Wednesday, June 19, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: The Return of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Last month, in an unprecedented show of support to the terrorists responsible for the current bloody conflict, Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib gave a surprise speech at a Palestinian conference in Detroit that was endorsed and promoted by the PFLP, and for which the PFLP provided prominent speakers including the keynote. Tlaib’s enthusiastic embrace of a conference connected to a terrorist organization and celebrating the butchers of Hamas who currently hold American hostages turned surreal when she used her address to attack President Biden to the whooping and cheering crowd.

In truth, however, the PFLP’s big comeback was years in the making thanks to the secular canonization of two of its terrorists: Rasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled.

Khaled has become a left-wing icon in the manner of Che Guevara. She was involved in two hijackings, one in 1969 and one in 1970. She was captured carrying out the latter, a coordinated hijacking of four planes to be taken to Jordan, spurring a fellow terrorist to hijack a fifth plane a few days later in order to bargain for her release. The 1970 incident threw a lit match on the tinderbox of Palestinian-Jordanian tensions and led to what became known as Black September, when the Jordanian army was tasked with evicting the Palestine Liberation Organization from its territory. Outside the U.S., Khaled still draws crowds—and the occasional shoutout from progressive anti-Zionist academics like Marc Lamont Hill.

Rasmea Odeh, meanwhile, was still drawing crowds in the U.S. until she was deported in 2017. Odeh was convicted in Israel in 1970 for her participation in a bombing that killed two people. She was released in a PFLP prisoner exchange a decade later and eventually settled in the U.S. before her conviction for immigration fraud. Odeh was embraced by anti-Semitic activists like Linda Sarsour and in progressive and leftist spaces from The Nation to Jacobin to Harvard Law (and yes, of course, Marc Lamont Hill).

The PFLP was largely responsible for the strategic direction of the Palestinian national movement after 1967, when it argued that a long-term guerrilla war was the only way to offset Israel’s technological superiority. The PFLP’s approach, according to Palestinian intellectual Yezid Sayigh, was that “the Arabs should rely on their advantages of human and geographic depth to neutralize [Israel’s] superiority and drain its resources in a lengthy conflict.” That lengthy conflict continues, on American soil, to this day thanks to the progressive organizers, academic institutions, and members of Congress openly aiding the PFLP’s revival.
Eli Lake: Learning from Menachem Begin
Begin’s greatest triumph as prime minister was Operation Opera, the code name for Israel’s 1981 strike on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. The parallels to Israel’s current efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program are striking. For example, the Mossad had begun to sabotage Iraq’s nuclear program as early as 1979, when it detonated a shipment of reactor equipment in France that was destined for Iraq. In 1980, Israel ordered the assassination of Yahya El Mashad, an Egyptian nuclear scientist who was working with Iraq — much like when Israel assassinated Iran’s chief nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in a daring operation in 2020.

Begin knew, however, that such steps would only delay Saddam Hussein’s plans to acquire an atomic bomb. He tasked the air force with a secret mission to destroy Osirak. As today, Israel’s actions led to international censure and isolation. Even the United States, under President Ronald Reagan, voted in favor of a UN Security Council resolution that condemned the Jewish state for its aggression.

History vindicated Begin. After the U.S. military drove Iraq out of Kuwait in 1991, then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney presented Israeli Ambassador David Ivri, who at the time of Operation Opera had been the Israeli Air Force chief of staff, with a signed satellite photo of the remains of Osirak. It said, “For General David Ivri, with thanks and appreciation for the outstanding job he did on the Iraqi Nuclear Program in 1981, which made our job much easier in Desert Storm!”

The genius of Begin is that he understood himself and his country to be links in the chain of Jewish history. Begin was proud of that history. He lived his life by a code that traced back to ancient glory even though he was born into the perils of the European continent between the great wars.

American Jews today have had the good fortune of not knowing the misery of statelessness. We have not seen the same pogroms, blood libels, and dispossession that our forebears knew. This is why the solidarity with Hamas on college campuses, the double standards when it comes to acceptable speech, the stunning rise in antisemitic attacks, and the sudden need for security at every Jewish institution and event come to many of us as a shock.

Begin would not be shocked. He understood the persistence of Jew-hatred, and how to match it with hadar. We should do the same.
Seth Mandel: Stop Pretending This Isn’t Happening
In world affairs, the strategy of “just pretend it isn’t happening” has an extremely poor track record. Nor is it true that, as the chief of medicine on Scrubs once put it, “if you don’t look for a mistake, you can’t find one.”

Now that the world has been forced to admit that there is no famine in Gaza, it has been made clear that Israel is letting plenty of food aid into the strip. Which means it’s time to admit something is happening to that food, and it isn’t Israel’s fault. From the Wall Street Journal:
Officials from the United Nations, the largest distributor of aid in Gaza, say that people are looting trucks when they reach Gaza, making it unsafe for their employees to deliver aid. By midafternoon on Monday, no U.N. trucks arrived to pick up aid from the Kerem Shalom crossing, where on Sunday Israel began a daily pause to fighting from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. along a key north-south road used to deliver aid throughout much of Gaza. The Israeli military said 21 other trucks picked up supplies on Sunday.

“We need to keep people safe,” said Scott Anderson, the Gaza-based director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, a key group tasked with managing aid distribution in the Strip.

An official with the World Food Program, another U.N. agency that delivers aid to Gaza, also cited looting en route to WFP warehouses as hindering deliveries.


So UN trucks are allowed into Gaza, it’s just that the UN drivers don’t want to go because they fear Palestinian violence.

There are two possibilities here regarding who is committing that violence, and neither makes the international community look very good. Indeed, Israel’s critics would have egg on their face—if only the UN would agree to deliver the eggs.

Either Palestinian civilians are looting the aid, or Hamas (and Hamas-aligned gunmen) are doing so. Which means, to the UN delivery drivers, there isn’t functionally any difference: It’s still not safe enough to go.

The foot-dragging by the UN, however understandable it might be from a safety perspective, is in fact what Israeli officials have been pointing to for months. And what the UN and the Biden administration and our European allies have been pretending isn’t happening. But it is happening. And it has been happening all along.


Washington Post Foreign Desk, Accused of Pro-Hamas Bias, Teems with Al Jazeera Veterans
The Washington Post is in turmoil—old editor out, new editor in, and a new publisher under siege from a hostile and beleaguered staff.

One of the criticisms the paper has weathered as it has bled money and subscribers is that, since Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, its coverage of the war in the Middle East has been shoddy, inaccurate, and implacably hostile to Israel.

Days after the Israel Defence Forces rescued four hostages from a Palestinian refugee camp, for example, a Post headline blared: "More than 200 Palestinians killed in Israeli hostage raid in Gaza." The report, the work of 11 Post staffers, went on to describe "one of the bloodiest raids in the war" as a "brazen operation" that left "unimaginable devastation in its wake."

"Residential blocks were destroyed, tanks menaced the streets and grievously wounded Palestinians, some without limbs, writhed in pain on the dusty roads of the camp’s central market, according to videos and images of the raid," the report stated. The first quote in the story comes from a Hamas spokesman who accused Israel of committing "a massacre." An Israeli official is quoted in the seventh paragraph.

What the piece did not mention is that the hostages were held by prominent Gazan civilians in crowded apartment buildings and that Hamas fighters opened fire on the hostages and Israeli soldiers during the operation, making civilian casualties virtually inevitable.

Hostility to Israel has been a thread throughout the paper’s reporting. But there’s another pattern among reporters on the Post’s foreign desk. At least six members of the Post’s foreign desk previously wrote for Al Jazeera, the Doha-based news outlet bankrolled in part by the government of Qatar, which is now sheltering Hamas’s top leaders, a Washington Free Beacon review found.

They include the paper’s Middle East editor, Jesse Mesner-Hage, who spent more than a decade as an editor at the outlet’s English edition, London correspondent Louisa Loveluck, investigative reporter Evan Hill, visual enterprise editor Reem Akkad, WaPo Live host Libby Casey, and breaking news reporter Adela Suliman.

The Al Jazeera-Washington Post pipeline raises ethical questions for an American newspaper that prides itself as a bulwark against threats to "democracy." Founded in 1996, Al Jazeera has been described by an Israeli court as an "intelligence and propaganda arm" for Hamas, and the outlet is banned from broadcasting in Israel, where officials alleged in February that Al Jazeera "journalist" Muhammed Wishah served as a commander in Hamas’s guided missile units. In the United States, the Justice Department ordered the network’s English language affiliate to register as a foreign agent of Qatar in 2020, though it has refused to do so.


Conspiracy Theories About Israel Do Not Come From the Fringes
The U.N. transmogrifying dubious press articles into primary research and thence into “facts” is an important part of how this ecosystem works. Likewise the credulous repetition of UNRWA claims that schools and hospitals used as operational bases by HAMAS and PIJ are civilian sites. But for a microcosm of the organic synergy of the thing, one can scarcely do better than the reaction to Israel rescuing four hostages from the Nuseirat “refugee camp” in Gaza on 8 June.

Within a very short amount of time, HAMAS was claiming—through its “health ministry”—that 274 Palestinian civilians had been killed and 700 wounded in the Israeli operation, unverified figures duly repeated by all the leading media outlets, sometimes with disclaimers about the source, and sometimes not. HAMAS’ history of inflating and fabricating this kind of data was unmentioned, nor did anyone seem to have space to note the inherent implausibility of being able to arrive at such a precise figure so quickly when it took Israel—a high-functioning State whose officials were not operating in a warzone—several weeks to confirm the casualty count from 7 October. (Of all the issues addressed here, the Palestinian fatality count remains the most individually significant because of its importance to HAMAS’ war strategy. I have written about this before and will return to it soon.)

Next, “human rights” groups claimed the IDF had entered a private Arab home in Nuseirat and “executed” a “doctor” and a “journalist”. After that, the “humanitarian” NGOs whirred into action, quoting HAMAS’ casualty figures, and adding “harrowing testimony” from local medical officials. United Nations “experts” condemned the rescue operation as “outrageous” and the “umpteenth massacre” by Israel, while giving sly credence to the conspiracy theories circulating online that American soldiers were involved in the mission. Finally, the “international law” scholars, one of them until recently a “human rights” activist, entered the fray to say that the operation was illegal and in fact constituted the war crime of “perfidy”. The impression left was that HAMAS had been quite responsibly holding the Israeli hostages and then the IDF had “treacherously”, as the U.N. “experts” put it, appeared from nowhere to carry out a racist rampage against innocent Arabs in a “refugee camp”.

The story of the “doctor” and “journalist” killed by Israel transpired to be a reference to Ahmad al-Jamal, who was an imam as well as a physician, and his son, Abdullah al-Jamal. As Abdullah was writing out his articles for HAMAS’ Palestine Now, the U.S.-based Palestine Chronicle, and other outlets, he and his father were holding three Israeli men as hostages in their home, which also contained Abdullah’s wife and three children. Just around the corner, the Abu Nar family was holding the other Israeli hostage rescued on 8 June, Ms. Noa Argamani.

The initial reportage about the Jamals is perhaps the most instructive aspect of this episode. For nine months, there has been an attempt to portray Israel as deliberately targeting doctors and particularly journalists in Gaza, evidence of cruelty and genocidal intent, so it has been said. What Nuseirat shows is that this story is largely being published upside-down: the notable aspect is that many in the civilian professions in Gaza are instrumentalised as extensions of the HAMAS regime and its war—yet another very grave HAMAS war crime that endangers Palestinians. The highly public nature of the Nuseirat case and the revelations since might make this better known. (The point has been made before by those who did any digging, but few listened—not least because the investigators were often Jews, and there is a sinister and quite widespread assumption Jews cannot be trusted over Israel.)

The IDF infiltrated Nuseirat, which is a town not a tented refugee camp, disguised as Palestinian Arabs to pin down the exact location of the hostages. This was the source of the complaints about “perfidy” and it is ridiculous, one of many blatant misuses of “international law” even on its own terms against Israel. Likewise, the firefight that erupted because HAMAS had stored hostages in a densely-packed civilian area near a busy market and tried to murder the hostages as the IDF operation began was so reckless that even locals who had been at risk in the crossfire blamed HAMAS, a dose of the reality of this war that wholly eludes the international “human rights” set and the United Nations.
'You learn who your non-Jewish true friends are, who would hide you in their basement'
If you are active on social media, Jewish-American Talia Khan is no stranger to you. The doctoral student at MIT and president of the MIT Israel Alliance club, has gained significant attention on social media for her posts regarding the events of Oct. 7. Her vocal advocacy against antisemitism in the US and on college campuses resonated all the way to Congress, as she participated in two hearings and appeared on major American media outlets such as Fox News and CNN. While she was visiting Israel, in between engagements at the Knesset – the Israeli parliament, I had the opportunity to meet with Talia in Tel Aviv, where we discussed the international implications of Oct. 7, the concerning rise of antisemitism, and the consequences of being an outspoken Jewish individual in the US in 2024.

Q: You say that in Israel you can finally breathe, but for many people in Israel, going abroad could allow us to finally breathe, as the situation is not as complex as it is here – but you're saying it is not like that anymore.

A: "At least in Israel we know what we're dealing with. I know there is a threat to my physical safety here, but seeing everyone with guns all around – I feel safe," she laughs, referring to the soldiers and reservists. "Hamas says they want to kill Jews, they're very obvious about it. In the US, they hide behind the rhetoric, it's a little more sinister, and some of them will talk to you even – they will say they don't hate Jews, they just want to kill Zionists. You just don't know who you are dealing with. You feel you are on guard all the time, but you don't have the big gun, you don't have everybody around you on the same page as you."

Q: Speaking of chants, do you agree that "from the river to the sea" is in fact a call for genocide?

A: "Absolutely. Even Congress designated it as an antisemitic chant. They're even going past 'From the river to the sea,' they're going 'From water to water, Palestine will be all Arab,' so they're saying even the Christians, the Druze, the non-religious – everybody but Arabs, gone. My friend at Columbia University sang 'One Day' by Matisyahu with an Israeli flag, and a girl went in front of him and put up a sign saying 'Al-Qassam's next target.' They want to kill Jews, and a lot of them are very open about it. The rhetoric is going to get worse. They're very catchy chants, too," she jokes.

Q: Do you understand where anti-Israelis are coming from, as someone with a Muslim background?

A: "I can speak for the Arab girls that I was studying with, one of them is from Bahrain, the other one is from Qatar, and I know that they grew up hearing how horrible the Jews are, de-humanizing the Israelis, the "dirty Yahud" [Jewish in Arabic] – you can pretend to be friends to their face but never trust them, they're against Allah. They've weaponized generations of young people by brainwashing them since childhood to be hateful. Jews don't do that, they don't get taught to hate anybody from childhood. I think the reason the Americans are getting brainwashed into this too is because in recent years we've seen they have been brainwashed too into hating America and Western values, saying America's evil and has no right to exist and that it is a settler's colony. When you are teaching young kids this, they grow up believing it. Then, when you are saying Israel does the same thing, they are on board. Their morals have been corrupted. I think that is the problem and why we see so many non-Arabs or non-Muslims joining on this train."
US students don’t care about wars that aren’t Gaza says Ethiopian Jewish leader
At the annual Sephardic Jewish Film Festival in downtown New York, crowds fill the expansive auditorium for the premiere of a documentary about Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader credited with restoring pride to Sephardim in Israeli society.

Towards the front of the room sits Ephraim Isaac, an 88-year-old Ethiopian-Yemenite Jew and retired Harvard professor, wearing a loose-fitting Ethiopian jalabiya and intricate Yemenite hat, whose own life story warrants a feature-length film.

Isaac is there not just because he is on the board of the American Sephardi Federation, which put together the week-long festival, but because he had met Ovadia Yosef and helped shape his now famous 1973 ruling recognising Ethiopian Jews from the Beta Israel community as halachically Jewish - paving the way for Ethiopian Jews to immigrate to Israel.

Born in Ethiopia in 1936, Isaac speaks 17 languages and holds a BA and Phd from Harvard. In 1969, he helped create Harvard’s Afro-American Studies Department before serving as the faculty’s inaugural professor.

For decades, Isaac has been engaged in global peace efforts, assiduously working to end conflicts in the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Ethiopia. In 2013, he was knighted by the King of Sweden for his “lifetime service to peace and justice.” Nowadays, he lectures worldwide — from Spain and Morocco to Jordan, Scotland and Los Angeles — about religion, peace building and conflict resolution.

“Students must speak out if there’s a deficiency in their academic studies, as they did in 1969,” Isaac tells the JC, recounting the widespread student unrest that engulfed Harvard’s campus in the late 1960s when, in the years following the US civil rights movement, the university failed to offer a single course on African languages, literature or culture. Harvard’s president at the time, Nathan Pusey, eventually conceded to overwhelming student outrage, triggering a surge in courses on African studies being offered across dozens of US colleges and universities.

