Monday, May 13, 2024

From Ian:

Richard Landes: The Paradoxical “Proof” that Jews are the Chosen People
The deeper motives of anti-Semitism have their roots in times long past; they come from the unconscious, and I am quite prepared to hear that what I am going to say will at first appear incredible. I venture to assert that the jealousy that the Jews evoked in other peoples by maintaining that they were the first-born, the favorite child of God the Father, has not yet been overcome by those others, just as if the latter had given credence to the assumption.” (Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism)

It’s well known that the thing about the Jews that most grates on gentiles – especially derivative monotheists and post-monotheists – is the notion that Jews are the chosen people. And yet, the claim is specifically enunciated in Jewish scripture that God chose the Jews to be mankind’s moral leadership.

Observe these laws carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” For what nation… is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? (Deuteronomy 4: 7-8).

The pretension to be “the chosen people” has inspired both hatred and emulation. Both Islam and Christianity, the two religions most likely to generate Jew-hatred, are also claimants to the status of God’s chosen people, replacing, erasing the Jewish claim.

Recently, modern progressives have expressed if not anger, then exasperation at so primitive and pretentious a notion. Nobel-prize author Jose Saramago deplored “the monstrous and rooted ‘certitude’ that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God…” Science writer Jostein Gaarder declared (in the royal “we”):
“We do not believe in the notion of God’s chosen people. We laugh at this people’s fancies and weep over its misdeeds. To act as God’s chosen people is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.”

Among those attitudes most associated with antisemitism is a hostility to, a resentment of the Jewish claim to be a chosen people. Indeed, a good progressive Jew views that problematic claim with great wariness if not scorn: ‘we are the same as everyone else.’

Of course, even if one rejects any divine claims, biblical or otherwise, about the Jews being chosen, there is historical evidence for the claim. Studies of the resilience of Jewish communities over time, of Jewish success in societies based on merit, certainly indicate that there is something special about Jews, whether God chose them, or they imagined that God chose them, or they chose a God they invented. The very survival – and vigor – of Jews to this day suggests that something unusual is at work.

But I think the most striking proof that the Jews are the chosen people comes from what social scientists call “non-reactive” evidence, that is from a pattern of evidence produced by agents who do not behave in reaction to being seen, but whose behavior nevertheless unconsciously reveals evidence they might deny, even vigorously, were they aware. And the proof, in our day, for the chosenness of the Jews, comes from the dual phenomenon of the extraordinary obsession gentiles display over Jewish behavior, on the one hand, and the extraordinary inversion of reality – both moral and empirical – that obsession takes, on the other.

The obsession is not hard to document. If one were to weight the international news coverage of countries by their population, then the coverage of the only Jewish state by international news organizations is skewed by several orders of magnitude. One study published in 2013, found that, aside from the US (“the uncontested world news hegemon”), articles about Israel and Palestine rank the highest, literally pushing out China, Russia, and Europe. If one factors in size and population, this means over a hundred-fold greater attention to this particular Middle East state and its behavior with its hostile neighbors, than any other global story including the entire US. Similarly, if one factors in casualty figures, then Israel/Palestine media footprint is the exact inverse of the Democratic Republic of Congo: about ten thousand dead in twenty years (1989-2009) has filled global media, whereas about four to six million dead in the same period in the Congo, remains nearly invisible to the world―one of many stealth conflicts.
Phyllis Chesler: The prophet unhonored
Is Joe Biden on Hamas’s payroll? If not, why is his administration withholding promised military equipment to America’s most reliable and stable ally in the Middle East? Does Biden fail to understand what Israel is up against?

Clearly, his administration is acting as if Iran and its proxy armies, beginning with Hamas, are “good” people, no different from the rest of us. He thinks they are “reasonable” people with whom he can negotiate or even outwit.

I strongly beg to differ.

Long ago, I was held captive in Kabul as a young bride. When I managed to get out, I understood in my bones that the West and the East are very different places. Other Americans do not understand this.

Although I loved many things about the Muslim world—the awe-inspiring mountains, the ancient bazaars, the ceremonial aspects of dining, rose petals in the pudding, the biblical barefoot nomads tinkling as they walked together with their sheep and camels—I saw that the East was very wild. It was rife with unending blood feuds, vigilante (in)justice, illiteracy, poverty, disease, cruelty and above all hatred.

Hatred of infidels, especially Jews, Christians and Hazaras who are Shiite, not Sunni Muslims. Hatred of women. Hatred of servants. Hatred of daughters-in-law. Hatred of their own political dissidents and free-thinkers. Hatred of Americans. But respect for Nazi Germany and German products.

One cannot blame any of this on imperialism or colonialism. These customs were all indigenous. It is crucial to understand this.

Why? Because this is the neighborhood in which Israel lives. The Jewish state has weathered every storm. We are an eternal people and will always survive. But the cost in blood has been high. The IDF is now fighting brilliantly. The Israelis are miraculously resilient.

Seth Mandel: Lifting Hamas’s ‘Fog of War’ Reveals a Very Different Conflict
The fog of war is no excuse to use unethical counting methods. And it is no excuse to lie.

Does anyone feel guilty for what they’ve done here? We’re left with a circus-like cycle of duplicity: Hamas puts out fake numbers, the White House promotes those fabrications, which fuels street protests, which the president uses as an excuse to shift policy against Israel, which incentivizes Hamas to publish more fake numbers, etc. Around and around the blood-libel Ferris Wheel we go.

Something in the machinery of the White House has come loose. The whole edifice most closely resembles the Boeing planes with faulty bolts that just started falling apart mid-flight. Instead of bringing calm, the Biden team increasingly brings chaos—and seems unwilling or unable to act responsibly. The media that report the Hamas numbers are complicit in transforming America into an erratic actor on the world stage.

All of this is now undeniable. The only question left is what Joe Biden is going to do about it.

Jerry Seinfeld: ‘The Uncomfortable Feeling of Awkward Humor Is Okay’
In a sure sign that fun is back, Jerry Seinfeld took the stage at Duke’s commencement ceremony Sunday to give the keynote address. There was observational humor about the Titan submersible—“If the fish where you are have eyes like Shelley Duvall and a bendy straw with a work light hanging off of their head, you do not belong there”; life advice—focus on work and fall in love; and a defense of feeling uncomfortable.

“The slightly uncomfortable feeling of awkward humor is okay,” Seinfeld advised. “It is worth the sacrifice of an occasional discomfort to have some laughs. Don’t lose that. Even if it’s at the cost of occasional hard feelings, it’s okay.” It got big applause from both students and faculty onstage. On the subject of privilege he mused, “My point is we’re embarrassed about things we should be proud of and proud of things that we should be embarrassed about.”

His words feel true, and funny, and you’ll benefit from listening whether you graduated from college yesterday, fifty years ago, or never.
Jerry Seinfeld | Duke's 2024 Commencement Address
Jerry Seinfeld, award-winning comedian, actor, producer and author, delivered the commencement address during Duke's 2024 university-wide commencement ceremony in Wallace Wade Stadium on May 12, 2024. Seinfeld urged graduates to remember to laugh and navigate life with humor. "All of you here, without question, are the best of the best. Just don't lose your humor. It’s not an accessory. It's your Stanley Cup water bottle on the brutal, long hike of life," said Seinfeld.

Seinfeld Speech at Duke Commencement Prompts Walkout Protesting his Support for Israel
Dozens of students walked out of Duke University’s commencement ceremony on Sunday as some chanted “free Palestine” to protest its guest speaker, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who has supported Israel throughout the war in Gaza, according to a video posted on social media.

Figures in robes and caps, some waving Palestinian flags, were seen filing out of crowds of graduates assembled on the grass in the North Carolina University’s football stadium in the video posted on X. Reuters was able to verify the video’s date and location.

The video also showed several attendees leaving the viewing stands, including a person wearing a keffiyeh, an emblem of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

Others shouted “Jerry! Jerry!” as the actor received an honorary degree, and Seinfeld delivered his speech without major interruptions.

“A lot of you are thinking, ‘I can’t believe they invited this guy.’ Too late,” he said, after vowing to “defend” the concept of privilege.

“I say, use your privilege. I grew up a Jewish boy from New York. That is a privilege if you want to be a comedian,” he added.

Seinfeld visited Israel and has vocally supported it since Oct. 7 when terrorist group Hamas killed 1,200 people and abducted 252 others, of whom 133 are believed to remain in captivity in Gaza, according to Israeli tallies.

The UN and Eurovision: A tale of two votes on Israel
Israel, therefore, is beset by these two conflicting desires: to be loved and to be feared. Being loved is nice, but being feared is a prerequisite for survival.

Asked to choose between the two, the vast majority of Israelis will choose survival -- which is why the country backed and, for the most part, continues to back the war in Gaza despite the opprobrium hurled at it in the process.

Still, Israelis also yearn to be loved.

That desire was showcased in the nation’s reaction to Eden Golan’s moving performance at the Eurovision on Saturday night.

As Fraser Nelson wrote in the Spectator: “For those who want to understand European politics, more can be learned from Eurovision voting than in watching a year of European Parliament debates. It’s a scene of diplomatic drama, where hatchets are buried or battle lines drawn.”

Israelis followed the voting closely, using it as a gauge of whether the world -- or at least that part of the world that participates in Eurovision -- hates them as much as it seems.

It was then a pleasant surprise to wake up and see that if, indeed, Eurovision is a measure of a country’s popularity as much as a vote of approval or disapproval of a particular song, then Israel’s position is not as bad as we thought: Israel took fifth place in the contest out of 25 countries that performed in the finals Saturday night.

Moreover, at least for those looking for any silver lining in these troubled days,, had the voting been only dependent on audience approval -- not a jury of judges from each country -- then Israel would have finished in second place.

Not bad at all -- in fact, remarkable, considering all the controversy and background noise leading up to and during the contest: whether Israel should be allowed to participate, what words were acceptable in its song, the booing in the audience, the snubs by Golan’s fellow artists, and the protests in the streets. Israel's fifth-place Eurovision win

Second place among the audience votes and fifth overall, not too bad at all. There have only been ten times since Israel began participating in this contest in 1973 that an Israeli entry scored higher than Golan did Saturday night.

What does it mean? Perhaps, if Nelson is correct, that Israel’s overall standing in certain countries in Europe is not as bad as we think.

For instance, Israel scored the highest (12 points) among the audience in no less than 14 countries, including some countries whose governments are anything but friendly: such as Spain and Portugal. The audience in Britain gave Israel 12 points, while the jury of judges did not give it even a point.

How can we explain the inconsistency between what the people thought and how the judges voted? Some might say that the audience votes were the result of an organized campaign from the Jewish community and the foreign ministry to get people to vote.

Others might say that the respective juries, made up of members of the artistic world, are following the woke herd mentality when it comes to Israel.

It also could be the result of sympathy: people watching at home, hearing the boos in the audience, and having sympathy for the likable, 20-year-old Golan just trying to belt out a song. It could also be a way to express a dislike for anti-Israel protests taking place in the local streets, a way of saying: you may want to cancel Israel, but we don’t.
Nations' juries turned their backs on Eden Golan – but the public worldwide embraced her with love
Throughout all its stages, the Eurovision Song Contest has put the Israeli delegation through many hardships. Hostile looks, public shunning, massive anti-Israel protests, and even deliberate slumbering as a form of opposition and boycotts reminiscent of the American high school movie "Mean Girls" – these were just some of the challenges Eden Golan, the Israeli representative, had to overcome on her way to the stage in Malmö, Sweden.

Over the years, Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has faced its share of challenges in justifying its place. However, this year was particularly fraught – condemnation, exclusion, and even hatred reared their heads in an unprecedented manner, following the horrific events of Oct. 7 leading to a war in Gaza. From the moment Golan and the Israeli delegation set foot in Malmö, the dramas were relentless.

"United by music," goes Eurovision's slogan, while the representatives of Ireland, Portugal, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands (who was eventually disqualified), Greece, Sweden, and the list goes on - represented their countries with proud ignorance and malice.

Receiving cold treatment backstage was one thing, but a significant additional front also emerged in the audience. From the general rehearsals to the finals themselves, we heard the struggle between the boos and the cheers trying to rise above them. Amidst the beautiful, moving lyrics of "Hurricane," we heard the voices of those who see no justification for giving Israel a stage to tell its story.

Facing these challenges, Eden stood tall, steadfast, with a heart-piercing voice singing of Israeli pain and strength. We were all awed by her excellent performances one after the next throughout the entire competition, against a daily reminder – you are not welcome here. Israeli citizens united for moments of awe in front of the screen, watching Eden's performance, which often moved many of us to tears. In the second semi-final, we found out we shared this reaction with many more citizens – around the world.
Poise vs. bullying: a lesson learned at the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest
The toxic and childish behavior toward Golan did not gain any respect for the competition and, in hindsight, may have benefited Golan and the Israeli delegation. Song director Yoav Tzafir said that the behavior of some of the competitors and some in the audience resulted in Golan being viewed as the victim of abuse by the average viewer.

While the pro-Palestinian protesters brought politics and bullying into the musical event, Golan conducted herself impeccably with unending poise and therefore was much easier to identify with. President Issac Herzog was right to insist on Israel participating.

What is there to say about Ireland's representative Bambie Thug? A self-described queer, who uses the non-binary personal pronouns "they" and "them." They would have likely been thrown off a roof in Gaza, but that did not stop them from siding with Hamas and proclaiming that Israel's qualification to the finals made them cry. Those tears may have been appropriate when Golan scored more points than Ireland in the finals.

Switzerland's Nemo, also self-described as a non-binary artist, boycotted the rehearsal of the flag parade ahead of the finals in protest of Israel. They too had likely not heard of Hamas' opinion of men in skirts. Siding with the underdog has never been more ridiculous.

It is worth reminding the Spanish reporter, who shouted "free Palestine" at Golan during rehearsals, that fundamentalist Islam seeks a caliphate that would reconquer some of the countries that had been under Muslim rule in their distant past, Spain included.

The Eurovision Song Contest was a rare opportunity for the silent European majority to express its voice in the face of radical Islam and the antisemitic radical left that had gone too far. While contestants avoided taking their photo with Golan, fearing bullying online if those appeared, the public at home told the young Israeli singer that she was not alone.

Her pain was evident in her voice as she performed and was recognized as the pain of an entire nation that did not choose this war but was dragged into it. The viewers in 14 countries awarded Golan the full 12 points for her performance in the finals, more than any other country received.

Not everyone hates Israel. Not everyone is duped by the anti-Israel propaganda. Some see the calls for an intifada in Malmo and are shaken. Some Eurovision fans remember how well they were received in Tel Aviv and how similar it was to their liberal Western values. Some may have voted for Israel to make the point, and some were likely able to put politics aside and reward Golan's stellar performance.

Perhaps this expression of a silent majority would bring hope to Israel.
Eurovision Organizers ‘Disappointed’ Jury Member Improperly Withheld Points From Israel Due to Gaza War
Organizers of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest told The Algemeiner on Monday they were saddened to discover that one of the competition’s jury members knowingly violated rules of the contest by refusing to allocate points to Israeli singer Eden Golan because of his personal bias against Israel and its ongoing war targeting Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

“We have been made aware by our Norwegian Member NRK about the comments made by one of the jurors regarding their voting in the Eurovision Song Contest,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said in a statement. “We are disappointed if the juror in question disregarded the instructions that they confirm they had received as part of the Voting Rules of the Contest. The voting procedure is monitored in all countries and the EBU received a notarized result from NRK signed by each jury member confirming that they did vote according to the rules.”

The EBU did not address The Algemeiner‘s inquiry about disciplinary measures that might be taken against Norwegian jury member Daniel Owen for breaching rules of the competition.

Each participating member of the EBU has a national jury that votes in the Eurovision Song Contest. Jury members vote individually and are required to distribute points to Eurovision contestants based solely on their songs and performances in the competition. The final winner of the Eurovision Song Contest is chosen by combining jury votes and public votes, also called the audience’s televotes.

The Norwegian broadcaster NRK is a member of the EBU and, following the Eurovision 2024 Grand Final on Saturday, Owen said he was shocked and upset that the Norwegian jury awarded eight points in total to Israel. He admitted that he himself refused to give a single point to Golan, who ultimately finished in fifth place in the competition that took place this year in Malmo, Sweden.

“I was not involved in the allocation of points to Israel,” he said. “Although I was not involved in the awarding of points to Israel, I would like to apologize that this was shown from the Norwegian jury.”

Brendan O'Neill: Bambie Thug has exposed the rottenness of the new Ireland
We need to talk about the Irish upper classes’ hatred for Israel. It’s intense. Alongside Bambie crying because the Jewish State got to the final of a song contest – this isn’t normal, folks – we’ve also seen Irish politicians noisily denounce Israel and Irish sports teams refuse to shake the hands of Israeli sports teams. Well, you never know what you might catch. Ireland is considered one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe.

It wasn’t always this way. The Irish revolutionary Michael Collins was an inspiration to the Jewish liberators of Israel from the British Mandate, so much so that Stern Gang member and future Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, used the underground name ‘Michael’. Collins once hid from the Brits among Dublin’s Orthodox Jewish community. The great Irish Jew Robert Briscoe, purchaser of weapons for the IRA during the War of Independence of the 1920s, and later a Fianna Fáil TD, acted as an adviser to Menachem Begin, one of the leaders of the Jews’ own revolt against British rule, this time in the Middle East in the 1940s. It pains me that so many in modern Ireland are ignorant of the long history of solidarity between Irish rebels and Jewish rebels, of the tight moral links between the liberation of both Ireland and Israel from the British Empire. That the nation that birthed such moral heavyweights as Collins and Briscoe should now foist on the world a genderfluid witch who weeps because the Jewish State gets to sing a song in Malmö is beyond tragic. If all was in order, the Irish would have been cheering their sister in national liberation, Eden Golan, not libellously dissing her as a ‘genocidaire’.

The Irish elites’ distressing hostility to Israel, their turn against their former comrades in the 20th-century struggle against imperialism, reveals so much about contemporary culture. It isn’t Israel that’s changed – it’s Ireland. Ireland has abandoned the politics of liberation for the politics of victimhood, meaning it is now more concerned with ‘Palestinian pain’ than with Israel’s right to defend its hard-won nation from the new invaders. Ireland has ditched the virtues of nationhood for the vices of identitarianism, meaning it is more obsessed with signalling its correct-think pity for Palestine than with standing with Israel against the anti-Semitic armies that threaten its existence. Ireland has swapped rationalism for emotionalism, meaning it is more comfortable with ostentatiously shedding a tear for Gaza than with appreciating the dire geopolitical and moral threat that anti-Israel hysteria poses not only to Israel but to the West more broadly.

I took pride in the Ireland that inspired national-liberation movements everywhere from India to Vietnam to Israel. The Ireland that planted the seeds of global freedom. The Ireland that took the ideal of nationhood seriously. But this new Ireland that sends forth a tattooed witch to try to win brownie points from the onanistic virtue-signallers of Europe’s very online middle classes? I don’t recognise this country at all.

The Exodus Project: A Jewish Answer to the University Crisis
Throughout the 20th century, Jewish talent, energy, and ambition helped build many of the most important institutions of American life—in business, science, media, and the academy. And, going back to the American founding, the spirit of the Israelites shaped the very meaning of America as a land of exile from tyranny, as a nation devoted to religious freedom, and eventually as a great power that could proclaim and defend liberty throughout the world when it came under its greatest assault.

In their response to the current crisis, many Jewish leaders have focused on the imperative of Jewish safety and the defense of free speech. These are worthy aims, and no doubt young Jews will be safer and more respected in places like the University of Florida and SMU than at Columbia and Harvard. Yet these aims alone—safety and free inquiry—are far too limited if we take our high calling as American Jews seriously. The purpose of a great American university is not to let every ideology have free rein, however discredited by fact and history. The purpose of a great American university is the perpetuation of the best of our Judeo-Christian civilizational inheritance and the formation of young men and women who seek to preserve and renew our way of life. That leaves great room for free inquiry and civil disagreement, as we seek together to uncover the mysteries of the world and to make sense of the difficult challenges of living well within history. But free speech and free inquiry are not gods; and even in an academic culture that has succumbed to a perverse form of progressive thought-control, we should not allow our devotion to academic freedom to empower those who seek to destroy the very moral and political foundations of ordered liberty. The issue is not fear of evil speech or the need for safe spaces; it is contempt for evil itself—and the confidence that we, as Jews and as Americans, still know the difference between civilization and barbarism.

The current assault against the Jews is not driven by irrational prejudice. It is deeper and more purposeful. The Jews represent everything the enemies of American civilization seek to destroy: the moral code of the Hebrew Bible, which the anti-Jews seek to replace with woke secularism or radical Islam; the culture of meritocracy, which the anti-Jews seek to replace with the false justice of the new “diversity, equity, and inclusion” regime; and the belief in national sovereignty, which the anti-Zionists seek to destroy in the name of UN-style utopianism. As go the Jews, so goes the West. The radical activists and their academic apologists understand this deep civilizational truth—and so must we.

American Jews are a twice chosen people, chosen by God and chosen by history. If, as Jews and as Americans, we still believe that America matters for the fate of mankind—and that the fate of America itself now hangs in the balance—then we should commit ourselves to the project of American renewal. We should focus not simply on our safety in America but our responsibility for America. Are we up for the challenge? Shall the new exodus begin?
Trump Promises to ‘Immediately Deport’ Foreign Students Involved in Anti-Israel Protests
Former president Donald Trump, at a Sunday rally in Democratic-heavy New Jersey, promised to “immediately deport” foreign students who participate in anti-Israel protests amid recent chaotic campus demonstrations disrupting academia.

“When I’m president, we will not allow our colleges to be taken over by violent radicals,” he said. “If you come here from another country and try to bring jihadism or anti-Americanism or antisemitism to campuses, we will immediately deport you. You’ll be out of that school.” After protests erupted on college campuses in the weeks following Hamas’s brutal invasion of Israel on October 7, House Republicans sent a letter to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security demanding that foreign students who participated in rallies in support of Hamas be deported. “We are concerned by recent reports of demonstrations on U.S. soil, including student demonstrations, in support of Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, following the shocking terrorist attacks by Hamas on our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel. These demonstrations potentially involve student visa holders,” Representatives Jim Banks (R., Ind.) and Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.) wrote in a letter addressed to Secretaries Antony Blinken and Alejandro Mayorkas. The letter noted the many Students for Justice in Palestine chapters have issued statements praising Hamas terrorists as freedom fighters or martyrs and justifying their onslaught as necessary for the liberation of the Palestinian people.

Signed by more than a dozen House Republicans, the letter demanded that the State Department and DHS investigate whether non–immigrant visa holders “have been rendered ineligible as a result of ‘endorsing or espousing’ terrorist activity by Hamas?”

Many prominent GOP lawmakers have for months called for the expulsion of foreign students engaged in such inflammatory behavior. Senator Tom Cotton has urged for aliens on student visas who have endorsed or espoused terrorist activity to be deported.
While we mourn, others celebrate murders of Jews and Americans
Universities have been overtaken by murder and rape supporters, many of whom are on the payroll of these schools. They openly endorse Hamas and the destruction of the State of Israel and teach that to American youth. American Jewss are overwhelmed by messages of antisemitism and hate and are scared.

New York City is simply a mess. Crime is high and Jews feel unsafe, despite Mayor Adams giving nice speeches about the hostages, the reality is in New York City it is unsafe for Jews. Jews are beaten in the streets regularly and there’s no punishment due to no-bail laws. Ask nearly any NY Jew and they will tell you they are afraid. Israelis shouldn’t visit.

Pro-Hamas, Anti-American protests dominate the streets, they shut down highways at will and Jews are terrified. NYC public schools are a mess with daily complaints about antisemitism, and even the hostage posters one used to see all over Manhattan are no longer visible.

This must be what Europe was like in 1939. A scary, quiet silence.

In New York State, at Syracuse University which has among the largest population of Jewish students at any private university in this country, since October 7th, despite thousands of calls, emails and letters, the Chancellor has simply refused to engage with the Jewish community.

Just this week, after complaints about a convicted murderer in the encampment who daily threatens Zionists, this man who stomped someone to death and beat them with a gun was briefly arrested. SU administrators knew of the presence of this murderer on campus. After national media coverage, and after another leader of the Hamas encampment had been removed for praising Hitler, the felon was arrested.

This is the reality at many American universities.

Senator Hawley called for the National Guard at Syracuse University, “Now we’ve got convicted killers on the loose in these encampments. Jail the lawbreakers. Expel the students. Deport the illegals. Send in the Guard.” No word on if Hawley will have his way, but what we can say is since October 7th is that the Syracuse administration has turned a blind eye to antisemitism.

We echo the calls of Congresswoman Stefanik who said that SU leadership’s “pandering to self-proclaimed terrorists is more important than Syracuse students,” and Senator Blackburn who expressed outrage at Syracuse University and simultaneously called on “defunding colleges that peddle antisemitism and glorify acts of terrorism.”
The Quad: MUST SEE: Why I Quit Being a Jewish Anti-Israel Extremist
This week the Quad interview a former Jewish anti-Israel activist Ateret Violet Shmuel on why she hated Israel so much, what she believed about herself and other Jews and what made her decide to change directions. This is a MUST-SEE for anyone who wants to understand the current protests happening across the United States.

The Quad (Emily Schrader, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum , Vivian Bercovici , Ashira Solomon) are joined by Executive Director of Yeshiva University in Israel Stephanie Strauss to unpack the anti-Israel college protests that are threatening Jewish life on campus.

00:00 Intro
1:31 Rafah Operation
3:35 Campus protests - where is this coming from and what can be done about it?
12:46 Interview: Ateret Violet Shmuel
29:30 Scumbags and Heroes

Seth Mandel: The Insane Anti-Jewish Literary Blacklist
We also have Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of, among others, Daisy Jones and the Six, the novel that was recently adapted into a limited series by Amazon Prime, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, adapted by Netflix. If you follow the evidentiary link to Reid’s transgression, you will find that she posted a screenshot of the father of Noa Argamani, a young woman taken hostage on Oct. 7 while attending an Israeli music festival, saying “I want there to be peace, but I also want my daughter to return.”

I know, I know. Monster.

I should point out that even if the explanations for these blacklistings weren’t galactically stupid, they would still be bigoted and McCarthyite. I don’t know if someone who expresses sympathy for a kidnapped woman is necessarily a Zionist, but as Zionism is merely the realization of equal Jewish rights to self-determination, this blacklist is really about excommunicating Jews and Jew-friendly writers.

J.K. Rowling is on this list as a Yes; George R.R. Martin as an Unclear. Perhaps my favorite is Salman Rushdie listed as an Unclear with the explanation that although he participated in a charity for Palestinians in Gaza, he also spoke at an event hosted by the free-speech group PEN America—which has become a bogeyman of the progressive pro-Hamas crowd because it won’t exclude Jews from its organization. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything more ridiculous than a bunch of pro-Hamas activists demanding Salman Rushdie join their boycott of Jews.

One author is on here because he “doesnt believe in boycotting.” Another because her book is being published by a subsidiary of Disney, and Disney is apparently too pro-Jewish for this list. (Old Walt surely turning in his grave!) Gabrielle Zevin is on the list because she—I kid you not—spoke at a Hadassah meeting once. Her other crime is putting an Israeli character in her last book.

You get the point. According to a Wikipedia summary of thought criminal Pierce Brown’s Red Rising, two of the main characters are imprisoned and brutalized for singing a forbidden folk song. I don’t know whether Brown considers himself a Zionist, but the participants in this blacklist could probably learn a thing or two from reading his books.
Andrew Pessin: When Professors Go Full Frontal Antisemite
On May 2, 2024, a large group of Connecticut College faculty and staff published a “Statement of Solidarity With Student Protestors,” supporting the campus-rule-breaking and often illegal pro-Hamas encampments swallowing up well over 100 campuses that had recently (and finally) begun getting cleared. The statement was shocking in numerous respects, not least in its casually accusing Israel, and Jews by association, of being guilty of “Jewish supremacy.” I pleaded with the faculty beforehand, as they were circulating it for signatures, to desist, for several reasons, but they chose to move forward. They acquired some 90 signatures, mostly faculty, constituting close to half of the faculty at the college. Once it was posted I was the only faculty member to openly voice my objection, in an open letter to Connecticut College students published in the school newspaper. I share that letter here. There were several follow up incidents that I will document over the next week or so.

Dear Conn College students,
It is a sad day when some 90 Conn College faculty members can publicly sign a statement accusing Jews of “Jewish supremacy”; Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels would be proud to see his trope so widely adopted. What’s next? Deciding that the Nazis were right after all in pursuing the Holocaust?

Never mind that the one sliver of a Jewish state (32 of which would fit inside Texas!) and its 7 million Jews is massively dwarfed by the 460 million Arabs in 20-plus Arab states and the 2 billion Muslims in the 50-plus Muslim states, most of which actively seek to destroy the one tiny Jewish state in the name of Muslim Arab supremacy (read Hamas’s (never renounced) charter!); and that this tiny state is currently under active attack from Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and of course nuclear-approaching Iran. And lest you think that those actors attack Israel in the name of “human rights,” consider that not one of them provides human rights even to its own citizens. As protestors cheered the recent Houthi attacks, the Houthis announced they were crucifying gay men; at least Iran only publicly hangs their gays. Yet somehow the Jews and their little state are the problem.

It is also sad, even tragic, that such educated people can proffer such absolutely terrible advice. But happily we do have some dissenting opinions here, if only as small a minority as the Jews themselves are, perhaps to help you figure out, of course, your own thoughts on the matter.

In general I believe it is inappropriate for a mob of faculty to promote their opinions to you this way. There is a bullying process that goes into acquiring signatures that is inconducive to free and open inquiry. This document may also make some of you uncomfortable, and feel unsafe in the classrooms of those who signed it. Are these professors looking at their Jewish students, thinking about those Jews and their evil Jewish supremacy? How could you object to or protest this statement, and expect to prosper in that professor’s class, under the threat of the professor’s grade? For that reason alone I register my objection to it. (I only share my opinion here in response, having failed to persuade my colleagues to desist from their disgraceful action and unable to let it go uncontested.)
How universities created the modern pro-Palestine activist
As the situation grew ever more volatile — and, in some places, violent — university presidents attempted to restore order through negotiation, the threat of expulsion and finally the police. For the most part, long-standing university rules, and even the principles of free speech, entitled them to take these actions; but since they had for so long established the norm that students can break rules and occupy university buildings at will, many pro-Palestinian protestors understandably perceived this as heavy-handed and hypocritical.

One of the many problems with straying from principle when times are calm is that you have nothing to fall back on in times of crisis. Since October 7, universities have achieved the seemingly impossible: giving both Jewish and pro-Palestinian students reason to feel that they have been treated unfairly. Over the past months, Jewish students understandably felt abandoned because they alone had to endure hate speech targeted at their group without administrative intervention. Now, pro-Palestinian protestors feel unfairly targeted because, in a breach of recent precedent, their encampments have, in some instances, been broken up by the police.

To avoid similar omnishambles in the future, universities should publicly commit themselves to upholding both free speech and public order. But it’s probably too late for principle to save them from their current troubles. For now, they’re condemned to look like hypocrites whatever they do — because, due to the failures of the past few years, they are.

With the Israeli military advancing in Rafah, the protests may grow in size and become more unruly in the coming days and weeks. And yet, it seems unlikely they will last forever. That’s partially because university leaders have grown surprisingly willing to call upon the police to end illegal encampments. But it’s mostly because, in a few weeks, the academic year will end at many universities — and most student activists don’t want to cancel the exciting trips they have planned or to forgo prestigious summer internships.

This year will most likely not turn into a rerun of 1968. But, at least in the US, there may turn out to be one important parallel. At the end of that tumultuous year, Richard Nixon, promising to put an end to the disorder in the country, beat Hubert Humphrey in the presidential elections. At the end of this year, Donald Trump, taking a page out of Nixon’s playbook, may just succeed in repeating the same feat.
Israel Protests After Yemeni Nobel Laureate Denounces Gaza Offensive at Vatican
Israel‘s Embassy to the Holy See issued a protest on Monday after a Yemeni Nobel Prize winner accused Israel of “genocide” in Gaza during an event hosted by the Vatican.

The embassy said it felt “indignation and shock” over the comments from rights activist Tawakkol Karman made on Saturday evening during a conference organized by the Fratelli Tutti Foundation created by Pope Francis.

Karman, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her role in the Arab Spring protests, told an audience in the atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica: “The world is silent in front of the genocide and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

In an open letter posted on X/Twitter on Monday, the Israeli embassy rejected Karman’s accusations as “lies.”

“The site was contaminated by a flagrantly antisemitic speech,” it said.

“We regret that such a speech was pronounced without anyone feeling the moral duty to intervene to stop this disgrace,” it added.

After mentioning Gaza, Karman got a loud round of applause from the audience which was made up of fellow Nobel prize laureates, politicians, and church officials. The pope himself was not present.
Why don’t pro-Palestinian protesters actually go to the Palestinian territories?
As brave and dedicated as the socialists and communists engaged in these protests believe they are, not one of them seems to have enough bravery, courage, or guts to do actual fighting in the location where it is arguably needed and where it would matter the most — in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Being hippies and putting up tents on college campuses in a country thousands of miles away does absolutely nothing to help them in the war with Israel.

But let’s be honest. The protesters and agitators are nothing more than bullies. They don’t have the true courage to do something like that. Instead, what they really want is to be spoiled, petulant brats and cause chaos, destruction, and disruption in the United States, a country of vast wealth, privilege, and freedom, where they know it is unlikely they will suffer any serious injury or consequence for their “resistance.”

In 1944, American men would lie about their ages so they could fight for their country in World War II. In 2024, American men paint their nails, find safe spaces, feign outrage and anger, and pitch tents on college campuses from the comfortably confined protection of the laws of the U.S.

They are not serious people. They are attention-starved miscreants searching for purpose in their miserable lives. No one should take any of them seriously or acknowledge their so-called demands.

They’re not heroes. They’re gutless cowards and bullies hiding behind the safety of the laws and protections in the Constitution.
NYC Schools Chief: ‘Qataris Write the Check’
The Brooklyn teacher who put an anti-Israel map in her classroom bought it in Jerusalem with her own money, the NYC schools chief told members of Congress last week.

“That’s what she told us,” chancellor David C. Banks testified at a hearing into antisemitism in public schools Wednesday. “It was not part of the resources that came from the Qatari foundation.”

The Free Press first reported that the Qatar Foundation International (QFI) has pumped more than $1 million into the NYC Department of Education from 2019 to 2022, including at Brooklyn’s PS 261, where the organization funded an Arab Culture Arts program taught by Rita Lahoud. Lahoud posted a map of the Middle East that replaced Israel with “Palestine,” and in April 2023, a QFI rep tweeted a photo of the map with the caption, “We love seeing #Arabic classroom decorations!” After The Free Press broke the story, a DOE spokesperson said the map had been taken down. A feature about Lahoud’s work—which used to appear on QFI’s website—has since been deleted.

QFI is the American wing of the Qatar Foundation, a nonprofit owned by the ruling family of the wealthy Arab state, which has harbored leaders of the terrorist group Hamas.

But “that map was not the result of the Qatar Foundation,” insisted Banks at the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. “That individual teacher bought that map on her own with her own resources when she was in Jerusalem.” Lahoud, who still works at PS 261, did not reply to a Free Press request for comment.

Banks added, “That foundation has had no impact—they write the check—they’ve had no impact on the curriculum that’s been developed and how it’s been implemented.”

When an incredulous Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) asked him if “other countries donate significant sums to New York City Public Schools,” Banks replied, “I would have to get back to you on that.” A spokesperson for the DOE later told The Free Press the department had also accepted a $16,000 donation from the Korean Consulate and $257,000 from the Italian American Committee on Education, which is connected to the Italian government.
NYC Public Schools Chancellor Told Congress He Takes Anti-Semitism Seriously—Weeks After He Held an Event With a Prominent Anti-Semite
The head of the New York City public school system testified to Congress that he recognizes the "urgency of addressing" and "rooting out" anti-Semitism. Just weeks prior, he held an event alongside an anti-Semitic Democratic fundraiser who has promoted Holocaust denial and runs a pro-Hamas Facebook group.

Chancellor David Banks testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday to address the New York City public school system's response to rising anti-Semitism. He told the committee that his schools are "focused" on being a "candle in the darkness" in the fight against Jew hatred.

"At New York City Public Schools, we are focused on our charge to fight hate and foster inclusion through safety, engagement, and education," Banks said. "We’re working hard and we have a long way to go. There’s always more to do. I hope in New York we can be a candle in the darkness."

Less than a month before, on April 11, Banks and New York elected officials held an Arab American Heritage celebration which featured anti-Semitic Democratic fundraiser Maher Abdel-qader, who has promoted Holocaust denial and online content that describes Jews as "Satanic." Banks posed for a photo with Abdel-qader, who also is the founder and administrator of a Facebook group called "Palestinian American Congress" where members have posted anti-Semitic content and cheered Hamas terrorists.

In 2018, Abdel-qader shared a video that said Ashkenazi Jews are "not true Jews," accused Israeli Jews of "identity theft," and cast doubt on the validity of the Holocaust. "The Jews in Israel are not true Jews, they are Khazars Ashkenazi Jews, identity theft," the video said alongside a photo of a Jewish man wearing a ski mask to cover his face. "Research the truth about the Holocaust, and you’ll definitely start to question what you thought you knew," the video’s narrator says. In another post, Abdel-qader compared Israel to ISIS and accused the Jewish state of running "concentration camps."

In a 2017 post that echoed an anti-Semitic trope of Jews controlling the government, Abdel-qader claimed Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) was a "foreign agent."

"Our US Congress is full of ass-kissing Israeli defenders. A few of them are actually unregistered foreign agents. Ben Cardin is one of them. He is convincing the rest of the lowlifes in Congress to throw away our rights to free speech, and kowtow to the illegal so-called 'state' of 'Israel,'" Abdel-qader said.

In the days after Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel, members of Abdel-qader's Facebook group cheered the terrorist group's fighters.

An Oct. 12, 2024, post in Abdel-qader’s Facebook group read, "We don't want to throw you in the sea ... we want you to ride it back from where you came," accompanied by a photo of a Hamas terrorist with an elderly Israeli hostage. Another post commended the "achievements" of "resistance" fighters after they killed Israeli soldiers.

Columbia students wear zip-ties, carry Palestinian signs at graduation
Columbia University graduates wore zip-tie handcuffs and held pro-Palestinian signs, and one even tore the symbolic diploma immediately as she received it on Friday during the school’s commencement ceremonies.

In a video of the event, protesting students from the Columbia School of Social Work can be seen marching across the stage wearing keffiyehs around their shoulders and other forms of protest.

Tarsis Salome, a Columbia social work graduate, tore a symbolic diploma to shreds after crossing the stage to accept it. She wore a keffiyeh and held her zip-tied hands above her head. (Schools tend to hand students symbolic diplomas at commencement ceremonies and mail the real thing later on.)

Students cheered as she tore the materials.

Veda Kamra and Hilary Margaret Elizabeth Ludlow, also wearing keffiyehs, were similarly hailed by the audience as they held “Free Palestine” signs with zip-tied hands.

Maliha Fairooz, wearing a hijab, appeared to have the name of a Hamas leader—Mazen Jamal Al-Natsheh—written across her cap, The New York Post reported. She also had her hands zip-tied.

Columbia canceled its university-wide commencement at its Morningside Heights campus. That ceremony is normally attended by 50,000. The university is holding smaller, college-wide ceremonies instead due to security issues.

The Guardian Turns ‘Zionism’ Into a Dirty Word in One-Sided Hit Piece
How do you turn 2,000 years of Jewish longing for a return to Zion into an insult and a slur?

By mainstreaming extreme voices, distorting history, and placing the entire onus for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict solely on the shoulders of the Jewish state.

This is exactly what The Guardian did in its recently published piece, “How ‘Zionist’ became a slur on the US left.”

While this piece aims to analyze the use of the term “Zionist” as a slur by those on the far left of the political spectrum in general, and those taking part in the anti-Israel encampments at universities in particular, it is not a balanced and nuanced take on the subject, simply uncritically echoing the distortions and manipulations of those opposed to the movement for Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish peoples’ historical homeland.

Amplifying Anti-Zionists, Shunning Zionist Voices
For a piece aiming to answer such a thorny question, one would expect The Guardian to interview people with various viewpoints, including those who subscribe to traditional Zionism and those who oppose the Zionist movement.

However, aside from two brief references to a recent statement by Zionists at Columbia University and a quote by Bret Stephens on why he is a Zionist, this entire piece is filled with analyses and observations by those who are fully entrenched in the anti-Zionist camp.

While it is understandable that The Guardian quotes at length a representative for Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Simone Zimmerman, one of the founders of IfNotNow, in a piece about anti-Zionist student activists, the only two individuals interviewed are Peter Beinart and UCLA professor Saree Makdisi.

In typical Guardian fashion, Beinart’s fringe views are held up as evidence of supposed contradiction at the heart of liberal Zionism while Makdisi is used to add context to the ongoing debates about Zionism on university campuses.

Aside from the fact that Saree Makdisi’s academic background is in literature and not Zionist philosophy, he is known for extreme anti-Israel views. As HonestReporting noted in 2016, he has a long history of questioning the Jewish state’s right to exist, spreading libels about Israel and the IDF, and demeaning those who express concerns about the extremes of anti-Israel activism.
Media Ignore Quietly-Revised UN Figures of Hamas-Reported Civilian Deaths
The claim that the vast majority of casualties (approximately 70%) are women and children has been reported widely by the international media, which cite the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry as their source while frequently failing to mention that it’s run by Hamas.

This week, as Hamas reported that the death toll in Gaza is nearing 35,000 people, news outlets once again cited this figure in stories, while adding that most of those killed were women and children.

The UK’s Daily Mirror, for example, reported that since October 7, “around 35,000 people have been massacred in Palestine, with 70% of them being women and children.”

Aside from the grossly inflammatory use of the word “massacred” in a news story (which the Mirror later amended as per our request), the inaccurate 70% statistic also implies a trigger-happy Israeli military that is cavalier about Palestinian civilian deaths.

Similarly, in a May 12 piece about anti-Israel campus protests, the UK’s Independent reported that the “war has killed nearly 35,000 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants.”

Reuters published a piece on May 13 that described how Israel’s “bombardment” of the Strip had “laid waste to the coastal enclave and caused a deep humanitarian crisis,” adding that the death toll has now surpassed “35,000 Palestinians.”

The Washington Post reported on May 10 that nearly 35,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, “which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants but says the majority of the dead are women and children.” The article also noted that Israel has reported 13,000 “fighters” killed but has “not provided supporting evidence” for this claim, a striking reminder of the selective scrutiny applied by the media.

Meanwhile, NBC News included the context-free statement in a May 12 piece that “Gaza’s health ministry said Sunday more than 35,000 people had been killed since Oct. 7, most of them women and children.”

MEMRI: Palestinian Columnist In Qatari Daily: We Do Not Want A Ceasefire But Ongoing War; October 7 Put The Palestinian Cause Back On The World's Agenda
In his May 12, 2024 column in the Qatari daily Al-Watan, titled "Palestine Is a State, Let's Continue the Resistance", Palestinian journalist Samir Al-Barghouti wrote that the October 7 attack on Israel increased global awareness of the Palestinian cause, as evident from the May 10, 2024 U.N. General Assembly resolution that upgraded Palestine's status in this body and recommended that the Security Council consider granting it full U.N. membership. Al-Barghouti called to continue the resistance "even if Palestine sacrifices millions of martyrs and wounded," and added: " We do not want a ceasefire, we want ongoing war," because "the enemy understands only a language of force."

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[1]
"For over 76 years now, the decision to found a Palestinian state has been delayed in order to appease the Zionist state… The nations never managed to establish the Palestinian state on the territories specified in Britain's White Paper, which assigned to the Jewish state the areas of Nazareth, Safad and northern Palestine, up to Ras Naqoura, as well as the settlement of Tel Aviv and a safe passage to the Al-Buraq Wall [i.e., the Western Wall in Jerusalem]. To the Arabs it assigned [the region] from Acre to Rafah and to Umm Rashrash [i.e., Eilat], as well as the West Bank.[2]

"After hatching plots, the Zionist gangs usurped the areas that had been assigned to the Arabs along the coast, as well as the Negev and Eilat, and Western Jerusalem. In 1967 the rest of Palestine was stolen, along with Egypt's Sinai and the Syrian Golan.

"From 1967, the year of the Naksa ['the setback,' referring to the Arab countries' defeat in the 1967 war with Israel] until October 2023, there was resistance and battles, alongside protest, stagnation and calm that almost caused Palestine to be forgotten. But the events of October 7 [i.e., Hamas' terror attack] and the events that followed them [i.e., the war in Gaza] put Palestine back on the agenda. Although the U.S. vetoed [an April 18, 2024 Security Council resolution that would have made Palestine a full member of the U.N.], the free world did not refrain from crying out 'long live Palestine,' and [on May 10] the U.N. passed a resolution in favor of a Palestine state – and this is thanks to the resistance.

"O heroes of the resistance in Gaza, thank you. You showed the whole world how honor takes precedence to life, how faith stands fast in the face of weapons, how blood triumphs over pain and how the free believer stands tall in the face of the bullet. You proved with your resistance that peoples who surrender have never been safe and have no future, whereas peoples who fight for their freedom and honor will surely achieve their destination someday...

"O people of Gaza, history has never seen a people braver than you, more patient than you [in the pursuit of] the truth, or more generous in sacrificing for the sake of Allah. O our people in Gaza, despite the martyrs and wounded, you are the springboard of the hoped-for national future of the Arabs and Muslims… No matter how deep the wound, we will continue to resist, because this enemy understands only the language of force. Even if Palestine sacrifices millions of martyrs and wounded, we will continue to resist. We do not want a ceasefire, we want ongoing war. Victory is at hand… "

PMW: As Israel celebrates Independence Day, the PA seeks “Palestine from the river to the sea”
While Israel marks its 76th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day tomorrow, the Palestinian Authority and its ruling party Fatah still do not recognize Israel’s existence and deny Israel's right to exist in any borders. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas reiterated this fundamental of PA ideology last year when he said that “there is no Israeli independence” and that Israel’s statehood is “a big lie”:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “The independence of the State of Israel...When Israel says that it is celebrating its Independence Day – what regime did it receive independence from? Who is the one who occupied the State of Israel, such that it is celebrating the fact that it got rid of this occupation? This is a big lie, a big lie. Time passed, the Palestinian revolution arose... The Palestinian narrative is being spread now everywhere in the world. We want to make it clear and to use it to debunk the colonialist Western Zionist narrative, which has been disseminated amid lies, hypocrisy, and deception...and to say that this is the Palestinian people, the Nakba exists, and there is no [Israeli] independence.”

[Official PA TV, YouTube channel, Oct. 3, 2023]

Just three days ago, a preacher on official PA TV repeated the PA’s vision for the future when he taught Palestinians that it is their “duty to fight” Israel and that “Allah willing Palestine will return free, from its [Mediterranean] Sea to its [Jordan] River”:
Preacher on PA TV: "It is our duty to fight, confront, and carry out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict) in this land as much as we can. It is our duty to reject all the expressions of settlement, colonialism, and occupation. There will be processions and demonstrations against this occupation (i.e., Israel), on the anniversary of the Nakba (i.e.,“the catastrophe,”Palestinian term for the establishment of the Stateof Israel)... we reject all the expressions of the occupation, and Allah willing Palestine will return free, from its [Mediterranean] Sea to its [Jordan] River.”

[Official PA TV, May 10, 2024]

One of the tools used by the PA to communicate this message to children and the population in general is by only using maps of “Palestine” that erase the entire State of Israel. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA/Fatah–via Fatah’s children’s magazine Waed, teach Palestinian children to envision and work for Israel’s destruction.

For example, Fatah presented its children this map of “Palestine” including the English text “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free,” in its children’s magazine:

Would you send your child to an UNRWA summer camp?
For the past 15 years, as a community organizer turned investigative reporter, I have held the unique position of running the sole agency which documents UNRWA summer camps . Assisted by three Arab journalists and three Jewish journalists with a deep understanding of Arab culture, my task has been to share the unsettling realities witnessed since I first covered UNRWA in 1987.

Each summer, the UNRWA camps engage in simulations depicting the violence they believe is necessary for claiming and "returning to Palestine." The so-called “fun games” revolve around preparing for the perceived war to "liberate Palestine".

Shockingly, children at UNRWA summer camps practice activities such as kidnapping soldiers, burning IDF vehicles, and handling short-lived weapons.

Having now prepared a compilation of UNRWA summer camp footage, we will present it to the Knesset and the embassies of countries that donate to the $1.6 billion UNRWA budget.

It is disturbing to witness the simulation games the children learned at these camps which now seem all too real, especially given the events of October 7, when thousands of incited Arab youngsters invaded the Negev.

While most journalists find joy in their achievements, my scoop brings little pleasure. The evidence points to UNRWA directing the war, with Hamas acting as the agent. The films and footage captured at UNRWA summer camps will serve as a valuable resource for generations of investigators examining the events of October 7 that caught the world by surprise.
Gazans lived in a police state with constant surveillance and harassment before October 7
Hamas keeps records of anyone who questions its authority and relies on a network of informants to assist its surveillance operation according to new internal documents.

According to Hamas files and intelligence officials, terror leader Yahya Sinwar led a secret police force in Gaza that stalked young people, journalists, and dissidents, and manipulated online discussions. The force surveilled and built files on Palestinians who questioned the Hamas government, according to new evidence seized by Israel’s military in Gaza.

The New York Times has seen a 62-slide presentation on the activities of the General Security Service, which was allegedly prepared for Sinwar and delivered weeks before October 7. The presentation reveals how the unit penetrated every aspect of the lives of ordinary Palestinians.

According to the files, a vast network of informants in Gaza reported dissidents to the secret force, some even reported their neighbours.

Public criticism of Hamas or conducting a romantic relationship outside marriage could land a Gazan in a security file, according to The New York Times.

Those suspected of immoral behaviour or political protest were followed by security officials. Agents had criticism of Hamas removed from social media and viewed political protest as a threat that must be defeated.

Comparable to the tactics of security services in Syria, the unit uses censorship, intimidation and surveillance to quell dissent.

“This General Security Service is just like the Stasi of East Germany,” Michael Milshtein, a former Israeli military intelligence officer specializing in Palestinian affairs, told The New York Times. “You always have an eye on the street.”

Israeli military intelligence said it was aware of files of around 10,000 Palestinian citizens in Gaza who had been surveilled by the secret force.

Palestinian reporter Ehab Fasfous is named by The New York Times as one of the journalists who appeared in the files. The General Security Service labelled him among “the major haters of the Hamas movement”.

Fasfous told The New York Times, “We’re facing bombardment by the occupation and thuggery by the local authorities.”

The journalist told The New York Times that Hamas officers from the unit hacked into his phone and sent “flirtatious messages” to a colleague: “They wanted to pin a moral violation on me,” he said.

Iranian lawmaker: We might already have a nuclear bomb
Iran might already possess a nuclear bomb, a lawmaker close to the regime said over the weekend, amid public threats by officials in Tehran to weaponize the country’s atomic program, Iran International reported.

Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani, who has served in government in various capacities since the early 1980s and now represents a district close to the Natanz nuclear facility, told the state-run Rouydad24 outlet that Tehran took the risk of attacking Israel in April due to Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons.

“In my opinion, we have achieved nuclear weapons, but we do not announce it. It means our policy is to possess nuclear bombs, but our declared policy is currently within the framework of the JCPOA [the 2015 nuclear deal],” he said.

“The reason is that when countries want to confront others, their capabilities must be compatible, and Iran’s compatibility with America and Israel means that Iran must have nuclear weapons,” Ardestani said.

“In a climate where Russia has attacked Ukraine and Israel has attacked Gaza, and Iran is a staunch supporter of the ‘Resistance Front,’ it is natural for the containment system to require that Iran possess nuclear bombs. However, whether Iran declares it is another matter,” said the politician.

Iran International described Ardestani as a “trusted regime figure,” in part because the conservative lawmaker was allowed to participate and win in the tightly orchestrated March parliamentary elections.

Ardestani was a close ally of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and previously served a four-year term as a supporter of the former president.

On Thursday, an adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic will build a bomb if Israel “threatens its existence.”

“If the Zionist regime [Israel] dares to damage Iran’s nuclear facilities, our level of deterrence will be different. We have no decision to produce a nuclear bomb, but if the existence of Iran is threatened, we will have to change our nuclear doctrine,” Kamal Kharrazi told a local media outlet.

North Carolina House passes ‘Shalom Act’ to codify IHRA definition
In a 105-4 vote, the North Carolina House passed House Bill 942, known as the “Shalom Act,” which would make the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism the state’s guidelines in assessing hate crimes.

The legislation’s sponsor, House Speaker Tim Moore, said in a statement on May 8 following the vote: “I am encouraged by the bipartisan support the bill received today in the House.”

During a press conference before the vote, Moore said, “while I believe roughly 2% of our population is Jewish, we have seen an inordinate amount of antisemitism—behavior, attacks, vandalism, you name it, physical assaults—and enough is enough.”

After an affirmative vote in the state Senate, the bill will require the signature of Gov. Roy Cooper.

“While we as Americans have the right to free speech, hate of any kind has no place in our communities. We cannot address antisemitism if we cannot define it,” said bill co-sponsor Rep. Erin Paré.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Altman of Jacksonville, N.C., described how many people seem to misunderstand the recent surge of antisemitism nationwide. “This is probably going to be the most controversial thing I could say,” Altman said. “I don’t think it’s rising; I think it’s coming out of the closet. I don’t think it’s new.”
Macron party candidate says she was tricked into ‘neo-Nazi’ group photo
The lead candidate for French President Emmanuel Macron’s party in upcoming European elections said she was tricked into taking a photo with members of a “neo-Nazi group.”

“On Sunday, I was approached by men asking me for a photo. On principle, I don’t usually refuse, and I accepted as I do every time,” Valerie Hayer, heading the Renaissance party list, wrote on X.

Prominently visible alongside a smiling Hayer in the photo is one of the men’s T-shirts, whose logo aping the North Face outdoor brand reads “The White Race,” and in smaller text “Save European Identity.”

“This was a trap set up for me by activists from a neo-Nazi group,” Hayer said.

She added that the men — whose faces were blurred out in the photo circulated on messaging service Telegram — had used “shameful methods of the far right, which I fight against with all my might.”

Hayer said she had “not had time to notice the racist slogans on their clothing.”

Despite war, Israeli universities rise in global rankings, Hebrew University placed highest
Although pro-Hamas presidents, professors, and students at universities throughout the US, Europe, and elsewhere are bashing Israel for political reasons, Israeli universities are nevertheless flourishing academically and in their research activities.

Five out of nine Israeli universities have improved in this year’s rankings, while the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) has come out ahead of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. The rankings were determined in the 2024 edition of the Global 2000 list by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), which is based in the United Arab Emirates.

Harvard University in Boston, which has been – along with Columbia University in New York – the scene of the most vicious antisemitic and anti-Israel demonstrations, leads the list globally, while 95% of Chinese universities have risen on the back of heavy investment in research and development in that country.

The spokespersons of all nine Israeli research universities declined to comment when asked by The Jerusalem Post.

Overall, said CWUR, Israel is increasing its competitiveness in higher education on the global stage, with five institutions moving up from last year, one maintaining its spot, and three falling in the standings. Nevertheless, the threats to boycott Israeli academics have cast a shadow on them because joint research and the granting of funds for research are the lifeblood of academia, and if they follow through on their threats, it will hurt Israeli universities and medical centers.

On Memorial Day, Israeli leaders promise brighter future
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Monday that the Israel Defense Forces would “keep going until the end” to defeat Hamas, as the Jewish state marked its first Memorial Day since the Oct. 7 massacre.

“Pain is everywhere, but so is light. A fighter whose two legs were amputated told me: ‘It is important for us to know that we are going to defeat them,’ not to give up…keep going until the end, until victory,” said Netanyahu at the ceremony on Mount Herzl.

“This is a faithful and refined representation of the spirit of our fallen heroes—faith in the rightness of the struggle and adherence to victory. As Sarit Zussman, the mother of the fallen soldier in Gaza, said, our story will have a happy ending,” he added.

War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz addressed bereaved families in Rosh Ha’ayin, promising that the destroyed or abandoned towns in northern Israel and the northwestern Negev would return to life.

“We will return to Be’eri and Metula strong. We will return to quieter and better days. We will return to see our hostages, for whose safety we all pray, and we are committed to working to return them even at very painful prices,” he said.

Since the outbreak of the war on Oct. 7, daily rocket fire from Hezbollah has cleared out the northern towns such as Metula—leaving tens of thousands of Israelis living in hotels or temporary homes until it is safe to return.

“As great as the disaster was, so is the greatness of Israeli determination, that our enemies did not know,” added Gantz.

Memorial Day began on Sunday evening at 8 p.m., with ceremonies taking place at sites across the country, including at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Monday commemorations at Israel’s 53 military cemeteries and memorial sites throughout the country began at 11 a.m.
Call Me Back - with Dan Senor: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
At 8:00 pm tonight in Israel, the siren will sound across Israel to mark the commencement of Israel’s Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism). This is the day that Israelis, as a nation, honor the fallen from Israel’s military and those casualties from its wars and victims of terror attacks.

Since last Memorial Day, 1594 Israelis have been killed. Out of those, 834 are civilians murdered in terror attacks, 822 of them since 10/07 (this is out of a total 4,070 who have been killed from terrorism since the Jewish State was founded). We will have more to say about Israel’s Memorial Day and its Independence Day in the days ahead.

As it relates to the war Israel is fighting today, this morning I spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about a number of issues, including the coming operation in Rafah, the necessity for continued IDF operations in other parts of Gaza that the IDF had previously cleared, what makes this war so different, whether the Prime Minister is thinking seriously about the ‘day after‘ in Gaza and the contours of a Day After Plan for Gaza, how the Prime Minister is approaching the hostage negotiations, and whether exile for Hamas’s leaders (including Sinwar) could be part of a final deal to get the hostages home.
Chaos at ceremonies: Mourners confront government members during speeches
Family members of hostages and Israelis confronted ministers who represented Israel's government at Remembrance Day ceremonies around the country Monday morning.

Among other incidents, a fight broke out between mourners during National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir's speech at the military cemetery in Ashdod after some protested his speech, Israeli media reported. Mourners interrupt Netanyahu's speech

Mourners yelled out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he spoke at a ceremony on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl, and one man flew an Israeli flag that said "7.10" on it as he spoke.

Einav Zangauker, mother of the hostage Matan Zangauker, who is still being held in Hamas captivity, confronted Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, asking him to save those hostages who are still alive, Kan reported.

Smotrich responded, "We are committed to bringing [the hostages] back, and we are acting to do so."

Chanting "shame" during memorial speech
Mourners interrupted Construction and Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf's speech in Rehovot chanting "shame," Health Minister Uriel Busso was confronted as he spoke at a military cemetary in Petach Tikva.

A man, who identified himself as a bereaved brother, yelled at Busso that there were "132 hostages in Gaza and soldiers you are abandoning in Gaza," as others in the crowd yelled at him that it was not the place to protest.

"How are you not ashamed?" he yelled as soldiers escorted him out of the ceremony. "You have come here to cause division and hate on this holy day."
'We must find the courage to choose life; we shall not rest until they all return home'
Memorial Day events Sunday with a heart-wrenching siren echoing across the country. Millions of Israeli citizens stopped in their tracks and bowed their heads in remembrance of the fallen who sacrificed their lives defending the land.

The official state ceremony opening the memorial day events took place at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, attended by President Isaac Herzog who took the podium with a torn shirt, saying it represented a "tear in the heart of the State of Israel." IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi spoke of the heavy responsibility placed on commanders, saying "I bow my head to the memory of the civilians we failed to save." Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and families of fallen soldiers and victims of hostilities also took part.

In his speech at the Western Wall plaza, Herzog addressed the bereaved families: "This year, in addition to the siren commemorating our fallen since the rebirth of the state, a new siren began at 6:29 AM on the morning of the terrible October 7 national tragedy during Simchat Torah. It is a siren that continues, long and piercing – a cry of a nation in national mourning."

He spoke of the "bleeding tear in the heart of the people" and called on all to unite as one people in the spirit of revival symbolized by the memory of the fallen. Herzog mentioned soldiers like Lt. Col. Yonatan Steinberg and Lt. Col. Roi Levy who "led from the front" before falling in battle.

The president vowed that Israel would never forsake its captured civilians and soldiers, saying "We must find the courage to choose life. We shall not rest until they all return home."

Israel commemorates victims of terror on Memorial Day during the Hamas-Israel war.

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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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