Terror, and Fear of Conflagration, Spreads throughout Israel

As Jerusalem lurches toward what some are already calling a third intifada, terrorist attacks have spread throughout the country. In the Galilee town of Kafr Kanna, an Arab Israeli named Kheir Hamdan attacked a group of police officers with a knife and was then shot while trying to flee the scene. The incident and its aftermath, writes Ruthie Blum, highlight the volatility of the social climate:

In spite of the fact that the focal point of the current Arab uprising is Jerusalem, police in other Arab-populated areas have been trying to prevent an already volatile atmosphere from escalating. In such a climate of rock-throwing, fire-crackers, Molotov cocktails, and hit-and-run terrorist attacks, law-enforcement agents are in a state of constant jitters. . . .
Following [the] revelation [of the details of the attack], a storm ensued, as did calls for investigations into the “unnecessary killing” of Hamdan. Even many mainstream Israelis have been saying that the police “could have shot him in the leg.” Arab Knesset member Ahmad Tibi called the incident a “cold-blooded execution,” and demanded that the officer who shot Hamdan be immediately arrested and put on trial.

MK Mohammad Barakeh, Kafr Kanna Mayor Majhad Awadeh, and other Arab dignitaries joined thousands of Israeli Arab demonstrators on Saturday as they chanted, “Zionists, get out of our lives,” while waving posters of Hamdan saying, “His only crime was being an Arab.” In fact, his “crime” . . . was terrorism. And while he is hailed as a martyr, the policeman who shot him will be dishonored and possibly imprisoned. It is this societal situation, more than any weapons deemed fit in the PA for an intifada, that ought to spring Israel into high alert.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Ahmad Tibi, Car intifada, Israeli Arabs, Palestinian terror

The Diplomatic Goals of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to the U.S.

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in the U.S., and he plans to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet with President Biden. Nonetheless, Amit Yagur urges Benjamin Netanyahu to use the trip for ordinary as well as public diplomacy—“assuming,” Yagur writes, “there is someone to talk to in the politically turbulent U.S.” He argues that the first priority should be discussing how to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But there are other issues to tackle as well:

From the American perspective, as long as Hamas is not the official ruler in the Gaza Strip, any solution agreed upon is good. For Israel, however, it is quite clear that if Hamas remains a legitimate power factor, even if it does not head the leadership in Gaza, sooner or later, Gaza will reach the Hizballah model in Lebanon. To clarify, this means that Hamas is the actual ruler of the Strip, and sooner or later, we will see a [return] of its military capabilities as well as its actual control over the population. . . .

The UN aid organization UNRWA . . . served as a platform for Hamas terrorist elements to establish, disguise, and use UN infrastructure for terrorism. This is beside the fact that UNRWA essentially perpetuates the conflict rather than helps resolve it. How do we remove the UN and UNRWA from the “day after” equation? Can the American aid organization USAID step into UNRWA’s shoes, and what assistance can the U.S. provide to Israel in re-freezing donor-country contributions to UNRWA?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship