, cutting off electricity, water and medical supplies as it rained down a relentless barrage of aerial and artillery bombardments.
The most powerful military force in the Middle East underestimated the size of the attack, and lost its intelligence-gathering efforts due to assumptions that Hamas was not a threat.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “would wipe out Hamas from the face of the earth”. Israel has inflicted more than triple the number of civilian casualties in Gaza that it suffered, while committing itself to taking military control of Gaza, which is roughly equivalent to the US deciding to occupy half of Mexico. The Israeli plan, according to Netanyahu, will be a “long and difficult” battle to “destroy the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and bring the hostages home.”
About a thousand Palestinians have died in Gaza since Friday, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, bringing the overall death toll there to more than 8,000.
Israel’s War in Gaza Is Why Israel Was Decided to Attack. Why Israel Did It Wanna Attack? Comment on the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
He continued, “But on sober reflection and in hindsight, I now believe that the decision not to retaliate militarily and to concentrate on diplomatic, covert and other means was the right one for that time and place.”
I empathise with Israel’s government, which had bad decisions to make after the worst slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust. But it was precisely because I closely followed Singh’s unique reaction to the Mumbai terrorist attacks that I immediately advocated a much more targeted, fully thought-through response by Israel. The Operation Save Our Hostages was supposed to be focused on capturing and killing the abductors of children and grandparents. Each parent could understand that.
I am watching the war in Gaza and thinking about Manmohan Singh, who is one of the world leaders I admire the most. In November of 2008, he was the prime minister of India, where over 160 people were killed in Mumbai and at least 61 people were at two luxury hotels. Singh responded to India’s Sept. 11.
In addition, he wrote, “a war, even a successful war, would have imposed costs and set back the progress of the Indian economy just when the world economy in November 2008 was in an unprecedented financial crisis.”
I know that India is a country of 1.2 billion people but Israel is a huge country with more than one billion people. The deaths of more than 160 people in Mumbai and the kidnapping of more than 1,400 Israelis by Hamas were not felt in every house or hamlet in India. Pakistan also has nuclear weapons to deter retaliation.
Israeli political and military leadership claims its assault on Gaza was driven by straightforward vengeance but I think we should believe it.
If Israel ousts Hamas from Gaza, the economy will most likely be depressed because of the number of people that will be called up. It is predicted to shrink more than 10 percent for the last three months of the year. This after being ranked by The Economist as the fourth-best-performing economy among O.E.C.D. countries in 2022.
Gaza has 2.2 million people and who is going to pay for health care, education and Israel’s control? Please raise your hand if you think the European Union, Gulf Arab states or the substantial progressive caucus in the Democratic Party in the U.S. is a good thing. The Israeli economy and military will be stretched by the cost of occupying Gaza for a long time.
Netanyahu does not have a team of rivals supporting him. He has a team of people who have to make long-term decisions and know their prime minister is a low character person that will blame them for everything that goes wrong and make him look good.
Israel should keep the door open for a humanitarian cease-fire and prisoner exchange that will also allow Israel to pause and reflect on exactly where it is going with its rushed Gaza military operation — and the price it could pay over the long haul.
Such a pause could also allow the people of Gaza to take stock of what Hamas’s attack on Israel — and Israel’s totally predictable response — has done to their lives, families, homes and businesses. What exactly did Hamas think it was going to accomplish by this war for the people of Gaza, thousands of whom were going to work in Israel every day or exporting agricultural products and other goods across the Gaza-Israel border just a few weeks ago? Hamas has gotten way too much understanding and not enough hard questions.
I would love for Hamas leaders to come out of their tunnels and show us why they thought it was such a terrible idea to harm Israel by abducting children and grandmothers.
I’ve always thought you can reduce the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to one line: timeout, conflict, timeout, conflict, timeout, conflict and timeout. The most important difference between the parties is what they each did during the timeouts.
