Tuesday, May 21, 2024

From Ian:

Israel Doesn’t Need Better ‘Hasbara’ It needs better friends
None of this is to suggest that pro-Israel Democrats should all jump ship and become Republicans. If an individual finds himself on the political left for whatever reason, he can be a good ally by pushing the Israeli cause within the Democratic Party. Figures like John Fetterman, Ritchie Torres, and Eric Adams have been important allies throughout this conflict. Democrats like these will always be facing somewhat of an uphill battle going forward given the basic moral and intellectual commitments of the modern left. But political parties generally aren’t known for always being logically consistent across all issue areas, so to the extent that a pro-Israel left can still exist, we should hope that it does.

All of this is to say that the best thing individuals can do to shape public opinion in Israel’s favor is to be more confident and assertive allies.

This involves not granting the premise of moral equivalency between Israelis and the Palestinians. A nation defending itself and inflicting collateral damage is not the same as a movement with exterminationist goals, which seeks to slaughter innocent people as an end in itself. And it is fine to say, based on everything else we know, that the Israeli government is more credible than Hamas when the truth about an incident or aspect of the war, like whether Israel is targeting innocent journalists, is in dispute.

From a broader perspective, friends of Israel must push back on any ideology that emphasizes Western wickedness and identity politics, of which hostility to the world’s only Jewish state must be a byproduct, made all the more powerful in international forums due to the way it resonates with the Third World. Join the struggles against DEI bureaucracies, fake academic fields based on an oppression-centered view of the world, and a far-left takeover of the Democratic Party. These larger battles will, more than any hasbara operation narrowly focused on Gaza, ultimately determine whether Israel can in the coming years continue to count on the United States as an ally.

The war in Gaza has captured the attention of the world because Israel, due to the kinds of tragic choices it must make, has emerged as the main avatar of Western civilization. This is one thing that the campus left gets correct. Throughout human history, most peoples have accomplished nothing most of the time, sulking in poverty, stagnation, tyranny, and sloth. Just as the United States forged a new civilization out of a wilderness, 75 years ago a people that had been stateless for over two millennia took over a small strip of land that had practically no natural resources, all the while being surrounded and outnumbered by hostile neighbors. Yes, in both stories, atrocities and injustices were committed along the way. But this is fundamentally less important than what these nations have accomplished and the necessity of making sure they continue to survive and prosper. As recent campus protests have made clear, the left sees these connections and knows what the stakes are. Israel and its allies must similarly understand that the real public relations battle is a struggle over the metanarrative of Western civilization.
In the Wake of October 7: Reflections on the American Jewish Community
Since Oct. 7, American Jews are experiencing a fundamental repositioning of not only how they see themselves but also how others perceive them. It includes seismic shifts in their relationship to Israel, how they form political alliances, and their way of being Jewish in a world that feels scarier, lonelier, and, in some surprising ways, more Jewish than ever.

This spring, American Jews awoke to a coordinated assault on American universities as pro-Palestinian groups orchestrated a set of demonstrations and demands designed to remove U.S. involvement with Israel and to disengage higher educational institutions from any academic or financial connection with the Jewish State. With their distortions of Zionism, misrepresentations of Judaism, and outright dismissal of the Jewish people, these players are attempting to rewrite the Jewish narrative concerning who we are and what we represent.

These activists seek to deny both our presence in the land of Israel and our historic connection to this holy space. Our opponents in this moment are calling for our genocide, comfortably aligning themselves with those in prior periods who were committed to seeking our demise.
American Jews Overwhelmingly Support Israel in a War Imposed upon It by Genocidal Forces Seeking Its Destruction
Liberal Jewish voters consider President Biden a longtime friend. At the same time, they are troubled by the growing influence of anti-Israel forces in the Democratic Party. They view Mr. Biden's freeze on sending some weapons to Israel as evidence of capitulation to a radical fringe.

American Jews overwhelmingly support Israel. Most consider the Jewish state an important component of their identity. They distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and hatred of the Jewish state. Contrary to the impression the media often gives, anti-Zionist Jews are few, a marginal part of the American Jewish community.

Judaism hates war and American Jews share the world's concern for Palestinian civilians. Revenge is for God, not human beings. We are prohibited even to rejoice in the deaths of enemy combatants, let alone civilians. Still, most American Jews understand that the West's nearly exclusive focus on Palestinian casualties - the result of a war that Gaza's own government launched - distorts reality.

This war was imposed on Israel by genocidal forces seeking its destruction. Oct. 7 revealed what is in store for Israel if these forces win. If Hamas defeats Israel, its Islamist supporters will come for us in Europe and America. Most Americans understand this and support Israel over Hamas by huge margins.

Since Oct. 7, American Jews understand much better the nexus between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. With the explosion of antisemitism in America, it is clearer to us than ever why there must be an Israel. We now realize that in most cases anti-Zionism constitutes, or leads inevitably to, antisemitism.

Seth Mandel: Will the Progressive Left Bury the Two-State Solution For Good?
The post-October 7 pro-Hamas protests were revelatory in this way. Those inclined to dismiss these demonstrations by waving them away as college silliness must understand that the campus portions of the response to the Gaza war are a later development, evidence of the bandwagon effect. Immediately upon the news of Hamas’s success in carrying out the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust, progressive organizers were out in force. The protest movement did not rise in response to anything Israel said or did; it was a true out-of-the-woodwork moment for Hamas superfans. It was as if a hard-luck baseball team made the World Series for once: Everybody who wanted to see Hamas win but hadn’t made their Hamas fandom much of a priority suddenly came to claim their share of the spoils. The Democratic Socialists of America held what was essentially a victory party in New York.

Soon these demonstrations took to the halls of Congress, where staffers openly sympathized (and even occasionally defected to) the pressure groups attacking their bosses. Eventually Democratic representatives, and then senators, began to capitulate. Democratic-aligned super-donors kept the pro-Hamas demonstrators flush with cash. Elite university presidents granted the tentifada’s wish lists, ceding them power over the administrating of the campuses. President Biden, the last holdout, folded and let them influence his foreign policy.

It would be one thing if this entire movement were merely indifferent to the two-state solution. But in fact it is undergirded by hostility to any Jewish sovereignty at all. The larger progressive movement from which it sprang has long been of the opinion that the vital conflict in Israel is over what happened in 1948, not 1967—that is, the existence of Israel, not the expansion of its borders or territory, is the original sin that must be rectified.

The ideological engine behind this is “decolonization,” an upside-down anti-Western and antidemocratic theory of which Israel is only a part. But it’s a large part, because anti-Semitism does not do portion control. The flat-earther idea that Jews aren’t native to Judea or that the people of Israel aren’t from the Land of Israel is silly on its face, but the combination of ideology and conspiracy theory makes it impervious to facts and evidence in the minds of its true believers.

You do not, as Bob Dylan sang, need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. But the Weathermen are the ones with that wind at their backs. Sometimes the easiest way to see this is by paying attention to those whose professional lives depend on their ability to anticipate shifting orthodoxy. In an April interview with Politico, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the influential Democratic think tank the Center for American Progress, suggested the two-state solution might be a dead end. He and his interviewer then had this exchange:

You don’t see a two state solution as a plausible outcome?

I firmly believe Israel must exist as a state. But I also believe Palestinians — if we are going to solve this problem — need to exist in an Israel that is inclusive of their full rights.

The pushback has always been that if you have a single state, you can’t have a Jewish majority state that is democratic in Israel.

I think that taking out the possibility of coexistence is, in itself, really cynical and tragic.
Gaspard later tried to walk it back, so the finger-in-the-wind take is that Israel’s existence is at least still open to discussion on his side of the aisle. But the shift is pronounced and the forces driving that shift still have all the momentum.
JPost Editorial: Biden's Commitment to a Two-State Solution Clashes with Harsh Realities on the Ground
President Joe Biden said Sunday, "I'm working to make sure we finally get a two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet the landscape is increasingly resistant to such dreams. A poll by the Israel Democracy Institute after Oct. 7 found that only 35% of Israelis now believe peaceful coexistence between Israel and a Palestinian state is possible. The brutal reality of violence has transformed public opinion, solidifying the perception that territorial concessions equate to security risks.

Historical experiences, such as the 2005 Gaza disengagement, have left deep scars, reinforcing fears that a Palestinian state could become a launchpad for more attacks. This sentiment is echoed across political lines. Israeli leaders and a significant portion of the public prioritize immediate security needs over long-term diplomatic solutions that seem increasingly impractical under current conditions.

The persistent violence and lack of trust have repeatedly undermined the concept of a two-state solution. In February, the Knesset voted overwhelmingly against the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. It underscored the prevailing sentiment in Israel that any move towards a Palestinian state must be carefully negotiated and secured. The fear of repeating mistakes, where territorial concessions brought increased violence, looms large.
David Collier: The BBC is spreading dangerous lies
Make no mistake – elements within the BBC have declared a propaganda war against the state of Israel – and if you think this is an exaggeration, you are not paying attention.

At the moment there is little difference between the BBC and the poisonous Qatari mouthpiece Al Jazeera. The BBC is employing journalists (often Islamists) with publicly visible hostility towards the Jewish state – and then allowing these journalists to use the BBC as a massive platform for their toxic activism. The BBC is caught doing this far too often for it to be anything less that an institutional attack on Israel (1, 2, 3), and this post deals with the latest example – a recently published article covering Victoria state banning the wearing of the keffiyeh in parliament.

BBC activist directs the narrative
Several news outlets reported on the decision by Victoria state to recognise the political message delivered by the wearing of the keffiyeh (the reason for capturing the act under existing rules concerning the wearing of political symbols in the chamber). Many of the articles I found, including those in the Guardian, Sky News Australia, and even the New Arab – do not even mention the word ‘Nakba’ in the delivery. The BBC journalist chose to bring up the Nakba – probably because it meant that she then needed to explain what the Nakba was – and it is there that the article runs into serious trouble.

Lying through omission
Before I get into why this BBC piece is so dangerous, one other description worthy of note is the explanation of the keffiyeh itself. The BBC journo wrote:
‘the black-and-white keffiyeh became associated with Palestinian identity during the late 1930s’.

Indeed. The keffiyeh became associated with violent Arab groups during the Arab uprising against British rule which took place between 1936-1939. During this revolt the keffiyeh wearing Arabs killed approximately 260 British servicemen, and the Arab leadership began to insist that notables in the population wear the keffiyeh as a sign of solidarity with the fighters.

Odd that the British state broadcaster chose NOT to mention the fact that the death of 260+ British servicemen is directly linked to the birth of modern keffiyeh symbolism. But then this is the way the BBC does history these days – everything is done to whitewash the Palestinian cause.

The BBC rewrites history to whitewash the Palestinians
Having chosen to mention the Nakba – the BBC journalist now needed to explain to the reader what the Nakba was. And this one short section contained just 47 words – 47 words of pure poison:

This description is so insidious and dangerous it must be challenged. This is not about opinions – nor a slight error. This is major historical revisionism that pushes a entirely false and dangerous narrative. The key point in the BBC description suggests that a war began on the 14 May 1948 and this led to all the ‘Palestinians’ leaving.

The obvious conclusion here is that the Arab Palestinians were innocent victims caught in the war between Israel and Israel’s neighbours that began on May 15. These ‘Palestinian’ Arabs are reduced to passive bystanders who paid a terrible price. The BBC turn the people who actually started the conflict into virgin figures of mythical innocence.

The truth is VERY different – and there is a tsunami of evidence that proves the BBC is spreading lies. I do not intend to spam this post with examples – but rather just given one or two that highlight how false the BBC story is.
BBC’s Gaza coverage has sunk to new lows
The BBC is employing people who celebrated the worst massacre of Jewish people since the Holocaust. This means that our licence fees are paying the wages of people who celebrated the rape and slaughter of men, women and children. How can this be possible? Why should we accept it? If any other publicly funded organisation supported terrorist sympathisers, the outcry would be enormous. Yet the BBC seems to be impervious to its problems, unwilling to recognise and address the management failures that are poisoning one of Britain’s great institutions.

When breaches of impartiality are so egregious that they extend to the exaltation of a massacre, something has gone very wrong with the public broadcaster. But these scandals are made so much worse when the organisation fails to deal effectively with the problem.

Indeed, far from publicly recognising the scale of this issue, the BBC has gone out of its way to support and endorse its Arabic service. Director-general Tim Davie has recently stated his admiration for BBC Arabic, saying that the service was something “we should be very proud of”.

On taking the role of director-general, Davie chose to put impartiality at the heart of his tenure, describing it as his “number one priority”. Given the actions of BBC Arabic over the past seven months, it now seems clear that, unfortunately, he has failed in his mission in the most shameful way possible.
BBC Arabic rife with antisemitism, says former TV director
A prominent ex-BBC chief added his voice to the growing outcry over the network’s bias against Israel, which though long-standing, has become increasingly apparent post-Oct. 7.

“Something is going badly wrong. Mistakes don’t happen 80 times,” David Cohen, former director of BBC Television from 2013 until 2015, wrote in The Telegraph on Tuesday, noting that since Oct. 7, BBC Arabic “has been forced to make 80 corrections to its reporting.”

Among the most egregious examples: a report questioning whether the massacre at Kibbutz Kfar Aza even took place, playing into antisemitic conspiracy theories.

“How was a video of that nature produced and distributed by the BBC in the first place? How is it possible that editorial standards at BBC Arabic had fallen so low that this was seen as legitimate reporting?” Cohen asked.

Other examples he provided included a BBC Arabic presenter who asked an Egyptian guest to apologize for sympathizing with Israel and a BBC Arabic journalist who neglected to ask an Arab woman “about the time she stabbed an Israeli neighbor in front of her children.”
Victor Davis Hanson: The Disgrace and Fall of the American Elite Campus
Two, the tip of the spear of campus unrest is from the Middle East. Such partisan foreign students and activists organize the rallies, often with planning and money provided by Palestinian front groups. They provide the keffiyeh props and the occasional Hezbollah and Hamas flags and logos.

Student guests in the U.S. are not shy about siding with the Hamas eliminationist agenda. Indeed, their protests were not just anticipated by, but integral to, Hamas’ October 7 strategies. Hamas’ murderous plan was always to retreat back to Gaza with hostages, which, along with their own Gazan civilians, would ensure the killers could murder another day. So they were to descend into a $1 billion, Morlock-like tunnel complex—using thousands of Gazan civilians above in hospitals, schools, and mosques as collateral deaths to protect the terrorists beneath. Note the sick asymmetry: the entire strategy hinges on a humane Israel seeking to avoid killing civilian shields, a fact accepted by Hamas, which tries its best to sacrifice them.

The resulting surety of collateral civilian damage could then be reduced to Israeli-induced “genocide.” From there, useful idiotic American student unrest, along with Middle Eastern voters, would pressure American institutions and politicians to limit Israel’s options and responses. And, presto, Hamas would emerge from the rubble intact and ready to plan its next murder spree.

