Friday, February 02, 2024

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: It’s Biden who’s playing politics with the Gaza war, not Bibi
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reputation as a master political schemer and a cynical seeker of power is so deeply embedded in the public consciousness that there is literally nothing he can do without being accused of acting only to seek some sort of advantage over his opponents. Yet in the current crisis as he seeks to lead his wobbly unity government to achieve what may well be two mutually exclusive objectives—the elimination of Hamas and the freeing of the remaining hostages still being kept captive in Gaza—while being besieged by criticism at home and abroad, it may be that Netanyahu is not the one who is really playing politics.

While no one should ever underestimate the prime minister’s capacity for maneuvering even at a time when, after the Oct. 7 disaster, the end of his career would seem to be in sight, it’s not he who is cynically using the hostage negotiations or the talk about what would follow the end of the war in Gaza to score political points. Whatever one may think of Netanyahu’s character or policies, or whether he should be forced out of office because of the catastrophe that occurred on his watch, the person who is playing politics with the security of Israel and the fate of its citizens is President Joe Biden.

Netanyahu probably still hopes to salvage his reputation and serve out the rest of his term after being returned to office in November 2022. But the widespread characterizations in both the Israeli and the international press of his stand on the hostage negotiations, the conduct of the war and what will happen in Gaza once the fighting ends, as merely another example of his desperate attempts to cling to office is largely inaccurate. He may be pursuing two goals that cannot both be achieved as well as clinging to his pre-war strategic objective of getting Saudi Arabia to normalize relations with Israel. Yet the real scheming going on right now is in Washington, not Jerusalem. It is Biden who is playing a double game in which he seems willing to ensure Hamas’s survival in power in order to settle scores with Netanyahu, as well as to defeat former President Donald Trump in November.

A hostage deal trap
That’s the context for the discussions about the latest proposal for a ceasefire and the release of 136 hostages—some living and some presumed dead—in which the double-dealing government of Qatar is playing a central role. Whether or not this effort, like previous ones, will be shot down by Hamas, Netanyahu will continue to face enormous pressure from both the families of the hostages and the United States to either pause or end the war.

Netanyahu’s government is currently beset by a host of domestic and foreign critics. The hostage families understandably want it to do anything to save their loved ones and will—like anyone in that awful position—demand concessions in the form of freeing terrorists or halting the Gaza campaign, whether or not it’s in the country’s best interests. They are being boosted by Netanyahu’s political foes. Most of the Israelis who spent the months before Oct. 7 demonstrating for Netanyahu’s ouster and against judicial reform have put politics aside in the name of a unified effort to defeat Hamas. But the hard-core anti-Bibi resistance has shown that, if given the opportunity, it will try to return to the streets with the aim of forcing the prime minister out of office.

At the same time, Netanyahu is also under fire from those Israelis who fault him for not prosecuting the war against Hamas more vigorously. In particular, they blame the prime minister for bowing to American and international pressure to allow aid to flow into parts of Gaza still under Hamas control, which, though ostensibly a humanitarian gesture, is almost certainly sustaining the terrorist forces and enabling them to continue to hold on. His right-wing critics are correct that the hostage deal is a trap for both Israel and Netanyahu.
Israeli ministers: Gaza hostage deal not coming soon, if ever
Israeli ministers said that no plan for a hostage release deal has been presented to the cabinet, stressing that any such deal isn't coming soon, if ever, N12 reported on Friday.

The ministers, who remained unnamed in the report, told N12 that "the feeling that the plan is coming is unfounded. The deal is still far away and it is not certain that it will come to fruition."

The ministers stressed that it would be very difficult if not impossible to get a deal approved if it includes a ceasefire for longer than a month, the release of terrorists with blood on their hands, and the release of large numbers of terrorists. The ministers added that the members of the cabinet are demanding to be involved in the continuation of negotiations.

Qatari Foreign Ministry says Hamas gave initial approval for hostage deal
The report comes after the Qatari Foreign Ministry said that Hamas had given its initial approval for a ceasefire and hostage deal in the Gaza Strip, although both Hamas and Israeli officials have stated that there is still a long way to go until a deal is reached.

Hamas was unlikely to reject a Gaza ceasefire proposal it received from mediators this week but will not sign it without assurances that Israel has committed to ending the war, a Palestinian official close to the talks said on Thursday.

Qatari and Egyptian mediators presented Hamas this week with the first concrete proposal for an extended halt to fighting in Gaza, agreed with Israel and the United States at talks in Paris last week. Hamas has said it is studying the text and preparing a response.

The Palestinian official said the Paris text envisions a first phase lasting 40 days, during which fighting would cease while Hamas freed remaining civilians from among more than 100 hostages it is still holding. Further phases would see the release of Israeli soldiers and the handover of the bodies of dead hostages.

"I expect that Hamas will not reject the paper, but it might not give a decisive agreement either," said the Palestinian official speaking on condition of anonymity.

"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."

The only pause in the fighting so far, at the end of November, lasted only a week.
John Bolton: Abolish UNRWA
The truly humanitarian strategy for Palestinians is to settle them in locations with sustainable economies. To that end, we should realize that Gaza is very different from the West Bank, and the futures of Palestinians should be separated accordingly. On the West Bank, there may well be prospects for long-term stability with the cooperation of Israel and Jordan. That possibility does not exist in Gaza. Assuming Israel and Jordan can agree on a political solution, circumstances on the West Bank are far better for long-term settlement of the existing Palestinian population than in Gaza, which is merely a high-rise, long-stay refugee camp.

Ironically, precisely because of the way prior enemies of Israel abused the Palestinians, there is enormous reluctance to accept them for resettlement. Egypt and Jordan, the real countries of first asylum, are the most vocal in rejecting the option. Indeed, no country in the Middle East has shown interest in permanent refugee resettlement. Surely, however, all can see that simply rebuilding Gaza is a guaranteed failure, perhaps leading quickly to a repetition of Oct. 7.

In any case, Israel is physically reshaping Gaza to ensure its own security, and new Israeli buffer zones and strong points are not going away soon. All parties with a stake in the conflict must accept that the two-state solution is dead. Not only is there no viable economic future in Gaza alone, but connecting it with an archipelago of Palestinian islands on the West Bank won’t improve prospects.

Abolishing UNRWA and replacing it with UNHCR will be difficult, but UNRWA may be collapsing under its own weight. Firing all UNRWA’s roughly 40,000 employees, well over 90% of whom are Palestinians, may be impossible, but whoever is reemployed must be vetted carefully and supervised for a probationary period before receiving job security. UNRWA’s mindset must be eliminated and replaced with UNHCR’s.

There must be a dramatic shift in expectations and policy objectives for the Palestinians as a matter of humanitarian priority, no matter how wrenching and disappointing. For decades, the two-state policy has been tried and failed. It’s time for a new direction.


JPost Editorial: Hamas is a threat to the entire world
In an analysis published in Foreign Policy, Colin P. Clarke, the director of research at an intelligence and security consulting firm based in New York City named The Soufan Group, observed that the scale and sophistication of the October 7 terrorist attacks led many counterterrorism analysts to revisit their assumptions about Hamas’s intent and capabilities. “And one of the biggest questions many have is whether the group, which has never launched a successful attack abroad in its 36-year existence, could transform into a global threat rather than simply remain a regional one,” he wrote.

Clarke pointed out that there had been several disrupted terrorist plots linked to Hamas. His analysis was published after seven members of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, were arrested in Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands in December on suspicion of preparing to carry out terrorist attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe.

“Hamas seems to be hoping that its ideology, its cause, and its brand will go global in much the same way the Islamic State’s did,” he wrote. “Its propaganda is resonating with broad swaths of Western publics, especially younger generations and many university students, who have turned out in large numbers at anti-Israel demonstrations and protests. Even if just a small fraction of these individuals become radicalized, it increases the likelihood of a lone-actor attack.”

Israeli terrorism expert Dr. Ely Karmon recently published an article for Reichman University’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) assessing Hamas’s threat in the international arena. While it seems, Karmon argues, that the Hamas military infrastructure in Gaza will ultimately be destroyed by Israel, even if it needs more time, Hamas could still launch terrorist attacks from Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Turkey, and of course, Iran.

“The probable fall of the Hamas regime will compel all Hamas leaders to find a haven from Israel’s wrath,” Karmon argues. “No doubt, Tehran could be one of the safest places for them to take refuge. This could also be the opportunity for both Hamas and Iran to cooperate and advance their anti-Israel and anti-Western strategy through a field in which Tehran has become a master: international terrorism.”

If October 7 sounded alarm bells in Israel, almost four months later, the rest of the world should be on the alert, too.


Canada considers sanctions on settlers in West Bank over violence
Canada is looking at imposing sanctions on "extremist" settlers in the West Bank, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday, a day after US action against four Israeli men accused of being involved in violence in the West Bank.

"We are looking into how to make sure that those responsible for extremist violence or extreme settler violence in the West Bank are held to account for it," Trudeau told reporters in Waterloo, Ontario.

Since the 1967 Middle East war, Israel has controlled the West Bank of the Jordan River, which Palestinians want as the core of an independent state. It has built Jewish settlements there that most countries deem illegal. Israel disputes this and cites historical and biblical ties to the land.

The West Bank had already seen its highest levels of unrest in decades during the 18 months before Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel, and confrontations there have risen sharply since Israeli forces launched their retaliatory offensive on Gaza.

"Violence in the West Bank is absolutely unacceptable and puts at risk peace, stability in the region and the path towards the two-state solution that is absolutely essential," Trudeau said.

Signs of the West's growing displeasure
Trudeau's comments add to signs of the West's growing displeasure with the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Thursday, US President Joe Biden issued an executive order that aims to punish ill-behaved Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians envisage a future state.

Britain, the European Union and more than a dozen partner countries including Australia and Canada have called on Israel to take immediate and concrete steps to tackle settler violence in the West Bank.


Group of Palestinian-Americans skip Blinken meeting over Biden admin’s support for Israel’s offensive in Gaza
A number of Palestinian-Americans refused to attend a roundtable meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday to discuss the situation in Gaza in protest against the Biden administration’s ongoing support for Israel’s offensive in the war-torn strip – a military campaign that has exacted a massive humanitarian toll.

“We do not know what more Secretary Blinken or President (Joe) Biden need to hear or see to compel them to end their complicity in this genocide,” several of those who rejected the invitation said in a press statement distributed by the non-profit Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).

“They show us every day whose lives they value and whose lives they consider disposable. We will not be attending this discussion which can only amount to a box-ticking exercise. Our families, our community and all Palestinians deserve better,” the signatories wrote.

“There is one thing that we, our community and countless others around the US and the world, including American unions representing nearly 8 million workers and at least 47 US cities, have been asking of this administration: to demand a permanent ceasefire to save Palestinians lives and stop the destruction of Gaza,” they wrote. “A meeting of this nature at this moment in time is insulting and performative.”

Blinken and other members of the Biden administration have called on Israel to do more to protect civilians and allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza. The officials, however, have continually rejected the idea of a ceasefire, instead advocating for “humanitarian pauses.”

Thursday’s meeting with Blinken comes amid continued outrage from many progressive Democrats, Muslim and younger voters about the administration’s handling of Gaza – opposition that poses a growing political problem for Biden. The refusal of several invitees to attend underscores the immense anger felt by many in the United States – including some within the federal government – over the toll from the conflict, which was launched following Hamas’ brutal attack on Israel on October 7. More than 26,000 have been killed, hundreds of thousands have been displaced, and Gaza is on the brink of famine. More than 200 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the offensive.

Six people did attend the meeting, a source familiar told CNN, and those who attended felt conflicted about doing so, but felt they should take advantage of the opportunity to speak to the need for urgent change in US policy toward Gaza.
UNRWA USA philanthropy director a late scratch from ‘Occupy Blinken’ event
A press release ahead of an “Occupy Blinken” protest Thursday morning outside the McLean, Va. home of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken listed Hani Almadhoun and Hazami Barmada as speakers.

Almadhoun is described as “director of philanthropy, UNRWA USA,” but “speaking in personal capacity as a Palestinian from Gaza with intimate knowledge of the situation in Gaza,” while Barmada, the press contact, was described as a “former U.N. consultant, humanitarian and social impact strategist,” as well as “Palestinian activist and Occupy Blinken lead.”

The release described the event as a “press conference” and claimed that its movement “is fully supported by Blinken’s neighbors.” As Blinken leaves his home daily, the protesters urge “him to halt unconditional U.S. military aid to Israel, that the group argues is fueling a genocide against Palestinian people” and demand “that the [sic] Blinken pursues a permanent cease-fire and facilitates delivery of life-saving aid to the people of Gaza,” per the release.

JNS sought comment from the United Nations about the participation of Almadhoun and Barmada. A source at the international body told JNS that Almadhoun had not received permission from his employer to participate and did not attend the event. Almadhoun asked that his name be removed from the speaking program, according to the U.N. source, and a subsequent version of the release did not list his name.

A U.N. spokesman told JNS that neither Almadhoun nor Barmada is an employee of the United Nations and the two are not bound by the body’s rules and regulations.

Almadhoun is philanthropy director at UNRWA USA, a nonprofit that collects funds to support the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the global body’s Palestinian-only refugee agency, which has come under fire for allegations that 12 of its employees participated directly in Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel. The Wall Street Journal reported that some 10% of UNRWA employees have ties to Palestinian terror groups.
Einat Wilf: For peace in the Middle East, UNRWA should be dismantled
To that end, UNRWA, a temporary agency, established with the best of intentions to help settle the 700,000 Arab refugees from the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-1949, was hijacked by the Arab refugees to serve their own purposes of keeping the war as an open case until it could be won to their goal of no Jewish state (the far greater number of Jewish refugees, from the war itself as well as those ethnically cleansed from the Arab world in revenge for Israel’s birth, were settled by Israel with no international assistance). Within two decades of its establishment, UNRWA became a Palestinian entity managed by Palestinians for Palestinians (with a thin top layer of donor-facing Europeans whose job is to ask for money). UNRWA became the education, healthcare and welfare system that ensured that the Palestinian people would continue to wait and fight for the Jewish state’s undoing, and never move on.

It should therefore come as no surprise that UNRWA gave rise to multiple Palestinian terrorists from perpetrators of the massacre of the Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics to the Oct. 7 massacre. Through UNRWA, Palestinians ensured that generation after generation was brought up to believe that Palestinians are still “refugees,” even though by any international standard only 1% to 5% of the 5.9 million refugees registered by UNRWA could be considered refugees. Through UNRWA, Palestinians ensured that generation after generation was raised to believe that Palestinians posses a “right of return” that supersedes Israeli sovereignty to settle inside it and thereby turn it into an Arab majority state, even though there is no such right of a people who were never citizens of a country to settle in that country against its sovereign will. Through UNRWA, Palestinians ensured that generation after generation was brought up on the idea that there was once a mythical Palestine, a Lost Paradise, that was stolen from the Arabs by evil white colonial crusader usurpers. Is it any surprise then that generation after generation of Palestinians has produced terrorist organizations determined to use all means of violence to “liberate” that land from the illegitimate presence called Israel?

Every effort to achieve a two-state solution, every Israeli proposal to establish a Palestinian state, was rebuffed precisely because Palestinians were led to believe that they possess a unique and exclusive right to all of the land “From the River to the Sea” and that the Jewish people have no right to be sovereign, even in a part of it. Worse, given that UNRWA has been supported by Western donors, funneling billions of dollars into its system, generation after generation of Palestinians were led to believe that the West supports their perpetual refugeehood and goal of “return.”

The conflict in the region was always about one thing, the total Arab, and especially Palestinian, denial of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in any part of their historical homeland. A century-long war has been waged against the Jewish state, initially against its establishment, and when that failed, against its continued existence. If there is ever to be peace, this century-long war against Jewish sovereignty must end, and that war could surly never end if the primary organization that has fueled and legitimized its continuation – UNRWA – is allowed to stand.


Arsen Ostrovsky: UNRWA and the ICJ and how we don't know more about them



UN Palestinian aid agency’s cryptocurrency wallets investigated over Hamas ties
An Israeli firm that helped authorities claw back $90 million worth of Hamas-owned cryptocurrency is investigating digital wallets held by the leading Palestinian aid agency for the United Nations, the Washington Examiner has learned.

Lionsgate Network, a Tel Aviv-based company staffed by blockchain analysts, specializes in cash recovery services for investors and was notably enlisted by Israel’s Ministry of Defense to intercept funds linked to Hamas after the terrorist faction’s deadly Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state. Now, Lionsgate has embarked on a new project: tracking the flow of crypto donations to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, whose since-fired employees were recently accused by Israel of participating in the Hamas-led massacre, prompting the United States and other countries to pause aid to UNRWA.

“Our company’s vision is to secure crypto transactions and eliminate financial transactions targeting communities around the world,” Lionsgate Network CEO Bezalel Raviv told the Washington Examiner. “There is a loophole in the financial system, and it’s no longer a very small group of people. It’s like 1.5% of the world’s capital — we’re talking about over $1.5 trillion U.S. dollars.”

The startup’s investigation underscores how UNRWA, which has long earned the ire of foreign policy experts and lawmakers over its ties to Hamas, is being comprehensively scrutinized by watchdogs after the Oct. 7 attack. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced legislation on Monday that would ban U.S. funds to UNRWA. The Biden administration renewed aid in 2021 to the Palestinian aid agency just three years after former President Donald Trump cut off support to UNRWA over concerns stemming from its ties to terrorism and the hiring of antisemitic employees.
Cut Off the UNRWA
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA, pronounced “un-ruh”) is a corrupt, Jew-hating, anti-American, United Nations terrorist-training institution. Under the guise of “humanitarian aid” and “education of children,” this satanic agency, composed substantially of terrorists, murderers, and their supporters, has schooled Arab children for 75 years to hate and murder Jews — ever since Israel’s founding in 1948. UNRWA is singularly responsible, more than any other Agent of Satan, for the Gazan Arab effort in perpetuity to destroy Israel.

Let us be clear. On the most intense day imaginable in Israel’s war against Hamas, Israel has not done anything even remotely comparable to what America and our European allies did to Dresden, Germany, on one of their most intense days. Nor has Israel, in all its defensive wars combined, done anything remotely comparable to what America did — justifiably — in one single day in Nagasaki or in Hiroshima. Yet, today, Germans are closely allied with America. So are the Japanese. We are real allies. How in the world did the Germans and Japanese ever forgive us for bombing their brains out?

Education. Childhood education. Teen education. Adult education. That is the magic: educating people.

Why is it that Americans, through the past century, until the current era of college misfits, always opposed socialism and communism? Education.

Why did the public in the former Soviet Union, by contrast, stand for communism? Partly because they feared that Stalin otherwise would shoot them or starve them to death. But in greater measure because they were taught to believe that garbage: education.

