Fdd's overnight brief

October 18, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


An explosion rocked a hospital in Gaza on Tuesday, killing hundreds in one of the deadliest single incidents of violence in the strip—hours before President Biden was expected to visit Israel in a show of support. – Wall Street Journal

President Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday to reaffirm U.S. support for its longtime ally in the war with Hamas, one day after a deadly blast at a hospital in Gaza demonstrated the volatility of the conflict and heightened fears of escalation. – Wall Street Journal

“Even wars have rules,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said last week, repeating a maxim of international law that experience has shown to be more aspirational than operational. Hamas mocked the most sacrosanct of those rules when it intentionally targeted Israeli civilians in early October in an operation that killed more than 1,000 Israelis and took about 200 people hostage. – Wall Street Journal

A blast Tuesday at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza killed hundreds of people and overwhelmed medical facilities in the enclave already operating at maximum capacity. The explosion came hours before President Biden was expected to visit Israel in a show of support and had immediate reverberations throughout the Arab world. Here is a look at what transpired. – Wall Street Journal

As the humanitarian situation inside Gaza worsens, hundreds of tons of aid remain stuck on the Egyptian side of the crossing despite growing international calls to provide relief to Gazan civilians. Meanwhile, foreign passport holders on the Palestinian side are looking for a way out. Questions and confusion remain over why Rafah is still closed. – Washington Post

Responsibility for the hospital blast has not been definitively determined. But in the days since its forces stormed across southern Israel, Hamas has deployed an unprecedented and multipronged social media campaign to tell its version of the war with Israel, seeking to persuade the world that its militants are freedom fighters justified in their killing and abduction of Israeli civilians. – Washington Post

Israel’s treatment of civilians in Gaza poses a deepening dilemma for the Biden administration, as officials scramble to illustrate strong support for a core U.S. ally following Hamas’ brutal assault while grappling with a spiraling human toll that could threaten Israel’s international backing and undermine America’s own steps to shield noncombatants from harm. – Washington Post

Israeli tanks mobilized outside Gaza have been adapted with overhead cages to protect against attack drones, a safety modification widely used in Ukraine that appears to be proliferating in a new conflict, analysis by The Washington Post shows. – Washington Post

President Biden’s trip to Israel on Wednesday will put him in a region where grief and fury are mounting, not only toward Israel, but also toward the United States, the world power that has declared unyielding support for its chief Middle East ally. – New York Times

Just days after the assault by Hamas ignited a new war in the Middle East, shipments of American weapons began arriving in Israel: smart bombs, ammunition and interceptors for the Iron Dome missile-defense system. In President Biden’s planned meeting in Israel on Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, more military aid is a likely topic. – New York Times

Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an armed group based in Gaza, was blamed by the Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday night after hundreds of people were reported killed by a strike at Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. – New York Times

The United Nations Security Council will now vote on Wednesday on a Brazilian-drafted resolution that calls for humanitarian pauses in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas to allow humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip. – Reuters

European Union leaders struggled Tuesday to paper over their differences as a cacophony of opinions and reactions marred the bloc’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. But they did claim to be united behind Israel’s right to defend itself within the bounds of international law. – Associated Press

Hamas’ military wing said Tuesday an Israeli airstrike on the central Gaza Strip killed one of its top militant commanders. – Politico

Hamas’ rise to power has been under scrutiny since the terror group launched attacks on Israel a week and a half ago. One expert argued it was Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip that empowered the terror group and paved their way to power. – Fox News

As Israel’s military prepares for a massive, unprecedented ground war in Gaza that carries huge risks for the Middle East and beyond, it’s important to understand why: Israelis haven’t felt this threatened since their war of independence in 1948. – Axios

Editorial: As the humanitarian toll rises, President Biden insists that Israel and Egypt allow more aid into Gaza, and it is needed. But no one should be surprised where it ends up. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Therefore, the priority for the United States, the European Union and Arab states is to move emergency supplies in. […]U.S. discussions with Israeli officials on setting up “safe zones” for civilians also hold promise. As Mr. Biden will, we hope, explain to all the leaders he meets Wednesday, such measures are the beginning, not the end, of what will be a long-term international effort to protect the lives of Palestinians. – Washington Post

Editorial: Even so, it’s crucial that Israel’s leaders think strategically. The Israeli army has no desire to reoccupy Gaza. Even if Israel were able to oust Hamas, it would then need help from Arab nations such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia to identify suitable Palestinian leaders, finance reconstruction and prevent a resurgence of militancy. Such support won’t be forthcoming unless Arab leaders can demonstrate to their own people and to the wider Muslim world that Israel is ready to compromise for peace. – Bloomberg

William A. Galston writes: The brutal slaughter of Israeli civilians has thrown Hamas’s advocates on the defensive, but if Israel is blamed for massive civilian casualties, this could change. Israel must pursue its inherent right of self-defense with prudence and foresight in the difficult months ahead. – Wall Street Journal

David Ignatius writes: Much of the hardest fighting to come in this war will be out of view, in conditions most of us can barely imagine, with hostages caught in the crosshairs. But the outcome might well hinge on what happens in those cavernous depths. – Washington Post

General David Petraeus and Andrew Roberts write: Netanyahu’s challenge today is to perform those tasks in a situation and operational context that are the most diabolically difficult that one could imagine. And our big idea should be to support Israel in every way possible, which fortunately does appear to be the intent of President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress. – Politico

Zachary Faria writes: Blinken’s reliance on strongly worded letters is weak and embarrassing when all organizations like Hamas do is laugh and continue on with their terrorism. Blinken and President Joe Biden are content to continue to be pushed around at almost every opportunity, broadcasting to the world that the U.S. will do nothing but “be the first to condemn” whatever human rights abuses rear their head next. – Washington Examiner

Alon Pinkas writes: For many years, the working definition of Israeli foreign latitude and maneuvering room was that it is a ball free to move but contained within a larger ball. The larger ball represents U.S. interests. Once the Israeli ball moves to a point tangential to the outer circle, it needs to be distanced from it. This is how America views the escalatory potential of this war. If it expands beyond the confines of Gaza, it becomes tangential to U.S. interests. – Haaretz

Robert Satloff, Dennis Ross, and David Makovsky write: With Israel poised to begin ground operations in Gaza, some may believe it is premature to focus on postwar architecture. Yet now is precisely the right moment to begin this exercise so that a well-crafted plan is ready once military operations transition to political outcomes. If key actors wait for the battlefield fog to clear before engaging on these issues, it may be too late. – Washington Institute

Jon B. Alterman writes: Biden does not think he can dictate to Israelis right now, nor can he pressure them. But he can talk to them as a steadfast friend. That’s what he’s doing to do, even if he doesn’t know the result. But as a politician whose career has spanned three generations, this trip encapsulates precisely the way he thinks he has influence. It is not by presenting the most exquisitely elaborate plan. […]At the moment of Israel’s greatest peril in a half-century or more, it’s hard to imagine Biden would do it any other way. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Bassem Eid writes: The facts are simple: Hamas is responsible for all the blood that has been shed and will continue to be shed during this war, full stop. Palestinians like me and my neighbors want peace; Hamas does not. – Newsweek


Russia said it need no longer obey U.N. Security Council restrictions on giving missile technology to its ally Iran once they expire on Wednesday, without saying whether it now planned to support Tehran’s missile development. – Reuters

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has described Israel’s assault on Gaza as a genocide of Palestinians and said it must stop immediately, state TV reported on Tuesday. – Reuters

EU member states maintained on Tuesday restrictive measures against Iran under the non-proliferation sanctions regime after a nuclear agreement transition day, according to a statement, a move Tehran condemned as “illegal”. – Reuters

A senior Iranian military commander said on Tuesday that Tehran-backed militant groups will not stop targeting Israel until the country ceases to exist. – Al Arabiya News

Iran warned Monday night of a possible “preemptive action” against Israel “in the coming hours,” as Israel readied for a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip in response to the October 7 Hamas onslaught. – Agence France-Presse

Editorial: Before Biden agreed to visit Israel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken secured a promise from Israel that humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza to help minimize civilian suffering. Much if not all of that aid will be stolen by Hamas to perpetuate its terror campaign against Israeli civilians. The least the administration can do is make sure no more aid gets to Hamas from Iran. – Washington Examiner

Shay Khatiri writes: Hamas and Islamic Jihad have their own political objectives for this attack, but Iran is likely to be the largest beneficiary. The regime expects Israel’s national-security policy to reorient toward the Palestinians, relieving Tehran of military pressure in Syria and Iraq. Iran thinks it will be free to advance its nuclear program while Israel tries to deal with Hamas, prevent a third intifada, and protect its northern border. – Wall Street Journal

Efraim Inbar writes: The only recipe for a more peaceful Middle East is for the US to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure – or give Israel all it needs to do it. Only the destruction of Tehran’s atomic potential will end its hegemony dreams for the time being; allay the fears of America’s Arab friends; spare the need to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia; avoid fueling nuclear proliferation, and stop Chinese encroachment in the region. The ayatollahs of Iran and their proxies are the enemies of humanity. – Jerusalem Post

Raz Zimmt writes: On the one hand, refraining from actively joining the campaign might allow Israel to continue to focus its fighting efforts against Hamas in Gaza to the point of fatally damaging Hamas’ capabilities and damaging the Iranian narrative of the “convergence of arenas.” On the other hand, active involvement through Hizballah’s entry into an all-out war with Israel could also endanger the capabilities of Iran’s most important strategic ally. The lengthier and tougher the war becomes, the more difficult it will be for Iran to avoid a decision that could mean opening up another front against Israel. – War on the Rocks

Afshon Ostovar writes: Iran’s strategy against Israel has been a patient one. The regime has sought to kill its enemy with a thousand cuts instead of with overwhelming force. The attacks of this month, however, have forced Israel’s hand. If Israel truly seeks to end the threats aligned against it, it will have to expand its focus well beyond Gaza and confront Iran. […]What is assured is that things will get worse. The risk of escalation is very real, and the prospect of a wider regional war is uncomfortably close. But more than that, this may be the beginning of a dangerous new cycle in the Iranian-Israeli conflict — a war with no obvious offramps or endpoints. – War on the Rocks

Russia & Ukraine

The U.S. ambassador to Russia visited jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on Tuesday, a week after a Russian court upheld an extension of his pretrial detention. – Wall Street Journal

Ukraine launched ATACMS missiles at Russian forces on Tuesday, marking the first time that the U.S.-provided weapons have been used since Moscow invaded the country. – Wall Street Journal

Russia’s legislature voted unanimously to revoke its ratification of a significant international nuclear-test-ban treaty, a move that threatens to intensify global insecurity amid the war in Ukraine and the mounting crisis in the Middle East. – Wall Street Journal

Washington’s decision to send long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine was a grave mistake that will have serious consequences, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. said on Wednesday, after Kyiv said it used the weapons for the first time. – Reuters

Iran is building a kamikaze drone factory in a Russian industrial park 550 miles east of Moscow, out of range of Ukrainian missiles. With the Russian drone company advertising for Farsi-speaking interpreters, the Tatarstan factory is to open next spring with the capacity to churn out 3,000 Shahed-136 drones a year. To stymie Ukrainian air defenses, Russian operators often launch these delta-wing drones in waves. – New York Sun

Josh Rogin writes: President Biden will soon request new emergency funding for both Israel and Ukraine. Congress must approve both parts of the package — and quickly. If the United States abandons Ukraine by cutting off aid, Putin’s strategy will have succeeded. – Washington Post

Amy Mackinnon writes: While Moscow may seek to offer its services as a mediator, experts are skeptical that the Kremlin had a realistic role to play in any prospective talks. Until last year, a few bright spots of collaboration remained in the Middle East between Moscow and the West as Russian diplomats worked assiduously with the United States to help preserve and revive the Iran nuclear deal. That all changed following the invasion of Ukraine, and countering the U.S. has become the near-singular preoccupation of Russian foreign policy. – Foreign Policy


Since Hamas launched its deadly attack in southern Israel, tensions have surged along Israel’s northern border, increasing fears of a new conflagration between Israel and Hamas’ Iranian-backed ally Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon. – New York Times

Lebanon’s Hezbollah denounced what the group said was Israel’s deadly attack on a Gaza hospital and called for “a day of unprecedented anger” on Wednesday, as protests erupted outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut just hours after the incident. – Reuters

Violence escalated on the Lebanese-Israeli border on Tuesday with five fighters from Lebanon’s heavily armed Hezbollah group killed during operations against Israel, security sources in Lebanon said. – Reuters

The White House has been discussing the possibility of using military force if Hezbollah joins the war in Gaza and attacks Israel with its huge arsenal of rockets, three U.S. officials and one Israeli official with knowledge of the situation tell Axios. – Axios

Iran-backed militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah are closely coordinating their next steps in fighting against Israel, a senior Hamas representative in Lebanon told POLITICO on Tuesday, just hours after Tehran warned of “preemptive action” against Israel. – Politico

Despite those rising dark war clouds, IDF Combat Logistics Officer Maj. Ravid told the Post in an interview on Tuesday in the North that he and his team will make sure IDF forces are sufficiently prepared to present Hezbollah with deadly consequences if it tries to start a larger conflict. – Jerusalem Post

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi warned that “if Hezbollah makes a mistake and attacks, [they will be] annihilated,” as Hezbollah continued to conduct anti-tank missile attacks toward Israeli territory on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Increased US presence in the region, including the impending visit of US President Joe Biden, is deterring Hezbollah from larger war, but is not delaying an IDF invasion of Gaza, IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari claimed on Tuesday. – Jerusalem Post

Yair Golan, Hanin Ghaddar, David Schenker, and Farzin Nadimi write: Alternatively, Tehran might open a second front in the Golan Heights, which it considers a safer option than the Lebanon border. The Golan is a favorite area of operations for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who have been recruiting local groups into militia outlets to support Hezbollah activities in Syria while deploying drones and rocket capabilities around the area. The IRGC’s Qods Force has the infrastructure and experience to lead a multi-domain attack on Israel much like Hamas did, so the Golan frontier bears close watching. – Washington Institute


Turkey’s top diplomat said Tuesday his country had been in touch with Hamas over some 200 Israeli and foreign hostages the terror group is holding in Gaza, following requests from several governments. – Times of Israel

The National Security Council issues a warning against travel to Turkey and Morocco, citing fears that Israeli travelers will be targets of those angry at the ongoing Israel-Gaza war. – Times of Israel

Michael Rubin writes: Kurds need anti-aircraft missiles and counter-drone technology. Israel should provide it. The alternative is to allow a Hamas-sponsoring, Islamist, and increasingly anti-Semitic country to grow stronger, bolder, and more proactive in its support of terrorism against Jews, Israelis, Americans, and the West more broadly. – 19FortyFive

Gulf States

The U.S. military thwarted an attack targeting its forces in Iraq early on Wednesday, intercepting two drones before they could strike, two U.S. officials told Reuters. – Reuters

Khaled Sulaiman writes: In sum, a change in policy can avert a potential disaster—through advancements in reproductive health, putting an end to early and polygamous marriages, and raising the level of education, not to mention ensuring the freedom of women in making their own decisions in terms of reproduction. Without these solutions, we risk extensively harming our future generations. – Washington Institute

Steven A. Cook writes: It is hard to lay the blame entirely on the Qataris, however. Their Janus-faced foreign policy is a source of power, influence, and prestige. The problem is that Washington lets them get away with it. – Foreign Policy

Middle East & North Africa

Fears that the Gaza war could trigger a wider and more devastating Middle East war are growing as clashes with Iranian-backed Hezbollah intensify along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and Israel presses ahead with its plans for a ground incursion into Gaza aimed at destroying Hamas. – Washington Post

Jordan has cancelled a summit it was to host in Amman on Wednesday with U.S. President Joe Biden and the Egyptian and Palestinian leaders to discuss Gaza, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said. – Reuters

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday raised its travel alert for Lebanon to “do not travel,” citing the security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah. – Reuters

Jordan’s King Abdullah on Tuesday warned against trying to push Palestinian refugees into Egypt or Jordan, adding that the humanitarian situation must to be dealt with inside Gaza and the West Bank. – Reuters

The question everyone wanted to ignore—can there ever be peace with the Palestinians?—again dominates Middle Eastern geopolitics. Managing long-standing tensions with the Palestinians had become a “sort of a check box” for normalizing relations with the Saudis, Netanyahu told Bloomberg News in August. The idea that millions of stateless people could just be swept under the carpet is looking more arrogant than ever. – Bloomberg

Elie Podeh writes: Egypt plays a pivotal role in Israel’s foreign relations within the Middle East, necessitating discreet and comprehensive coordination of its actions with Egypt through the established clandestine communication channels. A deterioration in Israeli-Egyptian relations also carries the potential to harm Israel’s connections with other moderate Arab states and significantly curtail Israel’s operational maneuverability in Gaza. Israel faces a delicate situation in its relations with Egypt and therefore it should navigate carefully. – Jerusalem Post

Korean Peninsula

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is due to arrive in Pyongyang on Wednesday for meetings seen as setting the stage for a visit by President Vladimir Putin, who has stepped up cooperation with politically isolated North Korea. – Reuters

South Korea, the United States and Japan will hold a joint aerial exercise near the Korean peninsula, which would be the first time the three countries are conducting such a drill, media reports said on Wednesday. – Reuters

America faces a tightening alliance of its biggest foes in Asia while North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un speeds up arms shipments to Russia six weeks after shaking hands with President Putin on the deal. – New York Sun


The Biden administration is tightening restrictions on China’s ability to buy advanced semiconductors, fueling friction with U.S. businesses that sell to the vast Chinese market. – Wall Street Journal

The Chinese military has ramped up its aggressive behavior against U.S. surveillance aircraft in the Pacific, conducting more than 180 risky intercepts in the past two years, the Pentagon says — already more than in the previous decade. – Washington Post

Inside the Great Hall of the People here last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) implored leader Xi Jinping to distance himself from Russian President Vladimir Putin, arguing that Putin, a pariah in the West, was holding back China’s ambitions. – Wall Street Journal

Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday laid out a vision for a revamped version of his signature “Belt and Road” investment initiative and promised continued economic support for nations that sign on to China’s remade world order. – Washington Post

The Five Eyes countries’ intelligence chiefs came together on Tuesday to accuse China of intellectual property theft and using artificial intelligence for hacking and spying against the nations, in a rare joint statement by the allies. – Reuters

Xi Jinping portrayed his signature Belt and Road Initiative as a sweeping alternative to the US-led world order, a vision for global economic cooperation endorsed in person by Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Bloomberg

Joseph Bosco writes: Neither a Donald Trump-anointed Speaker, especially combined with another Trump presidency, nor an enfeebled Republican Speaker hamstrung by Democrats from pursuing a moderate conservative agenda will serve the national interest. Both possibilities bring cheer to Xi and Putin and their allies. – The Hill


When the Salvor, a U.S. Navy rescue and salvage ship, pulled into a port in India’s southeast this summer, the job at hand was patching up the aging vessel. But there was a bigger mission, too: opening another door for a U.S. military trying to stretch out across the Indo-Pacific and counter Chinese power. – New York Times

Concerns about energy security, as well as Japan’s diverse diplomatic interests in the region, explain why Tokyo initially struck a more neutral tone on the crisis than other Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations, three government sources with knowledge of the matter said. – Reuters

Editorial: But the administration’s efforts in the Pacific are better late than not at all. The priorities seem right — infrastructure and combating the effects of climate change. A planned follow-up visit to the region next month by Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will help convince Pacific islanders that this newfound attention is more than fleeting. – Washington Post


Russian President Vladimir Putin, increasingly isolated over the war against Ukraine, met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in China on Tuesday. – Washington Post

Islamic State claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack in Brussels, according to the group’s channel on Telegram on Tuesday, which said one of its fighters carried out the attack that killed two people. – Reuters

Europe is seeing a rise of “Islamist terrorism” and all states are threatened, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday during a visit to Albania, after Islamist killings of a teacher in France and two Swedish football fans in Belgium. – Reuters

Spain has boosted security measures at sensitive points and redoubled counterterrorism efforts, the interior ministry said on Tuesday, as other European countries said they faced an increase in extremist threats amid rising tensions in the Middle East. – Reuters

Italy on Tuesday arrested an Egyptian and an Italian citizen of Egyptian origin on suspicion of terrorism offences and being members of the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the Milan prosecutors’ office said. – Reuters

The killing of two Swedish citizens in an attack ahead of a soccer match in Brussels has shocked the Scandinavian country, although the government has been warning for months that Swedes were at greater risk since a recent string of public desecrations of the Quran holy book by a handful of anti-Islam activists. – Associated Press

A Berlin synagogue was attacked with Molotov cocktails early Wednesday as antisemitic incidents in the German capital have been rising following the violent escalation in the Middle East. – Associated Press

Belgium said it will focus on tackling illegal migration and aims to rally other European Union members to join its efforts after a terrorist attack by a Tunisian man left two Swedish football fans dead. – Bloomberg

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Tuesday that a hard-left lawmaker should face a criminal investigation on suspicion of justifying terrorism after she described Palestinian terror group Hamas as a “resistance” movement. – Agence France-Presse


Africa is now realising its potential and capacity, with the formerly side-lined continent harnessing its demographic dividend and natural resources and becoming an economic, political and social powerhouse, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Wednesday. – Reuters

United Nations peacekeepers started departing from two bases in northern Mali Monday as part of a forced withdrawal from the country amid increasing insecurity and a rise in attacks by Islamic extremists. – Associated Press

A Ugandan militia group linked to the Islamic State militants killed two foreign tourists and their local guide at a national park bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, police said. – Bloomberg


The Americas

Venezuela’s authoritarian regime and opposition leaders agreed Tuesday to hold presidential elections next year, which could lead the U.S. to further ease sanctions and allow more oil-and-gas companies to operate in the South American country.  – Wall Street Journal

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday cited a marked rise in antisemitism in Canada following Palestinian Islamist group Hamas’ attack on Israel and Israel’s subsequent deadly air strikes in Gaza. – Reuters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said a reported Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza was “horrific and absolutely unacceptable.” – Reuters

United States

White House officials are considering asking Congress for an aid package primarily aimed at supporting Ukraine and Israel that could cost as much as $100 billion, although that preliminary estimate may change as planning remains in flux, according to four people briefed on the matter. – Washington Post

A fatal stabbing in Illinois, a gun pointed at protesters in Pennsylvania, vandalism at synagogues and harassment of staff at a Palestinian restaurant all are raising fears that the war between Israel and Hamas is sparking violence in the United States. The tensions follow a familiar pattern of crimes against Jewish and Muslim communities rising when conflict erupts in the Middle East and Americans have been killed or taken hostage. – Associated Press

The war in the Middle East — and the unspeakable war crimes committed so far by Hamas — should put America on high alert to vulnerabilities in our own border. That’s what a former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, warns in an interview with the Sun. – New York Sun

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes: I presume the Biden administration has also understood that the best long-term outcome is advanced by being unstinting now in reflecting the justified anger of Israeli citizens. This aids the emergence of a more dispassionate strategy likely to put back on track the strategic interest that Israel and many of its neighbors share in countering the malign and destabilizing influence of Iran, which the terrorist massacre of 10 days ago only underlines. America has its own fever to get over. – Wall Street Journal

Jason L. Riley writes: Academia has been an incubator of leftist causes going back at least as far as the 1960s. Since that time, however, double standards have proliferated in admissions and faculty hiring. Ideology has become more important than scholarship, and political correctness dominates decision-making to the point that calling an act of terror an act of terror is to risk upsetting significant numbers of students and faculty. Many administrators are captive to those on campus who believe that higher education is about indoctrination and thought control rather than open inquiry, civil engagement and the rational examination of competing viewpoints. – Wall Street Journal

Betsy McCaughey writes: The world needs a new international organization dominated by democratic leaders, instead of thugs and despots. Mr. Biden is incapable, but our next president should get it done. – New York Sun


After improving the sophistication and stepping up the aggressiveness of its cyber operations, China has displaced Russia as the top threat in cyberspace, the veteran cybersecurity executive Kevin Mandia said Tuesday. – CyberScoop

The infamous Russian state hacking group known as Sandworm has targeted at least eleven Ukrainian internet and telecom providers since May, according to a recent report from Ukrainian cybersecurity authorities. – The Record

A major cyber attack on a financial services payments system could lead to global losses of $3.5 trillion, with much of it not covered by insurance, commercial insurance market Lloyd’s of London (SOLYD.UL) said on Wednesday. – Reuters


The war between Hamas and Israel is forcing the Biden administration to send more forces and military capabilities back into the region, once again refocusing American policy on the Middle East at a time when it has been hoping to concentrate on potential threats from China and Russia. – Wall Street Journal

These are dark days for military recruiting. The Army, Navy and Air Force have tried almost everything in their power to bring in new people. They’ve relaxed enlistment standards, set up remedial schools for recruits who can’t pass entry tests, and offered signing bonuses worth up to $75,000. Still, this year the three services together fell short by more than 25,000 recruits. – New York Times

House Republicans are writing a military authorization that would allow President Joe Biden to strike Iran-backed proxy forces throughout the Middle East if the Israel-Hamas war escalates into a broader regional conflict. – Defense News

A bipartisan group of senators is appealing to the White House to release Pentagon cost estimates related to the submarine-industrial base as the Biden administration and Congress move to implement AUKUS, the trilateral submarine-sharing pact with Britain and Australia. – Defense News

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has moved to extend the deployment of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group and will move Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary closer to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters on Tuesday. – USNI News