Saturday, April 23, 2022

04/23 Links: Israel is an apartheid state - Just look at Temple Mount; Has the UN failed or is it too weak to be effective?; Harris Spoils Passover Seder By Dissing Israeli Wine

From Ian:

Stephen Daisley: Israel is an apartheid state - Just look at Temple Mount
If you’re after evidence of apartheid in Israel, you don’t have to look very far. Amid rioting by Palestinians and Arabs, the Israel Police has declared the Temple Mount in Jerusalem off-limits. For ten days, only practitioners of one religion will be allowed to visit.

For context, Temple Mount is home to the Holy of Holies, the most sacred site in Judaism, and is where the First and Second Temples stood until their destruction by the Babylonians and Romans, respectively. Following Jerusalem’s conquest by Islamic imperialists in the 7th century, a succession of caliphs worked to Islamise the Temple Mount by erecting Muslim worship sites including the Dome of the Rock, built on top of the old Jewish temple, and Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.

In recent days, Arab and Muslim rioters have run amok on the Temple Mount and throughout the Old City. They have fired off Molotov cocktails and rocks at law enforcement from inside Al-Aqsa. They have beaten religious Jews on their way to pray at the Western Wall. They have stoned at least ten buses, injuring passengers including a 13-year-old girl. Hence why the Israel Police has said adherents of one religion and one religion alone will be permitted on the Temple Mount for the next ten days. That one religion is, naturally, Islam.

Welcome to Israel, apartheid state. This interdict is not unusual and nor is the tumult that has occasioned it; both have played out semi-regularly in recent years. Religious discrimination against non-Muslims is in fact routine on Temple Mount, which is governed by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian religious trust, in cooperation with the Israel Police.

For centuries, Jews were forbidden from ascending Temple Mount by the occupying empire of the day, and even after they liberated their capital city in 1967, almost all senior rabbis have forbidden Jews to set foot on the hill. Nevertheless, some have persisted and Israel permits a limited number of its Jewish citizens to visit their holiest site, provided they do not pray while there. Those Jews who do pray are arrested. Jews may only enter the complex through a separate gate designated for use by non-Muslims.
Arab Israeli Christian aims to debunk myths about Jewish state
An Arab Israeli Christian has made it his mission to debunk myths about Israel’s Christian minority.

“We want to educate college students about Israel’s minorities and to counter anti-Israel activity on campuses that use Israel’s minorities to attack Israel and say we do not have full rights,” said Jonathan Elkhoury, an international speaker, columnist and project manager for the NGO Reservists on Duty.

Elkhoury spoke recently with Robert Walker on Honest Reporting’s podcast, “The Honest Report.” Listen to the full podcast:

Five years ago, Elkhoury formed a group of Israeli minorities – Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouin - who were interested in getting more involved in society, including serving in the Israel Defense Forces and other forms of national service. What he found was that while there were a number of Arab Israeli diplomats, there were few average Arab citizens speaking out about life in Israel. His efforts helped change that.

“Now we have so many that are just waiting to go and speak,” he told Walker.

When the group is on campuses they are often met with a combination or surprise and even animosity by anti-Israel activists, Elkhoury described. He said that many anti-Israel activists don’t recognize Israel’s basic right to exist and when minorities appear on their campuses defending the Jewish state, “it shakes their whole lives and beliefs… These people – we take the rug from under their feet.”

Sometimes, he said, members have been kicked and spat on because these activists do not want to accept their side of the story.

“They see me and my ideas as a threat to what they are trying to promote,” he said.

According to Elkhoury, Christians make up 2% of Israel’s population, around 160,000 people. The majority live in northern Israel, Jerusalem and Nazareth.
Harris Spoils Passover Seder By Dissing Israeli Wine
While the White House has expressed vocal opposition to the BDS movement, its State Department has hired several officials who have publicly backed Israel boycotts and have been critical of the Jewish state. The Washington Free Beacon first reported in March that the administration is offering nearly $1 million in grant money for groups to investigate alleged human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, an effort that critics say is meant to delegitimize the world’s only Jewish state.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Ziskend’s tweet and its stance on the BDS movement.

Harris's office went into damage control after Israeli reports on her wine selection left BDS activists on Twitter up in arms.

"They should have known better. She wouldn’t make this mistake with wine from Kashmir or Kosovo—or with products breaking the ban on Russia," tweeted one observer. "How did NO ONE on their staff stop this?!?!," said another. A third said, "How do you celebrate Passover supposedly a celebration of freedom by drinking wine from stolen lands and taking away other people freedom."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said the Passover wine row illustrates how the Biden administration courts the BDS movement in contrast to its rhetoric.

"Joe Biden and Kamala Harris just can't help themselves. They say they support Israel, but they take every opportunity they can to bolster anti-Israel boycott campaigns," Cruz told the Free Beacon. "It’s disgraceful."

"The State Department is already giving nearly $1 million to subsidize the international NGO campaign to demonize and isolate Israel, and now the vice president's office is wringing their hands about where in Israel her wine came from," Cruz said. "The only trade policy the United States should have toward Israel is that we want to trade with Israel, full stop."

The administration's decision to distance itself from the West Bank winery is renewing focus on its hiring of anti-Israel activists.

