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Gaza War Diary: 31 JANUARY 2024

The IDF continues to blow up residential housing and army facilities in Khan Yunis. The smoke can be seen rising over swathes of the area from Rafah. The longer Hamas remains intransigent, the better job the IDF can do eliminating it from the face of the earth. It’s like God hardening Pharoah’s heart in order to inflict on him more and greater plagues. Yes, good.

Passing through IDF checkpoints in the mud as they travel out of Khan Yunis, Gazans shout out to Israeli soldiers: “What do we care about these issues? It was Haniyah and Sinwar. Haniyeh eats in restaurants in Turkey, and Sinwar eats meat underground in his tunnel. And what are we eating? Bullets in the head. Hamas are donkeys. Don’t leave here. Stay. F—Hamas!”

Another Gazan calls on the Egyptians to come en masse to the Rafah crossing and bring the border barrier down: “Even if (Egyptian president) al-Sisi doesn’t want to, even if the (Egyptian) army doesn’t want to, 100-200 thousand Egyptians who will come to Rafah will be able to knock down the crossing (border barrier) and allow us to live and eat (in Egypt)… like they did when they overthrew President Morsi. It’s not the Jews who are imposing a siege on us. Egyptian President Al-Sisi is the one imposing the siege on Gaza. Don’t listen to him.”

Cameraman: “Today I met a man who rents out things….
What are you renting out?”
The man: “Flip flops!”
Camerman: “Really? how much?”
The man: “Because of their good condition, I rent them out for 2 Israeli shekels per hour…”

Israel has exposed a plot organized by terrorists released during the Shalit deal who returned to the West Bank, to use Facebook and Whatsapp to recruit naïve Israelis to become unsuspecting couriers of bombs and weapons. Fake accounts seduced Israelis into believing they were getting “bargain priced goods from Europe.” Once in possession of their names and contact information, Hamas operatives asked Israelis to deliver “presents” within Israel for payment. All this came to light only through documents found in Gaza. The plan was executed in September, 2023. Where are these “presents” now?

Here is an extremely important article by Nadim Koteich, a prominent Lebanese journalist (and opponent of Hezbollah), discussing the American delusion that it can “negotiate” with Iran. Some excerpts:

So why would Iran give up its power as part of negotiations in an attempt to reach an understanding?

By Nadim Koteich

If there is one thing Iran understands better than the language of strength, it is the language of weakness. Iran sees the administration of President Joe Biden as a weak, confused administration, and one that is prepared to make concessions to Iran on an unimaginable scale, based on two fundamentally wrong thoughts: the first thought holds that political rationality is the right way to reach an understanding with Iran. The second sees preventing escalation by bribing the Iranians, either through the “money for hostages” policy or through the lifting of sanctions on Iranian oil, as the safer choice in order not to get entangled in the troubles of the Middle East.

These two wrong thoughts are derived from a basic misunderstanding of Iran’s goals in the region, and its strategy for achieving them.

It is not a coincidence that the attacks carried out by the Iranian militias on the American bases happened at the same time as the debates in the US grew over the withdrawal plans from Syria and Iraq. This is a declared Iranian goal. Nothing makes the Iranians happier than to hear the Democratic Biden administration talk about withdrawal in a clear voice, or than to identify a similar tone in the speech of the Republican candidate Donald Trump, even if Trump’s approach and actions include a firmer and tougher hand against Iran and its threats.

In practice, it is clear that Tehran’s strategy is based on benefiting from its support for the attacks of its allied militias in Syria and Iraq, the actions of the Houthis in the Red Sea, the threat of opening a front in Lebanon, and from the intervention in the war in Gaza. All of this is to exert pressure on American interests so as to encourage the idea of American withdrawal from the Middle East. Such a withdrawal, in turn, would strengthen Iranian hegemony in the region…

It is also no coincidence that the Iranian lobby in Washington, consisting of American academics, researchers and journalists of Iranian origin whose ties to the Iranian government have been exposed—including those who actually infiltrated the American government through diplomatic appointments, i.e., Robert Malley, [appointed first by Obama in Iranian negotiation and then by the Biden administration as the U.S. envoy to Iran and main shaper of U.S. Mideast policy. Malley was suspended for “mishandling classified information” which reached Iran… Whole story isn’t known, leaked from Iran]. These people are now raising their voices and insisting that the escalation from Iran’s militias will be stopped if a ceasefire is reached in Gaza…

The American belief that it is possible to reach an understanding with Iran does not take into account that what it is demanding is that Iran give up the only power that it possesses, considering that it lacks the economic power, well-being, openness and peace of other powers in the region. What else can Iran do but exploit regional conflicts like the situation in Gaza, or the attack on American forces as well as threatening the interests of Washington and its allies in the Red Sea region? What other means of influence does Iran have on American politics and policy decisions regarding Iran and its revolutionary worldview? What else can Iran do to divert attention from its nuclear activities and weaken international determination to deal with this issue, except to increase the pressure on these various fronts?

What resources does Iran have at its disposal to raise its profile in the region, or to strengthen its legitimacy internally, apart from constantly provoking the US thus demonstrating its ability to “play on the field of the greats?”

How else can Iran bring about the withdrawal of the American army from the Middle East, if not by increasing the price in blood, thus provoking internal pressures in the USA calling for a withdrawal?

Iran’s direct and vital interests are inextricably linked to what the US calls”Iranian behavior.” Asking Iran to change its behavior is asking them to not be Iran. This is something that no regime in the world can be convinced of through dialogue and negotiation.

Nazi Germany did not change as a result of dialogue and appeasement, nor did Japan give up its military imperialist ideology by reaching policy understandings and showing goodwill. Fascism, too, was not defeated in the game of public opinion. These are regimes that know their interests well and guard their sources of power at all costs.

Washington’s insistence on not understanding what Iran represents, and the meaning of its behavior, is the main reason for the erosion of American influence in the Middle East, and for being in a situation where its enemies do not fear it, and its allies do not trust it.”

Most of the information in today’s Diary is based on things I read and saw in Abu Ali Express English today. Big thanks for translating from the Arabic, and for posting the videos our enemies are watching.

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4 comments on “Gaza War Diary: 31 JANUARY 2024”

  1. Helen

    It is beyond extraordinary that this view of Iran is not understood and accepted by the US or the UN or any other misguided supporter.

  2. Karen A

    Wonderful insight and information! We need to understand this better!

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