Thursday, February 01, 2024

From Ian:

Andrew McCarthy: Designate UNRWA as a Terrorist Organization
The UNRWA is not “politicized,” as intelligence officials gently put it. The UNRWA is jihadi-cized.

As Noah Rothman forcefully argues, we should cut off the United Nations, period. But to have restored support for UNRWA is an abomination worthy of the Biden administration itself being cited for knowingly supporting a terrorist organization.

There are no virtually no refugees among the approximately 5.5 million Palestinians resident in Gaza, Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem. It was estimated that 700,000 were displaced in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence; of those, as former Trump secretary of state Mike Pompeo has observed, fewer than 200,000 Arabs remain. Meanwhile, generations of Palestinians have grown up in the Palestinian territories since the U.N. was established after World War II. They are not refugees seeking a homeland; they have one — one for which they demand recognition as a sovereign country (which they could long ago have had if they renounced terrorism and conceded Israel’s right to exist, instead of committing to terrorism as a means of swallowing Israel — “from the river to the sea”).

Yet the U.N. and UNRWA persist in the “refugee” fraud in tandem with the demand by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority that the refugees be granted a “right of return” to homes in Israel. This patently unacceptable condition perpetuates the conflict while undermining Israel’s legitimacy as a sovereign state (rather than a “settler-colonialist” intruder). Rather than “relief and works,” what UNRWA provides, thanks to its underwriting by Americans and citizens of other nations, is rabid antisemitic indoctrination, rockets, and jihadists — for both Hamas (the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The revelations about UNRWA’s complicity in the October 7 atrocities are nothing new. UNRWA’s willful support of terrorism has been open and notorious for decades, notwithstanding the determination not to notice by the State Department under various American administrations (Trump’s honorably excepted).

In making the determination to designate UNRWA as what it is, a sponsor of terrorism, the fact that it is an arm of the despicable U.N. should be of no moment. In 2019, our government designated the nation of Iran’s principal military arm, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a foreign terrorist organization. And on significantly less evidence of hands-on jihadist activity than exists with respect to UNRWA, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was designated by our government as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist government in 2001 because of its financial support of Hamas.

A terrorist designation would make it politically untenable for the United States government to provide one more dime of American taxpayer funding to UNRWA, and to provide funding to any entity, including the U.N., that supports it. If we are serious about condemning and combating terrorism, that is as it must be.
Einat Wilf: Without UNRWA there would be no Hamas — it must be dismantled
In practice the Palestinian “refugee” issue is quite small. Only around two to three hundred thousand people living in Lebanon and Syria are either the real original refugees (the ones who escaped the war from 1947-1949) or their status deprived descendants who are in need of settlement in place or resettlement in third countries. These are small numbers that the actual UN agency for refugees is quite capable of managing. But the issue was never practical, it was always symbolic, the purpose being to keep the Palestinian “refugee” issue as the living symbol that Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is temporary.

Not only are those registered as “Palestine Refugees” not refugees by any international standards, but they also do not possess a “right of return”, meaning a right that supersedes Israeli sovereignty to settle within the sovereign territory of Israel. Such right for a people who were never citizens of a country, that supersedes the right of sovereign countries to control their borders and decide who become their citizens, simply does not exist. Even the various UNGA resolutions that Palestinians cite, do not support such a right. But Palestinians believe they have such a “right” and have forged themselves into a nation based on the singular commitment to “return” and revenge.

It should therefore come as no surprise that UNRWA has given rise to generations of trained murderers who took pride in the slaughter of Jews, whether the Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics of 1972, or the peace supporting Kibbutzniks on Oct. 7. Even if UNRWA employees were not directly involved in murdering Jews, and we know that several of them were, given that their entire ideology is about undoing the Jewish state, their continued existence all but ensures that such organizations, whether Black September or Hamas, will always rise to fulfill that goal.

I have spent 14 years by now researching UNRWA, writing and speaking about it and advocating for its dismantlement. The only reason I devoted my time and capabilities to doing so is that, contrary to the reigning impression, UNRWA and the Palestinian “refugee” issue are not marginal aspects of the conflict. They are at the core of the conflict and the reason for its perpetuation. The conflict has always been about one thing and one thing only, the Arab rejection of the Jewish right to self determination in any part of the Jewish historical homeland. Everything else has been the outcome of that single rejection. UNRWA has been one of the most substantial forces in ensuring that this rejection not only never ends, but is indulged, supported and magnified to become the core element of an entire people.

I have always supported the idea that the Jews and Arabs of the land would be best served governing themselves by themselves in states of their own — known as the two-state solution. I continue to support that idea, but I now consider myself a long-term peace activist. Precisely because I continue to be committed to peace, I understand there can be no peace as long as the fundamental reason for the century long war waged by the Arabs against a Jewish state remains. For there to be peace, the war must first end, and the war cannot end if there is an organization, supported by Canada and other Western powers, that does everything possible to ensure it continues.
UNRWA exists only to push the delusion that Israel is a temporary state
Generations of Palestinians have been brought up in this delusion. The Palestinian identity forged in UNRWA schools over the years relies upon a mythology of unique victimhood, unforgivable dispossession, the glorification of violence and martyrdom, and the ineradicable wickedness of the Jews. The result: Black September, Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the lot.

UNRWA has been fostering and incubating this sociopathology ever since the agency was established in December, 1949. For a thorough survey of the tragedy, read The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed The Path To Peace, by Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf.

During the middle years of the 20th Century, the wars and upheavals in Europe and Asia disgorged tens of millions of refugees. Roughly 14 million Muslims and Hindus were uprooted and resettled on the Indian subcontinent. Ten million ethnic Germans were driven out of Eastern Europe after the Second World War, eventually finding a home in West Germany. A million North Vietnamese settled in South Vietnam in the 1950s, 600,000 Chinese fled to Hong Kong after Mao’s triumph in 1949, and three million Koreans fled the north to settle in South Korea during the early 1950s.

The convulsions brought about by the Arab States’ war against the newly independent state of Israel and their refusal to accept the UN’s partition plan resulted in the displacement of about 700,000 Palestinians, while an equal number of Jews were driven from their ancient communities across the Arab World, settling in Israel.

Of all these displaced populations, only the Palestinians were relegated to a kind of permanent limbo, ending up in 58 “refugee camps” in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan (UNRWA’s jurisdiction is separate from the UN High Commission for Refugees). Apart from Jordan, the Arab states still refuse to grant “Palestinian refugees” permanent status and integrate them into their societies. To do so would be to tacitly admit the Arab states’ loss in the 1940s, Israel’s victory, and the permanence of the Jewish state.

During the Cold War, the United States abandoned the hope of Palestinian integration and let the Arab states have their way with UNRWA. In 1965, UNRWA decided that the children of Palestinians born after 1948 were eligible for registration. In 1982, the UN General Assembly extended eligibility to all descendants of the first Palestinian refugees. From that initial population of 700,000, “Palestinian refugees” now number 5.6 million people.

The last time the liberal democracies toyed with the idea of abolishing UNRWA was in 1959. Reform won’t work. The liberal democracies provide the bulk of UNRWA’s funding, but until there is some “international community” route around UNRWA to get life-saving aid to the hundreds of thousands of Gazans living in the rubble, we’re stuck with it. Even so, sooner or later, it has got to go.

How can the war between Israel and Hamas ever end when so many schools in Gaza - run by a UN agency backed by our millions - teach children to hate Jews?
UN Women is relentlessly vocal about Gaza online. Between October 7 and November 23, 2023, it tweeted 26 statements on the conflict; only three tweets — always using the pro-Palestinian hashtag #Gaza — even mentioned Israel.

It also published testimony from Palestinian women in Gaza, citing data from the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry, and calling for a ceasefire.

It has still to publish any testimony from an Israeli woman about the events of October 7, a state of affairs so contrary to its professed mission that it looks wilful.

Meanwhile, UNICEF, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, posted a total of 264 tweets between October 7 and November 29, 99 of which were tweets about the unquestionably heart-breaking situation of those in Gaza.

But absent was any footage relating to October 7. Astonishingly, UNICEF could not even bring itself to mention Hamas in any of its posts from that day.

For its part, the World Health Organisation, also part of the UN, did not even refer to Hamas in its initial assessment of October 7.

This behaviour strays into the realms of the perverse. And make no mistake, it can be dangerous: if international agencies don't acknowledge Hamas's atrocities, it incentivises the terror group to commit more. The result of this is more death: of Israeli civilians, and then, when Israel responds, of yet more Palestinians.

On Friday afternoon, I spoke with Juliette Touma, UNRWA's Director of Communications. She had just left Gaza and sounded unsurprisingly affected at witnessing the slow motion tragedy there.

This could throw the whole world into turmoil
She dismissed allegations of Hamas infiltration of UNRWA. 'Every UNRWA employee goes through a vetting process,' she told me. 'We send the list of employees to host governments across the region — including to Israel as an occupying power.

'We have never had a response let alone an objection of any staff.[The Israelis say the list is shared but with not enough information that it can actually be used.]

'We can also confirm there is no diversion of UNRWA aid in Gaza,' she added. 'UNRWA are direct implementers. We have control of aid at every step of the delivery process, from beginning to end.'

On the subject of education and UNRWA employees reportedly celebrating the October 7 atrocities, she was clear. 'For us at UNRWA, the education issue is not new; the agency takes it very seriously. Let me also reiterate our utter condemnation of the horrific October 7 attacks carried out by Hamas.

'When we faced previous similar allegations in the past, we investigated and terminated contracts when enough evidence was found about breach of UN values and principles. We have now requested an independent review of claims of the Agency's alleged affiliation with Hamas.'

There are many people like Touma doing vital work in UN agencies in Gaza and around the world, but when parts of these organisations fail to adequately hold Hamas to account — to say nothing of reinforcing its hold through vile educational materials throughout Gaza — these agencies end up, whether intentionally or not, becoming complicit.

And we should care about this. Because it stokes a conflict that has the potential to throw the entire world into turmoil.

We should care because it contributes to the deaths of thousands of civilians on both sides.

And finally, we should care because everything these organisations do is paid for by us.

‘Biden Doctrine’: US reviews options for recognizing Palestinian state
There is also widespread opposition among the Israeli public to the creation of a Palestinian state.

According to the most recent “Peace Index” survey released by Tel Aviv University last week, when asked whether they support the creation of a “Palestinian” state alongside Israel, 66% of Jewish respondents said they opposed such a move, while 27% expressed support for the creation of a “Palestine.”

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that the Biden push to possibly recognize a demilitarized Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip “would come into being only once Palestinians had developed a set of defined, credible institutions and security capabilities to ensure that this state was viable and that it could never threaten Israel.”

He continued, “Biden administration officials have been consulting experts inside and outside the U.S. government about different forms this recognition of Palestinian statehood might take.”

According to Friedman, the “Biden doctrine for the Middle East” would also include a strong stance against Iran, including a military response against Iranian terror proxies in the region in retaliation for the killing of three U.S. soldiers at a base in Jordan in a drone attack. It would also involve a “vastly expanded” U.S. security alliance with Saudi Arabia that would include Israel-Saudi normalization.

Furthermore, Axios reported on several options the Biden administration could take, including bilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, withdrawing its veto power against the United Nations Security Council admitting “Palestine” as a full U.N. member state, and urging other countries to recognize a Palestinian state. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Monday that the U.K. was considering recognizing a Palestinian state.

Blinken is expected to meet with Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer in Washington on Thursday to discuss the Gaza war and plans for the day after fighting in Gaza ends, as well as Israel-Saudi normalization. Dermer held similar talks with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Wednesday.

Moreover, Blinken will visit Israel for three days beginning on Feb. 3, his sixth trip to the Jewish state since Hamas invaded the northwestern Negev on Oct. 7.

'Worst Betrayal': GOP Lawmakers Slam Biden Plan To Recognize Palestinian State
Reports that the Biden administration is considering recognizing a Palestinian state—upending decades of U.S. policy—are generating intense criticism from Republican lawmakers who say the timing of these leaks marks a stunning betrayal of Israel as it fights to eradicate Hamas terrorists.

"As Joe Biden signals that the clock on his support for Israel is running out—a White House endorsement of a two-state solution would be the worst betrayal of our strongest ally in the Middle East, a reversal on decades-long U.S. policy, and a reward to Hamas terrorists who committed the most barbaric attacks against the Jewish community since the Holocaust," Rep. Tom Emmer (R., Minn.), the House majority whip, told the Washington Free Beacon, echoing comments from other GOP offices.

"I will personally use every ounce of leverage at my disposal to ensure the Biden administration does not go through with this absurd idea," Emmer told the Free Beacon, hinting at a looming showdown between the White House and pro-Israel leaders in Congress.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly asked U.S. diplomats to "conduct a review and present policy options on possible U.S. and international recognition of a Palestinian state," according to Axios. The policy shift threatens to upend decades of U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which successive American administrations have said needs to be settled between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors. A unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, long thought impossible, is certain to complicate relations between the United States and Israel at a time when the Jewish state is fighting for its survival against the Iran-backed terror group Hamas.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the creation of a Palestinian state would implant "an enclave for global terrorism" in Israel’s backyard, setting the stage for future conflicts with Israel.

"A Palestinian state would not only be an enclave for global terrorism and an existential threat to Israel, it would legitimize the aims of the attack on October 7, effectively rewarding Hamas," Cotton told the Free Beacon. "It’s clear the Biden administration simply wants to appease the pro-Hamas wing of the Democratic Party. It’s shameful this is even a topic of discussion."

JPost Editorial: The debate over a hostage deal is excruciating, and disagreements are reasonable
Both arguments for and against paying any price for the hostage’s release have their strengths and weaknesses. But what is essential to keep in mind when conducting this debate is that holding either position is valid.

Those who feel Israel should pay almost any price are not unconcerned about the future of the state nor callous to the families of terrorist victims whose murderers may be set free. Rather, their foremost concern is saving the lives of their loved ones. That is as understandable as it is legitimate.

Nor, however, should those be delegitimized who feel that emptying Israeli jails of all the security prisoners or stopping the war is too high a price to pay. It is not as if they don’t care about the fate of the hostages; it is not as if they don’t understand what the hostage’s relatives are going through. They are not bad or unfeeling people.

Rather, they are genuinely concerned about the long-term consequences for the state’s security if a deal is reached at any price.

A national debate over this issue is legitimate. How the country conducts it will be a test of whether it learned one of the key lessons of October 7. Don’t – for the sake of Israel’s future – delegitimize, nor question, the patriotism or loyalty of those on the other side of a public policy debate.
US hopes any ceasefire deal becomes permanent
Washington is hoping that a ceasefire deal will lead to a permanent halt to hostilities in the Gaza Strip, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

“U.S. negotiators are pushing for a cease-fire deal that could stop the war in Gaza long enough to stall Israel’s military momentum and potentially set the stage for a more lasting truce,” according to the Journal report, which cited U.S. and Arab officials familiar with the talks.

Meanwhile, Hamas is continuing to demand that Israel end the war and withdraw its forces from Gaza as part of a hostage release deal, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a Palestinian official close to the talks.

A delegation from the terrorist group led by political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh is in Cairo for talks on a ceasefire proposal negotiated in Paris on Sunday with the participation of Israeli, American, Egyptian and Qatari mediators. The group reportedly met on Thursday with head of Egyptian intelligence, Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel, who was at the Paris talks.

Hamas said that it was studying the text of the Paris proposal and will deliver a response.

“I expect that Hamas will not reject the paper, but it might not give a decisive agreement either,” the Palestinian official said.

“Instead, I expect them to send a positive response, and reaffirm their demands: for the agreement to be signed, it must ensure Israel will commit to ending the war in Gaza and pull out from the enclave completely.”

Ending the war is a nonstarter in Jerusalem, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israeli will not stop fighting until the three targets set out by the War Cabinet are completed: defeating Hamas, returning the hostages and ensuring that Gaza can never again threaten Israel.
Hamas said to be demanding release of all elite terror operatives captured on Oct 7 in exchange for hostages
Hamas has demanded that Israel release all operatives of the terror group’s elite Nukhba forces who were captured on October 7 in return for the release of the hostages held captive in Gaza, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

The Nukhba forces are the terror group’s elite fighters, and they were the first to enter Israel on October 7, when thousands of terrorists poured through the Gaza border, slaughtering some 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages.

Hamas’s demand is reportedly being discussed by Israeli officials, although no decision has been made on the matter, Kan reports.
Qatar: Hamas gives initial approval for hostages-for-ceasefire deal
Qatar has received an “initial positive confirmation” from the Hamas terror organization in response to its most recent hostages-for-ceasefire proposal, Doha’s Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday night, according to Al-Jazeera.

“Israel agreed to the ceasefire proposal, and we have initial positive confirmation from Hamas,” the Qatari state-owned network cited Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari as saying.

However, a political source in Jerusalem told Ynet that Israel had not received any official update from Qatar. Israel’s War Cabinet was scheduled to meet on Thursday night at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv to discuss the recent developments in the negotiations.

The Jewish state agreed to a framework for a renewed deal to secure the release of some hostages in exchange for a ceasefire earlier this week, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Hamas was considering the offer, the Post said, citing officials familiar with the negotiations.

All civilians would reportedly be released over an initial six-week period, with soldiers and the bodies of dead hostages returned in subsequent stages.

Israel would agree to commute the sentences of an unspecified number of Palestinian terrorists from prison for each hostage. The agreement would also reportedly include “a temporary repositioning of Israeli troops away from high-population areas” in the Gaza Strip.
Caroline Glick: The New Hostage Deal EXPLAINED & Why It Means Israel's Defeat
A new framework is being negotiated for a hostage release in exchange for a prisoner release, aid, and a temporary ceasefire. Will this mean defeat for Israel and the end of the fighting of Hamas in Gaza? Can Netanyahu withstand the international pressure? What is the US endgame with this and other policies in the Middle East?

US sanctions four Israelis it accuses of ‘extremist settler violence’
The Biden administration issued an executive order sanctioning “persons undermining peace, security and stability in the West Bank,” citing “high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages and property destruction.”

Adopting what it calls a “holistic approach” to the Middle East regional crisis, the White House named four sabras, or native-born Israelis, whom it is sanctioning: David Chai Chasdai of Givat Ronen; Yinon Levi of Meitarim Farm; Einan Tanjil of Kiryat Ekron; and Shalom Zicherman of Mitzpe Yair.

Chasdai was placed under administrative detention last year after being suspected of participating in a riot in the Arab town Huwara on Feb. 26, in retribution for a terrorist attack that killed two Israelis earlier that day in the same town. A Palestinian civilian was killed in the riot.

The U.S. State Department suspects Levi, who reportedly runs Meitarim Farm, of leading a group of settlers that “engaged in actions creating an atmosphere of fear,” including carrying out attacks against Palestinian and Bedouin civilians in the village of Khirbet Zanuta and destroying their property.

Tanjil was involved in assaulting Palestinian farmers and Israeli “human-rights activists” with stones and clubs, per the department.

The State Department alleges that video evidence shows that Zicherman assaulted “Israeli activists and their vehicles in the West Bank, blocking them on the street and attempting to break the windows of passing vehicles with activists inside.” He “cornered at least two of the activists and injured both,” the department alleges.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order comes under growing political pressure, including from members of his own Democratic Party, to be more evenhanded—in their view—in dealing with Israel as it continues its military operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu to UN envoys: ‘UNRWA totally infiltrated with Hamas’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a visiting delegation of United Nations ambassadors on Wednesday that “UNRWA is totally infiltrated with Hamas.”

Furthermore, the premier called to replace the U.N. agency because it intergenerationally perpetuates the Palestinian “refugee” issue, preventing Israel-Palestinian peace.

He hosted the group at his office in Jerusalem. The visitors represented Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Romania, Sierra Leone, Slovenia and Ukraine. They were accompanied by Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Gilad Erdan, who is taking them on a tour of the country for the first time since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

“I think it’s time that the international community and the U.N. itself understand that UNRWA’s mission has to end. UNRWA is self-perpetuating,” Netanyahu told the diplomats.

“It is self-perpetuating also in its desire to keep alive the Palestinian refugee issue. And we need to get other U.N. agencies and other aid agencies replacing UNRWA if we’re going to solve the problem of Gaza as we intend to do. There are other agencies in the U.N. There are other agencies in the world. They have to replace UNRWA,” he continued.

“UNRWA is totally infiltrated with Hamas,” the prime minister said. “It has been in the service of Hamas and its schools, and in many other things. I say this with great regret because we hoped that there would be an objective and constructive body to offer aid. We need such a body today in Gaza. But UNRWA is not that body. It has to be replaced by some organization or organizations that will do that job.”
26 State AGs Press Biden Admin To End All Funding for Hamas-Tied UNRWA
A coalition of 26 state attorneys general are pressing congressional leaders to halt all American funding for the United Nations’ Palestinian aid group amid revelations the agency’s employees helped Hamas carry out an unprecedented attack on Israel.

"It is time for Congress to stop funding this organization that rapes, murders, and kidnaps innocents—and that has shown it has no willingness, desire, or capacity to stick to humanitarian aid and away from supporting antisemitism and terrorism," the attorneys general wrote in a letter sent Thursday to Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Funding for the U.N.’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the most prominent humanitarian organization working in the Gaza Strip, has been in the spotlight since Israeli intelligence agencies disclosed last week that at least 12 of the group’s employees participated in Hamas’s Oct. 7 rampage through Israel, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis. Congress is already considering several measures to suspend more than $1 billion in funding for UNRWA, and the letter from the state attorneys general is likely to add urgency to these efforts.

Led by Iowa attorney general Brenna Bird (R.) and South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson (R.), the letter tells Congress, "there is no reason to fund organizations that support terrorist operations. It is abundantly clear, and has been for some time, that UNRWA does just that."

While the Biden administration temporarily paused U.S. funding to UNRWA pending an investigation, it has also praised the aid group’s relief efforts in war-torn Gaza as critical, indicating the funding could resume once public outrage abates. The United States is slated to award at least $371 million in additional funding to the aid organization throughout this year.

UNRWA, the state attorneys general say, "is a multi-decade failed experiment and there is no justification to continue sending good money after bad. The United States must end financial contributions to UNRWA, both in the future and currently scheduled to be paid."

UNRWA's Malign Agenda: Hillel Neuer on CNN With Bianna Golodryga
UNRWA is part of the problem, not the solution, says UN Watch's Hillel Neuer.

Hamas-infested' UNRWA is 'tainted with terrorism': Hillel Neuer
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer unpacks his perspective on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency amid allegations of terror ties. With John Roberts on Fox News, January 31, 2024.

Envoy for combating anti-Semitism calls for ‘dismantling’ of UNRWA amid funding debacle
Israel’s Special Envoy for Combating Anti-Semitism Michal Cotler-Wunsh says UNRWA “must be dismantled” after the funding debacle surrounding the Hamas October 7 terror attacks.

“This is a critical question to be asking ourselves, actually in democracies around the world that have been funding UNRWA for decades,” Ms Cotler-Wunsh told Sky News host Sharri Markson.

“Knowing that it directly supports terror.

“We’ve seen the infrastructure that Hamas built with international humanitarian aid.

“Let’s be clear, UNRWA is a singular refugee agency that was created only, solely, for Palestinians – UNRWA must be dismantled.”

UNRWA Says It Could Shut Down After US Pulls Funding Over Terror Links

Seth Frantzman: Can the Iranian initiative in the Middle East be reversed? - analysis
The challenge for the US, Israel and partner countries is how to seize the initiative from Iran. Iran is able to attack locations of its choosing over an arc of several thousand miles.

The arc begins in the Mediterranean where Hezbollah has targeted energy facilities off Israel’s coast, and the arc goes into Lebanon and along the Israel-Lebanon border, then over the Golan into Syria to Tanf where US forces are present, and down to Albukamal in the Middle Euphrates River Valley. There the arc includes US forces along the Euphrates river in places like Green Village and Conoco and Shadadi, which is up a tributary; and then the arc proceeds across Iraq to Erbil and Asad air base in western Iraq, before it goes down to the Persian Gulf and out past the straits of Hormuz around Yemen to the Bab el Mandeb straits and the Red Sea and to Eilat and then Gaza.

Iran can choose any place on this massive arc to attack. It has long range capabilities now. showcased with the Shahed drones and Khaiber-Sheykan missile it recently used to target northwest Syria.

As such Iran and its proxies can target anywhere within a 1,500-2,000 km. range of their forces. They decide when to attack. In most cases there may be a response. However, as in the case of Jordan, the response may take time. Iran then shifts its forces or its focus to another arena or frontline.

Unlike most wars in history where there is a clear frontline or a clear adversary, Iran has created so many proxies and so many places to threaten that it can pop up and then disappear at will. Because most people do not want a large regional war, there is no impetus to dismantle the whole threat.

The question then is not whether the whole Iranian proxy octopus can be dismantled, but whether Israel, the US and others will seize the initiative. Iran has been dictating the tempo since October 7. Whether it directly planned October 7 and set the date or merely planned it with Hamas and let Hamas choose the date, is unclear.

However, the fact that Iran was able to key in Hezbollah attacks on October 8 and then expand the war to Yemen and cause almost 200 attacks in Iraq and Syria, along with 2,000 rockets fired by Hezbollah and dozens of drone and missile attacks by the Houthis, shows how rapidly Iran was able to take advantage of October 7 and manifest the threat regionally.

Seth Frantzman: Gaza War: Israel’s Next Choice Could Be Its Hardest Yet
Herein lies the challenges for Israel as a new phase arrives. There are diminishing returns in Gaza. The IDF wants to defeat Hamas. However, it has transitioned to a more low-intensity conflict, partly in the wake of American and international calls for lower civilian casualties in the war. If the IDF estimates are correct and Hamas lost half its strength, will it lose another half of what remains in the next month or two of fighting? That remains to be seen.

In addition, the IDF and the Israeli public want to see the return of more than 100 hostages held in Gaza. On the diplomatic front, Egypt has publicly opposed an incursion into Rafah by the IDF because it would bring Israeli forces close to the border. This border area has long been a place where Hamas seeks to smuggle weapons into Gaza. If Hamas does not collapse, or a hostage deal does not take place, the next phase of operations in Gaza will lead in directions that will be complex for the IDF, both on the battlefield and on the diplomatic front.

Meanwhile, in northern Israel, Hezbollah continues its attacks. On the evening of January 29, the IDF said that “fighter jets carried out airstrikes on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, two hours after an earlier strike. The targets included Hezbollah’s infrastructure and an observation post located in the southern Lebanese areas of Markaba, Taybeh, and Maroun El Ras.” The IDF noted that these strikes came after several “incidents” in which projectiles were launched from Lebanon. “These activities by Hezbollah represent a breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701. The IDF remains committed to protecting Israel’s borders from any threats,” the IDF Telegram account announced.

Hezbollah has launched more than 2,000 rockets from Lebanon into Israel since October 7, according to the IDF. Hezbollah also carries out anti-tank guided missile (ATMG) attacks and uses drones to attack Israel. The drone attacks are similar to the attacks that Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria have also carried out against U.S. forces. For instance, on January 27, Iranian-backed militias killed three U.S. soldiers in Jordan in a drone attack. The Hezbollah threats to northern Israel are part of the wider attacks that Iran has indirectly launched in the region, including in Iraq and Syria, as well as Yemen, where Houthi militants have targeted shipping in the Red Sea.

Israel’s choices in the north are complex. While Israel’s Chief of Staff recently said the likelihood of war in the north with Hezbollah was higher than in the past, Israel prefers a diplomatic solution where Hezbollah agrees to withdraw some of its forces from the border.

