Saturday, February 03, 2024

From Ian:

Israel’s Obligations Under the Genocide Convention
I. Obligation
Israel’s war in Gaza is not a violation of its commitments as a contracting party to the 1948 Genocide Convention. It is, in fact, a fulfillment of its obligations under the treaty.

For Israel to do nothing in the face of Hamas’ actions on October 7, or to cut its actions short and somehow acquiesce to a reality where that orgy of murder, rape, torture, and abduction would recur, would be a violation of the first article of the Convention, which states:

“The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.”

The Second Article of the Convention defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”

When Hamas Einsatzgruppen swept into southern Israel on the morning of October 7, their rampage spared no one they were able to reach. It was not a military campaign targeting only security installations or key national infrastructure or targets of political, economic, or religious symbolism. Nor was it a terrorist attack on random civilians designed to shock or pressure others.

It was an attack on every Israeli they could get to. There are no stories of people spared for any reason. Wherever Hamas forces made contact with Israelis, they killed. And if they didn’t kill, it was to kidnap. Villages on the border that weren’t scenes of fire, looting, and murder were those where Hamas forces were either repelled successfully or which they never managed to penetrate before their forces were overcome. Wherever Hamas militants could kill Israelis, they did so, making no effort to distinguish soldier from civilian, man from woman, adult from child, or even Jew from Arab.

None of this is inconsistent with the basic ideological and theological commitments of Hamas as an organization or of the larger movement of which it is only one manifestation. Its Charter evinces a pathological and conspiratorial conception of Jews and openly calls for their physical annihilation. And its spokespersons openly boast of their intention to execute more October 7-style actions in the future.

These beliefs and actions meet all the minimal requirements of the definition in Article II of the Convention. There is the intent to destroy a national group, and that group is targeted “as such.” That is, the killing of civilians who are members of the target group is not a side effect of other acts war, but the goal itself, stated in words and observable in deeds.

If a Jewish state has any purpose at all, it is to prevent this. And if the State of Israel has any obligation under the Genocide Convention, adopted in 1948, the year of Israel’s birth, and conceived largely as a response to the genocide of the Jewish people which had just concluded three years before, it is to act forcefully against it.

At this moment, Israel stands accused of violating its commitments under the Genocide Convention, not because it hasn’t acted forcefully enough against the Hamas regime which has controlled the Gaza Strip for the last 17 years, but rather because it is acting at all.
ICJ genocide case shows the world is upside-down and perverse
Deuteronomy 28:32 states “They are an upside-down generation... ”

While this verse refers to the warning Moses gave to the Israelite nation before he died and handed over leadership to Joshua, the concept of a world behaving in an irrational and 180-degree perverse manner is evident today.

Moses warns of an upside-down world, a concept strikingly relevant today as we witness the absurdity surrounding the accusation of genocide brought by South Africa against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The parallels between ancient warnings and contemporary events are stark, prompting us to examine the perplexing nature of our current reality.

The claim of genocide against Israel becomes increasingly transparent as the antisemitism it really is, when one considers the deliberate steps taken by Israel to protect civilians in conflict zones. Unlike historical instances of genocide, Israel has established humanitarian corridors, allowing civilians to leave harm’s way voluntarily. This raises a fundamental question: How can it be genocide when the so-called “victims” are granted the opportunity to escape the conflict?

The antisemitism in accusing Israel of genocide
Israel’s commitment to minimizing civilian casualties goes beyond mere rhetoric. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) dropped millions of leaflets, providing explicit warnings to civilians before initiating military action. Such preemptive measures are unprecedented in the history of conflict, challenging the very notion of genocide.

Furthermore, Israel has put its own troops at increased risk by employing targeted strikes to avoid collateral damage. This commitment to precision strikes and the protection of innocent lives reflects the IDF’s dedication to ethical conduct in the face of adversity. Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, has even gone so far as to describe the IDF as the most moral army in the world.

The absurdity of the genocide claim becomes glaring when one considers the alternatives Israel could have pursued. If Israel harbored genocidal intentions, it could have resorted to indiscriminate bombings similar to the Allies in Dresden or employed nuclear weapons as the US did in Japan. However, Israel’s strategic decisions have consistently prioritized minimizing civilian harm, not just raising doubts about the validity of the genocide accusation but demonstrating the upside-down attitudes of the contemporary world.
10 myths about UNRWA you may have mistakenly believed
Myth 8: UNRWA is the most efficient way to deliver assistance to Palestinians.
No, it certainly is not, and not just because UNRWA lets Hamas run off with lots of goods. There are far more efficient, less corrupt, and less grossly political aid agencies, some of which already are present in Gaza (and the West Bank), that can be mobilized to replace UNRWA. This includes USAID, UNICEF, and the World Food Programme. They could all do the work without succumbing to Palestinian legerdemain.

Myth 9: UNRWA can be fixed.
UNRWA needs more than an “urgent audit,” as the EU reluctantly mumbled this week, and much more than “enhanced due diligence and other oversight mechanisms,” as one unfriendly-to-Israel congressman grudgingly called for.

UNRWA needs to be abolished so that Gaza’s transition away from aid and toward economic development, and away from genocidal fantasies and toward peace building can begin quickly. It is certainly true that the current division of labor – UNRWA services above ground, Hamas terror operations below ground and from within UNRWA facilities – cannot continue.

This requires different international actors that can develop productive industry and jobs in Gaza, and that can lead the construction and operation of civilian services. International funding may still be necessary, but it should be administered by foreign governments directly and by different organizations that are subject to continuous oversight and rigorous accountability.

Myth 10: Wartime is not the right time to shutter UNRWA.
Now is the perfect time to do so. As Israel liberates Gaza from Hamas, the international community can unshackle Palestinians from UNRWA. At the same time Israel can unchain itself from destructive dependency on UNRWA and its problematic Israeli counterpart, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories – COGAT.

Then the rebuilding of Gaza can advance, free from rank corruption, destructive indoctrination, the coddling of terrorism, and overall moral rot that for too long has contaminated international aid politics for Palestinians.

Wall Street Journal reveals the real reason there's no ceasefire yet
Hamas's top leaders are arguing about the proposed ceasefire and hostage exchange deal, forcing it to be pushed off further and further, the Wall Street Journal revealed, citing officials "familiar with the negotiations" on Friday night.

Hamas head Yahya Sinwar, as well as other leaders in the terrorist organization, are allegedly ready and willing to sign off on a proposal to stop fighting in Gaza for six weeks in exchange for the freeing of Israeli hostages.

"The organization’s exiled political leaders, though, are demanding more concessions and want to negotiate a permanent [ceasefire], they said," the WSJ report, written by reporters Summer Said and Jared Malsin, claimed.

Where does the hostage deal stand?
The Qatari foreign ministry announced on Thursday evening that Hamas had given its initial approval for a ceasefire and hostage deal.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer met on Wednesday to discuss the deal, which would free the 136 hostages.

What does the ceasefire and hostage deal include?
Reports have been varied about what is included in the US-backed hostage release and ceasefire deal. Most claim that it involves Hamas's release of the remaining civilians - i.e. not IDF soldiers - among hostages captured on October 7, and only then the soldiers, and finally the bodies of dead hostages.

Israel is also expected to release jailed Palestinian security prisoners, as it did in the first deal. This time, however, the numbers are expected to be larger and involve terrorists with blood on their hands.

As a result, the ceasefire that will take effect will reportedly span over a far longer period than the previous one-week pause.
Hamas Delegation Postpones Cairo Visit Amid Ongoing Consultations on Potential Hostage Deal
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has postponed the anticipated visit of the delegation to Cairo. Sources suggest that the delay is to facilitate additional consultations with various Palestinian factions.

The move comes after last week’s Paris summit, where a potential framework for a hostage agreement was discussed.

Several Arab media outlets indicate that Hamas is inclined to accept the proposed agreement’s framework. Although it doesn’t necessitate a complete cessation of the conflict in Gaza, the organization seeks modifications and corrections. Hamas is reportedly pushing for four phases instead of three, extended ceasefire periods, and internal control over governance in the strip post-conflict.

According to well-informed sources cited by the pro-Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Hamas is content with the guarantees provided by the mediators but remains firm on specific demands. These demands include the selection of names for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, determining the extent of aid entering Gaza, and ensuring freedom of movement, including the return of Gaza residents to their homes.
Inspecting the UN's strange numbers on settler violence
However, when the details on settler violence are examined thoroughly it seems like there isn’t much violence, nor much settlers. Dr. Michael Wolfowicz, a criminology researcher at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law, received the data from the UN.

At first glance, it's horrifying: between 2016 and 2022, there were no less than 5,656 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians. But delving into the numbers reveals that 1,600 of them took place in Jerusalem, with almost all of them involving Jews entering the Temple Mount or clashes between the police and Muslims who acted violently in the area.

After further filtering, there were 2,500 incidents that describe property damage or assault, but they include, for example, a terror attack in which a Palestinian terrorist attacked Jews and was neutralized. On April 8, 2018, Mahmoud Abedel Karim Marshoud attempted to stab Israeli civilians near Ma’ale Adumim. He was neutralized and succumbed to his injuries the next day. The UN reported two violent incidents following this: on April 8, a shooting at a Palestinian, and on April 9, a killing.

On July 26, 2018, Yotam Ovadia, 30, was murdered by a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist who stabbed him. Here too, according to the UN, the fact Ovadia neutralized the terrorists was classified as settler violence. The same goes for a stabbing attack in Mount Hebron, another one in Yitzhar, and an incident where Arab rioters clashed with security forces at Joseph's Tomb.

Even a car accident in which a settler hit a Palestinian was classified as violence. After filtering all of these, we’re left with about 20 violent incidents in a month, most of them being cases of mutual violence, and some reported only by Palestinian sources without being verified.

Even if all of them are accurate, here's a relevant comparison: according to the IDF, in 2019-2022 alone, there were 25,257 incidents of Palestinian attacks against Jewish settlers, a rate of 500 incidents per year. Last year, the number jumped to 763.

The exaggeration of settler violence from a limited phenomenon to a widespread issue is designed to appease the world's conscience, in a strange symmetry, for the assistance it provides Israel in its war against Hamas terrorists.
Biden Signs Executive Order Against Jewish Settlers Who Won’t Sit Down and Be Murdered
State Dept. Spokesperson Matthew Miller on Thursday reported that “President Biden and Secretary Blinken have been clear that the levels of violence we have seen in the West Bank over the past few months are unacceptable. Violence in the West Bank surged to alarming levels in 2023. This includes unprecedented levels of violence by Israeli extremist settlers targeting Palestinians and their property, as well as violence by Palestinian extremist militants against Israeli civilians.”

Reality Check:
In mid-November, Central Command Commander Major General Yehuda Fox, no great lover of the settlement enterprise, with the elected officials of Binyamin Regional Council reassured them that as far as he was concerned, the accusations regarding settler violence were libelous.

“99% percent of the hilltop youths do no harm to anyone, neither the army nor anyone else. There is no such concept as ‘settler violence.’ I’ve been saying this on numerous occasions. There are violent incidents in all kinds of places around the country,” Fox reiterated.

Following the campaign in Israel, Europe, and the US to condemn “settler violence” during the months of Operation Iron Swords, right-wing MKs demanded to hold a debate on the subject and compel additional IDF representatives to reveal the sources of data that were published recently which applied a very broad brush to include many disparate events in the same category.

For example, graffiti by Jewish settlers and Arab attempts to lynch Jews are included under the same heading of “serious attacks.” Events are often recorded from a point well into their progression, without a clear depiction of whether the incident was initiated by Jews or Arabs, or whether the Jews acted in self-defense.

Israeli law enforcement officials tend to create symmetry in the violence perpetrated by Arabs and Jews, when in reality there is no equality in the number of terrorist incidents, and who initiates the first blow. To get those “equal” figures, the record keepers classify graffiti by Jews as violence, while the only recorded violent incidents perpetrated by Arabs are those with physical victims.
Exclusive: US makes implicit threat to invoke Leahy Law over West Bank incidents
The Biden administration has been pressing Israel to provide answers regarding a series of incidents in which, it claims, IDF units operating in Judea and Samaria violated the so-called "Leahy Law", a set of legal amendments that restrict the funding of military aid to units over human rights concerns, Israel Hayom has exclusively learned.

The Leahy Law states that Pentagon-appropriated funds "may not be used for any training, equipment, or other assistance for a foreign security force unit if the Secretary of Defense has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights."

The warning implies that should Israel fail to provide satisfactory answers, IDF forces serving in the West Bank will not get US-funded munitions.

According to information obtained by Israel Hayom, the warning was conveyed to Israel over a month ago and is known to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

In order to deal with the claims, the International Law Department in the Military Advocate General's office and other legal entities have been in contact with the US and are supposed to answer their questions regarding the incidents under discussion, with only two months left to send the response.

The Foreign Ministry confirms that "over the years, the ministry has cooperated with requests from the American administration in the context of the Leahy Law." However, an Israeli official said that there was no knowledge of a concrete warning being issued.

A spokesperson from the US Embassy in Israel said the "Leahy vetting" was an effective foreign policy tool, which promotes respect for human rights by America's security partners, and the accountability of security force units credibly implicated in gross violations of human rights. It further noted that the law's requirements apply to all countries receiving relevant US assistance, including Israel, and the State Department provides assistance consistent with the law's requirements.
Joel Pollak: Joe Biden’s Executive Order Is a Gift to ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ (BDS)
The terms of Biden’s executive order are not limited to violence: it applies to anyone or anything that the administration says would “threaten the peace, security, or stability of the West Bank.”

That loose definition would theoretically allow the U.S. to sanction anyone and anything in the territory or outside of it, including those (i.e. most of the Israeli population) who believe Israel should retain at least portions of the West Bank in any future peace settlement that would create a Palestinian state.

That means Biden now claims the authority to apply financial sanctions to Israelis in the West Bank, and indeed to Israelis generally, with regard to Israel’s policies in the West Bank, most of which have been adopted in self-defense against terror.

That is exactly the kind of weapon that the BDS movement has sought to wield against Israel for two-and-a-half decades. Already, anti-Israel groups are issuing statements demanding that Biden use his new authority to sanction members of the Israeli government.