And why do so many in China support the communism that destroys their individuality and leaves them with so much less freedom and possibilities than we enjoy? Education.

And why do so many hundreds of thousands of Iranians march in support of terror and jihad and bloodlust? Education.
UNRWA Teachers Held Israeli Boy, Elderly Woman Hostage for Hamas
At least two teachers for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza separately held captive Israeli civilians abducted on Oct. 7.

One of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency teachers smuggled a young Israeli boy between locations in Gaza, including a major U.N.-linked hospital. The other shut an elderly woman in his mouse-infested attic and fed her a meager diet that included UNRWA rations. After about 50 days in captivity, both the Israelis were freed in an exchange with Israel.

The Washington Free Beacon agreed to withhold the released hostages’ names and other information in order to protect their privacy.

"It's unbelievable that the United Nations backs up such activities," the boy's mother told the Free Beacon. "International forces cannot keep operating through 'uninvolved civilians' in Gaza who are obviously not uninvolved."

The revelations—elements of which were first reported by Israel’s Channel 13 news station—come as UNRWA faces a reckoning over its ties to Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian terror group that rules Gaza. Hamas holds significant sway over UNRWA and makes use of the agency’s aid and facilities, including in schools and hospitals, to support its terror operations, according to a declassified Israeli intelligence dossier obtained by the Free Beacon.

Nearly half of UNRWA’s some 12,000 employees in Gaza either work for Hamas or its affiliate Islamic Jihad or have close relatives who do, Israeli officials said. At least 13 UNRWA workers, including seven teachers, allegedly participated in Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack in southern Israel, which started the Gaza war, and four employees allegedly helped take hostages. A government spokeswoman could not immediately confirm if the teachers who held the boy and the woman were among the seven UNRWA teachers identified by Israel.

The Israel intelligence convinced the United States and other major donors to suspend funding of UNRWA. The United Nations said it was investigating the agency.
House Republicans Move To End All US Funding to UNRWA
House Republicans on Thursday introduced legislation that would cut off millions of dollars in funding to the United Nations’ Palestinian aid organization and prevent the Biden administration from allocating funds following revelations the international agency’s employees participated in Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror spree in Israel, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R., Texas), a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, is spearheading the bill, which mandates that "no federal funds may be used to provide funding directly or indirectly" to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the chief humanitarian organization in the Gaza Strip that recently sparked international headlines when it was discovered that at least 12 of its employees helped Hamas slaughter Jews, according to a copy of the bill exclusively obtained by the Free Beacon. The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.), chair of the House Republican Conference.

The bill—dubbed the Uncovering UNRWA’s Terrorist Crimes Act—is one of several measures circulating through Congress that will force a permanent ban on American funding for UNRWA, which has topped more than $1 billion since 2021. The Jackson-Stefanik bill is likely to garner widespread backing in the Republican-controlled House, particularly given Stefanik’s leadership role with the House GOP caucus. Another Republican-led measure in the House backed by Rep. Brian Mast (R., Fla.) would completely disband UNRWA and require the federal government to advocate for this policy at the U.N.

The flurry of legislation comes amid widespread outrage over reports last week that UNRWA employees worked with Hamas as it slaughtered more than 1,200 Israelis last year. UNRWA has long faced criticism for using anti-Israel educational materials in its schools and allowing Hamas to co-opt its facilities, where missiles and other arms have repeatedly been discovered. Israel estimates that more than 1,000 members of the aid organization, or around 10 percent, have ties to Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups.

The latest legislation would also force the administration to disclose how much taxpayer money has reached UNRWA since Joe Biden took office and reversed a Trump administration decision to freeze funding for the group. This information, which would include an accounting of how every penny was spent by UNRWA, will help lawmakers ensure that no American money reaches the group throughout the rest of the year.
UNRWA nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, amid allegations workers took part in Oct. 7
A Norwegian politician said Thursday that he has nominated the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, embroiled in a controversy over the alleged involvement of employees in the Hamas-led October 7 terror onslaught against Israel, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Labour MP Asmund Aukrust told the Dagbladet newspaper he had nominated the UN Relief and Works Agency “for its long-term work to provide vital support to Palestine and the region in general.”

“This work has been crucial for over 70 years, and even more vital in the last three months,” said the politician who is vice-chairman of Norway’s parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

Over a dozen countries, including major donors such as the United States, Germany, Britain and Sweden, have suspended funding to the UN agency over accusations that 12 staff members were involved in the October 7 atrocities, in which Palestinian terrorists killed some 1,200 people, most of them civilians massacred amid executions, the burning of bodies, rapes and other brutal atrocities, and kidnapped 253.

In response to the attack, Israel launched a major military offensive aimed at destroying the Gaza-ruling Hamas and returning the hostages. According to the Hamas-run health ministry, at least 26,900 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli offensive, an unverified figure that does not differentiate between terror operatives and noncombatants. The Israel Defense Forces says the military has killed some 10,000 fighters in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists killed in Israel on October 7.

Being nominated for the Peace Prize does not represent recognition by the Nobel Committee, which receives hundreds of nominations every year.

Thousands of people are eligible to submit nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, including lawmakers and cabinet members of all countries, former laureates and some university professors, before the January 31 deadline.


Top US Middle East envoy: ‘Far-flung, expanding impact’ of Hamas war
The U.S. State Department’s top Middle East envoy has spent nearly her entire career working in the region and has never seen it so hot.

“In my experience, there is nothing like the challenges that present themselves to us today and, indeed, present themselves to the region in terms of the far-flung and expanding impact of this conflict,” Barbara Leaf, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, told reporters on Wednesday prior to a trip to the region.

Leaf has visited the Middle East six times since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7. She arrives again with a tall order of short-term tasks awaiting her—top among them improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

“That means working with all of our partners to increase the aid making its way to the people of Gaza and urging that every feasible measure be taken to protect civilian lives,” she told reporters.

She and colleagues are “pushing hard” for the immediate release of all hostages being held in Gaza, she added, and it’s within her purview to “ensure that Oct. 7 can never happen again.”

She and colleagues are also trying to ensure that the conflict does not expand.

