Tuesday, September 26, 2023

From Ian:

Isaac Herzog: The two main lessons of the Yom Kippur War
In his testimony before the Agranat Commission that investigated the Yom Kippur War, Col. Gabi Amir described the fateful and difficult hours of the fighting in the Sinai Peninsula as follows: The units “reported on the radios that the enemy was advancing and starting to attack us…I saw that at a distance of three to four kilometers from me, tanks and APCs were advancing, stopping, and shooting—and between them a huge amount of infantry. All of that was marching toward us, forward. It was a scene none of us had ever witnessed before. We got permission to withdraw. We received permission, but we did not retreat.”

Even 50 years after the Yom Kippur War, the reason the war ended as it did is clear to everyone. It was the bravery and resourcefulness of the commanders and fighters in the field that stood despite the failure of warning and deterrence that resulted in an existential threat to Israel; their dedication, courage, initiative, devotion and self-sacrifice; a sense shared by all of the responsibility for the nation and homeland.

It is thanks to them that the war in which Israel started out at a disadvantage ended with an impressive victory.

I was of bar mitzvah age when the war broke out, and since then, every year on the Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror, growing up in Tel Aviv’s Tzahala neighborhood, the names of the 11 heroes from the area who fell in the war echoed in my ears: neighbors and friends, the siblings of my best friends, my brother’s best friends. The war left its mark on an entire generation that suffered a fatal blow and experienced a great fracture. I do not know if the wounds sustained 50 years ago will ever heal.

The war taught us two major lessons that remain relevant even after half a century.

The first was best described by my father, the late sixth President Chaim Herzog, in his book “War of Atonement: The Inside Story of the Yom Kippur War.”

In it, he wrote that following Israel’s incredible victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, there was an atmosphere of “we were like dreamers” in society that led to the IDF ignoring its many weaknesses revealed during the conflict, including those pertaining to intelligence regarding the Arabs’ intentions, which turned out to be false.

The Yom Kippur War further reinforced the lesson that Israel needs to be prepared for any and all scenarios and work to produce quality, integrated and diverse intelligence while operating with humility and constant self-examination.

We learned not to ignore the signs of approaching war and bask in the euphoria of the achievements of the past, however great they may be. The world must know that Israel can protect itself by itself—in any way, at any time and in any place.

And there is a second, equally important lesson: not to ignore the signs of peace. In hindsight, it became clear that then-President of Egypt Anwar Sadat conveyed clear messages in the year leading up to the Yom Kippur War regarding his desire for a peace treaty. Unfortunately, just as the signs of war were ignored 50 years ago, so was the hand outstretched in peace.

And the peace that seemed impossible just a few years prior became a reality, largely thanks to Israel’s victory in the war.
Daniel Greenfield: 50 years ago, Israel was nearly destroyed
What has been happening in the last 50 years is a kind of slow-motion military and diplomatic Yom Kippur War, in which Israel gradually retreats from territories, relying on defensive positions that can’t hold up and diplomatic agreements that are worthless in the long run.

Even the Abraham Accords, widely hailed and hyped, that brought together Israel and some of America’s smaller Arab oil allies to oppose Iran’s growing power, were once again based on Israel abandoning domestic moves and initiatives to solidly lay claim to parts of the Jewish State.

Kissinger used to sneer that “Israel has no foreign policy, only a domestic policy.” Now Israel has no domestic policy, only a foreign policy. It has sacrificed its interests to a failed regional and nation-building strategy hatched in Washington, D.C., and premised on completely misguided assumptions about the Middle East, and how societies in this region work.

Fifty years after the Yom Kippur War, the generals and soldiers who had come out of the “kibbutz” outposts have resentfully been making way for new soldiers who come from the outposts of the “settlements.” Where the kibbutz was primarily a socialist experiment, the settlement is primarily a religious Zionist one. Its families raise nine children, not in communal creches, but in homes and around Shabbat tables.

Labor’s twin failures in the Yom Kippur War and the Oslo Accords destroyed its credibility. The majority of Israelis that it had been keeping down, Mizrahi refugees from the Muslim world, religious Jews, Holocaust survivors, Russian immigrants and settlers, helped put the conservative Zionist Likud in power and make Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the country’s longest-serving leader, beating out David Ben-Gurion. The current violent leftist protests against the government’s judicial reform initiative are primarily an attack on a new Israeli majority that is not beholden to the failed leftist experiments of the past.

Despite all this, Israel’s military leadership draws on the same incestuous elite, which has yet to be tested in any major military conflict. If the Yom Kippur War were to play out again, there is little doubt that most of Israel’s new generation of soldiers would respond just as heroically, as they have through the smaller-scale conflicts against Islamic terrorists, but the generals remain a question mark. Unlike the old generals who took the initiative, Israel’s current generals, like America’s generals, are focused on averting wars and avoiding any escalation of existing conflicts.

American generals obsessed with avoiding conflict are covering for a state of military unreadiness. Israeli generals fearful of any conflict may be doing the same thing.

The Yom Kippur War showed that the “safer bet” of relying on defenses like the Iron Dome isn’t really safe at all. When your enemies outnumber you and their ruthlessness is endless, playing defense is not a survival option. Israel thrived when it attacked brilliantly and unexpectedly. Under the “technological genius” of defenses like the Iron Dome, Israelis in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are back to huddling in bomb shelters the way that they did during the old wars.

Ever since Israel was nearly destroyed in the Yom Kippur War because Golda and Dayan had put all their trust in Kissinger, proposals to take out Iran’s nuclear program have repeatedly come up against the objections of Washington, D.C. Similarly, any effort to seriously deal with Hamas fizzles out in the same way. Fifty years later, Israel still can’t allow itself to strike first.

And yet, just as in the Yom Kippur War, the hour may come when Israeli leaders have to decide whether to strike first without getting permission from D.C. or face the destruction of their nation.

Jonathan Tobin: Yom Kippur 50 years later: Rethinking Golda’s reputation
That Meir chose not to strike first and fully mobilize Israel’s army before the Egyptians and Syrians attacked for the sake of not alienating the United States was in complete contrast to her past stands in which she almost always disdained those, like her Foreign Minister Abba Eban, who were more worried about international opinion than Israel’s military advantage.

Still, it’s difficult to blame her for succumbing to American pressure at the beginning of the war, given Israel’s dependence on the United States for resupplying arms in the face of the Soviet Union’s full commitment to the Egyptians and Syrians. Lacking any expertise in military affairs, she was also completely dependent on the faltering Dayan and the rest of her advisers, like Military Intelligence Chief Gen. Eli Zeira, whom just about everyone agrees was the most culpable of them all.

Nor is it certain that an Israeli first strike just prior to the war would have worked since, as Israel’s military leaders soon realized, they hadn’t accounted for the ability of their foes to use Soviet missiles that, at least initially, neutralized the IDF’s edge in the air and on the ground with tanks that were equally vulnerable to the new technology. Yet once the Egyptians and Syrians had dissipated the advantage they gained from achieving near complete surprise, the Israelis were able to improvise solutions and eventually achieve military victories.

As the Nativ film and the Kaufman book both persuasively argue, despite mistakes, Meir deserves full credit for ably managing the relationship with a Nixon administration that was ambivalent about Israel as well as riding herd on generals who fought each other as much as the enemy. Meir’s telling Dayan to “forget about it”—in English, not Hebrew—when, seemingly unhinged, he suggested using Israel’s nuclear weapons, makes clear that it was the 75-year-old woman who was the toughest and most level-headed person in the cabinet room.

Even Kissinger, who, though no Zionist, was relatively sympathetic to Israel, was prepared to let the war start on the Arabs’ terms and end in such a way as to deny the Jewish state the complete victory its soldiers had earned. Kissinger’s equivocal role in the war is also a subject of unending debate. He may have facilitated and ensured Israel’s resupply of arms that were necessary to sustain its defense; however, he also ruthlessly exploited that dependence to achieve his own objectives. He made a crucial blunder of his own that rivals any of those made by either side in the fighting. Kissinger’s failure to use his rescuing of Egypt’s doomed Third Army in the last days of the war to force the Saudis to renounce the Arab oil boycott of the West that had a devastating impact on the lives of ordinary Americans.

But in remembering the Yom Kippur War, restoring Golda Meir’s image is far from the most important issue. The main lesson is rejecting overconfidence and the contempt for their enemies that convinced Israel’s leaders that a surprise attack was impossible. Equally as important is avoiding ever being put in a position again where Israel’s security is dependent on the sometimes dubious goodwill of other nations.

Fifty years later, Israel is in a far stronger position than it was on Yom Kippur 1973 for a great many reasons. Still, it continues to face pressure from friends as well as foes—like a potentially nuclear Iran. Meir had many shortcomings, and it’s unlikely that the generation that lived through that crisis will ever be persuaded to forgive her. But her successors would do well to emulate her cynicism about the world and the necessity for self-reliance. Though some dismiss her attitudes as relics of a bygone era of Tsarist oppression and the Holocaust, Meir’s relentless insistence on defending her country’s interests and, wherever possible, preferring tangible strategic assets to the sympathy of an international community that is just as unsympathetic to Israel today as it was a half-century ago makes just as much sense now as it did then.

The Caroline Glick Show: What the IDF still doesn't understand about the Yom Kippur War
Did the army ever really understand what happened on in the Yom Kippur War?
This week we marked the 50th anniversary of that watershed moment in Israel's history. The war’s hold on Israeli society remains as powerful as ever – indeed more powerful than ever. To discuss the way that the war impacted the men who fought it, and generations of IDF leaders since, Caroline’s guest on this week’s Caroline Glick Show was Maj. General (res.) Gershon Hacohen. They discuss
- how come some of the veterans of that war took a radical turn to the left
- how Israel has changed from 1973 until the present day and how it has not
- America's role in that fateful war and what it teaches about Israel's relationship with the US

New documentary follows Israeli who discovers family’s past as Egyptian spies
Daniel Ben-David grew up in what appeared to be a regular Jewish-Israeli family, albeit perhaps more secretive than most. They marked the High Holidays, celebrated weddings, bar mitzvahs and births, and lived typical Israeli lives.

But as an adult, Ben-David discovered that his roots weren’t Jewish or Israeli at all, but Palestinian-Egyptian. His family was forced to flee Egypt to the Jewish state after having spied on their home country for about seven years.

