Saturday, May 15, 2021

05/15 Links: Netanyahu: Gaza operation is ‘just and moral,’ a few days of fighting lie ahead; The Squad’s Noxious Anti-Semitism; Don't Compare Israel to Hamas

From Ian:

Behind the Outbreak of Palestinian Violence - Amb. Dore Gold
Amb. Dore Gold addressed an Australia Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) webinar on May 12, 2021.

The eruption of the violence that we're seeing occurred during the month of Ramadan among the Muslims. While most Muslims find Ramadan to be a joyous time, for a small but very dangerous minority it's a time to initiate what they call jihad.

Whenever I see violence erupting, one of my questions is: Is it something spontaneous? Did the population suddenly decide to go out for its own crusade or was this something that was pre-planned? Was it something that was incited and for political purposes?

The evidence that the disturbances in Jerusalem were incited and planned is overwhelming. It was not spontaneous. One of the most disturbing aspects of what went on in Jerusalem is the evidence that the Palestinian organizations - Hamas and Islamic Jihad - were pre-positioning the implements they used for attacks on Israelis on the Temple Mount.

This is not a new phenomenon; it goes back to the days of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husayni, when they would store firearms on the Temple Mount to be used during times of violence. The Israel Police had no choice but to go up on the Temple Mount, where they found large amounts of rocks and boulders which had been brought there to be used first against the Israeli security forces, and secondly, against Jews who prayed at the Western Wall just below the Temple Mount. But when you see material stored for future violent use, you know that this is a pre-planned operation and not something spontaneous.

The Abraham Accords was one of the biggest sources of defeat for Hamas and for Iran. All of a sudden you have Israelis coming to Gulf States and speaking about their joint interests, which include dealing with the problem of Iran. That was something which Iran wants to see rolled back and defeated. I believe they set as a goal for themselves to break the Abraham Accords.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has been developing ties with think tanks in the Gulf. I'm on the phone with their leadership quite frequently, and recent events did not lead to any sudden cooling on the other end. They were concerned, they wanted information, and they wanted to know why this is occurring and when it's going to end. The fundamental interest they have in a warm relationship with Israel continues, but it is under a potential strain should events drag out.

It's going to take a long time to defeat the forces we're dealing with. It's going to require a lot of patience on the part of the Israeli public. Some people get very frustrated in these situations and would like to see us take our F-35s and carpet bomb whole sections of the Gaza Strip. That's not what we're going to do. It's not smart and it's also not moral. One of the things we should take pride in is that Israel wages war with a sense of the moral elements of modern warfare, particularly when the other side is completely immoral and uses human shields to protect its highest-level officials.
Biden Repeats Obama’s Israel Mistakes
Congress can and should take immediate material steps to provide both the rhetorical and the material support the administration is not offering, starting with robust support for Israel’s obligation to defend its sovereignty. This has gone far beyond the milquetoast “right to self-defense,” which prompts the inevitable question of whether the Palestinians have a similar right. Of course the Palestinians can defend themselves, but they are not a nation-state under relentless attack from a terrorist group sponsored by a sworn enemy. There is no equivalence, and to pretend that there is does both sides a disservice.

In addition, Congress should insist that we not repeat the mistakes of 2014 and ensure that Israel has expeditious access to any resupplies it may need if the fighting is prolonged. In the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, Congress authorized the transfer of $600 million to replenish the WRSA-I for the period 2021–24, as well as the transfer of precision-guided munitions to the stockpile. The Pentagon could use the obligated funding provided for under the WRSA-I to supply, for example, an additional 1,000 Hellfire missiles to Israel, which would allow the Israel Defense Forces to target Hamas as precisely as possible. Members of Congress can also urge the Department of Defense to deploy a destroyer such as the USS Arleigh Burke, one of the four ships equipped with an AEGIS Combat System permanently based in Rota, Spain, to the Eastern Mediterranean. These vessels patrol the Mediterranean and Black Seas as part of our collective missile-defense effort to protect Europe against the Iranian threat; by making a port call at Haifa, the Arleigh Burke would also supplement Israel’s missile defense and deter Tehran’s other regional terrorist proxies from joining the fray. Such actions would be defensive in nature, designed to reduce potential civilian casualties while sending the signal that Israel is not in this fight alone.

Congress also can vigorously defend Israel from the standard attacks that will be coming from the United Nations in short order. While the White House originally protested that this week was too soon for a U.N. Security Council meeting on the fighting, the administration has now agreed to an open meeting on Sunday that will inevitably descend into a chorus of condemnation of the Jewish state and potentially include a UNSC resolution. It should be remembered that in its closing days, the Obama administration reversed decades of bipartisan U.S. rejection of such measures by abstaining from, rather than vetoing, UNSC Resolution 2334 condemning Israel. But given that the U.N. is almost as unpopular with the American people as Israel is popular, if Congress focuses sufficient attention on whatever goes on there, it may deter the Biden administration from repeating this particularly shameful bit of history in the event another UNSCR is proposed. And if the White House falters, Congress can continue leading support for the U.S.-Israel alliance.
The Squad’s Noxious Anti-Semitism
And yet, the Squad and their anti-Semitic rhetoric can no longer be considered mere outliers; they are, after all, treated as the vanguard of progressivism by the media, still the subject of fawning profiles and praise (the craven Peter Beinart praised Tlaib for the “raw honesty” of her speech on the House floor). In a stunning display of woke ignorance, Daily Show host Trevor Noah suggested Israel shouldn’t defend itself from terrorist rocket attacks because . . . .technology? “Like, set aside motives and intentions and just look at technology, technology alone,” he said. “Israel has one of the most advanced militaries in the world.” Even Teen Vogue agrees with the Squad’s talking points.