But times have changed. Isaac laments how many top universities, and its students, had lost their way in recent years, prioritising politics over academic excellence — a trend exacerbated by the events of October 7 and the war in Gaza that followed.
Islamism Killed My Partner. Why Won’t the West Fight It?
On the evening of November 13, 2015, I recorded a video of my partner, Guillaume, laughing and dancing round the living room with our two daughters, aged four and seven. Just a few minutes later, he left our apartment in eastern Paris to go to the Bataclan concert hall.

A rock critic who wrote under the name Guillaume B. Decherf, he loved nothing more than good music, and was excited about seeing Eagles of Death Metal that night. In his review for Les Inrockuptibles, he had praised the band’s latest album. Its “sole aim,” he wrote, was “to give pleasure,” before signing off with a flourish: “Plaisir partagé!” A pleasure shared.

But I was worried. A journalist myself, I knew that Reuters had alerted the public to the potential threat of Islamist attacks. And concert halls had long been considered targets: their sole aim—to give pleasure—makes them particularly offensive to jihadis. I warned Guillaume, but he was determined: he told me life must go on in the face of bigotry, and I would never have stood in his way.

Two hours after he left, an alert popped up on my phone: “Massacre at the Bataclan.”

I must have called him 30 times.

Not knowing what else to do, I ran to the largest hospital in Paris, La Pitié-Salpêtrière, a 10-minute drive from the Bataclan. It was chaos, but I showed everyone I could the video of Guillaume laughing hours before and asked: Have you seen this man? No one had.

There was nothing left to do but wait. On my way home, I imagined walking through the front door to find him in the living room, dancing to metal music at top volume, swinging his hair around.

Shortly before noon the next day, a journalist friend of mine called from the morgue, with the terrible news I’d been waiting for: Guillaume, 43, was one of the 130 people murdered by Islamists at the Bataclan.
The Philadelphia story of Jew-hatred
Attacks on the Jewish state and the people committed to it are hardly new. However, a series of rants at School District of Philadelphia (SDP) public meetings present a new twist on an old illness.

The latest effort to attack Jews is to shout the demand that the haters of Jews have the “right” to teach “facts” about a conflict halfway around the globe about which they know virtually nothing other than that they hate Zionism, hate what they think it stands for and are convinced that Jews are the personification of evil “white” America.

A ringside seat in this arena of blame and shame can be found at every recent SDP board meeting, during which speakers—primarily current and former SDP teachers known as “Educators for Palestine”—espouse passionate proclamations of “facts” about which no debate is to be permitted. These are “facts” like the claim that all Jews who believe that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state and the right to self-defense against existential threats, are despicable and violent racists cruelly advocating for the murder of innocent people of color.

This, of course, is the mantra of Hamas, the terrorist organization that butchered, incinerated and raped to death more than a thousand innocents in southern Israel on Oct. 7, but who now claim that Israel is the guilty party. According to the Hamas supporters lecturing at SDP board meetings since Oct. 7, anyone who disagrees with their narrative has no right to be heard in public schools and no right to complain to authorities about the harassment of their children. These Hamasists insist that Philly students must be indoctrinated with their smears and lies about Jews and that anyone who disagrees is a racist.

Philly Educators for Palestine monopolized virtually every speaker slot during the May 30 and June 6 SDP board hearings. They accused Philadelphia’s Jewish teachers, parents and students, and the SDP Jewish Family Association of being “outside agitators” from the “right-wing.” They handed out Marxist propaganda celebrating Ebrahim Raisi, the “Butcher of Iran,” at their rally preceding the board meeting. They demanded that the Board acquiesce in their defiance of rules, procedure and order.

Parent and university professor Adeem Suhail invoked his status as an educator to justify his claim that “the occupation of Palestine at the hands of the State of Israel has long been a textbook example of racist and violent settler-colonialism.” Suhail’s distorted and mythical claims assume as “fact” that Jews have no connection to the Land of Israel, never had a Temple there, were never exiled and never yearned to return—and that all Jews are white oppressors.
MacKenzie Scott Gives Millions to Philly Nonprofit Tied to Anti-Israel Penn Encampment
MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, awarded a $2 million grant to a Philadelphia-based community fund with ties to the Philly Palestine Coalition, the radical activist group behind the anti-Israel encampment at the University of Pennsylvania.

The billionaire divorcée announced the grant to Bread & Roses Community Fund on March 19, lauding the group and other grantees as "vital agents of change" that have overcome "discrimination and other systemic obstacles." Just weeks later, in May, Bread & Roses honored the Philly Palestine Coalition with its "Victory is Ours Award," which the fund gives to a local group that has "advanced moments for racial and economic justice."

"The coalition builds collective power by uniting groups working towards a shared vision of liberation for all," Bread & Roses said in its award announcement. "They organize direct actions including sit-ins, banner drops, encampments, and vigils to put pressure on division-makers to end genocide in Palestine." At its subsequent "Tribute to Change" award ceremony, held on Thursday, Bread & Roses executive director Casey Cook touted the grant from Scott, saying the fund beat out roughly 6,000 other applicants and received double the amount for which it applied. Members of the Philly Palestine Coalition attended the ceremony to accept the award and lead chants of "Free, Free Palestine."

Scott's contribution to Bread & Roses Community Fund—and the fund's work with the Philly Palestine Coalition—reflects the proliferation of funds left-wing philanthropists have contributed to anti-Israel groups in the wake of Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state.

The Ford Foundation, for example, has sent millions to two Middle Eastern organizations that celebrated the attack, the Washington Free Beacon reported Monday. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, meanwhile, has long bankrolled Defense for Children International-Palestine, an Israeli-designated terror organization.

Bread & Roses is one of the more than 2,000 nonprofits Scott has funded since 2019, the year of her divorce from Bezos, making her one of the biggest philanthropists in the world. She is no stranger to funding radical organizations—in 2020, Scott contributed to the Movement for Black Lives, which seeks to defund police departments and backs a boycott of Israel. The organization has referred to Israel as an "apartheid state" that commits "genocide" against Palestinians.

The Philly Palestine Coalition, a self-described "alliance of Palestinian, Black & Indigenous communities working to uplift Palestinian liberation," uses similar rhetoric when discussing the Jewish state. It also organizes anti-Israel encampments and other controversial protests.


Major conference faces backlash for linking big tech to 'genocide in Palestine' in presentation
The Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR) found itself at the center of a heated controversy after a prominent researcher took to Twitter to condemn what he described as "baseless political statements" made during one of the talks in its annual conference, during which he noticed that the slide in one of the presentations ran the headline "How has CPR research contributed to tech used in genocide in Palestine."

The IEEE / CVF Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR) calls itself "the premier annual computer vision event" and it includes "comprising the main conference and several co-located workshops and short courses. This year it has been taking place in Seattle, starting on Monday, and it will continue through Friday.

Yizhak Ben-Shabat (Itzik), a well-known figure in the field of computer vision, expressed his outrage in a tweet after seeing the slide and uploading it online. He wrote, "I was deeply offended by a slide in a recent talk at #CVPR2024 that falsely accused my country of genocide. Such baseless political statements have no place in our scientific community. Let's keep our focus on advancing science and leave politics at the door. @CVPR". The slide, apart from supposedly accepting the falsehood that Israel was carrying out genocide in the Gaza Strip, also listed Israeli and international companies as supposedly being embroiled in this made-up claim.

The companies listed on the slide, according to the picture he showed, included Elbit (an Israeli company), with its "weapons and drones"; Amazon through its "cloud compute for military", Palantir, through its "AI targeting for bombing" and Lockheed Martin, through its "missiles and weapons."

Call for separating science and politics
Ben-Shabat's tweet, according to a later tweet on the same thread, was directed at a slide that appeared in a presentation during the conference's Workshop on Responsible Data, which aimed to address issues surrounding the inclusivity and diversity of datasets used in machine learning and artificial intelligence applications.

The thread prompted a major backlash online, with pro-Israeli users attacking the conference for allowing the slide to appear. There was no information on who presented it and whether it was cleared with the organizers for the event before the workshop. The organizers have yet to respond to the allegations.
More than 30 members leave New North London over rabbi who called Israeli leaders ‘war criminals’
Multiple families have resigned from the UK’s leading Masorti synagogue over a rabbi who called Israeli politicians “war criminals”.

A rabbi at the New North London Synagogue in Finchley, Rabbi Lara Haft Yom-Tov wrote in a Haggadah supplement, not connected to the synagogue, that Israeli politicians “have manufactured a famine in Gaza, leading millions to the brink of starvation.”

Yom-Tov wrote: “...the same war criminals who have forced Palestinian families to flee their homes will lift up their matzah and wax poetic about the Israelites’ rush to escape Egypt.”