BDS has been overwhelmingly rejected by the American people and by their representatives, at every level of government. In 2019, a Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution opposing BDS by the huge margin of 398-17. Several states, both Republican- and Democrat-governed, have also passed laws barring the BDS movement, and boycotting companies that join BDS in isolating Israel. Left-wing California passed an anti-BDS law in 2016 with almost unanimous support.

President Biden’s executive order defies the democratic will of the American people by imposing BDS by fiat. It also comes at a time when Israelis are literally fighting for the existence of their country against Hamas and other Iranian terrorist proxies.

Biden issued the order en route to Michigan, to appease Arab- and Muslim-American voters. In so doing, he defied Congress and the majority of Americans, and gave the BDS movement its greatest victory.

Those who truly oppose BDS must oppose this order.
US Leaning on Israel to Drop Foreign Manpower Providers, Keeping PA Workers Option Open
Israel’s construction industry has been in deep trouble since October 7, 2023, facing a debilitating shortage of experienced workers due to the ban on PA Arabs. Meanwhile, the effort to recruit workers through manpower firms in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe has not been yielding the needed results. On Thursday, Calcalist broke the news that the failure to recruit construction workers abroad who aren’t potential Hamas agents is not going anywhere because of draconian conditions invented by the Justice Ministry, which in turn is being pushed by the Biden administration.

The American excuse is that Israel’s effort to bring in foreign workers who were recruited by private companies would lead to the exploitation of these workers, to the point of trafficking, arguing that Israel is not prepared to combat this problem.

But the real effort, clearly, is to force Israel to legitimize the entry of some 100 thousand Arab workers from the PA. This is because the Biden administration is pushing the two-state solution down Israel’s throat worse than President Obama had done (in some cases it’s the same people), and the envisioned Palestinian State’s economy would inevitably rely on those day workers who bring home the shekels.

The White House’s Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Cynthia (Cindy) Dyer sent an official warning letter to the Justice Ministry and conducted a Zoom discussion with the head of the trafficking unit on the Israeli side. The conversation took two hours and Cindy asked many tough questions and eventually canceled a scheduled visit of Israeli representatives in Washington.
WSJ: UN Agency Accused of Links to Hamas, the Clues Were There All Along
For years, international relief workers and the Israeli military have reported weapons caches found in schools operated by UNRWA in Gaza.

They learned of underground tunnels beneath UNRWA facilities and the theft by Hamas of agency-provided fuel and aid.

In 2014, part of the parking lot at the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza began sinking, likely from a Hamas tunnel dug beneath. A former UNRWA official said, "No one talked about what was causing the collapse, but everyone knew."

Western donors who pay for most of its $1.3 billion budget are questioning whether the agency has become irrevocably radicalized.
Did UNRWA Deceive the Secretary of State to Receive U.S. Funding?
During the last decade, U.S. aid to the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA has been conditioned upon written certification from the Secretary of State that the organization satisfies a series of requirements. One of those criteria is that the agency is taking "all possible measures to assure that no part of the U.S. contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training as a member of...any...guerrilla type organization or who has engaged in any act of terrorism."

In the aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacre, information has come to light indicating that at least 13 UNRWA employees actively participated in the massacre and another 1,200 UNRWA employees are active members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

It is unreasonable to suggest that these 1,200 UNRWA employees were suddenly recruited last year since Secretary of State Blinken gave the previous certification. On the other hand, it is reasonable to assess that he was likely to have been intentionally and maliciously misled by UNRWA and its leadership on the affiliations of UNRWA staff and the recipients of UNRWA aid.

Since the last certifications of Secretary of State Blinken were based on an intentional deception by UNRWA, and that agency cannot meet the requirements and conditions set forth in U.S. law, it would seem that the United States is positively prohibited from transferring any additional aid to UNRWA.
We Need to Talk about the UN in Gaza
With Gaza in ruins and over a million displaced, should we be talking about defunding UNRWA, a UN organization catering to Palestinian refugees? The real problem with UNRWA is that it seems to be a willing enabler of Hamas, a group that is not dedicated to the Palestinian national cause but rather to scuttling any peace deal with Israel enroute to a jihadi Islamic caliphate.

UNRWA runs hundreds of schools for Palestinians who are the descendants of refugees from almost 80 years ago. It schools most of the kids in Gaza. As such, UNRWA has been fully complicit in educating generations of Palestinian children to glorify martyrdom and struggle.

To be fair, the materials used in schools that teach violence, martyrdom, overt antisemitism, and jihad originate with the Palestinian Authority. That Hamas accepts the PA's curriculum tells you much about the degree to which the "moderate" PA's syllabus encourages peaceful coexistence. I understand if UNRWA officials felt they had to bow before a homicidal mafia, but there is a limit past which one loses legitimacy as a humanitarian.

UNRWA has become a self-perpetuating bureaucracy with an interest in maintaining the dangerous fiction that there are many millions of Palestinian "refugees" - instead of pawns being denied basic rights by the countries of their birth, whose language they naturally speak and whose customs they fully share.

Calls Grow for Revoking UNRWA USA’s Tax-Deductible Status
As scrutiny intensifies on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) following allegations that multiple staffers were involved in the Oct. 7 massacre, there are some growing calls to revoke the tax-deductible status of UNRWA USA, which describes itself as “an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports the work of UNRWA through fundraising, education, and advocacy in the United States.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) posted to X, “The IRS needs to immediately revoke UNRWA’s tax-deductible status. It is an organization that employs terrorists who participated in the Oct. 7 massacre.” Cotton, along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), proposed legislation that would rescind UNRWA-USA’s tax exempt status and bar funding to UNRWA.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), who led Tuesday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on UNRWA, told the Journal via email on if he agrees that UNRWA’s tax deductible status should be revoked: “Revoked yes, but I want it totally eliminated as an organization.” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) told The Washington Free Beacon regarding the tax-deductible status, “That is a pressure point that absolutely should be considered and looked into.”

A letter was sent to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Daniel Werfel on Tuesday by International Legal Forum CEO Arsen Ostrovsky, attorney David Schoen, and National Jewish Advocacy Center Director Mark Goldfeder and senior counsel Ben Schlager urging that the IRS revoke UNRWA USA’s tax-deductible status.

“This week a new intelligence report has brought to light the details of how members of UNRWA were actually among the terrorists who massacred 1,200 people on Oct. 7th, in the deadliest assault on Jews since the Holocaust,” the letter, which was obtained by the Journal, states. “Other UNRWA staffers helped coordinate logistics for the assault (including procuring weapons), and still others held innocent people hostage for weeks and months on end. Per the Wall Street Journal, ‘Intelligence estimates shared with the U.S. conclude that around 1,200 of UNRWA’s roughly 12,000 employees in Gaza have links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad,’ both of which are designated foreign terrorist organizations.” The letter also cited a report from U.N. Watch about how 3,000 UNRWA teachers in a Telegram chat “cheered and celebrated” the Oct. 7 massacre.