The Squad is engaging in what has become all too familiar a tactic on the progressive left—what Dominic Green, writing in the Spectator, called anti-Semitism as a form of “aspirational racism.” Green notes how “the glamorization of ‘resistance’, the overriding of the law, the calls for violence, the conspiracy theories, the obsession with Israel, the willingness to believe any lie about the Jews” are all hallmarks of this approach—and all clearly on display during the past week.

The Squad is also in open rebellion against the policies of the Biden Administration and of many fellow Democrats in Congress, who have been firm in their support of Israel’s right to defend itself from terror attacks (although the Biden Administration is also sending $10 million in aid to unspecified groups “in the West Bank and Gaza” to support “reconciliation” projects with Israel, according to reports yesterday).

The administration might want to spend more time discussing its policies with its own members. As people like Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib and Omar and Bush invoke the rhetoric of religious war, falsely accusing Israel of “attacking” al-Aqsa during Ramadan and using progressive buzzwords like “colonialism” and “apartheid” to describe the only democracy in the Middle East, they spread lies and misinformation about an American ally. In their incendiary rhetoric and attacks on Israel, they echo the violent and hateful talking points of the terrorists whose stated purpose is the destruction of the Jewish people. Here’s a senior Hamas official on television this week telling Palestinians in Jerusalem to behead Jews: “With your hand, cut their artery from here. A knife costs five shekels. Buy a knife, sharpen it, put it there, and just cut off [their heads]. It costs just five shekels.”

If woke Democrats really believe that words are violence, they might spare a few for a long-overdue condemnation of the members of their own party who continue to spread anti-Semitism.
JINSA PodCast: The Taylor Force Act and Regulating Aid to the Palestinians
The Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to run a “pay for slay” program, where terrorism against Israelis is incentivized and funded by the governing faction of the Fatah. This episode discusses the importance of the Taylor Force Act, passed by Congress in 2018, in thwarting the use of U.S. aid until the PA ceases its support for terror. Stuart Force, the father of U.S. Army Capt. Taylor Force, as well as JINSA Distinguished Fellow Sander Gerber, join Erielle to unpack the particulars of the legislation and how the Biden Administration can continue to push for meaningful reforms within the PA.

One Way of Thinking about Israel
It is only the Jewish state whose right of self-defense is denied.

Loathing of the Jewish state is inseparable from loathing of the Jewish people. What Ludwig von Mises wrote about Nazi anti-Semitism in 1944 continues to apply in our own time:
Nearly all writers dealing with the problem of anti-Semitism have tried to demonstrate that the Jews have in some way or other, through their behavior or attitudes, excited anti-Semitism. Even Jewish authors and non-Jewish opponents of anti-Semitism share this opinion; they too search for Jewish faults driving non-Jews toward anti-Semitism. But if the cause of anti-Semitism were really to be found in distinctive features of the Jews, these properties would have to be extraordinary virtues and merits which would qualify the Jews as the elite of mankind. If the Jews themselves are to blame for the fact that those whose ideal is perpetual war and bloodshed, who worship violence and are eager to destroy freedom, consider them the most dangerous opponents of their endeavors, it must be because the Jews are foremost among the champions of freedom, justice, and peaceful coöperation among nations. . . . As the parties seeking to destroy modern civilization and return to barbarism have put anti-Semitism at the top of their programs, this civilization is apparently a creation of the Jews. Nothing more flattering could be said of an individual or of a group than that the deadly foes of civilization have well-founded reasons to persecute them.

Hamas has its advocates and apologists in the United States. So did Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Mao, etc. — all of them “deadly foes of civilization.”
Don't Compare Israel to Hamas
The British Prime Minister's "both sides" response to the terrorist attacks on Israel underscores how Western political elites lose all critical reasoning when it comes to one tiny strip of land in the Middle East. Israel is under assault from Hamas, the Islamist mafia that runs Gaza like 19th-century Sicily.

You will have seen a lot of headlines about Israel "storming" the al-Aqsa Mosque. Buried in much coverage is that Israeli police raided the joint because Palestinians were rioting and using this sacred Islamic site to store concrete slabs, rocks and fireworks, which they turned on officers.

The pretense of equivalence between the IDF and a kill-the-Jews terror gang would be offensive if it weren't so risible, because the values of Hamas and the values of Israel don't exist in the same moral universe. Israel arrests Jews who try to pray at Judaism's holiest site while facilitating worship and pilgrimage by Muslims.

Israel is urged to show "restraint," as though more than a decade of rocket attacks without going into Gaza and toppling Hamas doesn't show a level of restraint most nations wouldn't dream of showing.

The international community from the Bush administration on down piled pressure on Israel to withdraw from Gaza, promising international legitimacy and recognition of its right to self-defense in return. When it withdrew, it was calumnied and arraigned for war crimes in the court of international public opinion every time it defended itself.
‘Nakba Day’ Protests Set to Take Place Across US Raise Fears of Anti-Semitism
As violence escalates between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East, several Jewish groups are concerned about some two-dozen planned protests to be held over the weekend across North America to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the nakba, or the “catastrophe” in Arabic—in other words, the establishment of modern-day Israel.

Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, told JNS, “It is not surprising that there are still supporters of the nakba, the ideology that basically calls the re-establishment of the State of Israel, the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, a ‘catastrophe.’ The heart of the conflict is that Palestinian leaders have never truly accepted the idea of two states for two peoples. If there is ever going to be a dream of peace, nakba supporters must stop promoting violence and propaganda against Israel.”

“It is long past time for Palestinian leaders to negotiate and accept the compromises needed for peace, and start building a better future for their people,” she added.

