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Amir Tsarfati: Pressure Cooker — The Multifaceted Situation Israel Faces Is Unlike Any The World Has Seen Before

(Galilee, Israel) — Israel is a pressure cooker right now. If you have seen Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lately, you’ll know the toll that this war has taken on him. He and those in his government are constantly having to consider in their decisions the needs of the families of the hostages, the needs of the military, and the ultimate goal of absolute victory against Hamas, Hezbollah, and any other enemy along our borders whose aim is to annihilate us. All the while, the PM and his people are feeling internal pressure from the opposition, who, after taking a brief moment off after October 7 to express their desire for national unity, have once again removed their daggers from their sheaths and are looking for any way to bring the PM down. If that weren’t enough, the pressure from outside the country, particularly from Washington, D.C., to wind down the war and implement a two-state solution is strong and constant.

Internationally, Israel is in a no-win situation. The only ones who have any desire for a two-state solution live far from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Israel doesn’t want a two-state solution because that would allow directly on its border an autonomous nation whose single desire is to obliterate the Jews. Hamas doesn’t want a two-state solution either because rather than living next to Israel, they want to live instead of Israel.

It is that “us instead of them” mindset that makes it impossible for Israel to allow the Gazans to press up against their border. If the people of Gaza were peace-loving, respectful neighbors, I believe that a huge majority of Israelis would vote to allow them their own land and governance. Instead, we find that all but a very small minority of Palestinians rear their children to hate Jews and to desire their violent extermination. It is so endemic in the culture that it would take 30-40 years for a new generation to be raised which would not hate Israel.

But despite all this being said, please understand that Israel is experiencing victory after victory in Gaza. Hamas is on the run as they see thousands of their terrorist compatriots dying and thousands more being captured. As the Gazan civilians evacuate to the south, many are beginning to protest loudly and publicly against Hamas. Yes, the situation is complex and taxing on the leadership, but Israel is most definitely on the winning side.

Please pray for the governmental and military leadership of Israel. Pray for safety and pray for wisdom. The multifaceted situation they face is unlike any the world has seen before.

War Statistics

According to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) figures, 9,000 terrorists have been killed since the October 7 massacre with thousands more injured. Among the dead were two Hamas brigade commanders, 19 battalion commanders, and 50 company commanders. On the Israeli side, 560 IDF soldiers have lost their lives and another 2,536 have been wounded. This goes to show the incredible difficulty and danger of this new form of warfare that demands simultaneous action on the streets above the ground and in the labyrinth of tunnels below.

Since the war began, 14,000 rockets have been fired at civilian locations in Israel from Gaza, 2,000 from Lebanon, and 30 from Syria. In contrast, as the IDF moved through Gaza, they made 79,000 phone calls to civilians, dropped 7 million leaflets, and sent 13 million SMS messages, all giving notice of its intentions to enter an area and warning the non-combatants to clear out of harm’s way. And it is not just Gazans who have been forced to flee their homes due to war. There are 200,000 Israelis who have been evacuated to safety from both the southern and northern borders of the country.

Gaza

As rumors of ceasefires and the end of hostilities circulate through the media, Netanyahu took time to clarify Israel’s objectives. “I hear statements about various deals, so I want to make this clear: we will not end this war with anything less than achieving all our goals. This means eliminating Hamas, returning all our captives, and ensuring that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel,” he said in a speech in the West Bank. He went on to say, “We will not settle for anything less than an absolute victory.”

There is a growing protest movement within Israel to block the “humanitarian aid” into Gaza. Why is this? Is it because Israelis just want the Gazans to suffer? No, it’s because most Israelis understand that the aid sent to the area inevitably ends up in the hands of Hamas and not the general population. This is an absurd situation. When in modern history has a country both fought and fed its enemy at the same time? That is a sure recipe for extending the length of a war and compounding casualties.

More and more Israelis are now rising up against this ridiculous state of affairs which exists only due to pressure by the US and the international community. If it wasn’t for our great need for Iron Dome munitions and other arms in preparation for the looming war against Hezbollah, we wouldn’t find ourselves in this predicament.

Meanwhile, Israeli fighter jets, drones, missiles, and ground troops continue to devastate Hamas and its infrastructure in Khan Yunis and central Gaza. Operation Atlantis is fully active, using sea water to flood underground tunnels. Soon, the IDF will complete its takeover of Khan Yunis, and turn its attention southward.

Northern Front

On Monday, an Israeli airstrike eliminated a number of Iranian advisers south of Damascus, Syria. The missiles targeted a base housing members of Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) killing seven inside. Several days earlier and across the border to the west, the IDF targeted several sites in southern Lebanon belonging to Hezbollah. At least four terrorists were killed in the airstrikes.

Once again, I must stress that the north will almost certainly be the next front of the war. Because of the strength and training of Hezbollah, the IDF will not be able to just plow through like they did in Gaza. This is where the real war will take place, and it will bring hardship to both Israeli and Lebanese civilians. But this fight must go forward in order to remove terrorist Hezbollah and other Iranian proxy militias. Otherwise, Israelis will never feel safe in their own homes again.

International Relations

The South African ploy to force Israel into a ceasefire has flopped. Rather than declaring Israel’s actions in Gaza to be “genocidal”, as the South African ANC government claimed, the International Court of Justice demanded that Hamas release all hostages. Certainly, the high court had some negative things to say about Israel, but that is what we would expect from any body of jurists related to the United Nations.

Despite the rumors that Washington was going to slow arms sales to Israel in order to pressure a ceasefire and a two-state solution, the US will send the IDF a huge supply of armaments. There will be a number of F-35 jets, 25 F-15 jets, 12 Apache helicopters, tens of thousands of guns and heavy machine guns, and large amounts of ammunition, projectiles, and other war materiel. “Israel has a right and obligation to defend themselves against the threat of Hamas…and we remain committed to support Israel in its fight,” said a White House National Security Council spokesperson.

UNRWA

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a front for terrorism. Thus far, twelve UNRWA employees are known to have directly participated in perpetrating the October 7 massacre, and it is likely that number will increase.

Israel has been making this claim for months, and finally other nations are beginning to listen. So far, the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Australia, Canada, Romania, New Zealand, and Switzerland have frozen their funding of the tainted relief agency.

U.S. and Iran

A drone attack on a US base in Jordan on Sunday led to the deaths of three soldiers and the wounding of 40 others. The Iran-supported terrorist militia, Kataib Hezbollah, took responsibility for the attack that occurred near the border with Syria.

The US military is still trying to figure out how this drone made it through the air-defense system. Some believe it was human error due to a US drone returning to base around the same time. However, it is also quite possible that this is a new type of UAV that is able to mimic the signature of other drones. If that is the case, this could signal great difficulties in countering drone infiltrations in the future.

The White House was quick to condemn the attack, with President Biden writing in a statement that the US “will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner (of) our choosing.”

Because the perpetrators were proxies of Iran, tensions in the Middle East have risen significantly. Iran has already promised a very strong response if they are direct recipients of the United States’ retaliation. At the same time, senior commanders in pro-Iranian militias in Syria are leaving for Iran in fear of an American attack. This situation places the US administration in a difficult place. If they put forth a tepid response, both the Middle East and the moderate electorate in the November election will see Biden as weak. If the response is strong, the president risks losing support of the American left while escalating the situation with Iran.

International News

At least six Christian students, three teachers, and the driver of a bus belonging to the Apostolic Nursery and Primary School were kidnapped Tuesday by Islamists in Ekiti state, Nigeria. The school was later contacted with ransom demands. This follows a pattern in Nigeria of the kidnapping and murder of Christians. “Last year alone, 5,014 Christians were killed in Nigeria–accounting for nearly 90 percent of Christian deaths worldwide as well as 90 percent of Christian kidnappings across the globe,” said US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) in a statement. Children kidnapped; thousands murdered. Why isn’t this leading the news headlines? Two reasons. First, the victims are only poor Africans. Second, the perpetrators aren’t Jews. It’s truly appalling.

Two Islamist terrorists entered Santa Maria church in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday and opened fire, killing one and wounding another. They then fled. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the act. Since the attack, both perpetrators have been arrested by Turkish authorities, and another 47 people suspected to be connected to the responsible group have been taken into custody.

In order to protect its southern border, the state of Texas reinforced its barrier with concertina wire. Last week, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Border Patrol had the right to cut that wire. Governor Greg Abbott responded by placing even more wire along the border. This defiance has brought the state into direct conflict with Washington. While some on the left have urged President Biden to nationalize Texas’s national guard, the Texans have responded to the effect of “Yeah, try it and see how that goes.” Texas is not standing alone in their bid to defend their border. Twenty-five of the fifty states have signed a letter pledging their support to the Lone Star State.


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