April 22, 2024

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April 22, 2024

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Amir Tsarfati: Pressure Must Be Asserted, But Not At The Netanyahu Government

It used to be that the United States stood with Israel in saying that a plan for the hostages to be released needed to be solidified prior a ceasefire being considered. That all changed with a tweet from Secretary of State Antony Blinken Tuesday, in which he wrote, “While meeting with Israeli War Cabinet Member @gantzbe, I underscored the urgency of reaching a temporary ceasefire to facilitate the release of hostages and surge humanitarian aid and reiterated the need for Israel to take steps to improve delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza.”

Later, he doubled down on this strategy in another post in which he is pictured with Qatar’s prime minister, writing, “We will continue to urgently pursue an agreement for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to enable the release of all hostages, the protection of civilians, and the increased provision of critical aid to Gaza.”

Notice what changed? Now the U.S. is saying that Israel must agree to a ceasefire first. Only then can we can facilitate the release of hostages, in addition to surging humanitarian aid and improving Israel’s delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza. Essentially, he is saying that Israel must stop fighting and give Hamas all it is asking for. Washington is trying to force the Netanyahu government to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This is asinine!

But as crazy as it is, it is not surprising given who is standing next to Blinken in the picture accompanying the first tweet. The @gantzbe is Benny Gantz, the primary figure in the opposition to Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition. Without permission, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Blinken and the Biden government. Biden’s administration is desperate to find someone to run with their two-state solution, and Gantz is their useful idiot. Biden knows that he desperately needs a success in the Middle East, particularly after seeing the enthusiastic sweep Republican voters gave to former president Donald Trump on Super Tuesday.

As far as Gantz goes, his excursion is a direct attempt to undermine Netanyahu and can easily be seen as an act of treason against the State of Israel.


Fighting continues throughout the Gaza Strip. In Khan Yunis, dozens of terrorists have been arrested over the past week. On Sunday, the IDF launched a major airstrike on Khan Yunis destroying more of Hamas’s infrastructure. Also, that day, an airstrike killed the leader of Hamas’s recruiting efforts Mahmoud Muhammad Abed Khad. An Israeli reservist, Sgt. Maj. Dennis Yekimov, was killed a day earlier in Khan Yunis bringing the number of IDF troops killed in the Gazan war to 246.

Last week, a group began marching in a call for the return of the hostages. They launched from Kibbutz Re’im, near where the Nova massacre occurred, toward Jerusalem. Over the next four days, more and more people joined the procession. Finally, on Saturday, the assembly that now numbered over 15,000 arrived in Jerusalem. Included in the numbers were quite a few members of the families of the abductees. I feel deeply for the pain of these people. I can’t imagine the anguish of not knowing the situation of your loved ones, particularly after hearing the many stories of the abuse and torture these hostages are experiencing.

And, yes, the torture is happening. Despite the efforts of Hamas apologists to downplay what the terror group has done and is doing; the violence is real. Even the United Nations, after a thorough investigation, had to admit that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that rape and sexual torture were and are being perpetrated on women and children.

But this march is not the answer. This is the Benny Gantz strategy of a victorious army running in retreat (see above story). Yes, pressure must be asserted, but not at the Netanyahu government. It must instead be directed at Hamas until they finally break and release all those they are illegally and inhumanely holding.

The West Bank

As I’ve said before, the West Bank is a very dangerous place. The Al Aqsa Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, are very active. Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party tries to portray itself as peaceful, but in actions they show they are terrorists – regularly shooting at Israeli villages and military bases.

In the Hebron area last month, the Shin Bet thwarted a terrorist cell that sought to carry out an ISIS-inspired bomb attack. Using information provided by online videos and ISIS contacts, these men constructed 100 explosive devices. If this plot had not been discovered, the results could have been devastating.

The Northern Front

The clash between Israel and Hezbollah is evident for all to see by the rockets fired south and the airstrikes launched north. On Monday, thirty rockets were fired over the border toward Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel. Thirteen were intercepted and the rest fell in open areas. Hamas claimed responsibility for 16 of the rockets; it is assumed that Hezbollah fired the rest. For its part, the IDF regularly sends planes, missiles, and weaponized drones at strategic targets in Lebanon. Friday night into Saturday morning saw seven Hezbollah terrorists killed by airstrikes. One drone strike killed Abbas Ahmed Halil, grandson of Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Halil was a member of the pro-Iranian Imam Hossein Division. Two of his compatriots were also killed in the attack. According to Hezbollah, 226 of its fighters have been killed since the beginning of the war.

Syria is also preparing for war. Last week saw a combined land and sea exercise by the Syrian military. This week, the Syrian army is following up by carrying out a huge military exercise. Yesterday saw rockets fired from Syria toward the Golan Heights. Israel immediately retaliated with an attack into Syria.


Elections in Iran told the story of a disappointed and disillusioned populace. In a system where there is no chance of the ruling party being defeated, popular attitudes can be surmised from the voter turnout. Saturday’s election saw only 41% of those eligible coming out to vote. That is the lowest turnout since the Islamic Revolution. Part of the reason for the citizens’ frustration is the tanking economy. The black-market rate of the Iranian Rial, known as the world’s least valuable currency, is now approaching 600,000 rials to one U.S. dollar on the black market. This is the lowest value the currency has ever held.


Yesterday, a Russian missile struck the Ukrainian city of Odesa killing five people. Approximately 500 meters away from the blast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was giving Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis a tour of the area. No one in their entourages was harmed. Russia claimed they were aiming at a hangar where there were unmanned army vessels.

Ukraine, for its part, took aim at a manned Russian vessel. Drone boats were directed at the Russian corvette, Sergey Kotov, sending the patrol boat to the bottom of the Black Sea near Crimea. If a Bloomberg report is to be taken seriously, Ukraine should celebrate every victory while it still can. The study claims that Russia should be able to break through Ukraine’s defensive line by summer.

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