This week, I was asked to try to disentangle the confusing web of news, speculation, disinformation, and strategic implications of what has been happening in Israel and the region for the last few weeks.

No problem. Easy Peasy.

Seriously, though, so much scrutiny has been placed on the main protagonists that I feel maybe some facts on the ground aren’t being seen or understood. So I’ll try to shine some light on a few things.

First, The plan announced yesterday by the President to build a temporary port in Gaza does several things. It takes some pressure off of Israel in getting humanitarian resources into Gaza, and it does so without further endangering IDF personnel. Up until now, much of the challenge hasn’t been getting aid to Gaza (there are hundreds of truckloads sitting on the Gaza side of the border, already searched by Israel and ready to go in.) The problem is distribution. As many of you have seen, Hamas or their proxies commandeer most of the aid, and UNRWA doesn’t bat an eye or make a peep about it. UNRWA, complicit and silent and corrupted by decades of cooperation with terrorists, can't be the address for aid going where it is most needed. The American initiative will do its best, potentially with Arab partners, to securely get aid in quickly and to appropriate alternative channels of distribution, and it will hopefully keep Hamas out of the equation. The initiative has been welcomed by the Israeli government.

Second, the Israeli government is now demonstrating some of the internal tensions that existed before the war. Minister Benny Gantz, who joined after October 7th in a demonstration of unity, recently made a trip to Washington and London, without the blessing of Prime Minister Netanyahu. He met with Secretary Blinken and Minister Cameron, and it seems his conversations were practical rather than political. Nonetheless, PM Netanyahu instructed embassies in the US and the UK not to assist him as they usually would for a traveling government minister. Pressure is mounting on the Prime Minister to do what leadership throughout the security services and the military have done - take at least some responsibility for the failures leading to October 7th. Until now, he has refused to do so. His popularity has plummeted, and he is, as he has been for years, fighting for his political life. Doing so while leading the country in a war isn’t a popular move for him. Gantz understands that. So does the electorate. There do not seem to be many avenues for the PM to take.

One area of very strong consensus in Israel is that the people, the electorate, strongly support going into Rafah if a deal cannot be reached for the hostages, and they also strongly refuse a permanent ceasefire until Hamas is eradicated. It isn’t a right wing or left wing issue. It is the resolute determination of a wounded and traumatized people that they will no longer accept having a genocidal enemy on their border waiting for another opportunity. What many don’t realize is that this applies to the North as well. As insightful Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur has said, No government of the left, right, or center in Israel will stay in power for long if it does not deal with Hezbollah. The people will no longer accept the danger, and the country cannot continue to keep over 100,000 people from their homes in the North indefinitely. So, either a diplomatic solution moves Hezbollah away from the border, or the low intensity war that’s been going on since Hezbollah started firing missiles in support of Hamas on October 8 goes very high intensity. It looks more likely to go in that direction, and (I’m telling no secrets as this has been in the public domain for weeks) most of the hundreds of thousands of Israeli reservists released from service since early January have call-up orders for later in the spring already.

Finally, here in the US, we are encountering loud but disingenuous calls for a ceasefire from many quarters. Some of those calling for a ceasefire are also calling for ‘resistance’ and for a free Palestine from the river to the sea. Well, which is it? Of course they want Israel to cease, and Hamas to fire. Not going to happen.

Most of the calls for a ceasefire are being made by organizations and individuals who reject Jewish self determination and any indigenous rights in the Jewish homeland. They arrogate the right to define our identity, and having done so in a way that disconnects us from our demonstrated cultural, genetic, historical, archaeological and linguistic origins in our ancestral lands, and having done so they delegitimize our right to defend ourselves within it.

It’s transparent, it's false, and Jews are going to call out that thinking and that action which isn’t just a shot across our bows, it's a volley aimed at our heads and hearts. We see it for what it is - an assumption that murdering, raping, torturing Jews should have no consequences, that Jews shouldn’t have the rights of other peoples, and that there is some kind of moral high ground for being an apologist for butchers. No way.

There’s a simple way to get a ceasefire today. The immediate release of the hostages and the immediate surrender of Hamas terrorists. In many ways, Hamas isn’t just holding 134 Israelis hostage, they are holding 2.2 million Gazans hostage. They are the address where ceasefire calls should be addressed.

I hope that I have helped untangle the confusing knots of information and objectives. Tomorrow may bring more variables, more confusion, but one thing isn’t confusing. Am HaNetzach Lo Mefached.

The Eternal People Does Not Fear.