Wednesday, May 29, 2024

From Ian:

Eve Barlow: All Eyes On Rafah!
Rafah is a horrible situation because it’s war. An explosion happened. Civilians died. It wasn’t Israel, but as per usual, everyone blamed the Jews. Even the Jews jumped the gun this time. All the Jewish advocates blamed themselves, so accustomed to being gaslit. The IDF strike happened outside the humanitarian area, and then a Jeep packed with explosives inside the humanitarian area mysteriously set fire and ripped through the tent village. Awful. Hamas are awful.

You know what is more horrible than even Rafah? Selective outrage. So everyone is upset about civilian deaths in Gaza (reminder: caused by HAMAS). I get it. I see them. In droves. They’re so loud. Where were they on October 7? Oh they were drinking mimosas. Where were they when we released video footage of our young women being taken captive by rapist terrorists? Oh they were in the streets chanting for Free Palestine. They are the problem. This isn’t about them and their selective outrage and their Instagram stories proving they’re a good person. This is about life and death, and they are marching both Israelis and Palestinians to death at the hands of Hamas.

This here is for the morally bankrupt after the worst day online since October 7. Israel is uncovering all the evidence of a genocide on October 7 from the depths of Rafah in Southern Gaza, and guess what - the world is working overtime to stop it. And they have a new slogan to be spread across all forms of social media:

“All Eyes on Rafah” but the Red Cross didn’t find the bodies of the dead hostages underneath the UN buildings. Israel did.
“All Eyes on Rafah” but the UN never revealed that a tunnel system hid beneath the ground that goes into Egypt. Israel did.
“All Eyes on Rafah!” but nobody spotted the Jeep packed with Hamas explosives in the civilian area that caught fire and killed 45 people.
“All Eyes on Rafah!” but everyone is blinded by propaganda.

This is the propaganda. It appeared on everyone’s Instagram account today. I’m sure none of you escaped seeing this monstrosity in your stories. Behold, the snow-capped AI mountains of Gaza.

Yes that’s 35.3 million shares of this image. The faces in this post are people I used to be friends with. No more.
What is the ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ graphic and who is behind it?
“All eyes on Rafah” is a phrase that’s been shared more than 40 million times on Instagram in less than 24 hours. The giant text, superimposed over an AI-generated image of Gaza has been posted by major celebrities, world leaders, and activists across the world.

The graphic, which depicts an endless sprawl of tents in a dusty landscape, can be reshared onto Instagram ‘stories’ with just one click. Users can see which of their friends have shared the post and can add their names to the list, which neared 40 million on Wednesday morning.

The story remains on a user's profile for 24 hours.

Numerous celebrities including model sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid, Bridgerton actress Nicola Coughlan, singer and presenter Michelle Humes, Ted Lasso star Brett Goldstein and actress Suranne Jones, have all shared the graphic.

The viral AI-generated graphic appears to come from a Malaysian/Singaporean photographer and content creator who goes by the usernames @shahv4012 and on social media.

Most of Chaa’s posts are snaps of daily life in Singapore, including photos of his wife, animals, and cars.

His other posts about Gaza include an AI-generated image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a blood-stained prison uniform and the name “Satanyahu”.

Another of Chaa’s “shareable” posts shows a map of Israel with the country's name crossed out and replaced with Palestine. It has been reshared over 15 thousand times.
The All Eyes on Rafah Instagram post is another vapid, lazy way to say “I care”
I understand that there is outrage at the way Israel is conducting its war. The images coming out of Gaza often feel indefensible. As those of us who care about Israel know only too well, every mistake Israel makes puts more lives at risk both in Israel and outside. Every Jew feels the anger of the world towards Israel every day. We don’t need to be reminded to follow this war; we have no choice. That is not to say that well-meaning people from the safety of London or Berlin or wherever else can’t voice their anger. If they feel passionately, they should. That’s what makes the West different from places like Gaza under Hamas, for example.

But what does sharing an AI image that looks nothing like Gaza actually do? Does it improve the material conditions of civilians in Gaza? Does it make Israelis and Jews feel more likely to compromise, to accept a version of the future that ends in peace for both sides? No, it doesn’t. Just like the BLM squares before it, and the myriad “explainers” before that, the All Eyes on Rafah post is another vapid, lazy way to say “I care”, not “I care about bringing the conflict to an end with as little human suffering as possible”, not even “I care about all civilians killed”. It says nothing productive. Which is presumably why so many people have shared it.

To learn about the conflict and to formulate an opinion that maintains dignity for all sides is something that cannot be accomplished by sharing an Instagram post. The learning that so many people on and off line refuse to do will not happen with an Instagram post. All it does is make Israelis, who will have to be involved in any future peace process, feel, yet again, that the world doesn’t care about their suffering. That their pain is meaningless. There was no “All eyes on the Nova festival”, there were no eyes on Kibbutz Be’eri, people didn’t want to see Jewish pain, it didn’t fit the simplistic narrative they’ve concocted.

So while the All Eyes on Rafah sharers may feel like they’ve done something powerful, the truth is they don’t really care because their interest in the story will die when it drops out of the headlines. And the rest of us will have to live with the consequences.

Josh Frydenberg: Australia's fundamental values and freedoms are under attack as antisemitism moves from the ugly fringe to the public square
In November last year I sat in the audience at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum and listened to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

He spoke generously about the enormous contribution of the Jewish community to Australia and rightly warned of the rising tide of antisemitism.

He went on to say “we will not let it find so much as a foothold here. Australia will always denounce it and reject it utterly”.

But today, almost eight months on from the tragic events of October 7, antisemitism has gained more than a foothold in Australia. It has become normalised.

Many Australians, too many Australians, are not denouncing it and rejecting it.

This is exactly what motivated me to undertake this documentary with Sky News Australia, "Never Again: The Fight Against Antisemitism".

I wanted to use my voice to ring the alarm bell and inform my fellow Australians about what is happening and how bad it really is.

With antisemitism having moved quickly from the ugly fringe to the public square, people need to know that our nation's fundamental values and freedoms are under daily attack.

With nothing less than Australia’s social cohesion and democracy at stake.

Combatting antisemitism must not be seen as the Jewish community’s problem, but Australia’s problem. The fight against antisemitism is Australia's fight.

The events of October 7 shocked the world.

It was not just that Israel was caught by surprise but the scale and the ferocity of what followed.

More than 1200 innocent people were killed, including Sydney-born grandmother Galit Carbone, and more than 200 people were kidnapped, including a toddler less than one year of age and a Holocaust survivor in their late 80s.

The torture, rape, beheadings and burned bodies signalled to Israel and the world that Hamas is no traditional adversary with a competing land claim.

Rather, Hamas is a death cult, with a deep-seated hatred for Israel and Jews that fueled this ISIS-like attack.

It should seem obvious that after such a barbaric attack Israel would have the right to respond in self defence in order to remove the military threat and return home the hostages.

But here in Australia, before the victims in Israel were even buried and Israel had initiated its response, crowds gathered at the Opera House to burn the Israeli flag and chant hateful, violent, antisemitic slogans.

With the baying mob outside the Opera House chanting ‘F*** the Jews’ it was a clear example of how Jews in Australia are being targeted following events thousands of kilometres away from our shores.

That shameful night in Sydney, which made headlines around the world, was sadly not an isolated event.
Watch Sky News documentary ‘Never Again: The Fight Against Antisemitism’
Former treasurer Josh Frydenberg examines the alarming rise of antisemitism in a new Sky News Australia documentary 'Never Again: The Fight Against Antisemitism'.

Following the devastating attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists on October 7 last year, this one-hour documentary examines the rise in hostility towards Jewish people taking place around the world at levels not seen since the Holocaust.

Josh Frydenberg speaks with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, former prime ministers John Howard and Julia Gillard, Olympic champion and former senator Nova Peris, former governor-general Peter Cosgrove, award-winning Australian music artist Deborah Conway and survivors of the Holocaust.

The documentary takes a close look at the radicalisation on our streets and how antisemitism has been allowed to take hold, and, critically what needs to be done to stop it. Stream the documentary in the video player above or through this link on and also available on the Sky News Australia mobile app. Documentaries from Sky News Australia are available to stream any time with the new Streaming Subscription.

Extended interviews from 'Never Again: The Fight Against Antisemitism'
More than two hours of extended interviews with Anthony Albanese, John Howard, Peter Dutton, Julia Gillard, Holocaust survivors, Dennis Richardson, Nova Peris and Peter Cosgrove are available exclusively to watch online with a Streaming Subscription.

Anthony Albanese: The rise in antisemitism seen in Australia is ‘devastating’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tells Josh Frydenberg he is ‘particularly concerned’ of the rise in antisemitism amongst younger Australians.

John Howard: Australians should feel ‘ashamed’ about rise of antisemitism
Former prime minister John Howard tells former treasurer Josh Frydenberg that Australians should feel ashamed about the level of antisemitism in the country.

Peter Dutton: Tolerance of antisemitism in Australia is an ‘abomination’
Opposition leader Peter Dutton tells former treasurer Josh Frydenberg the tolerance of antisemitism in Australia is an abomination and speaks to an underlying hatred which must be exposed.

Julia Gillard: Misinformation about Middle East conflict spreading ‘new form’ of antisemitism
Former prime minister Julia Gillard tells former treasurer Josh Frydenberg the misinformation being shared on social media about the conflict in the Middle East is spreading a new form of antisemitism.

Holocaust survivors: ‘We don’t need antisemitism in Australia’
Holocaust survivor Paul Drexler tells former treasurer Josh Frydenberg that evidence of antisemitism coming into Australia is a big worry.

Dennis Richardson: Protests celebrating Hamas’ terrorist attack were ‘disgraceful’
Former ASIO director and secretary of defence Dennis Richardson has condemned all protests in Australia celebrating Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7, branding them “disgraceful”.

Nova Peris: ‘I couldn’t remain silent’ while Jewish people were ‘kicked to the curb’
Olympic champion and former Labor senator Nova Peris tells former treasurer Josh Frydenberg she could not remain silent while Jewish people were kicked to the curb because of their religion.

Sir Peter Cosgrove: Australians making Jewish people’s lives ‘unbearable’ must ‘wake up’
Former governor general Sir Peter Cosgrove has warned Australians making Jewish people’s lives unbearable to cut it out and wake up to yourselves.
Holocaust survivor reveals how he feels ‘unsafe and threatened’ amid rise of antisemitism
Holocaust survivor Egon Sonnenschein has revealed he feels unsafe and threatened amid the rise of antisemitism in Australia.

Mr Sonnenschein spoke to former treasurer Josh Frydenberg in part of a new Sky News Australia documentary 'Never Again: The Fight Against Antisemitism'.

The former treasurer in the documentary takes a look at the danger antisemitism poses to social cohesion and how it undermines Australian values of tolerance and diversity.

Mr Frydenberg said for someone who came from Europe after the horrors of the Holocaust and says he's now “feeling unsafe and threatened, that's just not on”.

“It’s a sign, if we needed another sign, of a comprehensive failure of leadership in this country from government, from our institutions, from law enforcement.

“That’s seen this explosion of antisemitism in the last eight months since the tragedy of October 7.”

Antisemitism at a point ‘never seen’ before in Australia: Josh Burns
Labor MP Josh Burns says antisemitism has reached a point he has “never seen” before in Australia.

“I think the numbers reflect that – there’s been over a 700 per cent increase in antisemitism in the last few months since October 7,” he told Sky News Australia.

“So I think there is a moment right now where we all need to come together and deal with this.”

Seth Mandel: Self-Loathing in South Florida
The true history, you see—the one where Jews lived safely and securely under the warm wings of 2,000 years’ worth of governments—was kept from Jen Perelman. She was propagandized.

This particular idea has become standard fare among American Jews seeking acceptance from their peers. A few years ago, the actor Seth Rogen complained about being “fed a huge amount of lies” about Israel at Jewish schools and camps in Vancouver, that hotbed of militant Zionist indoctrination. This is apparently the consensus talking point among the AsAJews who are sorry for being Jewish: They were fooled by their terrible family and terrible friends.

This nonsense is much worse than if they would just say “I have changed my mind.” Because these cowards paint a picture of Jews as a clannish, deceitful people by nature who cannot safely be trusted with the care of children. For the rest of the world, it’s taken as a confirmation of all the classic tropes about Jews.

There is a certain consistency to this, at least. To such people the Palestinians have no agency and also they, the Jews, have no agency. They’re all puppets of some master conspiracy, probably being controlled by someone in Vancouver.

Of course plenty of American Jews feel this way, but rarely is it the basis for a congressional candidacy. Also: The 25th District is one of the most Jewish congressional districts in the country. Perelman’s decision to bet the farm on self-loathing seems a shaky strategy to say the least.

And yet, of course, it must be pointed out that sometimes Jew-baiting works in the strangest of places. After all, in 2020 Jamaal Bowman unseated Eliot Engel in a New York Democratic primary.

Still, Perelman’s campaign is a long shot by any reasonable estimation. Running on the theme that the people of her district are evil probably won’t get her very far this time either.
The Limits of ‘The Israel Lobby’
Mearsheimer and Walt insist that Americans weren’t having an open discussion about Israel until they came along. Recall Mearsheimer’s claim that they “helped to expose” the lobby, which is “now forced to operate much more out in the open.” But their own footnotes demonstrate that there has been an open and robust debate about America’s relationship with Israel for decades. In the introduction to The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer and Walt note that they were “gratified” by the reaction to the LRB essay, which included “respectful appraisals” in a long list of major publications, a symposium on the article organised by Foreign Policy magazine, and a cover story published in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine. If one of the lobby’s most important tasks is the suppression of dissent, they are not very good at it.

Nor has the lobby been effective at subordinating US interests to those of Israel. In The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer and Walt write that Barack Obama—who was then a senator vying for the Democratic presidential nomination—made it “manifestly clear that he would do nothing to change the U.S.-Israeli relationship.” But one of the Obama administration’s major foreign-policy initiatives was the negotiation of a nuclear deal with Iran, which his administration pursued and signed in defiance of vehement Israeli protests. Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu even delivered a speech to Congress in March 2015 in which he condemned what he described as a “very bad deal” with Iran. The Trump administration later shredded the deal and reintroduced sanctions, but Iran is now rapidly stockpiling enriched uranium and moving toward the production of a bomb.

An alleged example of the Israel lobby’s power cited by Mearsheimer and Walt was the failed effort by President Ronald Reagan and Secretary of State George P. Shultz to prevent the authorisation of a $250 million military aid package for Israel after its invasion of Lebanon in 1982. As Shultz later recalled: “We fought the supplement and fought it hard.” While it’s true that Reagan and Shultz were overridden by Congress, this story also demonstrates that the Israel lobby failed to convince the president and secretary of state. Furthermore, a year earlier, the Reagan administration sold AWACS aircraft to Saudi Arabia in a multi-billion dollar deal that Israel strongly opposed.

Since 7 October, Biden has discovered that the Israel lobby isn’t the only political force he has to worry about. A March Gallup poll found that just 36 percent of Americans approve of the war in Gaza, while 55 percent disapprove. Among Democrats, these numbers are even more lopsided: 18 percent approve and 75 percent disapprove. It doesn’t help that Israel is currently governed by a right-wing coalition with several extremists in positions of real power. Biden is struggling to find a balance between supporting Israel and urging it to work toward a ceasefire.

These political conditions cut against Mearsheimer and Walt’s assertion that the Israel lobby is a political juggernaut that can steamroll its opponents at will. In a recent talk, Mearsheimer found it difficult to reconcile the hostility to Israel’s war in Gaza with his conviction that the Israel lobby enjoys a stranglehold on American public opinion and political discourse. He marvelled at the collapse in support for Israel among Democrats over the war moments before declaring that “Joe Biden is not going to be able to put meaningful pressure on the lobby. You understand Joe Biden wants to win the election this coming November.” After Biden withheld a delivery of high payload munitions, Mearsheimer said: “All sorts of supporters of Israel told Joe Biden in no uncertain terms: ‘You want to remember, you’re up for reelection and we won’t forget.’”

