Friday, May 03, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: Bibi Between a Rock and a Hard Place
On a recent episode of the COMMENTARY podcast, Tablet’s Noam Blum made an astute point about Benjamin Netanyahu’s staunchest critics: Some of them dislike Bibi so much that they have convinced themselves he has dictatorial powers that mirror those of Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas terrorist leader on the other side of the hostage negotiations. According to this line of thinking, anything that happens—or doesn’t happen—can be blamed on Netanyahu, who governs according to his own will.

The May 2 Wall Street Journal gives us a perfect example of what happens when observers buy into that fallacy. The rather amazing headline is: “Fate of Gaza Cease-Fire Talks Hangs on Two Hard-Liners: Netanyahu and Sinwar.”

The article text is more nuanced, but it still follows the same flawed logic. Here is the crux of the argument as it relates to Israel’s prime minister: “Netanyahu, who faced criticism within Israel over the security and intelligence failures around Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack that sparked the war, has seen his sinking polling numbers stabilize as the conflict drags on….He is now concerned about the possibility that the International Criminal Court could indict him for alleged war crimes, an outcome he has rejected as an assault on Israel’s right to self-defense. Stopping the fighting risks a political reckoning that could eventually push him from power.”

It’s true that “stopping the fighting” would start the clock on a wave of political pressure and possibly an election season, if the coalition dissolves. But this framing puts Bibi between a rock and hard place: If he had finished off Hamas already, he would have done so over the objections of the Biden administration. In patiently placing the overall war on pause in order to get more humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and to maximize the chances at a deal with Hamas, Netanyahu (along with the war cabinet) is doing what every world leader, but especially Biden, wants him to do. Yet in acquiescing, he is accused of drawing out the war so that he doesn’t have to face a “political reckoning.”

Meanwhile, virtually everyone involved is making it harder for Israel to actually get a deal in place. The anti-Netanyahu protests in Israel have come to serve as a release valve for a public stuck in a limbo mostly of Joe Biden’s making. Those protesters, as Blum mentioned, assume Netanyahu is the obstacle to a deal. But in fact, it is Hamas that has continually walked away from objectively generous deals and appears to be doing so again. Simply as a matter of strategy, the protests arguably contribute to the negotiating stasis, because Hamas interprets them as a destabilizing force in domestic Israeli politics. And Israel’s threats to go into Rafah, the last major Hamas redoubt in the Strip, are consistently muffled by the sound and fury of the Biden administration’s opposition to such an operation, making it less of a credible threat. Hamas can be forgiven for thinking time is on its side.
Seth Mandel: The Fight to Define Anti-Semitism
In January, the Forward carried a head-scratcher of a story: The Nexusites were—in the midst of a global hurricane of left anti-Semitism, no less—building a political operation to challenge IHRA and ensure not only that the American Jewish community spends resources fighting amongst itself but that this intra-communal fight would take on a political shade.

Now, when you read about the Jewish community preparing to punch itself in the stomach, the first question that comes to mind is, of course: How is J Street involved? And the answer is Kevin Rachlin, who announced he was stepping down as a top J Street lobbyist to take the helm of Nexus’s newly formed political operation.

“We’re not anti-IHRA,” said Rachlin about the organization created solely and specifically to oppose IHRA.

In any event, Democratic politicians loved the idea of being able to hand out “get out of anti-Semitism free” cards to party members who were poised to be like teenagers speeding down the highway with a PBA card in the glovebox. In December, reportedly on the advice of Nexus-affiliated activists, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) led a Democratic revolt against Republicans’ attempts to slap down rising anti-Semitism dressed up as criticism of Israel. I explained at the time how Nadler’s own argument disproved the point he was trying to make, but the effect was clear: Whatever semblance of a truce the American Jewish community had going since Oct. 7 was off. We’d been agreeing with each other far too much and it was giving Jerry Nadler indigestion.

Lawler’s bill, helped by Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s efforts, today overcame Nadler’s disapproval to advance a common understanding of anti-Semitism at a crucial time. But the Democrats have been unnerved by the so-called “tentifada”—the various Jew-baiting encampments springing up around college campuses—and a number of powerful politicians are very clearly terrified of the quad-dwellers occupying buildings and making demands.

The hope is that the bipartisan IHRA support can outrun its challengers, or build up enough momentum to shame Nexus into finding better things to do with its time and resources than politicize anti-Semitism and re-divide the Jewish community at a moment when doing so would be especially damaging.
Jonathan Tobin: The House bill will hinder campus antisemitism, not free speech
Faced with an opportunity to do something that would actually help give the federal government the ability to punish American universities that have let their campuses become hotbeds of antisemitism, a bipartisan majority of Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives did the right thing and passed a bill that can make that possible this week by a vote of 320-91.

But the number of “no” votes was still discouraging for two reasons.

It showed that 21% of House members aren’t willing to act on antisemitism, even in the face of the surge of prejudice and even violence against Jews especially on college campuses that has been on display since the Hamas attacks on Israel on Oct. 7.

Just as troubling is the fact that significant portions of both the Democrat and Republican caucuses opposed the act for different, albeit equally specious reasons. The strength of the opposition—both from politicians and pundits on both ends of the political spectrum—is problematic because it demonstrates how distorted the debate about the issue of antisemitism has become. Even worse, the fact that 70 of the 91 voting against it were Democrats may make it unlikely that the self-anointed shomer, or “guardian,” of Israel and the Jewish people in the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), will allow the law to come to vote in the upper body.

Civil rights also apply to Jews
The Antisemitism Awareness Act builds on the historic executive order issued by former President Donald Trump in December 2019 that echoed the past rulings of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, and accepted in principle by the Biden administration, about dealing with Jew-hatred.

Trump mandated that the government extend the Title VI anti-discrimination in education protections in the 1964 Civil Rights Act to Jews and other minorities. He also took the important step of also ruling that the U.S. Department of Education must use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism when deciding whether to sanction schools that violate the rights of Jewish students by cutting off their federal funding. And that funding is the leftist educational establishment’s Achilles heel, since without it all but the wealthiest institutions would be brought to their knees.

While the Education Department has conducted a series of investigations into schools for such violations, which have grown in number and severity over the last two decades, to date no institution of higher education has yet received the ultimate penalty for violating the civil rights of its Jewish students by enabling an atmosphere of antisemitic incitement. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, intimidation, harassment and even violence against Jewish students by woke leftist mobs of students, professors and professional agitators have become endemic. With many school administrations, especially at elite institutions, paralyzed by their fear of offending the mobs and often seeking to appease them in ways that will only make the problem worse, stopping federal funding may be the only way to fix the problem in the short run.
Inside the College Democrats’ antisemitism problem
As anti-Israel encampments on college campuses sprung up at dozens of universities last week, the national leadership of the College Democrats of America (CDA) asked the group’s Jewish and Muslim caucuses to draft a statement condemning the antisemitism that was quickly appearing among some protesters.

The byzantine process that followed would lead the College Democrats’ top Jewish leader to accuse the influential organization of ignoring antisemitism at campus protests to further a one-sided, anti-Israel agenda, after the organization’s leadership nixed the inclusive statement that had been created by the top Jewish and Muslim activists in the group.

Allyson Bell, chair of the CDA’s national Jewish caucus and an MBA student at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., got to work writing a statement about antisemitism with Hasan Pyarali, the Muslim caucus chair and a senior at Wake Forest University. The two of them turned in a draft of a statement detailing antisemitism at Columbia University and stating that the College Democrats “absolutely and irrevocably denounce the antisemitism that has taken place at Columbia University and other college campuses over the past week,” according to a document shared with Jewish Insider.

But College Democrats’ national leaders weren’t pleased with this draft, Bell stated. “They wanted us to write a 50/50 approach, to both protect the peaceful side of the protesters and stand against antisemitism,” Bell told JI on Wednesday night. So she and Pyarali gave it another stab. (“It’s been really tough for people to work together on this issue, so I’m so glad that we’ve been able to work together,” Pyarali told JI.)

This time, the draft statement began with a denunciation of antisemitism and a statement of support for the “broad and interfaith coalitions of students who call for a ceasefire, release of the hostages, and a two-state solution where both Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace.” This too, was voted down.

The statement that was ultimately released by the College Democrats on Tuesday ignored the middle path proposed by Bell and Pyarali. Instead, the statement described “heroic actions on the part of students around the country to protest and sit in for an end to the war in Palestine and the release of the hostages.” It called Israel’s war against Hamas “destructive, genocidal, and unjust” — language that Bell had never seen. An Instagram post with the statement touted the endorsement of Pyarali and the Muslim caucus, with no mention of the Jewish caucus — except a comment on the post from the Jewish caucus’ own Instagram account.

“This should not have ever been released without Jewish students’ support. Protect Jewish students, do better,” the College Democrats’ Jewish caucus commented.

“It’s a hurtful thing, not only to not feel heard, but also to know that the organization you’re in doesn’t believe that the antisemitism is happening and doesn’t care enough about it to even include the factual things that we’ve seen on video,” explained Bell.

Arsen Ostrovsky and John Spencer: The ICC is flirting with disaster with threatened warrants against Israel
Not only is there absolutely no legal basis to issue arrest warrants against Israeli leaders, doing so now would only reward Hamas and unleash a further firestorm of antisemitism.

Moreover, it will severely curtail every democracy’s fight against radical Islamic terrorism by exposing them to spurious and unfounded charges, based purely on political considerations. There is a reason neither the United States nor Israel have formally ratified the Rome Statute.

The U.S., and indeed all western allies, cannot stand idly by now as the court is dragged into irredeemable disrepute. This is not the time for quiet, timid diplomacy. It must be made clear, in no uncertain terms, that if Khan chooses to proceed with issuing warrants, it will be the death knell of the court’s very legitimacy.

In response to news about the proposed warrants, the White House press secretary said on Monday “We don’t believe the ICC has the jurisdiction, we don’t support this investigation.” Meantime, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said this would also “directly undermine U.S. national security interests,” calling on the Biden administration to “immediately and unequivocally demand that the ICC stand down and the U.S. should use every available tool to prevent such an abomination.”

The administration and Congress should immediately declare that the U.S. will re-impose sanctions on the ICC prosecutor and senior staff that were previously imposed by the Trump administration after the court investigated U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Revoking Prosecutor Khan’s entry visa into the United States must also be raised, and withdrawing the court’s funding, which comes from member states. (Its 2024 budget is $200 million.)

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) perhaps best summed up the gravity of the situation when he said, “the issuance of arrest warrants would represent the culmination of a long process of criminalizing the world’s only Jewish State. The weaponization of international law—in the service of terror—cannot be allowed to stand.”

The decision is now entirely in the hands of ICC Prosecutor Khan; he must either uphold the principles upon which the court was founded and refrain from issuing the warrants or become a willing pawn in the Palestinian lawfare campaign and shut the lights on the court.
Lawyer behind push for Netanyahu’s arrest defended Hamas’s October 7 attacks
Khaled al-Shouli, one of the driving forces behind the International Criminal Court’s potential issuance of an arrest warrant against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, defended Hamas’s October 7 attacks, according to a Jewish Chronicle investigation published on Friday.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan has been pursuing potential arrest warrants related to war crimes indictments against Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi - an action that has been critiqued by both the Israeli government and international allies.

Al-Shouli reportedly said in a televised interview with the Algerian Almagharibia channel, screened on October 8th, that the attacks, which saw over 1200 people killed and over 250 more kidnapped, was justified under international law. Al-Should claimed the attacks were a “reaction to Israeli violations.”

While al-Shouli reportedly accepted there may have been “some [war crime or human rights] violations” by Hamas, he claimed, “We know that the Palestinian side has the intention to respect the rules of international law because the Palestinian side has already… become a member of the ICC.” Israel, he went on, was “not committed to international law” because it had not recognized the ICC.

Additionally, French-Algerian lawyer Abdelmajid Mrari described Hamas as a resistance movement. Mrari is also one of the 600 lawyers who had filed evidence in the ICC’s current investigation.

Mrari claimed that, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, Israel had no right to self-defense as it is an “occupier” in Gaza, according to the Jewish Chronicle. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Defending terrorist groups in court
Both Mrari and al-Shouli have reportedly represented Hamas or its members in previous court actions.

Mrari, in 2023, filed an action on behalf of a senior Hamas figure and several other demanding that Israel lift the “siege” on Gaza. The same Hamas official represented by Mrari, Ahmad Bahar, asked Allah to “kill the Jews and their supporters, the Americans and their supporters, without leaving a single one” in a 2012 televised sermon, the JC reported.

Ignoring their terrorist status in Europe, the France-based Mrari has claimed that Hamas are “the resistance” and a “resistance movement” in several public incidents since October 8th.

Likewise, al-Shouli has previously challenged the EU designation of Hamas as terrorists. In 2014, al-Shouli was successful but the decision was appealed three years later.
Caroline Glick joins Bianca de la Garza on Newsmax, May 2, 2024
Caroline Glick fmr Netanyahu Senior Policy Advisor and host of the Caroline Glick Show, joins Bianca de la Garza on Newsmax TV to discuss Blinken's meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. May 2, 2024.

Schumer poised to join Johnson invite for Netanyahu address to Congress
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is poised to join Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) in inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deliver an address to Congress, despite tensions between the Israeli leader and many Democrats over the ongoing war in the Middle East.

Johnson told The Hill this week that he sent Schumer a draft invitation around a month ago, but the Senate leader has been sitting on it since.

“I sent a letter draft, because it’s a bicameral invitation letter, it’s been sitting on Chuck Schumer’s desk. As far as I know he has not cosigned it yet,” Johnson said, adding that it was sent “probably a month ago.”.

But now, Schumer is ready to sign on, according to his office.

“He intends to join the invitation, the timing is being worked out,” the Senate leader’s spokesperson told The Hill.

The Hill was first to report on Johnson’s draft invitation and Schumer’s plan to sign it.

Netanyahu’s visit — if it does materialize — is sure to spark outrage among liberals, who have strongly criticized the prime minister’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war and the growing number of civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.

It will also come amid a tense moment in the relationship between Schumer — the highest-ranking Jewish official in U.S. history — and Netanyahu, after the Senate leader called for new elections in Israel to replace the longtime conservative leader.

Schumer in a speech on the Senate floor said Netanyahu had “lost his way,” comments that the Israeli prime minister called “totally inappropriate.”

Johnson first floated the idea of inviting Netanyahu to the Capitol in March, after it was brought up during a closed-door House GOP conference meeting. The next day, however, he said he would “certainly” extend an invitation.

“I would love to have him come and address a joint session of Congress,” Johnson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview. “We’ll certainly extend that invitation.”

Britain sanctions Israeli groups for violence in West Bank
Britain on Friday announced new sanctions on "extremist Israeli groups" and several individuals who it said were behind violence in the West Bank, according to a statement from the British foreign ministry.

This is the second UK sanction package targeting individuals in the West Bank, with the first being announced by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in mid-February.

This most recent announcement was made by British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, with the sanctions specifically against two groups and four individuals "responsible for perpetrating human rights abuses" against Palestinian communities. The most recent sanctions include an asset freeze preventing the targeted Israeli groups and individuals from dealing with funds with UK citizens or businesses, and a travel ban to the United Kingdom.

The two groups are Hilltop Youth and Lehava, with the former being described by the ministry which "establishes illegal settler outposts across the West Bank with the stated mission of expelling all Palestinians from the Occupied Territories." The latter was accused of also "facilitating, inciting, and promoting violence against Arab and Palestinian communities."

Who are the sanctioned individuals?
The four individuals sanctioned are Noam Federman, former leader and spokesperson of the now defunct Kach party, who was accused of training settler groups to commit violence against Palestinians and avoid repercussions; Neria Ben Pazi, for building illegal outposts between 2015-2023; Eden Levi, who was documented taking parts in assaults of Palestinians, and has now been accused by the British foreign ministry of being involved in an incident where Palestinians were beaten and sexually assaulted five days after October 7; and Elisha Yered, an unofficial spokesperson for Hilltop Youth who has allegedly made statements inciting violence that include justifying Palestinian deaths for religious reasons and called for the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank.

"Extremist settlers are undermining security and stability and threatening prospects for peace," Cameron said. "The Israeli authorities must clamp down on those responsible." Cameron also threatened that the UK would apply further sanctions should Israel not abide by his demands on the settlers.

Suella Braverman Slaps Down Iran-Sponsored Terror Networks
Iran’s massive, unprecedented missile and drone attack on April 13 was a game changer. Iran had spent decades in the shadows working to arm and deploy a global network of terrorists and militias. On April 13, it stepped out of the shadows, putting its true murderous intent on display for the world to see.

The right honourable Suella Braverman was the British Home Secretary when the Iran-sponsored October 7 Massacre happened.

She joins Eylon Levy on State of a Nation during a special personal solidarity visit to bear witness to the horrors of 10/7. To dive into how the UK’s intelligence services are battling Iranian attacks on Britain’s own soil and how the IRGC is trying to undermine the institutions of the West.

Red Cross official exposed as Hamas stooge
In the latest example of a deep-seated anti-Israel bias within the International Committee of the Red Cross, the head of the ICRC’s office in Algeria and director of the Libya subdelegation has been outed as a pro-Hamas shill.

Geneva-based, pro-Israel group U.N. Watch exposed the pro-terrorist sentiments of the ICRC official, who appears to be based in Montreal.

“Meet Haythem ‘Ethan’ Abid. He runs the International Red Cross in Montreal. His job is to be neutral. But Abid marches in ‘Free Palestine’ rallies, posts Hamas videos saying hostages love their captors and accuses Israel of ‘terrorism’ & ‘genocide.’ He says: ‘Fuck neutral s**t,'” tweeted U.N. Watch’s Hillel Neuer on April 30.

U.N. Watch found numerous questionable posts on Abid’s Facebook page, including one from Oct. 24, 2023, in which he is seen holding a large PLO flag at a protest two days earlier.

The rally was co-organized by “Montreal4Palestine,” an antisemitic group, which posted on social media on Oct. 7, the day of the Hamas massacre, an image of a bowl of candy with the words “Celebration” and “The Journey has Begun.”

Hamas members regularly hand out candy to passers-by in the Gaza Strip after a successful terrorist attack.

On Oct. 27, 2023, Abid posted a flyer on Facebook for another anti-Israel rally co-sponsored by the “Palestinian Youth Movement,” which openly supports terrorist “martyrs.”

On Nov. 14, 2023, Abid posted a Hamas propaganda video on Facebook hailing the fact that Israel had not yet defeated Hamas.

In a Facebook post the day after the Oct. 7 massacre, he posted a photo of the 2000 killing of Muhammad al-Durrah in the Gaza Strip, even though the incident was exposed years ago as a staged “Pallywood” scene, in which no one was hurt.

“Abid’s intention was clear: He was attempting to justify the killing, maiming, raping and torture of innocent civilians that took place in Israel on October 7, as merited retribution,” U.N. Watch said.

Lionel Shriver: PEN America has surrendered over Israel Writers have become the tools of zealots
Years ago, when researching the Jewish community of Vilnius, I came across an account of the formation in 1927 of a Yiddish PEN Club in that city. The members were proud, especially in an era of rising anti-Semitism, to have their Jewish language recognized by this newly formed international literary league, whose founders included Joseph Conrad and H.G. Wells. How things have changed, as Lionel Shriver explains:
PEN America has now been forced to cancel its World Voices literary festival in New York and LA, on the heels of also cancelling its 2024 awards ceremony. Too many authors had withdrawn from both events to make going ahead with staging either practicable. The reason for so many writers flouncing from these programs? PEN’s failure to denounce publicly Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza. But you had probably guessed the point of indignation already, because as of October 2023, the Anglosphere’s far left has neatly pivoted from the infantilization of black people to the Palestinian cause with the coordinated grace of a synchronized swimmer.

To clarify: the purpose of PEN is to defend freedom of speech and to protect writers from political oppression and persecution. . . . It requires considerable intellectual acrobatics for Writers Against the War on Gaza to regard the shutting down of events to advance free expression as “a win for free expression.”

But then, the past fifteen years have demonstrated with depressing clarity that writers, along with artists of every stripe, aren’t special. Although our occupation is more at risk from censorship than most, we’re all too capable of perversely embracing suppressive viewpoints that violate our own interest. . . . We’re cowards, conformists, and copycats. Real freedom of expression is too scary; we’d rather hide in a crowd whose keffiyeh-masked members all shout the same thing.
UNESCO awards world press freedom prize to all Palestinian journalists in Gaza
UNESCO on Thursday awarded its world press freedom prize to all Palestinian journalists covering the war in Gaza, where Israel has been battling Hamas terrorists for more than six months.

In announcing the award Thursday, Mauricio Weibel, chair of the international jury of media professionals, said, “In these times of darkness and hopelessness, we wish to share a strong message of solidarity and recognition to those Palestinian journalists who are covering this crisis in such dramatic circumstances.

“As humanity, we have a huge debt to their courage and commitment to freedom of expression.”

Audrey Azoulay, director-general at the UN organization for education, science and culture, said the prize paid “tribute to the courage of journalists facing difficult and dangerous circumstances.”

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 97 members of the press have been killed since the war broke out in October, 92 of whom were Palestinians.

Israel denies targeting journalists in the war zone, and says it makes every effort to avoid harming civilians, blaming the high death toll on the fact that Hamas fights in densely populated urban areas and embeds itself deliberately among civilians who are used as human shields. In a statement on December 16, the Israeli army said “the IDF has never, and will never, deliberately target journalists.”

There have been several cases in which the army said slain individuals identified as journalists were in fact operatives of terror groups.

Israel gives Hamas one week to accept hostage deal before Rafah op. will begin - WSJ
Israel gave Hamas a week to agree to a cease-fire deal, or the invasion of Rafah will begin, Egyptian officials told the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Egyptian officials claimed that Hamas is seeking a long-term truce and guarantees from the US that a cease-fire will be respected by Israel.

Hamas expressed concern that the latest proposal is still too vague and gives Israel room to restart the fighting.

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's Gaza chief, has yet to make his view known, further complicating the situation.

Israeli figures from across the right slammed the deal when it was announced earlier in the week.

Proposal details
The proposal calls for an initial period of up to 40 days of cessation of violence, during which Hamas would release up to 33 hostages, with the possible negotiation of a long-term cease-fire to develop.

Next, there would be a cease-fire of at least six weeks, during which Hamas and Israel would agree on a larger hostage release and an extended pause in fighting that could last up to a year.

Egypt invited senior Hamas officials to Cairo to continue negotiations, and Hamas confirmed they would be present.

Neither the US nor Israel commented on the report.

Netanyahu has persisted in insisting that Israel will enter Rafah regardless of whether a deal is made or not.
FDD: Gaza Health Ministry Cannot Provide Names for More Than 10,000 It Says Have Died
The Gaza Ministry of Health cannot provide names of more than 10,000 of the 34,000 individuals it says have died during the war between Israel and Hamas. While the Health Ministry conceded earlier this month that it has “incomplete data” for nearly one-third of the deceased, this is the first admission that it lacks an essential data point necessary to establish these deaths have even taken place.

The Gaza Health Ministry is an arm of the Hamas-run government in Gaza. On April 24, to mark the 200th day of the war Hamas started, the ministry released a graphic in which it reiterated the claim that hostilities have taken more than 34,000 lives, adding that only 24,000 of the dead are “martyrs whose idintities [sic] are recognized.” On April 28, a Wall Street Journal story about the ministry’s data confirmed, “Around 10,000 people included in the Health Ministry’s official death toll haven’t been identified.”

At the outset of the war, the ministry compiled casualty figures by collecting information from Gaza hospitals, which provided the names of the deceased. When Israeli military operations disrupted the ministry’s communication with medical facilities in Gaza, the ministry began to rely on what it described as “reliable media sources” for information about possible deaths. The ministry neither identified these sources nor the criteria according to which it assessed the credibility of their information.

The proportion of data derived from media sources increased sharply as the war progressed. As of December 31, the ministry reported 6,629 deaths based on media information, or 30.2 percent of the total at the time. During the first three months of 2024, media sources accounted for an additional 8,441 deaths, or 77.7 percent of all fatalities reported during the first quarter.
Gaza by the Numbers
The Hamas-Israel war that began on October 7 has become a source of international tension, debate, and dispute. One of the key data points in war reporting has been the count of fatalities.

Institute researcher Gabriel Epstein has investigated the methodology used by Gaza authorities to measure the number of deaths in the conflict. His two studies revealed complexities and contradictions in accurately reporting the civilian and military losses.

In this video published on April 25, Institute Segal Executive Director Robert Satloff interviews Epstein on his findings.

US temporarily suspends assembly of floating dock off Gaza and hands control to Israel
US CENTCOM announced on Friday that it had suspended the construction of the floating pier off of Gaza and had handed over control to Israel.

The pier has been partially built and is being moved to the Port of Ashdod due to unsafe weather conditions.

The pier's construction will be finished before being placed on the Gaza shoreline where aid can be directly delivered to the population.

Approximately one thousand US troops will be involved in the construction of the pier system Joint Logistics Over the Shore (JLOTS), CNN reported. The pier could also, upon its completion, deliver as many as 150 trucks of aid and food to Gaza's civilian population.

Hopes that the pier could've been completed sooner
The report also cited US Defense officials admitting their hope that the pier would be fully complete by Friday. Officials also told CNN that state sea conditions have been impeding the work of the personnel involved in its construction. The report notes that one difficult task is for military divers to work underneath the pier to make sure that all parts are stable.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters that the pier will cost at least $320 million. The cost includes transportation of equipment, construction, and aid delivery operations.
US says Hamas seized first aid shipment that entered Gaza via reopened Erez crossing
Hamas managed to seize a major shipment of humanitarian aid that was delivered to Gaza from Jordan earlier this week, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Thursday, after the supplies were the first to be shipped to the enclave through a newly reopened Israeli border crossing.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken viewed the aid on Tuesday just before it departed from the headquarters of the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization in Amman bound for the renovated crossing into the Gaza Strip at Erez, which was largely destroyed by Hamas during its October 7 terror onslaught that sparked the ongoing war.

The reopening of Erez, Israel’s sole crossing on the northern edge of Gaza, had been a main plea of international aid agencies for months, to alleviate the humanitarian situation which is believed to be most severe among the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the north of the enclave.

According to Miller, the aid shipment was unloaded by the Jordanian military inside the Strip before being “picked up by a humanitarian implementer for distribution inside Gaza, and that aid was intercepted and diverted by Hamas on the ground in Gaza.”

“The UN is either in the process or has by now recovered that aid, but it was an unacceptable act by Hamas to divert this aid to begin with,” he said during a press briefing.

Miller added that UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, would likely issue a statement soon condemning the incident, indicating it was the organization from which Hamas stole the aid.

“If there’s one thing that Hamas could do to jeopardize the shipment of aid, it would be diverting it for their own use, rather than allowing it to go to the innocent civilians that need it,” he said, claiming this was the “first widespread case of diversion that we have seen” in Gaza.

Hamas held the aid trucks for “some time” before releasing them, according to Miller.

IDF: Body of Elyakim Libman — presumed hostage since Oct. 7 — found in Israel
Elyakim Libman, who was thought to have been abducted by Hamas on October 7, has been declared dead after his body was found in Israel.

The IDF says military representatives, along with members of the Institute of Forensic Medicine and Health Ministry, notified Libman’s family of the findings today.

His death was based on “findings that were identified following a complex investigation” carried out by the IDF, police, Institute of Forensic Medicine and Health Ministry, the military says.

Libman was working as a security guard at the Supernova desert rave on October 7, when Hamas terrorists launched an assault at the party, killing and kidnapping partygoers.

According to his family, Libman stayed behind for hours treating other wounded people until he was killed.

He was initially thought to have been taken hostage, as his body was not found. According to Hebrew-language media reports, his remains had been buried alongside another victim from the Nova festival, in an error.

Surviving a Massacre | Interview with Nova festival survivor Lahav Deri
October 7 was the moment the music died. Rockets in the sky, death squads on their way. Hamas’ invasion of Israel had begun. The partygoers at the Nova Music Festival, an EDM party just five kilometers from the Gaza Strip, were sitting ducks. Terrorists gunned them down as they fled for their lives, burned people alive in their cars as they tried to escape, and lobbed grenades into concrete shelters to blow them limb from limb. Unknown numbers were r*ped, even gang r*ped in the most horrific of conditions. By the time the massacre was over, 379 people had been slaughtered including 15 police officers. And another forty-one were abducted, taken into the Gaza Strip — more than 33 are still trapped there, six months later.

Lahav Deri escaped by the skin of his teeth. He was at the festival with his two younger brothers, who also survived — one of them, only just. And when he got home, battered and bruised, he did the most Israeli thing possible — he grabbed his gun and went to help his reserves unit, still battling terrorists committing massacres across the country’s south.

October 7 first responder recounts Hamas massacre at music festival
October 7 first responder Eran Masas describes how he jumped in a car and drove towards the Hamas massacre at the Nova music festival the second he knew what was happening.

“I know that if I’m not going to be there, I don’t know who else is going to be there,” Mr Masas told Sky News host Erin Molan.

“Because this is my home, and I need to protect my home.

“At the first time, I’m not thinking at all; I’m just thinking like a … parent that wants to protect his children.

“I tell myself that I can’t be emotional at that moment; I must do actions like a robot and leave my feelings beside and just save who I can save from that situation.”

Israeli Widow Whose Husband Was Kidnapped, Murdered on Oct. 7 by Hamas Delivers Fourth Child
The widow of Tal Chaimi — a resident of Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak in Israel who was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 — gave birth to a baby boy on Thursday at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

Ella Chaimi is now the single parent of four children, including 9-year-old twins and a six-year-old. “This birth is filled with mixed emotions as I welcome into the world our child who brings with him lots of joy while also remembering Tal, who was a wonderful husband and father,” she said in a released statement. “I wish he was here with us right now.”

Idit Engel, a midwife at Beilinson Hospital, said that Chaimi and her family “have been through devastation, and I hope that this baby brings them much joy.”

“I have known Ella for many years and have cared for her during her previous pregnancies,” added Beilinson’s Women’s Hospital Prof. Arnono Weisnizer. “I know her and her family well having previously worked in the Gaza envelope, and my heart breaks for what they have gone through. Their family has been through dark times, and the birth of this baby is a light for them and for the people of Israel.”

Tal, 41, was taken as a hostage by Hamas terrorists as they attacked Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak during their assault across southern Israel on Oct. 7. A third-generation member of the kibbutz, he was part of the Nir Yitzhak rapid response team and went out during the early hours of Oct. 7 to confront terrorists invading the community. Ella hid in the safe room of the family’s house with her children while Tal and the rest of the kibbutz’s response team were out protecting the community.

Tal’s death was confirmed by authorities on Dec. 13. He was killed on Oct. 7, and his body is believed to be held by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Sen Graham to 'Post': Senate won't pass US-Saudi pact without Israeli
The United States cannot move forward on a defense pact with Saudi Arabia unless the deal also includes a normalization agreement with Israel, US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) told The Jerusalem Post.

“There will not be 67 votes in the United States Senate for a defense agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United States that doesn’t have an Israeli component,” he said in a telephone interview late Thursday. “That’s been true from day one and remains true.”

Graham has worked to promote a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel from across the aisle, even though it would give a boost to US President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign. He has shuttled between Washington, Riyadh, and Jerusalem to push the matter forward.

The Israel part of the agreement has always been viewed as necessary to sway Republicans to support the deal. The approval of 67 out of 100 senators is needed because the defense pact between Washington and Riyadh is at the level of a treaty. Being that there are 48 Democratic senators, 49 Republicans, and three independents, the only way to move forward is with bipartisan support.

The US has hit an important goal post by finishing this important pillar of the deal, which is the defense pact, Graham said.

“Once that has been achieved, then we turn our attention to the Palestinian file and normalization,” he told the Post. “I don’t think Saudi Arabia is going to talk about the Palestinian issue or normalization until they lock down a deal with the United States. If I were them, I would not. I would want to make sure I got what I needed from the United States before I started that conversation.”
Saudi Arabia reportedly cracking down on anti-Israel voices
As the war between Israel and Hamas drags on, Saudi Arabia is intensifying arrests of citizens for social media posts criticizing Israel or expressing pro-Palestinian views, according to Bloomberg.

The wave of detentions signals Riyadh’s eagerness to pursue diplomatic ties with Israel—provided it commits to Palestinian statehood—and its determination to quash any dissent that could derail normalization efforts, per the reports.

However, the crackdown underscores Saudi Arabia’s broader restrictions on free speech and political expression. Riyadh-based diplomats and human rights groups state that the latest series of arrests are driven by security concerns distinctly connected to the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas invasion of Israel and the events that unfolded in its wake, to prevent online rhetoric that could impact national security.

The arrests have targeted individuals whose online comments about the Gaza war were deemed incendiary by authorities, even if the posts were over a decade old.

Zoom call reveals 'Squad' Democrat's message to anti-Jewish agitators at university encampment
A video posted by far-left anti-Jewish agitators at the University of Oregon has revealed one "Squad" member's message urging them to continue their aggressive actions.

The video of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., appeared in multiple social media posts across a number of platforms earlier this week and was posted by Free Palestine Eugene and the UO Palestine Coalition, two groups supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and involved in the setup of a protest encampment at the University of Oregon.

"I'm here to tell you all, I love you. Thank you for this. Just know the incredible power that you all have to, again, move our country in the right direction. So thank you all so much. Thank you, thank you," Tlaib said in the Zoom call that protesters were able to watch on their individual phones.

Her message to the protesters marks the latest instance when she has shown sympathy to antisemitic causes and actions as a frequent critic of Israel.

Amid the breakout of anti-Jewish protests at universities across the country last month, Tlaib criticized administrations for cracking down on those occupying and causing disturbances in public spaces.

"From UM to Vanderbilt to USC to Columbia, students across our country are being retaliated against for using their constitutional rights to protest genocide. It’s appalling," Tlaib wrote on X in response to a post by Isra Hirsi, the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, who was arrested while protesting at Columbia University.

"Our country isn’t just complicit in this genocide — we’re actively participating in it," she wrote in another post on X, while calling on the Biden administration to stop supplying the Jewish state with arms.

Despite Tlaib's concerns over campus responses to student protests, she has refused to call out the antisemitism seen at some gatherings in which Jewish students have been targeted, and even took part in a protest at the University of Michigan on April 24.

University of Maryland-Baltimore students threaten to disrupt graduation over Sen. Cardin’s pro-Israel record
A group of University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work students have threatened to protest the school’s May 17 graduation over the scheduled keynote speaker, Sen. Ben Cardin, (D-MD), the state’s senior senator and a pro-Israel stalwart.

In a letter published on Tuesday, social work students wrote that Cardin’s “pro-war foreign policy positions are antithetical to social work values.” They requested that the senator, who is Jewish, be canceled as speaker and instead be replaced by Dr. Wendy Shaia, an associate professor at the social work school and executive director of the Center for Restorative Change.

“Given Cardin’s positions and actions regarding Israel and Palestine in the past and since October 7th, his selection sends an unsettling pro-war political message to members of our school community who are anti-war,” the letter states, pointing to Cardin’s 2015 vote against the Iran nuclear deal, his 2017 co-sponsoring of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and his support of Israel’s current war against Hamas.

If the request is not fulfilled, the letter states that “there exists the possibility that people may express their anti-war opinions in a public manner.”

In response, the school’s Jewish Affinity Group spearheaded a counterpetition on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by Jewish Insider. The letter, which has not yet been sent to the administration, thanks the university’s School of Social Work for selecting Cardin and defends the decision.

“Ben Cardin is also a Jew who believes Jews have a right to self-determination in a land where they’re indisputably indigenous — Israel,” the letter, which garnered some 115 signatures in its first day, reads. “Should Senator Ben Cardin be canceled as a result?”

A spokesperson for UMB SSW did not immediately respond to inquiry regarding whether the school is considering canceling Cardin as speaker.
Bowman’s break with Biden on campus antisemitism isn’t helping him back home
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has been trying to ingratiate himself with President Joe Biden even as his left-wing, anti-Israel record in Congress has alienated moderate Democratic voters to the point where he could lose a hotly contested primary against Westchester County Executive George Latimer next month.

But in a sign of the Squad-aligned lawmaker’s ideological commitments undermining his political prospects, his support of the anti-Israel campus protesters has underscored how far his views are from Biden’s. In the same week that Bowman defended Columbia University protesters taking over and occupying a building on campus and decried “heavy-handed repression” from the NYPD, Biden condemned the violent protests that have swept college campuses in a White House address.

The prominence of antisemitism as a major political issue across the country couldn’t come at a worse time for Bowman, who faces a heated Democratic primary against Latimer on June 25.

Notably, in recent weeks, Bowman had been trying to showcase his support of the president, with his campaign even touting the fact that the congressman voted for Biden in the New York presidential primary over an “uncommitted” option to protest the Biden administration’s approach to the Israel-Hamas war. Bowman’s spokesman said he voted for the president because the two “are close allies in combating gun violence and climate change.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) urged Democrats in her home state of Michigan and elsewhere to vote “uncommitted” rather than for Biden in the presidential primary as a means of protesting his continued support of aid to Israel. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said last month that she did not vote in Minnesota’s presidential primary, though she praised uncommitted voters for using the primary to send a message to Biden.

And instead of joining the anti-Israel protesters outside a recent Westchester County fundraiser for Biden’s reelection bid, Bowman opted to take part in the event alongside the president. Bowman even received a shoutout from the president during his 20-minute speech to the crowd, with Biden saying he and former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) need “to win in November.”

Labour loses out on Muslim votes at local elections ‘due to Starmer’s stance on Gaza’
Local council election results signal the Labour Party stands to lose out on Muslim votes at the next general election over its stance on the war in Gaza.

The party suffered a shock defeat in Oldham, Greater Manchester, last night, losing control of the local council to Independent candidates. It performed most poorly in wards with large Muslim populations.

The loss has been attributed to Sir Keir Starmer’s initial refusal to back calls for a ceasefire in Gaza within the first few weeks of the war. Comments made by the Labour leader on LBC radio in October where he appeared to back Israel shutting off power and water in Gaza featured on opposition leaflets circulated during the campaign, pushing the issue front and centre of voters’ minds.

Following the broadcast, Sir Keir addressed the furore, insisting he had only been supporting Israel’s right to self-defence.

In an article for the BBC, Sir John Curtice, widely considered to be the UK’s pre-eminent pollster, noted there were signs that Labour may have suffered somewhat “in places where many people identify as Muslim” and this was “most likely a reflection of their discontent with Labour’s stance on the war in Gaza”.

He added: “On average, the party’s support is down by eight points since last year in wards where more than 10 per cent of people identify as Muslim.”
Canada: Oakville School Suspends, Investigates Teacher for Saying ‘Keffiyeh Reminds Her of a Terrorist’
The Palestinian “resistance” (from the River to the Sea) has been exported globally. It spring-boarded from October 7, drawing in multitudes of followers and leading them to believe that they are part of a social justice movement. They don’t realize that they are being played for fools by a movement that is rooted in Islam’s 1,400-year history. The latest example of this is an incident in Oakville, Ontario’s largest town near Toronto: “HDSB investigates after ‘harmful’ language directed at student wearing keffiyeh,” CHCH, April 29, 2024:
An educator at an Oakville high school was caught on video telling a student that his keffiyeh reminds her of a terrorist.

The staff member has since been removed from the school and is facing an investigation for what the school is calling “discriminatory anti-Palestinian racist language.”

The warning by the teacher at Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville is a valid one. The school however is calling her warning “discriminatory anti-Palestinian racist language.”

The teacher’s suspension is ridiculous on its face. Reuters reported the truth about the keffiyeh back in December:
It has become an emblem of solidarity with the Palestinian cause as war rages between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. It has also become a problem for those wearing it.

Supporters of Israel see the chequered scarf as a provocation and a sign of backing for what they see as terrorism.

Thousands of people have worn keffiyehs in huge protests in Britain and elsewhere in support of the Palestinians and calling for a ceasefire in the conflict.

Turkey Halts Trade With Israel, Continuing Pro-Hamas Stance Since Outbreak of Gaza War
Turkey has ceased all exports and imports to and from Israel as of Thursday, according to the Turkish trade ministry.

“Export and import transactions related to Israel have been stopped, covering all products,” the ministry said in a statement, citing the “humanitarian tragedy” in the Palestinian territories as the reason.

“Turkey will strictly and decisively implement these new measures until the Israeli government allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza,” the trade ministry added.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded forcefully to Ankara, accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of violating agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports.

“This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” Katz wrote on X/Twitter.

Katz said he directed Israel’s foreign ministry to pursue alternatives for trade with Turkey, emphasizing a focus on local production and imports from other countries.

“Israel will emerge with a strong and daring economy,” he added. “We win, and they lose.”

The two countries had a trade volume of $6.8 billion last year.
Israeli FM slams ‘dictator’ Erdoğan
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday of acting like a “dictator” by blocking the country’s ports to Israeli imports and exports as part of a trade war.

“This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” Katz wrote on the social media platform X.

Katz said he instructed his office to devise alternative trade routes that bypass Turkey while focusing on boosting local production and imports from other international partners.

What Nicholas Kristof Is Hiding From His New York Times Readers
As part of the New York Times‘ regular ongoing series of Sunday opinion section logorrheic attacks on Israel, Nicholas Kristof recently weighed in with a super-long article that added precisely nothing to what everyone already knew about the events in the Middle East and Kristof’s view of them.

To fill out an article as long as Kristof’s without any original thought required a lot of reporting, and Kristof was determined to demonstrate that he did that, padding the piece with quotations from an endless parade of people who he described as experts.

Yet many the people Kristof quoted were longtime critics of Israel and its elected government, or just people who agreed with Kristof.

Kristof quoted US Sen. Chris Van Hollen, identifying him only as “a Maryland Democrat and foreign policy expert.” Yet since the Hamas terror group’s massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, Van Hollen has gone off the deep end. A Baltimore Jewish Times editorial recently reported, “Van Hollen’s relentless attacks against Israel have been so offensive that they recently prompted an unprecedented public letter of reprimand from nearly 80 Maryland rabbis from across the state and denominational affiliations expressing deep concern about Van Hollen and his pronouncements. In the rabbis’ words, they are ‘aghast’ at Van Hollen’s anti-Israel rhetoric.”

The editorial derided Van Hollen’s “self-righteous spewing of anti-Israel accusations and positions.” It concluded, “We face the uncomfortable reality that Chris Van Hollen is not our friend.” Kristof didn’t mention any of that.
BBC correspondent says the broadcaster has a pro-Israel bias and should be questioning the 'facts' of October 7 - sparking fury among Jewish colleagues
A BBC correspondent has accused the broadcaster of having a pro-Israel bias, urging his employer to question the 'facts' of Hamas' October 7 attacks.

Rami Ruhayem, a Lebanon-based journalist for BBC Arabic, accused the BBC of bias in an email sent to hundreds of staff, prompting complaints from Jewish workers.

In the correspondence, he claimed the BBC had failed to properly investigate claims made by Israel about Hamas' deadly incursion into southern Israel last year.

'Why does the BBC seem to have steered away from the growing body of evidence that casts doubt on the official Israeli version of the events of October 7?' he wrote.

The email provoked concerns from Jewish staffers at the BBC, according to The Times, which reported staff are understood to have launched a formal complaint.

'Nothing has quietened down,' one told the newspaper, accusing the BBC of failing to adequately tackle anti-Semitism across its network. 'It's a s**t show.'

The email was shared with the BBC's director-general Tim Davie, as well as news chief executive Deborah Turness and staff from the BBC Asian Network, Radio 4, Radio 5 live and the BBC's foreign language service.

Ruhayem said that the BBC's forum set up to interrogate concerns over its coverage of a deeply sensitive and unsettling conflict were 'little more than a short-lived venting exercise' and said that his concerns had been ignored.

'Words like 'massacre', 'slaughter' and 'atrocities' are being used prominently in reference to actions by Hamas, but hardly, if at all, in reference to actions by Israel,' an extract from the email seen by The Times read.

'Does this not raise the question of the possible complicity of the BBC in incitement, dehumanisation and war propaganda?'

The email was reported to have drawn backlash from a number of Jewish employees, who told The Times they found it 'sickening'.

One employee told The Times the email had 'caused a lot of anger and upset'.

The outlet reported that Liliane Landor, director of the BBC World Service, advised Mr Ruhayem to use the appropriate channels for feedback on coverage.

5 CNN got a look at Iran’s drones and missiles, what did it show?
Iranians boasted to CNN about their missile and drone program recently, providing a tour of an exhibit that shows off Iran’s capabilities. The goal for Tehran is to showcase the weapons it used against Israel in the April 13-14 attack.

This is also a way for Iran to show it has the ability to launch missile and drone attacks on other countries, with virtual impunity. Iran, now in the fifth decade of its regime, believes it is at a turning point and on the verge of becoming a premier military-technology power in the region.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Brigadier General Ali Belali hosted the tour. “Two weeks after the Middle East came to the brink of an all-out war, with Iran firing hundreds of projectiles toward Israel in retaliation for a suspected Israeli airstrike on an Iranian embassy compound in Damascus, Tehran is keen to show the world that it is capable of fighting a wider conflict should it be faced with one,” CNN noted.

According to the report CNN got “rare” access to the exhibit. “American media had never been allowed inside until now,” the report said. The site is in western Tehran and has “dozens of long- and medium-range ballistic missiles” alongside drones and cruise missiles. “Today, our drones and missiles have become an important factor of strength and the execution of power in the world,” Belali said. The IRGC now claims its missiles are accurate to within five meters, which would be an extraordinary achievement if it were true.

The Iranian display also showed off its drone program. “While the Iranians acknowledge using dozens of Shahed 136 drones to target Israel, both the US and Ukraine also accuse Tehran of giving hundreds to Russia, with Moscow using them to hit Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure,” the report noted. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visits the military equipment of IRGC Navy in Bandar Abbas, Iran, February 2, 2024. (credit: IRAN'S PRESIDENCY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

A lesson from Nazi Germany for university presidents amid tidal wave of antisemitism
Link between antisemitism and the road to Aschwitz
That is why it is so important that the leaders of higher education today bear witness to the atrocities that took place then in order to learn lessons about how to prevent them taking place again.

As we travel through Poland and see the results of Nazi Germany’s genocidal policies towards the Jews, we will see the direct link between antisemitism and the road to Auschwitz. We hope that through this mission, which is planned to be expanded in future years, university presidents will become allies in the fight against antisemitism – because we know all too well the potentially devastating outcomes of ignoring the issue.

Yehuda Bauer, one of the world’s leading Holocaust scholars, once said: “The only thing Jews were guilty of during the Holocaust was failing to imagine the unimaginable.”

Perhaps much of the world was guilty of the same. But today, none of us have that excuse. We have seen the lowest depths humanity is capable of plumbing – and we dare not tread that treacherous road again.

By raising our awareness about antisemitism, we can instill a deep understanding of the evils of any kind of prejudice, intolerance, and hate. We must therefore commit ourselves to these twin goals – the fight against antisemitism, and the fight against all forms of discrimination and marginalization.

For, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. one of the most extraordinary figures in the fight for human rights in the last century, said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Holocaust Survivors Confront Denial Posts From Social Media in New Digital Campaign
The Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati has created a Holocaust gravesite marker to honor survivors of the Holocaust who were victims of Nazi persecution between 1933-1945. The photo is taken in the Walnut Hills Cemetery in Walnut Hills, April 17, 2024. Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) will share videos of Holocaust survivors from around the world reading and responding to posts from social media that deny the Nazis’ murder of six million Jews as part of a new digital campaign launched on Thursday ahead of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah).

In each video as part of the #CancelHate campaign, Holocaust survivors introduce themselves, read social media posts about Holocaust denial, and then address the lies they’ve read while sharing their personal experiences under Nazi persecution. Every video ends with the tagline, “Words matter. Cancel hate.”

Starting on Thursday, the Claims Conference will post a video every day for 30 days on social media and on the organization’s website. The month-long campaign aims to tackle the issue of Holocaust denial and distortion on social media, showing how these false narratives promote antisemitism and spread hate.

“Holocaust denial is cruel. When it is on social media it has the potential to spread misinformation even faster,” Holocaust survivor and #CancelHate campaign participant Abe Foxman told The Algemeiner. “It is important that we all do what we can to combat denial and disinformation.”

Thirteen members of Foxman’s immediate family died in the Holocaust. As part of the #CancelHate campaign, he read a post from social media in which the writer said in part: “There were no gas chambers. Every single thing we know about World War II is a lie … I have the same goals as Hitler: exile the Jews and keep their degeneracy and corruption and lies out of society.”

Posts on social media that deny the Holocaust “are hateful and deny the suffering of millions of people,” said Foxman. “We must take our words seriously. Our words matter.”
Arrested teen wanted ‘to target Jews’, say police
Jewish leaders and political figures have called for a more urgent approach to strengthening anti-hate laws after a group of Sydney teenagers, calling themselves “Soldiers of Allah”, were charged over allegedly plotting a terrorist attack on Jews.

A group of males were taken into custody by NSW Police in anti-terrorism operations and charged in the Children’s Court following an attack in Sydney’s west last month, at which another individual allegedly stabbed Christian Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel.

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported that allegations against four of the teens included chat on the encrypted Signal app about obtaining and storing guns. Police alleged comments made within the group included, “I wanna die and I wanna kill … I’m just excited … Is your plan to get caught or die or escape?” Another allegedly stated, “I really want to target the yahood [Jewish people] … we will plan it.”

Describing the police fact-sheet as “chilling”, Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim said, “The hatreds and violence of overseas conflicts have been imported into Australia, and are poisoning our peaceful and tolerant way of life. At the heart of the problem are teenage boys wallowing in a toxic brew of sexual repression, stunted emotions and warped religiosity. The fact that some of them may suffer from mental health issues does not diminish the terrorist nature of their conduct. The two are not mutually exclusive.”

Zionist Federation of Australia CEO Alon Cassuto stated, “It’s both concerning and unsurprising to hear reports that the arrested teens who exchanged messages about jihad also expressed a desire to target Jews. The combination of hate-filled sermons and the relentless repetition of lies about Israel online means it’s sadly predictable that teens could develop a deep-seated hatred for Jews. Lives are at risk.”
North Carolina man arrested, charged with threatening Georgia rabbi
A 31-year-old man has been charged with threatening a rabbi in Georgia and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.

Ariel E. Collazo Ramos, who was arrested on Thursday at his High Point, N.C. home, allegedly mailed an antisemitic postcard to Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar, of Temple Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue in Macon, Ga.

On Feb. 1, the rabbi received a “threatening postcard” at her home through the U.S. Postal Service, according to the indictment. The handwritten postcard, allegedly by Collazo Ramos, stated: “Is there a child rape, torture and murder tunnel under your house? We have the Zyklon B. Use Code ‘GasTheJews’ for 10% off!”

“The reverse side of the postcard displayed a hand-drawn image depicting a purported Jewish male wearing a rat costume and the words ‘Jews are rats,’” the U.S. Justice Department added.

'Hate from all sides' Neo-Nazis salute in ritzy downtown Greenwich, Conn., in sickening display
Hitler-saluting neo-Nazis descended on ritzy Greenwich, Conn., and chanted “Heil” while doing a one-armed salute during a sickening display over the weekend.

Masked goons from the neo-Nazi group NSC-131 traveled from out of town Saturday to demonstrate outside Greenwich Town Hall, where they carried signs reading “New England is ours the rest must go” and “Anti-whites FAFO” — with the acronym standing for “F–k around and find out.”

From there they marched in formation through downtown Greenwich, before assembling on a street corner with their vile banners while barking “Seig Heil,” flashing the Nazi salute and leering at passersby.

“Nazis showing up in Greenwich and yelling ‘Heil’ with their arms raised? Not supposed to happen in 2024,” a Greenwich resident and member of the local Jewish community, Jolie Goldring, told The Post.

“As Jews, we are literally getting it from every which way, shape and form.”

The Nazi group — a subsect of NSC-131 called the Peoples Initiative for New England — is dedicated to creating a “white homeland” in the Northeast and seceding from the rest of the US.

The losers claimed they showed up to protest against what they claimed was a racially motivated assault on a white teen in a Greenwich park.

In that incident, which was caught on camera and went viral online, a white girl was beaten up by a pair of black girls while a crowd jeered around them.
‘It is better to have anti whatever out in the open’: Nick Fuentes to be reinstated on Musk's X
Elon Musk says he will restore the X account of Nick Fuentes, the Holocaust denier and antisemite who has said “perfidious Jews” should be executed.

“Very well, he will be reinstated, provided he does not violate the law, and let him be crushed by the comments and Community Notes,” Musk said Thursday on the social media platform he bought in 2022 and renamed from Twitter. “It is better to have anti whatever out in the open to be rebutted than grow simmering in the darkness.”

Musk was responding to a plea on the platform from a user whose name, GoyaBeanGroyper, explicitly indicates his affiliation with Fuentes and his brand of antisemitic Christian nationalism. As of Friday morning, Fuentes’ account remained suspended.

Hate speech watchdogs have consistently advocated for deplatforming extremists to diminish their reach. Many argue that rebuttals to hate speech on social media rarely have the intended effect and often end up amplifying the offensive postings.

Musk, who says he is committed to absolute free speech but who has suspended accounts of journalists whose reporting has upset him, returned Fuentes to Twitter for a day in January 2023. Fuentes flooded his feed with antisemitic commentary and within a day his account was suspended again, without comment from the company.

Musk said in exchanges on Thursday with acolytes that he would be a hypocrite to keep suppressing Fuentes.

“I cannot claim to be a defender of free speech, but then permanently ban someone who hasn’t violated the law, no matter how much I disagree with what they say,” said Musk, who has sued or threatened to sue watchdogs that track the proliferation of hate speech since he purchased the platform. “This will probably cause us to lose a lot of advertisers and makes me sad, but a principle is a principle.”

Israel readies for first post-Oct. 7 Holocaust Remembrance Day
Six Holocaust survivors will light memorial torches at the official opening ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on the evening of May 5.

Lighting the torches that symbolize the 6 million Jews murdered by German Nazis will be Michael Bar-On (Poland), Raisa Brodsky (Ukraine), Arie Eitani (Hungary), Allegra Gutta (Libya), Pnina Hefer (Romania) and Izi Kabilio (Yugoslovia).

The ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. in Warsaw Ghetto Square at Israel’s official Holocaust museum and memorial site. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and other dignitaries will deliver remarks.

Holocaust survivor Yitzhak Perlmutter will recite the El Maleh Rahamim prayer for the souls of the martyrs.

It will be the first Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led massacre in the northwestern Negev in which terrorists killed some 1,200 people, wounded thousands and kidnapped 250 others, in the worst single-day slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.

The day is observed from sundown May 5 to sundown May 6. It comes a week before Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorism (Yom Hazikaron) and Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut).

In addition, the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL-JNF) will hold a ceremony on May 6 to honor Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz review: ‘We see the brutality and the desperation’
The Tattooist of Auschwitz ***

Is there anyone left who doesn’t know the story of Lale Sokolov, famous tattooist of Auschwitz, the man who fell in love in hell? His life formed the basis of a 2018 novel which has sold millions of copies worldwide, and now here comes Sky’s adaptation for television which should reach those few who’ve dodged it thus far.

I use the word ‘story’ very deliberately, because it is key to this show based on the blockbuster work of fiction written by Heather Morris which she crafted after many hours of interviews with the Holocaust survivor, here played by Hollywood star Harvey Keitel as a haunted, traumatised, guilt-ridden man, a most definitely unreliable narrator.

Morris is a character in this re-telling of the novel, and the framing is important. We learn right from the start that Lale, now an old man living alone in Australia, wants to tell his story to someone who’s not Jewish (now, why would that be?) and - it becomes clear - is not a historian, a journalist, or an experienced writer. Morris, played by Melanie Lynskey, tells him that she’s done one course in technical writing and another in memoir. She doesn’t even want to take notes as he starts to talk. Lale has found a therapeutic listener, not a Holocaust historian.

So when his narrative starts to unfold on the screen we’re fully aware that we’re seeing a possibly faulty and definitely compromised narrative through the gaze of a naïve and inexperienced story teller. And just to ram the point home, as the story is told, Lale is often visited by ghosts of the people he’s talking about. When he says goodbye to his mother, heart-breakingly for the last time - he gets a chance to replay the memory as he wishes it had gone, with a longer hug.

That these devices work surprisingly well is down to the craft of the (Jewish) screen writer Jacquein Perske and the (Jewish, Israeli) director, Tali Shalom Ezer as well as a cast (featuring many Jewish actors) which grabs your sympathy as soon as Lale is sacked from his job at a Bratislava store. Jewish actor Jonah Hauer-King plays the young Lale as a handsome, brave, caring, sensitive hero - just as we’d all like to be remembered - but in the future, we see his older self tell and retell his account, sometimes slipping a little and showing a more realistic side of the compromises made in order to survive. Likewise the view of Slovakian society, in which antisemitism is strictly for the Nazis, may well be explained by Morris’s viewpoint, and be shaped for an audience which prefers to think that they’d also have been handing out gifts to persecuted Jews.
Rabbi Turned Filmmaker Makes Riveting Holocaust Movie: ‘Jewish History Is Very Powerful’
A US-based Jewish educator has brought to life a movie about one of the more unknown but riveting stories from the Holocaust.

After years of educating Jewish youth around the world, Rabbi Shmuel Lynn never expected to find himself back in the art of filmmaking, he told the Algemeiner in a recent interview about his new movie, Bardejov.

Raised secular in Florida, Lynn was once focused intently on a career in Hollywood — with Jewish studies nowhere near the front of his mind. Indeed, after completing a degree in film from Duke University, he packed his bags and headed to Los Angeles to focus on writing scripts for movies. “I was always involved in the arts, music, and theater,” he said.

But after a spark of interest in Judaism, Lynn began a multi-year journey in which he studied in Jerusalem, before giving up film altogether. He began doing Jewish outreach work in 2004 on college campuses, mainly at the University of Pennsylvania.

Seeing the success he had teaching and influencing people on campus, Lynn helped to found Meor Manhattan, an organization geared toward Jewish outreach for young professional Jews in New York City. The organization is now called Olami.

During this time, Lynn wanted to launch international summits in places where Jews had thrived but ultimately suffered in the past, such as in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. “The idea is that if you know where you come from, you will cherish and appreciate the sacrifice that got you where you are… Generations ran away from the Cossacks, the Nazis, etc,. for you to have the beautiful life you have today. Jewish history is very powerful.”
Association of Jewish Refugees honours two Auschwitz escapees who warned the world of what they witnessed
Eighty years since two Slovak Jews, Alfred Wetzler and Rudi Vrba, escaped from Auschwitz to warn the world about the deportations of Hungarian Jews, The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) brought together experts and descendants to honour their heroism and to discuss how their story could be remembered today. The fully booked event saw over 100 people gather at the Slovak Republic Embassy on Monday evening, with the Sloavkian ambassador, Dr Róbert Ondrejcsák, and AJR CEO Michael Newman OBE introducing the proceedings.

Alfréd Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba, who met for the first time in Auschwitz death camp, were among the first people to not only successfully escape from the camp, but also to inform the world about the horrors of the industrial killing taking place there.

The two survived for almost two years in the camp, far longer than the average of those selected to be labourers, before escaping and trekking some 140km to Žilina, Slovakia, where they recounted the horrors of the camp in detail to the Slovak Jewish community.

The publication and circulation of their 32-page testimony, which became known as the Vrba-Wetzler report, sent shockwaves throughout the world and was critical in putting pressure on the Hungarian regent, Miklós Horthy, to halt the deportation of Hungary’s Jews to Auschwitz.

The compiled report “literally stopped one train in its tracks”, author Jonathan Freedland said, and saved some 200,000 Jews from being deported from Hungary and meeting the same fate as the 437,000 Hungarian Jews who had already been murdered in death camps.
Who was Alan Overton, the unsung hero who saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children
On the eve of Yom HaShoah, thousands of descendants of Kindertransport refugees are likely unaware that they owe their lives to a little known shopkeeper from the market town of Rugby.

While the story of Sir Nicholas Winton is widely known, that of Alan Overton has rarely made headlines. Yet, the latter worked tirelessly in the late 1930s to find homes and sponsors across Britain for over 250 Jewish children, saving them from almost certain death at the hands of the Nazis.

His granddaughter, Jane Mackenzie, 68, daughter of the eldest of Overton’s four children, has, for years, been tracing the details of this incredible story.

The reason it has never been fully told before was due, Mackenzie says, to the strict Christian sect of which Overton was a “devoted” member. Christadelphians are brought up to neither broadcast their good deeds nor to engage politically, only the latter of which Overton evidently flouted.

They also believe that the Jewish people are God’s chosen people, and the way in which they have “suffered throughout history and their fate as refugees was to [Overton] evidence of the truth of scripture, as was the growing Zionist movement,” Mackenzie said.
A Survivor’s Class Photo
My grandfather Yossi Kaltmann always kept a picture of his classmates on his living room mantle. The black-and-white photograph of him and more than 30 of his peers was always given a place of prominence. For most people, looking at a photo of their school friends is a form of nostalgia. For my zayde, it was a form of remembrance, because most of his classmates were murdered by the Nazis. Captured during the 1936-37 school year at Bratislava’s Yesodei HaTorah School in Czechoslovakia, the image portrays young Jewish boys aged 8-9, many of whom would only live a few years more before being killed.

The class photo that my zayde displayed was a duplicate of the only known surviving original. His lifelong friend Ernst Neugroschl, who had grown up with him in Bratislava (formerly known as Pressburg), also survived the war. During the war, Ernst had managed to hide some personal artifacts and photos in the thatching of a roof in Nitra, Slovakia, which he retrieved after the war. The class photo was one of these retrieved items.

My grandfather is pictured third from right in the top row, with Ernst in the same row, sixth from right.

After the war, Ernst, who was an only child and whose parents miraculously also survived, moved to Washington, D.C. My zayde, who was the sole survivor of his family, chose Melbourne, Australia. Despite the geographic distance, the two of them always kept in touch.

My zayde and Ernst had the same accent, had both spent time living in Israel after the war, and knew what it was like to survive the destruction of European Jewry. Due to the close bond between the two of them, the Neugroschl family have always felt like my cousins, even though we are not officially related.

Remarkably, the photo that Ernst hid in Nitra had the signatures of many of the boys in their class on the back of it. I love seeing my zayde’s signature, in his childlike scrawl, spelling his name as Jozef Kaltmann, using the German spelling for his first name, Joseph. Ernst’s name is also found on the back. While most boys seemed to have put their first initial and last name, Ernst and Jozef, always best of friends and always as thick as thieves, wrote their full names.

For me, the photo serves as a window into a vibrant Jewish world that has since faded into history. It is also a rare opportunity to see my zayde pictured as a child. He only managed to salvage a few photos of himself after the war, which survived thanks to neighbors who had hidden artifacts for his family. After his parents, sister, and brother were killed, my zayde was the only one left to retrieve the items.
Israeli researchers map out timeline of ancient Jerusalem
According to the Bible, the “United Kingdom of Israel” existed from the 11th century BCE and was ruled by Saul, David, and David’s son Solomon. But the united kingdom divided into two – Israel and Judea – about 975 BCE after King Solomon died and it was taken over by his son, Rehoboam – his anointed successor who ruled over the Southern Kingdom comprised of territory belonging to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The schism occurred when Jews rebelled against heavy taxes that were charged by the monarchy.

Israel consisted of Samaria and the Shechem in the North, while Judah and Jerusalem served as a center of religious significance in the South.

Until now, there has been only biblical and historical evidence but no indisputable archaeological remains to prove the exact chronology.

The formation of the Kingdom of Judah has been a subject of heavy debate among scholars, with a dispute emerging between biblical minimalists and biblical maximalists on this particular topic. Due to geopolitical factors like security issues, isolation and political changes, the core area of the Kingdom of Judah on the south-central highlands has seen limited archaeological exploration compared to regions west of the Jordan River.

Some scholars had suggested that Jerusalem, the kingdom’s capital, did not emerge as a significant administrative center until the end of the 8th century BCE. Before then, the archaeological evidence suggests its population was too small to sustain a viable kingdom.

Now, researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, in collaboration with a team of archaeologists from Jerusalem’s City of David archaeological site, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), and Tel Aviv University (TAU) have managed to produce a detailed chronology of Iron-Age Jerusalem when the city served as the capital of the biblical Kingdom of Judah.

The findings of this study are being published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) under the title “Radiocarbon chronology of Iron-Age Jerusalem reveals calibration offsets and architectural developments.” The study was made possible by an experiment set up by Dr. Lior Regev at Weizmann’s Dangoor Research Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (D-REAMS) laboratory, the institute’s dedicated accelerator for research.

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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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