A total of 50 pro-Palestinian organizations from around North America penned an open letter calling on Palestinians from the United States and Canada to participate in demonstrations “in protest of the ongoing nakba in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem and throughout Palestine.”

The signatories of the letter also voiced their support for the current Palestinian aggression toward Israel in the Middle East, and accused the Jewish state of “Zionist settler-colonialism,” “Zionist supremacy” and occupation.

Eli Lake: Hamas Starts Wars It Always Loses
According to its exiled political leader, Hamas' war strategy - if that's the proper term for raining hundreds of randomly fired rockets on Israel - is working.

In a televised address on Tuesday, Ismail Haniya called the barrage a "victory" and "an honor for our people."

Hamas always claims to win the wars it loses.

Israel in 2021 has a very effective missile defense system that has intercepted most of Hamas' rockets in midair.

While a few have gotten through, the rockets do not seem to be breaking the will of the Israeli people.
The current anti-Israel attacks wouldn't have happened under Trump
On the other hand, as POTUS, Donald Trump’s record of support of the Jewish State was much more than empty words. Unlike Biden, Trump’s actions sent a message to the Triad of Israel-hate that Israel was an ally.

Some of Trumps pro-Israel actions included:
Withdrew from the disastrous Nuclear Iran Deal.
Imposed, and continues imposing, sanctions on Iran.
Officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Signed Taylor Force Act so U.S. funds would not be used to pay terrorists to maim and murder Americans and Israelis (Pay for Slay). Recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights.
Stopped funding the terror-enabler UNRWA and closed the PLO office in D.C.
Appointed the most pro-Israel U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in decades who, as the Trump administration’s voice, forcefully opposed the U.N’s anti-Israel actions.
Called out and refused to kowtow to members of Congress who supported BDS.
Declared Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are legal under international law.
Was the first POTUS to Visit the Kotel while in office.
Defended Israel’s absolute right to self-defense.
Mediated three different treaties between Arab counties and Israel. Created deals for those Arab nations to recognize, trade ambassadors, and begin commerce with Israel.

Donald Trump’s pro-Israel administration was proceeded by eight years of Barack Obama’s most anti-Israel administration in history and followed by an administration run by Obama’s V.P., now President Joe Biden who is doing his best to top his mentor in anti-Israel policies.

If Trump had won the 2020 election all the Israelis and Palestinians who die this week would be unharmed. Trump backed up his words with actions showing that Israel is an important ally of America. Biden sometimes “talks the talk” but the people he’s hired and the actions he’s taken tell

Biden's hires and actions tell the Israel haters such as the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Iran that he is really on their side…not Israel’s
Netanyahu: Gaza operation is ‘just and moral,’ a few days of fighting lie ahead
In a televised statement on Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s military operation in Gaza and also said Israel would not tolerate “pogroms” in its cities, referring to recent ethnic violence between Jewish and Arab Israelis.

“There is no more just or moral operation,” Netanyahu said of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, noting the hostilities began when Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem on Monday evening in “a totally unprovoked attack.”

Palestinian terror groups have tied the escalation in Gaza to clashes between police and Muslim worshipers on the Temple Mount during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the pending eviction of a number of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired over 2,300 rockets at Israel since the outbreak of fighting on Monday, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Ten Israelis, including a young child, have been killed in the rocket fire, and hundreds have been injured. The most recent casualty was on Saturday afternoon when a man was killed by a projectile that struck the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan.

“You know and I know no country would tolerate this. Israel will not tolerate this. Israel has responded forcefully to these attacks and will continue to respond forcefully,” Netanyahu said in English, following similar comments in Hebrew.
5 facts you need to know about the current situation in Israel | Israel weekly special edition

This is how Israel destroys Hamas terror tunnels - Watch
The IDF released an animated video on Saturday evening providing an inside look at the Hamas "Metro" underground tunnel network which the Israeli Air Force destroyed late Thursday night in a massive assault on the Gaza Strip.

On Thursday evening the IDF took Hamas by surprise, luring them into their tunnel network, known to the IDF as the "Metro", before destroying it, killing an estimated 300-400 Hamas operatives.

The “Metro” had been built in the years after the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip, also known as Operation Protective Edge. It was a network of dozens of kilometers of tunnels that crisscrossed Gaza and provided safety for Hamas operatives from Israeli aerial incursions.

Fresh rocket barrage targets central Israel after Hamas threat
Hamas rocket barrages on southern and central Israel continued throughout the day on Saturday with almost 300 projectiles flying toward Israel. Rocket sirens sounded in parts of the West Bank, in central and southern Israel and near Netanya on Saturday night, after Hamas threatened earlier in the night to put Tel Aviv in a "curfew" at midnight.

No injuries were reported due to direct hits or shrapnel in the barrage on Saturday night, although 10 people were injured while running to bomb shelters.

Shortly after the barrage of rockets, the IDF began a wave of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, hitting numerous targets, including the home and office of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, according to Palestinian reports.

A man was killed in the central city of Ramat Gan after Hamas fired a volley of close to 30 rockets at central Israel in a large afternoon barrage on the sixth day of fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas.

Hamas fires 2300 rockets targeting Israeli civilians

Gaza rockets shut down electricity 169 EN

IDF Attacks Gaza Rocket Launchers, Houses of Senior Hamas Leaders
The IDF struck on Saturday terrorist rocket launchers in central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip, the military said in a statement.

Some of the launch sites hit in the strikes were located underground, the military added.

Other targets hit by the IDF recently include the Jala tower in Gaza, which hosted the Hamas military intelligence as well as foreign media outlets.

The attack drew rebukes from the Associated Press and al-Jazeera, which both had their offices located in the high-rise, and drew the attention of the White House.

According to the IDF, the building, now razed, had hosted the research and development unit of Hamas, which was using some of the most advanced technology available to the group. The unit had conducted multiple acts of sabotage against Israel’s military and civilians, the army added.

Other Hamas bodies also had their offices in the building, the army asserted.

IDF fells Gaza tower used by media outlets, says it housed Hamas military assets
After warning occupants to leave, an Israeli airstrike flattened a tower in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press, Al Jazeera and other media outlets on Saturday afternoon.

The Al Jala building hid “military assets” used by the intelligence wing of the Strip’s Hamas rulers, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement after the strike.

The IDF accused Hamas of “hiding behind” the offices of the press outlets in the tower and “using them as human shields.”

“The Hamas terror group intentionally locates its military assets in the hearts of civil populations in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

AP, which confirmed it was warned by the IDF that the building would be destroyed, said it was “shocked and horrified” by the destruction of the building.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US had “communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.”

Father eulogies five-year old son: 'Rocket should have hit me instead'
The rocket shard that killed his five-year old son should have taken his life instead, Asaf Avigail said just before the body of his son Ido was tucked into the ground in the Kiryat Gat cemetery.

“I want to ask your forgiveness. I am sorry that I wasn’t able to protect you... I’m sorry that the shard hit you instead of me,” Assaf said in a tearful voice.

Ido was killed Wednesday when a rocket shard penetrated the window of the safe room in the family’s Sderot home. His mother Shani, 7-year-old sister and five members of the extended family were injured in the attack, including his six-year-old cousin.

Asaf was not with the family at the time. On Friday, in his eulogy to his son, he said, “I am sorry that I came too late to stop the bleeding.” Just a few days ago, Ido had asked him what one needs to do if a warning siren sounds when they are outside. “I said ‘Ido, anytime that you are with me, you are protected,’” Asaf recalled, adding: “I lied.”

Israel Advocacy Movement: Israel's mixed cities are burning

Muslim doctor lightly injured protecting Jewish man from lynch
Dr. Muhammad Awad, a Muslim doctor and United Hatzalah volunteer, protected a Jewish man from an attempted lynch on Wednesday night in the city of Tamra, United Hatzalah reported in a statement on Thursday.

Awad, who was lightly injured during the conflict, safely evacuated the Jewish man away from Muslim rioters, the statement added. He put his own body in between the Jewish man and the Muslim rioters.

The rioters jumped and attacked the man as he was entering Tamra to run some errands.

Awad made contact with the Jewish victim when one of the bystanders called emergency services for help. When Dr. Awad arrived, the Jewish man had already begun bleeding due to his injuries.

"As we began to enter the scene, we heard that he was Jewish. This made no difference to us, we entered the protest with all of our strength and found the man suffering from a stab wound to his neck," said Awad.

The Jewish man was eventually transported to the Rambam Hospital in Haifa in moderate to serious condition.

Report: UAE demands Hamas stop rockets attacks or face halt in investments
The UAE has reportedly threatened Hamas it will cease all infrastructure and economic investments in the Gaza Strip if it fails to come to a ceasefire agreement with Jerusalem in the near future.

“We are still ready and willing to promote civil projects in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and under UN management [in Gaza], but our necessary condition is calm,” an unnamed UAE official told the Israeli financial daily Globes over the weekend.

“If Hamas does not commit to complete calm, it is dooming the residents of the Strip to a life of suffering. Its leaders must understand that their policies are first and foremost hurting the people of Gaza.”

The Israeli daily also reports that according to the Emirati official, an energy-related project was to be launched this summer in Gaza but may now face defunding as a result of the fighting.

In September 2020, the UAE and Bahrain signed a historic normalization agreement with Israel, dubbed the Abraham Accords, during a ceremony at the White House.

The deal has brought a myriad of benefits between the Jewish state and its Gulf Arab neighbors, including investment, visa-free travel, and potential new interlocutors regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Is the Land Really Jewish Owned?
The Jordanian Custodian took the land in Sheikh Jarrah after 1948 because it was Jewish-owned, and in the next 19 years no one in the West Bank or Jordan disputed the fact that it was Jewish-owned land. While in recent years some Palestinians have come forward claiming to be the rightful owners of the land, their silence for so many years, especially when the land was first taken by the Jordanian Custodian, makes their claims extremely dubious, and Israeli courts have consistently found against them.

Israeli Government Not Expelling Anyone
It must be stressed also that this is a civil dispute over ownership rights and rent, and the Israeli government is not a party to the litigation. Over the years some of the Palestinian tenants have been evicted over non-payment of rent, but this is a private rather than a government matter. The Israeli government is not evicting anyone.

Once the Jewish claimants proved their ownership to the Sheikh Jarrah land in court, they also did not try to evict the Palestinian families – they merely informed them they would have to pay rent.

In 1982 the Jewish owners sued the Palestinian tenants for non-payment of rent and the lawyer representing the Palestinian families did not dispute the Jewish ownership of the land. Instead, he worked out a court-sanctioned agreement between the Jewish owners and the Palestinians, under which the families would agree to pay rent and would be considered “protected tenants.” As such, they could not be evicted if they lived up to the lease, including by paying rent, and under certain circumstances their families could inherit their rights to the apartment.

Perhaps under pressure from the PLO, along with monetary inducements, most but not all of the tenants soon renounced the agreement and once again claimed they owned the units and refused to pay rent.

Jeremy Bowen must be dismissed over tweet instructing “every Jew” to read article claiming “Racism, hate and violence are Jewish values too”
Campaign Against Antisemitism is calling for the BBC to dismiss its Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen, over a tweet on his official BBC Twitter account, posted today, instructing “every Jew” to read an “exploration of Judaism” that claimed that “Racism, hate and violence are Jewish values too”.

