From Israel: “Shining a Light on the Jews of Israel!!”

Sometimes we need to be reminded of who we are.  This is particularly the case now, during this horrendous time when the world works incessantly to demean us, attack us in every way possible.  

Actually, what has happened is that we have been challenged to our best.  


Last week, a much-loved Senior Staff Sergeant Major Elon Waiss, an educator, a father of seven and grandfather of one little girl, was killed in Gaza. He was serving as a volunteer (i.e., he didn’t have to be there but was dedicated to serving Israel); he was due to return home for his daughter’s wedding.

Credit: YNet

His eldest son, Yedidya, spoke before the funeral (emphasis added):

“Today is a very sad day for all of us, as a personal family and as the nation of Israel, but we are continuing with our heads held high. We believe in our just path, in the Torah of Israel and the people of Israel.

With God’s help we will win this war and the entire nation of Israel will know no more sorrow. We will learn to see the good.”


Credit: Arutz Sheva

This is but one story of many.


This Friday, in the Magazine Section of the Jerusalem Post there was an article by Moshe Taragin, a rabbi at Yeshivat Har Etzion, a hesder yeshiva (a yeshiva that combines a period of study with a period of IDF service).  

After examining the horrendous chaos of the world today, he turns to us and asks if we believe enough.  The question that resonated for me was, “Do we believe deeply enough in historical destiny?”  


Historical destiny: It is God’s promise to the Jewish People.  We may suffer, individually and as a people, but ultimately, we will be protected:  We cannot be erased.  We cannot be destroyed.  Our just path is here in Israel.

Credit: Jerusalem Post

This is what sustains us, if we hold fast to it.  It lifts us beyond the ugliness we face every day.


I want to turn now to Prime Minister Netanyahu.  There is a “dump Bibi” movement in the country.  While they make a great deal of noise in demonstrations out on the street, those participating are a small minority of the people of Israel. They hang the demand for his departure on his failure to bring home the hostages “NOW”. But what they demand of him is vastly unreasonable, requiring a surrender to Hamas that would ultimately be disastrous.

My own assessment is that at this critical juncture for our nation – and in the face of the enormous pressure he must deal with both domestically and outside the country – he has come into his own. I believe those who claim he acts only for his own political advantage severely misjudge him. He is clear-eyed about the need to win the war in Gaza.

In this regard, there is something gutsy he did last week, because he believed it important for Israel:  He openly criticized the Biden administration for slowing down on the delivery of needed weapons.  And he did it even as his advisors told him not to do it – not to promote a public rift with the US.


What  Netanyahu did last Tuesday was make a video in English.  In it he said (emphasis added):

“When Secretary Blinken was recently here in Israel, we had a candid conversation, I said I deeply appreciated the support the U.S. has given Israel from the beginning of the war.

“But I also said something else, I said it’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel. Israel, America’s closest ally, [is] fighting for its life, fighting against Iran and our other common enemies.

“Secretary Blinken assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks. I certainly hope that’s the case. It should be the case.

“During World War II, Churchill told the United States, Give us the tools, we’ll do the job. And I say, give us the tools and we’ll finish the job a lot faster.” 

See the video here:


Credit: CBS News


As we might have expected, this created a flurry of denials and expressions of outrage from the US. At her daily press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declared, “We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about. We just don’t.”


The argument is that only one shipment – of 2,000-pound bombs – was being delayed because of concern about the dangers these bombs present to the civilians of Gaza.  

But the fact is that they are bunker busters that are necessary for going deep and destroying tunnels.  

And there is more, much more.


Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark), a straight-shooting guy and a real friend, wrote a letter to the White House, in which he said (emphasis added):

Your administration is engaged in bureaucratic sleight-of-hand to withhold this crucial aid to Israel during a shooting war. As you are aware, the Arms Export Control Act requires the administration to notify Congress before sending weapons to a foreign country. Your administration has manipulated this requirement by withholding this formal notification to Congress of approved weapons sales, including F-15s, tactical vehicles, 120-mm mortars, 120-mm tank rounds, joint direct attack munitions, and small-diameter bombs. Your administration can then claim that the weapons are ‘in process’ while never delivering them.

“But the law also includes an exception for ‘when emergencies exist,’ which allows you to waive the requirement for congressional review and expedite weapons sales. Your administration is obviously aware of this exception since you invoked it just last year. Yet, it appears that you stopped acknowledging the emergency in Israel after receiving a letter from nearly twenty congressional Democrats in January, urging you to end expedited weapons sales to Israel. Though your administration reportedly released a ship carrying at least some of these arms on Wednesday, that modest step doesn’t cure the damage done by the delay…”


Credit: Independent (UK)


Just one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs, huh?  The Biden administration now declares efforts are being made to expedite weapons to Israel.

The irony is that when Biden behaves this way, playing to the progressives in Congress, he actually defeats one of the declared goals of his administration: to prevent escalation in the hostilities with Hezbollah.  Could he – and more significantly, Blinken and various advisors – not be aware of the fact that Hezbollah is watching and is more likely to attack in Israel’s north if there is a perception that Israel is lacking weaponry and unable to respond effectively?


Today, Sunday, Netanyahu openly explained why he took the public position he did:

“I greatly appreciate the support of President Biden and the American administration for Israel.  Since the start of the war, the US has given us support in spirit and in materiel – defensive and offensive means.

