Saturday, December 09, 2023

From Ian:

The Palestinians Chose to Self-Immolate on the Altar of Destroying Israel
The story of Israel is the tale of a Jewish state that views its rebirth as restitution and justice.

It is also the tale of an Arab (Muslim) state that never was, that chose to self-immolate on the altar of preventing Israel's emergence, and that views the Jewish state in its midst as an aberration and disruption of God's justice, the personification of injustice.

Justice from a Jewish perspective is "Israel reborn," while injustice in Arab (Muslim) eyes is this same "Israel reborn."

How does one resolve such a dilemma when Israel, having achieved "justice," seeks "recognition," when Arabs seek its correction?

For fans of "context" - from Hamas apologists, to honest human rights activists genuinely concerned for civilian lives, to infantilized pedestrians gorged on social media fallacies devoid of reflection, discernment, or critical analysis, to outright antisemites to whom Israel can't seem to do anything right and has no right to self-defense - that is the context of October 7, 2023.

Arabs won't "recognize," and Israel won't oblige by offering its "demise."
The NYT is wrong about Israeli intelligence
The latest is a carefully contrived misrepresentation of the reason that Israel was caught by surprise on October 7. Headlined “Israel Knew Hamas’s Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago”, it was based on a fundamental misconception — that the Israeli army is an active-duty force, as most armies indeed are. But the Israel Defence Forces is radically different: it is a reserves-centered force, one of only three in the world, along with the Finnish and Swiss armies.

Instead of consisting of active-duty forces that are up and running around the clock, the IDF mostly consists of reserve units. When mobilised for refresher training or to fight a war, the reservists go to their specific depots scattered around the country to collect their uniforms, kit and weapons — everything from pistols to battle tanks — before moving out as combat units ready for action.

That is how a country of some 7 million has more than 635,000 soldiers, airmen and sailors when fully mobilised, compared with the 2 million in all US armed forces, out of a population of some 330 million: that is, a ratio that is more than tenfold. Invented in 1948, the reserve system is the key to Israel’s military strength. Aside from allowing Israelis to work and raise their families while still being ready to fight, it also allows the Israeli troops who are on duty to train properly in unit exercises and larger manoeuvres, instead of being tied down to watch frontiers and hold outposts.

But there is a major catch: advance warning is needed to mobilise the reserves in time, and even with the best possible intelligence analysts, and all the best satellites, sensors and computers, the problem is not just hard… it is impossible. Had Israeli intelligence analysis, or the arrival of a complete war plan sold by an enterprising operative revealed Hamas’s plan for an attack on October 7, the Israelis would have sent much stronger forces to guard the Gaza perimeter. Instead of the lone Merkava tank whose capture by dozens of Hamas fighters was shown again and again in news videos, there would have been a company of 10 tanks in that position, which would have massacred the attackers with their machine-gun fire. As for the single mechanised infantry company with fewer than 100 solders that guarded a critical hinge position, there would have been a battalion or even two that would have crushed the attackers.

But then, of course, Hamas spotters would have seen Israeli troops ready to defeat them — and they would have called off the attack altogether. There is worse: once an attack warning is received and reinforcements are deployed so that the enemy calls off its planned attack, the intelligence indicators that got it right will be discredited as false alarms, while the intelligence officers who failed to heed the signs will be the ones everyone listens to the next time around.
Jeffrey Herf: An Exchange on Holocaust Memory
An Open Letter on Hamas, Antisemitism, and Holocaust Memory
The undersigned are scholars of Nazi Germany, of the Holocaust, of Israel, and of antisemitism. We express our disagreement with the statement by some of our fellow scholars in their “Open Letter on the Misuse of Holocaust Memory” of November 20, 2023, in The New York Review of Books. In the letter they express “dismay and disappointment at political leaders and notable public figures invoking Holocaust memory to explain the current crisis in Gaza and Israel.” The use of Holocaust memory in this way, they suggest, amounts to distortion of the present moment to advance political agendas.

On October 7 Hamas carried out in Israel a deliberate campaign of mass murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping. This was not the Holocaust, but it was the most important mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust. Finding commonalities and differences between historical events has always been essential to understanding the past and the present.

In terms of ideas, there is a Nazi connection to Hamas. A substantial body of research examines the distinctive form of Islamist Jew-hatred that emerged in the 1930s with the Muslim Brotherhood. This scholarship also examines the ways in which Nazi Germany exported European antisemitic conspiracy theories to the Middle East before and during World War II and the Holocaust, and the collaboration of Islamists in that endeavor. A mélange of Jew-hatred resulted, informed by religious fanaticism on the one hand and Nazi theories of Jewish global control on the other. The body of scholarship also examines the use and misuse of Holocaust memory in Arab political life. The signers of the November 20 letter overlook this scholarship.

This mix of Islamist and European Jew-hatred, while not shared by the entire Arab/Muslim world, has maintained a shadow over the Middle East as regards the existence of a Jewish state. It began with the Muslim Brotherhood and Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, and it continues with Hamas, which itself is an offshoot of the Brotherhood. In its call to destroy the Jewish state, Hamas’s Charter of 1988 is replete with the Brotherhood’s vicious Jew-hatred on the one hand, and Nazi conspiracy theories on the other. Hamas’s revised statement of 2017 expresses the same determination, albeit in slightly more secular terminology.

The authors of the November 20 letter point to geopolitical differences between October 7 and the Holocaust. The Nazi genocide, they say, began with “a state—and its willing civil society—attacking a tiny minority.” But Hamas has had a state in Gaza for seventeen years, five years longer than the Nazis controlled Germany. Like all dictatorships, Hamas holds a monopoly on lawmaking, communication, and the use of force. Gaza is also a civil society, terrorized by Hamas but also with willing Hamas supporters. In Hamas’s core documents, Israel represents an intolerable minority embedded in the Muslim world. The signatories of November 20 do not mention these realities.

The Woman in the Hamas Video Is My Daughter
You have seen the video of my daughter Naama Levy. Everyone has. You have seen her dragged by her long brown hair from the back of a Jeep at gunpoint, somewhere in Gaza, her gray sweatpants covered in blood. You may have perhaps noticed that her ankles are cut, that she’s barefoot and limping. She is seriously injured. She is frightened. And I, her mother, am helpless in these moments of horror.

On October 7, Naama had been sleeping at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, and was awakened by the chaotic sound of a missile barrage. At 7 a.m., she sent me a WhatsApp message: “We’re in the safe room. I’ve never heard anything like this.” That was the last I heard from her.

The next day, I saw the video, but the woman in the footage was so bloodied and disheveled it was hard to tell if it really was her. Naama’s father called and confirmed the terrible news.

Before that day, every video our family had taken of Naama was joyful—dancing with friends, laughing with her three siblings, and simply enjoying life. Naama is only 19, but she’ll always be my baby girl. A girl who truly believes in the good of all people. She enjoys athletics and dreams of a career in diplomacy, and her greatest passion is helping those in need. As a girl, she was a member of the “Hands of Peace” delegation, which brings together American, Israeli, and Palestinian youths to promote global social change.

But now, one video, totally unrepresentative of the life she had led until October 7, is how the world knows her.

It has been deeply disturbing to see the United Nations and feminist organizations refuse to acknowledge that Hamas raped and committed appalling sexual crimes against women, simply because the victims are Jewish. It took two months for some to finally admit the scale and the brutality of the horror. Meanwhile, Israeli experts are gathering the evidence. Shari, a volunteer worker at the Shura military morgue, told The Washington Post about what she documented: “We saw many women with bloody underwear, with broken bones, broken legs, broken pelvises.”

The same monsters who committed those crimes are holding my daughter hostage.

There are seventeen young women still in captivity. They range in age from 18 to 26. I think of what they, and my Naama, could be subjected to at every moment of the day. Each minute is an eternity in hell.
'I see the terror in her eyes' Mother of teen kidnapped by Hamas speaks out
Ayelet Levi shares with Jose Diaz-Balart how “unbearable” it has been to live without her daughter for 62 days. “It’s so difficult for me to even think and speak about it … I don't even know what words to use."

Behind the anger of the young American Hamas apologists
Which brings me to today. I am not speaking about the intoxicated evil of the young men unleashed by Hamas on Israeli civilians. Those killers are not a case study in the breakdown of civilization, but rather instances of the atavistic savagery of people raised to be piranhas: frenzied, gleeful, sated only by pure evil. They provide no lesson in the breakdown of the norms of self-control, since their only measure is loyalty to a fanatical cause.

Rather, when I speak of today I mean something else: the legions of American (and not just American) young people who justify the atrocities committed by Hamas as a legitimate action against “settler colonialist” Jews. There is something new here. This isn’t anger as a prelude to violence. It is anger that is conjured in the aftermath of violence. And like other forms of anger, it feeds on itself and escalates. What began as a handful of statements by student activists who followed instructions from “Students for Justice in Palestine” soon became a popular cause. It snowballed by drawing on several tributaries. One was generational. Extolling Hamas became a way for the current generation of college students to issue a blanket “F-you!” to the rest of society.

It was also a moment to take full ownership of the anti-civilizational conceit in which an entire generation had been marinated from kindergarten on. They learned that the West is a totally rotten, corrupt place, that gained its ascendency by stealing resources from indigenous people and then ruthlessly exploiting the environment by burning fossil fuels and handing over to the next generation a planet that will wither under the curse of global warming. Praising Hamas is a way to bundle all of these discontents and antipathies into one giant outrage. It screams, “I hate your civilization. You deserve to be raped, beheaded, tortured, roasted and hauled into underground caves.” This is the proper response to the crimes you have committed against our purity and innocence.

The young people who think and say these things are, tragically, deluded. Their heads are filled with falsehoods. In place of a grasp of history they the mythology of Howard Zinn, Edward Said, Ibram X. Kendi and Nikole Hannah-Jones. In place of science, they have the mythology of Al Gore, Michael Mann, Greta Thunberg, Bill McKibben and the IPPC. They have grown up in the bubble of social media in which their capacity for critical thinking has been hijacked by their exquisite sensitivity to group conformity. Their moral formation has been blotted out by endless reassurance that what counts is “social justice.” Their sense of a morally culpable individual self has been dimmed to the pilot light of submission to ideological orthodoxy. Whatever challenges the orthodoxy is cause for outrage.

