Thursday, June 20, 2024

From Ian:

NYPost Editorial: There is no Gaza famine, so why is the pro-Hamas media silent about this great news?
Of course, President Biden (and his minions) also echoed the lie as he sought to show he “cares” in order to appease the “When Jews defend themselves it’s genocide” crowd.

Which raises the question of why the USAID-backed network cooked the books to suggest famine was coming.

And of why so many “news” organizations swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

It’s rank media bias: An “honest mistake” by reporters and editors eager to paint the Jewish state as monstrous, to buy propaganda slamming Israel’s allegedly cruel restriction of food-aid entry into Gaza.

Again, any such blockage of food aid was thanks to theft by Hamas.

The Biden team’s unseriosness and incompetence here is summed up by the emergency pier the prez demanded in his State of the Union speech, which took months to construct, almost instantly began to fall apart and is about to be decommissioned after managing to unload only a bare pittance of aid — all of it apparently seized by the terrorists.

So when the media’s terror-lovers next begin to scream about some supposed Israeli atrocity — don’t worry, it won’t be long — remember their utter silence about this tremendous piece of good news.

And understand that the shouters don’t love Palestinians, they simply hate Jews.
Melanie Phillips: The ‘Gaza famine’ myth
It’s worth remembering that USAID, the parent body of FEWS NET, is run by Samantha Power, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration.

In 2002, Power suggested in a “thought experiment” that America might have to invade Israel to prevent an Israeli genocide against the Palestinians. She also suggested that the only people who might be alienated by this would be American Jews, who she said exercised tremendous political and financial power over America.

Other research has also exploded the “Gaza famine” claims. At Columbia University, two professors have said the evidence shows that sufficient amounts of food are being supplied to Gaza.

They told The Jerusalem Post that it was “a myth that Israel is responsible for famine in Gaza” and suggested that the International Criminal Court and U.N. had joined Hamas in blaming Israel for a “famine that never was, hoping to stop the war.”

Yet there are no signs that these rebuttals of the “Gaza famine” claim are having any effect on the Israel-bashing crowd. A few days ago, The New York Times was still referring to “starving civilians” and blaming deaths from malnutrition on “restrictions on aid and commercial goods entering Gaza.”

BBC News reported this week that “warnings of famine are looming once again in northern Gaza,” broadcasting distressing footage of infants said to be suffering from dehydration and malnutrition caused by restrictions on aid at the Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings.

Other than Fox News, it seems that no mainstream media outlet has reported the Famine Review Committee’s findings that the claim of famine in Gaza cannot be justified. Nor have the anti-Israel humanitarian organizations, although the World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has now subtly adjusted his rhetoric by talking about “famine-like conditions.”

Famine is not the only anti-Israel falsehood whose debunking has been ignored. The mainstream media and humanitarian crowd are still using the Hamas figure of 37,000-plus civilians killed in Gaza, despite the fact that the U.N. itself revised its own casualty totals sharply downwards after it emerged that some of the claimed deaths had been drawn from media sources and were fabricated.
Jonathan Tobin: The Gaza famine that wasn’t is being used against Israel
Yet the egregious nature of the Oct. 7 assault and atrocities, as well as the clear justification for Israel’s counter-offensive to eliminate the genocidal terrorist movement that carried out those crimes, seems to have impelled those who hate Israel and Jews to new depths of mendacious reporting. The intersectional left-wingers who are convinced that Israel is a nation of “white” villains victimizing Palestinian “people of color” who are inaccurately analogized to American victims of racial discrimination have no compunction about spreading these smears. The worse the actual behavior of the Palestinians, who are bent on the destruction of Israel and its people, the more it becomes imperative to flip the narrative and accuse Israel of genocide.

Every death and all of the privations suffered by Palestinian Arabs since Oct. 7 is the responsibility of the Hamas terrorists who started this war and who take every opportunity to maximize the suffering of their own people to besmirch Israel’s image. That is not only the case for Gazans hurt or killed during the fighting but true for anyone prevented from receiving aid shipped into the Strip with Israel’s permission.

The mythical Gaza famine is just the latest instance of how the Palestinians are gaslighting the world as they deliberately spiral further into an abyss of unending conflict in which they themselves are the primary victims. Sober-minded Americans who by now ought to have learned better than to trust the corporate media on this and many other issues should not be influenced by this propaganda campaign, rooted in the age-old tropes of antisemitism in which the Jews are always accused of conspiring to harm others. Stripped of the emotionalism and partisan activism that colors so much of contemporary journalism, and especially the coverage of the Middle East, the claim that Israel is starving the Palestinians should be seen for what it is: a 21st-century blood libel.

Biden Stopped Fast Tracking US Arms to Israel Following Pressure from Anti-Israel Democrats, GOP Senator Says
The Biden administration stopped fast tracking weapons to Israel in early January after a pressure campaign from Democratic lawmakers who oppose American support for Israel’s war to eradicate Hamas, a GOP senator said on Thursday.

Federal law allows the president to forgo formal congressional notifications on arms sales "when emergencies exist," and the Biden administration invoked this power last year as it worked to quickly provide Israel with the arms it needed to combat Hamas. However, the administration "stopped acknowledging the emergency in Israel after receiving a letter from nearly twenty congressional Democrats in January, urging [it] to end expedited weapons sales to Israel," Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) wrote in a Thursday letter pressing the White House to explain the delay in arms shipments to Israel.

"Your administration is engaged in bureaucratic sleight-of-hand to withhold this crucial aid to Israel during a shooting war," Cotton wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "You’re playing politics with the nation’s honor and our ally’s security. Worse still, your administration lacks the honesty to communicate its true policy to the American people, instead preferring to hide behind weasel words and bureaucratic process."

The letter comes just days after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly accused President Joe Biden of withholding U.S. weapons and ammunition the Jewish state is relying on to eradicate Hamas in the Gaza Strip and combat a growing threat from Hezbollah on its northern border. The White House denied the accusations, saying it does "not know what [Netanyahu is] talking about," but said it had delayed shipments of 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs.

Cotton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says the administration is being dishonest about the delay and that it has not sent an assortment of promised weapons, prolonging Israel’s war and endangering its soldiers at a time when both Hamas and Hezbollah continue to rearm, regroup, and coordinate attacks on Israeli civilians.

"The Arms Export Control Act requires the administration to notify Congress before sending weapons to a foreign country," Cotton said. "Your administration has manipulated this requirement by withholding this formal notification to Congress of approved weapons sales, including F-15s, tactical vehicles, 120-mm mortars, 120-mm tank rounds, joint direct attack munitions, and small diameter bombs. Your administration can then claim that the weapons are ‘in process’ while never delivering them."

This bureaucratic delay tactic has allowed the Biden administration to deny accusations of withholding arms to Israel while also placating the far-left flank of the Democratic Party that is pressing the president to punish Israel based on false charges of "genocide," according to Cotton.

After Netanyahu’s accusations this week, the United States reportedly released one ship carrying an arms supply, but Cotton says this "modest step doesn’t cure the damage done by the delay."

Senator Jim Risch: Let’s get out of Israel’s way
US Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday called on the Biden administration to release aid to Israel.

“The Biden Administration continues to try and have it both ways by claiming credit for security assistance to Israel that it has not provided. Meanwhile, those of us in Congress with jurisdiction over weapons sales have done our jobs and approved two separate tranches of arms transfers to Israel for formal notification to Congress, to include ammunition, vehicles to protect Israeli soldiers, and nearly $20B in F-15 aircraft,” Risch said in a statement in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request that President Joe Biden give Israel what it needs to end the ongoing war with Hamas.

“It is past time the administration move to formally notify the F-15 and ammunition sales and remove its existing hold on precision guided munitions. Micromanagement of Israel’s war on terror must end – let’s get out of the way,” he added.

“The implications of the Biden Administration’s conditional support for our closest ally in the Middle East are not lost on Hezbollah as its attacks from Lebanon increase in intensity and scale. Hamas continues to drive a wedge between the United States and Israel and isolate Israel from the international community. By signaling to terrorists that American support for Israel is conditional, we encourage Hamas to protract the war in Gaza, furthering risk to civilians, and incentivize Hezbollah to continue its attacks on Israel from the North,” said Risch.

“The Biden Administration’s fecklessness now courts a two-front war – the consequences of which would be disastrous for both Israel’s security and America’s standing in the world as a reliable partner,” he concluded.

Risch’s statement came after Netanyahu released a video in which he expressed astonishment at moves from the Biden Administration to hold up munitions shipments to Israel during the war against Hamas.
Jeffries: Congress to make sure ‘Israel has space to decisively defeat Hamas’
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the Democratic Party’s leader in the House of Representatives, spoke out in defense of the Jewish state’s mission to destroy Hamas after attending the Nova music festival exhibition in New York City on Tuesday, which runs through this Saturday before moving to Los Angeles.

It was extended an extra week following an especially virulent anti-Israel mob that rallied outside the venue on June 10, led by the hate group Within Our Lifetime. The exhibit opened on April 22 at 35 Wall St. in downtown Manhattan before it was extended through June 22.

It honors the memory of the 364 young people killed by Hamas during its terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

“Having the opportunity to visit the exhibit really brings home, in just a visceral way, how violent, how brutal and how inhumane that attack was on 10/7,” Jeffries said on June 18.

He vowed that “we’re going to continue to do everything that we can to make sure that we bring all of the hostages home, that Israel has the space to decisively defeat Hamas so something like 10/7 can never happen again.”

Labeling Hamas “the obstacle to peace,” Jeffries stated, “I think it’s important for all of us to continue to articulate that loudly, publicly and forcefully.”

Caroline Glick: Netanyahu Confronts Biden on Weapons Betrayal
Netanyahu calls out the Biden administration for withholding weapons, Thomas Friedman wants Sinwar in power and Bibi overthrown and the UN panel finds no conclusive evidence that a famine exists in Gaza.

All this and more on Caroline Glick's In-Focus!

00:00 Introduction
03:00 Arms embargo on Israel
06:35 Israel's need for heavy ordinance
28:36 Tom Friedman's call to overthrow Netanyahu
39:42 Spreading a libel against Israel
43:41 Delusional US policy

Is Hamas Bound by International Law?
Since the attacks of Oct. 7, every legal expert I have asked has concluded: Hamas's attacks on civilians that day, including killing, torture, and hostage-taking, were war crimes. And because many hostages are still being held, that crime remains ongoing. Tom Dannenbaum, a Tufts University professor, told me there was "no question" Hamas's attack had involved multiple war crimes. "Those are not close calls," he said.

Even though Hamas is not a state government, it is still bound by the laws of war. "The applicability of the law is triggered by the existence of an armed conflict," said Janina Dill, co-director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict. Once conflict begins, every organized armed group participating is bound by international humanitarian law.

Those laws are universal. No military cause is so just that it allows its proponents to violate international humanitarian law in order to achieve it. "All parties have the same obligations regardless of how just their overall cause is, and regardless of whatever legitimacy or alleged illegitimacy of that entity," said Marko Milanovic, a professor of public international law at the University of Reading in England. In addition, all individuals are subject to international criminal law regardless of whether they are affiliated with a government or nonstate armed group.

Given the broad consensus that Hamas committed war crimes, the inability of the international legal system to address those acts immediately can make it seem like an ineffective or even futile institution. If states do not voluntarily carry out arrest warrants or abide by the judgments of international courts, there is no central authority to force them to comply.

Nor does Hamas appear to believe that support from ordinary Palestinians depends on demonstrating compliance with international law. Its fighters filmed themselves carrying out the Oct. 7 attacks and Hamas posted some of the material publicly, which suggests it may have anticipated gaining legitimacy as a result of the violence.
What Happens Next in 6 Minutes with Larry Bernstein
Abolishing the International Criminal Court
Speakers: Eugene Kontorovich and Greg Townsend
Subject: Abolishing the International Criminal Court
Bio: Executive Director of the Center for the Middle East and International Law at the George Mason Antonin Scalia Law School, and head of the international law department at the Kohelet Policy Forum, an Israeli conservative think tank.

Ben Domenech: Antony Blinken Keeps On Rocking As The World Burns
Blinken’s innovation regarding Gaza was to come up with an incredibly expensive pier, floating off the coast, to allow — as he described it — the US to “surge humanitarian assistance” to the area. The project, which cost $320 million, would take two months to build, deliver less than sixty trucks’ worth of aid (which was, of course, largely seized by Hamas forces), get three American soldiers injured in a forklift accident and last less than two weeks before breaking apart in the choppy Mediterranean. As an allegory for Blinken’s career, it probably won’t be topped.

“Tony Blinken has presided over the empowerment of Israel’s enemies from the moment he entered government, most egre- giously his decades-long effort to enrich the Iranian regime and pave its way to a nuclear weapon,” former State Department official Morgan Ortagus told me. “He lifted sanctions on the regime to let them earn tens of billions of dollars in oil to fund their terror rampage across the world. Blinken imposes red lines on Israel, criticizes our ally at every turn and gives life to the propaganda hurled at the one Jewish state.”

Blinken’s approach is driven by a cadre of political appointees who entered the Biden State Department in hopes of chang- ing the world — their way. It started with Josh Paul, a mid-level State official who resigned in protest over Biden’s “blind support for one side” after Israel had the audacity to respond militarily to Hamas’s violent attack on its innocent citizens. (He got a New York Times profile for his effort and a fellowship at a George Soros-funded advocacy organization.) Then there were the “dissent cables” sent to Blinken from a wide swath of State Department staffers who objected to pro-Israel policy, to which he responded in a lengthy email: “We’re listening: what you share is informing our policy and our messages.”

“The Biden administration’s approach is muddled. They are trying to have it both ways, drawing and then moving red lines — and in the process they are angering both Israel’s supporters and its critics,” says Matthew Kroenig, a former defense policy official in the George W. Bush, Obama and Trump administrations. “Many of these problems have the same source: making national security decisions to placate vocal domestic factions. The job of leaders is to determine what is in the best interests of the country and then make the case to the American people, not bend the strategy according to the public mood. The Biden administration’s initial instincts were correct right after October 7, to have Israel’s back in its war against Hamas. But with an eye to the election calendar, Washington has produced a confusing and ultimately ineffective strategy.”

That approach to strategy, or lack thereof, has been a hallmark of Blinken’s career. For more than two decades, since taking over as staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under then-Senator Biden, Blinken has been at the center of the Democratic Party’s evolving foreign policy. He was an emphatic supporter of the invasion of Iraq — and helped create Biden’s idea to partition the country into three segregated states, a suggestion that was laughed out of the room. When Biden brought him into Barack Obama’s administration, Blinken was charged with a massive portfolio, shepherding the Iran deal, the Libya invasion, the war in Yemen and the supply of weapons to Syrian rebels — the latter yet another foolhardy aspect of the meandering ISIS policy under Obama and Biden. To call any of these policies successes would be quite the stretch — but no matter. For Team Biden, loyalty is always more important than success.

UN officials call for arms makers to stop supplying Israel
A group of United Nations experts warns arms and ammunitions manufacturers against taking part in the transfer of weapons to Israel, saying it could make them complicit in alleged human rights abuses and violations of international law.

The group of 30 experts, including several UN Special Rapporteurs, says arms manufacturers supplying Israel should halt their transfers of war materiel, “even if they are executed under existing export licenses.”

“These companies, by sending weapons, parts, components, and ammunition to Israeli forces, risk being complicit in serious violations of international human rights and international humanitarian laws,” the experts say in a statement.

There is no immediate comment from Israel which has repeatedly denied carrying out abuses during its Gaza operations, saying it is acting to defend itself and is fighting Hamas terrorists who carried out the October 7 onslaught that started the war, not the Palestinian population.

Israeli Supreme Court blamed for IDF’s ‘tactical pause’ fiasco
When the IDF announced it would institute 11-hour “tactical pauses” in the fighting near a road through Rafah and into Khan Yunis to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza, the news took Israel’s prime minister and defense minister by surprise.

Some say that’s because the decision was driven by the Supreme Court, not the government, again illustrating judicial overreach.

On Monday, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, head of the Arab media division of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, announced that to “increase the scope of humanitarian aid,” military operations would cease between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. from the Kerem Shalom border crossing into the Gaza Strip on part of the Salah al-Din Road, Gaza’s main north-south highway.

While some argue this was an effort to address international criticism, which culminated in the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor seeking arrest warrants for Israel’s leaders, others point to pressure closer to home, namely the Supreme Court’s hearings on a petition brought by five radical anti-Israel NGOs.

Those NGOs argue that Israel isn’t letting enough humanitarian aid through and hold it entirely to blame for the situation in Gaza.

On June 10, the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, held its third hearing on the matter. The petitioners were represented by attorney Osnat Cohen-Lifshitz of Gisha—Legal Center for Freedom of Movement.