On both the Gaza front and the northern front, Israel will be entering its fifth month of war with many of the challenges unresolved and key questions unanswered.
Israel's Military Challenges - Yonah Jeremy Bob, Senior Military Correspondent, Jerusalem Post
An update on Israel’s military challenges, in Gaza, the Lebanese border and from Iran, provided by one of the most well-informed people.

Yonah Jeremy Bob is The Jerusalem Post’s senior military correspondent and intelligence analyst.

Yonah is also an author of several books and is well-connected to top Israeli ministries from his former posts in the IDF, the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry.

Yonah's book, 'Target Tehran' is available at Amazon

Hundreds of anti-Gaza aid activists block trucks at Ashdod Port
After the Israeli army, in response to protests, declared the areas surrounding two border crossings where aid for Gaza is inspected closed military zones, hundreds of activists on Thursday moved their operations to Ashdod Port, where they halted the departure of trucks destined for the Strip.

Among the demonstrators was Religious Zionism Party lawmaker Tzvi Sukkot as well as families of some of the 136 hostages still being held by Hamas, relatives of soldiers killed in action, reservists rotated out of combat and civilians evacuated from the Gaza and Lebanon frontiers.

“I came to support and strengthen the hostages’ families and mothers of soldiers at their just protest against letting in the aid trucks that will reach Hamas,” tweeted Sukkot, charging that “assisting the enemy during wartime is a moral and ethical stain.”

Protest groups started to gather at the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza late last week, prompting the Israel Defense Forces to declare the area a closed zone on Sunday. Three days later, the IDF did the same for the Nitzana border crossing with Egypt.

The ongoing protests have also led to several arrests, including that of Yehuda Dee at Kerem Shalom on Wednesday. Yehuda Dee is the son of Lucy Dee, whom a Hamas terrorist murdered in the Jordan Valley on April 7, 2023, along with her daughters Maia and Rina.

As the protests continued to gain steam over the weekend, Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster reported that Biden administration officials demanded Israel ensure that aid continues to flow into Gaza.
Hundreds of Israeli homes damaged by Hezbollah strikes since war began
The Defense Ministry on Thursday announced that 427 houses of northern residents have had structural damage by Hezbollah rockets and anti-tank missiles since October.

Some 80 of the houses have experienced direct hits and much greater damage.

Around 80,000 northern residents evacuated their homes in October under fire by Hezbollah once the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza started.

Defense Ministry Director-General Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir, visited northern Israeli towns and farms along the Lebanese border on Wednesday to see firsthand the state of damage and the announcement was timed to his visit.

Yediot Ahronot published similar, but different numbers on Thursday, stating that based on figures it obtained from Israel's Tax Authority were over 500 damaged houses.

US concludes drone that killed American troops was made in Iran
The United States has assessed that Iran manufactured the drone that slammed into a US base in Jordan over the weekend, killing three US soldiers and wounding more than 40, four US officials tell Reuters.

Washington has blamed the attack — the first to kill US troops in the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October — on Iran-backed militias. But it has also said it ultimately holds Iran responsible, given its support for the organizations.

While the initial indications were that the drone was likely Iranian, a formal assessment was made only recently after recovering fragments of the drone.

The officials, who speak on condition of anonymity, do not disclose details of the model of the drone.
IRGC pulls officers from Syria after Israeli-attributed airstrikes
Tehran has removed senior officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from Syria following a series of deadly aerial attacks attributed to Israel, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing five sources familiar with the matter.

Instead, the IRGC will manage its Syria operations remotely along with the assistance of its Lebanese terror proxy, Hezbollah, three sources said. One source, described by the news agency as “a senior regional security official briefed by Tehran,” said that senior Iranian commanders and dozens of mid-ranking officers left Syria in a “downsizing of the presence.”

Another source said that “the Iranians won’t abandon Syria but they reduced their presence and movements to the greatest extent.”

However, the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel denied the Reuters report, quoting “reliable sources” saying that Iranian “advisers” have been asked to stay in Syria, but without their families.

The regime in Tehran has blamed Jerusalem for recent airstrikes that included a missile attack in December south of Damascus that killed Maj. Gen. Razi Mousavi. He was responsible for coordinating the “military” alliance between Iran and Syria and was reportedly involved in Tehran’s efforts to supply its terrorist proxies in the region with weapons, including Hezbollah.

Mousavi was a longtime confidante of Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the Quds Force commander killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq in 2020.

Houthi Cruise Missile Came Within Seconds of Hitting USS Gravely

Armed man takes hostages in Turkey in protest of Israel's war in Gaza

Sheryl Sandberg questions ‘humanity’ of those who deny October 7 rapes
Former Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg has questioned the humanity of deniers of Hamas sexual crimes on October 7.

The former COO of Meta and Facebook, said she had travelled to the UK with “two very brave women to bear witness on what they and their colleagues have seen with their own eyes.

“The intention of sexual violence is to generate fear, instead we must generate justice. The unfathomable must not go unpunished, we owe that to the victims of the past, the victims of today, and to prevent victims of the future.

“If we can’t agree that rape is wrong; that rape is not resistance, that rape is freedom fighting, then the question becomes not what is happening in the Middle East but what is happening to our humanity?” she said.

The remark was made during an event in Parliament hosted by Labour Peer Lord John Mendelsohn.

Cherie Blair, who also attended the event, said that she was “ashamed” that some people in the UK “don’t want to hear” about the allegations of rape just because “it interferes with a narrative,”

The barrister and wife of former prime minister Tony Blair noted that she had grown up in the era following the Nuremburg Trials and was “very proud” of the role Britain played in that, and where the world said, ‘Never Again’.

She said: “But I’m ashamed it seems like at the moment we’re ignoring all that, here in our country people don’t want to hear that this is happening, because it interferes with a narrative of the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’. But life isn’t just good or bad.”

She added, “When bad things happen it happens to people, human beings, and if we can say it doesn’t matter then we are treating people less, and for that we should be ashamed.

“The Jewish community in this country are walking around frightened and it’s not right, we cannot just put this to one side and say it doesn’t matter. It does matter, and we must speak out.”

Advisers to families of hostages held in Gaza backed by Qatari funding
Some of the families trying to free their loved ones held hostage by Hamas in Gaza are getting advice from individuals and entities that have received funding from Qatar, Daniel reports — an unusual arrangement given Qatar’s role as one of the chief mediators between Hamas and Israel and that the country is home to Hamas’ political leadership.

— As hostage families work to keep their relatives in the news and urge the Qataris to get Hamas to release them, a consultant working for the Qataris, Jay Footlik, has also met with the families in both Washington and Israel to prep them for their meetings with Qatari officials and also help organize them, according to two people familiar with the matter.

— Footlik’s consulting firm ThirdCircle Inc. has been registered under FARA since 2019 to help arrange trips to Qatar for American elected officials on behalf of the Qatari Embassy, which pays the firm $40,000 per month, according to filings with the Justice Department.

— Footlik, a former special assistant to former President Bill Clinton and liaison to the American Jewish community, told PI his work with the hostage families began because he had a long-standing relationship with Israeli businessperson Eytan Stibbe, who asked for his assistance since Footlik had relationships with Qatar.

— He said that he then contacted Qatari ambassador Meshal Al-Thani and asked if he would meet a relative of several of the Israeli hostages, Avichai Brodutch. Al-Thani immediately agreed and soon asked Footlik to help facilitate direct communication with hostage family members who wanted to meet with Qatari officials, he said.

— “Since that initial meeting with Avichai Brodutch, we have been working tirelessly, really around the clock, at the request of Israeli families being held to meet with Qatari officials, and I’m proud of the work that I’m doing. If it saves even one life, it’s all worth it,” he said in an interview. “The Qataris have been instrumental in working with the U.S., the Israelis and others to secure the release of the first 109 to come out, and I think it’s natural to come back to ask them to continue to use their relationships to try to bring everybody home.”

— The hostage negotiating group Richardson Center for Global Engagement, which the late New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson founded, has also received significant amounts of money from Qatar. Mickey Bergman, the vice president of the center, has also been a frequent adviser to many of the families and has reportedly advised them to not criticize Qatar.

— The Richardson Center said the partnership began in Qatar with an initial contribution in 2019 of $900,000 that helped the organization increase its capacity and get more hostages home. That same level continued for 2020 before declining; the last donation was $250,000 in early 2023.

Victims of Hamas attack in Israel and their families blame Iran in new federal lawsuit
A group of U.S. citizens filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday charging that the Hamas-led massacre in Israel on Oct. 7, which killed 1,200 people and injured thousands more, was “masterminded and funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Among the 67 plaintiffs are people who were injured or taken hostage, as well as family members of those who were murdered.

“Iran bears direct responsibility for the October 7 Attacks,” according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “Indeed, that point is essentially undisputed. The Iranian regime has openly flaunted its motive for aiding the horrors.”

While it’s not clear what role Iran played in the attacks, a former U.S. intelligence and military officer said in October that the sophisticated tactics Hamas used to attack Israel indicated Iran most likely played a significant role in the multipronged assault.

In what appears to be the first attempt to hold it legally accountable for the bloody surprise attack that sparked the current war in Gaza, the plaintiffs contend that Iran, the “sworn enemy of Israel and the United States,” used Hamas to sabotage the ongoing diplomatic attempts to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“As potential Israeli normalization with Saudi Arabia progressed, Iran prepared to reset the regional balance, including by attempting to unite Arab states around the Palestinian cause,” says the lawsuit, brought by the law firm Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart and Sullivan LLP.

Iran’s Mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“We expect to prove our case by several means, including affidavits from our clients as well as reports from experts on Iran and terror financing,” attorney Alex Spiro said in a statement to NBC News.

According to a State Department report, “Country Reports on Terrorism 2021,” “Hamas has received funding, weapons, and training from Iran and raises funds in Persian Gulf countries.”

‘Mothers of IDF Soldiers’ converges on US Embassy, demands end to Gaza aid
Israeli grassroots movement Mothers of IDF Soldiers, together with the IDF Reservists movement, gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday to demand an end to humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“We support the Israeli government’s decision to wage war and eradicate Hamas and we are grateful and appreciative of the sacrifices our soldiers make on a daily basis to protect the State of Israel,” Mirit Hoffman, an English-language spokeswoman for Mothers of IDF Soldiers, told JNS.

“We do not support sending humanitarian aid, otherwise known as Hamas aid, to Gaza,” she added. “Since the Biden administration has been putting pressure on the Israeli government to do so, we are going to the source,” she added.

Last month, a Palestinian woman went viral for telling an Al Jazeera reporter that Hamas was diverting humanitarian aid entering Gaza into its tunnel system for distribution to terrorists. U.N. and USAID sacks have been used by Hamas to construct terror tunnels in Gaza, and fuel and humanitarian aid have been stolen from UNRWA compounds by truck drivers believed to be from the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

Nevertheless, the U.N. Security Council on Dec. 22 passed a resolution—the U.S. abstained instead of vetoing the motion—to speed and scale up humanitarian aid to the Strip.

Founded during the 2014 Israel-Hamas war (“Operation Protective Edge”), Mothers of IDF Soldiers consists of 7,000 mothers and other supporters of Israeli troops, who oppose American pressure to prioritize the safety of Palestinians in Gaza over that of Israeli forces.

This is what happens when you cross into Israel: Jonathan Conricus | Visegrad24 Podcast
Visegrad24 presents an in-depth series covering the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. This comprehensive series features on-the-ground interviews, bringing firsthand insights from a diverse range of voices, including politicians, professors, journalists, experts and influencers.

Our guest today: Jonathan Conricus: Former IDF spokesperson.

The World is Chamberlain: Fleur Hassan-Nahoum | Visegrad24 Podcast
Visegrad24 presents an in-depth series covering the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. This comprehensive series features on-the-ground interviews, bringing firsthand insights from a diverse range of voices, including politicians, professors, journalists, experts and influencers.

Our guest today: Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem.

0:00 Introduction
1:08 Media Treatment of Israel-Hamas Conflict
2:39 Israel's Response
4:57 Jewish Community's Global Contributions
7:02 Jewish and Palestinian Refugee Comparison
8:03 Academia's Influence on Political Discourse
12:33 Role of UN and UNRWA in Middle Eastern Politics
16:48 Closing Remarks and Future Aspirations

The Israel Guys: How On Earth Is HAMAS Still Shooting Rockets At Israel?!
Even with over half of Hamas’ fighting force either eliminated or wounded, Hamas was still able to fire a barrage of rockets towards Israel the other day. My question is, how on earth are they still firing rockets and why is the world still calling for a ceasefire?!

Also an epic video of Israeli undercover operatives taking out terrorists in Jenin.

Piers Morgan vs Ben Shapiro on Facts, Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, Elon Musk And More
Ben Shapiro joins Piers Morgan Uncensored to discuss IDF soldiers dressing as civilians to kill three militants in a hospital, his visit to Auschwitz with Elon Musk, whether Taylor Swift might swing the election towards Joe Biden and his newfound career as a rap megastar.

He also responds to comments made about him on previous episodes of Piers Morgan Uncensored by Bassem Youssef and Andrew Tate.

Plus, Piers reveals that he had an interview set up with Elon Musk in Texas earlier this month - and tells Ben the reason Musk cancelled on him just two days prior, telling him "I've lost all respect for you."

Palestinian ambassador refuses to answer questions about Hamas
“History did not begin on the 7th of October.”

Palestinian ambassador Husam Zomlot refuses to answer questions about Hamas.