While many Americans continue to support Israel, the images of war and destruction pouring out of Gaza have dented this support. Young Americans are particularly critical of Israel—just 18 percent of young voters approve of how Biden is handling the war. Among young Democrats, 47 percent say they sympathise more with the Palestinians while just seven percent say the same about Israelis. A Harvard/Harris survey conducted less than two weeks after 7 October and before Israel launched its full invasion of Gaza found that a majority of 18- to 24-year-olds (and 48 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds) believed the massacre of Israeli civilians could be “justified by the grievances of Palestinians.”

“When I think about how I thought about Israel and virtually everybody I knew thought about Israel when I was a young boy and I was a young man,” Mearsheimer said recently, “and how virtually everybody I know now thinks about Israel, a fundamental transformation has taken place.” This is quite an admission for someone who spends so much time arguing that the lobby controls the political narrative in the United States. Mearsheimer continues to insist that the Israel lobby is a political Goliath—in many recent media appearances, he has declared that it’s as “powerful as ever.” But he also wants to take credit for a “fundamental transformation” of American public opinion toward Israel, which is why he boasts about “exposing” the lobby’s activities and forcing it “out in the open.”

We’re witnessing a major test of the thesis Mearsheimer and Walt have been circulating for almost two decades. The United States’ support for Israel has long been a reflection of Americans’ genuinely positive attitudes toward the Jewish state, but we may be seeing a generational shift in those attitudes. Young Americans don’t have the same historical proximity to the Holocaust and they’re more likely to consider Israel a colonial aggressor than a safe haven for Jews. Many are coming of age politically at a time when Israel is routinely accused of genocide and as horrific images of the war in Gaza fill their TikTok feeds. If it’s true, as Mearsheimer frequently reminds us, that the Israel lobby is as powerful as ever, why is it allowing this to happen? And if shifting American attitudes toward Israel persist in the years to come, will Mearsheimer and Walt reevaluate their claim that the lobby is unchallengeable in the United States?

Mearsheimer recently made a surprising admission. Although The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy asserts that Israel’s neighbours don’t really want to destroy the Jewish state, he admitted that the Israelis are “surrounded by adversaries who loathe them, would like to destroy them.” It may be the case that many younger Americans aren’t especially concerned about this fact because they’re not as invested in Israel as their parents and grandparents were. If this is true, it means that Israel’s supporters in the United States will have to win over their fellow citizens once again. Mearsheimer and Walt would describe this as a reconstitution of “the lobby,” but in a free and fractious society like the United States, there’s a more apt word for it: politics.
Islamism must be on the agenda in this election
Islamist extremism remains the predominant terror threat in the UK. Islamist terrorists have claimed the lives of 94 people from the 2005 7/7 bombings onwards (far-right terrorists, for all the media hype about this threat, have killed just three people in the same period). The weekly ‘pro-Palestine’ demos in London and elsewhere have given vent to all manner of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Polling shows that anti-Semitic views (while nowhere near a majority) are more likely to be held by Muslims than the general population – especially by Muslims who are poorly integrated into British society. Sectarian voting along religious lines is also fast becoming a grim feature of our politics.

Ironically, these are just some of the problems that Trevor Phillips has himself tried to talk about in the past. He once lambasted the ‘squeamishness’ of the political class for its refusal to confront ‘the dark side of our diverse society’. In Race and Faith: The Deafening Silence, a 2016 pamphlet for the Civitas think-tank, he described British Muslims as ‘resistant to the traditional process of integration’. Unless we talk about this openly, he said, then Britain risks ‘sleepwalking into a catastrophe that will set community against community, endorse sexist aggression, suppress freedom of expression, reverse hard-won civil liberties and undermine the liberal democracy’. As if to prove Phillips’s point – that such criticisms have become unsayable in polite society – these remarks contributed to his suspension from the Labour Party back in 2020.

By all means, we should call out Farage for exaggerating the scale of British Muslim support for Hamas. Not least as this is likely to alienate the sensible majority of Muslims who we need to be a part of the fightback against the more regressive elements within their communities. But we cannot allow these problems – from the failures of integration to the rise of Islamist extremism – to be shut out of this election campaign – to be dismissed with knee-jerk accusations of ‘Islamophobia’. That would do a grave disservice to British voters, British Muslims included.
The Diane Abbott row reveals the poison of woke anti-Semitism
A mistake? That’s certainly been the claim Diane Abbott has been making since her letter appeared in the pages of the Observer last April, in which she took issue with an article that argued racism has never simply been about skin colour, given the murderous hatred meted out against Jews and other groups throughout history. She said ‘an initial draft’ was sent accidentally. But this has always been impossible to believe.

Jews, Travellers and the Irish ‘undoubtedly experience prejudice’, declared Abbott’s letter. ‘It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice. But they are not all their lives subject to racism. In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus.’

Read that again and tell me you think it was nothing more than a mishap – a schoolboy error. I mean, who among us hasn’t accidentally sent a letter to a national newspaper, blithely suggesting that Jews experienced no worse than your average ginger during the dark days of the mid-20th century? You know, despite the mechanised, genocidal horrors of the Holocaust.

Abbott was good enough to apologise, almost instantly, for her comments. But as Jake Wallis Simons, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, put it at the time: ‘You don’t just say things like that by mistake. You say them because you think them, and then you seek to tone them down when you realise how offensive they are, belatedly, because of the outrage that you face.’

