Friday, July 12, 2024

From Ian:

UN finally says it paid for Albanese’s anti-Israel lobbying trip
After months of refusing to state publicly who paid for an anti-Israel United Nations official’s politically-centered visit to Australia and New Zealand, the U.N. Human Rights Office told JNS on Friday that the global body paid for the trip in November.

Francesca Albanese, the U.N. special rapporteur for Palestinian rights, has become the focus of an internal U.N. investigation into allegations launched by U.N. Watch, a watchdog that alleges that pro-Hamas lobbying groups funded the trip.

The Australian Friends of Palestine Association claimed publicly that it had “sponsored” Albanese’s visit, and Free Palestine Melbourne, the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network and Palestinian Christians in Australia stated that they “supported” the trip. All four are lobbying groups.

During the visit to Australia, Albanese participated in media and fundraising events, as well as meetings with pro-Palestinian politicians and civil society members.

A connected trip to New Zealand included what U.N. Watch calls a meeting “to lobby a major New Zealand sovereign wealth fund to divest from Israel-related companies.”

JNS sought a copy from the United Nations of its payment for Albanese’s travel and correspondence between her office and the global body that would confirm the timeline of when the United Nations agreed to pay for the travel.

Albanese’s special rapporteur position is a volunteer role that is technically independent of the United Nations. The global body pays her expenses out of a designated budget.

Her trips to Australia and New Zealand did not appear in the mandated U.N. special procedures annual report. The U.N. Human Rights Office told JNS that the trip was not included, because “it was not a designated ‘country visit’ per se.”

“Only official country visits aimed at assessing the human-rights situation in that country itself, and that are followed by a country visit report to the Human Rights Council, are included in this list,” it added.

JNS asked how the U.N. Human Rights Office, which has said it is in a dire financial state, justified spending an estimated $22,000 for Albanese’s politically-motivated trip.
Jonathan Tobin: Candace Owens is a cautionary tale about platforming ignorance
The manner by which she slipped effortlessly from normal political discourse to defending rabid antisemites like Kanye West to attacks on Israel and mimicking Hamas propaganda to her current bout of Holocaust denial also illustrates the way hucksters like her can exploit partisan divisions to gain clicks and then a foothold for hate. Having first established herself as a supporter of former President Donald Trump, and with the imprimatur of PragerU and Daily Wire behind her, it was all too easy for decent people to give her a pass when she first started demonstrating signs of extremism. In a media culture where “owning” one’s foes has become a paramount objective, anyone who can infuriate the other side is always initially assumed to be either trolling them for effect when they say outrageous things or are victims of groupthink and censorship when they get negative blowback. With Owens, there was also a tendency to see any criticism of her as evidence of the unfair way in which liberals always seek to smear blacks who choose to dissent from the leftist orthodoxy.

That’s how she got away with her defense of West, though her poor excuses for arguments demonstrated that she was woefully ignorant about the subject.

More to the point, having gifted her with a large audience, those who ran the Daily Wire seemed to be stuck with her, even as her opinions diverged more and more from the conservative beliefs they espoused and her weakness for Jew-hatred became more noticeable. They should have booted her off their platform nearly two years ago, as some of us said at the time. Whether it was because they feared losing her followers or because it had already become a complicated business transaction, there she stayed until her post-Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and Jews forced their hand.

It’s hardly surprising that Owens has now gone completely off the deep end now that she’s no longer held accountable, even in theory, to other more responsible people. The same was true for Tucker Carlson, who kept his animus for Israel mostly under wraps while he was hosting the most popular show on cable news but unleashed it once he was fired by Fox News Channel last year and was relegated to a smaller but still significant viewership via his X account.

We needn’t waste time refuting the lies Owens tells about the past or her falsehoods about being a victim of a corrupt establishment. Her decision to become a Holocaust denier puts her beyond the pale and should render her too toxic for anyone with a shred of credibility to bother defending. Much like crackpots like Nick Fuentes, who are called “groypers,” and Michelle Malkin, another former mainstream conservative pundit turned antisemitic fever swamp dweller, Owens is now likely to fade from view. We can only hope that from now on, only fellow extremists and antisemites like Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, will have anything to do with her.

Yet before she is rightly relegated to the dustbin of history where such hatemongers usually wind up, we do well to ponder just how easy it was for her to gain access to so many readers, listeners and viewers. Owens’s journey towards Jew-hatred isn’t unique to the right or to African-Americans. In the future, we should be wary of people with no track record of fully thought-out beliefs and whose only qualifications are their ability to talk fast, along with a particular ethnic or racial identity that makes them stand out. Those who initially applauded her stands should establish a policy of zero tolerance for hate that we would expect to be observed by those on the other end of the political spectrum. Failing to do that is a formula for disaster that will only produce more Holocaust deniers with a mass audience.
Ben Cohen: ‘The Neck and the Sword’ is Rashid Khalidi’s distortion of history
“The Neck and the Sword” is the title of an extensive interview with the prominent Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi in the latest issue of New Left Review, a London-based Marxist journal that, despite its name, is deep in the throes of middle age.

The interview’s title stems from one of the points made by Khalidi’s interlocutor, Tariq Ali, an aging New Leftist who used their discussion as an excuse to revisit his late 1960s heyday as a political activist.

Ali recalled that on a trip to the Middle East following the 1967 Six-Day War, he asked the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani whether a negotiated settlement was possible with these “bastards”—his term for the Israeli people. “Tariq, explain to me how the neck negotiates with the sword,” Kanafani apparently replied.

Ali was, of course, thrilled with this answer, because it articulated through a poetic metaphor one of the key elements of the Palestinian self-image: We are powerless; we are always and everywhere the victims of others, especially the Zionists; and we resist whenever we can garner the strength.

As romantic as that notion seems to the Western leftists who have adopted Palestine as the core element of their political identity, it is more properly understood as a license for Palestinian terrorist groups to carry out the sorts of monstrosities we witnessed on Oct. 7—reinforced by the adulation of their outside admirers—instead of admitting and accepting moral culpability.

Aided by Ali’s fawning line of questioning, Khalidi uncomplicatedly pushes this notion of perpetual victimhood throughout the interview. In my view, it is the clearest expression of an essentially secular Palestinian nationalist standpoint to have appeared in the last nine months, which is why it’s worth reading.

A Columbia University professor who is arguably the most erudite exponent of the Palestinian cause today, Khalidi certainly sounds more nuanced and historically literate when compared to the imbecilic, expletive-laden sloganeering disseminated by violently antisemitic groups like Within Our Lifetime and Students for Justice in Palestine.

For example, rather than denying the rapes, decapitations, hostage-taking and mass murder on Oct. 7—as these vile organizations do whenever they are not celebrating them—Khalidi acknowledges that these took place. Rather than denying or denigrating the Holocaust, he concedes that the Nazi genocide “produced a kind of understandable uniformity in support of Zionism” among the Jews who survived.

But does this cursory nod to the humanity and historical experience of the Jews meaningfully alter Khalidi’s perspective? The answer to that is negative. Khalidi’s softer touch on these questions actually makes the rest of his interview all the more disturbing. He has a historian’s knack for remembering dates, names, locations and quotes, and he marshals this information into a narrative that, for those who don’t know any better, is highly compelling. But for those who do know better, what stands out are the multitude of omissions and distortions in his account.
  • Friday, July 12, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ian:

Michal Herzog: We Cannot Give Up on the Women Abducted From Israel
At the nine-month mark since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel and abducted more than 200 people, among them life-loving young women snatched from a music festival, mothers taken from their beds, sisters and daughters ripped from the optimism and vitality of their youth and their lives, we must ask: What has happened to our humanity? Our capacity for empathy for the hostages as well as the innocent women and girls of Gaza? Our ethical intuition? Our sense of allegiance and responsibility to these women hostages?

In the horrifying footage of their capture on Oct. 7, 2023, from the Nahal Oz base, 18- and 19-year-old girls are bound hand and foot and faced against the wall, passive objects in the hands of their captors. “You are so beautiful,” leers one at a young woman, as he binds her hands, kneeling. “Here are the females,” said another, invoking an ISIS idiom. The intimation is clear. And it touches every chord of horror available to the human experience.

The medieval brutality of the Hamas invasion into Israel on Oct. 7, widely documented, indeed seems to belong to a different era. But it hits notes of fear and terror that are so primal, so visceral, so chillingly familiar to us women. Millennia of vulnerability have been encoded in our bodies. We can conjure in our imaginations the darkest images of women captured in war, paraded through the streets as trophies, kept in cages, subject to every whim of their captors. It is a reality in which the darkest and most brutal of human impulses are laid bare. There is no moderating or civilizing force. This should alarm every single one of us. The significance of this particular brand of violence against women, of the reported ongoing crimes against the female hostages in Gaza, is that the rule of law, so carefully put in place over centuries of progress, is being actively disregarded and defiled.

We need to face the facts. This weaponizing of women’s bodies, this weaponizing of sexual assault and rape in warfare since Oct. 7, has taken the entire human race many steps backward. Civilization is failing these captives right now. And it is failing every one of us.

Where is the public outcry? Where is the outrage? Where is the vocal conviction, across the board, that this type of violence against women is unacceptable and will not pass in silence? Where is the voice—broken and piercing and fierce—on behalf of these women? On behalf of civilization? Where is the demand, wall to wall, that they must be brought home now?

I know well the primal vulnerability that comes with being a woman and a mother, but I also know about the primal power that these roles carry. I, along with millions of other women, haven’t given up. Not on these young women. And not on our humanity. I call upon every person to speak out for all the hostages—women and men—still being held by terrorists and help bring them home.
Seth Frantzman: Return to Be'eri: What I learned from visits to Be’eri since Oct. 7
Unanswered questions
I went back to Be’eri a third time during a short trip to the Gaza border. I didn’t realize how far the border actually was from the kibbutz. However, it was a drive along a dirt road. This was the area where soldiers access the Netzarim corridor which is controlled by the IDF south of Gaza city. The landscape was festooned with soldiers making their way back and forth.

However, I tried to imagine how the terrorists had been able to conquer the kibbutz. They had arrived at the front gate. Had they also traversed this area, the mile and a half to the border? Or had they come directly from route 232 via another opening in the fence? It was then that I realized Be’eri is not that close to the Gaza border, compared to places like Nahal Oz, Kfar Aza or Magen. It’s more than a short walking distance from the border, it would take time.

The IDF’s inquiry has revealed a lot of what was already felt about the response on October. There weren't enough soldiers. They didn’t have plans for what to do in case of numerous infiltrations along twenty miles of border. There were no reserve forces. The response was slow. In fact at Be’eri it was very slow. It took until 13:30 to bring up any serious forces and even when they arrived they arrived piecemeal and it took time to bring them to bare against the enemy.

Soldiers left to fight alone
The chaos of October 7 is not shocking when one understands what happens to military units when they are overrun and face a situation they are not prepared for. Military units work well when they are cohesive and there is a chain of command. They can perform well even if they are on their own but they have initiative and have enough forces. They don’t perform well when there are a handful of soldiers who show up from numerous units without commanders or orders. They don’t perform well when they are used to having air support and a mass of intelligence and are thrown in, basically in the dark in terms of intelligence, into a battle they never expected and their air support is not there.

The disaster at Be’eri is a symbol of the state in general. This country has always survived in a difficult neighborhood by being prepared and planning for the worst and keeping its enemies deterred. It became complacent over the last decades. We’ve seen this before. Israel slouched into the 2006 war in Lebanon also unprepared. However, in that war the enemy was not inside the gates. The goal of Israel’s leaders since the early days of Zionism was to create self-protection units because any time the enemy got inside the gates there would be a massacre. This is what happened in 1920 in 1929 and in the 1930s. Israel’s early leaders always preferred to strike the first blow and fight on the enemy’s territory. Israel became complacent and let the enemy grow to strong and it let the enemy enter into places like Be’eri.

Be’eri represents what will happen here if the country continues down a path of arrogance and complacency. In northern Israel the communities were evacuated because of a sense they could not be protected. This is a betrayal of a policy going back to Ben-Gurion of defending communities, not retreating. Israel has sent the message to Iran and its proxies that Israel is willing to evacuate and this feeds their assertion that Israel is a temporary state. Israel must return to the north and return to the borders of Gaza and stop the retreating. The army must learn from this disaster and where necessary people must be held accountable.
Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans pass measure to claw back UNRWA funding with no support from Democrats
The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday split along party lines on a bill seeking to rescind U.S. funding previously provided to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency before the administration and Congress froze funding to the U.N. body earlier this year.

All but four Democrats on the committee also opposed a bill penalizing the U.N. for granting the Palestinians enhanced status.

The UNRWA bill, led by Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), would instruct the secretary of state to seek to rescind any funds previously allocated to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — before funding to the agency was frozen — that have not yet been utilized by UNRWA.

Mast suggested during the committee meeting that the administration had deliberately waited to halt funding to UNRWA in January until after it had distributed an additional tranche of funds to the agency, adding that the problems with the U.N. agency continue — pointing to a recent IDF raid on an UNRWA facility in Gaza City allegedly being used by Hamas.

“UNRWA is an entity that has been a part of supporting hatred against Jews, against Israel, a part of facilitating attacks, holding hostages,” Mast said, outlining UNRWA’s history of ties to Hamas and promotion of antisemitism in its schools.

Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY), the top Democrat on the committee, said he opposed the bill because UNRWA remains a critical part of aid distribution in Gaza and elsewhere in the region, which cannot currently be replaced, and because the bill could further damage UNRWA’s already precarious finances.

“This bill is the definition of really kicking someone while they are down,” Meeks said. “This is a measure that the State Department did not ask for, and does not advance the U.S. interests in peace and stability and humanitarian aid.”

Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) demanded that Congress “stop punishing those who are doing God’s work in the most ungodly of places.”
  • Friday, July 12, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

In November, the International Committee of the Red Cross published an article on protecting hospitals in wartime under international law. While it didn't mention Israel, the timing of the article makes it clear that it was aimed at the Jewish state.

Most of the article is a restatement of well-known international law that one can see elsewhere on the ICRC website. But then it adds something I have never seen elsewhere in a situation where the hospital had been turned into a legitimate military target by being used as a base for attack:

 When they are used to interfere directly or indirectly in military operations, and thereby cause harm to the enemy, the rationale for their specific protection is removed. This would be the case for example if a hospital is used as a base from which to launch an attack; as an observation post to transmit information of military value; as a weapons depot; as a center for liaison with fighting troops; or as a shelter for able-bodied combatants.....

An attacking party remains also bound by the obligation to take precautions in attack, in particular to do everything feasible to avoid or at least minimize harm to patients and medical personnel who may have nothing to do with those acts and for whom the humanitarian consequences will be especially dire. The following measures should be taken to minimize the direct and indirect impact of such an attack on the provision of health-care services, whenever feasible and operationally relevant:

Prepare a contingency plan to address the estimated disruption to health-care services and to re-establish full delivery as soon as possible.
• Consider measures both for the evacuation of patients and medical personnel and for them to be taken properly in charge.
• Interrupt the attack if the facility no longer meets the criteria leading to the loss of protected status (e.g. combatants have fled from the medical facility).
After the attack, facilitate or implement measures for the rapid restoration of health-care services (e.g. provide military medical support for the civilian medical facility).
I have never seen anyone else ever tell an army that they had to actively work to help fix the enemy's medical system. Certainly they should  avoid unnecessary damage and minimize the operations to do everything to avoid civilian harm. But to demand that they create plans and implement measures to rebuild the facilities goes way beyond anything I've seen in international law. 

Yes, the ICRC adds caveats. They say the attacking army "should" (not "must)  take these measure and only when feasible. But that is a slippery slope towards demanding Israel do things that no army in history has ever done, or has been expected to do, without a full occupation of the territory. 

I could not find anything close to this on the ICRC website. Their Customary IHL section on medical units does not mention any of this. I'm not aware of any nation's army manuals that say anything remotely like this. 

Once again, Israel is being expected to act in ways that no one else is. Those ways generally make it more difficult to win the war.  

It is not a coincidence.

(h/t Irene)

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  • Friday, July 12, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

The US-built pier to bring aid into Gaza was destined to fail. And everyone knew it.

The New York Times reports about the White House spin on dismantling the pier:

The real issue right now is not about getting aid into Gaza,” [Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser] said. “It’s about getting aid around Gaza effectively. But there are a lot of things that we need to work through, including lawlessness and armed gangs. In some cases, Hamas itself is trying to disrupt and derail the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”
Who could have anticipated that?

Everyone. The New York Times reported in March when the pier was announced.
The new facility could provide another way to get truckloads of aid into the region. But it would not solve a central problem of distributing aid inside Gaza while intense fighting and Israeli bombing continues in the south, and as lawlessness in the north has grown so bad that aid groups suspended operations there.  
Even according to the NYT, the pier was built without any way of solving the "central problem" of aid distribution. 

Why did the US spend $230 million on this JLOTS plan that does not even address the the major obstacle to getting aid to Gazans who need it?

The main reason is that the Biden administration wanted to make it look like it was doing something. The UN falsely said that Gaza was on the brink of famine, Biden was under pressure from the progressive wing of his party to not be complicit in "genocide," and he wanted to make a dramatic announcement in his State of the Union address.

It was all optics. Helping Gazans was never the major goal. 