Has the UN failed or is it too weak to be effective? - opinion
Last week, in a passionate speech to the UN Security Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “It is obvious that the key institution of the world, which must ensure the coercion of any aggressors to peace, simply cannot work effectively.”

The outbreak of the greatest continental European conflict since World War II, resulting in 10 million refugees fleeing Ukraine and potential civilian fatalities being in the tens of thousands due to massacres and indiscriminate shelling of urban environments, raises questions about the UN’s ability to maintain peace and ensure human rights.

The images of widespread devastation of cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol look like they could come from Guernica, Rotterdam and Leningrad – scenes that were common across the world when the UN was founded 76 years ago.

As war rages in Europe, the UN has found itself pushed to the sidelines as Ukrainian and Russian representatives duke it out in the crippled organization – an organization unable to negotiate a ceasefire nor penalize Russia; all sanctions, penalties and attempts for negotiations come from sovereign countries or other institutions.

Crippled and unable to do anything to end the conflict, the UN passed an emergency resolution in the General Assembly, suspending Russia from the Human Rights Council and leading to its departure, in a move that draws parallels to the League of Nations’ expulsion of the Soviet Union after it invaded Finland in 1939.

The UN’s suspension of Russia was one of three resolutions adopted in the General Assembly’s emergency special session devoted to the conflict; these are the first emergency resolutions since 1981 that don’t concern the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed the price of the UN’s abandonment of its founding principles, human rights, and its persistent attacks on democracies, so prevalent throughout the body and its affiliated institutions.
Bennett: UN must stop serving terrorists' agenda In meeting with US diplomats, Abbas threatens to cut ties with Israel
During the meeting with the US diplomats, Abbas demanded urgent intervention from the US administration to “stop Israel’s escalation in the Palestinian territories,” said senior Palestinian official Hussein al-Sheikh, who attended the meeting.

Sheikh described the meeting as “clear and frank,” adding that Abbas blamed the occupation for the escalation and the absence of a political horizon, which will push us to implement the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council soon.”

A statement published by the PA president’s office after the meeting said that he called on President Biden and his administration “to intervene immediately and urgently to assume their responsibilities, given the seriousness of the situation as a result of the Israeli measures in all Palestinian territories, especially Jerusalem, al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”

Abbas “stressed the need for an immediate cessation of Israeli attacks and full respect for the legal and historical situation in Jerusalem and the status quo at the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), holding the Israeli occupation government fully responsible for the deterioration of the situation,” the statement read.

Abbas said that in light of the “political horizon and an Israeli refusal to stop unilateral actions and abide by the signed agreements, the Palestinian leadership will soon have the right to implement the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council,” according to the statement.

The PA president also called on the Biden administration to fulfill its promises to the Palestinians, including the pledge to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem that served as a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians and was closed down in 2018 by the Trump administration.

In addition to al-Sheikh, the meeting was attended by Majed Faraj, head of the PA General Intelligence Service, presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh and diplomatic advisor to the PA president Majdi Al-Khalidi.

The Palestinian Affairs Unit at the US Embassy said that Lempert and Amr met with Abbas and his top advisers “to discuss the need for all parties to call and work for calm, especially in Jerusalem, and our mutual commitment to a two-state solution.”‭

Ilhan Omar's trip to Islamabad may boost Pakistan's far-right - analysis
US Congress member Ilhan Omar visited Pakistan recently on a trip that potentially raises controversial subjects because she went to Kashmir and the trip could inflame Pakistani far-right nationalists. The Times of India noted that Omar’s visit was “unofficial” and that her visit to “occupied Kashmir (PoK) did not represent the United States government in any way.” The report noted that India had condemned her trip to contested Kashmir as violating India's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Omar has been outspoken in condemning Israel, Saudi Arabia and other US partners and allies, and it was unclear why she chose to make a controversial visit to Pakistan at this time.

Recently, Pakistan carried out an airstrike in Afghanistan that massacred civilians. Reports say that dozens were killed in the airstrike and the New York Times said that 45 had been killed, citing to Afghan officials. Omar has in the past slammed the US for airstrikes in Somalia and Syria and in Afghanistan but has been silent on the Pakistani airstrike and human rights abuses.

Omar tweeted about her trip from her personal Twitter account to her 3 million followers rather than her Congressional one which has 1 million followers. This was apparently an example of how this was a personal trip even though Pakistan officials took time to meet with her and highlighted her role as a member of Congress.

Omar’s selective highlighting of human rights issues was noted by the Times of India. It noted that she has critiqued India and has been critical of the Biden administration for not critiquing human rights issues in India. The Tribune in India asked who funded the visit by the member of US Congress since it appeared the visit was not sponsored by the US. India External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters in New Delhi, "We have noted that US Representative Ilhan Omar has visited a part of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that is currently illegally occupied by Pakistan.”

Clashes in Jerusalem: Are they a predictable cycle?
ISRAEL HAS a right to respond to terror attacks, but it is important to realize that those planning such attacks want a response.

Recall back in 2014 how the murder of three Jewish hitchhikers in the West Bank spiraled into a war.

Was the attack planned so that the tensions would begin in mid-June that year and grow as Ramadan began later in the month? Hamas planned these attacks; it knew the timetable.

When an attack killed two Israeli policemen in mid-July 2017, didn’t Israel know that installing metal detectors around the Temple Mount would lead to further clashes? Who planned the 2017 attack at such a sensitive site and what kind of response did they want from Israel in order to orchestrate more clashes?

It’s clear that tension every year around Al-Aqsa is choreographed and scripted. If anyone thinks that any of this is spontaneous and that groups like Hamas do not want this to happen and do not plan parts of it, they are likely mistaken. While there are some random and spontaneous clashes, there are also very predictable ones.

There are agitators who want to create a critical mass necessary for a powerful altercation. It is also known that if Israeli police enter Al-Aqsa or confront protesters at the entrance to the mosque, this will be used by groups and even countries to inflame tempers against Israel.

We only have to read the headlines in Al-Jazeera to see “new Israeli raid at al-Aqsa mosque leaves Palestinian injured.” Reuters says “Palestinians clash with Israel police at Jerusalem holy site.”

All these headlines have larger implications. Anti-Israel voices want the Arab League to condemn Israel, to harm Israel-Gulf ties. Turkey, Jordan and other Muslim countries will backtrack on attempts at reconciliation.

This doesn’t mean it’s Israel’s fault. Israeli security forces are responding. But the fact that Israel doesn’t seem to prepare better for these incidents before the onset of the holidays shows how every year the wheel is reinvented in Jerusalem.

Groups like Hamas benefit from this short-sighted reaction to each incident. The question is whether the rest of Ramadan will see more clashes, or whether both sides can learn from past ones.
Israeli Police on High Alert Over Possible Unrest in Arab Towns
Israel Police is preparing for possible unrest in Arab-Israeli communities as violence continues to surge at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount compound.

According to Kan public broadcaster, police are gearing up for tensions surrounding the holy site – the al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims – to potentially spread to mixed Arab-Israeli towns.

Israel’s Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai ordered reserve Border Police officers to be put on alert for immediate call-up over such concerns, Channel 12 News reported.

There have reportedly been limited clashes in the Arab-Israeli cities over the past week, apparently in solidarity with the Palestinians arrested during the unrest in Jerusalem.

On Friday, dozens in Umm al-Fahm were seen chanting in support of Hamas – Gaza’s governing terror group – and of those who clashed with Israeli authorities at the Temple Mount, according to The Times of Israel.

Police said in a statement that four minors were detained over rioting in the northern Arab community.

“The riots included attempts to block the entrance to the city, firing fireworks, throwing stones at the forces, and burning tires in the middle of the road.”
Israel Closes Gaza Crossing After Rocket Attacks
israel said it will close its only crossing at its border with the Gaza Strip on Sunday after militants in the Palestinian enclave fired three rockets at the Jewish state.

“Following the rockets fired toward Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip last night, it was decided that crossings into Israel for Gazan merchants and workers through the Erez Crossing will not be permitted this upcoming Sunday,” COGAT, a unit of the defense ministry responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, said on Saturday.

According to Ynetnews, the decision to open the aisle will be examined according to the assessment of the situation.

Violence between Palestinians and Israeli authorities at Jerusalem’s holy site – the Temple Mount for Jews and the al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims – has sparked fears over it escalating into a wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While some analysts believe the Hamas terror group does not want a repeat of last May’s 11-day war with Israel, other security experts say the group is aiming for exactly that.

On Friday, two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, with one landing in open terrain in Israel and the other inside the enclave, wounding a Palestinian man.

Renewed Clashes at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount
Clashes renewed Friday morning between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli security forces at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

According to Ynetnews, dozens of Palestinian worshipers gathered in the early hours of the morning at al-Aqsa Mosque and began throwing stones and shooting off fireworks at Israeli authorities deployed near the compound’s gates.

The Israeli forces responded by using stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd of about 200 Palestinian demonstrators.

Some of the masked worshippers chanted slogans like, “We will not be silent, we will sacrifice our lives for the sake of al-Aqsa Mosque,” Ynetnews reported.

Thirty-one Palestinians were wounded in the clashes, two of them in serious condition, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Israel’s police said that “while many officers are working to allow freedom of worship, and to maintain the peace in holy places all over Jerusalem, there are those who choose to disrupt public order,” Haaretz reported.

Israel Is ‘Preserving the Status Quo’ at Jerusalem’s Holy Site
Israel emphasized earlier this week a long-standing ban on Jewish prayer at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque compound, rejecting an Arab League accusation that it was deviating from the site’s status quo.

Violence at the holy site – revered in Judaism as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as al-Aqsa – is raising concerns about a slide backer into a wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli security forces are on high alert with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coinciding with the Jewish holiday Passover and Christianity’s Easter.

The Arab League accused Israel of breaking the status quo by allowing Jews to pray at the compound, calling it a “provocation.”

Israel, however, said there is no change in its long-standing ban on Jewish prayer at the flashpoint site.

“Israel is maintaining the status quo, which includes the freedom of prayer for Muslims and the right to visit for non-Muslims. The police enforce the ban on Jewish prayer,” said Lior Haiat, a spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

“Over the last few years, Israel is not allowing Jews to visit the Temple Mount during the last 10 days of Ramadan to prevent any friction,” he said.

3 rockets fired from Gaza at Israel; one falls short, others cause no damage
Two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Friday night, the Israel Defense Forces said. Several hours later a third rocket was fired.

According to the military, from the first salvo, one rocket landed in an open field in the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council, while the second fell short in the Hamas-run coastal enclave.

Some Palestinian media reports said the failed launch landed near a residential area of Beit Hanoun in the northern part of the Strip, injuring one person. There was no immediate statement from Gaza medical authorities on the matter.

Early Saturday, a third rocket was fired from the southern Gaza Strip, landing in an open area near a town close to the border, the IDF said.

Incoming rocket sirens did not sound in Israel as the rockets hit uninhabited areas, but an alert was activated near one border town on the Home Front Command mobile application.

Top IDF brass were holding a meeting to discuss a potential response to the rocket attack, according to Hebrew-language media reports.
Rocks, Hamas flags and chanting: Palestinians and cops clash again on Temple Mount
Clashes and unrest broke out Friday afternoon at the Temple Mount following afternoon Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Calm was eventually restored at the holy site.

The rioting came hours after Palestinians skirmished with Israeli police at the flashpoint site in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Several hundred people scuffled with cops, hurling rocks and rioting. Video showed a police drone dropping tear gas to disperse a crowd.

Police said the crowd attempted to attack a locked police post on the Mount with stones. “The march was dispersed using riot dispersal means and it is currently calm in the area,” police said in a statement.

Earlier, tens of thousands of worshipers took part in the main prayers for the third Friday of the Muslim holy month. There were no official turnout figures, but Palestinian and Hebrew media reports estimated 90,000-150,000 worshipers attended.

After the prayers, large crowds waved Palestinian and Hamas flags and chanted slogans in favor of the Gaza-ruling terror group, which had called for a “mobilization” ahead of the prayers.

Hezbollah hopes to use Al-Aqsa tensions in Lebanese elections - analysis
A member of Hezbollah’s Executive Council slammed Israel this past week, claiming that tensions over Al-Aqsa Mosque will not go “unanswered.” The comments were printed in Iranian media that are close to the regime, indicating Tehran’s support for Hezbollah’s threats. They were made by Hassan al-Baghdadi, a US-designated terrorist who is a Hezbollah official.

According to the Fars News reports, Baghdadi claimed that Israel’s “attacks” on Muslim worshipers were a “clear violation of Muslim sanctities and feelings.” Al-Manar, the Hezbollah media channel, also reported the comments. The claim is that Hezbollah believes this aggression could not go unanswered.

The article in Iranian media does not provide more details of Hezbollah’s threats but does reference the upcoming elections in Lebanon.

The goal here is to try to use tensions with Israel to increase support for Hezbollah in Lebanon. This is because the terror group knows that recent comments by factions in Lebanon opposed to Hezbollah suggest they could perform well in upcoming elections.

The article also references other condemnations of Israel that have come from Amman.

Hezbollah has long wanted to channel wider regional anger about Israel into its specifically Iranian-backed messaging. This is because Tehran is not always able to fully piggy-back on the wider Palestinian movement. Iran seeks to use Palestinians against Israel and often uses Hezbollah as a proxy in these actions.

Hezbollah has claimed that Israel continues to “occupy” Lebanon, thus justifying Hezbollah’s “resistance.” Iran describes its various militias in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen as an “axis of resistance.”

Hezbollah wants to use the last days of Ramadan to increase tensions with the Jewish state. It hopes that Iranian-backed groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad will join it in increasing tensions.
MEMRI: Fmr. Lebanese Ambassador To The U.S. Gabriel Issa: I Support Increasing Hizbullah's Arsenal 'Dozens Of Times Over' And Its Presence At The Border; The U.S. Demand To Disarm Hizbullah Will Lead Us To A Civil War
Gabriel Issa, the former Lebanese ambassador to the United States, said in an April 14, 2022 interview on OTV (Lebanon) that not only does he support the presence of Hizbullah's weapons on the Lebanese border, but that he even supports increasing Hizbullah's arsenal dozens of times over because it protects the Lebanese people. He said that it is hypocritical of the U.S. to "grumble" and call for the dissolution of Hizbullah and other Lebanese militias because today's situation in Lebanon is America's doing. He explained that the issue of the militias' weapons will be resolved when the regional issues are resolved, and he pointed out that Lebanon is facing many other problems. In addition, Issa said that by pressuring Lebanon about Hizbullah's weapons, the U.S. is trying to push Lebanon towards civil war. Moreover, Issa said that the U.S. threateningly told the Lebanese that they must not contribute to the reconstruction of Syria in the aftermath of the Syrian civil war, even though Lebanon was impacted by the war more than any other country. Issa, an Aoun-ally, was appointed ambassador to the U.S. in July 2017 and presented his letter of credence to President Trump in January 2018.

"Not Just Keeping Them – I Support Increasing [Their Arsenal] Dozens Of Times Over"

Gabriel Issa: "Personally, I support the weapons of the resistance on the border – not inside Lebanon and not across the border. On the border. It protects all of us. But what I am talking about is who was behind..."

Interviewer: "So you are in favor of [Hizbullah] keeping the weapons of the resistance?"

Issa: "Not just keeping them. I support increasing [their arsenal] dozens of times over. I confronted senior American officials who came to talk to me. I said to them: 'You allowed for this.' They said it was the Syrians, not them. So I said: 'You allowed Syria to invade [Lebanon].' The same thing happened with regard to the Taif Agreement. I said to them: 'You imposed the ruling system of the Taif Agreement on us.' Their answer was: 'It was the Saudis, not us.' The Americans always deny responsibility. They say that they did not allow Syria to [invade Lebanon], that they did not allow Saudi Arabia to impose the Taif Agreement on us... All [the Americans] who say today that we do not have the right to do this – they themselves formed a militia and invented the concept of a militia and of a mini-state within a state. Not only did they invent this notion, but they have imposed it on us for many years, and now they grumble about the existence of [the Hizbullah] militia? You have the same background. You said that you were defending Lebanon, and [Hizbullah] also says it defends Lebanon. The [Americans] have no right. Okay, so there are weapons that not held by the Lebanese army. Sure, there is a problem and it will be resolved when the regional issues are resolved. But today, in the elections, all you hear is people suggesting to take away the weapons of the resistance, as if this is the only problem."

Why Is the Biden Administration Determined to Help Terrorist Iran Get a Bomb?
Why would any administration in its right mind permit an official state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, to have nuclear weapons, as well as billions of dollars that will assuredly not be used for a "GI Bill for returning members of the Revolutionary Guard"?

Just this week, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan called Iran, a "sponsor of terrorism."

With Biden's deal, restrictions on the regime's nuclear program would be lifted only two years after the agreement is signed, permitting the regime to enrich uranium at any level it desires and spin as many uranium enrichment centrifuges as it wants.

Astonishingly, Russia will be trusted to be the country that stores Iran's enriched uranium, and Moscow will get paid for this mission. More uranium for Russia? How nifty: maybe Putin can use it for his next "Ukraine" -- in Poland, Sweden or France?

The new deal will not address Iran's ballistic missile program, meaning that the Tehran regime will continue attacking other nations with its ballistic missiles, provide missiles to its proxy militias in other countries, and advance the range of its intercontinental ballistic missiles to reach the US territories. Iran could even use shorter-range ballistic missiles to reach the US, perhaps launched from Venezuela or Cuba, where Iran is already deeply entrenched.

To meet the Iranian leaders' demands, the new deal will most likely include removal from the terrorist list of the IRGC, which has killed countless Americans, both on American soil and off.

The Islamic Republic of Iran began murdering Americans in Beirut in 1983, and also had a hand in the 9/11 attacks.

The Biden administration, if it actually cares about peace in the region -- a subject that seems open to question -- would do well to listen to the warnings of these many US military leaders and Congressmen, and refuse to revive the disastrous nuclear deal. It will only a make even more dangerous a country that the US State Department itself has called "the world's worst sponsor of state terrorism," as well as frankly creating an unnecessary security threat in the region, Europe and the US.
New State Department Report Admits Iran May Be Hiding Nuclear Activities
The Biden administration has “serious concerns” about “possible undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” according to an annual report the State Department released on Tuesday. The administration’s admission that Tehran continues to stonewall inspectors and conceal its nuclear activities shows why it would be a serious mistake to revive a weaker version of the 2015 nuclear deal, whose verification and enforcement mechanisms were already deficient.

The new findings on Iran are part of a larger publication that assesses countries’ compliance with agreements pertaining to arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament. The latest edition of this annual report discusses the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) investigation into Iran’s undeclared nuclear activities at four locations. The State Department notes that Tehran has not cooperated with the agency’s probe at those four sites, which involved Iran’s possible use or storage of nuclear material and equipment or undeclared nuclear activities.

Questions also remain about the fourth location, the site of the Islamic Republic’s alleged experiments with a uranium metal disc. In the State Department’s previous annual report, which covered 2020, the Biden administration warned that “even small amounts of undeclared uranium metal in Iran would be of serious proliferation concern given its applicability to nuclear weapons research and development.” Just last month, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told the agency’s Board of Governors that Tehran did not declare experiments relating to this nuclear weaponization activity, violating Iran’s safeguards agreement with the agency.

While Tehran’s behavior has not changed, the new compliance report omits strong language that last year’s edition used in reference to Iran’s undeclared nuclear activities. That report stated: “These issues raise significant questions of what Iran may be trying to hide, and whether Iran is in compliance with its safeguards obligations today.” (Emphasis in the original.)

The report covering 2020 also declared that “Iran’s intentional failure to declare nuclear material subject to IAEA safeguards would constitute a clear violation of Iran’s CSA [Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement] required by the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] and would constitute a violation of Article III of the NPT itself.” This is no less true today.

UChicago student newspaper editors remove op-ed denouncing antisemitism from website
Student editors at the Chicago Maroon published a letter of apology for running an op-ed that condemned antisemitism and also removed the piece from their website.

The controversial op-ed had condemned Students for Justice for Palestine’s “Don’t Take Sh*tty Zionist Classes” boycott campaign.

The “sh*tty Zionist classes,” according to SJP, are “Multiculturalism in Israel,” “Narrating Israel and Palestine through Literature and Film” and “Gender Relations in Israel.”

In the now-deleted op-ed, first-year students Benjamin ZeBrack and Melody Dias had argued that the SPJ campaign was antisemitic and amounted to harassment.

They wrote that the SJP campaign actively encouraged students to drop classes taught by professors who recognize Israel as a country. They argued this violates the university’s discrimination and harassment policies, in particular against Israeli faculty.

