Fdd's overnight brief

November 2, 2023

In The News


Foreign nationals and wounded Palestinians crossed into Egypt from Gaza on Wednesday, Egyptian and U.S. officials said, with more than 400 people—including some Americans—allowed to leave in a major diplomatic breakthrough. – Wall Street Journal

Kamal Masoud was at home with his wife and five children on Tuesday afternoon in the Jabalya refugee camp. They were talking about how to survive a bombardment when the Israeli missiles struck. – Washington Post

On the morning of Oct. 12, Hani Odeh was considering a problem: how to get the bodies of four Palestinians shot dead during an attack by Israeli settlers to the cemetery in Qusra, where he is mayor. – Wall Street Journal

Airstrikes on a densely populated neighborhood in Gaza this week show Israel is waging a broader and more ferocious war against Hamas, an approach that aims to destroy the Palestinian militant group but has sparked an international backlash. – Wall Street Journal

Fears that Israel’s expanding military operations in Gaza could escalate into a regional conflict are clouding the global economy’s outlook, threatening to dampen growth and reignite a rise in energy and food prices. – New York Times

Even as President Biden presses Israel to define clearly the goals of its war against Hamas in Gaza, he is turning his eyes to a much larger endgame: the ever-elusive hope for a lasting peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. – New York Times

At least 15 Israeli soldiers have been killed in battles in northern Gaza since Tuesday as its forces press deeper into the enclave, attacking dozens of targets affiliated with its Hamas rulers, the Israeli military said. – New York Times

Pope Francis said on Wednesday a two-state solution was needed for Israel and Palestine in order to put an end to wars such as the current one and called for a special status for Jerusalem. – Reuters

Israeli forces killed another Hamas commander on Wednesday in their second strike on Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp in two days, the military said, as the first group of civilian evacuees from the besieged enclave crossed into Egypt. – Reuters

The Israeli military said it had deployed missile boats in the Red Sea on Wednesday as reinforcements, a day after the Iran-aligned Houthi movement said it had launched missile and drone attacks on Israel and vowed to carry out more. – Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu built his reputation as a security hawk on the back of his service in an elite special forces unit that carried out some of Israel’s most daring hostage rescues. – Reuters

Israel’s ground troops advanced toward Gaza City on Thursday, as the U.S. and Arab countries intensified diplomatic efforts to ease the siege of the Hamas-ruled enclave and bring about at least a brief stop to the fighting to help civilians. – Associated Press

Arab nations that have normalized or are considering improving relations with Israel are coming under growing public pressure to cut those ties because of Israel’s war with Hamas. – Associated Press

The US and Israel are exploring options for the future of the Gaza Strip, including the possibility of a multinational force that may involve American troops if Israeli forces succeed in ousting Hamas, people familiar with the matter said. – Bloomberg

After internet and mobile phone service abruptly disappeared in the Gaza Strip on Friday, US officials gave Israel a quiet but clear message: Get the networks up and running again. – Bloomberg

A Hamas terrorist told an Israel Securities Authority (ISA) official he and another man shot and killed crying children who were inside a safe room, until the sounds could no longer be heard, while acknowledging he entered the house simply to kill. – Fox News

The combined stages of the current invasion and the expected later stages of insurgency and lower-grade fighting will take several months, informed sources have told The Jerusalem Post. – Jerusalem Post

“Israel is a country that has no place on our land,” Hamas official Ghazi Hamad told Lebanese news outlet LBCI news this week, according to a report and translation from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released on Wednesday. – Jerusalem Post

Israel has no right to defend itself as it is an occupying power, Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said at an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. – Jerusalem Post

The US House of Representatives approved a bill to sanction foreign supporters of the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist movements on Wednesday night. – Jerusalem Post

The IDF on Wednesday night released a recording of a conversation between a Hamas commander and a Gazan citizen revealing how the terrorist group takes fuel from hospitals in the Gaza Strip. – Jerusalem Post

Palestinians living in Gaza must not be forcibly relocated to neighboring Egypt as they seek a safe haven from IDF aerial bombing, US President Joe Biden and Jordan’s King Abdullah agreed when they spoke by phone on Tuesday night. – Jerusalem Post

Police say that officers working together with the Shin Bet security service foiled a planned terror attack in East Jerusalem. – Times of Israel

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Israel found itself in a diplomatically delicate situation: It opposed the invasion and naturally sided with the West, but needed Russia’s support to be able to strike Iranian proxies in the Middle East. Israel pulled its punches against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s belligerence, providing humanitarian, but not military, aid to Ukraine, which drew criticism in the U.S. – Jewish Insider

Editorial: Given how cheap Hamas holds Palestinian lives, it is no surprise that the terrorist group is shameless about murdering Israelis. Mr. Hamad, on Lebanese TV, says, “We are the victims of the occupation, period. Therefore, nobody should blame us for the things we do. On Oct. 7, on Oct. 10, on October one-millionth, everything we do is justified.” That’s also the radical-chic view on U.S. campuses: “Resistance by any means necessary”—don’t think, parrot Hamas propaganda. Hamas promises more massacres in Arabic while asking for a humanitarian reprieve in English. It knows from experience that some Westerners are gullible enough to fall for it. – Wall Street Journal

Charles Lane writes: In 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quoted Bialik’s poetry in response to the killing of three Jewish teens, allegedly by Hamas, in the West Bank. An Israeli roundup of Hamas suspects followed; then a rocket barrage on Israel from Gaza; and then a six-week Israeli campaign against Hamas in Gaza. Whatever Hamas’s precise intentions, Oct. 7 has foreseeably instilled in the Israelis terror, anguish and righteous fury. Israel, Hamas, the people of Gaza and the world are reaping the consequences. – Washington Post

Ross Douthat writes: My guess is that notwithstanding these specters on the right, over the long term you should bet on more rightward movement among American Jews, probably accelerated by the higher birthrates of the already more right-wing Orthodox. But mostly you should bet on unsettlement, on the right and left alike, as people come to terms with what the new debate about Israel and the Palestinians reveals about how much the Western world has changed already and how much more change lies ahead. – New York Times

Steve Israel writes: I believe that Palestinians who wish to live in peace with Israel should be treated with respect. Instead, Hamas has treated them as traitors, subjecting them to “a brutal campaign of abductions, torture, and unlawful killings.” I believe all Palestinians should be free from fear. Instead, Hamas has terrorized its own citizens. I believe Gaza should not be occupied. Instead, Hamas has occupied Gaza. I support Palestinian civilians living in peace. It is Hamas that does not. – The Hill 

Eli Lake writes: In 1948, the goal for the Arab armies was to drive the Jews into the sea, same as it is today for Hamas, and same as it is for the intellectuals so exhilarated by the bloodlust of these fanatics. Celebrating the October 7 pogrom is not solidarity with the wretched of the earth. It is a demented excuse for the mass murder of Jews. – The Free Press 

Noam Raydan writes: Over the past few years, Washington has encouraged East Mediterranean states to diversify their energy sources, all the while tackling climate change. This energy diplomacy succeeded in some places, but the Gaza war has exposed the area’s high geopolitical risks. If the war expands, the hydrocarbon sector will not be spared the economic ramifications, and the energy plans of regional governments will be postponed for years to come. – Washington Institute 

Joe Buccino writes: The ground war in Gaza will last months, if not years. As it goes on, Israel’s commitment to international law, human rights, and peacebuilding will be crucial in shaping U.S. and European opinion. The IDF must lean on its sophisticated public relations machine, justifying each strike and each action on the international stage, responding to each misstep with honesty and transparency. The tunnels running beneath populated areas make both tasks—limiting civilian casualties and staying on top of the narrative—all the more challenging. It will require careful oversight of the fighting in the tunnels, placing even more of the IDF’s troops at risk to reduce the possibility of killing civilians in Gaza. – Foreign Policy 


For more than four decades, Iran’s rulers have pledged to destroy Israel. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rarely appears in public without wearing a black-and-white checkered Palestinian kaffiyeh. – New York Times

Iran‘s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Muslim states to cease oil and food exports to Israel, demanding an end to its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, state media reported. – Reuters

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned on Wednesday of “harsh consequences” if attacks continue on the Gaza Strip, the latest in a series of warnings from the country, which backs Hamas in Gaza and militias elsewhere in the region. – Reuters

Iran is carrying out executions “at an alarming rate,” putting to death at least 419 people in the first seven months of the year, the United Nations chief said in a new report. That’s a 30% increase from the same period in 2022. – Associated Press

The Disciplinary Committee of the Asian Football Confederation ruled on Wednesday that the Saudi al-Ittihad soccer club had beat the Iranian Sepahan soccer club 3-0 in a match that was canceled in early October after al-Ittihad withdrew due to a bust of former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani which was on display next to the field. – Jerusalem Post

Dean Karayanis writes: As in World War II, America will have to weigh the international blowback for using nuclear weapons against the prospect of greater bloodshed without it. Having the B61-13 may be enough to make Tehran’s ruling mullahs think twice by giving Mr. Biden the power to back up his words and ensure that Iran will never gain the power to, in the words of atomic pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer, “Become Death.” – New York Sun

Russia & Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has expressed frustration over what he has labeled unrealistic expectations for rapid success on the battlefield amid concerns that slow progress against entrenched Russian forces will discourage Kyiv’s allies from sustaining military aid. – New York Times

Manuel Barrios joined the battle against Russian forces in Ukraine because a bank threatened to repossess his home in Colombia. Luis Alejandro Herrera returned to the front to recover the savings he lost in a failed attempt to enter the United States through Mexico. Jhoan Cerón fought to provide for his toddler. – New York Times

Vladimir Putin isn’t quite the man he used to be — more than a decade has passed since the Russian president engaged in public stunts to boast of his vigor by hugging a polar bear or riding a horse barechested in the mountains. The war in Ukraine has further dented that strongman image. – Associated Press

 More than 260 civilians have been killed in Ukraine after stepping on landmines or other explosives during the 20-month-old war with Russia, Ukraine’s military said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Ukraine’s war with Russia is moving towards a new stage of static and attritional fighting, a phase that could allow Moscow to rebuild its military power, Ukraine’s commander-in-chief has said. – Reuters

Ukraine said on Wednesday Russian warplanes had dropped “explosive objects” into the likely paths of civilian vessels in the Black Sea three times in the last 24 hours, but that its fledgling shipping corridor was still operating. – Reuters

Editorial: Many countries whose wars ended decades ago still grapple with the devastating legacy of landmines. With the right planning and resources, Ukraine and the West can reduce the threat mines pose to Ukraine’s military and civilians — and perhaps deter future aggressors from trying to ravage lands they cannot keep. – Bloomberg

Max Seddon writes: “They have realised they need to go beyond rhetoric to keep up the spectre of nuclear escalation risk over this conflict,” said Hanna Notte, director of the Eurasia non-proliferation programme at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “It’s broad signalling that Russia is dead serious in this conflict and that this stand-off with the west over Ukraine elevates nuclear risks in Europe.” – Financial Times

Julia Davis writes: Day after day, week after week, state television condemned “barbaric” attacks by Israel and matter-of-factly showcased meetings with Hamas officials. State TV’s hosts and experts repeatedly emphasized that in Russia, Hamas is not considered a terrorist organization and shouldn’t be referred to as such. As for Russia’s residual Jewish population of perhaps 80,000 (it has sharply declined since 2010), they face an uncertain future caused by officially endorsed propaganda. The worst might be yet to come. – Center for European Policy Analysis 

Can Kasapoğlu writes: The FrankenSAM program, another promising military assistance project, has the potential to do for Ukraine’s air defenses what ATACMS is doing for its offensive capabilities. The FrankenSAM initiative seeks to provide Kyiv with hybrid air defense systems by merging Ukraine’s Soviet-remnant launchers with legacy Western missiles, such as the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow and the AIM-9 Sidewinder. The program could allow Kyiv to field sufficient air defenses to protect its population centers from Russian missile salvos. If implemented successfully, FrankenSAM could allow Ukraine to reposition its existing maneuver short-range air defense (M-SHORAD) systems, such as the Flakpanzer Gepard and Avenger, to the southern counteroffensive, providing better protection for heavy armor units there. – Hudson Institute


Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Thursday it destroyed an Israeli drone over south Lebanon with a surface-to-air missile, an account disputed by Israel’s military which confirmed the missile launch but said its aircraft suffered “no damage”. – Reuters

At Lebanon’s border with Israel, residents of a Christian village are hoping war can be avoided even as they prepare for the possibility of worsening hostilities between the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah and Israel. – Reuters

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, visited Lebanon to coordinate with Hezbollah concerning the conflict with Israel on Wednesday, the Lebanese al-Jadeed news reported on Wednesday. – Jerusalem Post

Hanin Ghaddar and Ahmad Sharawi write: To minimize the risks of full-scale war, Hezbollah has simultaneously been playing a calculated and coordinated game of plausible deniability, often allowing other groups to launch rockets against Israel from south Lebanon. Yet its margin for error and miscalculation is shrinking every day, and even the limited escalation seen thus far has killed numerous Hezbollah fighters and displaced thousands of civilians in the south due to fears of another war. Israel has responded by bombing sites where missiles are launched and targeting some of Hezbollah’s military infrastructure, losing several soldiers in the process. – Washington Institute

Middle East & North Africa

Yemen’s Houthis have joined the Israel-Hamas war raging more than 1,000 miles from their seat of power in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, declaring on Oct. 31 they had fired drones and missiles at Israel in attacks that highlight the regional risks of the conflict. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday roundly condemned an Israeli airstrike in the Jabaliya refugee camp on Tuesday in which the IDF said they killed the commander of Hamas’s Central Jabaliya Battalion, Ibrahim Biari. – Agence France-Presse 

Jordan on Wednesday announced it had recalled its ambassador from Israel and told the Israeli ambassador to stay away in protest at the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, saying the attacks had killed innocents and caused a humanitarian catastrophe. – Reuters

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Gaza and the wider Middle East, Sunak’s office said in a statement following the call. – Reuters

Javier Blas writes: I’m inclined to support those arguments, but with an important caveat relearned over years of reporting about oil and war. The longer the conflict goes, the more likely that some random event forces everyone’s hand in ways that no one — least of all oil traders — expected. Stuff does happen — and even more in the Middle East. Maybe this isn’t a market to go long, but shorting oil? That’s brave. – Bloomberg

Abdelrahman ElGendy writes: Witnessing what appears to be U.S.-endorsed leniency toward Sisi’s human rights violations amid the Israel-Hamas war, Egyptian political prisoners and the general populace are again confronted with the question of their value in U.S. diplomacy. Will Egyptian dissidents once more be perceived as collateral damage in the broader U.S. aim of ensuring Israel’s stability? – Foreign Policy 

Aveen Karim writes: Whether a regional spillover happens will depend on how the US, Iran, and Israel will react to any perceived aggression. Within Israel, there seems to be a lack of appetite for an escalation in conflict with Israelis angry at the government for not preventing the October 7th attack and failing to bring the hostages home. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may not have the popular support needed expanding the conflict. An opening of a second front with Hezbollah or the death of foreign troops in attacks by Iran-backed proxies remain the main triggers of further expansion of the conflict, but it can still be avoided if the retaliation is limited. – RUDAW

Korean Peninsula

South Korea’s headline inflation accelerated at a faster-than-expected pace to a seven-month high in October, staying well above the central bank’s target. – Wall Street Journal 

North Korea has likely supplied several types of missiles to Russia to support its war in Ukraine, along with its widely reported shipments of ammunition and shells, South Korea’s military said Thursday. – Associated Press

South Korea is marking the 70th anniversary of its U.S. alliance with much fanfare, including a public information campaign featuring a K-pop-inspired rap song, with the partners extolling closer ties as global tensions rise. – Reuters


At China’s top political gathering for women, it was mostly a man who was seen and heard. Xi Jinping, the country’s leader, sat center stage at the opening of the National Women’s Congress. A close-up of him at the Congress was splashed on the front page of the Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper the next day. – New York Times

The Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday a leading official from its department of arms control affairs will lead a delegation in China-U.S. nuclear talks. – Reuters

China lowered the national flag Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Thursday amid an outpouring of online grief as the country cremated Li Keqiang, known as “the people’s premier” for his down-to-earth, hands-on leadership. – Reuters

The top members of a U.S. House committee on China are introducing a bill that seeks to ban the U.S. government from buying Chinese drones. – Reuters

President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. – Bloomberg

Josh Rogin writes: Tibet and its boarding schools must be high on this list. Also, international investigators should be allowed independent and unfettered access to Chinese boarding schools in Tibet. Absent more international pushback, Beijing will conclude its strategy to stamp out Tibetan identity is succeeding. And other cruel regimes will learn that if they perpetrate a genocide slowly and prevent the information from getting out, they might be able to get away with it. – Washington Post

South Asia

Pakistani authorities began rounding up undocumented foreigners, most of them Afghans, on Wednesday, ahead of a midnight deadline for them to leave or face expulsion. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will meet with their Indian counterparts later this month in New Delhi to discuss “concerns and developments in the Indo-Pacific”, the State Department said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Michael Kugelman writes: Additionally, Pakistan’s relations with the Taliban have worsened because Islamabad thinks the group has not done enough to curb the presence of TTP fighters and bases in Afghanistan. Islamabad may be using the expulsion policy in part to compel the Taliban—which have condemned the move—to help more on counterterrorism. Sadly, vulnerable Afghans—from young new arrivals to older and established residents who embrace Pakistan as their only home—are becoming casualties of broader geopolitical machinations. – Foreign Policy


The Philippine foreign ministry on Thursday accused China of intruding into its waters after an incident involving the two countries’ military vessels at a disputed shoal in the South China Sea earlier this week. – Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Kazakhstan on Wednesday on the first leg of a trip to Central Asia, a region long regarded as Russia’s backyard which has drawn fresh Western attention since the war in Ukraine began. – Reuters

The U.S. destroyer USS Rafael Peralta and a Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Ottawa transited the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement, making their third joint transit in the region since June. – Reuters

Japan’s foreign minister said on Thursday she would meet Palestinian counterparts during a visit to Israel and Jordan, and would communicate Japan’s readiness to provide aid to the Palestinians. – Reuters

Twenty Australians were among the first group of foreign citizens to leave the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip and enter Egypt via the Rafah border crossing, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Tim Watts said on Thursday. – Reuters

Australia’s highest court on Wednesday overturned a government decision to strip citizenship from a man convicted of terrorism. – Associated Press


Germany’s Green Party entered the government in 2021 with the best election showing of its history, establishing itself for the first time as a true mainstream party with the potential of one day even yielding a chancellor. – New York Times

A first group of British nationals have entered Egypt from Gaza via the Rafah crossing, Britain’s Foreign Office said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Danish prosecution dismissed Wednesday two separate cases against a former defense minister and an ex-head of the country’s foreign intelligence service due to the inability to divulge classified information in court. Both were charged with leaking state secrets. – Associated Press

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said Britain “will continue to do everything we can” to get aid into Gaza as it emerged the country is discussing plans with France and the Netherlands to send shipments directly by sea to the besieged and blockaded Palestinian territory. – Politico 

Quentin Letts writes: After 13 years in government, the Conservatives are undoubtedly struggling to maintain any impetus. The odds still favor a Labour win at the next election. But forecasting English seaside weather has never been straightforward, and it is not impossible that the underwhelming Starmer will yet be lost in the fog. – Washington Post


Uganda on Wednesday criticised a U.S. move to eject it and other African countries from accessing a tariff-free trade programme, saying the action was to punish African countries that are resisting the imposition of the West’s cultural values. – Reuters

Britain’s King Charles and Queen Camilla began the second day of a state visit to Kenya on Wednesday as survivors of colonial-era abuses criticised his failure to issue a full apology or propose reparations. – Reuters

The extension of the U.S. program allowing sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to U.S. markets is expected to be high on the agenda of the U.S. Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade forum that will begin in South Africa on Thursday. – Associated Press

Germany’s president on Wednesday apologized for killings under colonial rule in Tanzania more than a century ago as he met descendants of an executed leader of a revolt against German rule, and vowed to seek answers to questions about that era that leave Tanzanians no peace. – Associated Press

Latin America

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Wednesday he is sending the armed forces to boost security at some of the country’s most important airports, ports and international borders as part of a renewed effort to tackle organized crime in Latin America’s largest nation. – Associated Press

Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo resigned late Wednesday, shortly after audio messages were published in which he appears to ask a former official to not hand over evidence in an investigation over a passport issued to an accused drug trafficker. – Associated Press

Some of Latin America’s largest countries came out on Wednesday to condemn Israel’s attacks on a densely populated refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, widening the diplomatic rift between the region and the Middle Eastern country. – Reuters

Editorial: The U.S. issued a six-month general license authorizing transactions in oil and gas in Venezuela. And it awarded what the State Department called “a second general license” for Venezuela’s state-owned gold mining company and “amended relevant licenses to remove the secondary trading ban on certain Venezuelan sovereign bonds and PdVSA debt and equity.” On Tuesday Mr. Blinken told Sen. Marco Rubio that if the U.S. finds that Venezuela has violated its agreement with the opposition, it is ready to reimpose sanctions. He didn’t say what he’s waiting for. – Wall Street Journal 

United States

President Biden has nominated the architect of his Asia strategy to a top position at the State Department at a time when Russia’s war in Ukraine and fresh turmoil in the Middle East threaten to divert attention from what his administration has called its most consequential geopolitical challenge: China. – Washington Post

The White House on Wednesday said the United States would not put U.S. troops on the ground in Gaza in any future peacekeeping role, as it discusses with allies what post-conflict Gaza would look like. – Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday called for a “pause” in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in the Gaza Strip after a heckler pushing for a ceasefire confronted him at a campaign fundraiser. – Reuters

President Joe Biden will launch a new national strategy to combat Islamophobia amid criticism from some Muslim Americans over the administration’s support for Israel’s campaign against Hamas that has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths across the Gaza Strip. – Bloomberg

While President Biden is calling for combining into a single package aid to Israel and Ukraine, Congress is poised to advance a funding bill this week to support Israel exclusively. It’s a move that follows the skepticism of Republican politicians and scholars, whose demands are growing louder for “America-first” solutions to looming threats overseas. – New York Sun

New Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told Republican senators Wednesday that U.S. military aid to Israel must move by itself, warning them that a larger package also funding Ukraine, Taiwan and the U.S. southern border can’t pass the House. – The Hill 

Some of the U.S. citizens who have been trapped in Gaza since the Hamas’ attack on Israel last month have made it into Egypt while others are awaiting instruction from the Biden administration on how to leave Gaza, the State Department said on Wednesday. – Politico

Joe Biden and top aides have discussed the likelihood that Benjamin Netanyahu’s political days are numbered — and the president has conveyed that sentiment to the Israeli prime minister in a recent conversation. – Politico  

Editorial: As the world gets more dangerous, Washington’s political dysfunction is becoming more dangerous as well. If Washington can’t help two allies defend themselves, with no U.S. troops fighting, the world will conclude that our adversaries are right about American decline. – Wall Street Journal 

Jakub Grygiel writes: Military might, not interdependence, gives states the ability to act in their best interests without constraints imposed by other powers. Our rivals have been arming while the West, Europe especially, hoped that trade would render military capabilities useless. Deep enmities can’t be transcended through leadership changes, international organizations or trade. They can be checked, and when necessary defeated, only through military power. – Wall Street Journal

Edward Luce writes: It is also effective politics against a Republican party that is urging biblical revenge on the Palestinians. But that does not make it wise. Like a good lawyer, Biden needs to control his witness. Yet Netanyahu answers to nobody but himself. While Netanyahu remains, Biden’s presidency is hostage to a man who will never repay the favour. – Financial Times

Conrad Black writes: America must not waver for a moment in its active recognition that its clear moral duty and unmistakable national interest require any assistance Israel may reasonably ask for the accomplishment of the elimination of the Hamas terrorist apparatus. No country attempted to lecture the United States about proportionality after 9/11 or urged a cease-fire on it after Pearl Harbor — where the Japanese did not attack civilians. No such pious humbug or rank hypocrisy should be taken seriously now. – New York Sun

Aaron Weinberg writes:  While these goals seem challenging given the current atmospherics, left untended, the dynamics in the region will only deteriorate and the situation will become even more dire in the long run. Congress can act to ensure a better future for the region, and even aside from the broader goal of achieving two states, it can take necessary steps to help promote a better reality on the ground for Israelis and Palestinians. – The Hill 

Joseph Bosco writes: To avoid the need to choose among competing security commitments in Europe, the Mideast and the Indo-Pacific, America must not only deter Chinese aggression against Taiwan with strategic clarity. It must also help Ukraine expedite the defeat of Russia’s aggression with timely delivery of the powerful weapons Kyiv seeks to do the job.  – The Hill 



Delegates from 28 nations, including the U.S. and China, agreed Wednesday to work together to contain the potentially “catastrophic” risks posed by galloping advances in artificial intelligence. – Associated Press

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he had been vindicated in inviting China to his AI summit after securing Chinese and American backing for a shared communique on the emerging technology — including his predecessor Liz Truss. – Politico 

When Hamas militants raided Israel in early October, killing and abducting more than 1,000 people, videos, images and text flooded social media. Rumors and shoddy information proliferated, blurring the line between fact and fiction. – Defense News

Robert A. Manning writes: The White House effort is a belated but positive step. But to get a handle on AI, Congress is dangerously delinquent in legislating data governance in general and AI in particular. Other U.S. leadership managing the tech revolution faces credibility issues. At stake is a larger risk of a race to the bottom if consensus on basic global rules and standards for using AI proves elusive.The Hill


The U.S. Navy is beginning to integrate its industrial base with those of Australia and the United Kingdom, despite Congress not yet passing several measures to enable the trilateral submarine-building arrangement AUKUS. – Defense News

Switzerland has signed a contract to buy the most advanced version of the Lockheed Martin-made Patriot missile as an add-on to the country’s Air2030 program, the company announced Tuesday. – Defense News 

Senate lawmakers in the next few days will move ahead with confirmation votes on key leadership spots for the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, and Democratic leaders are eyeing ways soon after to force through hundreds of other senior officer promotions which have been held up for months. – Defense News

Epirus has completed initial government acceptance testing of its high-power microwave prototype meant to counter drone swarms, the company said in a Nov. 1 statement. – Defense News

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force and Navy drilled with the Shandong Carrier Strike Group near Taiwan on Tuesday, according to the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND). In other developments, the Carl Vinson CSG, along with Australian and Canadian forces, will participate in drills for 12 days with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) as part of the JMSDF Annual Exercise 2023. – USNI News