Friday, April 12, 2024

  • Friday, April 12, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
Hamas finally admitted, for the first time since October, that adult males linked to the group have died in Gaza.

Up until now, Hamas has only spoken about dead women, children, aid workers and journalists. Since the first days of the war, even though Israel has killed many major Hamas figures, the terror group has remained silent about them. (They admit those killed in Lebanon.)

But with the killing of three of Ismail Haniyeh's sons this week, now Hamas is publicizing the deaths.

The reason is the same as why Hamas is silent about the thousands of terrorists Israel has killed. Because from the beginning, Hamas has waged a cognitive war, one that has been as wildly successful as its kinetic war has been a failure.

The media, NGOs and international politicians never understood this war, and for the most part they have been willing pawns - if not combatants - for Hamas.

For example, Hamas announces over 13,000 children killed. It is a lie. UNICEF repeats the lie, adding as an aside "according to Gaza authorities." The media then repeats it, adding "according to UNICEF." Then other media and politicians and NGOs repeat it in turn, without citing a source. In this way a lie becomes accepted as the truth and Hamas wins a huge victory in world public opinion. 

If Israel is only killing civilians, and no terrorists, it must be a supremely immoral war.

So what is different about Haniyeh's sons?

First of all, Hamas is denying that Haniyeh's sons are members of the Al Qassam Brigades. They are treating them like innocent civilians themselves. That's their story to the international community..

But Hamas saw in this incident an opportunity to shore up its support among Palestinians who are upset at Hamas leadership living in luxury in Doha and Turkey. They are now publishing articles  and posting videos about how Haniyeh's sons remaining in Gaza is proof of Palestinian steadfastness in their attachment to the land and Haniyeh's willingness to sacrifice for the cause.

Clearly, Hamas doesn't want the world to know about the thousands of Gazans desperate to leave. And when Hamas sends the head of the health ministry to Egypt, it is to go on TV and spread more lies about Israel. 

Hamas media are also emphasizing Haniyeh's apparent stoicism upon hearing the news, which they say is meant to deny evil Zionist satisfaction that they caused him pain. 

Finally, Hamas later claimed that the same airstrike also killed four (or more) of Haniyeh's grandchildren. This seems unlikely considering the size of the car they were in. 

The media has shown an eagerness to accept everything Hamas says at face value. Hamas knew this going into the war - there is an unstated rule that anything Israelis say are to be treated as probable lies so Hamas accusations get a pass from news organizations.

Remember that October 7's success, from Hamas' perspective, was by fooling Israel into thinking that they cared about the lives and welfare of the people under their control, making Israel think that it was in Hamas' interest to keep things calm. Hamas deception and cynicism about caring about their own people is what started this war. 

News organizations have under-reported about Hamas' cognitive war. Because, all too often, they are willing participants. 

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  • Friday, April 12, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
I don't often see Al Jazeera in my surveys of Arab media antisemitism. Usually they are careful to only say they are against Zionists, not Jews. But a new op-ed, written by Egyptian writer and editor Anwar Al-Hawary, lets the mask slip.

The article surveys the history of Zionism and justifies European antisemitism, distinguishing it from normal European xenophobia.

He says that persecution of Jews by Europeans in the 19th century was nothing special - European colonialists oppressed lots of people around the world.

But the difference between Jews and non-Jews - among the peoples who were subjected to European violence in the nineteenth century - was not in the persecution itself, nor its type, nor its size, nor its extent. The difference was in a fundamental idea: The Jews are the only people who have experience, coexistence, and mixing with Europe, for several centuries, Jews and Europe were not strangers to each other from across borders. This coexistence gave the Jews sophistication in dealing with Europe. The Jews excelled in making money, just as they excelled in science, the arts, philosophy, music, and literature. They also excelled in the skill of social organization. They also excelled in the game of political communication, exerting pressure, influencing, and gravitating towards power, wealth, and influence.

Even in light of persecution, the Jews were an influential and powerful force that provoked envy, hatred,  and provocation. The strength of the Jews was one of the reasons for the violence directed against them, while the weakness of other peoples was the motivation behind Europe’s audacity to conquer the world.

The Jews have always been a force of danger and influence everywhere they have a presence, even when they were without a state, even when they were subjected to persecution from the middle of the nineteenth century in Tsarist Russia, to approximately the middle of the twentieth century in Nazi Germany. In these hundred years, the Jews had an ability that was not available to any people other than them, the ability to deal with several empires, and even to toy with them, and to play them against each other. They played with the money they had and the experience in managing it, they played with the superior personalities they had, they played with the connections and instinct they had for espionage, conspiracy, and plotting.

The last hundred years witnessed the development of the influence of the Jews within America, and then their influence on its policy in the Middle East. America was in many ways trying to balance between the Jews and the Arabs, but it always failed under the influence of the Jews’ control over the financial circles, the press, and the media, and their financing of the presidential and congressional elections, and it will continue. This situation is until the Americans discover what the British have already discovered: the idea of ​​Israel is a lost cause.

I bet that Al Jazeera and Al-Hawary doesn't even consider it to be antisemitic at all. They would say that they are complimenting the Jews on their resourcefulness and political savvy. But this is fundamentally what the Protocols of the Elders of Zion says: that Jews collude to gain power at the expense of everyone else. 

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: 'One truth can puncture a thousand lies'
Author and journalist Douglas Murray, who received an award of appreciation from the president of Israel and the Minister of Diaspora Affairs on Wednesday, visited the Arutz Sheva - Israel National News studio in Jerusalem to discuss the event.

“I was deeply moved and honored. I don't do it for awards or anything. It was enormously moving to be honored for my work. I don't see myself as a PR soldier, just as a writer and as a journalist. I think it's very important to see things with your own eyes, and that's always been my policy as a writer. That's all I've tried to do. I guessed early on that the world would spend very little time concentrating on the massacre. The next day people were celebrating the massacre in Times Square in New York. I thought right then that I've got to get there as soon as I can because I thought they'll move on to Israel's response.”

He discussed how that has happened in the USA: “I think Biden has been really supportive, even when he has said things that are critical. He has continued arms supplies, for instance. As the IDF has been more and more successful in ridding Gaza of Hamas, the narrative has changed.”

Although advocacy is difficult, he doesn’t see himself quitting. “I think I would do what I do even if I didn't think I was making a difference, but as it happens, I think I am. My belief has always been that one truth can puncture a thousand lies. In the age of social media, that theory is being put to the test in real-time. A lot of the media has an agenda now. That's their right. I'd like Israel to win this conflict, some of them would like Hamas to win, some of them would just like Israel to lose.”

Murray denounces the focus on Israel. “None of these newspapers covered the far greater death toll that has been going on for the last decade in Yemen and Syria. Why are they so obsessed with this one? It's their opportunity to hold on to something that gives a feeling of crisis, but they have arsonist and firefighter reversed here. Many may talk about the history of the conflict, but that only proves it more.”

He notes other oddities about the war: “It's a very uncommon situation for one side to be fighting and also nourishing their opponents. It's an extraordinary testament to this country, but it's highly unusual. I can think of no other conflicts that I've covered or seen or read about in which that's the case. It's also an uncommon situation in war for one side to not only want the death of its enemies but also wish that its enemies should kill its own people. Israel must both fight this enemy and supply them. There's no doubting the appalling suffering of many of the citizens in Gaza, but that's what happens if you start a war.”
Melanie Phillips: The surreal echo chamber of lies
It is the people of Israel, not just Netanyahu, who are demanding that the IDF defeat Hamas. It is the people of Israel, not just Netanyahu, to whom the American proposal for the Palestinian Authority to run post-war Gaza is unthinkable. Because it’s the people of Israel who have now seen, in the most horrific way possible, that there is no Palestinian Arab entity that can be trusted not to slaughter them again and again.

The West’s second major error is failing to realize that this is not just Israel against Hamas or Iran. Israel is on the front line of the war being waged by the Islamic world against the West.

The West doesn’t get this because it doesn’t understand Islam. Nor, astonishing as this may seem, do the Israelis. Their failure to grasp Hamas’s true intentions lies in their failure to understand the implacable nature of Islamic Jew-hatred.

In a notable interview in Israel Hayom, Professor Moshe Sharon, an adviser on Arab affairs to several Israeli governments, observed that Islam has abhorred the Jews from the time of Islam’s creation, an animosity that is “a continuing sentiment stretching across time from that period until the ‘end of days.’” Islam’s overall objective, he said, is to take over the world. It is enjoying a considerable degree of success in pursuing this goal—in Europe, Canada and America.

None of these countries, however, is prepared even to admit this, let alone do anything about it.

With the IDF pulling most of its troops out of Gaza, commentators both inside and outside Israel are claiming that the Rafah offensive has been abandoned, the war is effectively over and Israel has lost. Netanyahu and top military brass insist that, on the contrary, Rafah will indeed be taken and the war will be won.

Israelis are braced for whatever is to come. Despite the Greek chorus of doom from the Israeli media and despite the despicable manipulation of some of the desperate families of hostages by activists determined to bring Netanyahu down at the expense of Israel losing the war, the spirit of the vast majority of Israelis remains heroically unbowed.

Israel will survive. At its current rate, the West will not.

But in these terrible times, what is very hard indeed for Jews to take is the devastating feeling of being so mercilessly abandoned by a world that has become a surreal echo chamber of murderous lies.
America’s elite universities failing Jewish students, per ADL report
America’s elite universities are failing to address Jew-hatred on campus, according to a new tracker released by the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday.

The ADL’s Campus Antisemitism Report Card awarded nine of America’s 10 top-ranked universities an “F” or “D” grade, including failing marks for Harvard University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Duke University was the lone top-10 school to earn a respectable “B” for “better than most.”

Many of America’s best universities are not doing enough for their Jewish students, said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national president of the ADL.

“Every campus should get an ‘A.’ That’s not grade inflation. That’s the minimum that every group on every campus expects,” Greenblatt stated. “Like all students, Jewish students deserve to feel safe and supported on campus. They deserve a learning environment free from antisemitism and hate, but that hasn’t been the experience with antisemitism running rampant on campus since even before Oct. 7.”

The ADL selected the 85 public and private schools to rank both from Hillel International’s list of campuses with the highest percentages of Jewish students and from the top-ranked schools in U.S. News & World Report.

It then assessed the universities by reviewing administrative policies on antisemitism; cataloging antisemitic and anti-Zionist activity; and measuring the extent to which they foster Jewish life on campus.

The nonprofit then surveyed 160 Jewish college students about how they would weigh criteria, including whether or not the college offered kosher dining options or had taken an official position against the BDS movement to boycott Israel. The ADL gave the colleges a chance to respond both pre- and post-assessment.

Only two of the 85 schools graded got an “A”: Waltham, Mass.-based Brandeis University and Elon University, in North Carolina. A dozen schools received an “F.”
Several university leaders begin cracking down on anti-Israel disruptions on campus
Six months after anti-Israel activity began to dominate many college campuses in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks — with minimal action taken by college presidents to quell rising levels of antisemitism — administrators at schools such as Pomona, Columbia and Vanderbilt have taken a harder line in recent weeks. As a result, Jewish leaders are wondering whether these three schools’ tougher responses could represent the leading edge of a trend that takes root across the country.

Jacob Baime, CEO of the Israel on Campus Coalition, told Jewish Insider that other universities will only take similar action if they are pressured to do so. “The suspension of anti-Israel activists at schools like Vanderbilt University is a step in the right direction in addressing the campus climate,” Baime said.

In a statement to Pomona College on Friday, the school’s president, Gabrielle Starr, warned that “any participants in today’s events… who turn out to be Pomona students, are subject to immediate suspension. Students from the other Claremont Colleges will be banned from Pomona’s campus and subject to discipline on their own campuses.”

“I don’t see this as a victory and I don’t know if it’s going to change anything in the future,” Ayelet Kleinerman, a fourth-year Pomona student from Israel who founded the group Haverim Claremont in 2022, told JI. “There is a lot of backlash here from students, faculty and community members on the outside,” she continued. “So we will have to wait and see how things unfold, but when people are arrested I don’t see it as a victory — it’s sad that we got to a situation in the first place where police needed to be called. We shouldn’t have gotten to this in the first place.”

Kleinerman, who started Haverim as a way for Jewish and non-Jewish students to connect and learn about antisemitism — something she felt was missing from on-campus groups in the past — said the climate on campus for Jewish students since Oct. 7 “has been hard and intimidating, [filled] with a lot of [anti-Israel] protests.”

For months, Jewish students and alumni from the Claremont Consortium— Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, and Pitzer College (known as the 5Cs), have urged administrators to take action in response to what they called in a Nov. 6 email “harassment of Jewish Students at Pomona College.”

“We are particularly alarmed by the administration’s acquiescence in the face of gross violations of College policy and applicable law,” the letter, signed by a group of 5C alumni said, pointing to several incidents at Pomona, including a demonstration on Oct. 20 when “Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace held a rally at Pomona’s Smith Campus Center with several hundred attendees. At that rally, SJP and JVP members assembled, at the Smith Campus Center (a shared space intended for use by all College students), a display honoring the Hamas terrorists responsible for the genocidal attacks of October 7.”
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, will normalize ties with Israel in exchange for Jerusalem’s approval of its request to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),  following three months of discreet negotiations between the two countries and the organization, Ynet learned on Thursday.

"I am pleased to announce the Council has officially agreed to the clear and explicit early conditions according to which Indonesia must establish diplomatic relations with all OECD member countries before any decision is made to admit it to the OECD,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann wrote in a letter issued two weeks ago to Foreign Minister Israel Katz and approves by Indonesia beforehand.
Most Indonesian media ignored the story, but an Indonesian business publication seemed to welcome it, calling it "exciting:"

Membership in the OECD is believed to have a positive influence on the Indonesian economy because it can increase investment from OECD countries by up to 0.37% and increase GDP by up to 0.94%. For this reason, Indonesia prefers not to be included in the BRICS group of countries pioneered by China. BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (South Africa).
But then it said that the country's foreign ministry denied the whole thing:
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed the issue that Indonesia would normalize diplomatic relations with Israel so that it could be accepted as an OECD member. "I emphasize that up to now, there are no plans to open diplomatic relations with Israel, especially in the midst of the current situation of Israeli atrocities in Gaza," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Lalu Muhamad Iqbal in his statement on Thursday evening. He emphasized that Indonesia's position has not changed and remains firmly in support of Palestinian independence within the framework of a two-state solution. "Indonesia will always be consistent and be at the forefront of defending the rights of the Palestinian people," he said. Regarding Indonesia's membership in the OECD, Iqbal said that the process would take quite a long time.

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From Ian:

New video showing Hamas capturing IDF women ‘worse than what we imagined’
Newly emerged video shot by Hamas terrorists showing the capture of female Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border has been described as “hard to watch” by Israeli media.

In the video, parts of which have not been shared with the public, Hamas terrorists are initially seen with five female IDF spotters, with two more later added.

“We will exchange you for our people,” the terrorists say.

Another terrorist forces one of the soldiers to show him how to dial a Gaza number from her cell phone. The terrorists later put the soldiers into stolen Israel Defense Forces vehicles for transport to Gaza.

Shira Albag, the mother of the kidnapped soldier Liri Albag, 19, watched it several weeks ago.

“I watched the video. They showed it to us three weeks ago. The IDF spokesman called us and showed us a video from the day of the kidnapping, something we had not seen and did not know about.

“We all only imagined what happened to the girls on Oct. 7, and unfortunately this video proved to us that it was even worse than we imagined,” she said.

According to a recent report by the Times, a number of new female IDF recruits have refused to serve as observer soldiers out of fear that “what happened to them could happen to me,” as one young Israeli recruit, Romi Fisher, told the Times.

At least 15 female soldiers were killed at Gaza border army bases on October 7 with roughly six others taken as hostages by Hamas, including Liri, who was reportedly working her third shift as an observer soldier when she was kidnapped.
Israel to normalise relations with Indonesia
Israel is set to normalise relations with Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, Ynet reported on Thursday.

The move comes after three months of secret talks between Jerusalem and Jakarta. In exchange for establishing diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, Jerusalem will reportedly lift its opposition to Indonesia becoming the 39th member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann sent a letter to Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz around two weeks ago, with Jakarta approving the wording.

“I am happy to announce that the Council has officially agreed to the early, clear and explicit condition that Indonesia maintain diplomatic relations with all members of the organisation before any decision to accept [it in] the OECD,” the letter states.

“Moreover, any future decision to accept Indonesia as a member of the organisation will require unanimous agreement among all the members, including Israel. I am convinced that this provides you with security on this important point,” the letter continues.

In a reply letter that Katz sent on Wednesday night and which was seen by Ynet, the minister wrote that “I share your expectation that this process will be a change for Indonesia, as I expect a positive change in its policy towards Israel, and in particular a renunciation of the discriminatory policy towards Israel, towards the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the parties.”

Indonesia has spoken out against Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza and supported South Africa’s lawsuit at the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide. However, on Tuesday an Indonesian aircraft participated in an airdrop of humanitarian aid into Gaza, marking the first time that an Indonesian aircraft has flown through Israeli airspace.

Indonesia was one of the Muslim-majority countries that Jerusalem was working to add to the Abraham Accords in the months before the Hamas-led invasion of October 7.
Stephen Pollard: How Israel secured diplomatic relations with Indonesia
The Jewish Insider report was clearly correct. But the principal reason for Indonesia’s change of heart since 2020 is based almost entirely on Indonesia’s self-interest – and is far more prosaic than the era-changing vision of the Abraham Accords and. Indonesia is set to begin formal diplomatic relations with Israel because of one acronym: OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Indonesia has been trying to join the OECD for the past few years but in recent months, as its progress towards membership has speeded up, an obstacle emerged. New members require the approval of all 38 existing members – one of which is Israel.

Israel appears to have used this requirement to secure something of a diplomatic triumph. It has been reported that OECD secretary general Mathias Cormann had initially made clear to Israel that it expected it "not to object" to Indonesia’s application to join, but Israel refused – a stance hardened by Indonesia’s criticism of the Gaza war and its moves against Israel at the ICJ in The Hague.

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz is said in response to the OECD to have demanded that Indonesia show a “gesture of goodwill”. Fearing that the long-planned membership of Indonesia would be blocked by Israel, the OECD secretary general agreed to insist that diplomatic relations were established.

This was not quite the demand it might seem, however, as negotiations towards such an agreement had been proceeding for some months, with both sides anticipating a successful outcome before October 7 derailed everything.

Reports suggest that this normalisation of relations would have been agreed last autumn. A Memorandum of Understanding which is said to have included a commitment towards Indonesia joining the Abraham Accords process was signed in September.

But whilst this new diplomatic process has come as a surprise to many, there have been long been economic ties. The exact amount of trade is impossible to quantify as much of it is via third countries, but it is estimated by one analyst as “the high end of hundreds of millions of dollars a year”, most of which is said to be Indonesian agri-tech exports - and there has been an Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce in Tel Aviv since 2009.
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Efrat, April 14 - A local mother alerted the Israel Antiquities Authority today upon discovering what could only be ancient treasures under the detritus and dust in her adolescent son's domicile, the Jerusalem Post reported today.

Hannah Cohen, 42, contacted the IAA shortly after beginning the task of cleaning Adir Cohen's room in advance of the Passover holiday, which begins Monday evening next week. "The moment I saw the amount of dust accumulated on the furniture and some of the other stuff in the room, I knew I had to call in some experts. I didn't want to disturb anything of value," she told the Post.

Cohen disclosed that she repeatedly admonished Adir to clean his room over the last year. "Might as well have been asking Palestinian terrorists not to rape and murder," she lamented with a shake of the head.

Antiquities Authority representatives declined to say whether any of the objects from the bedroom qualify as artifacts. "It is certainly too early to announce anything," cautioned IAA spokesman T. Peshesray. "We do not wish to make any premature pronouncements, not least because it would invite scavengers and unwelcome guests unlikely to show proper care and reverence for the site. We do not want them poking around where other finds might still await discovery. Also, Mrs. Cohen will chew their ears off, and not just about leaving the room a mess. So it's for everyone's benefit that we make our investigations first, and, only once we are certain of the provenance of various artifacts, notify that public whether we have found anything of note."

In a separate phone call, Hannah Cohen described the process that led her to contact the IAA. "I wasn't prepared for the bardak I found," she recalled, using a word for turmoil, adopted into informal Hebrew from Russian, that literally translates as "whorehouse on fire." "The food wrappers and dirty dishes were bad enough. But do you know the last time he changed his bedsheets? Probably sometime during the Mameluk era (1260-1516). I might have to throw them out."

"Don't even get me started on the laundry and dirt," she continued, clearly not in need of someone to get her started. "It was the dirt and dust that made me think of calling the Antiquities Authority in the first place. I know this place was clean a year ago, but you wouldn't know it from looking at it now. I swear, that boy and his stuff attract dirt at a hundred times the normal dust accumulation rate. The Ark of the Covenant could be under there somewhere, if it weren't in some Nevada warehouse."

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  • Thursday, April 11, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
Remember the "Red Cow" that Arab media claimed would be slaughtered on Eid al Adha this week ahead of the destruction of Al Aqsa mosque?

After the date came and went with nothing happening, the same media went silent. I cannot find one that says that their confident predictions didn't pan out, just as the hundreds of previous predictions of the imminent destruction of Al Aqsa over the past century have all been false.

But one story on Tuesday ahead of the alleged disaster that never happened is noteworthy.

Dr. Muhammad Ali is an Islamic preacher at Egypt's prestigious Al Azhar. He had hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and has been interviewed countless times on Egyptian TV.

 He was interviewed by Cairo24 about the Red Cow story, and his response was to curse all Jews.
The Jews distorted the Torah, and among what was written by their hands was a lot of talk about the Battle of Armageddon and the Red Cow. ... God Almighty says: “Woe to those who write the book with their own hands and then say, ‘This is from God.’ "

The Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “Woe to the valley in Hell, into which the infidel will fall forty falls before he reaches its bottom.” Ibn Abbas said, “So woe to them”: the torment is upon them... and the torment is coming upon them inevitably according to the text of the Book of God and the Sunnah of His Messenger, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, the day will come that the stone and tree will speak and say: 'O Muslim, O servant of God, this is a Jew behind me, so come and kill him.' They will be killed and slaughtered like the slaughter of cows. This is the promise of my Lord and the promise of His Messenger, and it is coming inevitably. "
Someone call the International Criminal Court. Prominent Egyptians are publicly calling for the genocide of all Jews.

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The Telegram channel of the Gaza health ministry releases a detailed, 40+ page document every few days to describe in detail all of their statistics. 

As we've been reporting, they have kept three tallies of the deceased: the ones that they count directly who have been brought to hospitals they can verify, the ones that "trusted media sources" (meaning Hamas) tells them to count (which are over 90% women and children,) and the ones that they have received from relatives filling in an online form. Over the last few reports, they have been downplaying the Hamas numbers and giving detailed reports only of the other two categories, which add up to some 21,000 people. 

That document no longer claims that 72% of the dead are women and children. Of the ones they count, about 54% are women and children. 

Something interesting happened between the April 4 and April 7 reports: hundreds of supposedly verified "martyrs" from the online forms miraculously came back to life.

The total number of verified deceased went from 21,720 on Thursday to 21,317 on Sunday - 403 people were no longer dead.

The ministry  claims to go through a verification process of the online forms, and they don't count any that do not have complete information including identity number, full name, gender, date of birth and date of death. The number that they counted from those forms went down from 2,786 to 2,367 - meaning they disqualified 419 of the forms that had been "verified" three days before.

Also significantly, the number of those they count in hospitals only went up by only 16 in those three days - from 18,934 to 18,950.  That's a lot less than the increase in numbers they issue every day in their press releases. In those three days, they added 138 total dead, meaning that while they reduced the numbers they could count, they added 541 new dead from the unverifiable Hamas sources.

I am willing to be charitable and say that the people who work on these detailed reports are conscientious and really trying to do their jobs. It clearly take many hours to compile those reports. They researched more about those who were input by relatives and found duplicates or bogus entries and removed them. 

Yet at the same time, their bosses at the ministry highlight the larger, unverified numbers that include the  nearly 12,000 that only came from Hamas. 

Significantly, even their daily totals no longer claim 72% of the "martyrs" are women and children, although various UN agencies still repeat those as if they are accurate. 

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Last year, Defense for Children International/Palestine reported:

The IDF disputed the accusation:

The Israel Defense Forces believes at least four Palestinians killed during the latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip, including children, died as a result of explosions caused by failed rocket launches by Palestinian terror operatives and not due to Israeli strikes.

According to military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, of the 507 rockets launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad at Israel as of Thursday morning, around 110 fell short in the Gaza Strip.

In one of the incidents, on Wednesday evening, 16-year-old Rami Shadi Hamdan and 51-year-old Ahmed Muhammad a-Shabaki were killed when a failed rocket slammed into a residential area of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, according to IDF estimates.

In another case late Wednesday, 10-year-old Layan Bilal Mohammad Abdullah Mdoukh and 16-year-old Yazan Jawdat Fathi Elayyan were killed in Gaza City in a similarly failed rocket launch, according to military assessments.

IDF Arabic spokesperson Avichai Adraee made a video recently that shows that recovered documents in Gaza show that Hamas knows the truth.

Here's another case.

Adraee notes that in 2022, 15-year old Fatima Obeid was killed by an Islamic Jihad rocket that Gaza authorities blamed on Israel.

We have video of the rocket as it exploded. You can see it somersaulting in freefall. 

An internal Hamas document found by Israel recently lists the people killed in the 2022 conflict in northern Gaza by terror rockets. Fatima is #11.

But Fatima was listed by the Gaza Health Ministry, subject of so  many academic papers saying it is trustworthy, as being killed by Israel - #49 here.

Mondoweiss still says that these 12 people in the north that even Hamas admits were killed by Islamic Jihad were killed by Israel. They published this weeks after I and others put together evidence that many of the dead from that mini-war were killed by terror rockets. 

Another Hamas document was uncovered that showed that Islamic Jihad was quite aware that its own   rockets killed those 12 people in August 2022, but they deliberately chose to hide the truth "to support the resistance" and claim that the civilian deaths came from Israel, not them.

This isn't merely knee--jerk denial. This is a planned policy of deception, to lie to the world to make them blame Israel for people killed by Islamic Jihad. And the Gaza Health Ministry was complicit.

(h/t  Yoel)

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

From Ian:

Phyllis Chesler: Will the world admit it was wrong?
The dense fog of war will clear after Israel has finally destroyed every last Hamas tunnel loaded with weaponry and the fact-based truth about Hamas and Iran’s war against Israel becomes transparent. When that happens, I wonder about those people who believe that Israel deserved Oct. 7 because they have swallowed the lie that Israel is not only an “oppressor, apartheid entity” but a nation that thirsted for “revenge” and allegedly went on to deliberately target women and children, cause famine and commit a “genocide”? Will they finally admit they were wrong?

I doubt it. They are unlikely to accept that the crimes attributed to Israel are Hamas and Iran’s crimes. Nor that diabolic paranoids and indoctrinated haters are essentially confessing their own crimes when they project them onto their victims.

People may always refuse to understand that accidents happen in war and most other countries—Muslim armies, American armies, British armies, Russian and Chinese armies—have caused far more civilian deaths in a single war than Israel has caused over 80 years of war.

In Hitler’s era, it was only the Nazis, the preexisting Jew-haters in Europe and Muslim lands, who brayed for the death of the Jews or minimized and denied what was happening to the Jews.

Now almost the entire world has spewed that bloodthirsty cry. Mobs are in the streets everywhere, cheering Hamas’s barbarism. Never has Israel been in such danger before.

What will the world say, if it says anything, when its allegations have been proven completely false? Will they still insist that they did not know, that no one told them?

Many, of course, will claim that they were right all along. Like Holocaust deniers, they will assert that whatever facts Israel presents are lies and disinformation.

Once again, Israel stands almost alone, accused of crimes it never committed. At this point, no matter how much Israel tries to do the right thing, it will never be credited for it. Thus, Israel must do whatever it takes to survive against the most fiendish odds.
Seth Mandel: The New Rednecks
Also in 2021, academics John Bitzan and Clay Routledge surveyed a thousand students at more than 70 U.S. colleges and found that a third had a positive view of socialism while only a quarter said the same about capitalism. But don’t worry—the students apparently don’t know what socialism is. So it’s not that they’re evil gulag goons, it’s that they are idiots who will blindly follow the crowd to save themselves the trouble of having to think. Reminder: That’s the good news.

All that should put the eruption of anti-Semitism on campuses in context. After Hamas’s Oct. 7 rampage started the current war, college students were polled on how to characterize the attacks. More than ten percent said they were justified resistance. But I don’t know if that’s better or worse than the one in five who “describe it as something else other than an act of terrorism or resistance.” Perhaps they see it as interpretive dance?

My personal favorite was what happened when Berkeley political-science professor Ron Hassner hired a firm to survey U.S. college students on the genocidal slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Most of those polled said they supported the slogan, but fewer than half could name the river and the sea referenced in the line. “Some of the alternative answers were the Nile and the Euphrates, the Caribbean, the Dead Sea (which is a lake) and the Atlantic,” Hassner reported.

That’s not all these sparkling young minds didn’t know. About 10 percent of those who supported the chant thought Yasser Arafat was the first president of Israel. A quarter of them denied the existence of the Oslo Accords, one of the most thoroughly documented signing ceremonies in modern times, the photos and videos of which are harder to avoid than they are to find.

Of course, these students are young. They’ll have their whole lives after college to get an education. Meantime, once you’ve seen a third billboard for the Ivies, might be time to turn around and go home.
From Stalin to Hamas: The Return of the Left that Doesn’t Learn?
An Interview with Mitchell Cohen
Mitchell Cohen is co-editor emeritus of Dissent in New York and professor emeritus of political science at Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York. His books include Zion and State: Nation, Class, and the Shaping of Modern Israel and The Politics of Opera. He was interviewed in late February. A version of this interview is to appear in Spanish.

The Western Left, the Israeli Right and the Delegitimisation of the Jewish State
Question: Efforts to delegitimise the Jewish state are at full and loud throttle since Israel’s response to the October 7 massacres. This is taking place both the diplomatic and the intellectual worlds. In 2007 you seem to have perceived an earlier phase of this phenomenon in “Anti-Semitism and the Left that Doesn’t Learn,” your widely discussed article in Dissent. In it you pointed to a particular problem coming from the “liberal and left intelligentsia in the United States and Europe.” Are we now seeing the same thing in 2024? Are there new dimensions to it?

Mitchell Cohen: The attack on Israel’s legitimacy has intensified but it is part of a larger story. Opposition to Zionism within the left goes back to the founding of Zionism, although there has been real sympathy too. The current situation has long and short-term contexts. I wrote that article a few years after the UN’s Durban conference of 2001, which unleashed a wave of attacks on Israel for racism. But the problem also descends from decades of political developments, one of which was the assassination of Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin by a rightwing Jewish zealot in 1995.

