Weekend long read

1) Writing at Newsweek, John Spencer explains how ‘Israel Implemented More Measures to Prevent Civilian Casualties Than Any Other Nation in History’.

“No military fighting an entrenched enemy in dense urban terrain in an area barely twice the size of Washington D.C. can avoid all civilian casualties. Reports of over 25,000 Palestinians killed, be they civilians or Hamas, have made headlines. But Israel has taken more measures to avoid needless civilian harm than virtually any other nation that’s fought an urban war.

In fact, as someone who has served two tours in Iraq and studied urban warfare for over a decade, Israel has taken precautionary measures even the United States did not do during its recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

2) Hillel Neuer discusses ‘The UN’s Terrorism Teachers’.

“Many who watched the October 7 massacre likely wondered how a man’s mind can become so warped that he not only commits heinous acts of murder, rape, and mutilation, but proudly films this carnage for the world to see.

It is a complicated question. But one of the primary answers is found in the schools that mold the minds of young people in their formative years. In Gaza, the organization that does much of the molding is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA. That organization pays the salaries of teachers who call for the murder of Jews.” 

3) NGO Monitor reports on ‘The UNRWA Constellation: Partnerships with UN Agencies and Terror-Linked NGOs’.

“The mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), while highly controversial, is widely perceived as relating to humanitarian and educational objectives. UNRWA’s website lists “primary and vocational education, primary health care, relief and social services, infrastructure and camp improvement, microfinance and emergency response.”

However, beyond its core role in fueling the conflict for the past 74 years as well as severe problems with terror links, antisemitism (discussed briefly below) and corruption, UNRWA also engages in extensive politicized anti-Israel “advocacy work in response to the needs of Palestine refugees affected by the Israeli occupation,” such as “in-person protection briefings to external partners including the donor and diplomatic community.” This activity often involves partnerships with international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as other UN agencies.”

4) At WINEP, Michael Singh and Matthew Levitt explain why ‘The Only Way to Stop Hamas Is to Stop Iran from Rebuilding It’.

“In a matter of weeks, Israel could conclude its ground offensive in southern Gaza. Talk in Western capitals has already turned to the “day after”—what will be needed to rebuild Gaza. Meanwhile, Iran will be focused on rebuilding Hamas and preparing for the next war. If Israel and its allies aim to prevent a repeat of the Oct. 7 attack, they must counter Tehran.”

5) At the State of Tel Aviv website, Shany Mor discusses ‘Israel’s Obligations Under the Genocide Convention’.

“If the Genocide Convention goes the way of, say, the UN Human Rights Council, and becomes a meaningless provision used by failing regimes and wealthy petro-dictatorships to mobilize hatred against Israel and distract from their own problems, we will all be poorer for it.”

6) Balazs Berkovits discusses ‘The October 7th pogrom as a non-event on the Western left’.

“Since the 7th of October we are appalled by the continuous flow of reactions denouncing Israel and only Israel. We are especially appalled by those that come out of academic institutions, articulated by scholars and intellectuals. But should we be surprised and shocked? Was this response to the atrocities committed by Hamas, aided by their civilian Palestinian collaborators, not entirely predictable?” 

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