Israel Says It Has Struck More than 50 Hezbollah Targets in Syria Since Oct 7
The Israeli military said on Saturday that since the outbreak of the Gaza war on Oct. 7 it had struck more than 50 targets in Syria linked to the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

The remarks, in a briefing by chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari that mainly discussed efforts to beat back Hezbollah attacks launched in solidarity with Hamas, were a departure from Israel’s usual reticence about Syria operations.

“Everywhere Hezbollah is, we shall be. We will take action everywhere required in the Middle East,” Hagari said.

Israeli forces have attacked 34,000 Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including 120 border surveillance outposts, 40 caches of missiles and other weaponry and more than 40 command centers, Hagari said. He put the number of enemy dead at more than 200.
IDF: 82% of soldiers treated for mental health since Oct. 7 are returning to duty
Most soldiers who have been treated by mental health officers since October 7 are returning to their unit, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Around 3,000 soldiers in compulsory service or the reserves have been checked by the military’s mental health system, with 82% returning to battle. Three-quarters of those treated for post-trauma symptoms at a designated center at the IDF’s Tzrifin base have returned to duty, following a mutual decision made by the soldier and the mental health professional who worked with them.

These statistics were first reported on Thursday by the Hebrew-language Kan news network and later confirmed to The Times of Israel by the IDF Spokesperson’s office.

“The fact that they return to their role or to the army is a protective shield that helps prevent the development of a long-term disorder,” Lt. Col. Dr. Michal Lifshitz, head of the clinical division of the IDF’s mental health service, told Kan.

Lifshitz attributed the positive outcomes to good preparedness, sufficient mental health staffing, and an approach that has put mental health at the forefront with support available to soldiers not only within Israel but also in combat areas.
IDF finds secret tunnel leading to underground elevator in north Gaza
Soldiers of the IDF's 5th Reserve Brigade combat team, operating in northern Gaza under Division 162's command, last week discovered and destroyed a tunnel shaft that led to a Hamas hideout apartment, which also contained an underground elevator, Maariv reported on Saturday, citing the IDF.

The demolition of the tunnel shaft took place in the al-Shati neighborhood in the Gaza Strip and was done so in cooperation with the Israeli air force.

Location of intelligence documents and weapons
The brigade's soldiers located many weapons and intelligence documents, the latter of which were confiscated, and rocket launchers, which were destroyed. The soldiers were also stationed in defense missions in the surrounding area and later fought in the depths of the Strip as well.

The 5th Brigade's combat team completed its mission and will be replaced by other Israeli forces in the area.

What Happens to Humanitarian Aid After in Enters Gaza?
Have you ever wondered what happens to the humanitarian aid after Israel inspects the trucks and they deliver the food, water, medicine and fuel to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza for distribution to local civilians?

Hamas terrorist thugs take control over the trucks once they pass into Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, and then things get ugly.

“Attacking civilians waiting for aid with batons, and blocking the path of people trying to move from the combat zone to western Gaza: documentation of residents’ lives under Hamas control in Khan Younis,” writes IDF Arabic language spokesperson Avichay Adraee in a post on the X social media platform.

In videos filed in Khan Younis in recent weeks, armed men can be seen preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the Al Amal Hospital area and beating civilians who are waiting for it, shooting into the air to drive them away. Footage can also be seen of armed men blocking the path of civilians trying to move west to the humanitarian safe zone designated by the IDF in Gaza.

“These video clips are just the tip of the iceberg of examples of the types of corruption and cruelty that characterize the lives of residents under Hamas’ control,” Adraee writes.

Iranian Regime's Proxies: Target the Head of the Snake
By not directly targeting the source of support and funding, the Iranian regime, the administration may inadvertently be treating the symptoms rather than the root cause of the problem, and, instead of decreasing Iranian aggression, escalating it.

One viable approach involves focusing on the economic lifelines that sustain the ruling ayatollahs. These lifelines include immediately restoring the "maximum pressure" sanctions the US had imposed earlier, targeting key components of Iran's infrastructure -- such as oil facilities, which serve as vital resources and revenue streams – and banning anyone who trades with them from trading with the US. Disrupting these critical elements not only weakens the economic foundation of this terrorist regime but also undermines its ability to finance proxy activities.

It is equally important to target the leaders and bases of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, where proxies are trained and the attacks originate. By hitting Iran's economic and military infrastructure, the US can exert significant pressure, sending a clear message that the support for proxy warfare -- and Iranian attempts to finalize their nuclear bombs -- would come at an intolerably high cost.
US attacks 85 Iran-backed targets in Iraq and Syria
The United States attacked Iranian proxy targets in Iraq and Syria on Friday in retaliation for an Iran-backed attack in Jordan on Sunday that killed three U.S. soldiers.

“This afternoon, at my direction, U.S. military forces struck targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militia use to attack U.S. forces,” U.S. President Joe Biden stated. “Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing.”

Militant groups, backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, were responsible for the drone attack in Jordan, Biden said.

“The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world,” he said. “But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond.”

U.S. Central Command forces conducted airstrikes “against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups” in Iraq and Syria at 4 p.m. Washington time, CENTCOM stated.

“U.S. military forces struck more than 85 targets, with numerous aircraft to include long-range bombers flown from United States. The airstrikes employed more than 125 precision munitions,” CENTCOM stated.

“The facilities that were struck included command and control operations centers, intelligence centers, rockets, and missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicle storages, and logistics and munition supply chain facilities of militia groups and their IRGC sponsors who facilitated attacks against U.S. and coalition forces,” it added.
US Strikes Iraq and Syria in Retaliation for Iranian Proxy Attack on US Troops
The United States started carrying out retaliatory strikes on Friday in Iraq and Syria, U.S. officials said, after a deadly drone attack by Iran-backed militants in Jordan that killed three U.S. troops and injured some 40 others.

The United States targeted Iran's Quds Force—the elite branch of the regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—as well Iranian proxy militant groups, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. The U.S. military struck more than 85 targets using aircraft including long-range bombers, according to the statement.

The U.S. strikes came hours after President Joe Biden attended a military ceremony honoring the U.S. troops killed in the Sunday drone attack as their remains were returned to the United States. Biden has faced pressure, particularly from Republicans, to retaliate decisively against Iran in the wake of the soldiers' deaths.

U.S. officials have assessed that Iran manufactured the drone used in the attack, though they have also made comments downplaying Iran's responsibility for the militants' attack, telling media outlets that Iran has limited control over its proxy groups.

Amid early reports of the United States' retaliatory strikes on Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) described the response as insufficient.

"The lapse of time has lessened the impact of deterrence," Graham told Fox News. "And by not hitting oil infrastructure in Iran or Revolutionary Guard personnel, you will have failed to make the point."
Seth Frantzman: Why are Iran and its proxies unlikely to be deterred by US strikes?
Iranian pro-government media attempted to ignore the US airstrikes on pro-Iran militias that took place over the weekend. Even though the US struck half a dozen sites with dozens of munitions, the regime in Tehran appears to be downplaying them.

This is likely because very few Iran-affiliated operatives were killed in the attacks. Also, Iran had a week to wait and plan what to do after its Iraq-based militias killed three Americans in Jordan.