That murder also targeted the Oslo Accords, the best chance since 1949 for an Israeli-Palestinian peace and the signing of which put anti-Zionism on the defensive. Oslo’s foes gained mounting strength in the later 1990s. One was the Israeli right-wing led by Netanyahu, which always sought to blur reckless, ultra-nationalist goals with real security questions. The other was Hamas, whose bombing campaign in the spring after Rabin‘s murder played an essential role in electing Netanyahu. Hamas has always opposed compromise and its ultimate purposes have been to displace secular Palestinian nationalists with Islamists and to replace Israel with a Muslim state including the West Bank, Gaza and what is now Israel proper. In 2000, at Camp David, Ehud Barak offered a far-reaching compromise to Palestinians but Arafat did not accept it and the Second Intifada began. In this context an anti-Zionist campaign in the intellectual world was ushered along from Durban.

Israeli foreign policy has been dominated for almost three decades – with some interludes – by Netanyahu. One, and it is only one, staggering bungle was to allow Hamas to be strengthened in Gaza in order to weaken the Palestinian Authority and thereby to thwart Israeli-Palestinian compromise. It played, finally, into Hamas’s already blood-stained hands, as 7 October showed. This wasn’t just shortsightedness but fits into a long-standing pattern in the history of the Zionist rightwing, which I explored in my book Zion and State (Columbia University Press). That pattern consists in very consequential errors of political judgement based on a resentment-filled, misbegotten ideological orientation. It contrasts sharply to the social democrats of Mapai (Israel Workers’ Party) which, led by David Ben Gurion, dominated the struggle for Israeli statehood. Crucial decisions made by Ben-Gurion and Mapai were almost always measured and perceptive. Nowadays anti-Zionists seek to rewrite Israel’s history, demonising the Jewish state as a creation of Western imperialism – this is an historically spurious charge – by excising the role of the left in creating Israel. At the same time they dance around or excuse the fact that Palestinian nationalists allied themselves to Hitler and Mussolini.

To answer your question more fully, we must take into account what has happened within a highly visible part of the intelligentsia in recent decades. There has been in the university and intellectual worlds a rise in what is called ‘post-modernism’ and the like, which made it a point of turning many things upside down through selective use of history and ideological language games. Ironically, this even includes part of this intelligentsia’s own history. Edward Said complained that he could not convince Jean-Paul Sartre, who was not a post-modernist but an intellectual hero of the left and Michel Foucault, who was a seminal post-modern influence, of his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They understood something he didn’t – or didn’t want to understand.

Anti-Zionism is part of a larger intellectual crack-up on the left with distant roots. There is now a kind of meeting point between simplistic post-modernism and simplistic anti-imperialism. This conjuncture can be called ‘the anti-imperialism of fools,’ a phrase that echoes the famous criticism of antisemitism on the left in the late 19th century by socialist August Bebel. When some on the left tried to blame ‘Jewish capitalists’ for Europe’s woes, he called it ‘the antisemitism of fools.’ Formulations of both the antisemitism of fools and anti-imperialism of fools depend on intellectual twisting and turning until somehow, no matter what, blame is ascribed to, respectively, Jews and Zionists. Ominously, that ascription is often there before the twisting and turning.
Matti Friedman: Why I Got a Gun
The decision to expand private gun ownership is certain to have unintended consequences, and not just because the number of guns will mean more accidents, homicides, and armed extremists. At the shooting range where I got my license, it was clear that some of the new owners were hardly competent to use a weapon in the sterile condition of the range, let alone in an actual attack where we would have to make life-or-death decisions in a matter of seconds while beset by adrenaline and fear. Those with combat training have a chance, though no guarantee of success. When I came home with my new license and a Glock 43X, I told my kids that if they’re ever near a shooting attack they need to lie down flat and wait until it’s over—the main danger being less the terrorist than other Israelis who will open fire and hit something other than their target.

One incident in particular has become a case in point. On November 30, two Palestinians from Sur Baher, a Jerusalem neighborhood near mine, began shooting Jews waiting at a bus stop, murdering three of them before a lawyer named Yuval Castelman, who happened to be passing by, jumped out of his car with his handgun. He engaged the terrorists with admirable bravery—only to be mistaken for a terrorist himself and killed by an army reservist exercising something between bad judgment and criminal negligence. Guns solve some problems and create many others. It’s hard to say how we’ll remember all of this in a decade or two.

But even in the weeks of my work on this essay, an Israeli with a handgun managed to kill a terrorist, another Palestinian from Jerusalem, who was shooting innocent people on a road in southern Israel, two of whom died. That was on February 16. On March 14, a noncommissioned officer waiting in line at an Aroma café didn’t notice the Palestinian kid in a black sweatshirt who lunged at his neck with a knife—but did manage to draw his handgun and shoot the assailant, preventing more fatalities, before he bled to death.

A friend from America told me recently that every Jewish person he knows has a contingency plan, sometimes secret or scarcely admitted even to themselves, for where to hide or escape if things get really bad in the diaspora—the kind of thought borne of a good education in Jewish history mixed with a close read of current events, like aggressive protests outside synagogues, shots fired at Jewish schools, and the growing fever about “Zionists.”

Mulling this, I asked friends here in Israel if they had a similar plan. No one did. Zionism has clearly failed to change everything in the Jewish condition, but it seems to have changed that, for what it’s worth. I don’t know anyone preparing a hideout. But I do know a remarkable number of people with a new Glock.

I didn’t find myself in a tunnel; see a mystical light; encounter a deceased loved one; or watch my entire life pass before me when I died on March 15 for 40 seconds. What I remember is coming up out of black. That is the only way to explain things. I saw blackness recede as a medic slapped my face and my husband, seated directly across the room from me cried, “Varda, Varda! Varda, wake up!”

As they prepared to carry me out on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance, I wailed, in a continuation of the moments before my “pause,” “I don’t want to go to the hospital. No. No. I don’t want to go in the ambulance!”

“Varda, your heart stopped for two seconds. You have to go,” said the ambulance medic. I think he knew it was more than two, but wanted to keep me calm.

Two seconds? I thought. That’s not so long. It didn’t sound serious—not like a real heart problem. More probably, I thought, it was just simple dehydration, as one of my sons suggested when I first felt unwell. Or perhaps, as my husband had insisted before I died, that I was just overwhelmed.

My husband Dov, you see, had just undergone major surgery on his spine. At present he required a great deal of care—my son therefore thought I wasn’t taking care of myself, wasn’t drinking enough fluids, while Dov figured it was all too much for me and I was having a nervous breakdown.

That is until I died right in front of him, right before his eyes.

In fact, I was lucky that there were any medics around me at all at the time I died. Otherwise, there would have been no compressions administered and no Varda, too. Every one of my family members was sure I was waking them up at 5am for spurious reasons. So they didn’t call for help.

