Thursday, February 22, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: A Test of Jewish Civil Rights in America
“Our German laws and our ethical outlook admit Jewish equality,” the German economist Werner Sombart advised a century ago, “but if you Jews want to preserve it, do not take it too seriously. Always stick to the second place.”

Sombart did not say this menacingly. It was more like a friendly reminder that equal rights in law and equal rights in practice are two very different animals.

The great Zionist thinker and minority-rights champion Vladimir Jabotinsky quotes this Sombart line in a disquisition on assimilation. Jabotinsky notes that in reality, you can’t ask humans to succeed less than they are capable of doing. And when the Jews are successful, “equality” begins to mean “proportionality,” which inevitably gives way to the quota system. Jabotinsky says he’d heard Westerners defend this from the standpoint of “social congeniality,” when in fact it should really be called what it is: “racial purity.” Writes Jabotinsky: “The harm of such phraseological disguises is in their insidious plausibility: they lend themselves gracefully to inclusion in a system in full accordance with liberal treaties and democratic constitutions.”

Sound familiar? It should, because when Jewish history doesn’t repeat, it at least rhymes.

The laws of civil rights and the rules and norms of educational institutions are well known and all-inclusive—as written. But the major problem for Jews is that, in our time as in Jabotinsky’s, it varies as to whether these laws and rules are worth the paper on which they are written.

But here’s an important test. A century ago, insisting on the rights Jews are nominally provided (in Europe primarily) would invite state-sanctioned violence and mass exodus. What would happen today if the Jews of America stand our ground on the legal claim that we are equal citizens?

That is the idea behind numerous private civil-rights lawsuits against universities, such as the one against Columbia that I mentioned yesterday. But there’s another angle to this: When it comes to the denial of equal rights, the federal government has a responsibility to act. And it might actually be doing so.
Seth Mandel: The Ivy League Doesn’t Want To Be Saved
Coincidentally, this appears to be an accepted faculty attitude at Columbia as well. Mackenzie Forrest, an Orthodox Jew who faced religious discrimination at Columbia, including being removed from her academic program, is suing the school. After the October 7 attacks, Columbia became, like plenty of other schools but especially those in the Ivy League, one big hate rally. Harassment of Jews on campus was rampant. The school sent an email to all students offering “special accommodations” to deal with the chaos on campus, and Forrest decided to take them up on it, requesting to finish her semester over Zoom, as other students have done at the school. Forrest, though, was denied permission to do so and told that she “is the only person feeling unsafe.”

Her attorney told National Review that the faculty retaliated for her complaints by threatening to fail her if she didn’t leave the program. Earlier in the year, the administration had responded to her request for seeking a Sabbath exemption by encouraging her to ask her rabbi for permission to break the Sabbath instead.

Columbia’s contempt for Jewish students is a pattern. On February 12, Rep. Virginia Foxx, chair of the House education committee, sent a letter to Columbia’s president and trustees as part of its investigation into campus anti-Semitism. The letter makes for bracing reading: it recounts two decades of incidents at the school, very much including harassment and intimidation by faculty, and the administration’s unwillingness to take action. It is a fairly shocking document.

The committee letter then requests from Columbia all manner of documentation from the past three years—anti-Semitism complaints and responses, disciplinary action, internal investigative documents, foreign funding, changes in recruiting and enrollment of Jewish students, plus everything it can find related to October 7 and its aftermath.

I look forward to seeing what they find, but I know what they won’t find: the slightest bit of effort to make Jews feel anything but unwelcome on campus. You would think, in the wake of October 7 and the spectacularly embarrassing congressional testimony of some elite school presidents, these institutions would at least go through the motions to appear to act consistent with their professed rules, norms, and values.

But they cannot be bothered. And you can’t save an institution that doesn’t want to be saved.
UNRWA Is the Tip of the Iceberg at the UN
Since freezing UNRWA funding in January, after evidence emerged that the agency’s employees participated in the murder and kidnapping of Israeli civilians in the Oct. 7 massacre, the United States said it will instead send money to other U.N. bodies and nongovernmental organizations in Gaza.

This is premature, ignoring the fact that the serious problems with terror support, incitement and antisemitism at the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees are replicated throughout the entire ecosystem of U.N. agencies and NGOs active in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. While freezing funding was a laudable first step, stronger, broader, long-term action is needed before continuing to fund any organizations in Gaza or restoring funding to UNRWA.

At the heart of the problem is that, in addition to providing health care, education and other humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, UNRWA engages in advocacy in response to what it calls “the needs of Palestinian refugees affected by the Israeli occupation.”

This political advocacy work, which is often based on the delegitimization of Israel and questioning the Jewish state’s right to exist, is carried out in partnership with NGOs and other U.N. agencies.

A primary anti-Israel channel is via “clusters” of NGOs and U.N. agencies that work together on various issues. Inevitably, each cluster has an advocacy component.

For example, UNRWA partnered with Palestinian NGOs, including Al-Haq and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, or PCHR, to carry out a project of “advocacy, monitoring and documentation of HR and IHL violations” in Gaza and the West Bank. In other words, UNRWA and the NGOs level accusations of “war crimes” and “violations of human rights” and seek condemnations of Israel from international bodies and governments.

The involvement of these particular NGOs is deeply problematic in two ways. First, they are the leaders of anti-Israel legal warfare, or “lawfare,” seeking to exploit international courts with baseless allegations of Israeli wrongdoing. The biased reports and claims from UNRWA and its NGO partners are often cited among the “evidence” in U.N. investigations of Israel, lawfare cases around the world, and empty accusations of “genocide” and “war crimes.”

The proceedings against Israel at The Hague — in the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court — originate with this type of lobbying.

Sorry Eurovision, it's hard to sing about other things when Israelis were slaughtered
It is possible to brush off the Eurovision Song Contest outrage as trivial. After all, it allegedly seems to be just a song competition taking place under a very bright spotlight. But that would be a classic Israeli mistake, akin to allowing pro-Palestinian advocates to take over universities and fester cancerous cells against us. Therefore, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) is currently facing a significant test that risks, as dramatic as it sounds, Israel’s prestige.

As reported by Ynet on Wednesday, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) isn’t pleased with the Israeli song, to the point of requesting it change lines evoking memories of the Hamas attack on October 7. Naturally, the IPBC anticipated this request with the selection of a song called "October Rain." Even if some in the EBU are fans of Guns N' Roses, they surely understand that the song’s reference isn’t for Axel Rose’s iconic ballad, but rather to the ongoing war in the Middle East.

If the EBU would only search terms in Google, they would find, for example, that one of the song’s producers, Keren Peles, has been traumatized since October 7 because she experienced the massacre in Kibbutz Be’eri as it happened, beyond the television screens, through her best friend.

The chance that Peles would create a song for the 2024 Eurovision Contest that doesn’t touch on the subject of the war is nonexistent at this time. In fact, the IPBC really helped the EBU’s claims by choosing the song, and that’s fitting. Tagging the song as political is justified. That’s right, it's hard for Israeli creators to write about other things when their best friends have been slaughtered. Deal with it.

The EBU conveyed unpleasant messages to the IPBC, demanding changes to the song. The EBU was concentrating on the idea of the song itself rather than any particularities of its lyrics. The IPBC, from a legal standpoint, argues that the song can be interpreted in different ways, an argument that is always culturally true and perhaps legally justified, but not really accurate.
Melanie Phillips: Arguing on British TV about the Gaza War
I took part in yesterday’s edition of BBC TV’s Daily Politics show. It was broadcast a few hours before the House of Commons was due to debate the call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, a much-anticipated parliamentary session which in the event descended into chaos.

The war in Gaza, including Prince William’s controversial remarks about it, took up a considerable part of the BBC show. We also covered the malfunctioning test-launch of a Trident missile, the sacking of the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Neal, and the spectacular row between the Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch and the former Post Office chairman Henry Staunton. My fellow participants were the Conservative MP Steve Brine who chairs the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, the Labour peer Baroness (Frances) O’Grady and the Scottish National Party MP David Linden. Jo Coburn was in the chair. You can watch the show by clicking below.
Jewish journalist wound up in French debate over antisemitism and Islamophobia
The Jewish French-Moroccan journalist Ruth Elkrief — who has delivered TV news in France for over 30 years — found herself at the center of the story when she was placed under police protection in December.

Elkrief received the security detail after an online attack from the far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mélenchon charged her with hatred against Muslims after she challenged one of his colleagues during an on-air interview about the Israel-Hamas war.

“Ruth Elkrief. Manipulator. If we don’t insult Muslims, this fanatic is outraged,” Mélenchon said of the journalist, adding that she “reduces all political life to her contempt for Muslims.”