“This furthers the trope that Jewish courses and professors work to contribute to propaganda for Israel, which is a blatantly false narrative,” the two wrote.
The Pro-War Proclivities of Harvard’s ‘Anti-Apartheid’ Speakers
To find more evidence of the emptiness of the “apartheid” slur against Israel, one can quickly look at this week’s “Israeli Apartheid Week” at Harvard University.

These activists are not opposed to some imaginary “Israeli apartheid,” but to the right of states like Israel and Ukraine, and their respective peoples, to exist.

So much for Mehdi Hasan’s laughable attempts to compare Israel to Russia.

Every day this week, the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee (Harvard PSC) is hosting a number of speakers who unintentionally illuminate a fundamental truth about anti-Israel activists: they’re not interested in promoting human rights, but in denying human rights to disfavored groups.

While purportedly a week about the imagined evils of Israel, many of the speakers selected by Harvard PSC have recently been loudest about Putin’s attempt to wipe Ukraine off the map.

Margeret Kimberley, who spoke on Monday, has a penchant for comparing Ukrainians to Nazis, and has been regularly sharing obvious Russian propaganda on Twitter. For example, Kimberley thinks the “real Nazis are in Ukraine” and that they’re preparing “a chemical weapon false flag” attack.

Another speaker, Abbas Muntaqim, is a producer at the Iranian state news agency Press TV. Muntaqim likes to claim that “neo-nazis, al qaeda, and anarchists are all linked up fighting the Russians,” and that is “all you need to know about this Ukrainian regime.”

Noam Chomsky, who has a habit of downplaying or denying atrocities committed in places like Srebrenica and Syria, is another featured speaker. Just a few days ago, he told Ukrainians to “pay attention to the world” and to surrender to Russia’s invasion.
Noura Erakat Unleashed: ‘Zionism Is a Bedfellow of Nazism’
“Palestinians have basically said … that Zionism is a bedfellow of Nazism and antisemitism,” claimed Rutgers University assistant professor Noura Erakat during an April 13 webinar.

Sponsored by the University of Illinois’s Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CASMES), her presentation on “Unfinished Business: Zionism as Racism and Racial Discrimination,” further established her reputation as one of academia’s leading bigots.

Moderated by CASMES chair Waïl S Hassan, a professor of comparative literature and a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, Erakat’s event sparked controversy even before it started. Although promoted as “Co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI),” Vice Chancellor for DEI Sean C. Garrick shot back in a mass email that his office was “incorrectly identified” as a co-sponsor.

“As worded, this title does not invite participation and engagement with all members of our community and does not represent the values of our university,” he wrote. “I am sorry for any additional discomfort or distress some may have felt” for thinking the event “was sponsored or endorsed by the office that is charged with helping us turn the aspiration of belonging into a universal practice.”

Erakat’s reputation as a flamethrower even among antisemites must have scared off the university. And she certainly proved them right.

As is Erakat’s custom, she examined the “uncomfortable and disturbing connection” between Zionism and racist ideologies in the context of paeans to Native Americans. “I recognize myself in North America as a settler,” who is “white adjacent,” yet proud of being “quite brown,” she said eagerly.
Jewish Group Calls for New Steps to Address Antisemitic Harassment at University of Connecticut
A Jewish advocacy group is joining a Jewish University of Connecticut student’s efforts to resolve a complaint she filed after facing antisemitic harassment for removing anti-Zionist flyers posted at a school library.

On February 28, senior Natalie Shclover and her boyfriend, Zacharia El-Tayyeb, went to Homer Babbidge library to remove the flyers, when an argument ensued with four students who objected to their actions. The flyers, showing a map of Israel juxtaposed with an image of a child being strangled and a picture of university president Radenka Maric, were posted in violation of school rules, Shclover learned.

During the confrontation, one student allegedly said, “Even though you’re a Jew, you still have to respect us,” while others called her a ““f***king b**ch,” a “white supremacist,” and a “f***king Zionist.”

The incident was denounced by Jewish groups on campus and across the country, with the Anti-Defamation League saying it was “deeply disturbed.”

University of Connecticut President Radenka Maric also weighed in, writing in a message to the school community that the antisemitic remarks reported were “unacceptable in any context” and that the “dispute wasn’t really about flyers in the library.”

“That was what sparked it but it was really about much deeper issues tied to the combustible combination of religion, cultural identity, politics, history, and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East — a conflict that plays out around the world, including here,” Maric wrote, adding school officials had been asked to “dive deeper into the issue.”
??? Outcry After Anti-Israel Protest Held at University of Illinois Jewish Center
Jewish groups this week denounced a University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (UIUC) student activist group for holding an anti-Israel protest outside the campus’ Hillel center during Passover.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) included a stop at the Illini Hillel Cohen Center during what it advertised as an “emergency protest” over clashes between Palestinian rioters and Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.

One student told local CBS affiliate WCIA 3 that SJP UIUC came to the Jewish center because “they obviously have a very direct connection to Israel and that’s why we’re targeting that are in specific.”

“When you come to places like these, you’re becoming complacent [sic] in it,” the student said.

On Monday, Illini Hillel executive director Erez Cohen called SJP’s actions “unacceptable.”

“Our students are celebrating Passover right now, and they come here for kosher food that they can’t get anywhere else,” he told The Daily Illini, a campus newspaper. “We find it really unacceptable that Jewish students need to be cornered in a situation where they need to cross through a field of yelling people to come and get their religious needs answered.”