Now I understand them, being that I have a knack for drama, and perhaps a mild tendency to hypochondria. As a child, for example, I perfected the art of faking symptoms to get out of school, which I hated. I knew just how long was long enough to run a thermometer under the hot water tap to yield a believable temperature—believable enough that my mother would sigh and let me stay home. (She suspected I was scamming her, but could not argue against the empirical evidence of risen mercury in a milky glass tube).

All of which is why the first son I approached on that strange, dark morning, got annoyed when I asked him to call Hatzalah. He groaned and “tzatzkied” and put his head under the pillow to make me go away.

I went to him because in that otherworldly dawn, I felt as though the blood had drained from my hands and face. That is the only way I can describe the sensation. But no one I spoke to seemed to understood that description. None of the medics had any inkling what I meant, nor any of the doctors in the hospital. That is to say barring one, the affable South African cardiologist who visited me in the intensive care cardiac unit (ICCU) the day after my cardiac arrest.

When I told him it felt as though the blood had drained from my hands and face, he said, “That’s because it had.”

The doctor asked me how long the feeling had lasted. “Hours,” I said. “Even after I arrived at the hospital.”

“Interesting,” he said, his eyes alight.

On that chaotic morning, the strange sensation in my hands and face told me I needed help. At the same time, I didn’t want to leave my post-surgery patient, my husband, alone. So I decided to wake “very dependable son”—the one who schleps his aging parents around to doctors and hospitals—to tell him to stay with Dov. Once I had Dov covered, I could call for help.

But man plans and God laughs. By the time I managed to stumble up the three steps leading to the upper level of our small apartment where our boys’ bedrooms are located, I felt truly ill. I changed tack. I was in trouble. I had to get help. Now.

“Call Hatzalah,” I said, stumbling into “very dependable” son’s room.

I knew exactly what he was thinking when he groaned and pulled the pillow over his head. “There’s Eema, being overdramatic again.”

I understood him, honestly. So I figured I’d call them myself, but then I got sick in his doorway. “Be careful where you walk,” I called to him as I stumbled out of his bedroom. “I puked in your doorway.”

“UGH,” he cried out, springing up from bed to see. “What should I do?” he said.

“There are Clorox wipes in the kitchen,” I said.

He goes, gets three wipes, throws them at me, goes into his bedroom, and firmly closes the door.

I’m faint, half-lying on the floor, which feels cool and soothing. I feel a bit better, and try to clean up the small mess. But then I begin to feel increasingly ill. Meantime, all the commotion has woken the son down the hall. He comes out of his room. Yells, “What’s going on??”

“Call Hatzalah,” I say in distress.

“Eema. You’re just dehydrated. Take a drink.”

“I’m not dehydrated,” I tell him. “Something’s wrong.”

“What’s wrong?”

I try to explain the feeling in my hands and face. He says, “Pins and needles. Right. Like I got when I was dehydrated in the army.”

Well, it isn’t like pins and needles, I thought, but going over in my mind my son’s dehydration symptoms during his army stint, I was almost convinced he was right.

Almost, but not quite. “Call Hatzalah. Please!”

But he kept on with the stuff about me needing to drink. Went and got me a drink, in fact. I drank. And then I called Hatzalah.

Before I continue the saga it must be said there was a third son. He’d been up very late that night and didn’t so much as bother to stick his head out of the bedroom door to see what all the fuss was about.

The whole thing was real life tragicomedy. I was the The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I recognized it for what it was and called Hatzalah, myself. This, also is a story.

You see, three days earlier, having concerns about my husband’s surgical wound, I schlepped with him to the ER, with very dependable son as our driver. I had a lot of trouble managing Dov in the wheelchair, and a nice Hatzalah volunteer, seeing my difficulties, helped me as much as she could

Once Dov was released from the hospital, we thanked this kind caring Hatzalah volunteer profusely as she escorted us from the hospital, “For what?” she asked in all modesty, seating us safely in the shade to wait for very dependable son to bring the car around.

As she left us, this lovely angel of a volunteer told me that in future, if I have any question about a surgical wound, or need a surgical dressing changed, or any minor injury, to just call Hatzalah. In an emergency, she told me, I should always call Hatzalah, because unlike Magen David Adom, Hatzalah’s services are free. Furthermore, Hatzalah operates everywhere, all over the country, including in my area. “Just call Hatzalah. 1221. That’s the number,” she said nodding, as if to confirm the information. “You can call from anywhere in the country. 1221.”

Much of what this angel in the form of woman said to me about Hatzalah’s services turned out to be incorrect. They won’t come, for example, to change a surgical dressing. Because, I was later informed by a different volunteer, that can only be done by a nurse or a doctor. In the end, however, none of the misinformation mattered. What mattered was that the number 1221 stuck in my head, so that when said head became fuzzy and unclear, and no one would call for help, I was able to remember that number and call for help, myself.

This, in and of itself, was a miraculous feat, as I have dyscalculia—like dyslexia, only with numbers instead of letters and words. Numbers don’t stick in my mind or make much sense to me. But 1221 somehow made it into my memory bank and stayed there long enough to save me.

So I called 1221, and the Hatzalah guy starts asking me questions. In Hebrew. At first I’m fine, but then it begins to be too much for me in my addled, native English-speaker state of mind, so at about the time he asks me to describe what I am feeling, I just can’t speak anymore. I am faint, and half-standing, half-lying on the tiled floor in the narrow hallway that leads to my sons’ bedrooms, clutching my bathrobe and snood in one hand and my phone in the other. These items I had had the presence of mind to grab from my bedroom as I began to feel unwell.

It was like this: I got up while it was still dark, to use the bathroom. Like most women my age, this is not an uncommon occurrence. I got back into bed. I looked at my alarm clock. It was 4:45. I sighed. By the time I fell back asleep, it would already be time to get up, so it was futile to try. Instead I let my mind wander, just thinking about stuff. Nothing big or important.

I felt fine. But then I had a bit of pain under my left ribcage. “Well, it’s not a heart attack,” I assured myself. “Women don’t get chest pain when they’re having a heart attack.”

This too, turned out to not be quite the truth. The many nurses and doctors who subsequently treated me in the intensive care cardiac unit (ICCU), got a kick out of me when I repeated the bit about women and heart attack symptoms. “That’s right,” they’d say, smiling and nodding, “most of the time.”

At any rate, the pain was not that bad. A minor annoyance. Then it began to hurt a bit more, a burning pain. Still lying in bed, I tried shifting position.

