Monday, November 27, 2023

From Ian:

Israel Can Either Win the Narrative or Win the War
Why have the Jewish people long occupied mental real estate in non-Jews’ minds? Andrew Klavan recently clarified. The Jewish people are, Klavan said, “The theater in which God plays out his relationship with humankind.”

The God of the Jews harshly judged child sacrifice (Isaac and Jacob), sexual immorality (Sodom), and slavery (Egypt); these were common in pre-biblical civilizations. Introducing a new moral code was disruptive and revolutionary to the established order.

The Jewish followers of Jesus, a Jew, introduced Christianity to mankind. Muhammad was, according to Islam, a descendant of Ishmael, son of the Jewish patriarch Abraham.

The Jews are the theater in which God plays out his relationship with humankind.

What movie are we watching today? The West’s mainstream understanding of just war is shifting, and Israel is the theater.

Our traditional view of good and evil emerged from the Torah.

“The destitute you shall not favor in his complaint” (Exodus 23:3).

“You shall commit no injustice in judgment; you shall not favor a poor person or respect a great man” (Leviticus 19:15).

Justice, strength and wealth are not mutually exclusive. Neither are injustice, weakness and poverty.

But news coverage has reduced a war that Hamas started on October 7 to a scoreboard where Israel’s relative strength becomes its greatest diplomatic weakness. In this movie, the higher the body count reported by Hamas, the crueler Israel becomes.

But more German non-combatants were killed in World War 2 than American or British.

So the Allies were baddies, and we ought to feel guilt over the 1-3 million dead German civilians, including many children.

In future conflicts, will the U.S. military’s rules of engagement be further tightened to account for voters’ preferences?
Seth Mandel: Hamas Is Lying About the Hostages
Why wouldn’t Hamas know where some of the captives are being held? Because, the Financial Times reports, “Hamas has told Qatar that its fighters did not capture civilians, blaming it on other militant groups and Palestinians who rampaged through southern Israel after fighters broke through the Israeli security barriers around Gaza, [Qatari Prime Minister] Sheikh Mohammed said. When the hostage deal was brokered, it was agreed 50 women and children would be released because that was the number Hamas said it had been able to secure, Sheikh Mohammed said.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani may or may not believe his own statement, but it doesn’t really matter. Two paragraphs later the Financial Times makes clear: “Video posted on social media on the day of the October 7 attacks, as well as footage collected by the Israeli military in subsequent weeks, showed Hamas fighters, some in uniform, and other Palestinians going through Israeli houses killing civilians and taking others captive.”

The fact that anyone would pretend to need video proof to believe Hamas harms civilians in the year 2023 shows us the level of intellectual dishonesty we’re dealing with. According to the IDF, Hamas seems to have kidnapped some of the hostages and transferred them into a different faction’s custody. If true, that goes even further toward exposing what a sick and farcical shell game this whole hostage negotiation is. And one of those believed to be in that group of hostages is a ten-month-old child. A baby.

It’s also worth noting, as Seth Frantzman did last night, that whatever lack of communication Hamas has with “other groups” in Gaza didn’t get in the way of a relatively clean ceasefire. The agreement was with Hamas, but everyone stopped shooting at Israelis. Either Hamas has tight control of Gaza… or Iran does.

You know who doesn’t have control of Gaza? Qatar. The filthy rich middleman. Good work if you can get it.

Hamas is lying in order to stay in power and continue murdering and torturing innocents. It cannot be allowed to succeed. That’s the whole ballgame. Everything else is noise, and Biden should filter it out.
Hamas leader Sinwar spoke to hostages in Gaza, released Israeli says
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, the man behind the planning of the October 7 massacre, spoke to Israeli hostages while they were held in Gaza, one Israeli who was released from captivity this week told her family, Israeli media reported on Monday evening.

Sinwar allegedly arrived in a tunnel where she and other hostages were being held, checked how they are, and told them in fluent Hebrew that they would not be harmed.

Israel's Channel 12 claims that this report was verified by her investigators in Israel's security systems.

Current concerns among Israel's defense and military analysts relate to Sinwar's plans for the rest of this war - namely, the exploitation of the humanitarian crisis among Palestinian civilians in order to advance Hamas's terror goals.

Sinwar's Israeli interrogation of 1989
The use of his people's suffering for the terrorist organization's gain is nothing new to Sinwar, whose 1989 police interrogation in Israel was recently unveiled, during which he expressed a deep antipathy for the Palestinian people.

For example, in 1987, Sinwar wanted to experiment with dropping explosive charges. Of all places, he chose Shifa Hospital in Gaza City as a dummy target.

Nine children, two mothers released from Hamas captivity as truce holds for 4th day
Eleven Israeli children and mothers were released from Hamas captivity Monday night, arriving in Israel after several hours of uncertainty over the fate of a deal for their freedom. They were freed amid ongoing intense diplomatic efforts to extend the four-day humanitarian pause in Gaza, which began on Friday, for two more days.

The group was originally slated to be the last of four scheduled groups of hostages freed as part of a deal for the release of 50 Israeli women and children kidnapped by the Hamas terror group on October 7. However, hours before they were transferred to the Red Cross, Qatar announced that a deal had been reached to extend the truce by two days, paving the way for 20 more hostages to be released. Israel had not confirmed this deal as of late Monday.

Israel agreed to free 150 Palestinians serving time in Israeli prison for security offenses as part of the initial truce, and released 33 women and young men to the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Monday night. A two-day extension may see another 60 inmates freed.

According to an Egyptian report, another six Thai citizens were also slated to be released from Hamas captivity in Gaza on Monday evening, as part of a separate agreement not involving Israel — but there was no word of any such transfer late Monday.

The eventual release capped a day of tensions, as Israel appeared to balk at an initial list of hostages to be released, the latest in a series of snags that have threatened to torpedo the truce and send the region hurtling back into full-blown war.

After they were handed over to the Red Cross in Gaza, two mothers and nine children were brought back to Israel, reportedly via the Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel — sidestepping a transfer in Egypt. Fathers of all five families with hostages released Monday are still being held in Gaza.

Among those freed were Sharon Aloni Cunio, 34, and her 3-year-old twin daughters Yuli and Emma Cunio. Husband and father David Cunio, 34, remains a hostage.

Once again, Hamas published propaganda footage showing the handover inside Gaza to the Red Cross, as the hostages were loaded into the aid group’s vans by armed terror operatives.
Sharon Aloni Cunio, twin daughters Yuli and Emma, 3, freed; father David still in Gaza

Giles Fraser: The brutal truth about ‘Never Again’
“An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned,” was how the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, greeted the news of nine-year-old Emily Hand being released from her Hamas hellhole. He made it sound like the poor girl had been temporarily separated from her family during a busy shopping day at Brent Cross. This was the child whose father was so tortured by the thought of her being kidnapped by wicked men that he confessed he loved her so much he hoped that she was dead.

“Keep waving,” said the Hamas terrorists, handing over another little girl to the Red Cross on Friday night. As she waved back nervously — they still have seven of her family locked up, so of course she did — the Hamas PR machine must have been punching the air in delight. This is the narrative they are trying to sell you: Hamas are just misunderstood humanitarians — or, at least, principled freedom fighters pushing back against years of colonial oppression. We treat our captives well, they say. Not kidnapped, just lost.

How is it that some people fall for all this manipulative rubbish? There have been posters of these children ripped down all over London and New York by Hamas apologists, gleeful fools who seem to think it’s a lie that children were ever taken in the first place. It’s like watching Holocaust denial develop in real time. Antisemitism doesn’t just rot the soul; it rots the brain.

Admittedly, facing the truth is often impossibly demanding, especially when the truth is as distressing as this is. I thought I was mentally prepared for Bearing Witness, the IDF’s 47-minute compilation of footage taken on October 7, which I saw last week at a private screening. But my body clearly wasn’t. Ten minutes in, I started to shake. The organisers had prepared the audience as best they could and explained there was no shame in having to leave. And there was a point where I was close.

Some of the footage came from Hamas bodycams, some from their mobile phones, some from CCTV, some from first responders. All of it was horrific. Later, after a number of medicinal whiskies, I did manage to sleep. But I woke early. And in the small hours, there was little protection from all those images: the beheadings, the children crying out for “abba” as their father was murdered before their eyes, the sheer joy with which Hamas hunted down and slaughtered their victims, the lifeless bodies of children in their Mickey Mouse pyjamas, the contortions of the dying, the endless pools of blood.

All lies, say Hamas’s useful idiots. Why else, they say, would this IDF production be shown only to a select group of sympathetic (a.k.a. gullible) journalists and opinion-formers. In that case, I’m not sure how obsessive Israel-hater Owen Jones made it onto the IDF guest list. The gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell also sat behind me. He’s no establishment patsy by a long chalk.

Then, yesterday afternoon, more than 100,000 of us marched through central London. This too was bearing witness — it was not a digital social media battle but these were real people, with real worries. It was the largest and most significant assertion of support for British Jewry since the fascists were pushed back by a similar number of indignant cockneys at the Battle of Cable Street on another Sunday afternoon in 1936. A few yards in front of me, Tommy Robinson, a latter-day Blackshirt, was forcibly ejected from the march to everyone’s approval. Nasty little man.

The atmosphere was mostly sombre, with grey skies and a little gentle rain reflecting the mood. A few reserved chants of “Bring them home!” broke out as we marched up towards Parliament, but mostly it was reassuringly free of drama, still less any sort of threat. No one wore a mask. These did not feel like people who were used to going on demonstrations. “First time I have been on one since the Sixties,” said the rather glamorous octogenarian sitting beside me on the Tube. These are the “moderate people” that actor Eddie Marsan had urged in his speech “to stand up and face down extremism and bigotry and antisemitism and islamophobia and all forms of racism”. It was pretty distressing that it took so many police to protect so many peaceful people. But they needed to be there.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen: The UN's Treatment of Israel Is Shameful
The United Nations is suffering from acute moral failure and can't fulfill its core mission. Israel joined the UN in 1949. Universal humanitarian values, civil liberties, the rule of law and political accountability have always been the foundations of Israeli society. We adhere fully to the UN charter.

Yet since Oct. 7, Israel has been fighting a war for survival against an enemy whose goal is our total annihilation. We are the only democracy in a region dominated by violent authoritarian regimes. Israel's enemies are deliberately violating all principles of the UN Charter, international humanitarian law and basic human decency.

The atrocities Hamas committed on Oct. 7 were appalling crimes against humanity. You would think such flagrant acts of evil would elicit the strongest of condemnations. Yet the UN, its agencies, and its secretary general fail even to address the crimes of Hamas and other Iranian terror proxies.

The UN's betrayal of its own mandate is not new for Israel, which has been the object of double standards for decades. The world's most violent anti-Western forces exploit the UN and promote an agenda radically opposed to its charter and stated goals. Israel is today at the forefront of the struggle against those forces aimed at the destruction of the free world.
JPost Editorial: What is up with Ireland?
What is troubling is that the Irish premier’s post corresponds with his country’s longtime and highly problematic position.

While leaders from the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States have voiced support for Israel’s right to defend itself, Varadkar said early on in the war that although it has a right to defend itself, “Israel doesn’t have the right to do wrong,“ adding: “To me, [Israel’s military campaign] amounts to collective punishment.”

On November 3, he described Israel’s military response to Hamas’s October 7 attack as “something approaching revenge.”

“That’s not where we should be,” Varadkar told journalists during a visit to South Korea. “And I don’t think that’s how Israel will guarantee future freedom and future security.”

Una Mullally, a columnist for the Irish Times, sought to explain Ireland’s position in The Guardian.

“Because of our history, many people are drawn to support those they perceive as oppressed, with marginalized national identities, especially within the frameworks of imperialism and colonialism,” she wrote. “Israeli diplomats have long viewed Ireland as the least sympathetic nation in Europe to their cause. The past few weeks suggest that reputation isn’t changing soon.”

Mullally pointed out that one of the factors is “the question of how this plays with Sinn Féin, which is explicitly pro-Palestine and is widely predicted to become the largest party in government after the next general election.”

She said the party is a strong supporter of the BDS movement and that the current X profile of its leader, Mary Lou McDonald, features a Palestinian rather than an Irish flag.

McDonald, incidentally, welcomed Emily’s release in a more sympathetic fashion than Varadkar, even though she reiterated her demand for a full ceasefire. “The trauma and heartbreak that little Emily and her family have been subjected to over the last number of weeks is unimaginable,” she said. “I reiterate my call that all hostages be released urgently and for an immediate full ceasefire to be in place.”

Perhaps the Irish leadership should be reminded of this quotation by Oscar Wilde: “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”
Guardian legitimises Irish diplomat's antisemitism
We’re of course not surprised that Guardian editors didn’t flag the unambiguously antisemitic narrative concerning the putatively nefarious influence of ‘Jewish power’ on Western politics, as, for instance, their veteran journalist Chris McGreal has devoted much of his career to peddling variations of that trope – albeit, typically in a more subtle way than the former Irish diplomat.

Moreover, the Jewish population in the UK – which Holohan describes as “sizeable” – is, in fact, one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the population. French Jews similarly make up less than one percent (0.75%) of the population. The correct word to describe the Jewish populations in these countries is miniscule.

However, the problem with arguments such as Holohan’s isn’t merely that they obscure the fact that all Jewish communities in the diaspora are extremely small. The more disturbing subtext is the assumption that Jewish communities – unlike other minority or majority communities – engage in political activism that’s intrinsically at odds with the interests (or ‘principles’) of their countries.

Indeed, the ‘dual loyalty’ charge is predicated upon the fear that Jews can’t be trusted to put the interests of their own countries first. Of course, who decides precisely what’s in any given country’s best interest – in terms of foreign or domestic policy – is what politics is all about. Liberal democracy is predicated upon the right of all citizens to influence their government’s decisions, using all legitimate and legal means – through persuasion, lobbying and voting – to affect change.