The linked article, published in the Ha’aretz newspaper, argued that the Torah contains plenty of examples of people behaving in a manner that is racist, hateful and violent, and that their behaviour can be interpreted as being “Jewish values” by some extremists.

Though the article itself argued in its fullness that the Torah can be an extremely constructive or destructive influence, depending on how it is interpreted by individuals, that part of the article was behind a paywall, so that the vast majority of Mr Bowen’s followers are likely to have only seen the inflammatory headline, image and opening paragraph, without context.

Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Jeremy Bowen is an experienced journalist, who is supposed to act with impartiality. He knows about the impact of words and images. As antisemitic incidents against Jews in Britain surge, Mr Bowen has chosen this moment to order all Jews to read an article that most people will have taken to be an analysis of why Judaism is a religion of ‘racism, hate and violence’. He will have known the feelings towards Jews that this would incite and recklessly added fuel to the fire. Had he tweeted in a similar way about any other minority, I do not believe that he would still be in his position this evening. The BBC must act immediately.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has published a petition calling for Mr Bowen’s dismissal.
Bezalel lecturers side with Palestinians in conflict, angering students
Lecturers at Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Art and Design caused an uproar when they expressed support for the ongoing struggle against Israel by Palestinians in Gaza and east Jerusalem.

In an email sent to the academy's Arab Israeli students, the lecturers wrote:

"We ask to express our deep identification with your struggle for a home [and] freedom in light of the police and settler violence, the fruits of government policies expressed in the events in recent days in Sheikh Jarrah, the Damascus Gate [in Jerusalem's Old City], and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We understand full-well the difficulty of studying at institutes of the occupying and oppressive people, and all the more so at this time."

The email sparked anger among Jewish students at the academy, who signed a petition in protest of the lecturers' email.

"We students feel our situation is being completely ignored, and we are hurt by the lecturers' decision to pick a side at this time. We are all having difficulty, and the reality impacts both sides of the aisle. Thus, a letter addressed to one side of the population constitutes the taking of political sides, divisive means, the condemnation of a large portion of students, and even blatant support for terrorism.

The petition continued: "The letter sent by many of our lecturers bolsters the sense that the academy has a view that embraces opinion on a specific side of the political spectrum while other opinions, even if they are not radical, are erased and unaccepted."
China says US ‘ignoring’ plight of Muslims by blocking UN meeting on Gaza
China on Friday accused the United States of “ignoring the suffering” of Muslims after Washington blocked a scheduled UN Security Council meeting aimed at addressing an intensifying conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

China itself has been accused by many, including the US, of genocide over its policies regarding Muslims and ethnic minorities in the western Xinjiang province.

The US, Israel’s diplomatic shield at the UN, blocked an originally scheduled Friday session despite ongoing violence — but eventually agreed to move it to Sunday, diplomats said.

As the crisis has unfurled, China has taken up the Palestinian cause at the Security Council, a venue where it frequently plays its veto card to block motions against its allies.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters the US had single-handedly obstructed the Security Council from speaking out on the crisis, “standing on the opposite side of the international community.”

“What we can feel is that the US keeps saying that it cares about the human rights of Muslims… but it was ignoring the suffering of the Palestinian people,” Hua added.

She contrasted America’s reluctance at the Security Council with calls by the US, Britain and Germany for China to end repression of its Uighur Muslim minority — an incendiary issue in US-China relations.
An Open Letter to Trevor Noah
And you sidestep a key question — what is Israel supposed to do under such circumstances, when your mother’s advice to you seems totally detached from the sober reality it faces? What would any country do, when the traditional tools of diplomacy — from conflict management to conflict resolution — don’t stand a chance with an ideologically and theologically driven Hamas?

Finally, allow me to stress one point. I don’t view this conflict simply as an endless debate to prove one side right and the other side wrong. Not at all. Rather, my decades-long involvement in the region, my many trips to Israel and the Arab world, including Palestinian territories, has one central dream — peace, enduring peace.

I believe that to be the quest of the vast majority of Israelis, among them my and my wife’s close family members. They have not experienced a single day of true peace since 1948, nor their families who were survivors of the Holocaust, refugees from communism, or victims of evictions from Arab countries.

Israel was not reborn to be in permanent conflict. The fact that six Arab countries now have normalized ties with Israel is a powerful reminder that peace is attainable, and that Israel is keenly on the lookout for partners.

One day, that peace will be realized, I pray, with the Palestinians. But it won’t happen as long as Hamas rules Gaza, clings to its genocidal goals, and snookers well-meaning people abroad to believe it’s the victim in a conflict, alas, of its own making.
US sending new aid to Palestinians as conflict intensifies
The Biden administration notified Congress this week that it will send millions of dollars in US assistance to the Palestinians aimed at promoting peace with Israel even as violence between the two sides rages.

As the conflict intensifies despite US calls for restraint, the administration notified Congress on Thursday that it will provide $10 million to Palestinian groups in the West Bank and Gaza to support exchange and reconciliation projects with Israelis. The recipients of the aid were not named.

The State Department said Friday that the money is part of more than $100 million that the administration allocated to the Palestinians earlier this year, reversing a near-total cutoff in support under former President Donald Trump.

In a notice to lawmakers obtained by The Associated Press, the US Agency for International Development said the $10 million would go to support “people-to-people efforts to bring together conflict-affected groups to address divisions that may be rooted in group differences such as ethnicity, religion, status, class, or political affiliation in areas affected by conflict and civil war.”

