News Roundup for October 11, 2023

October 11, 2023
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J Street In the News

Expert Briefing: Terror Onslaught, Israel at War with Hamas [Video], J Street
Hamas’ horrific surprise attack on Israel and the carnage of the past few days have us all reeling. Leading Israeli security and geo-political experts joined J Street for a public briefing and analysis on what has happened, how it’s happened, and what could come next. We were joined by 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.

Top News and Analysis

Death Toll Rises in Israel and Gaza as Fighting Rages: What to Know, Axios
More than 1,200 Israelis and 900 Palestinians have been killed, thousands have been injured, and tens of thousands of others have been displaced in fighting that comes after a year of escalating violence in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. At least 14 Americans were killed in the Hamas attack, President Biden said on Tuesday, and at least 20 Americans were still missing, the White House said.

Israel Ordered a ‘Complete Siege’ of Gaza. Here’s What that Looks Like, The Washington Post
Defense officials have ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza after militants broke through its border wall into southern Israel on Saturday and killed more than 1,000 people, many of them civilians — the deadliest day in Israeli history. Gaza depends on Israel for most of its electricity and other basic services. Cutting off gas and power from the country could leave many residents not only without power, but without clean drinking water, proper sanitation and health care.

As Israelis Flee Besieged Gaza Border Towns, Protesters Pivot to Relief Work, Haaretz
Groups like Bonot Alternativa and Brothers and Sisters in Arms spent the year fighting the Netanyahu government’s bid to weaken the judiciary. Now they’re helping Israelis who escaped Hamas’ assault. The volunteers are sorting through donations and boxing them up, loading the trucks and responding to online requests for aid. The activists have also collected lists of families in the south needing a safe place to stay.

Relatives of Americans Thought Abducted to Gaza Urge Biden ‘Not to Take a Backseat’, The Times of Israel
Relatives of missing US citizens held a press conference on Tuesday to share about their loved ones presumably abducted by Hamas. The language that it featured was designed to resonate with an American audience in the hope of ensuring the maximum level of US commitment.


Peace Activists Are Among the Israelis Missing and Killed, The New York Times
On the Israeli side of the Gaza border lie a number of residential collectives whose members tend to be left of center and supportive of peace initiatives and Palestinian rights. Many of those residents were among the missing or dead after Hamas’s assault on Saturday.

Biden Urges Israeli Leader to Minimize Civilian Casualties in War with Hamas, NBC
In a private phone call Tuesday, President Joe Biden urged Israel’s prime minister to minimize civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip as Israel sets out to destroy Hamas in reprisal for the deadliest attack the country has suffered in the last 50 years.

Scenes from a Massacre: Inside an Israeli Town Destroyed by Hamas, The Washington Post
The Israeli army escorted a group of journalists inside Kfar Azza early Tuesday as the recovery of bodies was beginning. The pastoral community of about 400 is one of the closest to Israel’s sophisticated border fence with Gaza, which Hamas militants breached with apparent ease Saturday before rampaging through town after town.

Biden Will Seek Additional Funds from Congress for Military Aid for Israel, Axios
President Biden on Tuesday called Hamas’ attack on Israel “sheer evil” and said he will ask Congress to approve emergency funding for military assistance for Israel. The White House is concerned that the crisis among Republicans over electing a new House speaker will hamper the ability to approve new aid.

Blinken to Visit Israel in Show of Support After Unprecedented Hamas Attack, Al-Monitor
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel on Thursday in a show of support, less than a week after Hamas launched one of the deadliest attacks in the country’s history.

House Disarray Leaves Path for Israel Aid Uncertain, The New York Times
Congressional leaders across the political spectrum have pledged to approve emergency military support to Israel following Hamas’s surprise attack over the weekend, but protracted gridlock over federal spending and the Republican leadership crisis engulfing the House have raised questions about how and when such aid could be delivered.

Opinion and Analysis

My Kibbutz Was Erased: I Never Imagined I’d Write This, Haaretz
Sivan Klingbail shares, “The western Negev is Israel’s wheat basket. Pioneers lived there, believing that security comes from a plough, with the last furrow determining the border. These pioneers were abandoned by Netanyahu governments that espoused a different ethos – settling the hills.”

Israel and Palestine: No Exit, The American Prospect
Harold Meyerson writes, “At this juncture, it’s impossible to envision the Israelis and Palestinians resolving this conflict themselves or, for that matter, doing anything other than intensifying it. Once the current round of slaughtering civilians has run its god-awful course, the United States and other nations with the wherewithal to enforce borders and provide financial aid should do all they can to compel a two-state solution.”

Which Israel Will Emerge After the Hamas Attack?, Time Magazine
Ephraim Sneh notes, “The 2.2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip deserve lives of peace and dignity. […] The current government of Israel is not a partner for any constructive plan in the region. It is overwhelmed by ultra-nationalistic and messianic ideas, lack of experience, and inferior intellectual capacity. As I said previously “the good Israel will prevail,” and the Israeli people will have a government they deserve.”

Everything I Thought I Knew About Israel and Gaza was Wrong, The Forward
Jodi Rudoren writes, “The Palestinian conflict is our problem to solve, because Israel is our Jewish homeland to protect. I was wrong about Israel’s vulnerability to this kind of devastating attack and wrong about the Israeli military’s asymmetrical advantages. But this weekend’s events make very clear I was not wrong about one important thing: The status quo is clearly not sustainable.”