Tuesday, February 06, 2024

From Ian:

Brendan O'Neill: The left’s grotesque betrayal of Jewish women`
The speed with which the right-on went from saying ‘Believe women’ to ‘Rape pics or it didn’t happen’ is mind-blowing. Their cry in recent years was that every woman who makes an allegation of sexual assault must be believed. Women must be ‘listened to and believed’, they used to say. Fast forward a decade and this principle has been incinerated. We arrive at the surreal situation where upper-class women who say a Tory MP touched their knee are instantly believed, while the nightmare vision of Israeli women burnt to a cinder, their underwear removed, provokes only chin-stroking. Can we be sure they were raped?

So widespread is the rape denialism that some activists have felt compelled to take to the streets to raise awareness about Hamas’s sexual crimes. At the weekend, British Jews and their allies gathered near BBC HQ to say ‘Rape is not resistance’. Some wore jogging bottoms with stains between the legs, in solidarity with Naama Levy, the 19-year-old Israeli woman who was glimpsed in just such a state shortly after the Hamas pogrom. Ms Levy remains in captivity in Gaza. ‘Each minute is an eternity in hell’, wrote her mother recently about her desperate wait for the return of her daughter. The woke silence on this suffering is unconscionable. The treachery of the feminists is unforgivable.

Now we know: it’s ‘#MeToo unless you’re a Jew’, in Nicole Lampert’s words. Believe women, except Jewish women – that’s the true slogan of the woke. When it comes to 7 October, the duty of the right-on, it seems, is not to believe women, but to believe Hamas. To believe that regressive army of Islamists, anti-Semities, misanthropes, homophobes and misogynists when they say, ‘We didn’t rape women, we swear’. We’ve gone from ‘Believe women’ to ‘Believe fascists’.

How do we explain this grotesque betrayal of Jewish womankind? This vile abandonment of women by self-styled feminists, and of Jews by self-styled anti-racists? In part it’s a function of identity politics, which divides people according to ‘privilege’ or ‘oppression’, and decides their moral worth accordingly. Jewish women have more privilege points than Palestinian men, apparently, and thus they can’t possibly have been violated by Hamas. They’re oppressors, right, not victims? And partly it’s yet another expression of the Socialism of Fools that has been soaring in recent years, where the Jewish State has come to play the same role that the Jewish people once played: that is, as an entity responsible for all the world’s ills, and thus deserving of hate and nothing else.

More broadly, though, I think it speaks to the creeping victory of the forces of barbarism among the ‘virtuous’ of the Western world. These people glimpse in the violence of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Houthis a visceral revolt against a West they themselves loathe, and it excites them, it makes them feel alive, it adds the frisson of apocalyptic denouement to their otherwise dull political lives. And nothing – not the safety of Jews, not the dignity of women – can be permitted to interfere with the moral thrill these people derive from a barbarism they mistake for rebellion. If Jewish women must be collateral damage in this unholy marriage of Western self-loathing and Islamist barbarism, so be it. Yes, that’s it – they are willing to sacrifice Jews, especially female Jews, to the requirements of their own moral vanity. It must never be forgotten.
UNRWA’s time is up – let’s shut it down
The dislocation of Arabs from Palestine, whether caused by Arab or Israeli actions, could have been quickly solved by another UN agency: the UN High Commission for Refugees, which followed in the footsteps of earlier League of Nations refugee programs. The stated goal of the UNHCR was and is to “help the millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes.” It would have taken just the stroke of a pen to include Palestinian refugees, as well as the 700,000 Jews who were forced out of Mideast countries where they had lived for a millennium.

Instead, part of the grand plan of the Arab countries to keep the fire of Arab rejection of Israel burning was to give special recognition to the Palestinians by giving them their own agency with the UN’s creation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA. Rather than work to resettle Palestinians and integrate them into Palestinian or Arab society, UNRWA’s goal is to perpetuate Palestinian misery. How else can one explain why there are UNRWA-supervised refugee camps in the midst of the Palestinian Authority’s largest cities nearly 30 years after the PA assumed control?

As recently explained in a Wall Street Journal article, “UNRWA has kept Palestinians in permanent refugee camps” which has led to raising generations of Palestinians fed on the lie of a return to Israel and treating them as people who are not capable of standing on their own two feet. Neighboring Arab countries, too, have done their share of instilling hatred for Israel and Jews by not absorbing Palestinians within their borders into local society by giving them citizenship or work permits.

The disclosures of UNRWA employee involvement in the October 7 massacre and the use of its facilities in Gaza to assist the Hamas war effort is just the tip of an iceberg that extends deep below the surface. What lurks below that surface is a thoroughly corrupt UN agency that long ago decided to be part of the “refugee” problem rather than its solution.

Do away with UNRWA and replace it with the UNHCR; it’s going to be an improvement.
Bipartisan group of House lawmakers presses administration on pro-Palestinian charities in the U.S.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee wrote to the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation last week requesting information on alleged links between Hamas and U.S.-based tax-exempt charities that they said may be providing support to the terrorist group.

Pointing to testimony provided at a hearing the committee held last year, the lawmakers raised concerns that several pro-Palestinian charities may have financial ties to Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

Such charities, they noted, employ top officials previously involved in other charities such as the Holy Land Foundation and KindHearts for Charitable Development, which were shuttered by the U.S. government for providing funding to terrorists from American donors.

“Today, it appears that members of these now-defunct charities are reorganizing and forming new U.S.-based charities that may be seeking to take advantage of well-intentioned Americans by redirecting their money to support terrorist organizations like Hamas,” the lawmakers’ letter to the Treasury and IRS reads. “We are concerned that there are U.S.-based organizations with ties to Hamas that were able to evade the anti-terrorism efforts of the IRS and gain tax-exempt status.”

The lawmakers requested a briefing from the Treasury and the IRS by Feb. 13 to assess those agencies’ current efforts to monitor, identify and investigate potential support for terrorists among U.S.-based nonprofits.

In a separate letter, the lawmakers requested information on the FBI’s monitoring of antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7, as well as the FBI’s own efforts to investigate charities and groups operating on college campuses that may be providing support to terrorist organizations.
Hamas officially demands end to war for hostages’ release
The Hamas terror group on Tuesday night announced its long-awaited response to a proposed hostages-for-ceasefire deal with Israel, in what Jerusalem said amounted to a rejection of the outline.

Hamas said it “dealt with the proposal in a positive spirit, ensuring a comprehensive and complete ceasefire, ending the aggression against our people, ensuring relief, shelter and reconstruction, lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip and completing a prisoner exchange.

“We value the role of our brothers in Egypt, Qatar and all countries that seek to stop the brutal aggression against our people,” Hamas added.

The Ynet news site cited senior officials in Jerusalem as saying that while Hamas claimed it agreed to the framework as negotiated by Doha and Cairo, it was demanding “impossible conditions” from Israel.

“In any case, Israel will not stop the fighting. Hamas’s response amounts to a negative answer,” the officials said, adding that the Prime Minister’s Office was still drafting an official response to mediators.

Israel has repeatedly rejected proposals for a long-term or permanent ceasefire and maintains that it will continue in its goal to eradicate Hamas and ensure that Gaza can never again pose a threat to the Jewish state.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Wednesday, said the Biden administration was reviewing Hamas’s response and stressed it was “essential” to go ahead.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done. But we continue to believe that an agreement is possible and indeed essential, and we will continue to work relentlessly to achieve it,” Blinken stated following meetings in Doha.

IDF discovers direct links between Iran and Hamas's Sinwar in Gaza
Israeli forces located documents proving direct cooperation and communication between Iran and Hamas's leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, IDF Spokesperson R.-Adm. Daniel Hagari announced on Tuesday night.

The documents, dating to 2020, detailed funds transferred from Iran to Hamas from 2014-2020, according to the IDF.

The sum of the funds transferred is upwards of $150 million, Hagari said.

A total of $154 million
Images of the documents subsequently published by the IDF suggest the figure is, in total, $154 million.

According to the documentation, in the years 2014, 2015, 2019, and 2020, Sinwar received $15 million, $48 million, $42 million, and $12 million, respectively.

Additionally, a video published by the IDF apparently showing the discovery of some of the funds reveals a safe and some bags containing money earmarked for terror, the IDF said.

Preparing for the Next International Court of Justice Debacle
Having weaponized the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against the Jewish state, the judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are now preparing to hear oral arguments starting February 19, 2024, on the "legal consequences" of the "Israeli occupation" of "Palestinian territory."

The problem is that there is no such entity as the "Palestinian territories." The term "Palestinian territories" is an invented term used to define areas allocated by the international community to the Jewish state, which were then illegally invaded by Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The underlying assumption of the court is that Israel is in some way "occupying Palestinian territory." In reality, an independent country called "Palestine" has never existed. In fact, "Palestine" is the only country in the world that did not exist before it was "occupied."

In reality, the area the UN General Assembly has asked the ICJ to consider as "Palestinian territory" was controlled for 400 years by the Ottoman Empire. In reality, after World War I, the international community repeatedly allocated the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, from Lebanon to the Red Sea, for the sole purpose of reconstituting the Jewish homeland.

In reality, in 1947, the UN offered the Arabs an opportunity to create another Arab country to the west of the Jordan River alongside Israel, but the Arabs refused. Instead, five Arab armies attacked the nascent Jewish state with the stated goal of throwing the Jews into the sea.

From 1948 to 1967, Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip, and Jordan controlled Judea and Samaria, which it renamed "The West Bank." During that time, no UN General Assembly resolution or the Security Council demanded that Egypt and Jordan retreat and desist from occupying those areas.
Newly-elected UN court president wished Israel ‘unhappy birthday’ for ‘years of occupation’
The International Court of Justice, the primary judicial arm of the United Nations based in The Hague, announced on Tuesday that Nawaf Salam was elected president of the court.

A judge and former Lebanese ambassador to the United Nations, Salam has been a member of the ICJ since 2018. He was one of the judges who heard South Africa’s case against Israel, accusing the Jewish state of genocide in Gaza.

Salam has a history of anti-Israel comments on social media.

“Unhappy birthday to you,” he wrote on June 5, 2015, tagging Israel and noting “48 years of occupation.” Some four months later, he wrote that “Israel must stop violence and end occupation.”

“When we criticize and condemn Israel it is never because of the Jewish character of the majority of its population,” he claimed on Jan. 22, 2015. On the same day, he wrote that “Portraying the critics of Israel’s policies as antisemites is an attempt to intimidate and discredit them, which we reject.”

On Sept. 10 of the same year, he added, “Palestine’s full membership in U.N. and ending Israel’s occupation remain long overdue.”
UNRWA: Your child abuse must stop
Evidence continues to mount of UNRWA staff’s involvement in the October 7th Hamas massacre, their assistance to Hamas in hiding Israeli hostages in Gaza, and the ties of thousands of UNRWA employees to terror groups. Dozens of countries around the world are freezing their aid to UNRWA in response, sparking outrage from some prominent voices, such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When I think about those children in Gaza, I say that any country who has not ceased financing UNRWA is complicit in child abuse. Anyone expressing horror at cuts to UNRWA funding by exclaiming something along the lines of, ‘b-b-but the children of Gaza!’ is actually perpetuating the abuse of the children of Gaza.

There is a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. That is a fact, and it is heartbreaking. We should all be concerned about it, and it must be effectively addressed. Let us be clear, however: it is a Hamas-perpetrated, UNRWA-upheld humanitarian crisis. The UN has mechanisms in place to effectively deal with humanitarian disasters. It is perfectly capable of bringing trucks of supplies into areas that need them and providing support for at-risk communities around the globe. I saw one example of this myself when I worked with South Sudanese refugees in Uganda: the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, was there, day in and day out, to assist people in need. There are alternatives to UNRWA, even within the confines of the UN itself. Calling to keep UNRWA in place because there is ‘no other solution’ is naïve and lazy at best and malicious at worst.

I have yet to have children of my own, but when I imagine my younger sisters and me growing up in an UNRWA school system instead of the American public school system, I feel sick. As kids, my sisters and I were instilled with the value of living meaningful lives and repairing the world. Who would we have become if we had attended UNRWA schools? I shudder at this chilling possibility; we would not be ourselves. If the children of Gaza are to have a real chance to dream, to play, to create, to evolve, and to think for themselves, two things must happen: Hamas must be eliminated, and UNRWA must be disbanded.

I dream of a real future for the children of Gaza, a future in which they can dream, too.
Netanyahu orders IDF to find UNRWA alternatives by end of week
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given the military until the end of the week to find alternatives to UNRWA for the distribution of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi is tasked with leading the effort to replace the terror-tainted United Nations agency.

While UNRWA currently oversees all humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip, Hamas has been hijacking a significant amount of it. The terrorist group steals 60% of the aid intended for Gazans, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Ronen Bar recently said.

An Israeli intelligence report found that at least 12 UNRWA employees actively participated in the Oct. 7 massacre in the northwestern Negev, which saw around 1,200 murdered and an estimated 253 abducted to Gaza, leading more than a dozen countries, including the U.S., and the U.K., to suspend funding to the agency.

Additionally, the report shared with the U.S. administration found that about 10% of the agency’s 13,000 employees in Gaza are Hamas members.

On Monday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres announced the establishment of an independent external review of UNRWA’s activities. The report will “assess whether the agency is doing everything within its power to ensure neutrality and to respond to allegations of serious breaches when they are made.”
‘Farce, desperate scheme to save UNRWA,’ critics slam UN review of its agency’s neutrality
Following allegations that a dozen employees of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East participated directly in Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, the United States and other nations announced their suspension of future funds, pending an investigation. The United Nations has said that the actions of a few shouldn’t tarnish an otherwise essential aid organization—a sentiment that White House officials have echoed at times while emphasizing the seriousness of the charges.

There has been less attention to a separate investigation of UNRWA, which predates the announcement of the allegations that agency employees participated in the terror attacks. The United Nations has assembled an ostensibly independent panel to assess whether UNRWA is acting in a neutral manner and in response to “allegations of serious breaches.”

António Guterres, U.N. secretary-general, announced the investigation on Monday in response to a request from Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner-general, to probe allegations that his agency teaches hateful curricula in its schools. UNRWA is also accused of aligning closely with Gazan terror schools and failing to punish its employees who promote and glorify terrorism.

The new “review group,” which will operate parallel to an internal U.N. investigation, is helmed by Catherine Colonna, former French foreign minister. Two of the three European research organizations with which she will work have praised South Africa’s genocide charges against Israel at the International Court of Justice, the principal U.N. judicial arm located in The Hague.

Both the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway and the Danish Institute for Human Rights presented the ICJ case in a positive light, while the third group, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, a Lund University affiliate, in Sweden, has not.

“By bringing Israel before the International Court of Justice, the world’s highest court, with the objective of putting an end to the ongoing massacres in Gaza—while the West continues to side with and provide military supplies to the oppressor—South Africa (with the support of its partners, all of which are exclusively from the global South) is challenging the west’s moral high ground and exposing its double standards,” per a blog post co-written by a research staff member at the Norwegian group CMI, which promotes the item atop its homepage.
UNRWA: Report into Israel's claims staff joined October 7 attacks due March
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) expects a preliminary report into Israeli claims that a dozen of its employees took part in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel to be ready by early next month, its representative in Lebanon said Tuesday.

Israel has accused 12 of UNRWA's 13,000 employees in the Gaza Strip of taking part in the Hamas-led assault on Israel last year. The claims came as Israel faced a genocide case at the International Court of Justice over its war on Gaza, and after years of it calling for the agency to be disbanded.

UNRWA's representative in Lebanon Dorothee Klaus told reporters in Beirut that 19 donors had suspended their funding following the accusations.