It said the money would be spent mainly on cross-border projects between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza, but might also include programs for Jews and Arabs living in Israel.
Evangelical Christians stand up for Israel, call on Biden to do the same
Tens of millions of Evangelical Christians are expected to pray for Israel in their churches on Sunday in response to the barrage of rocket attacks aimed at the country by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“Like usual, in a nanosecond, millions of Evangelicals activated, beginning with their leaders,” Rev. Johnnie Moore, who helped organize former US president Donald Trump’s Evangelical advisory board in 2016 told The Jerusalem Post. “Evangelicals pressed pause on their lives to defend the State of Israel and the Jewish people against Hamas terrorists and their Iranian backers. Our community pushed back online in response to the disinformation coming from the terrorists, reached out to politicians obsessively, and this weekend tens of millions will pray for Israel in their churches.”

Indeed, across Twitter and Facebook, scores of posts by Christian leaders could be found calling for an end to Hamas aggression and for President Joe Biden to demonstrate more vocal support for the State of Israel.

“Israel needs Christian support more than ever,” said Pastor Jentezen Franklin. “Today is not the day to watch our televisions and shake our heads. Today is the day for each of us to do everything in our power to bring peace, security and stability to the Holy Land. We have to remember the power we have in prayer, the power we have in giving, and the power we have politically.”

Many Evangelicals disseminated releases to the media, too.

“As Christians, we support the people of Israel because they are God’s chosen,” wrote Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes, in a release. “As Americans, we celebrate the State of Israel as an ally and the only democracy in the Middle East… We call on President Biden to publicly stand with Israel without equivocation and make his position clear – the United States will not tolerate terrorism in any form, domestic or abroad.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres: I Stand with Israel Because Its the Right Thing to Do
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) told a Zoom broadcast hosted by UJA Federation New York on Wednesday: I'm praying for all the Israelis who are experiencing a level of trauma and terror that most of us, including myself, cannot even begin to imagine. With sovereignty comes the inherent right of self-defense, a right that every state, including our own, takes for granted.

Why should Israel be an exception to the rule? Why should Israel be held to a deadly double standard in a moment of terror? It is unreasonable to expect a nation-state to be the passive target of hundreds of rockets and then forfeit the right to defend itself under a constant stream of terror. No right-minded person would impose that kind of self-destructive burden on any other country.

What is under siege is not only Israel but the truth itself. Increasingly we seem to live in an Orwellian universe where the truth no longer matters. All of us have to be visible and vocal, fearless and forceful, in standing up for our greatest friend in the Middle East.

The moment I sent out a statement denouncing the rocket fire from Hamas, I was swiftly denounced by BDS extremists as a white supremacist, as a supporter of apartheid and ethnic cleansing and genocide - terms that have been stripped of their proper meaning. And although these comments cause great pain to my loved ones, the complicity of silence would cause me even greater pain. I remain as determined as ever to speak out. I stand with Israel because doing so, quite simply, is the right thing to do
Rep Ritchie Torres: Here’s why I’m supporting Israel — despite the Twitter mob
As Israel faced Arab riots and endless rocket attacks from Gaza this week, progressive Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-The Bronx) voiced his commitment to the Jewish state’s safety and sovereignty at a Zoom event sponsored by the UJA — triggering a harsh backlash for doing so. His comments appear below.

Israel is under siege not only from relentless rocket fire at the hands of Hamas but also from an endless propaganda war that has taken on a new intensity here in the United States and elsewhere.

I am here to affirm that, as a member of Congress — one who intends to be here for a long time — I have an unwavering commitment to both the sovereignty and security of Israel as a Jewish state.

With sovereignty and security comes the inherent right of self-defense, a right that every state, including our own, takes for granted. Why should Israel be an exception to the rule? Why should Israel be held to a deadly double standard in a moment of terror?

It is unreasonable to expect a nation state to be the passive target of hundreds of rockets and then forfeit the right to defend itself amid a constant stream of terror. No right-minded person would impose that kind of self-destructive burden on any other country.

What is under siege is not only Israel. What is under siege is the truth itself. Circulating on social media is a vicious lie — a lie that deceptively reframes the terrorism of Hamas as self-defense and deceptively reframes the self-defense of Israel as terrorism. Increasingly, we seem to live in an Orwellian universe where the truth no longer matters.

Now is not the time to be silent. All of us, especially those holding elected office, have to be visible and vocal — fearless and forceful — in standing up for our greatest friend in the Middle East.

Rep. Cori Bush Praises St. Louis “Palestinian” Activist Infamous for “Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon” Chant and Taunting Police “I’m Praying for Your Death”
[Bush’s claims about the supposed Israeli connection to U.S. policing are false, as we covered years ago in Exposed: Years-long effort to blame Israel for U.S. police shootings of blacks]

The name Bassem Masri probably meant nothing to almost everyone listening to the speech.

But Legal Insurrection readers may recall Masri, who is now deceased, from our coverage of the 2014 Ferguson riots after the shooting of Michael Brown. (Contrary to Bush’s claims, Brown’s shooting was found to be a justifiable use of police deadly force both by local prosecutors and the Obama-Holder DOJ, because Brown was shot and killed when he physically attacked a policeman and tried to steal his weapon.)

Masri was featured in our coverage of the Ferguson riots and how anti-Israel activists tried — with some success — to turn them into anti-Israel events.

We covered Masri’s role in these posts:
Intifada Missouri – Anti-Israel activists may push Ferguson over the edge
Anti-Israel activist still stoking fires in #Ferguson.

What earned Masri infamy was his popularization of the phrase during the Ferguson riots “Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon”:

Labour MPs warned not to ‘stoke tension’ on Israel-Palestine as antisemitism surges
Some Labour MPs tweeting “ill-advised and ill-informed” posts on the Israel-Palestine conflict are stoking tensions, campaigners have warned.

