Sunday, December 04, 2022

From Ian:

Jeffrey Herf: Islamist Terror; Journalistic Error
A review of Can “The Whole World” Be Wrong?: Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism, and Global Jihad by Richard Landes, 523 pages, Academic Studies Press (November 2022)

The failures of journalism that Landes examines did not begin in 2000 with the Second Intifada. The idea of Israel as oppressor and colonialist interloper and the Palestinians as innocent victims have been central to Arab and Palestinian Arab political culture since the 1940s. In the early 1950s, the Soviet Union, the support of which during 1947–49 was so important to the establishment of the Jewish state, joined Israel’s enemies in maintaining that first Zionists and then the state of Israel were to blame for the conflict. From the 1960s to the end of the Cold War, an anti-Israeli consensus emerged in the United Nations General Assembly. The Soviet bloc, communist China and other communist regimes joined Islamic states, many Third World nations, and the Arab states in denouncing Zionism as a form of racism and Israel as a practitioner of cruelty and aggression.

The description of Israel as an apartheid state began in the United Nations during those decades as well. After the Six Day War of 1967, the radical Left in Western Europe, the United States, Latin America, and Japan joined the anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli chorus, with intellectual ballast provided by Edward Said and other postcolonial writers and thinkers. Support for Israel became incompatible with membership in good standing in the panoply of progressive politics. It was in those decades that the Palestinians emerged as icons of global anti-imperialism, and the journalistic habits that Landes discusses entered international journalism.

Can “The Whole World” Be Wrong? urges us to take a fresh look at the critical months in the fall of 2000, when the idea of Palestinians as the world’s “most honored of victims” entered mainstream discourse in the West’s democracies. It is time, Landes argues, to “reread the Intifada, this time not as an uprising of the oppressed against the oppressor, but as the opening salvo of the Caliphator assault on Western democracies in the twenty-first century.” Landes asks his readers, especially those of liberal and leftist leanings, to recall the liberal nature of the Zionist project and the realities of Israel’s democracy, and to look honestly at the ideology of those seeking to destroy it. His book makes a compelling case that too many prominent journalists, political figures, NGOs, and academics were, in fact, wrong about the fundamental causes of terror. They misunderstood the war between Israel and its enemies, and as a result, they also misunderstood the facts of that war. Landes notes that there were journalists who resisted this consensus, but that they were the exception.

It turns out that, concerning the history of Israel and its secular and Islamist adversaries, the 20th century was a long not a short one. The modern hatred of the Jews, Zionism, and liberal democracy emerged in Europe and the Middle East during the 1940s, persisted into the 1950s, and found global reach by the 1970s and 1980s. The anti-Zionist impulse has drawn from Nazi propaganda, Soviet campaigns during the Cold War, 1960s style anti-imperialist ideology, as well as the traditions of the Islamists. Today, it remains alive and well in the assaults and threats to Israel that Landes examines in this book.

Richard Landes is right to call for a rereading of the Second Intifada, and to draw our attention to the way the images and interpretations of those years contributed to misunderstanding the years of terror, and to a new Islamist-inflected species of antisemitism. He makes a convincing case that, yes, “the whole world”—or at least too many very accomplished professionals in the media, public life, and politics—were indeed wrong about the causes of the terrorism directed at the Jewish state in recent decades. Twenty-two years after the Second Intifada erupted, it is time for a rethink.
A House of Lies
The UN in Perspective Israel’s formal acceptance as the 59th UN Member State on May 11, 1949 was consistent with the UN’s original core beliefs. The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in Paris on December 10, 1948 by the UN General Assembly, was issued in response to the “disregard and contempt for human rights” that resulted in the “barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind” called the Holocaust—the attempt to annihilate the Jews of Europe by the Nazis. [7] Thus the Jewish state and the human rights revolution “were as one in 1948… . There is a clear symbolic—if not symbiotic—relationship between Israel and human rights… and Israel was born of that commitment.” [8]

“On May 14, 1948, Israel’s founders wanted to emphasize to the world that while the Jewish people had been born in Eretz-Israel [??? ?????, the land of Israel], its state was the adopted child of the United Nations” noted historian Martin Kramer. “Israel had a ‘natural and historic’ right to exist,” he said, “and that right had been recognized by the world. Nothing made this point more clearly than the crucial passage of the declaration: “By virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, we hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.” [9]

“Does this suggest that the United Nations ‘created’ the state of Israel?” asked Kramer. “Hardly; if it were within the power of the UN to create states, an Arab state would have arisen in 1948 alongside Israel. After all, the Arabs of Palestine possessed exactly the same recognition of their rights and the same license to act as did the Jews (although not the historiical connection to the land, ed). The difference, to revert to the term invoked by the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), was that the Arabs didn’t constitute a “state within a state….absent a Jewish army, Israel wouldn’t have arisen in any borders, and certainly not in the expanded borders of 1949.”[10]

A Final Note
From their initial UN deliberations, the permanent representatives of the UN understood the gravity of the problems they confronted and how their decisions would affect the future of the world. In hindsight, their remarks were prescient.

Moe Finn, a Norwegian politician, who was a member of the UN Security Council from 1948 to 1949, viewed the UN’s attempt to find a solution as being “very well a test case,” since it “may be decisive for the future of the United Nations.” [11]

Addressing the Special Session of the General Assembly held between April 28 and May 5, 1947, Mr. Quo Tai-chi, Chinese representative to the Security Council, prophetically warned that unless Arabs and Jews “learn to love their neighbors as themselves.” there will be no peace in the Holy Land, or indeed, in any land.” Historical and legal procedures, political and economic considerations will never provide a solution for peace. Until Jews and Christians “return to the teachings of the prophets and the saints of the Holy Land … no parliament of man, no statement, no legal formula, no historical equation, no political and economic programme can singly or together themselves solve the problem.” [12]

For Asaf Ali, Indian ambassador to the United States in 1947, Palestine had “become the acid test of human conscience. The United Nations will find that upon their decision will depend [on] the future of humanity, whether humanity is going to proceed by peaceful means or whether humanity is going to be torn to pieces. If a wrong decision flows from this august Assembly…the world shall be cut in twain and there shall be no peace on earth.” [13]
Seth Frantzman: Has antisemitism in US reached a tipping point?
The main tipping point comes due to the amplification of these views in major traditional media and social media. Twitter has now suspended Kanye West’s Twitter account, which had 32 million followers. This comes after he appeared on Alex Jones’ far-Right InfoWars website and praised Hitler. One video of the appearance on the show has received more than two million views on Twitter. West, who is now called Ye, had posted a Star of David with a swastika inside of it on Twitter before being suspended. News about West was one of the top trending topics on CNN’s website on Saturday.

The news cycle of antisemitism has been flooding people’s homes with anti-Jewish views for two months now, since early October. Whenever a celebrity makes antisemitic comments they are then amplified by media and there are numerous interviews.

It is difficult not to see a pattern here. According to an October 11 report at the The Hill “Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, made several antisemitic remarks… in unaired portions of his recent interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.”

However, that wasn’t the only major interview. Throughout October and November, numerous hosts on various media sought out the “controversy” of interviewing someone who would say “controversial” antisemitic things.

The tipping point comes because today, antisemitism is the “cool” thing that radio hosts and media people want to have on their shows in order to get maximum ratings and clicks. This is more than just “shock jock” culture.

The reason we are seeing a tipping point is because media isn’t rushing to interview people with homophobic or other types of racist views. There is only one group whose hatred they want to amplify.

Of course, they are “against” antisemitism. However, the most “controversial” antisemitic rhetoric is being amplified daily. How many millions of people who are being exposed to this are now beginning to think that the usual filters they might have can be taken off?

David Collier: Israel – the most extreme government in the history of the universe?
The extensive differences between the Israeli political system and those of the UK or US lead to a tsunami of political misinformation. This allows critics to twist the facts skewing their reporting in a way which suits their own political leanings. Because of this, the success of Itamar Ben Gvir (Otzmah Yehudit party), Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism Party), and Avi Maoz (Noam Party) in the recent Israeli election have handed Israel’s enemies pure dynamite, and even some left-wing Jewish newspapers have eagerly joined in with the demonisation campaign.

This has left supporters of Israel – many of whom also have difficulty understanding Israeli politics – unable to properly counter the hostile narrative. Has Israel been handed to the extremists?

I wrote this piece to counter the heavily biased, misplaced, and toxic narrative we have seen since the Israeli election results came in. And specifically to answer those who have said that it has anything to do with ‘our worst fears‘.

Trust me on this – an all-out war with Iran, a massive attack from Hezbollah, or another Hamas-led suicide bombing campaign – all hold far more to fear than the 10.83% of the vote that a religious Zionist union received in a recent democratic election. But then again, maybe the fears of Israelis (who would have to pay the price of these attacks) and the fears of Jews living in the comfort of North London or New York (who would look on safely from afar) – are just not in alignment.

Isaac Herzog: Bahrain’s warm peace with Israel: What’s next?
This morning, as I fly to Bahrain for a historic state visit, the first-ever visit by an Israeli head of state to Bahrain, I will be reflecting on how dramatically the Middle East has been transformed by Bahrain’s bold decision to embrace a warm peace with Israel.

When the Abraham Accords were signed in September 2020, I thought of a 10-year-old child, somewhere in the Middle East, seeing a Jewish leader warmly embrace an Arab leader, and realizing that a different future is possible: that time has turned a new leaf, and that the 21st century holds almost unimaginable promise. That child is now 12, and as His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa graciously welcomes me today to Bahrain, I will be thinking of that child, confident that his or her future will be brighter, safer, and more prosperous thanks to the partnership we deepen today.

Today at the Al-Qudaibiya Palace, I will be conscious that His Majesty King Hamad is not only graciously welcoming me, personally: Bahrain has chosen to roll out the red carpet to a future of partnership, peace, and prosperity with my country.

Bahrain has a special place in our hearts, as an original signatory of the Abraham Accords. Its courageous decision two years ago, together with our friends in the UAE, to embrace a warm peace with Israel has already transformed our region. It has transformed our nations’ relationship. And it must now transform the lives of all Israelis and Bahrainis alike.

During my state visit today, together with His Majesty the King and other leaders, we will be working on this task: making sure the benefits of regional friendly relations reach each and every Israeli and Bahraini.
In first, Bahraini king hosts Herzog, stresses Palestinians’ ‘legitimate rights’
President Isaac Herzog met Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Sunday, with the monarch underscoring his support for the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people” in his public statement alongside the visiting Israeli head of state.

Speaking in Arabic, King Hamad stressed Bahrain’s “firm position in support of achieving a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace that guarantees the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and that will lead to stability, development and prosperity for both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, as well as all peoples of the region.”

Notably, the monarch did not mention a Palestinian state, nor did either leader bring up Iran, a country that both see as an enemy.

Hamad also pointed to the “religious and cultural diversity in our country, and the spirit of friendliness, tolerance and peaceful coexistence among the members of our honorable society of all religions and races.”

Herzog landed in Manama on Sunday for the first-ever visit by an Israeli head of state to the small Gulf island kingdom.

Biden is turning on Israel to satisfy progressives
J Street
Biden’s calculated and cynical effort to put his political ambitions above America’s national security interests and the U.S.-Israel relationship led him to approve Antony Blinken’s high-profile appearance as the keynote speaker at J Street’s annual conference.

J Street is the progressives’ answer to the more centrist AIPAC. However, unlike AIPAC, whose primary mission is to advance America’s national security interests by embracing and strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance, J Street’s Mission Statement makes clear that the creation of a Palestinian state is its raison d’etre: “J Street organizes pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy Americans to promote U.S. policies that embody our deeply held Jewish and democratic values and that help secure the State of Israel as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people. We believe that only a negotiated resolution agreed to by Israelis and Palestinians can meet the legitimate needs and national aspirations of both peoples.”

In other words, until there is a Palestinian state, Israel’s right to exist as a “legitimate” homeland for the Jewish people remains an open question.

Aside from the delusion that J Street has any right or power to confer “legitimacy” on Israel’s right to exist, J Street is based on the fantasy that the Palestinians are actually interested in a two-state solution. But as we learned in 1948, 2000, 2005 and 2008—when the Jews said “yes” to a two-state solution and the Arab states, Yasser Arafat, Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas respectively said “no” and declared war on Israel instead—the Palestinians have no interest in a state of their own unless it includes the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. That goal aligns with the progressives’ vision of a “two-state solution”: A Palestinian state living next to a Palestinian-dominated Israel.

One need only look at the roster of J Street’s supporters and speakers to know that the Biden political machine is putting the president’s narrow personal agenda ahead of America’s national security interests.

J Street’s leading donor is progressive darling George Soros. No more need be said about that. As for speakers, Matt Duss—Bernie Sanders’ chief foreign policy advisor—is another headliner. In addition to questioning Israel’s right to exist, Duss believes that Israeli Jews are attempting to “replace” Palestinians in “Palestine.”

“In the Israeli-Palestinian contest, the great replacement theory is expressed as opposition to the Palestinian right of return, which treats Palestinians as a ‘demographic threat,’” he said.

However, the “right of return” as defined by the Palestinian leadership is not based on demographics, but on the idea that the Jews have usurped Palestinian land. Therefore, the Jews must “return” not just Jerusalem, but Haifa, Tel Aviv and Eilat as well. The “right of return” and Israel’s existence are simply incompatible.

It is a disgrace that our secretary of state is taking the stage with these enemies of the Jewish state. For Biden, however, it’s a convenient way to cozy up to his progressive base in anticipation of 2024.
Ruthie Blum: No, Hady Amr is not ‘our friend’
Team Biden’s appeasement and propping up of the crumbling Palestinian Authority and its aging, loathed leader, Mahmoud Abbas, sends the worse possible signal to the Arab signatories of the accords. Amr is not only a key player in this endeavor; he’s a proud one.

In a press briefing on Wednesday via telephone from the State Department’s Dubai Regional Media Hub, Amr reiterated the administration’s commitment to reopening the Consulate General (aka de facto embassy for Palestinians) that was merged in March 2019 with the U.S. embassy when Trump moved it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—which he formally recognized as Israel’s capital.

