Sunday, March 31, 2024

From Ian:

Israeli Historian Benny Morris: "Hamas Must Be Destroyed"
Israeli historian Benny Morris, 75, was foremost among the "New Historians" who shook Israel with their revisionist accounts of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Yet in the year 2000, when Prime Minister Ehud Barak and President Bill Clinton offered a two-state solution and Yasser Arafat rejected it, Morris said in an interview, "I thought this was a terrible decision by the Palestinians, and I wrote that."

When the Palestinians, in response to the offer of peace and statehood, then launched a wave of terrorism and suicide bombings unlike any before, Morris disapproved of that, too. "People always forgive the Palestinians, who don't take responsibility," he says. "It's accepted that they are the victim and therefore can do whatever they like."

"As we [Israelis] see it, we are surrounded by the Muslim world, organized in some way by Iran, and the West is turning its back on us. So we see ourselves as the underdog. Now, the Palestinians are the underdog, and the underdog is always right, even if it does the wrong things, like Oct. 7. They were joyous in the West Bank and Gaza when 1,200 Jews were killed and 250 were taken hostage....It was a sick ideology and sick people carrying out murder and rape in the name of that ideology."

Morris stresses the costs of that Palestinian decision. "There was never destruction like what has happened in Gaza over the past five months in any of Israel's wars. Israel conquered the West Bank [in 1967] with almost no houses being destroyed, and the same applies in '56 in Gaza, and the same applies in '48." Probably, Palestinian nationalists "will look back to Oct. 7 as a sort of minor victory over Zionism and disregard the casualties which they paid as a result."

"Not only has each of their big decisions made life worse for their people, but they ensure that each time the idea of a two-state solution is proposed, less of Palestine is offered to them....Each time they're given less of Palestine as a result of being defeated in their efforts to get all of Palestine."

"Israelis today don't want to look at the two-state solution. Most Israelis fear Hamas would take over the West Bank" - a fear amply justified by Hamas' popularity - "and that it would be a springboard for attacks on Israel, as Gaza was."

"The Israeli public, myself included, thinks that we've begun the job and we must finish the job. We must destroy Hamas, and that will include taking Rafah....Hamas must be destroyed after what it did. We can't allow that on our border, in addition to having Hizbullah on our northern border and Iran."
Israel is fighting a humane ground war - just ask experts
Rather than swallowing such easily disprovable claims, it would be better to rely upon the verifiable evidence of experts like John Spencer, the world’s foremost authority on urban warfare. Chair of urban warfare studies at the United State Military Academy at West Point, he served as an infantryman for 25 years, including two combat tours in Iraq. Israel, he says, protects civilians more effectively than anyone else in the history of warfare.

Spencer recently visited Israel and Gaza – including the IDF’s civilian harm mitigation unit – to observe the facts on the ground. “All available evidence shows that Israel has followed the laws of war, legal obligations, best practices in civilian harm mitigation and still found a way to reduce civilian casualties to historically low levels,” he concluded.

Warfighting is an ugly business and soldiers are soldiers. But overall, the IDF’s actions have been deeply humane, Spencer said, moving civilians out of harm’s way to an unprecedented extent and deploying “technologies never used anywhere in the world” to preserve life. This has included 70,000 telephone calls, 13 million text messages and 15 million voicemails warning people to evacuate by designated routes to safe areas.

Giant speakers have been dropped by parachute that begin broadcasting warnings once they touch the ground. Military maps have been handed out and tracking technology has been used to keep people safe. “Ironically, the careful approach Israel has taken may have actually led to more destruction,” Spencer pointed out, since by assisting Hamas it likely prolonged the war.

The credible casualty figures stand testament to these efforts. Gaining exact data is impossible, but the true ratio, Spencer concluded, is about 1 combatant to 1.5 civilians. By comparison, when Britain, the US and other allies destroyed Islamic State in Mosul in 2016-17, the ratio was about 1 to 2.5; and according to the UN and the EU, the global average is 1 to 9. “Given Hamas’s likely inflation of the death count, the real figure could be closer to 1 to 1,” Spencer wrote. “Either way, the number would be historically low for modern urban warfare.”

What madness has possessed us? We would never dream of trusting data from the Kremlin or Islamic State. The statistics coming out of Gaza are obviously bogus. A paper by three distinguished academics, published this week, found that “the casualty figures concerning women and children are statistically impossible”, at one point even involving “the statistical equivalent of the resurrection of over a thousand men”. The 70 per cent figure has been decisively debunked.

Yet this very misinformation is still used by the UN, White House and the media. The BBC even relied upon it to supposedly disprove Israel’s claims to the contrary. “The BBC ‘factcheckers’ and other western media could easily have determined this for themselves, using publicly available information,” the academics lamented.

The illusory truth is all around us. How shameful. It is incumbent on people of conscience to dispel it whenever we can.
Ruthie Blum: Bashing Bibi helps Hamas
In the first place, every move by Netanyahu and his government since that Black Sabbath nearly six months ago has been made with the hostages in mind. Indeed, much of the prosecution of the war in Gaza is based on fear of killing captives in the process of destroying Hamas.

Such a calculation was taken for granted from the very beginning by Israel Defense Forces soldiers, many of whom have fallen in battle, leaving their bereft families begging Netanyahu not to let those heroic deaths be in vain.

Secondly, through a combination of military pressure and the War Cabinet’s willingness to compromise, Netanyahu succeeded in securing the release of 112 hostages—in addition to three others saved by the IDF in rescue operations.

Third, anti-Netanyahu rallies for the “immediate release” of the hostages—as though Bibi has them handcuffed in his basement—serve only to encourage Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar to harden his already untenable stance.

His goal, after all, is remaining in power. You know, to rebuild his subterranean empire and arsenal with which to perform as many repeats of Oct. 7 as possible.

Fourth, Netanyahu’s brother, Yoni, was killed in the 1976 Entebbe Raid, a commando mission to free more than 100 Israeli and Jewish hostages held by Palestinian and West German hijackers of a flight from Israel to France. To suggest, let alone scream into a megaphone, that he is indifferent to the suffering of those in Hamas clutches is outrageous.

Thankfully, most of the hostage families do not agree with the view or tactics of their activist counterparts. Those who showed up on Saturday were relatives of 20 captives out of a total of 134.

But they came by their methods honestly, so to speak, with a little help from PR hack (aka “political strategist”) Ronen Tzur. Tzur, a veteran “anybody but Bibi” mover and shaker, took it upon himself to head the campaign on behalf of the hostage families.

He tried to use the perch as a platform for his anti-Netanyahu agenda. But his plan ultimately backfired.

Robert Silverman: How Israel Wins the Postwar
Temporary governance of the 2.2 million Gazans must be an international responsibility, until such time as Gazans are able to effectively govern themselves living peacefully alongside Israel. The consensus of those who work and have worked with the Palestinian Authority is that it is not ready to assume the governance of Gaza, that the Authority needs to undergo a process of capacity-building and reformation.

Models for successful post-conflict operations, for instance in Bosnia and Kosovo, always have as a key element the US as organizer, with a majority of the funding and personnel supplied by others in the relevant region. That multinational model could work in Gaza as well, with the US as organizer alongside European and Arab partners.

The Palestinians have a legitimate interest in a political future independent of Israel. Israel has a legitimate interest in the security conditions of a hostile Gazan neighbor located less than 40 miles from its largest city. The workable solution is for Israel to negotiate with the US over the conditions of its transfer of authority in Gaza to a US-led multi-national body, a transfer in which it keeps sufficient ability to intervene in Gaza when needed to protect its security and in which it provides assurances of a Palestinian political horizon, also subject to governance conditions.

At present all eyes are on the upcoming Israeli military operation in Rafah. That operation involves evacuation of civilians from Rafah to the Muwasi safe zone along the coast of the Gaza Strip. The potential strategic win for the US and its allies is immense – the removal of a key Iranian proxy from control of a territory and a government.

For Israel’s postwar future, and in order to sustain the impending strategic win over Iran, the immediate task is breaking through Israeli political and bureaucratic barriers to adopting a postwar Gaza plan. Then the hard work of rebuilding Gaza with America, its partners and the Gazans can begin.
Israel should ignore Biden and finish the job in Rafah
The last stand of Hamas could lie in the Gazan city of Rafah, where the terror group’s last four battalios remain. The only force stopping Israel from completing Hamas’s destruction is President Biden. Israel faces a dilemma: will it heed Joe Biden’s concerns about the military operation, or do the right thing and eliminate its nemesis?

Biden is pulling out all the stops, going so far as to threaten Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying in recent a televised interview that an invasion of Rafah would be crossing a “red line.” Biden has not used this significant phrase with Iran, North Korea, China, or even Russia – only Israel has been given such a strong ultimatum.

Israel cannot defeat Hamas without going into Rafah. There is no permanent solution to the crisis until Hamas is defeated militarily on the battlefield. Even the Biden administration’s latest threat assessment warned that Hamas’s surviving underground infrastructure would allow “insurgents to hide, regain strength and surprise Israeli forces.” Israel has not yet been able to dismantle Rafah’s tunnel system, which the IDF says is where many hostages are being kept.

U.S. officials have warned the consequences to Israel of going into Gaza could include abandoning Israel’s defense at the United Nations against a ceasefire resolution. Other possible consequences include the restriction of U.S.-made offensive weapons in Gaza, which would lead to the death of even more Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians as it inevitably prolongs the war or even prevents Hamas’s defeat.

Hamas’s plans in the event of their survival are quite clear: their senior political leader, Ghazi Hamad, pledged that the Oct. 7 attacks were “just the first time, and there will be a second, third, and fourth. Will we pay a price? Yes, and we are ready. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs.”

Yet Biden is now demanding Israel halt its offensive at the finish line. Paired with the White House’s growing push toward the fairytale of a “permanent ceasefire,” it is becoming increasingly clear Biden prefers a ceasefire to the defeat of the terrorist organization. If Israel heeds his demands, they lose this war.

Hamas’s game plan was clear from Day 1: place Palestinian women and children next to Hamas’s weapons depots and terror tunnels, weaponize their deaths through the willing accomplice of international media outlets, then leverage that coverage for their twin objectives: military survival and the political isolation of Israel. Biden is furthering both these outcomes.
Lord Cameron ‘losing focus’ on Hamas threat to Israel, Lord Pannick says
Lord Pannick told the Lords in October of how the conflict was “personal for me”, given that his wife was Israeli and the couple have friends whose family members were murdered by Hamas terrorists on Oct 7.

He told this newspaper that the “tragic” images of suffering in Gaza hid “a more complicated reality”, adding: “I am concerned that the Government is not focusing on the political and military reality and is looking only at one aspect, tragic though it is.” He continued: “I am absolutely convinced that Israel’s approach to this conflict is in line with international law.”

Lord Wolfson said: “The idea that you have a ceasefire with Hamas and then move to talks which lead to a two-state solution is utter fantasy. Hamas want a one state, theocratic and Jew-free solution. I’ve always been a believer in the two-state solution, which has been UK foreign policy for as long as I can remember.

“What I would hope is that the Foreign Office appreciates that it’s not a case of, either you have the war against Hamas fought until Hamas is defeated, or you have a peace process leading to a two-state solution. A necessary precursor for a two-state solution is for Hamas to be utterly defeated.”

The Telegraph has previously reported that Lord Cameron is ready to suspend the UK’s export licence to Israel if there is a change in his department’s legal advice on whether Israel is complying with international humanitarian law.

On Saturday night the Observer reported claims by Alicia Kearns, the Commons foreign affairs committee chairman, that government lawyers had provided advice that Israel has breached international humanitarian law in Gaza.

What We Learned on Our Academic Visit to Israel
We represent a group of 25 Yale faculty who have just returned from a five-day visit to Israel. Our mission was to learn from and make meaningful academic connections with our Israeli counterparts. Much of what we learned and observed astounded us.

The environment is challenging, yet the Israeli academic enterprise has proven breathtakingly resilient. Imagine operating a university where a quarter to a third of students, staff, and faculty have been murdered, injured, taken hostage, or are on active military reserve service. Imagine teaching in classrooms with both Arab students (some with family in Gaza or the West Bank) and Jewish students (many just returned from military service or with casualties among family and friends). Imagine trying to manage standard faculty promotion, review, and tenure processes in the face of boycotts and similar discrimination from hostile academics around the world.

Contrary to the apartheid charge leveled against Israel in general and Israeli academic institutions in particular, we saw precisely the opposite. At Hebrew University, we received a presentation from two young female students, one a hijab-wearing Muslim and the other Jewish, just returned from reserve duty. The presentation ended with their heartfelt embrace.

At Ben Gurion-Soroka Hospital, Technion-Rambam Hospital, and the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center, we saw how integrated their medical schools and faculty are. The percentage of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who are Arabs greatly exceeds their share in the total population.

We heard Arab university vice presidents, and their Jewish counterparts take full pride in jointly leading Israeli university life. Unlike the scene on American campuses, Muslim and Christian Arabs, Druze and Jewish students understand that their job is to learn, not to fight each other.

In presentations by an Israeli Arab journalist and a Druze professor, we learned that contrary to conceptions prevalent on American campuses, the majority of Israeli Arabs do not seek to separate from Israel. Indeed, while Israeli Arabs do have demands, we learned they are in service of more integration into Israeli society—better schools, law enforcement, and physical infrastructure—not less. Similarly, we learned from a Druze professor the strong connection to the Jewish State felt by the Israeli Druze.

We met face-to-face with faculty in academic disciplines matching our own at each of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Tel Aviv University. We also met with the leaders of Sapir College in Sderot which came under direct attack on October 7, and Tel Hai Academic College which is currently evacuated due to the Hezbollah threat from Lebanon.

The President of Israel's Academy of Sciences and Humanities and a Nobel Prize winner addressed the challenges facing Israeli academics in discussion with us. Facing such brilliance (and in such a small country), we were dismayed to learn the extent of academic discrimination being directed at Israeli academics: faculty who were invited to address conferences only to be told later—and in one case upon arrival in Australia—that they were no longer welcome to speak; external reviewers returning evaluation requests because they refuse to consider Israeli scholars; journals reneging on decisions to publish papers that were already accepted.
The stunning rise, curious suspension and insistent return of Israel’s star spokesman
By his estimate, Eylon Levy has given some 270 TV, radio, and podcast interviews, delivered 70 briefings to delegations, made dozens of Hebrew media appearances, and helmed 50 press conferences since being brought into the National Public Diplomacy Directorate at the Prime Minister’s Office days after the Hamas invasion on October 7.

Articulate, sharp and passionate, the London-born, Oxford- and Cambridge-educated Israeli, a former TV journalist and media adviser to President Isaac Herzog, quickly became a much sought-after government spokesman for international media, and a celebrity at home.

In January, it was reported that Sara Netanyahu wanted him fired, because he had participated in anti-judicial overhaul demonstrations in the period between his last job, as adviser to Herzog, and this one. But those reports were denied, and Levy’s work was not affected.

Three weeks ago, however, he was suspended, until further notice — reportedly after the British Foreign Office complained about a tweet in which he responded to remarks by British Foreign Secretary David Cameron concerning aid to Gaza. Levy has not actually seen the complaint, he told The Times of Israel in an interview on Thursday, but he finds it “difficult to believe” that the Cameron incident constitutes the full story behind his suspension.

Levy, 32, has not heard any “further notice” from his bosses at the Public Diplomacy Directorate, and therefore has determined that he is now a “former” government spokesman. In which capacity, after three weeks in “submarine mode,” he is about to go back to giving interviews… and to resume a podcast series that is partly funded by a different branch of the government.

On March 31, a few hours after this interview was first published, he changed his bio on X to “Former Israeli Government Spokesman” and tweeted: “You don’t need to be a spokesperson to speak up for Israel.” In a Hebrew tweet, he wrote that he and his public diplomacy team were embarking on “an independent path.”

Confused? Concerned? Read on…

Seth Frantzman: How Iran is taking advantage of anti-Israel protests across Middle East
The pro-Iranian Al-Mayadeen media has begun to take an interest in the protests against Israel that have taken place in Jordan. This indicates that the pro-Iran axis in the region is beginning to think about how to take advantage of the protests. Iran has sought in the past to inch closer to Jordan via its proxies in Iraq and Syria. The Kingdom of Jordan is stable but Iran would like to have more influence in Jordan and also use access there to get to the West Bank.

Al-Mayadeen reported on Sunday that “for the seventh day in a row, the vicinity of the Israeli occupation embassy in the Jordanian capital, Amman, is witnessing a gathering of thousands of demonstrators, in continuation of the daily demonstrations carried out by the Jordanian people to demand an end to the war on the Gaza Strip and the severing of relations with the Israeli occupation.”

This indicates that pro-Iranian groups want to take advantage of the protests. Iran backs Hamas and views the Hamas attack on October 7 as accelerating its influence peddling in the region. Iran has said recently it wants to use the aftermath of October 7 to create a new world order. Leveraging October 7 to gain a foothold in Jordan may be part of the plan.

Protests reached a wider audience than expected
The media reports claim that “students, professionals, doctors, lawyers, human rights activists, and others” have joined the protests in Jordan. “Today's sit-in witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of participants as a result of its conjunction with the occasion of [Palestinian] Land Day, which Jordanians are accustomed to commemorating every year.”

The report also claimed that the protesters in Jordan want to end peace agreements with Israel, prevent the export of vegetables to Israel, and also have praised the Houthi attacks. The Houthis have harmed trade in the Red Sea, which also affects Jordan.
The latest blood libels against Israel
WHY UNRWA is propagating false allegations based upon Hamas statistics is a worthwhile question. The agency’s very-own chief Philippe Lazzarini invoked the statistic in his recent call for a ceasefire. It is likely others have followed his lead as they desperately seek to prevent Israel from invading Rafah and ridding Gaza’s last Hamas stronghold of their terrorists.

UNRWA and Hamas’s latest allegation is as dangerous as it is dishonest, playing into classical antisemitic tropes. For millennia, antisemites wrongly accused Jews of killing children. The original blood libel – which accused Jews of killing Christian children – served as “a major theme in Jewish persecution in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and into the modern period.” It provoked anti-Jewish riots and massacres.

Today, Jewish communities are being targeted by assailants and mobs as an illogical result of similar misinformation targeting the Jewish state and Jews in Israel.

These lies are nothing new. In 1929, Hajj Amin Al Husseini, who is often regarded as the father of Palestinian nationalism, accused Jews during Ramadan of trying to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque. The lies were baseless but resulted in massacres of Jews in Hebron and Jerusalem as many followed his rallying call to “save” al-Aqsa. Similar lies also motivated Hamas’s October 7 massacres, known in Arabic as Operation al-Aqsa Storm.

It’s time for such dangerous lies to stop, or at least not be parroted by journalists who care about their reliability.

The latest myth promoted by Hamas and the UN against Israel is not only recklessly false, but erases victims of human rights abuses around the world as it throws a lifeline to Hamas.

Further, misinformation and disinformation about the war against Hamas have undoubtedly contributed to rising antisemitism, with US incidents having skyrocketed by 400% since October 7. For the sake of their own credibility and for victims of antisemitism worldwide, reputable media outlets must dispel this claim immediately.
Israel says UN’s interim report on UNRWA allegations a ‘cover up’ of its terror ties
Israel has lambasted an interim report reviewing allegations against Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA as attempting to “cover up” the body’s failures and its ties to terror organizations in order to allow for it to resume receipt of global funding.

The report, commissioned by the UN and produced by an independent team headed up by former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna, found that the agency has mechanisms in place to ensure its neutrality, but also deficiencies that must be addressed.

The review group was established following Israeli allegations in late January that 12 of UNRWA’s employees actively participated in Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught on southern communities, when terrorists murdered some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 253 hostages to Gaza. Israel argues that Hamas’s infiltration into the agency runs far deeper and that some 1,500 employees (some 10%) have active ties to terror groups.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry released on Saturday, 10 days after the independent review group issued its interim findings, said the report ignores the severe accusations against UNRWA and offers only suggestions for “cosmetic” reforms to the Palestinian refugee agency.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat excoriated the report for “not even” including a “simple statement that UNRWA should fire or refrain from employing members of Hamas and other terrorist organizations.”

“All the proposals for cosmetic reforms offered by the group are meaningless and ignore the real problem that UNRWA is part of the terrorist infrastructure of Hamas,” Haiat added, saying that the report’s conclusions “are another stain on the United Nations and the UN secretary-general.

“Israel calls on the donor countries not to allow their taxpayers’ money to flow through UNRWA to terrorist organizations, and to divert this funding to other humanitarian organizations in Gaza,” the statement concluded.

Natasha Hausdorff responds to the ICRC on the Geneva Conventions
Natasha Hausdorff addresses the ICRC’s position on international law and the Geneva Conventions, and its role since 7 October 2023

Seth J. Frantzman: Unprecedented Levels of U.S.-Israel Intelligence Coordination
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant believes that if there is not a clear, decisive victory over Hamas, then this could bring Israel closer to a major conflict in the north with Hizbullah. This is because Hizbullah and its Iranian backers will not be deterred unless they see what Israel can do to Hamas. In addition, Gallant believes that the war in Gaza will impact the region in decades to come.

The war in Gaza has also led to unprecedented cooperation between Israel and U.S. Central Command. IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on March 27: "In all my years, I cannot recall such extensive cooperation as we currently have with the U.S. Central Command, encompassing the entire military and the intelligence services. Such collaboration has not existed previously. We are experiencing unprecedented levels of intelligence coordination."
Netanyahu reiterates: IDF forces will enter Rafah and achieve
Israel will defeat Hamas by entering the terrorist stronghold of Rafah in the Gaza Strip and destroying the remaining battalions there, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed Sunday night.

“There is no victory without entering Rafah; there is no victory without destroying the Hamas battalions there,” said Netanyahu in a primetime address, adding that the operation “will take time, but it will happen.”

The premier reiterated that only a combination of military pressure and tough negotiations would bring about the release of the remaining 134 hostages taken to Gaza by Palestinian terrorists on Oct. 7.

“I will do everything possible to bring everyone home. Every time there is some intelligence about them and the operational needs allow it, I authorize missions to bring them out [of Gaza],” he said.

“As Israel showed more openness in the negotiations, Hamas hardened its stance,” stated Netanyahu. He claimed that Hamas is demanding the return of all residents of northern Gaza, including terrorists.

“I’m committed to bringing everyone back, all of our men and women, soldiers, citizens—I will not leave anyone behind. God willing, we will continue to work, continue to fight, and we will win together,” he said.

Netanyahu addressed the nation as the Israel Defense Forces is inching closer to launching a major ground operation targeting the last four Hamas terrorist battalions holed up in Rafah.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in remarks during a visit to the 98th Division’s headquarters on Sunday, vowed to keep fighting until the IDF eliminates or captures “all terrorists, all over the Gaza Strip.”
The Strategic Significance of the Surrender of Hamas Terrorists
Debunking the myth that Islamist “heroes” are willing to fight to the death, unlike their secular nationalist predecessors in past wars against Israel, should be among the long-term goals of the present conflict. The evidence is increasingly available. Despite the deliberate lack of full disclosure and official data, it is safe to assert that the number of Hamas armed men (and others belonging to smaller terror groups) who have given themselves up in battle in Gaza has been rising since the beginning of 2024, specifically during the fighting in Khan Younis and Shifa Hospital. Beyond the intelligence value obtained and the possible leverage for the release of Israeli hostages, the symbolic signal that these images send is strategically significant.

Given the lack of information on the hostages held in Gaza, Israel avoids, as a policy, the disclosure of full and official data as to the numbers of combatants belonging to Hamas, and other terror groups, who surrendered and were taken prisoner by the IDF during the fighting. Still, it is safe to say that their number has risen significantly, particularly during the operations in Khan Younis (and in the battle to re-take the al-Shifa Hospital), indicating growing disorder and demoralization.

Achieving the surrender of large numbers of enemy fighters is advantageous, first of all, in terms of incurring fewer casualties and requiring less military effort than a “fight to the finish.” It has also been proven to be of immense value in obtaining vital intelligence, such as the location of tunnels and their entrances. Another operational consideration has to do with improving Israel’s leverage in the negotiations for the hostages’ release.

Yet in addition, the surrender of Hamas armed men is also of long-term value at the level of grand strategy. For decades, the Islamist totalitarian terrorist groups, from Hizbullah and Hamas to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, Da’esh), have cultivated the legend that the Muqawwamah (“resistance”), rooted in (a version of) religious faith, will stand and fight to the last – unlike the symbols of flight and surrender which marked the defeat of secular Arab nationalism, above all in the war of 1967.

As against “the shoes in the sand”, still etched in the Arab collective memory, they posit the willingness, even eagerness, for Shahada (a martyr’s death) – whether that of the suicide bombers or of fighters in the field. Indeed, in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and the limited ground incursions into Gaza in 2008 and 2014 (there was no ground maneuver in 2012 or 2021) very few prisoners were taken, enhancing the myth, and adding to the appeal of Islamist ideas around the region.
Gallant: Captured Hamas operatives tell us group is collapsing from within
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday that senior Hamas operatives captured by troops in the Gaza Strip have told interrogators “the group is collapsing from within.”

“In the last week or two, hundreds of terrorists have been captured and what they say about what happened to them tells the whole story. They say that Hamas is collapsing from within, the price they are paying is very heavy,” Gallant said following an assessment at the 98th Division’s headquarters.

“We’re going to eliminate everyone who was involved in the events of October 7, the junior [officials], the senior ones and the very senior ones; those who were inside [Israel] or who gave instructions,” he said, referring to the date of Palestinian terror group Hamas’s massive attack on Israel that started the ongoing war.

He said the Israel Defense Forces will continue fighting until they reach all terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

“In the last few days, we have also seen very great progress, both in [reaching] the terrorists in the field and the more senior commanders, even very senior ones,” Gallant added, referring to the IDF’s operations at Shifa Hospital, where more than 500 members of terror groups have been captured and some 200 have been killed, including several top commanders.

The IDF said Sunday that troops had seized a cache of weapons concealed in the maternity ward of Shifa Hospital, where a raid on the facility to rout out Hamas terrorists at the site was entering its third week.

Troops have been raiding buildings at the Shifa complex following intelligence indicating that top officials in the terror group are holed up there.

The Nahal Brigade’s reconnaissance unit found weapons, including mortars, explosive devices, sniper rifles, assault rifles, handguns and other military equipment hidden inside patient pillows and beds, and in the dropped ceilings and walls of the building, according to the IDF.

Some 350 patients and medical staff at Shifa Hospital were evacuated by the IDF to a “designated compound” in another part of the complex, where the military has provided them with humanitarian aid and supplies.
IDF finds weapons, ammo hidden in Shifa maternity ward
Israeli Defense Forces soldiers found weapons and ammunition in the maternity ward of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the army said on Sunday.

Troops from the Nahal Reconnaissance Unit killed armed terrorists in two battles inside the maternity ward before conducting searches, where they located weapons, ammunition and communication devices hidden within the walls and ceilings, as well as in the pillows of patients and inside hospital beds.

Dozens of mortar shells, explosive devices, sniper rifles, Kalashnikov rifles, pistols, magazines, mortars and additional ammunition were seized.

“During one of the sweeps in the compound, the forces encountered armed terrorists and senior operatives of the Hamas terrorist organization in a stairwell. A pursuit and exchange of fire ensued, during which the senior terrorists were eliminated,” according to the IDF statement.

The IDF and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) are nearly two weeks into a joint operation at the Strip’s largest medical center that began on March 19, based on urgent intelligence that Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists had regrouped there.

“After two weeks, we carried out a successful operation. To carry out something of this scale during a war is very complex,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said during a visit to Shifa on Friday.

“We are doing everything possible to prevent harm to patients and medical teams. The fact that this operation saw no harm to a single medical staff member or patient, but we were able to kill and capture many, many terrorists, is a very significant achievement,” he continued.

“This operation is not over, but we achieved a major goal, and we will continue to operate thoroughly until we are successful,” Halevi said.

IDF Targets PIJ HQ Positioned in Courtyard of Shifa Hospital
The IDF confirms that it targeted a command center belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, situated within the premises of al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza.

“The Islamic Jihad operatives were present in the command room when it was struck,” the IDF states.

In a statement, the IDF explains that the strike was executed following a meticulous procedure to minimize civilian casualties in the hospital’s vicinity.

Remarkably, despite the precision of the operation, the hospital itself remained unscathed by the attack, according to IDF reports.

Video footage captured at the scene revealed several individuals sustaining injuries during the strike.

“The existence of a command room and the presence of terrorists within the hospital yard serve as further evidence of terrorist organizations’ systematic exploitation of humanitarian and medical facilities in Gaza for nefarious purposes,” the IDF emphasizes in its statement.

IDF officer wounded in Beersheva terror attack
An Israel Defense Forces officer was wounded on Sunday morning in a stabbing at Beersheva’s central bus station.

Magen David Adom medics treated the victim, a man in his 20s, for moderate wounds. He was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in good condition.

The terrorist was shot and killed by another Israeli soldier who was on the scene, according to the military.

Hebrew-language media reported the terrorist was a resident of the Bedouin city of Rahat.

Terrorist who shot up school bus in Jordan Valley turns himself in
The Palestinian terrorist who wounded three Israelis in a shooting in the Jordan Valley last week turned himself into authorities on Sunday, according to Israeli media reports.

The reports identified the suspect as Abu Rida al-Saadi, 27, an officer in the Palestinian Authority security forces.

Israeli forces had launched a massive manhunt for the perpetrator after he fired on a school bus and several cars traveling along Route 90 near Al-Auja, north of Jericho.

The terrorist, dressed in green fatigues resembling an Israel Defense Forces uniform, ambushed passing vehicles from the side of the road, firing at them from a standing position and then immediately fleeing the scene.

Magen David Adom medics treated a 30-year-old man for moderate gunshot wounds and another man in his 20s who was lightly injured. A 13-year-old boy was also lightly injured by glass shards.

They were all evacuated to hospital in stable condition.

The adult victims, members of far-left group Looking the Occupation in the Eyes, were en route to “defend Palestinians from settler violence.”

IDF Blasts UN over Failure to Get Aid into Gaza
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli liaison to the Palestinians, blasted the UN on Saturday evening for failing to facilitate the introduction of aid to Gaza.

"Again, the content of 400 trucks worth is waiting to be picked up and distributed from the Gazan side of [the Kerem Shalom crossing] after Israeli inspection," COGAT said on X.

"UNRWA and UN aid agencies lack the logistic capacity for performing their jobs. They must enhance their logistic capacity and admit its failures."
Israeli report disproves hunger claims in Gaza: 80% increase in aid trucks entering the Strip daily
Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Director Major General Ghassan Alian published a report on Sunday which disproves recent claims against Israel on the state of food security in Gaza, and points to factual and methodological errors made by a United Nations report on the matter.

According to the UN report, which used the IPC index designed to determine the food security situation in countries, in the most likely scenario and assuming the war continues, 50% of Gaza’s population (1.1 million residents) could face famine (phase 5 on the index). Some 38% of the population is expected to face an emergency (phase 4 on the index), and 12% of the population is expected to face a crisis (phase 3 on the index).

The COGAT report disproved the accusations of rampant starvation in Gaza and noted that 150-200 aid trucks enter the Strip daily, mostly food trucks, representing an 80% increase compared to the average daily food trucks entering Gaza before October 7. Additionally, Israel has allowed the opening and operation of additional channels for the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, including maritime routes, airdrops and aid packages, while cooperating with several countries.

According to the COGAT report, UN agencies and aid organizations operating in Gaza are unable to deal with the number of supplies brought in by trucks daily, and hundreds of trucks are waiting on the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom crossing for UN distribution by aid workers.

The report also shows clear data regarding issues such as food and water quantities and accusations of starvation in northern Gaza, which contradicts the UN report. According to COGAT, the data taken for the UN report was provided by local bodies – such as the Palestinian Health Ministry controlled by Hamas in Gaza – which have a strategic interest in presenting misleading information.

Additionally, images and videos posted on social media and reports in Palestinian media in areas including Rafah, refugee camps, central Gaza and the northern Strip show markets full of a variety of foods.

Israel Museum opens new exhibit, an elegy for October 7
The Israel Museum, the country’s foremost cultural institution, responded quickly to the vicious Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7.

First the museum hung a red-stained painting by Kibbutz Be’eri resident Ziva Jelin that had been punctured by a bullet and shrapnel from the onslaught on the community gallery that Jelin managed.

In the weeks after October 7, the museum hosted evacuee families for visits and workshops and, like many other museums, put its masterpieces into safekeeping.

Now the museum has launched “The Dawn of Darkness: Elegy in Contemporary Art” in its main contemporary art gallery, through November 16. Its curator, acting museum director Suzanne Landau, drew from works in the museum’s collection, seeking to create a meditative space where each visitor could relate to the works of art and feel their feelings.

“These pieces were in my mind because I know the collection so well,” said Landau, who recently took on the role of acting museum director. After 30 years at the Israel Museum, she left in 2012 to direct the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

“It was easy for me to start to think about which works could be part of this, to find the works that express this idea of elegy,” said Landau. “I started making a list.”
Gaza hostage deal: Israel willing to compromise, Hamas not - Netanyahu
While Israel was willing to compromise in the negotiations for a hostage deal, Hamas has only hardened its stance, and its demands have repercussions that "I cannot expand on," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference on Sunday night.

The press conference coincided with a mass protest just outside the prime minister's office, and the noise could be heard from the conference room.

The prime minister said that the pain of the hostage families "broke his heart" and that whenever the opportunity to save a hostage militarily arrived, he approved it. But instead of giving in to Hamas demands to free the rest of the hostages, the main effort was a mix of "military pressure" and "determined negotiations."

Netanyahu said that one of the Hamas demands was to "cancel" the humanitarian corridor that split the Strip in two and enable "unchecked" return of hostages to the northern part of the Strip. This Israel could not accept, he said.

Countering protesters who have claimed that he is not doing enough to free the Israeli hostages being held by Hamas, the prime minister said that "whoever says that I am not doing everything to free our hostages - is wrong and misleading."
As some hostage families join anti-gov’t protest, others focus on
The Tikva Forum for Families of Hostages sharply criticized the calls to join anti-government protests, arguing that politicizing the matter could backfire.

The group is an alternative to the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the largest organization representing relatives of the captives.

In a statement issued Saturday evening, the group said that “a significant number of abductees’ families are shocked by the political activity.”

In addition, the Tikva Forum demanded that media outlets reporting on the matter note that “families of abductees” is not a uniform group.

“Political organizations making a lot of noise before October 7 and that were opposing the judicial reform and fighting against the government are now using a handful of hostage families for their own needs,” Shimon Or, one of some three dozen families from the Tikvah Forum, told JNS.

Or’s nephew Avinatan Or, 30, was kidnapped from the Supernova music festival along with his girlfriend, 26-year-old Noa Argamani.

“Today, I saw them [the anti-government protesters] hold a picture of Avinatan even though our family does not even remotely agree with their goal of ousting the government,” Or continued. “In fact, we believe that it will prevent the return of the hostages and will strengthen Hamas. Still, they use Avinatan’s posters for their own purposes.

“Political groups use them as tools to make the Israeli people think that this is what we all want, but it’s not,” he said.

Or noted that truce talks are set to resume in Cairo on Sunday, after the negotiations in Doha collapsed last week given Hamas’s decision to stick to demands for a “permanent ceasefire.”

“Hamas is asking to resume control over the Strip, we cannot agree to that,” Or told JNS.

He believes the best route to the safe return of all the hostages is to intensify ground operations in Gaza with an offensive in the city of Rafah, Hamas’s last major stronghold.

Yesterday, Yael Odem @yael_odem @N12News published how the terrorists of the Islamic Jihad forced the kidnapped Ada Sagi to write a letter in captivity. At a closer look, it seems that this is not just stationery.

The logo belongs to the Gazan organization Al-Mazan. The organization received 375 thousand euros from the European Union in 2021-2023, and hundreds of thousands more from other European governments, including Sweden and Germany.

As we previously revealed, Al-Mazan and his senior officials hosted senior Hamas and Jihad officials for a public event, and one of the organization's senior officials participated in a Hamas conference in 2023. The organization is one of the filers of the lawsuit against Israel at the International Criminal Court, and is an organization that advises South Africa in its lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice to justice

It's worth asking - how did letterhead from a European-funded "human rights" organization get to the place where she was held hostage by a murderous terrorist organization?

Shani Louk’s father defends award for photo of daughter’s abduction as ‘good thing’
The father of Shani Louk, who was abducted and killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7, said Saturday it was a “good thing” that a photo of his daughter being kidnapped was among a collection of photos that won a prestigious journalism award, though her friends and pro-Israel activists decried the move.

The Associated Press on Thursday won a Pictures of the Year International award in the Team Picture Story of the Year category for its photo essay “Israel and Hamas War,” which includes an image showing a half-naked woman, identified as Shani Louk, lying seemingly unconscious face-down in the back of a pickup truck filled with armed men.

The photo was taken by freelance photographer Ali Mahmud, who worked for AP and accompanied Hamas terrorists during their rampage on October 7, when they killed 1,200 people in southern Israel and took 253 hostages to Gaza. AP denied accusations by pro-Israel media watchdog HonestReporting that the photojournalist may have known in advance of the plans for the onslaught.

An Instagram post announcing the award has since been removed after criticism.

“It’s good that the photo won the prize. This is one of the most important photos in the last 50 years,” Nissim Louk told the Ynet news site. “These are some of the photos that shape human memory — the Jew raising his hands, the paratroopers at the Western Wall — photos that symbolize an era.

Cancer doc speaks out on suit against NYU Langone for termination over anti-Hamas posts
Because of three social media posts, respected cancer biologist Dr. Benjamin Neel claims he went from being a “master scientist” at NYU Langone Health academic medical center to persona non grata.

Now, Neel is bringing a lawsuit against the New York City hospital which first suspended him, then fired him for allegedly violating its social media policy.

According to the complaint, NYU Langone Health “unceremoniously dumped Dr. Neel, a renowned scientist who spent a forty-year career at the forefront of the battle against cancer, based on tweets from his social media account, which challenged those individuals who were publicly celebrating the death of innocent people in Israel.”

Neel, who is Jewish, told The Times of Israel that his life has been upended since he sued the hospital last November for wrongful termination, retaliation and applying double standards. He is seeking $500,000 in damages.

“It’s been a Kafkaesque hellscape; a little over two weeks before the termination, dean and CEO Robert L. Grossman [was] singing my praises for transforming the cancer center and being an extremely rigorous and accomplished scientist whose work had led to cancer drugs in clinical trials,” Neel, 68, said in a Zoom interview from his home.

“Then, the same leadership unceremoniously terminated me as center director, rendered me a virtual non-person at NYU, and is attempting to destroy my reputation and my career. To put it mildly, it’s been extremely stressful in multiple ways, emotionally, physically, socially and professionally,” he said.

Steve Ritea, NYU Langone Health’s senior director of media relations, declined to comment on the matter citing pending litigation. A February The New York Times article cited a legal filing from January in which NYU’s medical school said Neel had “exercised extremely poor judgment by insidiously sharing racially and ethnically offensive posts on social media without regard for the potential impact on others.”

‘A Kafkaesque hellscape’
The issue started when Neel reposted political cartoons about the Israel-Hamas war on his private X (formerly Twitter) account.

Neel said the cartoons called out those celebrating the October 7 Hamas-led terror onslaught in southern Israel and questioned whether a two-state solution remained possible under Hamas leadership. The massacre saw 1,200 people, most of them civilians, brutally butchered, and another 253 abducted to the Gaza Strip.

One of Neel’s posts showed protestors holding signs reading, “I heart Hamas,” and “Beheading is resistance.” He also reposted a photograph of a Brooklyn protest where a demonstrator waved a flag symbolizing both LGBTQ+ rights and Palestine with the comment: “An oxymoron.” Another cartoon he reposted showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu negotiating with a member of Hamas who is holding a paper that says: “Demands — death to all Jews.”

Gaza must receive the 'Hiroshima and Nagasaki' treatment, US congressman says
US Congressman Tim Walberg (R) received condemnation for calling for Gaza to be treated like "Hiroshima and Nagasaki" in a video posted to X on Saturday.

In the video, Walberg is heard discussing his position on humanitarian aid and Gaza, saying that US aid to Israel should not be diverted to help Gaza.

In response to a question on the new humanitarian port being built off Gaza, he says that the US "shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid" and that he prefers money to be spent on providing aid to Israel to help defeat Hamas.

Walberg then clarifies that "It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick."

He also linked Iran and Russia to Hamas's war effort and added, "Probably North Korea and China's in there too."

Round condemnation
Walberg's comments were roundly condemned by fellow members of Congress, including fellow Michigan Representative Daniel Kildee (D), who posted to X, calling the comments " horrific & shocking" and calling his position on humanitarian aid "indefensible."

Another Michigan Representative, Elissa Slotkin (D), called the comments "reprehensible" and said that they were in particularly poor taste as he is both an elected official and an ordained pastor.
In SNL monologue, comedian Ramy Youssef calls for ‘free Palestine’
In his monologue on NBC‘s “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, guest host American-Egyptian comedian Ramy Youssef said he is praying to “free the people of Palestine” and “free the hostages,” garnering applause.

Youssef began his opening monologue by joking that “this is an incredibly spiritual weekend. We’re in the holy month of Ramadan, tomorrow is Easter, and yesterday, Beyonc茅 released a new album.”

“There’s just so many religions celebrating all at once. I’m doing the Ramadan one,” he continued.

After touching upon the upcoming U.S. presidential election, Youssef discussed the suffering of Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, based on a call from a friend with family there.

“He goes, ‘Ramy. They’re suffering. I don’t know where half of them are. I don’t know what to do. Please pray for them. It’s the only thing we can do,'” Youssef quotes the friend Ahmed as saying.

“So that night, I go to pray, and my prayers are complicated. I’ve got a lot to fit in. My God, please, please help Ahmed’s family. Please stop the suffering. Stop the violence. Please free the people of Palestine,” he said.

He then called for the freedom of “all the hostages,” right before making a joke about a friend who has been fighting in court with his ex-girlfriend for custody of a dog.

“And while you’re at it, I mean, you know, free Mr. Bojangles. I mean he is, he’s a beautiful dog. I’m praying for that dog,” concluded Youssef.

Youssef, who created and starred in the hit show “Ramy” (2019–2022), was asked to host the weekly comedy show shortly after attending the Oscars wearing a pro-Palestinian pin that many say expresses support for terrorism against Israelis.

The New York-born Muslim comedian also performed at an event last year that benefited American Near East Refugee Aid, an anti-Israel nonprofit.

Miss Israel 2021 accosted in NY by ‘5,000 lunatics’
Israeli model and pastry chef Noa Cochva was assaulted by pro-Palestinian protesters in Times Square, New York this weekend.

Cochva, who won the Miss Israel title in 2021, and a group of friends began to sing Israeli songs after encountering the protesters.

“They decided to hold an extreme protest here. We knew it was not safe, we were afraid, but we could not stop ourselves and wanted to show a bit ourselves. We were 10 Israelis against 5,000 lunatics. We had to,” she wrote on Telegram.

“I was just standing there and my Star of David necklace peeked through my shirt. The difference is that we are people of reason and they are people of violence. With what logic do they demonstrate for peace with violence?” she wrote.

In another Instagram story against the background of an ambulance, Cochva wrote that she was feeling well and added, “Am Yisrael Chai.”

In the IDF, she served as a medic and later became an instructor and commander in a paramedic course.

Ministers report Palestine Action to police for manual that incites violence
Anti-Israel agitators have been encouraged to damage buildings with a sledgehammer by protest group Palestine Action.

Ministers have reported the group’s Underground Manual to the police over alleged incitement to violence. Policing minister Chris Philp said he was personally reporting Palestine Action to the police over the manual. Philp told the Telegraph: “This is clearly an incitement to commit criminal offences.”

Lord Walney, the Government’s independent adviser on political violence and disruption, said the handbook would be a “test case” of the authorities' willingness to deal with “pernicious militants”.

Palestine Action’s Underground Manual advised protesters on “smashing windows”, and “breaking into your target and damaging the contents”.

“Smashing stuff can also be very quick to do. With an efficient sledgehammer in your hand, you can cause quite a bit of damage!” the manual recommends.

According to a post by Palestine Action on 10 October, the manual “contains the essential information for creating an autonomous group able to independently strike at the facilitators of Israel’s systemic and military violence”.

Exposed by the Telegraph five months ago, the controversial pdf can still be found online.
Moment Met Police officer tells Israeli woman that swastikas 'need to be taken into context' - after she complained about the Nazi symbol being used in pro-Palestine march banners in London
This is the astonishing moment a Met Police officer told a Jewish woman that swastikas 'need to be taken into context' after she complained about the Nazi symbol being displayed on banners during a pro-Palestine march in London.

Footage shared online shows the furious activist arguing with officers at Saturday's march after she was told that a swastika was 'not necessarily anti-Semitic or a disruption of public order' when she reported seeing the banners.

One officer replies 'So I think the symbol in of itself...' which prompts the woman to beg others to film the heated interaction. When those gathering around the pair tell the officer 'it is anti-Semitic', the officer responds: 'I didn't say it wasn't.'

But the incensed woman then asks: 'If someone is carrying a sign with a swastika, you said you wouldn't arrest them on the spot, it would have to be investigated online?'

A second Met Police officer then interrupts to say: 'A swastika on its own, I don't think is...'.

The officers claim that 'everything needs to be taken in context' despite the Nazi symbol being paraded at a pro-Palestine march in the context of the Israel-Hamas war.

Jewish campaign groups told MailOnline that the interaction was 'absolutely gobsmacking' and 'an indictment of the Met'.

Protesters calling for cease-fire in Gaza ambush Easter mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral: ‘Free Palestine!’
Nothing’s sacred to these guys.

A trio of attention-seeking protesters — one of whom previously glued his feet to the stands at the US Open as part of a climate change stunt — were cuffed and hauled out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral after disrupting Easter Mass with shouts of “free Palestine” on Saturday night, cops say.

Police were called to the iconic Midtown cathedral for complaints about a “disorderly group” just before 9 p.m. The protesters were quickly taken out of the service.

Matthew Menzies, 31, John Rozendaal, 63, and Gregory Schwedock, 35, were taken into custody and charged with disruption of religious service, police told The Post.

While being escorted out, one yelled “Free Palestine,” a video shared to X shows.

Schwedock, of the Upper East Side, was arrested in September after disrupting the U.S. Open women’s semifinal with activists who used glue to prevent security from ejecting them from Arthur Ashe Stadium after they held up a sign decrying fossil fuels. Their stunt stalled the match for nearly 50 minutes.

Call for arts organisations to ‘stay out of politics’
Sky News host James Morrow has urged arts organisations across Australia to “stay out of politics”.

The Sydney Theatre Company faces a worsening financial situation in the wake of a pro-Palestine demonstration which was staged during a play.

It is reported between 15 and 20 positions are at risk, and seven roles have already been identified for redundancy.

“What are they thinking, getting up there, putting on their keffiyehs and doing the whole cosplay routine,” Mr Morrow said.

“It always ends in tears.”

Why campus antisemitism matters
Whereas protests are a vital form of expression in democracies, the line between peaceful demonstration and disruptive or violent protest can be thin, as seen in these examples. In a recent survey from the Anti-Defamation League, nearly three-quarters of Jews on campus have been victims of antisemitism in the US, and two-thirds do not feel safe on campus. A Canadian survey showed that 18 percent of campuses dealt poorly with antisemitic hate. The Capitol Hill testimony, where three university presidents responded that they needed “context” to condemn outright antisemitism, set off alarms.

The situation at York University, along with similar issues at institutions around the world, should now be a call to action for all reasonably minded students and faculty.

As students, we have a role to play in advocating for academic environments that uphold the values of free speech, inclusivity, and critical engagement with difficult topics. This means actively participating in civil dialogue, educating ourselves and others about the complexities of global conflicts, and striving for solutions that respect the rights and dignity of all parties involved.

We must engage thoughtfully and proactively, recognizing our potential to influence positive change. By doing so, we not only contribute to resolving immediate concerns but also take a stand for the principles that should define our academic institutions and our society.
Picturehouse drops Israeli film festival
Picturehouse cinemas have pulled out of hosting an Israeli film festival and organisers are appealing for financial support in the face of further boycotts and cancellations.

In its thirteenth year, Seret Film Festival aims to showcase Israeli life through film and TV and says it is a “non-political, non-religious charity”.

Now its UK organisers say partner cinemas have pulled out and others are facing threats of boycotts as protesters have demanded the festival be cancelled.

“Long-standing partners are receiving threats from anti-Israel entities, coercing them to withdraw their support under the threat of ongoing demonstrations and boycotts,” said the organisers, launching a crowd-funder to support the festival.

Previous Seret screenings in the UK have been held at Picturehouse Hackney, Everyman Belsize Park, Everyman Maida Vale, Phoenix East Finchley, the Brighton Komedia Picturehouse, the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, Edinburgh Cameo Picturehouse and the JW3.

Festival co-founder and CEO, Odelia Haroush, said Picturehouse cinemas have pulled out of hosting the festival this year. Previous directors of Picturehouse, Israeli brothers Moshe and Israel Greidinger, were firm supporters of Seret according to Haroush, but after their departure from the cinema chain last year, the Israeli festival has been dropped.
How Brown University spreads antisemitism even to high schoolers
A monthly series of Harvard CAPS / Harris polls reveals disturbing, antisemitic attitudes held by many young Americans, including on Hamas’ massacre of Israelis (51% found it justified) and Jews as a class (67% considered them oppressors).

That so many youth admit to holding views that would have placed them on the racist fringes of society in their parents’ generation points to the moral confusion fostered in many American classrooms.

Brown University’s contribution to this trend is notable, not only for the extremist ideology promoted on campus by its Center for Middle East Studies but also because it aims to shape even younger minds through its Choices Program, a social-studies curriculum for high schoolers that includes units informed by the same radical ideology.

According to the program’s website, its resources are used by 1 million students across the United States and in 200 international schools.

Brown has one of the highest proportions of faculty who publicly support anti-Israel boycotts.

(A study by the Amcha Initiative reports a positive correlation between faculty support for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions and antisemitic activity on campus.)

As the CMES’s founding director in 2012, Professor Beshara Doumani lost no time in establishing a “New Directions in Palestine Studies” initiative to “shape the agenda of knowledge production on Palestine and Palestinians” and build “an international community of scholars dedicated to decolonizing and globalizing” the field of study.

Jews are portrayed as settler-colonialists who took over native Palestinian land.

The concept of a Jewish homeland, Jewish history and a Jewish people is relegated to “myth” and “legend.”

Efforts to combat antisemitism are confronted as part of a Jewish colonial conspiracy to “delegitimize” Palestinian “resistance” — the preferred term for terrorism.

Bizarre moment Rutgers gender studies professor tells seminar that it's 'homophobic and violent' to flag how badly LGBT people are treated in Gaza
A Rutgers University professor told a seminar discussing the Israel-Hamas conflict that it is 'violent' and 'homophobic' to raise the issue of how LGBT people are treated in Gaza.

Maya Mikdashi, associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at New Jersey's State University, told students earlier this month that she has been approached by people at pro-Palestine protests who tell her that she would be treated horribly by Hamas.

'So I've been at protests where I'm then told "don't you know what Hamas would do to you, if you were in Palestine",' she said.

'We have to start naming this as homophobic. You cannot rehearse violence to queer people. It's violent.

The event, entitled 'Palestine is a Feminist and Queer Anti-Imperialist Abolition Struggle', took place on March 20 and was co-hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Nadine Naber.

'If you were to say you were experiencing sexism in the SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] they would say "there goes those Palestinian's again, silencing women in their communities",' Naber told attendees.

'So no one is going to say it. And if you do say it [others] will say you're a "traitor and collaborating with Zionism".'

Naber also argued that rape had been well-documented in the founding of Israel.

Reading from text she said, 'indeed the practices of rape and sexual assault that have been well-documented during the founding of Israel and continued today are not an exception or a secondary impact of colonial violence.

'[They] are part of the settler, colonial white supremacist logics and practices of Israel that conflate colonized women with the land and nature and assume that therefore to dominate the land necessitates dominating Palestinian women's bodies and their reproductive capacities from 1948 until today,' she explained.

Harvard Law School student gov accuses Israel of genocide, anonymously
The student government of Harvard Law School passed a resolution on Friday accusing Israel of committing an ongoing “genocide of Palestinians” and calling on the Harvard Management Company to divest from all “securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments” associated with Israel’s alleged crimes.

The resolution made no mention of Hamas, nor did it refer to the October 7 attacks that initiated the ongoing war between Israel and the jihadist group. It passed 12-4, with three abstentions. The vote was cast anonymously, and the student government has since removed the names and email addresses of all its current members.

Following the resolution’s passage, two members of the student government resigned in protest. Regina De Nigris and Cameron Adkins, in a resignation letter cited by The Harvard Crimson, wrote that they “strongly disagree with the resolution being considered by the Student Government” and accused the body of violating its own policies by conducting the vote anonymously and declining to make time for student input.

Responding to criticism about the resolution’s timing, the body’s co-president said, “The situation is urgent, and we feel compelled to act now.” Agrawal “did not explain why a resolution had not been introduced since the Israel-Hamas war began in October,” according to the Crimson.

The Harvard Law School Jewish Students’ Association released a statement denouncing the resolution, which it described as “singling out the only Jewish state,” adding, “This student government does not represent us nor many of the hundreds we represent.”

Antisemitism on the rise in Australian Universities. Where is Jason Clare?
As a proud Jewish Australian descendant of holocaust survivors, I seek guidance, comfort, encouragement, and support from our democratically elected leaders during such a difficult time for our community. What does the Labor Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare have to say about this? Saying very little tells us everything we need to know about his desire to protect Australian Jewish students within the university system in 2024. Doesn’t every Australian student have the right to feel safe when walking onto campus, regardless of their religious affiliation?

It’s not in Clare’s best interests to speak out against this blatant antisemitism at our universities. Doing this will result in a backlash in his seat of Blaxland at the next federal election that Clare would have no appetite for whatsoever. I find it interesting to note that in Clare’s electorate of Blaxland, approximately one in four residents identify as Muslim.

Could this be one reason why Clare has remained voluntarily muzzled when it comes to speaking out against the tirade of horrific antisemitic abuse being spat out across Australian Universities at present? Electoral carnage would clearly follow. Clare does not want this to occur.

The best Clare could offer the Jewish community was a rigid, lukewarm statement, saying that “we’ve got to lower the temperature. We’ve got to work together here – that means Labor and Liberal. That means community leaders on both sides.” Hardly what one could call staunch support or resultant reason for calm. As the song goes, “you say it best, when you say nothing at all.” Shadow Minister for Education Sarah Henderson should be commended for calling out the current scenario for what it is. Henderson is on record (late last year) stating that “a recent Australian Jewish University Experience Survey found that 64 per cent of Jewish students have experienced at least one incident of antisemitism during their time at university, 88 per cent of those students are experiencing antisemitism in the past 12 months. According to the survey, more than half of Jewish students have hidden their identity on campus to avoid antisemitism, with many students avoiding campus altogether.”

NSW Liberal Senator Dave Sharma hits the nail on the head. Sharma says that guidelines from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) should extend to government backed organisations to stamp out rampant antisemitism. The IHRA definition is as follows:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Based on the IHRA definition of antisemitism and Sharma’s timely call out, as publicly funded institutions Australian universities are clearly breaching these guidelines and should be profoundly challenged on this basis as a starting point.

Worth noting is that Australia adopted and endorsed the IHRA definition of antisemitism on October 21st, 2001. We are one of 43 countries around the world to have done so. This means that the Australian government has a moral and ethical obligation to do whatever it takes to embody the true essence of this definition and support the Jewish community in line with this commitment. Given Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is one of the founding members of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine, I won’t be holding my breath for this to occur any time soon.

In stark contrast, Liberal Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has been unequivocally supportive of the Jewish community and called out university campuses for what he calls “hotbeds” of antisemitic behaviour. In an interview on Sky News Australia late last year, Dutton stated that “there should be a radical shakeup of the way in which our kids are being taught. Impressionable young minds, some of whom go on to be teachers, and they are influenced, no doubt, by the rhetoric and the fanaticism.” Clear words of support from a long-time ally of the Jewish community.
Jewish freshman’s face plastered on anti-Israel flyers at Rutgers in act of ‘unabated antisemitism’
Someone at Rutgers University cruelly plastered a Jewish freshman’s face on flyers for an anti-Israel referendum — the latest act of “unabated antisemitism” at the New Jersey school, the student told The Post.

“Free Palestine” and “Free Gaza,” said the flyers with Rivka Schafer’s mug on them, urging a “yes” vote for the university to divest from Israel.

They were plastered throughout the Demarest Hall dorm on Thursday morning.

“I don’t feel safe in my own dorm,” said Schafer, 19.

“It targeted me where I live. That’s not just terrifying, that’s outright harassment, that’s antisemitism.”

A report was filed with the Rutgers University Police Department but Schafer left meetings with campus police and administrators feeling “completely unsafe” and “targeted for religious beliefs.”

The school did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The environmental science major’s face was grabbed from a social media video from a Students Supporting Israel march earlier in the week, cropped and blown up for the flyer.

Campaigners told the BBC about Gaza staff's anti-Semitism 18 months ago - from the staff reporter who called Israel a 'terrorist apartheid state' to the freelancer who appeared to justify the October 7 attacks
The BBC was warned 18 months ago that some of its journalists had made anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments online, but still assigned them to report on the war in Gaza, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

MPs have demanded an inquiry into BBC bias following an expos茅 in this newspaper about the views of several BBC Arabic reporters.

Last night, it emerged that the campaign group HonestReporting wrote to the corporation in August 2022 to complain about anti-Jewish posts made by some of the same reporters.

Despite this, the reporters were tasked with covering the Israel-Hamas war following the October 7 terror attacks that killed 1,200 people in Israel.

One BBC staff reporter, Marie-Jos茅 Azzi, who is based in Lebanon, labelled Israel a 'terrorist apartheid state' on Twitter in 2018. This was flagged up to the BBC by HonestReporting, a pro-Israel group, in August 2022.

But Ms Azzi continued to work for the corporation. Earlier this month she was a main contributors to a report which made allegations that Israeli troops tortured medics at a Gaza hospital.

Last week, we revealed that six of the medics quoted had spouted anti-Semitic slurs on social media.

Another BBC freelancer, Aya Hossam, was dropped by the BBC last year after she appeared to justify the October 7 attacks.

She liked a tweet stating: 'Every member of the Zionist entity served in the army at some point in his life, men or women.'

She also retweeted a post saying: 'The Zionist must know that he will live as a thief and a usurper.' After those tweets came to light, the BBC said Ms Hossam would no longer work for it. But HonestReporting said it had complained about Ms Hossam in 2022 after she used the word 'Jews' as an insult online.

Last night, Simon Plosker, of HonestReporting said: 'How many of their journalists have to be exposed before BBC management acknowledges that there is a systemic issue of fundamental bias in the heart of their newsroom?'

Lebanese Sunni Militant Group Joins Shiite Hizbullah to Fight Israel
The Secretary-General of al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, or the Islamic Group, Sheikh Mohammed Takkoush, said in Beirut on Tuesday that his faction decided to join the fighting along the Lebanon-Israel border. The Islamic Group has one member in Lebanon's legislature.

Like Hamas, the group is inspired by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It carries out attacks against Israel mainly from the city of Sidon.

Takkoush said his group coordinates closely with Hizbullah, and with the Lebanese branch of Hamas.
Iranian TV journalist stabbed outside his London home in 'murder plot' posts defiant picture from his hospital bed as neighbours say attackers were heard laughing after the appalling assault
An Iranian journalist stabbed who was stabbed outside his London home after his TV station received 'heavy threats' has shared a defiant picture from his hospital bed - as neighbours have said his attackers 'laughed' after the horrific assault.

Pouria Zeraati was targeted by a two-man team who escaped the scene in Wimbledon in a waiting car, counter terror police investigating the attack have said.

The prominent dissident journalist, who works for the Iran International TV channel, has been repeatedly targeted by Tehran as the media organisation is openly critical of the government's regime.

It is believed his attackers were either agents working directly for the Iranian government or a criminal gang hired by Tehran targeted Mr Zeraati, who hosts the high-profile Last Word show in London.

According to The Times, initial indications suggest one of the gang asked Zeraati for cash and then held him in a bear hug while the second operative approached and stabbed the opposition journalist in the leg at 2.49pm yesterday.

The 36-year-old journalist was rushed to hospital, where he is in a stable condition. He is said to be doing 'very well' and has since shared a picture on Instagram, reassuring his followers with a brave smile as he holds up a peace sign.

A neighbour who was walking with a friend down Queensmere Road, where the attack took place, and witnessed the aftermath, has told the Evening Standard that they saw the alleged assailants flee the scene.

He said: 'It's a very quiet suburban road and we saw two young men sprinting towards us, about 20 yards away and then got into a car. They sped off.

'It felt odd. The two men were laughing, quite clearly laughing. I looked two of them in the eye - they were no more than a cricket pitch length away from me.'

He said they took down the number plate seconds before they came across a man who was trying to flag them down in need of assistance.

'We tried to give first aid and take his jeans off. He had been stabbed, I think four times. He had his jeans on and he had a pool of blood on his leg. It was [awful] to see.'

The unnamed neighbour, who does not know Mr Zeraati personally, went on to say that the stabbing was 'really out of character for the area,' and that he believed 'It was targeted, not a random attack.'

In December, it was revealed that Iranian officials plotted to kill two of Zeraati's colleagues, Sima Sabet and Fardad Farahzad.

Ex-BBC journalist Ms Sabet said that following the attack on Mr Zeraati, police warned her to leave her home.
How Hamas, PIJ's visits to Iran signal a new phase in war on Israel
Head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Ziad al-Nakhalah visited Iran over the weekend, where he promised “victory” in the war against Israel. His visit came days after the head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, also flew to Tehran from Doha.

The meetings come at an auspicious time. This is the last week of Ramadan and it also comes on the eve of the six-month anniversary of the October 7 massacre. The visit by these two terrorist bosses is important and it likely foreshadows a new phase of conflict.

In the past when Iran has sought to bring together these groups in meetings, it often represents a larger part of the Iranian war against Israel and against the US and other countries in the region. For instance, in the past, these kinds of meetings have taken place during periods of escalation. These groups have also been meeting more frequently to try to coordinate multiple fronts against Israel. This is the Tehran strategy of “uniting the arenas.”

What we know from the public statements about the PIJ leader’s meetings in Iran is that he discussed the role of his terrorist group with the Iranian foreign minister.

“Amir Abdollahian considered the unity of the resistance in Palestine and the Gaza Strip in the current battle as one of the valuable manifestations of the Palestinian nation,” a report at Tasnim News said. This referenced the accomplishments the Palestinians believe they have gained on the political, legal, and international fronts.

Iran is also hosting its annual World Quds Day this week on April 5. This is the day when Iran’s regime seeks to exploit the Israel-Palestinian conflict and mobilize hatred of Israel. This year it will be important to watch the coming days carefully because Iran may seek escalation before or after this week. Iran is already escalating in Jordan and the West Bank where it is sowing chaos. There is also a potential escalation in Syria and Lebanon.

Anthony Housefather: I'm Proud to Be a Zionist
As I listened to the debate in the House of Commons on a motion that sought to reverse the last five decades of Canadian foreign policy as relates to our friend and ally Israel, I realized that there was a fundamental misunderstanding of what Zionism was and why the vast majority of Canadian Jews identified with Israel and supported it in its effort to eradicate the terrorist group Hamas which attacked the country on Oct. 7.

We are also keenly aware that following the Oct. 7 pogrom, Hamas encouraged followers to target Jewish communities across the world including here in Canada.

In my address to the House I explained that Jewish Canadians love our country and that there is nothing irreconcilable in being both proud Canadians and Zionists.

My community has been here since 1760 and helped build this country. We have fought in all of Canada's wars and are an integral part of this country.

But the vast majority of us are also Zionists, as are many other Canadians who are not Jewish.

Zionism is simply the belief that Jews have a right to have one state in our ancestral homeland. Jews are indigenous to Israel. We have been there for thousands of years.

We also have a history where Jews have faced persecution in every country in the world.

As such, it is etched in our collective understanding that for security we needed one place where every Jew in the world could go if things went wrong in their country.

That is Israel. That is what Zionism means. I am proud to be a Zionist.

It means that we will not give willful support to those who seek the disappearance of Israel and create false double standards making ludicrous comparisons between a democratically-elected government and a terrorist organization.

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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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