“When people come to the Jewish center to yell against Israel, they’re creating an equation between any Jewish person and the state of Israel. That’s singling out an entire community based on a country that’s miles away.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters call to ‘globalize the intifada’ in NY march
Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Consulate General of Israel in Manhattan on Wednesday in what was billed as an emergency rally to support Palestinian resistance and liberation “by any means necessary.”

As dozens of police officers lined up around the area, the protesters began calling to “globalize the intifada.” Tensions are high in Israel, where Palestinian rioters have clashed with police on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Israeli security forces have conducted raids in the West Bank.

Multiple activist groups organized the rally, including Within Our Lifetime, Samoudin and the Palestinian Youth Movement. Organizers refused to speak with The New York Jewish Week, calling it part of the “Zionist media.”

On Tuesday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish advocacy group, called on the city to prevent the rally because organizers used what the center called “the language of incitement.”

There was no violence at Wednesday’s rally. It started with chanting over drums of the pro-Palestinian phrase, “From the River to the Sea.” Other chants included “We don’t want no two-state, we want all of it,” and “Israel, go to hell.”
Pro-Palestinian Protesters Chant “Long Live the Intifada,” “We Want All ‘48‘” in Front of LA Israeli Consulate
A group of pro-Palestinian protesters chanted anti-Israel slogans like “Long live the Intifada” and “We want all ‘48” in front the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles on April 21.

The protest was billed as a rally to “Defend Al-Aqsa” and “Defend Gaza.” There has been ongoing clashes between Israeli authorities and Palestinian rioters at the Al-Aqsa; the Israel Defense Force also struck various Hamas locations in retaliation for rocket fire launched from the Gaza Strip toward Sderot on the evening of April 20. Israel holds Hamas responsible for any rocket attacks from Gaza.

In addition to chants of “Long live the intifada” and “We don’t want no two states, we want all ’48,” the protesters also chanted “Free the people, free the land, justice is our demand, no peace on stolen land.”

Jewish groups condemned the chants.

“ADL [Anti-Defamation League] is committed to the right to free speech and the right for citizens to criticize ruling government bodies,” ADL Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey I. Abrams said in a statement to the Journal. “This applies even when we don’t agree with the criticism of Israeli policy. However, all too often criticism or condemnation of Israel allows antisemitism to seep into the mainstream, including traditional antisemitic imagery or stereotypes, blaming all Jews for the actions of Israel, or denying or questioning Israel’s right to exist – and this we cannot and will not accept.”

Death threat to Jews sung openly at rallies across the UK
Crowds of anti-Israel protesters have repeatedly chanted a chilling Arabic death threat to Jews under the noses of police without a single person being charged, a JC investigation has revealed.

Officers and prosecutors have acknowledged the antisemitic cry is criminal incitement to racial hatred, with a penalty of up to seven years in jail.

But Jewish community leaders say police are “reluctant” to enforce the law even as hundreds of protesters shout out vile hate speech at demonstrations against Israel.

The chant, “Khaybar, Khaybar Ya Yahud, Jaish Mohammed Sauf Ya’ud” means “Watch Out Jews, Remember Khaybar, the Army of Mohammed is returning”.

It refers to a massacre of Jews said to have been carried out at Khaybar in Arabia in 628CE — more than 1,300 years before the modern state of Israel was founded.

The Arabic-language cry has the “official endorsement” of Al-Qaeda Central — the terror group’s global hub — which issued a statement praising those who used the chant after it was heard at demonstrations in Britain and Israel.

It said: “How did life revive in us with your glorification and your shouts with the oath of loyalty and your chants!

“How much you cooled our chests with launching your jihadi missiles at the people of Zion.”

Arizona votes to adopt IHRA definition of anti-Semitism
The state of Arizona has passed legislation to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.

HB 2675, which passed on Tuesday by a vote of 49-4, ensures that the IHRA definition will be considered by state authorities when they investigate incidents of crime or discrimination.

The IHRA definition has been adopted or endorsed by 865 entities worldwide, including 37 countries, and the U.S. Departments of Education and State. Other states that have adopted the definition include Florida, Iowa, South Carolina and Tennessee. Only a few days before the Arizona vote, The Ohio State University also adopted the IHRA definition.

It followed a December pronouncement by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who issued a strong statement recently against anti-Semitism on college campuses in a letter to all 111 university presidents in the state calling for them to take a serious look at how Jews are treated at their campuses.

“Historically, anti-Semitism has been so deadly due to its evolving nature, making it difficult to identify and address. Arizona’s legislation is a first step in the right direction given that the IHRA definition addresses contemporary anti-Semitism and provides examples of such behavior,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein in a released statement after Arizona passed HB 2675.
Dutch carolers intend to keep singing antisemitic Easter song
Every year for at least a century, men from the Dutch city of Ootmarsum have sung an Easter carol that features antisemitic lyrics.

And despite protests by a Dutch rabbi, they have no intention of stopping.

The song about Jews, titled “Christ Is Resurrected,” is part of a tradition dating back to the 19th century in Ootmarsum, about 80 miles east of Amsterdam. The locals call the traditional caroling procession “vlöggeln”; dozens of men sing while walking along a set route several times a day on the first and second days of Easter, which this year fell on April 17 and 18.