The belief that Jews’ loyalty to their own country is suspect, that they exercise too much power over government policy and that smaller Jewish populations lead to more moral policies is redolent of centuries of antisemitism in which Jews have been viewed as a toxic element in the body politic. The fact that the Guardian didn’t detect the underlying racist assumption of Holohan’s comments is another example of how the outlet’s obsessive support of the Palestinians, and related hostility towards the Jewish state, leads them to legitimise, condone and peddle antisemitic content on their platforms.
The hypocrisy of the feminists
The antisemitism became more and more blatant. These feminists were already throwing Israeli women out of their meetings—wonderful women, who had faced motherhood and war, who excelled in science and poetry. They were heroines who fought for freedom. They were women without awe of men. Their valiant return home to Israel was a symbol, not of colonization, but of decolonization—of the self, more than anything else. They were rejected anyway.

Feminism subjugated itself to the communist movement. It had a desperate and pathetic need for its approval. The feminists could not imagine flying another flag. Thus, in accordance with Soviet policy, they could not do otherwise than reject and demonize the State of Israel. They did not care that Israel was the only country in the Middle East that guaranteed gender equality.

What they did care about was sounding the libels: colonialist, imperialist, capitalist, apartheid… Today, the surrender to antisemitic totalitarianism is absolute. The feminist is now intersectional, woke, ready to sacrifice herself to the violence of Hamas, because—in an obviously racist paradigm—“oppressors” can only be white, Christian or Jewish.

It doesn’t matter if these so-called “oppressors” save LGBT people from the “oppressed” bigots who hang them from the lampposts. It doesn’t matter if the feminists’ beloved Hamas forces female children into marriages with pedophile adults and sanctions—indeed orders—rapes, beatings and kidnappings. In a remarkable act of self-hatred and internalization of misogyny, the feminists love them anyway.

It is not surprising, given this perversion, that there has been silence from the feminists and other leftists on the mass rape and serial femicide that occurred on Oct. 7, let alone the slaughter of 1,200 people.

Why did you kidnap the boys and girls, the police asked captured terrorists. “To rape them,” they replied. And from the feminists comes the condemnation of male chauvinism, of gender violence? No. For today’s feminists, it seems, there is only the hunt for the “imperialist” and “colonialist” Jews, and the demented, sadistic joy of raping and killing them.
Eugene Kontorovich and Itamar Marcus: Don't Give Gaza to the Palestinian Authority
The Biden administration wants Israel to bring in Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party to rule Gaza when the war is over. Fatah is a secular, Arab nationalist party that occasionally claims to want peace with Israel, albeit on terms that would make Israel's existence as a Jewish state untenable. Both Hamas and Fatah have lethal policies when it comes to Israel.

Fatah controls the Palestinian Authority, which sponsors the "pay to slay" salary program that provides financial rewards to terrorists, who get more lavish payouts for crimes that result in longer imprisonment. Fatah has celebrated and glorified the Oct. 7 orgy of torture and murder. The party has boasted that its members directly participated in the invasion, crossing into Israel and brutalizing civilians. The official PA news agency described the attacks as a "heroic battle" and called on Palestinians to escalate "confrontation in all arenas."

The evidence of actual participation by Fatah members, combined with the endorsement by official Fatah organs, should disqualify Fatah and any government of which it is a part from any leadership role in Gaza. The difference between Fatah and Hamas is one of degree, not kind. They are both evil.
New poll shows Palestinians are the impediment to peace — not Israel's war
The Oct. 7 attacks are widely attributed to Hamas, but more specifically, it is likely that it was Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, that carried out the raid.

And how do Palestinians view the Qassam Brigades? The poll found that 79.1 per cent of Gazans had a positive view of the organization and, in the West Bank, that grew to 95.4 per cent. As for Hamas, almost 60 per cent of Gazans had a positive view of it, with that number rocketing to 87.7 per cent in the West Bank.

Islamic Jihad, which like Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization in Canada, is supported by 71.9 per cent of Gazans and over 90 per cent of people in the West Bank. And to finish the role call of terror groups, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is viewed positively by almost 70 per cent of Gazans and over 80 per cent of West Bank respondents.

Trudeau has said that Israel’s war on Hamas will make the “pathway toward a secure, viable, independent Jewish state alongside a secure, viable independent Palestinian state” more difficult. However, having a population of one of those states that supports the destruction of the other might be more of an impediment.

Palestinians are themselves not optimistic about peace. When asked if “your conviction in the possibility” of achieving peace with Israel or coexistence between Palestinians and Israel had increased or decreased, almost 90 per cent said it had decreased in both cases.

Of course, if three-quarters of Palestinians are committed to the destruction of Israel, as the poll says, then obviously that’s going to make coexistence a bit tricky. It’s a reminder of a biblical adage that might be paraphrased: the lion will lie down with the lamb — but the lamb won’t get much sleep.

There is nothing in this poll that is hopeful. When asked why the United States and the West support Israel, answers included: the Israeli lobby (91.5 per cent); hatred of Muslims and Islam (89.5 per cent); and political and economic interests in the region (96.3 per cent).

There is also a sizable chunk of the population who will never forgive Israel — almost 96 per cent of Palestinians — and will never forget what Israel did (93 per cent). And the number of Palestinians who feel pride after Oct. 7 sits at 94.3 per cent.

The survey suggests that almost 80 per cent of Palestinians are more committed to a Palestinian state than ever before. Considering that dream has to be achieved with the destruction of Israel, according to the poll, and considering the positive support given by ordinary Palestinians to terrorist groups who want to achieve that dream, what hope is there for peace?
Where Free Speech Ends and Lawbreaking Begins
Even antisemites have the right to free speech, as Nadine Strossen and Pamela Paresky correctly wrote in The Free Press. Since the Hamas massacre of October 7, they have been taking full advantage of that right. Especially on college campuses.

Pro-Palestinian groups have harassed and even assaulted Jewish students; protesters have interrupted courses and taken over buildings; Ivy League professors have called Hamas’s attack “exhilarating” and “awesome”; students have torn down posters of missing Israeli children; others have chanted—and even projected onto university buildings—slogans, like “from the river to the sea,” “globalize the intifada,” and “glory to our martyrs.”

In response to such activities, universities have suspended or banned student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine. Alumni have pulled their donations and publicly stated that they won’t hire students who signed letters blaming Israel for the massacre. Republican lawmakers have suggested revoking the student visas of those participating in anti-Israel protests.

Those who care deeply about free speech are asking themselves many questions at this urgent moment: What should we make of the calls to punish Hamas apologists on campus? After all, this is America, where you have the right to say even the vilest things. Yes, many of the same students who on October 6 called for harsh punishment for “microaggressions” are now chanting for the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state. But Americans are entitled to be hypocrites.

Don’t these students have the same right to chant Hamas slogans as the neo-Nazis did to march in 1977 in Skokie, Illinois—a town then inhabited by many Holocaust survivors?

I would put my free speech bona fides up against anyone. I’m also a lawyer and sometime law professor who recognizes that not all speech-related questions can be resolved by invoking the words First Amendment.

Much of what we’ve witnessed on campuses over the past few weeks is not, in fact, speech, but conduct designed specifically to harass, intimidate, and terrorize Jews. Other examples involve disruptive speech that can properly be regulated by school rules. Opposing or taking action against such behavior in no way violates the core constitutional principle that the government can’t punish you for expressing your beliefs.

The question, as always, is where to draw the line, and who’s doing the line-drawing.

Here are some of the most pressing questions those who care about civil liberties and protecting the rights of Jewish students are asking.
Masterclass in Manipulation: Exposing Max Blumenthal's Lies About Israel and October 7
Max Blumenthal, the editor of The Grayzone website, wrote a piece on October 27 that can only be described as a master class in manipulation. His article provided the basis for the now widespread conspiracy theory denying that Hamas murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians.

No one who knows Blumenthal or The Grayzone was surprised by this: They have a history of denying war crimes committed by Russia, China and the Assad regime in Syria, so this new episode was almost unavoidable. The Grayzone denied the March 2022 massacre by Russian soldiers in Bucha, Ukraine, and accused the Syrian aid group the White Helmets of war crimes that were actually committed by the Assad regime.

But since many people don’t know Blumenthal, and some people who know him are still ready to believe him about Israel, I want to expose the deceptive methods in his article. Blumenthal has two goals in his piece:

1. Paint a false picture by which Israel is responsible for most of the victims.

2. To gain credibility, pretend his claim is based on Israeli sources. Since all his Israeli sources completely contradict the narrative he wanted to paint, he resorts to manipulations. Blumenthal omits almost the entirety of his sources – everything related to the war crimes committed by Hamas terrorists. He focuses on a few sentences in the articles he cites, usually taking them out of context and sometimes blatantly deleting words to change the meaning.

Cherry picking: The story of Kibbutz Be’eri
Blumenthal misuses two Israeli sources to paint a false picture of the events at Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7. He quotes one sentence from a video report by i24NEWS.

Blumenthal writes: “Much of the shelling in Be’eri was carried out by Israeli tank crews. As a reporter for the Israeli Foreign Ministry-sponsored outlet i24 noted during a visit to Be’eri, 'small and quaint homes [were] bombarded or destroyed,' and 'well-maintained lawns [were] ripped up by the tracks of an armored vehicle, perhaps a tank.'”

