Thursday, February 29, 2024

From Ian:

Lipstadt urges US Jews not to ‘go underground’ amid surging antisemitism
She told the congregation that bad actors, particularly autocratic regimes, are fanning the flames of antisemitism to undermine faith in democracies, and that “all government leaders” agree with that assessment, as do members of the US intelligence community.

When members of the public buy into antisemitic conspiracies claiming Jews control elections, the media, or banks, they have “essentially given up on democracy,” she told the audience at Central Synagogue, indicating a loss of faith in the system or that the government cannot ensure their welfare.

She said that trend had become more pronounced since October 7. She highlighted increased antisemitism on social media platforms controlled by the Chinese government, speculating that promoting antisemitic messages could be a way to subvert American interests.

She compared efforts to stoke antisemitism to a “cooking spoon to stir up the pot” of societal discord. If people don’t feel safe due to real or perceived threats, they lose faith in their governing system, she told the congregation.

“If you think you’re a failed state, if you think the government can’t protect you if you think terrible things are going on, then you feel unstable,” she said.

Lipstadt was in New York for a series of meetings, including on Wednesday at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Ahead of the trip to New York, she traveled to Germany for the Munich Security Conference and held meetings in London. Her visit to Central Synagogue and conversation with its rabbi, Angela Buchdahl, was co-sponsored by the synagogue and UJA Federation of New York.

During her visit this month to Europe, she met with American United Nations representatives and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, whom she applauded for speaking “passionately” about Hamas hostages and antisemitism. Guterres has come under fire from Israel and its advocates for saying in October that Hamas’s brutal incursion “did not happen in a vacuum,” as well as repeatedly expressing concern about Israel’s military operations in Gaza alongside his condemnations of Hamas.

Lipstadt decried rhetoric from others in the international community, however, saying recent statements by the UN special rapporteur for the Palestinians, Francesca Albanese, were “beneath contempt” and “overtly antisemitic.” Albanese, who once said that the “Jewish lobby” controls the US and has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, said this month that October 7 victims were not targeted because of Judaism, but because of “Israeli oppression.” The statements drew public rebukes from Israel, the US, France and Germany.
The “Occupation” Dodge
A naïve interlocuter might ask the throngs of young people clamoring for Palestinian liberation what makes Palestine “occupied.” There is only one answer: Jews are sovereign over it. Hamas and its cheerleaders want to liberate Palestine from Jewish control. Is there a difference between murdering Israelis because one hates Jews and doing so because one would sooner burn them alive than accept Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish ancestral homeland?

Recognizing that this line of reasoning does not end well, most anti-Israel activists today have taken an additional step. They argue that removing Jewish sovereignty from Israel is not necessary because Jews are Jews, per se, but because Jews are not “indigenous” to the territory. Liberating Palestine is thus an anti-colonial struggle to restore property to its original national owner. Western students and progressive activists have increasingly adopted this position to deflect accusations of anti-Semitism.

This logic has many problems, too, but let’s focus on just one: If Jews are non-indigenous occupiers in the land that was once called Judea, where do they belong? Where are Jews indigenous? For those who refuse to say, “Israel,” the question yields only bad answers. The most common one is that Jews belong in Europe—a very bad answer indeed. Many Jews, including a majority of Jews in Israel, are Mizrahi or Sephardi, meaning that their forebears spent their diasporic millennia in the Middle East and North Africa. Most of these Jews never lived in Europe. Even Ashkenazi Jews have distinct genetic markers showing that we are quite similar genetically to Levantine Arabs.

What the indigeneity argument (or any other attempt to deny the Jewish connection to Israel) amounts to is a doubly unacceptable claim: first, that Jews are not a unified ethno-religious group that traces its ancestry to ancient Israel, as Jews claim; second, that today’s Jews are impostors who pretend to descend from the ancient Israelites so they can steal property from downtrodden natives.

If these excuses for so-called anti-Zionism end up sounding like the deranged rantings of a conspiracy theorist, that is no coincidence. After all, in some quarters—say, college campuses, the UN, or Hamas—advancing wild theories about the perfidious Jews duping the world is a sure road to advancing your career.

Bari Weiss: What It Means to Choose Freedom
This past Sunday, I gave a speech at the 92nd Street Y called “The State of World Jewry.” The address is a historic one. Over four decades, it has been delivered by the likes of Elie Wiesel, Abba Eban, Amos Oz, and more.

But for a sense of the state of Jewish life in America these days, you need only to have walked by the building that night. You would’ve found that police had cordoned off the entire block—and for good reason. Anti-Israel protesters, many wearing masks, gathered to intimidate those who came to the lecture. On the way in, you would’ve been screamed at—told you were a “baby killer” and “genocide supporter” among other choice phrases. You might have even glimpsed Jerry Seinfeld being heckled and called “Nazi scum” on his way out of the talk. (Classy.)

This is of a piece with what’s happening across the country at Jewish events.

On Monday at the University of Berkeley, to choose one of so many examples, a violent mob gathered outside an event featuring an IDF reservist. The students who gathered to hear him—and never got a chance to—were forced to evacuate. One student reported being physically assaulted. Another says he was spat on. Various students say the mob yelled slurs including “Jew, Jew, Jew.”

I am beyond grateful to the NYPD, and the entire staff of the 92nd Street Y, for making sure that everyone who attended the talk was able to do so safely. But everyone must ask themselves: Do we want to live in a country in which simply giving a speech about a Jewish subject requires serious police protection? What does that reality say about the state of our country and our freedoms?

I hope the words I delivered offer some measure of explanation about the moment we find ourselves in and how we might emerge from it. You can watch the video just below. The transcript follows.

‘Future of Judea & Samaria’: Former US envoy unveils sovereignty plan
Israel suffered the worst massacre in its history on Oct. 7, at the hands of Hamas—an Iranian terror proxy that was voted into power and continues to be supported by the majority of Palestinians in Gaza. The attack proved longstanding Israeli fears that any independent Palestinian entity without overriding Israeli security control would become a staging ground for barbaric terrorism against the Jewish state.

And now, as Israel fights to permanently remove Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror organization, from the Gaza Strip, key members of the international community, including the United States and the United Kingdom, are doubling down on calls for the creation of a Palestinian state in all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. These nations are considering official recognition of Palestinian statehood, while Israel fights to restore order in the region, whether or not Israelis or Palestinians support a two-state outcome, let alone are willing and able to reach an elusive agreement.

Yet for the international community, there has only been a singular proposal for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: dividing a tiny parcel of land, one smaller than New Jersey, into two separate states for peoples with opposing religions and cultures.

It is in this context that former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is now proposing an alternative that recognizes the Jewish state’s biblical claims to Judea and Samaria, as well as Israel’s abilities to police the territory and build lasting infrastructure that can improve the standard of living for all the residents of the world’s most contested territory.

Friedman on Thursday unveiled a paradigm-shifting proposal calling for full Israeli sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

The plan, dubbed “The Future of Judea & Samaria” and devised by the former ambassador’s Friedman Center for Peace Through Strength, seeks to deliver a “solution that protects Israel’s security, respects Biblical covenants and affords civil rights and human dignity to all.”

Friedman knows a thing or two about bringing peace to the Middle East. He served as America’s ambassador to Israel under President Donald Trump. The years in which he served were among the quietest in Israel from a security perspective, in large part because of the defunding of Israel’s enemies, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the Palestinian Authority and many of its supporting U.N. agencies.

The Trump administration also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and declared that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria are not inconsistent with international law—a policy now being challenged by the Biden administration. More impressive yet was the signing of four historic peace treaties between Israel and its neighbors across the greater Middle East and North Africa, known as the Abraham Accords.

While the successful ambassador has yet to discuss any future role with the former president, it is widely believed that Friedman could once again occupy a key post with significant policymaking influence in the Middle East should Trump win reelection in November.
When the US supported Zionist territorial claims
ON MAY 25, 1946, Transjordan became the “Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.” Subsequently, King Abdullah applied for membership in the newly formed United Nations. The Soviet Union vetoed the request as his country was not “fully independent” of British control while British troops remained stationed there.

As for the United States, the documentation indicates that the State Department declined to approve Jordan’s membership based on a legal problem. It was only after Israel was established that Jordan was accepted.

Moreover, America only recognized it as a state in 1949. The State Department’s reasoning was that the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention, mentioned above, permitted the US to delay any unilateral British action to terminate the mandate unless Jews obtained their state as well.

The State Department accepted the Jewish Agency’s claim that Transjordan had been part of the original Palestine Mandate. Since the mandate’s unique purpose was solely to reconstitute the historic Jewish national home, until that was accomplished, no territory could be fully separated from the mandate.

The Palestine Mandate’s territorial conceptualization, linking both statehood and land, was that Jordan could not exist without first resolving the matter of a Jewish national home. The two were intertwined.

Internal State Department deliberations arrived at the conclusion that the original status of Transjordan was territory within the Mandate of Palestine area. As such, the territory east of the Jordan River had the potential to become part of the historic Jewish homeland. A Jewish entity had to be resolved before Jordan could come into being.

Secretary of State James F. Byrnes spoke out against premature recognition of Transjordan and insisted that Jordan’s membership application should not be considered until the question of Palestine as a whole was addressed.

Members of Congress also became involved, introducing resolutions demanding the postponement of any international determination of the status of Transjordan until the future status of Palestine as a whole was determined.

In essence, Jordan’s independence in 1946 was challenged based on the League of Nations 1922 decision that a separate geopolitical entity other than the Jewish national home had not been formed east of the Jordan River. “Jewish Palestine” stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. In fact, during the General Assembly deliberations on Palestine, there were suggestions to incorporate part of Transjordan’s territory into the proposed Jewish state.

To return to 2024, not only has Blinken erred in reversing Pompeo’s proclamation, but there can be no doubt that Judea and Samaria, lying west of the Jordan River, are territories legally and legitimately proper for Jewish residence and construction.
Exploring Israel's Statehood and the Palestinian Refugee Issue: A Conversation with Dr. Einat Wilf
Join Dan Senor in a captivating discussion with Dr. Einat Wilf as they unravel the intricate journey towards Israel's statehood and delve into the complexities of the Palestinian refugee issue. Recorded live from Tel Aviv's Startup Nation central headquarters, this interview offers invaluable insights into Israel's struggle for sovereignty, from the euphoria of the 1990s peace process to the harsh realities of Arab rejectionism. Dr. Wilf, a leading expert on Middle Eastern affairs, shares her personal journey from politics to the war of ideas and back, providing a compelling narrative of historical context, including the impact of the Ottoman Empire, British mandates, and the pivotal UN Resolution 181. Additionally, gain a deeper understanding of the Palestinian refugee issue as Dr. Wilf analyzes its origins, political influences, and the role of UNWRA in perpetuating refugee status for generations. Don't miss this enlightening conversation with two distinguished voices in the field. Subscribe now and stay tuned for more engaging discussions on global issues.

UN's Turk calls Gaza war a carnage, urges arms embargo on Israel
The Gaza war is a “carnage” and an arms embargo should be applied against Israel and others involved in the fighting, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said on Thursday.

“Thousands of tons of munitions have been dropped by Israel on Gaza, including repeated use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects,” Turk told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, whose 55th session opened this week.

He described the impact of the IDF bombings on Gaza, which at the start of the war was home to 2.3 million people.

“These weapons send out a massive blast wave of high pressure that may rupture internal organs, as well as fragmentation projectiles, and heat so intense that it causes deep burns – and they have been used in densely populated residential neighborhoods,” he described.

Calling an end to the Gaza war
“The war in Gaza must end. Clear violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws, including war crimes and possibly other crimes under international law, have been committed by all parties. It is time – well past time – for peace, investigation, and accountability,” he said.

International humanitarian law, he warned, is incumbent on all parties, not just those directly involved in the conflict, but also their allies who were sending arms.

“This responsibility comes alive when there is a real risk that arms transferred to a party to a conflict may be used in violation of this law.

“Any such enabling of violations of international humanitarian law must cease at once. This is the core of due diligence,” he said.

Israeli Minister Says Trade with Arab Nations Undamaged by Gaza War
Israel's economy minister on Tuesday said trade relations with Arab states had not been affected by the Gaza war, the cost of which he added his country was able to bear.

"There is no change at all" in trade relations, Nir Barkat told journalists on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization's 13th ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi.

"Things are very stable... I think the leadership understands we have the same goal, which is to collaborate in a peaceful way."

When asked about Israel's economic losses due to the war, Barkat said it could add "anywhere between 150 to 200 billion shekels ($42-55 billion)" to the country's national debt.

"That's not something Israel cannot bear mid- to long-term," he said.

In January, Israel's cabinet approved an additional 55 billion shekels ($15 billion) to meet the cost of the war, while the mobilisation of reservists and the displacement of communities on the borders with Gaza and Lebanon have disrupted the economy.
The former US Ambassador to Israel who can't get basic facts right
Could Indyk really not know how, when and why Jordan was created? Not likely. More likely is that he was being deliberately disingenuous when he skipped 1922 and went straight to 1937.

Another blatant error by Indyk in his Foreign Affairs article concerns the crucial issue of Palestinian Arab refugees. After the UN’s 1947 resolution, he writes, “The ensuing war led to the founding of the state of Israel; millions of Palestinians, meanwhile, became refugees, and their national aspirations languished.”

How many falsehoods can an alleged “expert” pack into one sentence?

First, the war of 1948 was not just “an ensuing war,” as if both sides were culpable. It was unprovoked Arab aggression. Israel did not invade any Arab countries; five Arab armies invaded Israel.

Second, “millions” of Palestinian Arabs did not become refugees. Mainstream historians and demographers estimate that about 1.3-million Arabs lived in the Palestinian Mandate in 1947, and between 600,000 and 700,000 of them left their homes to get out of the way of the invading Arab armies. Not “millions.”

Third, their “national aspirations” did not “languish.” They had no "national aspirations" as they had still not invented the "Palestinian Arab nation." Their aspiration was to annihilate Israel, and they acted on it every day. There were constant Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks throughout the 1950s and continuing ever since. In 1964, they established the PLO and invented "national aspirations." They have since fought endlessly for those “national aspirations,” that is, to replace Israel with “Palestine”—by murdering Jews.

Fourth, when Indyk gets to 1967, he does it again. He writes that the Six Day War “placed millions of Palestinians under direct Israeli control.” Wrong again. In 1967, there were about 400,000 Arabs living in Gaza, and another 900,000 living in Judea-Samaria. Not “millions.”

I understand why Indyk inflates the numbers. The larger the number, the worse Israel looks. But changing history to score political points is just wrong.

Martin Indyk wants us to trust him. He wants Israel and world Jewry to believe that based on his vast experience, he knows best how to bring about Middle East peace. But looking at his new Foreign Affairs article, so chock full of bias, exaggerations, and omissions of key historical facts—all to Israel’s detriment—I would say that he has not yet earned the Jewish People’s trust. In fact, he has probably lost any chance of doing so.
The curious case of ahistorical historian William Dalrymple
Dalrymple has long been one of the most highly regarded writers in his field. He has won the Wolfson History Prize, the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Hemingway, the Kapuciski, the Arthur Ross Medal of the US Council on Foreign Relations, the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year and, in 2018, he was awarded the President’s Medal of the British Academy, the Academy’s highest honour, for “outstanding service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences”.

But since October 7 his social media feed has become almost unhinged in its obsession with Israel and those who support Israel’s right to defend itself.

I should be clear that I am not alleging Dalrymple is antisemitic. But you don’t have to be an antisemite to have a particular response to Jews. And since October 7, Dalrymple’s social media posts reveal a very particular view.

When other Jews told him on the site that they too feel intimidated by the marches, he effectively told them that they were wrong, pointing to the (actually very small) number of Jews who have attended the protests – as if that means anything. There were, of course, Jews who supported Jeremy Corbyn. That meant nothing other than that there were indeed some Jews who supported Jeremy Corbyn – the likes of Jewish Voice for Labour.

Indeed, earlier this month, Dalrymple wrote of Neturei Karta, the fringe cult of Charedi Jews who have protested against Israel’s military operation (because they support Iran, attack the existence of Israel, ally themselves with Holocaust deniers and oppose Israel at every opportunity no matter how appalling the company): “They are heroes.”

This lack of regard for basic research – it would have taken Dalrymple ten seconds to find out that Neturei Karta are plain nasty – is almost astonishing from one of the world’s leading historians. Almost so, because his loathing of Israel and Israel’s supporters appears to have so clouded his mind that it has become par for the course.

There are any number of idiots obsessed with Jews and Israel on social media. Anyone who speaks up for Israel is used to dealing with – and often ignoring – them. But Dalrymple is no idiot. He matters. Which means that what he posts matters – and can have consequences. In December, for example, Dalrymple posted that Jake Wallis Simons, the editor of this newspaper, was an “Islamophobe & notorious hater of the Palestinians”. On being told by that this was defamatory, he deleted the post. But the damage was done. had been screenshot and remains in circulation (including in rather bizarre “Evil Zionist Monster” assemblage ).

I could go on with more of his obsession, but it’s all in the same vein. Dalrymple is one of a long line of posh Arabists who have for many years inhabited the upper strata of British society (and, notoriously, the Foreign Office), most obviously since Lawrence of Arabia. This pro-Arabism morphed into anti-Zionism after the creation of the Jewish state in 1948. For the likes of Sir Ian Gilmour, the late Tory MP, the idea of the Jew as a creature with its own state was unconscionable.

I have followed Dalrymple on Twitter/X for many years. Until October 7 he was clearly anti-Zionist, but not especially notably so. Something has changed, however. Not that I will now get to find out what: last week he blocked me.
Is Gaza Really the Biggest Case of Arab Suffering?
What would a Sudanese person watching that country’s renewed civil war — which has killed 14,000, displaced eight million, and threatens 17 million with famine in less than a year — think when they this CBS headline: “Gaza faces unprecedented desperation.”

Sudan has a population of 46 million, Gaza only has two million.

Between 2004 and 2009, the Sudanese regime killed 400,000 people in Sudan. Millions were displaced and still live today in camps suffering acute hunger and the spread of cholera. Since then, the Sudanese regime has disintegrated into its components: its the army and its militias. Since April, the two sides have been engaged in a civil war, causing even more Sudanese deaths, displacement, and agony.

A child in Sudan is dying every hour, according to Medecins Sans Frontier. The International Rescue Committee lists the war in Sudan as the top concern of its 2024 Emergency Watchlist.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that 25 million Sudanese are in need of assistance. Close to 18 million of them face acute hunger, 4.9 million on emergency levels. Of the $2.7 billion needed for Sudan in 2024, UN agencies have received $96.7 million, amounting to only four percent.

Yet, the Sudanese tragedy never seems to attract as much attention as the newer and much smaller conflict in Gaza. UN Secretary General Secretary General António Guterres said about Gaza: “We are witnessing a killing of civilians that is unparalleled and unprecedented in any conflict since I have been Secretary-General.”

But Guterres is wrong.
This unique IDF radar saved Israel from Gaza hospital attack accusations
On October 17, Hamas falsely started to claim that Israel had attacked the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, leading to the killing of several hundred civilians.

Had this been true or ultimately been believed to be true, the US and the West might have prevented Israel from invading Gaza before the invasion could even start around a week later.

In the public view, the IDF Spokesperson's Office released findings on the evening of October 17 and additional findings the next morning to prove that the attack came from a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket and not from Israel.

Additional intelligence also reduced the number of Gazan civilians who had been killed by the Islamic Jihad misfire.

But behind the scenes, the initial key findings were based on information obtained by the special radar of the IDF 611th Battalion of the 282nd Firepower Brigade, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Generally, the radar is used to assist Iron Dome to tracking and shooting down rockets and to assist artillery to accurately hitting Hezbollah and Hamas forces, but in this case, the radar became a crucial element in maintaining the Jewish state's legitimacy for self-defense, including its later counter-invasion of Gaza.

In movie-like fashion, upon hearing the fake news coming out of the incident, IDF Lt. Col. "B" ordered various staffers to remove a hard disk from the radar in the North and to travel around an hour as fast as possible to another location where the intelligence on the hard disk could be relayed directly to IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi.

Retrieving the disk and transporting it to the right point as well as relaying the information in a period of less than two hours so that Halevi and the IDF spokesman's office could get out in front of the attacked hospital story and call out Hamas's lies was described by some IDF sources as a "real life James Bond mission."
Pentagon walks back Austin's Gaza casualty figures
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Congress on Thursday that more than 25,000 women and children had been killed by Israel in Gaza since October 7, but the Pentagon later clarified that estimate, saying the figure came from the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, not U.S. intelligence.

During a congressional hearing, Austin was asked how many Palestinian women and children had been killed by Israel and Austin replied: "It is over 25,000."

A few hours later, Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokesperson, said that Austin was citing an estimate from the Gaza health ministry and was referring to total Palestinians killed, not just women and children.

"We cannot independently verify these Gaza casualty figures," Singh said in a statement.

IDF Statement Regarding Humanitarian Convoy in Gaza

Norway says PA received $114 million from Israel
Norway announced on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority received 407 million shekels ($114 million) from Israel as part of a deal earlier this month between Oslo and Jerusalem to unfreeze tax funds for Ramallah.

The Scandinavian country on Feb. 18 agreed to serve as an intermediary to transfer funds earmarked for the P.A. that were frozen in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas-led massacre in southern Israel. Oslo said that more funds would be transferred in the coming days.

“This money is absolutely necessary to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, to ensure that the Palestinians receive vital services, and that teachers and health workers are paid,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.

Israel’s Security Cabinet last month approved a decision to freeze funds from reaching the Palestinian Authority that the latter planned to send to the Gaza Strip. Instead, Jerusalem decided to channel the money to a third party, Norway, for safekeeping.

The decision, which enjoys U.S. backing, prevents Gaza-earmarked funds from reaching the P.A. “under any circumstances” unless approved by the finance minister, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Israel’s Finance Ministry collects taxes and customs duties on behalf of the P.A., which it transfers to the entity monthly.
Islamist denialism has reached crisis levels
What the police probe into Anderson suggests is that the authorities would far rather push back on the critics of Islamism than on Islamism itself. They are even prepared to use the brute force of the law to try to hush up those critics.

In many ways, this is simply the logical outcome of the crusade against Islamophobia. Indeed, as Tim Black pointed out on spiked earlier this week, adopting Labour’s preferred definition of Islamophobia would not only outlaw racist bigotry towards Muslim citizens, it would also criminalise opposition to Islamic extremism and religious fundamentalism. It would codify and give legal backing to the informal censorship that is already menacing 21st-century Britain, where teachers are forced to live in hiding for showing a cartoon of Muhammad, where films are pulled from the cinema for portraying the prophet in CGI, and where artworks are pulled from show for satirising the barbarians of ISIS. All of these grotesque acts of theocratic censorship have been justified or at least tolerated on the grounds of combating Islamophobia.

Anderson was, of course, wrong to suggest that our political elites are ‘controlled’ by Islamists. But they have certainly shown their willingness to appease Islamists. By changing parliament’s rules to placate the Islamist mob. By dismissing criticism of Islamism as racist. By arguing for what are effectively Islamic blasphemy laws.

Whether this is out of a genuine fear of Islamist reprisals or simply fear of being branded ‘Islamophobic’, the outcome is pretty much the same. It means the chilling of those voices who would speak out against Islamism. It means covering up the threat of Islamism rather than confronting it in the open. It means that Islamism is emboldened and made to seem untouchable.

The elites’ denialism of the Islamist threat has now reached crisis levels.
If Berkeley Wants to Protect Free Speech It Will Expel Its Rioters
It’s said that civilization was founded the moment a man flung a word at his enemy instead of a spear. On our most elite college campuses—most recently, the University of California, Berkeley—the plan seems to be to unfound it.

Earlier this week, a student group called Bears for Palestine published on Instagram its intention of “combatting lies” by shutting down an event featuring Israeli Defense Forces reservist and lawyer Ran Bar-Yoshafat.

“This individual is dangerous,” the post continued. “He has committed crimes against humanity, is a genocide denier, and we will not allow for this event to go on. . . . SHUT IT DOWN.”

Before the event was scheduled to begin Monday evening, hundreds of student protesters descended on the building where it was supposed to take place—banging on doors and windows, preventing students from entering, forcing their way in, and shouting “intifada, intifada.”

Protesters broke glass doors. One male student alleges being spit on by a protester. Another student—a woman—was injured. Yet another student claims that “Jew” was screamed as an epithet.

The mob got their way. The event was canceled. Bar-Yoshafat, along with the students who had attended the event, were escorted out the back of the theater.

This has to stop.

On the Palestinianisation of Israel Studies
Since 7 October it’s become clearer than ever that the conflicts between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian students on American campuses are proxy wars for the real war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Instead of missiles and bullets, the students use words and ideology as their weapons, with ‘decolonisation’, ‘Zionism’, and ‘genocide’ a few of the terms used for battle.

This is the background to the announcement of a new academic journal, the Palestine/Israel Review. In the introduction, the scholars Tamir Sorek and Honaida Ghanim argue that the
separated study of Palestinians and Israelis obscures an emerging cross-disciplinary understanding that Palestinian and Israeli societies are both intertwined and independent and that, in many cases, our analysis of social, political, and cultural processes suffers when we examine them separately.

This is an interesting premise, and it’s important to state from the outset that there’s nothing objectionable about examining Palestinian and Israeli society from this perspective. Where relevant, examining the intertwined nature of the two societies is a valuable endeavour: one that, when done appropriately, can help shed light on the situation in all sorts of interesting ways.

However, a closer look reveals that the authors are only calling for contributions from scholars who share their very particular perspective on Israeli and Palestinian society and indeed on Israel Studies itself. They write: ‘Israel Studies emerged as part of an effort to mobilize American public opinion for supporting Israel,’ while ‘Palestine studies was born as a defensive mode to tell a story that had been eclipsed and silenced.’ Today, there are more than 30 units, centres, institutes, and endowed chairs (without a centre) in Israel Studies worldwide (not including two units inside Israel and the Occupied Territories), and four English-language academic journals dedicated to Israel. Meanwhile, there are now four endowed centres or positions in the United States and the UK dedicated to Palestine Studies, and three journals. ‘Because we consider our journal as extending the field of Palestine Studies,’ the authors write, ‘the above-mentioned institutional weakness of the field, by itself, is a good reason for establishing another platform for publication in the field.’

This comparison is false because it downplays the importance of Middle Eastern Studies. There are hundreds of Middle Eastern Studies centres across the US whose size and impact are today far more significant than Israel Studies. Flush with Saudi and Qatari funding, they have disseminated the idea of Israel as an illegitimate settler colonial entity – an idea that the founders of this new journal require its authors to share – for decades. As the authors themselves concede, the Palestinian narrative is ‘more firmly anchored and more globally accepted than at any time in the past century.’ It would be more accurate to say that the Palestinian position is now dominant in the academy – and particularly in Middle Eastern Studies – except for some Israel Studies departments. Thus, the real objective of the journal is to render illegitimate this tiny corner of the academy still offering an alternative to the hegemonic narrative.

Predictably, then, much of the authors’ disdain is directed at Israel Studies. The authors give the example of a study of the impact of the Law of Return on Reform and Conservative Jewish converts, and how this
ignores the role this law has played in the Judaization of the country and the dispossession of Palestinians. The omission of these aspects not only normalizes them and tacitly legitimizes dispossession, but also misses the broader matrix of power within which these intra-Jewish struggles are taking place.
Has antisemitism become the raison d’etre of my identity?
To quote Vicky Pollard (the creation of Matt Lucas, another brilliant Jew): “No but, yeah but, no but…”.

No but… I live a full life. I’m blessed with a richness of family and friends, and my big love, Greg, and my little love, Pops (vom. I know. I’m sorry). I’m a dedicated disciple of yoga and the Gilmore Girls, and spend a huge number of my waking hours thinking about what I’m going to eat next. As for my Jewish identity, I nurture that too; making Shabbat, going to shul, celebrating the festivals, and stuffing my face with challah and rugelach and bagels on the regs.

Yeah but… if I’m being completely honest, antisemitism does, at times, become the raison d’etre of my social media identity (and in this age, are any of us much more than what we post online?). I am that angry Jew, screaming into the void. Or at least, I’m sure that’s what some people see – and that doesn’t feel great, in many ways.

No but… I never started any of this – learning about antisemitism, writing about antisemitism, posting about antisemitism – because I wanted to. I had to. I had to fight. And that feeling has only grown stronger. (As I’m sure many of you already know by now) Jews are just 0.2% of the global population – around 15.7 million people. In the digital age, this means that when incredibly influential celebrities like the Hadid sisters – Gigi Hadid (78.4 million Instagram followers), Bella Hadid (60.9 million Instagram followers) – or Kanye West (19.8 million followers) share antisemitic posts, these ideas reach more people than there are Jews on earth. That is pretty fucking terrifying.

But as much as I can make excuses and argue it all away, I’d be a fool not to heed Lipstadt’s warning. It’s complicated. No part of me wants to stop learning or talking about antisemitism, or trying to combat disinformation within my tiny sphere of digital influence. But I also don’t want to let it define me. I don’t really have all answers right now, but I will try to move forward with Lipstadt’s words ringing in my ears, reminding me that letting other people’s hate define your life is no way to live. I guess that’s a start.
'Friends' actor David Schwimmer sounds alarm on anti-Semitic posters at UC Santa Barbara: ' Happening on campuses all across the country'
Friends’ actor David Schwimmer took to Instagram on Wednesday to raise awareness of the blatantly anti-Semitic posters put up at the University of California, Santa Barbara MultiCultural Center (MCC).

As reported by Campus Reform, an MCC Instagram caption from earlier this week contained posters from the center’s entrance doors, which contained a sign reading “Zionists not welcome.”

“When people are occupied, Resistance is justified,” “Zionists get 0 bitches,” and “Zionists are not welcomed! Stay away from our kitchen too!” other posters read.

In some of the posts, University of California, Santa Barbara Associated Students President Tessa Veksler, who says she’s “unapologetically Jewish,” was targeted in the signs that were posted.

One sign painted Veksler as a “racist Zionist,” with another warning that “you can run but you can’t hide Tessa Veksler.” At least two other posters accused Veksler of “support[ing] genocide.”

Schwimmer, who is Jewish, pointed his followers to Veksler’s Instagram post.

”@Ucsantabarbara Student Body President harassed, intimidated, and threatened for one reason only: being Jewish,” Schwimmer wrote. “This is happening on campus[es] all across the country.”

”Please read her post,” Schwimmer added.

”I am deeply upset by the blatant antisemitic messaging displayed at UCSB’s Multicultural Center. (we see the irony, right?),” Veksler wrote in her post. “I do not feel safe on campus. How can Jewish students feel safe at UCSB when they see a Jewish leader being explicitly targeted? This is dehumanizing and rooted in antisemitism.”

“The Jewish people are not going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere,” she added.
University of California Santa Barbara Says Campus is ‘Distressed’ By Antisemitic Harassment
University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) has issued a statement condemning the antisemitic harassment of its Jewish student body president, Tessa Veksler, while reports emerged on social media that a school official who engaged in antisemitic conduct in the building where Veksler was harassed has been terminated.

“The campus was distressed to learn of incidents over the weekend that included offensive social media message and signage on one of our buildings,” a university spokesperson told The Algemeiner in a statement. “The signage has been removed and campus is conducting a bias incident review based on potential discrimination related to protected categories that include religion, citizenship, and or ethnic origin.”

The spokesperson added, “The posting of such messages is a violation of our principles of community and inclusion.”

As The Algemeiner previously reported, UCSB Student Association president Tessa Veksler discovered in the school’s multicultural center over a dozen messages, written on placards, which said, “resistance is justified,” “you can run but you can’t hide Tessa Veksler,” and “get these Zionists out of office.” In marker, someone else graffitied “Zionist not allowed” on the door, just inches away from a mezuzah.

Tessa Veksler is a fourth year political science major who was elected in April 2023 as president of UCSB Associated Students (AS), making history by becoming the school’s first ever Shabbat observant student body president. At the time, she told The Algemeiner that becoming president was always a “far-distant” goal of hers.

On Wednesday, StopAntisemitism, an antisemitism watchdog, reported that Micky Brown, a multicultural center employee who once used the center’s social media account to say that Jews should “go back to Poland,” is no longer employed by the university. Additionally, “all near feature events” the multicultural center planned to hold this semester are canceled, StopAntisemitism added.

The harassment to which Tessa Veksler was subjected prompted reactions across social media. Jewish community leaders, as well as her friends, denounced the conduct and noted that it is representative of the experiences of Jewish college students throughout the country.

Moral Crisis in Psychoanalysis: Anti-Israel Hate Allowed in the Profession
In March of 2023, the Executive Committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) decided to disinvite a controversial speaker, Dr. Lara Sheehi, for its summer conference following a civil rights complaint against George Washington University (GWU), where Sheehi stands accused of antisemitism, promoting anti-Israeli hate speech, harassment, and discrimination against her Jewish and Israeli students.

Dr. Dorthy Holmes, Chair of the Holmes Commission for Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis (HC) and her co-chairs, Drs. Anton Hart, Dionne Powell, and Beverly Stoute, immediately issued a statement condemning APsaA and its then president, Dr. Kerry Sulkowicz, for perpetrating racism and discrimination against Sheehi, who is Lebanese and a person of color. Sulkowicz in turn resigned as president of APsaA and cited antisemitism as a factor.

Although Sheehi has denied being antisemitic, despite evidence to the contrary, she has become a Hamas apologist and sympathizer after the October 7 massacre in Israel. She then left GWU in the lurch with its impending civil rights complaint in front of the US Department of Education after taking a new faculty position in Qatar, the lavish host of Hamas. Dr. Sheehi, who is currently president of the Psychoanalytic Division (39) of the American Psychological Association (APA), has yet to be terminated from her position by the Board of Directors of Division 39 or the APA, despite her support of a terrorist organization. It is incomprehensible how the APA leadership would continue to incorrigibly champion a defender of a terrorist group.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, why do Jewish colleagues, people of color, and any of her contemporaries still support her, knowing full-well that her actions, deception, and denials are simply subterfuge for her anti-Jewish hatred? Some of Sheehi’s friends and colleagues have confided in me that they were duped by her charisma and what they now understand to be lies; however, they have been reluctant to denounce her publicly. How can the Holmes Commission for Racial Equality of the APsaA remain silent about these new-found facts after having unequivocally backed her? Why does the Division 39 Board of the APA not issue a statement condemning her, let alone take the moral imperative to terminate her as president after public outcry and scores of resignations from Jews and members disgusted with the Division’s complicity in promoting antisemitism?
UNLV police end Israeli professor's black holes lecture after protest
An Israeli physics professor's lecture on black holes was ended by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, after pro-Palestinian protesters burst into the room on Tuesday afternoon, Bar Ilan University physics department Professor Asaf Peer and the UNLV told The Jerusalem Post.

Peer said that he was 15 minutes into his guest lecture when a group of protesters entered the room with banners and flags. Students in the room looked shocked and embarrassed, according to the professor. Peer invited the activists to stay and learn about black holes and said that they could talk about unrelated issues after the lecture.

The students held signs that protested the death of Islamic University of Gaza president and physicist Sufyan Tayeh. Reuters reported that the Palestinian Higher Education Ministry announced that Tayeh was killed in an Israeli airstrike on December 2. Other signs accused Peer of supporting "genocide," with mention of an organization called Tax Payers for Peace.

"Hey Asaf Peer! Because of 1948's Nakba in Palestine, you were able to obtain your Ph.D. in illegally occupied Ramat Gan. Is that why you support genocide?" read the signs. "Didn't higher education teach us to be ethical? Why is the administration supporting speakers who openly support genocide?"

The protesters continued to shout, and the campus police were summoned. Peer said that the police told him that they could not remove the protesters because it was a public event and their expulsion would constitute an infringement of free speech rights.

A UNLV spokesperson said that the public event was ended early by a staff decision in response to the interruptions.
Queens College Muslim Student Association to hold event with speaker who defends rape, says Israel created ISIS
The Muslim Student Association at Queens College is hosting a discussion on Thursday with a man who believes Israel is actually behind ISIS, reposted a fringe conspiracy theory that Israel was involved in 9/11, and defended rape.

The speaker, Daniel Haqiqatjou, wrote a Feb. 2 article in The Muslim Skeptic titled “Is ISIS Jewish?” The National Review first highlighted the event, which is set to take place on Thursday at 5 p.m.

”Is it a coincidence that ISIS fights in keeping with the traditional Jewish law of war rather than the traditional Islamic law of war?” Haqiqatjou wrote. “In Jewish law, it is perfectly permissible to intentionally kill women, children, and the elderly – especially if they belong to a people hostile to Jews (i.e., Amelekites) or a people living in the lands promised by God (i.e., the seven nations in the land of Canaan). Islamic law, on the other hand, forbids this.”

”Islamic law, on the other hand, insists that it is the political authority (imam) who is responsible for planning and organizing military attacks. Such attacks cannot be carried out by random individuals. In other words, Islam rejects terrorist attacks carried out by randos,” he argued. “As I have explained many times, the most likely explanation for ISIS’s behavior is that it is run by Israel.”

Haqiqatjou still blames Jews even if, he says, ISIS isn’t run by Israel.

Tzipi Livni UCLA talk moved online after anti-Israel protest
A talk with former foreign minister Tzipi Livni at the University of California, Los Angeles campus on Tuesday was moved online to avoid disruptions by anti-Israel protesters.

The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies decided on Monday to host the event "Israel and the Middle East after the October 7 Massacre: Threats, Challenges, and Hopes" on Zoom "in order to avoid any disruptions." Tzipi Livni branded a 'war criminal' at UCLA

Livni had been scheduled to speak at Royce Hall, but chapters of the Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA organized the protests to make "sure war criminals are NOT welcome on our campus!"

"There is a warrant out for Livni’s arrest in the United Kingdom for her role in overseeing war crimes against Palestinians," SJP at UCLA wrote on Instagram on Monday. "In Israel’s most recent bombing campaign against Gaza, Livni has justified further war crimes and exonerated Israel to Western audiences. Join us in committing to the academic boycott, putting an end to normalization, and showing that war criminals are not welcome here!:

The Jewish Faculty Resilience Group (JFrg) at UCLA criticized the Israel Studies Dr. Dov Waxman for saying that the decision set a bad precedent for a response to antisemitic attempts to limit Livni's free speech because "because she is Jewish and is a representative of the Jewish state."

"The decision to move Ms. Livni out of Royce Hall to Zoom allows antisemitic intimidators like SJP and FJP tomarginalize Jewish voices and sends the ominous message that Jews are not physically safe on campus," JFrg chair Dr. Kira Stein wrote in an email on Monday. "Antisemitism, particularly in the form of anti-Zionism, is intimidating both faculty and students on campus. By backing down to anti-Jewish threats, antisemitism will be emboldened, and things will get worse. Already, SJP is rejoicing at this perceived weakening of UCLA."

Le Devoir Gives Credence To Misleading Claims That Large Numbers Of Palestinian Journalists Have Been Killed In Gaza

CBC’s As It Happens Gives Extensive Platform For Anti-Israel Propaganda

CBC Ottawa Radio Program Features Hardline Anti-Israel Doctor Yipeng Ge To Spread Misinformation Without Any Challenge

Mass. GOP denounces candidate who said, ‘I will also exile all Jews’
The Republican Party of Massachusetts is urging people not to vote for Lori Kauffman for the Republican State Committee.

“Don’t forget, I’ll likely get voted into office on March 5. Long-term goals are to ban same-sex marriage (never should have been legalized) and trans will be illegal. Yes illegal,” Kauffman posted on social media on Feb. 25. “I will also exile all Jews.”

When someone responded that it was good that Kauffman was kicked off LinkedIn for posting the same message, she responded: “I’m guessing you had a hand in reporting me. I have stage four cancer so there are many connections I will now not get to say goodbye to, but it’s worth it to tell the truth about what needs to be done.”

On social media, Kauffman has repeatedly self-identified as a Russian Jew. But she has posted that she doesn’t trust Jews, that Jews are weak and embarrassing, that Hitler was “based” and that Jews lie about the Holocaust.

“Yeah, I’m Jewish, but I have Christian values and believe Jews are destroying the world. Well, I don’t believe that, I know it,” she wrote last August. On Feb. 27, she wrote, “This isn’t about ‘hate’ this is about saving the country. I don’t hate trans. And I don’t hate Jews. I just wish they were Christian.”

On the same day, the Massachusetts GOP posted that it took “immediate and decisive action” on Dec. 15, when it learned Kauffman was running for the state committee, and unanimously passed “a resolution condemning Ms. Kauffman’s statements and urging her not to run for state committee.”
Two far-left House lawmakers went on a secret trip to Cuba, drawing outrage from Republicans
Progressive Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) traveled to Cuba last week — a secret trip that has outraged several Republican lawmakers.

Jayapal, the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Omar, the deputy chairwoman, led a delegation of about a dozen people to the communist island, according to the Miami Herald.

A staffer from Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) office was also among those on the trip, according to the outlet, which notes that the travel was not disclosed by the liberal lawmakers beforehand or reported on in Cuban state media.

“Representatives Jayapal and Omar traveled to Cuba last week, where they met with people from across Cuban civil society and government officials to discuss human rights and the U.S.-Cuba bilateral relationship,” a spokesperson for the progressive caucus told the Miami Herald.

The mysterious trip, which took place during a week when the House was in recess, also overlapped with a visit to Havana by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who traveled to the island as part of a Latin American tour that included stops in Venezuela and Brazil.

Cuba has been under US embargo for more than 60 years.

Jayapal and Omar, both critics of the embargo, have backed bills seeking to normalize US relations with Havana.

The pair were also among 40 House Democrats that voted against a resolution in support of peaceful demonstrations against the island’s communist government in 2021.

MPs supporting Israel reveal waves of hate targeting their families
Tory backbencher Andrew Percy said that as a Jewish MP, he had felt safer on a recent visit to Israel than he did on returning to Britain. In the past, he has had to take out restraining orders against individuals who had abused and threatened him in his constituency. “One woman called me ‘f***ing Israeli scum’, hit my arm, then said now she would have to wash herself because she had touched me,” he said.

Since October 7, Percy said, he has faced a continuing torrent of abuse. One message he showed the JC told him to “leave my country, pack your bags, go to Israel, I hope your kids suffer the same fate u wish on others”. Another told him “put on the uniform of the IDF and f*** off to Israel.” He had also received messages that denied the Holocaust, asserted that “no one cares about the Jews” and called him a “Zionist c***” and a “lying fascist bigot” who should “tramped in the gutter” and “burn in hell”.

Percy told the JC: “I’ve given up forwarding most of them to the police because there’s nothing they can do.”

He has been given enhanced security but remains fearful that “something really bad is going to happen – to a politician or the Jewish community. I worry that something is going to blow”. Percy blamed the police for failing to take decisive action against hate speech when the protest marches began after October 7, which had seemed to legitimise them.

Mike Freer, the Tory MP for Finchley and Golders Green, who has supported Israel, has already said he intends to stand down because of the threats to himself and his husband and an arson attack on his office (which was not linked to Israel).

Since then, he said, the “level of aggression and intimidation has continued to increase”.
Chorley Council meeting chaos as member confronts Gaza protestor and police arrive
The authority’s annual budget debate had already been adjourned after a group of people observing the proceedings staged a protest over the council’s response to the war in Gaza.

Chorley resident Jenny Hurley demanded to know why the ruling Labour group had not tabled a motion at Tuesday evening’s town hall meeting calling for a ceasefire in the conflict.

“Why has that not happened?” she asked.

At that point, Conservative opposition member Craige Southern shouted: “Because it’s Chorley, not bloody Gaza.”

He is then seen on video that was captured by one of the demonstrators walking towards Ms Hurley saying: “Get out, go on” – before appearing to move her towards the door of the council chamber.

Cllr Southern said in a statement issued on Tuesday that he “did not not attack anyone” – and insisted he had been protecting himself and fellow councillors, whom he claimed had been subject to the actions of “a baying mob”. He has not been arrested.

PMW: Abbas’ advisor prays for America to be punished while Abbas begs US for more money
As the United States continues to be the most important international force advocating for Gaza to be handed to the Palestinian Authority after Hamas is defeated, the PA continues to demonize the US as if it were its worst enemy, yet at the same time, it begs the US for money.

In a recent tirade against the US, the most important religious figure in the PA, Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs, defines America as the most evil force in the world endangering all of humanity:

“[America] Satan of the period, the devil of the period, Antichrist of the generation, the plague of the generation.”

[Official PA TV Live, Feb. 9, 2024]

He further accuses the United States of going to war against Islam by trying to impose Western liberal values, including acceptance of homosexuals, on the Palestinian Authority:

"America, which is fighting today – not only against the Palestinian people – it is fighting against Islam… I swear by Allah, this war is a war on religion, a war on Islam. They want us to adopt their morality and describe ourselves in their terms, the inferior and lowly terms and characteristics [such as] homosexuals, nudity, fraud, and [financial] interest."

[Official PA TV Live, Feb. 9, 2024]

While it is known that the PA emphatically rejects many liberal Western values and rejects accepting homosexuals in society, this topic has not been an issue lately. This demonization of the US by the PA’s top religious figure has nothing to do with any current American policy but is using Islamic teachings to prove that America in its essence is evil.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Countries That Want To Harbor Actual WWII Nazis Must Settle For Hamas Terrorists (satire)
Officials in several Middle East nations voiced disappointment this week that the perpetrators of the Holocaust have almost all died, leaving those nations fewer options in the realm of sheltering mass-murderers of Jews. Instead, the officials lamented, they can do no better than Palestinian or other militants whose individual body counts pale in comparison to the SS death camp guards who had a hand in as many as tens of thousands of Jewish deaths each, whereas the highest body count any individual Palestinian mass-murderer to whom they can offer asylum can muster numbers at most in the dozens.

In Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and elsewhere around the region, Arab and Muslim states can no longer hope to harbor former German or Austrian Nazis, or the collaborators of those Nazis in the various European and North African locales the Nazis occupied and attempted to exterminate Jews. Too many years have passed since Nazi Germany’s Final Solution to the Jewish Problem sputtered its last in 1945; the youngest of the death camp guards, killing squad members, or other brutal functionaries of the Holocaust have reached their mid- to late nineties and have neither the will nor the endurance to move to the Middle East. The best the region can do, Arab officials acknowledge, is harbor Hamas killers, which is nice, but not exactly thrilling to the same epic degree.

“We make a big deal about sheltering Ahlam Tamimi,” noted a Jordanian diplomat, referring to the planner and facilitator of a 2001 Jerusalem pizzeria bombing that killed sixteen and injured 130. “We gave her a TV show, and we brag about keeping her safe from Israeli and American attempts to apprehend her. But we know she’s small potatoes compared to Alois Brunner, who spent his last years in Syria.” Brunner served directly under the notorious Adolf Eichmann in the SS and had a hand in the deportation and death of about 130,000 Jews, mostly from France.

MEMRI: Al-Qaeda Essay By Sayf Al-'Adl Praises Gazan Mujahideen As Examples Of Morality, Calls To Open 'Series Of Fronts' Against Jews, Declaring Them Worse Than Nazis, Justifying The Holocaust
On February 15, 2024, Al-Sahab, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda's Central Command, published a ten-page essay titled "This is Gaza: The Days of the Ceasefire and Palestine for the Past 75 Years until Today."[1] Fifth in a series of essays released since the outbreak of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in October 2023,[2] it is ascribed to Salem Al-Sharif, referred to here also as Muhammad Salah Al-Din Zaydan, the real name of the senior Al-Qaeda leader known as Sayf Al-'Adl [Sword of Justice].[3] Since Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Kabul in July 2022, Sayf Al-'Adl is widely assumed to be running the organization from Iran, although Al-Qaeda has officially confirmed neither Al-Zawahiri's death nor his succession by Sayf Al-'Adl.[4]

Discussing the hostage deal between Hamas and Israel in late November 2023, under which Hamas freed 105 Israelis over the course of a week in exchange for about three times the number of Palestinian prisoners, Al-Sharif effusively praises the Gazan mujahideen as paragons of morality, while accusing "Jews" and "Zionists" of heinous crimes in virulently antisemitic rhetoric.

Gazan Mujahideen Are Paragons Of Morality, Their Attack Shames Muslims Who Refrain From Jihad
According to the essay, the Palestinian mujahideen are a "towering moral summit to which no nationalist or Islamic liberation movement has preceded them" in terms of their efforts to free Muslim prisoners, and all their actions are conducted "with Divine patronage." Praising the Gazan mujahideen as "giants of asymmetric warfare," Al-Sharif notes their successes in the current war, despite their weaker capabilities compared to those of Israel's military.

The essay calls Hamas' attack "shari'a proof against every weak person who refrains from jihad," which opened a "gate of shame… against the governments of Arab and Muslim countries." It asks: "Although the [Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated] International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) which neighbors the American Al-Udeid Base in Qatar issued a fatwa that jihad is an individual duty for the armies and governments, has any of the governments of shame heeded their call?"

Noting that many Muslim countries are complicit in Israel's war on Gaza, Al-Sharif further asks: "Isn't Gaza being bombed from the Americans' depots at the Al-Udeid Base in Qatar, İncirlik in Turkey, and the depots in the UAE and Saudi Arabia?" He claims that "Turkey continues to provide the Jews with all their needs of food and clothing," and asks: "Can these regimes be expected to support the mujahideen, expel ambassadors, and cut ties [with Israel]?"
'He's losing it': Nasrallah's swagger is gone as emotion takes over
One of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's greatest assets, one he crafted and cultivated and became his hallmark, is his ability to convey swagger and cynicism in his speeches. Around 70% of the messages conveyed in speeches are not related to the content itself, but to his body language, intonation, and facial expressions.

With Nasrallah, it's definitely in his intonation; every word he says is emphasized, he speaks with a half-amused grin that gives his listeners the feeling that he has another trick up his sleeve.

Swagger conveys self-confidence, and therefore anyone who hears Nasrallah manages to fall for his image - if he's swaggering, he probably knows something we don't.

The man has made psychological warfare into an artform. He doesn't do too many interviews, which creates expectations for his speeches, not only among his own public but also among viewers abroad, especially in Israel. He is very calm and composed, which helps him exude great self-confidence.

How has Nasrallah lost his confidence?
Something has changed in Nasrallah's last two speeches. Both of these speeches were made in the same week, which is the first sign that something managed to shake him.

The last two speeches also lacked his characteristic eloquence. Fluent speech is controlled by the rational parts of the brain, but in the last speech, emotion took over rationality. The speeches did not weave pearls of wisdom or linguistic expressions like Nasrallah loves to do - which all come from calculated planning of his speeches. Rather, these were particularly aggressive speeches and the primary emotion that emerged from them was anger.
Iran on Alarming Trajectory Toward Nuclear Weapons, IAEA Warns
The UN's nuclear watchdog reported on Feb. 26 that Iran remains on an alarming trajectory toward nuclear weapons. In quarterly reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned that there was "no new progress in resolving outstanding issues in this reporting period," stemming from Tehran's failure to explain past and possibly ongoing nuclear weapons work at several sites.

In addition, the reports indicate that the regime has continued to stockpile enriched uranium and expanded its ability to quickly sprint to nuclear weapons while continuing to inhibit IAEA monitoring.

Washington and its European allies have an opportunity to censure Iran's nuclear advances and its failure to cooperate with the IAEA at next week's Board of Governors meeting in Vienna. The allies can also impose a deadline for compliance.

"Washington must support the IAEA director general and push for a censure resolution calling on Iran to end its nuclear activities and cooperate with the agency," said Anthony Ruggiero, Director of FDD's Nonproliferation and Biodefense Program. "If the United States remains silent, Tehran will move one step closer to a nuclear weapon."
'Iranian Appeasement': Biden and Harris Decline White House Meeting With Kurdish Leader
The president and vice president both declined face-to-face meetings this week with the prime minister of Iraq's Kurdish region, Masrour Barzani, a U.S. ally who has served as a bulwark against Iranian efforts to infiltrate Iraq, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Barzani is in Washington, D.C., this week for a series of high-level meetings with U.S. officials at a time when Iranian terrorist proxies are running rampant across Iraq and launching attacks on American positions there. Iraq's Kurdish region, which operates semiautonomously from the central government in Baghdad, has remained a steadfast U.S. ally as the United States works to beat back Iran's growing foothold in the country.

A meeting with either President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris would have signaled U.S. support for the Kurds as they face a financial crunch sparked by the Baghdad government's decision to choke off their oil revenues. Baghdad's government has become increasingly close to Iran, and the lost revenue from oil sales is jeopardizing stability in the Kurdistan region.

Sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon, including former U.S. officials, expressed concern that neither Biden nor Harris would take the time to meet with Barzani, particularly as Iran funds a multi-pronged war against Israel and increasingly deadly attacks on American forces in the region.

It is expected that Barzani will have a sit-down with U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan, but Kurdish representatives were lobbying hard for a face-to-face with Biden or Harris, sources said. The White House has already committed to hosting a meeting between Biden and Iraqi prime minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, further underscoring tensions between Iraq's ruling parties.

Kurdish officials told the White House that a high-profile meeting would send a meaningful signal at a time when U.S. forces are being attacked by Iran-backed militias in Iraq, and Tehran is positioning itself as a key ally of Baghdad's government, according to a source familiar with the behind-the-scenes wrangling.

Poll finds nearly 1 in 4 Americans hold antisemitic views, highest in 60 years
Nearly a quarter of Americans hold antisemitic beliefs, with a disturbing reversal in trends showing that younger generations are more likely to believe in antisemitic tropes than previous generations, the Anti-Defamation League found in a survey released Thursday.

The poll of more than 4,000 US adults asked respondents the extent to which they agree with statements such as “Jews have too much power in the business world,” “Jews have too much control and influence on Wall Street” and “Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want.”

The results showed that 24 percent of Americans agreed with at least six of the statements, up from 20% in 2022, and the highest figure since the 11 statements were first polled in 1964, when 29% agreed. Only 9% to 11% agreed with the statements from 2014 to 2019 before spiking this decade.

“After decades of antisemitism mostly keeping to the fringes of society, it is shocking to see the number of Americans who openly hold antisemitic beliefs increase so significantly in recent years,” ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.

The poll found that those under 45 were more likely to cotton to anti-Jewish tropes. A generational breakdown found that millennials agreed with an average of 5.37 of the statements posed, while Generation Z agreed with 5.01.

The ADL study did not say how it calculated generations, but millennials are generally considered to be individuals born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s, while Generation Z includes those born from the mid-’90s to the early 2010s.

Generation X, people born between the mid-1960s and late 1970s, agreed with 4.19 statements, while Baby Boomers born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s only agreed with 3.06 statements on average.

Among the disturbing finds, 27% of respondents said it would be at least somewhat acceptable for a close family member to support the Hamas terror group – with over half of Gen Z supporting this statement – while 23% have a close friend or family member who doesn’t like Jews.

UK announces £54 million to protect Jewish communities, Prince William visits synagogues
On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced £54 million ($68 million US dollars) of new funding to protect Jewish communities after figures showed antisemitic incidents had hit a record high in Britain last year.

A week after the heir-to-the-throne, Prince William, called for an end to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, William met young ambassadors from the Holocaust Educational Trust who are seeking to tackle hatred amid soaring antisemitism in Britain. On Thursday, he visited the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London to hear about the rise in antisemitism.

During his visit to the synagogue, the prince, who wore a kippah - the traditional Jewish cap, listened to Jewish students as they recounted how there had been what one described as an "explosion" in antisemitism, including death threats and assaults. He also met with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Renee Salt to hear about her experiences.

Expectations from the Prince
Last week's unusually direct intervention by William that "too many have been killed" in the Gaza conflict and that Hamas must release hostages generated international headlines as royals by convention avoid contentious political matters.

But after becoming the first senior British royal to make an official visit to Israel and occupied Palestinian territory in 2018, he has followed the region closely, his office said.

The 41-year-old has been expected to step up and perform more public engagements after his father, King Charles, revealed earlier this month that he was undergoing treatment for an unspecified form of cancer.
‘Antisemitism has no place in society’ says Prince William
The Prince of Wales said today that “antisemitism has no place in society”.

Prince William told Jewish students: “Both Catherine and I are extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism.”

His Royal Highness met students, members of the Jewish community, a Holocaust survivor and Holocaust Education Trust ambassadors at Western Marble Arch Synagogue on Thursday morning.

During his visit, the Prince of Wales joined a conversation with the young ambassadors, who are advocates against hatred and antisemitism.

His Royal Highness heard how organisations like the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) are delivering programmes to tackle hatred and encourage cross-community cohesion.

The engagement was originally planned to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day, and The Princess of Wales was due to be in attendance, but it was postponed due to the Princess’ surgery.

The visit marked the first public appearance of Prince William since he pulled out of the memorial service for the late King Constantine II of Greece, which was on the same day that news broke of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent's son-in-law Thomas Kingston’s death.

In a conversation with three Jewish students and three HET ambassadors, Prince William condemned the antisemitism that the students described experiencing on campus: “Prejudice has no place in society,” said the heir to the throne.

“I've said it before and I'll say it again — I want you all to know you can talk about it and your experiences.

“Both Catherine and I are extremely concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism that you guys have talked about this morning and I'm just so sorry if any of you have had to experience that.

“It has no place... that's why I'm here today to reassure you all that people do care and people do listen and we can't let that go.”

Israeli hospital ranks among top ten in world
The Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv was ranked among the top ten hospitals in the world, by Newsweek magazine, out of 2,400 medical facilities in 30 countries. It was in 9th place. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota was ranked in first place.

"Each hospital's score is based on an online survey of more than 85,000 medical experts and public data from post-hospitalization patient surveys on their general satisfaction. The score also considers metrics on things like hygiene and patient/doctor ratio as well as a Statista survey on whether hospitals use Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs), which are standardized questionnaires completed by patients to assess their experience and results," the magazine said.

Among the 250 best hospitals worldwide, Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv was ranked 64 and the Beilinson medical Center in Petach Tikvah was 158.

Sheba is working diligently to make Israel a better, healthier place and highlights our abilities to be both a center of medical excellence, as well as a beacon of co-existence, where Jewish and Arab medical personnel are working side by side 24/7 to save the lives of civilians and soldiers- Jews, Moslems and Christians alike," Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Sheba's director general said in a statement.

"The last five months have significantly challenged us and forced us to adapt. However, it has also demonstrated our resilience and unwavering commitment to providing cutting-edge care for all our patients.

The hospital said that since the start of the war, it had achieved an unprecedented 98% survival rate after serious battle injuries and is proud of its excellent rehabilitation program that incorporates physical and emotional recovery.
The Counterfeit Countess, book review: The Jew who saved thousands of Poles by posing as a Catholic
It seems late in the day still to be discovering radically different concentration camp stories. Yet this biography of a Jewish mathematician who masqueraded as a Polish noblewoman and infiltrated an evil system in order to undermine it is a truly extraordinary story, and all the more so for having nearly been lost to history. If Nicky Winton (the British stockbroker and subject of the recent film One Life) is rightly lauded for having saved the lives of 669 (mainly) Czech children via his Kindertransport scheme, Janina Mehlberg is estimated to have saved more than 10,000 mainly Polish camp inmates. While One Life upholds the Talmudic Golden Rule that ‘to save one life is to save the world entire’, Janina took as her guiding principle ‘to save one life is always less than saving many’.

A professional mathematician born in 1915 in the Galician town of Zurawwno, Janina took numbers as her primary value, counting her own life insignificant compared to those of the thousands she would rescue.

To this end, she reinvented herself. At the age of 18 she married fellow student Henryk Mehlberg. At the Nazi invasion, family friend Count Skvzynski ennobled her with the title of Countess Sucholska, a daring ruse that afforded Janina what she described as her “alter ego”.

Her considerable skills lay in methodological planning and in subverting often dire circumstances to her own ends. By becoming a member of the Catholic nobility, adapting her dress and manner to the style of a “lady bountiful” do-gooder, Janina flattered Nazi snobbery in offering a fake respectability to their barbarism. From that followed her services to “assist” the Reich in the smooth running of three extermination camps, first in her native Lvov, then in Lublin and Majdanek, from 1941 until the War’s end.

She presented successive Nazi Commandants with solutions to problems they had failed to address. Politely but insistently, she pointed out that to maximise productivity in slave labour camps, a minimum amount of food needed to be provided. It also followed that if the German Army was to maximise its operational efficiency, it required healthy soldiers. To such axiomatic but apparently previously unconsidered issues, she offered a logical solution through the welfare organisation she founded and directed. Taking responsibility for supplying food and medicines in requisite quantities, she ensured the war machine ran with maximum effectiveness. It became the ideal front for her life-saving work as an officer with the Polish Underground.
Tech Giant Nvidia's Success Runs through Israel
U.S. tech giant Nvidia is the dominant supplier of AI hardware and software.

Nvidia's second largest development center outside of the U.S. is in Israel, where the company has been operating since 2016 and has 3,300 employees, representing 13% of its global workforce.

The company's Israeli workforce has grown by 50% in the past four years.

Last May, Nvidia chose Israel as the home for the Israel-1 supercomputer - the world's sixth fastest computer.

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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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