Wednesday, May 01, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: Addition by Subtraction at the State Department
Although defections and resignations can come in waves, the extent of opposition to President Biden’s policy of favoring Israel over Hamas has yet to kindle much of an exodus from his administration. Mostly we’re subject to a lot of whining from people who continue to accept a paycheck from the man they claim is genociding Palestinians.

That tells you something about how many of the complainers actually believe the rhetoric they’re parroting. It also provides a clue as to the cynical motivations of the few who actually resign.

Josh Paul was the first to do so, back in December, to great media fanfare. Paul, a former Booz Allen Hamilton employee, was in charge of arms transfers. He could abide those weapons going to many governments around the world, but not Israel’s.

At the time, I detailed the distortions in Paul’s explanation for his resignation. These in part had to do with Paul’s refusal to read past the headline of a news story about a sudden lack of donkeys in Gaza. I had hoped that he would devote his newfound free time to reading the rest of the article on the donkeys, but it appears he had other plans. He has resurfaced at DAWN, a nongovernmental organization called Democracy for the Arab World Now. The director of DAWN is none other than Sarah Leah Whitson, the former Human Rights Watch official who was found to have been raising money from Arab governments by complaining about the need to battle pro-Israel (read: Jewish) money in U.S. politics.

Funded by the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, among others, DAWN is a fierce advocate of boycotting Israel and of pressuring Israel’s fellow democracies to enforce an arms embargo against the Jewish state. It also opposed the Abraham Accords—that is, it is opposed to peace in the Middle East. Josh Paul will fit right in.

Then in March, there was Annelle Sheline, who worked for the State Department for a year before leaving. The State Department has a Dissent Channel through which employees can raise concerns about policy with protection from professional retribution, and Sheline utilized the channel. But she gave up after a year because her bosses wouldn’t change their policies to fit her ideological worldview.

In Sheline’s (very limited) defense, she was used to working for a employers who were more receptive to her anti-Israel activism. Sheline came to the State Department from the Quincy Institute, whose executive vice president is Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council. NIAC is a major pro-Iran pressure group with influence in Democratic Party policymaking circles. Also at Quincy are such international-relations luminaries as John Mearsheimer, mostly infamous for his campaign against American Jews’ participation in the democratic process. This includes the book he co-authored with Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy—a shoddy work of agitprop aimed at raising suspicions against Jewish political activists. Mearsheimer is also a proponent of the “good Jew/bad Jew” worldview, wherein non-Jews decide which Jews can be trusted and which cannot. Judging by Sheline’s hero worship of Aaron Bushnell, the Air Force service member who self-immolated outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., she must have been quite comfortable at Quincy as well.
Answering Tom Friedman's binary options for the Middle East
Two years ago, I published an analysis of a news article by The New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem for bias, and he promptly complained to my editor. Today, I will tackle the Times’s opinion writer, Thomas Friedman, and his recent column, “Israel has a choice to make: Rafah or Riyadh,” for factual context and even-handedness.

In his latest column, he said the Biden team demands Israel make a choice: go into Rafah, where the last organized brigades of Hamas are, or choose the benefits of normalization with Saudi Arabia.

Friedman paints a binary picture: Israel accepts what the Biden administration wants – no Rafah operation – while creating a path for Palestinian statehood; otherwise, Israel becomes an international pariah with the acquiescence of America, with the US restricting arms shipments as punishment for its choice.

Friedman puts the onus on Israel to abandon its campaign to rid the area of the implacable Hamas army, not mentioning that the Biden administration asks, on the other hand, very little of the Palestinians.

The ultimatum is for Israel to create a “political horizon for a two-state solution with non-Hamas-led Palestinians.” It sounds reasonable to the uninformed, but Friedman doesn’t mention that Israel has offered a state five times over the last 75 years.

In 2008, the Israelis offered 100% of the West Bank and Gaza with land swaps and Jerusalem as their capital, supposedly everything the American negotiators believed the Palestinians wanted. Unfortunately, the current Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas never responded.

Those who push for a two-state solution at this time seem oblivious and insensitive to the fact that this would represent to everyone the greatest reward possible for the Hamas massacre, especially with hostages still in captivity and their sexual abuse being exposed. Calling for a reformed Palestinian Authority sounds nice but the fact is that free elections would almost certainly bring Hamas to power.

Friedman says Israel’s strategy is “revenge.” Israel’s strategy is to end the presence of terror organizations on its borders that strive tirelessly for the genocide of the Jewish people, with the backing of Iran.

There are no explicit agendas provided of what PA reform means, an essential point if you want them to take over the West Bank and Gaza. Should Israel be forced to begin a path to statehood without America demanding first that the hundreds of millions of dollars a year paid by the PA to convicted terrorists and their families end?

The PA has also said they would pay Hamas terrorists, excuse me, martyrs. There is an American law, the Taylor Force Act, which demands the withholding of US aid to the PA until they end these payments. Mr. Friedman, are you OK beginning your path to Palestinian independence with this hideous practice left in place?
Enlightenment and Conspiracy
As many of the Yale students I spoke with pointed out, Israelism is so one-sided and so certain of its own virtue and rightness that critique seems almost beside the point. Palestinian activists (Sami Awad, in particular) come across as deeply humane, and their characterizations of Israelis and the conflict are never challenged. An immigrant Jew, for instance, is described by Awad as a foreigner who “just moved here to join the army and play cowboys and Indians.” And the only Jewish settler who appears in the film is callous and unlikeable.

So certain are the filmmakers that the entire history of the conflict can be summed up as one in which the Israelis are simply and only the oppressors that we are informed, “In 1967, the State of Israel managed to complete its control of Palestine by taking over the territory of the West Bank and Gaza.” No mention is made of Egypt, Syria, or Jordan, or the circumstances of the Six-Day War. Similarly, the Second Intifada goes unnamed in the film except as “a battle for Jerusalem.”

In short, what is important to note about Israelism is not its historical distortions or polemical tricks but the myth it constructs of Eitan’s and Simone’s—but especially Simone’s—journey to enlightenment. What did Simone see that the American Jewish establishment—personified in the film as an elderly Foxman rambling on in his elegant glass office high above Manhattan—didn’t want her to see, and how did it change her?

Whether the film is conscious of it or not, the archetype here is Paul, who had been the Pharisee Saul until he had a vision on the road to Damascus, not too far from the one Simone had on the streets of Bethlehem. Paul’s vision transformed him from a self-described persecutor of Christians to Christianity’s first great evangelist. He went from being fierce, ignorant, and sad to happy, articulate, and liberated, as, the film shows us, has Zimmerman. Like Paul, Simone’s conversion moved her from a self-interested cloud of particularism to a vision of spiritual universalism—“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female,” Paul tells the Galatians.

The appeal of Paul is understandable, especially for those of us who grew up in America. The Pauline tradition brings some of the best of Jewish universalism and offers a shortcut to the theological endgame, skipping over particularism and otherness. It is easier for diaspora liberal Jews today to imagine that the Jewish people can finally achieve our place in the world, and retain our moral character, by subordinating our nationalism rather than trying to compete for a place in a world of nations, and the occupation proves the point.

The Pauline trope helps explain two key dimensions of the film. Its insistence that young American Jews are lied to makes sense once one understands that the Jewish community has placed scales upon their eyes. And once the scales fall away and the truth is revealed—once one sees the horrifying truth that has been hidden—one must become an evangelist and bear the tragic burden of preaching the gospel, even at the cost of alienation from the community one seeks to transform.

To be clear, I am not suggesting, as some advocates of Israel unfortunately have, that Zimmerman and her allies are no longer Jews (or are now “Un-Jews”). Zimmerman and her allies believe that their critique of our community comes from their Jewishness—and they make no claims to be leaving. In fact, by the end of the film, the gauzy sequences of protests by IfNotNow (which Zimmerman cofounded) and others portray a different vision of Jewish particularism: the dissidents proudly wear tallitot and kippot; they sing Jewish songs. But identifying the Pauline trope that underlies the film helps us understand the story that its protagonists and creators want to tell about their journey from ignorance to enlightenment, from obscurantism to moral grandeur. This is not really a political story—one learns almost nothing about the history and politics of the conflict from this film—it is a story of personal spiritual transformation. Movie poster from the film Israelism. (Courtesy of Tikkun Olam.)

For the enlightened, everything that runs counter to their new narrative must be a lie. This naturally gives rise to conspiracy theories. How else can one explain how the plain truth has been hidden, except through the perfidy of deception? This assumption helps explain the surprising plot turn of the second half of Israelism. The film argues explicitly that the rise of Donald Trump, and therefore the emboldening of the white supremacist antisemitism, is the fault of the pro-Israel community in America. The rationale for this claim is offered by Simone at the film’s midpoint, when she concludes that the Jewish community believes that “the only way we Jews can be safe is if Palestinians are not safe.” Ultimately, the film argues, this belief has led the Jewish establishment to trade our safety in America for the safety of Jews in Israel, because President Trump could be counted on to support the Israeli government’s oppression of the Palestinians.

