Wednesday, July 24, 2024

From Ian:

Michael Oren: Netanyahu’s Visit Is a Test for the Democrats
While many Americans would be hard-pressed to name the prime minister of Great Britain or the president of France, a very large number can identify—despise or admire—Netanyahu. His arrival in the United States, even in the midst of political chaos, will certainly be noted and his messages widely received.

In an address to a joint session of Congress (his fourth, breaking Churchill’s record), Netanyahu will certainly recall the horrors of October 7, along with the hostages’ continuing nightmare. He will describe northern Israel as a war zone rendered uninhabitable by Hezbollah. Most fervidly, the prime minister will return to his favorite theme: Iran. The world’s leading enabler of terror, he’ll say, Iran bears direct responsibility for the devastation of the past ten months. The same threshold-capable Iran, he’ll proclaim, is today only a decision away from producing nuclear weapons.

The speech, delivered in the shadow of Biden’s first public appearance since exiting the presidential race, might not attract the attention it might otherwise have garnered. But far greater attention will be focused on his three high-profile meetings—each for a different reason.

Sitting before the cameras with Netanyahu, Biden will have the opportunity to prove that he is still competent enough to complete his term. He can rebuff those calling on him to resign and allow Kamala Harris to run as an incumbent.

Should he receive Netanyahu, as planned, at Mar-a-Lago, Trump can smooth over his differences with him and reinforce the Republicans’ claim to be the true pro-Israel party.

Netanyahu’s most impactful meeting, though, will be with Harris. It will showcase her as a statesperson capable of interacting with a formidable foreign leader. It will facilitate her necessary movement from the progressive left to the moderate center. Ironically, one of Netanyahu’s most outspoken critics in Washington stands to benefit substantially from his visit.

The New York Times was wrong and so, too, was the State Department’s Office of the Chief of Protocol, which apparently failed to give Netanyahu a respectable welcome. No matter. His time in Washington will be nevertheless noteworthy and perhaps even fateful.
Seth Mandel: The Humiliating Cowardice of Schumer and Nadler
There are three things happening here, all of them deeply destructive. The first has nothing to do with the Jewish angle of this debacle. That is the diplomatic malpractice. America has a serious amount of power and lately an unserious way of wielding it.

Set aside the hysterical tone of Nadler’s post. Does anyone in Congress talk about any other ally this way? We have had a series of incompetent prime ministers in Britain over the past few years, one of whose term was outlived by a head of lettuce. We did not have members of Congress ranting about how Liz Truss was her country’s worst leader since Britain was Roman. That’s because they would look completely insane even publicly contemplating the question. If Nadler wants to retire to become a blogger at The Nation, he is more than welcome to. It’s a low bar, but more is expected of members of the United States Congress, especially those in senior positions.

Or we can turn to Canada, where the remedial-class prime minister likes to play dress-up more than think about politics, like some kind of ancient child-king. Is Schumer out on the floor ranting about how he loves Tim Hortons but the coffee will taste bitter to him until Justin Trudeau resigns to join the Ontario community theater?

The second and third problems here are related. The Democratic Party has made Israel so toxic that it is no longer possible to console ourselves with the fact that the overt anti-Semites are very few in number. Power is what matters, and Democratic floor leaders are terrified of the few but apparently scary bigmouths in the Squad and the legions of social media trolls they command. This, despite one Squad member losing his primary last month and another in danger of meeting the same fate next month. You don’t have to join them, you can just beat them.

Relatedly, it matters that Nadler and Schumer are high-profile Jews. Every time they dare to say anything nice about Israel or the Jewish people, they now caveat it to hell and back. The incentives are materially worsened by doing so, because those with even less power know they’ll be hung out to dry by leadership if and when they show a smidgen of Jewish pride.
Kamala Harris puts the ‘lie’ in allies when it comes to supporting Israel
Whatever Harris’ reason for missing the event, her record is full of harsh condemnation of Netanyahu’s prosecution of the war in Gaza.

Although Biden has run hot and cold in his support of Israel since the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas, Harris has been consistently critical.

As early as December, she said our ally “needed to do more” to protect Gaza civilians, saying in a Dubai speech: “The United States is unequivocal; international humanitarian law must be respected. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed.”

Although she also said Israel had a right to defend itself, her remarks were widely regarded as coming close to accusing Israel of war crimes.

In March, she again went further than the White House by demanding an “immediate cease-fire.”

According to USA Today, she called the situation a “catastrophe” and claimed that “people in Gaza are starving.”

That is a false claim repeated endlessly by pro-Palestinian activists and Jew-haters at the United Nations.

The real problem in Gaza is that Hamas uses non-combatants as human shields and steals most of the international aid meant for civilians.

Oddly, Harris leveled that scurrilous attack in March while attending the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, where Alabama troopers clubbed peaceful civil rights marchers as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

The place and timing of her comments suggested she saw a similarity between Jim Crow racism and the absurd claims that Palestinians are victims of Israeli apartheid.

Indeed, her comments consistently echo those from the Dems’ far left wing, which is dominated by harsh criticism of Israel and, often, blatant antisemitism.

It’s not a coincidence that the most virulent anti-Israel protests on college campuses took place in elite institutions dominated by leftists.

The White House was mostly silent, and it was only because of tough questioning by House Republicans, notably Elise Stefanik from upstate New York, that we learned of the cowardly excuses the presidents at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania used to duck their responsibility to protect Jewish students from threats and harassment.

Disclaimer: the views expressed here are solely those of the author, weekly Judean Rose columnist Varda Meyers Epstein.

When Bibi Netanyahu and his wife Sara got off the plane in DC, there were no dignitaries on hand to greet them. No president, and no vice president. The president was ill with COVID and far away, while Vice President Kamala Harris was, well, missing. Period. 

There can be no doubt that with her absence, Harris was signaling her contempt and disrespect for the Jewish State. We know this because the vice president let it further be known that she would not be attending Netanyahu’s address to Congress—which is actually her job. "Vice President Kamala Harris, who is now the presumptive Democratic nominee, will not preside in her constitutional role as president of the Senate during Netanyahu’s address," wrote CNN.

 Harris begged off with prior engagements. But the marked absence of the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee at the airport and the historic address to Congress wasn’t really about a speaking gig at a sorority in Indianapolis, and even Israel’s war on Hamas was only an excuse.

The reason Kamala Harris has been MIA on all things Netanyahu is because she doesn’t like Israel.  She would say she doesn’t hate Israel; she hates only Netanyahu. But ‘Netanyahu” is to “Israel” as is “Zionist” to “Jew.” One is only a code word for the other, a code that renders hatred kosher, via an adjustment in terminology.

The code makes it possible to read between the lines of what Kamala Harris has said about Israel over the years, and also how she has responded to Israel’s detractors, offering sympathy to Jew-haters for their “truth.” 

Over time, Kamala Harris has become ever bolder in expressing her anti-Israel sentiments. Or maybe she was always this way. She told a man accusing Israel and the US of genocide that she appreciated his leadership. 

In March she expressed her sympathy for antisemitic protesters. Harris said she understood how they felt (emphasis added):

They are showing exactly what the human emotion should be, as a response to Gaza. There are things some of the protesters are saying that I absolutely reject, so I don’t mean to wholesale endorse their points. But we have to navigate it. I understand the emotion behind it.”

In that same March interview, Harris issued a stark warning to the Jewish State. “We have been clear in multiple conversations and in every way that any major military operation in Rafah would be a huge mistake,” said Harris on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I have studied the maps. There’s nowhere for those folks to go,” said Harris, referring to the residents of Rafah.

This, of course, is a lie. The residents of Rafah do have a place to go, in fact multiple places to go. They could go to the humanitarian zones created for them by Israel, but Hamas won’t let them leave. They could go to Egypt, but Egypt won’t let them in. No one should believe that Kamala Harris does not know these things. She has been briefed on and sat in briefings about these things.

She knows about Hamas blocking the way of fleeing civilians, sometimes by beating and killing them. She also knows that Egypt has refused to take in the desperate Gazans. In spite of this knowledge, during the course of the interview, Harris went further even than Biden’s “Don’t.”

“We’re gonna take it one step at a time,” said Kamala Harris, alluding to what the Jewish State should expect should it fail to heed Biden’s warning. Shipments of weapons and ammunition would be “delayed.”

This, in fact, was what happened. A loophole was found and exploited by the Biden administration in order to withhold arms from the Jewish State. Senator Tom Cotton described how they did it in a June 24 letter to Joe Biden. It was now three months since Kamala had made her threat, and the weapons, so crucial to the Jewish State, had not been released:

“Your administration is engaged in bureaucratic sleight-of-hand to withhold this crucial aid to Israel during a shooting war. As you are aware, the Arms Export Control Act requires the administration to notify Congress before sending weapons to a foreign country. Your administration has manipulated this requirement by withholding this formal notification to Congress of approved weapons sales, including F-15s, tactical vehicles, 120-mm mortars, 120-mm tank rounds, joint direct attack munitions, and small diameter bombs. Your administration can then claim that the weapons are ‘in process’ while never delivering them.”

The confluence of world events right now is intriguing. It puts one in mind of the Book of Esther. Biden steps down from his bid for reelection and Harris assumes the role, just as Netanyahu arrives to plead his case. Can we predict how the story arc will play out? What will happen to Israel in the months to come, as a heavily-funded Kamala Harris veers ever more publicly further to the left?

Here is what will happen: Israel will refuse to stand down against the vicious Hamas terrorists, no matter what Kamala Harris does or doesn’t do. But should she continue to amass power, her distaste for Israel, may end up hurting the very people she means to help. Because the longer this drags on, the more Gazans will die.

The Biden administration has not advocated for US citizens held hostage in Gaza, and has fed money to Iran and its proxy, Hamas, all the while demonizing Israel. But when it comes to sheer public hatred of the Jewish State, Kamala somehow always takes it that one step further than Biden, letting the world know she’s not going to give the Jews of Israel the means to defend themselves. 

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  • Wednesday, July 24, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
After reading another tweet by a supposed journalist about how well Muslims treated Jews before 1948, I decided to look at the Palestine Post for July 24, 1934 and see if it reported on how wonderfully Jews were treated.

I found this:

A 2006 academic paper shows that the main instigator of the pogrom was a Turkish official, the inspector general of Thrace, named Ibrahim Tali Ongoren.  He had written a lengthy memo ahead of the pogrom, saying:
In Thrace it is absolutely necessary and of crucial importance for Turkish life, the Turkish economy, Turkish security, the Turkish regime and the revolution to abolish Jewry, which represents a hidden danger for us and wants to lay the groundwork for communism in our country, in collaboration with labour organizations, in the most radical manner.....It is urgently required that a careful solution is found to the Jewish problem, which only puts the Turks in harm’s way in all areas of life in Thrace."
The police did not interfere with the violence. In fact, some of the looted property was found in the home of the local police commissioner.

The paper concludes that "Tali very likely acted in accordance with the intentions of the Turkish government" and provides some evidence.

A violent pogrom, includng rapes, conceived by an antisemite, led by university students, with the goal of driving all Jews out of the area.  

Sounds way too familiar. 

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By Forest Rain

Beautiful, beloved Amit Man – words are not enough

Words are tools that describe and create reality. Powerful yet only representations, a reflection, not the experience itself. There is a gap between the two which usually goes unnoticed. But when the experience is profound the gap becomes sharp and painful. The words fall broken and twisted into the chasm that they cannot bridge.   

What words could encompass the whirlwind of evil that swept through this little building, snatching lives away and laughing the whole time?

The dental clinic in Be’eri was designated as a gathering place in an emergency. It was not equipped for the disaster that hit the community on October 7th. Who could imagine a full-scale invasion of monsters armed to the teeth and eager to rape and burn families alive?  

It was here that the Children of Light fought the Children of Darkness.

What words have enough truth in them, enough depth, to describe what happened in this little clinic? What words have enough light in them to describe Amit Man, beautiful and beloved, dedicated to life, choosing others above herself when the missiles began? She could have left the kibbutz. She could have stayed in the safe room. Instead, she took her paramedic’s bag and ran to the clinic. What words are enough to describe Dr. Daniel Levi, Amit, and a nurse battling for seven hours to treat the injured and save lives? What words are powerful enough to honor the two members of the kibbutz's emergency response team who stood guard, fighting off the monsters so that the healers could treat the injured?  

Seven hours, an eternity in hell.

Throughout the battle Amit, just 22 years old, kept her composure and constantly updated the Magen David Adom (MDA) headquarters about the condition of the wounded, pleading for evacuation. When the medical supplies ran out, she caressed the heads of the injured, gave them water, and encouraged them. Two of the survivors recounted that the assistance she provided saved their lives.

Around 2:00 PM the brave men battling to protect the clinic ran out of ammunition.

Amit managed to send a message to her family: "I don't think I will get out of here. Please stay strong if something happens to me."


“They’re here.”

Three little words. So much, unspeakable horror.

In her last call to her family Amit can be heard screaming “Shachar” the name of one of the men trying to protect her. Did she scream because she had already been shot in the leg or was it because she was watching his life run out of his body and she couldn’t help?

When Amit was found they saw she had been shot in the leg, managed to apply a tourniquet to herself, but was shot again and died.

There are no words profound enough to convey what it is like to stand in the place where evil swept through, snatching lives away and laughing.

The walls, riddled with bullet holes, are silent yet accusatory. Here the Children of Light shone in all their glory. Here their sacrifice, love, dedication, honor, and dignity were not enough to stop the evil, ravenous and hellbent on stamping out life. 

People whose loved ones were ripped from them here wrote on the walls, words doomed to fail in conveying the depths of their emotions.

The flatness of the words knocked the breath from my lungs. I saw words that attempted to infuse dignity and respect in a place where dignity was stolen. I saw words that attempted to express love and honor.  And then one little word jumped out at me: “Mom”.

Amit Man’s sister Haviva and mother wrote these words on the wall, in between the bullet holes:

In memory of Amit Man, our little sister,
the beloved of our hearts who was murdered while saving lives,
together with Dr. Daniel Levi,
Shachar Tzemach,
and Eitan Hadad.

We love you forever and ever.

Mom !

As time passes and others forget, we are left to pick up the debris left by the storm.

October 7th isn’t over. 

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  • Wednesday, July 24, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
As we've mentioned previously, the Lancet in December published a correspondence that claimed to indicate that the Gaza ministry of health statistics were accurate by comparing the death rates per thousand of the ministry's numbers and the presumably accurate UNRWA staff death numbers. It found that the death rate per thousand of UNRWA workers was even higher than what the Hamas health ministry reported, thereby indicating that the ministry numbers were trustworthy.

Here was their chart showing the cumulative death rates for the first four weeks of the war for both sets of reported deaths:

Since then, however, the death rate per thousand of UNRWA workers has been significantly lower than that of all deaths reported by the ministry of health. 

Here is that same chart style of cumulative deaths for the eight months starting from the date the previous chart ended in November:

Since November, the death rate of UNRWA workers has consistently been half that reported by the MoH. 

That's eight months of data compared to one month of data - yet that single letter is still cited widely by others as proof that the ministry of health is reporting numbers accurately.

This is even more striking knowing that UNRWA has been complaining about Israeli airstrikes on their schools. If Israel has increased the number of strikes on schools, wouldn't we be expecting the number of UNRWA staff killed to be increasing, not decreasing? 

Or is Israel simply doing a good job at killing Hamas terrorists in the schools and largely avoiding civilians?

You cannot have it both ways. If the Lancet believes that the first month proves the ministry of health was giving accurate numbers, then it must believe that every month since then it has been consistently exaggerating the number of casualties by a factor of 100%.

I cannot find a single honest researcher who has pointed this out - and I have emailed to some of the authors of this and other articles that reference it. Not one response.

The original Lancet methodology pretending to support MoH statistics is provably, consistently wrong. And the journal is not intellectually honest enough to point this out.

That isn't science. It is propaganda. Any real scientist or mathematician should be offended at how statistics are being twisted to support Hamas lies.

(For the record, I do not believe that UNRWA death rates are a good proxy for total Gaza death rates to begin with. If UNRWA workers are either Hamas members or facilitate Hamas, we would expect a higher UNRWA death rate. Moreover, the underlying assumption in the Lancet article is that Israel is killing indiscriminately, but all UNRWA workers are working-age adults so they are not an accurate demographic sample of Gaza. As we've seen, a disproportionate number of UNRWA workers killed are male compared to their workforce. If anything, the UNRWA statistics prove Israel is not targeting Gazans indiscriminately.)

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  • Wednesday, July 24, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

From AP:
The Beijing declaration calls for a Palestinian state based on borders that were in place before Israel captured the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in a 1967 war.
What borders?

Just because Palestinians claim that their state shoul dbe on lands that were controlled by Jordan and Egypt between 1948 and 1967 doesn't mean they are legal borders.

They were armistice lines. 

The 1949 armistice between Israel and Jordan said explicitly that they were not meant to be national borders: " The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto."

The EU is worse - they use the word "borders" deliberately even though they know quite well that they never were borders.

It reminds me of how the UN defended calling Gaza "occupied" by Israel when it wasn't occupied by Israel - saying that they standardized on the terminology so the actual definition is irrelevant. 

It is just another example of how language is misused to make people believe things that aren't true.  

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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

From Ian:

Hamas and Genocide in Israel
"Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such..." — Definition of genocide, The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, December 9, 1948.

Their genocidal aim, clear to the Hamas terrorists, was to murder Jews; others, such as Asians and Muslims, were also murdered. What is illuminating is how easily the civilized world, in this instance, accepted that as well as the abduction of 250 hostages. Those who slaughter and take hostages should be the subject of disgrace and condemnation. Instead, frequently, they were celebrated.

Israel, of necessity, responded to this massacre. Israel's goals, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called by Andrew Roberts "the Churchill of the Middle East," are "returning hostages from Gaza, eliminating Hamas' military and governing capabilities, ensuring that Gaza will not constitute a threat against Israel and also returning displaced Israeli residents securely to their homes in both the south and the north." Israel's goal is not to destroy the Palestinians, Arabs or Gazan civilians.

The situation of displaced Gazans -- temporary evacuations are allowed by Geneva IV, Article 49 -- is certainly unfortunate; however, the main problem is the aggressive nature of Iran's and Hamas's totalitarian regimes. That is what has led to the October 7 massacre and is the seminal reason for the war and the Gazan casualties.

"Israel Implemented More Measures to Prevent Civilian Casualties Than Any Other Nation in History"; "Israel Has Created a New Standard for Urban Warfare: Why Will No One Admit it?" — John Spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point; Newsweek, January 31, 2024, and March 25, 2024.

It is, in fact, Iran and Hamas that should be on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"Hamas is a religious movement, and they are a raging religious movement against Israel. The mainstream media cannot say this because they are afraid to ignite a religious war. And what I say, it already is. They want to annihilate the Jewish people because they are Jewish people, because they are a Jewish state." — Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, Fox News, October 23, 2023.
My Son Was the First American Killed by Hamas
The recent news that a group called American Muslims for Palestine was ordered by a Virginia court to provide financial documentation to state Attorney General Jason Miyares as part of an investigation into the group’s funding sources and allegations it may have used funds for “benefitting or providing support to terrorist organizations,” was another reminder of the need to shut down Hamas and its terror tentacles worldwide. But to me, the news hit particularly hard, because my son David Boim was the first American citizen killed by Hamas.

It was Monday, May 13 of 1996, and David was 17. Although he was born in New York, he was studying at a yeshiva in Israel, and, that fateful morning, he was standing at a bus stop with his friends, chatting happily as he waited for his ride back home to Jerusalem.

Tragically, Amjad Hinawi and Khalil Tawfiq Al-Sharif had other, evil plans. The two Hamas terrorists contemplated an attack on a nearby military base, but the sight of soldiers with guns made them lose heart. Better, they reasoned, to seek out more vulnerable targets. Driving around, they first shot at a bus, wounding two passengers. Then, they spotted the kids at the bus stop and opened fire.

David’s friend Yair Greenbaum was shot in the chest and later recovered. David wasn’t so lucky: He was struck in the head and was pronounced dead within the hour. Hinawi and Al-Sharif fled to the Palestinian Authority and remained committed to murder and terrorism. A year after he had murdered my son, Al-Sharif blew himself up on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda street, killing five and wounding 192 Israelis.

The same newspapers that minimized our suffering as understandable collateral damage today continue to draw false equivalences. The same so-called defenders of human rights extend sympathy to everyone but Jews.

Over the years since David was murdered, I have visited his grave hundreds of times. I told him about the lawsuit his father and I filed against American organizations we believed were fundraising fronts for Hamas. I shared with him the good news when we won that lawsuit in 2004 and were awarded a $156 million judgment. And I wept for him as the same organizations found guilty of providing material support to the terrorists quickly disbanded rather than comply with the court’s ruling. Then I was told that many of the same terrorism supporters went on to play very similar roles in very similar organizations, only with different names.

I’m not a lawyer and not a legal expert, but I know a mockery of justice when I see one, which is why my husband and I decided to file another lawsuit and insist that justice prevail.

But it’s not the legal proceedings I’ve been thinking about since Oct. 7. It’s not even hearing that some of the very same people who provided support to my son’s killers are now training young college students, not much older than David was when he was murdered, to once again hate and assault Jews. Rather, it’s that so little seems to have changed since my son was shot for no other reason than being Jewish. The same terrorists who helped plan my son’s execution are now overseeing the murder and kidnapping of other young Jews. The same newspapers that, back then, minimized our suffering as understandable collateral in a complicated conflict continue to draw false equivalences and refuse to condemn the murderers for what they are. The same so-called defenders of human rights and dignity seem to extend sympathy to all but the targeted Jews.

You’d think that all this causes me nothing but anguish. But that’s not the case.

When I lost David, I swore to myself that his death shall not be in vain. That even though I cannot bring him back to me, hold him once more in my arms, tell him again how proud I am of him and how much I love him, I can—and will—not only hold the perpetrators and their helpers accountable, but also continue to warn the world about what happens when we let evil men do evil things without standing up for what’s right.

And the horrors of Oct. 7 reminded me that my work here is far from done.
The Lancet’s anti-Israel pseudoscience
The eye-catching nature of the 186,000 figure, as well as the fact it was published in such a well-respected medical journal, has turned it into international news. It has been seized on by pro-Palestine campaigners. It was spray-painted by vandals on the ground by the Cenotaph in London last week, and has been quoted as fact by a Labour MP.

Some might try to argue that these outlandish figures are in no way being endorsed by the Lancet, as they were published in a letter and not a peer-reviewed article. But this is tosh. Peer-reviewed articles naturally carry more weight because they are more carefully scrutinised by outside reviewers. However, letters to the editor are not published at random. They are not akin to below-the-line comments on a website. They must be approved by an in-house editor and the vast majority are rejected. Approval and subsequent publication confers the imprimatur of a prestigious medical journal, whether the editorial staff publicly agrees with the letter or not. The fact that this was published at all carries some kind of implication.

Nor was this incident a one-off for the Lancet. The journal was previously involved with a different type of well-publicised scientific innumeracy during the Iraq War in the 2000s. In 2006, it published a study claiming that there had been 655,000 excess deaths in three years of war. This would have meant 500 deaths daily or 2.5 per cent of the Iraqi population. This surely could not have gone unnoticed by the authorities or journalists present, none of whom reported such daily carnage at the time. More recent analyses suggest the mortality figures were considerably lower than those published in the Lancet. The study, well-quoted by the anti-war community at the time, has been discredited by many sources.

The Iraq War study and the Gaza letter are examples of agenda-driven scientific reporting. Sadly, this phenomenon is not restricted to the Lancet. Respected American medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association have abandoned objectivity in numerous editorials, letters to the editor and scientific reports. A recent study that examined content from Nature, Science and Scientific American – three of the world’s top scientific journals – found a growing number of political articles published at the expense of scientific ones.

The Lancet’s nakedly partisan Gaza letter cannot be unseen. It is the latest example of an insidious trend in medical journals of abandoning their role as neutral reporters, while simultaneously using science to advance political causes. This pernicious drift into politics will do immeasurable long-term damage to the scientific world – and to the public seeking its guidance.
From Ian:

Seth Mandel: A Turning Point in the U.S.-Iran Shadow War?
The most important metric here is deterrence. If the response hasn’t altered the Houthis’ ability to threaten the sea lanes, then the overall number of missiles we’ve blown up doesn’t matter much. Kurilla seems to speak for a not-insignificant part of the defense establishment that would like permission to, as the Journal puts it, “carry out a broader range of strikes.”

“If you tell the military to re-establish freedom of navigation and then you tell them to only be defensive, it isn’t going to work,” one U.S. official told the paper. “It is all about protecting ships without affecting the root cause.”

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is flirting with providing the Houthis with antiship cruise missiles, which would certainly make U.S. officials wish the conflict had been solved already. In fact, Russia is leveling that threat as a direct response to U.S. support for Ukraine, more proof that the conflicts cannot be compartmentalized and treated as if in a vacuum. As if to reinforce the point, on Tuesday a Ukrainian security team guarding a cargo ship in the Red Sea appears to have destroyed a Houthi naval drone fired at their vessel.

Behind the Houthis stands Tehran, behind which stands Moscow, behind which stands Beijing. American strategists may not like it, but they cannot pretend otherwise anymore.

That is especially true because the U.S. consulate in Tel Aviv was nearly hit by the Houthi drone and may very well have been its target.

In its response, Israel did not seek to be polite. The strike had to be real. And it had to be attention-getting, because the Houthis do not ultimately act independently. So the air force struck the port of Hodeidah, which is controlled by the Houthis and used as a transit point for Iranian weapons. The strike did extensive damage to the port’s oil storage facilities and halted all ship traffic for a couple of days.

“The Houthis attacked us over 200 times,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said. “The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required. The blood of Israeli citizens has a price.”

