Common Grounds

Our Friday News Analysis | What the World Reads Now!

October 13, 2023


Will the People in the Region Ever Greet Each Other with
"Welcome Home?"


The Hague, 13 October 2023 | If you know of any story that is decisive, tell the world. We're still searching.




Editor’s Note | Why live to die together if we can just live together?


We’ve reached a turning point in history. The recent carnage in Israel-Palestine has changed the winds of war. Expect a positive change! Irrespective, I fear that more than 100,000 Palestinians must sacrifice their lives before it gets better. But the world takes note. The world will no longer stomach the atrocities that the people of the region perpetrate against each other. The broken humanity must heal.

  • Try your utmost not to take sides. War is wrong, ruthless, and cruel. How many innocent babies have been decapitated? My sources in the region tell me that, to date, 22,000 residential buildings have been bombed. Those in the wrong places and times have been burned alive, with every bone cracked and heads crushed. So, whichever side you’re on, your side is wrong.
  • Be humble. Wash your mouth with vinegar if you utter anything that might seem self-righteous, condescending, and judgmental. Stay cool, calm, and corrected!
  • I ask my Jewish, Christian, and Muslim friends: “Who will the Messiah liberate when he comes? The oppressors or the oppressed? The short answer is BOTH.
  • What does the New Testament say about one people, one nation, one God? Jesus insists not one people, all people; not one nation, all nations; and, yes, one God.
  • When Jacob (God changed his name to Israel) and Esau met after years of estrangement, Jacob feared for his life until Jacob said to Esau, "Please! Accept these gifts if you can find it in your heart to welcome me. When I saw your face, it was like the face of God smiling on me. Accept the gifts I have brought for you. God has been good to me, and I have more than enough.” Jacob urged the gifts on him, and Esau accepted. (Genesis 33: 10 Message Translation)

Have faith! Why live to die together if we can just live together?


Faisal’s delegation at the Paris Peace Conference. (Wikimedia Commons)


It Started So Good


Young Felix Frankfurter, later a US Supreme Court Justice, was in Paris to help the cause of Zionism, according to the ideas of fairness and equitability pondered by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis and Judge Julian Mack.


The Hejaz Arab delegation, still slumbering under anesthesia in hopeful anticipation, wrote a touching and innocent letter to Mr. Frankfurter:


               Hejaz Delegation Paris, March 1919


               DEAR MR. FRANKFURTER,


               We feel that the Arabs and the Jews are cousins in race, suffering similar oppression at the hands of Powers stronger than themselves. We Arabs look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. We are working together for a reformed and revived Near East … And our two movements complete one another. …


               There is room in Syria-Palestine for both of us. Indeed, I think that neither can be a real success without the other.… I look forward to a future in which we will help you, and you will help us so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their place in the community of civilized peoples of the world.


               Signed FEISAL 3


               (Later, crowned King Feisal of Syria and Transjordan)


Not long after that, the Arabs realized they had been duped. The 'cousins' first clashed with flickers of flame that swiftly set the arena ablaze between the Palestinians and the Jews of Palestine, on the one hand, and between the entire Arab world and the British and French, on the other. The stab in the back, characterized by predictable European double-speak, sparked the defining feud of our times.


Since then, the gulf has widened between the Jews and the indigenous Palestinians. Every Jewish immigrant admitted into Palestine by the occupying British forces was feared as a political infiltrator, an enemy, no longer treasured as 'cousin.'


The Palestinians and the Arabs in the greater Arabian landscape resisted, as would many into a minority on their turf by the European immigrants.

Members of Breaking the Ice, the Israeli-Palestinian expedition to Antarctica - 2004


Let’s Get Radical … Be Kind!


What is better? A cataclysmic apocalypse or a catalytic thrust toward mutual trust!


               Is an Israeli-Palestinian Quest to Co-Exist on the horizon?


               Should terror for or against, perpetrated by either or both with the inevitable repercussions of reprisals, reign?


               Blood begets more blood, triggering the warring parties to fortify their resolve to regain their dignity. The world is enraged. The people of Israel are split apart. So are the people of Palestine.