This argument blames the Jews for their own victimization and begins to make the film, in the words of a friend, “epistemically antisemitic.” Plenty of Jews blame other Jews today for the rise of antisemitism, so the argument here is not novel. The only irony here is that polarization in America has driven the rise of the antisemitism in America on both the right and the left, and the film is only too eager to help that trend along.

As a liberal Zionist, I aspire to be what Michael Walzer has famously called a “connected critic,” and I struggled watching Israelism and its translation of complexity into conspiracy. Entirely missing from the film was the majority of Jewish leaders and educators in America who know and teach about Palestinians and occupation, neither lying to their students nor concluding that Israel’s challenges require them to abandon their loyalties. Where, in Israelism’s world, are the majority of American Jews—and the majority of Israelis—who know the present is untenable but fear the alternatives? Or the parallel majority on the Palestinian side, who know that the path toward mutual safety and security lies in recognizing our inextricability? And what happens to us in this desperate attempt to generate mass appeal for the most populist and partisan version of our impossible story?

"The war that changed everything and all of us."
Im Tirtzu in a special event with Dr. Gadi Taub and Caroline Glick

Douglas Murray warns ICC over ‘unwise’ decision to go after Benjamin Netanyahu
Author Douglas Murray has warned the International Criminal Court over its “unwise” decision to go after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It follows reports from Israeli media outlets The Hague may issue warrants for the arrests of the Prime Minister, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Herzi Halevi.

In a statement posted to X last week, Mr Netanyahu said Israel will “never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defence”.

“There are several things that are appalling about this,” Mr Murray told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“One is that this is being done without any fresh investigation and with no new evidence or anything like that – it’s a political prosecution, attempted prosecution.

“The second thing is that this would be the first time that the ICC at The Hague would have come for a democratically elected leader, and I believe that is an extraordinary step.”

The Israel Guys: This New CEASEFIRE Deal in Israel Might Save HAMAS
Egypt just proposed a crazy new ceasefire deal that is amazing for Hamas and to say the least, terrible for Israel. We’re going to get into all the details of this on today’s show along with something insane that the ICC is doing right now.

The Line from Jonathan Glazer to the Columbia and National Encampments
When President Biden erroneously states that Israel has been “indiscriminately bombing civilians,” when our UN delegation refuses to veto a resolution calling for a ceasefire without conditioning it on the release of the hostages, when various US officials call on Israel to “be more careful” not to kill civilians (as though they are not already being more careful than any other military force in history, including ours), it all sends a clear message — that Israel is the villain in the current conflict.

I’ve heard from some pro-Israel Democrats who excuse this rhetoric: so what if Biden has to criticize Israel to appease his left flank politically, they say, as long as he keeps sending arms and aid? And yes, the arms and aid are important. But so is the rhetoric. According to a recent Pew Research poll, only 36% of Americans currently favor sending military aid to Israel. Is this shockingly low number due to all the anti-Israel rhetoric? How long before the negative rhetoric drives public opinion to the point where the continuation of aid is politically untenable? The rhetoric moves the culture, and our culture is definitely moving against Israel, and against all Jews.

When Hitler came to power in 1933, he did not immediately begin sending Jews to concentration camps. It would be seven years until Auschwitz would open in 1940. A lot would happen in those seven years to lay the groundwork for Auschwitz, to prepare the culture with policies that demonized and dehumanized. In 1933, Jews were barred from the Civil Service and university positions. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws denied Jews German citizenship. In 1936, Jewish doctors were barred from practicing medicine. 1938 brought Kristallnacht, the expulsion of all Jewish pupils from German schools, and the forced transfer of all Jewish retail businesses to Aryans. And through all of this, there were mass anti-Jewish protests at German universities that might feel eerily familiar in light of recent news. This is a well known story to those who have studied the history of the period.

I don’t mean to suggest that governmental laws of discrimination and persecution in Nazi Germany are the equivalent of antisemitic chants and harassment on American campuses, but our culture is moving in a very disturbing direction. The rabid vitriol of the “mostly peaceful” campus protests certainly seems like an escalation — as we hear of students calling for “a final solution,” the destruction of Tel Aviv, 10,000 more October 7ths, and so on. This escalation has not come about because the death and destruction in Gaza has recently escalated. Quite the contrary, the fighting has largely paused. I would guess that the warming weather and approaching end of the school year partly explains the students’ timing. But so do the cumulative effects of the messages permeating the culture.

So are we now seven years away from our own Auschwitz? I’m not nearly pessimistic enough to believe that’s where we are headed. But groundwork is being laid and the culture is being changed. The preconditions for the Holocaust included the German national humiliation of World War I and an economic collapse the likes of which none of us have ever known. What would happen in this country if we suffered a humiliating defeat to, say, China, coupled with a Weimar-level economic catastrophe? Would it be possible for a demagogue to rise in need of scapegoats? Would the groundwork that is being laid now in our culture, demonizing the Jews, come into play?

So what do we do? We push back against the negative messages going out in the culture. We refute Jonathan Glazer’s Oscar speech. We let President Biden know, as the Muslims in Michigan have done, that no, he cannot just count on our votes regardless of what he and his underlings say. We let our alma maters know, as Robert Kraft has done, that they no longer have our support or our money if they can’t protect their Jewish students. And we make sure that Israel thrives and remains secure, so that, just in case the worst should happen some day, we have a place to go this time.
The Hypocrisy of ‘Progressive’ Anti-Zionists on My Campus
On the morning of February 19, I had the displeasure of waking up to more than 100 messages from the University of East Anglia (UEA) Jewish Society detailing how the university’s campus had been completely vandalized, including on the main sign at the UK school’s entrance.

Throughout campus, students found spray painted antisemitic phrases such as “Zionism = Colonialism,” “Judaism opposes Zionism,” “End Apartheid,” and “Bank with Barclays finances genocide of Palestinians,” to share a few. This was done the night before a prospectus day, which was clearly a message to all potential UEA students and their families, warning of social alienation and potentially violence to anyone who disagreed.

Every single one of the “claims” listed above is completely false.

Zionism is a core belief of the overwhelming majority of Jews; it started out as an indigenous Land-Back movement, and had nothing to do with colonialism. There is no Israeli apartheid, as has been firmly documented.

When it comes to the current war, the IDF has gone out of its way to save as many innocent Gazans as possible while waging a war against a genocidal terror group. Furthermore, approximately 20% of the Israeli population is Arab and over 19% of the population are Muslim with full rights and safeties.

But aside from the graffiti’s brazenly dishonest antisemitism, the tokenizing of anti-Zionist Jews to legitimize these aggressive acts should be beyond the pale for a community that considers itself an “accepting” society. And yet, this is exactly what UEA’s Palestine Solidarity Society (Palsoc) thought was appropriate after the display of antisemitism was condemned by university leaders.

Thankfully, our school’s Vice Chancellor quickly condemned the vandalism as antisemitic and had it removed immediately (the least he could do, mind you). Unfortunately as of this writing, no consequences have been handed down to the perpetrators, who have still yet to be identified. This, coupled with Palsoc’s angry response to the Vice Chancellor that essentially doubled down on the graffiti’s antisemitism, shows that incidents like these will keep happening, leaving Jewish UEA students scared and vulnerable.
Biden judicial nominee funded candidates who led Hamas-tied groups
An attorney nominated by President Joe Biden to a lifetime appointment on the federal judiciary donated to at least two Democratic state political candidates who led groups linked to Hamas, the Washington Examiner has found.

Adeel Mangi, who faces an uphill battle to confirmation in the Senate due to lawmakers raising concerns over his ties to an anti-Israel think tank and other left-wing groups, contributed to the since-failed campaigns of Tahanie Aboushi, who ran in 2021 for Manhattan district attorney, and Zead Ramadan, a 2013 New York City Council hopeful. The donations have not been previously reported and are public in New York state campaign finance records.

Aboushi is a civil rights lawyer who received support on the campaign trail from anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour and who used to be president of the New York chapter of Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, a group scrutinized for partnerships with Hamas-affiliated entities. Meanwhile, Ramadan is on the board of New York’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which reportedly counted him as the president in 2013. CAIR was named by federal prosecutors as an “unindicted co-conspirator” of Hamas in a 2009 terrorism financing case involving the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a defunct charity shuttered by the U.S. government for providing material support to Hamas.

News of the nominee’s donations to the ex-candidates, which amounted to $100 to Aboushi and $600 combined to Ramadan, comes after Republicans and a handful of Democrats said they won’t support Mangi based on some of his controversial affiliations. Following a Washington Examiner report, Mangi apologized in March to the Senate Judiciary Committee for failing to disclose his participation in an event with activists from an anti-Israel center at Rutgers Law School that Mangi donated to and helped advise. Mangi, who would be the first Muslim-American judge on a federal appeals court, is also on an advisory board for the Alliance of Families for Justice, which fights to end “mass incarceration” and has ties to police killers, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Mangi did not return a request for comment. The White House has stood behind the nominee and referred to GOP criticism of Mangi’s role on the Rutgers group, which hosted a 2021 event featuring a convicted terrorist fundraiser, as “cruel and Islamophobic.”

“There’s more evidence building up every day of Mangi’s connections to terror apologists and pro-terror groups. It’s shocking to me that this administration continues to defend his nomination. There are lots of great Muslim-American lawyers who don’t have these ties to anti-cop and pro-terror groups,” said Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network. The conservative group has slammed the Rutgers think tank for appearing to blame Israel for the Oct. 7 Hamas-led terrorist attack last year on the Jewish state.
Adeel Mangi Downplayed His Involvement With Anti-Israel Think Tank, Emails Show
During his confirmation hearing, embattled Biden judicial nominee Adeel Mangi told senators that he left the board of an anti-Israel think tank because it was not sufficiently "productive."

But in his resignation email, Mangi said he was leaving the board because he had too many other commitments, praised the think tank’s "excellent work," and pledged his "ongoing financial support."

"I will really enjoy watching you continue to build the organization in the years ahead," Mangi wrote to Sahar Aziz, the director of the Rutgers Center for Race, Security and Rights, on June 15, 2023. "I don’t like to stay on any board for more than a couple of years or so as I think fresh blood and exposure to new areas is very important on all sides."

The letter is one of several emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, which cast doubt on Mangi’s statements about his involvement with the Rutgers Center. Mangi, the nominee for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, told senators that his role as an advisory board member was "limited to participating in four meetings" regarding the center’s "academic research."

But emails show Mangi did far more than that, helping Aziz recruit new members to the board, singing the group’s praises to colleagues, and bringing the Rutgers Center onto a diversity initiative spearheaded by his law firm.

The email could cause trouble for Mangi, who has downplayed his work with the Rutgers Center amid scrutiny over the group’s anti-Israel rhetoric. The center hosted Sami al-Arian, a financier of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, at a 9/11 anniversary event in which speakers blamed "U.S. imperialism" for the terrorist attack. And Aziz, who founded the center in 2018, has said she was "in awe of the Palestinian struggle to resist" Israeli settlers.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Mangi’s emails show he "misled the committee" about his relationship with the Rutgers Center.

"At his nomination hearing, Mr. Mangi sought to downplay his role with the Center and his knowledge of its work. Now we know he misled the committee," Graham told the Free Beacon. "President Biden should immediately withdraw this nomination."
Ignoring UNRWA’s Problems Will Only Condemn Future Generations of Palestinians
With so-called “independent” credentials such as this, it came as no surprise that the “Independent Review Group” delivered its report and verdict on April 22, claiming that the UN agency had “robust” neutrality mechanisms and that Israel hadn’t provided any evidence that agency staff were members of terrorist organizations.

Although the review did find that biased social-media posts and antisemitic content in some textbooks did “constitute a grave violation of neutrality,” and acknowledged that UNRWA must do more to ensure its employees are politically neutral, it also claimed a significant screening process already existed in order to “ensure compliance with the humanitarian principles.”

Israeli government spokesperson David Mencer disputed this, calling the report a “whitewash” that ignored the severity of the problem, because it did not deal with the enormous scope of Hamas’ infiltration of UNRWA, which is so deep that “it is no longer possible to determine where UNRWA ends, and Hamas begins.”

This lack of any significant critical findings was in contrast to the European Parliament, which, in early April, denounced and condemned UNRWA’s role in inciting violence and antisemitism in a series of resolutions stating that Palestinian school textbooks (created by the Palestinian Authority) were responsible for “hateful contents encouraging violence, spreading antisemitism and inciting hatred” against Jews and Israel.

This echoed a previous denouncement back in April 2021, when the Parliament adopted a resolution condemning UNRWA for the “hate speech and violence taught in Palestinian school textbooks.”

Yet despite this, the EU, along with most donor countries, except for the US, have now resumed funding to UNRWA.

UNRWA remains a serious problem, and by ignoring and whitewashing the evidence of its collusion with Hamas, future Palestinian generations will continue to be condemned to an education indoctrinated with hatred and violence rather than peaceful coexistence.

Turkey joins South Africa genocide lawsuit at The Hague
Ankara, which has outright supported Hamas in the terrorist group’s current war against Israel, has decided to join South Africa’s lawsuit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan announced the move on Wednesday, saying in televised remarks that “our legal experts have been studying how to participate in the legal case against Israel at the ICJ.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved the plans, therefore Turkey “will legally support South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ, and file our application to the court soon,” Fidan said.

Pretoria in December brought its case accusing Jerusalem of genocide in its war against Hamas in Gaza to The Hague. The ICJ, the main judicial arm of the United Nations, rejected a request in January from South Africa to order Israel to halt the war.

In its provisional ruling, the court insisted that the Jewish state take all necessary means to prevent actions that could lead to genocide, and it dismissed South Africa’s demand that residents of the northern Gaza Strip be allowed to return to the area immediately.

A final decision from the court could take years. January’s ruling is binding according in international law but the court lacks an enforcement mechanism.

Erdoğan has shown extreme hostility to Israel since the Hamas-led massacre of Oct. 7 in which thousands of Israelis and foreign nationals were killed, wounded and kidnapped, with widespread atrocities documented.

Erdoğan in April hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul, a move that was slammed by Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who said that the Turkish president should be “ashamed” of meeting with the terrorist.

The NATO member has also started a trade war with Jerusalem over the ongoing war to defeat Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and other governments.

Blinken to Netanyahu: Israel must ‘avoid further expansion’ of war
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli leaders on Wednesday as part of his Middle East tour to Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, his seventh trip to the Jewish state since the current Hamas war broke out on Oct. 7.

Blinken met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, where they “discussed ongoing efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal and emphasized that it is Hamas that is standing in the way of a ceasefire,” according to an official statement from the U.S. State Department.

“Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security,” the statement continued. “He also discussed the need to avoid further expansion of the conflict and updated the prime minister on ongoing efforts to ensure a lasting, sustainable peace in the region.”

Without delving into details, the statement also read that Blinken “reiterated the United States’ clear position on Rafah.”

Netanyahu, according to reports in the Hebrew media, pushed back on America’s position, insisting that a Rafah operation will move forward, and that Israel will not agree to a “permanent ceasefire” before Hamas is destroyed in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces plans to establish a humanitarian safe zone in the central Gaza Strip as part of preparations for the evacuation of noncombatants from the southernmost city of Rafah.

The new safe zone will be located south of Wadi Gaza and north of the central camps—Nuseirat and Bureij—near the east-west Netzarim Corridor the IDF recently created to split the Strip into two parts, Army Radio reported on Wednesday.
‘There’s an RPG, this is the enemy’: IAF footage shows horror as Oct. 7 terrorists ID’d
Leaked footage of the Israeli Air Force’s actions on the morning of the October 7 Hamas terror onslaught aired on Tuesday evening, showing for the first time the decisions made by the IAF’s Unmanned Aircraft Squadron as it attempted to make sense of the chaos unfurling on the ground with no clear instructions.

The leaked drone footage was published as an exclusive item by Channel 12 and was not issued by the military.

The footage was taken above Route 232, a vital artery in southern Israel that became the scene of a massacre on October 7 as invading Hamas terrorists fired at vehicles attempting to reach, or flee, overrun Gaza border communities.

At around 7:30 a.m. on October 7, roughly an hour after the start of the unprecedented Hamas assault, the Air Force’s 200th Squadron, which operates the Heron 1 drone, was ordered to launch all usable UAVs to patrol the skies of southern Israel, Lt. Col. Yod, identified only by his Hebrew initial, recounted to Channel 12, adding that this included drones with malfunctions that should have been grounded.

The drone operators were instructed to direct their attention to the roads surrounding Kibbutz Mefalsim, where the white Toyota pickup trucks used by the invading Hamas terrorists were abandoned haphazardly next to burned cars of Israeli civilians, with the bodies of the vehicles’ murdered or wounded occupants strewn across the ground. Groups of armed men could be seen clustered around the vehicles, but whether they were terrorists or Israeli forces was initially unclear.

“We spoke to a security official on the phone who told us that the enemy was in the area of Kibbutz Mefalsim, but he didn’t know where they were or how many of them there were,” a drone operator referred to only as Lt. Col. Resh told Channel 12.

The only thing that the official was able to tell the drone operators with certainty was that Shin Bet operatives were also on the ground in the area, Resh added.
IDF preparing for major offensive in Lebanon, IDF chief says
Israel Defense Forces troops in the north are actively preparing for a more extensive on the Hezbollah terror organization in Southern Lebanon, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said on Wednesday.

“You are doing an excellent job of operational defense in the north, and we are preparing for an offensive in the north,” Halevi told troops on the border following an operational assessment with Northern Command head Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin and other high-ranking military officers.

Two Israeli Arabs were lightly wounded in the Upper Galilee on Tuesday night when a Hezbollah anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon scored a direct hit on their vehicle, the IDF announced earlier on Wednesday.

The two civilians, residents of Shibli–Umm al-Ghanam at the foot of Mount Tabor and Arraba in the Lower Galilee, were driving a poultry truck near the border town of Moshav Ramot Naftali when air raid sirens warned of an incoming projectile from Lebanon.

The victims were able to leave the truck and seek shelter before the missile hit the vehicle.

They were admitted to the emergency room at Ziv Medical Center in Safed with light shrapnel wounds to their heads. They were released following a medical examination.

In a statement cited by Lebanon’s Al-Ahkbar daily, Hezbollah claimed it targeted an “Israeli military vehicle at the Yiftah-Ramot Naftali triangle.”
Wiping out Hamas in Rafah will take Israel 3 months and Hezbollah and Iran must be next says expert
Middle East defense expert Jonathan Conricus emphasizes the strategic importance of eradicating Hamas in Rafah. He outlines a comprehensive plan, estimating a three-month timeline for Israel to achieve this objective. Conricus underscores the necessity of addressing Hezbollah and Iran next, highlighting the interconnected nature of regional security challenges.

Report: Biden considering welcoming some Gazans to US
The Biden administration is considering a plan to allow some Gaza residents to resettle in the United States, CBS News reported on Tuesday, citing internal federal government documents.

According to the documents, senior officials from various U.S. federal agencies have discussed options for bringing Gazans to the country who have immediate family members who are either American citizens or permanent residents.

One option under discussion is the United States Refugee Admissions Program, whose mission is “to offer resettlement opportunities to persons overseas who are of special humanitarian concern, while protecting national security and combating fraud,” according to the report. The USRAP would be implemented for Gazans who have fled to neighboring Egypt.

Another idea is to assist with getting Gazans with American relatives out of the coastal enclave and processing them as refugees. This would be done in coordination with Egypt, however, Cairo has steadfastly refused to allow large numbers of Gazans trying to escape the war into the country.

Those deemed eligible would receive all of the benefits available to resettled refugees, including housing assistance and a pathway to American citizenship.

The United States “has helped more than 1,800 American citizens and their families leave Gaza, many of whom have come to the United States. At President Biden’s direction, we have also helped, and will continue to help, some particularly vulnerable individuals, such as children with serious health problems and children who were receiving treatment for cancer, get out of harm’s way and receive care at nearby hospitals in the region,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement given to CBS News on Tuesday.

The United States “categorically rejects any actions leading to the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza. The best path forward is to achieve a sustainable cease-fire through a hostage deal that will stabilize the situation and pave the way to a two-state solution,” the statement continued.

Israel allows trucks from newly reopened Erez crossing into Gaza after US pressure
Israel reopened the sole crossing on the northern edge of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, allowing aid trucks to pass through the Erez checkpoint following US demands to do more to address the growing humanitarian crisis.

Reopening the Erez crossing has been one of the main pleas of international aid agencies for months to alleviate hunger in the northern part of the Strip.

The Israeli government opened the crossing point on the day of a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for more humanitarian aid deliveries into the territory. Erez crossing closed since October 7

The Erez crossing, primarily used for foot traffic, had remained closed since it was destroyed during Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel.

Israel announced it would reopen Erez last month, a few days after the killing of World Central Kitchen workers.

Colonel Moshe Tetro, head of Israel's Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza, said he hoped the crossing would be open every day, and help reach a target of 500 aid trucks entering Gaza daily. That would be in line with pre-war supplies entering the enclave and far more than it has received during the last seven months.

"This is only one step of the measures that we took in the last few weeks," he told reporters.

Amy Schumer Discusses Backlash for Supporting Israel, Receiving ‘Hatred’ for Being Jewish
Jewish actress Amy Schumer discussed in a new interview the negative attention she’s received for speaking in support of the Jewish community and commenting on the Israel-Hamas war, as well as how discussions about the ongoing conflict are usually one-sided.

“The focus is so razor-sharp on Jewish people but not on Hamas. It’s very strange,” the Trainwreck star, 42, told Variety magazine, while talking about the war that began following Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel.

“It’s gotten to this place where you can’t speak up for other Jews without people feeling like it’s a slight to the conditions in Gaza,” added the actress, who was bullied as a teenager for being Jewish. She also recommended that people read Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth by Noa Tishby to better understand the Jewish state or anything written by Jews because “Jewish people wrote everything down.”

Schumer was in New York in March filming her new movie Kinda Pregnant when a stranger shouted at her from the sidewalk: “F—k you, Amy Schumer! You’re a Zionist! You love genocide!” Meanwhile, during her interview with Variety in Brooklyn, a woman approached the actress’s table and told her: “Thank you for everything you’re doing for Israel. I follow you on social media. I used to live in Israel and … thank you. We support you.” Afterward, Schumer told the reporter from Variety, “That moment you just saw? Maybe 10 times a day that happens to me.”

The Life & Beth star, writer, director, and stand-up comedian has been vocal in her support for Israel since the Oct. 7 attacks — and has been criticized for doing so.

In November, she shared on X/Twitter a video of Martin Luther King Jr. denouncing antisemitism and stating that Israel has the right to exist. Bernice King, the activist’s daughter, responded to Schumer’s post by saying that although she and her father were against antisemitism, she was certain the civil rights leader “would call for Israel’s bombing of Palestinians to cease, for hostages to be released, and for us to work for true peace, which includes justice.”
Apple TV+ Postpones Release of ‘Tehran’ Season 3 Due to Israel-Hamas War
Apple TV+ will delay the release of the third season of the Emmy Award-winning espionage thriller Tehran until the end of the war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization controlling the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported.

The premiere of the third season of Tehran was postponed following an agreement between Apple TV+ and Israel’s Kan, which co-produced the Apple Original series, according to Israel Hayom. The Israeli publication added that representatives from Kan are in talks with their counterparts at Apple TV+ to set a new release date for the third season.

Apple TV+ announced in February 2023 that it was renewing Tehran for a third season. Multi-Emmy Award nominee Hugh Laurie will join the ensemble cast and play Eric Peterson, a South African nuclear inspector. Sasson Gabai, Bahar Pars, and Phoenix Raei will also join the cast of season three.

The series stars actress Niv Sultan as Tamar Rabinyan, an Iranian-Israeli hacker-agent working for the Mossad who infiltrates Tehran under a false identity to help destroy Iran’s nuclear reactor in the first season. She goes rogue at the end of season two after one of her closest allies dies. In season three, Tamar “must find a way to reinvent herself and win back the Mossad’s support if she is to survive,” according to Apple TV+. Season three will include returning cast members Shaun Toub and Shila Ommi. The show’s second season, which premiered in May 2022, featured two-time Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominee Glenn Close.
CBC Radio Program ‘The Current’ Gives Extended Platform To Discussing Gaza Mass Grave, Baselessly Suggesting Israel To Blame
In yet another example of CBC allowing itself to become a platform for anti-Israel disinformation, a recent radio program featured extended coverage of a ‘mass grave’ in the Gaza Strip outside hospitals, with tacit hints that Israel was responsible.

On the April 26 segment of The Current with Matt Galloway, “Mass graves at Gaza hospitals,” guest host Mark Kelley began with an audio clip featuring a senior executive from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), who was quoted as saying “we don’t have enough supplies in Gaza,” and neither guest nor host gave any details about the unprecedented number of food trucks entering Gaza, or about Hamas’ widespread theft of aid from its people.

The NRC is a vocal and unrepentant anti-Israel “humanitarian” organization whose staff have accused Israel of conducting a “war on children,” of attacking Gaza’s “civil servants” (omitting that they are members of Hamas), ignoring Hamas’ theft of aid, and more. Predictably, members of NRC have been interviewed on CBC multiple times in recent weeks.

Most of the interview was spent with Kelley interviewing Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Kelley asked Shamdasani about the grave, and what was known. She began by saying that “what we know” is that, prior to the discovery of the grave, the hospitals “were attacked by Israeli forces, adding that the hospitals were “providing medical care and they were also providing shelter to civilians” from elsewhere in Gaza.

Shamdasani told Kelley that “a lot of people were killed” at al-Shifa hospital and Nasser hospital, obscuring the reality that those who “were killed” were Hamas combatants.

With this key omission, Shamdasani tacitly implied that Israel attacked a civilian hospital complex, killing “a lot of people” who were simply seeking medical care or shelter, a gratuitous misdirection.
BBC News amends report to remove the word terrorist
Early on the evening of Friday, April 26th the BBC News website published a short report credited to Tom Spender and titled “Ben-Gvir, Israeli far-right minister, in car accident”.

The version of that report currently available online is 185 words long and it opens by describing a car accident which had taken place a few hours earlier, continuing with portrayals of unrelated statements made by one of the people injured in the accident.

The report tells readers that:
“Israeli media said Mr Ben-Gvir had been returning from the scene of a stabbing in the city of Ramle, near Tel Aviv.

A 19-year-old woman was seriously injured in that incident, according [sic] emergency services. Central district police chief Avi Biton said a man who reportedly had mental health issues had attacked the woman and had then been shot and “neutralised” by a civilian.”

In other words, even though it was known at the time of publication that the police had stated that they were investigating the incident as a suspected terror attack, the BBC News website refrained from clarifying that point, chose to remove the reference to the attacker as a terrorist from its report and completely failed to mention the attacker’s attempt to stab an additional victim.
Guardian grudgingly amends op-ed which peddles Oct. 7 Inversion
Earlier in the month, we posted about an April 16th Guardian op-ed by Alan J. Kupperman titled “Civilian deaths in Gaza rival those of Darfur – which the US called a ‘genocide'”.

We demonstrated that the premise, per the headline, was demonstrably untrue, that the op-ed was riddled with lies and distortions, and represented a form of Oct. 7 Massacre Inversion. Such inversions – the kind of which we’ve seen on display at the Guardian in various ways since the first days of the war – downplays the worst antisemitic atrocity since the Holocaust, and accuses the victims of being guilty of the very crimes committed by the perpetrators.

We complained to editors on multiple points, such as Kupperman’s false Gaza civilian casualty claim, when he wrote that “In January, a US official confirmed that more than 25,000 civilians have been killed” since the start of the war. However, that was based on a misstatement by the US Secretary of Defense, which was walked back almost immediately by a Defense Department spokesperson, who clarified that the 25,000 number was the total number of those killed in Gaza, both combatants and non-combatants.

Editors responded by amending the sentence include the extremely relevant caveat that not even Hamas has claimed that all those killed are civilians.
In January, a US official stated that “more than 25,000 civilians have been killed” (although in fact official figures from Gaza’s health ministry do not distinguish between civilian and non-civilian deaths).

We further objected in our complaint that the numbers employed to support the author’s premise simply don’t add up.

Group banned in Germany gets carte blanche in Canada to glorify Hamas massacre
It’s important to draw distinctions between the “true believers” and people who come to demonstrations simply because they’re genuinely upset about the bloodshed and suffering in Gaza, Mecher said. “Just because people show up at a demonstration, that doesn’t make them a threat.” And if sympathy for Palestinian terrorism was solely attributable to recent immigrants, the government would have more readily available policy choices. “Contrary to the wishes of some, you can’t deport people who were born here.”

In Canada, glorifying terrorism is perfectly legal, partly because of “free speech” concerns, but mostly because it was long understood to be unnecessary to criminalize such rare and socially repugnant speech.

Since October 7, however, glorifying terrorism has become positively fashionable. And under Canadian laws as they currently stand, there’s little Canadian politicians are prepared to do except Tweet about how appalled they are about such polemics, and about how Samidoun’s exhortations have “no place in Canada.”

After the “Long live October 7” slogan was chanted in Ottawa, Poilievre responded this way: “I condemn these pro-genocide, antisemitic chants.” Under Section 318(1) of the Criminal Code, anyone who advocates or promotes genocide is liable to imprisonment for five years.

Trudeau responded this way: “It is unconscionable to glorify the antisemitic violence and murder perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th. This rhetoric has no place in Canada. None.”

While glorifying terrorism isn’t against the law in Canada, it is against the law, under Section 83.05(1)b of the Criminal Code, to knowingly act on behalf of, at the direction of or in association with a listed terrorist group.

On the face of it, Samidoun would appear to be doing just that.

But this hasn’t mattered, either.
Michael Moore Misappropriates The Holocaust in Car Crash CNN Interview
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore’s recent interview on CNN is difficult to watch. Indeed, challenging is the best word to describe sitting through the thoroughly ill-informed Moore ramble on for 10 minutes while receiving little pushback.

Appearing on The Source with Kaitlan Collins, Moore was asked to comment on the anti-Israel campus protests that have swept across colleges in the United States following the Hamas massacre on October 7.

Moore suggests that such demonstrations are a hallmark of healthy “democracy and free speech,” and complains that protesters have been beaten and clubbed by police in response, even though no protesters are “committing any acts of violence.”

We must assume Moore was wearing a blindfold on the many occasions he claims he hung out on campus with the students because footage of threatening and violent behavior at different colleges has been widely shared on social media for weeks.

He goes on to suggest that most of the allegations of violence center around the signs some students are holding, which he says contain merely innocuous statements like “Free Palestine” and “From the River to the Sea…”

Again, we must assume Moore is suffering from both hearing and vision problems to have not heard chants like “Go back to Poland” or seen signs held aloft by his Gen-Z heroes that imply the world must be “cleaned” of Jews.

Moore proposes a moral panic is being whipped up on the little evidence, claiming the “one Hamas flag” that was flown on campus is not representative of protesters in general and “this is all a made-up thing.”

Of course, there is a wealth of photographic and video proof that the problem extends far beyond one rogue antisemite flying a Hamas flag. We and millions of others around the world have seen the Hezbollah flags and the students in Hamas headbands, and we have heard their chants calling for “Zionists” to be wiped off the face of the earth.

The only mild pushback that occurs in the whole segment is Collins’ pointing out that many Jewish students have reported feeling unsafe.

Naturally, Moore trots out a lie that serves to dismiss this fact, which is that the majority of Jewish students support demonstrations.

London mosque hosts preacher who said Zionists run UK schools
The Lewisham Islamic Centre in London hosted an American preacher last month who said during his sermon that Zionists “run the schools and hospitals” in the UK and questioned the extent of Hamas’ violence on October 7.

According to a video on the mosque’s YouTube channel, Muslim convert Tom Facchine told the Lewisham congregation on 19 April: “We are happy with being doctors and yet we work for the Zionists who run the hospital system. When are we going to run our own hospital systems? We’re happy with being the headmaster or headmistress of a school, and yet we work for the Zionist who runs the school system. Who’s going to step up and make the school system for the Muslims?”

Facchine, who is the Research Director of Islam and Society at Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, was invited to speak at the mosque by head imam Shakeel Begg, who was found by a High Court judge in 2016 to be an “extremist preacher” for encouraging “religious violence”.

It was also found that his role as an imam put him in a position to “plant the seed of Islamic extremism in a young mind.”

Begg has remained in his position as head imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre, though not without controversy.

In March, Begg was named by Communities Minister Michael Gove during the government’s latest counter-extremism crackdown and cited as an example of the necessity for an “updated and more precise definition of extremism.”

Begg said in a statement on Lewisham Islamic Centre’s website that promoting violence was “erroneously attributed to me by a judge who clearly lacked a meaningful understanding of Islam.”
Are the Greens lying about council candidate’s ‘Israel must be eradicated’ post?
The Green Party has denied one of its candidates shared a video showing Hamas defending the October 7 massacres and calling Israel “a cancer that should be eradicated” – despite being shown a screenshot of the evidence.

The JC has also seen extremist social media posts by a number of other local Green candidates, raising troubling questions about the views circulating in the party as the country goes to the polls tomorrow.

Abdul Malik, who is standing in Bristol, appears to have shared an 18-minute video of a Hamas press conference in which a spokesman for the terror group described the October 7 massacre as a “supremely defensive act” that “targeted only Israeli military bases and compounds”, and said Israel was an “an animal state… a cancer that should be eradicated”.

After the video was raised by Lord Mann, the government’s adviser on antisemitism, a Green party spokesman apologised, saying Malik was “unwittingly tagged into an offensive post that he assures us he did not himself publish”.

However, the JC has obtained a screenshot of the post which shows the video being shared from what appears to be Malik’s own Facebook account.

MEMRI: Hamas Senior Official Mousa Abu Marzouk: Most Of Hamas's Leaders Are Jordanian Citizens; If We Had To Leave Qatar, We Would Go To Jordan
Mousa Abu Marzouk of the Hamas Political Bureau said in an April 28, 2024 interview with Al-Alam TV [Iran] April 28, 2024 that most of Hamas's leadership are Jordanian citizens. He said that Jordan would be their "natural place" of residence, however, the U.S. interfered and "forced Qatar to host Hamas leaders." Abu Marzouk qualified that there is no talk of the Hamas leadership leaving Qatar at the moment.

Talk Of Hamas Leaders Leaving Qatar Is "Nonsense," But If They Were To Leave, They Would Go To Jordan – Most Hamas Leaders Are Jordanian Citizens

Mousa Abu Marzouk: "Most of Hamas's leaders are Jordanians. They have Jordanian passports. All this talk [about Hamas leaving Qatar] is nonsense. If Hamas's leaders would move [out of Qatar] – although nobody is talking about this – they would move to Jordan. That this where their people are. These are the passports they have. Most [Hamas leaders] are Jordanian citizens. So hundreds of people with Jordanian passports would move to Jordan.

Hamas Is Hosted By Qatar Due To U.S. Interference; Hamas's "Natural Place" Is Jordan

"The Jordanians are hospitable and honorable people, and they support the Palestinian resistance. Our ties with the Jordanian regime are good. We have no problem of finding where to live. The problem is the U.S. that interfered and forced Qatar to host Hamas leaders. If the U.S. stopped interfering, the entire Hamas leadership would be in its natural place, Jordan, the following day."

PMW: Is the PA still sending kids to fight and die?
Palestinian Media Watch has reported extensively on the PA policy of convincing children to seek Martyrdom—death for Allah—while fighting Israel. We continue to see the results of this indoctrination as parents of terrorists report that their children had requested to die as martyrs, just as they had been taught.

Father of 16-year-old terrorist Khaled Al-Uruq: “[Khaled Al-Uruq] is not the first Martyr and not the last, praise Allah. He asked for [Martyrdom] and achieved it, praise Allah. He always told me: ‘I want to die as a Martyr.’ Praise Allah, [the conditions] were enabled and he achieved it.”

[Official PA TV, April 25, 2024]

On one hand, the PA, through its official television channel, seeks to portray Al-Uruq as a hero for confronting Israel. On the other hand, the PA, through its official daily, WAFA, also tries to advance the claim that the 16-year-old Al-Uruq was a victim by publishing an innocent-looking picture of him after he was shot and killed in Ramallah.

At the same time, another picture of Khaled Al-Uruq has been circulating online in which he is prominently featured holding a rifle with his finger on the trigger.

It is of note that according to WAFA, Khaled’s father—the same father who praised Allah for making his son a Martyr—is also an officer in the Palestinian intelligence services.

The Most Dangerous Palestinian Terrorist Organization | Explained
Beneath the media spotlight on Hamas lies a lesser-known but fiercely radical group: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). PIJ has honed the brutal art of terror to imperil the notion of peace in the Middle East. From its foundation by Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi, a nerdy, poetry-loving, Gaza-born pediatrician with a penchant for revolutionary thought, to its reputation for pioneering suicide attacks, the PIJ’s tactics have fueled a generational war against compromise and coexistence.

Harboring a dualism of nationalism and radical Islamism, the last three decades have proven PIJ’s unyielding resolve to destroy Israel.

00:00 Intro
00:44 PIJ origin story: Dr. Fathi Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shaqaqi
02:40 Combining nationalism with Islamism
04:13 PIJ terrorism in the 1980s
04:59 Connections to Hezbollah and Iran
05:21 Suicide attacks
06:25 Mossad assassination
07:31 PIJ vs Hamas
09:30 PIJ indoctrination methods
11:29 PIJ involvement on October 7
12:15 Growth and dangers of PIJ

Ex-Binance CEO Sentenced Over Sanctions Violations Involving Iran
The founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, was sentenced to four months in prison on Tuesday for violating US money laundering laws and failing to comply with sanctions, including those against Iran.

The investigation revealed that Binance allowed more than 1.5 million virtual currency trades worth around $900 million, violating US sanctions. These included transactions involving Iran and designated terror groups such as Iran-backed Hamas, al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

Prosecutors said Binance employed a "Wild West" model that welcomed criminals, and did not report more than 100,000 suspicious transactions.

Families of victims of the Hamas terror attacks of October 7 and the families of hostages taken to Gaza, are suing Binance, along with Iran and Syria, for Binance's role in funding the terror group, among others between 2017 and 2023.

Once considered a leading figure in the cryptocurrency world, Changpeng Zhao's sentencing marks him as the second major cryptocurrency executive to face prison time after Sam Bankman-Fried for his role in the FTX scandal.

Presiding US District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle delivered a sentence that fell significantly below the three years requested by federal prosecutors, and well under the maximum of 1-1/2 years recommended by federal guidelines.

Binance was also found to have facilitated transactions involving the sale of child sexual abuse materials and processed substantial sums from ransomware attacks.

North Carolina man, who threatened to kill Jews, sentenced to 18 months
A North Carolina man, who threatened to “annihilate” those associated with a Charlotte Jewish organization, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and then three years of supervised release and 20 hours of community service over three months.

Jeffrey Scott Hobgood, 64, of Troy, N.C., pleaded guilty on Jan. 3 to “communicating threats in interstate commerce” when he threatened Jews on Oct. 11. He admitted to referring to “Israeli jews of David star” and saying he would “take every one of you out.”

He used an expletive to refer to “semite” people who “will be annihilated.” He also threatened the same Jewish group on Oct. 13, “again making a reference to the religion of the recipients,” per the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina.

“In his plea agreement, Hobgood admitted that he selected the targets of his offense of conviction because of the actual and perceived religion of the victims,” it added.

“It is abhorrent to threaten someone with violence because of who they are or how they worship,” stated Robert DeWitt, the FBI Charlotte special agent in charge.

“The FBI worked tirelessly with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District Of North Carolina to ensure Jeffrey Hobgood could not offer excuses for his hate-filled messages and would instead, serve time in federal prison,” DeWitt said.
Bottle with flammable liquids thrown at Warsaw synagogue, Polish police reports
According to reports, a bottle containing flammable liquids was thrown onto synagogue grounds in Warsaw on Wednesday during the night. Police said they had not yet established a motive for the attack.

"We were informed overnight about an incident involving a bottle containing a flammable liquid being thrown onto synagogue grounds," a police spokesperson said. Jewish response to the attack

Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, told Reuters that nobody was hurt in the incident, which occurred around 1 am (2300 GMT on Tuesday.)

Schudrich said the incident had left marks on the building, and further details would be made available during a meeting with local, national, and church officials later on Wednesday.

Images on social media showed what appeared to be burn marks on an outer wall of the synagogue building, next to a window.

Israel's ambassador to Poland, Yacov Livne, said the synagogue was the only one in Warsaw to have survived World War Two and the Holocaust.

"Outrageous antisemitic attacks such as this cannot be tolerated today. The perpetrators must be found and punished," Livne wrote on X.
Brock University launches review after professor compares Israel to Nazi Germany
In his writings, Kitossa specifically highlights the work of Max Blumenthal, a left-wing journalist who has been accused of dabbling in conspiracy theories and downplaying Hamas atrocities on October 7, and Jonas E. Alexis, who contributes to the antisemitic website Veterans Today.

Zionism, Kitossa argues in the series conclusion, “thrives on — and encourages — the idea that the jew is an eternal victim of the ‘goyim,’ Zionists are happiest most when non-Zionist Jews encounter racio-religious discrimination.”

“Zionism is deeply contemptuous and hateful of Jews,” he elaborates in his most recent article. “This meant that before State formation, Zionists actively cheered on both discrimination against Jews in Germany and Austria and the death camps and squads in the occupied lands.”

The blog posts also cite several other controversial scholars. Kitossa cites approvingly from the PhD thesis of “Lebanese scholar Mahmoud Abbas,” not noting Abbas is the Palestinian president and not Lebanese. (Abbas’s thesis contends that Jews shared a portion of the blame for the Holocaust.)

Kitossa also cites Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian whose work has been criticized by other historians for intellectual dishonesty, and Arthur Koestler, some of whose work has been discredited but still used by neo-Nazis and some in the Arab world to claim that Jews are not indigenous to the region.

Gil Troy, a McGill University history professor, reviewed Kitossa’s writings and underscores that while he would “bend over backward to defend free speech and academic freedom,” the series of articles “are unhinged, wildly inaccurate, sloppy, and offensive,” he told National Post by email.

“Some of the statements, especially the broad launching of gross, and quite familiar, anti-Semitic stereotypes, cross a line that would not be tolerated in speech characterizing any other group,” Troy wrote.

Troy was especially struck by Kitossa’s depiction of Jewish heritage trips — basically trips where Jews in foreign nations receive free trips to Israel to explore their roots. Kitossa called them “an act of positive eugenics,” and described them as “sex junkets for foreign Jews to Israel” funded by the government “and rich Jews.”

“This sentence is the most problematic because it — like all the Rothschild references — traffics in traditional anti-Jewish stereotypes of rich, manipulative Jews who are sexually deviant,” Troy explained. “You have to follow the footnote, and dig deep into the article cited, to see that these nefarious supposed ‘sex junkets for foreign Jews to Israel,’ are educational programs to build Jewish and Zionist identity, such as Birthright Israel.”

Troy said that Kitossa’s writings make “a mockery of the word ‘academic'” and questioned whether similar rhetoric against other minority groups would be tolerated by college administrators.

“This kind of ranting and bile is not a jailable offence in a democracy. But it certainly should trigger some serious conversations among administrators and leaders of Brock University,” he concluded.

UK Police Officer Charged With Showing Support for Hamas
A British police officer has been charged with a terrorism offense for allegedly publishing an image in support of Hamas, a group banned in Britain as a terrorist organization, police said on Wednesday.

Mohammed Adil, 26, from Bradford in northern England, was arrested last November and charged following an investigation by British counter-terrorism officers, Counter Terrorism Policing North East said in a statement.

The police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), said the inquiries had focused on messages shared on WhatsApp which had concluded the case should be referred to prosecutors.

“On Monday, PC Mohammed Adil, 26, was charged with two counts of publishing an image in support of a proscribed organization, specifically Hamas, contrary to section 13 of the Terrorism Act,” the IOPC statement said. “The offenses are alleged to have taken place in October and November 2023.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: I Have Traveled From 1948 To See The Glorious Islamic Future Of Southern Syria by Abd al-Qadir Husseini (satire)
The opportunity we have awaited for so long finally presents itself: once and for all, when the British leave, we and our Arab brethren from all over will sweep the Jew into the sea and reassert Islamic dominance in this place. My brothers, I have the opportunity to get a glimpse, via time machine, of what the Levant will look like in seventy-six years, and the excitement of what I expect to witness and share with you in my reports makes me utterly giddy.

With our glorious victory in the present so imminent, I look forward to bringing you tidings, seven-plus decades hence, of restored Islamic glory, if not under the bygone Ottomans, then under the proud rule of, I don’t know, does it matter whether King Farouk of Egypt, King Abdullah of Hashemite Transjordan, or whichever Syrian potentate ends up spearheading the triumph? Perhaps our fractured Arab peoples will unite. A fellow can dream of a future long after the final triumph over the cursed Jews.

My cousin the mufti already made strides in that effort by allying with Hitler and advising him on how best to deal with those Jews. He and I both gave the Jews here a taste of what awaits them, with cousin Amin even sparking mass murder of Jews in faraway Baghdad! Those weak Jews will melt away before my irregulars of the Army of the Holy War and our allies from all over the region. Surely, in seventy-six years, we will have witnessed a restoration of serenity and rightful Islamic dominance with no more foreign imperialism controlling us here in Southern Syria.

The imperialism of the Hashemites, Egyptians, and Syrians does not count, obviously. They would NEVER simply try to seize the land of the British Mandate for themselves. I will show you, upon my return, that the history in the future will prove me right!

How Eleanor Roosevelt aided Moroccan Jews
In November 1957 the American Jewish Committee received reports that Jews were no longer free to move about within Morocco. The Moroccan police had arrested 239 Jews trying to immigrate to Israel.26 Although Roosevelt had returned from Morocco with the impression that in a year or two “those who really want to go will gradually be allowed to go,” there was no sign that this was going to happen.27

Between 1957 and 1959, very few Jews emigrated from Morocco. In October 1959, Joseph Golan told Roosevelt that the situation of Jews in Morocco had become even more difficult. He shared a letter with her that he had written to Francois Mauriac, the French novelist and human rights activist, about the problem. Golan told Mauriac that at the time of independence the Moroccan leaders had assured the Jews that they would honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But Moroccan leaders did not live up to their promise and Moroccan Jews were being “denied the fundamental liberties.” Most of the Jewish cultural and sports associations were not permitted to carry on their activities; the Jews of the mellahs (the Jewish ghetto) could not leave Morocco nor move within the country, and, in some cases, the Moroccan police had tortured Jews. “We do not know what to do in order to restore confidence and a normal climate among the 200,000 Jews in Morocco,” Golan said.28

Golan also told Roosevelt that postal communication between Morocco and Israel had recently been severed. This move conformed with the Arab League’s policy of boycotting Israel and reflected the degree to which Morocco had been “dragged deeper into the policies of Nasser and the Arab League,” he said. “This hostile act is causing great anxiety among the 110,000 Moroccan Jews [already living] in Israel,” most of whom had relatives in Morocco and were “already alarmed by reports of recent persecutions and arrests of Jews” in their native land. Blocking postal communication “cuts the only link between broken families for whom letters were virtually the only consolation for their separation from one another.”29 This development deeply disturbed Roosevelt. Once again, she wrote to Mohammed V, who now had the title of “King” and whom she had found sympathetic to his Jewish subjects:30

I have been asked to find out whether it would be possible for you to permit an exchange of letters between people who have gone to Israel and their families remaining in Morocco. It seems to be a very great hardship to allow no communication and if it could be permitted at certain stated intervals, I think it would be of great importance to these harassed and troubled people.31

Moroccan policy on postal communication with Israel did not change, however, probably because the pan-Arabists in the Moroccan government supported Nasser’s effort to isolate Israel. The situation of the Jews in Morocco remained precarious and Roosevelt’s Jewish friends continued to turn to her for help. In January 1961, after Golan reported to the WJC that Nasser’s visit to Morocco had provoked “anti-Jewish incidents under police auspices” that ran “into the hundreds,” Justine Polier asked Roosevelt to write once again to the king.32

She told the king that she had heard that there had been several incidents threatening the lives of Moroccan Jews and instilling fear in the Jewish population. She hoped that he would find it possible “to allow greater freedom of exit for the Jews, since this would seem the only way to ease the tensions.”33 It is not clear whether her appeal had any effect on Moroccan policy, but it probably encouraged the king and the crown prince, who would soon succeed him on the throne, to support a more flexible approach to Jewish emigration.

In the summer of 1961, the Moroccan government reached an agreement with emissaries of Israel that, over time, allowed most of the Jews remaining in Morocco to leave the country. Under the agreement, the Jews would officially be allowed to immigrate to the United States and Canada, but not to Israel. The process of organizing the immigration would be entrusted to the HIAS (the Hebrew International Aid Society), an American organization, not to the Jewish Agency. Under this arrangement, 80,000 Jews left Morocco between 1961 and 1966. Ships transported the immigrants from Casablanca to Marseilles or Naples; other ships and planes transported them to Israel. Between 1967 and 1971 another 25,000 left. By the early 1990s, only about 8,000 remained.34

Although Eleanor Roosevelt’s efforts on behalf of Moroccan Jews did not always produce the results she hoped for, they demonstrate her close working relationship with American Jewish leaders, her devotion to alleviating the plight of oppressed Jews, and her concern for the welfare of Israel as it struggled to grow in its early years. She wisely assessed the situation of Moroccan Jews in relation to the needs of all Moroccans and Morocco’s role in the struggle of the Arab nations with Israel. The diplomatic skills and stature she had attained as a stateswoman allowed her to lobby effectively upon her return to secure food aid for Morocco and to bring together Moroccan and American Jewish leaders to encourage their cooperation in preventing the impending famine that all Moroccans faced.
Podcast about a French railway’s role in the Holocaust tracks with US Jews post-Oct. 7
Leo Bretholz jumped to save his life. It was November 6, 1942, and the 21-year-old was crammed into a French cattle car bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau. Knowing that certain death awaited, he and his friend Manfred Silberwasser decided to hurtle themselves through a window and off the moving train. Of the more than 1,000 Jews in that particular transport, only four, including Silberwasser and Bretholz, survived the Holocaust.

That breathtaking moment is captured in “Covering Their Tracks,” a newly released podcast that not only recounts Bretholz’s lifesaving leap, but also his decades-long fight to hold SNCF, the French national rail company, accountable for its wartime actions as the company chased multi-billion dollar contracts in the United States after the war. It’s a story of survival and responsibility, of complicity and justice. And, in the wake of surging global antisemitism, it’s a story of resilience.

“We obviously had no idea when we started that this podcast would be released during a time of such incredible upheaval and challenge for Jews around the world,” said Matthew Slutsky, who hosted and reported the podcast.

Following the October 7 massacre that saw thousands of Hamas-led terrorists butcher 1,200 people in southern Israel and abduct 253 more to the Gaza Strip, antisemitism has skyrocketed around the world, including in the United States. Already on the rise, it has been compounded by Israel’s ongoing military campaign to rescue the hostages and remove Hamas from power in the Strip, as anti-Israel activists target Jewish individuals and institutions of all types, especially university campuses.

“The circumstances are very different today, but this hatred of Jews and the underlying feeling that things are not okay persists, and we wanted to make sure to connect those dots,” Slutsky said.

During World War II, SNCF trains transported nearly 76,000 Jews to concentration camps, charging the Germans per head by the kilometer — sometimes with interest. Even after Paris was liberated, SNCF pursued payment on outstanding bills.
Holocaust cattle car exhibit coming to National Mall, timed to Yom Hashoah
A Holocaust cattle car will be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., from May 6 to 9, open to visitors for an immersive learning experience about World War II and the Holocaust, as well as the dangers of antisemitism, intolerance and racism. Elected and appointed officials are expected to be among the thousands of anticipated visitors.

Organized by the nonprofit Hate Ends Now, the traveling exhibit includes a 20-minute, 360-degree immersive presentation and a rare collection of original Holocaust artifacts. It is an exact replica of a World War II-era cattle car used to transport Jews and other targeted groups to concentration and death camps. The exhibit coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Day on May 6, which also marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

“Placing the Hate Ends Now cattle car in the capital of the free world during a time of alarming increase in antisemitism globally sends a powerful message, reminding us of what happens when hate is allowed to go unchecked,” said Todd Cohn, CEO of Hate Ends Now. “People of all ages have a visceral reaction when they step foot in the Cattle Car and when it seemingly comes to life with the voices, pictures and stories of this dark era.”

Trained docents are scheduled to greet visitors outside of the cattle car to provide critical context and frame the presentation. Accompanying the exhibit are 25 original artifacts from the Holocaust, which are rarely permitted outside of museum walls.

It also coincides with the one-year anniversary of the unveiling of the White House’s first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism.
John Irving to attend the Jerusalem International Writers Festival
It’s a challenge to keep Israel’s cultural life thriving during the war, and one of the most important literary events of the year, the Jerusalem International Writers Festival, just announced that it will be held from May 27-30 at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, and that its diverse program will feature a well-known guest: the acclaimed American novelist, John Irving, the author of The World According to Garp, The Hotel New Hampshire and many other books.

Irving said in a statement released by the festival, “I first came to Israel in April 1981. I was pro-Israel then; I’m no less pro-Israeli now.

Simon Schama, the British historian and the author of such books as The Story of the Jews, will be another of the festival’s distinguished guests, and he said, “There are moments when that old Hillel injunction, ‘If not now, when?’ becomes inescapable. This is one of them. At a time when a depressing number of writers, mired in historical ignorance and misunderstanding, are turning their backs on Israel and seeking to divide Diaspora Jews from Israel it seems crucial to deny them that morally misplaced satisfaction with one’s personal presence. So while I have been to Israel many times, coming to the Jerusalem International Writers Festival will be for me, the most meaningful visit of all and I look forward to standing resolutely with Israel’s literary and cultural community.” Navigating the festival post-October 7

The festival, which is an event in which Israeli and international authors read from their works and engage in literary discussions and exchanges of ideas, will welcome Delphine Horvilleur, a rabbi and editor-in-chief of Tenou’a, a quarterly journal published by the Tenou’a association with the Liberal Jewish Movement of France, and German-Jewish novelist, Mirna Fink.

The organizers of the festival have struggled to find a way to address the massacre and the war, and the festival will open with a literary remembrance of October 7. The event will feature a discussion with and readings by several Israeli writers, among them Dror Mishani, Noa Yadlin and Eshkol Nevo. A number of relatives of artists killed in the war will discuss their works.

This year marks the beginning of a special project with the European Union for the promotion and distribution of contemporary European literature in Israel, and Varujan Vosganian, a Romanian writer; Christos Chomenidis, from Greece; and Anne Berest, from France will take part. Three Israeli writers currently based abroad will also attend the festival: Ron Leshem, Maya Arad, and Ruby Namdar.
Martin Kramer: Byron and Zion
April 19 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of the English Romantic poet Lord Byron, at the age of 36. Byron was an acclaimed celebrity in his day, hailed for his literary genius and scrutinized for his notorious personal life, which gave rise to endless fascination and speculation. He died of a fever in Missolonghi, Greece, where he had lent his name, person, and what remained of his fortune to the Greek struggle for independence from Ottoman rule. Byron by Thomas Phillips, 1813, Newstead Abbey. Wikimedia.

Byron may well be considered the secular saint of all Western enthusiasts for various foreign “liberation” struggles. He fit the description of such types offered by Tory statesman George Canning in 1821: “a steady patriot of the world alone, the friend of every country but his own.” Today, every American and European campus teems with would-be Byrons, though slogans have supplanted cantos in their repertoire.

Byron is identified above all with Greece and the philhellenes. But at various times he showed sympathy for Turks and Armenians, and seems to have been as promiscuous in his foreign attachments as he was in other aspects of his life.

He was also hugely popular with early Zionists, who imagined that had political Zionism gotten off to an earlier start, he might well have been its champion. Zionist poetry

The most famous exponent of this view was Nahum Sokolow, a Zionist thinker and diplomat, whose overlooked contribution to securing the Balfour Declaration I’ve assessed elsewhere. In Sokolow’s two-volume History of Zionism (1919), he devotes a section to Byron within his discussion of non-Jewish supporters of Jewish national redemption. Sokolow made the case for Byron as a proto-Zionist by quoting his Hebrew Melodies, a collection published in 1815. Byron wrote these poems at the behest of the Jewish composer and musician Isaac Nathan, who wanted to set (supposedly) ancient Jewish music to contemporary verse.

“Zionist poetry owes more to Byron than to any other Gentile poet,” wrote Sokolow.
The Beauty of Zionism
Palestinians can walk down the street in 22 other Arab nations including the “Palestinian Mandate” State of Jordan with similar language, culture, and religion. They can walk down so many streets and smell their delicious food cooking, see familiar faces, and hear their cultural music. Why were so many Arabs against Israel’s very existence? Israel is just 0.4% of the land in the Middle East, and doesn’t take away anything from them, but adds to the culture and economy of the region. And why is so much of the world on their side? Why has empire after civilization after nation attacked Jerusalem, and after many Jews were expelled by the Romans, attacked Jews in virtually every other community we have lived? And when we want to leave our persecution and go back to our own tiny little home, why do they attack us there worst of all? Why is the world trying to deny us what every other culture enjoys? Why did the Roman Emperor rename the land “Syria-Palestina” after Israel’s long-gone enemies? And why did the world recently rename Biblical Judea and Samaria the “West Bank”? If they merely wanted another Arab state alongside Israel, they could have declared one when the “West Bank” was controlled by Jordan and Gaza was controlled by Egypt between 1948 and 1967.

I mean, I have an idea why. Over 3500 years ago Jews were amazing engineers and builders, so the Egyptians enslaved us, and had us build their cities. They probably had their excuses then too. From 3000 years ago in Jerusalem, we were a center of civilization. After bringing the world “thou shout not kill” and “thou shalt not steal”, empire after empire spent blood and treasure to take Jerusalem from the Jews, and tried to conquer it more than any other city in world history, over 20 conquests. For the next 2000 years after that, nation after nation we fled to grew to resent us. Why? Because, for example, our hand-washing rituals which date back to Leviticus – they got plagues, and did not understand why we didn’t, countless centuries before doctors invented microscopes and discovered bacteria. And, they hated us for it. A study by the National Institutes of Health suggests Jews may have a gene mutation which helped protect against plagues. Perhaps we knew that since Egypt, but is that our fault? We are overrepresented in Nobel Prize winners over 100-fold, and apparently that’s really disturbing to some too. Is the fact that we have a culture of learning our fault? Today, the world runs on an international legal system that focuses more on criticizing Israel than all other nations put together, and finds the idea unbearable that the Jews again can be right, and much of the rest of the world wrong. Today, not only Judaism, but Christianity, America, Europe, and Western Civilization and many others are under attack. After all, if Jews can have a tiny homeland free from conquest, so can every other unique and beautiful people and culture in the world. And that apparently doesn’t fit fell in some people’s plans.

What are we to do, besides survive, and be who we are? What can we do besides help the world to see the light and figure things out, the same way the world realized the Nazis were wrong, and the pogroms were wrong, and our enslavement in Egypt was wrong, and killing us in countless localities where we have lived was wrong. So that’s what we’re doing now. We’re trying to stay alive, while helping the world to realize that burning babies in their cribs is wrong, and kidnapping women and children and elderly is wrong, and wanting to deny us a home is wrong, and 9/11 was wrong, and conquering us and other peoples and cultures is wrong, and so on. Just imagine if such acts would become the world’s morality, and you understand what the Jewish people stand in the way of, even if we must stand alone. Those doing these things are wrong. And all those who side with them are wrong, whether they shout with ak-47s or speak artfully in the media or at the United Nations. Their combined goal is the same. No more Zionism. No more Israel. No more safe haven for Jews. And with that, no more Jews. And then you are next. And the closer they get to that goal, and the closer they get to war, the further any middle ground becomes. And the further a chance at reason becomes. And soon the only question left is, whose side are you on?
Treating soldiers wounded in Gaza: Steve Walz | Israel-Hamas War
Visegrad24 presents an in-depth series covering the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. This comprehensive series features on-the-ground interviews, bringing firsthand insights from a diverse range of voices, including politicians, professors, journalists, experts and influencers.

Our guest today: Steve Walz

Steve is the International Media Spokesperson and Head of Global PR at the Sheba Medical Center.

Sheba is one of the 10 best hospitals in the world and the foremost hospital in Israel. Many of the soldiers wounded in Gaza as well as the released hostages are treated at Sheba.

00:00 - Introduction
02:28 - Setting healthcare policy for Israel
03:20 - Soldiers wounded in Gaza
05:24 - Treating freed hostages
07:51 - New tech on battlefield and hospitals
10:34 - Innovation at Sheba Medical Center
15:45 - Organ transplants
16:26 - Geopolitics of healthcare
21:14 - Giving medial treatment to Gazans
26:19 - Gazan doctors and Israeli hostages
28:38 - Healthcare and hatred
31:32 - Jewish infighting
33:54 - Antisemitism
36:43 - Israel, the West and future conflicts

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




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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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