Middle Eastern students would also airbrush the nihilist agendas of Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas as benign efforts of “resistance” and “liberation.” American students nodded, as if they could sanction baby burning, mass rape or an extinct Israel if packaged correctly as anti-Western violence. Moreover, the protests took off because American students assured Middle Eastern activists that in Joe Biden’s America, their lawbreaking would not be punished—no expulsions, no jailing, but instead likely covert support from sympatric officials. Their proof was the summer-long, violent 2020 riots, arson, violence, and assault of police.

Middle Eastern protestors, both students and not, assured that they were exempt from consequences, added contempt to their general dislike of their magnanimous American hosts. All knew that if American students in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank or Egypt, mutatis mutandis, had decided to lead pro-Israeli, anti-Arab protests on their hosts’ campuses, they would be imprisoned or, more likely, “disappeared.”

The students talked grandly of “justice” as they violently rampaged, vandalized, and exuded hate. None felt any would be deported or even suspended from university, much less jailed for criminal offenses. They proved prescient.

A final note: clueless elite universities have scant idea of the enormous damage done to their reputations by the repulsive optics on their campuses—the eliminationist chants, the overt anti-Semitism, the passive-aggressive violence, the unapologetic solidarity with a venomous Hamas, the unconcern with American hostages, the disdain shown to middle-class cops, maintenance and janitorial workers tasked with cleaning up the elite students’ often pigsty-like encampments, vandalism, graffiti, and trash, and, above all, the sheer ignorance of supposedly brilliant students who appear to know nothing of even rudimentary history, geography, or current affairs.

These infantile campuses have a rendezvous with adult accountability, both public and governmental. And they won’t like what is soon coming.
UK risks ‘descending into darkness’ of antisemitism, Michael Gove to say
Michael Gove is to warn that Britain risks “descending into the darkness” if it fails to tackle growing antisemitism in the wake of the 7 October attacks.

In a major speech, the communities secretary will say the safety of the Jewish community in the UK is the “canary in the mine” for the health of the whole political system.

“When Jewish people are under threat, all our freedoms are threatened,” he will say on Tuesday. “The safety of the Jewish community is the canary in the mine.

“Growing antisemitism is a fever which weakens the whole body politic. There is one thing which – increasingly – unites the organisations and individuals which give cause for extremist concern: antisemitism.

“It is the common currency of hate. It is at the dark heart of their worldview. Whether Islamist, far right or hard left.”

The Community Security Trust, a charity that provides security advice to the Jewish community, recorded the highest number of antisemitic incidents in 2023, a 147% increase on the previous year. About two-thirds of the total took place after the 7 October attacks.

In his speech, Gove will criticise the organisers of pro-Palestine marches, at which thousands of people regularly march through London and other cities, for not doing more to prevent symbols of anti-Jewish hate.

“Many of those on these marches are thoughtful, gentle, compassionate people – driven by a desire for peace and an end to suffering,” he will say. “But they are side by side with those who are promoting hate.

“The organisers of these marches could do everything in their power to stop that. They don’t.”
'They told me Hitler's work needs to be finished - then they switched to beating and stoning'
After months of suffering antisemitic attacks from other students and without an adequate response from the educational institution, Israeli teen Eitan Cohen on Friday arrived at the school in Toronto where he studies accompanied by hundreds of members of the Jewish community.

In an interview on Sunday in the Ynet studio, Eitan talked about the harassment he suffers at school from Muslim students.

"It started at the beginning of the year, but it increased a lot since October 7. At first it was just curses and words, hurtful words, like 'We will do to you what Hamas did ', 'Hitler's work needs to be finished', words in that style. Then they moved to something more physical, to beatings, and from there it has now progressed to stoning."

The boy's mother, Adi, said that, even though she and her husband appealed to school officials to stop the antisemitic harassment, nothing was successful.

"There were many appeals to the principal, the deputy principal, the school's security officers, and in the end nothing changed," the mother said. "The school says it did everything it could to reduce the severity of the incidents, to tone them down."

Adi said that the harassment of her son only increased. "We wanted to give the school an opportunity to deal with the incidents and we saw that it was not going to work. We saw that it was getting worse, until on Thursday it reached what I very much hope is the peak, and that the situation will not worsen beyond that. I spoke to them again and they said ' What do you want us to do?'" The boy's father, Moshe, added that, on Thursday, stones were thrown at his son, but the school did not intervene. "The principal said she was busy and didn't have time to ask the student," the father said.

"The initial idea was a demonstration of support, where we would accompany Eitan to school, to show that the community here supports us and that we will not let these things happen. If the school does not protect him, we will make sure he feels safe and protected," Adi explained. She said that an announcement was posted on social media and many responded to the call to accompany Eitan to school.

Eitan said coming to school accompanied by 300 supporters made him feel safe.
Jewish doctors launch group to combat antisemitism in medicine: ‘It’s Nazi Germany all over again’
Jewish doctors alarmed by “rampant” antisemitism and even violence at health-care institutions in the US have launched their own national advocacy group to combat the hatred in medicine.

Thousands of medical professionals from across the country have joined the new American Jewish Medical Association to stand up for Jews, the group recently told The Post.

“It’s fundamentally scary for those of us who care about humanity. It’s Nazi Germany all over again,” said Manhattan plastic surgeon Yael Halaas, founder and president of the new group and a graduate of Columbia University and Cornell Medical School.

The hatred leveled against Jews after the Palestinian terror group Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel hit home for Halaas, whose Jewish parents emigrated to the US from Cuba and Argentina.

Many members of her dad’s family were killed in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

Medical schools particularly have become hostile environments for Jewish students, the organizers said.

Among the troubling incidents:
-George Washington University’s medical school hosted a faculty panel in December that declared the terrorists have a “right of resistance” against Israel.
-Some medical professionals have praised the Hamas Oct. 7 attack on Israel and denied the fact that victims in Israel were sexually assaulted.
— A sign that read, “Free Palestine from Nazi Zionist Schwein” — the German word meaning “pig” — appeared in front of the cancer center at the University of California at San Francisco’s medical school.
— Anti-Israel protesters at rallies at Columbia University’s Medical School/Mailman School of Public Health have chanted “From the River to the Sea,” a phrase many interpret as calling for the elimination of Israel and celebrating suicide bombers who kill Israelis.
Ted Cruz accuses Biden, Blinken of funding Oct. 7 attacks by ‘showering cash on Iran’
In what was perhaps the most contentious bout of questioning during Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s testimony on Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz lobbed stunning criticism of the Biden administration’s foreign policy at Blinken, saying he and President Joe Biden funded the attacks on October 7.

Cruz, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, grilled Blinken over the number of barrels of oil Iran is now selling per day, compared to when he first took office, as well as the number of Iran’s ghost fleet ships.

“This administration desperately wants a new Iran deal. You have been showering cash on Iran from day one, and understand, the $6 billion you were asked about is the tip of the iceberg,” Cruz said. “By refusing to enforce oil sanctions, we have seen Iran’s oil sales go from 300,000 barrels a day when you got into office to over two million barrels a day today.”

Cruz said $80 billion, or 90% of Hamas’s funding, comes from Iran.

“This administration, you and President Biden, funded the October 7 attacks by flowing $100 billion to a homicidal, genocidal regime that funded those attacks,” Cruz said.

Blinken responded to Cruz, calling his claim “profoundly wrong” and a “disgraceful statement.”

While interrupting Blinken and speaking over him, Cruz accused the secretary of filibustering and refusing to answer questions.

Biden National Security Council Advisor: We Can't Go Against Israel until Reelection
“If Biden won again he could be much more forthright about saying ‘No’ (to Israel).”

“There’s a huge, powerful Jewish influence in Republican and Democrat politics and the administration is definitely facing a conundrum of … you know, siding or like, being as active as some of the more progressive democratic liberal factions … and losing the next administration because of that.”

“To really point out that Israel has so much more power in this situation… there’s the media and powerful people who can twist that to say, ‘Oh, we’ve been ostracized for so long and now even the U.S… is against us.’ To play like, a martyr. We would lose [the election].”

“We can help you [Israel] in the way that we can, but you’re not going to continue to lie, and bomb, and kill all these kids without facing serious consequences.”

“But that is a second term decision bandwidth not a first term, you know… [Biden will lose] enough support that we can’t get to 270 electoral votes.”

‘Antisemitic in its core,’ New York City mayor says of ‘Washington Post’ article
A Washington Post article that reported that New York City responded to anti-Israel protests on college campuses due to pressure from billionaires is “antisemitic in its core,” the city’s mayor told the FOX5 program “Good Day New York.”

“First of all, I think that article was antisemitic in its core,” Eric Adams told the morning TV show. “The mere fact that someone is indicating that we waited as we were supposed to get calls from the college presidents to tell us when to come in.”

“We were clear long before that call took place with those who were advocating their concern about the increase in antisemitism,” he added. “We took action on college campuses.”

The mayor added that “the mere fact that some article is saying some clandestine group came together to pressure us, it’s a lie. It did not happen.”

“We meet with all groups throughout this city of different breakdowns and ethnicities,” Adams said. “That is who I am and I’m going to continue to do so. I thought there was a hint, a hint of antisemitism that was written in that article.”

The Post reported in the article “Business titans privately urged NYC mayor to use police on Columbia protesters, chats show” on May 16 that “a group of billionaires and business titans working to shape U.S. public opinion of the war in Gaza privately pressed New York City’s mayor last month to send police to disperse pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University.”

The Anti-Defamation League wrote that the Post “should be ashamed of publishing an article that unabashedly (and almost entirely on anonymous sources) plays into antisemitic tropes by inferring a secret cabal of Jews is using wealth and power to influence governments, the media, the business world and academia.”

“I was honestly shocked when this inquiry came in,” wrote Fabien Levy, deputy mayor for communications in Adams’s office. “The insinuation that Jewish donors secretly plotted to influence government operations is an all too familiar antisemitic trope that The Washington Post should have been ashamed to ask about, let alone actually publish.”
No, Israel Isn’t Stifling Democracy in the Middle East
In a recent column, Shadi Hamid, a member of the Washington Post editorial board and a former fellow at the Brookings Institution, appears to have devised a new charge to level at Israel: it is responsible for the authoritarianism that dominates in the Arab world. How so? The U.S., says Hamid, fears that democratically elected governments in Egypt, the UAE, or other countries that have signed treaties with Israel would turn against the Jewish state. Of course, this doesn’t explain why Washington propped up autocracies like Saudi Arabia even when it made war on Israel, funded Hamas and other terrorist groups, and exported anti-Semitic teachings to the Muslim world; or why countries that aren’t aligned with the U.S. or Israel are also authoritarian.

Hussein Aboubakr takes a closer look at Hamid’s argument:
Hamid would like us to believe that Arab countries that are stable, like the Gulf monarchies, are only so because of the United States and Israel’s system of oppression, and those that are unstable and failing are also so because of the same system. No room for any distinctions or discernments is made that would acknowledge anything but American and Israeli plans and execution. This belief . . . absolves [Hamid] from accounting for the agency of Arab populations in any way, for his entire contention is that the system is made specifically to deprive Arabs of their agency. The ultimate conclusion from this thought process is that the struggle for region-wide Arab self-determination must necessarily and primarily be a struggle against Israel’s occupation and oppression.

Far from being Hamid’s own, this idea—the American-Israeli conspiracy against an imaginary Arab democracy—is commonplace in Middle East-studies and political-science departments in American universities. . . . It also has a long history that goes back to the beginning of the conflict itself. It is the logic through which the American liberal foreign-policy establishment came to be fixated on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the single issue that controls all the problems of the region.

More interesting than the logic itself is that its bizarre nature seems to have never compelled anyone to wonder how or why things should be so.
. Jews hate the human race, says Al Jazeera’s top military analyst
Al Jazeera’s leading military analyst attacked Jews as fuelled by hatred against the rest of humanity in a social media tirade.

Over seven months of war in Gaza, Fayez al-Dwairi, a retired Jordanian major-general has been a mainstay of the Qatari-backed network’s Arabic language coverage.

His praise for Hamas’s combat ability is so fulsome the terror group’s fighters have begun shouting, “Analyze this, Dwairi” as they fire upon Israeli forces.

Writing on X/Twitter earlier this week, the 72-year-old launched a rant that echoed medieval European antisemitism.

"The hidden hatred that fills the Jewish heart is hatred against the members of the human race throughout history, fuelled by the forged books of the Old Testament and strengthened by the explanations of the Talmud and the fatwas of the rabbis,” al-Dwairi wrote.

"What increased its exaggeration was the emergence of evangelical Zionism, which agreed with them in the necessity of accelerating the construction of the Temple, and the effects of that appear clearly in what he committed.

"The Zionists committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip and systematic torture in the occupation detention centers, and the Evangelical Zionists called for the necessity of continuing to support and arm the entity state, labelling any opposition to that as antisemitic.”
Sunny Hostin Tries To Carry Water For Anti-Semitic Left — Bill Maher Dumps It On Her Head
He said then that if he’d had any doubt that the Left had changed, seeing the recent campus protests would have been enough to convince him as students marched and chanted the slogans of the terrorist organization Hamas.

“It’s astounding to me that they can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys … morally,” Maher continued. “Let me tell you, if you’re for Hamas, just live in Gaza for a day — and I’m not talking about while the war is on, I mean before the war. Trust me, you would go running and screaming and begging to live in Tel Aviv.”

Maher explained that under Hamas rule in Gaza, women had no rights, referring to the government as a “gender apartheid.”

Hostin objected then, asking, “Are you at all concerned about the innocent civilians that have been collectively punished and murdered? Largely children and women? Aren’t you at all concerned about the fact that the International Criminal Court just today issued a subpoena for Bibi Netanyahu?”

“Well, that’s — that’s ridiculous, but it’s a war,” Maher said. “Because it’s a war. And they were attacked, and they’re defending themselves. Now, this is a war. Do you think Hamas needs to be destroyed? This is the question.”

“Yes,” Hostin agreed.

“All right, so Hamas needs to be destroyed because they are a terrorist organization who have, who say openly that they want to commit genocide on the Jewish people, on the state of Israel. That’s what ‘from the river to the sea’ means. Okay? And they say it very openly. They said, ‘We did this attack.’ They’ve attacked Israel five times. They’ve started five wars since they were given that land back,” Maher said. “They could have chosen to turn that place into any place they wanted to. And they took a lot of money that they took from the international community, and they spent it on bombs and guns and building tunnels. So, if they need to be destroyed, how do we do that? It’s a war. I don’t know how to do that, and you don’t know how to do that. I assume the Israeli Defense –”

“But are you concerned about the innocent lives?” Hostin asked again.

“Of course, everybody is, but that’s what happens in a war. Here’s a way to stop that: stop attacking Israel,” Maher shot back.

“And stop calling for the annihilation of Israel and all the Jews. They’re calling for the annihilation of the Jews. And so you can’t really defend that on the other side very easily,” co-host Joy Behar added.

After visiting the site of Hamas’ bloody Oct. 7 siege, I know Israel will survive this war — America, not so much
As I weave my way through the forest of pole-mounted portraits commemorating the 364 victims of the Nova Festival massacre in southern Israel, I study their dewy, youthfully confident faces and come to a startling realization.

The portraits of the dead — with their dreadlocks and septum rings and TikTok-perfect makeup — are facsimiles of the very population I jetted 5,700 miles to the Middle East to get away from.

These are the Columbia activists.

Not the actual activists — the ones who tented up on the quad and barricaded themselves in Hamilton Hall and screamed holy hell when the cops cracked down.

But when I line up the common denominators between both sets of kids — the youth and progressivism and infatuation with influence — I can only assume the Nova crowd and the Columbia crowd would have gotten along fabulously under different circumstances.

One Nova victim, a young man named Zur Saidi, even wore a Palestinian keffiyeh around his neck in his portrait.

I’m in Israel this week with other journalists on a tour sponsored by the Jerusalem Press Club, an organization that assists local and foreign press in covering the country. We’re mostly visiting locations relevant to October 7 and its aftermath, and Day One has been a doozy: Aside from the Nova Festival site, we’ve gone to Kibbutz Kfar Aza — 64 dead, 19 kidnapped — and an automobile graveyard stacked with cars Hamas incinerated along with the bodies of murdered Israelis still inside them.

But everywhere I go, I can’t get those Columbia kids out of my mind. Everything I see reminds me of them, and everyone I meet reminds me who they are not — neither heroes nor victims, but cowards and frauds unworthy of the headlines they made around the globe.

It took an 11-hour flight to realize just how backwards their wildly disproportionate influence on politics, academia and the media really is.

After all I’ve seen today, I’m confident Israel will survive. America, not so much.
Moran Alony waits for brother-in-law still held hostage
Moran Alony says his sister is a "shell of a person" after being freed without her husband from Hamas captivity, describing how hard it is to keep hope alive for an exchange deal to bring him home still living

Biden, 81, makes another huge gaffe when he claims to recognize Hamas-held U.S. hostage in crowd at Jewish-American event
President Joe Biden was forced to correct himself after saying a maimed US citizen still being held by Hamas is 'here with us today' at a White House event on Monday.

The 81-year-old president said we have 'freed hostages already' before suggesting Hersh Goldberg-Polin was in the crowd in a gaffe.

Goldberg-Polin, 23, is one of the five Americans being held captive by the terror group in Gaza after he was kidnapped from Southern Israel during the October 7 attack.

He had one of his hands amputated in captivity and was last month featured in a Hamas propaganda video.

A moment after the stumble, Biden fixed his error and said: 'He is not here with us. But he is still being held by Hamas'.

Goldberg-Polin's parents were at the White House to watch the speech where Biden said Israel is not committing genocide.

The Soil Beneath the Encampments: How Israel and Jews Became the Focus of Hate at Harvard
A former Harvard student wrote: "Harvard signals that Jews are only acceptable so long as they don't fully embrace Judaism and choose to practice their religion....The only hope of surviving Harvard as a Jew was to not dress 'too Jewish,' request the university accommodate Jewish holidays, speak Hebrew, or, God forbid, actually support Israel's right to exist."

On Oct. 8, the day after Hamas murdered 1,200 people in Israel, more than 30 Harvard student groups signed a statement that "held the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence." In the following weeks, many Harvard students rallied in support of a genocidal terrorist group that had just committed crimes against humanity, while simultaneously condemning Israel as a racist, apartheid, and genocidal state worthy of elimination.

This was a wake-up call and led to the formation of the Harvard Jewish Alumni Alliance, to research the day-to-day experiences of Jewish and Israeli Harvard students and to explore the root causes of the hatred on display. We found that Harvard has been a hostile environment for many Jewish students since before Oct. 7.

"[The professor] said, 'Where are you from?' I said, 'Israel.' He looked at me and said...'I need to ask you to leave the class.' No other visiting student was asked to leave." - Kim Nahari, sophomore. Our research found that when student protesters rally for Hamas as freedom fighters, they are repeating what they are taught in classrooms and at department-sponsored events.

The recurring narrative taught is that Israel - a tiny country with half of the world's Jewish population - is the last remaining colonial settler power embodying the world's worst evils, that the Palestinian people are innocent victims of Jewish (white) oppression, and that known terrorist groups are simply "political movements." In 2022-23, Harvard held at least 20 events that spread the virulently anti-Israel narrative.
Stand Firm, Boomers — the Student Protesters Actually Are Idiots
It was with unexpected interest that I read Elizabeth Spiers’s “guest essay” for the New York Times over the weekend, titled “Dear Boomers, the Student Protesters Are Not Idiots,” and not just because it was akin to a brief visitation from the tattered ghost of cocaine-addled early 2000s New York City online scenester “journalism.” (She was the founding editor of Gawker, although she left when it was still just a catty, petty upstart devoted to vandalizing the pieties of the New York publishing scene rather than the worst den of sleaze to ever exist.) Now she lectures to journalism students at a prestigious school — a very apropos post-career sinecure — and is here to tell us that she knows these kids, she has met these kids in her classes, and people like me are simply just getting these kids all wrong.

In the current panic, the protesters are described as somehow both terribly fragile and such a threat to public safety that they need to be confronted by police officers in riot gear. To justify the police department’s excessive response at Columbia University, Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry showed Newsmax viewers a large chain and a book with the title “Terrorism” that had been recovered from one site of protest. The former was a common bike chain Columbia sells to students and the latter was part of Oxford University Press’s lovely “Very Short Introductions” series, which covers topics from animal behavior to Rousseau and black holes.

Ha! What rubes. She chalks up this misapprehension to the generation gap — hence the title of the piece — and says that it’s less about politics (though that obviously plays some kind of role, she concedes with distinct vagueness) than it is about a generational divergence in attitudes toward protest.

Spiers is a gifted writer, so on a technical level I tip my cap to her adroitness in reaching her intended audience. The passage above is indicative; the language is elegant in how it plays to left-wing and elitist biases by name-checking Newsmax (meant to signal: “disinformation alert!“). The deputy commissioner, supposedly overhyping the threat, is depicted as the clueless sort of dunce who doesn’t grasp that of course kids are going to want to read about terrorism while camping in tents and chanting in defense of it.

But this is not what people like me are reacting to, and it is insulting to omit the real issues to make light of the idea that danger could possibly emerge from this frothing protest milieu. We are instead reacting to people like Khymani James, who was permitted for months — at the very university Spiers writes about! — to loudly broadcast disturbing threats of murder, call for the murder of all Zionists (by someone else, mind you, because they deserve it like Hitler did), and defend all this and more to Columbia administrators in a disciplinary hearing he live-streamed to his fans. We are reacting to an administration that allowed him to then go undisciplined for four more months until he came to national notice during the ongoing “occupation” at Columbia, of which he was one of the main student leaders.
Foxx warns ‘spineless college leaders’ of ‘healthy dose of reality’ at hearings
Three more university leaders will face questions from congressional representatives regarding antisemitic rhetoric and intimidation on their U.S. campuses since the Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7, promulgated by anti-Israel protesters.

Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will conduct a hearing titled “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos” on Thursday, when they will demand explanations from Northwestern University president Michael Schill; Rutgers University president Jonathan Holloway; and Gene Block, the chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles.

“The committee has a clear message for mealy-mouthed, spineless college leaders: Congress will not tolerate your dereliction of your duty to your Jewish students,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the education committee’s chairperson.

Calling for thorough investigations “while buildings are being defaced, campus greens are being captured or graduations are being ruined,” Foxx said that “college is not a park for playacting juveniles or a battleground for radical activists. Everyone affiliated with these universities will receive a healthy dose of reality: Actions have consequences.”
Brandeis Center files Title VI complaint against UC-Santa Barbara
The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law filed a civil-rights complaint on May 16 on behalf of a Jewish student so deluged with antisemitic threats that she said she needed to avoid campus and take her final exams online.

