Monday, May 20, 2024

05/20 Links Pt2: Dershowitz: Are the Democrats betraying Israel?; 'The conflict began when Israel responded'; Colleges Are Capitulating to the ‘Tentifada’

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: What Happens When You Can’t Simply Arrest the Jews For Defending Themselves?
The morning after Easter Sunday in 1903, Yehiel Pesker went to his shop at the Kishinev market to inspect for damage. The previous day, the early rumblings of a pogrom had unsettled the city. On his way back home, he saw about 200 Jews armed with clubs and even a few guns—the second wave of one of history’s most notorious pogroms would come that day and Jews wanted to be prepared. When the pogromists came there was a standoff, until the police intervened against the Jews and the deadly violence continued.

Although these Jews merely presented a desire to defend themselves should they be attacked, and although this was one brief moment on the second day of a three-day blood-riot that would shock the world, “local antisemites and their sympathizers,” according to historian Steven J. Zipperstein, tried to argue that this was an escalation by the Jews and therefore the victims were really to blame for the pogrom. Elsewhere in town, a nearly 60-year-old Jewish man fought off four attackers, who then spread the rumor that a Jew had murdered Christians. For some, then, a literal blood libel in the middle of an extended massacre was transformed into the origin story of the whole riot.

“In arguments made by defense attorneys at the trials of pogrom-related crimes, Sunday’s rioting was dismissed as a ruckus that would quickly have come to an end… had Jews not overreacted,” writes Zipperstein. “In this version it was the all-but-unprovoked aggression of Jews and subsequent rumors of attacks on a church and the killing of a priest that set in motion the unfortunate but, under the circumstances, understandable violence.”

That all may sound ridiculous, because few pogroms are better known than Kishinev and because it had such a profound effect on history: It shaped the perspectives of important Zionist figures and it alarmed the world, even becoming an element of the civil-rights fight in America as an example of why racial and ethnic minorities needed protection from the state enshrined in law.

But leave out the names of people and places, and you’d be describing the response to Hamas’s October 7 massacre. The Jews had it coming; the attacks were essentially an act of self-defense; it would’ve been a minor event had the Jews not escalated by defending themselves.
Colleges Are Capitulating to the ‘Tentifada’
Harvard is only the latest elite school to promise to consider BDS measures. Colleges to have made that concession include:
Princeton, which will also consider ​new academic affiliations with Palestinian scholars, students, and institutions, and a new Palestinian studies course.
Northwestern, which has also committed to build a house for Muslim student activities and to fundraise for scholarships for Palestinian undergraduates.
Brown University, which agreed to vote on implementing BDS.
Rutgers, which agreed to accept at least 10 displaced Gazan students and hire additional professors who specialize in Palestinian and Middle Eastern studies.
Johns Hopkins, which will grant amnesty to all student protesters.
University of California, Berkeley, which agreed to ensure that their academic partnerships don’t exhibit anti-Palestinian discrimination, which protesters say is a “pathway to boycott of Israeli university programs.”
University of California, Riverside, which has committed to discontinue business school study programs in Israel. It also promised a “review of Sabra Hummus.”
Alan Dershowitz: Are the Democrats betraying Israel?
Biden is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. He claims to believe that Israel has the right and obligation to destroy Hamas, but at the same time he is denying them the ability to do so. This schizophrenic approach seems motivated more by politics than principle. Biden does not want to lose the growing part of his base that is becoming increasingly anti-Israel. At the same time he wants to maintain the votes of Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel.

More is at stake here than Michigan, with its several hundred thousand Arab and Muslim voters. There is Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and Nevada. Each of which, have numerous pro-Israel voters. The difference is that the anti-Israel voters have nowhere else to go. They won’t vote for Donald Trump under any circumstances. The worst they can do is to stay home, which is unlikely. Many pro-Israel voters, on the other hand, could vote for Trump, who has been strongly pro-Israel.

Pro-Israel voters are becoming deeply disillusioned with the Democratic Party. None of its leaders have been willing to condemn the Squad and its bigoted allies who are knee-jerk anti-Israel zealots. This includes Biden who has praised AOC. It also includes Nancy Pelosi who has posed with and praised the most antisemitic members of the Squad.

And then there is Bernie Sanders, who is among the most anti-Israel officials in the history of our nation. He votes with the hard socialist left on almost every issue relating to Israel. It is becoming harder and harder for pro-Israel voters to align themselves with the Democratic Party, and for good reason.

Until the Obama administration, Israel was generally a bipartisan issue. Obama was the first president to tilt the Democrats away from Israel, especially near the end of his second term. Biden seems determined to turn that tilt into a full-fledged push. We hope he does not do so, but if he does, he will do permanent damage to one of the most important and mutually beneficial alliances in the world today. It may also cost him the election.

What the top U.S. Nazi hunter thinks of claims that Israel is committing genocide
Rosenbaum does not intend to sit on the sidelines and have a quiet retirement, although he and his wife recently enjoyed a national park vacation in Utah — his first in two years. Most of his travel involves speaking gigs, and it was only last month that he began to speak publicly about what’s happening in Israel and Gaza.

“What motivates me is my great dismay and even shock that there is so much misinformation and disinformation out there, both internationally and domestically, and Israel’s situation is so outrageously misrepresented and misunderstood,” said Rosenbaum. He knows that he is saying things that go beyond what American officials have said in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks that killed more than 1,200 people in Israel.

“I am saying some things that no one in the U.S. government is saying, most especially that Israel not only has the right to attempt to destroy Hamas’ ability to govern and especially repeat its genocidal attack on Oct. 7, but actually has an obligation under international law, under the Genocide Convention, to attempt that if it feels it can,” Rosenbaum noted.

Drawing on his World War II expertise, Rosenbaum made a comparison between Israel’s campaign to eliminate Hamas in Gaza and the Allies’ efforts to defeat the Nazis. During that war, the Allies called on Nazi Germany to “surrender unconditionally, come out with your hands up, relinquish your weapons, release your prisoners.”

“That is how World War II ended in Europe on May 8, 1945. We, the Allies, did not say to the Hitler regime, ‘Well, OK, you will have a permanent cease-fire, but you can stay in power and you can have a few battalions of mobile killing units.’ No, it doesn’t work that way,” Rosenbaum said. Eli Rosenbaum walks down one of the hallways in his office building lined with photos of Iwan Demjanjuk, one of his more notable targets.

He also compared Israel’s campaign against Hamas to the Battle of Mosul in Iraq, a key urban campaign in the U.S.-led fight to defeat the Islamic State, which resulted in the death of at least 9,000 civilians between 2016 and 2017. Gaza’s Health Ministry, which is operated by Hamas, has counted 35,000 deaths in the embattled enclave, although it is not clear how many of those numbers are Hamas combatants.

“Civilian deaths are inevitable when combatants are committing the war crime of hiding behind and underneath civilians, and Hamas is hiding behind both Palestinian and Jewish civilians. Israel is in the horrible situation of having to attack Hamas knowing that there is no way to avoid civilian deaths, either Palestinian deaths or Jewish deaths,” Rosenbaum said. “This is a new paradigm in the history of war, and I would say, a new paradigm that the law of war will have to catch up with in order to deal with it.”

Rosenbaum described himself as a “great admirer” of President Joe Biden, but said he has misgivings about some aspects of U.S. policy and rhetoric about the war in Gaza.

“There are political realities, and I think also there’s a long tradition of hostility to Israel in many parts of the State Department, and that doesn’t change just because you have a different secretary of state,” said Rosenbaum. “I think [Biden] is entitled to gratitude and to respect, but some of the things that various U.S. officials have said I think have been far from optimal.” Rosenbaum added that he wants “to see more attention paid to the unique life-and-death struggle that Israel faces here.”

As the ICJ considers the genocide charges against Israel, Rosenbaum said it would be “beyond shocking” if he body concludes that Israel has committed genocide. “I think the battle will be fought more in the context of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Rosenbaum suggested. “I hope that Israel will get credit for having done things that no other government in history has done to protect civilian life, and will somehow generate understanding of the almost literally impossible situation that Hamas has put it into.”
'The conflict began when Israel responded': The laughable arguments ICC used to seek arrest of Netanyahu
The panel found the international armed conflict began at the latest on October 7, 2023, when "Israel first started responding to the Hamas attack on its territory by using force on the territory of Palestine without the latter's consent." This phrasing not only claims Israel was present in Gaza on Oct. 7 even though that is not true, but it also ignores the fact that Hamas ignited the hostilities by its own admission to catch Israel off guard, at 6.30 a.m. on Oct. 7. Israel did not respond for many weeks thereafter, and even then, only after Hamas continued firing rockets and holding hundreds of hostages.

The report also found that there were reasonable grounds that Netanyahu and Gallant intended the deaths of Palestinian civilians or were aware civilian deaths would occur as part of a "starvation campaign...either because the suspects meant these deaths to happen or because they were aware that deaths would occur in the ordinary course of events as a result of their methods of warfare."

This is clearly false, both because Israel has been supplying Gaza with food and other humanitarian aid, and also because Hamas has been hoarding virtually all of it for its own purposes, thus preventing its distribution.

The panel ignored the fact that Israel fully disengaged its civilian and military presence from Gaza in 2005, ending any occupation there. Hamas subsequently took over, creating its own de facto government. Israel's use of force in Gaza is within the right to self-defense against attacks by Hamas, a terrorist organization, is recognized under UN Charter Article 51, but the panel ignored that. This does not constitute an international armed conflict based solely on the territory being Palestinian-controlled, especially since there is no entity called Palestine in the Gaza Strip, and even supporters of Hamas won't recognize it as the sovereign power there.
Rep. Omar cites Holocaust, Jewish lawyer, to support ICC probing Israeli leaders
U.S. President Joe Biden called it “outrageous” for the International Criminal Court to pursue arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington “fundamentally rejects” the decision of the court in The Hague.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) saw things differently, and the so-called “Squad” member cited the aftermath of the Holocaust and a Jewish lawyer to explain why she supported the court’s pursuit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

“Since Nuremberg, the United States has been a global leader in the pursuit of international justice. It is one of the foundational philosophies underpinning the post-war rules-based international order,” she stated, referring to the trials of Nazi leaders.

