Friday, February 23, 2024

From Ian:

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense: Recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a State Now Is a Huge Mistake
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview published Wednesday: "The United States needs to understand that, unlike on a lot of other policies, Netanyahu on the two-state solution has a lot of popular support in Israel. I think there continues to be an underestimate outside of Israel on the traumatic effect on Israel of Oct.7....In all of Israel's wars with the Arab states, they have never experienced anything like the massacre of innocent civilians that they suffered on Oct. 7, and I think it has had a huge impact psychologically inside Israel."

"I think that the administration was correct after Oct. 7 in the very strong support that they provided for Israel under those circumstances. I think that as the retaliation against Hamas in Gaza has proceeded, I think the administration has also taken the right position in terms of pressing harder for more humanitarian relief - more food, more medicine, and so on - and more effort to prevent collateral damage, to prevent the killing of innocent Palestinians."

"This has been made much tougher by Hamas' approach, which is to integrate themselves with the civilian population so that there is no way to getting at Hamas without going through innocent civilians. This is what the Taliban did. This is what Hamas does, and it makes the situation all the more complicated for Israel."

"The notion of recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a state now, I think, is a huge mistake. There has to be a process, a sequence of events, and some established criteria, of changes that have to happen in the West Bank, in the Palestinian Authority, and among the Palestinians themselves with Arab support, that over time will allow some confidence to be built on the part of the Israelis that a Palestinian state next door is not going to be an existential threat to Israel, is not going to be a threat for another Oct. 7. And that is going to take time."
What Would a "Revitalized" Palestinian Authority Be?
The Palestinian Authority, in its current form, has failed the Palestinians and has failed the peace process. Nonetheless, in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre and the ensuing war against Hamas, U.S. President Joe Biden wrote in the Washington Post on Nov. 18, 2023, that "Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited...under a revitalized Palestinian Authority."

PA reform must include the following non-negotiable steps:
1. Condemn the Oct. 7 massacre. More than 4 months have passed since the Oct. 7 massacre, in which more than 1,200 people were tortured, raped, beheaded and murdered, hundreds wounded, and 240 people kidnapped to Gaza. To this day, no PA leader or figure has condemned the atrocities. Sadly, PA leaders have embraced and justified them.
2. Abolish the PA/PLO's "Pay-for-Slay" policy. PA law defines the terrorists as the "fighting sector and an integral part of the fabric of the Arab Palestinian society." The payments are made to all Palestinian terrorists, including participants in the Oct. 7 massacre. Every year, the PA pays over $300 million to imprisoned terrorists, wounded terrorists, the families of dead terrorists, and released terrorists, who are also entitled to guaranteed employment in the PA. The U.S. Taylor Force Act describes this policy as an "incentive to commit acts of terror."
3. Recognize the Jews as a people, entitled to a state in their ancestral homeland. The Palestinian Authority rejects the very existence of a Jewish people, referring to Judaism merely as a religion, undeserving of a national homeland. Jews, according to PA teachings, are responsible for the ills of the world and have no sovereign history in the land.
4. Cease all incitement to murder and glorification of terror. For the last 30 years, the PA has been violating their commitment as part of the Oslo process to combat incitement. The PA has actively engaged its education system, media, and culture in hate indoctrination and inciting terror. Generations of Palestinians have been educated to hate Jews, seek the destruction of Israel, and see murderous terrorists as role models.
5. Halt PA attacks on Israel in international forums. The PA/PLO is conducting full-scale lawfare against Israel at the UN and other international forums, including the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. The attacks, based on invented facts and outright libels, seek to delegitimize Israel and turn it into a pariah state. These are flagrant breaches of the Oslo Accords.
6. Actively fight terror. A fundamental commitment undertaken by the Palestinians as part of the Oslo process was to actively combat terror. To fulfill this commitment, the PA was permitted to establish a strong security apparatus that benefitted from international funding and training. Many members of the PA security forces, who were meant to be fighting terror, were themselves actively involved in terrorism.

Once these rudimentary prerequisites are fulfilled, an additional plan to revitalize the PA would deal with its deeply embedded corruption and turn it into an effective democracy with regular elections in which a fully functioning judicial system can be developed.
Arab States Reluctant to Come to the Palestinians' Aid
Former U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker spent nearly four decades representing America's interests in the Arab world, serving as U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said in an interview that despite public support for Palestinian rights, in truth nearly every Arab state has long viewed the Palestinians with "fear and loathing." "The last thing the Arab states, particularly those around Palestine and Israel, wanted to see was an independent Palestinian movement, let alone a state."

"What's noteworthy in this entire conflict since Oct. 7 has been the lack of reaction or response from the Arab world. Saudi Arabia continues to hold the door open for a peace agreement with Israel. The UAE, Morocco and Bahrain didn't even withdraw ambassadors. Jordan did, but of course with about half of its population being Palestinian, Jordan has a particular problem. That lack of reaction I think is very telling."

"It is noteworthy there is no Palestinian population in Egypt. Going back to the days of [former Egyptian leader] Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Egyptians saw the threat. Again, the Palestinians contributed to their isolation through some spectacular acts like the assassination of a Jordanian prime minister in front of the Sheraton hotel in broad daylight in Cairo by two Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] gunmen, one of whom stooped down to drink the assassinated prime minister's blood."

