From Israel: “We are SOOO tired of this!!”

The so-called news runs round and round, bringing on that weariness referred to above.  There are conflicting versions of any given situation, and the same information is recycled while we wait for events to crystallize.

Yesterday (Sunday), for example, the “news” that made headlines was that Israeli security agencies said  Hamas didn’t want a ceasefire and hostage release – it wanted to increase violence over Ramadan.


But I had written about this last Thursday.  

So, while we wait for something significant to happen, let’s focus first on good news about Israel. Following this, I will share some pertinent information.


Newsweek has partnered with Statista for an annual ranking of the 250 best hospitals in the world.  Among these hospitals, Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan (outside of Tel Aviv) was ranked ninth.

World’s Best Hospitals 2024 – Newsweek Rankings

Credit: Courtesy

Sheba is the key site for treatment and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.  It has an amazing 98% survival rate for battlefield injuries and plays a leading role in integrated physical and mental rehabilitation.

This hospital already had a major facility for rehabilitation and expanded it in response to the war, drawing on new technology.


As I write, we have lost well over 500 soldiers since October 7, but the number of wounded is far greater: over 6,000 have been injured, some 2,000 permanently disabled.

Credit: Oded Balilty/AP

They have given their best, displaying enormous courage and incredibly positive attitudes. Our debt to them is beyond measure. They receive the best possible care in return.  


There is another sort of remarkable rehabilitation going on in response to the war as well:

The untold story is that the attack on October 7 was also a methodical and strategic attack against the agriculture of the western Negev region,” says Danielle Abraham, executive director of Volcani International Partnerships (VIP) and a leader of its new ReGrow Israel philanthropic project.

“Nahal Oz head of agriculture Moran Freibach, who also suffered personal losses, didn’t let the devastation defeat him. 

In an open field between the kibbutz and the Gaza Strip, Freibach and his crew went out with a tank for protection and planted wheat, undeterred by the nearby booms of war

“’He said that Hamas understood the importance of agriculture here, of people’s connection to the land and the national dream of making the desert bloom,’ says Abraham. 

“‘If Hamas is going to try to destroy our connection with the land,’ he told me, ‘we will replant and do it bigger and better.’” (Emphasis added)

The first goal of this philanthropic initiative is to raise $25 million to replace all damaged farm equipment.

“The next step is to rehab the affected 40,000 hectares of western Negev agricultural land  — which formerly supplied 70 percent of Israel’s fresh produce – at a whole new level of economic resilience and ecological sustainability.”

Abraham explained: “Other organizations responded in an incredible way, focusing primarily on rescuing the harvest and easing the manual labor crisis. Both of these are critically important, but they are not a long-term strategy.” 

Credit: Tel Aviv University

“Uniquely, ReGrow is addressing the medium to long term, in tandem with the farmers and the experts.”

Amazing, is all I can say. The people of Israel are extraordinary for their courage and determination.  This is why I know we will win.  

See more below about the ReGrowIsrael project.  



Ramadan began Sunday night.  There had been some confusion as to precisely when this would happen because the Muslim calendar is lunar, and it is necessary for there to be a sighting of the new moon for the month to begin.

As I wrote previously, Netanyahu had overruled Ben Gvir regarding limitations on visits to the Temple Mount by Israeli Arabs.  There were just a few scuffles on the first day, and now I see some indication that “Israeli Arabs” refers only to those with full citizenship and not those who have residency in Jerusalem.  If this is the case, it changes the dynamics.  


Looking past the Temple Mount, there is also considerable concern about the attempt by Hamas to significantly rachet up terror in Judea & Samaria. Since the start of the war, Yaakov Lapin tells us, the IDF in Judea & Samaria has been conducting “more raids, more robustly, particularly in the camps against organized armed groups.

Since the start of the war, the IDF has rounded up 3,400 security detainees in Judea and Samaria, with some 1,500 of them affiliated with Hamas. That’s more than the army typically arrests in an entire year.”  The IDF is seeking to remove “inciting elements.” (Emphasis added)


Credit: Israel Hayom


There is also concern about possible terror attacks by Arabs inside of Israel.  It has now been cleared for publication that the Shin Bet, after months of investigation, has arrested a squad of 13 Israeli Arabs from the north of Israel who had “hatched a terrorist plan with the involvement of the Hamas terrorist organization…” 



  1.  Ramadan has started.  Israel had said clearly that if there was no hostage deal with Hamas by the start of Ramadan, the major operation into Rafah, at the south of Gaza, would begin.

And so, nu?  

I recently received confirmation that came from a source inside the Netanyahu administration indicating that we were, indeed, going in. I had found this reassuring, as anxiety lingers about the international pressure for us to desist and the cries about the dangers to the “civilians” there.

But there was no indication as to precisely when we would go in.  (Minor actions are already taking place.)

Just today, Netanyahu said:  “We can’t leave a quarter of the Hamas terror army in place. They’re there, in Rafah. This would be equivalent to saying that after the Allies fought back, gone through Normandy, went through Germany and you’d say, ‘Well we’ll leave a quarter of the Nazi army in place and we won’t go into Berlin, the last stronghold.’

