In recent days, we’ve seen significant developments on Israel’s northern border, in the West Bank and in Gaza. Elsewhere around the Middle East, we are seeing a noteworthy uptick in terrorist activity targeting Western interests and shipping lanes important to the world economy. And behind it all are the Tyrants of Tehran and their Russian partners in (war) crime.


As we’ve said for years, Lebanon is slave to the whims of Hezbollah. And as Israel has said for years, the situation along its northern border - wherein a genocidal terror organization is plotting and planning to kill Israeli innocents with Iran’s backing (apologies if that sounds horrifically familiar) – is untenable.

Since October 7th, Hezbollah has launched just shy of 600 attacks against Israel. A total of 172 terrorists have been killed (approximately 90% from Hezbollah, the rest from its allies).  In recent days, Hezbollah has escalated strikes against Israel including attacking both a military base and civilian areas. All civilians in Israel’s north believed to be under Hezbollah threat have been evacuated for months.

Following Israel’s targeted assassination of a Hamas terror mastermind under Hezbollah’s protection in the heart of Beirut last week, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah delivered remarks (via video) that while filled with saber rattling and bluster, some analysts believe indicated a reluctance on Nasrallah’s part to engage in a full-scale conflict with Jerusalem because Israel would most assuredly exact a devastating cost on Hezbollah and its leadership. If that indeed happened, Iran would be dealt a deep blow to two major proxies in the region.

Tragically, this puts Israel in the position of having to either wait until Hezbollah feels they can defeat Israel (never a good idea), or ensure Hezbollah is pushed back away from Israel’s borders so Israelis can return to their homes. There are no good options, save international diplomatic pressure which thus far has proved highly limited and largely useless. 

As such, in recent days Israel is alleged to have assassinated a commander in one of Hezbollah’s special forces units – the highest-ranking Hezbollah terrorist killed since October 7th.  And Jerusalem has not ceased targeting Hamas officials living in Hezbollah’s orbit, with reports on Monday that Israel terminated Hamas’s rocket chief in Syria. For its part, Israel seems to largely believe that war with Hezbollah is a matter of if, not when.

Nonetheless, Jerusalem appears to be holding out hope that by degrading certain Hezbollah capabilities and making clear that Israel is mobilized for a fight (not an empty threat, by the way), perhaps Hezbollah, and its paymasters in Iran, will choose to avoid a full confrontation with Jerusalem and (fully) back their terrorist-army away from Israel’s borders.

Hamastan (and Beyond)


Israel’s operations in northern Gaza appear to be moving to the next phase. Rather than conquering territory to find and destroy the (often underground) terrorist infrastructure to end Hamas’s military hold of the area, Israel seems to have completed much of that work in northern Gaza. The IDF appears to now be focusing largely on targeted raids utilizing specific intelligence to address a specific target (or, God willing, rescue hostages).

In southern Gaza the IDF has now taken control of the Hamas headquarters in Khan Yunis. At this stage, Hamas is very much on the run and their leaders have fewer and fewer places to hide. This said, Hamas still does have strongholds in southern Gaza, and it is believed that Hamas is holding the hostages in those areas.

Moreover, Hamas’s top Gaza leadership – or at least those who haven’t already been terminated or surrendered – remains in southern Gaza. For example, according to several analysts, it is believed that Israel knows exactly where Hamas’s top military leader Yahya Sinwar is hiding but is not striking the target because the terrorist mastermind has surrounded himself with Israeli hostages, using them as human shields. In fact, some hostages that have been released have reported meeting Sinwar during their captivity.

Terrorists in Judea and Samaria have stepped up activity in recent days as well, resulting in the death of one Israeli civilian and one member of the Border Police. Israel is continuing counterterror operations in Judea and Samaria with consistence.  

The Big Picture


Israel is braced for an even greater war than she is currently fighting. But the past three months have taken an immense toll on the country. Since October 7th, at least 1,300 Israelis have been killed, more than 130 hostages remain under threat of Hamas’s knife, and an exceptionally significant percentage of the Israeli population has been called off to war.

As the IDF operational emphasis shifts in northern Gaza, this has enabled the military to allow numerous soldiers to return home. In part, this decision – and the speed with which the IDF moved to the next phase of its efforts there – was likely driven by the significant economic impact the conflict has had on Israel which is estimated to be approximately $60 billion.

To put all of this in perspective, it is believed that Israel’s annual defense budget for 2023 was $24 billion. While this may not seem like a lot of money compared to the U.S. defense budget (approximately $840 billion), it constitutes an estimated 5.2% of the country’s GDP. By comparison, the U.S., the most powerful military force on earth, spends approximately 3% of its GDP on defense.

Data like this can be a bit mind-numbing, we admit. But Congressional dithering and political gamesmanship has prevented the U.S. from approving the much needed $14.5 billion supplemental to Israel despite bipartisan support for the measure. As the above numbers show, Israel can do a whole lot with a little, but you can’t do much with nothing. We think defeating Hamas and keeping Hezbollah and Iran at bay is a steal at twice the price of the supplemental, and we know the bulk of Congress agrees.

So that leaves us with just one question… The American people are willing to invest our tax dollars to support Israel’s destruction of Hamas; is there a Congressional leader willing to invest their political capital to have Israel’s back? As Congress gets back to Washington this week, we should have our answer in due course.


The CUFI Action Fund


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