At the same time, pro-Iran media in the region, such as the Al-Mayadeen TV channel, have claimed that the sites that were struck had been evacuated, and they say that pro-Iran groups have already begun targeting the US again.

Iran and its militias have also made it clear that countries in the region should not assist the US. Jordan, for instance, had downplayed the attack on its territory after it took place on January 27. In essence, the region feels that this kind of tit-for-tat conflict, in which Iran uses proxies to attack the US and the Americans strike warehouses and other sites linked to the proxies, might as well be happening on another continent.

This is because in the last year, the region has sought to put the era of these kinds of conflicts behind it. For instance, China brokered a Saudi-Iran normalization deal. There is a “ceasefire” in Yemen with the Houthis. Yet the Houthis have carried out dozens of attacks on ships in the Red Sea, destabilizing the region.

Key US partners in the region, such as Egypt and Jordan, want to downplay the tensions. Egypt, for instance, is not interested in discussing the Red Sea, while Jordan put out a statement making it clear that it was not involved in the US strikes in Iraq and Syria.

“The Royal Jordanian Air Force did not participate in the air strikes carried out by the US Air Force inside Iraqi territory,” the Jordanian military said. “There is no truth to the press reports about the participation of Jordanian aircraft in the operations carried out by US forces inside Iraq. The Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army respects the sovereignty of Iraq. The statement underscores the depth of relations that unite Jordan with all Arab countries,” the statement read.

Israel-bound livestock ship back in Australia after 25 days at sea due to Houthi strikes

I was in Hamas captivity – don't keep my husband there
Mr. Prime Minister, I was there, I know.

I know how they feel, I know what they are going through. I know about the feeling of being suffocated, the hunger, the thirst, the pain, the fear and the paralyzing dread, the sleepless nights, the days of sorrow and anxiety. I also know that if I had stayed there another week I'm not sure I would have survived.

Mr. Prime Minister, when I was there I did not know. I did not know if I would survive the hunger, the horrors, the bombings. I did not know if I would get out of there alive if I would see my daughters again, my beloved husband, my family, and friends. And yet, even there in captivity, what kept me going was the knowledge that the state would do everything to bring us all back home. It was the knowledge that we would never be forsaken that kept me alive.

And then I was released, welcomed with warmth and love, the people of Israel embraced my daughters, embraced me with blessings and compassion and I truly knew that soon I would be reunited with my husband and all the kidnapped would return home and reunite with their loved ones.

But now I am left in the dark. I do not know the condition of the captives left behind; I do not know if they have food and medicine; I do not know what they are wearing these cold days as they are inside dark and gloomy tunnels, I do not know how they could survive so many days without sleep; I do not know how my Ohad is and I do not know what efforts are being made to bring all the hostages back home. I do not know what your considerations and those of the War Cabinet members are.

Two weeks after I was released I told you what I went through in captivity, I told you about the harsh conditions there. I also told you about the last time I saw my husband Ohad when he was forcibly taken from our home, shot in the shoulder, and whispering in pain that he was having trouble breathing.

Mr. Prime Minister, I looked into your eyes and you looked into mine and you nodded. Mr. Prime Minister, I do not know what that nod means, I do not know what your considerations are, as well as those of the cabinet members' are, and I do not know what you mean when you say "We are making every effort".

Speaker Johnson announces standalone Israel aid bill to counteract Senate border package
The House is set to vote on a legislative package providing aid to Israel without any spending cuts when lawmakers return to Washington next week, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced over the weekend.

In a Dear Colleague letter sent to lawmakers on Saturday, Johnson announced the bill text would be released over the weekend with a vote scheduled sometime in the coming days. The vote comes as the Senate prepares to release its long-awaited supplemental aid package that would implement stricter security policies at the southern border in exchange for financial aid for Ukraine and Israel.

The Senate is expected to vote on that supplemental bill next week, although Johnson has already deemed the framework “dead on arrival” in the House, making it unlikely to pass. Instead, Johnson will push for the passage of a $17 billion aid package to Israel in a move to preempt the Senate’s bipartisan deal.

“While the Senate appears poised to finally release text of their supplemental package after months of behind closed doors negotiations, their leadership is aware that by failing to include the House in their negotiations, they have eliminated the ability for swift consideration of any legislation,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “As I have said consistently for the last three months, the House will have to work its will on these issues and our priorities will need to be addressed.”

The move underscores Johnson’s previous calls to keep supplemental funding packages separate from border legislation.
US House panel recommends $17.6 billion in military aid for Israel
Legislation providing $17.6 billion in new military assistance to Israel as it wages war against Hamas was unveiled in the US House of Representatives on Saturday.

The funding bill, offered by a House Appropriations panel, could come to a vote in the full House sometime next week, Speaker Mike Johnson said in a letter to members.

The Republican-controlled House had previously approved $14.3 billion in new military aid to Israel, but with the requirement that it be paid for by clawing back a chunk of money already targeted for the US Internal Revenue Service.

On to the Senate
The Democratic-controlled Senate balked at that provision and is expected to unveil a legislative package that would aid Israel as well as provide more military assistance for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

That same Senate bill is also expected to contain proposals for strengthening security along the southern US border with Mexico.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has taken steps to start debate on that multipronged bill next week, with a first procedural vote no later than Wednesday.
The Ricochet Podcast: Where and When to RUNRWAway
Hosted by James Lileks, Rob Long & Steve Hayward
With guest Rich Goldberg
Do you ever get that queasy feeling by the occassional thought that the people running our foreign policy agenda are, well… dumb? We do too. And so does our guest Rich Goldberg, who had to explain some basics to the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this week. He joins today to discuss everything from UNRWA and the tangled mess that is the United Nations, to Iran’s nuclear capabilities and our administration’s weakness in dealing with a middling power.

Steve Hayward fills in for Peter this week. He, James and Rob talk about the economics lesson our criminals are giving the US; plus there’s talk about pop sensation psyops and the comfort that some feel by the thought of a world controlled by malevolent grownups.

The Israel Guys: Joe Biden’s Plan for a Post Hamas GAZA STRIP
The Biden administration has been quietly laying the groundwork for a post war Gaza, and you know who else is preparing? Mahmoud Abbas, dictator of the Palestinian Authority. We go over his plan to take over the Gaza strip post Hamas, along with an update on the current state of the war.

Met Police say 20,000 have joined pro-Palestinian march through London after organisers claimed 'hundreds of thousands' would be demonstrating

Jeremy Corbyn leads protesters in London calling for a ceasefire in Gaza - with 20,000 joining march, despite organisers claiming 'hundreds of thousands' would be demonstrating

University instructor fights back after being suspended for daring to denounce Hamas
The reason academic politics are so bitter is because so little is at stake, it’s said.

But to Paul Finlayson the stakes of his suspension from the University of Guelph-Humber are high indeed. Teaching is his career and his passion, and it has been taken away from him, without process or explanation, by an employer that appears to have been cowed by cancellers and bullies.

The 59-year-old marketing lecturer remains suspended with pay two months after making a social media post he admits was “hot-headed” but, in my opinion at least, constituted fair comment. Lack of movement by the university has forced him to consider taking his case to the Ontario Human Rights tribunal.

I wrote about Finlayson late last year. He has been teaching at Guelph-Humber for 13 years, has no disciplinary record and no history as a political activist.

In a social media post that he admits may have been a little too blistering, he said that an academic in Pakistan calling for Palestine to be free “from the river to the sea” was a “pro-Nazi zealot.” Finlayson said he stands with Israel, against antisemitism and against Hamas, which he said takes millions meant for health and education and uses the money to make war. “You stand with Palestine means you stand with Hitler.”

Hitler references aside, it was all fairly standard stuff.

Guelph-Humber didn’t see it that way, after receiving complaints from students and, it seems, another academic (more of which later). The university suspended Finlayson pending an investigation and cancelled the classes he was set to teach this semester.
NYC Comptroller Brad Lander attends ‘anti-Zionist’ shabbat dinner
The city’s highest-ranking Jewish elected official is under fire for breaking challah with anti-Israel fanatics at a Palestinian restaurant in Brooklyn — which was previously blasted for its antisemitic “From the River to the Sea” menu.

Comptroller Brad Lander joined roughly 1,300 predominantly pro-Palestine backers at a Jan. 27 Shabbat dinner at the eatery Ayat in Ditmas Park, where the list of lefties in attendance included socialist Shahana Hanif, the first Bangladeshi and Muslim woman elected to the City Council.

Lander has previously called himself a “progressive Zionist” and the “highest-ranking Jewish city official” — but critics say his attendance at the dinner gave cover to the eatery and its calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

“Councilwoman Hanif is well-known as the Council’s most prominent antisemite … so it’s not shocking that she finds comfort at a restaurant marketing ‘River to the Sea,’ which is a genocidal chant signifying the violent effort to end Jewish people,” fumed Councilman Kalman Yeger, a Brooklyn Democrat who is Jewish.

“And where there’s an antisemite who needs cover, Brad Lander will always show up; so again, not a surprise.” The exterior of Ayat Ayat sparked outrage in December over its menu, which features the controversial phrase “from the river to the sea.” Gregory P. Mango

Hanif — who was tapped to co-chair the City Council’s new Task Force to Combat Hate — has blamed Israel for inciting Hamas’ murderous Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state, and has called “the root cause” of the resulting war “the illegal, immoral, and unjust occupation of the Palestinian people.”

In April, she voted down a Council resolution to establish “End Jew Hatred Day.”

The effort passed anyway, with overwhelming support.

Ayat, a Palestinian restaurant chain, sparked outrage in December over its menu, which features a seafood section with the controversial phrase “from the river to the sea.” (h/t Jewess)
Will they ever learn? Harvard to host Palestinian professor who said Hamas' Oct 7 attack was 'just a normal human struggle for freedom' and blamed Israel for 'making us take their children and elderly as hostages'

Muslim school teacher says she's victim of racism after being suspended for using 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free' as her email signature

Anti-Israel protesters spew anti-cop chants, clash with officers at Columbia University: ‘NYPD, burn in hell!
Anti-Israel protesters spewing anti-cop chants clashed with police at a rally outside Columbia University on Friday — leading to nine arrests over several hours.

The “All Out for Palestine” demonstration kicked off at 3 p.m. and less than two hours later protesters waving Palestinian flags could be seen in footage posted to social media scuffling with NYPD officers in the street.

“NYPD, KKK. IDF they’re all the same,” the group chanted as at least one protester was seen being detained by police.

A swarm of screaming protesters tried to intervene and rip cops off a woman as they tried to take her into custody in a scuffle, the clip shows.

The demonstration was organized in response to allegations that anti-Israel student demonstrators were sprayed with an unknown, foul-smelling chemical on Jan. 19 while marching through the campus of Columbia University.

The two alleged assailants were banned from campus following the incident and police kicked off an investigation into what “appears to have been serious crimes, possibly hate crimes,” Interim Provost Dennis A. Mitchell said last month.

When Friday’s main protest — attended by hundreds — died down, a smaller group marched south to West 107th Street and Broadway, where more arrests were made.

“You are violent thugs. You are criminals! You are the most violent. You are the most f–king violent,” one protester in custody yelled at cops from the back of a police van.

“It is right to rebel. NYPD, burn in hell! It is right to rebel. NYPD, burn in hell!” others chanted.

Globe Amends Article To Acknowledge That Israel Considers NGO A Terrorist Group
On January 31, the Globe and Mail published an article by Senior Parliamentary Reporter Steven Chase and Africa Bureau Chief Geoffrey York, ostensibly about how various anti-Israel organizations and detractors in Canada and in the Palestinian territories, had warned Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly “to cut off military exports to Israel or face (a) legal challenge.”

According to the Globe’s report: “A coalition of Canadians and Palestinians is urging Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly to cut off military exports to Israel, warning it may bring a legal challenge if Ottawa fails to act. The group, which includes Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights and Al-Haq – Law in the Services of Man, an independent Ramallah-based NGO, argues that Ottawa’s Export and Import Permits Act prevents the federal government from issuing permits to export military goods and related technology to Israel owing to the “substantial risk” these could be used to commit serious violations of international law and serious acts of violence against women and children.”

Not mentioned in this article, but which has been chronicled by NGO Monitor:
Al-Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS campaigns.
Al-Haq’s General Director Shawan Jabarin has been linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared Al-Haq a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”

This context was vital for the Globe’s readers to see. Simply put, one of the organizations advancing this legal challenge is designated by Israel (and the U.S., E.U., etc.) as a terrorist organization and its leader, Israel says, has ties to the PFLP, a Canadian-designated terror group.

After HonestReporting Canada brought this information to the Globe’s attention, this report was amended to acknowledge that Israel banned this pro-Palestinian NGO and listed it as a terrorist group.
Fact check: AI-generated images of children in Gaza
For days, certain pictures of small children lying huddled together on muddy ground or in front of tents have been shared on social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter. They are often accompanied by a Palestinian flag or comments suggesting the children are located in the Gaza Strip.

That people in Gaza — and children in particular — are suffering in dire conditions without sufficient access to food, clean water and medical care has been well documented by the United Nations, human rights organizations, international media and the people themselves.

DW contacted several aid organizations with staff in the besieged territory and heard about living conditions for displaced people there. Matt Sugrue, Save the Children's director of program operations in Rafah, said children and families were living in makeshift shelters or struggling to find places to spend the night, and that there was a lack of toilets and clean water.

The UN has estimated that 85% of Gaza population of 2.2 million people have been displaced by the Israeli military campaign against Hamas, which has been classified as a terrorist organization by Germany and the European Union, along with the United States and many other countries. Many of the displaced people currently live in emergency shelters.

Amid this suffering, unknown parties have chosen to create and circulate fake images about the situation on the ground using artificial intelligence. DW Fact Check examined and concluded that the following three images had been created with the use of AI.

Characteristic AI mistakes
A picture of two boys wearing identical pajamas and huddled together under a turquoise blanket in a blue tent has been seen millions of times. They lie in mud, surrounded by brown puddles of water. But this image was generated by AI, and this is not clearly indicated in the post seen by DW, or in many similar posts.