It sounds like a story out of a spy novel, but it is the reality for Ben-David, whose journey of discovery of his family history is at the center of a new Yes documentary, “The Spy Family.”

The film follows the story of the Shahin family: a Palestinian father, his Egyptian wife, and their three children who all served as agents for Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War.

Ben-David is the son of Yossi Ben-David, formerly Nabil Shahin, one of the three children. He grew up knowing his secretive father had come from Egypt, but little else.

“We grew up in a Jewish Israeli family in every way. We would do the official holidays, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot,” Daniel told Channel 12 news, in a report on the documentary aired Saturday. “The family was secretive. This is what they did all their life. It was very difficult to uncover this.”

Ibrahim Shahin, Nabil’s father and Ben-David’s grandfather, was a Jerusalem-born Palestinian whose family fled to Egypt following the 1948 establishment of Israel. There he met Inshirah, an Egyptian native, who became his wife. The couple had three children and were working in the city of el-Arish, in the Sinai Peninsula, when it was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War. Their three sons –Nabil (Ben-David’s father), Muhammad, and Adel — were in Cairo at the time.

At the same time, Micah Kobi was serving in Unit 504 of the Israel Defense Forces’ Intelligence Branch, which employs foreign agents for Israel. He came to el-Arish in search of agents, and began conducting interviews with the hundreds of Egyptians who remained in the occupied city.

There, he came upon Ibrahim Shahin.

“I see a person who smiles a huge smile,” Kobi told Channel 12. He asked Shahin if he would be willing to work for Israel. “He told me: I will help you with anything you want, I love Israel.”

Shahin and his wife were able to bring their children from Cairo, and all five undertook a training program at a secret apartment in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim. Shahin’s desire to include his children in the plot was controversial.

“I personally was against the need for children. I thought that children could complicate the network,” Kobi said.

But the decision was made. After completing their preparations, the family went back to Egypt, where the parents began forging connections with top officials, including security figures. At Unit 504, they were given the codename “The Sinyori Network.”

The Oslo Accords – How The Israeli Intelligence Community Failed
The failures of the Israeli intelligence community in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and of the American intelligence community on September 11, 2001 have been widely discussed. But there was another failure on the part of the Israeli intelligence community that merits attention: For over two years after the Oslo Accords signed on September 13, 1993, its experts failed to detect he threat posed by the Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The political climate that prevailed in Israel during the early 1990s had a negative effect on the assessment of the situation by the Israeli intelligence community, and there is a general lesson to be learned from these events. This article will first discuss the key failures of Israel's intelligence community during these years, and then it will assess the role played in these failures by the contemporary political climate in Israel.

PLO leader Yasser Arafat's intentions were clear from the beginning. In Washington, D.C. on September 13, 1993, he signed the Declaration of Principles, known as the Oslo I Accord, while wearing a military uniform (he had also insisted on wearing his pistol but had to give up on this), and while the ceremony was still taking place, he had a Jordanian TV channel air a recorded speech of his in which he explained that the Accord is just a phase in the PLO's Phased Plan of 1974, which was a mild version of the PLO's Charter: "Oh, my beloved, do not forget that the Palestinian National Council passed the resolution in 1974 […] This is the moment of return, the moment we raise our flag on the first plot of liberated Palestinian land… This is an important, critical, and basic phase. Long live Palestine – free and Arab!"

In Cairo on May 4, 1994, Arafat signed with Israel the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, which transferred control of Gaza and Jericho to the PLO. Six days later, in a speech in a mosque in Johannesburg, he explained: "I consider this agreement to be nothing more than the one signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the tribe of Quraysh." This agreement was signed by Muhammad in 628 A.D. at a time when he was militarily weak, but after he became strong, he violated it and killed the members of the Quraysh tribe. In 1993, being politically weak, Arafat made a written commitment that "the PLO abandons the use of terrorism and other violent activities," but later, like the Prophet, he violated his commitment.

The inciteful rhetoric of Arafat and the PLO leadership that followed the signing of the Accords proved that they were sticking to the original goals of the PLO (as defined in its charter) and to the use of terrorism against Israel – indirectly through Hamas, or sometimes even directly. For example, on January 1, 1995, the 30th anniversary of the PLO's Fatah faction, Arafat said in Gaza: "We all seek the path of martyrdom, and in the name of the martyrs who are still alive, I say to the martyrs who have already given their lives: Our pledge remains, and we remain loyal to this pledge, to continue the revolution." This theme was echoed by Arafat on several occasions, so that Hamas top official in Gaza Mahmoud Al-Zahhar once addressed him admirably: "Mr. President, as you say in all your speeches, we all seek the path of martyrdom."

In August 1995, the IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate issued an analysis of Arafat's speeches since the signing of the Oslo Accords two years earlier. The top-secret document was titled "Arafat's Expressions Before Palestinian Audiences – Significance," and it said: "The term 'jihad', in its broad meaning, refers to the dedication of resources and special efforts - various means of struggle, political, economic, psychological, and so on - towards a certain goal, without the intention of violent war. It is reasonable, based on the context of his statements, that this is indeed Arafat's intention, but it is clear that he is aware of the dual meaning of these expressions." The intelligence experts concluded: "An examination of the characteristics of his activities and expressions, public and non-public, does not support the assumption that Arafat is not committed to the [Oslo] Accords and to the peace process with Israel." A month after this reassuring message was issued the Israeli government took the next step in implementing the Oslo Accords and decided to hand over the Arab cities in the West Bank to the PLO.

When it signed the Oslo Accords, the Israeli government assumed that the PLO would effectively combat Hamas and prevent terror attacks against Israelis. Nevertheless, a month before the PLO's entry to Gaza and Jericho, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin warned in a Knesset speech on April 18, 1994: "I wish to clarify that any arrangement or de-facto agreement made by the PLO with Hamas regarding the continuation of Hamas terrorism will prevent any agreement [with Israel], as well as its implementation." This was in fact a directive to the intelligence community to constantly examine whether such an arrangement existed between the PLO and Hamas, since the fate of the Accords now rested on this issue.
Canada Parliamentary Speaker to Quit After Publicly Praising Nazi
The speaker of Canada’s House of Commons lower chamber on Tuesday said he would quit, a few days after he publicly praised a former Nazi soldier in Parliament in an incident that Russia said helped justify its war on Ukraine.

Anthony Rota told legislators he had made a mistake by inviting ex-soldier Yaroslav Hunka, 98, to attend a session in the House honoring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy last Friday. Rota publicly recognized Hunka, calling him a hero.

The speaker’s position rapidly become untenable after it emerged that Hunka, who received two standing ovations from lawmakers, had served in one of Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS units during World War II. Russia called the incident outrageous.

“That public recognition has caused pain to individuals and communities, including the Jewish community in Canada and around the world … I accept full responsibility for my actions,” said Rota, a member of the ruling Liberal party, adding his resignation would take effect on Wednesday. Until then a deputy speaker will be in charge.

The episode played into the narrative promoted by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he sent his army into Ukraine last year to “demilitarize and de-nazify” the country, a charge Kyiv and Western allies say is baseless.

Poland considering extradition of Nazi war veteran honoured in the House of Commons
Poland’s Education Minister Przemysław Czarnek posted on X that he’s taken steps to possibly extradite Yaroslav Hunka back to Poland.

Justice Minister Arif Virani said no one from the Polish government has contacted him regarding the matter.

He added that he can’t comment on anything related to extradition until it lands on his desk, because his wading into the issue could jeopardize any investigations that may be underway.

“Commenting on an early stages of an extradition process is not appropriate,” Virani said Tuesday.

House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota apologized to MPs on Monday, saying the decision to invite Hunka was entirely his own.

He also met with Poland’s Ambassador to Canada Witold Dzielski following the invite.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Dzielski said he had a “very open and detailed conversation” with Rota and that his understanding is there was no ill intent related to the invitation.

“If the mistakes make us wiser and our bond stronger, so be it! Thank you Anthony!” Dzielski posted with a photograph of himself shaking hands with Rota.
Anti-Israel Congressman Poses for Photo with Anti-Semitic CAIR Official
This past July, United States Democratic Representative from New York and member of the far left congressional group ‘The Squad,’ Jamaal Bowman, made a stop in Palm Beach, Florida to meet with members of the Muslim community. Attending the event were local leaders of CAIR, a group with significant ties to Hamas. One of the leaders was Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, someone who has previously attacked the Jewish religion. This was an inauspicious yet understandable meeting for Congressman Bowman, as he has been criticized for being an “anti-Semite” himself, for the hostile, one-sided stances he has taken against the state of Israel.

CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was established in June 1994, as a member of the US chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood’s now defunct Palestine Committee, under the guidance of then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. The ‘seed money’ for CAIR came from another Palestine Committee member, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). Years later, CAIR would be named as a co-conspirator for the federal trials prosecuting HLF for the entity’s funding of millions of dollars for Hamas. CAIR had used its websites to actively raise money for HLF, including in the guise of donations for victims of the 9/11 attacks.

The Florida chapter of CAIR is one of the more prominent CAIR chapters, and its promotion of and embrace of Palestinian terror rivals that of its parent group. In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly chanted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” In August 2020, CAIR-Florida held an event featuring the ex-ringleader of a Tampa-area Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) network, convicted terrorist Sami al-Arian, fraudulently referring to al-Arian as a “political prisoner.” CAIR-Florida has a close relationship with al-Arian’s convicted PIJ colleague, Hatem Fariz, organizing anti-Israel rallies with him.

Wilfredo Amr Ruiz is the Media & Outreach Director of CAIR-Florida. Accompanying Ruiz to the Bowman meeting was CAIR attorney Omar Saleh. Ruiz is also a lawyer. For years, he has been legal advisor for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), a group that was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for promoting a “venomous” anti-Semitic video featuring white supremacist icon David Duke. Ruiz founded AMANA’s Connecticut and Puerto Rico chapters. AMANA’s President, Sofian Zakkout, who Ruiz calls his “dear brother,” was thrown off two prominent anti-crime boards for his support of Hamas and Holocaust denial.

Ruiz has targeted Jews with bigotry, himself. In April 2010, just three months prior to the ADL’s condemnation of AMANA, he authored an article in Spanish vilifying the Jewish religion, titled Las fobias de mi vecino (translated “My neighbor’s phobias”). In it, Ruiz cites Justinas Pranaitis, a Lithuanian Catholic priest, who was infamous for advancing a blood libel claim against Jews and who was stripped of his priesthood. As well in the piece, Ruiz provides a link to the website talmudunmasked.com, which contains Pranaitis’s anti-Semitic conspiracies and is produced by those alleging Jews perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and are Satanic.
Cary Nelson: The ‘Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism’: A New Stage in the Degradation of the American University
A new purportedly academic enterprise – The Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism – on 21 September announced an October 2023 conference with a very explicit political agenda.[1] The event’s two days were to be split between two campuses, New York University and the University of California Santa Cruz, so as to help people on the two coasts attend at least one day in person and organise political action in their respective regions. NYU and UCSC have both since withdrawn permission for the conference to be physically held on their respective campuses. UCSC distanced itself from the events on 5 September, then, as criticism intensified, issued a revised and more pointed statement on 8 September, declaring ‘at no point in time has UC Santa Cruz endorsed the upcoming conference’. A couple of sponsors dropped out, but one faculty member, Judith Butler, joined the ICSZ Advisory Board despite the debacle. The organisers are now left with the rather odd formulation that the conference will be held in ‘the intellectual space’ of UCSC and NYU. That could arguably be anywhere or nowhere on earth. The ICSZ’s premier announcement has been a public relations disaster. Academic Anti-Zionism and Academic Norms

Yet the whole incident has in fact said a great deal about organised anti-Zionism in the academy, its attraction to antisemitic tropes, and the extreme difficulty of squaring unrelenting anti-Zionism with the norms of academic research and academic freedom. As a result we now have clear evidence that uncompromising statements about academic anti-Zionist goals reveal an unbridgeable chasm between those goals and the norms of the academy. The future of the ICSZ is likely in doubt, but it is important to learn what we can from these unfolding events.

The conference title, ‘Battling the “IHRA definition”: Theory & Activism,’ actually only hinted at its purpose. The conference was to be the opening salvo in a broad war against the Jewish state. The ICSZ is designed to give that war a new level of pseudo-academic respectability and prestige.

As many readers will know, in 2016 the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted a definition of antisemitism designed to help individuals and institutions of all kinds in understanding the myriad manifestations of contemporary antisemitism, including its relationship to anti-Zionism. Over a thousand countries or organisations have since adopted the definition. But anti-Israel activists claim that it chills anti-Zionist speech and opposing the IHRA definition has become a priority in certain academic and activist circles. Both support for and opposition to the IHRA definition have acquired considerable symbolic force, representing overall support for or opposition to Israel’s existence. The ICSZ no doubt chose its opening conference topic in part because it carried that political freight.

The connection between the conference’s ostensible focus on the IHRA definition and its underlying mission is made clear by the closing words of the conference manifesto’s opening paragraph. There, the conference organisers declare their intention of building ‘knowledge about how “the IHRA definition of antisemitism” both amplifies and hides repressive power and state violence.’ They regard the IHRA definition, in other words, not as an effort to define contemporary antisemitism but as an instrument of Israeli state power. In response, the conference will ‘share theoretical insights and organizing tools to support resistance,’ thereby ‘building attendees’ support networks to push back on IHRA campaigns.’ The target audience is limited to those who share the group’s opposition to the IHRA definition: ‘This is a conference for academics and activists who are battling the “IHRA definition.”’ But the definition, for the ICSZ’s organisers, symbolises Zionist aggression. This effort to politicise the IHRA definition utilises an approach we have not seen before.
UPenn should care about Jewish students
The fact that these speakers have a history of rabid antisemitism is not coincidental and reflects how Jew hatred on campus is only getting worse. My experience at York University in Toronto, Ontario, was similar, where being Jewish or pro-Israel meant facing endless hate. Universities have become a place where legitimate discussion and debate are almost impossible, and every conversation about Israel has become a zero-sum game. There is plenty of fair discussion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Still, the fact is that the entire anti-Israel movement is primarily driven by antisemitism.

The people who sprayed red paint on the Israeli flag (to symbolize blood) during York University’s multi-cultural week were not interested in peace or the well-being of Palestinians. Those same vandalizers probably ignore what is happening in Iran, Russia, China, or any country run by dictators (Israel is not even remotely comparable to any of these countries). The thought that a Russian student would be harassed because of what is happening between Putin and Ukraine is unimaginable, as is an American Persian student attacked because of the Islamic Republic and their disgusting actions.

Why is it, then, that Jewish and Israeli students have to deal with these sorts of things? Why aren’t university administrators coming out in strong condemnation against what is happening? UPenn faculty published a statement condemning antisemitism, claiming that it is “antithetical” to the university values, yet allowing some of the world’s leading antisemites to speak on their campus.

In the end, platforming these speakers on campus normalized the hate crimes against UPenn’s Jewish community. A member of the Hillel community was followed into Penn Hillel by some who harassed the individual while knocking over pieces of furniture and shouting antisemitic obscenities.

The university is obligated to protect its Jewish students – primarily from speakers affiliated with Hamas and PFLP groups. The reality is that UPenn Jewish students are forced to endure speakers who support terrorists and the murder of Israelis speaking at their campus and will likely be unable to address it. American universities have shown the students at UPenn that the bottom line is that they do not matter.
John Ware: Rewriting the History of the Corbyn Years (Part 3): Agenda Broadcasting from Al Jazeera’s The Labour Files
John Ware was the reporter for the 2019 BBC Panorama documentary Is Labour Antisemitic? In Part 1 of this series he explained how The Forde Report, and Forde’s statements in a subsequent interview to Al Jazeera, are badly misleading people about his documentary. Part 2 critically reviewed Weaponising Anti-Semitism: How the Israel Lobby Brought Down Jeremy Corbyn by the Electronic Intifada’s associate editor Asa Winstanley. Here, he critiques Al Jazeera’s The Labour Files series. For this article Ware put a series of allegations in writing to Al Jazeera who initially agreed to respond after seven days, but then declined to do so.

The thrust of Al Jazeera’s three-part series Labour Files, broadcast in the autumn of 2022 was that Britain was deprived of its first pro-Palestinian rights Prime Minister through a purge of Corbynites by right wing party officials and a pliant media (particularly Panorama) terminally damaging Corbyn’s lifelong anti-racist credentials by stoking the myth of an antisemitism crisis. This had bequeathed to Kier Starmer a party operating a ‘hierarchy of racism’ which cares more about tackling antisemitism than discrimination against other minorities with Starmer making Labour even more intolerant of dissent than at any time in its history. The series did not mince its words. It purported to ‘expose how (party) operatives’ had ‘secretly take(n) control of Britain’s Labour Party’, turning Labour into a ‘criminal conspiracy against its members’, that Starmer ‘leads a lawless party’ and that his ‘predecessor was undermined by a smear campaign from within.’ It dismisses antisemitism under Jeremy Corbyn as a ‘so-called’ crisis.

It’s a proposition that echoes to the World War 1 playbook of those German army generals who blamed the Jews and social democrat politicians in Berlin for Germany’s battlefield defeat.

This article challenges this ‘stab-in-the-back’ explanation for Corbyn’s downfall as an unsavoury myth fostered by journalism that is closer to what I call agenda journalism which – while purporting to tell the ‘true story’ of a highly contested issue (as in Labour’s antisemitism crisis) – seems incurious about the way things actually are while straining every sinew to land a point.

Of course, mainstream journalism often pursues agendas too, but unlike agenda journalism, the mainstream doesn’t – or certainly shouldn’t – ignore credible facts and plausible arguments that take the story in a different direction.

In support of the Al Jazeera series, the commentator Peter Oborne says ‘the British media needs to look deep into its soul’ for its coverage of the antisemitism crisis under Corbyn, crediting the series as a ‘landmark piece of journalism’ that will be looked back ‘in 10, 20, 30 years, as the turning point in the understanding of this issue and of the contemporary history of Britain, and the Middle East and the Labour Party.’[1]

I argue it’s the other way around and that it is Al Jazeera who need to do some deep soul searching if it wishes to sustain an otherwise deserved reputation for mainstream journalism in its coverage of issues unrelated to the Middle East. The Labour Files is so one-sided that it has sustained Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in their revisionist version of the antisemitism crisis which they regard as largely manufactured in order to stop him becoming prime minister. The agenda journalism of those sympathetic to the sometimes brutal treatment of Corbyn by the mainstream media, has contributed little to the understanding of the crisis beyond showing just how deep the well of prejudice sank.

University of Cape Town hosts talk by Hezbollah spokesman
The University of Cape Town recently hosted an event that facilitated engagement between students and Hezbollah spokesperson Ibrahim al-Mousawi.

Billed as a “year-end event and evening of resistance”, the talk was hosted by the UCT Palestinian Solidarity Forum (UCT PSF), and al-Mousawi addressed students via Zoom.

Promoting the September 15 event, organizers said, “A video message will be recorded by the participants that will be sent directly to the Palestinian resistance Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad! Come out and show South Africa’s support for the mujahedeen in Palestine!” They also advertised the event as “an exclusive message by the Lebanese Islamic resistance to UCT students.”

The event was the third allowed by UCT this year allowing speakers from internationally recognized terror organizations the opportunity to address students.

During the so-called Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) in March, members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (both internationally recognized terrorist organizations) addressed UCT students via a video call from Iran. In May, antisemite and extremist Imam Mohammed al-Assi addressed students at the invitation of the UCT PSF. Flags in support of terror organizations were waved by students.

The South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS), the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape SAJBD) have all raised concerns with the university regarding the Sept. 15 event.

SAZF chairman Rowan Polovin said in a statement that “UCT has yet again provided a platform for terrorists to promulgate anti-Israel hate and propaganda to students on campus. The weakness of UCT’s leadership, which refuses to prevent and condemn the ongoing and flagrant abuse of the campus by hate-traffickers, is deplorable, and must be condemned in the strongest terms. UCT must be held accountable for allowing extremism to spread on campus on more than one occasion this year alone.”
If Adidas cut ties with Ye over his antisemitic rants, why is it praising him and selling Yeezys?
So why is Adidas using a compliment sandwich to describe the controversy? Apparently some faction still views Ye as a risk worth taking.

The apparel company did just spend the summer raking in close to half a billion dollars selling shoes and other Yeezy items that I didn’t think anyone would want anymore. After Adidas said it was cutting ties with Ye, it was staring down the possibility of losing nearly $1.3 billion. But the plan to donate a portion of Yeezy shoe sales to charity — rather than destroying them — was successful. Adidas released a limited supply and made $437 million in the process.

The company wants to maintain the distance it has created from Ye while still cashing in on his fame. So after Gulden’s “I don’t think he meant what he said” remark came a statement from the company.

“Our decision to end our partnership with Ye because of his unacceptable comments and behavior was absolutely the right one,” the company said. “Our stance has not changed: Hate of any kind has no place in sports or society, and we remain committed to fighting it.”

While selling Yeezys and defending Ye?

Anything is possible, I guess.

It’s just hard to believe the company that watched the artist make multiple hateful statements over the course of a decade in business together is really “committed to fighting it.” Feels more like damage control now that it’s their brand in danger of being damaged.

In recent months it announced a $1.1-billion partnership with Manchester United, greenlighted a second wave of Yeezy sales and saw its stock price recovering. The last thing Adidas needs is for the cavalier attitude of its chief executive to reignite the controversy. Adidas was getting what it wanted: It could sell Yeezys and also put out news releases saying it had cut ties with Ye.
Jewish leaders unite against antisemitism on X, call on Musk to make changes
One hundred prominent Jewish leaders, representing a diverse array of backgrounds and affiliations, have joined forces to decry the surge in antisemitic discourse on X, formerly Twitter, and to call attention to the role of its owner, Elon Musk.

Under the campaign titled “X Out Hate,” they wrote that “We are a group of rabbis, leaders of Jewish organizations, artists, activists, and academics,” the letter stated. “We have diverse ideologies and beliefs, but we have come together to address the danger Elon Musk and X represent to Jews and others.”

This campaign appeared first in Confider, The Daily Beast’s free media newsletter.

Antisemitism has 'spread like wildfire'
“We have watched in horror as a new stage in antisemitic discourse has spread like wildfire on one of America’s largest social media networks,” they added.

Over the past several years, these leaders claimed to have watched with increasing alarm as antisemitic discourse has proliferated on X, and they attribute this disturbing trend to Elon Musk’s ownership and influence over the platform.“All of this has been facilitated and enabled by its owner: Elon Musk,” they stressed.

The list of leaders is varied, and includes rabbis from all religious streams, including leaders who aren’t affiliated to any stream. Though, a majority of the those who have signed are on the liberal side of the political map, but there are a number who are more conservative.

Among the grievances voiced by the coalition was a number of issues, such as escalation of antisemitic discourse. The group contends that since Elon Musk’s takeover of X, the platform has become a breeding ground for dangerous antisemitic rhetoric.
Elon Musk vs. the ADL: who deserves the criticism?
Editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, Avi Mayer, Former Executive Director to the American Jewish Congress, Joel Rubin and i24NEWS Science and Tech Correspondent Ariel Levin Waldman join to discuss the recent controversy surrounding the Anti-Defamation League.

Media Disregards Hamas Affiliation of Palestinian Killed in IDF Raid
In the early hours of Sunday September 24, 2023, Israeli forces conducted a counter-terrorism raid in the Nour Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem.

During the operation, which focused on dismantling a terror command center and bomb warehouse, a gunfight erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen.

Two Palestinians were subsequently killed during this clash.

However, in reporting on this raid, several mainstream media outlets either buried the fact that one of those killed, Osaid Abu Ali, was a member of the internationally recognized terror group Hamas or ignored it altogether.

Media Downplays Hamas Link
In its coverage of recent violence in both the West Bank and Gaza, the Associated Press described the Nur Shams operation in its first paragraph as “an Israeli military raid in the northern West Bank that Palestinian health officials said killed two Palestinians.”

However, the fact that one of those killed was claimed as a member by Hamas is buried in the article’s 11th paragraph.

Until that point, it appears as if he was an innocent bystander, not a combatant belonging to a terror organization.

For its part, the AFP wire service’s report was headlined “Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinians in West Bank Raid: Ministry.”

It’s six paragraphs into the piece before the reader is informed that one of those killed was affiliated with Hamas.

In an article headlined “Two Palestinian men killed during Israeli incursion in camp near Tulkarem,” CNN never once mentioned that one of those killed during the counter-terrorism operation was a Hamas member.

BBC downplays Palestinian terror in report on three incidents
BBC audiences are not informed that al-Saadi was claimed by both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or that at least two of the three others killed – Ata Yasser Ata Musa and Mahmoud Khaled Ararawi – were PIJ operatives.

Knell and Williamson describe the September 20th incident in Aqabat Jaber, near Jericho, as follows:
“Wednesday morning saw a deadly Israeli military raid in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp in Jericho.

The local hospital said that a 19-year-old man who died was shot in the head. He has since been buried.

Witnesses said that locals had thrown stones at Israeli soldiers who entered the camp.

The Israeli military said explosive devices were also thrown as its forces carried out an arrest raid.”

The ITIC noted that:
“Before dawn on September 20, 2023, Israeli security forces operated in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp (south of Jericho) to detain wanted Palestinians. As they entered the camp, local residents rioted and threw rocks at them. They responded with live fire, killing a Palestinian who had thrown IEDs at them.”

