Sunday, December 31, 2023

12/31 Links: Why the full extent of Hamas’s sex crimes may never be known; Hamas is succeeding at playing the West for fools; Israel wants UNRWA out of Gaza

From Ian:

‘Nothing prepares you for it’
“We’d walk into a room full of blood and see no sign of shooting or bombing. There, Hamas terrorists didn’t use a gun to kill their victims, they used an axe to chop them into pieces,” said Simcha Greiniman, a 47-year-old veteran ZAKA.

Since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 people in Israel, 800 ZAKA volunteers have worked around the clock to recover the remains of the dead.

“I am there every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to make sure that these families get the closure they need to properly mourn their loved ones,” Greiniman told JNS.

Founded in 1995, ZAKA deals with instances of unnatural death, and works in close cooperation with emergency services and security forces.

Over 3,000 ZAKA volunteers are currently deployed cross the country, on call 24/7, to respond to terror attacks, accidents or natural disasters. ZAKA With Destroyed Cars, Oct. 7 AttacksZAKA personnel work at a field with destroyed cars from the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks, Dec. 12, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

Greiniman has been volunteering for ZAKA for the past 32 years and oversees groups in charge of conducting Chesed Shel Emes, honoring the dead by bringing bodies to burial, which is considered one of the greatest mitzvot [commandments] in Judaism.

“In the Bible, there is a special need to make sure bodies get a proper burial and that no part, not even blood samples or small bones, are left behind,” explained Greiniman. ZAKA personnel clean blood off the ground at the scene of a suspected terror attack near the entrance to Jerusalem, on Nov. 22, 2022. Two explosions at two bus stops left one person killed and at least another 13 injured. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

As part of ZAKA International, Greiniman has volunteered both in Israel and overseas in scenarios ranging from natural disasters to accidents and terror attacks. In recent years, ZAKA International flew to Haiti, India, Turkey and Morocco.
Why the full extent of Hamas’s sex crimes may never be known
Free link
There was little time for investigation, and little expertise to formally identify the crimes Hamas had committed.

But forensic reviews of video footage of the aftermath of the attacks, and dozens of interviews clearly points to a pattern of gender-based violence on Oct 7.

There are believed to be at least seven locations where Israeli women and girls appear to have been sexually assaulted, or mutilated.

Dozens of bodies of women and girls with signs of sexual abuse were found, medics told The New York Times.

Videos of the aftermath are said to show soldiers shot in the vagina, and kibbutz residents with nails driven into their thighs and groin.

The scenes at the rave are some of the most graphic, with reports of Hamas terrorists with hammers gang raping party-goers, and cutting off breasts to throw to each other as they laughed.

Both Mr Otmazgin and Ms Mendes admitted that they were overwhelmed on the day of the attacks and their work was focused on finding survivors or preparing bodies.

Ms Mendes said everyone was in a hurry at the morgue to release the bodies to the families for burial instead of looking for clues about exactly what had happened to them.

“Our main concern, especially in the initial days, was identification so that family members could be notified and only then preparation for burial,” Ms Mendes told the UN earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the means by which bodies were collected from the scene of the atrocities may have hampered evidence records.

Mr Otmazgin recalls how he raced to the festival site on the morning of the terror attacks only to be stopped in the road by an Orthodox Jewish man trying to help recover the scores of dead.

When the man opened the boot of his white Skoda, Mr Otmazgin saw the bodies of two young women, in short shorts and trainers lying next to each other.

Mr Otmazgin swore at the man, and then placed the bodies in the ambulance and drove on south.

He came across some soldiers blocking the way while fighting was still raging.

Overwhelmed, they had rushed to remove some bodies from the party that needed to be collected.

Mr Otmazgin works for Zaka, a volunteer group of ultra-Orthodox men who deploy to mass-casualty events simply to collect bodies as fast as they can. They are not there to investigate.

While evidence of pervasive sexual violence became known among therapy providers, gynaecologists and first responders, the details were not initially widely publicised.
Israel building biggest case against Hamas since Eichmann trial
Israel is preparing for the country’s most significant trial since the 1961 court case against Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Investigators and prosecutors are compiling a massive amount of evidence for an indictment against the captured Hamas terrorists who participated in the Oct. 7 massacre of some 1,200 persons in the northwestern Negev. Thousands more were wounded and at least 240 kidnapped back to Gaza. Terrorists committed acts of rape, sexual abuse, torture, burning and desecration of corpses.

Some 200 Hamas terrorists were captured in Israel during the Oct. 7 invasion, and additional terrorists are being taken prisoner as the Israel Defense Forces continues its ground offensive against the terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli parliament voted in early December to form a subcommittee that will create a legal framework for the prosecution of Hamas terrorists who participated in the Islamist group’s Oct. 7 massacre.

“The state of Israel has never before dealt with crimes and an investigation on this scale,” Roi Sheindorf, former deputy Israeli attorney general, told the Journal. “This will be one of the most important trials to take place in Israel.”
I’m a former hostage. What I thought when I saw Hamas release captives
Ana Diamond works with the Oxford Disinformation and Extremism Lab and the Red Team Network at OpenAI. She is also the co-founder of the Alliance Against State Hostage-taking, having endured over 200 days in solitary confinement as a hostage in Iran between 2016 and 2018.

As 105 hostages were slowly released during the pause in fighting over the end of November, a particularly unsettling phenomenon caught my eye as I perused social media: the crude denialism, even erasure, of Hamas’ atrocities toward their hostages in Gaza. It involved the active online participation of what could best be described as pro-Hamas publicity by sharing footage of Israeli hostages who appeared to be smiling, exchanging high-fives, waving and, at times, even expressing gratitude to their captors.

These images, the Hamas sympathizers insisted, were proof that the hostages had been treated decently and liked their Hamas guards. One user on X (formerly Twitter) wrote, “[Hostages] were having the time of their lives”; another one commented on how “they were treated well.” I find this very difficult to believe, especially since there have been instances where the hostages have taken the risk to attempt an escape from their captors – only to be tragically killed by the Israel Defense Forces by mistake. Furthermore, harrowing details shared by relatives of released hostages speak to beatings, hunger and lack of proper medical care.

As a former hostage of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran (IRGC), I was distraught to see the misleading viral narratives disseminated about the Israeli hostages on social media. Iran is the country that set the blueprint for rogue hostage-taking when Islamist students held more than 50 US Embassy staff hostage following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and unsurprisingly it is now funding Hamas.

It is true that hostage takers have good reason to keep their prisoners alive — they can extract a higher price for their release. While it is dangerous to idealize Hamas’ actions as humane, the fact that the hostages’ value lies in their well-being does mean their external conditions can appear relatively adequate. But even if there aren’t explicit signs of physical abuse, the psychological repercussions of terror and shock can take years for hostages to overcome. Leading psychiatrists have remarked on the necessity of extensive treatment for the trauma experienced by the hostages released from captivity in Gaza.

But it is wildly problematic to read any meaning into one orchestrated moment of release when hostages were still under Hamas control. In these politically precarious times, our social media landscapes have transformed into virtual war zones. It’s imperative to acknowledge that every hostage release serves as a carefully curated photo opportunity for Hamas, and for us to understand what the accurate experience of hostages in these circumstances is.
Happy October 86th
For the families of the hostages being held, for the families of the soldiers risking their lives day in and day out in Gaza, for the more than 1,400 families who have lost a loved one, for those cradling one of the many thousands of wounded in battle and for the country at large which experiencing the worst trauma in its history, it doesn’t matter that 2023 has made way for 2024.

Only in the hope that this calendar year doesn’t contain the heartache and grief of its predecessor (a very low bar, indeed), are we able to mark a differentiation between 2023 and 2024.

As long as our boys are dying in battle, our collective family is being held in inhumane conditions in Gaza, and Hamas is still clinging to a semblance of control, there is no room in our hearts – and no time in our lives – to celebrate.

The best we can do is raise a toast in the hope that October 86th will soon make way for a date in January or February to be determined. And that come next December 31st, Israel will have a blowout to match any New Year’s Eve celebration. And we won’t call it Sylvester.

Netanyahu: We Are Wiping Out Hamas' Capabilities; the People of Israel Will Win
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday evening:
"We have major successes but we have also paid a painful price. Achieving victory requires more time. Just as the Chief of Staff said this week: 'The war will continue for many more months.'"
"We are continuing to fight until the goals of the war have been achieved, especially the elimination of Hamas and the release of all our hostages....We will ensure that Gaza no longer constitutes a threat to Israel, that there will be no element in it that finances terrorism, educates its children for terrorism and pays the families of terrorists."
"Dear citizens of Israel, I greatly appreciate your determination and patience. Wherever I meet you, I hear the same words: 'Continue; don't stop.'...I hear it from the families of our fallen heroes, from those who have been wounded, and, of course, from our brave soldiers and commanders who I meet with in the field."
"We have eliminated over 8,000 terrorists and we are eliminating many more on each day of fighting. Step-by-step, we are wiping out Hamas' capabilities. Hamas will be defeated. Our soldiers will win. The people of Israel will win."
"On the northern border, we are striking harsh blows at Hizbullah. We are eliminating many terrorists and are destroying the enemy's capabilities....We will take all action until we restore security to the residents of the north."
"Regarding the Houthis - I spoke with many leaders about the need to form an international coalition to safeguard freedom of international navigation in the straits. I welcome the fact that such a coalition has been formed. In any case, we will not allow this threat to harm the citizens of Israel or the Israeli economy."
Jake Wallis Simons: Hamas is succeeding at playing the West for fools
The terrorists know exactly what they are doing. For years, they have dealt with UN officials, NGO representatives and the international media. They understand the Weltanschauung of such circles. They know that they need only enable a supply of videos of civilian casualties and the credulous journalists, sneering diplomats, jihadi sympathisers and useful idiots will do the rest.

As a result, the disinformation that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza – Israel has been falsely accused of that since Soviet times – is accepted as fact. During a lesson on Lord of the Flies, my daughter’s English teacher cited the actions of the IDF, not Hamas, as a recent modern example of the “savagery” that killed Piggy.

That is not to downplay the suffering in Gaza. A just and defensive war is as hellish as any other, and every decent heart aches for peace. But our emotions are being manipulated to draw us onto the side of darkness. The truth remains the truth: Israel is acting as any other democracy would in impossible circumstances.

The Ministry of Defence does not produce a Ukraine-style daily briefing on the true facts of the Gaza conflict. It should. But even if we accept Hamas’s figures, Israel’s combatant-to-civilian death ratio in the Strip is believed to be 1:2. This is broadly in line with British and American forces in urban warfare, even though Gaza, with its hundreds of miles of tunnels filled with zombie jihadis with no fear of death, presents an unprecedented challenge. In clashes in Lebanon, Israel has killed about 146 combatants and 19 civilians, a ratio unmatched in modern warfare.

For Hamas, every innocent casualty is a victory. As far back as 2008, it was collaborating with Iranian planners to design hospitals and schools that could hold missiles. The logic is simple: the martyrs live on in Heaven, the media broadcasts heartrending footage, and the world ratchets up pressure for a ceasefire. Then October 7 can be planned again.

By the same token, every death is a tragedy for Israel. It has done well to prevent the toll from mounting higher by warning civilians before attacks. As John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, remarked: “There are very few modern militaries in the world that would do that. I don’t know that [we] would do that.”

In this age of soggy thinking, it has proven depressingly easy to flip the public into the darkness. With Israelophobia on its side, Hamas hasn’t even bothered to keep its strategy secret. Controlling emotion is what counts.
Hamas Can't Be Beat, Assures NY Times Longtime Anti-Israel Voice in Lead Story
The New York Times lead story Thursday certainly was a downer for those who support the one democracy in the Middle East in its war on the terrorists of Hamas. Longtime reporter Neil MacFarquhar penned a piece headlined “Skepticism Grows Over Israel’s Ability to Dismantle Hamas.” But MacFarquhar’s long history of anti-Israel, pro-Arab bias makes him the least dependable reporter to pen a lead story on the Israel-Gaza war.

His lead opened the floor to Hamas’s representative in Lebanon.

Standing before a gray backdrop decorated with Hamas logos and emblems of a gunman that commemorate the bloody Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Osama Hamdan, the organization’s representative in Lebanon, professed no concern about his Palestinian faction being dislodged from Gaza.

“We are not worried about the future of the Gaza Strip,” he recently told a crowded news conference in his offices in Beirut’s southern suburbs. “The decision maker is the Palestinian people alone.”

Mr. Hamdan thus dismissed one of Israel’s key objectives since the beginning of its assault on Gaza: to dismantle the Islamist political and military organization that was behind the massacre of about 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials, and which still holds more than 100 hostages.

So if a Hamas chief said it, it must be true? In fact, there's only one pro-Israel source within the long story (Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). Every other source is there to undermine Netanyahu's goal of eliminating Hamas.

UN calls for meeting on Judea and Samaria, focuses on Gaza, ignores Hezbollah
While Hezbollah continued raining down missiles on northern Israeli towns, forcing the displacement of some 80,000 Israeli citizens, the United Nations Security Council called an urgent meeting focused on violence against Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

The United Arab Emirates, in one of its last acts before its Security Council term expires, called for the meeting. Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE’s U.N. envoy, said that “it is clear that we are at a crossroads” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, telling Security Council members that they will “have to make bold and perhaps uncomfortable decisions.”

Nusseibeh said Israel has not followed through on its pledges of a “clear end game” for its war on Hamas, claiming the recent violence is pushing forward efforts for a two-state solution with “adequate guard rails.”

Israel’s ambassador lashed out at the council, however, chiding it for its misplaced focus.

“Why have you not condemned the rocket fire from Lebanon? The situation in northern Israel is reaching a point of no return,” said Gilad Erdan. “If these attacks continue, the situation will escalate and may lead to a full-scale war. Lebanon must be held accountable for the aggression carried out from its territory.”

Erdan admonished council members for consistent claims that violence committed by Jews in Judea and Samaria was eroding a pathway towards a two-state solution.

“There were no Israelis in the West Bank in 1948 and there were none in 1967, yet the Palestinians and Arab countries still sought to annihilate Israel,” Erdan reminded the council, noting that Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria since Oct. 7 are 15 times more numerous than those committed by Israelis against Palestinians during the same period.
Israel wants UNRWA out of Gaza
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has put together a classified report calling for the removal of UNRWA from the Gaza Strip in the long-term, noting that the U.N. relief agency works against Israel’s interests.

The report’s recommendations set out a three-stage process for shrinking and eventually eliminating UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, from the Strip: 1) Prepare a case detailing UNRWA’s cooperation with Hamas; 2) Reduce UNRWA’s field of activity and find replacement service providers; and 3) Transfer UNRWA’s responsibilities to another entity.

Channel 12, which revealed the existence of the secret report on Thursday, noted that Israel wants to move slowly, recognizing that the U.S. sees UNRWA as a positive player in humanitarian efforts in the Strip. The ministry hopes to gradually build the case for ousting the organization, linking that goal to discussions on “the day after” Hamas.

Kobi Michael, a senior researcher at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), supports dislodging UNRWA, telling JNS that “UNRWA was born in sin and exists in sin, therefore, it should be dismantled.

“It was established because of pressure by the Arab world as a platform to leverage the interests of Arab leaders against the State of Israel using the Palestinian [refugee] issue,” Michael said.

Israel must convince the U.S. and the international community of UNRWA’s unfitness by pulling together research, much of which has already been performed, on the U.N. group, (Michael co-authored a damning report on UNRWA in 2020). Israel should also highlight what UNRWA’s own people have revealed about it, he said, noting especially James Lindsay.

James G. Lindsay, an American civil servant, worked with UNRWA from 2000 to 2007 and as its general counsel from 2002. For more than a decade, he has called for a close examination of UNRWA’s activities, saying it doesn’t solve the Palestinian refugee problem, but rather perpetuates it.
Israel-Hamas war: Is Israel's shift in Gaza war due to global pressure? - analysis
All signs are that Israel will shift from the “main war” (Stage 2) to a longer, lower-intensity conflict in Gaza (Stage 3) in the next two to four weeks.

What will this mean? To answer that question, we need to identify why this is happening.

There are two main reasons this is happening: 1) world pressure and, most importantly, American pressure, and 2) pressure from reservists and their families to be able to return to regular life.

The Jerusalem Post has learned that balancing between these two reasons will be the key to navigating this incredibly important transition.

At a minimum, at a practical level, the transition means that hundreds of thousands of reservists may be returning home from Gaza and the northern front in the near future.

Not all of the reservists, and many of the reservists, will need to rotate in and out of the southern and northern fronts for longer than usual reserve duty stints in 2024.

Reduced number of IDF reservists in the field
But if the IDF jumped from a military of 100,000-150,000 before the war to around 450,000 at the climax of reservists volunteering, it is going to drop much closer to the pre-war levels (though not all the way back down.)

This already started a few weeks ago when much of IDF Division 252, a mostly reservist division, was given extended leave after finishing certain missions in northern Gaza.

It will progress more dramatically in the near future.

This is happening because, socio-economically, the country is not built to survive with reservists at war for months straight at a time.
As IDF presses ground operation in Gaza, Hamas rocket fire drops
The Israel Defense Forces expressed cautious optimism on Sunday evening in the wake of a decrease in the number of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, as Jerusalem is reportedly preparing to allow some residents of the country’s southwestern region to return home.

The sharp drop in rocket attacks is a direct result of the IDF ground maneuver in Gaza, during which forces have destroyed many launch pads, the military added.

According to IDF data, in the first week of December, after Hamas violated the hostages-for-ceasefire deal, 75 rockets were launched at Israel on average per day. Last week, that number dropped to 14.

The figure does not include mortars launched at ground troops operating inside the coastal enclave, rockets falling into the Mediterranean and failed rocket launches.

According to Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster, the IDF has initiated an “orderly process” to allow Israeli evacuees, who live between four and seven kilometers (2.5-4.4 miles) from the Gaza border, to voluntarily return to their homes.

“We continue to deal with the [terror] tunnels and damage the rocket array in order to continue the reduction in rocket fire,” IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said during a press conference on Sunday evening, adding: “The war’s goals require prolonged fighting; we are preparing accordingly.”
How the IDF slowed Hamas rocket fire from Gaza to a standstill
The IDF has brought down Hamas's rocket fire substantially in recent weeks since the temporary ceasefire expired and the invasion of Khan Yunis began.

During the week of December 1-7, Hamas still managed to fire 75 rockets per day, down from hundreds of rockets per day earlier in the war.

However, by December 8-14, the number of rockets from Gaza per day had dropped to 23.

From December 15-21, the average number of rockets dropped to 16, with the number remaining relatively steady from December 22-27. A moment of quiet?

As of 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, no rockets had been fired by Hamas.

With Hamas having already fired, by some estimates, around 13,000 rockets and Israel has destroyed large numbers of Hamas rockets, rocket launchers, and areas for placing rocket launchers, the terror group has been losing its launching capabilities.

Already in late November, its capability to fire rockets from northern Gaza had dropped by 80%, and now its capabilities to fire rockets from southern Gaza has also dropped, though there is still a capability in Rafah.
IDF finds Chinese weapons used in Gaza - report
A "massive" number of Chinese weaponry used by Palestinian terrorists has been seized by the IDF in Gaza, N12 reported on Saturday.

As per the report, the political echelon was briefed on the findings.

How did Chinese weapons get to Gazan terrorists' hands?
Following N12's report, Carice Witte, CEO and founder of SIGNAL Group and an expert on China-Israel relations, said that while it is certainly possible Chinese weapons have made it to the Palestinian terrorist group's hands, it was not bought directly from Beijing.

"China has an extensive arms industry," Witte said. "By definition, it does not sell weapons to non-state entities, it certainly does sell weapons to countries in the [Middle East].

According to Witte, those responsible for the weaponry's presence in Gaza are either countries or independent Chinese actors illegally selling weapons to Gazan-based groups.

"Trade relations between China and Middle Eastern nations are well known, even with those sanctioned by the West," she added. "It is not impossible that such weaponry ends up in the wrong hands.

She added that Israel "must check the issue with official Chinese authorities."
Minister Barkat pans letting fuel into Gaza as ‘absurd,’ says it ‘extends Hamas’s life’
Economy Minister Nir Barkat, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has become increasingly vocal against the government’s war policies, slams the continued allowing of fuel deliveries into the Gaza Strip during the war against the Hamas terror group.

In comments to reporters outside this morning’s cabinet meeting, Barkat said: “This morning, 133 hostages are still being held in Gaza by Hamas. While they are there, the State of Israel is continuing to transfer goods and fuel into Hamas’s hands.

“Israel is fighting Hamas with one hand, and with the other is sending hundreds of trucks every day which extend Hamas’s life and enable it to continue fighting our soldiers. This is absurd. This must stop today.”

Israeli army bodycam said to show operations in Khan Younis | Israel-Hamas war
The Israeli army released bodycam videos on Sunday, purportedly showing its military operations in Khan Younis.

Reuters was not able to confirm the locations or dates the video was recorded.

The footage appears to show Israeli soldiers moving around the besieged city in Gaza, raiding civilian buildings and firing towards Hamas targets.

Khan Younis is one of the locations where Israel has intensified its fighting against Hamas this week, backed by intensive air strikes that filled hospitals with wounded Palestinians.

Two Israelis wounded in stabbing attack near Jerusalem
Two Israelis were wounded on Sunday night in a Palestinian stabbing attack at the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, located east of Jerusalem in Judea.

Magen David Adom paramedics treated the victims, both security guards, at the scene before evacuating them to the capital’s Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center fully conscious and in stable condition.

MDA said a 24-year-old woman was in good-to-moderate condition, while a man in his 20s sustained minor wounds in the attack.

Israeli forces reportedly shot and neutralized the terrorist. His condition was not immediately clear.

On Saturday, an Israel Defense Forces soldier was seriously injured in a vehicular assault near the al-Fawwar camp, located south of Hebron in Judea.

The victim, a reserve soldier from the IDF’s 7018th Battalion, was treated on the scene before being evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva.

UK said set to join US-led airstrike campaign against Houthis

US Navy sinks three ‘Iranian-backed Houthi small boats’

Call Me Back PodCast: Palestinian radicalism: Was 10/07 just another turn of the dial? — with Haviv Rettig Gur
Hosted by Dan Senor
In recent days, we have been shocked to read the details in the New York Times investigative piece titled: “Hamas weaponized sexual violence on October 7.”For those of us following events on and after October 7 who have bothered to read the reporting coming out of Israel, or talk to Israelis involved (victims, victims’ families, first responders, Israeli journalists), we were not shocked. We will return to this topic in a future episode.

But today I wanted to focus on something else: should we actually be shocked? I’ve been struck since October 7 that the barbarism has been covered as though it’s a rapid and steep descent of Hamas (and other segments of Palestinian society that were complicit) into a radically dark place. As though things have suddenly and dramatically turned in an unimaginable direction.

Was October 7 an unimaginable turn, or just another turn of the dial of radicalization?

This is what I wanted to better understand during my weekly check-in with Haviv Rettig Gur of the Times Israel.

Pieces discussed in this episode:
NYT – “‘Screams Without Words’: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7” —
WSJ – Netanyahu: “Our Three Prerequisites for Peace” —
PLO Charter:
Times of Israel:

Douglas Murray: Unraveling Double Standards and Anti-Semitism Today

Muslim Leaders Hold An #AbandonBiden Conference in Chicago
The last time we checked in on Muslim leaders’ #AbandonBiden campaign, they were bumbling along, shouting their displeasure with Biden’s apparently disappointing failure to visibly cheer on Hamas terrorists and their barbaric and inhuman attacks on peaceful Israeli citizens.

This failure to celebrate mass rapes, torture, baby beheading, genital mutilation, and the unrestrained slaughter of innocent women, children, and the elderly has festered for Muslim leaders, apparently, so they decided to hold a meeting in Chicago to get themselves organized to ensure that Biden loses in 2024.

I’m very okay, of course, with Biden losing next year. I am less good with the whole premise of this “movement.” Pushing U.S. policy to become anti-Israel is a huge problem; pushing it to become pro-Hamas and pro-jihad is a disaster of the first order. But here we are.

Join Jesse ‘Hymietown’ Jackson for a Continental Breakfast to Back Hamas
Earlier this year, Kamala Harris flew out to honor Jesse Jackson, claiming that he “defined the rainbow”. Well, we all know some colors that Jesse never liked to see in that rainbow. During his original presidential run, he referred to Jews as “hymies” and New York City as “hymietown”. Before a joint appearance with Jackson, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan had warned Jews, “If you harm this brother, I warn you in the name of Allah this will be the last one you harm.”

Despite that, Jesse Jackson refused to cut his ties with Farrakhan.

And now Jesse is slowly crawling out of semi-retirement to use his Rainbow PUSH Coalition to host an event together with assorted terror supporters and bigots to bash Israel’s campaign against Hamas. Like most pro-terror events, it’s billed as in support of a “ceasefire” when a ceasefire means that Islamic terrorists go on attacking Israel. It just can’t fight back.

Speakers include Jesse’s son, Peter Beinart, deranged 9/11 Marxist Truther Cornel West who stated after the Hamas atrocities of Oct 7 claiming that “Israel and United States are primarily responsible”, Peter Beinart, and IfNowNow, a hate group responded to the Oct 7 atrocities with a statement that, “we cannot and will not say today’s actions by Palestinian militants are unprovoked. Every day under Israel’s apartheid system is a provocation.”

Also, Brant Rosen who is officially a “peace activist” in the same sense as Charles Manson. “When I heard the initial reports of Hamas’ attacks on Israel this past Saturday, I will be completely honest – my first reaction was ‘good for them.'”

Brant Rosen has spent the last few months shouting about a ceasefire.

The good news is that for only 25 bucks, you can join Jesse, Beinart, Brant, Cornel West, Jesse’s son and whoever else in this motley crew over a continental breakfast while attacking Israel for defending itself against Islamic terrorists.

The bad news is you’ll have to wait until a few weeks in January because while the press release claims that it wants “an immediate, permanent ceasefire” due to “staggering civilian casualties”, it can wait till the Sabbath of Jan 16th.

Activist on Palestine march calls Hamas hostage-taking ‘an important act of resistance’
An activist involved in the Armistice Day pro-Palestine march has said that the taking of hostages was a “very important part” of any “act of resistance” and that Israel was “mimicking” Nazis.

Anas Altikriti, a director of the Muslim Association of Britain, also criticised the designation of Hamas as a terrorist group and said reports that the group had perpetrated rape on October 7 were a “lie”.

The Muslim Association of Britain was founded by the former Hamas chief Muhammad Kathem Sawalha, and was one of the organisations which organised the pro-Palestine march which took place in London on Armistice Day.

As well as being a director of the MAB, Dr Altikriti is the founder of The Cordoba Foundation.

The foundation says it exists to promote “dialogue and a rapprochement between Islam and the West”, but in 2009 the then Conservative leader David Cameron said in the House of Commons that it was a UK front for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood – a claim which Dr Altikriti has denied.

In a video recorded with the US imam Tom Facchine last month, Dr Altikriti was asked about Hamas’s taking of hostages.

He said: “The taking of hostages is a very important part of any strategic sort of military action or act of resistance or the such because for every hostage you can then negotiate.

“You have personnel who are vital and crucial at least in your thinking and your mind to your adversary, to your enemy, so it’s a negotiating power.

“For the people of Gaza, for Hamas, for the resistance, call them as you may, a hostage is very, very valuable, and therefore they will be looked after, they will be cared for, they will be cared for even more than the actual citizens of Gaza simply because they provide cover for the resistance, they provide a negotiating card once the battle arrives at a point where people are sitting around the table or talking at least about some sort of deal.

“Therefore those hostages were taken by Hamas in order to negotiate more freedoms, more rights, the breakout of this prison that we call Gaza, this concentration camp that we call Gaza.”

Free Palestine protesters try to disrupt horse guards quickly shut down by armed MOD police.

Dissent: For Harvard’s Sake, It’s Time to Let Gay Go
As students, we are exhausted.

We are tired of reading about Harvard’s failures every time we check the news. We are sick of reporters hassling us for interviews in the Yard. We don’t want to return home for break and get pestered by friends and family, asking what is happening on campus or how we’re holding up in this awful environment. Our classes and our studying should not be interrupted by noisemakers and megaphones. Signing an affirmation that we will follow the Harvard College Honor Code before we take our final exams should not feel like a farce.

Students are not the only ones frustrated. Faculty are concerned with her academic misconduct too, though many refuse to go on the record, perhaps for fear of the consequences (a fact the Board’s opinion notes but seems not to take to heart).

Donors are tripping over each other to sever ties with the University. A senator has written in the Wall Street Journal that he was accosted in Widener Library. Congress has launched — and now expanded — an investigation into Harvard. Early application numbers have dropped sharply compared with peer institutions, perhaps in response to the turmoil.

President Gay may be a good person. She may even be a praiseworthy scholar, despite the allegations. But that isn’t enough to remain president. The leader of the world’s foremost university must be held to a higher standard, one that Gay has unfortunately failed to meet.

It is clear to us that the continuation of Gay’s tenure as president only hurts the University. For Harvard’s sake, Gay must go.
I Vote on Plagiarism Cases at Harvard College. Gay’s Getting off Easy.
It may be true that the plagiarism allegations against President Gay fall short of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ interim policy on research misconduct. She may not have “intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly” tried to represent the work of her doctoral advisor and others as her own. And there is no evidence that any of her arguments posited as original contributions were plagiarized.

But President Gay’s pattern of mistakes is serious, and the Harvard Corporation should not minimize these allegations of plagiarism, as it has readily done.

In a Dec. 12 University-wide letter, the Corporation described the alleged plagiarism as “a few instances of inadequate citation.” The letter lauded President Gay for “proactively” correcting her articles by inserting citations and quotation marks.

By definition, Gay’s corrections were not proactive but reactive — she only made them after she was caught. And that the Corporation considers her corrections an adequate response is not fair to undergraduates, who cannot simply submit corrections to avoid penalties.

When my peers are found responsible for multiple instances of inadequate citation, they are often suspended for an academic year. When the president of their university is found responsible for the same types of infractions, the fellows of the Corporation “unanimously stand in support of” her.

There is one standard for me and my peers and another, much lower standard for our University’s president. The Corporation should resolve the double standard by demanding her resignation.

2023 Men of the Year: WilmerHale Crisis PR
In early December, when they descended from the Ivory Tower to explain themselves to the American people, they were prepared for some tough questions. Well, not exactly, but they shelled out the big bucks for preparation to the white-shoe law firm WilmerHale to help them prepare. According to our thorough Google search, WilmerHale was charging $1,250 an hour nearly 10 years ago.

"Lawyers for WilmerHale sat in the front row at the hearing on Tuesday," the New York Times wrote. "They included Alyssa DaCunha, who leads the firm’s congressional investigations and crisis management practices, and Felicia Ellsworth, the vice chair of the firm’s litigation and controversy department," adding that both DaCunha and Ellsworth "were involved in preparing the presidents of Harvard and Penn for the hearings.

But a round of applause for these ladies, who did men’s work exposing the intellectual rot of the Ivy League and burying one of its presidents through sheer incompetence. That’s the sort of public-spirited work we applaud at the Washington Free Beacon, and for that, DaCunha and Ellsworth aren’t just top lady lawyers, they are also Washington Free Beacon Men of the Year.

Teen arrested in Seattle-area hit and run that reportedly killed Israeli officer
Police in Redmond, Wash., have arrested a 15-year-old who allegedly killed a 40-year-old Israeli Air Force officer while driving a stolen vehicle recklessly at high speed.

The victim was identified by Israeli media as either Yonatan or Yehonatan Nahon, an IAF major and according to one report an IAF envoy in the United States.

Nahon’s body was flown back to Israel for the funeral, per Israeli media. The Netanya-born engineer—whom some reports identify as a 41-year-old—was also reportedly in the Seattle area on military business.

The unnamed suspect faces charges of vehicular homicide and was booked at the King County Detention Center, police announced.

“The driver and passengers exited the disabled vehicle and fled on foot after the crash” on the 17600 block of N.E. 24th Street in Redmond, according to police. Redmond is about 15 miles northeast of Seattle.

The arrest occurred on Dec. 20. The victim was a husband and father of three, police added, without identifying the man.

Young Israeli artists with disabilities express emotions amid war
Entering the exhibition hall, one is instantly struck by the powerful emotions emanating from the works of art on display. It’s an intriguing assortment of styles, mostly watercolors and pastels, with others incorporating elements such as layers of construction paper and cutouts. There is a hush in the room, with an aura of complexity and tumultuous feelings of pain and loneliness, along with faint glimmers of hope and prayer for the return of safety and peace.

No, this exhibition is not the work of world-renowned artists or painters, nor is it featured in a ritzy gallery in Paris, Manhattan, or Rome. It is the self-expression of adolescents and adults with mild to severe cognitive disabilities, displayed in Jerusalem’s National Shalva Center’s traveling art exhibition.

With Israel now in its third month of war, a significant number of Israelis – adults and children alike – are suffering from trauma and struggling to process their pain, grief, and fear. Over 1,200 innocent Israelis are dead, while over 100 are still being held hostage. Thousands more, many of whom have been displaced, are still struggling to come to terms with their wounds. And all the while, the media delivers daily heart-rending reports of fallen soldiers from the front lines.

Finding self-expression during Israel-Hamas war
Finding a means of self-expression amid the tumult of war is a formidable challenge, as words often fall short of encapsulating the profound emotions that accompany these traumatic times. This struggle is more profound for people with disabilities, for whom communication is an ongoing battle.

“During these times, finding methods of communication and expression is all the more critical,” says Rabbi Kalman Samuels, founder and president of Shalva, Israel’s premier center for children and adults with disabilities.

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