Thursday, April 11, 2024

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: 'One truth can puncture a thousand lies'
Author and journalist Douglas Murray, who received an award of appreciation from the president of Israel and the Minister of Diaspora Affairs on Wednesday, visited the Arutz Sheva - Israel National News studio in Jerusalem to discuss the event.

“I was deeply moved and honored. I don't do it for awards or anything. It was enormously moving to be honored for my work. I don't see myself as a PR soldier, just as a writer and as a journalist. I think it's very important to see things with your own eyes, and that's always been my policy as a writer. That's all I've tried to do. I guessed early on that the world would spend very little time concentrating on the massacre. The next day people were celebrating the massacre in Times Square in New York. I thought right then that I've got to get there as soon as I can because I thought they'll move on to Israel's response.”

He discussed how that has happened in the USA: “I think Biden has been really supportive, even when he has said things that are critical. He has continued arms supplies, for instance. As the IDF has been more and more successful in ridding Gaza of Hamas, the narrative has changed.”

Although advocacy is difficult, he doesn’t see himself quitting. “I think I would do what I do even if I didn't think I was making a difference, but as it happens, I think I am. My belief has always been that one truth can puncture a thousand lies. In the age of social media, that theory is being put to the test in real-time. A lot of the media has an agenda now. That's their right. I'd like Israel to win this conflict, some of them would like Hamas to win, some of them would just like Israel to lose.”

Murray denounces the focus on Israel. “None of these newspapers covered the far greater death toll that has been going on for the last decade in Yemen and Syria. Why are they so obsessed with this one? It's their opportunity to hold on to something that gives a feeling of crisis, but they have arsonist and firefighter reversed here. Many may talk about the history of the conflict, but that only proves it more.”

He notes other oddities about the war: “It's a very uncommon situation for one side to be fighting and also nourishing their opponents. It's an extraordinary testament to this country, but it's highly unusual. I can think of no other conflicts that I've covered or seen or read about in which that's the case. It's also an uncommon situation in war for one side to not only want the death of its enemies but also wish that its enemies should kill its own people. Israel must both fight this enemy and supply them. There's no doubting the appalling suffering of many of the citizens in Gaza, but that's what happens if you start a war.”
Melanie Phillips: The surreal echo chamber of lies
It is the people of Israel, not just Netanyahu, who are demanding that the IDF defeat Hamas. It is the people of Israel, not just Netanyahu, to whom the American proposal for the Palestinian Authority to run post-war Gaza is unthinkable. Because it’s the people of Israel who have now seen, in the most horrific way possible, that there is no Palestinian Arab entity that can be trusted not to slaughter them again and again.

The West’s second major error is failing to realize that this is not just Israel against Hamas or Iran. Israel is on the front line of the war being waged by the Islamic world against the West.

The West doesn’t get this because it doesn’t understand Islam. Nor, astonishing as this may seem, do the Israelis. Their failure to grasp Hamas’s true intentions lies in their failure to understand the implacable nature of Islamic Jew-hatred.

In a notable interview in Israel Hayom, Professor Moshe Sharon, an adviser on Arab affairs to several Israeli governments, observed that Islam has abhorred the Jews from the time of Islam’s creation, an animosity that is “a continuing sentiment stretching across time from that period until the ‘end of days.’” Islam’s overall objective, he said, is to take over the world. It is enjoying a considerable degree of success in pursuing this goal—in Europe, Canada and America.

None of these countries, however, is prepared even to admit this, let alone do anything about it.

With the IDF pulling most of its troops out of Gaza, commentators both inside and outside Israel are claiming that the Rafah offensive has been abandoned, the war is effectively over and Israel has lost. Netanyahu and top military brass insist that, on the contrary, Rafah will indeed be taken and the war will be won.

Israelis are braced for whatever is to come. Despite the Greek chorus of doom from the Israeli media and despite the despicable manipulation of some of the desperate families of hostages by activists determined to bring Netanyahu down at the expense of Israel losing the war, the spirit of the vast majority of Israelis remains heroically unbowed.

Israel will survive. At its current rate, the West will not.

But in these terrible times, what is very hard indeed for Jews to take is the devastating feeling of being so mercilessly abandoned by a world that has become a surreal echo chamber of murderous lies.
America’s elite universities failing Jewish students, per ADL report
America’s elite universities are failing to address Jew-hatred on campus, according to a new tracker released by the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday.

The ADL’s Campus Antisemitism Report Card awarded nine of America’s 10 top-ranked universities an “F” or “D” grade, including failing marks for Harvard University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Duke University was the lone top-10 school to earn a respectable “B” for “better than most.”

Many of America’s best universities are not doing enough for their Jewish students, said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national president of the ADL.

“Every campus should get an ‘A.’ That’s not grade inflation. That’s the minimum that every group on every campus expects,” Greenblatt stated. “Like all students, Jewish students deserve to feel safe and supported on campus. They deserve a learning environment free from antisemitism and hate, but that hasn’t been the experience with antisemitism running rampant on campus since even before Oct. 7.”

The ADL selected the 85 public and private schools to rank both from Hillel International’s list of campuses with the highest percentages of Jewish students and from the top-ranked schools in U.S. News & World Report.

It then assessed the universities by reviewing administrative policies on antisemitism; cataloging antisemitic and anti-Zionist activity; and measuring the extent to which they foster Jewish life on campus.

The nonprofit then surveyed 160 Jewish college students about how they would weigh criteria, including whether or not the college offered kosher dining options or had taken an official position against the BDS movement to boycott Israel. The ADL gave the colleges a chance to respond both pre- and post-assessment.

Only two of the 85 schools graded got an “A”: Waltham, Mass.-based Brandeis University and Elon University, in North Carolina. A dozen schools received an “F.”
Several university leaders begin cracking down on anti-Israel disruptions on campus
Six months after anti-Israel activity began to dominate many college campuses in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks — with minimal action taken by college presidents to quell rising levels of antisemitism — administrators at schools such as Pomona, Columbia and Vanderbilt have taken a harder line in recent weeks. As a result, Jewish leaders are wondering whether these three schools’ tougher responses could represent the leading edge of a trend that takes root across the country.

Jacob Baime, CEO of the Israel on Campus Coalition, told Jewish Insider that other universities will only take similar action if they are pressured to do so. “The suspension of anti-Israel activists at schools like Vanderbilt University is a step in the right direction in addressing the campus climate,” Baime said.

In a statement to Pomona College on Friday, the school’s president, Gabrielle Starr, warned that “any participants in today’s events… who turn out to be Pomona students, are subject to immediate suspension. Students from the other Claremont Colleges will be banned from Pomona’s campus and subject to discipline on their own campuses.”

“I don’t see this as a victory and I don’t know if it’s going to change anything in the future,” Ayelet Kleinerman, a fourth-year Pomona student from Israel who founded the group Haverim Claremont in 2022, told JI. “There is a lot of backlash here from students, faculty and community members on the outside,” she continued. “So we will have to wait and see how things unfold, but when people are arrested I don’t see it as a victory — it’s sad that we got to a situation in the first place where police needed to be called. We shouldn’t have gotten to this in the first place.”

Kleinerman, who started Haverim as a way for Jewish and non-Jewish students to connect and learn about antisemitism — something she felt was missing from on-campus groups in the past — said the climate on campus for Jewish students since Oct. 7 “has been hard and intimidating, [filled] with a lot of [anti-Israel] protests.”

For months, Jewish students and alumni from the Claremont Consortium— Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, and Pitzer College (known as the 5Cs), have urged administrators to take action in response to what they called in a Nov. 6 email “harassment of Jewish Students at Pomona College.”

“We are particularly alarmed by the administration’s acquiescence in the face of gross violations of College policy and applicable law,” the letter, signed by a group of 5C alumni said, pointing to several incidents at Pomona, including a demonstration on Oct. 20 when “Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace held a rally at Pomona’s Smith Campus Center with several hundred attendees. At that rally, SJP and JVP members assembled, at the Smith Campus Center (a shared space intended for use by all College students), a display honoring the Hamas terrorists responsible for the genocidal attacks of October 7.”

Brendan O'Neill: Biden’s creeping betrayal of Israel
It increasingly feels as though the Biden administration is sacrificing Israel at the altar of electoral calculation. Worried about losing the support of sections of the Arab-American community, and of the noisy activists of the graduate class for whom hating Israel has become a feverish obsession, the White House is distancing itself ever further from Israel’s war. This is a suicidally short-termist approach. A majority of American voters continue to back Israel in its efforts to crush the terrorists that attacked it on 7 October. A recent New York Times / Sienna poll found that 40 per cent of voters support Israel and 24 per cent support the Palestinians. The remaining voters either sympathised equally with both (15 per cent) or said they were unsure (21 per cent).

Strikingly, the poll found that the educated elites are more likely than working-class voters to stand against Israel. Among Americans with a bachelor’s degree, 38 per cent take Israel’s side in the current war and 33 per cent take the Palestinian side. Among voters with no bachelor’s degree, an extraordinary 46 per cent back Israel and just 17 per cent back the Palestinains. This shows, surely, that handwringing over Israel is largely the obsessive pursuit of time-rich elites with virtue to signal, and will rarely be found among working communities with bills to worry about.

Why is Biden seemingly so determined to win the votes of the fashionably angry upper-middle class, many of whom won’t be happy with any Israel policy that doesn’t involve the complete cut-off of military and financial aid to that uppity little state? What about the more reasonable working-class vote, many of whom clearly understand that when your very nationhood is threatened by violent extremists, you have no choice but to stand up for yourself? Biden appears to be isolating Israel on the world stage in order to appease the activist class, in order to placate the Israelophobes in his party’s more radical quarters. To put the feelings of the professionally outraged ahead of America’s own keen geopolitical interest in supporting Israel’s war against the Iranian proxies that attacked it on 7 October is unhinged. It speaks to how clueless America’s ruling class has become. How incapable it now is of coolly determining and pursuing the national interest. How far it has drifted from the world of realpolitik into the universe of performative virtue.

So in fact, there’s more to Biden’s creeping betrayal of Israel than electoral calculation. It feels like what we’re really witnessing is the moral exhaustion of the West. In the six months since Hamas’s slaughter of the Jews we have seen our institutions fall one by one to the temptations of Israelophobia, or at least Israel scepticism. First was the universities, then the liberal media machine, and now it’s the political class itself. Fundamentally, their turn against Israel following the worst assault on its people in decades signals their own moral uncertainty, their lack of patriotic fervour, their dearth of belief in the very thing Israel is standing up for: civilisational values against the demented bigotries of those who loathe civilisation. 7 October posed a profound question to us all: will you stand with democracy against barbarism? Far too many in the West have said No. Not really. Not for long. Biden needs to think long and hard before joining these ranks of the cowardly and unenlightened who have so catastrophically failed the moral test of 7 October.
Joe Rogan Experience #2133 - Brendan O'Neill (Israel starts at 1:32 and goes to the end)
Brendan O'Neill is the chief political writer at "spiked" and host of "The Brendan O'Neill Show." He's also the author of several books, among them "Anti-Woke," "A Duty to Offend," and most recently, "A Heretic's Manifesto: Essays on the Unsayable."

Andrew Pessin: The Emirate of Palestine
There are many competing ideas about “the day after” the Israel-Hamas war, about how to fill the dangerous vacuum left in Gaza should Israel succeed in destroying Hamas. Overlooked, however, is a particularly intriguing suggestion by the anonymous blogger Elder of Ziyon that deserves wider attention.

What are the main possibilities?

Israel doesn’t want Gaza back. It doesn’t want to govern two million hostile Palestinians, nor take over day-to-day governance. Imagine the suicide bombings at every governmental office. And, of course, it would be “occupation.”

Israel has tried empowering local clans as alternate rulers for years and it has never worked out: they fight amongst themselves, there are too many threats from armed Islamists, and no one wants to look like a puppet of Israel.

Some (such as the US) have pushed for a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority (PA) to reassert control, but the PA is corrupt and weak, despised by its own citizens, in fact complicit in terror against Israelis, and “revitalization” is a farce. The P.A. lost Gaza to Hamas once and would likely lose it again, either by election or by force.

Others have proposed a multinational force or rule that would include Arab states, a kind of “Arab mandate.” Though there are advantages, it means that Gaza would become a hot spot for geopolitical rivalries between at least Qatar and Saudi Arabia. But Qatari influence would be disastrous. Qatar supports Hamas both directly and through Al Jazeera, the most influential source of “news” in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia might want more influence, but without peace with Israel, it is limited in what it can do. Egypt doesn’t want Gaza. Egyptians hate everything about it. After all, it was Egypt that turned it into a virtual prison for Palestinian refugees after the 1948 war and to this day.

So who should run Gaza the day after Hamas is eradicated?

When Israel left Gaza in 2005, optimists thought it could become a new Singapore. Palestinian incompetence and Hamas ended that fantasy. Hate for Israel was more important than helping Palestinians thrive.

But, as Elder of Ziyon points out, there is one country that could turn Gaza into that wonderful place: The United Arab Emirates (UAE). Gaza should become the eighth United Arab Emirate.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Do Hamas’ Leaders Abroad Have a Mandate to Negotiate?
The Egyptians and Qataris are negotiating with Hamas leaders in Qatar and Lebanon to reach an agreement on a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages. In 2017, Yahya Sinwar was secretly elected Hamas leader in Gaza, taking over from Ismail Haniyeh, who is the current chairman of Hamas Politburo and has been living in Qatar for the last five years.

In recent years, several other senior Hamas officials have also left Gaza after falling out with Sinwar and his brother, Mohammed, a commander of Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades. "The Sinwar brothers carried out a silent coup against the veteran political leadership of Hamas," Palestinian sources in Gaza said. "Yahya and Mohammed did not tolerate any competition and ruled Gaza as if it were their private fiefdom."

The Sinwar brothers, with the help of Hamas military commanders Mohammed Deif and Marwan Issa, often refused to accept dictates from Haniyeh and other senior Hamas officials outside of Gaza. The Sinwar brothers opened direct channels with Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. In return, the Iranians rewarded the Gaza-based Hamas leaders with financial and military aid. Haniyeh and the other Hamas leaders silently watched as the Sinwar brothers pushed them to the sidelines.

In the aftermath of the Israeli military operation in Gaza, the disconnect between the Sinwar brothers and the Hamas leadership abroad has only deepened. According to an Arab diplomatic source, Yahya Sinwar recently sent an urgent message to the Egyptians that any deal brokered by Haniyeh would be turned down by the Gaza-based leadership. The tensions between Hamas' leadership in the Gaza tunnels and the terror group's leaders in Doha and Beirut are the main reason why the ceasefire negotiations remain stalled. The Sinwar brothers are worried that the group's leaders abroad are prepared to make unacceptable concessions to Israel as a result of immense pressure from Qatar and Egypt.

Given the mistrust (and disconnect) between the Gaza-based Hamas leadership and the terror group's leaders abroad, one can only wonder whether the Qataris and Egyptians are not wasting their time negotiating with representatives who do not represent the Sinwar brothers and what remains of the al-Qassam Brigades.
Michael Oren: Conveying Israel's Truths to American Audiences
Over the past six months, I've spoken before dozens of Jewish communities in North America.

I talked about the broken covenant of "never again," and Israel's need to restore it, about the irreconcilable goals of destroying Hamas and freeing all the hostages, about the loneliness. Nobody understands us in the world.

Everyone is condemning us for killing 30,000 Palestinians. That figure was libelous.

It was formulated by Hamas, infamous for inflating its statistics, and included the 12,000 terrorists killed by the IDF, the Palestinians killed by short-falling Hamas rockets, and the people who had naturally died.

Equally insidious was the charge that Israel "indiscriminately" bombed Gaza. Each air force operation must first be approved by military and legal experts.

The U.S. administration's mantra of "too many Palestinians have been killed" was misleading, suggesting that some lower number would have been acceptable.

Though every collateral Palestinian death is a tragedy, the ratio of combatant-to-civilian fatalities in Gaza is the lowest in modern urban warfare.

Washington's tendency to downplay this reality and condemn our conduct of war was especially painful.

The remainder of my speech was devoted to optimism - born of an Israeli society that had proven itself to be the world's strongest and most resilient, of a country that, from the moment of its birth, had overcome serial challenges. Our newfound Jewish unity was also a source of hope.
Stephen Pollard: Amnesty is now a morally bankrupt, worthless sham
Amnesty’s embrace of Daqqa is no surprise. Last year it called Khader Adnan a “baker by trade” after his death in an Israeli prison following a hunger strike — which Amnesty said was a “reminder of the deadly cost that Palestinians pay for challenging Israel’s apartheid”. In 2007 this “baker by trade” was filmed encouraging suicide bombings: “Who among you will carry the next explosive belt? Who among you will fire the next bullets? Who among you will have his body parts blown all over?”

In 2015 Amnesty was exposed for having provided support to the prisoners’ rights group Cage, which was described last month by the communities secretary, Michael Gove, as Islamist. After the furore, Amnesty said it was “reviewing whether any future association … would be appropriate”. Apparently it was: in 2021 they united to attack a review into the government’s Prevent scheme for tackling radicalisation.

In August 2022, Amnesty highlighted a series of alleged breaches of international law in Ukraine. But in the Amnesty world-view the breaches were Ukraine’s, because its army operated in civilian areas to defend itself from Russia.

That same year, a report the group set up to investigate itself found Amnesty to be “institutionally racist”, “colonialist”, “a white saviour” and “privileged”. Whatever else it may be, Amnesty is an indecent, morally bankrupt sham that has nothing of value to contribute.
Filmmaker releases ‘Killing America’ after YouTube pulled trailer amid cease and desist
Filmmaker Eli Steele released "Killing America" on all possible platforms to undermine what he believes are efforts to silence his documentary that explores whether an emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and other race issues contributed to antisemitism plaguing a California school district.

"If we stand back and do nothing, then we are part of killing America," Steele told Fox News Digital.

"We really have to stand up and question," he continued. "Why do we let these people educate our children who are ideologues?"

The 38-minute "Killing America" examines widespread antisemitism in San Francisco-area schools after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 and whether educational standards being lowered in the name of equity resulted in pushback against Israel and Jewish people. The film notes that racial equity is often prioritized ahead of merit at the schools in question, and honor classes were removed as ethnic studies were added.

But when the film’s trailer featured footage from a Sequoia Union High School District board meeting, Steele was hit with a cease-and-desist letter from a student newspaper of one of the schools in the film, Menlo-Atherton High School’s M-A Chronicle.

The 38-minute "Killing America" examines antisemitism in San Francisco-area schools after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. (Screengrab) YouTube and Vimeo took down the "Killing America" trailer as a result of the cease and desist, which Steele said would have greatly diminished his opportunity to promote "Killing America" ahead of its original scheduled release in October, so he decided to put the entire film online for free.

Steele, who previously worked for Fox News, has said the film "was a labor of love for me, a continuation of my family’s legacy of civil rights activism that dates back to 1942" and blasted attempts to ban it as "nothing short of weaponized censorship."

"These left-wing activists cannot stand dissent or opposition to the ideological order they seek to impose in our schools as well as our larger society. What you are witnessing here is the weaponization of the copyright law in these ugly culture wars to prevent my film from being shown in its full form. This is nothing less than suppression of free speech, which includes artistic expression and free thought," Steele posted on X.

Jonathan Tobin: Who can stop the Democrats’ pivot away from Israel?
This process continued the following year when, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020, Democrats en masse endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement that was tainted by antisemitism. In the moral panic of that summer, Democrats also found themselves adopting the toxic radical ideologies that helped motivate the “mostly peaceful” riots that wreaked havoc around the nation. Other than conservative critics, no one in the media seemed to notice the capture not just of the academy by the far left, but also of Washington after Biden signed executive orders in January 2021 that made the woke catechism of diversity, equity and inclusion official government policy had also helped move the “Overton window” about Israel. Whereas in the past, one would have never encountered advocacy for Israel’s destruction on the editorial pages of The New York Times or The Washington Post or viewed on MSNBC, soon it became routine.

Seen in that light, the open revolt of the left-wing activists who help staff Democratic Party offices and institutions against Biden’s first reactions to Oct. 7 was entirely predictable. And though it didn’t have to happen, given the fact that Biden has—throughout his half-century in politics—been a weathervane that always pointed in the direction of popular opinion in his party, it was also probably inevitable that his pro-Israel impulses that were on display six months ago would quickly be discarded.

Though most Democrats don’t seem to realize this, in a nation where most Americans still support Israel and oppose its terrorist opponents, there are still more pro-Israel votes to be lost in the political center by abandoning the Jewish state than on the far left for being too hostile to Hamas. Yet it has become the conventional wisdom among Democrats that the continuation of the war until Hamas’s elimination is an obstacle to Biden’s re-election. That is the reason for the reluctance of even Democratic Congress members who were considered stalwart backers of Israel to condemn Biden’s threats and be willing to mandate a Hamas victory.

There has been a troubling outbreak of anti-Israel sentiment that embraces antisemitism among some conservative talk-show hosts like Candace Owens and Tucker Carlson. But almost all Republican officeholders have lined up behind Israel and against Biden’s betrayal of the Jewish state. Evangelical and conservative Christian support for Israel rooted in their faith will also ensure that the GOP remains faithful.

Where does that leave Democratic outliers like Fetterman?
Democratic centrists are numerous enough to still exercise some influence within their party and are likely to succeed in general elections when they can count on pro-Israel voters outnumbering the antisemites in districts and states that aren’t deep blue. But it would be foolish to pretend that they are the future of the party when compared to media stars like AOC, who can count on the support of not just loyal activists, but leftist press and cultural institutions. It’s hard to see how any scenario in which the political left’s hold on the Democrats weakens either in the event of a second Biden term, where they will remain in power, or in opposition if Trump wins in November and the party probably becomes even more susceptible to extremism.

The horror of Oct. 7 should have resulted in the isolation of Israel-haters; however, the opposite has happened among Democrats. That means that politicians like Fetterman are going to be increasingly the exception to the rule among Democrats, and it will make his political courage all the more praiseworthy and deserving of support. But it will also leave us increasingly in a situation in which the vital backing that Israel needs from America will become solely a function of partisan battles between Democrats and Republicans. No matter which party prevails in 2024, that’s very good news for antisemites, who have long fantasized about the crackup of the U.S.-Israel alliance and can now see their dream close to realization.
Manchin, Fetterman push back against Democrats’ pressure on Israel
Some Senate Democrats are raising concerns that efforts by members in their party to publicly apply pressure to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to alter his war plan are impacting Israel’s negotiating position as it works to secure the release of remaining hostages.

Elements of the Democratic Party have been vocally critical of Israel’s handling of its war in Gaza over the high death toll and humanitarian situation, with a growing number of far-left legislators calling to cut off future offensive and defensive weapons sales to the country in an effort to put a stop to the conflict.

“It doesn’t help, it doesn’t help,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told JI when asked on Wednesday if demands that Israel take a more surgical approach to the war are hurting Israel’s negotiating position.

“The bottom line is, if anyone expects us to have any type of movement towards peace over there, release the hostages, then sit down in good faith. You can’t hold these hostages and expect Israel to back off completely and let you reload and keep doing the damaging, horrific attacks you’ve been doing,” Manchin continued.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who has been unapologetic about his support for Israel since Oct. 7, said in response to the same question that he doesn’t “think capitulating is ever helpful with that. And I think Hamas is convinced that they’ve already won that PR war. I don’t think they’re going to have any kind of a deal unless it’s absolutely everything that they’re demanding as part of that as well.”

A number of Republicans echoed the concerns of their Democratic colleagues, which come as negotiators continue talks on a hostage deal in Cairo.
Today, in Canada, it is like Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
Three weeks later, I was officially told why I had been suspended. A professor and a few students had complained, and they were all given anonymity because they feared violence, though I had never even raised my voice. They all said they were afraid, and they peppered their accusations with words like “violence,” “safety,” and “fear.”

Though not allowed by policy, their dishonest, unsubstantiated, defamatory claims were rewarded with anonymity. With anonymity, it was as if the Human Rights office was encouraging the unnamed offended to take their swings at me. Their claims were pure vitriol, accusing me of the following: racist, Islamophobe, violent, unworthy of teaching, should be fired.

How do you defend yourself against cruel personal lies? You can’t, you sputter, you sit down.

A lawyer took me on, and a few kind Jewish strangers online supported me. John Ivison, a columnist in the National Post (Canada’s second- or third-biggest newspaper), wrote about me three times, which brought in some more support.

Students who defied the ban texted me the latest gossip. Some unknown staff and faculty accused me of the wildest things — getting into fights in class? Calling me a trouble case on the verge of termination? What? Where was this coming from?

An anonymous senior staff member told her staff I would be terminated. They had apparently decided this a week before any investigation had started or even before I had been told what I was suspended for. It’s university justice; due process is not included. A friend showed me the texts of a staff member arguing with him. She had witnesses. I was a criminal, and I had lost it, she said. I knew the staff member; we had never had an angry word.

Some students pushed into the department head’s office and told them they were disgusted with my treatment. They said I was the best professor in the department and the only one who cared about them.

But the spiraling rumors and bursts of malice continued. I would feel the gathering winds at the fringe of the storm. I was at a hockey game, and I saw a student. I locked eyes and prepared to say hello, and he looked at my wife and me and walked by. It would not be the only time I got walk-by’s — from popular to pariah.

There was a human rights complaint (HRC) against me; I had to Google this “HRC.” I discovered the professor who complained, Wael Ramadan, was a prolific antisemite; his LinkedIn and X were full of hundreds of posts calling for the extermination of Israel, accusations of apartheid and genocide, saying the IDF shot their hostages to save money, praising dictators everywhere, praising terrorist groups, equating Hamas with Ukrainian soldiers.

The official Claimant, Melanie Spence Ariemma, was bizarrely the university vice provost, someone I had never met; she was also to be my judge, and her signature on the HRC aligned her officially with my accusers. It was not looking good.

I filed a human rights complaint against Ramadan.

Lawyers raged, administrators refused to respond, and my union, the one with Fred Hahn at the helm — the man whose response to October 7th was “let the uprising begin” — was doing just enough to avoid a bad faith complaint.

Since November, I have never met one union representative and have only spoken on the phone once. Most of my emails go unanswered. My lawyer’s firm was suing them for antisemitism. But the unions, on their worst day, are better than management.
Eve Barlow: You're welcome
Are you in the middle, or on the fence? Then this is for you.

Here’s the truth. My first thought on October 7 was "that's the end of the two-state solution". Not because of Israelis, but because of Palestinians.

The Israelis who were targeted in Southern communities like Kfar Aza, Be'eri, and Nir Oz on October 7 were peacenik communities. They were the people who believed in and worked towards co-existence and a two-state solution the most, and dedicated their lives to it, which is why they lived so close to the border. On October 7, Hamas intentionally desecrated the peacenik communities of Israel. They were fulfilling a desire to ethnically cleanse and genocide the Jews from the land, and waves of Gazan civilians followed them over the fence to loot the homes of those who had been murdered, and to aid in the kidnappings of hostages.

October 7 wasn't about establishing statehood for the civilians of Gaza, it was about "freeing Palestine". Those are two different things. "Free Palestine from the river to the sea" is about eradication of the two-state solution. There is to be no Israel, and no Jewish state, and no Jewish people, regardless of whether or not the Palestinians are ever granted a state by the Arab nations. The butchering and raping of Jews on October 7 is what "Free Palestine" means. It has nothing to do with peace, or co-existence, or statehood for Palestinians. It is about death and destruction of the Jewish people. The sooner you get this into your thick skulls the better. Have you heard the phrase Judenrein? Yes, it sounds German because it is German. It means to be rid of Jews. “Free Palestine OF THE JEWS”. That is the full slogan. That is all it actually means. Clever, right? [*puts fingers in gun motion to the head*]

What was it Mark Twain said?

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

I ask myself every day why people like Aviva aren’t BBC World News correspondents. Oh, they’re experts and they’re Jewish. That’s right.

Back to my point. It is beyond obvious that Israel should have the support of the West because Israel is the only state among the Arab world that guarantees Western values. However, antisemitism is so prevalent among so-called liberal communities that Western governments are being pressured into rescinding their allyship. Western liberals are in fact so antisemitic that they are prepared to commit geopolitical suicide in order to feel righteous. It's crystal clear. The Islamists prey on Western weakness, and the fact of the matter is the West has been eroding and attacking its own values (free speech being – I’d argue – the main one) for years now. In America, the First Amendment is meaningless. Either everthing is defamatory or nothing is, depending on how much power and influence the one wielding the mic has.
Sohrab Ahmari: The new racist right are uniquely dangerous
And on and on. These tendencies are far more dangerous than hard-left anti-Israelism, because they represent a comprehensive politics whose aspirations are utterly at odds with democracy and basic notions of equal human worth and dignity. Most left criticism of Israel remains within the moral coordinates of modern democracy. And when legitimate progressive criticism of the Israeli government veers into anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, it represents a violation of the left’s universalist norms and is often rebuked as such. By contrast, the e-right’s proudly Hitlerist memes are a direct expression of the movement’s world-view.

Yet strangely, the mainstream and even many progressives are oblivious to what’s flowing through these online sewers. This is because an older mainstream commentariat is accustomed to dismissing what happens on the internet as mere “shitposting”. And because even progressives find it hard to believe that there is a movement afoot to rehabilitate, say, the natural-hierarchy philosophy of the late Antebellum South. Much as it was with jihadism – another extremist ideology that took a while to make itself felt – it’s easy to underestimate the degree to which serious people espouse “this stuff” and really mean it.

But the Islamists did mean it then, and the new racist right means it now. The return of right-wing eugenics and IQ politics will transform right-of-centre movements worldwide and especially in the US, creating a moral permission structure for changes that seem unthinkable today: legal changes aimed at abridging the Civil Rights Act, say, or an even more fundamental attack against the Reconstruction Amendments of the American Civil War.

Eugenic, racial and IQ-obsessed conservatism can also help blunt demands for economic reform: if the poor and working classes are impoverished not by the power differentials generated by markets but by their own mental deficiencies and endemic laziness, then labour unions, antitrust, social welfare and the like can do little to improve the lot of the powerless. The best social policy can do is get out of the way of the asset-rich, whose wealth is only the “natural” product of their genius.

It’s not all online. The new racist right has developed a significant ideological and cultural ecosystem, spanning both online communities and real-world hubs such as the Bay Area, Miami, and especially Lower Manhattan. They have their own canonical texts, their own fashion mavens, their own aesthetic and lifestyle. For many intelligent Zoomers today, “Judeo-Christianity” and Ronald Reagan, touchstones for an earlier generation of conservatives, carry no weight.

Rather, to be “on the right” means to be part of this lifeworld: one defined, above all, by a radical rejection not just of “wokeness” but of the basic commitment to equal human worth and dignity.

The creepy online right is a warning that what’s likely to succeed the woke era on the right could be far worse.
What’s happened to Zionism and Anglo-Jewry?
Perhaps some Jews don’t consider themselves Zionist because they can’t see what the word means any more. The platform of the World Zionist Organisation refers to Zionism as the “national liberation movement” of the Jewish people, a perfectly reasonable way to sum it up historically, but perhaps an outdated formula to describe the relationship between Israel and the diaspora today.

Some might think of Zionism as mission accomplished: In less than a century since its founding, Israel has gathered in millions of “exiles” from all over and remarkably become the world’s largest centre of Jewish population (though some would reserve that accolade for the USA; it depends on whom you count as Jewish).

What JPR also shows is that more UK Jews acknowledge attachment to Israel (73 per cent) than subscribe to Zionism. You can enjoy falafel in pitta, watch Fauda, donate to UJIA or bristle at BBC coverage of the Middle East and not call yourself a Zionist.

Perhaps the term is only genuinely used of diaspora Jews who believe their future lies in Israel and move there.

The JPR survey was carried out nearly a year before the fateful events of October 7, the repercussions of which are still unfolding. So JPR has cautioned that it is “highly likely” that the current war would have an impact on perspectives on Zionism and attachment to Israel.

For many, their sense of security has been shaken. Polls which report a substantial number of Jews saying they have considered leaving the country certainly indicate the mood of uncertainty, but that’s different from booking a visit to the aliyah office.

When JPR collected its data, only one in 10 said it was “more”, rather than “less likely”, that they would be relocating to Israel within the next five years.

Most of us have a bond with Israel and may well admire those who leave London or Manchester for Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

But we are not, in any strict sense, Zionists.
Why I Resigned From the DC Abortion Fund
On Nov. 17, 2023 I resigned from my dream job at the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF). In the four months since my resignation, the organization seemed to have grown emboldened not just to demand fealty to a progressive litmus test over the war in Gaza, but to use DCAF’s resources, time, and reputation to push out individuals who do not share their perspective, most recently and explicitly signing on to a campaign to call the Jewish musician Matisyahu—known for his peace anthem “One Day”—a “white Zionist” racist. While I wish I could be surprised by this, I’m not. This is the same pattern I experienced at the DC Abortion Fund that led to my resignation.

For the previous 18 months, I had proudly served as the most senior executive at DCAF, a grassroots organization whose core mission is to provide abortion funding in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area. This dream position brought together my 20-plus-year career in sexual and reproductive health and my lifelong personal commitment to social justice. My daughters proudly acted as our “interns,” handing out swag at community events and telling anyone who would ask about their mom’s work, even when it meant enduring verbal and physical harassment from anti-abortion activists. In less than a year at DCAF, I was promoted.

After the tragic events in Israel on Oct. 7, everything changed for the Jewish community and for me. While it was well-known that I was the only Jewish staff member—I staffed all events and fundraisers hosted by the Jewish community—not one person from the staff or board reached out to me in the wake of the rape, murder, and kidnapping of 1,200 Israeli men, women, and children. Their silence mirrored the devastating silence many Jews experienced after Oct. 7.

On Oct. 9, with no mention of the terrible events from two days prior, DCAF’s communications team posted an Indigenous People’s Day Instagram post calling for “land back” and a “Free Palestine.” Jewish members of the DCAF community—volunteers, fundraisers, and me, an employee—alerted the communications team that this was, or was perceived to be, deeply insensitive. The post was removed.
‘Gaza war didn’t come out of the blue’: French PM defends Israel in parliament
French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal came to Israel’s defense during a parliamentary session on Wednesday, resoundingly condemning the Hamas terror group and its supporters when asked if Paris would consider banning arms exports to Israel in light of the war in Gaza.

The question was presented to Attal by lawmaker Frédéric Mathieu of the far-left La France Insoumise, whose members Attal chastised for apparently asking the same thing at each Prime Minister’s Questions session.

“Before answering your question, I want to remind you — and I deplore and regret that it is necessary to do so each time in response to questions from La France Insoumise — that the dramatic situation being experienced in Gaza follows an absolutely vile, barbaric terrorist attack committed by Hamas on Israeli soil,” said Attal, who is of Jewish descent on his father’s side.

“Listening to you and your interruptions, it is as if the idea for Israel to operate in Gaza just came out of the blue one morning,” Attal continued.

“You never say a word about the victims of the Hamas attack. You never talk about our hostages, who are still being held — today in Gaza there are three French hostages,” Attal said before being cut off by applause from lawmakers agreeing with his statement.

Israel’s war with Hamas began on October 7 with the shock Hamas terror assault in southern Israel, in which some 1,200 people were slaughtered, most of them civilians, and 253 were seized as hostages. Of that number, 129 remain in Gaza six months later, and the IDF has confirmed the deaths of 34 of those who are still there.

Addressing not only the nature of the question but also the facts presented as evidence to support introducing an arms ban on Israel, Attal slammed Mathieu: “Week after week, month after month, while the minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu has systematically responded to your questions, you continue to relay false information.”

Reminding him that in 2022, France’s exports to Israel made up just 0.2 percent of the country’s total exports, Attal told Mathieu that those sales are “essentially components that serve the Israeli defense system’s Iron Dome, to protect its own people.”
Ireland’s planned unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state sends a dangerous signal
When I became ambassador to Ireland in August 2023, I looked forward to a recalibration of relations between our two countries which had numerous positive elements, albeit against a challenging political backdrop. Many Irish commentators and politicians eagerly assured me that Ireland was not hostile to Israel.

Unfortunately, six months into the war that was launched upon Israel by Hamas, when we see the one-sided media coverage, and hear the often-vitriolic rhetoric of politicians, one cannot help but question this.

October 7th was an horrific event in the history of Israel and the Jewish people – 1,200 of our people were slaughtered, hundreds raped and tortured, and hundreds more including children were kidnapped and sent into a living hell of captivity in Gaza, all by a Jihadi organisation whose own Charter is dedicated to the extermination of all Jews.

In most EU capitals there were strong expressions of solidarity with Israel, such as statements of support and public buildings being lit in the Israeli colours of blue and white. With the exception of vigils held outside the embassy organised by various communities, there were no such high-profile or official public displays in Dublin; in fact, there was an automatic expression of solidarity with Palestinians, and even Hamas. Politicians and commentators saw an opportunity to castigate my country for its possible response. This was even before the IDF began its ground operation in Gaza to release the hostages and defeat Hamas.

The ground operation is now used as justification for extreme anti-Israel discourse, which has escalated over the past six months. Support for my country, which is mostly expressed to the embassy, is now largely communicated in private for fear of attack. Furthermore, it appears that any show of empathy or humanity expressed toward Israel has been bullied out of public spaces due to an environment of hostility that has been allowed to prevail. It seems that in Ireland there is freedom of expression, but limited freedom of opinion.

Many Irish politicians, especially those in Opposition, have continually singled out Israel, not only for criticism, but for boycott and calls for my expulsion, all the while effectively disregarding any suffering of people in Israel. They have embraced the “Palestinian cause” seemingly unconditionally, which in essence gives support to Hamas and other jihadist movements.

The Irish Government, although officially condemning what happened on October 7th and calling for the release of those kidnapped, has scarcely condemned Hamas itself. There is no outcry or action against its genocidal jihadi character, its abuse of the people of Gaza whom it cynically uses as human shields, its abuse of civilian infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and mosques, and its indoctrination of the youth of Gaza into a cult of martyrdom. There is constant criticism of Israel’s military actions, with no acknowledgment of the cynical tactics deployed by Hamas. In Ireland, Hamas is not held to any account, nor is it the subject of protest or pressure. Some, on the extreme left, even celebrate it as Palestinian “resistance”.
Israel raps Irish PM for ‘forgetting’ Israeli hostages
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday chastised Simon Harris, Ireland’s new prime minister (or, Taoiseach), who referred to the Gaza war in his inaugural address but failed—in the ministry’s words “forgot”—to mention the 133 Israeli hostages still held by Hamas.

Harris plans “to award additional prizes to terrorism, in the form of an ICJ [International Court of Justice] declaration of intervention on the side of South Africa, the legal arm of the Hamas terrorist organization, and the possible recognition of a Palestinian state in the future,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lior Haiat tweeted on X.

Haiat referred to the “Genocide Case” brought by South Africa against Israel at the ICJ in January. Israel’s government at the time referred to the case as a ” blood libel.”

“After the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, and even after the war crimes, the crimes against humanity and the sexual crimes that were committed, and are still being committed, by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women and men, there are those in Ireland who persist on being on the wrong side of history,” Haiat said.
Richard Goldberg: MSCI ESG Ratings May Violate State Anti-BDS Laws
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and 17 other state attorneys general sent a letter on March 28 to financial analytics firm MSCI Inc. following a report the firm may be imposing punitive environmental, social, governance (ESG) ratings on Israel-connected companies “for conducting business in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.” The letter reflects the determination of many state attorneys general that ESG ratings firms engage in both deceptive business practices and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activities when they impose negative ratings on Israel-connected companies based on BDS sources and assumptions.

ESG ratings purport to give investors a better picture of a company’s environmental impact and governance practices, including involvement in human rights controversies. Since the BDS campaign cloaks its assault on Israel in “human rights” terms, ESG ratings can quickly be hijacked for BDS objectives, ultimately inflicting economic damage on firms simply for operating in certain disputed territories, not because of actual misconduct.

The Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) reported last month that MSCI imposed a “severe” ESG “controversy” rating on Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems due to the company’s “participation in the construction of security and surveillance barriers designed to protect Israelis from terrorists.” JNS reported that MSCI’s ESG rating for Elbit cited known pro-BDS sources, including Pax Christi and Jewish Voice for Peace.

The JNS report suggests MSCI’s ESG ratings may be weaponized against Israel-connected companies in the same manner as ratings previously developed by Morningstar Sustainalytics, another financial information provider. In June and November of 2022, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) documented the way in which Morningstar used anti-Israel sources and assumptions — for example, that merely operating in Jewish areas of Judea, Samaria, or eastern Jerusalem amounted inherently to a human rights controversy — to negatively alter the ESG ratings of Israel-connected companies.
Josh Hawley says Code Pink ‘astroturf wackos’ need to be called out
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) argued that Code Pink protesters need to be reminded that they are financially backed by China amid their protesting for the Hamas terrorist groups.

Footage of Hawley being confronted by protesters from Code Pink, a left-wing feminist antiwar organization, went viral on social media on Wednesday, during which the Missouri senator informed them how the group is backed by China amid the country’s human rights violations against Uyghurs. Hawley argued that the protesters confronted him over his support for Israel, and that he enjoyed the exchange that he had with them.

“These are people that can’t even admit that the Uyghurs are in internment camps, concentration camps, and yet they say that Israel is a terrorist state?” Hawley said on Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle. “Give me a break! It is astroturf whackos is what these people are, and it’s time they got called out.”

Hawley also argued that “globalist billionaires” are backing President Joe Biden in his 2024 reelection bid because they are betting on the demise of the United States, making the U.S. poorer and China richer. He also accused these billionaires of sending U.S. jobs overseas, and that Biden’s policies are “bankrupting” the country.

“It’s bankrupting this country and destroying the working class of this country,” Hawley said. “They know Donald Trump will stop it. That’s why they oppose him.”
York University's 'Toolkit on Teaching Palestine' endangers campus's Jewish community
Since October 7, there has been a proliferation of students vocalizing their views on the Hamas-Israel war. Most universities are no strangers to differing views; however, the already prominent friction between students has increased since the Palestinian Solidarity Working Group released its Toolkit on Teaching Palestine at York University. As a Canadian student based in Ontario, I am deeply concerned about the damage this “toolkit” could cause to the Jewish community both on and off campus.

While the intention of this toolkit may have been to educate students on the struggles the Palestinian community faces on campus and beyond, it has ultimately also become harmful to the Jewish community. The toolkit refers to Hillel York as a “Zionist cultural institution,” which is a misrepresentation of Hillel and is meant to be libelous. According to the director of Hillel York, Dean Lavi, “Hillel is a safe haven for Jewish students on campus. Misrepresenting Hillel as a “Zionist cultural institution” may result in jeopardizing the safety of the students going there for sanctuary.

This has already proven to be true, given the extensive online targeting of students and the aggressive nature of recent protests. Given the lack of critical thinking that has been apparent within some educational institutions, groups of students have been influenced to join protests without clear knowledge or understanding of the context or impact behind them.

The rising hate towards the Jewish community has been astronomical. According to Toronto Police, as reported by many news outlets in 2023, there was a 103% increase of reported antisemitic incidents, compared to 2022.

This toolkit further exacerbates the dichotomous perspective of oppressor and oppressed, which can result in further Jew hatred and divisiveness within the community at large. On page 5, the toolkit discusses how the Palestinians are “victims of genocide” and how “for the first time they are broadcasting the genocide of their people, the destruction of their culture and histories.”

They also discuss Israel depriving them of basic human needs, such as food, shelter, and access to healthcare. This creates the idea that Israelis are aiming to not only cause genocide, which by definition is a major decrease in population – which is not happening – but also that the aim is to erase culture and identity. Israel has gone to lengths to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible while trying to dismantle Hamas and bring the hostages home.

When the goal and intent is genocide, civilians are killed without a second thought and attacks are initiated. Israel has not initiated any attacks on any of the neighboring Arab states and did not initiate attacks toward Palestinians.
Harvard Moves Toward Student Referendum on Divestment from Israel, Led by Rhodes Scholarship Recipient
The Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee, an anti-Israel student group, passed a petition on Tuesday that started the wheels turning toward a student referendum on whether Harvard University should divest from Israel. The student behind the effort is a Pakistani national who was recently named a Rhodes Scholar.

Asmer Asrar Safi, an international student at the Ivy League institution, is listed as one of the two student organizers behind the petition, which triggers a referendum asking students whether Harvard should divest from entities linked to "Israel's occupation of Palestine." Months earlier, in November, Harvard congratulated Safi for being named a Rhodes Scholar, noting that he plans to study "progressive political messaging" at the University of Oxford. Students must receive Harvard's endorsement before applying for the Rhodes scholarship, a selective process in which half of Harvard's prospective applicants are rejected.

In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, Safi said he helped draft the petition in response to similar resolutions from the Harvard Law School Student Government and Harvard Divinity School Student Association. Those resolutions call on the Ivy League school to divest from "illegal Israeli settlements," and Safi said he hopes to "capitalize off of [their] momentum."

"One thing that we want to definitely emphasize is that Harvard has a responsibility to listen to us," Safi said.

At Harvard, prospective Rhodes applicants must receive approval from a two-tiered endorsement committee before they are allowed to apply. After securing Harvard's endorsement, Safi flew 7,000 miles to Pakistan for his interview and was subsequently selected as one of the nation's two Rhodes Scholars.

Harvard in a Friday statement dismissed Israeli boycott efforts, saying that its "leadership has made clear that it opposes calls for a policy of boycotting Israel and its academic institutions." The university declined to comment on Safi's petition and whether it stands by its decision to endorse the student as a Rhodes Scholar.
Elise Stefanik Says Harvard Siding With ‘Those Who Hate Jewish Students’ In Scathing Letter
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) slammed Harvard University in a letter on Thursday for failing to take action against anti-Semitism and siding with “those who hate Jewish students.”

“This institution has failed time and time again to take steps to properly address this scourge and hold perpetrators accountable,” Stefanik, who is a Harvard alumna, wrote in a letter to its interim president. “Your actions have continued to disgrace this institution and threaten the safety of the students you claim to serve.”

“At a time when support and applications for Harvard have fallen, university leadership has continuously chosen to side with those who hate Jewish students and faculty and failed to keep them safe,” Stefanik added.

Stefanik’s letter cited the school’s failure to take immediate action after an October 18 “die-in” at Harvard Business School, during which student activists displayed a sign with the genocidal anti-Israel slogan “from the river to the sea” and assaulted a student filming.

“During this event, an Israeli Harvard Business School student recorded the act and was quickly surrounded by a mob of anti-Israel protestors who assaulted and harassed him,” Stefanik wrote. “These assailants blocked his path, repeatedly grabbed him, and shouted ‘Shame! Shame! Shame!’ at him.”
Exodus leaves Melbourne Writers Festival searching for next chapter
An exodus of board members and administrative staff from the Melbourne Writers Festival just weeks out from this year’s program has raised questions about the future shape and viability of the event, which is financially dwarfed by literary festivals in Sydney and Adelaide.

The Melbourne Writers Festival confirmed that its chair for the past year, US-born governance and strategy expert Alice Hill, quit the organisation last month. Her resignation came shortly after deputy chairman Dr Leslie Reti, a retired Jewish obstetrician, quit over anti-Israel material in this year’s program. Exodus: Melbourne Writers Festival artistic director Michaela McGuire has said this will be her last year in charge of the program.

The departure of the two most senior board members coincides with an exit of staff, with development manager Alice Fitzgerald finishing work last week, a month after chief executive Fiona Menzies quit. They are expected to be joined by head of marketing Emma Walsh, who has tendered her resignation, and artistic director Michaela McGuire, who has announced that this will be her final year in charge of the festival program.

This year will also be the first where audience members are not allowed to ask live questions of authors. The Australian last week reported the MWF has told its session moderators to dispense with audience questions – a standard feature of literary festivals – to keep the event running on time and preserve the “safety and comfort of all artists and audiences”.
Yale Divinity School has an antisemitism problem
I no longer shy from the truth anymore: YDS has an antisemitism problem. It’s a problem, frankly, when Jewish students say it’s a problem. It’s a problem when the only time Jews and Judaism are brought up in the classroom is when Israel is being discussed. It’s a problem when Christians assume the solution to thousands of years of Christian antisemitism is saying the “Hebrew Bible” instead of the “Old Testament.” It’s a problem when the solutions offered seek to gently brush antisemitism under the rug or deny that anything wrong has occurred. Only Jews get to define what is and isn’t antisemitic.

My peers and professors, so ardently and pedagogically committed to unraveling their internalized biases, refuse even to accept that they harbor antisemitic biases. My professors, entrusted to teach us how to be spiritual guides, chaplains or ministers, have little idea how to talk about Jews or Judaism, even as they perform in ways that indicate they think they do. My Christian professors have told me again and again how much they “appreciate my unique perspective,” but their words hold no weight. I know that their appreciation of our supposed “shared religious heritage,” or even their declared commitment against supersessionism will not stop them from espousing supersessionist theologies in a packed lecture room. No one will protect me from my classmates’ antisemitic comments or notice when an assigned reading is written by or reverently refers to someone known for peddling antisemitic conspiracy theories.

The incidents I once brushed off, and shared as my “antisemitic incident of the week” with friends over Shabbat dinners, are not funny and are part of the deep-rooted and pervasive culture of antisemitism at YDS. I will no longer reassure any antisemite not to worry. I am tired of being gaslit and ignored by my peers and professors. I came to YDS to learn how to be a chaplain. Instead, I have learned to feel suspicious and afraid. But I have also realized how to be outspoken. I have learned how to be comfortable feeling on edge day after day, class after class.

The answer is clear: if supersessionism or Holocaust distortion bothers you, leave. And I am. Instead of remaining here for another year to finish my intended degree — a master’s in divinity — I switched to the master’s in religion with the sole intention of leaving as soon as possible. I will not always be a student, but I will always be a Jew. And I refuse to remain a student at a school that I know does not value my life, ideas and experiences as a Jew.

YDS has an antisemitism problem and will continue to have one even if I or my fellow Jewish peers were no longer here. So, YDS, live by your purported values. Change the curriculum. Hire professors who will teach Jewish history. Take steps to combat antisemitism. Be “welcoming” and “value the worth and dignity” of your Jewish students. Or, at the very least, stop admitting Jews.

Former Cornell University student pleads guilty to making threats against Jews
A former Cornell University student has pleaded guilty to posting online threats, including of death and violence, against Jewish students on campus, the US Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Patrick Dai, 21, was charged late last year for making online threats against Jewish students at the Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York.

US government officials and civil society advocates have warned about rising threats against American Jews, Muslims, and Arabs since the eruption of the Israel-Gaza war on October 7.

The price of online threats
As part of his guilty plea, Dai admitted that on Oct. 28 and October 29, he threatened to bomb, stab, and rape Jews on the Cornell section of an online discussion forum.

The Justice Department said Dai's threats "caused widespread panic and fear" in Cornell's Jewish community.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 12, where Dai faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, restitution to victims, and a maximum of three years of supervised release.

Anti-Israel protester launches rant at dinner hosted by Jewish dean of Berkeley
According to a report by the Jewish News of Northern California (J.), a Jewish student present at the event said the video shows only a small snippet of the incident. This student said the protesters, including Afaneh, had been disrupting the dinner for “quite a while” before things escalated, and were asked politely by the hosts to leave before the altercation intensified, as shown in the video.

“They did not leave when they were asked the first 20 or 30 times,” the student told J. He said that the protesters finally left after Fisk said that while she was reluctant to call the police, she would do so if needed.

In his statement, Chemerinsky wrote that last week a poster surfaced on social media and bulletins in the law department depicting “a caricature of me holding a bloody knife and fork, with the words in large letters, ‘No dinner with Zionist Chem while Gaza starves.’

“I never thought I would see such blatant antisemitism, with an image that invokes the horrible antisemitic trope of blood libel and that attacks me for no apparent reason other than I am Jewish,” Chemerinsky said.

Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine posted a photo matching this description to its Instagram account on 1 April, calling the dinners hosted by Chemerinsky “the prime example of a normalisation PR event that hopes to distract students from Dean Chem’s complicity and support for the genocide of the Palestinian peoples.”

Chemerinsky added in his statement that “the students responsible for this had the leaders of our student government tell me that if we did not cancel the dinners, they would protest at them.

“I was sad to hear this but made clear that we would not be intimidated and that the dinners would go forward for those who wanted to attend. I said that I assumed that any protest would not be disruptive.”

Chemerinsky said he would not be cancelling the dinners planned for Wednesday and Thursday nights but would be hiring security. He added: “My home is not a forum for free speech.”

“I have spent my career staunchly defending freedom of speech. I have spent my years as dean trying hard to create a warm, inclusive community. I am deeply saddened by these events and take solace that it is just a small number of our students who would behave in such a clearly inappropriate manner.”

Chemerinsky has been contacted for comment.

Berkeley dad sues school district for access to ethnic studies curriculum
In late February, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and the Anti-Defamation League filed a federal discrimination complaint against BUSD, alleging a hostile environment for Jewish students. Among the incidents mentioned were students “repeatedly hearing anti-Semitic comments in classrooms and hallways, such as ‘kill the Jews,’” and a second-grade teacher leading a classroom activity where students wrote “stop bombing babies” on sticky notes. Students in the district have joined multiple walkouts in support of Palestinians, interrupting class.

A petition created in November by BUSD Jewish parents and “concerned allies,” which now has over 1,300 signatures, states that “we are dismayed, disappointed and frightened by the district’s lack of care for our students’ physical and psychological safety in school since the October 7 terrorist attacks.”

BUSD Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel encouraged all students and parents to report instances of bullying and harassment to district leadership, saying they will be investigated “vigorously,” she told the Mercury News in March in the wake of the federal complaint. Ford Morthel said the district would cooperate with any federal investigation.

“We believe that classrooms must be places of joy, empathy, curiosity, love and rigor where all students feel safe, seen, heard, and valued. We work to make these spaces responsive and humanizing for our diverse students,” Ford Morthel said.

The district did not immediately respond to J.’s request for comment on Fendel’s petition.

Fendel said he is in favor of his son taking ethnic studies, a discipline that focuses on the experiences of non-white ethnic groups. The course will become a state requirement for high school graduation, starting with the class of 2030, though Berkeley has for years required it for ninth-graders.

“I take a lot of pride in the fact that Berkeley High is at the forefront of bringing ethnic studies into the mandatory education of high school students,” Fendel said. “I also think it’s important to keep antisemitic and anti-Israel stuff out of ethnic studies.”

He said he hopes the petition will push BUSD toward greater transparency about lesson plans having to do with Israel-Palestine, including the curriculum that was already taught.

“Although the materials themselves have (belatedly) been delivered, the communications regarding their development have not been,” he said in an email to J. He wished to know “how these lessons were created,” who oversaw their development and whether outside consultants were used.

“There needs to be accountability for this process,” he said.

The Guardian's worst 'journalist' continues to protect Hamas
The Guardian’s Chris McGreal isn’t a ‘journalist’ in the traditional sense of the word. He’s an activist whose visceral hostility to Israel and the state’s supporters has been documented on this site for the past fourteen years.

While we posted earlier in the week about an article he wrote which was redolent of the antisemitic tropes accusing Jews of intentionally murdering non-Jewish children, his latest piece, an op-ed titled “Thirty years ago the world failed to stop the Rwandan genocide. Now we fail Gaza“, is the latest entry that’s part of the outlet’s Oct. 7 inversion campaign. This effort, which began almost immediately after the Hamas massacre, obfuscated the genocidal antisemitism which inspired their mass murder, rape, torture and mutilation’ of Jewish men, women and children, while projecting the terror group’s racism and bloodlust on to the Jewish state.

In trying to make the case that Israeli leaders had the intent to commit genocide, McGreal actually evokes the Hutu massacre of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, in which an estimated 800,000 Tutsi were killed by extremist Hutus, backed by the police and army, in sadistic violence that lasted more than 100 days and included scores of innocent men, women and children hacked to death with machetes.

If anything, the beastial violence in Rwanda more resembles the actions of Hamas death squads, who, on Oct. 7, cruelly hunted down their Jewish prey in places like Re’im, Kibbutz Be’eri, Nir Oz and Kfar Aza, often torturing, raping and mutilating their largely civilian victims before murdering them. McGreal writes:
Three decades [after the Rwandan genocide], Israel’s leaders act with impunity toward Palestinians in Gaza, where undiscriminating ground attacks and bombing have killed twice as many civilians as Hamas fighters

First, the figure is closer to 1.5 civilians for every 1 combatant. But, even if it was 2:1, as McGreal writes, that would actually represent one of the best civilian to combatant ratios in the history of urban warfare according to John Spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point.

Washington Post Platforms Superficial “As a Jew” Op-Ed on Israel & Gaza
Peter Maass, a journalist and former senior editor at left-wing publication The Intercept, admits that his “Jewish identity was always a bit vague.” He is also not an expert on international law, military tactics, or even the Middle East in general.

However, none of this has stopped Maass from using his Jewish heritage and past experience covering the war in Bosnia in the 1990s as a platform from which to not only falsely accuse Israel of war crimes in the present day but also to re-invent history in a recent op-ed for The Washington Post.

Titled “I’m Jewish, and I’ve covered wars. I know war crimes when I see them,” Maass’s op-ed is rife with inappropriate analogies, context-free claims, and a heavy reliance on his “vague” Jewish identity, all in an effort to harm the image of Israel and to besmirch the Zionist movement in general.

Peter Maass’s Crooked Line Between Bosnia & Gaza

In 1992 and 1993, Peter Maass served as an on-the-ground journalist during the war in Bosnia, reporting on the war crimes and ethnic cleansing that had become central features of that conflict.

Over 30 years later and 1,000 miles away, Maass appears certain that his experiences in Bosnia are relevant to an analysis of the current war between Israel and Hamas taking place in Gaza.

However, while his reporting from Bosnia might have been laudable, his understanding of Gaza is superficial and amateurish.

Take, for example, his claim that Israel’s “grind through Gaza,” when it “bombs and shoots civilians, blocks food aid, attacks hospitals and cuts off water supplies,” reminds him of the war crimes that he witnessed in Bosnia.

Despite what Maass might have observed in Bosnia, this is not at all what is occurring in Gaza.

Israel is currently trying to uproot a terror infrastructure that has spent years embedding itself within the civilian areas of Gaza, turning schools, hospitals, mosques, and even private homes into rocket launching pads and other military installations.

Civilian deaths in Gaza are due to Hamas’ cynical manipulation of civilian areas for their terrorist purposes, not because Israel is indiscriminately targeting civilians on a whim.
Jon Stewart & Christiane Amanpour Use Daily Show Interview to Muddle Image of Israel
In a recent episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart hosted CNN anchor and host Christiane Amanpour to discuss the ongoing war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

While both veteran TV personalities had interesting takes on the ongoing conflict, including on the role of Arab states and on the political diversity of Israeli society, the remarks by both Stewart and Amanpour were marred by claims and comments that were either outright distortions of the truth or lacking in proper nuance.

Put together, these problematic assertions could help create a fictitious narrative portraying Israel as the key aggressor in a war that is uniquely destructive, removing inherent responsibility from other regional actors.

The following are just some of the problematic claims and comments made by both Jon Stewart and Christiane Amanpour that help to create such a false image of the war:
- In response to Jon Stewart’s quip that “There are journalists on the ground [in Gaza], they’re being killed,” Christiane Amanpour says that, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), almost 100 media workers and journalists “have been killed…in Gaza, West Bank, and Lebanon in six months.” - However, Amanpour omits the fact that this statistic includes Israeli journalists and that, even by the CPJ’s own records, a substantial number of journalists killed in Gaza were affiliated with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror organizations. - Amanpour mentions a “terrible law” that aims to “throw out any organization from Gaza, including Al Jazeera.” This is a misrepresentation of a law recently approved by the Knesset (Israeli parliament), which allows the government to temporarily shut down the Israeli offices of foreign media outlets deemed to be a threat to Israeli national security during war. The law will not impact journalists in Gaza. - Amanpour credits Al Jazeera with “trying to tell the truth in this waging war,” ignoring the fact that it is a news outlet run by the authoritarian regime in Qatar, that it has known ties to Hamas and that it has been a purveyor of fake news about Israel’s conduct during the war.

Globe & Mail Reporter Eric Reguly Publishes Lengthy Regurgitation Of Hamas Talking Points
In an April 5 opinion commentary in The Globe & Mail entitled: “A young life in Gaza, shattered,” Eric Reguly, the newspaper’s European bureau chief, ostensibly wrote about the life of the youth in the Gaza Strip during the war, but in reality, he used his platform to whitewash Hamas’s crimes and intentions.

Though journalists are typically tasked to keep their opinions at bay and are required to be politically neutral, Reguly was granted a platform by the Globe to opine on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. He shared that one young Gazan, Nada Thabet Dughmosh, heard the noises that started the war on October 7, writing that: “The sounds she heard came from the start of the Hamas attacks on Israel. Hamas fired thousands of primitive rockets from the 41-kilometre-long strip they controlled. At the same time, Hamas militants launched a chaotic incursion into Israel that would kill around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and take 253 hostages. Hours later, when the Israeli counterattack began, any Gazans’ hopes for a Hamas victory vanished; outright fear set in.”

Whatever adjectives can be used to describe Hamas’ massacres that day, chaotic is likely not the first word that comes to mind. Intelligence reports say that Hamas had been planning the attacks of October 7 since 2014. Funded by Iran’s theocratic rulers, Hamas had been training its fighters for years in preparation for this attack. They conducted a simultaneous invasion of the Gaza border towns. Hamas’s inhuman beheadings were calculated. Hamas committed mass rapes, brutalized dead bodies, incinerated whole families, and threw grenades inside bomb shelters.

Hamas terrorists often live-streamed their actions. The uniformly bestial way the attack was committed was a planned strategy, as were the kidnapping of 253 innocents, including children, 130 of whom are still languishing in Hamas captivity today.
Social media streamer Sneako: 'Down with the Jews'
Social media content creator Nicolas Kenn De Balinthazy exclaimed “down with the Jews” during a stream on March 31, adding to a long history of antisemitic remarks.

De Balinthazy, who streams on Rumble under the moniker Sneako, was using the Monkey random video chat app when he encountered users who said that they were Palestinian.

“Free Palestine,” said De Balinthazy. “Down with the Yahud [Jews]!” Allahu Akbar!”

De Balinthazy has a history of engaging in antisemitic conspiracy theories. On Wednesday, he proclaimed on X that “Every ‘conspiracy theory’ from the last century is just Israel.”

"The West is a gay Zionist psyop"
In response to Gentlemen’s Quarterly naming celebrity Kim Kardashian “Man of the Year” in November, De Balinthazy said that “Everything in the west is a gay Zionist psyop [sic].”

“The west will inevitably fall. Every politician is owned by Zionists, everybody influential is owned by Satan,” he said in November.

During a spat with martial artist Mikey Misumichi in January, De Balinthazy said that he would only be willing to fight the Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion if Misumichi organized a conversation with the streamer with his sparring partner and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to discuss Zionism and “who controls the world.”
A Mostly Peaceful Castration: CNN Eulogizes a Terrorist
CNN has done it again, folks. This time, instead of celebrating the "mostly peaceful" rioters hurling Molotov cocktails for racial justice, the esteemed news network has published a nice little eulogy for a terrorist.

Here's how CNN reported the death of Walid Daqqa: "Terminally ill Palestinian prisoner dies after 38 years in Israeli custody." That was only slightly better than Amnesty International's description of Daqqa as "a 62-year-old Palestinian writer" whose death in prison was "a cruel reminder of Israel's disregard for Palestinians' right to life."

Several paragraphs later, CNN explains that Daqqa was "seen as a terrorist" after his conviction for orchestrating the 1984 abduction, torture, and murder of Moshe Tamam, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier. Indeed, that doesn't seem like an entirely unfair characterization, especially given the horrific details of the case, which do not appear in the CNN article.

"Walid Daqqah and his collaborators gouged out Moshe's eyes and cut off parts of his body, including castrating him," the Times of Israel recounted in 2023 after Amnesty International demanded the terrorist's release from prison. "Lastly, they took Moshe to an olive grove and shot him dead. His corpse was left there to be found."

As a result of his role in the ghastly murder, CNN explained, Daqqa had become "a symbol of [the Palestinian] struggle for liberation from Israel." Daqqa's admirers presumably included some of the current and former CNN journalists who have publicly denounced Israel and praised Hamas terrorists.

CNN’s Latest Wild Accusation Israel Imposing a “Blockade on Aid”
In the world of journalism, there are understandable errors, and then there are the types of errors that make you wonder whether the journalists are living in the same reality. Falling into the latter category is an article today from CNN entitled “Israeli airstrike kills three sons of Hamas political leader in Gaza as ceasefire talks stutter,” authored by Jeremy Diamond, Kareem Khadder, Zeena Saifi, and Benjamin Brown.

Towards the end of the article, the authors write: “International pressure to reach a ceasefire deal is mounting as the devastation and suffering in Gaza from Israel’s blockade on aid…” Throughout the war, there have been many outrageous accusations against Israel, from committing “genocide” to lying about Hamas’s use of sexual violence. But CNN’s new accusation of a “blockade on aid” is perhaps the most evidently absurd of them all, as the barest minimum amount of research would expose the lie. In fact, the journalists could simply have consulted the reporting of two of their colleagues from the day before to discover their error.

The truth: nearly 300 humanitarian aid trucks entered into Gaza on April 10 alone, bringing the total to over 24,400 aid trucks since October 7. Far from “blockading” aid, the entry of every single one of these aid trucks was facilitated by the Israeli Defense Forces, who have even opened crossings directly from Israel into the Gaza Strip to increase the flow of aid.

Even the United Nations, which has been trying to deceive the public on this topic, doesn’t claim there is a “blockade” on aid.

The claim by the authors is thus rather astonishing. It demonstrates either a lack of even the most basic knowledge about the conflict or a willingness to tarnish Israel’s reputation with no regard for the truth.
Vast Majority of FCC Complaints Over Super Bowl LVIII Were Over Israel Ad
The ad was about bringing home the hostages still held by Hamas ... and it looks like a helluva lot of people were fired up about this getting air time during the game.

Many of the complaints include almost identical language, which reads in part ... "CBS violated FCC rules by not properly disclosing to viewers on all platforms that ads aired during the Super Bowl were paid for by the Israeli government."

The reason that's interesting ... the executive director of an org called the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee tweeted almost identical language ... even touting the fact they got thousands of people to file FCC complaints.

In fact, on the AAADC's own site ... they actually have a whole FCC form ready to go -- so yeah, it appears they were guiding people to file these complaints.

While the ED claimed to have had upwards of 10,000 people submit complaints ... only around 1,000 were filed. Nonetheless, still a lot.

Also worth noting ... the ad that ran did, in fact, say it was sponsored by the State of Israel -- so despite what these folks might've alleged in their FCC filings, they were wrong.

As Bob Casey Distances Himself From Summer Lee's Anti-Israel Rhetoric, She Boasts His Endorsement
Anti-Israel "Squad" member Summer Lee (Pa.) wants voters to remember she’s "strongly endorsed" by Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey. Casey may wish they would forget.

Lee, who has accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza, distributed campaign mailers last month saying she is "strongly endorsed" by Casey, mailers obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show. The mailers could cause problems for Casey, who has attempted to position himself as a pro-Israel moderate in his closely watched reelection campaign.

Casey’s Republican challenger, Dave McCormick, last month called on Casey to rescind his endorsement of Lee over her anti-Israel views and affiliation with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), whose executive director, Nihad Awad, said he was "happy" that Hamas attacked Israel. Awad contributed $1,000 to Lee’s campaign on Dec. 29, weeks after his anti-Semitic remarks, the Free Beacon reported.

McCormick joins more than 40 Jewish leaders who in March blasted Lee over her planned appearance at an annual fundraiser for CAIR.

"You have continued to use divisive rhetoric, which, at times, we have perceived as openly antisemitic," the Jewish leaders said in a letter to Lee. Among the signatories was the rabbi of Tree of Life, a synagogue in Lee’s district that was the site of a 2018 terrorist attack.

Lee’s primary challenger, Bhavini Patel, joined in their criticism.

Tories suspend ‘Synagogue of Satan’ candidate
The Conservative Party has suspended a local election candidate in Lancashire after the JC informed the local MP that he had shared a link to a video about a “synagogue of Satan” alongside what appeared to be an antisemitic blood libel.

Among the posts by Mohammed Riaz, who until Thursday morning was standing for the Tories in the Netherton ward in Hyndburn, was a link to a video on extreme right-wing US website Tru News, which featured a reference to a synagogue above a picture of children being sacrificed.

Hyndburn’s Tory MP, Sara Britcliffe, who is also the party’s deputy chair responsible for campaigns and candidates, appeared in an online video earlier this week in which she described Mohammed as a “fantastic candidate”, and they were pictured together canvassing.

Contacted by the JC on Thursday morning, Britcliffe said she was “horrified” to learn of his posts, and had “no idea” he harboured such views. Less than two hours later, he was suspended by Conservative Central office, pending an investigation.

When Riaz announced his candidacy on his Facebook page on 19 March, he wrote that he had “a passion for community service” and was determined to “a more inclusive and thriving community for all residents”.

However, several inflammatory posts can be found on the same page dating back to 2014. He claimed that one video he posted showed how “this Jewish girl is encouraged to hit this Palestinian child by her parents”, urging his followers to share it with the friends so “they can see the reality of everyday life in Palestine”.
Do councillors support pro-Hamas groups that rejoice in Oct. 7 terror attacks?
Mayor Olivia Chow says she won’t condemn six councillors who criticized the Toronto Police Service’s handling of a recent pro-Hamas rally. Neither will the six councillors who signed the letter answer questions put to them by The Toronto Sun, detailing the links between the groups organizing the protests and support for terrorism.

For months, we’ve been seeing these marches and rallies take off across the city; mostly they have been described in the media as “pro-Palestinian,” but as my colleagues and I at the Sun have been noting, there is something more sinister at play here.

In politics, as in life, you are judged by the company you keep and every councillor that signed that letter should be judged for the company they are keeping. Freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are protected by the Charter, and rightly so, but that doesn’t stop us from being able to judge who is assembling and who is cheering them on.

On Monday, I wrote to Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik, and Councillors Gord Perks, Aljandro Bravo, Paula Fletcher, Amber Morley and Lily Cheng, and presented them with information about Samidoun and the Palestinian Youth Movement, two of the main organizers of the rallies. In addition to presenting the six councillors with details of the ties between these groups and banned terrorist groups in Canada, I asked them for comment – none of them replied.

Samidoun is a group which shows up at protests across Toronto with a large banner reading “Long Live the Resistance.” The banner features an image of an AK-47 rifle firing bullets, with the butt of the rifle painted as the Palestinian flag.

That’s hardly a call for peace.

House Bill Would Bar Biden Admin From Spending Taxpayer Dollars on Diplomacy To Advance Iran Nuclear Deal
Republican legislation in the House would bar the Biden administration from spending taxpayer dollars to advance a nuclear deal with Iran until the hardline regime severs its cash ties to China and terminates support for Hamas, according to a copy of the bill obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Rep. Bob Good (R., Va.) will introduce the legislation on Thursday, sources told the Free Beacon, putting Iran’s alliance with China center stage as both regimes work to implement a 25-year cooperation agreement worth $400 billion.

Good’s bill, which is likely to attract widespread support in the narrowly GOP-controlled House, blocks the Biden administration from spending taxpayer funds on diplomacy related to a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States has been pursuing off-and-on since President Joe Biden took office. Elements of the bill are likely to be popular with Republicans in the Senate who have made similar proposals.

Unlike similar legislative efforts pushed by Republicans during the past several years, Good’s bill specifically targets the Tehran-Beijing axis, requiring the United States to cease all negotiations with Iran until it "terminates strategic security and military partnerships with China," according to the bill and a fact sheet being circulated by the lawmaker’s office. It also takes the unprecedented step of tying future U.S.-led diplomatic talks with Iran to a requirement that China end its genocide against the Uyghur ethnic minority.

Jewish groups laud bill calling for national coordinator against antisemitism
Two senators and four congressmen, from both sides of the aisle, introduced legislation this week calling for the creation of a national coordinator to counter antisemitism who would run an interagency task force.

“Antisemitism has been dramatically rising in the United States in the last several years and skyrocketed in the months since the horrific Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel,” said Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), who introduced the Countering Antisemitism Act with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and with Reps. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas).

“There have been countless disturbing stories of Jewish families accosted and assaulted on streets, Jewish businesses and places of worship vandalized and desecrated, and Jewish students threatened at colleges and universities,” Rosen stated.

“My bipartisan legislation would establish a national coordinator to counter antisemitism for the first time ever and take other much-needed steps across the federal government to fight anti-Jewish hatred, bigotry, and violence in the United States,” she added.

Smith, who penned the law that created the international special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, stated that “The national coordinator will oversee an interagency task force to counter antisemitism—with a responsibility to report to Congress—and the bill strongly states that the federal government should apply the IHRA definition of antisemitism.”

Alabama governor signs resolution backing Israel, condemning Hamas
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a joint resolution from the Alabama legislature on April 9, expressing the state’s “unequivocal support” for Israel in its war against Hamas.

Arthur Orr, a state senator, presented the resolution, SJR 29, which details Alabama’s historical support for Israel and honors the memory of those killed on Oct. 7 in an “unwarranted and unjustified vicious assault.”

Anat Sultan-Dadon, Israel’s consul general to the Southeastern United States who is based in Atlanta, said that as Israel fights a genocidal terrorist group, “We are grateful to the state of Alabama for its clear stand against terror and in support of Israel.”

Sultan-Dadon stated that she was pleased that the resolution included references to the “intentional and systematic” torture and gender-based violence committed by Hamas against Israelis, since “to a large extent we have seen international women’s organizations stay silent in the face of these atrocities.”

The resolution not only condemns Hamas, but also “all those who support their violent, genocidal, and hateful acts—globally, in the United States and in the State of Alabama.”
Christian Allies Caucus presses Germany to keep funding freeze on UNRWA
The heads of the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus on Wednesday urged German parliamentarians in the Bundestag not to lift the funding freeze on the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in light of its terror ties with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and offered government officials alternatives to funnel humanitarian support to Palestinian civilians.

The diplomatic meetings in the German parliament in Berlin come 10 days before the U.N. agency is due to issue a report on their malfeasance aiming to have foreign aid fully restored.

“Continuing with funding for UNRWA, an organization marred by collaboration and terrorist entrenchment, hinders any prospect of advancement in the Middle East,” said Knesset member and Christian Allies Caucus co-chair Sharren Haskel. “It is imperative to permanently halt funding for UNRWA and redirect resources towards initiatives that genuinely promote peace and stability.”

A bombshell Israeli intelligence report in January shared with the U.S. administration showed that dozens of UNRWA employees actively participated in the Hamas atrocities in southern Israel on Oct. 7, and that the agency has 450 “military operatives” belonging to Hamas and other terrorist groups on its payroll.

The revelations initially prompted 18 countries—led by the United States and Germany, UNRWA’s biggest donors—to suspend funding. Some of them have since voiced concern over the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and amid an agency pushback started resuming their donations.

The United States—the largest donor to UNRWA—provides about 30% of the agency’s budget and has frozen its donations until at least next year. However, European countries, including Germany, are likely to resume their funding this month following the investigation, some with caveats attached.

“UNRWA is, as we know, not a part of the solution but a fundamental part of the problem,” said German MP Frank Müller-Rosentritt. “The findings about the heinous involvement in Hamas’s terror must lead to a stop of all payments to UNRWA.”

Were There Arab Jews, and Did They Speak Judeo-Arabic?
“Judeo-Arabic” is said to be the language spoken by the large number of Jews who inhabited the Arabic-speaking lands of the Middle East before leaving them after the establishment of Israel. But although the term is widely used, did such a distinct language actually exist? Not according to Ella Shohat, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, as argued in a recent essay “‘Judeo-Arabic and the Separationist Thesis,” published by her in the newly founded Palestine/Israel Review.

Shohat’s argument is straightforward. While the speech of Jews in Arab lands, she contends, may have had certain peculiarities not shared with Muslim and Christian speakers of Arabic, these were minor features that caused neither Jews nor non-Jews to feel that Jews spoke anything but the ordinary colloquial Arabic of their region; moreover, these features were regional themselves, so that what was true of the speech of a Jew from Baghdad was not necessarily true of the speech of a Jew from Cairo, and the “Judeo-Arabic” of a Moroccan Jew was different from the “Judeo-Arabic” of a Yemenite Jew. The idea, writes Shohat, that there was ever a “Judeo-Arabic” common to all Arabic-speaking Jews and setting them apart from Arabic-speaking non-Jews is a myth propagated, for ideological reasons, by contemporary Jewish linguists.

This myth, Shohat maintains, was associated with Zionism and with Israel’s conflict with the Arab world, which made it seek to “de-Arabize” Arabic-speaking Jews by insisting on “the inherent distinctiveness of the Jewish [form of Arabic] from the Arabic language [spoken by non-Jews] and its assumed connectivity to other Jewish languages in other places.” On the one hand, that is, placing the speech of Jews in Arab lands on a par with truly distinct Jewish languages like Judeo-German (Yiddish) or Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) served to create the false impression that they lived in a state of social separation from their non-Jewish environment, as did Yiddish speakers in Eastern Europe and Ladino speakers in Turkey and the Balkans; on the other hand, it conveyed that they had nothing linguistically in common with their new neighbors in Israel, the Arabic-speaking Palestinians. This “separationist thesis,” as Shohat calls it, was thus intended to drive a wedge, historical and present-day, between Jews and Arabs in the name of Jewish uniqueness.

Needless to say, Shohat, who grew up in Israel, to which her family came from Iraq, and who calls herself an “Arab Jew,” has her own ideological ax to grind—and she grinds it far more tendentiously than did such proponents of “the separationist thesis” attacked by her as the eminent Hebrew University linguists Joshua Blau (1919–2020) and Haim Blanc (1930–1984), both given prominence in her article. Still, one must not be blinded by her anti-Zionism and lack of linguistic training into dismissing her argument out of hand, because it is not entirely baseless.

This is so because, although the question of what distinguishes a language, what a dialect, and what a mere regional or ethnic variety of standard speech is a vexed one that indeed often involves political and ideological issues, the issue of mutual intelligibility is invariably at its core. Where such intelligibility exists to a high degree, separate languages do not—and Shohat is correct in saying that speakers of the ordinary Arabic of the various regions of North Africa and the Middle East, and speakers of these regions’ “Judeo-Arabic” variants, never had any trouble understanding one another.
Actress in New Series ‘Tattooist of Auschwitz’ Was ‘Heartbroken’ to Discover She Doesn’t Have Jewish Roots
Actress Melanie Lynskey thought her whole life that she was Jewish because of her Jewish-sounding last name and was disappointed to learn recently that she only has Irish roots, she admitted on Thursday.

“My name is Irish, as it turns out. I’m only Irish,” the New Zealand native, 46, said during her guest appearance on the British talk show This Morning. She then added that she was “so heartbroken” to discover she’s not Jewish. “I believed it my whole life,” she said.

Lynskey — whose credits include Yellowjackets, Ever After and Coyote Ugly — now stars in the six-part series The Tattooist Of Auschwitz, which will stream next month on Peacock. The miniseries, based on Heather Morris’ best-selling novel of the same name, is inspired by the real-life love story of Lali Sokolov and Gita Furman, who met while prisoners in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during the Holocaust. Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, was taken to Auschwitz in 1942 and was forced to become one of the camp’s tattooists, who inked identification numbers on to the arms of prisoners. He met Furman, who was also Slovakian, while tattooing her arm.

The miniseries goes back and forth between Sokolov’s time in the Auschwitz concentration camp and him being an elderly widower in his 80s, recounting his life story and memories to Morris. The author met Sokolov in 2003 and the Holocaust survivor died in 2006.

Lynskey plays Morris, who is also from New Zealand, and Harvey Keitel plays an elderly Sokolov. Jonah Hauer-King and Polish actress Anna Prochniak star in the leading roles of the two lovers. The series is directed by Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom-Ezer and its score is composed by Oscar winner Hans Zimmer and Kara Talve.
Argentina’s Javier Milei tells Miami shul he has Jewish heritage
Javier Milei’s fondness for Judaism has been a defining element of his public persona. Now, Argentina’s Catholic president says he has Jewish heritage of his own.

Milei made the revelation while speaking Wednesday night at the Shul of Bal Harbor, a large Chabad synagogue in the Miami area that was honoring the right-wing politician as an “International Ambassador of Light” in part because of his support for Israel, which makes him stand out among Latin American leaders and is a departure from his predecessor’s stance.

“My grandfather was truly a great influence. … I used to learn values from him and learned a lot,” Milei said, speaking in Spanish with a simultaneous translation. “The most interesting thing is that, shortly before he passed away he discovered that he was Jewish. He didn’t know but someone told him, ‘Your mother was Jewish, so you are Jewish.’”

He continued, “So all the values that I received from him came from Judaism.”

The revelation was the latest Jewish development for Milei, extending a record that has included visiting the grave of the last Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi in New York; traveling to Israel and praying at the Western Wall; and appointing his own rabbi to be Argentina’s ambassador to Israel. Milei has said that he wants to convert to Judaism but sees the duties of the presidency as incompatible with Jewish observance.
Disturbed Hits No. 1 For The First Time On An Unlikely Billboard Chart
Disturbed is one of the most beloved names in the hard rock genre, and they have held that distinction for many years. The group is currently in between albums, but they’re succeeding on the Billboard charts anyway, thanks to a surprisingly popular remix of one of their tracks. That reworking has now given the band their first leader on a ranking they only reached for the first time recently.

The Cyril remix of “Sound of Silence” rises to No. 1 on the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart this week. The tally ranks the tunes that actually sell the most copies in the U.S. each tracking frame that Billboard classifies as either dance or electronic when it comes to genre.

“Sound of Silence” gives Disturbed their first champion on the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart. That’s not shocking, as the group has never been known for their work in those styles of music. In fact, this tune is their only one to reach this tally.

As it climbs to the No. 1 spot, “Sound of Silence” replaces Dua Lipa’s “Houdini” at the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart. That single has led the charge on the purchase-only ranking for five frames, but now it’s down to the runner-up rung.

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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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