Mélenchon, leader of the far-left party La France Insoumise, known as LFI or, in English, France Unbowed, posted his comments moments after Elkrief conducted a heated interview with LFI lawmaker Manuel Bompard on her TV channel, La Chaîne Info, on Dec. 3. Elkrief asked Bompard about his party’s refusal to condemn Hamas and its characterization of the militants as “resistance fighters” after their Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. She also asked about the party leaders’ decision to describe Israel’s war in Gaza as a “genocide,” and whether this language might provoke civil unrest in France.

In response, Bompard referenced warnings from the United Nations that the Palestinian people were at risk of genocide without a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. Elkrief in turn quoted the French historian Vincent Duclert, who has said of Gaza’s high death toll, “Even a frightening humanitarian situation is not enough to qualify as genocide.”

Elkrief, who says she “came out” as Jewish to her viewers after Oct. 7, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that she merely did her job of debating an interviewee and dismissed Mélenchon’s accusation of Islamophobia. According to Elkrief, she was challenging the positions of France’s far-left political class — not French Muslims, whom she does not believe to be well represented by LFI even though nearly 70% of them voted for the party in the 2022 national elections.
Porn for Palestine
If you’ve heard of Mia Khalifa, it’s for one of two reasons.

It’s likely because she’s one of the most famous faces in pornography. This is highly ironic, as it’s an industry she hates, was only involved with for a short time, and has trashed ever since. Despite the fame it has brought her—which she continues to monetize—Khalifa has few credits to her name. She told Playboy in 2018 that she’d only done 12 nonsolo professional videos (her IAFD page puts it at closer to 30, but no matter), and she shot these over roughly three months, before signing an exclusivity deal with Bang Bros, which she resigned from a few weeks later.

She would have been completely forgotten were it not for wearing hijabs in a stepmother threesome scene (along with co-star Juliana Vega)—a choice that sent the video viral and made her famous. She was soon the No. 1 searched “star” on PornHub, but also received death threats, apparently including from ISIS members.

Until Oct. 7, this was the only reason she was well-known. But if you’ve logged onto X in the months since Hamas’ massacre, you probably know her for something else. Despite experiencing the threat of religious violence—both because of her pornographic work and as the daughter of Christians who fled Lebanon after Hezbollah seized control of the country in 2000—she has become one of the most vocal advocates of Hamas and anti-Israeli violence, with no degree of barbarism too much for comfort.

Indeed on Oct. 7, her reaction to videos of Hamas’ atrocities was to tweet, “Can someone please tell the freedom fighters in Palestine to flip their phones and film horizontal.”

Khalifa’s interest in the issue, however, has been sustained. Since Oct. 7, she has tweeted defending the Houthis (“Imagine bombing a country for seizing a ship in their own waters that THEY have jurisdiction over …….”), insisting that celebrities supporting Israel have “no soul or opinions of their own,” and “it’s the money that’s talking,” calling Israel’s war a “genocide” that has turned Gaza into a “concentration camp” run by “a genocidal sociopath playing out before our eyes, funded by our tax dollars,” and labelling Gal Gadot a “Genocide Barbie” for organizing screenings of footage from the Oct. 7 attacks. She also retweeted baseless accusations that the tunnels illegally built beneath Chabad’s headquarters in Brooklyn were used for pedophilia.

Though there has been much backlash from the part of humanity that doesn’t support the slaughter of Jews, Khalifa has also earned a lot of stans in her comments cheering on her barbs. But Khalifa’s antisemitic anti-Zionism, while it appears sincere, is also a grift; a sign of the broken economy of online adult influencers that incentivizes provocation and extreme rhetoric over everything else. Even more than porn, applauding Hamas has given Khalifa the most important currency in the internet economy: attention.
Sen. Kaine: Don’t send Israel weapons ‘likely to be used in offensive military action’
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a former U.S. vice presidential candidate and former Virginia governor, is urging the White House to provide Israel with “defensive” weapons only.

The United States should not supply Israel arms that could be used in an “offensive” attack on the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the senator said.

“I understand from public reports that your administration plans to submit to Congress a notice for another major transfer of U.S. weapons to Israel for use in the war in Gaza,” the senator wrote to President Joe Biden. “I appreciate the administration’s intent to follow traditional congressional notification procedures for this transfer; these provisions should be applied equally to all nations.”

Kaine wrote that any arms transfers to Israel ought to “focus on weapons enabling Israel to defend itself against future attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran or other actors posing a threat to our ally.

“The restocking of Iron Dome and other defensive systems should be of paramount importance,” he continued. “But in this delicate moment, when parties are at the table trying to find a path to de-escalation, the administration should be wary of weapons transfers that are likely to be used in offensive military action causing significant civilian casualties.”

Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, noted Biden administration concerns about “the potential Israeli military offensive in Rafah.”

Despite frequent public statements from the Biden administration, including directly from the president, discouraging Israel from conquering Rafah, the Israel Defense Forces freed two hostages in Rafah earlier this month.
Maryland legislators push to remove CAIR leader from hate-crimes panel
A Muslim leader in Maryland faced a barrage of questions about her anti-Israel, anti-Jewish social-media postings after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas in a move to challenge her place on the state’s hate-crimes commission.

On Tuesday, at a Maryland House Judiciary Committee hearing, delegate Lauren Arikan asked Zainab Chaudry, director of the state’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): “You stated, ‘That moment when you become what you hated the most’ in reference to Israel, comparing it to Nazi Germany. Have you retracted those statements?”

Delegate Chris Tomlinson also asked, “Have you apologized for any of this language in the last three months?”

In addition to her comparison to World War II, Chaudry had referred to Hamas as “Palestinian freedom fighters” and Oct. 7 as “the uprising in Palestine.”

Chaudry stated that she had been the target of an “onslaught of hatred,” adding that “when you work for justice, sometimes you have to navigate difficult spaces and uncomfortable conversations when we talk about what justice looks like. The intention behind the posts is not to hurt anyone.”

In December, the White House removed CAIR from the U.S. national strategy to counter antisemitism after Nihad Awad, the organization’s co-founder and executive director, said the Oct. 7 terror attack made him “happy” and that Israel “does not have that right to self-defense.”

New York officials tour Gaza border areas devastated on Oct. 7
A delegation of officials from New York State and City on Wednesday visited Israeli agricultural communities near the Gaza Strip that suffered the brunt of the Hamas onslaught on Oct. 7.

The Americans underlined their strong support for Israel, saying it was shared by a majority of their countrymen.

The three-day solidarity trip, which included State Assembly and City Council members, comes on the background of a surge in global antisemitism, including in the United States.

“The continued trauma being felt by the Israeli people after Oct. 7 and the unexpected devastation in terms of the human cost as well as the psychological-emotional impact underscores that it will take a long time to do physical and emotional rebuilding,” New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told JNS.

“What is not surprising is the resilience of Israel—a nation born out of struggle. Despite all the divisions you have here, a resolve to get through this and past this is very strong,” he said.

To bear witness
As the delegation made its way to Israel’s “Ground Zero” at this once lush border-area farming community, the devastation was still apparent despite the time that had passed, the change of seasons, the winter rains and the now green grass and spring flowers.

The blackened rows of bullet-riddled, burned-out homes and the overturned furniture-strewn outdoors were frozen in time from the carnage on that fateful autumn holiday weekend in which Palestinian terrorists murdered some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, in the northwestern Negev, and abducted about another 250 to Gaza.
‘Anti-Israel hypocrisy, hate,’ says AIPAC, after AOC calls it ‘NRA of foreign policy’
In the latest Washington alphabet soup, AOC called AIPAC the “NRA of foreign policy.”

The progressive “Squad” member, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who has a long anti-Israel history, responded on social media to a post from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee stating that a “ceasefire now keeps these rapist monsters armed and in power in Gaza.”

AIPAC tagged AOC, along with eight other progressive members of Congress, both men and women. The pro-Israel group was responding to a report that the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel submitted to the United Nations.

A survivor of the Hamas massacre referred to an “apocalypse of bodies, girls without clothes, some missing their upper, some their lower parts,” per the report. The report adds that there is evidence that both men and women were sexually assaulted in captivity, and that “In many cases, it appears that the acts were committed in the presence of spouses or other family members who were forced to witness the violence.”

“It is appalling that AIPAC is targeting women members of Congress who have survived sexual assault with this horrific rhetoric,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote, without referring to the horrific testimony documented in the report.

“Each and every day, their role in U.S. politics becomes a greater scandal,” she added of the pro-Israel group. “They are the NRA of foreign policy. Of course, they don’t want a ceasefire.” (She apparently meant the National Rifle Association, rather than the National Restaurant Association.)

“It’s appalling that AOC will spread toxic lies about pro-Israel Americans but won’t condemn Hamas’ systematic rape of Israeli women. Won’t say a word about the victims. Won’t acknowledge the report. Won’t demand Hamas surrender. Why not?” AIPAC responded. “Pure anti-Israel hypocrisy and hate.”