               “Can we quietly Cross the Boundary of Life and Find New Meaning in Our Tangled Roots of Our Combined Histories,” 1 a whisper of hope from American poet Dario Robleto? 2


               Imagine the Israelis and the Palestinians in complete reconciliation, living side by side, within one homeland inside two borderless sovereign zones, working together as one alliance, rejoicing freedom of movement and the right of passage, sharing Jerusalem and the region not too different from the BENELUX countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg), the forerunners of the open borders of the European Union (EU)?


               “We live in an astounding world where nobody has anticipated the way the Berlin Wall would fall or the Arab Spring would rise,” says author Rebecca Solnit 3 to Krystal Tippet on On Being. 4


               As stated by Rabbi Michael Lerner 5, in ‘Embracing Israel/Palestine’:


               “The task is no longer a question of ‘who is right’ but to focus on building a path that will be best served for all, a path that embraces human courtesy predicated on kindness and a generosity of spirit.” 6


               Can and will the GOOD Israelis and the GOOD Palestinians destroy their enemies by becoming friends with all the give and take to make and keep the friendship?


van Kempen, Abraham. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf, 2nd Edition, (Kindle Locations 401-421). The 3rd Edition will come out in February 2024.



Ayn Karem's Mosque in 1934 when it was the largest village in the Jerusalem district and home to more than 3,000 Palestinians, a mix of Muslim and Christian families. (Library of Congress) 


Encountering Our Flesh and Blood


The people of Israel – Palestine are intertwined for millennia. Won't it be an ironic twist if the indigenous people in the Region are genetically connected to the ancient Israelites? Though the original twelve tribes are lost, their gene pools still exist. They have lived in the same region from the beginning. Don't people living contiguously beget others, one after the other?


Palestinians could be as much if not more Israelite than many Jews who wandered into Israel from Eastern Europe, and an estimated 17 percent of the Palestinians in Palestine and the Diaspora are Christians. Many could be the ancestors of today's indigenous Palestinians, including the Palestinian Christians.


Israel Belkind, one of the first 'Zionists' and settlers in Palestine, coordinator of the Bilu 4 movement, whose members arrived in Palestine in 1882 before the emergence of Palestinian nationalism, wrote that the Arabs were descended from the ancient Hebrews. He and the first Bilu group "encountered many of our people, our flesh and blood," suggesting that Palestinian villagers were descended from the original Israelites. 5


Ancestral Links


Even the young David Green, eventually known as David Ben Gurion, writing in New York City in 1918, recognized that the Jewish peasantry was never completely uprooted and exiled by the Romans from what was by this time Palestine 6. "The ancient Judean peasants converted to Islam … for material reasons … Indeed, by clinging to their soil, they remained loyal to their homeland" 7.


Though no final consensus had emerged on the ancestral link between Palestinians and Israelites, Harry Ostrer, director of the Human Genetics Program at New York University Langone Medical Center, who had been studying the genetic organization of Jews, said, "The assumption of lineal descent seems reasonable."


van Kempen, Abraham. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf, 2nd Edition, (Kindle Locations 1679-1681). The 3rd Edition will come out in February 2024.


Ahad Ha'am (bald man in center) with artist Boris Schatz and and students from Jerusalem's Bezalel art school, in the institution's garden, 1912. (Central Zionist Archives/Wikimedia Commons)


The Prophetic Ideals of Justice


Ahad Ha-’Am (1856-1927) dreamed of an elite Jewry composed of select groups of intellectual and idealistic Jews who would emigrate to Palestine to revive national Jewish creativeness, a Jewish cultural renaissance. Insisting that the Jews were not like any other political nation, he regarded the Jews as a unique sort of nation that formed a homogenous body apart from the other nations. Because of their shared heritage of culture and philosophy, an affinity forged into bonds had tied them all through the ages of wanderings and shared experiences.


The prophetic ideals and teachings of absolute justice could now be better revived and could better thrive in a Jewish spiritual center in Palestine, which, in turn, would become a ‘Light to the Diaspora,’ and eventually enable the Jewish people to become a ‘Light to the nations.’ He fully realized that Palestine could in no way answer the economic and human problems of the millions of Jews wandering away, before his very eyes, from Russia and Poland, and through heartbreaking agonies finding new homes and homelands wherever they were admitted.


But what tortured Ahad Ha-'Am, in particular, was to see the spiritual deterioration that went with the tragedy of ghetto life and refugee life—obsequiousness, arrogance, cunning, ignorance, and the abandonment of the old spiritual, philosophical, and scholastic ideals and refinements that were organic parts of historical Judaism. He was seeking a solution for the ills of his people. He wanted the rebirth of the ‘Jewish heart.’ He hoped the ‘return to Zion’ would rekindle Judaism's spiritual heritage and ethical traditions.


Ahad Ha-’Am’s ‘spiritual Zionism’ became synonymous with classical, prophetic Judaism. But in an age of raging nationalism, Judaism needed a central national terrain to nurse its wounds and revive its spirit. This approach to Palestine as a spiritual home for the Jewish people distinguished Ahad Ha-’Am from many of his contemporaries.


No foreign political nationalism, no imitation of West European predatory political nationalism inspired his thoughts and ideals. The Hebrew-reading Jewish intelligentsia followed Ahad Ha-’ Am and worshiped him until the advent of Dr. Theodore Herzl, who, on the occasion of his First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, captured their imagination and won them to apocalyptic-Messianic ‘redemption’ and ‘ingathering.’


In 1927, ten years after the Balfour Declaration, immediately after the First Congress, in a series of essays, Ahad Ha-’ Am thundered, in his caustic and relentless logic, against the plague of the new Zionist political nationalism that was to usurp the historical nature of pure Judaism:


               “There is only one objective which we can approach, and that is the moral objective, our self-liberation from inner slavery. We must strengthen our common labor in all the branches of our national life to prepare for a life of dignity and freedom.… After its millennial suffering, the question is whether the Jewish people would accept, as its historic task, the creation of a little State that would again become the football of its stronger neighbors …


               In Basel yesterday, I sat lonely among my brothers, like a mourner at a wedding.… This new enthusiasm is artificial, and the result of treacherous hopes will be despair.… The salvation of Israel will come through prophets, not through diplomats!” 5


As If History Stood Still for Two Millennia


In 1891, Ahad Ha-’Am laid his finger on the problem, which, for practical and ethical reasons, was the fundamental though neglected problem of Zionism in Palestine—the Arab problem. To the eyes of most Zionists, the land of their forefathers appeared empty – “a land without people for people without land” – waiting for the return of the dispersed descendants as if history had stood still for two thousand years.


From 1891 on, Ahad Ha-’Am stressed that Palestine was not only a tiny land but not an empty one.… He pointed out that there was little untilled soil in Palestine except for stony hills or dunes. He warned that the Jewish settlers must under no circumstances arouse the wrath of the natives by ugly actions; they must meet them instead in the friendly spirit of respect.


               “Yet what do our brethren do in Palestine? Just the very opposite! They were Serfs in the lands of the Diaspora, and suddenly, they found themselves in freedom, and this change awakened an inclination to despotism in them.


               They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause, and even boast of these deeds.


               Nobody among us opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination.”


That was written in 1891 when the Zionist settlers formed a tiny minority in Palestine.


               “We think,” Ahad Ha-’ Am warned, “that the Arabs are all savages who live like animals and do not understand what is happening around them. This is, however, a great error.”


This error, unfortunately, has persisted ever since. Ahad Ha-’Am did not cease to warn against it, not only for the sake of the Arabs but also for Judaism and Zion. He remained faithful to his ethical standards to the end.


Twenty years later, on July 9, 1911, he wrote to a friend in Jaffa:


               “As to the war against the Jews in Palestine, I am a spectator from afar with an aching heart, particularly because of the want of insight and understanding shown on our side to an extreme degree. It was evident twenty years ago that the day would come when the Arabs would stand up against us.”


He complained bitterly that the Zionists were unwilling to understand the people of the land to which they came and had learned neither its language nor its spirit.…


In a letter of November 18, 1913, to Moshe Smilansky, a pioneer settler in Palestine, Ahad Ha-’ Am had protested against another form of nationalist boycott proclaimed by the Zionist labor movement in Palestine against the employment of Arab labor, a racial boycott:


               “Apart from the political danger, I can’t put up with the idea that our brethren are morally capable of behaving in such a way to men of another people, and unwittingly, the thought comes to my mind: If it is so now, what will be our relation to the others if in truth we shall achieve ‘at the end of time’ power in Eretz Israel?


               If this is the ‘Messiah,’ I do not wish to see him coming. … In the future, when this illusion has been torn from their hearts, and they will look with open eyes upon the reality as it is, they will certainly understand how important this question is and how great is our duty to work for its solution …”


van Kempen, Abraham. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf, 2nd Edition (Kindle Locations 1103-1151). The 3rd Edition will come out in February 2024.


What is the Side of the Story that is Not Yet Decisive? Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen.


A young Zionist parade in Tel Hai in 1937. Lazar Diner/Central Zionist Archives.


Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky – the Father of the Israeli Ultra-Right to this Day


Russian-born and Italian-educated Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky,” the ‘spiritual' father of the ultra-right nationalists in Israel, has rejected the Zionist mainstream's policy of gradual expansion of Jewish numbers, settlements, and institutions in Palestine. ‘Revisionist Zionism' is his brainchild, the principles of which are expounded in his 1923 published book, ‘The Iron Wall: We and the Arabs,' 34 which he could just as well have entitled ‘My Community'; auf Deutsch, ‘Mein Kampf.'


In short, Zionism is about lebensraum: attacking, invading, expelling, and displacing the indigenous people from their lands and keeping their possessions as confiscated spoils of war. It is an either-or proposition, them or us, by force or not at all, excerpted as follows :

  1. "There can be no voluntary reconciliation between the Arabs [Palestinians], not now and not in the foreseeable future. All well-meaning people, except those blind from birth, understood long ago the complete impossibility of arriving at a voluntary agreement with the Arabs [Palestinians] of Palestine to transform Palestine from an Arab country to a country with a Jewish majority.”
  2. "Any native people view their country as their national home, of which they will be the complete masters. They will never voluntarily allow a new master. So, it is for the Arabs [Palestinians]. Compromisers among us try to convince us that the Arabs [Palestinians] are some fools who can be tricked with hidden formulations of our basic goals. I flatly refuse to accept this view of the Palestinian Arabs.”
  3. "They have the precise psychology that we have. The native Palestinians look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux upon his prairie. Each people will struggle against colonizers until the last spark of hope that they can avoid the dangers of colonization and conquest is extinguished. The Palestinians will struggle this way until there is hardly a spark of hope.”
  4. "It matters not what kind of words we use to explain our colonization. Colonization has its integral and inescapable meaning understood by every Jew and every Arab [Palestinian]. Colonization has only one goal. This is the way it is. To change that nature is impossible. It has been necessary to carry on colonization against the will of the Palestinian Arabs, and the same condition exists now.”
  5. "Even an agreement with non-Palestinians (other Arabs) represents the same fantasy. For Arab [Palestinians] nationalists of Baghdad and Mecca and Damascus to agree to pay so high a price, they would have to refuse to maintain the Arab [Palestinians] character of Palestine.”
  6. "We cannot give any compensation for Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to other Arabs. Therefore, a voluntary agreement is inconceivable. All colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance of the will of the native population. Therefore, it can continue and develop only under the shield of force, which comprises an Iron Wall, which the local population can never break through. This is our Arab [Palestinian] policy. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy.”
  7. "Whether through the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate, an external force is necessary for establishing in the country conditions of rule and defense through which the local population, regardless of what it wishes, will be deprived of the possibility of impeding our colonization, administratively or physically. Force must play its role – with strength and without indulgence. There are no meaningful differences between our militarists and our vegetarians. One prefers an Iron Wall of Jewish bayonets; the other, an Iron Wall of English bayonets.”
  8. "If you wish to colonize a land where people are already living, you must provide a garrison for that land or find some rich man or benefactor who will provide a garrison on your behalf. Or else? Or else, give up your colonization, for without an armed force, which will render physically impossible any attempt to destroy or prevent this colonization, colonization is impossible – not difficult, not dangerous, but IMPOSSIBLE"!
  9. "Zionism is a colonizing adventure, and therefore it stands, or it falls by the question of armed force. It is important to speak Hebrew, but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot – or else I am through with playing at colonization.”
  10. "To the hackneyed reproach that this point of view is unethical, I answer untrue. Zionism is our ethic [our 'Mein Kampf']. There is no other ethic. As long as there is the faintest spark of hope for the Arabs [Palestinians] to impede us, they will not sell these hopes – not for any sweet words nor any tasty morsel, because this [the Palestinians] is not a rabble but a people, a living people. And no people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions, except when there is no hope left until we have removed every opening visible in the Iron Wall.” 35


In a few words: 1) create an exclusive community (Kampf), a state for Jews only, by 2) deploying brute force without considering the consequences of the other; by 3) unconscionably dispossessing ‘them' from the land with no hope to ever return with neither compromise, concession, or conciliation; 4) them or us; 5) the end justifies the means. This perversion and aberration, this depraved, distorted, and deviant ideology, can never have a happy ending.


Ask Nazi Germany!


Christians, Jews and Muslims in the West Bank village of Walajeh near Bethlehem join in prayer calling for rain, November 2010


The Better Angels of Our Nature


What if a growing number of Israelis respond to the higher calling of becoming a ‘light among nations,' which President Abraham Lincoln refers to as ‘seeking the better angels of our nature,' and act accordingly as responsible citizens in the community of men and women? They will want nothing more than complete reconciliation with their Palestinian neighbors.


When will the Israelis publicly apologize: "We can't get away getting something for nothing. We can't get away with murder? Let's tear down the walls between us, share the land, and break bread together, and here is earnest money, restitution, a compensatory resolve to seal the deal."


Will the people in the Region ever greet each other with, "Welcome home?"


van Kempen, Abraham. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf, 2nd Edition, (Kindle Locations 972-1018). The 3rd Edition will come out in February 2024.



The Bibi doctrine—his belief that he could control Hamas—compromised Israeli security and has now begat a bloody war


WISHFUL THINKING | Prime Minister enjamin Netanyahu addressed world leaders during last month's United Nations General Assembly in New York City. / Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.


By Seymour Hersh

Source: Substack

Published 12 October 2023

Decades ago, I spent three years writing The Samson Option (1991), an exposé of the unstated policy of American presidents going back to Dwight Eisenhower to look the other way as Israel began building an atomic bomb. The right or wrong for Israel in the aftermath of the Holocaust was not the book's point. My point was that what America was doing was known throughout the Third World, as it was then called. Our duplicity made our worries about the spread of nuclear weapons another example of American hypocrisy. Since then, others have undertaken far more comprehensive studies, as some of the most highly classified Israeli and US documents have become public.


I chose not to go to Israel to do my research for fear of running afoul of Israeli national security law. However, I found Israelis living abroad who had worked on the secret project and were willing to talk to me once I indicated I had information from American intelligence files. Those who worked on such highly classified materials have remained loyal to Israel, and a few of them became lifelong friends of mine. They have also kept in close touch with former colleagues in Israel.


This is an account of the past week's horrific events in Israel, as seen by a veteran of Israel's national security apparatus with inside knowledge of recent happenings.


The most important thing I needed to understand, the Israeli insider told me, is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is finished. He is a walking dead man. He will stay in office only until the shooting stops . . . maybe another month or two." He served as prime minister from 1996 until 1999 and again as leader of the right-wing Likud Party from 2009 to 2021, returning for a third stint in late 2022. "Bibi was always opposed to the 1993 Oslo Accords," the insider said, which initially gave the Palestinian Authority nominal control over both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. When he returned to office in 2009, the insider said, "Bibi chose to support Hamas" as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority, "and gave them money and established them in Gaza."


An arrangement was made with Qatar, which began sending hundreds of millions of dollars to the Hamas leadership with Israeli approval. The insider told me, "Bibi was convinced that he would have more control over Hamas with the Qatari money—let them occasionally fire rockets into southern Israel and have access to jobs inside Israel—than he would with the Palestinian Authority. He took that risk.


"What happened this week," the insider said, "resulted from the Bibi doctrine that you could create a Frankenstein and have control over it." The attack by Hamas was a direct result of Bibi's decision, over the protest of local military commanders, "to allow a group of Orthodox settlers to celebrate Sukkot in the West Bank." Sukkot is an annual fall holiday commemorating the ancestral journey of Jews into the depths of the desert. It is a weeklong festival observed by building a temporary outdoor structure called a sukkah. All can share the food their predecessors ate and connect to the harvest season viscerally.


The request came during extreme tension over another West Bank incident in which Jewish settlers, according to the Associated Press, "rampaged through a flashpoint town" on 6 October and killed a 19-year-old Arab male. The youth's death, the AP report added, "marked the latest in a surge in Israeli-Palestinian fighting that so far has killed nearly 200 Palestinians this year—the highest yearly death toll in about two decades."