Amr then boasted about the United States now being the largest donor of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Trump de-funded the corrupt organization, whose schoolbooks indoctrinate Palestinian children to hate Israel and whose teachers have been caught inciting to terrorism on social media. Amr said that the financial backing for UNRWA that Biden restored is going to be expanded next year by many millions of dollars.

His statements about his chums in Doha were especially noteworthy.

“I have over the past year or two been in very regular contact with the Qatari envoy to the Palestinian Territories … and we certainly work to make sure our policies are aligned, and that Qatar’s engagement with the Palestinians kind of aligns with U.S. policy … We are of course very grateful for the support that the government of Qatar has given to the Palestinian people … And we feel that the government is playing a very positive role in improving the quality of life for ordinary Palestinians.”

Well, the state sponsor of terrorism and ally of Iran’s is definitely padding the pockets of Hamas and PIJ operatives and their dispatchers. The AJC must be aware of this fact.

Can it actually be blind to Amr’s longtime support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and hostility to Israel? Does it not realize his deep ties to Qatar?

He was, after all, the founding director of the Doha Center of the Washington-based think tank the Brookings Institution, which he led from 2006 to 2010. Its biggest foreign donor, as it happens, was the government of Qatar.

The AJC really shouldn’t be welcoming Amr in any capacity, let alone one that involves the United States assisting forces bent on the destruction of the Jewish state. But lauding him after expressing trepidation about the makeup of the incoming Israeli government is beyond inexcusable.

Responding to the results of the Nov. 1 Knesset elections, it wrote, in part, “For AJC, and for many Jews in America, Israel, and around the world, past statements of some potential members of the governing coalition raise serious concerns about issues we prioritize: pluralism, inclusion, and increased opportunities for peace and normalization. Regardless of the composition of any governing coalition, we will continue to work with those in the Israeli government and in Israeli society who are committed to advancing democracy, inclusion, and peace, and to combating efforts to undermine these values.”

The implication is loud, clear and beggars belief: that not all of Israel’s new leadership will be as kosher in the eyes of the AJC as Amr.
Does the Moral High Ground Belong to the Side That Loses More People?
It is imperative to note that the PA Health Ministry, which in October expressed its “praise and respect” for attacks carried out by the Lions’ Den terror group, routinely refers to armed assailants as “civilians” and was even caught describing a Fatah terror commander as a “doctor.”

Moreover, the PA statistic cited by Reuters ostensibly includes the tragic deaths of Rayan Suleiman and Walid al-Sharif, who died of heart attacks that were likely unrelated to their encounters with Israeli troops, as well as two accidental road deaths and cases that remain under investigation.

The moral high ground does not necessarily belong to the side that loses more people — particularly if those people are killed trying to slaughter innocent civilians. By uncritically echoing the Palestinian death tally, the media are essentially turning reality on its head: What is clearly the latest Palestinian assault on Israelis is made out to look like a campaign of aggression by the Jewish state.

With Jenin-based armed groups vowing this weekend to “move forward in Jihad against this usurping occupier [Israel, sic]… until Jerusalem,” media should clarify once and for all that there is no moral equivalence between murderous terrorists and their victims.
PMW: From PA blood libel to a UN libel: The malignant growth of a Palestinian blood libel
PA policy is to glorify the "heroic" terrorists while simultaneously accusing Israel of executing innocent Palestinians. The cartoon above illustrates one expression of this PA libel that was already being spread in 2015 by the PA: The baseless claim that Israel plants knives near “innocent” Palestinians after they “execute” them.

While for years Palestinian Media Watch has exposed this as one of the many PA libels, the libel has not been condemned by the international community. On Friday this willful blindness reached new dimensions when the UN representative Tor Wessenland actually disseminated the PA libel as fact and called for the “investigation” of the Israeli soldier who in defense of his own life and that of others shot and killed the terrorist:
"Horrified by today’s killing of a Palestinian man, Ammar Mifleh, during a scuffle with an Israeli soldier near Huwarra in the o. West Bank. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family. Such incidents must be fully & promptly investigated, & those responsible held accountable.”

[Tor Wennesland, personal Twitter account, Dec. 3, 2022]

What actually happened was that a 22-year-old Palestinian released terrorist prisoner, Ammar Mefleh, attempted to stab an Israeli couple by breaking into their car near Nablus on Dec. 2, 2022. The driver, an off-duty Israeli soldier, shot and lightly wounded Mefleh, who then stabbed an Israeli border police officer in the face. Another officer tried to arrest Mefleh without shooting him, but Mefleh resisted, stabbed the officer, and tried to steal his gun. The officer then shot and killed him.

The PA presidency presents the attack and the Israeli soldier’s response as a “cold-blooded killing of a Palestinian youth at the hands of an Israeli soldier” as if this was unprovoked. The PA presidency further described this as “part of the series of crimes committed daily against the Palestinian people” and an expression of “official policy” – completely ignoring the series of daily Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis. And the UN representative gives credence to the libel by expressing his horror at the killing of this terrorist and sending condolences to the family. Here are the PA lies:
2 senior UN envoys could face sanctions for terror-sympathizing remarks
UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories Francesca Albanese and UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland could face Israeli sanctions following statements viewed in Jerusalem as sympathizing with Palestinian terrorists.

A Palestinian man, Ammar Mifleh, attempted to steal an Israeli police officer’s rifle on Friday, stabbing him, which led the officer to shoot Mifleh dead. The stabbing and shooting can be seen clearly on security camera video footage.

Wennesland took to Twitter to send condolences to the attacker’s family, writing, “Horrified by today’s killing of a Palestinian man, Ammar Mifleh, during a scuffle with an Israeli soldier near Huwara in the o.[ccupied] West Bank. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family. Such incidents must be fully and promptly investigated and those responsible held accountable.”

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted the following day that Wennesland’s remarks were “a total distortion of reality.”

“This incident is a terror attack, in which an Israeli policeman was stabbed in his face and the life of another police officer was threatened and consequently he shot his assailant. This is NOT a ‘scuffle.’ this is a terror attack!” Nahshon wrote.

Israel hits Hamas military post after the terrorist group fires on IAF jets
The Israeli military struck a Hamas military post on Saturday night after terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired on an Israeli fighter jet, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Hamas said on Sunday morning that it had fired anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missiles at the Israeli jets conducting reprisal strikes in Gaza.

Earlier on Saturday, the IDF struck a Hamas tunnel and one of the terrorist group’s “central” rocket manufacturing sites, in response to a rocket that was launched into Israel from Gaza. The rocket landed in an unpopulated area, causing no damage, according to the IDF.

Rocket alert sirens were, however, activated in the border kibbutzim of Kfar Aza and Nahal Oz, and residents reported hearing an explosion.

A month ago, a rocket fired at the Eshkol region by Gazan terrorists was intercepted by the Iron Dome, and shortly after that three additional rockets failed to cross the border, landing inside the Strip. It was the first such barrage since “Operation Breaking Dawn” on August 5-7, when Palestinian terrorists fired approximately 1,100 rockets towards the Jewish state.
Israel strikes Hamas targets after rocket launch from Gaza

Palestinian Crashes Through Ben Gurion Airport Checkpoint
A Palestinian who crossed into Israel illegally crashed a stolen vehicle into a checkpoint at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday morning before being shot by security guards, Israeli police said in a statement.

The suspect entered Israel from the West Bank, stole a car from the center of the country and drove toward the airport. The vehicle approached the checkpoint at a high rate of speed before ramming into it and then driving on the wrong side of the road.

Airport security opened fire and also deployed roadblocks. The suspect was slightly wounded in the incident and was arrested and taken for questioning. The Israel Airports Authority said the “vehicle was stopped en route to Terminal 3,” and “the incident is under investigation.”

As security guards tried to arrest the violator, passengers in Terminal 3 were asked to lie on the ground and not move for a few minutes.

Terminal 3, which houses the majority of flights departing from Tel Aviv, is a couple of miles from the checkpoint at the entrance to the airport area. This configuration makes it possible to control this type of incident, and leaves time to apprehend any suspects before they access the terminal where there are always thousands of passengers.

Last September, a Palestinian also broke through the checkpoint at the entrance to Ben Gurion Airport with a stolen vehicle. A security guard then pulled out his gun and fired at the car. The suspect, a 35-year-old West Bank resident, fled to a gas station, abandoning the vehicle. He was then arrested.
Israel Police remove Palestinian, Hamas flags in Jerusalem's Silwan
Israeli police officers on Sunday removed Palestinian flags which were hung on electricity lines in the Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem, police said.

Jerusalem district officers, accompanied by Border Police officers, removed eight flags associated with the Palestinian Authority or Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas.

According to police, the flags were hung "in a manner that endangers the public and represents a disturbance to its safety and security."

Palestinian youths hold their national flag during a protest against a Jewish settlement in the mostly Arab neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem (credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER) Palestinian youths hold their national flag during a protest against a Jewish settlement in the mostly

Clash erupts as Israeli forces remove flags
Palestinian rioters threw rocks at Israeli security forces during the incident, who responded by using riot control measures.

No injuries were reported in the clashes, police confirmed.
JCPA: Iran Supporting New West Bank Terrorist Groups with Money and Weapons
The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials.

The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Gen. Qassem Soleimani – the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S. – of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

According to security sources in Israel, the person who helped lay the infrastructure for the establishment of the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank was Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi from Jenin, a senior member of Islamic Jihad who was arrested by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and is currently on trial in a military court.

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the ISA in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

In August, Revolutionary Guards Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami hosted Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad Al-Nakhallah following the IDF military operation against the terror group in Gaza. According to sources in Gaza, the meeting led to an agreement to strengthen Islamic Jihad activities in the northern West Bank.
Seth Frantzman: Illegal firearms like M-16s increasingly found with Palestinian terrorists, gangs
THERE IS one photo online of Farouk Salame, a Palestinian who was killed last month. Before his death, he posed with a dozen M-16s. Examining the “Game of Thrones” photo, the expert identified many of the rifles as Colt M16/CAR15- pattern guns (the Colt Automatic Rifle-15 is a compact M-16 variant).

One rifle had an older style carrying handle and rear sight and another was an M4 with Meprolight M21. Another rifle in the photo had a Harris bipod, which he described as a popular and commonly issued accessory, and another had a GripPod bipod and pistol grip. Other rifles in the photo included an M-16-A2, which is a standard older model M-16. Another included what the expert described as “AIMPOINT CompM3, also known as the CCO in the US Army: an immensely popular optic in NATO and associated countries.”

In other photos, the expert identified M-16s that had aftermarket additions and one with a Colt manufacturer stamp. Another one he described as an “M4 with aftermarket rail with KeyMod attachment points (pretty normal private purchase/unit purchase kind of item) and an ACOG.”

In a photo of guns that were intercepted while being smuggled from Jordan, the expert said he was surprised to see SIG P320’s, which he described as a recent US military issue pistol that comes under the M-17 designation. He described these pistols as recently acquired and suggested they were stolen from Jordan. “It’s notable that it’s a pistol that still hasn’t fully made its way into all of the US military [and yet] is being smuggled from Jordan... Those aren’t pistols that have been bouncing around the region for years.”

Experts, former soldiers and professionals in the gun industry can be wrong in identifying weapons in photos, especially if they are blurry or the weapons are at a distance. However, the overall consensus among those interviewed was that there are many gun sights and other accessories being smuggled, including M-16s and pistols that are of more recent origin.

While news of the smuggling networks and crackdown on these networks has been increasing, the number of illegal firearms seen in photos of Palestinian terrorists and armed gangs, particularly M-16s, is also increasing.
Father of dead teen terrorist: Martyrdom “is what we hoped for from Allah”

Father of dead 16-year-old: My son “wished for this Martyrdom-death for two years”

Lebanese priest claims the “infidel” Jews “crucified Jesus”

IRGC, Basij militia personal information leaked online by protesters - exclusive
The home addresses and cell phone numbers of members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, its Basij militia and police forces who are oppressing and attacking Iranian protesters are being published on the Darknet to enable the public to seek out revenge, the Jerusalem Post has learned.

Israeli cyber intelligence firm Deep Void, whose founders have a background in Israeli intelligence, has revealed the phenomenon in which Iranian dissidents are using the Darknet, a shadow realm within the internet, to fight back against the Ayatollah’s foot soldiers, who during past protests could attack protesters and then disappear into anonymity.

According to Deep Void CEO Raphael Saedian and CTO Teodor Borozdin, there are signs that the new Darknet initiative is bearing fruit and growing in a way that could eventually alter the strategies of both the Iranian regime and the anti-regime protest movement.

The protests, which started around two-and-a-half months ago after Iran’s morality police tortured and murdered Mahsa Amini for what they deemed was insufficient modesty, are emerging as possibly the greatest challenge to the Ayatollah’s iron grip on the country in over a decade.

Deep Void's findings indicate that the third phase of the digital battle has started, in which protesters have become sophisticated enough to use the Darknet and other tools to track and retaliate against their oppressors.

Iran executes four individuals convicted of cooperating with Israel -Fars
Iran on Sunday executed four people convicted of cooperating with Israel's spy agency Mossad, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

The Islamic Republic has long accused arch-enemy Israel of carrying out covert operations on its soil. Tehran has recently accused Israeli and Western intelligence services of plotting civil war in Iran, which is now gripped by some of the biggest anti-government protests since its 1979 Islamic Revolution.

On Wednesday, the semi-official Mehr news agency said the four men were given the death sentence "for the crime of cooperating with the intelligence services of the Zionist regime and for kidnapping".

Three other people were handed prison sentences of between five and 10 years after being convicted of crimes that included acting against national security, aiding in kidnapping, and possessing illegal weapons, it said.

Tasnim news agency reported that the detainees had been arrested in June - before the current unrest sweeping the country - following cooperation between the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards.
Iran abolishes morality police amid Mahsa Amini protests - report
Iran has abolished its morality police, AFP reported citing Iran's Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri.

This comes after the ongoing protests erupted across the country about the death of Mahsa Amini two months ago, who was arrested by Iranian morality police for allegedly violating Iran's strict dress code for women.

Iran's morality police
The morality police, also known as the Guidance Patrol, were founded in 2005 under the administration of president Mahmoud Ahmadinijad and serve as a religious police, reporting directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamennei.

The typical unit consists of a van with a mixed male and female crew that patrols or waits at busy public spaces to police behavior and dress considered improper.