This is not to say that their anger is somehow unreal. It is perfectly real because it is the only emotion which has been positively reinforced through their lives. Optimism about their lives to come has been ground to the dust of apocalyptic fantasy. It is cartoon nihilism that exhilarates them.
Douglas Murray: Universities claim to oppose all forms of hate – so why do they let antisemitism flourish?
The Jews are always first. But everyone else is next.

That is why it is doubly important that Jewish students across the UK have been expressing fear.

In the month after Hamas’s attacks of October 7 there were more incidents of anti-Semitism reported on British campuses than in the whole of 2022.

A student at Oxford wrote for one British publication that fellow Jewish students had been advised not to go to synagogue, were called “colonisers”, started removing religious headwear and had Jewish religious symbols ripped from their doors.

One Israeli student who had relatives murdered at the Nova festival massacre returned to Israel because she felt safer in a country at war than at Oxford.

The author of this article? Unknown.

Anti-Western sentiment
He or she wrote the article anonymously. Such is the state of British campuses. And no wonder.

Because for years our campuses have been hotbeds of anti-Israel and anti-British sentiment.

The London School of Economics produced the jihadist who beheaded the Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002.

The following year King’s College London produced one of the students, Omar Sharif, who went to Israel and carried out a suicide bombing at a bar in Tel Aviv.

In 2009 the former head of the Islamic Society at University College London tried to blow up a plane over Detroit.

In 2010 an Islamic extremist at King’s College London tried to stab to death the MP Stephen Timms.

And that’s just universities in London.

All these students came out of an environment in which anti-Israel and anti-Western sentiment is routine.

For years now, Israeli government officials have been shouted off campus or actually pushed off by radical students.

Academics routinely make provably false claims against Israel, saying it is committing “genocide” and other calumnies. Most of this goes by without challenge.

These universities are not places of learning. They are places of indoctrination.

Our universities, like those in America, routinely insist that they are places of “equality” which oppose all forms of “hate”.

The truth is that in Britain — as in America — Jew-hate is always allowed.

But mark my words, while the Jews are the first targets of these maniacs of higher learning, they will not be the last. Harriet Bradley called for somebody to 'blow up' the venue of a Jewish Labour Movement event
Jordan Peterson: Blame idiotic Marxism for the demented antisemitism oozing out of universities
What does all this have to do with the universities, their presidents, and the Jews? Well, the latter have the great misfortune of being successful. In a world where the possession of anything of discriminating merit defines the oppressor — and, therefore, the Evil One — the Jews always have too much. This makes them the victimizers, just as they always have been to the eternal antisemites; just as they were, most infamously, to the Nazis. The Palestinians have for some reason and very fortunately for them been deemed the loser-winners of the most intense current victim/victimizer contest (the only tournament currently deemed acceptable). Thus, they’re good, all historical complexity and evidence to the contrary be damned — as are those who stand heroically beside them, no matter how counterproductively. The flipside of this decision is, of course, that the Jews must be evil, an outcome which has the enviable side-benefit of allowing them to be hated with good conscience, by exactly those who constantly proclaim undying solidarity with the underdogs.

I observed the spectacle of the university presidents with true dread. It was not only that they unthinkably, self-righteously and dangerously promulgated the most dangerous of claims: that power rules everything — the very claim that justifies the use of power; the very claim that is put forward for precisely that purpose; the very claim that when sufficiently widespread (as it was in the U.S.S.R. and still is in China and North Korea) turns everything and very rapidly to deep and endless misery. It was that they did so without even noticing or reflecting upon the fact that they were doing; without thinking at all about what they were doing meant.

Let’s make it stark and clear: The presidents of three of the most influential universities in the world this week justified the utterance on their respective campuses of genocidal threats against the Jews. They did so while claiming the moral high ground — and as if that claim was undeniable, in keeping with the axioms of their pathological doctrine. They did so, furthermore, while purporting to support the free speech they most truly hold in contempt (as part of the superceded oppressive patriarchal morality of the liberal West). They did so even though there is nothing worse than a Nazi, in hypothetical principle, to a moralizing leftist: so much so that everyone and anyone can be therefore conveniently tarred with that brush, at the drop of a hat. I have had more than my fair share of experience with such delights, despite lecturing about the dangers of National Socialism for more than three decades at Harvard itself, as well as the University of Toronto.

The fact that plunging snout-deep into the postmodern meta-Marxist academic trough will actually turn you, if not into a full-fledged Nazi, at least into someone who will testify in front of Congress on behalf of those promoting the deadliest of hatreds toward the Jews — shouldn’t that have given those presidents pause? And the fact that it didn’t, while they simultaneously refused to notice the fact of their own possession, showing no shame whatsoever for it, failing even to be concerned with the potential effect on their own reputation — shouldn’t that give all of us watching pause? Is the bubble they inhabit truly that thick? And the answer is likely “yes.” Worse yet, it is that pervasive, in the general culture: I don’t believe for a minute that these women will pay for their sin with their jobs, even though they should clearly be fired, given that they don’t have enough sense to resign in well-deserved disgrace.

And I should point out in closing that the same bloody dread doctrine that poured itself out of the mouths of those pathetic excuses for intellectual leaders and thinkers in D.C. also fully possesses the leadership of our current government here in Canada, our own institutes of higher education and, increasingly, all the minds of the educated class. Luciferian presumption rules everywhere — and the pride we now celebrate (or else) for a month if not a season inevitably goes before a fall.

I have seldom seen such a sickening sight. I’m embarrassed in its aftermath to have even been associated with an enterprise that could go so spectacularly and perilously wrong. I’ve done my level best for many years to warn everyone I could of what was happening on campus, in class, and behind the closed doors of the universities. We’re also trying to do something about it, concretely, with the forthcoming launch of Peterson Academy, which already has a mailing list of some 200,000. Now you can see the rot for yourself, if you have the eyes to see.

We will look back on what we are doing with great shame. The Jews today, blind fools: You and those you love tomorrow. So it has been since the dawn of history.
Social media Maccabees: Helping Israel against Hamas this Hanukkah
When I was earning my degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, I taught bar and bat mitzvah kids at a large Conservative synagogue.

One of the lessons I tried to instill in the children, along with how to chant their haftarah, was to be proud to be Jewish. I taught them that this was what Hanukkah was about – with all due respect to the gift-giving that has become the focus of winter holidays in America.

The Maccabees fought an uphill battle against both the Syrian Greeks and the Jews who wanted to assimilate into the culture of the world’s dominant empire. The miracle was that the Maccabees emerged successful, with the few miraculously defeating the many.

Nowadays, we are also the underdog in a challenging fight: the battle for international public opinion that is being fought on social media. Supporters of Israel are a small minority on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.

It would be totally understandable to pronounce the battle unwinnable, thus surrendering to opponents of the Jewish state. But social media is where young people around the world spend their time and get their news, so Israel cannot afford to abandon the fight.

That is why the organizations and individuals that have fearlessly entered the fray during the current war between Israel and Hamas are modern-day Maccabees, and their victories are worthy of being celebrated.

Who are the Maccabees helping Israel on social media?
The IDF itself has been very active on social media platforms in multiple languages, including Arabic. On Tuesday, the IDF tweeted instructions in Arabic for Gaza residents to enable the entrance of humanitarian aid, supplying helpful maps.

The Israeli government has taken dozens of influencers with huge social media followings to the Gaza periphery. With the help of the partnership-building organization Sharaka, Muslim reporters and commentators were brought from Europe to learn about the atrocities of October 7 and see their impact with their own eyes.

One campaign led by the Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Ministry highlighted how Hamas has misused Gaza’s hospitals. A video with both Jewish and Arab doctors condemning Hamas was circulated among doctors around the world.

ANOTHER VIDEO that the ministry’s senior director of digital strategy Ido Daniel coordinated with Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) featured gynecologist Ronit Almog speaking with authority about the sexual assaults of Hamas against Israeli women. That important video has been seen by millions of people.

A group of Israeli women founded the #MeToo_Unless_Ur_A_Jew online global campaign in response to the silence and lack of condemnation from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women. The grassroots effort resulted in 300,000 people in 50 countries signing a petition proclaiming that every woman’s life is equally precious and that no side of any story should be deliberately excluded.

It took too long, but UN Women finally issued a statement on Saturday condemning Hamas’s use of sexual violence, after having been widely criticized for failing to appropriately decry the gender-based atrocities.
Understanding Hamas’s War in Its Own Terms
To many Westerners who sympathize with Hamas, or with the Palestinian cause, the ongoing conflict is about the “liberation of Palestine.” But, writes Franck Salameh, this isn’t how Palestinian leaders see things:

Put in simple terms, traditional Islam divides the world between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, literally the “Abode of Islam” and the “Abode of war,” which is to say on the one hand territories where Islam reigns supreme and where Muslims rule, and on the other hand lands of disbelief where infidels still rule and where Islam is destined to conquer and dominate. In this traditional conception of the world, the struggle between those two abodes is continuous until one, presumably Islam, prevails over the other.

What is more, territories that Islam has already conquered and claimed for Muslims should be clung to by any means, and should never be ceded back to the world of disbelief.

[Hamas sees itself as locked in] an apocalyptic struggle for the redemption of Muslim land (Dar al-Islam) fallen to the hands of disbelief. . . . And lest the preceding be interpreted as the extreme view of religious zealots like Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority . . . affirmed in 2009 that the Palestinians’ armed struggle was “a strategy, not [a] tactic . . . in the battle for liberation and for the elimination of the Zionist presence; [a struggle that] will not stop until the Zionist entity is eliminated and Palestine is liberated.”
Ending the War
President Biden wrote in the Washington Post on November 18, 2023,"If Hamas cared at all for Palestinian lives, it would release all the hostages, give up arms and surrender the leaders and those responsible for Oct. 7." Biden was right to raise the prospect of Hamas' surrender. Actively pursuing that goal might be the best way to save Palestinian lives and to achieve U.S. strategic objectives in the Israel-Hamas war.

Since Oct. 7, President Biden has held fast to the principle that Israel has both the right and the obligation to wage war against Hamas for its unprovoked aggression against civilian communities in Israel.

Israel has implemented numerous operational procedures to keep the tragically high civilian death toll from climbing substantially higher; it has also allowed inspected humanitarian goods to flow into the war-zone.

Both Washington and Jerusalem recognize that the precondition for any effort to bridge their differences over the "day-after" is Israeli victory over Hamas. Any talk of a post-war political process is meaningless without Israeli battlefield success. There can be no serious discussion with Hamas either still governing Gaza or commanding a coherent military force.

President Biden recognized early that "ceasefire now" presents an insurmountable obstacle to any "political process later." His correct and courageous decision has been to fight the growing chorus for a ceasefire and to play the long game.

In the fog of war in Gaza, the only certainty is that the survival of a substantial element of Hamas would be a political and diplomatic disaster. If a battered but still operational Hamas is left in control of key parts of Gaza and is therefore able to claim victory, Hamas' rejectionist ideology will likely gain traction among Palestinians and throughout the Middle East. This would put Arab states on the defensive, and they would hesitate to take risks to advance a reinvigorated Arab-Israeli peace process.
Blinken Still Puzzled by Israel’s Failure to Kill Hamas Murderers without Harming their Human Shields
As the IDF is sweeping through the southern Gaza Strip in search of the criminal masterminds––the brothers Yahya and Muhammad Sinwar, Muhammad Deif, and Marwan Issa––who directed the October 7 massacre and kidnapping of helpless Israeli babies, infants, women, and the elderly, the only ally Hamas can still rely on is the Biden administration.

While offering Israel virtually unlimited material support, as more than 200 US cargo planes have already landed in Ben Gurion airport with direly needed weapons and ammunition, the White House is also applying extremely unfriendly pressure on Israel that threatens to debilitate its war effort.

A case in point is the press conference in Washington on Thursday that featured Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

Blinken conceded that “We continue to recognize the extraordinary difficulty of this task as Israel is dealing with a terrorist adversary that intentionally embeds itself with civilians. But again, Israel has an obligation to do everything possible to put a premium protecting civilians and maximizing humanitarian assistance.”

How do you do that? How do you put a premium on protecting civilians when the cruel murderers you are pursuing look and behave like civilians?

The main difficulty for the IDF is not in moving its forces deeper into the Hamas territory in the south, but in gaining operational control once the enemy’s territory is circled and largely subdued above ground. That’s when the tough part begins, as it did in the northern part of the Strip: the prolonged hunt, tunnel shaft by tunnel shaft, to get at the targets. It is a complex, tedious job, which will be difficult to complete in a limited time, and inevitably involves hunting for terrorists while repelling the occasional attacks that often erupt out of the crowded population on the streets.

There – at the point where the need to control the civilian population that can still come out with shoulder-mounted RPGs to kill our soldiers is juxtaposed with the priority of protecting the same civilian population – there is where countless armies have failed: in South Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. This is when the army is most vulnerable, and when Israel’s allies should be supporting its unenviably complex mission.
The UN vs Israel
Perhaps the most egregious UN institution of all is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This is generally presented as an organisation that supports Palestinian refugees by maintaining refugee camps and providing education and health services. However, beyond its benign-sounding activities, it has played a key role in maintaining this tragic conflict.

Back in 1948, when Israel was founded, there were 800,000 Palestinian refugees. Now, 70 years later, there are 5.9million Palestinians who are classified as refugees. These include many in the Gaza strip and the West Bank (both areas claimed as part of historical Palestine) as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. And so we now have a bizarre situation in which many Palestinians are classified as second-, third- or even fourth-generation refugees – despite them and their parents and even their parents’ parents living their entire lives in one place. Rather than promote the Palestinians’ integration into the wider communities and nations in which they live, UNRWA, in effect, works to maintain their separation from the broader population.

This is in stark contrast to the treatment of refugees in other conflicts. In the aftermath of the Second World War, there were, tragically, many large-scale population transfers in many parts of the world. These included more than 850,000 Jews, who were forced to flee their homes in Arab lands after the state of Israel was founded. But most of those who suffered in this way integrated into the countries to which they fled. In contrast, UNRWA, together with the Arab regimes, has worked hard to impose permanent refugee status on Palestinians. In other parts of the world, the situation is very different – with refugees falling under the remit of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Worse still, UNRWA has been accused of providing school textbooks that incite violence against Israel. A report by IMPACT-se, an Israel-based non-governmental organisation, points to a violent poem for nine-year-olds that appeared in one such textbook. It calls for ‘sacrificing blood’, ‘eliminating the usurper’ and ‘annihilat[ing] the remnants of the foreigners’. Nevertheless, UNRWA claims that it has a ‘zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and for incitement to hatred and violence’ in its schools.

A significant number of UNRWA staff have even been documented as fighting for terrorist groups, including Hamas. This is actually not surprising, given UNRWA’s relatively large number of employees, drawing in large part from Palestinian society itself. But it is still beyond shameful for a UN agency to have such people within its ranks. Plus, this setup contributes to misinformation about the conflict. UNRWA workers are often reported as having been senselessly killed by Israeli forces, even in cases where they were far from innocent civilians.

The UN is not a neutral arbiter when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to put it lightly. Anyone who suggests otherwise should not be taken seriously.
Israeli MP: UN Agency Drives Islamist Radicalization
The educational aspect might be the most outrageous one, but the core problem with UNRWA is much wider than that. Practically, the organization works as a giant instrument to keep Palestinian victimhood alive—and profitable—forever.

The first Arab-Israeli war in 1948 resulted in roughly 750,000 Palestinian refugees fleeing the country. Logically, after seventy years, this number should be near zero, Haskel noted, but instead, there are close to six million of them now, and the number will only increase. As it turns out, the UN grants hereditary refugee status to Palestinians, uniquely in the world, regardless of where they are born.

The quality of aid and service this status provides is also unique. For context, the UN’s main refugee aid organization, UNHCR, employs around 20,700 workers to provide for 108 million people in need worldwide. In contrast, the UNRWA has over 30,000 employees to help 5.9 million Palestinians, who—unlike any other refugees—receive free permanent housing, healthcare, education, and jobs for life.

“Being a Palestinian refugee has become a status, a profession, and source of income that is inherited and goes on forever,” Haskel said. Over 70% of Gaza’s population are refugees, despite being born there. “Why? Because it is profitable to be a Palestinian refugee.”

This directly translates into a cycle of never-ending violence. The number of ‘refugees’ keeps growing; more and more people are eligible and attend UNRWA schools where they get radicalized by Hamas members or sympathizers, then are given jobs in the organization, and continue to expand it to further their agenda.

The constant threat of terrorism is just one result, Haskel noted, but this system also holds millions of Palestinians captive, unable to build a free and prosperous society. “For 75 years, the UNRWA destroyed the future of generations of Gazans.”

This is why eliminating Hamas alone will only lead to the inevitable resurgence of terrorism at some point in the future. The real challenge for Israel starts after the war is over ending the indoctrination and incitement of Palestinians, starting with education. But for that, the international community needs to understand the reality and stop financing radicalism immediately. As Haskel underlined:

If we are to win the hearts and minds of the children of Gaza … so that maybe one day we can co-exist, we need to dismantle UNRWA and stop them from perpetuating the conflict and the hatred towards Jews.

IDF: Hamas Broke Truce in Gaza Minutes after It Began
IDF battalion commander Lt.-Col. (res.) Yisrael said his forces were on the outskirts of Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, on Nov. 24 when the truce began. "At 7 a.m. the ceasefire started, and at 7:15 a.m., dozens of terrorists ran toward us, from every direction. Some of them were opening fire, and our forces killed them. Between 7:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. we killed 20 terrorists. And then they realized they shouldn't mess with us."

"They don't really try to face us, but to sting here and there. Their method of operating is fleeing in civilian clothes, leaving behind their uniforms, their guns, anti-tank missiles, explosives, and they just run. After we leave the area, they return and attack the next forces."

"It's unbelievable. In dozens of yards of homes we found dozens of rocket launchers. We found Kalashnikovs under mattresses, inside clothes closets. It wasn't thrown there suddenly, they were hidden in the homes." Yisrael shows us two multiple rocket launchers, as well as a mortar launcher that the troops had found adjacent to homes. One of the rocket launchers still has cables running from it to the basement of one of the homes.

Back home, Yisrael has a wife and children waiting for him, much like the other troops in the battalion. "It's difficult, complex, very challenging, kids who haven't seen their father [in two months]...but I think everyone understands that we have no choice," Yisrael said. "Whoever is here for the past 63 now here due to willpower, friendships, wanting to obtain the objectives. Nobody is here because I told them to be," noting that around 60 of the troops are volunteering, as they are old enough to be exempt from reserve duty. "These are people sacrificing everything for the country, the best people in the country. They left behind everything, their families, their work, to fight here."
Avi Issacharoff: As Gaza Breaks Down, Hamas Rulers Hide Underground
Hamas mistakenly gambled on expecting only a limited Israeli offensive in response to its Oct. 7 attack. IDF forces have not yet entered the refugee camps in the center of the Strip and Rafah in the south. But already now, it is evident that the central governance of Hamas, in Gaza City and around Khan Yunis, is collapsing in full view of the Middle East, that is receiving the message as well.

In the north, Hizbullah has not begun an all-out war on Israel after two months of limited fire. Some 100 Hizbullah fighters have already been killed. Hizbullah and its masters in Iran have good reason to avoid all-out war after the images of destruction in Gaza - a reminder to them of the firepower available to the IDF.

Slow but increasing condemnations of Hamas are being heard in Gaza, while most civilians there still support the group and its popularity surges in the West Bank. Hamas has usurped humanitarian aid delivered by the UN for civilians and fuel that was needed for critical infrastructure.

Hamas does not even try to offer solutions for the displaced and its leaders remain in hiding while its operatives steal what they can of the humanitarian supplies. Gazans understand Hamas and its leader Yahya Sinwar are responsible for their fate.
The IDF’s meticulous targeting of Hamas in Gaza

As IDF ups ops in Gaza, Hamas targets troops from schools, mosque

US State Dept. approves sale of thousands of tank rounds to Israel

Yemen’s Houthis Warn They Will Target All Ships Headed to Israel

Hostages’ families find all the services they need in one Tel Aviv building
She joined a team that was co-founded and led by one of the best-known political strategists in Israel, Ronen Tzur, who’s known for his no-holds-barred style, and in recent years has been a leading figure guiding protest groups against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and before that advised now-war cabinet Minister Benny Gantz.

In a conference room with panoramic windows on one side and wallpapered with the iconic “Kidnapped by Hamas” posters on the other, Moatti described her team’s efforts.

“It took me five or 10 minutes to get started. When I was chairwoman of the subcommittee, I already had a committee of former diplomats advising me, who I would talk to about the war in Ukraine, and things like that,” she recounted.

Then, overhearing someone on the phone outside, she interrupted herself: “Speak to him gently, he lost a son!” Moatti admonished another volunteer.

Moatti’s husband, Daniel Shek, Israel’s former ambassador to France and consul general in San Francisco who once ran for Knesset with Tzipi Livni’s party, Hatnua, helped form Moatti’s “wow” team, as she put it, of retired ambassadors, with members who include Colette Avital and J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir.

“Our goal is to keep the hostages on the international agenda,” Moatti said. “We met representatives of every country [with an embassy or office] in Israel, except for Egypt and Turkey. We met over 200 lawmakers around the world. We met 40 heads of state – some on Zoom, like Brazilian President Lula da Silva.”

Shek, who was also in the forum headquarters that morning, pointed out that “some people are suspicious of government officials. This is coming from civil society, representing the people, so it brings a faster reaction, even more so if there’s a personal connection,” which many of the volunteering diplomats have with foreign government officials.

Moatti said she was “amazed” to see the ex-ambassadors “call a leader and say ‘this is an emergency, help us,’ and it works.”

Another part of Moatti’s team works on the delegations of hostages’ relatives traveling abroad. Each team is accompanied by a therapist or social worker, as well as by a media adviser.

According to Orna Dotan, a medical management professional who heads the “Hosen” or Resilience Department, named for the Hebrew term for post-traumatic psychological care: “We prepare the families before joining delegations abroad, we are present during the trips and we talk to them at the end.”

“Our Resilience Department was established eight weeks ago, with therapists, psychologists, social workers,” Dotan said, sitting in a lounge area where two therapists were waiting to be interviewed so they could volunteer at the forum. Outside the window was a billboard calling to bring the hostages home. “At first, we proactively made daily contact with the families to find out their emotional and mental needs. We now accompany their changing needs week after week.”

There are 92 volunteer therapists with the forum, who built trust visiting hostages’ families over the past eight weeks, as they were “flooded with anxiety from waiting so long, and exhaustion,” Dotan said.

“In all the uncertainty, we are a kind of an anchor,” she said.
Hamas hostage Sahar Baruch killed in Gaza captivity, family confirms
Sahar Baruch, 25, was killed in Hamas captivity in Gaza after being kidnapped on October 7, according to a joint statement from his community, Kibbutz Be'eri, and the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

Baruch's brother, Idan, was murdered by Hamas during the October 7 massacre. Sahar was considered missing for weeks, until his family received the message that he was being held captive by Hamas.

On Friday, Hamas terrorists released a propaganda video showing Sahar Baruch's body, claiming that the captive Kibbutz Be'eri resident was killed during an IDF operation to free hostages. The IDF denies those claims and has confirmed that Baruch was murdered by Hamas terrorists.

When the IDF spokesman spoke publicly about the incident, he did not mention nor confirm Baruch's death but did confirm that two soldiers were seriously injured during the operation in question.

The IDF's operations to locate and rescue the abductees, both surviving and murdered, require a combination of operational efforts and intelligence. Rescue operations are requiring the service of multiple security organizations to collect data about the captives, Israeli media reported.

IDF representatives are in regular contact with the families of the abductees and update them with any verified information about their loved ones. "The terrorist organization Hamas is trying and will try to produce psychological terror. Spreading unverified rumors and facts must be avoided," they said in a statement.

His family, including parents Tami and Roni, and siblings Guy and Niv, are demanding the return of his remains in any future hostage return deal.

Megyn Kelly: CAIR Director's October 7 Comments Expose Organization's Anti-Semitism, with Matt Welch & Liz Wolfe
Megyn Kelly is joined by Reason Magazine's Matt Welch, co-host of The Fifth Column, and Liz Wolfe, co-host Just Asking Questions, to discuss the CAIR director’s disturbing comments claiming he was “happy” with the events that occurred on October 7, how it exposes the organization’s anti-Semitism, the White House belatedly distancing themselves from CAIR, and more.

Megyn Kelly: Anti-Semitism Leads College Administrators to Hypocritical Reckoning, with Matt Welch and Liz Wolfe
Megyn Kelly is joined by Reason Magazine's Matt Welch, co-host of The Fifth Column, and Liz Wolfe, co-host Just Asking Questions, to discuss the university presidents now pushing for free speech after campus anti-Semitism, embarrassing hypocrisy when compared to the past 10 years of free speech silencing on campus, and more.

'Relieved he is not here': Eddie Jaku’s granddaughter on rising anti-Semitism
Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku’s granddaughter Danielle Jaku says she gets “asked a lot” what her grandfather would think of the current rise in anti-Semitism across the Western world.

