Will the Tel Aviv Shooting Become Israel’s New Normal?

On January 1, an Israeli Arab named Nashat Milhem walked into a Tel Aviv café and opened fire, killing three and wounding several others, and then escaped. Milhem himself was killed in a shootout with police last Friday. Reflecting on what the public knows and doesn’t know about the shooter, David Horovitz wonders if the future will bring more such attacks:

Nashat Milhem did what the would-be Israel-destroyers of Iran, Hamas, Hizballah, Islamic State, et al. so fervently strive to do: he brought death to the vibrant heart of modern Israel, to downtown Tel Aviv.

And what Israel needs to know—and what a living, captured Nashat Milhem could have helped the security agencies determine more accurately—is how dramatic a milestone his January 1 shooting spree represents in our enemies’ terror war against us.

Was Nashat Milhem a mentally disturbed man, quick to anger, who should never have been free to roam the streets, as some of his relatives have suggested?

Was he a killer bent on revenge—stirred to murderous anger by a police raid on his cousin’s home almost a decade ago, in which the cousin, who was storing weaponry, was shot dead in controversial circumstances?

Was he “inspired” to murderous action by spiritual leaders or social media, peddling incitement against Israel?

Was he more formally recruited to the ranks of Islamic State or another terrorist organization? Some Hebrew media reports Friday night speculated with some specificity that he was a member of an Islamic State sleeper cell—a claim Islamic State will likely be tempted to endorse.

Or was Nashat Milhem motivated by a whole mix of these and other factors?

In an Israel whose Jewish majority is endlessly anguished by its Arab minority, and vice versa, the question of Milhem’s precise motivation looms large.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Arabs, Israeli Security, Tel Aviv, Terrorism

How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy