Sunday, May 01, 2022

From Ian:

Can the United Nations Survive the War in Ukraine?
As well as empathizing with the Ukrainians’ plight, Guterres also spoke plainly when in Moscow. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and against the Charter of the United Nations,” he said, a rare example of a UN statement with no ambiguities at all. Standing alongside a frowning Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, Guterres offered another pithily worded summary of the problem: “We have not Ukrainian troops in the territory of the Russian Federation, but we have Russian troops in the territory of [Ukraine].”

As Guterres acknowledged in an interview with CNN, the United Nations is not in a position to bring peace to Ukraine; only Russia can do that, by withdrawing its troops. Encouragingly, neither did Guterres advocate endless rounds of meetings as hostilities become more entrenched on the ground, suggesting that the United Nations would only be able to play a peace-building role after the war had definitively ended. He said he had told Putin “the same things I say in New York … which means that the Russian invasion is against the charter of the United Nations, is a violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and that this war must end as quickly as possible.”

Yet it is hard to see where Guterres’s honest appraisal of Russia’s invasion and its impact on Ukraine and the world more broadly will lead. Russia isn’t any old aggressor, but a member of the UN Security Council armed with nuclear weapons that its leaders have invoked on more than one occasion in the last two months. The split within the world body between those states with liberal democratic orders (Israel being one of them) and states for whom the value of sovereignty lies in the principle of non-interference (thus enabling them to persecute their own populations without sanction) is the organization’s most enduring. If the response of democratic nations to the Russian invasion is to promote a rules-based world order — the success of which requires all governments to treat both their subject populations and their external borders with solemn respect — then it begs the question of how useful the United Nations can be as long as Moscow exercises a power of veto.

The United Nations won’t follow the example of the League of Nations by expelling Russia. But democratic member states can — and should — take all necessary measures to isolate Russia within its ranks and to expose it as the pariah state it is. Beyond that, the debate about how to establish a rules-based world order that actually works — a debate that also took place in 1919, 1945 and 1989 — is still hanging.
Kremlin-linked group: Israelis helping Ukraine evacuees are mercenaries
A Kremlin-linked Telegram channel claimed that 10 Israeli officials who worked on the Ukraine-Poland border are mercenaries, publishing their names and passport details.

The list, published on a channel called “River” on the encrypted messaging app, “can help Israel’s enemies, such as Iran intel,” journalist Yossi Melman, who first reported the story, tweeted.

The Israelis on the list included diplomats, consular employees and embassy security guards, among others who helped receive Israelis who fled Ukraine over its border with Poland after Russia invaded.

The Kremlin-linked group claimed they found the names on the computer of Vitaliy Kim, governor of the Mykolaiv Oblast in southern Ukraine, whose office was bombed by Russia in late March.

The Foreign Ministry declined to confirm or comment on the matter.

The only person on the list to comment publicly on the matter was Rishon Lezion Deputy Mayor Maksim Babitzky.

“It is not clear what happened, but it is clear that it is not worth going to Russia,” Babitzky told the Israeli Russian-language website Mig News.
Ruthie Blum: Ramadan goes out with a bang
This wasn't the kind of heroism that Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar had in mind when he hailed the attack, however. In a speech on Saturday morning to members of the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, he hailed Golev's killers for their deed, as well as those who committed similar deadly assaults throughout the month.

He then proceeded to call on all of Israel's Arab citizens to follow suit, telling them to get hold of weapons of any kind. "Those who don't have a rifle should get an ax or a knife," he urged.

He summed up his fiery oration by reassuring his audience that "to protect Al-Aqsa, we've already lined up 1,100 rockets" to fire on Israel, eliciting cheers of "Allahu akbar" ("God is great").

Lebanon-based Hezbollah, too, praised the bloodshed in Ariel, which came mere hours after Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah gave a televised address in which he incited Palestinians to step up their "lone-wolf" attacks that Israel is hard-pressed to thwart.

The beauty of such acts, he said, is that they don't involve a lot of planning or infrastructure. "All they require is an individual with a pistol or machine gun – or a knife from his kitchen."

What a lovely holiday message for Muslims about to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, with lots of food, festivities and gift-giving. Palestinians in Ramallah and Gaza are already gearing up for the occasion by baking sweets to distribute when the next Jews are gunned down or stabbed to death.

The Arab citizens of Israel who identify with them have been busy, as well, removing Israeli flags from poles along highways in the Galilee and replacing them with Palestinian ones. Like their counterparts in Iran, Gaza, Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East, they are preparing for Israel's seventy-fourth birthday this week by plotting its demise.


David Collier: TIME Magazine comes out batting for Assad and Hezbolllah
On Friday TIME Magazine published a disjointed and badly-written hit piece. TIME used an under-qualified freelancer to write an innaccurate article that attacks me, ridicules antisemitism and even defends a Hezbollah supporting extremist. How on earth did this article ever get published?

The article
At its heart the TIME Magazine article is part of TIME’s very public displeasure at Elon Musk’s purchase of twitter (see examples 1,2,3,4,5). Those at TIME seem to think that if you create a space in which the different parts of the political spectrum are treated equally – then the sky will fall in.

I do not want to deflect attention from the core of this piece by spending time on discussing Twitter. Needless to say I take issue with a forum in which people can freely call for a genocide of Jews, but are punished if they question someone’s pronouns. There is little doubt that Twitter’s Overton window is in desperate need of an overhaul. This change of course scares those who have enjoyed the echo chamber created by a suppression of contra voices. That is why TIME is so vocally opposed to it.

The article attacking me was published under the umbrella of ‘anti-Musk’. It argues that allowing more freedom to ‘right-wing’ voices will increase the level of harassment upon left-wing voices. TIME displays no concern at all for the abuse when it is delivered the other way around. According to TIME – it is just the left that needs protection. It seems TIME is completely happy when those it disagrees with are not allowed to speak at all.

The antisemitic hit-piece
The article opens with a heavy dose of antisemitism. It claims that Jews attack Pro-Palestinians with ‘smears’ (accusations of antisemitism) – even reaching out to their place of work or study:

The journalist Rebecca Chowdhury (more on her shortly) reaches out for a key example of this harassment – and the best she could find was me. Worse still – and digging a massive hole for herself – the example she uses was about a Lebanese based, pro-Hezbollah, Assad-doting, US-hating, propaganda agent, named Hadi Nasrallah (more on him shortly too).

I’d be interested to know what possible damage my justified ‘outing’ of Hadi Nasrallah can possibly do in his Lebanese, Hezbollah loving stronghold.

The article goes on to suggest I conflate ‘critiques of Israel with antisemitism.’ I am not going to waste time pointing out these basic accusations against me are false. The journalist is just throwing mud.

The result is an empty hit piece that relies on antisemitism to get its message across. It is disgraceful that TIME used its platform to downplay antisemitism in such an awful fashion. I would hope that either CAMERA or Honest Reporting (or both) will take this matter further. Across the west, antisemitic incidents are on the rise. TIME’s solution is to silence Jews who complain – support banning them from platforms – and to suggest that their accusations of racism are inherently dishonest. The article even opened with a clear example of the Livingstone Formulation.

Would TIME publish an article in which racism against any other minority group is treated in such fashion? Shameful stuff.
Criminal justice system failing Britain’s Jews, warn legal experts
The criminal justice system is failing to protect Britain’s Jews because of soft sentences and botched prosecutions for hate crimes, legal experts and community leaders have warned.

In the latest instance of a “shocking miscarriage of justice”, Jeremy Corbyn fanatic Nicholas Nelson, who sent a Jewish writer messages celebrating the Holocaust, was only given a suspended sentence. This was despite his long history of similar acts, including a previous conviction for targeting Jewish MPs with antisemitic abuse.

The Solicitor General is now reviewing the Nelson case, following pressure from anti-racism group Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA). But senior lawyers and community figures told the JC it fitted into a disturbing pattern.

In recent years, a hate crime charge against a man who viciously attacked at least three Jewish men was dropped, and the CPS took action against a Hitler-loving radio presenter and a viciously antisemitic neo-Nazi army veteran only after pressure by the CAA.

Lord Carlile QC, the former government reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, told the JC he was concerned about a “failure to prosecute what looks to me extremely like hate crime”.

The situation has also prompted the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, to write to Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC to say that “our community should not have to feel unprotected by the public agency responsible for bringing criminals to account.”

And top lawyer Daniel Berke, a director at UK Lawyers for Israel, told the JC that even though the CPS has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, it was time for those working in the criminal justice system to receive full training on what constitutes anti-Jewish racism.
Jonathan Tabin: Biden's 'equity' agenda hurts Israel and American Jews
In fact, this week, DHS announced that it was setting up a "Disinformation Governance Board." While supposedly it will deal with "irregular migration and Russia," the entire idea of a law-enforcement agency deciding what is or isn't correct information conjures up the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's 1984. Given the department's equity obsession, that DHS will now wage war on critics of CRT, not on terrorism. Critics of the equity agenda, unfairly smeared as "racists," may become the main object of DHS scrutiny. Weaving intersectionality in would result in those advocating for defeating rogue states like Iran or Palestinian terror groups and their enablers, rather than terrorists themselves, will be considered racists and placed under suspicion.

That this mixing of equity with foreign and defense policy will produce an America that is both woke and weak is not in doubt. Equally as frightening is a vision of a domestic government bureaucracy that will also, thanks to Biden, now be under the thumb of the sort of extremist racialist thinking that many of us thought was restricted to academia and the fever swamps of the far-left.

Biden won his party's nomination and then the presidency on the premise that he was a moderate, not an extremist like his Socialist primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the kind of leader who would restore normalcy after the turbulent years of former President Donald Trump. But with a stroke of the pen on his first day in office, Biden empowered the same set of radicals that voters thought they were rejecting.

And by turning their ideas into policies that can be implemented by an administrative state that is often impervious to legislative or even judicial oversight, these left-wingers have created a process that will transform the country in ways we are only just now starting to imagine. Even if Biden is defeated by a Republican in 2024, getting rid of these policies will require a massive wholesale purge of both personnel and departmental rules that will take years to accomplish.

It has long been clear that both intersectionality and CRT are permission slips for anti-Semitism. Biden's executive order about equity is thus the most far-reaching and potentially dangerous development in memory for American Jews.

But rather than sounding the alarm about this catastrophe, Jewish groups are silent or complicit, and most Americans are simply unaware of what is going on. Though there are many other reasons to be concerned about the direction the Biden administration is taking the country, its embrace of equity may do more damage to the country and to the Jewish community than anything else it is doing.
JPost Editorial: Time for Israel to not fear Turkey and Russia and recognize genocide
In 2019, after the US Senate recognized the genocide, Yair Lapid – then in the opposition – called on Israel to follow suit. He even proposed a bill that would obligate Israel to mark the day.

“It’s time to stop being afraid of the Sultan in Turkey and do what is morally right,” he tweeted at the time.

If it’s time to stop being afraid of the “Sultan in Turkey,” then why did Lapid not put out a statement last week? Why did he not order the Foreign Ministry to publicly mark the day?

Is doing “what is morally right” no longer the right thing to do?

The answer is obvious. What is easy to push for in the opposition is harder to do when you are foreign minister.

This is wrong. Israel’s approach to the Armenian genocide is too similar to the way it has managed its position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on the one hand offering support to Kyiv but on the other hand holding back from sanctions against Russia and public condemnations of President Vladimir Putin.

Policy on Ukraine has been dictated by security interests and the need to be able to continue operating in coordination with Russia in Syria. With the Armenian genocide, Israel is again letting diplomatic and security interests get in the way of what is the right and moral stance to take.

It is time for Israel to stop being afraid of Turkey and Russia. Standing up for what is moral and right strengthens nations. It is Israel’s time to do so.
PM hits back at Sinwar, swipes at Netanyahu: ‘Maybe Hamas misses suitcases of cash’
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday hit back at Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar for his threatening speech a day earlier, while taking a swipe at his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu for allowing millions of dollars of Qatari cash to flow into the Gaza Strip under the terror group’s control.

“It seems to me that it is already quite clear at this stage that Hamas does not like this government. Maybe they miss the suitcases full of dollars, and maybe they just do not like the possibility of us all working together to better the living conditions of Arab Israeli citizens,” Bennett said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

“This is the time that the masks come off and it is clear to everyone who wants what. That Hamas wants to overthrow our government, says it all. And in that, too, Sinwar must not be allowed to win,” Bennett said.

Under Netanyahu’s government, Israel allowed millions in Qatari cash to flow into Gaza on a monthly basis in order to maintain a fragile ceasefire with Hamas.

The “suitcases full of cash” policy was excoriated by Bennett and his government as a system to fund terror, and was replaced with a new aid distribution mechanism involving the United Nations.

In a Saturday speech filled with murderous threats and denunciations of Israel, Hamas’s Gaza leader Sinwar slammed Ra’am and its party chief Mansour Abbas, whom he called “Abu Righal” — a legendary traitor in pre-Islamic legend.

“That you serve as a support to this government, which violates Al-Aqsa, is an unforgivable crime,” Sinwar said.


Hamas threats over Al-Aqsa: experts analyze the current situation
Analysis by Lt. Col. (Res.) Jonathan Cornicus, former international spokesperson, Israel Defense Forces and with Ariel Kahana, diplomatic correspondent at Israel Hayom.


IDF Arrests 12 Terror Suspects After Deadly Shooting Attack in Ariel
Israeli security forces on Sunday morning mapped the homes of the two suspected Palestinians involved in the deadly shooting of a security guard at the entrance of a Jewish settlement for potential demolition, and arrested a total of 12 terrorists during raids in a number of villages in the West Bank.

“Over Shabbat, 23-year-old security guard Vyacheslav Golev was murdered in Ariel,” Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting. “He was murdered while using his body to protect his fiancรฉe who was guarding the community checkpoint with him, saving her life.”

“This wonderful couple was just beginning their life together; the heart breaks,” Bennett added.

On Saturday night, the IDF, in a joint operation with the Israel Security Agency (ISA) in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, arrested Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei, the two terrorists accused of carrying out the deadly attack at the entrance of Ariel. The shooting late on Friday night takes the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian attackers in recent weeks to a total of 15.

“We will remember Vyacheslav, together with all of our heroes,” Bennett said. “This wave of terrorism requires the entire security establishment to make the maximum effort.”

During Sunday’s morning raids in the West Bank villages of Qarawat Bani Hassan, Hizma, Mikra, and Sanur, troops from the IDF, the ISA, and Border Police, arrested suspects and confiscated illegal weapons, the Israeli army said. IDF soldiers also apprehended a man suspected of assisting in Friday’s terrorist attack.

At the Jalazone refugee camp, a number of violent riots flared up, where dozens of protestors hurled rocks at IDF soldiers, the military said. The IDF said soldiers responded with riot dispersal means and used firearms, with no injuries reported. During the raids, IDF troops arrested another five suspected of terrorist activity, and confiscated handguns, a rifle and a Carlo submachine gun.
Ariel terrorists planned in advance to torch car, were picked up by father: reports
The two suspects in Friday’s deadly shooting in Ariel planned in advance to torch the car they used in the attack, and set out with flammable materials in the vehicle, according to Sunday reports.

New details from the investigation raised suspicions that the father of one of the suspects came to pick the two up after they burned the car, and helped them escape, the reports said.

The father has been arrested as a key accessory.

Vyacheslav Golev, 23, was gunned down inside a guard booth at the gate to the settlement on Friday night.

Earlier Sunday the military said Israeli forces raided the West Bank hometown of the two Palestinian suspects.

During the operation in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, the homes of Youssef Sameeh Assi and Yahya Marei were measured and prepared for eventual demolition, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The IDF released video of troops preparing the home for demolition on Sunday.


Eyes Wide Shut: Iran’s ‘Hidden’ Hand Behind Temple Mount Violence
Are global media outlets complicit in obfuscating the true root causes of ongoing unrest at holy sites in Jerusalem?

Indeed, news organizations are repeating the same mistakes they made ahead of the May 2021 Hamas-initiated conflict with Israel, by failing to connect the dots between Palestinian violence and Iran’s destabilizing efforts in the region.

On April 15, 2022, just hours after Hamas supporters launched yet another premeditated assault against Israeli security forces atop the Temple Mount, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian phoned the Palestinian terror group’s political leader.

During the conversation, Tehran’s top diplomat reportedly hailed Hamas-promoted chaos inside and outside Al-Aqsa Mosque as “the resistance of the heroic and brave people of Palestine.”

For his part, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh thanked Amir-Abdollahian for the Islamic Republic’s “support of the holy cause of liberating Palestine and the holy city of al-Quds [Jerusalem in Arabic].” A day earlier, Iranian leader Ali Khamenei published the recording of a speech in which he praised Palestinian rioters.

Meanwhile, a top Palestinian cleric who preaches at Al-Aqsa this week attended a virtual conference alongside the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), all US-designated terrorist organizations that receive substantial support from Iran.

In their video addresses, the terror commanders warned that tensions in Jerusalem could spark a “regional conflict” involving Iran and its proxies.
IDF Spokesman: None of the Attacks Since Be’er Sheva Were Initiated by Hamas
The IDF Spokesman, Brigadier General Ran Kochav, told Reshet Bet radio Sunday morning: “The attacks that have been carried out since Be’er Sheva have not been under the direction of Hamas or any other terrorist organization, which is challenging and difficult.”

On Saturday night, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip carried out a warlike speech encouraging PA Arabs as well as Israeli Arabs to continue to carry out terrorist attacks, giving the impression that Hamas had been behind the wave of terror of the past two months (Hamas Leader Threatens to Attack Synagogues Abroad Over Al Aqsa Mosque). But according to the IDF spokesman, Hamas may have been big on talk but had not been connected to the action. Indeed, several of the recent attacks involved Arab ISIS sympathizers.


PMW: PA PM: Mother of 6 murderers is “awe-inspiring”
After a day of fasting during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world enjoy a fast-breaking meal called an “iftar”. For the Palestinian Authority, even this festive meal is just another opportunity to glorify terror and declare its devotion to the terrorist prisoners.

One such event was the visit of none less than the PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Ramallah District Governor Laila Ghannam with terror mom Latifa Abu Hmeid, who is the mother of 6 murderers – 5 serving life sentences and 1 killed during an attempted arrest. At the fast-breaking mail Shtayyeh and Ghannam shared with Abu Hmeid, Shtayyeh conveyed the special blessings of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:
“Yesterday [April 10, 2022, PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh participated in the [Ramadan] fast-breaking meal with female fighter Um Nasser Abu Hmeid (i.e., mother of terrorists responsible for at least 10 murders; see note below) at her home in Ramallah, in the presence of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam…

The prime minister conveyed the blessings of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas to Um Nasser. He again emphasized that the prisoners’ cause and making every effort to release them all from the occupation’s prisons will remain at the top of the priorities of the [PA] leadership and government.

Shtayyeh saluted Um Nasser for her resolve and her awe-inspiring standing as a mother who represents all the mothers of the prisoners, as she is defending our prisoners in the occupation’s prison and waving their flag in our consciousness and in our hearts.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 11, 2022]


Just days previously, official PA TV showed footage of Abu Hmeid waiting to break the fast, with pictures of her sons - the imprisoned terrorist murderers - stuck to the chairs around the table:
Official PA TV host: “In those pictures we see a Palestinian mother of five prisoners who are serving life sentences in the occupation’s prisons, while the sixth died as a Martyr, sitting alone in the Al-Amari refugee camp and eating her iftar [fast-breaking] meal. Indeed, this is the mother of the Palestinian people, Um Nasser Abu Hmeid, with her resolve, endurance, and perseverance. We ask Allah for the speedy release of her sons and ask Allah for the healing of Nasser Abu Hmeid.”

[Official PA TV, April 6, 2022]


“We’ll continue to sacrifice Martyrs until the last of us,” says father of dead terrorist

Terrorists who murdered 48 honored as “heroes” by Fatah official in Gaza

PA TV quiz honors Black September terrorists as “brave leaders” and “heroes”

Senior PA official Rajoub praises terrorists

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Claims New Drone Added to its Military Capabilities
On the occassion of International Quds Day, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) published footage of a previously unknown drone called Jenin.”

PIJ spokesperson, Abu Hamza, stated the drone was added to the group’s military capabilities to reinforce the Gaza Strip.

“Today we reveal the Jenin drone, which operates in the air force, which our mujahideen continue to reinforce inside the besieged Gaza Strip,” Hamza noted.

The PIJ publication shows observation video from the ground and from a drone hovering over what appears to be three Israel Defense Forces (IDF) vehicles parked adjacent to the Gaza security fence on Aug. 7, 2019. After a few moments, the drone releases an explosive projectile over one of the vehicles but misses by several feet.

The second half of the footage shows a room that appears to contain several types of drones operated by PIJ. The video concludes with a brief clip of the “Jenin” operating over what is presumed to be the Gaza Strip.

While the footage is important in the context of understanding PIJ’s military capabilities, especially in the field of drones, the publication appears to be exaggerated and edited in a manner to deceive the viewer.

Despite the group saying it was unveiling a new drone, its publication begins with operational activity of a different drone, purportedly from three years ago. This is easily discernable since the drone hovers over its target thus suggesting the drone is similar to the DJI S1000 and not the “Jenin” showed later in the publication.


Did Sanctions Work Against Iran? The New York Times Scratches Its Head, Strokes Its Chin, and Flops Again
Did sanctions against Iran work?

The New York Times can’t seem to make up its mind.

“Crippling sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program,” the Times wrote in a staff editorial issued April 22.

In a front-page news article published in the April 26 New York Times, reporter David Sanger asserts, “Donald Trump often said that the 1,500 sanctions he placed on Iran would bring the country to the bargaining table, begging for a deal. They did not.”

The paper’s Iran sanctions coverage is flawed for reasons that go beyond the mere contradictory elements.

The passage from the editorial says, “Sanctions historically have not been particularly effective in changing regimes, and their record at changing dictators’ behavior is mixed at best. Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea never bowed to American demands. Where there are success stories, they are modest: Crippling sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program, but that regime never stopped asserting its right to enrich uranium.”

Nobody much cares about Iran “asserting its right.” It can assert whatever it wants, just like the Times. What people care about is Iran building nuclear weapons, funding and perpetrating terrorism, killing Jews, and killing Americans. And what arguably lured Iran to the negotiating table weren’t the sanctions, but former President Barack Obama’s foolish willingness to turn over hundreds of billions in sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for unverifiable promises to temporarily slow the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

As for Sanger’s claim that Trump’s sanctions failed, it’s certainly possible that in a second Trump term, the Iranians would have returned to the table — and that they were just waiting to see what would happen in the presidential election. They likely thought they could get a better deal on sanctions relief from the Biden administration than from Trump, Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


Jewish Israeli to become new programs director of Human Rights Watch
Days after Kenneth Roth announced that he would step down as executive director of Human Rights Watch, the organization said that Sari Bashi, a Jewish Israeli activist married to a Palestinian man, would become its new program director.