Besides that, the point of the pier was to have a major US presence in the region to deter Israel from invading Rafah, which it announced it intended to do the previous month. Israel ignored the pressure not to attack the last major area of organized Hamas military and the US didn't succeed in that goal. 

Even so, the implementation was stunningly bad. There is no way that US military engineers couldn't anticipate the roughness of the Mediterranean Sea.  That is more proof that helping Gazans was only a secondary goal of this debacle.

In the end, only 1% of the aid entering Gaza came from the pier - 438 trucks of aid out of 39,000 total. That is over half a million dollars for each truck in overhead. It seems that this was even less efficient than the airdrops are. 

Joe Biden dragged the military into wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of people in manpower to do something that was poorly planned and doomed from the start, all seemingly to make him look better in an election year.  This is not how a commander in chief should  act. 

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  • Friday, July 12, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
One part of President Biden's press conference should alarm every thinking individual.

Biden reiterated the mantra from every Western leader except Donald Trump since 1993: "There's no ultimate answer other than a two-state solution here, and so what was able to be done in terms of the plan I put together was it would be a process for a two-state solution,"

Mere months after the the most deadly attack on Jews since the Holocaust, Biden wants to reward the Palestinians with a state. The unspoken assumption is that if they had a state there would be no terror. 

There is of course no evidence of that; it is pure wishful thinking that too many are willing to sacrifice Jewish lives.

But Biden believes there is some evidence. He said, "There is a growing dissatisfaction in on the West Bank from the Palestinians about Hamas. Hamas is not popular now."

Apparently, he believes that the majority of Palestinians are moderate and peace-loving, who are upset at Hamas for attacking innocent civilians. That is his evidence that two states would be a solution.

Politicians have made this claim for years. The media does as well. And it is all a lie.

There is not one poll in the West Bank since October 7 that does not show Hamas popularity zooming. 

Here are results from the latest PCPSR poll showing that Hamas is more popular in the West Bank than in Gaza, by far, and its popularity has stayed steady - even going up from March to June. 

AWRAD in May found the same popularity for Hamas in the West Bank - 76% approval rating, with Islamic Jihad close behind. 

If Palestinians love Hamas, if Palestinians consistently support terror attacks (and they do, overwhelmingly, for as long as they have been surveyed), why would anyone think that two states would reduce terror? It would be giving an army to a people who have no greater desire than to destroy Israel and kill or drive out all Jews in Israel!

That is the reason Western media never highlights these results from polls. The "two state solution" is a religion, and anything that contradicts its vision of peace must be suppressed.

Even from the President of the United States.

Once you know that Palestinians support Hamas and Islamic Jihad, support October 7, support every major terror attack over the past 20 years, and view two states as a stage to eventually conquer all of Israel, how could you support a Palestinian state? Unless, of course, you share their goals.

Biden didn't read the poll; he has aides that told him that the Palestinians prefer peace to violence and Hamas is losing popularity. They lied to him. Because their two-state religio mandates lying for the Cause.


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Thursday, July 11, 2024

From Ian:

ICC Prosecutor Tapped External Panel to Review Evidence: Is That Even Allowed?
As noted, the Rome Statute’s Article 42(7) requires the prosecutor and the deputy prosecutors abstain not from the appearance of partiality and the statute’s Article 45 requires the prosecutor and each of the deputy prosecutors solemnly undertake in open court to act impartially. The Rome Statute, however, does not apply to external consultants of the prosecutor. Consequently, no panel member or academic adviser was as obligated to avoid the appearance of impartiality, act impartially, and avow impartiality as the prosecutor, if at all.

The ICC has Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which apply precepts of the Rome Statute to the functioning of the ICC and to practice before it. Rule 34 of these rules provides, explicitly in addition to grounds for disqualification set forth in Article 42(7) of the Rome Statute, an open-ended list of grounds for disqualification of a prosecutor or deputy prosecutor. One of the listed grounds is “performance of functions, prior to taking office, during which he or she could be expected to have formed an opinion on the case in question, on the parties or on their legal representatives that, objectively, could adversely affect the required impartiality of the person concerned.” In advising the prosecutor on his evidence, the panel members and academic advisers did not act in or before the ICC, meaning that Rule 34 did not apply to them.

The already-noted phenomenon of groupthink persists as a concern about partiality. The panel reviewed evidence that the prosecutor shared with it in a coordinated manner, including meeting at the ICC and in video calls. It reached unanimous conclusions on all questions posed to it—maybe even on more, since the panel commended the prosecutor’s own process of review—and it drafted its report as one. The prosecutor declared that the panel’s analysis supported and strengthened his applications. The risk that some opinion of some panel member was advertently or inadvertently quashed for the sake of group unison is inherent to the panel and the way it apparently worked and should be charged to the prosecutor. This risk alone points to a conclusion that the prosecutor failed to meet his legal obligation to abstain from at least the appearance of partiality.

What is more, external consultants may have had prior functions or can have affiliations or agendas that bias their conclusions. The prosecutor did not disclose whether he or anyone screened the panel’s members or academic advisers for problematic prior functions or formed opinions. The prosecutor did label the panel “impartial” but left unsaid how he determined that the panel members were impartial and how he ensured that they would act impartially. As for the panel’s academic advisers, the prosecutor said nothing about their state of impartiality. Regardless, the asymmetry between the impartiality obligations of the prosecutor, which are maximally stringent, and those, if any, of the panel members or academic advisers introduces the possibility of bias. This possibility should be charged to the prosecutor and further points to a conclusion that the prosecutor did not comply with his obligations concerning impartiality.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Kamala Harris thinks campus antisemites are very fine people
So, while not an all-out opponent of Israel in the manner of her friends in the left-wing congressional “Squad” who traffic in antisemitism, Harris can be seen as a transitional figure for the Democrats on this issue as they complete their journey from a pro-Israel party to one that is hostile to it. She not only lacks the record but the instinct to pretend to be a supporter of Zionism, as Biden has done. She also makes a greater effort than the president to show the younger generation of Democrats who have been indoctrinated in toxic ideas like critical race theory and intersectionality, which falsely label Israel and the Jews as “white” oppressors, that she is on their side.

Nor should anyone look to Emhoff as someone who can be a credible voice on antisemitism or Israel. The first man to hold the title of “second gentleman” spent his life demonstrating zero interest in Judaism or Israel until it became politically important for his wife’s career to do so. He’s representative of a large segment of people whose ties to Jewish life are largely cultural and therefore ephemeral. His daughter, Ella, a fashion model, not only spurns the title of a Jewish influencer but has raised money for the viciously anti-Israel U.N. Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) that has ties to Hamas terrorism and has helped perpetuate the century-old war on the Jewish state. Those who are relying on him to advocate effectively against antisemitism are fooling themselves.

When placed beside a president whose physical and mental decline is obvious, Harris—a healthy and vigorous 59-year-old—seems like a credible alternative, as well as a DEI choice who might hold together the Democratic coalition. However, the prospect of her elevation to the presidency ought to worry anyone who cares about Israel and the imperative to roll back the woke tide that is fueling a surge in antisemitism in the United States and worldwide. Her husband’s origins and any pandering to the community notwithstanding, if she winds up leading the Democrats, the case for the party as a home for Jewish voters will become even weaker than it already is.
Nearly half of Jewish voters believe NY is unsafe for them, shocking poll finds
Nearly half of Jewish voters have felt at risk because of their religious identity while living in the Empire State — while more than a third said that New York is no longer a safe haven for their people, a shocking new poll reveals.

The survey conducted for the pro-Israel New York Solidarity Network found that 44% of the 1,200 Jewish voters in New York City and other counties queried said they have felt unsafe, as did 67% of identifiable Orthodox Jews.

More than a third — 35% — said they agreed with the statement: “New York is no longer a safe haven for Jewish life and the Jewish people.”

Nearly 40% of the same voters said the US is no longer a safe haven for Jews.

The numbers are unsettling given that 1.5 million Jews live in New York state — more than any single place on the globe outside of Israel, the poll takers said.

“That more than a third of registered New York Jewish voters believe New York is no longer a safe haven for Jews should be a five-alarm fire for state and local elected officials,” Sara Forman, executive director of the New York Solidarity Network and Treasurer of Solidarity PAC, said in a statement to The Post Wednesday.

It comes as New York has been hit by a wave of antisemitic hate crimes since Hamas’ Oct. 7, 2023 attack on Israel and the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

The hate has spilled onto college campuses, where some Jewish students have been left cowering in fear due to anti-Israel protests and antisemitic incidents — including at Cooper Union and at Columbia University, where vandals occupied an academic building.

Many of the masked hoodlums escaped prosecution, and a campaign is now underway to urge Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state legislature to restore a mask ban at public protests to prevent harassers and bigots from hiding their identify and getting away with crimes.

Half of those surveyed by the New York Solidarity Network said they don’t believe New York’s college campuses will do enough to make Jewish students feel safe in the upcoming fall semester, while 42% said they did.

Meanwhile, 86% of respondents said they believe that antisemitism is a serious problem, and 56% have witnessed anti-Jewish hatred on social media and online forums — including 72% of those under the age of 30.

Antisemitic hate crimes are up 45% in 2024, according to NYPD data obtained by The Post in April — with many of the emboldened attacks captured on shocking video.

The survey conducted for the pro-Israel New York Solidarity Network found that 44% of the 1,200 Jewish voters in New York City and other counties queried said they have felt unsafe, as did 67% of identifiable Orthodox Jews.
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Flee Gaza? What Part Of 'Palestine Refugee' Is Unclear?  

by Ayama Baboon

Gaza City, July 14 - We Palestine Refugees, proud residents of this camp for more than seventy years, refuse to leave, even if the Occupation forces tell us to stay out of harm's way. What do they think refugees do, run away from violence? Someone has poor comprehension of the concept.

Our role in this conflict is to serve as a constant reminder that the Palestinian plight remains unresolved, and that we still yearn for the homes we left in 1948, or, if precedent is any indicator, to burn down the homes of Jews and slaughter people left and right. With some torture, gang rape, kidnapping, and mutilation thrown in for good measure. THAT's what being a refugee is about.

Well, that's what being a Palestine Refugee is about. I can't speak for refugees handled by that other UN agency, which for some reason tries to achieve permanent resettlement and citizenship for people fleeing other conflicts. Why do that when the refugees can serve as cannon fodder and a political tool to deflect domestic dissatisfaction? That other UN agency obviously doesn't understand what the concept of refugees is all about, either.

The Germans did it wrong. After they lost the Second World War, they were forced to absorb millions of ethnic Germans fleeing or expelled from lands the Third Reich had previously taken - the Palestinian model is so manifestly superior that I don't even know where to begin. The Germans should have refused to accommodate those refugees, instead keeping them in camps and fostering genocidal resentment among the camps' residents for generations against the countries they fled. Think how much more justice we would have in the world had they chosen the path of perpetual Resistance!

Perhaps the migrants from this part of the world now flooding into Europe can teach the locals how things are done. Initial signs are positive, but Europeans are slow learners.

A refugee's job is not to seek refuge, as the name might imply, but to prolong conflict for decades. That fundamental point eludes the world, except in the crucial case of Palestine, where its practice represents the only true fulfillment of the concept. Refugees do not flee. We embody rage, violence, and collective assignment of guilt to the people yet unborn when our plight began, but who refuse to surrender their security, lives, homes, or possessions to satisfy only the most extreme definition of "justice."

Educate yourselves.

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From Ian:

First Oct. 7 probe reveals how IDF, police failure led to Be'eri slaughter
The IDF publicized its first probe into Israel’s October 7 failure to prevent Hamas’s invasion, focusing in on the invasion of Beeri in the South, which parallels central Gaza, and which was overwhelmingly destroyed.