NGO Monitor, an Israel-based group that tracks nonprofit organizations hostile to the Jewish state, notes that Gisha, typical of most anti-Israel NGOs, espouses extremist positions and pulls the vast majority of its budget (73.1% of total donations in 2017-2019) from foreign countries.
Allowing Hamas to survive is like leaving Hitler in power in 1944
Achieving a successful war termination that creates a lasting peace afterward is a strategically difficult challenge but not a rare occurrence. When utter annihilation of the enemy is paired with a generous peace, such as with the Marshall Plan after World War II, there is greater likelihood of a long-lasting peace. On the other hand, creating a Carthaginian peace, with a post-conflict period that punishes rather than rebuilds, can often pave the road for the next conflict, as it did with the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

Even worse, the nuances of those peace accords later allowed Germans such as Adolf Hitler to declare that their country had never been defeated militarily, paving the way for rearmament. In the American Civil War, an inability to rebuild the South during Reconstruction and punish those who continued to fight for their tortured ideologies led to nearly endless low-level conflict that America still endures. The worst possible war termination option is completing a negotiated settlement that leaves the combatants ready to resume fighting: a real recipe for perpetual conflict.

IF ANYTHING is to be learned from the endings of these earlier conflicts, it is that letting Hamas survive after the barbarism of October 7 would be tantamount to permitting Nazi Germany to end the war in 1944 with Hitler still in power.

Imagining a world in which the fascist powers from that conflict had been allowed to endure as wounded versions of themselves is nothing less than a ludicrous nightmare that today we should do everything in our power to prevent with the modern-day fascists of Gaza, who cloak themselves in a false anti-colonial liberation narrative.
IDF spokesman says Hamas can’t be destroyed, drawing retort from PM: ‘That’s war’s goal’
IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari on Wednesday cast Israel’s war aim of eradicating the Hamas terror group as unattainable, appearing to underscore tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top defense officials over his handling of the war in Gaza.

“This business of destroying Hamas, making Hamas disappear — it’s simply throwing sand in the eyes of the public,” Hagari told Channel 13 news in an interview.

“Hamas is an idea, Hamas is a party. It’s rooted in the hearts of the people — anyone who thinks we can eliminate Hamas is wrong,” he continued.

Hagari also warned that “if the government doesn’t find an alternative — [Hamas] will remain” in the Gaza Strip.

In response, Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that the security cabinet “has defined as one of the war goals the destruction of Hamas’s military and governance capabilities.”

“The Israel Defense Forces is of course committed to this,” the statement added.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit subsequently issued a statement saying the military was committed to the government’s stated war goals, including destroying Hamas’s governing and military abilities, adding that Hagari had talked in the interview about “eradicating Hamas as an ideology and an idea.”

“Any claim otherwise is taking the remarks out of context,” the IDF added.

Hagari’s comments Wednesday echoed remarks he made last month, when he was asked whether the military’s need to return to areas in Gaza previously cleared of Hamas was a result of the government not making a decision on who will rule the Strip instead of the terror group.

“There is no doubt that a governmental alternative to Hamas would create pressure on Hamas, but that is a question for the political echelon,” he said at the time.
After IDF criticism, Netanyahu reiterates commitment to Hamas’s destruction
Israel’s government and military remain fully committed to eliminating Hamas terrorist rule in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office clarified on Wednesday evening.

The statement came after Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told Channel 13 News that the government’s war goal of ending Hamas rule in Gaza can only truly be accomplished by putting in place a viable alternative.

“The Security Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has defined the destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities as one of the war’s goals,” stated the Prime Minister’s Office. “The IDF, of course, is committed to this,” the statement continued.

Hagari told Channel 13 that “Hamas is an idea” and that as such “anyone who thinks it can be eliminated is wrong.”

What can be done, he said, is to “foster something else. Something that will make the population aware that someone else is distributing food and managing public services. Who will that be? What will it be? That’s for the politicians to decide. But to truly weaken Hamas, this is the way.”

The military spokesman stressed that the Iran-backed terrorist organization is “rooted in the hearts of the people” of Gaza.

The IDF is close to defeating Hamas’s final battalions in Rafah in southern Gaza, said Hagari. However, asked about efforts to return the remaining 120 hostages held in the Strip, he said it would be “impossible” to return all captives through military operations, adding that they should be freed “another way.”

Airstrike kills October 7 terror commander Ahmed Hassan Salame Alsauarka
Operating on intelligence provided by the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency,) an Israel Air Force aircraft eliminated Hamas terrorist Ahmed Hassan Salame Alsauarka in a targeted airstrike, the military announced on Thursday morning.

Alsauarka was a squad commander in the Nukhba Forces who participated in the massacres in southern Israel on October 7. Moreover, Alsauarka was a Hamas sniper who led sniper activity in the Beit Hanoun region, taking part in multiple attacks on IDF soldiers, the military added.

Following an extensive search, the IDF reported that it was able to identify Alasuarka in the Beit Hanoun area and eliminated him while mitigating harm to civilians during the operation.

As a result, no civilians were wounded during the strike.

What would a war between Israel and Hezbollah look like?
The American news website Foreign Policy published today (Wednesday) estimates and analysis about Israel's next war against Hezbollah, from which it appears that Israel's air defense systems may not be able to cope with the amount of missiles that will be launched from Lebanon.

In fact, Hezbollah is the most armed non-state organization in the world. Estimates suggest that the terrorist organization has about 130,000 missiles that could quickly overwhelm Israel's air defense systems and hit the largest cities in the country. Devastating for both sides

On the other hand, the escalation would likely be devastating for Lebanon too; Hezbollah would essentially be acting as a "state within a state", and Israel would be in response attack Beirut and other large cities.

A senior US official said that even if both sides hope to avoid war, they could be accidentally dragged into it: "What worries me every day is a miscalculation or an accident, a stray missile intended for a certain target but hitting something else. This could force the systems in each of the countries to react in a way that would lead to war."

This week US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that although he believes neither side is interested in a wider war, "there is potential for it to go in that direction". Foreign Minister Israel Katz noted that Israel is close to making a decision about going to war, and warned that "in an all-out war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will suffer a severe blow."
Strikes on Haifa and Tel Aviv: Hezbollah's plan of attack if war erupts with Israel
After the IDF announced that it had approved operational plans for an attack on Lebanon, Hezbollah quickly clarified that the Shi'ite terrorist organization is also preparing for the possibility that Israel will declare war on the Cedar State, as reported on Thursday by Lebanese newspaper Elnashra.

According to the report, Hezbollah plans to attack Haifa if Israel expands the fighting and, in the next stage, additional cities, including Tel Aviv.

"It is not by chance that Haifa was included in the equation of the war currently being waged in southern Lebanon," the Lebanese media outlet stated. "This city has been marked by Hezbollah as a target in the event of an expansion of the war. If the Israelis enter into large-scale military confrontations… in the area south and north of Litani, Haifa will be a legitimate target for Hezbollah."

Furthermore, Elnashra also referred to the documentation of targets in the Haifa port area by a Dukhifat UAV.

"Strategic, military, and civilian facilities were scanned, continuing the equation drawn by Hezbollah that destruction will be met with destruction, and civilian casualties will be met with civilian casualties,” Elnashra wrote.

“The drone also scanned a military-industrial facility belonging to Rafael, which is the most dangerous thing the video contained for the Israelis."

Sources quoted in the newspaper warned Israel that Hezbollah has precision missiles capable of hitting these targets. "The footage was evidence for the Israelis that Hezbollah holds a database of strategic Israeli targets," the sources explained, adding that "this was not the drone's first visit, and it will not be the last. It indicates that Hezbollah has eyes inside Israel, which worries the Israelis."
US said to fear Iron Dome could be overwhelmed in all-out war with Hezbollah
Three US officials tell CNN that they’re seriously concerned Israel’s air defense systems, including Iron Dome, would be overwhelmed in the case of an all-out war with Hezbollah.

The officials say their Israeli counterparts have shared these concerns and are planning to move systems around Gaza to the north.

“We assess that at least some” Iron Dome systems “will be overwhelmed,” a senior US administration official is quoted as saying.
Electric company CEO says Israel isn't ready for war: 'What if a missile strikes the power grid'
In a dramatic statement following Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's recent threats, the CEO of Israel's national electrical grid management company sounded the alarm about what he says is the country's lack of readiness.

"We are not in a good state; we are not prepared for war," declared Shaul Goldstein, CEO of Noga – the National Electrical System Management Company. He warned Hezbollah could easily cripple Israel's power grid, adding: "After 72 hours without electricity, living in Israel will be impossible." Goldstein's stark remarks were made at a conference hosted by the Institute for National Security Studies in Sderot.

When asked at the conference if he could guarantee a continuous power supply under any circumstances, Goldstein's response was a blunt "No." He elaborated: "But we rely on Israeli ingenuity. Israel is an energy island, and we must be self-sufficient, which is also our advantage. We are trained to operate in isolation."

Goldstein painted a grim picture of potential threats: "When I took on this role and started investigating the real threats to our electricity sector, I asked myself – what if a missile strikes the power grid, causing outages for an hour, three hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, and beyond? What happens to Israel in such a scenario? The bottom line is that after 72 hours, living in Israel becomes untenable."

People don't realize how dependent our lives here are on electricity," he added. "I have 15 inspectors across the country, and if there's a power outage, after five hours, I won't have a phone line to contact them. Suppose they receive a carrier pigeon message after 12 hours; they’ll reach a gas station, but there won't be any fuel. No gas station will be operational, and there will be lines at least 18 miles long, if not longer. If you examine all our infrastructure – the fiber optics, the ports and without delving into sensitive matters – we are not in a good state."

Goldstein's warnings didn't stop there. "We are not ready for a real war. In my view, we live in a fantasy world. The positive side is that we've invested a lot in fortifications, along with the Israel Electric Corporation, in a joint team. If Nasrallah wants to bring down Israel's power grid, he only needs to call the person in charge of Beirut's electrical system, which looks exactly like Israel's. He doesn’t even need a surveillance drone; he can ask a second-year electrical engineering student where the most critical points in Israel are – it’s all available on the internet. I'm not revealing anything new; anyone can find this information online. We haven't fully grasped our situation. If the war is postponed by a year, five years, or 10 years, we will be better prepared," he said.

EU says Hezbollah’s threats to Cyprus threaten all its member states
A spokesman for the European Union’s executive arm says any threat against Cyprus is a threat against the bloc’s 26 other member nations.

Peter Stano makes the remarks in response to a question regarding Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s threat that Cyprus could be implicated in a wider conflict if the island nation allows Israel to use its ports and airports to target Lebanon.

Stano says the EU fully supports Cyprus and that the trade bloc is in contact with “a number of partners in the region,” including Lebanon and Hezbollah, in order to de-escalate tension.

Cyprus has enjoyed increasingly tight relations with Israel in recent years, spawned by the discovery of undersea natural gas deposits in waters between the two neighbors. Cyprus has hosted joint Israeli-Cypriot military exercises, but has not been involved in any military operations.

IDF kills Hezbollah's commander of Lebanese southern district in strike
The Israeli Air Force struck and killed Faisal Ibrahim, Hezbollah's commander of its operational activities in the Jouaiyya district of southern Lebanon, on Thursday.

The Hezbollah commander was killed in an IDF airstrike on a vehicle in the town of Deir Kifa in southern Lebanon.

Ibrahim was responsible for planning and executing terror attacks against Israel and was in command of ground operations in Jouaiyya.

Ibrahim promoted Hezbollah's activity in southern Lebanon
In the last few months, amid heightened attacks between Hezbollah and the IDF, Ibrahim promoted Hezbollah's consolidation in southern Lebanon while trying to improve the organization's ground combat.

Concurrently, IAF fighter jets attacked in the area of Rihan in Lebanon, launching surface-to-air missiles from Hezbollah's air defense system, which posed a threat to IDF aircraft operating in the Lebanese skies, IDF said.
Hezbollah shells north with dozens of rockets after IDF drone strike kills commander
Hezbollah bombarded northern Israel with some 45 rockets on Thursday after an Israeli drone strike killed one of the terror group’s field commanders.

The latest tit-for-tat served to keep tensions on the restive border taut, a day after the head of the Iran-backed terror group publicly threatened to step up attacks as Israel’s top military brass huddled to plan for countering the growing menace of Hezbollah drones.

In a statement Thursday, Hezbollah claimed to have launched dozens of rockets at an Israeli military base near the northern community of Zar’it.

It said the barrage was a response to the killing of Abbas Ibrahim Hamza Hamada, in the southern Lebanon town of Deir Kifa earlier on Thursday.

The Israel Defense Forces said 25 rockets were launched at the Western Galilee at around 2:30 p.m., setting off sirens in several communities. Another 20 rockets were fired at the same area an hour later, with all falling in open areas, the military said.

There were no injuries or material damage reported in the attacks.

Biden's Gaza Pier Deemed a Failure by Aid Groups, Could Shut Down Early
President Joe Biden's $230 million humanitarian pier on the coast of Gaza has been deemed a failure by aid groups and could be permanently shut down, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The pier was only functional for 10 days when it had to be shut down for repairs after rough weather. It will now likely be dismantled weeks earlier than expected, per the report. The Biden administration said the pier would be in operation until September, but military officials expect the pier to be dismantled within the next month.

Aid groups have criticized the pier for being largely ineffective and doing little to usher aid into Gaza since Biden ordered the military to construct it in March. The pier required more than 1,000 U.S. service members for its construction and operation and is estimated to cost taxpayers $230 million. While the pier was still in operation, it transported 137 trucks of aid, but much of that aid did not reach Gazan civilians because the trucks were intercepted, according to the Pentagon.

Believe all women … except for Israeli Oct. 7 survivors
It’s very sad for me that people would not believe, or deny, the sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas,” a former Israeli hostage told JNS.

“I was with the girls in Gaza that were abused and while it’s very difficult to discuss in detail, I saw them after it happened. The girls would not stop talking about their period and I am very worried about them,” she said.

The woman, in her 60s, was freed from Hamas captivity in Gaza in November as part of a ceasefire deal. She asked that her name not be used due to her close connection to another abductee still being held in the Strip.

“I saw that something happened to her. I saw it on her face,” said the ex-captive.

“She was very scared. And she did not tell us at the beginning. She was very quiet. After a couple of hours, she told us that he had touched her in all parts of her body,” she added.

Classic denialism
This account is one of many excluded from Catherine Philp’s and Gabrielle Weiniger’s June 7 article in The Times of London, titled “Israel says Hamas weaponised rape. Does the evidence add up?”

The piece is a classic example of denialism, cherry-picking information to paint Jews, and by extension their country, as unable to differentiate between reality and fiction due to their political proclivities and past traumas.

Professor Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, Orit Sulitzeanu and Dr. Sarai Aharoni, all of whom were quoted in the Times piece, released a statement accusing its authors of misrepresentation in service of an agenda.

“We generally do not respond to press articles. However, due to the cynical exploitation of our interviews in the article … we feel compelled to depart from our policy,” the statement reads. “Regrettably, the published article misrepresented our words, twisting them to convey the impression that we support the prejudiced argument that claims of sexual violence are being manipulated by Israel.”

Its authors aim “to discredit and gaslight the victims of heinous acts of sexual violence. … In this instance, the reporters’ agenda replaced the professional and ethical commitment to presenting evidence accurately,” the statement continues.

Despite the article’s claims, “The use of sexual violence as a weapon of war was a significant part of the October 7 attack,” it states.

“We have the footage”
Halperin-Kaddari is the founding director of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women at Bar-Ilan University Law Faculty, and a co-founder of the Dinah Project 7/10, which seeks justice for the victims of Hamas’s sexual crimes.

She told JNS that the testimonies she had heard, and which were omitted from the Times piece, “from a legal point of view lead me to the conclusion that sexual violence on October 7 was used as a weapon of war.”

This conclusion, she said, is based on “evidence that sexual violence was perpetrated in several distinct locations, all at the same time during a very short span, and all performed with an extremely high degree of brutality that included mutilation of the breasts and genitalia.”

She added, “We have the footage, the pictures taken at the scene, the testimonies of eye witnesses and those of first responders who found all the bodies.”

The documented incidents followed a similar pattern and were carried out in a similar fashion, she said. “This could not have happened unless there were directions and unless it was a premeditated part of the plan of the attack of October 7,” she added.

Nevertheless, the Times cites a grand total of one Oct. 7 survivor, Amit Soussana, who was freed along with more than 100 others from Hamas captivity as part of the November ceasefire deal.
US officials estimate just 50 Israeli hostages remain alive
American officials believe as few as 50 of the hostages seized on October 7 that remain in Gaza are still alive, while sixty six are believed to have died in captivity.

The estimate is based on a combination of US and Israeli intelligence, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

The IDF has confirmed that 41 hostages have died in captivity, in part thanks to intelligence gathered by troops operating in Gaza.

Hagai Levine, the head of the medical team for the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, told the WSJ he was “extremely worried” about those still in Gaza.

“It seems like every week more hostages are dying or getting in danger or very sick,” he said.

Speaking to AFP earlier this week, an anonymous senior Israeli negotiator said that “dozens” of hostages were certainly still alive in Gaza.

“We cannot leave them there a long time, they will die,” they said.

A vast majority of those still in captivity are being held by Hamas, they claimed, with others potentially under the control of other militant groups or private citizens.

BBC Radio 4 star Emma Barnett sparks outrage after calling armed terrorists who kidnapped Israeli grandmother 'men working for Hamas' - as the Beeb continues to refuse to brand the thugs 'terrorists'
BBC Radio 4 star Emma Barnett has sparked a backlash after calling a pair of armed terrorists who kidnapped an Israeli grandmother 'men working for Hamas'.

The Today programme host was telling listeners about a 75-year-old grandmother of six who was horrifically snatched at gunpoint by Hamas terrorists on October 7 - a day in which more than 1,100 people in Israel were killed and 253 were taken captive.

In the latest example of the BBC refusing to brand Hamas as terrorists, she said: 'On October 7 last year Ada Sagi's life changed forever. She was having a morning coffee at home in Nir Oz kibbutz on the border with Gaza, when suddenly several men working for Hamas burst into her home and forced her barefoot by gunpoint onto a motorbike and took her hostage.'

Barnett went on to say that 116 hostages taken by Hamas that day are still unaccounted for.

Ada Sagi was held hostage by Hamas for 53 days before she was released. Lifelong peace activist Ms Sagi described the men who took her as 'two Hamas terrorists' and added: 'I saw many, many terrorists outside and many people running [from the] shooting.'

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said it was 'unfathomable' that the BBC would not call Hamas terrorists, adding that it 'only fuels anti-Jewish extremists and apologists for terrorism'.

A spokesman told The Telegraph: 'Ofcom has made it crystal clear that there is no rule stopping the BBC from referring to Hamas as terrorists, so what is the Corporation waiting for?'

Later on in the programme, Barnett again failed to call Hamas terrorists.

She said: 'Several men working for Hamas burst into her home and forced her barefoot at gunpoint onto a motorbike and took her hostage alongside scores of others.'

The former Woman's Hour presenter also did not mention Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK.

Call Me Back PodCast: Is Israel headed for a two-front war? – with Nadav Eyal
Hosted by Dan Senor
As for today’s episode – I’ve been in Israel for the past couple of days, for my 4th visit here since 10/07. Something that has struck me in my conversations with Israelis is the degree to which a war with Hezbollah is not discussed in terms of IF, but rather in terms of WHEN. And as for the WHEN, some are suggesting quite soon. In fact, Defense Minister Gallant said that the goal should be that for those Israelis evacuated from the North, they should be back in their evacuated communities and homes in time for the next school year. This would put to the test the IDF’s capacity to fight a multi front war. In other words – while the IDF is getting closer to the point of defeating Hamas in Gaza – it might also be at the early stages of a war with Hezbollah.

To help us understand what’s going on here, our guest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. I sat down with him today in Tel Aviv. He is a columnist for Yediot. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news.
The Israel Guys: IDF Green-Lights Plan For Invasion of Lebanon and Gives Hezbollah Final Warning
Hezbollah infiltrated sensitive military sites in Israel this week and flaunted their intel to the Israeli people. In response, the IDF gave Hezbollah a final warning that they’re days are in fact numbered and green-lit full operational invasion plans for southern Lebanon. Also, the U.S. is stalling on delivery of 50 F15 fighter jets purchased by Israel.

The Israel Guys: Will the US Really Sanction a Minister in the Israeli Government?
THE Palestinian Authority “PA” is due to collapse any day, this would mean one less terror group for Israel to deal with! But, no, the Biden Admin believes this terror group is better than all the other terror groups and should be king of them all. The problem is that many Israelis and Israeli politicians think otherwise! So, the Biden team has thrown out a new plan! They can save the cruel terrorist regime by sanctioning these top Israeli government officials that stand in their way! Ok… I know everything I just said sounds made up but unfortunately this is actually what's going on right now!

‘We need to keep talking’ about Hamas hostages and the Gaza war
Sky News host Chris Kenny says “we need to keep talking” about the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 and the Gaza war.

“To the Gaza war, the hostages and something bitter-sweet … one of the Israeli hostages taken at the Nova Music Festival on October 7 last year and rescued last week,” Mr Kenny said.

“A great example of why we need to keep talking about the hostages.”

US asks Israelis applying for green card whether they committed war crimes
Yuval, a senior manager at a high-tech company in Silicon Valley in the U.S., was happy to receive a letter from the U.S. Immigration Authority last week regarding his application for a green card, which confers permanent residency status. However, the content of the letter was surprising. "In your application form you stated that you served in the Israel Defense Forces between 2005-2008. You must provide us with additional information about your military service so that we can make a final decision on your case," the letter read.

"You must submit an affidavit under oath, describing your military service," the letter continued. "As part of this affidavit, the following questions must be addressed: Did you participate as a combatant in battles during your military service? If so, please describe your activity/role in these battles; Did you command soldiers in the army? If yes, please describe the aspects of your command; Have you ever guarded (or commanded others to guard) detainees? Did you use explosives during your military service? If so, detail the types of weapons or explosives you were trained on."

"Have you ever actually used weapons or explosives? If so, what weapons or explosives did you use? How did you use weapons or explosives? On how many occasions did you use weapons or explosives? How often did you use weapons or explosives? Did you use a weapon and/or an explosive against another person? If so, the circumstances must be detailed, and explain why you used a weapon and/or an explosive against another person/people."

If Yuval does not produce the affidavit with answers that satisfy the immigration authority within 87 days, he can be expected to be deported from the U.S.

The requirement to give U.S. authorities details about military service is not new. Generic questions about military service appear on the standard application forms for tourist, student, work and other visas, and apply to citizens of all countries.

"In order to get the work visa two years ago, I answered questions about my military service, so they know that I was released 16 years ago after a rather banal service," Yuval says. "But these new questions - I am shocked. I feel as if questions were copied From the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague." According to attorney Liam Schwartz, head of the Labor and Corporate Immigration Department at the Tel Aviv-based law firm of Goldfarb, Seligman, the U.S. Immigration Authority is now applying a new policy on Israelis, under which they must be questioned about their military service - both present and past.

"An investigation that seeks explanations about how, when and why weapons and/or explosives were used against another person is intended to understand if you have committed war crimes. A question regarding the custody of detainees is intended to 'catch' the military personnel and police officers who participated in the arrests in the West Bank. A demand for information regarding the active participation as a combatant in battles may also be used by the authorities for the purpose of formulating their position in relation to acts defined as genocide."

Shots fired at Montreal Israeli cuisine eatery on anti-Zionist boycott list
Shots were fired at an Israeli cuisine restaurant Tuesday night, according to the eatery and local Canadian politicians, the latest shooting against a Jewish-owned institution in Montreal in the wake of the October 7 massacre.

No casualties were reported. Falafel Yoni said on social media that they had closed for the day due to the holes in the storefront windows.

“Thanks so much for the overwhelming amount of support we’ve received,” said Falafel Yoni. “We’ll be back to business as usual tomorrow.”

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said that she was shocked by new acts of violence against the Montreal Jewish community, but had full confidence that the Montreal Police would locate and arrest the perpetrators.

“Antisemitism and violence, whether expressed in images, words, or gestures, do not represent us and have no place in Montreal,” said Plante.

Canadian Justice Minister and Attorney-General Arif Virani said Wednesday that stricter penalties for violent acts of hate had been tabled to combat the violence and hatred that “Jewish people in Canada are being bombarded with.”

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal called for decisive measures against antisemitism in the country, which they said could no longer be tolerated.

Mount Royal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather called on the Montreal municipality to support the police in efforts to protect the local Jewish community. Housefather and Outremont MP Rachel Bendayan noted that the eatery was listed on a list of businesses to boycott.

Josh Burns: Just after 3.20am, six masked people started smashing my office
Multiculturalism changed my family’s destiny. My grandparents left war-torn Europe to come to Australia for freedom and security. They got that and so much more. Australia, for my family, gave us a sense of belonging, opportunity and dignity.

The Australia that I grew up in was one that celebrated this multiculturalism, where the Jewish community could express themselves freely; where we could proudly walk down the street, not thinking about where we were, but just participate freely in Australian life. Today, that is not the case.

Jewish Australians now constantly question how they present themselves in public, fearful of how other members of the community may respond.

Do I wear a yarmulke (head covering)?

Do I wear items that visibly show that I’m Jewish?

Do I wear my school uniform?

Do I attend university?

That’s a terrible thing for any people, for any Australian, to be experiencing.

And I know the Jewish community is not the only community feeling isolated and experiencing prejudice. When one community is made to feel unsafe, everyone is unsafe.

After waking up to six people smashing in my office, it is clearer than ever that our problem is not on the other side of the world, it is here. It is in what we can control.

Yes, we must continue to call for an end to the war between the Israelis and Palestinians. But, today most importantly, we must confront the problems we have influence over – the disintegration in political discourse, our civility towards each other and the way we discuss hard issues.

Suffering is not a competition, and we are stronger for seeing the needs of others in these difficult days. I fear this ongoing escalation of violent behaviour will end up with someone getting seriously hurt, or worse.

That’s not the Australia I love, nor is it the Australia that we all collectively want to live in.
‘Out of control’: Sharri Markson urges PM to take antisemitic attacks ‘seriously’
Sky News host Sharri Markson says a spate of antisemitic attacks on political offices are “escalating and growing more dangerous”.

At least five people descended on Macnamara MP Josh Burns' office in Barkly Street, St Kilda about 3.20am, smashing the front windows and lighting a fire.

They also plastered a "Zionism is fascism" slogan across a photo of Mr Burns in the front window before fleeing the scene.

“The lack of police action might be spurring these unlawful vandals on to commit more outrageous crimes,” Ms Markson said.

“There's no indication that police or the PM is taking this seriously enough – and this is what really worries me – this lawlessness is out of control.”

Vandals target police by spraying anti-cop messages across Melbourne's Trades Hall, a day after Jewish MP's office was vandalised
Police have been targeted in the latest act of vandalism to rock Melbourne, a day after a Jewish Labor MP had his electorate office smashed up.

Pro-Palestine activists turned up to the Victorian Trades Hall in Carlton in the early hours of Thursday with spray paint cans in hand.

They scrawled several messages across the building including "free Palestine", "cops out of Trades Hall" and "class traitors".

They also plastered the building with "cops defend genocide" and "ACAB", an acronym meaning "All cops are bastards".

The Herald Sun reported the Police Association of Victoria Wayne Gatt responded to the vandalism by declaring: "It appears these vandals have delved into their grab bag of clichéd anarchist catch phrases and yelled them on to a wall".

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan condemned the "disgraceful" vandalism, as she sent a message to the individuals who have been spraying graffiti aross buildings.

"For more than a hundred years, Trades Hall has stood in solidarity with people from a whole range of different backgrounds, supporting peace and cohesion here in our state," she told reporters.

"The disgraceful, violent behaviour, the vandalism we've seen at Trades Hall overnight, just flies in the face of that centuries old tradition of fighting for what's right, for peace and harmony, but doing it in a respectful way.

"I want to make this message absolutely clear. I've said it a number of times but violence in Victoria does not solve and address the violence that we're seeing in the Middle East. So if you want peace, start acting like it.

"If want to have a peaceful community, a peaceful society, make sure you are living those values here on the streets of Victoria, because this sort of disgraceful, violent anti-Semitic behaviour is doing not one thing to stop the violence we are seeing in the Middle East."

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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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