Yet the Tel Aviv attack was also an escalation, a finger in the eye of the U.S. defense establishment, which has been failing to deter the Houthis for months. The fact that the Houthis—and thus, the Iranians—may have targeted the U.S. consulate is not just dangerous but deeply insulting: The Houthis could not possibly be less afraid of the American superpower.

U.S. presidents have long justified their aversion to taking strong retaliatory measures by dismissing the terrorist target as unworthy of the effort and posing no real threat to the United States. But this is Iran shooting at our consulate, and it is Russia threatening to give them advanced antiship missiles. Time to get real.
Jake Wallis Simons: Israel is about to discover how revolting the Democratic Left have become
It is commonly accepted that the reason Biden has been blowing hot and cold on Israel as the November election approached was to placate the progressive wing of his party. With Michigan, a key swing state, home to the largest community of Arab-Americans in the country, and with Rashida Tlaib representing it, the electoral pressure was on.

The Democrats were disunified and morose, while the Republicans looked ever more energised. Hence Biden delaying shipments of arms to the Jewish state. Hence Biden talking of the IDF going “over the top” with “indiscriminate bombing”, despite the fact that his own administration was sending precision munitions to Israel, explicitly to enable the IDF to limit civilian casualties.

With Harris in the White House, the Squad and their fellow travellers will be pushing at a far easier door. Yesterday, the co-leader of Britain’s Green Party, Carla Denyer, was forced to apologise after she praised Biden, triggering a backlash from the Israelophobic grassroots of her party.

Owen Jones, who has apparently become even more profoundly unhinged since October 7, appointed himself their mouthpiece, ranting on Twitter about how Biden had “armed and facilitated the mass slaughter of innocent people”. It didn’t take long for Denyer to cave to the pressure, bleating that she apologised if her supporters felt she was “offering my unmitigated support for his Presidency”, particularly selling arms to the Middle East’s only democracy as it fights for its life against the forces of jihadism.

Let the Greens be a cautionary tale. A second Trump term threatens to undermine America’s democratic institutions and usher in an era of isolationism, not least on Ukraine. A Harris administration may embolden the new radicalism that increasingly dominates her party and unleash it even more violently across the United States.

For those of us who care about global stability, principled and pragmatic foreign policy and the future of America, the Biden years – for all their significant failures – may come to look like a golden age.
UNRWA is only indispensable to Hamas, not ordinary Palestinians
A just approach to rebuilding Gaza would be to give Palestinians the agency to solve their own problems. Despite the insistence in the declarations, UNRWA is only indispensable to Hamas. Beyond the weapons, rocket launchers, tunnels, dead hostages and server farms found in and underneath their facilities, and octogenarians held captive by their employees, UNRWA has been funnelling significant sums of cash straight from donors to Hamas for years.

The money laundering works like this: UNRWA insists on distributing cash aid to Gazans in US dollars, a currency they have to convert to shekels in order to use locally. In the West Bank, Jordan and other countries, UNRWA distributes cash aid in the local currency. Hamas, controlling the only licensed money changers in Gaza, charges Gazans a 10 to 20 per cent commission to convert their dollars to shekels. For more than a decade, over a billion dollars in cash from donations has been diverted into Hamas’s coffers.

In New York, diplomats and world leaders like Secretary General António Guterres only decried the delegitimisation of UNRWA as a partner to Hamas, and urged further donations with no end in sight. There was no attempt to counter the money laundering. No path to countering Hamas’s systematic desecration of UNRWA’s neutrality. No resolution to have UNRWA work to promote a sustainable peace between Palestinians and Israelis. By funding UNRWA as it is, we will only meet the same problems in the next generation.

At the start of the next school year, Abed will go back to teaching in his UNRWA classroom while Hamas restocks its storage cupboards with guns. Printed with the UN seal, the textbooks he will teach from contain tasks like writing out the sentence “I will nourish the homeland with my blood”, and learning early mathematics by counting martyrs from past wars.
  • Tuesday, July 23, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz speaks to the Wall Street Journal about how Israel turned the tide in Rafah:

Something changed in Gaza. After months of rejecting Israeli cease-fire proposals and holding out for more concessions, Hamas has begun to offer concessions of its own. Israel is closer than ever to freeing many of its remaining hostages, and it has gained the leverage to demand terms that protect the strategic gains of the war.

If you believe the media drumbeat—that Israel’s war effort is futile, its strategy absent, and its political isolation growing—it’s impossible to account for the breakthrough. Why, after months of contemptuous stalling, did Hamas begin to bend?

“Two reasons,” says Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign minister, in an interview at the Journal’s office. “One, they understand now that there will be no cease-fire without a hostage deal. Two, the IDF is acting aggressively against the terrorists in Gaza. Especially important was entering Rafah,” Hamas’s stronghold at the southern end of the strip.

Israel cut off Hamas’s supply routes and now holds Hamas “by the throat,” as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently put it. Senior terrorists are dropping at a faster clip as Israeli intelligence closes in; half of Hamas’s military leadership has been eliminated. Even after a large Israeli bombardment to kill Hamas’s military chief, Mohammed Deif, who is considered unlikely to have survived, Hamas barely attacked in response and rushed to clarify that it isn’t leaving negotiations. “Hamas is under much more pressure now,” Mr. Katz says. “That’s what made the difference.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise that pressure on Hamas could yield gains in negotiations. Yet for months Western powers took the opposite approach, pressuring Israel to end the war and leave Hamas victorious. They called for an “immediate cease-fire,” increasingly delinked from a hostage deal. Humanitarian groups upbraided Israel and kept quiet about Hamas. The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court menaced Israel with bogus prosecutions and tribunals.

The Rafah operation was delayed by months, during which Hamas seemed to be under less pressure than ever. The White House withheld weapons from Israel. Warnings of a humanitarian disaster poured in from all quarters. On May 6, Israel invaded Rafah anyway.

And we were right,” says Mr. Katz. “Everyone knows it now, even the U.S., because everyone warned that it would be a catastrophe. It’s a war, yes. It’s not a picnic. But they said that it would take four months to evacuate the population. It took only days.” More than a million Gazans quickly evacuated Rafah to designated safe zones.

