“Bibi and Hamas each exploited or nurtured their own mobs to prevent an unprecedented national unity government from emerging in Israel — a cabinet that for the first time would have included Israeli Jews and Israeli Arab Muslims together. Like Trump, both Bibi and Hamas have kept power by inspiring and riding waves of hostility to ‘the other.’ They turn to this tactic anytime they are in political trouble. Indeed, they each have been the other’s most valuable partner in that tactic ever since Netanyahu was first elected prime minister in 1996 — on the back of a wave of Hamas suicide bombings.” Thomas Friedman in the NYT: For Trump, Hamas and Bibi, It Is Always Jan. 6. (You can be angry at Netanyahu and reject some Israeli policies. But make no mistake about what Hamas is and is doing. They’ve stated their goals plenty of times. Believe them.)

+ “That meeting decades ago remains essential to understanding how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is used by those who aren’t directly impacted to advance their own agendas, and how differently it features in the Middle East today compared with even two decades ago.” Kim Ghattas in The Atlantic: The competition for influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia has for decades affected the prospects for peace.

+ “Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday he hasn’t yet seen any evidence supporting Israel’s claim that Hamas operated in a Gaza building housing The Associated Press and other media outlets that was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.”

+ Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive.