Sherwin Pomerantz

Israel’s 125th Day of War

  ON the 125th day of the war fighting continues unabated in Gaza while skirmishes on the northern border with Lebanon continue as well.

Israel has flatly rejected the latest offer by Hamas with the Prime Minister calling it delusional.   Even President Biden in his remarks on Wednesday at the White House said it was “over the top.”  Secretary of State Blinken, in Israel now for the 5th time since October 7th, agreed that there were elements of the offer that were non-starters for Israel but that there may be a pathway to finding common ground.

Saudi Arabia is hosting a summit on the Gaza war on Thursday with the participation of the foreign ministers of four other Arab countries.  Two senior Arab diplomats said that the agenda for the Riyadh conference includes stepping up pressure for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which runs counter to Jerusalem’s goal of defeating the terrorist group, the Times of Israel reported.  Additionally, the ministers are slated to discuss plans to rehabilitate Gaza after the war and further integrate Israel into the region.

The top diplomats from Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar will be in attendance at the meeting, which has not been publicized. They will be joined by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud. Hussein al-Sheikh, a top aide to Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, is also expected at the summit. Another topic to be discussed is reforming the P.A. in a significant way to facilitate its return to governing the Gaza Strip, an idea promoted by the United States but opposed by Israel, given Ramallah’s support for terrorism.

One of the diplomats said the Arab countries taking part in Thursday’s summit don’t want Hamas to play a role in the governance of Gaza after the war but believe the terrorist group will survive the war in some form and this will need to be accepted to advance the Strip’s rehabilitation.

For the first time since the start of the war, an IDF intelligence officer has resigned stating that he failed in his duty by not being aware of what was being planned for October 7th.  Nobody in the political echelon has seen fit to take such direct responsibility and resign.

Future Leadership

Today we feature someone from the arts who has been an analyst of the Israeli scence for many years.

An Israeli historian and journalist, Gershom Gorenberg has been covering Middle Eastern affairs for three decades. Gorenberg’s latest book is War of Shadows: Code Breakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle EastWar of Shadows demolishes myths of World War II in the Middle East and solves the mystery of the spy affair that nearly brought Rommel’s army and SS death squads to Cairo and Jerusalem.

 Gorenberg’s last book was The Unmaking of Israel, on challenges to Israeli democracy and the history behind them. He is also the author of The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements 1967-1977 and The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount, and coauthor of Shalom Friend, a biography of Yitzhak Rabin that won the National Jewish Book Award

Gorenberg is a columnist for the Washington Post and a senior correspondent for The American Prospect. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, Foreign Policy and other leading publications in North America, Europe and the Middle East. He holds degrees from the University of California at Santa Cruz and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

As we begin the new Hebrew month of Adar I which, according to tradition is to be one of the happiest months of the year, we hope that it will live up to its name and not wait for Adar II, the month in which the holiday of Purim occurs.  This year is a leap year in the Hebrew calendar where a full month is added to compensate for the difference between the lunar and Gregorian calendars.  So, we have two chances to be happy and look forward to an end to the hostilities and the return of the hostages.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 32 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Former Chairperson of the Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.