Belgian MP rebukes minister for Nazi comparison
Michael Freilich, a member of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium, rebuked Minister of Development Cooperation and Urban Policy Caroline Gennez for comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Gennez refused to apologize.

"It is a crucial question for our German friends: are you really going to be on the wrong side of history twice?" said Gennez. "Are we still going to stand by and watch if ethnic cleansing were to take place? Surely that was what 'nie wieder' meant?”

“I have always admired Germany for its ability to face its own war past. It thus formed the basis of the European project. It is, therefore, difficult to understand that Germany allows itself to be so wrapped up by this Israeli government, which pursues a shameless settlement policy.”

She later claimed that she had not compared Israel to the Nazis, and saying that she would not apologize for something she had not said. Freilich dismissed the claims as insulting the intelligence of the audience, and that she had obviously been referencing the Holocaust.

Freilich also mentioned a lengthy list of other statements from Gennez’s party members that he claimed were racist. Gennez refused to take responsibility for the statements.

He ended by shoving the microphone aside and shouting, “Shame on you, Minister! This is a disgrace!”

UN Representative to the Palestinians Claims Israelis Are ‘Colonialists’ with ‘Fake Identities’
The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur to the Occupied Palestinian Territories referred to Israelis as “colonialists” who have “fake identities” while quoting another Twitter/X account on Wednesday, raising questions about the impartiality of the international body.

Francesca Albanese responded to a long post by Alon Mizrahi, a far-left activist, arguing that the reason many Western nations support Israel is that they are colonial projects.

She highlighted the following quote from Mizrahi: “free Palestine scares them [Westerners] bcs it is the ghost of their own sins, rediscovered as a living, breathing human. The current political structures of colonial projects cannot afford it, so they try to uproot it. Bcs it is a fight between all colonialists and their fake identities.”

The original post claimed that “All colonial powers work together to guarantee the supremacy of made-up identities over genuine, native ones. Because if this model breaks anywhere, it will collapse everywhere.”

Mizrahi argued that “A Palestinian state would be a major, major moral blow to white, Western colonialism.”

The tweet was met with immediate condemnation.

David Friedman, who served as the US Ambassador to Israel from 2017 to 2021 under former President Donald Trump wrote that her tweet was “Exhibit A why the UN is a failure and why we no longer belong in that bastion of hypocrisy and corruption.”

An account documenting Hamas’ October 7 atrocities asked, “If Israel is indeed a ‘colonialist project’ Where should all the Israelis go if this project should be dismantled?”

The perception of UN bias against Israel has also been boosted by the fact that, in 2023, Israel was condemned twice as often as all other countries combined.

UN head pushing back on US efforts to replace UNRWA
The Biden administration is privately pressing several United Nations agencies to take over the responsibilities of the beleaguered UNRWA but is being rebuffed by U.N. chief António Guterres, according to a report by Devex.

Anticipating that the U.S. Congress will pull funding for UNRWA, the Palestinian-only refugee and social services agency with extensive ties to Hamas, Washington has approached the heads of the World Food Programme, UNICEF and other U.N. relief agencies, requesting they begin assuming the work traditionally carried out by UNRWA in Gaza.

The report indicates, however, that Guterres is pressing agency heads to push back on the campaign, rally behind UNRWA, decline donations originally intended for UNRWA and not conduct contingency planning for an expansion of responsibilities in Gaza.

As the scandals around UNRWA have grown since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, United Nations officials have been adamant that UNRWA, long accused of perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is the only agency in the Strip with the infrastructure and knowledge to deliver critical aid services amid a worsening humanitarian situation, as Israel seeks to rout out Hamas militarily.

Israel accused 12 UNRWA workers of having participated in the Oct. 7 murder and hostage-taking spree, and video released by the Israel Defense Forces shows a Hamas communications center built underneath UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City, adding to a lengthy list of evidence showing Hamas utilizes U.N. facilities for terrorist purposes.
No 'plan B' once UNRWA funds end in March, its Lebanon head says
The United Nations agency for Palestinian Refugees has no "plan B" past March should donor countries that withheld funding following Israeli allegations uphold their suspensions, the head of its Lebanon office said on Thursday.

Israel 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 after years of Israeli calls for the agency to be disbanded, and as Gazans face widespread hunger and only a trickle of aid into the bombarded strip.

Sixteen countries suspended funding pending an investigation by the UN's oversight office that Lebanon chief Dorothee Klaus said would be ready in a few weeks.

"We hope that as many donors as possible indicate to the agency that they are reconsidering the funding freeze, and that funding will be restored to the agency, hopefully in such a way that we don't have a cash flow issue, and services continue uninterrupted," she said.

"We do not have a plan B."
UN Watch: Summit For a Future Beyond UNRWA Opens at United Nations on Monday
On Monday, February 26th, exactly one month after it was revealed that at least 12 UNRWA employees took part in perpetrating the atrocities of October 7th, and more than 1,200 belong to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, the non-governmental human rights organization UN Watch will host the first International Summit for a Future Beyond UNRWA, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The summit, to be webcast live, will take place next to the United Nations European Headquarters in parallel with the 2024 opening of the UN Human Rights Council, which that day will gather UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the president of the UN General Assembly, and foreign ministers from around the world. Diplomats from all UNRWA donor countries have been invited to attend the summit.

The summit will address the humanitarian situation in Gaza and formulate a plan for a future beyond UNRWA, a failed agency with deep and widespread ties to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both terrorist organizations proscribed by the US, EU and other democracies.

Over the last decade, UN Watch had sent repeated warnings to UNRWA about widespread promotion and encouragement of terrorism by UNRWA teachers and other employees.

Addressing the summit will be former UNRWA and UN officials, experts on international aid, America’s former Middle East peace envoy, and lawmakers from UNRWA donor countries, including:
Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counselor at Washington Institute for Near East Policy, former U.S. point man on Middle East peace process
James G. Lindsay, Former UNRWA General Counsel
Zlatko Zigic, Senior Official, United Nations Migration Agency, 1997-2017
Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Agency for International Development, 2019-2020
Einat Wilf, Former Member of Knesset, co-author of “The War of Return”
Adi Schwartz, Fellow at the Misgav Institute, co-author of “The War of Return”
Edward Flaherty, Expert on UN investigations and legal proceedings
Amb. Meirav Eilon Shahar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva
José Garson, Former expert at United Nations Capital Development Fund, focusing on development projects with Least Developed Countries and anti-poverty strategies
Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, United Nations Watch
Hon. Chris Smith, Member of U.S. Congress, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization
Hon. David Lega, Member of European Parliament, Committees on Foreign Affairs and Human Rights
Hon. Assita Kanko, Member of European Parliament
Hon. Caroline Yadan, Member of French National Assembly
Hon. Alfred Heer, Member of Swiss Parliament
Hon. Melissa Lantsman, Member of Canadian Parliament
Hon. Ritchie Torres, Member of U.S. Congress

BBC News amplifies unevidenced allegations from UN ‘experts’
As those who bothered to click on the first link would see, not only did those “seven independent UN experts” (who are not UN staff) not provide any “further details”, they also did not provide any evidence whatsoever to prove their claims and their entire statement is based on “allegations” and “reports” without any disclosure of their sources.

The fact that the already highly controversial office of the high commissioner of UN Human Rights clearly has no qualms about publishing those entirely unevidenced claims of course does not mean that the BBC should amplify them uncritically.

Beyond the link to a statement put out by Israel’s mission to the UN in Geneva, readers are not provided with any information about the two UN ‘experts’ quoted in this report. That, of course does not come as much of a surprise because the BBC has diligently avoided the issue of the blatant anti-Israel and antisemitic bias displayed by Francesca Albanese both before and since her appointment to the role of ‘special rapporteur’.

Neither have BBC audiences been informed of Albanese’s many problematic statements concerning the current conflict, including those made while on a trip to Australia in November which was sponsored by Palestinian lobby groups.

Police trained on ‘Islamophobia’ by jihadist backers
A Muslim group which has defended jihadists and led prayers for a “Palestinian victory” has trained police forces, universities and the NHS in “Islamophobia” since October 7, the JC can reveal.

The Islamist organisation Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend), which denounced the Home Office’s proposed blacklisting of terror group Hizb ut-Tahrir on its website, gave Islamophobia training to British Transport Police on 12 November.

On 10 February, the group delivered similar training to the South Wales Police. Two weeks later, Mend’s CEO Azhar Qayum gave a speech urging his audience to pray “for the defeat of the Israelis and the victory of the Palestinians”.

Last year, Sir William Shawcross’ review of the government’s counter-extremism programme found that Mend had “a well-established track record of working alongside extremists” and of “seeking to undermine the state’s considerable efforts to tackle all hate crime”.

