Tuesday, December 26, 2023

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: The UN’s Humanitarian Disaster in Gaza
The United Nations’ bias against Israel is both obvious and, at times, poorly understood. So we should be thankful for moments in which top UN officials seemingly conspire to make the nature of their corruption clear and plain.

The best examples are when senior UN figures operate against their own organization’s guidelines, definitions, and regulations in order to stick it to Israel, proving that its corruption is intentional and that its other claims to authority on international law are wholly illegitimate.

Francesca Albanese, the UN’s special rapporteur on the demonization of Israel, recently sat for an interview with Jewish News Syndicate. This was to her credit, making it arguably the first and only thing in Albanese’s UN career that is to her credit. Unfortunately, in the course of the interview, Albanese revealed that she does not know the meaning of any of the key terms relevant to her job.

When asked why she speaks as if Gaza is occupied even though Israel’s occupation ended two decades ago, Albanese says that Israel’s blockade of some goods proves there’s an occupation—an insane assertion on its own, but one that conveniently is also debunked by the UN’s own guidelines and definitions. “Because in order to have an occupation, the determining factor was effective control under article 42 of the Hague Regulations,” she said. As the JNS report points out in a note appended to the interview transcript, according to the UN itself,“three elements are identified as being necessary for the existence of an occupation for the purposes of international law.” According to article 42 of the Hague Regulations, the first of these is “the unconsented-to presence of foreign forces.” Those would be the forces that left Gaza 18 years ago. Albanese’s insistence otherwise is an important window into the minds of the fraudulent forces that have long since hijacked the concept of international law in order to sanction unethical behavior by governments that have UN support. The UN doesn’t believe that Gaza is occupied, but the UN nevertheless will say Gaza is occupied at every opportunity.

Presumably this is why, in the same interview, Albanese gives the OK to Hamas soldiers crossing the border to murder Israeli soldiers on Israeli territory during a ceasefire. In any event, it is helpful to have such extensive on-the-record documentation of UN venality at the highest levels.
Bassam Tawil: How UNRWA Grooms Terrorists
By providing the residents of the Gaza Strip with various services, UNRWA exempted Hamas from its responsibilities as the governing body, such as creating a working economy that would pay for education and healthcare, and allowed it, instead, to invest resources in building tunnels and manufacturing weapons.

"They [UNRWA] teach us that the Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to us [Muslims], that Palestine belongs to us," said Atif Sharha, a student at an UNRWA school.

"Yes, they teach us that the Zionists are our enemy," said Nur Taha, a third-year student from Kalandia. "We should carry out an [terror] operation against them [Zionists]."

"The Palestinian matriculation exams [at UNRWA] have become a finishing school in extremism. It is as if the Palestinian Authority is cramming as much hate into the tests as possible, to ensure the twelve previous years of indoctrination stay with them into adulthood." — Marcus Sheff, CEO at the Institute for Cultural Peace and Tolerance in School Education, i24news.tv, July 23, 2023.

Despite years of considerable condemnation of the textbooks, newly produced editions, approved by UNRWA, are exponentially worse....

Whatever hopes that anyone may have held for the trustworthiness of UNRWA have long expired, and were arguably misplaced at the outset. UNRWA, in its current state, has proven itself irremediably defective, unworkable and yet another massive stain on the already scandalously stained UN.

It is high time for the international community and those who actually want a better future for the Palestinians to liquidate UNRWA and take actions that truly help the Palestinians move forward to a golden life.
Hamas is in control of UNRWA aid group in Gaza, Palestinian man says: recording
A man identified as a Palestinian living in Gaza told the Israel Defense Forces on audio tape that Hamas has direct control over the United Nations group coordinating the delivery of humanitarian aid in the territory.

In recordings of the phone call, obtained by The Post, the man accused the troubled Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, of being under Hamas’ power, telling an IDF officer that the terrorist group has been hogging all the supplies.

“The situation is terrible because the humanitarian people, those responsible for the humanitarian aid, are thieves,” the frustrated Gaza resident said in the recording.

“Hamas has their hands on UNRWA administration workers, and it manages UNRWA,” he alleges. “From the day they [Hamas] rose to power they took control of everything.”

The man also claimed that Hamas has made sure the incoming humanitarian supplies were distributed to its own people first as opposed to the more than one million civilians who have been displaced by the war.

An IDF official told The Post the call between the soldier and civilian was recorded when the officer was making his rounds to inform Palestinians of where to evacuate to and seek aid supplies as Israel continues its bombardments in Gaza.

The allegations, which reveal the civilian’s frustration over the lack of aid arriving in Gaza amid the war, was just the latest in a troubling series of discoveries made by the Israeli forces during its offensive, including the presence of UNRWA-labeled bags carried by Hamas operatives, the IDF official said.

UNRWA did not respond to The Post’s request for comment Sunday.