No critics recanted, but the pressure on Israel quietly diminished. As if embarrassed, the world suddenly took note that Hamas is the obstacle to a hostage deal. The White House made the point, especially after airing on May 31 an Israeli offer that Hamas went on to reject. The U.N. Security Council ratified that offer. Even the Palestinian Authority, which glorified the Oct. 7 massacre, now blames Hamas for the continuation of the fighting. Hamas, the odd man out, had to admit there is no cease-fire on the horizon unless it releases the hostages.
The media barely covers it, but Israel's strategy has been evolving quickly, and it is not fighting the war that the world thinks it is. Andrew Fox, former British Army officer and current lecturer, recognized this in May at the very moment Western "experts" were warning that the war was unwinnable:
In the case of the 2023-24 Gaza war, Western critics have almost comically misunderstood what the Israeli military is trying to do. The flaw in Western analysis is always the same: “We wouldn’t do it that way.” Yet the IDF has absolutely no intention of using the clear-hold-build COIN [counterinsurgency] tactics the West tried in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why would it? Those tactics were an unmitigated disaster in both campaigns, which ended in humiliating defeats at the hands of technologically inferior armies.
If you look at what is possible, what the best version of “success” looks like, and what Israel is doing, I contend that in Gaza we are seeing a masterpiece of operational design within severe politically imposed limitations. The IDF is not trying to clear Gaza. With no ability to impose a political arrangement in Gaza, and a Gazan desire for continued Hamas rule, the IDF answer is: Let them have Hamas. But the version of Hamas that Gazans will get is one heavily degraded militarily, and, most importantly, with vast swaths of their tunnels and civilian-embedded infrastructure destroyed. In other words, the IDF aims to replace Hamas 3.0—the version that fought three wars against Israel and then launched the brutal Oct. 7 surprise attacks—with Hamas 1.0, which took over the Gaza Strip from Fatah in June 2007.

To accomplish that end, the IDF has methodically razed what Hamas infrastructure they could find in Gaza City, Khan Yunis, and now Rafah. They have secured the Netzarim corridor to control freedom of movement from south to north. It looks like they are trying to do the same thing along the Philadelphi Corridor and Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, to cut off the inflow of weapons and supplies to Hamas.
Israel's takeover of the Rafah crossing was perhaps the single most important move in the war. Hamas was importing weapons with impunity while Egypt controlled the border. Now, they are running out of equipment. The Jerusalem Post's latest update notes:
Hamas's military wing no longer operates in large formations and has shifted to guerrilla warfare. The working assumption on the ground is that Hamas can plan attacks but currently prefers not to fight, thus retreating from any place the IDF reaches.

It is assessed that Hamas's retreat policy is due to the loss of experienced operatives and commanders and a shortage of weapons. Hamas's equipment shortage is so severe that they recently started using "reverse" cameras taken from vehicles as security cameras. 
The other mostly unreported success for Israel has been its ability to retrieve and operationalize huge amounts of intelligence, quickly.
The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have uncovered a treasure trove of Hamas intelligence, consisting of stacks of documents, files, and computers,...

"The amount of intelligence accumulated so far in the hands of Shin Bet and Military Intelligence allows us to dismantle Hamas from within," said a senior security official exposed to the heaps of documents.
Cutting off Hamas supply routes, fantastic intelligence and especially perseverance in the face of international pressure is what is bringing Israel to victory. Too bad you won't read about this in the New York Times. 

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  • Tuesday, July 23, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

Reuters reports:
The Israeli parliament gave preliminary approval on Monday to a bill that declares the main United Nations relief organization for Palestinians a terrorist organisation and proposes to sever relations with the body.
The vote against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) is the latest step in a Israeli push against the agency, which Israeli leaders have accused of collaborating with the Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza.
Western coverage of Israel's accusations against UNRWA all have the subtext of how Israel is going over the top, UNRWA might have a few bad apples but altogether it is doing good things.

UNRWA has embarked on a campaign to deflect the criticism, with op-eds written for at least 10 newspapers claiming that if UNRWA is declared to be a terrorist organization, Israel will shoot humanitarian workers with impunity. This is of course a slander. 

But Israel knows things that the media doesn't.

A Jerusalem Post article this week on intelligence discoveries by the IDF in Gaza three separate discoveries about UNRWA:
Some documents also revealed the corruption within Hamas, showing how they not only accumulated assets but also used them. United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) apartments were registered in the name of Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif's wife.

Apartments of Mohammed Sinwar, Hamas head Yahya Sinwar's brother, were found to be received from UNRWA and then rented to Palestinians, according to rental contracts in possession of Military Intelligence.  

Documentation of Hamas operatives working for UNRWA was also found. 
Is it even remotely plausible that UNRWA doesn't know that its apartments were being sublet by Hamas? That they didn't know the names of Deif's wife and Sinwar's brother?  

That they don't know that UNRWA workers moonlight for Hamas?

The apartments are supposed to be free for "refugees." Yet the "refugees" are freely subletting them, profiting off UNRWA funds. Don't claim UNRWA isn't aware of this, if not profiting from it itself.

I am not sure that declaring all of UNRWA to be terrorist is a smart move politically, but Israel can and should make it illegal in Israel. It does nothing to promote peace; on the contrary, it is in UNRWA's interest that there never is peace because then it would be out of business.

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  • Tuesday, July 23, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA's dashboard of trucks entering Gaza says that 1296 trucks entered Gaza in June, and 674 in July so far.

But there is some fine print:

Here's what that says:

Current Data (after Rafah operation): This page of the supply and tracking dashboard currently records trucks entering Gaza via Rafah and Kerem Shalom which are being handled and retrieved by UNRWA, and records of trucks via Western Erez are based on those received at the UNRWA Warehouse. Dashboard data includes partial cargo from INGOs, Red Cross and other UN agencies, and excludes Commercial actors. We are unable to provide comprehensive monitoring of cargo for the following reasons: i) safety and security concerns, which continue to prevent UN staff from maintaining constant presence at Kerem Shalom, therefore severely impacting our ability to record data from INGO, Red Cross and commercial trucks, and delays and/or denials in approvals for UN to retrieve, count and move UN humanitarian aid from Kerem Shalom to other parts of the Gaza Strip, which mean that we are unable to fully verify all trucks which have transited the land crossings. We will resume presentation of comprehensive data once the situation at the crossing allows. 
In other words, they admit that they are not counting all the trucks and give reasons for their inability to count.

If that is the case, why are they showing such specific numbers of trucks entering? 

Luckily, the IDF COGAT unit has finally created its own interactive dashboard counting every truck going into Gaza. 

COGAT counts nearly four times as many trucks for June as UNRWA does, and over six times as many for July so far.

This isn't a difference of 10%. This is an order of magnitude difference between what UNRWA reports and reality. And UNRWA's accuracy is getting worse, not better, over time.

So one must ask again: why does UNRWA even publish these completely irrelevant numbers on their website that bear zero relationship with reality?

To make Israel look bad, of course. If Gaza needs hundreds of trucks a day, and it only gets a fraction of that, then UNRWA can accuse Israel of deliberately starving Gaza. 

