From Israel: “It Never Ends, Does It??”

As I sat down to write this post, I recalled an incident some years ago when there was a crisis – earthquake, hurricane, or similar calamity – in a nation with which Israel’s relationship was tenuous. But humanitarian assistance was badly needed, and Israel quickly sent supplies.

The response: Israelis don’t really care about human suffering.  They just sent supplies to make themselves look good.


That promotes a “can’t win” feeling in many.  But we do win, you see, because we know when we have acted properly, and that in the end is what matters.  It falls to us to continue to act properly and to do what we know should be done.


Having shared this recollection, I return to the hostage rescue of last week, as some of the very same parameters apply – except that here our win is far greater, and the international criticism much worse.  What is more, in this situation, it is important to make our case broadly.  We cannot, must not, just shrug  off the lies.

In an incredible operation we were able to rescue four hostages kidnapped and held by Hamas since October 7.  Not just held by Hamas, but tortured and underfed, at risk of being murdered at any time.

Pictured here, freed hostage Noa Argamani and her father.

Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

Do we hear praise for the bravery of those who risked their lives to save the hostages?  Is admiration expressed in the international media for the meticulous planning and amazing cooperation that made the operation a success?

Very rarely.  (One major exception is Sky News in Australia, which is wonderful. See following.)


What we are hearing without letup are the laments because we (allegedly) killed over 200 poor innocent Gazan civilians in order to accomplish this rescue.  Was it worth it, some media commentators are asking: so many dead just to rescue four people.


And so, I want to review the specifics of the situation again.  They must be clearly understood and then broadly utilized in responding to these outrageous charges.

[] The figure of over 200 came from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, which is notorious for exaggerating statistics. Israel says there were less than 100 dead.  And it is not clear at all how many of these were “innocent” civilians, and how many Hamas terrorists or complicit civilians.

[] Nor is it clear how many were shot and killed by Israeli forces (which fired with precision) and how many by the terrorists themselves, as they went stampeding through the streets of Nuseirat utilizing lethal weaponry that included rocket grenade launchers.  

[] The four hostages who were rescued were held in a civilian apartment in a densely populated civilian area.  Thus were there large numbers of people out in the street, caught in the cross-fire of the battle.  

[]  I refer above to “complicit’ civilians. Civilians were housing and protecting the hostages – and were among those who were shot when they tried to prevent the Israeli rescue team from taking the hostages.  But there is more: there is strong reason to believe that civilians in the neighborhood were aware that Israeli hostages were being held in their midst.  Some of these civilians took part in the hostilities against the Israeli rescue team.  There are reports that Hamas sent out messages encouraging them to do so.

Not only does Hamas not care about civilian deaths, they promote them, to use against Israel.


See here the superb reporting on the hostage release by Sky News Australia.  Excellent for sharing.


“Who knew?” asks the newscaster, tongue in cheek.  “Research shows that holding hostages in your home is highly correlated with reduced life expectancy.”


He also advises against drinking “Hamas cool-aid” as it “makes you stupid.”  Indeed, and here we have the quintessential example of stupid, which at least gave some of us a badly needed laugh:

On Sunday, former IDF spokesman Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Conricus was interviewed on BBC by Helene Humphrey.  Humphrey suggested to Conricus that in order to reduce casualties the IDF might have warned civilians about the forthcoming rescue operation.  With a straight face (an admirable accomplishment), Conricus advised her that the hostages would have been killed if there had been a warning.

Credit: Screenshot


One last comment here about the rescue.

John Spencer, Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, believes it is important to correct what he calls a “pervasive message conveyed by mainstream media and others.”

What he is referring to is the tendency by mainstream media to say the hostages were “freed,” when in fact they were “rescued.”  What is implied in the use of the term “freed” is false.  The captors did not voluntarily let the hostages go; the hostages were forcibly taken from those captors in a complex rescue operation.


Please, be alert for this error and make the necessary correction.


The fallacious and vicious charges never cease.  Today there was a new “report” from WAFA, the official PA news agency, claiming that in the early hours of Thursday the IDF launched intensive air strikes and artillery bombardment, by air, land, and sea, against the al-Mawasi area west of Rafah, which had been designated as a safe area for Gazan civilians leaving Rafah.


There it is again: the charge that Israel acts against civilians.  Israel never, ever targets civilians.  The description is more than a bit over the top. Can you imagine?  An attack against civilians by air, sea and land.  The report does not even maintain that the IDF was shooting at Hamas but behaving negligently so that civilians were hit inadvertently.  This is a description of an attack directly upon civilians.