The Times Observations of the Gaza Crisis: Radio, Telephone, and Internet Responses to Israel’s Decay of Hamas
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The Israeli military also said that it was conducting airstrikes in Lebanon after at least 16 rockets were launched from there into Israeli territory. In Gaza, 47 aid trucks crossed the border from Egypt carrying water, food and medicine — the most in a single day since trucks were first allowed in on Oct. 21, but still insufficient compared to the levels of assistance that aid organizations say are needed.
Israel announced on Monday that it would expand its war against Hamas by attacking the Gaza strip from the air, land and sea. The military has again urged civilians to move south as soldiers enter Gaza from the north.
“I felt that I had become blind and deaf, unable to see or hear,” Fathi Sabbah, a journalist based in Gaza, wrote on his Facebook profile on Sunday, after phone and internet service partly returned.
On Friday at sunset, three weeks into Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza — and as Palestinians braced themselves for an impending Israeli ground invasion — the weak phone and internet service that had allowed some semblance of life to continue inside the blockaded enclave was suddenly severed. Two American officials said the United States believed Israel was responsible for the communications loss, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
They had no way to know whether their loved ones were alive or dead. Emergency phone lines were not ringing. Medics tried to save people by driving close to the sound of explosions. There were people dead in the street.
The Problem of a Presidential Campaign: The Case for the United States as a Strategic Security Embedded in the 21st Century
Now fast-forward to August 2024, when Biden will speak on his own behalf in Chicago at the next Democratic convention. Will he be able to tell the Americans that he did his job? Will he be able to make that claim in the face of international crises more consequential than anything either Obama or Donald Trump faced during their presidencies?
There was a message from Obama’s re-election campaign that I think made the most succinct case for his second term, but I was a partisan supporter of Romney. It was most well-received at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, delivered by then-Vice President Biden. He said that Obama had been strong, caring, and compassionate, and then Biden spoke of the fact that General GM is alive, and that Osama Laden is dead.
Does this mean that Biden could be in trouble with the electorate if he stands with Israel? It is important to understand that there are responsibilities of a president, and that they need to be understood.
There’s a gathering sense that President Biden’s response to the war in Gaza may cost him the 2024 election. A recent Gallup poll showed that his support among Democrats has plummeted, to 75 percent, its lowest point in his presidency. A group of my colleagues reported in the newsroom on Friday about a growing backlash against Biden from young and left leaning voters.
Imagine what he faces: a Russian attack on a liberal democracy in Europe, the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, and an aggressive China that is threatening Taiwan. There are two hot wars and a cold war, each against a nation or entity that has turned a blind eye to the crimes they have committed against humanity.
In each conflict abroad — hot or cold — America is indispensable to the defense of democracy and basic humanity. Ukraine cannot withstand a yearslong Russian onslaught unless the United States acts as the arsenal of democracy, keeping the Ukrainian military supplied with the weapons and munitions it needs. America is an indispensable ally and close military partner of Israel. Our aid and good will are just as important as its strength and security. And Taiwan is a target of opportunity for China absent the might of the United States Pacific Fleet.
And keep in mind, Biden is managing these conflicts all while trying to make sure that the nation emerges from a pandemic with inflation in retreat and its economy intact. In spite of economic growth and low unemployment numbers that make the American economy the envy of the world, Americans are still dealing with the consequences of inflation and certainly don’t feel optimistic about our economic future.
Biden is now under fire from two sides, making these challenges even more difficult. The populist, Trumpist right wants to cut aid to Ukranian in hopes of provoking a victory for European autocrats, which would be their biggest triumph since Hitler and Stalin destroyed European democracy in the 1930s.
I understand both the good-faith right-wing objections to Ukraine aid and the good-faith progressive calls for a cease-fire in Israel. There is a war going on in Ukraine that the Americans don’t seem to want to end. It is much easier to raise funds for the West when Ukraine is moving in a certain direction. It is very hard to maintain American support in the face of trench warfare that consumes men and material at a terrifying pace.
