Thursday, February 22, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: Joe Biden’s Dueling Personas on Israel
Late in The Court Jester, the beloved 1955 film parody of the Robinhood tale, Danny Kaye’s traveling jester, Hawkins, is hypnotized into thinking he is a confident, swashbuckling swordsman: the Black Fox. At the sound of fingers snapping, he reverts to his jester persona—though a single snap will put him back in the mind of a hero. He goes back and forth like this several times during a swordfight with one of the movie’s main villains.

I find myself of late listening carefully for any snapping when President Biden or top administration officials are addressing the question of U.S. Mideast policy. Will we be hearing from the Black Fox or from Hawkins?

Luckily, this morning at the UN’s kangaroo Court of Justice, the Black Fox showed up. The “Court” is being asked to “rule” on whether Israel should immediately withdraw from all territories over which the Palestinians may one day establish sovereignty. It is an effort by a large group of nations to enable Hamas to take over the West Bank before the group is defeated completely. The Hamas lifeline would also result in a purge of the Palestinian Authority, several rounds of bloody chaos, and the death of the two-state solution.

The U.S. State Department’s legal adviser, Richard Visek, testified today at the Hague that this would in fact be a bad idea. “Hamas’s attacks, hostage-taking and other atrocities, the ongoing hostilities and the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and the violence in the West Bank reinforce the United States resolve to urgently achieve a final peace that includes the full realization of Palestinian self-determination,” Visek said.

Visek also, correctly, pointed out that you cannot solve this conflict “through an advisory opinion addressed to questions focusing on the acts of only one party.”

This attempt to sabotage the peaceful resolution of the conflict on behalf of the Palestinians is being supported by dozens of governments around the world. On the pro-peace side is… the U.S.
To Win Votes, President Biden Should Appeal to Israel’s Supporters, Not Its Enemies
The only thing that might stop the IDF from taking Rafah, short of Hamas’s surrender, would be U.S. pressure for a temporary ceasefire. Recently American officials have begun speaking of just that, a shift from the “humanitarian pause” that has until now been the key diplomatic buzzword. The U.S. has even circulated a draft ceasefire resolution at the UN.

Noah Rothman believes such moves are intended to appeal to the Democrats’ progressive, anti-Israel wing, and even more so to Arab-American voters in Michigan. In his view this isn’t just morally and strategically incoherent, but also bad politics:

Though it reads like an act of statecraft, the resolution is intended for the consumption of Biden’s monomaniacally anti-Israel domestic critics. Little else explains the administration’s willingness to sacrifice U.S. national interests but its political investment in self-preservation.

Because none of this makes any sense absent a consideration of the domestic political pressures a wildly unrepresentative class of activists are putting on this presidency, we must conclude that Biden has prioritized his reelection prospects over America’s permanent interests. If the Biden campaign genuinely believes its success hinges on a small number of malcontents in Michigan, it is in deep trouble well beyond the state’s borders. Biden would be better served appealing to the majority of Americans for whom Israel’s cause is a vital extension of American grand strategy abroad. At the very least, his administration would go down without putting American national interests on the chopping block in a cloying effort to appease the unappeasable.
Gadi Taub: U.S. Scheming for a Palestinian State Unwittingly Strengthens Netanyahu
If the news that the U.S. is going to recognize a Palestinian state that doesn’t exist was intended to break up Prime Minister Netanyahu’s wartime coalition, it’s unlikely to work. Contrary to what the Biden administration assumes, the obstacle to the “two-state solution” is Israel’s electorate, not its prime minister. The more the administration tries to ram this misguided plan down the throat of traumatized Israelis who are in no mood to compromise their security, the more the country’s prime minister will recover political support.

The calculation here is not a difficult one to make: Netanyahu’s coalition is united in the belief that promising the Palestinians a state in the middle of a war for national survival would be a declaration by Israel’s government that murdering, raping, and kidnapping Israelis is the way for Palestinians to achieve their national ambitions. Even the prime minister’s rivals in the coalition, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, have had to publicly support this consensus.

If this is not clear to the White House, it may be because the administration is clinging religiously to its failed “regional integration” policy—its appeasement of Iran—while relying on a uniformly leftist Israeli press that is eager to tell it what it wants to hear, about a nonexistent moderate electorate that will deliver a moderate two-statist coalition, if only Netanyahu can be removed from office.

One can imagine Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan calculating that by replacing Netanyahu with a leader who is willing to “courageously” agree to the two-state model, however far in the future it may be, the recent disasters of U.S. regional policy will turn out to look like a success: A new Palestinian proto-state backed by the U.S. would not only help to rescue Biden’s reelection prospects in Michigan, but also would prop up the administration’s Iran policy, forcing Israel to “de-escalate,” i.e., accommodate Iran’s wishes. And then, a newly moderate Israel and a revitalized Palestinian Authority would be incorporated into the supposedly stabilizing mission of regional integration, as U.S. allies “learn to share the neighborhood” with Iran and its proxies. Remove Netanyahu, and all will be well.

If that’s the plan, it’s a fantasy from start to finish.

From day one, Israel’s war against Hamas has threatened to discredit the Middle East strategy of three Democratic administrations. It was precisely this strategy, the appeasement and “integration” of Iran, that invited the war in Gaza in the first place and threatens to escalate armed conflict with Iran’s other regional assets—Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and IRGC-led militias in Syria and Iraq. Had the U.S. not paved the way for Iran’s rising power and regional influence, Iran’s Palestinian proxy would have had neither the confidence nor the means to perpetrate the Oct. 7 massacre.

The longer the Gaza war continues, the greater the chance that it will bring down the failed “regional integration” policy. That is why from day one, the administration’s policy has been to circumscribe the conflict, both geographically and politically. According to the White House, the Oct. 7 attack was just the latest chapter in the long history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not the Iranian-Israeli war that it really is. In support of this false framing is a false answer: The Israeli-Palestinian problem demands an Israeli-Palestinian solution.

JPost Editorial :It is time to talk about a new solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Does that mean, then, that we are doomed to perpetual conflict and war?

Not necessarily, but we need to be realistic, and a realistic view acknowledges that a Palestinian state is not in the immediate offing. Israelis, including left-wing Israelis, are in no mood to entertain the idea so soon after the October 7 atrocities. And, whether the world likes it or not, Israel is going to have to agree to a Palestinian state for it to come into being.

What is needed, therefore, is some out-of-the-box thinking, a creative alternative to the two-state solution. It became axiomatic over the years to believe the only answer to the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum is either a two-state solution or a binational state, both of which could endanger Israel as a Jewish state.

After October 7, it’s time for politicians, security experts, and think tanks to offer new, creative suggestions, since the ones that have circulated until now have failed.

What might these look like? Former National Security Council head Giora Eiland presented some ideas in 2010.

One idea could be called the United States of Jordan, a new twist on the old Jordan-Palestinian confederation plan. Under this proposal, Jordan would include three states: Jordan, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, all governed by a federal government in Amman. The West Bank and Gaza would have a budget, government institutions, laws, and a police force, just like the US states, but they would not have responsibility for foreign policy or the military, which would remain in the hands of the federal government in Amman.

Another idea proposed by Eiland is a two-state solution not based on the paradigm of an Israeli return to the 1967 borders. Rather, it would involve a land swap between Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and a future Palestinian entity that would significantly expand the size of Gaza, allowing Israel to retain 12% of the West Bank and providing Egypt with a land link to Jordan.

This is not meant as an endorsement of either plan. It is merely an example of how, with some unconventional thinking, other ideas can be introduced to replace the classic two-state mirage that most Israelis no longer see as a path to peace.
To Establish a Palestinian State Now, after October 7, Would Be a Strategic and Moral Failure
When the Oslo Accords were signed, I deeply believed in the political process of compromise and a peaceful solution. I sought to promote the two-state solution for years. But I can't accept it when I hear people calling for Israel to act now in order to establish a Palestinian state.

The U.S. Administration is making a strategic mistake by trying to push Israel to establish a Palestinian state only four months after Oct. 7. How can this even be on the agenda, when Israel is still licking its wounds and mourning its dead?

This policy ignores the grim reality: If Palestinian society had denounced Hamas and we could say that the massacre was carried out by a few extremists, then there might have been something to discuss. But a survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 72% of Palestinians believe that Hamas' Oct. 7 attack was justified, and in the West Bank, 82% supported it. Moreover, there is no alternative Palestinian leadership that opposed the massacre. None of the Fatah and PA leadership denounced Hamas for the massacre.

Time must pass to make it clear that there isn't a connection between Oct. 7 and the establishment of a Palestinian state. When we bring it back to the table, it requires not ignoring the main challenge: Palestinian society would have to undergo a real process of renouncing terrorism and denazification, building up strong support for peace and acceptance of the existence of Israel. This is the way to ensure that the massacre of Oct. 7 won't become the symbol of Hamas' victory.

The writer is General Secretary of Israel's Labor Party.
US vetoes UN resolution for immediate ceasefire in Gaza, pushes for ‘final solution’
The United States vetoed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas on Tuesday at the United Nations, as officials maintain their support for a short-term agreement.

“We are eager to continue working with the [U.N. Security] Council on this proposal — one that would see a temporary ceasefire as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released, and one that would get aid into the hands of those Palestinians who so desperately need it,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas Greenfield said Tuesday.

“All told, we intend to do this the right way so that we can create the right conditions for a safer, more peaceful future,” she continued. “And we will continue to actively engage in the hard work of direct diplomacy on the ground until we reach a final solution.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Dems Float Conditioning Aid To Israel On Israel Agreeing To Own Destruction (satire)
Prominent leaders of the party in control of the White House and Senate sought to address flagging election-year prospects this week by suggesting a move they calculate will resonate with the more progressive elements of the party whose ardor has chilled in the wake of the president’s backing of Israeli self-defense following the Hamas massacres of October 7 last year: a proposal to link a continued military alliance with the Jewish State to the latter’s willingness to dissolve itself and let Palestinians continue the work of October 7.

Democratic Party personalities and operatives acknowledged today that their advice to President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats in response to ominous poll numbers in advance of this coming November’s presidential and Congressional contests involves the explicit conditioning of military assistance to Israel – amounting to more than $3 billion per annum – on Israeli concessions to Palestinian aspirations, in particular their aspiration to destroy Israel and establish an Islamic State of Palestine in its stead.

“The momentum for a push of this sort has been building for some time,” explained Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, long a proponent of such a stipulation. “The facts are not always what sway an election; we all know that. Emotions do the job. If pandering to the emotions of a significant portion of the Democratic Party base by feeding into murderous Islamist rage against Jewish sovereignty is what it takes to win in 2024, then so be it. The narrative is king, regardless of the truth or falsehood of American weapons being used in a ‘genocide of Palestinians.'”

US readying to issue 2nd round of settler sanctions in coming weeks — sources
The Biden administration is readying to issue a second round of sanctions in the coming weeks against Israeli settlers who carried out acts of violence in the West Bank, a US official and a second source familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel this week.

The sources said several more Israeli extremists will be targeted, joining the four who were sanctioned in the first round, which was announced in tandem with a February 1 executive order signed by US President Joe Biden that cleared the way for the unprecedented penalties on the grounds that settler violence threatens regional security along with American interests.

The planned second round of sanctions indicates that Washington intends to hold Jerusalem’s feet to the fire to address the phenomenon, which has continued in the weeks since the executive order was signed without a single arrest.

It would be a further demonstration of the lack of US trust in Israeli law enforcement, which rarely succeeds in prosecuting Israeli suspects while Palestinian perpetrators are convicted of attacks against Israelis at far higher rates.

The sources said higher-profile Israeli extremists would likely be sanctioned in the second round, though government officials would still not be targeted.

A senior US official said the administration in the first round of sanctions seriously considered including far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who has a long history of incendiary comments and was also convicted of several terror-related charges before he entered politics. The US official said far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich was not considered for sanctions, though Washington did mull denying his request for a visa to enter the US last year.
At International Court of Justice, U.S. Argues Against Declaring Israeli West Bank Rule Illegal
The U.S. called on the International Court of Justice on Wednesday not to issue a ruling calling for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. Richard Visek, a legal adviser in the U.S. State Department, said, "The established framework for achieving a comprehensive and enduring peace is anchored in UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. At their core, these and subsequent resolutions call for...peace and security for states in the Middle East, through the acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area."

Visek said that it would not be conducive to the achievement of peace for the court to issue an opinion "that calls for a unilateral, immediate and unconditional withdrawal that does not account for Israel's legitimate security needs," which, he said, were underlined by the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas against Israel on Oct. 7. Visek also pointed out that international law does not provide for an occupation to be declared unlawful or void, regardless of its duration.

The ICJ is currently holding six days of hearings following a request by the UN General Assembly for the court to issue an advisory opinion on the legality of Israel's 56-year-long rule in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. Advisory opinions are non-binding and Israel has not sent a delegation to The Hague to argue against the petition.
In the Next Phase of the War, Israel’s Biggest Obstacles May Be Political Rather Than Military
To defeat Hamas, Israel will have to attack the city of Rafah, which lies on the border between Egypt and Gaza, and which now contains the bulk of the terrorist group’s fighting forces as well as, most likely, the Israeli hostages. Edward Luttwak examines how this stage of the war will be different from those that preceded it:

To start with, Rafah has very few of the high-rise apartment houses, condo towers, and mansions of Gaza City and Khan Yunis. This makes street-fighting much simpler because there are no multilevel basements from which many fighters can erupt at once, nor looming heights with firing positions for snipers. Above all, if a building must be entered and cleared room-by-room, perhaps because a high-value target is thought to be hiding there, it does not take hundreds of soldiers to search the place quickly.

Luttwak also argues that the IDF will be able to evacuate a portion of the civilian population without allowing large numbers of Hamas guerrillas to escape. In his view, the biggest challenge facing Israel, therefore, is a political one:

Israel will have to contend with one final hurdle: the fact that its forces cannot proceed without close coordination with Egypt’s rulers. President Sisi’s government detests Hamas—the Gaza offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood they overthrew—and shed no tears at the prospect of its further destruction in Rafah. However, they also greatly fear the arrival of a flood of Palestinians fleeing from the Israeli offensive.

As for the Israeli war cabinet, it is equally determined to win this war in Rafah and to preserve strategic cooperation with Egypt, which has served both sides very well. That takes some doing, and accounts for the IDF’s failure to move quickly into Rafah. But victory is Israel’s aim—and it’s not going to give up on that.

Why surrendering in Gaza on Nasrallah’s terms will lead to war with Lebanon
Yet even by examining US President Joe Biden’s statements it seems clear to him, too, that it is indispensable to finish the job. The US shifted from officially warning Israel against an operation in Rafah to simply stress how “a military operation should not proceed without a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the civilians in Rafah." That is basically the Israeli position. The IDF already offered plans to construct vast “tent cities” north to Rafah to ensure a safe passage and refuge place for civilians.

Yet the other part of that logic makes even less sense. Judging by statements made by the arch-terrorist Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, it is tempting to believe that all Israel needs to do in order to avoid war with Lebanon is to retreat in Gaza, and let Hamas off the hook. In his speeches, Nasrallah threatens that the war in the north “will not stop until Israeli aggression in Gaza stops.”

Yet why should Israel submit to menacing statements by Nasrallah, and why should we believe him? An oversimplified calculation that Nasrallah’s terms are clear, and so that makes the path to calm clear, is simply nonsensical. Nasrallah’s whole philosophy is based on the armed struggle. Without it, Lebanese would notice more boldly his organization’s destruction of what used to be the Middle East’s cedar heaven. Hezbollah would lose its reason to exist.

We also know it’s false because we can examine the pre-October 7 situation in the north. In our Israel Defense And Security Forum Research Department’s study, “Hezbollah: On the Brink of Eruption?” dated August 2023, we elaborate on hundreds of incidents along the Lebanon border just since early 2023, including ripping down security cameras, confronting soldiers, shooting attacks, launching 34 rockets at Israel on Passover, the Meggido suicide attack, and constructing military tents on Israeli territory. Should Israel go back to this level of conflict with Hezbollah?

This precise attitude of defeatism led Israeli leaders to conclude the disastrous Gas Accord with Lebanon in October 2022. Against any common sense, Nasrallah’s “clear terms," then and now, led Israel to surrender a maritime territory larger than the Tel Aviv district simply to avoid war and “buy silence” for the following months. What we got is an unmatched domestic achievement for Nasrallah in Lebanon, and the very opposite of silence. Those same security voices that cheered on that agreement, inverse to what my colleagues and I viewed as quintessential to Israel’s security: a clear message that nobody should test our resilience to fight.

Surrendering to the terms of Nasrallah and Hamas in Gaza by retreating will serve our enemies well and push the notion of peace with Saudi Arabia further away than ever before. Our enemies understand assertiveness, not defeatism. Israel must finish the job in Gaza by annihilating all of Hamas’ remaining brigades, then ensure the IDF’s eternal freedom of operation in the Gaza Strip. No one will do that for us.

The objective of total victory in Gaza does not belong to any government or party; we hear it from combatants, commanders, evacuees, families of victims and hostages. And we know how vital it is given the humiliating failure of the Israeli containment strategy for decades around our borders. Now as our soldiers show immense bravery in the battlefield, they show the opposite of that defeatist attitude that calls to trust Israel’s security in the hands of others. Our security can only be trusted in our own hands.
Resettle Gazans to end their misery and avoid perpetual war
For the sake of moral consistency and fairness, the countries that have most supported Hamas - Qatar, Turkey, and Iran - should receive the greatest number of Gazan refugees fleeing the consequences of that support. And those who genuinely care about improving the welfare of Gazans (rather than simply hating Israelis) should be pressuring those countries to accept Gazan refugees.

Qatar bears particular responsibility for the present Gazan war. Qatar hosts Hamas’ political office and leadership, has given over 1.8 billion dollars to Hamas, and uses the state-owned Al Jazeera network to amplify pro-Hamas propaganda that inflames and incites Gazans and the rest of the Arab world.

And Qatar certainly has the resources to absorb the entire Gazan population of roughly 2.1 million, considering that it spent an estimated $220 billion just on preparations for the World Cup (that would be enough to give each Gazan almost $105,000). And Qatar could easily employ most, if not all of the Gazan refugees, considering that there were almost two million foreign workers in Qatar in 2023.

Turkey, which has also hosted Hamas’ political leaders while diplomatically defending the terrorist group, doesn’t enjoy the same wealth as Qatar but has enormous territory (302,000 square miles) that could be used to absorb many thousands of refugees. Turkey has just 289 people per square mile (versus 14,000 in Gaza).

There are also moderate Gulf states like Saudi Arabia that could easily solve the Gaza problem, not because they helped to create it, but because they are more responsible, regional leaders seeking stability and prosperity for the Middle East. Indeed, Saudi Arabia has controlled Islamist movements in its own territory and opposed them elsewhere (as with the Houthis in Yemen). And with Saudi Arabia’s vast land and wealth, the country could easily absorb 2 million refugees from Gaza.

According to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Saudi Arabia: As of February 2023, there are approximately 10.9 million foreign workers, constituting 75% of the total workforce in Saudi Arabia…

Thus, resettling Gaza’s refugees would help to solve Saudi Arabia’s labor shortage problems with workers who are much more linguistically and culturally compatible than, for example, Filipinos.

UK's Col. Kemp Blames Hamas for Palestinian Deaths
Colonel Richard Kemp served in the British Army through many wars around the world, including Afghanistan and Iraq. He visited the Middle East and witnessed how Hamas terrorized Gaza while sacrificing even the lives of their own children. In the battle to save the West from terrorist proxies funded by Iran and Qatar, find out why Colonel Kemp is a staunch advocate for Israel.

‘Handing VICTORY to Hamas!’: Ex-British Army commander ERUPTS at West’s pro-Palestine ‘APPEASEMENT’
'Hamas leaders have said, as part of their genocidal campaign against Israel, they'll do the same over and over again.'

Richard Kemp believes the West's approach to a ceasefire has undermined efforts for Hamas to be eliminated.

Mission Brief: The Official Podcast of the Israel Defense Forces: Special Forces Talk: Counter-Terrorism and Warfare Scenarios Inside Gaza
This week’s Mission Brief discusses close-quarters combat in Gaza and the tactical challenges our troops face in the field.

Our guest for this week’s Mission Brief is ready for any threat that might present itself. SSGT R. is a commander in the IDF Special Forces counterterrorism LOTAR unit.

How does one operate under heavy fire, make extreme life-threatening decisions and improve their tactics to stay one step ahead of the enemy? Answer these very questions by listening in.

WaPo: The American Citizens Fighting and Dying for Israel in the Gaza War
Amichai Oster, 24, was in the U.S. when Hamas attacked Israel on Oct 7. Within days, he was on a plane, among thousands of Americans and American Israelis who rushed to join the fight in Gaza. Oster was killed when an explosion hit his combat unit in northern Gaza on Jan. 1, 2024, one of at least 23 American citizens to be killed in recent months while serving in the Israeli military or police, according to the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Naftali Yonah Gordon, 32, was born in Queens. He had been working as a physiotherapist and raising two daughters in Jerusalem when he rejoined his former armored unit after Oct 7. His tank was hit by a missile on Dec. 7. Gordon's wife, Pesi Gordon, whose own mother grew up in New York, said, "he was very, very connected to Israel. He gave his life for it." Pesi's sister, Malki Roth, was 15 when she was killed in the bombing of a Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001.

21 Americans in IDF units have been killed inside Gaza. Another died along Israel's northern border with Lebanon in an exchange of fire with Hizbullah. A 23rd U.S. citizen was killed in Jerusalem while serving in Israel's border police.

At least 32 Americans were killed during the initial Hamas rampage on Oct. 7. At least 11 others were among those taken hostage. The State Department said six U.S. citizens are still held in Gaza.

Eight UNRWA employees arrested by Israel over Hamas ties
Eight UNRWA employees working in the Gaza Strip have been arrested by the IDF due to connections to Hamas, according to a Maariv report on Thursday.

The report, which cites a secret document that has been obtained by Maariv, claimed that the employees have circumstantial evidence linking them directly with Hamas, and they have been transferred to Israel for further investigation.

The report also highlighted that the UNRWA organization has reached out to Israel and has requested access to contact the arrested individuals.

The actual arrest of the employees was reported to have spanned over the past few months of fighting, from October until February. One of the detainees is even suspected of participating in the massacre that Hamas conducted on October 7, according to the report.

According to the secret document, UNRWA made an appeal a few days ago to relevant political parties in Israel, including a detailed list of the eight detainees, while the management of the UN requested information about the detained employees of the organization, where they are being detained, the status of the investigation against them, and whether Their affiliation to Hamas and terrorist activities has been proven.

Israeli officials have emphasized that the appeals by UNRWA and the UN are yet to be answered, and the investigation of the eight detainees is still ongoing.

UNRWA's appeal comes following Israel's campaign to remove the organization from Gaza. Last week, Foreign Minister Israel Katz revealed the "UNRWA Brochure" during his speech at the Munich Security Conference, which contained explicit evidence of the involvement of the organization's employees in terrorist activities. He also attacked the organization, saying, "The organization serves as an arm of the terrorist organization Hamas - its leaders should resign."
Israeli killed, six wounded in terror shooting near Ma’ale Adumim
An Israeli man was killed and six others were wounded on Thursday morning in a terrorist shooting on the Route 1 highway near Ma’ale Adumim, 4.3 miles east of Jerusalem in Judea.

The murdered man was later identified as Matan Elmaleh, 26, from Ma’ale Adumim.

Magen David Adom paramedics treated the victims on the scene, including a pregnant woman, later identified as 30-year-old Adi Zohar, with gunshot wounds to her upper body who was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Dr. Alon Schwartz, head of the trauma department, said that she was undergoing “significant surgery” and that her condition was stable.

It was “too early” to determine any long-term impact on the development of the pregnancy but no issues were discovered upon the initial examination, Schwartz added. Matan Elmaleh, 26, from Ma’ale Adumim, who was killed in a terrorist attack on Route 1 near the Judean city on Feb. 22, 2024. Source: X.

The other victims were evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah Medical Centers in Mount Scopus and Ein Kerem, all in Jerusalem.

They include four in satisfactory condition, according to the MDA emergency medical services—a 30-year-old woman with gunshot wounds to her upper body, a 23-year-old man with gunshot wounds to the abdomen and limbs, a 51-year-old with gunshot wounds to the limbs, and a 52-year-old woman with gunshot wounds to the limbs.

A 59-year-old was also wounded, according to the MDA.

Security forces and armed civilians shot and killed two Palestinian terrorists at the scene, according to police. An additional terrorist was located and killed following a search.

IDF intercepts missile shot at Israel's Eilat over Red Sea
The IDF's Arrow missile defense system intercepted a rocket launched toward Israel's southernmost city of Eilat and the surrounding towns, the Israeli military confirmed.

The target was located and shot down in the Red Sea, failing to cross into Israeli territory.

US-led forces respond to Houthi attack on Red Sea ship near Yemen
Elsewhere over the Red Sea, two missiles were fired at a vessel in an attack southeast of the Yemeni port city of Aden on Thursday, causing a fire onboard, Britain's maritime agency said.

British maritime security firm Ambrey identified the vessel as a Palau-flagged, UK-owned general cargo ship that was headed in the direction of the Red Sea from Thailand.

US-led coalition forces are responding to the incident, which took place 70 nautical miles from Aden in the direction of the Red Sea, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said without elaborating.

"It has been reported that a vessel was attacked by two missiles, resulting in a fire on board," the UKMTO said.

The Iran-backed Houthis, who control Yemen's most populous regions, have disrupted commercial shipping in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait in recent months, forcing firms to take a longer, more expensive route around Africa.

Opposition to Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Goes Mainstream in Israel
Under pressure from the Biden administration, Israel has allowed humanitarian aid into Gaza. But a nascent grassroots movement has channeled widespread public opposition to the policy.

Ishay Green, 45, an Israeli high-tech entrepreneur and former leader of protests against Israel’s right-wing government, last week helmed a convoy of vehicles from Tel Aviv to the Gaza border to block trucks carrying foreign aid from entering the Palestinian territory. Green told the Washington Free Beacon that the protests are as much about unifying the nation as they are about winning Israel’s war against Hamas.

"As a people, this is something we can do that the government cannot do," he said, pointing to the U.S. and international pressure on Jerusalem to ramp up aid to Gaza. "But this is just one small thing. The bigger story of Israel is how we unite. If we unite, we are going to win."

Green is one of hundreds of Israelis who have traveled from across the country in the past month and a half to try to illegally obstruct aid from reaching Gaza. The rise of the anti-aid protests, led by an upstart group called Tzav 9, comes as the horrors of Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack have hardened Israelis' attitudes toward both the Palestinians and the international forces that support their struggle against the Jewish state.

"There is almost a consensus in Israel against providing humanitarian aid to Gaza," Nimrod Nir, a pollster at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told the Free Beacon. "It may seem shocking, but you have to understand that the reality has changed. Israelis see themselves as in a zero-sum conflict with the Palestinians—where helping them is a direct threat to our soldiers and our hostages in Gaza."

According to Tzav 9’s leaders, the group has held about 20 protests at Israel’s Kerem Shalom and Nitzana border crossings with Gaza since the movement started in mid-January.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: ARCCI submits first report regarding Hamas October 7 attack to the UN
The report clearly demonstrates that this is not a "malfunction" or isolated incident but a clear operational strategy involving systematic, targeted sexual abuse. The report focuses on sexual and gender-based violence during the massacre of October 7, 2023, and the war that ensued, serving as a primary testimonial foundation indicating widespread sexual crimes.

Orit Sulitzeanu, CEO of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, stated, "The report, submitted to decision-makers at the UN, leaves no room for denial or disregard. The terrorist organization Hamas chose to harm Israel strategically in two clear ways – kidnapping citizens and committing sadistic sexual crimes. Silence is no longer an option. We expect international organizations to take a clear stance; we cannot stand on the sidelines. Silence will be remembered as a historical stain on those who chose to remain silent and deny the sexual crimes committed by Hamas."

The report is the first official research since October 7, consolidating evidence and providing conclusions. The report clearly demonstrates that this is not a "malfunction" or isolated incident but a clear operational strategy involving systematic, targeted sexual abuse. The report focuses on sexual and gender-based violence during the massacre of October 7, 2023, and the war that ensued, serving as a primary testimonial foundation indicating widespread sexual crimes. The report was written by, Dr. Carmit Klar Chalamish, head of the research department at the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, and Noga Berger, director of content at the organization. ARCCI report regarding Hamas sexual crimes (PDF)

The Israel Guys: His Brother is a Hostage in Gaza. . .
Joshua interviews Moshe Lavi, the brother-in-law of one of the hostages still being held in Gaza and hears his story. You don’t want to miss this impactful story!

Oct. 7 survivors sue AP for hiring freelance photographers ‘embedded with Hamas terrorists’: lawsuit
Several survivors of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel have accused the Associated Press in a new lawsuit of aiding and abetting the terrorist organization by using freelance photojournalists believed to be embedded with the violent militants.

The plaintiffs — Israeli-Americans and Americans who attended the Nova music festival raided by Hamas as well as loved ones of victims — are suing the news outlet for damages under the Antiterrorism Act, according to the federal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida Wednesday night.

They are being represented by lawyers working with the nonprofit National Jewish Advocacy Center who accuse the major media company of “materially supporting terrorism” by paying alleged Hamas-associated photojournalists for images captured during and immediately after the Oct. 7 invasion.

“There is no doubt that AP’s photographers participated in the October 7th massacre, and that AP knew, or at the very least should have known, through simple due diligence, that the people they were paying were longstanding Hamas affiliates and full participants in the terrorist attack that they were also documenting,” the complaint alleges.

The suit mentions the names of four freelance photographers whose work was purchased and published by the AP and claims that the four are “known Hamas associates who were gleefully embedded with the Hamas terrorists during the October 7th attacks.”

But the majority of the complaint focuses on one photojournalist, Hassan Eslaiah — who has been accused of being a Hamas associate even before the terrorist groups’ bloody invasion of Israel.

Eslaiah, who the AP severed ties with in November, was accused in the suit of being side by side with Hamas terrorists while they went about shooting and slaughtering innocent Israelis.

The photojournalist filed some of the earliest and most comprehensive images from the scene. He admitted to hitching a ride back to Gaza from Hamas militants, though he has denied having any advance knowledge of the attack nor links to the terrorist group, according to the New York Times — which also faced backlash for using his photos.

Eslaiah was photographed smiling alongside Hamas commander Yahya Sinwar who planted a kiss on his cheek and placed his arm around the journalist in a 2020 image that spread online following the attack.

NYT journalist accused of participating in October 7 attacks wins journalism
Among the winners of the George Polk Awards is a journalist from The New York Times who is accused of infiltrating into Israel early in the morning of the October 7 massacres.

The journalist Yousef Masoud was awarded the prize along with another freelance Times photojournalist named Samar Abu Elouf.

Honest Reporting, a media watchdog NGO, highlighted his accreditation to a photo provided to the Associated Press, with the caption, “Palestinians wave their national flag and celebrate by a destroyed Israeli tank at the Gaza Strip fence east of Khan Younis southern Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land, and sea and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday.”

HonestReporting questioned Masoud’s explanation of his presence that he’d been woken up at 5.30 a.m. by rocket fire even though the firing only started an hour later.

The picture shows a man waving a Palestinian flag atop an Israeli tank. Masoud's name was included in an investigative report from November showing that journalists from leading news outlets, including The New York Times, AP, Reuters, and CNN, joined Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip on October 7 to document the events with their cameras.

The organization, which works to expose anti-Israel bias in the foreign press, raised heavy ethical questions in the investigation regarding the presence of those photographers alongside Hamas terrorists.
Call Me Back PodCast: How Hamas fooled the world – with Matti Friedman Hosted by Dan Senor
Every day we see news accounts “reported” by reputable journalists. There is typically one frame in the post-10/07 War: ‘Gazan Palestinians are the victims of Israel.’ How does this happen? How do journalists actually operate in Gaza and around the world? And is this a window into what had Hamas figured out long before 10/07 — that the forces of barbarism could manipulate the intentional press reaction to their massacre of 10/07?

That is why we wanted to sit down with Matti Friedman, who is one of the most thoughtful writers when it comes to all matters related to Israel, the broader Middle East, and also trends in the world of journalism. He is a monthly writer for Tablet Magazine and a regular contributor to The Atlantic. His newest book is called “Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai.” Before that he published “Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel,” and before that “Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War.” Matti’s army service included tours in Lebanon. His work as a reporter has taken him from Israel to Lebanon, Morocco, Moscow, the Caucasus, and Washington, DC. He is a former Associated Press correspondent and essayist for the New York Times opinion section.

But it was his time covering Hama’s takeover of Gaza that led him to study with great detail how Hamas manipulates the media, NGOs and the international community, and how they are working from the same playbook right now, perhaps quite masterfully.

Matti Friedman’s published works that we discuss in this episode:

“There Is No ‘Israeli-Palestinian Conflict'” — The New York Times —

“An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth” — Tablet Magazine —

“What The Media Gets Wrong About Israel” — The Atlantic —

'Delusion': Douglas Murray says two-state solution is 'impossible'
If Palestinians were given another state now, it would be seen as a “reward” for the October 7 Hamas attacks, says author Douglas Murray.

Mr Murray told Sky News host Rita Panahi this “incentivises terror".

“The second thing however is … the Palestinians were given a state in 2005, a state where they have their own free and fair elections," he said.

“And they voted in Hamas and then they stayed in power for 18 years and Hamas created a terror state and they were not overthrown and they started a war.

“If they were given … yet another state … all of Israel would be at risk from the same rocket fire, the same terror.

"It's just impossible, certainly now, for such a thing to happen. But I think that it's worth people realising this and not taking part in this delusion."

Questions over Palestinian visas and how many coming into Australia ‘support Hamas’
Sky News host Danica De Giorgio raises concerns about the Palestinian visas which took “one hour” to go through security checks and over how many of those support Hamas.

“In the end, if you are genuine and you want to come here for genuine reasons, absolutely,” she said.

“But the fact is, it is taking one hour only to do these security checks.

“How do we know these people are the right people to be bringing into this country?

“How many of those do actually support Hamas?”

Labor called on to give ‘sober’ answer over Palestinian visas
Sky News host Peta Credlin says the government should give a “sober” answer to the visas granted to Palestinians.

“This fight that blew up today between Labor and the Coalition over the issue of border security,” Ms Credlin said.

“You know, we’ve been talking for some time about the 149 foreign criminals.

“Then we’ve got this boatload of asylum seekers turning up in WA last week.”

“The issue of this week – the visas for Palestinians out of Gaza – some visas granted in an hour.”

Blinken meets with Brazilian president following controversial Holocaust comments
Days after Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to Hitler’s treatment of Jews during the Holocaust, he met with Secretary of State Tony Blinken in Brasilia.

Public communications from the State Department about the Wednesday meeting did not mention Lula’s comments on Israel, although an official readout said the two men discussed the war in Gaza. Blinken tweeted afterward that U.S.-Brazil “ties are stronger than ever,” with a photo of the men smiling and shaking hands.

The day before, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said “obviously we disagree” with Lula’s comments. “We have been quite clear that we do not believe that genocide has occurred in Gaza,” said Miller.

On Wednesday afternoon, Miller said Blinken had raised the comments with Lula.

“The secretary had a chance to discuss the comments with President Lula today in his meeting, in the context of an overall discussion about the conflict in Gaza, and made clear — as I did yesterday, made clear that those are comments with which we disagree,” said Miller.

Lula’s comments over the weekend led Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz to formally reprimand Brazil’s ambassador to Israel and summon him for a meeting at Yad Vashem. “The things that Lula said when he compared the righteous war of the State of Israel against Hamas, which murdered and massacred the Jews, and Hitler and the Nazis is shameful and unacceptable,” Katz said on Monday.

Lula, who had previously been president of Brazil two decades ago, made the comments about Israel when speaking to reporters Sunday in Ethiopia.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip and to the Palestinian people hasn’t been seen in any other moment in history. Actually, it did when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” Lula said.

Rabbi slams Prince William’s comments on Israel-Hamas war
Author Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has slammed Prince William’s comments on the Israel-Hamas war.

Prince William expressed deep concern over what was happening in the Middle East, calling for an end to the fighting in Gaza and insisting that “too many have been killed”.

“I wish that Prince William knew some of the history – I’m sure he does – of his own great-grandfather, King George VI,” he told Sky News Australia host Rita Panahi.

“Because when he was the leader of Great Britain, he sanctioned the carpet bombing of entire German cities.

“Israel uses the American daytime precision bombing, losing hundreds of its soldiers when of course its air force could flatten Gaza.

“Here comes the Prince of Wales that says ‘why doesn’t everybody – give up the fighting’ … I’ll tell you Prince William, you have a wife, you wouldn’t want to see anything happen to her.”

Warning: This video contains distressing content.

Melbourne council passes motion calling for ceasefire in Gaza
Melbourne's Brimbank council passed a motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

This follows the recent decision of the City of Melbourne Council to vote down a motion to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Daily Telegraph’s Tim Blair joined Sky News host Chris Kenny to discuss the decision by Brimbank council.

“This has been going on for a long time in Australian councils,” he said.

“We had in Sydney I think a lot of inner western – councils who have been for years making all matter of resolutions about the Middle East while forgetting to pick up garbage.”

German Police Chief meets with Israeli counterparts to tour Oct. 7 ruins
Israel Police took diplomatic efforts into their own hands and escorted officials from the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) - the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, on a mission to bear witness to the impact of the October 7 massacre by Hamas across Israel's South on Wednesday.

Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai and Southern District Commander Deputy Commissioner Amir Cohen led a delegation headed by Holger Münch, the President of the BKA, visiting several Gaza border communities that were hit hard by terrorists on October 7. Israel's police force lost a number of officers while confronting terrorists and defending communities in the area.

Shabtai and Cohen took the BKA head to the Netivot police station, where their journey began, according to a statement by Israel Police. Münch and his team received a comprehensive briefing of the police response to the largest attack on Israel's soil in the nation's history.

Münch's delegation also learned of efforts taken by Israel's security officials to safeguard civilian lives.

Among the stops was Kibbutz Be'eri, where Münch engaged with survivors and walked amongst the community's ruins, witnessing the devastation caused by the day's events. He met with the bereaved as well as police officers and first responders in the community.

The team also visited the site of the Nova Music Festival massacre, held in the Re'im Forest just outside of Kibbutz Re'im. On-site, he met with the families of fallen officers and spoke with responding officers, lighting a memorial candle to close the day alongside Commissioner Shabtai.

The tour portrayed the cost of terrorism in Israel, depicting the threat that groups like Hamas could pose to the rest of the Western world. The trip allowed the BKA representatives to see the need for international solidarity in combatting terrorism.
Christian media endorses resolution to use term ‘Judea and Samaria’ over West Bank
The president and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), Troy Miller, has endorsed a resolution opposing using the term "West Bank" and Judea and Samaria instead.

"NRB opposes the use of the erroneous term 'West Bank' to describe the biblical heartland of Israel and calls on its members to refer to the region by its historic name of Judea and Samaria," the resolution, which was endorsed on Wednesday evening at the annual NRB convention, reads.

The resolution was prepared as a collaboration between Israel365, The Israel Guys, and the Israel Allies Foundation, with the encouragement of the broadcasting network. NRB has over 1,100 member organizations that reach millions of viewers, listeners, and readers.

The page-long resolution contains an explanatory preamble, highlighting that "Judea and Samaria are the biblical heartland of Israel, which includes sites such as Hebron, Bethel, Shiloh, and Shechem, along with many other places with rich biblical heritage" and that "Scripture foretells both the exile and return of the Jewish people to Judea and Samaria."

It also notes that "Judea and Samaria are critical to Israeli security as the Samaritan mountains overlook the Israeli coast, including Tel Aviv and other major population centers, including Israel's international airport" and that "the presence of the Jewish people in Judea and Samaria in modern times is a blessing to the Palestinians living there as Israeli investment and jobs provide economic opportunity for their Palestinian neighbors."
The Israel Guys: BREAKING: Jewish & Christian Leaders Endorse Resolution to Support Israel's Heartland
Breaking news: today at the NRB Convention in Nashville, TN, a "Biblical Heartland Resolution" was announced calling for media and individuals worldwide to stop referring to Israel's Heartland as the "West Bank", and instead, to use the name "Judea and Samaria". Authored by the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and Israel365, and endorsed by Troy Miller, the president of NRB, this is the first time that Jewish and Christian leaders and organizations have come together to stand strongly with Israel's Biblical Heartland.

Our team was on hand to film the press conference where the resolution was announced, and we are excited to be the first ones to share the footage of this historic event. Check out the video as well as the full text of the resolution below.

Stephen Pollard: The Speaker’s capitulation to the ‘Free Palestine’ mob is a dark day for democracy
So do we believe the Speaker’s own words? Because if we do, something close to terrifying has happened to parliamentary democracy.

Last night’s farce in the Commons has understandably – and rightly – been widely viewed as bringing not just parliament but politics itself into disrepute. It’s obviously important that we get to the bottom of what happened – and the accusation that Sir Lindsay Hoyle capitulated to thinly veiled threats from Labour that if he didn’t do their bidding then his time as Speaker would be up.

But that’s not what Sir Lindsay himself says happened. And if what he says is correct, something far, far worse occurred – something which shakes our very democracy to the core.

In his statement to MPs last night, the Speaker gave his explanation as to why he went against all precedent and protocol and selected the Labour Party’s amendment to be voted on: “I am very, very concerned about the security of all Members. I was very concerned, I am still concerned, and that is why the meetings I have had today were about the security of Members, their families and the people involved.”

In other words, according to Sir Lindsay his reason for selecting the Labour amendment was fear of the mob – that if Labour MPs weren’t given the opportunity to vote for their own ceasefire amendment (since the party had imposed a three line whip against supporting the SNP motion) he feared for their safety. And so he caved in to mob rule.

This is at once both shocking and entirely unsurprising.

Shocking, because if fear of attack – of the screaming, angry mob – is now driving the upending of the rules of Parliament itself, we are in a very dark place.

But unsurprising because: of course we are. You would have to be wilfully blind to what has been happening since October 7 – and in fact for many years before – not to have seen that the fear of the mob has been driving the reaction of almost every element of society.

Starmer's gambit backfired like a vintage Lagonda, leaving a broken Sir Lindsay on the verge of tears
Mutiny on the Thames. At Westminster last night there was parliamentary pandemonium after Sir Keir Starmer and his Labour boot-boys were caught fiddling with the rules. Such was the din that no one could even hear the final vote, which duly ended in disarray.

And in the chair of the Commons, under that great canopy which supposedly symbolises impartiality, we had, I'm afraid, a broken, apologetic, compromised Speaker on the verge of tears after making a dreadful hash of things.

It was the day of the Gaza debate. Scots Nats had chosen the Middle East war for one of their rare opposition-day debates. Long custom suggested their motion would be put and likely amended by the Government. But that was going to place Labour in a party-discipline pickle, because many of its MPs agreed with the SNP's pro-Palestinian stance.

And so Sir Keir, having learned nothing from his attempts in 2019 to block Brexit, slid his practised fingers into the workings of parliamentary procedure and tried to twist a few constitutional cogs.

Like a vintage Lagonda, Sir Keir's gambit later backfired spectacularly — a great 'kaboom!' — and by the day's close he was left with oil, or something else brown and liquid, all over his flat face. During the first part of the day the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, was absent from his chamber. We learned he was locked in argument with Sir Keir in the Reasons Room, a tiny space behind the Speaker's chair where the ushers keep tissues and bottles of water. Sir Keir — the living saint who is forever lecturing us on the rule of law — was applying thumbscrews to poor, weak Speaker Hoyle.

Labour's chief of staff, Sue Gray, was reportedly spotted in the vicinity. Ms Gray is the delicate ethicist who found fault with Boris Johnson's hygiene. In the chamber meanwhile, Labour MPs bought Sir Keir time by making points of order and filibustering in a debate about minibuses. That was done by Sir Chris Bryant (Rhondda), another moist sermoniser about Commons conduct.
Speaker 'has 24 hours to save his job': Furious MPs launch 'Just Stop Hoyle' campaign with 33 demanding Sir Lindsay quits after he sparked Commons meltdown by 'bending the rules' to save Keir Starmer from huge revolt on Gaza
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle was given 24 hours to save his job today after sparking a Commons meltdown by 'bending the rules' to save Keir Starmer from a Gaza revolt.

Some 33 MPs have already signed a parliamentary motion voicing no-confidence in the presiding officer following extraordinary scenes in the chamber overnight.

The SNP and Tory MPs walked out after Sir Lindsay upended parliamentary convention by selecting Labour's bid to amend an SNP motion calling for an 'immediate ceasefire'.

The step - taken in defiance of advice from the Commons Clerks - meant the Scots nationalists did not get a chance to vote on their own Opposition Day debate. But Sir Lindsay initially tried to leave one of his deputies to field anger in the House, before MPs finally dragged him in to face the music.

In a grovelling and near-tearful apology, Sir Lindsay acknowledged he regretted the choice, arguing that he was motivated by anxiety about the safety of MPs from pro-Palestinian protesters.

He flatly denied that he had been influenced by partisan concerns, despite claims Keir Starmer personally lobbied him and he was told he would have 'blood on his hands' if the amendment was not selected.

Sir Lindsay is set to meet party leaders later as he fights to cling on, and could suffer a fresh barrage from critics during Business Questions in the House this morning.

But many MPs are already convinced his situation is 'terminal', with jockeying for his job already under way.

UK may halt arms exports to Israel if IDF goes through with Rafah operation
The UK could suspend arms exports to Israel if it enters Rafah, although no decision has been made yet, according to a report by the Guardian on Wednesday.

Ministerial sources told the Guardian that no decision had been made regarding the suspension of arms exports to Israel, but that should the government receive legal advice that Israel was in breach of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) they would be able to respond quickly.

However, any decision to suspend arms exports looks unlikely as the UK's High Court of Justice dismissed a case urging the suspension of arms sales to Israel on Tuesday, according to British media.

The court ruled against Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq and its UK-based partner Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), who argued the government had ignored its own rules on arms exports which could be used to violate IHL.

The decision is likely to be appealed to the UK Supreme Court, the case is only one of several cases being brought against the UK government over arms exports to Israel.

UK government response
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron sent two letters to the Foreign Affairs Committee, one regarding the planned Israel invasion of Rafah, and the other regarding arms exports to Israel.

In the first letter, he reiterated that the UK is against an Israeli invasion of Rafah due to the potential to harm civilians.

"We want Israel to stop and think seriously about the repercussions of a military offensive before it takes any further action. Too many civilians have been killed in this conflict already," read the letter.

Labour Councillors Campaign for Azhar Ali in Rochdale as Hustings Implode
The chaos never ends in Rochdale as now it appears Labour councillors continue to support disgraced candidate Azhar Ali. Labour councillor and former Rochdale mayor Aasim Rashid is running a WhatsApp group with pro-Ali content called “Rochdale Pakistan & Kashmir” into which he is adding other Labour councillors. Ali’s campaign line is “Sacked by Starmer for speaking on Palestine”. So much for the sincerity of his “unreserved apology”…

The text, in Urdu, reads:

Azhar Ali has been ousted by the Labour Party after speaking for Palestinian people’s rights.
Azhar Ali has decided to stand as an independent candidate for the Palestinians.
Azhar wants to represent the people of Rochdale.“

Guido hears George Galloway’s team is arguing that the councillors are “endorsing the contents” of the messages and therefore should be suspended from the party. A headache Labour would like very much to go away and is ignoring…

The situation is no less chaotic at hustings as one session, supposedly organised by pro-Galloway people, barred Reform’s Simon Danczuk from appearing. The BBC hustings session set for this afternoon has imploded as the Tory candidate is on holiday and the LibDems have now pulled out – that leaves Reform and Galloway, who will face one-to-one questioning instead. Guido hears the Tories tried to put up Bury North MP James Daly for the hustings and were told where to stick it…

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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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