Thursday, May 30, 2024

From Ian:

Israel’s Great Strategic Failure
It has become conventional wisdom after Oct. 7 that Israel for years had the wrong policy toward Gaza. While the unfathomable catastrophe of that day has rightly forced a critical examination of all the factors that led to it, it’s arguable that Israel’s broad pre-Oct. 7 policy toward Gaza, in contrast to its strategic conception and military preparation, was at least understandable, if not correct. In contrast, there has been less criticism of Israel’s policy toward Hezbollah in Lebanon over the past two decades. Not only does the policy toward the northern front raise even more troubling questions than Gaza, but also, now more than ever, it looks like a major strategic failure.

Ever since Hamas took control of Gaza by force in 2007, Israel has fought several small wars with the genocidal terrorist organization, in response to rocket attacks from the Strip: in 2008-09, 2012, 2014, and 2021. There were also shorter Israeli military campaigns against the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in 2022 and 2023. In each of these conflicts, Israel would have been justified to enter Gaza and destroy Hamas in self-defense, but never felt so compelled—until Oct. 7.

It has been frequently reported that Israel, or at least its military intelligence agency, had a faulty strategic conception, the so-called “konceptzia,” that Hamas was deterred for now and more focused on governing Gaza than on attacking Israel. Many pundits in the Israeli and American media, who are overwhelmingly hostile to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, contend he was driven to prop up Hamas over the years with the help of Qatari money in order to divide the Palestinians and reduce pressure for a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Netanyahu, who has waged several wars against Hamas, has repeatedly denied this claim. While there have been plenty of leaks in the media already, Israeli military and government probes are expected to reveal what the military intelligence’s konceptzia was, what was motivating Netanyahu and other Israeli political and military leaders, and what contributed to the IDF inadequately preparing for, and/or ignoring signals of, a major Hamas attack.

In the meantime, it’s worth exploring why Israel did not invade Gaza and uproot Hamas from power years ago, based on the premise that Oct. 7 was not inevitable.

The threat from Gaza, however challenging, appeared increasingly manageable to most Israeli military and civilian leaders, despite the short wars with Hamas and PIJ. This misplaced confidence appears to have been partly driven by an overreliance on technology and missile defense. The 2011 deployment of Iron Dome, Israel’s 90%-plus-effective, short-range air defense system, seemingly minimized the rocket threat. With Iron Beam—a laser version that will be at the very least a powerful supplement to Iron Dome—soon to be deployed, Israel believed it was poised to have an even better counter to rockets fired from Gaza. One Israeli military expert told me a few years ago that once Iron Beam was deployed Israel won’t care what happens inside Gaza.

Hamas’ subterranean (tunnel) threat, which already seemed significant a decade ago, was thought neutralized with the installation along the border of underground sensors and barriers. Israel also believed it had neutralized the threat of a land invasion by installing an expensive fence with sensors and cameras. Moreover, the Israeli Air Force continued to operate at will in Gaza, often successfully killing Hamas and PIJ commanders and destroying terrorist infrastructure with precision strikes.

Secure in the belief that these measures had militarily neutralized the Hamas threat, Israel’s civilian and military leaders were mostly averse to destroying Hamas and removing it from power in Gaza.

Israel remained loath to reoccupy Gaza, which it occupied in 1967 and from which it withdrew in 2005, out of concern that any attempt to do so would result in significant Israeli military casualties. Worse, it would bog Israel down in an unwanted occupation of Palestinians in what was viewed as a secondary or tertiary theater compared to the far more potent and immediate threat of Hezbollah to its north and Iran’s nuclear program. Also, Israel had tried its hand at shaping domestic Arab political arrangements in Lebanon in 1982, where it failed spectacularly, and its leaders opposed trying it again ever since. Further, Israeli leaders understood that such an effort in Gaza would be met by fierce international opposition. Indeed, it faced such opposition every time it launched a military campaign in retaliation for Hamas or PIJ firing rockets.

Moreover, when it comes to who could or would responsibly rule Gaza post-Hamas without threatening Israel, there simply never were serious candidates. Egypt did not want Gaza back after losing it to Israel in the 1967 war. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat wisely sought every inch of Sinai and not one inch of Gaza in Egypt’s peace agreement with Israel four decades ago. After the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) spectacular rout at the hands of Hamas two years after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Israeli governments increasingly doubted they could rely on the PA to govern the Strip. The PA’s endemic mismanagement, corruption, and radicalism helped spawn overwhelming support for Hamas among its West Bank populace, and its financial rewarding of terrorism is especially anathema to the Israeli political right.
Live by the Law or Die on the Cross
Israel must stop pretending it is a nation like any other

The Jews do not venerate the image of a more-divine-than-usual human who achieved an abstract victory for all of humanity by dying horribly. And because we do not, we cannot accept the Western exhortation to be suicidally gentle with our enemies in order to receive a Christian burial on their “moral high ground.”

There are many things about the Jewish state, both as it currently is and as the Torah imagines it could be, that meet the loftiest ideals of the liberal, crypto-Christian West. Jews by and large love living in the liberal, secular West because our culture has great intuitive affection for freedom of speech and conscience, as well as the need for each unique individual to be given the freedom to discover his God-given purpose.

But as a reflection of the oneness of the God described therein, the Torah is obstinately balanced when it comes to simple principles. It insists on justice, but makes room for mercy. It cherishes human life, but acknowledges deadly violence can be correct. It sees all people as created in the image of God, but it commands the nation of Israel to play a unique priestly role, through example rather than through world-dominating force, in leading the world to greater knowledge and service of God.

Put into practice in 2024, this means that Israel must stop pretending it is a nation like any other, begging to be judged fairly by whatever standards the current hegemon has decreed we all agree upon. We need to look for standards from within our tradition to set a moral example for the whole world, while making it more practically possible to defend our homeland.

Instead of bragging about the extra danger our soldiers experience for the sake of sparing enemy noncombatants, we should reject the premise that we Jews bear any responsibility for protecting the human shields employed by our enemy.

Instead of threatening Jews with arrest for praying on the Temple Mount, we should take a hint from the “Al-Aqsa” moniker our attackers gave to their day of savage invasion and let kohanim up there on the hill to slaughter lambs for Passover.

And above all—given that land is nearly all that matters to this death-worshipping foe—instead of repeatedly withdrawing troops from areas we have just taken over so we can deny having unchristian territorial ambitions, we should conquer, annex, and resettle parts of Gaza so that Jews and friendly gentiles both can live there safely.

If our own, unsurpassably subtle ethical tradition guides us to these policies, then it is only our lingering ideological subjugation to the Western tradition that makes them seem scandalous. Like the Jew among nations, Israel constantly struggles with its half-successful attempt to blend in with the crowd and pretend to be a member like any other, and it is time to put an end to this paralyzing charade. We did not stick to our Law through 3,000 years of human civilization to continue national life as the perpetual defendant. It is our job to know that Law, to teach what we know—and, most of all, to live by it.
UNRWA Head Demonstrates Moral Bankruptcy in Whiny New York Times Op-Ed
How do children react when they are caught red-handed? They blame someone else and cry.

Which is exactly what the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) did on Thursday (May 30), in an op-ed published by The New York Times.

In the article, titled “Israel Must Stop Its Campaign Against UNRWA,” Philippe Lazzarini whines that his organization is under attack by the Jewish state, which has accused it of having links to Gaza terror groups.

The gist of his over-simplistic argument, that omits Hamas as the real target of Israel’s war effort, is as follows: UNRWA is attacked by vicious Israelis for no reason, and the world must do something about it.

Related Reading: Media Outlets Continue To Conceal the Appalling Truth About UNRWA

In his own dramatic words, it sounds like Israel’s war aim is to target and harass innocent UNRWA employees and not Hamas terrorists:
As I write this, our agency has verified that at least 192 UNRWA employees have been killed in Gaza. More than 170 UNRWA premises have been damaged or destroyed. UNRWA-run schools have been demolished.
Israeli officials are not only threatening the work of our staff and mission, they are also delegitimizing UNRWA by effectively characterizing it as a terrorist organization.
How can this be possible? Where is the international outrage? Its absence is a license to disregard the United Nations and opens the door to impunity and chaos.
While Israel has long been hostile to UNRWA, following the abhorrent attacks of Oct. 7 it unleashed a campaign to equate UNRWA with Hamas and depict the agency as promoting extremism.

All of the above allows Lazzarini to deflect criticism and avoid holding himself and his organization accountable in the face of Israeli allegations.

While he refers to the dozen UNRWA employees who have been accused by Israel of participating in the October 7 massacre, he treads lightly: He says that UNRWA investigates Israel’s allegations but at the same time creates the impression of a false dichotomy between the organization and its employees.

In fact, he ignores evidence suggesting that UNRWA has become a Hamas front:
Israel has said that 190 UNRWA employees, including teachers, have doubled as Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorists.
Israel uncovered a Hamas facility under UNRWA headquarters in Gaza.
The IDF regularly releases data showing that Hamas terrorists use UNRWA schools in Gaza.
UN Watch exposed that 3,000 UNRWA teachers were in a Telegram group that celebrated the October 7 attack.

Why does Lazzarini not address these allegations head-on in an apologetic op-ed?

Interestingly, in his frenzy to attack Israel, he seems to admit that Hamas uses UNRWA facilities in Gaza.

How Bibi Does It
Increasingly, it’s become commonplace for people—both those overtly hostile to Israel and those somewhat sympathetic to it—to speak of “Netanyahu’s war.” The phrase betrays stunning ignorance. While Israelis are deeply divided about what direction the war should take, and even more deeply divided in their opinions of the prime minister, the general feeling is that the war is a necessity, being fought by the people’s army as an expression of the national will.

Yet it is hard to have a serious discussion of Israel’s current situation without at some point addressing the role of Benjamin Netanyahu. Tevi Troy’s review of My Brother’s Keeper, a biography of the prime minister by his former chief of staff Ari Harow, sheds some light on his personality. Key to understanding the prime minister, according to Troy, is understanding his view that, in order to influence Western leaders,

you have to convince their voters. This meant that Netanyahu was more interested in how his words were heard by the American people and not so much by American politicians. Netanyahu would accentuate this point by telling aides, “Why speak to 500 people when I could be speaking to 5 million?’”

This focus on communicating to Western voters can and did have the effect of alienating the Western politicians who serve and served those voters. This may be one of the reasons that American politicians find Netanyahu so infuriating, and why his impact drives so many to profanity. . . . Despite inducing all this profanity, Netanyahu himself is much more careful in his choice of words. According to Harow, Netanyahu never curses and is uncomfortable with people who do.

The most shocking revelation is that the prime minister demands that his aides “always wear a suit and tie,” which is “entirely contrary to the prevailing mode of dress in Israel.” More consequential, however, is Troy’s observation about

one trait that may be the most essential to his continued survival, and hence the most infuriating to his enemies. Netanyahu’s military special-forces training taught him to leave all options open at all times. This . . . means that Netanyahu dislikes being cornered and will wait until the last possible moment to decide on a course of action.
Seth Mandel: Israel’s ‘Survival Tax’ and the Gaza War
According to Bloomberg, defense spending as a share of GDP was the lowest it’s ever been before the war. It’s expected to double this year. Bloomberg notes that Israel’s one advantage here is that its economy was growing better than many of those in Western Europe in the previous decade and a half, so there is some padding.

Israel’s economy also has a knack for showing resilience. Its fourth quarter contraction in 2023 was massive, but that was followed by a strong first quarter of this year. That growth stalled a bit last month, raising fears of inflation. Israel may have to wait until 2025 for a big growth spurt. And whether it can fend off adding to public debt will depend on the government’s willingness to trim benefits when necessary, which would require Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to disappoint his already-grumbling coalition partners.

Needless to say, wartime tourism numbers take a nosedive. The country’s tourism sector was practically celebrating the fact that in January it saw about a third of the previous January’s visitors. “Solidarity travel” is a boon but it cannot prop up the industry on its own.

Now, this all sounds gloomier than it really is. Israel has lost years of economic growth following past wars, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. But the current economy is far stronger and more resilient than it was four decades ago, and its work force far more dynamic. Additionally, debt-to-GDP ratio in the mid-’80s was stratospheric; economically speaking, it’s a different country today than it was when past wars threatened the private sector with “lost decades.”

The Start-Up Nation will withstand the war’s economic toll. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a toll. And those who seek to drag out this state of affairs—especially Israel’s allies in the U.S. and Europe—will add unnecessarily to the Jewish state’s burden in the bank just as they are doing on the battlefield. Israel’s friends around the world need to stop imposing this “survival tax” on our ally.
Howard Jacobson, Anthony Julius and others reflect on October 7 in new book
The London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism is releasing a three-volume book about October 7 and its aftermath. The editors and contributors worked urgently through the winter holidays to produce this set of responses, designed to be both intellectually rigorous and accessible to a general audience.

The book will be launched on 3 June at the University of Westminster. Members of the public are invited.

David Hirsh, founder of the LCSCA, said: “There is, said Arendt, an alliance between the elite and the mob. The universities are the intellectual front line and The London Centre defends Jews, as well as the values of reason, democracy and the rule of law on this terrain.”

Edited by Hirsh and professor Rosa Freedman of Reading University, the book includes the text of the Robert Fine Memorial Lecture, delivered on October 22 by novelist and JC columnist Howard Jacobson.

Among the contributors are Anthony Julius, who writes about what changed after 7 October, and American historian Jeffrey Herf, an expert on Nazi propaganda in the Arab world, whose essay focuses on the genocidal ideology of Hamas.
Seth Mandel: Harvard Does the Right Thing for Despicable Reasons
Harvard University has decided to take a vow of silence, and the consensus reaction resembles the moment in The Princess Bride when Inigo says to Andre the Giant’s character, with astonishment in his voice, “Fezzik, you did something right.”

It seems the vast majority of the public is supportive of Harvard’s decision to shut up—especially but not exclusively about political and cultural currents of which its opinions are meaningless yet incendiary.

“Harvard University said Tuesday it will no longer take public positions on matters that do not relate to its core function of academia,” reports the Washington Post, “after a report by a faculty committee found that speaking officially on matters outside its area of expertise carries risks including compromising ‘the integrity and credibility of the institution.’”

Of course, the time to lock the gate is before the horse has bolted, but at least the university sees this past half-year for the teaching moment it was.

And no one is pretending that this isn’t about Gaza: “University leaders said in a statement that they had accepted the recommendations of the committee, which was established in April, and will avoid statements on public issues, including those of social and political significance. Harvard was criticized for its response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, as the violence in Israel and Gaza reignited tensions on U.S. college campuses.”

Harvard, like other universities, makes public statements about issues and events of import. But Oct. 7 proved Harvard’s hate for Israel exceeded its love for the sound of its own voice. Indeed, across American institutions, it was interpreted as controversial to condemn the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust, as Hamas massacred entire neighborhoods and kidnapped hundreds. Harvard was paralyzed by indecision over the question: Is it okay to condemn murder if the victims were Jewish?

“In nearly 50 years of @Harvard affiliation, I have never been as disillusioned and alienated as I am today,” former Harvard president Larry Summers wrote. “The silence from Harvard’s leadership, so far, coupled with a vocal and widely reported student groups’ statement blaming Israel solely, has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel.”

Col. Kemp: Protesters are pawns in anti-Western agenda
There is certainly genocidal intent in Gaza but it is by Hamas, whose charter spells out in black and white the need to cleanse the land of Jews and kill Jews everywhere. Its actions on 7 October prove these are not mere words.

The opposite is true for Israel. I have been inside Gaza several times since this war began and have witnessed the extraordinary measures the IDF takes to minimise the deaths of innocent civilians, in some cases risking the lives of their own soldiers to do so. Their efforts far exceed anything any other army has ever done to mitigate civilian harm, and currently available statistics show a civilian to military death ratio significantly lower than in any comparable conflict.

Of course the University of Sydney protesters have no knowledge of this either. How could they? They are fed on a diet of Israel’s illegitimacy and unique evil and will dismiss out of hand any views that waver from that.

Their actions do nothing to help the people of Gaza, in fact the reverse. Like the ICJ they and their fellows around the world help prolong the fighting by encouraging the terrorists, even though some Hamas-supporting religious leaders complain that LGBTQ students among their number offend Allah and have the opposite effect.

As a visitor to Australia for the last three weeks I would guess the average fair-minded Aussie will have no truck with these protesters who, according to some students and staff, aim much of their ire directly at Jewish students. Several have recounted examples of deliberate intimidation on campus.

One student told me she took an Australian flag to the encampment which was met by as much venom as an Israeli flag. For many protesters and their puppet-masters, the Iranian, Russian and Chinese-funded anti-Israel cause is just another intersectional weapon against Australian democracy and values, exactly as their counterparts in the US and UK are all-too-often anti-American and anti-British.
Nova Peris rejects the Australian Indigenous and Palestinian Solidarity Movement
I remember first hearing about Nova Peris when she became the first Aboriginal to win an Olympic gold medal, as a member of the victorious Hockeyroos team in Atlanta’s Olympic Games, 1996. Amongst her many elite sporting accomplishments, Peris is one of few athletes who have represented their country in two different sports; hockey and athletics, and separate Olympic Games.

In 2013, Peris became Australia’s first Aboriginal woman elected to federal parliament as a Senator for the Northern Territory in Julia Gillard’s Labor Government. More recently, Peris has offered an unequivocal, outspoken, and compassionate voice advocating for the Australian Jewish Community and the State of Israel following the murderous acts of Hamas on October 7th 2023.

Peris does more than just offer lip service when it comes to supporting Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against acts of barbarism, slaughter and genocide. Peris acts on her beliefs. This is evidenced by her recent resignation as co-chair of the Australian Republican Movement. This came about after her co-chair (former Australian Soccer Player) Craig Foster wrote a letter to the various global soccer bodies, asking them to suspend Israel from an upcoming FIFA conference because of its involvement in the Gaza conflict.

Recently, Peris took it upon herself to visit Israel in a strong display of solidarity with the Jewish people, wanting to see first-hand how Hamas destroyed the lives of so many innocent Israeli victims. Peris was deeply impacted by what she experienced there. “I’ve shed many tears listening and bearing witness to the stories of horror,” she said. “To the Jewish people, I’m truly sorry. I share your pain.”

Fighting back against the emergence of the Australian Indigenous and Palestinian Solidarity Movement
As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, “Peris is a staunch supporter of Israel and has publicly disavowed attempts by pro-Palestinian activists to co-opt the Aboriginal rights movement and frame Israel as the colonial oppressor of indigenous Palestinians, an approach critics say ignores the ancient, continuous connection Jews have to the same land.” Peris told the media outlet that “it should concern all Australians that some people are suddenly siding with a barbaric terrorist organisation and denying that Jews are indigenous to Israel, while hypocritically occupying stolen Aboriginal land.”

In return for her outspoken support for Israel and the Australian Jewish Community, Peris has copped a tirade of abuse from the dark and murky, extreme-left elements of the media. Here’s a taste of what Peris is having to endure from anti-Israel activists such as Michelle Berkon, a Jewish Australian, aspiring mosaic artist, and former teacher. “In repeating blatant Zionist propaganda to justify her support for Israel, Nova Peris erroneously and harmfully conflates Jewish identity with support for the Zionist project in Palestine, which in effect depicts all Jews as complicit in Israel’s criminality. Her abject apologism also betrays all indigenous peoples’ struggles against colonial oppression.”

South Africa’s Israel-’obsessed’ ANC poised to lose majority for first time since end of apartheid
South Africa is holding what is set to be a historic election on Wednesday but even as analysts are anticipating a landmark outcome, the results are unlikely to change Pretoria’s anti-Israel posture.

The African National Congress (ANC), the party of Nelson Mandela that has long dominated South African politics, is expected to lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since it played the pivotal role in bringing down apartheid in 1994. This would require the ANC to form a coalition in order to stay in power, since it is still leading the next-largest party, the opposition Democratic Alliance, by about 20 points, according to polls.

In the early post-apartheid years, the ANC was sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, but South Africa maintained friendly relations with Israel. However, those relations deteriorated starting in the late 2000s, when ANC officials began accusing Israel of being an apartheid state. By 2015, ANC leader and then-president of South Africa Jacob Zuma was meeting with a Hamas delegation. South Africa downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv to a liaison office in 2019.

Since Hamas’ attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and the subsequent war in Gaza, South Africa has been hostile to Israel, with its parliament passing a resolution to close Israel’s embassy and Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor threatening to jail any South Africans who fought with the IDF in the war in Gaza. The height of that hostility has been South Africa’s case filed to the International Court of Justice in December, accusing Israel of war crimes.

At an election rally on Saturday, South African President and ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free,” sparking an uproar in the South African Jewish community. The South African Jewish Board of Deputies noted that the slogan “is widely regarded as a call to genocide of the Jewish people” and said it evidenced “the president’s contempt for South African Jewry.”

Whether the ANC’s potential shift to a coalition government would change Pretoria’s position towards Jerusalem depends on its coalition partners and whether the ANC would relinquish the Foreign Ministry.

Inside the Goldberg-Polins’ whirlwind trip to Washington
Rachel Goldberg-Polin has a moment from her childhood, sometime between 1979 and 1980, etched in her memory. She had gone to sleep, but woke up after a couple of hours. Her father was watching Ted Koppel host that evening’s edition of ABC’s “Nightline.”

In the corner of the screen was a number — marking the days that dozens of Americans, including embassy personnel, were held captive in Iran after a violent coup that overthrew the Shah.

“He explained to me,” she recalled, “‘Oh, these people are being held hostage’ and what it meant to be held hostage.”

Forty-four years later, Rachel wears her own number, marking the days that her son, Hersh, has been held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. On the day she and her husband, Jon Goldberg-Polin, spoke to Jewish Insider by Zoom from their home in Jerusalem, both wore masking tape on their shirts, the number 233 written in marker, marking 233 days since their son, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, was taken hostage by Hamas — 233 days since he went to a party in the desert, 233 days since he and his friend got trapped in a bomb shelter, 233 days since Hersh’s left arm was severed below the elbow when more than half a dozen grenades were lobbed into that shelter, 233 days since those who survived the grenades were piled into a truck and taken to Gaza along with more than 200 other hostages.

“I’m tired of all these journalists saying to me, ‘What day is it?’ Rachel told JI. “I said, ‘I’m now going to be like Ted Koppel and ‘Nightline,’ and I’m going to wear this every day, like, ‘Hello, my name is and this is going to be my identity.’ So from Day 26 until now, I’ve been wearing on my chest for more than 200 days, ‘Hello, my name is 233 today.’ Every day my name changes.”

One thing that has not changed has been Rachel and Jon’s work to secure the release of Hersh, their only son and the older brother to two sisters. The two had just returned from Washington, their 10th visit since the Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7 turned their world upside down.

Over their repeated trips to the U.S., the Goldberg-Polins have built up a number of allies in the House and Senate, a group of legislators “who are trying to be helpful to us. They know us. They’re emotionally invested,” Rachel said. Among them: Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Mark Warner (D-VA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Joni Ernst (R-IA). They also met with former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican running for retiring Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-MD) seat.

Even as the war becomes increasingly divisive in the run-up to the presidential election in the U.S., and as the hostage issue becomes increasingly politicized among hostage families in Israel, the couple has chosen to keep politics out of their fight. It’s a message they said they have conveyed to every American politician with whom they’ve met. “We said, ‘Don’t fall into letting this be politicized,’” Jon said. “It is an election year, it is kind of inevitable, but these are human beings. These are eight Americans.”

Ernst told JI that she had met with the Goldberg-Polins “nearly a dozen times” since Oct. 7, including during her trips to Israel in January and April.

“Both of them have been leading voices on the hostage issue and have been focused on finding resolution in the face of the ongoing conflict. Hersh is incredibly blessed to have such tireless advocates for parents,” the Iowa senator said.

Warner said that he has been “repeatedly amazed by Jon and Rachel’s courage and their unwavering commitment to their son Hersh and all of the hostages. We must do everything we can to bring them home.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad publishes follow-up video of hostage Alexander Trupanov
Palestinian Islamic Jihad published a new video showing hostage Alexander Trupanov on the electronic platform Telegram on Thursday.

Alexander confirmed he was healthy and told the camera, "The IDF tried to kill me a few times; thank you to the al-Quds brigade."

He also told the protestors to keep up the pressure on the government telling them "I dont want to be the next statistic. I don't want to be the next in line, please help me come home."

This comes following a previous video published by the PIJ earlier this week in which Alexander can be seen saying, "wait patiently, I will send a message in the next few days."

'Born to be Free': Tens of thousands march in Jerusalem Pride, call for hostage deal
Ten thousand people marched in the 22nd Jerusalem Pride and Tolerance March on Thursday afternoon, calling for equal rights and the release of the hostages being held in Gaza.

The march was held under the title “Born to Be Free” in partnership with the families of hostages being held by Hamas. It was dedicated both to calling for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community and for the release of the hostages still in captivity in Gaza.

Calling for the release of the hostages
The Jerusalem Hostage Forum led a dedicated group calling for the release of the hostages, and a group of Hapoel Jerusalem soccer fans marched to call for the release of their friend Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who is still captive in Gaza.

Another group marched in memory of Maj. Sagi Golan carrying banners reading “Equality in Life.” Golan was killed while fighting Hamas terrorists on October 7 in Kibbutz Be’eri, just days before he was set to get married to his fiancé, Omer Ohana.

While most years the march is accompanied by loud music and dancing, this didn’t take place this year due to the war. Some slower and somber music was played.

The march went faster than usual as well, partially due to it being smaller than usual and partially due to the subdued mood. Many participants noted the stark difference compared to most years: the people who were missing, the lack of festivities, and the weight of the war.

Denis MacEoin Nails it. Again
Read this remarkable letter written by a Scottish professor, Dennis MacEoin, Dennis MacEoin,[pdf], to his students who voted to boycott Israel. Prof.MacEoin is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs and was a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly. TO: The Committee Edinburgh University Student Association. May I be permitted to say a few words to members of the EUSA? I am an Edinburgh graduate (MA 1975) who studied Persian, Arabic and Islamic History in Buccleuch Place under William Montgomery Watt and Laurence Elwell Sutton, two of Britain 's great Middle East experts in their day. I later went on to do a PhD at Cambridge and to teach Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University . Naturally, I am the author of several books and hundreds of articles in this field. I say all that to show that I am well informed in Middle Eastern affairs and that, for that reason, I am shocked and disheartened by the EUSA motion and vote. I am shocked for a simple reason: there is not and has never been a system of apartheid in Israel . That is not my opinion, that is fact that can be tested against reality by any Edinburgh student, should he or she choose to visit Israel to see for themselves. Let me spell this out, since I have the impression that those members of EUSA who voted for this motion are absolutely clueless in matters concerning Israel, and that they are, in all likelihood, the victims of extremely biased propaganda coming from the anti-Israel lobby. Being anti-Israel is not in itself objectionable. But I'm not talking about ordinary criticism of Israel . I'm speaking of a hatred that permits itself no boundaries in the lies and myths it pours out. Thus, Israel is repeatedly referred to as a "Nazi" state. In what sense is this true, even as a metaphor? Where are the Israeli concentration camps? The einzatsgruppen? The SS? The Nuremberg Laws? The Final Solution? None of these things nor anything remotely resembling them exists in Israel , precisely because the Jews, more than anyone on earth, understand what Nazism stood for. It is claimed that there has been an Israeli Holocaust in Gaza (or elsewhere). Where? When? No honest historian would treat that claim with anything but the contempt it deserves. But calling Jews Nazis and saying they have committed a Holocaust is as basic a way to subvert historical fact as anything I can think of.