I'm sure it's unintentional. Sure. 

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  • Tuesday, July 23, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
A previous meeting between Palestinian and Chinese officials

This week, all the major Palestinian political parties and terror groups met in China to try to come up with yet another reconciliation plan.

This happens every few years, with big announcements and no follow-up.

The participating parties were Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People’s Party, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, the Palestinian National Initiative Movement, the PFLP-GC, Fida, the Palestine Liberation Front, the Arab Liberation Front, the Palestinian Arab Front, and the vanguards of the Popular Liberation War.

As with all the previous attempts, they issued a general statement of their plans for unity their goals and their tactics. 

Every Palestinian party agrees that terrorism is legitimate.

The second principle that they all agreed upon in Beijing stipulates "the Palestinian people's right to resist and end the occupation in accordance with international law, the United Nations Charter, and the right of peoples to self-determination and their struggle to achieve it by all available means."

It is ambiguous enough for wishful thinking Westerners to think that this only means peaceful resistance, since it invokes the UN. However, Palestinians have consistently claimed (falsely) that the UN gives them the right to mount  terror attacks. They base this on a 1990 UN General Assembly resolution that "Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial domination, apartheid and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle."

Both Hamas and Fatah use this resolution and similar ones to claim that their attacking Israeli civilians is legal under international law, and top Palestinian legal "experts" have written many articles making the same point. 

And whenever Palestinians attack Israeli civilians, the same groups justify it because they consider all Israelis to be either "soldiers" or "illegal settlers." 

"By all available means" is unambiguous to Palestinians. It includes major terror attacks that they still celebrate and pay families of the terrorists for. You will be hard pressed to find a single Palestinian official today who condemns the Munich Olympics massacre, or the Coastal Road massacre, the Sbarro pizza shop massacre, or any other specific terror attack.  (Some pretended to condemn them under American pressure at the time. But the previous deadly attacks are treated as sacred in official Palestinian media and school textbooks.) 

Hamas and Fatah agree on this. Fatah is more reluctant to say it explicitly to the West, but it is part of its party platform. And the western media does its part by pretending that most Palestinians seek peace, not the destruction of Israel "by all means possible. "

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Monday, July 22, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and the Post-Biden Democratic Party
In one of Joe Biden’s final interviews before he dropped out of the presidential race, Complex Networks’ Speedy Morman asked him: “Are you a Zionist?” It is not the first time Biden has been asked the question, though it’s not exactly a common question in national politics. Biden’s answer hadn’t changed: “Yes.”

The president then said that people who love to make trouble for Zionists don’t know what the word means. Do you, the president asked his interviewer with obvious relish, know what a Zionist is? Morman then vindicated Biden’s contempt for him on the spot by weaseling out a weak “I just ask questions, I don’t answer.”

Biden’s announcement on Sunday that he will be ending his political career after one term in the White House left me wondering: How would Kamala Harris answer that question if asked tomorrow? How would anybody else in the upper echelons of the president’s party, the keys to which he is now handing over, answer it?

The Democratic Party’s changing of the guard is almost certainly a milestone in American politics, a bold notch on the timeline marking a point of departure for the party’s approach to anti-Semitism and the Jewish state. The party’s standard bearer 24 hours ago considered himself a Zionist and routinely condemned—even if his administration took no appropriate action against—Jew-baiting mobs on campus. The party’s standard bearer today fears and admires those mobs for, in her preposterous words, “showing exactly what the human emotion should be, as a response to Gaza.”

Members of the Biden-Harris administration who resigned over the president’s support for Israel against Hamas see Harris’s succession in that light. Lily Call, a former Interior Department staffer and member of the virulently anti-Israel group IfNotNow, expressed hope that Harris might enact an arms embargo on Israel. “I’ve worked for Kamala, and I know she’ll do the right thing,” Call told Politico.

Josh Paul, who resigned as a State Department point man on weapons transfers because Biden insisted on arming our Mideast allies, told Politico that Harris will probably be better (i.e. more evenhanded in her treatment of Israel and Hamas) than Biden. As I explained in December, Paul displays a remarkably aggressive ignorance on all things Middle East, and seems to have been particularly radicalized by his misreading of a story about donkeys in Gaza. This is the other reason for concern: U.S. agencies are apparently littered with a combination of entitled but inexperienced activists and historically illiterate fame-chasers. Things can easily get out of hand without a president who knows how to say “no” to them.
Jonathan Tobin: Biden’s legacy is a world in flames
Now that President Joe Biden has finally bent to the will of his party’s leaders and donors, the praise for his presidency is nearly universal on the left. The paeans to his personal greatness and acclaim for his time in the White House accelerated once his infirmity became clear in the June 27 debate with former President Donald Trump.

Liberal corporate media spent years covering up the president’s cognitive decline, including accusing any journalists who brought up the subject of spreading “misinformation.”

But once the lies were exposed, those who were mostly likely to know the truth about Biden—like former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, congressional leaders and Hollywood fundraisers such as actor George Clooney—turned on him, albeit while still improbably praising him as one of our greatest presidents. Like Marc Antony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, they “came to bury” Biden, but thought to praise him first.

Trump’s iconic defiance after a failed assassination attempt, a Covid diagnosis and the closed purses of big Democratic donors were the final blows that appear to have forced Biden to drop out, thus rendering the process by which he had gained the nomination a sham. That Biden announced his withdrawal via a social-media post—and on Elon Musk’s X, which liberals have denounced for its free-speech policies, at that—rather than bothering to record a message telling the country himself, was perhaps a fittingly feeble end to this dispiriting drama.

This will now be followed by the extravagant and equally disingenuous choruses of praise for Harris, as she now likely becomes the focus of the Democrats’ last-ditch efforts to prevent a Trump victory. But before we begin the task of separating truth from partisan hyperbole with respect to the vice president, it is appropriate to take a moment to unpack the notion that the Biden presidency was as great as those slipping the knife between his shoulders have been telling us.
Seth Frantzman: Biden stands down, with Middle East in crisis
US President Joe Biden’s decision to drop out and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris will have ramifications in the Middle East, a region already in crisis. While many countries in the region have been watching the last several weeks of political chaos in America and have likely prepared for this scenario, there will be bad actors seeking to take advantage of the US domestic political chaos.

On the other hand, if Biden shifts focus solely to his politics amid the presidential race, he may try to nail down his legacy in the Middle East by pushing robust policies. “Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year. Democrats – it’s time to come together and beat Trump. Let’s do this,” Biden wrote late Sunday night.

