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Defeating Evil Carries an Immense Cost


80th Anniversary of D-Day: ‘Into the jaws of death’


Allied forces launched Operation Overlord, a daring and pivotal assault on Nazi-occupied France, known as D-Day, which was June 6, 1944. As dawn broke over the Normandy coast, 156,000 soldiers stormed the beaches to liberate Europe from the grip of tyranny.


Allied soldiers faced a heavily-fortified coastline. Soldiers waded through treacherous waters under a relentless barrage of artillery and machine gun fire, many never making it to the shoreline. American troops – many in their teens – stormed the beaches under a hail of enemy fire, displaying unmatched bravery and determination.

Taxis to Hell – and Back – Into the Jaws of Death, an iconic image of men of the 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Infantry Division wading ashore from their landing craft on Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. (Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard)

They faced unimaginable horrors as they waded through the surf and onto the blood-soaked sands of Omaha Beach. The initial wave of American forces suffered devastating casualties. They demonstrated extraordinary valor against overwhelming odds, breaking through enemy lines and securing critical positions.


The success of D-Day was not without immense cost. The Allies suffered 10,000 casualties, including more than 4,000 dead. These soldiers gave their lives in the fight against pure evil, confronting the Nazi regime's brutal oppression and genocide. Their sacrifice paved the way to the defeat of Nazi Germany and the liberation of Europe, but the battles also claimed mass civilian casualties across Europe.


Why Israel Fights: Eight Months of Hell for Hostages


In another war against evil 80 years later, Hamas violently attacked Israel on 10/7 – leaving hundreds of civilians and soldiers dead or wounded, and Israel’s response killed not only Hamas terrorists but tragically, many Palestinian civilians the terrorists hide behind.


It has now been eight months of captivity for the hostages who were violently seized by Hamas terrorists. Kibbutz Nirim recently announced that hostage Nadav Popplewell was killed in captivity only weeks after he appeared in a Hamas propaganda video. Palestinian terrorists cruelly abducted Nadav and his 79-year-old mother. Three elderly hostages also were confirmed dead after previously appearing together in a Hamas propaganda video. Their bodies are still being held by Hamas in hopes of trading their remains for dozens of Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel.


Volunteer medic Dolev Yehud’s body was so badly disfigured that his remains were only recently identified by a new scientific test. Hamas terrorists mutilated Israelis and burnt bodies beyond recognition – leaving many families in a state of uncertainty. Dolev’s family thought he was a hostage, like his 28-year-old sister who is still in captivity. Dolev left his home on the morning of 10/7 to help the wounded. He leaves behind a wife and four young children – including an infant he never met.


Another Oct. 7 hero was Petel – a dog that helped save her family in Kibbutz Be’eri. She recently died of shrapnel wounds from the Hamas terrorist onslaught.

Petel helped save the Ben-Zvi family on 10/7. She recently died from shrapnel wounds. (Ilana Curiel, X)

The misery of the hostages and the existential war imposed upon the Jewish nation highlight the relentless evil that Israelis are confronting in their just war of self-defense. Israel is defending itself against dangerous and lethal enemies in a larger war on multiple fronts – east, west, north, south – rockets from near and far, and even in cyberspace.

EAST – Iran’s War of Genocide: ‘A weapon of mass distraction’


Jews around the world are in mortal danger. Iran continuously targets Jews and Israelis wherever they live. A recent report revealed that Iran-backed criminal networks operating in Europe planned attacks against Jewish and Israeli locations – including the Israeli embassies in Sweden and Belgium.


The Islamic Republic ultimately wants to “wipe Israel off the map.” Its belligerent leaders routinely threaten Israel while pursuing the production of nuclear weapons. Iran also funds, trains and arms numerous terrorist organizations dedicated to annihilating the Jewish state.


There has been much less attention and scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear weapons program since Oct. 7. Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: “Oct. 7 was a weapon of mass distraction so Iran can expand its weapon of mass destruction.” Only recently did the UK, France and Germany demand Iran allow UN inspections of its nuclear sites.


Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently posted: “The goal of Iran’s octopus strategy is to distract Israel with wars against its tentacles (Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and more) so that we don’t deal with stopping Iran.”


Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently tweeted: “The Zionist project is breathing its last breaths. This is the beginning of the end of the Zionist regime.” The Iranian leader also thanked student protesters at American universities for “forming a branch of the Resistance Front. As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it.” Resistance is synonymous with terrorism.

WEST – Hamas Leader Vows: ‘We must attack every Jew on the globe’


A senior Iran-backed Hamas leader urged: “All of you seven million Palestinians abroad, enough of the preparing. You have Jews everywhere and we must attack every Jew on the globe by way of slaughter and killing.” His statement was made four years before the 10/7 attack and the ensuing university protests.


The current leader of Hamas in Gaza attended a 2021 celebration that glorified violent attacks: “We will trample on the heads of the Jews in front of everyone.” This vision was carried out by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. A terrorist participating in the atrocities called his father, boasting: “Dad I’m calling you from the phone of a Jew! I just killed her and her husband, with my own hands. I killed 10!”


Hamas continues to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis from the West Bank. Israel announced that it killed 18 Gaza-based Hamas terrorists in charge of West Bank attacks. Most of the members of the terror cell were released to Gaza as part of a 2011 deal where Israel released 1,027 Palestinians convicted of terrorism for the life of one Israeli hostage – soldier Gilad Shalit.

NORTH – Hezbollah Rocket Barrages Pound Israel: 'Depopulated Israeli territory'


Iran-backed Hezbollah controls southern Lebanon. The terrorist army boasts that it has 100,000 fighters and a growing lethal drone, rocket and missile arsenal. It is a far more formidable threat than Hamas and experts have warned Israel that this powerful terror group is capable of executing a far deadlier version of the 10/7 attack.


Hezbollah opened an additional front against Israel following the Hamas attack. Its incessant rocket fire forced 60,000 Israeli civilians – including 15,000 children – to flee their homes, businesses and schools. Israeli communities on its northern border became ghost towns – “Hezbollah imposed a depopulated zone inside Israeli territory.” Several Israelis have lost their lives. Evacuated residents do not know when they will be able to return.


The most recent barrages of rockets, drones and mortars are striking deeper into Israel. Some rockets sparked fires burning 2,500 acres and caused injuries. Iran’s foreign minister met with Lebanon’s political leaders to discuss “the resistance front to counter the Zionist regime.” He perversely claimed that resistance – terrorism – is “the basis for stability in the region.”


Michael Makovsky, president and CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America: “Hezbollah’s military buildup would have been impossible without more than a decade of concerted and steadily increasing Iranian assistance designed to transform the group into a much more lethal threat to Israel than in 2006.” Hezbollah launched an attack against Israel that year, leading to a 34-day war. He added that Iran increased its rocket and missile arsenal from 10,000 in 2006 to about 150,000 – including long-range rockets far more powerful that those used by Hamas.

English translation of signs held by Iran-backed Houthi supporters in Yemen that have also been seen at anti-Israel protests around the world.

SOUTH – Yemen’s Houthis Want to Invade Israel: 'Jihad in Palestine'


Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen also are part of Iran’s war against Israel. The Houthis have launched missiles and drone strikes against Israel – despite the impoverished country being more than 1,000 miles away. They have also used their weapons against American, British and French naval vessels and international cargo ships. Iran supplied them with ballistic missiles to “challenge the U.S. and Israel.”


The Houthis slogan includes: “Death to America. Death to Israel. A Curse Upon the Jews.” The terrorists even trained in a mock Israeli city for a potential invasion of Israel. Their leader is requesting help to move its fighters to Israel to “carry out jihad in Palestine.”


The tentacles of the Iranian octopus stretch around the globe. Iran-backed militias in Iraq continue to target Israel with missiles and drones. The leader of Hamas met with Afghan Taliban leaders in Iran to discuss cooperation for defeating Israel. The Jewish state foiled a Hamas suicide bombing plot directed by Hamas terrorists in Turkey. And Iranian hackers are engaged in a digital front against Israel.

Screen capture from undated video of Houthi forces training to attack the Israeli city of Dimona, 2024. (X)

1. D-Day is a reminder of courage and patriotism in the face of a deadly enemy

The significance of D-Day cannot be overstated. American soldiers and their allies displayed an unwavering commitment to justice that forged a path toward peace. It marked the beginning of the end for Nazi tyranny. The sacrifices of those who stormed the beaches and those who fell cannot be forgotten. Their valor and selflessness serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for future generations, reminding us of the price paid for freedom in the face of pure evil. On this 80th anniversary, we honor their memory and pay tribute to the valor of those who gave everything for the cause of liberty, democracy and freedom.

2. Iran's threats provoke attacks against Americans and Jews around the world

Iran's menacing rhetoric – “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” – fuels real-world attacks. Iran-backed Hezbollah massacred hundreds of American soldiers, notably the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon. Hezbollah also perpetrated the horrific 1994 AMIA Jewish Community Center bombing in Argentina, claiming 85 lives. Iran continues plotting and executing attacks in America and against Jewish targets worldwide. These brazen attacks prove that Iran’s belligerence extends beyond its own borders, while its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons demands urgent attention.

3. Defeating evil requires a commitment that tragically comes with a heavy cost

Throughout history, the fight against tyranny and oppression has demanded immense sacrifices. Israel's struggle is no different. The Jewish state confronts existential threats from terrorist organizations and hostile regimes intent on its destruction. These adversaries employ brutal tactics, using civilian populations as shields and perpetuating violence without regard for human life. In defending its citizens and preserving its values, Israel endures harsh scrutiny and criticism. Yet, the necessity to combat malevolence remains undeniable. Upholding democracy and human rights while ensuring national security is daunting. The sacrifices in this just war against evil emphasize the enduring fight for freedom and peace, highlighting the high stakes and profound costs involved.

4. Israel is held to an impossible standard in war

Israel’s responses to terrorist attacks are scrutinized through a lens that often distorts reality. The Jewish state confronts existential threats not faced by other countries and is subjected to an unrealistic standard that few other nations would bear. This standard demands perfection amid chaos where split-second decisions can mean the difference between life and death. Terrorist groups deliberately endanger civilians, yet Israel faces undue criticism for its defensive efforts. The international community's failure to recognize Israel's security challenges perpetuates this impossible standard and hinders its ability to protect Israeli citizens.

5. Israel battles an existential and mortal threat

Israel is a tiny nation, about the size of New Jersey, that is subjected to a coordinated war effort by multiple militaries attacking it from all directions – a scenario no other country has faced in recent history. The world harshly judges only Israel while offering minimal moral support for its self defense. This global scrutiny extends to the battle for public opinion, where Israel’s efforts are often misunderstood and misrepresented. The Jewish state often stands alone in enduring relentless criticism against its right to defend its sovereignty and protect its citizens. Israel's efforts to defend itself from Iran and its allies transcends territorial disputes and political disagreements – it is an essential act of survival.

Help educate others about Iranian threats to Americans and Israelis

Take active steps to educate your friends and family about the danger Iran poses to America and its existential threat to the Jewish state. Our background and talking points are a helpful starting point. Also, share relevant news articles and videos to help provide a deeper context and understanding. Conversations with family, friends and colleagues are an opportunity to educate and inform. The more individuals understand, the less inclined they will be to believe false and biased narratives from friends and on social media. Engage in open and respectful discussions.

Family of Seven Forced from Home by Rockets: ‘This story repeats every generation’

Avital and Refael Salab are an Orthodox couple among the tens of thousands of Israelis displaced from the northern border with Lebanon. They describe their lives in this except:  


We’ve been displaced with our five children due to the war. When the war started, it took time to realize what had happened. People told us we had to leave, that it would get scary with the kids. I went to my parents while Refael stayed back and helped the soldiers. I didn’t take a suitcase – I thought it would be a few days. That was the last time I saw my house.


Two weeks later our neighborhood was evacuated and Refael joined us. Now it’s been nearly empty for seven months and is hit every day with rockets. I hope we have somewhere to go home to. I know the house next to us was destroyed and their cars burnt.


We’re taking things day by day. It’s too much to handle otherwise. You can’t think ahead. My 10-year-old asked when we were going back. It’s very complicated because we don’t know.


If I heard a story like this, I’d be shocked. But we will be back. We’re living through a story that repeats itself every generation.


There are so many terrible stories coming out of this war, but I would like to know a bit more just to feel stable. Yet I imagine us all going back to our homes together like when we the Israelites left Egypt! I hope we’ll feel safe and the kids can run freely as they did before Oct. 7.

President Biden Presents Plan for Permanent Hamas-Israel Ceasefire

The American president recently described a proposal to Hamas and Israel for ending the current war in Gaza:


1st phase:

  • Six week ceasefire, with Hamas and Israel to negotiate a permanent ceasefire
  • Israel withdraws its army from all populated areas of Gaza
  • Hamas releases female, elderly and wounded hostages and the bodies of hostages killed in captivity in return for hundreds of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli prisons
  • Palestinian civilians return to their homes and receive additional humanitarian assistance

2nd phase:

  • Temporary ceasefire becomes a permanent ceasefire
  • Hamas releases all remaining living hostages including male soldiers in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli prisons

3rd phase:

  • Hamas releases final remains of dead hostages
  • Major reconstruction in Gaza begins


A senior U.S. administration official stated that the proposal is “nearly identical to Hamas’s own proposals of only a few weeks ago.” Egypt reported that Hamas views the proposal “positively.” The Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar told Arab mediators that he is in no hurry to end the war, believing that it is drawing Israel into a quagmire that is turning the country into an international pariah while reviving the Palestinian national cause.


President Biden stated that the plan was supported by the Israeli government. However, an Israeli official replied that the deal is “not accurate” and Israel’s prime minister insists that the war will not end until “Hamas is eliminated.” Hamas wants a deal that will allow it to remain in power in Gaza.


President Biden stressed that Qatar and Egypt will ensure Hamas remains committed to the ceasefire terms and America will ensure that Israel does the same. Qatar allows Hamas terrorist leaders to live freely and promotes anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda. The Egyptian government reportedly allowed Hamas to transfer illegal weapons from Iran, Syria and Hezbollah through 20 tunnels under its border with Gaza, including a tunnel wide enough to drive cars through.


President Biden stated that “Hamas is no longer capable of carrying out another October 7,” and acknowledged that “Israel will always have the right to defend itself against the threats to its security and to bring those responsible for Oct. 7 to justice. If Hamas fails to fulfill its commitments under the deal proposed by the president, Israel can resume military operations.”

NY Mayor Eric Adams marches with Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest singer Eden Golan. U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres proudly marches in support of Israel wearing a pin and army ID tag in support of the hostages.

Hostage Families Lead Annual NY Israel Parade: ‘Here to raise our voice’

Families of hostages held in captivity by Hamas in Gaza led 45,000 marchers down Fifth Avenue on June 2. Or Gat – her mother was murdered on 10/7 and her sister taken hostage – announced: “We are coming here to raise our voice. We need to raise our heads right now for Israel, for the Jewish people, so that they will see our side.” In London, tens of thousands also marched calling for the release of the hostages under the banner, “United we bring them home.”


This year’s march, the 59th, was under heavy security and subdued compared to previous years – the first since the 10/7 attack – amid concerns over threats to the parade that fortunately did not materialize. The head of the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY: “This is not a mood of confetti and music. This is more of a mood of unwavering, ironclad solidarity with hostages to bring them home, and also our unwavering love and pride in our Jewish identity.”


The parade was attended by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, NY Governor Kathy Hochul, NY Mayor Eric Adams and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres.


Mexicans Elect Jewish Leader, Joining Panama, Ukraine and Israel

Mexicans elected Claudia Sheinbaum to be their country’s next president. She is breaking barriers as the Mexico’s first female and Jewish leader. She earned a doctorate in energy engineering, and worked as a researcher and professor.


Sheinbaum joins a growing list of world Jewish heads of state – Panama’s Laurentino Cortizo Cohen and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky. Argentina’s Javier Milei is considering converting to Judaism.  Israel has been led by 14 Jewish prime ministers.


Jews have led a variety of countries over the centuries from Argentina’s Juan Lindo in the mid-19th century to Britain’s Benjamin Disraeli in the 1860s and 1870s, to three Italian prime ministers in the early 20th century and Guyana’s Janet Jagan in the 1990s.


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The Focus Project develops and distributes news, background, history and weekly talking points on timely issues to inform individuals and organizations about issues affecting the American Jewish community and Israel, and help readers speak with more consistency and clarity. The editions also provide potential responses for addressing incidents of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. With input from a spectrum of major American Jewish organizations, we focus on that which unites us, rising above political and individual agendas.

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