Wednesday, April 17, 2024

From Ian:

Phyllis Chesler: Behold the 21st-century boycott
Some 73 years after Adolf Hitler fired Jewish professors from German universities—and burned and banned Jewish books—British academics were leading the pack against Israelis.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science condemned the British boycott, as did one of my groups, the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. We launched our own petition. Many who signed were professors of physics, medicine, math and computer science who were not as “politicized” as those in the social sciences and humanities. And many of them described the British boycott as “shameful,” “repugnant,” “indefensible,” “anti-academic” and “dangerous group thinking.”

By 2010, the leading British journal of medicine, The Lancet, published a scurrilous article that blamed indigenous gender apartheid practices (wife-beating, etc.) among Middle Eastern Arabs on the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Their so-called study was funded by the Palestinian National Authority and was collected by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. No control group based in Egypt, Jordan or Saudi Arabia (where similar violence against women was normalized) was used. The Lancet did it again in 2014, by publishing an Open Letter that accused Israel-only of crimes it had not committed. This letter had also been funded by known Palestinian terrorist organizations.

The Lancet has long been viewed as a distinguished journal of science. Increasingly, their work descended into political propaganda which, no doubt, has influenced (or bullied) the coming generations.

Recently, I have been told about some authors in the West who were discouraged from writing—or submitting—anything “Jewish,” be it about Judaism or Israel. Publishers are shying away from this topic.

This is where it all started—in the academy. It influenced two or three generations of professors and students, journalists and international organizations, and is now flourishing in the streets, jihad-style, at loud and aggressive anti-Israel demonstrations all across America and Europe. Cheers for Iran after it attacked Israel with missiles and drones. Remember, there were similar shouts of joy for the Hamas demons on Oct. 7.

I must note that each successive wave of Israel-blaming took place when the Jewish state was under attack and fought back to save itself. That is again the case now.
Seth Mandel: Media Revive the Classic ‘Jewish Oppressor’ Stereotype
So here’s how the Washington Post frames the Rutgers situation: Pro-Hamas people are having their lives ruined by Jews who highlight their public comments, and this Rutgers fellow is an example not only of that but of essentially doxxing. (Doxxing means to reveal personal identifying information that is either nonpublic or requires enough effort to find that it is, in a practical sense, nonpublic.)

Here’s what actually happened. Members of the Student Bar Association sent their group chat anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas messages after the Oct. 7 massacre, and an Orthodox Jewish law student in the chat, Yoel Ackerman, responded. He shared the messages with the Rutgers Jewish Law Students Association. For this, the law school opened disciplinary proceedings against Ackerman, with the law school dean telling her colleagues “we have a Jewish law student seeking to take and publish the names of those he deems to be supporting Hamas.” He was then subject to a Sovietesque impeachment hearing from the Student Bar Association. Ackerman, without receiving sufficient explanation, was berated for three hours in what amounted to administrative harassment. In order to dispense of their troublesome Jew, the SBA then moved to suspend its own constitution in order to expel Ackerman.

That’s when Rutgers University stepped in, and briefly suspended the SBA while it could sort out the mess that Hamas propagandists and their enthusiastic supporters among the deans had made of the school. The SBA was soon reinstated.

This, the Washington Post tells us, is an example of a Jew oppressing the poor gentile.

This is not biased reporting. It is Jew-baiting propaganda with a long and very disturbing history. The rest of the article, meanwhile, is biased reporting: Verma simply launders the exterminationist language of domestic extremists into legitimate criticism of a foreign government.

The whole article is science fiction. But the apology the paper owes Ackerman is very real.
Congress must pass Define to Defeat Act as definitive stand against antisemitism
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has been embraced by President Biden, former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, 36 U.S. states, and dozens of other countries — not to mention the vast majority of Jews across every spectrum. It underwent a comprehensive, decade-plus-long review conducted by a multitude of experts and is the only definition with an actual track record of demonstrable effectiveness in curbing anti-Jewish hate and bigotry.

As it relates to this act, the IHRA definition of antisemitism also contains the appropriate caveats and carefully balanced safeguards that take into account the importance of nuance and context in situations that involve allegations of discriminatory intent.

For example, the definition makes clear that criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic and that all of the examples are not meant to be dispositive but rather are the types of things that could, taking into account the overall context, be evidence of antisemitism.

The Define to Defeat Act builds on the bipartisan momentum created by Rep. Mike Lawler’s Antisemitism Awareness Act, which would codify Executive Order 13899 and require the Department of Education to make use of the IHRA definition when assessing unlawful discriminatory behavior under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Mr. Lawler, who has long been a leader on this issue, was working on that bill well before Oct. 7. Since that time, however, it has unfortunately only become clearer that the Jewish community needs the protections clarified in other contexts as well. Hopefully, that bipartisan support will continue; it is hard to imagine someone being supportive of Jewish people being properly protected under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act but not, for example, under Title VII of that same law.

According to the FBI, the majority of religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States are committed against Jewish people. That number is on the rise despite the fact that Jews make up only about 2% of the population. This trend is terrifying, and there is much work to be done to defeat it.

That work starts with defining the problem, and God willing, Congress, led by the members from New York, will now do that.

White House Adviser Defends Iran’s ‘Right to Defend Itself,’ Blasts ‘Genocide Joe’ Biden
The White House this month sought advice from Arab-American activist Osama Siblani regarding President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war, ignoring Jewish groups’ concerns about Siblani’s history of anti-Israel rhetoric and his praise for terrorist groups.

Biden advisers contacted Siblani, the publisher of the Michigan-based Arab-American News, to gauge his reaction to Biden’s phone call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month, the Associated Press reported. Siblani, whom the AP referred to as an "occasional sounding board" for Team Biden, said he relayed that the president needs to take "giant steps" to stop Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Days after his latest White House chat, Siblani said last week that Iran had a "right to defend itself" after Israel bombed the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing Iranian general Mohammad Reza Zahedi. Siblani called the United States an "accomplice" in what he said was an illegal bombing of the embassy, and referred to President Biden as "Genocide Joe."

Siblani has a well-documented history of anti-Israel and pro-terrorist rhetoric. He has accused pro-Israel lawmakers of being "bought" by the "Zionist lobby," and in 2022, he urged Arabs to fight against Israel with "stones" and "guns," and praised fedayeen, or Islamic militants.

Citing those remarks, Jewish groups criticized the White House in February for meeting with Siblani as part of Team Biden’s bid to shore up support from Michigan’s Arab- and Muslim-American communities. Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez met Siblani in Dearborn, Michigan, in January, and White House national security officials visited him there in February.

"Siblani is simply the wrong choice to serve as an interlocutor with the administration as they hear from the local Muslim community," Anti-Defamation League president Jonathan Greenblatt said in February.

Siblani has thus far been spared the fate of other Biden allies who made anti-Israel remarks. In December, White House officials criticized the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for saying he was "happy to see" Hamas attack Israel on Oct. 7.
CAIR Asks Prosecutors to Lock Up Journalists Exposing Hamas Supporters
Weeks after the Hamas murders, rapes and kidnappings of Oct 7, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) began meeting with attorney generals around the country.

Beyond CAIR’s existing effort to establish that Muslims, not Jews, were the real victims, the Islamist organization whose roots are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas, were persuading top state prosecutors to go after Jewish anti-terror activists.

CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area staff and Islamist allies met with California Attorney General Rob Bonta and urged him to enforce laws against what the group claimed was “doxxing”. Under California law, doxxing can be punished by up to a year in prison. Bonta has been considering running for governor and might be amenable to doing what it took to win Islamist support.

Shortly afterward, CAIR’s Massachusetts chapter met with Attorney General Andrea Campbell and urged her to create an “anti-doxxing task force” to target pro-Israel and Jewish groups. CAIR MA’s legal director claimed that it had met with Campbell to “flesh out what current laws might apply and what possibly new ones might help in these situations.” The attorney general’s office expressed concern about “harassment”, but fell short of promising to lock up journalists.

There’s no word on whether that task force was ever created, but the obvious target would have been the Jewish activists, organizations and journalists investigating antisemitism at Harvard.

CAIR was worried about anyone exposing its support for terrorism and it had good reason to be.

Next month, CAIR founder and executive director Nihad Awad, who had previously expressed support for Hamas, appeared at the American Muslims For Palestine (AMP) convention, and cheered the Oct 7 attacks, claiming that the Gazans would be “victorious” because they did not fear death, “if they would like to die, they will go to another heaven.”

No one would have known about this Jihadist propaganda if MEMRI, one of the research organizations collecting materials, had not seen it and then ‘doxxed’ CAIR’s boss by posting it.
Erdoğan invites Hamas chief Haniyeh, accuses Israel in speech
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that he will host Ismail Haniyeh, political leader of Hamas, during a speech to parliament in Ankara rife with anti-Israel tropes.

Erdoğan praised the terrorist group, which on Oct. 7 carried out the worst single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, as a “liberation movement.”

The Turkish president also praised Haniyeh, describing him as the “leader of the Palestinian struggle.”

Erdogan has hosted the terrorist leader before, but this is the first time he has been invited publicly. Ahead of his formal visit, Haniyeh met with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Qatar on Tuesday.

The Turkish president boasted that his country stood behind Hamas when no one else did.

“When everyone was silent, we came out and defined Hamas as a resistance organization, not as a terrorist organization,” Erdoğan said.

“From the U.N. podium, I declared and showed with maps that Israel had occupied the Palestinian lands. We have always stood with our Palestinian brothers, in every way,” he said. “I will continue to make the voice of the Palestinian people heard.”

Erdoğan accused Israel of being behind several Turkish coup attempts in recent decades.
Lee Kern: Hurt - Don't Heal the Antisemite
Those who attempt to kill us must be neutralised - and perpetrators of antisemitic speech and action need to have their lives attacked and diminished so that they experience the greatest personal cost we can extract. They need to suffer consequences to their reputations and their livelihoods. They must be shamed, exposed, humiliated, damaged and degraded. They must experience emotional and mental discomfort. The law must be used to punish them. They must lose their freedom if applicable. Whatever means is available to hurt them should be used to the fullest extent. Their suffering must be harsh and without pity and serve as a deterrent to others. If others don’t pay heed to that deterrent - then they must also suffer. And it must be without pity.

Do we risk antisemites not liking us?

They already hate us.

Now let them fear us.

And some of you must stop this narcissistic impulse to want to redeem your abusers. This has nothing to with making the world better. It’s about satisfying your saviour complex and making you feel self-righteous. Stop prioritising your abusers. That in itself is a symptom of the abuse you’ve experienced. You have every right to prioritise yourself. Your abuser has not earned a right to your ongoing time and energy.

Furthermore, trying to generate a couple of feel good stories about an antisemite turned good is an inefficient use of our resources - something we can ill afford when so many active enemies must be thwarted.

It also sends the wrong message. There is no deterrent if they know abusing us is a revolving door that offers them automatic reputational rehabilitation.

Let’s hurt our haters and move on.

Let it be seen they have been hurt.

We need to stop educating people to like us. We need to teach them to fear us. We need to show them we are mean, nasty and will inflict pain without remorse.

We need to hurt antisemites - not heal them.

Do some of you feel a little anxious hearing this kind of talk?

Does a Jew being aggressive and spiteful make you feel uncomfortable and anxious?


That’s how our enemies should feel.

Maybe then they’ll think twice about fucking with us.
Eve Barlow: In Conversation with: Brianna Wu
Brianna Wu is a righteous badass. I don’t consider myself the fan type but if I were to be a fan of anyone it’s women such as Brianna Wu. In 2022 I started following Wu, who was at the time one of the bravest and most forthright voices standing up against a sea of Johnny Depp fans in the Depp vs Heard trial, and I was impressed that someone who had been through their own version of online hell was prepared to go through it again for the sake of another survivor who Wu had never met.

And for that, I deeply recognized myself in Wu, because I too have not been afraid of taking on the wars of others, even when I know that the people on “my” side in one sphere are not always the people on “my” side in others. The fact is that about half a dozen prominent women withstood an entire disinformation campaign during a media circus that took hold of the entire world. Wu was one of them. If you want to learn about online harassment, we gotchu.

I have moved in progressive and feminist circles for years, fully knowing that when the time came, many of my fellow sisters would not join me in arms given I am a proud Jew who believes in the right for Israel to exist and defend herself. So after October 7, as Brianna Wu came back into my timeline to - again - defy the cultural trend, and stand with the Jewish people, I couldn’t wait for the day we’d get to discuss the how and why of that given Wu’s own background as a leader of progressivism.

Six months on, and one slide into her DMs later, here we are on Zoom; myself in LA and Wu from her home office in Massachussettes. By way of introduction, according to Wu’s Twitter bio she is “Executive Director of @RebellionPac. Former Candidate for US House in MA. Software engineer. Bond dog proponent.” In case you’ve missed Wu’s own controversies, her profile first blew up as a computer game developer in 2014 when her personal details were posted on the online forum 8chan after she made criticisms of Gamergate (a group of angry male gamers who were launching a war against women in technology). The volume and violence of the rape and death threats that Wu received were so overwhelming and disruptive that they drove Wu from her own home. At the time, Gamergate was a major cultural talking point, and Wu has become a mouthpiece for social media bullying since.

When we meet for the first time after years of following each other, our excitement to bond over the insanity of online discourse and our resulting mistreatment of internet trolls is palpable. “Oh my god!” says Wu, logging on. “I feel such a para-social connection to you because we've gone through so much of the same shit.”

Indeed, we have. When I told Wu I was honored she agreed to take the risk to be published here on Blacklisted she responded as predicted. “Are you kidding me? Of course!” Wu has been an endless source of comfort and nourishment as she has educated herself in real time on not just the Israel-Palestine conflict, but the root of antisemitism outside of the singular lens of the Holocaust. A smart person willing to learn in front of a pitchfork-wielding public, while experiencing a trial by fire on Twitter. A female warrior willing to stick her neck out for the truth. Brianna, welcome to the tribe…
Quillette: Learning About Israeli Politics with Political Analyst Lahav Harkov
In an interview by Pamela Paresky, Lahav Harkov, a journalist and political analyst, discusses the Israeli parliamentary system, highlighting the challenges of forming coalitions and the voter's role in selecting parties over individual candidates. She examines the tension between ultra-Orthodox Jews, exempt from military service, and the secular community, emphasizing the need for mutual recognition in achieving peace agreements. Harkov explores the history of Israeli concessions, the complexities of settlements, and the significance of the West Bank and Jerusalem. Additionally, she addresses the interplay between religion and politics, the impact of conflicts with groups like Hamas, and the stability of the current government.

00:00- Introduction and Lahav Harkov's background.
02:34 - Explanation of Israel's parliamentary system.
04:35 - Coalition dynamics and military service issues.
06:48 - Military exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews.
09:06 - Military service norms across groups.
11:32 - Political dynamics and coalition challenges.
13:52 - Generational political trends and peace impacts.
16:09 - Historical peace agreements.
18:30 - Oslo Accords and political outcomes.
20:45 - Peace negotiation outcomes.
23:05 - Religious site regulations in Jerusalem.
25:24 - Jewish presence in Gaza historical context.
27:47 - Israel's post-1967 territorial changes.
30:03 - Civil rights and resident status in Israel.
32:21 - Gaza demographics and political decisions.
34:42 - Shift in strategy towards Hamas.
36:58 - Local elections and national politics.
39:16 - Current government coalition's stability.
41:36 - Causes for coalition breakdowns.
43:56 - Political reform discussions.
46:10 - Party selection processes.
48:31 - Role of Arab parties in Knesset.
50:46 - Arab leaders and domestic politics.
53:02 - Misconceptions about Israel's size and security.
54:32 - Interview conclusion and reflections.

UN Security Council slated to vote on full Palestinian membership on Friday
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote Friday on a Palestinian request for full UN membership, said diplomats, a move that Israel ally the United States is expected to block because it would effectively recognize a Palestinian state.

The 15-member council is due to vote at 3 p.m. in New York City on Friday on a draft resolution that recommends to the 193-member UN General Assembly that “the State of Palestine be admitted to membership of the United Nations,” diplomats said.

A council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the US, Britain, France, Russia or China to pass. Diplomats say the measure could have the support of up to 13 council members.

In such a case, a senior diplomat for a country on the Security Council told The Times of Israel, that the US is expected to veto the resolution.

Council member Algeria, which put forward the draft resolution, had requested a vote for Thursday afternoon to coincide with a Security Council meeting on the Middle East, which is due to be attended by several ministers.

The United States has said that establishing an independent Palestinian state should happen through direct negotiations between the parties and not at the United Nations.

“We do not see that doing a resolution in the Security Council will necessarily get us to a place where we can find… a two-state solution moving forward,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Wednesday.

Michigan Dem Senate Candidate Says Opponent’s Pro-Israel Stance Driven by Donor Money
A Democratic Senate candidate in Michigan said his Jewish opponent’s support for Israel is driven by donor money, in an interview on Monday.

Hill Harper, a politician and actor known for his roles on CSI:NY and The Good Doctor said Rep. Elissa Slotkin, the frontrunner for Michigan’s Democratic Senate primary, was pandering for campaign "checks" by not sufficiently criticizing Israel.

"My opponent still hasn’t called for a ceasefire. Probably won’t. Because why? Checks," said Harper, while mimicking signing a checkbook.

Harper—who failed to note that Slotkin called for an Israeli ceasefire in February—was speaking in an interview with Forum magazine. His comments echo other far-left Democrats, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), whose 2019 claim that congressional support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins" was widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

Harper’s remarks are part of a rise in anti-Israel attacks against Slotkin, the only Jewish member of Michigan’s congressional delegation, in a state with the largest Muslim population in the country.

So far in the campaign, Slotkin has tread a cautious line on the Israel-Hamas war. While Slotkin denounced Iran for its "unprecedented" aerial bombing of Israel last weekend, she has also admonished the Israeli military for civilian deaths and pushed for more humanitarian aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza.

But her criticism of the Jewish state hasn’t appeased anti-Israel activists in Michigan. On Monday, protesters rallied outside Slotkin’s press conference, which she had called to announce her collection of campaign signatures.

Activists waved a large Palestinian flag and banner reading: "Slotkin stop the genocide." One protester accused Slotkin of having "blind support of Israel's slaughter of the Gazans" in an interview with CBS News.

Ottawa Should Support Canadian Muslim Groups That Condemn Hamas, Instead of Funding Anti-Semitic Ones
According to a January report submitted to Israel’s Knesset regarding anti-Semitism around the world since Oct. 7, anti-Semitism is up 800 percent in Canada (higher than France, Germany, and the UK). In Toronto alone, police have seen a 93 percent increase in the number of reported hate crimes since the Israel–Hamas war began, compared to the same time period a year earlier—most against Jews.

Canadian Jews worry for their physical safety, of course, but they also feel an ominous sense of civic isolation. Shocked sympathy for the victims of Hamas’s atrocities lasted about 48 hours. After that, the vicious blowback—ostensibly against Israel, in reality against Jews—began, a conflagration largely led and fed by pro-Hamas Canadian Muslims.

Many Christian and secular Canadians expressed unconditional revulsion for the Oct. 7 atrocities, which was a comfort. But Hamas’s proto-genocide was undertaken in a spirit of deeply anti-Semitic Islamist triumphalism. If ever there was an anti-terrorism, step-up “Islam is a religion of peace” moment for prominent Muslim leaders—as happened after 9/11—this was it.

But that did not happen. Instead, Amira Elghawaby, Canada’s Islamophobia “czar,” scolded those who called out the anti-Semitism characterizing a demonstration at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, in spite of clear evidence to support the charge, indirectly accusing Israel sympathizers of racism.

The government’s indulgence of Muslim leaders’ demands for “phobia” parity with Jews exacerbates Jews’ concerns. Despite the chasm in gravity between the two problems, Justin Trudeau almost never condemns anti-Semitism without condemning Islamophobia in the same breath. Moreover, what nobody in government has the spine to mention is that while Canadian Jews are not harassing or beating up Muslims, the alarming uptick in hate crimes against Jews is almost entirely due to escalating aggression by the many extremists among Canadian Muslims. It is, of course, considered Islamophobic to mention this inconvenient reality.

Anti-Semitic Incidents on College Campuses Surged 320 Percent Last Year, ADL Finds
Anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses spiked 320 percent last year, with more than three-fourths of them in the wake of Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents released Tuesday.

The report details a total of 8,873 incidents of assault, harassment, intimidation, and vandalism targeting Jews in 2023, representing a 140 percent increase from 2022. Among the nearly 9,000 incidents, 922 took place on college campuses—a 320 percent increase from the prior year. Seven hundred and thirty-two of them occurred between Oct. 7 and the end of 2023, representing a 1,062 percent increase compared with the same period in 2022, the report notes.

The ADL’s report says the group made efforts to avoid conflating anti-Israel activism with anti-Semitism, pointing out its record keeping comported with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. Following Oct. 7, the ADL began counting certain anti-Zionist expressions that incorporated support for terrorism, called for attacks against Jews, or included classic anti-Semitic tropes. When the ADL removed incidents counted under its new post-Oct. 7 methodology, incidents on college campuses following Hamas’s attack still increased 478 percent from the same period the year prior, according to the group’s audit.

Among the 922 anti-Semitic incidents that took place on college campuses, 695 of them involved harassment, 215 involved vandalism, and 12 were assaults. These incidents were recorded at more than 300 universities across 43 states and the District of Columbia. Columbia University had the greatest number of recorded incidents with 17, followed by the University of Michigan, Stanford, Rutgers, and the University of Washington.

The report is the latest indication that universities have struggled to quell anti-Semitism on campus following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. During a now-infamous December congressional hearing, the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania struggled to explain why their schools were failing to crack down on anti-Semitism, despite previously taking a hardline approach to other forms of hate. Advocacy groups, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and the White House criticized the presidents’ responses. The presidents of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania would later resign.
New York Must Not Allow Cornell and Columbia to Jeopardize Jewish Students
At New York’s most elite colleges, Jewish students are under siege.

Columbia and Cornell, the state’s two members of the prestigious Ivy League, have both failed their Jewish students — both before and after the Hamas attack on October 7, which was the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

Since the Hamas attack, a rising tide of unconcealed antisemitic harassment has flooded American and Western life, with students on college campuses being particularly targeted.

A rallying tool for the dehumanization of Jews — which also runs afoul of New York state law — is the set of referenda being organized at both schools to delegitimize the world’s only Jewish country, the State of Israel.

It is astonishing and unprecedented that the Jewish community is being targeted this way in New York, the most storied center of Jewish life in America, with the largest Jewish population of any US state: almost 2 million, about a quarter of the total American Jewish community, and at least 7% of the state’s population.

The state, led by Governor Kathy Hochul, must take action to halt the dangerous farce targeting our people.

The issue for these protestors isn’t Israel defending herself. They just have a problem with Jews, even dead ones. It’s as simple as that.

At Columbia, the antisemitic attacks started within hours of Hamas’ horrific invasion of Israel, which killed 1,200 innocent Israelis.

On October 16, one Jewish student was assaulted with a broomstick, fracturing his finger, as he hung posters of the more than 240 hostages abducted by Hamas. Other students were spat on for speaking Hebrew. Another Israeli student’s “phone number was leaked and she received aggressive and explicit text messages and phone calls for weeks.”

NYTs: The House Republican Going After Universities on Antisemitism
Virginia Foxx, the Republican congresswoman from North Carolina, has spent the last few months giving elite schools a hard time.

As the chairwoman of the House committee on education, she oversaw a tense hearing in December that spurred the resignations of the presidents of University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. She has led an investigation of a half-dozen institutions for their handling of antisemitism claims. She has subpoenaed internal documents, and called Jewish students to testify.

On Wednesday, she will preside over another hearing, this time with officials at Columbia University.

The drubbing is part of a campaign by Republicans against what they view as double standards within elite education establishments — practices that they say favor some groups over others, and equity over meritocracy. Others see it as partisan attack.

Representative Foxx, 80, does not like the term “elite,” and questions whether these schools even deserve the title.

“I call them the most expensive universities in the country,” she said the other day, while traveling around her district, which winds through small working-class towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

She is known for her conservative views and blunt manner. But her current work, she said, is rooted in personal experience. Over her years in office, she has repeatedly told her life story, of growing up in a sparsely populated rural area, in a house without running water or electricity. She and her brother, Butch, carried drinking water from a spring. There was no outhouse, so “we went to the woods,” she recalled.

She went on to junior college, state college and graduate school, eventually earning a doctorate from the University of North Carolina, leveraging her way into intertwined careers in politics and education, becoming president of a community college.

But it is her religious beliefs and identification with the underdog, she said, that inform how she is dealing with the bitter campus protests over the Israel-Hamas war.

“The people here believe that the Jews are God’s chosen people, and I grew up in the Baptist Church believing that,” she said.

After reading news accounts last fall of rising antisemitism on prominent campuses, she said that she resolved to investigate these institutions that most of her constituents cannot imagine ever attending.

“It was unconscionable what was happening,” she said. “Students were unsafe, and the administration was doing nothing to help them.”

Sign up for the Israel-Hamas War Briefing. The latest news about the conflict. Get it sent to your inbox.

“As chair of the committee,” she said, “How do I ignore that?”

Wife of Obama Press Sec Shocked by Proliferation of Anti-Semitism on Campus of Obama's Alma Mater
The co-chair of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees, Claire Shipman, told a congressional panel on Wednesday that the proliferation of anti-Semitism on the school’s Manhattan campus is "shocking."

Shipman’s husband, Jay Carney, served as press secretary under former president Barack Obama, a Columbia alumnus whose longtime friendship with one of the school’s notorious anti-Semitic professors became a central issue in his 2008 campaign.

During Wednesday's House Education Committee hearing featuring testimony from Columbia president Minouche Shafik and other school leaders, Shipman was asked to respond to what one lawmaker described as "pro-terrorist expressions on campus on a significant scale."

"I think it says we have a lot of work to do. It's shocking," Shipman said. "I think it says that we have lost our way in terms of what we expect from each other in a learning community and in our society. I think we have to … commit to speech that isn't laced with hate and isn't just meant to provoke."

Carney is probably more familiar with the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric that has percolated for decades on the Columbia campus, having accepted a job in the Obama administration in 2008, when Obama’s friendship with one of Columbia’s most prominent anti-Semitic professors was a recurring theme.

Though Obama professed support for Israel, the Los Angeles Times reported in the spring of 2008 that, in fact, Obama was a "friend and frequent dinner companion" of Rashid Khalidi, an anti-Israel scholar who has taught in Columbia's history department since 2003. Obama lauded Khalidi at a going away party before the professor joined Columbia, saying Khalidi gave "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases."

In the wake of Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, Khalidi argued the attack required "context," telling Democracy Now! that Israel's "settler colonialism" and "apartheid" regime was to blame.

"This has to be put within the context. And the context is not just occupation," he said. "The context is settler colonialism and apartheid."