The Sukkot celebration, held near a Palestinian village known in Hebrew as Haware, would need extraordinary protection, given the tension over the latest violence, and the local Israeli military authorities, with the approval of Netanyahu, ordered two of the three Army battalions, each with about 800 soldiers, that protected the border with Gaza to shift their focus to the Sukkot festival.


"That left only eight hundred soldiers," the insider told me, "responsible for guarding the 51-kilometer border between the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. That meant the Israeli citizens in the south were left without an Israeli military presence for ten to twelve hours. They were left to fend for themselves. And that is why Bibi is finished. May take a few months, but he is over."


The insider called the attack in southern Israel "the great military failure in Israeli history" and pointed out that "only soldiers were killed in the '73 war"—the surprise attack on Yom Kippur in which Egyptian and Syrian troops briefly overran Israel. "Last Saturday, twenty-two settlements in the south were under control of Hamas for hours, and they went house to house slaughtering women and children."


The insider said there will be a military response, noting that 360,000 reservists have been called up. "There is a big debate going on about strategy. The Israeli Air Force and Navy special forces are ready, but Bibi and the military leadership have always favored high-tech services. The regular army has been used primarily as security guards in the West Bank. . . . The reality is that the ground forces are not trained for combat. Don't misunderstand—there is confidence in the spirit of the troops but not in their ability to succeed in the 'special situation' that the soldiers would face in a ground assault" in the ruins of heavily bombed Gaza City.


The insider said that the reservists are now undergoing crash training, and a decision on what to do may come by the end of this week. Meanwhile, the current bombing of civilian targets—apartment buildings, hospitals, and mosques—no longer includes a token civilian safeguard. In prior attacks in Gaza City, he said, the Israeli Air Force often would drop a small bomb on the roof of a civilian facility to be targeted—it was called "a knock on the roof"—that would theoretically alert noncombatants to flee the building. That is not happening in the current round-the-clock bombing raids.


As for a ground attack, the insider told me that a brutal alternative could be described as the Leningrad approach, referring to the famed German effort to starve out the city now known as St. Petersburg during World War II. The Nazi siege lasted nearly 900 days; the death toll was at least 800,000, possibly many more. It is known that the Hamas leadership and much of its manpower "live underground," and Israel's goal is to destroy as much of that force "without attempting a traditional house-to-house attack."


The insider added that some Israelis were "made anxious" by the initial statements from world leaders in Germany, France, and England who avowed, in one case through an aide, their total support for an immediate response but added that the rule of law should guide it. President Biden reinforced that point in an unscheduled appearance at a White House conference of Jewish leaders Wednesday by pointedly saying that he had recently told Netanyahu: "It is imperative that Israel, with all the anger and frustration and just—I don't know how to explain it—that exists is that they operate by the rules of war—the rules of war. And there are rules of war."


The option now under consideration, the Israeli insider told me, is to continue the isolation of Gaza City in terms of power supply and the delivery of food and other vital goods. "Hamas now only has a two- or three-day supply of purified water, and that, along with a lack of food," I was told, "may be enough to flush all the Hamas out." At some point, he said, Israel may be able to negotiate the release of some prisoners—women and children—in return for food and water.


"The big debate today," he said, "is whether to starve Hamas out or kill as many as 100,000 people in Gaza. One Israeli assumption is that Hamas, which has received as much as $1.6 billion from Qatar since 2014, wants to be seen as a sovereign that cares for its people. He went on: "Now that President Biden says they are a terrorist state, Hamas may have reason to want to be seen as less hostile, and there might be a chance for calm and rational discussion about prisoners—and a release of some of its Israeli hostages, beginning with women and children." He said the other prisoners would be treated like prisoners of war, and their release could be negotiated, as has happened.


But, the insider added, "the more we all see" of Hamas brutality on TV and "the more Hamas is seen as another ISIS, time gets short."


The reality, he said, is that Hamas is not rational and is incapable of any negotiations, and Qatar will not intervene. And, barring some international or third-party intervention, there may be a general ground invasion with untold deaths to all sides and all prisoners.


The decision to invade in full force is Israel's, and it has not yet been made.


Related Articles Recently Posted on


Our Friday News Analysis | 'Our Friday News Analysis | What the World Reads Now!,' 6 October 2023.


Our Wednesday News Analysis | 'The West's hypocrisy towards Gaza's breakout is stomach-turning
October 13, 2023,' 13 October 2023.





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