Nine families comprising of 18 adults and 13 people under 21 have resigned, “citing Rabbi Lara as a reason for leaving,” according to the shul.

In May, at least 130 members of the synagogue called for Rabbi Yom-Tov to resign over the Haggadah essay. The rabbi was subsequently subject to a disciplinary process in which NNLS executives told members that there was a “finding of serious misconduct”, but that NNLS Council had “voted unanimously not to dismiss Rabbi Lara”.

The JC spoke to one anonymous family who had resigned their membership after over a decade at NNLS.

The family ended their direct debit payments before the outcome of the disciplinary process, with the mother stating: “If you’re hiring rabbis like that and putting them in charge of children and you’re okay with that, I don’t want to be a part of that.”

She said: “I find it difficult to accept having a rabbi who would write these things. I have friends who have been enlisted, friends who have been killed and friends of friends taken hostage.

“I always assumed Masorti was Zionist but welcoming someone like that into the community felt one step too far. In an endeavour to make people comfortable, they’re trying to be all things to all people [...] I don’t believe politics has a place in prayer.”
ADL updates antisemitism levels at 85 campuses: 12 better, three worse
Updated analysis from the Anti-Defamation League shows progress at American academic institutions that are strengthening their approach to countering antisemitism on campus. Still, it assesses that three top universities have fallen further in their obligations to protect students and faculty.

On Tuesday, the ADL released a revised edition of its “Report Card” assessing the levels of hatred against Jewish students following the Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7, including protests and tent encampments coordinated by anti-Israel activist groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine.

The original assessment on April 11 assigned two schools an “A,” 17 schools a “B,” 29 schools a “C,” 24 schools a “D” and 13 schools an “F.”

This new analysis lists two schools still at an “A,” 18 at a “B,” 32 schools at a “C,” 24 schools at a “D” and nine schools at an “F” grade.

In the revised ratings, the ADL says seven colleges have risen from an “F”to a “D”: Michigan State University, Princeton University, Stanford University, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Rockland Community College, Swarthmore College and the University of Virginia.

Meanwhile, three schools fell from a “D” grade to an “F”: Northwestern University; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the University of Michigan.

“When we released these grades last month, we did not dare to imagine how much more challenging this school year would get for Jewish students,” attested Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national president of the ADL.
I Took Pictures of a Columbia Dean's Phone. Here's Why.
I am a Columbia University graduate and longtime donor to the school who has been deeply disturbed by the hatred and bigotry Jewish students have faced on campus. The school's task force on anti-Semitism has documented hundreds of cases, from a professor who allegedly singled out a student with a Jewish-sounding last name, demanding the student account for Israel's prosecution of the war against Hamas, to another who allegedly warned students to avoid the mainstream media because "it's owned by Jews," to the ostracization of pro-Israel students on campus. The situation is so dire that Columbia Hillel's director, Brian Cohen, said last month that only governmental intervention can improve conditions.

Cohen made that assessment at a panel on anti-Semitism held during alumni reunions. I was there hoping to see the school I love address this crisis. Instead, I was shocked to witness administrators openly mocking the people they had supposedly come to listen to.

As panelists shared heartbreaking accounts, four undergraduate deans—Josef Sorett, Susan Chang-Kim, Cristen Kromm, and Matthew Patashnick—sat in a row, texting each other derisive comments about Jews. Documenting their conduct became a moral imperative, and I took pictures as they shot messages back and forth. I could hardly turn away when I saw a message from Patashnick arguing that Cohen "knows exactly what he's doing" to "take full advantage of this moment," which has "huge fundraising potential."

I am writing this anonymously because I fear reprisal for speaking out about the anti-Semitism crisis at Columbia, particularly given the increasingly hostile climate on campus and the radicalized protests in New York City and across the United States.

When the texts became public, Sorett had the gall to send a note to Columbia leaders stating that the deans "prioritized attending this panel as part of our ongoing effort to listen to the range of experiences of our Jewish community." He went on to argue that my decision to photograph the deans' text exchanges was an "invasion of privacy." The deans, busy on their phones, weren't doing much listening, and there is certainly no expectation of privacy when broadcasting one's bigotry in an open forum.

Even more alarming is the hypocrisy those messages revealed. Columbia's leaders have said one thing publicly—university president Minouche Shafik told Congress that anti-Semitism is "antithetical to Columbia's values," yet the deans' messages betrayed just that.


Yale Failed To Disclose Millions in Qatari Funding, Flouting Federal Law, Report Says
Yale University did not disclose upwards of $15 million in contributions from Qatar—the Middle Eastern nation that provides funding and shelter to Hamas’s top leadership—in violation of federal reporting laws, according to an investigation by a watchdog group.

The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) determined that Yale received at least $15,925,711 from Qatari entities since 2012, but only publicly reported one grant worth $284,668, according to a study provided exclusively to the Washington Free Beacon. Yale’s failure to report this funding runs afoul of federal disclosure laws that require American universities to semi-annually list all foreign-funded gifts and contracts exceeding $250,000, ISGAP says. It is unclear if the Qatari funding and projects were structured in a way that allowed the school to omit them from federal reports.

"It is difficult to ascertain the exact amount" of Qatari money flowing to the university, "as Yale does not disclose all its foreign funding. This despite the fact that, by law and according to the ethics guides of most major universities, all agreements, contracts, [memoranda of understanding], and service-in-kind arrangements should be made public." The watchdog group determined that many U.S. schools, including Yale, "remain in breach of these rules and regulations and are thus engaged in illegal activity. If the law were to be enforced properly, these universities would face serious consequences."

Qatar has emerged in recent years as top donor to American schools, doling out $5.6 billion to 61 American schools since 2007, including Stanford University and Ivy Leagues such as Yale, Harvard University, and Cornell University, according to funding records reviewed by the Free Beacon in February. This money has allowed Qatar to peddle outsized influence at prestigious institutions that have seen an explosion of anti-Semitism on campus in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel. Qatar, experts say, has helped mainstream anti-Israel propaganda on campus and uses its money to stifle criticism of Doha’s longstanding ties to Hamas, Iran, and other malign regimes.

ISGAP’s latest report "highlights financial activities that could be classified as criminal and could potentially form the basis for litigation against several U.S. universities, including Yale." The watchdog group alleges that Yale and other schools are "defrauding the US Department of Education (DOE) by not fully disclosing the financial support they receive from Qatar." Yale disputed the report's findings in a statement.

"Yale disputes the conclusion of this report, which contains factual errors and misleading statements," a spokesperson said. "The university is not aware of any funding from Qatar that has not been reported as required under federal law."


New York must ban masks before someone gets killed
In 2024, there is no longer any reason not to bring back a law that served New York well for two centuries. Today’s masked bigots cover their faces so that they cannot be identified no matter how illegal, hateful, or violent they become. Columbia University has closed an investigation into an activist who held a sign calling on Hamas to murder Jewish students because the activist covered her face while calling for the murder of Jewish students, making it difficult for the school to identify her.

With Jewish leaders in New York warning that the situation has deteriorated to levels reminiscent of 1930s Germany, it is only a matter of time before one or more of these so-called activists put their genocidal rhetoric into action and someone dies as a result.

Restoring the mask ban would go a long way towards protecting the millions of Jewish people who call New York home. It would empower the police to take action sooner before these rallies spiral out of control and compel the bigots to tone down their open lust for genocide for fear of being arrested or publicly shamed for their Nazi-like behavior when they cannot hide their faces.

As long as bloodthirsty mobs are allowed to control the streets and the subways, no one is safe. The more they are allowed to hide their faces, the more they are allowed to get away with calling for violence, murder, and genocide, the more they go unpunished for actual violence, the bolder they become, and the greater and greater the risk that groups of them will begin to emulate the Hamas butchers they love so much.

New York’s leaders, from Mayor Adams to Governor Hochul and everyone in between, must move from words to action before the antisemites do and bring back the mask law now, before the situation deteriorates any further. When people target Zionists on subway cars, when people paint Hamas targets on the homes of Jews, when people profess their love for massacres like October 7 and their desire to see Jews murdered, it is only a matter of time before they start killing people. We cannot count on the Jew-haters’ cowardice continuing forever, especially when they are allowed to hide their identities by covering their faces.

Get rid of the masks now, before someone is killed.
NYPD hunts for anti-Israel protester who told ‘Zionists’ to ID themselves on subway
The NYPD is hunting for the anti-Israel protester who took over a New York subway car and demanded “Zionists” raise their hands — then said, “this is your chance to get out.”

A wanted poster released Wednesday asks New Yorkers for help identifying the man so police can arrest him on a coercion charge.

Law enforcement sources told The Post that cops are considering elevating the coercion charge to a hate crime, which is allowed under state law.

“The subject chanted ‘Raise your hands if you’re a Zionist,” the poster states, “Repeat after me, this is your chance to get out!”

A photo showing the protester was also tweeted by NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper, who wrote detectives are looking for the man.

Sources added that cops are working to definitively ID the man and chasing down potential leads while asking the public to weigh in.

The incident unfolded the same night a mob of anti-Israel protesters ghoulishly swarmed a downtown Manhattan exhibit memorializing the victims of the Nova music festival who were slaughtered and kidnapped on Oct. 7.
Sky News host reacts to pro-Palestinian protester ‘harassing fellow lefties’
Sky News host Rita Panahi reacts to a pro-Palestinian protester “harassing their fellow lefties” while out eating at a cafe in Washington DC.

In the video captured, by the anti-Israeli person, he can be heard saying; 'Here we have some mediocre white people to start the day off’.

'More white people … a chubby mediocre white man ... can we ask your stance is on Palestine, any stance? No stance, no,' the anti-Israeli person said while continuing to film people while eating.




Labelled act of political violence
Many of the windows were smashed, red paint was poured in, small fires were lit outside and the slogan “Zionism is Fascism” was painted over a poster of Burns.

Burns, who is Jewish, said it was a politically motivated attack and he’s been in contact with the Federal Police and is awaiting further advice.

“My team won’t be at the office this morning, or until we’re told it is safe to do so, but we’re still here to help our community and can be contacted by email” he said.

David Southwick MP, Member for Caulfield said Josh Burns and his staff deserve a safe workplace.

“For too long, these fringe-dwelling activists have thought they are above the law. It is time for them to face the consequences for their actions” he said.

ZFA CEO Alon Cassuto said, “We are appalled by the attack on Josh Burns’ office this morning. These are acts of outrageous political violence and must be a wake-up call. They are not acceptable against any of our political representatives and must be forcefully called out when a Jewish person like Josh is targeted.”

Mr Cassuto described it as an attack on the Jewish community, and the fundamentally Australian and liberal values of tolerance and mutual respect.
Labor MP Josh Burns slams 'reckless and dangerous' vandalism of his office
Labor MP Josh Burns slammed the “reckless and dangerous” vandalism of his office at a media conference on Wednesday.

The Labor MP's office has again been targeted by vandals in Melbourne, who spray painted antisemitic graffiti on the building.

“It was clearly politically motivated,” Mr Burns said.

“This was really ugly behaviour.

“My staff are there to look after the community.”


Anthony Albanese furious after Jewish MP's office is smashed up and set on fire: 'Dial it down'
An outraged Anthony Albanese has slammed anti-Semitic vandals targeting MPs' workplaces, after a Jewish politician's office was attacked overnight in Melbourne.

Windows were smashed and the front of federal Labor MP Josh Burns' St Kilda electoral office was set on fire, in what he called a 'politically motivated attack'.

The walls of the building were daubed in red paint and graffitied with a slogan reading 'Zionism is fascism'. Zionism refers to the ideology that Jews deserve their own state in their ancestral homeland of Israel.

Mr Albanese said the attack was 'very distressing' and those responsible for it must be held accountable for their criminal actions.

'This is an escalation of the attacks that we've seen. We've been talking about this. We've got to dial this down,' he told ABC Radio.

'For some people, they feel very strongly about issues in the Middle East. But it's no reason to target MPs half a world away in Australia, and in particular the targeting of a Jewish MP is very distressing.'

At least five people were seen near the office on Barkly Street in St Kilda at about 3.20am on Wednesday, police were told.

Investigators said small fires were lit in the telecommunications pits at the front of the building before the group ran from the scene.

Mr Burns has been targeted in the past by vandals defacing his election posters.


PreOccupiedTerritory: ‘Your Violence Just Creates More Enemies’ Argument Used Only Against One Side (satire)
An admonition not to aggressively protect its people and not to engage in preventive or retaliatory military activity against foes, since the necessary force in such actions will simply produce a new generation of foes, was leveled again today at Israel, witnesses reported, with no such admonition made in the direction of Palestinian or other foes who keep attempting to kill as many Jews as possible.

“Your bombs and missiles just create more resistance!” shouted a protester at a group of Israeli political figures. “There’s no peace because of you!” The protester has never directed such rhetoric toward Palestinian leaders or advocates for “resistance,” warning them that repeated attempts to harm Israel will only harden Israeli attitudes toward them.

“Doesn’t Israel know that with every airstrike, it might kill a militant, but it spawns five more from the surviving civilians?” admonished a letter to the editor in The Guardian yesterday. The letter-writer declined to specify whether she has ever argued for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Houthis, the Islamic State, Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or their sponsors in Tehran and Doha, to make the same consideration vis-à-vis Israel.

Opinion pages and online content on the subject of Middle East sectarian violence have remained conspicuously lacking in warnings to any of the above groups that every bus bombing, stabbing attack, shooting, or other violence against Israel creates new soldiers for “The Occupation,” as those who refuse to acknowledge Israel’s legitimacy refer to it.

“Iran must realize it only generates more enmity with each attack it perpetrates or sponsors,” said no pundit ever, reserving as their harshest actual criticism locutions such as “not helpful.”
ADL faces Wikipedia ban over reliability concerns on Israel, antisemitism
Wikipedia’s editors have voted to declare the Anti-Defamation League “generally unreliable” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding it to a list of banned and partially banned sources.

An overwhelming majority of editors involved in the debate about the ADL also voted to deem the organization unreliable on the topic of antisemitism, its core focus. A formal declaration on that count is expected next.

The decision about Israel-related citations, made last week, means that one of the most prominent and longstanding Jewish advocacy groups in the United States — and one historically seen as the leading U.S. authority on antisemitism — is now grouped together with the National Inquirer, Newsmax, and Occupy Democrats as a source of propaganda or misinformation in the eyes of the online encyclopedia.

Moreover, in a near consensus, dozens of Wikipedia editors involved in the discussion said they believe the ADL should not be cited for factual information on antisemitism as well because it acts primarily as a pro-Israel organization and tends to label legitimate criticism of Israel as antisemitism.

“ADL no longer appears to adhere to a serious, mainstream and intellectually cogent definition of antisemitism, but has instead given into the shameless politicization of the very subject that it was originally esteemed for being reliable on,” wrote an editor known as Iskandar323, whose request for a discussion about the ADL ultimately led to the ban.

In a written statement, the ADL said the decision by Wikipedia was the result of a ”campaign to delegitimize the ADL” and that editors opposing the ban “provided point by point refutations, grounded in factual citations, to every claim made, but apparently facts no longer matter.”

“This is a sad development for research and education, but ADL will not be daunted in our age-old fight against antisemitism and all forms of hate,” the statement said.


Hamas Gambled on Biased Western Journalism. CNN Played Right Into It
CNN’s International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, recently authored an analysis (“Hamas gambled on the suffering of civilians in Gaza. Netanyahu played right into it,” Jun. 11) castigating Israelis for foolishly falling for Hamas’s tricks. Robertson’s piece instead illustrates, ironically, the failure of CNN’s journalism. Rather than successfully depicting Israelis as fools caught in Hamas’s trap, the analysis instead exemplifies how western journalists have become Hamas’s “useful idiots.”

The gist of Robertson’s analysis is that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has masterfully manipulated Israelis. “Netanyahu has played right into” Sinwar’s trap by waging a “brutal” war against Hamas, thus turning public opinion against Israel.

But in crafting his argument, Robertson unwittingly demonstrates how it is himself, and the media at large, that have played into Hamas’s hands. In doing so, he shows that it’s not the conduct of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) that has turned public opinion against Israel, but rather the media’s portrayal of the IDF’s conduct. That portrayal involves spreading propaganda and narratives crafted by Hamas, but which are entirely detached from reality.

Perhaps the most glaring example of this is when Robertson declares, without qualification or attribution, that the number of Palestinians killed so far in the war is over 36,000. This number comes straight from Hamas’s media office and has been widely discredited, to the point that even the United Nations quietly backtracked on repeating the media office’s figures.

It is publicly known that Hamas has a cynical strategy to deliberately exploit global sympathy for civilian casualties. That is why it doesn’t just engage in the most sophisticated and systematic exploitation of human shielding, but it also regularly inflates the casualty figures for media consumption, which CNN falls for hook, line, and sinker.

And CNN is known to not just uncritically repeat these propaganda figures, but to deceptively obscure the source in a transparent attempt to give the figures a false appearance of credibility. The network has repeatedly laundered these Hamas figures by falsely attributing them to the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations, and even aid agencies, who themselves acknowledge they’re just using Hamas’s figures.
UPI Corrects After Inflating UN Data on Palestinians Killed by Settlers
Moreover, according to the U.N.’s own definition (see OCHA’s “Data on Casualties“), the category for Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers “includes Palestinians killed or injured during attacks or alleged attacks they perpetrated against Israeli settlers.”

In response to communication from CAMERA, Coote forthrightly corrected his article, which now reports:
According to a recent update from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 508 Palestinians, including 124 children, have been killed in the West Bank since the war began. The vast majority were killed by Israeli soldiers. Ten were killed by Israeli settlers with another seven being unconfirmed.

In addition, UPI commendably appended the following correction to the bottom of the article alerting readers to the change:
Correction: Figures on Palestinian deaths in the West Bank has been clarified to show that the majority were killed by Israeli soldiers.


Candace Owens Claims US ‘Being Held Hostage by Israel,’ Suggests Zionists Killed JFK
Political commentator Candace Owens claimed on Friday that the US is being held “hostage” by Israel and suggested that AIPAC, the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US, was behind the assassination of former US President John F. Kennedy.

“It seems like our country is being held hostage by Israel,” Owens, a right-wing provocateur, said during the opening segment of her YouTube show, where she interviewed far-left commentator Briahna Joy Gray.

“I’m going to get in so much trouble for that. I don’t care,” Owens lamented.

Gray, who was the guest for this episode, was recently fired from The Hill‘s TV show, Rising, after aggressively cutting off and rolling her eyes at the sister of an Israeli hostage who said that Hamas sexually assaulted women during the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and that people should believe those women. Gray, who claimed her firing was politically motivated, had repeatedly cast doubt on the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women during the Hamas-led onslaught.

However, Owens said that part of the reasons she was addressing the subject was that people were being fired because they were “not happy … when an innocent Palestinian kid dies” or for “critiquing a foreign nation.”

Also on Friday’s show, Owens claimed US Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was “wading into some dangerous waters” when, during an interview with host Tucker Carlson, he spoke about how effective the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is at lobbying members of Congress and suggested the group should have to register as a foreign agent that is acting on behalf of Israel.

The reason it was dangerous, Owens said, was because “we know there was once a president that wanted to make AIPAC register, and he ended up shot … so Thomas Massie better be careful.”

Owens was referencing the fact that Kennedy wanted the American Zionist Council, a lobby group, to register as a foreign agent. However, there is no evidence the group had anything to do with Kennedy’s assassination.

Owens and The Daily Wire, which was co-founded by conservative and Jewish political commentator Ben Shapiro, parted ways after Owens flirted with antisemitic conspiracy theories for a number of months, especially following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.


Seth Mandel: Bowman Descends Into Lunacy
His rhetoric has become indistinguishable from that of the Ayatollah Khamenei. Recently he was caught on video saying to a crowd of supporters: “Because I am fighting against genocide, I am being attacked by the Zionist regime we call AIPAC.”

A conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, Bowman can be seen ranting that the documented rape of Israelis on Oct. 7 by Hamas is made-up “propaganda.”

Yesterday, Jewish Insider revealed that in 2022, as Bowman began alienating every Jewish constituent he could find, he texted a local Jewish community leader: “Do you have pics of us? So I can show the world I’m friends with Jewish People.” That Jewish leader declined to provide such a photo because, he said, “I don’t want to be his court Jew.”

In fact, tokenism is a recurring problem with Bowman. He delusionally insists “Thank God I still have a lot of support within the Jewish community,” but he means the As-a-Jewish community. He is celebrated by the anti-Zionist fringe group Jewish Voice for Peace, which considers Bowman “an unapologetic progressive leader, fighting for better education, the Green New Deal, and against racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of hate. He has also become a leading voice in Congress calling for accountability for the Israeli government and an end to U.S. complicity in Israel’s brutal bombardment and siege of Palestinians in Gaza.”

As you can see, his brand is entirely dependent on his reputation as a courageous crusader against all things Israel. His fellow progressive House members laud him for that very courage: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised his past Jew-baiting “given the community that he’s in”—a reference to the fact that his old district had a large Jewish community. Redistricting has liberated him from those scary Jews, however.

Ironically, many Jews in his old district have now been placed in the district represented by Ritchie Torres, one of the most unflinchingly dependable allies the Jewish community has had in Congress in a very long time. Naturally, then, Bowman spends increasing amounts of time attacking Torres. Bowman specifically accused Torres of cozying up to the Jewish community in a cynical bid for power, neither the first nor the last time Torres will be subject to insidious dog whistles for his crime of standing against anti-Semitism—which at the moment, in progressive circles, requires actual courage. Torres, meanwhile, runs circles around the increasingly erratic Bowman without a breaking a sweat: “I care as much about his opinion on me as I do about his opinion on how to properly pull a fire alarm or his opinion on how to remain in Congress,” Torres posted. “His opinion of me is worse than a rubber stamp—it leaves no impression, much like his legislative record.”

Bowman can barely utter a sentence without grumbling about AIPAC, his stand-in for the Jewish money he will blame for his defeat, should he lose next week. As City & State NY noted this week, “Jamaal Bowman has given up on changing minds.” He’s at risk of losing his own, as his steady Jew-baiting campaign descends into something approaching madness.


Labour suspends candidate who ‘downplayed’ antisemitism in the party under Corbyn
The Labour Party has suspended a parliamentary candidate who allegedly downplayed antisemitism in the party under Jeremy Corbyn and shared pro-Putin content.

Andy Brown, who is contesting the Scottish constituency of Aberdeenshire North and Moray East, shared a post on social media in April 2018 which said that "the real issue... is that right-wing Jews in the Labour Party and outside the party object to the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is a consistent supporter of Palestinian rights".

According to the Press and Journal, which first revealed the story, in the same month Brown also shared a link to an article from Russian state broadcaster RT that questioned Russia’s role in the Sailsbury poisonings. It suggested that the nerve agent, Novichok, used to attempt to kill Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia did not come from Russia.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said that “Andy Brown has been administratively suspended from the Labour Party pending investigation.

“We have taken the decision to withdraw support from a parliamentary candidate during a general election.

“Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer have changed the Labour Party and said that every candidate and MP would operate to the highest standards. This action shows that they meant it.”

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves told Sky News that “there is no place in the Labour Party for people who don't share our values … that is why as soon as these postings came to light, we've got rid of him.”
French far-right party disowns candidate who claimed Holocaust did ‘justice’
France’s far-right National Rally (RN) withdraws support for one of its candidates in a looming legislative election over an allegedly antisemitic social media message posted in 2018.

Joseph Martin was supposed to be an RN candidate for the National Assembly for the northwestern department of Morbihan.

According to France’s Liberation newspaper, Martin wrote on social media in October 2018 that “gas did justice for the victims of the Holocaust.”

The tweet was deleted around midday today.

“He no longer has the support of the National Rally. He is suspended and will be summoned with a view to his exclusion,” an RN spokesperson tells AFP, adding that it is too late to withdraw Martin’s candidacy.
PMW: PA wants “new world order” of “Islamic world, Russia and China” to “realize justice”
Speaking on behalf of “the State of Palestine,” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, called for a “new multipolar world order” at a conference in Russia last month. Al-Habbash explained that with the Islamic world’s potential to become a superpower, this new world order should comprise “the Islamic world, Russia and China.”

Al-Habbash’s rationale behind this new world order is so that “justice will prevail in human society” and to have a showdown with the “current world order lead by the US,” which is guilty of “all the crimes taking place in Palestine”:
PA Chairman Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Habbash:“All the crimes that are taking place in Palestine exist with American agreement, American satisfaction, and American support, and therefore the US bears full responsibility for all the blood that is spilled, all the victims who die, and all the destruction that takes place… The US bears responsibility for the denial of the Palestinian people’s rights, because it sponsors the Israeli aggression, supports it, and aids it.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, May 16, 2024]


The PA’s solution is a triumvirate of the Islamic world, Russia and China:
“Al-Habbash noted that the federative republic of Russia and the Islamic world constitute a world power together with one another. He said that Russia fundamentally is a superpower, and that the Islamic world can be a superpower because it has tremendous human resources, huge natural resources, capabilities, territory, one religion, and one language, and it is capable of constituting a world power together with Russia and China to formulate a new world order that will realize justice.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, May 16, 2024]


On Russia Day last week, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas sent “blessings and wishes progress and prosperity” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Abbas sent representatives to the Russian embassy in Mauritania where they stressed the great efforts “the State of Palestine” is making “to tighten the ties of friendship and cooperation with Russia.” [WAFA, official PA news agency, June 12, 2024]

China too is popular with the PA. Abbas sent representatives from his Fatah Movement to Beijing to participate in dialogue with a Hamas delegation. China has taken upon itself the role of mediator of Fatah-Hamas unity attempts. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida website, May 16, 2024]
Hamas desperate for manpower, enlists teens
Hamas is struggling to fill its ranks with new recruits, after nearly half of its members have been eliminated so far during the Swords of Iron campaign. The terror group's control over the territory is deteriorating, with local clans seizing control of humanitarian aid distribution.