DW Fact Check circled the parts where there is evidence that AI was used: The two boys each have a foot with only four toes, which is a characteristic AI mistake. The right foot of the boy on the left also appears quite large.

Furthermore, their interlocked fingers look too uniform and their wrists are not bent enough, and at the wrong angle. There is also something wrong with the back of the head and neck of the boy on the left. The body parts merge with the canvas of the tent and are pointed toward the sternum.

Hamas moves to reassert power in Gaza City areas from which Israeli forces withdrew
Hamas has begun to resurface in areas where Israel withdrew the bulk of its forces a month ago, deploying police officers and making partial salary payments to some of its civil servants in Gaza City in recent days, four residents and a senior official in the terror group said Saturday.

Signs of a Hamas resurgence in Gaza’s largest city underscore the terror group’s resilience despite Israel’s deadly air and ground campaign since October 7, when Hamas-led terrorists who stormed the border into southern Israel slaughtered some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and kidnapped 253. Israel has said it’s determined to crush Hamas and prevent it from returning to power in Gaza, an enclave it has ruled since 2007.

In recent days, Israeli forces renewed strikes in the western and northwestern parts of Gaza City, including in areas where some of the salary distributions were reported to have taken place.

Four Gaza City residents told The Associated Press that in recent days, uniformed and plainclothes police officers deployed near police headquarters and other government offices, including near Shifa Hospital, the territory’s largest. The residents said they saw the return of civil servants and subsequent Israeli airstrikes near the makeshift offices.

The return of police marks an attempt to reinstate order in the devastated city after Israel withdrew a significant number of troops from northern Gaza last month, a Hamas official told AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The official said the group’s leaders had given directions to reestablish order in parts of the north where Israeli forces had withdrawn, including by helping prevent the looting of shops and houses abandoned by residents who had heeded repeated Israeli evacuation orders and headed to the southern half of Gaza.

Jordanian school textbook said to paint October 7 atrocities in positive light
Jordan has inserted the Hamas October 7 massacres into its high school civics curriculum, painting the terror group’s atrocities in a positive light, Kan news reported Saturday.

According to the report, there is a passage in a chapter on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a 10th-grade civics textbook that refers to the “Al-Aqsa Flood” — the Hamas name for the October 7 attacks.

“Israel disregarded repeated decisions made by the UN Security Council, refused to retreat from the occupied Arab territories, continued to persecute the Arab and Palestinian people, committed massacres against them daily, and attacked the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the text begins.

Referring to the terror group Hamas, the paragraph continues: “This led the Palestinian national resistance movement in the Gaza Strip to infiltrate the Israeli settlements around the Strip on October 7, 2023, and take Israeli settlers and soldiers hostage, leading to a violent response from the Israeli enemy – a completely destructive attack against the Gaza Strip that brought about the deaths and injuries of tens of thousands and the destruction of infrastructure, including schools, mosques, churches, hospitals, and civilian structures.”

Israel and Jordan are not enemies, having signed a peace deal in 1994, but relations have deteriorated markedly in recent years amid repeated cycles of violence between Israel and Palestinians. Millions of Jordanians are of Palestinian descent.

Notably, the textbook completely disregards the 1,200 people, most of whom were civilians, that Hamas killed in Israel on October 7, as well as the myriad reports and testimonies regarding rampant sexual violence, torture, and other brutalities that its terrorists perpetrated on that day.

Iran Claims To Have Conducted a ‘Massive Operation’ Against Israel’s Mossad
The Iranian government on Friday claimed that it conducted a "massive operation" against Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, and stole information about "secret military facilities" and "weapons factories" operated by the Jewish state.

Iran’s intelligence ministry described the operation as "the largest combined intelligence and counterintelligence operation against the Israeli regime's Mossad spy agency" in the country’s history, claiming that Tehran identified a "number of spies" operating inside the Islamic Republic.

Iran also claims to have unearthed information on "dozens of spies and terrorist elements affiliated with the racist Zionist regime in 28 countries of the world, in the three continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe," according to a report in the country’s state-controlled media.

The announcement, which has not yet drawn a response from the Israeli government, comes as Iran engages in a multi-pronged proxy war against Israel in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack that killed more than 1,200. In addition to funding Hamas’s terrorist campaign, Iranian proxy groups in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria have launched scores of attacks on Israeli and American targets across the region, threatening to ignite a much broader Middle East war.

Iran claims it "identified and arrested" a number of "Mossad-affiliated criminals involved in some terrorist operations inside" the Islamic Republic.

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and regional analyst, cast doubt on the extent of Iran’s claims, saying the hardline regime often projects "what they wish they could do rather than what their actual capabilities are."

"Most Iranians realize when their government makes such claims, it is because they must embrace fiction because nonfiction is just too hard," Rubin said.

Pope condemns anti-Judaism, antisemitism amid new wave of attacks against Jews
Pope Francis condemned all forms of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, labeling them as a "sin against God," after noticing an increase in attacks against Jews around the world.

"(The Church) rejects every form of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, unequivocally condemning manifestations of hatred towards Jews and Judaism as a sin against God," the pontiff wrote in a letter to the Jewish population of Israel dated Feb. 2 and made public on Saturday.

"Together with you, we, Catholics, are very concerned about the terrible increase in attacks against Jews around the world. We had hoped that 'never again' would be a refrain heard by the new generations," he added.

The Pope noted that wars and divisions are increasing all over the world "in a sort of piecemeal world war," hitting the lives of many populations.

Francis, 87, has condemned Hamas' Oct. 7 cross-border attack from Gaza into southern Israel. He has also said on several occasions that a two-state solution was needed to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Mengele's final murder? The mysterious death of an Israeli Nazi hunter in Argentina
On March 23, 1961, the Israeli press published a report that looked like it had been taken from an overly imaginative Hollywood movie. "She followed Mengele in Argentina - and was murdered," the headlines screamed. "The mysterious secretary of the Israeli delegation in Cologne was apparently 'executed' by Nazi agents, who had found out that she was one of the Israeli commandos hunting Nazi war criminals who found refuge in Argentina," the reports claimed.

The name of the mysterious Israeli woman was Nurit Eldad, but she was also known as Eldod, Eldot, and Eldok - and the news report was the first clue to the extraordinary story of her life and death.

The day after the sensational report, the claims that Nurit had been killed while carrying out a spying mission on senior Nazi officials were vehemently denied. "Nurit Eldod – a victim of an accident in the mountains of Argentina – was not murdered by Nazis," wrote the Davar newspaper, which stated that she "perished while hiking in the mountains of southern Argentina - something that was clear beyond a shadow of a doubt already a year ago."

The vigorous denials were effective. The story of Nurit's death and the jaw-dropping news that she was murdered by Josef Mengele, the infamous Auschwitz doctor, who selected who would be sent to the gas chambers, who to experiments, and who to hard labor, were dismissed as an urban legend. However, a close examination of the denials raises questions. An article from the Davar newspaper, which is not signed by any reporter but by Davar Staff, states that "according to the report that arrived in Israel about a year ago, Nurit slipped and fell into a deep crevice and there was no possibility to help her or to retrieve her body."