“The International Criminal Court must be allowed to conduct its work independently and without interference,” Omar added. “The application for arrest warrants is merely the beginning of a judicial process. The ICC has been a functioning court—it has seen convictions, acquittals, and dismissals, as we would expect from an impartial and non-political judicial body.”

Omar also invoked Benjamin Ferencz, a Nuremberg prosecutor who was Jewish and who died at 103 last year, and said that “it has long been my belief that the absence of credible processes for justice are a key reason the conflict between Israel and Palestinians continues to escalate.”
Eugene Kontorovich: I24 interview about ICC arrest warrants

Who is ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan, and why is he out to get Israel?
When Karim Khan, ICC chief prosecutor, was elected, many in Israel breathed a sigh of relief, labeling him "pragmatic." Today, however, he is viewed as an adversary of Israel, sparking significant outrage with his dramatic call for arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant alleging that they have committed war crimes.

Khan has asked the court's judges – despite Israel not being a member – to issue these warrants, along with warrants for senior Hamas officials, including Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif, citing war crimes and crimes against humanity. His actions have shaken Israel, raising concerns about severe repercussions for its international standing.

Khan, 54, hails from Edinburgh, Scotland, and belongs to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – a branch that advocates a more moderate form of Islam and which is facing persecution in Pakistan, its country of origin. The community relocated its headquarters to the UK in the 1980s. Khan has stated that his experiences as part of this persecuted community fueled his passion for human rights advocacy.

Khan’s academic journey in law began at King's College London, one of the world’s top universities, focusing on human rights. His early career in the 1990s saw him serve as a prosecutor in the British Attorney General's Office, before he transitioned to the international stage in 1997, serving as a prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, addressing crimes against humanity during the genocide in the African country.

In the 2000s, Khan switched roles to defend those accused in international legal proceedings. Notably, he defended former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, charged in 2006 by a special UN court with murder, rape and using child soldiers. Khan protested vehemently when he felt the court in The Hague did not provide sufficient resources for Taylor’s defense. During the prosecutor’s opening statement, Khan dramatically stood up, demanding to leave the hearing. The judge ordered him to sit down, saying, "Mr. Khan, you do not have permission to leave." This bold act has since become legendary in legal circles, drawing both criticism and praise.

Despite receiving additional resources, Taylor was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Khan also defended Saif al-Islam, son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and William Ruto, now president of Kenya, who was charged with crimes against humanity following post-election violence in 2007 that resulted in 1,200 deaths. Khan successfully convinced the prosecution to drop charges against Ruto, but later faced allegations of political interference and witness intimidation, with one witness reportedly killed in December 2014.
Seth Frantzman: Notes from the Gaza border - 7 months on
At Café Greg in Sderot, the server recommends pasta with mushroom sauce. It’s a pleasant spring day, just waiting to become summer, and then it will be too hot to sit outside. For now, it’s just warm enough under the umbrellas. The parking lot in front of the coffee shop is about half full. This is a major change from only a few months ago when the city still felt like a ghost town.

Sderot has been on the front line against Hamas rockets for twenty years. It’s the most famous city on the front. However, since October 7 it has been only one of many communities that had to go through the fire of terror to emerge on the other side. Sderot was attacked by one of the many Hamas terrorist squads on October 7. Hamas murdered people in the streets – including elderly people waiting for a tour bus – and they targeted the police station.

I remember the first days of the war here when President Isaac Herzog came to Sderot and met with the mayor and the police, who had just suffered grievous casualties fighting the enemy. At the time, the demand was clear: Hamas must be destroyed and removed forever from Gaza.

Explosions continue
Now, seven months into the war, the rockets are still targeting Sderot. Hamas is no longer active directly across the border, but it still controls most of northern Gaza. From one of the high points in the city, there is construction of a new lookout area and a memorial. From here the fighting in Jabalya can be seen. Jabalya is a neighborhood of Gaza east of Gaza City that is near the border of Israel.

As of yesterday, May 16, the IDF’s 98th division had been fighting in Jabalya for several days. Five soldiers were killed by friendly fire and their names were announced yesterday morning as I arrived at the border. This is a reminder of the difficulty of the current war.

Smoke from the fighting in Jabalya could be seen throughout the day yesterday. It billowed out of buildings in the area where the fighting was; explosions could be heard from time to time. But in general, the area was quiet and there was no rocket fire.

Sderot feels like it has returned to normal. But things are not normal. A radio report said that the days of rocket fire this week meant half the people did not send their children to school on May 16.
The Nova survivor telling the hostages' story at Cannes film festival
"It was very important for me that the faces of my friends Eliya Cohen and Elkana Bohbot be on the front of the dress. I did it for them,” October 7 survivor Laura Blajman-Kadar told JNS.

Pictures of Blajman-Kadar at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a yellow dress emblazoned with the faces of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza went viral last week. She also wore a black scarf bearing the words "Bring Them Home."

Images of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, about to be sewn onto Laura Blajman-Kadar's dress. Photo courtesy of Laura Blajman-Kadar.

“It was very intimidating to go to a festival and not know whether security would let me in. I don’t usually do that,” she said. “We have friends in Gaza right now who were working and dancing with us three hours before they were kidnapped by Hamas. We went home but they didn’t."

Blajman-Kadar, a dual French-Israeli citizen, moved to Israel when she was eight years old. Together with her husband Shai, she worked for the production team of the Unity festival, which took place at the site of the Supernova Music Festival a day before.

“Since it was a holiday, there were many festivals planned for that weekend. The teams of the Unity and Supernova festivals decided to do it in the same place,” she recalled.

“Our festival started on Thursday evening, went into Friday and then in the afternoon, we turned the music off, changed the colors of the decorations and Nova started. We came with a van. We thought it would be a nice weekend,” she added.
New footage discovered in Gaza shows former hostages Dafna, Ella Elyakim in Hamas' captivity
IDF forces discovered recently footage in Gaza shot while sisters Dafna and Ella Elyakim were captives and decided to air it on Sunday, in a rare move. In the video, 8-year-old Ella Elyakim is seen in Gaza days after being kidnapped from her father's home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz on Oct. 7. Little Ella speaks to Hamas' camera recording her. She can be heard saying: "I am Ella Elyakim, the daughter of Noam, I am 8 years old and I am asking Bibi (referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) to release us because I am a Hamas hostage."

The IDF notes that the video was released at the family's request, while there is considerable additional footage of the captives found in Gaza. The 8-year-old Ella says the terrorists asked her to re-film the video repeatedly in different clothing, did her hair, and put a bandage on her to make it look like she was being treated well, despite being held in harsh conditions and moved between many houses. According to military sources, this is evidence of Hamas' cruelty toward an 8-year-old child.

In footage shot by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, a photo was also discovered showing the two sisters together with Hamas' flag behind them. In the photo, the older sister Dafna, 15, has a dejected expression, in contrast to her younger sister who appears unaware of the magnitude of the tragedy. On Oct. 17, ten days after the Shabbat massacre, the body of Noam Elyakim was found – while his daughters Dafna and Ella had been documented as kidnapped in Gaza. Noam, his two daughters, partner Dikla Arava, and young son Tomer were sleeping in the Kibbutz when their home was attacked by Hamas terrorists.

The family requests - please share the video
IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari elaborated: "During the operation in Gaza, IDF forces uncovered footage shot by Hamas terrorists as part of the psychological terror videos they produce. The footage was shown today to the family of 8-year-old Ella Elyakim and 15-year-old Dafna Elyakim, who were kidnapped to Gaza on Oct. 7 and later released as part of the prisoner exchange deal.

"The video released today for the first time was prepared to serve as a tool for the psychological terrorism Hamas tries to employ. Nevertheless, Ella's family asked us to share the video with the world in order to expose the terrorism, cruelty, and barbarity of Hamas terrorists. The 8-year-old Ella Elyakim said Hamas gunmen forced her to read the script, change her clothes, and re-film this disturbing video over and over again."

Hundreds turn out to mourn Shani Louk at emotional funeral service
Hundreds of mourners paid their respect to Shani Louk on Sunday in the small town of Srigim, after her father called on the public to attend the funeral.

The German-Israeli dual national, became an instantly recognisable symbol of the Hamas massacre after a video of her broken body on the back of a pickup truck in Gaza emerged on Hamas social media channels on October 7.

During the funeral, Louk’s mother, Ricarda, said she “didn’t believe they’d be able to bring her body back, and it was a relief when the army informed us that they’d found her body and that it was complete.”

Ricarda spoke about her daughter’s love of nature, dancing, and travel. Shani studied art in Jerusalem and graphic design in Jaffa before becoming a tattoo artist. Friends of hers wore T-shirts to her funeral with the words “When we dance, we pray”, a phrase Shani would often say, they said.

Shani had attended the rave with her boyfriend, Orión Hernández Radoux, a Mexican national who is believed to still be held hostage by Hamas.

Pro-Israel rally outside White House draws clergy, influencer
Some 300 people rallied outside the White House on Sunday in support of Israel, according to Richard Pollock, a spokesman for the event.

“During this period of increasing darkness it’s encouraging that we can stand before the White House and encourage the administration and Congress to continue to stand with Israel and to fight back the rising tide of antisemitism,” Pollock told JNS. “We will not be silenced or marginalized.”

The rally aimed to alert the public that “there is a vibrant pro-Israel constituency that must be taken seriously,” according to Pollock.

“It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of people are in support of Israel,” he said. “That’s why we were proud to have both Jewish and Christian leaders speak out at the White House on Sunday.”

Rabbi Hyim Shafner, of Kesher Israel in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, opened the rally with prayers for U.S. and Israeli troops, the safety of Israelis and the unconditional return of the hostages taken by Hamas terrorists into Gaza on Oct. 7.

“When the jewish people are unified, we are both physically strong and spiritually strong,” Shafner said at the event, he told JNS. “We come together not only to make a statement toward the White House but to be unified like one person with one heart in prayer and love before God.”

Yuval David, an actor and influencer, also spoke, as did Benaya Cherlow, an Israeli-American reservist in the Israel Defense Forces who returned this week from a month in Gaza.

“We, the Jewish people and our allies, are a minority. We are facing very vocal bigots, anti-Jewish individuals, groups, and movements who espouse the hatred of Jews, Zionism and Israel,” David told JNS. “The silent majority around the world makes our fight even harder. We must be the vocal minority.”

“Antisemitism ignored grows. The world is experiencing a pandemic of antisemitism,” he added. “Each one of us has the responsibility of representing, advocating and supporting the Jewish people and Israel.”

‘Jew-Haters Spice Up the Show’: Jerry Seinfeld Responds After Anti-Israel Protesters Disrupt His Stand-Up Show
One of Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up shows on Saturday night was interrupted by anti-Israel protesters who heckled the Jewish comedian for supporting Israel before being escorted out of the venue by security.

Seinfeld had two back-to-back performances in Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday. In the middle of one show, a pro-Hamas protester stood up in the audience and yelled “Free Gaza” before calling the “Seinfeld” creator a “genocide supporter,” according to TMZ, which obtained a video from the scene. The protester yelled, “How dare you support a genocide! Save the children of Gaza! No more American tax dollars for genocide!” He also shouted to the audience, “You should be ashamed of yourself! You should all be ashamed of yourselves!”

Seinfeld has openly expressed support for Israel amid its ongoing war against Hamas terrorists controlling the Gaza Strip — a military campaign that was launched in response to the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas massacre in southern Israel. Two days after the attack, Seinfeld wrote in an Instagram post, “I will always stand with Israel and the Jewish people.” He also visited Israel with his family late last year to witness firsthand the atrocities committed on Oct. 7 and to meet with Israelis impacted by the Hamas attacks.

Audience members at Seinfeld’s show on Saturday night who were upset by the disturbance booed the protester and demanded that he “shut up and get out.” Video from the scene shows a man fighting with the protester and putting the latter in a headlock before security escorted the protester out of the venue. The crowd chanted “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” as the protester left.

During the ordeal, Seinfeld sarcastically commented from on stage, “This is fun. I like this. I think your message is really resonating with the crowd. People seem to be on your side.”

“I like it when the Jew-haters spice up the show,” he also joked, which elicited applause from the audience.

Roughly eight demonstrators disturbed Seinfeld’s show throughout the night before they were all escorted out by security, according to TMZ. Eyewitnesses told the news outlet that Seinfeld told his audience not to boo the protester because he had the right to protest.

Rachel Moiselle: Echoes of my ancestors’ experiences of anti-Semitic bigotry resonate around me today
There is a wry joke in Joyce’s Ulysses that betrays a dark reality of Ireland’s history: “Ireland, they say, has the honour of being the only country which never persecuted Jews ... and do you know why? ... because she never let them in”.

Indeed, there are very few Jews here. I have borne witness to two things in the past few months. Firstly, how easily one can dehumanise a group of people when they are an abstract. Secondly, the human capacity for extreme cruelty when one believes there will be no consequences.

My Jewish ancestors, who were ethnically cleansed from Lithuania, were among the few who were, in fact, let into this country. I know very little about this experience of ethnic cleansing. They were there, they were forced to leave. A story that spans across continents and generations: so unexceptional in the Jewish experience that it didn’t even warrant a name. I don’t know where my ancestor’s shtetl was: one they resided in at the mercy of people who never considered them fellow Europeans. This identity was only bestowed when it could be weaponised to deny Jews sovereignty.

The story of our family, the Moiselles in Ireland, is one that I am well educated on and proud of. Our family’s contribution to Irish society is woven into our culture: most notably in the renowned piece of Irish literature quoted above. Joyce used the names of real people in the Irish Jewish community in Ulysses, including my ancestors.

There is an additional resonance that Ulysses has held for me in the past few months. The protagonist, Leopold Bloom, was born to a Catholic mother and was baptised at birth, so is not a Jew in a formal Jewish sense. However, he is known throughout Dublin as a Jew and is treated as such. Likewise, I was raised Catholic, but am of ethnic Jewish heritage paternally.

Since October 7th, this Jewish identity-previously a secondary aspect of my personhood-has become primary as I witness (and have endeavoured to speak up against) the anti-Semitism that increasingly takes hold in this country: permeating society from the top down.

The echoes of my ancestors’ experiences of anti-Semitic bigotry resonate around me today in Irish society. My grandfather’s family ran a business, The Gramophone Stores, on Johnson’s Court in Dublin. This store was vandalised with anti-Semitic graffiti. My family are in possession of a photo that was taken circa 1940 that depicts swastikas written in chalk outside the store alongside three phrases: “Put Zionists in thier (sic) place”, “Expel the Jews”, and “Boycott the Jews”.

Why are Irish republicans so anti-Israel?
None of this seems to cross the minds of the heirs to the republican tradition today. On St Patrick’s Day, a high-level Sinn Féin delegation met President Biden in Washington, and urged him to pressure Israel into calling a ‘ceasefire’. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald also boasted of her ‘strong commitment to freedom for Palestine and self-determination’. There was no sense she recognised Israel’s right to self-determination or indeed right to exist.

Michael Davitt (1846-1906), another revered figure from Irish nationalist history, offers a valuable counterpoint to the rampant anti-Israel sentiments of Sinn Féin today. A campaigner for Irish independence and land reform, he compared the plight of Jews in Tsarist Russia with that of the Irish living under British imperialism. Davitt argued that in order to be free from constant persecution, Jews as a people needed a homeland, a sovereign nation. One that they ought to be free to defend. He supported the Jews as an Irish republican and as a democrat. In Within the Pale, his 1903 book on anti-Semitism in Russia, he wrote: ‘I have come from a journey through the Jewish Pale, a convinced believer in the remedy of Zionism.’

Davitt’s position would be anathema to many in and around Sinn Féin now. They have embraced the tired and lazy characterisation of Israel as a settler-colonialist state. But this is simply not true. Much like Ireland, Palestine was controlled by Britain in the early 20th century. Palestinian Jews (alongside European and American Jews) conducted a guerrilla campaign of armed resistance to British rule. They shared much with Irish republicans. Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, a member of paramilitary group Irgun, even adopted the undercover name ‘Michael’, a reference to leading Irish republican Michael Collins. Shamir saw a clear and obvious link between the Irish and Zionist causes. The state of Israel was fought for through diplomacy, armed struggle and sacrifice. If anything, Israel is a post-colonial nation, not a colonialist state.

Like Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon were also ‘granted’ statehood in the first half of the 20th century. The borders of those countries were as arbitrary as Israel’s. Yet they are universally considered ‘legitimate’ and their sovereignty is rarely challenged. Certainly no one questions Jordan’s or Lebanon’s right to exist.

It seems that today’s Irish republicans and the left more broadly are betraying the tradition of Sands, Farrell and Davitt. This is a travesty. We need to stop the blinkered and irrational demonisation of Israel – and we certainly need to stop turning those who intend to destroy Israel and the Jewish people into heroes.

But When There’s a Real Genocide, They’re Silent
For the same reason, don’t expect any of the campus protesters or highway-blockers to take an interest in any other struggles for “self-determination”—such as that of the people of New Caledonia, a French colony near Australia. The New York Times reported last week that the indigenous people of New Caledonia are demanding self-determination, but France refuses. The French don’t want to give up an island they have been exploiting for the past 170 years. It’s literally a case of white colonialists suppressing the self-determination of dark-skinned native people. Yet all the American campus protesters who supposedly oppose colonialism are silent—because speaking out for self-determination for the New Caledonians won’t hurt Israel.

It’s not just Darfur and New Caledonia. How about Saudi Arabia? The same day’s Times also reported that the Biden administration is still trying to negotiate an agreement that would give Saudi Arabia nuclear power and create a Palestinian state. Just four years ago, President Biden said the Saudi regime should be treated as a “pariah” because it dismembered one of its leading critics. And last summer, the Times reported that the Saudis massacred hundreds of African migrants—and that the Biden administration tried to cover up when it learned of the killings.

You would think that the campus protesters would be outraged about that. Not so. They call the president “Genocide Joe” only if it hurts Israel. Covering up Saudi massacres and mutilations doesn’t hurt Israel—in fact, ignoring Saudi atrocities might facilitate a deal with the Saudis that would create a Palestinian state. So once again, the campus activists have nothing to say.

A final word on this tragic state of affairs, from Danielle Haas, a senior official of Human Rights Watch, who recently resigned out of disgust at that organization’s extreme anti-Israel bias. After thirteen years as editor of its annual reports, she came to the conclusion that Human Rights Watch’s outrage “depends not on human-rights principles, but on who is being abused and who is being accused.” That seems to be true for the tent protesters and highway-blockers, too—as demonstrated by their indifference to the plight of the genocide victims in Darfur, the suppressed people of New Caledonia, and the massacred migrants in Saudi Arabia.
Scholars unite against boycott of Israeli academics
A collection of over 3000 international scholars from multiple fields of study published an open letter last week rejecting the boycott of Israeli academics.

