Monday, May 27, 2024

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Brothers in harms
Whatever was in these judges’ minds, the charges against Israel brought to the ICJ by Hamas’s ally South Africa bore no relation to reality whatsoever and the court should have thrown them out in the first instance as malevolent and vexatious. Whether as an act of celebration or defiance, Hamas reacted yesterday to the ICJ ruling by unleashing a volley of rockets from Rafah towards Tel Aviv and other parts of central Israel with the aim of killing yet more Israeli civilians, an aim thwarted once again only by Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield.

Those who haven’t been paying attention over the years might well wonder how it can possibly be that Israel is the only country singled out by international bodies as not being entitled to defend itself adequately against exterminatory attack.

The answer, bizarre as this may sound, is that the entire global humanitarian and “human rights” establishment has been fashioned into a weapon of extermination against the one state in the Middle East committed to upholding democracy and human rights.

This is because “human rights” culture is not what it says on the tin.

'‘Human rights” doctrine provides what purports to be the defining creed of the modern world in a promise to perfect humanity. Its values are thus deemed to rise way above laws devised by mere mortals and to enshrine instead supposedly universal values.

But these aren’t universal at all. Most countries don’t subscribe to them; for every “human right” there is a contrary one; and they are adjudicated by courts which bring to bear subjective views about where the balance between competing rights should be struck.

Rights derive from obligations, without which rights are philosophically and intellectually incoherent. Detached from obligations, rights become demands.

Law derives its legitimacy from expressing the boundaries of behaviour agreed by a sovereign nation in accordance with its culture and rooted in the consent of the people channelled through democratically elected parliaments. Universal human rights law is rooted in no such national culture and democratic consent. Radically deracinated from any national jurisdiction, it was always going to turn into an instrument of politics and ideology rather than justice and the protection of the innocent.

As the supposed “conscience” of the world, it has consequently been hijacked by a global community dominated by tyrannies, gangster states and terrorist regimes and turned into their instrument of destruction targeted at Israel, the one nation that stands in the way of the rest by refusing to lie down and die.

The “human rights” culture has now revealed itself to be intellectually and morally corrupt — even as western liberals cling to the fig leaf it provides for the attempt finally to drive Israel and the Jewish people out of the liberal world, its mind and its conscience forever.
Ruthie Blum: No, Israel didn’t ‘pave the way’ for ‘pariah’ status
Way to go, Jerusalem Post. In the midst of an existential war, you opted to engage in the very kind of Jewish breast-beating that’s music to enemy ears. And, as you know, Hamas and its patrons in Tehran are listening.

But you’ve taken rhetorical acrobatics to new heights. In your Sunday editorial—as its title reveals off the bat—Israel bears responsibility for “becoming a pariah state.” According to your assessment, “While it’s true that the world’s smug, sanctimonious attitude towards a just war that Israel has every right to fight is ludicrous and a disgusting double standard, our leaders made decisions that paved the way.”

If readers were wondering what, in your view, spurred the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor to push for arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and the International Court of Justice’s ruling that Israel must halt its moves in Rafah that will harm civilians, you provided an answer that would have pleased both bodies.

“[W]hen Israel began its military operation, it didn’t do enough to give off the impression that it was concerned with the Palestinian population at large,” you asserted, using the example of “statements by government officials who said that basic needs will be cut off.”

Your failure to specify the “government officials” highlighted in January by the ICJ in its hearings on South Africa’s antisemitic “genocide” case against Israel was probably purposeful. Naming them would have put a damper on your argument, after all.

While you were suggesting that “right-wing extremists” were the culprits, the court’s statement indicates otherwise. Referring to “comments made by senior Israeli politicians that contained inciting and dehumanizing rhetoric,” the ICJ didn’t even mention National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir or Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

No, the kangaroo tribunal pointed the finger at Gallant and President Isaac Herzog—the former for saying “that Israel is ‘fighting against human animals,’” and the latter for claiming “that Palestinians are collectively responsible” for Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, on the grounds that “they could have risen up [and] and fought against that evil regime.”

Given the nature of the massacre on that Black Sabbath nearly eight months ago, with Hamas terrorists committing the worst atrocities against Jews since the Holocaust, the above remarks were not only justified; they were perfectly reasonable. Indeed, the only problem with Gallant’s calling them “human animals” is that actual beasts are instinctual, not sadistic, creatures.
Ben-Dror Yemini: International courts: a terrorist's last line of defense
Ironically, these very states and their sponsored entities show a blatant disregard for international tribunals. Instead, they manipulate these courts to accuse those who combat terrorism. The ICJ and ICC, conceived in response to the horrors of World War II and Nazism, now paradoxically serve entities like Hamas—a terrorist organization calling for the annihilation of Jews and embodying modern-day Nazism. Whom do these courts protect? Hamas. Whom do they target? Israel. This is the tragic paradox of international law. A forthcoming report by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) highlights a disturbing reality: "South Africa serves as a crucial operational hub for Islamic terrorist groups, facilitating connections with terror networks across Africa... Entities linked to terrorism continue to operate freely within South Africa, evading international oversight." Essentially, South Africa acts as the enforcement arm of oppressive blocs, particularly Iran and Hamas, within the ICJ.

Julius Malema, a prominent South African politician who serves as the president of a group called "Economic Freedom Fighters", openly pledges to bolster support for terrorism and arm Hamas if he gains governmental power (with elections imminent). He also advocates for the murder of white people. Alarmingly, 27,494 murders occurred in South Africa last year alone—surpassing the inflated UN estimates of casualties in Gaza. Yet, this terror-supporting, violence-ridden state exploits the ICJ to wage its campaign against Israel. The ICJ’s recent decision is a significant setback for Israel. It implies that no democratic nation can effectively combat a terrorist organization embedded within and backed by civilian populations. According to the logic of the ICJ judges, Britain committed crimes against Germany, the U.S. against Japan, and similarly in Iraq, Afghanistan and against ISIS. If this reasoning holds, injunctions should have been issued against all these nations.

Historically, before the establishment of the ICJ and ICC, actual war criminals faced trial in special courts, as seen in Nuremberg and Tokyo post-World War II. Today, however, there is no practical mechanism to hold Hamas accountable, even if an international tribunal ruled against them. These criminals could still traverse the oppressive bloc, from Ankara to Doha, Beijing, Johannesburg, and Moscow. What value does international law hold if it cannot punish the perpetrators of terror and oppression but might impede democratic nations from targeting these power centers? This is the essence of the recent rulings by the ICJ and ICC against Israel.

For Israel, the ICJ’s decision is a blow to its global image, particularly when paired with ICC prosecutor Karim Khan’s request for arrest warrants against top-tier Israeli politicians. Although the ICJ’s ruling technically permits continued fighting, global media are broadcasting headlines claiming, "the court issued an injunction against Israel regarding the continuation of the war."

This narrative appears to favor terrorism over justice. Unsurprisingly, Hamas quickly lauded the decision, which serves their interests. An organization dedicated to the destruction of Jews, akin to a modern Nazi entity, benefits from an international tribunal established to combat Nazism and its genocidal agenda. This is not the International Court of Justice; it is the International Court for the Support of Terrorism and Extermination.

Is Israel's War Just? Eli Lake and Michael Moynihan v Briahna Joy Gray and Jake Klein
A few weeks ago, there was an awesome event in Brooklyn in partnership with UnHerd called Dissident Dialogues. It was exactly what it sounds like: debates and discussions on the most pressing questions facing our society today. Questions like: Have we reached peak woke? Can universities be saved? Can liberalism be saved? Is government censorship justified? Is this the end of mainstream media? and What is the future of feminism? So basically, just the light stuff.

But probably the most contentious debate of the weekend was: Is Israel’s war on Hamas a just war?

This is not an easy debate. Emotions run hot, the stakes are high, people’s morality is called into question, and there are a lot of competing narratives. Which is all the more reason to debate the topic in public, something we always advocate for at The Free Press.

Arguing no, that Israel’s war on Hamas is not a just war, are Briahna Joy Gray and Jake Klein. Briahna was the national press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign, and is host of the Bad Faith podcast. Arguing alongside Briahna is Jake Klein. Jake is a content creator for the Foundation for Economic Education, and he is a co-founder and editor at The Black Sheep.

Arguing yes, that Israel’s war on Hamas is a just war, are two of our very own Free Pressers, Eli Lake and Michael Moynihan. Eli is a columnist at The Free Press and a longtime journalist covering foreign affairs and national security. And Michael Moynihan, who you’ve heard guest-host Honestly, is a veteran journalist, having spent years at Vice, The Daily Beast, and Reason magazine. He is also a host of The Fifth Column podcast.

The debate is moderated by the one and only Russian British satirist, co-host of the Triggernometry podcast, and Free Press contributor, Konstantin Kisin.

Apple Podcasts

NGO Monitor: NGOs Reveal Politicized Agenda in Responses to ICC Warrants
On May 20, 2024, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan announced that he was seeking arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant, alongside three Hamas leaders.

International, Palestinian, and Israeli NGOs celebrated the decision, demonizing Israel with allegations of “apartheid” and “crimes against humanity.” Confirming the politicized nature of their ICC campaign, these reactions overwhelmingly singled out Israel as targets for prosecution and downplayed the culpability of the named Hamas officials.

For over a decade, these same NGOs have pushed the ICC to investigate, indict, and arrest Israeli officials. This includes NGOs linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, groups that deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and BDS supporters. International NGOs
Amnesty International
On May 21, 2024, Amnesty published a statement titled, “Israel/OPT: ICC applications for arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Sinwar and other senior Israeli and Hamas officials crucial step towards justice.” According to the statement, “Amnesty International has long called for the ICC’s Prosecutor to take immediate concrete action to expedite the investigation opened in March 2021, with regard to potential crimes under the Rome Statute of the ICC committed since 13 June 2014 in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
On May 21, Amnesty Secretary General Agnes Callamard tweeted, “No one is above international law: no leaders of armed groups, no government officials – elected or not, no military officials. Regardless of the cause they are pursuing, no one is above the law. … All states must respect the legitimacy of the court, they must refrain from any attempts to intimidate or pressure the court to allow the judges to conduct their work with full independence and impartiality.”
On May 21, Callamard tweeted, “ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC has issues (sic) Applications for arrest warrants in the situation in the State of Palestine. Lets hope these applications are granted as soon as possible.”

Human Rights Watch
On May 20, HRW published a statement claiming, “Karim Khan’s decision to seek arrest warrants for five people for grave international crimes committed in Israel and Palestine since October 7 in the face of pressure from US lawmakers and others reaffirms the crucial role of the International Criminal Court….ICC member countries should stand ready to resolutely protect the ICC’s independence as hostile pressure is likely to increase while the ICC judges consider Khan’s request.”
On May 20, HRW Israel/Palestine Director Omar Shakir tweeted, “The mark of shame belongs to you,@netanyahu. The moral outrage would be to allow those responsible for atrocities, unlawful killings & apartheid not to answer for their actions. No more.”
On May 20, HRW Program Director Sari Bashi tweeted, “2007 was the first time Israeli authorities acknowledged deliberately depriving civilians in Gaza of basic goods including food. No one intervened & the policy got worse, graduating to starvation as a weapon of war. May today’s ICC statement set in motion, finally, accountability.”

FIDH: International Federation of Human Rights (funded by European Union, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden)
On May 20, FIDH published a statement “welcom[ing] the ICC Prosecutor’s historic requests for arrest warrants in the Palestine situation.” According to FIDH, “The ICC must take into account this long documented history of human rights violations within the context of its investigation and prosecution. Many crimes fall within the Court’s jurisdiction: crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2014.”

On May 20, Samidoun published a statement affirming, “Let us be clear: There is no equation to be made between the legitimate resistance of the Palestinian people and its leadership, including Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, and the illegitimate Zionist colonizer. The attempt to equate victim and perpetrator is a fundamental injustice, not the pursuit of long-denied justice…The choice to seek warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant, while not against Gantz, Eisenkot, Ben-Gvir, Herzog and other war criminals, also indicates its bias toward appeasing the political leadership of imperialist powers….The ICC has served for too long as a weapon of colonialism rather than a tribunal of justice. We trust the revolutionary justice of the victorious Palestinian people…. Zionism will be defeated, and from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
On May 20, Samidoun tweeted, “We stand with all justice-seeking people in the world in welcoming all efforts to prosecute the Zionist war criminals, including but not limited to Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant, in international courts. However, we refuse to equate the colonizer and the colonized.”

On May 20, ActionAid published a statement, “Welcom[ing] ICC’s Steps Towards Accountability and Justice.” According to the statement, “There continue to be severe breaches of international humanitarian law across the West Bank, and we urge the international community to begin the process of accountability and justice for the millions of Palestinians living under this illegal and brutal occupation.”
A Chill Has Fallen Over Jews in Publishing
Until relatively recently, the use of “Zionist” as a slur was most commonly confined to Soviet and Arab propagandists, who spent decades trying to render the word the moral equivalent of “Nazi.” Today many progressives use the word in similar fashion, making no distinction between a Zionist who supports a two-state solution (which, presumably, most Jews in the overwhelmingly liberal literary world do) and one who believes in a “Greater Israel” encompassing the entirety of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And while anyone can be a Zionist, I’ve found in my 20 years of reporting on antisemitism that many Jews essentially hear “Jew” when someone shouts “Zionist" at them.

The corruption of the words “genocide” and “Zionist” lies at the root of the controversy threatening to unravel PEN America, the storied writers’ organization. As with many a literary contretemps, it involves a cascade of open letters. In February a missive that gained almost 1,500 signatures was published demanding that PEN “wake up from its own silent, tepid, neither-here-nor-there, self-congratulatory middle of the road and take an actual stand against an actual genocide.” The dozens of statements PEN had issued by that time calling attention to the plight of writers in Gaza (whom the letter, without citing evidence, claimed had been “targeted” by Israel for assassination)were insufficient. “We demand PEN America release an official statement” about the writers killed in Gaza the letter read, “and name their murderer: Israel, a Zionist colonial state funded by the U.S. government.”

On March 20, PEN acceded to the ultimatum that it endorse the call for a cease-fire. But that did not satiate its critics.

Last month, in advance of PEN’s annual literary awards ceremony, nearly half of the nominated writers withdrew from the competition. A subset of those writers then released another open letter, declaring, “Among writers of conscience, there is no disagreement. There is fact and fiction. The fact is that Israel is leading a genocide of the Palestinian people.” They accused PEN of “normalizing genocide,” denounced PEN for its “platforming of Zionists” and, most shamefully, called for the resignation of its Jewish chief executive, Suzanne Nossel, on account of her “longstanding commitments to Zionism.”

Along with eight other past presidents of PEN, Salman Rushdie signed a letter in defense of the organization, an intervention that earned him an “unclear” rating on the anti-Zionist blacklist. (He has braved far worse from Islamist zealots and their Western apologists.) PEN ultimately canceled both the awards ceremony and subsequent World Voices Festival.

Dissatisfaction with PEN’s purported lack of indignation over the deaths of Palestinian writers is a fig leaf. Where were the efforts by those now decrying PEN to protest the complete absence of freedom of expression that has characterized the Gaza Strip under 17 years of Hamas rule?

The real objectives behind the cynical weaponization of the word “genocide” and the authoritarian insistence that anyone who disagrees with it is an enabler of one are to shut down debate, defame dissenters and impose a rigid orthodoxy throughout the publishing world. It is a naked attempt to impose an ideological litmus test on anyone hoping to join the republic of letters — a litmus test that the vast majority of Jews would fail.

A campaign of intimidation, the sort of thing that happens to the dissident writers in closed societies whom PEN regularly champions, is afoot to pressure writers into toeing this new party line. PEN’s current president, Jenny Finney Boylan, recently said that she had heard from “many, many authors who do not agree with those withdrawing from PEN events and who do not wish to withdraw from our events themselves but are afraid of the consequences if they speak up.”

Compelling speech — which is ultimately what PEN’s critics are demanding of it — is the tactic of commissars, not writers in a free society. Censorship, thought policing and bullying are antithetical to the spirit of literature, which is best understood as an intimate conversation between the author and individual readers.

PEN’s detractors aren’t helping the Palestinian people with their whitewashing of Hamas. They’re engaged in a hostile takeover of a noble organization committed to the defense of free expression in order to advance a sectarian and bigoted political agenda.

Neil Gaiman, Taylor Jenkins-Reid, Ms. Mandel and other hugely successful authors need not worry that being denounced as a Zionist will hurt their careers. But the blacklists and the boycotts are not targeted at them. The real targets of this crusade are lesser-known authors, budding novelists, aspiring poets and creative writing students — largely but not exclusively Jewish — who can feel a change in the air.

“I do now definitely have concern as a Jewish author — two years working on a novel that has absolutely nothing to do with Jews in any way, just because it says ‘National Jewish Book Award winner’ in my bio — that it may change the way readers see the work,” said a Jewish creative writing professor and novelist who spoke to me on the condition of being quoted anonymously.

Seth Mandel: The Politics of Joe Biden’s Fear
Usually when we talk about a campaign based on the politics of fear we mean the candidate is trying to scare the public into voting for him. “If you don’t vote for me, this will be America’s last election” etc. But with President Biden we’re seeing a campaign dominated by a different kind of fear: Joe Biden’s.

The Associated Press has the numbers on Iran’s growing illicit nuclear program. According to an International Atomic Energy Agency report seen by the AP, the Islamic Republic has increased by about 17 percent its stockpile of uranium that is enriched to 60 percent, “just a short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels.” The IAEA report “also said Tehran has not reconsidered the agency’s September 2023 decision of barring the most experienced nuclear inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program,” though it claims to expect that to change.

That story pairs wonderfully with a big Wall Street Journal scoop today: Biden has been pressuring European allies to let Iran get away with it. According to the Journal:
The U.S. is arguing against an effort by Britain and France to censure Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s member state board in early June, the diplomats said. The U.S. has pressed a number of other countries to abstain in a censure vote, saying that is what Washington will do, they said…

European diplomats have warned that failure to take action would undermine the authority of the IAEA, which polices nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. They say it also weakens the credibility of Western pressure on Iran. And they are frustrated over what they see as U.S. efforts to undermine their approach.

The Biden administration appears to be letting Iran hold American policy hostage. The president fears any attempt to hold Tehran to account for its violations will be followed by Iranian retaliation. That, in turn, could lead to a more “volatile” status quo. And volatility is bad for an incumbent president’s reelection prospects.

A few points. First, it undermines the president’s own case for reelection if he must allow antagonistic foreign powers to become even more powerful just to return himself to office. The claim that the other guy will bring about a more dangerous world order isn’t as convincing if a candidate feels pressured to begin ushering in that more dangerous world on his own.
Suspended as Biden Special Envoy, now teaching at the Ivies
Imagine this headline: Alec Baldwin, on trial for involuntary manslaughter during film shoot, teaching seminar on Hollywood gun safety.

Ludicrous, right?

The real-life story of Rob Malley — Biden’s ex-Special Envoy to Iran and a lead negotiator in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — is equally perplexing.

When news spread last weekend of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s death in a helicopter crash, social media exploded with sarcastic sympathy posts to Malley for his long-suspected Tehran ties.

But behind every joke lies a measure of truth.

Last June, Malley (one of Biden’s first appointees) was suspended from the State Department for allegedly transferring classified material to his personal email, where — according to insiders and Republican lawmakers — it was likely intercepted by a “hostile cyber actor,” possibly the Islamic Republic of Iran given Malley’s history with the regime.

Since then, details surrounding Malley’s suspension and subsequent FBI investigation have remained murky.

Answers trickled in from, of all places, Iran’s state-run Tehran Times. Last July, the paper managed to obtain a sensitive government memorandum from April 2023 in which Erin Smart, director of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Office, told Malley that his mishandling of classified information made him a national security risk. Two months later, he was suspended from the State Department.

Norway's malevolent myopia
Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide, recently explained that his country suddenly and unilaterally recognized Palestine as a state because Israel disavowed it.

This, according to a conversation he had with the Jerusalem Post.

Are the Norwegian FM and his country so shallow, or so rejectionist, in their inability, or unwillingness, to gauge Israel's strategic assessment of the true character of the Palestinian Arab movement, its territorial ambitions, its divided leadership, and the evidential will of its people to support Hamas, to unilaterally go ahead at such a dangerous time, and gift this troubling anti-Israel jihadi movement a state?

Is Eide unaware of the terms of the Oslo Accords in which Israel reluctantly agreed to surrender territory by dividing it into three blocks, two of which were to gauge the direction that the Palestinian movement was taking? An agreement that allowed Israel to retain Area C until such time as the Arabs proved themselves to be a peaceful and united neighbor of Israel, which they woefully failed to do?

Israel is shockingly aware that Norway has failed its own obligations according to the conditions of the Oslo Accords by helping in the construction of illegal buildings in Area C, and that Norway has assisted in the forced transfer of population by the Palestinian Authority into parts of Area C in defiance of their signed agreement with Israel.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister ignoresthe fact that, according to recent poll taken by the Defense of Democracies NGO in March 2024:

The majority of Palestinian Arabs would still vote Hamas six months into the Hamas-induced war against Israel.

According to polls conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, on May 20, 2024:

81% of Palestinians who watched the Hamas go-pro evidence, still said that Hamas did not commit war crimes.

71% said they approved of the Hamas massacre, rape, and hostage taking of 7/10.

The vast majority 81% want Mahmoud Abbas to resign and more people preferred Hamas to Fatah, or any other party.

Is this what Norway wants? A Hamas governing Palestinian state? Does it care?
Gerald Steinberg: A letter to Norway’s foreign minister: Your country's actions have been disturbing
Dear Minister Barth Eide,

Over the past ten years, we have spoken a number of times about Israel and the region. While we did not always agree, I thought that your views on these issues reflected a constructive approach.

This includes your willingness to listen and engage in conversation on the counterproductive agendas of powerful political NGOs funded by the Norwegian government, including the Norwegian Refugee Council, Norwegian People’s Aid (Folkehjelp), and Palestinian groups using the facades of human rights and peace.

It is for this reason I am very troubled by your statements and policies in recent months, in the shadow of the inhuman and incomprehensible brutality of the October 7 pogrom and slaughter.

A country that has been through trauma
This was not a remote event for us – every Israeli was and continues to be directly traumatized. We went to funerals of mothers who were cruelly slaughtered, and seek to comfort their children as well as the families of hostages who have been tortured in Gaza for almost eight months.

I have also rushed grandchildren to shelters during the many times that Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran have launched missile attacks in our direction.

Therefore, the deafening silence of your government and its failure to repeatedly and forcefully demand accountability from Hamas and its supporters, the immediate release of the hostages, and the disarming of Hezbollah is highly disturbing.

Instead, in the name of high-minded idealistic moral but totally misguided principles, Norway’s policies continue to ignore the bitter reality that Israelis face daily. These actions serve to further empower Hamas, Hezbollah and their allies.
Ireland ‘Not an Honest Broker’ in Mideast Conflict, Says Israel’s Envoy, Warning Against ‘Palestine’ Recognition
Israel’s ambassador to Dublin warned on Monday that a crisis in bilateral ties over Ireland’s plan to recognize a Palestinian state sends the wrong message about Ireland as a tech hub and is worrying Israeli investors in the Irish IT services sector.

Speaking in Jerusalem, where she has held Foreign Ministry consultations after being recalled in protest, Ambassador Dana Erlich voiced hope of returning to Ireland, though she saw its government as siding with the Palestinians against Israel.

The statehood recognition is due to be formalized on Tuesday by Ireland in conjunction with Spain and Norway. The United States and some other European countries favor first reviving negotiations on resolving the conflict.

The move by Ireland, Spain, and Norway was denounced as a “reward for terrorism” by Israel, which is waging a devastating Gaza war and knock-on fighting on other fronts in response to the Oct. 7 cross-border rampage by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist terror group that rules Gaza.

Erlich said all aspects of Israeli-Irish ties were under review but stopped short of predicting further action by her government, which has continued sparring with Madrid.

“Ireland is not neutral or an honest broker in this case, because they are very supportive of the Palestinians. But what we are saying [is]: This is not the time for such announcement on recognition,” Erlich told Reuters in an interview.

The Irish government says that recognition of Palestinian statehood may benefit Israel by reviving stalled peacemaking.

Many Irish sympathize with Israel “behind the scenes,” Erlich said. “I think there is a lot of potential in our bilateral relations, if it’s cybersecurity or health care, climate change. I hope to be given that opportunity to continue that.”

But she said a public mood of hostility, which some Jews deem antisemitic, is making Israelis question their place in Ireland — a threat to tech services that account for the lion’s share of some $5 billion in annual trade between the countries.
PMW: Hey Norway, Ireland and Spain! This is the “Palestine” PA/Fatah say you recognized!
Following Norway, Ireland, and Spain’s recognition of a Palestinian state last week, PA Chairman Abbas’ Fatah Movement published the above cartoon. It shows exactly what “Palestine” the PA and Fatah say, the European countries endorsed.

The cartoon shows “Palestine” having replaced the entire State of Israel and the PA areas. The map is formed by three arms painted in the colors of the flags of the three European countries. The “Norwegian” arm writes the word “Palestine,” the “Irish” arm waves a Palestinian flag, while the “Spanish” hand makes a V-sign with its fingers, signifying “victory.”

Palestinian Media Watch has repeatedly shown that the PA/Fatah explain to their own people that since Israel has no right to exist, Fatah’s goal and Palestinian destiny is to replace Israel with a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.”

It should have been the most basic preliminary investigation for Norway, Ireland, and Spain to check what the PA tells its own people that a “Palestinian state” means, before they recognized it. The shocking reality is that either these countries have no idea what “Palestinian state” they are recognizing, in which case the governments are a diplomatic disgrace and embarrassment to their countries, or possibly they all agree with the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz who last week vowed that "Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea," in which case they are ideologically in the same camp with state sponsors of terror like Iran.

Natasha Hausdorff: No, the ICJ hasn’t ordered Israel to halt operations
Judge Nawaf Salam, the current president of the ICJ, clearly stated the court would not grant this measure. Instead, the court required that Israel “shall, in conformity with its obligations under [the Genocide Convention] … halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

This amounts to a directive by the court, consistent with its previous approach, that Israel abide by the Genocide Convention. Israel has been clear that it has always done so, as have international military experts such as Major John Spencer and Colonel Richard Kemp. They have testified that no other army in the history of warfare has taken the measures Israel does to protect civilians in armed conflict.

In this context, the pointlessness of the court’s order simply underscores the political game the ICJ is engaging in at the behest of South Africa. The court’s decision to reaffirm Israel’s existing obligations under the convention is necessarily as far as it can go, in light of Israel’s inherent right to defend its citizens from Hamas and free the hostages who have spent more than 230 days in brutal captivity.

Hamas continues to indiscriminately fire rockets onto Israeli civilian communities from Rafah, where its remaining battalions are based. As Israel is not violating and has never violated the Genocide Convention, its operation in Rafah to find the 120-plus remaining hostages and destroy the terrorists’ military capability does not fall foul of this latest pointless order. This much is also clear from the separate opinions of Judges Nolte and Aurescu, who supported the order, and vice-president Judge Sebutinde and Judge Barak, who objected to it.

Judge Salam previously served as Lebanon’s ambassador to the UN. His track record of accusing Israel of apartheid, war crimes and terror would have required his recusal under Article 17 of the ICJ’s statute in any case where law, as opposed to politics, was the order of the day.

The credibility of the ICJ evaporated years ago. The media’s determination to continue to misrepresent its rulings in respect of Israel are hammering the last few nails into its coffin.
Attorney general slams ICC prosecutor, says he’s ignoring Israel’s legal system
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara upbraided International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan on Monday, insisting that Israel’s legal system is actively investigating allegations of possible criminal misconduct during the war in Gaza and that Khan’s request for arrest warrants against the prime minister and defense minister was therefore hasty and inappropriate.

In her first comments aimed directly at Khan, the attorney general asserted that his investigation of Israel’s actions during the conflict with Hamas lacked jurisdiction and that his request for arrest warrants was “baseless.”

She said that the prosecutor’s intervention violated a fundamental principle of the international court by failing to let an independent legal system, such as Israel’s, deal with any concerns before taking action.

The attorney general’s comments come as Israel faces intense legal scrutiny of its conduct of the war against Hamas in Gaza, with the ICC prosecutor requesting last week that the court issue arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on crimes against humanity and war crimes charges, and the International Court of Justice intervening on Friday in the IDF’s ongoing operation in Rafah. Khan also requested warrants against three top Hamas leaders.

“The decision of the prosecutor ignores, among other things, the fact that Israeli legal system has proved its independence in the past, its impartiality, and its commitment to the values of truth and justice,” Baharav-Miara said at the annual Israel Bar Association conference in Eilat.

“We do not shy away from enforcing the law against any person, even the heads of the military and the state, if there are well-founded suspicions of violations of the law. We examine and will examine thoroughly suspicions of illegal actions. We don’t need outside help to clarify suspected criminal activity.”

Irwin Cotler: ICC prosecutor weaponized international law in ‘incomprehensible’ way
One of Cotler’s key criticisms is that Khan appears to have paid scant regard to a foundational principle of the ICC — that it is a court of last resort, meaning that a state with an independent judiciary that is willing and able to hold senior officials to account for crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction must be given the opportunity to exercise that authority.

Article 17 of the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding charter, states that a case is admissible to the court if the state under suspicion “is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution.”

The article continues to say that unwillingness means, among other things, that “there has been an unjustified delay in the proceedings.”

But Khan opened his investigation less than six months ago and has already sought arrest warrants, quicker than in almost any other major case, including allegations against Sudanese leaders for the genocide in Darfur in the early 2000s, which took three years to produce arrest warrant requests. It took a year for the arrest warrants against Putin for war crimes in Ukraine to be requested in 2023.

Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara herself has strongly criticized Khan, accusing him of ignoring Israeli judicial independence and the legal review of potential criminal misconduct currently underway, ignoring the review of petitions against the government’s humanitarian aid policy currently before the High Court of Justice, and failing to give the Israeli legal system sufficient time and opportunity to complete these processes.

“The ICC should not substitute its judgment in a state which is able to investigate itself; otherwise it breaches the founding principles of the court,” said Cotler, noting that this is the first time ever that the ICC has sought arrest warrants against a democratic country with an independent judiciary.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Judicial Activism in the ICC
This tactic of lumping together members of a group who have minimal concern for their reputation amongst the international community and a democratic member of said community in order to be viewed as fair or impartial is nothing new. The same was done in 2019 when the previous activist Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced investigations into war crimes allegedly committed in Palestine.

The problem is that the ICC is not fit for purpose. Or at least not for this purpose, anyway. To understand why, we need to get to grips with the raison d’etre of the court.

The International Criminal Court came into being when the Rome Statute was signed on July 1, 1998 and began operations on July 1, 2002. The desire for it arose out the chaos and horror of both the Rwandan Genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the Yugoslavia. Israel is not a signatory. And for good reason. Along with the US, China, India, Turkey and 36 other states, they viewed the jurisdiction of a foreign court as an imposition on their functioning domestic courts and a curtailment of their sovereignty as a state. A number of these countries were also acutely aware that international organizations such as the ICC were capable of mission creep and capture by activists. Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute but then did not submit it for Senate ratification.

According to the Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court “is not a substitute for national courts” and “can only intervene where a State is unable or unwilling to genuinely carry out the investigation and prosecute the perpetrators.” In other words, the ICC is a potentially useful tool to ensure that justice is served in countries with severely limited state capacity and high corruption. Or in countries where the judiciary is captured as an arm of the executive and unable to try cases with impartiality and independence. This is why, of the 31 cases that have been brought before the ICC over the last quarter of a century, the vast majority have involved the dictators and warlords of African countries.

Neither of these are the situation in Israel, however. The Israeli Supreme Court is regarded by Jurists the world over as the leading example of judicial activism and the overextension of judicial review. In 2019 they indicted the sitting prime minister, with the trial continuing to this day, and in January of this year the Israeli Supreme Court managed to strike down legislation designed to curb its powers. If there is any criticism to be levelled at the Israeli legal system it is not that the courts are unable or unwilling to haul members of the government before them, but rather that they are too readily able to do so. The ICC was fundamentally not designed to deal with states like these.

But it has become embarrassed by this fact. The overrepresentation of African states in ICC cases has become a point of controversy in recent years with the African Union calling for a mass withdrawal of member states in 2017 to protest what it argued was an anti-african bias. Naturally, opposition to the court over the years was led by some of Africa’s most corrupt leaders – Zimbabwe’s Mugabe; Kenya’s Kenyatta; Chad’s Deby – leaders from countries with no effective judicial oversight.
Arrest warrants are about delegitimisation of Israel
The timing could hardly have been more grotesquely appropriate. On the same day that the Iranian regime confirmed the death of Ebrahim Raisi, president of the world’s leading funder of terror, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan revealed that he was seeking arrest warrants for the leaders of the nation which was the victim of the massacre carried out by one of Iran’s key proxies.

Given Khan’s approach of putting the two applications together, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that he is drawing a moral equivalence between Israel, a democratic state fighting to protect its citizens’ lives, and Hamas, the terrorist organisation against which it is fighting. That is not just morally repugnant, it is legally absurd. The ICC was established to step in when a nation is unable or unwilling to operate within a legitimate legal framework. Israeli jurisprudence is renowned throughout the world – and its military is, of course, subject to the appropriate internationally recognised legal constraints. The ICC has no locus involving itself.

That alone shows that the putative arrest warrants are nothing to do with international law and everything to do with the process of delegitimisation and demonisation that Israel’s enemies have used in recent years. None of this is based on evidence but rather assertion – that Israel is starving Gazans, that it is targeting civilians and that it is ignoring international law. The evidence in fact shows the opposite: that it is Hamas which is responsible for problems with aid delivery, that Israel has spent more time and effort attempting to avoid civilian casualties than any other army in history (when Hamas has placed itself among civilians) and that the IDF has lawyers embedded in almost every aspect of its decision making process.

Mr Khan presumably believes he has struck a blow for the relevance of the ICC. In reality the only blow he has struck is against the legitimacy of the court.

Palestinian state recognition and ICJ proceedings are a prize for Hamas
In practical terms, the impact of unilateral recognition is quite limited. The recognition does not address the issue of borders, and in this way, most countries of the world have already recognized a Palestinian state when it was admitted as an observer to the UN.

The impact of these declarations is mainly on the level of awareness and the momentum they could create, especially when they occur in parallel with proceedings at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice in The Hague and at a time when the US administration is pressuring Israel to agree to a deal, one component of which is a commitment to a process that will eventually lead to a Palestinian state.

In this sense, the US' reservations about the unilateral recognition move are very important, both to prevent a momentum of more countries recognizing a Palestinian state and to prevent this idea from gaining a foothold in Washington itself. After the heavy price Israel has paid and is still paying, the political leadership not only has the right but is obligated to take a sober, cautious, and suspicious stance. Israel needs to rely only on itself and avoid entering processes that would be difficult, if not impossible, to exit.

In the security arena, whatever the definition of the Palestinians may be, Israel will need to continue its presence and do everything it is currently doing for its security, without any compromises.

It will have to continue to maintain absolute and effective control over the borders and the seamline, ensure security and freedom of operation within the territory, and prevent processes such as those that took place in Gaza.

The IDF and the Shin Bet will be required to continue their activity against terrorist infrastructures, thwart smuggling or production of combat means, take a suspicious approach also towards Palestinian mechanisms, and prevent by all means the possibility of Hamas taking over the governing institutions, whether directly, through a partnership with another political factor or through proxy actors. This is the meaning of the statement – we must defend ourselves by ourselves.
The ICJ judges at The Hague showed they can't even get grammar right; this is a major win for Israel
On its face, the International Court of Justice's decision against Israel on Friday appears to be an unambiguous directive for Israel to cease its military operations in Rafah immediately. However, for those who deal with grammar, it's easy to pick up the nuances in the clause construction that Israel could seize upon to argue for a narrower interpretation boosting its ability to continue operations: Use of the non-restrictive clause "which may inflict...conditions of life that could bring about...physical destruction." What does "which" refer to? One option is that it describes Israel's military offensive so that the sentence can be read: "Israel must immediately halt its military offensive which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part." Or does the "which" apply only to the words in commas, meaning that the which could be read as only describing and any other action in the Rafah Governorate "which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

According to the authoritative source, the Merriam-Webster dictionary: "In today's usage which and that are both used to introduce restrictive clauses, those which cannot be removed from the context of the sentence, and which is also used to introduce nonrestrictive clauses, those which provide additional information but can be removed without the sentence falling apart." In other words, the "which" in the ruling could apply to both parts of the sentence equally and Israel could justifiably claim that the verdict only restricts it from carrying out action that could lead to the "physical destruction in whole or in part" of the Palestinians in a way that violates the Genocide Convention.

The use of "which" instead of "that" to introduce this clause is significant. A restrictive clause (with "that") is essential to the meaning of the sentence, while a non-restrictive clause (with "which") merely provides additional, non-essential information. It is unclear if the judges, most of whom do not speak English fluently, were aware that they were digging themselves into a hole.
After the second Dreyfus Affair, will the ICC target the US?
Ambition also matters. As the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, former Irish President Mary Robinson embraced antisemitism to propel her career by rallying the world’s worst human rights abusers to her side. Today, she leads the “Elders,” a self-appointed counsel of the arrogant and unaccountable that professes to dispense wisdom and act as both judge and jury on matters of diplomatic concern.

Khan follows the same path. He ignores China’s repression of the Uyghurs, the atrocities the Iranian and Syrian regimes commit against their own people, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh. The failure to pursue any of these cases is not due to a lack of evidence.

The ICC could interview witnesses to the Uyghur genocide and review satellite imagery showing China’s imposition of the greatest industrial genocide since the Holocaust. “Caesar” defected from the Assad regime with more than 100,000 photos of torture and murder, and, much like Hamas, Azerbaijani forces filmed their atrocities, raping and mutilating women and beheading captive Christians. Simply put, Khan and Clooney might be the stars of the cocktail circuit for a week or so, but history will regard the ICC indictment of Netanyahu, its first indictment of a democratic leader, as a second Dreyfus Affair.

Their motivations may be corrupt, but Biden should recognize the danger to all Americans. The ICC grounded its indictment in alleged Israeli violations of humanitarian law during its counterterrorism operations against Hamas. The United Nations, however, surreptitiously revised downward Palestinian casualty figures by half. The Israel Defense Forces have therefore distinguished themselves as the most careful and civilian casualty-averse army in this history of warfare.

I have walked through both the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqa after American forces liberated them from the Islamic State. The destruction of each rivaled, if not surpassed, Gaza, and civilian casualties were immense. The Obama administration rightly did not take time out to resupply the population of either, as the White House knew the Islamic State would simply steal the aid.

By creating a standard in which almost any casualties lead to the indictment of elected leaders and their armies, Khan is setting the stage to tie the hands of all American leaders at a time when the liberal order is under unprecedented threat. Spluttering about “outrage” is not enough. Leaders such as Khan and Clooney today pose a far greater threat to the liberal order and human rights than any Israeli or American leader does.
Israel bars Spain’s consulate in Jerusalem from serving PA residents
Israel’s foreign minister on Monday sent a letter to Spanish authorities forbidding their country’s consulate in Jerusalem from providing services to residents of the Palestinian Authority.

The move follows last week’s decision by Spain, Ireland and Norway to recognize a Palestinian state.

“As of 1 June 2024, the Consulate General of Spain in Jerusalem may provide consular services strictly to residents of the consular district of Jerusalem,” the letter states. “The Consulate General, or anyone on its behalf, may not provide services to residents of the Palestinian Authority, nor may it perform any consular or other functions outside the district of Jerusalem, without prior written consent from the Ministry.”

The policy does not apply to consular services for Spanish citizens in Judea and Samaria.

“If this policy is not respected, the Ministry will not hesitate to take further actions,” the letter adds.

It also condemns the “inciting and hateful antisemitic statements by senior Spanish officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz, who was seen chanting ‘from the river to the sea Palestine will be free.’”
Bassam Tawil: The Secret Reason Hamas's Friends - Ireland, Norway, Spain (and Germany) - Are Helping the Palestinians
Ireland, Norway and Spain should have advised the Palestinians that if they wanted anything from Israel, they should sit down and negotiate with the Israelis, and not try to impose any solution on them with the help of the international community.

They also should have told them that there will be no peace negotiations with Israel unless the Palestinians repudiate and renounce terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist.

Apparently, Ireland, Norway and Spain do not even realize that they just strengthened the terrorists in their own countries. When Muslims demonstrated in Hamburg last month and demanded that shariah law and a Caliphate replace democracy in Germany, politicians said they should be jailed and stripped of their citizenship.

Perhaps a few countries might also recognize a State of Catalonia?

[W]hen [Palestinians] talk about "liberating" the land, what they really mean is that they want to murder all Jews or expel them from Israel, and replace it with an Iran-backed Palestinian terror state.

The timing of the recognition of a Palestinian state, just months after Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel, sent a message to the terrorists -- which should be transposed to the Europeans in their own countries -- that the more people they slaughter, including the Gazans Hamas kills as human shields, the more support they will have from the Europeans and the rest of the international community.

Ireland, Norway, and Spain are letting it be known that the international community is willing to overlook, submit to, or even condone terrorism. This attitude will not promote any peace process between Israel and the Palestinians -- or among anyone trying to transform other countries. Instead, it encourages those who want to fundamentally remake countries in the West.

Finally, who in his right mind imagines that the Middle East would be secure and peaceful with a Palestinian state adjacent to Israel? Such a state will simply serve as a springboard for more attacks against Israel. The Palestinians openly stated as much in their ratified 1974 "10-Point Program," known as the "phased plan," in which any land acquired will be used to get the rest.

Basically, as Hamas openly states in its charter, its aim to eliminate the only homeland of the Jewish people and murder as many Jews as possible. It appears that the Europeans wish to finish the task that Hitler started -- the secret reason they are assisting the Palestinians in achieving this goal.
South Africa, Putin's Marxist Cadres, and the International Court of Justice
[I]n 2023, the ANC, on behalf of the South African government, brought charges of genocide against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This case seems to be another fatuous endeavour by the ANC for prominence....

[T]he ANC has effectively "turned its back on Western values, and expressed its support for countries and organisations that subscribe to terror as a measure and method of governance."

Warren Goldstein, Chief Rabbi of South Africa,, November 15, 2023

[E]verything Western, regarded as colonialist or imperialist, must be destroyed and recreated according to atheist, socialist, dogma... in pursuit of a revolutionary version of pseudo-egalitarian social justice.

The historic ties of these African countries to the totalitarian countries of Russia, Cuba, and China and to revolutionary movements such as Hamas are as strong as ever.

Through BRICS and other forums aligned with anti-Western actors, these African countries oppose the West with impunity and reject any pretence of joining the West's sphere of nations with their liberal democratic traditions.

Anglo-American nations blissfully ignore Africa's strong connection to despotic regimes and persist in their simplistic approach towards these countries by showering them with financial incentives and arranging unproductive conferences.... African countries gladly accept the offered funds while remaining aligned to totalitarian regimes. Financial enticements by the West for the purposes of gaining favour are made in vain: these leaders remain, at their core, Marxist revolutionaries imposing extreme socialist policies on their populace, unfortunately leading to the demise of hitherto prosperous and productive economies.
Seth Mandel: Rashida Tlaib Crosses a Bright Red Line
Even without that background, Tlaib’s appearance would have been grotesque. As the Jerusalem Post reports, PFLP activist Wisam Rafeedie was on the agenda as a workshop speaker. The conference keynote speaker was Sana Daqqah, the wife of the late PFLP terrorist Walid Daqqah, who led a cell that kidnapped, tortured, and then murdered Israeli Moshe Tamam in 1984. From the Jewish Chronicle: “Tamam’s killers gouged out his eyes, mutilated his body and castrated him before taking him to an olive grove and shooting him dead, according to reports at the time.”

The Jerusalem Post details the cheers heard around the room for Iran’s recent missile attack on Israel as well as praise for of other terrorists. One panel’s moderator said: “In the past eight months, we’ve seen incredible images of victory—from witnessing the families of political prisoners reunite with, and embrace their loved ones for the first time in years, to scenes of our heroic people breaking down the siege that has suffocated the Gaza Strip for 17 years.”

Speakers and panelists talked about their hope for the fall not only of Israel but of the United States as well. (The conference was held in Detroit.) “Today, through the Palestinian revolution, see clearly that there is no reforming the U.S. empire,” one said, describing pro-Palestinian activism as a “gateway struggle.” Another reportedly called to “defeat not only the mighty Israeli army, but U.S. imperialism itself.”

So what did Tlaib have to say amid all this? In her speech, she unsurprisingly repeated long-debunked libels about Israel’s supposed child murder and mass graves. She accused President Biden directly of being “an enabler” of genocide and described the United States as “co-conspirators.” She heaped praise on the pro-Hamas encampments and tried to racialize the conflict by attaching support for Hamas to Black Lives Matter. All in the service of explicitly throwing her support behind designated terrorist groups and the champions of October 7. Her appearance and endorsement was a declaration that the war on Israel and the American-led world order is her war, too.

She’ll have fellow Democrats standing by her after this, and the media will be divided between whitewashing her promotion of ethnic and racial violence and ignoring it completely. But note well all of the background mentioned above: That is what they will be defending.
Tlaib blasts Biden for shielding ‘genocidal maniac’ Netanyahu
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on Saturday accused President Joe Biden of supporting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom she referred to as a “genocidal maniac” and “murderous war criminal.”

Speaking at the People’s Conference for Palestine at the Huntington Place convention center in downtown Detroit, Tlaib said, “You are an enabler, President Biden.”

She accused Biden of attempting to prevent Netanyahu, and other senior Israeli officials, from being held accountable for “crimes against humanity” by interfering with the International Criminal Court.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan last week announced that he is seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as for senior Hamas terror leaders.

Just hours after the announcement, Biden released a statement calling the move “outrageous.” In a subsequent statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized that Washington “fundamentally rejects” the announcement.

Tlaib also mentioned the recent International Court of Justice ruling that Israel must halt such operations in Rafah “which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, Biden said, “Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening [in Gaza] is not genocide.”

“Where is your red line, President Biden?” Tlaib asked on Saturday, adding that the president “shields the murderous war criminal Netanyahu and the Israeli government.”
Tlaib implies voters should protest Biden at the ballot box in November at pro-Palestinian confab
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) insinuated that voters should bring their disapproval over President Joe Biden‘s handling of the war in Gaza to the ballot box in November.

Tlaib labeled Biden an “enabler” after the president declined to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s military operation in Gaza in response to Hamas‘ Oct. 7 terrorist attack as a genocide.

“Each year, our country, and I say our country because it is our country, sends billions of dollars to maintain an apartheid government and support the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians,” Tlaib told the People’s Conference for Palestine in Detroit on Saturday.

“It is disgraceful that the Biden administration and my colleagues in Congress continue to smear them for protesting to save lives, no matter faith or ethnicity,” she said, mentioning pro-Gaza and -Palestinian demonstrators. “It is cowardly, but we’re not gonna forget November, are we?”

To mark Jewish Heritage Month, Tlaib celebrates Detroit rabbi arrested in Israel on Passover
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) recognized a Detroit-area Reconstructionist rabbi, who was arrested in Israel over Passover, “for her unwavering commitment to social justice and human rights” in honor of Jewish Heritage Month.

“She is an incredible leader in Metro Detroit, and I am proud to stand alongside her as she fights for human dignity for all people,” the member of the so-called progressive “Squad” in Congress wrote of Alana Alpert.

Alpert, who holds ordination from Hebrew College in Boston, has led Congregation T’chiyah “in prayer and protest” since 2014, according to the website of the Reconstructionist congregation in Ferndale, Mich.

She is also the founding director of Detroit Jews for Justice, which Tlaib further noted on Jewish Heritage Month.

“This Jewish Heritage Month, I’m uplifting the incredible work of Detroit Jews for Justice,” the congresswoman wrote. “Their tireless efforts advocating for social justice have made a profound difference in our community. I am so grateful for your dedication to building an equitable, more inclusive Detroit.”

Alpert was arrested in Israel over Passover after she and others tried to cross into Gaza with white flags and bags of rice, and ignored directions from Israeli officers to leave the area.

“The Israeli government is using starvation as a weapon of war against 2.3 million Palestinian people in the occupied Gaza Strip,” stated Rabbis for Ceasefire at the time. “This manufactured famine follows decades of forced displacement, military occupation, and communal subjugation by the Israeli government.” (Alpert is a signatory to an Oct. 20, 2023 statement from the group.)

The group quoted Alpert: “How can we celebrate freedom as these atrocities are committed in the name of Jewish safety?”

MEMRI On Memorial Day, A Look At Pro-Palestinian Protestors' Desecration Of U.S. War Memorials And Monuments Since October 7
This Monday, May 27, Americans will observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials to remember those who fell in service to the country. America's fallen heroes are honored with flags placed by the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment at every single service member's grave at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, at other national cemeteries, and at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Communities nationwide will hold parades and other events to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country. Memorial Day – the last Monday in May - originated in the years following the Civil War, which claimed more American lives than any conflict in U.S. history. The death toll was so great that burying the dead required the establishment of the country's first national cemeteries.

Anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian protests across the country have featured anti-American chants, flag burnings, vandalism, desecration of national monuments and statues of past presidents, founding fathers, and military leaders. Another recurring theme is tearing down American flags and replacing them with Palestinian flags – marking territory as occupied by the protestors.

Service members have said online that the type of protests and U.S. flag burnings which have been seen since October 7 are protected by the First Amendment – even when they strongly disagree with these actions.

Social media has been a vehicle for capturing and circulating these actions, which the protestors, their supporters, and their defenders do not want seen by the public.

The combination of organizations, groups, and funds involved in the incitement that led to this targeting of memorials and monument includes overt support and messages directly from designated terror organizations – Hamas, Hizbullah, the Houthis, Iran, and even Al-Qaeda. The other factor is the support of extremist organizations, such as Samidoun, and grooming of students and other organizations by Islamist organizations and their sheikhs, ranging from the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Contributing to this are the universities and foundations that allow these groups to operate on their grounds and as part of their institutions. Online support is often amplified by bots and other artificially generated activity from Iran, Russia, and China.

The U.S. Supreme Court held that burning the American flag in protest remains "symbolic speech that is protected by the First Amendment." But defacement and desecration of U.S. war memorials and monuments, and damaging historic government buildings – which happens in pro-Palestinian protests described as "peaceful" by their supporters – are not.

This activity by protestors with no sense of patriotism or deep attachment to America is more than mere disrespect, as reflected in their chants of "Death to America" or calls for an Intifada to be brought here. What is most concerning is the visible support for America's enemies, from Iran to Hamas to Hizbullah to the Houthis and others.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Democrats Worried Not Enough DEI Admin Positions Available In US For Resettled Hamas Members (satire)
Senior Congressional and White House officials expressed concern today that despite the proliferation in recent years of jobs in higher education dedicated to achieving and maintaining appropriate diversity quotas, there will remain a shortage of them available when, as anticipated, Palestinian militants and officials from the Gaza Strip begin immigrating to America as part of an envisioned plan to rehabilitate the coastal Mediterranean territory once a permanent ceasefire with Israel takes hold – and those jobs represent the only ones for which the Gazan immigrant demographic seem qualified or suitable.

Democratic leaders close to State Department and White House decision-makers disclosed today the growing worry in the Biden administration about the career fate of the expected wave of Hamas people moving to the US, worries that the slots for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officers on US college and university campuses will prove insufficient for the number of Hamas members in the ranks of the cohort.

An aide to National Security Adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed that his superior and others involved in the efforts to resolve the current Israel-Hamas war by diplomatic means – primarily through attempts to hamstring Israeli operations toward a decisive victory – have hesitated to come out with the full details of a proposal to relocate Hamas personnel out of the Gaza Strip and into American academia, pending resolution of the DEI slot shortage.

“It’s about the only job in this country they’re qualified to do,” explained the aide. “Yes, I know, part of the ethos of DEI is to disregard professional qualifications in favor of demographic and identarian ones. I use the word ‘qualified’ here in those terms exactly. Only through DEI can the vast majority of these people achieve gainful employment. There aren’t anywhere near enough open positions in Chicago’s street gangs.”
Seven Tactics Wikipedia Editors Used to Spread Anti-Israel Bias Since Oct. 7
“Numerous commentators have identified the broader context of Israeli occupation as a cause of the [Israel-Hamas] war. The Associated Press wrote that Palestinians are ‘in despair over a never-ending occupation in the West Bank and suffocating blockade of Gaza.’ Several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch have likened the Israeli occupation to apartheid, although supporters of Israel dispute this characterization.”

This quote, which seems to have an anti-Israel slant, is actually from the “Israeli policy” part of the background section on the main Wikipedia page documenting the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. One editor who has run afoul of Wikipedia’s policies in the past and, like all of the editors quoted here, requested anonymity to discuss the site’s practices, told me that Wikipedia’s coverage related to Oct. 7 as being rather anti-Israel “despite the best efforts of many pro-Israel and more unbiased editors.”

Dr. Shlomit Aharoni Lir wrote in a research paper published by the World Jewish Congress that the “Israel-Hamas war” Wikipedia article received 25,401 page views on Jan. 20 alone and that 70% of the time Wikipedia is the first result to pop up when people search for current events on Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo. More recent statistics show that the Israel-Hamas war article received nearly a million views throughout the month of April. Clearly, people are looking to Wikipedia for information on the war.

That’s why examining Wikipedia content and how the site operates matters — it is the world’s go-to site for information. I have been investigating Wikipedia for more than three years, having talked to many Wikipedians about how the site’s mechanisms have created a self-sustaining system of left-wing and anti-Israel bias.

1. Part of the “Background” section of the “Israel-Hamas war” Wikipedia article states: “Numerous commentators have identified the broader context of Israeli occupation as a cause of the war.” These “commentators” are mostly anti-Israel figures, in my opinion.

An editor who voluntarily stopped editing Wikipedia years ago after getting fed up with what they believed was bias from the site’s administrators told me that “numerous commentators” is the kind of “positively loaded language” that Wikipedia advises against using. “It implies there are a lot of people saying it, when in fact all they have is [five] sources they stringed together,” the editor told me in an email. “What does ‘numerous commentators’ mean … What are their credentials?”

Three of these commentators are:
- Far-left Squad members Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Cory Bush (D-Miss.) calling for ending aid to Israeli “apartheid” in an article in The Hill.
- University of Chicago Prof. John Mearsheimer, who in an Al Jazeera interview accused Israel of “apartheid” and wanting to “ethnically cleanse” the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg criticized Mearsheimer for praising a book by Gilad Atzmon in 2011; Goldberg accused Atzmon at the time of promulgating antisemitism. (Mearsheimer subsequently defended Atzmon from those charges in a rebuttal to Goldberg in Foreign Policy magazine.) Mearsheimer has also co-authored a book alleging that the “Israel lobby” helps control American foreign policy.
- Palestinian writer Mariam Barghouti’s Al Jazeera op-ed, “On October 7 Gaza broke out of prison.”

The remaining two are from The Nation and +972 Magazine, the latter of which NGO Monitor describes as being on “the fringes of Israeli discourse,” although Wikipedia does not consider NGO Monitor a reliable source. The citation from The Nation at least states that Hamas’ atrocities on Oct. 7 aren’t “meant to achieve the basic Palestinian right to freedom … it’s an act that inevitably leads to an Israeli response of death and destruction against the ordinary Gaza citizens, the people they are supposed to represent and care for.”

Middle East historian Asaf Romirowsky, who heads Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and the Association for the Study of the Middle East and North Africa (ASMEA), told me that these sources “are recycling the same echo chamber that is basically Palestinian propaganda … the bias is clear.” But you wouldn’t know who exactly these sources are unless you checked the citation references to the line.

“Opinion pieces need to be attributed … I would change it to ‘a few commentators, including Rashida Tlaib and Mariam Barghouti,’” the editor told me, adding that “it’s more precise and shows exactly who the people making this comment are.”
Sky News corrects false claim on Hamas rocket attack. Revision introduces new distortion
Following our complaint, Sky News amended the headline and text of an article which erroneously characterised Hamas’s rocket attack on Israel yesterday as the first such attack in months.

As we noted, it was the first attack on Central Israel in “months”, not the “first attack on Israel” in that time. In fact, the terror group has continually been launching deadly projectiles at Israel, included a recent volley aimed at the Rafah humanitarian aid crossing.

Sky also deleted the original tweet about the incident, and updated the report it linked to, which now includes information on the IDF’s counter-attack against Hamas targets, and clarifies that the rocket fire from Gaza was the first such attack on the Tel Aviv area in months.

Here, you can see that the original URL, with the false claim, from the updated report.

Though we welcome the correction, the updated report introduces more distorted coverage, framing as a fact the initial Hamas accusation that an IDF attack that killed two Hamas terrorists resulted in the deaths of more than three dozen Palestinians. The IDF is currently investigating the incident, which, contrary to claim by the Red Crescent quoted in the article, apparently did not strike the humanitarian safe zone.

As we’ve continually demonstrated, Sky News has been among the worst British outlets in reporting on the war – competing with the Guardian in the egregious anti-Israel bias routinely displayed in covering the aftermath of the Hamas’s massacre, the worst antisemitic atrocity since the Holocaust.
Haaretz Corrects After Reporting That Israel (Not Egypt) Closed Rafah Crossing

CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted correction at Haaretz‘s English edition after a page-one print article, also published online, erroneously stated that Israel closed the Rafah Crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt (“ICJ ruling will cause issues in long term”).

The article erred:
Biden promised to support Egyptian-Israeli discussions to reopen the Rafah crossing, which Israel seized and closedabout two weeks ago.

Egypt – not Israel – closed the Rafah crossing, a fact which Haaretz has accurately reported in the past.

Notably, the Hebrew version of Amos Harel’s article does not say that Israel closed the crossing. Rather, he accurately reports:
The Egyptians president responded positively and Biden promised to act quickly to reopen the Rafah crossing, which the IDF conquered about two weeks ago.

In response to communication from CAMERA’s Jerusalem office, editors today prompted amended the digital text, which now accurately reports:
Biden promised to support Egyptian-Israeli discussions to reopen the Rafah crossing, which Israel seized two weeks ago.

A screenshot from an AP video showing the Rafah Crossing after Israel gained control of the Palestinian side, May 7, 2024

Contrary to common journalistic practice, editors did not append a note to the online article alerting readers to the change. Stay tuned for an update about a possible print edition correction.

Terrorist responsible for 2003 murder of MK’s husband eliminated
In a airstrike overnight in Rafah, the IDF killed terrorist Khaled Najjar, responsible for the murder of 25-year-old Shalom “Shuli” Har-Melech during the Second Intifada in Samaria on Aug. 28, 2003.

Har-Melech and his wife, Limor, were returning home to Homesh when they were ambushed by five terrorists who fired at them with automatic weapons. Har-Melech was killed on the spot, while his wife, then seven months pregnant, was critically wounded.

Limor was hospitalized and, several hours later, gave birth to their daughter by cesarean section. The couple also had an older child. They were expelled from Homesh during the 2005 disengagement.

Limor Har-Melech later married her current husband, Yehuda Son, and had a further eight children with him. She entered the Knesset for the Otzma Yehudit Party following the 2022 election.

“Today marks another step in bringing closure for me and the people of Israel in our fight against our enemies,” Limor Son Har-Melech, now a Knesset member, wrote on X. “I thank the security forces and everyone involved in eliminating the despicable terrorist.”

According to the military, as a senior member of Hamas, Najjar was involved in directing shooting attacks and other terrorist activities across Judea and Samaria and in funneling funds to Hamas operatives.
IDF dismisses reservist soldier who incited mutiny via viral video
The Israeli military has dismissed a reservist soldier after he incited a rebellion on a video posted to social media.

An unknown soldier created a video which went viral in which he called on troops to not obey orders to hand over control of Gaza to any Palestinian or Arab entity.

The video of the call to mutiny was circulated widely on social media in Israel, with the reservist being quickly identified and dismissed from duty following an interrogation on Sunday by the Military Police.

According to the Israeli military, the interrogation into the soldier was on suspicion of mutiny, incitement to mutiny, not following orders, and other offences. Findings of an investigation which has now been opened will be presented to the Military Advocate General for review.

The soldier in the video, fully clad in gear, stood in a ruined building with the name “Kahane” graffitied on the wall behind him, potentially a reference to far-right Jewish extremist and convicted terrorist Meir Kahane, who among other things called for the expulsion of Arabs from Israel.

Two KFC Outlets Attacked in Baghdad Over Gaza War, Police Sources Say
Two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants were attacked in Baghdad over the past 48 hours, causing damage but no injuries, and Iraqi security forces arrested some suspects, the interior ministry and police sources said on Monday.

Initial investigations showed that the restaurants were targeted over the perceived support of US-based brands for Israel amid the war in the Gaza Strip, police sources said.

The first attack took place early on Sunday when two men on a motorcycle threw a make-shift bomb at a branch of the American fried chicken chain restaurant in eastern Baghdad’s Palestine Street, causing minor damage, police sources said.

On Monday, another KFC Baghdad branch and a second American-style restaurant were attacked by group of masked men who broke into the restaurants and used sticks to smash glass and destroy furniture.

They fled before the arrival of security forces, police sources said.
PMW: PA shows contempt for US as it takes credit for ICC decision
The PA is gloating after the decision by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor to request arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, bragging that Mahmoud Abbas piloted the achievement. Ironically, the PA’s admission that it was involved in promoting the decision should come with a heavy price, since petitioning the ICC makes the PA ineligible to receive anything from the US Economic Support Fund under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, which states:
“None of the funds appropriated under the heading ‘Economic Support Fund’ in this Act may be made available for assistance for the Palestinian Authority, if after the date of enactment of this Act … (1) the Palestinians obtain the same standing as a United Nations (U.N.) member state or full membership in the U.N. or any specialized U.N. agency outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians; or (2) the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.”

Various PA officials credited themselves and Mahmoud Abbas in particular with engineering the ICC chief prosecutor’s decision:
Fatah Jenin Branch member Nasri Hamamreh: “The political and diplomatic efforts, which we see as part of the political and diplomatic conflict with the occupation (i.e., Israel), reached their height upon the achievement of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision. We as the Palestinian people view this as an achievement that can be added to a series of accumulated achievements... This is an achievement for the Palestinian leadership, for the PLO, and for the PA—the body that represents our people. It is an achievement for the wise leader of the Palestinian people [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] who thinks of every way possible to bolster the Palestinian people’s resilience and to push the Israeli occupation into a corner, and to expose it, to expose its true ugly face to all the nations of the world.”

[Official PA TV, May 21, 2024]

PA/Fatah turn against Hamas - after initially cheering their Oct. 7 attack
Hamas only interested in getting rich, no concern for Palestinian civilians or Palestinian cause - PA and Fatah criticism
Fatah: “Hamas’ leader and its institutions” took “billions” for themselves, “instead of economically reviving the residents”
Civilian eyewitnesses in Gaza: Hamas steals the humanitarian aid: “Aid arrives, but the [Palestinian] people doesn’t get any of it”
“Every aid vehicle is captured by Hamas and sold to people at a price 100 times higher…However, they say that they are carrying out Jihad for Allah” - Abbas’ advisor
Hamas confiscates the humanitarian aid instead of distributing to residents – official PA TV
“Hamas is not connected to the Palestinian people’s interests” - Abbas’ advisor
Hamas “stole from Satan the attribute of domineering, they exceeded him in weaving plots from the threads of lies and fraud… They boasted about how they made the decision based on their own opinion to carry out the act that their organization carried out on Oct. 7” - official PA daily
Two weeks into the war, Hamas Political Bureau member admitted: The tunnels are for “Hamas’ defense and protection,” not for civilians. Civilians are “the UN’s responsibility” Top Fatah official praises Hamas’ massacre Oct. 7 for “erasing Israel’s reputation as a state, [trampling] the Arabs’ heads with its boots”
Turkey's Government Enables Terrorists
Turks earning the minimum wage cannot afford their rents, and have difficulty paying utility bills. Many people cannot even afford to buy food, while Erdogan's government has chosen to spend its resources on aggressive wars and cooperation with terrorist groups and regimes in the region such as Hamas, Islamic State (ISIS), the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"In 2012, the Turkish government reportedly donated $300 million to Hamas as the group set up shop in Turkey. A Turkish nongovernmental organization with ties to the government, the Foundation for Human Rights (IHH) [which also organized the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla], has transferred cash payments to its branch in the Gaza Strip since 2010. Hamas uses these payments to fund terrorism... The court explicitly ruled that the Turkish bank Kuveyt Turk Bank 'helped finance the Hamas.'" — Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, November 29, 2023.

Meanwhile, according to a 2023 report, a staggering 98% of the population in Turkey is struggling to meet their basic needs, with 83.75 million people unable to achieve the minimum income required for a decent standard of living.

Erdogan's government nevertheless flows its resources to almost every terrorist group in the region to pursue Muslim Brotherhood-style Islamist ideological and territorial goals, impose sharia law, to harm or destroy "infidel" nations, and to establish its Islamist dominance throughout the world.

Any future financial cooperation between the West and Turkey should depend on the Turkish government's human rights record towards the Turkish people and requiring that Turkey end its relationships with all these terrorist groups and regimes that have cost the lives of thousands of innocent people in the region.

Egyptian Judoka Withdraws From Abu Dhabi Competition to Avoid Facing Israeli Opponent
Egyptian judoka Karim Ibrahim pulled out of the 2024 Abu Dhabi World Championships Seniors in the United Arab Emirates last week due to his refusal to face an opponent from Israel.

Ibrahim 20, withdrew from the international competition after being drawn to compete against Israeli judoka Peter Paltchik in the individuals -100 kg category on Thursday.

The Egyptian athlete said that although he had hopes of winning “and achieving something in this tournament,” he has no regrets with his decision, which he first told his coach before announcing, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported. The judoka added that he was the youngest player in the tournament, and this was his first time competing in the World Judo Championships.

Houthis launch attacks on 3 ships, 2 US destroyers in nearby seas, group says
US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces successfully destroyed one uncrewed aerial system (UAS) over the Red Sea, launched from an Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled area of Yemen. "It was determined the UAS presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels in the region," CENTCOM explained.

Earlier, the Houthis said on Monday they launched attacks on three ships in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, and two US destroyers in the Red Sea.

The group, which describes its attacks as acts of solidarity with Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, said the ships were the Larego Desert and the MSC Mechela in the Indian Ocean, and the Minerva Lisa in the Red Sea. It did not name the destroyers.

There was no immediate confirmation from shipping companies or the US military of any attacks in those areas.

The Houthis' military spokesperson, Yahya Saree, did not specify when the attacks took place, but said in a televised speech the group had used missiles against the ships and drones against the US destroyers.
UN nuclear watchdog says Iran expanding stockpile of near-weapons grade uranium
Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels, a confidential report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said Monday.

The report, seen by The Associated Press, said Iran now has 142.1 kilograms (313.2 pounds) of uranium enriched up to 60% — an increase of 20.6 kilograms (45.4 pounds) since the last report in February. Uranium enriched at 60% purity is just a short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.

According to the report, Iran’s overall stockpile of enriched uranium stands at 6201.3 kilograms (13671.5 pounds), which represents an increase of 675.8 kilograms (1489.8 pounds) since the last report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In its current report, the IAEA also said Tehran has not reconsidered the agency’s September 2023 decision of barring the most experienced nuclear inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program, but added that it expected Iran “to do so in the context of the ongoing consultations between the Agency and Iran.”

The IAEA also said that the deaths of Iran’s president and foreign minister in a helicopter crash last week have caused a pause in the UN nuclear watchdog’s talks with Tehran over improving cooperation.

In its current report, the IAEA said that Iran suggested in a letter dated May 21 that discussions related to the cooperation between the IAEA and Iran “be continued in Tehran on an appropriate date that will be mutually agreed upon.”
Biden Admin Urges Allies Against Confronting Iran On Nuclear Program Ahead Of US Elections: REPORT
The Biden administration is asking its European allies not to confront Iran on its nuclear program ahead of the U.S. elections in November, several diplomats involved in negotiations told The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. and the West at large have become increasingly concerned about Iran’s rapidly growing nuclear program, its potential to weaponize such capabilities and its stubbornness toward international oversight. In a bid to avoid angering Tehran, the Biden administration is urging against efforts led by France and Britain to censure Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) member-state board meeting in June, saying that the U.S. will abstain from the motion, the diplomats told the WSJ. (RELATED: Biden Admin Expresses ‘Official Condolences’ For Death Of Iranian President Who Was Dubbed The ‘Butcher Of Tehran’)

Some diplomats have expressed fears that if action isn’t taken, it could undermine the IAEA’s credibility and risk weakening the West’s leverage over Tehran, according to the WSJ. A number of them have become frustrated that the Biden administration has hamstrung their attempts to contain Iran’s nuclear program and failed to pursue a stronger policy in dealing with Tehran.

U.S. officials denied that the Biden administration was lobbying against a censure motion or that there was daylight between them and their European counterparts, according to the WSJ.

“We are increasing pressure on Iran through sanctions and international isolation,” a U.S. official told the WSJ, noting that the Biden administration is “tightly coordinated” with its European partners ahead of the IAEA board meeting in June. Another official said it is “totally false” that the Biden administration is attempting to avoid confrontation with Iran ahead of U.S. elections.

Iran has enriched enough uranium and fissile material to create three nuclear weapons, according to the latest data from the IAEA, the United Nations’ (UN) organization tasked with overseeing and policing Tehran’s nuclear activities. Iran regularly tries to ignore or circumvent IAEA oversight; IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi traveled to Tehran in early May to improve coordination with the Iranian regime to little avail, and European diplomats don’t expect a change in the status quo ahead of the June board meeting, according to the WSJ.

Nobel Laureate Brands UN’s Raisi Memorial 'Celebration of the Gallows'
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi slammed the United Nations for honoring the late President Ebrahim Raisi.

In a critique shared from Evin Prison, Mohammadi called the memorial "a celebration of the gallows” after 2023 had been record year of executions with scores more killed in the last month alone.

Mohammadi's remarks came in response to the recent memorial held at the UN, which she said "truly commemorates the gallows, executions, and mass killings" rather than the values the UN purports to uphold. However, in spite of mass rights abuses at home leading to sanctions globally, the UN allowed Iran to chair a human rights forum event last year.

Mohammadi criticized global leaders for glorifying a man she described as "a blatant human rights violator and the executioner of Iran's history, who was an instrument of oppression until his death."

The outspoken activist, who has faced repeated imprisonments for her defense of human rights, argued that such commemorations threaten to normalize dictatorial and oppressive regimes worldwide. "When world governments treat such a figure as if they have lost a peace-loving and democratic individual, it sets a dangerous precedent," Mohammadi stated, warning of the potential rise of similar figures in other parts of the world.

Mohammadi's current imprisonment followed her arrest during the nationwide anti-government protests ignited by the death of 22-year-old government's repressive policies.

LGBTQ+ Activists Slam Western Governments Condolences for Iran's President
In an open letter, LGBTQ+ activists and organizations voiced their strong disapproval of Western governments that expressed condolence to Iran honoring President Ebrahim Raisi, who died last weekend in a helicopter crash along with other officials.

The activists condemned the action as an "insult to those who rose chanting Woman Life Freedom to overthrow the Islamic Republic."

They emphasize that such gestures of sympathy are a betrayal to the Iranian people, particularly women and the LGBTQ+ community, who have been fighting against the Islamic Republic's brutal policies.

“Raisi's role in the execution and killing of homosexuals and queers who were unjustly killed by the judicial system of the Islamic Republic cannot be hidden,” the letter read.

The activists call on governments to take a firm stand against the Islamic Republic and cease appeasement policies, and designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
Protests Force Cancellation of Raisi Memorial at Iranian Embassy in London
The candlelight ceremony planned for Ebrahim Raisi and his companions in front of the Iranian embassy in London on Saturday was canceled due to a gathering of Iranian protesters celebrating Raisi's death.

The cancellation came just one day after Islamic Republic loyalists attacked Iranian protesters in London.

Celebrating the demise of Raisi, outside the embassy on Saturday, protestors chanted "Death to Khamenei, Curse Raisi" and displayed a balloon shaped like a helicopter, symbolizing Raisi's helicopter crash as they danced.

This demonstration was a direct response to the violence from the previous day when supporters of the Islamic Republic attacked anti-government protesters.

Following the attack on Friday, a spokesperson for the London Metropolitan Police confirmed the incident to Iran International. During the attack, four people were injured and one person was arrested, although the identity of the arrested individual had not been disclosed. The police said they are investigating the incident, reviewing videos from social media, and urging the public to provide any additional footage or information.

Eli Borhan, an opposition activist injured during the attack, stated that her mobile phone was stolen by the attackers and later accessed within the Iranian embassy in London.

Meanwhile, another protestor was hospitalized due to a serious spinal injury as a result of being attacked.

Amsterdam conference to focus on rising Jew-hared in Europe
European Jewish leaders will converge on Amsterdam next week for an “emergency summit” addressing growing antisemitism on the continent and beyond.

The European Jewish Association’s annual conference will take place June 3-4 under the banner “Shaping Together the Future of European Jewry.”

The event, organized in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora and Combating Antisemitism, comes on the backdrop of tensions between Jerusalem and several European governments due to the conflict in Gaza and after Ireland, Norway and Spain announced they would recognize a Palestinian state.

Based in Brussels, the EJA works to strengthen Jewish identity, expand Jewish activities in Europe and defend Jewish interests, including by creating political initiatives against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and by representing Jews in European conversations affecting minorities.

EJA Chairman Menachem Margolin will deliver opening remarks on “The Antisemitism Emergency.”

One panel discussion will focus on policies and solutions to strengthen European governments’ response to antisemitism; another will center on their responsibilities to ensure the safety of Jewish communities and institutions and the steps needed to build resilience. Yet another panel will outline practical self-defense techniques, including Krav Maga.

Amid the rise of Jew-hatred on European university campuses, a session will be dedicated to providing solutions to Jewish and Zionist students.

Last month, police arrested 150 members of a pro-Hamas encampment at the University of Amsterdam who had called for the destruction of Israel, using genocidal chants such as “There is only one solution: intifada revolution” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Two sanitation workers in Brussels are accused of chanting for the death of Jewish politician
After Brussels’ sanitation workers purportedly chanted for the death of a Jewish Belgian politician, Viviane Teitelbaum, on Tuesday, the parliament member told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that she and a friend had filed a complaint with the police and are further filing a complaint for action before a judge.

Two workers for the Bruxelles-Propreté – Brussels regional agency for public sanitation – allegedly yelled, “Death to Viviane” three times as they passed an election poster displaying Teitelbaum at her friend’s Uccle garden.

The resident told the European Jewish Congress (EJC) that three others heard the calls for death as well. The workers reportedly drove away before the witnesses could record the employees’ license numbers.

Bruxelles-Propreté related that a disciplinary investigation was launched and if the incident was confirmed, the company would take “the strictest disciplinary measures.” “We would also like to make it clear that these alleged facts run counter to the values of our company,” said Bruxelles Propreté.
US man threatened synagogue he'd 'kill all the Jews and the children'
California man was arrested on Friday for threats against several North Carolina synagogues, law enforcement, and elected officials, including a threat to a rabbi that he would murder his congregants and their children, the US Justice Department said in a statement.

Huntington Beach resident Kevin Dunlow, 62, allegedly contacted a rabbi on May 7 and told him, “Jews didn’t deserve to live. Jews didn’t deserve to be on this earth. I’m going to kill the Jews. I’m coming to the Temple to kill all the Jews and the children.”

Legal actions to combat hate
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office received bombing threats from Dunlow, who faces 10 years in prison for the charges of threats to harm and false bomb reports.

“Hate-fueled, violent threats endanger the safety of individuals and entire communities,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

North Carolina Eastern District US Attorney Michael Easley Jr. said that violent threats against law enforcement, elected officials, and citizens could not be normalized.
Woman, who made more than 240 threatening calls to former Tree of Life leader, gets 32 months
Melanie Harris, 59, of Riverside, Calif., was sentenced to 32 months in prison and three subsequent years of supervised release on Thursday for threatening to murder Jews.

“Defendant Melanie Harris’s antisemitic threats terrorized a Jewish family,” stated Markenzy Lapointe, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, where Harris was sentenced.

“Her hate-filled telephone calls and voicemails were abhorrent. No one should live in fear of threats, harassment and hate-fueled violence,” Lapointe stated. “There is simply no place in our society for anyone who threatens Jews or anyone else in our diverse South Florida community.”

Harris called a Jewish man, who was executive director of the Pittsburgh synagogue Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue, more than 240 times over the course of four years. She threatened him, his family and Jews more broadly. (The synagogue was the site of a mass shooting on Oct. 27, 2018, that left 11 worshippers dead, most of them elderly.)

In her voice messages, she used an ethnic slur to refer to Jews.

“Harris concealed her phone number using the *67 feature. However, all of these calls originated from the area in Riverside, Calif., where Harris lived at the time, and were received by Victim 1’s phone in the Southern District of Florida,” per the U.S. Justice Department.

“In these calls and voicemails, Harris made incessant references to the congregants murdered in the October 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh,” it added. “Harris also made vile references to Anne Frank being murdered by the Nazis, Jews going back to Auschwitz, and in one voicemail, played for the court at the sentencing hearing, she repeatedly screamed ‘Seig Heil, Kill Kikers’ over and over before hanging up.”
Banned from Lebanon for Israel ties, artist sings Arabic cover of Eden Golan’s ‘Hurricane’
Carine Bassili did not expect her classical Arabic cover of Israeli artist Eden Golan’s fifth-placed Eurovision song “Hurricane” to gain such popularity.

But a short video clip from the song shared on Instagram by her friend Jonathan Elhoury, a Lebanese-Israeli activist, has racked up nearly 14,000 likes.

“It was just a small gesture to support her,” said 39-year-old Lebanese artist Bassili, who is now living in the United States, in an interview with The Times of Israel. “I saw all the abuse she got on social media, and what happened to her in Sweden.”

During the Eurovision contest in Malmo on May 7-11, the Israeli singer was repeatedly booed on stage and was accompanied by a heavy security presence throughout the competition in light of a wide range of threats. Various anti-Israel protests were held in the Scandinavian city during her stay.

Lebanon-born Bassili is an ardent supporter of the Jewish state, a notable exception in a country that has never had diplomatic ties with Jerusalem and from which Islamist terror group Hezbollah has been launching deadly projectiles at Israel on a daily basis since October 8.

She left Lebanon for the US 19 years ago. Her childhood was marred by the internecine Lebanese civil war, which erupted as a conflict between Christians and Palestinian insurgents in 1975 and expanded to encompass vast segments of Lebanon’s sectarian society, lasting until 1990.

Israeli government recognizes Diaspora victims in historic resolution
The government on Monday approved Resolution 492, which officially commemorates Jews who lost their lives due to their Jewishness in hostile acts with an antisemitic background in the Diaspora.

For the first time since the establishment of the state, the government on Monday approved a proposal – by Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Minister Amichai Chikli – to recognize the State of Israel’s duty as the nation-state of the Jewish people and to officially commemorate Diaspora Jews who are not Israeli citizens, murdered because of their Jewishness in hostile acts with an antisemitic background. The “Ruderman Plan,” as the ministry dubbed it, was named for the Ruderman Family Foundation, which laid out the framework for promoting this historic step.

The government established a special committee headed by the director-general of the Diaspora Affairs Ministry with national institutions and representatives of public bodies. The committee submitted its recommendations to the government on Monday – approved unanimously – which include determining a commemoration date and establishing a dedicated monument, making information about the fallen accessible by creating a website and a database, organizing educational activities, and integrating them into the formal and informal education systems.

“The hostile acts often befall our people both in our country and abroad,” Chikli said. “The October 7 massacre and the [Gaza] War of Iron Swords were launched against Israel for one reason: Jew-hatred / Israel-hatred. This is also the only reason our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora suffer from severe and shocking antisemitic incidents.
Knesset advances bill to commemorate Iraq’s Farhud pogrom
Israeli lawmakers on Monday advanced a government proposal to designate June 1 as a day to commemorate the Farhud, the 1941 pogrom in Iraq coordinated by Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Hussein.

The Commemoration Day for the Farhud Events Bill, sponsored by Likud Party lawmaker Ofir Katz, was approved for first reading and will be discussed by the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee ahead of future votes.

Katz’s bill calls for the pogrom to be commemorated in educational institutions across the Jewish state in order to preserve the memory of the events and the victims and pass it on to future generations.

In addition, it instructs the Knesset to mark Commemoration Day for the Farhud Events and tasks the prime minister with instructing government authorities to organize a national ceremony.

The Farhud pogrom was incited by the Nazi-allied Iraqi regime in 1941. The then-leader of the Arabs in British Palestine, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, was deeply involved.
Porto Jewish community to produce film on children kidnapped during inquisition
The Jewish community of Porto announced last week that its representatives would be producing a film highlighting the lives of 2,000 Jewish children who were kidnapped from their families in Portugal in 1493.

The film titled "The 2,000 Exiled Jewish Children," which is set to premiere by the end of 2024, recounts the story of children who were taken from their homes and exiled to the island of Sao Tome on the African coast. Following a year on the island, only 600 of them survived.

The event was organized by the Jewish community on the occasion of the anniversary of the Portuguese inquisition, the community noted.

The event was attended by some 1,000 children who visited the Porto Jewish Museum alongside the Holocaust Museum.

The announcement follows the community's release in April of the film "1506-The Lisbon Genocide" which narrates the three-day-massacre of the Jews of Lisbon in 1506. The Jews Never Stole Any Land (But the Arabs did)

Ancient gold ring, 2,300 years old, discovered in City of David
Archaeologists in Jerusalem’s City of David were recently amazed and moved to uncover a rare, small gold ring set with a precious stone – apparently made for and worn by a little boy or girl who lived there during the Hellenistic period some 2,300 years ago.

The excavations were carried out jointly by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and Tel Aviv University (TAU) as part of the Jerusalem Walls National Park project, with the support of the Elad Foundation.

“It is an unusual and deeply moving find; not one that we discover every day,” the archaeological team said.The red precious stone was apparently a garnet, and the gold is a very refined material that was very well-preserved. Since its last use over two millennia ago, the ring hasn’t accumulated rust or suffered any other weathering of time.

An exciting discovery
This special ring was recently discovered by Tehiya Gangate, a City of David excavation team member. While she was sifting earth through a screen, she suddenly saw something glitter. “I immediately yelled, ‘I found a ring, I found a ring!’ Within seconds, everyone gathered around me, and there was great excitement. This is an emotionally moving find. I always wanted to find gold jewelry, and I am very happy this dream came true – literally a week before I went on maternity leave,” she said.

IAA excavation directors Dr. Yiftah Shalev and Riki Zalut Har-tov said, “The ring is very small. It might fit a woman’s pinkie or a young girl's or boy’s finger.”

Dr. Marion Zindel added that the ring was created by hammering thin pre-cut gold leaves on a metal ring base. Stylistically, it reflects the common fashion of the Persian and Early Hellenistic periods, dating from the late Fourth to early Third-century BCE and onwards. In that period, people began to prefer gold with set stones rather than decorated gold.

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