Bethany Mandel: American elite academia is riddled with anti-Semitism, and nowhere more so than Harvard
Last week, writing for the Atlantic, Dara Horn wrote about the plague of anti-Semitism that has captured America’s elite universities – in particular Harvard University. Horn wrote:
It was during this ongoing nightmare that Harvard administrators recruited me for advice on the anti-Semitism problem on campus. Against my better judgment, I agreed to join the committee. The Jewish Harvard students who desperately shared their horror stories with me backed them up with piles of evidence. They knew they needed to prove it.

The problem at Harvard, it quickly became clear from the avalanche of documentation deposited at my feet, was not small.

Horn went on, “This demonization of Jews, whether intentional or not, extended to Harvard’s teaching staff.”

As if to prove Horn’s point, just four days after the Atlantic published her long essay on anti-Semitism, Harvard students and faculty published their own thoughts in the form of a cartoon. The image, shared on social media by two student groups – the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and the African American Resistance Organization – was approvingly reposted by both Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine.

The cartoon depicted a hand marked by a Star of David with a dollar sign in the middle holding nooses that were tied around the necks of an Arab man and a Black man. The cartoon was shared to help illustrate the historical links between pro-Palestinian and civil rights groups.

Shabbos Kestenbaum, a Harvard student who first shared the image on his own social media told me, “Such blatant antisemitism, this time perpetrated by our own Professors, underscores how pervasive and systemic this hatred at Harvard truly is. We feel alone, we feel abandoned, and most fundamentally, we don’t feel safe.”

In an editorial for the school paper, the Harvard Crimson, the editors explain, “All this Instagram post tells us is that Monday afternoon a handful of activists failed to exercise even the most basic sensitivity. Still, there’s something more general to be taken from this brief, alarming episode: Even if the vast majority of our peers do not harbor hate toward the Jewish people — and we sincerely believe they do not — they most certainly do engage in the garden-variety ignorance and callousness that falls short of outright antisemitism.”

Earlier in the editorial, the Crimson said “the Instagram post was just that: an Instagram post.”
Cary Nelson: Faculty for Academic Freedom and Against Antisemitism: Mission Statement and Background Information
In the weeks and months since Hamas carried out its horrific 7 October murder spree in Israel, we have, paradoxically, seen the radical left in academia double down on its antizionism, sometimes voicing an ecstatic enthusiasm not only for the fact of the massacre but also for the tactics Hamas used. Within days, ‘globalize the intifada’ and ‘glory to our martyrs’ appeared on signs and on banners in marches. In the wake of October 7, these slogans praise murder and long for more. A growing segment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators no longer ask for a state alongside Israel but openly seek to destroy it. In the streets and on campus it is now common to hear ‘from the river to the sea’ and ‘we don’t want no two states, we want all of it’ both called out as demands for eliminating the Jewish state. In support of this development, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has helped support the formation of a parallel anti-Zionist, antisemitic, and anti-American organisation, Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP). Within months, scores of chapters had organised on American campuses, among them Harvard, NYU, Princeton, Rutgers, and ten University of California campuses. We expect chapters to form in other countries as well.

We believe faculty sympathetic to Israel and the principles of academic freedom and democracy need to organise locally and nationally for the long haul. We recommend the formation of campus chapters of a new initiative, Faculty for Academic Freedom and Against Antisemitism. It would encourage fact-based political discussion and work to counter the threats to academic freedom displayed in the FJP manifesto. We will begin with a section on the recent background to the current campus climate, continue with suggestions for the new initiative’s guiding principles, and conclude with an analysis of the manifesto of the FJP chapter on our own campus, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

For a number of years we have witnessed an alarming rise of antisemitism worldwide. Throughout that time, American campuses have been sites for promoting antisemitism and advancing its pernicious claims and rationales. Groups like Students for Justice in Palestine have played a major role in that movement, pushing for anti-Israel divestment initiatives and urging a boycott of Israeli universities. Meanwhile, antizionist faculty research and advocacy continues to inspire anti-Israel and anti-American activism on campus and elsewhere. Since the Hamas massacres in Israel on 7 October 2023, we have witnessed all those trends escalate dramatically.

Increased anti-Israel political activity has substantially blurred—and sometimes erased—the already unstable distinction between antizionism and antisemitism. Accusations of genocide levelled against Israel are now nearly universal in campus debate and polemic about the war in Gaza. The suggestion that Jews who support Israel are implicated in genocide has helped persuade students and faculty that their physical safety is no longer assured.

And some troubling campus developments are new. In October 2023 the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called for the creation of local Faculty for Justice on Palestine (FJP) chapters. Within months, scores of chapters were in operation on American campuses, providing an organised voice for faculty who oppose Zionism, free speech, and democracy both on campus and in the community. Their goal is to exploit academic freedom to spread misinformation and indoctrinate the student body with anti-American and antisemitic hatred. See below for an analysis the FJP’s founding manifesto.

While the large anti-Israel demonstrations on campus and elsewhere may diminish or disappear when the 2023/24 war in Gaza ends, antizionism is unlikely to return to its pre-war rhetorical and organizational status. Short of the realisation of Hamas and its campus apologists’ goal of eradicating the State of Israel, we are likely to face intense antizionism and antisemitism for the foreseeable future.
Honest Reporting: Who Are the Killed Gazan Journalists Affiliated With Palestinian Terror Groups?
One of the more widely discussed facets of the Israel-Hamas war has been the number of Palestinian journalists killed in Gaza since October 7.

The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Associated Press, and the Financial Times are just some of the mainstream media organizations that have featured in-depth reports on the Palestinian journalist casualties in Gaza.

However, what these reports fail to disclose is that a substantial number of these Gaza-based journalists were either members of proscribed Palestinian terror organizations or affiliated with these groups. These groups include Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Based on information provided by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), of the 83 Palestinian journalists identified by the CPJ as being killed in Gaza to date (February 22, 2024), 45 (roughly 55%) were either members or affiliates of a Palestinian terrorist group.

The following is a list of the killed Palestinian journalists who were associated with Gaza-based terror groups:
Seth Mandel: How Hamas Hijacked British Democracy
After all the false alarms, the crisis of British democracy is finally here. The cause is not a nebulous concept like “disinformation” or a prime minister getting ousted by her own party in less time than it took a head of lettuce to brown, as was the amusing case with Liz Truss in 2022. The actual democratic process has come under assault, and London is buckling under the pressure.

This all came to a head on Wednesday. Now there is full agreement across the political spectrum on what happened and why. The unanswered question is whether the “Mother of Parliaments,” as England’s contribution to democracy is known, will do anything about it.

On Wednesday, the opposition Scottish National Party put up a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Normally, the House of Commons would then vote on it. But the speaker of the House jettisoned the normal process and first allowed the Labour Party to water down the language in the resolution.

Why did the speaker let Labour hijack someone else’s bill? Because, he said, he feared Labour members of parliament would be assassinated by pro-Hamas thugs if they didn’t get the language exactly right.

“I will defend every member in this House. Every member matters to me in this House,” Speaker Lindsay Hoyle explained. “And it has been said, both sides, I never, ever want to go through a situation where I pick up a phone to find a friend of whatever side has been murdered by a terrorist.” Then he referenced a 2017 terror attack on parliament and said: “I also don’t want another attack on this House. I was in the chair on that day. I have seen, I have witnessed.”

The obvious question is: If Labour members thought they’d be in danger for voting against Hamas’s wishes, why wouldn’t they just vote for the SNP ceasefire bill? The answer is that it would embarrass Labour leader Keir Starmer, who has been desperately trying to remove the stain of anti-Semitism left by his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn and didn’t want to see dozens of Labour members vote for the SNP’s anti-Israel resolution. So he convinced the speaker of the House to break tradition and protect Labour by letting them go first.
Melanie Phillips: The demonisation of Israel has destabilised British politics
When Queen Elizabeth II died, people mourned not only the loss of a beloved and admirable monarch but what they believed was the passing of the beloved and admirable Britain that she had embodied.

The country now seems to be going out of its way to slide off the edge of the steadily crumbling civilisational cliff. And the Queen’s own grandson has joined the lemming-like throng.

Earlier this week, Prince William said he wanted to see an end to the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible because “too many have been killed”.

The death of civilians in war is always a tragedy. But the Prince of Wales didn’t say how many was “too many” in this most just of wars against genocide. Nor did he acknowledge the many Hamas terrorists among the number that he deemed excessive.

It’s an iron rule that the Royal Family never makes political or controversial interventions. Yet Prince William was playing politics, especially since he issued his statement on the eve of a deeply divisive debate on Gaza in the House of Commons.

The late Queen would never, ever have done this.
Brendan O'Neill: Gaza and the narcissism of the elites
It seems to me that Gaza is being used as a soapbox for moral preening by politicians desperate to deflect attention from their own uselessness. Bereft of ideas for Britain, instead they moralise on the Middle East. So the SNP might be rocked by scandal, with an unpopular leader, and utterly incapable of ending drug deaths (Scotland has the highest drug-death rate in Europe). But at least it can say ‘Save Gaza!’. At least it can bask in the moral glow of Israelophobia. At least it can carry on winning favour with opinion-formers whose favourite bloodsport is Israel-bashing. The kind of people who are unmoved by the deaths of poverty-stricken drug-takers on Glaswegian estates but who suffer sleepless nights over the deaths of Palestinians.

In a way this has long been the case. The cultural elite’s fascination with foreign wars is often motored less by genuine internationalism than by disillusionment with the working classes at home. The left in particular loves to take refuge from Britain’s Sun-reading, white-van-driving little people in the struggles of faraway peoples. The bored bourgeoisie of the West sees only savages in their own local towns but noble savages in Palestine or Cuba. The Smart Set’s obsession with Palestine in particular has grown in direct proportion with their feeling of distance from, and even disdain for, their own dim fellow citizens. Events in the Commons last night suggest this moral exploitation of Palestine by a lost elite has now moved beyond the left and thoroughly entered the mainstream.

Palestine now, in the West, is less a political issue than an outlet for the narcissism of the elites. A means of moral showboating. A refuge from the rabble. A retreat from the tough task of fixing the local. Hence, the Palestine flag in every mover and shakers’ social-media bio and those interminable chattering-class protests against Israel – it’s all just a stage for moral posing in the post-political, post-class age. They’re so vain they think this war is about them.

The end result is that the upcoming by-election in Rochdale in the north of England, which has a sizeable Muslim community, is being referred to as a ‘referendum on Gaza’. But what about the vast economic and social challenges faced by the folk in Rochdale? Do they not matter? Must everything be subjugated to the moral imperative of ‘Save Gaza’ and to the elite’s cynical mission of replacing hard politics with cheap morality? The West’s rulers should get on with the job of improving their citizens’ lives and leave Israel to finish the job against Hamas.
Suella Braverman: Islamists are bullying Britain into submission
They started with the Jews; there were stern words of disapproval from the top but things only got worse. The Islamist cranks and Left-wing extremists then took control of the streets; the police looked meekly on. They harassed teachers through the courts; our human rights and equalities laws were used against us. They threatened to kill an MP; he decided, justifiably, to leave public life. A respected peer, Lord Austin spoke out against terrorism and Islamism; he was suspended from a job he loves. They have hijacked a by-election in a deprived town in northern England. We see their influence in our judiciary, our legal profession and our universities. And then they came for Parliament. On a day when Keir Starmer should have shown strength of character, he bowed to the mob, abused his position, and undermined the integrity of Parliament. Conventions cast aside, the Speaker’s legitimacy destroyed, and democracy denied. Trust was shattered by Starmer’s grubby backroom deal. The mask has slipped: in hock to the Islamists, he is responsible for one of the most shameful days of our democracy. By effectively taking the Speaker hostage, he brought Parliament into disrepute. This is the behaviour of tyrants. Just imagine what Starmer would do as Prime Minister. The truth is that the Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are in charge now. They have bullied the Labour Party, they have bullied our institutions, and now they have bullied our country into submission. But what is our response? Our leaders bury their heads in the sand, preferring the illusion of a “successful multicultural society”, terrified of being called “racist”. But the law has not changed, mass extremism parades itself proudly, campuses remain dangerous places for Jews, and Labour is still rotten to the core. Let’s not forget how, in the short term at least, we got here. On October 7, an Islamist death cult attacked one of our closest allies on a scale never before imagined. More than 1,200 citizens of Israel, the vast majority of them Jews, were butchered in their homes, communities and at a music festival. Many of the women were raped and then murdered. Another 250 people were kidnapped and taken back to the terrorists’ lairs, where many still languish.

Rishi Sunak accuses Lindsay Hoyle of allowing Pro-Palestinian 'extremists' to 'intimidate' him into changing Parliamentary procedure as more than 50 MPs demand Speaker quits after Commons chaos over 'bending rules' to save Starmer on Gaza
Rishi Sunak today accused Sir Lindsay Hoyle of pandering to 'extremists' by 'bending' Parliamentary rules in a debate on Gaza that sparked a bitter Westminster row.

The Prime Minister said scenes of uproar in the Commons last night were 'very concerning' as more than 50 MPs called for the Speaker to quit in the wake of the controversy.

Sir Lindsay today issued another grovelling apology after being accuse of having 'bent Commons rules' to save Keir Starmer from a damaging revolt over the fighting in the Middle East.

In a grovelling and near-tearful mea culpa last night, he acknowledged he regretted tweaking parliamentary convention in a vote over support for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

But the former Labour MP argued that he was motivated by anxiety about the safety of MPs from pro-Palestinian protesters, rather than partisan concerns.

There were claims Sir Keir Starmer personally lobbied him and he was told he would have 'blood on his hands' if a Labour amendment was not selected - something the party leader 'categorically' denies.

Speaking on a visit to Wales today, Mr Sunak said: 'What happened in the House of Commons last night is very concerning.

'It seems that the usual processes and the way that the House of Commons works were changed. Now my understanding is that the Speaker has apologised for that and is going to reflect on what happened.

'But I think the important point here is that we should never let extremists intimidate us into changing the way in which Parliament works.

'Parliament is an important place for us to have these debates. And just because some people may want to stifle that with intimidation or aggressive behaviour, we should not bend to that and change how Parliament works. That's a very slippery slope.'
Hamas is getting dangerously close to achieving its war aims
Wednesday’s chaotic scenes in the House of Commons during the debate on a Gaza ceasefire were something of a landmark. The Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, may yet be forced to resign over his decision to breach normal protocol by allowing a debate on a Labour amendment to a motion moved by another opposition party, the SNP.

The reason he advanced for doing so, the threats being made to MPs, is deeply worrying. Remember that while the debate was in progress, a mob was calling for Israel’s destruction and projecting the infamous “river to the sea” slogan on to the tower that houses Big Ben.

However, there is a third aspect to these events that has greater long-term significance. They were part of a broader pattern now being seen internationally: the ebbing of support for Israel.

The Labour ceasefire motion that passed, unlike the SNP’s, did at least recognise that Hamas must stop fighting too, condemned its terrorist acts and did not include the claim that Israel is inflicting collective punishment, which would constitute a war crime.

But little by little, the pressure on the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is ratcheting up. Labour, the British government, Prince William and the Biden administration all want a lasting ceasefire, although they may use slightly differing language, and a swift resumption of long-stalled final status peace talks. I don’t need to remind you that Netanyahu does not share these objectives.

In this context, it’s useful to consider questions that have been too seldom posed: what did Hamas want when it launched this war – and how close is it to achieving it?
The mob is revelling in its ability to incite chaos on our streets
The Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, is synonymous in many people’s minds with the Houses of Parliament which stands next to it. The mob projected a message onto that tower; the infamous “From the river to the sea” hate slogan.

That action was intended to send a very clear message to Parliamentarians; that even in the heart of Westminster, the anti-Israel mob rules. In the meantime, over the course of a tumultuous day, there was significant focus on the threats that MPs have been receiving on the issue of Gaza.

We have all seen examples of this since October 7th. The explosion in antisemitism has been accompanied by targeted efforts intended to intimidate our elected officials. Conservative and Labour MPs have been particular targets.

It would be wrong to say that such threats are new. In December 2015, a new plan to protect MPs called Operation Bridger was put in place by police, after the Parliamentary debate on airstrikes against ISIS strongholds in Syria. In 2016, a far-right terrorist murdered Jo Cox, and in 2021 an Islamist terrorist murdered Sir David Amess (later citing the Syria airstrikes as a motive).

It does, however, seem that general attempts to intimidate MPs have risen significantly since October 7th. Protests accusing MPs of condoning the murder of children in Gaza have been held outside constituency offices.

Other such offices have been defaced. Mike Freer, the Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, the constituency with the highest percentage of Jews in the country, is standing down at the next election, citing death threats for supporting Israel. Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North, is currently being targeted by a concentrated campaign.

A poster for this weekend’s demonstration outside his constituency office shows a picture of him against a backdrop of the red Labour party banner dripping blood. “Picket Wes Streeting: Labour Party Defends Genocide”, the poster says. It also calls for “Victory to the Intifada”.

Call for closer scrutiny of Palestine Solidarity Campaign after ‘genocidal call’ projected onto Big Ben
Jewish leaders have called for “closer scrutiny” of the activist group Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) after it projected the “genocidal” slogan “from the river to the sea” onto Big Ben this week.

The stunt by the PSC, the main group behind the protest in Parliament Square during Wednesday’s chaotic Commons debate on a Gaza ceasefire, provoked widespread outrage and is being investigated by the police.

The Board of Deputies said it showed “utter contempt not only for the concerns of the Jewish community but for our Parliament.

“From the river to the sea is seen by many Jews as a hate slogan.”

Anti-racism group Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This is an organisation that clearly warrants closer scrutiny, especially given the influence that it is bringing to bear on our politics and the impact that it is having on our city centres.”

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, Tory MP Andrew Percy warned that Islamists and their fellow anti-Israel travellers were threatening democracy.

“For months I’ve been standing up here talking about the people on our streets demanding ‘death to Jews’, demanding jihad, demanding intifadas as the police stand by and allow that to happen,” Percy said.

“Last night, a genocidal call of ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ was projected onto this building. That message says no Jew is welcome in the state of Israel or in that land. This is going to continue happening because we’re not dealing with it.”

London police: ‘From river to sea’ projected on Big Ben ‘not criminal offense’
London’s Metropolitan Police Department is aware that “from the river to the sea”—an antisemitic slogan that calls for genocide against Jews—was projected on Big Ben, one of the world’s most iconic landmarks. Yet it didn’t do anything about it.

“This is a chant that has been frequently heard at pro-Palestinian demonstrations for many years and we are very aware of the strength of feeling in relation to it,” the London police department wrote.

“While there are scenarios where chanting or using these words could be unlawful depending on the specific location or context, its use in a wider public protest setting, such as last night, is not a criminal offense,” it added.

“People need permission from both the Commons speaker and Westminster City Council planners to legally project onto the side of the Houses of Parliament,” the Daily Mail reported.

“Absolutely appalling,” the European Jewish Congress wrote. “This antisemitic chant is a rallying cry used by Hamas terrorists calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

Absolutely appalling.

A Letter to Candace Owens on Israel and Jews
Regarding the two ads the Israeli government took out for the Super Bowl: Those ads were meant to remind Americans that Hamas still holds 134 hostages — five of whom are Americans. Hamas is not the “government” of Arabs who identify as “Palestinian,” as you claim. They’re terrorists. Are you now pro-terrorism — or just when it comes to Jews?

Yes, the US gives Israel aid — but the vast majority of it must be used to buy American weapons. They’re called Foreign Military Financing grants, meaning they simultaneously give Americans jobs. Maybe if your new best friends like Hamas stopped trying to destroy Israel, these grants would not be needed.

Despite all the nasty things you have said about us, let’s assume for a moment that you do like Jews — that many of your “best friends” have in fact been Jewish — and you don’t hate Israel. Let’s assume all of your problematic views are coming from the neo-isolationism that Tucker Carlson and the Freedom Caucus espouse. (Though Carlson has shared antisemitic tropes during a discussion with you, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who believes Jews use space lasers to control the world, was a key member of the Caucus.)

There are numerous problems with this neo-isolationism, but since being “America first” is key to who you claim to be today, let’s just look at one of America’s enemies: Iran. You may not be aware of this, but Iran doesn’t like America. Iran calls us the “Great Satan.” Iran is also part of the new axis of evil — Russia, China, North Korea — that Carlson doesn’t want to acknowledge.

Which country has the best intel on Iran? That tiny homeland of the Jewish people. Why? Because Israel is “Little Satan” to Iran. Why does Israel have better intel on Iran than the US? Because they’ve had to. Maybe you don’t know this, but both Hamas and Hezbollah are Iranian proxies.

You talk a lot about “emotional manipulation” — indoctrination, brainwashing — on the part of Democrats. But you do the same. Because I don’t think you’re lacking in facts as much as you pretend to be. On the subject of Israel, you seem to want to believe leftist/Marxist lies.
Northwestern’s Latest Excuse
Rather than make a sincere effort to protect Jewish students at Northwestern, President Michael Schill is doubling down on his efforts to protect those discriminating against them. Schill’s latest attempt at damage control comes in the form of a “President’s Advisory Committee on Free Expression and Institutional Speech.”

Free speech is an essential pillar of the academy. It doesn’t include the right to harass Jews. Institutions cannot be neutral on antisemitism and still comply with their obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

By refusing to define antisemitism, Schill continues to fuel the already dangerous levels of discrimination and discriminatory harassment against Jewish and Israeli students. Alumni will continue to speak out until he takes meaningful action to end the antisemitism crisis at Northwestern.

About ACF: Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) leverages the unique power of alumni to combat antisemitism on college campuses. ACF helps organize and cultivate alumni chapters for colleges and universities across the country, equipping members with tools, tactics, and training to proactively engage with administrators. Learn more at
Anti-Zionist doctor from The Apprentice suspended by medical tribunal pending GMC investigation
Former Apprentice contestant DR Asif Munaf, has been suspended from practising medicine while the General Medical Council investigates his conduct.

Asif Munaf, who qualified as a doctor from the University of Hull under the name Mohammed Asif Munaf, was dropped from the Apprentice You’re fired, the show’s spinoff by the BBC after complaints were made about his social media posts.

Munaf - who owns a wellness brand - sparked a furious backlash when he used social media to call Zionism a “godless satanic cult” and labelled Zionists “odiously ogre-like".

He wrote of his children: “I pray they are strong enough physically, spiritually and psychologically to overcome the trial of the Zionist antichrist.”

The BBC reportedly sent Munaf on diversity training after the controversial posts came to light, but he continued to spout anti-Zionist rhetoric.

In January he wrote: “The Zionist mask is falling, and the world is waking up.

The day before Munaf was suspended on Thursday, he accused the GMC of being a “pawn” of the “Zionist lobby” and a “proxy” for “genocide.”

“What tremendous shame it is to see the regulatory body of an honourable profession be (ab)used as a pawn by the Zionist lobby in this a proxy tit-for-tat over their genocide. What a waste of time. What a waste of doctors registration fees. Absolute shame on you @gmcuk” wrote Munaf.

Globe And Mail Misrepresents South Africa’s Recent Loss At The International Court Of Justice (ICJ)
The South African government, evidently hell-bent on weaponizing international law in order to defame Israel, has twice brought cases to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, alleging that Jerusalem is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

In December, South Africa demanded that the world court demand Israel halt its counter-terrorism operations against Hamas. The court refused. Instead, the court demanded that Hamas free the Israeli hostages it holds, and reminded Israel to work to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, a step Israel is already taking.

Again in February, South Africa’s government brought another urgent case to the court, demanding that, in advance of expected Israeli operations in the Gaza region of Rafah, that the ICJ force Israel to cancel its efforts there.

Once again, the court refused, providing back to back refutations for South Africa.

But in his February 16 article in The Globe and Mail entitled: “Top UN court tells Israel to ensure safety of Palestinians in Gaza,” reporter Geoffrey York, the newspaper’s Africa bureau chief, managed to creatively frame South Africa’s loss as a victory.

York’s article led by telling readers that “The increasingly dangerous situation in the city of Rafah requires Israel to comply immediately with existing court orders to ensure the ‘safety and security’ of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the International Court of Justice has ruled.”

However, simply reminding Israel to continue to take steps to minimize civilian casualties was not new, as it was already spelled out in the court’s previous interim judgment. It was South Africa’s key demand to force a halt to Israel’s expected operations in Rafah that was the rationale for Pretoria to file a new case, which was rejected by the ICJ.

That element, the core component of the new case, was only told three paragraphs down.
CBC The National Broadcast Falsely Refers To Existence Of “Palestinian Territories” In 1967
During the February 19 broadcast of The National, the evening news program of CBC, reporter Katie Nicholson made a statement that represented a serious error in journalistic standards.

During her report, Nicholson told viewers that “it’s been nearly six decades since Israeli tanks rolled into Palestinian territories,” referring to the Six Day War, which took place in June, 1967.

In truth, the territories were in no way Palestinian.

Judea & Samaria, including eastern Jerusalem, often referred to as the West Bank by news media outlets, was administered by Jordan. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip was administered by Egypt.

Both countries seized those lands during Israel’s War of Independence, which began in 1948, when they invaded and attempted to destroy the newly reborn Jewish State, but during their 19-year occupation from 1948 to 1967, neither Jordan nor Egypt became legal owners of the lands.

If anything, the lands could be referred to as territories formerly administered by Jordan and Egypt, but certainly not Palestinian.

Israel possesses extensive legal and historical rights to the lands in question, but by referring to the area as “Palestinian territories,” Nicholson dismisses three millennia of Jewish presence, instead employing revisionist history.
BBC News ignores Hamas admission of terrorist casualties
Since the very beginning of the war that began on October 7th when Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and perpetrated an unprecedented massacre, the BBC has promoted unverified claims concerning casualties in the Gaza Strip.

October 7th 2023: ‘Israel attack: PM says Israel at war after 250 killed in attack from Gaza’, by Yolande Knell, Raffi Berg and David Gritten:
“Israel has responded with a wave of air strikes on Gaza that have killed 232 people and wounded 1,600, medics say.”

October 8th 2023: ‘Israeli forces fight to drive out Hamas militants as death toll passes 600’, by Yolande Knell, Rushi Abu Alouf and David Gritten:
“Palestinian health ministry officials said more than 300 people, including children, had been killed in Gaza and that another 1,990 had been injured.”

Only later in October did the BBC begin informing its audiences that those “health ministry officials” and “medics” are in fact part of a system run by the very terrorist organisation which initiated the war. Nine days after the war began, the BBC’s fact-checking department reassured audiences that there was “no reason to disbelieve the figures released by the health ministry in Gaza”.

Exposed: Islamic Party Ra’am Collaborates with Hamas Group in Turkey
An investigation by HaKol Ha’Yehudi’s reporter Elchanan Groner has revealed that the Ra’am party and its flagship association, Aid 48, are neck-deep in ties with the Hamas-affiliated Turkish association Khyar Ommah, and are inciting terrorism in a summer camp operated by Ra’am members and the Islamic movement.

According to Israeli prosecutors, Aid 48 senior officials who are close to Ra’am Chairman MK Mansour Abbas, worked closely with Hamas operatives, including one operative who tried to guide an attack on an Elbit security plant.

The affair was revealed in a February 11 indictment against Rami Habibullah, a teacher from the village of Ein Mahal in Galilee. According to the indictment, following the start of the fighting in the Gaza Strip, Habibullah offered Hamas operatives abroad his services in promoting terrorist activities in Israel. He sent a Hamas operative a photo of a security plant in his area of residence, with its exact location, to help Hamas fire rockets at this plant (Shin Bet Arrests Arab Teacher Who Directed Hamas Rockets to Hit Security Plant near his Home).

According to the indictment, Habibullah also transferred large sums of money to Khyar Ommah in Turkey, contacted Hamas operatives Abdel Jaber Shelbi and Ibrahim Alnaji from Khyar Ommah, and reported the location of the Elbit plant near Nof HaGalil, so Hamas would target it with missiles.

Alnaji, a Hamas activist and a key employee of the Khyar Ommah association passed on the information to other Hamas members and finally informed Rami that Hamas could not at the moment bomb the factory. Instead, he asked Rami to “take the initiative” and carry out an attack himself against the Elbit factory. Rami, for his part, recruited more Arabs in an effort to acquire weapons for the mission. He also planned a shooting attack in Jerusalem.

The HaKol HaYehudi investigation revealed that the Khyar Ommah association, which the indictment suggests belongs to Hamas, has a close relationship with Aid 48, a.k.a. the Islamic association for orphans and the needy, which is the flagship association of Ra’am and the southern Islamic movement – both controlled by MK Mansour Abbas.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian Leaders Have Brought a Nakba to Their People
"Ending Hamas's rule is very good for everyone, even for Hamas itself. It will prevent Hamas from tampering with the Gaza Strip and will put an end to the torture and killing of the people of Palestine. Overthrowing Hamas and ending its coup in Palestine is important for every Palestinian and Arab." — Abdullah Ghanem al-Qahtani, Saudi social media influencer, X (, February 20, 2024.

"We congratulate the leaders of Hamas and the [Iran-led] axis of resistance for the decisive victory they achieved over the Palestinian people in Gaza. They [Hamas leaders] have caused the extermination of the people, destroyed their homes and displaced them." — Ahmed al-Fifi, Saudi influencer, X (, February 21, 2024.

As soon as the war ends, the Palestinians' first priority should be to replace the horrific leaders who have been dragging them from one nakba to another.

For the past three decades, Palestinian leaders have failed their people on an epic level. Instead of improving their lives, they have been radicalizing them.... Unless the Palestinians rid themselves of these despots, they will continue to pay with their lives and the lives of their children.
The Gaza You Don't See
A picture is worth 1000 words and I am going to let this video speak for itself. Comment below if this video changed your mind about Gaza.

MEMRI: Pashtu-Language Article Published On Pro-Afghan Taliban Website: 'The Main Occupation Of The Jews Is Magic; They Often Do Their Work Through Witchcraft And Magic'; 'A Clear Proof For Worldly Punishment Is The Killing Of Jews By The Mujahideen Of Hamas'
On February 3, 2024, Almirsaad website, which publishes reports and essays favoring the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban), published an article, saying that Jews promote Satanic thoughts and war and that Islam is their primary target.

The Pashtu-language article, titled "Jews And The Goals Of The Jews," is written by one Maher Bilal, who says the Jews are the friends of Dajjal, a figure in Islamic eschatology who resembles the anti-Christ in Christianity, and says that Dajjal will emerge from their community and that they will fight Islam first and then Christianity.

The author goes on to argue that according to Islamic traditions, Allah will punish the Jews both in this world and the hereafter, adding: "[Jews] assured themselves that [Hamas] no longer have jihadi tendencies, but those people [Hamas] were imposed on them by Allah."

Following is the text of the article, as translated from Pashtu:
"The Jews Hate All Religions, But They Hate Islam The Most; From The Beginning Of Islam Until Now, The Mission Of The Jews Has Been To Uproot Islam And Replace It With A Global Zionist-Jewish System"

"The Jews, Israel, and the Zionist regime are considered to be the worst people in the world. The Jews have made everything dependent on themselves, saying, 'we will be the only ones in heaven.' Judaism is basically considered an ethnic religion. If a Christian or a person of any other religion wants to adopt Judaism, they will not be accepted until they trace their lineage to Jacob, peace be upon him, because they believe that Jews and only Jews will go to heaven. This is absolutely false; Jews have no destiny other than hell.

"The main occupation of the Jews is magic; they often do their work through witchcraft and magic and promote their Satanic thought. Moreover, Jews are very cruel, oppressive, and arrogant; their oppression is not limited to the younger generation. Women, children, and older men have been and are victims of the oppression of the Jews, most of the time children in the wombs of pregnant women have not been exempt from their oppression and have been victims of oppression.

"The Jews hate all religions, but they hate Islam the most. From the beginning of Islam until now, the mission of the Jews is to remove the roots of Islam and replace it with a global Zionist/Jewish system so that only Jews remain in the world. This is their work and mission that has not yet succeeded and will not succeed in the future, Lillahil-Hamd [Praise be to Allah]."

Antisemitic rapper Wiley stripped of MBE
Grime pioneer Wiley, who has repeatedly attacked Jews on social media, has been stripped of his MBE for “bringing the honours system into disrepute”.

The prominent artist was honoured for his services to music in 2017, after which he declared: “Big up the Queen”.

Since then, however, Wiley has repeatedly made offensive claims about the Jewish community online.

In 2021, the rapper was kicked off Instagram and Twitter for a second time after posting a warning about “Satanic Jews” and harassing an anti-racism campaigner.

Wiley, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie Jr., shared a video on Instagram of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan saying he was “here to separate the good Jews from the Satanic Jews.”

He also broadcast live on Instagram, discussing banks owned by “Jewish families”.

In 2020, he said: “Listen to me Jewish community Israel is not your country I’m sorry… The Star of David that’s our ting … Some people have gotten too comfortable on lands that don’t belong to them.”

South Dakota Senate passes IHRA antisemitism definition
By a vote of 31-3, the South Dakota Senate approved HB1076, which would enshrine into law the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

“In the state, by having a clear definition of antisemitism, law enforcement and education agencies can be better equipped to recognize and ultimately combat all forms of contemporary antisemitism,” Arthur Maserjian, chief of staff of the Combat Antisemitism Movement, told JNS.

He noted that “in South Dakota specifically, the law requires the consideration of the IHRA definition of antisemitism when investigating cases of discrimination through the division of human rights. This will allow law-enforcement officials and legal authorities to better understand instances of antisemitism when committed as criminal acts and potential hate crimes.”

Sacha Roytman, CEO of Combat Antisemitism, lauded Gov. Kristi Noem “for making this legislation a policy goal of hers, strengthening the use of the IHRA working definition in South Dakota through legislation, following the December 2021 adoption via executive proclamation.”

The legislation passed in the South Dakota House last month requires a signature from the governor to become law.
Israel’s military exports to top buyer India unaffected by Gaza war
Israel’s military exports to India, its largest defense buyer, have not been affected by the war in Gaza, Reuters reported Friday, citing unnamed Indian and Israeli sources aware of the details.

India has imported military hardware worth $2.9 billion from Israel over the last decade, including radars, surveillance and combat drones, and missiles.

Israel’s war needs have not conflicted with its defense supplies to India, the Israeli source and the senior Indian military official said.

Israel’s operations against Hamas in Gaza have created a growing need for ammunition, but not radars of the type it is exporting to India, the Israeli source said.

“We made sure our [military] exports to India are not impacted,” he said.

The Indian official said Israel had ensured a steady supply of weapons bought by New Delhi, which also include drone components.
Daniel Greenfield: What the Daughter of a Freedom Center Supporter Learned Volunteering in Israel
Volunteerism has been the great untold story of Israel’s response to Oct 7. While CNN focuses on bombs falling in Gaza and urban warfare, much of the real action that has enabled a small nation to continue functioning even with a massive call up of reserve soldiers has been the incredible number of people who have stepped up.

From housewives baking cookies to people bringing washing machines on pickup trucks so soldiers can wash their clothes, the response has been incredible. Reserve soldiers have gone away only to have neighbors run their businesses and take care of their homes. And there have also been a lot of volunteers coming from abroad.

The ‘cowboys’ visiting Israel made headlines, but there have been plenty of volunteers, Jewish and non-Jewish, coming over.

Recently, Polly Levine, the daughter of longtime David Horowitz Freedom Center supporter Tammy Steinsapir volunteered in Israel, and wrote about her experiences for the Jewish Journal.

On the Wednesday of my week-long volunteering mission, I found myself back in southern Israel, near Be’er Sheva, at an IDF base preparing food boxes for the soldiers in Gaza. I was surprised to see hundreds of volunteers from all over the world: Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, France, Mexico and beyond. It was quite heartwarming and only confirms my belief that we are a people of unity and problem solvers.

Everyone volunteering at the base worked together on an assembly line, making boxes, adding stickers, and filling them with canned food and dried soup. Never one for self-pity, we Jews do what must be done – a spirit that has sustained us for 4,000 years.

On my last morning, I arrived on the bus with my eyes half closed, only to learn I would be heading to a farm near Haifa to plant broccoli. Immediately, I perked up as being in an open field on a warm day was most certainly my happy place. We ended up planting broccoli seedlings. It is laborious yet gratifying. The sandy earth was a gorgeous color and had a soft smell. Surrounded by cypress trees, I literally felt as if I was in an impressionist painting.

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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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