The number of new Hamas recruits is estimated by Israeli sources at hundreds of new recruits, Israel Hayom has learned. Despite efforts to reorganize in various areas of the Gaza Strip where the Israeli military's intense operation has concluded, Hamas has yet to restore its capabilities from October 7.

The IDF estimates that more than 14,000 Hamas operatives have been killed. However, a permanent and complete cessation of IDF activity in the strip would likely allow the terror group to conduct more extensive recruitment over time. The relatively low number of recruits may indicate the difficulties the organization is facing, especially considering the immense recruitment potential in the strip.

On the other hand, this may be just the tip of the iceberg. Yoni Ben Menachem, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told Israel Hayom that "most of the recruits are teenagers aged 16 and above, whom Hamas' military wing is recruiting in exchange for payment. Being young and enthusiastic, it gives them motivation. This phenomenon has been occurring for no more than two months and is very concerning." He adds that "these youngsters know the terrain well and run fast."

The chaos in the trip is increasing The recruitment of operatives is taking place as Hamas's control over the distribution of humanitarian aid appears to be deteriorating. In recent days, reports from the strip indicate that criminal gangs from local clans in Khan Younis and central refugee camps are looting humanitarian aid trucks. Even if some cooperation with Hamas is occurring behind the scenes, this reflects the chaos in the Strip. Hamas is attempting to instill fear among Gazans through public executions, one of which was documented just Tuesday.


Shipping industry urges Red Sea action as Yemen’s Houthis sink second merchant ship
Urgent action must be taken in the Red Sea to stop attacks on merchant shipping by Yemen’s Houthis, leading industry groups said on Wednesday, after the sinking of a second ship.

Iran-aligned Houthis have launched over 70 drone and missile strikes on the important trade route since November, saying they were doing so in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The Yemeni rebels have also seized one vessel and its crew and killed at least three seafarers.

“It is deplorable that innocent seafarers are being attacked while simply performing their jobs, vital jobs which keep the world warm, fed, and clothed,” the world’s top shipping associations said in a joint statement.

“These attacks must stop now. We call for states with influence in the region to safeguard our innocent seafarers and for the swift de-escalation of the situation in the Red Sea.”

The Greek-owned Tutor coal carrier attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea last week has sunk, salvagers confirmed on Wednesday.

The vessel was struck with missiles and an explosive-laden remote-controlled boat, according to sources.

International naval forces have been deployed to provide mainly defensive support for ships still sailing through the Red Sea, but the attacks have increased significantly.

Insurance industry sources said on Wednesday there was also mounting concern over the use of attack drone boats by the Houthis.
Houthis sink commercial shipping vessel in Red Sea, Filipino sailor killed
A bulk carrier sank days after an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels that is believed to have killed one mariner on board and critically wounded another, authorities said early Wednesday.

The Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned-and-operated Tutor sank in the Red Sea, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said in a warning to sailors in the region.

“Military authorities report maritime debris and oil sighted in the last reported location,” the UKMTO said. “The vessel is believed to have sunk.”

The Houthis, quoting foreign reports in media outlets they control, acknowledged the sinking.

The US military did not acknowledge the sinking, nor did it respond to requests for comment.

The Tutor came under attack on June 12 by a bomb-carrying Houthi drone boat in the Red Sea. John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, said Monday that the attack killed “a crew member who hailed from the Philippines.”
Iran takes major step toward nuclear capability at key site
According to confidential reports and analysis from nuclear experts cited by The Washington Post, Iran is undertaking a substantial expansion at its heavily fortified Fordow nuclear facility. This development could potentially triple Fordow's capacity to produce enriched uranium, providing Tehran with the means to rapidly assemble nuclear weapons if its leadership decides to pursue that path.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have verified new construction activities at the Fordow enrichment plant, just days after Iran formally notified the nuclear watchdog about plans to significantly upgrade the underground site located in a mountainous region of north-central Iran.

The Post's reporting, based on a technical evaluation, indicates that the expansion at Fordow alone could enable Iran to stockpile enough nuclear fuel for several bombs every month. While smaller than Iran's main enrichment facility near Natanz, Fordow's underground location makes it virtually impervious to airstrikes, heightening its strategic significance.

"Iran would gain the capability for a rapid breakout at this deeply buried site, an ability it has not possessed before," David Albright, a nuclear weapons expert and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington-based non-profit, told The Post.

Iran has also disclosed intentions to boost production at its primary enrichment plant near the city of Natanz. These moves are poised to exacerbate tensions with Western nations and fuel concerns that Tehran is swiftly positioning itself as a nuclear threshold state, capable of producing nuclear weapons on short notice if its rulers give the order.

"Iran aims to keep expanding its nuclear program in ways that lack any credible peaceful justification," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller stated. "These planned actions further undermine Iran's claims to the contrary. If Iran proceeds with these plans, we will respond accordingly."

According to US intelligence officials, Iran already possesses around 300 pounds of highly enriched uranium that could potentially be further processed into weapons-grade fuel for nuclear bombs within weeks or even days. While Iran maintains it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons, leaders of its nuclear energy program have begun publicly asserting that their scientists now command all the necessary components and expertise to build nuclear bombs swiftly if instructed to do so.

The expansion blueprint calls for installing nearly 1,400 new centrifuges, machines used for uranium enrichment, at Fordow within four weeks, according to two European diplomats with knowledge of the confidential IAEA reports. This new equipment, Iranian-made and interconnected in eight cascades, would significantly outperform the machines currently deployed.

"It is entirely credible," Albright told The Post, referring to Iran's expansion plans. "We have no insight into their centrifuge activities. We'll only fully grasp their capability after they've installed these machines."
Canada designates Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists
Following a decision made by the United States in April 2019, Canada has applied a terrorist designation to the Iranian-based Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Following the announcement on Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc stated that “Canada will use all possible tools to combat terrorist activities carried out by the IRGC.”

He said the designation was backed by “very strong and compelling evidence,” as well as the advice of law enforcement and security agencies. He denied that politics had played a role in its delay.

“The Canadian Jewish community has persistently called for this decisive action against the IRGC, recognizing its role in promoting violence and instability globally, including through its support for terrorist groups targeting Jews and others,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

While CIJA applauded the designation, Fogel said “it is disappointing that it took so long for the government to act on its commitment.”

Anyone in Canada who supports or does business with the IRGC now faces prosecution.

“While we welcome that action was finally taken against the IRGC, why it took this long is something we’ve been asking as well. A Conservative motion to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity was passed in the House of Commons six years ago, and has been something both the Jewish and Iranian-Canadian communities have been calling for, often working together to advocate for this,” Richard Marceau, vice president of external affairs and general counsel at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told JNS.

“The regime in Tehran threatens both communities—the IRGC shot down a plane full of Iranian-Canadians in 2020; they harass dissidents and refugees in the Iranian community in Canada; interfere with Canadian democracy; fund terror organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah; and call for the death of Jews worldwide and the elimination of the State of Israel,” he continued. “The bottom line is that the IRGC is now appropriately listed as a terror entity by the government of Canada, and that’s a positive development for all those innocent people and communities that have been regularly terrorized by this Iranian regime.”
Diplomats say at least 550 pilgrims died during hajj, mostly Egyptians
Diplomats on Tuesday said at least 550 pilgrims died during the hajj, underscoring the gruelling nature of the pilgrimage which again unfolded in scorching temperatures this year.

At least 323 of those who died were Egyptians, most of them succumbing to heat-related illnesses, two Arab diplomats coordinating their countries' responses told AFP.

"All of them (the Egyptians) died because of heat" except for one who sustained fatal injuries during a minor crowd crush, one of the diplomats said, adding the total figure came from the hospital morgue in the Al-Muaisem neighbourhood of Mecca.

At least 60 Jordanians also died, the diplomats said, up from an official tally of 41 given earlier on Tuesday by Amman.

The new deaths bring the total reported so far by multiple countries to 577, according to an AFP tally.