"We expect a preliminary investigation report in early March, based on which we assume donors would look into their decisions of having suspended funding to UNRWA," Klaus said.

The UN's oversight office is carrying out the investigation. UNRWA has said it acted quickly to address the allegations, with its head Philippe Lazzarini firing those allegedly involved and informing the UN's secretary general, as well as the United States and other donors.

Israel had informed Lazzarini of the accusations against the 12 staff members verbally, but other allegations were leaked to media that a larger number of UNRWA employees have Hamas links.
Dem Senate Border, NatSec Negotiator: We Only Cut ‘Compromised’ UNRWA Due to GOP, We Can Still Get Them Funds
On Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), one of the negotiators of the Senate’s border and foreign policy package, stated that stripping funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the bill “was a demand of Republicans, the only way that they were willing to support any humanitarian aid into Gaza was to strip out the authority for that money to go to UNRWA. We didn’t feel like it was the responsible thing to abandon humanitarian aid completely,” and he thinks “there are ways to work with allies to make sure that UNRWA continues to be funded” and use American dollars to support other groups in the region.

While Murphy was on “PBS NewsHour,” co-host Amna Nawaz asked, “I have to ask about another provision in the bill that includes the aid…for Gaza, among other places, but it strips funding for UNRWA, which is the United Nations agency that operates inside of Gaza, that’s because Israel accused twelve of their employees of being part of the October 7 attacks. But we’ve heard UNRWA is the only group capable of actually delivering aid on the ground. So, is there any other group on the ground that you think could actually get the aid where it needs to go?”

Murphy answered, “So, I do. UNRWA has been a very effective group in getting aid to people in need. We’re also learning that elements of UNRWA are compromised. This was a demand of Republicans, the only way that they were willing to support any humanitarian aid into Gaza was to strip out the authority for that money to go to UNRWA. We didn’t feel like it was the responsible thing to abandon humanitarian aid completely, and we also do know that groups like the Red Crescent, groups like the World Food Program, other smaller not-for-profit actors on the ground can get this key humanitarian aid out. So, we believe that we can find good, responsible vetted partners. We also believe that some of our allies in and around the region and in Europe will be able to help UNRWA keep their operations up and running.”

Hillel Neuer interviewed by India Today: UNRWA is "infested with terrorism"
Hillel Neuer was interviewed by India Today's Geeta Mohan to discuss the serious allegations facing UNRWA.

US House speaker slams Biden ahead of meeting with Knesset speaker
House Republicans will vote Monday afternoon in support of their standalone supplemental act, which will provide Israel with $76 billion in funding as well as $200 million for protecting US troops throughout the Middle East.

The House vote comes as the Senate is struggling to gain support for its supplemental bill, which ties funding for Israel with funding for Ukraine and policies for the US southern border.

The vote scheduled for Tuesday afternoon also coincides with House Speaker Rep. Mike Johnson's meeting with a delegation of Knesset members and hostage families.

By the time of the vote, Johnson will have met one-on-one with his Knesset counterpart, Speaker Amir Ohana.

In remarks to reporters prior to their meeting, Johnson and Ohana both reiterated their country's support of one another.

"After four months, we have discovered the meaning of true friendship, who stands by us in the moment of truth," Ohana said. "America has no better friend than Israel, and Israel has no better friend than the US."

"We, the free world, led by the strongest superpower the world has ever known, the United States of America, share the same threat," Ohana said. "The forces of evil and darkness represented by the Ayatollah regime in Iran, the head of the snake."
More than half of Israelis oppose Palestinian state for Saudi ties
More than half of the Israeli public opposes the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a deal that would end the war against Hamas and normalize relations between Jerusalem and Riyadh, according to a new poll.

“Do you support or oppose the notion that as part of a deal to end the war—which will include long-term military quiet, guarantees from the United States, and an agreement with Arab states such as Saudi Arabia—Israel should agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state?” asked the January 2024 Israeli Voice Index, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute’s Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research.

Fifty-one percent of Israelis opposed this proposal, compared to 36% expressing support.

A breakdown by nationality reveals that a majority of Jewish Israelis are opposed to the idea (59%, versus 29% who are in favor), while among Arab Israelis the picture is reversed (69% support and only 10% opposed).

Jewish Israelis are fairly split on whether the primary aim of the war should be toppling Hamas or bringing home the hostages, with 42% expressing support for the former and 47% for the latter. Among Arab Israelis, 69% said freeing the hostages should be the main goal, versus a small minority (8%) who prioritized eliminating Hamas. A sizeable 23% of Arab Israeli respondents said they don’t know.

Only 39% of Israelis said that the State of Israel was successfully ensuring their security, a rate similar to that in 2022 but representing a sharp decline from 76% in 2020 and 56% in 2021.

State Department Employee Who Accused Biden of ‘Genocide’ Still Shapes Israel Policy
A State Department employee who accused President Joe Biden of "genocide" and worked to undermine the administration’s support for Israel remains in her post more than three months after her social media activity drew widespread outrage, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Sylvia Yacoub, a career foreign service officer in the State Department’s Near Eastern Affairs Bureau, is still shaping policy inside the administration as Secretary of State Antony Blinken increases pressure on Israel to end its war against the Hamas terrorists who slaughtered more than 1,200 in an Oct. 7 terror spree.

Yacoub drew outrage inside and outside of Foggy Bottom in November, a month after Hamas launched its war against Israel, when she publicly accused Biden on social media of being "complicit" in the Jewish state’s "genocide" inside the Gaza Strip. She also criticized U.S. military assistance to Israel, and accused the Biden administration of fomenting Islamophobia with its pro-Israel positions, the Washington Free Beacon first reported.

Yacoub’s antipathy towards Israel is said to be well known among State Department employees and her social media posts caused headaches for Foggy Bottom’s leadership, but did not result in her being sidelined from involvement in the administration’s diplomacy with Israel and other Middle Eastern nations, sources told the Free Beacon.

"It's disappointing that she can publicly seek to undermine the president and his policy when a close ally suffers a terrorist attack the likes of Oct. 7," a U.S. official, speaking only on background to offer candid thoughts about the situation, told the Free Beacon. "Far too much slack has been given to these vocal activists within the Department who continue to work against the president and U.S. interests."
You can’t celebrate terrorism and then cry ‘Islamophobia’ when people notice
Muslim activists who take the side of Palestinian terrorists and then cry about Islamophobia when people notice have no one to blame but themselves and their dishonest bait-and-switch.

The outrage this time comes from Dearborn, Michigan, which was described in the headline of a Wall Street Journal opinion piece as “America’s Jihad Capital.” Dearborn is an Arab American-majority suburb of Detroit, and so, naturally, this brought condemnations from several corners of liberal media and politicians. Dearborn’s mayor called the piece “bigoted” and “Islamophobic,” and President Joe Biden condemned the piece and said it could lead to “anti-Arab hate.”

The problem, though, is that beyond the inflammatory headline, all the piece does is describe events in Dearborn. For example, it describes hundreds of people gathering in Dearborn shortly after the Oct. 7 massacre to celebrate the attack. It lists several other similar events and protests and highlights several community leaders who cheered the attacks. Mayor Abdullah Hammoud described Israel killing the terrorists that slaughtered 1,200 civilians as “tyrants murdering our families.”

The Wall Street Journal piece did not do anything groundbreaking or shocking. It simply reported on events in Dearborn and observed what some of us had warned about already: Muslim activists were tying their identities to the terrorists who slaughtered Israeli (and American) civilians. That extends to Hammoud, who rejected a meeting with Biden because Biden isn’t condemning the Jews for fighting the terrorists who hate that they exist. The Washington Post detailed just last week how Dearborn residents wanted to punish Biden for his tepid support of Israel in the face of an existential terrorist threat.
Cornel West defends campaign art director who published virulently antisemitic cartoons
Cornel West, the prominent left-wing academic now running for president as an independent, is vocally defending an art director for his campaign whose political cartoons promoted antisemitic tropes in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks.

