Wednesday, May 22, 2024

From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: The Ugly Lessons of October 7
The lesson for aspiring ethno-religious terrorist groups, then, is not that they would be assured recognition if they can only match the gruesomeness of Oct. 7. Uighurs and Kurds: Don’t try this at home. If you’re not the IRGC, an Iranian proxy, or a Palestinian group, don’t bother applying.

The flip side of this equation is even more obscene. Washington rewards Iranian and Palestinian terrorism under the moniker of “de-escalation.” That is to say, Iran and the Palestinians get to have their cake and eat it too: Their barbarism advances their agenda, and any attempted retaliation against them is condemned and constrained.

Which leads us to the heart of the matter, namely what Iran, Hezbollah, and Palestinian terror groups all have in common with each other and not with ISIS. By itself, the specific identity of the perpetrators of gruesome violence does not account for Western advocacy on their behalf. That is explained only by the specific identity of the victims: Jews. This is the common thread that ties together support for Palestinian barbarism abroad and for antisemitic mobs at home.

This brings us to the Biden administration’s diplomatic program, which aims to start the countdown for a Palestinian state in time to take credit for it in November. Much of the professional diplomatic and political class that has pushed for this outcome for three decades remains fully committed to it. As with the term “de-escalation,” the Biden administration uses Orwellian doublespeak to justify its push to establish a Palestinian terror state, like, “peace,” “security,” and “stability.” But what the pattern of the past eight months has doubtless conveyed to the Palestinians and their Iranian patrons is that more slaughter of Jews, especially those that will provoke a strong Israeli response, is the surest way to obtain more of what they want.

Supporters of Palestinian statehood have long maintained that if such a state were to attack Israel, the international community would support decisive Israeli actions to neutralize the threat. But the U.S. response to the Oct. 7 attack from Gaza, as well as to the subsequent attacks from Lebanon and Iran, which are states, shows the opposite. The atrocities a Palestinian state could inflict on an Israel reduced to the 1949 boundaries would make Oct. 7 look like a bar fight. The current U.S.-led international posture shows quite definitively that Israel will face pressure to make even more territorial and security concessions, until the Jewish state is no more. That has been the explicit goal of the Palestinian national movement since its inception, and it remains so today.

A reasonable observer can only conclude that the goal of “a Palestinian state” for both the Palestinians and their Western partisans has never been about achieving peaceful coexistence with Israel, which has been eminently achievable at every point in time beginning with the U.N. partition plan, which Israel accepted and the Palestinians and their Arab state backers rejected. The only “Palestinian state” that is acceptable to its partisans is one that replaces Israel on the map. When the White House, European governments, progressive NGOs, academic boycotters, the U.N., and other august bodies announce their support for Palestinian statehood, that is precisely what they are supporting.
Brendan O'Neill: Rewarding fascism
Whatever subjective spin the three PMs put on their heedless act of global virtue-signalling, the objective consequence is the legitimation of Hamas. Indeed, Hamas has warmly welcomed their recognition of Palestine, describing it as ‘an important step towards affirming our right to our land’. I’m not into guilt by association, but seriously – when an army of anti-Semites starts singing your praises, you’ve messed up. Badly.

It was completely predictable that Hamas would interpret the recognition of Palestine as a recognition of Hamas itself. What exactly is this ‘State of Palestine’ that Ireland, Spain and Norway are welcoming into the international fold? There’s the West Bank, semi-governed by the corrupt, collapsing bureaucracy of Fatah. And there’s the Gaza Strip, dominated by the frothing extremists of Hamas. Palestine, sadly, is not a functioning state. And right now it shows no meaningful capacity to become a functioning state. That Hamas and its suicidal cheerleaders among the Western influencer set view today’s support for Palestine as support for Hamas and its war on Israel is the least surprising thing I’ve heard in a long time.

The historical illiteracy of the preening PMs really is something. Taoiseach Harris compared his recognition of Palestine with Ireland’s plea for recognition in 1919. That was when the revolutionary Irish Republic issued a ‘Message to the Free Nations of the World’ asking them to acknowledge its independence from Britain. This is mad. There is no comparison between the historic movement for Irish independence and what’s currently happening in Palestine, with exhausted oligarchs on one side and radical Islamists on the other. Ireland sought to create a free republic – Hamas wants to turn Palestine into an outpost of an unforgiving caliphate in which freedom would be notable by its absence. That Harris cannot distinguish between national liberation and Islamist depravity is chilling. He should listen to Salman Rushdie, who wisely counsels that Hamas-ruled Palestine would be a ‘Taliban-like state’.

Perhaps we should not be surprised by the infantile posturing of the three PMs and their dearth of consideration for what might happen if we further isolate Israel and embolden Hamas. Because in a way, such self-involved moral blindness sums up the entirety of ‘Palestinian solidarity’. So much of the supposedly pro-Palestinian sentiment – in politics, on campuses, on the streets – is fundamentally a displacement activity. Politicians and activists bereft of ideas for how to improve their own societies instead seek sanctuary in the moral glow of Palestinianism. Hence you have a figure like Harris, unpopular, unelected, directionless, devoid of ideas for how to fix Ireland’s housing crisis or its migrant crisis, who can nonetheless feel briefly important and even statesmanlike by standing before the cameras to say: ‘I recognise Palestine.’

This is what ‘Palestine’ has become for the cultural elites of the West: a moral balm, a source of fleeting meaning, a soapbox from which they can grandstand on faraway affairs, having zero vision for closer-to-home affairs. That’s what’s most unforgivable about today’s reckless act of unwitting Hamas emboldenment – that these three leaders seem to value their own 15 minutes of virtue more than the pressing task of bringing peace to the Middle East by bringing to an end the racist army that started the current war.
Seth Mandel: Pierless
Finally, the UN official’s explanation for this disaster is one for the books. “They’ve not seen trucks in a while,” so they mount the trucks. This sounds like the description of a spacecraft landing on an alien planet. Moreover, it appears the UN… expected this response?

In fact, it sure sounds like the UN thinks this whole circus is a waste of time and money, and that they told the Americans as much: “The U.N. agreed to assist in coordinating aid distribution from the floating pier, but has remained adamant that deliveries by land are the best way to combat the crisis.”

That is certainly true: The pier has a far more limited capacity than the traditional overland crossings. It’s also expensive: The U.S. paid over $300 million to build what sounds like a pop-up pier ordered from IKEA. The Defense Department, via Ryder, is describing every cent of that $300 million as wasted. After all, the aid disappears into the mists of time as soon as the Americans hand it over to the UN’s version of Uber Eats.

Ironically, on paper this still makes the pier a complete success. America does its job quite well. The pier is built, food is delivered to it, and nary a boot is on the ground. Promises made, promises kept. Truly, this is the quintessential government project.

Years ago, there was a TV commercial for a security system that went something like this: We see a security breach reported, an alarm sounds, sector 13’s guard chases an intruder while radioing for help. The guard chases the intruder all the way to a line on the ground that marks where sector 13 ends and sector 14 begins. When the perp crosses that line, the guard radios triumphantly: “Sector 13, all clear.”

The Pentagon sounds an awful lot like sector 13’s security guard. Once the handoff is made, the rest is sector 14’s problem. According to Ryder, about 570 metric tons of aid has been delivered to the pier since its grand opening. Apparently, Americans should be proud that we are doing our part.

And in a way, we are. Statistically, it is highly likely that at least some of those stealing the food aid are its intended recipients. They’re just cutting out the middle man. In a way, hijackings and lootings make the process more efficient.

More dangerous too, sure. But not for Americans, and therefore not for the president’s reelection chances. Sector 13, all clear.

Hostage families release horrifying unseen footage of 5 kidnapped female soldiers on Oct 7
The parents of five female soldiers kidnapped from the Nahal Oz base will release unseen footage of their kidnap this evening.

Stills from a video captured by the body cameras of Hamas terrorists have been distributed in advance of the video being published.

Liri Albag, Karina Ariev, Agam Berger, Daniela Gilboa and Na’ama Levy were abducted from the Nahal Oz base on October 7.

The harrowing video and images of the abduction of the hostages show their bloodied faces and distressed expressions.

The video is just over three minutes long and has been edited and censored to exclude the most disturbing scenes.

Scenes not shown in the video include footage of the murdered young men and women at the base and inside the bomb shelter from which the female hostages were taken.

The Hostages Families Forum said: "Every new testimony about what happened to the hostages echoes the same tragic truth – we must bring them all back home, now.

“The State of Israel cannot accept a reality where its citizens constantly feel their lives are threatened and suffer from unrelenting fear and anxiety.

“With each passing day, it becomes more challenging to bring the hostages back home – the living for rehabilitation and the murdered for proper burial.

“The Israeli government must not waste another moment; it must return to the negotiating table today."

Kinocide: Hamas targeting of families is a new crime against humanity
The brutal abuse of families during Hamas’s October 7th attack compels us to consider a haunting question: Does the weaponization of the family unit constitute a new crime against humanity? It’s imperative to acknowledge the heinous nature of familial abuse as crimes against humanity, drawing parallels with other historical atrocities. The current peak of cruelty in such attacks unequivocally warrants this recognition.

In the early hours of that Saturday morning, which marked the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah when families join together in celebration, horror descended upon southern Israel as Hamas terrorists launched a ruthless and premeditated attack on civilian homes in kibbutz communities, cities, and villages. While families slept in their beds, Hamas unleashed an onslaught of terror, perpetrating unspeakable atrocities.

They violently broke into homes and proceeded to execute people mercilessly. Parents were murdered in front of their children, children in front of their parents. Siblings were torn apart. Children, even infants, were gunned down in their bedrooms. Entire families were slaughtered. Many were burned alive. Hamas committed violent sexual crimes against women, men, and young girls, and tortured family members in front of each other before killing them or abducting them into Gaza.

These heinous acts were not random. Hamas’s modus operandi on October 7th was as calculated as it was cruel; it was a deliberate strategy to exploit the family unit as a weapon of terror. This form of weaponization is as yet undefined in international law, though the atrocities committed on October 7th clearly constitute crimes against humanity, specifically the weaponization of familial bonds for strategic ends. These atrocities require new ways of thinking. For this purpose, we wish to offer to define a new term, “Kinocide,” which aims to reflect this concept. Kinocide describes the deliberate weaponization or destruction of families. It involves a coordinated plan aimed at the devastation of a nation or an ethnic group by targeting families through, among possible methods, mass killings, cruelty, and torture. Like genocide, it does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation but is intended to denote various forms of violence against the family unit, targeting the core of a nation or society.

In March, the UN Security Council and the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women chronicled the grim details of Hamas’s sexual violence during and following the October 7th attacks. The reports also described the systematic slaughter and abduction of parents and children, which were intended to fracture the family unit and instill fear at the most fundamental human level.

Blinken denies withholding intel from Israel about Hamas
During congressional testimony on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied that the Biden administration had offered to share additional intelligence with Israel if it refrained from launching a military operation in Rafah, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip.

In an exchange with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Blinken said Washington is giving Israel all of the information it has about the whereabouts of Hamas leaders and did not offer any quid pro quo regarding Rafah.

“Did the administration offer to provide the locations of senior Hamas leaders to Israel if they didn’t invade Rafah?” Cruz asked.

“That’s totally misleading and wrong,” Blinken said. “If we had the locations, we, of course, would provide them.”

Asked if the administration has intelligence on the locations of Hamas officials that it has not shared with Israel, Blinken replied simply: “No.”

“To the contrary, we’re providing everything we possibly can to Israel to help them find and deal with them,” he said.

Blinken also denied that the administration had offered anything else in exchange for not going into Rafah.

“We’ve offered them nothing not to invade Rafah except a plan to deal more effectively with Rafah,” Blinken said.

Cruz’s questions were based on a Washington Post report on May 11 that the United States had offered Israel intelligence and supplies in exchange for limiting any military operation in Rafah amid the administration’s concerns about Palestinian civilian casualties.

“The Biden administration, working urgently to stave off a full-scale Israeli invasion of Rafah, is offering Israel valuable assistance in an effort to persuade it to hold back, including sensitive intelligence to help the Israeli military pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find the group’s hidden tunnels,” the Post reported.

The White House previously denied the Post report and told Fox News it was “not holding anything back.” But Blinken’s testimony on Tuesday was the clearest denial from a senior administration official that there had been any material offered to the Jewish state in exchange for eschewing a full-scale military operation in Rafah.

Report: Cairo secretly altered ceasefire proposal for Hamas
An Egyptian intelligence official changed the terms of a ceasefire deal that Israel had already signed off on earlier in May to make it more favorable to Hamas, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Citing three sources with knowledge of the discussions, the U.S.-based news network revealed for the first time the changes made by Cairo, which angered American, Israeli and Qatari negotiators and left negotiations at an impasse.

“We were all duped,” one of the sources told CNN.

CIA Director William Burns was furious when he found out what the Egyptians had done, the source said.

According to the sources, Ahmed Abdel Khalek, a senior Egyptian intelligence official, was responsible for the changes. Abdel Khalek is a senior deputy to Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel, who has been leading the Egyptian mediation to attempt to reach another hostage deal in recent months and reportedly visited Israel in late April to advance the issue.

Abdel Khalek told the Israelis and Hamas different things and put more of the terror group’s demands into the documents than what Jerusalem had agreed to, according to the report.

“Hamas was telling their people, ‘We will have a deal in place tomorrow,'” one of the sources said, adding that “all sides were under the assumption the Egyptians provided the same document” that Jerusalem had signed off on. Instead, another source confirmed that the Egyptians tried to blur the lines between the original and altered documents.

The move raises questions about Egypt’s role in the ceasefire talks.

Before Egypt underhandedly changed the terms of the deal, U.S. officials had praised Jerusalem for its concessions, calling it “extraordinarily generous on the part of Israel.”
Biden: Palestinian state ‘should be realized through direct talks’
President Joe Biden still believes a Palestinian state should be realized only through direct negotiations with Israel, a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday, responding to the decisions by Ireland, Spain and Norway to recognize “Palestine.”

Biden thinks that “a Palestinian state should be realized through direct negotiations between the parties, not through unilateral recognition,” the spokesperson said, adding that the president is “a strong supporter of a two-state solution and has been throughout his career.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Norway, Ireland and Spain announced their recognition of a Palestinian state, in decisions that the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terrorist organization welcomed.

Jerusalem denounced the move as a reward for terrorism and the atrocities Hamas committed on Oct. 7, including the murder of some 1,200 people. “Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays,” tweeted Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné told the AFP news agency that Paris does not consider now the right moment for this step.

“Our position is clear: The recognition of a Palestinian state is not a taboo,” he said. “France does not consider that the conditions have been present to date for this decision to have a real impact in this process.”

Smotrich moves to collapse PA economy after ‘political terrorism’
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Wednesday called for a series of punitive steps against the Palestinian Authority in response to Ramallah’s push for unilateral statehood and support for the International Criminal Court case against the Jewish state.

In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the finance minister announced his intention to immediately halt the transfer of all monthly tax revenues that Jerusalem collects on behalf of the P.A.

The announcement came hours after Norway, Ireland and Spain declared their recognition of a Palestinian state, in decisions that the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terrorist organization welcomed.

Oslo in recent months has been serving as an intermediary to transfer some funds earmarked for the P.A. that Israel froze in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas-led terrorist massacre in the country’s south.

“Norway was the first to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state today, and it cannot be a partner in anything related to Judea and Samaria. I intend to stop the transfer funds and demand the return of all funds transferred,” Smotrich wrote to the prime minister.

Approximately 1 billion shekels ($272 million) has been parked in Norway over the past three months, while Jerusalem transfers some 600 million shekels ($163 million) to Ramallah directly every month.

“The Palestinians are working against Israel with political terrorism and promoting unilateral measures around the world—I cannot continue to transfer funds to them. If this causes the P.A. to collapse, let it collapse,” Ynet cited Smotrich as saying.
Gallant ends 2005 disengagement restrictions in Samaria
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday approved the enactment of a bill repealing parts of the 2005 Disengagement Law, allowing Israelis to stay in three Samaria communities evacuated 19 years ago.

The 2005 disengagement led to the destruction and evacuation of the villages of Homesh, Sa-Nur, Ganim and Kadim in northern Samaria, in addition to 21 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip.

On March 21, 2023, Israel’s Knesset voted 31-18 to repeal parts of the bill banning Israelis from entering and residing in the four Samaria towns.

However, while the ban on dwelling in the territory of Homesh was lifted two months later, the defense minister and the Israel Defense Forces have yet to greenlight the return to Sa-Nur, Ganim and Kadim.

Because Jerusalem has failed to extend its sovereignty over Judea and Samaria since retaking control of the territories after the 1967 Six-Day War, laws passed by the Israeli legislature do not apply until the head of the IDF’s Central Command signs off on it.

Ireland, Norway, Spain to recognize Palestinian state
Ireland, Norway and Spain said on Wednesday morning that they will recognize a Palestinian state, prompting Jerusalem to recall its envoys and summon the ambassadors of these countries.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced in their respective capitals that they will recognize a Palestinian state on May 28.

“There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition,” Støre opined at a press conference. “The terror has been committed by Hamas and militant groups who are not supporters of a two-state solution and the State of Israel.”

Harris said that “permanent peace can only be secured upon the basis of the free will of a free people.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz recalled the Israeli ambassadors to the three countries for immediate consultations on the decisions to recognize a Palestinian state. He also summoned the Irish, Norwegian and Spanish ambassadors to Israel for a reprimand conversation in which they will be shown a video of Hamas terrorists abducting female IDF observers during the Oct. 7 invasion.

“I’m sending a clear and unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent in the face of those undermining its sovereignty and endangering its security,” the minister tweeted shortly before the Spanish announcement.

He warned of “further severe consequences” that would follow against Spain if it followed suit.
A Mystifying Malice in Norway
For Norway, this bizarre combination of contempt for virtuous Jews and deference to violent Muslims is nothing new. During the Nazi occupation, while Danish police risked their lives to help smuggle Jews to safety in Sweden, Norwegian police obediently helped round them up for shipment to Auschwitz. In 2006, the Danish and Norwegian governments responded in totally antithetical ways to international Muslim outrage over a Danish newspaper’s publication of a dozen mostly inoffensive caricatures of Muhammed: while Denmark’s prime minister stood up firmly for free speech, refusing even to grant an audience to livid Muslim ambassadors, Norway’s government, declaring that freedom of speech should be tempered by religious sensitivity, forced a Norwegian editor who’d reprinted the cartoons to grovel apologetically before a slimy gathering of fourteen imams. Five years later, the internationally renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who’d lectured on Israel at institutions of higher education all over the world, discovered that the only country in which no major university was interested in hosting a (free) talk by him him on the topic was Norway – where microphones are routinely handed to apologists for terrorism. And then there’s Labor Party politician Anniken Huiltfeldt, who has long campaigned vigorously for a Norwegian boycott of Israeli products, but who, when she was appointed as Foreign Minister two and a half years ago, became, as I wrote at the time, “the first government official anywhere on the planet to invite the Taliban to her capital to discuss women’s rights (yes, women’s rights).” I’ll leave it to you to guess how far she got with that initiative.

Which brings us back to the present day. On May 10, Norway voted in support of a General Assembly resolution calling for Palestine’s full UN membership. It was far from alone: 143 countries supported the resolution, nine opposed it, and 25 abstained. But only three countries, Norway, Spain, and Ireland have been collaborating on plans to recognize Palestine as a sovereign and independent state. And today, May 22, they announced that such recognition would be forthcoming. Yes, anti-Semitism is on the march everywhere these days – but exactly why does Norway always seem so eager to be at the front of the pack?

Of course anti-Jewish sentiment has intensified across the Western world during the last generation or two as the number of Muslims in the West has increased. But only in Norway, as I noted earlier this year, does the nation’s “Holocaust Center,” supposedly founded to preserve the memory of the Shoah, employ a scholar, Cora Alexa Døving, who systematically whitewashes Islamic anti-Semitism while accusing people who dare to bring up some of the less charming aspects of Islam – e.g. honor killing, forced child marriage, and female subordination – of “othering,” spreading racism, and parroting “conspiracy theories.” Although the history of the last 14 centuries illustrates definitively that it’s Islam, far more than any other major religion, that is rooted in an ideology of conquest and subjugation, one respected Norwegian writer after another has taken glee in mocking the notion of the Jews as “God’s chosen people” (the title of a 2006 op-ed by novelist Jostein Gaarder that read like something out of Der Stürmer)– even though the Jews, unlike the Muslims, demonstrate their merits as a people not by massacring innocents but by making Nobel-winning discoveries and transforming a desert into an oasis of cultural, technological, and scientific achievement.

What makes Norway feel so often like the West’s Ground Zero for anti-Semitism? It’s a question I’ve pondered for years without ever coming up with an entirely satisfactory answer. Surely it’s relevant that Norway, for most of its history, was arguably Europe’s least cosmopolitan and least ethnically and religiously diverse country. Because of its forbiddingly mountainous terrain, most of its people were exceedingly provincial, identifying strongly with the remote valleys in which they lived, not a few of which had their own highly distinct dialects, and outside of which many of them never set foot once in their entire lives. To them, people living two valleys over might as well have been foreigners; imagine how alien Jews must have seemed to them! (Indeed, Norway’s 1814 constitution originally barred Jews from entering the country, and to this day there are only 1300 Jews in the whole country, and a single synagogue, which is located in my old neighborhood in Oslo.)

Netanyahu: Palestinian terrorists ‘cannot be given a state’
Plans by Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognize “Palestine” only seven months after Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre constitute a reward for terrorism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday night.

“Eighty percent of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria support the terrible massacre of Oct. 7. This evil cannot be given a state,” Netanyahu stressed in a Hebrew-language video statement posted to social media.

“This would be a terrorist state. It will try to repeat the massacre of Oct. 7 again and again,” he said, stressing that Israel “will not consent to this.”

The premier concluded: “Rewarding terrorism will not bring peace and neither will it stop us from defeating Hamas.”

Netanyahu spoke after Norway, Ireland and Spain announced their recognition of a Palestinian state, in decisions that the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terrorist organization lauded.
Israel recalls envoys over Palestinian statehood: ‘We won’t stand silent’
Israel recalled its ambassadors from Ireland, Spain and Norway to protest the declarations by those countries that they recognize Palestine as a state.

The ambassadors of those three countries have also been summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

'Sending a clear and unequivocal message'
“I’m sending a clear and unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent in the face of those undermining its sovereignty and endangering its security,” Israel's Foreign Minister Irsael Katz wrote in a post on X.

“Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays,” Katz said as he explained that it was problematic to take such a step in the aftermath of the Hamas-led invasion of Israel on October 7.

There were Over 1,200 people killed and 252 seized as hostages in that attack.

Katz wrote that “after the Hamas terror organization carried out the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, after committing heinous sexual crimes witnessed by the world, these countries chose to reward Hamas and Iran by recognizing a Palestinian state.”

“This distorted step by these countries is an injustice to the memory of the victims of 7/10, a blow to efforts to return the 128 hostages, and a boost to Hamas and Iran's jihadists, which undermines the chance for peace and questions Israel’s right to self-defense,” Katz wrote.

He warned other countries not to follow suit.

“Israel will not remain silent - there will be further severe consequences. If Spain follows through on its intention to recognize a Palestinian state, a similar step will be taken against it.

“The Irish-Norwegian folly does not deter us; we are determined to achieve our goals: restoring security to our citizens, dismantling Hamas, and bringing the hostages home. There are no more just causes than these,” he wrote.
Hamas heralds recognition of Palestinian statehood by three nations
The Hamas terrorist organization welcomed the decision by Ireland, Norway and Spain on Wednesday to recognize a Palestinian state.

“We consider this an important step towards affirming our right to our land,” the group said in a statement, calling “on countries around the world to recognize our legitimate national rights.”

Bassem Naim, a senior member of the Hamas political bureau, attributed the decision to the “brave resistance” of the Palestinians.

“These successive recognitions are the direct result of this brave resistance and the legendary steadfastness of the Palestinian people. … We believe this will be a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian issue,” Naim told AFP.

The Palestinian Authority also expressed support for the decision, which will be implemented on May 28.

Moral Cretins at the ICC
International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan announced Monday he is seeking arrest warrants against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant as well as Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, a move that puts genocidal murderers and their would-be victims on a level moral playing field.

The specifics of the charges illustrate the ICC’s moral obscenity and its ignorance of the way democracies have historically responded to existential threats. Khan accuses the Jewish state of, among other things, deliberately starving civilians in Gaza on the grounds that it has an obligation to provision Hamas as it wages war against it.

Established in 2002, the ICC ostensibly polices genocide and other war crimes. In reality, it makes them more likely to happen by unleashing lawfare on the very actions required to stamp them out.

The Americans and the British mounted a savage bombing campaign in Europe and Japan that killed over a half-million civilians in World War II. Approximately 100,000 Tokyo residents died in a single raid in March of 1945, more than in either atomic strike. The Brits conducted area attacks on German cities night after night, making no distinction between civilian and military targets in an atmosphere of total war.

Public opinion was supportive. A poll of Londoners conducted by the New Statesman in 1944 recorded 60 percent approval of the air raids. A 1945 Gallup poll found that 85 percent of respondents approved of bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a plurality of respondents in a Gallup poll conducted the same year said their use decreased the likelihood of a future war. Likewise, Israeli public opinion is supportive of the conduct of this war. A whopping 80 percent think the IDF should take civilian suffering into account very little or not at all in its conduct of the war, and, among Israeli military and political leaders, IDF chief of general staff Herzi Halevi gets high marks, with 48 percent of the public characterizing his performance as good or excellent.

There is a reason that neither the United States nor Israel is a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, a free-floating international court unchecked by any executive or legislative powers or held to account by public opinion.
JPost Editorial: In the eye of the storm: How will the ICC warrants affect Israel?
After hanging in the air for so long like a dark cloud, things finally came to pass on Monday when International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan announced his intention to seek arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as for Hamas’s top leaders, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

If approved by the ICC, Netanyahu would become the first Israeli leader threatened with arrest. This puts him among a small group of world leaders that the ICC has branded as international pariahs: Russian President Vladimir Putin, former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, and former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi.

Israel rightly reacted with outrage to Khan’s announcement, condemning the comparison made between a democratic state and a terrorist group. Israel’s legal system is globally respected, while Hamas operates as a non-state actor without an independent judiciary. Over 100 Members of the Knesset from the coalition and opposition signed a statement on Monday condemning Khan’s announcement.

International law
One of the problems in this case is the lack of distinction between Israel and Hamas. Both have leaders accused of war crimes. But to compare Israel and its military response to Hamas’s attacks of October 7 is absurd and downright dangerous. What kind of a precedent does it set in international law?

The UN has for a long time been walking a tightrope in the court of Israeli and Jewish public opinion for its attacks on the Jewish State when many others seem deserving of the organization’s attention. The ICC – as an extension of the UN – is merely furthering the suspicion and mistrust that Israel levels at the UN.

Given the strained relationship of the past few months, the US also weighed in on the decision with a perhaps surprising level of support. US President Joe Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, addressing Jewish community leaders at the White House, reinforced the administration’s commitment to Israel’s security and the Jewish people. “Let me be clear: we reject the ICC’s application for arrest warrants. There’s no equivalence between Israel and Hamas,” Biden said. “Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening is not genocide. We reject that.”

The application for the issuing of arrest warrants will not make much difference to supporters and opponents of Israel and its politicians on either side of the fence, except to reinforce people’s already-held opinions.

Israeli AG, state attorney reject ICC request to arrest Netanyahu, Gallant
Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara and State Attorney Amit Aisman rejected as “without foundation” the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s request to the Hague court to issue arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and defense minister.

“The security forces, including the IDF, wage war with full commitment to the rules of international law,” Baharav-Miara and Aisman said in a statement on Wednesday. They added that the court lacks “any authority” in the matter.

On Tuesday, ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan announced he would request warrants for the arrest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, claiming he has “reasonable grounds” to believe that they have committed war crimes.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he would form “a special command center” to fight the ICC.

The ICC’s assault on the legitimacy of Israel’s war effort despite lacking jurisdiction (Israel never signed on to the Rome Statute, which underpins the court) has raised questions among observers about Israel’s handling of the ICC threat until now.

Avi Bell, a professor of law at the University of San Diego and at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, leveled criticism at both the Foreign Ministry and the Attorney General’s Office, which for years have opted for a policy of cooperation.

He told JNS that only a few months ago, the ICC prosecutor’s team was invited to Israel “to interview witnesses, collect evidence and coordinate with the PLO in Ramallah.”

The Dangerous Fantasy of “International Law”
In the summer of 1998, shortly after the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) had been signed and four years before it went into effect, David Frum wrote: “power politics being what they are, the International Criminal Court may hesitate to strike directly at the United States. But Israel will provide a convenient proxy”. Points for prescience. Earlier today, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced that his office was applying for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for a raft of war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed in Gaza.

Several oddities are immediately apparent, even within the ICC framework. First, Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statute. Khan gets around this by claiming the ICC “can exercise its criminal jurisdiction in the … State of Palestine”, which, of course, does not exist. Second, though Israel is not a party to the ICC, it was cooperating with the Prosecutor in an investigative process that was abruptly and arbitrarily terminated, strongly suggesting the “investigation” was a sham and the decision to apply for indictments had been taken before the evidence was gathered. Third, no indictments were issued for officials in Iran, the State behind the 7 October pogrom in Israel that slaughtered, raped, and kidnapped nearly 1,500 mostly Jewish civilians.

Still, it was a nice touch that Khan also announced the application for warrants against senior HAMAS officials, namely the head of the group in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar; the commander-in-chief of the Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif; and the “political” leader, Ismail Haniyeh. HAMAS’ complaint that the ICC was attempting “to equate the victim with the executioner” was quite correct, albeit not in the way they intended. The ICC has given itself political cover institutionally to deflect the inevitable charge that it is unduly focused on Israel, while fostering a sense of equivalence between Israel and HAMAS, and as a bonus the ICC can further this political narrative without putting the HAMAS terrorists in any danger of arrest; all the trouble will be for Israel.

And politics is what this is all about. There is little point delving into the ICC charges against Israel as legal or factual matters because they were arrived at using neither law nor fact. The shameless misuse of “international humanitarian law” (IHL) and concepts like “proportionality” on their own terms, essentially to try to criminalise war per se, is a subset of the larger problem: the system that brings these charges about.

The political nature of “international law” is easier to see with the United Nations’ own so-called “World Court”, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where Israel is currently fending off disgraceful proceedings accusing her of “genocide”. The U.N. has been openly hostile to Israel for decades, and the “charges” are being brought by South Africa, run by the African National Congress (ANC), a remnant of the Soviet Revolution that has waged war against the Jewish State for half-a-century. The ANC’s flagrantly political use of “international law”—the ANC invited Sudan’s Umar al-Bashir onto its territory while he was under an ICC indictment for genocide and the ANC recently announced it would refuse to implement an ICC arrest warrant for Russia’s Vladimir Putin if he landed in South Africa—has made it difficult for anyone of good-faith to take the ICJ case seriously as a “legal” matter.

UKLFI Charitable Trust: Natasha Hausdorff at The Sydney Institute on the International Legal War Against Israel
Natasha Hausdorff addresses The Sydney Institute on the topic of the International Legal War Against Israel during her trip to Australia.

How six human rights lawyers dragged the International Criminal Court into a diplomatic nightmare
The International Criminal Court was founded on the notions of impartiality and independence.

Karim Khan, its chief prosecutor, might therefore have been expected to move particularly cautiously in appointing a “panel of experts” as he weighed what action to take against Hamas and Israel over the October 7 attacks and Israel’s retaliatory bombing of Gaza. His subsequent decision to pursue arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant, as well as Hamas leaders, has proved explosive.

The move has attracted a barrage of disapproval led by Joe Biden and pressing questions about the court’s processes and future, triggered in part by concerns over whether the experts Khan called on were truly impartial.

Those concerns may be given succour by the revelation that several members of the panel, which is populated by a gaggle of British human rights lawyers including Amal Clooney, have publicly spoken out against Israel in the past. This, claim the court’s critics, indicates a ‘verdict first’ way of working, in which at least some of those involved in the process were already convinced that Israel has been guilty of war crimes.

Among those whose remarks have raised eyebrows is Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, a founding member of Doughty Street Chambers renowned for her expertise in criminal law.

Within weeks of Hamas’ murderous onslaught last October, Kennedy warned Israel was overstepping in its response, accusing it of breaching international law by cutting off critical water supplies to Gaza as part of its “complete siege” of the coastal enclave.“Water is a basic human right and its denial violates international law. It is a war crime,” she told Prospect Magazine on October 24. “Israel has a right to self-defence. But it has to be proportionate and in accordance with international law,” Kennedy added, defending her stance as neither pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian, but instead “pro-human rights.”

Shortly afterwards, another member of Khan’s advisory panel spoke out against Israel’s offensive and called for an immediate ceasefire. In an open letter published on November 18, Danny Friedman KC accused the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) of having run roughshod over the laws of war.

“Israel’s response to the attack on its territory has involved catastrophic mass fatality and untold human suffering of Palestinians – not only as a result of aerial and ground bombardment, but through, among other features, cessation of basic sustenance and amenities, destruction of medical facilities, and forced movement of populations within the blockaded geography of the Gaza strip,” he said. “These are also grave war crimes. They must be characterised as such notwithstanding any continuing other crimes upon Israelis, foremost of which is the continuing and agonising incommunicado detention of Israeli hostages.”
Amal Clooney pushes lies about Israel — what does her Hollywood husband think?
Israel is a country whose military forces go above and beyond to prevent civilian deaths. But don’t expect Amal to appreciate that fact.

I’d like to be a fly on the wall at one of the Clooney households.

The indictments represent a do-over for Mrs. Clooney, who’s had it in for Israel for at least a decade.

Back in 2014, she was appointed to the UN Human Rights Council to investigate alleged war crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces in Gaza, with no crackdown mentioned on terrorist activities targeting Israel.

Amal declined the assignment, citing prior commitments.

But as she was set to wed George, she put out a vicious statement before any investigation was completed, demonstrating her deep and disturbing antipathy toward the Jewish state.

“I am horrified by the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip,” she fumed, “particularly the civilian casualties that have been caused, and strongly believe that there should be an independent investigation and accountability for crimes that have been committed.”

Amal announced her involvement with the international kangaroo court this week on the website of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, an organization she co-founded with her spouse, George, 63.

She stated that she was asked by ICC brass to join a panel of international legal experts to evaluate evidence of suspected war crimes.

As such, she personally persuaded the so-called “experts” and bosses to shove Israel as well as the Hamas persecutors equally under the proverbial bus.

The statement also marked a departure for George Clooney, who previously has declined to link his name to the Israel-hating and antisemitic activities promoted by his missus.

But now, he’s inextricably linked to the forces of evil with whom Amal has pledged loyalty.

I, for one, will never again watch a movie he’s acted in, produced, directed or written, nor will I purchase a product that he’s involved with producing, and I hope others will do the same.

NGO Monitor: Behind the ICC Prosecutor’s Narrative: The NGOs that Pushed the “Starvation” Libel in October
On May 20, 2024, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan announced that he was pursuing arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant. Khan alleged that both “bear criminal responsibility” for the war crime of “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.”

As shown below, anti-Israel non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – many funded by European governments and some linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group – initiated the “starvation as a weapon” narrative immediately following Hamas’ brutal assault on October 7. While the IDF was still fighting Palestinian terrorists in southern Israel, and well before the ground invasion of Gaza, NGOs issued press releases and submissions to the ICC making outrageous claims of “starvation.”

Central to this campaign were “reports” of an NGO framework known as “the Famine Review Committee of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) system.” The factual claims in IPC publications primarily reference UN agencies (UNRWA, WHO) and the PFLP-linked NGO Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) that simply repeat propaganda from the Hamas Ministry of Health. These claims were repeated by the “expert committee” appointed by Khan, referenced in the May 20 ICC statement, that served as the justification for his actions.

For over a decade, these same NGOs have been lobbying for ICC prosecution of Israelis, pushing the Court to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a member and to expand its jurisdiction, filing complaints, representing “victims,” and submitting briefs.
Former official: Biden has no choice but invoke special law against ICC
The former Israeli ambassador to Washington, Dr. Michael Oren, said the Biden administration's response to the arrest warrants requested by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reflects the Biden administration's unwavering stance in support of Israel.

In an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, Oren praised the US administration for standing firmly beside Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas terrorism in Gaza. He deemed the ICC prosecutor's request for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders "outrageous and unacceptable." Oren called on the US to invoke the American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2001 to shield Israel, protecting Netanyahu, Gallant, and Israeli soldiers from prosecution by the ICC in The Hague.

Under this act, the US commits to protecting any ally against whom the ICC issues arrest warrants or indictments. Potential measures include providing legal assistance to Israeli officials, imposing economic sanctions on countries cooperating with the ICC orders, sanctioning ICC officials through asset freezes, and leveraging American companies and banks to enforce such sanctions.

Oren urged the Biden administration to seize this "rare opportunity" and engage Israel in a "genuine, intimate dialogue" about the "day after" the conflict, including the possibility of a path toward Palestinian statehood, without any immediate commitments. "Israel must capitalize on this window of tremendous US support," Oren stresses, "and not forfeit the chance to initiate such crucial negotiations."
Cotton vows to block ICC prosecutor from entering the United States
Efforts by International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors to arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have provoked strong pushback from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

“Equating Israel’s democratically elected leaders with the perpetrators of the worst attack on Jews since World War II shows what a farce the International Criminal Court is,” Cotton said in a Monday statement.

Labeling the ICC a “kangaroo court,” Cotton said the body “has no jurisdiction in Israel to pursue these antisemitic and politically motivated ‘charges.’ My colleagues and I look forward to making sure neither [ICC prosecutor Karim] Khan, his associates nor their families will ever set foot again in the United States.”

Cotton has introduced legislation to sanction Khan, who he described to Fox News as a “rogue prosecutor” who has previously targeted American soldiers for prosecution.

‘Sat on the sidelines’: Peter Dutton slams Anthony Albanese over Israel
Peter Dutton has slammed Anthony Albanese for failing to condemn the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for the Israeli Prime Minister and creating a “false equivalency” with the terrorist organisation Hamas.

The ICC’s move has sparked international condemnation after prosecutor Karim Khan revealed he was seeking arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as top Hamas leaders.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan is also pursuing the arrests of three leading Hamas figures, Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri – better known as Mohammed Deif – and Ismail Haniyeh over Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 last year.

“The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous,” the US President Joe Biden said in the statement.

“And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence – none – between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

Albo ‘squibs it’ on Israel

But when Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was asked about the move today he declined to endorse the US President’s remarks.

“I don’t comment on court processes in Australia, let alone court processes globally in which Australia is not a party,” the Prime Minister said.

Asked if he agreed with Mr Biden’s comments the Prime Minister again declined to comment.

Seth Frantzman: Uprooting Hamas: How the IDF is dislodging Hamas from Jabalya
The IDF is learning from seven months of war. Officers at the company and battalion level are gaining unique skills from their experience in Khan Yunis, Jabalya, and other areas. Troops are learning how to recognize areas where there might be improvised explosive devices (IEDs), for instance. They also learn to sense where tunnel shafts may be located. The ability to find the underground terrorist city that exists is important for clearing out the infrastructure. If you just clear aboveground, the enemy goes underground and returns.

As the commanders of platoons and companies become more sensitive to threats and understand the terrain, the need for precision firepower is more important. The IDF continues to carry out airstrikes in Gaza, with about 70 to 80 a day recently. But in Jabalya, there is less need for heavy airstrikes, and that means reducing damage to civilian areas. It also means close coordination between the units on the ground and the air and naval forces that provide precision firepower.

As in Khan Yunis, the IDF continues to find weapons in many civilian homes. Hamas festooned civilian areas with terrorist infrastructure, such as entrances to tunnels, placing observation posts in buildings, or hiding ammunition so their fighters can easily grab it on the go. Almost every house has been used by terrorists in some form or another.

The soldiers fighting in Gaza believer they will defeat Hamas over the long run. They are focused on that mission and on bringing the hostages home.

They are also focused on reducing collateral damage to civilian areas and using the latest technology to evaluate targets to minimize the damage. They have also helped Gazan civilians they came across. Most civilians left the areas on May 11, when the IDF told them to evacuate.
US softens stance on Rafah op after Jerusalem addresses concerns
The United States has softened its stance on a broader Israeli military operation in Rafah after Jerusalem addressed its humanitarian concerns, a senior Biden administration official said on Tuesday.

Nearly a million noncombatants have been evacuated from the last Hamas bastion in southernmost Gaza, where four of the remaining terror battalions are entrenched. They have been directed to an expanded humanitarian zone in Al-Mawasi.

Israel began a limited operation in the eastern part of Rafah on May 6, taking operational control of the border crossing with Egypt as well as the section of the Salah al-Din Road in the city. Israeli forces have yet to engage in a major offensive in the center of the city, but have killed terrorists, seized weapons and unearthed hundreds of tunnels, including 50 smuggling tunnels crossing into Egypt so far during the Rafah operation.

“It’s fair to say that the Israelis have updated their plans. They’ve incorporated many of the concerns that we have expressed,” the Times of Israel quoted the official as saying.

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. official said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was reassured during his visit to Israel earlier this week, finding that Jerusalem was incorporating many of the Biden administration’s concerns into the military’s operational plans for Rafah.
US: Israel killed a third of Hamas terrorists
Israel has eliminated only around a third of the Hamas terrorists and tunnels in Gaza since the start of the war on Oct. 7, Politico reported on Tuesday, citing U.S. intelligence estimates.

“Although Hamas’ communications and military abilities have been degraded, only 30 to 35 percent of its fighters—those who were a part of Hamas before the Oct. 7 attack—have been killed and about 65 percent of its tunnels are still intact, U.S. intelligence indicates,” the Virginia-based news outlet stated.

According to Western officials, thousands of Hamas terrorists have been able to evade the Israel Defense Forces by hiding in Gaza’s vast subterranean tunnel network, while others have mixed into the civilian population.

Gen. Joseph Votel (ret.), who headed U.S. Central Command during the peak of fighting with the Islamic State, was one of several former top officials quoted by the publication who were critical of Jerusalem’s war strategy. He urged the Israeli government to consider long-term plans for the Strip and its population.

“Everybody gets the fact that you have to destroy Hamas … , but then what?” asked Votel.

“What’s the plan to take care of the 2.5 million Palestinians that are left behind? What’s the plan to deal with the remainder of the Hamas fighters? It seems incomplete and I just don’t think that they have communicated or have thought through that as well as I would’ve hoped they would’ve.”
IDF presses forward in Jabalya, Rafah, 70% of Philadelphi Corridor under Israeli control
The IDF said on Wednesday that it had destroyed multi-barrel rocket launchers, which were located in eastern Rafah along the Philadelphi Corridor, of which Ynet, citing Egyptian officials, reported is now 70% under Israeli control.

Later, in the southern Gazan city, the IDF stated it had destroyed rocket launchers that were aimed toward Israeli territory. Overall, between Tuesday and Wednesday, the IDF struck approximately 130 terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip.

Around the same time, in the northern part of the Palestinian enclave, IDF soldiers from the 7th Brigade engaged Hamas terrorists in the Jabalya refugee camp, wherein forces dismantled terror infrastructure in the area and conducted artillery strikes in the area.

Discoveries made on the scene
Soldiers also located and destroyed several ready-to-use launchers and dozens of rockets in Jabalya, the military added.

Weapons, grenades, explosives, and ammunition were also located by Israeli forces in the area.

Approximately 100 targets were attacked from the air, with 500 artillery shells being fired by Israeli forces, Ynet reported.

It was later reported that in the northern refugee camp, numerous Hamas terrorists were eliminated in close-quarters combat by the IDF. Israeli troops directed an aircraft that eliminated eight Hamas terrorists who were operating from within a weapons storage facility.

The IDF stresses that their operations also include making every effort to prevent harm to civilians after most of the civilian population in the area was evacuated.
How Israel‘s Destroying Hamas in Rafah - Maj. Andrew Fox
Join us for part one of our three-part podcast series featuring retired British Army Major Andrew Fox. With three frontline tours in Afghanistan and one in Bosnia under his belt, Major Fox served in the Fusiliers and Parachute Regiments. He now shares his expertise as a lecturer in war studies and a scholar of Middle Eastern politics.

In this episode, we delve into the Israeli invasion of Rafah. Major Andrew Fox provides his unique insights into the reasons behind the invasion and the tactics they might employ. Don't miss his expert analysis and first-hand perspective.

IDF names three soldiers killed Wednesday morning in northern Gaza
The IDF published the names of three soldiers who were killed Wednesday morning in the northern Gaza Strip.

The fallen soldiers were Sgt. Yisrael Yudkin, St.-Sgt.-Maj. Gideon Chay DeRowe, and St.-Sgt. Eliyahu Haim Emsallem.

Sgt. Yisrael Yudkin was from Kfar Chabad and served in the 97th Battalion (Netzah Yehuda), which operated near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. He served as a combat officer also in the Kfir Brigade.