However, we can now reveal for the first time testimonies of several people who were with Nurit on the trip where she died. These reveal that no one saw her fall to her death. Moreover, her body was found only after a four-day search by a rescue mission, and the testimony of the rescue personnel who indicates that she was found with her backpack and belongings lying neatly next to her – a far cry from the reports that denied foul play.

This did not prevent former Mossad director Isser Harel from publishing a report in the Maariv newspaper in June 1985 that categorically denied the details of the case. "This story has been circulating in various versions for years in the world media," Harel said. "But whenever I was asked about it, including recently, I denied it outright. There never was an 'Israeli agent' who was infiltrated by the Mossad into Mengele's vicinity and murdered by him."
Pierre Trudeau opposed stripping accused Nazi war criminal of citizenship, government document says
As justice minister in 1967, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau argued against revoking the citizenship of a Canadian citizen the Soviet Union had convicted of heading a firing squad responsible for the deaths of 5,128 Jews during the Second World War, says a 617-page report prepared for the Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals decades ago.

The document, now largely unredacted, was released by Library and Archives on Thursday. It was originally prepared for the Deschênes Commission, which in the mid-1980s investigated Nazi immigration into Canada.

The document says a Soviet court tried the Canadian in question, identified only as Subject F, in absentia in Riga, Latvia in 1965 and found him guilty.

It was written by historian Alti Rodal. A heavily redacted version under Canada's Access to Information Act was initially released to the public in 1987. Jewish human rights organization B'nai Brith obtained a less censored copy in June 2023 but Trudeau's position on the case was blacked out in that version.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller says officials are looking into declassifying parts of the Deschênes Commission report, a 1980s inquiry into whether Canada had become a haven for war criminals. Any declassification, he says, would have to be done through a 'careful' process.

In 1967, when Trudeau was justice minister in the government of Prime Minister Lester Pearson, the Department of External Affairs sought his legal opinion on whether there was a solid case for deporting Subject F, based on the USSR's request.

In July of that year, Trudeau wrote to the department that, "it could not be established that Subject F knowingly concealed material circumstances relating to his good character even if it be assumed that he was, in fact, guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted in absentia."
Police arrest Lyft driver who allegedly assaulted Chabad rabbi, now say it was possible hate crime
DC police have arrested the Lyft driver who allegedly assaulted a Chabad rabbi last weekend, and are now treating the case as a hate crime.

Police on Wednesday arrested Tireek Myrick, 32, in the Jan. 28 assault of Rabbi Menachem Shemtov, the Chabad rabbi at Georgetown University and the scion of a prominent family in the Chabad Lubavitch movement. Myrick was charged with simple assault.

The charging document was updated to classify the investigation as one of a hate crime. In an accompanying release, the Metropolitan Police Department did not outline the evidence that caused them to change the designation.

“The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this offense as being potentially motivated by hate or bias,” the release said. “The designation can be changed at any point as an investigation proceeds and more information is gathered. A designation as a hate crime by MPD does not mean that prosecutors will prosecute it as a hate crime.”

Shemtov said the driver took him a short distance before asking him to get out of the car because he didn’t like his “energy.” Disliking Jewish 'energy'

The charging sheet quoted Shemtov as saying Myrick told him, “I don’t like your energy, it’s throwing me off, your energy offends me.” After Shemtov left the vehicle, Myrick allegedly pursued him and punched him the face multiple times.

The Washington Post on Thursday quoted a separate police affidavit as saying that that Myrick had said “your people” when complaining about “energy.”
‘Cleansing the world of Jews’: Porto housing protest turns antisemitic
During a demonstration against the rising cost of housing in the Portuguese city of Porto last Saturday, demonstrators brandished signs with antisemitic messages blaming Jews and Zionists for the economic crisis, according to Porto’s Jewish community.

The signs included antisemitic slogans and calls for the “cleansing the world of Jews.”

Other protesters drew inspiration from the Israel-Hamas war and anti-Israel narratives, instructing people “not to rent a house from Zionist murderers,” “We want a home to live in and Palestine is liberated,” and “Not Haifa and not Boavista, no to a Zionist capital!”

Boavista, a Porto neighborhood referenced by one of the signs, is the home of a synagogue and a growing number of Jewish residents.

“To march for hours through the streets of Porto in an organized demonstration, in the city with the country’s largest Jewish community and where decent and good Jewish businessmen live, and to carry anti-Semitic signs with messages whose call for violence is unquestionable, is not a private matter of one person or another but discrimination, incitement to violence and hatred, acts against which the police must act immediately,” Gabriel Senderowicz, president of the Porto Jewish Community, told Portuguese media.

“One sign compared the city of Haifa to the neighborhood of Boavista where the community’s synagogue is located. Another sign referred to Jewish homeowners, which constitutes a real attack against the Jewish and Israeli residents of the city. In a country of 10 million people with only 5,000 Jews, most of whom arrived in the country in the last decade, the Jewish minority is once again accused of violating the basic rights of the Portuguese, such as the right to affordable housing,” Senderowicz added.

Introducing: Antisemitism for Dummies

Robert Kraft Antisemitism Nonprofit to Air Super Bowl Ad Featuring Associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS), a group created by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, will air its first Super Bowl commercial when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 11.

An estimated 100 million television viewers will see the commercial, which features Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a former legal adviser of civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jones, according to FCAS, helped King draft the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC on Aug. 28, 1963.

“I know I can speak for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when I say without a doubt that the Civil Rights movement (including the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Acts) would not have occurred without the unwavering and largely unsung efforts of the Jewish people,” Jones said in a press release issued by FCAS. “With hate on the rise, it is as important as ever that all of us stand together and speak out. Silence is not an option. I’m glad that I’ve lived long enough to partner with Robert Kraft and FCAS to continue to spread the message to the widest possible audience — the Super Bowl.”

This year’s Super Bowl commercial mark’s FCAS’ biggest push to promote awareness of antisemitism since its founding in 2019. Last year, the nonprofit launched a $25 million multimedia campaign, which asked supporters to use the “Blue Square” emoji available on iOS devices in their social media posts.

FCAS has undertaken numerous other initiatives to address rising antisemitism.
Idan Raichel performs for IDF troops on leave from Gaza frontlines
Some 3,500 IDF soldiers from the 99th Division, who were on leave after intensive fighting on the frontlines in Gaza, were treated on Tuesday to a performance from Idan Raichel.

The 99th Division had been fighting intensely when they were given leave and allowed to visit the Nachshonim camp as part of a “task completion” event sponsored by the IDF’s Human Resources Division, Keren Hayesod-UIA and a number of other organizations.

Raichel performed on a volunteer-basis to entertain the soldiers.

Raichel turned to the soldiers during the performance and said, "This is a good opportunity to thank our friends at Keren Hayesod, who made this concert possible, which you all so well deserve. It's moving to see how the Jewish people around the world are committed and mobilized to help.”

"Keren Hayesod is proud to support and strengthen the spirit of our soldiers, who risk their lives for the State of Israel," said Sam Grundwerg, World Chairman of Keren Hayesod. "We have a tremendous responsibility to help Israeli society during this time of emergency, both the residents of the South and the North, as well as the IDF. Thank you, Idan, and thank you to our fearless soldiers.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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