During the invasion, 101 Beeri residents were killed, 30 hostages were taken, of which 11 are still being held by Hamas in Gaza, 150 houses were destroyed, and several complete security breakdowns took place.

From the start of Hamas’s breaking through the Beeri security gate at 6:55 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., between 80-220 Hamas terrorists at anyone time (a total of 340 Hamas forces participated) massively outnumbered Israeli defenders, who had only between 13-26 fighters at any given moment.

The Hamas invaders were broken down into: 100-120 trained Hamas Nukhba terrorists, 50-70 Hamas regular fighters, 100-150 even less trained Islamic Jihad fighters and common criminals.

Most of the around 1,000 Beeri residents were in grave danger, but hoping to wait out the invasion in their home’s safe rooms until around 6:00 p.m., when the first large evacuations started.

IDF Maj, Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein, who is outside the mandatory service officers chain of command, directed the probe.

A Hamas Nuseirat commander in central Gaza started maneuvering his forces to be ready for the invasion around 5:30 a.m.

Under cover of thousands of rockets being fired and using drones and hang gliders to destroy Israeli sensors and lookout towers, around 6:30 a.m., Hamas started penetrating the border into Israel in many areas.

Between 6:55 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., a huge number of things went wrong for the IDF beyond the lack of IDF or Shin Bet warnings and the lack of forces preventing the Hamas invaders from arriving at Beeri in the first place.

Around 7:30 a.m., Hamas was already attacking and overwhelming the IDF’s forward headquarters for Gaza at Reim which would have been the main party to coordinate reinforcements.

Gaza Division Commander Brig. Gen. Avi Rosenfeld eventually fled and there was no one left nearby to coordinate a broad reinforcements operation or defense.

Rosenfeld recently resigned from the IDF.

Around 20 Hamas forces had penetrated the village from two different vectors in a short time.
Caroline Glick: JNS poll: Most Likud voters want Gallant fired
The majority of Likud voters have lost faith in Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and would like to see him fired, according to a JNS/Direct Polls survey of public opinion carried out on July 9.

Sixty-three percent of Likud voters believe that Gallant should be sacked, compared to 29% who believe he should remain in his position. Nine percent have no opinion.

Overall, 40% of Israelis support his firing, with 53% opposing it. And 7% have no opinion.

Only 16% of Likud voters believe that Gallant’s trip last month to the U.S. was helpful, while 49% said he undermined Israel’s war goals by traveling to Washington. Thirty-four percent have no opinion on the matter.

Speaking with visiting White House envoy Brett McGurk on Wednesday, Gallant expressed support for an IDF withdrawal from the Philadelphi Corridor that controls Gaza’s international border with Egypt.

“A solution is required that will stop smuggling attempts and will cut off potential supply for Hamas, and will enable the withdrawal of IDF troops from the corridor, as part of a framework for the release of hostages,” Gallant told the U.S. official.

Fifty-seven percent of Israelis oppose the U.S.-mediated deal currently being negotiated with Hamas, according to the survey, compared to 33% who support it. Seventy-nine percent of Likud voters oppose the prospective deal, with only 14% approving.

The contours of the agreement would require Israel to withdraw from the Netzarim Corridor that controls north-south traffic in Gaza, and from the Philadelphi Corridor. In exchange for the withdrawal and the release of hundreds of terrorists from Israeli prisons, Hamas would free 18 living women and children and the bodies of 15 deceased hostages.
Seth Frantzman: How an addiction to the Iron Dome doctrine has eroded Israel’s deterrence
Since October 7, Israel has continued to rely on a doctrine rooted in air defense as a strategy. It has evacuated the North and South and believes air defenses continue to buy it time.

The concept of Iron Dome buying Israel time to decide worked when Israel’s enemies couldn’t penetrate the air defenses and when the Israeli public wasn’t affected much by the war. However, even in those previous conflicts, which were short, living under endless rocket fire and evacuating the borders was not a doctrine for success.

Israel’s enemies today are not deterred. They believe they have caught Israel in a trap in which Israel continues to rely on precision strikes and proportional attacks.

ISRAEL’S FIRST LEADERS understood this would be a recipe for disaster. Israel can’t meet its enemies man-for-man. Israel is a small state and it can’t afford to end up like Lebanon or Iraq. It is a modern state that relies on trade and wants to be part of the first world. Endless wars against Hamas, Hezbollah and a half dozen other Iranian proxies are not a recipe for Israel’s historic success.

It was once believed that Iron Dome would buy Israel the time to make rational decisions, rather than plunge her into hasty wars. Today it is clear that relying on this concept as a strategy has led to endless caution and a fear of fighting large wars to deter enemies.

Instead, the preference is to continue letting groups like Hezbollah dictate the tempo of the war. Hezbollah says that it will stop its attacks when Israel ends the war in Gaza.

In essence this means every time Israel clashes with Hamas, Hezbollah has carved out a “right” to rain down rockets, drones and missiles on northern Israel.

The most destructive aspects of the October 7 war are now being felt on multiple fronts. Hezbollah’s ability to carve out a security zone inside Israel and fight a war between the wars inside Israel is a historic disaster for Israel.

What is the "new norm" in the Middle East?
This week, Hezbollah killed two Israelis in the Golan. Its drones continue to wreak havoc.

A year ago when an IED was planted by a man near Metulla who had penetrated Israel from Lebanon, it was seen as a big deal. Today 6,000 Hezbollah rockets and drones are seen as the new norm.

The killing of Israelis in the North is becoming a new norm, all because strategists put all their faith in air defense alone.

This recalls previous historic marches of folly, such as the Maginot Line between France and Germany.

Countries that rely solely on walled defenses are doomed to end up with enemies who learn how to pierce the defenses. History teaches us this. Israel’s historic leaders understood this.

Israel will need to rethink its reliance on air defense which went from buying time, to eroding Israel’s deterrence, preventing her from making tough decisions necessary to secure the country.
  • Thursday, July 11, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights wrote last month:
Genocidal Massacre in Central Gaza: Israeli Forces Kill 274 Palestinians and Injure 698 in Attack Lasting 75 Minutes

 On Saturday, 8 June 2024, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF) perpetrated yet another genocidal massacre against the Palestinian people in Gaza. During a military attack in Nuseirat Refugee Camp and across other areas of central Gaza, the IOF killed at least 274 Palestinians and injured around 698 others, including 161 women and 153 children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Among the number of casualties were amputees and serious injuries. The military attack, which lasted around 75 minutes, featured the use of deadly force and heavy firing in a densely populated area, primarily inhabited by internally displaced persons (IDPs), proving once again no regard for Palestinian life.   

Of course, this was the hostage rescue. Genocide by definition requires the intentional targeting of civilians for extinction, while the goal of the operation was to save Israeli lives, not to end Palestinian lives. If the hostages would have been released peacefully no one would have been killed. 

PCHR knows this very well, and gives this absurd description of the rescue:
Later, the IOF announced that the military attack led to the release of four Israeli captives.
Oh, so the captors decided on their own to release the kidnapped Israelis? 

This is just one of hundreds of examples of how the so-called "human rights community" ignores and twists facts to get to their predetermined conclusion. 

Yet PCHR is respected by the international community and quoted often by the UN.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



  • Thursday, July 11, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
I found this on an antisemitic site. It is a supposed memo from the Anti Defamation League from 1937 claiming that Jews were secretly planning to exempt themselves from any military service.

I looked up the source - I couldn't find it in the National Archives but the copy in the antisemitic "Israel Lobby" site seems to legitimately have come from a US government archive. Here is the "memo" itself so you can read it more easily:

The forgery is laughable. This is how antisemites think Jews talk amongst themselves, but no one talks this way.

The memo starts off saying it is a record from the Central Conference of American Rabbis, but ends up claiming it is from the Central Committee of the Anti-Defamation League. The letter itself does not adhere to any normal business letter format - no date, no author, no signature,  The Central Conference of American Rabbis meeting in 1937 was (rather famously) in Columbus, Ohio, not New York, and it was their 48th annual meeting, not the 47th. The 47th was in 1936 and held in Cape May, NJ. (And they always called them "meetings," not "conferences.")

So why is this ridiculous forgery in the National Archives? Because it is part of a multi-volume FBI file on the ADL. 

Any crackpot can send whatever they want to the FBI, and the FBI policy is to save and index everything it receives. If an FBI agent sees a newspaper story or flyer or really anything he or she wants others to see, it gets indexed and filed. It even has a file on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion - but it doesn't mean that it validates the contents.  It includes letters from concerned citizens asking if the FBI was aware of this secret plot by Jews to take over the world. Here is one of them, plus the FBI response with an internal addendum on the bottom.

The ADL itself forwarded some other antisemitic materials to the FBI if they felt it important. Sometimes entire books were sent and every page copied into the FBI archives.  At times the FBI would obtain material and forward it onto specific field offices, or examine the material for clues as to who sent it. 

So when someone requests materials under the Freedom of Information Act, the government sends literally everything that isn't classified - including the crackpot material.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

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  • Thursday, July 11, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

In March, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas appointed a new prime minister and asked him to form a new government, which he did.

Months later, a majority of Palestinians don't even know their new prime minister's name. 

Palestinians have limited knowledge of the newly-appointed government, especially in the Gaza Strip. More than one month after its formal inauguration (31 March 2024), one third of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are unaware a new government has been formed. 

Though the majority of respondents are aware that a new government is formed, they are markedly less knowledgeable of its composition. For example, only 32% of respondents were able to accurately name the new Prime Minister. Rates are slightly higher in the West Bank (40%) than Gaza (22%), but also show that, in neither territory is a majority of the population able to identify the current head of the government.
The reason they don't know his name is because the government is almost meaningless. All major decisions are made by Mahmoud Abbas alone, as he heads the Palestinian Authority, the PLO and Fatah. He is a dictator who controls all branches of the government. 

The government itself remains between impotent and dysfunctional. Many of the ministry websites (like the justice ministry and the cabinet website itself) are down or out of date. The sites that are up usually don't have any useful information, more self-promotion that providing services for the people.

No wonder people don't know the name of their prime minister. It doesn't matter. Abbas is like Iran's Supreme Leader, but unlike Khamenei, he doesn't bother pretending there is a democratic process when choosing a figurehead of government.

The current prime minister is also minister of foreign affairs. But Mahmoud Abbas created a new position for the previous minister, Riyad al Maliki, to be his personal Advisor on International Affairs and he sends him around the world  to continue doing what he used to do officially. 

This gives an idea of how irrelevant the Palestinian government is.

By the way, the prime minister's name is Mohammad Mustafa. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

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  • Thursday, July 11, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Iranian Qods News Agency reports on an anti-Israel conference in Tehran Wednesday:
Quds News Agency (Qudsna) reported that a special meeting to study the latest developments in Gaza, Palestine and Lebanon was held this morning, Wednesday, at the headquarters of the Association for the Defense of the Palestinian People in the capital, Tehran, in the presence of representatives of various local media outlets.

At the beginning of the meeting, Hojjat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, Secretary General of the Society for the Defense of the Palestinian People, referred to the viewpoint of the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (may God be pleased with him), and His Eminence the Leader of the Islamic Revolution regarding the Palestinian and Zionist issue.

Hojjat al-Islam wal-Muslimin Rahimiyan explained that the issue of hostility by the Jews has been emphasized in many verses of the Holy Quran and said, "In the history of Islam, most of the wars were either related to the Jews or the Jews were behind those wars and involved in them. The Jews had a prominent role in waging wars against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in that era and also up to this day."
The trope that Jews are behind all wars is straight from the neo-Nazi handbook. This one adds an Islamic twist. 

By the way the logo of the Society for the Defence of the Palestinian People is suspiciously similar to that of the Qods News Agency itself.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

From Ian:

The Normalization of Terrorism and Jew-Hate
It apparently never occurred to either the heads of the UN or the EU to consider that if you are a terrorist organization that commits war crimes, you do not get to choose how a war that you started is waged against you.

If you do not want a "bloodbath," do not take hostages, hide them among civilians, try to prevent a rescue, then if they are rescued, profess shock at the fallout that you yourself have teed up.

BBC news asked with a straight face if, to spare the lives of the Gazan "civilians" who were keeping the hostages locked up in their homes, Israel had given prior warning before launching its rescue operation. The Israeli spokesman, also keeping a straight face, politely answered that a warning might have endangered the hostages and made the rescue more difficult.

The irony of all this seems completely lost on the political and media elites, who kept insisting that the Israeli rescue operation was somehow immoral. By condemning Israel's rescue operation, they suggest that massacring and kidnapping 240 people is moral, and an act that should not require a military response.

The new purported Hamas agreement to a ceasefire apparently comes with "a major hurdle: The Iran-backed terror group is now demanding 'written guarantees' that mediators will continue to negotiate a permanent truce, once the first phase of the plan goes into effect, the Hamas rep said."

Essentially, this demand means that Hamas and its handlers, Iran and Qatar, would like to start wars and then have someone else stop them when they do not like how they are going.

In contravention of the Geneva conventions, Hamas has refused to allow the Red Cross to check on the welfare of the hostages. One can imagine why.

To this day, there seems little-to-no interest in the fate or condition of the hostages still in Gaza. Instead, there is denial that the October 7 atrocities even took place, compared to an almost obsessive regard for the safety of, and humanitarian aid for Gazans. When the UN is unable to deliver the aid, Israel, not the UN, is blamed.

The Hamas murders, rapes, burning alive of babies and abductions – all the reasons why Israel was forced to go to war with Hamas to begin with -- have retreated into the background.

What seems to matter instead to those who set the political and media agendas is to use the Hamas war once again to demonize the Jews as the world's most inhuman people for wanting to live peacefully on their historical land without daily massacres from Iran and its proxies -- Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and the Houthis -- which apparently plan to encircle them in a "Ring of Fire" -- "six fronts of aggression against Israel" -- as part of Iran's attempt at hegemony in the Middle East.

Western elites seem happy to assist them in that fight.
Seth Mandel: The Vindication of a Jewish Professor
Hamas’s brutal attacks on October 7 were the spark that lit up college campuses, but the powder keg already in place can best be understood from a lawsuit filed nearly two years earlier. That suit has now been resolved, and it provides an important lens through which to see the long-brewing anti-Semitism crisis in American higher education.

The story ended on Tuesday with the vindication of a Jewish professor who lost her job due to anti-Jewish bias. But it began back in 2005.

As was noted by the American Center for Law and Justice, which represented Melissa Landa in her battle against discrimination, Landa became a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland in ’05 and was hired two years later for a full-time teaching position in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. After an award-and-accolade-filled eight years there, she formed a group to speak out against anti-Semitism at her alma mater, Oberlin College. Then she took an affiliate professorship at the University of Haifa in defiance of the growing BDS movement on campus.

Her employers at the University of Maryland made their discomfort with her pro-Jewish affiliations clear, and started freezing Landa out of the department. When she objected, she was let go. Landa filed a religious-discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigated and determined that Landa had provided enough evidence to sue.

Maryland declined to settle, and ACLJ filed suit on behalf of Landa in 2022. Maryland’s attempts to have the case dismissed failed, and the school has now agreed to pay Landa damages and attorney fees.

Stories like this matter for the obvious reasons—religious discrimination is vile and illegal. But they also help clarify the chicken-or-egg coverage of campus anti-Semitism, which treats it as a phenomenon that began with the current conflict and therefore may simply end when the conflict ends.

Stories like Landa’s also put the focus where it should be: on the schools and their administrators, and the atmosphere on university campuses dating back decades.

On Monday, Gallup released its latest polling on higher education and public opinion. The results aren’t surprising: “Americans are now nearly equally divided among those who have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence (36%), some confidence (32%), or little or no confidence (32%) in higher education. When Gallup first measured confidence in higher education in 2015, 57% had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence and 10% had little or none.”
A Walk With the Ghosts of Jerusalem's Old City
But even as the Old City stands empty, new tourist destinations have appeared in the south of Israel, where all there is to see is raw sadness and horror. People—so far mostly in small groups—are making a modern pilgrimage to kibbutzim near Gaza, and to Re'im, the Tribe of Nova festival site. They come as an act of remembrance of the people who were murdered, tortured, raped or taken to Gaza on Oct. 7—or, in a more cynical assessment, to gawk at the evidence of evil.

Shachar Gal of Hands on Israel will take you to see the aftermath of the horror, but he's not in any way eager to go. Visiting these sites makes it Oct. 7 all over again, he said.

"I wouldn't have come, because of the trauma," Gal said on the road south from Tel Aviv. "This was a minute ago."

Still, he is a knowledgeable and faithful guide, showing a small group the "sites," which included the Kissufim military base that was overrun by murderers and the overlook of an Israeli Navy base. There was also a stop in the town of Sderot, where an Israeli tank eventually blew up a police station that had been occupied by terrorists.

At the Nova site, Israeli soldiers in their late teens and early twenties climbed down from buses to walk among the memorials to individuals–many their age– killed or captured, grim looks on their faces, guns slung over their shoulders.

Most surprising to me, there was a regular tourist bus, too. Sweaty, middle-aged American men and women walked behind a guide who was explaining the inexplicable. She painted a picture so terrible that it sounded like she must have witnessed the brutality for herself.

Listening just a few seconds more, I realized that she had. She had lived through it all. She had survived and now dealt with her trauma by sharing her experience with others.

My hope is that these new sites won't permanently take the place of Jerusalem's Old City, and that tourists will pulse through its stone heart again soon.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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