In the songs about Jews, whose lyrics are printed and distributed to passersby, the singers denounce “the Jews who with their false council sacrificed Jesus on the cross.”

The caroling is led by eight lead singers wearing raincoats. The oldest of the eight men smokes a cigar. He is the group’s treasurer and is nicknamed the “Judas.”

The age-old allegation of deicide against Jews has fueled countless acts of violence against Jews in Europe and beyond. According to Christian gospel, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifixion.
Croatia Jews boycott WWII memorial, say government tolerates pro-Nazi sentiments
Jews in Croatia on Friday snubbed an official commemoration for the victims of the country’s most notorious World War II death camp accusing authorities of tolerating pro-Nazi sentiments.

Jews as well as ethnic Serbs and anti-fascists had boycotted the event for three consecutive years before rejoining it in 2020.

At the time they said they wanted to show solidarity during the pandemic and start a conversation with authorities about lingering intolerance.

Last year a joint commemoration at the camp dubbed Croatia’s Auschwitz was not held due to the coronavirus crisis.

The camp, 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Zagreb, was run by the Nazi-allied Ustasha regime.

The Ustasha persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians.

The European Union country’s conservative government has faced criticism in recent years for failing to condemn the use of Ustasha slogans and historical revisionism among right-wingers.
US Supreme Court Unanimously Sides With Jewish Family Who Owned Pissarro Painting Taken by Nazis
In an unanimous ruling on Thursday, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the heirs of a German Jewish family who hope to reclaim artwork by Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro that was taken by the Nazis during World War II and is now on display at a museum in Spain.

According to court documents, “Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon. Effect of Rain” was originally sold by Pissarro’s agent in 1900 to Paul Cassirer, whose prominent German Jewish family owned an art gallery and publishing house in Germany. Lilly Cassirer inherited the painting, but surrendered the artwork in 1939 to the Nazis in return for an exit visa to flee Germany and travel to England, where her grandson, Claude Cassirer, had relocated.

The grandmother and grandson eventually moved to the United States and, despite their efforts, were unable to track down the painting that once hung on the wall of Lilly’s apartment in Berlin, as shown in a photograph submitted to the court. Claude — Lilly’s sole heir after she died — discovered in 1999 that the painting of a Paris streetscape had been purchased by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation, which was created and controlled by the Kingdom of Spain, and put on display at the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum in Madrid.

Cassirer sued the Foundation for ownership and a return of the painting through court cases in Spain and California, where he lived, but to no avail. After his death in 2010, his children continued trying to obtain the painting, which is now worth tens of millions. The issue at the high court involved whether California or Spanish law applies to the case.

Girl finds rare ancient fork at 1,500-year-old dig site near Sea of Galilee
An elaborate earing and a very rare bronze fork were recently discovered at the archaeological excavation site of an ancient Jewish village near the Sea of Galilee.

The findings were made by members of the public at Korazim National Park, located a few kilometers north of the freshwater lake. The park houses the remains of a Jewish town estimated to be around 1,500 years old, from the Talmudic period.

In recent years the park has hosted activities allowing the general public to take part in work to uncover the village, and during the Passover holiday many families took part in work at the remains of a residential building.

“One of the girls called to me and said she’d found something interesting,” said dig overseer Ahia Cohen-Tavor. “I didn’t know what to expect because there are many surprises when you dig. But I didn’t expect this at all — a fork! I’d never seen a fork at digs, or in the professional literature. Sometimes you find simple iron knives, but utensils are generally very rare.”

Cohen-Tavor said archaeologists believe this is because the most commonly used utensil was wooden spoons, and these did not survive.

“I checked with other archaeologists and they’ve never found a fork either,” he said.

He added that the fork was decorated in a complicated technique that indicated it was a very valuable possession.

“As we continue the dig in this room we will try to understand what the room was used for and why the fork was found specifically there.”

Holocaust Remembrance Day: Meet Yad Vashem's 6 torchlighters
The annual opening ceremony at Yad Vashem marking Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day would not be complete without the heart-wrenching testimonies of survivors telling of their personal journeys through the horrific years of the Holocaust.

Every year, six survivors light the traditional six torches, representing the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.

The six torchlighters taking part in this year’s ceremony on the evening of April 27, to be broadcast live on Yad Vashem’s website, come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, but with one common theme: All of them suffered from the terrible deportations that are this year’s central theme for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Their stories will surely rekindle the flames of remembrance in each and every one of us.

Zvi Glazer (later Gill) was born in 1928 in Zduńska Wola, Poland, to Israel and Esther, wealthy ultra-Orthodox Jews. Zvi had two younger brothers, Arieh-Leib and Shmuel. In the spring of 1940, a ghetto was established in the city. In August 1942, with the liquidation of the ghetto, the Germans conducted a census in the city center. Zvi’s father and brothers were taken to the gas trucks in Chelmno, and he was forcibly separated from his grandfather David.

As head nurse at the ghetto’s hospital, Esther helped as many patients as possible to leave. She then walked to the gathering point wearing her Red Cross hat. Zvi and Esther were transported in cattle cars to the Lodz ghetto, where Zvi became a member of the Zionist youth movement. During the aktionen, Esther hid him behind a closet.

“I knew I was going to die. The question was not if, but when.”

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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!