Knell and Williamson tell BBC audiences that:
“The bloodshed in Jenin was the latest in an upsurge in violence in the West Bank, where the Israeli military says it has been carrying out counter-terrorism activities over the past year and a half.”

However they fail to make any mention of the rise in Palestinian terrorism which is the context for those counter-terrorism activities but choose to end their report with the following statement:
“Israel blames Hamas for instigating increased attacks against its soldiers and civilians in the West Bank.”

Remarkably, Knell and Williamson have nothing whatsoever to tell readers about the fact that Hamas itself boasts of its activities in Judea & Samaria, including terror attacks and rocket launches at civilian communities, or its smuggling of explosives and production of explosive devices in that area.

Antisemitism in Rural America Is a Major Problem; But We Can Help Fix It
As a fifth generation Jew living in the Kansas City metro area, I often encounter surprise from other Jewish communities when they learn that there are Jews living in this region.

Of course, if there were no Jews in Kansas City, there would have been no Eddie Jacobson, the lifelong friend of President Harry Truman, who recommended President Truman meet with Chaim Weizmann to discuss the establishment of a Jewish state.

Yes, there are Jews in Kansas City. More than that, there are Jews in Topeka, Manhattan, and Wichita — and in much smaller, more rural communities across Kansas, and the country.

Most accounts of antisemitism in the news focus on incidents in bigger cities — and these are, of course, deserving of attention and outrage. Yet antisemitism exists everywhere, from big cities to the tiniest towns.

As an organization representing all of Kansas and Western Missouri, the stories we hear at my branch of the AJC range from workplace harassment to drive-by slurs, to people proudly waving Nazi flags near schools. Many in smaller towns express that these frequent incidents are just a regular part of their experience as Jews.

Even in towns where there are no Jewish families, antisemitism remains a growing threat. This is because antisemitism doesn’t require a Jewish presence to thrive. In fact, lack of exposure to Jewish communities can leave even more room for antisemitic ideas, stereotypes, and conspiracy theories to take hold.
American football coach resigns after players shouted 'Nazi' during game
An American football coach at a US high school has resigned after players on his team reportedly shouted “Nazi” during a game.

Tim McFarland, head coach of the Brooklyn Hurricanes, who represent Ohio's Brooklyn High School, resigned after his team were accused of using racist and antisemitic language during a match with a fellow Ohio high school last week.

The other team involved in the match were the Beachwood Bisons, based in the nearby town of Beachwood.

Beachwood, Ohio, has one of the highest proportions of Jewish residents in the United States with almost 90 per cent of residents identifying as such, according to a 2011 survey.

During the first half of the game, Brooklyn players repeatedly used the word “Nazi” to call out a play during the game, according to local reports.

Beachwood Mayor Justin Berns condemned the remarks and said: “There is no place for this sort of behaviour, and we invite Brooklyn’s city leaders to join us in condemning it.

“Brooklyn’s behaviour violates the norms and expectations of conduct that should be taught to every student.”

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland added in a statement: “[We are] disgusted and hurt to hear about the hateful behaviour by a local high school team this weekend.

“We call for all those responsible for this blatant display of hate be held accountable for their actions, especially those who are supposed to be shaping the next generation.”

Beachwood school district superintendent Robert Hardis said McFarland acknowledged using the word as a play call, apologised and agreed to change it when the teams returned for the second half of the game last Friday.

In Israeli first, Gazan girl receives new kind of pacemaker in innovative procedure
For the first time in Israel, a new kind of pacemaker was implanted in a child using innovative methods. It was the first time the pacemaker — identical to the one Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received in July — was implanted by catheterization through the patient’s neck rather than the groin.

The recipient of the new pacemaker in the unusual procedure performed earlier this month was an 18-year-old from Gaza named Shahad, who was treated at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon through Save A Child’s Heart.

Save a Child’s Heart is an Israeli humanitarian organization working internationally to save the lives of children from countries where access to pediatric cardiac care is limited or nonexistent. Founded at Wolfson in 1995, Save a Child’s Heart has saved the lives of almost 7,000 children from 70 countries and has brought more than 150 healthcare professionals to Israel for training.

Conventional pacemakers, which help maintain normal heart rhythm, are surgically placed under a patient’s skin into the chest near the collarbone, and then electrical leads are introduced into the heart via a catheterization.

This new pacemaker, the Micra produced by Medtronic, is placed directly into the heart and has no leads. It is smaller than a conventional pacemaker — around the size of a large vitamin capsule or the tip of an adult finger — and involves no surgical incision or scarring. Another advantage is its battery life of at least two decades — far longer than older devices.

“We’ve been treating Shahad since she was a young child. She has a complex [anatomical] heart malformation. All the major parts of her heart are inverse,” explained Dr. Sagi Assa, Senior Pediatric Cardiologist at Save a Child’s Heart and Head of the Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Unit at Wolfson.

“Usually this kind of situation goes along with a heart block, or a problem with the heart’s natural pacemaker, that develops by the age of one,” Assa added.
New York City Mayor talks up ties in visit to Israel
The Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams visited Israel to further cement the ties between America and Israel. i24NEWS Senior Correspondent Owen Alterman brings us more on his visit to the Holy land.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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