Wednesday, December 20, 2023

12/20 Links Pt2: The Global Empire of Palestine; I’m a pacifist, atheist Arab and I’m praying for IDF soldiers; John Steinbeck’s Promised Land

From Ian:

Lee Smith: The Global Empire of Palestine
To the literal-minded, and others who do not yet recognize the character of the pathologies ushered in with the age of the Empire of Palestine, it may seem bewildering, for instance, to see LGBTQ+ organizations demonstrating on behalf of a Hamas triumph. But Queers for Palestine don’t need to be told how Hamas actually deals with queers in Gaza and the West Bank. That’s irrelevant. In the Empire of Palestine all difference is transcended. It’s not a place, it’s a spiritual principle guided by the inversion of reality and governed by the equation 2+2=5.

Few in the climate change movement could have been surprised to hear Greta Thunberg express her desire to “crush Zionism.” In her strident warnings of catastrophic global climate change and the end of humanity, the Empire of Palestine has always been the subtext, a land of chaos and confusion, an inverted Eden in the desert presided over by an unforgiving earth goddess.

The Empire of Palestine is an aesthetic convention. It’s an “open-air prison” and “the Riviera of the Levant.” It’s a forgery. A postcard from the continent of unreason.

Climate millenarianism, the mass replacement of native populations, the government-sanctioned sterilization of children—everywhere you look the mark of civilizational suicide is on the horizon as Western elites assemble under the imperial banner. Flown in European capitals and university campuses, it represents the longings of a powerful faction within the West of those exhausted by life and wanting one last time to feel something like life coursing through their veins as they await the cleansing fire, redemption culminating in the coup de grace.

It was inevitable they, too, would stand against the Jews, who have chosen life over death.
Melanie Phillips: A spiteful and fatuous blacklist
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said last week that America will impose travel bans on “extremist [Israeli] settlers who have committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank”.

He went on:
As President Biden has repeatedly said, those attacks are unacceptable. Last week in Israel, I made clear that the United States is ready to take action using our own authorities. Today, the State Department is implementing a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security or stability in the West Bank, including through committing acts of violence or taking other actions that unduly restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities.

Who will these blacklisted “settlers” be? Apparently no names will be published. The Times of Israel has reported:
The announcement will likely only include the number of settlers being banned from the US, rather than their names, the Israeli official said, explaining that the US hopes that the anonymity will serve as a deterrent against those considering targeting Palestinians who won’t know whether they’ve been blacklisted or not.

How will the US authorities identify these violent “settlers”? Will they be people who have been convicted by the Israelis? How will the Americans obtain those names and details? Or will they perhaps just pluck a number at random without even knowing any details?

In subsequent briefings, the State Department seemed to suggest that Palestinians who had committed violent attacks on Israelis would also be blacklisted. Blinken didn’t spell this out, merely saying:
We will continue to seek accountability for all acts of violence against civilians in the West Bank, regardless of the perpetrator or the victim

but added:
We will also continue to engage the Palestinian Authority to make clear it must do more to curb Palestinian attacks against Israelis.

Really? What exactly has the State Department been doing up till now to get the PA to curb attacks on Israelis? Does “continue to engage the PA” to this end include the funding that the Biden administration continues to pay the PA, regardless of its refusal to stop paying rewards to terrorists and their families — funding that contravenes the Taylor Force Act that restricts such funds unless the PA ends such stipends? Surely such rewards for terrorism are actions that “undermine peace, security or stability in the West Bank”?

Will the Americans perhaps be blacklisting those terrorists the PA has rewarded with American money? Will they indeed blacklist the PA’s leader Mahmoud Abbas for glorifying, funding and inciting terrorism? Or does Blinken think the murder of Israelis isn’t as bad as Israeli “settler” hooliganism?
Fred Maroun: I’m a pacifist, atheist Arab and I’m praying for IDF soldiers
These soldiers were thrown into a war that they did not want. Many of them have left regular civilian jobs to go risk their lives in a land full of boobytraps and where ruthless murderers could be popping out of a multitude of tunnels at any time.

Since the ground operation started on October 27, I have been thinking of these soldiers and I have been praying for them, at least as much as an atheist can pray. If there is any form of God above, I want that God to see and hear that the soldiers of the IDF are doing the necessary work of peace.

I want that God to understand that the world failed Israelis and Gazans by allowing Hamas to transform Gaza into a terror machine that uses civilians as its shield. They failed by providing funding that was to be used for services to Gazans but was used for terrorism instead, right under the eyes of the so-called charitable organizations.

I want that God to understand that decades of lies and a false narrative about Jewish history and about Israel are responsible for this war and for every death on both sides. The common canard that Israel is a colony of Europe is not an innocent lie. It is a lie that perpetuates war by brainwashing generations to hate Israel and all Jews.

I want that God to be on the side of the soldiers of the IDF every second of every day until they are done and back home safe with their families.

This is my prayer as an atheist. Since the powers on this earth do not have the correct priorities and do not recognize those who are risking their lives for peace, I am left to hope against any real expectation that there is a power above us who cares.

John Steinbeck’s Promised Land
Within days of his arrival in Tel Aviv, John Steinbeck, the recent Nobel laureate and one of America’s greatest bards, wrote back to the States singing Israel’s praises. “This country boils and burbles,” he told his editor at New York Newsday, “squirms and gallops with energy. If there is such a thing as a boisterous ferment, it is here. In most countries I have seen and lived in, everything that can be done has been done. In Israel, in spite of its 4,000 years of history, everything is to be done and as though for the first time. It kind of bears out what I have always felt—that only those people who have nothing to do and no place to go are tired. I see no evidence of weariness here.”

In his 1966 jaunt across Israel, Steinbeck found what he felt was lacking back home. He encountered a people flush with patriotism, loyalty, and enthusiasm for military service—a stark contrast to what he saw in the youth of the United States, who, he wrote, were “burning draft cards because war in Vietnam was intolerable.” As Jay Parini, Steinbeck’s biographer, noted, the great novelist “was intent on contrasting Israel’s energetic vision of itself with America’s loss of vision.”

What did Steinbeck see in Israel beyond a country with a vision—a country full of brave and energized young people fighting for their future? In part it was America’s own lost promise. After visiting Israel’s border with Jordan, he noted that “the forest [of Israel] stops at the barbed wire, and beyond is that treeless waste, barren, sullen, intractable.” Here, in the hills of Israel, was that great wilderness that once personified the young and vibrant United States. To Steinbeck, America was no longer such a wilderness—was not a country that bordered barrenness but that had become barren itself.

This sense of American decline permeates East of Eden, Steinbeck’s 1952 masterpiece. The novel takes its title and structure from the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis, a narrative that tells the story of the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain kills Abel for reasons that the biblical text leaves mysterious, and the story concludes with Cain’s departure from Eden. “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.”

Steinbeck’s sprawling, 500-page opus can be understood as an elaborate midrash on this biblical story. In the novel, Steinbeck turns these two competing brothers into two families, the Hamiltons and Trasks of California’s Salinas Valley. After achieving an Edenic life in California’s Salinas Valley, the Hamiltons and Trasks lose their legacies through dissension and bitterness, ultimately reenacting the fall of man and expulsion from Eden.
Bret Stephens: Why I Can’t Stop Writing about Oct. 7
The single-minded loathing of Israel is another expression of antisemitism. Somehow the types of excuses that are unthinkable when it comes to some minorities become "essential context" when it comes to Jews. After Israel experienced the equivalent of more than a dozen Sept. 11s on a single day, some progressives instantly cheered it as an act of justified "resistance."

Antisemitism is a problem for democracy because hatred for Jews, whatever name or cause it travels under, is never a hatred for Jews only. It's a hatred for distinctiveness: Jews as Jews in Christian lands; Israel as a Jewish state in Muslim lands. Authoritarians seek uniformity. Jews represent difference.

America has been good to Jews since 1655, when the Dutch West India Company rebuked Peter Stuyvesant for refusing trade permits to some Jewish newcomers in what was then New Amsterdam. But if there's one lesson of Jewish history, it's that nothing good stays - and why we still say, at the end of every Passover Seder, "Next year in Jerusalem."
Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari: From theater kid to Navy SEAL to the IDF’s iconic wartime spokesman
Hagari, 47, known to his friends as Danny, is a married father of four, the youngest of whom is one year old. He grew up in Tel Aviv as the eldest of three siblings. His brother Ben is an acclaimed video artist based in New York. His other brother, Yoni, lives in the rehabilitation village ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran for people with physical and mental disabilities, which the IDF spokesman visited during the war.

There has been much made in Israeli media of the fact that Hagari majored in theater (as well as biology) in high school and starred in school plays as a teen, leading commentators to speculate that his experience made him a natural at the spokesman job. He also spent many hours as a child behind the scenes at the famed Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv, where his mother ran the subscription office.

Hagari enlisted in the IDF in 1995 and climbed the ranks of Shayetet 13, the equivalent of the Navy SEALs, becoming its commander in 2019.

Before leading the Shayetet, Hagari served as a top aide to IDF Chiefs of staff Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, both currently members of the war cabinet. The position put him at the intersection of government and military and gave him a broad view of the IDF’s operations, its ties with Israel’s other security arms and its international and public relations.

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy handpicked Hagari to be the spokesman, a job he officially began in March.

With his current success and popularity as spokesman, there has been recent chatter in the IDF that Hagari may be promoted to the rank of major general, possibly as the head of the IDF Personelle Directorate, a job that, in recent years, some have parlayed into a political career.
Israel’s newest, British-born international spokesperson is raising some eyebrows
It was nearly 11 p.m. Israel time in the middle of last month and Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy was on the line with journalist Lewis Goodall. The British radio host had repeatedly advocated for a ceasefire in the war with Hamas as if it were a magical solution to all the region’s problems — particularly for the people of Gaza.

As Goodall insisted once again that the people of Gaza simply want a ceasefire, Levy pointed out that roughly 137 hostages were still being held there by Hamas. He noted as well the horrors perpetrated on October 7, when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists stormed Israel’s border, killing 1,200 people — most of them civilians — amid stunning acts of brutality, and kidnapped roughly 240 more to the Gaza Strip.

When Levy was asked about his tweet calling participants in the anti-Israel protest movement in London “rape apologists,” Levy, 32, decided to shake things up.

“I told him, if anyone is offended by the term ‘rape apologists,’ I issue the following challenge: For every person attending a pro-Palestine march with the sign ‘I condemn Hamas for raping Israeli women and girls’ and tagging me on Twitter, I’ll donate £10 to UNRWA or any other charity of their choice, and I’ll also publicly apologize to them. Now, I told him, the ball is in their court,” Levy says, speaking with The Times of Israel’s sister site, Zman Yisrael, which shadowed the spokesman for a day.

Had hundreds of people shown up with such signs, Levy would have been in serious trouble as the legal adviser at the Prime Minister’s Office would never have approved such an expense.

“I took a calculated risk because it was clear to me that no one would respond to the challenge. Speak against Hamas in these events, and you’re finished,” Levy says. “Unexpectedly, one guy — a young Chabad member from New York — accepted the challenge and stood 50 meters [150 feet] away from the demonstration with the sign. I promptly donated to a Jewish NGO of his choice. Best $18 I’ve ever spent in my life.”

‘Gaza-lighting’ in the global media
When Levy discusses this donation gimmick, for a moment he’s not the national spokesperson but a stand-up comedian in a Greenwich Village nightclub.

“I’m not running a gimmick factory, but sometimes you really need to think outside the box,” he says.

Levy is no outsider to how media works. Before joining the National Public Diplomacy Directorate, Levy worked as a news anchor for the Israel Broadcasting Authority in English and for i24News. For the last two years, he served as international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog.

He was born in London to Israeli parents working in real estate and his interest in public relations grew from success in debate clubs since the age of 14. While studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford (the same BA degree held by various British prime ministers, including David Cameron, Rishi Sunak, and Liz Truss), he continued to participate in debate championships in Europe and worldwide. He also pursued an MPhil in International Relations from Cambridge.

His thesis focused on researching the immigration of Jews from Arab countries in the 1950s in the context of the formulation of Israel’s foreign policy.
The Third Front: How the Palestinian Authority Is Preparing for Battle
Israel's "third front" is in Judea and Samaria. Declarations praising the Oct. 7 massacre by senior Fatah officials are an attempt to stir up feelings towards a similar horrendous act of violence against the Jewish communities there or in those adjacent to the '67 lines such as Kfar Saba or Rosh Ha'Ayin. The scenario of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF) "turning their guns" on IDF forces and/or Jewish communities is rapidly developing into actuality.

The warning signs are too numerous to ignore. Dozens of terrorist attacks, attempted attacks, and shooting incidents at IDF forces or the civilian population in Judea and Samaria have been carried out since the beginning of 2023 by Palestinian policemen, members of the Preventive Security Forces, and members of other PASF units.

In recent counter-terrorist activity by the IDF, dozens of Fatah men have been killed. Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades took up arms once again in 2021 and, prior to Oct. 7, appealed to its men, "What are you waiting for? Now is the time to kill the Jews." Only a few months prior to Oct. 7, Fatah published a collage of 24 photos of "martyrs," many of whom were members of the PASF who were killed in clashes with Israel.

Only two weeks ago, Tawfik Tirawi, the former head of the PA General Intelligence Service, told the Palestinian channel Al-Sharq that Fatah is involved in the fighting alongside Gaza, and that it has adopted terrorist groups in Nablus and Jenin, in which joint battalions of all the factions are operating together.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, a former Deputy Chief of Staff and head of Israel's National Security Council, recommends preparing for a scenario of the PA turning its guns against us. He says, "There are tens of thousands of Palestinians who carry arms, and the potential of them carrying out a raid on some Jewish community exists at any given moment."

"We must base our preparations not in accordance with our enemies' intentions but their capabilities, and since the scenario of the PA turning its guns against us is by no means far-fetched, and the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria have the capability, coupled with an orderly ideology of hostility and hatred towards us, then we really need to prepare in accordance with their capabilities, according to the potential danger."

In recent weeks, clips have been posted on social media showing exercises conducted by the 45,000-strong PASF, which appear to be training for an armed conflict or war. On occasion, they resemble training carried out by the IDF's crack units. Other recent clips on social media have simulated raids on Israeli communities.
A call for the removal of UNRWA: Addressing Israel’s post-war future
The evidence of UNRWA’s detrimental role in this context is deeply troubling. UNRWA’s schools and summer camps have become breeding grounds for hate and violence. Detailed reports from UN Watch have exposed over 150 instances since 2015 where UNRWA staff have been implicated in supporting terrorism and antisemitism.

Shockingly, 82 UNRWA teachers and staff across more than 30 schools have been caught distributing hateful content in their textbooks. One example is a textbook at UNRWA’s Al-Zaytun Elementary School in Gaza that glorifies Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who orchestrated a heinous attack on 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 innocent children.

This indoctrination is not only ideological but has tangible, dangerous outcomes. A recent IMPACT SE report establishes a direct link between the education provided in UNRWA schools in Gaza and the escalation of violence. Over 100 participants in the October 7 Hamas massacre were products of UNRWA education. Moreover, at least 14 UNRWA school staff members publicly praised the attacks on social media, showcasing, once again, a troubling glorification of violence.

The current crisis in Gaza presents an unprecedented opportunity to replace UNWRA with a better solution. Global efforts to rebuild Gaza create an opportunity to advance structural reforms that would realign the Palestinian refugee issue with global refugee management norms and promote a more peace-oriented alternative to current educational practices. These practices should be inspired by the highest global standards in conflict and post-conflict environments, including successful Israeli-Arab educational initiatives and strategies.

As a Diaspora Jew and Canadian citizen who is deeply invested in Israeli welfare and education, I fervently call on the Israeli government, as it deliberates on “the day after,” to prioritize the objective of dismantling UNRWA, and to work toward establishing alternative structures for education and social services. Addressing the extensive influence of UNRWA is not just strategic; it is imperative. The future security of Israel and the possibility of a lasting peace depend on decisively confronting and resolving this issue.
What Do Israel’s Critics Demand of the Palestinians?
Earlier this week, the Telegraph published an op-ed by Ben Wallace, Conservative MP and former Defense Minister (“Netanyahu’s tactics are weakening Israel,” Dec. 17).

Though Wallace condemns Hamas unequivocally, calls the group out on their antisemitic charter, admits that a “ceasefire” is meaningless as long as the terror group is in power, he also resorts to cliches illustrating his failure to understand the history of the conflict. For instance, he warns that Israel’s “disproportionate response” will serve as Hamas’s “best recruiting sergeant,” and that the war — which he describes as the IDF’s “crude and indiscriminate method of attack” — will alienate “moderate Palestinians who do want a two-state solution.”

First, as so many commentators have done over the years, Wallace denies Palestinians agency by suggesting that it’s Israelis, and not Palestinians themselves, who are responsible for shaping Palestinian attitudes towards peace and two states. It also erases the history of the conflict, in which Palestinian terror and extremism often peaked at times when Jerusalem was offering dramatic concessions for peace.

This includes the dramatic increase in terror attacks inside Israel by Hamas and other groups in the 1990s amidst the hope fueled by the Olso Accords, as well as the terror campaign known as the Second Intifada which, lets remember, broke out just as Israeli leaders were offering dramatic concessions that — if not turned down by Yasser Arafat — would have resulted in the creation of a Palestinian state.

The Second Intifada example is especially instructive, as those, like Wallace, who moan about Israeli counter-terror actions putatively causing Palestinians to be disenchanted with peace and co-existence never acknowledge the impact of destructive Palestinian decisions on Israeli views. For instance, the brutal war by Palestinian terror groups on Israeli civilians from 2000-2005 arguably did more to crush the Israeli peace movement than any other event since Oslo.

Similarly, Hamas’ rise to power occurred shortly after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, a timeline that wasn’t lost on those on the Israeli left and center, most of whom assumed that the country’s unilateral disengagement from the territory would result in greater peace. “Moderate Israelis,” to use Wallace’s formulation, were alienated by Palestinian decisions to reward Israeli concessions with more violence.
Daniel Greenfield: Muslim Imam Who Plotted Nuke Reactor Attack Ordered to Attend ‘Deradicalization’
When will we learn? Maybe when a Muslim terrorist group bombs a nuclear reactor? That’s not an unreal scenario.

Just take this case out of Australia involving an Algerian Muslim spiritual leader occupying its territory.

The terrorist who led the grou p that planned to attack several highly populated Australian locations has been released from a Melbourne prison – with reports saying he’s headed straight for the western suburbs.

Abdul Nacer Benbrika was initially charged over leading a terror cell conspiring to attack the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) during the 2005 AFL Grand Final, as well as Victoria’s Crown Casino and the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney.

That’s Australia’s only nuclear reactor.

On Tuesday morning, the Victorian Supreme Court ruled that Benbrika was a low risk to public safety but was required to continue a deradicalisation program.

If Abdul is “low-risk”, what’s a high-risk terrorist? A guy who plans to blow up the sun?
Daniel Greenfield: Jeff Bezos’ Employee was Kidnapped, His Paper Promotes Hamas
On Oct 7, Sasha Troufanov, an Amazon engineer, was abducted by Hamas and his father was murdered. The massive international tech giant has maintained its silence about him despite urgings from Sasha’s fellow employees and family members to speak out.

Andy Jassy, Amazon’s first Jewish CEO, tweeted briefly on Oct 9 that “the attacks against civilians in Israel are shocking and painful to watch” and claimed that he had “been in touch with our teammates there to make sure we do everything we can to help support their family’s (sic) and their safety, and to assist however we can in this very difficult time.”

He also promised to be “in close contact with our humanitarian relief partners on the ground and will be supporting their efforts. Hoping that peace arrives as soon as possible.”

After that glib message, there have been no further updates.

Amazon has refused to comment because it would be “too controversial” to speak out against the kidnapping of one of its employees. Not only Sasha, but his mother and his 73-year-old grandmother were also kidnapped. They were eventually traded for terrorists, but not Sasha.

The company has made public statements of support for Ukraine, after George Floyd’s death, and on other trending political issues, but avoided making any mention of the attack on Israel.

When Amazon Web Services, which Sasha worked for, held its ‘re:Invent 2023’ conference in Vegas, some of his friends hired billboard trucks to remind AWS of its missing member who should have been there at the product launch, but was instead being held captive by terrorists.

Again there was no corporate response.
Amazon worker who added ‘death to Zionists’ note to order is suspended

John Fetterman rips TikTok over young voters’ ‘warped’ views on Israel-Hamas war
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) blamed TikTok for giving young voters a “warped” perspective on the Israel-Hamas war and the way it is being handled by the White House.

During an interview with CNN, Jake Tapper pointed to a new New York Times/Siena College poll that found 72% of voters ages 18 to 29 are not on board with President Biden’s response to the conflict — so much so that 46% of voters in this age group said they would trust Donald Trump to do a better job at handling the war.

Fetterman suggested that TikTok could be the culprit.

“I do know that a lot of people are getting their perspective from TikTok,” he said during the segment, which was earlier reported on by Mediaite.

“I think if you’re kind of getting your perspective on the world on TikTok, it’s going to tend to be kind of warped or not reflective of the history and actually the way things absolutely are.”

Caroline Glick: Amb. Friedman: Trump told Israel, “Do Whatever is Necessary” to Win the War
Caroline Glick sits down with Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to discuss the current state of antisemitism in the United States and the current weak US policy towards Israel.

Amb. Friedman posits that both issues can be vastly improved by re-establishing the power of deterrence and that Hamas would never have attacked Israel if America's and Israel's strength were firmly established in the region.

They also delve into
- the current Jewish leadership in the US and what it can do to help
- where the current antisemitism comes from and the inability of the left to deal with Jew hatred on their side
- how Biden's Israel policy may play into Trump's hand.

IDF Spokesperson: Hamas are cowards that pretend they have an ideology
This week on Top Story, JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin sat down with IDF Spokesperson Doron Spielman who has been at the front lines of the Israeli battle against Hamas.

They discuss
- the morale of the army and the Israeli people
- the unwillingness of the international aid organizations to help the Gazan people on the ground
- the immense efforts that the Israeli army makes to protect Gazan civilians.
and finally, the cowardice of Hamas in refusing to fight Israel face-to-face.

The Quad: How to Raise a Terrorist Sympathizer
The Quad Cohosts Ashira Solomon and Fleur Hassan-Nahoum sit down with family coach and founder of Hi! Fam Avital Schreiber-Levy to discuss what woke culture and values have done to the family unit and society as a whole. Find out how victim mentality has led to the overturning of morality where the victims of microaggressions deserve more sympathy than those of terrorism.

Anti-Israel Demos Threaten Public Safety
On Sunday, 150 protesters demonstrated inside Toronto's Eaton Centre outside Zara - a Spanish retail clothing chain - while the mall was crowded with Christmas shoppers.

The professed justifications of the protesters are becoming increasingly divorced from the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Zara has been targeted internationally for an ad campaign called "The Jacket," which the demonstrators claim contained imagery resembling corpses and scenes of destruction in Gaza, even though the company, which has apologized, said it was conceived in July and photographed in September - before the start of the war - and meant to show unfinished works in a sculptor's studio.

Israel advocacy movement fights antisemitism in the UK
Israel advocacy movement's founder Joseph Cohen fights antisemitism in the UK and sheds light onto the staggering rise since the October 7 massacre and the future of Jews in Europe.

Antisemitism on Campus Must End
To make good on their sudden moral clarity and to protect their Jewish students, Penn, Harvard, and all universities should expel and dissolve, respectively, students and groups calling for genocide against the Jews.

Calling for the genocide of Jews is permitted at the University of Pennsylvania. School president Liz Magill conveyed this message at a congressional hearing earlier this month. Days later, she resigned. But Magill’s resignation won’t erase a campus climate that enables antisemitism and annihilationist anti-Israel activism. To protect Jewish students, universities should expel proponents of genocide.

The House Committee on Education heard testimony from the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as a professor from American University. They were asked to clarify their universities’ policies concerning hate speech and harassment amid the rise in antisemitic activity across U.S. campuses. While universities have long been toxic for Jews and supporters of Israel, in the months following Hamas’s slaughter of over 1,200 Israelis on October 7, Jewish students have been under siege.

Even before the attacks, in late September, Penn hosted a Palestinian festival that featured Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman with a long record of antisemitic incidents, and other speakers known for making antisemitic remarks and calling for Israel’s destruction. Just before the festival, a “member of the campus community” broke into the Penn Hillel, overturned furniture, and shouted antisemitic obscenities. At the festival, a speaker advocated ethnic cleansing by corralling “88% of Jews in Israel” into “three cantons” on 12 percent of the land. After the festival, someone vandalized the university’s Chabad house. Following the 10/7 attack, a group of Penn students called for an intifada, and a professor led a chant justifying Hamas’s crimes.

Things are just as bad on other Ivy League campuses. A Cornell professor described the Hamas attack as “exhilarating” and “energizing.” Just a few weeks later, federal agents arrested a Cornell junior who threatened to murder and rape Jewish students at the school’s kosher dining hall.
'Profoundly Irresponsible': Cruz Demands Answers on Teachers' Union's Anti-Semitic 'Teach-In'
Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz penned a letter to President Joe Biden's education secretary and California's school superintendent demanding an investigation into a local teachers' union's anti-Semitic "teach-in," which included curriculum materials glorifying Palestinian "Intifada" and condemning Israeli "apartheid."

At least 70 Oakland K-12 public school teachers participated in the unauthorized teach-in, which was held earlier this month. Anonymous organizers curated a list of curriculum materials for the event, some of which called Israel an "apartheid state," accused the Jewish state of "genocide," and taught children that "Intifada" is "Arabic for rising up for what is right." Now, Cruz is demanding that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and California superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond unmask those organizers.

"In light of these details, it is difficult to imagine a more reckless message to send to K-12ers in the aftermath of the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust than this seething anti-Israel propaganda," the letter states. "During a time when American Jews and Israelis are being subjected to an unprecedented amount of harassment and hate crimes, it is profoundly irresponsible to tolerate such blatant anti-Israel indoctrination."

Cruz went on to demand Cardona and Thurmond provide "a comprehensive list" of the teach-in's participants and organizers. "If you are unable to determine who participated in or organized the event due to their anonymity," Cruz asked, "do you think it is appropriate for these individuals to remain anonymous, given their unauthorized behavior?"

Neither Cardona nor Thurmond returned requests for comment.

How DSA educators spread far-left ‘poison’ in America’s schools
Members of the Democratic Socialists of America have quietly gained leadership posts in K-12 education to push anti-capitalist and anti-Israel views on youngsters across the US, according to a parental rights watchdog group.

Parents Defending Education, a grassroots organization that backs the “restoration” of non-political schooling, has identified dozens of DSA members who have landed or sought top school board and teachers union positions in at least 15 states — from California to Kentucky and from New York to Texas.

“The Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, has long had the goal of using the K-12 system as a way to proselytize to a captive audience of other people’s children,” Parents Defending Education outreach director Erika Sanzi told The Post.

“Their anti-Jewish and anti-Israel messages in the K-12 context are not at all new but many more people have become aware of them since October 7th,” she added. “The DSA is poison in schools.”

The DSA became infamous after boosting a hate-filled pro-Palestinian rally in Times Square a day after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, which killed an estimated 1,200 people — including 33 Americans.

The demonstration featured protesters burning and stomping on an Israeli flag and at least one flashing a swastika image on a phone to taunt counter-protesters who supported the Jewish state.

Financial Ratings Firm Morningstar Pulls Israeli Security Firm From Investment Blacklist

Starbucks CEO Blames ‘Misrepresentation on Social Media’ Regarding Company’s Position on Israel-Hamas War

Berlin club says sorry after refusing to host Jewish parties

Anti-Zionist Yale Professor Who Legitimized Hamas Massacre Should Be Removed From Classroom, Nonprofit Says

Volunteers armed with AI fight war on fake news
The tools they use — AI algorithms, data analysis, bots — are part of their everyday job. In this case, they’re applying them to identify dangerously misleading, erroneous and fake content about Israel’s war with Hamas, and to report and remove it.

“We can catch [potentially] viral content before it goes viral,” says Oz. “Many people, including professors, are posting ‘facts’ and give the impression that they know what they are talking about. Using AI, it’s pretty easy for us to see if it’s true or not.”

In addition, Eternity data experts are countering inaccurate information with accurate information and creating content “that we believe can change some minds on social networks,” says Oz.

Their efforts cover four categories:
- Identifying and flagging fake or unreliable information through analysis of images, videos and texts;
- Identifying potentially viral fake or misleading content, and using organic and peripheral reporting systems to get it removed before it goes viral;
- Using AI to create accurate written and visual materials in many languages ​​for distribution by influencers;
- Automatically adapting messages according to the current security situation and its momentum on social networks.

None of this volunteer work is being undertaken on behalf of a particular client. It’s simply what the employees feel they need to do “because we care,” Oz tells ISRAEL21c.

“The most important thing to us is that we see social networks are loaded with incorrect information and we’re afraid it will stay there. When my kids see it in a few years, they will not understand if it’s real or fake news. So we try to clean it up right now.”

Media Ignore Hamas’ Praise for the UN After Gaza Ceasefire Resolution

In the case against the Washington Post, Exhibit A is NBC News

CAMERA Challenges Washington Post’s Pro-Hamas Bias with Mobile Billboard Campaign

Hill Times Columnist Blames Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu For “Antisemitism, Islamophobia, And Anti-Western Sentiment”

Toronto Star Columnist Calls For Ceasefire; Says World Fails To Stand Up For Palestinians

University Of Toronto Student Newspaper Publishes 4 Anti-Israel Articles Within 2 Days

McGill University Student Newspaper Calls Arrest Of Anti-Israel Vandals “Literary Censorship”

Global News Report On Hebron Presents Palestinians There As Resisters, Israelis As Extremists

ABC presenter is axed days after starting her radio job over 'anti-Israel comments'
It's understood Lattouf's posts about the conflict in the Middle East, which were on various online platforms, breached the ABC's social media policies.

The ABC has strict editorial policies and requires staff to be impartial in their reporting.

'A thoughtless post or tweet can instantly compromise this perception of impartiality,' the ABC's rules state.

Lattouf hit back and said she was 'considering her legal options'.

'I am very disappointed by the ABC's decision today,' she said.

