Friday, June 21, 2024

From Ian:

Brendan O'Neill: The lethal narcissism of Joe Biden
What is more important: Joe Biden winning the votes of America’s entitled coastal elites, or Israel protecting itself from an army called the Party of God that has sworn itself to the eradication of the ‘cancerous’ Jews from the Middle East? This would have been a no-brainer a few years ago. Most people – aside from Israelophobic hotheads on the far right and hard left – would have agreed that defending the Jewish State from fanatics who view Jews as ‘evil’ and ‘blasphemous’ is of greater moral import than a president’s longing to get back in the good books of woke voters. And yet today, such simple moral clarity is in alarmingly short supply.

Right now, nothing fills the Biden set with greater dread than the prospect of war between Israel and Hezbollah. And it’s not because they’re peaceniks. Biden voted in favour of the catastrophic invasion of Iraq in 2003. He was vice-president to the drone-happy Barack Obama, who dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016 alone. In Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan. If Biden is now of an anti-war bent, it’s been a recent conversion. No, it is self-preservation, not anti-militarism, that underpins Biden’s fear of an Israel-Hezbollah war. It’s the potential death of his presidency, not potential death in the Middle East, that keeps him up at night.

Tensions have exploded between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terror group whose name means Party of God. Unsurprisingly, the West’s ‘anti-war’ activist class has had little to say about Hezbollah’s blitz on northern Israel. Hezbollah, which is allied with Hamas, has been firing rockets into Israel almost every day since Hamas’s pogrom of 7 October, with the aim of ‘pulling Israeli forces’ away from Gaza. That is, with the aim of aiding the anti-Semites of Hamas in their holy war against the Jewish nation. Entire ‘swathes of northern Israel’ have been engulfed by fire as a result of Hezbollah’s rockets. Tens of thousands have been evacuated.

Now, Israel is talking about taking decisive action against Hezbollah. You can almost hear the West’s activist class buffing their anti-Israel placards and rummaging around for their keffiyehs in order that they might hit the streets and damn Israel for plotting yet another ‘genocide’. In these people’s minds, fried by the binary moralism of identity politics, ‘white’ Israel is to blame for everything in the Middle East, while ‘brown’ Gaza and Lebanon are pure, sad victims, responsible for nothing. If Israel were officially to declare war on Hezbollah, they would rage and splutter, with not one thought for the rockets from Lebanon that have rained on Israel almost every day for the best part of eight months.

Even Hezbollah’s threats against Cyprus were not enough to rouse the concern of the West’s supposed peace lobby. This week, the leader of the Party of God – Hassan Nasrallah – warned that Cyprus would feel his wrath in the event of war between Israel and Hezbollah. It is presumably the fact that Cyprus has let Israel use its territory for military training that led to this outrageous threat against its sovereign integrity and social peace. Where are the peaceniks? Where are the anti-war activists who’ve been marching every week against Israeli militarism? It’s almost as if it’s not war they hate, so much as the world’s only Jewish state.
The roots of anti-Semitism in Europe
There is a debate among historians over whether medieval Jew hatred contributed to modern forms of anti-Semitism (a word which emerged in the late 19th century) which culminated in the Holocaust. Hannah Arendt held that medieval and modern Jew hatred are fundamentally different because of the significant change in religious context. Others point to common and longstanding anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as physical deformity and usurious greed, as the key connection between the periods.

Ivan G. Marcus argues that ‘a focus on stereotypes risks anachronism’. His riveting book, which concentrates on Ashkenaz (northern France, England and Germany), takes a structural approach to link medieval and modern anti-Semitism. Marcus thinks that medieval hatred has had long-lasting consequences through modern reinterpretations of ‘the binary of inverted hierarchy’ (medieval Christians and Jews thought the other group should be subordinate), the idea of the Jew as an internal enemy, and the concept of Jewish identity as unchangeable. To reach this conclusion, he challenges the widely held view of the medieval Jew as a passive victim and the most interesting sections in his book examine how Jews actively asserted themselves in the face of what they considered Christian idolatry. This stirred up Christian opposition towards them and gave them a more defined presence in European society.

Jewish assertiveness took some surprising, and in some cases smelly, forms. Marcus sets out the evidence for Jews using flatulence as a means of disrespecting Christian symbols at the time of the First Crusade. He recounts the story of Asher and Meir, who turned their backs on the cross in Trier and farted before being put to the sword. Christian statues were placed in toilets. Synagogues were built higher than churches and Jewish worship wasn’t toned down. In business contracts with their Latin-reading contemporaries, Jews wrote offensive things about Christianity in Hebrew. A new eucharist-like ritual, in which youths ate cakes and eggs inscribed with passages from the Torah, was created by pietist Jews to discourage conversion. Through an adroit selection of sources, both Jewish and Christian, Marcus brings the subject matter to life.

Medieval Europe created what Marcus calls ‘the imagined Jew’. While Jews were assertive, there was a limit, and even after they had been expelled fantastical myths and deep-seated hatreds continued. Some of England’s greatest writers must share the blame. Chaucer recounts a blood libel in ‘The Prioress’s Tale’; Marlowe casts Barabas in The Jew of Malta as a pantomime international financier. Then there is the most famous Jew in literature, Shakespeare’s ‘dog Jew’ Shylock. Marcus points out that Shylock’s ‘new and fantastic’ views on Christians and interest make him the Bard of Avon’s own imagined Jew. The reader is left feeling disconcerted by widespread versions of the imagined Jew, with ancient hatreds still being reinterpreted into modern ones.
Seth Mandel: Let Them Fear Our Voice
The reason anti-Semitism has been spiraling out of control is because there is no penalty to pay for it. A new report on anti-Semitism at Stanford University, prepared by a university committee that had been set up to study the epidemic of Jew-hatred on campus, is titled “In the Air.” It has simply become an unavoidable element in an increasingly large part of the country: “Some of this bias is expressed in overt and occasionally shocking ways.”

Perhaps what’s even more aggravating than the fact that anti-Semites see no need to hide their malign intent is the fact that when Jew-hatred rears its ugly head, society’s instinctive response is to apologize… to the Jew-hater. To give one very recent example: An anti-Semitic subway mob in New York included an employee of Weill Cornell Medicine. When this was pointed out to Weill Cornell, it released the following statement: “Today we became aware of a recent antisemitic incident on the NYC subway. We condemn antisemitism in the strongest possible terms. Hate speech or actions of any kind, whether antisemitic or Islamophobic, are not tolerated by our community.”