“We, scholars from the humanities and social sciences, though not exclusively from these fields, are deeply concerned about the increasing isolation of our academic colleagues in Israel,” the letter began. “Calls for boycotts against Israeli academic institutions are not new, but since the brutal attack by Hamas on October 7th and the subsequent Israeli-Hamas War, these calls have taken on a new dimension.”

The letter went on to highlight a report by Haaretz, which found that a number of Israeli scholars had been made victim to discriminatory practices; including “the termination of scientific collaborations, cancellation of conference invitations, refusal to consider scholarly submissions to journals, rejections of promotion evaluations, and withdrawal of offers for academic appointments, among other instances.”

“Regardless of how each of us currently analyzes the situation on the ground and evaluates the actions of the Israeli government and army, we want to make clear that we stand against all forms of boycotts targeting Israeli scholars and Israeli academic institutions,” the letter continued, emphasizing that academics should not be held responsible or as a proxy for the actions of the Israeli government. “We firmly advocate for cooperation and continued work with them.

The 'counterproductive' nature of the boycotts
“We are also convinced that the gradual, often subtle exclusion of Israeli scholars contradicts fundamental principles of professional comportment and academic freedom. Moreover, an academic boycott against Israel is counterproductive regarding internal Israeli debates as well as Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, as Barak Medina argued in his essay Is it Justified to Boycott Israeli Academia?

“We strongly believe that international exchange - especially in troubled times like these – is essential for maintaining an open and global academic community. The alarming trend of excluding Israeli scholars from international academic discourse requires unequivocal response on our part. We, the undersigned, call on scholars to stand in solidarity with our Israeli colleagues on this critical issue.”

The letter was authored by Anne Rethmann, FU Berlin/Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Daniel Siemens, Newcastle University and Helmut Walser Smith, Vanderbilt University.
Jonathan Tobin: Sue and defund schools that tolerate antisemitism
The answer is that what goes on at Haverford is a perfect example of what happens when educators and students are indoctrinated with ideologies like critical race theory, intersectionality and the woke catechism of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). That mindset seeks to divide the world into two permanently warring groups of “white oppressors” and people of color, who are always their victims. True to its Marxist roots, these toxic ideas treat Jews and the State of Israel as inherently “white” and therefore always in the wrong, thus granting a permission slip for antisemitism. Only those who believe in these sorts of concepts could possibly ignore millennia of persecution, discrimination and violence against Jews to be insignificant when compared to those who embrace alternative sexual lifestyles.

What’s more, Haverford’s much-vaunted “honor code” specifically demands that its students adhere to a standard of conduct in which concerns about “anti-racism” and woke buzzwords like “privilege” and “microagressions” are treated as being as obligatory as refraining from cheating on tests.

Setting a precedent
That is why, in the words of Deborah Project legal director Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the lawsuit details “incident after incident of horrible, vile antisemitic statements, actions, activities, chants, disruptions, intimidation, harassment and oppression by members of the Haverford College community” that were “ignored, condoned or even praised” by top college administrators.

It is high time that behavior like that of Haverford’s was not just exposed but punished by demonstrating that it, as is the case in so many other colleges and universities, is in clear violation of Title VI. That ought to mean a judgment that will ensure that it loses all federal funds if it doesn’t fundamentally change its behavior.

Pushing for such an outcome is not a matter of repressing free speech. Private institutions don’t treat speech that they consider beyond the pale, such as racism against blacks and other minorities, to be protected. But they rediscover the First Amendment when it comes to antisemitism. A special carve out to protect Jew-haters isn’t just wrong, it’s a violation of the law.

The Haverford suit should therefore be treated as not just a wake-up call about terrible things going on at one privileged college. It must also serve as a call to arms for all those who care about halting the spike in antisemitism that is surging throughout the United States. It could mean the creation of a precedent that could help scare other colleges and universities into adopting policies that will prevent them from being put into the same position. In doing so, the litigation could, if successful, hasten the moment when left-wing antisemitism in the academy will truly be put on trial.
From Oct. 7 to today: How Hamas criticism vanished in The New York Times
Alongside winning the Pulitzer for seven articles that covered the war, the New York Times was heavily criticized for its biased and problematic reporting. The harsh allegations did not only come from Jews and Israelis but surprisingly also from pro-Palestinians, who actually claimed that the Times was pro-Israeli.

So what is the truth behind the contradicting claims and accusations? The answer can only come from monitoring and quantifying the mass of the coverage. And it was definitely massive.

During the first seven months of the war, from October 7 to May 7, the number of articles published in the Times on the subject reached 3,848.

Just for comparison - during all of 2022, the number of articles covering Israel in The Times reached only 361. Less than one-tenth in double the time period.

Analyzing the New York Times articles
Since the number of headlines was enormous and very complicated to rank according to size and salience, we decided to analyze only the articles that the Times itself defined as most important - those that were placed in a newsletter called Today's Headlines.

It is a daily email for subscribers that requests a summary of the main news from the past day, selected by the editors. Seeing that these are regarded as the day’s most important news by the editors, they are most probably the ones that were given the biggest size and salience, whether in the paper edition, the website, or the digital channels.

Only about one third of the total headlines published about the war made it into the newsletter, and they amounted to 1,398, from October 7 to May 7.
Progressives hate Israel since it threatens their worldviews
Is this alignment shocking? Sure. Baffling? No. Progressives and DEI proselytizers do not deny that badness exists in the world, and - if pressed - many of them would probably agree that it would be preferable if Hamas did not punish homosexuality with death, or appropriate aid funds to build underground terror networks, or oppress Palestinians in every facet of life. But these crimes, while heinous, are not unforgivable, because they do not challenge the foundations of progressive orthodoxy in the way that Israel does.

Progressives might disagree with despots and death cults, but they also can accept that they exist; on the other hand, if a country like Israel can shake off its colonizers and then rise up from a multicultural, multinational, multiethnic group of refugees that has suffered ubiquitous persecution on an unprecedented scale, then what implications does that have for the assertion that oppression, poverty and tragedy are insurmountable facts of life that must be pandered to rather than triumphed over?

It is Israel’s present successes, rather than their “settler colonial” foundation, that poses the threat to progressive worldview, and one does not need to look so far for proof. When the British Empire inherited Palestine from the Ottoman Empire after WWI, it was part of a single, merged territory called Transjordan, which comprised modern-day Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Eighty percent of that territory was lopped off and given to the non-Palestinian Hashemites from Mecca to rule over as a monarchy, while the remaining 20% was divided among Jews and Palestinians so that each group governed where they formed a majority. But Jordan escapes the ire of progressives, who don’t mind that Palestinians living there have no self rule, and far less rights than Israeli Arabs.

Can progressives really suggest that it aligns more with their values for a Palestinian-majority state to be given to a non-native Hashemite king than it does for a territory to be divided on the basis of democratic governance and self-determination? No, and most wouldn’t when pressed. But Jordan is a middle-income country with one of the smallest GDPs in the Middle East and a long list of human rights violations, and while progressives might disagree with torture or wrongful detention, Jordan’s state-of-being does not contest progressive worldview. Israel’s does.

As the Middle East’s most tolerant, most liberal, and most diverse country, Israel’s story seems to epitomize the goals of subjugated and oppressed group everywhere: an indigenous people who overcome centuries of global persecution and poverty in order to shake off their colonial overlords, revive their lost language and rebuild their nation into a thriving liberal democracy with a vibrant and tolerant culture, high standards of living, and a productive economy.

They should be the darling of progressives worldwide, but they aren’t, because their crime is their success. For if Jews in Israel have been able to triumph over adversity and oppression in order to build what they have built, it is proof that such triumph is possible, and such a proof is unforgivable to the bleak progressive worldview that screams otherwise.
How safetyism fuelled the Gaza campus protests
Indeed, safety is now a foundational value on campus (and beyond). Administrators and academics, often at students’ behest, put ‘trigger warnings’ on books deemed to be potentially upsetting. ‘Safe spaces’ for particular identity groups of students have proliferated. University authorities now play the role of paternalistic guardians of student welfare.

All of this has transformed the relationship between academics and students. In the past, academics would take an interest in the lives of their students, but they didn’t play the role of amateur therapists or proxy parents. What’s more, most students would have resented attempts by campus authorities and academics to intrude into their personal lives. They wanted the freedom to conduct their private affairs as they saw fit.

This began to change as early as the 1980s. Academic institutions began to treat students as not quite capable of exercising the responsibilities associated with young adulthood. This shift from an open to a regulated campus was often justified in the language of risk and harm. Strikingly, there was no significant opposition to this from students and academics. By the mid-1990s, students’ unions in the UK were in the forefront of raising ‘awareness’ of health and wellbeing issues.

The contrast between campus culture in the 1960s and now is stark. The 1960s campus was a parent-free zone. Today, institutions of higher education organise open days for parents (and students) and target them with advertising literature. In turn, many parents take it upon themselves to exercise a degree of surveillance over the progress of their children when they start university. Many expect the university to operate like a school and exercise a ‘duty of care’ for their children.

In this respect, the pre-existing distinction between a high-school pupil and an undergraduate has eroded. The contemporary undergraduate tends to be regarded as a biologically mature child – a vulnerable young person whose safety must be protected through institutional support and intervention.

This infantilisation is arguably the most dramatic change on campus over the past five decades. There are of course many students who resist being treated like children. Nevertheless, the infantilising ethos dominates. Instead of encouraging students’ moral and intellectual independence, universities cultivate their sense of vulnerability.