“That has been a focus of every bit of our diplomacy since the first days of the conflict,” Leaf said. “This goal is complicated, obviously, by the destabilizing actions undertaken by Iran-backed actors across the region.”
The buffer zone taking shape in Gaza
The Israeli Cabinet hasn’t issued an official directive to the military to create a buffer zone in Gaza yet, but de facto, on the ground, one appears to be taking shape anyway.

Only the prime minister and his Cabinet ministers—not the Israel Defense Forces—could decide on an official policy to cut off a certain section of land from Gaza.

In practice, however, the battlefield is producing the foundation of what could easily turn into a buffer zone—an area that is clear of all structures and the presence of Palestinians, and which cannot be used by terrorists to approach the Israeli border for further mass murder attacks.

In basic security thinking, the space that separates a holding area—the area being defended—and the nearest enemy position is a security (buffer) zone, providing strategic depth.

The security zone is designed to create distance between the first line of defending military forces and the enemy, so that if hostiles approach, the military will have enough time to recognize this and respond before terrorists breach the Israeli border. The moment such a breach occurs, the military has failed in its mission to defend, and if terrorists can start their assault from the border, they cannot be stopped in time.

This type of prevention is exactly what was missing on Oct. 7, when terrorists began their attack from the borderline, saturating it through detonated holes in the security barrier as well as via powered gliders and beach landings.
An IDF reservist recounts his 100 days fighting in Gaza
If the infantryman has a defining responsibility, it is to march on. Even before mastering marksmanship, before learning tactics, the IDF infantryman learns to put one foot before the other, and to continue on with this simple task ad infinitum. Time and distance make even the simplest of tasks arduous, the lightest of weights into unbelievable burdens. The infantryman learns to march under the weight of time, his hope residing on the horizon. Every 5 kilometers is said to be the final stretch of the journey, though the destination always remains elusive. Each mountaintop is the final height, until the discovery that there are yet taller peaks still to climb.

When the members of my platoon first entered the October 7 war, we wrote down our bets for how long our reservist battalion would be serving. We hung the betting pool on the refrigerator in a house in Kissufim. Most guessed around 20 to 40 days; I was one of the closest, with 90. One hundred ten days – almost four months – later, Battalion 8111 has finally been released back to civilian life.

At times the weeks seemed to jet by, compressed into long days, but as we held a military ceremony last Sunday at Camp Nahshonim, it seemed like ages since we had first arrived there on October 7.

After news of the pogrom in the South broke, we had rushed to the storage armory to arm ourselves. There were no ceramic vests, the combat vests we received were old models, and we lacked equipment for specialists. We felt constant pressure from the images and stories of the massacre emerging, urging us to come as soon as possible. We thought we were headed straight into battle, then into the Gaza Strip. It was only after three days of preparation that we arrived in the area to help restore security.

We deployed to Kissufim, checking house by house for perpetrators of the pogrom. Most of the terrorists were already dead, rotting on the lawns of the town. The stench was almost as thick as the tension.

"There are terrorists still hiding here"
“There are terrorists still hiding here,” Imri, my platoon commander, would repeat, almost a mantra. He didn’t want us to let our guard down.

Eventually, we met the enemy. Imri was right; there had been a terrorist still hiding in the kibbutz, biding his time. He ambushed the Third Platoon, throwing two grenades at it when it searched a house on the edge of the town. One of the grenades rolled to the feet of the officer leading the charge, Capt. Eliya Yanovsky. He was blasted out of the house, but miraculously suffered no wounds. The medic David and the sergeant Shemesh were wounded by shrapnel. A soldier named Martin suffered catastrophic damage to his leg. Our company commander, Roey, and his radioman, Orr, continued the fight, pressing the attack and shooting the terrorist dead.

The incident didn’t end with the death of the terrorist. For Orr, Roey, and Eliya, the fight moved to an internal front. Orr jumped at sudden sounds, and Roey was even more quiet than usual. Eliya was troubled by reoccurring dreams of the grenade rolling toward him. He told few about these flashbacks. Despite being locked in inner battles, the three soldiers continued their operations in Kissufim.


Israel defeats Hamas in Khan Yunis, over 10,000 Gazan terrorists killed
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on Thursday night that Hamas forces in Khan Yunis have been officially defeated.

He said that after additional gains by the IDF in Khan Yunis, 10,000 Hamas fighters have been killed and 10,000 wounded, up from around 9,000 killed and around 8,000 wounded around a week and a half ago.

If true, along with the close to 2,500 Hamas terrorists who have been arrested, the percentage of Hamas forces out of commission would now be up to between 56-75%, up from 48-64% around 10 days ago, presuming Hamas' forces pre-war were between 30,000-40,000.

Gallant's statement that the IDF has completed taking apart Hamas's remaining battalions in Khan Yunis, including in the western part of the terror group's southern Gaza capital, would also seem to be a week or a couple of weeks ahead of IDF statements.

Earlier this week, the IDF said it was on the verge of taking apart Hamas's final Khan Yunis battalion in the western section but appeared to suggest that it could still be some weeks before the process was complete.

It was unclear if some additional dramatic progress had been made in the last few days or if Gallant was projecting a bit forward by a week or so.

The IDF itself still has not announced full operational control in Khan Yunis as it did in northern Gaza in late December and early January.
Belgium summons Israeli envoy after gov't building damaged in Gaza
Belgium on Friday summoned the Israeli ambassador after a Belgian development agency building in Gaza City was bombed, Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said.

"Attacks on civilian infrastructure breach the principles of international humanitarian law. All parties must adhere to it," she posted on the social media platform X.

The Belgian Ministry for Development Cooperation said it was not aware of any civilian casualties and that the building, which was shared with Handicap International, should have been empty at the time of the bombing.

Details are unclear but Israel has promised an investigation
A ministry spokesperson added that the Israeli ambassador had promised an investigation.

It was not clear when the building was bombed. The spokesperson said Belgium had found out about it on Thursday evening and suspected it had happened on Wednesday.

Belgium is one of the countries that has called for a lasting humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and criticized Israel for its handling of the conflict.


Subliminal and the shadow with Raviv Kaner - it's on us- English Subtitles
A new power song out regarding the war in Gaza by Israeli rappers Subliminal and HaTzel (The Shadow) featuring Raviv Kenner (elite IDF combat soldier). The song is called "It's on us"




The White House knows Iran is behind the deadly attacks on its troops, but how will it respond?
What has become clear, however, is that Iran, which immediately denied any connection to the incident, has allowed small sectarian terror groups to become increasingly emboldened through funding, training and arming them. And, if such deadly attacks continue, the U.S. will face the thorny dilemma of whether to confront Iran directly or step back from the region to protect its troops.

