🇵🇸 Why Gen Z loves Palestine,
🪖 Israel’s new ground strategy,
🇺🇸 How Qatar lobbied the U.S. government🔒,
And everything else you need to know.
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An update on Israel’s ground offensive
What’s happening: Israeli ground operations in the Gaza Strip have expanded over the past few days, signaling that Israel’s war with Hamas has entered a “new phase.”
The strategy: Israel is likely planning to surround Northern Gaza, relying on siege tactics rather than launching a wholesale invasion, to starve Hamas of fuel, food, and water over a period of months or up to a year.
The upside: A siege would avoid the dangers of near-impossible close-quarters urban combat that Hamas has prepared for and limit the expected number of IDF casualties. A significant number of reservists may also be released back into civilian life, lifting an economic burden.
The goal: To destroy Hamas’s military capabilities and remove them from political power. Rescuing the almost 240 hostages seems to be a secondary priority.
Civilians: Two-thirds of the 1.1 million civilians in Northern Gaza have moved south in accordance with Israel’s evacuation order. This still leaves hundreds of thousands of civilians in what will become the sieged area.
Why? Some have not left Northern Gaza for one of two reasons. Either to do so would conjure memories of the First Arab-Israeli War of 1948 when 750,000 Palestinians became refugees, or Hamas has prevented their leaving by putting up roadblocks and discrediting the evacuation orders as “propaganda.”
Important: The New York Times reported that Hamas — the governing body of Gaza — has a large stockpile of food, water, and fuel that it is refusing to provide to its people.
Why it matters: The fighting that has taken place since October 7 is only the beginning. While concerns over a second front with Lebanon have partially subsided, it appears Israel will have a difficult, prolonged war on its hands that will also take a toll on Gazan civilians.
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WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
🚨 Texas bill lets police arrest migrants. The Texas House voted to make illegal migration a state crime, not just a federal crime, allowing local police to arrest migrants. The state Senate and Gov. Greg Abbott have already signaled that they will approve it. The bill would be the most direct challenge to President Joe Biden’s authority over border security yet. (New York Times)
🪖 Iran proxies retaliate against U.S. On Friday, Iran-backed militias launched an attack drone that the U.S. military shot down and multiple rockets that failed to hit U.S. troops. These came in response to U.S. airstrikes hours earlier. The U.S. hopes to prevent escalation in the Middle East through deterrence, but critics fear that Iran won’t stop attacking because its proxy groups are expendable. (New York Times Breitbart)
🗳️ Rep. Dean Philips challenges Biden for 2024. The Minnesota lawmaker announced his run for the Democratic presidential nomination last week, a campaign that Politico analyst Jack Shafer calls pointless. Philips’ early messaging has been heavily focused on the incumbent’s age and unpopularity. (Politico)
🔎 Maine mass shooting suspect found dead. On Friday, authorities found the body of Robert Card, who appeared to have shot himself dead after fatally shooting 18 people in Maine last week. Card was an award-winning Army sergeant who was put in a mental institution after threatening to shoot up a military base this summer. He was released after two weeks. (Fox News, Sun Journal)
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he plans to examine two separate bills for military aid to Israel and Ukraine and "aggressively" investigate the Biden family. (Fox News)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called for supporting Israel and shifting U.S. foreign policy to counter China and Iran at a Heritage Foundation event. (USA Today)
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the death toll reported by Gaza’s Hamas-controlled health ministry is not trustworthy. (The Recount via X)
Rev. Coronel West held a banner at a pro-Palestinian rally portraying “Zionism” as a snake, a trope tying back to Soviet-era antisemitism. (Breitbart)
Why Gen Z loves Palestine
The kids are not alright: The brutal Hamas attacks on innocent Israelis earlier this month revealed the radicalism of rhetoric long-festering at elite college campuses.
At Harvard, a coalition of student groups published a letter claiming Israel was “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”
The president of the New York University Student Bar Association argued that “Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life.”
George Washington University students projected the phrase “Glory to our martyrs” on the side of the school library.
Students for Justice in Palestine, which boasts hundreds of chapters on campuses across the country, stated the Hamas attacks were “a historic win for the Palestinian resistance.”
The numbers: More than two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. should side with Israel over Hamas. But on college campuses, young Americans are far less likely to support Israel in this conflict than their older peers—nearly half said the Hamas attacks could be justified.
Why? The academy and the political Left condemn Israel as an extension of white Western settler-colonialism — and Palestinians are, by proxy, yet another example of the oppressed victims of Western imperialism.
Black Lives Matter: It’s not uncommon to hear left-wing activists argue that Zionism is “racism, settler-colonialism, white supremacy, apartheid” — and to link the Palestinian resistance to homegrown “liberation” movements here in the U.S.
The worldview: Some would argue that Israelis are neither white nor Western. But to the left, those are minor details. An ideology that views the world through a binary lens — oppressive white colonizers and oppressed nonwhite subjects — is inevitably going to be hostile to a country like Israel.
How Qatar bought the DC foreign policy establishment
The oil-rich country has shaped U.S. foreign policy for years.
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POLL RESULTS FROM FRIDAY
Should Washington be harder on Qatar?
⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🤔 Unsure (36)
👍 Yes: “Qatar has its own agenda. It is not what is best for America.” — Norma
👎 No: ”Qatar is emerging as the Switzerland of the Middle East, in terms of stability and partnerships with “all sides” on a wide range of issues. It has a very useful role to play.” — Bernie
🤔 Unsure: ”I want to say, “yes,” but then, again, can the information we hear even be believed? — Anonymous
IN THE LOOP
Former Vice President Mike Pence has called off his presidential campaign after failing to gain support for the Republican nomination. (New York Times)
Gov. Ron DeSantis is helping to supply ammunition, helmets, body armor, weapons, and medical supplies to Israel. (Associated Press)
China sees a spike in online antisemitism as the nation tries to assert itself in the Middle East and ally with Palestinians. (New York Times)
Protesters broke into an airport in Dagestan, Russia, attempting to attack Jews arriving on a flight from Tel Aviv, Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
The United Auto Workers union reportedly reached tentative agreements with Ford and Stellantis but is expanding its strike at General Motors. (Reuters, CNBC)
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