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Netanyahu Confirms: ‘Great Slowdown’ in U.S. Arms, Ammunition Shipments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Friday that there had been a “great slowdown” in U.S. arms and ammunition shipments, and said he publicly criticized the White House after months of quiet frustration...

An Update on the War in Israel

The current situation in southern Israel has rightfully dominated international news headlines over the past 6 days. Many questions remain unanswered, and the contours of the crisis are changing literally hour to hour. What we know, for now, is the following:

By the numbers:

1,300 Israelis, including numerous civilians of all ages (including babies and the elderly), have been killed, and many more have been wounded. This number also includes dozens of non-Jewish residents of southern Israel, including Arab-Israeli residents and soldiers, as well as foreign workers from East Asia.

150 Israelis - again, including many men, women, and children - have been taken captive and are being held in Gaza. To put this number into perspective, only one Israeli soldier has ever been taken alive into Hamas-controlled Gaza, and it took 5 years to negotiate his safe release in exchange for over 1,000 dangerous terrorists.

All of these attacks took place in undisputed sovereign Israeli territory, and the victims are regular Israelis who were peacefully going about their lives. They also took place on the Jewish sabbath which coincided with a holiday, clearly aimed at taking advantage of that to catch Israel off guard.

The images and videos of the sheer bloodthirsty brutality of the killings have shocked the world. This war is a new frontier in terms of how smartphones and technology allow unfiltered insight into the level of inhumanity that is on display.

300,000 reservists were successfully called up to bolster the standing IDF presence in the South (where the attacks occurred) as well as in the North, where there is fear that Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based Iran-linked Shiite militia may join the fighting and open up 2 fronts of unconventional warfare.

Who is Hamas: Palestinians are split into two areas, which are not geographically contiguous. The first, Judea & Samaria (also known as the West Bank), is the mountain region to the north and south of Jerusalem, containing familiar biblical cities like Bethlehem, Nablus, and Hebron. This region has a mixed Jewish-Arab population, and the Arab population is governed by the Palestinian Authority which is dominated by a political group called Fatah. Fatah supports terrorism against Israel; however it at least tries to maintain a veneer of western respectability and is not a fundamentalist Islamic group.

In contrast, Gaza - a coastal area in Southwest Israel - only has Palestinian Arab residents (Jewish residents were unilaterally removed from Gaza in 2005 by the Israeli government, in a very controversial move). Hamas - which fully controls Gaza - is an explicitly Islamic fundamentalist group. Their charter directly calls for full destruction of every inch of Israel. They have been listed as a terrorist organization by western countries for many decades. They frequently call for the destruction of America as well as Israel.

How did it happen: Many people are baffled at how Israel’s vaunted military allowed the Gaza border to be breached for several hours leading to the free passage of terrorists and captives. While it is still too early to know exactly, it appears that an over-reliance on technology may have contributed to the breach. The wall is controlled by numerous hi-tech sensors which appear to have been disabled by a combination of cyber warfare and low-tech targeting of the equipment with explosives. This will affect how border security policy is formulated for generations to come.

Why now? Hamas must have known that this kind of unprecedented attack could reasonably lead to its destruction. So why did they do this? One theory is that the Arab-Israeli normalization process begun by the Trump Administration, the Abraham Accords, was being successfully continued by the Biden administration and was on the verge of claiming its biggest prize: peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia. This would have completely re-shuffled the Middle East and undermined the stated goal for Hamas’ existence. Iran in particular was concerned about the development and as a patron of Hamas may have instigated this attack.

Additionally, over the past year Israel has become fractured over the flashpoint Judicial Reform issue, which led many left-leaning reservists to publicly say they wouldn’t serve under Netanyahu. Israel’s enemies may have sniffed vulnerability and figured this was their best opportunity to wreak havoc. They were wrong, as all Israelis have enthusiastically lined up to serve in this war for its survival.

What this means for humanity: The scope of the barbarism perpetrated by Hamas has shaken the free world and awakened a renewed awareness of the existence of evil. Radical militant Islam, whether in the form of ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or Hamas, has reemerged as an existential threat to the entire civilized world. The stated goal of world dominance by these radicals has given every country in the world an opportunity to reformulate what it stands for.

On the flip side, the several countries which have been equivocating and cannot call out evil right before their eyes will not be viewed as reliable and clear-eyed by the rest of the world.

What this means for America: America’s most reliable ally on the planet is hurting badly. However, the morale in Israel is extremely high and Israel will undoubtedly emerge much stronger than ever before, with a clearer-eyed focus on subduing her enemies. Israel is an outpost of democracy in a dangerous neighborhood, and it is holding the line for the West.

On a tactical level, Israel serves as the best research and development lab in the world for American weaponry. Israeli tech knowhow and real-time battle-tried experience with American weaponry is communicated to teams of engineers which are then able to make American military technology more reliable and lethal for any future threat to the homeland.

Additionally, many of the victims and captives are American citizens.

What this means for Israel: Prime Minister Netanyahu has created an emergency unity government which will remain in place until the war has been completed. The relatively insignificant political quibbles of recent months are meaningless for the time being, as all Israelis rally together and stand shoulder to shoulder. When the war is won, there will be a time of reckoning and the public will have to determine who they hold responsible for the crisis. Netanyahu is a battle-tried wartime leader.

America has shown that it is a trustworthy ally that can and will assist in Israel’s time of need.

The days ahead will be difficult ones, and can proceed in several different directions. The prayers and support of freedom loving people around the world will be needed for Israel to hold the line and make sure this conflict doesn’t devolve into something much larger and more dangerous.

CPAC Israel Delegation participants, Ambassadors David Fox & John Rakolta, meeting with Ron Dermer, Israel's current Minister for Strategic Affairs.


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