Good Friday Morning! Except to the Denver Broncos, who seem to be in a dead heat with the Chicago Bears in inventing new ways of losing. Somehow, we keep putting them in primetime games. Please make it stop.
Obviously, the big story this week is the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel. Late Thursday, Israel told the UN it had 24 hours to help evacuate 1.1 million people from an area in Gaza, including UN staff. That seems to suggest we’re about to get a weekend military operation. The timeline is extreme, but I also get it. Israel has to start moving to get the hostages out. The longer they stay in Hamas’ care, the worse off they’ll be. Any operations here will kick off Israel’s work on taking over Gaza. As I wrote in my Monday column, this is the first step of Israel’s plans. The next step involves Iran.
This week, I will dive into what’s animating the Democratic opposition to Israel and go through the most critical country in this conflict – links to follow.
- As I was writing this and watching football, Steve Scalise stepped out of the Speakers race. He won enough caucus votes but couldn’t line up enough floor votes. Jim Jordan came in second in that vote and is now trying to cobble together enough votes to obtain the speakership. There is some work being done to bring back McCarthy, too. I’m not overly convinced Jim Jordan will have enough support – he’s burned many bridges over the years. In 2017, Politico did a piece on John Boehner after he’d retired. Here’s how that began: “Breaking the ice, I mention some news of the day—that Trey Gowdy appears likely to become chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The previous chairman, Jason Chaffetz, had abruptly announced his resignation from Congress; House conservatives had hoped that Jim Jordan, a senior member on the committee, might pursue the chairmanship. Boehner grins. “Gowdy—that’s my guy, even though he doesn’t know how to dress,” he says. Then Boehner leans back in his chair. “F*** Jordan. F*** Chaffetz. They’re both assholes.” I’ve only had one column rejected in my time writing syndicated columns — it was a piece slamming Jim Jordan for doing some of the same things Gaetz is doing now. It’s probably for the best it got rejected. Still, I’d also say this: do not underestimate how many people in the House hate Jim Jordan. There’s a reason he was second in caucus votes. I have no idea how House will go. Maybe Jordan convinces enough people. But this is a deep mess at a time when the GOP needs unity to handle aid/support to Israel.
- Paul Krugman declared victory over inflation this week. He points out that the issue is solved if you remove every item with inflation right now. My favorite meme was someone saying if you removed everything from the inflation equation, it’s a straight line. Regardless, here’s how I know Krugman is wrong about this topic. First, the Federal Reserve would start easing interest rates if inflation were defeated. Part of the reason markets are roiled, US Treasuries are surging, and mortgage rates are nearing 8% is because markets are starting to realize the Fed may not cut rates at all in 2024. Second, whatever happens the rest of the year, the Fed will keep these words in their statement: “Inflation remains elevated.” The war on inflation isn’t over.
Where you can find me this week
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Israel Faces Two Unavoidable Decisions After Iran’s Terrorist Attacks – Conservative Institute
America Must Ensure “Never Again” Becomes A Reality – Conservative Institute
Israel Declared War Against More Than Hamas – Conservative Institute
The Key to Leftist Opposition & The Country that Will Determine Everything
We’ll get into some of the broader points below, but I want to get out one of my frustrations of witnessing this war develop. Ever since Donald Trump descended that golden escalator in 2015, I’ve listened to a non-stop barrage of self-absorbed lunacy from people that believed they were standing athwart literal fascism/Nazism. It’s been eight years of this nonsense. People even bragged about punching Nazis. They built a whole literary genre called #Resist (The Washington Post’s primary book reviewer, Carlos Lozada, wrote a great book reviewing all those books).
And now, when there are dead Israelis murdered by Islamic radicals who espouse beliefs about Jews that are identical to the lines in Mein Kampf, suddenly, these #RESIST people go quiet. Or worse, they outright support Hamas. I’m not being uncharitable, either. Politico’s Playbook had a lengthy edition on Democrats who hate Israel:
The scale of Hamas’s attack on Saturday is far greater and more barbaric than any recent violence against Israel, but several House Democrats we spoke to last night are convinced that this political cycle will repeat itself.
“For the last couple of days we’ve seen all the pictures of girls who were killed at this festival and the children and the parents and the Holocaust survivor and the elderly, and the hundreds of people who are dead and the stories about them being raped,” one Democratic congressman told Playbook. “That’s over. Okay? The media is going to turn from all of that real soon. And the only images we’re going to see for the next couple of weeks are dead Palestinians.” The member added, “So that’s when the Progressive Caucus will get all ginned up.”
The most pro-Palestinian Democrats already see the conflict in starkly different terms from Biden and are using language that equates the Hamas attack and the Israeli response. Rep. CORI BUSH (D-Mo.), for instance, decried lives lost on both sides “following attacks by Hamas militants on Israeli border towns and Israeli military bombardment of Gaza.” She joined a handful of others on the left in calling for a “ceasefire and de-escalation” rather than reinforcing Israel’s right to retaliate and prevent future attacks.
Another Democratic member told Playbook that such views remained on the fringe but could easily spread, the same way that Ukraine aid skeptics went from the GOP’s fringe to its mainstream.
“Everyone just presumes that they’re going to play to type and say what they’re going to say. I don’t think anyone’s surprised about that. The key is making sure that it doesn’t grow and metastasize,” this Democratic congressman said. “The question is, a week from now or five days from now, what are we looking at when the counterassault begins in earnest?”
This tension among Democrats between backing Israel unequivocally and calling for restraint exists not just in Congress but within the Biden administration, as well. Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN deleted a tweet urging a “ceasefire” on Sunday, while State’s Office of Palestinian Affairs deleted a tweet urging “all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks.”
Now, please think about this for one minute. After the racist events in Charlottesville, Virginia, Donald Trump was lambasted for his “fine people on both sides” speech. Yet there’s not a difference between that speech and what Democratic Progressives are going to do.
I’ve got political science and law degrees, and I know my fair share of liberals. I’ve observed a stone-cold silence from a group of people who typically have TONS to say about every political event on Earth. I KNOW they’re following this because they’re news junkies. And yet, SILENCE.
The more likely a person has used “fascism” in their everyday conversations, the quieter they are about an event that happened by a group intent on killing Jews. This can’t be chalked up to simple “foreign policy stuff doesn’t carry in the news.” We’re talking about videos, pictures, and stories of women being raped, families burned alive, babies burned and beheaded, bodies mutilated, and more. We know this because Hamas live-streamed it.
And yet silence. Or worse, they’re already blaming Israelis.
ADL President Jonathan Greenblatt was on MSNBC blasting that network’s coverage of events. CNN interviewed more moderate Democratic Representatives who can’t explain why the hard left can’t condemn terrorism. MSNBC had another event, too, where an Israeli mother whose children had been kidnapped by Hamas snapped at Andrea Mitchell because MSNBC wanted to know what this mother thought about Israel overreacting.
The point I’m getting to is this: what happened in Israel is one of the most awful events in the last hundred years. More Jews were killed in this attack than at any point since the Holocaust. And what everyone knows is that Democrats are waiting for the right moment to pivot this conversation from terrorists being the bad guys to Israel being the villain. Hence, the silence.
The people who told us “words are violence,” that micro-aggressions are real, that “love solves everything,” who marched in the streets and burned cities in 2020, and who claim to be more tolerant than everyone else march in support of terrorists and murdering Jews. I’m saying this because everyone needs to buckle up — this will be the most divisive issue we’ve had yet. It will dwarf everything preceding it.
I was reminded this week of a video I originally saw in college. In it, David Horowitz is doing a Q&A session in California in 2010. He was speaking at an “Israel Apartheid Week” event on campus. A young woman asked him a question, demanding that he support his contention that the Muslim Brotherhood funded the campus group she was a member of.
Horowitz asks her: “Do you condemn Hamas?”
She refused to answer, saying that because of her race, Homeland Security would deem her a threat if she answered.
Horowitz naturally points out that if that’s the case, she supports Hamas. She tries to refuse, so he presents another question. Horowitz says, “I’m a Jew, the head of Hezbollah has said he hopes that we [the Jews] will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally.” Horowitz then looks at the woman at the microphone and asks, “For it or against it?”
She pauses, leans into the microphone, and says in a deep, menacing voice: “For it.”
Nothing has changed. Hamas was just as evil then as they are now. This isn’t about Palestinians, land, history, or anything else. One factor animates everything in this story: one group wants to murder Jews, and the other says that’s wrong.
And so, this issue is getting ready to divide the country unlike anything previous. I say that because a broader conflict is coming out of this on some level. I don’t see the momentum for WWIII, but a wide regional conflict in which it’s Israel vs. Iran, and all the Middle Eastern countries line up along those lines isn’t out of the equation. The Biden admin will push HARD to prevent Israel from attacking Iran. Israel wants vengeance, though, and who can blame them?
WWIII only happens if China uses this as an excuse to launch its own invasion of Taiwan (there are reasons for them to do so). That would trigger the United States and India to side with Israel and against China. And Russia would jump in to help China. That’s why the White House keeps saying, “Don’t anyone else try to use this Hamas attack to do anything else.” The White House is terrified and trying to prevent a larger conflict.
The White House is neither prepared nor wants to think about this scenario. That’s why Biden didn’t reference Iran in his speech, and everyone in the White House denies Iran had a role in this event despite that being virtually impossible.
The other point that makes this White House deeply uncomfortable is that the most important country in this situation is not Israel or Iran. It’s Saudi Arabia. And Biden’s staff have severely damaged our relationship with the Saudis.
Towards the end of Trump’s term, Jared Kushner was working towards what we now call the Abraham Accords. He had a good relationship with the Saudis; whether that was good or bad is another question, but he was able to use that to convince these Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel.
The country he couldn’t land was Saudi Arabia. They were open to a deal but wanted more. And time ended up running out on the Trump admin. At least we got the Abraham Accords while the buzzer sounded.
Saudi Arabia and Iran hate each other. Iran is actively funding terrorist groups and more to try and undermine the Saudis. And the Saudis are doing the same. The problem for the Saudis is that they face a ticking time bomb internally. There’s an excellent breakdown of the Saudi problem done by RealLifeLore, and he breaks that down better than any written piece I’ve ever read.
The short version is this: Saudi Arabia needs two things: 1) A deal with Israel and 2) A defense treaty with the United States. Biden has pushed them away on the defense treaty. A pact with Israel is not out of the window, but this White House isn’t advocating it. If Saudi Arabia signed that deal, the rest of the region would line up behind them.
Iran does not want Saudi Arabia to sign any deals. A fragmented Middle East is better for them. The key to everything is where does Saudi Arabia go? They are under immense pressure not to cut a deal with Israel but also face the real issue that they need one. The House of Saud holds the keys and will determine everything. They’re the ones to watch.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. And remember, the way to achieve peace in Gaza, which some of these protesters claim they want, is the unconditional surrender or Hamas with the safe return of hostages. If the protestors don’t want that, they’re telling on themselves.
Links of the week
No Daylight – Matthew Continetti, The Washington Free Beacon
‘It Is Right to Rebel! Israel, Go to Hell!’ After the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, hundreds rejoiced on the streets of New York. – Olivia Reingold and Francesca Block, The Free Press
The Death of Hamas’ Weakness Excuse, or Why Might Can Be Right: The west is in love with the idea that morality is simply a function of who has power and strength. If you have it, you’re morally bad. If you don’t, you’re morally good. On Saturday, Hamas showed how this is nonsense. – Avi Woolf, JFeed
Campus Anti-Semites Plot ‘Day Of Resistance’ In Support Of Hamas: Students for Justice in Palestine calls terrorist attacks ‘historic win,’ urge followers to pivot away from facts when discussing conflict with Israel – The Daily Wire
The Ideology of Mass Murder: Hamas and the origins of the October 7th attacks. – Jeffrey Herf, Quillette
Iran Has Made $80 Billion in Illicit Oil Sales Since Biden Took Office: Biden administration’s Iran policies under renewed scrutiny in light of Hamas’s weekend attack – Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon
Today Is Israel’s 9/11: The terrorists went house to house. They maimed. They murdered. They mutilated. – Noah Pollak, The Free Press
Campus Cowardice and Where the Buck Stops: Microaggressions are met with moral condemnation. But actual violence is tolerated—even glorified. On the rot inside our universities and what to do about it. – Bari Weiss, The Free Press
LONDON: Four UK Jewish schools close ‘in interests of the safety of our precious children’: It comes as Jewish students were being warned by schools to disguise their uniform because of a fear of retaliatory attacks caused by the ongoing war in Israel. – Sky News
The Gathering Storm: War in Ukraine, terrorism in Israel, threats to Taiwan: we’re witnessing a gathering storm, reminiscent of the 1930s. What are the consequences for America? – Michael Baron, Washington Examiner
X/Twitter Thread(s) of the week
Satire of the week
REPORT: Coworker Gone So Long They Definitely Pooped – Reductress
Uh Oh: Date Just Referred to VHS Collection as “Nest Egg” – The Hard Drive
‘Back To The Rain Again’ And Other Lines To Blurt Out To Complete Strangers – Waterford Whispers News
Thanks for reading!