News Roundup for October 10, 2023

October 10, 2023
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Join Today’s Expert Briefing: Terror Onslaught, Israel at War with Hamas

Today at 12pm Eastern, leading Israeli security and geo-political experts will join J Street for a public briefing on what happened, the response within Israel, and what could come next. The call will feature retired IDF Brigadier General and member of Commanders for Israel’s Security, Yoni Shimshoni, and Celine Touboul, Co-Executive Director of the Israeli Policy Think Tank ECF.

Register via Zoom to join us today at 12pm Eastern / 9am Pacific >>

J Street In the News

Standing With The Israeli People In Pain, Horror And Grief, J Street
“Over 48 hours since Hamas launched a shock terrorist onslaught against Israel, the J Street community is reeling from the full scope of the nightmare that has unfolded and the full extent of the losses […] Hamas’ heinous, murderous attack is a gross violation of international law and constitutes an abhorrent crime against humanity. This is one of the most shocking massacres in the history of Israel, and indeed in the entire history of this century. The horror and pain is difficult to process and comprehend.”

Democratic Divisions Over Israel Policy Heat Up as Biden Tries to Keep his Coalition Together, CNN
“The liberal group J Street sought a more conciliatory tone, saying it stood “with the Israeli armed forces working furiously to repel this assault,” but also called for restraint, urging “the US government to do everything possible to assist the State of Israel in confronting this threat, defending its citizens, and preventing a slide into even further conflagration and suffering for Israelis and Palestinians.” J Street spokesman Logan Bayroff argued that the political threat to Democrats in the US was overstated and that domestic politics are “at the bottom of the list” of concerns for the party right now.”

How Israel’s War Could Become a Nightmare for President Biden, Newsweek
“Hamas’s attack on Israel has also thrown into question the administration’s push to reshape the Middle East through diplomatic accords, without first making meaningful progress to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “There is no such thing as peace in the Middle East unless you address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s not going to be swept under the rug,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of the influential liberal advocacy group J Street, told Newsweek.”

Top News and Analysis

J Street works to promote open, honest and rigorous discussion. The opinions reflected in articles posted in the News Roundup do not necessarily reflect J Street’s positions, and their posting does not constitute an endorsement from J Street.

Israel on War Footing, Hamas Threatens to Kill Captives, Reuters
The Israeli military called up an unprecedented 300,000 reservists and was imposing a total blockade of the Gaza Strip, in a sign it may be planning a ground assault in response to the devastating weekend attack by Hamas gunmen. After hours of bombardment by Israeli jets, Hamas, said it would execute an Israeli captive for every Israeli bombing of a civilian house without warning. At this time, over 900 Israelis and 687 Palestinians are dead and thousands are injured.

Israel Massed Troops in the West Bank. Then Hamas Attacked from Gaza, The Washington Post
Noga Tarnopolsky and Shira Rubin write, “For more than a decade and a half, over a record six terms as Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu boasted of an unprecedented security achievement: making the Israeli-Palestinian conflict manageable. But when hundreds of Palestinian militants stormed through and soared over Israel’s multibillion-dollar border fence — on bulldozers, paragliders and on foot — Netanyahu’s Gaza doctrine, treating Palestinian militancy as a threat that could be contained, was shattered in an instant.”

Hamas Took Scores of Hostages From Israel. Here’s What We Know About Them, The New York Times
The Israeli authorities have not yet publicly provided specific details about the number or identities of the kidnapped victims, but military officials have said they included older people and children. Most were captured from small Israeli border towns on Saturday morning.

10 Percent of Kibbutz Population Found Dead After Hamas Massacre in Southern Israel, Haaretz
Rescue organization says found bodies of 108 Israelis in Kibbutz Be’eri, two days after Hamas militants entered Israel by land, air and sea, killing civilians in border communities and taking others hostage.

11 Americans Killed, It’s Likely US Citizens Held by Hamas in Gaza, Axios
At least 11 Americans were killed in the surprise Hamas attack on Israel and it is likely US citizens are among the hostages being held by the militant in Gaza, President Biden said on Monday.


National Unity, Likud Appear to Near Deal for Emergency Unity Cabinet, The Times of Israel
Representatives of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and MK Benny Gantz’s opposition National Unity party met Monday to discuss the possibility of forming an emergency unity government. A source in Gantz’s National Unity said Monday night that progress has been made in the discussions and that a deal is now likely.

Israeli Airstrikes Hit Marketplace and Mosques in Gaza, Killing Dozens, The New York Times
Israeli airstrikes pounded Gaza on Monday, flattening mosques over the heads of worshipers, wiping away a busy marketplace full of shoppers and killing entire families, witnesses and authorities in Gaza said.

‘Planes Have Already Taken Off’: US Sends Israel Air Defense, Munitions After Hamas Attack, Politico
The Biden administration is surging weapons to Israel, rapidly sending air defenses and munitions in response to Israeli officials’ urgent requests for aid, a senior Pentagon official said Monday.

Israel, Hezbollah Exchange Fire on Lebanon Border, 7 Militants Killed, 6 Israelis Wounded, Haaretz
Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the infiltration into Israel in the north. The Israel Defense Forces announced that it is continuing the search for additional armed men who might have infiltrated, near the town of Shlomi.

Egypt Intelligence Official Says Israel Ignored Repeated Warnings of ‘Something Big’, The Times of Israel
Egyptian intelligence official said that Jerusalem had ignored repeated warnings that the Gaza-based terror group was planning “something big” — which included an apparent direct notice from Cairo’s intelligence minister to the prime minister.

Senate to Hold Hearing on Biden’s Israel Ambassador Pick Next Week, Axios
Tom Nides, the former ambassador who departed from the role in July, told NBC News the Senate needed to confirm the former treasury secretary “immediately” due to the fighting between Israel and Hamas that’s killed at least 900 Israelis and 687 Palestinians.

Opinion and Analysis

Benjamin Netanyahu Failed Israel, Vox
Zack Beauchamp notes, “If the failure of the peace process exposed problems in the left’s vision for the conflict, the Hamas attack has exposed the fundamental emptiness of the right’s. The more you hurt ordinary Palestinians, the more you give succor to the extremist visions of monsters like Hamas. The more you draw Israel into the West Bank, the more you entangle Israelis in a system of domination over Palestinians — one that will ultimately deliver nothing but heartbreak for anyone involved.”

The Attack on Israel Demands Unity and Resolve, The New York Times
The New York Times Editorial Board writes, “The United States has an important role to play here as well. It can and should offer diplomatic support and emergency military assistance and work with the Israeli government, Palestinian leaders and humanitarian organizations to help ensure that civilian casualties and suffering in Israel and Gaza do not spin out of control.”

The Lesson from the Hamas Attack: The US Should Recognize a Palestinian State, The Washington Post
Daoud Kuttab argues, “As soon as the violence ebbs, President Biden should courageously recognize an independent and democratic Palestinian state living in peace side by side with a secure Israel. Such a move would need no congressional blessing. Once a Palestinian state under occupation is recognized by the UN Security Council, productive talks between representatives of the state of Israel and representatives of the state of Palestine can then begin in earnest.”

Another Concept Implodes: Israel Can’t Be Managed by a Criminal Defendant, Haaretz
Gidi Weitz shares, “Effectively, Netanyahu’s entire worldview collapsed over the course of a single day. He was convinced that he could make deals with corrupt Arab tyrants while ignoring the cornerstone of the Arab-Jewish conflict, the Palestinians. His life’s work was to turn the ship of state from the course steered by his predecessors, from Yitzhak Rabin to Ehud Olmert, and make the two-state solution impossible. En route to this goal, he found a partner in Hamas.”