Wednesday, May 15, 2024

From Ian:

Richard Kemp: Biden's cynical Rafah obsession only strengthens Hamas
Most damningly of all is Biden’s withholding supplies of some armaments to Israel, including precision-guided munitions. This from a man who said in 2019 that any such action would be “absolutely preposterous” and “beyond comprehension”.

Biden hopes that this will all win back the anti-Israel elements of his support base. In his calculation that clearly trumps any and all damage inflicted on an ally that is fighting for its life on multiple fronts. The damage will be profound.

It may not have a decisive effect on a military offensive in Rafah. The IDF has sufficient stocks of munitions to complete that mission, although some ammunition may have to be rationed, potentially costing Israeli soldiers’ lives; and any shortage of precision weapons may have to be compensated by unguided bombs, which could cost some Gazan civilian lives.

But Biden’s actions will certainly strengthen Hamas. Its survival depends on Israel being stopped from its advance into Rafah. The growing U.S.-led international pressure on Israel can only encourage Hamas to fight harder and longer.

The terrorists’ only incentive to consider releasing hostages is a pause in hostilities to buy time and potentially lead to a full cessation. If those objectives can be achieved as a result of U.S. pressure, that incentive melts away and thus Biden’s policies reduce the prospects of getting the surviving hostages back, including American citizens, or at least raise the price of any who are released.

Biden is therefore prolonging the war, both by the time that is passing as Israel wrestles with how to achieve its objectives while trying to maintain the bilateral relationship, and by the encouragement he gives to Hamas.

That is why Biden’s election-driven obstruction against Israel will operate against his intentions. Assuming Israel goes ahead regardless, which it will have to do in some way, he will be seen not to have stopped the violence. That will continue closer and closer toward voting day with even greater adverse effects for Biden’s Democrats.
Biden has opened a Pandora’s box
In his never-ending attempt to cultivate the “Where would they go anyway?” Arab vote in Michigan and other possible swing states, US President Joe Biden has opened a Pandora’s box that he is likely to regret.

I suggest that he has just succeeded in creating for himself a “four-bag error,” one with potentially decisive significance, by refusing to arm Israel with kits to be used for providing greater precision for missiles and shells in attacking Gaza.

Biden's blunders
Specifically, Biden’s blunders are the following: First, he has demeaned America both as an ally and as a great power protecting the free world. He has sent a terrible message to current and would-be allies as to the risks and costs of siding with the United States.

Secondly, and ironically, he has freed Israel’s leadership of some of their reluctance to counter American dictates. He has just hit Israel with, if not his best shot, then something close to it. Israel will not stop as a result of this. Ironically, they might thereby be forced to use less precise weaponry, thus defeating the stated American goal of minimizing harm to civilians.

Thirdly, the American people will see this embarrassment for what it is: “fair-weather friending” a close ally and clearly showing a preference for its terrorist enemies.

And lastly, he has handed his opponent, former president Donald Trump, on a silver platter no less, an issue that Trump has already railed at, and which likely will become an integral part of his campaign.

Those observers who have been wondering where Trump stands on the situation in the Middle East will not be wondering much longer. Trump has been presented with a galvanizing series of American betrayals of its friendship with Israel; despite his often-expressed disillusionment with and dislike of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he is certain to use these actions to create a glaring contrast.

That contrast was already seen recently with his walking back of support for a two-state solution. Now, on social media (Where else?) Trump quickly responded to Biden’s withholding of weaponry: “Crooked Joe Biden, whether he knows it or not, just said he will withhold weapons from Israel as they fight to eradicate Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

“Hamas murdered thousands of innocent civilians, including babies, and are still holding Americans hostage, if the hostages are still alive. Yet Crooked Joe is taking the side of these terrorists... Remember, this war in Israel... would have NEVER have started if I was in the White House... But very soon, we will be back, and once again demanding PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH!” (Emphases are Trump’s).
Decision to withhold bombs from Israel ‘damages entire US-led bloc’
The Biden administration’s decision to withhold shipments of air-to-ground munitions is having an adverse effect on the entire Middle Eastern pro-United States bloc, a Western official tells JNS.

Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), the precision kits that turn “dumb bombs” into all-weather precision-guided munitions, and Small Diameter Bombs are on hold, with shipments frozen of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs, according to a May 7 report by Politico.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed the suspension, saying during a Senate hearing on May 8, “We’ve been very clear … from the very beginning that Israel shouldn’t launch a major attack into Rafah without accounting for and protecting the civilians that are in that battlespace. And again, as we have assessed the situation, we have paused one shipment of high payload munitions. We’ve not made a final determination on how to proceed with that shipment.”

A Western official shed light on the broader implications of this decision, indicating that the public withholding of these munitions is a significant message in itself.

“The heart of the matter is the declaration. The fact that U.S. is not transferring and declaring it, this is the message,” the official explained.

This move is perceived negatively by America’s other Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, while members of the radical Iranian-led Shi’ite axis, including Hamas, see it as encouraging.

The Western official also expressed concerns about the broader regional perception of this decision, suggesting it has already caused considerable damage.

“Even if the U.S. wants to climb down from the ladder quietly, most of the damage has been done. The region has understood; if it happened to Israel, it could happen to me,” he remarked, indicating a loss of trust among American allies.

White House: Biden would veto Israel Security Assistance Support Act
The Office of Management and Budget, which is part of the White House, stated on Tuesday that U.S. President Joe Biden would veto H.R. 8369, the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, if it came across his desk.

The bill, which is scheduled for a House vote on Wednesday and which has a companion Senate version as of today, condemns the Biden administration’s decision to pause an arms shipment to Israel and would withhold funds from the Pentagon and U.S. State Department unless that and future shipments are approved.

The White House “strongly opposes” the bill, “which seeks to limit the president’s discretion to ensure that the delivery of certain defense articles and services aligns with U.S. foreign policy objectives,” it stated.

“The bill would undermine the president’s ability to execute an effective foreign policy,” the White House added. “This bill could raise serious concerns about infringement on the president’s authorities under Article II of the Constitution, including his duties as commander-in-chief and chief executive and his power to conduct foreign relations.”

The White House added that the legislation is “a misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the administration’s approach to Israel.”

“The president has been clear: We will always ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself,” the White House stated. “Our commitment to Israel is ironclad.”

It added that the bill “could lead to spiraling unintended consequences, prohibiting the United States from adjusting our security assistance posture with respect to Israel in any way, including to address unanticipated emergent needs, even if Israel and the United States agree that military needs have changed and supplies should change accordingly.”

Senate bill to block salaries of government employees impeding aid to Israel
Following the introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives to bypass U.S. President Joe Biden’s plan to stop the flow of certain arms to Israel, a parallel bill has entered consideration in the Senate.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) submitted a law on Tuesday to require the administration to follow through on the previous funding commitment to Israel. Officials who failed to comply could see their salaries stopped. Congressional Democrats have started efforts to kill the House bill, and their Senate colleagues are expected to do the same.

Cotton told The Washington Free Beacon that the legislation would “ensure that our Israeli allies continue to receive the support that they need to defeat Hamas while making clear that any official who supports this embargo will be doing so without a paycheck.”

The bill features 15 co-sponsors, including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).
Ernst blasts Biden’s ‘ironclad’ commitment to Israel as ‘a bunch of bull’
According to Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the Biden administration’s efforts to withhold weapons from Israel to deter a ground invasion into Rafah—the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip where Hamas strongholds still stand—may actually result in more civilian casualties rather than fewer.

“The very weapons he’s purposefully revoking are kits to convert bombs into precision-guided ammunition,” Ernst wrote in an article for Fox News. “Preventing these weapons from reaching Israeli hands only contradicts the Biden administration’s self-professed goal, which is to push Israel to conduct precise strikes against Hamas to reduce civilian casualties.”

Ernst recounts that during a trip last week to the Jewish state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained to her that “the U.S. withholding precision-guided capabilities from Israel won’t stop their efforts to defend their country and their citizens. But the reality is, Biden’s decision could make it harder for Israel to avoid civilian deaths.”

Calling the Middle East “on fire because of Biden’s feeble ‘leadership,’” Ernst wrote that she was unsurprised “by Biden’s abrogation of his moral duty to support Israel.” She added that“this president has repeatedly demonstrated that he prefers to appease our enemies rather than help our allies.”

Concluding her op-ed, Ernst dismissed the oft-repeated claim from Biden and his officials that the administration’s support for Israel was “ironclad,” writing: “That’s clearly a bunch of bull.”

72% of IDF reservists against hostage deal, 90% oppose Gaza aid
Seventy-two percent of Israeli reservists who served in the current war oppose an “at all costs” hostage deal with Hamas and support entering Rafah regardless of the negotiations, according to a recent survey conducted by the Direct Polls Institute.

The Israeli NGO Regavim commissioned the survey, which interviewed 512 reservists to gauge their views on various issues in Israeli society, including a hostage deal with Hamas and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Regarding humanitarian aid, 90% of reservists were against allowing aid trucks into Gaza, with 33% of respondents being willing to consider alternative methods that ensure goods do not reach the Hamas terrorist group. According to Israeli estimates, Hamas has been stealing up to 60% of the aid entering the Strip.

“As we approach Memorial Day and 76 years of independence, it’s crucial to listen to those who have fought and risked their lives,” Regavim CEO Meir Deutsch said ahead of Yom Hazikaron, which began on Sunday evening.

“The voices of IDF soldiers in the field are often different from what’s portrayed in the media. We must amplify the voices of those who have sacrificed and are fighting for our country.”
Plurality of Israelis say interests better served by Trump than Biden
A plurality of Israelis believe it would be better for the country if Donald Trump wins November’s U.S. presidential election, according to the Israel Democracy Institute’s April 2024 Israeli Voice Index.

Respondents were asked: “In terms of Israel’s interests, which of the two candidates for the U.S. presidency would be better?”

Overall, 37% said a Trump presidency would be better for the Jewish state, compared to 29% for a second term for President Joe Biden. Among Jewish Israelis, 42.5% prefer Trump versus 32% for Biden. Among Arab Israelis, a large majority (68%) said there was no difference between the two, 13% preferred Trump and 14% said Biden would be better.

There were sharp divisions across the political lines, with those on the left heavily favoring Biden (9% to 78%), the center somewhat supporting him (23% to 48%) and the right heavily favoring Trump (61% to 13%).

In March, a Channel 12 survey found that 72% of respondents who voted for parties in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition said they preferred Trump, while 8% chose Biden. By contrast, 55% of respondents who cast a ballot for parties in the Israeli opposition preferred Biden, compared to 23% for Trump.
Einat Wilf speaks at UN Briefing on UNRWA
Dr. Einat Wilf explains the essence of UNRWA at a briefing to UN delegations at the UN HQ in NYC hosted by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN. This briefing provides a summary of UNRWA’s history and how it became the ideological backbone of the Palestinian vision of violent “return” as manifested on October 7th, and how UNRWA has given birth to every terrorist organization from Black September to Hamas.

Gallant tells IDF to block Al Jazeera in West Bank - report
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant instructed the military to block the Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera in the West Bank, the military radio reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the IDF has already begun carrying out Gallant's instructions.

Gallant's directives come after the cabinet voted to shut down Al Jazeera in early May.

Jordan thwarts Iranian plan to smuggle weapons into kingdom
Amman thwarted a suspected Iranian-led plot to smuggle weapons into Jordan to carry out acts of sabotage and undermine the ruling Hashemite dynasty, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

The arms were transferred from Iranian-backed militias in Syria to a cell of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan with links to the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, the Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood currently engaged in a war with Israel following its cross-border invasion on Oct. 7.

Members of the terrorist squad—Jordanians of Palestinian descent—were arrested in late March and the cache was confiscated, the sources said.

Tehran has been trying to flood Judea and Samaria with weapons via Jordan to be used in terrorist attacks against Israelis in recent years, but this marks the first confirmed instance where the target is the kingdom itself.

The plot underscores rising concerns in Amman over efforts to destabilize the reigning dynasty led by King Abdullah II amid anger on the street over ties to Israel.