This will set up a chaotic process within the Democratic Party. Change can be good, bringing new leadership to the spotlight, but an orderly transition of power is what makes democracies stable. Countries in this region are already wary of the United States because of the political chaos it has endured over the last decade. Many find the US less reliable than in the past, and key American partners and allies have been drifting into the arms of Russia, China, and others.

Enlrage imageThis drift began years ago. Countries such as Turkey, a NATO member, have leaders who are openly anti-West and authoritarian. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for instance, tried to block Sweden from joining NATO and has been working closely with Russia and Iran. Meanwhile, many Gulf states are also hedging and have been open to working more closely with China, as well as the countries in the BRICS and the SCO, two economic blocks closer to China and Russia than to the West.

Qatar, a major non-NATO ally of the US, continues to openly host Hamas and work directly with Iran. It has sought to benefit from the October 7 war triggered by Hamas by serving as a mediator, but it has its own interests; it is unclear if these coincide with those of the US and the West.
From Ian:

Jacques Gauthier to Israel: ‘Never allow people to tell you you’re trespassers’
The United Nations has long referred to Judea and Samaria as “occupied” Palestinian land, and the global body’s principal judicial arm, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, issued a non-binding ruling last Friday declaring that “occupation” to be “unlawful.”

French-Canadian attorney and scholar Jacques Gauthier told JNS recently that the United Nations, countries, nonprofits and others that use the term “occupied territories” in this way misunderstand international law and legally recognized treaties.

“Never allow people to tell you that you’re trespassers. It’s your land,” Gauthier, who is not Jewish, told JNS. “It’s been given to you, in law.”

Gauthier, whose scholarly work focuses on the Jewish people’s legal rather than biblical claims to the modern State of Israel, thinks that the 1920 treaty that emerged from the conference in San Remo, Italy, ought to be as well known as the Balfour Declaration.

Great Britain didn’t control the region of Palestine at the time, and its Balfour Declaration was just that—a declaration, not an international legal document.

But the San Remo agreement, which incorporated the principles of the declaration from three years prior, had the legal imprimatur of international support.

The 1920 San Remo agreement “is the most momentous political event in the whole history of the Zionist movement,” Gauthier told JNS.

‘A good cause’

Montreal-born and educated in Paris until elementary school, Gauthier didn’t know much about Jews as a child. “My environment, my schooling, exposed me in a very limited way to the State of Israel or the issues that preoccupy me now,” he told JNS.
Under Trump, Soleimani was eliminated. Another 4 years will see Iran weak again
REGRETTABLY, DURING the Obama and Biden administrations, the Islamic Republic reinvigorated its cycle of fire and terror. It aligned with Russia in the conflict in Ukraine and played a crucial role in the terrorist attacks in Gaza against Israel, instigating actions from Hezbollah, the Houthis, and the Popular Mobilization Forces. The Islamic Republic fears Trump’s possible return.

Trump knows that the Islamic Republic does not represent the people of Iran. They have only one popular, legitimate, and trustworthy representative and that is Prince Reza Pahlavi, who believes in friendship with Israel, the United States, and the West. Some of Trump’s advisers have met with the prince in Washington. Perhaps Trump and the CIA will support regime change in Tehran. Although the Islamic Republic has repeatedly called for Trump’s execution and death on television, this issue was not taken seriously during Biden’s tenure.

Rather, Biden paid attention to the mullahs’ superstitions. On May 2, 2022, during President Joe Biden’s speech at a reception celebrating eid al-fitr. he remarked, “I didn’t understand the concept of the ‘hidden imam’... so I sought guidance and enlisted the expertise of a distinguished Islamic studies professor to collaborate with me.” The hidden imam is a theological notion within Shia Islam and does not possess an external, tangible presence, being a construct tied to Shia religious history. [The hidden imam is believed to have been born but disappeared, and will remain hidden until he reappears to bring justice to the world at the end of time, a doctrine known as “the occultation.”] The Islamic caliphate regime claims to be sustaining the authority of the hidden imam until an alleged reappearance. Tragically, advocates of Khomeini, such as the terrorists of Fadā’iyān-e Islam, brutally targeted intellectuals like Ahmad Kasravi who dared to label this contemporary imam as counterfeit (March 11, 1946).

Trump might, with the help of the CIA, realize that the mullahs commit murder based on these superstitions – and not repeat Carter’s 1979 mistake in sanctifying a savage mullah as a divine representative on Earth.

The flawed cycle of Washington-Tehran relations after 1979 must change if the world in the 21st century seeks stability and peace.
Ruthie Blum: ‘If only we had known’
It’s the neighbors’ reactions that the network didn’t realize it was exposing as equally vile. What came across in the report was the mind frame of Gazans, even those not affiliated with Hamas. Take Abu Muhammad el Tahrawi, for instance.

El Tahrawi described Dr. Aljamal as “a pious man,” one who “leads the prayer, then goes back to his home. He didn’t mix with people, didn’t complain about other people, and no one complained about him. He was a man who minded his own business.”

Expressing surprise that Aljamal had been holding hostages in his home, el Tahrawi told CNN, “Had we known, had he told us, we would have taken safety precautions, hide or move [sic] to somewhere else.”

Wow. One might have expected him to say that if he and others in the community had been aware of hostages in their midst, they would have informed Israeli authorities or tried to help the innocent victims in some other way.

But, no. El Tahrawi was referring to the danger of being in the crossfire between Hamas and the Israeli heroes who swooped into Nuseirat and saved Kozlov, Jan, Ziv and Argamani.

Which brings us to Argamani’s jailers. According to CNN, “local people were reluctant to share many details about [the Abu Nar] family, but they did express surprise and concern that a hostage had been held in their midst.”

Calling Abu Nar “ordinary” and a “normal man,” Khalil al-Kahlot, a civil servant in Gaza, said, “He had young children at home. No one would expect him to hold a hostage like this, in homes and among people.”

Another neighbor, this one anonymous, added, “They are people in Hamas, but we did not know that. If we had known there was something there, no one would have stayed in the area.”

Again, not an ounce of sympathy for the hostages—only distress at not having been told in time to relocate. In this context, it’s worth reiterating what I wrote a mere four days before “Operation Arnon” in Nuseirat (renamed after National Counterterrorism Unit Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, who was killed while leading the mission):

“[I]t’s a fact that only terrorists captured and interrogated by the Israel Security Agency have provided information on the whereabouts of hostages. No Gazan ‘civilians’ have come forward to do so voluntarily. The argument that they fear Hamas repercussions simply doesn’t cut it anymore, however. Even in Nazi Germany there were citizens who risked their lives to do the conscionable thing. Yad Vashem created a special title for such gentiles—The Righteous Among the Nations—who protected Jews at great peril to themselves.”


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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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