Friday, May 24, 2024

From Ian:

How Israel lost the elites and won the people - a Eurovision story
Eurovision celebrates diversity, so it was not surprising to see thousands of Islamists gain interest in the contest this year. Thousands of passionate keffiyeh-clad fans took the street in Malmo days before the contest, singing their own songs of Intifada and other golden living dreams of vision. So moved was the crowd by the music, that Israeli performer Eden Golan had to be escorted in and out of the arena by a convoy of hundreds of police officers and advised not to leave her hotel room during her entire stay. Eden was booed at every rehearsal. The Irish contestant, draped in a keffiyeh that matched their facial tattoos, proudly reported that they cried when Israel qualified for the final. The Greek participant pretended to sleep when Eden spoke at the press conference, and the Dutch singer covered his face and mocked her, in one of several last straws that ended in his disqualification hours before showtime. But perhaps the most egregious of all is when a member of the press asked Eden if she felt it was irresponsible for her to be there, given the danger her participation poses to everyone else (she answered diplomatically like the princess that she is). Bambi Thug, the demon from Ireland

The smirkers, the hissers, those who asked Eden to delete a video they had just taken – it’s unclear how many of them were true believers and how many just thought they were reading the room. As any public figure who posted something along the lines of “thoughts and prayers” on October 7 can tell you, the online mob will set you straight about the Middle East. If enough people bully you into bullying someone else, best to go along with the crowd. If hundreds of people scream loud enough, discount the thousands who choose to remain silent. And all of it maybe would have been ignored, if the Israeli song wasn’t really, really good. “Hurricane” (deadname: October Rain) is a banger, and Eden completely killed it on stage, despite the unprecedented booing at the final. Yet when it was time to announce the jury votes, those are the votes by the panel of experts from each nation, many of the countries didn’t even include Israel in their rankings. They may have liked the song, but really, who wants to deal with those nasty Instagram comments? Avoidance is the safest bet for an intact follower count.

When the jury portion of the show had culminated with Israel at a disappointing 12 out of 26, Israelis began to close out our tabs, but refused to lose hope. And then came the popular vote, the unwashed Eurovision masses. The people of Europe had spoken, anonymously and without fear of retribution. A shocking 15 countries awarded Israel the maximum number of points, launching it into the very respectable 5th place overall, and 2nd among all televoters, an upset not seen since (insert sports metaphor here)

Were the good people of Switzerland paying homage to Theodore Herzl? Was the Swedish vote an affront to Islamist extremism? Was San Marino moved by Eden’s bravery against all odds? We may never know why people voted the way they did (though some antisemites on X have theories), but one thing has been clear throughout the years – Eurovision fans like a good performance and a appreciate an underdog. We threw our espresso martinis in the air and hugged strangers in rainbow flag yarmulkas. We were in lockstep with the world again. The ugly duckling had transformed into a beautiful, socially acceptable swan.

I walked home with my head held high. The loud hateful voices were drowned out, and the room people thought they were reading – well, turns out they were in the wrong room. My joy only lasted a few minutes1. It was not lost on me that nothing has changed - 133 hostages are still being held by Hamas in Gaza. My country is fighting an existential war, increasingly alone. And my other country, the United States, is torn between caving in to the bullies and standing up for what’s right. Perhaps we’d all be better off caring less about what people think, and more about what they do. As Eden says (do you really think this piece won’t end with a cheesy lyric?): “Take it all, and leave the world behind”.
Seth Mandel: A Contemptible Response to Anti-Semitism
Scott and Bonamici both gave quite contemptible performances, complaining about holding the hearings (i.e., doing their job) while remaining militantly unwilling to condemn anti-Semitism without diluting it with “and Islamophobia.” Courtney, however, seemed to be acting in good faith.

For example, Courtney voted in favor of the Antisemitism Awareness Act earlier this month, which assists the Education Department with identifying Title VI-related civil-rights violations concerning anti-Semitism on campus. Courtney, then, can at least lay claim to consistency. Not so Bonamici and Scott, who voted against the Antisemitism Awareness Act.

Whatever Bonamici and Scott are worried about, it isn’t Title VI enforcement. In fact, responding to a plea for civil rights enforcement from Jewish students by demanding more cash has a certain “Your money or your life” ring to it. Is this a protection racket?

Bonamici is particularly hostile to doing her job. Instead of having hearings and investigating the problem, she wants Congress to “work with experts on anti-Semitism, legal scholars with expertise in the area, people knowledgeable in the field who can help us determine what the government response can and should be to the increase in anti-Semitism and racial hostility on campuses.”

First of all, the “anti-Semitism and” does not go unnoticed there. Second, “anti-Semitism experts” already told you what to do about it. They said vote for the Antisemitism Awareness Act. You, Suzanne Bonamici, chose not to follow their advice. Third, the “government response” is to hold these hearings as part of their investigative process. Suzanne Bonamici may not be doing very much with her time, but committee chair Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) has been pairing the hearings with a comprehensive document dive to find out what has been going on at these campuses for years now, and those investigations have informed the subsequent hearings.

“Give us more money” is not an answer here. Neither is anything called “the anti-Semitism police.” Universities are teaching their students blood libels and then encouraging those same students’ physical expression of that anti-Semitism. They are doing so with public money. If that doesn’t bother you, you might be morally unfit to serve in Congress. If it bothers you that it bothers others, the areas of public life for which you are morally unfit expands exponentially.
Christopher Rufo: Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Columbia
The real scandal is that the university has long since relinquished its role as the responsible authority. There should be no sympathy for President Shafik and other administrators, who have perpetuated a colossal double standard: teaching students how to conduct a radical left-wing protest, and then arresting them as soon as they did exactly what their university had encouraged them to do.

In any conflict, people naturally want to pick a side. Sometimes, however, no one is worthy of support.

Columbia’s Intifada is one such conflict. The students are obviously in the wrong, promoting anti-Semitism, destroying property, and using violent methods to achieve dubious political aims. The faculty are a disaster: their ideologies are anathema to scholarly detachment and their re-enactments of 1968 are childish and nihilistic. And the administration is complicit in the entire drama. Bollinger established the conditions for this disaster, and Shafik did nothing to change them—she saw the light only after it was blinding her.

The only exception in the Columbia mess is the New York Police Department. The NYPD demonstrated remarkable discipline and competence in dismantling the violent protests and removing student activists from Hamilton Hall. They went in with the capacity for overwhelming force, but practiced impressive restraint, denying the protesters what they wanted: dramatic televisual images of the police violently assaulting the students. The police, too, had studied the lessons of 1968—and refused to participate in its reenactment.

We don’t have to choose a side, but this does not mean that those of us on the outside have no influence. In recent years, Columbia has received approximately $1 billion in annual federal funding—meaning the American taxpayer is funding the Ivy League Intifada.

Congress could change this dynamic tomorrow. Rather than subsidize left-wing activism and pseudo-scholarship, congressional representatives could strip funding from Columbia and other Ivy League universities, impose severe restrictions on discriminatory DEI departments, and restrict all future support for left-wing ideological programs such as “decolonization” and “post-colonial theory.” This is within the purview of Congress, and in the best interest of the American people.

Ultimately, Minouche Shafik is just a symbol. She presides over an institution that is not under her control. The faster that Congress can change the structural conditions that underpin these institutions, the better. Rather than boycott, divest, and sanction Israel, Congress should boycott, divest, and sanction the Ivy League.

Now, there’s an activist campaign the American public could easily support.

International Court of Injustice Gets It Wrong Again
Note that the Court was also very careful not to accuse Israel of committing genocide, and just to warn them not to do it (which is fine, because that was never part of Israel's plan.) Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide is a crime that requires specific actions and intent- i.e. acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such. By all accounts Israel has the military capability to completely destroy Rafah, and the entire Gaza Strip, in a matter of minutes if it so desired.

Noticeably, Israel has not done so, and instead has taken extreme measures to protect civilians. Contrast that complete lack of genocide and/or genocidal intent with the actions and intent of Hamas, a group that does not have the capability to destroy Israel but has repeatedly and officially vowed to, and tried to commit genocide.

The comparison is important, because today's order also did not take into account the enemy and ongoing threat that Israel is facing, nor did it consider the possibility that Israel's actions are lawful under the doctrines of military necessity, proportionality, force protection, or deterrence in responding to a terrorist organization. Per the ICJ's own jurisprudence on genocidal intent, "for a pattern of conduct to be accepted as evidence of its existence, it would have to be such that it could only point to the existence of such intent" (Bosnia v. Serbia (2007)). Genocidal intent would have to be "the only inference that could reasonably be drawn from the acts in question" (Croatia v. Serbia (2015)), and the standard of proof required for that inference is "fully conclusive."

The only way to claim that Israel is committing genocide in Rafah would be to simply pretend that Hamas is not there, still indiscriminately firing rockets at Israeli civilians, cruelly using their own people as dispensable human shields, and holding innocent men, women, and babies hostage.

But Hamas is there, and committing war crimes daily, despite Israel's repeated assertions that if they would only surrender the war would stop. Israel has already killed dozens of Hamas terrorists in Rafah, uncovered hundreds of terror tunnel shafts, and recovered the bodies of several slain hostages. No matter what anyone thinks about Israel's military response, no reasonable person could conclude that the only possible inference here is that Israel is intent on genocide. Even the ICJ would not go that far.

It is also important to remember that the ICJ is just another organ of the problematic United Nations, with judges elected by the clearly biased General Assembly and Security Council. It's great that this time Israel came out once again (mostly) unscathed, but it remains as true as ever that demonization, delegtimization, and double standards are at play when it comes to the Jewish state. There is a word for that.
Call Me Back PodCast: Diplomatic Avalanche – with Nadav Eyal and Matt Waxman
Hosted by Dan Senor
Earlier this morning, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to immediately halt its military operations in Rafah.

This comes less than a week after the ICC announced that it is considering arrest warrants against Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant, and days after three European countries announced that they will formally recognize a Palestinian State (that doesn’t yet exist!)

In this special episode, recorded just minutes after the ICJ announcement, we were joined by Nadav Eyal (journalist with Yediot in Israel) and by Matt Waxman (Columbia Law School professor and former national security legal official in the George W. Bush administration) to unpack each of these developments.
ICJ shows ‘predilection’ for Jew-hatred, says ranking Senate Foreign Relations Committee member
The principal judicial arm of the United Nations in The Hague, the International Court of Justice, “has shown its hate, bias and its predilection for antisemitism” in its Friday ruling that Israel must stop its military campaign against the Hamas terror group in Rafah, according to Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho).

“The so-called ‘court’ has this all backwards—those on the court would do well to make a ruling against Hamas demanding that Hamas release the hostages, cease fire, and lay down their weapons and stop this war,” said Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“In particular, I am disgusted to learn an American judge voted for this ruling,” the senator said. “The ICJ is both morally and structurally bankrupt, and the United States should immediately cut off its funding to this prejudiced organization.”

“The U.N. has chosen to support terrorists who use hostages as weapons rather than support a sovereign nation that seeks to defend its citizens,” he added. “Israel has the right to defend itself and do all it can to eliminate Hamas terrorists who have plainly stated they wish to wipe Israel and the Jewish people off the map.”
US visa bans, financial sanctions for ICC officials, 24 senators say
A U.S. Senate resolution that condemns the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to apply for warrants for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant drew signatures from 24 senators of both parties.

The resolution, led by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), resolves that the Senate “stands with Israel and fully rejects the action by the International Criminal Court against senior Israeli officials.”

“Congress and the executive branch should impose financial sanctions and visa bans on officials of the International Criminal Court for an abuse of power that threatens United States interests and weakens United States allies,” the senators resolved.

“The United States should urge its allies and partners, who largely fund the International Criminal Court, to use their leverage to halt the politicized proceedings,” they added.

“The International Criminal Court’s decision to charge Israeli leadership with war crimes is shocking and disgraceful,” Manchin said. “Israel is facing an existential threat in Hamas’s brutal terrorist agenda, and I have continued to support the country’s right to defend itself in a manner expected of a nation that abides by the law of armed conflict.”

Seth Mandel: Antisemitism is Baked Into DEI ideology | Top Story with Jonathan Tobin
The rise of antisemitism after October 7th has left the American Jewish community shell-shocked. Moreover, many liberal Jewish groups assuming that those on the left would stand up for them have felt abandoned and unwelcomed either by indifference or alliance with a new woke antisemitism. Are woke ideology and the American Jewish community compatible? How can we fight back against DEI ideas that have become anything but inclusive?

Campaign Against Antisemitism: Mike Freer | Podcast Against Antisemitism | S5 E4
Since 2010, Mike Freer has been the Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green. On 1st February of this year, Mike announced his decision to not stand for re-election to Parliament at the next general election, citing the “intolerable stress” that he and his family have been enduring from the several serious threats he has received to his personal safety, including a recent arson attack on his constituency office.

In this episode, Mike discusses the various threats made against him and other MPs and whether enough is being done to ensure their safety.

Note: This episode was recorded earlier this year.

Video contents:
00:00 - Intro
01:43 - Coping with stress
06:15 - Ali Harbi Ali
08:40 - Is enough being done to protect MPs?
12:13 - The targeting of MPs by anti-Israel activists
13:56 - Acts of intimidation against Mike
16:05 - Muslims Against Crusades
19:48 - How can people who are not Jewish help tackle antisemitism?
21:58 - Final words

Will John Wayne Ride to Our Emotional Rescue?
Patriotism is also going through difficult times in the United States. A Gallup poll in 2022 found that it is at an all-time low: only 38% of citizens were “extremely proud” to be American. Attacks against the American state come regularly now from both the left and the right, united by a common hatred of their own country, and apparently heedless of the corrosive effects of this kind of feeling. When citizens are emptied of their identity, they lose their sense of reality and risk losing their freedom as well.

When there is a Hamas attack in Israel, Israelis know instantly who is the culprit and who is the victim. When there is an Islamist attack in Europe, the disparity of voices in parliaments and in the media is deafening: The media speak of an isolated case of someone with possible mental problems and do their best to hide the nationality of the terrorist; some politicians demand that the attack not lead to anti-Muslim hatred—as if that has anything to do with it. Other politicians deny any connection to the immigration problems in Europe whenever the attacker is an immigrant or a Muslim refugee. If a European country decides to respond militarily or with police action after suffering a jihadist attack, a good part of its own citizens and political parties will demonstrate in the streets against whomever takes such a decision, and will withhold support to their own security forces.

At what point in history did we decide that it is more important to protect the aggressor than the attacked? In January of last year, a Moroccan illegal migrant broke into two churches in southern Spain with a machete shouting “Allahu akbar,” seriously wounded a priest and killed a sacristan, probably because he thought he too was a priest. The horrifying video quickly went viral on social media. Naturally, everyone condemned the attack, but almost no political party dared to consider that it was an attack against Catholics, and not some random attack. And they did not do so for an absurd reason: fear of being labeled as “extreme” or “right wing.”

Israel knows that it is not possible to stop terrorism if you deny the factual evidence, however unpleasant, even as Western politicians and intellectuals demand that Israel follow their lead and ignore the fact that the people who want to kill them do not share their values. In fact, they glory in the opportunity to slaughter them. A West that recognizes its own moral and cultural heritage should feel the attacks against Jews as an attack against the foundations of its own societies. It should also recognize the fierce patriotism of Israelis in the face of such threats as a virtue that we should rightly seek to share.

London theater vandalized before film fest screening of Nova documentary
A historic theater in London was graffitied with red paint and “say no to artwashing” on Wednesday night before the showing of a film on Thursday titled “Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre” about the Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Law enforcement arrived on the scene on Thursday morning but no arrests have been made; some reports hint at the incident being classified as a hate crime.

The screening was part of the concluding day of the Seret International Film Festival (seret is Hebrew for “movie”), said to be the largest Israeli film festival in the world. The spring showings in the United Kingdom began on May 16 and ended on May 23. A new series of films as part of the festival is scheduled to run in Germany this September.

“As always, the program for this year’s festival promises to be varied and fascinating. Audiences can expect to see the best of last year’s feature films, documentaries, and short films, including works by talented alumni from Israeli film schools,” the festival wrote in a description.

“We believe that an independent cinema should uphold freedom of expression and want to show difficult content,” a spokesperson for the Phoenix Cinema said, noting the venue would also support a controversial Palestinian film. “While some of our audience may not agree with this screening, we consider others will be very supportive and would have been dismayed if we had refused to host [international Israeli film festival] Seret this year.”

The Phoenix Cinema opened in 1912 and is believed to be the United Kingdom’s longest-continuously operating film theater.

Filmmakers Ken Loach and Mike Leigh told The Guardian that they have stepped down as patrons of the theater for its hosting the festival.

Artists for Palestine UK used the same language as the vandals, calling the film festival “part of a broader art-washing strategy.”
London’s Jews are fighting back against the bigots
On Thursday evening, over 1,500 members of London’s Jewish community and their allies chased off an anti-Israel protest outside the Phoenix cinema in East Finchley, north London.

The anti-Israel protest, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was prompted by the Phoenix’s decision to show a film from Seret, the UK-Israeli film festival. The film in question, Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre, documents the Hamas attack on 7 October last year, in which hundreds of music fans were slaughtered.

The protest had been building up a head of steam for several weeks. Earlier this month, a group called Artists for Palestine UK called for the Phoenix, and several Everyman cinemas, to boycott Seret, claiming that it was ‘co-sponsored by the Israeli government’ and thus part of Israel’s ‘broader art-washing strategy’. On Wednesday night, pro-Palestine protesters echoed these claims when they vandalised the Phoenix cinema and scrawled ‘say no to art-washing’ across its entrance.

It also emerged on Thursday that two of the Phoenix’s big-name patrons, directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, resigned from its board in a huff over its decision to show films from Seret.

It certainly looked like it was going to be a tough night for the Phoenix. Organisers of the protest against the screening urged the anti-Israel mob to ‘BRING NOISE! Drums, bells, pots and pans, whistles…’. But in the event, the protesters were drowned out by East Finchley’s Jewish community.

Local Jews and their allies were outraged by the attack on the Phoenix. And so that evening, they rallied to the defence of the cinema. By 6.30pm, the Phoenix’s defenders were already crammed on to the cinema side of the street. Opposite them, in an over-large police pen, three lonely anti-Israel protesters were left to rattle around by themselves.

As the number of the Phoenix’s defenders became too many to contain on the pavement, they started spilling over on to the street. When 40-or-so anti-Israel protesters walked up from the Underground, they were booed and barracked by East Finchley’s Jewish community.

Fire Michael Schill
Three university presidents appeared before Congress on Thursday to defend their management—or mismanagement—of the anti-Semitism that has been allowed to fester on their campuses before and after Oct. 7. Among the participants, there was bad and there was worse.

Worse was Northwestern University president Michael Schill, whose responses to the panel indicated he is hellbent on institutionalizing that anti-Semitism rather than on taking steps to combat it.

Northwestern made national news last month when it became the first school in the country to strike an agreement with the student protesters who had pitched tents on campus in violation of university policy. Students will be rewarded for their transgressions with the formation of an "advisory committee" on university investments and the university's agreement to bring Palestinian students and faculty to Northwestern.

Schill admitted on Thursday that precisely zero students have been suspended or expelled for their anti-Semitic behavior and downplayed assaults of Jewish students as "allegations" to be investigated.

He misled Congress several times. Asked what student groups were behind the encampments, Schill responded, "I don't know," though he negotiated with student representatives of those groups. He asserted that "the police solution was not … going to be available to us" to clear the encampment, though the nearby University of Chicago did so with the help of the Cook County sheriff. Under questioning from Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.), he flip-flopped on whether he had consulted the university's general counsel before striking an agreement with students. And he conceded he had consulted with supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement before inking that deal.

The message was clear: Anti-Semitism at Northwestern is protected by the university. There will be no change so long as Schill and his board chairman, Peter Barris, remain at the helm.
Northwestern President Michael Schill defends deal with protesters in House antisemitism hearing
Holloway, who also struck a deal with protesters, offered a similar justification as Schill, characterizing his decision as a quick and proactive move to prevent disruptions to exams.

“We made a choice. That choice was to engage our students in dialogue as a first option, instead of police action,” he said. “If ever there was a time to dialogue and focus on civil discourse, it is now… It was made clear that we were going to allow the encampment and consider it a speech act in the spirit of First Amendment free expression” unless it disrupted university business.

Holloway was also pressed on Rutgers’ Center for Security, Race and Rights, whose leader and featured speakers praised Hamas and spread Oct. 7 denialism; the center also hosted a speaker convicted of providing material support for terrorism.

Holloway described the activity as “wildly offensive” and said “there is very little I find easy about the center. I personally disagree deeply with a lot of the ideas that come from that center.” But he said that there are many events on campus of which he is not aware and that he has no plans to shutter the center.

He was also pressed on Rutgers’ relationship with Birzeit University in the West Bank; the school has glorified terrorists, Hamas won a recent student election, several students were arrested for planning terrorist attacks and Jews are banned from the campus.

Holloway said Rutgers “partner[s] with institutions all around the world” and said he was unaware of the details about the university and would look into the issue further.

Holloway said that four students have been suspended and 19 others received other forms of discipline.

Block, unlike the other two presidents, did not make a deal and ultimately called in police assistance to clear the encampment after a violent clash between encampment members and counterprotesters.

He struck a somewhat different tone than the other presidents, acknowledging that the school had mishandled the situation and acted too slowly.

“With the benefit of hindsight, we should have been prepared to immediately remove the encampment if and when the safety of our community was put at risk,” he said.

Yet, as Block was testifying to the committee, demonstrators reestablished an encampment on UCLA’s campus.

Block said no UCLA students have been suspended or expelled, but that more than 100 investigations into antisemitism and islamophobia are ongoing, in addition to police probes into the violence.

In another notable moment, Block pushed back on Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) attempts to downplay the severity of anti-Israel activity on campus.

Omar described the encampment as “peaceful” and protected by the First Amendment, characterized the encampment members as the ones being harassed and ultimately blamed Block for the attack on the encampment by counter protesters. She also brushed aside an incident in which a Jewish student was blocked from walking down a public pathway on campus to a class building.

“This encampment was against policy, it violated time, place, manner [restrictions],” he said, before being cut off. He also said it’s “really inappropriate” for students to be blocked from any part of campus, regardless of whether other pathways were available.
Northwestern President Won't Commit To Excluding Anti-Semites From Anti-Semitism Task Force
chill’s response is likely to fuel outrage from Jewish and pro-Israel Northwestern alumni, students, and parents, who have called for the president to resign. It comes after universities across the country struggled to deal with a surge in anti-Semitism this spring. At Northwestern, Jewish students said they were spit on, assaulted, and told to "go back to Germany and get gassed" by anti-Israel protesters.

Northwestern’s anti-Semitism task force was recently thrown into turmoil after seven Jewish members resigned due to concerns about the school’s concessions to anti-Israel demonstrators. Northwestern agreed to numerous trade-offs, including hiring faculty members from the Palestinian territories, in exchange for the protesters agreeing to remove their illegal encampments from university property.

Rep. Tim Walberg (R., Mich.) questioned Schill about several anti-Israel members of the task force who "objected to the committee's very creation in a letter that downplayed anti-Semitism and defended the phrase ‘From the River to the Sea.’"

"Why did you believe it was appropriate to appoint faculty members who have defended and made excuses for anti-Semitism and oppose the committee's purported mission of combating anti-Semitism?" the congressman asked Schill.

Walberg noted that another member of the committee, anthropology professor Jessica Winegar, has been a leader in the anti-Israel boycott movement and "signed a petition defending a Palestinian terrorist [Rasmea Odeh] who murdered two Israeli college students in a bombing."

"Do you acknowledge Professor Winegar is grossly unfit for a committee meant to combat anti-Semitism?" asked Walberg, before pressing Schill to confirm that a "person with her principles will not be on this commission" in the future.

Schill declined to criticize Winegar’s comments or say he wouldn’t appoint members with similar views to the new task force.

"I do not believe in the BDS movement. I am in print against it at my previous university, and I will not be discussing individual faculty members," said Schill.

The Northwestern president also declined to criticize another committee member who is a leader with the school’s Middle Eastern and North African Student Association, a group that released a statement supporting Hamas’s Oct. 7 mass terrorist attacks in Israel.
Northwestern University President Testifies on Explosion of Campus Anti-Semitism
The leaders of Northwestern University, Rutgers University, and the University of California, Los Angeles gave congressional testimony Thursday on the anti-Semitism infecting their campuses.

Facing questions from the Republican-led House Education Committee, Northwestern president Michael Schill couldn't give an answer when asked who was behind the encampments on campus. Schill also stated that he very recently learned Northwestern's journalism school had formed a partnership with Al-Jazeera.

Rabbi Zarchi Confronted Maria Ressa, Walked Off Stage Over Her Harvard Commencement Speech
Harvard Chabad Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi confronted Nobel laureate and journalist Maria A. Ressa toward the end of Thursday’s Commencement ceremonies, telling The Crimson that he had asked Ressa to publicly clarify a remark in her speech that he found antisemitic.

Zarchi said he could not properly hear Ressa’s response due to the ongoing address but said that when he felt it was clear she would not oblige, he left early. Zarchi, who was seated on stage, was seen confronting Ressa during the benediction delivered by Pusey Minister Matthew Ichihashi Potts.

Ressa, Harvard’s featured Commencement speaker, did not respond to a request for comment. University spokesperson Jonathan L. Swain did not comment for this article.

Zarchi took issue with Ressa’s statement that after she accepted Harvard’s invitation to speak at Commencement, she was “called antisemitic by power and money because they want power and money.”

Ressa followed the comment up by saying “the other side” was already critical of her decision to speak on a stage with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been critical of pro-Palestine protesters.

“But I’d already survived information operations from my own government — free speech used to pound you to silence,” Ressa said.

Ressa addressed Zarchi’s comments on X after the event, saying the phrase “money and power” referenced Rep. Elise M. Stefanik ’06 (R-N.Y.) — who accused Ressa of antisemitism in early May. Stefanik had cited a report in the Washington Free Beacon that said an editorial published by Ressa’s media company, Rappler, compared the actions of Israel to Hitler.

Harvard student goes off script in commencement speech to rip school as more than 1,000 walk out
A Harvard University commencement speaker went dramatically off script to blast the Ivy League school for barring a handful of those involved in a disruptive anti-Israeli encampment — before more than 1,000 students also staged a walkout.

Shruthi Kumar, the Harvard senior selected to deliver the English address Thursday, pulled out a piece of paper containing controversial remarks hidden up the sleeve of her gown and took aim at university leaders over the decision to deny more than a dozen students their diplomas.

“As I stand here today, I must take a moment to recognize my peers — the 13 undergraduates in the Class of 2024 that will not graduate today,” Kumar told the crowd, according to a video posted by Harvard.

“I am deeply disappointed by the intolerance for freedom of speech and their right to civil disobedience on campus,” she said of the protests, which famously replaced the American flag with a Palestinian one.

More than 1,000 people then staged a walkout to decry the disqualification of the 13 students, with many chanting, “Let them walk,” the Harvard Crimson reports.

Others held up signs, including a large banner saying, “Stop the genocide.”

Harvard last week suspended five students and sanctioned more than 20 others for taking part in an anti-Israel campus encampment, which ended earlier this month.

The group included the 13 seniors banned by the school’s highest governing body from getting their diplomas or walking in the ceremony.

Pro-Palestine Communist Protester Indicted for Elbit Vandalism
A woman with ties to a Massachusetts Marxist commune and who expressed support for Hamas days after its terrorists murdered 1,300 Israelis is facing justice in New Hampshire.

A grand jury returned felony indictments against Paige Belanger, 32, of Alford, Mass., for allegedly being part of the violent protests at the Merrimack Elbit Systems facility, an Israeli-owned weapons developer.

Belanger is now facing state prison time on charges of riot, criminal mischief, conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, and conspiracy to commit burglary for her role in the Nov. 20 incident during which smoke bombs were ignited from the building rooftop by protesters.

Belanger joins pro-Palestinian progressives Calla Walsh, 19, Bridget Shergalis, 27, and Sophie Ross, 22, on the dock. The women all have one man in common: multimillionaire James “Fergie” Chambers. He uses his family fortune to further his Marxist goals.

According to Canary Mission, a group that documents antisemitic hate, Belanger is a member of Palestinian Action USA, part of the antisemitic BDS movement. Chambers is listed as one of the American founders of Palestinian Action USA, though he told NHJournal he’s not a leader in the group. Belanger also listed herself as the secretary for the Berkshire Communists, a “revolutionary Marxist-Leninist collective” reportedly bankrolled by Chambers.

Chambers put up the bail to get the women out of custody after their initial arrests, something he told NHJournal he does for many activists on the extreme left.

The Marxist left is the prime mover behind many of the anti-Israel protests that have sprung up since the Oct. 7 Hamas murders, and the Israeli military response. The New Hampshire chapter of the Party of Socialism and Liberation coordinates many of the protests.

A Proposed New York Law Would Stop Americans from Sending Money to Israeli Charities
Like international law, domestic law too can be employed in less-than-legally-coherent ways. One example is the “Not in Our Dime Act,” introduced to the New York State legislature by two lawmakers aligned with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). A Congressional ally of the DSA, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has recently thrown her support behind the measure. To Dan McLaughlin, it is both bad policy and bad law:

The bill aims to ban not-for-profit corporations in New York from engaging in “unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity.” . . . Notice that you do not need to engage personally in such activity to fall within the act’s prohibitory sweep; aiding and abetting is enough; . . . the bill’s authors plainly aim to use the mere threat of legal action to chill fundraising.

The bill is bad on the merits and bad in principle. It takes sides in the Israel-Palestinian conflict firmly against Israel. It would embroil New York courts in fact-finding that an American state court, with subpoena powers limited in geographic scope, is ill-equipped to resolve.

It’s debatable what is worse: that this legislation would single out only Jews, or the prospect that it would set a precedent to go after other charities.

CAIR Teaches Mosques How To Obtain Taxpayer-Funded Grants Meant To Protect Against Terrorist Attacks
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), known for its ties to the terrorist group Hamas, is teaching mosques and Islamic groups how to rake in taxpayer funds through a grant program aimed at protecting houses of worship against terrorist attacks.

CAIR, which was named an unindicted co-conspirator of Hamas in a 2008 terrorism case, issued guidance this week to applicants to the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which the Department of Homeland Security operates through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The agencies award $150,000 to religious institutions and nonprofits to protect against terrorist attacks through fortification of their buildings, security training, and other measures.

In a 21-page "preparation guide," CAIR walks applicants through the grant process, provides language to include on grant applications, and offers to review denied applications in order to "enhance" the odds of success in future applications.

CAIR’s advocacy for the program could raise fresh concerns about the initiative, which has already sent taxpayer money to Islamic groups that defend terrorists and demonize Israel. The Washington Free Beacon reported that Homeland Security awarded grants under the program in 2021 and 2022 to a San Diego mosque whose imam said Hamas’s attack on Israel was "justified," a Detroit mosque whose leader prayed that "Allah eradicate [Zionists] from the earth," and another in Anaheim, Calif., whose cleric called Jews a "bigoted and arrogant breed of people" who should "be annihilated."

And then there are concerns about CAIR, which has received DHS grants for both its national office and several chapters. CAIR executive director Nihad Awad, whose photo is prominently featured on CAIR’s preparation guide, said in November that he was "happy to see" Hamas attack Israel. The White House condemned Awad’s remarks as anti-Semitic and scrubbed references to CAIR from its "National Strategy to Counter Anti-Semitism," an initiative to which the Biden White House appointed the controversial group in May 2023.

The Biden administration has helped CAIR navigate the grant process in the past, raising questions about whether it will continue to do so in the wake of recent controversies.

"We really have benefited substantially from the resources you offer," CAIR official Megan Fair said in a February 2022 webinar with officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Fair said CAIR’s national office was awarded a grant in 2019, and a "number of our chapters" and "dozens" of mosques had received grants totaling more than $3.5 million.
'Squad' Democrats Praise ICC for Seeking Netanyahu's Arrest
Democratic representatives Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) praised the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor's call for the court to issue an arrest warrant against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The far-left "Squad" members commended the prosecutor, Karim Khan, for seeking to charge Netanyahu, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Netanyahu on Monday called the ICC's move a "moral outrage of historic proportions" and described Khan as one of the "great antisemites in modern times."

Israel is "waging a just war against Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization that perpetrated the worst attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust," Netanyahu said.

The "Squad" members, meanwhile, used Khan's request as justification for their anti-Israel views.

"The ICC has their process of determining what's a war crime and what isn't," Bowman, who is trailing his pro-Israel opponent in a tough primary race, said on Thursday. "Obviously, the warrants for the Hamas fighters who did what they did on October 7 are warranted, and it seems like they are warranted for Netanyahu as well."

Bush in a video released Friday said the arrest warrants are an "important" step and slammed her congressional colleagues and the Biden administration for "sending billions of dollars to enable Netanyahu's war crimes."

Omar, meanwhile, described Khan's allegations against Netanyahu as "significant" and said the ICC "must be allowed to conduct its work independently and without interference." The Minnesota congresswoman has faced widespread criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for her long history of anti-Semitic comments.
Rep. Ilhan Omar dismisses harassment of Jewish UCLA student by anti-Israel protesters
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday downplayed the harassment of a Jewish student by anti-Israel protesters on the campus of UCLA and castigated the university for not doing more to protect the agitators.

The “Squad” congresswoman shrugged off a viral video of the April incident, in which several masked protesters are seen physically blocking the student, who is wearing a Star of David necklace, as he tries to walk to his class on the UCLA campus.

“Just for clarification, that video we just watched, we saw people moving around,” Omar said after the video was played during a House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on antisemitic encampments on college campuses.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, one of three university leaders testifying at the hearing, was the target of Omar’s odd line of questioning that followed.

“Was it possible, do you think, for that student to be able to get into campus? Was that student actually being blocked from entering campus?” the Minnesota Democrat asked Block.

“Well, that was in the middle of campus,” Block responded. “They’re not being blocked from being on campus, maybe being blocked from a pathway on campus.”

“He should be allowed to pass,” the chancellor asserted. “I mean, any part of campus is open to students, so blocking him was really inappropriate.”

The so-called Palestine Solidarity Encampment at UCLA was the site of a violent clash between the anti-Israel protesters and counterprotesters on April 30, which saw pepper spray, firecrackers and fists deployed by a group of individuals fed up with the disruptive, weeklong demonstration.

Vance puts pro-Israel spin on America First worldview in Quincy Institute speech
Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) delivered an address at an event co-hosted by the isolationist Quincy Institute on Thursday defending U.S. support for Israel as a critical component of a foreign policy agenda otherwise at odds with his more-hawkish Senate GOP colleagues.

Vance, who is among the contenders to be former President Donald Trump’s running mate, spoke at a conference convened by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank opposed to U.S. intervention in foreign conflicts. The conference, co-sponsored by The American Conservative, was promoted as an event highlighting “realism and restraint amid global conflict.”

Vance used his speech to differentiate his opposition to Ukraine aid from his steadfast commitment to Israel. “I’m supportive of Israel and their war against Hamas. I certainly admire the Ukrainians who are fighting against Russia, but I do not think that it is in America’s interest to continue to fund an effectively never-ending war in Ukraine,” Vance said. “It’s sort of weird that this town assumes that Israel and Ukraine are exactly the same. They’re not, of course, and I think it’s important to analyze them in separate buckets.”

While Vance has distinguished himself as a leading voice against U.S. support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, he has held firm in his support for Israel. He criticized President Joe Biden for delaying offensive weapons transfers and potential sales to Israel while trying to avert a full-scale Rafah invasion earlier this month, and dug in during Thursday’s address on why the America First platform he aligns himself with requires a strong relationship with Israel.

“If we’re going to support Israel, as I think that we should, we have to articulate a reason why it’s in our best interest,” Vance said.

“Israel is one of the most dynamic, certainly on a per capita basis, one of the most dynamic and technologically advanced countries in the world,” Vance went on, citing work done on Israel’s end to “actually give us missile-defense parity. That’s a very important national security objective of the United States of America, and that’s something we’re working with one of the most innovative economies in the world to accomplish.”

“We have to sort of ask ourselves, what do we want out of our Israeli allies? And more importantly, what do we want out of all of our allies writ large? Do we want clients who depend on us, who can’t do anything without us? Or do we want real allies who can actually advance their interests on their own with America playing a leadership role,” he continued.
At Quincy Institute Confab, Lawmakers Call To Halt Arms Sales to Ukraine, Condition US Aid
American military support for Ukraine is a waste of money. Israel is better off without U.S. arms and financial aid. Detangling China from America’s economy will lead to disaster.

These were some of the foreign policy conclusions reached by lawmakers, experts, and political leaders during a day-long conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday organized by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, an isolationist think tank bankrolled by billionaires George Soros and Charles Koch.

During the confab, which primarily focused on pulling back America’s footprint across the globe, speakers like Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.), Sen. J.D. Vance (R., Ohio), and former GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy made the case for cutting off U.S. arms sales to Ukraine. Paul called to roll back sanctions on malign nations like Russia and China and sever the historically close U.S. military alliance with Israel by conditioning aid.

"Should aid be conditional? Of course it should be," Paul, a critic of all U.S. foreign aid, said during his afternoon address. "All aid should be conditional. Should there be a bare minimum standard? Absolutely there should be a bare minimum standard."

Vance, a Senate Republican who has led efforts to end American military support for Ukraine, said the United States is wasting billions of dollars on a lost cause that will not ultimately bolster the country’s own national security. With the United States in trillions of dollars in debt, "we have to pick and choose" which allies to support and whom to fund.

"I certainly admire the Ukrainians for fighting against Russia. But I do not think it is America’s interest to continue to fund an effectively never ending war in Ukraine," Vance said.

The senator also made that case that the Biden administration’s decision in January 2023 to divert U.S. weapons stockpiles from Israel to Ukraine ultimately "prolonged the war in Gaza."

The Biden administration, he said, forced "the Israelis to empty their munitions stockpile and send it all to Ukraine. That actually, you can make a pretty good argument, prolonged the war in Gaza in service of prolonging the war in Ukraine."

America, he added, "cannot manufacture enough weapons to support four different wars in four different corners of the world. We just can’t do it."
Corbyn expelled from Labour after announcing run
Jeremy Corbyn has been expelled from the UK Labour Party that he once led after announcing that he would stand as an independent candidate in upcoming elections.

Keir Starmer, the current Labour head, announced in 2020 that Corbyn would not be permitted to run again as a Labour candidate amid persistent allegations that Corbyn was antisemitic and had allowed Jew-hatred to fester within the party.

Starmer repeated that rationale on Friday in an interview with Sky News.

“The first thing I said as Labour leader is that I would tear antisemitism out of our party by the roots. That was my first solemn promise,” he said. “I followed through on that and that is why I took the decision that Jeremy Corbyn would not stand as a Labour candidate this election.”

Corbyn released a video on Friday saying that he would run as an independent candidate for Islington North, the constituency he has represented since 1983.

As leader of the Labour Party from 2015 to 2020, Corbyn was widely condemned by UK Jewish groups, Jewish members of the Labour Party and others for his long record of extreme anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias and for allowing such views to proliferate within the party.

In 2018, Corbyn acknowledged being “present” at a wreath-laying ceremony in Tunisia that honored the Palestinian terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

From 2009 to 2012, the Iranian-government-controlled Press TV channel paid Corbyn to make appearances on one of its call-in shows. In 2009 he referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends,” invited them to speak at Parliament and said that labeling Hamas a terrorist group was a “big historical mistake.”

In 2020, after Corbyn resigned as Labour leader, the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission issued a report saying that the Labour Party under Corbyn had illegally discriminated against Jews.

Knesset advances bill to define Judea townships as part of Negev
In a preliminary reading, the Knesset on Wednesday advanced a bill that would redefine the southernmost region of Judea as part of Israel’s Negev region, allowing the townships in the area, some of the poorest in Israel, to receive extra funding from the government.

The proposed legislation, if it passes subsequent readings, will make Kiryat Arba and the communities within the Mount Hebron Regional Council eligible for funding from the Negev Development Authority. Proponents of the bill argue that this will rectify what they describe as “years of discrimination and injustice against the residents.” The preliminary vote passed with 52 MKs in favor and 37 against.

Otzma Yehudit MK Limor Son Har-Melech, a vocal supporter of the bill, noted the exclusion of these towns from the Negev Development Authority’s support since the early 1990s. “The challenges of life in the periphery also apply to these communities,” Har-Melech stated. “There is no reason for these communities to be discriminated against just because they are in Judea and Samaria,” she added.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid criticized the measure, asserting that it distorts geographical and political realities. “The Negev is the Negev, Judea, and Samaria is Judea and Samaria. Don’t invent a geography that doesn’t exist,” Lapid said.

He further accused the bill’s proponents of diverting funds intended for towns impacted by the Gaza conflict and the fighting in the North. “The settlements have been stealing money from periphery communities for 50 years, and the Likud Party has been silent,” Lapid charged.
Ra’am Party head: Hamas ‘part of the Palestinian people’
The Hamas terrorist group is a legitimate part of the Palestinian people, United Arab List (Ra’am) Party chairman Mansour Abbas said on Tuesday.

Asked by Channel 13 News commentator Hezi Simantov to comment on discussions about the “day after” the war against Hamas in Gaza, and recent comparisons made by Israel’s government between Hamas and Islamic State, Abbas said, “Of course they are part of the Palestinian people.”

“This is not a matter of my personal position,” he claimed. “First of all, Arab countries will not enter the Gaza Strip, both in terms of security and economically … unless the Palestinian government invites them; they will not answer the requests from Benjamin Netanyahu.”

However, according to the Ra’am Party leader, “This does not mean that the government that will be established or the leadership that will be in the Gaza Strip should be a government of factions or parties.”

Pressed further by Simantov on his view of the terror group that murdered 1,200 people, primarily Jewish civilians, on Oct. 7, Abbas responded, “What, are they [Hamas] a Lebanese faction? What’s wrong with you?”

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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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