Since then, the accidental-letter thesis has collided with the evidence. The JC has revealed that Abbott sent the same letter in twice, just hours apart, from her own email address, suggesting this wasn’t the work of a fat-fingered aide. Now, the BBC reports that she has admitted to Labour officials that the ‘initial draft’ was ‘the only version that had been written’.

That letter was the starkest illustration yet of how woke identity politics rejects the suffering of Jews. Under the new racial ideology, which has become the prevailing orthodoxy on Abbott’s section of the left, Jews have ludicrously, despicably, been recast as privileged whites who cannot experience racism, by definition.

This dismissal of Jewish suffering – past and present – provides the kindling for the new, woke anti-Semitism. It is how an Islamist pogrom against Jewish civilians can be hailed by self-identified progressives as an act of resistance. For if Israelis and Jews can never really be the victims, then any agitation against them is justified.

GIVE ME BACK MY SON | Hostage Father's Urgent Plea
It’s been eight months since the October 7 Massacre, and still the residents of Kibbutz Nir Oz, a mile away from Gaza, have not had time to mourn. This tight-knit community was the hardest hit, with over a quarter of its people massacred or abducted on October 7.

Professor. Jonathan Dekel-Chen and his family were residents of Kibbutz Nir-Oz. He wasn’t at home that gruesome weekend. But his son Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35, a US-Israeli citizen, was taken hostage as he fought to hold back the terrorist invasion. Jonathan is fighting for his son’s freedom, and that of all remaining hostages. In this brutally frank and open conversation Jonathan doesn’t hold back, demanding of the Israeli government: BRING THEM HOME. While demanding world governments to pressure Hamas to LET THEM GO.

This conversation pulls no punches and takes a stark and uncomfortable look at where we stand today as a people. It is painful to listen to and contains graphic descriptions of the atrocities of October 7. But we can’t let the world forget what happened, and we can’t let it forget the hostages rotting in Hamas captivity. You should feel uncomfortable. Because none of us are free, until all of them are free.

Shani Louk's father says he is 'lucky' compared to other hostage relatives
Nissim Louk, whose daughter Shani's body was recently returned from Gaza in an IDF operation, reflects on her life, death, and why he considers himself 'lucky' compared to the relatives of other Israeli hostages still held by terrorists

Ocasio-Cortez agrees as Twitch streamer blames Abraham Accords for Oct. 7 attack
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) agreed with a popular far-left Twitch streamer last week that the Abraham Accords, and other U.S. policies, were significantly responsible for the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The political streamer, Hasan Piker, said the attack was, “a direct consequence of the Abraham Accords and many of Jared Kushner’s and Donald Trump’s administration’s actions, like moving the embassy to Jerusalem.” Ocasio-Cortez, appearing on Piker’s show, responded, “10,000%.”

“He is just as responsible for Oct. 7 as anyone else… it directly happened as a direct consequence of him moving the embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the annexed territory of Golan Heights as Israeli territory, going against international law and also conducting the Abraham Accords, completely sidestepping the Palestinians in the conversation. That is a major reason,” he continued, as Ocasio-Cortez continued to nod along and said, “mhm.”

Ocasio-Cortez appeared on Piker’s stream to watch and comment on a rally by Trump in the Bronx last week. Piker’s comments came in response to a remark by Trump claiming that the Oct. 7 attack would not have happened if he were in office.

During the stream, Ocasio-Cortez also described the Israeli operations in Gaza as a genocide.

She’s appeared with Piker at least once in the past.

Piker also hosted on his show a Yemeni influencer who filmed himself onboard a civilian commercial ship seized by the Houthis. On that stream, Piker compared the Yemeni terrorist group favorably to the pirate hero of a Japanese cartoon series.

Piker has been outspoken against Israel since Oct. 7, including offering or defending arguments that the Oct. 7 attack was inevitable and potentially understandable and justifiable, while often stopping short of directly endorsing the attack.

Ocasio-Cortez has also recently come under attack from erstwhile allies on the far left, who have accused her of being insufficiently outspoken against Israel. Recently, the Palestine Solidarity Working Group — formerly associated with the Democratic Socialists of America — promoted a post calling AOC “responsible for this genocide as much as Biden.”

Bon Iver fans outraged over band’s donation to Israeli-Palestinian peace charity
One of America's biggest indie bands, Bon Iver, is facing criticism from fans after donating money to Israel-Palestine co-existence charity, Standing Together.

The Grammy-award-winning band fronted by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon is famed for collaborations with Kanye West, James Blake and Taylor Swift.

Bon Iver announced donations to different organisations that “aid communities in need”. These have included an American political candidate, a Palestinian charity, and on Tuesday, the band said they would donate to Standing Together.

The grassroots movement mobilises Jews and Palestinians in “pursuit of peace, equality, and social and climate justice.” The movement seeks to build “peace and independence for Israelis and Palestinians, full equality for all citizens, and true social, economic, and environmental justice.”

Many of Bon Iver’s followers slammed the announcement.

“My favourite band of all time going in the bin,” one commenter said.

Another added, “Is it that hard to say free Palestine? To say you don’t stand with genocide?”

“Didn’t expect to unfollow Bon Iver today.”

Another follower wrote, “You can’t find it in you to fight for the women in Palestine who have been murdered in cold blood or the women who are holding the lifeless body of their child while Israel continues to shoot at them.”