The Title VI complaint to the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education announced last week documents the abuse experienced by Tessa Veksler, the student body president at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who is Jewish. Her experiences included threats such as, “You can run but you can’t hide, Tessa Veksler,” insults like “Zionist dog” and intimidation like slashing her photo in a poster.

“No individual should ever have to experience what I went through as a Jewish student at UCSB—harassment, intimidation, threats and character assassination all in the form of pure antisemitic hatred,” said Veksler, a graduating senior double majoring in political science and communication.

She described how “despite the challenges I have faced, I knew that nothing would stop me from standing up for the Jewish community, maintaining my democratically-elected position and pursuing justice for myself after being relentlessly targeted on the basis of my Jewish identity.”

Kenneth L. Marcus, chairman of the Brandeis Center, said that “what has been allowed to happen to Tessa over many months—shaming, harassing, and shunning a student until they disavow a part of their Judaism—is shameful and illegal.”
Retiring early due to antisemitism, a professor paints a dire picture of US academia
Prof. Barbara J. Risman never expected to retire early from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a place she’s called her “beloved academic home” for the past 17 years.

A College of Arts & Sciences distinguished professor of sociology, Risman was committed to the university’s social justice mission. But after the October 7 Hamas onslaught on southern Israel, both subtle and overt displays of anti-Israel and antisemitic behavior have gripped the campus to the point that Risman finds she no longer recognizes the institution.

“UIC prides itself on being progressive and engaged. It’s become a very alienating place to be right now. It’s shocking when you think you are a part of a community and you realize in many ways that you are not,” Risman said in a Zoom interview from her campus office.

Risman, who spent more than 10 years co-chairing the university-wide committee on faculty equity and once enjoyed a longstanding affiliation with the Department of Women and Gender Studies, recently penned an opinion piece for The Chicago Tribune about her experience.

“UIC is no longer an institution comfortable for me, as a Jew who believes Israel has a right to exist,” Risman said, adding that according to the American Jewish Committee, more than 80 percent of Jews in America share her belief. “When university departments and programs publish statements implying support for the destruction of the state where more than half of all Jews alive today live, they have crossed the line from simple micro-aggressions against Jewish students and faculty to outright institutional antisemitism,” Risman wrote in her op-ed.

And while an anti-Israel encampment hasn’t yet sprouted on UIC’s campus as many others have on campuses around the nation, there have been numerous concerning incidents since last October. In November 2023, posters of Israeli hostages held by Hamas were ripped down, and anti-Zionist rhetoric and shows of support for terrorism peppered several campus demonstrations.

Days after Hamas terrorists slaughtered some 1,200 people in southern Israel and kidnapped 252 to the Gaza Strip while burning, torturing, raping and dismembering civilians young and old — often while filming the violence — and well before Israel responded militarily, UIC faculty in the Women and Gender Studies and the Black Studies departments posted a joint statement on their websites to let Palestinian and Muslim students know that faculty members were concerned for their welfare.

Moreover, the faculty of both departments denounced “the ongoing escalation of settler colonial violence” and expressed solidarity with those “targeted by colonialism, racism, heteropatriarchy, ableism and state-sanctioned violence,” Risman wrote.
Northwestern University Received $4 Billion From U.S. Taxpayers Since 2018, While Their Endowment Soared To $15 Billion
Northwestern is organized as an IRS 501(c)3 public educational charity. Under this status, the university receives billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer support and pays minimal taxes on its nearly $15 billion endowment and other investments.

On the other hand, Northwestern operates like a for-profit corporation cutting deals with foreign governments and entities.

Meanwhile, university leadership is allowing terrorist-sympathizing demonstrations on their campus, creating a hostile environment for Jewish students. This foreign involvement and domestic chaos deserve scrutiny from Congress, the press, and the American people.

The House Education and Workforce Committee will have an opportunity to probe all of it on Thursday, May 23, 2024. The hearing, “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Anti-Semitic College Chaos,” starts at 10:15am Eastern Time.
Congress Probes Northwestern’s Partnership With Al Jazeera
House Republicans are looking into potential legal issues surrounding Northwestern University’s partnership with Al Jazeera, which some alumni have argued could violate anti-terrorism laws.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has requested information on Northwestern’s relationship with the Qatar-owned news outlet from the Coalition Against Antisemitism at Northwestern (CAAN), a group of alumni and parents opposed to the anti-Israel demonstrations on campus, a source told the Washington Free Beacon.

The request comes as the House committee prepares to hear testimony from Northwestern president Michael Schill on Thursday and a week after CAAN sent a letter to the school’s board of trustees raising concerns about the Al Jazeera connection.

In CAAN’s letter, the group argued that the school’s partnership with Al Jazeera could violate section 219 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, which holds that U.S. entities are prohibited from giving "training, expert advice, or assistance" to a foreign terrorist organization.

"President Michael Schill and the Board of Trustees need to be clear on how or whether Medill [School of Journalism] administrators in Evanston currently or have ever had oversight or an immediate connection to the Medill Qatar campus," said Wendy Khabie, the mother of a Northwestern student and a member of CAAN.

The House education committee has been investigating Northwestern’s "response to anti-Semitism and its failure to protect Jewish students." Anti-Israel activists mounted weeks of demonstrations at the school this spring, during which they occupied parts of campus, celebrated terrorism, and, in one reported incident, told a Jewish student to "go back to Germany and get gassed."
A Penn Encampment Participant Said the School Left Her 'Homeless.' Her Celebrity Father Flaunts Plates of Caviar on First Class Flights.
When University of Pennsylvania sophomore Eliana Atienza was placed on mandatory leave for participating in an illegal anti-Israel encampment, she portrayed herself as a downtrodden victim of "administrative violence." An international student from the Philippines, Atienza was forced to vacate her campus dorm, leaving her "homeless" with no family in the United States to turn to, she told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A Washington Free Beacon review of Atienza's family, however, tells a different story.

Atienza's father, Kim Atienza, is better known as "Kuya Kim," a celebrity television presenter who has hosted the country's most popular morning and game shows. Her grandfather—prominent Filipino politician Lito Atienza—served as deputy speaker of the country's House of Representatives until 2022, when he launched a bid for vice president as the running mate of boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao. Atienza's mother, meanwhile, is a Wharton School graduate who founded and led the Chinese International School Manila, a private K-12 institution.

Atienza's father is not afraid to flaunt his wealth. In a recent Instagram story, he shared photos from a lavish first class flight, which boasted caviar service and a full shower. Described in British magazine Tatler as one of the Philippines' "most recognisable television presenters," Atienza's father has also given tours of his home on live television, showcasing his rare collections of dinosaur eggs, "mid-century modern chairs," and vintage motorcycles, including two BMW bikes used during World War II.

Dynamics of the pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Sydney
On May 21, Colonel Richard Kemp and Michael Gencher, Executive Director of StandWithUs Australia, attempted to engage with pro-Palestinian encampment protesters at the University of Sydney. The encampment, organized by Students for Palestine, calls for the university to cut ties with arms manufacturers and certain academic institutions.

However, Jewish students and faculty faced unequal treatment from university security, being asked to leave the area while protesters were allowed to remain. This raised significant concerns about discrimination and the safety of Jewish students on campus, highlighting the challenge of maintaining academic freedom and equal treatment amidst political activism.

Pro-Hamas Rioter Gets Community Service After Punching Female U.S. Capitol Police Officer In DC
More evidence of our justice system slanting left under President Joe Biden.

A pro-Hamas protester from New York, Ruben Arthur Camacho, was sentenced to just 48 hours of community service for punching a female cop during a riot outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters in November.

“Police said Camacho slammed a female officer against a wall and punched her in the face. Camacho was charged with one count of assault on a police officer, which is a felony offense,” the Post Millennial reported on Sunday.