IDF St.-Sgt.-Maj. Gideon Chay DeRowe, 33, from Tel Aviv, was a soldier in the Yahalom Unit, also fell in battle in northern Gaza.

St.-Sgt. Eliyahu Haim Emsallem, 21, from Ra'anana, was a soldier in the 97th Battalion and in the Kafir Brigade.
IAF waits for child to relocate before killing October 7 terrorist in Gaza
Hamas terrorist Ahmed Yasser Elkara was eliminated in an Israel Air Force (IAF) aerial strike in Khan Yunis, the military announced on Wednesday morning.

Elkara, who operated anti-tank missiles, took part in the October 7 attack and, during Israel's war in Gaza, led attacks against Israeli forces, the IDF added. Strike occurs after child near terrorist moves away

The military noted that in preparation for the strike, a child was identified near the terrorist, and the strike was immediately stopped. Only when the child moved away from the building did the strike occur.

In the strike, two additional terrorists were killed: Sahib Raad Abu Riba, a Hamas Nukhba terrorist, and Anas Muhammed Abu Regila, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist, the IDF said.

In a separate strike, an IAF jet killed five Hamas terrorists who were hiding in a school in northern Gaza; among them was Fadi Salim, propaganda chief of Hamas’s Gaza Brigade, three Hamas terrorists in charge of intelligence, and an additional Nukhba terrorist.

Gazans Have Received No Aid From Biden’s Pier, Pentagon Says
The Pentagon on Tuesday said Gazan civilians have not yet received any of the aid unloaded from the humanitarian pier that the United States constructed off the coast of Gaza.

Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told CNN on Tuesday that he "[did] not believe" any aid from the pier had reached the Palestinian population but noted that the distribution process was underway.

Trucks that were delivering aid over the weekend were, according to Ryder, "intercepted by some people who took that aid off those vehicles." The interception caused the United Nations to suspend delivery and seek "alternative routes" for delivering the 569 tons of aid that have arrived at the pier since Friday, CNN reported.

"Fully appreciating the desperation, but also fully appreciating the fact that it is very important that this aid get to the people who need it most," Ryder said.

"That’s going to continue to be the focus," Ryder added. "So I understand, you know, the focus on why is this not working, or why is that not working, but what we’re focused on is how we can work to ensure that the Palestinian people get the aid."

President Joe Biden revealed during his State of the Union address in March that he ordered the military to construct the pier off Gaza.

The Pentagon said in April that the humanitarian pier—constructed at an estimated cost of $320 million—is meant to help deliver about 90 truckloads of aid per day in initial phases to the Palestinian civilians, with the intent of increasing to 150 trucks daily.
Nearly 70% of Gaza aid from US-built pier stolen
Close to three-fourths of the humanitarian aid transported from a new $320 million floating pier built by the U.S. military off the Gaza coast was stolen on Saturday en route to a U.N. warehouse, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Eleven trucks “were cleaned out by Palestinians” on the journey to the World Food Programme warehouse in Deir El Balah in the central Strip, with only five truckloads making it to the destination.

“They’ve not seen trucks for a while,” a U.N. official told Reuters. “They just basically mounted on the trucks and helped themselves to some of the food parcels.”

According to the United Nations, no aid was delivered to the warehouse from the U.S. military’s pier on Sunday and Monday.

Eli Lake: Study Shows Israel Supplied ‘Sufficient’ Food to Gaza
Yesterday we reported on one of the many problems with International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan’s request for arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and defense minister. Namely, the fact that there is scant evidence of the “deliberate starvation” that forms the heart of the ICC’s case, and that Khan ignores abundant evidence that Hamas is hoarding food and medical supplies.

Now, a new study published by the Hebrew University’s Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science, and Nutrition brings clarity to the contested question of food security in the Gaza strip. The working paper analyzed the adequacy of the food supply Israel has facilitated into Gaza since January. And the results are devastating to Khan’s case.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, was conducted in conjunction with four other Israeli universities and the country’s ministry of health and found that “the quantity and quality of food delivered to Gaza have steadily improved and diversified since January 2024” and that “the food supply contains sufficient energy and protein for the population’s needs.”

Specifically, the Israeli researchers found that on average, between January and April, 124 trucks carrying food and humanitarian aid entered Gaza per day. That adds up to 3,211 calories worth of nutrition per Gazan, per day. The World Health Organization standard for calorie consumption is 2,900 per day for average-sized men and 2,200 per day for average-sized women.

“Contrary to claims that Israel has deliberately starved Gaza, Israel has gone to considerable lengths to facilitate food aid delivered to Gaza,” the authors write.

US issues rare criticism of Egypt for withholding UN aid from Gaza
A senior Biden administration official briefing reporters offers very rare criticism of Egypt over what they said was Cairo’s withholding of UN humanitarian assistance from Gaza.

“What should be going into Kerem Shalom is the UN assistance, which is now in Egypt. Egypt is holding that back until the Rafah crossing situation settles out,” the senior administration official says.

“We do not believe that aid should be held back for any reason whatsoever. Kerem Shalom is open. The Israelis have it open. And that aid should be going through Kerem Shalom,” the official adds.

Aid has piled up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah Crossing after it was shuttered earlier this month due to Israel’s operation to take over the Gaza side of the crossing from Hamas

Egypt and Israel have traded blame for why Rafah has remained closed.

A second US official speaking to The Times of Israel earlier Tuesday said that Egypt warned Israel it would close the crossing if Israel did not fully coordinate its military operations at the gate with Cairo, which Jerusalem failed to do.

The US official said that Egypt is unwilling to reopen the crossing so long as it is the IDF that is the IDF that is securing the other side, not wanting to be seen as complicit with Israel’s occupation of the gate.

Egypt could be willing to reopen the Rafah Crossing if the Palestinian Authority or an international organization replaced the IDF there, the official said, adding that the PA rejected an Israeli offer to manage the gate.

Jonathan Conricus on Raisi death and the Islamic regime in Iran — Piers Morgan Uncensored
Jonathan joins Piers Morgan Uncensored to break down the death on Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the Islamic regime in Iran.

The Butcher Is Dead. What Comes Next for Iran?
That said, I don’t think it’s analytically helpful to try to guess who Khamenei will tap as his successor—assuming he doesn’t die before his plans are in motion. But if Khamenei intends to advance his 54-year-old son, Mojtaba—whose candidacy could generate a lot of opposition from those in the Islamic Republic opposed to dynastic succession—the element of surprise will be essential.

Khamenei’s cunning has seen him survive for 35 years, but also deprived him of a revolutionary clerical and lay aristocracy to draw upon to replace Raisi because he has prevented independent power bases and networks from gaining too much strength. The supreme leader has tried to make the Islamic Republic institutionally independent of personality (his excepted). He has regularly shuffled senior Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders—though always keeping close his personal favorites, like the dark lord, Qasem Soleimani, killed by a U.S. drone in 2020. He has demoted or banished from politics most of the first-generation revolutionaries who made the Islamic Republic.

Now Khamenei may need to seek more support from the younger generations that he has nourished; these are for the most part hardcore, unpolished revolutionaries. Would Khamenei have sufficient trust in a president chosen from these ranks? Would he trust them to follow his orders after his death?

In the Islamic Republic, there are a lot of competing forces that could be unleashed by Raisi’s death: clerics vs. the Revolutionary Guard Corps, rich clerics and Guardsmen vs. poor ones, cynics vs. true believers, and the people vs. the government. The ruling elite’s greatest advantage is that it knows that they will all go down if internecine strife breaks out.

Raisi’s death now requires the clerical regime to engage again in a potentially risky electoral fraud—pretending presidential choices exist when all has been arranged by the supreme leader and his minions. The regime’s rhetoric, which now verges on Newspeak, can make even faithful Iranians angry.

The security services will, most probably, be able to handle any internal dissent. But it would be a delightful irony if Raisi’s unexpected demise led the regime—Khamenei personally—to make mistakes that cracked the fear that allows the theocracy to survive.
‘Death to America! Death to Israel!’ chants ring out at Raisi’s funeral
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei oversaw a memorial service at Tehran University on Wednesday to honor President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and others killed in a recent helicopter crash.

“Oh Allah, we didn’t see anything but good from him [Raisi],” Khamenei said in the standard prayer for the dead in Arabic.

Iran’s acting president, Mohammad Mokhber, stood nearby and openly wept during the service. People then carried the coffins out on their shoulders, chanting, “Death to America!” followed by a crowd estimated in the tens of thousands participating in a procession through Tehran, following the caskets.

Among those present were top leaders of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, one of the country’s major power centers. Also in attendance were leaders of terrorist groups backed by Iran—Naim Qassem, the deputy leader of Hezbollah, and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, which has received arms and support from Iran during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Before the funeral, Haniyeh spoke to the crowd and said, “I come in the name of the Palestinian people, in the name of the resistance factions of Gaza … to express our condolences,” and an emcee led the crowd in chanting “Death to Israel!”

Haniyeh recounted meeting Raisi in Tehran during Ramadan and described him calling the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the war, which saw some 1,200 people killed and 252 others taken hostage, an “earthquake in the heart of the Zionist entity.”
House GOP Rebukes Biden Admin for Sending 'Official Condolences' to Iran
A coalition of 12 House Republicans on Wednesday rebuked the Biden administration for offering "official condolences" to Iran following the deaths of the Islamic Republic's president and foreign minister in a helicopter crash.

The letter comes after the State Department on Monday offered "official condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister [Hossein] Amir-Abdollahian, and other members of their delegation in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran." The statement drew widespread GOP criticism due to Raisi's role in committing mass human rights abuses and implementing hardline policies that advocated "death to Israel" and "death to America."

"It is highly inappropriate for the United States to express condolences for an individual that was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department and has extensive connections to terrorism," the group of lawmakers, led by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.), wrote to the White House, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "The decision to express condolences for such an individual is shameful."

The rebuke by House GOP leaders highlights ongoing disagreement over U.S.-Iran policy under President Joe Biden. While the United States has mostly abandoned its bid to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, the Biden administration continues to waive economic sanctions that provide Tehran with access to upward of $10 billion in assets. The United States has also failed to enforce sanctions on Iran's oil trade, allowing the country's illicit exports to hit a five-year high with a value of around $90 billion.

Raisi, known as the "Butcher of Tehran," was a close ally of Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and spearheaded hardline policies that included a brutal crackdown on democratic reformers who took to the streets from 2022 to 2023 to protest the regime's murder of a young woman who was not properly wearing her hijab.

Raisi was also the architect of a 1988 massacre in Iran that killed around 5,000 regime opponents. Raisi at the time served on the Iranian government's "death committee" that issued kill orders for scores of political opponents.

FACT CHECK: 'We Don't Want To See Anyone Die in a Helicopter Crash' (satire)
Claim: "We regret any loss of life. We don't want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash."

Who said it: State Department spokesman Matthew Miller made the remarks during a press briefing on Monday. He was asked to explain the Biden administration's bizarre decision to send "official condolences" to the Iranian government following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and other senior officials in a helicopter crash over the weekend.

Context: Raisi, a.k.a. "the Butcher of Tehran," was not a nice person. The Trump administration sanctioned him in 2019 for his role in ordering the deaths of thousands of regime opponents dating back to the late 1980s, when he served on the Islamist government's "death committee."

Miller also acknowledged Raisi's involvement in "numerous horrific human rights abuses," describing the deceased president as "a brutal participant in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades." He could have stopped there. Instead, after outlining the many reasons why Raisi's death was undeserving of American condolences, the spokesman added: "That said, we regret any loss of life. We don't want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash."

Analysis: Um, what the f—? The Biden administration, speaking on behalf of all Americans, believes that "any loss of life" is regrettable under any circumstances? It's absurd. Can you imagine if that were true?

Hamas terror leader Haniyeh meets with Khamenei in Tehran
Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas terrorist movement’s political bureau, was pictured meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Wednesday.

In the picture, released by Khamenei’s office, Haniyeh is sitting on the couch along with Iran’s acting president, Mohammad Mokhber.

Haniyeh was in the country to participate in the funeral of Iranian president Ibrahim Raisi, who was killed in helicopter crash on Sunday along with seven others, including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Khamenei also published video of the encounter to his X social media account, writing that the “[h]ead of Hamas’ political bureau, Mr. Ismail Haniyeh, offered his condolences on behalf of the Palestinian nation & govt on the martyrdom-like death of President Raisi & his entourage to Imam Khamenei & the Iranian nation.”

Sydney bakery sells a Hamas terror cake for toddler’s fourth birthday
A Sydney bakery has come under fire for sharing images of a custom-made Hamas cake for a child’s birthday.

The large birthday cake and cupcakes featured the Palestinian flag on a map of Israel and the West Bank, and an image of masked Hamas spokesman, Abu Ubaida, in the terror group’s infamous green bandana, and the Palestinian keffiyeh pattern.

The birthday boy emulated Ubaida’s costume, wearing a red keffiyeh around his face and an army camouflage jacket. He mimicked the terrorist’s pose with a finger in the air in one photograph of the display.

Sydney-based Oven Bakery by Fu Fu was forced to remove the company’s social media accounts after photos of the Hamas cakes sparked outrage less than a day after they were shared.

The bakery captioned the Instagram post with an upside-down red triangle, which is used in Hamas propaganda to denote the targeting of a person or vehicle with weapons. It has become a well-known symbol for anti-Israel activists.

Social media followers initially praised the boy. A New South Wales clothing store, Ayahs, responded to the post with two red triangles and the comment “Love it” and another Sydney business, At the Warehouse, commented that the birthday boy “is a champion." Others commented with hearts.

Criticism quickly mounted, however, and the bakery closed its Instagram and Facebook pages shortly after the controversial post.

French police arrest protesters who allegedly assaulted security at Jewish event
Police in Lyon, France arrested several people who assaulted security personnel guarding an event organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel, the organization said.

The incident Tuesday evening ended without serious injury, the France office of the Jewish Agency wrote in a statement.

The altercation followed a pro-Palestinian demonstration that took place earlier Tuesday near the Perrache train and bus station in the second district at the center of the eastern city.

Several hours after that demonstration ended, the Jewish Agency for Israel held an aliyah fair — an event to encourage immigration by Jews to Israel — at a venue in the same district.

About 90 minutes into that event, several pro-Palestinian activists arrived and began assaulting the security guards, leading police to intervene, the French-language statement said.

“At no point did the assailants enter the venue and none of the participants was in any danger,” the statement said. No protesters were present on the street when the fair ended and participants left the venue “in total safety,” the statement said.

Ofir Sofer, Israel’s minister for aliyah and integration, said in a statement: “I take very seriously the antisemitic assault during the Aliyah fair in Lyon and call on the French government to act firmly against antisemitism and the supporters of [Hamas commander] Yahya Sinwar and the October 7 massacres.”

More than 3,000 people have attended a series of aliyah fairs in Paris, Marseille and Lyon this week, Sofer said. The Jewish Agency expects some 3,200 new immigrants, or olim, to move to Israel this year, more than three times last year’s tally, Jewish Agency representative Shay Felver said Monday at a Knesset committee discussion about aliyah.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


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.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Blog Archive