From Israel: “Breaking Through the Fog!!”

There are several important issues that I wish to touch upon here, some both heavy and worrisome. But – glory be! – not all of the news is bad.  


Let us begin with the volatile issue of UNRWA, which after decades of international refusal to deal with its reality, has finally been exposed by Israel for the terror-supporting agency it is.

Credt: badil


I want to mention David Bedein here.  While not directly involved in this exposé, he has been diligently working on documenting the reality of UNRWA for decades.  My information on UNRWA, which is considerable, was derived from the time I worked with David researching and writing about this agency.

See his Center for Near East Policy Research for a library of eye-opening reports and videos:



UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, has long been recognized as the agency responsible for the Palestinian Arabs who allegedly had to run from Israel in 1948 or thereafter.  These Arabs and their descendants through the generations have been identified as “refugees;” the inclusion of descendants means that the number of registered refugees keeps growing.  

The Palestinian Arabs are the only ones who have an agency devoted exclusively to them. All other refugees fall under the umbrella of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which works diligently to help them start new lives. They consider only those who had to flee to be refugees, not their subsequent descendants.                 

UNRWA has been adamant about not permanently relocating Palestinian Arab “refugees” because they have a “right of return” to their villages in Israel (most of which no longer exist).  Instead, they maintain these people, roughly one-third of whom live in refugee camps, in a limbo status.  There are over 50 camps in Gaza, Judea & Samaria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon; eight are in Gaza.  According to UNRWA, of the 2.1 people living in Gaza, 1.7 million are registered refugees. The agency runs schools and camps in which the children are radicalized: taught about their “right” to be in Israel and their obligation to fight for this right.


Two days ago, Israel announced that it had solid documentation of 12 members of UNRWA who had participated in the October 7 massacre. Seven were reportedly teachers, two educational consultants and others humanitarian aid warehouse managers.  See Mark Regev, former ambassador to UK, in a very important Sky News interview in which he speaks about this and describes the way in which the involvement of UNRWA was documented.


Credit: Wikipedia

At first, there was a claim that these 12 were just “bad apples.”  Regev rejects this notion, calling the relationship between Hamas and UNRWA structural. I, as well, laugh at the notion.  Anyone familiar with how UNRWA operated over the years knows better: Hamas even recruited inside UNRWA schools.  

And so, the number went up to 100, and now it is being reported that 10% of UNRWA employees have ties to Hamas and PIJ.


My own guess is that it is much more.  Today, Eylon Levy, a spokesperson for the National Public Diplomacy Directorate at Prime Minister’s Office, called UNRWA a “Hamas front organization:


Credit: Wikipedia

Our government is pushing for the elimination of UNRWA.


At present a growing number of donor countries is temporarily withholding funds from UNRWA: United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, Italy, Finland, Iceland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Estonia, Rumania and Scotland, plus the EU.


Naturally, there is screaming about how this is terrible for the refugees who depend upon UNRWA.  The major issue right now is the method for distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza. Other means must be found because it would be a major step backwards to resume support for UNRWA.  

Mahmoud Abbas of the PA has said, “There is no solution to the Palestinian issue except for the return of refugees.” Bringing in all of these alleged “refugees” would destroy Israel, which is, after all, the intent of the PA and UNRWA.

Jonathan Tobin, editor of JNS, has it just right:



The interim International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling was announced Friday.  While it most certainly was not good, it was considerably less terrible than we had anticipated.  How ironic: The statements out of the Court are outrageous, but as they are less outrageous than anticipated we are relieved.

The decision, 15-2, read out by Court President Joan Donaghue, was that there was “plausibility” to South Africa’s claims that Israel might be committing genocide in Gaza.  Therefore, it will not reject the South African charge out of hand – which is precisely what it should have done.

Credit: X

The Court, however, did not order a cessation of fighting in Gaza (an order we would have rejected). Instead, it called for a number of measures: That Israel prevent and punish incitement to genocide against Palestinians; take urgent measures to alleviate the “adverse” humanitarian situation in Gaza; prevent the destruction of evidence related to allegations of acts genocide; and report back to the court in one month on the issues laid out in the order.  


It will take many months, if not years, for the final court ruling.

I do believe at present that it is the intention of the Israeli government to comply with the order for a report in a month. But Israel’s position is that the entire issue should have been rejected by the Court  because it is obvious on the face of it that Israel is not committing genocide.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the fact that the Court was willing to discuss the matter at all was a “mark of disgrace.”


Justice Julia Sebutinde, from Uganda, is the only African woman to have ever sat on the ICJ.  She is now serving her second term.

Sebutinde now has another distinction as well: She was the only permanent justice on the Court to vote against all proposed provisional measures. “In her dissenting view, she argued that the core of the dispute was fundamentally political, not legal, and asserted the absence of a credible indication of genocidal intent by Israel.” 


Credit: ICJ

The government of Uganda was not pleased with this and disassociated itself from her view.  But I say Bravo!  How heartening to see someone guided by integrity and objectivity.


International law professor Eugene Kontorovich suggests that in order to minimize the damage of the ICJ, Israel must immediately end its acceptance of the ICJ’s jurisdiction with respect to the Genocide Convention. 



I provide here, once again, an important perspective regarding the number of “civilians” in Gaza Israel is charged with having killed.  Everyone who supports Israel should have this basic information:

[] Figures are drawn from the Health Ministry of Gaza. Just last week, the ministry charged that more than 25,000 Palestinian Arabs have died in Gaza during the war.  However, the ministry is run by Hamas. There is, therefore, no reason to accept the figures as objectively accurate.  

[] The ministry does not provide a breakdown of how many were innocent civilians and how many were terrorists or people who are nominally civilian but working with Hamas.  Israel has killed some 9,000 terrorists during the war to this point.

[] Nor does the ministry account for those civilians in Gaza who were killed by Hamas or PIJ rockets.  We have this from Foundation for Defense of Democracies back on October 19, early in the war:

“We know from Israeli radar trackers that at least 450 terrorist rockets have landed within Gaza since this war began on October 7 — an almost 10 percent ‘friendly fire’ rate…That will only rise as Hamas and Islamic Jihad feel the pressure of the IDF counter-offensive.”


And indeed, the rate has increased – I’ve seen figures estimating that 12% to 15% of Hamas and PIJ rockets land in Gaza.

Perhaps most notable was the bombing of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City on October 17, which killed and injured hundreds, as civilians had taken refuge in the building.  Hamas charged that Israel bombed the hospital, but an IDF investigation concluded it was a PIJ rocket that had misfired in that area.    


[] Most significantly, there is no mention of the Hamas use of human shields – its propensity for placing weaponry and doing fighting in civilian areas.  This has been documented again and again: rockets in schools and mosques, tunnel shafts that lead to the bedrooms of children, weapons hidden under children’s beds.  See here:


Hamas, then, is responsible for civilian deaths that are incurred.  Israel operates very solidly within international law and takes every possible precaution to avoid hitting civilians.    


Attorney Alan Dershowitz says that: “Critics of Israel almost never cite comparable data from other military encounters. This omission creates the false impression that the civilian death tolls in Gaza are among the highest in history, when they are in fact among the lowest.”


Credit: IMBd


The unofficial reports about the possibility of a deal with Hamas for release of hostages have been the stuff of nightmares: according to channel 12, “a 45-day pause in fighting in exchange for 35 hostages in the first phase. Some 100-250 Palestinian security prisoners,  would be released for each Israeli sent home.”  That would include some prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands.

It was very clear that elements involved in negotiations – including the US, Egypt and, regrettably, Qatar, were seeking a long-term ceasefire that would ultimately segue into a full cessation of hostilities. In any event, a long-term ceasefire would take the steam out of current fighting and give Hamas a chance to regroup and rearm.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “…the reports about a deal are not correct and include conditions that are not acceptable to Israel,” which is reassuring but not a blanket denial of the fact that an outline for a deal was under consideration.  

Today, he said (emphasis added):

“I hear talk about all kinds of deals. I would like to make it clear: We will not conclude this war without achieving all of its goals.

“This means eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel.”

We will not withdraw the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists. None of this will happen. What will happen? Total victory!



Today, Hamas announced that it rejects the terms that had been discussed.  The hostages will not be released for anything less than total cessation of fighting:

“…any agreement must entail both an end to the ongoing conflict and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza…Israel must halt its ‘aggression’ before considering any exchange deal.”


What this tells me is that Hamas is hurting badly.  


But also today, Egypt, which is one of the parties trying to squeeze Israel, put out a message that negotiations were going well and there may be a deal by next week.

 “…during the discussions, we strive for a total ceasefire and a hostage and prisoner swap…

“Thousands of prisoners must be released from Israeli prisons as part of a swap deal.”


And then, after that Hamas rejection, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that they had received a ceasefire proposal that it is studying.  He will be visiting Cairo to discuss it.



Seth Frantzman wrote an excellent analysis of this situation.  He clarifies a number of issues.  I recommend that you consider reading it in its entirety:aHH



For my beautiful people of Israel item for today, I introduce Ezra Yakhin who at 95 is the country’s oldest serving reservist. He is pictured here with his great-great-grandson.

Credit: Hadassah Medical Center

He fought for the founding of Israel in 1938, became an author and speaker, and now rushed to sign up to raise the morale of troops.  While very special, he epitomizes the spirit of the IDF.



Keep praying to Heaven for Israel, my friends.  Pray for the strength and wisdom of our leaders, for the safety of our boys, and for the rescue of our hostages.  Pray with a heart filled with hope.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.