Iranians Are Abandoning Their Anti-Zionism

In April, Reza Pahlavi—the son of the deposed shah of Iran and thus the pretender to the throne—traveled to Israel, where he visited the Western Wall and Yad Vashem and met with President Herzog, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel, and other important persons. Shay Khatiri comments on what the visit portends:

Pahlavi’s cautious approach to leadership, out of fear of alienating Iranians from different camps, has been a point of criticism over the decades. His trip doesn’t suggest that he has overnight become more risk-taking, but that he understands that anti-Zionism is no longer a political force among his audience inside his country. This is an early sign that a free Iran will cease hostilities with Israel and end the region’s most destabilizing conflict, caused by one of the most destabilizing regimes in the world.

As seen by their reactions to Pahlavi’s visit, for many Iranians, Israel has transformed from an enemy to an ally against the Islamic Republic. Masih Alinejad, another opposition leader, tweeted that “the nation of Iran has no enmity with Israel.” . . . The former national soccer-team captain Ali Karimi, the opposition leader most in tune with the Iranian street, posted a picture of the Pahlavis and Gamliel with Iranian-flag-colored hearts.

I have witnessed this change of attitudes among my friends too. Those who used to berate my (imprudently) vocal Zionism while living in Iran ten years ago are now supporters not merely of Israel but of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for being the Islamic Republic’s chief antagonist.

Read more at Providence

More about: Anti-Zionism, Iran, Israel diplomacy

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security