The video he cites starts with the words “The kibbutz became notorious for the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists.” It also contains stories about Hamas terrorists setting houses on fire and shooting the people inside. Blumenthal makes no mention of this.
Questionable Haaretz Reporting Used to Sully Israel
One of the most prevalent issues with coverage of the current war between Israel and Hamas is the spread of inaccurate reporting and misinformation.

As was seen with the Al-Ahli Hospital explosion and other similar instances, inaccurate reports help to fuel a narrative that whitewashes Hamas’ terrorist actions while simultaneously condemning Israel for acts that it did not commit. This false narrative then takes off on social media and quickly becomes an accepted fact for many people.

Two instances of seemingly inaccurate reporting that have spread in both the mainstream media and online are the reports that the IDF Spokesperson announced that Israeli strikes against Hamas would emphasize “damage and not accuracy,” and the claim that some of those killed at the Nova music festival were killed by an Israeli military helicopter and not by Hamas terrorists.

Both of these claims were initially reported in the Israeli daily, Haaretz.

“Damage and Not Accuracy”
On October 10, three days after the horrific Hamas terror attack in Israel’s south, the Haaretz daily blog reported a number of statements made that morning by the IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, in a briefing to military reporters. One of these statements attributed to the spokesperson was that, for the IDF, “the emphasis is on damage and not on accuracy.”

From an analysis of the text of Rear Admiral Hagari’s statement that morning, it appears that this is not an exact quote but a paraphrasing of his words.

The actual quote is “between accuracy and the scale of damage, right now we are busy with what generates maximum damage” (emphasis added). It was said in the context of the spokesperson’s remarks on Israel’s bombardment of Hamas targets in Gaza and the armaments that Israel had at its disposal to complete this task.

The statement was made during the initial stage of Israel’s retaliation against Hamas for its brutal slaughter on October 7 and was not a declaration of how Israel would conduct itself throughout the war.

Despite the nuanced context of the statement, the Haaretz paraphrasing was soon picked up by a variety of international media organizations and has been used to support incorrect observations about Israel’s conduct in this war.
What’s Happened to Harvard?
One cannot get it out of one’s head. The young Israeli at the music festival, trapped, awaiting capture and worse from the Hamas murderers, sending two brief sentences back to his family: “I love you” and “I’m sorry.”

It’s the “I’m sorry” that brings you to your knees, because what he was being sorry for was causing his family and loved ones such pain. He wasn’t suffering at the moment he sent the message. He was anticipating their anxiety, sorrow, and grief, and he was attempting to relieve them of these burdens by assuming them himself. Another young Jewish man did a similar thing a couple of thousand years ago. “I’m sorry.”

It goes wider and deeper. “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry for providing a satisfying moment for these dead-hearted murderers. Sorry that my life is likely to end before I could do anything to counter evil impulses, evil people. Sorry that I’m only human.

Halfway across the world, the murderers’ verbal accomplices — one waving a swastika — gather and march in Times Square, and send notices from Fair Harvard that the slaughter of children was justified. Or just as bad, that there’s much to be said on both sides. (I cringe even as I write that tripe.) When Donald Trump says something like that — as he did following the lethal street violence in Charlottesville — he showed himself to be the most dangerous sort of apologist, an inciter of riots. When Harvard students say that, and worse, what are they to be called? Free speakers with a controversial point of view?

When I was teaching English and writing at Harvard in the 1960s, I was also senior tutor, a sort of resident dean, and, later, master (when that title existed) at Dunster House. So I worked closely with both students and faculty. It was the time of anti-Vietnam protests all over the country — at Harvard, the protests sometimes taking the form of students blocking recruiters who were in one way or another associated with the war effort, then escalating to building takeovers and student strikes.

The issue then was quite different, of course. We were involved in a wrong war, and we had to get out.

But the question of how the university ought to respond was generically the same. Protest, yes. But how far is too far? And where does protest become the equivalent of violence itself? Clearly something instructive was to be attached to disciplining students for their protests. Yet everything they were being taught in their classrooms told them to speak their minds fearlessly. The line that was drawn had to do with damage. Demonstrations that threatened the purposes, indeed the existence of the university — that intended and supported pure destruction — were not to be countenanced.

Of course, there were faculty members who wanted to pat the protesting students on the back, or just as bad, sit and wait for things to blow over. But the faculty members who did not speak out against the destruction of the university and its principles were simply being cowardly, or fooling themselves. And the student protesters would learn absolutely nothing about the line between forcefully demonstrating opinions and fomenting violence.
Antisemites and radical Islamists run multi million pound U.K. Charity Global Relief Trus

Israel-Hamas war: Global perspectives on the Gaza operation

Israel-Hamas war: Denying Oct. 7 massacre is new form of antisemitism - opinion

Right now, I'm praying for America

Human Rights Watch says rocket misfire likely cause of deadly Gaza hospital blast
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday that evidence suggested a misfired rocket was the likely cause of an explosion that resulted in heavy casualties at a hospital in Gaza on Oct. 17.

The explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital triggered outrage across the Arab world. Palestinians blamed an Israeli air strike, while Israel said it was caused by a misfiring Palestinian rocket launch.

The health ministry in Gaza said 471 people were killed. Israel disputes this figure. An unclassified U.S. intelligence report estimated the death toll "at the low end of the 100 to 300 spectrum".

"The explosion that killed and injured many civilians at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on October 17, 2023, resulted from an apparent rocket-propelled munition, such as those commonly used by Palestinian armed groups..," HRW said.

It said the findings of its investigation into the explosion were based on a review of photos and videos, satellite imagery and interviews with witnesses and experts.

The Al-Ahli hospital blast was one of the most fiercely disputed incidents in a war marked by accusations from both sides of disinformation and war crimes.

Senior Hamas official Basem Naim told Reuters all indications pointed to Israel's responsibility, adding that the HRW report was biased towards Israel and was not "decisive".

"HRW hasn't come up with any evidence to support their findings nor eyewitness testimonies nor opinion of independent military exports," he said, adding that Hamas received questions from HRW two weeks ago but asked it to delay its report until after the war had ended.

Emmanuel Nahshon, deputy director general for public diplomacy at Israel's Foreign Ministry, criticised the time it took HRW to release its opinion.

"More than a month to reach half heartedly the conclusion the whole world reached after two days," he said on X social messaging network.

Naim said Hamas had offered HRW or any other international investigation committee full cooperation if they were willing to visit Gaza and conduct a thorough probe.

HRW said reports of 471 dead and 342 injured "displays an unusually high killed-to-injured ratio" and appeared to be "out of proportion" with the damage visible on the site.

"Authorities in Gaza and Israel should release the evidence of munition remnants and other information they have regarding the Al-Ahli hospital explosion to allow for a full investigation," HRW crisis and conflict director Ida Sawyer said.

Dexter Van Zile: Not Another Dime to Pro-Hamas Charities in U.S.
It's time to impose a moratorium on the allocation of public funds to non-profit organizations in the U.S. that support Hamas, a designated terror organization responsible for the Oct. 7 massacre of 1,400 Israelis. The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a suspected proxy for Turkey, issued a statement on the same day of the massacre that portrayed Hamas' murder spree as an act of "self-defense." The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) promoted the USCMO's statement on its own website.

CAIR has been under FBI scrutiny for decades. Yet the Department of Homeland Security dispensed $70,000 to the CAIR Los Angeles chapter in 2016 and $75,000 to the CAIR chapter in Florida. The Small Business Administration has provided $3,000 to CAIR chapters in Connecticut and Texas. San Diego County authorized a grant of $13,000 in 2022 to the local CAIR chapter, as well as two additional grants of over $6,000 each.

It is time to prohibit the disbursement of public funds - at all levels of government - to Islamist organizations until legislative investigations into their ties to Hamas and support for Islamism are conducted. The main beneficiary of this campaign will be U.S. Muslims who object to Hamas' butchery and want to live in peace with their neighbors.
USC Professor Suspended After Telling Anti-Israel Protesters, ‘Hamas Are Murderers'

Wary of Deportation, Elite Colleges Won't Expel Anti-Semitic Foreign Students

St Andrews University rector urged to resign over Israel 'genocide' claim

2 women arrested in NYC hate crime attack on Jewish victim

Media Create False Moral Equivalence Between Released Hostages and Palestinian Prisoners

The Washington Post accused of anti-Israel bias in its war coverage

Media Erase Links Between Dead Journalists and Hamas; Suggest Israel ‘Targeting Reporters’

PreOccupiedTerritory: BBC Still Reporting Jews Killed William Of Norwich (satire)

Visits by EU Leaders to Israel Highlight Growing Divisions in Brussels Over War in Gaza

PMW's Itamar Marcus blames EU MPs for Oct. 7 slaughter
Source: Conference in EU parliament on combating Antisemitism through education, Nov. 11, 2023

Borrell: Middle East can’t survive another Palestinian Nakba

Former French Prime Minister Castigated for ‘Antisemitic’ Comments on ‘Financial Domination’ During TV Interview

