Sunday, February 04, 2024

From Ian:

Mike Freer and the Islamist assault on democracy
Spot the difference? Cox’s murder was instantly treated as political. Indeed, commentators went far beyond blaming far-right ideology and laid much of the blame at the door of Nigel Farage and Vote Leave, given Cox was murdered during the EU referendum campaign. The day of Cox’s death, Polly Toynbee accused Brexit campaigners of stirring up ‘anti-migrant sentiment’ and emboldening fascists. ‘Rude, crude, Nazi-style extremism is mercifully rare. But the Leavers have lifted several stones’, she wrote.

By contrast, Amess’s murder was drained of any political content. MPs were exhorted to stop the partisan bickering. Articles gestured vaguely to our ‘toxic political discourse’, online and off. And so it has been with Mike Freer. House of Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle responded to his resignation this week by urging MPs to ‘treat each other better’. That’ll show those Islamists.

The glaring double standards in how we talk about far-right and Islamist terrorism would be weird enough were it not for the fact that Islamist terrorism is the bigger threat by a country mile. Despite desperate attempts to pretend otherwise, the fact remains that, from the 7/7 London bombings in 2005 to David Amess’s murder in 2021, 94 people were killed in Britain by Islamist extremists. In the same period, three people were killed in Britain by far-right extremists.

We shouldn’t be picking and choosing which flavour of fascist violence – Islamist or far right – we are more bothered by. But that is precisely what the great and good are doing when they downplay Islamist terrorism while fluffing up Britain’s far right – which has long been pathetic and marginalised – into some existential threat.

This has consequences, not least for counter-terrorism. William Shawcross’s 2023 review into the Prevent scheme, aimed at stopping people being drawn into terrorism, argued that officialdom has become obsessed with right-wingers and soft on Islamists: the boundaries around what is even considered Islamist extremism are ‘drawn too narrowly’, concluded Shawcross, ‘while the boundaries around the ideology of the extreme right-wing are too broad’.

Of course, we shouldn’t be complacent about the far right. In 2019, neo-Nazi and paedophile Jack Renshaw was convicted for plotting to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper. He said he was inspired by Cox’s murder. While Cooper courageously carried on serving her constituents for a few years after the trial, she decided to step down as the member for West Lancashire in 2022, admitting that ‘events I have faced have taken their toll’.

But nor should far-right extremism be used as a means to distract attention away from the much bigger threat to British life posed by Islamist extremism. The constant deflections are grotesque – and bred of a perverse, genuinely bigoted notion that to talk too much about Islamist extremism is to risk offending Muslims and / or radicalising the white working class, effectively treating both groups as volatile terrorist sympathisers.

That Mike Freer’s resignation has elicited little more than a sad-eyed shrug shouldn’t really surprise us. Our ruling elites have become so paralysed by political correctness and plain old cowardice that they would rather prattle on about civility in public life than name the barbarous movement that is menacing their colleagues.

No one can blame Mike Freer for feeling he had no choice but to step down. He has been abandoned by a political and media class who would rather throw one of their own to the wolves than risk having some uncomfortable conversations.
Stephen Pollard: Mike Freer is not alone. I too was targetted by Islamists
Most chilling of all was when we were told what to do if we opened the front door by mistake to someone threatening: run, with our children, as fast as possible to the back into the garden and then through a gap in the fence, while alerting the police. Let me tell you – it is no way to live, always on the lookout for something suspicious, never fully able to relax when outside.

The security minister, Tom Tugendhat, confirmed last year that Iran uses organised criminals to spy on prominent British Jews for a potential assassination campaign. “We know that the Iranians are using non-traditional sources to carry out these operations, including organised criminal gangs. They are paying criminal gangs to conduct surveillance … I do not issue these warnings lightly.”

Last month the Government proscribed the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. That was important. But it is the tip of the iceberg. Despite programmes like Prevent, which is meant to stop radicalisation, the UK is rightly regarded worldwide as a haven for Islamists, which makes us a breeding ground for terror. Even in supposedly mainstream mosques there are many examples of preaching which is clearly designed to radicalise and which is often unambiguously anti-Semitic. These are not hidden or underground – you can see them on social media.

We let the Islamists off the hook as if we have no choice. When a teacher at Batley Grammar School attempted to lead a discussion on free speech and showed a cartoon of Mohammed, a mob descended on the school and he was forced into hiding – where he remains, three years on. We neuter ourselves from acting, in the name of “community relations”.

Nothing I have written is new or in any way surprising. I could have written it at any point in the past 20 years and it’s a near certainty that I will be able to write it for years to come. For all the bluster we hear about refusing to accept intimidation or Islamist threats, as a nation we still refuse to take radical Islam seriously. (Not, I should say, the police and security services, who continue to do brilliant work keeping us safe.) Until a few months ago, for example, the Government was – this would be funny if it wasn’t so appalling – attempting to negotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s leading funder of terror. And Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has still not been proscribed.

Now an MP has decided to stand down because he is unwilling any longer to subject his family to the risks. The sentiment should be “enough is enough”. Except history shows exactly what will happen: nothing.

Did they chant ‘Gas the Jews’ or ‘Where’s the Jews!’
Dr Helen Fraser, who is not involved in this dispute, has lectured on phonetics in universities for almost two decades and is now an independent researcher, helping courts to ‘hear the truth’ in covert recordings. She believes that proper expertise hardly ever means the police, whose transcriptions are far too prone to cognitive bias, not to mention lacking in scientific probity.

In her experience, ‘creating a reliable transcript of indistinct audio is a specialised task, requiring real, not “ad hoc”, expertise’.

Yet now police have ad-hoc experted that pro-Palestinian protesters on October 9, 2023 at the Opera House were not chanting ‘Gas the Jews!’ but were looking for directions to the nearest Jews, chanting (ungrammatically): ‘Where’s the Jews!’ It is obvious that police did not provide directions, as the chants continued.

It is my opinion that this interpretation by police is an insult to the public’s intelligence.

As one expert in the field has pointed out previously, ‘Listening many times is necessary, but far from sufficient. What gives detectives the appearance of special ability is not the fact they have listened many times, but the fact they have background information and expectations about the recording. While such background may sometimes give police reliable insight about parts of an indistinct recording, it is a double-edged sword, which may mislead detectives as easily as assist them.’

Listen for yourself, and see if you agree with the police expert.

‘No evidence’ antisemitic phrase was chanted at Opera House
Investigators 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”, police added.

“As a result of that examination, the expert has concluded with overwhelming certainty that the phrase chanted during that protest, as recorded on the audio and visual files, was, ‘Where’s the Jews?’” he said.

“Not another phrase, as otherwise widely reported.”

While the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has accepted the findings, the demonstration at the Opera House remains “a night of national shame and infamy”.

The Sydney Jewish community was told to stay away from the Opera House that night, despite its iconic sails being lit up in blue and white to mourn the victims of the October 7 massacre.

The sails of Sydney Opera House shone blue and white on Monday October 9 2023, in solidarity with the people of Israel.

“Less than 48 hours after 1,200 innocent human beings were murdered, raped and mutilated and hundreds were taken hostage – activists menacingly chanted “F**k the Jews” and “Where’s the Jews?” whilst burning an Israeli flag and throwing flares at the Opera House”, NSW JBD said in a statement.

“If they wanted to know where we were whilst they were out celebrating, we were at home mourning our dead family and friends and worrying about those who had been taken hostage.

“Based on the Police advice to the Jewish community to stay away from the CBD, we can only imagine what would have happened if they had found “the Jews”.
Sydney Opera House rally ‘glorified terrorism’, witness says
Centre for Youth Policy Director Freya Leach says the pro-Palestine rally at the Sydney Opera House on October 9 was “glorifying and justifying terrorism”.

Ms Leach sat down with Sky News Outsiders to discuss what she saw at the rally following Hamas’ attacks on Israel on October 7.

“They were celebrating on the steps of the Opera House when I was there in a very positive tone,” she told Sky News Outsiders.

She said the protestors were expressing happiness at the “resistance of the Palestinian people”.

“This rally was just despicable.”

‘Shame on you’: Rowan Dean blasts NSW Police over Opera House protest claims
Sky News host Rowan Dean has blasted NSW Police over claims that pro-Palestine protesters did not chant “gas the Jews” and instead screamed “where’s the Jews” at the Sydney Opera House.

The rally outside the Sydney landmark took place two days after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.

Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon told reporters an expert in biometric science was recruited by investigators to analyse audio-visual files and determine what was being said.

The expert concluded with “overwhelming certainty” the phrase chanted during that protest, as recorded on the audio and visual files, was “where’s the Jews”, according to Deputy Commissioner Lanyon.

Mr Dean hit back at the claims by NSW Police, arguing multiple people have come out and said they heard “gas the Jews”.

“Shame on you. What an absolute disgrace,” he said.

“Australia should hang its head in shame and New South Wales, that bloke should be hunted tomorrow.”

Israel caught by surprise by leak of UNRWA's October 7 allegations
The Israeli defense establishment was caught by surprise when UNRWA announced that it had been informed about allegations that employees of the agency had taken part in the October 7 massacre, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

According to the report, leaders in the IDF were so shocked when a senior US diplomat contacted them last week to request further details about allegations concerning the UNRWA employees that they ordered an internal inquiry about how the information about the allegations had leaked.

While many Israeli officials are opposed to UNRWA, some military leaders didn't want to see the agency shuttered amid the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Times, on January 18, UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini met with senior Israeli diplomat Amir Weissbrod in Tel Aviv for a routine, periodic meeting, but Weissbrod surprised Lazzarini by supplying him with intelligence about UNRWA employees' involvement in the massacre.

After the meeting, Lazzarini assessed the allegations and flew to New York to meet with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, later firing the employees in question, a UN official told the Times.

Less than a week after the meeting in Tel Aviv, UNRWA told US officials about the allegations, leading US diplomats to ask the Israeli defense establishment for further clarification. The request from the US surprised the defense establishment as they were not aware that the allegations had been provided to UNRWA, raising concerns that the claims were being circulated without a proper strategy.

Officials in the Foreign Ministry were surprised by the developments as well, as they didn't expect donor states to react so quickly, an official briefed on the decision to provide UNRWA with the allegations told the Times.

UNRWA’s nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize is ’really a very very bad joke’
Says Maurice Hirsch, after a Norwegian MP has proposed UNRWA for the Nobel Peace Prize amid heightened international scrutiny over the alleged involvement of its employees in the October 7 massacre in southern Israel

Bank Leumi Bows to US, Freezes Accounts of Sanctioned Israeli

UNRWA Account Blocked by Bank Leumi

Netanyahu lays out conditions for ending war against Hamas
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday set out the country’s core demands for ending the war against Hamas in Gaza.

“The essential goal is, first of all, the elimination of Hamas. To achieve this goal, three things are needed,” Netanyahu told journalists ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv.

“The first requirement is the collapse of Hamas’s battalions. To date, we have leveled 17 out of 24 battalions. Most of the remaining battalions are in the southern Gaza Strip and Rafah—we will also take care of those,” he said.

After the battalions are destroyed, the Israeli military will have to carry out clearance operations to prevent Hamas from rebuilding its terrorist army, “as our forces are doing with determination in very aggressive raids in the north and center of the Strip,” Netanyahu continued.

Finally, Netanyahu said, Israel will need to complete “the neutralization of the underground [tunnels], as our forces are systematically doing in Khan Yunis and in all parts of the Strip, and this requires more time.”

The Israel Defense Forces will not withdraw from Gaza before it achieves the goals of eliminating Hamas, returning all 136 hostages and ensuring that the coastal enclave never again constitutes a threat to the Jewish state, Netanyahu reiterated.

Netanyahu also called to replace the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA with other aid organizations “not tainted by support for terrorism.”
‘Allowing Hamas to stay in Gaza is not acceptable’
An interview with Israel's former U.N. envoy Danny Danon.

Ambassador Danny Danon is a senior member of Israel’s Knesset and chairman of World Likud. He previously served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, minister of science and technology and deputy minister of defense.

In November, Danon co-authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed with Yesh Atid MK and former deputy Mossad director Ram Ben Barak discussing the international community’s moral imperative to provide Gazans safe haven away from the war-torn enclave.

In an interview with JNS, Danon went over the war’s latest developments. He addressed his recent interview with Sky News, which led the outlet to publicly apologize, Israel’s progress in dismantling Hamas, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s terror involvement and Israeli demands for another round of elections.

Q: In your view, how is the war against Hamas going?

A: We started out very strongly. We achieved a lot in the first stages. We were able to release hostages. When we resumed the war effort [following a week-long ceasefire in November], due to pressure mainly from the United States we changed the way we operate, which [resulted in the progress being] much slower. I think we have to go back to the way that we conducted this war at the beginning, which involved evacuating the population, using airstrikes and being much more aggressive against Hamas.