Eve Barlow: Day 1: Israel, the South
During a layover en route to Tel Aviv yesterday I shared my thoughts about why I do this and why I’m going to the war. I hope that people watch this, if they watch nothing else I’ve ever made. It seems a lot of people already have, and some people are very angry, because they really don’t like the idea of a Jew who lives. But then other people watched it, and found it spoke to them. I wonder why…

It’s amazing that the more I post, and the more I share, including today — real-time footage of modern day Holocaust atrocities — the more I am publicly stoned. But it doesn’t work. It only reaffirms the purpose of this. They deny it. We live it. Please pay attention. Because it’s the same as it ever was.

Same as it ever was.

I’ve seen crazy things.

This is an extraordinary experience. And it is deeply Israel. On the ramp into the arrival hall at Ben Gurion airport are lines of hostages images; this is the only place in the whole world where these posters are respected and safe from defacing, from erasure. This is why Yad Vashem is in Jerusalem; the only guarantee that one museum will remain in the world that will always document what happened in the Shoa. This is now a country shell-shocked by a return of the type of evil it was built to prevent. And yet I felt the tension of a strange world immediately leave my body the second I arrived here.


And when we headed south to the border as soon as I touched down this morning, I saw something. I saw the Holocaust museums come to life. I went into a burned down house of a woman who was once a peace activist, Vivian Silver. There were burned parchment papers from a Hebrew book lying in the rubble of her home. I’ve never walked across broken roof slats instead of pavement before but that is an entire kibbutz here. Broken roofs. Torched floors. Blown-out walls. We found Vivian’s diaries. I found children’s toys covered in soot. Life. This was not an army base. It was not a place of power. It was a simple kibbutz.

It could have been in black and white behind a glass case. But it was real. It was now. Villages of Jews burned to a cinder. You can still smell it in the air. And the booms going off constantly next door - Gaza is less than a mile from it. And my heart shakes with every boom, I feel it in my feet. In one house I found only a pack of Lurpak left and some unsmoked cigarettes.

A survivor, Hugo, from kibbutz Be’eri took us to the destroyed houses of all his friends. He lives in a hotel now - for months. They’ve all been evacuated.

Hugo turned to me and he said: “I thought the Western world said: never again! What is this then, if never again?” And I gave him a simple response: “I’m afraid the world lied to you, and your community, and all of us.” And nobody cares. Nobody cares about us. They only care about us to the extent that we mirror some sort of morality or Christian value in themselves, but if they can’t see a mirror in us, then to hell with us. I realized today that “never again” was not for us at all. It was for them. To alleviate their guilt. To avoid what they let happen. Never again was actually a sociopathic form of global gaslighting. Empty words. Empty promises. Let’s dump “never again”. It’s a stupid slogan that has protected a new, more insipid, and even more terrifying form of antisemitism, masked as Palestinian liberation.
Blast occurs near Israeli embassy in India
Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that an explosion occurred on Tuesday evening near the country’s embassy in New Delhi, India.

No one was injured in the blast, the cause of which remains unclear.

According to Israel’s Ynet news website, citing local media, an explosive device was set off in close proximity to the diplomatic mission. Embassy staff was reportedly still present at the time of the blast.

The suspected terrorists left a threatening note, addressed to Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon, Ynet said.

Israeli security officials, in conjunction with Indian authorities, opened an investigation into the incident.

In January 2021, a small explosion occurred near the embassy in New Delhi, blowing out nearby car windows but causing no injuries.

The Indian government later concluded that the attack was carried out by the Quds Force branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In February 2012, the wife of the Israeli military attaché was injured by a car bomb in the Indian capital. Local police determined that the IRGC was behind the attack.
Blast rattles Israeli embassy in India; ‘abusive’ letter to envoy said found nearby

Human rights groups’ hypocrisy on Hamas rape
Rape during the Rwanda genocide? Outrageous. Rape during the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia? Abhorrent. Rape by Hamas terrorists? Not worthy of comment.

That’s the troubling position taken by Samantha Power, a senior official in the Obama and Biden administrations who has built her career on her concern for victims of genocide, sexual atrocities, and other human rights abuses.

A journalist, Power authored the 2002 book ‘A Problem from Hell’; America and the Age of Genocide, which blasted the United States and the international community for turning a blind eye to multiple instances of mass murder over the past century.

The book won a Pulitzer Prize and catapulted Power to the position of senior policy adviser to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, and then to the post of US ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama administration. Today, as head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), she remains one of our nation’s most prominent spokespeople on human rights.

Power’s declared concerns include the use of rape as a weapon of genocide. Well, the rape of some women, at least.

In her book, she wrote of Turkish forces raping Armenian women in 1915. She described how Serb forces imprisoned Bosnia Muslim women in “rape camps” during the 1990s ethnic cleansing atrocities in the Balkans. She recounted how an international war crimes tribunal convicted a Rwandan mayor of genocide specifically because he used systematic rape against the Tutsi minority in 1994.

Silence when it comes to Israel
Power’s X (Twitter) feed since the October 7 Hamas invasion of Israel has included dozens of posts about the suffering of Arab civilians in Gaza. Oddly, however, she has never tweeted about the numerous Israeli Jewish women who were raped by Hamas terrorists.

Power has been a fairly prolific poster there. She posts something almost every day, and sometimes as many as eight to ten messages in a single day. She occasionally even uses her USAID account to circulate posts that stray beyond the agency’s mission, such as the imprisonment of a Russian pacifist or Uganda’s anti-gay law.

TO BE CLEAR, Power does tweet about some rape victims. On November 2, for example, she posted about attacks on women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On December 1, she wrote about “horrific sexual violence” against women in Sudan. She urged her readers to check out the “important reporting by Reuters” on that subject.

Reuters, it happens, has also done some important reporting on Hamas rapes of Israeli Jewish women. As early as October 15—eight days after the pogrom—Reuters reported that Israeli forensic experts “found multiple signs of torture, rape and other atrocities” among the victims of Hamas.
Top UN Women official sparks outage after backing ‘Gaza genocide’ remarks
A leading United Nations official has been accused of breaching impartiality rules after she liked tweets that condemned Israeli "genocide" and claimed the "forces of empire" were teaming up to crush the Palestinian people's "struggle for freedom".

Sarah Douglas, the deputy chief for peace, security and resilience at UN Women, endorsed a string of incendiary claims on social media following Hamas’s October 7 attack.

The revelations have led senior politicians - including American senators Rick Scott and Marsha Blackburn - to call for the bureaucrat to be stripped of her office.

One tweet liked by Douglas that was posted on 16 October read: "We are currently witnessing all the forces of empire team up to annihilate the Palestinian people and struggle for freedom."

A tweet posted by Jewish Voice for Peace on 11 December and also liked by Douglas that accused America of "funding and arming the genocide in Gaza".

An 18 November tweet liked by Douglas declared: "The tide has turned. Young people simply will not allow our politicians to keep supporting the mass murder of Palestinians."

During a webcam broadcast to the UN earlier this month, Douglas could be seen with a Palestine poster behind her.

Douglas has also liked several tweets from left wing American politicians attacking Israel.

One, posted by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on November 18, said: "Conditioning aid to Israel, as we do with virtually all other US allies, is a responsible course of action."

A post by Congresswoman Rashida Talib on November 30 said: "15,000 Palestinian including over 6,000 children have been killed by the Israeli government.

“Netanyahu is starving Gaza. I stood in solidarity with elected officials, artists, and advocates on a hunger strike in front of the @WhiteHouse to demand a permanent ceasefire now."

Legal advocacy group UKLFI said it believed that Sarah Douglas’ “overt political activity, including her public endorsement of extreme statements by politicians and political organisations amounts to a material breach of her UN obligation to be neutral and impartial”.
Egypt’s Gaza Dilemma
It’s highly unlikely that ideological affinity explains all of this. If anything, it’s the opposite. The Sisi regime would be content to destroy Hamas because of its longstanding connection to the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi toppled the Brotherhood government under Mohammed Morsi in 2013. The Egyptian leader still sees the group as a threat.

But the Sinai Bedouins have a lucrative system of smuggling. Historically, the Egyptian military has been incentivized to turn a blind eye to their activities. Today, however, the lax border situation may boil down to a scarcity of resources. The Egyptian government is cash strapped. The country was in an economic tailspin well before the Gaza war erupted. Things may be even worse now that the Houthis have deterred multiple international shipping companies from transiting the Red Sea. Under the circumstances, it is unlikely that Israeli security concerns will top the list of Egyptian military expenditures.

There are reports that Israel, the United States, and even some Gulf Arab states have offered Egypt billions of dollars to take in refugees. And Cairo has still refused. It’s not clear whether cash incentives might convince Egypt to handle the tunnel problem.

Separately, the Egyptians continue to coordinate closely with the United States and Qatar in an effort to hammer out another ceasefire deal that might lead to the release of an estimated 40 Israeli hostages currently in Hamas custody. The Israelis appreciate these efforts, and they trust the Egyptians far more than the Qataris, who have been financial sponsors of Hamas for more than a decade. In this way, Cairo has carefully crafted its image as an honest broker.

However, the tunnel problem may complicate the current arrangement. The very existence of these tunnels creates an optics crisis for Egypt and will raise questions that the Sisi regime would prefer not to answer. Domestically, Egypt’s working with Israel to destroy the tunnels will also be challenging, given that the anti-Israel sentiment in Egypt has grown (it’s a longstanding problem). But Egypt may have little choice, given that Cairo still greatly values it alliance with the United States.

Both sides of the Rafah crossing are likely to see changes in the coming weeks. Whether Egypt cooperates with Israel to implement those changes remains to be seen.
IDF chief: We’ll reach Hamas leaders ‘whether it takes a week or months’
The Israeli military will reach Hamas’s leadership in the Gaza Strip “whether it takes a week or months,” Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi vowed on Tuesday after visiting the Palestinian enclave.

The war against Hamas will “continue for many more months, and we will act in different ways—so that the achievement is preserved over time,” said Halevi. “There are no magic solutions, no shortcuts in the fundamental dismantling of a terror organization, but rather stubborn and resolute fighting, and we are very, very determined.”

“We eliminated many terrorists and commanders, some of whom surrendered to our forces, and we took hundreds captive. We destroyed underground infrastructure and many weapons,” Halevi said. “Now, we are focusing our efforts on the south of the Strip—Khan Yunis, the central camps and beyond, and we will continue both to maintain and deepen the achievement in the north of the Strip.”

Halevi added that Israel won’t permit a return to the pre-Oct. 7 security situation. “We will not allow such an event to recur,” he said.

Israeli Air Force airstrikes continue, according to Halevi. “A building falls when it is an enemy target. A building falls when it poses a danger to our forces,” he said.

Israeli ground forces operating in Gaza receive heavy fire support from the air, sea and land wherever and whenever they requested it, the IDF chief said. The military is learning and adapting its methods, as it learns about each area and its terrain, the enemy and its own needs, he added.

“We are intensifying the military pressure in different ways, with cunning,” Halevi said. “This pressure allows the realization of the war goals—the dismantling of Hamas and the return of the captives.”
Statement by the Chief of the General Staff, LTG Herzi Halevi
We are the IDF. Our purpose is to preserve the State of Israel, to protect its independence, and to stop its enemies from disrupting everyday life for Israel's citizens and residents.

IDF Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Conricus on Israel's battle against Hamas
IDF Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Conricus shared some updates on Israel's battle against Hamas during StandWithUs' December 24th emergency briefing on the Hamas-Israel war:

Israel: 30,000 Rockets, Explosives Seized in Gaza Since Start of War
Israel has seized 30,000 explosives in the Gaza Strip since Hamas launched a war on October 7, a spokesman for the Israeli government confirmed on Tuesday.

Eylon Levy told reporters during a briefing that while there was no deadline for eliminating Hamas’s rocket-launching capacity, Israel sought to achieve that goal.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari had mentioned the figure of 30,000 on Saturday, and Levy confirmed that the figure included rockets found ready for firing at Israeli cities.

Separately, the IDF reported Tuesday that it had found a cache of weapons in a children’s bedroom in a civilian home in Gaza:
In recent days, the 931st Battalion and the Nahal Brigade forces killed many terrorists in close-quarters combat in the Tuffah area in the northern Gaza Strip. Due to the high number of close-quarters combats and the presence of many terrorists and weapons, the forces carried out an operation in the area.

Inside a children’s bedroom in a civilian house, the forces discovered dozens of Kalachnikovs, grenades, Bazukas, RPG rocket heads, and Israeli license plates.

The weapons found are further proof of Hamas’ attempt at hiding weapons and terror activity behind civilian population and infrastructure.

New evidence ties Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital to Oct. 7 massacre, hostages
Israeli soldiers operating in Gaza uncovered evidence tying the Indonesian Hospital to Hamas and its Oct. 7 attacks, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Monday night.

The military released video footage from the hospital complex, located in Beit Lahia, near Gaza’s northern border with Israel.

In the hospital’s inner compound, Israeli troops found a Toyota Corolla belonging to the family of the late Samer Talalka. Talalka was one of three hostages mistakenly killed by IDF forces on Dec. 15.

The vehicle also contained bloodstains which were identified as belonging to another hostage. Also found in the vehicle were the remnants of a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Also in the inner compound was a white Toyota truck of the same type used by Hamas terrorists during the Oct. 7 massacre. Additional weapons were found inside the vehicle.

“The finding of the vehicle directly links the hospital to the brutal events of Oct. 7,” the IDF said.

“It is one of the hospitals that the Hamas terrorist organization uses in order to hide behind sick civilians, and from which it operates terrorist infrastructure. The Indonesian Hospital serves as a meeting place to conduct fighting and a base for senior officials and operatives of the Hamas terrorist organization. The hospital has extensive terrorist infrastructure and near it there are tunnel shafts leading to a tunnel route in the hospital area,” the IDF added.

According to the IDF, the hospital, which was built in 2015 through donations from Indonesia, “is the strategic underground center of Hamas’ Jabalia Battalion. During the war, armed Nukhba operatives were sighted in the hospital. They used it as a gathering point before leaving to carry out their activities.”

IDF destroys explosives lab in Nur Shams camp

IDF soldier dies after being infected by fungus in Gaza
An Israeli soldier has died after being infected by a dangerous type of fungus found in the soil of the Gaza Strip, Kan reported on Tuesday.

The soldier was transported to Assuta Ashdod Medical Center two weeks ago, suffering from serious limb wounds infected by the fungus. The medical staff attempted every treatment possible, including experimental treatments from abroad, and brought in experts, but the fungus proved resistant and eventually overtook his organs, resulting in his death.

There are around 10 other soldiers who have been infected with the deadly strain in Gaza, according to professor Galia Rahab, chairperson of the Infectious Diseases Association and former director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Hospital.

Rabab told Kan that these fungi were not seen in previous wars in the Gaza Strip and that the source may have been soil contaminated by sewage. It is unknown whether there is a connection to Hamas’s tunnel network, and the matter is under investigation.

The Infectious Diseases Association will hold an emergency discussion on the fungus along with Israel Defense Forces epidemiology experts.

Sister Who Lost Her Only Brother in Gaza Tells His Story
Salome Uzan, whose brother, Maj. Moshe Avram Bar-On, was killed in combat in Gaza tells his story to i24NEWS

9 soldiers injured rescuing elderly man wounded in Hezbollah strike on church
Nine IDF soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in an anti-tank guided missile attack in northern Israel on Tuesday, while evacuating a civilian who had been injured in an earlier Hezbollah attack on a church, the army said.

In the earlier attack, Hezbollah fired a missile from Lebanon at the St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Iqrit, moderately wounding a civilian in his 80s who was near the building.

Hezbollah claimed to have targeted an IDF position near the northern community of Shomera, but the projectile hit the nearby depopulated Palestinian Christian village.

As troops arrived at the scene to evacuate the wounded man, Hezbollah fired additional missiles, wounding the nine soldiers. One was listed in serious condition, while the other eight were in light-to-moderate condition.

Hezbollah has carried out daily rocket, missile and drone attacks on northern Israel in recent months, while the IDF has been battling the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF said it targeted a Hezbollah site in Lebanon in response to the attack, as well as a building into which the operative who had launched the missile at the church fled.

Torah scroll that survived Holocaust dedicated to relatives of Bibas family in Nir Oz
An American family donated a Torah that survived the Holocaust to relatives of the Bibas family, who were taken hostage by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7 and whose fate remains unknown.

Yarden Bibas, 34, his wife Shiri Bibas, 32, and their two children, Ariel, 4, and Kfir, 11 months, were abducted from the kibbutz into Gaza amid Hamas’s brutal onslaught, in which 3,000 terrorists burst across the border and slaughtered 1,200 people across southern Israel, with the images of the redheaded children’s kidnapping reverberating around the world.

“Ariel, Shiri, Kfir, we wait for your return here,” said Eli Bibas, the children’s grandfather, during a gathering held in front of their house on Wednesday where they received the Torah from a group of Jewish New Yorkers.

Around 20 residents of Nir Oz were killed in the Oct. 7 massacres and some 80 were taken hostage out of a population of 400. Those seized from the kibbutz ranged from 9 months to 85 years old at the time they were taken. More than half were women and children.

Shira Hoschander from New York said her family dedicated the Torah to the Bibas family on behalf of the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach in New York to show support for the community hit by the attack.

“I pray for them and their safe return every single day, and the safe return of every single one of the hostages that are still held in captivity,” Hoschander said.
Freed 12-year-old hostage says captors told him Israel had been destroyed
A 12-year-old boy who was held hostage by terrorists in the Gaza Strip has described some of his experiences in captivity, including being beaten by Palestinian civilians and his captors telling him Israel had been destroyed.

Eitan Yahalomi was abducted from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz during the devastating October 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel that killed over 1,200 people. Terrorists also abducted at least 240 others. Yahalomi was among 105 hostages released during a weeklong truce at the end of November.

His father, Ohad, is still being held hostage.

Yahalomi, along with his mother and younger sisters — who narrowly evaded capture — has moved for now to Kibbutz Emek Hefer, where he was to start at a new school on Tuesday.

The youngster spoke with the Ynet outlet the night before, providing some details on his capture and captivity.

Yahalomi was dragged from his home by terrorists and forced onto a motorcycle that sped back to Gaza. His mother and two sisters were placed on another motorcycle but at the border, their captors fled in the face of an Israeli tank and the three escaped back to Israel.

Yahalomi recalled that when he arrived in Gaza local Palestinian civilians beat him and other hostages in the street.

“That was a frightening experience,” he said.

At first, Yahalomi was kept alone, which he described as “very bad, frightening. I sat on the bed all the time, that’s all I did.”

He said his guard did not let him move unless it was to go to the toilet. He was permitted to listen a little to a radio and “it was nice to hear things in Hebrew.”

Later he was taken to another location where there were other hostages. There he met a good friend from his kibbutz and together they used the limited resources available to make card games or draw. He also kept a journal, describing being moved to a new room as “special days.”
The parents of 23-year-old Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who is currently being held hostage by Hamas
The parents of 23-year-old Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who is currently being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, have a message for the world about the hostage crisis:

Some straight talk, and an important message, from writer and comedian Lee Kern

Death toll increases as ‘fighting in Gaza continues’
Sky News Senior Reporter Caroline Marcus says the death toll for both Palestinians and Israelis has continued to increase as “fighting in Gaza continues”.

“There are reports today that Israel’s war cabinet has met to discuss a three-step plan put forward by Egypt to end the war,” Ms Marcus said.

“The proposal … reportedly calls for an initial pause in fighting to allow for a release of Israeli hostages, including the remaining children, women and elderly, in exchange for about 140 Palestinian prisoners.

“Proposed after that – the formation of a ‘transitional government’ for Gaza and the West Bank made up of a mix of Palestinian factions which would include Hamas.

“Hard to see Israel ever accepting any deal that includes Hamas retaining any power whatsoever over the Gaza strip.”

Ms Marcus was joined by the Past Chair of Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Michael Danby to discuss the conflict in Gaza.

‘Worried’: NSW Police monitoring Sydney mosque hosting memorial for Hezbollah operative
Sky News can reveal NSW Police is monitoring a Sydney mosque that is hosting a commemorative service for a Lebanese terrorist killed in fighting with Israel.

Hussein Ibrahim Salameh, also known as Nasser, who comes from south Lebanon, was reportedly the 124th Hezbollah fighter to be killed since October 8.

Nasser will be commemorated at Al Rahman Mosque in Kingsgrove on Thursday evening, according to a Facebook post.

Sky News host Caroline Marcus says Sheikh Youssef Nabha “clearly made good” on his promise to continue commemorating terrorists at the mosque, and Jewish groups are “deeply worried”.

“The problem is authorities seem to be too hamstrung by our weak laws to do very much at all,” she said.

Who firebombed the office of outspoken pro-Israel MP Mike Freer? Police investigate a suspected arson attack after the Tory politician is targeted
A suspected arson attack on the office of Tory MP Mike Freer is being investigated by police.

The MP for Finchley and Golders Green, who has been outspoken on the Israel-Hamas conflict throughout his career, was alerted to a fire breaking out at the back of his constituency office at 7pm on Christmas Eve.

Mr Freer has said the motivation is still unknown, though investigators have suggested the blaze was started 'deliberately'.

The MP, who is gay, was targeted by an Islamic State fanatic in 2022 and now represents a constituency with a significant Jewish population.

The justice minister said the response from police and the fire brigade was 'excellent' and that they were 'on site in minutes'.

He added: 'The police are still investigating and checking out CCTV footage... Until the suspects are caught we won't know the motivation. Luckily no one was in the office at the time.'

Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives posted an image of a badly damaged office space in the aftermath of the fire on social media tonight.

The constituency office was once used by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Since being elected in 2010, Mr Freer has revealed he has suffered 13 'very threatening' incidents.

'I've had Molotov cocktails left on the doorstep, and notes left on the car,' he said earlier this year. 'And on top of that, routine vandalism. Some of the incidents have been very threatening.'

As Jesus approaches 2030th birthday, many erase his Jewish roots
In honor of his birthday this year, Jesus received a multiple-choice answer about his identity—which often downplayed his Jewish origins.

“Jesus was born in Asia. He was Asian,” according to Christianity Today, which allowed that “Some may object to depicting Jesus as anything other than a brown male born into a Jewish family in Bethlehem of Judea in the first century, believing that doing so undermines his historicity.”

On Instagram, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a member of the progressive “Squad,” wrote that “When we justify the bombing of children, Jesus is under the rubble.”

Her comments appeared to echo what Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, said in a CNN interview.

“What I’m so struck by is that the story of Christmas is about a Palestinian Jew. How often do you find those words put together? A Palestinian Jew born into a time when his country was occupied, right? They can’t find a place for her to even give birth, his mother. They’re homeless,” Beck said.

“They eventually have to flee as refugees, into Egypt, no less. I mean, you can’t make up the parallels to our current world situation right now,” he added. “So in some way that is who we believe God becomes. Born into that situation and yet that very man Jesus says, ‘Love one another.’ ‘Love your enemies.’”

“I’m no expert CNN, but Jesus could not have been a ‘Palestinian Jew,’ because the term ‘Palestine’ was introduced by the Romans some years after his death,” wrote Jake Wallis Simmons, editor of London’s Jewish Chronicle. “Jesus lived in Judea. To retrospectively call him ‘Palestinian’ suggests a political agenda.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters chant ‘Christmas is canceled’ while carrying blood-red mock Nativity scene through NYC — scuffles break out, arrests made
They’re out to “cancel” Christmas.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters converged on Midtown Monday, lugging a blood-red mock Nativity scene and chanting, “Christmas is canceled here.”

“Long live the intifada,” the crowd of about 500 demonstrators yelled, using the Arabic word for “rebellion” or “uprising,” as they mobbed the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, where revelers were enjoying the holiday.

“While Ur Shopping Bombs are Dropping,” read one of the signs carried by the protesters.

“No Joy In Genocide,” said another, written atop the faux Nativity scene, which was splattered in what appeared to be fake blood and which several of the demonstrators carried on their shoulders.

A few scuffles broke out in the crowd after nightfall, including outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which sent cops running through the mob.

At least six arrests — four for disorderly conduct, one for menacing and one for graffiti — were later reported near Grand Central Station and Union Square, as protesters and cops clashed, according to law enforcement sources.

As the crowd thinned at Union Square Monday night, dozens of protesters waving the Palestinian flag remained. At least one person was seen being arrested by police there.

Where Are The “Cease Hamas Fire Now” Posters?
It’s crazy how some truths are so engrained we end up just taking them for granted. Take this well-established whopper: the Jews are humanity’s favorite scapegoat. That sordid reality has been so true for so long that saying it today only draws a yawn.

Since the Hamas invasion of Israel on October 7, we have seen this “favorite scapegoat” phenomenon displayed in all its glory.

The scapegoat-mongers, of course, first had to overcome an annoying wrinkle: those 1200 Israelis who were murdered by Hamas didn’t lend themselves neatly to scapegoat status. But sure enough, because they were Jews, that proved to be just a wrinkle. Within days, the scapegoat locomotive had revved up. By the time Israel began retaliating to eliminate the Hamas threat, the “blame only Israel” engines were roaring.