“Iran can no longer hide behind its proxies,” Yoel Guzansky, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, told Jewish Insider. “Everybody knows who is really behind these attacks and, in some ways, Iran is not even working to hide it any longer.”

Iran’s overarching goal, said Guzansky, was to “become a hegemonic power in the region.” The regime, he said, which follows the Shia branch of Islam, has proxies in almost every Shia community in the Middle East from Iraq to Bahrain and Yemen to Lebanon and Syria, as well as links to some non-Shia terror groups, such as Hamas, that might not share Iran’s religious beliefs, but do share its fundamentalist ideology.

A research paper recently published by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal found at least 19 separate terror organizations, including Hamas and Kataib Hezbollah, the Iraqi militia said to be behind the attack in Jordan, linked to Iran in some way.

Most of the terror groups listed in the report, which was penned by Joe Truzman, a senior research fellow at the D.C.-based think tank, appear to be Palestinian, and many operate somewhere along Israel’s border or inside Gaza and the West Bank territory it controls.

“I believe the White House understands the extent of Iran’s involvement,” Truzman told JI. “Nevertheless, they are hesitant to explicitly accuse Iran as it would then necessitate a potential military response from the U.S. whenever a significant incident occurs, and the White House has consistently conveyed its preference to avoid engaging in a war with Iran.”

Indeed, when asked by reporters this week if a direct link between the attack in Jordan and Iran had been established, Biden replied: “We’ll have that discussion.” Additionally, when the president was questioned about how the U.S. might respond, he simply said: “We’ll see.” And on the threat of a wider war in the region, Biden replied: “I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East. That’s not what I’m looking for.”


Seth Frantzman: As Israel's southern Sderot evacuees return, questions remain over Gaza border future
Sderot is the largest of the cities that Israel evacuated in the wake of the Hamas attack on October 7. For two decades, the city was a symbol of Israel’s steadfastness and resilience in the face of terrorism. However, after October 7, there is a lot of uncertainty about what comes next.

Nevertheless, residents are returning. Noam Ivri Adanani is one of those residents. Along with his wife and her family, he left Sderot for hotels at the Dead Sea, where Israel evacuated people from Sderot on the fifth day of the war.

“Now there is a stronger sense of security, and the rocket fire has radically decreased. Northern Gaza has been taken over by the IDF. Hamas and the other terrorist groups have been degraded there,” Ivri Adanani says. It has been a difficult experience. During the first days of the war in Sderot, the residents stayed indoors because of the terrorist threat.

They emerged after three days and then found themselves being evacuated. Dozens of Hamas terrorists attacked Sderot and killed numerous people in the city. The terrorists also attacked the Sderot police station, killing police and leading to an all-night battle. Eventually, the police station was destroyed to defeat the terrorists. Sixty-one Israeli police died fighting the wave of Hamas terror on October 7, some of them in Sderot.

A sense of losing the war among residents in Sderot
Before the war, Sderot had weathered previous rounds of fighting. The Chabad house in the city even has a Menorah made from pieces of rockets that fell on the city. Armored shelters are everywhere. It’s a city that knew how to live with rocket fire, but Hamas infiltrating the city and a war stretching into its fifth month was not something the city had calculated.

“There was a sense in the community of Sderot evacuees that Israel had lost to Hamas, at least temporarily. In previous conflicts, we had a few days of a mostly air-based war and rockets fired at Israel, and authorities might evacuate a few elderly, or give a stipend to some people whose businesses or livelihoods were affected by the war; but people leaving their homes for an indefinite period – months or a maybe even a year – that was frustrating and rejecting,” Ivri Adanani says.

When the people of Sderot were evacuated, they joined 100 other communities around the border of Gaza and in northern Israel. The evacuations are a new policy for Israel, essentially admitting that communities on the borders cannot be defended against the kind of genocidal attack Hamas carried out and which Hezbollah might attempt.


Eylon Levy - The Threat Beyond Israel | The Winston Marshall Show
Eylon Levy is the leading Israeli government spokesperson. You will have seen him doing media hit after media hit, fiercely defending Israel throughout the Israel-Hamas War.

But you will not have seen him like this. We sit down together at the historic Jaffa Hotel Chapel in Israel for a deeper dive, a closer examination of what he’s been saying. It was an opportunity to better understand the mind of the Israeli government through the mouth of one man.

How did the October 7th Massacre happen? How did a country with the most stringent security in the world be so overcome? Can Israel actually win this war? Is pulverising Gaza actually a sensible strategy?

Can an idea - the Islamist-Nationalist ideology of Hamas - actually be defeated? It is an idea reinforced with every victory of Israel, much like a Chinese finger trap, the more you struggle against it, the tighter the grip.

Does Israel care what the world thinks? Does Israel need America and Britain?

N.B. This interview was recorded on January 19th 2024. Some details may since be out of date.


Call for a ceasefire 'at home': Douglas Murray ridicules Chicago Council
Author Douglas Murray has urged the Chicago Council to call for a ceasefire "at home” before they afford a foreign policy following their decision to vote for Israel to enter into a ceasefire with Hamas.

“All these people called for a ceasefire from Israel before Israel had even fired anything,” Mr Murray told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“Personally, I think it would be much more useful for the citizens of Chicago to urge the council of Chicago to call for a ceasefire in Chicago.

“Because Chicago has one of the highest gun crime rates anywhere in America and in any developed country.

“I would urge them to look to home before they decide they have home so well sorted out they can also afford a foreign policy in Chicago.”


The Israel Guys: BREAKING: Hamas Claims Reason for OCTOBER 7th Attack Was the Red Heifers
The Hamas spokesperson made a statement saying that the reason for the October 7th attack on Israel goes back 2,000 years. Not only that, but he claimed it had everything to do with the red heifers!

Watch today’s show to find out how all these things are connected!


Biden has a 'Palestinian-American problem' ahead of US election
Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says there’s “a lot of politics” behind the US’ decision to actively pursue the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has asked the State Department to conduct a review and present policy options on US and international recognition of a Palestinian state after the war in Gaza.

Mr Mulvaney said Joe Biden has a “Palestinian-American problem”.

“There’s not that many Palestinian-American voters in this country, there’s about a million, but they’re concentrated in the state of Michigan,” Mr Mulvaney told Sky News Australia host James Morrow.

“And they’ve threatened publicly, and privately, to not vote for Joe Biden in the upcoming 2024 general election.

“If they withhold their support for President Biden, he could well lose Michigan, and that could cost him the entire election because again, we elect presidents state by state and not nationwide.”


Peter Dutton calls for Penny Wong’s sacking over UNRWA funding saga
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has called for the Prime Minister to sack Foreign Minister Penny Wong on her stance that funding to UNRWA may eventually be restored.

UNRWA has received Australian funding every year since 1951, with another $6 million having been pledged last month.

Israeli intelligence documents alleged that some staff members of UNRWA were involved in the Hamas attacks on October 7 – which led Australia and several other nations to suspend funding.

On Thursday, at a press conference, Ms Wong indicated it was her view that UNRWA funding may be eventually restored as it is the only organisation in the international system which provides substantive humanitarian aid for those in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Mr Dutton took aim at the stance, saying Anthony Albanese needs to show “strength of leadership” and cut off funding to UNRWA funding permanently.


Australian taxpayers’ money shouldn’t go to those ‘undertaking terrorist attacks’
Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Birmingham says Australian taxpayers’ money should not be “filtering through an organisation” where it could be going to those “promoting extremism and undertaking terrorist attacks”.

Australia paused funding for the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees last week after the organisation said several employees were allegedly involved in the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7.

“Concerns about UNWRA have existed for quite some time; indeed, they’ve been expressed prior to the October 7 attacks in relation to whether UNWRA employees have promoted extremist ideologies that have fostered the type of environment that saw Hamas rise,” Mr Birmingham told Sky News Australia.

“Concerns were raised with the Albanese government late last year, even as they were increasing funding to UNWRA about whether employees had been directly involved in the October 7 terrorist attacks.

“There is no denying there is huge human suffering and need for innocent civilians to get humanitarian assistance and support in Gaza, but not a dollar of Australian taxpayers' money should be filtering through an organisation where it could … be landing in the hands of those who are promoting extremism and undertaking terrorist attacks.”


Sky News host reacts to 'Hamas PR team’ skit mocking terrorist group
Sky News host James Morrow reacts to a satirical comedy skit which looks inside the “Hamas PR team”.

The skit posted to social media lampoons the terrorist group, showing a marketing team attempting to help Hamas “with their messaging”.

“We kind of want to make them not look like terrorists,” says the head of the fake marketing team.

“How do you defend the indefensible? You know, some of the worst crimes you can imagine,” Mr Morrow said.

“Well, it’s all about advertising and public relations.”




Pro-Palestinian protesters chant 'f*** Joe Biden' and accuse him of genocide as they are confronted by riot cops in tense scenes in Michigan
Pro-Palestinians chanted 'f*** Joe Biden' and accused him of backing geocide in tense scenes during his visit to Michigan.

Demonstrators were surrounded by riot cops as they shouted 'Biden Biden can’t you see, you are on a killing spree'.

They set up across from a restaurant in Warren where he was meeting United Auto Workers (UAW) union members.

The trip has sparked fury from Arab and Muslim leaders in Michigan who accused him of shunning meeting them and keeping details 'secret' so it wouldn't draw protests.

Biden snapped selfies in a black-owned sports bar and met union workers on a campaign trip to Michigan, but wasn't able to escape controversy over the war in Gaza and spiraling tensions in the Middle East.

Some held placards saying 'hands off Yemen and vowing not to vote for him in the general election.

Michigan is a key battleground and a poor showing from Biden in the state could have a major impact on the final result in November.


Art world angst as a dozen galleries soaked with ‘blood’ and ‘intifada’ graffiti dubbed ‘antisemitic’
A slew of art galleries across New York City have been hit with anti-Israel graffiti and daubed with red paint — yet some gallery owners have controversially chosen to keep the attacks secret.

Insiders are divided on whether to dismiss the perpetrators as a nuisance and ignore them, or decry what they see as rank antisemitism. Some gallery owners say that they don’t want to lend credibility to the vandals by publicizing the attacks, and still others say that as artists, it would be hypocritical to repress expression.

The galleries range from small hipster operations on the Lower East Side with no obvious ties to Middle Eastern politics to a grand Fifth Avenue institution headed by a prominent Jewish leader.

Over the last couple of weeks, some of the galleries have been postered with signs quoting purported Palestinian death tolls and the words, “Stop selling to Zionists. Stop working with Zionists,” while the elite Pace gallery was scrawled with the word “Intifada” in red letters. Many more have been splattered with red paint, apparently intended to represent blood.

The vandals seem to have targeted Pace, which had to close for the day to remove the graffiti, over its representation of Israeli artist Michal Rovner, according to ArtNews. The gallery posted Rovner’s video work, called “Signals,” which calls for a return of the hostages taken by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attacks.

“Between Friday night and Saturday morning, the exterior of our 540 West 25th Street gallery was vandalized,” the blue-chip gallery told Page Six in a statement. “The vandalism was extensive enough to necessitate the gallery’s closure while we complete clean-up efforts. The safety of our staff and visitors to our galleries is of the utmost importance, as is our commitment to fostering a safe and open workplace that respects differences of thought within our community.”

It continued, “We are a gallery that consists of a community of artists and employees, many of whom are actively engaged in socio-political issues and attuned to global events. With this diversity comes divergent viewpoints. In cases of disagreement, we remain committed to supporting meaningful civil discourse.”
Cops reveal there is no evidence 'gas the jews' was shouted at pro-Palestine Sydney Opera House protest: This is the intimidating phrase yelled out instead
A police review has found no evidence the anti-Semitic phrase 'gas the Jews' was shouted during a wild protest at the Sydney Opera House, a NSW Police investigation has found.

Instead, the menacing phrase 'where's the Jews' was shouted instead - but detectives could not determine the exact perpetrator, Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said.

Edited footage purporting to show protesters chanting 'gas the Jews' was shared by the Australian Jewish Association with news organisations after the snap rally on the steps of the Opera House on October 9.

The rally was sparked by a decision to light the Opera House's sails in the colours of the Israeli flag after the Hamas attack that sparked the latest Israel-Gaza conflict.

The apparent use of the grossly offensive phrase sparked widespread condemnation and changes to hate-crimes laws.