What the Hell Is Going On: WTH Live: Reps. Mike Lawler & Ritchie Torres Explain How Congress is Fighting Antisemitism on Campus
Following a year of record-high antisemitic attacks and incidents on college campuses, students, professors, and administrators need to be held to account. But fighting hate speech in academia while upholding freedom of speech is a tricky line to balance. That’s why Reps. Mike Lawler (R-NY) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY) are introducing the COLUMBIA Act – which would empower the Department of Education to appoint independent antisemitism monitors on campuses of concern – and were pioneers of the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which codifies the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. We talk about the role Civil Rights Act Title VI protections play for institutions receiving federal funding and get into how foreign actors are helping spread antisemitism in the US.

Representative Mike Lawler represents New York’s 17th Congressional District. Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Rep. Lawler represented New York’s 97th District in the State Assembly. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Representative Ritchie Torres represents NY-15 in Congress. He is a member of the Committee on Financial Services and the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. Before joining Congress, Rep. Torres served on New York City’s City Council.
Antisemitism at Yale, Univ. of Michigan to face congressional scrutiny
The dates for closed-door interviews with top university presidents have been announced as House Republicans continue to probe antisemitism at educational institutions across the country.

Two university leaders were provided notice by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Wednesday of upcoming transcribed interviews that will be closed to the press.

Yale University President Dr. Peter Salovey is set to speak with the committee in a closed-to-press interview on June 20 at 10:30 a.m., and University of Michigan President Dr. Santa J. Ono is scheduled to appear for his own private interview on Aug. 9 at 10 a.m.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said, "The Committee has identified patterns of antisemitism on Yale’s and Michigan’s campuses and a general failure by these universities to protect Jewish students that must be addressed. Presidents Salovey and Ono will be required to appear before the committee for transcribed interviews and answer questions on their records."

"Questioning will be conducted by counsel(s) and/or Committee staff designated by the Chair and Ranking Member, respectively. The Majority and the Minority will question you in alternating, hour-long rounds, beginning with Majority staff, until neither side has remaining questions," she wrote in letters to the leaders on Wednesday.
New Yale president, Maurie McInnis, received high marks for handling of protests at Stony Brook
As Maurie McInnis prepares to take the helm at Yale University, Jewish leaders on Long Island and at Stony Brook University, where the art historian has been president since 2020, praised her for avidly defending free speech while also protecting Jewish students amid the anti-Israel campus protests that have roiled the New York school. At Yale, after a spring semester gripped by protests and encampments, the executive director of the school’s Slifka Center for Jewish Life, Uriel Cohen, expressed hope that when McInnis takes over the New Haven campus in July, replacing outgoing President Peter Salovey, the “campus climate [will return] to one in which mutual responsibility and respect are once again hallmarks of the Yale community,” he told Jewish Insider. During her tenure at Stony Brook, a SUNY public university in Suffolk County, McInnis “handled the encampments very well,” Mindy Perlmutter, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council Long Island told JI. When encampments sprung up in the spring — and included antisemitic activity such as inhibiting the ability of Hillel to host its annual Jewish American Heritage Month celebration — McInnis said that anti-Israel demonstrations that comply with school policy will be permitted to continue. Ultimately, she shut down the encampments on May 2 after 22 Stony Brook students, two faculty members and five others were arrested for violating various laws. Stony Brook Hillel’s executive director, Jessica Lemons, said that McInnis, who earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale in the 1990s and will be the university’s 24th president — and first woman in the post — “will leave behind big shoes.” “Since October, our campus has seen dozens of protests, anti-Israel events and tables, incidents of doxxing, harassment and intimidation of Jewish students, and much of what other campuses around the country are seeing,” Lemons said. “It has never been our expectation that our university president would be able to eradicate antisemitism, but rather that she and her administration would do their best to support students on campus, abide by rules set forth by both the first amendment and Title VI, and create an excellent institution of higher learning. By our measure, I believe President McInnis has done that,” Lemons continued.
Yale's New President Called In the Cops To Arrest Unauthorized Campus Protesters
On Wednesday, Yale University named its next president: Maurie McInnis, who has led Stony Brook University in New York since July 2020. There, she narrowly survived a censure vote after she employed police to disperse and arrest student protesters who formed an unauthorized encampment.

McInnis will start at the Ivy League institution on July 1. Two weeks prior to her appointment, on May 13, Stony Brook's faculty senate voted on a motion to censure her, which failed 55 to 51. At issue was McInnis's proactive response to unauthorized campus protesters—less than 48 hours after Stony Brook students formed an encampment on April 30, McInnis used police to arrest 29 participants, citing an "increasingly hostile" atmosphere and an inability for other students to use the occupied space.

"Occupying a space like the Staller Steps that other members of the community have reserved and unfairly denying them the very thing they demand for themselves, the right to be heard, is unacceptable," McInnis and other university leaders said in a statement at the time. "When necessary we will take appropriate action to enforce these rules to ensure that all campus voices can be heard, not just the loudest or the most disruptive."

She defended her response to the encampment in a recent interview with the New York Times.

"No president wants to have to request that authorities intervene to disperse student protesters," said McInnis, a former history professor at the University of Virginia. "And once we realized they would not disperse, everything proceeded in a calm and orderly manner."

McInnis's encampment response provides a window into how the historian would handle similar protests at Yale. While the school's outgoing president, Peter Salovey, used police to arrest more than 40 encampment participants on Yale's campus, that encampment lasted slightly longer than the one at Stony Brook, spanning from April 19 to April 22.
Guitarist Eric Clapton Says ‘Israel Is Running the World,’ Criticizes US Hearings on Campus Antisemitism
British singer-songwriter and guitarist Eric Clapton promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Israel runs the world during an interview last week on the YouTube channel “The Real Music Observer.”

The Grammy Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 79, referenced recent US congressional hearings where lawmakers grilled presidents of elite universities about surging antisemitism and rampant anti-Israel demonstrations on their campuses.

“I was so enthused about what was going on at Columbia [University] and everywhere. And then I saw, what I couldn’t believe, because it freaked me out, were the Senate hearings, which were like the Nuremberg trials, you know?” Clapton said during his guest appearance on “The Real Music Observer,” hosted by David Spuria. “The Senate committee would be asking 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 in your college? Yes or no.’ And I thought, what is this, the Spanish Inquisition? And it is! It’s AIPAC [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee], it’s the lobby. Israel is running the show. Israel is running the world.”

The hearings that Clapton referenced were held by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, not a Senate panel.

In November, a little more than a month after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, Clapton released an instrumental song called “Voice of a Child.” The song’s music video features photos from pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel rallies around the world as well as images of destruction in the Gaza Strip. The music video completely overlooks the Oct. 7 massacre that sparked the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Small group of elites are letting small group of college idiots drive policy
The importance given to the recent anti-Israel student protests at Columbia University, on close inspection, turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

Stampeded by the news media, prominent people, very much including Columbia president Minouche Shafik, believed they were confronting something like the second coming of Black Lives Matter.

These elites imagined the protesters to represent the vanguard of a radicalized generation, the Zoomers, eager to storm the precincts of power and shove American society toward the extreme progressive left.

As with the BLM riots, the elites were terrified of doing or saying the wrong thing.

To keep their jobs in the coming Age of the Zoomer, they felt the need to tread carefully.

None of this was remotely true.

Despite the media’s unwillingness to ask probing questions, we know a couple of things about the protesters.

We know they were few in number, for example. The original “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” was said to be the work of “about 70” activists.

News reports never mentioned more than “hundreds” of students involved — and the abundant video taken of the episode shows this to be a generous estimate. Columbia has 31,000 students. The protesters never came close to 1/100th of the total.

But did these angry few somehow embody the revolutionary fervor of the younger generation? The question is impossible to answer empirically, but signs point in the opposite direction.

The Harvard Youth Poll showed Gaza to rank “near the bottom of young Americans’ concerns.”
Want to Get Hired by Columbia? Put DEI Before Teaching.
Last week I revealed how Yale’s department of molecular biophysics and biochemistry tells hiring faculty to put “DEI at the center of every decision,” and how every job advertised by the department links to a DEI “rubric” that tests candidates’ “commitment to promoting DEI.”

Now I’ve discovered that Columbia is using an “evaluation tool”—strikingly similar to the Yale rubric—that mandates hiring committees assign more weight to DEI than teaching, and to give DEI equal weight to research.

The tool, designed by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, tells faculty to give each candidate up to 50 points, with DEI comprising 15 of those points—the same amount as their research. An additional ten points each are awarded in the areas of teaching and service.

Within the DEI bracket, job candidates can score up to five points in each of the three categories if they fulfill the following requirements:
- Knowledge and understanding: Declare that DEI is a “core value that every faculty and staff member should actively contribute to advancing.”
- Track record: Attest that they have “served as a leader in a student or professional organization that supports underrepresented individuals.”
- Plans: Confirm they want to advance DEI “at Columbia and within their field, through their research, teaching, and service.”

In other words, if Columbia search committees follow the advice of their administrators, they would rank an average researcher with strong DEI credentials more highly than an outstanding researcher who expresses skepticism about, say, segregated graduations.
House committee asks SJP for its funding documents
National Students for Justice in Palestine has until June 12 to provide the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability with documentation of its communications related to Oct. 7 and its funding sources, according to a letter sent by the committee chair on Wednesday.

The request includes providing “all documents and communications, regardless of topic, created on or sent between Oct. 6, 2023, and Oct. 8, 2023, inclusive,” wrote Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

Comer also requested documents about SJP’s funding, efforts to ensure it isn’t receiving terror-linked financing, comments about Oct. 7, and “the promotion by National SJP of illegal activity or activity providing material support to terrorist organizations including, but not limited to, Hamas.”

“The committee is particularly concerned that organizations promulgating pro-Hamas propaganda and engaging in illegal activities at institutions of higher education might be receiving funding or other support from foreign or domestic sources which support the aims of Hamas or other foreign terrorist organizations,” he stated.

In the letter, Comer wrote that National SJP “is founded and controlled by American Muslims for Palestine,” a nonprofit that he said has “substantial ties to Hamas via its financial sponsor, Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation.”

Wayne State University encampment dismantled by Detroit police
Police have dismantled a pro-Palestinian encampment Thursday at Wayne State University in Detroit, two days after the school suspended in-person classes and encouraged staff to work remotely to avoid any problems with the protesters’ encampment.

Television footage shows campus police and Detroit police officers in riot gear tearing down fencing before they remove the protesters and start breaking down tents erected last week on green space near Wayne State’s undergraduate library.

Protesters on site chanted “There’s no riot here, why are you in riot gear?” and marched on Wayne State’s campus; some appeared to clash with officers, WXYZ-TV reports.

Wayne State president Kimberly Andrews Espy said in a statement that university police told people in the encampment about 5:30 a.m. to gather their belongings and leave, The Detroit News reports.

“The encampment at Wayne State University was removed this morning,” Espy is quoted saying. “After ongoing consultation with the Board of Governors, university leadership, and leaders in the community — and after many good-faith efforts to reach a different conclusion — this was the right time to take this necessary step.”

Haaretz Corrects Israeli Airstrike Did Not Hit Rafah Encampment
CAMERA’s Israel office prompted corrections in Haaretz‘s English edition, both in print and online, after the Israeli daily wrongly reported that an Israeli aistrike hit an encampment of displaced Gazans seeking shelter in the Gaza Strip, killing dozens.

In fact, as the Hebrew edition and the subsequent corrections made clear, secondary explosions — possibly sparked by a flying shrapnel from a nearby airstrike on Hamas terrorists — were the cause of the deadly May 26 fire. No airstrike hit the Rafah tent encampment.

The front-page May 28 English print edition article, which also appears online here, had initially misreported (“Killing of civilians in Rafah raises global pressure for a cease-fire”): “For reasons that remain unclear, there was a second airstrike on an adjacent tent encampment.”

But the Hebrew edition refers to a “secondary hit,” which suggests the involvement of shrapnel or fragments – not a “second airstrike.” The Hebrew reads:
For reasons that remain unclear, there was a secondary hit on the adjacent crowded tent encampment.

In both languages, the article then notes the possibility of a fragment hitting the tent encampment, a scenario which negates the second airstrike reporting:
It’s possible that a fragment from one of the bombs strayed into the camp, causing a large fire there.

Moreover, in his May 28 press conference, which Haaretz covered, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari made no mention of a “second airstrike” which hit the tent area, but he did refer to secondary explosions. Haaretz reported May 29 (“Israeli Army Investigates If Weapons Explosions Ignited Deadly Fire in Rafah Tent Camp After Airstrike“):

CAMERA Op-ED Agenda-Free Bias-Free AP’s Journalism Deserves Scrutiny
Julie Pace, executive editor of Associated Press, understandably is in full-on damage control mode.

Reams of careful analysis have documented the news organization’s tendentious coverage of Israel’s war with Hamas. Survivors of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre are suing the organization for hiring freelance photographers they say are affiliated with the terror organization and whom they accuse of having advance knowledge of the attacks. And two major customers, McClatchy and Gannett, recently dropped AP content as the media giant bleeds revenue.

So times are tough for the 42-year-old news executive. In her May 24 interview with The Marker’s Dafna Maor, the embattled Pace did her best to deflect criticism of the news organization and its documented failures.

But a comparison of her assertions versus AP coverage from recent days along with reporting from earlier in the war reveals that her best arguments are unfortunately detached from the news organization’s actual reporting.

“I completely reject the notion that we are biased or that there’s any kind of slant or agenda in our coverage,” Pace maintained, adding, “We’re committed to covering Gaza, committed to covering the West Bank and committed to covering Israel. To do that, we have to be on the ground in those places and we have to show perspectives from all sides.”

And yet, the dizzying pace of AP’s output of one-sided coverage skewed heavily against Israel tells a very different story. Take, for example, Sunday’s article by AP’s Yesica Fisch, “Scuffles erupt between police, protesters demanding return of Israeli hostages still held in Gaza.”

Fisch wrote: “Netanyahu’s government has faced increasing pressure, both at home and abroad, to stop the war and allow humanitarian aid into the enclave,” as if humanitarian aid is not allowed into the enclave.

According to COGAT, the Israeli authority responsible for handling aid to the Gaza Strip, since the start of the war, Israel has facilitated the entrance of more than 590,000 tons of humanitarian aid, totaling more than 30,000 trucks. In its weekly summary published Sunday, the Israeli military said 2,065 aid trucks entered Gaza through the Kerem Shalom and Erez West crossings last week, double the amount that entered the previous week. In addition, the IDF reported the entry of 1,806 pallets of food, totaling 127 trucks, via the new floating pier built by the Americans.
‘Gaza Strikes Back’ UPI Hits Rock Bottom
“Gaza strikes back at Israel after enduring months of war” was the United Press International headline whose relationship to reality mirrors that of George Lucas’ “The Empire Strikes Back” science fiction favorite.

Though the completely inappropriate language brings to mind the beloved cinematic classic, there is nothing entertaining about this gross distortion of the horrific events of Oct. 7 and its aftermath.

Even in light of Adam Schrader’s ever-growing record of highly problematic reporting regarding Israel, the egregiously misleading headline following Hamas’ May 26 rocket attack on central Israel was particularly galling.

The accompanying article was no better. About the Hamas (and not “Gaza,” per the headline) attack on central Israel, the article opens:
The armed wing of Hamas, the Palestinian militia that rules Gaza, has struck back at Israel after facing months of bombing by the Israeli military.

The problem with the headline and article is that they present the completely false impression that aside from an unspecified something happening in Tel Aviv in January (sirens are noted in the second paragraph), Hamas has done nothing in the last several months but peacefully sit on its hands while it absorbed unprovoked attacks from Israel.

On Facebook, some pro-Palestinian groups have become a hotbed of antisemitism, study says
Administrators of popular pro-Palestine groups are spreading antisemitic hate on Facebook and parent company Meta isn’t doing enough to stop them.

That’s the finding of a new study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

Tests run by researchers in 10 Facebook groups with a combined 300,000 members found that the majority – 76% – of anti-Jewish hate speech was ignored by administrators and 91% of accounts posting anti-Jewish hate were not removed.

When researchers reported antisemitic posts to Facebook, moderators did not take any action in 99% of the cases.

“Nefarious individuals have cynically embedded themselves in leadership positions in Facebook Groups that serve as meeting places for well-meaning people to express their solidarity with the Palestinian cause,” Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said in the study. “We found that most content in these groups primarily entailed political criticisms of the Israeli government and solidarity with Palestinian people.

However, Facebook’s negligent design has made it easy for these groups to be run by antisemites who drip-feed lies and exhortations to hate and discrimination against Jews, while the platform itself fails to take responsibility for content moderation.”

In a statement, Meta said hate speech is prohibited on its platforms and in groups, whether they are public or private. Facebook removes hate speech when it is found, even if it is not reported, the company said.

“If group admins break our rules, we also take action, which can include removing the admins or disabling the group,” Meta said.

Since the Oct. 7 attacks and the Gaza conflict, America has seen an alarming surge in antisemitism, from Nazi propaganda to Holocaust denial.

DMFI blasts Bowman for seeking endorsement of ‘extremist’ DSA
The Democratic Majority for Israel PAC criticized Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday for seeking the endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America, which PAC chair Mark Mellman called an “extremist group” seeking to destroy the Democratic Party.

The DSA formally endorsed Bowman on Tuesday night. “The votes are in! We’re endorsing Jamaal Bowman for Congress in NY-16!” the DSA’s New York chapter said after the vote.

The leftist political party called Bowman “one of the strongest voices against genocide and for peace as many of his colleagues rush to warmonger,” adding, “Together, we WILL defend this seat from AIPAC and pro-war extremists!”

Mellman blasted the party, saying, “Today’s DSA is an extremist group that wants the destruction of Israel and the U.S. out of NATO—which it wrongly blames for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

It was thus “no surprise” that Bowman “begged for and got their endorsement,” he added.

“Instead of working with Democrats, Bowman votes against Democratic priorities like the infrastructure law and makes common cause with groups whose stated goal is the destruction of our party,” said the DMFI chair.
Top adviser to Dem Senate candidate posted photo with religious leader who compared Jews to termites
A top political adviser to a House Democrat, who is running for the Senate in a state that has become a hotbed for anti-Israel activism, attended a convention organized by one of the most notorious antisemites in the United States.

Democratic Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin's deputy political director, Terra Defoe, posted on Facebook in 2017 about her "full week" of "supporting the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan" at the Nation of Islam's "Saviours' Day Convention."

Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, has been vocal about what he thinks of Jews, comparing them to termites and saying they are "Satanic."

"Great time with my Brothers at Savior's Day Convention," Defoe said, including the names of some of the Nation of Islam activists she attended with.

Dep. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and Minister Farrakhan (Getty Images)

One of the photos DeFoe posted included Farrakhan and a smiling Mike Duggan, the Democratic mayor of Detroit recently praised by President Biden at the NAACP dinner earlier this month, alongside Nation of Islam members. Duggan has also visited the Biden White House multiple times.

A spokesperson for Duggan claimed "the mayor has never attended a Saviours' day event."

"This was a private meeting. At the meeting, the mayor did address the issue of antisemitic language directly with Minister Farrakhan," John Roach, director of media relations for the City of Detroit told Fox News Digital. "The mayor has made it a practice to meet with an entire range of political voices, from far right wing voices, including several top officials in the Trump administration, and far left wing voices, including many activist groups."

Farrakhan has praised Duggan multiple times, including at this year's Saviours' Day convention in Detoit, where he thanked him and the deputy mayor for the "wonderful and kind way you have received us." In 2017, DeFoe read a proclamation from Duggan's office to the participants of the convention welcoming the convention "home" to Detroit, according to the Nation of Islam's "Final Call" newsletter.

Green Party MP candidate suggested Israel paid Hamas to attack on October 7
A Green Party parliamentary candidate suggested that the Israeli government may have paid Hamas to commit the October 7 attack so they could build a canal through Gaza.

The conspiracy theory posts have come to light after Naseem Talukdar, who was standing for the left-wing party in Bristol East, was forced to step down after the JC revealed that shared a post comparing Israelis to Nazis.

Joe Belcher, who is standing in the West Midlands seat of Aldridge-Brownhills, questioned on X/Twitter last November why Palestinian terror leaders would have “sold their people down the river” by attacking Israel.

"Why would Hamas commanders order Oct 7 to then have their territory destroyed and their people killed or displaced from Gaza?” he asked.

"For money? If so, who offered them this money? The Israel government?”

Belcher continued: “It's certainly convenient now that Israel can attempt to justify wiping out Palestinians from Gaza and to claim Gaza as Israel.

“Why would they do that? To claim rights over the oil and gas reserves in Gazan waters and to clear the way to create the Ben Gurion Canal through Gaza?”

However offensive the idea may be, he argued, the theory must be investigated.

Benny Gantz’s party submits bill to dissolve Knesset and call for Israeli elections
Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party submitted a bill on Thursday to dissolve the Knesset, in an attempt to topple the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The proposal to dissolve Israel’s parliament was submitted by National Unity lawmaker MK Pnina Tamano-Shata.

“October 7 is a disaster that obliges us to return and receive the trust of the nation; to establish a broad and stable unity government that can lead us with confidence in the face of major challenges in terms of security, the economy and especially in Israeli society,” said Tamano-Shata.

The next Israeli national vote must be held by October 27, 2026, and it is unclear whether Gantz has the support of any lawmakers from Netanyahu’s 64-member coalition in the 120-MK legislature.

Netanyahu’s Likud Party slammed Gantz’s move, saying in a statement that “in the midst of a war, Israel needs unity and not division.

“Dissolving the unity government would be a reward for [Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya] Sinwar, a capitulation to international pressure and a fatal blow to the efforts to free our hostages,” added the statement.

Earlier this month, Gantz threatened to leave Netanyahu’s coalition if he did not declare a plan for the day after Hamas in Gaza.

“I look you in the eyes tonight and tell you: The choice is in your hands. After talking to you again and again, the moment of truth has come,” said Gantz at the time.

He set a deadline of June 8 for Netanyahu to approve a plan of action for accomplishing what he said were six key strategic goals of the war.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Gantz Resentful Of Political Boost ICC Gave Netanyahu, Asks To Be Included In Arrest Warrant Request (satire)
The chief political rival – and erstwhile political ally – of Israel’s embattled prime minister pleaded today to prosecutors in The Hague to amend their application to the International Criminal Court’s justices to add his name to the list of people they wish to apprehend for Crimes Against Humanity, now that news of the existing application has rallied Israelis to the prime minster’s side at the very moment when his government appeared vulnerable.

Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White Party and the leading candidate to oust incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu from the premiership, wrote to Karim Khan, the Chief Prosecutor for the ICC, to request that Gantz, too, be subject to the requested arrest warrant that would call for the apprehension and detention of Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Yoav Galant, and Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar.

Khan announced he would seek the arrest warrants against the four men for various instances of Crimes Against Humanity, in the case of Netanyahu and Galant for the “starvation” of Gaza’s people. The charges relied on spurious evidence, false equivalencies, nonexistent jurisdiction, ignorance of the ICC’s own mandate terms, and outdated propaganda figures – a fact that has galvanized Israelis in opposition to an institution and international “community” that refuses to countenance Jewish self-defense and sovereignty, and rallied the Jewish State behind Netanyahu, who, until that moment, faced historic unpopularity, but now embodies the justified Israeli sense of persecution and double standards. As a result, Gantz worries, the prospects of unseating Netanyahu will grow dimmer.
Egypt's el-Sisi calls to remove Israeli 'blockade' over Gaza
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi issued a strong message to Israel on Thursday, following the IDF taking control of the Philadelphi Corridor. "The blockade on Gaza must be lifted," he said in the visit attended by the leaders of Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. "I call on the international community to provide immediate humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and to end the blockade imposed by Israel."

El-Sisi who was visiting China, also urged the world to prevent Israel's alleged efforts to relocate Palestinians within the Gaza Strip. "I call on the international community to fulfill its moral and legal obligations to stop the brutal war that Israel is conducting in Gaza. We must act quickly to provide humanitarian aid to the residents of the Strip." The Egyptian president concluded, "Only an independent Palestinian state is the solution."

As in all his public appearances, el-Sisi avoided mentioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by name. He also didn't mention the Egyptian soldier killed on Monday in a clash with IDF forces at the Rafah border crossing.

The Egyptian president rejected Israel's claim about tunnel shafts located along the Philadelphi Corridor. "All tunnel shafts have been destroyed and flooded with water," Cairo had asserted while Israel recently said it had destroyed 50 tunnels crossing from the Strip into Egypt.

Israel has expressed concern about tunnels that could be used for smuggling weapons, military equipment, and even people, including Israeli hostages held by Hamas. Israel further claimed that Egypt has maintained a policy of looking away from the issue of tunnels within its territory. "We showed patience with Egypt, but we could no longer tolerate the existence of tunnels used for smuggling," a senior Israeli official said.
PMW: PA/Fatah encourage terror: Use “all possible means to defend our land”
The Palestinian lexicon is rich in terms for terror. Words that sound innocent are known by everyone to imply terror, for example: “resistance” and “struggle with all means.” (See below.) The terrorists themselves are referred to as “members of the resistance,” “self-sacrificing fighters” and - when they get killed – as “Martyrs.”

Using the terms “popular resistance,” “resistance members” and the use of “all means,” PA Chairman Abbas’ Fatah deputy Mahmoud Al-Aloul encouraged Palestinians to continue with terror to “defend the land”:

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul: “All the greetings on your [Ramallah residents’] behalf to our beloved prisoners… Also all the greetings to the popular resistance (i.e., includes using violence and terror) … We say to the world on their behalf and on your behalf that we will defend our land. And we say to the resistance members (i.e., terrorists) – you can use all possible means to defend your land… Yes, this is our position as a Palestinian people.”
[Official PA TV, May 15, 2024]

Just six weeks after Hamas’ massacre and murder of over 1,000 Israelis in the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, PA Chairman Abbas’ advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash used one of the “innocent” terms – “battle with all possible means” - to vow that terror will continue:

Abbas’ advisor: Terror is permitted by “the religious and divine laws”
Abbas’ advisor: Terror is permitted by “the religious and divine laws and by the international norms and laws”

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “The continuation of the occupation (i.e., Israel) will lead to a response. The Palestinian response is the resistance to this occupation, resolve against it, and using all the legal means to get rid of it (i.e., also refers to using violence and terror). This is our legal right that is anchored in all the religious and divine laws and in all the international norms and laws. We will continue this struggle until we get rid of the occupation.”

