Tag Archives: Israel

Talk to us, Mr. POTUS!

President Biden doesn’t need or want unsolicited advice from a North Texas blogger … but he’s going to get it anyway.

Mr. President, you say you don’t follow the polls, that they are meaningless this far out from an election. However, they are not trending in your favor.

Here’s what I believe you ought to do: talk to us, as in stand in front of the nation and tell us — in detail — what in the world you are doing to resolve the myriad problems facing this nation.

Do not rely so heavily on your Cabinet members, or on the vice president, to explain the administration’s policies.

Mr. President, you need first and foremost to call the immigration matter along on our southern border what it is: a crisis! You, sir, need to tell us in no uncertain terms that we are facing a crisis with thousands of undocumented immigrants seeking entry into the United States.

Do not let Secretary or State Antony Blinken spell out your policy; do it yourself. Don’t rely on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speak on the issue, either. He’s damaged goods among many Americans who believe he has turned his back on securing the border.

Same is true for the war in Ukraine, and with Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. Mr. President, your relative silence on these matters is giving grist to the phony narrative that you have slipped a step or two.

Women’s reproductive rights also require the president’s voice. I admire Vice President Harris, but she’s No. 2 in the executive branch of government; we need to hear from No. 1 … that would be you!

Mr. President, I offer this advice as someone who voted for you in 2020 and who wants to see you re-elected next year. I am troubled by the lying that comes from those who suggest you don’t have the snap to talk to us intelligently about these issues. I believe you are fully capable of handling the job to which we elected you.

I just want you to hear more from you and less from those who speak for you.

How about it, Mr. President? Talk to us!

Hamas wants extension … to what end?

Did I hear it correctly, that the terrorist organization Hamas is willing to extend the four-day cease-fire in the war it started with Israel?

Well, before we embrace this as a show of compassion for the hostages Hamas is releasing, I want to caution y’all about why Hamas might be willing to extend the cease-fire.

It well might be only to reorganize its command and control network, which the Israeli Defense Forces have disrupted since mounting its counteroffensive after the Oct. 7 rocket fusillade that Hamas launched into Israeli cities.

You see, Hamas is about as trustworthy as the nastiest murderers who ever have lived.

I get that I and most of the world are way on the outside trying to peer into the inner workings of this shadowy group. I also know that Israeli intelligence officials — among the best in the world — likely know what Hamas is up to as it sues for an extension of the cease-fire.

I am left only to hope that Mossad — the Israeli spy network — knows what gives with Hamas’s efforts to keep the Israelis’ bombardment at bay. If it’s for real, that it only intends to release more hostages during the cease-fire, then I’m all in.

I fear that Hamas very well might have more sinister motives in mind. If the Israelis discover that Hamas merely is buying time to reorganize and re-form its command and control apparatus, then they must resume their offensive with full force.

Hamas must give up its fight

Nearly 15 years ago I was preparing to leave for Israel on a month-long Rotary International journey that would take us through the entire length of the country.

Then came a barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel launched by the Hamas terrorists. Israeli Defense Forces launched a counterattack; the entire venture put our trip into jeopardy. RI, though, was in contact with the brand new State Department formed by newly elected Barack Obama and eventually, the IDF was able to put down the Hamas rebellion. We were good to go.

And so we went.

We learned immediately about the fear under which most Israelis live. They fear that their Muslim neighbors will attack them without warning. Yes, they have peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt. However, when the shooting starts, would they remain loyal to the treaty they signed with Israel or would they side with their Muslim brethren?

The Israeli fear of attack is real. Which is why I continue to support the Israelis’ effort to eradicate Hamas from Earth’s face. I get that the civilian casualties inflicted on Palestinians are unacceptable, but I also believe the Israelis’ assertion that they are not targeting civilians … not in the way Hamas does by (a) firing rockets into Israeli neighborhoods and (b) hiding among civilians in Gaza.

Hamas started this war with Israel. It now falls on the Israelis to finish it, either by wiping out the terrorists or by asserting enough military pressure on them to force Hamas to seek peace — finally! — with their sworn enemy.

Israel is surrounded by people who want all Jews eradicated. That, by itself, is unacceptable.

They have stopped fighting for a few days to enable an exchange of hostages. I certainly welcome that. What happens next must depend on what the terrorists will do.

Can the fighting now end?

Israel and Hamas have declared a four-day ceasefire while they exchange the release of hostages.

Four days? That’s all the time they are buying. I am now wondering if it is humanly possible that Hamas — the terrorists who started this war — will realize that life is better for them if they can continue to exhibit some level of human decency. Or will they return to their bloodthirsty way once the four days are up and Israel will continue its military campaign to destroy the organization that vows to do the same to Israel?

Complicated … but simple

My unabashed support for Israel as it prepares to defend itself Hamas is both complicated and simple.

I will start with the simple part. The Israeli Defense Force is charged with defending the nation against foreign enemies. Hamas presents an existential threat of the first magnitude. It launched its attack on Israel a week ago and the violence has killed many Palestinians and Israelis.

What does Israel do? It must defend itself against a well-armed, massive terrorist organization whose mission is to destroy Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared he intends to make Hamas realize it has made a “terrible mistake.”

The second simple element of my support for Israel is because of my many Israeli friends. I acquired these friendships during the monthlong visit to Israel in May-June 2009. I have stayed in touch with many of them. I worry terribly that they might be victimized by the terrorists. Anyone with friends who live in these danger zones know of what I speak.

The complicated part? It deals with Netanyahu and the hardline policies his Likud party policies. I am not a fan of Netanyahu and his view that the Palestinians share some of the guilt for the crimes delivered by the terrorists. Likud refuses to grant Palestinians all the benefits of citizenship.

Is there any justification for Hamas acting as it did with its massive rocket attack against Israel? No. Then again, the Israelis could have ameliorated the concerns of the Palestinians by backing off on the hardline policies it has enacted against the Palestinians. Israel’s hard line seems to have given Hanas some form of perverted justification for acting as it did.

The Israelis’ response to this attack is likely to be bloody beyond measure. There is no way on God’s good Earth that the counterattack will be free of collateral damage. That’s largely because the cowardly Hamas strategy is to hide among the women and children who live in Gaza.

I must stand with the Israelis.

Halt the sideshows!

Sideshows can be found even in the deepest of international crises … such as what we’re witnessing now as Israel goes to war with a dreaded international terrorist organization.

Far from the field of battle, congressional Republicans are looking to blame individuals within the Democratic administration for the intelligence failures that produced the stunning surprise when Hamas opened fire on Israel.  U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., has called for the immediate resignation of national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who she said misled Americans about the threat posed by Hamas.

It’s another political sideshow.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed a “unity government’ with his political foes with whom he will work to quell this assault on Israeli citizens by Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.

It’s going to get even bloodier and more tragic, we all fear, as Israel prepares a massive counterattack to, in Netanyahu’s words, “wipe Hamas off the face of the Earth.”

Let’s put a hold on the sideshow, shall we, while Israel prepares to defend itself against a terrorist organization that says its No. 1 mission is to destroy our nation’s most dependable ally in the Middle East.

Cowards pose danger

Let there be no mistaking this clear fact, which is that the terror group Hamas — even as cowardly as they are — pose an existential threat to those who live within range of their weaponry.

The world is witnessing how effective cowards can be in waging war. Hamas launched an unprecedented barrage of missiles against Israel over the weekend, prompting the Israelis to counterattack and then declare a state of all-out war against the terrorists.

The cowards are hiding behind the civilians who surround them. They are forcing the Israeli armed forces to hit them in the middle of their civilian “shields.” What’s more, it must be noted that Hamas targets civilians living in Israel.

The death count among civilians is mounting rapidly as the onslaught continues. Hamas fires its rockets at cities such as Ashkelon, Eilat, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel responds by aiming at military targets … which sadly are sandwiched among civilians, making collateral casualties a sad factor of urban warfare.

This war has no apparent end in sight. It will last for as long as Hamas continues to pursue the coward’s path, which means it will attack civilians in Israel and then hide behind civilians in Gaza.

The cowards are seeking civilians in Gaza and slaughtering them in their homes. They are taking victims hostage and then threatening to kill them upon each Israeli attack.

How does one deal with such cowardice? You do it as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged: teaching Hamas a lesson that they have made a “terrible mistake” by hitting Israel with its rocket barrage.

It’s doubtful cowards will heed that lesson. What’s left, then, is to inflict as much damage as possible on them … which I am certain the Israelis will be able to do.

Israel is right to defend itself

Some of my right-wing friends already are looking for U.S. politicians to blame for Hamas’s sudden and vicious attack on Israel over the weekend, forcing the Israelis to declare war against the terrorists.

Who are our right-wing friends blaming? President Biden, of course. They say that Iranians helped Hamas plot the attack that caught the Israelis off-guard. These right-wingers also contend that Iran was able to assist Hamas because of a $6 billion payment made to secure the release of Americans helped captive in Iran.

Hold on! The Iranians haven’t yet received a nickel of that money, meaning that the deal played no role — none! — in the Iranians’ ability to assist in planning the Hamas attack on Israel.

For the record, I believe Israel has every right to defend itself against terrorists such as Hamas, which targets civilians deliberately when it launches these attacks against Israel. I fear for my many friends in Israel, as some of them live near Gaza City, which is controlled by Hamas.

One horrific consequence of Israel’s response to Hamas’s attack will be that it, too, will inflict civilian casualties. Why? Because hides its high command in the middle of civilian neighborhoods, and make no mistake that Israel is looking to take out the commanders who are coordinating these attacks.

My five weeks in Israel in the spring of 2009 almost give me a stake in seeing how this drama plays out. I intend to stand with the Israelis as they seek to root out the monsters who have started this war.

Netanyahu is out!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the world’s greatest enigmas, in my humble view.

The soon to be former prime minister of Israel toes a hard line against Palestinians, against the terror groups that hide among them, and to the security of his nation. I understand Netanyahu’s concern about Israeli security.

I spent more than a month there in the spring of 2009. I saw up close what Israelis face daily, being so close to nations that at various times either have wanted to destroy Israel or have actually gone to war with them to achieve that end. I mean, they require new homes to have fortified bomb shelters built in.

I sought an interview with Netanyahu while we were touring the country. He was too busy to meet with me, then a working daily journalist. Oh, well.

A coalition government has formed that will remove Bibi Netanyahu from office. He is going out with some rhetorical fire in his nostrils. He is criticizing President Biden for reasons that escape me, given the president’s long-standing support of Israel; it might have something to do with Biden’s insistence on a two-state solution to find peace with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. He has made plenty of enemies along the way, allowing the construction of Israeli home in the Palestinian-occupied West Bank. That is where my feelings conflict about Netanyahu. While I support the man’s insistence on protecting Israelis against Palestinian terrorists, I have difficulty with this move toward encroaching even more deeply into Palestinian territory with construction of homes for Israeli families. It’s as if he is picking a needless fight.

I am heartened by the belief that Israel will survive this huge power change. It is a beautiful, thriving and progressive country. It serves as something of an oasis in a parched and desolate region. I want them to succeed, as I have many friends there. I wish only peace for them.

It well might inch its way toward a permanent state now that Benjamin Netanyahu, a chief antagonist, is being pushed aside.

What happened to Middle East peace?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This thought just kicked in.

Didn’t the most recent ex-POTUS task his son-in-law to come up with a comprehensive peace agreement?

Jared Kushner got the assignment from Donald Trump. He went here and there during Trump’s term in office. The administration announced deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and with Bahrain, right?

But what about Hamas, the terrorists who run the West Bank and Gaza? They launched rockets into Israel; the Israelis fought back.

Then the Joe Biden administration turned up the heat on the Israelis and on Hamas to get a cease-fire deal done … as in right now!

They did.

However, I am just wondering why Jared Kushner’s alleged diplomatic “genius” failed to produce an agreement.