In an anonymous interview with the BBC, one officer spoke plainly about his work as a member of the morality police.

"They told us the reason we are working for the morality police units is to protect women," he said. "Because if they do not dress properly, then men could get provoked and harm them."

"It's like we are going out for a hunt," he confessed.

Harvard University ranks first in antisemitism
Harvard prides itself on ranking first in all things. And now they do—on three measures of campus antisemitism.

The AMCHA Initiative, which tracks campus antisemitism, recently issued a report covering the 2021-2022 school year. It quantifies threats to Jewish identity, explained as the redefinition, denigration and suppression of Jewish identity. Amcha’s study shows a coordinated attempt to redefine for Jews what it means to be Jewish and what acceptable Jewish expression entails.

There were 254 incidents that fit at least one category—redefinition, suppression or denigration—“at 63 (58%) of the 109 U.S. schools” most popular with Jewish students. Redefinition and denigration were most likely to take place on campuses with five or more faculty members supportive of academically boycotting Israel. Suppression, however, was most likely on campuses with “one or more anti-Zionist student groups.” Harvard, with 25 incidents, topped every category.

Harvard Public Affairs & Communications and President Lawrence Bacow did not respond to requests for comment. However, it’s clear the campus climate has changed. Among numerous examples, in Feb. 2022, Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Jonah Steinberg noted “the anti-Israel stickers appearing on Sabra hummus in the dining halls, the tearing down of Harvard Hillel posters all over campus, about which the Dean of Students Office had to issue a statement just this past week, and the black-colored posters everywhere against the Harvard College Israel Trek.”

This is not 1990s Harvard, when the “student body was said to be nearly a quarter Jewish” and those students were warmly welcomed. A mere 5.3% of Harvard’s class of 2023 identifies as Jewish, along with 5.2% of the class of 2024 and 7.4% of the class of 2025. So, not only is the campus climate more hostile, but there are fewer Jewish students to protest it.

Sky News Pundit Fails to Challenge Singer Akon Who Suggested Jews Should Not Take Kanye West’s Pro-Nazi Comments ‘Personally’
It is, therefore, rather worrying that veteran Sky News journalist Anna Jones was seemingly so reluctant to call out Kanye West’s antisemitism and robustly challenge someone who has defended the Chicago-born rapper.

In a December 2 interview with artist Akon — ostensibly to promote the singer’s new music — Jones asked Akon about his refusal to condemn Kanye’s vile comments:
I do want to touch on some of the comments you’ve made about Kanye West because he’s been in the news a lot. A lot of controversies, including a Twitter ban for antisemitic comments. He’s been banned again by Elon Musk this morning for inciting violence… But you’ve shown some support for him. Why have you done that?”

Akon responded: “I show support for opinion and I think people will always have a specific opinion and I think the moment we get to the place where we close our minds up to other people’s opinion, it kind of doesn’t allow us to get to better know each other, better know our mindsets and more than anything better know our movements.”

He added: “I think sometimes we should open up our minds and let things play all the way out and better understand the situation so we have a better solution for it.”

Yet, rather than challenge or even ask Akon to elaborate on why he thinks people should not “close [their] minds to other people’s opinions” — in Kanye’s case, support for Nazism — Anna Jones, in what could only be described as the most softball of questions, replied: “I know you’ve said you don’t agree with his comments but if they’re really offensive, will you still continue to back him?”

First, there is no “if” about whether Kanye’s comments are offensive.

Second, why Jones failed to even challenge Akon on his support for someone defending the indefensible is baffling.

Her easy line of questioning allows Akon to take no accountability for his defense of Kanye, and rather paves the way for him to give an even more waffling and meaningless response:
I’m a backer of the right to believe what you want to believe. The day me and [Kanye] have a conversation, I will give him my point of view on why I disagree… It’s my job to understand why he’s viewing it that way. So I think conversation and communication is always the key but sometimes we block that out and you never can get anywhere if you’re not communicating.”

At this point, Jones cut in to ask whether it troubles Akon that Kanye makes “really offensive comments,” to which Akon replies “not really” because such comments don’t “affect [him] personally,” while suggesting that people who are affected by Kanye’s outbursts might take things “too personal [sic].”

How fortunate for Akon that he feels Jews should not take the extermination of six million of their ancestors too personally.

How profoundly disturbing that Sky’s Anna Jones did not feel the need to properly probe this ignorant and antisemitic view.

One day’s headlines reveal the entire Israeli-Arab conflict
Sometimes, you just have to glance at a single day’s news headlines to learn everything you need to know about the Israeli-Arab conflict. Take last Friday, for example.

In the Palestinian Authority-ruled town of Hawara, Israeli security personnel attempted to arrest a fugitive terrorist. Other Palestinian Arabs jumped in, “trying to pull him free,” as the Israeli media reported. Funny thing—critics of Israel are always claiming that the masses of Palestinian Arabs are moderate and want peace. If that’s the case, they should be delighted when terrorists are arrested. Yet in Hawara on Friday, and in many other instances, they have violently interfered with attempts to capture terrorists.