'I believe I was terminated unlawfully. This is not a win for journalism or fair, critical thinking.'

Lattouf recently co-authored an article questioning the veracity of a viral footage that showed pro-Palestine activists apparently chanting 'gas the Jews' at the Sydney Opera House earlier this year.

'Analysis of the Aust Jewish Association videos by fact checker RMIT CrossCheck found a number of signs that suggest audio was edited…' she said.

In another post from November Lattouf wrote: 'We need a PERMANENT ceasefire and to address the ROOT of the problem - unlawful occupation of Palestine'.

ABC sacking Antoinette Lattouf a ‘monumental failure of epic proportions’
The Australian’s Media Writer Sophie Elsworth says the ABC hiring and then quickly sacking Antoinette Lattouf for her pro-Palestine content is a “monumental failure of epic proportions”.

Ms Lattouf had been filling in for the broadcaster’s morning program presenter Sarah Macdonald, but was reportedly told she would not be continuing the job.

“She’s prolific on social media, she doesn’t shy away from her pro-Palestinian views,” she said.

“This is not a secret, ABC management put her there.

“They knew exactly what she was doing and I know on very good authority that Chair Ita Buttrose is absolutely furious about this.”

Feminist author Clementine Ford's podcast is AXED by Nova amid backlash for her controversial views on Israel-Gaza conflict

Why has the US accepted the anti-settler blood libel?
"There are some people who are slandering the settlers, they are waging a campaign on the backs of these dear people," the prime minister pounded on the table during his conversation last week with the Biden administration's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Netanyahu's outright rejection of US policy to deny entry visas from "violent settlers" is very important because it shows that there is finally someone willing to shout out the truth.

First, let's make it clear just what makes someone a "settler." According to Hamas, any Jew living in the Land of Israel is a "Zionist settler" whose punishment is death. This is written and stated in all the organization's publications. The implication is that whenever President Joe Biden or any other official says "settler violence," they are playing into the antisemitic propaganda of the murderous organization. That may not be their intention, but that's how their statements sound to Arab ears.

Second, the idea of Jewish settlement has been part and parcel of the Zionist enterprise since its inception, as articulated in the famous eulogy by IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan for Roi Rotberg, the security coordinator of Nahal Oz, who was murdered and whose body was mutilated by Gazans in 1956.

"We are a generation of settlement," Dayan said in words that have entered history. "Without a steel helmet and cannon muzzle we will not be able to plant [a tree] and build a house... The millions of Jews who were annihilated without a country look to us from the ashes of Israeli history and command us to settle and rebuild the land for our nation."

Over the years, the Israeli and international media have vilified the pioneering settlers who established the Zionist enterprise, until the term "settlement" itself has become a slur. The incitement was so intensive that it paved the way for the US' recent brazen move, whereby fundamental rights can be denied to "settlers" without basic due process.

How did we get to such a situation? Since the outbreak of the war, claims have been spread about supposed widespread violence by those "settlers" against Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. The entities spreading these claims are non-governmental organizations that are hostile to the State of Israel. They provide "data" about incidents of supposed "settler violence."

The "data" is released globally by the UN agency OCHA, which is the only UN entity of its kind because its mission – funded by the UN – is to undermine Israel. The current US administration has for some reason decided to rely on this agency, even though Biden's senior officials know exactly what and who they are dealing with.
U.S. visa ban on extremist settlers causes confusion

‘Easy line to draw’ between civil disobedience, threats, congressman says
There is a long tradition of civil disobedience on campus, including what the late civil rights activist and Georgia congressman John Lewis called “good trouble.” But protected free speech “crosses a line” when “disruption leads to physical harm, or even threats of harm, as well as destruction of property,” according to Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.).

“That’s an easy line to draw, at least in my opinion,” the congressman told JNS. “More nuanced is when protest or civil disobedience crosses over to intimidation of individuals or groups. I think this is something we are frequently seeing in the protests on campuses and in our communities.”

It is less nuanced, he said, “when intimidation turns to demonization, delegitimization, exclusion and ultimately the denial of a person or group’s very existence.” That “should be easy to call this out and take action to protect those targeted,” including “Jewish students and facilities targeted,” he said.

Schneider told JNS that these views crystallized for him following a 90-minute conversation about antisemitism earlier this week with 13 undergraduates in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook.

Schneider, who is Jewish, told JNS he found “all the personal stories valuable.” Some students fear identifying as Jewish publicly and most appreciate the support they are getting from Hillel, Chabad and other organizations focused on Jewish students.

“Most students gave positive marks to their schools’ administrations. ‘A’ for effort,” he said. But there is a need to put words into action. “One big takeaway was that administrations can do more to reach out to Jewish students to ask what they need.” He noted that Jewish students at schools with smaller Jewish populations feel isolated.

Schneider appreciated that the students “echoed my view that it’s not a binary choice. You can be a Zionist and still recognize the legitimate aspirations and real burdens of Palestinians.”