Q: Do you think Netanyahu’s stated goals of destroying Hamas, returning all the hostages and ensuring that Gaza can never again pose a threat are realistic?

A: I don’t think we have any other choice. We have to make sure we achieve those goals. Allowing Hamas to stay in Gaza is not acceptable and will endanger the State of Israel. It will also encourage terror organizations to continue attacking us.

Q: Do you believe that the Biden administration is fully behind Israel?

A: We appreciate the support we receive from the Biden administration. However, one cannot expect us to win the war with our hands tied behind our back. We expect our allies to realize that we have to use force to eradicate evil. We can’t do it without our air force or with humanitarian aid going straight to Hamas.
IDF reservists, families of hostages hold cross-country march ‘Until Victory’
Reservist soldiers and families of hostages held in Gaza are in the midst of a five-day cross-country march, titled “Victory March: Keep Going Until IDF Victory.”

They began walking on Sunday at Kibbutz Zikim, outside the northern Gaza Strip; the march will culminate on Thursday at a rally in Jerusalem.

“After Hamas killed 1,500 people, they must pay a heavy price and in our opinion areas that have already been conquered should not be given back,” Gilad Ach, one of the organizers of the march, told JNS.

“For 20 years, we have been engaging in wars without defeating Hamas. We entered the Gaza Strip, lost friends and family members, went out and then allowed Hamas to rebuild and become stronger,” said Ach, the CEO of the Ad Kan (“It Stops Now”) organization, founded in 2015 by a group of IDF security personnel to fight anti-Israel bias.

The march is organized by Reservists Until Victory (Mahal HaMiluimnikim), which was founded by reserve soldiers released after serving in the Gaza Strip and at Israel’s northern border with Lebanon since Oct. 7.

“If Israel retains all of northern Gaza as a military zone, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen will understand that people who kill Jews because they are Jews will pay a high price,” Ach said.

“In Jerusalem, we expect 50,000 people and I hope our government will listen to the voices of its soldiers. They sent us into battle and we expect that part of Gaza will remain under Israeli control indefinitely,” he added.

Speakers will include senior reserve officers who recently returned from the battlefield, relatives of hostages, rabbis and activists.
IDF has struck over 3,400 Hezbollah targets since Oct. 7
The Israel Defense Forces has struck more than 3,400 Hezbollah targets in Southern Lebanon since the Iranian terror proxy joined the war in support of Hamas, IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Saturday.

Since Hezbollah escalated its attacks on Israeli territory in the wake of the bloody Hamas invasion of Oct. 7, the IDF has struck some 120 observation posts, 40 weapons depots and 40 command and control centers manned by Hezbollah operatives, according to Hagari.

Additionally, late last month the Israeli Air Force bombed an Iranian-built airstrip in Southern Lebanon that was used to launch drones.

More than 150 terror cells in Lebanon were attacked, in which some 200 operatives were killed, mostly Hezbollah members, according to Hagari.

In a rare acknowledgement of Israeli operations in Syria, Hagari also stated that more than 50 Hezbollah-linked targets in that country have also been hit by the IDF since Oct. 7.

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

For its part, Hezbollah fired more than 2,000 rockets at Israel between Oct. 8 and Jan. 9. Additionally, the Iran-backed group has launched dozens of anti-tank missiles and drones at Israeli territory.

Hamas set to reject Gaza hostage and ceasefire deal, demand more prisoners - report
Hamas is set to reject on Sunday evening the Gaza hostage and ceasefire deal proposed in Paris last week, Saudi outlet Al-Arabiya reported.

According to the report, the terror organization is set to demand an increase in the number of Palestinian terrorists released from Israeli prisons.

Later, KAN, citing a Hamas source speaking to Al-Quds newspaper, reported that for the time being, it is Hamas’s position that the beginning of a deal has not been reached. The source went on to add that Hamas maintained its insistence that the IDF withdraw from Gaza and provide Hamas with certain guarantees to end the war.

Reportedly, Hamas's official response to the hostage deal will not come on Sunday evening.

Israel won’t agree to pay any price to return the over 130 hostages held in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his government hours before Hamas was expected to deliver its response to the framework of an agreement reached in Paris last week.
IDF takes control of Hamas's Khan Yunis HQ used by Sinwar's brother
The IDF announced on Sunday that it has taken control of the Hamas brigade headquarters in southern Gaza, which was also used by Muhammad Sinwar, brother and top lieutenant to Gaza Chief Yahya Sinwar.

Previously, on December 17, the IDF had announced it had penetrated Hamas's City Hall and another office of its brigade chief, Rafa’a Salame.

IDF sources said that the headquarters which was taken over was the largest they had seen in Khan Yunis. Full operational control of Khan Yunis is expected in the coming week

Also, IDF sources said that they expected to achieve operational control in Khan Yunis within one week, the smallest amount of time the IDF has given for this benchmark.

Last week, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel had already taken apart all of Hamas’s four battalions in Khan Yunis.

But at the same IDF sources had told the Jerusalem Post that he must have meant that the process of taking apart the battalions was so far along – even if not complete – that it was close to inevitable and would occur very soon.

Even after operational control is achieved, as the IDF achieved in northern Gaza over a month ago, IDF sources acknowledged that there will still be fighting and significant “mopping up” operations of smaller remaining terror cells.

IDF Medics Use New App to Transfer Info from Combat Zones to Hospitals

Taken by Hamas: “Every Second of Our Lives Is Trauma.” | TFP IN ISRAEL
It’s hard to imagine anything taking greater priority than returning the 136 innocent people who are being held hostage by Hamas. But the Israeli government’s twin goals of destroying Hamas and bringing the hostages home are considered by many Israelis to be at odds with each other. How can both be achieved at the same time?

The Free Press’s Bari Weiss traveled to Israel, visited Hostages Square in Tel Aviv, and spoke to family members of those taken by Hamas, including a sit-down in Jerusalem with Rachel Goldberg, whose 23-year-old son Hersh is still in captivity.

Weiss and a team of Free Pressers spent a week in Israel, speaking to survivors of October 7, soldiers, reservists who are fighting in Gaza, family members of hostages, Israeli refugees, Arab-Israelis, Palestinians in Ramallah, politicians, thinkers, journalists, writers, and the people on the ground who are living in and fighting against the war. Follow us on X, Instagram, and TikTok to hear those conversations.

'Emily has code words for Gaza captivity,' father Thomas Hand says
In a KAN News interview with Thomas Hand and his daughter Emily, Hand expounded upon his daughter’s captivity in Gaza, detailing how she is progressing, and has “code words” for the terrorists.

