The Mossad Director’s Threat to Iran Was Meant as a Message to the U.S.

In a recent public speech, David Barnea, the head of Israel’s vaunted intelligence agency, did something very unusual: he declared that his organization was ready to strike “deep in Iran, in the very heart of Tehran,” if the Islamic Republic harmed Israeli citizens. As a rule, high-ranking Israeli security officials, and especially those associated with the Mossad, avoid making explicit threats of this sort. Meir Ben-Shabbat believes that Barnea’s words weren’t directed at Tehran at all, but at Washington:

The U.S. administration under President Biden, which has sought to lower the profile of the Iranian problem and to remove the danger of a military confrontation with it as far as possible, is now seeing the tangible results of its policy: a growing sense of confidence in Iran, leading to defiant activity on its nuclear program [and its] providing aid to Russia in the form of supplying Moscow with drones for its combat effort in Ukraine—compounded by a significant increase in its efforts to promote acts of terrorism around the globe, owing to a feeling that it will not be required to pay any real price for all of this.

The Mossad chief’s speech, only a few days prior to the arrival of the prime minister in the U.S. for a meeting with Biden and attendance at the UN General Assembly, constitutes a good preparation for these two key events. For understandable reasons, Barnea did not point an accusatory finger at our good friends in Washington, but as the popular [Middle Eastern] idiom has it—he “shouted at the tree so that the camel might hear.”

Although tough Israeli talk on the Iranian issue might not go down too well with those U.S. administration officials, who are currently working hard to establish normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, it does accurately reflect the situation that has developed under the auspices of their policy and will serve to clarify Israel’s current priority: neutralizing the existential threat posed by Iran, [which, in Jerusalem’s view, rightly] takes precedence even over normalization with Saudi Arabia.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship

How to Turn Palestinian Public Opinion Away from Terror

The Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid, responding to the latest survey results of the Palestinian public, writes:

Not coincidentally, support for Hamas is much higher in the West Bank—misgoverned by Hamas’s archrivals, the secular nationalist Fatah, which rules the Palestinian Authority (PA)—than in Gaza, whose population is being actively brutalized by Hamas. Popular support for violence persists despite the devastating impact that following radical leaders and ideologies has historically had on the Palestinian people, as poignantly summed up by Israel’s Abba Eban when he quipped that Arabs, including the Palestinians, “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Just as worrying is the role of propaganda and misinformation, which are not unique to the Palestinian context but are pernicious there due to the high stakes involved. Misinformation campaigns, often fueled by Hamas and its allies, have painted violent terrorism as the only path to dignity and rights for Palestinians. Palestinian schoolbooks and public media are rife with anti-Semitic and jihadist content. Hamas’s allies in the West have matched Hamas’s genocidal rhetoric with an equally exterminationist call for the de-normalization and destruction of Israel.

It’s crucial to consider successful examples of de-radicalization from other regional contexts. After September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia implemented a comprehensive de-radicalization program aimed at rehabilitating extremists through education, psychological intervention, and social reintegration. This program has had successes and offers valuable lessons that could be adapted to the Palestinian context.

Rather than pressure Israel to make concessions, Eid argues, the international community should be pressuring Palestinian leaders—including Fatah—to remove incitement from curricula and stop providing financial rewards to terrorists.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion