News Digest — 11/2/23

Gallant: ‘There Are Prices For Every Battle, But We Are Making Important Achievements’

On Wednesday (1st) Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant visited the troops of the 36th Brigade, which are deployed to the Gaza border.  Minister Gallant held an operational assessment of the situation, and was briefed on the troops’ preparations for ongoing ground operations.  He was also briefed on the troops’ achievements in eliminating terrorist cells and infrastructure.

The briefing was attended by Deputy Chief of the General Staff Maj. Gen. Amir Baram, Maj. Gen. Itai Veruv, Commander of the 36th Brigade Brig. Gen. Dado Bar Kalifa, Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter and additional senior officials.

During his visit, Gallant stated: “Today I met IDF soldiers along the Gaza border, I heard their reports and am impressed with their activities.  Our operations are forceful and effective in achieving their targets, as a result of  the coordination between our ground, aerial and naval forces.

“I would like to commend our troops for their important achievements in the field – striking terrorists of all ranks – from those fighting on the ground and all the way up to their commanders.  IDF activities are exposing tunnels, forcing terrorists to exit these tunnels, and dealing them heavy blows,” the Minister of Defense said.

Acknowledging the loss of 15 soldiers who have fallen in battle so far, Gallant said: “Unfortunately, there is also a price paid [loss] on our side, as with every battle.  We will carry on with full force.  I wish to express my appreciation to all our troops – from the IDF Chief of the General Staff, to our soldiers on the field.”



US House Approves Bill To Sanction Hamas Supporters

The US House of Representatives approved a bill to sanction foreign supporters of the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist movements on Wednesday night (1st).

The bill, titled the Hamas International Financing Prevention Act, passed 363-46.  Some 45 Democrats and one Republican voted in opposition of the bill.  The bill, which was first introduced in the House in January, will now head to the Senate.

The bill would require the president to periodically report to Congress a list of each foreign person who knowingly provides “significant support or services” to a senior member or supporter of Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The president would also be required to provide Congress with a list of any foreign governments that have repeatedly provided material support for the terror groups’ activities.  These governments will be barred from receiving US assistance or the exports of controlled munitions for one year.  International financial institutions will also be instructed to oppose providing assistance to these governments for one year.

The bill provides for certain exceptions and waivers.



Hezbollah Mocks Hamas Leaders’ Luxurious Lifestyle While Hamas Is Fighting In Gaza

Journalists and politicians affiliated with Iran-backed group Hezbollah say former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal’s call to open a second front against Israel from Lebanon would not be answered.

Lebanese politicians and journalists, among others, who are affiliated with the Hezbollah terror group expressed anger at the demands made by former Hamas chief Khaled Mashal calling for a second front to be opened against Israel while its forces are fighting against Hamas in Gaza.

“Only this way can history be made,” Mashal said, adding that there must be more than the limited and gradual approach Hezbollah is deploying on Israel’s northern border.  “What’s happening here is not enough,” he said.  His remarks were rejected claiming they were made by “a man staying in a five-star hotel” and accused him of not being ashamed to urge Lebanon to provoke Israel.

In an interview with the Lebanese Al-Jadeed channel, journalist Faysal Abd al-Sattar said, “this story is unwelcome.  Someone sitting in a Gulf state dares to tell Hezbollah, ‘Thank you, but it’s not enough.’  Khaled Mashal has no positive influence on our Shiite environment, particularly after what happened in Syria.”  He referenced Hamas’ support for anti-government forces during the Syrian civil war when Hezbollah sided with the regime.

Lebanese politician Wiam Wahab, closely aligned with Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, remarked, “Khaled Mashal meddled in the Arab Spring, the destructive spring that aimed to weaken the Arab world.  If Mashal has 30 billion dollars to offer, then perhaps we can consider going to war.”  Journalist Salem Zahran, with close ties to Hezbollah, declared that if Mashal arrives at Beirut Airport, he is ready to take him to south Lebanon so he can fight with his forces.

The animosity toward Mashal is not new.  Two years ago, when he landed in Beirut, political and security figures were reluctant to welcome him.  Reports in the local media at the time suggested that the reason was his role in Syria and the Lebanese leadership’s unwillingness to provoke Damascus and other Arab capitals.



‘We No Longer Have Tears:’ Paris Synagogue Hosts Hostage Family

More than 500 people gathered at the Iconic Great Synagogue in Paris on Tuesday (10/31) to highlight the plight of Israeli hostages held by Hamas terrorists and to speak out against rising anti-Semitism in France.

Speakers at the event included the Israeli Ambassador to France, Jewish leaders, and relatives of the hostages.

“We no longer have tears, our eyes are dry, we are emptied, three weeks later.  I ask only one thing, that they return,” Ayelet Sela – seven of whose relatives were abducted at Kibbutz Be’eri during the Oct.7 pogrom – told the assembly.

Daniel Toledano, whose brother was seized during the Hamas attack at the Nova music festival, said that the lack of information about his fate over the last three weeks “was worse than knowing he is dead.”

“We have come to change what we hear from French public opinion,” Toledano added, to a standing ovation.  “So stay by our side and help us release all the hostages.”