“I’m thrilled, honored, humbled and grateful to announce that next month, I will begin my appointment as @hrw’s new Program Director, supervising our research and investigations as we reorient ourselves to strengthen the broader human rights ecosystem and meet today’s challenges,” Bashi tweeted on Friday.

She added that she will be leading “a team of 271 researchers, associates, specialists and managers, all trying, with humility, to build power and support the work of local and national human rights defenders.”

In the past, Bashi, a lawyer by training, co-founded and directed Gisha, an organization that pushes for freedom of movement for Palestinians in Gaza. From 2015 to 2018 she served as the director of Israel-Palestine for HRW, and returned to the organization last year as a special adviser.

The New York-based HRW advocates for human rights around the world since its founding in 1978. It has over 550 employees in more than 100 countries and a nearly $100 million budget to campaign against human rights abuses. The organization is a harsh and constant critic of Israeli behavior, which has raised the ire of Israeli officials and diplomats over the years.

A year ago, HRW issued a sweeping 213-page report accusing Israel of apartheid. Israel rejected the report, calling its “fictional claims… both preposterous and false,” and accusing HRW of having “a long-standing anti-Israel agenda.”
An Open Letter to the Editorial Board of the Harvard Crimson
On April 29th, in a breathtaking display of tendentiousness and a misreading of history and fact, you published an editorial in the Harvard Crimson entitled, “In Support of Boycott, Divest, Sanction and a Free Palestine,” an outrageous column replete with slanders against the Jewish state that called for the Harvard community to commit itself to the corrosive BDS campaign against Israel.

You suggested that the editorial was inspired by the April demonstrations and programming of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee (HCPSC) which, as part of Israeli Apartheid Week, “installed a colorful, multi-panel ‘Wall of Resistance’ in favor of Palestinian freedom and sovereignty.” Additionally, you heaped praise on the childish mock wall and suggested that “art is a potent form of resistance” and that you were “humbled by our peers’ passion and skill” in creating such an activist masterpiece.

Even more importantly, you contended, fallaciously, “The admittedly controversial panels dare the viewer to contend with "well-established, if rarely stated, facts [emphasis added].”

What are examples of those “well-established facts” you alluded to?

One panel announced in capital letters, for example, that “Zionism is: Racism - Settler Colonialism - White Supremacy – Apartheid,” mendacious slurs that echo the UN’s notorious 1975 Resolution 3379 that proclaimed that Zionism is racism.

Framing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a matter of race, as this foolish display did, and accusing Israel of maintaining a system of apartheid, is something that Israel-haters are fond of doing, even though the charge is patently false. The spurious accusation of apartheid was given even more support last year with the publication of reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, both obsessive, perennial critics of Israel, that redefined apartheid in a way that it could be used to slander Israel—reports that you, in fact, alluded to in your editorial. The puerile accusation of white supremacy against Israel is as grotesque and unhinged as is the oft-repeated claim that Israelis are the new Nazis, committing genocide against the Palestinian Arabs, and both are not only counter-factual but are also forms of anti-Semitic expression described in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.

Of course, your claim that the “facts” on the HCPSC mock wall are “well-established” is only true inasmuch as these are facts that live in the minds of progressives and anti-Semites who promiscuously and carelessly throw around words without attention to their actual meaning and import. Progressive thought, such as is apparent in this editorial, involves allowing emotions to define things instead of facts.


Antisemitic incidents reach 10-year high in the Netherlands
The number of antisemitic incidents recorded in the Netherlands reached a 10-year high of 183 cases in 2021, a Dutch Jewish watchdog group said.

The 2021 tally was a 35-percent increase over the previous year, said the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI.

At least 72 of the incidents happened in what the CIDI, called “real-life” conditions, meaning in physical spaces and not online. Of those, 21 were acts of vandalism and three incidents were violent assaults.

In one assault, three men punched a Jewish man and his sister on the street in western Amsterdam. The woman was wearing traditional Jewish Orthodox clothes and had a mask with a star of David on it that she got from the Jewish old age home Beit Shalom while volunteering there.

One of the attackers told the siblings “Jews don’t belong here,” the siblings told police.

