Thursday, December 07, 2023

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: The Battlefield Is Now Set in Gaza
Every gesture of moderation, every period of calm, was simply part of Hamas’s war plan. It was all in the service of the most violent attack the terror group would ever pull off. And it only succeeded because Israeli officials took signs of peace at face value.

Those days are long gone. There will be no more periods in which Israel is lulled into a false sense of security. As long as Hamas is in Gaza, such a thing cannot possibly exist. The belief that its longtime enemy wanted anything less than the complete destruction of Israel cost the country dearly. Hamas has revealed that there is no constructive role it can or will play.

Such a status quo translates essentially into a freezing of any progress toward peace far beyond the Gaza border. The United States will be forced to build the last part of its intended regional peace agreement with Saudi Arabia on quicksand unless Hamas is crushed. The two-state solution is farther away today than it has been since the Second Intifada. Hamas’s pogrom disproportionately—and likely intentionally—murdered those in Israel most amenable to peaceful coexistence. And America’s deterrence of Iran will continue to be hampered by Hamas’s multifront troublemaking.

The Biden agenda is itself one of Hamas’s remaining hostages. Israel is in Khan Younis to set it free. There is no acceptable alternative to victory.
Bethany Mandel: Hamas tortured hostages. But the Pro-Palestine left won't admit it
In Gaza, as the first hostage releases of Israeli civilians began over a week ago, online comments rolled in about how happy they were with their captors; how well-treated they were by the militants that murdered their families and kidnapped them. Some even joked that over the course of their captivity, hostages fell in love with their captors, giving them looks of affection as they left their custody.

The reason why the hostages looked so sanguine has since emerged: they were drugged by Hamas before their release, and were explicitly told to smile and wave, all the while as other members of their families still held hostage were used to guarantee their cooperation.

There is a PR operation at work within the terrorist organisation, and western apologists are happy to pick up everything they are throwing down. That willingness, and in some corners, eagerness, to grant terrorists good press isn’t just what blurs to Holocaust revisionism, it also endangers Jews still trapped within Gaza. This indifference to, whitewashing and even cheerleading of the events of October 7 is a reflection of longstanding international hostility towards not just the Jewish state, but the Jewish people.

As further information about the events of October 7 emerges, the full picture of horrors becomes clear. On Monday the New York Times reported, “Hamas has denied that its fighters committed sex crimes, which it said would violate Islamic principles. But ample evidence has been collected, like the bodies of women found partially or fully naked, women with their pelvic bones broken, the accounts of medical examiners and first responders, videos taken by Hamas fighters themselves, and even a few firsthand witnesses like a woman, in a video made public last month by police officials, who said she had watched Hamas terrorists take turns raping a young woman they had captured at a music festival, mutilate her and then shoot her in the head.”

Also on Monday, at the United Nations headquarters former Meta executive Sheryl Sandberg hosted an event to spotlight the sexual crimes perpetrated on October 7. That meeting was necessary because it’s not just Hamas denying there were sexual crimes committed, but Western apologists, as well.
I am a Zionist because I am a leftist, not in spite of that commitment
What should the leftist make of all this? To be on the left means, in sophomoric terms but no less true for it, to be on the side of the underdog. I am thus a Zionist because I am a leftist, not in spite of it. In its affirmation of a viable Jewish peoplehood, and its sober and rational recipe for Jewish survival, Zionism demands leftist support for European civilisation’s ultimate underdog.

I am a pragmatist. I know how deep the rot goes on the left. At the exalted level of the academy, we have lost for the time being. What the German radical Rudi Dutschke called the ‘long march through the institutions’ of a certain type of leftism is largely complete.

No, the hope, as ever, and as Orwell so presciently noted, lies with the proles – in this context, ordinary, well-meaning leftists. I think much of the anti-Zionism amongst this group is, to use an American political formulation, a mile wide and an inch deep. It is reflexive and axiomatic, a kind of default anti-Zionism. It is not, I think, deeply held. Therefore, it is open to persuasion.

We know we will not eradicate anti-Zionist antisemitism: as writers from Jean Paul Sartre to Fathom’s Eve Garrard have shown, antisemitism is simply too pleasurable to too many people for that. We know too how protean, adaptable, and immune to its internal contradictions it is. It is what Albert Memmi described as ‘a living thing of multiple heads that speaks with a thousand grimacing faces.’

We know, too, that many of the newer movements of the left whose vibrancy and urgent questioning of racial injustice are understandably attractive to young people, have serious problems with antisemitism and are perpetrators of lazy, binary approaches to Israel-Palestine. But we cannot abandon these young people.

About the enemies of the state of Israel, the Jewish homeland, it says much about the moral degradation to which much of the left has sunk that we cannot recognise their reactionary and eliminationist character. My own damascene conversion, if I can identify one specific moment, came with Judith Butler’s notorious proclamation that Hamas and Hezbollah must be considered ‘part of the global left’.

We must encourage in young leftists the virtue of questioning orthodoxy, avoiding the left’s set menu and deciding their positions à la carte.
Fetterman says if we want peace, Israel needs to be able to destroy Hamas
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has emerged as one of the most reliable supporters of the Jewish community in his hometown, which is located a handful of miles from where the deadliest massacre of Jews happened in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh five years ago. This support is changing how many in the state see him.

David Knoll, a Pittsburgh-based businessman and Democrat who launched a last-minute quixotic challenge to local county councilwoman Bethany Hallam over her social media posts supporting antisemitism, said, “Fetterman has been better than anyone could have hoped, and honestly did not see that coming, but we welcome his support whole-heartedly."

Knoll, who lives in Squirrel Hill, said what he especially loves is Fetterman’s refusal to cower to either the members of the media or members of their own party who are at odds with his staunch support of Israel.

Fetterman, in an interview with the Washington Examiner, said he is not concerned about falling in or out of some sort of political categorization. “I am not worried about labels or what people want to label me, I am about being clear where I stand, and I always have been,” he said in an emailed interview.

“I am on what I believe is the right side of this issue, I'm not concerned about a label. Israel is our key, closest ally, and we need to support them in this fight,” he said, adding, “if we want peace and we want a two state solution, then Israel needs to be able to destroy Hamas.”

Fetterman said he fundamentally believes destroying Hamas is the only pathway to a real solution to this conflict, “And it’s not at all at odds with my other beliefs. Hamas has systematically used rape and murder as part of its war, brutalizing Israeli women. It’s horrifying. We cannot pretend that Hamas is a rational entity.”

Seth Mandel: The Meaning of the Menorah
It’s no surprise that the Star of David and the menorah are in the crosshairs: they are the dual emblems of Judaism. The menorah, in fact, is “the longest continuously used religious symbol in Western culture,” as historian Steven Fine writes. “This object, and the resultant ‘symbol,’ stretch back to the ancient Near East, more than a millennium before the Christian era (that is, more than three thousand years ago), and forward to our own time.”

They are also twin emblems of defiance. On Dec. 2, 1947, to celebrate the UN vote in favor of the partition of Palestine, the Jewish Holocaust survivors of Rome congregated at the Arch of Titus, built two thousand years ago after the Roman victory over the Jews and the destruction of the Jewish temple. The arch depicts the sacking of Jerusalem and the taking of the temple’s menorah as a spoil of war as the Jews are driven from their homeland. This time, however, the Holocaust survivors walked under the arch toward Jerusalem, as if undoing the march into exile themselves. The menorah was adopted by the young Jewish state as a national symbol.

The Star of David, meanwhile, has become the go-to symbol of defiance for modern Jews, both on campus and elsewhere. My daughters wear around their necks a Star of David made from a piece of a rocket fired from Gaza.

In the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, the two symbols came together in a particularly meaningful display. As a gesture of solidarity, Rome projected onto the Arch of Titus an Israeli flag, which of course has, at its center, the Star of David.

The Jewish Legion—comprising three all-Jewish battalions of the British army who participated in the liberation of Palestine from the Ottomans in World War I—also adopted the menorah as an insignia, with the word kadima written beneath it. Kadima, in Hebrew, means forward—for that is the miracle of Israel, that the Jewish story can become one of looking ahead instead of over our shoulders.

History is littered with those who have tried to take the menorah from the Jewish people. And they will not succeed in banishing the Star of David from the public square if we don’t let them. But we should not fool ourselves—they will try, and they will test our willingness to defy them. And we the Jews will light our menorahs, and march forward.
World Leaders Mark Hanukkah as Antisemitism Spikes Worldwide Amid Gaza War
World leaders on Thursday observed the first night of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, expressing solidarity with their Jewish communities amid a global surge in antisemitism since Hamas’ mass slaughter of Jews during its Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel.

Olaf Scholz became the first German chancellor to light the massive menorah in front of Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate.

“I wish that the candle of Hanukkah will shine far beyond this square and much longer than just for the eight days of Hanukkah,” Scholz, wearing a kippa, said in the center of Germany’s capital.

Hanukkah, also known as the Jewish festival of lights, marks the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE, after a small group of Jewish fighters liberated the land from oppressive foreign forces.

“It stands for hope and optimism,” Scholz said of Hanukkah. “We especially need both in these days after the Hamas terror attack on Israel.”

Germany has registered at least 29 antisemitic incidents per day since the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre in southern Israel — a four-fold increase on the previous year, according to data published late last month by Rias, a federally-funded body monitoring antisemitic incidents. Rias counted a total of 994 antisemitic incidents since the Hamas onslaught. Germany is home to a Jewish community of approximately 118,000.

“I am happy that many citizens are supporting the Jewish community in word and deed and showing compassion and solidarity with our Jewish neighbors, friends and colleagues,” the German chancellor said. “That is why I’m also happy to be here today.”
Hanukkah Celebrations Are Being Cancelled Due to Explicit and Implicit Antisemitism
Anyone still clinging to the belief that there is a difference between hating Jews and wanting Israel to disappear now needs to explain away another inconvenient truth: Why scheduled Hanukkah celebrations across the United States, Canada, and elsewhere are being canceled.

The reason cited over and over is that Jews would not be safe, or that hosting such holiday events could imply support for Israel in its war against the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization.

A Hanukkah candle lighting that was due to take place at a music and arts festival in Williamsburg, Virginia, was canceled by the festival’s founder because the lighting of a menorah “seemed very inappropriate” given current events in Israel and Gaza.

Let us conduct a quick thought experiment: Even supposing that holding Jewish people everywhere accountable for Israel’s actions since the October 7 massacre was somehow valid, at what point did a country’s right — obligation — to defend itself and its citizens become a reason to cancel a Jewish holiday event?

Moreover, this fear of being seen as siding with Israel over Hamas has not extended to Muslim-themed events and ceremonies in the US and Canada, which continue to be held. When it comes to Muslim communities residing in these countries, there is a clear line being drawn between Hamas in Gaza and law-abiding citizens in Los Angeles, New York, Virginia, and Toronto exercising their right to worship and assemble as they see fit.

This double standard between how Jews and Muslims are treated has extended everyone. Responding to a question about soaring rates of antisemitism and the wave of cancelled Hanukkah celebrations, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said this week: “We have seen an uptick in hate, just more broadly, in different communities — obviously, also in the Muslim community. And so, we will do everything that we can to make sure that these communities feel safe.”
Heather Mac Donald: DEI Drives Campus Antisemitism
Gerrymandering Jews into an “oppressed” class for DEI purposes wouldn’t do anything to prevent this classroom propaganda—which college leaders are at pains not to address. Since Oct. 7, presidents and faculty have routinely spoken of the “interconnectedness” of antisemitism and Islamophobia. A Nov. 16 lecture at Cornell University by Ross Brann, a professor of Judeo-Islamic studies, was titled “The Intersectionality of Antisemitism, Islamophobia and Racism.”

Who is found at that intersection? White supremacists, former Trump administration officials, evangelical Christians and white opponents of mass immigration from Muslim countries, to judge by Mr. Brann’s PowerPoint slides. None of these supposed oppressors play a significant role in pro-Hamas campus protests. The actual protesters—Muslims, Black Lives Matter activists, Queers for Palestine, socialist groups and proponents of the anti-Israel boycott, divest and sanctions movement—went unmentioned in the lecture. (Mr. Brann did briefly mention Louis Farrakhan as an antisemite.)

Mr. Ackman seems to be learning. In a Dec. 3 letter to Harvard President Claudine Gay, he described his conversations with faculty, who were willing to speak only confidentially. “The problems at Harvard are clearly not just about Jews and Israel,” Mr. Ackman wrote. Harvard also discriminates against Asians and “straight white males.” Harvard’s diversity office “is an important culprit in this discrimination on campus as it sees the world in a framework of oppressors and the oppressed, where the oppressor class includes white males, Asians, Jews and other people perceived to be successful and powerful.”

Solving the problems of higher ed requires rejecting this victim ideology wholesale. “Universities need to abandon the concept that they have a central role in moral education,” Lawrence Summers, a former Harvard president, told me. Donors and alumni should demand changes in governance and curricula to counterbalance the anti-Western ideology that undergirds the anti-Israel coalition. Every identity-based bureaucratic sinecure should be eliminated. Trustees and presidents should be chosen based on their determination to support humanistic learning and academic excellence, not “inclusion.”

Efforts to impose such changes will be fought tooth and nail. On their success hangs a civilization.
Hamas's Western Apologists Have Become Hamas Enthusiasts. As a Gazan, I'm Horrified
When I was 18, I attended a rally in support of Gaza in San Francisco during one of the wars between Israel and Hamas. I was soon identified by a news reporter as someone from Gaza whose entire family is still there, who asked me what I thought of rockets being fired at Israeli towns and cities. I said that I oppose indiscriminate violence against civilians everywhere and do not support Hamas, its ideology, or its actions. Soon after, an activist pulled me aside and fiercely scolded me, saying that I should never talk about the rockets and instead immediately "pivot" to the suffering of Gazans and Israel's role in what is happening.

This has historically been the way with Hamas apologists who disguise themselves as pro-Palestine activists. They have a pathological aversion to discussing the faults, problems, mistakes, and grave errors of Palestinian political groups, factions, and leadership that have plagued the Palestinian national project with countless setbacks. So the strategy was to pivot the conversation away from the group's actions and focus on Israel's reactions, the occupation, and the plight of civilians. They marginalized the significance of Hamas as a contributing factor in the overall degradation of Gazans' living conditions and erased how the group's choices and actions brought war, death, and destruction upon its people. A few explicitly told me not to "air our people's dirty laundry" and that it would be better to maintain a "veneer of unity" and keep the focus on Israel.

I was always troubled by such recommendations. Rife with inauthenticity, they also marginalized me, an actual Gazan, inexplicably demanding that I conform to the opinions and beliefs of privileged Western activists detached from what people in Gaza actually feel about Hamas and other Palestinian groups and leaders.

Yet Hamas' Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, has bred a far more disturbing form of Hamas apologia. Instead of their usual distracting methods, this time you had people actually gleefully endorsing Oct. 7 as a form of legitimate armed resistance to occupation. Others attempted to "contextualize" the attack by pointing out the conditions in Gaza and the overall injustices experienced by Palestinians. Still others tried to downplay the atrocities themselves—either their horrific nature or the numbers involved.

This Hamas apologia is new. Something has fundamentally changed. Many Hamas apologists have upgraded, becoming actual enthusiasts. They are now less interested in using verbal gymnastics and manipulation and have become eager to show affection, empathy, admiration, and reverence for the group's tactics, methods, and strategies.
CAIR’s Los Angeles leader: ‘Israel does not have right to defend itself’
The longtime leader of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) compared Israel to Nazi Germany, among other wild claims in a recent speech.

Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of CAIR-Los Angeles, gave a sermon on Dec. 1 at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he stated that “for 75 years, every single day for the Palestinian people had been October 7.”

Ayloush also praised the Qatar-based Al Jazeera as “the most credible, most comprehensive of the outlets providing material on what is happening there.”

He also argued that Israel “does not have the right to defend itself, as an occupier to defend itself from the occupied. No, it doesn’t, this is not a rhetorical thing. … It doesn’t, legally, under international law. No occupier has the right to defend itself from the occupied.”

Ayloush expanded on his point, saying: “Imagine we tell Nazi Germany: ‘You have the right to defend yourself against French resistance, or Polish resistance, or Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto.’ People would laugh at you if you said that.”

The sermon also compared Israel’s actions against Hamas to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Imagine if you said that Russia has the right to defend itself against Ukrainian resistance—you don’t,” he said. “As long as you are an occupier, you do not have the right to resist or to defend yourself. Guess who has the right to defend themselves? The Palestinians.”

Nihad Awad, CAIR’s national executive director, spoke at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) convention in Chicago on Nov. 24, arguing similar points as Ayloush. Awad said that “the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense. … Israel, as an occupying power, does not have that right to self-defense.”
Committee to Protect Journalists Whitewashes the Murders of Israeli Journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists has been whitewashing the murders of Israeli journalists on October 7 by Hamas terrorists. More on this can be found here: “Committee to Protect Journalists Protects Hamas Murderers of Israeli Journalists,” by Tamar Sternthal, CAMERA, November 15, 2023:
…His colleague, Ynet photographer Roee Idan, was outside his Kfar Aza home holding his three-year-old daughter when Hamas terrorists shot him and kidnapped the toddler. His wife Smadar was murdered inside the family home and his two surviving children (ages 6 and 9) spent more than 12 hours in a storage closet before Israeli forces managed to rescue them….

Yet, as of this writing, nearly a full four weeks after Ynet reported in details about Hamas’ murder of Idan in his own yard, CJP inexplicably continues to claim that Idan was killed in an “unknown” location by “unknown fire” while on “dangerous assignment.”…

Roee Idan was not “on a dangerous assignment” when he was murdered. He was on no assignment at all, but decided on his own to take photos of the paragliding terrorists, the rockets fired from Gaza, the Iron Dome interceptions, all while still unaware that 3000 terrorists were crossing the border and would soon be in his kibbutz. He was shot down while standing outside of his house, holding his three-year-old daughter when the terrorists arrived. They then murdered his wife Smadar, who had been inside he house, and kidnapped the three-year-old.

For nearly four weeks the CJP has been supplied with all the necessary information about the death of Roee Idan. First, the location where he was murdered is not “unknown”; he was shot standing right outside his house in Kfar Aza. His wife was killed inside the house. Second, he was killed not by “unknown fire,” but by Hamas terrorists who proudly took selfies of themselves murdering Israelis. Third, he was not on “a dangerous assignment.”
UN agency led by Cindy McCain under fire for anti-Israel bias amid staff revolt against her
The U.N. World Food Programme and its chief, Cindy McCain, caved to alleged anti-Israel employees within its sprawling international bureaucracy over Israel’s war campaign to root out jihadi terrorists from the Gaza Strip, according to a former member of America’s National Security Council.

Richard Goldberg, who served on the National Security Council during the Trump administration, told Fox News Digital, "Rather than play its traditional role as a responsible mechanism to deliver food assistance, the World Food Program has joined the pro-Hamas chorus, seeking to blame Israel for the actions of Hamas and its sponsors."

Cindy McCain, the executive director of the specialized U.N. agency, WFP, reportedly faced a staff mutiny because McCain, according to some WFP staff, had not called for a cease-fire in Israel’s war against Hamas, according to a November Devex article. McCain is the wife of the late U.S. senator and presidential candidate John McCain.

According to the Devex report, a representative for WFP’s Cairo office accused McCain of failing to urge a cease-fire and not articulating "alarm at the potential use of food as a weapon of war." Fox News Digital press queries to WFP’s Cairo office were not returned.

McCain, however, rejected the accusations that she had never urged a cease-fire, according to the article.

"I did sign the cease-fire. I was with everyone else, all the other U.N. agencies," she said. Devex obtained a leaked video recording of the meeting with McCain.

Goldberg, who serves as a senior adviser to the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, criticized McCain, hinting that she'd been won over by the U.N. bureaucracy: "Where was Cindy McCain to condemn Hamas for breaking the cease-fire last week? Where is McCain's call for Hamas to surrender to end the conflict quickly or to demand Egypt open its border to help the agency fulfill its mission? It's sad to see her succumb to internal pro-Hamas pressure."
NGO Monitor: Al-Haq’s Extremist Demonization of Israel after the October 7 Pogrom
Al-Haq, a Ramallah-based NGO, presents itself to the world as a genuine human rights organization. And this is how it is received by ideological allies among UN officials, diplomats, and journalists.

However, as repeatedly demonstrated by NGO Monitor, Al-Haq is a leader in the demonization campaigns and political war against Israel. Under the façade of human rights and international law, the NGO promotes blatant rank antisemitism, BDS, and lawfare. Al-Haq is designated as a terrorist entity by Israel citing its ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group. This faction participated in the brutal October 7 slaughter and is reportedly holding Israeli hostages.

If there were any doubts, they should have been dispelled in the wake of Al Haq’s activities following the brutal Hamas attack of October 7. Many of its officials have made comments appearing to support Palestinian terrorists and violence against Israeli civilians – including under the slogan of “a right of resistance.”

Furthermore, in contrast to a credible human rights NGO, the failure of Al-Haq to condemn Hamas’ murder, torture, rape, hostage-taking, and dismembering corpses stands out. Instead, on October 8, it co-signed a statement describing one of the most egregious atrocities in the past 30 years as “Palestinian armed groups engaged in an operation in response to escalating Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people” and “urge[d] the international community to take immediate and urgent action to stop Israel’s revenge and reprisal.”

The role of Al-Haq’s funder-enablers must also be considered. Since 2020, Al-Haq has received funding from Sweden, Germany, the European Union, Denmark, and Norway. This funding has persisted despite publicly-available evidence attesting to the NGO’s links to the PFLP and the Israeli designation.

Irwin Cotler, Former Canadian Justice Minister, Under 24-Hour Police Protection Amid Threat to His Life According to the Globe and Mail
Former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler, a prominent human rights advocate, is currently under 24-hour police protection due to a credible threat against his life, according to two undisclosed sources.

The Globe and Mail, a Canadian news outlet and first to report on the story, could not ascertain the identity of the individual, organization, or country responsible for the threat, and the sources remain anonymous.

Cotler has a long history of criticizing various foreign governments. His concerns include Iran’s involvement in the shooting-down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in 2020 and its support for Hamas, which is designated as a terror group by the Canadian government.

Cotler, a former Montreal MP and international human rights lawyer, served as Canada’s special envoy on Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism from 2020 to 2023. In a recent column, he highlighted the challenges posed by authoritarian regimes, including Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, describing them as a new authoritarian ‘axis of evil’ engaged in actions like electoral interference and the spreading of disinformation.

The security threat to Cotler follows a pattern of similar incidents involving individuals critical of foreign governments. For instance, Ottawa believes the Indian government was involved in the killing of Canadian Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocate for Punjab’s secession from India, in June 2023.

Cotler founded the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights in 2015 and has been actively promoting human rights and combating injustice worldwide. In his recent column, he emphasized the global struggle between liberal democracies and repressive autocrats, characterizing it as an assault on the rules-based international order.
On November 13, John Oliver demonstrated why the comedy-as-news business has jumped the shark. On his HBO program, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Oliver ranted for about half an hour about the current war in Israel and Gaza. But his understanding of events, as well as his analysis of the war itself, is as tenuous as that of a grade schooler.

Oliver did not even mention the many times that the Palestinians have been offered independence and rejected it, instead trying to blame now-Prime Minister Netanyahu for the failure of the Oslo peace process. Nor did he mention the 2005 disengagement from Gaza. Not only Israeli troops but Israeli civilians who were living in Gaza were removed, in some cases forcibly, by their own government, and the Palestinians of Gaza were left with a greenhouse agricultural business, a beautiful coastline for tourism, and the opportunity to chart their own course for the future. In the context of this segment, this is an omission that is either shockingly dishonest or shows a shocking ignorance.

The culmination of Oliver’s diatribe, towards the end at about 28 minutes into the segment, was a call for a ceasefire, including the following:
There are those like Mideast peace expert Harvey Levin who will say, and not wrongly, that there are real dangers to a ceasefire, that Hamas might regroup once the bombing stops. Although that’s arguably gonna be a danger whenever it stops. So why not stop right now?

Oliver, of course, was mocking Harvey Levin, the founder and executive producer of celebrity-gossip site TMZ. But perhaps Oliver should do some introspection. Levin is certainly no less qualified on this topic than Oliver himself, as his many inaccurate remarks detailed below attest.

More to the point, these superficially peace-loving words hide a deep, deep callousness toward Jewish life. Because both in this passage and earlier, when mentioning Ghazi Hamad, Oliver acknowledges that, if given the chance, Hamas will attack again, and then basically says, “oh well!” Israelis, we are meant to understand, must simply live with the danger of adults and children being killed, raped, tortured, dismembered, or taken hostage en masse. Too bad for the Jews, he implies, but there’s simply nothing to be done!

Notwithstanding a few individuals with fringe views that Oliver elevates, Israeli officials from across the political spectrum have made clear that the goal of the war is to destroy Hamas so that a repeat of the October 7 massacre will not, in fact, be a danger in the future. But Oliver prefers that Israel stop now and leave Hamas – who, as even Oliver admits, represses the people of Gaza as well – in place.
Daniel Greenfield: Soros-Funded Group Complains Israel “Summarily Executed” Oct 7 Hamas Terrorists Killing Israelis Sources: US said it might not exercise UN veto unless Israel increases Gaza aid, fuel
Before Wednesday's meeting of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet, US officials representing President Joe Biden made it clear that Israel must increase humanitarian aid and fuel to Gaza if it wanted the US to continue vetoing any attempt to advance a decision in the Security Council on ending the fighting in Gaza.

The American conditions for continued support for the fighting in Gaza and the response in the Security Council were presented to ministers who initially expressed opposition to continued support for the supply of fuel to Gaza and its expansion, although part of it normally gets diverted to Hamas.

UN Secretary-General informed Israel, Antonio Guterres, of the activation of Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time since 1989. According to the article, "the Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."

In light of the activation of the article, the UN Security Council will convene for a special session on Friday afternoon (Israel time). In addition, the Secretary-General tweeted that "there is a serious threat to the humanitarian system in Gaza, and I call on the Security Council to intervene to prevent a catastrophe and to call for a humanitarian ceasefire."

"Halting ground maneuver at this stage would be a disaster," warned diplomatic Israeli sources. "There is currently no ceasefire deal on the table, and the entire cabinet's priority is to continue the ground operation in the Strip, even if it means meeting American demands for the supply of fuel and assistance."

Amb. Alan Baker: After the War: A Two-State Solution?
In his plan for "the day after" the current war between Israel and Hamas, U.S. President Joe Biden has reasserted his belief in the return of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to replace the Hamas terror organization in governing Gaza, and in the necessity to reach a "two-state solution" as the outcome of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. The phrase "two-state solution" is constantly being repeated despite the fact that the concept of two states as a solution to the conflict has never been officially accepted as the agreed solution either by Israel or by the Palestinian leadership.

On the contrary, as agreed in the still-valid Oslo Accords, the permanent status of the territories remains an open negotiating issue. As such, repetition of the call for a two-state solution prejudges the outcome of the negotiating process and seriously underestimates the flawed capabilities of the PA in its present form.

Clearly, any concept of two states that would include the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel could only emanate from direct negotiations between Israel and a unified and fully representative Palestinian leadership. It could not be a result of any off-the-cuff political declaration or UN resolution.

A politically and economically unstable and non-viable Palestinian entity would be open to manipulation by Iran and other foreign states and terror elements. As such, it could never be acceptable to Israel or to the international community inasmuch as it would constitute a constant threat both to Israel's security as well as to regional stability.

Calls for the restoration of the PA as the governing body in Gaza are naive and uninformed in light of the corruption rife among its leadership, its failure to maintain security within the area it governs (Judea and Samaria), and its policies of encouragement and incitement to terror - as well as its financing of terror through payment of salaries to perpetrators of terror and their families.

Only after the formation of a unified responsible Palestinian administration - and not a corrupt one like the PA - that would be fully capable of governance and of fulfilling its international obligations, would it be possible to consider viable options for solving the dispute.
The Middle East Is Making Noise. Is Jake Sullivan Listening?

Visiting D.C., U.K.’s David Cameron rejects calls for Israel-Hamas ceasefire

Congress Secures Weapons Systems For Israel In Annual Defense Spending Bill

Senate Democrats Foreign Aid Plan Could Put Taxpayer Dollars in Terrorists' Pockets

Biden Admin Advances Plan To Punish Israelis for Alleged Crimes Against Palestinians

Jayapal sister’s congressional candidacy alarming Portland Jewish leaders

Outrage over council’s postponement of Jewish life exhibition

Norwich Council agrees to menorah display for just one night over vandalism concerns

Academic specialist in inclusion calls for ‘evil’ Jewish conference to be ‘blown up’

Surge In Israeli Women Signing Up For Combat Units After October 7 Mass Rapes And Sexual Mutilation

Son of former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot killed in Gaza fighting

JPost Editorial: Ivory tower disgrace
In what world? In a world where the secretary-general of the United Nations says that the October 7 massacre “did not happen in a vacuum.” In a world where it took nearly 60 days for UN Women to issue a tepid statement condemning the brutal rape of Jewish women. In a world where feminist groups question whether Israeli women were really sexually violated on October 7, despite ample testimony and evidence. In a world full of double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to Israel and the Jews.

An October 13 headline in the satirical Babylon Bee lampooned this hypocrisy with the following headline to a fake story: “Harvard student leaves lecture on microaggressions to attend ‘kill the Jews’ rally.” It would be funny if it didn’t reflect a frightfully true dynamic.

The US universities that the three presidents lead pride themselves on providing a “safe space” for all minorities, where everyone can feel comfortable and safe.

Except for Jews. When it comes to Jews and Israel, students and faculty can walk through campus shouting antisemitic slogans and administrators ignore it or – as in the case of Penn – advise students not to wear clothing or accessories that identify them as Jews.

Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, a Harvard graduate, posted on X that the college presidents’ testimony reflects a “profound moral bankruptcy.” Calling on the presidents to resign, Ackman said that their noncommittal answers on whether chanting slogans calling for genocide constitutes harassment and bullying “reflect the profound educational, moral, and ethical failures that pervade certain of our elite education institutions due in large part to their failed leadership.”

“Why has antisemitism exploded on campus and around the world?” he asked. “Because of leaders like presidents Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth who believe genocide depends on context.”

The presidents’ search for “context” for antisemitic chants echoing off the ivy-laced walls on their exquisite campuses is a disgrace. Congress should be commended for bringing it fully into the public’s view.
The Ivory Tower's Day of Reckoning
A House panel on Tuesday heard testimony from the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT.

They were scripted and smug, unable to stay afloat without the security of their talking points. With the klieg lights shining, they made clear they are willing hostages of the poisonous ideological factions on their campuses.

They were there to discuss anti-Semitism on their campuses, but according to this trio, the sources of anti-Semitism on campus are actually external to the institutions they lead—and are otherwise a mystery. "Anti-Semitism is a symptom of ignorance, and the cure for ignorance is knowledge," said Harvard's Claudine Gay. In other words, the cure for anti-Semitism is Harvard.

That's funny, because while we have seen no reports of genocidal marches through Monroe, La., and Fort Wayne, Ind., there have been several through Harvard, Penn, and MIT.

This trio had spent a lot of time rehearsing banal talking points but no time preparing an honest account of what's gone wrong—and why. They professed not to know what percentage of their students were Jews, how many students were under investigation for anti-Semitic incidents, or how much money their institutions receive from regimes bent on the destruction of the Jewish state.

Most revealing was the exchange between Gay and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.), a Harvard alumna. Asked whether calls to "globalize the intifada" violated Harvard's code of conduct, Gay said no. (At Harvard, this is what the student newspaper celebrates as evidence that Gay "has forcefully denounced antisemitic rhetoric in recent weeks.")

The most absurd element of Gay's testimony was the conceit that we must tolerate the genocidal rantings of student radicals because Harvard values free speech and free expression oh so much. As the freshmen say, LOL.

May this be the first of many hearings cracking open for public inspection the Ivy League's intellectual rot.
Yad Vashem chairman speaks out against genocidal calls on college campuses
In a stark response to recent congressional hearings on antisemitism in academia, the Chairman of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, has voiced grave concerns over the rising tolerance for antisemitic rhetoric on college campuses.

"Yesterday's congressional hearings addressing antisemitism on university and college campuses highlight the willful lack of accountability when it comes to Jews, Israel, and antisemitism on campus and in academia," said the chairman, Dani Dayan.

The statement specifically criticizes the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and UPenn for their alarming indifference. Shock at their indifference

The Chairman expressed shock at their stance during the hearings, stating, "Yad Vashem is extremely alarmed by [their] refusal to claim that genocidal calls against Jews do not violate university policy and code of conduct."

Dayan, reacted strongly: "Any university, institution, or society that can 'contextualize' and excuse calls for genocide is doomed. I call upon university administrations to empower and train their faculty and students to better understand the dangers of antisemitism."

In a statement, Dayan invited university leaders to visit Yad Vashem during the university semester break. "We invite university leadership to visit Israel and Yad Vashem... to learn what past calls for the genocide of Jews has led to - the Holocaust. Never Again must begin with education," he emphasized.
Explaining the First Amendment to university presidents
In the wake of the astounding testimony before Congress by the presidents of Harvard, Penn and MIT, three important questions must be asked:

1) Why are the presidents of leading American universities abysmally ignorant of Supreme Court rulings on the limits of protected speech under the First Amendment?

The presidents claimed in their testimony that anti-Israel and antisemitic “protesters” on their campuses are only exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech when they call for an “intifada” and chant Hamas’s battle cry “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”—both clear calls for violence against Israelis and Jews.

Harvard’s president Claudine Gay repeatedly declared that her university will act only “when speech crosses into conduct.” She might be surprised to learn that not a single Supreme Court justice agrees with her.

Indeed, it is unlikely that the three presidents have bothered to read the most recent definition of First Amendment speech guarantees as expressed by all nine Supreme Court Justices, albeit in various opinions. Not one of the justices believes that threats and incitement have blanket constitutional protection and cannot be punished unless they “cross into conduct.”

On June 27, the Supreme Court decided a case titled Counterman v. Colorado, which dealt with harassment on the social media site Facebook. The case generated much discussion precisely because it dealt with the issue of what limits can be placed on speech protections. All of the justices agreed that the Bill of Rights does not guarantee any right to send threats over social media. Nor did they hold that the First Amendment entitles a speaker to say anything so long as it does not “cross into conduct.” The justices differed only over how relevant the speaker’s intention might be to the question of criminal penalties.

A majority of the Court, speaking through Justice Elena Kagan, said that expressing a threat would be a crime if the speaker uttered it with “reckless disregard” for how it would be understood by a listener. Four justices differed only in part. All the justices agreed that freedom of speech does not protect a speaker who makes a threat with reckless disregard for the listener’s fear of violence.

The campus protesters in question are obviously guilty of “reckless disregard” for the fears of their Jewish fellow students. Under the most recent Supreme Court rulings, they can be charged with crimes and punished accordingly.

That the presidents of Harvard, MIT and Penn are ignorant of this is shocking.
The Socialists forget how they used to love Israel

Nick Cohen: Find me an Oxford college that says it is a safe place for Jews

Hamas on Campus: Students for Justice in Palestine
Many pro-Hamas demonstrations that have been taking place on US campuses since Hamas launched its war on Israel on October 7, when more than 3,000 Hamas terrorists invaded and raped, pillaged, murdered and kidnapped their way through the small communities of southern Israel, have reportedly been led by a radical organization known as National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP).

According to a 2018 monograph... NSJP was founded in 2010 by leaders of American Muslims for Palestine and the US Palestinian Community Network, two organizations linked to US-designated terror organizations.

The letter [to nearly 200 university presidents] cites the NSJP toolkit document: "The toolkit refers to the Hamas-led terrorist attack in Israel as 'the resistance.' This was followed by statements at campus events where students proudly declared 'We are Hamas,' and 'We echo Hamas.'"

Material support for a terrorist organization is a serious matter, too dangerous to leave for university presidents to solve. They frequently appear more concerned about placating the radical elements on their campuses.

Many of these academic institutions receive federal funding. However, Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance." Title IV also covers "violations based on religion."

If a university allows material support for a terrorist organization, or discrimination against Jews, its federal financial assistance should be cancelled at once.
Jew-Hatred On Campus. Will America Tolerate It?

University Presidents, George Soros and The UN: Go to Hell!

Wall Street's billionaire club unites against antisemitism: will not hire hate supporters

Billionaire who refused to hire anti-Israel grads demands Ivy League chiefs ‘resign in disgrace’ for antisemitism failures

UPenn president Liz Magill issues groveling statement  on her failure to denounce calls for  Jewish genocide on her Ivy League campus - but fails to actually APOLOGIZE

A Moral Rot at Rice University

Van Jones: ‘A Lot of Jewish Americans Feel Unsupported’ by Left, Colleges Are Failing While Students Are ‘Used by Iran’

Students at Columbia School of Social Work Hold Pro-Hamas Event That was Canceled by the School

‘Antisemite’ professor finally suspended by liberal college — after sex for grades claim revealed

BabylonBee: 9 Must-Haves To Pack For Your Harvard Student's Dorm

Thomas Friedman Erupts against Israel Yet Again

Open Letter Signed By Canadian “Journalists” Calls For More Pro-Palestinian Content


Three quarters of UK Jews say BBC is biased against Israel


Social media influencer who has worked for BBC says no women were raped by Hamas

MEMRI: Palestinian Journalist Bakir Oweida: Kidnapping Women, Children And Elders Is Wrong And Unislamic; Hamas's Actions Will Bring Disaster Upon The Palestinians

MEMRI: Poem In Qatari 'Al-Sharq' Daily Calls On Gazans, Muslims To Wage Jihad And Restore Islamic Rule Throughout The World

Abbas denouncing Hamas, but criticism kept private due to IDF ‘aggression’ – top aide Fatah official stresses Fatah’s support for Hamas

Abbas’ advisor: Israel’s goal is “to uproot and erase the Palestinian people”

PMW: Children in Gaza chant for death: “Millions of Martyrs are marching to Jerusalem!”

PMW: Hamas is “proud” to “sacrifice” Gazan civilians

PFLP leader urges all Palestinians everywhere to join terror

Australia criminalizes public ‘Sieg Heil’ salutes, displays of Nazi symbols

‘I’m not Jewish but I have a big Star of David tattooed over my heart’

Nova Festival survivor releases song about the October 7 massacre
Nova Festival survivor releases song about the October 7 massacre. Survivor Noam Cohen, Israeli musicians Din Perlis and Maor Ashkenazi collaborated on this project and break down what inspired them to go this route.

NASA Astronaut to Celebrate Hanukkah in Space With Felt Menorah and Dreidel

Jerusalem olive oil to light 90 menorahs on IDF battlefields including Gaza

Taylor Swift Songs Inspire New Hanukkah Track From Jewish Acappella Group Six13

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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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