The officer was one of six police officers injured during the riot.

Camacho “also resisted arrest and blocked an exit used by federal lawmakers during the riot, according to court documents.”

Yet, no jail time and just 48 hours of community service.

The Post Millennial added, “Camacho escaped federal prosecution and was charged in DC Superior Court by DC US Attorney Matthew Graves. This is the same Biden-appointed prosecutor who has been arresting J6 protesters on charges including assault on police.”

On X, conservative journalist Julie Kelly, who wrote about Camacho’s case, noted that Graves does not plan to charge any pro-Hamas defendants involved in the ceasefire riot in federal court, and that all charges will remain local.

This means they will avoid the federal judges who have tossed the pro-Trump rioters from the Jan. 6, 2021, brawl at the U.S. Capitol into prison for lengthy, years-long sentences.

BBC Radio Scotland promotes more ICJ disinformation
BBC Radio Scotland has a weekday show called ‘Mornings with Kaye Adams’. The first hour of the May 13th edition of that programme was devoted to a phone-in on a topic described as follows in the synopsis:
“With a controversial Eurovision and pro Gaza statements at the BAFTAS, is showbusiness the place for politics? Should performers be using their platform to express their views?”

From 03:00 listeners heard from various callers and contributors, including “Eurovision super fan” Adam – who thinks Israel should have been disqualified from the contest – and Brenda (from 18:44), who found it “disappointing” that the organisers muted booing and told members of the audience turning their backs on the Israeli performer to sit down.

A caller named William opined that (from 22:00) “the people in Israel and Palestine, they take themselves way too seriously” and suggested that ‘Palestine’ should also take part in the Eurovision “so they can get to the heart of the matter of what’s actually dividing them”.

At 30:08 Kaye Adams introduced an invited contributor:
Adams: “Mick Napier is a founding member of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign…”

Listeners were not given any further information about Mick Napier himself or the organisation he heads.

During their conversation, Napier described the anti-Israel demonstrations outside and inside the Eurovision venue as “superb” and went on to claim that “people in the streets” are “prepared to take a stand because when all is said and done, the International Court of Justice has said we’re dealing plausibly with a case of genocide and people want to act.”

Over two weeks earlier, the BBC had aired an interview with the former president of the ICJ in which she had already explained the redundancy of that claim from Napier.

Schumer, speaking to Jewish Democrats, accuses Republicans of politicizing Israel
Speaking to a gathering of the Jewish Democratic Coalition of America on Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC) accused Republicans of politicizing Israel and antisemitism.

Schumer emphasized the need for bipartisanship on Israel, attacking Republicans who he said, “seem to care more about attacking Democrats on Israel than they actually care about keeping U.S.-Israeli relations strong.”

House Republicans have passed a slew of bills and resolutions related to Middle East policy and antisemitism since Oct. 7, many of which the Senate has not taken up. They’ve received varying levels of Democratic support in the House, often splitting the caucus.

Schumer claimed that the GOP legislation “doesn’t make meaningful progress, doesn’t ensure that Israel has the tools it needs to defend itself, but [is] just to make a political point.”

He said he had told Jewish communal groups in a private meeting that “they and we have an obligation to fight partisanship when it comes to Israel. We can’t have half of America desert Israel, whether it’s the younger half or the more progressive half, or whatever. That hurts Israel.”

Even as Schumer painted the legislation as partisan, some leading Jewish organizations have embraced the GOP-led bills.
Rashida Tlaib has paid $435,000 to firm of anti-Israel activist for terrorism-tied groups
“Squad” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars since being elected to Congress to a consulting firm led by an anti-Israel activist working on behalf of groups linked to Palestinian terrorist factions, records show.

Tlaib, who often faces criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for her anti-Israel rhetoric and defense of a phrase calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, has delivered more than $435,000 in payments earmarked for “fundraising consulting” since 2020 from her campaign and leadership PAC to Unbought Power, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The Florida-based limited liability corporation is operated by Rasha Mubarak, a close ally of Tlaib’s who recently held key roles for terrorism-tied organizations in the United States.

The routine cash transfers from Rashida Tlaib for Congress and Rooted in Community Leadership PAC to Unbought Power underscore how the congresswoman has aligned herself with activists helping to coordinate operations for entities sharing connections to Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and other terrorist factions. A joint fundraising committee for members of the Squad, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Cori Bush (D-MO), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and other Democrats, also paid $86,000 to the firm run by Mubarak, who once said she is tired of hearing the “lie” that “Israel has the right to defend herself” against terrorism.

Now, the progressive-left and pro-Palestinian base of the Democratic Party in Tlaib’s home state of Michigan is unhappy with the Biden administration for backing Israel amid its war against Hamas. One veteran Biden-allied Democratic strategist told the Washington Examiner the company the Squad keeps is “disturbing, antisemitic, and anti-American.” But to Republicans, Biden isn’t doing nearly enough to distance himself from anti-Israel activists defending terrorism due to a political calculation he is making for the 2024 election.

“Democrats as a whole have caved to their pro-terror base and abandoned Israel as they seek to help President Joe Biden win Michigan,” Will Reinert, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said.

Between 2023 and 2024, Tlaib’s campaign and leadership PAC have paid $139,000 to Unbought Power, with $43,000 of that sum being sent to Mubarak’s firm just this year.
Bowman to appear at fundraiser with anti-Israel councilwoman in NYC
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) will appear at a fundraiser on Monday hosted on his behalf by a local anti-Israel lawmaker as he faces a competitive primary challenge over his anti-Israel positions.

Councilwoman Shahana Hanif, who represents the Park Slope and Carroll Gardens areas of Brooklyn, is listed as a member of the host committee on an invitation to the event.

Hanif identifies as a “Muslim socialist” and has faced criticism from constituents over her harsh stances against Israel and unwillingness to acknowledge growing antisemitism, most notably when she was one of two council members to vote against establishing “End Jew Hatred Day.” A group of Hanif’s constituents accused the councilwoman of turning a blind eye to the uptick in Jew hatred in recent months in an op-ed in the Daily News.

Hanif wrote on X, formerly Twitter, over the weekend that she was hosting the event because Bowman has “been consistent on his support and demand for a permanent ceasefire, had her back when Rep. [Rashida] Tlaib [D-MI] was censured, and is a tried and tested leader in Congress.”

Also listed on the invite are Abdullah Younus, Hanif’s husband who boasts on social media of his association with Antifa, and Hassan Naveed, whom New York City Mayor Eric Adams fired as his administration’s hate crimes czar over the precipitous rise in such incidents in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack. The firing was condemned by local Muslim groups, though Adams defended Naveed’s termination as unrelated to his Muslim faith.

“We’re seeing an increase in hate crime,” Adams said in late April. “You are given a responsibility in a role, you’re in charge of hate crimes. I’m seeing an increase in hate crime, so to believe that you’re fired because you’re Muslim, as many Muslim staffers that I have, and I can’t go into the details of it because there’s a lawsuit. Let the lawyers figure it out. People have to live up to what they’re hired to do. Taxpayers deserve that.”

Bowman’s left-wing, anti-Israel record in Congress has alienated moderate Democratic voters to the point where he could lose a hotly contested primary against Westchester County Executive George Latimer on June 25.

‘No one appealed against Oct. 7 mastermind Sinwar’s 2011 prison release’
Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, is today among the most famous antagonists of Israel and the Jewish people. Yet in 2011, when the Oct. 7 mastermind was released from Israeli prison as one of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners exchanged for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, he was not seen as one of the most dangerous terrorists to release, Emi Palmor, a member of the Israeli negotiating team, told Jewish Insider this week.