Unfortunately, there are those who will believe this.

For the record, it is important to note that IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari tweeted on Thursday morning: “Contrary to reports from the last few hours, there was no attack by the IDF in the humanitarian area in al-Mawasi.”  

Please note that this charge came from the Palestinian Authority and not Hamas.  

And so, we continue to fight on two levels.  While doing battle, we contend with the constant attempts to delegitimize Israeli actions.


Lastly here I mention the UN, an agency that is notorious for pointing a finger at Israel. A report just released on Wednesday by the United Nations Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry is particularly vile and  reprehensible. It outrageously charges that Israel’s actions constituted crimes against humanity, including acts of “extermination.” The report maintains that there has been a “systematic attack directed against the civilian population in Gaza.”


Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded that this report, “born in sin,” was “another example of the cynical political theater called the UN, and another example of the low point the organization has reached under UN Secretary General Guterres.” 

Enough said.


Danny Danon (Likud) has been appointed to replace the retiring Gilad Erdan as Israeli Ambassador to the UN. Danon previously served in this position from 2015 to 2020, and currently sits in the Knesset.

Danon, fortified by his years of experience, said: “In the face of the diplomatic terror that rears its head these days, I am obliged to present the truth for the sake of the people of Israel and our common future in our homeland.” May he remain steadfast in the face of unending animosity.


Credit: Israel Hayom


Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel again this week but accomplished nothing in terms of convincing us to change any of our policies.

Following his brief stop here, Blinken traveled to Jordan to attend a Gaza aid summit hosted by Jordan, Egypt and the United Nations.  Israel was not invited but Mahmoud Abbas was.

At that meeting, he met for the first time with the new prime minister of the PA, Mohammad Mustafa.  

Credit: Monjed Jadou/PNN  

In the course of their discussion, Blinken expressed enthusiasm for administrative reforms being instituted by the PA, as these reforms are allegedly going to equip the Palestinian Authority to take over Gaza after the war (not to mention, to become a state).  

This is unmitigated nonsense. Blinken chooses to wear blinders in the course of promoting the political objectives of the Biden administration.  The PA has not announced an end to pay-for-slay, or a significant revision of the Palestinian Authority curriculum, which teaches hatred of Israel.  There is not even an announcement of elections yet.

According to JNS, “During a meeting of Arab nations in late April that Blinken attended, Emirati foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (pictured below with Biden) called the leadership of the Palestinian Authority ‘Ali Baba and the 40 thieves,’ according to five sources cited in an Axios report last week.”  


Credit: Chuck Kennedy/US State Department

One day after Mustafa met with Blinken, the official PA news agency was floating enormous lies about an IDF attack on civilians. The new, “reformed” PA.  Revolting.


And the “deal” for a ceasefire and hostage release?  The Biden administration refuses to let it go, no matter how clear it is that Hamas is not interested.

Finally, Hamas has delivered its official answer, which is negative.  Said Blinken in a press conference on Wednesday: “Hamas has proposed numerous changes to the proposal that was on the table. … Some of the changes are workable, some are not.”

I am not going to review all parameters here, as they make one’s head spin – with different versions from different sources.  Essentially, Hamas wants written guarantees that there will be a permanent ceasefire and full IDF withdrawal from Gaza perhaps even beginning in the first six-week stage of the deal.  This incorporates a considerable amount that Israel has, and will not, not agreed to.

One of the significant changes proposed by Hamas – according to Times of Israel – is that Russia, China and Turkey (not the US) act as guarantors.


In spite of the fact that Hamas is hardening its positions, Blinken says they will keep working on it until there is success.  This is as realistic as a genuinely reformed Palestinian Authority.


In the face of everything we must contend with, it may be time to turn our attention to the north. We are under very significant attack from Hezbollah and are very close now to a major war.  There has been escalation for some time now, building slowly since October 7.  In recent days attacks have caused severe fires.

Credit: Leo Corea/AP

The latest escalation follows the killing of Abu Taleb – the most senior Hezbollah military commander to be taken out – in an airstrike late on Tuesday.  



Keep praying to Heaven for Israel. Pray that the tears might be lifted from our hearts.

Pray for the strength and wisdom of our leaders, for the safety of our soldiers, and for the rescue of our hostages.

Pray in a spirit of hope.


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