Dwayne Booth, who goes by the pen name “Mr. Fish,” recently stirred backlash for publishing a series of incendiary political cartoons about the Israel-Hamas war, including one that depicts a cabal of Zionists drinking Gazan blood from wine glasses.

In other cartoons first reported by The Washington Free Beacon last week, the Star of David is drawn onto a Nazi flag in lieu of a swastika, while an Israeli soldier is seen placing a gun to the head of a hospitalized baby and Jews in a concentration camp are shown holding signs with such slogans as “Free Palestine” and “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza.”

West, meanwhile, unreservedly praised Booth as “one of the great artists in American culture!”

“Like the great satirists of the past — from Jonathan Swift to Ishmael Reed — he exposes the hypocrisy and cruelty in our lives and society!” West wrote in a social media statement on Saturday. “He is my dear brother and I am blessed to have him as the premier Art Director in my presidential campaign for Truth Justice Love!”

The cartoons drew criticism on Friday from Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, who accused Booth, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication, of “exploiting images of Holocaust victims and invoking blood libel stereotypes to make a point.”

On Sunday, UPenn’s interim president, J. Larry Jameson, also spoke out against the cartoons, calling them “reprehensible” and “incongruent with” the university’s “efforts to fight hate.”
At Penn, Nothing Has Changed in Wake of Magill's Defenestration
When Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, then an emeritus professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed in 2019 arguing that political issues like climate change and gun control had no place in medical school curricula, Larry Jameson, then the dean of Penn's medical school, denounced Goldfarb by name.

"Please know that the views expressed by Dr. Goldfarb … do not reflect the values of the Perelman School of Medicine," Jameson wrote to students. "We deeply value inclusion and diversity as fundamental to effective health care delivery, creativity, discovery, and life-long learning."

Fast-forward five years, and Jameson's mastery of woke argot has earned him a promotion: He is now Penn's interim president, having assumed the role late last year when the school's board of trustees pushed his predecessor, Liz Magill, out the door following her shameful testimony before Congress.

She lost her job because, as one former Penn donor put it, the university didn't give "a crap" about rising anti-Semitism on campus.

The question is whether anything has changed since her dismissal.

Jameson on Sunday responded to the Washington Free Beacon's revelation that a lecturer at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication, Dwayne Booth, has published several grotesque anti-Semitic cartoons. Jameson said that while he personally finds the images "reprehensible," institutionally speaking, his hands are tied. See, Penn has a "bedrock commitment to open expression and academic freedom."

Well, if Jameson won't act, surely Penn's Task Force on Antisemitism would have something to say, right? Turns out, task force chairman Mark Wolff couldn't be bothered to respond to requests for comment on Booth's cartoons from the Free Beacon's Jessica Costescu, nor has he commented on them elsewhere so far as we can tell.

B.C. minister stepping down amid outcry from pro-Palestinian groups over 'crappy piece of land' remark
The B.C. NDP's minister of post-secondary education is stepping down from her cabinet position, days after sparking widespread outrage by describing the region where Israel was founded as a "crappy piece of land."

Selina Robinson's remark, which was made during a recent B'nai Brith Canada panel, surfaced on social media last Thursday, leading to mounting calls from pro-Palestinian groups and others for her resignation.

Premier David Eby confirmed she was vacating her ministerial role Monday afternoon, describing the decision as "challenging but necessary."

"Selina's comments were wrong," Eby said. "They were belittling and demeaning to a community of people that is already under profound pressure given the war in the Middle East, and already feeling that their voices aren't being heard."

The premier spoke hours after abruptly cancelling another news conference approximately 45 minutes before it was scheduled to begin – a move some observers speculated was the result of the growing upset over Robinson's remark.

Earlier in the day, protesters gathered outside an NDP caucus retreat in Surrey and tried to deliver a petition calling for the minister's removal.

The MLA, who has represented the Coquitlam-Maillardville riding since 2013, and was previously the province's finance minister, will remain in the B.C. NDP caucus.
Muslim Support for Labour Party Falls by over 40 Points as Starmer Backs Isreal
Sir Keir Starmer’s broadly supportive stance on Israel’s conflict against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip has seen the Labour Party’s support among British Muslims cut in half since the last general election.

While Westminster watchers have all but coronated Sir Keir Starmer’s left-wing party, which is currently predicted by pollsters to secure a landslide victory over the fledgling Tory government in the upcoming election, a poll commissioned by the Labour Muslim Network shows that support among one of the party’s key constituencies, the Islamic community in Britain, is quickly eroding.

According to the Survation survey reported by ITV, Labour’s support among British Muslims has fallen to 43 per cent compared to 86 per cent during the 2019 general election. Yet, the left-wing party still vastly outperforms the Conservatives, who currently only have the backing of 6 per cent of the Muslim community in the UK, down from 10 per cent in the last election.

Commenting on the poll, the Labour Muslim Network warned that the drastic decline in support could signal long-term difficulties for the party in retaining the Muslim vote.

“For decades the Muslim community has been amongst the most loyal Labour supporters anywhere in the United Kingdom. The findings of this new opinion poll shows a startling collapse of this electoral and communal relationship,” they said in a statement.

“This is a crisis point for the future of the relationship between the British Muslim community and the Labour Party.”

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has attempted to rebrand the party after the radical tenure of its former chief, far-left socialist Jeremy Corbyn, whose time at the helm of the party was marred by numerous antisemitism scandals and by Corbyn’s support for radical Islamist groups, including calling Hamas his “brothers” on Iranian state television.

I just asked Gary Lineker about his Israel tweets and I’m still shaking with anger
I spluttered that I thought he was behaving like an antisemite. His X feed only showed one side of the issue. He’d never once condemned Hamas on X or sent a message about the hostages.

“I’m thinking about the women hostages who are probably still being raped,” I said. “I’m thinking about the babies being killed,” he countered. “I just want peace.”

I told him that we all wanted peace and that there had been peace until October 7. He said the situation was complicated – “the conflict” - and I said that complication included the actions of Iran. He told me that he believed Jewish people were suffering because of the actions of the Netanyahu government; I told him that no government would behave differently when so many members of their nation had been killed, whatever one thought of Netanyahu.

The arguments I’ve had so many times on social media with trolls were suddenly being spouted by one of the most famous faces in Britain. For example: we never bombed Dublin when the IRA was bombing us (er, the IRA weren’t in control of Dublin and they never vowed to wipe out every English person).

I told him how much I was hurting at the way he – so powerful with his nine million followers – was encouraging a narrative that the weekly hate marches feed on. I also said that, as someone who has interviewed many hostage families, I could not understand why they did not seem to warrant a single mention.

He asked how he could do it without attracting more hatred on his own feed; how was he meant to do it? I shrugged, said “post a photo of a hostage” and told him about the thousands of trolls I get who call me a Nazi, Zio bitch, a liar and a murderer. We all get trolls.

He said that he wasn’t tweeting on October 7 – and when he looked at Twitter on October 8 he was surprised to find that he was trending. He made out that he was trying to only retweet neutral things. I explained that people whose tweets he’d liked had red triangles in their names and that signified a support for Hamas. He didn’t know, he said.

There was a brief moment where he mentioned his Jewish friends and how they’d experienced antisemitism and how he did care about British Jews. I asked him to please show it. I know he doesn’t want to be thought of as an antisemite – he probably isn’t. Even as we were angrily exchanging words, people tried to drag him away and he insisted on talking to me. I do respect that.

He put his hand out, I shook it. I doubt I got through. But now you know that at least one person has told him how his tweets are perceived by many of us. Whether that makes any difference, we will see.
Why Campus Antisemitism Matters
So, what can be done? Our findings seem to confirm what was on display at the congressional hearing: a gap between the lived experience of Jewish students and how university leaders view the situation. The law requires that universities protect Jewish students, but many seem not to acknowledge the problem.

Apparently, some university presidents believe that Jewish students are not harmed by discourse that holds all Jews responsible for Israel’s actions and echoes Hamas’ call for the elimination of Jews. That such discourse is associated with threats and acts of violence against Jewish students is also ignored. These views appear to run counter to the way that other protected groups are routinely treated by those in charge of campus life and appear to violate Title VI.

Although we do not as yet have clear data about the impact of measures to recognize and act on antisemitism, it is difficult to imagine a solution that doesn’t involve academic leaders and faculty. As has been done with diversity, training faculty how to deal with ethnic and religious differences that includes specific discussion of Jewish students is needed. Whether or not Jewish students are considered a minority, they carry with them family histories and the memory of being targets of oppression. Most young Jews feel a connection with Israel and the Hamas attack on Israel reignited their sense of vulnerability.

Similarly, mobilizing an institution’s educational programs to offer students a better understanding of Judaism, Israel, and the Middle East conflict also seems essential to addressing antisemitism on campus. Offering such courses should be part of the mission of any college or university that accepts its responsibility to create an educated citizenry.

Unfortunately, antisemitism is only one of the challenges being faced today by colleges and universities. Institutions of higher learning are struggling to respect diversity, while also reckoning with fundamental curricular debates, questions about the role of scholarship, and financial pressures. At the same time, public approval ratings of higher education institutions are in free-fall.

A key question for university leaders in their response to pernicious antisemitism is the degree to which they are willing to exercise moral authority. Are they willing to address antisemitism by using their office to draw lines between acceptable and unacceptable conduct? Statements alone by academic leaders may not be sufficient to address the current problems, but actions that enforce guidelines for civil and productive discourse about issues such as the Hamas-Israel war seem essential. Guidelines should not be a matter of supporting the political left or right, but relate to institutions’ core educational mission.

Historically, Jews have been the “canary in the coal mine” and anti-Jewish discrimination has often served as an early warning of broader societal turmoil, including discrimination against other groups. Confronting antisemitism on campuses is therefore not only important for members of the Jewish community, but also for higher education and the aims of civil society. That’s one part of the context that has not yet been sufficiently appreciated by campus leaders.

Can there be a decent pro-Palestinian left?
Balas Berkovitz, a research fellow of the London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, recently published a paper at the journal K titled “The October 7th pogrom as a non-event on the Western left“, delving into the disturbing phenomenon of the pro-Palestinian left’s silence, and even excuse-making, in the face of Hamas’s sadistic orgy of antisemitic violence.

Berkowitz, in the immediate aftermath of Oct. 7, expressed the wish of many that, perhaps, there would be some soul-searching among supporters of the Palestinian cause, and a reaction along the lines of , at the very least, “this is not how we imagined Palestinian resistance,” or that they’d find “more truthful words to designate the genocidal antisemitic motive at the core of the Hamas massacre”.

But, he added, save a few voices, this was not to be, citing the impact of an rigid “ideological edifice constraining thinking” which forces adherents to “dismiss real-world evidence that could challenge their established interpretations”, which he likens to “the obstinate defense of Stalinism and Maoism, the denial of the existence of the Gulag, etc. [which] were…the hallmarks of much left-wing intelligentsia well into the…1960s”.

As Shany Mor argued, citing the Guardian rush to obscure the antisemitic atrocity by publishing a rash of columns in the immediate aftermath of Hamas’s war on Jews, when dead, burned and mutilated bodies – or, more often, parts or traces of what were once living human beings – were still being found, accusing Israel of genocide, “cognitive-dissonance reduction’ requires vilifying the victim to uphold one’s prejudices”. Cognitive dissonance reduction, Mor explained, is the process by which people reconcile new information that contradicts their firmly held priors.

Western activists for Palestinians, Mor added, “are dedicated to two nearly theological precepts: that Israel is evil, and that no Palestinian action is ever connected to any Palestinian outcome”.

German Jewish Leader Calls for Exclusion of Students Who Engage in Antisemitic Violence
‘Against All Antisemitism’: A solidarity vigil outside a synagogue in Berlin, Germany, following the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in Israel. Photo: Reuters/Liesa Johannssen

The head of Germany’s Jewish community has called for students who engage in antisemitic violence to be excluded from their universities.

“Anyone who strikes a Jew because they are Jewish has no business being at a German university,” Josef Schuster — president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany — said on Tuesday, in comments reported by the Zeit news outlet.

Schuster was speaking in the wake of a brutal attack on an Israeli student in Berlin over the weekend.

Lahav Shapira, 30, was attacked by his assailant as he left a bar where he had been drinking with his girlfriend. He was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery for non-life threatening injuries.

Shapira — whose grandfather Amitzur, the head coach of the 1972 Israeli Olympic track and field team in Munich, was among the 11 squad members murdered by Palestinian terrorists — is a student at the Free University in Berlin, where he has emerged as a vocal advocate for Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas pogrom in which over 1,200 were killed and more than 200 seized as hostages. According to his brother, Shapira was recognized by his assailant in the bar, who carried out the attack once the Israeli had left the premises.

Schuster called on the Free University in Berlin, where Shapira is a student, to take urgent measures against antisemitism on campus.
Watch: Nazis were ‘good for Zionists’ because they promoted separatism, pro-Palestine speaker tells students
A pro-Palestine speaker told university students the Nazis were “good” for Zionists because they promoted “ideas of separatism”.

Footage obtained by The Telegraph shows Dr Ranjeet Brar, a leading figure in the British Communist party, making the comments to a pro-Palestine panel discussion hosted at City, University of London.

The event, hosted by City Friends of Palestine, took place on Friday 26 Jan - the day before Holocaust Memorial Day.

In a speech discussing the origins of Zionism, Dr Brar said: “[Zionism] is so far Right-wing that at the time when Hitler and the Nazis were rising, the Zionists said actually these people are good for us.

“[The Nazis] are good for us because they promote the ideas of separatism.

“We want to promote the ideas of nationalism, we want to promote the idea that Jews don’t belong in Europe, they should leave Europe and come to Palestine.”

A City student union officer said to be trained in anti-Semitism awareness was present to “safeguard” the event, according to the university. Afterwards, the officer told the organisers that Dr Brar was not permitted to speak again.

The event also featured Lowkey, a pro-Palestinian rapper who expressed support for Professor David Miller, a former sociology lecturer at Bristol University who was sacked after allegedly anti-Semitic comments.

Dr Brar, a consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospital, repeatedly made reference to his father’s book, Zionism: A Racist, Anti-Semitic and Reactionary Tool of Imperialism, which features a swastika intertwined with the Star of David on the front cover.

Melanie Phillips: Anti-Judaism becomes a protected characteristic
Appallingly, a British employment tribunal has ruled that anti-Zionism — the contemporary iteration of antisemitism — is a “protected characteristic” that must therefore be given special protection in law.

Sociology professor Dr David Miller was fired by Bristol university in 2021 after a series of virulent ant-Zionist and antisemitic statements which had made Jewish students on campus feel “uncomfortable and intimidated”.

In a ruling handed down yesterday by Judge Rohan Pirani (also discussed here), the Bristol employment tribunal ruled that Miller’s anti-Zionist beliefs qualified as a “philosophical belief” and thus a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010. It found that because of these beliefs, Miller was subject to direct discrimination when the university fired him and he was unjustly dismissed.

This really is nonsense on stilts. “Protected characteristics,” as set out in this equality law, cover religion and belief. “Belief,” it states, “means any religious or philosophical belief, and a reference to belief includes a reference to a lack of belief.”

So what’s a “philosophical belief”? The tribunal used the definition provided in a previous case. That had ruled that it must not be “an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available;” “it must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance;” and it must be “worthy of respect in a democratic society, be not incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others”.

And so what was Miller’s belief that fitted these criteria? He told the tribunal:
I have at all times …believed Zionism to be a settler-colonial and ethno-nationalist movement that seeks to assert Jewish hegemony and political control over the land of historic Palestine.

That is not a philosophical belief but a political or ideological viewpoint. It therefore does not fall within the criteria for protected characteristics. Yet the tribunal said it did, and this was why:
Miller ruling ‘may make Jewish students less safe’, says UJS
A ruling that anti-Zionist academic David Miller was unfairly dismissed by the University of Bristol and that anti-Zionism is a protected characteristic in the workplace “may ultimately make Jewish students less safe”, the Union of Jewish Students has said.

Miller was sacked by Bristol University in October 2021 after making comments about Israel which some deemed to be antisemitic.

The university said his comments did not meet its "standards of behaviour", and Jewish students said Miller made them feel “unsafe and unprotected” on campus.

Since then, Miller has described Israel as “the enemy of world peace” and has called the Jewish Society at Bristol University an “Israel lobby group” that had “manufactured hysteria” about his teaching.

Now a Bristol Employment Tribunal found that Miller’s anti-Zionist beliefs “qualified as a philosophical belief and as a protected characteristic”, protected under the 2010 Equality Act.

The Union of Jewish students said: “UJS is disappointed by the Employment Tribunal's judgment in relation to David Miller. UJS believes this may set a dangerous precedent about what can be lawfully said on campus about Jewish students and the societies at the centre of their social life, which may ultimately make Jewish students less safe.”

Jewish security group the CST said: “We are extremely concerned about what the Employment Tribunal considers is acceptable for a University Professor to say publicly about Jewish students and Jewish Societies who raised legitimate complaints about him.

“He has continued to express his obnoxious opinions on Iranian State TV, which is exactly where he belongs.”
David Miller Is an Antisemite… Why Are the Media Pretending He’s Not?
David Miller worked at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom until his employment was terminated in 2021.

Before he was fired from his role as professor of political sociology, Miller had used his position within the prestigious higher education establishment to spread hatred toward Jews and the State of Israel.

Among the many disturbing remarks Miller made during his time at Bristol included his claim that Israel is a “violent, racist, foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing,” while suggesting any students who took issue with his view were “political pawns” of the Jewish state in a comment that echoed the antisemitic dual loyalty trope.

He also accused the Union of Jewish Students, which represents thousands of Jewish students across the UK, of being “a threat to the safety of Arab and Muslim students.”

After he was fired, Miller apparently saw no further need to cloak his anti-Jewish hatred behind a facade of so-called “anti-Zionism” and words like “Zionist” or “Israeli” in his vile online screeds were soon replaced with what we knew he had meant all along — Jew.

For example, last year, Miller tweeted that “Jews are not discriminated against” and claimed they wield disproportionate control in public life, arguing Jews are “overrepresented in positions of cultural, economic and political power.”

However, in what looks to be a precedent-setting judgment, Miller has won an employment tribunal against his former employer on the grounds he was unfairly dismissed and had experienced discrimination based on his anti-Zionist beliefs.

In a 108-page ruling, regional employment judge Rohan Pirani concluded Miller’s “anti-Zionist beliefs qualified as a philosophical belief and a protected characteristic” under the 2010 Equality Act.

Columbia Law School rejects student group created to combat antisemitism
The president of a new Columbia Law School group formed to combat rising antisemitism on campus told Jewish Insider that its adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism played a role in the Law School Student Senate’s vote to reject it as a recognized university group.

“A group of students were strongly opposed to our formation from the very beginning,” Marie-Alice Legrand, president of the Law Students Against Antisemitism, recalled, noting that some condemned its use of the State Department-adopted IHRA definition.

“They have accused us of using that definition to silence free speech. We have assured them that is not our mission, we want to educate,” she continued.

A majority of approximately 33 senators voted against the Law Students Against Antisemitism group in an anonymous vote on Jan. 23, the Columbia Spectator reported, noting that nine organizations have requested recognition this year, and Law Students Against Antisemitism is the only group that has not been approved. (The Student Senate is made up of 49 members.)

Before the senate meeting, where LSAA presented, individuals referring to themselves as “Concerned Jewish Students at CLS,” who identify as “Jewish pro-Palestine students,” signed a letter to the senators.

According to Legrand, the individuals printed out copies of the letter and brought them to the meeting to “urge the Senate to decline to charter,” raising their concern that “LSAA has adopted a pernicious and insidious definition of antisemitism.”
UPDATE: CUNY cancels 'Globalize the Intifada!' panel at anti-racism conference: 'Not a podium for protest'
The City University of New York has canceled a conference panel originally titled ”Globalize the Intifada! Mapping Struggles for Palestine between the Streets and our Classrooms” after Campus Reform reported on it.

The panel was part of an “Engagement, Equity & Antiracism: Teaching Writing at our HSIs, Then & Now” conference on Feb. 16.

According to the original session description, “This panel will bring together organizers at Lehman College and the Bronx, and across CUNY and New York City, to highlight how students, workers, and our communities can act in solidarity to achieve justice for Palestine.”

The session was first reported on by Jonathan Harounoff, Middle East journalist & communications director at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.

CUNY appeared to have changed the event title after criticism. The new title read “Mapping Struggles for Palestine between the Streets and our Classrooms.”

After Campus Reform reached out to CUNY for comment, the entire panel was canceled.

Jane Kehoe Higgins, Director of the Lehman College Institute for Literacy Studies and sponsor of the conference, told Campus Reform that the “Globalize the Intifada! Mapping Struggles for Palestine between the Streets and our Classrooms” panel had been canceled.

“The Writing Across the Curriculum program is dedicated to bringing love to the classroom, a more human approach to teaching and learning. The Engagement, Equity and Antiracism conference is meant to support professors in teaching students who are struggling, with pedagogy at the center. The goal is to bring people together, not to cause harm or make students feel unsafe. It is not a podium for protest. After discussion with the panelists, I do not believe we share the same goal. There are appropriate venues for them to share their views, but this conference is not one of them and the panel has been cancelled,” said Higgins.
Catholic liberal arts college plastered with Nazi graffiti
Australia’s only Catholic liberal arts tertiary institution, Campion College, was plastered with violent Nazi messages and swastikas over the summer break. Source: The Australian.

College president Paul Morrissey said the graffiti, including “die”, “we love Hitler” and various obscenities was discovered after the Christmas shutdown, the only week in the year the premises at Toongabbie in Sydney’s west were unattended.

“It’s something we never thought we’d see at Campion, it made us feel sick,” Dr Morrissey said.

In the wake of Hamas’s October 7 massacre of 1200 people and the kidnapping of 240 hostages in Israel, dozens of Jewish sites around Australia have been plastered with such graffiti, including homes, shops, synagogues and Jewish centres.

Campion College, which is secluded from the road, is set in leafy grounds, secured by a 1.5m fence. The vandals defaced the chapel door with a swastika as well as parts of the original building, the only areas of the campus not covered by CCTV footage.

Security and surveillance have since been boosted. Police have not caught the culprits.

Dr Morrissey believes the college was targeted “because of what we stand for, including the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the value of Western civilisation and freedom of religion”.

Marwan Barghouti: How the Media Turned a Terrorist Mastermind Into the “Palestinian Nelson Mandela”

Globe And Mail Commentator Argues Solution to Mideast Conflict Is Dissolution Of Israel Into A One-State Solution

AFP Corrects On 1948 Palestinian Refugees

Another chapter in the story of BBC impartiality and social media

Hill Times Columnist – In Third Anti-Israel Column In A Row – Calls Anti-Israel Activists Victims Of “The Ruling Class”

The Walrus Magazine Produces Two Anti-Israel Hit Pieces Over Two Days

After outrage, IDF chief apologizes for drill simulating settler kidnapping attack
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi on Tuesday apologized for a drill the military carried out a night earlier, in which troops simulated a kidnapping attack carried out by settlers in the West Bank.

Halevi’s apology came following harsh criticism by far-right lawmakers and activists against the drill, which they described as “unrealistic,” despite such acts by Jewish extremists occurring in the past, notably the kidnapping and murder of teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014.

“The IDF fights in all arenas, and in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], forces face brutal terrorism in a complex environment. The exercise carried out yesterday was designed to prepare the forces to deal with a wide variety of scenarios, with the aim of improving their readiness,” Halevi said during a visit to the Gaza Strip.

“However, the scenario in question should not have been practiced and is an error,” he said. “We will investigate and learn, and we are sorry to anyone who was hurt by this.”

Halevi said troops in the West Bank, led by Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox, “work around the clock while risking their lives for the security of the residents.”

Fox had come under attack online by settler activists in the wake of the drill. The Central Command and the general in charge, which oversees military operations in the West Bank, are regularly criticized by far-right politicians and activists.
Report: Anti-Zionist Tycoon Eynat Guez Asked Business Insider to Bury a Negative Story Because her Relatives Are Hostages
According to Segal, Guez emailed the magazine a note saying, “I have relatives who have now been confirmed as hostages in Gaza. The instructions from the security agencies in the Israeli government are to prevent any publication about me. I am a person with a high public profile, and anyone who connects the dots between me and the abductees will jeopardize the chances of returning them home soon. Please refrain from mentioning my name.”

Segal noted that the article was purely business-oriented, but the magazine honored her wish and killed the story.

To their surprise, Guez herself did not follow the instructions she supposedly received from the security agencies. One week before BI contacted her, she was interviewed on Channel 13 by Raviv Drucker, and later was interviewed at length in a 48-minute podcast, which included her comments about the war.

Things became ridiculous when Guez issued a quote to the foreign press regarding the most high-profile event in America, the Superbowl, during which Papaya Global will be running a commercial.

Segal contacted Guez asking who were her relatives in Hamas’s hands in Gaza, not for publication, of course, but she refused to mention any name, including the name of the security official who had given her those orders.

Not a lazy man, Segal contacted every last Israeli agency involved in resolving the hostage crisis and their answers were pretty much identical: We have not been in contact with Guez, we do not have her name in connection with the hostages, we did not give her such an instruction – we don’t give such instructions.

Guez’s response: “The reference in question is from the end of October and the story presented here is not true. I am filled with hope that the hostages will return soon, and the rest of the details will become clear in time.”

Never mind, they’re actually very clear already.
Thai Workers Return to Nahal Oz
On Oct. 7, the Thai workers at Kibbutz Nahal Oz were attacked twice by the terrorists and looters who raided the kibbutz. One of them was killed. The rest went home to Thailand.

After two and a half months, they came back to work on the kibbutz.

The civilians of the kibbutz are still living further north, and only soldiers and Thai workers are there.

The kibbutz renovated the Thai workers' living quarters. Boaz Ben-Sira, the farm manager, made sure to replace all the equipment that was damaged. Thai food awaited the returning workers.

The kibbutz also employed workers from Gaza before Oct. 7.

Bobby Sorapot, the only one in the group who speaks English, said, "I don't understand. Explain to me, why did they come to kill us? They were our friends. We worked together."
Palestinian gunmen in West Bank attempt two shootings, no injuries
A Palestinian gunman was shot dead by Israeli troops at a military post near the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday, according to an IDF statement.

The IDF said the gunman approached the army post at a junction near the town of Beit Furik, and did not manage to open fire before he was shot.

Reports said he was also armed with a knife.

The gunman was killed by reservists of the 8109th Battalion, according to the IDF. There were no injuries in the incident.

Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank opened fire across the security barrier at the nearby northern Israeli community of Kibbutz Meirav.

There were no injuries in the attack, according to the IDF, but slight damage was caused to one of the homes.

Palestinian Authority to reduce salaries as Israel blocks Gaza funds
The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday it will pay public sector workers only 60 percent of their December salaries this week as it grapples with the longrunning fallout of Israel’s refusal to transfer tax funds earmarked for Gaza.

Funding to the Palestinian Authority, the body that exercises limited governance in the West Bank, has been severely restricted by the months-long dispute over transferring tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians.

Funding from international donors has also been squeezed, falling from 30% of the $6 billion annual budget to around 1%, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.

“The funding situation of the Authority is very difficult,” he said, following a meeting of the cabinet.

The funding dispute has been a source of friction between Israel and the Palestinians since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October, when Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich refused to release all the funds, accusing the PA of supporting the October 7 onslaught in Israel led by the terror group.

Under interim peace accords signed in the early 1990s, Israel collects taxes on the Palestinians’ behalf and typically transfers them to the PA monthly on the approval of the finance minister.

However, transfers have been stalled since October, when Smotrich withheld around NIS 600 million ($164.5 million) of the total NIS 1 billion ($274.3 million) due for transfer, prompting the Palestinian Authority, which says Gaza is an integral part of Palestinian territory, to refuse to accept any funds. Footage from the GoPro camera of a Hamas terrorist, on October 7, 2023. (Screen capture/X used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

“We cannot accept conditions on our money. We will remain committed to the prisoners and martyrs and to our people in the Gaza Strip, not out of favor, but by virtue of our national, religious and moral responsibility,” Shtayyeh said.

Although Gaza is controlled by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority continues to fund essential areas of the enclave’s budget, including paying the salaries of health workers.
MEMRI: Palestinian Writer: Hamas Invested All Its Resources In A Hopeless War Against Israel And Brought Destruction Upon Gaza; The International Community And Arab World Must Act To Eliminate The Palestinian Organizations And Their Activity

Iran Could Be Nuclear within a Week
The threat posed by Iran's nuclear program has increased dramatically.

Since the Hamas attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, the volatile situation in the region is providing Iran with amplified internal justification for building nuclear weapons while the U.S. and Israel's resources to detect and deter Iran from succeeding are stretched thin.

The ongoing conflicts are leading to the neglect of the Iranian nuclear threat at a time when Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities have never been greater.

Iran can break out and produce enough weapon-grade enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in a week, using only a fraction of its 60%-enriched uranium. This breakout could be difficult for inspectors to detect promptly.

Using its remaining stock of 60%-enriched uranium and its stock of near 20%-enriched uranium, it could have enough weapon-grade uranium for six weapons in one month.

Iranian agents suspected of targeting Jews arrested in Sweden, deported
A duo of Iranian agents were arrested in Stockholm on suspicion of targeting Jews in the Swedish capital, local media Sverige Radio reported on Tuesday morning.

The two, linked to Iran’s military intelligence, were reportedly arrested back in April 2021.

The agents, identified as Mahdi Ramezani and Fereshteh Sanaeifarid, were allegedly planning the assassinations of three Swedish citizens, including Aron Verständig, the chairman of Sweden’s Jewish Central Council.

Though their preparations were foiled by local authorities in Stockholm, their attack plans remained private. Authorities did not find solid evidence, nor were they able to reach a definitive conclusion regarding these operatives’ intentions.

Assassination attempt turns to deportation
The couple was deported to Iran the next year, in 2022, after they were deemed a serious security threat to Sweden, according to Ekot news.

This was one of several attempts in recent years by Iran to attack Jews abroad as a move to strike Israel.The investigation raised concerns about state-sponsored terrorism from foreign entities on Swedish soil, Swedish media reported.

Richard Mühlrad, the president of the Jewish Community of Stockholm, told The Jerusalem Post that despite the threats of rising antisemitism and an attempted terror attack on his community, they still feel supported by Swedish authorities.

Seth Frantzman: Iranian media lifts veil on Iran’s kamikaze drone program
Iranian pro-government Tasnim News published an important, long article on Tuesday detailing the history and extent of Iran’s kamikaze drone program.

The aircrafts are known as “one-way” attack drones; Iran’s own media notes they are sometimes called “suicide” drones. The essence of them is that the drone itself is a warhead, so it flies into a target like a cruise missile.

Iran has been in the spotlight for exporting these dangerous weapons to Russia, to the Houthis in Yemen, to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and to its proxy militias in Iraq and Syria. The drone program dates back many decades. Iran has often tried to copy US and Israeli models of drones or UAVs. In the past, Iran used these systems for surveillance and has tried to arm them, similar to how the US armed the Predator drone with missiles.

The extent of the program
However, now, Iran has shifted resources to invest in a long line of kamikaze drones, because they are easy to build and export, and can project Iran’s power for thousands of miles around the region.In essence, this is an instant air force. Iran is looking to replicate what the Soviets did with the AK-47 by plowing resources into a weapon system that can be easily exported or replicated abroad.

Tasnim’s article sheds some light on the extent of this program. It reports that Iran’s defense industry has invested in numerous types of drones, ones that can often be hard to spot on radar. The article praises them for their accomplishments, detailing past drone types of this kamikaze model, including the Chamran and Saegh, the Ababil line of drones that were provided in large numbers to the Iranian navy, as well as the Kian, Karar, Arash, Sayad, Miraj, and the new Sina and Bavar. The Sina is an attempt to copy the US’s AeroVironment Switchblade.

Specifically regarding Shahed 136 and 131, the article includes, as a “source” for information on the Shahed, a copy of a Ukrainian report on the drones. The Shahed 136 was first sent to Yemen in 2020 before being exported to Russia for Moscow’s war on Ukraine. Iran’s media was unable to get comments from officials about the export to Russia, so it relied on Ukrainian claims, showcasing the sensitivity of the issue.

‘You’re Jewish, I’m from Hamas … we’re going to blow you up’
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania charged Yaniv Gola, 50, of Philadelphia, with eight counts of interstate communication of threats on Monday.

Gola, who faces up to 40 years in jail, three years of supervised release, $2 million in fines and an $800 “special assessment,” is alleged to have threatened to kill Jews and Muslims.

From Aug. 2, 2022 to Nov. 5, 2023, Gola allegedly used voice-over-internet protocol to mask his phone number while calling Jews and Muslims and threatening to murder, rape and hurt eight people.

“You [expletive] Jew, now I know where you are. I’m going to kill all you Jews,” he allegedly said in one of the calls. “You all should be shoved back into ovens.” He added that he was coming to the victim’s place of business “to kill you,” per the U.S. attorney’s office.

He allegedly told another person, “I want to put a bullet in your head … you [expletive] Muslims.”

And most recently, per the U.S. attorney’s office, Gola threatened a third victim, “You’re Jewish, I’m from Hamas. You’re animals and pigs … If you don’t leave that place, we’re going to blow you up.”

More information about the defendant, whose name appears to be Hebrew, wasn’t immediately available.

Someone by the same name and Asael Gola were charged in Cinnaminson, N.J.—some 12 miles from Philadelphia—in 2011 with violating second-hand purchasing laws. Both appear to have ties to property in Pennsylvania.
Newly declassified documents reveal why Canada let convicted Nazi war criminals keep their citizenship
In 1967, Canada’s justice minister was asked to strip citizenship from a former Nazi who had been sentenced to death in the Soviet Union.

The minister, Pierre Trudeau, declined to do so. Although the USSR had convicted the Latvian man of murdering Jews in the Holocaust, Trudeau argued that Canada had not erred in granting him citizenship when he first applied.

“The applicant’s obligation is to satisfy the Court that he is of good character,” Trudeau, who would later become Canada’s prime minister, wrote in a legal opinion at the time. “He is not required to satisfy the Court that he, at no time in his past, committed an opprobrious act. … From a practical, and indeed reasonable, point of view, few, if any, applicants could meet a requirement of that kind.”

Trudeau’s response was revealed last week when the Canadian government — now led by his son, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — unsealed documents related to the resettlement of Nazi war criminals in the country. The revelations have come months after a political crisis surrounding the continued presence of former Nazis in Canada.

The documents were part of the Rodal Report, compiled in 1985 and released in heavily redacted form in 1987. They were put together by a Jewish historian named Alti Rodal, who was born in Ukraine and is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. The report was compiled as part of a broader effort, the Deschênes Commission, to investigate Nazi war criminals in Canada.

Last year, B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish advocacy group, filed a request under the country’s Access to Information Act to have the report’s remaining contents made public. The 15 pages that were unsealed because of the request offer more information about the extent to which the Canadian government was involved in granting citizenship to Nazi war criminals.
Once a ‘blank slate,’ Ritchie Torres is one of Israel’s best fighters in Congress
Growing up in the Bronx, N.Y., Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) had no awareness about the Jewish community or Israel. “I was born and raised in a community that was almost exclusively Latino and African-American,” Torres, an Afro-Latino, told JNS.

When he was first elected to the New York City Council in 2014, he was “a blank slate on this subject,” he said. Then he accepted an invitation later that year to join a Jewish Community Relations Council delegation to Israel. The trip turned out to be “one of the most formative and transformative experiences in my life,” he said.

Torres, 35, spoke with JNS on Friday at the beginning of Black History Month about Israel’s war against the Hamas terror organization in Gaza, the prospects of a future Palestinian state and how he became one of Israel’s best fighters on Capitol Hill, particularly after Oct. 7.

‘No equivalent’

When Torres first entered the Gaza envelope, he recalls a local Israeli mayor telling him that most of the children in the area struggle with post-traumatic stress from living under relentless rocket fire.

“I grew up in the Bronx where people live in fear of bullets, gun violence, but no one in the United States lives in fear of rockets,” he told JNS. “No one worries that Mexico and Canada are going to fire a rocket into American homes and communities.”

Early on, Torres realized that the Jewish state faces “a level of insecurity and volatility that has no equivalent in the American experience.”

“I developed profound empathy not only for the plight of the Jewish people but for the complex security situation confronting Israel as a Jewish state, which is surrounded by adversaries,” he added.

Torres told JNS that most of his views on Israel are informed by his trips to the area, as well as by the writings of experts, including former Knesset member Einat Wilf, Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur and Tal Becker, who helped argue Israel’s case before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Argentina's Javier Milei, in Israel, vows to move embassy to Jerusalem
Argentinian President Javier Milei arrived in Israel on Tuesday ahead of the Argentinian head of state’s promised relocation of the country’s embassy to Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry announced. Upon landing, Milei was welcomed by Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

"You are a value-driven person committed only to truth, and it is no wonder that you chose to come to Israel immediately to support us in the just struggle to defend the Jewish people against Hamas terrorists,” Katz told the Argentinian president.

“I thank you for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and for your announcement now to relocate Argentina's embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Welcome to Israel, Mr. President - Viva La Libertad Carajo!"

Accompanying President Milei were Argentina's Foreign Minister, Diana Mondino, the presidential chief of staff, Karina Milei, and the President's Rabbi, Rabbi Shimon Axel and his wife.

Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to X, formerly Twitter, to welcome the Milei.

"I warmly welcome the arrival to Israel of the President of Argentina, Israel's friend, Javier Milei, who announced the relocation of Argentina's embassy to Jerusalem. Welcome, dear friend!" Netanyahu wrote.

Full Movie: Journey of Hope – Retracing the Kindertransport after 85 Years
At 100 years of age, Walter Bingham, a resident of Jerusalem, is an enduring symbol of resilience. He said: “The past is gone. We mustn’t dwell on it. But if you don’t know the past you can’t make the future any better. We can educate, speak to people, to schools. Talking to people about what it means and the consequences of their actions and hope that they will learn from it.”

Lily Ebert, a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, is also 100 years old. She said: “Walter and I are both centenarian Holocaust survivors. We are members of a community that we did not want to be a part of or choose to be a part of – the Holocaust survivor community. We have to live, every day, with the pain of what we went through. We share that understanding, and it is for that reason that meeting the inspirational Walter was so special.”

Walter Bingham met Auschwitz survivor Lily Ebert at her London home last week. Bingham was visiting from Israel to speak at the March of the Living UK film premiere of “Journey of Hope: Retracing the Kindertransport after 85 years.” It tells the remarkable story of three Kindertransport survivors, Walter, 100, Paul Alexander, 88, and George Shefi, 92. Last November they marked 85 years since fleeing Germany without their parents after Kristallnacht.

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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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