The American leaders should stop Debasing Israel

Sarah Benhamo is staying at home with her family and is running a house in the city of Kiryat Shmona, Israel

Sarah Benhamo has been trying to clean the floors of her apartment for weeks. They’re normally white, but right now they’re black with soot from all the forest fires that have been burning nearby.

Fires have been burning across northern Israel, including the areas surrounding Kiryat Shmona — a result of the barrage of rockets that Hezbollah has been shooting over the border from southern Lebanon. The Israeli military intercepts most of them, but some of them cause detonations and sparks on brush and trees in the hills.

Ben Hamo evacuated with her family months ago, but comes back during the weekdays to work her job at the local supermarket. She needs the money, it’s the only one left in town. She was standing outside of her apartment building with groceries. She wants to have dinner for her family and bring food back to the hotel that she is living in, so she will check on the apartment.

Source: For Israelis near the Lebanon border, war with Hezbollah feels inevitable

A quiet neighborhood where war with Hezbollah feels inevitable: a typical scenario for Israelis near the Lebanon border, or does war feel inevitable?

She says that there are 10 or more explosions a day. Sometimes a siren sounds and other times it doesn’t. It’s really scary.”

She points across the street to a house with a giant hole in the roof, covered by a tarp. A rocket crashed into it last month. She was in her kitchen and the explosion threw her across the room. She was so afraid after recovering she ran to her car and didn’t wear her seat belt.

There are a lot of apartment buildings in this neighborhood, but it is quiet. There aren’t many cars. Several buildings have injuries caused by rockets. There’s a bomb shelter on every street. Ben Hamo says the only people still living here are mostly elderly or disabled.

Source: For Israelis near the Lebanon border, war with Hezbollah feels inevitable

Israel Lebanon-Hezbollah Border War feels Imminent: Mayor Stern of Al-Khalissa, Lebanon

Kiryat Shmona was once a Palestinian town called Al-Khalissa before the war leading to Israel’s creation in 1948, when Palestinians were forced to leave. Many of those families are living in Lebanon, hoping to return someday.

Today, downtown is completely shuttered, save for one shawarma restaurant still operating, packed with Israeli soldiers at lunchtime. The restaurant next to it is now a pile of twisted metal and ash, after a direct hit from a rocket a few months ago.

The bomb shelter is below the city hall and the mayor is taking meetings there. There were too many sirens today. He’s used to this setup by now, though, after months of fighting. He says this is his main office these days.

He explains that the 24,000 people of Kiryat Shmona are spread across hundreds of locations in Israel and there are four makeshift schools. He wants people to be able to return before the new school year starts.

“For residents to be able to return here, we need to remove the threat we have today from the north,” Mayor Stern says, referring to Hezbollah. We cannot go back to our old ways and wait for them to overrun us like they did in the south.

We don’t want war. We did not want a conflict in Gaza, but now we all know whether it will be now or later.

Source: For Israelis near the Lebanon border, war with Hezbollah feels inevitable

Nahariya, Israel: a safe room at the border of the Hezbollah-Libanon war and its two wars

Naharriya is located approximately 40 miles west of Kir Shmona. There are fires on the hills on either side of the highway. The air smells like campfire.

Nahariya hasn’t been evacuated yet. Many of the 75,000 residents still live here – including Yaffa and Moshe Nahon. They’ve just installed a state-of-the-art safe room in their home of 40 years.

It has an air purification system, a bulletproof door, and a shield against flying debris from rockets. The whole thing cost around $100,000, but they say it’s worth it if it means their three kids and three grandkids can still visit and feel safe.

They say almost all their friends and neighbors are building a room like this in the past few months, after seeing what happened in the south last Oct. 7 and then experiencing the increase in rocket fire up here. It is almost impossible to find a contractor due to the high demand.

The couple both grew up in the north, and have lived here all their lives, through two major wars with Lebanon – first in 1978 and again, against Hezbollah, in 2006. They say people up here understand that war, as terrible as it is, brings long-lasting calm.

“Once there’s a war, afterward there will be quiet, and not just a little of it,” Yaffa says, remembering the nearly 18 years of relative peace after 2006. “I think the people here deserve to live in peace already.”

Source: For Israelis near the Lebanon border, war with Hezbollah feels inevitable

A Pedestrian’s Tale of Two Landfalls: The Fate of Israel, Now Its Time to Take It All Down

Nahariya’s beachside walkway would normally be packed with people in the early summer. People still walk along, enjoying the breeze. One man walks a small dog. The couple is sitting in the sunset.

The extremists in Netanyahu’s government coalition are eyeing their next moves for power after the emergency war cabinet fell apart over his lack of a plan to end the war and safely withdraw from Gaza.

Israel is up against a regional superpower, Iran, that has managed to put Israel into a vice grip, using its allies and proxies: Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and Shiite militias in Iraq. Right now, Israel has no military or diplomatic answer. Worse, it faces the prospect of a war on three fronts — Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank — but with a dangerous new twist: Hezbollah in Lebanon, unlike Hamas, is armed with precision missiles that could destroy vast swaths of Israel’s infrastructure, from its airports to its seaports to its university campuses to its military bases to its power plants.

I wrote a column in November of 2022, just after the current far-right Israeli government coalition won election. It was intended to be a warning about how radical this coalition is. Many people disagreed. I believe events have proved them wrong — and the situation is now even worse: The Israel we knew is gone, and today’s Israel is in existential danger.

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