While the Shin Bet “stood on its hind legs” to strongly oppose the release of terrorists who murdered Israelis, Sinwar was not one of them, Palmor recounted.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but Sinwar’s nickname is ‘the butcher of Khan Younis’ because he was known for his cruelty to the Palestinians,” she said. “He was in Israeli prison for murdering Palestinians, not Jews. He murdered four Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel. He killed them himself – he strangled one, he hanged another by his feet… He is a sadist; there is no question.”

According to the law in Israel, victims of a violent or sexual crime have the right to submit their opinion on any request for clemency or a pardon for the perpetrator to the Justice Ministry’s Pardons Department, which Palmor led at the time.

Because Sinwar was not in prison for killing Israelis, “there were no families who said at the time, in 2011, ‘don’t free the man who murdered our father,’ which is the classic Israeli response,” she said.

Palmor, who later became director-general of Israel’s Justice Ministry and is now a member of Meta’s Oversight Board, was the only member of the Shalit negotiations team who was part of the process for all five years.

As a result, Palmor said, “I know Sinwar’s whole file.”

“I wouldn’t say it was easy to release him. We knew, the Shin Bet knew, that he was bad,” she said, but there would not have been an agreement to free Shalit if Sinwar was not part of it.

“Shalit was kidnapped by Sinwar’s brothers in order to free Sinwar,” she said. “The Palestinians gave all kinds of lists [of prisoners], and he was on all of them.”

Palestinian Authority Building Illegal City in Judean Desert Nature Reserve
The Palestinian Authority is rapidly building a new illegal city in the Judean Desert nature reserve, said Gush Etzion Regional Council head Yaron Rosenthal.

In addition to causing severe damage to the nature reserve, the construction poses a severe security threat, turning eastern Gush Etzion communities into an enclave surrounded by Arab cities and villages.

Currently, the construction is rapidly advancing without any intervention from law enforcement. Many new roads and buildings have been built, scattered across 6 km.

A Palestinian tourist resort is also being built swiftly, together with access roads.

Rosenthal stated: "If we do not stop the rampant illegal construction in the reserve today, in a few years we will be dealing with one of the most severe security incidents here. This...is a security threat to the State of Israel."

Jews in Iran ‘shocked and angered’ about looming execution of young Jew
The imminent execution of a young Jewish man the Iranian regime has sentenced to death has been postponed, Iranian Jewish activists in the United States told JNS.

Arvin Ghahramani, age 20, according to news reports, is being held in the city of Kermanshah—some 300 miles west of Tehran near the border with Iraq—on charges of committing manslaughter following a street altercation.

“We have received news from the Jewish community in Iran that this young Jewish man’s upcoming execution has been postponed for now, pending review by the Iranian Supreme Court,” George Haroonian, an Iranian Jewish activist and co-founder of the “No to Antisemitism” group in Los Angeles, told JNS.

Ghahramani is being held at the Dizelabad Prison in Kermanshah. He was arrested, quickly tried and sentenced to death for killing a Muslim man named Amir Shokri two years ago during a street brawl, according to a report from the Iran-based Human Rights Activists News Agency.

Rosa Parto, a freelance Iranian Jewish journalist based in Holland who was among the first Persian-language reporters to break Ghahramani’s story earlier last week, told JNS she spoke with members of the Jewish community in Iran. “They are both shocked and angered about the news of this impending execution for Arvin since they’ve been kept in the dark about it until now,” she said.

The Jews in Iran told Parto that Iranian Jewish leaders did not tell the Jewish community that they were working behind the scenes to try to secure Ghahramani’s release over the past two years. The leaders “failed to do anything to help him and are only now speaking out publicly as he’s facing imminent death,” Parto’s sources said.

For a group of Jewish 2nd grade girls, a lesson in advocacy — and a life-changing trip to Washington
It was a meeting that began like countless others at the White House: “Thank you for inviting us to meet with you today. We are so honored to be here,” said Hazel Nisenbaum, the advocacy group’s leader. She wore a sky-blue suit and white kitten heels.

What followed made clear that the group’s business in Washington was anything but typical.

“We are a group of second grade girls at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago, Ill.,” Hazel continued, before White House Jewish liaison Shelley Greenspan interrupted and asked if she could take notes. Eight-year-old Hazel, all business, agreed. “We may only be 7 and 8 years old, but we know we can make a big difference in the world. We are proud to be Jewish and are proud to be girls.” (That’s according to a video provided by Kara Goldman, Hazel’s mother, who can’t stop kvelling.)

In the Friday meeting at the White House, Hazel was tasked with introducing the Jewish Girls Rights Club, whose 11 members were in Washington with their mothers for a high-level advocacy day that even the most seasoned Washington veterans would envy.

Their day began on Capitol Hill, in meetings with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and the chief of staff to Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and a private tour of the Capitol. Afterward, they went to the White House for a visit that included conversations with Greenspan, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, White House Gender Policy Council Director Jennifer Klein and Deputy Director Rachel Vogelstein, and Rebecca Lissner, deputy national security advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris. The girls ended the day at the Supreme Court. (They all read I Dissent, a biographical picture book about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before the trip.)

“I was so encouraged by how tenacious and precocious these girls were. Yet as young as they all were, I was very impressed by how they had a keen sense of the ancient prejudices that fuel this recent rise in antisemitism that they have grown up with, and the need to stand up for the rights of women and girls,” Wasserman Schultz told Jewish Insider on Monday. “My heart was so full after speaking with these young ladies.”

Wasserman Schultz was rushing to another meeting after her conversation with the girls on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, but “she made the girls feel like she had all the time in the world to hear from them,” Goldman said. “She really had such a gentle way with the girls and also provided such inspirational advice about breaking down barriers and not taking no for an answer.”

The girls wore pins — designed by Hazel — imprinted with the words “Jewish Girls Rights” in a pink Word Art font, two Israeli flags and a blue Star of David in the middle. Wasserman Schultz put on the pin after their meeting, as did Kirby.

Hazel started the Girls Rights Club to talk with her friends about issues like pay equity and reproductive choice “in an age-appropriate way,” Goldman said. Hazel grew up learning about those issues from her mother; Goldman is a reproductive endocrinologist at Northwestern University, and she talks to her four children about her work. It was only after the Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel that Hazel and her friends decided to add “Jewish” to the name of their club.

“They heard in an age-appropriate way that we have to protect Jewish girls,” Goldman said. “They hear a lot, and we talk a lot at home, about what’s been going on. They have tremendous pride in Israel. I think they feel a deep connection to Judaism and a deeper connection to Israel.”
Israeli supermodel Sun Mizrahi graces Vogue cover despite antisemitism
Despite facing online antisemitism just last month, Israeli supermodel Sun Mizrahi starred on two different striking covers for the summer issue of Vogue Greece, the world's most famous and prestigious fashion magazine.

The magazine created two different covers with a theme called, "Mediterranean Touch." "The diverse facets of the Mediterranean coast make up this unique mosaic, drawing influences from Greece and Italy to the more Middle Eastern roots of Lebanon and Morocco," described the fashion editorial.

The covers faced online backlash, "Posting an Israeli model on your cover in the midst of current world events is an extremely tone-deaf decision and it really does beg the question of whether you are able to read the room," one commentator said. "This is not what Israelis look like" another added. Many took to X to defend the model, one saying, "They say that Israelis are white. Let me tell you a secret. Her name is Sun Mizrahi. Do you know what Mizrahi means in Hebrew? It means Eastern!"

Just six weeks ago, Mizrahi faced online hate for being Israeli after the international retailer Zara promoted her campaign photos on social media. Landing a Vogue cover is considered a massive achievement for a model, making this an immense source of Israeli pride to see the homegrown beauty grace the cover of the iconic fashion bible.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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