Tuesday’s (10/31) event took place as the Jewish community reeled from the latest anti-Semitic outrage, involving dozens of Stars of David daubed on the outer walls of several buildings in the Paris region.

Some 60 Stars of David were painted on the walls of buildings in the 14th arrondissement of the French capital, as well as in Saint-Ouen, Saint-Denis, Aubervilliers, Vanves, and Fontenay-aux-Roses. An interview with one elderly Jewish resident conducted by broadcaster BFMTV went viral on Tuesday (10/31) after she spoke of her profound fear.  “I’m crying because I’m rediscovering the hatred I knew as a child,” the woman said through tears.

Commenting on the vandalism, Joel Mergui – president of the Consistoire, which administers Jewish places of worship in France – declared that Jews were at a “turning point” in history, confronting a “wave of anti-Semitism that is reaching new heights.”

One woman who attended the meeting at the Grand Synagogue said that the appearance of the graffiti had terrified her.  “This is the story of my parents,” the weeping 75-year-old woman, who gave her name as Arlette, told the AFP news agency.

She said she had arrived at the synagogue alone after friends who had agreed to accompany her decided not to attend.

“They were afraid,” she said.

A number of non-Jews also attended Tuesday night‘s (10/31) meeting in solidarity with the Jewish community.

Addressing the French Parliament on Tuesday (10/31), Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that of the nearly 900 incidents of anti-Semitism reported since the Hamas pogrom in southern Israel on Oct.7, 60 % had been “directed at people, not property.”



‘Your Pain Is Mine’ – Muslim Journalist Looking To Oust Ilhan Omar Makes Solidarity Visit To Israel

Dalia Al-Aqidi, Republican candidate for Congress trying to replace Ilhan Omar, visits Israel to show support, and shares her personal story as an Iraqi-born Muslim.

During recent interviews conducted while in Israel, Dalia Al-Aqidi expressed her commitment to fighting against terrorism, supporting Israel, and replacing Ilhan Omar, a progressive Democrat congresswoman who has been repeatedly accused of fomenting anti-Semitism.

A former journalist and media adviser to the US Department of Defense in Iraq, Al Aqidi lives in Minnesota and flew to Israel earlier this week.

“I’m telling you, Hamas is a terrorist group, and whoever supports these terrorists doesn’t belong to the United States of America – the land of the free,” Al-Aqidi said during an interview with The Media Line.

She called her opponent, incumbent congresswoman Ilhan Omar, “the No.1 anti-Semitic lawmaker in the United States.”

Al-Aqidi, an Iraqi-born Muslim immigrant to the United States and a Republican, is currently running for the Republican nomination to challenge Omar for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District seat.

Al-Aqidi said “Omar does not represent the people of Minnesota and Americans – they are not for anti-Semitism.  Omar’s narrative is that the state and country are anti-Jewish and they are pro-Hamas.

“Somebody has to say no.  Somebody has to correct the records,” said Al-Aqidi, who fled Iraq to escape the brutality of Saddam Hussein’s regime, adding that her experiences have instilled in her a profound sense of responsibility to recognize and prevent terrorism in the United States, as well as in Israel.

“I decided to come here to show solidarity with the Israelis, with the Jewish people, to tell the Jewish people that you’re not alone,” she said.  “This is not your fight by yourself.”

She met with displaced Jews from the south of Israel and donned the Star of David as a Sunni Muslim to show her solidarity until all hostages are returned.

“It’s not about religion.  It’s about being a human being,” she said.  “I’m with you.  I feel you.  Your pain is mine.”



The Global War On The Jews – Editorial (Wall Street Journal)

• Jews are under attack not only in Israel and not only by Hamas.  The weeks since the barbaric Oct.7 Hamas invasion of Israel have witnessed physical assaults on Jews the world over, including in the US and in Europe.

• The Islamist group and its Western enablers are pursuing or justifying a genocidal war against Jews, not merely a territorial dispute with Israel.

• This past weekend hundreds of rioters in Dagestan, Russia, stormed an airport in search of Jewish travelers.  Germany has witnessed a spate of anti-Semitic incidents.  Two Jewish schools in London closed for a period over safety concerns.  A crowd in Sydney, Australia, chanted “gas the Jews” after the Hamas attack.

• Americans like to believe such things couldn’t happen in the US.  They have.  The Anti-Defamation League reported a 388% increase in anti-Semitic incidents from Oct.7-23 compared with the same period a year ago.  The ADL tally counts109 anti-Israel rallies that featured support for Hamas or violence against Jews in Israel.

• The West spent the decades after the civilizational catastrophe of the Holocaust vowing ‘never again’ to allow itself to slide into such barbarism.  What we see now in the attacks on Jews is how that slide began.

• Before there was a Chancellor Hitler in 1933, there were roving bands of Brownshirts inflicting political and anti-Semitic violence on the streets of Germany.  They too often went unchecked by police, prosecutors and politicians who didn’t understand the menace.

• A Western society that can’t or won’t muster the will to defend its Jewish neighbors and fellow citizens won’t be able to defend itself.