It’s either Israel or Hamas. There’s no middle way. We have to have that victory. We can’t have three-quarters of a victory, we can’t have two-thirds of a victory, because Hamas will reconstitute itself with these four battalions in Rafah, reconquer the Gaza Strip, and do the October 7 massacre over and over again.” (Emphasis added)


This is pretty clear.  


The hold-up is Joe Biden, who is attempting to prevent our going in.  Not only does he change his story from time to time, what he proposes is sometimes garbled.

The hostage deal that was on the table proposed a ceasefire in return for release of hostages.  Hamas didn’t accept this because they want a full termination of hostilities.

And what did Biden suggest?  He attempted to turn the proposed deal on its head: Let’s give Hamas a ceasefire with no promise from them of return of hostages.  Once Hamas has that ceasefire, he implied, the terrorists would be willing to release hostages.

Oh, definitely.

See Caroline Glick on this, here:


Credit: Facebook


At one point in his State of the Union address last Thursday, the president said he would get the hostages out.  Another “Yea, sure.”

See Jonathan Tobin, editor of JNS, for the “moral failure” of that address:

“The president’s hyper-partisan address had more harsh words for Israel than Hamas, for whom he offered a floating pier. He said not a word about the surge in antisemitism.”



On Saturday, in an interview with MSNBC, Biden had criticized our plans to go into Rafah as “a red line,” although elsewhere he contradicted himself on this.

He said that Netanyahu was “hurting Israel more than helping Israel.”

Our prime minister was quick to respond in an interview on Politico:  “I don’t know what the president meant, but if he meant that I lead a policy against the majority of the Israeli public and that it harms Israel’s interests, he is wrong on both counts.

“This is not just my private policy, it is a policy supported by the vast majority of Israelis,” the prime minister pointed out.

“They support the action we are taking to destroy the remaining terrorist battalions of Hamas.

“They say that once we have eliminated Hamas, the last thing we should do is bring the Palestinian Authority into Gaza, which educates its children in terrorism and finances terrorism — and they also support my position that we must absolutely reject the attempt to impose a Palestinian terrorist state on us.” 



One of Biden’s “innovations,” announced during his State of the Union, was the construction by the US army of a temporary pier in the waters outside Gaza that would be used for transferring humanitarian aid to the Gazan civilians – food, medications, temporary shelters.  Shipments would be checked in Cyprus first. It would take about two months to complete.  No American boots would be on the ground in Gaza.  

There was criticism inside of the US with regard to this use of American military personnel, when there is so much – e.g., the border – that requires attention.  

Said Richard Goldberg, senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington DC, “The White House is truly flailing. We can’t secure our own border, but we can build a port in Gaza…

“Our military can’t be used to actually defend the United States, restore deterrence against our enemies, enforce sanctions, or rescue American hostages—but it can be put to work building a port in Gaza.”  


Goldberg noted that Israel has made it clear it has “zero limits” on aid coming into the Gaza Strip. “It’s sad the White House resorts to this for its base politics.”


The US is saying that Israel is on board with this, but that is not entirely the case. Some critics express concern that even more aid will be coopted by Hamas as it is brought in, thereby delaying our victory.  And there is unease about the presence of US military, even if off-shore, involved in the situation directly.

There is a great deal that is yet unclear as to how the humanitarian aid would be distributed once brought into Gaza from the pier.


Yesterday, Defense Minister Gallant expressed a positive attitude that addressed some of the concerns:

“The process is designed to facilitate aid directly to civilians and in this way, it advances [our goal] of overthrowing Hamas’ rule in Gaza.

“We will work so that the aid reaches those in need and not those who do not.”


In picture below he is reviewing plans for this project.

Credit: Elad Malka


My own immediate thoughts on this project:  Biden, in his desire to win progressive support in the election, has increasingly come down on Israel. He has made charges against Israel that are blatantly fallacious.     

If direct aid facilitated by the US via that pier allows him to show how much he is doing for the civilians of Gaza, perhaps this will suffice politically for him; he might back off from some of that criticism of Israel and stop trying so hard to undercut us.  He has made comments about how Israel has not done enough and so the US has had to step in.

I believe, first, in Israel asserting her sovereignty, and in her right to make decisions that are appropriate for us.  But it is an imperfect world, and I suspect we must play the game to some extent in order to accomplish our larger goals.  I have been impressed by the degree to which Netanyahu has stood firm against Biden, speaking forthrightly.  But assisting with this project – which might or might not be a good idea logistically – just might have political repercussions for us that are positive.

It remains to be seen.


Note this important observation from Israel Kasnett:

We are witnessing a massive ramp-up in Hamas disinformation in its 11th hour, directly wired into its supporters in the United States, who then exert political pressure on the White House, which gives into that pressure.

“The Hamas-U.N. machine is churning out claims, and the media reports them as fact.  The conversation they want is about an ‘aid crisis,’ ‘starvation,’ ‘ceasefire’ and more. Senior officials like Samantha Powers who have a history of Israel-bashing are more than happy to put USAID’s name on those claims. There’s no verification of sources going on anymore.”


Credit: Israel Hayom


Keep praying to Heaven for Israel, my friends.  Pray for the strength and wisdom of our leaders, for the safety of our soldiers, 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.