Saturday, April 13, 2024

From Ian:

What Happens When You Have to Win a War
War is war, a horrible time demanding attention to impossible possibilities. Those making decisions do not have the time that scholars have, after the fact, to carefully contemplate choices that could have been made. We expect our generals to be decent men but not overburdened by moral complexities. Being distracted by them gets in the way of decision-making, which must often be quick. We hope, we pray, we count on them to do what they have been chosen to do, to win our war, to not let our enemies defeat us. That is priority one, two, and three. We can only hope they are making good choices. If they have given extra thought to moral concerns, that is a plus, but we shouldn’t expect it from them. Their other purposes are too important. Whatever flaws they may have, our generals must satisfy the reason that we need them, to guard the country, to protect us, to win the war.

What’s most extraordinary is that Israel is fighting a war for its existence while employing measures to reduce civilian casualties so extensive and laborious that our own World War II generals—and civilians—would have deemed them preposterous: dropping millions of leaflets and placing millions of phone calls urging Gazans to evacuate in advance of military strikes, observing pauses to allow for aid delivery and safe civilian passage, strategically deploying munitions in ways that reduce their maximum effectiveness so as to spare civilian life in Gaza. Yes, the fight is vicious and the IDF is fierce in battle. But Israel bears no sign of the indifference to civilian casualties that was a simple, accepted fact of American warfighting in World War II.

Despite terrible press throughout the world describing Israel’s war on Hamas, despite President Biden’s criticism, most Israelis agree that their safety depends on Hamas being eliminated. They are today a nation of 9 million, 75 percent are Jews, on a small piece of land 85 miles at its widest. They don’t have oceans to protect them. No Israeli can ignore the repeated history of Jews being successfully slaughtered. Their fear is justified, as is their rightful fury. Never again. The phrase has been repeated so often that it may have lost its sting. But not its meaning. Jews will never again simply submit to those wanting to eliminate them. Whatever it takes, those intent on seeing them dead will pay the price, and others will think a thousand times over whether they want to arouse the sleeping giant. Yes, giant. Not many men, not much land, but a giant. Cruel experience has taught that a Jewish image less than that invites disaster from those looking for trouble.

Jews in Israel sit on a keg of dynamite. What happened on October 7, 2023, happened on August 16, 1929, the day after Tisha B’Av. Muslims were told that it was their duty to take revenge. “Defend the Holy Places” became the battle cry. Mobs of armed Arab worshippers inflamed by anti-Jewish sermons fell upon Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall, destroying Jewish prayer books and notes placed between the stones of the Wall. Soon after, more than 1,000 Arabs launched attacks on Jews throughout Jerusalem. Forty-seven people were killed. This was followed by widespread attacks on Jews throughout Palestine.

It isn’t coincidence that Israel has one of the great military forces in the world. Some of this may be due to savvy, but it is foremost an illustration that necessity is the mother of invention. Israelis cannot ignore danger. Ten miles away, their neighbors’ offspring are taught from an early age that Jews are evil and must be eliminated. In Iran, they don’t mince words. Mobs chant “Death to Israel” as they conclude their prayers. They also chant “Death to America.” But even if the very worst were to happen, and we were attacked, we—unlike Israel—wouldn’t fear annihilation.

Even in times of relative calm, there have been unimaginable reminders that Israeli citizens are not safe. Their enemy doesn’t care about projecting a respectable image. Quite the opposite. As with the Nazis and ISIS, inducing terror is the centerpiece of their public-relations initiatives. No other nation has had its athletes murdered at the Olympics. Trampling on the Olympic ideal, a moment of peaceful competition, these murders were almost as unthinkable as an attack on a sacred temple or church filled with congregants who had placed themselves in God’s hands. Correction: Synagogues, churches, and mosques are favorite places for terrorists to attack. The more revered the site and the moment, the greater pleasure it gives terrorists. Hamas deliberately chose Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish holiday, to initiate a war. Their hatred becomes clarified and total when expressed at the most sacred time and place. Choosing death at the finish line of the Boston Marathon was also no coincidence. Terrorists find the greatest bliss in killing when those they hate are joyful in the bosom of their finest moments. Israelis are reminded again and again that it is not paranoid to recognize this. They are not being oversensitive. Evil, the most perfect expression of hatred their enemies can conceive, is even worse than our imaginations can conjure. The task of combating it to preserve oneself, one’s family, one’s country, and one’s civilization combines self-interest and nobility. We did right in World War II, notwithstanding all the wrongs. And Israel is doing right right now.
Israel: Standing Alone Against Multifaceted Threats, Thanks to the Biden Administration
Israel is currently facing a multi-front war for its survival, with Qatar, Iran and Iran's proxies, which are encircling Israel, leading the charge. The gravity of this aggression cannot be overstated: not just for the existence of Israel, but also for that of the US, Europe and the West.

Israel's struggle for survival is not solely a regional conflict; it is a battle between civilization and those who think international law, human rights and the rules of war are a Western joke. Since the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, its rulers have been calling for "Death to America" – now also demanded in Dearborn, Michigan.

Which side is the US on? President Joe Biden's legacy, especially after surrendering Afghanistan to the Taliban in 2021, will be "Biden, friend of the Terrorists."

All the US would have to do to stop much of Iran's bellicosity is take out the bases of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) inside Iran -- so there is a direct cost to Iran, not just to its human shields.

Iran, on the way to having nuclear bombs, has provided support to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and the Houthis, all of which have vowed to annihilate Israel. Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, boasts an arsenal of an estimated 150,000 missiles, many precision-guided, aimed at Israel's population. Meanwhile, Hamas has demonstrated its willingness to commit a genocide, launching more than 12,000 indiscriminate rocket attacks just since October at civilian targets in Israel, a country the size of New Jersey.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has outlined his vision for Israel's demise in his book, Palestine, a 416-page "guide to destroying Israel," and railing against "The Great Satan," the United States. This is not a hypothetical scenario; it is a meticulously planned campaign of annihilation.