This infantilisation is founded on a diminished view of human subjectivity. Individuals are regarded not as agents, but as the potential victims of circumstance. As many observers have noted, these sentiments are widely held throughout society. However, paternalistic etiquette truly dominates on campus. Outwardly, this etiquette appears to encourage non-judgementalism and open-mindedness. ‘Be Kind’, etc. However, in practice, it encourages authoritarianism and intolerance – and even violence – towards ideas and forms of behaviour that violate its norms. Universities and their students endorse the value of diversity but refuse to tolerate a diversity of opinions. Violent intolerance is the flipside of rampant safetyism.

The infantilisation of students – the assumption of their fragility and vulnerability – has gone hand in hand with the institutionalisation of what I have characterised elsewhere as therapy culture. The most tragic consequence of the therapeutic turn in higher education is the normalisation of mental illness. Virtually every existential problem confronting students today is reframed in terms of a psychological disorder, syndrome or condition. This is partially responsible for what’s often referred to as the campus ‘mental-health crisis’.
No Foreign Agitators Allowed
Universities enjoy tremendous taxpayer resources. Those that neglect their responsibilities to filter out anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Western applicants should not continue reaping those benefits. The National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and other government organs that fund research should condition grants on recipients’ exercising due diligence when admitting foreign students. Simultaneously, the Secretary Of Education should issue guidance that schools with poor track records of filtering out students hostile to the United States—and thus harming educational opportunities for Americans, as various Title VI lawsuits now claim with regard to officials’ failure to stop the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students—may jeopardize their eligibility for federal student-aid programs.

The State Department can also double-check universities’ decisions when considering visas. State, however, has been an ineffective in this role, despite confirming in November that it could pull the visas of those who support designated terrorist organizations. Indeed, that fear of triggering deportations explains why MIT has declined to discipline foreign lawbreakers, effectively giving them more “rights” to intimidate, harass, and impede educational programs than American students enjoy.

Students who commit crimes of “moral turpitude,” support terrorism, or otherwise harm American foreign policy interests are already inadmissible to the United States, as is anyone who engages in assault, arson, robbery, or even vandalism. Those committing such acts while in the U.S. are also removable. Acting as Hamas’s public-relations agents constitutes what the Supreme Court has called “material support” of terrorism. So does advocating for the elimination of Israel, our most reliable and stable partner in the Middle East—at least if this advocacy is tied to Students for Justice in Palestine or other organizations with funding or messaging connections to State Department-designated terror organizations.

Reform should start with the State Department making a reasonable inquiry into visa applicants’ propensity for supporting terror and denying applicants with a history of anti-Semitism (often demonstrated on social-media accounts). And students who have used their time in America to engage in anti-Semitic activism, like the recent spate of encampments, should not remain in the United States.

In other words, international students who enjoy the rare privilege of studying at our world-class universities should conform themselves to the norms and standards of our country. The State Department should review the conduct of all visa-holders attending universities plagued by anti-Semitic unrest and ensure that involved foreign students are not eligible for continued enrollment, let alone H1B visas or other opportunities to prolong their time in the United States.

Given that the Biden administration appears to lack the will or the competence to exercise the government’s authority, one hopes that a second Trump White House would make combatting anti-Semitism, and removing inadmissible foreign agitators, a day-one priority.
The young children facing anti-Semitic abuse at school – while their teachers remain silent
“It started with a fellow pupil saying ‘Heil Hitler’ to my son – in the classroom, the school corridor and the playground.” Sarah’s* teenage child didn’t want to go to school the day after this happened. “He was very upset,” she says. “He was also worried about reporting it and being seen as a snitch. There are incidents all the time and it’s not a nice environment for him.”

Sarah’s son attends a state secondary school in Surrey. As a Jewish pupil, he had experienced one incident of anti-Semitism there before Oct 7 last year. But since Hamas’s terror attack on Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza, the British schoolboy has found himself at the sharp end of an escalation in anti-Semitic abuse from his peers, some of whom have taken to incorporating the word “Jew” into his name.

One child targeted him on Snapchat, telling him “your Jewish a--- must be stopped.”

Sarah’s husband reported this incident to the police, who took it seriously at first but, more than a month later, have yet to contact the alleged culprit.

“That incident was really worrying for us,” says Sarah. “I’m now scared to speak to my son in Hebrew [in public]. You take off your symbols and change your language to try [and hide]. I feel like my children are a target and that’s very scary. It shouldn’t happen to children, no matter what background they’re from.”

Her son is not the only one to be targeted at the school. Sarah’s friend’s Jewish son in Year 11 at the same secondary was approached by another boy brandishing a can of deodorant and saying to him, “Gas the Jews”.

“There’s been a big increase in incidents since October 7,” says Sarah.

The anti-Semitism experienced by Jewish students on British university campuses since the war started has been well-documented. But according to Jewish parents, even very young children are hearing and seeing hostility from others their age.

Less than a month after the Hamas attack, a swastika and the words “Kill Jews” were found daubed in the lavatories at Channing, a private girls’ school in north London. The school warned pupils that anti-Semitism would not be tolerated.
Is This Suburban New York Charity a Terrorist Front Group?
At first glance, the Westchester Peace Action Committee Foundation (WESPAC) seems unremarkable: a sleepy community organization with just one part-time staffer, a modest office in White Plains, N.Y., and little by way of public events.

But the group raked in $2.4 million in 2022—more than three times as much as it raised in 2020, according to public tax filings. The charity in 2022 spent nearly $1.5 million on "office expenses," a category the IRS says should only cover "supplies, telephone, postage."

"This is all very strange, it seems like they're trying to obfuscate what they're really spending their money on," said former IRS tax law specialist and nonprofit consultant Patrick Sternal. "This doesn't look like a particularly transparent organization, this filing raises all sorts of questions."

A new lawsuit could point to some answers.

In May, families of the victims of Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel filed suit against National Students for Justice in Palestine and American Muslims for Palestine, both of which, the plaintiffs allege, are "collaborators and propagandists for Hamas." Buried in the suit is a brief reference to WESPAC, which the suit names as the "official 'fiscal sponsor'" of National Students for Justice in Palestine.

"The financial interactions between WESPAC and its anti-Israel clientele is intentionally opaque to largely shield from public view the flow of funds between and among them," the lawsuit reads.
Andrew Neil: Our university bosses will rue the day they failed to stand up to the posh pro-Hamas student protestors wallowing in their own stupidity
The more elite the British university, the more stupid the students. Strange, even counter-intuitive, but sadly — even scarily — true, at least when it comes to Israel and Hamas.

As the Mail reported on Saturday, a poll of 1,000 students across 20 campuses found that 29 per cent regarded the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel 'understandable' and an act of 'resistance', which is bad enough.

But when the results were narrowed down to Russell Group universities, Britain's answer to America's famed Ivy League, backing for Hamas rose to 38 per cent, which is shameful. Only one in three saw it as a 'terrorist attack'.

So many of our smartest and most expensively educated students have failed to understand that what Hamas mounted was an old-fashioned, barbarous pogrom. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with the word and its evil history. October 7 should have educated them.

Hamas killers poured over the Gaza border into Israel with the primary purpose of murdering as many Jews as they could — as happened so often in the past in Eastern Europe and Russia.

They also took some Jews hostage, so they could be tortured, generally abused and used as bargaining chips.

Last week Israeli forces found the decomposing bodies of three of the hostages in Rafah, southern Gaza, left to rot after being executed.

Many of the hostages and those murdered on October 7 are the same age as the students loudly proclaiming support for their Hamas killers. I doubt that has dawned on them, such is the cocoon of privileged ignorance from which they protest, which leads them, incredibly, to think Hamas are heroes.

'Resistance is justified' they proclaim. But they know not of what they speak. Despite chanting slogans now for several weeks from their encampments, many still have trouble telling us between what river and what sea they want 'Palestine' to be free. Hint to some who may be misled by their colleagues' wrong answers: the river is not the Nile and the sea is most definitely not the Caribbean.

They shout for 'Intifada' with no idea what that means, oblivious to the death and destruction with which it is synonymous. Like 'from the river to the sea' it is essentially a call to eliminate Israel's existence. Of this they're a bit more aware: many in the student encampments openly advocate Israel's destruction.

This is no 'give peace a chance' protest. It is posh protesters wallowing in the limelight — and their own stupidity.
Almost eight in ten Jewish students experienced 'casual' anti-Semitism - stereotyping or offensive comments dressed up as 'banter' - at university, poll reveals
Eight in ten Jewish students have experienced 'casual' anti-Semitism while at university, a new poll shows.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) found the vast majority of its members have been made to feel uncomfortable on campus.

Of the 1,000 survey respondents, 78 per cent have been victims of casual anti-Semitism, such as stereotyping or offensive comments dressed up as 'banter'.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent said they experienced more serious direct anti-Semitism, with 42 per cent saying they witnessed it.

A similar proportion - 44 per cent - said they were not open about their Jewish identity while on campus.

And 82 per cent said they were 'worried' about anti-Semitism, with 33 per cent citing it as one of their biggest concerns.

The vast majority of responses - 85 per cent - were collected before the Hamas atrocities of October 7, suggesting the problem existed even before the current Gaza conflict.

The poll also shows Jews have been victims of prejudice on campus regardless of their political views.
Harvard Sanctions Two Rhodes Scholarship Recipients for Participating in Illegal Anti-Israel Encampment
Harvard College sanctioned two of its Rhodes Scholarship recipients for their participation in the illegal anti-Israel encampment that plagued campus for weeks.

Undergraduate students Asmer Asrar Safi and Suhaas Bhat were among the 25 students placed on suspension or probation for their roles in the encampment, the students said. Both were in line to graduate this month but will no longer be allowed to do so. Safi, an encampment organizer and international student from Pakistan, planned to study "progressive political messaging" at Oxford, while Bhat planned to study "mathematical modeling and scientific computing as well as international health and tropical medicine." Safi has said he will now graduate in May of 2025, while Bhat did not respond to a request for comment on when he would receive a degree.

The pair’s status as Rhodes recipients reflects the scholarship's affinity for liberal activists. Just one of the 157 American Rhodes Scholars selected in the past five years "expressed interest in a right-leaning issue in their program biography," according to an American Enterprise Institute study. Prominent recipients include Chesa Boudin, the son of Weather Underground terrorists who was ousted from his role as San Francisco district attorney over soft-on-crime policies.

In Bhat's probation appeal to Harvard's Administrative Board, meanwhile, the sanctioned student said his "work as a fossil fuel divestment activist" is part of what earned him the scholarship in the first place. As a result, Bhat argued he should not be sanctioned for his encampment activism.

"Do these accolades mean anything if I do not actually live by the principles that they are recognizing?" he wrote in his statement to the board, part of which was obtained by the Harvard Crimson. "Am I no longer an ideal Harvard student if I ask the University to live up to its own principles?"

‘Palestinians Had Nothing to Lose’: New York Times Op-Ed Implies Oct. 7 Massacre Was Justified
Author Megan K. Stack’s latest op-ed in The New York Times is worse than a hatchet job — it is a malicious screed masquerading as insightful analysis.

In ‘The View Within Israel Turns Bleak,’ the conclusions that Stack invites readers to arrive at are obvious from the first paragraph in which she quotes right-wing Israeli journalist Yehuda Shlezinger’s angrily proclaiming there should be “more rivers of Gazans’ blood.”

The journalist, Stack contends, is not “fringe,” nor would “Israelis would be shocked by his bloody fantasies.” Indeed, she argues the views espoused by Shlezinger are further evidence that “Israel has hardened” — now it is a nation of people who, regardless of their political leanings, have a “thirst for revenge” on the Palestinians.

But Stack ignores the fact that extreme remarks like Shlezinger’s are consistently condemned by both Israeli politicians and the public, as demonstrated when a junior government minister was suspended for saying Israel could drop an atomic bomb on Gaza.

Instead, she suggests that her simplistic assessment is supported by statistics: a four-month-old survey found that 94 percent of Jewish Israelis felt the force used in Gaza was appropriate or insufficient.

More bizarre terror commentary from the BBC’s John Simpson
That report by the Telegraph prompted reaction on social media from the BBC’s John Simpson:

Simpson’s distortion of a newspaper headline into a supposed “demand” which was never made by David Cameron, his portrayal of British law as a “political line” and his promotion of something approaching a conspiracy theory concerning “a particular school of thought in the Conservative Party” would not have come as much of a surprise to anyone who remembers the article he penned last October on the topic of widespread criticism of the BBC’s refusal to describe Hamas as a terrorist organisation:

“Terrorism is a loaded word, which people use about an outfit they disapprove of morally. It’s simply not the BBC’s job to tell people who to support and who to condemn – who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

We regularly point out that the British and other governments have condemned Hamas as a terrorist organisation, but that’s their business. We also run interviews with guests and quote contributors who describe Hamas as terrorists.

The key point is that we don’t say it in our voice. Our business is to present our audiences with the facts, and let them make up their own minds.”
DOES THE BBC REALLY WANT TO BE KNOWN AS ‘OBJECTIVE’ ABOUT THE MASS SLAUGHTER OF ISRAELIS? “The facts” are that Hamas is designated as a terrorist organisation under UK law and membership of and expressing support for it (including by means of clothing or flags) is an illegal act, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Members of the BBC’s audience – including those participating in demonstrations – would of course be best served by their publicly funded national broadcaster were they provided with that information rather than tepid descriptions such as “gunmen” or “militants”. Despite what John Simpson may believe, the members of the British public do not need to “make up their own minds” as to whether Hamas is a terrorist organisation or not, just as they do not need to decide whether or not theft or speeding is a crime in their country.

Not unrelatedly, just days earlier we also learned via a BBC spokesman that the corporation thinks that “a widespread interpretation” of a court ruling is legitimate broadcast material even though that interpretation is wrong:
BBC RADIO 4’S ‘TODAY’ PLATFORMS DISINFORMATION ON ICJ RULING Of course what makes the remarks from Simpson and anonymous BBC spokesmen even more galling is the fact that for years BBC journalists have employed double standards, showing time and time again that they are prepared to ignore the corporation’s editorial guidelines when terror strikes closer to home. Just days ago, for example, in appropriate and unattributed language, BBC audiences were told about British campaigners who:
“…plan to visit the sites of terror attacks including the 7/7 Memorial in London, before arriving in London on 22 May, the seventh anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack.”

As long as David Cameron’s advice continues to not only fall on deaf ears at the BBC but also to prompt the type of bizarre comment displayed by John Simpson, the corporation’s credibility as an ‘impartial’ producer of “news you can trust” will further erode.
Behind the BBC’s “Palestinian journalist” label
The majority of readers will of course not be familiar with that quoted “Palestinian journalist”. According to her Linkedin profile Hind Khoudary currently works on a freelance basis for Al Jazeera and the Turkish state-run outlet Andalou Agency. In addition, she works as a content producer for the UN’s World Food Programme (which is also quoted in this BBC report) and for the ‘We Are Not Numbers’ project run by the Hamas-linked NGO EuroMed Monitor.

Hind Khoudary – who has a record of glorifying terrorism on social media – is perhaps most remembered in connection to the arrests of several activists – including a journalist – in the Gaza Strip four years ago. As reported by the Times of Israel in April 2020:
“A fierce dispute has divided the Palestinian community after Gaza’s rulers, Hamas, arrested six local activists for chatting by video conference with left-leaning campaigners in Israel.

The Islamist terror group Hamas bans all communications with Israel and last week arrested the six members of the Gaza Youth Committee on charges of “treason” and “normalization” of relations with the Jewish state. […]

A key player in the row has been the former Amnesty activist Hind Khoudary, who on Facebook criticized Aman over the alleged act of “normalization” with Israel.

Khoudary tagged several Hamas officials in the online post, ensuring Aman’s Zoom call would come to their attention.”

Hamas and Khoudary denied that the posts on her Facebook account had prompted the arrests.
“Khoudary told AFP she did not regret her posts and did not oppose Aman’s arrest, while stressing that she was not responsible for his detention.

“I didn’t make a mistake,” she said, criticizing him over what she described as his attempt to speak on behalf of all Palestinians.

“As a Palestinian, before I became a journalist, I am against normalization,” said Khoudary.”

As documented here at the time, the BBC chose to completely ignore that story which went on for months.

The BBC’s reliance on “Palestinian journalists” such as Khoudary once again demonstrates the corporation’s very low bar when it comes to vetting the partisan sources from whom it solicits accounts of events which are then uncritically promoted worldwide as ‘accurate and impartial’ news.
‘Nakba’ in a Vacuum AP Covers 1948 ‘Mass Expulsion,’ Erases Arab War of Annihilation
“Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate,” stated former Associated Press correspondent Matti Friedman in 2014, concisely distilling the fundamental fault of international media coverage of Israel and the Palestinians. “The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.”

In May 14 and 15 coverage of the “Nakba,” or the Palestinians’ “original ‘catastrophe,'” the Associated Press drilled down on that well-worn modus operandi. The leading news agency covered at length what it described as “the 76th year of their mass expulsion from what is now Israel, an event that is at the core of their national struggle,” without one word about what precipitated that catastrophe: that is, the war that five Arab armies, joined together with the local Arab population, launched in a failed effort to annihilate the nascent Jewish state (“Palestinians mark 76 years of dispossession as a potentially even larger catastrophe unfolds in Gaza,” Joseph Krauss, May 14).

A second lengthy AP story the next day, “Palestinians across the Middle East mark their original ‘catastrophe’ with eyes on the war in Gaza,” likewise contained not one hint of the joint Arab effort to eradicate the new Jewish state. According to its selective reporting, “The Nakba, Arabic for ‘catastrophe,’ refers to the 700,000 Palestinians who fled were driven out of what is now Israel before and during the war surrounding its creation in 1948.”

In both articles, AP refrained from reporting on who exactly started that war, and to what end. The May 15 article by Joseph Krauss, Abby Sewell and Samy Magdy no longer appears on AP’s site or on the news database Lexis-Nexis, but is archived here.

Krauss’ May 14 article also concealed the fact that it was the Arab side which launched the (failed) war which was meant to wipe Israel off the map but instead which engendered the enduring refugee crisis: “Some 700,000 Palestinians – the majority of the prewar population – fled or were driven from their homes before and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that followed Israel’s establishment.”

The mass refugee issue is a result of a war that Arab countries launched on Israel, and yet the two AP “Nakba” stories never report that key point. The selective reporting is the ultimate ruse for erasing Palestinian responsibility for their own decades-long fate.

Reporting on the “Nakba” without noting the Arab states joined the local Arab population to launch a war of eradication of the Jewish state is like reporting on Israel’s present day war in Gaza without noting Hamas’ October 7 orgy of murder, rape, torture, maiming, destruction and looting.
Reuters Inflates By Millions 1948 Refugees Who Fled to Jordan
In an otherwise informative and very important May 15 article shedding light on a worrisome development with respect to Iranian belligerence in the region, Reuters falsely inflated the number of Palestinian Arab refugees who fled to Jordan in the wake of the 1948 war (“Jordan foils arms plot as kingdom caught in Iran-Israel shadow war“):
Most of [King Abdullah’s] 11 million people are of Palestinian origin, because Jordan took in millions of Palestinian refugees fleeing their homeland in the turbulent years following the founding of Israel.

The total Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war who dispersed across the Middle East and beyond did not reach even one million. As Reuters itself reported in recent days, some 700,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees in the wake of the failed Arab war to annihilate Israel in 1948 – not millions. And only around half of those 700,000 ended up in Jordan. (The Arabic version of the same story on the thwarted weapons smuggling does not contain the “millions” error.)
Guardian again corrects false claim about ICJ ruling
For the second time in ten days, Guardian editors upheld a complaint we filed about a false characterisation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in January. An article by Daniel Hurst in the Australian edition of the Guardian (“Fatima Payman accuses Israel of genocide in Gaza in significant rupture with Labor party position”, May 15) included this:
The international court of justice has yet to make a substantive ruling on genocide allegations levelled by South Africa but said in an interim ruling in January the claims were “plausible” and ordered Israel to take all steps to prevent genocidal acts and incitement.

As we noted previously, per this interview with Joan O’Donoghue, the former President of the ICJ, the court did NOT rule that the CLAIM of genocide is “plausible”. They only ruled that “there was a risk of irreparable harm to the Palestinian right to be protected from genocide“.

Anti-Israel messages, cheap deals: Turkish tourism in Jerusalem
Late last month, a Turkish tourist visiting Israel stabbed a police officer in Jerusalem's Old City and was subsequently shot dead on the spot. The terror attack, which resulted in the officer being moderately injured, raised questions about the presence of Turkish tourism in Israel. The answer is yes, there is Turkish tourism, but not necessarily in the positive sense of the word.

Each year, around 30,000 tourists from Turkey enter Israel. Several Turkish Islamist organizations are behind these tourist groups, with the most prominent being TIKA, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, which operates under the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism led by Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, a close associate of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In 2017, the former Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism visited the Temple Mount and encouraged Muslims worldwide to visit these holy sites.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, Director General of the Waqf responsible for Islamic holy sites including the Al-Aqsa Mosque, expressed his desire to see more Turkish visitors, noting that these visits help assert that Jerusalem and the mosque belong to Islam.

In 2023, TIKA’s president visited Jerusalem, inaugurating a music room funded by the agency at the Yabous Cultural Center, which hosts artists and writers with a clear anti-Israel stance, including those affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The TIKA president also hosted an iftar dinner at the Ambassador Hotel, with Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, former Mufti of Jerusalem who had been previously arrested for incitement, as the main guest.

Opposite the entrance to the Western Wall on Chain Street is "Khan Abu Khadija," a café established by TIKA to host Turkish tourists. The café's Facebook page reveals the substantial number of Turkish tourists and their affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. The walls of the café feature images of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who opposed the establishment of a Jewish state during Herzl’s time, and President Erdogan alongside Turkish flags.

PMW: Abbas' advisor threatens Israel with more massacres: “Oct. 7 can repeat itself 100 times, and perhaps even more seriously"
In an interview two days ago, top PA official and PA Chairman Abbas’ advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash threatened Israel that “Oct. 7 can repeat itself 100 times, and perhaps even more seriously.”

Al-Habbash envisions 100 times murder of over 1,000 innocent Israeli civilians: babies, children, youth, women, men, and elderly. He vows that 100 times Israeli women will be brutally raped, 100 times Israeli men will be sadistically killed, 100 times over 200 innocent Israeli civilians will be taken captive and held hostage for months.

This will happen “if the Palestinian cause will not be justly, comprehensively, and permanently resolved… on the basis of the UN resolutions”:

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “If the Palestinian cause will not be justly, comprehensively, and permanently resolved, at least on the basis of international legitimacy, at least on the basis of the UN resolutions, then Oct. 7 (i.e., Hamas’ invasion and massacre in Israel) can repeat itself 100 times, and perhaps even more seriously.”

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page, May 18, 2024]

PA leaders have repeated that they “only” want a two-state solution on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, but Palestinian Media Watch has documented numerous times that they tell their own people that they really want all of the State of Israel – from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition, the “UN resolutions” that the PA demands fulfilled and repeatedly highlights include UN Res. 194. UN 194 includes the words “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so.” While this was not totally impossible in December 1948 when the resolution passed, today with 5.9 million UNRWA recognized “refugees,” who are the descendants of the real refugees, UN 194 is the PA’s recipe for the end of Israel. The PA’s insistence that all 5.9 million UNRWA “refugees” immigrate to Israel is their way of seeking Israel's destruction under the umbrella of a UN resolution.

Top Fatah official praises Hamas’ massacre Oct. 7 for “erasing Israel’s reputation as a state”
Top Fatah official praises Hamas’ massacre Oct. 7 for “erasing Israel’s reputation as a state, [trampling] the Arabs’ heads with its boots”

Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki: “Oct. 7 [2023] came (i.e., Hamas’ attack and massacre). No one knows how it came, but the people of Gaza – men – erased Israel’s reputation as a state, [trampling] the Arabs’ heads with its boots, whose army is undefeatable, and the myth of [its] supremacy. The resistance factions (i.e., Hamas) returned it to being under their feet.”
[Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki, Facebook page, April 28, 2024]

Abbas Zaki also serves as Fatah Commissioner for Arab and China Relations.

Fatah: “Hamas’ leaders and its institutions” took “billions” for themselves
Fatah-run Awdah TV host: “Where did the billions go that the Hamas Movement received from Qatar under American and Israeli supervision? Hamas’ investments in European states and Arab states have made headlines... Hundreds of companies and investments and billions for Hamas’ leaders and its institutions. But the economic and social status of our people in the Gaza Strip has continuously deteriorated, and the suicide rates in the Gaza Strip have been the highest in the region. Therefore, Hamas, instead of economically reviving the residents with the money it has, preferred to give them the gift of Oct. 7 [2023] (i.e., Hamas’ launch of the 2023 Gaza war;), because death was lacking in the Gaza Strip.”
[Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Facebook page, April 29, 2024]

Civilian eyewitnesses in Gaza: Hamas steals the humanitarian aid
The video shows Gaza Strip residents speaking.

Woman 1: “We can’t take from the aid packages. They [Hamas] distribute them to certain people. I have sick people with me. I’m sick, my son has diabetes, my husband is sick…

Woman 2: “They [Hamas] distribute the vegetables to certain people and not to others. There are people who every night have vegetables arrive for them to the tent. We see it, but we can’t speak because whoever speaks gets beaten.” …

Man 1: “They [Hamas] are selling the tents. Aid arrives and they sell it. A box of halva that arrived as aid is sold for 40 [Israeli] shekels (just over $10 -Ed.)… Baby formula, oil, milk, everything, everything. The aid arrives, but I swear by Allah that the people doesn’t get any of it.” …

Man 2: For 3 days I go out at 3:00-4:00 a.m. to receive [aid], and to this day I have not received it.” [Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Facebook page, Feb. 5, 2024]

Posted text: “Favoritism and partisanship are taking control of the aid in the Gaza Strip (i.e., humanitarian aid entering during the 2023 Gaza war; see note below)”

MEMRI: State-Sponsored Qatari Children's Magazine Justifies Terror, Incites Against Jews, Israel And U.S.
Since Hamas' October 7, 2023 terror attack and the outbreak of the ensuing war in Gaza, Jassim, a Qatari monthly magazine for children issued by the state-sponsored Dar Al-Sharq Group, has been publishing content that justifies terror and violence against Israel, as well as antisemitic content. Poems and comics featured in the magazine since October 7 incite against Jews and against Israel, deny Israel's right to exist, condone terror against Israel, which is termed "Palestinian resistance" and even encourage the readers to seek martyrdom and attain Paradise. One of the comic strips also demonized the U.S., depicting it as a serpent baring its fangs to defend Israel.

The magazine issues published since October 7 include many maps of Palestine from the river to the sea, which deny Israel's existence. In addition, one issue contained an illustration of a child holding a key, which symbolizes the Palestinians' desire to return to the homes in Israel in which they lived before the 1948 war.[1]

This incitement in the Jassim children's magazine is another expression of hostility towards Israel and support for Hamas in the Qatari press, which has been especially conspicuous since the October 7 attack, [2] and joins the incitement evident in the Qatari school curricula.[3]

Logo of Jassim magazine, "the magazine of the future generation"

This report presents examples of antisemitic content and incitement to terror and violence against Israel in the Qatari children's magazine Jassim.

Justifying Terror Against Israel While Adopting Hamas' Red Triangle Symbol

Comic strips published in the Jassim magazine in the recent months justify Palestinian "resistance" against Israel, namely Hamas' terror against it, including the October 7 attack. One of the comic strips even adopted the inverted red triangle symbol, which has been associated with Hamas since the outbreak of the Gaza war. The triangle first appeared in Hamas videos documenting the fighting in Gaza, which use it to mark Israeli targets about to be attacked.[4]

A comic strip featured in the January 2024 issue, titled "This Is My Nest," tells of a resplendent quetzal, a bird with red, green, white and black plumage, which represents Palestine in the story, and a blue-and-white cuckoo with a yarmulke, representing Israel. The cuckoo chick tries to take over the quetzal's nest until the latter strikes at it and kicks it out.

In the beginning of the story, the reader is told that "the cuckoo is the most loathsome bird in the world. The female cuckoo does not bother to build a nest or even care for its young. It lays its single egg in the nest of another bird while the parent [birds] are away. As for the resplendent quetzal, its colors are identical to the colors of the Palestinian flag."
The death of Iran's most hated man
Suddenly, the streets of Iran's major cities were filled with dense lines of mourning men. Walking arm in arm with somber expressions, they prayed for the passengers of the helicopter that crashed on its way back from the Azerbaijan border. Images of the four prominent Iranian officials — President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the governor of East Azerbaijan from the Iranian side, and the Imam of Tabriz – were projected on giant screens.

According to rumors, Iranian police handpicked the mourning men, and prevented women from joining the funeral processions to avoid potential outbursts of joy.

There is no dispute: Raisi was a hated figure in Iran. The older generation despised and feared him due to his involvement in the mass executions during the Iran-Iraq War and the selection process conducted by his forces among prisoners. Those who pledged loyalty to the brutal regime were temporarily spared, while those who hesitated or made ambiguous statements were sent to face firing squads in prison yards.

This was followed by a second wave of civilian executions labeled as "enemies of the regime," again under Raisi's direct supervision. Despite the harsh testimonies and lawsuits filed against him by human rights organizations, he was appointed head of the judiciary. Last year, a record number of executions were recorded in Iran’s prisons: over 400 men and 60 women. Each execution was personally approved by Raisi. On Sunday, it was announced that Arvin Nathaniel Ghahremani, a young Jewish man scheduled for execution the following day, received a stay. Jewish human rights organizations had raised funds to send to his mother, though the family of the Iranian man killed in a fight involving Ghahremani had so far refused to accept money from Jews.

Raisi also had a long-standing vendetta against Iranian women. He intensified and enforced stricter hijab laws, reinstated the women of the "morality police" as informers, and sent hundreds of high school girls and prominent women to detention centers. On his personal recommendation, each detainee underwent an "entry stage," involving rape by the guards as part of their initiation into the detention center. In several cases, Raisi was an eyewitness.

MEMRI: Who Is The New Iranian Foreign Minister? MEMRI Research On Ali Bagheri Kani From The MEMRI Archives
On May 20, 2024, following an announcement that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and six others were killed in a helicopter crash, Iran's government appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani as Acting Foreign Minister.

In addition to his role as deputy foreign minister, Bagheri Kani, an experienced diplomat, was deputy foreign minister for political affairs and chief nuclear negotiator since 2021, when Raisi took office as president. He was a major critic of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, saying that it violated most of Khamenei's "red lines" with its restrictions and surveillance.

Bagheri Kani's father was a prominent cleric and a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body that chooses Iran's Supreme Leader. His uncle, Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, was also head of the Assembly. In the 1990s, while working for the Foreign Ministry, Bagheri Kani grew close to the prominent conservative Saeed Jalili and Jalili was appointed secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council in 2007, and became Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Bagheri Kani served as his deputy.

After serving in the Council, Bagheri Cani joined the judiciary, which was then headed by Raisi, and served as secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council and assistant for international affairs. Bagheri Kani is considered anti-West, close to Iran's ultraconservative circles, and part of the inner circle of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who is the father-in-law of Bagheri's brother.[1]

The following are statements by Bagheri Kani in an October 2023 MEMRI Special Dispatch and in a March 2020 MEMRI TV clip.

Iranian Regime Officials Praise Iran's Proxies In The Palestinian Resistance And The October 7 Massacres, Call For Eradication Of Israel – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister For Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani, October 30, 2023

On Iranian television on November 16, 2023, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani said: "Hamas has succeeded well in administering the region in recent years, when Gaza was cruelly besieged by the Zionists. In fact, this was an expression of the intelligence and prescience of the resistance. The operation that happened on October 7 underlined exactly this point. The point that I wanted to stress is that this incident on October 7 caused an irreversible earthquake in the Zionist regime's military security system."[2]
Iran postpones execution of Jewish man who killed a Muslim
Arvin Nathaniel Ghahremani, a 20-year-old Iranian Jew, was convicted of killing a Muslim man two years ago and was supposed to be put to death on Monday. On Sunday, the Jewish community in Iran was informed that the execution has been postponed until next month.

International efforts were exerted until the last moment, through international organizations and several countries, to prevent the execution. To commute his sentence to reparations, Ghahremani's family members pressured the family of the deceased to accept reparations instead of going through with the death sentence as is practiced in Iran.

The execution was planned for Saturday, but for unknown reasons, it was been postponed to Monday and it now has been postponed again. Several figures have appealed to different countries to intervene and help suspend the execution. Appeals have been made to countries including Russia and Germany.

Iran has long been known as the world's leading country in the number of executions, followed by Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where there is no accurate count of executions. European human rights organizations claim that Iran executed at least 223 people this year, including a large number of women. Just last month, 50 people were executed, including four women. In April, the number was much higher. Some 109 men were executed in the Islamic Republic, in addition to six women and two underage boys.
Judge rejects lawyers’ arguments for new trial for Tree of Life murderer
Legal efforts have failed to void the trial that resulted in the death penalty for the perpetrator of the most deadly antisemitic attack in the United States.

Judge Robert J. Colville released a 26-page statement on May 17 rejecting the arguments for a mistrial made by the attorneys of Robert Bowers, the lone gunman who murdered 11 Jewish worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018.

“It is beyond question that the jury was presented with sufficient evidence” to know that Bowers had targeted his victims because of their religion, he wrote. “[Bowers] walked into a Jewish place of worship on a day of worship, knowing that service would be held that day, and opened fire on each and every Jewish worshipper he came across.”

Colville wrote: “Any argument that no rational juror could find the specific intent required by [law] on the evidence presented in this case is simply, and entirely, baseless.”

Bowers’s lawyers also attacked the constitutionality of hate crime charges. “It is no mystery that the issue of [federal hate crime laws’] constitutionality will likely be raised on appeal,” Colville wrote before dismissing the effort, declaring that “[the] defendant has not advanced any argument.”
Mass Antisemitic Rally in Front of Munich Synagogue Calls for Israel’s Eradication
Nearly 4,000 anti-Israel protestors turned up on Saturday in front of the main Munich synagogue demanding the obliteration of the Jewish state, according to German media reports.

A mix of German Muslim, leftist and mainstream Germans appeared at the mass rally, according to the online German news organization NIUS.

Signs were on display declaring “Israel has no respect for Holocaust.”

One eyewitness told NIUS that “The noise could be heard in the prayer room” in the synagogue. NUIS wrote that according to one eyewitness, “The demonstration was perceived by the Jewish community as threatening.” The eyewitness added, “What the city of Munich has achieved by approving this demonstration is to terrify the Jewish population.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told i24NEWS, “it is beyond an outrage that the local government allowed a pro-Hamas mob to march outside Munich synagogue, especially on the holy day of Shabbat. 4,000 antisemites given government sanction to curse Israel with tropes in front of a Jewish House of prayer! SWC urges State and Federal authorities to protect the Jewish community from antisemites and government officials who approved this attack.”

The Süddeutsche Zeitung paper reported one speaker at the anti-Israel protest rejected Israel’s existence, saying, “we do not recognize the right to exist if it means displacement and oppression. We only recognize the rights of the oppressed.” Israel was termed a “terrorist state” and a “Zionist regime” at the rally.

NIUS reported one of the organizers from Palestine Speaks group equated Zionism with racism. “Together against Israeli fascism,” was changed at the event and reportedly a number of participants brought large keys with them, which is recognized as a symbol for the demand of the return of Palestinians to Israeli territory.

There has been scarce resistance to rising antisemitism in the southern German city of Munich in the state of Bavaria. The commissioner tasked with antisemitism, Ludwig Spaenle, declined to condemn the Bavaria-based giant engineering company Siemens last year after the multinational’s Turkish subsidiary, Siemens AŞ, signed a contract with Turkish state railway TCDD that pledged Siemens in Turkey would boycott Israel. Critics of modern antisemitism have argued the failure to confront BDS antisemitism emboldens anti-Israel and pro-Hamas organizations.

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel
In March, the reliably Israel-hating London Review of Books published an article by the essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra titled “The Shoah after Gaza,” which accuses Israel of visiting various imaginary horrors on the Palestinians and calls on “those jolted into consciousness by the calamity of Gaza” to “rescue the Shoah . . . and re-universalize its moral significance.” Joe Schwartz comments on this widespread mode of thinking about the Holocaust, which Mishra raised to a new extreme:
The murder of 6,000,000 Jews, you see, has a “universal moral significance” which the Jews themselves are in the process of “dynamiting” along with “global norms.” The Holocaust was, if you will, a revelation delivered to the Jews, a kind of anti-scripture with lessons for all of humanity. And the Jews, faithless readers that we are, use it as a license to kill.

This should sound familiar to students of Christianity. For the central claim of the early church against the Jews was just this: that God spoke not only to the Jews but to all of humanity, and for as long as the Jews understand God’s revelation to be addressed to us, we are faithless readers of scripture and history.

As Schwartz notes, this reasoning is perverse:
For the thing is, neither the Jews nor humanity needed the anti-revelation of the Shoah to learn that murdering millions of innocents was wrong. The idea that Jewish deaths might be redeemed by such a trite moral is an insult to their memory. . . . Only one group of people denies that the suffering of the Jews has any redemptive meaning at all: the Zionists. For us, the Jews suffer only because people mean us harm, and because we are unable to defend ourselves. And therefore we must learn to defend ourselves.

Does it follow then that Israelis, in rejecting the “universal message” of the Holocaust, believe in “‘never again’ for Jews only”? Haviv Rettig Gur responds to this suggestion, arguing that Palestinians can in fact learn the same lesson from the Holocaust as Israelis:
The Israeli message to Palestinians, then, isn’t that “only Jews get to be safe”—it’s that Palestinians need their own Zionism because only self-reliance brings safety.

The world’s love and concern for them is a mirage, a Western elite’s self-validating moral cartoon about itself, not a willingness actually to protect and to sacrifice for Palestinians. The very fact that the world is invested in Palestinians more than in any other conflict or suffering population combined is a sign that its concern isn’t the actual suffering but rather Western elite narrative-making. True morality and real law would swing into action for others too.

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