Tasha Kheiriddin: Anti-Israel propaganda is everywhere and the Liberals are benefitting
What happened to Canadian youth’s love-in with the Conservative Party? Last month, Gen Z couldn’t get enough of the Tories: an Abacus poll taken in late November found that 36 per cent of voters aged 18-29 would vote Conservative, compared to 24 per cent who would vote Liberal. This month, the bloom is off the rose: the latest Abacus poll shows Conservative voters bleeding to the Liberals in all age categories, but most noticeably among 18-29 year olds. Today, only 24 per cent of them would vote Conservative, compared to 32 per cent who would vote Liberal, a near total reversal.

One poll an election does not make, but the numbers are still concerning for the Opposition. Overall, the Tories are now at 37 per cent of the popular vote, down five per cent, while the Liberals garner 27 per cent, up by four per cent. Momentum matters, and there is fear in Conservative circles that the party could peak too early. Thanks to the NDP propping up the minority Liberal government, the election could still be a year away — and in a year, anything can happen.

But why the sudden slide? Polls don’t happen in a vacuum, so what have our politicians done in the past few weeks to change the public mood? On the surface, it’s been much of the same. The Conservatives slammed the government about housing and inflation, the number one concern of voters, and in particular, young voters. They filibustered the government on the carbon tax, a levy that is highly unpopular. Meanwhile, the Liberals trotted out a grocery code of conduct that was rejected by the big players, while the NDP tried to remain relevant.

But there is also the Israel-Hamas War. On that front, the Prime Minister called for Israel to exercise “maximum restraint” and “stop killing … babies”, while the Conservatives defended Israel’s right to exist and decried the rise in antisemitism and hate crimes against Canadian Jews. “It was easy to be pro-Israel when this first happened and its much harder now, and now we see who (the Liberals) really are,” said deputy Conservative leader, Melissa Lantsman earlier this month.

Thousands of Palestinians to return to work in settlements for first time since Oct. 7

Who Can Palestinians Rely on for Human Rights Advocacy? Not Al-Haq
Every human being has rights, and organizations that defend those rights should be lauded.

But what happens when an organization ostensibly dedicated to human rights, instead uses its resources to attack, discredit, and disparage Israel — instead of protecting the universal rights of all people?

This is exactly what Al-Haq does, with official support from Western governments.

Al-Haq describes itself as “an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization,” and receives funding from the governments of Sweden, France, Germany, the European Union, Denmark, and Norway. Al-Haq’s primary activities are intense politicized campaigns against Israel — not actually protecting human rights.

In fact, internal Palestinian human rights dynamics are not prominent on the agenda — or the website — of Al-Haq. There is not a word about the lack of elections for nearly 20 years in the Palestinian Authority (PA), where Mahmoud Abbas has been in charge since 2004. Nor is there anything about femicide or honor killings, despite the fact that UNICEF singled out PA-controlled areas for the prevalence of the murder of women by their husbands or male relatives. And Al-Haq has nothing to say about the PA’s well-known death penalty for people who sell land to Jews.

What Al-Haq does have plenty to say about is “genocide” — especially since Israel went to war against Hamas in the wake of the terror group’s October 7 massacre.

Of the 117 tweets by Al-Haq and its key officials in the two months after October 7, 63 (54%) mention “genocide” and/or “ethnic cleansing,” with the organization claiming (falsely) that Israel is committing genocide. According to Al-Haq, Israel’s war is “not against Hamas, but against the Palestinian people as a whole … Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza is an opportunity for settlers to ‘eradicate’ Palestinians.”

MEMRI: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad: There Is No Evidence Six Million Jews Were Killed In The Holocaust; U.S. Financially Helped The Rise Of Nazism Between The Two World Wars

MEMRI: Iranian President Raisi: '[The Massacre] Carried Out By The Palestinian People And The Children Of Gaza Was Legitimate Self-Defense'; 'In Every Place Where There Was Rivalry Between American Forces And Supporters Of The Resistance, The Resistance Forces Triumphed'

Iran summons Swedish envoy over life sentence for ex-official behind mass executions

Top Nazi hunter to retire this month, after 38 years at US Justice Department

Jewish Tourist Facing German Police Investigation After Defending Himself During Antisemitic Assault

FBI: Nationwide Targeting of Jewish Institutions Appears Coordinated, Coming from Outside U.S.
A nationwide swatting spree of prank calls to emergency services targeting nearly 200 Jewish institutions over the weekend appears to have been a coordinated effort by an entity based outside the U.S., Assistant FBI Director Cathy Milhoan says.

"Based on similar language and specific email tradecraft used, it appears the perpetrators of these threats are connected."

More than 30 FBI field offices are investigating the threats, which violated multiple federal laws.

Israeli Investment Firm to Invest $50 Million in Startups Impacted by Gaza War

Tech initiative, backed by Google, to create 400 jobs in the Negev

Actress Debra Messing, Writer Lee Kern Among Latest Celebrities Visiting Israel to Show Solidarity Amid Hamas War

Hollywood actor Michael Rapaport sits down with i24NEWS
Hollywood actor Michael Rapaport sits down with i24NEWS to discuss the atrocities of October 7 and how it has affected Jews around the world

Bouquets of yellow flowers raise awareness of hostages still in Gaza
Over 129 hostages are still in Hamas captivity. The bouquets of yellow flowers raise awareness of those still in Gaza. Volunteer of Zer Tikva, Noa Reuveni, whose close friends, twin brothers Ziv and Gali Berman are among those still kidnapped.

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