“This just feels so wrong. Palestinian citizens of Israel? And the actual Palestinian citizens of Palestine, who are paying the highest and unjustifiable price for all of this?”

Bill Maher shuts down Roseanne star Sandra Bernhard after the Jewish actress accused conservatives of spreading antisemitism
Bill Maher shut down fellow comedian Sandra Bernhard on his podcast after she claimed conservatives were the main cause of the alarming rise of antisemitism in America.

The Roseanne star, who is Jewish, was speaking to Maher - an atheist whose mother was Jewish - on an episode of his Club Random podcast.

She argued that despite protests among left-wing, anti-Israel activists on college campuses and in various major cities, she doesn't feel afraid.

'I like being Jewish. I go to Shabbat, I do my thing. But everybody's suddenly like, 'I'm Jewish, and I'm being [persecuted].' I don't feel persecuted,' she said.

Maher responded by saying: 'There is an antisemitism afoot in this country which we haven't had in a very long time.'

When Bernhard tried to say that it came from the extreme right, Maher immediately cut her off.

'No, it doesn't,' Maher said. 'The right-wing has the 'Jews will not replace us' nonsense. The left-wing is even worse.'

When Bernhard asked Maher to explain, he blamed liberals' obsession with identity politics for spreading anti-Jewish sentiment.

'That is coming down from elite colleges who see everything only through a racial lens. They are stupid. They don't know history. They think everything is about colonizers and racists, and how awful America is,' he said.

Maher said that while America 'has done some bad things,' the left is using Israel as a stand-in for 'every bad thing white people ever did.'

'This is not any more complicated to most of these college kids than the Palestinians are brown and poor and the Israelis are rich and white,' he said.

Bernhard then tried to pivot to criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

'But can we get on the same page and agree that Benjamin Netanyahu is a s*** disturber and needs to be yanked out of Israel? He is not good for Israel. He is not good for Jews,' she said.

'He has also contributed to the global mistrust – it shouldn't be Jews, it's Israelis. He is solidly to blame for everything that's happening right now.'

Maher, who has had Prime Minister Netanyahu on his show as a guest, again pushed back.

'He is so not to blame for everything that's happening. That's the fault of the Palestinian people and the religion of Islam, which gets lost in all of this,' he said.

When Bernhard asked him to clarify, he said that Hamas is 'mostly to blame.'
Jenna Ortega voices her support for Palestine and demands to know 'where is the humanity' - just months after Scream VII co-star Melissa Barrera was fired for criticizing Israel
Jenna Ortega has called for a ceasefire in Gaza months after her former Scream VII co-star was fired for voicing support for Palestinians.

The Wednesday star posted a photo of a Palestinian family sitting in a field of flowers smiling, apparently before the October 7 Hamas attack prompted Israel's invasion.

'Masses debating over a ceasefire while thousands upon thousands of children continue being slaughtered. Where is the humanity,' she wrote.

Ortega shared other pro-Palestinian content on her Instagram in recent days as Israel killed dozens of refugees in bombings of Rafah.

But this is the first time she posted about the conflict on her main feed and wrote a statement about the situation.

Ortega's former Scream VII co-star Melissa Barrera was in November dumped from the horror film after making her own posts in support of Palestinians.

However, hers were more provocative than Ortega's and were deemed 'hate speech' by production company Spyglass.

'Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp,' she wrote in one Instagram story.

'Cornering everyone together, with no where to go, no electricity no water… People have learnt nothing from our histories.

'And just like our histories, people are still silently watching it all happen. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING.'
Al-Qaeda’s general command lauds attacks against Jews, commends anti-Israel protests on Western campuses
A recent statement released by al-Qaeda’s general command – which is a term it uses to to denote its central leadership – praised and endorsed attacks against “Zionists” in response to the war in the Gaza Strip. Al-Qaeda also noted and appreciated anti-Israel protests and campus sit-ins happening in Western countries.

“We were happy, and every Muslim was happy, with these revenge attacks and operations carried out by the youth of the Islamic nation, especially the heroes of the revenge action in the land of Canaan,” the communique states.

The statement then comments that “we call on the youth of our nation to follow this blessed path…outpace them with the number of operations and the force of strikes and to fill the hearts of the children of Zion with terror in retaliation for the blood of our oppressed people in Gaza.”

Continuing its praise, al-Qaeda’s senior command states, “While we support the assassination of the infidel Zionists and the beheading of them, we also appreciate and value the movement of Western demonstrators and sit-in students from Western universities, who through their sit-ins and protests expressed their rejection of the genocide taking place in Gaza…”

Like other Middle East terrorist organizations and their ilk, al-Qaeda has recognized that anti-Israel protests, including those on Western campuses, have had a positive effect on the global jihad movement against Jews and Israel.

Despite their differences in ideology and tactics, terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and now al-Qaeda are praising the protests, which are often organized by movements that are considered heretical by these organizations.

Nevertheless, al-Qaeda and other groups are seizing the opportunity created by the widespread protests to rally their respective organizations and possibly co-opt naive Westerners to their cause.
Jewish family among the most substantial backers of campus protests
Among those funding the anti-Israel protests on American college campuses is a Jewish family.

A new report from by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) claims that the Bafrayung Fund, which belongs to one of the richest and most politically involved Jewish families in the US, sent large sums of money over the past few months to encourage and fund anti-Israel student protests.