“But four months ago, there was a dramatic decrease in the munitions coming to Israel from the US. For long weeks, we turned to our American friends and requested that the shipments be expedited. We did this time and again. We did so at the highest levels, and at all levels, and I want to emphasize – we did so behind closed doors. We received all sorts of explanations, but one thing we did not receive; the basic situation did not change. Certain items arrived sporadically but the munitions at large remained behind.” (Emphasis in the Jewish Press original)

Netanyahu said in today’s remarks that he hoped focusing a media spotlight on the current situation would change the picture.

After months in which there was no change in this situation, I decided to give this public expression. We did so out of years of experience and the knowledge that this step was vital to opening the bottleneck.

“I expected that this would entail personal attacks against me at home and abroad, as happened when I came out against the nuclear agreement with Iran, as happened – and as is happening – when I repeatedly opposed the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state, and as is now happening when I oppose ending the war while Hamas remains in place. But I am willing to absorb personal attacks on behalf of the State of Israel.

“As the Prime Minister of Israel, my job is to do everything to ensure that our heroic fighters receive the arms they need.

“In light of what I have heard over the past 24 hours, I hope and believe that this issue will be resolved in the near future.

“But I would like to emphasize, and I have said this to our American friends, there is one item we have, and it will always be decisive: The heroism and determination of our fighters – and with this weapon we will win.” (Emphasis here and above added)



Elsewhere Bibi explained that he was not talking about F-35s or F-16s [fighter jets] that are years down the line. He was speaking about what is necessary now to both win the war in Gaza quickly and avoid a war in Lebanon .

He said he thought the weapon slowdown “could be solved instantaneously with goodwill. It could be solved right away.”



See commentary by JNS editor Jonathan Tobin on this issue, “Netanyahu is right to reject vassal state etiquette.”

“Beyond the details of the dispute, in which the administration claims it is guiltless, this has resurrected the charge that Netanyahu doesn’t know his proper place…

“Unlike other Israelis, like President Isaac Herzog, who has stuck to continual praise of Biden’s post-Oct. 7 aid with no mention of Washington’s unhelpful actions, Netanyahu differs. He has come to believe that while it remains crucial for any Israeli premier to stay as close to the Americans as possible, there are times when it’s necessary to break protocol and state the truth

“The claim that Netanyahu’s outspokenness is damaging the alliance misses the point. Israel may be an American client state, but given the existential nature of the conflict that was reignited by the Hamas attacks of Oct. 7, it simply cannot afford to behave like a docile vassal.

Indeed, if there is anything that Netanyahu has learned in his long tenure as prime minister it is that those who always counsel caution and silence in the face of American betrayal don’t succeed. It is only by speaking up and making Israel’s case to the world, and most specifically, the American people, that it can maintain the alliance.


Way to go, Bibi!  

I have devoted a great deal of space to this issue precisely because the truth here is so important.  Please share this broadly.


Now let’s turn to the situation in the north.  Last Monday, US special envoy Amos Hochstein was here and declared his mission to ensure there would be no escalation in the north failed.  What he actually did was deliver ultimatums to Israel: you will not escalate your response.  This puts up Israeli backs big time.  It is a reflection of precisely what Jonathan Tobin was speaking of: the expectation that Israel will behave like a vassal state, taking orders.  Israel will not, and is preparing for war, should it be necessary.

On Tuesday, Hockstein went to Lebanon and spoke to officials there:

“Let me be clear, the conflict…between Israel and Hezbollah has gone on for long enough.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to solve it quickly and diplomatically. That is both achievable and it is urgent…

“It will take everyone’s interest in ending this conflict now and we believe that there is a pathway to diplomatically do it if the sides agree to it.”


How do we cope with representatives of the US who are so naïve… so stupid?

He was speaking with Lebanese officials, not officials of Hezbollah.  So what does he mean, “If the sides agree”? Which sides?

Lebanon truly does not want to see a war, but the question is whether Lebanon has the strength to prevent Hezbollah from acting. According to recent reports, Hezbollah, is now storing massive amounts of weapons at Rafic Hariri International Airport, Lebanon’s main civilian airport in Beirut.  


If Lebanon cannot stop this, what leverage do they have?

Hezbollah might well prefer something less than a full military confrontation, according to what I am reading. But it is taking orders from Iran. Diplomatic negotiations won’t work with them.  It is likely that only prospects of how hard they would be hit would deter them.


Consider: Hezbollah officials have been feeling nervous following Israel’s recent elimination of key Hezbollah leader Sami Taleb Abdullah on June 12.

They now understand the level of intelligence the IDF possess. Says Professor Amatzi Baram, “…the operation indicates that Hezbollah’s field security is not airtight and that the organization’s intelligence system has been penetrated to such an extent that we were able to eliminate such an important sector commander. The IDF managed to infiltrate their networks and systems and identify the right people for elimination…

Nasrallah realizes that the IDF has the ability to kill him whenever it wants, and I believe this worries him quite a bit. Contrary to popular belief, Nasrallah is not a suicidal Shiite yearning for death (martyrdom). He understands that he would be next in line to die if a full-scale war breaks out.” (Emphasis added)


Credit: CNN


I may yet have something to say about Hockstein and negotiations with Hezbollah on another day.

What I report here is information from CNN, citing a Biden administration official, that in event of a major escalation in the north, the US would “fully back” Israel – short of putting US troops on the ground, which is something Israel never seeks.


This is good to know. Defense Minister Gallant is now in Washington for important talks.


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.