That didn’t help, and I was anyway thirsty, and as I wasn’t going to be going back to sleep, I got up very quietly to go get a drink. I didn’t want to wake my sleeping post-surgery husband. It occurred to me to bring my phone with me so I could play Dr. Google and self-diagnose my pain.

On the way to the fridge, I boot up my phone, and look for “pain under left rib.” This comes up: “Pain under the left rib cage is commonly a sign of pancreatitis, kidney stones, or inflammation in the stomach.”

Tummy Ache, I think. No biggie.

I shrug, and pour myself a glass of soda water, thanks to my trusty, blue-and-white Soda Stream™ machine. Ahh. I think with delight as I take a deep draught of cool soda. I leave the kitchen, turn into the living room and my head begins to swim.

Next I feel nauseated. I run back into the kitchen, knowing I won’t make it any farther than the kitchen sink, but I manage to hold it back. My head is still spinning. I make my way back into the living room, and that is when I begin to realize that something is really not right.

To be continued. 

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From Ian:

The West’s cowardice over Israel is nothing short of abominable
Defeating Hamas is not merely technically possible but existentially vital – for both Israel but the wider West. Hamas is not just some small-time gang of thugs that is best ignored. Since taking over the Gaza Strip in 2007, it has upgraded from a guerrilla ragtag force primarily engaged in hit-and-run attacks to a modern terror army skilled in asymmetric urban warfare that has been prepared to plunge the entire Middle East into chaos in order to seize power from the Palestinian Authority.

A perceived victory for Hamas would spell the normalisation of a terrorist government as a viable alternative to peaceful democracy in the Middle East. It would plunge Israel into a nasty power struggle between orthodox hardliners and moderates and leave it vulnerable to further incursions by bordering terror groups. This risks distracting Israel from its intelligence and diplomatic work in partnership with the West to tackle by far the biggest security challenge facing the Middle East – Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.

Moreover, the West’s prevarications risk fuelling the Gaza “PR disaster”. Israel’s global status as an avatar for oppression backed by the imperialist West epitomises the inability of leaders in Europe and America to counter anti-Western worldviews that are both fundamentally misguided and feverishly popular, in part because they do contain sparse grains of truth.

The view, passionately held from the university campuses of London to the townships of Johannesburg, that Israel is an expansionist colonial-apartheid regime draws on the undeniable reality that the Israeli authorities routinely restrict the movements of Palestinians and deny them the same rights as their Jewish counterparts.

Proponents of this view point, also to the established fact that Israelis have illegally built settlements on occupied land beyond their internationally recognised borders, with some Orthodox communities declaring a religious claim to the land. But what Israel’s critics overlook is that it is not the result of an elaborate colonial plot, but rather a messy multi-generational struggle to shore up security in a hostile region.

If Israel’s political class has pursued a settlement programme with gusto, it is as a security buffer rather than an imperialistic project. Many of the repressive restrictions in the West Bank came into force after the Second Intifada. If anything Israel is not an grotesque ode to imperialism but a cautionary tale on the compromises on freedom and human rights that a country will make when it is threatened by perma-terrorism.

Perhaps the world would be more open to such a perspective if the West were more assertive about Israel’s right to defend itself. Instead, it has chosen moral cowardice. In suddenly threatening to withdraw arms support after aid workers are killed, it indulges the myth that it is somehow possible for Israel to take on Hamas without heavy Palestinian casualties. And in urging Israel to negotiate a ceasefire before Hamas has been neutralised, the West legitimises the view that Israel is a bully, using monstrously disproportionate force in Gaza, that must be reigned in for the sake of the world’s conscience.

Instead of acting like the leader of the free world, the West is behaving like a civilisation under siege. The world is a darker place for it.
Lahav Harkov: How much influence does the US really have over Israel?
The Biden administration’s influence over the war effort in Gaza is apparent: the President and his Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, have taken part in Israeli war cabinet meetings and this week’s increased aid is not the first time Israel has changed its plans after meetings and conversations with White House officials.

The danger is that if this withdrawal is part of a mini-ceasefire or a brief pause, the US will try to make it permanent, as Biden administration officials have said they hoped to do in the past. Then, Israel will be faced with the choice of either going it alone, without American support, or giving in, thus allowing for Hamas’s remaining brigades in Rafah to continue posing a threat.

But it should also be noted that the US continues to supply weapons to Israel, and the Biden administration has yet to set additional conditions on its military aid, despite unprecedented backing for such a policy from within the Democratic Party. The President has not backed down from his support for the war aims of eliminating the Hamas threat and bringing home the more than 130 hostages remaining in Gaza.

What’s more, influence does not mean omnipotence. Biden also demanded that Netanyahu “empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home” — yet the deal still fell through.

The question, then, is whether this influence is such that Israel will make any major changes due to US influence, such as backing down from eliminating the final Hamas battalions in Rafah.

Recent remarks from Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, someone so close to Netanyahu that he has been nicknamed “Bibi’s brain”, indicate that Jerusalem is determined to push forward regardless of the pressure from Washington.

“If Israel does not take care of Hamas in Gaza after what it did on October 7th,” Dermer said, “I truly believe that this country has no future because all the buzzards circling around this country are going to think that you can pick apart this carcass […] That’s why the determination to take them out is so strong, even if it leads to a potential breach with the United States.”
In Eid greetings, Blinken mentions West Bank Palestinians alongside world’s most oppressed Muslims
In a statement marking Eid Al-Fitr, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlights the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank alongside Muslims suffering in some of the world’s worst conflicts.

“Our thoughts turn to the plight of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, civilians in Syria, women suffering under the Taliban in Afghanistan, Uyghurs in the People’s Republic of China, Rohingya in Burma and Bangladesh and far too many others,” Blinken says.

The decision to lump Palestinians in the West Bank along with those enduring war crimes and genocide highlights the severity with which the Biden administration views the Palestinian plight in the West Bank, where they live under Israeli military control.

“Far too many have lost loved ones over the past year and many more are concerned for the safety and security of their families today. I hope that this year’s Eid al-Fitr marks a moment on a path to more hopeful, free, and peaceful times ahead,” Blinken says.

“The United States is committed to standing up for human rights for people around the world, to providing humanitarian aid where it is desperately needed, and to working to bring about enduring peace, dignity, and safety of all communities,” he adds, wishing Muslim communities around the world an Eid Mubarak and praying for a more peaceful year ahead.


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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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