On the Day of Remembrance, Don’t Forget That Hamas Uses the Bodies of the Dead as Bargaining Chips

During a ceasefire in the midst of the 2014 Gaza war, Hamas fighters ambushed an Israeli unit, killing the twenty-three-year-old officer Hadar Goldin. The terrorist group, knowing full well that the Jewish state will go to extreme lengths not only to free captured soldiers, but also to bring back the bodies of those killed in action, has since then held Goldin’s corpse hostage. On the occasion of Yom Hazikaron—Israel’s day of remembrance of those who have fallen in its wars—his twin brother and fellow officer Tzur Goldin recalls Hadar’s fate, along with that of Oron Shaul.

On Memorial Day, the value we must recall above all others, is that of our common duty to fight for the return of every soldier and civilian in captivity, dead or alive. Soldiers go into battle, knowingly endangering their lives, and they think of their families at home and wonder how they would cope if something were to happen. Yet soldiers also derive strength from the knowledge that their brothers in arms will do all it takes in order to bring them back to Israel if they are injured, or if the worst should happen.

Whether such soldiers are serving in the Gazan districts of Rafah and Shajiah, or inside Lebanon, or elsewhere, the notion that Israel will retrieve her soldiers, come what may, is invaluable to members of the IDF. The importance of that value must never be forgotten or reduced. It is the value that my family is fighting to uphold today.

Terror organizations have [a brutal strategy]: they kidnap soldiers and civilians and exploit them as assets so that Israel pays a pyrrhic price, time and again, in order to obtain their release. They [thus] force Israel to choose between two types of moral injustice: leave soldiers on the battlefield—effectively the case for Hadar—or release thousands of terrorists in exchange for the return of our soldiers.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: IDF, Protective Edge, Yom Ha-Zikaron


While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy