Thursday, March 30, 2023

Israel must consider Hezbollah’s response to an Iran strike

The questions surrounding Israel’s readiness for a potential strike on Iran should go beyond the discussion of whether its military capabilities can adequately damage the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Any strike plan must first answer the following questions: Will Hezbollah automatically retaliate on Iran’s behalf? If so, has Israel fully taken into account the scenario of activating two fronts at the same time—Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon? This is not even to mention a third possible arena—Gaza. Finally, is the Israeli home front ready for such a scenario?

Simply put, if Hezbollah attacks Israel with everything it has, Israel will have to deal with not only over 150,000 unguided projectiles but also hundreds of precision missiles.

These precision missiles can significantly harm Israel’s ability to maintain a functioning government. It would therefore be a mistake to ask whether Israel can delay Iran’s nuclear capabilities without asking in the same breath whether the Israeli home front is prepared for Hezbollah’s firepower.

Hezbollah’s arsenal is extensive and Israel’s air defenses are insufficient. It is possible that Hezbollah’s conventional arsenal and its precision missiles could disrupt state functions to a degree that makes them as severe as a nuclear threat.

In such a scenario, Israel would be unable to activate its military capabilities on fronts that develop after an Iran strike, command and control would be disrupted, and Israel would struggle to evacuate its civilians from areas under heavy fire in the north of the country.

Israeli authorities need to be sure, today, that they know how to evacuate some 30,000 people from the northern border area. That means knowing which hotels or accommodation centers will absorb them, which hospitals will take in the wounded and which evacuation routes to use.

In addition, and due to the above, Israel also needs to consider the option of a preemptive strike on Hezbollah’s firepower prior to attacking Iran’s nuclear sites. The strategic logic of such action rests with the assumption that some time after such a strike—whether six months, a year or more—with Hezbollah struggling to rebuild its capabilities after a massive Israeli blow, Israel will be free to focus on the Iranian threat without simultaneously dealing with Hezbollah.

While a preemptive war is illegal under international law, a preemptive strike is a different matter. How Hezbollah responds to such a strike will determine the course of events and whether they snowball into war.

In either scenario—an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites or a preemptive strike on Hezbollah—Israel must prepare its civilian sector appropriately. If there is a good chance that some 10,000 residential buildings in Israel are damaged and northern communities come under a level of fire never previously experienced, a population evacuation would be mandatory. Failing to prepare for evacuations would leave huge numbers of civilians vulnerable to attack.

Whatever course of action the Israeli cabinet decides to take, time is of the essence. The government must begin preparations to protect the soft underbelly of the country. It is vital for the government to be fully cognizant of the fallout scenarios of any action.

Preparation will, among other steps, require stocking up on air defense interceptors, ensuring the readiness of emergency supplies for the civilian sector and stress-testing civilian command and control systems. The fact of the matter is that, as of today, the Israeli home front is not ready for this scenario. It is not ready to face Hezbollah, even as a single front.

On the offensive front, the government must grapple with the serious dilemmas it would likely face in Lebanon in the event of war. There will be widespread destruction in Lebanon, but the Israeli government will have to decide whether or not to target Lebanese state infrastructure. Even under intense fire, the IDF will continue to be a moral army, meaning that not all of Lebanon will be targeted and Israel will make every effort to distinguish civilians from combatants.

The government should further ensure that it knows it must continue the conflict once it starts. Unfortunately, past experience has shown that, in the event of conflict, distressing events such as the accidental killing of civilians in Lebanon or media images of the capture or death of IDF soldiers lead governments to hit the brakes.

But if Israel ends up in a war of no-choice, it cannot let its war efforts be held hostage by such events. Israeli decision-makers must get used to the idea that, in the event of war, they will need to clench their teeth in the face of such developments and not disrupt the war effort.

The same is true of disturbing events that could well happen on the Israeli side of the border, such as a very large quantity of enemy explosives falling on a town in northern Israel, killing many civilians. An event like that will cause significant demoralization and distress, but that is not a reason to freeze the war effort.

The damage absorbed by Israel following a strike on Iran could be enormous. As a result, Hezbollah’s possible response must be taken into consideration when weighing a strike on Iran. The question of whether Israel has the capability to strike Iran must no longer be asked in isolation from the question of whether Israel is ready for full-scale war with Hezbollah. (March 29, 2023 / The MirYam Institute)

Media Narrative After Shooting - Christianity Is The Problem Not The Solution

There were signs of spring everywhere -- in the bright morning sun, the pink flowers lining trees beside the parking lot, the signs for Easter services. As a small gray car rounded the bend, security cameras caught little children pumping their legs on swing sets in the background -- the last carefree moment any of them will remember about this day. As they have in too many cities, Nashville's moms and dads went about their days, not realizing they'd said goodbye for the last time.

For the seven families whose lives changed forever Monday morning, there is no making sense of the heartbreak. But for one set of parents, it's a unique kind of pain -- knowing their daughter is the one responsible. Norma Hale, whose Facebook page is full of proud mom moments, woke up Tuesday with the knowledge that her 28-year-old child's last words to a friend were "I don't want to live." Moments later, Audrey Hale shot through the double glass doors she'd walked through hundreds of times as a Covenant school student, ready to kill.

Miles away, a stunned Averianna Patton sat holding her phone, rereading the text that something bad was about to happen. "Audrey!" she had frantically written back. "You have so much more life to live. I pray God keeps and covers you."

But it was too late. Hale was walking the hallways of her old Christian school, gunning down anyone in her path. A beloved custodian. The revered head of the school. A favorite substitute teacher. The senior pastor's only daughter. A nine-year-old boy and girl. In a split second, the buzz of classrooms gave way to sirens and school alarms. READ MORE

How to stop Iran’s 20-year-long project to build a nuclear weapon- report

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in late March published a plan of action to block the Islamic Republic of Iran’s burning desire to develop a nuclear weapons device.

The US organization MEMRI declared that Tehran’s intense efforts to enrich weapons-grade uranium for an atomic bomb warrants “immediate action on the part of the West.”

In the first week of March, US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley told Congress: "Iran could produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon in less than two weeks, and would only take several more months to produce an actual nuclear weapon.”

MEMRI’s report calls  for “regional alliances” to blunt Iranian regime jingoism. ”Iran is sensitive to regional political or military alliances, even when they are not explicitly against it. This is particularly true for alliances between Sunni countries (and all the more so ones involving Israel). The fact that Saudi Arabia has shown willingness for rapprochement with Iran, having even invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for a state visit, does not distance the Saudis from the Sunni camp to which they naturally belong, “wrote MEMRI’s president Yigal Carmon and Ayelet Savyon, Director of MEMRI’s Iran Studies Project. READ MORE

As attacks on Christians become more frequent, a crisis looms for Israel


Church leaders point to inhospitable political atmosphere as they lock compounds at night; government ministries insist they are actively combating ill-treatment. READ MORE

Who stands to lose if the Israel High Court of Justice is not reformed?

There is no reason to impugn the integrity of a majority those who demonstrate in Israel against judicial reforms of the High Court. At the same time, most people have no idea that there is reason to doubt the integrity of some who lead the efforts to squelch these reforms:​​

*​The Palestinian Authority and its allies in Israel.

The Israel High Court of Justice issued a series of inappropriate rulings over the last 30 years ​which approved​ Israel government agreements with the Palestine ​ ​Liberation Organization, overlooking the fact that ​the ​key constituent of the PLO , the Fatah, ​never ratified the DOP, the Declaration of Principles​, the core document of the Oslo peace accords​

In that context, the High Court even ruled that Israel should be allowed to supply weapons and military training to the PSF, The Palestinian Security Force, a​s if ​the PSF could be relied upon to protect the lives of Jews.

The Israel High Court of Justice simply does not recognize the fact that the PLO and its proxy, the PA, remain at war with the Jews.

The Israel High Court of Justice would ​​not ​take into ​consider​ation the fact that the PLO will not change its covenant of war with the Jews​, a written requirement of the accord with the PLO.

​​A new make-up of the Israel high court of justice could upset the Israel government courtship of the PLO and reve​r​se the blind ​I​srael support for the PLO as a ​"​peace partner​"​. READ MORE

Giving in to mob rule

It is not for nothing that the prelude to the book, “BANNED: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad” (Aug. 31, 2016, WND Books), opens thusly:

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”- George Orwell.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” -Sun Tzu (circa 544-496 BC) THE ART OF WAR

It is with these universal truths in the forefront, freedom-loving peoples must view and internalize the (literal) fires burning within Israel and America; the twin pillars of Western Civilization. READ MORE

Syria claims: Israel carried out air strike in the Damascus area

Media in Syria reported overnight Wednesday about explosions that were heard in the vicinity of the capital, Damascus.

The reports indicated that the explosions were a result of an Israeli air strike. It was also reported that the country’s air defense systems are working to repel the "Israeli aggression".

A radio station affiliated with the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad reported that the air defense systems were activated against “hostile targets”.

The official Syrian news agency, SANA, reported that two Syrian military personnel were injured and that damage was caused in the attack attributed to Israel. According to the report, the attack was carried out using missiles that were fired from the direction of the Golan at several targets in the Damascus area.

It was also reported that the Syrian air defense systems repelled the missiles and shot down some of them.

Last week, Syrian media reported that Israel carried out an air strike which targeted the airport in Aleppo. The country’s air defense systems were activated.

It was also reported that explosions were heard in the area, but there are no reports of injuries or damages at this time.

About a week and a half before that, Syrian media reported that Israel conducted an air strike in the Masyaf region in the western part of the country.

According to the reports, explosions were heard in the Masyaf area, and the Syrian air defense systems were activated against the "Israeli attack".

Yoav Gallant at Shin Bet HQ: 'Iran leading a war of attrition against Israel'

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held a toast ahead of Passover with Shin Bet Cheif Ronen Bar, the Shin Bet Deputy Chief and department heads, and the organization's senior forum members.

Gallant stated: "We are currently in a complex time security-wise, Iran is leading a war of attrition against Israel and at the same time is progressing in its plans to obtain nuclear weapons. Every front can potentially ignite and ignite with it additional fronts.

As those who chose to dedicate their lives to the country's security, we are obligated to calm down Israeli society and to maintain uniting and unifying discourse."

The Defense Minister added: "I have the privilege to thank you all, in the name of the defense establishment, for your significant contribution, which is done far from the public eye, to Israel's security and the defense of its citizens' lives. Happy Passover to you and your families."

Haredi couple lynched by protesters in Tel Aviv

Haredim are the most religiously devout group in Israel, with 96% saying religion is very important in their lives, compared with 30% of all Israeli Jews. The word “Haredi” literally translates to “trembling” or “fearing God,” and most Haredim live their lives secluded from the rest of society.

A haredi couple who were driving through Tel Aviv on Sunday night found themselves in the midst of an anti-judicial reform demonstration. The demonstrators surrounded the car and proceeded to attack them, lynching the husband. Israel National News spoke with the victim's wife about the traumatic incident and the media's silence. Coming to America?

"We were in Tel Aviv. We wanted to go home. We didn't know that there was a protest. There were no police there. We wanted to turn left with another car, and we found ourselves in the middle of the rage," she recalls. "They banged on the car and shouted curses at us. There was no option to drive in reverse, and my husband stopped when he saw that the protesters were blocking the road.

When he stopped, they surrounded us again, banged on the car, and tried to break the windows. The whole time I was screaming so people would see that we were just a lost couple and not someone who wants to cause harm," she states. "My husband said he'll open the door so they won't break the window. We didn't do anything. What do you want? They began beating him up. They got into the back of the car since the back seat was folded down. They beat him, I saw the blood, and he told me, 'take me to the hospital. I can't see out of this eye, and I'm going to faint.' I cried. I asked them to let us go, and they just continued." READ MORE

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

3 Shocking News Stories Reveal the Rot in the Soul of America

The Wall Street Journal published a poll finding that the COVID-19 pandemic wrought a crisis of confidence in America, a rot in the soul of the nation.

Back in 1998, Americans overwhelmingly rated these things as “very important”: patriotism (70%), religion (62%), and having children (59%). By 2019, those numbers had dropped, but not precipitously, to 61%, 48%, and 43%. In 2023, they fell to 38%, 39%, and 30%, the Journal’s poll found.

Also Monday, a female shooter who identified as transgender killed three adults and three children in a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, before officers fatally shot her, police reported. She had attended the school years ago, and her motives remain unclear at this writing.

Mass shootings have become tragically common, and no state experiences them as frequently as California, which has imposed the gun control measures activists demand in the wake of such tragedies.

In the third big news item Monday, Wayne State University suspended a professor who wrote on Facebook: “I think it is far more admirable to kill a racist, homophobic, or transphobic speaker than it is to shout them down.” The professor pointed to the assassination of Symon Petluria, an antisemitic Ukrainian politician, and his murderer’s subsequent acquittal. Keith Whittington, a politics professor at Princeton University, wrote that the Wayne State professor’s post is “almost certainly constitutionally protected.” READ MORE

Pay By Palm Coming To Panera Bread - Another Step To Cashless Society

Amazon's palm-reading payment technology was first introduced at numerous Whole Foods locations in California, enabling customers to pay for their groceries by scanning their palms at checkout terminals rather than using cash or a card. Now Panera Bread is experimenting with Amazon's cashless payment system as the war on cash marches on.

On Wednesday, Panera Bread announced plans to roll out a "contactless payment method" to several stores with additional locations in the coming months. The bakery-cafe chain has over 2,000 locations, and its loyalty program has 52 million members.

"Panera is the first national restaurant company to use Amazon One as both a way for guests to pay and access their loyalty account with their palm," the company said.

"Our philosophy has been centered around leveraging best-in-class technology to create a better Panera experience and using that to deepen our relationship with our loyal guests. Introducing Amazon One, as a frictionless, personalized, and convenient service, is another way we're redefining the loyalty experience," Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread and Panera Brands, stated.

At the moment, dozens of Whole Foods locations and Amazon Go stores have integrated Amazon One contactless payment. READ MORE

Iran watching protests in Israel, wanting to believe in civil war - analysis

Over the last few weeks, Iran’s regime has been watching the protests in Israel closely, as can been seen by reports from the regime’s own media and its take on the protests, as well as statements put out by officials.

Overall, the regime took interest in the protests’ potential influence on the security situation; Iran wants to believe that Israel is on the verge of a civil war. However, it also knows from watching the protests take a pause for now, that Israel’s society is much stronger than how Iranian propaganda has painted it.

According to a series of articles put out this week by Iran’s pro-regime media, the narrative was divided between those who accurately reported a freeze in the judicial overhaul legislation, and those who yet hoped that the divide would lead to civil war.

The propaganda was rampant, depicting the protests as an attempt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “usurp” power so as to further rule over “Palestinian land,” according to the reports. For Iran, the end game is always the same: it is interested in Israel’s destruction, so it sees everything in that light and in how it could shape its own policies.

Iranian proxy groups and allies, like Hezbollah, toed the same line. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said that the disputes in Israel are part of the “seed of the end of the occupying regime,” a message and tone typical among Iran’s ranks; The IRGC puts out a narrative to its media and to its allies, and simply repeats it. READ MORE

Netanyahu says he’s delaying overhaul to allow dialogue, but vows reform will happen

In a prickly speech Monday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he was temporarily delaying his government’s highly contentious judicial overhaul legislation to allow time for dialogue over the far-reaching reforms.

After immense public pressure that has seen 12 weeks of massive demonstrations, and, on Monday, the announcement of general strikes by the country’s top labor federation and local councils, the prime minister said he was allowing for “a delay” to provide “ a real opportunity for real dialogue,” but stressed that “either way,” a reform would be passed to “restore the balance” that he said had been lost between the branches of government in Israel.

The premier indicated the “time out” would last until the beginning of the Knesset’s summer session, which starts April 30.

President Isaac Herzog welcomed the pause and said it was “time for frank, serious and responsible discussion that will lead urgently to calming spirits and lowering the flames.”

Netanyahu specifically referred to National Unity party leader Benny Gantz as a potential partner for dialogue, and said he was extending his hand to him and others who want to enter into “good faith” talks (though he did not mention opposition leader Yair Lapid). READ MORE

Israel launches new Ofek-13 spy satellite into orbit

Israel successfully launched the “Ofek-13” spy satellite into space early Wednesday morning, the Defense Ministry said.

The satellite, the latest in a line of Israeli observation assets in space, will provide the military with better-quality images than its predecessors.

“The ‘Ofek-13’ satellite is a [synthetic-aperture radar] observation satellite with advanced capabilities,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement after the launch.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hailed the launch of the Ofek-13 as “yet another important example of the Israeli defense establishment’s groundbreaking innovation.”

“Israel has already proved its diverse space capabilities many times and is one of very few countries to possess such capabilities, capabilities that we continue to develop and strengthen,” Gallant added. READ MORE

Likud, far-right scorn Biden criticism; one MK says Israel can defend itself alone

Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition reacted furiously Wednesday morning to US President Joe Biden’s extraordinary criticism of Jerusalem’s plan to severely weaken the justice system, with one Knesset member from the premier’s ruling Likud party going so far as to claim that Israel was “probably more democratic” than America and accusing former US president Barack Obama of causing the death of Israeli soldiers during a 2014 operation in the Gaza Strip.

Following the right-wing outburst, Netanyahu instructed members of the cabinet to not comment on the tensions with Washington.

Meanwhile, opposition figures decried the government as “dangerous,” and a former Israeli envoy to Washington described the current crisis as perhaps the worst in bilateral relations in more than 30 years, adding that the Biden administration has “no trust” in the prime minister.

Netanyahu responds to Biden: Israel makes its decisions by the will of its people

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Tuesday night to President Joe Biden's criticism of what is happening in Israel.

“I have known President Biden for over 40 years, and I appreciate his longstanding commitment to Israel. The alliance between Israel and the United States is unbreakable and always overcomes the occasional disagreements between us,” said Netanyahu.

“My administration is committed to strengthening democracy by restoring the proper balance between the three branches of government, which we are striving to achieve via a broad consensus,” he added.

“Israel is a sovereign country which makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends,” stressed Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s response came after Biden commented on the recent goings on in Israel earlier on Tuesday and said, “Like many strong supporters of Israel, I'm very concerned. I'm concerned that they get this straight. They cannot continue down this road. I've sort of made that clear.”

Biden also added he will not be inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in the near term. READ MORE

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Israel's Post-Democracy Moment - A Warning To The Western World

Although Prime Minister Netanyahu has announced suspension of judicial reform legislation for the time being, it is unlikely to bring much-needed calm to the situation. Israel's current maelstrom is not in the pattern of normal political protest. It represents an existential upset.

The focus of opposition is the proposed judicial reforms. The protests are also fueled, however, by fear of the nationalist and religious ultras in the governing coalition and by hatred of Netanyahu, who for some people has achieved near-demonic status.

Significant as these factors are, a convulsion of this magnitude suggests that something even more fundamental is at play. What is striking about the protests is the irrationality at their core. Although there are legitimate concerns about aspects of the reform package, the overwrought opposition to it is out of all proportion.

The protesters claim, for example, that giving politicians a decisive role in selecting new judges, as is being proposed, will destroy the rule of law and an independent judiciary.

They say the changes, which would stop the courts from overturning laws made by the Knesset, end the power of legal advisers to prevent government ministers from enacting the policy programs for which they were elected and end the slippery concept of "reasonableness" through which the judges have substituted politics and ideology for law, would herald the end of democracy and the abolition of civil rights. READ MORE

What have been Iran’s reactions to Israel political chaos? - analysis

The chaos emerging in Israel due to the moving forward of the judicial overhaul and the decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to fire Yoav Gallant as defense minister has been keenly observed from Tehran.

Iran’s own pro-regime media have been reporting on it. Iran is intensely interested in what might happen in Israel, and in taking advantage of this unique opportunity. However, the regime, which is still facing its own protests that haven’t stopped for seven months, is also skeptical of what might come next.

Tasnim News, considered close to the IRGC, profiled Netanyahu’s current policies on Monday. The stance it has taken is that it assumes Netanyahu will “suppress” dissent, especially among reservists. It terms the current chaos as a “crisis” that creates a “gap” in Israel, apparently one that Iran would like to fill with chaos by exporting threats to the West Bank and taking advantage of Israel’s internal problems to continue its entrenchment in Syria and its support for Hezbollah.

Al-Mayadeen News, considered sympathetic to Iran, has also covered the issue extensively, including Gallant’s comments.

The overall context of the reports is to present what is currently happening in Israel without much commentary; a “watch and see” approach. Iran’s regime and its allies in the region, like Hezbollah, have often toed the IRGC line that Israel is always about to implode and fall apart.

Iran knows it can’t confront Israel militarily, so it can only hope for internal chaos or a Deus ex machina that will break Israel apart. Apart from commentary such as “Israel is eroding” appearing in pro-Iranian media, the regime in Tehran is waiting to see what happens next. READ MORE

In Arab world, Israel's crisis dominates the news

Arab broadcasters carried rolling coverage of Israeli protests, strikes and political chaos on Monday, drawing the rapt attention of viewers to the internal fight over government plans to overhaul the judiciary.

The crisis featured far and wide, from the pan-Arab channel Al Jazeera, whose ticker was dominated by a stream of news from Israel, to al-Manar, run by the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which led its evening newscast with the story.

Some Arabs said they hoped the crisis would lead to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political demise. Others expressed hope of more far-reaching consequences for Israel, which fought numerous wars with Arab adversaries after its establishment in 1948.

"As an Arab citizen I think that this is the beginning of the end of Israel, God willing," said Qusai al-Qaisi, a citizen of Jordan, whose government signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. "I don’t want to say that I’m happy but I’m really happy that this is happening there," he said. READ MORE

US lauds pause on judicial overhaul, blasts bills Netanyahu has been seeking to pass

The Biden administration welcomed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement on Monday that his government would be temporarily halting its legislative effort to overhaul the judiciary and urged Israeli political leaders to pass a compromise that will safeguard Israel’s democratic foundations.

“We welcome this announcement as an opportunity to create additional time and space for compromise,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing. “A compromise is precisely what we have been calling for.”

“Democratic societies are strengthened by checks and balances, and fundamental changes to a democratic system should be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support,” she added. READ MORE

Fired but yet-to-be-ousted Gallant holds security meeting with Netanyahu

Despite being ousted from his position, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is currently holding a security meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu on Sunday said Gallant would be fired as defense minister, although he has yet to deliver him a formal letter notifying him of the dismissal.

Political correspondents for Hebrew-language media outlets say Gallant has now begun a scheduled meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem to discuss security matters.

We need Mashiach - Badly!

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote an essay describing what is happening in Israel. I explaiined that the mass protests were not really about Judicial reform but rather about the anger of the Left after losing the elections putting them out of power, and likely to stay that way.

Since then, the mobs have been whipped up into ever greater frenzies by their ringleaders and the country is now at a frightening level of division and hate, with many fearing that a real will civil war may soon explode. The leaders of the Left have no bounds of responsibility for what they are causing in their self-righteous hypocrisy, with former Prime Ministers Lapid, Barak, and Olmert, together with many of their leaders, literally calling for war against the current government, while continuing to spout lies and distortions about their true aims.

The truth is, as anyone actually examining the proposals of Judicial Reform can plainly see – the reforms are not radical at all. They are merely an attempt to restore the proper balance between the Knesset and the Judiciary, which was devastated by the undemocratic power grab of former Chief Justice Aharon Barak. In a deceitful and hidden fashion, he and his co-conspirators engineered changes in the Knesset's basic laws, giving himself and the Court unbridled power. Since then, the power has been used to promote an elitist agenda that has been condemned at various times by parties from the entire political spectrum, including the hypocrites leading these protests. But they have found a rallying cry to use as a hammer to smash at the government, and unfortunately, they are using it all too effectively - because they do not set limits. READ MORE

PM, Ben-Gvir agree: Judicial reform legislation to be frozen until summer session

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir have reached an agreement that the judicial reform legislation will be frozen for the time being and brought up again during the Knesset's summer session to allow for negotiations on the reforms, the Otzma Yehudit party announced Monday evening.

At the same time, the two agreed that as a step to keep the peace in Israeli cities, the establishment of s National Guard under the auspices of the National Security Ministry will be approved at the next cabinet meeting.

Ben-Gvir said: "I agreed to remove my veto on the postponement of the legislation, in exchange for a commitment from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the legislation will be brought to the Knesset for approval in the next session, if no agreements are reached during the recess."

The announcement comes as tens of thousands of right-wing Israelis are converging on the Knesset from across the country to demonstrate in favor of the judicial reforms and to demand that the government not freeze the legislation.

Prime Minister Neyanyahu had reportedly planned to give a public address this morning (Monday) announcing the freezing of the judicial reform legislation following the dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) and the mass demonstrations which subsequently broke out across the country Sunday night. He decided to hold off on making a public statement after the Religious Zionist party issued a statement demanding the immediate passage of legislation altering the Judicial Selection Committee.

Ben Shapiro: Israel must have judicial reform - and dialogue

Conservative pundit and Daily Wire cofounder Ben Shapiro responded to Israel’s ongoing judicial overhaul crisis Monday, laying out the case for both reform and compromise in public policy.

In a series of tweets Monday night, the Orthodox Jewish commentator, who has frequently weighed in on Israeli politics, pushed back on the claim of anti-reform activists that the overhaul would gut Israeli democracy, but added that while judicial reform is necessary, the Right must compromise in terms of policy once reform has been achieved.

“The judicial reform fight in Israel is a proxy for the actual battle, which is really over the changing nature of Israel's political landscape,” Shapiro tweeted.

“The Right’s case is procedural. The current coalition is fighting to prevent the Israeli judiciary from acting as a de facto dictatorship, selecting its own successors and providing few or no limits to its authority. This has been the case since Aharon Barak’s ‘judicial revolution’ of 1995.” READ MORE

Monday, March 27, 2023

What have been Iran’s reactions to Israel political chaos? - analysis

The chaos emerging in Israel over the last few days due to the judicial reforms and the decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to dismiss the Defense Minister has been keenly observed from Tehran. Evidence for this is Iran’s own pro-regime media reporting.

Iran is intensely interested in what might happen in Israel and taking advantage of this unique opportunity. However, the regime, which faced its own protests over the last seven months, is also skeptical of what might come next. 

Tasnim News, which is considered close to the IRGC, profiled Netanyahu’s current policies on Monday. It assumes that Netanyahu will move to “suppress” dissent, especially among reservists. It terms the current chaos as a “crisis” that creates a “gap” in Israel. This gap apparently is one that Iran would like to fill with its own chaos by exporting threats to the West Bank and taking advantage of Israel’s internal problems to continue its entrenchment in Syria and its support for Hezbollah. READ MORE

Where is the next Iranian threat coming from for Israel? - interview

Israel is facing multiple emerging threats, as well as the potential for Iran to shift support from Yemen to other fronts, as it positions itself for its latest challenge to Israel in the region. These are among the issues that Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, focused on during a discussion this week with The Jerusalem Post about the region and threats to Israel.

Schanzer has been meeting with officials and experts and is looking at some of the broader trends that are impacting the region. This is important because Israel is engaged in a continuous struggle against Iran’s threats and changes in the region could be pushing those issues to the foreground in different areas.

One area of interest is the “war between the wars” campaign, also called after its Hebrew acronym “mabam.” This is a conflict that is hard to define, but it basically boils down to Israel’s operations against Iran in Syria and other places during the last decade. This is an undeclared war with unclear frontlines. READ MORE

Israel’s security bank is in perilous overdraft

Israel’s streets are on fire. Opposition to the government’s plan to overhaul the Supreme Court and strip it of the right to judicial review – the pillar of almost all democracies – has paralyzed the country. In the face of such upheaval, it’s difficult to see beyond the immediate crisis to the long-range danger looming ahead. That is the scenario in which Israel will have to go to war without the logistical or diplomatic backing – the resupply of vital munitions, the casting of vetoes in the UN – of its allies.

Israel’s ability to obtain such support works much like a bank. To be solvent, it must contain deposits. Only then, can customers take out cash when they need it and draw on their credit. Israel’s security similarly must have deposits – the diplomatic capital derived from proof that the Jewish State truly seeks stability and peace – that it can liquidate during conflicts. The larger the deposits the more Israel can purchase the time and space necessary to defend itself.

That rule, diplomatic deposits equal military maneuverability, was repeatedly demonstrated throughout our history. For the most part, Israel heeded the rule, but on other occasions ignored it. The results were invariably traumatic. READ MORE