Campaigners against antisemitism urged all public figures to show restraint.

The warning came as the Community Security Trust called for all Jewish community centres across the country to step up security as they recorded a "sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in the UK".

On Twitter hashtags including #HitlerWasRight were trending while community groups said more incidents were being reported of abuse being shouted in the streets and Jewish school children being abused by fellow pupils.

Yet scores of Labour MPs came out on Twitter to declare solidarity with Palestine, with some even taking part in demonstrations where protesters held banners comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

Others called for sanctions against Israel and urged constituents to join them at a mass march to the Israeli Embassy on Saturday which could see tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets.

Fiona Sharpe, spokeswoman for Labour Against Antisemitism, said: “Some of the social media comments from Labour MPs over the last few days regarding the situation in Israel and Gaza have been ill-advised and ill-informed. They have a duty to use their platform responsibly and they are failing to uphold that responsibility.
Roger Waters, Sitting by Poster Comparing America to Nazis, Trashes Israel
Former Pink Floyd frontman Rogers Waters used a poster linking America and Nazism as a backdrop during an interview with RT on Friday.

Waters spoke with RT — formerly known as Russia Today, a English-lnguage news media outlet run by the Russian government — about ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

The poster had the message “USSA,” with the two ses, referring to the Nazi Germany’s Schutzstaffel paramilitary, commonly referred to with the acronym “SS.” Waters joined RT remotely from his apartment in New York City.

Iranian-Jewish Celebrity Interior Designer Urges Hollywood to ‘Educate Yourselves’ Before Posting About Israel-Palestinian Conflict
An Iranian Jewish interior designer who boasts a celebrity clientele called on social media users, and especially those in Hollywood, to do their research surrounding the ongoing violence between Israel and the Palestinians before posting messages online.

“I urge my fellow colleagues, friends, clients and Hollywood celebrities to avoid posting from the perspective of what’s ‘trending’ and to really educate yourselves and use your platforms for good,” said Ryan Saghian, the youngest designer ever awarded Interior Designer of the Year by the city of Los Angeles.

The 28-year-old — who has been featured in Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and Vogue — shared his comments on Thursday in an Instagram post. He uploaded a slide that featured his statement, which has since gone viral among Israel supporters. Saghian began by saying “You bet your ass I stand with Israel, the one and only Democratic Nation in the Middle East that has equal rights for every single person no matter their sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation.”

“And you bet your ass I stand with the Palestinians people, who deserve all the same equal rights as us,” he continued. “I do not, however, stand with Hamas, a declared terrorist organization governing these territories and who’s [sic] hate for Israel and Jews comes before helping their own people.”

Iran’s Zarif Cancels Vienna Visit Over Austria’s Support for Israel Amid Gaza Rocket Fire
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif canceled his visit to Vienna over Austria’s show of solidarity with Israel as the latter found itself under rocket salvos from Gaza.

According to Austria’s Die Presse, Zarif was slated to meet with Austria’s Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg early on Saturday.

However, the visit was canceled on Friday after Austria’s Federal Chancellery and Foreign Ministry flew the Israeli flag along with the national and the EU ones.

Also on Friday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister lashed out at Austria over its solidarity for Israel.

Vienna is currently hosting the talks on the US rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
New York Times Columnist Kristof Questions ‘Vast Sums’ of US Military Aid to Israel
With Israeli children and grandmothers huddled in bomb shelters to protect themselves from terrorist Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets aimed indiscriminately at civilian populations, a New York Times columnist is suggesting cutting back US military aid to Israel.

In a grotesquely ill-timed column and a series of promotional follow-up tweets posted for his 2 million Twitter followers, Nicholas Kristof vacillates between outright calling for less aid and merely raising the question.

The strongest statement came in a print headline over the column: “The US Should Condition Aid to Israel on Reducing Conflict.” This is slightly comical — or it would be if our Israeli cousins weren’t diving for cover. Imagine a World War II-era headline: “The US Should Condition Aid to Britain on Reducing Conflict.” Or the Cold War: “The US Should Condition Aid to West Germany on Reducing Conflict.” The level of conflict is not entirely up to the Israelis — they are facing a hostile power with a declared aim of wiping them off the map.

For online, the headline was walked back to “What Your Taxes Are Paying For in Israel.”

Similarly, the column frames the aid issue as a rhetorical question: “as American taxpayers, we don’t have much influence over Hamas, while we do have influence over Israel and we provide several billion dollars a year in military assistance to a rich country and thus subsidize bombings of Palestinians. Is that really a better use of our taxes than, say, paying for COVID-19 vaccinations abroad or national pre-K at home? Shouldn’t our vast sums of aid to Israel be conditioned on reducing conflict rather than aggravating it, on building conditions for peace rather than creating obstacles to it?”
New York Times Deploys Troll who Lied About Hamas Murder of Israeli Teens to Accuse Israel of Disinformation
The media is constantly fighting "disinformation". But it defines "disinformation" as information it disagrees with. The media has dismantled internal fact-checking and instead built an offensive fact-checking machine aimed at its political opponents while it spreads disinformation.

Shamelessly and relentlessly.

There may be no better example of that here and now then the New York Times having Sheera Frenkel write an article titled, "Lies on Social Media Inflame Israeli-Palestinian Conflict".

Frenkel has an inside perspective on that sort of thing from the last major round of fighting that was triggered when Hamas terrorists kidnapped and killed 3 Israeli teenage boys.

And Frenkel built up her journalistic rep at BuzzFeed by insisting that it wasn't Hamas, vocally arguing on Twitter that, "There is a Hamas official in the story saying they are not Hamas."

In a more detailed takedown of Sheera Frenkel's disinformation campaign, Seth Franzman, who actually is a journalist and knows a lot about the region, noted that
CNN Coverage on Gaza Conflict Buries 1,500+ Rockets Fired on Israel
Perhaps even more unforgivable is the number of straight-out errors in the piece. For example, Wedeman claims:
Since Monday evening, Israel’s aerial operation has left more than 60 Gazans dead, militants among them, but more civilians, according to figures from the Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry. More than a dozen of were children. ”

The claim that Israel is responsible for the death of over a dozen children is given as fact, but this simply is not true. As the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has documented, in the first day of fighting, a rocket fired from Gaza fell short and killed eight civilians in the territory, including six children. Despite this information being publicly available, media outlets mystifyingly continue to blame Israel for their tragic deaths.

Similarly, another sentence misinforms about the nature of the blockade of Gaza: “Cut off from the rest of the world by an Israeli blockade of Gaza’s land, air and sea dating back to 2007, many of Gaza’s inhabitants are dependent on foreign aid to survive.” But that’s not accurate — the blockade is operated by Israel and Egypt together. Israel’s attempts at a blockade would be useless without Egypt. Yet only Israel is mentioned.

Finally, the story ends with a piece of nasty, cheap “both-sides-ism,” in which Wedeman draws a false moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas:
Both Israel and the militant factions in Gaza show little inclination to de-escalate. Israel has mobilized reserves and is sending heavy armor to the Gaza area. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have put out videos showing their rocket teams at work. Each is determined to gouge out an eye for an eye.”

Israel’s aim is emphatically not merely retribution or retaliation: It is to stop a clutch of terrorist groups overseen by Hamas from launching attacks on its citizens. Comparing the two sides’ aims is morally repugnant and totally inaccurate.

Readers deserve considerably better.

Then again, this is the same channel that accused Israel of “indiscriminate” attacks, even as Israel conducts the most precise campaign in the history of counter-terrorism.

Turkish Jewish Website Hacked by Antisemitic Cyber Warfare Group
The main news website serving Turkey’s Jewish community was hacked by an antisemitic group on Thursday as an ostensible protest against Israeli military operations against Hamas in Gaza.

The home page of the Şalom website was taken down by a group called the “IBDA-Cyber ​​Front”, according to a report published by Avlaremosis, a website that monitors antisemitism in Turkey.

A screenshot of the hack showed a photo of a Palestinian flag alongside a child preparing a slingshot. A message from the hackers read: “Our actions will continue until Palestine is free and independent!”

“It is obvious that the attack carried out will fuel the hatred of the Jews in Turkish society,” Avlaremosis commented in its report.

Earlier this week, Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised the leaders of both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas that Ankara would “mobilize the whole world, especially the Islamic world, to stop Israel’s terrorism and occupation.”

Hamas Admits They Never Understood What “Ceasefire” Actually Means (satire)
In the wake of Israel-Hamas ceasefire talks, Hamas has admitted that they never really understood the definition of ‘ceasefire’.

“We always thought that it meant ‘say you’ll stop but carry on launching rockets as usual'”, one spokesman for the Gaza-based Islamist group admitted. “You see, we weren’t really paying attention in the first negotiation meeting years ago and we’ve been way too embarrassed ever since to ask anyone what a ceasefire is supposed to be, so we’ve just kind of bluffed it. And because the Israelis always look so angry we never got up the courage to ask them. Turns out, a ‘ceasefire’ actually means to cease firing shit. Who knew?”

However, when asked whether they intend to behave any differently in the future now that they understand the definition, Hamas insists that, on the contrary, they hope to carry on as usual. “Yeah, well, just because we know what a ceasefire is doesn’t mean we’re gonna start abiding by it now. Where’s the fun in not firing rockets at Israel? Rockets are our bread and butter. If you realise you’re allergic to sesame, would you stop eating humus, or if you find out homosexuality isn’t a choice would you stop throwing gays off buildings? Some things are just sacred.”
Austria outlaws Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah
Austria banned Hezbollah in its entirety this week, going beyond the European Union policy of outlawing the Lebanese terrorist group’s so-called military arm.

“This is a very clear signal,” said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, after the Council of Ministers approved the proposal to include Hezbollah in a law banning the use of certain symbols. “This step reflects reality. The group itself makes no distinction between the military and the political arm.”

Schallenberg said Hezbollah “poses a serious threat to the stability in the region and to the security of Israel. Israel’s right to exist must not be called into question.”

The Austrian foreign minister also said it was unfortunate that there has not been any progress on the UN Security Council’s call to disarm Hezbollah.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said they “praise the decision, which is important in the fight against terrorism.”
Americans Have the Right to Know About Biden's Upcoming Deal with Iran's Mullahs
Is the effective US news blackout about the negotiations with Iran meant to keep the allies and American public in the dark to prevent an outrage that may scuttle the administration's effort to revive the 2015 nuclear deal -- which Iran by the way never signed?

If the Biden administration, like the Obama administration, suddenly surprises everyone that a deal has been reached, will it then be too late for the public to act? Is a return to the nuclear deal the price Biden agreed to for Obama's support before the November 3, 2020 election?

The American public has the right to know what sanctions the Biden administration are planning to lift because this regime has been killing Americans and taking hostages for almost four decades.

"Last week, Iran's chief diplomat allegedly admitted the IRGC calls the shots in Tehran. Now, Iran releases a fake video of the IRGC blowing up our Capitol. The Biden admin's priority should be ensuring Iran cannot carry out such an attack, not capitulating by removing sanctions." — US Senator Pat Toomey, Twitter, May 2, 2021.