NYT's Friedman says US mulling recognizing Palestinian state as part of 'big' shift The Commentary Magazine Podcast: Taylor, Travis, and the Totalitarians
Hosted by Abe Greenwald, Christine Rosen, John Podhoretz & Matthew Continetti
Today’s podcast looks at the relationship between superstars Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce and expresses both annoyance at their omnipresence and disgust at the effort by MAGA to turn their relationship into something pernicious and evil. And speaking of pernicious, what about the latest American “peace plan” as laid out by Thomas “I Talked to a Cab Driver” Friedman?
Three Martini Lunch PodCast: Biden & Palestinian Statehood, Tlaib Rejects Ban on Hamas Entering the U.S., D.C. Officials Flunk Crime 101
Hosted by Greg Corombos & Jim Geraghty
First, they fume as the Biden administration is reportedly considering public recognition of a Palestinian state, possibly with no conditions whatsoever. Whether it’s really under consideration or just a diplomatic tool to pressure Israel, Jim and Greg explain why this is a terrible idea.

Then they groan as far left radicals Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush are the only two House members to oppose a resolution barring members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad from coming to the U.S. – as well as anyone else proven to be part of the October 7th attacks against Israel.
Penny Wong must resign
Following that article, and after appearing on Outsiders on Sky News Australia with the editor of this magazine, Rowan Dean, Dr Adler went to Canberra with further visual evidence of Australian taxpayer funded bodies’ involvement in terror, where, with the help of Senators Eric Abetz, David Leyonhjelm, Pauline Hanson, James Paterson and others he persuaded Ms Bishop and the Coalition government to redirect ten million dollars of funding. On 2 July 2018, in a media release awash with diplo-jargon, Ms Bishop explained that, ‘Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organisation to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values.’ In other words, we will not fund ‘pay for slay’. Commendably, in the 2020 Budget, the Coalition went even further, halving DFAT funding to UNRWA from $20 million to $10 million.

And so it remained until Labor won office in 2022, when, without any apparent hesitation, that reduction in funding was fully re-instated by Foreign Minister Penny Wong. Then, following the barbaric terror attacks of 7 October, Australian aid to the Palestinians was again further increased by many tens of millions with six million dollars earmarked specifically for UNRWA. After an outcry, Ms Wong made the ludicrous claim that she had told the Palestinians that the money must not be used to fund terror. What a joke.

Last week, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal revealed horrendous details about the direct involvement of UNRWA employees, teachers and others in the 7 October murders, rapes and kidnappings. ‘UNRWA’s problem is not just “a few bad apples” involved in the 7 October massacre,’ a senior Israeli official said. ‘The institution as a whole is a haven for Hamas’ radical ideology.’ The intelligence reports cited claimed that nearly 50 per cent of all UNRWA employees had close relatives with official ties to Hamas or other militant outfits and one-in-four male employees took part in Hamas activities.

The following questions must be answered: What risk assessment did Penny Wong or her department undertake before she reinstated (and then increased) Australian aid to UNRWA and other Palestinian bodies? And: Who provided the advice to Penny Wong that DFAT’s and Julie Bishop’s determination that Australian tax dollars risked being used to fund terror no longer applied in 2022?
Australia 'going slow' on Israel arms export requests
The Australian government is dragging its feet processing weapons requests from Israel, according to a report in Australian news outlet The ABC.

"There appears to be a deliberate 'go slow' happening on anything to do with Israel while the war in Gaza continues," an anonymous defense industry insider is quoted as saying. "Nobody in the government wants to be seen to be either approving or rejecting Israeli military sales."

"I think Defence [Ministry] is wedged on this because the government will be saying they are not approving military exports to Israel but also telling Defence not to process them," another industry representative was quoted as saying, indicating that the government to stall ruling one way or another.

Israeli diplomats have reportedly raised this issue with Australian officials, ABC reported. The Israeli embassy declined to comment.

Australia is not a major exporter of weapons to Israel, but Australian companies do produce raw materials used by some arms manufacturers in Israel, and, in the other direction, Australia does import military materials from Israel.

The government of Australia, led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, of the country's Labor Party, has come under criticism by the country's left-wing for reported military support for Israel, although the administration says that the country has not "supplied weapons" to Israel for at least five years.

If an individual provides funds to a terrorist organisation they go to jail. Penny Wong must resign, and those at DFAT or Home Affairs who failed in their duties to the taxpayer must resign too.
Peter Dutton slams Penny Wong for ‘untenable’ position amid UNRWA debacle Opposition Leader Peter Dutton slammed Foreign Minister Penny Wong for her now “untenable” position after the UNRWA debacle, Sky News host Sharri Markson says.

“Opposition Leader Peter Dutton today said that Foreign Minister Penny Wong’s position is untenable,” Ms Markson said.

“After revelations Australia gave funding to a United Nations agency after warnings that it was linked to the October 7 terror attacks.

“The anti-Israel bias within UNRWA ... is evident.

“Through their infiltration of Hamas.”

UNRWA’s reputation ‘irredeemable’: Staffers accused of contributing to Oct 7 attacks
Former Labor MP Michael Danby says UNRWA’s reputation is “irredeemable” after Israel alleged staffers of the organisation contributed to the horrific October 7 attacks.

Australia as well as New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States were among many of the nations which halted funding to the organisation following the accusations.

“If we want to end the crisis of fantasization, and if we want to have a solution between the two people, there’s got to be a different way of managing the Palestinian aid from the UN,” he told Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

“It should be done like all other refugees from the UNHCR, a reputable organisation whose hierarchy can’t be intimidated because it’s all over the world.

“So it’s not just in the Gaza Strip or in the West Bank.”

Penny Wong needs to look at the ‘burning ship’ of UNRWA
Former Labor MP Michael Danby says Foreign Minister Penny Wong needs to look at the “burning ship” of UNRWA.

UNRWA is facing huge scrutiny after Israel accused the organisation of having staff members who contributed to the October 7 attacks from Hamas.

“UNHCR is a reputable organisation that works in every country on Earth, in the meantime the World Food Programme, and other UN agencies are there,” he told Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

“I don’t think UNRWA can be disbanded straight away but if we want to long term solution between the two people, Penny Wong and people like her, the Oxfam whingers who are on the ABC putting one-sided point of view about UNRWA, have to look at the burning ship.

“UNRWA is a ship that has associated itself with the Hamas attacks.”

We Didn't Think The Squad Could Disgrace Themselves Any Further. They Proved Us Wrong.
The radical left-wing lawmakers who comprise "The Squad" have consistently behaved in a manner that can only be described as shameful and un-American. We honestly didn't think it was possible for them to disgrace themselves any further, but the events of this past week proved us wrong.

Shockingly enough, none of these recent developments involved Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), the recently censured congresswoman who is best known for her anti-Semitic outbursts. Here's a look at what Tlaib's fellow Squad members have been up to lately:

Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.)
The Department of Justice is investigating Bush for misusing congressional and campaign funds to pay her enormous private security bill, which has been the subject of extensive reporting in the Washington Free Beacon.

It was only a matter of time before the feds took action. Bush's security spending—more than $750,000 since 2019, including $152,000 to her personal friend and anti-Semitic spiritual guru who claims to posses the power to summon tornadoes—was so egregious the authorities could only ignore it for so long.

Bush's extravagant personal security budget is at odds with her support for defunding the police. She has urged critics of her security spending to "suck it up." The Squad member denied any wrongdoing in a statement released Tuesday, which claimed her spending was justified due to "relentless threats" to her life and safety.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.)
This week we learned the renegade lawmaker promoted 9/11 conspiracy theories in a poem published on the personal blog he operated from 2011 to 2014. In the rambling poem, titled "Recapitulate," Bowman implied the terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the United States government as a pretext for invading Iraq and Afghanistan.

"2001/Planes used as missiles/Target: The Twin Towers," Bowman wrote in one stanza. "Later in the day/Building 7/Also Collaspsed [sic]/Hmm…/Multiple explosions/Heard before/And during the collapse/Hmm…" the poem reads. "Allegedly/Two other planes/The Pentagon/Pennsylvania/Hijacked by terrorist/Minimal damage done/Minimal debris found/Hmmm…"

Bowman's poem also cites two conspiratorial "documentaries" about the 9/11 attacks that promote similar theories about the U.S. government's involvement and allege a global plot by international financiers to control the world. Before his work as a poet came to light, Bowman was best known for pulling a fire alarm (and lying about it) in order to obstruct an official proceeding on Capitol Hill.
Tlaib, Cori Bush vote to allow Oct. 7 attackers into US
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 422-2 on Wednesday to deny entry into the United States to non-U.S. citizen members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad who attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) introduced H.R. 6679, the “No Immigration Benefits for Hamas Terrorists Act,” which drew dissenting votes from Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.), two leftist members of the so-called “Squad.” Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) voted “present.”

“Any alien who carried out, participated in, planned, financed, afforded material support to or otherwise facilitated any of the attacks against Israel initiated by Hamas beginning on Oct. 7, 2023, is inadmissible,” the bill reads.

“H.R. 6679 is unnecessary because it is redundant with already existing federal law,” Tlaib said. “It’s just another GOP messaging bill being used to incite anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim hatred that makes communities like ours unsafe.”

Bush said: “I opposed H.R. 6679 because it is a redundant, empty messaging bill Republicans are using to target immigrants and incite anti-Palestinian hate. Republicans have zero credibility on these issues.”

In a November resolution affirming Israel’s right to exist, Tlaib voted “present,” while Bush did not vote.

Daniel Greenfield: Chicago, Where 148 Were Shot This Month, Demands ‘Ceasefire’ in Israel
At least Mayor Brandon Johnson is consistent. He opposes the police fighting crime in Chicago and he opposes Israeli soldiers fighting Hamas.

The Chicago mayor knows who elected him and it sure as hell wasn’t the voters of the city, but the organized political machine of the Left, the unions and canvassers, the radicals who hate police and want the city to burn. In a recent poll, only 21% of Chicago voters approve of the job Johnson is doing running the city into the ground while 70% rated him poorly.
Only 7% of those surveyed rated Johnson’s performance as mayor as “excellent” with another 14% rating it as “good.” The remaining 69% either rated Johnson’s performance “only fair” (27%) or “poor” (43%) or said they “didn’t know” (10%). Among Black men, 14% rated Johnson’s performance as “excellent or good,” with 67% branding the work he’s done as mayor as “fair or poor.” Johnson got a “fair or poor” job rating from 75% of white registered voters surveyed and 69% of Latinos questioned.

A previous poll had him at 28%, only 1% ahead of Lightfoot’s low, but now he’s below that.

So Johnson is pandering to his real electorate which loves Hamas and wants to see more dead Jews. And so he made sure to get a resolution passed for a “ceasefire”: a misleading term for letting Hamas kill Jews while Israel is not allowed to fight back.

In an ugly mob scene in Chicago, Muslim terrorist supporters jeered Ald. Debra Silverstein, Chicago’s only Jewish city councilor, when she told the truth about the big lie of a ‘ceasefire’.

In the end, Mayor Johnson cast the tie-breaking vote to oppose Israel’s campaign against Hamas.

Amid threats, arson, pro-Israel UK minister won’t seek re-election
Mike Freer, U.K. minister for courts and legal services, announced his decision to step down at the next general election, citing a series of death threats and an arson attack on his constituency office.

A vocal supporter of Israel, Freer has served as a member of Parliament for Finchley and Golders Green, a London constituency where around 20% of voters are Jews, since 2010. He told JNS recently that he intended to press on despite the intimidation.

The next British general election must be held no later than Jan. 28, 2025.

The Conservative Party politician told the Daily Mail on Thursday that he narrowly escaped a potentially fatal attack by Ali Harbi Ali, the man who later murdered Southend West MP Sir David Amess in 2021.

“There comes a point when the threats to your personal safety become too much,” said Freer, emphasizing that the safety of his family played a pivotal role in his decision to stand down.

Ali considered himself an affiliate of ISIS.

Freer, who is not Jewish, said that his public support for Israel has resulted in him being targeted by antisemitic groups and individuals.

Following Amess’s killing, Freer and his staff adopted precautionary measures, wearing stab vests during scheduled public events in his constituency.

“I was very lucky that on the day I was due to be in Finchley, I happened to change my plans and came into Whitehall. Otherwise, who knows whether I would have been attacked or survived an attack? He said he came to Finchley to attack me,” the parliamentarian said of Ali.
Mike Freer’s resignation should be a wake up call for us all
After the murders of Jo Cox and David Amess, we are only too aware that it only takes one person to take these things too far.

Our democracy will not survive if those who fail to win the argument by force of reason, turn to forms of violence and intimidation, subverting legitimate criticism.

Of course, protest is an important and integral part of our democratic culture. But there are limits when it is not the persuasiveness of the protest, but a resort to actual or implied violence, that becomes the main tactic.

Nobody should ever feel pushed out of politics due to safety fears. Democracy is fragile, and we must stand up to the bigots and bullies who seek to subvert it.

It is time to look again at the Public Order Act and policing powers. We may need to impose harsher penalties for actions or incitement to disrupt the political process. There should surely be greater enforcement of exclusion zones around MPs’ offices.

Perhaps we should pay for increased security for MPs, and maybe even some higher-profile councillors. Yes, it will be expensive. But the cost of losing our liberty will be far greater.

In the meantime, I am sure that I am not alone in wanting to thank Mike Freer for his service to our community, and to the country at large. He has been a real mensch.

January 4th: Two people charged with arson over fire at Golders Green MPs office
Two people have been charged with arson over a fire which started at the office of Golders Green MP Mike Freer.

On Christmas Eve, a fire was lit in a shed at the constiuency office of the Conservative MP. Police were called to the blaze at 7pm by the London Fire Brigade.

Paul Harwood, 42 and Zara Kasory, 32, both of no fixed address, were initially arrested on Wednesday over the incident.

The Met Police said that despite widespread community fears, the incident is not being treated as a hate crime.

Harwood and Kaory are due to appear at Willesden Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Speaking to the JC after the attack, Freer said he was “always worried if I'm going to come home each night”.

The MP, who wears stab vests at public events after previous threats, said he had recieved on an email following the fire that said he was “the kind of person who deserved to be set alight”.

He added: “I think obviously because I have such strong views on the Middle East, and I’m pro-Israel, this has led me to become a target.”

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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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