News Digest — 11/9/23

IDF Forces Complete Takeover Of Hamas Post

IDF soldiers from the Nahal Brigade on Wednesday night (8th) completed an operation to take control of Post 17, a military fortress belonging to the Hamas terror group and located in western Jabalya in northern Gaza.

During the operation the soldiers waged a battle with terrorists belonging to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups who were at the post both above the ground and in underground tunnels.

On Wednesday night (8th) IDF forces completed the takeover of the post after 10 hours of fighting, during which they eliminated terrorists, confiscated many weapons, and exposed tunnel shafts, including one which was located near a preschool and led to a wide underground path.

During the takeover, Nahal Brigade forces located and collected significant operative material on the Hamas terrorists’ operations plans.

Parallel to this, since Wednesday morning (8th), IAF planes have attacked hundreds of terror targets.



As Germany Commemorates “Kristallnacht,” Fear Of Renewed Anti-Semitic Violence

The head of Germany’s Jewish community will give a speech on Thursday night (9th) that he cannot rule out the possibility of a mob attack on Jews reminiscent of the recent violent scenes at an airport in Dagestan, Russia following the arrival of a plane from Israel.

Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of German Jews, will deliver his speech at a special commemoration for the 85th anniversary of Reichspogromnacht – the nationwide Nazi assault on the German Jewish community on November 9-10,1938 – at Berlin’s Beth Zion synagogue.  Also addressing the event are Olaf Scholz, Germany’s chancellor, and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the country’s president.

In his speech, an advance copy of which was shared with the Algemeiner, Schuster will highlight the parallels between the Nazi orgy of anti-Semitic violence in 1938 and the assault on southern Israel by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 in which more than 1,400 people were murdered.

”I could talk about November 9, 1938,” Schuster will say, “But I could also talk about the pogrom of our time, the cruel terror of Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023.  The descriptions are similar.”

At the heart of Schuster’s speech is the growing concern over rising anti-Semitism in Germany, with more than 2,000 incidents targeting Jews recorded since Oct.7, according to data from the Federal Criminal Police Office released last week.  The explosion of violence and harassment has highlighted the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes among Germany’s Muslim communities, who have staged angry demonstrations in support of Hamas in several cities during the last month.

“The images from Dagestan seem far away.  Or not?” Schuster will ask, while acknowledging that the federal republic that rose from the ashes of the Nazi regime has made the protection of Jewish life a central mission, he will argue that incitement on social media nonetheless poses the risk of extreme violence.

“Is it not conceivable that such a hunt for Jews could take place in such a way?  That this framework also exists in Germany?  A mob incited by fanatics openly inciting hatred on TikTok, Telegram” Schuster will say.  “Five weeks ago, I would have said that I can’t imagine that, but today I am not so sure.”

German politicians meanwhile have continued to express anguish over the increase in anti-Semitic  outrages.  On Tuesday (7th), a spokesperson for the interior ministry told the Handelsblatt news outlet that attacks on Jewish institutions “cannot be ruled out,” pledging to fight the “evil” of Islamism in accordance with the “rule of law.”

The Reichspogromnacht commemorations across Germany coincide with the publication of a new report on anti-Semitism published by the Antonio Amadeu Foundation, a leading anti-racist organization.  The report emphasizes that Germany’s culture of Holocaust commemoration is being actively attacked by Islamist, far right, and extremist left organizations comparing Israel’s defensive actions in Gaza with the Nazi atrocities.  It pointed out that far right groups have eagerly exploited the renewed conflict in Gaza, citing incidents of Holocaust memorials being vandalized with stickers declaring “Get rid of the [Holocaust] guilt cult: Free Palestine” and “Israel murders while the world watches.”

Known for most of the post-war period as “Kristallnacht” – “the Night of Broken Glass” – the Nov. 9-10, 1938 Nazi pogrom resulted in the deaths of more than 100 Jews, the burning of hundreds of synagogues, the looting of over 7,000 Jewish-owned stores, and the arrest of 30,000 Jewish men, most of whom were deported to concentration camps.  In recent years, historians have used the term Reichspogromnacht  – “Reichs Pogrom Night” – instead of “Kristallnacht,”  arguing that it better captures the nature of the violence.



US Strikes Iranian Facility In Eastern Syria After Weeks Of Iran-Backed Attacks

The US struck a facility used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-backed militias in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria on Wednesday night (8th) in response to repeated recent rocket and drone attacks against US forces in Syria and Iraq.

“Following a series of attacks against US persons in Iraq and Syria, US Central Command (US CENTCOM) forces conducted an airstrike against a facility in Syria used by the IRGC and affiliated groups,” said CENTCOM. “We will take all necessary measures to defend our people against those who are responsible for the attacks and will respond at a time and place of our choosing.”

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the strike was conducted by two US F-15s and targeted a weapons storage facility.

“The US is fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities.  We urge against any escalation.  US personnel will continue to conduct counter-missions in Iraq and Syria” said Austin.

The Syrian Sada al-Sharqieh news outlet reported that deaths and injuries were caused in the airstrike and that it targeted a site near the Deir Ezzor military airport.  A local news site, Nahar Media reported that at least ten Iranian and Iranian-backed militants were killed or injured in the strike.

Shortly after the airstrike, Iran-backed militias in Iraq said that they had launched two drones at the Harir airbase in northern Iraq, which hosts US forces.

Iran-backed militias throughout the region have intensified attacks on US forces in the region in the weeks since the outbreak of the war between Hamas and Israel on October 7.