Yet in addition to training the police, in the months since October 7, Mend has delivered courses to staff and students at universities including Hertfordshire, Bristol, Manchester Metropolitan and Huddersfield, as well as Cardiff Women’s Aid and the Lancashire branch of the Mental Health Charity Mind. On 12 December, Mend organised an online session attended by more than 80 NHS staff from Public Health Wales.

In his review of Prevent, Sir William warned that Mend had “used NHS hospitals to publicise their brand, distribute literature and promote their campaigns”, and “used these platforms to claim that the NHS is one of their partners”.
Why did Texas A&M decide to shut down its Qatar campus?
Why would a respectable public American university decide to shut down its Middle East campus, sacrificing international prestige and hundreds of millions of dollars in donations from a tiny Gulf country with almost unlimited oil wealth?

Zachor Legal Institute spent over five years in litigation with Qatar to obtain information about its activities at Texas A&M, a public university. Our original premise was that Qatar, an incredibly wealthy country with a long history of funding terrorists, may also be funding radical student groups in the United States.

According to the contracts we secured, Texas A&M was handing over intellectual property to Qatar. The agreements were signed between Texas A&M and the Qatar Foundation, a government-controlled agency that maintains the relationships between Qatar and foreign universities.

These contracts allowed Qatar to obtain control of discoveries made at the Doha campus using Texas A&M’s world-class resources, including those related to nuclear research. For example, here is an excerpt from one of the contracts:
“The Qatar Foundation shall own the entire right, title, and interest in all Technology and Intellectual Property developed at (Texas A&M University Qatar) or under the auspices of its Research Program.”

Americans rightfully expect that information with sensitive military and commercial value will not be shared with countries that sponsor terrorism or promote anti-American propaganda. Qatar does both.

Qatar supports and maintains a close relationship with the US-designated terror group, Hamas and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Qatar also uses its propaganda arm, Al Jazeera, and billions of dollars of purchased influence in numerous American universities to spread anti-American and anti-Israel propaganda.

The audacity of Texas A&M and Qatar cannot be overstated. They bypassed the national security concerns of the US government to set their independent foreign policy, which includes potentially giving Qatar and Iran access to highly classified technology that can put Americans and the entire civilized world in harm’s way.
Alumni sue Harvard for devaluing diploma with ‘antisemitic’
Ten Harvard University alumni filed a lawsuit against the school on Wednesday for devaluing their diplomas due to the antisemitism, support for terrorism, and anti-Israel sentiment that had been fostered and allowed to be fostered.

The civil suit filed to Massachusetts federal court alleged that Harvard breached an implicit contract with the alumni created through policies and handbooks that promised the institution’s continued prestige after their investment in the degree and enrollment. Due to the alleged toxic environment on campus, potential employers and companies no longer respect Harvard diplomas when considering applicants, which could damage their career prospects, the suit argued.

The filing claimed that several prestigious law firms had declined to hold on-campus interviews and rescinded offers to those that signed an October 8 anti-Israel letter. The filing claimed that hedge fund CEOs had expressed a want to blacklist the signatories.

The alumni have demanded monetary restitution for the costs of attending Harvard and damage to their reputation. The suit further requests a court injunction for Harvard to take disciplinary measures against faculty, staff, and students responsible for antisemitic harassment and discrimination on campus in order to rehabilitate the value of its degree.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the president of the Shurat HaDin Civil Rights Center and one of the attorneys representing the alumni, said that the lawsuit reflects the growing outrage by graduates over the antisemitism encouraged in US campuses.

“This dangerous weaponization of higher education by radical faculty and students as well as the impotent administration response, all justified under the guise of academic freedom, has turned the colleges into hate centers which have greatly devalued their reputation and diplomas,” said Darshan-Leitner. “We believe other graduates from other schools will soon be filing their own lawsuits.”
Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Columbia University Alleges Hostile Antisemitic Environment for Jewish and Israeli Students
The law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres today filed a federal lawsuit against Columbia University and Barnard College on behalf of Jewish and Israeli Columbia students who are victims of egregious and ongoing antisemitism. The complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York on behalf of StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice (SCLJ) and others, seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages concerning Columbia’s alleged violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and indifference to a pervasively hostile climate for Jews and Israelis.

The lawsuit details antisemitism at numerous schools at Columbia University, including Columbia’s School of General Studies and the Columbia School of Social Work and at Barnard College. It alleges that students have been physically assaulted, spit on, threatened, and treated unequally. Despite existing policies that are supposed to protect Jews and Israelis, Columbia has failed to act, denying students the education and opportunities that they are entitled to obtain at Columbia without regard to their shared ancestry, national origin, or religion.

“Students at Columbia are enduring unprecedented levels of antisemitic and anti-Israel hate while coping with the trauma of Hamas’s October 7th massacre. By partnering with SCLJ, we will ensure that Columbia University is held accountable for their gross failure to protect their Jewish and Israeli students,” said Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs CEO and Co-Founder.

“Columbia refuses to enforce its policies or protect Jewish and Israeli members of the campus community,” said Yael Lerman, Director of StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice. “Columbia has created a pervasively hostile campus environment in which antisemitic activists act with impunity, knowing that there will be no real repercussions for their violations of campus policies. Our aim in being a plaintiff in this lawsuit is to hold Columbia accountable under Title VI for blatant failures to live up to their obligations under federal law and to compel Columbia to restore its campus to the safe environment for Jewish students that existed over twenty-five ago.”

The complaint also claims that Columbia breached its contractual relationship with plaintiffs when Jewish students enrolled at Columbia and paid tuition, expecting that Columbia would enforce its policies pertaining to harassment, intimidation, and discrimination.
Jewish students sue Columbia University over ‘severe and pervasive’ antisemitism
Jewish students hit Columbia University with another lawsuit Wednesday over claims the prestigious school has allowed “rampant antisemitism” to flourish amid the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict.

The suit — filed by five students and two nonprofits — alleges that Columbia has not substantially intervened as Jewish hate intensified on campus in the months since the Middle Eastern war broke out.

“Columbia, one of America’s leading universities, has for decades been one of the worst centers of academic antisemitism in the United States,” documents filed in Manhattan federal court states.

“Since October 7, 2023, when Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and slaughtered, tortured, raped, burned, and mutilated 1,200 people — including infants, children, and the elderly — antisemitism at Columbia has been particularly severe and pervasive.”

The Ivy League was accused of violating its Jewish students’ civil rights by remaining indifferent, therefore enabling, acts of antisemitism on campus — an argument that students have used in recent lawsuits lodged against other top schools, including Harvard University and New York University.

The inequality manifests in a “double standard” that avoids protections for Jewish students from harassment, while Columbia professors teach its student body that Jewish people are historically the “oppressor,” the documents state.

Over the past few months, school officials have allegedly stayed silent as anti-Israel demonstrators disrupted Jewish students’ lives and safety through “violent and exclusionary anti-Jewish rhetoric,” which the students claim has escalated since they returned to classes from their winter break.

Even when the school does intervene, they refuse to punish instigators for breaking school policy rather than for spreading antisemitism, the students claimed.

Columbia students’ disturbing justification of sexual violence against Jewish-Israeli women following the October 7 attacks
When I opened my phone on October 8, having not been online the evening of the 7th due to my observance of the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah, my hands were shaking. I was terrified of what I would find. Rumors had been pulsing through the Columbia Orthodox Jewish population that there were videos of Hamas’ atrocious attack circulating online, many of which had been filmed by their own terrorists. With a pit in my stomach, I dove headfirst into Twitter and Instagram to determine whether these rumors were true. Among the horrible videos that I encountered on social media, one in particular imprinted on my eyelids and has haunted me every time I’ve closed my eyes at night since: a girl wearing grey sweatpants, her crotch stained with blood, being dragged at gunpoint by her Hamas captor. She has since been identified as 19-year-old Naama Levy, a peace activist involved with the organization Hands of Peace, which advocates for a “non-violent end to occupation that leads to safety and security for all.” She is still being held captive in Gaza by Hamas, likely in brutal conditions.

Naama is not alone in the experience of gender-based sexual violence on October 7. Videos of other mangled bodies of women were published by Hamas themselves, and human remains identified as female victims were found by Israeli authorities, some burned to ash. Hostages that have been returned to Israel have reportedly experienced sexual violence, with victims aged as young as 12 to 48, including one 30-year-old man. Recently, the New York Times published a thorough investigation into the rape and gruesome femicide of Israeli women, and their reports are too horrific to comprehend. The testimony and proof of rape and sexual violence on October 7 is overwhelming, but the outrage that would be expected from a community such as Columbia has been near nonexistent.

On campus, there has been rhetoric against the victims of October 7. No pro-Palestinian group has outwardly condemned the atrocious acts Hamas committed, and the acts have been constantly disregarded as part of the larger conflict. In some cases, there has been a rhetoric of victim-blaming, because by living in Israel they were so-called ‘occupiers’ and therefore deserved to be raped and slaughtered. It is inconceivable in my mind that members of an institution—specifically Barnard, whose inherent mission is to advocate for the education, advancement, and equality of women—can take this approach. I have been shocked since October 12, when the immediate reaction of pro-Palestinian groups, before Israel had even finished identifying all the victims due to the sheer mass of bodies and the grotesque ways they were defiled, was to have a pro-Palestinian rally without acknowledging the bloodshed that took place—bloodshed that claimed the lives of Jewish-Israelis and Arab-Israelis alike.

Indeed, I think if pro-Palestinian groups had initially condemned the October 7 atrocities and Hamas while also advocating for Palestinians, their argument of social justice would be that much stronger. Instead, there are members of the Columbia community who describe October 7 as a “heroic” accomplishment of “great feats” or a “remarkable” and “incredible” act of resistance, as well as reports of affiliates who have torn down posters advocating for the victims that read “Rape Is Not Resistance.” How is it possible that any member of the Columbia-Barnard community could tear down a poster condemning rape? Though I have no way of knowing if this is the official stance of all pro-Palestine student groups on campus, I personally have encountered no effort to make that distinction. I optimistically hope it is not.
Teachers Union-backed L.A. School Board Candidate Spread Antisemitism Online
Kahllid Al-Alim, the leading candidate for a seat on the L.A. Unified School District board, backed by the United Teachers Los Angeles and the L.A. County Federation of Labor, spread antisemitic hatred online and liked violent, pornographic posts.

Al-Alim said that a book by the racist, antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, titled The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, which falsely claims Jews control the economy and exploit black people, should be “MANDATORY” reading.

The Los Angeles Times reported:
In a statement Tuesday, Al-Alim, 56, appeared to acknowledge all or most of the social media posts and likes, for which he expressed regret. He did not say they were from fake accounts or that his account was hacked.

“I have spent my life fighting against antisemitism, anti-Arab hate, Islamophobia, and all forms of oppression,” Al-Alim said. “I have spent my life fighting for the equality of all people. There is a very long history of Jewish and Black people backing each other and working in solidarity for justice. I want to continue that important work.”

He also appeared to acknowledge the pornographic and gun-related likes, adding: “I also apologize for my likes on social media of graphic content. It was inappropriate. I will never do that again.”

The Times noted that the union appears open to the idea of withdrawing its endorsement. The election for District 1 is March 5.
Pink Floyd Frontman's Nazi Uniform Was No Big Deal, Penn's Anti-Semitic Cartoonist Says
The University of Pennsylvania communications lecturer who published a slew of anti-Semitic cartoons is defending Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters from charges of anti-Semitism, describing the Nazi regalia Waters wore on stage as a "leather jacket."

In an interview with the World Socialist Web Site, Dwayne Booth, a lecturer at Penn's Annenberg School of Communication, dismissed criticism of Waters for dressing as a Nazi during concerts in Germany. "They call Waters an antisemite for dressing up in a leather jacket," Booth said. Waters's costume included an SS-style trench coat complete with red armbands.

Booth himself is no stranger to anti-Semitic imagery. In the months following Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the Penn lecturer published a slew of cartoons depicting Zionists sipping Gazan blood from wine glasses, Jews in a Nazi concentration camp protesting Israel's "Holocaust in Gaza," and a Nazi flag with a Star of David drawn in place of a swastika. The Washington Free Beacon unearthed those cartoons in a Feb. 1 report.

While Penn has thus far declined to discipline Booth for the images—interim president Larry Jameson called the cartoons "reprehensible" but suggested Booth was protected by the school's "bedrock commitment to open expression"—the lecturer's defense of Waters could put additional pressure on Penn leaders to take action.

In addition to his Nazi costume, which prompted an investigation from German police and a rebuke from the Biden State Department, Waters has a long history of advancing anti-Semitic tropes.
Genocide posters, non-stop Gaza demos and a call for intifada: Welcome to University of East Anglia
Jewish students at the University of East Anglia have spoken of their saftey fears after they woke up on Monday morning to find campus buildings graffitied with anti-Israel slogans.

The vandalism included graffiti that said “Zionism = colonialism”, “Zionism ≠ Judaism”, “29000 Gazans killed” and “126 journalists killed in Gaza”.

An allegation that Barclay’s bank “finances genocide” was scrawled on the main sign at the entrance of the university.

Students said the graffiti was “everywhere”.

A spokesperson for the university said they were working with the police to identify those responsible for the vandalism, which they said was antisemitic and would remove as quickly as possible.

One Jewish student who lives on campus right next to the graffiti and said it was “Scary to see, especially after what happened at Leeds.”

Leeds University Hillel House was targeted with anti-Israel graffiti the same week that an Israeli chaplain was forced into hiding and two Jewish students were verbally attacked on their way to synagogue.

The defacement of the UEA campus comes amid rising tensions at the Norwich university.

The JC spoke to several students who wanted to remain anonymous but said they were feeling “scared and targeted” on campus in the wake of October 7. At least one Jewish student is too scared to go onto the “anti-Israel and anti-Zionist" campus.

South Florida Muslim Federation Finds New Venue for Its Pro-Hamas Conference
In a dramatic turn of events, the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), an umbrella group for South Florida’s radical Muslim outfits, has secured a new venue for its pro-Hamas conference, after being shut down by the Coral Springs Marriott for security concerns. The Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale at Cypress Creek – also a Marriott affiliate – has agreed to allow the group to use their premises to further the spread of hatred and incitement. The conference will feature many of the same extremists as the cancelled affair, including someone recently thrown off the Broward County School Board for promoting antisemitism.

Dubbed ‘Lighting the Path,’ SFMF’s second annual conference and bazaar is now scheduled for Saturday, February 24th. Though scaled down from its original two-day format, the event still boasts a lineup of speakers infamous for their radical views and associations with terror. This includes individuals known for spreading antisemitism and/or showcasing support for Hamas following the October 7th massacre, when members of Hamas crossed Israel’s borders and shot, raped, mutilated, burned and/or beheaded 1200 innocents.

Among the speakers (and also moderators) for the conference is Naima Khan-Ghany, a local Muslim activist ousted from the Broward County School Board, less than a year ago, for using her social media to spread anti-Semitic vitriol against Jews and Israel. One of her posts was a video referring to Jews as being “Satanic.” Another of her posts called for prayers for the destruction of Israel. In yet another post, Khan-Ghany wrote that Israel’s claim of self-defense is a “usual excuse.” Her inflammatory posts sparked outrage and led to her removal from both of the School Board committees she served on.

As well set to participate at the conference, who was slated to speak at the cancelled one, is hardcore extremist Lobna Mullah from the Salafist-aligned Yaqeen Institute. Since October 7th, Mullah has been plastering her social media with maps erasing Israel and posts glorifying masked Hamas terrorists. This month, she posted the following chilling and threatening message on Facebook: “No countries are completely free as long as zionists exist.” And last month, she posted, “Israel has No Right to defend itself…”

Seth Frantzman: Can pro-Palestinian activism recover after embracing Hamas?
Following the Hamas October 7 attack on Israel, there has been an outpouring of support for Hamas in the West.

Much of this support takes the form of various types of protests that have hijacked an existing pool of pro-Palestinian activism by grafting Hamas messaging onto it.

For instance, using words such as “flood” in protests is one of the signs that the Hamas term for the massacre of people in Israel is now being adopted by activists in the West. At a point of no return?

The embrace of Hamas rhetoric among pro-Palestinian activists now appears widespread, including rejecting the idea of two states and peace.

Can pro-Palestinian activism recover from October 7 and the extremism that Hamas wrought?

The extremist rhetoric among the protests that began after October 7 reveals a systematic attempt to capture and take over pro-Palestinian activism in the West and wield it as a tool that is almost solely catering to Hamas messaging.

For instance, in the first weeks of October, even before Israel launched a ground operation in Gaza, there was a concerted effort in the US and UK and several other countries in the West to rip down posters of the hostages. Numerous scenes in these Western countries showed college-age people, often women, ripping down posters of elderly men, women, and children hostages. This was a systematic attempt to erase the hostages.

The rhetoric of those conducting the ripping-down campaign included message discipline. They said that the posters were put up to justify Israel’s attacks on Gaza. There was no evidence of this. The posters were put up to remind people that Hamas had illegally kidnapped 240 people.

This is the stupidest era in history
“Islamists have understood the psychology of woke crowds, a collective version of Stockholm syndrome. Weak unbelievers who have all their contempt and give in to their fury like lambs. Horrifying."

Thus the anthropologist Florence Bergeaud-Blackler on the images arriving from the Bataclan which provoked a torrent of reactions. The musical duo Shkoon performed on the stage of the Paris theater where ISIS killed 90 people on November 13, 2015. The band, led by a Syrian, mixes Arabic sounds and electronic music. During the concert at the Bataclan, the band performed the song “Yamma mwel el hawa”, which evokes the Israeli-Arab Palestinian conflict. The audience thus began to shout "Free Palestine" during the concert, amidst thunderous applause.

“At the Bataclan, hordes of Islamo-goschists sing 'Free Palestine',” criticized Jean Messiha. "They would have done better to observe a minute's silence in memory of the 90 victims of Islamic terrorism killed, disembowelled and emasculated by their executioners." "In this terrible place of pain where 90 martyrs of Islamic terrorism died, this demonstration is a desecration", denounced the MEP Gilbert Collard.

"The terrorists of October 7th and those who killed my daughter at the Bataclan have the same beliefs and the same way of proceeding" said Patrick Jardin, Nathalie's father, who was one of the Bataclan technicians. On the evening of Friday November 13th she was there to spend an evening with friends and she could have been killed there together with the Italian Valeria Solesin.

Protesters outside Toronto hospital dispute antisemitism allegations
The protest drew responses from Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, Premier Doug Ford, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“You have to have an ounce of decency not to do this,” Ford said while in a news conference on another issue. Get the latest National news. Sent to your email, every day.

In a post on social media platform ‘X’, Trudeau called the demonstration ‘reprehensible,’ adding, “I strongly condemn this display of antisemitism.”

“We were horrified when we saw hospital CEOs signing on to a blatantly false accusation of antisemitism that occurred at a protest where we had hundreds of our members and Jewish supporters of the pro-Palestinian movement,” Molly Kraft of the coalition Jews Say No to Genocide said.

Organizers and allies of the rally have since taken to social media, calling on hospital CEOs to retract their statement and issue an apology to the Palestinian community.

“I am speaking out, saying it is not antisemitic to be pro-Palestinian. In fact, it’s part of my Jewish values to show up and speak against genocide because as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I know that I have to speak out loudly,” added Kraft.

Dalia Awwad of the Palestinian Youth Movement, one of the organizers, worries the intended meaning of the event is becoming lost as a result of the accusations.

“The Spiderman for Palestine had climbed multiple fixtures throughout the last four months and years, actually, prior to this protest,” Awwad said.

While organizers maintain Mount Sinai wasn’t targeted, some Jewish organizations feel differently.

“The only hospital on hospital row that has a Jewish Star of David in its logo and the only hospital on hospital row that has deep roots within the Jewish community, has a very clear impact. That impact is antisemitism,” said Noah Shack, vice-president of Countering Antisemitism & Hate with the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Masked thug ASSAULTS Rukshan as Victoria Police look on
Rukshan Fernando, an independent journalist known for his coverage of protests and events in Melbourne, found himself in the midst of a violent altercation during a City of Melbourne council meeting.

The meeting, addressing a ceasefire motion related to the Israel-Gaza conflict, drew attention from various groups, including radical anti-Israel protesters.

As Rukshan attempted to document the events unfolding outside the council building, he was confronted by anti-Israel demonstrators who took issue with his association with me.

Despite asserting his role as a journalist and his right to cover the council meeting, Rukshan was subjected to verbal harassment and intimidation as police watched on.

"I am not a party to this. I will not be intimidated by them," Rukshan exclaimed, highlighting the unjust targeting he faced due to his friendship with a Jew.

The situation escalated when Fernando was physically assaulted not once, but twice, directly in front of law enforcement officers.

Journalist allegedly assaulted during pro-Palestinian protest in Melbourne
Journalist Rukshan Fernando has spoken out after claiming he was assaulted during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Melbourne’s CBD where he was marched off by police for disturbing the peace.

He attended the protest outside of Melbourne City Council as the local council debated a ceasefire motion in Gaza.

An altercation was filmed showing Mr Fernando being shoved by a protester and followed by an aggressive mob.

Sky News host Rita Panahi sat down with the independent journalist to discuss his experience at the protest.

“As I was filming and doing what I always do at these types of events, I was approached by members in that group of the pro-Palestinian supporters who didn’t like my presence there,” Mr Fernando said.

“Merely my presence there and the fact that they had then communicated to the police as well, that my association with a Jewish Australian individual was a problem to them.

“And for that reason, that I should not be allowed to be there doing my job as a journalist.”

Victoria Police released a statement detailing that Mr Fernando reported he was “kicked in the leg” during an altercation with the protest group and that they will review CCTV footage of the incident.

Police blame VICTIMS but new video tells different story
An Australian Jew attending a Melbourne council meeting was assaulted by anti-Israel protesters and then removed from the area by police, sparking questions about antisemitism and police intervention.

Mark insists he held no intention to provoke the crowd. He arrived with a valid ticket and was attempting to enter the meeting when he encountered a group of Palestinian demonstrators blocking the entrance.

He denies claims that he and his companions waved Israeli flags, insisting they were trying to access the meeting.

According to Mark and corroborating footage, the demonstrators physically assaulted him and his friend Yaacov while police allegedly stood by without intervening on his behalf.

Mark requested police apprehend his attackers; they instead dragged him away and banned him from Melbourne City for 24 hours.

Victoria Police say that Mark and his companion were removed for their own safety as they 'lacked valid tickets' and remarkably claimed that no assault was reported at the time.

Mark (and the footage) vehemently disputes this, stating he showed his ticket and that the assault was clearly visible.

‘Where is safe?’: Victim of Melbourne anti-Semitism claims assault
A Melbourne man who was the victim of anti-Semitism by “aggressive” pro-Palestine protesters has questioned if there is any safe place left in the city for Jewish people.

The victim, Mark, sat with Sky News host Sharri Markson to discuss the incident in which he was “assaulted” for trying to attend a debate in Melbourne’s Town Hall before being “arrested” by police.

“I’m not an expert in navigating violent mobs,” he told Ms Markson

“All I did was, I had a ticket, the policeman said go through that door, I tried to go through that door, I was accosted, assaulted and arrested.

“Let’s call them aggressive left-wing protesters … we’ve had enough of these people all the time carrying on, blocking the streets, abusing everybody.

“You should hear the names I was called walking through the streets.

“Where is safe in Melbourne?”

Connecticut Private School Takes Action Against Employee Who Joined Wife To Protest Outside Jewish Family’s Home
A private school in New Haven, Connecticut placed an employee on administrative leave after he and his wife had a confrontation with a Jewish man outside his home over a pro-Israel yard sign.

Charles Rich stood by his wife, a city employee named Thabisa Rich, during her one-woman protest outside a Jewish family’s house, in which she chanted ethnic cleansing slogans through a megaphone, according to a video first reported on by The Daily Wire.

The man’s employer, The Hopkins School, located a few houses away from the site of the incident, announced on Saturday that Rich was placed on leave from his Associate Director role, and the couple was precluded from being on campus.

“In the video and in social media posts, the spouse used antisemitic language that is deeply concerning,” Head of School Matt Glendinning stated, according to the Hartford Courant. “Antisemitism in all its forms has no place in the Hopkins community or in our larger communities. While this incident did not directly involve the school or its students, we understand that issues such as this can be and have been very upsetting and unsettling.”

The house appears to have been targeted due to the family’s pro-Israel sign. When Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, the resident, went outside to confront the couple and accuse them of “Nazi behavior,” Rich responded, “Well, you do have a sign that says you support Israel.”

New Group Challenging Hamas Rule in Gaza
A group known as Gaza's Liberators has recently begun to openly challenge Hamas' rule, as living conditions in the territory continue to worsen.

The group has been distributing anti-Hamas materials in displaced persons' encampments scattered around the southern city of Rafah, calling for public protests against Hamas.

Gaza's Liberators has published videos of protests in northern Gaza, with added commentary such as, "May God take revenge on [Hamas leader] Sinwar, the dog who ravaged Gaza."

In a statement on Wednesday, the group called on Hamas leaders to stop the war.

"One word is what we need - help - and climb down the ladder. Save what's left of us from the onslaught of the Jews."

"We have no shelters, no tunnels and no Qatari and Turkish hotels like you do."

Another statement read, "A message to the people of Hamas - you have neither the right nor the permission to force the defenseless to die in your place."
Rape, sexual abuse, and pedophilia: How Hamas leader Sinwar ruled the yard
Baruch Yedid, head of the Arab affairs desk for Channel 14, on Wednesday revealed more details on 103FM in the Erel Segal program about the news about sexual scandals attributed to the Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, among other things when he was in Israeli prison.

According to Yedid, "Since 2005, Muhammad Sinwar has been the Khan Yunis Brigade Commander and a member of the military leadership. He is also the one who, according to documents from the IDF spokesperson, dug the giant tunnel that was recently discovered, and keeps several skeletons in his closet."

"He was released from the PA prison in 2000," continued Yedid "There are questions about how he got out of there."

"Yahya was released in 2011 in the Shalit deal. When Yahya was still in prison, the heads of the military and the leadership of the prisoners turned to him and told him that his younger brother was involved in a series of acts of pedophilia and sexual harassment of boys, including Hamas operatives."

"Some of the incidents, according to them, happened when Muhammad was in a Palestinian prison, and some when he was already a senior member of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The response they get from Yahya, and this is confirmed by both Israeli and Palestinian officials, is that he throws them out, and forbids them to investigate anything outside of what he authorized them to investigate."

"Then he says 'Families of people I destroyed are behind the rumors.'"

Yedid continued, saying, "In the Ofer prison in the early 2000s, two Hamas men raped a boy, also a Palestinian prisoner, Yahya again forbade investigating the issue, preferring that a comprehensive investigation not be opened because his brother was still at large and Sinwar feared that this would lead to an investigation that would reveal his brother as well."

"How did this become known, among other things, to the Israeli intelligence organizations?"
Document reveals: Hamas leader promised Hezbollah would join 7/10 attack
The IDF has found new documents in Khan Yunis, proving that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar was certain that Hezbollah would open a battlefront in northern Israel parallel to the October 7 massacre in southern Israel.

In a document published on Ynet, Sinwar wrote to his associates: "We have received a commitment that the axis will take part in the great freedom project, due to the nature of the connection we are working on."

Additional documents show that Sinwar claimed that he received a commitment from the Lebanese terror group that it would fight Israel in the north, parallel to Hamas' operations, and even attempt to infiltrate Israel and conquer towns in the Galilee region.

Hezbollah, however, did not know the timing of the Hamas attack. Though it joined the fighting, the northern terror group did not carry out the widescale attack Sinwar had hoped for.

One estimate is that Hezbollah, despite the surprise, was ready to open a front in northern Israel, but waited to see the scope of Hamas' attack. Even if Hezbollah had wanted to respond, the IDF was already prepared on the northern border in a fashion which prevented a surprise attack.

Seth Frantzman: Hezbollah focuses on incremental escalation, vows to 'never retreat'
Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy leader of Hezbollah, has spelled out the terrorist group’s policy regarding Israel, according to a recent report in Iranian pro-government media.

“We will never retreat in the field, and we will advance according to the conditions, and if the enemy’s aggression expands, our operations will also become more intense, and we will be victorious,” he was quoted as saying.

The comments come after Hezbollah continued to carry out rocket attacks on Israel this week. It targeted numerous areas along the northern border on Wednesday, including near Metulla and also near Shlomi. Hezbollah also carried out an ATGM attack on a winery and launched drones at Israel this week. Hezbollah claims following attacks

Hezbollah also says it is only escalating incrementally. Its propaganda claims it is “pushing” Israel back. It also says the “ceiling of confrontation has been limited.”

By limited, Hezbollah means firing thousands of rockets at Israel and hundreds of ATGMs, as well as numerous kamikaze drones. Hezbollah has killed civilians and soldiers in its attacks.

Israel has retaliated, however, with the IAF striking more than 1,000 targets. Hezbollah is warning Israel against expanding its retaliations. So far, it said, it has only targeted the border communities. But it has threatened to target more of Israel. Meanwhile, Israeli citizens continue to be evacuated from the North and have been living in hotels for four months.

Hezbollah has also closely watched what is going on in Gaza. Recent reports said Hezbollah wants Hamas to climb down from its high demands so that a ceasefire might be achieved in a hostage deal. Another report said Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar had counted on Hezbollah joining his war against Israel. But Hezbollah preferred incremental attacks.

Lebanese Journalist: Hizbullah Is Dragging Lebanon Into A War With Israel And Endangering The Lives Of The Lebanese With The Government's Cooperation

MEMRI: Lebanese Pro-Federalism Activist Alfred Riachi: Prior To October 7, The Standard Of Living In Gaza Was Pretty Reasonable; Hamas Isn't That Much Better Than ISIS

Yemen's Houthis 'ban' Israeli, US and British ships from Red Sea

Exclusive: Iran Sends Russia Hundreds of Ballistic Missiles, Sources Say
Iran has provided Russia with a large number of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, six sources told Reuters, deepening the military cooperation between the two US-sanctioned countries.

Iran‘s provision of around 400 missiles includes many from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons, such as the Zolfaghar, three Iranian sources said. This road-mobile missile is capable of striking targets at a distance of between 300 and 700 km (186 and 435 miles), experts say.

Iran‘s defense ministry and the Revolutionary Guards – an elite force that oversees Iran‘s ballistic missile program – declined to comment. Russia‘s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The shipments began in early January after a deal was finalized in meetings late last year between Iranian and Russian military and security officials that took place in Tehran and Moscow, one of the Iranian sources said.

An Iranian military official – who, like the other sources, asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information – said there had been at least four shipments of missiles and there would be more in the coming weeks. He declined to provide further details.

Another senior Iranian official said some of the missiles were sent to Russia by ship via the Caspian Sea, while others were transported by plane.
MEMRI: Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei: 'Iran's Reliance On Soft Power Has Been Its Main Strategy For The Past 45 Years'; 'The Resistance Must Strike The Enemy Wherever Necessary... The Day Will Come When The Iranian Nation And The Muslim Peoples' Will Defeat 'The Enemies And 'Satans Of The World'

Australian historical antisemitism exposes need for united global campaign
There are two primary sources of the current wave of antisemitism. First, there are the Islamists who comprise a significant minority of the Muslim, largely Arab communities that have migrated to Australia over the last two to three decades. Not surprisingly, many have brought their baggage of prejudice with them.

Second, there is the radical left. There are also extreme right-wing neo-Nazis, but their number and influence pale into insignificance compared to the hard left.

The Islamists first came into prominence in the 1980s and 1990s through the most influential Muslim cleric and one-time mufti, Sheikh Taj El-Din Hilaly. He was infamous for his vile attacks on Israel and Jews.

In the 1980s, there were around 75,000 Muslims in Australia. Today there are over 800,000. There have been numerous instances in the last decade, and particularly in the last few months, in which imams at mosques have been recorded delivering sermons containing the vilest attacks against Jews.

There has always been a radical left in Australia that was obsessed with Jews and Israel. In the 1970s and 1980s, radical leftists turned university campuses into battlegrounds with their support for the PLO and campaigns to delegitimize Israel. From the universities, many went on to join unions and the left wing of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). Others went into academia.

Their efforts to get the left-leaning ALP to endorse their views were largely unsuccessful and the party maintained a warm relationship with Israel when in government. However, there has been a steady increase in grassroots ALP support for pro-Palestine positions, and many ALP seats now contain large Muslim constituencies.

In 1992, the Australian Greens party was set up to promote environmental and climate issues. Their radical environmental policies attracted many from the Marxist hard left, who brought with them their visceral hatred of Israel.

Over the past decade, the Greens have adopted extremely hostile positions against Israel. Following Oct. 7, the lid was lifted on naked antisemitism. Not only did they call for a cease-fire, but they also refused to condemn Hamas and accused Israel of genocide. They were at the vanguard of leading mass protests across the country including encouraging school students to attend. The most egregious display of antisemitism was when one of its senators, Jenny Leong, publicly stated that “the Jewish and Zionist lobby are infiltrating into every aspect of what is ethnic community groups” and that “their tentacles reach into the areas that try and influence power.”

The Greens’ climate agenda has been extremely successful in attracting support from the woke, progressive, LGBTQ, and inner urban elites. They have formed an unholy alliance with the Islamists and adopted the Hamas narrative as their cause célèbre.

In step with their anti-colonial message, they have intersected with the radical elements of the Aboriginal community to compare the crimes of the colonial settlers against the indigenous Aborigines with Israel’s crimes against the “indigenous Palestinians.”

Many local city councils have passed or are proposing to pass resolutions ranging from cease-fire calls to accusing Israel of genocide and war crimes.
Jewish groups push Congress to support IHRA definition of antisemitism
A coalition of 17 U.S. Jewish groups wrote letters to House lawmakers this week expressing support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and urging against endorsing any alternative definitions.

The letter comes as many major Jewish groups are lobbying Congress to pass legislation related to the issue and amid a countervailing expanded lobbying effort in favor of the Nexus Task Force’s definition, an alternative antisemitism definition written in response to the IHRA definition that leaves more room for criticism of Israel.

A similar behind-the-scenes battle played out between mainstream and progressive Jewish organizations as the administration was crafting its national strategy on antisemitism; ultimately the administration highlighted the IHRA definition while also speaking positively about the Nexus definition.

The letter highlights the widespread adoption of the IHRA definition and its utility in defining antisemitism in the post-Oct. 7 period. It argues that “clearly and accurately defining antisemitism is key to combating its manifestations.”

It strongly urges lawmakers against endorsing any alternative definition, arguing that doing so “would undo years of international cooperation and progress in identifying and combating antisemitism and would only create confusion and unequal standards,” “would break international consensus and undermine anti-discrimination efforts” and “would undermine efforts to protect Jewish communities.”

The letter notes that no alternative definition has received support from any other government entity in the world.

“We ask that you remain dedicated to this effort so that Congress will remain a leading voice in the fight against anti-Jewish hate, violence, and discrimination,” the letter reads.
Rise of antisemitism in the United States amid the Israel-Hamas war
Marc Beckman the Host of 'Some Future Day' Podcast, CEO of DMA United and a Professor at NYU Stern speaks to i24NEWS about the rise of antisemitism in America amid the war in Gaza.

Indiana state Senate committee scrubs IHRA from bill about Jew-hatred
The word “antisemitism” refers “to the May 26, 2016, working definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, which states that: ‘Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.'”

So read the Jan. 11 version of House Bill 1002 in the Indiana state Senate. The bill also included the contemporary examples appended to the IHRA working definition of Jew-hatred, including ” denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

But when the Indiana Senate Committee on Education and Career Development was done marking up the bill, IHRA had gone AWOL.

The committee’s version, which it approved by a 12-0 vote, on Wednesday, now reads: “Antisemitism means a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.”

The new version also deletes, “The term: (1) includes contemporary examples of antisemitism included in the May 26, 2016, working definition of antisemitism; and (2) does not include criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country.”
EXCLUSIVEJewish Londoner says he will SUE after his baby daughter's birth certificate was returned with 'Israel' scribbled out - and says he WASN'T told 'some staff' had been SUSPENDED by the passport office over the scandal
A Jewish father whose five-month-old daughter's birth certificate was returned from the Passport Office ripped with the birthplace of Israel scratched out plans to sue the individuals responsible.

Israel, a father-of-three living in Edgware, north London, and his wife Dorin said they felt like a 'target' after opening the envelope only to find baby Ronnie's identification papers had been defaced.

The incident, which Israel compared to something out 1930s Nazi Germany, led to a public outcry and the Home Secretary James Cleverly calling for an 'urgent review'.

Last night it was revealed some members of staff at an unnamed private company working for the Home Office had been suspended while investigations continue.

The family were 'not told personally that they had been suspended' but were instead informed by the Campaign Against Antisemitism who have been advocating on their behalf.

Engineer Israel, 32, told MailOnline: 'I am worried because the Home Office said some staff had been suspended - not just one person - which for me raises concerns that these people working for the company were in a hostile environment.'

The father revealed he had received a personal email from the head of the Passport Office who confirmed that they were 'aware of the situation' and carrying out an immediate investigation.

Israel added that the Government body have also issued Ronnie a new birth certificate.
Post-October 7 antisemitism in Denmark at highest level since WWII
The number of antisemitic incidents registered in Denmark since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel that ignited the war in Gaza has reached levels not seen since World War II, the head of the Scandinavian country’s small Jewish community said Thursday.

“We have seen the biggest antisemitic wave in Denmark since 1943” when Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany, Henri Goldstein, head of the Danish Jewish community, told The Associated Press on Thursday. That was the year some 7,200 Danish Jews were evacuated to neutral Sweden to prevent their deportation to a Nazi concentration camp, leaving almost no Jews in Denmark.

The figures, compiled by the community’s security organization, were on a par with reports in other European countries. Goldstein said that “after October 7, we have seen antisemitism on steroids.” On October 7, Hamas terrorists killed 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians in their homes and at a music festival, and kidnapped 253.

The ensuing Israeli offensive on Hamas has seen over 29,000 people killed in the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. These numbers cannot be independently verified and do not differentiate between Hamas operatives and civilians. The IDF says it has killed more than 12,000 terrorists in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 in Israel on October 7.

“We have seen a violent escalation, not least fueled by the uncontrolled spread of hatred on social media,” he said, adding that in 2023, “all 121 incidents were Jew-hatred – and not ‘just criticism of Israel.’”

Of the 121 incidents, 20 were death threats “which we have not seen since the 1980s,” Goldstein said, referring to threats made then against two leading figures in the Jewish community – an editor-in-chief and the chief rabbi.
Apple+ drama on fashion guru Coco Chanel glosses over Nazi collaboration
“The New Look,” a new TV program on the streaming service Apple+, explores World War II decisions made by founders of clothing lines that are worth billions today.

The show dramatizes the lives of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel—both French-born—the latter who is remembered for creating “the little black dress” and the perfume Chanel No. 5.

“A survivor and a pragmatist, she was prone to telling tall tales about her life, but this fact about her is irrefutable: She definitely collaborated with the Nazis,” film critic Caryn James wrote for the BBC. “She may also have helped the French Resistance. The woman so determined to control her image and legacy left a messy tangle behind.”

James describes the show’s approach to the subject as “putting, perhaps, the least-bad spin on it.” Chanel’s choices juxtapose with Dior, who James described as “steadfastly loyal to France.”

Biographies of Chanel differ in their interpretations of the fashion designer, according to James. Some accused her of antisemitism and believing in the Nazi cause, while another, Justine Picardie, said that “it’s too easy to say Chanel was a Nazi.”
Toronto graffiti curses Zionists, calls for 'political assassinations and 'murder'
Amid increasing concern among Jewish groups about antisemitism in Toronto, graffiti calling for murder and assassinations and curses directed at Zionists was found on Dundas Street, Member of Parliament Kevin Vuong said earlier this week.

“Bring back political assassinations” and “murder politicians” was scrawled in red paint alongside “f**k Zionists” and “kill all genociders,” he said.

Ariella Kimmel, vice president of strategic communications and development for Winston Wilmont, a public-affairs consultancy based in Ottawa, shared images of the vandalism on Tuesday.

Calling on Toronto police

“Zionist is a coded word for Jew,” she said. “Genocider is coded word for Zionist.”

Vuong said he had contacted the Toronto Municipality about the graffiti, and that it was removed on Wednesday.

The graffiti was “threatening and blatantly antisemitic,” Vuong said, adding that the call for violence had led him to report it to the Toronto Police Service as a hate-motivated crime. If any Torontonians saw any hateful graffiti, they could also report it to the police, he said.

“Together, let’s ensure hate has no place in our city,” Vuong said.

‘He Has Something to Say to Us Today’: Museum of Jewish History Set to Honor Legacy of ‘The Great Artist’ Arthur Szyk
The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City is celebrating the 130th birthday of the Polish-Jewish artist Arthur Szyk with a special lecture series hosted by the world’s leading expert on his work.

Titled, “Commemorating Arthur Szyk’s 130th Birthday,” the lecture series will include four 90-minutes sessions led by award winning author Irvin Ungar, a former rabbi who has studied Szyk for over 30 years, publishing three books about him and hosting exhibitions of his art at museums throughout the world. Among art historians, Ungar’s scholarship and curation is credited with single-handedly fostering a “Szyk renaissance.”

Born in 1894 in the city of Łódź during the Russian Partition of Poland, Szyk, though his life ended prematurely in 1951, lived through a violent and epochal moment in history — an age of revolution, world war, and genocide. His works, from sketches of the Boxer Rebellion he drew at the age of six to his depiction of Hitler as Pharaoh — and later, Hitler as Anti-Christ — were expressive commentaries on troubled times.

After Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, Szyk fled to England and then America, where he earned a reputation as a “soldier in art” for portraying the Nazis and Axis leaders as primal mad men and using irradiating imagery to alert the world to the plight of the Jewish people under Nazi occupation, an issue that affected him personally. In 1940, his mother, Eugenia, was murdered in the Chełmno extermination camp, just 30 miles from the city in which he grew up. Many more relatives, as well as those of his wife, were murdered during the Holocaust.
‘I suggest you all do it’: Tiffany Haddish urges visiting Israel
In an Instagram Live video she shot after boarding a plane to Israel on Tuesday, actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish described the purpose of her trip, calling it “educational.”

“I need to go see for myself, I’m one of those people,” said the star of the movies “Haunted Mansion” and “Girls Trip.”

“I’m going to the Holy Land; I suggest you all do it,” she said before slurping on her drink—insisting it was orange juice and not a mimosa—in what she identified as the plane’s business class.

Haddish also said she “wanted to go meet my future man out there” and joked that she might come back with a Jewish baby.

She rapped: “On my way to Tel Aviv / then to Jerusalem / then I’m going to Dead Sea, gonna get me some / gonna have some fun here / it’s gonna be great / then I’m gonna learn about the politics.”

Haddish then asked, “Who said I wasn’t gonna go to Gaza? I said I’m going to go see with my own eyes. Got to go to Israel first.”

Noa Tishby, the actress, author producer and former Israeli special envoy for combating antisemitism, responded to Haddish with “Yes, yes, yes, yes.”

Haddish’s father, Tsihaye Reda Haddish, was an Eritrean Jew. She confirmed her Jewish heritage five years ago through DNA testing. She has since had a bat mitzvah with a corresponding stand-up show “Black Mitzvah.”

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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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