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page, Nov. 17, 2023]  

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice.

The terms "all means,” “all means of resistance,” “all forms,” are ‎used by PA leaders to include using all types of violence, including deadly terror ‎against Israeli civilians such as car rammings, stabbings, and shootings, as well as throwing rocks and Molotov Cocktails.

This is how Hamas abuses the residents of Gaza
Kan News | In parallel with the war against Israel, Hamas is also waging a war against the Gazans, displaying a brutal iron fist to maintain its power and prevent them from discussing the possibility of changing its regime. The report by Elior Levy

Turkish Textbooks: Turning History on Its Head
Islamists in Turkey do not teach schoolchildren that Jews have been indigenous to Israel for nearly 4000 years -- since the Bronze Age -- and that the reestablishment of Israel in 1948 was actually an anti-colonialist step.

Meanwhile, Turkish government authorities have targeted their own indigenous peoples of Anatolia, namely the Pontic Greeks and Armenians. In the twentieth century, Ottoman Turkey largely exterminated these peoples through a genocide.

The government of Turkey, however, refers to the genocide as the "unfounded claims" of Greeks and Armenians. The titles in the Turkish history textbooks were previously called the "Pontus Issue" and the "Armenian Question". They are now changed to the "Unfounded Pontus Claims" and the "Unfounded Armenian Claims".

"[T]his is not a [country ruled by the] state of law..." — Eren Keskin, Lawyer, Co-Chairman Human Rights Association (IHD).

The Turkish government is also in denial about the history of the land of Turkey. Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians are indigenous peoples of the land, just as Jews are indigenous to Israel. Muslim Turks from Central Asia arrived in the Armenian highlands and Anatoli, which was the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire at the time, only during the 11th century. Through military invasions, Muslim Turks seized the towns and cities where indigenous Christians had lived for centuries. Ottoman Turks finally invaded Constantinople (today's Istanbul) in the fifteenth century, bringing the destruction of the Byzantine Empire. After that, abuses against Christian religious and cultural heritage became widespread.

The new Turkish textbooks also claim Greek and Cypriot waters in the Aegean Sea as belonging to Turkey. Through a doctrine that the government of Turkey calls "the Blue Homeland", they aim to seize Greek islands and maritime space in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

Sadly, these textbooks will sow more hatred in Turkish children against Jews, Greeks, Christians, Armenians, Greek Cypriots and the State of Israel -- all based on misinformation, willful distortion, and historic revisionism.
Qatari regime ‘poisoning children’ with antisemitism and anti-Americanism, says U.S. expert
The Qatari government's role in promoting antisemitism and incitement against Israel as well as the United States is being found to extend beyond its flagship channel Al Jazeera and the statements of government officials.

A new jaw-dropping report from the U.S.-based NGO Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) documents content found glorifying terrorism that was published in a children's magazine titled Jassim.

Since October 7, MEMRI has found that the monthly magazine has published poems and comics that incite against Jews and against Israel, deny Israel's right to exist, condone terror against Israel — which is termed ‘Palestinian resistance’ — and even encourage the readers to "seek martyrdom and attain Paradise.” MEMRI also reported that “many issues of the magazine feature maps that present the entire territory between the Mediterranean sea and the Jordan river as ‘Palestine,’ thus denying Israel's existence.”

Just a month after the October 7 massacre in which Hamas terrorists invaded southern Israel, killing approximately 1,200 people and taking over 250 hostage, Jassim director Shafiq Saleh said the magazine's November issue was "devoted to solidarity with the children of Palestine. Its cover shows children in traditional Palestinian costume waving the flag of Palestine, against the backdrop of a map of the Arab state of Palestine." The issue contains a poem called "The Land Is Mine," which states that "Palestine is my heart and the heart of the Arabs… We shall defend it with our hearts and souls, and attaining martyrdom is the most honorable of aspirations."

The November edition also includes a comic strip in which a father explains and defends Palestinian resistance to his sons, defining it as violent activities. The father tells his sons: "The usurping occupier seeks to sow destruction and devastation in the land in order to make [the Palestinians] leave their soil and their homeland… The usurpers came from different countries and stole Palestine by the force of arms in hope of making it their permanent homeland. But the proud Palestinian people refused, and resisted from the very first day until now.”

MEMRI: Iraqi Journalist: Instead Of Covering The Gaza War Objectively, The Arabic Media Sells The Viewers Illusions And Prevents Any Criticism Of Hamas
In a December 31, 2023 article on the Saudi website Elaph, Iraqi journalist Falah Al-Mash'al, formerly the chief editor of the Iraqi daily Al-Sabah, wrote that the Arab media does not cover the Gaza war in an objective manner, but instead sells its consumers illusions that are far removed from reality and even echoes Hamas' claim that it is defeating the Israeli army. Al-Mash'al slammed the Arab channels for refusing to examine the question of Hamas' responsibility for the war, which is exacting a very heavy price from the Palestinian people. In fact, he said, these channels sanctify Hamas, prevent all criticism against it and harshly attack anyone who refuses to toe the line – which makes them complicit in the current destruction that has been visited upon Gaza and its residents.

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[1]
"The extensive Arab media, which produces hundreds of reports, interviews and articles every hour, perpetuates its biased political message… by turning illusions into decisive facts and using descriptions that play on the emotions of the Arab consumer, while shying away from providing its consumers with information that is based on the facts on the ground… [For example, in 2003], when the U.S. army attacked the [Iraqi] capital of Baghdad from four directions, and [also] from a fifth direction, namely from the air, by landing [forces] in Baghdad's International airport… Iraqi Information Minister [Muhammad Saeed Al-Sahhaf] mouthed reports about the previous day's battle, and said that the enemy had been defeated, when he could see the [enemy] tanks right in front of him, creating facts on the ground that were very different [from what he was reporting].

"This [scenario] repeats itself every three months with events in Gaza and the West Bank. The Arab television and satellite channels preoccupy themselves with talk about the victories of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] and the heroic operations [of these movements], [and about] the crushing of the Israeli army and its imminent surrender. This is media that identifies emotionally with Hamas and its attitude… does not speak about vision, does not analyze the foundations of the Palestinian issue, [and does not ask] why Hamas rushed out, all by itself, to carry out an act of vengeance that looks more like suicide and which resulted in tens of thousands of casualties and in severe damage.

"[This media] creates a halo of sanctity around Hamas and the PIJ, without examining them or judging them for [bringing about] the death and wounding of over 80,000 unarmed Palestinian civilians, the flattening of over half of the cities and neighborhoods in the [Gaza] Strip, the expulsion of over half a million Palestinians, who are now homeless and suffer cold and hunger, and the destruction of all life in Gaza and the adjacent cities.

"With a few exceptions, most of the Arab channels and media did not dare to examine the role of Hamas, to condemn it for its uncalculated operation, or [to address] the heavy price [of the war, which] exacerbated the destruction of the Palestinian cause and of the human, economic and military resources of the [Gaza] Strip…

US to boycott UN meeting paying tribute to Iran’s Raisi
The United States will boycott a United Nations tribute on Thursday to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed earlier this month in a helicopter crash, a US official says.

The 193-member UN General Assembly traditionally meets to pay tribute to any world leader who was a sitting head of state at the time of their death. The tribute will feature speeches about Raisi.

“We won’t attend this event in any capacity,” a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, tells Reuters. The US boycott has not previously been reported.

Raisi, a hardliner who had been seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed when his helicopter came down in poor weather in mountains near the Azerbaijan border on May 19.

“The United Nations should be standing with the people of Iran, not memorializing their decades-long oppressor,” says the US official. “Raisi was involved in numerous, horrific human rights abuses, including the extrajudicial killings of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.”

“Some of the worst human rights abuses on record, especially against the women and girls of Iran, took place during his tenure,” the official says.

The UN Security Council stood at the beginning of an unrelated meeting for a moment of silence on May 20 to remember the victims of the helicopter crash. Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood reluctantly stood with his 14 counterparts.

Employee of Tehran's Interests Section in US Threatens Iranian-American
A US court has issued a temporary order against Ramezan Soltan-Mohammadi, an employee of the Iran's Interests Section in Washington DC, who was seen threatening Iranian protesters to death last week.

In a video posted to social media, the man is seen making a death gesture according to one of the demonstrators in attendance, Siamak Aram, who said the man in the video directed the death gesture right at him.

"He threatened me with death by moving his hand across his throat to indicate he would cut my throat," said Aram.

The video was taken on May 22 at a rally outside a memorial service hosted by the Islamic Education Center (IEC) in Maryland for the "occasion of the martyrdom" of President Ebrahim Raisi and Iran's late foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who both died in a helicopter crash last week. The center posted "condolences and sympathies" notes on their deaths.

