Saturday, December 30, 2023

Frontpage Magazine’s Man of the Year: The IDF Soldier - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

In a year of defeatism and surrender, he is fighting back.


In a year when the civilized world is stuck in a state of retreat, he is fighting back.

Under Biden’s leadership, America has been invaded by hordes of millions of migrants, and Europe continues to stagger under an endless wave of migration from the Muslim world. That’s why American and European cities are being torn apart by rioting mobs supporting Hamas.

But after Israel was invaded on Oct 7, it fought back. The men on the front lines are not the politicians or the generals, they’re among the 360,000 reservists activated in a nation with a Jewish population of 7 million who left behind their homes, families and jobs to go and fight.

The Israeli military was unprepared for both Oct 7 and a call-up of this size. The soldiers were fed, clothed, and equipped by the people. While the media reports on the fighting, the truly incredible unreported story is how civilian volunteers have become the supply and support (the ‘tooth-to-tail’) of the Israel Defense Forces or the IDF.

In a small country, volunteers have been bringing food every day, they have provided clothes, shipped in body armor and even showed up with washing machines on pickup trucks to do the laundry. Some civilian volunteers have been wounded and even killed while delivering food. Israeli housewives have formed the Baking Battalion to make cookies, a cooking school produces meals for the troops and restaurants operate free food trucks. Others have stepped in to harvest crops and run the shops of the reservists who have been called up to serve in Gaza.

When the government and the leaders failed, the ordinary Israeli stepped up.

Some armies call themselves the “people’s army”: IDF soldiers really are. They’ve gone into Gaza knowing that the country stands behind them, not as an ideal, but as an everyday reality. Israel is a small country and everyone knows someone who died, came under attack, is among the 200,000 who left their homes to be out of range of the terrorist attacks, or in the ranks of those who are fighting or who have already fallen in defense of their nation.

Israel today reminds me of New York City after September 11 where for a brief shining moment everyone except the worst leftists pulled together against a common enemy. That spirit may well pass in Israel as it did in America, but while it lasts, it is something to admire and emulate.

Islamist mobs rampage around Manhattan and our elites celebrate Hamas, but the Israelis woke up after one terrible day and decided that they wouldn’t take it anymore. They rejected the dogma that fighting doesn’t work and they went to war. And far more than their own country is riding on the outcome. Nation after nation has surrendered to the Jihad, appeased it, and accepted the lie that Islamic terrorists can’t be defeated and fighting back only radicalizes them.

America accepted Islamic terrorism as the new normal, now we’ve accepted Muslim mobs smashing up our cities as the new normal. What new horror will we accept next?

The Israeli soldier is in the field fighting against this corrosive mainstreaming of evil. He is at war not only with the reality of Islamic terror but the idea that we are defenseless against it. That is why we all have a stake in what happens thousands of miles away. Gaza is not a territory: it’s a state of mind. There are Gazas in the ‘no-go zones’ of England and France, forming in Michigan and emerging in New York City. It is not a question of whether our war will come, but when.

For now we can still pretend that a 7th century madman’s book doesn’t affect us.

American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq all too often had to ask why they were there, no Israeli soldier in Gaza ever has to ask that question. Such questions end when the war comes home.

We’ve become used to wars that are abstractions, geopolitical policy decisions to change a regime or protect the international order, but that’s not what wars are like in Israel.

It’s a one hour drive from the hyper dense Tel Aviv metropolitan area to Kibbutz Be’eri where Islamic terrorists carried out some of the worst atrocities on Oct 7. The thousands of Jihadis, some on pickup trucks with mounted machine guns, had orders to keep going until they reached Tel Aviv. They didn’t get that far, but they did make it to Sderot, a town of 27,000 and they attacked Yad Mordechai just down the road from the city of Ashkelon.

It’s a six hour trip along Israel. On the narrowest points, it’s walkable. In wartime, there is no ‘over there’ in Israel, it’s all ‘over here’. IDF soldiers are not fighting for the international order or to nation build anything: they’re traveling hours to the north to protect their homes.

The Biden administration, the international community and the rest of the foreign policy ‘blob’ are obsessed with nation building in Gaza. They keep demanding a ‘day after’ plan from Israel. Conspiracy theorists claim that the lack of a ‘day after’ plan proves that Israel intends to expel all the Arab Muslim settlers from Gaza. The truth is that Israel doesn’t care about the same nation building nonsense that failed in every single Muslim country it’s been tried in 30 years.

When the madman across the street just butchered your family, you don’t plan out a rehab program or discuss his prison sentence while exchanging fire with him. That sort of madness is reserved for international foreign policy experts with no clue or skin in the game. The same goes for the obsession with “proportionate responses” or “winning the hearts and minds” of Hamas.

Instead of the nonsense that wasted so many of our lives, Israel is focused on winning the war.

Buried in the CNN and MSNBC reports, which are virtually indistinguishable from Al Jazeera’s Hamas propaganda barrage of bombing videos, is the fact that Israeli soldiers accomplished what the Biden administration’s military experts believed was impossible in record time.

Secretary of Defense Austin had urged Israelis to use his fight against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul as a model. The fighting in Mosul took 9 months and led to over 1,000 casualties among the anti-ISIS coalition. Two weeks after the beginning of ground operations, Israel was in the heart of Gaza City. Now, IDF leaders say they’re close to having operational control over the north.

As of now, 164 IDF soldiers have fallen in the fighting against over 8,000 Hamas terrorists. Those approximate, but improve on, the casualty rates of American forces fighting against ISIS (then known as Al Qaeda in Iraq) and Iranian militias during the peak of the 2007 ‘Surge’. But the Israelis don’t have any Muslim allied forces fighting alongside them in urban battles.

Oct 7 heavily damaged the myth of the IDF, but the myth was always based on a misconception of what the Israel Defense Forces are. The IDF has its origins in groups of volunteer guards who were trained by Major General Orde Wingate, a devout Christian Zionist highly unpopular within the British military, in the unconventional doctrines that he would apply in WWII. The IDF is excellent at offensive operations, but poor at defensive ones except when individual soldiers launch desperate last stands of the kind that helped turn the tide in a few crucial battles.

The strength of the IDF has never been in its generals, though like the U.S. military it had some capable old school celebrity generals, now long gone, but in the character of the average fighting man. Strategy and leadership are crucial, but the IDF was built on the resilience of the ordinary soldier. Nations don’t make peoples and generals don’t make armies: it’s people who make nations and armies. That’s as true in Israel as it is in America.

Unlike the Islamic Jihadists they are battling, IDF soldiers don’t go to war fueled by meth or promises of 72 virgins, they go knowing that the lives of their friends and families depend on them. The politicians and the generals may fail them, but they do what needs to be done.

In Gaza now, they make beds among the rubble, put in earplugs and try to sleep while bombs and bullets shatter the night, and then, when it is time, they rise and fight. They are not superhuman or infallible: only ordinary men who know what is at stake. But they don’t know everything that is at stake. They see only their homes and the children they said goodbye to.

What they don’t see is a thousand year Jihad, the rafts bringing invaders to Europe and planes carrying them to America. They see only their small corner of the sky and earth to protect, but they are fighting a small battle that will shape the outcome of the greater civilizational war.

That is why the IDF soldier is Front Page Magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’. In a year of defeatism, he is still fighting. Even though all the experts say he should stop, he does not give up.

Those of us who see the big picture are often prone to despair, but the Israelis never look at big pictures. Israelis, unlike American Jews, have little interest in the big questions because, also unlike American Jews, they are religious in a mostly matter-of-fact way. When they look in the mirror, they don’t see insecurity, they see a fallible human being and when they look at the sky, they don’t see existential questions, they see G-d. That is why they have hope, not woke.

These are important because they not only encourage us to hope, but tell us how.

The IDF soldier is the reflection of a nation that has learned to live in the face of impossible threats by focusing on what needs to be done today. That lack of vision is a weakness, but it is also a strength. We too can turn from worrying about tomorrow and ask what we can do today.

The ordinary Israeli is in the field, or making cookies, washing khaki clothes and harvesting crops. He does not think about the unlikelihood that a nation of millions can survive the hatred of over a billion fanatics who believe that their only path to paradise is through genocide. He or she does what needs to be done, without despair or rage, but with the inner strength of purpose.

Israel is a nation at war with our enemies. The Islamists and leftists, the professional racists and deranged woke armies march through the streets of our cities calling for Israel’s destruction. It is not only a physical war, but a spiritual war, a cultural war and a moral war. It is a war that encompasses all of us, our homes, our families and our futures, but at the moment only one group of men is fighting that war, not just with words or elections, but with bullets.

Their fight gives us hope. Their fight shows us how to fight. Their fight shows us the future.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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Douglas Murray, Col. Richard Kemp explain uphill battle for Israel - Gabriel Emanuel


by Gabriel Emanuel

Douglas Murray and Col. Richard Kemp – two of Israel’s most beloved friends, indeed – answer some FAQs on the current war.


 Douglas Murray (photo credit:  Douglas Murray)
Douglas Murray
(photo credit: Douglas Murray)

It might have been mistaken for a rock concert as hundreds of 20- and 30-somethings streamed into Tel Aviv’s Carlton Hotel last week. But these young adults weren’t there for any music. Instead, they were clamoring to hear the perspectives of two prominent advocates for Israel.

The featured speakers at the International Salon were the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp; and author and political commentator Douglas Murray, who has become a social media star since Oct. 7 and whose book War on the West (2018) quickly became a New York Times bestseller.

Both Kemp and Murray have spent the past two and a half months in Israel covering the war. “I’ve almost made aliyah” quipped Kemp.

When the charismatic Murray entered the room a little late, for reasons that he would later share, the audience broke into applause. While Kemp has been known for years for endorsing the IDF as the “most moral army” in the world, Murray shot to fame at the opening of the current conflict with his acerbic response to an interviewer’s question as to whether Israel’s response to the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7 could be considered “proportionate.”

In a segment on Britain’s Talk TV, which went instantly viral, Murray responded: “There is some deep perversion in Britain whenever Israel is involved in a conflict, and it’s the word you just used – ‘proportion,’ ‘proportionate,’ ‘proportionality.’ Only Britain is really obsessed with this.

 Col. Richard Kemp (credit: Richard Kemp)Enlrage image
Col. Richard Kemp (credit: Richard Kemp)

Proportionality in conflict rarely exists. But if we were to decide that we should have this fetish about proportionality, then that would mean that in retaliation for what Hamas did in Israel on Saturday [Oct. 7], then Israel should try and locate a music festival in Gaza, for instance (and good luck with that), and rape precisely the number of women that Hamas raped, kill precisely the number of young people that Hamas killed.

“They should find a town of exactly the same size of Sderot, and make sure they go door to door and kill precisely the correct number of babies that Hamas killed in Sderot and shoot in the head precisely the same number of old-age pensioners that Hamas shot in the head on Saturday.

“Proportionality in conflict is a joke,” spurned Murray. “It is only the Israelis that, when attacked, are expected to have precisely a proportionate response.”

Given both British gentlemen’s philosemitic reputations, the audience broke out with laughter and applause when they were introduced as the “two most beloved goyim” in all of Israel.

Nonplussed by the off-color moniker, Kemp stated proudly that “I am also an extremely talented ‘Shabbat goy, the result of residing in a hotel with many displaced persons from Kiryat Shmona who have used my services quite extensively.”

Asked by British moderator Deborah Danon what drew them to supporting Israel in a topsy-turvy world that was largely hostile toward the Jewish state, each had similar reasons for doing so.

“I was taught when I was very young to know right from wrong,” said Kemp, “and it’s my duty to support those who are right. There is no question who is in the right in this fight.”

Underscoring his 30 years fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, Kemp said that he feels duty-bound “to do what little I can do to help fight this fight with you because it’s not just your fight – it’s a fight for Western civilization. The same ideology that’s attacking you now has attacked us in the past and will intensify its attacks in the future.”

Apologizing for his late entrance, having been held up in an interview on [the TV talk show] Piers Morgan Uncensored (“It’s quite hard to get Piers to stop talking”), Murray offered another reason that drew him over to Israel’s side.

“Aside from my love for this country and its people,” he said, “I also see something that I think any writer or journalist should see and get very annoyed by, which is lies. When it’s lies about an entire nation and people, when I hear someone like this blowhard I heard earlier [on Piers Morgan Uncensored] accusing Israel of ‘genociding’ the Palestinians, I can’t sit here and not say something.

“I’m not going to allow these canards, smears, lies, and defamation to just go on. I don’t like lies being told, and Israel has been on the receiving end of some of the biggest, longest, deepest, and most wounding lies of our era,” Murray said. “So I believe in the simple cause of ‘moral hygiene’ that it’s necessary to try and clean some of that up.”

The moderator then asked: “In a world of TikTok, where Jesus is Palestinian... do you ever ask yourself ‘What’s the point?’”

“Never, actually,” Murray replied emphatically. “Even if it were the case, what option have you got?”

Despite the omnipresence of social media, where lies “rocket around the world,” Murray holds fast to a different view. “If you live in a world where 99 lies are being told and one person tells the truth, the truth will win,” he asserted. “The validity of a truth in an era of lies cannot be underestimated.”

ON THE topic of lies, it was an easy segue to Hamas’s battle figures. “I don’t know what the latest exaggerated figure is from Hamas about the number of people who have been killed in Gaza,” said Kemp. “I just know that [Hamas] has to be defeated. If it means that a very large number of people, whether military or civilian, have to die in that process, then unfortunately that’s the case.

“No sovereign, democratic state can exist under this threat. So [the threat] must be eliminated. It’s as simple as that.”

Kemp, who has been in Gaza several times, noted that he is deeply impressed by the IDF’s combat effectiveness. Regarding Hamas, he said: “They want the IDF to kill their civilians. They want as many civilians killed as possible because that then provokes the inevitable international demand for ceasefire, condemning Israel for war crimes.”

Asked about pressure from the United States, Murray said: “You should be courteous to your allies but not subservient to them,” earning him a hearty round of applause.

“The future of this state, of the Jewish people, must be in the hands of the Jewish people,” he continued. “It cannot be in the hands of anyone else. It cannot be in the hands of people who say the day after the massacre of Oct. 7 that this is why we need to double down on the two-state solution. It just can’t be in the hands of people going at that kind of slow speed.”

Had the events of Oct. 7 happened in the US, Murray pointed out, proportionately over 120,000 Americans would have been massacred on one day. “Nobody can tell me that the Americans would have listened to anyone then, nor should they,” he said.

The one potential outcome of the war that Murray absolutely rejects is that the situation might return to the status quo ante of October 6.

“Israel must be allowed to win,” he asserted. “It cannot simply always be encouraged to fight for a stalemate.”

Regarding Hezbollah, Murray poked fun at the thought that we would all have to relearn the map of the North and become experts again on the Litani River [in Lebanon].

“Since 2006, it’s just been a replay of the same thing. Anything other than actual victory by the Israelis in this conflict is unacceptable because all of these efforts to make Israel fight into a stalemate will simply prepare the groundwork for the next war, and this country deserves not to be forced into perpetual war,” he stressed.

Israel's lacking friends

RESPONDING TO the issue of the hostages, Murray said that he was genuinely shocked by “the lack of empathy for Israel internationally.”

A glaring example, he said, was the tearing down of posters of the hostages around the world. “If you put up a poster of a missing cat or dog in your neighborhood, you would not expect anyone to rip it down,” he asserted.

“And if anyone did rip it down, you would think that person was subhuman. This wasn’t dogs or cats. These were Jewish children. In city after city, sociopaths tore down these posters. This lack of empathy has been there since [Oct. 7].”

Addressing the tragic incident in which three hostages were mistakenly killed by Israeli troops, Murray said: “The media treats it as more evidence of the brutality of the Israeli soldiers – ‘they even kill their own!’

“Imagine the lives of those soldiers who shot those three hostages, how they must have felt. And yet, instead of recognizing what a tragedy that is for everybody involved, they use it as a weapon against Israel! That really has slightly startled me.”

When asked by the moderator about “the day after,” Kemp said: “The IDF has no option whatsoever, apart from to stay in control of Gaza from now on. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks; it doesn’t matter what President Biden might want to happen.

“What is absolutely certain is that the IDF must maintain security control of Gaza. It means either a permanent IDF presence inside the whole of Gaza, or it means the creation of a one- or two-mile buffer zone on the inside of the Gaza border that no one is allowed to go into and that the IDF can police.”

About the general population of Gaza, Kemp said: ”The reality in Gaza is that the vast majority of allegedly innocent civilians support Hamas. Even when they see the horrors that Hamas has brought on them, they still support Hamas. And there will be efforts to have a Hamas 2.”

Murray concurred that it is a “very bleak necessity” for Israel to stay in Gaza. For how long? “Call me a pessimist,” Kemp said, “but I would say forever.”

Both Kemp and Murray spend time visiting the wounded in hospitals. On a recent visit, Murray met a farmer from a border kibbutz who had lost his wife, son, and both his legs in the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack. He told Murray: “I have been a leftist all my life. I now want to look out on nothing but potato fields from here to the Mediterranean.”

Commented Murray: “Who can risk living beside these people? Nobody else in the world would be expected to have to put up with that. I think you should have the right to live in peace and know that the border you have does not contain genocidal maniacs on the other side who want to kill you.”

A future in politics?

THE AUDIENCE also had an opportunity to question the speakers. What changes would Murray like to see in present-day Britain? “Obviously the first thing I’d do would be to make Richard Kemp minister of defense,” he suggested to uproarious laughter. “I assume you’ll be prime minister, will you?” Kemp shot back. Feigning humility, Murray demurred, saying, “If the nations calls…”

On a more serious note, Murray condemned the “appalling” pro-Hamas demonstrations that have taken place in London. “I think it’s been shameful,” he said. “I want no Hamas supporters in my country. And that’s quite easy to arrange,” he added. He was referring to Muhammud Sawalha, a key Hamas terrorist from the West Bank who subsequently obtained British citizenship.

“To get a British passport, you must sign a form that says you are a person of good character. I submit that he is not a person of good character,” said Murray, “and that he lied on his form when he said that he was. I would like to see his citizenship stripped, and I would like to see him deported and to try his luck in Gaza.”

Murray also cited the case of a young woman whose British passport was recalled when she returned from having joined ISIS. She tried to pretend that she didn’t know that they were actually a “murderous, head-hacking group” and besides, “we all make mistakes.”

Murray contended that she shouldn’t get her passport back. “If you’re with an Islamist death cult, you should not be allowed to be in Britain.”

He was also asked about the quality of Israel’s hasbara (public diplomacy) in the current war. “I believe they should be given some credit,” he said.

He cited Al-Shifa Hospital as an example, pointing out that Israel released closed-circuit TV footage of some hostages being dragged into the hospital, as well as showing the weapons cache discovered there. But at the same time, he underscored why not even the best PR may succeed.

“The minute they show that the hospital has an arms dump inside it, and has a load of Kalashnikovs and grenades, Jeremy Bowen of the BBC is asked about it and says, ‘Well, it is not inconceivable that the Kalashnikovs belonged to the hospital’s security department.’”

Murray said that the following day, he responded on television by saying sarcastically, “Yeah, and it’s possible the grenades were for the cardiology department.”

Murray’s point is well taken. No matter how strong the evidence is, it is not necessarily strong enough to overcome bias.

Kemp concurred, saying, “This extraordinary propaganda campaign against Israel – everything that Israel does is wrong. For the past 10 years, the BBC has not allowed me to speak on any program about Israel. Any other security issue, any other country I’m on all the time on the BBC. Just not about Israel.”

Murray stressed how moved he is about the young people of this country. “They will be an example not just to Israel, but to the people of the world.

“I think the country is still going through a trauma, trying to work out what was done to you in October,” he continued.

“You asked at the beginning why we do this. I would just say it is the honor of my life to be standing in alliance with you.”

When the evening concluded, the young adults in the audience rushed to the small stage to take selfies with both men. Douglas Murray and Col. Richard Kemp – two of Israel’s most beloved friends, indeed.

Gabriel Emanuel


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David Schwimmer slams survivor orgs. for not believing Israelis were brutalized on Oct. 7 - Jerusalem Post Staff


by Jerusalem Post Staff

Despite his experiences with organizations that work for the benefit of survivors of rape and sexual assault, many yet “refuse to believe” that people in Israel were assaulted by Hamas terrorists.


David Schwimmer (photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE)

Actor David Schwimmer, known for his role as Ross Geller on the hit 90’s sitcom ‘Friends,’ slammed organizations and individuals who “refuse to believe” the testimonies of the Jewish survivors of Hamas’s assault on southern Israel on October 7.

Schwimmer’s statements came on his Friday post to his 8.3 million followers on the social media platform, Instagram. His message castigating those who, despite the abundant evidence, continue to doubt the testimonies of Israeli survivors,  captioned a screenshot of the recent New York Times article documenting cases of sexual assault and rape experienced by Israeli women during Hamas’s attacks.

“I served on the Board of Directors for The Rape Foundation for almost 20 years, and have been an advocate for child and adult survivors of sexual violence for almost 30,” Schwimmer wrote. He goes on to share how, during his time doing this work, he has encountered “the most incredible and courageous people” who survived “the most horrific conditions imaginable” and have been able to go on to lead normal lives after receiving proper treatment and care.

He continued to highlight that, regardless of an individual’s identity, such as their age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, education, or economic status, “One crucial aspect I learned early on about the healing process, and for justice to be served by the criminal offenders, is that the survivor be BELIEVED,” Schwimmer added.

However, he noted, despite his experiences with organizations that work for the benefit of survivors of rape and sexual assault, many yet “refuse to believe” that people in Israel were assaulted by Hamas terrorists.

David Schwimmer (credit: REUTERS)Enlrage image
David Schwimmer (credit: REUTERS)

Schwimmer: "Where is their outrage?"

“Where is their outrage?” Schwimmer wrote. “In the weeks and months that followed, it became clear that their activism, their advocacy, is conditional. They’ll fight like hell for ALL victims of sexual violence — unless they’re Jews.”

He goes on to suggest that denial of Hamas’s crimes against Israelis is a method of “avoiding compassion and personal responsibility,” but stated that he hopes the New York Times article will bring such people to admit their error and confront unconscious biases.

“Because — as they know better than most — their refusal to believe the survivors have RE-TRAUMATIZED them, as well as their families, friends, and those of us who did believe them,” Schwimmer emphasized. “But they can use their voice now. And it would be great to know who the real allies are.”

"Their refusal to believe the survivors have RE-TRAUMATIZED them, as well as their families, friends, and those of us who did believe them.”

David Schwimmer

Jerusalem Post Staff


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Hamas Supporters Return to Ground Zero to Promote Terror - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

What kind of nation allows this?


There’s really something about the Jihad and Ground Zero.

He Survived the Trade Center Bombing. ‘I Always Knew They’d Be Back.’ -Thirty years ago today, Tim Lang was injured in the first attack on the twin towers, an ominous but often overlooked prelude to 9/11. He does not forget.

We’ve forgotten though and that’s why they’re back.

After attacking Christmas Tree lightings, churches, synagogues, a Holocaust museum and airports, the Hamas mob returned to where they were always going to go.

Only a nation that had completely forgotten and lost touch with the recent past could allow this abomination to take place.

The two Islamic terror attacks on the World Trade Center were obsessed with the idea of bringing down the great symbols of Western Civilization.

That is what this is about more than any individual war.

This is the ancient Islamic Jihad against civilization.

The Jihadists have returned to Ground Zero.


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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Why is Hamas worried about the October 7 narrative of Iran, Hezbollah? - Seth J. Frantzman


by Seth J. Frantzman

Hezbollah, PIJ, and other groups coordinate with Hamas and Iran. It would seem unbelievable that only regarding October 7, there was no prior discussion about such an attack with Iran and its proxies


 Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar. October 15, 2023 (photo credit: Hasan Shirvani/IRNA)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar. October 15, 2023
(photo credit: Hasan Shirvani/IRNA)

Hamas put out two denials this week about October 7, both of which raised eyebrows. Neither of the Hamas statements denies its crimes on October 7; rather, it is proud of how it massacred civilians and kidnapped children and elderly people.

Instead, it is concerned about reports that Iran and Hezbollah knew about the attack. Iran backs Hamas, and in the wake of the attack, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met Hamas leaders in Qatar, many of whom live in Doha. Hamas officials also live in Lebanon and have traveled to Turkey since October 7.Despite all the support Hamas received, however, it remains concerned that eventually, evidence will emerge that other countries or groups had prior knowledge of the October 7 attack.
It is simply implausible that such a huge operation could be planned entirely in Gaza without anyone knowing. Iran has backed Hamas for years and has shown willingness to try to unify its various fronts against Israel to coordinate with Hamas.That means Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other groups coordinate with Hamas and Iran. So, it would seem to be unbelievable that regarding October 7, there was no prior discussion about such an attack with Tehran and its proxies.

Hamas claims that Hezbollah did not know about October 7

Hamas, however, takes this issue very seriously. The terrorist group slammed a French newspaper for an article about the “timing of Operation al-Aqsa Flood.” Hamas claimed that the “journalist has included in his article full of fabrications and lies a claim about Yahya Sinwar asking Saleh al-Arouri to inform Mr. Hassan Nasrallah about the operation half an hour before it happened,” relating that to Osama Hamdan, a senior representative of Hamas in Lebanon.

Palestinian Hamas militants carry a rocket as they parade during an anti-Israel rally in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)Enlrage image
Palestinian Hamas militants carry a rocket as they parade during an anti-Israel rally in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

Hamas claimed the reports that Hezbollah had learned about the attack just before it happened were false, going as far as to say that the article shows foreign media is “biased” and not “professional.”

Concerns about reports that Hezbollah knew about October 7, however, are not the only Hamas denial this week. It also slammed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps spokesman for comments suggesting that October 7 was revenge for the US killing of IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.

“Hamas denies the validity of the remarks,” the terrorist group said. Hamas claimed that the attack on October 7 was due to “the dangers that threaten al-Aqsa Mosque.”These statements show Hamas is now waging a war over perceptions of October 7. It wants to portray its commanders in Gaza as solely responsible and able to perform attacks without Iran’s coordinating hand. It wants to showcase that it is a fully Palestinian movement that doesn’t need to coordinate with Shi’ite Hezbollah.It also wants to show it is not the junior partner of the Iranian-backed “axis” in the region; rather, Hamas is trying to show it is the “decider.”

This may tie into discussions relating to its leadership in Doha and officials in Beirut and how they relate to Sinwar’s leadership in Gaza. It doesn’t imply that the various leaders of Hamas are at odds, but it does seem to imply that the Gaza leadership wants the reins.

It also ties into other recent controversies, such as media claims that Hamas senior member Mousa Abu Marzouk had suggested the group could recognize Israel if Hamas came to lead the Palestinian Authority.

Furthermore, it ties into Sinwar’s letter this week to the Hamas “political” leadership abroad, his first statement since October 7, in which he bragged of Hamas’s defeating Israeli units in Gaza. 

Seth J. Frantzman


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Why are so many of Israel's fallen soldiers from religious Zionist camp? - JPost editorial


by JPost editorial

Of the 11 IDF soldiers who fell in Gaza from Monday through Wednesday, eight came from the religious Zionist camp.


 An Israeli soldier with a prayer shawl seen during a morning prayer near his tank near the border with Lebanon, northern Israel, October 25, 2023 (photo credit: MICHAL GILADI/FLASH90)
An Israeli soldier with a prayer shawl seen during a morning prayer near his tank near the border with Lebanon, northern Israel, October 25, 2023
(photo credit: MICHAL GILADI/FLASH90)

‘In these difficult days of war, it is impossible to ignore the large number of fallen soldiers from the religious-Zionist camp,” read a Tuesday evening post on X. 

“We should salute this community that gives its life for the defense of Israel.”

What makes that post interesting is the man who wrote it: leading left-wing activist Uri Zaki, the executive committee chairman of Meretz, not a party with a particular soft spot for religious Zionism or its adherents.

Yet the reality of this war prompted Zaki to highlight that an inordinate percentage of the fallen have come from the religious Zionist community.

For instance, of the 11 IDF soldiers who fell in Gaza from Monday through Wednesday, eight came from the religious Zionist camp. And of the 167 fallen since the beginning of the ground invasion, some 30 have come from settlements in Judea and Samaria.

 An Israeli soldier prays, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, near the Israel-Gaza border, in southern Israel, December 20, 2023.  (credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)Enlrage image
An Israeli soldier prays, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, near the Israel-Gaza border, in southern Israel, December 20, 2023. (credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

Almost half of Israel's fallen in this war have come from the religious Zionist camp

Channel 12 political commentator Amit Segal said Wednesday that 45% of the fallen in this war came from that camp, and that just as Israel salutes the Druze because of their sacrifice – six Druze soldiers fell in the war, and as a result, there was talk of changing the Nation-State Law, which the Druze community finds offensive – so too should there be acknowledgment of the sacrifice being paid by the religious Zionist community.

Some may take issue with this, saying that going through the list of the fallen and dividing them into sectors just perpetuates the divisions in the country, which helped lead to the Hamas decision to strike now when the country was so badly divided.

But the grisly statistics are worth pointing out for two reasons. The first is to recognize and try to duplicate elsewhere the values that are being transmitted within the religious Zionist camp toward the love of land, country, people and Torah of Israel, and a willingness to sacrifice for the collective.

The religious-Zionist camp – as distinguished from the hard right-wing Religious Zionist party that wrongly appropriated the name – is a big tent that includes left-wing members of religious kibbutzim and right-wing residents of settlements like Elon Moreh. 

Inside the religious-Zionist rubric, you have Chili Tropper and Elazar Stern on the Left side and Bezalel Smotrich and Orit Struck on the Right. 

Though they may differ on many issues – from possible concessions to Palestinians to LGBTQ rights – most within this camp agree that there is religious significance in the reborn State of Israel and that defending it is both a historic privilege and a religious value.

Furthermore, those in this camp generally educate their children with these values, something that can be seen in the high percentage of recruits from religious-Zionist schools opting to go into combat units. 

The disproportionate share of religious soldiers who have fallen reflects their disproportionate presence in these units.

The second reason why it is worth mentioning the number of religious Zionists who have fallen is that, over the years, parts of this community have been demonized as “messianists” and “fascists.”

One of the flagship institutions of the right flank of this community – the Bnei David pre-army IDF preparatory yeshiva in Eli – has been especially demonized, with its head, Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, literally chased out of Tel Aviv a couple of weeks before October 7, with protesters shouting at him: “Go away, fascist! Go back to the settlements; you don’t belong here!” 

Fifteen Bnei David alumni have fallen so far in this war.

As Segal said, “For years there was a campaign of defamation and slander against religious Zionism and settlers – for example, against Eli – it is poisonous, needs to be closed, [and] needs to be blown up.” Perhaps, he said, it is now time to think of this camp differently.

Or, as investigative journalist for the Uvda program Yair Eizenberg wrote on X recently, “I apologize to the religious Zionist community, in which I was raised, and which I have often criticized. I apologize for dismissing what I saw as its militarism and its sanctification of bereavement over life.”

Metaphorically referring to the religious Zionist community as a “factory,” he wrote: “I thank the factory that is responsible for raising masses of excellent young people who are willing to pay with their lives to protect mine.”

To which we can only add: Yes, thank you, indeed.

JPost editorial


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ICE report unmasks staggering toll of Biden border crisis: illegal alien cases hit 6 million - John Solomon


by John Solomon

Total of non-detained illegal aliens has nearly doubled under Biden while straining resources, annual report shows


The Homeland Security Department agency entrusted with removing illegal immigrants is providing a staggering portrait of America’s border crisis, revealing the backlog of aliens inside the United States awaiting decisions has nearly doubled under President Joe Biden to more than 6 million while arrests of suspected terrorists and violent offenders have also exploded.

The year-end report from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement released Friday showed nearly every measure of illegal immigration rose substantially in 2023, candidly admitting the southern border's being overrun by millions of illegal crossers has taken a major toll on the agency.

“While ICE carefully prioritized its resources to meet these evolving mission needs and agency personnel continued to perform at a high standard, these increased demands have strained a workforce that has remained relatively static for the past decade,” the report declared.

The report offered warning signs for both liberals who support loosened immigration enforcement and conservatives who are worried the nation’s security is being jeopardized by Biden’s policies, which have lured millions into the country and overwhelmed cities like Chicago thousands of miles from the southern border.

Liberal activists are certain to be alarmed by the number of illegal aliens kept in detention: ICE reported the number exploded 40.1% from 26,299 last year to 36,845 at the end of the 2023 fiscal year that finished Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, the number of illegal aliens permitted into the country without being detained, usually with court dates far in the future, leapt 30.3 percent in 2023 to more than 6.2 million, nearly double the 3.26 million total in the last year of Donald Trump’s presidency. The report said the vast majority of that total came from the Southwest border where illegal crossings have surged to as many as 12,000 or more a day.

You can read the full report here.

Administrative arrests rose sharply in 2023 to 170,590, with more than 43% of those apprehended having some sort of criminal conviction or pending charges. The figures confirm claims by Trump during his 2024 campaign that large numbers of illegal immigrants come with criminal baggage.

“[T]here were 290,178 charges and convictions for an average of four per individual,” the report noted. “These included many serious charges or convictions for offenses, such as 1,713 charges or convictions for homicide; 1,655 for kidnapping; 4,390 sexual assaults; 33,209 assaults; 3,097 robberies; 6,964 burglaries; and 7,520 weapons offenses.”

Expulsions of high-risk illegal immigrants by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) also jumped by historic proportions, the report said. “In FY 2023, ERO removed 3,406 known or suspected gang members, an increase of 27.7% compared to FY 2022, and 139 known or suspected terrorists, a 148.2% increase compared to FY 2022,” it noted.

Overall, ICE completed 142,580 deportations in 2023, nearly doubling the prior year’s tally. But the number is still a small fraction of the nearly 2.5 million illegal crossers encountered at the southern border alone. The agency also removed only 212 unaccompanied minors in FY 23, despite 137,275 arriving at the southern border, the report showed.

Beyond the human toll endured by ICE agents and border patrol officers, the report also gave glimpses of the growing cost of the illegal immigration wave for taxpayers.

The report revealed the office paying for health care for detained and non-detained illegal aliens spent nearly $352 million in 2023.

The ICE report is certain to give House Republicans more ammunition in their pursuit to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas when they return to work in January.

“This administration has completely neglected our Southwest border,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., said Friday amid reports that December was on track to set a single month records for illegal immigration at more than 275,000 crossers.

Republicans like Green have ramped up arguments that the Biden administration is creating the crisis intentionally, most recently citing a decision to reopen certain rail crossings where aliens have gained entry without creating a solution to stop new unlawful entries.

“Re-opening these rail crossings and border bridges without taking steps to prevent illegal crossings proves that this administration is intentionally continuing this border crisis,” Green said Friday on the X social media platform.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik also weighed in, responding to the record numbers of border crossings.  “Despite these historic numbers, Extreme Democrats continue to turn a blind eye to our Border Crisis," she wrote Friday.

John Solomon


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The Iranian Regime's Killing Machine - Majid Rafizadeh


by Majid Rafizadeh

[H]ow much more harm does the Iranian regime have to do to finally be stopped?


  • In addition to increasing the level of enriched uranium to near nuclear-weapons grade; helping to fund and plan a genocidal war against Israel; attacking US troops in Syria and Iraq with its militias more than 100 times in just the last two months to try to force the US out of the region, and incontinently bogus-trialing, torturing (even children) and executing its own citizens, the Iranian regime has also been orchestrating the assassinations of individuals, particularly those considered opponents to the ruling mullahs' clerical establishment.

  • With Iran's nuclear bombs now well on their way, how much more harm does the Iranian regime have to do to finally be stopped? ?

(Image source: iStock)

In addition to increasing the level of enriched uranium to near nuclear-weapons grade; helping to fund and plan a genocidal war against Israel; attacking US troops in Syria and Iraq with its militias more than 100 times in just the last two months to try to force the US out of the region, and incontinently bogus-trialing, torturing (even children) and executing its own citizens, the Iranian regime has also been orchestrating the assassinations of individuals, particularly those considered opponents to the ruling mullahs' clerical establishment.

Authorities in Cyprus recently thwarted an Iranian plot to assassinate Israeli businessmen in the country. Cypriot police apprehended two Iranian asylum-seekers who were in communication with another Iranian linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Crops, as disclosed by a Cypriot official on December 19, 2023. The official conveyed that the arrest of the suspects resulted from a collaborative operation with Israel's Mossad security service. A statement released by the Israeli Prime Minister's office on behalf of the Mossad, said that Iran's utilization of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus for "terrorist purposes" and as an "area of activity and transit to attack Israeli and Jewish targets" is a matter of great concern.

This is not the first time the Iranian regime has plotted to kill Israelis in Cyprus. The attempt marks the third reported instance of an Iranian plot to target Israelis and Jews in Cyprus within the span of roughly a year. In July 2023, Cypriot authorities foiled a terrorist plot involving an Iranian-backed assassination squad targeting Israelis and other members of the Cypriot Jewish community.

The Iranian regime is also increasingly attempting to assassinate Iranian dissidents abroad. Iranian dissidents have been pointing out that they are encountering intimidation, abductions, and assassination attempts by the Iranian regime across the globe.

Iranian operatives recently offered a human trafficker $200,000 to carry out the assassination of two news anchors, referred to as "the bride and the groom," outside their London studio.

The intent behind this terror plot was most likely to demonstrate to critics of the Iranian regime that it can harm or kill anyone at any given moment. The Iranian operatives had also reportedly devised plans to car-bomb the studios of the Persian-language news channel Iran International, located in a business park in West London. An investigation by ITV News exposed the plotter; thanks to video recordings and text messages obtained as part of the investigation, their detailed plans were unveiled.

Since the Biden administration came to office in January 2021, the Iranian regime has also been attempting to carry out terrorist and assassinations plots on US soil. On August 11, 2022, Shahram Poursafi (aka Mehdi Rezayi) was charged with attempting to hire an individual in the United States, offering $300,000 to carry out the murder of former National Security Advisor John Bolton. The second target was allegedly former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with an offer of $1 million for his assassination. On top of those, a man carrying an AK-47 assault rifle appeared at the Brooklyn, NY home of Iranian-American human rights activist Masih Alinejad.

By attempting to assassinate US citizens on American soil, Iran is deliberately infringing upon US sovereignty. The directives for these extraterritorial assassinations likely originate from the highest levels of political leadership within the Islamic Republic.

The Washington Post highlighted that Iran's attempted abduction of Alinejad serves as a significant warning to the Biden administration:

"The message for the Biden administration, which has frequently proclaimed its intention to defend pro-democracy dissidents, is that Iran and other foreign dictatorships won't shrink from launching attacks inside the United States unless deterred...".

It is really high-time to stop giving billions of dollars to the Iranian regime, which is enlisting individuals globally to intimidate, abduct and assassinate persons perceived as enemies of the regime. Bribing Iran sets a catastrophic precedent. As Sen. Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee stated:

"President Biden's strategy of appeasement continues to risk the lives of Americans at home and abroad. Iran cannot be allowed to continue to attempt to kill U.S. citizens and Iranian dissidents with impunity. The world's number-one state sponsor of terrorism is not to be trusted. I'm holding President Biden accountable by preventing his administration from providing Tehran with another cent of sanctions relief. My PUNISH Act will put an end to this failed appeasement strategy and ensure Iran feels the maximum consequences of their actions from the United States."

With Iran's nuclear weapons now well on the their way, how much more harm does the Iranian regime have to do to finally be stopped?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu


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Meet Linda Tigani, NYC’s Antisemitic Director of the Commission on Racial Equity - Hugh Fitzgerald


by Hugh Fitzgerald

An impressive history of calling for Jewish genocide.


Linda Tigani is the latest bureaucrat to be rising high in the diversity-equity-inclusion racket (NYC Division). She was recently appointed by New York Mayor Eric Adams to direct the city’s Commission on Racial Equity. When it comes to Jews her presumed commitment to “diversity-equity-inclusion” seems to evanesce.  She has quite a history, caught on videos proudly uploaded to social media, of urging, chanting, shouting at rallies “from the river to the sea/Palestine shall be free,” which means, of course, that the one tiny Jewish state must disappear, to be replaced by a 23rd Arab one. More on Linda Tigani can be found in a story from late October; unfortunately, since then nothing has changed. “New head of NYC racial equity commission has spewed antisemitic rhetoric,” by Matthew Sedacca and Deirdre Bardolf, New York Post, October 28, 2023:

Mayor Eric Adams’ new appointee to lead the city’s Commission on Racial Equity, Linda Tigani, has posted antisemitic messages for years, The Post has found.

Her views on the Israel-Palestine war aren’t so equitable.

Mayor Eric Adams’ new appointee for chair and executive director of the city’s Commission on Racial Equity has a history of spewing antisemitic rhetoric.

Linda Tigani, who raked in $143,938 in fiscal year 2022 as acting chief equity and strategy officer for the city Health Department, has repeatedly shared posts on X that include the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which is call by Hamas terrorists and their anti-Israel backers for the eradication of the Jewish state.

“FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA! PALESTINE WILL BE FREE!!” Tigani wrote in a July 1, 2020, post, which also included a clip from the “Day of Rage” rally in Brooklyn, where protesters reportedly chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” in Arabic in response to Israel announcing plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

Tigani shared a video of a Palestinian artist and cook, along with a variant on the antisemitic phrase again in a November 2022 post, writing “Beautiful. From the River to the Sea #PalestineWillBeFree.”

Tigani has also shared a slew of posts highlighting Israeli attacks on Palestinians earlier this year.

The city’s appointed leader of its new Commission on Racial Equity has repeatedly posted antisemitic messages on social media.X @LindaTigan

Tigani has also championed Palestinians in the Middle Eastern conflict on her Facebook page, with her banner image currently reading “Free Gaza!!! Ethiopian for Palestine.”

Gaza has been “free” of Israelis since 2005, when every last Israeli, of some 8,500 who had been living in Gaza, left the Strip. Within two years, the Gazans were most unfree, suffering under the barbaric rule imposed by Hamas, the terror group which has ruled Gaza ever since. The people of Gaza owe their impoverishment to two things. First, the leaders of Hamas, most of whom are now living in five-star hotels in Doha, Qatar, watching the fighting from a safe distance, have long been engaged in the massive theft of aid money. Mousa Abu Marzouk has a fortune of $3 billion, Khaled Meshal has $4 billion, and Ismail Haniyeh has $4 billion. Just three Hamas leaders have helped themselves to eleven billion dollars. Second-echelon figures in Hamas have not been idle, either; they have grabbed a few million dollars apiece.

The second explanation for the wretchedness of life in Gaza is that the billions that were not stolen by Hamas leaders were spent, not on the wellbeing of ordinary people, but on buying weapons and constructing more than 1,300 tunnels that are 311 miles in total length, more than half the total length of the New York City subway system.

“Ethiopian for Palestine” writes Linda Tigani. This is Tigani’s quaint way to signal that she is Afro-American. She doesn’t realize, of course, that the only Ethiopians who may right now be in Gaza are not fighting “for Palestine.” They are Ethiopian Jews, Falashas, fighting in the IDF to protect the people and state of Israel.

Tigani has yet to post publicly on her social media accounts in the wake of Hamas slaughtering 1,400 people in Israel on Oct. 7….

Now that her antisemitic posts from the past have been revealed, she is likely to be very careful not to add more incriminating posts. I expect that from now on she will maintain a discreet silence about Israel and the Palestinians. But she’s left ample proof of her deep anti-Israel animus —and some would say, of her antisemitism.

Tigani and City Hall did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

What can she say? More importantly, what will Mayor Adams do now? When he appointed her, he was unaware of Tigani’s bigotry. I think he’ll do the only thing a sensible person can do, and fire her from her new job as Director of the Commission on Racial Equity. Don’t worry about Linda Tigani. Al Jazeera may well snap her up as a commentator on “Racism in America.” Or she could write a column for the Tehran Times. Or she could become an English-language journalist for the Palestinian News Agency Wafa. She’ll land on her feet, this Linda Tigani. Such people always do.

Hugh Fitzgerald


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Is the Cybertruck a ‘Go F yourself’ from Musk or another broken promise driven by public funds? - Kevin Killough


by Kevin Killough

“Elon’s main innovation is his ability to deploy humanist rhetoric to generate political support for his business ventures. Those businesses have been largely built by gaming the regulatory system and generous public funding,” said Alex Stevens, manager of policy and communications for the Institute for Energy Research.


When the long-anticipated Cybertruck was revealed during an event in Austin last month, the specs further cemented Tesla CEO Elon Musk as a man who makes a lot of promises he fails to deliver on, according to some critics.

Musk was once loved by the political left.

In 2016, he was praising carbon taxes, which tax companies for the carbon dioxide they emit, and presenting the concept as a libertarian one. He promised great innovations in solar, which would include running Tesla charging stations entirely on solar panels and batteries. That has yet to happen. More recently, he said that “civilization will crumble” without fossil fuels.

After he took over Twitter, and did away with the suppression of conservative viewpoints that Twitter was known for, the left began to turn against their former hero. Ted Cruz told Just The News that Musk's purchase of X was a free-speech victory.

This past month, Media Matters for America (MMFA), a left-leaning media watchdog launched a campaign claiming X hosted pro-Nazi content and convinced more than a dozen advertisers to pull their ads. Musk is now suing the organization, alleging that MMFA deliberately manipulated its algorithms to bypass existing safeguards for advertisers to prevent such pairings and instead intentionally created the false impression that such occurrences were pervasive on the platform. MMFA omitted its manicured search methodology from the article.

Musk also believes that the Biden administration has turned against him. The Federal Communication Commission turned down Musk’s SpaceX application for nearly $1 billion in subsidies for rural broadband programs.

“Doesn’t make sense. Starlink is the only company actually solving rural broadband at scale!” Musk said of the decision on X, in response to Republican commissioner Brendan Carr’s dissenting opinion.

When The Wall Street Journal opined that the federal government may have it in for Musk, he shared the editorial on X and said, “Sure seems that way.”

Contra capitalist

Musk has also had his share of criticism from conservatives for supporting so many of his ventures with tax dollars.

Alex Stevens, manager of policy and communications for the Institute for Energy Research, told Just The News that while Musk is held up as a great entrepreneur and says a lot of things with which conservatives agree, all his business ventures are backed up by subsidies. He called Musk the “quintessential contra capitalist.”

“Elon’s main innovation is his ability to deploy humanist rhetoric to generate political support for his business ventures. Those businesses have been largely built by gaming the regulatory system and generous public funding,” Stevens said on X.

In an interview, Stevens said that in a free market, the entrepreneur’s success depends on the reputation of his or her word, and Musk has often fallen short in that regard. “Market institutions in general incentivize honesty and being a reliable person,” Stevens said.

With so much vitriol from the left directed at Musk, the Cybertruck was bound to generate ideologically motivated criticism, but much of the disappointment stems from Musk’s promises purportedly not lining up with the final product.  

After promising a $40,000 truck with a range of 500 miles, the lowest-priced model, which won’t be available until 2025, only has a range of 250 miles and costs nearly $50,000. The lowest-priced model that can be delivered next year costs nearly $70,000.

Patrick Lawson, owner of the Wyoming-based charging station company Wild West EV, told Just The News that he and his family ordered several of the trucks. Lawson currently drives a Ford F-150 Lightning through the rural landscape of central Wyoming. When he’s not running charging stations in Wyoming, he’s the executive manager of Wind River Internet, which provides internet services to customers living in remote, sparsely populated areas of the state.

The company is converting its fleet of pickup trucks over to the EV Lightnings from gas-powered pickup trucks because Lawson said they’ll save money on gas and maintenance over the life of the vehicles.

Though, with the specs on the Cybertruck coming in short on what was promised, Lawson said he expects a large portion of those who plopped down a couple hundred dollars to get their name on the waiting list will ultimately cancel. “They over-promised and under-delivered,” he said.

Tesla is offering a range extender for about $16,000. It will increase the range of the truck by about 150 miles, but, Lawson said, it takes up one-third of the bed of the truck. “It’s kind of a solution, but people are not thrilled,” he said.

Lawson said the Cybertruck’s autopilot is “top notch,” but the rest of the specs are comparable to other EV pickup trucks, like the Lightning. Lawson said that with Fords, dealerships are more widely available.
“And they’re not crazy like Elon,” Lawson said with a laugh.

Truck expectations

Ford announced this week it would cut the number of Lightnings it produces by half next year due to “changing market demand.”

Lawson said the four fleet Lightnings the company ordered — two long range and two short range — were ordered a year ago and they were only recently delivered. They were expecting delivery in a few months. He said the production cuts are “confusing.” “We can’t buy them if they can’t sell them,” Lawson said.

He said the long-range Lightnings work well, even when the company’s employees are driving 150 miles in a day. The short-range versions, however, lose a lot of range during the colder months. “If we have to go out to one end of the [Wind River] Reservation and back more than once in a day, it's going to be a little bit dicey,” Lawson said.

Electric vehicle batteries lose range in cold weather

The Lightning trucks  have other benefits, he said. They provide a power source, which is handy for jobs at houses that are off the grid. The sites use solar and batteries, and often during a snowstorm, there’s no power. In many cases, Lawson said, they can use the power from the truck.

Aaron Turpen, an automotive journalist who has test driven and written about many models of EVs, told Just The News that the Cybertruck is not the kind of vehicle someone who wants a pickup truck is going to buy.
“It can only marginally do the things a pickup truck is meant for,” Turpen said.

When 4,000 dealerships wrote a joint letter to President Joe Biden in November, telling him that their lots were piling up with EVs they couldn’t sell, one of the points the signatories made was that the range of EV pickups drops considerably when pulling loads.

It’s a problem Turpen noted in a review of the Lightning for Cowboy State Daily. Turpen also noted that the Cybertruck has been shown to have limited off-road capabilities, as videos have demonstrated. The multi-ton vehicle doesn’t distribute weight in such a way to gain traction when going up steep, unpaved surfaces like a conventional pickup truck.

The limitations of the Cybertruck’s capabilities are true for other models of EV pickups as well. Turpen said one possible reason why Ford cut back on production of the Lightning is that they were hoping for more fleet orders. However, fleet trucks need to do the work of pickups, and the Lightning doesn’t tow like a conventional Ford F150.

Like Stevens, Turpen suggested that the federal tax credits that EVs enjoy may lead to some of Musk’s recklessness when it comes to what he says he’ll do. “Maybe he's less prudent in his business dealings and stuff, because he can rely on public funding,” Turpen said.

Turpen said that there’s a consumer base for the Cybertruck, and they placed orders for theirs. He said once that demand is satisfied, there’s unlikely to be much behind it.

“I expect sales to die like the Model X and others have. It's not a mainstream vehicle so it's going to have limited appeal,” Turpen said. “It’s a really cool beastly truck, and there’s a really limited market for that.”

Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment on this article.

Kevin Killough


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