At the head of the fund is Rachel Gelman, 33, a descendant of the famous clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss. Gelman is a relative of US Rep. Dan Gelman (D-NY).

According to the report, which looked into the funding sources of the National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) movement, the Bafrayung Fund is the most substantial monetary supporter of the organization, which is among those behind the anti-Israel protests on American campuses.

The fund also contributed to other anti-Israel organizations, some of which have commonly used the motto: "From the river to the sea Palestine will be free." The fund has contributed $60,000 to the Palestinian Youth Movement and $40,000 to the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.

Rachel Gelman's mother, Susie, was one of President Biden's candidates for the position of ambassador to Israel. Between 2016 and 2023 Susie served as chairperson of the Israel Policy Forum, founded in the 90's to support negotiations for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

During her tenure, she regularly criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu and his right-wing governments.
NY Post Editorial: Don’t be fooled: Harvard’s neutrality pledge is just lefty butt-covering
Harvard University has announced it will stop using its institutional voice to weigh in on “matters that do not directly affect the university’s core function.”

We’d love to applaud this as a return to sanity, but the move looks purely cynical.

Look: There’s no earthly reason a university should ever comment as a school on contentious social issues.

Harvard has one mission: to educate.

And between its insane DEI policies and the wider transformation of American universities into four-year spa/baby-sitting combos for rich kids and aspiring rich kids, it has quite enough trouble doing that already.

Also, even on the rare occasions when Harvard lands on the right side of history — like 2022 remarks from then-prez Lawrence Bacow condemning Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — we have to ask: What’s the point, beyond useless moral grandstanding?

More importantly, the timing of this sudden switch is beyond telling.

Why only do it after ousted president Claudine Gay’s shameful equivocations around the terrorist atrocities of Oct. 7?

And after huge chunks of the school’s faculty and students borrowed the cloak of institutional legitimacy as they proudly backed the genocidaires of Hamas?
Head of Harvard's Islamophobia Task Force Signed Statement in Support of 'Palestinian Liberation Struggle'
The co-chair of Harvard University’s Islamophobia task force signed a statement that endorsed the "Palestinian liberation struggle" and slandered Israel as an "apartheid regime."

In February, interim Harvard president Alan Garber tapped Ali Asani, a professor of Middle Eastern studies, to co-chair the Presidential Task Force on Combating Anti-Muslim and Anti-Arab Bias, which was created to "examine the recent history of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias and its current manifestations." Roughly three years prior, in May 2021, Asani signed onto a Harvard faculty member statement that expressed "solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom and self-determination" and accused the Jewish state of "apartheid."

"Israeli state violence has devastated Palestinian life through a combination of warfare, territorial theft, and violent displacement," states a version of the statement posted to fellow Harvard professor Ajantha Subramanian's Medium page. "Unwavering US financial, military and political support has fueled an apartheid system that institutionalized the domination and repression of Palestinians."

"In this moment when Israeli ethnonationalist violence is at an all-time high, US military support remains steadfast, and solidarity with Palestine is criminalized, US-based scholars cannot be silent," the statement continues. "We demand an end to US support for Israel's apartheid regime, condemn Israeli state aggression, and affirm our support for the Palestinian liberation struggle." More than 70 Harvard faculty members signed the statement.

Asani has since rallied behind the student protesters who formed an illegal anti-Israel encampment on Harvard's campus.

Just weeks ago, on May 7, Asani signed a faculty letter urging Garber to negotiate with the student protesters behind an illegal anti-Israel encampment. The letter also condemned "threats of disciplinary action" against those students.

Last week, meanwhile, Asani signed another open letter to Garber that condemned sanctions against encampment participants and urged Harvard to allow 14 seniors disciplined over their roles in the illegal protest to graduate.

Neither Asani nor Harvard responded to requests for comment.
The Learning Curve: Israeli Harvard Student Maya Shiloni on Campus Antisemitism
This week on The Learning Curve co-hosts U-Arkansas Prof. Albert Cheng and DFER’s Alisha Searcy interview Harvard student Maya Shiloni. Ms. Shiloni discusses her Israeli upbringing, academic journey at Harvard, and experiences as a world-class dancer. She addresses leadership crises in higher education, religious toleration, and the impact of the October 2023 Hamas attacks on Israel. In closing, Shiloni also highlights her aim to bridge understanding on American campus issues and international conflicts.

Maya Shiloni is an Israeli-American student at Harvard College studying Government and Economics with a citation in Arabic. She is an opinion editor with The Crimson, Harvard’s leading student newspaper. In 2023, Maya interned for Knesset Member Meirav Cohen, and this summer, she will be working for Congressman Josh Gottheimer. She is also three-time gold medalist at the Dance World Cup, the largest international dance competition.

Two Israelis critically injured in Samaria car-ramming attack
Two Israelis were critically injured in a terrorist car-ramming attack near the city of Nablus (Shechem) in Samaria on Wednesday night, according to Hebrew media reports.

Paramedics reportedly treated both victims on the scene before evacuating them to the Rabin Medical Center’s Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah by military ambulance.

The terrorist managed to escape and flee towards Nablus, according to Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed it received reports of “a run-over attack near Nablus in the Samaria Division.” A large IDF force launched a manhunt for the suspect, the military said.

The terrorist reportedly turned himself in to Palestinian Authority police, per Kan, adding that he had yet to be transferred to IDF custody.