Aram, an activist from Iran who left in 2011 to avoid the Islamic Republic's reach, yet this week's incident he said, proved the arm of Iran's repression extends all the way to the United States.

"I didn't expect to feel the same experience I had in Iran, here in United States. It was...15 miles away from White House and the capital," he said.

The man, later identified by Aram as Soltan-Mohammadi, allegedly is an employee of the Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is part of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC, which is the de facto consular representation of Iran in the US.

Iran International has reached out to Soltan-Mohammadi for comment but has not heard back.

Lipstadt: Social media giants aren’t tackling antisemitism
Social-media platforms have not agreed to implement new policies regarding online antisemitism, Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt said on Thursday.

Lipstadt, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, met earlier in the day with top technology companies to discuss steps to combat online antisemitism. Among the options discussed were the creation of special teams to focus on the issue and training programs to teach employees how to identify Jew-hatred.

In attendance at the meeting were representatives from Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, TikTok and X.

“There’s good reasons to beat up on them [tech giants] in terms of antisemitism online,” Lipstadt told Bloomberg News.

“But too many people have done that and nothing has changed, and we were hoping that we could look for best practices,” she added.
'F**k you, white boy': NYC man indicted for sexist, anti-white, antisemitic assaults
After a series of violent and aggressive anti-woman, anti-white, and antisemitic incidents, a Brooklyn man was indicted on Tuesday, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

In November, a Jewish couple was walking their dog in Union Square when they saw Skiboky Stora, 40, tearing down posters of people taken hostage by Hamas on October 7. The 28-year-old woman took a photo of Stora and when he noticed the couple staring at him, he reportedly followed them shouting antisemitic and anti-white remarks such as “F*** you, white boy.” “Die, Jews, Die!” Stora allegedly shouted as he followed the victims into a building lobby after a good Samaritan invited the couple in, to shelter them from the harassment.

Escalating into physical assaults

Stora allegedly elbowed a 17-year-old Caucasian student in the neck in Chelsea on September 20, allegedly saying, “You people think you can do whatever the f*** you want.” In a successive incident in Chelsea on October 26, another white woman, 37, was allegedly elbowed in the shoulder by Stora as he passed.

The series of attacks escalated in late March when Stora allegedly struck a 23-year-old white woman in the head in Chelsea. The woman was reportedly brought to the ground by the blow and suffered swelling on the side of her head.
Jewish teenager has yarmulke ripped off in 'abhorrent' antisemitic tirade during junior football match
A Jewish teenager has allegedly been subjected to “abhorrent” antisemitic abuse during a junior football match over the weekend.

The South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) has launched an investigation into the incident where an individual playing in an under 16s match for Ajax Junior Football Club – a Jewish club based in St Kilda – reportedly had his yarmulke ripped off before being subjected to a string of antisemitic insults.

Victorian Deputy Liberal leader David Southwick, whose kids play for Ajax, said parents at the game had described how a scuffle had broken out during the game when an opposition player had “knocked the yarmulke off the boy’s head” before subjecting the player to a string of profanities.

The Caulfield MP told 3AW’s Tom Elliott he did not want to repeat what was said but the opposition player had used “both the F and C word”.

When asked whether there was a racial or antisemitic element to the abuse, Mr Southwick said the player had referenced the Jewish player’s skull cap, calling him something along the lines of lines a yarmulke wearing c***.

“We should never have this kind of thing happening at kids footy. It's just abhorrent,” Mr Southwick said.

“Footy is a place that brings kids together. It's a place that’s a leveller. It should never be about politics and what divides us.

“We should be putting our differences aside and having fun. And these kids certainly aren't.”

The Jewish MP said there had been more than a doubling of the number of incidents over the past year.

Why I chose to support Israel after Oct 7th
Before Oct 7th I was not paying the slightest attention to Israel and the Palestinian question. If I knew anyone who is a Jew, I was oblivious to the fact of it. I had not even heard the word Zionism until 2022 when I saw it coming up in attacks against prominent Jewish activist Eve Barlow.

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I had not had any dialogue with Eve before Oct 11th as it happens. In New Zealand no one ever bought up Jewry as a consideration in our social politic before Oct 7th. The last time I ever spoke to any Palestinian activists was in 2004 and even then, only briefly as part of a wider discussion of the fallout that followed from 9 11. So, I can honestly say that I had no skin in the game on either side.

I went to bed on Oct the 6th blissfully unaware that I would awake the next day to be presented with the sight of the defiled and broken body of Shani Louk being paraded like a slaughtered animal for the entertainment of a cheering spitting mob shrieking their jubilation.

As I sat here stunned at the sheer level of depravity I was witnessing, other posts started racing across my feed presenting additional obscene atrocities in a relentless stream. I have heard and seen many acts of evil over the course of my life but what I was seeing was beyond anything I had ever witnessed.

The rage I was feeling was fueled even further by the sight of so-called sexual abuse activists suddenly falling over themselves to “contextualize” the Nero level rapes and atrocities carried out on Israeli civilians.

I saw jubilant Palestinians crowing that they preferred death over life, young Israeli women being dragged screaming into Gaza and crowds erupting on the streets calling for the fall of Israel and in some cases the genocide of the Jewish people.

I also saw the faces of the Israeli leadership and what I saw were men and women who had suffered the most profound violation barely able to contain their composure and I knew in that moment that the response was going to be a version of total war with everything that meant.

Initially I considered that total war was potentially a step too far but that reasoning only survived for two days. Both sides were making claims against each other but to my thinking there were bigger questions to be addressed.

The Israel Guys: Life in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) Is Nothing Like You Think | Israel Summit Panel
With all the craziness in the world today, it is really difficult to filter through the noise to find the truth. When it comes to Judea and Samaria, (commonly known as the West Bank) who better to ask then the extraordinary leaders and pioneers living their lives there on a daily basis.

Joshua Waller sat down with Yishai Fleisher, Nati Rom, and Rabbi Ari Abramowitz to discuss the reality of day to day life in Judea and Samaria.

‘There’s Nothing Brave About What I’m Doing.’ John Fetterman Stands with Israel.
Yeshiva president Berman called Fetterman Israel’s “single greatest friend” in Washington.

When we spoke before the ceremony, I asked Fetterman, who is not Jewish, why he had made Israel his cause at the same time progressives, including many who worked on his 2022 campaign, were abandoning it.

“There’s nothing brave about what I’m doing,” Fetterman told me. “It’s actually been very easy, for lack of a better word, because of what they did on October 7.”

He added: “I’m not a soldier in Gaza. I’m not an innocent Palestinian caught in the middle of this. I’m just a senator, and I have my position and my voice, and that’s just been with Israel.”

Asked about Joe Biden’s apparent flip-flopping on the issue, providing Israel with weapons while threatening the country with an arms embargo, Fetterman admitted the president is in “a really tough situation.”

But, he said: “I do believe that the president is a strong ally of Israel.” He added that when push comes to shove, he believes Biden will come through.

“I would just reference Lincoln when he was looking at reelection and the Civil War was going badly, and everybody thought that he was going to lose, and people were saying, ‘Well, you gotta negotiate with the South, and he’s like, ‘I can’t do that. This is the side that I believe in.’ ”
Fetterman renounces Harvard in Yeshiva University commencement address
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) renounced his association with Harvard University over its “inability to stand up for the Jewish community” during his Yeshiva University commencement address on Wednesday, removing the crimson hood representing his alma mater while on stage.

Fetterman made the gesture early in his address, which culminated in him receiving the Presidential Medallion, the private Orthodox university’s highest honor, for his advocacy on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people. He joked that he didn’t deserve to be in the same company as previous recipients of the award, describing himself as “just a senator with a big mouth that happens to be committed to standing with Israel.”

The Pennsylvania senator, who has emerged since Oct. 7 as one of Israel’s strongest allies in his party, said he had been “reflecting” on his “last graduation, and that was literally a quarter century ago. I was graduating from Harvard University.”

“Today, I have been profoundly disappointed with Harvard’s inability to stand up for the Jewish community after Oct. 7. Personally, I do not fundamentally believe that it is right for me to wear this today,” Fetterman said while pointing to his hood, which he then removed from around his neck.

The move sparked audible gasps and subsequent cheers from the crowd.

Fetterman, who graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1999 with a master’s in public policy, vowed to remain a staunch supporter of Israel and fight for the release of the hostages, pointing to a memento given to him by a family member.

“Of course, we cannot ignore the somber context of today. In fact, on my wrist I’m wearing the wristband from the Nova music festival. It was given to me by a family member of someone that was taken hostage. If you look at it, it reads Oct. 7, 2023. It’s a constant reminder of the horrors of that day,” Fetterman said. “The Jewish community everywhere deserves our support and I promise you will always have mine. And I will not stop speaking out until every last hostage is brought back home.”

The Democratic senator has bucked his party’s shift away from Israel in recent months, refusing to waver in his support for continued offensive military aid despite the objections of some far left colleagues. He has also led on legislation combating antisemitism on college campuses alongside Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

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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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