Rashida Tlaib's 'coexistence' is a laughable contradiction

Tens of thousands attend anti-Israel demonstration in Morocco

Six Teenagers on Trial for Alleged Role in Beheading of Teacher Who Showed Muhammad Pictures in Class

MEMRI: Hamas Leader Abroad Khaled Mash'al: Our Tunnels And Weapons Are Still Intact; We Can Maneuver And Fire Rockets; We Follow The Example Of The Prophet, Who Preached The Conquest Of Byzantium Even As He Was Besieged In Medina; I Advise Western Leaders To Consider The Phase After Israel, Not After Hamas

PMW: PA will pay 9 released terrorists 19,500 shekels a month for life

Inside Gaza as you have never seen before: Palestinians share footage of people swimming on the beach, shopping at markets and playing football in a rare glimpse of what life was really like in the city before October 7

PMW: Released terrorist hopes for more kidnappings to “empty the prisons,” blesses Hamas for her freedom in exchange for Israeli hostages Released terrorist hopes for more kidnappings to empty the prisons

Abbas’ advisor on Israel’s counter-terror response against Hamas: “a purely American massacre”

Fatah applauds demos in UK calling for end of Israel

Mother of dead terrorist: “He achieved Martyrdom, praise Allah, I’m proud of him”

Fatah official calls for Fatah-Hamas unity

Top PLO official stresses PA support to Hamas-ruled Gaza during Hamas’ terror war on Israel

Released terrorist blesses Hamas for her freedom in exchange for Israeli hostages

IAEA stops short of resolution on Iran in Vienna
The International Atomic Energy Agency last week condemned Iran for failing to cooperate with the U.N. agency regarding its nuclear program but stopped short of more concrete action due to fears of sparking an Iranian counter-reaction.

Those fears are based on concerns that the Israel-Hamas war will broaden into a regional conflict. However, some observers say this is a mistaken assumption.

A senior diplomat said Western hesitancy to rebuke Iran has had the opposite of its intended effect and only “emboldened” Tehran.

Kelsey Davenport of the Arms Control Association told AFP that viewing Iran “in a vacuum” and failing to hold it accountable “sends the wrong signal to Tehran and other would-be proliferators.”

Eyal Pinko, a researcher and lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, who served for years in Israeli intelligence, told JNS that the argument that taking a hard line on Iran could lead it to escalate the current conflict was “irrelevant,” adding, “This is already a regional war.”

“This is much, much more than a Hamas-Israel issue. The whole [Oct. 7 attack] was to stop Saudi peace agreements, allow the Iranians to move forward with the nuclear program and the Russians to move forward in Ukraine, while the Chinese take advantage and weaken the United States. This is a multi-dimensional war even though it’s hidden below the radar for some people,” he said.

Iran has continually defied IAEA resolutions, and in mid-September barred agency inspectors from overseeing its nuclear activities.
U.S. Navy Detains 5 after Failed Attempt to Capture Merchant Ship in Persian Gulf
The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason on Sunday responded to a distress call from the Central Park, a commercial tanker in the Gulf of Aden that had been seized by armed individuals.

The U.S. ship, with help from a Japanese navy destroyer and helicopter gunships, demanded that the attackers release the ship.

Five armed individuals tried to escape on a fast boat but were chased and eventually surrendered.

During the incident, two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled Yemen towards the ships, landing 10 nautical miles away.

Central Park, a small chemical tanker carrying a cargo of phosphoric acid, is managed by Zodiac Maritime Ltd., a London-based international ship management company owned by Israel's Ofer family.

The vessel has a Turkish captain and a crew of Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino nationals.

My Jewish Parents Were Right about Antisemitism
This is not a column about the Israel-Hamas war. It's a column about a painful reverberation of that war a world away. Since it began, I know of four people in the Toronto area who say the mezuzahs on their doors were ripped down.

A letter signed by 2,000 parents warns of "escalating incidents of antisemitism" at Toronto public schools since the outbreak of the war. The incidents described include: "Children performing Nazi salutes, drawing swastikas on bus windows, vandalizing bathrooms with antisemitic graffiti, Jewish stars being put on the desks of Jewish students to identify them...physical violence, references to gas chambers, Hitler and being sent back to concentration camps." I could go on, but I will run out of room.

What we are seeing in Canada is not merely a dramatic rise of antisemitism at all levels of society, it is a horrifying revelation for many Jews my age that our parents were right. This stuff doesn't just go away with the passage of time. It is always there under the surface. Blaming ordinary Jewish people in Canada for the military actions of a foreign government is antisemitic. Antisemitism isn't a problem for Jews alone, though we bear the brunt of its violence. It is a conspiracy theory that eats away at truth and democracy. It is a sign of decay.
North London entrepreneur knitting IDF beanies for serving soliders

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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 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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