According to the Hatzalah Judea and Samaria (Rescuers Without Borders) emergency response group, the attack took place between the Hatmar Shomron Junction and the Israeli community of Itamar.
Hamas terrorists fire at Jewish community in Bat Hefer, near Tulkarm
Hamas terrorists fired at the Jewish community of Bat Hefer in the Sharon region, the IDF confirmed on Wednesday.

"A short time ago, terrorists fired from the Tulkarm area towards the Bat Hefer," said the IDF.

"IDF forces rushed to the scene and began to scan the area."

No further security threats were found, and the IDF is now working to locate the shooters.

According to the reports from the settlement, there were no injuries but damage to property was detected.

Continual security breaches
This is reportedly the second shooting in Bat Hefer in two days. On Tuesday, terrorists from Tulkarm were said to have fired at the community and published similar footage of the shooting.

Galit Shaul, head of the Emek Hefer Regional Council, called for security presence in the area to be increased: "Our residents live in increasing anxiety, every day another red line is crossed."

"We have been warning for weeks about the escalation in the area, and unfortunately the situation continues to deteriorate," Shaul said. "We call on the IDF and the State of Israel to wake up and act with determination and zero patience in the face of the serious events. It should not be possible for Palestinians to cross the fence unimpeded in broad daylight. It should not possible for them to shoot at our settlements again and again," Shaul added.

"We must take the necessary steps immediately before it is too late: make sure IDF soldiers and security guards are present in the area on a regular basis; add [...] establish a buffer zone beyond the wall, which will prevent them approaching Bat Hefer."

How Did Universal Studios Owner Save 1,000s of Jews? | Explained
Carl Laemmle is celebrated as the founder of Universal Studios and the architect of Hollywood, but his most significant legacy lies in his heroic rescue efforts during the rise of Nazi Germany.

Born in Germany and a pioneer in the American film industry, Laemmle used his influence to save over a thousand Jews from the Holocaust. Despite facing America's stringent anti-immigration policies and widespread antisemitism, he managed to secure safe passage for countless individuals, challenging indifference with action.

00:00 Intro
00:37 Laemmle immigrates to America
01:05 Achievements in cinema - star power and Hollywood
01:45 Post-WW1 Germany
02:40 "All Quiet on the Western Front"
04:44 Warning Jews in Germany
05:14 Universal Studios leaves Nazi Germany
05:43 Laemmle begins saving Jews from Nazi Germany full-time
06:06 US immigration policy, quotas and sponsorship
06:43 Laemmle saves over 1,000 Jews
07:20 Antisemitism in USA
08:50 Laemmle's continued support for refugees
09:22 Remembering Laemmle's legacy

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood performs in Tel Aviv, demonstrates for hostage release
Radiohead co-founder and guitarist Jonny Greenwood performed in Tel Aviv on Sunday night with sometimes musical collaborator Dudu Tessa, a day after being photographed at the Kaplan Street protests calling for the release of the hostages in Gaza and new elections in Israel. Greenwood is married to Israeli artist Sharona Katan, whose family lost a nephew serving in the IDF since the October 7th war began. At the show at the Barby Club, Greenwood and Tessa performed songs from their 2023 album of Arabic love songs, Jarak Qaribak, recorded with artists from around the Middle East, including Ahmed Duma from Cairo, Noor Freitah from Ramallah and Rashid Al-Najjar from Beirut. Those guests weren’t at the show Sunday night at the Barby Club, nor did a planned European tour for the album come to fruition, all victims of the war. Freitah shared a post at the beginning of the war claiming that the Israeli babies murdered by Hamas were "fake." At the show, Tessa commented that "there are musicians here, not politicians," N12 reported. "Music has always worked wonders, may we know better days and may everyone return safely."

'Most powerful experience of my life': Jerry Seinfeld in tears over Oct. 7 atrocities
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld said that his visit to Israel following Hamas's terrorist attack in October was "the most powerful experience of my life. Yes, definitely," in an interview with journalist Bari Weiss on the Tuesday episode of her podcast "Honestly."

When asked why, he became emotional and struggled to speak. "You know, it's just... you know," he replied with a choked voice. When Weiss asked him if he was thinking of anyone in particular, he nodded and took out a handkerchief to wipe his eyes.

In the interview, Seinfeld was also asked about the criticism he received from anti-Israel protesters. "I find it amusing that people see me in a political light," Seinfeld said.

Since the October 7 massacre, Seinfeld has consistently expressed support for Israel. A few days after the attack, he posted on his Instagram account, which has 1.3 million followers.

"I lived and worked on a kibbutz in Israel when I was 16," Seinfeld wrote in the post. "Since then, I have loved our Jewish homeland. My heart is broken by these attacks and horrors, but we are a strong people both in heart and mind. We believe in justice, freedom, and equality. We will survive and thrive. I will always stand by Israel and the Jewish people."
Jerry Seinfeld on the Rules of Comedy—and Life | Honestly with Bari Weiss
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!

But now, during a time that is supposed to be the most inclusive, the most sensitive, the most accepting, and the most tolerant time in human history, Jerry Seinfeld is targeted for being a Jew.

You’ve probably heard or seen Jerry somewhere recently—from The New Yorker to GQ to… every podcast in the world. That’s because he has a new movie out called Unfrosted, which you should definitely go watch on Netflix. It’s hilarious, heartwarming, and you will love it.

But today’s conversation with Jerry is unlike the ones you’ve heard. He’s unfiltered. He’s emotional. And he’s speaking his mind.

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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




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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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