The diplomats said the total at the morgue in Al-Muaisem, one of the biggest in Mecca, was 550.


Bomb threats target more than 50 synagogues in Florida
More than 50 synagogues in Florida were targeted with bomb threats on Tuesday, WPLG reported.

The Coral Gables Police Department determined that the emailed threats were not credible, according to the ABC affiliate in Miami.

“Another sad day in America for the Jewish community. This new normal is disgusting and one that we, Jews, will refuse to accept,” wrote Bryan Leib, a Republican who is running against Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) in Florida’s 25th congressional district.

“We will not back down,” Leib wrote. “We will not be afraid.”

JNS sought comment from the Coral Gables Police Department.
UK teen who planned to attack synagogue gets eight years
A 19-year-old with a history of praising Nazis was sentenced to eight years in prison for planning a suicide attack on an Orthodox synagogue in Brighton, England.

The prosecutor told the court that Mason Reynolds, 19, “does not find himself here because he has political, racial or ideological views that some may find distasteful or indeed abhorrent,” The Jewish Chronicle reported. “He is here because he has not just held those political, racial and ideological views, he has acted on them.”

The prosecutor added that Reynolds “is a neo-Nazi who believed the white race was ‘destined to dominate the rest of mankind,’” the Chronicle continued.

The “violent antisemite,” as he was described in court, sought to carry out a suicide bombing attack at the Holland Road Shul, an Orthodox congregation in Brighton formally known as the Hove Hebrew Congregation.

Reynolds “had annotated diagrams of the synagogue on his phone with one entrance identified that would be ‘good for surprise attack’” and “wrote that he wished to ‘blow myself up inside a synagogue,’” the paper added.

“The Jewish holidays that tend to have the most people in synagogues are Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover,” he wrote, per the London-based paper.
‘Gas the Jews’: US man pleads guilty to cyberstalking, threatening synagogues, businesses
Donavon Parish, a 29-year-old resident of Mississippi, pled guilty on Tuesday to one count of cyberstalking and five counts of abuse and harassment using a telecommunications device of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses, the Department of Justice announced.

Parish admitted in the court that he had targeted the synagogues and businesses based on their association with Judaism.

During April and May of 2022, Parish used voiceover software to target synagogues and Jewish businesses in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, according to court documents. During the calls, he repeatedly praised, referenced and promised a reenactment of the Holocaust.

Parish called one business 15 times, and a synagogue he called at multiple times also housed a preschool and kindergarten, according to the Associated Press.

“Heil Hitler,” “All Jews must die,” “We will put you in work camps,” “gas the Jews” and “Hitler should have finished the job,” are some of the statements Parish reportedly made during the calls.
Local Jewish community targeted with another round of antisemitism
Rebecca Wells was surprised when a couple passing her home took issue with a sign in her yard.

The black-and-white placard read “We Are All Losing” in English, Hebrew and Arabic and was printed by the group Standing Together, a self-identified “grassroots Jewish-Arab movement fighting for peace, equality and social justice in Israel-Palestine.”

Wells thought it was unusual to argue with that message, especially given the group that created the sign.

And yet, in the early evening of June 7, during Bloomfield’s First Friday event, which celebrates the neighborhood’s art scene, Wells heard through an open window someone say, “ ‘We’re all losing.’ What the f— does that mean?”

Wells tried to engage the people in conversation, but the passerby responded with what she called “typical ‘Israel’s committing genocide’ comments.”

“They said that I have blood on my hands and then they said to kill myself,” Wells said.

That, though, was only the first disturbing incident of the night.

Later that evening, Wells noticed that her Israel flag, as well as her “We Stand with Israel” and “Black Lives Matter” signs, were gone. She called her husband, who was out of town, told him what happened and said she was sure she’d find them someone’s trash.

Sure enough, a quick walk around the block confirmed her suspicion.

“They were placed right in a trash can. I said, ‘I don’t think so,’ grabbed them, took them back to my house and put them in the window.”
Poll: Over half of Arab Israelis feel sense of ‘shared destiny’ with Jews
Just over half of Arab Israelis (51.6%) feel that the prolonged war against Hamas in Gaza has given rise to a sense of “shared destiny” between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel, according to a recent survey by the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University.

The poll, which was presented at TAU’s conference “The Future of Israel” on Wednesday, found that a slight majority of Arabs across religious denominations (Druze, Christians and Muslims) identify with that statement.

The poll was based on a representative sample of 502 Arab citizens of Israel above the age of 18, and was initiated by the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation, supported by the German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The survey analyzed expectations for the future of the Gaza Strip and perceptions of the ongoing conflict’s impact on the Arab minority inside the Jewish state.

Asked about who should run Gaza the day after the war, most respondents (58.5%) said that the administration should be in the hands of Palestinians. Of those, 24.4% said they would prefer local bodies from Gaza to manage the Strip, followed by 19.4% who said it should be governed by the Palestinian Authority, and 14.7% said who by Hamas.

Conversely, 34.4% of respondents said that an external non-Palestinian body should govern the coastal enclave. Of those, 19.4% opted for an international force, 8.4% chose Israel and 6.5% favored a coalition of Arab states.

As for the conflict’ impact on the personal lives of Arab Israelis, 67.8% of respondents reported they now find themselves in a relatively good economic situation, in stark contrast to the early days of the war. In November, 64.9% said their finances had been negatively affected by the war.
Jewish comedian Modi says October 7 completely changed comedy 'People need it – they have to laugh': Emily Frances speaks to Jewish comedian Modi, who says he feel a complete change in the reception of comedy in the world since October 7.



Third Israeli in space honors hostages with moving tribute from orbit
Over the weekend, Irving Izchak Pergament became the third Israeli to reach space after participating in a brief Virgin Galactic flight. In an exclusive interview with Ynet, Pergament shared that he carried a sign on the flight with the message: "Bring them home now," referring to Israeli held hostage by terrorists in the Gaza Strip since October 7.

Wearing the flags of Israel and the U.S. on his spacesuit sleeve, Pergament added, "It was very exciting and moving that on that day four hostages were rescued."

Pergament was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany to Holocaust survivor parents. After the establishment of the State of Israel, he immigrated with his family and was sent to the Ma'barah immigrant transit camp in Atlit, later moving to Givat Olga. Despite the family's poverty, he recalls a happy childhood, spending time at the beach and in nature. As the family's economic situation improved, they relocated to the city of Hadera, where Pergament spent his youth. After completing his military service, he saved money and traveled to the United States.

During his trip, he recognized the numerous opportunities for economic advancement and decided to stay. Initially working in odd jobs, he soon realized the potential in real estate and founded a successful commercial real estate company. During this time, he met his wife and started a family.

Pergament described the short space flight. "Everything started a week and a half ago with practice and training, and the flight itself was on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. It's a stunning experience. In space, you really float. It's an incredible experience. I never dreamed I could float like that in space."


Eden Golan on Facing the Mob at Eurovision
I’d never watched or really cared about Eurovision, the campy, colorful, and at times ridiculous international song competition. Twenty-six musical acts from across Europe—plus other countries that are part of the European Broadcasting Union (like Australia, Armenia, Israel, and Morocco)—compete, but much like soccer, I counted it as something that entertains and occupies fans far away.

This year was different.

Amid the Israel-Hamas War, a campaign was mounted to boycott Eurovision for allowing Israel to participate. Over 1,000 Swedish musicians, including the pop star Robyn, signed a petition calling for Israel’s exclusion. In Finland, 1,300 artists signed a similar petition. Bars here in New York announced they wouldn’t screen the competition in protest. Israel was forced to revise their song after its original entry, “October Rain,” was deemed too political by the EBU. This was all before anyone took to the stage. By the time the actual event came around, prompting thousands to swarm Malmö, Sweden, the host city, in protest of Israel’s participation, I couldn’t look away.

At the center of the firestorm was 20-year-old Eden Golan, who faced death threats, jeers during rehearsals and her performance, and hostility from fellow competitors who pretended to fall asleep while she spoke during press conferences and told reporters how they cried upon hearing that Golan had advanced to the final round. The eco-darling Greta Thunberg was arrested while protesting Golan, who was made to stay in her hotel and required extra security, including the head of Israel’s Shin Bet, to keep her safe.

Despite calls for boycott, 163 million people tuned in to Eurovision this year to watch Golan and the other performers. She placed fifth, and snagged the number two spot when it came to the public vote.

I sat down with Golan in New York, in her first in-depth interview since the competition, to talk about how she handled the pressure of being the most-hated performer in Eurovision history before ever singing a note, how it feels to represent Israel since October 7, and what comes next.






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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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