While the Biden administration is threatening to withhold life-saving arms from Israel, the Biden administration just rewarded both of its chief attackers, Iran and Qatar.

The Biden administration just actually invited Hamas's main funder, Qatar, to operate a planned pier in Gaza to bring in humanitarian aid. All of it will certainly end up with Hamas, not Gazan civilians -- and, one can imagine what else Qatar will allow in, from heavy weapons to more terrorists.

A Hamas "victory," incentivizing aggression, cannot be rewarded; it must be stopped.
Pompeo Explains How Biden Put America and Israel in Iran's Crosshairs
"We've lost the bubble, we've lost deterrence." That's the assessment of former CIA director-turned-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the state of play in the Middle East as an Iranian attack on Israel is feared within 48 hours.

As the former senior member of the Trump cabinet explained in an interview with Martha MacCallum on Fox News Channel's "The Story" Friday afternoon, it didn't have to — and shouldn't — be this way.

"Iranians already attacked Israel on October 7," Pompeo noted of the nonexistent deterrence that saw Iran's proxy Hamas invade Israel and kill the most Jews in any single day since the Holocaust. That attack and the current threat against Israel is more proof of Biden's "continuation of a failed policy to protect Israel."

Worse than merely failing to deter Iranian attacks on Israel, Pompeo said President Biden and his administration's statements in recent days have given Tehran a green light to keep up its attacks.

When asked about the sobering threat against Israel on Friday, Biden's message to Iran was simply: "don't." But that's not a policy, Pompeo noted. "It's not even a deterrent."

The Biden administration's handling of the Middle East since October 7 only "evinces weakness and fearfulness," continued Pompeo. What's more, the White House and Biden administration have accepted the premise of Iran's threat, one that is incorrect.

"When the Iranians said 'stay out of this,' they haven't left us out," Pompeo corrected. What Biden's statements turn a blind eye to are the attacks by Iran-backed terrorists targeting U.S. service members on the Red Sea, in Iraq, and elsewhere with deadly consequences. Yet Biden's response to such attacks — not to mention the fact that American citizens are still being held by Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza — have not demonstrated strength and certainly have not provided a deterring effect.

Inexplicably, with his latest comments, Biden has given "a green light" to the Iranian regime that has made very clear it wants to destroy the United States, known as the "Great Satan" to Iran, as well as Israel.

Iran launches over 100 drones expected to strike Israel in hours
Iran dispatched more than a hundred unmanned aerial vehicles from its territory towards Israel on Saturday night, in a much-anticipated response to the April 1 killing of several IRGC officers in Syria.

A 10-year-old Bedouin boy was seriously wounded, apparently by an Iranian rocket, in the southern city of Arad. Magen David Adom emergency medics evacuated the victim to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva.

The Israel Defense Forces called on residents of the Golan Heights in the north and the Dimona, Eilat and Nevatim areas in the south to stay near bomb shelters until further notice.

An Israeli defense official told Army Radio that more than 100 drones had already been intercepted outside of Israeli airspace. The official said the UAVs were shot down by the United States and the United Kingdom.

The Israeli Air Force was tracking additional UAVs and watching for additional waves of attacks. Tehran’s official IRNA news agency reported that ballistic missiles were among the projectiles fired at Israel.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen also launched an unknown number of drones at the Jewish state, Agence France-Presse cited the Ambrey maritime security agency as saying.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that the military had prepared for this kind of scenario and was ready to intercept the incoming projectiles. He noted, however, that Israel’s aerial defense systems were not hermetic.

The Israel Airports Authority announced the country’s airspace would close from 12:30 a.m.
Iran attacks Israel: Sirens blare across Israel as drones, missiles arrive
Sirens blared across Israel on Saturday night as hundreds of drones and missiles launched from Iran reached Israel. Drones and missiles were also reportedly launched from Yemen and other countries around the region.

A ten-year-old girl from a Bedouin village near Arad was seriously wounded by the Iranian attack, according to Magen David Adom. "We met a private car carrying the unconscious 10-year-old boy with a shrapnel wound to his head near the entrance to Arad. We provided him with life-saving medical care and evacuated him to the hospital in serious condition," said MDA paramedic Zohar Sarbintsky.

Defense sources have confirmed aerial defenses were very successful, shooting down dozens of Iranian aerial threats. The limited Iranian successful hits so far have been minor and are mostly under gag order. Almost all interceptions have been by aircraft, David's Sling, or the Arrow missile systems. The Iron Dome, which defends well against Hamas and Hezbollah's simple rockets, is less relevant for drones and fancier long range missiles.

Iran confirmed as well that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had launched a missile and drone attack against Israel. Despite the injury of civilians, Iran's Foreign Ministry said that Iran had conducted the attack against Israeli military bases. The ministry claimed that it conducted the strikes in "self-defense."

Ofir Gendelman, the prime minister's spokesperson to Arabic media, warned that Israel's response to the Iranian attack will be "firm and clear."

About 150 missiles had been launched from Iran toward Israel as of 3:00 a.m., according to ABC news.

Israel, the US, the UK, and Jordan worked to intercept the drones and missiles over Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel, according to foreign reports.

Seth Frantzman: How Iran’s drones became a threat to the MidEast and world
Iran’s drone threat has been increasing in recent years. Reports on the evening of April 13 that Iran had launched drones targeting Israel are the latest example of how the Iranian drone threat is expanding across the Middle East and also threatening the world. It is a threat to the world because Iran has exported Shahed 136 drones to Russia to be used against Ukraine and it has also exported drones to Venezuela and other countries.

Iran has been investing in drones since the 1980s. It invested in drones, or what are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or remote-piloted aircraft, because Iran’s air force suffered losses due to the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 and also due to the Iran-Iran war. Using cheap unmanned aircraft made sense for Iran during the war with Iraq because Iraq had better air defense systems and also had aircraft acquired from the Soviets.

By contrast the Iranians were flying aircraft the Shah’s regime had acquired from the United States, but these aircraft didn’t always have replacement parts of enough trained pilots. Cheap drones can be used for missions that are considered dull, dirty and dangerous.

Iran’s drone program consisted of simple drones in the beginning. These drones also came in several “families” built by various state-linked companies. They includes the Shahed family of drones and the Ababil. Iran modelled these drones on the types of drones it saw other countries using, such as the US Predator, or the Israeli Hermes and also other types of Israeli drones. Over time Iran realized that its drones, mostly used for surveillance, were not longer a weapon that allowed Iran to project the kind of power it wanted.

What Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps wanted was an instant air force. In the last decade Iran has increased its drone program exponentially. It began to invest in simple kamikaze drones, and this eventually led to the creation of the Shahed 136. The Shahed 136 is relatively simple in design, around 3.5 meters in length and 2.5 meters in width, with up to a 40kg warhead. It has a delta-wing design which may make it harder to detect from some radars. However in general what makes it successful is that it is easy to make and Iran has found success exporting them.

Iran moved Shahed 136 type drones to Yemen in late 2020 to be used by the Iran-backed Houthis.
Seth Frantzman: Why did Iran choose drones as method of attack?
Drones are relatively accurate and can be launched from a variety of platforms

Drones are also relatively accurate. Drones can also be launched from a variety of platforms. For instance drones can be launched from ships, or from trucks, they can also be launched from containers, of the sort used in maritime transport, or they can be towed and launched from a kind of catapult. This gives Iran many options to use the drones that it has developed over the years.

The Iranian attempt to use drones to target Israel is not new. It has used drones in the past and it has exported large numbers of drones to Russia. Russia has been using Iranian Shahed 136 drones to terrorize Ukraine over the last two years of war. Russia also prefers to use drones because they are cheap and expendable and strike terror into civilian areas.

Ukraine has had success downing the Iranian drones that Russia uses. This is a positive thing when it comes to analyzing the overall threat that drones can pose. However, Iranian drones struck the Saudi Arabian Abqaiq facility in 2019, harming energy exports from Saudi Arabia.

Russia’s experience with Iranian drones has definitely provided feedback to the Iranians in terms of improving the drones, perhaps improving their precision, maneuver and range. Using the drones is also a selling point for Iran. Iran wants to make its Shahed 136 and other types of drones a best seller and do for drone warfare what the Soviets did for the AK-47. In essence, Iranian drones are its version of the AK-47, because this has become a uniquely Iranian type of weapon when used as a kamikaze weapon system.

We are now living in the Iranian drone war era. It is an era that has been coming like a slow train for many years. Iran increased its drone power while many countries watched and did not view this as a major threat. This is because Iran’s nuclear program, its militias and its missiles were seen as a greater threat. However, the Iranian decision to export drone technology around the region and to use drones increasingly, it what has made this weapon particularly concerning. Many countries woke up to the threat when Iran exported drones to Russia.

For Israelis sitting home on the evening of April 13 it has been a surreal feeling, knowing that drones are on the way but that they can take many hours to arrive. This is a unique form of warfare, one where a large amount of warning can happen ahead of time. However, that may give the appearance that it is less of a threat. That is not the case. Large swarms of drones are a major threat and Iran is pioneering this threat.
Stay close to shelters, Eilat, Golan, Dimona, Nevatim residents told
Residents of the Golan Heights in the north and the Dimona, Eilat and Nevatim areas in the south should stay near bomb shelters until further notice, the Israel Defense Forces said early Sunday.

The warning came as Iran launched its long-awaited response to the killing of several IRGC officers in Syria.

The Islamic Republic dispatched dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles from its territory towards Israel on Saturday night.

Two security sources in Iraq told Reuters that dozens of UAVs had been spotted flying from Iran towards Israel over Iraqi airspace.

An Israeli defense official told Army Radio that more than 100 drones had already been intercepted outside of Israeli airspace. The official said the UAVs were shot down by the United States and the United Kingdom.
Trump: Tehran would not have attacked on my watch
Former U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday night that Iran’s attack on Israel would not have occurred if he were in the White House.

“ISRAEL IS UNDER ATTACK! This should never have been allowed to happen–This would NEVER have happened if I were President!” Trump wrote to his Truth Social platform.

President Joe Biden “has totally lost control of the Israel situation,” the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee said on Wednesday.

“Any Jewish person who votes for a Democrat or votes for Biden should have their head examined,” he said, ahead of an Atlanta fundraiser.

“He has no idea where he is and who he’s supporting,” Trump added of the U.S. president. “He doesn’t know if he’s supporting the Palestinians. But he knows one thing: He is not supporting Israel. He has abandoned Israel.”

Trump made similar remarks on Tuesday in an interview with Real America’s Voice—a right-wing cable and satellite TV channel—saying, “Any Jewish person that votes for Biden does not love Israel and, frankly, should be spoken to.”

UK condemns Tehran’s ‘reckless’ assault on Israel

Paris condemns Iranian attack in ‘strongest possible terms’

After Iran hijacks Israeli-linked vessel, IDF warns against escalation
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps naval forces hijacked the Israeli-linked MSC Aries container ship close to the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz slammed Tehran for seizing the Portuguese-registered cargo vessel, which is operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company and associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime, according to the Associated Press.

Zodiac Maritime is part of Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group.

Katz called on the European Union and the rest of the free world to immediately designate the IRGC as a terror organization and impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

“The Ayatollah regime of [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei is a criminal regime that supports Hamas’ crimes and is now conducting a piracy operation in violation of international law,” he said.

Maher: We Would Have Already ‘Annihilated’ Hamas if They Attacked Us, Israel Is ‘Always’ Expected to Act Differently
On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher stated that Israel is “always” expected “to act like no other nation would ever act.” And that if the United States faced the same level of hostility that Israel has, we would not have let it continue for nearly two decades, “We would’ve annihilated the people who did it immediately.” He also said that Israel “did land for peace, and they got no peace. They’ve been rocket-attacked ever since, and just lived with it.”

