2. As Israel and Saudi Arabia move closer to normalizing relations, the Jewish state should have factored into its defense planning that a rattled Iran would view a potential combination of its two most powerful regional adversaries to be an unacceptable shift in the balance of power in the Middle East. Consistent with its position as the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, it likely encouraged its Hamas proxy to explode out of the Gaza Strip and attack Southern Israel. To date, more than 10,000 Iran-supplied rockets have been launched against Israel along with land and sea assaults on innocent Israeli civilian inhabitants of towns, villages and kibbutzim near the Gaza border.
3. Israeli defenses and defenders were caught napping, distracted by the Jewish holiday of Sukkoth as well as celebration of the Sabbath.
4. What happened to the vaunted Israeli reliance on human intelligence? Israel has a long history of successful infiltration into the hearts of both hostile states and terrorist groups. This time that strategy appears to have failed completely.
5. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his hard-right coalition were preoccupied with the tumult and chaos caused by his efforts to undermine Israeli democracy by neutering the Supreme Court, and the powerful resistance prompted by that proposal. They took their eye off the security ball, the existential issue in Israel. Netanyahu has, for decades, touted himself as Israel’s best security guarantor. I don’t see how he or his government survives this catastrophe once the war ends. When push comes to shove in a nation whose 75-year history is marked by survival in the face of almost universal regional hostility, nothing trumps security as the core issue for Israelis. Netanyahu’s failure to provide that is likely fatal to his continuation in power.
6. Some Israel Defense Force troops had been relocated from Southern Israel to the West Bank because of recent increases in Palestinian activism there.
7. The ominous symbolism of the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War was inexplicably absent from Israeli defense planning.
8. Social media misinformation is having a field day with this war. Many of the lies percolating among platforms are anti-Israel and virulently anti-Semitic. Operators such as Elon Musk allow this rubbish on their platforms because it generates eyeballs and riles up the MAGA base to whom he is eager to appeal. We have yet to find out how low he can go.
9. Thirty-three Harvard student organizations signed on to a letter condemning Israel while silent on Hamas’ terrorism, including the beheading of babies in their beds and kidnapping children as young as nine months, among its many other atrocities. The Harvard administration’s delayed response actually included a defense of the students’ First Amendment rights! Alums should turn crimson with shame.
10. Egypt, which borders Gaza in the south, doesn’t want to allow its fellow Arabs and Muslims to escape to its safe haven while Israel goes about the vital business of decapitating Hamas. Egypt could also supply essential goods and services to Gaza. However, it fears Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood organization that Egypt has been battling for almost 100 years. Egypt has also spent 75 years exploiting the Palestinian plight and profiting extensively from its propaganda value, free from having to harbor any Palestinian refugee camps within its borders, unlike the other “front-line states,” Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
11. Israel is rightly concerned about a multi-front war, a challenge they have faced four times in the past. Hezbollah has already begun bombarding Northern Israel with rockets and mortars.
12. The Iranian mullahs, without whose support Hamas and its fellow terrorist organization, Hezbollah, could not exist, deny any involvement in Hamas’ terrorist action. This is, of course, bullshit, and must be called out as such and severely punished by the UN and the world’s democracies. The U.S. should henceforth provide all possible support to the Iranian resistance.
13. Gone are the days when a foreign policy crisis meant that partisan political battles “stop at the water’s edge.” For the Republican Party/Cult, there is no water’s edge. Failed party chair and major Trump suck-up, Ronna (Don’t Call Me Romney) McDaniel, says that the horrific violence perpetrated against Israeli civilians “is a great opportunity” for Republican presidential candidates to attack Democrats. Sen. Tim Scott, the incredibly shrinking candidate whose campaign demonstrates that he is not ready for “garbage time,” much less prime time, accused President Biden of “having blood on his hands.” And if this were not nauseating enough--and speaking of garbage—Donald Trump called Biden and his aides “stupid” and Hezbollah “and the rest of them (i.e., Hamas) very smart.” Nothing like praising the butchers, eh, Donald? Impossible to believe that filth like this was—and could once again—be President.
14. Finally, Hamas’ slaughter of civilians is the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Everywhere Jews go in the perpetual diaspora, hate and violence follow. Will it ever end?
October 16, 2023