Country after country, activist group after activist group lined up to join the roar and demand that Israel “cease fire now.” It never occurred to anyone to ask someone else to stop their aggression.

It’s only when U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stunned the world on Dec. 20 with an extraordinary explosion of logic that some people did a double take.

“What is striking to me,” Blinken said, “is that even as, again, we hear many countries urging end to this conflict, which we would all like to see, I hear virtually no one saying— demanding of Hamas that is hiding behind civilians, that it lay down its arms, that it surrender. This is over tomorrow if Hamas does that.”

This is over tomorrow if Hamas does that.

How many justice-seeking groups have had the courage to scream that logic on campuses and on city streets? How many “Cease Hamas Fire Now” posters have we seen? Last anyone checked, that number was zero.
Victoria theatre entrance vandalized amid protest over play set in Israel
Stickers and graffiti saying “Free Palestine” have been plastered outside the Belfry Theatre entrance in protest against the staging of The Runner, a one-man play that focuses on the experience of a volunteer member of ZAKA, an ultra-Orthodox rescue service in Israel.

The stickers appeared after dozens of pro-Palestine activists walked out of a three-hour community discussion at the Belfry on Friday to stage a protest outside, saying their concerns about the play, scheduled for March, were not being heard.

The play deals with political and community fallout after a person decides to save a Palestinian woman who has been accused of being a perpetrator of violence — and leaving a fatally wounded Israeli soldier behind, according to a description of the play on the Belfry’s website.

About 900 people have signed a petition asking the Belfry to remove The Runner from its Spark Festival lineup in March, saying that it is unacceptable to tell a story on violence in the Middle East from an exclusively Israeli perspective while Palestinians are being killed and displaced.

“We are currently witness to the ongoing genocide in Palestine that has killed 20,000+ people including 7,800+ children, and we struggle to understand why the Belfry would choose to centre the voices of the oppressors instead of the oppressed,” the petition said.

In addition to calling for removal of The Runner, the petition calls for a cultural boycott of Israel.

Astroturfed “Doctors Against Genocide” Cancels Planned Disruption of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum After Outcry
In a new low for the anti-Israel pro-Hamas antisemitic protest movement, an astroturfed recently-formed group called “Doctors Against Genocide” (DAG) organized an infiltration and disruption of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. scheduled for December 28.

DAG was recently organized, with the domain reserved on November 6, 2023. The exact date it became active is unclear, but Medea Benjamin of Code Pink was touting the group at the outset. That Code Pink was in on the act early is a clue to who is behind it, as Code Pink’s funders fund many anti-Israel groups.

On December 7, DAG participated in a press conference with Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush:

DAG is a program of JetPac, as reflected on DAG’s donation page.

JetPac is a self-described Muslim political activism group.

Jetpac’s website lists its founder as Nadeem Mazen:

Clearly, DAG is not just a group of medical providers who spontaneously got together in reaction to Israel attacking Hamas in Gaza after October 7. It’s astroturf.

Shmuley Boteach: As death threats increase, I’m reminded that victory resides in overcoming fear
The best way to deal with a bully is to show them that you cannot be intimidated. The more we see visible Jews in the streets, the more our enemies will know that we can never be defeated.

And I make the pivotal point that I am not speaking about Muslims, but Islamists. Muslims are our brothers and sisters under God. Islamists are hate-filled miscreants who abuse and defile a great world religion. And it is my fervent hope and belief that by showing our Muslim brothers that we do not recoil before the Islamists, that they too will indeed finally take back their religion from all-too-many murderers and killers who are an abomination to Islam.

This year was the worst Hanukkah ever. It was supposed to be a celebration of a great Jewish military victory and miracle of lights 2,500 years ago. But waking up every day to read how five, or ten, or 15 young Israeli soldiers – most of them 18 to 24, or in their 30s with large families – were murdered made any joy on Hanukkah utterly impossible.

But perhaps by the time Purim comes around we will be able to finally celebrate a great Israeli victory in Gaza and the destruction of Hamas. Because Purim is the story of a man named Mordechai, who was distinguished by one great facet of his character. Haman was the ultimate bully and wanted all Jews to prostrate themselves before him, quite literally. But Mordechai “would not cower and would not bend.” He was a Jew who stood up straight.

This is the same posture that we ourselves must now begin to exhibit.

On Monday night, January 29, I will commemorate the very first yahrtzeit of my mother of blessed memory, Eleanor Esther Elka Paul. I will be dedicating a Torah in her name that has been written by one of Israel’s leading scribes over the past 12 months.

But as soon as I heard the story of Shani Louk, the beautiful young German-Israeli girl who was paraded naked and dead through Gaza, with the lecherous, necrophiliac, disgusting, vile, Hamas terrorists screaming “Allahu Akhbar” and desecrating her body, I got in touch with her parents, Ricarda and Nissim Louk, in Israel, and told them that I wanted to also dedicate the Torah to their daughter, to which they very graciously agreed. I explained that an act of desecration of that caliber could only be remedied through an act of consecration like having a Torah written in one’s memory.

