Tuesday, May 28, 2024

From Ian:

Meir Y. Soloveichik: Hamilton’s Hallmark
As a mob of Columbia students and other anti-Semitic agitators violently entered and occupied the University’s Hamilton Hall, only to be valorized by members of the media and the academy, my thoughts turned to the man for whom the building was named. Alexander Hamilton had overseen the transformation of the institution once known by the royalist name “King’s College” into the American institution called Columbia, and he had also placed a Jew—the New York spiritual leader Gershom Mendes Seixas—on Columbia’s board. This was the first time in the history of the West that a Jew was so honored, a sign of how Hamilton understood the uniqueness of America and the place of the Jews within it. Hamilton would vindicate this worldview in a moment in a New York court case that has long since been forgotten, but that deserves to be remembered in the season in which we find ourselves.

The tale is told by the historian Andrew Porwancher in his remarkable work, The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton. After leaving George Washington’s government, Hamilton earned a livelihood by returning to his legal practice in New York. One of his clients was a local merchant by the name of Louis LeGuen, whose case had worked its way through New York’s legal system and was heard by the State’s “Court of Errors.” This, as Porwancher tells us, was no ordinary court; it was a large tribunal that included not only judges but prominent politicians, including the president of the state senate.

The legal teams on both sides included some of the most famous names of American history. Hamilton was joined by Aaron Burr in representing LeGuen. Opposing them was another father of the American Constitution, Gouverneur Morris. Given that several witnesses for LeGuen were Jewish, Morris chose to focus on the veracity of their testimony. As Porwancher tells us, this was a reaction to the mellifluence of the lawyer on the opposing side:
After Hamilton delivered a forceful closing argument spanning six hours, Morris knew he could not compete with Hamilton on legal grounds. Instead, Morris told the court that he had no intention of referencing law books and alternatively would “appeal to the principles written on the heart of man.” Morris’s flowery address soon degenerated into a base attack on Hamilton’s two witnesses of the Jewish faith. Alluding to them as “these Jew witnesses,” Morris sought to impugn their credibility on the basis of their religion. “Jews are not to be believed upon oath,” he insisted bluntly.

Thus did Morris adopt a strategy that was abhorrent but not insensible: to act on the assumption that anti-Semitism was very potent and that the “heart of man” was vulnerable to it.

There is, of course, enormous irony to this, given that Morris had been the one who had suggested that the Constitution begin with the three words “We the people,” an enduring and eloquent expression of democratic equality. Hamilton, as Porwancher tells us, had already delivered his own argument but chose to speak again—and to respond to the anti-Semitic allegation, attempting in his own way to address the heart of man. One might even suggest that Hamilton sought to influence what another great American would later call the “better angels of our nature.”

What is remarkable about Hamilton’s response is that it not only denounced Morris’s bigotry; it also made a case for American philo-Semitism. Hamilton utilized language that was less legal than theological, asking the tribunal about Morris: “Has he forgotten, what this race once were, when, under the immediate government of God himself, they were selected as the witnesses of his miracles, and charged with the spirit of prophecy?” It was, in other words, the Jews who served as the medium of the very scripture that had inspired American republican government, and who observed that “pure and holy, happy and Heaven-approved faith.” Hamilton further linked Jewish suffering to the destruction of Jerusalem, referring to the Jews as “the degraded, persecuted, reviled subjects of Rome…in all her resistless power, and pride, and pagan pomp.” As Porwancher puts it, Hamilton not only emphasized the equality of all before the law; he also stressed that Morris was “perpetuating a dark history of antisemitism that had plagued Jews since antiquity.”
Natan Sharansky: The 500
In the furor over America’s campuses, it was easy to miss the letter that 500 of Columbia University’s Jews penned and signed to present their position in their own voice. Yet it was this letter, quietly distributed and far less aggressive than some of the other events that overshadowed it, that may prove to be the turning point in the struggle for American Jewry’s future. This is why.

Twenty years ago, just after the second intifada, I went on a tour of American and Canadian campuses. Shaken by what I saw and heard, I told (then) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that the major battle for the future of American Jewry will be fought on campuses. So disturbed was I by this visit, that I titled the article I wrote about it in the Hebrew press “a journey into occupied territory.”

The “occupiers” in my metaphor were the centers for Middle East studies that had sprouted like mushrooms in American universities to spread anti-Zionist propaganda. Their influence was palpable, not only in events they organized, but also in their effect on the Jewish students I met. While many expressed deep solidarity with Israel and support for its struggle against terror, a few young men and women told me that for them, as liberal Jews, it would be better if Israel didn’t exist. “Then,” they told me, “I won’t be perceived as responsible for such awful crimes.”

Such statements, which foreshadowed attempts by groups like Jewish Voice for Peace to dissociate themselves from Israel, didn’t concern me as much as yet another, and far more alarming, set of statements. People who wish to fully sever their association with Israel neither reflect nor sway the sentiments and opinions of the overwhelming majority of American Jews. No, the statements that concerned me and led me to speak of occupation and battlefields were the many variations I heard on one young woman’s quietly spoken and regretful admission that she would very much like to speak against divestment and other anti-Israel measures, but she couldn’t. Her professors won’t like it, she told me. It would harm her future career.

The ideological regime of antisemitism that has entrenched itself in America’s universities will only collapse when enough Jews stop being afraid and stop unwillingly aiding it by hiding and self-censoring.

Dear Lord, I thought, when I first heard these words. We are not in the Moscow of my youth, where one’s career depended on pretending to buy the Soviet credo hook, line and sinker! Yet the more students I met, the more I heard of similar, stifling concerns. Having grown up in the Soviet Union, I knew very well how catching and pervasive self-censorship can become. No one will need to “occupy” the campuses physically if the Jewish students will carry out their own occupation themselves by growing too afraid to speak their own truths.

Totalitarian societies survive by relying on a core of true believers to frighten even those who don’t buy the ideological party line into becoming “doublethinkers”—people who adhere to the party line in public regardless of their private thoughts—rather than outright dissidents. In the normal course of events, the percentage of doublethinkers is always on the rise, as more and more people grow disillusioned with the false promises of the regime yet continue to pledge allegiance to it out of fear instead of faith. The regime controls them not through their own convictions but through the power its institutions hold over their lives, livelihoods, and safety. In other words, it controls them by frightening them into censoring themselves on the regime’s behalf.

Of course America is a free country and not a totalitarian regime. However, it was impossible to miss the resemblance between the culture I encountered in the American academy 20 years ago and the Soviet worldview of my youth. Like the Communist party (following Marx), more and more people started dividing the world into oppressors (read: always bad, always in the wrong) and oppressed (read: always in the right), and claiming that whoever belonged to the first camp wasn’t worthy of the same rights, freedoms, and protections as the latter. Since Israel and successful “white” Jews elsewhere were a priori classified as oppressors, hating and indeed abusing them became less and less taboo.
Eve Barlow: The body keeps the score
So Wednesday. I’d spent a day in Jerusalem, a day in the South, and a day in the North by this point and on Wednesday I was on the bus coming back into Tel Aviv and I received word from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to post a video (3 minutes in length) from the Nahal Oz IDF base on October 7. And the publication was requested by the families of five female hostages - Na’ama Levy, Agam Berger, Daniella Gilboa, Liri Albag and Karina Ariev. These girls are all teenagers. The video, which you can find on my Instagram account, but be warned, is perhaps the worst three minutes of footage you will ever watch. They’ve been there for over 230 days. This is just three minutes of these girls at their base when they woke up on October 7.

In the video, you see that the girls are surrounded by the bodies of their dead friends, while they are carted around by Hamas terrorists. Na’ama Levy with blood all over her face, attempting to negotiate with the terrorists by telling them “I have friends in Palestine”. Liri Albag pleading “anyone speak English?” Agam Berger with pools of blood dripping from her mouth. Daniella Gilboa being dragged outside, unable to walk properly, limping from pain. Karina Ariev cowering in a corner, looking petrified. And Hamas terrorists telling the girls that they have now referred to as sex slaves: “You are so beautiful”. Every girl knows what that feels like. To be powerless in an uncomfortable situation being told that you’re nothing but a piece of meat. Except to the world outside, these girls are not human. They can’t possibly be. Because here’s the reality: Not a single feminist, or celebrity, or non-Jewish activist posted this video. Not a single one. Nobody shared it. Nobody watched it. Nobody talked about it. Nobody acknowledged it. And once the press did, they printed that the Arabic translation was wrong. That the words used may not suggest that “these are the girls who can get pregnant” but instead the word meant “sex slave”.

Sorry what? What hairs are we splitting here? Use your eyes. We can see very clearly what has happened to these women in this video. It’s crystal clear what’s going on. And yet, no. No the mainstream media gaslights us. And then Jews started squabbling over this, which is exactly what the Islamic regime wanted. The terrorists who raped our girls are being given more grace in the mainstream media than the women they raped, who are STILL in captivity, god knows where. Keeping your sanity is an act of resistance these days. Imagine that.

Anyway the video arrives. I had seen this footage before, but it was never made public. And as I started to watch it again, something happened inside me. From my feet to just beneath my chin, I had this surge like an electrical charge go through me, and I felt like every single one of my nerve endings was on fire. This feeling didn’t leave me. When I got back to Tel Aviv, I had several calls that I missed from a dear friend who follows this newsletter and supports me in ways only a real one does, but never reads a word I write (LOL). This friend was punching a concrete wall with bare fists - such was the rage and the pain and the terror, and I spent hours just trying to soothe and calm and minimize whatever damage could result from this anguish. It wasn’t until I was on my own much later that I could sit in my own impossible feeling. A feeling that the world has failed us. Abandoned us. Sold us out for a psychotic terror regime.

Humanity demands that when terrorists invade and burn down houses and brutally murder innocents and gang rape women and children and steal hostages for more than 200 days, there is a unified global response to condemn and do everything to salvage. I have lost faith in humanity. I am no longer an atheist. I now believe in God. Not people. People are useless. Hashem, dude. You’re up.

I look at those five girls and I see me, I see my friends, I see my family. The pain and exhaustion in me at the moment is on a par with victims who suffer the most appalling abuse. Not only must I process all of this and that evidence thru the lens of my womanhood, I have to process it as a Jew carrying a fate on my shoulders that took millions of our lives including my own faceless ancestors while facing the same brand of terror in 2024, all in the knowledge that anyone of those women could have been me. And the world would line up to spit on them if they were released. I advocate knowing that the world would do the same to me if I was in their position spending unfathomable hours in a situation we can’t fully understand. I haven’t been able to take a second to myself in over eight months because there’s not enough I can do. So yes I cracked. The day after the video was released, the international courts (the ICC) attempted once more to delegitimize our efforts to safeguard our entire people from this thousands-year-old bullshit, and the key to it all is to try to drive us into such a state of psychological exhaustion and dismay that we cannot survive it.

These below taken last week on my delegation are the images you don’t see in the mainstream media. Over 100,000 Israelis displaced. Villages destroyed beyond repair. Over a thousand successful attempts at genocide. Hundreds taken hostage. A country in the throes of extreme trauma. An unimaginable devastation that was achieved in a matter of hours using the highest grades of weaponry to cause total annihilation and erasure. The first four images are taken at the car graveyard just outside the location of the Nova festival. Hundreds of people were burned alive in these cars. Imagine if this was the parking lot at Glastonbury. It will be if the chants for intifada succeed. The latter six are from kibbutz Be’eri where 10% of the community were brutally murdered in the early hours of the morning of October 7; men, women and children. And their homes looted and incinerated, not by terrorists but waves of subsequent Gazan civilians. No Palestinian state should be rewarded for these evil and inhumane acts of barbarism, but the day that video of Nahal Oz base was released: Spain, Ireland and Norway decided to recognize a state of Palestine. For shame. For shame.

The second to last image is of the medical centre in Be’eri where the medical staff were murdered protecting the injured. Similarly there’s an ambulance in the image of the parking lot, where the remains of SIXTEEN dead bodies were found — can you imagine the desperation of those festivalgoers to hide that they crammed themselves in that ambulance, sixteen of them? Did you hear these stories? No. But you did hear about claims that Israel bombed Al Shifa hospital in Gaza, which turned out to be a totally erroneous fib. The victims of October 7 were the Israelis who beleived in coexistence the most. Never ever forget that.

Civilization is from the Jews
Today, spectacles of violence can be seen when scrolling through social media, from the horrors of October 7 to the streets of Gaza. But the spectacles on campuses commemorate the distant violence into strange rituals of their own: frenzied mobs chanting wrathful phrases in quasi-liturgical cadences, making ritual of slaughter, sometimes searching out scapegoats in their midst, as if summoning what Gerard Manley Hopkins called “the death-dance in our blood.”

It may be fair to wonder whether those who’ve long lectured on subjects like, say, unconscious bias might themselves experience some hidden satisfaction from the bloodshed, perhaps in the form of moral superiority, perhaps some more tenebrous sensation: not merely emotional distance and catharsis but sheer dominance. Much of the protest spectacles feels pagan.

Few protesters, including the professors, have spent much time in the region, and few grasp the salient facts. Fewer still were seeking before the war to help Palestinians, or will help after. Yet Palestinians serve an important function in the ritual indignation: their suffering gives form to the protests, their blood the substance. But it’s not really about them. In this perverse amalgam of narcissism, ideology, and outrage, the distant Palestinians are the victim, the wicked oppressors are the Jews, and they—the protesters—are the heroes, the righteous priestly class, who preside and render moral judgments.

Ideology, ritual protests, sacrificial victims, oppressor classes, liberation, and moral supremacy—even good faith protesters fail to grasp that there’s no amount of self-loathing that will bring peace. For the pagan, compassion is a weakness and the compassionate deserve to be dominated and victimized—enslaved by the very logic of their own morality. Even the ‘underdogma’ theory, that the weaker side is morally righteous, is Hebraic in origin. But it’s a perversion of even this Judeo-Christian sentiment, for it ignores the systematic rape, torture, mutilation, and murder that followed October 7. Mercy presupposes justice: mercy without justice only invites more injustice. Antisocial types prey on that weakness.

The anti-Zionist axis of Western elites—academia, media, establishment institutions, and increasingly the state—are party (wittingly or unwittingly) to a strategy that gets more Palestinians killed, all in order to feel morally superior, which is perhaps the most pagan and colonial perversity of all. Many among the polite anti-Zionists don’t want to say that they simply don’t believe that Israel has a right to exist. That’s the essence of anti-Zionism—and that notion itself contains a genocidal whiff, however polite the anti-Zionist is.

It’s likely that professors, more than students, delight in reenacting the ’60s. But most of the campus protests then were anti-war. Today’s protesters aren’t anti-war: they’re simply upset that the wrong side is prevailing. One wonders if some of the new pagan folk secretly delight in the ritual, the violence, whether the scapegoat urge has overpowered them, or satisfies some atavistic prurience—the sanguine “death dance.” Whatever the case, and whatever the clamorous mobs utter, they do so with “the approval of their own consciences,” as C.S. Lewis said. And, as ever, there’s another way—the Hebraic way.
Did You Renew Your Passports Yet?
The most common conversation I’ve had with friends over the past few weeks was discussing where we’d run away to if antisemitism in America continues to rise. If we need to pack our bags and run to another country, where would we go?

I’ve heard everything from Canada to India, to South America. But, eventually, everyone agrees that Israel, despite the current war going on, is safest for Jews right now. Israel is our home, and even though there is always the threat of being attacked, we’re still safer there than we are in America where antisemitism has blown up beyond anything I could ever imagine.

The second part of the conversation my friends and I have is: “Did you renew your passports?”

Our grandparents and parents taught us to always have our passports current because Jews must always have their passports up to date in case we need to flee the country at a moment’s notice. So, of course, my kids’ passports are all up to date.

What is this inherent fear and feeling of being ready to pick up and run away in the middle of the night if necessary? This is not a normal fear. Do non-Jews have their passports up to date at all times?

On a recent phone conversation my sister said to me, “I’m not sitting around and waiting until Kristallnacht to leave the country. By then it will be too late.”

This feeling of needing to be ready to run away, to always have our passports ready is from hearing stories about the Holocaust. My sister told me that she was talking to her friend’s grandparents who, upon hearing about the increase in antisemitism in America, only responded with, “Well, it’s been a nice few decades here.”

We’ve never really felt stable in America. Deep down we knew this comfortable time would come to an end because we’ve been told this by our parents and our grandparents. My father has always been insistent about my brothers and himself wearing a baseball cap over their yarmulkas when they go places where people are not used to seeing religious Jews. He still reminds his grandsons to tuck in their tzitzis and put on a baseball hat. I always used to think it was a bit extreme.
Come study in Israel, Universities here offer safe haven amid rising campus antisemitism
In a time of rising antisemitism and intensified threats to Jewish communities, the realization of our responsibility toward the Diaspora is a practical expression of the principle that all Jews are responsible for one another, as well as of the close bond between all segments of the Jewish people.

Studying at the pinnacle of modern academia – Ivy League American universities – should have been the fulfillment of every Jewish mother’s dream for her children in the land dubbed in Yiddish the Goldene Medina, broadening their horizons and integrating them into the American economic empire as equals, but that dream was shattered. On a Shabbat evening earlier this month, Jewish students wrapped in keffiyehs sang the “Ana B’koach” prayer (a prayer recited during Kabbalat Shabbat, pleading for a change in reality and for the mitigation of judgment) in Washington Square Park in New York City.

Researchers identified a sharp decline in students’ identification with their Judaism already back in the early 2000s. Root causes were attributed to either a reluctance to declare Jewish involvement due to the American practice of separating church and state, or to the fear of discrimination on campus.

Campus antisemitism
Either way, a growing trend of politicization on college campuses was already clear. Between the years 2016-2019, I followed events on campuses as part of my work for civil society organizations dedicated to combating libels against the IDF and the State of Israel. Posters on campuses declared “Israel is an occupier,” “Israel is committing genocide,” “Israel poisoned Palestinian drinking water,” and other libels. The BDS movement played a significant part in fanning the flames.

The writing was on the walls, the halls, and the lawns of every prestigious university in the United States. Evidence accumulated of vandalism: slashed tires, shattered windows, and antisemitic graffiti calling for a second Holocaust and for sending Zionists to the gas chambers. The attacks were directed not only at Jewish students who identified as Zionist and pro-Israel, but also at Jewish students who expressed no opinion on Israel at all. Those behind the attacks included all Jews within a white, racist, supremacist, colonialist collective.

Nevertheless, Jewish students continued to enroll in Ivy League universities, where they were apparently expected to keep their heads down until the storm blew over or until they received their diplomas, whichever came first.

Jewish-American leadership, despite all its institutions and foundations, failed to recognize the gravity of the threat; and the State of Israel, concentrated meanwhile, on supporting important and qualitative but short-term programs for young Diaspora Jews that were insufficient in providing a proper response.
Hebrew University sees chants of 'In spirit and blood, we will redeem Al-Aqsa'
The tension on campuses across the country following the current war refuses to subside, with a demonstration by students from the Hadash faction taking place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Hadash is a left-wing political party in Israel that advocates for socialist and Arab-Jewish cooperation. Footage distributed on social media by KAN News has sparked widespread outrage online.

The protesters referred to the attack in Gaza on their posters, waving PLO flags while chanting slogans such as “In spirit and blood, we will redeem al-Aqsa” and “There is no solution except the expulsion of the occupier.” According to the organizers, the protest was described as “against the ongoing destruction and massacre of the Palestinian people.”

Meanwhile, the Im Tirtzu movement is holding another demonstration opposite the Hadash faction’s protest. Students are waving Israeli flags and singing the national anthem “Hatikvah” (The Hope).

Protest condemned by Liberman, Student Union Chairman
Chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, MK Avigdor Liberman, responded to the demonstration at the Hebrew University: “It is inconceivable that the Hebrew University allows a disgraceful demonstration of terror supporters, waving Palestinian flags in the heart of the university campus while our heroic soldiers are fighting on the battlefield. I call on the university heads to immediately suspend all the protesters, and if they choose not to take action against them, we will take all the steps available to us in the Knesset to delay all their budgets.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir also condemned the demonstration and praised the police officers who dispersed the protest. He called on Education Minister Yoav Kisch and university management to address the situation.
David Collier: Finchley anti-Israel protest – the gathering of the dumb
Many of you may have seen the images from the Finchley protest – and counter protest last week. The anti-Israel mob decided to target the Phoenix Cinema in Finchley. It was a night a film covering the Hamas Supernova Festival massacre of October 7 was showing. Because of the incredible turnout of Jews (and their allies) for the counter-protest – and the fact the anti-Israel gang eventually needed to be escorted away – some even labelled it a historic ‘Jewish Revolt‘.

But I am not here to reinforce what may well turn into an urban legend (hey – news is bad so often these days we can be forgiven for overplaying something positive). My role – as always – is to look at the other side. In this case highlight some of the ignorance, hypocrisy, naivety and stupidity that was displayed by anti-Israel activists who were in Finchley that night – standing on the other side of the road. Finchley and the ‘community of the good’

Because I have been around (and inside) the anti-Israel crowd for years, I sometimes see things others may not. And the hypocrisy, naivety, ignorance, double standards & antisemitism of the protests is everywhere I look. Take this photo. Three people are of interest to us. The woman on the right, the man in the London cycling t-shirt and the woman behind him on the left:

The man in the t-shirt appears to be the 2015 Green Candidate for Hendon – Ben Samuel. He is firmly convinced he is in the ‘community of the good’ – and here he is feeling all morally superior while facing Niaz – an Iranian anti-regime activist.

Ben has no real answer to her argument – as some naive and foolish white guy from London – what can he possibly say to a woman who actually knows the Middle East and personally fights for freedom against the brutal Iranian regime? He mostly just stays silent – and every now and again dismissively points to the other side of the road – indicating that she is morally beneath him and Niaz isn’t welcome alongside him in the community of the good. Instead, he thinks she belongs with the ‘bad guys’ – the supporters of Israel.
Fundraiser for vandalised Phoenix Cinema raises more than £14,000
A fundraiser for Phoenix Cinema launched to repair damage caused by vandalism by anti-Israel activists has raised more than £14,000.

On Thursday, activists graffitied “Say no to artwashing” in large red lettering on the front of the iconic cinema in East Finchley, north-west London, to protest its decision to screen Supernova – an Israeli documentary about the Hamas massacre of 360 people at the Supernova music festival.

Local father Amir Barkan was inspired by a local WhatsApp group to set up an online page for donations. Supporters had already started donating to the website of the Phoenix Cinema, which has been struggling financially since Covid, however Mr Barkan “felt that these donations should have a clear message from the community to show our support and appreciation to them for not backing down despite the awful vandalism.”

He said, “Seeing the pictures of the cinema triggered very disturbing thoughts as to how our future will look. We are reliving our worst nightmares with the horrible Holocaust stories that are a scar in all our souls. Calling this movie ‘artwashing’ is either ignorance or pure hatred, and an attempt to hide the true horrors of the actions of Hamas.”

Mr Barkan added that a good friend of his who was attending the Nova festival was shot and injured by Hamas terrorists while heroically rescuing as many people as he could.

After creating the donations webpage, Mr Barkan was “amazed” to see how fast the word spread and how many members of the community donated to help the cinema and show their support by also coming to the demonstration yesterday evening.
Jewish Musician Denounces ‘Dreadful Display of Extreme Intolerance’ by Anti-Israel Protesters
Jewish Australian rock singer-songwriter Deborah Conway and her guitarist-husband Willy Zygier condemned the group of anti-Israel protesters who on Saturday night repeatedly disrupted their concert in Australia, during which an audience member broke a wine glass and threatened one of the demonstrators with its shattered stem.

“It was a dreadful display of extreme intolerance,” the musical duo said in part. “We were all confronted with a micro example of civilizational breakdown, but the forces for civil discourse triumphed in the end.”

The Tasmanian Palestine Advocacy Network (TPAN) organized an anti-Israel rally outside The Playhouse Theatre in the city of Hobart where Conway and Zygier were performing. TPAN said after the rally that “an anonymous group of absolute legends” protested inside the venue, disrupting the concert a number of times.

One male protester held a Palestinian flag from the second floor of the auditorium and loudly called on the room and Conway to condemn what he described as Israel’s “murder,” “genocide”, and “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip, referring to the ongoing war targeting Hamas-led terrorists in Gaza who are responsible for the Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel. The protester was escorted out of the venue by security and the concert proceeded as planned. A female protester then stood up by the stage and called out to Conway, criticizing her support for Israel and its “ethnic cleansing.” The activist was then confronted by a female audience member who smashed a wine glass on the stage, held its glass stem towards the protester’s face, and yelled, “Get out! Get out!” The protester was escorted out by security shortly afterward and could be heard saying, “You’re fu—ing hurting me.”

Once again, the performance resumed until a third protester stood up and repeated, “Free, free Palestine” before being thrown out of the auditorium by security and theater staff. Videos from the scene showed audience members heckling the protesters before each of them were escorted out of the venue.

Conway and Zygier said the pro-Palestinian activists should realize their actions will not help further their cause or bring an end to the ongoing war in the Middle East. “Calling Deborah genocidal, responsible for deaths etc & other ridiculous lies does your cause no good,” the musicians wrote in a Facebook post. “None of it is true but somehow your movement have convinced themselves, and others, that ruining our careers will ‘Free Palestine.’ It’s the stuff of crazed ideologues.”

“Going down the path of characterizing Israel as an illegitimate state is a recipe for endless war and a constant path of misery for Arab & Jew,” they added. “It is a convoluted history with terrible mistakes on all sides but the demonization of people on either side will also bring misery to Australian shores. We understand people are inflamed and passionate and powerless but excoriating the other, bringing violence is counter productive. For f—k’s sake Hobart is as far from the Middle East as you can get.”
Eli Lake: Rashida Tlaib Speaks at Detroit Conference Tied to Terrorist Group
In her 15-minute talk, the Michigan congresswoman accused Israel of “war crimes” and called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “murderous war criminal.” She also appeared to threaten Joe Biden’s election prospects in her state. Referring to the campus protesters, Tlaib stated: “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. It is cowardly. But we’re not gonna forget in November, are we?”

Wissam Rafidi, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist terrorist group founded in 1967, also addressed the conference. The PFLP, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization, is not as prominent as Hamas or other terrorist groups. But has, among other things, claimed responsibility in 2019 for exploding a device that killed a 17-year-old Israeli girl in Dolev, a settlement in the West Bank.

At the conference on Friday, Rafidi said, “These Zionists lie like they breathe. I want to assure everyone that there is no longer a place for a two-state solution for any Palestinian. The only solution is one democratic Palestinian land which will end the Zionist project in Palestine.” He also said: “Hamas is part of the resistance of the Palestinian people.”

Another speaker at the conference was Sana’ Daqqa, the wife of a PFLP terrorist who was sentenced to life in prison for the 1984 abduction and murder of an Israeli soldier. Speaking on both Friday and Sunday, Daqqa praised the anti-Israel movement on U.S. campuses. She then referenced the Hamas massacre on October 7, called the al-Aqsa Flood, as the response to Israel. “The only thing that can stop this is a flood,” she said. “This is what the resistance intended, that the flood would become floods throughout the entire region.”

The conference was organized by over a dozen pro-Palestine groups, including The People’s Forum, which owns the conference’s website domain. As a recent Free Press investigation showed, The People’s Forum is funded by multimillionaire Marxist Neville Roy Singham, who was born and became wealthy in America but now lives in Shanghai where he funds a number of propaganda sites boosting the Chinese Communist Party. People’s Forum’s executive director Manolo De Los Santos also spoke at the conference, calling for the end of America. “We have to bring down this empire with one million cuts, and those one million cuts have to come from every sector of struggle in this room,” De Los Santos said.

The group’s involvement in the conference “underscores foreign influence efforts into destabilizing U.S. institutions through grassroots activism,” said Alex Goldenberg, lead intelligence analyst at the Network Contagion Research Institute, which researches the spread of “hostile ideological content.”

“The rhetoric from speakers, including those with direct ties to terrorist organizations, glorifies violent resistance and revolutionary actions,” Goldenberg added. “This, coupled with the call for sustained and intensified direct action, raises the alarming possibility that individuals are being indoctrinated to embrace and participate in violence.”

The People’s Forum and its partners, including the Palestinian Youth Movement, are now organizing a rally in D.C. on June 8, calling on protesters to serve as a “red line” and to “surround the White House.”

“Their explicit objectives are to organize and mobilize protests over the summer, which should raise significant national security concerns,” Goldenberg said.

In February, Tlaib’s sister helped organize a protest vote in Michigan’s Democratic primary against Biden’s policy of supporting Israel in the Gaza War. More than 100,000 Michigan voters cast their ballot for “uncommitted,” including Tlaib herself. As of press time, Tlaib’s spokesperson had not responded to a request for comment from The Free Press.

Democrats are Not Happy With Tlaib Attacking Biden at Anti-Israel Conference
Anti-Israel Rep. Rashida Tlaib faces heat from fellow Democrats after she urged Democrats to vote against President Joe Biden because he supports Israel.

Yes, that’s why these people are mad at her. They’re not ticked that she spoke at an antisemitic event with links to a terrorist group.

They’re ticked because she dissed Biden.

Tlaib made the remarks at the People’s Conference for Palestine (PCP), which has links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

It’s not the first time Tlaib has made the remarks. She’s not going to stop.

Tlaib said: TLAIB: “Attacking the authority of the International Criminal Court and interfering in the legal process is nothing more, nothing more, than an attempt to prevent the genocidal maniac Netanyahu and his senior Israeli officials from being held accountable for those crimes against humanity. You are an enabler President Biden.”

She concluded, “But we aren’t going to forget in November, are we?”
Biden Surrogate Ro Khanna Headlines Michigan Event With Imam Who Accused Pro-Israel Lawmakers of 'Treason'
Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Calif.) attended an awards gala this month with a Michigan cleric who called for pro-Israel members of Congress to be charged with "treason" and an activist who has repeatedly praised the terrorist group Hamas.

Khanna, a top surrogate for the Biden campaign, was in Dearborn on May 16 to accept a "Courage in Public Service Leadership" award from the Arab-American Civil Rights League. During his acceptance speech, Khanna called for an end to Israel's "occupation" of Gaza and the West Bank and reiterated his calls for a "permanent ceasefire."

Footage of the event released by Khanna's office shows the lawmaker speaking with Hassan Qazwini, the imam for the Islamic Institute of America. A day before the event, reports emerged that Qazwini said in a May 3 sermon that members of Congress who voted for the Antisemitism Awareness Act were "stooges of Israel" who should "be indicted and convicted of treason." Khanna voted against the bill, which requires the Department of Education to adopt a widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism for investigations into anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses.

Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley in Congress, shared a stage at the event with activist Amer Zahr, who serves on the board of the Arab-American Civil Rights League. Zahr, a former Bernie Sanders surrogate, has a history of defending anti-Israel terrorist groups. In 2017, he said that "whether it's called Hamas, whether it's called Hezbollah, we stand with everybody who stands against the Israeli occupation." In 2021, Zahr urged activists who are "condemning anti-Semitism and condemning terrorism" to "stop it," the Washington Free Beacon reported.

It's the latest example of Bidenworld courting anti-Israel and pro-Hamas activists. The White House and Biden campaign sent officials to Dearborn earlier this year to meet with activists who openly praise Hamas and refer to Biden as "Genocide Joe."

Stefanik: Harvard ended ‘school year of disgrace’ by inviting ‘known antisemite’ as graduation speaker
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the chair of the House Republican Conference who has emerged as one of the fiercest critics in Congress of Jew-hatred on campus and of university leaders who appear to turn a blind eye to antisemitism, lashed out at her alma mater, Harvard University, on Tuesday.

“In a sad, but fitting end to their school year of disgrace, Harvard doubled down on their heinous path when they invited a known antisemite as their 2024 commencement speaker, who then spewed antisemitic rhetoric at the commencement ceremony,” she stated.

“Despite this antisemite’s attempt to hide and falsely attack my office and media outlets who accurately reported on her writings, the translation in fact demonstrates her history of antisemitism as reported here,” the New York Republican added.

Stefanik referred to Maria Ressa, a Filipino-American journalist and a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who said in her commencement address that “because I accepted your invitation to be here today, I was attacked online and called antisemitic. By power and money. Because they want power and money.”

She later claimed that she meant by “power and money” to refer to big tech, politicians and corporations, not Jews.

About a month after Oct. 7, Ressa published an editorial that compared Israel to Nazis, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Here is the Editorial Published by Harvard's 2024 Commencement Speaker, Maria Ressa
Editor's Note: In early May, the Washington Free Beacon published a report about an editorial that ran last year in the Rappler, the news outlet co-founded and led by Harvard University's 2024 commencement speaker, Maria Ressa. Our report quoted the Rappler, indicating that the news outlet had argued:
"It is a great irony that the [Jewish] race that suffered centuries of oppression, even genocide at the hands of Adolf Hitler, is now [denying] the same aspirations [for] the Palestinians."

When critics such as Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) expressed concern, the Rappler told Time magazine that the Free Beacon had misrepresented its views: The editorial was published in Tagalog, and the Rappler said Stefanik "should get an accurate translation."

The Free Beacon commissioned a translation of the editorial from Anna Katarina Rodriguez, the former executive director of the Commission on Filipino Language. We are posting Rodriguez’s translation in full below.

There is a need for a ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ in Gaza

Did you know that Palestinians wear bracelets bearing their names? This is because, at any moment, they can perish during airstrikes and they wish for their bodies to be identified.

When the Hamas launched a surprise attack in Israel last October 7, it resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people from Israel and the hostage of 241. Almost 250,000 Israeli lost their homes during the hostilities.

But the counter-attack of Israel killed approximately ten thousand people (9,770 people according to the latest tally of the Associated Press) and displaced 1.5 million people.

There is a side controversy regarding the running count of those killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza where no less than the President of United States of America, Joe Biden, has said, "I have no confidence in the number the Palestinians are using."
ADL: More than 50 ‘Nakba Day’ events took place in America in May
The Anti-Defamation League released a new report on Mary 24, “Support for October 7 attack, glorification of terror mark Nakba Day events in 2024,” revealing anti-Jewish, anti-Israel hatred expressed at this year’s gatherings.

“It’s appalling to see protesters and speakers at this year’s Nakba Day events nationwide justify the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, deny the atrocities that were committed, push the demonization of ‘Zionists,’ and again engage in antisemitic conspiracies about Jewish power and influence,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the ADL, wrote on Sunday about the report.

The ADL says that more than 50 “Nakba Day” events occurred around the country both in-person and online via webinars, including rallies and teach-ins. Other trends the watchdog group identified featured praise for the murderers directly involved in the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel and denial of the mass rapes documented to have occurred on a systemic scale.

Seven photographs included in the ADL’s research showed protest signs with such phrases as “Stop Funding Genocide,” “Palestine Is Queer,” “Netanyahu Hitler Would Be Proud,” “Long Live the Student Intifada,” “Zionism Is the Judaism as the KKK Is to Christianity,” “Victory to the Palestinian Resistance” and “Death to ‘Amerika,’ Death to ‘Israel.’”

“Nakba Day events this year provided more evidence that support for the Hamas-led terror attacks on Oct. 7 is endemic among large segments of the U.S. anti-Israel movement,” Justin Finkelstein, associate director of Research with the ADL Center on Extremism, told JNS. “There also seems to be a consensus among anti-Zionist organizers that the mainstream Jewish community should be ostracized, implicitly conveyed by numerous instances during which protesters called for ‘Zionism’ to be extinguished and ‘Zionists’ to be excluded from public life.”

He added that “we know that the vast majority of Jewish people identify in some way with Zionism, so when protesters call for ‘Zionists’ to be excluded, they are in effect calling for nearly all Jews to be excluded.”
US professor deported for terror ties shares stage with Hamas officials in Istanbul
Sami Al-Arian, an academic deported from the US a couple of decades ago after pleading guilty to providing services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), shared a stage in a panel discussion with a high-ranking member of Hamas, Jamal Issa, during a conference held in Istanbul last week.

The conference was titled “The Flood of the Free” as a homage to Hamas’s October 7 massacre, named by the radical terror group “Flood of Al-Aqsa,” with the conference logo featuring two paragliders, referring to the terrorists who paraglided into Israeli communities on their bloodthirsty quest to murder, rape and kidnap over 1,200 Israelis and foreigners on October 7.

Other senior Hamas members also took part in other sessions during the two-day event, including Osama Hamdan, Sami Abu Zuhri, as well as Khaled Mashaal, who sent a pre-recorded blessing to the conference.

The main host of the event was the Global Campaign to Support Al-Quds and Palestine (GCQP), an Istanbul-based organization pertaining to the Muslim Brotherhood axis, with close organizational and ideological ties to the Al-Quds Foundation, designated as a Hamas proxy by both the US and Israel. Other hosts included Turkish NGO “Human and Civilization Movement,” as well as the Al-Baraka Society, a charity organization led by Algerian Muslim Brotherhood cleric Ahmed Brahimi. According to the organizers, the conference saw participation of hundreds of people from dozens of countries, from Pakistan to Yemen to Morocco.

Several speakers in the conference expressed openly antisemitic views, including Mohammad Ibrahim, preacher at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, who denounced “the Jews among the Arabs” and pointed at the Talmud as a motivation for the “burning of Gaza;” as well as Iraqi Sheikh Waleed Al-Husseini who praised Iraq’s struggle “against the Jews” ever since the time of Nebuchadnezzar, also praising the missiles shot by Saddam Hussein at Israel during the first Gulf War.

Likewise, former justice minister of Mauritius, Rama Valayden, claimed that Israel “only understands the language of money,” calling to boycott international firms such as McDonald’s, KFC, Coca-Cola, and even Head & Shoulders, alleging that they “support the Israeli army and Netanyahu.”
Eric Clapton: 'Israel is running the world'
British rock guitar legend Eric Clapton moved one step closer to Roger Waters territory last week, telling an interviewer that “Israel is running the world, Israel is running the show.”

The 79-year-old musician, who has recently performed playing a guitar painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag, was interviewed on May 22 by David Spuria, an American Youtuber who hosts the popular Real Music Observer show.

Talking about the recent campus protests in the US against Israel, Clapton criticized the Senate hearings in which university presidents were asked about antisemitism on campus. Clapton criticizes Senate hearings

“I was so enthused about what was going on at Columbia [University] and elsewhere. And then what I couldn’t believe, because it freaked me out, were the Senate hearings, which were like the Nuremberg trials, you know?” he said.

“The Senate committee chairman asked pointed questions to presidents of universities, saying, ‘I just want to hear yes or no. Don’t talk to me about context. Yes or no, are you promoting antisemitism on your campus?’ And I thought, what is this, the Spanish Inquisition? And it is! It’s AIPAC, it’s the lobby. Israel is running the show. Israel is running the world.”

Talking about the guitar painted with the Palestinian flag colors, Clapton said, “We’re doing a thing now on this tour that I wrote originally as a tribute to Jeff Beck [who died in 2023]. I performed it at a tribute concert and then I didn’t play it anymore. But for this tour I’m doing it under a different guise. It’s the same tune, but I devoted it to the situation in Gaza. It’s called ‘Blue Dust’ because that’s what’s probably going to be left there. And I play a guitar that’s painted like the Palestinian flag.”

Late last year, Clapton released a song called “Voice of a Child,” accompanied by a video featuring images of extensive destruction in Gaza that ignored the October 7 massacre committed by Hamas terrorists, which sparked the war.
Dan Bilzerian says 'F**k Israel' in Memorial Day tweets
Social media personality Dan Bilzerian has ignited a firestorm of controversy with a series of Memorial Day tweets, including one explicitly stating, "F**k Israel" and harshly criticizing the US government's support for the country.

In his initial tweet on Tuesday morning (Israel time), Bilzerian accused Israel of murdering US soldiers aboard the USS Liberty and claimed that US soldiers have died fighting Israel's wars. He further suggested that US congressmen are financially motivated to support Israel's activities.

"To all the US soldiers on the USS Liberty who were murdered by ‘our ally’ Israel and to all of our soldiers who died fighting Israel’s wars. Happy M[emorial] Day. I’d like all of our congressmen to spend the day petting all the money Israel is giving you to support their terrorist activities," Bilzerian wrote at 1:35 a.m., Israel time, a tweet that has since garnered 1.7 million views.

Later in the day, Bilzerian doubled down on his stance with another tweet: "Incase y’all were confused on where I stand, let me be clear, fuck Israel." This tweet, posted at 5:51 a.m., quickly amassed 2.4 million views, further amplifying the controversy.

Debate over Dan Bilzerian's comments
Critics have condemned Bilzerian's remarks as inflammatory and disrespectful, especially on a day meant to honor the sacrifices of US military personnel. Supporters, however, argue that he highlights what they see as problematic aspects of US foreign policy.

The USS Liberty incident, referred to in Bilzerian's initial tweet, occurred during the Six-Day War in 1967 when Israeli forces attacked the US Navy intelligence ship, resulting in the deaths of 34 crew members. The incident has been a point of contention and conspiracy theories for decades, despite official investigations concluding it was a case of mistaken identity.
Want to Divest from Israel? Better Get Rid of Your iPhone
Despite the howling of activists in Students for Justice in Palestine, no American university to date has adopted the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) program against Israel.

American Jewry's consensus remains constant and more emphatic than ever: The BDS movement is fundamentally antisemitic, singling out the Jewish state alone among the nations for economic punishment, cultural ostracism, and academic isolation.

BDS seeks to place Israelis in a separate, lesser class of humanity.

One should also ask what it means to boycott Israel.

Israeli innovation is embedded in much of the technology we use daily - from Google Maps' GPS directions to the iPhone's SIM card.

Israel also punches far above its weight in pharmaceuticals.

BDS supporters, if they want to be consistent and intellectually honest, would have to divest themselves of many of the conveniences of the modern world.

Today, as 20 years ago, the BDS movement is repugnant in both moral and practical terms.

In a world of so many evil regimes, to subscribe to this campaign is to treat Israel as the Jew among the nations.

Also, did I mention? It's not working.
Denmark university to halt investment in companies in West Bank amid student protests
The University of Copenhagen said on Tuesday it would halt investment in companies that do business in the West Bank amid student protests pressuring the campus to cut financial and institutional ties with Israel.

Hundreds of students began campus protests in early May to express their opposition to Israel's operation in Gaza. The students have demanded that the university cut academic ties with Israel and divest from companies operating in West Bank.

University to divest its holding
The university will, as of May 29, divest its holdings worth a total of about 1 million Danish crowns ($145,810) in Airbnb ABNB.O, Booking.com BKNG.O and eDreams EDRE.MC, it said in a post on social media platform X.

The university said it would work with fund managers to manage its investments and ensure they comply with a United Nations list of companies involved in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The University of Copenhagen has a yearly revenue of over 10 billion crowns, some of which is invested in bonds and equities.
FBI Director Met With Hamas Supporters Asking Him to Lock Up Jews
Islamic pro-terror groups reacted to the Hamas terror attacks of Oct 7 not only with riots and public pressure campaigns aimed at politicians, but also by privately meeting with top federal and state law enforcement officials to demand that they lock up Jewish political opponents.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center’s investigative arm exclusively reported last month that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an Islamist group whose leader had celebrated Oct 7, had been meeting with attorney generals around the country trying to convince them to arrest journalists and activists who had been investigating and exposing Hamas supporters.

Based on our past history with CAIR, the Freedom Center could be one of their targets.

Now, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), has been caught meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland and senior Department of Justice (DOJ) officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray and Associate Attorney General Lisa Monaco, to also discuss targeting Jews.

The meeting, originally reported by Militant Islam Monitor, represents another part of what appears to be a larger effort by Islamist groups to weaponize prosecutors against their critics.

On May 22nd, top Department of Justice officials and the FBI Director met with Arab American Institute boss James Zogby and MPAC founder Salam al-Marayati. Both men had been accused of supporting terrorism , including Hamas, in accusations going back decades.

Zogby, a Lebanese Arab activist, had described Hezbollah, which was responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans, as “the Lebanese armed resistance”.

“By criminalizing attempts to send money to Hezbollah or to support it, the FBI is confusing and alienating people here who could be allies in the war on terrorism,” he had warned the FBI.

Hezbollah’s crimes included the torture and murder of Colonel William R. Higgins, whose castrated body was found near a mosque with the”skin on his face partially removed.”

When Hezbollah terrorists hijacked TWA Flight 847, they tortured Robert Stethem, a Navy diver, by “jumping in the air and landing full force on his body. He must have had all his ribs broken.”

“They put the mic up to his face so his screams could be heard by the outside world,” a stewardess described.

But rather than expelling or arresting terrorist supporters, the FBI was meeting with them.
1 in 3 Employers Worried About Hiring Campus Hamas Supporters
On the one hand this is bad news for those Hamas supporters rioting on college campuses, but on the other hand we already know that this is a ‘rich kid’ movement and that those of its members looking for work will likely do so in DEI, lefty nonprofits or some corporate niche like HR or marketing already populated by their own.

While companies may be reluctant to hire supporters of murder, rape and overthrowing America, the collateral damage will mainly involve the morons who were dragged along in their wake without having a trust fund or a career in saving the planet to fall back on.

The class of 2024 have graduated into a rocky jobs market and to make matters worse, employers are becoming increasingly wary about hiring them.

In fact, 64% of employers have said they have become concerned about hiring graduates in the past five years more broadly, according to a recently published survey of 1,268 business leaders in the U.S. by higher education publication Intelligent.com.

Almost a third of employers are particularly worried about hiring recent graduates who have attended pro-Palestinian protests in the past six months, while 22% are reluctant to hire graduates who have participated in these demonstrations.

Google just got a recent demonstration in what happens when you hire those psychos. But so has every business that has hired ‘wokes’.

‘Capitulation’ to campus occupiers condemned
Jewish leaders have called for an investigation after a deal was struck between the University of Melbourne and demonstrators occupying sections of its Parkville campus, in which the university agreed to disclose ties with Israel – a move Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson called a “capitulation”.

And the university’s vice-chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell has been accused of misjudging the intensity of anti-Jewish hatred on his campus after an email he sent last month condemning “all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia”.

The AJN understands there is concern at high levels within the university at the style in which its vice-chancellor and other senior management have conjoined “antisemitism” and “Islamophobia”, when, sources said, the former was rampant on Australian campuses today, while the latter was marginal.

The university confirmed late last week that protesters would end an occupation that lasted more than a week, after it agreed to widen disclosure of its research ties with Israel.

In a May 24 email to the university community,Maskell assured the university “is committing to additional disclosure of its research grant arrangements as they relate to research projects, the parties who support that research and the quantum”.

Maskell included a link to the university’s ‘Middle East Conflict website’, which describes itself as “provid[ing] updates and advice to the University community in response to increased activism on our campuses in relation to ongoing conflict in the Middle East”.
Police bail conditions on anti-Hamas protester with banana lifted
A prominent anti-Hamas activist arrested for racism after eating a banana during a pro-Palestine protest thanked a judge after she lifted “sweeping and disproportionate” bail conditions imposed by police.

Niyak Ghorbani, 38, was accused of making a racist gesture with the fruit while standing with counter protesters in central London on Saturday May 4.

He was seen on video eating a banana and waving another one in the air at pro-Palestine marchers outside a Barclays Bank.

The Iranian dissident, well-known for holding a “Hamas Are Terrorists” banner at counter protests, denies he was being racist and insists he was simply eating the fruit.

After his arrest, police imposed bail conditions on the 38-year-old banning him from attending any protest relating to Palestine or from entering the London boroughs of Camden or Westminster.

Mr Ghorbani’s lawyer insisted his actions with the banana were not racially motivated in any event and that the bail conditions were unnecessary and disproportionate.
Anti-Israel groups call for 'worldwide escalation' with 'intifada in every capital'
Several anti-Israel groups called for worldwide escalation and disruptions in cities and universities on Monday in response to the ongoing military operations against Hamas in Rafah.

“Escalate protests to an open intifada in every capital and city in order to deprive the world of its heavy slumber that comes at the expense of the bodies and remains of those that survive; disrupt all facets of daily life until our people can breathe freely without the taint of the Israeli, American, and European war machine,” said a call for a “worldwide escalation” issued by the small Gaza Group, but was shared by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee, Princeton SJP, Penn Students Against the Occupation, Writers Against the War on Gaza.

The anti-Israel groups not only called for the paralysis of normal life outside the Levant, but also across “historic Palestine, from every checkpoint and street corner to the face of every settler and soldier.”

The call for escalation came in response to an Israeli airstrike on two Hamas senior commanders on Sunday which caused the accidental death of dozens of Palestinian civilians. The United States and European countries were providing Israel with political cover, and increased pressure was needed on after “movements, slogans, and chants have failed to deter” Israeli military action.

Call to action “Raise the ceiling of the global solidarity movement and immediately escalate all protest and pressure against Israel’s accomplices in the genocide, whether it is those who offer it a political and diplomatic cover for the occupation or those who supply it with a steady stream of military and financial support, as well as those engaging in cynical maneuvers that prolong the suffering of our people in Gaza," said the call to action.

“Create urgent and serious pressure on all parties to open the Rafah crossing, secure the evacuation of thousands of wounded, bring in necessary medical supplies, and for all international organizations to assume their responsibilities towards civilians fleeing from the endless cycle of death and displacement.”

“We will not allow for the slaughter of our people to continue without erupting a fire of revolution,” National Students for Justice in Palestine said on social media. “As the [Detroit] People’s Conference [for Palestine] comes to a wrap, we are as affirmed as ever in our commitment to dismantle all those who facilitate the colonization of Palestine and the brutal murder of our people.”

South African Jews criticize Ramaphosa’s ‘river to the sea’ chant
South African Jewish leaders have taken South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to task for leading a crowd in chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” over the weekend.

“The call to remove all Jews from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea equates to removing all Jews from Israel. The slogan and its call for the destruction of the Jewish state has its origin in the Hamas Charter, with its goal to see Israel as ‘Judenfrei’ or Jew free,” according to a statement put out by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.

Ramaphosa started the controversial chant at an election rally at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday, veering from a prepared speech which reportedly included language, omitted in the final speech, calling for the release of “hostages held in Gaza.”

The address was part of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress’ (ANC) final Siyanqoba (“victory” in Zulu) rally before elections on Wednesday. It was heard by thousands of ANC members in attendance and by a national television audience.

The South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies expressed its “revulsion at the introduction of a call to exterminate Jews from their Homeland” and for the “elimination of the only Jewish state.”

“The chanting of this slogan by a Head of State of a government that recurrently tries to express their commitment to a ‘Two State Solution’ as their policy on Israel and Palestine is hypocritical to the full. How does a sitting president reject his own government and own party’s international relations policy?” the statement continues.

Melanie Phillips: Squinting at Starmer
With Sir Keir Starmer’s “reformed” Labour party widely expected to win Britain’s general election on July 4, I took part in a Jewish Chronicle panel in London last week to discuss what a Labour government might mean for Britain’s beleaguered and anxious Jewish community.

Other members of the panel were Mike Katz, head of the Jewish Labour Movement; former Liverpool MP Dame Louise Ellman, who was hounded out of the Labour party under its hard-left, antisemite-indulging leader Jeremy Corbyn but rejoined under Starmer; and Josh Simons, head of the think-tank Labour Together. In the chair was the JC’s editor, Jake Wallis Simons.

MEMRI: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Member In Qatari Daily: The Arrogant West Does Not Understand That The Muslims Will Continue Their Jihad Until Allah Is Victorious, Because That Is Their Duty According To The Quran
In his May 5, 2024 column in the Qatari daily Al-Sharq, Suleiman Saleh, a former member of the Egyptian parliament on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), called on the West to renounce its arrogant attitude toward the Muslims and understand that their Islamic identity obligates them to fulfill a certain role in this world, a role that includes waging jihad in order to bring about the victory of Allah. The Quran, he said, indicates that "the future will be shaped by the believers who bear their suffering with fortitude and wage jihad for the sake of Allah while their souls yearn for Paradise." Therefore, the Muslims will continue their jihad with fortitude however long it takes, for they realize that this is but a trial and will end in victory. Saleh also stressed that, by waging jihad with limited means and bearing its suffering with fortitude and faith, the Islamic resistance in Palestine – namely Hamas – has proved that faith is more powerful than the Western weapons.

The following are translated excerpts from his column:[1]
"The arrogance of the West, which stems from its power, has prevented its rulers and clerics from understanding many facts that could have helped [it] to better handle its struggle [with the Muslims] and to form ties with them based on understanding rather than conflict. The arrogant West did not understand that the Muslims have a cultural identity and role, and that whoever wants peace and cooperation [with them] in order to realize shared goals must understand this [identity and role]. The Muslims' identity obligates them to perform the tasks of da'wa [preaching Islam] and jihad in order to make Allah's word supreme. It is the hope of attaining Paradise that motivates the Muslim, and that is why he embarks on a war of jihad, endures his suffering with fortitude and worships Allah as Allah wants to be worshiped in [this] world.

"The West must learn about the Muslims' identity in order to understand them without arrogance. Israel's aggression against Gaza is the beginning of a new phase, which forces all of us to reconsider [our course in] building the future, for tyrannical force is not enough to win campaigns lasting many decades. There are many indications that the young generation in the West has begun looking for a new path. The West's cultural imperialism is associated with the imperialist era, in which the Western countries used every advanced weapon to exterminate peoples, steal their resources and condemn them to weakness, backwardness and subjugation. This phase is about to end, after the Islamic resistance in Gaza – which confronted the might of the usurping West [but] managed to survive and insisted on opposing the aggression with its simple weapons – showed the world that the power of faith is more effective than the hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives that the occupation army hurled at Gaza in a crime that has no precedent in the [entire] world.

"The world should therefore contemplate this power [of faith] that is stirring the imagination of the freedom-lovers who dream of liberating their lands and building a juster world. The world must also remember that, since 1919,[2] the Palestinian people has known many defeats, suffering, pain, massacres, destruction, expulsion, hunger and every conceivable kind of torment. How then did this people manage to endure and how did the Islamic resistance [manage to] wage a war of liberation in which the jihad fighters are spearheading a revolution of the mind [that is rooted in] the hearts of the believers who yearn for Paradise[?]

"To understand this, we must read the Quran, which is the true source of the Islamic nation's identity and cultural role. By its light, it is possible to understand that the future will be shaped by the believers who bear their suffering with fortitude and embark on jihad for the sake of Allah while their souls yearn for Paradise. To this end they are willing to suffer calamities, bear their suffering with fortitude and defy the oppressive power of the occupation army.

"Allah tells the Muslims in Quran 3:142, after their defeat in the Battle of Uhud:[3] 'Do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allah knows not who among you strove hard and who among you was steadfast?' [Saudi Quranic exegete Abd Al-Rahman bin Nasser] Al-Sa'di [1889-1957] says in his commentary on this verse: Do not think and do not imagine that you will enter Paradise without suffering hardship for the sake of Allah and striving to please Him, for Paradise is the loftiest aspiration of all…
Iran's "Cognitive War" Is More Dangerous than Missiles and Killer Drones
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei understands that while Iran cannot defeat the U.S. militarily, it can strive to erode its foundations through propaganda. The front page of the May 2, 2024, issue of the weekly Khat-e-Hizbullah, the mouthpiece of Khamenei's office, featured a photo from the American campus protests with the heading: "A Flame in the Heart of Darkness: Uprising of American Students against the Genocide of the People of Gaza."

Khamenei himself directs the propaganda activity aimed at linking the American students' support for Gaza with the destruction of the U.S. itself, using these students. Khamenei sees his role as a cognitive guide, directing the use of psychological tools and influencers. He employs the narrative of the "Palestinian struggle" to construct new narratives portraying Israel as the occupier, the racist, and the agent of genocide.

In their naive blindness, the demonstrators believe in the messages full-heartedly but are unaware of the narratives invented by the Ayatollah regime. Part of this cognitive project is to turn Americans against the U.S. itself, which is portrayed as supporting the racist and genocidal Israel as described in the Iranian propaganda.

Khamenei asserts that the war is now a cognitive war. He said, "The press has more potent influence than a missile, a drone, a warplane, and weapons in general. The media influences the mind and hearts, and he who controls the media succeeds in achieving his goals."

On Oct. 17, 2023, ten days after Hamas' onslaught (and before Israeli ground forces entered Gaza), he chose to call the war in Gaza a "genocide," claiming that the Israelis were deliberately attacking residential areas. He called to put them on trial. He also shares his hope that "the world population will gain a deep understanding of Islam and its superiority to the West."

Professor Fuad Yazdi of Tehran University, one of the prominent spokespersons of the Iranian regime, claimed on April 26, 2024, that the student protesters at U.S. universities "will take to the streets to support Iran." In his view, Iran can replicate its achievements in Lebanon in the U.S., where the "Hizbullah" groups are "much larger" than in Lebanon. Yazdi's words reflect the fact that the U.S. is the main target. He calls it the "Great Satan" and the "cardinal enemy of Iran" and says the recent events there "give us hope."
IAEA: Iran expanding stockpile of near-weapons grade uranium
Iran’s stockpile of 60%-enriched uranium has increased by 20.6 kilograms (45.5 pounds) since February, AFP reported on Monday, citing a new confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The document, which was also seen by the Associated Press, revealed that Tehran has accumulated 142.1 kilograms (313.2 pounds) of uranium enriched up to 60%. This level of enrichment is just a technical step from 90% enrichment, considered weapons grade.

According to the IAEA definition, it is technically possible to create an atomic bomb with roughly 42 kilograms (92.5 pounds) of uranium enriched to 60% if the material is enriched to 90%.

Iran has continued to ramp up enrichment, while maintaining that its nuclear program is strictly peaceful.

However, Western powers claim there is no credible civilian explanation for Tehran’s nuclear activities. In 2022, the IAEA issued a report saying it could not “provide assurances that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.”

According to the IAEA, Iran’s total stockpile of enriched uranium now stands at 6,201.3 kilograms (13,671.5 pounds)—a 675.8 kilogram (1,489.8 pound) increase in three months.
MEMRI: Kuwaiti Daily: Hizbullah Intends To Use Anti-Aircraft Missiles Against Israeli Fighter Planes; The Iran-Led Resistance Axis Is Pressuring Hamas To Harden Its Stance In Negotiations With Israel
On May 27, 2024, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Jaridah reported that during the May 22, 2024 Tehran meeting of leaders of the various Iran-backed resistance axis factions, a plan was formulated for escalating military operations against Israel on all fronts, with Iran providing full support.

According to the report, the escalation on Israel's northern front, spearheaded by Hizbullah, will include use of long-range precision missiles, as well as the use of Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles with Iranian upgrades, with the goal of downing Israeli planes. The escalation also will include ambushes of Israeli forces and abduction of Israeli soldiers. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas was instructed to carry out a range of military operations throughout the entire Strip, to demonstrate that it still has its military capabilities.

The report also stated that in Hizbullah-Hamas talks following the Tehran meeting, Hamas was instructed, apparently at Iran's behest, to harden its stance in the negotiations with Israel and to reject any compromise. The only two options, Hamas was told, are all-out war, or an end to the war – that is, that Israel would agree to completely stopping the war. Hamas was also told that it must not agree to release all the hostages, since they are the only card it has to play and since Israel will surely resume the war after the hostages are released.

According to reports by media sources linked to the resistance axis, the Tehran meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the funeral of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, who died May 17 in a helicopter crash, participants at the meeting included IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami, IRGC Qods Force commander Gen. Esmail Qaani, Houthi spokesman Muhammad Abdulsalam, Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniyeh, Hizbullah deputy leader Naim Qassem, and by representatives from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Iran-backed Shi'ite militias in Iraq. It was also reported that the participants reiterated that the resistance factions throughout the region would continue their jihad until the "complete victory of the resistance in Gaza."[1]

Below are translated of excerpts from the Al-Jaridah report:[2]
"For the Lebanese Hizbullah, what happens on the ground is most important, and it has no option but to continue its military conflict [against Israel] in support of Gaza. It is ready to continue fighting for as long as the war drags on. Even though it believes that increasing military pressure on Israel will cause an increase in the domestic pressure on [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu's government to seriously approach negotiations for an end to the war, it is also preparing for a scenario in which the negotiations fail due to Netanyahu's insistence on continuing military operations for the long term.

"Nobody knows how long the war will last, but Hizbullah stresses that it has informed all those concerned inside and outside [Lebanon] that its stance will not change, even if the war lasts [for long] months. Some estimate that the war will continue until after the U.S. [presidential] election this coming November..."

"These scenarios were examined at last week's meeting in Tehran that was attended by all the leaders of what is known as the 'resistance axis.'

"Sources close to Hizbullah have said that Tehran's decision was clear: To provide all assistance to its allies in the entire region, and that everybody is preparing for escalation if the attempts to reach a compromise that will lead to a ceasefire fail."

MEMRI: Dearborn Imam Usama Abdulghani At Memorial For Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi: He Was A True Soldier Of Our Leader Khamenei; Biden, The Pope Grovel Before Kingmaker Zionist Families
Dearborn Imam Sheikh Usama Abdulghani said in a May 23, 2024 memorial service for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi that he offered his condolences to "our leader" Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. He said that Biden is not the actual president of the United States, but rather there are "powerful Zionist families" that are the kingmakers. Abdulghani continued to say that there are videos of the Pope groveling to these Zionist families. He added that President Raisi was a true soldier of Khamenei.

The memorial service was held at the Hadi Youth Community Center in Dearborn, Michigan, and it was streamed live on Light of Guidance on YouTube. Usama Abdulghani was one of the speakers at a March 2023 Quds Day rally in Dearborn, in which participants chanted 'Death to America.' It is worth nothing that several more Dearborn area mosques advertised memorial services for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, including The Islamic House of Wisdom, the Islamic Institute of America, and the Karbala Islamic Center.

"Allow Me To Be The First To Offer My Condolences... To Our Leader Imam Khamenei... And To The People Of Conscious In The World, Who Are Waking Up [And Seeing] What Happens [When] Political Power Is In The Hands Of The Godly"

Imam Usama Abdulghani: "Allow me to be the first to offer my condolences, first of all, to the Imam of our time, on this loss. To our leader Imam Khamenei, our Maharaja. All of them – the entire Ummah of the Prophet. Alhamdulillah, as you saw there were 50 dignitaries from various countries, people coming in, many countries ended up holding a day of mourning, and also to the people of conscious in the world, who are waking up, who are seeing this. And it is playing out and it is showing what happens if political power is in the hands of the Godly.

"If you look now in Israel you will see every day the resistance. Their snipers are taking out more and more of these monsters. Netanyahu is sitting pretty, the monsters are dying. The abeed of the tawhid. The Quran is trying to warn humanity, don't be one of the abeed, don't be a slave.

"Biden Isn't The Raisi [Of the U.S.]; He Isn't In Charge; There Are Powerful Zionist Families That Are Real Kingmakers; These Guys, Even The Pope, Grovel Before The Real Kingmakers"

"Biden himself isn't the Raisi, he isn't in charge. There are powerful Zionist families that are real kingmakers. These guys, even the Pope, grovel before the real kingmakers.

"Abdul Raisi was something else. Here's a clause, 'how he worked tirelessly, how he worked. How proud he was and unapologetic for Islam. Whether that meant praying in the Kremlin, whether that meant taking the Quran and raising the Quran, whether that meant as the President of the country with a big picture of Qasem Soleimani, unapologetically Muslim.'

A boy – now 93 – tells his story of incredible survival hiding from the Nazis in the forest
“Let me look at your face,” says Maxwell Smart, peering into his webcam as we speak over Zoom. “You’re not bad looking.” Well, this interview is going to go well, I quip, as the 93-year-old Smart settles back for another session talking about a year in his life he would surely rather forget. His best-selling book,The Boy In The Woods, has now been adapted for the big screen, allowing even more people to learn about his remarkable story.

Born in Prague in 1930, Smart’s early years were defined by suffering. In 1941, his father was killed within three months of the German forces occupying the part of Poland where his family lived. Shortly afterwards, he, his mother and little sister were being loaded into a truck as soldiers were cleaning out the ghettos when, at his mother’s urging, he fled to a nearby forest. For the next twelve months, the Jewish-born Smart hid there to evade capture by the Nazis.

There, he relied on the kindness of strangers, as well as his own smarts, to survive. Just let that sink in for a second. An 11-year-old boy, alone in the woods. For a whole year. “Well I had help,” he offers. Played in the film by Richard Armitage, the actor best known for his role as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, a “poor farmer with a heart of gold” hid him when Nazis were on the hunt for Jews in the region.

“He risked his life to save mine,” says Smart. “They came to look for me and they said [to him], ‘We were told by your neighbour that you are hiding Jews. If you would tell us where they are, we will take them away, and nothing will happen to you. But if you won't tell us, and we will find them, we will kill you, your wife, and your children.’ And this farmer...he says to them, ‘I am not hiding any Jews. You could look.’ He risked his life and the life of his family to help me. And this is how I survived.”

Smart, who now lives in Florida, doesn’t hold back as these painful memories start flooding back. “I had to create a world to survive. I was alone. I had no people around me. Nobody was with me. I couldn’t even talk to anybody. I had nobody to talk to. I only had God. And I was yelling at him. And I was arguing with him. ‘Why did you make me a Jew?’ I said to him, ‘Look at me, the way I look. I don’t even look human. I’m an animal. I eat with my hands. I’m hungry. I’m dying. I’m cold. Why did you have to create me?’”

As Smart talks, anger swells in his voice; the passing of eighty-plus years has not dimmed his feelings one iota. “I was talking to Father John Walsh, a friend of mine, a priest. And he said to me, ‘You know, Max, you had a right to fight with God.’” And yet this ire never dented his belief system. “The most important thing that helped me is faith and belief in God,” says Smart. ‘And miracles. If you would know, the stories of mine, they’re only miracles.”
Google's $1M gift: Virtual Auschwitz tours now a reality
Google has announced a $1 million grant to support the development of the "Auschwitz in Front of Your Eyes" project through its philanthropic arm, Google.org. The initiative aims to deepen awareness and knowledge about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, reaching additional audiences worldwide through a live-streamed virtual tour.

The project enables people unable to physically visit the camp, including those in remote locations, to engage with the history of Auschwitz. The virtual tour, conducted by a guide, includes survivor testimonies, multimedia materials, and interactive opportunities for participants to ask questions.

"The funding will help develop the technological platform and its accessibility, including real-time subtitles, AI-based translation into multiple languages, and the digitization of survivor testimonies," said Rowan Barnett, director of Google.org for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

"This support will also provide comprehensive training for guides and enhance the capacity to bring such visits to large communities worldwide, including partnerships with schools to educate more students about the Holocaust."

The online guided tour program, "Auschwitz in Front of Your Eyes," was recently launched by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. This innovative initiative provides a virtual visit to the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.
Deborah Lipstadt’s horseshoe theory of antisemitism
After Deborah Lipstadt was sworn as the U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism two years ago this week, she began to travel the world to ask countries how the United States could help them fight antisemitism in their borders.

But something has begun to change since the Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel, Lisptadt said Friday at a virtual hour-long briefing for members of the Jewish community.

“In the past few months, especially since the turmoil on the campuses, I’ve been having countries saying to me, ‘Is your country okay? What can we do for you?’” Lipstadt recounted. “What is happening in America — it has sent a shudder through many countries, because they wonder, are we on the verge of becoming a failed state?”

Lipstadt, who was nominated to the ambassador-level position by President Joe Biden, said the good news of the past nearly eight months has been the support of the U.S. government in fighting antisemitism. But she expressed deep concern about rising antisemitism around the world and in the U.S.

“I’m often asked, as a historian, ‘Is this 1939?’” Lipstadt said. “I say, ‘No, that’s a bit of an extreme position.’ I think it’s more like the early 1930s, maybe the late 1920s, with the destabilization of society.”

As a diplomat at the State Department, Lipstadt’s work is focused on international antisemitism, rather than what’s happening at home. But she raised concerns about American antisemitism and, in particular, a lack of leadership at U.S. universities.

“Leaders, whether they be leaders of countries, leaders of states, leaders of cities, leaders of public institutions, leaders of universities, must speak out, directly, unequivocally and expeditiously. No froufrou-ing, ‘Well, it depends on context, and what happened,’” Lipstadt said, offering a not-so-subtle dig at the presidents of Harvard, Penn and MIT who appeared before Congress in December and answered “it depends on the context” when asked whether calls for the genocide of Jews violate their universities’ codes of conduct.

“If you see prejudice, if you see antisemitism, you speak out and speak out about it explicitly,” said Lipstadt. “Don’t talk about hate in general. We’re all against hate in general, but call it out for what it is. If it’s homophobia, you call it out. If it’s racism, you call it out. Misogyny, you call it out. If it’s antisemitism, you call it out for what it is, and you don’t also say, ‘Well, yes, but.’”
ADL warns of global surge in Antisemitism amid the war in Gaza
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt speaks to i24NEWS correspondent Zach Anders on day 232 of the Israel-Hamas war, emphasizing the importance of doing everything we can to bring home the 125 hostages who remain in Gaza.

Pittsburgh man arrested for having explosive material, defacing synagogue
A Pittsburgh man was arrested on Thursday for being in possession of explosive materials and for being responsible for graffiti spray-painted on a Squirrel Hill neighborhood synagogue, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh said on Friday.

William Murray, 33, is facing 34 charges for possession of “explosive or incendiary materials, causing or risking catastrophe, and multiple counts of making or possessing prohibited weapons,” according to the Federation.

The suspect had been set to appear in court on May 14 after he had been charged with ethnic intimidation, institutional vandalism, and criminal mischief for inscribing a hate symbol on the Shaare Torah Synagogue on April 8, but according to the Jewish organization, he had failed to attend the hearing.

Pittsburgh's antisemitism surge
The synagogue reported to the Pittsburgh police that Murray inscribed what was initially thought to be a Star of David. But police later said that “upon further examination and additional photographs, it closely resembled a hate symbol used by the KKK [Ku Klux Klan]” instead.

The Federation said that they did not believe Murray “poses a threat to [the] community,” at this time.

“We remain in a heightened threat environment and are working closely with law enforcement to monitor potential threat activity,” said the Federation.
Ayelet Shaked visits Brazil: Despite da Silva, Brazilians are pro-Israel
Israeli perceptions that Brazil is anti-Israel misrepresents the nation due to its president, Friends of Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel chairperson and former interior minister Ayelet Shaked said in her assessment of the country after her visit this week, explaining that the Brazilian people she met sought positive relations with Israelis.

"In Israel, we have a distorted picture because of the president [Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva]," Shaked told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. "Despite the president being very hostile to Israel, the nation itself is relatively pro-Israel."

Da Silva caused controversy in February when he compared Israeli military action against Hamas in Gaza to the Nazi extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust.

Shaked said that there were many Evangelicals and Catholic Brazilians who had a love for Israel, and that she had met with the next generation of leaders of Brazil, who were extremely pro-Israel.

"There are many politicians that are not hostile, and on the contrary friendly," said Shaked.

São Paulo congressman Luiz Philippe de Orleans e Bragança met with Shaked and shared a joint message on Instagram on Thursday.

“Brazilian people are in their heart and their soul together with the Israeli people in this fight against terrorism and to bring peace to the situation,” said the Brazilian politician. “Governments should not interfere with this bond that exists between two peoples.”

National Endowment for Arts profiles ‘largest Jewish film festival in the world’
The website of the Miami Jewish Film Festival hails it as “the world’s largest festival of its kind.” The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival refers to itself as “the largest and longest-running independent Jewish film festival in the world.” But the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which was founded in 2000, states that it “made history as the largest Jewish film festival in the world, attracting more than 38,600 moviegoers in 2015.”

The festival received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent U.S. federal agency, in January.

“The film festival is the largest Jewish film festival in the world, with many films and filmmakers receiving accolades at the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival,” the NEA stated in a grantee profile.

Kenny Blank, executive and artistic director of the festival, told the NEA that post-screening question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers and others are “a cornerstone of what makes attending a film festival a unique experience, far beyond just another movie screening.”

“At AJFF, we take it a step further by often including not just filmmakers but also topical experts—academics, community leaders, authors, journalists—who can provide additional context and insights,” he added. “This blend of perspectives enriches the conversation, making it more engaging and educational for the audience.”

Jerry Seinfeld on the Rules of Comedy—and Life
The first episode of Seinfeld aired in 1989. Thirty-five years later, the show remains at the apex of American culture. People speak in Seinfeld-isms, they flirt on dating apps over Seinfeld, they rewatch old episodes of Seinfeld when they’re feeling down. And, in the case of the Weiss family, Lou still watches it every night from 11 pm to 12 am on the local Pittsburgh station before he goes to sleep. People around the world even learn English watching Seinfeld!

It is not hyperbole to say that Seinfeld is one of the most influential shows of all time.

Seinfeld was supposedly a show about nothing, but that’s what made it so universal. Everyone can relate to trying to find your car in a parking garage. Everyone knows the feeling when their book is overdue at the library and they don’t want to pay the overdue fee. Everyone can relate to the frustration of waiting for a table at a restaurant. If you didn’t—or don’t—laugh during Seinfeld, something was wrong with you.

All of which is why it was a bit strange and unexpected when a few months ago Jerry Seinfeld suddenly became “controversial.” In early October, Jerry—along with 700 other Hollywood stars—signed a letter condemning Hamas and calling for the return of the hostages. For that crime—the crime of saying terrorism is bad and innocent people should be released—crowds started protesting the events he was attending, the speeches he was giving, and heckling him in public.

A few weeks ago, when Jerry gave the commencement address at Duke University, some students walked out in protest. Then, his standup set was disrupted by protesters, to which Seinfeld quipped: “I love a little Jew-hate to spice up the show.” The crowd applauded.

Jerry Seinfeld made the most successful show about a Jew to ever exist. This was no small feat. In fact, one NBC executive, after watching the Seinfeld pilot for the first time in 1989, didn’t think it should even go to air. He said it was “too New York and too Jewish.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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