Mossad Helps Brazil Arrest Hezbollah-Linked Terrorists Planning Attacks On Jews

In a major counter-terrorism operation on Wednesday (8th), the Brazilian Federal Police along with the Mossad moved swiftly to prevent imminent terrorist attacks within the country, against the Jewish community.  The Brazilian Report disclosed on Wednesday (8th) that the operation was aimed at dismantling groups that were allegedly “preparing to commit terrorist acts” and “recruiting Brazilians for extreme acts” targeting Jewish community buildings in Brazil.

According to the report, authorities executed two temporary arrest warrants and conducted searches at 11 locations across Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and the federal capital, Brasilia.  The Federal Police stated that individuals involved in recruiting or joining terrorist organizations could face severe legal penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.

Investigations have identified the suspects’ connections to Hezbollah, a group engaged in conflict with Israel and supportive of Palestinian statehood claims.  Notably, a 2014 inquiry by the Federal Police found ties between Hezbollah and Brazil’s First Command of the Capital (PCC) cartel, including alleged weapon trades and the safeguarding of Lebanese prisoners in Brazil. 

O Globo reported that one of the prisoners was detained at Guarulhos airport, in Sao Paulo, upon arriving from Lebanon.  “The authorities believe that he had already arrived with information to carry out the attacks,” the report said.

This operation comes against the backdrop of Brazil’s strict anti-terrorism legislation enacted prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics, which takes a firm stance against acts motivated by xenophobia or racial, ethnic and religious discrimination.

An alarming increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Brazil has been reported, escalating tensions and vigilance among Jewish communities.  The Brazilian Report highlighted a staggering 760 % rise in school-related antiSemitic incidents over the last three years, intensifying the concerns of potential threats and emphasizing the need for such preemptive actions by law enforcement agencies.

According to the World Jewish Congress, there are about 92,000 Jews in Brazil, making it the 10th largest Jewish community in the world and second largest in Latin America, behind Argentina.

The Israel Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), reacted to the report on behalf of Mossad on Wednesday evening, by stating, “Security forces in Brazil, in collaboration with Mossad and its partners within the Israeli security community, have successfully foiled a planned attack by the Hezbollah terror group – orchestrated and financed by the Iranian regime.  This disruption targets a vast network that extends to several other nations globally.”

“Mossad expresses gratitude to the Brazilian security forces for their role in detaining a terrorist cell operating under Hezbollah’s directives, which intended to execute an attack against Israeli and Jewish targets within Brazil,” the PMO said.

“Amid the ongoing conflicts in Gaza with the Hamas terror group, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime persist in their global efforts to orchestrate attacks against Israeli, Jewish and Western targets.”

“Mossad is actively and will continue to employ a diverse array of tactics to prevent these attempts, operating wherever necessary,” the PMO concluded.



Israel Advances Rapidly In Gaza, But Eliminating Hamas Leaders To Take Time – Ben Caspit

The Israeli army has been advancing faster than its own commanders anticipated in encircling Gaza City and reaching Hamas headquarters, but accomplishing the goal of eliminating the group’s political and military leadership will take time.  Israel’s vision of a knockout victory includes killing or capturing Hamas’ entire military and political leadership, killing all the planners and perpetrators of the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, eliminating all of Hamas arsenals and firepower, and denying its ability to run Gaza or maintain its sovereignty there.

Three IDF divisions are currently operating in Gaza with artillery, helicopter gunships, drones and fighter jets backing up their advance.  Hamas has so far avoided confronting the Israeli troops head on, opting to exploit its advantage in ambushing and attacking from tunnels, and booby-trapping their route.  The IDF estimates that between 1,500 and 2,000 assailants have been killed, including 15 officers at tactical command levels.  The number of Israeli casualties, as of now, is at the low end of the preliminary estimates.

Hamas is not showing any signs of breaking and has maintained much of its military strength.  “This will not end until we reach the command bunker of Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif,” a senior Israeli military source said.  “It will be expensive and ugly, but we will not leave Gaza before that happens.”

IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari has repeatedly mentioned in his recent daily briefings that al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza shields the underground Hamas nerve center and military command.  Reporters have been presented with video and audio clips, photos and testimony to prove that Hamas was launching rockets at Israel from tunnel shafts located just meters from the hospital.

Israel will eventually have little choice but to roll into the compound and purge it of the Hamas commanders.  To that end, advanced discussions are underway on equipping field hospitals inside or near Gaza as an alternative to al-Shifa Hospital.  A senior Israeli source said that the Hamas leadership was mistaken in thinking Israel would avoid the hospital compound.  (Al-Monitor)



On Oct. 8, American Jews Woke Up To Discover Who Our Friends Are Not – Bret Stephens

Oct. 8 wasn’t just the day after the single greatest atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust, an atrocity whose details were impossible to miss because the perpetrators made sure to film them.  It was the day when that atrocity was celebrated.  Not just in places like Tehran, but also on the streets of Manhattan and on too many college campuses.

On Oct. 8, Jews woke up to discover who our friends are not.  Knowing who our friends aren’t isn’t pleasant, particularly after so many Jews have sought to be personal friends and political allies to people and movements that, as we grieved, turned their backs on us.  But it’s also clarifying.  More than 3,800 years of Jewish history keeps yielding the same bracing lesson: In the long run, we’re alone.

What can Oct. 8 Jews do?  We can stop being embarrassed, equivocal or defensive about Zionism, which is, after all, one of the world’s most successful movements of national liberation.  We can call out anti-Zionism for what it is: a rebranded version of anti-Semitism, based on the same set of libels and conspiracy theories.