As the Israel-Hamas War prepares to enter its fourth week, the discourse surrounding Israel’s most tragic war consumes our lives. In the age of social media, the war that wages on in the most contested area of the Middle East extends well beyond the geographic region, affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world as they struggle to navigate the complexities of the situation and identify the accuracy of the information shared minute by minute each day. For leading Israeli strategic advisor, Ayelet Frish, the root of the October 7th Massacre transcends the scope Israel-Palestinian geopolitics- this is a war of religious fundamentalism and extremism, and Israel and its allies are fighting against evil and in the defense of the morality of humankind.
This statement is not hyperbole, and Frish’s credentials date back decades, serving as a strategic advisor to heads of state and top international business leaders. For 13 years, Frish was the top strategic advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister and Israel’s 9th President Shimon Peres, one of the most prolific advocates for peace, innovation and economic stability in the Middle East. Under this role, Frish led the strategy and branding for major international initiatives including with the Pope at the Vatican, with US presidents at the White House and with the French President at the Élysée Palace. She was spokesperson for the Israeli President’s Office for 7 years, and served as senior advisor to Israeli President Isaac Herzog as well as to former Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Today, Frish is the CEO of Frish Strategic Consulting Ltd. She is regarded as one of Israel’s premier strategic advisors and an expert in branding leaders and nations. Frish provides her a unique and diverse perspective on the political, socio-economic, and military implications of the unfolding war between Israel and Hamas.
Biden’s Message to the World
Having attended countless meetings with President Biden throughout the years, Frish has made multiple visits to the White House and has advised on major negotiations and treaties, but Biden’s unequivocal support to Israel has been historic, passing an unprecedented bipartisan $14 million aid package and deploying the USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, with 2,000 elite troops in defense of Israel’s right for existence.
“In my opinion, as leader of the free world, Biden has without a doubt demonstrated his ability as a great leader. He has always been a true friend of the State of Israel, but in our darkest hour, he has proven his steadfast loyalty. The powerful message that Biden has sent goes well beyond the long-standing alliance between the United States and Israel. He is saying ‘I am here to stay.” Biden’s message extends beyond its alliance with Israel, demonstrating through quick and decisive action that those who stand on the right side of history, and enter into an alliance with the United Stated and its allies can depend on the unparalleled strength of the US military defense and support.
Frish stands strong in her belief that moreover than to show support for Israel, Biden’s statements and actions are also intended for the most powerful leader in the Middle East, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman. Biden’s actions throughout the war will establish his legacy, and with that, he is sending a strong message to Mohammed bin Salman – the movement towards normalization, which will include a comprehensive defense pact with the US, will lead to unwavering support from the US and its allies for Saudi Arabia at critical geopolitical milestones and times of crises, ensuring a more peaceful and prosperous future for the entire Middle East.
Frish adds the immense global importance of Mohammad bin Salman, who in her view, is the Arab world’s most important leader and one of the most influential leaders in the world, as a catalyst for change and hope, impacting the young Muslim world who seek a more prosperous future. As evident through the recent Abraham Accords, the normalization of relations with Israel and the United States extends beyond military defense. It is a step towards economic stability, innovation, technology and renewable energy sources, immensely affecting opportunities for future generations to live in a better world.
“The declaration of Biden and Bin Salman at the G20 Summit in India [for international infrastructure and economic partnership] is a monumental event in recent history and has shocked the opposing axis. It has essentially pulled the rug out from under them,” Frish explains. This historic consolidation of major global powers is the worst fear of the world’s biggest proponent of terrorism in the world, Iran, as it would turn focus towards the terrorist regime. If Saudia Arabia continues to stand on the side of a progressive future for the Middle East, Iran will no longer be able to hide their agenda under the guise of defense. The world is quicky understanding the nefarious intentions of the Iranian regime through its support of Hamas, who Frish equates to the Iranian ISIS. Iran’s looming threat of an allied Saudi Arabia in their backyard is something they cannot afford, nor do they have the power to oppose.
The scope of the war in Israel extends well beyond the borders of this small region. It is an ideological war that ripples throughout the most powerful countries in the world. The imperialization of terrorism employed by Iran has enabled Hamas to create this humanitarian crisis for the Palestinian people, calling for the destruction of the Jewish State. They have enabled Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy set to destroy Israel, to rapidly destabilize Lebanon, as well as the uprising of Houthi Rebels in Yemen. Global authoritarian powers such as China and Russia fuel the axis against the US led alliance, demonstrating their support for Iran and similar fundamentalist regimes throughout the region.
This is a wakeup call for the rest of the world to understand what side of history they want to be on. “I believe that the support of leaders like the US President, German Chancelor, British Prime Minister, French President and others understand that that do not just need to support Israel because of the tragedy that took place, but that we need to join hands,” Frish states, offering a choice to others, “This is my call to the leaders of the world, that today it is Israel, tomorrow is it in London, Paris, Germany. Tomorrow they will be killing your babies because this is not about territory or land. This is a war of religious extremism.”
The Hamas charter calls for the murder of Jews, to crush their heads with stones, to hate and kill. Frish shares documented accounts from security footage and the body cameras of murdered soldiers showing the horror of October 7th, as young terrorists brutally murdered entire families, burned and beheaded babies, and laughed as they smoked a cigarette and made a cup of Turkish coffee in the homes of the families they erased from existence. The indoctrination of young, impressionable Palestinians pushes them to believe that glory comes from a hero’s death. Directing her focus towards this young generation of Palestinians, Frish clearly states the fate that awaits those seeking martyrdom, “You do not die like heroes. You die like dogs. Like cowards.”
They continue to hide behind more than 200 hostages abducted from their homes, including babies, children, women and elderly as old as 85-hyears-old. These are not the actions of freedom fighters, but cowards who continue to keep these hostages as human shields. Israel is left with no choice but to do whatever it takes to bring these hostages home and make sure this never happens again, for the security and safety of the people of Israel, and so that the rest of the world will never know such atrocities.
These heinous actions, shrugged off by many anti-Israel advocates as unsubstantiated or simply untrue, reveal the true face of Hamas, which is in fact the Iranian ISIS. For years, Israel has taken a stance to not release graphic images and videos of the horror it has endured, but as the world continues to deny the true nature of the evil that has descended upon Israeli civilians, it is incumbent upon all of Israel’s supporters and those who stand for basic human rights around the world to expose these atrocities that reflect the core of Hamas’s identity.
However, Frish reinforces the position that the world cannot condemn the Islamic religion for the politically motivated extremism that is dominating the discourse that has consumed much of the world in recent weeks.
“This is not the face of Islam. Islam is a religion that has so many beautiful aspects, which are important to share with the world and to embrace. Killing babies, raping women, beheading children is not Islam.” The actions of Hamas have done irreparable damage to the public image of Islam, and it is becoming more evident which Islamic leaders are partners for peace and prosperity, and those who continue to subjugate the humanitarian crisis of the Palestinian people in Gaza.
The New Middle East
Even though Israel continues to wage a war for their existence against a group that calls for its complete and total annihilation, Israel’s focus is on the extremist regime that manipulates its population into believing they are fighting for freedom. Israel continues to call for evacuations of civilians from targeted sites where Hamas operates, still brings in trucks of food, water and medication, and is working to enable to construction of a massive regional hospital.
“Israel now understands that it is now or never. This is not just another round until the next [wave of terror]. We will not leave Gaza until we know that we have taken out Hamas at its source. Our forces will not leave the northern front without making sure that the threat of Hezbollah terrorism is eradicated. We know and understand that this will be a difficult price, but we do not have a choice,” Frish states confidently, adding “This war will ensure that this massacre will never happen again. We need to understand that we must see this through to the end, not just to give Israel hope, but to give hope for the rest of the Middle East and Gaza. Shimon Peres had a vision for peace for the entire Middle East, and there is no hope for that dream with Hamas in Gaza. This war is not just for our children, but the children of Gaza as well.”
Together with regional partners for peace and prosperity, Israel stands on the front lines of a war that will affect the rest of the world for generations to come. Israel, and those who stand alongside them and the values they defend, are fighting to build a bright future for the entire Middle East, to provide unprecedented opportunities for the next generation to collaborate, innovate and work together for the betterment of all nations and people.