An estimated 70% of Jordan’s 12 million citizens are Palestinian. Since the Oct. 7 attack and during the ensuing war against Hamas in Gaza, there has been a surge in protests and riots outside the Israeli embassy in Amman.

However, regional observers told JNS that despite the report, the Al-Maquar compound in the capital is not in imminent danger of falling into Islamist hands, as the ruling family is aware of these threats and is taking action. But it does serve as a warning to Amman.

“The revelation of an Iranian-led plot to smuggle weapons to Islamist groups in Jordan is deeply concerning but not entirely surprising,” Dr. Ofir Winter, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University, told JNS.

“King Abdullah II has long been aware of the sectarian tensions in the Middle East and has previously warned about Iran’s aggressive actions,” Winter continued, noting Abdullah’s comments dating as far back as 2004 that Tehran was attempting to establish a hegemonic “Shia Crescent,” exerting its influence via terrorist proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Victim of Hezbollah missile attack named
The name of the civilian killed by Tuesday’s Hezbollah anti-tank missile attack on the border kibbutz of Adamit was released for publication on Wednesday.

Elad Fingerhut, a 38-year-old father of three from Matzuva, a kibbutz located west of Adamit, was killed while trying to help Israel Defense Forces troops wounded in the missile attack, the Itamar Yeshivah said of its graduate.

As he came to the injured soldiers’ rescue, Hezbollah terrorists launched a second missile assault from Lebanon, scoring a direct hit on Fingerhut.

The Israeli military confirmed on Tuesday evening that one soldier was moderately wounded and four others were lightly hurt in the attack, which took place as the Jewish state celebrated Independence Day.

Hezbollah has carried out near-daily attacks on northern Israel since joining the war against the Jewish state in support of Hamas following the Gaza-based terrorist group’s massacre of some 1,200 people on Oct. 7.

Hezbollah has killed nine Israeli civilians, one foreign worker and 14 IDF soldiers since it began its current round of attacks.
Nasrallah hosts Hamas delegation in Beirut to discuss Gaza war
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah met with a Hamas delegation in Beirut recently to discuss the Gaza war.

The Lebanese terrorist organization began attacking Israel on Oct. 8, a day after the Hamas-led massacre in the northwestern Negev. In the meeting with the Hamas delegation led by Khalil al-Hiya, the deputy of the organization’s leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, Nasrallah stressed the importance of a unified front.

The two Iranian proxy groups discussed the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and “all fronts of support.”

The terrorists also “reviewed the latest round of negotiations and the political positions, internationalism and student movements in different parts of the world,” a reference to widespread pro-Hamas protests that have disrupted college campuses mainly in the United States.

According to the statement put out after the meeting, they “emphasized the unity of positions and the continuation of the effort in the field, the jihadi effort and the political and popular effort to achieve the goals” of the current Hamas war, which was referred as “Al Aqsa Flood.”

Hezbollah has carried out near-daily attacks on northern Israel since Oct. 7.
Hezbollah fires 60 rockets at Upper Galilee
Hezbollah launched a heavy barrage of 60 rockets from Lebanon at northern Israel on Wednesday, in the terrorist group’s first response since an overnight IAF strike that killed a senior commander.

The IDF was striking Jabal al Baba in Southern Lebanon in response to the large volley, which mostly targeted the Mount Meron air traffic control base.

“The air defense fighters successfully intercepted several launches. There was minor damage and there were no casualties,” the IDF spokesperson said. Around 60 rockets were detected crossing into Israeli territory, the military said.

Air raid sirens sounded in many localities in the Upper Galilee near the Lebanese border as a result of the attack. Hezbollah said it was a “reaction to yesterday’s assassination” of senior field commander Hussain Ibrahim Mekky.

The Iranian terrorist proxy claimed it employed “dozens of Katyushas, heavy missiles and artillery.”

There were no immediate reports of injuries. The Upper Galilee Regional Council said strikes were detected in an open area near Moshav Margaliot and near Kibbutz Bar’am and Mount Meron. A fire broke out in the Bar’am area.

US built floating pier off Gaza could be operational in ‘days’
The US-built pier that is supposed to help facilitate a maritime corridor of aid arriving from Cyprus to Gaza could be operational in days, according to a briefing that was held on the Gaza humanitarian pier on May 15.

The briefing took place with United States Agency for International Development Response Director Dan Dieckhaus and US Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, the Deputy Commander of United States Central Command. Dieckhaus is the response director for USAID’s Levant humanitarian response.

The two officials provided a briefing on current issues facing the Gaza pier project and the humanitarian corridor that will be enabled by it. According to the comments in the briefing, Dieckhaus said that the current humanitarian situation in Gaza is “dire” and that it could be getting worse.

He said conditions are deteriorating, particularly in Rafah. He also said that the entire population of Gaza is facing acute food insecurity, and they require food assistance. Famine is looming, he said.

He said more than half of the population in northern Gaza is facing food insecurity, and in the south of Gaza, around a quarter is facing this issue. He also spoke about the health needs of children.

He said the “dire” situation was further complicated by the current situation in Rafah. He said 450,000 people had fled since May 6. He didn’t mention what had happened that day, but the context is that Hamas launched rockets at the Israeli area of Kerem Shalom, killing four soldiers.

The Illustrated Hostage Diary of Moran Stella Yanai
“Let’s go sit in the sun at the café next door,” Moran writes to me.

I enter the colorful neighborhood café in a student district in Beersheba and look for a secluded table with privacy and an electrical outlet.

One table is already taken. It’s reserved for Noa Argamani and Avinatan Or, and it has a notebook on it.

“This was ‘my’ table,” Moran says as she arrives. “They don’t seat people at this table. They brought a notebook, and people wrote to me when I wasn’t here. It was bizarre. Noa will come back, and she’ll have a notebook, too.”

Moran Stella Yanai, 40, arrived at the Nova festival on Friday evening, Oct. 6. She had just returned from a trip to Thailand, and this was her first time opening a jewelry stall of her own design at such a big festival. But the atmosphere, she says, was very strange. There was a lot of movement from people, but nobody was buying anything. The vendors around her started turning off lights and joining the partygoers to dance. Moran and her friend settled into beach chairs and took out a thermos. “Almost everyone around us is doing drugs, and here we are, sitting like two old ladies, drinking tea.”

The atmosphere changed only when dawn broke. “It was one of those scenes everyone couldn’t stop talking about. It really captivated us. It was one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen, and I had returned just three weeks earlier from Thailand, where we had plenty of sunrises. But there was something very pure, innocent about this one, I don’t know how to explain it ... and everyone stopped. Even me. I looked at the sky and smiled. And suddenly I see two rockets rising diagonally.”

Stunned, Moran couldn’t utter a word and simply kicked her friend’s leg repeatedly until she exclaimed, “What?!” Moran pointed to the sky, and her friend smiled and exclaimed, “Wow! Fireworks.” Moran screamed, “Rockets!!!” And that was it. Everyone around fell silent, the DJ stopped playing, and the nightmarish escape journey began. Along the way, Moran was captured twice and escaped, and on the third occasion, she was violently kidnapped to Gaza. She was held captive by Hamas for 54 days and nights, transferred between four houses, and some of the time she was held with other hostages, including Itay Svirsky, who was later murdered, and Noa Argamani. Moran was released on Nov. 29 in the final round of the prisoner exchange.

I met her that morning and listened breathlessly to her story. It is beyond comprehension. That is exactly why I wanted to give her testimony words, lines, and colors: to illustrate, through drawings, what she went through in Hamas captivity. As of the writing of these lines, there are still 133 hostages in Gaza. Watch and read what Moran went through there, and keep them in mind.
‘My sister was murdered at the Nova festival but her death was not in vain – she saved countless lives’
The death of a 25-year-old woman murdered during the Supernova music festival massacre was not in vain as, during her attempt to escape, and her father’s desperate search for his daughter, both of them saved the lives of numerous people, her grieving brother has said.

Shani Gabay, a recent law-school graduate from Yokne'am, in northern Israel, was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7 and later mistakenly buried along with another victim.

Shani, who was working at the music festival, had joined two of her friends, Ben and Gali, after her shift ended at 5.30am on October 7 to watch the sun rise on Ben’s birthday.

An hour later, Hamas launched its terror invasion, firing hundreds of rockets at the northwestern Negev. The three friends got in their car and started driving north, stopping at a bomb shelter near Kibbutz Alumim.

At 7.15am, Hamas terrorists threw four grenades into the shelter. Both Ben and Gali lost their right legs while Shani escaped unscathed. Certain that her friends had died, Shani ran out of the shelter to her car but was shot in the leg. She managed to drive back to the area of the festival to seek medical attention.

On her way, she encountered a group of festivalgoers and signalled to them to drive east toward the village of Moshav Patish, almost certainly helping to save their lives.

Recalling how the morning unfolded, Shani’s brother Aviel said: “I spoke to her around 9 am, told her to relax, breathe, and that our father was on his way to her. He had almost reached Re’im. I asked her to be in contact with him.”

“Shortly thereafter, police officers told everyone to ‘run and save yourselves,’ but my sister couldn’t run on her own. Four women — Noam Shalom, Karin Journo, Lior Atun and Moriah Or Swissa — helped her,” he said.

The women hid inside an abandoned ambulance along with 15 other people. Hamas terrorists threw in grenades, shot at people hiding under the vehicle and then fired rocket-propelled grenades. Eighteen of the 20 people inside were killed; only two managed to escape.

“My father arrived onsite at 9.30 am., unarmed and with the belief that he would find Shani. The place was on fire and full of terrorists,” Aviel said.

“Hamas fired RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] rockets at 9.25 am. My dad saw the burnt ambulance but did not immediately understand what had happened. Had he left a few minutes earlier, Shani might have come home.”

Eylon Levy: Fighting Against Western Media Anti-Israel Coverage | Youristics Ep. 45
Eylon Levy is the host of the Israel: State of a Nation podcast. Before that he was an Israeli government spokesman and the international media advisor to the President of Israel.

00:00 Introduction and Concept of the Podcast
08:03 Challenges as a Government Spokesman
12:19 Media Bias in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
23:16 Hamas Manipulation of the Media
32:16 Strategies for Israel's Public Diplomacy
36:31 Power Dynamics: Israel vs. Hamas
44:15 Challenging False Narratives in the Media

Biden administration’s ‘sharp turn’ on Israel ‘not surprising’
Israeli Journalist Emily Schrader explains why the Biden administration’s “sharp turn” on Israel is “not surprising”.

Ms Schrader said the administration has demonstrated “weak foreign policy” from “day one” on other states.

“I’m not surprised at all to see that he’s sort of kowtowing to the more extremist elements within the Democratic party,” she told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

‘Rewarded terrorism and violence’: Colin Rubenstein criticises Labor supporting UN vote
AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein has criticised the Albanese government’s support of the United Nations vote on Palestine as “rewarding terrorism and violence”.

“This is a very disturbing decision that Australia’s taken,” Dr Rubenstein told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“It’s confused, it’s short-sighted and it’s counterproductive.

“It effectively rewards terrorism and violence; it’s basically saying that mass murder, rape, kidnapping, hostage-taking – these are acceptable and effective tools to achieve legitimacy and international support.”

'Trashing of 75 years of bipartisanship': Albanese govt supports UN Palestine vote
The Australian National Editor Dennis Shanahan sees the Albanese government’s stance on Palestine as a “trashing of 75 years of bipartisanship”.

Australia has voted in favour of the state of Palestine being qualified for membership in the UN.

“It is very difficult to disagree with the idea that Hamas is being rewarded,” Mr Shanahan told Sky News host Peta Credlin.

“To have the Australian government, which was the first government … to vote for the state of Israel at the UN 75 years ago under the leadership of a former Labor leader.

“What we are seeing is the trashing of 75 years of bipartisanship.

“There is no way that this can be argued as anything else rather than an appeasement to Hamas and a victory to terror.”

'Disgusting display': University students need to 'pay more attention' to the news
Filmmaker Ami Horowitz has called out the “disgusting display” made by university graduates who referenced the lynching of a Jewish man in Ramallah.

Footage shows graduates at a US university holding up hands smeared with red paint at their graduation ceremony.

“These students need to pay attention a little more to the news,” Mr Horowitz told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“Even the United Nations has recanted and finally said okay we were lying for a long time about this war in Gaza and they finally came to terms and reduced the number of civilian casualties by 50 per cent.”

Jamaal Bowman Says He Saw Columbia Students ‘Protesting Peacefully.’ Here’s What Others Saw.
During the first debate for New York’s 16th Congressional District on Monday, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) cited his visit to Columbia University in arguing that the anti-Israel protesters who formed the "Gaza Solidarity" encampment there were "protesting peacefully."

As the Washington Free Beacon reported, however, Columbia’s encampment became violent in April after protesters stormed Hamilton Hall, held a sign calling for the death of Jews, assaulted a journalist, dragged and destroyed an American flag, and attempted to burn the Israeli flag. Bowman made no mention of the violence, instead referencing the makeshift "mental health" services and "library" the unsanctioned protesters created.

"I visited Columbia University. I went to the encampment. I met with students there so I could learn more about their perspective, their position on what’s happening there," Bowman said. "I saw a library, I saw mental health support. I saw students protesting peacefully."

Bowman, who is in the midst of an uphill battle to fend off his pro-Israel primary challenger, Westchester County executive George Latimer, has repeatedly come to the defense of the Columbia protesters.

An Arab-Israeli journalist, Yoseph Haddad, who was slated to speak at Columbia, was accosted by a group of protesters who punched him in the face and repeatedly told the journalist to "take a gun to your head," "kill yourself," and "shoot yourself."

One constituent in the audience at the debate asked the candidates if they believe the phrase "from the river to the sea" is "hate speech and/or advocating for the eradication of Israel."

Bowman responded, "I do not."

The two-term congressman in April excused the violent protesters who stormed Hamilton Hall the same day they broke into the building, smashed doors, hung a banner that called for "intifada," and effectively shut down campus.

"The protesters are gonna do what they got to do. For me, it needs to just remain nonviolent, make sure no person is harmed in the process," he told CNN. He added that he’s "concerned about the heavy-handed repressive response from Columbia’s president, New York City’s mayor, and from states across the country."

Suella Braverman says sorry to Jews over policing of Gaza marches
The police are making the strategic mistake of handling anti-Israel marches like football matches, Suella Braverman told an event in Manchester this week.

"You can’t just pick a side, that’s where the police have gone wrong. Far better – and this is where I feel our police have gone wrong – to actually confront and arrest people exhibiting criminal behaviour.”

Addressing an event hosted by the British Israel Chamber of Commerce, the former home secretary, said: “It was a real concern for me that police, over the last seven months, displayed a total lack of seriousness when it came to protecting the Jewish community on the streets of Britain.

"All I can say is sorry on behalf of police and government that the Jewish community has been made to feel unsafe and threatened."

Speaking after the event, the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said: “Since October, we’ve used our powers under the Public Order Act more extensively than during any other period of protest in recent memory.

“We’ve been able to control the route of protests, their duration, their start and finish times, the details of any static assemblies and the ability of those involved to get near to sensitive sites or into communities where fears are most heightened.

“Our policing approach has evolved, becoming quicker, more proactive and more decisive. Where offences are identified we’re taking action. We’ve arrested more than 415 people during protests, including more than 190 for antisemitic offences. There have also been 19 arrests under the Terrorism Act.

“We absolutely recognise the cumulative impact of these protests and the fear and uncertainty being felt, particular in Jewish communities. We have listened and responded, and we will continue to do so as we work to make sure all Londoners can feel safe, and be safe, in their city.”

At the Manchester meeting, Braverman appeared overcome with emotion as she recounted a recent visit to Israel and how she had witnessed first-hand the trauma suffered by those affected by the October 7 massacre, having met survivors of the Nova festival and kibbutz Kfar Aza.

She had met parents whose daughters were kidnapped on October 7 and who were dreading their nine-month anniversary in captivity and the horrendous thought of them being raped by Hamas terrorists and carrying their babies.

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