One of the vandalism incidents involved a Rotterdam mural caricaturing Steven Berghuis, who is not Jewish but plays for Ajax, an Amsterdam team that is deemed “Jewish” by their fans and fans of rival teams. In the mural, Berghuis wears a yellow star and a kippah and and has a large hooked nose. It was titled “Jews always walk away,” in an apparent reference to his transfer from the city’s team, Feyenoord, to rival Ajax.

Separately, Canada saw a record number of antisemitic incidents in 2021, according to B’nai Brith Canada’s annual audit released Sunday. The advocacy group cited 2,799 anti-Jewish hate crimes in total, up 7% from 2020. Most notable was a sharp rise in violent incidents, from only nine in 2020 to 75 in 2021.


Israel, UAE ink cooperation agreement for moon mission
Israeli space company SpaceIL has signed a cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates to carry out a joint mission to the moon scheduled for 2024, according to Technion UK.

This mission, called Beresheet 2 in reference to the Book of Genesis, is an additional step in the many collaborations set up between the two countries following the signing of the Abraham Accords.

It will be the second attempt by the Jewish state to land a space module on the moon, after the failure of the previous Beresheet mission.

SpaceIL called the Beresheet 2 mission "the first science and technology project to create a common history between the two peoples, with the flags of Israel and the Emirates together on the moon."

The space company added that it is "to create a model of cooperation in many aspects – technological, scientific and educational – intended to deepen the bond between the countries, and to serve as an inspiration for further cooperation between Israel and all Arab countries."

"Our company is committed to promoting science, as well as regional peace through cooperation with peace-loving and space-seeking countries," said SpaceIL CEO Shimon Sarid.

The Beresheet 2 mission, expected to cost $100 million, will send the smallest spacecraft ever into space, according to Technion UK, which said one of the orbiters would remain in space for five years to allow the pursuit of scientific work.
Israel Welcomes Most Immigrants in 2 Decades: Jewish Agency
A total of 38,000 immigrants arrived in Israel since last year’s Independence Day, representing the highest annual number in two decades, the Jewish Agency said on Sunday.

The Jewish state celebrates its Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut) starting on the evening of Wednesday, May 4 until the evening of Thursday, May 5.

A massive influx of people from Ukraine and Russia since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over two months ago has added to the total — nearly 9,000 from Ukraine, nearly 6,000 from Russia and 400 from Belarus, according to the Aliyah and Integration Ministry.

“We have been through two intensive months of absorbing immigration. From the start of the war in Ukraine, the State of Israel has received more than 15,000 new immigrants and this is a source of great national pride,” Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata said in a statement last Monday.
Buoyed by aliya, Israeli population up to 9.5 million ahead of 74th Independence Day
Just ahead of the celebration of Israel’s 74th anniversary, the population of the Jewish state stands at 9,506,000, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced Sunday.

That includes nearly 7.02 million Jews, accounting for 73.9 percent of the population; 2 million Arabs, just over one-fifth of the population; and 478,000 members of other groups, amounting to 5% of the population.

About 79% of Israel’s Jews are native-born.

Since last year’s Independence Day, 191,000 babies were born, 55,000 people died, and 38,000 people immigrated to the country, according to CBS. A considerable percentage of the immigrants who have arrived in the past year are from Ukraine, Russia and surrounding areas.

This was the largest number of new immigrants to reach Israel’s shores in 20 years, according to the Jewish Agency, the quasi-governmental organization tasked with encouraging and facilitating immigration to Israel.

Roughly half of the 38,000 immigrants came from Ukraine and Russia, overwhelmingly in the last two months since Moscow launched its invasion. The remaining 19,000 or so immigrants came from the United States, France, Belarus, Argentina, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Ethiopia and Canada, among other countries, the Jewish Agency said.

“Every Jew and Jewess who immigrates to Israel contributes to the resilience of the state and to the strength of Israeli society,” the acting chairman of the Jewish Agency said in a statement.






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