Emily, kidnapped from kibbutz Be’eri by Hamas terrorists on October 7, was released on November 25 as part of a deal exchanging Israeli hostages with Palestinian prisoners.

Speaking of his daughter’s recovery process following her 50-day captivity, Hand said, “She’s very, very good, making progress, recovering. The rest of us are broken now.” Code words to recount captivity

He added that his daughter “doesn’t say a lot” regarding her captivity, but rather “has code words for Gaza, terrorists…”

Turning to Emily, he asked: “What’s Zeitim? [Hebrew for olives]?”

Emily promptly responded: “Terrorists.”

As the camera panned onto a whiteboard with a list of Emily’s code words, Thomas explained, “Any food or item that she doesn’t like, she transfers that word into code.”

Asked by the interviewer why she has codes, Emily said: “Sometimes it is uncomfortable for me to say these words.”

Thomas expounded upon the conditions in which Emily was detained. “I believed she was down in the tunnels because that’s the safest place, that’s where they would treasure their hostages, but no, from the time she was kidnapped, they ran from one house…next morning, they ran to another house… presumably taking one step ahead of the IDF.”

In Gaza, Emily was mostly with men. When asked whether there was even one nice man in captivity, or as Emily termed it “the box,” she answered categorically “no.”

At one point, Thomas recounted, a terrorist told the then-eight-year-old Emily: “Uskut” [Arabic for be quiet] or I’ll kill you with this knife.”

9-year-old Emily Hand readjusts to life back in Israel after being released from Hamas captivity
9-year-old Emily Hand keeps readjusting to life back in Israel two and a half months after being released from Hamas captivity

'If you ask me, as a parent, as a friend of people who are captured, I have to say: do the deal, give them whatever they want to get everyone back. You can't go in letting them think they can ask for anything... I was very lucky I got my little girl back,' says her father Thomas

13-year-old former Hamas hostage speaks about traumatic captivity for first time
13-year-old Hila was kidnapped on October 7 along with her mother and her friend Emily, and was held for 50 days

She talks about her traumatic experience in captivity for the first time, and pleads for the immediate release of the remaining hostages who are 'in mortal danger'

Video courtesy of the Families Forum of Hostages and Missing Persons

Dennis Ross: The road to peace in Gaza: a veteran negotiator’s plan
For more than 30 years I have worked to try to make peace between Arabs and Israelis, serving under five different presidents. I have seen highs, partial agreements and even a near agreement in 2000, when the “Clinton parameters” were accepted by the Israeli government and the Palestinian negotiating delegation, but not by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. I have seen lows: the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Hamas suicide bombings of cafés, buses and discos that were timed to derail progress that we were making.

But none of the lows produced a reality that is as grim as today. For Israelis, October 7 is a trauma that will take years to recover from; the shattering of their security, combined with the fear that what Hamas did is what Palestinians support and would repeat if they had the chance, inevitably makes them reluctant to contemplate the risks required for peace-making. Consumed with their own sense of loss, Israelis seem largely unaware of the Palestinian losses in Gaza — or simply unable even to think about them.

For Palestinians, the death and destruction of recent months has created collective trauma. Palestinians see the Israelis inflicting huge casualties with seemingly little concern for the pain caused. They see the Israelis dehumanising them and rationalising the ferocity of their military onslaught with the need to “defeat Hamas”.

These two societies are both utterly absorbed in their own trauma. This hardly seems like the time, then, to talk about producing two states for two peoples and ending the conflict. Neither can imagine concessions to the other.

And yet there may be an opportunity emerging from the tragedy. From my conversations with senior officials in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it is clear to me that there is a readiness on their part to play a role in Gaza and even the West Bank that they have never been prepared to play before, provided it is tied to a political horizon or endpoint — and that the endpoint is two states. Biden administration officials, flying busily around the Middle East, share that glimmer of ho.

If the Gulf powers can be convinced there is a plan that will assure that outcome, they will help build the bridge in Gaza and the West Bank to that future and — in the Saudi case — make peace with Israel. But they don’t want to invest in another partial process that leads nowhere or repeats the events that have transpired since the Oslo process of the 1990s broke down.
Dennis Ross Is Blaming Israel Again
Former U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross just can’t stop blaming Israel.

Speaking via Zoom for the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism & Policy on Jan. 31, Ross offered some expected, perfunctory criticism of Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah. But again and again, he managed to bring in one-sided and unfair criticism of Israel.

Referring to Israel’s counter-terrorism actions in Judea and Samaria, Ross said: “West Bank violence [by Arabs] is not disconnected from Israel’s policies in the West Bank.”

That’s just absurd. The terrorists are not responding to Israeli policies. They were murdering Jews long before there were any settlements or so-called occupied territories. They oppose Israel’s existence, not its borders. It’s these terrorists who are the aggressors, and Israelis must respond to them.

Regarding Gaza, Ross said: “The Israelis haven’t done everything they could to spare civilians in Gaza.” Is he kidding? The Israelis have refrained from striking terrorist targets where there are civilians. They have personally warned civilians to evacuate, again and again, through leaflets and phone calls and public announcements. They have risked the lives of their own soldiers by going house to house, instead of just bombing from the air. What else can they possibly do?

Ross also commented on the recent ruling by the International Court of Justice—the ruling that failed to condemn Hamas and demanded that Israel give more aid to Palestinians in Gaza. He said the ruling was “not irresponsible” and that it was provoked by “extreme statements by Israeli politicians.” That’s simply nonsense. The statement that the court cited most prominently was made by Israel’s left-leaning president, Isaac Herzog, who said that many ordinary Gazans supported the Hamas massacre, which was a perfectly reasonable statement of fact.

The practice of saying a few perfunctory crucial words about terrorists and then “balancing” it with criticism of Israel is typical of the grotesque “even-handedness” that Ross and his colleagues pushed during his many years at the U.S. State Department.

That approach was wrong then, and it’s wrong now. There can be no “balance” between good and evil. Israel and the Palestinian Authority are not on the same moral level. Israel is America’s loyal, reliable, democratic ally. The P.A. is a terror-sponsoring, hate-mongering dictatorship.
Riyadh wants declaration on Palestinian state for Israel ties
Saudi Arabia would suffice with a declared Israeli commitment to the two-state solution in order to normalize ties with Jerusalem as part of a broad agreement including a defense pact with the United States.

Citing three unnamed sources, Reuters reported that the Saudis are eyeing a deal before the U.S. presidential election in November, and that Israel’s war against Hamas had not entirely derailed diplomatic efforts.