First sentence: fine. Second sentence: fine. Third sentence: what? With apologies to Meat Loaf, two out of three is bad. There was no “Islamophobic” incident or accusation. The only ones threatened were Jews. So why even mention “Islamophobia”? The answer is Weill Cornell is terrified of condemning anti-Semitism alone and therefore must also apologize, in the same breath, for condemning it. Anti-Semitism does not offend people; calling out anti-Semitism does.

Nothing changes unless this dynamic changes first. Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman and others pretend this dynamic doesn’t exist. They pretend to fear us so their supporters will hate us. Nothing would be more poetically just than for the Squad to have made their own rhetoric a self-fulfilling prophecy—for them to have had no reason to fear Jewish voters until they lied about fearing Jewish voters.

A country that mainstreams the kind of ethnic incitement the Squad specializes in eventually turns into Radko Mladic’s Yugoslav hell. America, meanwhile, is pretty good at casting out such villains before they can become dangerous. Here, there is usually a price to pay for even attempting to become a monster. The ground of American democracy tends to open up and swallow such demagoguery.

If anti-Semitism costs Bowman his seat, he’ll only have himself to blame. But he’ll have given his anti-Zionist colleagues something to fear: the ballot.


Noa Tishby: The Courage to Be Uncool
The readiness of our former friends to justify the October 7 pogrom was matched by the readiness of the previously silent in our community to begin raising their voices. As has been noted in these pages, 30,000 new donors contributed to UJA-Federation of New York’s Israel Emergency Fund. This, at a moment when groupthink and cool coalescence on campus happens around anti-Israel encampments, is a case of PTG. Speaking up for what is true, regardless of whether or not it is popular, easy, or comfortable, and even when it puts us outside of mainstream popular opinion is also an act of reconnection with the essence of Jewishness itself. It is the positive activation of our inheritance.

From our inception, the Jewish people have been shaped and defined by those prepared to sacrifice their own comfort and place within the mainstream to stand up for what is right. The courage to be uncool. From Moses leaving the comfort of Pharaoh’s palace to stand with Israelite slaves to the Jews who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma to the Zionists who laid the foundations of the modern State of Israel, being Jewish has never been about being comfortable or being popular. Embroidered onto our DNA, we may just carry the blessings of being uncool. (That is why we outlive all of our enemies.)

With the Jewish people facing greater hostility and more intense threats than we have in decades, an increasing number are responding not by lying low but by standing tall. The trauma of the past months and the subsequent (and inevitable) PTG will bring about the following realization: that the Jews who were prepared to risk being unpopular or contentious carry in their blood the millennia of turbulent Jewish history, whose legacy we inherit and whose mantle we pass on.

My grandmother arrived in Israel before the Holocaust, but her older sister Gita survived the horrors of Europe in a way that would traumatize anyone. She hid underneath a pile of slaughtered bodies, including those of her two children, her husband, and everyone else in her town, until darkness fell and she climbed out from under the bloody corpses and ran to the forest nearby. She eventually made her way to Israel, saved in body, but forever scarred in soul. Gita wasn’t around much when I was growing up. She spent most of her time hiding in my grandmother’s kitchen cabinets, screaming, searching for her children. The psychological torment that plagued Gita for the rest of her days is unimaginable.

With tears in her eyes, Nova survivor Noam Ben David — young, pretty, bohemian, she looks like an artist from Venice Beach, not a relic of the Jewish past — told me nearly exactly the same story. She hid, along with two other people, all three pretending to be dead, under a pile of 13 slaughtered bodies, including that of her late boyfriend David. I say “nearly exactly” because rather than running into the forest nearby, where festival goers were also gunned down, she was saved hours later by the IDF — which didn’t exist when Gita lost her family and everyone she knew.

If you are reading this, chances are you are descended from those who were put through trials and tribulations and endured them. We are all survivors. As a people, we are used to being uncool, and we know what it’s like to be unsafe. It’s not fun, or comfortable, but we have been here before and we know what to do. Whether you know it or not, on a profound level, you are a part of this organic chain. You are here. You are alive, and you are reading these words. You were inoculated too.
WaPo vs. WaPo
We hear from people older than us that The Washington Post used to be a great paper. We’ll take their word for it, because most of what we can remember of the paper’s coverage over the past eight years is conspiratorial race politics, Obama-faction domestic influence operations (Russiagate, Khashoggi, etc.), deranged Israel-Gaza coverage, and whatever this is:

Still, over the past several months, it’s become clear that Washington Post management—and owner Jeff Bezos—realize there’s a problem and are at least trying to do something to fix it. As Post CEO Will Lewis told the newsroom earlier this month, in an email announcing the exit of then Executive Editor Sally Buzbee, the paper saw its audience halve in recent years, and it lost $77 million last year. Which would seem—to us, at least—like a pretty good reason to make a change.

Lewis’ original plan was to keep Buzbee on in a diminished role while bringing in two of his old colleagues at the London Telegraph: Matt Murray, who would run the newsroom through the election, and Rob Winnett, who would take over at the end of the year. Buzbee, according to reporting by Puck’s Dylan Byers, initially agreed to the plan, then backed out at the eleventh hour. But she didn’t just back out; she began leaking dirty laundry about Winnett, Lewis, and Murray to The New York Times and in the process sparked a full-blown newsroom revolt among Post staffers who objected to (a) being led by “white men”; (b) being led by white men from the unethical right-wing Rupert Murdoch tabloid press; and (c) the implication, hanging over the whole affair, that Bezos might not be willing to set $75-$100 million on fire annually to keep them in jobs writing Hamas fanfiction.

The result was what we can only describe as an information campaign by current Post staffers against current and incoming Post management, waged in the pages of the Post (as well as in friendly outlets such as the Times and The Daily Beast). On Sunday, the Post published a 3,000-word, triple-bylined investigative hit on Winnett—the incoming editor—highlighting Winnett’s somewhat murky ties to a source and self-described “thief,” who, in classic British tabloid style, claimed to have engaged in various forms of illegal and quasi-legal subterfuge to obtain scoops, including by stealing a copy of Tony Blair’s memoir. The source’s “claims,” the article noted, “raise questions about Winnett’s journalistic record months before he is set to assume a top position at The Post.” Winnett declined to comment.

Winnett also declined to take the job. On Friday, he announced, understandably enough, that he’d be staying in London to continue working at the (quite profitable) Telegraph, rather than relocating to Washington to run a (quite unprofitable) paper full of people who hate him. Murray and Lewis appear to have survived, with Bezos’ backing. But the whole saga, as Byers notes, “had the spirit of peak #MeToo, when journalists had the unique power to end executives’ careers with a piece of reporting—an era, too, when the fog of the overarching scandal became all-consuming.”
Andrews and Peris to become patrons of Labor Friends of Israel
Labor Friends of Israel Australia (LFI) co-convenors Mike Kelly, Eric Roozendaal and Nick Dyrenfurth today announced that former Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and former Labor Senator Nova Peris have agreed to serve as the inaugural patrons of the national body.

LFI was formed earlier this year to acknowledge Australian Labor’s long-standing commitment to, and support for, the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their historic homeland; and the State of Israel.

“We count them both as among the strongest supporters of the Jewish community and Israel in the Australian Labor Party,” Kelly, Roozendaal and Dyrenfurth said.

Daniel Andrews served as the 48th premier of Victoria from 2014 to 2023. He is the longest-serving Labor premier and the fourth longest serving premier in Victorian history.

During his time as Premier of Victoria, he was a strong supporter of Israel, an opponent of antisemitism and oversaw security upgrades for Jewish schools and places of worship. He also adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism and banned the public display of Nazi symbols.

In December 2017, he visited Israel on a trade mission and opened a Victorian Government Trade and Investment office in Tel Aviv.

“I have always supported Israel and the Jewish community. It’s important now more than ever to stand against antisemitism and terrorism, I am proud to work with Nova Peris, an outstanding Australian,” Andrews said.

Peris is a former Australian Senator, a First Nations activist and international athlete. As part of the Australian women’s field hockey (Hockeyroos) team at the 1996 Olympic Games, she was the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal.

She was elected to the Australian Senate at the September 2013 federal election – becoming Australia’s first Indigenous woman elected to the national parliament. She retired from the Senate in 2016.

In February, she spoke out against pro-Palestine supporters for using Aboriginal flags in protests against Israel. She said she was “saddened” to see the Aboriginal flag being “misappropriated” by pro-Palestine supporters at rallies across the country in recent months.
FDD: Al Qaeda’s enduring challenge: A vision of victory over America
The recent article by Zaydan ultimately outlines how al-Qaeda currently sees itself and how it seeks to continue its decades-long jihad.

As al-Qaeda under al-Adl’s leadership continues to articulate a vision of victory and resilience through a sophisticated blend of ideological warfare and strategic propaganda, Washington should heed this not as mere rhetoric but as a clarion call to recalibrate our counter-terrorism strategies.

If the U.S. government continues to dismiss al-Qaeda’s narratives as the last throes of a dying movement, it risks ignoring the evolution of a threat that thrives on being underestimated. Al-Qaeda’s portrayal of itself as a phoenix rising from the ashes of Afghanistan’s battlefields should disturb us all—not only because it claims to weaken a superpower but because it aims to reshape global politics.

Let this be a wake-up call: al-Qaeda’s narrative of triumph could spell a dangerous new chapter in global terrorism unless the U.S. acts decisively. The battle for hearts and minds is not just about countering narratives; it’s about offering a compelling alternative that diminishes the allure of extremist ideologies. The time to bolster defenses and rethink strategies is now, before the next narrative of victory is written not in words, but in blood.
Islamist terrorism ‘main concern’ for upcoming Olympics, says Paris police chief
Islamist terrorism is the main security worry ahead of the upcoming Paris Olympics, the French capital’s chief of police Laurent Nunez said on Friday.

France is on its highest security alert level as the Games approach. The country is also preparing for snap legislative elections at the end of June.

French authorities also recently foiled an attack on a sports stadium in another French city.

“Islamist terrorism remains our main concern,” Nunez told a press conference seven weeks before the Olympics opening ceremony, which will be held on and along the River Seine on July 26.

“There is no clear-cut threat yet against the Games and our country but I’d like to remind you that at the end of May, two individuals were arrested in Saint-Etienne and were plotting a project aimed directly at the Olympic Games.

“The terrorist threat remains just as important as the protest threat posed by radical environmental groups, the ultra-left, and the pro-Palestinian movement,” Nunez said.

In May, an 18-year-old Chechen man was arrested in the city of Saint-Etienne, suspected of planning an attack in the name of Islamic State at the city’s soccer stadium during the Olympics.
‘We share the same enemy:’ Israeli, Baltic states’ lawmakers warn of Iran-Russia cooperation
Cooperation between Iran and Russia makes the need for Israel and like-minded democracies to work together more acute than ever, lawmakers and experts agreed at a conference last week in the Latvian parliament.

Rihards Kols, chairman of the Latvian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and soon to be a member of the European Parliament, and the pro-Israel organization European Leadership Network (ELNET) co-hosted the interparliamentary event titled “Exploring the Emerging Axis: Iran-Russia Cooperation and Implications for Israel, Latvia, the Baltics, and Europe.”

“We share the same challenge. We share the same enemy,” Likud lawmaker Boaz Bismuth told the conference.

Bismuth participated in the conference via Zoom – he was one of two Israeli lawmakers who canceled their flights to Riga because of the vote on Haredi conscription in the Knesset last Monday – and recounted feeling “relieved” when he took part in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly last month to find that the cooperation between Russia, China and Iran was one of the major topics on the agenda, saying that such a discussion was “something that you may not have seen a few years ago.”

Sarah Masha Feinberg, head of the Great Powers Research Program at Tel Aviv University, explained that Russia sees the Middle East as a second arena from which to fight the West.

“All the taboos Russia once placed on itself are now lifted,” Feinberg warned. “The fact that Russia invaded Ukraine … and Iran directly attacked Israel for the first time means we are in a world with no taboos and no limits …This creates a fertile ground for the permanent wars of the coming decades.”
Armenia recognizes Palestinian statehood; Israel summons ambassador for reprimand
Armenia declared Friday that it was recognizing Palestinian statehood, prompting Israel to summon the country’s ambassador for a dressing down.

The Armenian foreign ministry said in a statement that Yerevan supports a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and is “genuinely committed to establishing peace and stability in the Middle East and lasting reconciliation.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that in response to the recognition, the ministry had summoned the Armenian ambassador, Arman Akopian, to be reprimanded.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority welcomed the move. “This recognition contributes positively to preserving the two-state solution, which faces systematic challenges, and promotes security, peace and stability for all parties involved,” the Ramallah-based PA presidency said in a statement.

Together with Slovenia, Spain, Ireland and Norway, who also officially recognized a Palestinian state over the past month, the move brings to 145 the number of UN member states that have done so.


NYC has normalized anti-semitism
If you asked me on October 8th if we had an antisemitism problem in NYC, I would have said no. There was an increase in hate attacks against Jews - but also against Asians, and it seemed to me very related to the overall rise in crime and deterioration of racial relations in our city.

Then, in early November, I was walking with my son toward Lincon Center one Friday night when he asked me, "What is Zionism, and why does it mean terrorism?" I explained what Zionism was, said it didn't mean terrorism, and asked, "Why would you ask me that?" He then pointed to a billboard truck on Broadway that just said, "Zionism is terrorism."

It was one of those moments when time stopped. I was so shocked that this truck was in a neighborhood full of Jewish people and insulting them right after the massacre of October 7th. I literally couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. Who would pay for this truck and then drive on the Upper West Side on a Friday night? That night, I remember talking to my husband, "Is this how people felt in Germany in the 1930s?"

I thought a lot about that night last week. I was walking again with my son, and we saw the pro-Hamas protest in front of the Citibank building. Nothing shocked me. I was already expecting the chants for Intifada. I had already seen the videos of the protesters repeating what the leader says like zombies. I wasn't even shocked when fights almost broke out between the protesters and the small pro-Israel counter-protest. The massive number of NYPD anti-riot police on the street seemed normal and necessary.

We have now come to expect these regular protests in our city. I have seen them everywhere: near my son's school, near one of his after-school activities, near my house, in front of the Intrepid Museum, in the subway. I wasn't even surprised when attackers targeted Jewish restaurants or stores owned by Jews.

Every day, something a little more violent or disruptive happens in NYC. And we get used to the new actions of the protesters - they have now even vandalized the homes of Jewish board members of the Brooklyn Museum and asked Zionists to leave the subway. That limit will probably be broken again in a few more days and weeks - until what? How will the Mayor and our elected officials stop the clear path of escalation that now seems inevitable?


Kassy Akiva: How Semester At Sea Failed To Navigate College Anti-Semitism On This Year’s Cruise
Jewish students were “literally confined and stuck” on a cruise ship as anti-Semitism took over this year’s Semester at Sea trip. With anti-Israel genocidal slogans plastered on doors, and on-ship performers saying Israelis were “thirsty for blood,” the dean comforted students by telling them they were fortunate it was easy to hide being Jewish, according to interviews and materials reviewed by The Daily Wire.

This year’s Semester at Sea voyage, in which college students spend a semester aboard a cruise ship traveling to different study abroad locations, took place amid the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza that has sparked anti-Semitic college protests around the world. Just weeks into the trip, the anti-Semitism arrived on the ship, with swaths of students wearing keffiyehs and posting anti-Israel materials throughout the ship, including on the doors of Jewish students.

“I know this is happening all over the world on college campuses, but the difference here… is our students are on a ship,” said Leora Azoulay Short, whose daughter Emily was aboard the ship. “They are literally confined and stuck on a small ship where they are feeling attacked, unsafe, and in an unfriendly environment by many of the other students.”

Short said the anti-Semitism of the trip became apparent after a stop in Malaysia, a majority-Muslim country in Southeast Asia that has openly backed Palestinians against Israel. Students returned to the ship wearing keffiyehs and t-shirts with anti-Israel slogans.

Shortly after, a lecturer boarded the ship to speak about South Africa and went on a tirade about Israel, according to Short.

“Before the port of South Africa, they had a lecturer come on board… and at the end of her lecture, she made a statement to the students that many years ago South Africa had dealt with apartheid and once again, this is happening in the world with Israel,” Short said.

The next day, students reportedly woke up to anti-Israel posters around the ship, including on some Jewish students’ doors.

“They were saying, ‘from the river to the sea,’ ‘stop the genocide.’ Just all kinds of offensive and often untrue … anti-Israel propaganda that they had probably seen in Malaysia and then heard from the South African lecturer.”


‘You’ve created confusion deliberately,’ Hawley tells judicial nominee who advised anti-Israel group
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) pressed Karla Campbell, U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for the U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit, on Thursday about her role of an advisory board at Workers’ Dignity.

“Workers’ Dignity has condemned Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine. They have said that Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing,” the senator said. “Do you agree with that?”

“No senator,” Campbell said.

“How can I believe you?” Hawley said. “You just lied under oath a moment ago.”

“You’ve lied to us up and down on this committee,” he added. “This is a serious problem Ms. Campbell. I have to say, I’ve never seen a witness—never in five years in this committee—sit here and lie to us and change the story person to person.”

Campbell is of counsel at Stranch Jennings & Garvey in Nashville, Tenn., a role she has held since 2022, according to a May 23 White House release. She previously clerked for Judge Jane Stranch on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and was a lawyer at Watson & Renner in Washington, D.C. She holds a law degree from Georgetown University and a college degree from the University of Virginia.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based Workers’ Dignity/Dignidad Obrera, which was founded in 2010, states “that transforming society requires working-class people of all races, ages and walks of life to build resilient and democratic organizations capable of disrupting strategic institutions and industries,” per its website.

“Only then will we be able to seize power and shape our own conditions,” it adds.


‘Antisemitism is on the ballot': Ahead of Bowman-Latimer primary, say Jewish groups
In the years before Oct. 7, Steven Epstein wasn’t the type to go door to door in New York City’s northern suburbs to get out the vote.

But that changed when Hamas attacked Israel. The attack hit home for the 77-year-old retiree, who has Israeli grandchildren. In particular, he is unhappy with his congressman, Jamaal Bowman, who has called for a ceasefire in Israel’s war against the terror group and who has accused Israel of “genocide.”

And on Wednesday afternoon, as Epstein approached a woman in her driveway on a leafy suburban street, a stack of fliers in hand, he delivered a blunt message:

“We’re here because antisemitism is on the ballot and voting has started,” Epstein said. “We don’t care who you vote for for president, we care about this election. We care that the Jewish vote is heard.”

Epstein is one of hundreds of volunteers who are making a final push in the days before the June 25 congressional primary, which pits Bowman against centrist Democrat George Latimer. Their 16th district covers Westchester County as well as a sliver of the Bronx and has a large Jewish population.

The Democratic clash
The Democratic race in this blue district is seen as a bellwether for the clash between centrists who support Israel, like Latimer, and progressives like Bowman who are among its most outspoken critics. The race has received significant national attention, and millions in campaign spending, but in the suburbs that make up the bulk of the district, Epstein and his fellow volunteers want to make sure Jews actually turn out to vote.

For Epstein, a typical day of volunteering means spending two to three hours canvassing, with visits to 35 to 50 houses. The door-knocking effort is organized by Westchester Unites, a project of the Orthodox Union’s Teach Coalition, a nonpartisan education advocacy group that does not endorse any candidates. Epstein hews to those rules — and says he doesn’t feel hindered by them.

“We’re not trying to persuade anyone. I don’t have to say, ‘Here are all the reasons you should vote for Latimer, here are the reasons you shouldn’t vote for Bowman.’ I’m not allowed to,” he said. “But the Jews know and what you have to do is tell them we really need to get the Jewish vote to count.”
Jamaal Bowman Takes Aim at Jews' 'Segregated' Communities: 'We Need To Live Together'
Anti-Israel "Squad" member Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) said Jews in his district intentionally live in "segregated" communities, a state of affairs that must change because "we need to live together," according to a Politico report on Friday.

"In New York City we all live together," Bowman said in April, Politico reported. "[But] Westchester is segregated. There’s certain places where the Jews live and concentrate. Scarsdale, parts of White Plains, parts of New Rochelle, Riverdale. I’m sure they made a decision to do that for their own reasons ... but this is why, in terms of fighting antisemitism, I always push—we’ve been separated and segregated and miseducated for so long. We need to live together, play together, go to school together, learn together, work together."

Bowman's New York district includes parts of the southern half of Westchester County, which is home to a collection of Orthodox or traditional Jewish communities.

Bowman is facing a primary challenge from Democratic county executive George Latimer, who has criticized Bowman’s anti-Israel record in congress.

The New York congressman has repeatedly claimed the Jewish state is an "apartheid state" and called reports of rapes and child murders during Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks "propaganda and "lies." Bowman also accused the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, which has run an array of ads supporting Latimer, of wanting "to call [him] the N-word."
Jamaal Bowman Spends Big on Israel-Hating Staffers To Close Out Primary Campaign
In the final weeks of his uphill primary battle against George Latimer, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) spent tens of thousands of dollars to bring in a trove of anti-Israel staffers who have defended Hamas and blamed Israel for the terror group's Oct. 7 attack, campaign finance disclosures show.

Since May, Bowman has sent nearly $2,300 in staff payments to "End the Occupation," a left-wing group that recently registered as a "multicandidate committee" with the Federal Election Commission, a designation that allowed it to funnel additional money to Bowman and other members of the left-wing "Squad," including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Cori Bush (D., Mo.).

The group's assistant treasurer, Sara Migler, serves as a community organizer for IfNotNow, an anti-Israel group that works to "end U.S. support for Israel's apartheid system" and blamed Oct. 7 on the Jewish state. End the Occupation's treasurer, Howie Stanger, was IfNotNow's board president from 2019 to 2023. In 2021, he likened Israeli Jews to Nazis.

Since April, meanwhile, Bowman has sent more than $100,000 in canvassing expenses to left-wing political consultant Robert Akleh. A self-described "native New Yorker with over 12 years of political campaign experience," Akleh formed his own consulting firm in 2015, roughly one year after he was fired from his job managing a campaign for state legislature over anti-Israel posts. In 2011, Akleh accused U.S. politicians of dual loyalty, writing, "We live in the United States of Israel." One year later, Akleh complained that a "celebrate Israel night" ruined his plans to see a baseball game. "Just my luck. I go to Citi Field to watch the Mets game and it turns out to be celebrate Israel night smh!!!!" he wrote.

In addition to End the Occupation and Akleh, Bowman sent nearly $2,000 in late May to JVP Action, the political arm of Jewish Voice for Peace, for "staff time organizing member volunteers and donors," disclosures show. Just weeks prior, Congress launched a probe into JVP and other anti-Israel groups over their financial support for "pro-Hamas, antisemitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American protests with illegal encampments on American college campuses," the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Bowman's staffing spree comes as the left-wing lawmaker limps to the finish line in his primary race—the most expensive in House history—against Latimer, the Westchester County executive. A June poll from New York City television station PIX11 showed Bowman trailing Latimer by 17 points.


Outrage as Manhattan DA Bragg’s office drops nearly all cases from Columbia University’s anti-Israel protest
Nearly all the protesters charged with storming and occupying Columbia University’s campus during heated anti-Israel demonstrations won’t face criminal charges, Manhattan prosecutors announced Thursday — drawing outrage from law enforcement and Jewish advocates.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office dismissed cases against 31 of 46 people charged with trespassing in the Ivy League school’s Hamilton Hall after a dramatic April 30 NYPD raid rounded up protesters on the Morningside Heights campus.

Prosecutors largely cited lack of evidence, such as security video footage, that could tie the students or staff to the building takeover for leaving them free and clear without even a slap on the wrist.

The dismissals quickly drew fury from rank-and-file NYPD officers, higher education officials and Jewish leaders who spoke with The Post.

“This is turnstile justice,” said Michael Nussbaum, a 25-year member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

“This a green light for chaos, a green light for destroying property.”

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Stephen Millan said that prosecutors had trouble moving forward with charges due to “extremely limited” video surveillance that couldn’t prove anything was damaged inside the building.

Milan also told Judge Kevin McGrath that cameras inside Hamilton Hall were covered up during the police raid, and that no cops were injured.

“It would be extremely difficult for the people to prove any charge of misconduct,” Millan said in Manhattan Criminal Court, adding the each of the individuals getting their cases tossed had no criminal history.
‘LMAO’: Dean of Columbia College Mocked Hillel Head in Newly Obtained Text Exchange
The dean of Columbia College, Josef Sorett, sneered at Columbia’s top Hillel official in a new text message obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, further implicating him in the texting scandal that has caused three of his colleagues to be placed on leave.

"LMAO," Sorett said in response to a sarcastic message from his colleague, Columbia’s vice dean and chief administrative officer Susan Chang-Kim, who said of Columbia’s Hillel director, Brian Cohen, "He is our hero."

The exchange, according to the person who photographed Chang-Kim’s cell phone during the May 31 panel on anti-Semitism, came as Cohen told a concerned parent in the audience that his "soul has been broken" by the protests on Columbia’s campus—which included calls to murder Jewish students and "burn Tel Aviv to the ground."

Columbia deans Susan Chang-Kim and Josef Sorett exchange text messages during May 31 panel on the future of Jewish life on campus

In an earlier exchange between the two officials, Sorett agreed with Chang-Kim’s verdict that the panel, which included Jewish students and parents as well as faculty, was "difficult to listen to."

Sorett has since sought to distance himself from that exchange, though, telling an alumni advisory board that the messages did not "indicate the views of any individual or the team."

He has not addressed his own participation in the back and forth or offered more than a vague apology for a separate text chain in which two other Columbia University deans, Matthew Patashnick and Cristen Kromm, exchanged messages with Chang-Kim as the panel discussion proceeded, using vomit emojis to describe a Columbia rabbi’s op-ed and arguing that Cohen was capitalizing on the moment for "fundraising potential."

Sorett said Thursday that Patashnick, Kromm, and Chang-Kim had been placed on leave pending an investigation.

The university declined to comment on why Sorett is not also under investigation, on who would conduct the investigation and to whom the results would be reported, and on whether the results would be made public.


Anti-Israel serial arsonist receives support from Columbia encampment protest groups
The Columbia University Apartheid Divest coalition that led the encampment at the academic institution issued a statement of support for an alleged anti-Israel serial arsonist on Thursday night.

Jewish Voice for Peace Columbia, Students for Justice in Palestine Columbia, and CUAD, a coalition of around 100 students groups, published on Instagram a statement of support for Casey Goonan, who was arrested on Monday for involvement in four firebombing and arson attacks at the University of California, Berkeley.

"CUAD stands in full support of Casey Goonan and all of our comrades who have bravely undertaken the call to escalate for Palestine," said the coalition. "Even if Casey G[oonan] is innocent, the entire Palestine solidarity movement must support them as if they truly did take bold and heroic actions to protect millions of lives." The series of arson attacks

Goonan's alleged June 1 to Sunday arson spree of a UC Berkeley Police Department vehicle, a construction site, a brush area near a library, and a building were described by the coalition as "the rational action of targeting state infrastructure," in response to US support for Israel's military operation in Gaza.

"The fires on UC campuses have been in direct response to the university's violent police repression of their own students. The spark ignited on US campuses during the intifada of the last few months cannot be quelled, and further repression will only continue to transform these sparks into flames," said CUAD.

CUAD denounced those who attacked Goonan's tactics as ineffective or unwise, saying that they had clear "ethical content."


Seattle tech conference faces backlash for linking Israel to ‘genocide’
An annual tech conference in Seattle has found itself at the center of a heated controversy after a prominent researcher condemned one of the presentations for accusing Israel of genocide.

The Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR) calls itself “the premier annual computer vision event” and includes “several co-located workshops and short courses” in addition to the main conference. Held in Seattle this year, it started on Monday and continues through Friday.

Yitzhak Ben-Shabat, a well-known Israeli figure in the field of computer vision, noticed a slide in one of the presentations during the Workshop on Responsible Data, had the headline “How has CPR research contributed to genocide in Palestine.”

The slide also listed Israeli and international companies, including Elbit Systems, Palantir and Lockheed Martin, as supposedly being embroiled in this “genocide.”

“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,” he tweeted.

The thread prompted a major backlash online, with pro-Israel users attacking the conference for allowing the slide to appear. There was no information on who presented it or whether it was cleared with the event organizers, who have yet to respond to the allegations.
Hill Times Columnist Seeks To ‘Explain’ Hamas’ Genocidal Ideology With Infantile Logic
In his Hill Times column on June 12, Phil Ryan attempted to justify the heinous attack that Hamas carried out against Israeli civilians on October 7. Titled: “Why we Must Contextualize Hate,” Ryan went far beyond providing “context” and provided what can only be described as a justification, in his mind, for the actions of the Islamic terrorist group wielding military and administrative control over Gaza.

Ryan criticized the control that Israel exercises over the Israel-Gaza boundary, and specifically decried what he characterized as the lack of sufficient humanitarian aid. Quoting an anti-Israel column written by a former professor in the United States, he claimed that Gaza is “forced to rely on Israel for food, water, electricity, trade, mail delivery, access to fishing, medical care, or contact with the outside world,” and that they are “resource-starved.”

Lucky for Hamas, they only rely on Israel for food, and not for weapons. Weapons and other tools of war Hamas has in abundance. Ryan seems impervious to all logic and reason in parroting claims that Gaza is starved of resources when more than eight months after their October 7 attacks, Hamas’ military capabilities have yet to be exhausted. To criticize the lack of resources in Gaza in the face of Hamas’ ability to carry out a complex attack in Israel and then a protracted military campaign is laughable.

A look into the founding charter of Hamas gives us all the context one needs to understand why this is the case. Where Hamas could spend the millions of international aid dollars Gaza receives on resources and critical infrastructure, it is instead spent on building up Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure for the expressed purpose of eradicating the Jewish presence in Israel.

Even outside Israel, the supposed object of widespread, and spurious, condemnation, Hamas members called for an “international day of rage” less than a week after they massacred over 1,200 Israelis.

In providing “context,” it seems Ryan forgot about all of this context. He forgot that Hamas has defined its very existence around a call for genocide, and has never abandoned this position.
A Muslim Winnipegger With Mental Health Challenges Died By Suicide; A Local Muslim Group Irresponsibly Blamed Israel, Amplified By CBC & Winnipeg Free Press
On Saturday, June 15, a young Syrian member of Winnipeg’s Muslim community who was reportedly suffering from mental health challenges died by suicide by setting himself on fire inside the Winnipeg Grand Mosque.

While the suicide would ordinarily be a tragedy for the family and for the community, a prominent Winnipeg Muslim organization quickly used the opportunity to lay the blame for the young man’s death on – who else – Israel.

The day after the suicide, the Manitoba Islamic Association (MIA) released a statement which noted “several factors” which allegedly contributed to his death, before pivoting to an unsubstantiated libel against Israel by writing that “We understand that global issues including the genocide against Palestinians and Muslims in Gaza and the rest of Palestine, is impacting so many people beyond the boundaries of our community.”

There appeared to be no evidence whatsoever to connect the man’s death to the Hamas-Israel war, beyond a superficial connection to the self-immolation of an anti-Israel activist in Washington, DC months earlier, in front of the Israeli embassy there.

But as pointed out by National Post commentator Rahim Mohamed, the Winnipeg suicide took place, not in front of any Israeli or Jewish institution, but inside the city’s largest mosque on a Muslim holiday, suggesting no connection to Israel in the slightest.

After immediate outcry, the MIA released a half-hearted correction the following day, cryptically writing that “We would like to sincerely apologize for our last statement as the wording may contribute to misconception and misunderstandings.”
BBC issues belated correction on inaccurate ICJ claim
In fact, that ‘intervention’ prompted by a “senior producer” misled audiences even further because Adams not only failed to clarify the source of the statement but actually claimed that it came from the ICJ:

Adams: “Yeah, I have that statement…I have that in front of me actually from the International Court of Justice: ‘the ICJ found it plausible that Israel’s acts could amount to genocide and issued six provisional measures ordering Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent genocidal acts including preventing and punishing incitement to genocide, ensuring aid and services reach Palestinians under siege in Gaza and preserving the evidence of crimes committed in Gaza’. So that that is that in full.”

The response we received from the BBC Scotland Complaints Team does not state that a clarification would be issued but on June 19th the following entry appeared on the BBC’s Corrections and Clarifications webpage. As we see, the BBC’s clarification does not acknowledge that the inaccurate and misleading statement given to Adams by “her senior producer” as part of of the BBC’s “fact-checking” process was erroneously presented on air as having come “from the International Court of Justice”.


While that apology is of course welcome, its appearance over a month after the item concerned was aired and after unknown numbers of additional listeners had accessed the programme during the four weeks that it remained available online of course renders it largely meaningless.

Once again we see that the BBC’s repeated failure to address complaints within its self-defined time-frame compromises its supposed commitment to accuracy and results in the spread of what was in this case deliberate disinformation touted by a political activist.

Notably, (see ‘related articles’ below) this is at least the seventh item of BBC content relating to the ICJ’s ruling to have been corrected in a manner which does not adequately inform BBC audiences that they had been misled by claims made in BBC content.


‘We don’t have a vetting problem,’ insists Greens deputy leader
The Jewish deputy leader of the Green Party has denied that his party has a vetting problem, telling the JC that any suggestion that it has a problem with antisemitic candidates would be a “huge overstretch”.

In an interview in Stamford Hill, Zack Polanski, 41, defended his party’s record, adding that its manifesto pledges to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and restore UNWRA funding were not “central messages”.

Polanksi grew up as a Zionist in the mainstream Jewish community in Manchester, attending King David school and Habonim Dror youth group. Before he went to university, he said, he didn’t have many friends outside the Jewish community.

Yet now he is deputy leader of a movement that has a reputation for more anti-Israel measures than any other mainstream political party. Speaking to the JC, Polanski took little responsibility for this volte face. His position on Israel changed, he claimed, simply because “Israel has changed”, especially since October 7.

Since the election was called, the Greens have been criticised for embracing a section of the hard-left that was no longer welcome in Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

Last month, the party was forced to abandon a potential candidate in Bristol East, Naseem Talukdar, after the JC revealed that he had compared Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler on social media.

Elizabeth Waight, the party’s candidate for Bethnal Green and Stepney, decided to withdraw after she posted a video in March in which a woman said: “What’s left for the Zionists [is] to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Palestinians… I think this will happen soon.”

Three others have been suspended by the party pending an investigation.

Polanski made no attempt to defend these cases but insisted that it was unfair to say the Greens had a problem vetting their candidates.


Israeli Ambassador to Colombia Departs After President Expels Him
Gali Dagan, the now-former Israeli ambassador to Colombia, left his position on Thursday after Colombia’s far-left, pro-Hamas President Gustavo Petro cut all ties with Israel in May.

The Israeli diplomat had reportedly been given a deadline of no later than June 30 to return to Israel along with the rest of the Israeli diplomatic personnel stationed in the South American nation.

Dagan, who served as the head of the Israeli diplomatic mission in Colombia for two years, bid farewell to the South American nation in a video posted on social media featuring a montage of some of the official events, meetings, and activities Dagan participated in during his two years in Colombia.

“Turn up the volume — Thank you so much Colombia. You were so kind to us. Two years of tireless work for the friendship between our countries and brotherly peoples. We miss you already. Goodbye,” Dagan’s message reads.

“It is time to say goodbye, Colombia. Thank you for every moment, every experience and every smile shared,” the video’s message read. “I take with me indelible memories and the warmth of your beautiful people.”


Lena Dunam’s Auschwitz Tour Does More Harm Than Good
Treasure is a tragicomedy starring Lena Dunham, the 38-year-old behind the HBO phenom, Girls (2012 – 2017). Her co-star is Stephen Fry, a 66-year-old English comedian. Treasure opened in the U.S. on June 14, 2024.

Treasure takes place in February, 1991. Ruth Rothwax travels with her father, Edek, to Auschwitz, where he and his wife had been prisoners. Their chauffeur is Stefan (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a cabbie. The film ends with Ruth and Edek hugging, crying, and apologizing for past failures to express love. Finally, Ruth and Edek unearth actual, buried treasure.

Treasure was directed and co-written by the aristocratically named Julia von Heinz, a 48-year-old German PhD. Von Heinz’s previous film And Tomorrow the Entire World depicts her life in Antifa. Of that film, von Heinz said, “We had to react to society and the rising fascism that we are experiencing here and now.” And Tomorrow the Entire World explores Antifa’s use of violence to oppose those they call “Nazis.”

John Quester, Von Heinz’s husband, fellow German, and fellow former Antifa member, co-wrote Treasure. Dunham, von Heinz, and Fabian Gasmia co-produced. Gasmia is president of the Franco-German Film Academy. He reports that France and Germany “accounted for more than 80%” of the film’s nine-million-dollar budget. “We want to make sure that … all of our films … somehow have the same values and therefore somehow the same identity. At our core, we are often political,” Gasmia says.

During its weekend opening, Treasure acquired a 38 % score at Rotten Tomatoes. That is more than twice as high as von Heinz received for her 2013 film, Hanna’s Journey, that depicts a romance between a German do-gooder in Israel and an Israeli teacher of the handicapped.