"You cannot commit daily violence against Palestinians—one Palestinian has died every day this year, in fact, slightly more—in the occupied West Bank. You cannot expect that not to lead to a reaction. The reaction will be violent."
Columbia University leaders speak before Congress to discuss rampant anti-Semitism on campus: LIVE BLOG
Several Columbia University leaders will testify before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce during a hearing on Wednesday.

The House committee announced on March 11 that Columbia University President Nemat (Minouche) Shafik along with Board of Trustees Co-Chairs Claire Shipman and David Greenwald will appear at the hearing, titled “Columbia in Crisis: Columbia University’s Response to Antisemitism.”

Follow along for the latest developments at the hearing with Campus Reform’s live blog:
Congresswoman to Columbia U president: ‘Fire the racists, it’s a pretty low bar’
Columbia University President Nemat (Minouche) Shafik, along with members of Columbia’s board of trustees and antisemitism task force, faced questioning at a Congressional hearing on antisemitism Wednesday, over everything from inflammatory demonstrations on campus to disciplinary measures taken against students and faculty.

A December hearing in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce was the notorious setting for a similar interrogation of now-former university presidents Claudine Gay of Harvard and Liz Magill of the University of Pennsylvania, both of whom resigned shortly thereafter as a result of the fallout of their comments.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Shafik and her colleagues appeared to have learned from Gay and Magill’s experience, delivering mostly deliberate, measured and careful responses to their questioning. The university officials all acknowledged at the start that antisemitism has been a pressing issue on the New York City campus since the Hamas onslaught on southern Israel on October 7 and the ensuing war, and professed their readiness to assist the committee in its goals.

“Antisemitism has no place on our campus and I am personally committed to doing everything I can to confront it directly,” Shafik stated in her opening remarks, characterizing efforts to curb hatred against Jews on campus as ongoing and noting that an antisemitism task force report was expected in May, as well as others to come in the fall.

“We condemn the antisemitism that is so pervasive today,” she said.

Enumerating steps that the school has taken to protect Jewish students, Shafik said that the Ivy League school “brought in extra security expertise and had regular contact with NYPD [New York Police Department] and the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation].” Since becoming president close to a year ago, she said, she has spent the most time devoted to this issue, “holding over 200 meetings with groups of students, faculty, alumni, donors, parents, some of whom are here, and 20 meetings with other university presidents to learn from each other.”

DELUSION on Columbia Campus Panel | V24 Investigations
A Visegrad24 Investigations undercover journalist attended a panel at Columbia University.

HIDDEN CAM: Columbia President Shafik relies on a very small circle of Zionists
Columbia Law Professor Katherine Franke expresses apprehension about the upcoming Congressional Hearing, in which Columbia University President Minouche Shafik will testify before Congress.

Franke told our undercover journalist her concerns about President Shafik's leadership.

Columbia Students Claimed They Were Sprayed With an Israeli Chemical Weapon. It Was Actually Fart Spray Purchased on Amazon, New Lawsuit Says
Chemical weapons are typically associated with Middle Eastern warzones, not Ivy League colleges. So when one of them was allegedly deployed at Columbia University, it ignited a media frenzy.

Pro-Palestinian protesters told the Columbia Spectator they had been sprayed with "skunk," a crowd-control chemical developed by the Israeli Defense Forces, at a rally in January. Mainstream media amplified the allegations, and Columbia suspended a student involved in the "attack"—who had previously served in IDF—within days.

The narrative was a progressive fever dream: At one of the best universities in the country, an Israeli student had deployed chemical weapons against peaceful student protesters for challenging the alleged depredations of the Jewish state.

Columbia president Minouche Shafik repeated this claim at a meeting of the university’s senate. "Demonstrators," she said, "were sprayed with a toxic chemical."

It now appears that the "toxic chemical" was a harmless fart spray purchased on Amazon for $26.11.

According to a lawsuit filed against Columbia on Tuesday, the suspended student had in fact dispersed "Liquid Ass"—a "gag gift for adults and kids," per its product description—at an unsanctioned pro-Palestinian rally. He sprayed the substance in the air, not at any particular individual, in what the lawsuit describes as a "harmless expression of speech." The result was a swift suspension for which the student is now suing, alleging that the university "rushed to silence Plaintiff and brand him as a criminal" through "biased misconduct proceedings."

Columbia claimed in January that the incident was "possibly [a] hate crime." Tuesday’s lawsuit undercut that claim and the media narrative built around it less than 24 hours before Shafik was set to testify before Congress about Columbia’s response to anti-Semitism, which surged at Columbia after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.

California School System Sued Over Falsified History About Israel-Hamas War
A California public school district that attempted to hide pro-Hamas course material from parents now faces legal action.

The Deborah Project, which describes itself as “a public interest law firm that defends the civil rights of Jews in education,” filed suit April 8 against the Berkeley Unified School District, accusing it of “intentionally trying to prevent parents from knowing what their kids are learning.”

The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, also accuses the school system of “teaching kids mendacious and malicious lies about [Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel] that are grossly inaccurate and, on the basis of this false information, fomenting hatred against the Jewish State.”

The Deborah Project went to court on behalf of a parent in the Berkeley school district, Yossi Fendel, who says he was delayed and denied information about his child’s curriculum after a social studies teacher, Alex Day, announced at a school board meeting in November that he was going to incorporate lessons about “Palestine.”

Day also stated at the school board meeting that he wouldn’t be “censored” from lecturing his students about “colonialism.”

Day is a ninth-grade social studies teacher at Berkeley High School, according to the school system’s website.
York University faculty group recommends defining support of Israel as 'racism'
A York University faculty committee has recommended that the school henceforth define any acknowledgement of Israel’s existence as evidence of “anti-Palestinian racism.”

According to an April 5 “recommendations report” leaked to National Post, an official committee within York’s Department of Politics has proposed that any defence of Israel be viewed as “anti-Palestinian, Islamophobic, and anti-Arab.”

The document cites York University’s official pledge to take “proactive steps to fight racial inequity,” and concludes that this can’t be done unless administrators actively seek to isolate and destroy the Zionist “settler colonial project.”

“The struggle for Palestinian self-determination will support the liberation of all humans and non-humans from colonial oppression,” it reads.

The nine-page document was released by the Department of Politics Palestine Solidarity Committee. In a preamble, the body writes that they were created with faculty approval on Nov, 14, 2023 with a mandate to draft “a departmental definition of anti-Palestinian racism.”

“It is the systematic and structural denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination and national liberation, and the collective existence of the Palestinian people, while upholding Zionism,” reads the final definition.

It adds, “Zionism is a settler colonial project and ethno-religious ideology in service of a system of Western imperialism that upholds global white supremacy.”

NPR editor Uri Berliner resigns after writing essay criticizing company’s liberal views
Berliner, who is Jewish, heavily criticized NPR’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, which began with the October 7 terror assault on southern Israel, in which thousands of Hamas-led terrorists massacred some 1,200 people and seized 253 hostages, most of them civilians.

NPR has approached the war through an “intersectional lens,” Berliner said, adding that to him, that meant “highlighting the suffering of Palestinians at almost every turn while downplaying the atrocities of October 7, overlooking how Hamas intentionally puts Palestinian civilians in peril, and giving little weight to the explosion of antisemitic hate around the world.”

After his essay was published, Berliner was suspended without pay for five days for violating the company’s policy that it must approve work done for outside organizations, NPR reported on Tuesday.

Katherine Maher, a former tech executive appointed in January as NPR’s chief executive, has been criticized by conservative activists for social media messages that disparaged former president Donald Trump. The messages predated her hiring at NPR.
Guardian again engages in Oct. 7th Massacre inversion
To unpack this, let’s begin with Kupperman writing that “From late 2003 to early 2004, [Sudan’s] government forces and associated militias killed up to 10,000 civilians per month“. He then later says that, after six months of war, “Gaza officials now say the toll exceeds 33,000 people”. In addition to the fact that 33,000 over six moths does not equal “10,000” per month, not all of those 33,000 of course are civilians. Not even Hamas makes that claim.

The terror group stated in February that roughly 6,000 of those killed are Hamas fighters. (Israel places the figure at 12,000.) So, that would leave the number of civilians killed – even if you, for some reason, trust the terror group’s unverified numbers – at 27,000, or roughly 4,500 per month, again, based on six months of fighting. If, as the author says, 10,000 civilians in Darfur were being killed monthly, the claim that “civilian deaths in Gaza rival those of Darfur” is clearly untrue.

Kupperman tries again to blur the difference between the number of terrorists killed and the number of civilians killed, when he writes that “In January, a US official confirmed that “more than 25,000 civilians have been killed”. However, that was based on a misstatement by the US Secretary of Defense. That number was walked back almost immediately by a US Defense Department spokesperson, who clarified that the 25,000 number is the total number of those killed in Gaza, both combatants and non-combatants.

Further, if you zoom out, you’ll see that Kupperman’s narrow focus on what occurred in Darfur from late 2003 to early 2004 is an example of misleadingly tailoring the facts in a way that seems to support his allegation. Between 2003 and 2005, soldiers of the military-led government in Sudan and their proxy militia known as Janjaweed fought rebel groups in Darfur, carrying out a scorched earth policy targeting the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa communities in the country due to their ethnicity. An estimated 200,000 civilians were killed. The attacks included the burning of homes, villages, and crops, the systematic destruction of food stores and widespread rape. The violence continued for years, claiming more than 100,000 additional lives.

So, in Darfur, we’re dealing with civilian death in a magnitude that has no relation to what’s occurred in Gaza, and a level of barbarism that is more akin to what Hamas did to Israelis in the south on one day last October than anything the IDF has done in response to that pogrom. In fact, the actual civilian to combatant casualty ratio in the six months of war is reportedly better than what the US achieved in 2016-17 Battle of Mosul – and better than what other Western armies have achieved when engaged in similar urban warfare.
Following complaint, Indy amends article on alleged Gaza casualties
In a recent CAMERA webinar on British media bias against Israel since Oct. 7, we argued that it would likely be impossible to find another war anywhere in the world in which Western outlets consistently trusted the casualty statistics – and other claims – provided by a proscribed terrorist group.

Yet, as we’ve demonstrated, most news outlets cite Hamas’ health ministry claims that, since the start of the war, roughly 32,000 people, allegedly ‘mostly women and children’, have been killed by IDF forces. They cite Hamas’ figures despite the fact that: 1) Analyses by reputable statisticians have demonstrated that Hamas’ figures are impossible; 2) Hamas doesn’t distinguish between terrorists and civilians; 3) The numbers include those Palestinians killed by its own misfired rockets.

Conversely, these same outlets rarely cite Israeli statistics showing that roughly 13,000 of the casualties were terrorists, a number that’s extremely important, as it shows that, even if Hamas’s overall numbers are close to accurate, the ratio of civilian to combatant fatalities, at roughly 1.5:1, is better than what’s been achieved by the US and UK in their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – and dramatically better than the international average in wars.

This demonstrates that the ‘genocide’ charge hurled against Israel is literally the opposite of the truth.

A recent Independent editorial (“We must find a way to give peace a chance in Gaza”, April 7) represented a variation of this problem – taking Hamas casualty stats at face value, while actually showing far more skepticism to Israeli claims.
BBC Radio 4’s Nick Robinson does not convince
From there, it was obviously just a short hop to Robinson’s final question:
Robinson: “I want to end if I could with a question of morality. You will know – I think you’ve talked about the fact that the West has been perceived to lose the argument with even many of its own people ever since the war on terror began. Isn’t the real risk of where we are now that Western governments appear to back Israel the moment that Israel is under attack but when Israel attacks and murders tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians, we say the words but we do almost nothing.”

Nowhere in this fifteen-minute interview did listeners hear Robinson use qualifying phrases such as ‘some might say that…’ or ‘there are those who contend that…’. At no point did Robinson reference terrorism, Hamas or the October 7th atrocities. What listeners did hear from him, however, were context-free claims – for example regarding UNRWA and the status of the building next to the Iranian embassy in Damascus – and allegations.

While he may now be seeking to do damage control in light of the public uproar at his choice of words, Robinson will have to do a lot more in order to convince many that this was not an expression of his “own view”. And if, as he claims, it was not his view or “that of the BBC”, then surely he should be able to tell us whose view it is that Israel “murders tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians” and why he found fit to amplify that obviously inaccurate smear to BBC Radio 4 listeners.
BBC News website coverage of Iranian regime attack on Israel
Unlike some of his colleagues, Bachega was able to get the age of the seriously injured girl right but no mention was made of additional people wounded in the same incident and the girl’s name – Amina al-Hassouni – does not appear in any of the BBC’s reports.

“The attack, in the end, had limited impact. A military base in the south sustained minor damage, the Israeli military said, and a seven-year-old Israeli girl was critically wounded by a missile that got through the defences.”

As we see, early BBC coverage of the Iranian regime’s unprecedented attacks on Israel on the night of April 13th– 14th overwhelmingly – and unquestioningly – promotes that regime’s talking points concerning the building in Damascus. That narrative has been employed by the Iranian regime – and uncritically amplified by the BBC – since April 1st as ‘justification’ for any subsequent actions in order to damp down criticism of any attack it may choose to stage.

While inconsistencies are evident in the numerous BBC reports on this story, the topic of support for the Iranian attacks from terror factions, Palestinians and their supporters was avoided throughout. Also notable – particularly in light of the BBC’s decision to run a filmed report about “unfazed” residents of Tel Aviv in a bar – is the lack of reporting on how the massive attacks by the Iranian regime affected Israeli citizens forced to seek shelter during the night and cope with the cancellation of educational activities.
Globe & Mail Commentator Claims Israel Seeks War With Iran For Domestic Political Considerations
Regrettably, Byers failed to provide this much-needed context to readers about Hamas and why leaving it in power in Gaza is not a feasible option.

Byers later made the outlandish claim that, because of “warmongers in Israel’s governing coalition,” and that “Israeli soldiers are running out of targets in Gaza,” Israel is presumably likely to strike Iran.

In sharp contrast to Byers, Israel has shown extraordinary restraint and focus in Gaza. The country has set a new standard for protection of civilians in densely-populated warzones, particularly as Hamas actively uses its own people as human shields, and the proportion of civilian deaths in Gaza has been lower than in virtually any other modern armed conflict.

Once again, such essential details are entirely left out of Byer’s column, which instead left readers with the fantastically false impression that Israel will wage war on Iran for no reason other than that it is desperate for more “targets.”

Michael Byers’ opinion column in The Globe and Mail, while giving a fulsome picture of Iran’s dangerous tentacles in the Middle East supporting its fanatical terrorism, falsely depicts Israel as wanting to escalate tensions with Iran for domestic political considerations, and not as a result of Iran’s malign influence.

PMW: US money to convicted terrorists; US training to aspiring terrorists
After Palestinian Media Watch exposed in US Congress in 2011 that the PA pays salaries to terrorists, most Western countries eventually cut off funding of the PA’s general budget and instead gave money for specific projects, such as education. However, one Palestinian framework has remained a recipient of Western money and was also excluded from the limitations of the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits American funding of the PA. That framework is the PA Security Forces.

The U.S. State Department said that in 2002, it provided $45 million to the PA security sector:
“The U.S. government plans to provide an additional $75 million in economic assistance to the Palestinian people this year. Additionally, the United States is also providing $45 million for programs to support the security sector including important improvements to the rule of law.”

[U.S. Department of State website, March 26, 2022]

Now the PA reports that the Western-funded General Intelligence Service of the PA Security Forces gave a special grant to precisely those terrorists whom the West is trying not to fund—the convicted Palestinian terrorists and dead terrorists. Worse still, the recipients are terrorists who are members of the PA General Intelligence Service who used their training and weapons from the U.S. to perpetrate terror against Israel. The decision to give the grants to the terrorists was made by the head of the PA General Intelligence Service, Majed Faraj, who is presented internationally as a “moderate” who cooperates with Israel in fighting Palestinian terror. Yet instead of punishing those members of the PA Security Forces who turned to terror, Faraj decided to give them an extra reward:
“The [PA] General Intelligence Service in Jenin provided a grant to the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners(i.e., terrorists) from the service’s ranks in the district…

A delegation from the service provided the grant to 25 families from among the Martyrs’ families and 11 families from among the prisoners’ families from the General Intelligence ranks.

[PA General Intelligence] Service Director in Jenin Adnan Abu Aisheh said that the message of the service, under the instructions of its leader [Head of PA General Intelligence] Majed Faraj, is to emphasize what President Mahmoud Abbas has said again and again – that if we are left with one penny, it will be paid to the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, April 4, 2024; official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 5, 2024]

Revealed: Six UK Iran centres which backed IRGC get £700k handouts
Six British charities that openly supported the feared Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) received hundreds of thousands of pounds from the government under the pandemic furlough scheme, the JC can reveal.

The mosques and education centres claimed more than £680,000 despite having held events to eulogise the Iranian IRGC mastermind Qasem Soleimani after he was killed by a US drone in January 2020, two months before the furlough scheme began. There is no suggestion that claiming the money was unlawful.

It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak continues to resist pressure to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist organisation, despite well-established evidence about the danger it poses to Jews and regime dissidents in the UK – such as the stabbing of an Iranian journalist in London two weeks ago.

As the JC went to press, a cross-party group consisting of more than 100 MPs and peers was poised to send Sunak a letter arguing that proscription would make it more difficult for the IRGC and its proxies to operate on British soil.

One of the charities, the Islamic Centre of England (ICE) in London’s Maida Vale, which has been described by the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee chair Alicia Kearns as the IRGC’s “London office”, received furlough payments of £109,476 in 2020 and £129,556 in 2021. The ICE was given an official warning by the Charity Commission for holding a vigil attended by 2,000 people to mourn Soleimani after his death.

In 2022, the Charity Commission launched a statutory inquiry into the mosque after it hosted a series of extremist preachers and its then-director Seyed Hashem Moosavi – who is also the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official UK representative – called anti-regime protestors “soldiers of Satan”.

Jeremy Piven and an all-too-apt performance
There is a point in Jeremy Piven’s new film “The Performance” where I found myself, just for a second, rooting for the Nazis to discover the secret Jew in their midst.

Based on a 2002 Arthur Miller short story and directed by Piven’s sister, Shira Piven, Piven plays Harold May—actually Harold Marcovitz, a floundering tap dancer who is recruited to perform in Berlin in 1936.

His troop includes Benny (Adam Garcia), Paul (Isaac Gryn), Sira (Lara Wolf) and Carol (Maimie McCoy). Robert Carlyle, the Scottish actor best known for his role as the violent Begbie in “Trainspotting” and Gaz in “The Full Monty,” is unrecognizable in his role of Fugler, a mild-mannered, friendly Nazi who wishes we didn’t have to have uncomfortable labels like “Jew.”

Carol is trying to raise enough money to get out of an abusive marriage, and Harold has something to prove to himself but also to his parents, who want him to take over their fabric business. So when a generous offer to perform in Berlin for one night only appears, the group grabs it. Benny is the only one of the bunch concerned with what a bad idea it is for Harold, a Jew, and Paul, a gay man, to be setting foot in Berlin. This becomes especially pointed when the performance turns out to be for Adolf Hitler himself.

The problem is that Hitler loves the show a little too much and, drunk on his success, Harold agrees for the troupe to do more high-profile performances. He’s passed as a non-Jew his entire life, what’s a few more days in Nazi Germany? He can be very quiet about who he is, enjoy the success and not have to worry about what is happening to the other Jews across the country.

The film was made before the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel and had indeed been in the works for many years, but it’s entirely believable as an allegory for the way Hollywood has responded to those attacks. Harold is not wildly dissimilar from Jewish Hollywood celebrities who have stayed nauseatingly quiet after Oct. 7. They, too, want the success, the money, the accolades. They, too, have worked hard to get where they are, and they don’t want to throw it away to defend an identity that barely registers. They, too, are confident that the Jew-haters don’t mean them, not with their talent and beauty; they must mean some other Jews who had had the wrong opinions or live in the wrong place. Would they shake Hitler’s outstretched hand? It happens off-screen, but we know Harold does after his one-night show. It’s survival at that point, the argument can be made. But when the riches and the acclaim mean that he’ll have to shake it some more, Harold chooses to do just that.
As Druze Mark Holiday, Figures Show Tenfold Growth Since Israel’s Founding
According to figures released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, the Druze population has grown ten times since the state’s founding in 1948. The figures were released ahead of the Druze festival of Nabi Shuʿayb.

The holiday marks the anniversary of the death of the Biblical figure, Jethro, to whom the Druze trace their ancestry. A shrine stands in the now-abandoned village of Hittim, near Tiberias, where Jethro — the father-in-law of Moses and known to the Druze as Shu’ayb — is believed to have been buried and many will make a pilgrimage. The Israeli government recognizes the shrine as a holy site under Druze custodianship.

This year’s festival is from April 25-28.

Druze serve in senior positions in public and military life, and the bond between Jewish and Druze soldiers is referred to as the “covenant of blood.” The Druze speak Arabic but are not Muslim, and are very secretive about their religious beliefs.

Tenfold Growth
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Druze have grown from a community of 14,500 in 1949 to 152,000.

At the close of 2022, the localities boasting the highest Druze populations were Daliyat al-Karmel and Yarka, each with communities of over 17,000.

Demographically, the proportion of children aged 0-14 among the Druze population stood at 23.8% by the end of 2022, a figure lower than that of the Jewish and Muslim populations but higher than that of Arab Christians.

Education plays a significant role in the socio-economic advancement of any community, and the Druze community in Israel is no exception. Notably, 43.5% of Druze high school graduates pursued a bachelor’s degree within eight years of completing their secondary education, outpacing the average for Arab education. Moreover, the number of Druze students in higher education institutions has increased substantially over the years, reaching 5,859 in the academic year 2022/23.
Bucking boycotts, Israel Bonds sells record $3b since start of Hamas war
A record of almost $3 billion was sold in State of Israel bonds in the more than six months since the outbreak of the war with the Hamas terror group as foreign investors, mainly from the US, stepped up their support.

“Since the outbreak of the war on Oct. 7, we have seen a significant increase in the investments by financial institutions mainly from US states and municipal governments,” Dani Naveh, president and CEO of Israel Bonds, told The Times of Israel. “It’s a great reflection first of all of the level of direct support for Israel during the war that many cities and individuals around the world demonstrate.”

“By buying Israel Bonds, they are helping to raise the funds needed for the war effort such as rebuilding destroyed communities, and as investors they are becoming part of the Israeli economy, its resilience and success story, whether in air defense technology or other innovation,” said Naveh.

Israel Bonds, which is registered in the US as The Development Corporation for Israel and affiliated with Israel’s Finance Ministry, issues debt securities by the government of Israel. The majority of operations and investors are in the US, with some located in Canada, Europe, and Mexico.

Within the first month of the war, Israel Bonds raised $1 billion from the sale of the debt securities — the average annual total sales it recorded in previous years. That pushed worldwide investments by Israel supporters in the bonds to $2.7 billion in 2023, a record total in the organization’s 72-year history. To date, it has sold about $52 billion worth of Israel Bonds.

Israel has poured billions of shekels into financing the war that erupted on October 7 when Hamas led a devastating cross-border assault on Israel. The terrorists killed nearly 1,200 people and abducted 253 into the Gaza Strip. Israel responded with a military campaign to eradicate Hamas and free the hostages, of whom about half remain in captivity.

Over the weekend, the Israeli army and allied forces intercepted 99% of the 300 attack drones and missiles fired by Iran at Israel in the first-ever direct attack on Israel by the Islamic Republic.

“Since Oct. 7, the financial requirements of the State of Israel to support the war effort, on the civilian and military front, are much higher,” said Naveh, citing rehabilitation of the kibbutzim that were destroyed in the terror onslaught along with defense spending.
Exclusive — Matisyahu Thanks Fans Who Defied Anti-Israel Protesters to Attend Shows
Reggae legend Matisyahu is praising the fans who had to endure taunts and abuse from anti-Israel protesters as they entered his shows on the “Hold the Fire” tour, which concluded in Israel earlier this month.

Matisyahu, who has been targeted by protests and boycotts because of his Jewish faith and his support for Israel, spoke to Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM Patriot 125 on Sunday evening’s special broadcast from Israel — just hours after the Israeli military intercepted a massive missile and drone attack from Iran. Breitbart · Matisyahu – April 14, 2024

As Breitbart News reported, Matisyahu had three shows canceled by host venues during his “Hold the Fire” tour. The artist who recorded the peace anthem “One Day” found himself, bizarrely, being accused of supporting genocide.

“We had protesters at almost every show across America,” Matisyahu said, noting that he had previously been targeted by the anti-Israel “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement, which tried (and failed) to stop him from performing in Spain in 2015.

He commended his fans on the Hold the Fire tour, who had to “walk through all that garbage before they got to the show, dealing with people yelling at them, spitting, calling them names.” He drew an analogy to the experience of the ancient Israelites passing through the ordeal of slavery in ancient Egypt.

He also discussed his new song, “Ascent,” which takes on antisemitism, and which Matisyahu wrote before October 7. The video for the song was shot in Israel, amid scenes of devastation in communities that were targeted by Hamas.
Israeli Actress Plays Mary in New Biblical Film About Jesus’s Mother Also Starring Anthony Hopkins
Israeli actress Noa Cohen is starring as the title character in the new film Mary, which follows her New Testament life story including the birth of Jesus.

Shunned after the godly conception of her child even though she was a virgin, Mary is forced into hiding. But King Herod’s desire to maintain power pushes him in the film to launch a murderous hunt for Mary’s newborn child, Jesus, who he sees as a threat to his reign on the throne. Audiences will see Mary and her husband Joseph flee and try to hide their infant son from the king, who will be played by Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins.

Filming for the movie recently concluded in Morocco, according to Deadline. The publication added that Cohen, 21, was chosen to portray Mary in the film following a worldwide casting call. The Israel native — who was reportedly raised only an hour away from Nazareth, where Mary was born — has previously starred in the Israeli young adult series My Nephew Bentz, Infinity, and the 2022 film Silent Game.

Nadav Levi, from the Bold talent agency in Israel that represents Cohen, told Ynet: “It’s an exciting achievement. Choosing an Israeli actress for such a project is definitely a triumph.”

Mary is directed by DJ Caruso and the original screenplay was written by Timothy Michael Hayes after consulting with priests, bishops, Baptist pastors, rabbis, Mormons, Muslims, biblical scholars, and theologians, according to Deadline. The production team includes hair and makeup artist Karen Hartley-Thomas, who was Oscar nominated for her role in Israeli director Guy Nattiv’s film Golda, about former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

“I want to give the world a portrayal of the real human Mary,” Caruso said of his film. “Her story has a lesser-known beginning; it is profoundly worthy of being told. Portraying her from birth through childhood and presenting her as a human being with apprehensions and fears will be a celebration of everything inspiring and gut-wrenching about her journey.”

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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