The Saudis froze U.S.-backed normalization negotiations shortly after Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre sparked the war.

According to the report, Riyadh’s primary goals are to shore up its security due to intensifying threats from Iran and forge ahead with diversifying its oil-based economy by attracting foreign investment.

In order to achieve this goal, the Saudi monarchy is willing to accept a political commitment by Jerusalem to the two-state solution. To this end, Riyadh has been urging Washington to apply pressure on Israel to end the war against Hamas and agree to a “political horizon” for establishing a Palestinian state.

While the Saudis have not defined what an acceptable “pathway” to a Palestinian state would entail, the report said one step could be for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to drop his opposition to the Palestinian Authority playing a significant role in post-war Gaza.

Earlier this month, NBC News reported that Netanyahu had rejected a Saudi offer to normalize relations in exchange for a Palestinian state. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly delivered the proposal to the Israeli leader during his trip to the Jewish state in January.
You can’t just say ‘abracadabra’ and conjure a democratic Palestine, Lord Cameron
A few weeks ago, I wrote that the British government was in danger of magical thinking when it came to its ideas about what might happen after this conflict. The occasion then was Defence Secretary Grant Shapps’s suggestion that Gaza might be governed by the corrupt, much-hated PA, with some additional help from Britain in training and advising its murderous security forces.

Now we have further examples. The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn was rightly criticised for its policy that Britain would recognise a Palestinian state on “day one” if it formed a government, even though nothing that could reasonably be called a state was actually in existence. Under Keir Starmer, this has been comprehensively jettisoned: Labour’s policy now, sensibly, is to see Palestinian statehood as a goal to be achieved at end of the process, not the beginning.

That used to be Tory policy too. But earlier this week, Foreign Secretary David Cameron seemed to taking at least half a leaf from Corbyn’s book, suggesting that “recognition” from Britain of an independent Palestine “doesn’t have to be the very end of the process. It could be something that we consider as this process, as this advance to a solution, becomes more real.”

The Biden administration, according to reports from America, is thinking along lines even closer to Corbyn’s, with senior officials said to believe that “unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state should be the first step in talks to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict instead of the last”.

When I visited Israel last month, it seemed evident that as numerous Israeli politicians have said, it is far too early to be talking about the contours of a final status, two-state solution. Before most Israelis can contemplate such things, the war has to end, with the remaining hostages freed, Hamas defeated and basic security restored.

At the same time, the facts in Gaza have to be addressed. Almost as many Palestinians live there as in the West Bank, and they have suffered grievous casualties, have had no means of earning a livelihood for four months and counting, and tens of thousands have lost their homes. Dealing with this is not a small problem, and its political consequences will not be trivial.

I ended my previous column on the dangers of magical thinking by stating that I don’t have the answer to what should happen to prevent future violence. But I do know what won’t: Biden and Cameron waving a magic wand and saying “Abracadabra”.
Is a former German official deliberately trying to sideline Israel at the Munich Security Conference ?
The organizers of the Munich Security Conference, considered one of the most respected events held annually in the area of defense, have apparently decided this year to sideline Israel, Israel Hayom has learned, presumably because of the Gaza war.

The conference has traditionally had Israeli speakers placed in key panels and forums. This includes Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli defense ministers Benny Gantz, Yoav Gallant, and Moshe Ya'alon, all of whom were allowed to address the plenary. However, ahead of this year's conference, which will take place in two weeks, the organizers have to reject all of Israel's requests for key appearances at the conference.

The request from Defense Minister Yoav Galant's office was rejected, essentially denying him the opportunity to speak to a large audience. Instead, Gallant was offered to participate as a panel speaker. The families of the hostages held in Gaza have also been rebuffed – their request to hold a special ceremony in honor of their loved ones in a large forum was refused. They were told they could hold an event on the sidelines, which means that there would be scant attendance and little media coverage.

It should be noted that the chairman of the Munich Security Conference is Christoph Heusgen, who served as chief foreign policy advisor under then-Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has a very problematic record regarding Israel.

For example, he defended UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' after the latter said that "Hamas' massacre did not happen in a vacuum" and opposed Israel's Gaza campaign.

According to Heusgen, one should take into account "56 years of occupation." He also said that "a diplomatic solution must be reached. We have to prevent an outbreak, that is, an invasion of Israeli soldiers into the Gaza Strip. Israel should refrain from ground attack".

More than 400 activists lobby for Antisemitism Awareness Act, aid to Israel
The Jewish Federations of North America sent more than 400 activists from more than 65 communities to Washington, D.C., last week, where they met on Capitol Hill with more than 140 congressional offices.

Among their goals were to push for measures to counter the global rise in Jew-hatred, urging passage of the Antisemitism Awareness Act; increased funding for Israel’s military in the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas; and a boost to a program that provides security grants to faith-based nonprofits.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act would require the U.S. Department of Education to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

Eric Fingerhut, JFNA’s president and CEO, addressed those gathered on Jan. 31: “We stand here in the Capitol of the freest, safest, most powerful open, inclusive democracy in the history of the world.“ He stated that historians would write that “the Jewish people came to the Capitol of the greatest democracy in the history of the world and stood up for the renewed Jewish sovereign state.”

Michael Herzog, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, addressed the activists as well, saying “you have no idea how important your support is. The people of Israel know it; they appreciate it. And I’m here on their behalf to say… thank you.”
Biden ignores Palestinian terror on West Bank as administration sanctions four Israelis: 'Pure politics'
Yisrael Medad, who lives in Shiloh in Samaria, told Fox News Digital, "I think the executive order does a disservice to the cause of justice.

"There are many more Arab residents of the same territory that deserve the restrictions more, including members of the Palestinian Authority governing bodies. Actually, Mr. Biden should push applying the terms of the Taylor Force Act first."

Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, named after West Point graduate Taylor Force, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. A Palestinian terrorist stabbed Force in 2016. The act seeks to stop economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until it pulls the plug on its monetary subsidy system to Palestinians convicted of terrorism and their family members. The program has earned the infamous name "Pay to Slay."

When asked about what is motivating Biden to punish Israelis living in settlements, Medad, who has written extensively about the area, said, "He is doing so to placate Mahmoud Abbas (the president of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank), who Israel refuses to see a part of the post-Gaza War arrangements as well as help out his election campaign, which is threatened by pro-Palestine activists quite openly."

He argued the violence in the region is "Terrorist killings of Jews, official incitement to terror by the Palestinian Authority and the like."

In a recent opinion article for the Jerusalem Post, Medad disputed U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who said Dec. 6 that there has been "unprecedented levels of violence by Israeli extremist settlers targeting Palestinians and their property."

According to Medad, Israeli media reported in early November that, when contrasted with 2022, "there has been an overall almost 50% decrease in incidents in which Jews were engaged in violent offenses in Judea and Samaria." Some half a million Israelis and an estimated three million Palestinians live in the West Bank.

When asked about Ambassador Friedman’s criticism, the U.S. State Department referred a Fox News Digital press query to spokesman Miller’s press briefing Thursday.

"The president and the secretary have both raised our concerns with their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts about the level of violence in the West Bank and stressed that Israel must do more to stop violence against civilians and hold accountable those responsible for it," Miller said during Thursday's State Department briefing.

Miller also noted that, "We continue to make clear that expectation to the government of Israel, and as we do, the United States will also continue to take actions to advance the safety, security and dignity of Israelis and Palestinians alike."

Discrimination complaints filed after BK education council ‘knowingly excluded’ Jewish parents with Shabbos meeting
A parent council in heavily Jewish Brooklyn held a “special meeting” on a Friday evening in January, knowingly excluding anyone observing Shabbat from the public forum, according to outraged community members who called the move antisemitic.

The Community Education Council for District 22, which covers Flatbush, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, and Manhattan Beach, scheduled a follow-up meeting to vote on resolutions after its Jan. 9 meeting went fully remote due to a snowstorm.

Despite calls to the CEC, the city Department of Education, and the Office of Family and Community Engagement, urging them to choose another date, the forum was held on Jan.19 at 6:30 pm, after the Jewish Sabbath was underway.

“Jewish children go to school here, and their families were excluded,” a district parent told The Post.

The volunteer board voted on seeking alternatives to mayoral control of NYC schools, supporting class size mandates, and opposing a 60-day limit on shelter stays for migrants and other public school families.

It also voted against participating in an art and wellness fair and in favor of rescheduling the upcoming March meeting.
Experts: Ilhan Omar a hypocrite for saying Gaza, not Somaliland, ‘occupied’
Somaliland and Gaza are “obviously” very different and have varied realities and histories, Meservey told JNS. “But there is an incongruence in Omar’s approach to the two,” he said.

The Isaaq, the majority Somaliland clan, “suffered a genocide at the hands of Somalia’s federal forces in the late 1980s, yet I’ve never heard her mention that trauma or acknowledge how it affects Somalilanders’ desire to be independent,” said Meservey. “She does, however, denounce what she says is Israel’s genocide of Gazans while simultaneously advocating to keep Somaliland shackled to Somalia.”

Michael Rubin, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who focuses on Middle East, Africa, Turkey and diplomacy, agreed.

“If Omar wants to comment on Somaliland, the tack she should take would be to recommend to Gazans that they should try to replicate the Somaliland model of accountability and responsibility rather than the Somali model of sowing hatred and irredentism,” he told JNS.

According to Rubin, who has visited Somaliland five times, it is a successful state. “It has been independent longer than it was ever in Somalia, and most Somalilanders have never lived under Somali control,” he said. “Unlike Gaza, it is democratic, has demonstrated capacity and has done far more without meaningful economic aid.”

Many Somalis say that Somaliland has no right to independence “because they say it is ethnically the same as Somalia,” Rubin added. “But there are 22 Arab countries, so that argument doesn’t hold.”
Chicago's only Jewish lawmaker is screamed down for opposing motion to call for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war...days after she was jeered during Holocaust Memorial Day speech
The sole Jewish member of Chicago's 50-strong city council was howled down by an angry mob for the second time in a week as the city council slammed Israel for its war on Hamas.

Alderman Debra Silverstein pleaded with colleagues not to pass a resolution which called for an immediate ceasefire without the release of hostages and made no mention of the October 7 attack.

It came just days after protesters disrupted her remarks at City Hall as she spoke movingly of the Nazi-led genocide on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters thronged the building and the public gallery for the knife-edge vote which saw Mayor Brandon Johnson strong-arm opponents before casting the deciding vote.

'There's not even a single mention of the dozens of raped women,' Silverstein said to heckles from the crowd, as a police officer stood close by.

'No reference to the brutal depravity that is now seared into the psyche of every Israeli and every Jewish man, woman and child.'

The resolution made Chicago the largest US city yet to demand a ceasefire in the four-month war which has cost more than 26,000 Palestinian lives, and the Democrat Mayor worked furiously behind the scenes to make it pass.

He asked two senior aldermen to stay away if they could not support it, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, and was slammed for using his casting vote to inflame tensions.

'We should not pass a resolution unless it makes clear that Hamas cannot and should not attack again,' Silverstein said.

'He had an opportunity to be a unifier, and he could have sat down with us and come up with a solution that could have potentially gotten all of us a unanimous vote, and instead he didn't.'

Daniel Greenfield: Dearborn Mayor Claims Exposing Hamas Support is ‘Islamophobic’
The op-ed called out Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud by name and he responded, in typical fashion, by shrieking “Islamophobia” as loudly as he could and called out the police to protect the city’s majority Muslim population from the mobs of Wall Street Journal readers about to descend on them with rolled up copies of the paper.

The media, putting on its straight face, repeated Hammoud’s claims of Islamophobia and the claims that the Muslim population in Dearborn is threatened, without asking him about a single of the statements in the WSJ op-ed or about his own response to Oct 7.

In Abdullah Hammoud’s response, he did not condemn Hamas, he did condemn Israel, and began his response, posted on Oct 7, with, “Israel’s decades of illegal military occupation and imprisonment of Gaza make peace impossible and tragic violence inevitable. Israel has trapped millions of Palestinians in Gaza in what is recognized by the international community as the world’s largest open-air prison. Failure to recognize this context is the inability to comprehend what is unfolding overseas.”

The context for the Hamas kidnapping, massacre, and atrocities committed against Israeli civilians including little children.

He then threw in, “Hypocrisy is sending billions of tax-payer dollars to Ukrainians fighting for their homeland and championing their armed struggle as ‘resistance,’ while condemning even peaceful forms of Palestinian resistance, such as boycotts, as illegitimate.”

In between repeating Hammoud’s sob stories, the media couldn’t find the time to ask him for clarification about this statement.

Jewish student beaten by pro-Palestinian student in Berlin over conflict
A Jewish student ended up in the hospital after he was beaten by a fellow student over a dispute about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Mitte borough of Berlin on Friday night, Berlin Police said on Saturday.

The Jewish student was walking with an acquaintance when they met a fellow student and a dispute developed between the two, as the Jewish student is pro-Israel and the other student is pro-Palestinian.

During the argument, the other student suddenly hit the Jewish student several times in the face, causing him to fall. He then kicked the Jewish student who was lying on the ground and fled the scene.

The Jewish student was evacuated to the hospital while suffering from fractures on his face.

The student suspected of beating up the Jewish student was located by police at his home in Schöneberg. During a court-ordered search of his home, emergency services confiscated evidence, including the student's smartphone.

The investigation is ongoing and has been taken over by a commissioner from the state security police of the State Criminal Police Office. Jewish Student Union VP expresses outrage at wave of antisemitism

Noam Petri, vice president of the Jewish Student Union of Germany, expressed outrage at the attack in a post on X, writing that the students were both from the Freie Universität Berlin.

"Enough, @FU_Berlin!" wrote Petri. "To this day, antisemitic groups spread their hatred. To date, no restraining order has been issued. We continue to fight ✡️".
Forbes France cancels ‘power women’ gala scheduled to feature Hamas apologist
Citing security issues, the French edition of Forbes magazine cancels a gala event in honor of 40 notable women, including one who is under fire for justifying Hamas’s October 7 massacre.

“Conditions are no longer conducive to guaranteeing the positive circumstances for holding the event,” Forbes France tells Le Parisien yesterday.

The response mentions concern for the security of attendees but does not name Rima Hassan, a pro-Palestinian activist whose inclusion on the list of women selected to be honored at the gala is generating controversy tied to her defense of Hamas.

The controversy follows her assertion in a November 29 interview that it is “true” that Hamas’s onslaught — in which the group murdered some 1,200 people and took another 253 hostage — is “legitimate.” Israel’s right to defend itself is “false” and so is the viability of a two-state solution, according to the filmed statements by Hassan, a 31-year-old lawyer.

On X, Hassan writes that she is “furious” aboiut the cancelation: “Note that the pressures come predominantly from men who believe they’re omnipotent and possessing total license,” she adds, thanking the “patriarchy.” She provides a list of seven French Jews whom she calls “boomers who have not yet realized their time is up.”

The list includes Jacques Essebag, a 57-year-old television presenter who last month protested Hassan’s inclusion on the Forbes list; Julien Bahloul, a 37-year-old journalist and activist for LGBTQ parents; and Patrick Klugman, a 46-year-old left-wing politician and lawyer.
Protesters claim ‘Zionists control media’ and call for ‘intifada’ on London march
Over 10,000 anti-Israel protesters marched through central London on Saturday in a demonstration that featured “intifada” chants, support for Yemeni pirates and placards displaying antisemitic conspiracy theories.

One banner declared “the BBC is an arm of the Zionist propaganda machine”, while another stated: “Our media, TV, radio and government are controlled by Zionists.”

Between 10,000 and 20,000 marched through London’s West End to Whitehall, where speeches were delivered.

Some demonstrators called for an immediate ceasefire to the Israel-Hamas conflict. However, outside the gates of Downing Street and near The Cenotaph, calls for intifada as the “only solution” could be heard and leaflets featuring Iranian leader Ali Khamenei were distributed.

The Metropolitan Police said officers arrested a woman on suspicion of setting off a smoke bomb or flare, while another was arrested for chanting slogans “that may incite racial hatred.”

Posters equated Zionism with Nazism and depicted UK and American leaders as Adolf Hitler. Other posters portrayed Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely as demonic.

Support for Yemen’s Houthis, who have been attacking international shipping in recent weeks, was present throughout the march.

1,000 Swedish Musicians Want Israel Banned from Eurovision 2024 for ‘War Crimes’
Recording artists Robyn, Fever Ray, Viagra Boys, and 1,000 more members of Sweden’s music community are demanding that Israel be excluded from Eurovision 2024.

On Monday, more than 1,000 members of the Swedish music community signed an open letter demanding that the European Broadcasting Union, Eurovision’s governing body, exclude Israel from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, in response to Israel’s war against Hamas.

The annual contest is being hosted in Malmö, Sweden, this spring, as the country that won the previous year’s contest gets to host the next pan-European event.

But Robyn (pictured), Fever Ray, Viagra Boys, Refused, First Aid Kit, DJ Seinfeld, El Perro Del Mar, Lust For Youth, Say Lou Lou, Ane Brun, Kleerup, the Knife’s Olof Dreijer, and many others have signed a joint statement demanding that Israel be excluded from the show.

“We believe that by allowing Israel’s participation, the EBU is demonstrating a remarkable double standard that undermines its credibility,” their letter, first published by the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, read.

“Allowing Israel to participate undermines not only the spirit of the contest but the entire public service mission. It also sends the signal that governments can commit war crimes without consequences,” the letter adds. “Therefore, we appeal to the EBU: Exclude Israel from the Eurovision Song Contest 2024.”

Some of the musicians who signed the letter against Israel had participated in past Eurovision contests on behalf of Sweden, including opera singer Malena Ernman, who is also the mother of climate change alarmist Greta Thunberg.
Fetterman slams Harvard for hosting professor who blamed Israel for Oct. 7 Hamas attacks

Nutty NYC professor that held machete to Post reporter’s neck fired from Cooper Union over anti-Israel rants
She already has a machete — now she’s gotten the ax.

Shellyne Rodriguez, the nutty professor caught on camera holding the blade to a Post reporter’s neck in May has been fired from her latest teaching gig at Cooper Union for anti-Israel screeds, The Post has learned.

“Cooper Union has fired me because of a social media post I made about ‘Zionists,’” Rodriguez, 47, wrote in an email to students a week after the spring semester kicked off.

Her Jan. 23 email was shared the next day on Instagram by the Cooper Union Students for Justice in Palestine.

“This is fascism,” she wrote. “Y’all are learning about it in real time.”

In her own Instagram post, Rodriguez said she was fired over “public comments about ‘Zionists.'”

A spokeswoman for the college said it does not comment on personnel matters but Rodriguez is no longer listed as an adjunct on Cooper Union’s faculty page.

It is not clear which posts or comments got her canned but in January Rodriguez participated in a CUNY for Palestine panel and encouraged protesting landlords and business people with ties to Israel. Critics said she spewed antisemitic tropes.

CUNY Law School unable to find graduation venue after past ‘hate speech’ controversies, student antisemitism
The City University of New York Law School is struggling to find a venue for their 2024 graduation ceremony, in the wake of past controversies surrounding the event.