“Sadly, I’m relieved he is not here to see this,” she told Sky News Australia.

“We are really living the biggest rise in anti-Semitism that we have seen.

“I feel really sad for the holocaust survivors who are still alive.

“The elders in the community who are watching this play out here in Australia.”

Brave Palestinian Speaks Out Against Hamas
As Hamas continues to fire rockets out of civilian areas, one brave Palestinian speaks out and shares her view of what's going on in the Middle East. This needs to come to an end.

Q & A, Hosted by Jay Nordlinger: A Warrioress for Truth about Israel and Jews
Since October 7, Aviva Klompas has provided an extraordinary service. She has brought a wealth of information about that day’s attack. And about the people held hostage by Hamas. And about instances of antisemitism around the world. She has done this mainly through Twitter, or X. She has devoted her life to combating antisemitism through education. She does not fear to deal with some of the darkest elements around us. An extraordinary person, Aviva Klompas. She and Jay discuss some of the biggest and most problematic issues.

Half of Democrats say Israel to blame a lot for Gaza war, per Pew poll

‘Economist’ poll: 27% of US adults say Israel trying to wipe Palestinians out

Why Pro-Palestinian Protests Have a Problem
During my three decades of voting in Israeli elections, I have most often voted for a Jewish-Palestinian party, something I have been quite vocal about. One might expect I would have eagerly attended pro-Palestinian marches, joining many of my friends who sincerely support the cause. However, the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel sadly and quickly clarified to me that to join, I would have to deny every part of my existence. More than that, I would have chosen to side with people who justify the ruthless killing of Israelis as a case of "noble resistance."

The pro-Palestinian bar of acceptance for Jews is not based on shared values of peace, equality, and human rights. It is based on one simple question: Are you willing to separate yourself not just from Israelis but from the Jewish people at large, who overwhelmingly sympathize with Zionism? Jews are welcome only if you reject Jewish self-determination, only if you declare vociferously that you're anti-Zionist and renounce your support for any Jewish political presence in the territory of Israel-Palestine.

Most organized Judaism, whether Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox, is Zionist in some form or another. This is a historical fact, and its emergence is based on historical realities that go far beyond the question of supporting - or not supporting - Israel today or any specific Israeli government ever. Zionism, in essence, is the bond Jews have with Israel. It is an identity intricately linked to religion. For many Jews worldwide, it is also a family connection.

In their fervor, many within the pro-Palestinian camp refuse to use the word Israel, but rather "Zionist" state; and they do not use the term "Israelis," but rather "Zionist colonizers" or "Zionist settlers." For them, it did not matter that the Israelis attacked on Oct. 7 were not settlers in the West Bank; all Israelis are fair game. What has emerged in the halls of academia and the protests is a new form of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, extending to Jews throughout the world who support Israel.

SF Parents Want Activist Group that Organized Pro-Palestine School Walkout to Lose Contract

Brutal battle with ladders breaks out on the streets of London after drivers stop to attack man who tore down Palestine flag flying in Tower Hamlets

She Tore Down Posters of Israeli Hostages. Now She Wants You To Pay for Her Therapy.

Meet the Teachers' Union Director Arrested for Shutting Down Traffic Outside a Pro-Israel Conference

Was this the moment the Pendulum of Insanity reached the height of madness? In a brutal and brilliant assault on woke-think, MAUREEN CALLAHAN prays the 'Jewish genocide' college presidents' scandal may REALLY wake up the world

OpenAI’s Sam Altman says he was ‘totally wrong’ to call antisemitism overblown

Resign TODAY! UPenn board member Vahan Gureghian who quit in disgust after October 7th calls on Liz Magill to leave her post after failing to confirm calling for the genocide of Jews broke campus rules

Penn university head Liz Magill quits, days after dithering on calls for Jewish genocide
University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill resigns, days after drawing outrage by insisting that calls for genocide of Jews don’t necessarily go against the US university’s code of conduct, and after her subsequent clarification was widely panned as insufficient.

The chair of Penn’s Board of Trustees says, in a letter that has quickly circulated online, that Magill has “voluntarily tendered her resignation” but will remain a tenured faculty member at the law school.
Meet the Jewish Community Leader At the Center of UPenn Anti-Semitism Scandal

From UCLA to UNC, emails show university heads frustrated by demands to pick a side after Hamas attacks

Daniel Greenfield: Asking a University President If Killing Jews Violates Codes of Conduct Is Not a “Trap”

Maher: People Who Get News from MSNBC, NYT Didn’t Know About Longstanding Issues on Campuses

Maher: Congress Could Call President of ‘My Alma Mater, Cornell,’ ‘They’re a Bunch of A**holes’ Too

When Does Free Speech Cross the Line? | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
FIRE president Greg Lukianoff joins Bill Maher to discuss the standard for free expression on college campuses.

Public service union members speak out against $50K Gaza donation

Jewish pop star Pink shuts down anti-Hanukkah commenter in viral interaction

Tree of Life Synagogue Unveils Preliminary Design of New Memorial Honoring Victims of 2018 Shooting

20% of Young Americans Think Holocaust Is a Myth: Poll

A Hanukkah miracle: The eternal light of Jewish unity

Fighting Antisemitism with Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song

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

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EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


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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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