Provost of King’s College, Cambridge and Financial Times columnist Gillian Tett stated that people view geopolitical issues like a sporting event where hurting the other side causes your side to win and people have to get out of that mindset with the Israel-Palestine issue.

Maher responded, “Yeah, but the problem is that we always expect Israel to act like no other nation would ever act. They gave back Gaza in 2005. They did land for peace, and they got no peace. They’ve been rocket-attacked ever since, and just lived with it. What other country would do that? If we got rocket-attacked, would we let it go on for 20 years? No. We would’ve annihilated the people who did it immediately.”
Maher: Dearborn ‘Death to America’ Chants Are Like Hate Chants in Charlottesville
On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher reacted to the “Death to America” chants at a rally that took place in Dearborn, MI last week by stating that “The left has gotten mad at me for many years for talking about Islam…it needs to be talked about now.” And that “Charlottesville was real bad” but people chanting, “Death to America” on American soil is a huge problem.

Maher said, “[T]here was a rally in Dearborn, Michigan, it’s a large Muslim population, chants of ‘Death to America.’ I feel like we’ve passed something here. The left has gotten mad at me for many years for talking about Islam, I try not to do it too much, because I know it makes them go crazy and I’ve made my point. But it needs to be talked about now. When you start chanting, ‘Death to America’ in America, I got it, Charlottesville was real bad when they were chanting, … ‘Jews will not replace us.’ But on American soil?”

Maher later credited and thanked the Mayor of Dearborn, Abdullah Hammoud, who is a Muslim, and the Dearborn City Council for denouncing the chants at the rally.
The “Picture of the Year” That Violates the Humanity of Its Subject
Images of war can be aimed at producing empathy for the victim or anger and disgust toward the perpetrators (or both). Indeed, most of the photos that garnered this prestigious prize do just that. This photograph does neither. The victim, Louk, is an object, almost illegible as a person, reduced by her captors to a trophy. The perpetrators delight in that fact. Most remarkable about the picture is the extent to which it manages to simultaneously deny the crime and celebrate it. On its face, the photo and the caption accompanying it evince no interest at all in how she came to be a “body,” instead observing the time-honored adage invoked whenever a female victim is involved: “She deserved it.”

This elision—from recognizing war photography in Gaza to celebrating gender-based violence during a cease-fire—isn’t subtle. The photo depicting Louk and those who chose to use her undressed body as a symbol reflect and reproduce the response to the plight of Israeli women in progressive circles. When word started to get out about the gender-based sexual violence committed on Oct. 7, international institutions, feminist organizations, academia, and progressive media offered three different though often overlapping responses. The first was justification of the acts perpetrated by Hamas as resistance and liberation. Feminist philosopher Judith Butler, for example, recently objected to referring to the events of Oct. 7 as a terrorist attack, describing them as an “uprising” and “an act of armed resistance.” Outside Columbia University, a sign has been hung for months now—it reads: “Resistance by Any Means Necessary.” The second response has been denial, either of the acts themselves or to their systemic and premeditated nature. This manifested in a deafening silence for months after the attacks, then with media outlets “just raising questions” about whether the attacks had been spontaneous rather than systematic, cloaked in claims about Hamas’ respect for and reverence of women’s bodies. The third response recognized the violence inherent in the acts but criticized those highlighting the crimes because it perhaps risked weaponizing rape to justify Israel’s campaign in Gaza. But justify it, deny it, or bothsides it—rape is still rape. Diminishing it for transactional political reasons is still gaslighting.

It is undeniably essential to photograph war and famine and the suffering in Gaza as a means of keeping a public record. But the Picture of the Year prize opted to recirculate an image that was not captured or contextualized in print as an indictment. Louk’s family has explicitly asked, many times, that she be remembered alive and happy. When told that the photo of his dead daughter had won an award, Louk’s father, Nissim, said he hoped that the attention the award would garner for the photo would serve “to inform the future,” but whether that reckoning will happen remains unclear. Louk’s grandmother Nicole Louk Naccache decried not just the award but the public silence, posting Thursday: “My dead granddaughter stars in a photograph that won a prestigious photography competition. And the world is silent! … Tossed as a victory trophy for terrorists and vile photographers.”

Meanwhile, the AP has been named in a suit filed by survivors and family members of the massacre for knowingly supporting terrorism by purchasing photos from Hamas-linked journalists. The AP has also been sued separately by Louk’s family for employing freelance photojournalists who broke through the Gaza fence with the terrorists, then documented the killings. When asked why it would work with a photographer who presumably had material knowledge of crimes committed that day, the AP has chosen to insist that it “had no knowledge of the Oct. 7 attacks before they happened.” The organization has yet to explain why it is acceptable to have knowledge of the attacks and the attackers as they happened.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Article 1 that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” The award-winning photo of Louk, snapped by a freelancer along for the ride, suggests that human dignity can be stolen twice, once with impunity and again for journalistic accolades.
Eylon Levy: Manufacturing Contempt | Melanie Phillips on UK Media's Anti-Israel Bias and Outright Lies
Why does the media seem so hostile to basic facts about Israel?

UK journalist and author Melanie Phillips has spent decades among the top echelons of British Press, writing for The Guardian, The Times and the New Statesman, and she’s been calling out mainstream media bias against Israel long before October 7.

But the PR war that Israel is battling isn’t just hurt by media bias; the onus is also on Israel to dispute a propagandist narrative, and call out lies when it hears them.

Melanie Phillips makes the case that Israel and its supporters need to do far more to win the hearts and minds of ordinary, decent people who will otherwise support the side they’re being told is moral and just.

How many died in Gaza? Analyst reveals statistical errors, mistakes and lies behind the deception
Jonathan Sacerdoti interviews Mark Zlochin, a computer scientist and data analyst who has combed trough the Hamas released statistics to reveal the inconsistencies, manipulations and lies behind the fake news figures being repeated around the world.

00:40 Mark's academic background
01:55 What are the true figures?
03:15 Debunking the claim that Hamas figures have historically been accurate
03:34 Challenges of this war for data gathering
04:47 Hamas figures don't distinguish between civilians and combatants
07:50 Why ratios are important in war casualty figures
10:45 The various sources of data – Health Ministry, GMO and others
13:00 Self reporting using Google form online and consequent errors
15:38 ID numbers for the casualties reveal duplication, manipulation and lies
18:36 Hamas authorities try to hide implausible data with new terminology
20:40 The mystery of "Incomplete data" and the faulty breakdowns of numbers
23:30 Ministry of Health figures lack date of death
25:55 How valid is the claim that 70% of casualties are women and children
29:00 More fighting aged males than 70% claim suggests
30:50 GMO numbers appear manufactured: too uniform in pattern and too many round numbers
34:20 The problem of self-reporting and "incomplete data": total number of women and children classified as "incomplete data" is greater than the claimed total number of all people. Negative numbers of men killed.
35:59 Do they ever correct errors in their data?
40:45 Why do the BBC and other media outlets totally fail to check the statistics?
42:40 As the dynamics of the war change so should journalistic analysis
43:57 Daily deaths are going down, but media ignores this
45:48 Deaths by Palestinian rockets falling short and other 'friendly fire'
51:30 UNWRA deaths and what they show about the overall statistics
55:28 More male UNWRA workers killed than women, even though women make up more of the UNWRA workforce
59:36 Summary of all statistical problems covered, and conclusions

Biden bows to left-wing staff on Israel
In the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israeli civilians, President Joe Biden showed sympathy and support for Israel. Even as news of that day’s horrors, including the death of 30 Americans, continued to come out, Biden’s sympathy and support was not shared across his administration. As the war reaches its six-month mark, those anti-Israel voices within the administration and the Democratic Party are pushing Biden further and further away from his initial position.

In those early days, Biden showed a willingness to stand up to his internal staff a number of times. In Biden’s initial statement, in which he said Israel must combat the “sheer evil” of Hamas, his staff had first suggested comments that took more of a neutral stance. According to news reports, Biden rebuffed them multiple times, rejecting a “both sides” approach and insisting on a more pro-Israel draft.

Later, when false reports emerged that Israel had blown up a hospital, killing 500 Gazans, Biden did not take the Palestinian claims at face value, saying, “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed.” Then there was Biden’s visit to Israel, the first trip by an American president to Israel in wartime. The president did so against the advice of his top staff, telling reporters that he insisted on going during a “lengthy, one-hour” debate with his team.

In this initial phase, Biden seemed to be following in the footsteps of previous administrations when presidents stood up for Israel despite internal staff pushback. Examples of this include Harry Truman deciding to recognize Israel in 1948 over the objections of Secretary of State George Marshall, Lyndon Johnson disagreeing with his national security team and refusing to blame Israel over its attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 Six-Day War, and Richard Nixon demanding that his Department of Defense end any holdups and get badly needed arms to Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Yet as we know, personnel is policy, and we are now seeing changes that reflect the anti-Israel sentiments of many members of the Biden team. In recent months, we have seen Democratic staffers voice their opposition to Israel at the State Department, on Capitol Hill, and from inside the White House itself. In November, 500 political appointees and staff members from 40 government agencies anonymously signed a letter calling for a ceasefire. Five hundred alumni of Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign signed another letter calling for one as well. In one particularly outrageous breach of protocol, White House interns sent a letter to the president objecting to the administration’s stance on the conflict. And in January, 17 current but anonymous Biden campaign staffers signed a letter directly calling on Biden to push for a permanent ceasefire. A similar dynamic has been taking place on Capitol Hill, where staffers have been sending letters to their bosses complaining about the administration’s stance in support of the war against Hamas.

Missing Israeli Teen Found Dead in West Bank
Israeli military and police said the body of a missing Israeli teenager who was likely killed in a Palestinian attack was found on Saturday in the West Bank, an incident that may indicate violence is spreading as the Gaza war enters its seventh month.

The 14-year-old went missing on Friday, authorities said, and they described his killing as “a terrorist attack.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the assailants would be found and he called on Israelis not to get in the way of security forces.

Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian group fighting Israeli forces on a mission to crush its militants in Gaza, issued a statement on Saturday urging Palestinians in the West Bank to fight against what it described as “settler militias.”

Though Israeli ground troops have largely been withdrawn from Gaza this month, air strikes continue as well as incursions in Al-Nusseirat in the central of the enclave. Four Palestinians were killed there on Saturday, medics said.

Settlers riot in West Bank towns after teen’s murder; Palestinian killed, others hurt
Settlers rampaged through a number of Palestinian West Bank villages Friday and Saturday, vandalizing property and causing injuries and a fatality, as the body of a missing Israeli teen was found nearby. An Israeli journalist said he was brutally beaten by the rioters and had his equipment destroyed.

As Israeli forces searched for 14-year-old Benjamin Achimeir overnight on Friday, Jewish settlers entered the village of al-Mughayyir, northeast of Ramallah, and set houses and cars ablaze. One person was killed in that rampage, Palestinian medics said, though it was unclear whether he was shot by settlers or Israeli security forces who arrived on the scene amid clashes between the settlers and residents.

Palestinian health officials said 25 others were wounded. Israeli troops delayed the ambulance carrying the slain 26-year-old’s body for several hours, witnesses said.

On Saturday security forces found the body of Jerusalem resident Achimeir, saying he had been murdered in a terror attack.

Dozens of settlers then returned to the al-Mughayyir’s outskirts, burning two homes and several cars. The Palestinian Health Ministry said three people from the village were injured, one critically.

In the nearby village of Douma, settlers set fire to several homes, according to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency. The Palestinian Red Crescent said six people were injured by gunfire but did not say who fired.

Germany arrests 4 teens suspected of planning Islamist terror attacks
Four teenagers suspected of planning Islamist terror attacks have been arrested in Germany, authorities said on Friday, with churches or synagogues as possible targets.

Three of the suspects — two girls who are 15 and 16, and a 15-year-old boy — come from various parts of the western North Rhine-Westphalia state, Germany’s most populous. They were arrested after a court issued warrants for them over the Easter weekend, prosecutors in the city of Duesseldorf said.

Separately, prosecutors in Stuttgart said a 16-year-old suspect is in custody on “suspicion that he was preparing a serious crime endangering the state.”

The three detained in western Germany are suspected of having declared themselves prepared to carry out an “Islamist-motivated terror attack” and planning such an attack, prosecutors said in a statement. They didn’t specify how advanced the plans were, and said they couldn’t give further details because of the suspects’ young age and the ongoing investigation.

They are in detention pending possible charges of declaring themselves ready to commit murder and manslaughter and preparing a serious act of violence.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s top security official, state Interior Minister Herbert Reul, said the investigation was prompted by the 16-year-old girl’s suspected plans to leave Germany to join the Islamic State group.
UNRWA: The organization responsible for maintaining Palestinian suffering
Over a decade ago, a UN legal officer suspected some UNRWA employees were members of the genocidal terrorist regime Hamas and was faced with death threats and live grenades thrown into his office. Israel argues this response has been systemic and has not been addressed to root out individuals with ties to terrorism. This way, there are no concerns about the organization's legitimacy, as most allegations have been dealt with in private. According to UNRWA’s Commissioner, workers tied to Hamas have either been terminated or have left the agency. However, aid experts claim it is impossible for UNRWA to fully rid itself of Hamas due to the manner and methods in which it operates. Palestinian advocates talk about UNRWA's reliance on international support from certain countries such as Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Spain, and Norway, which help sustain its operations.

While government contributions to UNRWA are voluntary, advocates emphasize the ethical responsibility governments have to help during the crisis, especially amidst war. However, many governments such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and many more making up a total of 16 donor countries, have now suspended contributing funds to UNRWA due to the unfolding allegations. Palestinian advocates criticize the suspension of funding to UNRWA while Israel continues to receive military funding. Recently, Sweden and Canada have decided to resume funding to UNRWA after halting it for a short period. This change of decision was made to reflect the urgent need for humanitarian aid to Gaza. The decision to resume funding further demonstrates that UNRWA does not plan on taking any responsibility for maintaining the continuous oppression of Palestinian civilians and the terrorist ties that facilitated the October 7 attack. With UNRWA continuing to operate, not only are we strengthening the political structures that are maintaining the Israel- Palestine conflict, but we also risk additional funding being mismanaged and diverted for terrorist purposes.

UNRWA’s involvement in the Palestinian education sector has also played a major role over the years. The curriculum is heavily criticized for dehumanizing Israelis and Jews, glorifying violence, and neglecting to see Israel as a sovereign state, which damages any hope in building lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The main purpose of UNRWA was to provide short-term Palestinian refugee relief after the Nakba for only a year. However, Arab states have opposed UNRWA'S dissolution, allowing them to receive international aid money for Palestinians while shirking their responsibility of alleviating suffering in the region.

Arab leaders have maintained Palestinian refugee status to resist resettlement, as that would mean having to accept the permanence of the Jewish State of Israel. Without shutting down the organization, Arab leaders prolong the conflict and use UNRWA as a tool for political gain rather than co-existence. Israel leaders have advocated for replacing UNRWA with a different agency, asserting that the organization perpetuates the Palestinian refugee issue and further delegitimizes Israel.

In this unpredictable and volatile period, the allegations surrounding UNRWA have far-reaching ramifications. It's crucial to bring these challenges into the open and start exploring real solutions that can truly uplift Palestinians. It's time to do away with UNRWA and start focusing on new organizations centered on building a future of co-existence and peace within the region.

Anti-Israel Student Interrupts Dinner at Woke "Zionist" Berkeley Professor's House, w/ Adam Carolla
Megyn Kelly is joined by Adam Carolla, host of "The Adam Carolla Show,” to discuss the anti-Israel student protesting at a dinner she was invited to at a woke Berkeley law dean's house, the bizarre lies the student is raising now, the value of free speech in America vs. the rest of the world, and more.

The Israel Guys: Are Most of the Israeli Hostages in Gaza Now Dead? Also IRAN May ATTACK ISRAEL this Weekend
The United States is claiming that most of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza may be dead. We’re going to get into all the details on that, along with a new intelligence report surfacing out of Iran that claims that a direct attack on Israel may be imminent, possibly this weekend. Also a massive manhunt is under way in Samaria for Jewish teen who disappeared this morning.

‘Arteries of Capitalism’: Anti-Zionist Groups Planning Major ‘Blockade’ of Ports Around the World
Far-left anti-Israel activists are launching a mass demonstration to block the “arteries of capitalism” on Monday by staging a blockade of commercial shipping ports across the world in protest of Western support for the Jewish state.

“We will identify and blockade major choke points in the economy, focusing on points of production and circulation with the aim of causing the most economic impact,” A15, the group planning the action, announced in a statement. “There is a sense in the streets in this recent and unprecedented movement for Palestine that escalation has become necessary: there is a need to shift from symbolic actions to those that cause pain to the economy.”

A15 is calling on members in cities such as New York, Dublin, Sydney, Ho Chi Minh, Genoa, London, and others to participate in the act, which could endanger billions of dollars in shipping. The group is also sharing information about police arrest, bail, and other legal information, possibly suggesting that its members are prepared to behave unlawfully.

“As Yemen is bombed to secure global trade and billions of dollars are sent to the Zionist war machine, we must recognize that the global economy is complicit in genocide and together we will coordinate to disrupt and blockage economic logistical hubs and the flow of capital,” the group continued.

Another anti-Zionist group, which goes by “Within Our Lifetime,” has vowed to join the demonstration and will participate by amassing on Wall Street in an attempt to bring trading on the New York Stock Exchange to a halt. Nerdeen Kiswani, a former City University of New York student who once threatened to set a person’s sweater on fire while he was wearing it, will lead the effort.

Police in Victoria, Australia are on high alert, according to a report this weel by The Sydney Morning Herald. On Monday, the city will activate its State Police Operations Center, an action which is reserved for emergencies and will require diverting resources from other cities in the state. One likely target of the group, the Port of Melbourne, processes over 8,000 containers per day and adds $11 billion to national gross domestic product (GDP).

Anti-Zionist protesters have protested at the Port of Melbourne before. In January, they attempted to prevent the docking container ship at Webb Dock because its owner, ZIM shipping firm, is an Israeli company.

The New York City area has been the site of similar demonstrations. In 2021, a group called “Block the Boat” protested the unloading of a container ship owned by ZIM at the Port of New York/New Jersey, two days after another Israeli ship was reportedly blocked from unloading in Oakland.

Judge blocks police ban on ‘Hamas is Terrorist’ banner protester
A judge has told the Metropolitan Police it cannot stop an Iranian dissident who displays a sign branding Hamas as terrorists from attending pro-Palestinian protests.

Under strict bail conditions imposed by the force, Niyak Ghorbani, who has been arrested three times during his counter-protests, would have been prevented from going near any central London demonstrations relating to Israel and the conflict in Gaza.

But a judge has now thrown out the conditions, ruling that they were neither proportionate nor necessary.

The conditions had been imposed after 38-year-old Mr Ghorbani was arrested for a third time during a pro-Palestinian march earlier this month.

He has become well known for holding up a sign stating “Hamas Is Terrorist” while standing alongside the route of the regular protests being held in London against Israel’s retaliation to Hamas’s Oct 7 attacks.

He has been manhandled and attacked by some protesters, but insists he is doing nothing wrong in pointing out that Hamas is a proscribed terror group under UK law.

US theater charity Broadway Cares donates to Israeli groups after Gaza aid criticism
The theater charity group Broadway Cares donated $400,000 to four Israeli aid organizations after coming under fire for its contributions to Gaza relief.

The donations follow a pledge Broadway Cares made in February to fund aid in Israel. The philanthropic organization — known for its appeals at the end of Broadway shows — was criticized by pro-Israel voices over its donations to humanitarian aid groups working in Gaza.

The critics — the conservative Zionist Organization of America and a New York rabbi, Erica Gerson — said the donations were outside the scope of Broadway Cares’ central mission of fighting AIDS and funding health care, that the group did not properly disclose the contributions, and that donations to Gaza were compromised by Hamas’s control of the territory.

In response, in addition to pledging aid to Israelis, Broadway Cares acknowledged that it had “created confusion among our valued supporters” and said it would update its communications with theater audiences.

The group said in an announcement last month that it was donating $100,000 each to NATAL, a trauma care group; the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the leading organization, formed by relatives of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, advocating for their release; the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, an umbrella group; and ERAN, a mental health hotline. The groups are all apolitical and based in Israel.

“These organizations are doing critical work supporting civilians in Israel suffering from trauma, both mentally and physically,” Tom Viola, the head of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, said in a statement.

“In conjunction with our recent grants helping civilians facing devastation and inconceivable loss in Gaza, we’re proud to offer humanitarian aid that doesn’t follow a political agenda, but rather provides vital resources and support to innocent civilians in the midst of devastating conflict,” Viola said.
‘They hate me’: Ousted Brooklyn principal targeted by higher-ups for supporting Israel, she says
A veteran principal abruptly booted from her Williamsburg school says she was targeted for her open support for Israel.

Esther Shali-Ogli, who has led Juan Morel Campos Secondary School for seven years, was abruptly removed last month after Superintendent David Cintron claimed she failed to inform him of an aide’s arrest — an accusation she calls “a lie.”

“They hate me,” said Shali-Ogli, one of two Jewish principals in school District 14, where a rogue, parent-run Community Education Council promoted a citywide student walkout to support Palestine in November at the start of the Israel-Hamas war, and is accused of muzzling dissident voices.

“I feel I’m being targeted because I’m a Jewish woman in a district which is all about supporting Palestine,” she said.

Shali-Ogli, 58, unabashedly cheers the Jewish State — hanging an Israeli flag on her office door and plastering her car with bumper stickers with slogans like “Bless Israel” and “Damn Hamas” in Hebrew.

“I’m not included in anything,” she said. “I can’t go to the CEC or district leadership meetings where they’re espousing annihilation of the Jewish state, and the superintendent has not addressed the hateful speech. As a Department of Education employee I’m supposed to remain neutral and sit there quietly.”

The principal’s Kafkaesque nightmare began on March 1, when deputy superintendent Arelis Parache told her to pack her belongings, surrender her keys and leave the building, Shali-Ogli said.

Parache handed Shali-Ogli a letter saying she was under investigation, but did not give a reason.

Her representative at the principals’ union learned she is under scrutiny over an incident involving a 14-year-old student who told Shali-Ogli on Feb. 7 that a school aide had shared a “sex video” on his cell phone.

The principal immediately notified the city’s Special Commissioner of Investigation in an email titled “New complaint of a sexual nature,” and marked as “high importance.” DOE rules instruct schools to report sexual misconduct to the SCI, which usually contacts police.

But it wasn’t until Feb. 20, with schools closed for the mid-winter recess, that SCI investigator Michael Bisogna wrote back, asking “Was this reported to the NYPD?”
George Washington University Anti-Zionist Group Hurls Racist Remarks at UN Ambassador
An anti-Zionist student group at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, DC staged an unprecedented protest of a talk by US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Thursday at the school’s Elliot School of International Affairs.

“Zionist imperial puppet,” “imperial and blackface,” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” were among the chants yelled by members of the Student Coalition for Palestine (GWSCP) outside the building — a clamoring which could be heard throughout the Elliot School, GWU senior Sabrina Soffer told The Algemeiner on Friday. In addition to the demonstration, the group managed to access the roof of the building next door and drape a Palestinian flag across its front perimeter.

“They were explosively loud,” Soffer said during an interview. “You could hear them all around the building, where students were taking exams or trying to study. They clearly violated community standards on disturbances and discriminatory harassment, and they’re taking advantage of the university’s weakness in enforcing the rules.”

She continued, “Questions remain about how they managed to hang a flag over the building. That was an act that clearly took a lot of logistic coordination, and its strange that no one in security knew about it beforehand. As for the way they spoke about the ambassador, it’s absolutely disgusting.”

Thomas-Greenfield was at GWU to speak at an event held to encourage Black youth to pursue careers in foreign affairs. GWSCP protested her appearance because she has vetoed multiple UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, where Israel has been waging a military campaign against Hamas following the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians.

In pamphlets distributed to everyone who showed up to the event, the students accused Greenfield of being a “puppet,” alluding to the fact that she is a Black woman holding a distinguished presidential appointment. GWSCP seemed to suggest that the color of Greenfield’s skin excluded the possibility that she is an agent of her own destiny.

The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks during March 2024 shows that throughout the month a total of 493 incidents took place in Judea & Samaria, Jerusalem and within the ‘green line’. The agency recorded 85 attacks with petrol bombs, 52 attacks using pipe bombs, two attacks using IEDs, 295 incidents of rock throwing,22 shooting attacks, 29 arson attacks and eight stabbing attacks.

89 attacks were thwarted throughout the month and 298 terror related arrests were made.

In addition, 104 missiles were launched into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip and 746 missiles were launched from Lebanon or Syria throughout February. (The ISA report does not include casualties from attacks related to Operation Swords of Iron.)

Three people were killed and 30 were injured in attacks in Judea & Samaria, Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ during March.

Visitors to the BBC News website did not find coverage of any those terror attacks. The BBC did however publish two reports during March (see here and here) on the topic of Palestinian minors killed during violent incidents.

During the first quarter of 2024, the BBC News website reported 0.27% of the terror attacks which took place and 41% of the resulting casualties.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Opens Permanent Exhibit About Jewish Founders of Hollywood
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is set next month to debut its first permanent exhibition, which will examine the start of the American studio film industry in the early 20th century in Los Angeles and the impact predominately Jewish filmmakers had on turning the California city into “a global epicenter of cinema,” the museum announced on Thursday.

Hollywoodland: Jewish Founders and the Making of a Movie Capital will open on May 19 in the LAIKA Gallery of the museum, which is located in Los Angeles. “It details how the American movie industry — built predominately by Jewish immigrants — transformed Los Angeles into the mythological concept of ‘Hollywood’ that prevails today, as well as the complex legacy that the studio system leaves behind,” the museum explained.

“The American film industry began developing amid an influx of immigration to the United States by Jewish émigrés escaping European pogroms and poverty,” said Dara Jaffe, the exhibit’s associate curator. “Most of Hollywood’s founders were among this wave of Jewish immigrants and recognized that the infant movie business presented an opportunity to raise their marginalized status in an industry that didn’t enforce the same antisemitic barriers as many other professions. Hollywoodland also posits the question: how and why did Los Angeles bloom into a world-renowned cinema capital? The goal of our exhibition is to show the inextricable dovetailing of these histories.”

The exhibition is divided into three sections that visitors can view in any order. “Studio Origins” explores the founding of Hollywood’s original eight “major” film studios, which are often referred to as “the majors” — Universal, Fox (later Twentieth Century-Fox), Paramount, United Artists, Warner Bros., Columbia, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and RKO — and their studio heads.
Xaviaer DuRousseau: The Black Christian Zionist, Former BLM Activist Fighting for Israel and the Jews
“Make Gaza Jewish Again.”

That was a shirt worn by Prager University personality Xaviaer DuRousseau, 27, in a picture posted to X on Feb. 29. DuRousseau explained in the post that he didn’t mean it literally, but it didn’t matter. The post received two million views on X … and a lot of backlash.

“Oh, that shirt did start some controversy, didn’t it?” DuRousseau laughed as he did a sit-down interview with the Journal inside the PragerU headquarters. He recalled “thousands of people” cussing him out on social media over that shirt, including some Jews who thought it was “too aggressive.” Even Marissa Streit, the CEO of PragerU, told DuRousseau that she thought the shirt was a bit much. But DuRousseau said he “would do it again.”

In his social media post wearing the shirt, DuRousseau qualified it by stating: “I am not calling for the harm, exile, or hatred for anyone in Gaza. The meaning of my shirt is returning Israel to a unified state that welcomes and values cultural diversity and peace.” He explained further to the Journal that some people took it “too literally.” “They think it means to have all these Jewish people living in Gaza. I don’t even think that’s necessary,” DuRousseau contended. “I don’t even think that’s safe for the Jews.” DuRousseau also believes that there should still be a Palestinian territory in the Gaza Strip with a degree of separation between it and Israel. DuRousseau is simply calling for Israel to have some influence over Gaza in order to make it “a better place.”

“I would want the Palestinians to acquiesce a bit more to just having some type of agreement with Israel to be like, okay we’re going to help you get food, water, and electricity again, but there is a no-tolerance, no BS [policy] when it comes to terrorism,” he elaborated. “The terrorism has to stop.”

DuRousseau acknowledged that the shirt is “polarizing,” but felt like it was necessary because “sometimes you have to do something very bold and borderline polarizing in order to start the conversation.” “That’s what it did: I got people talking,” he said. “I got people realizing … would you rather Gaza stayed the same? Would you rather Gaza even be the same as it was on Oct. 6? Because I don’t. It’s not because the Muslims are there; it’s because there’s a terrorist regime there.”

DuRousseau’s well-trafficked videos on social media (he has more than 150,000 followers on X and Instagram) feature the PragerU personality advocating for Israel and against antisemitism as well as criticizing Black Lives Matter (BLM), COVID-19 mandates, and affirmative action. And on April 2, PragerU released DuRousseau’s 16-minute documentary “100 Days after October 7” about DuRousseau’s visit to Israeli communities that were devastated on Oct. 7.

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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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