Reviewer Glenn Kenny points out that Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry are celebrities with literally and figuratively larger-than-life personae, and those personae do not disappear into their onscreen roles. Ben Kenigsberg, in a curt New York Times review, says that Fry “never manages to make visceral” Edek’s “masked, repressed trauma.” Edwin Arnaudin says the film “consistently falls flat in all regards.”

Danny Leigh says, “The sitcom notes clang louder” than the Holocaust narrative. The flaws of Treasure “are the same flaws of Ms Dunham’s other work, a strange kind of exhibitionist narcissism that annoys so much it’s hard to appreciate the value of its points,” says Sarah Manvel. “So muddled and misbegotten it’s hard to perform an evidential postmortem … of where it all goes wrong,” says Leslie Felperin. “An uncomfortable experience this: a laboriously acted odd-couple heart warmer … with a sentimentality unsuited to its theme,” writes Peter Bradshaw.
WJC announces new tech institute and report on AI-fueled Holocaust denial
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has stepped up efforts to counter the rising threats from artificial intelligence to inflame online hate.

On Tuesday, the organization announced the WJC Institute for Technology and Human Rights, along with its first contribution towards the work numerous organizations are pursuing to understand growing antisemitism on social media and the Internet.

The institute “will supercharge our vital work defending pluralism and protecting human dignity in the digital age,” inaugural director Yfat Barak-Cheney told JNS. “We’ll provide strategic guidance, research insights and a moral voice rooted in Jewish perspectives and lived experiences confronting hatred.”

In partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) the institute released a 26-page report, “AI and the Holocaust: Rewriting History–The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Understanding the Holocaust.”

The analysis came to numerous conclusions about what the WJC described in a statement as “significant risks in misrepresenting or distorting Holocaust history.” Examples offered included creating fake content, generating “deep fake” images intended to undermine authentic historical evidence and spreading antisemitic ideologies.

The report urged greater regulation and ethical guidelines as AI projects move forward in development. It called for collaboration across multiple sectors from the technology developers to politicians to teachers and the communities impacted by the hate.
Swiss museum takes down 5 paintings looted by Nazis as part of probe into origins
Gogh and a Monet, after the foundation that owns them called for a deeper look at their origins following new US guidelines on how to handle artworks once confiscated by the Nazis.

The Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection, which owns the works formerly shown at the Kunsthaus Zürich museum, said it was looking to reach a “fair and equitable solution” with the legal successors of the former owners, who were not identified.

The foundation’s board called for a new assessment of the works under new “Best Practices” published by the US State Department in March on how to deal with Nazi-confiscated art, as an upgrade to principles adopted in 1998.

“This is an important step in implementing the new Best Practices, now endorsed by 24 countries, including Switzerland,” Stuart Eizenstat, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s special adviser on Holocaust issues and a key architect of the principles, said in an email.

The works include the oil paintings “Jardin de Monet à Giverny” by Claude Monet from 1895, and “Der alte Turm” by Vincent van Gogh, from 1884. The other three are 19th-century works by French painters Gustave Courbet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin.

A sixth painting, Edouard Manet’s “La Sultane,” was also considered to be “a case deserving particular attention,” the foundation said in a statement last Friday.
New York man pleads guilty to buying gun used against Albany synagogue
A man who purchased a Kel-Tec KS7 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and then illegally transferred it for use in terrorizing the Jewish community by firing the weapon twice outside a synagogue has admitted to his crime.

On Thursday, straw-buyer Andrew Miller, 38, of Schenectady, N.Y., pleaded guilty to buying the gun for $599.99 last year between Oct. 1 and Nov. 6, before then illegally transferring it to Mufid Fawaz Alkhader, 28, who still faces charges. The two determined that Alkhader could not purchase the gun due to an illegal marijuana charge.

Alkhader allegedly shot the gun on Dec. 7 outside Temple Israel in Albany, N.Y. He faces two charges that could get him up to 20 years in prison.

Miller is expected to receive his sentence on Oct. 18. It could include as much as five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
Comedian Shawn Pelofsky takes a stand for Israel
After Oct. 7, Pelofsky couldn’t believe how “it seems like all humanity went to hell in a handbag.”

“Living in California for over 25 years, I was always proud to call myself a liberal and have been adamant about standing up for other human rights, especially when it comes to other marginalized groups,” she said.

‘In no way will I let hate prevail’

She has a large following among gay men, and is a strong advocate for and ally of the LGBTQ community, she told JNS. But she remains shocked by how that community has often responded to the Hamas assault on Israel.

“After all my efforts to make sure the gay community’s rights are protected, I can’t believe something as insane as ‘queers for Palestine’ exists,” Pelofsky said. “What’s even more baffling, is that some of those very men and women from the LGBTQ community that I have worked so hard to protect have uttered anti-Israel rhetoric to me.”

She noted that “I have lost dear friends for protecting the Jewish people.”

And she has some pointed words for her political party.

“My own Democratic Party has let me down,” said the comedian, singling out Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the members of the progressive “Squad” in Congress, who she said have turned their backs on the hostages and Israel.

“I will do whatever it takes to ensure my Jewish people’s survival,” she told JNS. “Somehow ‘Zionism’ has become a dirty word, and we can thank the brainwashing that has been flooding our universities for years for that. Our system is broken, but in no way will I let hate prevail.”

Not two weeks after Oct. 7, Pelofsky and a close friend passed by a business that had been vandalized with the word “Zionist” after an anti-Israel rally on Sunset Boulevard. (She had just completed a set at the Comedy Store.)

“I couldn’t believe what I saw on the side of what these monsters thought was a Jewish business. The word ‘Zionist’ is tagged on the side of the building,” she told JNS.

“I knew I had to show the world that Los Angeles is suddenly looking like 1940,” she said. “My friend that was with me helped me make a video, and that made the rounds and enraged even more haters.”

“On a positive note,” she said, “it did connect me to new Jewish fans and friends from all over the world.”

Pelofsky has written for several episodes of Joan Rivers’s “Fashion Police” and says Rivers “was the epitome of strength and heroically unapologetic about what we as Jewish people know is the truth.”

“She taught me something very valuable—never stay complacent,” Pelofsky affirmed. “I will not stay silent, and too bad for those who want me to. I have a stage, and I have the mic. If you don’t care to hear the truth, then I know some nice bouncers that will show you the door.”






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