But Lanyon said in a statement that following an 'independent forensic analysis of audio-video files of the demonstration provided to investigators, police have no evidence that this phrase was used.'

'Police also obtained statements from several individuals who attended the protest indicating they heard the phrase, however, these statements have not attributed the phrase to any specific individual.'

In a response, Alex Ryvchin, co-executive officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told Sky News Australia that the issue at play 'isn't the precise wording'.

'A violent mob of thugs gathered in one of our most cherished sites to burn and Israeli flag... and direct hatred and abuse and threats to their fellow Australians.'

He agreed with anchor Laura Jayes' comment that the protesters weren't chanting 'where's the Jews ... to give them a hug'.

'Whether it was eff the Jews, gas the Jews... it's the sentiment,' Mr Ryvchin said.


‘Appalling regardless’: Erin Molan’s response to NSW Police’s Opera House protest claims
Sky News host Erin Molan has reacted to the NSW Police’s bombshell update on its investigation into the protests that were held on October 9 outside the Sydney Opera House, just two days after Hamas’ attack on Israel.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said, during a press conference on Friday, an “eminent” and independent expert had concluded the phrase used at the protest was “where’s the Jews”.

“This public celebration of October 7 ... was appalling regardless of what was said,” Ms Molan said.

“It was not a ‘support Palestine’ protest; it was a party cheering the acts of terror which had occurred just two days prior.

“Again, police confirmed ‘where’s the Jews’ was chanted and ‘f the Jews’ was said – absolutely intimidating and the latter, threatening, highly offensive.

“And intended to scare and damage the Jewish community, already terrified and in mourning.”


'Does that make it any better?': Jewish Australian leader weighs in on police protest claims
Australia Israel and Jewish Affairs Council Executive Manager Joel Burnie says people must be “very careful” with the conclusions the NSW Police made following the investigation into the pro-Palestine protests at the Sydney Opera House.

The rally took place two days after Hamas' attacks on Israel on October 7.

NSW Police revealed on Friday its investigations under Strike Force Mealing had determined there was “no evidence” an anti-Semitic chant was used during the protest after initial claims the offensive phrase “gas the Jews” was chanted.

Instead, police have concluded “where’s the Jews” was chanted.

“It’s quite clear that we need to be very careful with the conclusions that the police made,” Mr Burnie told Sky News Australia.

“The police did not say that it didn’t happen, they said that the evidence that they had, they couldn’t confirm that the phrase ‘gas the Jews’ was used.

“There were statutory declarations submitted by multiple eyewitnesses that were at the rally that claimed that they heard ‘gas the Jews’ – the police also didn’t deny that those statutory declarations were made in good faith and were honest.

“They claimed that in terms of those, in the context of the stat decs, that they couldn’t identify the people that had said it.

“I ask myself now that the police believe it’s ‘where’s the Jews’ – does that make it any better?”

Mr Burnie continued to note the “police statement does not make the events that occurred on that evening any better in our opinion”.


‘We know what was said’: Pro-Palestine protesters used ‘abhorrent terms’ at Opera House protest
Executive Council of Australian Jewry Co-CEO Alex Ryvchin has condemned the use of “abhorrent terms” by a “violent mob of thugs” at the Sydney Opera House on October 9, after the police investigation into the incident concluded.

A police investigation into the pro-Palestine protests at the Sydney Opera House in the wake of the October 7 attacks has just concluded and found no evidence of anti-Semitic phrases being used.

It was widely reported at the time that there were chants of ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘f*** the Jews’; however, police have said that this was not the case – that there was no evidence.

In fact, one expert has said they were saying ‘where’s the Jews?’

“There were independent witnesses who came forward after that evening and they all said the same thing – that the phrase that was chanted was ‘gas the Jews’,” Mr Ryvchin told Sky News Australia.

“We know what was said; the world knows what was chanted – it’s clear.

“Regardless of what this police statement has now said – whether it’s ‘where’s the Jews’, ‘gas the Jews’, ‘f*** the Jews’ – these are equally menacing, abhorrent terms that were used and directed by one group of Australians to their fellow Australians.

“The issue here isn’t the precise wording that was used.

“The issue is that on the 9th of October, just two days after the Jewish people suffered the worst atrocity inflicted on them since the Holocaust, before Israel had even commenced its operation to defeat Hamas … a violent mob of thugs gathered at one of our most cherished sites to burn an Israeli flag, to celebrate these atrocities and to direct hatred and abuse and threats towards their fellow Australians.

“As much as some see it in their interest to try to deflect and confuse the Australian public, that is the issue.”


‘Extremism in our midst’: Alex Ryvchin tears into ‘violent mob’ at Opera House protest
Executive Council of Australian Jewry Co-CEO Alex Ryvchin says there is a “fundamental issue of social cohesion” regarding violent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the wake of the October 7 attacks.

NSW Police has released a bombshell update on its investigation into the protests that were held on October 9 outside the Sydney Opera House, just two days after Hamas’ attack on Israel.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said, during a press conference on Friday, an “eminent” and independent expert had concluded the phrase used at the protest was “where’s the Jews”.

“You had a violent mob descend, gather, burn the Israeli flag, celebrate the atrocities of October 7,” Mr Ryvchin told Sky News host Erin Molan.

“There are plenty of people clearly in our society and in our political class that want to divert our attention from the real issue.

“There is a fundamental issue of social cohesion, of extremism in our midst, and that’s what we need to be talking about and confronting.”


‘National wave of anti-Semitism’: Fallout from pro-Palestine Opera House protest rages on
Sky News host Steve Price says the revelation from the NSW Police’s update on its investigation into the Opera House protest on October 9 is “full of problems” for Australia’s Jewish community.

The NSW Police revealed that an independent expert concluded that the phrase used at the pro-Palestine rally on October 9 – two days after Hamas’ attack on Israel – was “where’s the Jews” rather than “gas the Jews”.

“Since that night, Jewish people have been abused in the streets, Jewish businesses around the country are being targeted, Jewish schools feel threatened, and no one, including the police, seem to do anything about it,” Mr Price said.

“This has now turned into a national wave of anti-Semitism with similar angry protests popping up nationwide.”

Mr Price said it could be argued that the phrase “where’s the Jews” is worse since a call for some “Jewish scalps” is just “horrific”.

“I’ll now be very interested to see how the various state premiers react, and surely it’s time now to crackdown on the more radical of these Palestinian protesters with a few arrests,” he said.








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