Plans to hold the event at Hunter College fell through, CUNY Dean of Law Sudha Setty told faculty members last week, because of certain “concerns” which she refused to elaborate on.

“They [Hunter College] have a very complicated set of concerns about hosting our commencement. That’s the summary of it,” Setty said according to a recording obtained by Gothamist. When one of her colleagues asked for clarification Setty demurred.

“I might be able to do it elsewhere … we are in a very public setting,” she said.

The objections from Hunter will now force the school to explore the possibility of renting private event space, which could end up being triple the price, Setty said.

CUNY Law’s graduation is planned for May 23, with roughly 160 students in this year’s graduating class.

The situation suggests CUNY Law is still facing blowback from last year’s ceremony, in which speaker Fatima Mousa Mohammed blasted the school for continuing “to train and cooperate with the fascist NYPD, the military.”

She offered additional condemnation to the public institution for continuing “to train [Israeli] soldiers to carry out that violence globally.”

The Palestinian activist falsely condemned Israel for “murdering the old, the young, attacking even funerals and graveyards as it encourages lynch mobs to target Palestinian homes and businesses.”

The fire and brimstone were condemned as “hate speech” by both Mayor Adams and CUNY’s Board of Trustees.

The school announced they would suspend student speakers from ceremonies going forward.

Staff accuse BBC of anti-Palestinian bias in Israel-Hamas war coverage - report
BBC Director-General Tim Davie has been conducting meetings in recent weeks aimed at giving employees space to voice their concerns about the corporation’s coverage of Palestinians throughout the Israel-Hamas war, which they claim is biased, sources in the BBC told news site Deadline last week.

In one memorable meeting on January 12, employees blamed the Broadcasting Corporation for using “dehumanizing” language with regard to the Palestinians in Gaza, while others accused the BBC of omitting specific stories that other networks, such as Al Jazeera and Channel 4, reported.

The complaints are based on a broad examination of some 4,600 BBC stories, which have been characterized as having “disproportionate bias towards Israeli deaths rather than Palestinian ones,” as per Deadline.

During the meeting, Davie stated that he had been the target of security threats, forcing him to need security and temporarily travel to work in a private car instead of his diurnal tube ride, Deadline said.

In addition, sources claimed Davie had said that the pro-Palestinians were less organized than the pro-Israel lobby was in dealing with the Corporation.

In parallel, Davie has been holding meetings with members of staff who accuse the BBC of anti-Israel bias, Deadline noted.

According to Deadline, the 8,000 complaints the BBC has received over its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war are divided almost equally between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian.

Prominent US think tank has secret ties to Iran regime - report
Prominent Washington think tank the International Crisis Group, influential in the negotiation of the United States’ nuclear deal with Iran, has extensive but previously undisclosed connections to the Islamic Republic’s foreign ministry, according to a report from Iran International, a Persian-language news outlet frequently at odds with Iran’s government, which charges that the theocratic regime has used the experts “to lobby the US government on its behalf.”

The connections between the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the Crisis Group run through the former’s in-house think tank, the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), which Western governments and organizations have largely shied away from since the group sponsored a notorious Holocaust denial conference in 2006.

IPIS and the Crisis Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2016, predating much of the latter’s involvement in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and the lifting of sanctions on the regime.

“The think tank has given recommendations to the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations on Iran,” the report says, “as well as the US Congress. However, the Crisis Group never made public the agreement it had with the Iranian foreign ministry, and its analysts never mentioned their close ties with the Iranian officials.”

“In reviewing the large cache of leaked Iranian Foreign Ministry correspondence and Tehran’s interactions with Western organizations,” wrote Jay Solomon of Semafor, with which Iran International shared the documents, “I was startled, not only by its depth, but the lack of transparency involved.”

The Israeli Pilgrimage of Argentina’s Javier Milei
Argentinian President Javier Milei is due to arrive in Israel on Tuesday. This is big.

Normally, the arrival of a foreign leader in Israel — other than the U.S. president, or an Arab head of state — is not particularly newsworthy. There has been a long parade of presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers visiting Israel to show solidarity in the wake of the October 7 terror attack.

Some lead governments whose policies are not actually helpful; they want to empathize with victims, but not to fight terrorists.

Milei is different — in every way. His support for Israel is rock-solid; he even campaigned for the presidency while waving an Israeli flag.

The size of the Argentinian Jewish community — less than 250,000 people — is not enough, on its own, for Milei’s position to be a simple political calculation. Rather, he believes in Israel’s mission as a state: to restore the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, and to provide an example to the world of how an oppressed people can overcome every obstacle to success.

Milei’s support goes even deeper, to an embrace of Judaism itself. While he has not converted (yet), he has a deep appreciation for the texts and values of the Jewish tradition. As president-elect, he made a special visit to the Ohel in New York — the resting place of the Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, whose spiritual guidance ignited a revival of religious Judaism throughout the world in the decades after the Holocaust.

Argentinian president-elect Javier Milei visits the Ohel of the Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, on November 27, 2023 (Emma-Jo Morris / Breitbart News)

Like Milei, who closed half his government’s departments on his first day in office, the Rebbe conducted himself with a sense of urgency, believing that anything worth doing should be done immediately.

Milei’s visit to Israel will be a similar sort of pilgrimage. He reportedly intends to visit the Western Wall, which is the holiest site in Judaism, to pay his respects. Foreign leaders typically avoid the site, because the Palestinians — absurdly — claim it as part of their future state. President Donald Trump broke that taboo, and Milei apparently intends to follow in Trump’s footsteps there.
Argentine President Javier Milei due to meet Herzog in Israel
President Herzog is always pleased to welcome foreign dignitaries to Israel, but he will be particularly pleased on Tuesday when he greets Argentina’s recently elected president, Javier Milei, whose undisguised, enthusiastic support for Israel and the Jewish People is like a fresh breeze blowing from that part of the world.

Almost immediately following his election, Milei announced that one of his early overseas trips would be to Israel.

He did so again last month when participating in a Holocaust Remembrance Day event at the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires and is now making good on that promise. Speaking up during the Israel-Hamas war

He has also been very vocal in his condemnation of Hamas and his support for Israel in the current war.

In past years, there were huge cover-ups in Argentina in investigations related to the murders of more than a hundred people in the Iran-instigated bombings of the Israel Embassy and the AMIA Jewish Community Center.

In 1992, 29 people were killed and 242 injured in the bombing of the embassy, and in 1994, 85 people were killed in the Amia bombing.

Christina Kirchner, a former Argentine president, has been charged with conspiring to obstruct findings in the investigation.

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


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