The Decline of the Israel-Australia Alliance

If a military solution to the dangers growing in the north seems far-fetched, a diplomatic one appears even less promising. But the French president Emmanuel Macron has suggested a summit to search for one, provoking a sharp response from the Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant, which was, in turn, contradicted by the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. The incident is a reminder of the fact that Israel’s purported allies, France among them, don’t always act in its best interests—and at the same time of the importance of having allies in the first place.

It is thus dismaying that in Australia the longstanding bipartisan pro-Israel consensus has collapsed following the creation of the current Labor government under Anthony Albanese in 2022. Joel Burnie explains. (Video, 40 minutes.)


Read more at Middle East Forum

More about: Australia, France, Israel diplomacy

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas