| The Beat |

Is Hamas on the Offensive Inside Israel?

As Israel mourns its first victim since the summer wave of terror, a security source told me that the defense establishment is alarmed by Hamas’s rising support on the Palestinian street.

“The three attacks in the last two weeks in the Old City of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv do not herald a new wave of terror,”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz told defense correspondents on Monday. “The unusual profile of the attacker on Sunday — a Hamas cleric — and the lack of any current crisis only prove how difficult it is to predict who is a terror threat.”

Those words will do little to console the Kay family for the loss of their son Eliyahu David (Eli) — a former lone soldier who made aliyah from South Africa in 2016 — who was killed in the streets of the Old City on Sunday.

Eli was on his way to Shacharis at the Kosel, where he worked for the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. Having studied in a Chabad yeshivah in Kiryat Gat, he was carrying a Likutei Sichos when he was gunned down by Fadi Abu Shkaydam of the Shuafat refugee camp, in East Jerusalem.

At the Monday levayah, Chief Rabbi David Lau — who lives in Modi’in, home to the Kay family since they made aliyah in Eli's footsteps a year ago — spoke of the family’s determination to come to Israel.

“Every Shabbos I see Avi, Eli’s father, in a shiur. The Kays are a family who just wanted to return to the land of their Forefathers and turn it into an inheritance for their children. And there are murderers who try time and time again to stop this return to Israel, and now they’ve taken such a precious soul.”

As Israel mourns its first victim since the summer wave of terror, a security source told me that the defense establishment is alarmed by Hamas’s rising support on the Palestinian street.

“We’re troubled by the Palestinian Authority’s difficulties. Mahmoud Abbas is old and was forced to cancel elections in the summer due to his unpopularity. There are those in the defense establishment who believe that these profound changes and the strengthening of Hamas on the Palestinian street in Judea and Samaria and in East Jerusalem signal a new era of difficulties for Israel.”

The impression in the security establishment is that the head of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, is well aware of the delicate situation in which he finds himself. Those have provided the impetus for steps such as replacing senior Palestinian security officials in the Jenin area and launching an operation to strengthen governance in Jenin. The defense establishment also notes the improvement in the economic situation on the Palestinian streets as a factor that could restrain Hamas influence.

So as security in the Old City remains high in the wake of this week’s attack, the threat of another Hamas-instigated wave of terror holds, despite the shared interest of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to keep the terror at bay.

— Eliezer Shulman


Changing of the Guards

Is this a sign of the times? As Britain’s frum community grows, and one royal generation gives way to the next, images like this could well become a matter of course.

At a Windsor Castle ceremony two weeks ago, Rabbi Avrohom Sugarman, founder of Gateshead’s Haskel School for children with Special Educational Needs, was awarded a coveted MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his service to education. Officiating at the ceremony was HRH Prince William, the Queen’s grandson. Proudly wearing his tzitzis and Remembrance Day poppy, Rabbi Sugarman spoke to the future king about the impact the school is having on its pupils.

The award came amid speculation about the Queen’s repeated absences from royal duties due to ill health. Gateshead locals noted that the community’s previous awardee, Mr Ezriel Salomon z”l (brother of Lakewood Mashgiach Rav Matisyahu), was honored by the Queen herself a decade ago — a fact that highlights the changing of the guards now clearly underway

Yoni Klajn.

“Nobody elected him to be F.D.R. They elected him to be normal and stop the chaos.”

Someone needs to put up a giant sign in the Oval Office bearing this quote from Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger — uttered in the aftershocks of the Democrats trouncing in the Virginia gubernatorial race — in oversized letters. Leaders everywhere fall prey to the delusion that their transformational agenda is why voters put them in office. Often, that’s mistaken: they were elected to punish someone else. If Joe Biden doesn’t abandon his grandiose historical pretensions, the voters will help him see reality in next year’s midterms.


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s record-breaking filibuster of eight hours and thirty-two minutes last week to delay passage of Biden’s big-spending Build Back Better bill, annoyed Democrats, but it also focused attention once again on a deliciously archaic word.

In common with America’s multi-cultural heritage, the word itself took a world tour before arriving in the US Senate.

Apparently beginning life as the Dutch vrijbuiter (source of ‘freebooter,’ or pirate), the word then became the French flibustier. That coincided with a buccaneering age, in which Spain’s American empire was beset by cruel corsairs eager to plunder doubloon-filled galleons.

It was only during the 1850s when the term entered Senatorial English. Its origins testify to the fact that for the last 150 years, filibusterers of both parties have been considered piratical menaces.

- Gedalia Guttentag


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 887)

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