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If Israel Is Forced to Continue War Alone, America Will Be the Loser

US President Joe Biden is welcomed by Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, as he visits Israel amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Superpowers like the United States often have difficulty comprehending the concept of “existential threat” — the reality that a country could actually be destroyed.

This danger, and the determination it produces, was eloquently expressed in Prime Minister Golda Meier’s famous quote during the Yom Kippur War, “We have a secret weapon here in Israel… we have nowhere else to go.”

Less well remembered is that at the time, she was speaking to a young Senator Joe Biden.

On Monday, the United States permitted the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to pass Resolution 2728, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and return of all hostages. Yet international law and bodies have no impact on Hamas, so the demand to return the hostages has no real-world impact.

For Israel, the war in Gaza has two objectives: the rescue of 134 Israeli hostages and destruction of the Hamas terror organization, by far the most important goal.

Therefore, the demand for a ceasefire presents a powerful danger.

Monday’s resolution was passed under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter: a demand without an immediate enforcement mechanism. However, if Israel does not comply, the UNSC has the option to follow up with a Chapter 7 resolution, which would have the force of international law and may include crippling sanctions and even direct military action against Israel. (For example, a Chapter 7 resolution triggered the Gulf War against Iraq in 1991.)

If it does not exercise its veto, the United States would become the first nation in history to permit a Chapter 7 resolution against a close ally, which would produce untold consequences for America’s future.

Israel must enter Rafah, the last stronghold of Hamas in Gaza, and the location of most of the remaining hostages, because the Jewish State believes it is the only way to ensure Israel’s safety.

The White House claims that “there are other ways,” to defeat Hamas, though the administration has not explained how.

If America reduces its military support at a critical time, or allows a Chapter 7 enforcement action at the UNSC, then Israel will face existential danger, both from its enemies and from international sanctions. Whether Israel then succeeds in spite of being abandoned — or fails because of it — American credibility will be demolished.

American allies, out of their own self interest, will likely seek alliances with other major powers, such as China and Russia. Meanwhile, America has no shortage of enemies, such as the Houthis in the Red Sea, Russia in Ukraine, Iran with its nuclear program, and the myriad of terror groups looking to attack the US at home. All such enemies will be emboldened, just at a time when America’s alliances are weakened.

Ironically, this UN action has already brought the Middle East farther away from peace rather than closer — because Hamas sees international pressure on Israel as a viable path to potential victory.

Case in point: on Sunday, Israel agreed to an international proposal for the release of some 800 Palestinian prisoners, including violent offenders, in exchange for 40 Israeli hostages, a six week truce, and steps toward a permanent ceasefire. Hamas, which has rejected dozens of ceasefire offers, appeared to be seriously considering the new proposal. Yet just hours after the UNSC resolution, Hamas rejected the proposal outright, dashing international hopes.

There are two possible explanations for this state of affairs between Israel and the US.

President Biden is facing a tough election fight, including a tidal wave of public pressure over civilian casualties in Gaza. This is a highly calculated component of Hamas’ strategy to defeat Israel through international pressure. While civilian casualties are disturbing, much of the accepted narrative is simply untrue.

Even at a risk to Israeli troops, the Jewish State has taken unprecedented measures to protect civilians, and the results speak for themselves: the civilian to combatant casualty ratio, at close to 1:1, is the lowest in history for a conflict of this type.

Furthermore, the total casualty count is orders of magnitude lower than other conflicts in the region, such as Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

Numerous other conspiracy theories including that Israel shelled hospitals, have proven to be outright false. Nonetheless, Hamas’ war of propaganda has been effective, not just against Israel directly, but also as a factor in the US elections.

Another possibility is that the tension is personal: Prime Minister Netanyahu and Presidents Obama and Biden have long disagreed. Indeed, Monday’s resolution does seem reminiscent of the 2016 UNSC resolution 2334, widely seen in Israel as a “parting shot” by President Obama against Prime Minister Netanyahu. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer also called for Israel to hold early elections and thereby oust its prime minister (a rare statement when speaking to a close and democratic ally), which further supports the idea that tensions may be personal.

Hamas’ continued existence is an existential threat to Israel — and its leaders have promised to carry out October 7 style massacres “again and again.” Yet the White House has underestimated just how powerful an existential threat can be. No amount of pressure or leverage, even from a powerful ally, can compete with the possibility of utter destruction.

Israel may be forced to go it alone, and America will lose either way.

Daniel Pomerantz is an expert in international law, an adjunct professor at Reichman and Bar Ilan Universities in Israel, and the CEO of RealityCheck, an nonprofit NGO dedicated to clarifying global conversations with verifiable data. Daniel lives in Tel Aviv, Israel and can be found on Instagram at @realitycheckresearch or at www.RealityCheckResearch.org.

The post If Israel Is Forced to Continue War Alone, America Will Be the Loser first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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