The Pain of Gazans: A Memorino with the U.S. Secretary of State John Kirby (David Lawmaker’s Perspective)
Leadership is difficult because of the combination of tragedy, confusion and cost. A good leader doesn’t overreact to news cycles. He or she can no longer overreact to anything from the battlefield. A good leader doesn’t overreact to a negative poll.
I’ve long thought that politicians’ moment-by-moment reaction to activists, to members of the media and to polls is partly responsible for the decline in trust in American politicians. What can feel responsive in the moment is evidence of instability in the aggregate. The preoccupation with winning every news cycle leads to short-term thinking. Politicians put out fires they see on social media, or they change course in response to anger coming from activists. Activists and critics in the media see an outrage and demand an immediate response, but what the body politic really needs is a thoughtful, deliberate strategy and the resolve to see it through.
No administration is perfect. The Americans should voice their displeasure with the pace of approving new weapons systems for Ukraine. But in each key theater, Biden’s policies are fundamentally sound. We should support Ukraine as long as it’s necessary to preserve Ukrainian independence from Russian assault. We should support an offensive into the heart of Gaza as Israel responds to mass murder. Strengthening alliances in the Pacific is necessary to enhance our allies military capabilities and share the burden of collective defense.
We should do the things, as well as articulate a moral vision that sustains our actions. On Thursday, John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communication, did just that. He spoke about the plight of Gazan civilians in an interview on Morning Joe. The United States works to preserve civilian life, as it should.
The Biden administration is getting the moral equation correct by word and deed. It should be more pressing that Hamas release hostages and cede control of Gaza than it should be for Israel to stop its offensive. Hamas had no legal or moral right to launch its deliberate attack on Israeli civilians. It has no legal or moral right to embed itself in the civilian population to hide from Israeli attacks. Israel is in a position to destroy Hamas in a way consistent with the laws of war.
Ms. Lee said Jews were “10 percent of our district, but we also have Muslim, Arab, Palestinian constituents who are afraid for their families and their lives.”
In the northern part of New York, Westchester County Executive George Latimer is considering a challenge to congressman jac albow who defeated a pro-Israel chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in 2020.
Progressives are prepared for possible challenges to Members of Congress funded by deep pockets of pro-Israel groups.
“They spent a historic amount of money to intervene, and try and buy primaries in 2022,” said Usamah Andrabi, spokesman for Justice Democrats, the liberal insurgent group that helped elect many of the progressives now on the primary target list. I think that we will see a doubling and tripling down because the Democrats are not trying to stop them.
Marshall Wittmann said their priority is building and sustaining congressional support for Israel’s fight to permanently dismantle Hamas.
The jabs have begun. The lobbying group called it a transparent ploy to paint Israel as the main culprit in the conflict, and allowed Hamas to control Gaza. Hitting Ms. Lee, AIPAC wrote on X, “Emboldening a group that massacres Israelis and uses Palestinians as human shields will never achieve peace.”
There is a lot of fear to speak out against war after 9/11, which could be the reason why we haven’t had a war in many years.
The Gaza Strip is Going Through War: Israel’s War with the Palestinians Towards the Goals of the Next-Generation War
Speaking this morning, IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said “The fighting in the north of the Gaza Strip continues and expands… we will do what we must to achieve the goals of the war.”
Hospitals in northern Gaza have many beds full with injured people and hallways crowded with Palestinians seeking refuge from airstrikes, so Israel has continued to push for theirevacuation. The UN says that at least a third of hospitals in Gaza have had to shut down due to a lack of fuel.
“Since this morning, there has been raids 50 meters away from the hospital,” it added in a statement on Facebook. Israel wouldn’t comment on the claims.
Colonel Elad Goren of Cogat, an Israel Ministry of Defense agency that coordinates with the Palestinians, said that the amount of assistance to Gaza from Egypt was about to increase dramatically.
After coming under fire, Netanyahu deleted a social media post blaming Israel’s failures on the heads of military intelligence and its internal security agency.
“This is a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down after three weeks of war and a tight siege on Gaza. People are scared, frustrated and desperate,” said Thomas White, UNRWA’s top official for Gaza, in a statement Saturday.
Thousands of people broke into warehouses and distribution centers of the UN Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza to get flour and survival items.
In this next stage, the ground war, troops are expected to face bloody urban combat. Hamas is likely to fire at Israelis from rooftops. Gaza’s densely packed streets make it hard to attack with tanks and could help Hamas, despite Israel’s stronger military.
The situation was complicated by the electrical grid’s failure. Hundreds of thousands of people have left their homes in Gaza after Israel called for them to move closer to the border with Egypt.
The Israeli Response to the Hamas Crisis and the Israel-Israel Interaction: The U.S. Secretary of State, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
The soldier died when a tank overturned in Gaza. In total, 312 Israeli soldiers have been killed, most of them on Oct. 7.
The man who killed 18 people in Lewiston, Maine, was paranoid and made threats against the Army reserve base, prompting an alert to state police.
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza resulted in a shift in tone and substance that provoked outrage in the United States and around the world.
He said, ” This is something that we talk about with the Israelis on a daily basis.” He then noted that hospitals were not legitimate military targets just as Israel was warning that another major hospital in Gaza had to be emptied out before the next round of bombing.
President Biden assured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that he would support his vow to turn Gaza into a ruin and avenge the slaughter of more than 1,400 people by Hamas.
“I told him if the United States experienced what Israel is experiencing, our response would be swift, decisive and overwhelming,” Mr. Biden recalled saying during a call between the two leaders on Oct. 10.
But the president’s message, in which he emphatically joined the mourning that was sweeping through Israel, has shifted dramatically over the past three weeks. While he continues to declare unambiguous support for Israel, Mr. Biden and his top military and diplomatic officials have become more critical of Israel’s response to the terrorist attacks and the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
In the short term, American officials have grown more strident in reminding Israelis of the need to be careful with civilians, even if Hamas are trying to intermingling with them. Last week, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said at the United Nations that “humanitarian pauses must be considered,” a move that Israel has rejected.
On Sunday, just a day after Israeli military leaders said Hamas terrorists were using a hospital in Gaza as a command center, Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, was more blunt. Mr. Sullivan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the use of civilians as human shields creates an extra burden for the Israeli Defense Force.
After two nights and a day of internet and phone service outages, Palestinian communications came back on Sunday. Palestinians expressed relief when their families were able to get in touch with them.
At Ah-Ahli Arab Hospital, hospital officials have evacuated displaced people, but staff are still treating patients, said Dr. Fadel Naim, an orthopedic surgeon working there. The hospital was the site of a deadly explosion on Oct. 17 that killed at least 100 people, according to estimates by U.S. intelligence services.
Israeli Presses into Gaza as Pro-Palestinian Protests Spread Worldwide: An American-American Palestinian Family in a Home in Gaza
Food can be hard to come by in Gaza. Many suppliers of food were forced to shut down because of the lack of electricity and fuel. Palestinians living in Gaza have told NPR about fruitless searches for open vendors or waiting in line for hours for a days’ worth of bread for their family.
“Very few trucks, slow processes, strict inspections, supplies that do not match the requirements of UNRWA and the other aid organizations, and mostly the ongoing ban on fuel, are all a recipe for a failed system,” he said.
Israel said Sunday it would resume water supply to central Gaza and authorize the Palestinian Water Authority to make repairs to pipelines damaged in the conflict. The UN reported that water supply in the south of Gaza had been improved in the past few days as small amounts of fuel were delivered.
“We have been taking extreme measures to reserve whatever water we had left. For instance, showers are something of the past,” said Abood Okal, a Palestinian-American and Massachusetts resident who was visiting family in Gaza when the war began and has since been stranded.
He said that he, his wife and son are in a home in southern Gaza with many other people. Members of the household have been walking to a filtration station every day to fill up a few gallons to bring home for everyone.
The Dagestan airport closed late Sunday night after a pro-Palestine protest: Israel’s response to Sinwar and Hamas
Okal said Thursday evening that the filter station ran out of diesel last Thursday. “We are almost out of drinking water today. I think we have just enough to last us through tonight, then tomorrow we’ll be basically out,” he said.
Tens of thousands of people in New York City, London, Madrid, Casablanca, Istanbul, and other cities worldwide participated in a pro-Palestine protest this past weekend.
The airport in Russia’s Muslim majority region of Dagestan closed late Sunday night after pro-Palestinian protesters descended on the airport as a Tel Aviv flight arrived.
A video posted to social media appeared to show a crowd of people surrounding the plane that landed at the Makhachkala airport.
“All Dagestanis empathize with the suffering of victims of the actions of unrighteous people and politicians and pray for peace in Palestine. But what happened at our airport is outrageous and should receive an appropriate assessment from law enforcement agencies,” said Sergey Melikov, head of the Dagestan Republic, in a post on Telegram.
Among Israel’s targets is Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Israeli military spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said at a Sunday night news conference. The Israeli people say that Sinwar was the architect of the attacks on Israel.
We give Israel money to buy weapons. Palestinians get money from us to pay for the damage done by those weapons. We keep doing the same things, repeating the same lines, but the violence just gets worse.
The cycle spins around again, and the odds of a different result versus a new result for Israel at the Cease-Fire
And here we are, watching the cycle spin around again, pretending to think it might have a different result this time. Like it’s all just a game with improbable but not impossible odds.
What Happened When Israel Became a Cease-Fire in Gaza, and What Have We Learned About It?
An editor was trying to convince me that it was not a good idea. The editor said that they like to choose pretty words for the writer. “In Jerusalem you can’t use the pretty words. You have to use the careful words.” The editor was right. It is very important to write about Israel in a careful and careless way. We keep nitpicking until no one will understand what we are saying anymore. Now we say the death tolls are not true. How do we know? Things are happening — what things? They say we can’t ask for a cease-fire since we cannot find out with it.
Even though I’m at a distance, I still feel the rage in the people around me who were against that powerful nation.
I’ve eaten, slept, and seen the sea in Gaza. I can’t match my memories to the strange depictions I see on the news of an irreal and uncivilized place inconveniently built atop a nest of terrorist tunnels.
If we had learned the lesson as Americans, we too would have learned it many times. All the military might of the United States could not defeat the ragtag bands of Taliban or force a nation of conquered Iraqis to accept a U.S. occupation. Maybe we don’t want to understand.
Israeli Defense Forces v.s. Human Beliefs: How Bad Can Israel Get? Gaza, Hamas, Lebanon, Hezbollah
Getting bombed from the sky is a particular horror: The sense that death hangs quite literally over your head, invisible until it’s too late, and maybe it will hit you. Maybe this moment. Or this. Or this. Every heartbeat hammering through your skull.
I’ve watched U.S. warplanes attack Afghanistan; barely escaped a direct strike from a Russian MiG in Georgia, and lived for weeks under relentless Israeli bombardment in Lebanon.
The White House said that even asking for the bombing to stop is “disgraceful” and “repugnant.” I find myself thinking that, had these officials ever experienced even one day under bombardment and shelling, they could not so blithely, so unambiguously, defend this nightmarish attack on Gaza.
“You wanted hell, you will get hell,” Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian of the Israeli Defense Forces warned the residents of Gaza, whom he referred to as “human beasts.”
Israel knows this. Israel has bombed Gaza before, but Hamas is still there. Israel turned parts of southern Lebanon to rubble, but Hezbollah is still there.