The event will take place at Carnegie Hall and will feature a discussion about how we overcome, grief, tragedy, and sadness in such dark times. The speakers will be Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., whose father was murdered by an Islamic terrorist when he was just 14 years old in 1968, the great Jewish philanthropist, Miriam Adelson, who recently lost her husband, the visionary philanthropist, Sheldon, and Ricarda Louk.

And the message of the evening? Tragedy, sadness, and despair, surrounds us all right now, in this darkness of times. But we will never be afraid. We will always choose life. We the Jewish nation, and those people whom we inspire, like our Catholic brothers, like Robert Kennedy, and all our Christian brothers sisters, as well as many peace-loving Muslims who look to us and our Bible for illumination and guidance, must never despair.

Anti-Israel protesters target homes of Sullivan, Austin
“Austin, Austin, rise and shine, no sleep during genocide!” was one of the chants anti-Israel protesters shouted in front of the home of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday.

There and outside the home of Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, protesters aimed “to disrupt Christmas morning for two of President Biden’s top foreign affairs officials,” per the New York Post.

Also on Monday, anti-Israel protesters clashed in New York City with police officers. One NYPD officer was reportedly punched in the throat. The protesters announced that Christmas was canceled there.

Their chants included “Long live the intifada” and “NYPD KKK, IDF they’re all the same.”
NYPD moves to 'level three' mobilization as pro-Palestine supporters chanting 'Long live the intifada' and 'Christmas is canceled' storm Manhattan while mob surrounds Pentagon and NSA chiefs' homes in nation-wide anti-Israel protests

Pro-Palestinian protesters target H&M, Zara and Starbucks during Boxing Day sales as police are called in to guard stores in London's Westfield Stratford mall

EXCLUSIVE Carols by Candlelight gatecrasher unmasked: Pro-Palestine demonstrator who disrupted family-friendly Christmas entertainment is revealed to be an activist pest with a deep hatred for cops

‘Imbecilic’ pro-Palestine activists who ‘hijacked’ televised family carols event slammed
Sky News host Caroline Marcus has slammed pro-Palestine activists for “crossing the line” after they “hijacked” the televised family event Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne.

This comes after a live broadcast of Melbourne’s Carols by Candlelight event was disrupted by a pro-Palestinian protest.

Victoria Police arrested a 21-year-old woman over the “concealment of a controlled weapon” while a second person was moved on.

“Those poor children had to be escorted off the stage in a panic – they would have had no idea what was happening,” Ms Marcus said.

“How utterly imbecilic do you have to be to think that the best way to get your message across is to gatecrash a Christmas family event?

“These sorts of ‘guerilla tactics’, as they’re being described today, will do nothing but turn people off a cause.”

Witches, wizards… and a Gaza protest at Stonehenge
A group of demonstrators used the occasion of the winter solstice on Friday to stage a protest on behalf of the Palestinians at Stonehenge.

The solstice is one of the few times in the year when English heritage allows the public access to the site.

In a video posted on X/Twitter by the Brighton branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, people could be seen brandishing Palestinian flags.

They also held a banner, “From the river to the stones, Palestine you’re not alone” - (a play on the notorious chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, which is widely seen as a call to replace the state to Israel).

Meanwhile, on Saturday, hundreds of demonstrators interrupted Christmas shopping in central London’s Oxford Street by responding to a call from feminist action group Sisters Uncut to “Shut Christmas Down for Palestine”.

The marchers demanded a boycott of brands they said had links to Israel.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Activists Fight Dehumanization Of Palestinian Murderers, Mutilators, Abductors, Torturers, Rapists (satire)
Hundreds of volunteers from around the world continued this week to the noble effort to make sure no slur against the perpetrators and abettors of an October 7 killing, sexual assault, kidnapping, and maiming spree goes without rebuttal.

Online activists maintained their efforts since October 7 to combat what they call the “dehumanization” of Hamas terrorists who planned and implemented a systematic mass assault on Israeli civilian communities more than two months ago, resulting in 1200 deaths, hundreds abducted to Gaza, and large-scale rape, among other atrocities.

“People are calling them ‘monsters,'” lamented Raheem Hassan. “That’s dehumanization language, and can lead directly to violence against Palestinians. The world knows what happens when a group becomes the target of terminology that compares them to rats, fleas, or other vermin. It doesn’t take very long for that to escalate into outright persecution and even murder. That’s what we oppose.”

“I spend at least an hour a day reporting posts on Twitter about this,” he estimated. “But it’s non-stop. Even prominent public figures engage in the familiar dehumanizing rhetoric referring to the Palestinians who broke free of their open-air prison and did exactly what anyone else would do under the circumstances. I could cite dozens of examples throughout history if I could think of any.”

Other online activists have taken a more preemptive approach. “I just report accounts that look like they’re going in that direction,” explained a user who goes by the name Bad Empanada. “It’s already a bad sign if an account cites the October 7 ‘massacre’ without expressing skepticism, but that’s not a giveaway. Maybe that person just really believes the Zionist-controlled media. You have to look for other clues, such as trying to justify Israeli action of any sort. If they humanize Israelis, you know you’ve got a live one.”

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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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