The Hawara suspect stabbed and wounded two of the Israelis before being subdued. You won’t hear any protests from J Street over the stabbing or see any angry columns in The New York Times by Thomas Friedman. It seems trying to stab Israeli police officers to death is an acceptable mode of behavior if you’re a Palestinian Arab. Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations…

Meanwhile, there were Palestinian Arab shooting attacks on Israelis in Yabed and Jenin. Once again, Israeli soldiers were carrying out routine, peaceful arrests of terrorists—something the P.A. is obligated to do, but never does—and once again, the Arabs responded with gunfire. Fortunately, the terrorists were killed and the Israelis weren’t. Of course, the headlines in the international news media will read “Palestinians Killed by Israel” rather than “Palestinians Killed While Trying to Murder Israelis.”
Toronto Star Columnist Shree Paradkar Tells Canadaland Pro-Israel Groups Attempt To Intimidate Journalists Into Silence
In a November 18 column in the Toronto Star entitled: “Why definition of antisemitism has become a polarizing issue,” Columnist and Internal Ombud, Shree Paradkar, took issue with a recent vote at Vancouver city council which adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

The definition, adopted by dozens of countries including Canada in 2016 and subsequently adopted by several provincial governments and municipalities, seeks to clarify antisemitism in the modern era, when Jew-hatred often hides behind a thin veneer of Israel-hatred.

As such, the definition, in addition to providing a basic meaning of what constitutes antisemitism, outlines 11 examples of how hatred towards Jews can manifest in contemporary society, including the denial of the Jewish right to self-determination.

In her column, Paradkar falsely claimed that the definition stifled legitimate criticism of Israel, alleging that such criticism could be “penalized” following the adoption of the IHRA definition.

HonestReporting Canada took Paradkar to task with an urgent community alert, pointing out her significant misrepresentations of the IHRA definition.

But that was not Paradkar’s final word on the matter.

Nevada becomes first state higher education system to adopt IHRA definition
Amid a national spike in antisemitism, the Nevada Board of Regents voted on Friday to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism for use in anti-bias and anti-discrimination education and training for all colleges and universities of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).

This is the first time a state higher education system itself actively adopted the measure rather than doing so through legislative decree or gubernatorial order.

Nevada was one of ten US states that announced in January that they will adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. The announcement came as the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The IHRA definition of antisemitism is distinct from other descriptions of anti-Jewish discrimination because it says that while not all criticism of Israel is antisemitic, criticism can cross the line into antisemitism when delegitimizing, demonizing, or applying double standards to Israel. The definition also addresses the antisemitic nature of attacks against Jewish individuals or institutions that attribute to all Jews' collective guilt for real or perceived actions by Israel.

So far 28 state governments have adopted or endorsed the IHRA definition, the most widely accepted legal standard for antisemitism internationally. Over 865 national, state and local governments and major public entities have endorsed the IHRA definition in recent years, including the US Departments of State, Education, and Justice. It has also been endorsed by 51 of the 53 member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.
London venue shamelessly set to host notorious antisemite Alison Chabloz
A venue in South London is shamelessly set to host the notorious antisemite Alison Chabloz and conspiracy theorist Ian Fantom this week.

The Tea House Theatre, whose events have courted controversy in the past, promoted the “Year-End Review in Speech and Song” event on Twitter and Instagram, writing that Ms Chabloz “will talk about her own experiences in being cancelled”.

Lambeth’s Vauxhall Ward condemned the event, tweeting: “Shameful that @theatre_tea here in Vauxhall would welcome someone with such abhorrent views. The right to free speech is not a right to platform, and we hope they will reconsider this event.”

It added: “Antisemitism has no place in Vauxhall.”

Labour Party MP Florence Eshalomi, representing Vauxhall, expressed similar sentiments, writing: “This is worrying – #Vauxhall is a vibrant diverse constituency. I hope the venue in question will reconsider- free speech should not be a platform for people to share any form of hate, racism, discrimination or antisemitism.”

Earlier this year, Ms Chabloz was found guilty of a communications offence after action by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The two-day trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court concerned a video of the scene in the classic Oliver Twist film when Fagin, a fictitious Jewish criminal (a character that has come under significant criticism over the past century for its antisemitic depiction), is explaining to his newest recruit how his legion of children followers pick pockets. Ms Chabloz uploaded the video and sings an accompanying song of her own about how Jews are greedy, “grift” for “shekels” and cheat on their taxes.

The video appeared to be either a bizarre fundraising effort for her mounting legal costs due to numerous charges she has faced, including several ongoing prosecutions in which Campaign Against Antisemitism has provided evidence, or an attempt at mockery of Campaign Against Antisemitism for pursuing her in the courts.

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

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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